TIME Innovation

Five Best Ideas of the Day: October 10

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

1. With U.S. support, El Salvador is using community policing to address skyrocketing gang crime.

By Jude Joffe-Block in Fronteras

2. A new tool designed to flag bogus stories online might help combat rampant misinformation.

By Alexis Sobel Fitts in the Columbia Journalism Review

3. A multimillion dollar new high rise in Los Angeles exclusively for the city’s sick and vulnerable homeless residents reflects a powerful truth: we can’t ignore poverty away.

By Gale Holland in the Los Angeles Times

4. The CDC is using mobile phone data to track and stop Ebola in West Africa.

By Aliya Sternstein in NextGov

5. “Education is the most important right. When we get education, then we can bring change in our society.”

By Malala Yousafzai addressing the Aspen Ideas Festival

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME viral

September’s Best News Bloopers Include a Guy Immediately Dropping His Brand New iPhone 6

Your monthly dose of schadenfreude

September was a big month for news — much of it serious and sinister. But of course, there were plenty of lighter, sillier moments too, mostly in the form of on-air mishaps and blunders.

Each month, the YouTube channel NewsBeFunny rounds up the funniest, strangest and most cringe-worthy bloopers so we can all enjoy a nice heart dose of schadenfreude. September’s highlights include one of the first people to get an iPhone 6 immediately dropping it on the ground, a reporter quitting on air after outing herself as the owner of a medical marijuana club, and a bat flying around a TV studio.

MORE: The Best News Bloopers of August

MORE: The Best News Bloopers of July

 

TIME Race

Survey: Blacks and Hispanics Say News Doesn’t Reflect Their Communities

200398313-007
Jose Luis Pelaez—Getty Images

1,492 U.S. adults were polled about the media over the phone

Black and Hispanic Americans say the media does not accurately cover their communities, according to a study released Tuesday.

The survey of 1,492 U.S. adults was conducted over the phone by the Media Insight Project, a joint initiative of the American Press Institute and the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

Media Insight Project found that 33% of Hispanics and 25% of African-Americans believe the media portrays their community accurately. Only 19% of the African-Americans polled said that the most accurate coverage of their community comes from general local news, and only 18% from African-American specific news sources. Of Hispanic Americans, 49% said they felt that the most accurate news comes from Hispanic specific sources.

The full survey results can be found here.

TIME Spain

Go Inside the World’s Biggest Tomato Fight

The La Tomatina festival draws thousands of people to Bunol, Spain, every year

Getting into a food fight is every school kid’s fantasy, but once a year in the town of Bunol, Spain, it becomes a reality.

The objective of the La Tomatina festival is simple: Throw as many tomatoes at other people as you can (or perhaps just roll around in the puree that covers the streets). This year, according to the Associated Press, there were approximately 125 tons of tomatoes and 22,000 participants.

Both residents and non-residents participate in the festival. This is the second year that Bunol charged out-of-towners 10 Euros (about $13) to help paint their town red.

[AP]

TIME viral

The Best News Bloopers of August

With a special cameo from the 'Apparently Kid' and a hilariously solemn "breaking news" announcement

It’s been a pretty dismal month, as far as world events go, but the news wasn’t all bad thanks to some very entertaining on-air mishaps. So here you go: seven minutes of pure schadenfreude.

TIME Bizarre

A German Man Was Evicted Because His Sex Swing Was Too Squeaky

A new Swingers club,
Here's an example of one. Rick Madonik—Toronto Star via Getty Images

And you thought your neighbors were bad

It turns out that the only worse thing than having upstairs neighbors who tap dance or have a newborn is living in the same apartment as a man with a very squeaky sex swing (and a very active, um, social life).

A German court ruled Friday that a landlady had the right to evict a tenant who broke his rental agreement of keeping quiet between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. by using his “very old,” loud, chain sex swing, the Associated Press reports. Neighbors filed numerous complaints since the swing’s 2012 installation.

The court said that by using the swing late at night, it “would no longer correspond to normal rental use, and must therefore not be tolerated as socially acceptable,” AP reports.

[AP]

TIME Election 2014

Republican Group Rolls Out Fake News Websites

The NRCC has released a line of websites to attack Democrats with the look and feel of local news sites

The National Republican Congressional Committee is getting into the local news business — at least until the midterm elections are over.

The NRCC has released a line of websites to attack Democratic candidates that have the look and feel of local news websites. The sites have names like “Central Valley Update” and “Augusta Update.” A box at the bottom of the page indicates the website is paid for by the NRCC. Some two dozen of the sites are now live.

“This is a new and effective way to disseminate information to voters who are interested in learning the truth about these Democratic candidates,” NRCC spokesperson Andrea Bozek said of the new line of sites. “While Democrats would rather hide their candidates and their reckless agenda, we believe voters deserve to know the facts.” Bozek added that the websites are not illegal.

The group drew criticism earlier this year over websites, including fundraising portals that confused some voters, which spoofed the websites of Democratic candidates.

The new websites are being paid for and coordinated by the NRCC’s independent expenditure arm, which can raise unlimited sums of money but is not permitted to coordinate with candidates’ campaigns.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the NRCC’s Democratic counterpart, called the websites deceptive.

“House Republicans’ campaign strategy to overcome their own historic unpopularity is to resort to deception—again,” DCCC spokesperson Josh Schwerin told TIME.

TIME Transportation

FAA Implements No-Fly Zone in Ferguson Amid Unrest Over Killed Teen

Outrage In Missouri Town After Police Shooting Of 18-Yr-Old Man
With their hands raised, residents gather at a police line as the neighborhood is locked down following skirmishes on August 11, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri. Scott Olson—Getty Images

Police say their helicopter was shot at multiple times Sunday

The Federal Aviation Administration issued a no-fly zone over Ferguson, Missouri, Tuesday at the request of the St. Louis County Police Department.

The St. Louis County Police Department told TIME it asked the FAA for the flight restriction after a police helicopter was fired upon “multiple times” during civil unrest Sunday. Ferguson, located just outside St. Louis, Missouri, erupted in street violence amid demonstrations sparked by the death of Michael Brown, a black teenager who was shot and killed by police on Saturday.

The FAA order restricts flights over the Ferguson area below 3,000 feet to first responders only, including medical and police helicopters. Private aircraft, including news helicopters, are prohibited from flying below 3,000 feet in a 3-mile radius around the town. The rule doesn’t apply to aircraft landing at or taking off from the nearby Lambert–St. Louis International Airport, a major commercial hub. The restriction is in place through August 18.

The order says the flight restrictions were put in place “to provide a safe environment for law enforcement activities.” The FAA would not elaborate further on the reason for the St. Louis County Police Department’s request. “If you want it, file a FOIA,” FAA Spokesperson Elizabeth Cory told TIME, in reference to a Freedom of Information Act request.

It’s not unusual for local police departments to request flight restrictions over potentially dangerous zones, and it’s typically done to clear airspace for police helicopter operations. The Ferguson restriction, however, may make it more difficult for news media to get aerial footage of the town as the Brown story continues to develop.

“If we feel that order is restored we can request ran early termination,” St. Louis County police spokesperson Bryan Schellman told TIME.

TIME Crime

Mystery White Flags on Brooklyn Bridge Provoke Social Media Frenzy

"We will not surrender"

The New York Police Department has removed a pair of white flags that mysteriously replaced the American stars and stripes on top of the Brooklyn Bridge Tuesday morning.

While the unexplained security breach is under investigation by police, the incident has incited a slew of social media confusion and some conspiracy theories.

Has Brooklyn surrendered?

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams issued a statement that no, “We will not surrender our public safety to anyone, at any time.”

Were the flags in question actually American flags that had been whitewashed? Oren Yaniv of the Daily News said yes:

Even more suspiciously still, the police folded the flags in a ceremonial manner after taking them down:

While Adams is approaching the confusing stunt very seriously — “If flying a white flag atop the Brooklyn Bridge is someone’s idea of a joke, I’m not laughing. The public safety of our city is of paramount importance, particularly our landmarks and bridges that are already known to be high-risk targets.” — others online are taking a lighter approach.

It’s a marketing stunt for a little-remembered British singer of the 1990s:

Some thought it was a message from the borough on the other side of the bridge:

Others speculated what Brooklyn might be giving in to:

If it helps, public officials aren’t sure either. In the words of an NYPD Deputy Commission for Public Information officer to Business Insider, “We don’t know anything.”

TIME animals

Ohio Man’s Therapy Ducks Fall Foul of Local Ordinances

Iraq war veteran Darin Welker holds one of his ducks at his home in West Lafayette, Ohio on July 10, 2014.
Iraq war veteran Darin Welker holds one of his ducks at his home in West Lafayette, Ohio on July 10, 2014. Trevor Jones—AP

Veteran Darin Welker says raising the birds helps him overcome PTSD from the Iraq War

Darin Welker loves his ducks. He feeds them, looks after them, and sometimes the Iraq War veteran from West Lafayette, Ohio just watches them interact. But Welker’s community doesn’t share the same affection for his feathered friends.

On Wednesday, the Associated Press reports, Welker will appear in a local municipal court facing a minor misdemeanor charge for raising 14 ducks in violation of local village rules. He could face a fine of up to $150.

Welker, an Iraq War veteran, says he’s been raising the ducks as a form of therapy for a back injury and post-traumatic stress disorder. Welker told the AP that although the Department of Veterans Affairs paid for his back surgery in 2012, they did not provide mental or physical therapy.

In March, he got the ducks to help fill that void, after hearing raising them could be therapeutic.

“Taking care of them is both mental and physical therapy,” Welker told the AP. “[Watching them] keeps you entertained for hours at a time.”

In West Lafayette, however, raising ducks or any farm animal violates a 2010 ban on housing “chickens, turkeys, ducks, live poultry or fowl of any kind, horses, ponies, cows, calves, goats, sheep, or live animals of any kind except dogs, cats, gerbils, hamsters, guinea pigs, birds or mice.”

But there is hope for Welker and his ducks. A local woman fought to keep the pot-bellied pig she and her daughter use for therapy in 2013. Mary Smith, the pig’s owner, told the Coshocton Tribune at the time that she would rather move than give up her pig. “He’s part of our family,” Smith said.

Smith obtained a letter from her doctor confirming her pig was for therapy. According to the AP, Welker has already gotten a letter from the mental health department of the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs recommending he keep the ducks.

[AP]

Your browser, Internet Explorer 8 or below, is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites.

Learn how to update your browser