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Friday, April 4, 2014

2 Tunnels Found Under California-Mexico Border

2 Tunnels Found Under California-Mexico Border


2 Tunnels Found Under California-Mexico Border

Posted: 04 Apr 2014 10:42 AM PDT

(SAN DIEGO) — U.S. authorities say a task force working with Mexican counterparts discovered two cross-border smuggling tunnels stretching hundreds of yard between Tijuana and an industrial park in San Diego.

A U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement statement Friday says a woman from Chula Vista, Calif., was arrested for allegedly overseeing logistics at a warehouse where one of the tunnels surfaced in San Diego.

The first tunnel, stretching about 600 yards, was discovered on Tuesday. Authorities say it was equipped with lighting, a crude rail system and wooden trusses.

The other tunnel was discovered Thursday. It’s described as stretching more than 700 yards and more sophisticated, with an electric rail system and ventilation equipment.

The tunnels are the sixth and seventh found in the area in less than four years.

Yellowstone Fighting Online Supervolcano Rumors

Posted: 04 Apr 2014 10:41 AM PDT

(YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo.) — Yellowstone National Park is fighting online rumors that running bison seen in a YouTube video are fleeing a possible explosion of the park’s supervolcano.

The video was posted on March 20, 10 days before a magnitude-4.8 earthquake hit, the park’s strongest quake in 30 years.

Yellowstone posted a video of its own this week, noting that it’s normal for wildlife to move around to find food at lower elevations that isn’t covered by snow at this time of year. Park spokesman Al Nash says there are no signs to suggest that the volcano is about to erupt.

Although the YouTube video says the animals are leaving, park spokesman Dan Hottle told the Jackson Hole Daily (http://bit.ly/1hcK4VV) that they are actually running toward the park’s interior and the volcano.

Jennifer Lopez-Backed Company Buys Fuse

Posted: 04 Apr 2014 10:41 AM PDT

(NEW YORK) — The Jennifer Lopez-backed company that owns NUVOtv, an English-language cable entertainment network aimed at Latinos, has bought the Fuse music network.

SiTV Media said Friday it had agreed to pay $226 million to Fuse’s owner, the Madison Square Garden Co. SiTV reportedly outbid Revolt, the music network started by Sean Combs.

Fuse is currently in 73 million homes, more than twice that of NUVOtv. SiTV announced no plans to change or close Fuse, although there’s precedent for companies buying networks with greater distribution in order to help their own networks grow. Al-Jazeera bought Current TV and shut Current down.

Lopez is a shareholder and chief creative officer at NUVOtv.

VIDEO: Katie Herzig Premieres “Walk Through Walls”

Posted: 04 Apr 2014 10:00 AM PDT

Katie Herzig may not be a household name, but you’ve definitely heard her music.

Songs from her four albums have been featured in many commercials and soundtracked the drama on television shows like Grey’s Anatomy and Bones, and most recently, in the the trailer for Saving Mr. Banks. She’s even been nominated for a Grammy Award. Yet universal recognition continues to elude her — but her new album, Walk Through Walls, may finally put her over the top.

The album, which is due out April 8th, shows Herzig continuing to break with her folksy roots, swapping acoustic guitars for the poppy electronica and synthesizers that worked so well on her last album. TIME is excited to premiere the album’s title track, “Walk Through Walls,” a pretty and ethereal number that showcases Herzig’s deft vocals and poignant lyrics.

“This song was written in a time when I had to come to terms with the fact that life does not always reflect the picture we grow up having in our mind. And when it starts to look like something outside of that, we are stuck between hanging on to that picture with all our might, or letting it go and embracing the picture that is,” Herzig says. “This song lives in the space between those two worlds.”

As for the making of the video, Herzig explains: “My director, Shih-Ting Hung, came across Edward James’ Las Pozas in Xitlitla Mexico when we were looking for locations and we both fell in love. With a spirit of adventure and some crazy planning and coordination we flew into Mexico City, met up with a wonderful Mexican crew, drove 9 hours to Las Pozas and shot the video in one day… in the middle of a place that I can only describe as heaven on earth.”

“This shows only a tiny bit of its breathtaking structures,” she adds. That description is an apt analogy for the song itself, which hints at the power and beauty in Herzig’s voice and songwriting capabilities.

You can pre-order her album here and catch her on tour through the end of May.

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REVIEW: How to Make It In HBO’s Silicon Valley

Posted: 04 Apr 2014 10:00 AM PDT

Silicon Valley, the new software-business comedy (premieres April 6), is hardly the HBO series with the most or raunchiest profanity; that title is still, and may always be, held by Deadwood. But it is probably the HBO show to which the word "asshole" is most important.

As used by the show's titans and would-be Zuckerbergs, the word has myriad meanings to rival the Eskimo lexicon for "snow." It's a term of contempt: Radiohead, we are told, are "assholes" for the band's positions on file-sharing. A programmer more focused on writing great code than monetizing it–a "Steve Wozniak" rather than a "Steve Jobs" in the show's parlance–has "crawled up his own asshole." A company without strong leadership suffers "an asshole vacuum." But above all, in a business that values software over soft power, the word is practically an honorific: "That's why he's a billionaire," a character says of an investor. "He knows how and when to be an asshole."

Silicon Valley is the funniest out-of-the-box pay cable comedy in a good while. (Veep, which returns the same night for its third season, is in the same league, but it took a good year to get there.) But its real strength is that it's built on an idea that, however crude, is universal. Do you need to be an asshole to make it in this business? And if so: which kind?

Those are the questions facing programmer Richard Hendricks (Thomas Middleditch) when a sudden business opportunity hits him like an Angry Bird. By day, Richard works on the Ikea-chic campus of software giant Hooli. On his own time, he's bunking and coding in the "Hacker Hostel," a rental house turned "startup incubator" run by the sketchy Erlich (T.J. Miller). In the process of building Pied Piper, an elegant but unsellable music-sharing service, he almost inadvertently creates a data-compression algorithm that could revolutionize the business. Hooli's founder Gavin Belson (Big Love's Matt Ross, in a deliciously arrogant turn) offers to buy him out for $10 million; Gavin's eccentric VC rival, Peter Gregory (Christopher Evan Welch, who died during the series’ filming), offers a smaller stake that would let Richard keep the company. Behind Door #1: certain riches and possible crushing regret. Behind Door #2: the chance to be a Zuckerberg or a has-been.

Silicon Valley comes from Mike Judge (Beavis and Butt-Head, King of the Hill)–who did a stint as an engineer in the Valley in the late '80s–along with co-creators John Altschuler and Dave Krinskey. It has more in common with Judge's movies than his TV projects. The white-collar humor echoes his cult hit Office Space; its sprawling offices and the garish new-money parties have the calculated, flat ugliness of Idiocracy, which used a deliberate anti-aesthetic to portray a big-boxed future in which taste was dead. Its California landscapes are as plain as Enlightened and Looking's are honeyed and luminous. Judge (who directs half the episodes) gives us the promised land as beige box, designed for functionality.

Richard is the kind of guy Beavis and Butt-Head would laugh at and Hank Hill would drop-kick out of his propane store, a mop-topped brain attached to a few pipe cleaners and a hoodie. But the terrific Middleditch makes him more than an asocial Poindexter–he's fidgety and unconfident, but also empathetic and principled. Pied Piper to him is not just a chance at billions but a chance to be alternative to Gavin (who employs a guru to tell him that hating his enemies is "a tool for great change"). Richard wants to bring the world insanely great things without driving everyone around him insane. But he’ll need to handle himself in a shark tank where he suddenly has the smell of money on him, and he’ll need to learn to manage his motley startup crew, including sardonic coder Dinesh (Kumail Nanjani), acerbic Satanist Gilfoyle (Martin Starr), and Richard's sweet but untalented best friend Big Head (Josh Brener).

You'll notice all the male names there. Hardware-wise, the show is a definite dongle-fest; the only significant recurring female character in the early going is Peter's head of operations Monica (Amanda Crew). But its very, very male world presents a very, very different take on masculinity from Entourage, whose bros sampled from an endless sushi-conveyor-belt of hot Hollywood women. Silicon Valley‘s is a culture of man-children, misfits, and macho "brogrammers”; among the apps one entrepreneur creates is NipAlert, for detecting–well, just what you’d think, reminiscent of the actual sexist gag app TitStare unveiled at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference last year. The women aren't subservient so much as they're absent, or isolated. Noting the separation between the sexes at a lavish party, Dinesh notes, "Every party in Silicon Valley ends up like a Hasidic wedding."

The show starts sharp and only gets richer (in an encouraging sign, the pilot was the weakest of five episodes I saw). And it has ideas beyond just being timely. This Valley has lived through several generations in time-lapse. (The opening titles show a landscape of offices and logos rising and falling, as in SimCity–Facebook going up, Napster going down.) It has sudden, vast power, and it knows it. And it sometimes wears that power arrogantly and ridiculously, or both at once, as when Peter gives a sneering TED Talk dismissing college as "snake oil," then drives off in an electric car so absurdly narrow it can slip between two parked ones.

But ridiculous power is power nonetheless, and part of Silicon Valley's strength is in showing how the locus of cultural cred has shifted. The big showbiz dreams of Vincent Chase and pals in Entourage look puny beside the empire-building of Hooli. That's cemented in the opening scene, where Kid Rock entertains a listless crowd at the party for a barely postpubescent host whose start-up just sold to Google for over $200 million. Kid Rock, Erlich says, is just about the poorest guy in the room. To paraphrase The Social Network's Sean Parker, being a millionaire isn't cool. You know what's cool? It's Richard's job to figure that out for himself.

Here’s Why GrubHub’s Stock Market Debut Really Matters

Posted: 04 Apr 2014 09:56 AM PDT

Online food ordering service GrubHub is seemingly delivering the goods on Wall Street today. The company's stock is off to a quick start, rising from its initial price of $26 to more than $36 at 12:45 p.m.

GrubHub, started in 2004, providers users with listings of nearby restaurants where they can order meals for delivery or pickup. Grubhub targets independent businesses and takes a cut of each food transaction completed through its service. The company merged with Seamless, a similar platform started in 1999, in August.

Grubhub has grown quickly in recent years. The company, which had less than a million customers at the end of 2012, said that it added 1.7 million new diners in the year before the Seamless merger. The combined company had 3.4 million people place an average of 107,900 daily orders in 2013. Revenues for the combined company $137 million in 2013, a 67 percent increase year-over-year. GrubHub attributed the rise to both ongoing organic growth and the benefits of the merger. The company raised almost $200 million in its IPO, which was priced above the expected range of $23 to $25.

Though GrubHub and Seamless are now working together, they will face increased competition this year from corporate fast-food giants that are beginning to warm to online ordering. Taco Bell is investing heavily in a new app that will allow customers to order via mobile and will even introduce pick-up lines specifically for mobile customers in its restaurants. McDonald's is testing a new app that delivers customers coupons on their smartphones. Starbucks also plans to offer mobile ordering soon. In its IPO filing, GrubHub acknowledged that chain restaurants, which have greater brand recognition and more financial resources, could stifle the company’s growth if they offer apps with similar convenience. A spokesman recently told Businessweek that GrubHub will continue to court independent restaurants, not chains.

GrubHub is one of many Internet firms testing the markets this year. Upcoming IPOs will include the Chinese online retail giant Alibaba and the cloud storage service Box. It’s already been a crowded year on Wall Street, with sixty-four companies going public in the first quarter of 2014. That’s more than double last year’s figure, according to IPO investment adviser Renaissance Capital.

Federal Judge to Strike Down Ohio Gay Marriage Ban

Posted: 04 Apr 2014 09:52 AM PDT

A federal judge in Cincinnati says he will soon issue a ruling striking down Ohio’s ban on gay marriage.

“I intend to issue a written decision and order by April 14 striking down as unconstitutional under all circumstances Ohio’s ban on recognizing legal same-sex marriages from other states,” says Honorary Timothy S. Black, according to a spokesperson. The announcement comes after civil rights attorneys delivered closing arguments in the matter Friday.

A local NBC affiliate reports that the plaintiffs, three lesbian couples, originally sued to place the names of both parents on the birth certificates of their newborns, but later expanded their request. Attorneys for the state argue that Ohio has the right to ban gay marriage, as voters passed a constitutional amendment in 2004 recognizing marriage as the union between one man and one woman.

This is a breaking news post. Please refresh for updates.

Fort Hood Victim Sacrificed His Life To Save Others, Says Fiancee

Posted: 04 Apr 2014 09:42 AM PDT

Danny Ferguson, a Sgt. First Class recently returned from Afghanistan, sacrificed his life Wednesday to keep the shooter out of a crowded room of military personnel, according to his fiancée and fellow soldier Kristen Haley.

Haley, who was reportedly near the shooting when it happened, said that when Army Specialist Ivan Lopez opened fire, Ferguson held a door shut with his body to bar the shooter’s way.

“He held that door shut because it wouldn’t lock. It seems the doors would be bullet proof, but apparently they’re not,” Haley explained to a Tampa Bay CBS affiliate. “If he wasn’t the one standing there holding those doors closed, that shooter would have been able to get through and shoot everyone else.”

Lopez killed three soldiers—Sgt. Timothy Owens, Sgt. Carlos Alberto Lazaney Rodriguez, and Ferguson—and wounded sixteen others before turning the gun on himself. Officials said that Lopez, 34, had no record of bad behavior but had been suffering from depression following a four-month tour in Iraq three years ago.

“I know that he did have a pleasure of serving. This was his life,” said Haley, who was reportedly nearby the shooting when it happened. “He was proud to be part of a great service.”

The Fort Hood shooting marks the third such case in the past six months.

Florida Clerk Who Mistook Body For Mannequin Fired

Posted: 04 Apr 2014 09:37 AM PDT

(ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.) — A 61-year-old front desk clerk at a Florida apartment complex has been fired after mistaking the body of a tenant for a mannequin and throwing it in a trash bin.

The Tampa Tribune (http://bit.ly/1sgrkrQ) reports that Ronald Benjamin told police he saw the body in the parking lot of the 16-story St. Petersburg apartment building early Wednesday and assumed someone put a mannequin there as part of an April Fool’s Day prank.

A co-worker arrived and told him a body was in the parking lot, but he insisted it was a mannequin. He got a newspaper carrier and her son to help him toss the body in the garbage. A maintenance worker saw the body and called authorities.

Police say the body was that of a 96-year-old woman who jumped from her apartment balcony.

Israel and Palestinians Look For Way Out of Talks Crisis

Posted: 04 Apr 2014 09:32 AM PDT

The trajectory at least appeared to continue downward Friday for the future of peace talks between Israel and Palestinians. Before heading back to Washington from Morocco, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said that the American commitment to the talks he has personally championed is not "open-ended," and said it was "reality check time." Israel dug in its heels, announcing it was cancelling the proposed release of 26 Palestinian prisoners—the final batch in a promised string of releases whose delay last week prompted the Palestinian leadership to retaliate by signing international treaties Israel regards as threatening.

"Peace Process Crisis" read the headline in Friday's Sof Hashavua, a Hebrew weekly. And yet, no one was calling it over. Weeks remain before the April 29 deadline for talks originally set to last nine months, and an extension remains a real possibility, according to officials on both sides.

"I would not say that everything collapsed. I don't think so," says an Israeli knowledgeable about the negotiations, who spoke on condition of not being identified any more precisely. "I don't think either party has an interest in collapse. But the question is how can we avert escalation given the dangerous point that we're at right now.

"We still have till the end of April."

A face-to-face meeting at midweek was "very tense, but we talk to each other,” the Israeli says. Voices were not raised, the source says, and despite reports in both the Palestinian and Israeli press, chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat made no overt threat of pursing Israel in international courts for "war crimes."

But that is precisely the threat implied by the Palestinians adopting international treaties. And though none of the 15 agreements signed by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday directly involved the International Criminal Court, the Israelis complained of being blind-sided by the abrupt move, which the Israeli source said altered the "context" of the talks.

The Palestinians–who ordinarily complain that the status quo in the conflict favors Israel, which has occupied the West Bank and Gaza Strip since 1967–pretend a certain amount of dismay at Israel's outrage.

"It's a non-violent, diplomatic step," said a Palestinian official close to the negotiations, who also spoke anonymously, citing the sensitivity of the situation. "We are not joining al-Qaeda. We are talking about joining international treaties."

And the treaties carry obligations for Palestine as well as for Israel, especially in the realm of human rights. On Thursday, right-wing members of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's coalition were researching grounds to charge Abbas' government at The Hague, according to a report in Yedioth Ahronoth, the best-selling Israeli daily.

But if cooler heads do prevail, it remains unclear just how the two sides will find a way to extend the negotiations both privately indicated they prefer to see continue. One route might run through the deep thicket of UN bureaucracy, which the 15 treaties and conventions officially entered shortly after Abbas signed them. The Palestinians say prompt delivery proves they are serious, but the Israeli source appeared to suggest that the action was not yet final, saying, "If those letters of ascension reach their destination and the fact becomes irreversible, then we're in a different ballgame and I don't think that will allow us to go back and discuss the terms of an extension."

A middle ground might be provided by slow, deliberate (or deliberately slow) processing at the U.N., which in accepting the Palestinian documents stated that its priority is to "salvage the two-state solution."

At the same time, the Palestinians appeared to be making the most of their newly discovered leverage. They expanded their list of demands of Israel as the price for extending the talks, including the release of high profile prisoners and lifting "the siege" on the Gaza Strip, controlled by the militant Palestinian group Hamas.

At the same time, the Palestinian official who spoke to TIME suggested that, if Israel is serious about negotiating a final pact, talks could continue even as Palestine pursues its diplomatic track with sympathetic international bodies.

"What's the problem with negotiating and going to the United Nations?" the official asks. "Because for the Israelis there seems to be no problem with negotiating while building settlements."

Still unaddressed, amid the rolling controversies, are the borders of a Palestinian state, the fate of Palestinian refugees, the status of Jerusalem, and other issues at the heart of the conflict.

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