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    California wildfire not only damaged houses but also eliminated memories

    by UNTV   |   Posted on Friday, October 13th, 2017

    Wildfire in California

    Victims of the wildfires in California, U.S. have begun the painful process of returning back to their neighborhoods and picking up the pieces of their shattered homes.

    Thousands of houses were left in ruins after days of deadly wildfires, which has, so far, claimed 21 lives.

    “When I found out it was happening, I was pretty devastated. Our neighbor, he is a firefighter; he saved our cats and our dog. And we got all of our family pictures, so I’m really grateful for that. It’s just stuff at the end of the day. I’m just glad my family is okay, said Breanna Shaevitz, a local resident for 15 years.

    Now Shaevitz’ parents have to live in a hotel, and they will be living there for around one year.

    For most people whose houses were burned in the wildfires, the fires not only damaged their residence but also eliminated memories. It will be a long-term project to rebuild the damaged houses and rebuild the people’s lives.

    In Santa Rosa, some houses survived, but some were utterly and completely destructed as though they were hit by a bomb.

    “That area doesn’t look good at all. Walk by your neighbors and everything is gone,” said the local resident.

    With fires still spreading, many are frustrated that authorities will not allow them to go back into their homes. Hundreds of people are still reported missing though communities are holding out hope that the main reason is that power is down in many areas.

    The Jackson family is picking up the pieces of what was left of the home they lived in for three decades. So far they have only able to salvage a few metal boxes and items like cast-iron skillets.

    Homeowner Regina Jackson is trying to stay positive – being thankful that all of her family survived.

    “There are so many ways to replace with new memories. We have a wonderful family. That’s where I can get my strength. I mean at our age it’s hard to think about starting over. But we are pretty resilient and we will,” said Jackson. — Reuters

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    Hospital staff training helps save lives after shooting in Las Vegas

    by UNTV   |   Posted on Friday, October 6th, 2017

    It was a night of non-stop surgeries, and Las Vegas even made it legal for out of town medics to work in the city. But the staff of the medical centers said they were prepared for the worst.

    Spring Valley Hospital ER Director Dr. Carolyn Hafen said surgeons, nurses and administrators rallied amid the chaos and controlled it thanks to regular mass casualty training sessions at the facility.

    “We’ve done training we’ve done different studies. But when 50 of them arrive in a matter of minutes that training becomes a nice resource. But the action is in front of you and we just stayed calm and communicated,” said the director.

    Among the shooting victims hospitalized at Spring Valley is a 23-year-old Elle Smith. She traveled from California with a friend to watch the country music concert.

    Now she is at the hospital with a gunshot wound to the head, fighting for her life.

    Elle’s mom Katie said the rapid, trained response of emergency medical technicians at the shooting scene and later at hospitals like Spring Valley saved her daughter’s life.

    “She’s also alive because there was an EMT right there close to where she fell and he was able to put pressure on the wound,” said Katie.

    “We feel like we are here with a family, as opposed to just nurses and doctors and being in a hospital this has been just an amazing thing for us. And we feel blessed to be here,” she said.

    Meanwhile, Las Vegas police and hospitals have called for people to donate blood as the blood banks are expected to be depleted.

    “I just feel like it’s my civic duty as being a citizen of this city and of this state just to come down and help out,” said a blood donor.

    “When a tragedy happens like this, everyone has to come together and to see the amount of donations and the amount of people here is just unbelievable,” said blood donor.

    As there were large numbers of blood donors and staff members were too busy to serve everyone in time, many people had to wait for as long as eight hours under the scorching sun to donate blood. — Reuters

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    Families of San Bernardino shooting sue Facebook, Google, Twitter

    by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, May 5th, 2017

    FILE PHOTO: Weapons confiscated from the attack in San Bernardino, California are shown in this San Bernardino County Sheriff Department handout photo from their Twitter account released to Reuters December 3, 2015. REUTERS/San Bernardino County Sheriffs Department/Handout/File Photo

    Family members of three victims of the December 2015 shooting rampage in San Bernardino, California, have sued Facebook, Google and Twitter, claiming that the companies permitted Islamic State to flourish on social media.

    The relatives assert that by allowing Islamic State militants to spread propaganda freely on social media, the three companies provided “material support” to the group and enabled attacks such as the one in San Bernardino.

    “For years defendants have knowingly and recklessly provided the terrorist group ISIS with accounts to use its social networks as a tool for spreading extremist propaganda, raising funds and attracting new recruits,” family members of Sierra Clayborn, Tin Nguyen and Nicholas Thalasinos charge in the 32-page complaint, which was filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles on Wednesday.

    “Without defendants Twitter, Facebook and Google (YouTube), the explosive growth of ISIS over the last few years into the most feared terrorist group in the world would not have been possible,” the complaint said.

    Spokeswomen for Twitter and Google declined to comment on the lawsuit. Representatives for Facebook could not immediately be reached by Reuters on Thursday afternoon.

    Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, opened fire on a holiday gathering of Farook’s co-workers at a government building in San Bernardino on Dec. 2, 2015, killing 14 people and wounding 22 others.

    Farook, the 28-year-old, U.S.-born son of Pakistani immigrants, and Malik, 29, a Pakistani native, died in a shootout with police four hours after the massacre.

    Authorities have said the couple was inspired by Islamist militants. At the time, the assault ranked as the deadliest attack by Islamist extremists on U.S. soil since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. In June 2016, an American-born gunman pledging allegiance to the leader of Islamic State shot 49 people to death at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, before he was killed by police.

    In December 2016 the families of three men killed at the nightclub sued Twitter, Google and Facebook in federal court on allegations similar to those in the California lawsuit.

    Federal law gives internet companies broad immunity from liability for content posted by their users. A number of lawsuits have been filed in recent years seeking to hold social media companies responsible for terror attacks, but none has advanced beyond the preliminary phases.— By Dan Whitcomb | LOS ANGELES

    (Reporting by Dan Whitcomb in Los Angeles; Additional reporting by David Ingram and Julia Love in San Francisco; Editing by Dan Grebler and Grant McCool)

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    Bose headphones spy on listeners: lawsuit

    by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, April 20th, 2017

    Bose wireless headphones are pictured in Encinitas, California, United States in this April 19, 2017 photo illustration. REUTERS/Mike Blake

    Bose Corp spies on its wireless headphone customers by using an app that tracks the music, podcasts and other audio they listen to, and violates their privacy rights by selling the information without permission, a lawsuit charged.

    The complaint filed on Tuesday by Kyle Zak in federal court in Chicago seeks an injunction to stop Bose’s “wholesale disregard” for the privacy of customers who download its free Bose Connect app from Apple Inc or Google Play stores to their smartphones.

    “People should be uncomfortable with it,” Christopher Dore, a lawyer representing Zak, said in an interview. “People put headphones on their head because they think it’s private, but they can be giving out information they don’t want to share.”

    Bose did not respond on Wednesday to requests for comment on the proposed class action case. The Framingham, Massachusetts-based company has said annual sales top $3.5 billion.

    Zak’s lawsuit was the latest to accuse companies of trying to boost profit by quietly amassing customer information, and then selling it or using it to solicit more business.

    After paying $350 for his QuietComfort 35 headphones, Zak said he took Bose’s suggestion to “get the most out of your headphones” by downloading its app, and providing his name, email address and headphone serial number in the process.

    But the Illinois resident said he was surprised to learn that Bose sent “all available media information” from his smartphone to third parties such as, whose website promises to collect customer data and “send it anywhere.”

    Audio choices offer “an incredible amount of insight” into customers’ personalities, behavior, politics and religious views, citing as an example that a person who listens to Muslim prayers might “very likely” be a Muslim, the complaint said.

    “Defendants’ conduct demonstrates a wholesale disregard for consumer privacy rights,” the complaint said.

    Zak is seeking millions of dollars of damages for buyers of headphones and speakers, including QuietComfort 35, QuietControl 30, SoundLink Around-Ear Wireless Headphones II, SoundLink Color II, SoundSport Wireless and SoundSport Pulse Wireless.

    He also wants a halt to the data collection, which he said violates the federal Wiretap Act and Illinois laws against eavesdropping and consumer fraud.

    Dore, a partner at Edelson PC, said customers do not see the Bose app’s user service and privacy agreements when signing up, and the privacy agreement says nothing about data collection.

    Edelson specializes in suing technology companies over alleged privacy violations.

    The case is Zak v Bose Corp, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, No. 17-02928. — By Jonathan Stempel

    (Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by David Gregorio)

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