Tag Archives: website

Site says New Balance official shoe for white supremacists

A white supremacist website has declared footwear manufacturer New Balance the “Official Shoes of White People.”

The Boston Globe reported the alt-right website The Daily Stormer made the proclamation over the weekend, after New Balance vice president of public affairs Matt LeBretton praised Republican President-elect Donald Trump.

LeBretton told the Wall Street Journal that the election of Trump was a move in the “right direction.”

New Balance, which is based in Boston, later said the comment was referencing Trump’s stance opposing a proposed international trade agreement.

“New Balance has a unique perspective on trade in that we want to make more shoes in the U.S., not less,” it said in a statement last week.

Still, LeBretton’s comment sparked protests.

People who don’t like Trump posted social media videos of themselves throwing their New Balance shoes in the trash or even burning them.

The Daily Stormer founder Andrew Anglin said he believes New Balance’s support of Trump could be a marketing scheme. But he said the website is campaigning to buy the company’s products and is encouraging others to do the same.

LeBretton didn’t immediately return a request for comment about the support from the white supremacist website.

New Balance, which also sells fitness apparel, said in a tweet during the burning-shoes protest that it believes in community, humanity and “acting with the utmost integrity” and that it welcomes “all walks of life.”


Complaints drive Lands’ End to issue apology for featuring feminist Gloria Steinem in catalog

Wisconsin-based retailer Lands’ End is apologizing to customers for featuring an interview with feminist and political activist Gloria Steinem in its spring catalog and has removed references to her from its website.

The company removed a feature on Steinem from its website after customers complained about her support for abortion rights, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported. The retailer issued an apology on Feb. 24 after customers complained, including by flooding the company’s Facebook page with hundreds of comments and vows to stop shopping the stores.

“We understand that some of our customers were offended by the inclusion of an interview in a recent catalog with Gloria Steinem on her quest for women’s equality,” the company said in a statement. “We thought it was a good idea and we heard from our customers that, for different reasons, it wasn’t.”

Steinem was interviewed by company CEO Federica Marchionni for the Lands’ End “Legend Series,” which features people “who have made a difference in both their respective industries and the world at large,” according to the company.

“Our goal was to feature individuals with different interests and backgrounds that have made a difference for our new Legends Series, not to take any political or religious stance,” the statement said. It wasn’t immediately clear whether the interview mentioned her stance on abortion rights.

Steinem’s representative at Random House said Steinem was currently in the United Kingdom on book tour and unavailable for comment.

JK Rowling tells a new Potter story on her website

Eight years after writing the last of her “Harry Potter” novels, J.K. Rowling is still adding to the boy wizard’s story.

The author posted new information recently about the Potter family, the background provided on a “newly imagined” and mobile friendly version of the Pottermore Web portal (www.pottermore.com ) that Rowling established in 2012.

In a brief essay titled, “The Potter Family,” Rowling traces Harry’s roots to “the twelfth-century wizard Linfred of Stinchcombe, a locally well-beloved and eccentric man, whose nickname, ‘the Potterer’, became corrupted in time to ‘Potter.”” She also offers the backstory on the “Invisibility Cloak,” a legacy made possible by a “beautiful young witch” named Iolanthe Peverell.

Voters at Georgia polling place charged to park

The Center for American Progress and other organizations raised concerns on Election Day with Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp about access to the polls. They are calling for immediate action to ensure all eligible voters have uninhibited access to the polls and can exercise their legal and constitutional right to vote.

The state of Georgia’s website with vital voter information went down on Election Day and the polling location on Georgia Tech’s campus is charging voters for parking in order to vote there, according to multiple reports.

“Egregious voting issues reported in Georgia today are simply unacceptable and need immediate attention from local officials. Georgia officials need to address the fact that voters in their state at Georgia Tech polling locations are effectively being charged to cast their votes” said Michele Jawando, vice president of legal progress at the Center for American Progress. “Georgia’s history of voter suppression in this election cycle—including tens of thousands of Georgians facing voter registration barriers earlier this year — make the call to address voting issues reported on the ground today all the more urgent.”

A letter from Jawando to Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp said, “There is evidence of barriers to voting in Georgia that need to be immediately addressed. For example, there are reports that your website, touted as a way for voters to find their polling locations, was down this morning. Another report indicates that voters were required to pay for parking at Georgia Tech’s student center polling location and voters left polling locations because of excessively long lines. Today’s disturbing reports come after a lawsuit was filed alleging that upwards of 40,000 voter registrations from three Georgia counties have gone missing.

The examples of long lines, missing registrations, and a disabled voter information website makes it clear that voters in Georgia are not freely able to exercise this most cherished right. We call upon the secretary of state’s office and the county board of elections to investigate and address these issues immediately to ensure that Georgians can exercise their legal right to vote.”

Homeland Security employee advocating race war put on leave

The Homeland Security Department says an employee who runs a racist website predicting and advocating a race war has been put on paid administrative leave.

An acquisitions officer for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement who deals with small businesses, Ayo Kimathi, operates the website War on the Horizon. It includes descriptions of an “unavoidable, inevitable clash with the white race.” Kimathi is black.

Kimathi has been with the department since 2009. He was told on Aug. 23 that he is being put on paid administrative leave.

His website criticizes whites, gays, those of mixed race and blacks who integrate with whites.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate groups, earlier this week reported on Kimathi’s role in running the site.

Kimathi hasn’t responded to email and phone calls requesting comment.

SCOTUS to release same-day audio on marriage arguments

The Supreme Court will release audio recordings of next week’s arguments in two gay marriage cases just a few hours after they conclude.

The court will post audio files and transcripts on its website roughly two hours after the end of the proceedings on March 26 and March 27.

The justices will hear arguments over California’s ban on same-sex marriage on March 26 and the federal Defense of Marriage Act on March 27. Rallies are expected across the country on March 26. There also likely will be demonstrations at the court on March 27.

The justices have never allowed cameras inside the courtroom, but occasionally provide same-day audio for cases with unusually high public interest.

The most recent instance was last year’s health care case. The first time was for the Bush v. Gore argument over the disputed outcome in Florida’s presidential vote in 2000.

In recent years, the court has posted the audio from arguments on its website at the end of the week in which they take place. Argument transcripts are routinely available a few hours after the justices hear a case.

Reporters are not allowed to carry recorders or cameras into the courtroom.

WUWM relaunches website

After months of research, planning and development, WUWM 89.7 FM-Milwaukee Public Radio has relaunched www.wuwm.com and its mobile website for smart phones.

The new website delivers more up-to-date local, national and international news, according to a news release that also boasts of easier navigation and increased interaction.

Visitors can find current stories produced by listener-supported WUWM, NPR and BBC. The new design displays more news reports and arranges stories by topics.

“Lake Effect” segments will appear as stand-alone stories – improving user accessibility.

The website has existed since 1996 and was last updated in 2007.

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Judge orders district to stop filtering LGBT sites

A federal judge has ordered a central Missouri school district to stop using Internet filtering software to restrict access to educational websites about gay, lesbian and transgender issues.

U.S. District Judge Nanette Laughrey issued the preliminary injunction this week against the Camdenton R-III School District at the request of the American Civil Liberties Union. The district has 30 days to comply.

As part of a national campaign, the ACLU sued the district last fall in federal court in Jefferson City on behalf of organizations whose websites were being blocked by the filter. The blocked organizations include the Matthew Shepard Foundation and Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays National, a Washington, D.C.-based advocacy group. 

The ACLU wasn’t concerned that sexually explicit content was blocked, but that some schools used filtering software to block purely educational sites.

Camdenton schools use urlblacklist.com to categorize web addresses. The company, Laughrey wrote, assigns categories to websites. Ones that express a positive view toward LGBT individuals are put into its “sexuality” category, which Camdenton blocks. Ones expressing a negative view toward LGBT individuals fall into the “religion” category, which Camdenton does not block.

The Camdenton School District allows students or employees to submit a request for access to a blocked website. School officials then view the site and decide whether to override the filtering service.

But Laughrey said the system doesn’t go far enough because it “stigmatizes, or at least burdens, websites expressing a positive view toward LGBT individuals.”

She also noted that community members had testified in support of keeping the software, with one saying at a meeting, “If the parent allows this in the house, that’s one thing, but to do it outside the family circle, you usurp the authority of the parents.”

“These statements,” Laughrey wrote, “are direct evidence that Camdenton continued to use the provider, despite it being ineffective and falling below professional standards, out of an intent to continue to burden websites expressing a positive viewpoint toward LGBT individuals.”

The district’s attorney, Thomas Mickes, said the provider has made changes since the case was brought against the district.

But ACLU attorney Anthony Rothert said the changes didn’t fix the underlying problem.

“They did a little bit of fixing of a few websites, unblocking of a few websites,” Rothert said, “but the underlying system going forward continues to engage in viewpoint discrimination.”

Source: AP

Indonesia bans gay rights website

The website for the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission was banned this week in Indonesia.

“This is not the first time that attempts to organize and educate lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their allies have been met with state censorship,” said IGLHRC executive director Cary Alan Johnson. All too often, governments use the charge of pornography as a smokescreen to attack freedom of expression.

But, Johnson said, “oppressive governments can’t stop the tide of LGBT voices – whether they are on the Internet, in the media or on the streets. IGLHRC stands with human rights defenders in Indonesia in their struggle to keep the web free for dialog on basic human rights issues.”

IGLHRC received notice from an LGBT civil rights advocate in Indonesia on Feb. 1 that the website was banned by two mobile phone services in Indonesia.

The advocate reported to IGLHRC that an order to block the website was issued by the Minister of Communication and Information.

Indonesian LGBT activists who then tried to access the website reported that they had received the following message: “Site inaccessible. The site you wish to open cannot be accessed. (Situs tidak bisa diakses. Situs yang hendak Anda buka tidak dapat diakses.)”

IGLHRC reported that Web censorship in Indonesia is frequent but is neither well organized nor uniform and depends on the operator and their respective location.

The organization was able to confirm that http://www.IGLHRC.org was censored in Jakarta, Bandung, Palembang, South Sumatra, Surabaya, Salatiga, Central Java and other areas.

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