Without Any Warrants, CBP Searched My Devices at the Airport

I was naive about the kind of agency CBP has become in the Trump era. Though I’ve reported several magazine stories in Mexico, none have been about immigration. Of course, I knew these were the guys putting kids in cages, separating refugee children from their parents, and that Trump’s whole shtick is vilifying immigrants, leading to many sad and ugly scenes at the border, including the farcical deployment of U.S. troops. But I complacently assumed that wouldn’t affect me directly, least of all in Austin. Later, I did remember reading a report in February about CBP targeting journalists, activists, and lawyers for scrutiny at ports of entry south of California, but I had never had a problem before, not in a lifetime of crossing the Texas-Mexico border scores of times on foot, by car, by plane, in a canoe, even swimming. This was the first time CBP had ever pulled me aside.

Source: Without Any Warrants, CBP Searched My Devices at the Airport

Caterpillar Now Going After All The Cats For Trademark Cancellations | Techdirt

A couple of weeks back, we discussed the story of Caterpillar Inc., famous manufacturers of tractor equipment, deciding to bully Cat & Cloud Coffee, makers of you’ll-never-guess-what, all because the former had long ago trademarked “CAT” as a truncated brand. At issue specifically is Cat & Cloud’s use of the word “cat” on clothing and merchandise it sells, with Caterpillar claiming there is the potential for public confusion with its own clothing and merch lines. This is, of course, plainly ridiculous. There is no overlap in the branding and nobody is going to confuse the tractor folks with the coffee folks.Others pointed out that there are tons of other companies out there that sell apparel and/or merch while holding trademarks that incorporate the word “cat.” If those other companies are allowed to exist, why not Cat & Cloud? Caterpillar Inc. heard you dear friends, but its response is probably not the one you were hoping for.

Source: Caterpillar Now Going After All The Cats For Trademark Cancellations | Techdirt

After One Hurricane, Then Another, Lumberton Confronts the Company That Refused to Block the Floodwaters

First came Hurricane Matthew, then Florence. Twice, the CSX railroad refused to allow Lumberton, North Carolina, to sandbag a gap in the levee system.

Source: After One Hurricane, Then Another, Lumberton Confronts the Company That Refused to Block the Floodwaters

Mass Shootings, Dinner, and the Cognitive Dissonance of Just Living in America

In almost every developed nation in the world, 12 people being killed in a mass shooting would make that incident the deadliest in years. In some nations it would be the deadliest ever. But in the United States, they happen so often, with such ferocity and carnage, that when we learn about the next one, we hardly skip a beat. Indeed, 2018 was by far the most violent year ever measured for school shootings in the United States and 2017 was the deadliest year in at least a half-century for gun deaths altogether in this country – with an astounding 40,000 people killed by guns. That’s 110 people per day. We couldn’t keep up if we tried.

Source: Mass Shootings, Dinner, and the Cognitive Dissonance of Just Living in America

Arms Makers Tell Investors That Iran Tension Fuels Business

With much of the world on edge over simmering tension in the Middle East, and the U.S. threatening war with Iran, defense executives talked of opportunity.

Source: Arms Makers Tell Investors That Iran Tension Fuels Business

Purdue infiltrated WHO, manipulated opioid policies to boost sales, report finds | Ars Technica


Infamous OxyContin-maker Purdue Pharma used front organizations and sponsored research to deceive the World Health Organization and corrupt global public health policies with the goal of boosting international opioid sales and profits, according to a Congressional report(PDF) released Thursday, May 22.

Source: Purdue infiltrated WHO, manipulated opioid policies to boost sales, report finds | Ars Technica

San Francisco PD Raids Journalist’s Home To Find Out Which One Of Its Cops Leaked An Autopsy Report | Techdirt

If someone at your police department has leaked a sensitive documents, how should you respond?

A. Conduct an internal investigation to find the source of the leak

B. Raid a journalist’s home

If you’re the San Francisco Police Department, you do both.

Source: San Francisco PD Raids Journalist’s Home To Find Out Which One Of Its Cops Leaked An Autopsy Report | Techdirt

Drugmakers hiked prices 1,000% in massive price-fixing scheme, states allege | Ars Technica


Twenty leading drug companies—including Teva Pharmaceuticals, Pfizer, Novartis, and Mylan—were in cahoots for years to fix and dramatically inflate the prices of more than 100 generic drugs, in some cases to raising prices “well over 1,000 percent,” according to a lawsuit filed late last week by 44 states.The alleged scheme was intended to ensure that each company was a “responsible competitor” who was “playing nice in the sandbox” to get its “fair share” of profits from the drugs. Those drugs included pills, capsules, ointments, and cream. They range from oral antibiotics, blood thinners, cancer drugs, contraceptives, statins, anti-inflammatory drugs, anti-depressants, blood pressure medications, drugs used to treat HIV, and drugs for ADHD. A full list of the generic drugs can be found here.”We all know that prescription drugs can be expensive,” said New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal in a statement. “Now we know that high drug prices have been driven in part by an illegal conspiracy among generic drug companies to inflate their prices.”

Source: Drugmakers hiked prices 1,000% in massive price-fixing scheme, states allege | Ars Technica