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  1. The tech industry has long been famed for its luxe work environments—free lunches, ping pong tables, green juice on tap—but there's a lot more than perks that goes into creating a workplace employees love. To bring you this list, Fortune partner Great Place to Work to surveyed more than 42,000 employees of U.S. technology companies. The two resulting rankings are grouped by company size, one for large tech companies and one for small and medium-sized ones. You can read more about the list, and the role that diversity and innovation plays in these businesses, here. LARGE COMPANIES 1. ULTIMATE SOFTWARE Employees say: "Management and HR are aligned to make sure the culture is protected so that everyone feels supported in this work environment. I believe this feeling of safety and culture of support is what drives our innovation, creativity, and drive to succeed as a team." "Take care of the 3,300 families in the organization, be the best, and the company will unequivocally support me and my family forever." Industry: Online Internet Services HQ location: Weston, Fla. Employees: 3,126 2. Intuit Employees say: "I feel very blessed to work at Intuit. It provides me with every opportunity to do my best work. I have received 100% support to create a vision for the company regarding sustainability. Intuit walks the talk regarding its values and that makes my job a joy." "The company has a culture of truly caring for each other as employees, for the wellbeing of our customers, for the betterment of individuals, and for the health of our community as a whole. Ultimately, we fundamentally believe that we can make a difference in the world." Industry: Software HQ location: Mountain View, Calif. Employees: 6,216 3. Salesforce Employees say: "Salesforce truly cares about the success and happiness of its employees as well as making a positive impact on the community. Seeing our organization respond to actions against the LGBT community and Women's rights over the past year has made me incredibly proud to work here." "Working at Salesforce is more than just a job. I feel like our mission is really to make the world a better place both in business and in life. It's not just a software company. We have a greater mission." Industry: Software HQ location: San Francisco Employees: 14,410 4. Zillow Group Employees say: "It's a creative and collaborative work environment that allows for exploration in different areas that are maybe not entirely related to the specifics of the job. During our "Hack Week," for example, we had a team of employees design a Zillow-related puzzle room to foster team collaboration, morale, and creative thinking in a fun, relaxed environment." "This is one of the most diverse and amazing companies I have ever worked for. I think that has to do with the fact that we have all types and all kinds here to make this a better place to work. Whenever you walk in it feels like home!" Industry: Online Internet Services HQ location: Seattle Employees: 2,603 5. Workday Employees say: "Every day you are given the opportunity to learn in so many different ways. A webinar here. A seminar there. On-demand learning over here. It's understood here that if you work hard, your options are almost endless." "I have never worked for a company that succeeds so well at keeping their clients and employees happy by sticking to its core principles." Industry: Software HQ location: Pleasanton, Calif. Employees: 4,557 6. SAP America Employees say: "SAP genuinely cares about people and impacting society through its innovations for the greater good of humankind. For its' employees, striving to provide a fair, equitable and respectful workplace and a culture which values the uniqueness of every individual." "The company has continued to reinvent itself to stay a leader in the market. I tell new people joining us that we create a mess because we need to; we clean it up; and then we create another mess and clean that up. By embracing a constant change and the need for a little chaos in order to innovate, it makes our environment very exciting." HQ location: Newtown Square, Penn. Employees: 13,548 7. World Wide Technology Employees say: "We have strong core values and we see the positive impacts of them on a daily basis. Most places I’ve previously worked at had values, however, managers followed them when necessary, a common 'do as I say, not as I do' type of mentality. Working at WWT has shown me there are companies out there that still practice what they preach." "The culture of innovation and collaboration is very impressive at our company. With the diverse experiences of our employees, our culture encourages reaching out to others to solicit new ideas and solutions to problems. It is encourages people to experiment and when failure happens, learn from it and try something new." Industry: Hardware, Software, Online Internet Services, IT Consulting, Storage/Data Management HQ location: St. Louis Employees: 3,766 8. SAS Institute Employees say: "Because this company provides such a great work environment and offers great work life balance, most employees give very much in return. In contrast to other companies I've worked for, it's a comfortable work environment with minimal politics, and allows employees to give much greater focus to innovation, creativity, and detail." "There is an understanding that we're all creating something together, and we want it to be solid, so we do our best wherever we can. There's an excitement to that." Industry: Software HQ location: Cary, N.C. Employees: 7,191 9. Adobe Systems Employees say: "This is the best place I've ever worked. This is a company that promoted me two weeks before maternity leave with my second child to make sure I was excited to return and excited about my role. It's also a company that let me chart my own path and create a new program. It's empowered me to take my ideas and work to incredible places and work with some of the most creative and innovative people of my career." "Nobody at Adobe has to worry about fitting into a mold as they walk into the doors—everyone is encouraged to be themselves and it really helps people feel part of something bigger." Industry: Software HQ location: San Jose, Calif. Employees: 6,995 10. Hyland Employees say: "The company as a whole firmly embraces diversity. We've found strength through that diversity, and attribute much of our success to the wisdom that comes from a variety of backgrounds and demographics." "Management is willing to listen and sincerely understand different opinions on projects. ... This helps our company of thinkers and innovators understand, accept, and apply new understanding to the business in the future." Industry: Software HQ location: Westlake, Ohio Employees: 2,075 Continue reading
  2. Chelsea Manning's Commutation: What It Means Before President Obama granted clemency, Manning was serving 35 years in prison, the longest sentence for a leak in U.S. history On Tuesday, President Obama commuted the sentence of Chelsea Manning, the soldier sentenced to 35 years in prison after pleading guilty to providing hundreds of thousands of classified documents to WikiLeaks. Manning, who has spent seven years in military prison, will now be released in May of this year. Article II, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution gives the president the power to grant various forms of clemency to individuals convicted of crimes. While the number of pardons granted by Obama has been called "abysmally low," he has issued a historically high number of commutations. The bulk of Obama's commutations were granted to drug offenders who would not have received such lengthy sentences under current law, due to bipartisan sentencing reforms. Commuting an offender's sentence doesn't imply that he or she wasn't culpable, but that he or she has been sufficiently punished. And whether you think what Chelsea Manning did was heroic or harmful, there's plenty of reason to believe she's suffered enough. Prior to her conviction, Manning was subjected to solitary confinement and other treatment that legal scholars explained violated the Eighth Amendment's prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment, and the Fifth Amendment's prohibition of punishment without a trial. The UN Special Rapporteur on Torture found that Manning's treatment constituted "cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment" in violation of the Convention Against Torture. The judge who ultimately sentenced Manning agreed she had received excessive treatment, but only reduced her sentence by 112 days. After her conviction, Manning, who is a transgender woman, struggled psychologically in an all-male military prison and attempted suicide on multiple occasions. For years, she was denied medical treatment and accommodations recommended by doctors treating her gender dysphoria. And there was reason to fear new mistreatment under a Trump administration that has suggested it will reverse recent reforms protecting transgender people in the military. White House officials stressed that Manning took responsibility for her actions and received an excessive sentence. To be sure, the size of the trove of documents she leaked was unprecedented, but 35 years is still wildly disproportionate to the one- to two-year sentences typically handed down. Even with an uptick in leak prosecutions during the Obama years, leakers seldom face criminal prosecution at all. Obama made another notable clemency grant on Tuesday, pardoning General James Cartwright, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his role in confirming U.S. involvement in the Stuxnet cyber attack on Iran's nuclear program to the press. Taken together, these clemency grants represent a much-needed return to a long tradition in the U.S. of not fully enforcing our overbroad laws against those who leak classified information. We don't throw the book at them because we recognize that leaks can be essential for keeping the government accountable. As we enter a Trump era likely to be characterized by lawlessness and lack of transparency, it's imperative that those in government expect they'll be treated fairly if they have to break the law to blow the whistle.
  3. Date: January 16, 2017 Source: Taylor & Francis Summary: One in five young people regularly wake up in the night to send or check messages on social media, according to new research. This night-time activity is making teenagers three times more likely to feel constantly tired at school than their peers who do not log on at night, and could be affecting their happiness and wellbeing. 1 in 5 young people regularly wake up in the night to send or check messages on social media, according to new research published today in the Journal of Youth Studies. This night-time activity is making teenagers three times more likely to feel constantly tired at school than their peers who do not log on at night, and could be affecting their happiness and wellbeing. Over 900 pupils, aged between 12-15 years, were recruited and asked to complete a questionnaire about how often they woke up at night to use social media and times of going to bed and waking. They were also asked about how happy they were with various aspects of their life including school life, friendships and appearance. 1 in 5 reported 'almost always' waking up to log on, with girls much more likely to access their social media accounts during the night than boys. Those who woke up to use social media nearly every night, or who didn't wake up at a regular time in the morning, were around three times as likely to say they were constantly tired at school compared to their peers who never log on at night or wake up at the same time every day. Moreover, pupils who said they were always tired at school were, on average, significantly less happy than other young people. "Our research shows that a small but significant number of children and young people say that they often go to school feeling tired -- and these are the same young people who also have the lowest levels of wellbeing. One in five young people questioned woke up every night and over one third wake-up at least once a week to check for messages. Use of social media appears to be invading the 'sanctuary' of the bedroom." Said author Professor Sally Power, Co-Director (Cardiff) Wales Institute for Social & Economic Research, Data & Methods (WISERD). The study findings support growing concerns about young people's night-time use of social media. However, because of the complex range of possible explanations for tiredness at school, further larger studies will be needed before any firm conclusions can be made about the social causes and consequences of sleep deprivation among today's youth.
  4. By: @bow_tie_bros_comics Selfie-Centered: Blue Bow helps Green Bow see why he shouldn't be taking selfies while doing Public Witnessing. Philippians 2:4-"as you look out not only for your own interests, but also for the interests of others."
  5. Three Jehovah's Witnesses, two Baptists, and a bookseller have each been fined three to four months' average wages. Their "offences" include discussing beliefs, offering religious literature, and meeting for prayer. And an unlicensed mosque has been raided and had allegedly "superstitious" items confiscated. In early January 2017, a higher court rejected the appeal by three Jehovah's Witnesses from Goranboy District in western Azerbaijan against large fines, imposed for discussing their faith with others and offering religious literature. The accused were not allowed to prepare a defence or speak in court (see below). Two Baptists in the northern Zakatala [Zaqatala] District were fined in December 2016 for leading worship services without state permission after a large police raid two weeks earlier. The Saturday morning raid on an "illegal" meeting for prayer resulted in the detention of more than 30 adults and children present, after which 16 women and 10 men were questioned at the local police station until 10 pm at night. Police sent confiscated religious literature to the capital Baku for alleged "expert analysis". "Everything was done well," police Major Amil Muradov told Forum 18 before putting the phone down (see below). Also, a Baku court fined local resident Elnara Qasimova for selling religious materials without the compulsory permission from the State Committee for Work with Religious Organisations and the local administration. However, on 17 January 2017 Baku Appeal Court cancelled the fine and sent the case back to the lower court for a new hearing (see below). It appears that Qasimova's prosecution was a result of raids by State Committee officials as well as police officers on at least five shops selling religious literature in Baku's Sabail and Nasimi Districts, announced on 2 December 2016. Officials said five shops were selling religious literature "illegally" (see below). The three Jehovah's Witnesses, two Baptists and Baku bookseller Qasimova were each fined about three to four months' average wage. (The State Statistics Committee gives the average monthly wage for those in work between January and October 2016 as nearly 494 Manats.) Also, officials in Baku confiscated 59 religious books, 19 videotapes, 27 DVDs and 80 CDs which they claimed had not passed state censorship, adding that unspecified items "included elements of khurafat [prejudice or superstition]". This term does not appear in published law. The confiscation followed a December 2016 raid on a Shia Muslim community operating without state permission (see below). Fined for discussing faith Trouble began in mid-November 2016 for two Jehovah's Witnesses in Goranboy District, Jaarey Suleymanova and Gulnaz Israfilova. The two women had been visiting a woman "who had enjoyed their Bible discussions for many months", Jehovah's Witnesses told Forum 18. Subsequently, the Goranboy District Police charged the two women under the Code of Administrative Offences' Article 515.0.4 ("Religious associations operating away from their registered legal address"). The fine for individuals for this "offence" is between 1,500 and 2,000 Manats (see F18News 2 June 2016 Police handed the case to Goranboy District Court. On 17 November 2016, Judge Ismayil Abdurahmanli handed them each the maximum fine of 2,000 Manats, more than four months' average wages for those in work, according to court records. Suleymanova and Israfilova lodged appeals against the fines to Gyanja [Gäncä] Appeal Court. However, on the afternoon of 5 January 2017, Judge Fikrat Aliyev rejected their appeals, according to court records. Goranboy District Police brought exactly the same charges against another local Jehovah's Witness, Ziyad Dadashov. "Four men from his village testified that Ziyad Dadashov had spoken of his beliefs and offered Bible literature," Jehovah's Witnesses told Forum 18. Police handed the case to Goranboy District Court. On 2 December 2016, Judge Shirzad Huseynov found Dadashov guilty under Administrative Code Article 515.0.4. The Judge fined him 1,500 Manats, more than three months' average wages for those in work, according to court records. Dadashov similarly appealed against the fine to Gyanja Appeal Court. However, on the morning of 5 January 2017, Judge Badal Aliyev rejected his appeal, according to court records. "In neither case did the defendants have the opportunity to prepare their defence, nor did they have the opportunity to speak during court hearings," Jehovah's Witnesses complained to Forum 18. Reached on 17 January, an official of Goranboy District Police refused to discuss anything with Forum 18 and put the phone down. Meeting for prayer raided On the morning of Saturday 26 November 2016, about 10 uniformed police officers and several men in plain clothes (including local State Committee representative Mehman Ismayilov) raided the home of a Baptist leader in the village of Aliabad in Zakatala District. They arrived about half an hour after a regular prayer meeting had begun in the home of Hamid and Hinayat Shabanov, fellow Baptists told Forum 18. About 30 adults and several children were present at the prayer meeting. The officers ordered Hamid Shabanov and his fellow Baptists to halt the prayer meeting, "saying it was illegal because of the lack of state registration". An Interior Ministry statement on the day of the raid said State Committee representatives accompanied Zakatala Police on the raid. The statement did not identify the community as Baptist, speaking only of "an illegal religious gathering aimed at spreading a religious sect banned under the law". It added that 16 items of religious literature had been confiscated and sent for "expert analysis" to the State Committee in Baku. Alleged "expert analysis" is used to justify the stringent imposition of state censorship (see Forum 18's Azerbaijan religious freedom survey Colleagues of Zakatala State Committee representative Ismayilov told Forum 18 on 17 January 2017 that he was not in the office. They refused to comment on the raid on the Baptists. Over several hours on 26 November 2016, officers held those present for the prayer meeting in a room in Shabanov's home. They allowed individuals out only to go to the toilet, one at a time. Officers wrote down the names and identity document details of all those present. They also compiled a list of all the religious literature they could find belonging to the church or its members, Baptists complained to Forum 18. Police then took 26 church members (16 women and 10 men) to the District Police Station, where officers demanded that they each write a statement. Police had already confiscated several of the individuals' phones. By 10 pm officers had released all 26 of those detained. Only on 29 November did police return the confiscated identity documents to the church members. The same day the investigator announced that charges were being brought against church members for meeting "illegally" without state registration. The investigator did not say how many cases had been prepared and when they would be handed to court. Against international human rights law, all exercise of freedom of religion and belief by more than one person without state permission is banned (see Forum 18's Azerbaijan religious freedom survey All those detained during the raid signed an appeal to the State Committee in Baku for their Church to be allowed to worship freely, Shabanov told Forum 18. The Church has received no response. Two fined, church banned from meeting Police summoned to Zakatala Police Station on 12 December all 26 church members who had been detained during the 26 November raid. Police had prepared records of an offence against two church members, Hamid Shabanov and Mehman Agamammadov under Administrative Code Article 515.0.2 ("Violating legislation on holding religious meetings, marches, and other religious ceremonies"). The fine for individuals for this "offence" is between 1,500 and 2,000 Manats (see F18News 2 June 2016 The cases were handed to Zakatala District Court. There in a 15-minute hearing on 12 December 2016, Judge Arif Ismayilov found both Shabanov and Agamammadov guilty and fined them each the minimum fine, 1,500 Manats, the Judge told Forum 18 from the Court on 17 January. Judge Ismayilov claimed to Forum 18 that both men had admitted their guilt in court. Shabanov denied this. "I told the court it was not our fault, as we applied but they won't give us registration," he told Forum 18. Judge Ismayilov insisted that Shabanov and Agamammadov had been given the court decisions in writing, though he refused to say when or how. However, Shabanov denied this. "We rang the court and visited it, but they wouldn't send or give us the decision," he told Forum 18. "We had 10 days to appeal against the fine but that's now gone. But they haven't demanded the money either." On 15 December 2016 officials returned all the confiscated books to the church. "The State Committee in Baku looked at them and could find nothing wrong with them," Shabanov told Forum 18 However, police and the Judge told the Church that it is illegal for church members to meet for worship. They were warned that if they do so they will be fined. One Zakatala Police officer who prepared the prosecution materials in Agamammadov's case for the court, Major Amil Muradov, refused to discuss the ban on the church's activity or the raid. "Everything was done well," was all he would tell Forum 18 on 17 January 2017 before putting the phone down. History of raids, fines, imprisonments, registration denial Shabanov's church and a fellow Baptist congregation in Aliabad have been seeking state registration since the mid-1990s. However, state officials have consistently refused to process the applications, including the most recent application the Church submitted in 2010 after changes to the Religion Law (see Forum 18's Azerbaijan religious freedom survey State officials have repeatedly harassed Aliabad's Baptists since the 1990s, with repeated police raids on worship meetings and confiscation of religious literature. Several church members were sacked from their jobs because of their faith, including a nurse from a hospital and the head of the local kindergarten. Baptists were banned from using the collective farm's agricultural machinery for their plots, and from receiving state subsidies provided to other farmers, Ilya Zenchenko, the head of the Baptist Union, complained to Forum 18 from Baku. Officials have in the past denied registration to children of local Baptists who had chosen Biblical names for their new-born children (see eg. F18News 25 February 2010 One of the Church's pastors, former prisoner of conscience Zaur Balaev, was imprisoned on false charges from May 2007 to March 2008 (see F18News 19 March 2008 Another pastor of the Church, former prisoner of conscience Hamid Shabanov, was held in pre-trial detention from June to November 2008. In February 2009 he was given a two-year suspended sentence on charges he and his fellow-Baptists insisted were also fabricated to punish him for exercising his freedom of religion and belief (see F18News 12 February 2009 "Despite all this they continue to meet to this day," Pastor Zenchenko noted, "under the leading of their hearts – which love God – and in accordance with Azerbaijan's Constitution guaranteeing freedom of assembly, freedom of speech and freedom of conscience and religious belief." But Baptists feel angry that police action had violated the alleged 2016 Year of Tolerance declared by President Ilham Aliyev. The regime uses claims of its alleged "religious tolerance" to camouflage its multiple human rights violations (see Forum 18's Azerbaijan religious freedom survey Police and religious affairs officials raid Baku bookshops State Committee officials and police officers raided at least five shops selling religious literature in Baku's Sabail and Nasimi Districts, the Interior Ministry and the State Committee announced on 2 December 2016. State Committee officials said five shops were selling religious literature and other religious items "illegally". Police confiscated 433 different religious titles being sold without the compulsory hologram sticker showing that the books had the required permission from the State Committee to be sold. Officers drew up records of an offence in each case. The latest Baku bookshop raids appear to be a continuation of earlier raids. Police and officials of the State Committee raided at least 26 shops and six homes across Azerbaijan in October and early November 2016 to seize religious literature being distributed without the compulsory state permission. Some book sellers were then punished. All the literature confiscated from shops appears to have been Muslim (see F18News 16 November 2016 Religious literature and other materials can be sold or distributed only at specialised outlets which have been approved both by the State Committee and the local administration (see Forum 18's Azerbaijan religious freedom survey In addition, all religious literature produced in, published in (including on the internet) or imported into Azerbaijan is subject to prior compulsory censorship. When the State Committee does give permission to publish or import a work it also specifies how many copies can be produced or imported. All religious materials sold must have a sticker noting that they have State Committee approval. State officials have repeatedly denied that this represents censorship (see F18News 1 October 2015 The stickers from the State Committee cost religious communities or bookshop owners 0.02 Manats each. However, acquiring them can be difficult. Jehovah's Witnesses complained that between April and October 2016, the State Committee told them that it had run out of stickers. This meant that even publications the State Committee had given Jehovah's Witnesses permission to import could not be distributed without fear of punishment (see F18News 16 November 2016 Fined for religious literature, but fine overturned One case is known to have been brought to court in Baku's Sabail District, though it remains unclear if this was as a result of the raids. On 28 December 2016 Judge Rauf Ahmadov of Sabail District Court fined local resident Elnara Qasimova 2,000 Manats for selling religious items without the compulsory permission from the State Committee and the District administration, the court told Forum 18 on 16 January. Qasimova was fined under Administrative Code Article 516.0.2 ("Selling religious literature (printed or on electronic devices), audio and video materials, religious merchandise and products, or other religious informational materials, which have been authorised for sale under the Religion Law, outside specialised sale outlets established with the permission of the relevant government authority distributing religious literature, religious objects and information material without State Committee permission"). Punishments under Article 516.0.2 entails confiscation of the literature, merchandise and products or other materials concerned. Additional punishments under Article 516 are: for individuals fines of between 2,000 and 2,500 Manats; for officials fines of between 8,000 and 9,000 Manats; for organisations fines of between 20,000 and 25,000 Manats; and for foreigners and stateless persons fines of between 2,000 and 2,500 Manats with deportation from Azerbaijan (see F18News 2 June 2016 Qasimova's appeal against her punishment was handed to Baku Appeal Court on 11 January. On the morning of 17 January Judge Ilqar Murquzov partially upheld Qasimova's appeal. He cancelled the fine, but sent the case back to the lower court for a new hearing, according to court records. The official who answered the phone of the Baku city representative of the State Committee on 17 January, who refused to give his name, refused to answer any of Forum 18's questions as to why officials raided the bookshops, confiscated religious literature or brought a case to punish Qasimova. Baku Muslim community raided State Committee officials, together with officers of the police, State Security Service (SSS) secret police and officials from Baku's Sabail District local administration raided a Shia Muslim community, State Committee officials told the local media on 8 December 2016. They claim to have been responding to information that the community in Badamdar in south-western Baku was functioning "in violation of procedures governing the activity of religious organisations". The Muslim community is not one of the four mosques the State Committee allows to function in Sabail District. The regime has a policy of closing mosques operating without state permission and without a leadership the State Committee has appointed. Sunni mosques are especially severely targeted for forcible closure (see eg. F18News 20 September 2016 During the raid, State Committee officials confiscated 59 religious books, 19 videotapes, 27 DVDs and 80 CDs which they claimed did not have the required State Committee permission. Officials added that they found unspecified items "which included elements of khurafat [prejudice or superstition]". They claimed to have then launched an investigation. Azerbaijan's legal database does not include the term "khurafat" in any law or legal document. It remains unclear why State Committee officials think the unspecified confiscated items are illegal. (END)
  6. The CVS Pharmacy along West Liberty Avenue in Dormont. By Patricia Sabatini / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Taking a stab at breaking the market dominance of Mylan’s EpiPen allergy shot, CVS Pharmacy announced it has begun selling a similar auto-injector at a fraction of the cost. The nation’s biggest drugstore chain said the generic version of Adrenaclick — a tiny EpiPen competitor — was priced at $109.99 per two-pack. That compares with $649.99 a pack for the EpiPen and $339.99 for the generic EpiPen that local drug giant Mylan launched last month, CVS said. “We recognized the urgent need for a less-expensive epinephrine auto-injector, and are proud to offer a low-cost option,” CVS said in a statement. The Rhode Island-based company has some 9,600 stores nationwide. The generic Adrenaclick, owned by Impax Laboratories in California, contains the same medication to counteract life-threatening allergic reactions as the EpiPen, but uses a slightly different delivery system. The brand-name version of Adrenaclick is no longer manufactured. A year ago, the device held a tiny 4 percent market share, according to Impax. Since then, its share has risen to around 9 percent amid growing outrage over the spiraling cost of the EpiPen, spokesman Mark Donohue said Thursday. CVS had been selling the device for around $200. Mr. Donohue said he couldn’t provide any projections for capturing additional market share at the lower price. Although the Impax device is assembled by hand, the company has been keeping up with demand, he said. “CVS will have product in all of their stores,” he said. Impax plans to automate the process by the end of this year or the beginning of 2018, he said. Mylan, which is run from executive offices in Cecil but is incorporated in the Netherlands, did not respond to emails seeking comment. South Park resident Jill Piel, who relies on auto-injectors to protect her 11-year-old son with peanut allergies, called CVS’s announcement great news for her family. She used to buy three boxes of EpiPens to have at school, at home and in her purse. Last summer, she “almost had a stroke” when her pharmacy told her each set would cost $500. Even though she’s never had to use one, the EpiPens have to be replaced annually because they expire. “I went home and broke down,” she said. “You need it. And at the time, I thought [EpiPen] was my only choice.” After doing some research into alternatives, she got her son’s allergist to write a prescription for the generic Adrenaclick, which cost her around $175 a box. “That was such a relief,” she said. She said CVS offering the two-pack for $110 was “more good news.” CVS said patients should speak with their health care provider about possibly switching to the generic Adrenaclick. “The provider can then write a prescription for ‘epinephrine auto-injector’ to ensure the lowest cost product is filled,” the company said. The $109.99 price tag applies to cash-paying customers and those covered by insurance, lowering their out-of-pocket costs, CVS said. Impax also offers a coupon program for qualifying patients that can cut the cost even more, the company said. Skyrocketing drug prices have become a growing concern among consumers and on Capitol Hill. As furor grew late last summer over the cost of the EpiPen, which has soared some 500 percent in recent years, Mylan CEO Heather Bresch was called to testify before a House committee hearing during which lawmakers blasted the company for what they considered corporate greed and price-gouging. In his first news conference as president-elect, Donald Trump on Wednesday attacked drug makers for their price hikes, saying they were “getting away with murder.” Mr. Trump’s comments immediately sent drug stocks lower, with Mylan shares losing $1.67 on Wednesday. Shares gave up another 51 cents Thursday, to close at $36.77. Patricia Sabatini:; 412-263-3066.
  7. Bennett Mitchell Collier, 93, of Radford, passed away Sunday, December 11, 2016. He was preceded in death by his parents, Ballard and Elizabeth Collier; his wife, Marie Hobbs Collier; and two sons, Michael and Tony Collier. Survivors include his daughter-in-law, Linda Collier of Radford; sisters, Lavina Eggert of Cape Girardeau, Mo. and Irene Wood of Oak Harbor, Ohio; 3 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren. Memorial services will be held at 3 p.m. on Saturday, January 28, 2017 at the Pulaski Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses, 1110 Tyler Avenue, Radford, with Mr. Owen McKinney IV officiating. The Collier family is in the care of Mullins Funeral Home & Crematory in Radford.
  8. By DENISE MAYCOCK #Tribune Freeport Reporter #JEHOVAH’S Witnesses from the United States are in Grand Bahama helping their fellow members who were affected by Hurricane Matthew. #Volunteers from Florida and other parts of the US were out with local members in Freeport helping with roof repairs to homes damaged by the storm last October. #Misael Morales, who is from the Miami area, said that teams of volunteers are in The Bahamas working between Nassau, Freeport, Exuma, Long Island, and Andros. #“We have about over 330 homes of our brothers and sisters that were affected by Hurricane Matthew, and JW do a lot of disaster relief. When we heard that our friends needed assistance here, literally folks from around the US were asking when can they go to help,” he said. #The Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses has coordinated extensive relief efforts following the passage of Hurricane Matthew to assist its members in The Bahamas, the Caribbean, and the southeastern US in early October 2016. #Mr Morales said that volunteers have been coming from the US weeks at a time to assist with relief efforts in The Bahamas. #“Some are here for a few months…and about 120 at any given time are working between Freeport, Nassau, Exuma, Long Island, and Andros. We have seen typical hurricane damage - roof damage and interior damage from storm surge,” he said. #In Grand Bahama, the team will be working on about 60 to 65 homes in Freeport. The three Jehovah’s Witnesses Kingdom Halls also sustained roof damage and will be replaced. #Mr Morales expects the team to be finished its work by the end of March. They will work on six to seven homes per week in Freeport. #He said that wherever there is a need Jehovah’s Witnesses are willing to help. #“We consider this part of our ministry. JW is well known for our door to door work, that is our core competency to educate others about God. We also feel that it is not just helping people to get to know God, but to understand that this is how He takes care of His people,” he said. #Mr Morales said the volunteers have taken time off work to help their fellow Jehovah’s Witnesses in The Bahamas. #“They paid their way to come here to go work on someone’s roof they don’t know just because they say they are Jehovah’s Witnesses as well - that is love,” he said.
  9. WASHINGTON — From the grave of a suffragist in upstate New York to the 16th Street Baptist Churchin Birmingham, Ala., and the Brandenburg Gate in Germany, President-elect Donald Trump has quite a welcome committee: An estimated 1 million people plan to demonstrate in all 50 states and 32 countries. In the U.S. capital alone, the National Park Servicehas issued permits for 25 separate events the weekend of his Jan. 20 swearing-in as the nation's 45th president. It’s a number that’s “pretty well unprecedented” relative to past inaugurations, said Mike Litterst, a park service spokesman. “The biggest issue is merely finding space for all of these groups that allows for a meaningful demonstration,” he said. The main event is the Women’s March on Washington, which will draw at least 200,000 individuals with concerns about threats to women's rights, including abortion, as well as affordable health care and equal pay. It has inspired about 300 others of varying sizes across the country and on every continent, according to Yordanos Eyoel, spokeswoman for the network of sister marches. While there are a few groups — like Bikers for Trump — coming to show their support, the vast majority are protesters, according to a Park Service spreadsheet of permit applications. What’s unique is that “people who have never been politically active before are now mobilizing,” said Eyoel, a Boston-based organizer from Ethiopia who became a U.S. citizen last fall. Cities with the largest number of registrants include Los Angeles, Chicago, Seattle, Portland, Boston, Denver, and Minneapolis. There are marches even in smaller and non-coastal cities including Topeka, Nashville, and Des Moines. “The message here is women’s rights are human rights, and we are not taking a single step back,” said Terry O’Neill, president of the National Organization for Women, among the partner groups. Others are more openly hostile to the incoming president. “We’re more than disappointed in Trump. We’re disgusted,” said Working Families Party senior advisor Valerie Ervin. “We learned about Donald Trump’s attitude toward women once and for all when he boasted about sexual assault,” she said. "Not just today but for years to come we will march and we will fight.” The hundreds of thousands of marchers descending on Washington belie their challenge in presenting a unified front: Trump was elected with plenty of support from women. “There are women who have always fought against and will continue to fight against systemic and patriarchal structures. This march, though, is taking place in a different context,” said Brandy Faulkner, a politics expert at Virginia Tech. “We have a president-elect who is on tape bragging about a sexual assault. Yet, roughly 54% of white women who voted supported him,” said Faulkner. Even so, O’Neill hopes Trump will take notice of their passion since “a lot more people may be coming to our march than are coming to his inauguration,” she said. According to the D.C. Department of Transportation, as of Friday there were 393 charter buses registered for parking on the day of Trump’s inauguration, compared to the 1,200 registered the day of the women’s march. Demonstrators carry signs during a "Love Rally" in New York on Nov. 11, 2016, to protest the election of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump. Bryan R. Smith, AFP/Getty Images The diverse groups participating — from Amnesty International to Planned Parenthood— see the marches as an orientation of sorts for a longer term resistance to the Trump agenda. Filmmaker and activist Michael Moore has called for “100 days of resistance” to Trump’s presidency that starts with the women’s march. The big test will be “whether the groups will pursue a collective policy agenda after the marching is done,” said Faulkner. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said 99 protest groups are expected for the inauguration, including 63 that are expected to protest on Jan. 20. Forming alliances Organizers are hoping participants will form alliances and inspire women to get more involved in their local communities, and according to O'Neill, civil rights and women’s rights groups have already begun closer coordination in the wake of Trump’s Nov. 8 victory. A lot depends on people like Esther Lofgren, a 31-year-old Olympic gold medalist in rowing who hasn’t been an activist but now wants to advance women’s issues. “It seems like a very important time to speak up for human rights,” she said. “As an athlete, I know how important my body and what I choose to do with it is,” said Lofgren, who’ll march with her teammates as part of a group called Athlete Ally and who has just begun to consider which specific causes to adopt. Among the groups that have sprouted in the aftermath of the election is Lawyers for Good Government, a new national organization of more than 120,000 lawyers and activists offering pro-bono work to defend civil and human rights that says it wants “to harness, empower and coordinate the unprecedented political energy that has emerged” since Trump’s election. A day after the march, EMILY’s List will hold a candidate training for about 500 women interested in running for office. The group will "undertake a major effort to recruit, train, and elect more pro-choice Democratic women to office nationwide,” it said in a statement. Public Citizen and others will host a “teach-in” to inform new activists how to “plug into grassroots campaigns and acquire skills to take home to their communities.” Whenever there are large protests there’s potential for clashes. That's more likely to happen on inauguration day than it is during the women's march. "There’s a lot of baby strollers at women’s marches. It’s not a raucous march," said O'Neill. 'A wall of meat' During the inauguration, a group called #DisruptJ20 is vowing a “festival of resistance” to include a march and rallies at all 12 Secret Service security checkpoints and “colorful disruptions” along the inaugural parade route to protest “racial justice, immigrant rights, LGBTQ, antiwar, climate” and other concerns. The group spent the weekend of Jan. 14 in a series of trainings and workshops. It may also attempt to disrupt inaugural balls attended by Trump supporters, including the “Deploraball.” The main pro-Trump group organizing around the inauguration is Bikers for Trump, a motorcycle group led by a South Carolina chainsaw artist who mowed the lawn around the Lincoln Memorial during the 2013 government shutdown. On Thursday, the group posted on Twitter that Trump is “instructing his staff to give us the resources to put on the best rally possible.” Still, on Friday its founder, Chris Cox, told Fox Business Network “the bikers are certainly used to being outnumbered and we are prepared to form a wall of meat.” There are so many groups planning to storm the streets of Washington that Mic created a realtime map for protesters and watchers called “Storm the Swamp” to help keep track of the planned chaos. Others include an estimated 500 who will hold a peaceful candlelight vigil commemorating women who stood vigil in front of the White House from 1913 to 1917 to advocate for suffrage during which the Seneca Falls Declaration will be read. Finally, a pro-marijuana legalization group plans to hand out a few thousand free joints to raise awareness about the benefits of marijuana legalization. “At 4 minutes and 20 seconds into President Trump’s speech we’ll light up! (unless President Trump comes out now in support of full cannabis legalization in all 50 states and DC!)” DCMJ says on its homepage.
  10. Según el Observatorio del Pluralismo Religioso en España, Zamora cuenta con veinticuatro lugares de culto, diez de ellos repartidos por la provincia y otros catorce en la capital. Por confesiones, los evangélicos predominan sobre los adeptos a otras minorías religiosas que también tienen cabida como los ortodoxos, los musulmanes, los testigos de Jehová, los anglicanos o los mormones. En una ciudad tan semanasantera como Zamora, no todos sienten la misma Pasión o, al menos, no todos rezan al mismo Dios. Según el directorio de lugares de culto del Observatorio del Pluralismo Religioso en España, en la provincia conviven de forma pacífica evangélicos, testigos de Jehová, musulmanes, ortodoxos, mormones y anglicanos. Los datos que recoge este informe proceden de tres fuentes: el Registro de Entidades Religiosas del Ministerio de Justicia, actualizado a fecha de 1 de diciembre de 2016, las investigaciones promovidas por la Fundación Pluralismo y Convivencia, y la información aportada por los representantes de estas comunidades religiosas. Así, según este estudio, la Iglesia Evangélica Filadelfia prevalece sobre el resto de comunidades, como la Iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de los Últimos Días (mormones), de la que encontramos un único lugar de culto en Benavente; o la Iglesia Española Reformada Episcopal (anglicanos), cuyo único testimonio en la provincia se ubica en la localidad de Villaescusa. Pero, “¿quiénes forman parte de estas confesiones?, ¿desde cuándo hay protestantes en nuestra provincia?, ¿cuáles son las diferencias entre las comunidades evangélicas?, ¿hay grupos esotéricos?, ¿a qué se dedican?”. Todas estas preguntas fueron planteadas y respondidas por los hermanos David y Luis Santamaría del Río en su libro ‘Los otros creyentes. El hecho religioso no católico en la provincia de Zamora’. Publicado bajo el sello de la editorial Semuret en 2011, el trabajo fue realizado gracias a una beca de investigación otorgada por el Instituto de Estudios Zamoranos ‘Florián de Ocampo’ y en él se recogen los orígenes de las distintas doctrinas así como sus creencias y las características de sus ritos. Según Luis Santamaría del Río, las primeras creencias en convivir con el catolicismo en Zamora fueron el judaísmo y el islam “con presencia importante en la Edad Media”. Sin embargo, para encontrar las primeras noticias relacionadas con los Testigos de Jehová hubo que esperar hasta 1928, año en el que “el testigo misionero inglés Cooke predicó por las principales calles de Zamora capital” y en 1972 se inauguró el primer Salón del Reino en la Calle Balborraz, trasladado años más tarde a la Rúa de los Francos, donde se ubica en la actualidad. Por otra parte, los investigadores fechan los orígenes de la Iglesia Evangélica de Filadelfia en Zamora en torno a los años sesenta y cinco y setenta, “por medio de la predicación de varios gitanos convertidos al Evangelio durante su estancia en Francia por motivos laborales”. Asimismo, los autores justifican la presencia del Islam en la provincia a la inmigración por motivos laborales en la década de los setenta.
  11. By: @bow_tie_bros_comics Going nowhere: Trying to serve Jehovah while also trying to be involved in the world is like trying to use two escalators going in different directions at the same time, and thinking you can still get to the top. The sad reality is that the only thing you will have accomplished by doing this is hurting yourself and possibly stumbling others. We must pick the right path and stick to it if we are to have a real relationship with God.
  12. SHIRLEY, Long Island (WABC) -- The passenger who was in the car of a woman killed while pumping gas on Long Island is speaking out about the tragic incident. Her friend says it was a last minute decision that brought them to that gas station in Shirley. Police say the driver of the other car was high on drugs when she smashed into the pump. "She's like, 'Oh, I forgot to get gas,'" said Melissa Delgaudio, the victim's friend. Melissa Delgaudio is devastated. In surveillance video, her friend is pumping gas when suddenly a car plows into the pumps. 62-year-old Rosalie Koenig suffered massive internal injuries and later died. Delgaudio was a passenger in her car. "I just heard boom! And she screamed, and I saw her face, and she went down. My first thought was that she was crushed to death," Delgaudio said. "She was going in and out of consciousness it seemed. I keep replaying it, seeing her face in my head, the last time I saw her, her facial expression when she got hit, you know, in shock and screamed, and I keep thinking about it, I horrible about it." She feels horrible about it because they intended to stop at a different service station, long before they got to the Long Island Expressway. "She wanted to go to a service station before we got there, and she kept asking me to remind her to get gas, before we, she kept on telling me to remind her to get gas before we got near the LIE and I didn't," Delgaudio said. The driver was not seriously injured and was identified as 53-year-old Renee McKinney. She was arrested for driving under the influence of drugs, specifically heroin. The charges may be upgraded. Ms. Koenig was a devoted member of the Jehovah's Witnesses. Delgaudio says they studied the Bible together, and became best friends. "She was always there for me if I needed her, she was like a mother to me, so I kind of feel like I lost a mother," Delgaudio said.
  13. Testigos de Jehová darán respuesta por escrito a la petición de documentos de exmiembros que denuncian abusos Los Testigos de Jehová han asegurado que darán respuesta por escrito a la petición realizada por el colectivo AbusosTJ --que representa a exmiembros de esta confesión que denuncian casos de abusos sexuales en las congregaciones--, después de que este martes dicho colectivo se haya presentado en la sede de la entidad religiosa. Dos de los miembros del colectivo AbusosTJ, Miguel García López e Israel Florez, han asegurado este lunes 16 de enero que, tras acudir a la sede nacional de los Testigos de Jehová en Ajalvir (Madrid) para recoger unos documentos "secretos" sobre casos de abusos que, según indican, habían solicitado previamente vía burofax, no se les han entregado. Sin embargo, los Testigos de Jehová han asegurado que "no es de ningún modo cierto" que a su petición de los documentos se les haya dado una negativa por respuesta. "Hoy, al presentarse aquí, en la sede nacional para pedir la entrega de unos documentos, se les ha dicho que recibirán respuesta por escrito", han explicado en declaraciones a Europa Press fuentes de los Testigos de Jehová en España. Las mismas fuentes han precisado que lo que solicitó este colectivo en su día vía burofax no fue la entrega de estos documentos sino "que se cancelaran los datos personales que sobre ellos hubiese" en sus registros. Sobre este reclamo, los Testigos de Jehová aseguran que eliminaron esta información personal y notificaron de ello al colectivo "porque así es preceptivo por ley". Mientras, el colectivo ha anunciado que pondrá una denuncia contra la entidad religiosa por no haber recibido este lunes los documentos. "Si ellos deciden denunciar, como es obvio respecto a esta o a cualquier otra denuncia, su actuación ha de ajustarse a Derecho", han subrayado desde la sede de los Testigos de Jehová.