TIME oregon

Oil Ship Leaves Portland After Police Force Greenpeace Protesters Off Bridge

Protesters had been attempting to block an icebreaking vessel from leaving Portland to go to the Arctic for oil drilling

An controversial oil ship managed to sail past a group of Greenpeace protesters hanging from a bridge in Portland after police and Coast Guard officers forced the activists from the area.

The protesters had gathered to block a Royal Dutch Shell icebreaking vessel from leaving the area to head to a oil drilling site in the Arctic. Environmental activists had suspended themselves from the St. Johns bridge and formed a line of kayaks along the Willamette River in an effort to block the ship from leaving the city, but the ship, named Fennica, managed to slip through a gap in the dangling protesters just before 6:00 p.m. Pacific time.

For about six hours, according to local outlets, there was relative quiet. But Thursday afternoon, the Coast Guard and local officials began insisting that the protesters move.

According to OregonLive, which hosted a liveblog of the protest, officials at one point attempted to grab kayakers—called “kayaktivists” by organizers”—using boat hooks. Some of the activists who had situated themselves in slings underneath the bridge left voluntarily, but others were still dangling from it at about 6 p.m. local time.

Earlier on Thursday, activists were involved in a standoff with the vessel and the Coast Guard during which they temporarily blocked the ship from leaving dock. According to Oregon Public Broadcasting, protesters cheered and declared victor when the vessel turned around. A judge on Thursday fined Greenpeace USA $2,500 for every hour that protesters blocked the vessel from passing through.

TIME Television

Game of Thrones Will Last at Least Another 3 Seasons

"That’s what we’re looking at right now”

It’s official: Game of Thrones won’t only go for seven seasons.

Even though Thrones showrunners have repeatedly declared they only want to make seven seasons of the fantasy hit, HBO programming president Michael Lombardo for the first time firmly announced the series will go at least eight seasons.

“Seven-seasons-and-out has never been the [internal] conversation,” Lombardo said to critics at the Television Critics Association’s press tour Thursday. “The question is how much beyond seven are we going to do. [Showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss are] feel like there’s two more years after six. I would always love for them to change their minds. That’s what we’re looking at right now.”

And what about a prequel series?

“I would be open to anything Dan and David want to do,” Lombardo said. “It really would depend fully on what they want to do. I think you’re right, there’s enormous storytelling to be mined in a prequel. We haven’t had any conversations.”

This article originally appeared on EW.com

TIME Crime

Why Universities Have Their Own Armed Police Forces

The arrangement has a long history

After a white University of Cincinnati police officer was charged with murder this week for shooting a local black man during a routine traffic stop, many have raised questions about why the university has an armed police force at all.

Ray Tensing, the officer who killed 43-year-old Samuel DuBose, was one of 72 gun-carrying members of the University of Cincinnati’s police department, until he was fired following his indictment on Wednesday. His fellow UC police officers have the authority to make arrests and to patrol both the university’s campus and the surrounding area—an arrangement that is common among other public universities across the country.

One of the critics of the university’s police force in the wake of DuBose’s death is Joe Deters, Cincinnati’s prosecutor, who is calling for the school’s police department to be eliminated.

“They’re not cops, and we have a great police department in Cincinnati, probably the best in Ohio,” he told reporters on Wednesday. “And I talked to the [city police] chief about it today and I said, ‘You know, you guys should be doing this stuff,’ and I think he’s in agreement with it.”

University of Cincinnati president Santa Ono said it would be “premature” to discuss shutting down the school’s police department, but the university would be “reviewing comprehensively” the “training policy and procedures of the force.”

Here’s what you need to know about campus police:

What is a university police force?

A university police force is much like any other police force, except the officers are employed by the university or a private contractor, not the city or state, and the police force’s jurisdiction that is largely campus based.

There are generally three types of campus public safety departments, says S. Daniel Carter, the director of the 32 National Campus Safety Initiative at the VTV Family Outreach Foundation, founded by families and survivors of the 20007 Virginia Tech shooting. The first type of force is composed of “sworn” officers—officers with the power to make arrests. The second type is made up of unsworn security officers, who can be employed either by the university or a private contractor. The third is a hybrid of the two. A small number of colleges and universities don’t have their own force and rely on local law enforcement agencies to do their policing.

While some were surprised to learn that Tensing, the University of Cincinnati police officer, had the authority to carry a gun and make arrests off campus, that’s actually the norm among university police forces, according to the most recent survey of campus law enforcement by the U.S. Department of Justice in 2011-2012.Three quarters of the 905 traditional four-year institutions surveyed used sworn officers—the kind that can make arrests. And three-quarters also used armed officers. Arming officers was much more common in public institutions—9 in 10 public institutions employed armed officers, compared with only 38% of private campuses.

Can a university police force patrol outside the boundaries of a campus?

That question was raised in the case of DuBose’s death, since he was stopped by a University of Cincinnati police officer close to the school’s campus but outside of it. At a press conference this week, UC president Ono told a reporter who asked about the location of the arrest that “yes, it was legal,” but the university planned to review the whole incident and potentially make policy changes.

The fact that a university police officer would stop a non-student in an area outside of campus is not unusual across the country. The vast majority of sworn campus police officers, or more than 80%, had patrol and arrest jurisdictions that extended beyond the campus boundaries, according to the Justice Department survey in 2011-2012.

What is the history of the university police force?

According to experts, the first example of a sworn university police department with arms and arresting power was at Yale in 1894, when two local New Haven, Conn. cops asked to be assigned exclusively to the school to stem tensions over a scandal in which Yale medical students were accused of stealing recently buried cadavers from local cemeteries, according to Yale’s website. University police departments became much more prevalent and important in the 1960s and 1970s after the Vietnam era protests, and the forces have continued to grow. In 2004, 68% of the four-year universities surveyed by the Justice Department used armed officers; by 2011, that number had grown to 75%.

How are university police officers recruited and trained?

The recruitment, training and rules governing university police departments vary widely depending on the state, said Dolores Stafford, executive director of the National Association of Clery Compliance Officers & Professionals. In some states, university and campus police officers go to the same police academy as the state and city officers. In other states, they go to their own academy. Campus police officers also typically go through other training in regulations like the Clery Act, which governs federal reporting requirements of campus crime, and issues particularly pertinent to campus safety, such as sexual assault. Stafford said that use of force training is common among campus police officers, even those who are not sworn.

Though it was more common 30 years ago for campus forces to be made up of former municipal police officers, said Stafford, campus law enforcement is now a career path in its own right, employing hundreds of people across the country.

TIME

This Is What Facebook’s Solar-Powered Internet Plane Looks Like

It kind of resembles a stealth bomber

Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook’s solar-powered Internet plane Aquila has taken flight.

In a video posted to his Facebook page, Zuckerberg introduced the 140-foot wingspan aircraft that is designed to provide Internet access to remote regions.

To see the story about the plane’s design, here’s the link to the video and Zuckerberg’s Facebook post. It already has over 20,000 likes.

“Aquila is a solar powered unmanned plane that beams down internet connectivity from the sky,” he wrote. “It has the wingspan of a Boeing 737, but weighs less than a car and can stay in the air for months at a time.

“This effort is important because 10% of the world’s population lives in areas without existing internet infrastructure. To affordably connect everyone, we need to build completely new technologies.”

Per Re/Code:

The plane isn’t just an idea or a mockup. An actual version of the plane was built in the United Kingdom and Facebook plans to test it, probably somewhere in the United States, later this year, according to Facebook’s VP of Engineering Jay Parikh.

TIME society

The Debate Over Cecil the Lion Should Be About Conservation

Trophy hunting may drive species' populations to the brink of extinction

Much of the attention generated by the demise of Cecil the lion appears related to the fact that he was a member of a charismatic species, that his species is threatened and the nature of his death. But now that Cecil, a resident of Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe, is gone how do we ensure that such events are not repeated? It is not as simple as banning hunting.

Trophy hunting, or the selective removal of animals from a population based on a desirable trait, is a deeply polarising issue. Ethical standpoints against the deliberate killing of animals for sport are what drive the public response that we now see.

Biologists have concerns about undesirable evolutionary outcomes that may arise from the killing of ‘prime individual animals. These animals are typically males that exhibit a desirable trait, like a large mane. Conservationists, have concerns that hunting may cause inbreeding, or drive rare species’ populations in isolated protected areas to the brink of extinction.

Hunting brings in money

Despite the controversy, trophy hunting remains a legally sanctioned activity in most African countries. That is because hunting generates income. Sportsmen and women visiting Africa contribute as much as USD 201 million a year directly through hunting. This is excluding economic multipliers. And safari operators are custodians of at least 1.4 million km2 of land in sub-Saharan Africa, exceeding the area encompassed by national parks in those countries where hunting is permitted by over 20%.

Conservationists recognise that trophy hunting contributes to the protection of land from other uses such as pastoralism, where ecotourism is unviable. Bans on trophy hunting in Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia have been associated with an accelerated loss of wildlife, not the other way around.

The halving of Africa’s lion population over the past 20 years is not the result of trophy hunting. African lions have declined through the classic drivers of extinction, namely habitat loss, human-wildlife conflict and disease.

What’s different about Cecil

Cecil was no ordinary lion. Reportedly aged 13 years old, he was well past the normal breeding age for males of his species, what we term senescent. Male lions only gain opportunities to mate after taking over pride ownership after at least five years of age. They may hold tenure for between two and four years before being displaced by younger males. Cecil should thus have completed the genetic contribution that he could be expected to make before he was shot, and could not have been expected to live much past 15 years.

Why then had Cecil remained a breeding pride male for so long? One reason may be that the younger males that would have contested pride ownership, had been removed by hunters operating in lands neighbouring the Hwange National Park. Indeed, the Oxford University researchers who had been following Cecil’s life performance reported that 72% of the males they collared within the national park had been killed by trophy hunters, and 30% of those males shot were under four years old.

In this way, hunting taking place legitimately on land outside the formally protected area is prejudicing not only scientific research, but also the role of a flagship national park in protecting viable populations of large carnivores.

How should this conflict be resolved?

If the professional hunter and his client broke the law, then let the Zimbabwean legal system take care of that. More generally, how do conservationists trade off the money generated by trophy hunters against the huge costs of maintaining protected areas? What restrictions should be placed on where hunting takes place so that opportunities to draw candidates for hunting out of protected areas using baits placed outside their borders are prevented?

The traditional boundaries drawn on maps from parks and zones where these animals are need to be re-assessed. They need softening and buffer regions where hunting is not allowed. Alternatively, areas effectively protected within the park should have non-poaching activities that people can enjoy. Perhaps the activities in the buffer zone could be foot safaris, providing the excitement of encounters with wild animals without the destructive outcome associated with hunting.

The worldwide emotional response to the killing of this eminent animal could potentially lead to more effective reconciliation between the legitimate contributions that hunting can make to conservation, and the efforts to set aside sufficient land in protected areas to ensure the long-term persistence of the species these areas are supposed to protect.

Whatever the outcome following the death of Cecil, an emotive, uncompromising standpoint around the ethics of trophy hunting alone will not assist the conservation effort in Africa. In fact, it may well have the unintended consequence of undermining it.

This article originally appeared on The ConversationThe Conversation

MONEY

The Top Gear Boys Are Back in Town

Cue the Jessica.

The Orangutan, Hamster and Captain Slow are back, but on the web only. After Jeremy Clarkson’s contract was not renewed — he allegedly punch a producer while on a shoot — and his co-presenters James May and Richard Hammond decided not to renew theirs, a bidding war begun among ITV, Netflix, Amazon, and a few others. Ultimately, Amazon won, announcing it on Twitter. The show won’t be called Top Gear, but it will be led by former Top Gear executive producer Andy Wilman.

Wilman told the Radio Times the team would start working on the new show as soon as they’re back from their summer holiday. The show is scheduled to debut online next year.

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TIME Nigeria

Nigerian Army Frees More than 50 People From Boko Haram

59 prisoners were freed, including women, children, and elderly men

Nigeria’s army announced Thursday that it had freed 59 women and children who had been captured by the extremist group Boko Haram.

The military raided two jihadist camps in Borno Wednesday as part of an ongoing offensive against the group, rescuing 29 women, 25 children and five elderly men from the camps, the AFP reports. A spokesperson for the Nigerian army also said that some Boko Haram members were killed in the process.

Boko Haram is responsible for the abductions and deaths of thousands in the region. Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari announced in July that he would create a multinational African force to redouble efforts to fight the Islamic extremist group.

[AFP]

TIME Uber

Uber Denies There Are ‘Phantom’ Cars In Its App

Uber was responding to a recent Vice article

Although there’s nothing too spooky about the possibility of phantom cars showing up in Uber’s app, it does come across as somewhat sneaky.

Researchers are arguing that the app has cars appear when a user opens up the service, but there are actually none in the area. Uber, however, vehemently denies the accusation of “phantom” cars.

In a Vice article, Alex Rosenblat and Luke Stark, who are researchers from the Data & Society think tank, said an Uber representative told a passenger that the app is “simply showing that there are partners on the road at the time.”

“This is not a representation of the exact numbers of drivers or their location,” the representative continued, according to the article. “This is more of a visual effect, letting people know that partners are searching for fares. I know this seems a misleading to you but it is meant as more of a visual effect more than an accurate location of drivers in the area. It would be better of you to think of this as a screen saver on a computer.”

“Our goal is for the number of cars and their location to be as accurate as possible in real time,” an Uber spokesperson said in an interview with The Guardian. “Latency is one reason this is not always possible. Another reason is that the app only shows the nearest eight cars to avoid cluttering the screen. Also, to protect the safety of drivers, in some volatile situations, the app doesn’t show the specific location of individual cars until the ride is requested.”

TIME Environment

Judge Fines Greenpeace $2,500 per Hour For Shell Protest

13 protesters repelled off a bridge to block a Shell icebreaker ship from leaving

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A federal judge in Alaska on Thursday ordered Greenpeace USA to pay a fine of $2,500 for every hour that protesters dangle from a bridge in Oregon and block a Royal Dutch Shell icebreaker from leaving for oil drilling in the Arctic.

There was no sign that the protesters were going to abandon the blockade in Portland after the ruling in Anchorage by U.S. District Court Judge Sharon Gleason that Greenpeace is in civil contempt.

Greenpeace USA Executive Director Annie Leonard said the activists will stay in place for now.

“We are confronted with a huge decision, one we cannot make alone,” she said in a statement. “Right now we’re asking the activists what they think we should do next.”

Gleason in May granted Shell’s request that activists protesting Shell’s Arctic drilling plans be ordered to stay away from company vessels and beyond buffer zones.

Earlier in the day, the Shell oil icebreaker Fennica retreated when activists dangling from the St. Johns Bridgeover the Willamette River refused to leave and to let the vessel pass.

Protesters on the bridge and kayakers on the river have been blocking the icebreaker from heading to the Arctic for a drill operation.

The Fennica arrived in Portland for repairs last week. The vessel was damaged earlier this month in the Aleutian Islands when it struck an underwater obstruction, tearing a gash in its hull.

It resumed its journey to the Arctic early Thursday before stopping in the face of 13 dangling activists linked by ropes. The ship turned around and inched its way back to dry dock, delighting people gathered on shore in the city known for environmentalism.

The U.S. Coast Guard warned the danglers that they were breaking the law but took no action. Petty Officer 1st Class George Degener did not elaborate.

He also said the agency had not told the icebreaker to turn around.

“I don’t know what led the master and the pilot on board to come to that decision,” he said.

The icebreaker is a key part of Shell’s exploration and spill-response plan off Alaska’s northwest coast. It protects Shell’s fleet from ice and carries equipment that can stop the flow of oil that gushes from wells.

Environmentalists hope to delay the ship long enough for winter weather to prevent Shell from drilling until 2016. By that time, they hope the Obama administration has a change of heart on the issue.

At the court hearing in Anchorage, Judge Gleason said the hourly fine against Greenpeace would increase over the next few days unless the blockade is lifted. It would jump to $5,000 an hour on Friday, $7,500 an hour on Saturday, and $10,000 an hour on Sunday.

“They need to be off the ropes,” she said.

The St. Johns Bridge is at a key location on the Fennica’s route from Portland to the Arctic. The ship’s journey will take it beneath the bridge, down the Willamette to the Columbia River which leads to the Pacific Ocean.

Portland police closed the bridge to traffic during the standoff. It was reopened shortly after the icebreaker reversed course.

The activists say they have water and food for the long haul. They also have their phones to stay in the social-media loop.

“The Fennica is headed back to its dock where it belongs — not the Arctic! #ShellNo,” tweeted Dan Cannon, a Greenpeace activist dangling from the bridge.

___

Joling reported from Anchorage, Alaska.

Video provided by Adam Simmons

TIME Diet/Nutrition

Should I Eat Pretzels?

Runners, yogis and dieters love them — but are they good for you?

4/5 experts say no.

You might think pretzels are the best nutritional choice from the vending machine, since they’re typically free of (or low in) fat. But here’s a twist: pretzels aren’t a healthy pick, according to most of our experts.

“Pretzels are a snack food made from enriched flour which provides very little fiber and overall very little nutritional benefit,” says Kate Patton, a registered dietitian in the preventive cardiology nutrition program at the Cleveland Clinic. They might be low in fat, but they’re also low in protein, low in fiber and high in sodium—a typical one-ounce serving has 352 mg of sodium, almost 15% of the total daily limit recommended by the Food and Drug Administration. For snacks that are more nutrient-dense, Patton says, nuts, seeds, roasted edamame or popcorn would be better choices.

Another thing pretzels have in abundance are carbohydrates and they’re high on the glycemic index, says David Katz, director of the Yale University Prevention Research Center. High-glycemic index foods spike blood sugar levels more quickly than foods sitting lower on the glycemic index. Moul Dey, PhD, associate professor in health and nutritional sciences at South Dakota State University and a researcher of flour, agrees that eaters can do better than pretzels. “Pretzels are not in my preferred list of snacks,” she says.

But Kristi King, senior clinical dietitian at Texas Children’s Hospital, says it’s all relative, and if the options are pretzels or certain other salty snacks, then pretzels would be the healthier pick. “Pretzels are a great alternative to full-fat chips”—though you should watch the sodium.

And if you really love pretzels, there are some people are on a mission to make the snack healthier. “We have developed a ‘nutritional’ soft pretzel as a functional food,” says Yael Vodovotz, PhD, professor at the Ohio State University department of food science and technology. It’s a high-soy pretzel with a lower glycemic index and a higher amount of protein derived from plants, and Vodovotz hopes it will help people manage their weight. “We are comparing these functional pretzels to ordinary ones and preliminary data looks very promising,” she says.

But since the kind you’re most likely to buy is still far from a health food, for now, it’s best to limit the twists.

Pretzels
Illustration by Lon Tweeten for TIME

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