ICE Detainee Who Died of Covid-19 Suffered Horrifying Neglect


IF THERE’S ONE thing the men locked inside the Otay Mesa Detention Center want the world to know, it’s that Carlos Ernesto Escobar Mejia didn’t need to die. The 57-year-old passed away in a southern California hospital on May 6, becoming the first person in Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody to lose their life to Covid-19. The men who knew him fear that he won’t be the last.

Source: ICE Detainee Who Died of Covid-19 Suffered Horrifying Neglect

What A Coincidence! Same Day Senator Burr Dumped His Stock, So Did His Brother-in-Law! | Techdirt

Senator Richard Burr’s potential insider trading issues, for which he’s being investigated, may have gotten quite a bit worse this week. A new report notes that on the same day Burr sold off a “significant percentage” of his stock holdings (while also telling the public not to worry about COVID-19), it turns out his brother-in-law just coincidentally decided to dump a bunch of stock too. Amazing!

Source: What A Coincidence! Same Day Senator Burr Dumped His Stock, So Did His Brother-in-Law! | Techdirt

We’re Saved! Company Claims It’s Patented ‘Containing the Spread of Disinformation’ And Will Stop COVID-19 Disinfo | Techdirt

… a company called CREOpoint that claims it has patented “Containing the Spread of Disinformation” and that it was now using it to “help contain the spread of COVID-19 disinformation.” Would that it were so, but that’s not how any of this works. Tellingly, the press release does not provide the patent number of any of the details about the patent — which should probably be your first sign that it’s utterly bogus. However, with a little sleuthing I was able to turn up the patent application… and it confirms that this is a ridiculous patent that never should have been approved. The official title is “Containing Disinformation Spread Using Customizable Intelligence Channels.”

Source: We’re Saved! Company Claims It’s Patented ‘Containing the Spread of Disinformation’ And Will Stop COVID-19 Disinfo | Techdirt

Erik Prince Offered Lethal Services to Russian Mercenary Firm


Prince, who is the brother of Trump Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, met earlier this year with a top official of Russia’s Wagner Group and offered his mercenary forces to support the firm’s operations in Libya and Mozambique, according to two people familiar with Prince’s offer.

Source: Erik Prince Offered Lethal Services to Russian Mercenary Firm

Manufacturers Refuse To Allow Hospitals To Fix Ventilators That Are The Last Hope For Many COVID-19 Patients | Techdirt

AdvaMed, the medical device manufacturer trade group that represents more than 400 companies (including Siemens, GE Healthcare, and Philips, which are among the largest), wrote a letter to lawmakers in Massachusetts claiming that right to repair legislation “could result in maintenance and repairs of medical devices being performed by untrained personnel, and that inappropriate replacement parts may be used.”

Source: Manufacturers Refuse To Allow Hospitals To Fix Ventilators That Are The Last Hope For Many COVID-19 Patients | Techdirt

Charles Koch Network Attacks Shelter-in-Place Policies


AMERICANS FOR PROSPERITY, the pro-corporate pressure group founded and funded by billionaire industrialist Charles Koch, wants employees to return to work despite desperate pleas from public health officials that people should stay home as much as possible to help contain the spread of the coronavirus.

Source: Charles Koch Network Attacks Shelter-in-Place Policies

Appeals Court Says No Immunity For Cops Who Shot A Man Standing Motionless With His Hands In The Air | Techdirt

Twelve minutes elapsed between Vasquez’s arrival and the officers’ fatal shots at Flores. During those twelve minutes, the deputies had a number of encounters with Flores, and ultimately deescalated the situation. It was only after Flores was standing nearly thirty feet from the deputies, motionless, and with his hands in the air for several seconds that the officers looked at each other and then decided to shoot Flores. The officers each fired a shot, and Flores fell to the ground.

Source: Appeals Court Says No Immunity For Cops Who Shot A Man Standing Motionless With His Hands In The Air | Techdirt

Anti-Gay Views Caused Andy Biggs to Vote Against Coronavirus Stimulus


ARIZONA REPUBLICAN Rep. Andy Biggs, one of the 40 lawmakers who voted against the coronavirus stimulus bill, said he did so in part because the legislation included paid sick leave benefits for domestic partnerships.

Source: Anti-Gay Views Caused Andy Biggs to Vote Against Coronavirus Stimulus

Firm wielding Theranos patents asks judge to block coronavirus test [Updated] | Ars Technica

Back in 2018, the disgraced biotech company Theranos sold its patent portfolio to Fortress Investment Group, a division of Softbank. Now two of those patents have wound up in the hands of a little-known firm called Labrador Diagnostics—and Labrador is suing a company called BioFire Diagnostics that makes medical testing equipment.And not just any medical testing equipment: BioFire recently announced it had developed three tests for COVID-19 using its hardware—tests that are due out later this month. But Labrador is asking a Delaware federal court to block the company from using its technology—presumably including the new coronavirus tests. As Stanford patent scholar Mark Lemley puts it, “this could be the most tone-deaf IP suit in history.”

Source: Firm wielding Theranos patents asks judge to block coronavirus test [Updated] | Ars Technica

Volunteers 3D-Print Unobtainable $11,000 Valve For $1 To Keep Covid-19 Patients Alive; Original Manufacturer Threatens To Sue | Techdirt

Business Insider Italia explains that even though the original manufacturer was unable to supply the part, it refused to share the relevant 3D file with Fracassi to help him print the valve. It even went so far as to threaten him for patent infringement if he tried to do so on his own. Since lives were at stake, he went ahead anyway, creating the 3D file from scratch. According to the Metro article, he produced an initial batch of ten, and then 100 more, all for free. Fracassi admits that his 3D-printed versions might not be very durable or re-usable. But when it’s possible to make replacements so cheaply — each 3D-printed part costs just one euro, or roughly a dollar — that isn’t a problem. At least it wouldn’t be, except for that threat of legal action, which is also why Fracassi doesn’t dare share his 3D file with other hospitals, despite their desperate need for these valves. And if you’re wondering why the original manufacturer would risk what is bound to be awful publicity for its actions, over something that only costs one euro to make, a detail in the Business Insider Italia article provides an explanation: the official list price for a single valve is 10,000 euros — about $11,000.

Source: Volunteers 3D-Print Unobtainable $11,000 Valve For $1 To Keep Covid-19 Patients Alive; Original Manufacturer Threatens To Sue | Techdirt