TIME privacy

Celebrity Lawyer Threatens Google With $100 Million Suit Over Nude Selfies

The Daily Front Row Second Annual Fashion Media Awards - Arrivals
Model Kate Upton attends The Daily Front Row Second Annual Fashion Media Awards at Park Hyatt New York on September 5, 2014 in New York City. Rommel Demano—Getty Images

“Google’s ‘Don’t be evil’ motto’ is a sham.”

Updated 2:54 p.m. ET Thursday

A lawyer representing more than a dozen celebrities whose personal and sometimes nude photos were stolen and shared on the Internet issued a scathing letter to Google that accuses the tech giant of helping the images spread and threatens a $100 million lawsuit.

The letter, written by lawyer Marty Singer and obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, calls Google’s conduct “despicable” for what it says is Google’s failure to remove the images and its “facilitating and perpetuating the unlawful conduct.”

A Google spokesperson said via email Thursday afternoon that “We’ve removed tens of thousands of pictures — within hours of the requests being made — and we have closed hundreds of accounts. The Internet is used for many good things. Stealing people’s private photos is not one of them.”

Indeed, the firm has removed some images from its sites and links to the images from its search engine. Still, the letter says lawyers have asked Google more than a dozen times to remove the images from Google sites like BlogSpot and YouTube, but some of the images are still available several weeks after the initial breach.

Google “has acted dishonorably by allowing and perpetuating unlawful activity that exemplifies an utter lack of respect for women and privacy,” the letter says. “Google’s ‘Don’t be evil’ motto’ is a sham.”

[THR]

TIME ebola

100 People Came Into Contact With Texas Ebola Patient

Texas Hospital Patient Confirmed As First Case Of Ebola Virus Diagnosed In US
A medical transport van moves past Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas where a patient has been diagnosed with the Ebola virus on September 30, 2014 in Dallas, Texas. Mike Stone—Getty Images

Four family members of the first confirmed Ebola patient in the US have been ordered to stay at home as a precautionary measure

Updated 1:15 p.m. ET Thursday

Health workers have identified about 100 people who came into first- or second-degree contact with the first confirmed Ebola patient in the U.S. or with his family, officials said Thursday, as the patient’s family was ordered to stay at home in isolation.

Health experts have been tracking down anyone who could have come into contact with the patient, Thomas Eric Duncan, who first went to a Texas hospital for medical care on Sept. 25, days after arriving in the U.S. from Liberia. Duncan was initially sent home despite having told hospital staff of his recent travel from Ebola-ridden West Africa, but he was brought back two days later as his symptoms worsened.

The group of 100 people were not necessarily close to the patient but may have had some level of contact with him, Zachary Thompson, the director of the Dallas County Health and Human Services told NBC.

Health officials in Texas have also ordered four family members who had contact with Duncan to stay at home and not have visitors, the Department of State Health Services said in a statement. The family members, who have not shown symptoms, are legally compelled to comply until at least Oct. 19, when the incubation period for the virus will have passed. The virus is not contagious until symptoms appear.

“We have tried and true protocols to protect the public and stop the spread of this disease,” David Lakey, the Texas health commissioner, said in a statement. “This order gives us the ability to monitor the situation in the most meticulous way.”

Separately, a man in Hawaii is being treated in isolation for what health officials say is a potential Ebola case, though he could be sick with some other ailment. The virus has infected more than 7,200 people primarily in Western Africa and killed more 3,300, making it the most deadly Ebola outbreak ever.

This post has been updated to reflect an increased number of people who are being monitored for Ebola-like symptoms and to clarify the degree of their contact with Duncan as well as details about Duncan’s initial hospital visit.

TIME Football

Long Island High Schooler Dies After Football Collision

Tom Cutinella is the third high school football player to have died in recent days.

A Long Island high school junior died late Wednesday after colliding with an opponent in a varsity football game.

Tom Cutinella, a junior at Shoreham-Wading River High School who plays guard/linebacker on the school’s football team, was pronounced dead after sustaining a head injury in the third quarter of the afternoon game, Newsday reports.

Cutinella was hospitalized after the hit and placed in the intensive-care unit after undergoing surgery. His death came as a shock to the community and to the 60 friends, relatives and teammates waiting in the hospital, Newsday reports.

“We’re a small community and we’re all devastated,” Jack Costas, a member of the Shoreham-Wading River school board told Newsday. “It’s always tragic when someone so young and so full of life has their life ended. It’s going to be a very, very difficult road ahead from this.”

The risks of injury and death in football have come under increasing scrutiny in the wake of tragic deaths of high school football players and growing evidence that the game can have long-term effects on professional players. Two other high school student players have died of potentially football-related injuries since Friday, according to ESPN.

[Newsday]

TIME ebola

Man in Isolation in Possible Hawaii Ebola Case

Ebola
Getty Images

"It's still an if. This is not a 'for sure' thing."

A man is being treated in isolation in Hawaii for what health officials say is a potential Ebola case, local ABC affiliate KITV reported Thursday, though he could be sick with some other ailment.

Authorities stress that they are being especially cautious amid concerns over the deadly virus, two days after the first confirmed case in the United States was identified in Texas. They did not release details about the patient or the hospital where he is being treated, according to KITV.

“The hospital is being very careful, as they should be, to take precautions making sure the patient is in isolation and making sure the people and the public stay safe,” Dr. Melissa Viray, an official with the Hawaii Department of Health, told KITV. “That being said, it’s still an if. This is not a ‘for sure’ thing.”

Health officials in Texas are tracking down anyone who may have come into contact with the Ebola patient in Texas and monitoring a second potential case. The virus has infected more than 7,200 people primarily in Western Africa and killed more 3,300 in the worst Ebola outbreak on record.

[KITV]

TIME Argentina

Judge Holds Argentina in Contempt of Court

The South American country's showdown with the U.S. court continues

A U.S. judge found Argentina to be in civil contempt of court as it continues to defy his rulings that the country repay some $1.6 billion to holdout creditors–largely American hedge funds–before it pays other bondholders, Bloomberg reports.

Most recently, the country has moved to shift control of its structured debt payments to Buenos Aires from New York, despite the judge’s rulings.

U.S. District Judge Thomas Griesa in Manhattan said that move is “illegal and cannot be carried out.”

Griesa did not rule on a penalty, but the holdout creditors have asked him to fine Argentina $50,000 a day until it complies.

Argentina’s Foreign Ministry said on Monday that the contempt ruling undermines “the dignity of foreign states,” according to Bloomberg. “The decision by Judge Griesa has no practical effects beyond providing new elements in the defamation campaign being waged against Argentina by vulture funds.”

[Bloomberg]

TIME Companies

No, Snapchat Hasn’t Been Hacked

But that doesn’t mean you won’t get annoying weight loss spam from your friends

Snapchat denied being hacked after some users reported receiving spam messages from their friends advertising a weight loss site.

The ephemeral messaging service told the BBC that it believed that user login data was taken from other sites and used to access Snapchat.

“We recommend using a unique and complex password to access your Snapchat account,” the company told the BBC.

According to the BBC, the spam is sent to all of the contacts on an affected user’s account. Snapchat informs those users of the breach–and recommends that they change their passwords–when they log on.

In January, the company was targeted by hackers who took 4.6 million usernames and phone numbers and released the personal data on the web–with the last two figures of the phone numbers redacted. The hackers said they were raising awareness about Snapchat security concerns.

[BBC]

TIME Guns

Louisiana Restaurant Owner Gives a Discount to Gun Owners

"I just need to see a weapon"

A local restaurant owner in Louisiana will give a 10 percent discount to any customers that show him their guns—and not the arm muscle kind.

Kevin Cox, owner of Bergeron’s Restaurant in Port Allen, is bucking a corporate trend by encouraging, rather than banning, firearms in his Cajun food establishment. Cox said he’s frustrated with chains like Target, which requested in July that customers not bring their weapons into stores, NBC33 reports.

“I keep hearing so much about people banning guns,” Cox told NBC33. “Target’s banning guns and these people are banning guns. Don’t they realize that that’s where people with guns are going to go? I want to take the opposite approach. How can I make my place safer?”

Cox said some 15 to 20 people take him up on the discount offer every day.

“I just need to see a weapon. I need you to be carrying a gun,” he told NBC33.

[NBC33]

TIME Environment

Wildlife Populations Have Dropped by More Than Half

"This latest edition of the Living Planet Report is not for the faint-hearted"

Vertebrate species populations have dropped by more than half over the course of 40 years, according to a new report from WWF, marking a larger decrease than ever previously documented.

The Living Plant Report measured more than 10,000 representative populations of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish and found a 52% decline between 1970 and 2010. The facts are grimmer for some species: freshwater dwellers showed an average decline of 76%.

The study chalked up most of the decline to human impact. Habitat loss and hunting and fishing were the primary culprits, and climate change was the next largest threat, the report said.

“This latest edition of the Living Planet Report is not for the faint-hearted,” writes Marco Lambertini, director general of WWF International, says in a forward to the report.

TIME Hong Kong

Watch the Massive Hong Kong Protests From the Sky

The drone video posted to Facebook and YouTube beautifully conveys the size and determination of Hong Kong's pro-democracy protests

Thousands of demonstrators are occupying key districts across Hong Kong in a massive democracy protest that has drawn international attention. Following a night of clashes with police, the number of protesters appeared to grow substantially on Monday.

The video above, posted Monday on the Facebook account of Nero Chan, helps convey the scope of the ongoing protests.

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