Swizz Beatz just got the U.S. Justice Department taken off line.
Amid the powder keg of controversy inspired by new antipiracy legislation in Congress, a match was struck yesterday: The popular file-sharing site MegaUpload — linked to big-name rapper/producer Swizz Beatz, the husband of singer Alicia Keys — was shut down, and seven people connected to its operations were indicted as part of a piracy ring.
A report released Thursday highlighted that more than 16,000 firearms have been reported “lost” from licensed gun manufacturing plants before sale since 2009, an average of 18 guns lost per day. Many of these guns don’t have serial numbers affixed yet, making them nearly impossible to trace and thus desirable for criminals.
The suit, ACLU of Kansas and Western Missouri v. Praeger, is the first challenge to the anti-abortion laws that 13 states have passed since 2010.
Conservatives in California, incensed by a U.S. District Judge who overturned the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, are claiming in an appeal that the decision should be nullified because the judge is actually a gay man.
U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker, who overturned the same-sex marriage ban known as Proposition 8, retired from the federal bench at the end of 2010. Walker publicly came out as a gay man to reporters last week, and disclosed that he had been in a relationship with another man for 10 years — the rhetorical ammunition those opposed to same-sex marriage are using for their latest attack.
Arianna Huffington has long been criticized for the unpaid work of the thousands of bloggers whose content made her site a must-click, and valuable enough to be acquired by AOL for $315 million in February. Now, the complaints are being taken from the blogosphere to the courtroom.
Jonathan Tasini is the lead plaintiff in the case against Huffington and AOL. Tasini is a journalist who contributed blog entries to Huffington Post from December 2005 until February 10, 2011, just three days before the site’s sale.
The Mackinac Center for Public Policy, a think tank backed by some big-name conservatives, has submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to professors at labor-centric schools, asking to see any emails containing certain key words, Talking Points Memo reports. The subjects mostly relate to the Wisconsin union protests: “Scott Walker,” “Wisconsin,” “Madison,” and “any other emails dealing with the collective bargaining situation in Wisconsin.” There’s one other, outlying subject the think tank would like to see emails about — the FOIA request also seeks emails that mention “Maddow.”
As in, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow.
The saga of Eman al-Obeidy, the woman who burst into a Tripoli hotel full of foreign reporters Saturday and told the story of her gang-rape at the hands of pro-Gaddafi militiamen, continues. Libyan government spokesman Musa Ibrahim said Tuesday that the men al-Obeidy had implicated had filed a civil suit against her, saying that she had slandered them, the New York Times reports. The names of the men have not been made public.
“Oh, yeah, they have filed a case,” Ibrahim told the Times. “The boys who she accused of rape are bringing a case because it is a very grave offense to accuse someone of a sexual crime.”
Alan Gross, the U.S. aid contractor found guilty last week of undermining the Cuban government, was sentenced in Havana today. Cuban state-run television reported that he is sentenced to 15 years for supplying internet equipment to Cuban dissidents.