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Archive for May 9th, 2011

Better Business Bureau Alert: Online scams proliferate with news of Osama Bin Laden’s death

Posted by Admin On May - 9 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

(Message from the Better Business Bureau) 

 

CHICAGO, IL – In the aftermath of the death of Osama Bin Laden this past weekend, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) warns consumers to watch out for a growing number of cyber-scams that have popped up online.

Consumers should also be wary of links to Bin Laden related Web sites that they find on Twitter, Facebook, or any link with a URL that leads to an unfamiliar webpage. Often these links will lead consumers to Web sites with viruses, or forms that encourage consumers to enter personal information, which can be used to steal their identity, or for phishing scams.

 

Steve J. Bernas, president & CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois cautions, “When looking for information regarding Bin Laden’s death, we urge Internet users to refrain from clicking on images or links in search results to unknown or suspicious domains.”

 

An example of a malicious attack is appearing on Facebook. A fake video claiming to show the death of Bin Laden prompts users to input a URL into their browsers, which will infect their computer with a virus. This virus can then upload your Facebook friend list, and send infected links to all of them as well. This is causing the virus to spread rampantly.

 

Kaspersky Labs, an Internet security firm, reports that other Facebook scams lure victims to malicious Facebook Pages with promises of free airplane tickets, and other “free” offers to “celebrate Osama’s death.”

 

The BBB offers the following tips for reviewing and responding information online:

 

·         Be mindful about clicking on links that offer to show information that’s not widely available from respected news sources.

·         Be wary of free offers “celebrating” any sort of occasion, especially if the offer comes from a company or Web site you haven’t heard of before. Often times all it takes for a scammer to infect your computer with a virus is clicking on one bad link.

·         If you you’re unsure if an offer or a Web site is legitimate, look it up for free www.bbb.org  

 

For more information on how consumers can protect themselves online, visit www.bbb.org  

 

                                                       

Madigan urges Illinoisans to monitor accounts after Playstation Security Breach

Posted by Admin On May - 9 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

Chicago, IL – Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan alerted Illinoisans who own PlayStation devices to monitor their bank and credit card accounts for unusual activity in the wake of a Sony security breach reported to involve millions of users across the globe.

Madigan sent a letter to Sony in response to reports that hackers obtained credit card numbers and other personal information for millions of people worldwide and were attempting to sell the information for more than $100,000.Reports indicated a breach of the Sony PlayStation Network and Qriocity services affected 75 million people and a second breach of Sony Online Entertainment affected 25 million users. The Attorney General sought to determine the extent of the security breach, how many people in Illinois were affected, what notification is being made to those consumers and what steps the company is taking to ensure its network is secure.

“We are working to determine the extent of this security breach and its effect on Illinois consumers,” Attorney General Madigan said. “Consumers who have PlayStation consoles and use online services to play games or download movies or music should monitor their credit card accounts and report any suspicious activity to their financial institutions and local authorities.”

According to media reports, Sony is beginning to assist consumers whose information has been compromised. The company was reportedly offering free identify theft protection services and adding enhanced data protection levels, encryption and firewalls.

Consumers whose financial information is misused as a result of this security breach can contact Madigan’s Identity Theft Hotline at (866) 999-5630 for help or visit www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov for identity theft protection tips and advice.

 

Yee backs down on Acupuncture Bill after outcry from Korean community

Posted by Admin On May - 9 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

(From New America Media)

By Aruna Lee and Summer Chiang

 

State Sen. Leland Yee bowed to pressure from the Korean community this week over a bill that would have put the word “Chinese” in the name of the state’s acupuncture licensing agency.

The version of Senate Bill 628 that Yee introduced in February would have changed the name of the California Acupuncture Board to the Traditional Chinese Medicine Board, in addition to officially recognizing and certifying practitioners of traumatology, the treatment of injuries. On Monday, the Senate Committee on Business, Professions and Economic Development approved a version of the measure that was amended to keep the board’s current name.

The legislation had met with strong opposition from members of the state’s Korean community, who said the proposed name change ignored the fact that many Koreans continue to practice a similar form of medicine.

Soon after Yee’s proposal was announced, the Korea Times reports, the Association of Korean Asian Medicine and Acupuncture of California gathered more than 3,000 signatures statewide to oppose the name change. During a meeting with Yee in early March, the group urged him to back away from the new name, describing it as “offensive” to Korean and other Asian communities.

In-soon Lee, the head of the association’s Northern California branch, runs a private clinic in San Jose that administers traditional Korean medicine to patients. She said there are “over 50 members” in Northern California, all of whom run similar clinics. “They all participated in the petition opposing the name change,” Lee said.

In defense of the bill, Yee had explained that the existing title of the board does not do justice to the range of treatment administered by licensed practitioners, including herbal remedies, massage therapy and dietary recommendations. Yee called on fellow Chinese-Americans to support the bill “to protect our culture.”

Yee is running for mayor in San Francisco, a city that is roughly one-fifth Chinese. He lacks the support of influential Chinatown leader Rose Pak, who helped engineer the appointment of interim Mayor Ed Lee and has been trying to persuade Lee to run in November. Yee’s decision in February to side with the Chinese community over environmentalists in opposing a ban on the sale of shark fin drew considerable controversy.

Chinese medicine practitioners have welcomed SB 628’s expansion of licensing to fields beyond acupuncture. Three hundred supporters, mainly from the Bay Area, attended the committee hearing Monday in Sacramento. Meanwhile, on Tuesday, the American Traditional Chinese Medical Traumatology Association hosted a news conference in San Francisco’s Chinatown in support of the legislation.

If the measure passes, California will become the first state to license practitioners of traditional medical traumatology, according to the World Journal.

Ho Ying Heng, president of the American Traditional Chinese Medical Traumatology Association, told the World Journal that Leland Yee had visited China three times to learn more about Chinese traumatology. The bill’s passage would mean a lot to the Chinese community and the traumatology industry, he said.

Iun Kang Cen, executive secretary of the American Traditional Chinese Medical Traumatology Association, added that the bill would give patients more protection, since the practice of traditional Chinese traumatology would be monitored by a government agency.

The traumatology provisions of the bill still stand, although large swaths of the text describing acupuncture as a part of traditional Chinese medicine have been excised.

“The Korean community and Korean acupuncturists should be completely fine with this,” Adam Keigwin, Yee’s chief of staff, said Thursday.

But some in the Korean community remain skeptical. In-soon Lee said she suspected Yee’s willingness to change had more to do with his mayoral ambitions in San Francisco than with her group’s concerns.

“If he makes a similar proposal in the future, we will be there to oppose it,” she said.

 

Editor’s Note: This story was updated to reflect the new version of Senate Bill 628 that was approved on Monday. The bill would expand licensing to practitioners who work in traditional Chinese Medicine traumatology. The amended bill omitted the provision that would have changed the name of the California Acupuncture Board to the Traditional Chinese Medicine Board.

 

Senators Kirk, Gillibrand and Representatives Dold and Deutch introduce Iran Human Rights and Democracy Act

Posted by Admin On May - 9 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

 

 

Bicameral, Bipartisan Bill Establishes Special Representative on Iran Human Rights and Democracy, Imposes Sanctions  

 

Kirk Launches Iranian Dissident Awareness Program  

 

Washington, DC – Four U.S. lawmakers today introduced landmark legislation in both the House and Senate to increase American focus on human rights and democracy in Iran.

 

The Iran Human Rights and Democracy Promotion Act of 2011, sponsored by Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) in the Senate and by Congressman Robert Dold (R-Ill.) and Congressman Ted Deutch (D-Fla.) in the House, would make it the policy of the United States to deny the Iranian regime the ability to oppress the people of Iran, to fully support democratic activists inside Iran, and to help the Iranian people freely and safely access and share information.

 

The bipartisan legislation would establish a “Special Representative on Human Rights and Democracy in Iran” with budget authority over all relevant funding and impose sanctions on companies that sell or service products that enable the Iranian regime to oppress its people.  It would require a comprehensive strategy to promote Internet freedom in Iran and reauthorize the Iran Freedom Support Act.

 

“We need to apply the lessons of the Cold War to the 21st century threat posed by the Iranian regime,” Senator Kirk said.  “A dictatorship that murders its own people in the streets will not be an honest broker in international affairs.  As Americans, we should speak directly to the people of Iran struggling for freedom and democracy and let them know we stand squarely by their side.”

 

“Iran must stop its deplorable human rights violations, and this legislation is a strong step towards that end,” said Senator Gillibrand. “Congress has to go after the very leaders of Iran’s government who are not only brutally oppressing its own people, but are also building nuclear weapons that pose an existential threat to the world community. As Americans, we must stand in support of the Iranian people’s struggle for democracy.”

 

“As the momentum of democratic protests continues to build in the Middle East, we are compelled to confront the Iranian regime’s willingness to brutally crack down on its own people,” said Congressman Dold whose district includes the Baha’i Temple in North America. “Given Iran’s role as the world’s leading state-sponsor of terror, it is both a strategic imperative and a moral necessity that the United States’ leadership be used promote democracy and human rights in Iran.  This legislation sends a critical signal to the pro-democracy opposition imprisoned inside Iran not to lose courage.”

 

“Democratic change is sweeping through the Middle East, but the Iranian regime continues to suppress democracy by engaging in the most outrageous human rights abuses,” Congressman Deutch said.  “This hypocritical regime makes public statements supporting reforms in other nations, while using violence and intimidation to quell its own opposition movements.  This legislation cracks down on those who perpetrate the most horrific human rights abuses and affirms the U.S. commitment to those seeking freedom and democracy.”

 

Last month, the State Department released its 2010 report on human rights in Iran, concluding that “security forces under the government’s control committed acts of politically motivated violence and repression, including torture, beatings, and rape.”  According to the report, “security forces arbitrarily arrested and detained individuals, often holding them incommunicado.  Authorities held political prisoners and continued to crack down on women’s rights activists, ethnic minority rights activists, student activists, and religious minorities.”

 

Navid Khanjani, 23, is one of those student human rights activists who stood up for the rights of people of the Baha’i faith, protesting the government’s ban on Baha’is in universities.  Navid now faces a 12-year prison sentence simply for saying that Baha’is should continue their studies.

 

“The arrest of student activists, professors, and denying them rights of education and teaching, is against rules of the country and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and represents a violation of basic human rights,” Navid wrote in a statement sent from Iran.  “The denial of education by the security apparatus is another portion of the Islamic Republic’s human rights report card.  This day, however, our labor has borne fruit, and the international community is a witness to the violations of human rights in Iran.”

 

According to research conducted by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), the Iranian regime uses products purchased from international companies to carry out its oppression.  In a study published today, FDD reports the products range from sniper rifles and riot gear to web filtering technology and cell phone monitoring equipment.

 

“International companies are providing goods and technologies that help the Iranian regime brutalize its own people,” said Mark Dubowitz, FDD’s executive director and head of its Iran Human Rights Project.  “One day a free Iranian people will build a museum displaying these tools of oppression with the logos of the companies that abetted the regime’s crimes. Until then, this legislation will help name and shame those companies that still care about their reputation and punish those that don’t.”

 

The full text of the Iran Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2011 is available upon request.

 

Separately, Senator Kirk today announced the launch of the Iranian Dissident Awareness Program to help members of the House and Senate advocate on behalf of individual Iranian dissidents.

 

“Our goal is to put faces with names – to tell the stories of the persecuted, the dissidents, the political prisoners,” Senator Kirk said.  “In the darkest days of Soviet human rights abuse, the odds looked long but the dignity of individuals and cause of liberty prevailed.  We should bring this same resolve to our dealings with Iran.”

 

A short video introducing the Iranian Dissident Awareness Program can be viewed here.

 

Details about the program are also highlighted on Senator Kirk’s website. 

 

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Welcome to CopyLine Magazine! The first issue of CopyLine Magazine was published in November, 1990, by Editor & Publisher Juanita Bratcher. CopyLine’s main focus is on the political arena – to inform our readers and analyze many of the pressing issues of the day - controversial or otherwise. Our objectives are clear – to keep you abreast of political happenings and maneuvering in the political arena, by reporting and providing provocative commentaries on various issues. For more about CopyLine Magazine, CopyLine Blog, and CopyLine Television/Video, please visit juanitabratcher.com, copylinemagazine.com, and oneononetelevision.com. Bratcher has been a News/Reporter, Author, Publisher, and Journalist for 33 years. She is the author of six books, including “Harold: The Making of a Big City Mayor” (Harold Washington), Chicago’s first African-American mayor; and “Beyond the Boardroom: Empowering a New Generation of Leaders,” about John Herman Stroger, Jr., the first African-American elected President of the Cook County Board. Bratcher is also a Poet/Songwriter, with 17 records – produced by HillTop Records of Hollywood, California. Juanita Bratcher Publisher

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