A police force has launched an internal review of

first_imgA police force has launched an internal review of its treatment of disabled people, after it was forced to refer two separate incidents involving young autistic men to the police watchdog.One case referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) relates to a young autistic man who was held in a cell for nine hours by Northamptonshire police, after he was the victim of a vicious disability hate crime in a local park last October.Daniel Smith was only finally able to clear his name after a six-month ordeal which saw him dragged through the criminal justice system by the police and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).He had been left bloodied and bruised after the attack but ended up being prosecuted for assault after the police refused to investigate the hate crime and charged him instead.He spent nine hours in a police cell, without medical treatment for his injuries, even though he told officers he had only been defending himself against “the bullies”.He finally managed to clear his name when he was cleared of the assault charges by Corby magistrates in April.While investigating concerns raised by Daniel and his family, Northants police widened its internal investigation to look at the way it deals with all disabled people, because of concerns over the way it handled an incident involving another young autistic man, Tristan Perry, which took place last August.The IPCC is already investigating how Perry was treated, after a film was posted on social media which appeared to show police officers shouting at him, before pushing him to the ground, while one of the officers seemed to punch him four times.Northants police originally denied this week that there was any wider investigation into its treatment of disabled people, but eventually admitted that there was after DNS forwarded an email about the Daniel Smith case written by the assistant to Janette McCormick, the disability lead for the National Police Chiefs Council.In the email, McCormick’s assistant said the Northants force “have had a similar issue with another young man on the autistic spectrum recently, so are looking at the whole issue of the way police officers in their force handle their approach to this particular disability”.After his press office was shown this email, superintendent Mark Behan, head of professional standards at Northants police, was forced to issue a new statement, which said: “Northamptonshire police received a complaint in relation to this case in October 2015.“The force’s professional standards department assessed the incident and, owing to the nature of the complaint, subsequently made a mandatory referral to the IPCC.“The IPCC is also investigating an incident that took place in Northampton in August last year.“These investigations are being managed separately by the IPCC and as they are on-going, it would be inappropriate to discuss [them] in more detail at this time.”But he added: “We are undertaking an internal review of how officers respond to incidents involving people with disabilities to assess how we can enhance the service we provide, which will include acting on any IPCC recommendations should their investigations identify opportunities to improve our service.”An IPCC spokeswoman said: “The IPCC has decided to independently investigate the actions of Northamptonshire police officers following the arrest and detention of a vulnerable man in October last year.“The man was arrested following an altercation with two men in Rushden on 17 October 2015, and was subsequently acquitted of assault in April 2016.“A complaint has been made that officers failed to provide appropriate care to the man following his arrest and during his detention at the Northampton Criminal Justice Centre.“This includes allegations that the man was refused medical attention for facial injuries, and was not offered an appropriate adult to support him while he was in custody.”She also said that an IPCC investigation was continuing into allegations that two Northamptonshire police officers used “excessive force and inappropriate language” in dealing with Tristan Perry during an incident in Northampton on 13 August last year.But she said that any wider investigation was “a matter for Northamptonshire police”.Stephen Brookes, a coordinator of the Disability Hate Crime Network, said: “The members of the Disability Hate Crime Network have been pressing police forces and the CPS for a better approach to cases involving disabled people.“The case of Daniel and other recent questionable outcomes in courts has caused us to have some serious concerns at the totally unacceptable inconsistencies in prosecution and sentencing.“We are reviewing some recent cases and will be discussing these with key members of police and CPS to try to ensure that people such as Daniel and in fact with any form of disability receive fair and appropriate justice.”Meanwhile, Daniel’s father Owen says he has been told that Leicestershire police will be re-examining the failure of Northants police to prosecute the two men who attacked his son in the park.He is also angry that CPS has so far dismissed his concerns about its decision to prosecute Daniel.A CPS spokeswoman originally claimed that his complaint had “been concluded”, but after that was questioned by DNS, she has now said that the chief crown prosecutor for the East Midlands, Janine Smith, will be writing to Owen Smith in due course.The CPS spokeswoman claimed that “comprehensive mandatory training has been provided to prosecutors on handling disability hate crime cases”.She added: “The CPS carefully reviewed this case and decided there was sufficient evidence to bring the case to court, to allow a court to determine whether an assault took place and whether the defendant was culpable.“It is not for the CPS to determine the guilt or innocence of a suspect, but to bring cases to court which meet the code for crown prosecutors.“All cases are kept under constant review as they progress through the criminal justice system.”last_img read more

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Disability arts organisations have missed out on a

first_imgDisability arts organisations have missed out on a huge increase in funding that has been handed to other diverse-led groups by Arts Council England (ACE).Although there has been a significant increase in the number of disability-led arts organisations that will be funded for the next four years – from 23 to 35, according to ACE – the total amount of annual funding has fallen by about £140,000 a year.The figures were released as ACE announced the arts and cultural organisations that would receive funding as part of its national portfolio for the four years from 2018-19 to 2021-22.The ACE report shows that funding for LGBT-led organisations has risen from £3 million to £26 million a year (compared with 2017-18), with grants for black and minority ethnic-led groups rising from £12 million to £19 million a year, while disability-led funding fell from £7.169 million to £7.029 million a year for the next four years.Three years ago, after a fall of 30 per cent in the number of disabled-led arts organisations funded through the national portfolio programme, and a fall of nearly 15 per cent in annual funding, ACE had pledged to take action*.It pledged to invest £7.5 million to build capacity among black and minority ethnic and disabled artists and organisations in the next three years.Although that investment has helped lead to an increase in the number of disabled-led organisations represented in the national portfolio, it has not had the same impact on the overall level of funding.An ACE spokeswoman said: “The investment reflects the level of ask made by different organisations. We did offer a number of uplifts as part of our investment.”These uplifts are included in the final figure of £7.029 million.But she also said the figures for 2017-18 included funding for organisations that no longer self-defined as disability-led by the 2018-22 application stage.She said one of the “wider challenges” ACE faced was the low number of disabled people working in the arts and cultural sector, which has “a direct impact on the number of disability led organisations”.She said ACE was encouraging organisations to address this, including through new requirements for some future funding agreements.She said: “If we see an increase in the number of disabled people working in the sector we will likely see an increase in the number of disability led organisations too.”She said there was also a high number of “prefer not to say” responses to questions on diversity, particularly in relation to disability, and ACE wanted to reduce this.One of the actions it plans to take is to “better identify the barriers disabled people face in the future to working in the sector”.In all, ACE will invest £409 million a year in its national portfolio, funded by £338 million of government money and £71 million from the National Lottery.Some of the disability-led organisations that will benefit from the national portfolio funding announced this week have spoken of how important that money will be for their work over the next four years.Dr Ju Gosling, artistic director of Together! 2012, which is based in Newham, east London, said she was “quite shocked” by the drop in funding for disabled-led organisations, when other diverse-led groups had seen ACE funding increase significantly.But she said her organisation’s ACE funding – £60,000 a year for the next four years from April 2018 – would provide Together! 2012 with guaranteed funding and “security”, and added: “Critically, it is about having our value recognised, that endorsement from the Arts Council to say we are creating great art for everyone, endorsing that that is exactly what we are doing.”Together! 2012 runs a free, year-round programme of creative workshops for disabled people, and free disabled-led exhibitions, events, performances and screenings.Gosling said: “Our position as a national portfolio organisation will enable us to continue our work to create an international centre of excellence for disability arts in the main [London 2012] host borough of Newham, which at the beginning of 2012 had the lowest level of cultural engagement in the UK.“The opportunities we will be able to provide for disabled artists from across art forms will also benefit disability arts across the country.”Another disabled-led organisation to join the portfolio for the first time is Disability Arts Online, which will receive £100,000 a year.Colin Hambrook, its editor, said: “As part of a cohort of new diverse-led organisations, we look forward to working towards an arts sector that appreciates the richness and diversity of disability arts and culture.”The user-led Attitude is Everything, which campaigns for better access to live music for disabled people, has been awarded nearly £250,000 a year by ACE, an increase in funding that will allow it to create a new artist development programme for Deaf and disabled artists and promoters.Suzanne Bull, chief executive of Attitude is Everything, said: “Their commitment ensures that we can further raise our profile; ensuring that we can support even more music venues, festivals and events to meet the requirements of disabled and Deaf people.” Other disabled-led organisations to secure funding for the next four years include Graeae (£564,399 per year); DaDaFest (£193,052 per year); Deafinitely Theatre (£212,110 per year); Disability Arts in Shropshire (£120,000); Extant (£156,000); and Shape Arts (£286,551).*The number of disabled-led organisations receiving funding is not directly comparable with the last announcement in 2014 because ACE now uses a different definition of “disabled-led”.Picture: Participants at Together! 2012’s annual festivallast_img read more

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The leader of Manchester City Council MCC has be

first_imgThe leader of Manchester City Council (MCC) has been bombarded with emails from disabled people and their allies over his plans to push ahead with a “discriminatory” memorial to victims of the Peterloo massacre.Many of them told Labour’s Sir Richard Leese that they were “angry and shocked” that a memorial designed to remember those who marched for liberty and equality should be “designed and built with discrimination and inequality at its heart”.The council has told Disability News Service (DNS) it is unlikely that any “fundamental changes” will be made to the memorial, which is due to be unveiled to the public on 16 August, the 200th anniversary of the massacre.But in a further sign of Leese’s dismissal of the concerns, he has refused to comment personally on the emails, and has even refused to provide an estimate of how many he has received.Meanwhile, disabled people and their allies are set to protest this evening (Thursday) at the site of the memorial, outside the Manchester Central Convention Centre.The council-funded memorial will be a series of concentric circles, with members of the public encouraged to climb the steps to a flat top.It will be completely inaccessible to many disabled people, even though it has been designed by artist Jeremy Deller to allow it to be used as a platform for speakers and demonstrators, mirroring those who spoke during the protest in 1819.On 16 August 1819, paramilitary and military forces attacked more than 60,000 peaceful, pro-democracy and anti-poverty protesters in Manchester, which led to 18 deaths and an estimated 700 serious injuries.Deller himself has said he wants people “to be able to sit on it and have their lunch”, while the council’s own access statement said: “The artist’s intention is that the memorial will become the meeting point for the annual gathering of the Peterloo Memorial Campaign, as well as for other events related to the issue of human rights around the world.“At these events, people will stand on it and around it.”Deller said last week that he hoped that “once the memorial is built there might be a way to adapt it for wheelchairs”, but by noon today (Thursday) he had failed to comment on the council’s position that it was probably too late for further major changes.Although some changes have been made as a result of concerns about access, including the addition of a handrail, it appears that wheelchair-users will still only be able to reach the height of the lowest of the circles via a ramp.The Peterloo Memorial Campaign, which campaigned for years for a memorial to be built, has said that disabled people are “right to be frustrated and angry about the lack of access to the monument”, which “has been designed as a platform for speakers and demonstrators”.Among those who sent letters to Leese was the disabled artist-activist Liz Crow, who told him she was “heartbroken” at his council’s decision to continue with its plans despite knowing that the memorial would be inaccessible to many residents and visitors.She told him: “I am so shocked that this could ever have been allowed to get to this point, but to find that – even now you are fully aware of the discrimination inherent in these plans – you are going ahead regardless beggars belief.”She called on him to halt the project immediately and “re-work the proposal to ensure that it is a memorial to democracy and not to MCC’s ineptitude and hypocrisy”.Tony Baldwinson, who worked for the council for more than 10 years from 1991, appealed to Leese to admit he had made a mistake, and told him: “It is totally designed to be ascended, and disabled people would be excluded from a monument to democracy.”Many of the others who wrote to Leese told him the memorial was “a fine example of inequality and discrimination embedded in design” and was set to be “a glaring metaphor for inequality and segregation” and an “act of exclusion that denies disabled people a voice, a blatant act of discrimination”.One campaigner, Jane Angel, asked Leese in her email: “How did this happen in this day and age?  “A brand new memorial, in development for years, and we are building something that is not accessible to people to whom steps are a barrier.”Another, Joan Rutherford, who campaigns for an inclusive built environment, told Leese in her email: “Manchester has waited 200 years for a fitting memorial to this appalling massacre. “The requirements for the memorial were that it should be Respectful, Informative and Permanent (RIP). “In my view this design is not inclusive and therefore is not respectful.“If the monument is built as designed it will be an opportunity lost to celebrate and truly promote the aspiration for which people gave their lives… Equality.”A council spokesperson said Leese had been “made aware” of questions from DNS about the emails.The spokesperson said in a statement on behalf of the council, rather than Leese himself: “Our position remains that we have made significant changes to the original design of this public artwork to improve accessibility and that, while the memorial is not intended to be viewed exclusively from the top, the elements which provide information about Peterloo are all accessible. “It is a misunderstanding of this memorial artwork to suggest that its sole or even primary purposes involves ascending it and that it cannot be properly viewed, appreciated or engaged with otherwise.“While we totally respect the views of those who disagree and we are keen to continue constructive dialogue with them, it should be remembered that this is a memorial piece of art rather than a building or similar structure and is being created both in time for the 200th anniversary of Peterloo this summer and within the limitations of the site, the only one available within the St Peter’s Field area where the tragic events of 1819 took place.”Picture by Brian Hilton A note from the editor:Please consider making a voluntary financial contribution to support the work of DNS and allow it to continue producing independent, carefully-researched news stories that focus on the lives and rights of disabled people and their user-led organisations. Please do not contribute if you cannot afford to do so, and please note that DNS is not a charity. It is run and owned by disabled journalist John Pring and has been from its launch in April 2009. Thank you for anything you can do to support the work of DNS…last_img read more

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Suspect identified in fatal Mission District shooting

first_imgDavid Stevenson, SFPD’s director of strategic communications, declined to comment on the officer-involved shooting and deferred to the CHP and the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, who are investigating the shooting. Calls to those agencies were not immediately returned.  Last Monday, at 3:52 p.m., police officers found Gutu suffering from a gunshot wound in the lobby of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation building at 13th and Mission. He was transported to San Francisco General Hospital, where he died. Gutu’s murder “remains an active and ongoing investigation,” said the SFPD’s statement. “Anyone with information is asked to call the SFPD tip line at 1-415-575-4444 or Text a Tip to TIP411 and begin the message with SFPD. You may remain anonymous.” Subscribe to Mission Local’s daily newsletter Police have identified a suspect in a shooting at 13th and Mission streets that left a 19-year-old man dead last Monday. Hakim Odem, 20, of El Cerrito was taken into custody last Tuesday in Riverside County for the death of Taiepisi Gutu, a San Francisco resident. The San Francisco Police Department’s homicide investigators have obtained a warrant from the District Attorney for the arrest of Odem, who remains in Southern California. The SFPD said in a press release that Odem was taken into custody on March 26 “following an officer-involved shooting with a member of the California Highway Patrol,” near Blyth, Calif. It’s unclear if Odem or Highway Patrol officers were injured in that incident. center_img Email Addresslast_img read more

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Crowdsourcing Justice

first_imgEnter your email address Related Sign UpI agree to the terms and conditions. Ed with Kim, Kyra, and Zach at their Cedar Hill home on June 1, 2019.Photograph by Matt Rainwaters First Name In the long period between Ates’s arrest and his first trial, he met and married his wife, Kim Miller-Ates. Courtesy of Kim Miller-Ates Ates at his wedding, on April 5, 1997, at Faithful Missionary Baptist Church, in Dallas.Courtesy of Kim Miller-Ates Yet one hundred miles away in Tyler, the DA’s office was working in earnest to try him again. After the mistrial, Gohmert had scheduled a hearing for a second trial, and investigators, hoping to find Ed’s DNA profile at the crime scene, had conducted DNA testing for the first time on some crime scene hairs. None, though, proved to belong to him. Then, two weeks after Ed’s wedding, on a day he was supposed to appear in Gohmert’s courtroom for another pretrial hearing, he was instead waiting in the Dallas County jail, having been mistakenly arrested on a warrant for one of the old Smith County misdemeanor theft cases that had already been disposed of. Gohmert revoked Ed’s bond and had him transferred to Tyler and put behind bars.Sitting in a crowded cell, Ed met a man named Kenneth Snow, an ex-con and professional boxer who was charged with two robberies, including one in which he was accused of beating up a man. Snow had once been a contender for the middleweight crown, and he still had dreams of climbing back into the ring. The two jailmates became friends, playing Spades and sharing the Kools that Ed’s grandmother had bought him. After Ed bonded out, Snow, still in jail, would even call him at home. By then Ed and Kim had purchased a small brick house in a new subdivision in southeast Dallas.When Ed went on trial again, in August 1998, his lawyers still thought the state didn’t have much of a case. Kim, five months pregnant with their second child, initially didn’t even join Ed in Tyler, but when he told her there were no black jurors (Dobbs had struck six African Americans from the jury pool, in a city where one in four people were black), she became worried. She took time off from work, left Kyra with her parents, and drove to the Tyler courthouse. This time prosecutors had a secret weapon: Ed’s new friend Kenny Snow, who was still awaiting trial for the robberies. Ed stared in disbelief as Snow, who had a reputation as a snitch, testified that Ed had tried to get him to lie on the stand and point the finger at someone else. Snow swore that Ed had paid him to tell authorities that he’d overheard another inmate, a man named Frances Johnson (an acquaintance of Ed’s who had dated Griffin), confess to attacking her. Snow said Ed had even written out a script for Snow. “He gave it to me to memorize it,” Snow testified. Instead, Snow sent the script to the DA, and a handwriting expert verified that it was written by Ed. On the witness stand, Snow denied that he’d been promised anything by prosecutors for his testimony.Although the state couldn’t put Ed at the crime scene forensically, Dobbs and a fellow assistant DA presented Ed’s lie about his alibi and investigators’ observations regarding the handprint on the towel, the position of the car seat, and the candy wrappers. The prosecutors hit Ed hardest when it came to the alleged feces. Despite the FBI agent’s conclusion that the smudge on Ed’s shoe was merely “protein of human origin,” Dobbs used the term “human feces” six times in closing arguments alone. “Liar sitting over there with human feces on his shoe and no explanation for it,” he declared. Ed’s lawyers tried to show that Snow was an untrustworthy jailhouse snitch, making him read a letter he had written Dobbs from jail. “I think I could be the best informant that ever come out of Tyler, Texas,” he’d proclaimed. They emphasized that none of the hundred-plus hairs, blood, semen, fingerprints, or cigarette butts tied Ed to the crime scene—they also pointed out that he had no scratches or blood on him or any motive to kill Griffin. Moseley was a much better suspect, they said. Again, the jury took a long time and was deadlocked 10 to 2 after two days, in favor of guilt. Again, Ed was offered a plea bargain, and again he turned it down. But on the morning of the third day, August 13, 1998, the two holdouts changed their minds, and the jury found Ed guilty. According to a local paper, when the verdict was read, “A cry went up” from Ed. He was sentenced to 99 years. Kim, weeping, watched as her husband was handcuffed and taken away.At the H. H. Coffield Unit, near the town of Tennessee Colony, Ed spent much of his free time doing what he did best: playing basketball. One day a friend confronted him. “All you do is play basketball,” he said. “Get your ass up—we’re going to the law library.” His friend showed Ed how to search for his case, and in mid-2000, Ed saw that his appeal had been denied earlier that year. He began spending every day in the library, researching, and after Texas passed a law giving inmates the right to petition for DNA testing of evidence, Ed did so, asking that everything at the crime scene be tested, not just the hairs.He fell into a routine, getting up at 5 a.m., working on a road crew. Later he served as a cook and a groundskeeper. He learned to keep his emotions in check, to not show any weakness. He avoided trouble and developed a reputation for toughness on the prison basketball courts, living up to his new nickname: Big E.Back in Dallas, Kim was struggling to raise Kyra and the new baby, Zach, by herself. She sold their home and moved in with her parents and would bring Kyra and Zach to visit their dad every two weeks. On the long drive to Tennessee Colony, she would tell them how their dad was in prison for something he didn’t do. When they arrived at the prison, the kids toddled to Ed, who got to hold them for an hour or two. But it crushed him when he had to return to his cell. The kids didn’t understand why their father couldn’t come home with them, and as the years crept by, the visits became harder for all of them. Zach, especially, started getting resentful. Like his father, Zach was passionate about basketball, playing every day. But unlike his friends’ dads, Ed never came to his games or his birthday parties. “When are you coming home?” he would ask over and over. Kim finally stopped talking about Daddy—it was too sensitive a topic—which made her even more depressed.The kids didn’t understand why their father couldn’t come home with them, and as the years crept by, the visits became harder for all of them.Kelvin visited Ed for a while too but couldn’t bear to hear his brother called “convict.” He hated seeing the grimace on Ed’s face when he would head back to his cell after a visit. So Kelvin stopped making the trip.Ed never heard from the attorney assigned to him for his DNA claim, and in 2006 his grandmother hired two Houston lawyers, father and son Randy and Josh Schaffer. Randy had a long history of freeing the wrongly convicted, and to him, Ed’s case had all the earmarks of a bad conviction: an entirely circumstantial case, no DNA, no eyewitnesses, no confession. What had sent Ed to prison, it seemed to the Schaffers, was Snow’s testimony.And now the lawyers had a secret weapon of their own. Snow had been released from jail three months after Ed’s trial, but he eventually fled the state and was arrested for violating his probation and brought back; in 2004 he was sentenced to forty years. While in prison, Snow got a message to Ed’s new lawyers: he had lied on the stand.Snow’s betrayal of Ed, as he swore in an affidavit, was especially treacherous. Snow said that, while in jail, he had overheard a conversation between Ed and Frances Johnson, the man who’d dated Griffin, in which Johnson admitted to being in her trailer the night of her murder. Johnson said he grabbed a knife and “wore her ass out.” Ed asked Snow to help him out, and Snow agreed to recount the conversation to Ed’s lawyers, who then informed the trial judge about the new witness at a pretrial hearing. But two weeks later, Snow claimed in the affidavit, prosecutor Dobbs visited him in jail. “Dobbs told me that if I testified for Ates, the state would not help me with my cases,” Snow said. “They told me that I would never box again unless I helped them convict Ates.”After Ed was convicted, Snow pleaded guilty and was given ten years’ probation—even though with his record he would have likely received 25 years to life in law-and-order Smith County. (Indeed, the judge told him she had never granted probation in a case like his, “where there is violence and kind of an anger that is of some concern to me.”)This, Josh Schaffer thought, was a classic case of a favorable deal with a jailhouse snitch that was hidden from defense lawyers, violating a long-established constitutional rule that the prosecution must disclose everything that is favorable to the defendant, including evidence that demonstrated that a witness might not be credible or honest. In 2010 Josh filed a writ of habeas corpus—an appeal asserting a constitutional violation—with affidavits from Snow and his lawyer. Tyler judge Kerry Russell ordered a hearing. Ed was as optimistic as he had been in years. Kim showed up for the hearing, along with their children and her parents; all of them thought this was the answer to their prayers.At the hearing, lawyers battled over whether prosecutors had promised Snow a lighter sentence in exchange for his testimony against Ed. Snow’s attorney testified that there had been just such a deal, even if it wasn’t in writing and hadn’t been called a plea bargain: a violent habitual offender had received probation in Smith County after testifying for the prosecution, so, logically, some kind of agreement had been made. Dobbs maintained that there hadn’t been any kind of deal—not even a gentleman’s agreement—and denied everything else Snow had said.To Ed’s shock, Judge Russell sided with the state, finding “no credible evidence that the State had any agreement, unwritten or otherwise” and turning down his writ.Ed had one more shot. All around him at the Coffield Unit, men were being freed by post-conviction DNA testing. Ed felt certain that if all of the evidence in his case were tested, he would be exonerated. Though he had never received any help when he had asked for it before, he tried again, filing another motion for DNA testing with the court.Once again, he got no response. The months drifted into years, and Ed fell deeper into a pit of despair, angry at everybody. Every single thing that could have gone wrong in his life had gone wrong, he thought. He finally resigned himself to spending the rest of his days in prison. He wrote Kim and told her that maybe it was time she divorced him and moved on with her life. Bring the kids every once in a while, he asked, and make sure they see his mom and grandmother.Big E had shifted into survival mode, cutting off all hope. Only in his cell, behind an iron door, was he still Ed. He’d lie in the darkness and dream of his family: Kim, Kyra, and the son he barely knew.A thousand miles to the north, in rural southwestern Michigan, a tall, bearded fireman named Bob Ruff had troubles of his own. His marriage had fallen apart, and he was fighting for custody of his two kids. In his downtime, Ruff, 32, began listening to a comedy podcast, whose host would eventually recommend a true-crime podcast called Serial, a deep dive into a flawed murder investigation. In the fall of 2014, Serial had become one of the most popular podcasts ever, and Ruff decided to check it out. He loved the show and soon became obsessed with it, listening to episodes over and over, taking notes. He decided to start his own podcast, called The Serial Dynasty, and recorded it in a garden shed behind his house. It was, he would say, like a book club for Serial fanatics. Ruff was fascinated with the whole idea of solving crimes, and he invited listeners to email their theories. He also interviewed a former FBI profiler and a false confessions expert about the case. Ruff, who has a loud, resonant voice, was not a nuanced host; he didn’t use a script, just notes, and the result was emotional and fiery. He began picking up thousands of new listeners drawn by his passionate observations. After episodes, fans would visit his Facebook page and chime in.“I believe you’re an innocent man,” Ruff told him. Finally, Ed began to tell Ruff his story.In October 2015 Ruff renamed his podcast Truth & Justice, set up a GoFundMe account, and raised enough money for an actual studio. Soon he had more than 100,000 subscribers, whom he called the Truth & Justice Army. With a boom in true-crime podcasting, Ruff decided to change careers. He quit his job and became a full-time podcaster, selling ads to pay his salary. By then he had two new tattoos, large ones on his forearms: on his left, “Veritas,” Latin for “truth”; on his right, “Aequitas,” for “justice.” Now he just needed a case to investigate, and one of his listeners emailed about her uncle in Texas, a former boxer whom she said had been falsely convicted of two robberies. His name: Kenneth Snow.Ruff began investigating and thought there might be something to the case, so he traveled to Tyler to get court documents. He also spoke by phone to Snow, who told him he’d been released back in 1998 after he had testified at the trial of a man named Ed Ates. Snow claimed that, earlier that year, Dobbs and an FBI agent had visited him in jail and told him they were going to put him in a cell with Ed. If Snow didn’t get a confession, he’d get 99 years for the robberies; if he helped, he’d get probation. So Snow helped. Snow couldn’t be certain that Ed was innocent, he told Ruff, but he reaffirmed what he’d said in the affidavit: that he’d heard Frances Johnson say that he attacked Griffin.Ruff soon found his enthusiasm for Snow’s case dimming. Some of the things the inmate told him didn’t pan out, others couldn’t be checked, and ultimately there wasn’t a lot Ruff could do for Snow, who had pleaded guilty.But Ed was another matter. In January 2016, Ruff, still searching for a worthy case, sent him a letter. “My name is Bob Ruff,” he wrote. “I have a podcast, and I think I can help you.”By this point Big E was almost completely isolated from the free world. He’d had half his life taken—and all of his family. His father had died early in Ed’s time in prison, his grandmother had followed in 2014, and he hadn’t talked with his mother or his brother in a couple of years. Ever since Ed had urged Kim to divorce him, she had retreated from him as well. She had stopped writing letters and gone ahead and filed divorce papers. She visited only once a year, on Father’s Day, bringing Kyra. Zach, by then a moody adolescent, had ceased coming altogether.Ed had been scammed once before by someone who offered to help get him out of prison, and he didn’t trust anyone on the outside anyway. He threw Ruff’s letter into the trash.Ruff mailed Ed another letter saying he just wanted to talk, and he put money in Ed’s commissary account so the inmate could phone him. Ed called but nervously hung up before Ruff could answer. Then he called back. “I believe you’re an innocent man,” Ruff told him. Finally, Ed began to tell Ruff his story.Ruff liked Ed immediately. He spoke with an East Texas drawl and was laid-back and restrained, carefully keeping his anger in check. The two chatted again a week later, and Ruff recorded the conversation. In the next episode of Ruff’s podcast, titled “Hope,” he played the interview, immediately followed by Adele’s heart-tugging ballad “Hello,” performed by a Zimbabwean singer. Then listeners heard a conversation Ruff had had with Snow. “I would like to tell Mr. Ates that I’m sorry for what happened,” Snow said. “If I can help in any way I can, I will be at peace with myself.” Ruff alternated the soaring, sentimental music with the apology. It was maudlin, over-the-top. Listeners loved it.Soon Ed was calling Ruff every Tuesday morning at ten, giving more details of his life and his time in prison. He began to feel comfortable enough to reveal his festering anger. “Fuck Kenny Snow!” he’d say when Ruff brought him up. “David Dobbs can go to hell!” An energized Ruff contacted Mike Ware, the executive director of the Innocence Project of Texas. Ware said he’d be happy to look into Ed’s case but that he needed trial transcripts. So in April, Ruff returned to Tyler, armed with a portable scanner given to him by a listener. It took him five days to make copies of 27 volumes. He shared many of the documents, as well as crime scene photos, on his website.He made more trips to Texas, learning the basics of the criminal justice system and researching other wrongful conviction cases from Smith County, including that of Kerry Max Cook, the Tyler man tried multiple times for murder, who spent almost twenty years on death row before being freed, in 1997. The more Ruff researched, the more he learned about Ed, this supposedly brutal killer. For example, Chris Scott, a fellow inmate who was later exonerated, told Ruff, “He’s friendly, he don’t want to fight nobody, he don’t want to be a part of nothing physical.”Ruff was basically crowdsourcing an investigation—“Two hundred thousand minds are better than one,” he said in an episode—and doing so in real time, week after week, asking listeners for help. He did this by posting on Twitter and Facebook, where the podcast fan page had 6,500 active users leaving 20,000 comments a week. A serologist examined data from a 1993 report on blood found under Griffin’s fingernails and said she thought there were two different types. Amateur photo enthusiasts tried to discern a footprint in the alleged feces clump in the kitchen. When Ruff needed help figuring out who had a certain unlisted phone number, a listener volunteered to go to the Kilgore city library and pore over old phone directories. Ed explained to Ruff two of his case’s biggest mysteries. Yes, he had lied about how he got to Bush’s apartment: he had taken his grandmother’s car that night to visit his girlfriend, something he wasn’t supposed to do and didn’t want his mother (who was sitting next to him in his interview) to know. Ed wasn’t scared of the deputies or worried what they would think, since he had nothing to do with the murder. He was scared of his mom, a cocaine addict who had shot her two former husbands—and would later, during a drug-fueled argument, shoot Kelvin in both legs. Also, Ed told Ruff that the “script” Snow testified about was actually a page of notes Ed had written to send to his lawyers after his conversation with Johnson. It later vanished from the cell, and he eventually figured out that Snow had taken it.Ruff relentlessly attacked the state’s case. He described how Hukill had homed in on Ed from the start, while failing to follow up on other suspects. In addition to Moseley, Griffin had been dating Johnson and a third man, and neither was ever interviewed. Hukill never checked Moseley for scratches or blood, as he did Ed. Waller and the other investigators never measured the large handprint on the towel. No one ever photographed the position of the car seat. Though the car radio was tuned to KZEY, which played hip-hop, the station also played gospel music.Ruff became increasingly incensed about the Smith County criminal justice system. He recorded several episodes on Cook’s case and implied that Dobbs (who had also prosecuted Cook) was a psychopath. “I will not rest until you are behind bars for your crimes against humanity,” Ruff intoned. He suggested that Hukill and Waller weren’t just incompetent—they had framed Ed. “The Smith County justice system has destroyed countless lives,” he thundered.In May 2016 the Innocence Project of Texas agreed to take the case, and Ed got a new lawyer, Allison Clayton, who began visiting and writing him. Usually the lawyers at IPTX have to spend hundreds of hours doing tedious legwork—getting transcripts, doing interviews, asking experts how a test works, checking out possible leads—but Ruff and his army had already done much of it. IPTX also typically has to scrape together funding for its investigations, but the army helped there too. When Ruff put out a request for help to pay for possible DNA testing, listeners ponied up $7,000. So many of IPTX’s clients were lost in the prison system. Though Ed had once been forgotten himself, he was now one of the lucky few.From left to right: Ed’s children, Zach and Kyra Ates; his attorney with the Innocence Project of Texas, Allison Clayton; his wife, Kim Miller-Ates; and Truth & Justice podcast host Bob Ruff.Courtesy of Bob RuffWhile Ruff was investigating Ed’s case, he also got in touch with Kim, who by then hadn’t seen or spoken with her husband in a year. Like Ed, she was initially skeptical. She had no idea what a podcast was, but when Ruff told her, “I believe your husband is innocent,” she burst into tears. This was the first time she’d heard anyone outside her family and Ed’s lawyers say that.For years Kim had been imprisoned in her own dark place, raising two kids while working full-time. She never thought her husband was guilty; he was a gentle giant, she’d say. She wished he would smile more, but he was no killer. In some ways she loved him now more than ever—he was the father of her children, and her whole life was built around Kyra and Zach. But she also thought he was never coming home. Kim, who smiles easily, rarely told anyone of her inner struggles. Sometimes the despair would get so heavy that she would steal away to the restroom at work to cry in one of the stalls.Kim felt terrible about not visiting, even though he had urged her to stay away. Her first question to her husband was “Can you forgive me?” Of course, Ed replied.She had tried to move on, and even though she had filed divorce papers, because of an error, she hadn’t received a notice to appear in court. She could have followed through to nail down a court date, but she never did.Now she thought God had been guiding her hand all along. A week after Ruff called, she went to visit Ed and found a different man. He was no longer alone in his fight; besides talking with Ruff every week, he had been getting letters from the podcast’s listeners, sometimes as many as ten a day. And he was really happy to see her. She felt terrible about not visiting, even though he had urged her to stay away. Her first question to her husband was “Can you forgive me?” Of course, Ed replied. He wanted his family back.They began talking more, and they broached the concept of his actually coming home one day, which until then they hadn’t allowed themselves to even imagine. “What do you want to do?” Kim asked. “I just want to go to work, come home, sit on the couch, and be with my family,” Ed answered. He started making lists of resolutions, just in case he ever got out:Stop using cuss words.Smile.Get my driver’s license.Take care of my wife and kids.Have a conversation with my son and daughter, make sure they aren’t upset at me.Tell my family I love them.At night Ed would pull out his lists and go over them, memorizing and planning. After a summer visit from Kim, Ed told Ruff he hadn’t felt so good in years. Though deep down he was still angry—sometimes he would gripe to Kim when she said, “I know what you’re going through”—he was tired of being that way. He wanted to change.Ed had gone up for parole twice but was denied both times. To be released, an inmate must usually show remorse for his crime and take responsibility for it, but Ed wouldn’t cop to something he didn’t do. He became eligible again in March 2018, and Ruff and Clayton set out to make sure this time would be different.Ruff asked listeners to send letters, and they flooded him with hundreds. He winnowed the stack to fifty and sent them to Clayton, who passed them on to the Board of Pardons and Paroles. Ruff sent his own letter about Ed, as did Kim. “After twenty years apart, I still love my husband, and I’ve built a home for him to come home to,” she wrote. “The kids and I want him here, and we will support and encourage him every step of the way.”Ultimately, Ed needed the approval of two out of three commissioners in the parole board office in nearby Palestine. Clayton asked for help from experienced parole lawyer Roger Nichols, who, working pro bono, presented the case to one of the commissioners on March 27. Another commissioner interviewed Ed the next day. Toward the end of that meeting, Ed would later recall, the man said, “What I’m getting is, you didn’t do this.” Usually it takes two to three weeks for the board to make their decision public, but Ed was granted parole the next day. When Clayton heard, she immediately called Kim, who was at work. “Ed made parole,” she said through tears. Kim had to excuse herself and walk outside, where she started crying and hollering, “I knew he was coming home!”On a muggy morning in early September 2018, Kim drove her kids to Huntsville, where Ed had been transferred prior to his release from prison. She wished she could’ve brought Margie too, but Ed’s mother, suffering from Alzheimer’s, had killed herself the previous summer. By the time the Ates family arrived, there was a crowd of fifty people standing vigil, waiting for Ed. Many were women from East Texas, though one had traveled from California, another from Arkansas. Most of them were strangers, but they had seen one another’s photos on the Truth & Justice Facebook fan page. They couldn’t believe that Ed was getting out—and that they were going to witness it. A few carried hand-lettered posters that read “We stand with Ed” and “Welcome home, Ed. Love, the T & J Army.”Ruff was there, and he greeted Kim, Kyra, and Zach with hugs and tears. This was a huge day for Ruff, the end of a remarkable campaign. Podcasts had barely existed ten years before, and Ruff knew, as did everyone else in the crowd, that Ed would still be stuck behind bars if Ruff hadn’t started one and found an army of followers. Like a few other podcasts—Serial, Empire on Blood, In the Dark—his had successfully drawn attention to a questionable conviction and actually helped free someone. In addition, Ruff had raised more than $35,000 from listeners to help Ed get back on his feet.Bob Ruff prays with Ed’s family and some of his supporters while waiting for Ed’s release, in Huntsville, on September 5, 2018.Photograph by Michael HallKim looked around at the crowd. “I don’t think he’s ready for this,” she said. More than anything, she was concerned about how her reserved husband would deal with the world—in particular his family. She was desperate for him to feel at home. “You have to communicate with us,” she had told Ed. “Especially me.” She knew she could be pushy, but that was the only way her family had survived for this long. She also knew Ed was still angry and that she would have to help guide him, to find a way to not let his bitterness consume him.Kim watched her kids talk to members of the crowd. Kyra, 23, is like her mother, expressive and quick with a hug, and was laughing with total strangers. Zach, three years younger, is like Ed, reserved and stoic. He stood alone, nervous about reuniting with his father, whom he had never seen outside prison walls.Finally, a little past noon, someone called out, “I think I just heard the gate open,” and everyone stood up and looked across the street. A tall, bald man was walking down the sidewalk. A few people cheered. Ed, wearing a large plaid shirt, baggy pants, and black Crocs, ambled across the street, some yellow envelopes in his right hand, his left arm swinging wildly. His head shone in the sun.He looked nervous, and as he hit the other side, Zach emerged from the crowd and walked toward his father. Ed seemed about to shake his son’s hand, but Zach opened his arms, and the two men fell into each other, son burying his head in his father’s shoulder. The crowd sniffled in the heat. “Don’t leave me again,” whispered Zach. “I won’t,” his dad responded. When Ed unwound himself from Zach, he went to Kim and held her for a long time. Then he hugged Kyra, who was crying openly.After that, Ruff approached. “Hey, brother,” he said, and the two men embraced. He was followed by a succession of pen pals and total strangers. Ed, who wore a half smile, seemed happy but overwhelmed. “I love you, sweetheart,” said one as she hugged him. “I’ve been praying for you,” said another. All Ed could do was say, “Thank you,” occasionally adding, “It means a lot.”Kim drove the family back to Dallas, with Ed in the passenger seat. They held hands most of the way. Ed often turned to look back at Kyra watching TV on her laptop and Zach playing with his smartphone. Now fifty, he had seen modern technology like that only on the prison TV, in shows and commercials where kids sat in backseats glued to their devices while the parents sat up front—and now he was living it. They stopped for gas at a Buc-ee’s, and Ed was dumbfounded at the rows of automatic toilets and faucets in the men’s room.When Ed walked into the Cedar Hill home that Kim had bought in 2006, he couldn’t believe the high ceilings, the luxurious brown couch, the big-screen TV. Kim had assured him that it was his home too, but he was having a hard time accepting it. There were photos of her and the kids everywhere; he was present in only a couple of prints, from their wedding.The first thing he wanted to do was take a shower and put on his own clothes—Kim had recently gone shopping for him—then eat a seafood platter. Since parole restrictions barred him from going to a restaurant, Kyra fried a plate of catfish filets. Other family members and friends began arriving—a cousin from Tyler with her kids, a cousin from Dallas, Kelvin and his son, and Ruff. Ed ate nine filets.The next morning, he woke up at 5:30 and opened Zach’s door. “Zach,” he said, “what are you doing?” Zach, who had been sound asleep, sat up groggily. “Nothing. What are you doing?” His father replied, “I just came to check on you.” Ed checked on Kyra too, waking her up. Soon everyone was in the kitchen making breakfast. Later that day he walked from room to room, as if making sure everything was real.Kim drove him to check in with his parole officer. He had to report every Tuesday morning and submit to a weekly urinalysis (he’s not allowed to drink). He wore a GPS monitor, which went off if he ventured beyond the property lines at an unscheduled time. He had to clear every move in advance, whether it was going to church or going shopping with Kim.Ed and Ruff at Ed’s home on the day of his release.Courtesy of Bob RuffRuff stuck around for a few days. “I ain’t never had a lot of friends,” said Ed. But the two had an easy rapport and sat on the couch talking like old Army buddies, watching TV, discussing football. They stayed up late one night preparing a slab of ribs; the next day they smoked them and had a cookout. Ed found himself touching Kim and the kids all the time. He also kept asking Kim for permission—to get some water, to turn on the TV. “This is your home,” she’d reply. “You don’t have to ask.”When they all went to church for the first time, Kim dressed them in varying shades of purple. Worshipping together was a dream of hers, something she had wanted to do for years. “We are a family,” she said. “We are one.”In Ed’s first weeks home, he established a new routine: rise at 5:30, brew coffee in his new Keurig machine, and putter around the house and backyard. On Saturday mornings he washed the family’s cars, going over every inch. He watched football and walked Charlie, the family’s Yorkshire terrier. If a picture needed hanging, Ed fetched the hammer. “He’d been dying to be a husband and a father for twenty years,” said Ruff, who talked with Ed weekly. “He finally had the chance.” Ed and Kim hosted several get-togethers for family and friends, where Ed did the cooking, as his grandmother did in the old days.“I’m never going to get those years back. I’m going to live for today, make every day count.”Kim had told him he could relax and take his time finding a job, but Ed didn’t want to sit around. Three weeks after his release, he was loading trucks at a UPS warehouse, and in November he was hired by the City of Dallas water department. By early 2019 he was part of a three-man crew inspecting sewer lines all over the city. He loved the work: driving the truck, maneuvering a robot, watching the monitor, reporting the results.In the months since, he has grown a light beard, which came in salt-and-pepper, and started wearing two square diamond earrings that Kim bought him. The family created a new photo wall in the house, adding pictures of all four of them—at church, at Christmas.Sometimes, though, Ed still finds himself eaten up by anger—that he didn’t get to see his grandmother and mother before they died, that he didn’t get to see his kids grow up. There were times in prison when he had trouble remembering the faces of his kids. It was terrifying and infuriating then—and is still. He knows that some freed prisoners have a hard time letting go of their bitterness. “I don’t want to live like that,” he says. “I’ve been mad enough.” He’s learning firsthand that freedom isn’t going to solve all of his problems.Ed had worried about bonding with his kids, mostly Zach. While Kyra sings in the church choir and is planning on going to medical school, Zach is very much his father’s son. He rarely smiles, and one of Ed’s hardest tasks since getting out has been establishing a rapport with him. It started off well: in September Zach took Ed to his driver’s test and, after he passed, asked whether he wanted to drive home. “I don’t know,” said Ed. “You can do it,” replied his son, and threw him the keys. When Ed mowed the grass, Zach, who never did yard work, brought out the Weed eater and joined him.But Zach, like many other twenty-year-old men, is still trying to figure out his relationship with his father, and the two sometimes butt heads. Ed is anxious that his son, who is so much like him, might make some of the same mistakes he did—or even get in some terrible trouble that isn’t his fault. In March Zach moved out and got a place with a cousin. Ed worried, but Kelvin reassured his brother. “He was raised right,” said Kelvin. “All you can do is let him go.” To Ed’s relief, six weeks later Zach moved back in. Even without any physical evidence tying Ed to the scene, prosecutors felt they had a good case, especially with the charismatic Dobbs at the helm. One of Ed’s lawyers, Tom McClain, had worked in the DA’s office with Dobbs and knew what he was up against. “Dobbs tried a case as hard as anyone I’ve ever seen,” said McClain. “And he’s really smart.”At trial, Dobbs theorized that Ed killed Griffin, stepped in her feces, drove her car to his girlfriend’s, and returned home after midnight. The state offered no motive and indeed no proof that the debris on the bottom of Ed’s shoe or the clumps in her trailer were human feces. An FBI expert could determine only that the smudge on Ed’s shoe was “protein of human origin,” which could have been anything from sweat to spit. Although Ed had been in trouble with the law—besides his trouble in Oklahoma, he’d also been busted several times in Tyler for misdemeanor theft as well as for forging a check—he had no history of violence. The jury, which included two African Americans, couldn’t reach a unanimous decision and after two days was deadlocked at 8 to 4 for guilt. Finally, on the third day, Judge Louis Gohmert declared a mistrial.Ed thought that he had finally put his troubles in Smith County behind him. He asked Kim to marry him on Christmas Day. At their wedding the following April, Ed, a towering figure in a white tuxedo, danced with Kim to “For You I Will,” a soaring love ballad. “I will stand beside you,” sang R&B star Monica, “right or wrong.” Recently Ed pulled out some of his prison lists and read them over. He’s been able to check off most of his goals. Some, such as getting a driver’s license, were easy. Others, like smiling, he’s had to work at. The thing Ed wants the most, though, isn’t on any of his lists. “I want my name back,” he had said in 2018, while still behind bars. “I want this mark off me, this stripe off me. I want to be able to talk to people without them saying, ‘That’s the guy in prison for killing that lady.’ ”Exonerations take a long time, even when backed by an army of Innocence Project lawyers and well-intentioned podcast listeners. Clayton began the process in 2016 and eventually convinced the Smith County DA’s office to join her in filing a motion in 2017 for DNA testing of twenty crime scene items, including scrapings from underneath Griffin’s fingernails, rape kit swabs, and the substance from Ed’s shoe. Unfortunately for Ed, most of the biological samples were so old and degraded that they revealed only one full profile: Griffin’s. The exception was the semen stain, which unquestionably came from Moseley.And the shoe debris—the substance that 26 years ago led investigators to believe Ed had been inside the trailer the night of the murder? DNA testing revealed that it belonged to an unidentified male. Not only was the tiny trace never proven to have been human feces, it had nothing to do with Elnora Griffin.Clayton is now trying to track down the crime scene fingerprints so they can be analyzed using modern software and then plugged into a current database. She is also planning to challenge Ed’s conviction under a 2013 state law that allows a court to grant relief in cases based on faulty forensic science. Clayton would like to debunk the state’s feces theory once and for all—and exonerate Ed while doing so.She’s had offers of assistance from an unlikely source: David Dobbs. In 2016 Dobbs received an email from Ruff laying out his reasons for believing Ed is innocent and asking for an interview. Dobbs responded, “Is this the Bob Ruff who called me a psychopath?”Dobbs, who left the DA’s office in 2000 and now has his own personal injury practice, told Ruff to give him some time to look into the case. If Ed was innocent, he said, he wanted to help, possibly by assisting the current DA in tracking down and questioning Moseley, Walker, and Johnson.“I’m open to the possibility that he may be innocent,” Dobbs said in June. “Anytime you have a circumstantial case without any conclusive forensic evidence, there’s that possibility. But this is not a clear case of ‘He’s innocent.’ We have work to do to investigate that. I feel a responsibility to do what I can.”Ed is skeptical of Dobbs’s intentions. He knows there are many reasons that people get sent to prison for something they didn’t do. In his case, as in most wrongful convictions, it began with a deeply flawed investigation, with deputies focusing on one suspect to the exclusion of others. (Neither Hukill nor Waller responded to multiple interview requests.) But Ed thinks that the main reason he spent twenty years in prison is the prosecutor who sent him there. “Once Dobbs saw that none of the evidence pointed to me, he should have left it alone. Then he came over to the jail and talked to Kenny Snow, who was a known snitch. And they believed what he said!”Ed’s not the only one who thinks Dobbs was trying to win his case at all costs. During Ed’s second trial, Victor Sirls, an old friend of Ed’s who had also been in the jail cell with Snow, was subpoenaed by Ed’s team to testify. The day before his scheduled testimony, Sirls said that Dobbs summoned him to a vacant jury room. “He said if I testified for Ates, they’d get me,” Sirls recalled. “Dobbs said if I fucked this case up, he’d fuck my case up—those were his exact words.” (Dobbs denied this.)Many others have complained about Tyler prosecutors over the years. In 2000 the Houston Chronicle ran a front-page story on the Smith County justice system, in which defense attorneys claimed that the DA’s office would do anything to win a case. “It’s simply a pattern of lying, cheating and violations of the law by Smith County prosecutors that wouldn’t be tolerated in Harris or Dallas County or any of the other, larger offices in the state,” said Houston attorney Paul Nugent, who represented Kerry Max Cook. A principal tactic, critics charged, was making secret or implicit deals with jailhouse informants like Snow, which are required by law to be revealed to the defense. Dobbs, quoted in the story, denied all allegations.Dobbs recently contended that you can’t look at Ed’s case—or any other from that era—in isolation. In a conservative, pro-law-enforcement community, he said, he was doing the job voters expected of him. “It was the nineties, the war on crime. We were doing cases on the fly.” That decade saw Texas send more people to prison than any other state—and Smith County contributed its fair share. In the months before Ed’s second trial, Dobbs was juggling three other murder cases. In his twelve years, he would try at least fifteen death penalty cases and win all but one. “As a DA,” he said, “you’re like Mel Gibson in Braveheart, swinging your sword all the time. You can’t stop and look closely at a tree. You’re always under siege.”It wasn’t a war to Ed, at least not at first. To Ed, it was a bunch of men with badges who seemed determined to prove he was a brutal killer. “They didn’t care about anything,” he said recently, “as long as there was a conviction.”He spoke on a Sunday in late May, as he and his family were preparing to go to a Memorial Day crawfish boil at a cousin’s house.“They had their minds made up as soon as they heard I had been in prison in Oklahoma. All they had to do was look at it a little closer, do a little more investigation, and it would’ve made a big difference.”He paused. “I’m never going to get those years back. I’m going to live for today, make every day count.” At the party, he would see family members he hadn’t seen in decades, and he was eager to get going. “I’ll never get those years back,” he said again, “and I’m not going to even try.”This article originally appeared in the August 2019 issue of Texas Monthly with the headline “Crowdsourcing Justice.” Subscribe today. This Week in Texas(Weekly)The best stories from Texas Monthly Late on a muggy friday night in July 1993, 25-year-old Edward Ates sat at the kitchen table of his grandmother’s house, talking with her about the dead woman next door. Ed’s brother, Kelvin, was there too, along with a friend. They lived in rural New Chapel Hill, just east of Tyler. That evening had been a terrible one. A few hours earlier, Ed’s grandmother Maggie Dews had discovered the body of a neighbor, Elnora Griffin, in her trailer. Griffin was naked and facedown on the floor, her throat slit to the bone. An investigator would later say that she had almost been beheaded.Ed hadn’t known Griffin very well. She was 47, a dainty, energetic woman who stood four feet four inches tall and barely weighed one hundred pounds. She had recently moved to tiny New Chapel Hill from Dallas; Ed had returned home from Oklahoma a few months earlier. Since then he’d made his living as a handyman and landscaper, taking care of several properties in the neighborhood, including Griffin’s. Sitting at the table, Ed recalled how he’d gone to her trailer the week before to see about clearing out a wasp’s nest in the back and had talked with her again just a day prior about doing some weed-trimming in the yard.Earlier in the evening, the Ates brothers and their grandmother had been questioned by various deputies from the Smith County sheriff’s office, who, after analyzing the crime scene, concluded that Griffin had been killed the night before. The investigators took statements from them, as well as from other neighbors, drawn by the lights and sirens, but nobody seemed to know anything—until a deputy talked with a friend of Griffin’s named Cubia Jackson, who said that she’d called Griffin the previous night, between 9:30 and 10:30, and asked what she was doing.“Well, I’m sitting here talking to Edward,” Griffin had said. Edward who? “Ms. Dews’s grandson.”Now, sitting at the kitchen table, Ed heard a knock on the door. He opened it to find three deputies, led by Detective Dale Hukill, who said they had some more questions for Ed. Would he mind coming down to the sheriff’s office? Ed said he would go, but first he wanted to talk to his mother, Margie Jackson, who lived nearby and had just phoned to say she was headed over. Margie was a boisterous woman; addicted to cocaine, she had plenty of experience with local authorities. When she arrived, she insisted on accompanying her son. Left:In the long period between Ates’s arrest and his first trial, he met and married his wife, Kim Miller-Ates. Courtesy of Kim Miller-AtesRight:Ates at his wedding, on April 5, 1997, at Faithful Missionary Baptist Church, in Dallas.Courtesy of Kim Miller-Ates The State of Texas(Daily)A daily digest of Texas news, plus the latest from Texas Monthly Editor’s Desk(Monthly)A message from the editors at Texas Monthly If you fill out the first name, last name, or agree to terms fields, you will NOT be added to the newsletter list. Leave them blank to get signed up. Far from home, Ed soon found himself in trouble again. As they had done in Tyler, he and his two roommates would buy stolen Calvin Klein shirts as well as toilet paper and deodorant. One day that October, Ed and one of his roommates were busted for concealing stolen property. Ed was also charged with stealing from a clothing store that had, strangely enough, been set on fire. Ed was charged with arson. He admitted to possessing stolen clothes but denied everything else.The local DA offered Ed’s lawyer a plea bargain: if Ed pleaded guilty to arson, burglary, and concealing stolen property, he would be sentenced to ten years but get out in two if he behaved himself. Ed mistakenly thought he was getting probation and took the deal. He was sent to a succession of reformatories and work camps, then was arrested again for trying to escape from one of them—another felony—though Ed insisted he and his fellow inmates had just gone across the street to play basketball. He finally wound up at a halfway house in Oklahoma City, from which he was released in the spring of 1993. He had spent almost four years in Oklahoma, most of them incarcerated. Now he had four felonies on his record.After interviewing Ed, Detective Hukill returned to the crime scene, where homicide detective Jason Waller and other deputies had been collecting hair, blood, and cigarette butts. It was past 1 a.m., and Hukill briefed Waller on his conversation with Ed. They began piecing together what they believed to be possible clues. There was a Jolly Rancher candy wrapper in Griffin’s bathroom garbage can. A pink bath towel was covering her front door window, and they discovered a large handprint on it, as if a big man had hung it there. Griffin’s white Mercury hatchback was parked closer to the trailer than a neighbor said she usually parked it, as if someone else had left it there. Inside the car, deputies found, the seat had been pushed all the way back, as if it had been driven by a tall man. The radio station was tuned to KZEY, which played rap music; Griffin, a religious woman, listened to gospel.Later that Saturday, Hukill and Waller were joined at the crime scene by a man named David Dobbs, the first assistant in the Smith County district attorney’s office and a rising star there. A boyish 31-year-old with curly, dirty-blond hair and piercing, pale green eyes, he would actively work with the deputies in the investigation, meeting Hukill at Bush’s apartment complex, where they found two men who said they recognized Griffin’s car from a photo and said it had been parked there the night she was killed. Ed, Hukill wrote later, must have driven it there.At least initially, Hukill had another suspect too, a man named Leonard Moseley, who’d been romantically involved with Griffin but lived with a woman, Angela Walker, with whom he’d had a baby. Moseley still saw Griffin for a regular late-night Thursday date, but he told Hukill he’d been at work on the night of the murder, then gone home. Walker backed up his alibi. During an interview with Moseley four days after the body was found, Hukill said he believed him. “I’ve got one particular person who told me where he was, what he was doing, and his story ain’t checking out,” the deputy told Moseley. “I don’t think you did it. I really don’t. Not at this point, especially because this other boy, this other thing is just, like, slapping us in the face right now.”That particular person was Ed, who was arrested on August 26 and charged with murder. A Tyler newspaper noted that Smith County had had seven murders so far in 1993, and arrests had now been made in each of them. Sitting in jail, Ed was confident that he wouldn’t actually be tried for the crime and felt all the more sure when investigators concluded their blood-typing, fingerprinting, and hair analyses. No physical evidence tied him to the scene. By contrast, though the medical examiner found that Griffin had in fact not been sexually assaulted, the second suspect, Moseley, couldn’t be ruled out by blood type as a “possible donor” of a semen stain found on a comforter. One of Ed’s court-appointed lawyers, Clifton Roberson, told him that the state didn’t have a case. Ed rejected a plea bargain of forty years.Judges and DAs in conservative Tyler were elected on promises to wage war on crime. Prosecutors plowed through cases, and they were particularly relentless with murders.It took Ed’s family another eight months to get him out on bond, but once free, he felt like his life might actually be turning around. He enrolled in trucking school—he liked the freedom of the road—and upon graduation got a job with a Tyler waste-management company. He bought himself a new pickup. And in October 1994 he went to a Halloween party and met a pretty young woman from Dallas named Kim Miller. Ed liked her immediately: she was smart and independent, a sociology student at the University of Texas at Tyler. In turn, Kim thought the soft-spoken basketball player looked a lot like Michael Jordan. The day after the party, he called her seven times.She thought he was joking when he said he had been indicted for murder. Ed would forget about it sometimes himself, especially since his trial date kept getting pushed back (both the prosecutors and the defense lawyers, busy with other murder cases, asked for postponements). The couple dated for a few months, and Kim got pregnant. She graduated in May 1995, and in October their daughter, Kyra, was born. Ed loved holding her before heading out to drive his truck. Kim eventually convinced him to move to Dallas, where her parents lived and where there were more opportunities for a college graduate.Ed landed a job driving a garbage truck. Meanwhile he was getting more and more notices to appear in court. He talked to his boss about taking some time off, and in July 1996 Ed went on trial for murder.For years, Smith County had been one of the most stringently law-and-order communities in Texas. Judges and DAs in conservative Tyler were elected on promises to wage war on crime, which meant punishing those they thought were guilty, protecting victims, and keeping the streets safe. Prosecutors plowed through cases, and they were particularly relentless with murders. In one notable example, beginning in 1978, they tried Tyler-area resident Kerry Max Cook three times for the same murder over the course of sixteen years; one attempt ended in a mistrial, the other two in guilty verdicts that were thrown out by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. Ed Ates Wants His Name BackSep 4, 2018 Never Miss a StorySign up for Texas Monthly’s State of Texas newsletter to get stories like this delivered to your inbox daily. They arrived at the sheriff’s office in Tyler around 11 p.m. Ed had been questioned by law enforcement before; indeed, he had spent time behind bars. He was by nature a calm person, and that evening he’d also had a few beers. Now he told the deputies he didn’t think he needed a lawyer, even after Hukill told him what Cubia had said. Ed denied being in Griffin’s trailer that night.The deputies asked Ed to take off his shirt, and they checked him for scratches or blood; they checked his fingernails too, then asked him to take off his shoes. They found no blood, but when Hukill examined the sole of the left shoe, he noticed a trace of something stuck in its tread; he smelled it, then scraped it off and put it in a baggie. He told Ed he was doing this because deputies had found what they thought was feces in Griffin’s trailer, including a clump in the kitchen that appeared to have been stepped in. They believed she had probably been sexually assaulted or strangled, either of which could have led to her losing control of her bowels.At some point Ed went to the restroom. He often carried a few Jolly Rancher candies in his pockets, and now he ate one and threw the wrapper in the garbage can. Back in the interrogation room, he again denied having been in Griffin’s trailer that night and said he’d been at the apartment of his girlfriend, Monica Bush. She had come by to pick him up between 9:30 and 10 p.m., he said, and they’d sat around talking for a few hours. Hukill dispatched a deputy to call Bush and check out the alibi, but Bush contradicted Ed, saying he’d shown up on his own. Armed with this, Hukill confronted Ed again, certain that almost everything coming out of his mouth was a lie. What he’d wanted to do was play basketball. Ed was a muscular six feet seven inches tall, and with his size and strength, he had dominated games at Chapel Hill High School and the outdoor courts where he and his friends played. “He was a beast,” remembered Kelvin. Ed idolized Michael Jordan—his grace as well as his confidence on the court—and even resembled him. He wore only Air Jordans and dreamed of getting a scholarship to Jordan’s alma mater, the University of North Carolina, then joining the NBA.Ed, left, with his mom, Margie, and his brother, Kelvin, around 1975.Courtesy of the Ates familyEd’s parents had split up when he was young, and at first, he and Kelvin, two years younger, lived with their mom, who worked a variety of jobs in Tyler, including as a seamstress and solderer. But then she married a jealous and violent man who regularly beat her (Margie would later shoot him after he broke her jaw; he survived). He didn’t want Ed and Kelvin around, so they moved in with their father, Emerson, a reserved man who ran a nightclub (Margie had shot him once too).While still in elementary school, the boys began spending more and more time in New Chapel Hill with Dews, Margie’s mom. Eventually they moved in, and Ed became close to her, helping her take care of her garden and cook large dinners for family gatherings. He and Kelvin loved living in the country, where the pine trees hugged the roads and the land sloped down into the brush and creek bottoms. They fished often in those creeks, and they started working at a young age for a nearby rancher who had a couple hundred cattle. By age fourteen, Ed was baling hay, grooming horses, and riding four-wheelers through the meadows looking for stray calves. He was a hands-on kid, stoic like his father; if there was a job that needed to be done, he could do it.School, though, was another story. Ed wasn’t a good student and often got in trouble; he was suspended twice, once for fighting a white kid who called him a racial slur. He dropped out his senior year and joined the Gary Job Corps, a government job training program that took him to San Marcos. He returned to New Chapel Hill, got his GED, and played basketball in city leagues, entering tournaments and traveling to Houston, Dallas, and Austin. Sometimes he and his friends engaged in petty thievery—of candy or gasoline—and other times they bought new Nikes and Guess jeans from hustlers on the street.It was past 1 a.m., and Hukill briefed Waller on his conversation with Ed. They began piecing together what they believed to be possible clues.One afternoon at the courts, Ed’s old high school coach saw him and said that he could probably get a basketball scholarship at Western Oklahoma State College, in Altus, a small town in the southwestern part of that state. So in the fall of 1989 he drove to Oklahoma with two friends from Chapel Hill High who became his roommates. Last Namelast_img read more

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SAINTS Academy continued their successful tour of

first_imgSAINTS Academy continued their successful tour of Australia with a 30-22 win over Cronulla, writes Jason Emery.Saints scored seven tries to four but only converted two which kept the score close throughout.After a rugged opening, Saints got on the board first when Corey Lee scored in the corner after a superb flick pass from centre Mark Percival… a pass that Jamie Lyon and Matt Gidley would have been proud of.At around the 20 minute mark Saints scored again through Nathan Skupski, nicely supplied by a pass from the ever impressive Adam Swift.But just a couple of minutes later, soft defence allowed the Sharks prop Daniel Byrne to stroll over near the posts.Saints responded well with a great try right on half time; Danny Yates combined with Adam Swift down the left side which resulted in wing Jamie Tracey scoring the try of the match.Again the conversion attempt missed which made the half time score 12-6.The Sharks came out fired up in the second half and levelled the score at 12 all after only two minutes. Saints were looking a little flat and the heat looked to be taking its toll as errors crept in.And Cronulla made Saints pay for those errors 10 minutes later as they hit the lead for the first time – fullback Sam Rauicava scoring to make it 12-16.The game then went from one end of the pitch to the other and again Saints hit back with a fortunate try to Dom Speakman after a kick from Yates bounced off two Cronulla players and landed in the in goal area.Speakman was first to react; converting his try to put the Saints back in front at 18-16.When Saints controlled the ball they looked like scoring at will and they did just that with a brilliant try by Corey Lee after some nice back line play.The missed conversion made the score 22-16 but the Sharks wouldn’t lie down and quickly levelled up the scores when Greg Wilde messed-up the kick-off allowing good field position for the home team.And two tackles later they scored to make it 22 all.With about five minutes to go Saints looked to have wrapped up the game when Speakman threw a cut out pass to Swift who scored in the corner.The Saints forwards dominated the remainder of the match with Adam Hesketh and Greg Richards driving the team forward backed up well by second rower Clare – the match was sealed when Andre Savelio was too powerful close to the Sharks line and his try capped off a man of the match performance.last_img read more

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Club Community

first_imgThis year’s fair has added poignancy as amongst the various collectors offering rugby league memorabilia, the Society’s table will include the sale of former journalist Denis Whittle’s memorabilia, some in the form of a silent auction. Proceeds will go to Willowbrook Hospice, a charity dear to Denis’s heart.Apart from a whole range of rugby league memorabilia for sale, the Denis Whittle collection includes early copies of the Rugby Leaguer newspaper, which Denis printed right from the start when he was employed by Lockie Press in Claughton Street in the late 1940s. The first three editions, in particular, are in fine condition. Also included are a number of framed photographs and numerous rugby league-related books that Denis collected over the years.Alex Service, of Saints’ Heritage Society, says: “It’s certainly a day to remember Denis, who was such a well-known personality in our town, but also an opportunity to make a significant contribution to local charity. The event itself has always been a popular one for rugby league enthusiasts to meet and have a chat and add to their collections. Your support will always be welcomed by all the regular stall holders and we need to keep events such as this up and running. We’re looking for a record attendance for this one.”The fair starts in the Red Vee Bar at the Totally Wicked Stadium, on Saturday 15th June 2019, from 10-30am to 1-30pm. Admission and parking is free. There will also be a raffle on the day for two North Stand tickets for the Saints v Wigan Warriors game on 12th July.Anyone wanting a table for the event should phone Alex Service on 01744 756135.Rugby league fans will be given the opportunity to purchase a wide range of memorabilia, such as programmes, cards, photographs and jerseys from the numerous stalls.Supporters are also encouraged to bring in any items of memorabilia, particularly Saints-related that they may have to show on the day and members of the society will be on hand to help in the identification of items that anyone would like to know more information about.Proceeds from the SHS stall will also help to raise funds for Autism support.,Rugby league fans will be given the opportunity to purchase a wide range of memorabilia, such as programmes, cards, photographs and jerseys from the numerous stalls.Supporters are also encouraged to bring in any items of memorabilia, particularly Saints-related that they may have to show on the day and members of the society will be on hand to help in the identification of items that anyone would like to know more information about.Proceeds from the SHS stall will also help to raise funds for Autism support.last_img read more

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Pender High School pupils produce popcorn

first_img There’s a buttery and slightly corny new project at Pender High School: Pender Pop.Students are growing and processing 700 pounds of popcorn on campus.After the harvest in September, agricultural students cleaned the kernels with a special machine Friday.Related Article: WWAY 5th Quarter Aug. 17, 2018“First, they shovel it into the machine. It sorta shakes the popcorn and then blows all the dust and stuff off of it. Then the popcorn, the right pieces, just fall into the barrel over there,” said Guzman.And it’s not just the agricultural students that have all the fun. Art students got involved as well.The logo for Pender Pop, which was designed by a Pender High School art student (Photo: Justin McKee/WWAY)“At first, they thought we were kidding, and then we had our art class, had a competition for a logo, to design the logo for Pender Pop. So once we got that going, and then today, I think it became a little bit more real when they saw the kernels here and were putting it through the machine in the background and so they’re excited,” said Pender High School principal Chris Madden.A local farmer (Don Rawls), a NC State Extension agent (Tim Mathews), and the Pender Alliance For Teen Health helped make this possible.“We are a rural school and we do rely heavily on community involvement and so to have Mr. Rawls here, to have Tim from NC State here, to have Sandy Rowe from PATH, all working together with our students and then bringing them in and giving them the hands-on experience in different subject areas, content areas, all working together. It goes directly aligned with what we’re trying to do as a school,” said Madden.Madden says the school’s business class will start working on a local distribution plan for Pender Pop. BURGAW, NC (WWAY) –A tasty new project has popped up at Pender High School. It’s all in an effort to expose students to healthy and locally grown foods.“Kinda a surprise how cool it was. I didn’t know it was like this just to make popcorn. It’s really cool,” said Pender High School student Kevin Guzman.- Advertisement – last_img read more

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President Trump visits Carolinas to see Florence damage recovery

first_img President Donald Trump has arrived at a North Carolina church that is serving as a distribution center for supplies after Hurricane Florence.Trump is visiting Temple Baptist Church in New Bern. The area suffered significant damage, with branches down and piles of debris.Church volunteers have containers of hot dogs, chips and fruit and have been handing out food to people in need.Related Article: 4-year-old girl named Florence inspired to help victims of Hurricane FlorenceThe president is visiting the region Wednesday after the powerful storm left widespread destruction and flooding. Officials cautioned that the flooding is not over yet.Trump stressed his sympathy for the victims of the storm and pledged resources for recovery during an earlier storm briefing at a nearby marine base.__11:30 a.m.President Donald Trump is pledging to help the people affected by Hurricane Florence as he arrives in North Carolina to survey damage wrought by the powerful storm.Trump says during a briefing by local and federal officials, “We will be there 100 percent” following flooding he described as “epic” and “hard to believe.”He says, “There will be nothing left undone.”Trump at times has struggled to project empathy during national crisis. But on Wednesday he offered comforting words to families who suffered losses, saying, “America grieves with you and our hearts break for you.”When the state’s governor asked for federal support, Trump declared: “I’ll be there,”Trump is also praising first responders during his visit to a coastal marine base, the first of several stops on his schedule.__10:45 a.m.President Donald Trump has arrived in storm-ravaged North Carolina to take in the devastation left by Florence.Trump traveled south Wednesday as the state was still grappling with massive recovery efforts. He was heading to a briefing at a Marine Corps air station where Air Force One landed in the coastal town of Havelock, one of many communities hit by the torrential rains.Trump told reporters as he departed the White House that he will also visit South Carolina before he returns to the White House later Wednesday.The president says he wants to say “hello” to everyone from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the military that are working hard to help residents recover from the storm.Adds Trump: “I think it will be an incredible day.”(Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Gov. Roy Cooper talks to President Donald Trump during a briefing on Hurricane Florence at Cherry Point Air Station on Sept. 19, 2018. (Photo: Pool/ABC News) HAVELOCK, N.C. (AP) – The Latest on President Donald Trump’s visit to the Carolinas to review Hurricane Florence damage (all times local):11:55 a.m.- Advertisement – last_img read more

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CFPUA gives update on water quality following Florence

first_img Large numbers of trees are down across the region and storm surge and riparian flooding have led to some water quality concerns in local creeks, wetlands, and ponds. We share our customer’s concerns.At this time, CFPUA’s water system remains stable. Before the storm, CFPUA had measures in place to address possible contaminants. And, due to the unique nature of Hurricane Florence’s aftermath, we have also taken additional steps to ensure water quality during the recovery phase. Our drinking water quality is enhanced by the following preventative actions, as well as other steps:The Sweeney Water Treatment Plant is a state-of-the-art plant. It is exceptionally effective at eliminating the additional waste loading currently found in the Cape Fear River. Ozone is the primary treatment process and is extraordinarily powerful in removing biological contamination. After the ozone treatment process, the water is further treated to ensure the best water quality possible.Our Richardson plant treats groundwater with a nanofiltration system that use membranes to produce the best water quality possible.Both the Sweeney and Richardson water treatment plants have produced potable water throughout Hurricane Florence and her aftermath. CFPUA has produced more than 100 million gallons of potable water since Florence began. All of our plants have continuously produced water meeting all State and Federal standards without interruption.Media reports stating coal ash from the Duke Energy site could cause drinking water contamination in Wilmington are incorrect. CFPUA’s drinking water intake is located more than 20 miles above the breach that occurred along the Sutton Lake dam.Throughout the storm, CFPUA’s Environmental Safety and Management staff monitored water quality using a variety of tools. For many contaminants in the river, CFPUA and our regional partners have established on-line monitoring tools at our intakes that continuously collect data on levels of certain compounds in the river. These tools allow us to monitor algal levels, pH, turbidity, and total organic carbon. For other contaminants that cannot be monitored continuously, like PFAS, CFPUA staff conducted daily sampling to collect data on levels before, during, and after the storm.As a customer, if you have normal water flow in your house, then you can continue to consume your water as usual. If you have no- or low-flow, please contact a Customer Service Representative at (910) 332-6550. They will send a CFPUA employee to make sure the water system in your area is working correctly.Related Article: Coffee shop reopens nine months after Hurricane FlorenceIf you would like to know more about the levels of compounds in drinking water, CFPUA staff will continue to update our website with results as they come in. CFPUA will immediately report the issue to the public through all available channels if there is any potential impact from any environment incident taking place.We continue to thank our customers for their patience as we all emerge from the aftermath of Hurricane Florence. (Photo: CFPUA) WILMINGTON, NC (Press Release) — Cape Fear Public Utility Authority (CFPUA) wants to address continued news reports and social media stories concerning drinking water quality.As we survey the storm’s damage and more stories emerge about animal waste, biological spills, and coal ash, we understand more about the storm’s impacts on the environment.- Advertisement – last_img read more

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New Zealand massacre suspect charged with 49 more mosque murders

first_img <a href=’http://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/ck.php?n=ab2c8853&amp;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’https://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=97&amp;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> SharePrint FILE PHOTO: A police officer stands guard outside Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, March 22, 2019. REUTERS/Jorge SilvaFILE PHOTO: A police officer stands guard outside Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, March 22, 2019. REUTERS/Jorge Silva Australian Brenton Tarrant appeared in a New Zealand court on Friday where the suspected white supremacist was charged with an additional 49 counts of murder at two mosques last month.In an attack broadcast live on Facebook, a lone gunman armed with semi-automatic weapons targeted Muslims attending Friday prayers in Christchurch on March 15, killing 50 worshippers and wounding dozens of people.Tarrant, who was charged with one murder a day after the shooting attack, was also charged with 39 attempted murders on Friday.The High Court judge overseeing the appearance ordered Tarrant to undergo a mental assessment to determine whether he was fit to stand trial. He was not required to submit a plea.Tarrant, 28, has been moved to New Zealand’s only maximum-security prison in Auckland and appeared at the Christchurch High Court through a video link.Tarrant was then remanded to custody until June 14.High Court Judge Cameron Mander said whether Tarrant would be required to enter a plea at his next appearance depended on his mental health assessment and “any other developments”.Legal experts said two mental health experts would likely assess Tarrant, while police, who have not ruled out further charges, would continue to investigate New Zealand’s worst peacetime mass killing.Prison officials say Tarrant is under 24-hour surveillance with no access to media, according to news reports.He appeared via video handcuffed and seated, wearing a grey prison t-shirt. He listened calmly throughout the hearing, which lasted roughly 20 minutes.Around two dozen family members of victims and some survivors of the attacks were present in the courtroom.“The man had no emotion,” said Tofazzal Alam, a regular at one of the mosques, when asked about seeing the suspect on video.Tarrant would be represented by two Auckland lawyers, one of them, Shane Tait, said in a statement on his website, which did not include any comments on the case.Tait on Friday said he was arranging for his client to receive psychiatric assessment and that the process would take “some months”, according to court minutes.“As I observed at this morning’s hearing, that is a usual and regular step for counsel to take at this point in the proceeding,” said Judge Mander.Media had reported that Tarrant wished to represent himself and legal experts have said he may try to use the hearings as a platform to present his ideology and beliefs.“If he has lawyers, he will be speaking a lot less in court,” said Graeme Edgeler, a Wellington-based barrister and legal commentator. “He can still give evidence…that’s possible, but if he’s represented by lawyers and it goes to trial he won’t be asking questions of people.”Although journalists were able to attend and take notes, coverage of the hearing was restricted, with media only allowed to publish pixellated images of Tarrant that obscure his face. The judge also suppressed the names of people he was alleged to have attempted to murder.‘ALL HUMANS’Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern labelled the massacre an act of terrorism and quickly introduced tough new firearm laws which banned semi-automatic weapons.Muslims worldwide have praised New Zealand’s response to the massacre, with many singling out Ardern’s gesture of wearing a headscarf to meet victims’ families and urging the country to unite with the call: “We are one.”Thousands of visitors to the reopened Al Noor mosque, where 42 people were killed, have offered condolences and sought to learn more about Islam, said Israfil Hossain, who recites the daily call to prayer there.“They are coming from far just to say sorry … although they never did anything to us,” said Hossain, 26.On Thursday, a group of Carmelite nuns stood for the first time inside a mosque, holding back tears as they talked with worshippers about the two faiths.“Everybody has their own problems and they have their own ideas about religions, and that’s fine, and we should all have that, we’re all different,” said one nun, Sister Dorothea.“But we’re all humans and that’s the most important thing, our humanity.”WhatsApplast_img read more

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El Hiblu 1 Existing case law – An interview with Valentin Schatz

first_img SharePrint <a href=’http://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/ck.php?n=ab2c8853&amp;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’https://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=97&amp;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> In the first part of the interview with lawyer Valentin Schatz, we dealt with the definition of piracy. In the second part of the interview, Newsbook.com.mt asked about case law which could be comparable to the case of El Hiblu 1 in other jurisdictions. After having established that the act was not one of piracy, Schatz delved into case law.READ: El Hiblu: Piracy as defined by the international law of the sea – An interview with Valentin Schatz (Part 1)Achille LauroSchatz referred to the case of the Achille Lauro, an Italian flagged-ship which was hijacked by four men representing the Palestinian Liberation Front off the coast of Egypt, as the ship was sailing from Alexandria to Ashdod. Schatz said that one could argue that the four men were either freedom fighters or terrorists, depending on who you are asking. The men seized the ship and demanded the release of 50 Palestinian political prisoners held in Israeli jails. Schatz said that following the ordeal, most states and academics did not view the case as an act of piracy as the vessel was hijacked by passengers rather than from another vessel. In addition, there was arguably the absence of the private ends criterion, and the men were politically motivated. Case law in GermanyReferring to case law in Germany, Schatz that there were some cases in which people tried to leave their countries and migrate to other territories, however the situation was not quite comparable to the case of El Hiblu 1. He cited people leaving the German Democratic Republic during the Cold War as an example, saying that the courts had found that while it was a legitimate goal to leave, this did not justify the use of force. However Schatz underlined that in these situations, the people could not prove to be subjected to similarly severe human rights violations, including torture and rape, as at least some migrants endure in Libya. Somali pirates tried in German courtsSchatz also spoke of cases where Somali pirates were tried in German courts, after the German navy forces intervened when the incident fulfilled the requirements in the international of the sea and was deemed as an act of piracy. He explained that some of those tried unsuccessfully cited that Somalia was not a stable country, arguing that they were constrained to do what they did in order to leave Somalia as part of their defence. However again, Schatz said that this probably would not be comparable to El Hiblu 1 case, given that the rescuees were not Libyan nationals, and were they to be taken back to Libya, then they could potentially be subject to very severe human rights violations. This would not be the case if it were a Somali pirate returning to their village, Schatz explained. Schatz concluded by saying that there probably exist cases that are comparable to El Hiblu 1 and these would probably in front of national courts and that it would require a thorough research to find comparable cases.WhatsApplast_img read more

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Cash and clothes stolen from Ħamrun shop

first_img SharePrint <a href=’http://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/ck.php?n=ab2c8853&amp;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’https://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=97&amp;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> An amount of cash and branded clothes have been stolen from a clothing outlet in Ħamrun.The theft happened at around 2.15am on Thursday. The Police was informed of the case at around 3.15am.A Police spokesperson confirmed with Newsbook.com.mt that the shop is situated in Triq Ħal Qormi in Ħamrun. The Police are continuing to investigate the caseWhatsApplast_img read more

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Watch Its our duty to build the next generation of EuroMed dialogue

first_imgForeign Affairs Minister Carmelo Abela said that politicians need to find a balance between what they think is good and remaining popular, during the closing event of the Euro-Med Debate and Policy Forum organised by the Young Mediterranean Voices (YMV) on Friday.The forum was organised for the first time in Malta, and for which 60 youths aged between 18-35 years hailing from 20 different countries from the Middle East, North Africa, Europe and the Balkans were in attendance. The debate competition focused on climate change, the quality of education, equality, justice and the strengthening of institutions. Three Maltese youths participated in the debate, while two Maltese were part of the judging panel.Addressing the participants at the end of the competition, Minister Abela said that it is time that ideas generated in different fora are analysed, and the best ideas among them are given the attention they deserve by those drafting policies.He remarked that such an approach is in line with the UN Youth 2030 and EU Youth Strategy 2027, which aim to ensure that youths are placed at the front of common agenda. The Foreign Affairs Minister added that the ministry and other entities in Malta are willing to lend their support to the Anna Lindh Foundation to develop The Young Mediterranean Voices Leadership Academy.The Ministry for Foreign Affairs said that the overall objective of the Young Mediterranean Voices programme is to empower young people to enhance a culture of dialogue to contribute to public policy. Its aim is to hold an intercultural debate and creative thinking on how to transform youth voices to youth agency and leadership for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.The event was organised by Aġenzija Żgħażagħ, the Anna Lindh Foundation, the British Council, the Parliamentary Secretariat for Youth, Sport and Voluntary Organisations, and co-funded by the European Commission.Youth delegates from Algeria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Malta, Morocco, Palestine, Slovenia, Spain, Tunisia and the UK were in Malta for the forum.WhatsApp SharePrint <a href=’http://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/ck.php?n=ab2c8853&amp;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’https://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=97&amp;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a>last_img read more

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Windows 8 lifts Microsofts profit 19

first_imgAdvertisement Microsoft Windows sales spiked 23% in the company’s fiscal third quarter. Even if you exclude sales deferrals carried over from earlier in the year, Windows sales were essentially flat — that’s pretty good in a PC market that is in rapid decline.Shares of Microsoft  rose 2% after hours.The company said it was satisfied enough with the performance of Windows, which boosted profit 16% in the wake of Windows 8’s launch. Yet it seemed more excited about the performance of its other services, including Office and Xbox. – Advertisement – Microsoft said that its Office 365 cloud-based productivity suite was on pace to generate a billion dollars this year in revenue. The company also expressed satisfaction with the 46% growth of Xbox Live. Microsoft got a big boost from the Xbox and Kinect, sales of which grew a surprising 56% over last year.Microsoft is so pleased, in fact, that Chief Financial Officer Peter Klein pledged the company would stay the course on its recent strategy shift, even though that includes soft-selling tablets like the Microsoft Surface and the the Windows Phone mobile platform.“Looking ahead, we will continue to invest in long-term growth opportunities to drive our devices and services strategy forward and deliver ongoing value to shareholders,” Klein said in the company press release.Yet Klein won’t be sticking around to see that pay off. Microsoft announced the CFO will be stepping down in June, and his replacement will be named at some point over the next couple of weeks.Overall, things are looking OK for Microsoft. After a pretty drastic reinvention of its company identity, it is not only growing again, but meeting Wall Street’s expectations. It acknowledges it has a long road to travel, but surely this has to be a boost for the software giant.“While there is still work to do, we are optimistic that the bets we’ve made on Windows devices position us well for the long term,” said CEO Steve Ballmer.Going forward, Klein says the public should expect to see smaller third-party devices powered by Windows. Presumably, that means more Surface-like machines. Klein said that as Microsoft moves to increase its share in the tablet market, we should expect Windows revenue from third-party PC manufacturers to be “impacted by the declining PC market.” Not exactly a vote of confidence for the traditional laptop.The Redmond, Wash.-based software giant said operating income in its fiscal third quarter rose 19% to $7.6 billion, or 72 cents per share, for the period ended March 31. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters forecast earnings of 68 cents per share.Revenue rose 18% to $20.5 billion, meeting analysts’ forecasts.Credit: CNNlast_img read more

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Tigo Pesa returns TZS 3 Billion to customers as first quarterly payment

first_imgAdvertisement Tigo has announced today the first of its regular quarterly payments worth 3bn/- (US $ 1.8 million) to Tigo Pesa users.This payment comes three months after the company paid a staggering profit of TZS 14.25 billion (US $ 8.64 million) accumulated in the Tigo Pesa Trust Account to become the first mobile money service in the world to pay profit to its users. Tigo Pesa has a subscriber base of 3.6 million customers.Tigo General Manager Diego Gutierrez said “This second round of profit disbursement shows the company’s continued commitment to benefit and improve the lives of Tanzanians. The payment goes to all Tigo Pesa users including super agents, retail agents and individual users of the service.” – Advertisement – “The first payment was bigger due to the fact that the profit had been accumulated over a period of three and a half years. This second payment is the profit accumulated from funds held in trust in commercial banks for three months in the quarter July to September 2014,” the General Manager said.Mr Gutierrez explained that, as before, the average return to a customer will vary based on their average daily balance in their Tigo Pesa e-wallet. This applies to super-agents, retail agents and individual customers.The next installment for the quarter of October to December 2014 will be paid out in February 2015.last_img read more

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Oracle sets up office in Ghana

first_imgAdvertisement US technology company Oracle has opened its new office at the Ghana’s Airport City, in a move aimed at expanding the company’s cloud portfolio in the region and providing sales and consulting services.The company has up a regional facility that will train Ghanaian staff in technology innovation to empower them to apply Information and Communication Technology (ICT) as the main driver of Ghana’s economic transformation.Oracle’s Cluster Leader for sub-Saharan Africa Mr Cherian Varghese, said the new facility signified the growth of the company’s business in Ghana, and said they would continue to invest in the people’s development to best serve customers. – Advertisement – Cherian said Oracle Ghana understands the importance of personal engagement with its customers and partners, and their new office would give the company a great opportunity to strengthen those relationships even further.The Country Manager of Oracle Ghana, Mr Joseph Asumang said they were committed to helping organisations transition to and embrace the cloud; enabling them to transform their businesses with oracle solutions, adding that their customers were using information technology as a powerful tool, and they were saving money, while delivering services that were not possible before their partnerships.last_img read more

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Team Sonnet Quick Tap Top UCCs Smart Transport Hackathon

first_imgTeam Sonnet and Quick Tap were Thursday evening announced the overall winners of Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) Transport Management hackathon. Advertisement Team Sonnet and Quick Tap were Thursday evening announced the overall winners of Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) Transport Management hackathon.The 2-day competition which took place at the Kampala Serena Hotel is part of UCC’s annual innovation awards, ACIA.It was organized in close partnership with Makerere University School of Public Health; Resilient AfricaNetwork (RAN) with an aim to reduce road accidents in the country as well as better transport. – Advertisement – Other road usage partners including Uganda Police, the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA), the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) among others also took part.It sought for ideas on how to better manage traffic flow; with the increasing number of private cars in Uganda while most of the roads remain narrow.Team Sonnet, which was the winner, developed an app that allows roads users to ride alone safely in a car, while Quick Tap’s platform can rate and determine safe public transport.Team Sonnet and Quick Tap were Thursday evening announced the overall winners of Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) Transport Management hackathon.The two teams were both awarded with USD$500 (Roughly 1.8 million UGX) in startup capital.On why the innovators were allowed a meager 2 days, Harrient Adong, the communications manager of RAN it was meant to allow the competitors to test their thinking capacities and also prevent them from sabotaging their ideas.“Giving them limited time enables them to think to think faster, while preventing them from thinking about reasons why they ideas wouldn’t work – a common trait that hinders innovators,” she explained.Among the other teams that took part in the contest include Dynamite, Arvana, Team SSK, Phone Control App, Transpo XL, Grey Starks and Novus Terra.UCC Executive Director, Eng. Godfrey Mutabazi who handed over the cheques to the winners encouraged all other youths to embrace ICT innovation saying “it’s the way to go.”[related-posts]last_img read more

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Hydrogels deliver on bloodvessel growth

first_imghttp://news.rice.edu/files/2015/01/0120_PEPTIDE-1-WEB.jpgA microscopic image shows the extensive infiltration of robust blood vessels (red) in a new hydrogel scaffold developed at Rice University to help the healing of internal injuries. The purple cells are pericyte-like cells that surround new endothelial cells, helping to stabilize the vessels. The green cells are circulating through the new vascular system. (Credit: Vivek Kumar/Rice University) Watch a video about the new hydrogels here: http://youtu.be/Qy4kbN-SnVcRead the abstract at http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/nn506544bFollow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNewsRelated Materials:Hartgerink Research Group: http://www.ruf.rice.edu/~jdh/publist.htmlRice Department of Bioengineering: http://bioe.rice.eduImages for download: http://news.rice.edu/files/2015/01/0120_PEPTIDE-3-WEB.jpgThe proposed mechanism of healing in hydrogels developed at Rice University starts with (A) injectable peptide scaffolds that form nanofibrous hydrogels. (B) Macrophages and endothelial cells infiltrate the scaffold. (C) Vessels progress from immature (endothelial cells only) to stabilized (endothelial and pericyte cells) to mature (endothelial, pericyte and smooth muscle cells). (D) Mature neovessels rapidly form in just seven days in the subcutaneous model. (Credit: Vivek Kumar/Rice University)Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,920 undergraduates and 2,567 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is just over 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice is highly ranked for best quality of life by the Princeton Review and for best value among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. To read “What they’re saying about Rice,” go here. http://news.rice.edu/files/2015/01/0120_PEPTIDE-2-WEB.jpgRice University researchers stand with a microscope image of their synthetic peptide hydrogel, which can be injected into internal wounds to form scaffolds that help them heal quickly. From left: Jeffrey Hartgerink, Benjamin Wang, Siyu Shi and Vivek Kumar. (Credit: Jeff Fitlow/Rice University)center_img Share Editor’s note: Links to a video and images for download appear at the end of this release.David Ruth713-348-6327david@rice.eduMike Williams713-348-6728mikewilliams@rice.eduHydrogels deliver on blood-vessel growthRice researchers introduce improved injectable scaffold to promote healingHOUSTON – (Jan. 20, 2015) – Rice University scientists have found the balance necessary to aid healing with high-tech hydrogel.Rice chemist Jeffrey Hartgerink, lead author Vivek Kumar and their colleagues have created a new version of the hydrogel that can be injected into an internal wound and help it heal while slowly degrading as it is replaced by natural tissue.Hydrogels are used as a scaffold upon which cells can build tissue. The new hydrogel overcomes a host of issues that have kept them from reaching their potential to treat injuries and forming new vasculature to treat heart attack, stroke and ischemic tissue diseases.The research appears this month in the American Chemical Society journal ACS Nano.The Rice lab’s hydrogel is made of a self-assembling synthetic peptide that forms nanofiber scaffolds. Like earlier versions, the material can be injected in liquid form and turns into a nanofiber-infused gel at the site of the injury.Without blood to deliver oxygen and nutrients and carry out waste, new tissue growth is limited. So synthetic peptides that form the hydrogel incorporate a mimic of vascular endothelial growth factor, a signal protein that promotes angiogenesis, the growth of a network of blood vessels. In simulations and lab tests, the material works “extraordinarily well,” Hartgerink said.“One thing that differentiates our work is the quality of the blood vessels that are formed,” he said. “In a lot of the published literature, you see rings that only have the endothelial cell lining, and that indicates a very immature blood vessel. These types of vessels usually don’t persist, and disappear shortly after they show up.“In ours, you see that same endothelial cell layer, but surrounding it is a smooth muscle cell layer that indicates a much more mature vessel that’s likely to persist.”In previous studies, implanted synthetic materials tended to become encapsulated by fibrous barriers that kept cells and blood vessels from infiltrating the scaffold, Hartgerink said.“That is an extremely common problem in synthetic materials put into the body,” he said. “Some avoid this problem but if the body doesn’t like a material and isn’t able to destroy it, the solution is to wall it off. As soon as that happens, the flow of nutrients across that barrier decreases to almost nothing. So the fact that we’ve developed syringe-directed delivery of a material that doesn’t develop fibrous encapsulation is really important.”Characteristics of earlier hydrogels, including unwanted immune responses, surface degradation preceding their integration into biological systems and the release of artificial degradation byproducts, have also been eliminated, he said.“There are a lot of features about this hydrogel that come together to make it a unique system,” Hartgerink said. “If you look through the literature at what other people have done, each concept that is involved in our system probably exists somewhere already. The difference is that we have all these features in one place working together.”The lab based at Rice’s BioScience Research Collaborative is collaborating with Texas Heart Institute to validate the new hydrogels.Co-authors are Rice undergraduate students Nichole Taylor, Siyu Shi and Benjamin Wang and graduate students Abhishek Jalan, Marci Kang and Navindee Wickremasinghe. Kumar is a postdoctoral research fellow in Hartgerink’s group. Hartgerink is a professor of chemistry and of bioengineering.The Robert A. Welch Foundation and the National Institutes of Health supported the research.-30- FacebookTwitterPrintEmailAddThislast_img read more

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How to win friends Its not which groups you join but how

first_img graphic of global social network Return to article. Long DescriptionChen Luo and Anshumali Shrivastava (Photo by Jeff Fitlow/Rice University)The finding is based on an analysis of six online social networks with millions of members, and Shrivastava said its simplicity may come as a surprise to those who study friendship formation and the role communities play in bringing about friendships.“There’s an old saying that ‘birds of a feather flock together,’” Shrivastava said. “And that idea — that people who are more similar are more likely to become friends — is embodied in a principal called homophily, which is a widely studied concept in friendship formation.”One school of thought holds that because of homophily, the odds that people will become friends increase in some groups. To account for this in computational models of friendship networks, researchers often assign each group an “affinity” score; the more alike group members are, the higher their affinity and the greater their chances of forming friendships.Prior to social media, there were few detailed records about friendships between individuals in large organizations. That changed with the advent of social networks that have millions of individual members who are often affiliated with many communities and subcommunities within the network.“A community, for our purposes, is any affiliated group of people within the network,” Shrivastava said. “Communities can be very large, like everyone who identifies with a particular country or state, and they can be very small, like a handful of old friends who meet once a year.” Chen Luo and Anshumali Shrivastava AddThiscenter_img Return to article. Long DescriptionFinding meaningful affinity scores for hundreds of thousands of communities in online social networks has been a challenge for analysts and modelers. Calculating the odds of friendship formation is further complicated by the overlap between communities and subcommittees. For instance, if the old friends in the above example live in three different states, their small subcommunity overlaps with the large communities of people from those states. Because many individuals in social networks belong to dozens of communities and subcommunities, overlapping connections can become dense.In 2016, Shrivastava and study co-author Chen Luo, a graduate student in his research group, realized that some well-known analyses of online friendship formation failed to account for any factors arising out of overlap.“Let’s say Adam, Bob and Charlie are members of the same four communities, but in addition, Adam is a member of 16 other communities,” Shrivastava said. “The existing affiliation model says the likelihood of Adam and Charlie being friends only depends on the affinity measures of the four communities they have in common. It doesn’t matter that each of them are friends with Bob or that Adam’s being pulled in 16 other directions.”That seemed like a glaring oversight to Luo and Shrivastava, but they had an idea of how to account for it based on an analogy they saw between the overlapping subcommunities and the overlapping similarities between webpages that must be taken into account by internet search engines. One of the most popular measures for internet search is the Jaccard overlap, which was pioneered by Google scientists and others in the late 1990s.“We used this to measure overlap between communities and then checked to see if there was a relationship between overlap and friendship probability, or friendship affiliation, on six well-studied social networks,” Shrivastava said. “We found that on all six, the relationship more or less looked like a straight line.”“That implies that friendship formation can be explained merely by looking at overlap between communities,” Luo said. “In other words, you don’t need to account for affinity measures for specific communities. All that extra work is unnecessary.”Once Luo and Shrivastava saw the linear relationship between Jaccard overlap of communities and friendship formation, they also saw an opportunity to use a data-indexing method called “hashing,” which is used to organize web documents for efficient search. Shrivastava and his colleagues have applied hashing to solve computational problems as diverse as indoor location detection, the training of deep learning networks and accurately estimating the number of identified victims killed in the Syrian civil war.Shrivastava said he and Luo developed a model for friendship formation that “mimicked the way the mathematics behind the hashing work.”The model offers a simple explanation of how friendships form.“Communities are having events and activities all the time, but some of these are a bigger draw, and the preference for attending these is higher,” Shrivastava said. “Based on this preference, individuals become active in the most preferred communities to which they belong. If two people are active in the same community at the same time, they have a constant, usually small, probability of forming a friendship. That’s it. This mathematically recovers our observed empirical model.”He said the findings could be useful to anyone who wants to bring communities together and enhance the process of friendship formation.“It seems that the most effective way is to encourage people to form more subcommunities,” Shrivastava said. “The more subcommunities you have, the more they overlap, and the more likely it is that individual members will have more close friendships throughout the organization. People have long thought that this would be one factor, but what we’ve shown is this is probably the only one you have to pay attention to.”The research was supported by the National Science Foundation, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and the Office of Naval Research.-30-A high-resolution IMAGE is available for download at:http://news.rice.edu/files/2018/09/0924_FRIENDS-clas-lg-2faiyiq.jpgCAPTION: Chen Luo and Anshumali Shrivastava (Photo by Jeff Fitlow/Rice University)Related research from Rice:A better statistical estimation of known Syrian war victims — June 5, 2018http://news.rice.edu/2018/06/05/a-better-statistical-estimation-of-known-syrian-war-victims-2/Rice U. scientists slash computations for deep learning — June 1, 2017http://news.rice.edu/2017/06/01/rice-u-scientists-slash-computations-for-deep-learning/Researchers working toward indoor location detection — April 17, 2017http://news.rice.edu/2017/04/17/researchers-working-toward-indoor-location-detection/Computer Science’s Shrivastava wins NSF CAREER Award — March 6, 2017http://news.rice.edu/2017/03/06/computer-sciences-shrivastava-wins-nsf-career-award/Rice, Baylor team sets new mark for ‘deep learning’ — Dec. 16, 2016http://news.rice.edu/2016/12/16/rice-baylor-team-sets-new-mark-for-deep-learning/Rice’s energy-stingy indoor mobile locator ensures user privacy — Oct. 20, 2016http://news.rice.edu/2016/10/20/rices-energy-stingy-indoor-mobile-locator-ensures-user-privacy/Rice wins interdisciplinary ‘big data’ grant — July 12, 2016http://news.rice.edu/2016/07/12/rice-wins-interdisciplinary-big-data-grant/Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,970 undergraduates and 2,934 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is just under 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice is ranked No. 1 for lots of race/class interaction and No. 2 for quality of life by the Princeton Review. Rice is also rated as a best value among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. To read “What they’re saying about Rice,” go to http://tinyurl.com/RiceUniversityoverview. ShareDavid Ruth713-348-6327david@rice.eduJade Boyd713-348-6778jadeboyd@rice.eduHow to win friends: It’s not which groups you join, but how manyRice scientists crunch social media data to explain how communities affect friendships HOUSTON — (Sept. 26, 2018) – Your chances of forming online friendships depend mainly on the number of groups and organizations you join, not their types, according to an analysis of six online social networks by Rice University data scientists.“If a person is looking for friends, they should basically be active in as many communities as possible,” said Anshumali Shrivastava, assistant professor of computer science at Rice and co-author of a peer-reviewed study presented last month at the 2018 IEEE/ACM International Conference on Advances in Social Networks Analysis and Mining in Barcelona, Spain. “And if they want to become friends with a specific person, they should try to be a part of all the groups that person is a part of.”last_img read more

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