Pennsylvania Seeks To Pass Two Bills In Wake Of Clergy Child Sex Abuse Claims
Apr15

Pennsylvania Seeks To Pass Two Bills In Wake Of Clergy Child Sex Abuse Claims

Pennsylvania is still recovering from a shocking discovery. In August 2018, a grand jury produced a report that said about 300 Roman Catholic priests had abused children at six of the state’s eight dioceses over seven decades; they also accused church hierarchy of covering up the scandal to protect its members and reputation. “Despite some institutional reform, individual leaders of the church have largely escaped public accountability,” the grand jury wrote. “Priests were raping little boys and girls, and the men of God who were responsible for them not only did nothing; they hid it all. For decades.” The report pushed for reforms that would strengthen mandatory reporting laws, clarify confidentiality agreements so victims feel more secure, virtually eliminate the criminal statute of limitations for sexual abuse, and provide a window in the civil statute of limitations so victims can have their voices heard in court. Currently, Pennsylvania is in the process of passing two bills that would address some of those concerns. One would eliminate the criminal statute of limitations for child sexual abuse crimes entirely and allow victims of future abuse to file lawsuits up to the age of 55 (current law gives victims until age 30 to pursue criminal charges and age 50 to sue); the other bill would allow a two-year retroactive window for lawsuits over past abuse. Both bills are sponsored by Rep. Mark Rozzi, D-Berks, and Rep. Jim Gregory, R-Blair. The House Representatives have both spoken publicly about their experiences with abuse; Gregory is thankful he can “use that experience, to be able to talk about it and let people know that you don’t have to live with the shame and the guilt and the embarrassment if you choose not to.” Considering the fact that the number of people prosecuted for sexual exploitation of children crimes nearly doubled between 2004 and 2013, it seems that these bills would bring further reassurance to those already actively speaking out. House Judiciary Chairman Rob Kauffman, R-Franklin, stated his support for the proposals, but the House still needs to vote. If they are successful, the bills will head to the Senate for...

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Yet Another Data Leak Exposes Personal Information Of Facebook Users
Apr12

Yet Another Data Leak Exposes Personal Information Of Facebook Users

It’s been almost a year since Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg’s infamous federal hearing regarding the Cambridge Analytica Scandal and the lack of data protection the social media platform gives its users. Unfortunately for the Silicon Valley staple, the security troubles haven’t stopped there. There’s been leak after leak in the months since. At this point, it doesn’t even seem like joining the 40% of Americans who consider themselves as very religious could save Facebook from its leak-ridden fate. The latest one, which researchers discovered on April 3, left over 540 million Facebook records exposed on an Amazon cloud-computing server. These records included users’ account names, comments, likes, and more. The security firm UpGuard Cyber Risk discovered these hundreds of millions of records. UpGuard has a history of discovering unsecured data, but in this instance alone it found two separate cloud storage data buckets from third party vendors that work with Facebook. The aforementioned 540 million records were all in just one data bucket, from a Mexico-based media company called Cultura Collective. The other bucket came from a Facebook-integrated app named “At the Pool” and included more than 22,000 plaintext passwords for the app. Cultura Collective sent a statement to media outlets, arguing that the information in question was already publicly available before UpGuard disclosed its exposure on the cloud. “All the publicly available data provided to us by Facebook, gathered from the fanpages we manage as publisher, is public, not sensitive, and available to all users who have access to Facebook,” the statement read. Despite this argument, this revelation shows how little oversight Facebook still has over its app developers’ use of user data. For years now, many of these developers have had access to users’ sensitive information, frequently without their knowledge or informed consent. This lack of security would be like organizations neglecting to regularly test their disaster recovery system. Yet just 25% of organizations never test their disaster recovery system. Meanwhile, Facebook is still facing similar leaks to the one involved in the Cambridge Analytica Scandal. “As Facebook faces scrutiny over its data stewardship practices, they have made efforts to reduce third party access. But as these exposures show, the data genie cannot be put back in the bottle,” UpGuard wrote in a blog post about its findings. According to Facebook spokesperson Katy Dormer, the social media giant’s policies prohibit the storage of Facebook information in a public database. Dormer also states that Facebook worked with Amazon to take down the databases as soon as they were made aware of the...

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4 Self-Care Tips For Before Your Wedding
Apr12

4 Self-Care Tips For Before Your Wedding

If your big day is coming up, you might find yourself a bit more stressed out than you’d like to be. A bit of stress over your wedding is completely understandable; the average number of wedding guests is 136 people, and that’s a lot to coordinate for any event. However, too much stress can lead to you not enjoying your big day as much as you should. Here are a few tips for self-care leading up to your wedding to help you de-stress while you get ready. Treat yourself Eating healthy and taking care of your diet is important when it comes to self-care. A healthy diet can help you feel more energetic and improve your mood, which can seriously help with wedding stress. One of the most important parts of a healthy diet is staying hydrated. Getting enough water and staying hydrated can also help improve your skin to keep you feeling your best on the big day. That being said, it’s okay to treat yourself with something sweet every now and then. Eating healthy but depriving yourself of your favorite foods in the process isn’t going to help reduce your stress; if anything, you’ll stress yourself out more. Allow yourself to indulge in your favorite foods, like candy. There is too much of a good thing, though. Nearly 25% of American adults will choose to have at least one piece of candy every day of the week. Let your favorite sweets and less healthy foods be a special treat, rather than a frequent habit. Strong body, strong mind Exercise is another great self-care option that often goes ignored. People see exercise as an exhausting and sometimes even painful chore; maybe that’s why 67% of people with gym memberships never use them. However, now might be a great time for you to start using that membership if you have one; the right exercise routines can help you reduce stress and feel physically better leading up to your wedding day. Pick out exercise routines that make you feel good about yourself and your body. This will look different for every person, so what worked for your friend might not work for you. Pick an activity or routine that empowers you and helps you reduce your stress, and do your best to make a habit out of it to help you stick to it, maybe even after the wedding. Spa day every day Treating yourself to the occasional spa day can be nice, but not everyone can afford regular visits to a spa, especially with the soaring costs of a wedding. If visiting a spa isn’t an option, either due...

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How Dancing Can Benefit the Elderly
Apr11

How Dancing Can Benefit the Elderly

Getting active, staying in shape, and living a healthy life should be at the top of everyone’s priority list — but it’s not always that easy. It’s much easier to stay active when you’re young. Even middle-aged Americans, though they are extremely busy with personal and professional obligations, can find time for the gym each week. When it comes to senior citizens, it’s not that simple. Approximately 37% of people over the age of 50 believe they’ll need long-term care in the future, but the reality is that 70% — almost double — actually will need long-term care. At the moment, the U.S. will need about 52,000 more primary care physicians by 2025 to meet nationwide healthcare needs. Staying in shape can help prevent serious health concerns, but it’s much easier said than done. Elderly individuals who require daily assistance can’t exactly stay on a consistent gym schedule. But physical activity is even more crucial for people in their 60s, 70s, and 80s. So what can be done? Dancing. Dancing is a low-impact aerobic activity that boosts metabolism and burns calories. In fact, in just 30 minutes of dancing, someone can burn between 200 and 400 calories, subsequently leading to a healthier lifestyle. According to SeniorsMatter, dancing can benefit elderly individuals in both physical and mental ways. In a six-month study following a group of elderly people who took part in one-hour-a-week dance classes, the following positive changes were noted as to how dancing directly benefits senior citizens: Improved overall sense of well-being Sharper mind Better posture More agility Quicker reaction time Here are some additional main health advantages of dancing — especially for the elderly: Minimizes symptoms of depression — A group of Australian researchers found that people who suffer from various mood disorders who participated in two-week dance programs felt less depressed and experienced significant reductions in their level of stress, insomnia, and anxiety. Maintains a healthy and strong heart — Heart issues are no stranger to the elderly and individuals with chronic heart failure may derive the same aerobic health advantages from dancing as they would from other cardiovascular exercises like cycling or walking. A study published in the journal Circulation noted that dancing is advantageous for the elderly because specialized equipment or workout settings aren’t required. Simply get up and get moving! Enhanced bone health — More than 1.5 billion people across the globe suffer from chronic pain. The constant motion required in dance helps enhance bone health, the decline of which is a common risk of aging. With dancing, the bone cells will be continually turning over, meaning less frailty and fewer bone issues....

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Ridiculous Lawsuits: Minnesota Man Sues Relative Over Embarrassing Facebook Picture

We’re living in a world dominated by social media platforms. While the law does protect individuals from harassment, not everything that makes you feel uncomfortable constitutes as such an act. One man from Minnesota found that out the hard way. When Aaron Olson discovered that his uncle had posted photos from his childhood on Facebook, he took personal offense; despite the fact that these photographs simply depicted the young Olson posing in front of a Christmas tree and included a few snarky comments, Olson decided that the only just response would be to sue his uncle, Randall LaBrie, for harassment. Needless to say, a Minnesota district court tossed his case in no time at all. The desperate Olson then turned to the appellate court to continue his fight. Though the rules regarding appeals vary from state to state (for example, Connecticut appeals must be filed within 20 days after the final judgment or order), Minnesota is timely in its decision-making process. In general, the Court must issue a decision within 90 days of oral arguments; we’re pretty sure they didn’t need nearly that much time with Olson’s case. Judge Natalie E. Hudson laid waste to his claims of harassment simply by explaining what harassment actually is. “To constitute harassment, words must have a substantial adverse effect on the safety, security, or privacy of another,” Judge Hudson stated in the opinion. “Comments that are mean and disrespectful, coupled with innocuous family photos, do not affect a person’s safety, security, or privacy — and certainly not substantially so. The district court did not err by determining that the evidence submitted by the appellant did not satisfy the statutory definition of harassment.” Although this scenario was unique and very silly, it isn’t uncommon for the majority of appeals to be halted: typically, only about 5% of the Court’s decisions are approved by the Minnesota Supreme Court for further review. However, Olson’s case was not helped by the fact that he decided to represent himself pro se (without a lawyer); he claimed that the district court was biased against him because of his socioeconomic status and religion. The next time you find yourself worked up over a social media post, think about Aaron Olson and just sign...

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