Day: January 7, 2020



Dad Moves

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is a billionaire. He drives exclusive cars of his own making, dates some of the world’s most remarkable women, and hangs out with rock stars and rappers.

But just when you start to think, “Hey, maybe this dude is cool!” he goes and does an impromptu striptease on stage at a major event — and you remember he’s really just a 40-something dad with an insane work ethic.

Oh Elon

Musk showed off(?) his dance moves at Tesla’s Shanghai Gigafactory during an event to celebrate both the launch of its Model Y program and the delivery of the first Chinese-made Model 3 vehicles to customers.

The CEO later tweeted a 15-second clip of his dance, during which he — you cannot make this up — briefly busts out the iconic moves associated with The Bangles’ 1986 hit “Walk Like an Egyptian.”


Musk labeled the video as “NSFW,” meaning “not safe for work,” which is clearly a joke, as he never removes more than his jacket. However, the lack of nudity didn’t stop the audience from audibly gasping in longer clips shared from their perspective.

“Biggest surprise at the Tesla gigafactory ceremony to mark first Model 3 deliveries?” journalist Selina Wang tweeted. “@elonmusk dancing on stage.”

READ MORE: Musk dance moves launch Tesla SUV program at new China factory [Reuters]

More on Elon Musk: Elon Musk Drives Cybertruck to Restaurant, Hits Traffic Cone

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Lance Corporal's Selfie Got His Marine Unit 'Killed'…

A junior Marine got his artillery unit into a serious bind after snapping a photo during a massive force-on-force training exercise in California’s Mojave Desert.

Ten thousand troops recently descended on Marine Corps Air-Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms for the biggest training event of its kind in decades. The Marines, sailors and NATO forces faced drone attacks, cyber breaches and other high-tech challenges during the free-play exercise.

But one team was taken out by a different kind of threat, Lt. Gen. Lori Reynolds, the Marine Corps’ deputy commandant of information, told reporters at the Pentagon.

“A Marine in that exercise took a selfie of him being bored,” she said. “It showed in that selfie it was an artillery unit. You could go geo-locate him, and you could see what unit it was.

“They were like, ‘OK, you guys are dead.'”

Related: The Days of Secret Military Operations May Soon Be Over. Does That Matter?

It’s a tough lesson for a young Marine to learn, Reynolds said.

“And I’m sure that lance corporal was not happy,” she said. “But it’s OK to learn those things in Twentynine Palms — we don’t want to learn those elsewhere.”

Last week, the Army barred about 100 paratroopers with the 82nd Airborne Division from deploying with cellphones and other personal electronic devices, CNN reported. The North Carolina-based soldiers were sent to the Middle East amid rising tensions with Iran after the U.S. killed one of the country’s prominent military leaders in an airstrike in Iraq.

The Iranians have sophisticated cyber capabilities.

Military leaders have for years been warning troops that their cellphones and other personal devices could give away their positions overseas.

Now-retired Marine Commandant Gen. Robert Neller said in 2017 he wanted to end leathernecks’ technology addiction. Cellphones, he said, were creating vulnerabilities.

“You’re going to dig a hole, you’re going to camouflage, you’re going to turn off all your stuff,” he said. “… Because if you can be seen, you can be attacked.”

In 2018, troops’ fitness trackers were also found to have shared sensitive information location data from military bases around the world.

Reynolds is leading some of the Marine Corps’ biggest cultural shifts in decades as the service tries to prepare for sophisticated new threats in the information space that can take down networks, locate troops and remove battlespace awareness.

Maj. Gen. William Mullen, head of the Marine Corps’ Training and Education Command, said Marines must rethink the way they fight.

“We saw this out there at Twentynine Palms in an electronic warfare-type environment,” Mullen said. “You can’t do the normal command and control we’re used to from Iraq and Afghanistan … where you pick up the radio, everything’s clear and you can always check on things.”

Every time Marines do that, he said, they risk being targeted or jammed.

— Gina Harkins can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @ginaaharkins.

Read more: 5 Scary Things About Artificial Intelligence That Worry Military Brass

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MERCEDES unveils AVATAR concept car…

A host of car manufacturers at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas have taken to the stage to show off what they think the future of driving will look like.

Unsurprisingly they expect the future to be electric, but a bit more left-field was Mercedes-Benz’s new concept car, designed alongside James Cameron, the director of the 2009 film Avatar.

The car has been called AVTR and is covered in scales, 33 of them to be precise, which Mercedes-Benz has dubbed “bionic flaps” although they appear to be inspired more by the blockbuster film than real biology.

The Mercedes-Benz Vision AVTR concept car, inspired by the Avatar film
The Mercedes-Benz Vision AVTR concept car, inspired by the Avatar film

Even the somewhat spherical wheels on the car were inspired by seeds from a special tree in the film Avatar, and (of course) there is no steering wheel because the car is completely autonomous.

For Mercedes-Benz the AVTR is simply a bit of fun, a concept vehicle rather than a consumer device that will hit the market any time soon – as well as a chance to attract attention by standing beside a popular brand.

The Byton M-Byte all-electric SUV
The Byton M-Byte all-electric SUV

Other cars on stage at CES were a bit more real while remaining excitingly futuristic.

Chinese electric vehicle firm Byton’s all-electric M-Byte car looks like relatively normal SUV on the outside, but on the inside its single 48-inch display offers a very unusual dashboard unlike any other.

An interior view of the Byton M-Byte all-electric SUV
An interior view of the Byton M-Byte all-electric SUV

The sweeping display is just one of numerous screens inside the car, including in the steering wheel and two tucked behind the headrests of the front seats.

Meanwhile the president of Japanese car giant Toyota began his speech at CES with what appeared to be the company announcing a flying car alongside a giant robot.

But appearances can be deceiving. Akio Toyoda was actually revealing that the company was building an entire futuristic city across a 175-acre site at foot of Mt Fuji.

Toyota Motor Corporation President and CEO Akio Toyoda speaks during a Toyota press event
Toyota president and CEO Akio Toyoda speaks during a press event

Construction hasn’t yet started on the concept, but the company said it will begin in 2021, building a “prototype town of the future where people live, work, play and participate in a living laboratory”.

Sound dystopian enough yet? There’s more: “Imagine a fully-controlled site that would allow researchers, engineers, and scientists the opportunity to freely test technology such as autonomy, mobility-as-a-service, robotics, smart home connected technology, AI, and more, in a real world environment.”

Joking that the audience may be wondering if he was a Japanese version of Willy Wonka, Mr Toyoda said the town would be known as Woven City and would be “a small but hopefully significant step” towards making the world a better place.

A Tropos Motors electric fire response vehicle
A Tropos Motors electric fire response vehicle

American electric utility truck maker Tropos Motors also showed off its designs for a fire engine.

Unlike some other fire engine designs, the ABLE fire response vehicle is only 195cm (6ft 5in) tall and thus able to safely enter into most parking garages, factories and warehouses.

Sony President and CEO Kenichiro Yoshida unveils the Sony Vision-S electric concept car
Sony president and CEO Kenichiro Yoshida unveils the Sony Vision-S electric concept car

Sony also unveiled a concept autonomous car as it predicts mobility will become this decade’s “mega-trend”.

The technology firm said the concept vehicle was designed to show its efforts to combine safety, reliability, comfort and entertainment.

Called Vision-S, the vehicle has 33 sensors inside and out to help monitor its surroundings and those inside it.

It also includes Sony’s artificial intelligence technology to detect and recognise people, as well as the firm’s 360 Reality Audio for in-car audio.

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Denies Request to Delay NYC Trial After L.A. Indictment…

Judge Burke denied the motion, arguing that the new charges are “next to meaningless” as far as Weinstein’s criminal case in New York is concerned.

On Tuesday morning, Judge James M. Burke denied a request from Harvey Weinstein’s legal team to delay his criminal trial in New York County “with a cooling off period” after the former movie mogul was indicted on new charges in Los Angeles County on Monday.

Attorney Arthur Aidala argued that it would be impossible to select a “fair and impartial” panel of jurors after the widespread coverage of Weinstein’s new indictment.

“It is the talk of the town, at this very moment,” Aidala said, holding up copies of national newspapers that printed front-page coverage of the charges. “Don’t we need a cooling-off period? Don’t we at least need a period of time so there are other things in the news?” (Weinstein’s legal team also suggested that the New York District Attorney’s office was in cahoots with L.A. and that these new charges were timed to help the prosecution.)

But the judge immediately denied the motion to adjourn, arguing that the new charges are “next to meaningless” as far as Weinstein’s criminal case in New York is concerned.

“The jury knows and will be instructed that being arrested or charged or indicted for a felony is in and of itself meaningless,” he said. “If you want to explore the L.A. charges on your voir dire, you may of course do so.”

The judge also said he would consider a request to present the jury — once selected — with instructions related to the case.

In light of the new charges, lead prosecutor Joan Illuzzi-Orbon asked the judge to revoke Weinstein’s bail agreement and have him remanded, a motion that was also rejected.

Manhattan Assistant District Attorney argued that Weinstein now faces a more perilous situation and could try to flee. “It would ensure that the defendant is here in court and answering to the charges of bar,” Illuzzi-Orbon told the judge. “We know that the defendant is a man of great means. He travels back and forth across the country privately. He has enormous amounts of real estate. So, judge, there is a grave risk that this defendant at some point will realize that the evidence against him is imposing and overwhelming and look to not only what this means for him, but the fact that across the country the same thing will happen to him.”

Tuesday’s court session, the second of the trial, began with the judge lambasting Weinstein’s team after their client was caught using his cellphone after the judge had warned them — particularly Aidala — about the consequences of another such infraction.

“Put it away, now,” a court officer had yelled at Weinstein shortly before the judge entered the courtroom.

“There is an issue, it’s an ongoing issue, it’s been an issue every single court date,” the judge told Weinstein’s team, as Weinstein himself repeatedly shook his head. “Mr. Weinstein, I could not implore you more to not answer the following question: Is this really the way you want to end up in jail for the rest of your life, by texting in violation of an order? Is it?”

But the judge decided against revoking Weinstein’s bail, giving his team another stern warning instead. 

As for the timeline of the case, the court will begin seating jury panels of 120 people Tuesday morning, with open court voir dire processions scheduled to start next Thursday, Jan. 16.

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Gayle King called fallen newsman 'Charlie 'F*ckin' Rose'…

Coworkers of disgraced journalist Charlie Rose, including Gayle King, called him “Charlie F—in’ Rose” he admitted during a November deposition in the case brought by former employees accusing him of sexual harassment.

“Did you have the nickname in the studio, Charlie f—‘n Rose?” asked Kenneth Goldberg, a lawyer for plaintiffs Sydney McNeal, Katherine Harris and Chelsea Wei, during the Nov. 14 deposition, according to a transcript.

“I’ve heard that, yes,” Rose said.

He also admitted that “CBS This Morning” star Gayle King — with whome he co-hosted the show before his ouster — called him the epithet too.

“How about Norah O’Donnell, did she use that term with you?” Goldberg asked Rose of the “CBS Evening News” anchor.

“I could imagine she did, but I don’t remember specifically,” Rose responded according to the transcript.

The new court papers, filed late Monday in Manhattan Supreme Court, also reveal that Rose — following his lawyer’s advice — dodged dozens of questions put to him by Golberg during the deposition.

Goldberg has now asked a judge to force Rose to answer the queries and allow him to take the news man’s testimony again.

“Mr. Rose, did you ever have a romantic relationship with any woman that worked for you at the Bloomberg building,” Goldberg asked, according to the deposition transcript.

Rose’s lawyer, Jonathan Bach, objected to the question — stopping his client from answering because the inquiry, Bach said, “is plainly improper and simply seeks to prejudice and humiliate Mr. Rose.”

But Rose did admit that he had romantic relationships with his female employees, according to the transcript.

“With whom did you have a romantic relationship?” Goldberg asked prompting Bach to object again and stop Rose from answering.

Bach also stopped Rose from answering questions about whether he thought the news reports of his conduct were true and if any allegations against him were true.

Bach wouldn’t even allow Rose to say if he knew three women whose allegations against him were from the 1970s, according to the transcript. Bach also stopped Rose from identifying the position that one woman held at the show — and from answering whether he thought another female employee was attractive.

Goldberg argued in the new court papers that these questions and many others go to Rose’s credibility and motive and are necessary “because Rose has publicly alleged, as a defense, his treatment of women in the workplace during his entire 45-year career in journalism, and that his conduct toward Plaintiffs was not based upon gender and was just a ‘joke’,” the court papers say.

In the deposition, Rose reflected on the changes that have come in the wake of the #MeToo movement referring to a tweet he made when the allegations against him first surfaced in which he admitted to “inappropriate behavior.”

Rose explained what he meant by the tweet at the time: “We have now come to understand and appreciate and had by then that romantic relationships or intimacies were not appropriate in the workplace because, you know, because there was power and balance, and you were in some cases the boss and you had a relationship that was defined within the workplace,” the transcript read.

In the deposition Rose also admitted to regularly hugging and kissing the cheeks of female employees when saying hello and goodbye. He claimed to have done this with male employees as well, but when Goldberg pressed him to name some men he’d done this with he said “I would have to go through a list of employees and think about it,” according to the transcript.

“Are there any male employees that you whispered in their ear happy birthday?” Goldberg asked to which Rose responded, “No.”

Rose once whispered “Happy birthday, dear” in her ear “in a sexual manner,” Wei claimed in the lawsuit.

In 2018, McNeal, Harris and Wei — who all worked for Rose as assistants and associates from 2016 through 2017 — filed suit against the 78-year-old broadcaster claiming he touched them, flirted with them and also berated them at times.

Rose was fired by CBS News and PBS — where he hosted the “Charlie Rose” show — in November 2017 after eight woman came forward with sexual harassment allegations.

In September, Rose’s former makeup artist, Gina Riggi sued him claiming he abused her for years mocking her weight, once twisting her arm and swatting her away when she tried to get him ready to go on air.

Bach declined to comment.

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CNN settles lawsuit with Covington Catholic student…

CNN settles lawsuit with Covington Catholic student...

(Third column, 2nd story, link)

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Ohio considers if being BROWNS or BENGALS fan qualifies for medical pot use…

According to State Medical Board Director of Communications Tessie Pollock, the committee will examine subject matter reviews conducted by physicians and medical marijuana experts before recommending the petitions to the full State Medical Board for a final vote, which is anticipated to take place in the summer.

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Muslim religious leader in Texas charged with sex crimes against four children…

A well-known Islamic religious leader in Texas has been busted for sexually assaulting four children — though authorities believe he’s victimized others.

Mohamed Omar Ali, a 59-year-old Somali national, was arrested Friday on charges of sexual assault of a child and sexual indecency of a child after an investigation was launched in September, Fort Bend County Sheriff Troy Nehls told reporters at a press conference Monday.

Nehls described Ali as a popular “religious leader” who spent time at several mosques in Fort Bend County, as well as in greater Houston. Investigators believe Ali also victimized other children dating back to 2013 after he arrived in the US.

“We do know that there are other victims out there,” Nehls said. “And it is our plea today to those victims to please reach out to us so we can conduct further investigation.”

Ali met his alleged victims through their parents, who invited him into their homes and paid him to teach their children the Quran, Detective Michael Alexander said.

All of Ali’s purported victims were juveniles at the time of the alleged abuse, according to Alexander, who declined to specify whether they were boys or girls.

Shariq Abdul Ghani — who runs the Minaret Foundation, a group designed to increase the “civic engagement” of Muslims — said Ali was not employed by any mosque in Fort Bend County but traveled to various places of worship and schools in the area.

“He would visit different homes and teach Quran,” Ghani told reporters. “Essentially, we’d call him a freelancer. He was looked at as a religious leader possibly by his victims. But as far as the Muslim community, he was unknown to us.”

But Ali’s “fluent understanding” of the Quran and his grasp of the Arabic language made him an ideal teacher, Ghani said.

Ghani later told the Houston Chronicle that Muslim leaders in Houston did not know Ali. The president of the Islamic Society of Greater Houston said Ali was not a volunteer or an employee at any of its facilities, the newspaper reported.

Ali remained jailed on $125,000 bond but had an immigration detainer placed on him for living in the US illegally, Nehls said.

“He’s not going to be released from custody,” the sheriff said.

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Billionaire Burkle's son found dead at Beverly Hills home…

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FILE – This March 13, 2007 file photo shows Pittsburgh Penguins co-owner Ron Burkle in Pittsburgh. Burkle’s adult son Andrew has been found dead at his home in Beverly Hills, Calif. The Burkle family says in a statement to People magazine that Andrew Burkle died Monday, Jan. 6, 2020. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)

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FILE – This March 13, 2007 file photo shows Pittsburgh Penguins co-owner Ron Burkle in Pittsburgh. Burkle’s adult son Andrew has been found dead at his home in Beverly Hills, Calif. The Burkle family says in a statement to People magazine that Andrew Burkle died Monday, Jan. 6, 2020. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — California billionaire Ronald Burkle’s adult son Andrew was found dead, his family told People magazine.

“It is with the deepest regret and sadness that we announce the death of Andrew C. Burkle on January 6, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California,” his family said in a statement to People. “He is deeply loved by his family and friends and will be greatly missed.”

Andrew Burkle was 26, according to a date of birth provided to The Associated Press by the Los Angeles County coroner’s office.

His father is founder and managing partner of The Yucaipa Companies investment firm, a co-owner of the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins, an investor Sacramento’s Major League Soccer team and holds numerous other positions.

Andrew Burkle’s biography on the entertainment industry database website IMDb identified him as a producer and actor with several credits.

The Beverly Hills Police Department said in a statement that police and fire personnel responded at 7:26 p.m. Monday to a report of an unconscious man at a residence and determined he was dead.

The death investigation was referred to the Los Angeles County coroner’s office, according to the police statement, which did not identify the man.

“Andrew Charles Burkle (DOB: 10/27/93) was found unresponsive in his Beverly Hills home on Jan. 6,” the coroner’s office statement said. “Authorities were called and Burkle was pronounced dead at the scene at 19:31 hours. An examination is pending.”

In addition to his father, Burkle is survived by his mother and two siblings.

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The Super Bowl advertising, coming a day before the Iowa Democratic caucuses, is part of a broader spending effort. Starting this month, campaign aides say they intend to increase their TV, radio, and digital advertising.

They have also approved plans to spend millions of dollars on outreach to key voting blocs including women, evangelicals, Latinos, and African Americans. Trump campaign recently launched an aggressive effort to woo black voters, taking out ads on African American-owned radio and newspapers.

“The president’s decision to stay aggressive and keep the campaign open after his first election gave us a huge head start on his reelection,” Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale said in a statement, referring to the president’s announcement within days of his 2017 inauguration that he would seek reelection. “Now 300 days out we are throttling up. The president has built an awesome, high-performance, omnichannel machine and it’s time to give it some gas.”

This won’t be the first time the campaign advertises during a major sporting event. The reelection campaign ran commercials during last year’s World Series declaring that Trump’s “no Mr. Nice Guy, but sometimes it takes a Donald Trump to change Washington.”

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has also purchased $10 million in Super Bowl advertising time, an aide to the billionaire Democratic candidate said. The spots are expected to go after the president. The New York Times first reported Bloomberg’s plans.

Trump aides said they’re still determining the content of the Super Bowl advertising. They are planning on rolling out the ad via text message to supporters in the days before the game, with the hopes of building their supporter list.

The Trump campaign has been in talks with Fox, which is airing the game, since the fall and reserved the advertising time in December. It will be paying for it this month.

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