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2018 A year of creepy AF smart home headlines

first_img See All Google’s efforts were impressive, but Duplex didn’t sit right with all of us. “In this age of disinformation, where fake news thrives and the public has trust issues with technology, Google designed a machine that can deceive humans,” wrote CNET’s Bridget Carey, who also voiced concerns over the fact that Google’s Assistant never identified itself as a robot. “Gosh, what could go wrong?”Two days after that editorial, Google told CNET explicitly that it will launch Duplex with “disclosure built-in” for better transparency.An Amazon Key in-home delivery: not as creepy as we expected! Tyler Lizenby/CNET Then there’s Amazon Key, which looks to leverage smart lock tech at your front door to let delivery people drop Amazon packages off inside your home. The Amazon Key Home Kit even includes an Amazon Cloud Cam to let you watch the delivery in real time right from your phone (more on cameras in just a bit, by the way).The idea of granting a stranger authorized access to your home was unnerving for many of us — but in the end, Amazon Key wasn’t nearly as creepy as we expected. In fact, the most we ever saw of the delivery people was an arm reaching inside the cracked door to drop a package off just inside. From Megan Wollerton’s recap:”While I started out hesitant about in-home delivery, I’d be comfortable enough to use it going forward (and to recommend it to frequent Amazon customers) — as long as I can keep an eye on whoever’s delivering the packages from my phone.”Camera creep2018 might be the year when the mainstream smart home opened its eyes, with a flood of new camera-equipped products and services designed to help us keep watch over our homes or stay in touch with loved ones. Early in the year, for instance, Amazon bought the home security startup Ring and its popular video doorbell. Now, a new app for Ring users called Neighbors lets you share, view and comment on local crime activity, complete with video clips from Ring cameras and doorbells in your community.The Nest Hello video doorbell is one of a growing number of smart home products using cameras equipped with facial-recognition technology. Chris Monroe/CNET That’s an appealing pitch to some, but consider the company’s recent patent applications focused on facial recognition. Each considers ways to use Ring cameras to identify “suspicious” people (convicted felons, sex offenders, etc.), then automatically alert law enforcement. That raised fresh surveillance state concerns from the American Civil Liberties Union.”Amazon is dreaming of a dangerous future,” the ACLU’s Jacob Snow said in a statement, “with its technology at the center of a massive decentralized surveillance network, running real-time facial recognition on members of the public using cameras installed in people’s doorbells.”We expect to see more uses of facial recognition technology in the coming year, including from cameras that are already equipped with the feature, like Google’s Nest Hello video doorbell. In other words, don’t expect this issue to fade from sight.And it’s not just the front door — from night-vision security cameras to connected baby monitors, people are parking cameras inside their homes, too. Doing so might require you to wrap your head around some potential privacy vulnerabilities. For instance, earlier this year, researchers from Kaspersky Lab warned that hackers could turn your own cameras against you by spying on you, or by fooling you with a duplicate, “cloned” feed. Your next vacation rental might have security cameras inside, too, which raises concerns about whether or not you could be filmed without realizing it during a weekend getaway.  That brings us to smart displays, a new smart home category that promises to bring even more cameras into people’s kitchens and living rooms. Amazon was first into the space with the Echo Show and Echo Spot, and Google soon followed suit with a suite of its own Google Assistant-powered touchscreens, including the Lenovo Smart Display and the JBL Link View. Tellingly, Google opted not to include a camera in its flagship, first-party smart display, the Google Home Hub.Of course, there’s another smart display worth mentioning. In fact, it gets the next section of this post all to itself.fl-portal-10 Chris Monroe/CNET Smart home hubris from FacebookThere was a collective “you’ve gotta be f***ing kidding me” from many of us who write about tech when Facebook, in the midst of scandal after scandal after scandal over the misuse of user data, unveiled the new Facebook Portal in-home video chatting devices. Because sure, why not let a transparency-challenged company that’s been — at best — wildly irresponsible with user data bring person-tracking cameras and always-listening microphones into your living room? They promise they’ll behave! Tags CNET Smart Home Aug 31 • The best coffee grinders you can buy right now More recently, a judge in New Hampshire ordered Amazon to hand over the Alexa audio of a user accused of two counts of first degree murder. For now, Amazon is fighting the ruling.”Amazon will not release customer information without a valid and binding legal demand properly served on us,” an Amazon spokesperson told CNET. “Amazon objects to overbroad or otherwise inappropriate demands as a matter of course.”   Concerns about silent, “ultrasonic” audio attacks also raised our collective assistant anxiety this year, with researchers claiming that the most popular voice platforms were vulnerable to audio cues at frequencies too high for humans to hear. Researchers at UC Berkeley claim they were even able to fool Mozilla’s open-source DeepSpeech voice-to-text engine by hiding ultrasonic audio cues within brief snippets of music.Maybe most disconcerting — to date, none of the major tech companies responsible for these voice platforms have denied that attacks like these are possible.google-duplex-orens-hummus-demo-2-2Enlarge ImageWith Google Duplex, Google Assistant will call restaurants and salons to make reservations on your behalf. Google’s demo was one of the most convincingly life-like AI use-cases we’d ever seen. James Martin/CNET Big moonshots, big questions2018 saw some notable new ideas about where smart home tech may be headed — and some of those ideas raised a lot of questions.Let’s start with Google Duplex, the search giant’s effort to let the artificially intelligent Google Assistant make phone calls on your behalf. Google touted the feature as a way for the Assistant to book things like haircuts and dinner reservations — and the demo was pretty mind-blowing. Watch for yourself below: 1 Consumer Product Safety Commission asks: How dangerous is the internet of things? Here’s what Congress wants to know about Amazon’s Echo Dot for kids Senators call on FTC to investigate smart TVs tracking viewers’ data Your smart air conditioner could help bring down the power grid, researchers say California governor signs country’s first IoT security law Comment Google’s Duplex: AI that makes you think you’re talking to a human Voice of concern: Smart assistants create new openings for hackers Watch Google Assistant fire a gun Robot or human? Google Assistant will leave you guessing And hey, amid escalating scrutiny, perhaps they will. “We have a responsibility to protect your data,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a March 21 statement following the company’s Cambridge Analytica data-mining scandal. “And if we can’t then we don’t deserve to serve you.”Just keep in mind that since then, Zuckerberg’s company has come under continued fire for not doing enough to deal with a flood of fake news and Russian trolls on its platform during the 2016 US election. In July of this year, the company admitted to sharing user information with hardware and software partners even after claiming to discontinue the practice in 2015. Just this week, the New York Times reported that Facebook used “special arrangements” like those even more than the company initially disclosed — namely, to give Microsoft’s Bing search engine access to the names of all Facebook users’ friends without consent, and to allow Netflix and Spotify to read Facebook users’ private messages.Netflix denies that it ever accessed people’s private messages on Facebook, or asked for the ability to do so. Spotify didn’t immediately return a request for comment.At any rate, we are well past the point of taking Facebook’s word for anything when it comes to protecting your private data. But, if early market indications showing lots of interest in smart displays this holiday buying season are correct, that’s exactly what some people might be doing. That, or they’ve been drawn in by Facebook’s admittedly slick user interface — enough so to shrug off some extremely valid privacy concerns.After the year we’ve had, maybe that’s what creeps me out the most. reading • 2018: A year of creepy AF smart home headlines Microphone mishaps (no laughing matter)Things typically get a bit quiet in tech during the months following January’s big CES expo in Las Vegas. This year, a mysterious and disconcerting bout of laughter echoed out of the silence.The cackle in question came from Alexa, when users of Amazon’s popular voice assistant began sharing clips of eerie, unprompted laughter emitting from their Echo devices. Once the phenomenon began to trend on Twitter, Amazon confirmed the issue and told us it was looking into a fix.2018 saw a number of stories about Echo devices acting strangely. Chris Monroe/CNET “In rare circumstances, Alexa can mistakenly hear the phrase ‘Alexa, laugh,'” the company ultimately explained. “We are changing that phrase to be ‘Alexa, can you laugh?’ which is less likely to have false positives, and we are disabling the short utterance ‘Alexa, laugh.’ We are also changing Alexa’s response from simply laughter to ‘Sure, I can laugh’ followed by laughter.”In another Alexa headache this May, a family in Oregon claimed that their Echo device recorded audio of a private conversation and sent it out to a random contact without warning. Amazon’s explanation? It was the Alexa equivalent of a butt-dial.”[The] Echo woke up due to a word in background conversation sounding like ‘Alexa,'” an Amazon spokesperson told CNET. “Then, the subsequent conversation was heard as a ‘send message’ request. At which point, Alexa said out loud, ‘To whom?’ At which point, the background conversation was interpreted as a name in the customer’s contact list. Alexa then asked out loud, ‘[contact name], right?’ Alexa then interpreted background conversation as ‘right.'””As unlikely as this string of events is, we are evaluating options to make this case even less likely,” Amazon added.Still, accidents happen. Just today, Reuters reports that Amazon mistakenly sent the wrong files to an Alexa user in Germany who had requested his Echo recordings. As a result, he was able to download and access 1,700 recordings from another user’s household. Per Reuters, Amazon called this an isolated incident, and the result of human error.Assistant anxietyAmazon also found itself navigating potential legal battles over user privacy when Alexa became an apparent witness to not one, but two separate cases of homicide. The first came to a conclusion in March when Amazon agreed to hand over the Alexa audio recordings of a user in Bentonville, Arkansas, who stood accused of of first-degree murder, but only after that user consented to the release. Aug 31 • Alexa can tell you if someone breaks into your house 2018 is just about over, and it’s common for tech reporters to dig back into their beats to try and sum up the year’s news. And, as the CNET Smart Home team took a look back for our own year in review, there was one takeaway we just couldn’t escape:The smart home was… kinda creepy this year.To wit, there were evil cackles from Alexa, fake phone calls from Google Assistant, and concerns a-plenty about the connected cameras and microphones filling our homes. That’s not to mention the well-founded fears about the mass amount of data that these devices are asking to be trusted with (looking right at you, Facebook Portal. No thanks.)So, yeah, if the smart home had you a bit creeped out in 2018, I can’t say I blame you. Here’s a look back at the stories that probably played a role. Tough questions for the smart home in 2018 So Alexa decided to laugh randomly while I was in the kitchen. Freaked @SnootyJuicer and I out. I thought a kid was laughing behind me. pic.twitter.com/6dblzkiQHp— CaptHandlebar (@CaptHandlebar) February 23, 2018 Aug 30 • Battling bot vacs: iRobot Roomba S9+ vs Neato Botvac D7 Connected 4:25 Aug 31 • Best smart light bulbs for 2019 (plus switches, light strips, accessories and more) Now playing: Watch this: Share your voice 2018 in creepy assistants CNET Smart Home • Smart Homelast_img read more

Cricket Wireless customers can earn bill credits by viewing ads

first_img Google Nest Hub: $59 (save $70) Tags Turo is kind of like Uber meets Airbnb: You borrow someone’s car, but you do all the driving. I’ve used it many times and found it a great alternative to traditional car-rental services — in part because you get to choose exactly the vehicle you want (not just, say, “midsize”) and in part because you can often do pickup and dropoff right outside baggage claim.Between now and Sept. 1, the first 300 people to check out can get $30 off any Turo rental with promo code LDW30. Read DJI Osmo Action preview Amazon Recently updated to include digital-photo-frame capabilities, the Lenovo Smart Clock brings Google Assistant goodness to your nightstand. It’s a little smaller than the Amazon Echo Show 5, but also a full $30 less (and tied with Prime Day pricing) during this Best Buy Labor Day sale. Read the Rylo camera preview Lenovo Smart Clock: $59.99 (save $20) Turo: Save $30 on any car rental An Echo Dot makes a fine match for any Fire edition TV, because you can use the latter to say things like, “Alexa, turn on the TV.” Right now, the 24-inch Insignia Fire TV Edition starts at just $100, while the 32-inch Toshiba Fire TV Editions is on sale for $130. Just add any Fire TV Edition to your cart, then add a third-gen Echo Dot, and presto: The latter is free. Tidal 3-month family subscription: $5.99 (save $54) DJI’s answer to GoPro’s action cameras is rugged little model that’s shockproof, dustproof and waterproof down to 11 meters. It normally runs $350, but this deal drops it to $261 when you apply promo code 19LABOR10 at checkout. Rylo Spotify and most other streaming services rely on compressed audio, which robs the listener of full fidelity. Enter Tidal, the only “major” service that delivers lossless audio — meaning at least on par with CD quality, if not better. Want to see (er, hear) the difference for yourself? Grab this excellent extended trial while you can. It’s just $6 for three months, and it’s good for up to six listeners. Read Lenovo Smart Clock review See It $60 at Best Buy Rylo 5.8K 360 Video Camera: $250 (save $250) Free Echo Dot with an Insignia or Toshiba TV (save $50) $999 Read the AirPods review Sarah Tew/CNET HP Laptop 15t Value: $520 (save $780) See it Review • iPhone XS review, updated: A few luxury upgrades over the XR See at Turo $90 at Daily Steals via Google Express Chris Monroe/CNET The problem with most entry-level laptops: They come with mechanical hard drives. That makes for a mighty slow Windows experience. This Lenovo model features a 128GB solid-state drive, so it should be pretty quick to boot and load software, even with its basic processor. Plus, it has a DVD-burner! That’s not something you see in many modern laptops, especially at this price. Share your voice Preview • iPhone XS is the new $1,000 iPhone X Read Google Home Hub review Tags $299 at Amazon Comments $210 at Best Buy Best laptops for college students: We’ve got an affordable laptop for every student. Best live TV streaming services: Ditch your cable company but keep the live channels and DVR. 7 Best Buy Phonescenter_img 0 Sarah Tew/CNET See at Amazon $520 at HP See It Cricket is launching a new ad-based rewards program. Cricket Wireless Cricket Wireless and mobile rewards developer Adfone are rolling out a rewards app and program called Ad It Up, the companies said Tuesday. Using the app, Cricket Wireless customers across the US can choose to view ads on their phone and, in return, earn points that can be redeemed for bill credits. The Ad It Up app will come “preloaded on millions of select Cricket Android phones,” the companies said, but customers can choose to opt in or out from their devices. When customers register for the program, they’ll be asked to choose their interests so the program can show them targeted ads. “This deployment represents a sizable opportunity for both advertisers reaching Cricket customers as well as telecom companies looking to build and generate revenue in revolutionary ways,” Adfone CEO Brian Boroff said in a release. What’s cooler: A snapshot of a firework exploding in front of you, or full 360-degree video of all the fireworks and all the reactions to seeing them? Oooh, ahhh, indeed. At $250, the compact Rylo dual-lens camera is selling for its lowest price yet. And for an extra $50, you can get the bundle that includes the waterproof housing.This deal runs through Sept. 3; it usually costs $500. The Cheapskate $6 at Tidal $155 at Google Express Sarah Tew/CNET Sprint CNET may get a commission from retail offers. Formerly known as the Google Home Hub, Google’s Nest Hub packs a wealth of Google Assistant goodness into a 7-inch screen. At $59, this is within a buck of the best price we’ve seen. It lists for $129 and sells elsewhere in the $89-to-$99 range.This is one item of many available as part of eBay’s Labor Day Sale (which, at this writing, doesn’t specifically mention Labor Day, but that’s how it was pitched to us). JBL Soundgear wearable speaker: $90 (save $160) $999 Apple iPhone XS Post a comment Sarah Tew/CNET $59 at eBay Mentioned Above Apple iPhone XS (64GB, space gray) Cricket,I’m shocked — shocked! — to learn that stores are turning Labor Day into an excuse to sell stuff. Wait — no, I’m not. As much as I respect the original intent of the holiday (which became official back in 1894), to most of us, it’s just a bonus day off — one that’s blissfully tacked onto a weekend. So, yeah, stores; go ahead, run your sales. I’m listening. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Labor Day doesn’t bring out bargains to compete with the likes of Black Friday (which will be here before you know it), but there are definitely some sales worth your time.For example:We’ve rounded up the best Labor Day mattress deals.We’ve also gathered the best Labor Day laptop deals at Best Buy.The 2019 Vizio P Series Quantum is back under $999.Be sure to check out Amazon’s roughly three dozen Labor Day deals on TVs and audio. Google Express is having a big sale as well, one that includes deals on game consoles, AirPods, iPhones, laptops and more.Below I’ve rounded up a handful of individual items I consider to be the cream of the crop, followed by a handy reference guide to other Labor Day sales. Keep in mind, of course, that products may sell out at any time, even if the sale itself is still running. Note that CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page. Though not technically a Labor Day sale, it’s happening during Labor Day sale season — and it’s too good not to share. Nationwide Distributors, via Google Express, has just about the best AirPods deal we’ve seen (when you apply promo code ZBEDWZ at checkout). This is for the second-gen AirPods with the wireless charging case. Can’t imagine these will last long at this price, so if you’re interested, act fast. $999 Use promo code 19LABOR10 to get an unusually good deal on JBL’s interesting hybrid product — not quite headphones, and not quite a traditional speaker, but something you wear like neckphones to listen to music on the go. See It I thought this might be a mistake, but, no, the weirdly named HP Laptop 15t Value is indeed quite the value at this price. Specs include an Intel Core i7 processor, 12GB of RAM, a 256GB solid-state drive and a 15.6-inch display. However, I strongly recommend paying an extra $50 to upgrade that display to FHD (1,920×1,080), because you’re not likely to be happy with the native 1,366×768 resolution. Apple AirPods with Wireless Charging Case: $155 (save $45) Lenovo 130-15AST 15.6-inch laptop: $210 (save $90) $261 at Daily Steals via Google Express Share your voice Other Labor Day sales you should check out Best Buy: In addition to some pretty solid MacBook deals that have been running for about a week already, Best Buy is offering up to 40% off major appliances like washers, dryers and stoves. There are also gift cards available with the purchase of select appliances. See it at Best BuyDell: Through Aug. 28, Dell is offering an extra 12% off various laptops, desktops and electronics. And check back starting Aug. 29 for a big batch of Labor Day doorbusters. See it at DellGlassesUSA: Aug. 29 – Sept. 3 only, you can save 65% on all frames with promo code labor65. See it at GlassesUSALenovo: The tech company is offering a large assortment of deals and doorbusters through Labor Day, with the promise of up to 56% off certain items — including, at this writing, the IdeaPad 730S laptop for $700 (save $300).See it at LenovoLensabl: Want to keep the frames you already love and paid for? Lensabl lets you mail them in for new lenses, based on your prescription. From now through Sept. 2 only, you can save 20% on the blue light-blocking lens option with promo code BLOCKBLUE. See it at LensablSears: Between now and Sept. 7, you can save up to 40% on appliances (plus an additional 10% if you shop online), up to 60% on mattresses, up to 50% on Craftsman products and more. The store is also offering some fairly hefty cashback bonuses. See it at SearsNote: This post was published previously and is continuously updated with new information.CNET’s Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on tech products and much more. For the latest deals and updates, follow the Cheapskate on Facebook and Twitter. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page, and find more great buys on the CNET Deals page. DJI Osmo Action camera: $261 (save $89) TVs Speakers Mobile Accessories Cameras Laptops Automobiles Smart Speakers & Displays Boost Mobile Angela Lang/CNET $999 Turolast_img read more

DC Musicians Recreate Motown Era

first_imgThe Brencore Allstars perform Motown hits from the 1960s and ‘70s. (Courtesy Photo)The Publick Playhouse, in Cheverly, Maryland, served as a time travelling machine on the night of Sept. 26, as it took audiences back to the 1960s and 70s, with Motown hits played during the Tribute to the Music of Motown by the Brencore Allstars.The Brencore Allstars are a local 12-piece band from the Washington, D.C. area.“I personally think this is the best Motown revue on the east coast,” Robert Smoot, CEO of Brencore Entertainment and producer of the show, said. He said he compared the show’s quality to Motown the Musical on Broadway.Six singers, in the show, did a compilation of full songs of classic Motown artists, and a host of medleys, from singers such as Smokey Robinson, The Four Tops, Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, The Temptations, The Supremes, and The Jackson 5.Not only did they sing, Motown hits, but the show also paid homage to Aretha Franklin, who is known as the queen of soul.The performances were interactive as they encouraged audience members to get out their seats and dance. Smoot said the show’s interactive nature was what made it different from other Motown revue performances.“Come on miss lady with those cute earrings I like,” sang Lakesha Ameya Taylor, directly to an audience member who was flattered and danced even harder.Linda Lewis, an audience member who came to the show as a birthday gift to her 97-year-old husband, Harvey Lewis, thoroughly enjoyed the show. “I think it’s important because it made you move,” she said.In total, there were 28 songs performed by the band.Brencore Allstars will perform a Tribute to the Music of Motown next at the Howard Theatre on Nov. 15 at 7:30 p.m.last_img read more

Katrina is very passionate about her work Saif

first_imgAfter working with her in 2008 film Race, actor Saif Ali Khan has teamed up with Katrina Kaif for upcoming political thriller Phantom. He says not much has changed about her, especially her commitment to work. Asked about Katrina’s performance in the film, Saif said, “It was very good. We are working together after Race (2008). She is still the same… very passionate about her work and committed.” “In the film she is performing some daring stunts and she really worked hard for them. I am happy that she chose Phantom,” he added. Directed by Kabir Khan, the film is about the post 26/11 attacks in Mumbai and global terrorism. It will release on August 28.last_img read more

Dance that connects inner spirit with soil

first_imgGet ready to witness a spectacular dance and theatre show inspired by Kalaripayattu – the oldest martial art in the world. The extravaganza titled ‘Bhu’ is being organised by Alliance française de Delhi on May 13 at ML Bhartia Auditorium. The performance showcases journey of a man who discovers his deep union with Mother Earth (Bhu). Beyond a story, this show invites the audience to an itinerary, accessible to everyone. India has a deep and ancient tradition of connecting with the Bhuthas (Five Elements): earth, water, fire, air and ether. Through connecting with them, humans can reconnect with the origin and cradle of consciousness that is the source of all matter. In this show, the idea is to invoke the spirit of the BHU element (earth). The Kalari warrior carries, in his body, the memory of the earth. Through this process, one is able to reconnect to the pure origin that keeps him in motion with the heartbeat of the earth. A dialogue is created between the earth and the body of the performers, music and the audience. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfLed by Philippe Pelen Baldini and Thierry Moucazambo, and guided by the master of Kalaripayattu Guru Lakshman Gurukkal, Bhu is an experimental play that uses both modern theatrical, choreographic tools and the traditional form of kalaripayattu to create an organic dance. The performers are Kalaripayattu warriors/dancers/ healers/masters in energy. With them, one can experience the origin of movement and theatrical act. The experience of the body “becoming all eyes” as they used to say in Kalaripayattu wisdom is incredible. This happens when all the body is fully connected with his environment and nature. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveArtists who will be performing includes, Nikhil Varagiri (Indian) Kalari artist and dancer, Thierry Moucazambo (French, Auroville) dancer, singer and actor; Prakash (Indian) musician, kalari artist and dancer; Swaroop Kannan (Indian), kalari artist and dancer; Madhu Jayamurthy (Indian, Auroville), musician, kalari artist,and dancer; Aurelio C. Hammer (Austria, Auroville), sound and music advisor; Suresh Kaliyath, musician, kalari artist and Jean Legrand, light designer.last_img read more

The Good the Bad and the Careless Insider Behaviors That Cause Data

first_img Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Data leaks by insiders are a growing threat to confidential customer and employee records, financial files and intellectual property. So what are the three employee behavior patterns around data security to watch out for? How much will it cost to clear up the damage of a leak? Will your business survive it? We’ve put together the answers at-a-glance in this infographic.Related: 5 Ways Your Employees Are Unintentionally Sabotaging Your Data SecurityRelated Offer: Save 25 percent on ESET multi-device pack and enjoy security and privacy online. Enroll Now for Free This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. 1 min read Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now December 10, 2016last_img read more

Trumps second travel ban also put on hold as judge grants preliminary

first_img Travelweek Group Tags: America, Donald Trump << Previous PostNext Post >> Posted by Trump’s second travel ban also put on hold as judge grants preliminary injunction nationwide GREENBELT, Md. — President Donald Trump’s revised travel ban has suffered another federal court setback after a judge in Maryland rejected a revised measure that bans travel targeting six predominantly Muslim countries.Judge Theodore Chuang ruled Thursday in a case brought near the nation’s capital by the American Civil Liberties Union and other groups representing immigrants, refugees and their families. The groups argued that the underlying rationale of the ban was to discriminate against Muslims, making it unconstitutional. Chuang granted a preliminary injunction nationwide basis.It was the latest ruling against Trump’s revised travel ban. On Wednesday, a judge in Hawaii rejected the ban.Government lawyers argued that the ban was substantially revised from an earlier version signed in January that was later blocked by a federal judge in Washington state. They said the ban was ordered in the interest of national security to protect the U.S. from “radical Islamic terrorism.”The Maryland plaintiffs also argued the ban illegally reduces the number of refugees authorized to enter the U.S. this year. Chuang granted a preliminary injunction prohibiting the enforcement of the travel ban nationwide pending further orders from the court. He declined to stay the ruling should an emergency appeal be filed.The White House did not immediately respond to the Maryland ruling.The Wednesday ruling came from U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson in Honolulu, who rejected the government’s claims that the travel ban is about national security, not discrimination. Watson also said Hawaii would suffer financially if the executive order constricted the flow of students and tourists to the state, and that Hawaii was likely to succeed on a claim that the ban violates First Amendment protections against religious discrimination.More news:  Hotel charges Bollywood star $8.50 for two bananas and the Internet has thoughtsWatson criticized what he called the “illogic” of the government’s arguments and cited “significant and unrebutted evidence of religious animus” behind the travel ban. He also noted that while courts should not examine the “veiled psyche” and “secret motives” of government decision-makers, “the remarkable facts at issue here require no such impermissible inquiry.”“For instance, there is nothing ‘veiled’ about this press release: ‘Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States,”’ Watson wrote, referring to a statement Trump issued as a candidate.Trump called the ruling an example of “unprecedented judicial overreach” and said his administration would appeal it to the U.S. Supreme Court. He also called his new travel ban a watered-down version of the first one, which he said he wished he could implement.“We’re going to win. We’re going to keep our citizens safe,” the president said at a rally in Nashville. “The danger is clear. The law is clear. The need for my executive order is clear.”If the administration seeks an emergency stay of Watson’s decision at the 9th Circuit, the matter would be heard by different judges from the three who ruled on the case last month. That’s because the panel of judges assigned to such cases rotates every month, said court spokesman David Madden.The 9th Circuit on Wednesday declined to reconsider the 3-0 decision not to reinstate the original ban. In a dissent, five judges said they considered that decision incorrect and wanted it vacated.“Whatever we, as individuals, may feel about the president or the executive order, the president’s decision was well within the powers of the presidency,” Judge Jay Bybee wrote for the five.More news:  Windstar celebrates record-breaking bookings in JulyWatson issued his 43-page ruling less than two hours after hearing Hawaii’s request for a temporary restraining order to stop the ban from being put into practice.The hearing was one of three held Wednesday in federal courts around the country. U.S. District Judge James Robart in Seattle, who blocked the initial travel ban last month, did not immediately rule on a request from an immigrant-rights group to block the revised version.In all, more than half a dozen states are trying to stop the ban. A case brought by Washington state argues that the new order harms residents, universities and businesses, especially tech companies such as Washington state-based Microsoft and Amazon, which rely on foreign workers. California, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York and Oregon have joined the claim.Trump’s initial travel ban, issued on a Friday in late January, brought chaos and protests to airports around the country as travellers from seven nations – Somalia, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya and Yemen – were barred from entering even if they had prior permission to come to the U.S. The State Department cancelled up to 60,000 visas, but later reversed that decision.Robart ordered the government to stop enforcing the ban, which also suspended the nation’s acceptance of refugees from around the world, and a three-judge panel from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously declined to reinstate the ban. Thursday, March 16, 2017 last_img read more

DHTour marks 75th anniversary of DDay with four trips

first_img Travelweek Group Posted by << Previous PostNext Post >> Tuesday, January 29, 2019 Sharecenter_img Tags: D-Day, DHTour, History, New Tours BURLINGTON — London and UK specialist DHTour is offering four tours to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy on June 6.“Each passing year takes us further away from the events that shaped our country and the world in which we live in today,” says Gordon Burwood, President, DHTour. “The pivotal battle of Normandy which began on June 6, 1944 was one such event. Seventy-five years have since passed from what was known as operation ‘Overlord’ or ‘D-Day’ but its importance is strongly remembered to this day.”DHTour’s trips will focus heavily on the role Canada, along with its allies, played in both World Wars. Tour ‘A’ starts in London, with a look at the effects of the war on the city from the Blitz onwards and then visits the great naval port of Portsmouth for the ferry across to Normandy. Tour ‘B’ follows the allied forces from Normandy, through Holland, to Berlin. After Normandy, Tour ‘C’ looks at the Liberation of Holland while Tour ‘D’ concentrates on Belgium. All tours will include the Canadian Juno Beach ceremonies on June 6.DHTour also arranges private battlefield tours both in Europe and in Vietnam, “wherever, and whenever, your clients want to go – at their pace – for their interests”, says Burwood. Either as a small group in nine-seater Mercedes Executive vans or in Saloon cars, along with a guide who will be an expert in military tours and local culture, and whether for a few days or longer, DHTour can customize the journey according to the style of accommodation clients are looking for. Visitors can have a chance to visit the major Canadian battlefield sites such as Vimy Ridge, Juno Beach or Dieppe as well as smaller, more personal, areas and cemeteries. Agents can contact DHTour for a quote and customized itinerary. More details are at dhgrouptours.com or call 1-888-597-3519. DHTour marks 75th anniversary of D-Day with four tripslast_img read more