Category: News & Updates

CIA Records Search Tool Now Available Online

The CIA recently announced that its CREST tool is now available online.  CREST is an electronic database of records that have been declassified under the CIA’s 25 year program.  While the CREST tool only contains a subset of the declassified records, researchers were previously required to visit the National Archives in Maryland to search the database, so the online tool greatly increases the availability of these records.

The records include information about topics such as the Berlin Tunnel, Stargate Project, and Secret Writing.  Users can browse the archive or use the website’s advanced search feature to search the records.  To learn more about CREST, visit the CIA website.

Are Lawsuits the New Strategy for Fighting the Opiod Epidemic?

Almost every day, the news reports alarming statistics on opioid use.  In 2015, 229 individuals died from heroin and prescription overdoses in King County alone. The current opioid epidemic is straining the budgets of law enforcement and courts across the country.  Now the city of Everett, Washington has come up with a new strategy.

On January 19, Everett filed suit against Purdue Pharma in the Snohomish County Superior Court. While there has been much litigation against drug manufacturers for deceptive marketing practices, this suit is different.  It seeks to explicitly hold Purdue accountable for the economic strain the opioid problem has caused in Everett. In the complaint, the city of Everett alleges that Purdue failed to stop their product from being funneled onto the black market, willfully ignoring “suspicious doctors and pharmacies.” The complaint goes on to argue, ” Everett has incurred and will continue to incur sizable costs in dealing with the OxyContin (and consequent heroin) abuse, addiction, and crime caused by Purdue, including the expenditure of substantial sums to address the social and economic impacts of the opioid epidemic in Everett. For example, Everett has spent, and will need to continue to spend, significant money on law enforcement, prosecution, emergency medical services, prisons and jails, probation, and public works. Other departments of Everett, including the municipal courts, fire department, and parks department, have also been forced to devote substantial time, money, and resources to the harms caused by Purdue. Everett has also suffered lost economic opportunity as a result of Purdue’s wrongdoing.” The lawsuit came after a 2016 Los Angeles Times investigation reported that Purdue had evidence of illegal trafficking but failed to act.

But will it work? Most law professors weighing in are skeptical, but it will be interesting to see how this plays out. If the court rules for Everett, we could see a flurry of such suits across the country as cash-strapped municipalities struggle to cover costs.

 

Read the original version of this article here. Learn more about this lawsuit here.

University of Minnesota’s Immigration History Research Center Launches #ImmigrationSyllabus

Earlier this year, immigration historians from across the country launched #ImmigrationSyllabus, a website and educational resource to help the public understand the deep historical roots of today’s immigration debates. Created in partnership with the University of Minnesota’s Immigration History Research Center and the Immigration and Ethnic History Society and made available through the University of Minnesota Libraries, #ImmigrationSyllabus is a tool for teaching, learning and advocacy. #ImmigrationSyllabus is available online at immigrationsyllabus.umn.edu.

“I am proud to be collaborating with colleagues across the United States in this important initiative,” said Erika Lee, director of the Immigration History Research Center at the U of M. “With current debates and federal actions on immigration, understanding the historical context of immigration in this nation is more vital than ever.”

The syllabus seeks to provide historical context to current debates over immigration reform, integration, and citizenship. The syllabus follows a chronological overview of U.S. immigration history, but it also includes thematic weeks that cover salient issues in political discourse today such as xenophobia, deportation policy, and border policing. Listing essential topics and readings and linking to historical documents and multimedia sources, #ImmigrationSyllabus helps answer important questions such as:

  • Who has come to the United States and why?
  • Why has immigration been such a hotly debated topic then – and now?
  • When and why did the U.S. start building walls and banning and deporting immigrants?
  • What were the consequences of those policies?
  • What’s “new” about new immigration to the United States?
  • What lessons might we learn as we move forward?

Part of a recent academic movement to respond to pressing current events, the #ImmigrationSyllabus follows the #TrumpSyllabus, which helped readers understand the Donald Trump’s political success during the 2016 Presidential campaign; the #FergusonSyllabus, which inspired conversations about race, violence and activism in classrooms; and the #StandingRockSyllabus, which heightened awareness of the Dakota Access Pipeline and placed the #NoDAPL protests into historical context.

 

Find the original article here.

Better Than Google? 7 Search Engines You Should Try

When you pop open your browser and prepare to do a web search, do you use Google?

There is no argument about Google being a reliable and popular search engine. But if you are interested in one that suits your specific interest, search type, or desire to help others, then check out these awesome seven alternatives.

 How Do Search Engines Work? To many people, Google IS the internet. It’s arguably the most important invention since the Internet itself. And while search engines have changed a lot since, the underlying principles are still the same. Read More

For Privacy Concerns

If you are looking for a search engine that cares about your privacy, one of these two options might be just what you need.

  1. DuckDuckGo

When it comes to keeping your personal information safe, DuckDuckGo flies to the top of the search engine list. As their policy states, they do not collect or share your personal details, store your search history, or track you, even when you are using private browsing mode.

Like Google, DuckDuckGo offers categories at the top to narrow down your search, like web, images, or videos. And depending on your search term, those may change from products to recipes to news. The search engine also contains a couple of filters that you can apply.

8 Search Tricks That Work on DuckDuckGo but Not on Google Google Search is king. But DuckDuckGo has earned a loyal fan following. It has a few unusual features that even Google doesn’t have. Read More

What you will notice about DuckDuckGo when you first search is that the results page is not paginated. So rather than scrolling a short way and clicking to move to the next page of results, you will see them all on one page with a Load More option. Alternatively, you can jump to specific sections of results that are displayed at the top.

So depending on your search results display preference in relation to your privacy concerns, DuckDuckGo is certainly worth a try.

  1. StartPage by Ixquick

StartPage by Ixquick is another great choice if privacy is your concern. This search engine protects your privacy by not recording your IP address, has a high SSL encryption score, and has received seals and certifications in the privacy industry.

Since the search results you receive from StartPage come from Google Search, the basic differences are appearance and settings.

With StartPage your filtering options are displayed on the left for timeframe. Your settings can be accessed from the three-line icon on the top right. You can adjust settings for language, theme, search features, results appearance, and privacy.

If you really want to stick with the results you get from Google, but still want to go the more private route with your searches, check out StartPage by Ixquick.

For Multimedia

Google does have a nice way to locate multimedia options within search results by clicking that category at the top. But, if you prefer a more concentrated search for images, videos, and sound effects, then look at these specific search type options.

  1. Vimeo for Videos

Owned by Google, YouTube is a huge resource for videos of all kinds. But Vimeo has its place in that market too. So you do not have to limit yourself when searching for that instructional, informative, or simply hilarious video clip.

Vimeo offers an easy-to-use interface with a handy sorting feature. You can also narrow down your results with filters for category, upload date, duration, price, and license. And like Google’s YouTube, you can follow other users, like and comment on videos, and save your favorites.

The most noticeable difference between YouTube and Vimeo is the number of results you will receive for your search. YouTube still leads the way, but just remember that Vimeo is a solid option as well.

You can also meet your video search needs with interesting search engines like:

  • blinkx — Search for videos by keywords and also content (conceptual search).
  • Bing Video — Search includes YouTube, Yahoo, Vimeo and other video hosting sites.
  • AOL Video — A powerful search engine which uses its own player for the videos in the results.
  1. Yahoo for Images

When it comes to searching for images, whether for business or pleasure, an important search feature is filtering. Yahoo’s image search does very well in this aspect. To begin, your results will show you many image options from Flickr and the web.

You can then filter your image results by color and size, which is convenient. In addition, you can choose a media type such as photo, GIF, portrait, and clip art and even pick a license option, making it perfect for commercial use.

While you can select the Images category by searching Yahoo’s main search engine, you can also head directly to the Yahoo image search site. So just keep this search engine in mind the next time you seek that perfect image.

  1. FindSounds for Sound Effects

For finding sound effects for your company or personal use, FindSounds is a terrific search engine. You can filter your results before you even begin your search using the convenient checkboxes and drop-down boxes. Pick your file format, number of channels, minimum resolution, and minimum sample rate.

From animals to vehicles and everything in between, you can easily search by category in addition to entering a search term. And when your results display, you will see just enough details surrounding the sound effect. Then choose between playing the clip or finding similar ones.

Finding sound effects using Google is always an option, but with FindSounds you have a specific sound bite engine for speeding up your search.

The Secrets Of Google Advanced Search: 5 Websites With Tips For You To Learn From The Web is a maze and you need more than a few standard operators to wade through it. To come out successfully on the other end, you need to power search. Your weapon of choice… Read More

For Giving Back

If you are not picky when it comes to your search engine choice and simply use Google for convenience, then try an option that helps you give back. These two engines might just make you feel good with every search.

  1. Ecosia

When you use Ecosia for your searches, you can take pride in helping the environment. The company donates at least 80 percent of their monthly profits to plant trees in locations like Peru and Madagascar. Due to Ecosia, over six million trees have been planted as of this writing.

When you use Ecosia for your search engine, you will see a counter at the top showing how many trees you have helped to plant. The company uses their ads to generate the revenue. However, even if you do not click an ad, you are still assisting the company by increasing their user base.

If you are interested in joining an environmental movement with your searches, then definitely check out Ecosia.

10 Search Engines To Help The EnvironmentRead More

  1. Lilo

Lilo is another search engine that uses its revenue to assist causes. The company supports environmental, social, health, and educational projects with 50 percent of their advertising revenue. And to take Lilo one step further, the search engine does not collect your personal information or allow for ad-tracking.

Every time you perform a search with Lilo, you earn a drop of water that equals one point and corresponds to the money you are generating. Plus, you can decide which projects you would like to help.

If you like the idea of giving back and would love to assist various projects with a simple search, give Lilo a try.

Will You Keep Using Google or Move On?

Whether it is for privacy, specific searches, or helping charitable causes, there are certainly reasons that these options are better than Google in their missions.

 

Read the original version of this article here.

New Online Screening Tool Helps Undocumented Immigrants Learn About Options And Find Free Legal Help

The day President Donald Trump announced plans to move forward with construction of a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border and restrict immigration from Muslim-majority countries, Matthew Burnett launched his nonprofit’s new online tool for undocumented immigrants.

The Immigration Advocates Network, where Burnett is director, has created immi.org, an online tool site that allows undocumented immigrants and those with temporary status to answer questions about their personal histories, helping them figure out exactly which protections, pathways to citizenship, or legal assistance they could be eligible for.

Approximately 1.5 million undocumented immigrants in the United States could be eligible for immigration benefits but do not know about it, Burnett said. And when they do navigate the complicated application process, it could cost up to $2,000 in lawyer’s fees.

“We need to be laser-focused on getting as many immigrants as possible aware of their options to protect their future,” he told Mashable. “If a benefit is available to get on the road to immigration or citizenship, they’re going to be protected from all those things we worry about.”

Most other immigration resources focus on filling out applications — not guidance on which applications people should actually complete. Immi.org takes care of the very first steps, helping anyone with questions about their immigration options figure out which path to pursue.

For example, someone who logs on to immi.org could discover that they are eligible for protections if they are a victim of certain crimes, a survivor of domestic violence, or from a country subject to civil war or natural disaster.

After answering the initial questions, the English and Spanish-language site then connects its users with local nonprofit legal centers and information on undocumented immigrants’ rights. As a security measure, any identifying information is collected separately from personal answers to questions about immigration status.

Along with undocumented immigrants, those with temporary status can figure out their next steps, and lawful permanent residents — such as green card holders — can learn about paths toward naturalization.

The only people who cannot use the site are potential immigrants who are not yet in the United States, or anyone who is already in deportation proceedings.

Supported by Open Society Foundations, the MacArthur Foundation and other donors, the civil legal aid organization Immigration Advocates Network started working on this project with the legal group Pro Bono Net about a year ago — before Trump even gained the Republican nomination for president.

If rules surrounding immigration change under the Trump administration, the site will adapt to ensure immigrants’ information is protected, and that its users are directed to their best paths forward in the United States.

“Our goal is to get information and resources available 24/7,” Burnett said.

 

Read the original article here.

Black History Month and Race Relations in the United States

Each February, Americans honor both people and significant events in African-American history during Black History Month, also known as African-American History Month.

Among the myriad reasons Black History Month is important is the under-representation of people of color in standard history classes. For instance, the recently released biographical drama Hidden Figures depicts the story of three female African-American mathematicians who worked at NASA and were integral in getting American astronauts into space. Their names are nowhere near as widely discussed as John Glenn or Neil Armstrong, though their contributions to the space program were arguably as important.

Because under-representation of African Americans in traditionally-taught history has long been a problem, Black History Week was created in 1926. It was officially expanded in 1976 to include the entire month of February. In addition to the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom also celebrate Black History Month.

Last year, this HeinOnline blog post discussed key figures in African-American legal history. Since that post was published, the topic of race relations continues to permeate headlines and American culture generally. Consider these 2016 Gallup poll numbers:

  • 53% of adults believe relations between whites and blacks are very good or somewhat good.
  • 46% of adults believe relations between whites and blacks are very bad or somewhat bad.
  • 55% of white adults believe relations between whites and blacks are very good or somewhat good.
  • 44% of white adults believe relations between whites and blacks are very bad or somewhat bad.
  • 49% of black adults believe relations between whites and blacks are very good or somewhat good.
  • 50% of black adults believe relations between whites and blacks are very bad or somewhat bad.

These numbers show that, while Americans are divided fairly evenly on this issue, more Black Americans believe race relations are very bad or somewhat bad than do their white counterparts. It is also important to note that the percentage of both white and black Americans who believe relations between whites and blacks to be very bad was higher in 2015 and 2016 compared with 2013. This chart also shows a decrease in the percentage of both whites and blacks who say relations are very good or somewhat good during this same time period:

These differences may not be significant enough to indicate a long-term downward trend, so future polls will be important in determining this information.

A search in HeinOnline for “race relations” AND “United States” AND “blacks and whites” produces more than 2,200 results from the Law Journal Library and nearly 800 results from U.S. Congressional Documents. Sort the journal results by Volume Date (Newest First) to find material from 2016 back to 1909, which indicates that this topic has been the subject of legal scholarship for more than 100 years.

Slavery in America and the World: History, Culture & Law

In October of 2016, HeinOnline released a new database called Slavery in America and the World: History, Culture & Law. This collection brings together, for the first time, all essential legal materials on slavery in the United States and the English-speaking world. This includes every statute passed by every colony and state on slavery, every federal statute dealing with slavery, and all reported state and federal cases on slavery. Case coverage extends into the 20th century because long after slavery was ended, there were still court cases based on issues emanating from slavery.

This database was made available at no charge for anyone with an interest in the topic. There were many reasons for the decision to make this a free database, among those being the current racial climate in the United States and the desire to promote educational tools which may potentially help facilitate an open and positive dialogue on this important and sensitive subject.

Books and pamphlets contained within the database have been indexed and categorized for convenient browsing and searching. For example, a search for the phrase “fugitive slave laws” produces more than 200 results. The facets in the left viewing pane enable researchers to refine results by document type, topic, position on slavery, jurisdiction, and more:

Note that terms matching the search phrase are highlighted in yellow within the search result text snippets. Options to print, download, email, or save documents in a MyHein personal research account are available on the right side of each result.

If you have not yet registered for free access to Slavery in America and the World: History, Culture & Law, you may do so here. To learn more about this resource and read the editor-in-chief’s introduction, visit http://home.heinonline.org/slavery/.

 

Read the original version of this article on Hein Online.

The Ninth Circuit Faces Uncertain Future As Immigration Case Looms

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is receiving a large amount of attention in the battle over President Trump’s immigration executive order. If some lawmakers have their way, however, then the court could soon be split up into two courts.

This weekend, two judges on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals bench asked for more information from the Trump administration and its opponents about the constitutionality of the executive order, after a federal judge in Washington state issued a temporary restraining order.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals could be the last stop in the quickly evolving legal struggle over President Trump’s order before the dispute gets to the Supreme Court. But it will not be the last time the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is in the national news.

Shortly after November’s general election, congressional Republicans started working on a bill that would remove six states from the Ninth Circuit to create a new federal judicial district. (A similar bill was stalled in Congress last year.)

Currently, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has jurisdiction over cases originating in Alaska, Arizona, California, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Northern Mariana Islands, Oregon and Washington state that pertain to federal laws and issues related to federal constitutional claims.

The newly created 12th Circuit would include Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, and Washington state. Representative Mike Simpson of Idaho and Senators Jeff Flake and John McCain of Arizona are leading the current effort to get the legislation approved in Congress.

In a statement, Senator Flake said the action was needed because the Ninth Circuit is “oversized and overworked.” Flake cited the size of the court’s workload – it hears 33 percent more cases than any other federal circuit – and the failure rate of its cases accepted by the Supreme Court as reasons for the move.

“With problems like these, we are left to ask: Is the Ninth Circuit simply too big to succeed? If you are an Arizonan, the answer is unquestionably yes,” Flake said.

Critics of the move point to the Ninth Circuit’s reputation as one of the more liberal federal circuits in the country and that the move is an effort to create a federal district more friendly to Arizona and some other states.

The Ninth Circuit currently has 18 judges appointed by Democrats and seven appointed by Republicans, with four vacancies that can be filled by President Trump. Currently, seven of the nine judges in the prospective 12th Circuit states were appointed by Democratic Presidents.

The federal judiciary is organized into 12 regional circuit court systems that combine various states and the District of Columbia, and a Federal Circuit appeals court based in Washington, D.C., that hears dispute from other federal courts.

The last time a new Circuit Court Of Appeals was created was back in 1980, when Congress passed an act that created the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, with Alabama, Florida and George moving from the Fifth Circuit into the 11th Circuit. The former Fifth Circuit had 26 judges and also faced scheduling and logistical problems.

Read the original version of this article on Constitution Daily.

New Search Tool for African American History

The University of Minnesota library recently launched Umbra Search African American History, a search interface that provides access to over 400,000 digitized materials that document African American history. These are freely available resources that are in the digital collections of more than a thousand partner libraries, archives, museums and other institutions located across the United States. The materials include music, oral histories, photographs, maps, handwritten letters, and more. Director of the project Cecily Marcus says:

“No library is able to digitize all of its holdings, but by bringing together materials from all over the country, Umbra Search allows students and scholars to tell stories that have never been told before. Umbra Search partners have amazing collections, and now those materials can sit side by side with related content from a library on the other side of the country.”

Immigration “Know Your Rights” Presentation at Highline College

WHEN? Saturday, February 4th, 2017

WHAT TIME? 10:00am – 12:00pm

WHERE? Highline College, Student Union Building (Building 8), 2400 S. 240th Street, Des Moines, WA 98198

Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP) is organizing a community education event to discuss changes to immigration policy for this Saturday, February 4th, at 10:00am at Highline College in Des Moines. The community presentation will explain the new executive orders issued by President Trump and other changes to immigration policy. Learn about your options and your legal rights. Presentations will be available in English and Spanish. Attorneys will be available to answer individual questions.

Learn more & RSVP:

https://www.nwirp.org/know-your-rights-presentation-at-highline-college/

https://www.facebook.com/events/955801097854316/

“Este sábado: Presentación Sobre los Cambios a la Política de Inmigración”

“Venga a un evento donde explicaremos las nuevas ordenes ejecutivas del presidente Trump y otros cambios a la política de inmigración.  Aprenda acerca se sus opciones y sus derechos legales.  Tendremos presentaciones en ingles y español y abogados estarán disponibles para responder a preguntas.”

Sábado 4 de febrero, 2017

10 a.m al mediodia

Highline College

Student Union Building (Edificio 8)

2400 S. 240th St.

Des Moines, WA 98198

New Databases and Titles in the Library (November/December 2016)

Slavery in America and the World: This database is a collection of books, papers, cases, etc. from various donor brought together to give a more rounded view of slavery. You can read more about it here. This database is available through HeinOnline.

Art Law: Art Law in a Nutshell, 5th Ed. by Leonard D. DuBoff, Christy A. King, and Michael D. Murray, located at KF 4288.D83 2017

Civil Procedure: E-Discovery for Everyone by Ralph C. Losey, located at KF 8902.E42 L675 2016

Contract Law: Contracts in a Nutshell, 8th Ed. by Claude D. Rohwer, Anthony M. Skrocki, and Michael P. Malloy, located at KF 801.Z9 R64 2017

Family Law: Mastering Crucial Moments in Separation and Divorce: A Multidisciplinary Guide to Excellence in Practice and Outcome by Kate Scharff, M.S.W. and Lisa Herrick, PH.D, located at KF 535.S255 2016

Intellectual Property: Legal Guide to Video Game Development, 2nd Ed. edited by Ross Dannenberg, located at KF 3024.C6 L44 2016

Labor Law:

  • How Arbitration Works, 8th Ed. by Frank Elkouri, located at KF 3424.E53 2016
  • Inherited IRAs: what every practitioner should know, 2017 Ed. by Seymour Goldberg, CPA, MBA, JD, located at KF 3510.G65 2017
  • Labor and Employment Arbitration in a Nutshell, 3rd Ed. by Dennis R. Nolan, located at KF 3425.N65 2017

Public Safety: Fifty State Survey: Toxic Exposure Claims by Products Liability Committee, located at KF 3958.T68 2016

Zoning Law: The Zoning and Land Use Handbook by Ronald S. Cope, located at KF 5698.C63 2016