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News Article | February 24, 2017
Site: www.cnet.com

It's a source of anxiety for any parent: getting rid of your child's beloved toy. That's exactly what regulators in Germany told citizens to do with My Friend Cayla. And it wasn't enough to just throw Cayla away; parents actually had to destroy the blonde, peppy-looking doll. The smart toy, which records conversations with kids, fell into the category of "hidden espionage devices," according to the regulators. My Friend Cayla was accused of asking children personal questions, like their favorite shows and toys, and saving the data to send to a third-party company that also makes voice identification products for police. Just a day after the German ban was announced, Toy Fair kicked off in New York -- and smart toys were all over the place. Teddy Ruxpin, the storytelling bear beloved by '80s babies, returned with a high-tech makeover, as did Hologram Barbie, a voice-assistant animated sequel to the controversial Hello Barbie. Toy Fair also featured smart toy newcomers like Woobo, essentially a cuddly version of the Amazon Echo and Google Home speakers. The contrasts illustrate the fine line between protecting one's privacy and the desire to create compelling and engaging products. It's the same broader debate that's raging throughout the technology and consumer electronics world, with companies like Google hoovering up personal data to better serve you ads. Only this time, the issue affects impressionable children. Smart toys are a multibillion-dollar industry that's only getting larger as more kids are growing up connected and clamoring for the next high-tech distraction. Parents are flocking to connected toys for tots, with one research firm predicting that revenue for smart toys will reach $8.8 billion by 2020. The booming market could be blowing up even faster if only children's online privacy concerns weren't in the way, members of the toy industry lamented at Toy Fair. While parents are looking out for their kids' safety and privacy, toymakers say data collection is necessary to make the next generation's iconic toy. The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act, passed in 1998, requires companies targeting kids under 13 to get consent from parents before collecting personal information from children, as well as allowing parents to review any data a company collects on their kids. The data also must be deleted within 30 days of its use. COPPA's author, Sen. Edward Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat, questioned the makers of My Friend Cayla about potential violations of the act "given the sensitive nature of children's recorded speech." "To take smart toys to the next level of engagement and give kids what they want, you have to take data and create an engaging experience that's connected to their friends and based on their persona," said Krissa Watry, CEO of Dynepic, the company behind iOKids, a social media platform for children and their parents. Watry originally tried to create a smart toy but stopped after finding security and privacy for children a massive burden for toy companies -- a fate she's seen elsewhere among her peers. "This is why the 5-12 category sucks," Watry said at the Digital Kids conference earlier this week, commenting on COPPA's restrictions on toy innovations. Companies have been moving cautiously when it comes to smart toys because children's privacy gets a great deal of scrutiny. One mistake, and you could end up being banned in Germany. The folks at Woobo are walking that thin line with their smart toy, a cuddly companion with a screen for a face, touch sensors on its belly and microphones around its head. They're looking to develop a voice assistant that learns how to talk with kids -- mispronunciations and all. To do that, it needs to keep recordings of children playing with it so the artificial intelligence can learn how to process language, said Tony Landek, Woobo's product manager. It's the same reason Amazon saves all its voice data from the Echo and Apple does so with Siri recordings. The difference is that Amazon and Apple aren't primarily recording children. Landek said Woobo plans on abiding by COPPA's regulations and deleting all recordings stored within 30 days. His hope is that the artificial intelligence learning is so efficient that eventually it wouldn't need to store recordings. But he admits that's a pipe dream, so his plan for now is to be as transparent as possible about storing children's data. It's still in the works, but Landek is considering a dashboard on which parents can see everything that's being recorded in a simple way, and delete it if they'd like. He believes that with smart toys, privacy isn't the issue, transparency is. "We've talked to a lot of parents and they think that's awesome that their toys can improve over time with their kids talking to to it," Landek said. "We tell them what data we're going to collect, and they don't seem too flustered by it." People in the industry argue that parents don't care that companies are watching their kids, they just want to be aware of it. Toymakers see collecting data on children as a necessity to making smart toys better. With social media giants like Facebook and Google collecting data on users to make their products better, toy companies feel they are being excluded from a treasure trove. "The government would love to make a zero-data policy on kids," Watry said. "We as an industry need to stop them, because the only people who will win is everybody else." The Electronic Privacy Information Center, which first accused My Friend Cayla of violating COPPA laws in a US Federal Trade Commission complaint, is firmly against constant surveillance on kids. Children are particularly vulnerable to ads, and susceptible to psychological development issues when raised getting used to toys that record their conversations, said Claire Gartland, EPIC's director. Toys that kids trust and confide in as friends shouldn't be used as data-mining tools, she said. Genesis Toys, the company behind My Friend Cayla, did not respond to requests for comment. "It sounds really dystopian to me, to have to train kids to guard themselves against surveillance," Gartland said. "There's no reason these voice recordings need to be retained indefinitely." For now, those recordings are the easiest way to improve how connected toys play with kids. The balancing act is getting easier as parents are becoming more aware of the data collection, and toy companies can see their failures as warnings on what not to do. "We don't want to have the German chancellor tell everyone to smash up your Woobo," Landek said. "It's soft and fluffy, so it will be harder." Special Reports: All of CNET's most in-depth features in one easy spot. It's Complicated: This is dating in the age of apps. Having fun yet? These stories get to the heart of the matter.


News Article | February 24, 2017
Site: www.npr.org

On Thursday morning, law enforcement entered the Oceti Sakowin camp to do a final sweep before officially shutting it down, ending a months-long protest against the completion of the nearby Dakota Access Pipeline. The Oceti Sakowin camp was the largest of several temporary camps on the northern edge of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota. Protesters have been living on this land for months, in support of members of the Standing Rock Sioux. Supporters have said that running the pipeline under under a part of the Missouri River known as Lake Oahe would jeopardize the primary water source for the reservation, and construction would damage sacred sites, violating tribal treaty rights. The river crossing is the last major piece of the pipeline that remains unfinished. The North Dakota Joint Information Center reports that 46 people were arrested today. Others left the camp voluntarily throughout the day, according to a news release from the center. The arrests were nonviolent, though in several instances small groups of protestors stood peacefully in front of police lines until they were detained. Lt. Tom Iverson of the North Dakota Highway Patrol said that 200 police officers were on site, with officers from various North Dakota agencies, and others from as far as Alabama, Wisconsin, and Indiana. A line of officers, prepped with riot gear and supported by about a dozen Humvees, made their way slowly through the camp as the day wore on, checking every standing shelter, and arresting the people who remained. Citing flooding and safety concerns, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum had set Wednesday as the evacuation deadline for the camp, but after ten arrests and lengthy negotiations with protesters, police suspended the operation until this morning. As part of the effort to encourage people to leave, the state sent a bus to the site to transport people to Bismarck, where officials had set up a transition center, and offered hotel and bus vouchers. The governor explained that those who left willingly would not face charges. However, after only nine people used the center on Wednesday, it was closed today due to lack of use, according to state Emergency Services spokeswoman Cecily Fong. The Morton County Sheriff's department tweeted that camp was completely cleared by 2:09 p.m. local time, though afterward approximately 100 people stood on the opposite bank of the Cannonball River, singing and praying as police set up barricades to block off the site that had been the Oceti camp.


News Article | February 19, 2017
Site: news.yahoo.com

This undated booking photo provided by the Arizona Department of Corrections shows Joseph Wood. Executions in Arizona have been on hold since the 2014 death of convicted killer Wood, who was given 15 doses of the sedative midazolam and a painkiller and who took nearly two hours to die. Arizona has recently changed its death-penalty procedures by letting inmates seek the lethal-injection drugs that will be used in their executions. The new policy emerged in a lawsuit protesting the way Arizona carries out the death penalty.(Arizona Department of Corrections via AP) PHOENIX (AP) — The recent revelation that condemned prisoners in Arizona can now provide the lethal drugs to be used in their executions has received attention around the world and raised questions about the state's rules for the death penalty. The novel policy has drawn sneers from defense attorneys who were puzzled as to why the state would think that they would assist in killing their clients. It has inspired wisecracks about Arizona's penchant for taking on envelope-pushing criminal justice policies and left some readers on social media asking whether the bring-your-own-drugs policy was actually the product of a news parody website. Criminal defense lawyers and death penalty experts say they have never heard of a state suggesting that condemned inmates can line up drugs to be used in their executions. However unlikely it is that any of Arizona's 119 death-row inmates will take up the offer, the change is a reflection of the difficulties that Arizona, like other states, faces in finding execution drugs now that European pharmaceutical companies have blocked the use of their products for lethal injections. Executions in Arizona have been on hold since the 2014 death of convicted killer Joseph Rudolph Wood, who was given 15 doses of the sedative midazolam and a painkiller and who took nearly two hours to die. The state will not be able to carry out executions until the resolution of a lawsuit that alleges Arizona has abused its discretion in the methods and amounts of drugs used in past executions. The state hasn't publicly explained its aim in taking on the new policy, which surfaced last month in the lawsuit. The Arizona Department of Corrections, which carries out executions, didn't respond to requests for comment. The Arizona Attorney General's Office, which is defending the state in the lawsuit, declined to comment. Under the policy, the state's top prison official would be required, in one execution drug protocol, to use the barbiturate pentobarbital that's obtained by lawyers for inmates or someone acting on their behalf. The corrections director also would have the choice of picking one of two drug protocols involving the sodium pentothal if the barbiturate is obtained on behalf of a prisoner. Douglas Berman, an Ohio State University law professor who has expertise in the death penalty, views the change as a pushback against the conditions that have made the drugs unavailable. "I think the idea is to say in the protocol, 'You guys want pentobarbital? Then get it. If you can get us the drugs, we'll use them,' " Berman said. No, said Dale Baich, an assistant federal public defender who represents the inmates in the lawsuit. He explained that the policy is unfeasible because the Controlled Substances Act prohibits attorneys and inmates from getting the drugs. "As a lawyer, I just can't go to local Walgreens and pick up a couple of vials of pentobarbital," Baich said. It's the responsibility of the state, not condemned prisoners, to carry out executions, Baich added. The policy would seem to appeal to inmates who have abandoned their appeals and want to speed up their executions. But Baich said the Controlled Substances Act would still prevent those prisoners from getting lethal-injection drugs. Robert Dunham, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center, which has been critical of the way executions are carried out in the United States, said the policy also raises ethical concerns. Death-penalty lawyers are supposed to zealously represent their clients and have a duty not to take actions that harm them, Dunham said. "No one has done it before, and the fact that it is impossible, impractical, illegal and unethical may have something to do with that," he said. WILL INMATES REALLY SEEK THEIR OWN EXECUTION DRUGS? Timothy Agan, a longtime criminal defense lawyer in Phoenix who has handled several death penalty cases, said he can't imagine condemned prisoners lining up to seek their own execution drugs and couldn't foresee a situation in which the policy would be used. He described his initial reaction to the policy by playing off a joke that comedian Jon Stewart made in summing up Arizona's reputation for antiestablishment, we'll-do-things-our-way approach to governing. "I saw that and shook my head and thought, 'This is truly the meth lab of democracy,' " Agan said. "A truly crazy idea." Follow Jacques Billeaud at twitter.com/jacquesbilleaud. His work can be found at https://www.apnews.com/search/jacques%20billeaud.


News Article | February 22, 2017
Site: globenewswire.com

CLEARWATER, Fla., Feb. 21, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- On May 13th, 2017, “Broadway and Beyond” will revisit the historic Clearwater Building to perform Broadway favorites in a special tribute honoring mothers and families of all generations. Doors open at 6:30pm. Complimentary refreshments will be served. All are welcome. There is no charge to attend, but seating is limited. A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/10544957-59ab-4beb-bbad-543bcd5a5637 The singing duo Joanie Sigal and Tom Godfrey of “Broadway and Beyond” launched their musical career together in the lobby of the Historic Clearwater Building in 1996. Last year, they filled the very same Clearwater Building, commemorating their 20-year anniversary with a concert, “A Touch of Broadway”. After the concert, Clearwater resident Susanne Epple said, “Thank you for the beautiful evening! It was truly enjoyable. I think you have established a real cultural center for the community with such events.” Their performance on May 13th will reflect the precept “Honor and help your parents” from The Way to Happiness the non-religious common sense guide for better living written by L. Ron Hubbard. The pair will perform songs from well-known Broadway plays such as The King and I, Beauty and the Beast, Cats and Phantom of the Opera. The Historic Clearwater Building is located in Downtown Clearwater on the corner of Cleveland Street and Fort Harrison Ave. The building was erected in 1918 as the first Bank of Clearwater, and was purchased in 1975 by the Church of Scientology. It was fully restored in 2015. Since then it has served as the Scientology Information Center. The Information Center is open to all and provides answers to questions about Scientology through its audio visual displays, exhibits and publications. The Center provides monthly music concerts and events open to the community. To learn more about the facility or to RSVP please contact Amber at 727-467-6966 or amber@cos.flag.org. The Scientology religion was founded by humanitarian and philosopher, L. Ron Hubbard. The first Church of Scientology was formed in the United States in 1954 and has expanded to more than 11,000 churches, missions and affiliated groups in 167 nations. The Church of Scientology regularly engages in humanitarian programs and community events. Clearwater is the home of the spiritual headquarters for the Church of Scientology. For more information please visit www.scientology-fso.org.


CLEARWATER, Fla., March 01, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Clearwater natives, long-term residents and out-of-state visitors gathered Saturday afternoon, 25th of February at the Historic Fort Harrison for a tour of two historic buildings owned by the Church of Scientology Flag Service Organization. The tour began at the Fort Harrison, the Church of Scientology’s Religious Retreat and 90-year-old icon, with a brief introduction as to how the Fort Harrison got its name. Guests toured the Crystal Ballroom with its chandelier of 11,000 Bohemian crystals, oval oak wood dance floor and panoramic view of the inter-coastal water way. Next guests viewed one of the 220 guest rooms, the Tea Lounge, board rooms, restaurants and gift shop. The tour then took visitors to the Clearwater Building, located on the corner of Cleveland Street and Fort Harrison Avenue. Originally built in 1918 and serving as the home to the first Clearwater Bank, the building was purchased in 1975 by the Church of Scientology for administrative purposes. In July 2015, the Church fully restored the building and re-opened it as the Scientology Information Center open to the community. The Center houses a gallery of audio-visual displays with some 400 videos allowing guests a self-guided tour showing basic Scientology beliefs, who L. Ron Hubbard was, Churches around the world and ongoing social programs. The Manager of the Center informed guests of the architectural history of the building and answered questions about Scientology’s religious nature, how the Church helps in the community, the difference between the staff of the Church and parishioners and more. One local resident named Jeff said, “I expected a lot from this tour and got way more than I expected out of it. Keep up the good work!” The tour concluded with a gift bag and complimentary brochure covering the Church of Scientology’s activities in the local community for the year 2016. The next Historical Buildings Tour is on March 25th. To learn more about the tour or to RSVP please contact Amber at 727-467-6966 or amber@cos.flag.org. The Scientology religion was founded by humanitarian and philosopher, L. Ron Hubbard. The first Church of Scientology was formed in the United States in 1954 and has expanded to more than 11,000 churches, missions and affiliated groups in 167 nations. The Church of Scientology regularly engages in humanitarian programs and community events. Clearwater is the home of the spiritual headquarters for the Church of Scientology. For more information please visit www.scientology-fso.org.


CLEARWATER, Fla., March 01, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Clearwater natives, long-term residents and out-of-state visitors gathered Saturday afternoon, 25th of February at the Historic Fort Harrison for a tour of two historic buildings owned by the Church of Scientology Flag Service Organization. The tour began at the Fort Harrison, the Church of Scientology’s Religious Retreat and 90-year-old icon, with a brief introduction as to how the Fort Harrison got its name. Guests toured the Crystal Ballroom with its chandelier of 11,000 Bohemian crystals, oval oak wood dance floor and panoramic view of the inter-coastal water way. Next guests viewed one of the 220 guest rooms, the Tea Lounge, board rooms, restaurants and gift shop. The tour then took visitors to the Clearwater Building, located on the corner of Cleveland Street and Fort Harrison Avenue. Originally built in 1918 and serving as the home to the first Clearwater Bank, the building was purchased in 1975 by the Church of Scientology for administrative purposes. In July 2015, the Church fully restored the building and re-opened it as the Scientology Information Center open to the community. The Center houses a gallery of audio-visual displays with some 400 videos allowing guests a self-guided tour showing basic Scientology beliefs, who L. Ron Hubbard was, Churches around the world and ongoing social programs. The Manager of the Center informed guests of the architectural history of the building and answered questions about Scientology’s religious nature, how the Church helps in the community, the difference between the staff of the Church and parishioners and more. One local resident named Jeff said, “I expected a lot from this tour and got way more than I expected out of it. Keep up the good work!” The tour concluded with a gift bag and complimentary brochure covering the Church of Scientology’s activities in the local community for the year 2016. The next Historical Buildings Tour is on March 25th. To learn more about the tour or to RSVP please contact Amber at 727-467-6966 or amber@cos.flag.org. The Scientology religion was founded by humanitarian and philosopher, L. Ron Hubbard. The first Church of Scientology was formed in the United States in 1954 and has expanded to more than 11,000 churches, missions and affiliated groups in 167 nations. The Church of Scientology regularly engages in humanitarian programs and community events. Clearwater is the home of the spiritual headquarters for the Church of Scientology. For more information please visit www.scientology-fso.org.


CLEARWATER, Fla., March 01, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Clearwater natives, long-term residents and out-of-state visitors gathered Saturday afternoon, 25th of February at the Historic Fort Harrison for a tour of two historic buildings owned by the Church of Scientology Flag Service Organization. The tour began at the Fort Harrison, the Church of Scientology’s Religious Retreat and 90-year-old icon, with a brief introduction as to how the Fort Harrison got its name. Guests toured the Crystal Ballroom with its chandelier of 11,000 Bohemian crystals, oval oak wood dance floor and panoramic view of the inter-coastal water way. Next guests viewed one of the 220 guest rooms, the Tea Lounge, board rooms, restaurants and gift shop. The tour then took visitors to the Clearwater Building, located on the corner of Cleveland Street and Fort Harrison Avenue. Originally built in 1918 and serving as the home to the first Clearwater Bank, the building was purchased in 1975 by the Church of Scientology for administrative purposes. In July 2015, the Church fully restored the building and re-opened it as the Scientology Information Center open to the community. The Center houses a gallery of audio-visual displays with some 400 videos allowing guests a self-guided tour showing basic Scientology beliefs, who L. Ron Hubbard was, Churches around the world and ongoing social programs. The Manager of the Center informed guests of the architectural history of the building and answered questions about Scientology’s religious nature, how the Church helps in the community, the difference between the staff of the Church and parishioners and more. One local resident named Jeff said, “I expected a lot from this tour and got way more than I expected out of it. Keep up the good work!” The tour concluded with a gift bag and complimentary brochure covering the Church of Scientology’s activities in the local community for the year 2016. The next Historical Buildings Tour is on March 25th. To learn more about the tour or to RSVP please contact Amber at 727-467-6966 or amber@cos.flag.org. The Scientology religion was founded by humanitarian and philosopher, L. Ron Hubbard. The first Church of Scientology was formed in the United States in 1954 and has expanded to more than 11,000 churches, missions and affiliated groups in 167 nations. The Church of Scientology regularly engages in humanitarian programs and community events. Clearwater is the home of the spiritual headquarters for the Church of Scientology. For more information please visit www.scientology-fso.org.


News Article | February 16, 2017
Site: globenewswire.com

CLEARWATER, Fla., Feb. 15, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- On February 25th the Church of Scientology invites members of the community for a tour of the Fort Harrison and the Clearwater Building, both restored historic landmarks. Photos accompanying this announcement are available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/55925827-40bf-4c4b-b98c-77425f199daf The Manager of the Scientology Information Center, Mrs. Amber Skjelset, will be conducting a guided tour of the Fort Harrison and the Clearwater Building on February 25th at 1:30pm. The tour begins at the landmark Fort Harrison where its architectural restoration, well-maintained decor and beautiful furnishings can be seen. Visitors will learn about the building’s history as well as current community activities. The Fort Harrison, standing 11 stories tall, was built in 1926. It was considered Clearwater’s first “skyscraper,” which at that time was defined as a “building of 10-20 floors.” The Fort Harrison was purchased by the Church of Scientology in 1975 making it the International Religious Retreat for visiting parishioners receiving religious services. In 2009, the Church undertook a top to bottom restoration of the Fort Harrison bringing it up to modern standards and polishing up its beautiful interiors. The historic Clearwater Building was built in 1918 as the Bank of Clearwater. It was also acquired by the Church in 1975 and now serves as the Scientology Information Center since July 2015. Guests will see its grand lobby, architectural restoration and gallery of audio-visual displays covering basic Scientology beliefs, Churches around the world and ongoing social programs. “The Fort Harrison’s beauty was breathtaking. I never knew it was so beautiful inside. I was also pleased to see what activities the Church has been doing in the community,” said one local resident. “We have been conducting regular tours of our historic buildings and they have become so popular that we are making them available on a monthly basis,” said Ms. Skjelset. For more information or to RSVP please contact Amber Skjelset, the Scientology Information Center Manager at (727) 467-6966, amber@cos.flag.org. About the Church of Scientology: The Scientology religion was founded by humanitarian and philosopher, L. Ron Hubbard. The first Church of Scientology was formed in the United States in 1954 and has expanded to more than 11,000 churches, missions and affiliated groups, with millions of members in 167 nations. Scientologists are optimistic about life and believe there is hope for a saner world and better civilization, and actively do all they can to help achieve this. Based on L. Ron Hubbard’s words, “A community that pulls together can make a better society for all.”


News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: www.prlog.org

On February 25th the Church of Scientology invites members of the community for a tour of the Fort Harrison and the Clearwater Building, both restored historic landmarks.       The Manager of the Scientology Information Center, Mrs.


Spencer A.,Information Center
Archives of disease in childhood. Fetal and neonatal edition | Year: 2013

'Liberating the NHS' and the new Outcomes Framework make information central to the management of the UK National Health Service (NHS). The principles of patient choice and government policy on the transparency of outcomes for public services are key drivers for improving the performance. Specialist neonatal care is able to respond positively to these challenges owing to the development of a well-defined dataset and comprehensive national data collection. When combined with analysis, audit and feedback at the national level, this is proving to be an effective means to harness the potential of clinical data. Other key characteristics have been an integrated approach to ensure that data are captured once and serve multiple needs, collaboration between professional organisations, parents, academic institutions, the commercial sector and NHS managers, and responsiveness to changing requirements. The authors discuss these aspects of national neonatal specialist data and point to future developments.

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