Canadian singles who use Android phones are more likely to have sex on a first date and partake in one-night stands, in comparison to those with other types of smartphones, according to a results of a survey.
The survey, conducted by polling firm Zoomerang for dating website Match.com, found 62 per cent of singles it asked who use Android devices, have had sex on a first date, compared with 57 per cent of iPhone users and 48 per cent of BlackBerry users.
At 55 per cent, Android users also were the most likely to have one-night stands. According to the survey results, 50 per cent of iPhone users have had a one-night stand and 47.6 per cent of Blackberry users said also they had had a one-night stand.
Android users also were the most active visitors of dating websites, at 72 per cent. That compared to 58 per cent of those with iPhones and 50 per cent of people who have BlackBerrys.
Those with an iPhone were most likely to date a co-worker, with nearly a quarter of such singles saying they’ve had a workplace romance within the last five years.
BlackBerry users — at 72 per cent — were the most likely to drink alcohol on a first date.
The survey found 75 per cent all these singles indicate that email and texting had “significantly improved their dating life.”
“Thanks to social networking and online dating, our love lives and our digital lives have never been more intertwined,” Match.com said in release about its survey.
Still, it had a few warnings about dating in this high-tech environment: don’t get distracted by your cellphone while on a date; don’t be too quick to make your new love interest a Facebook friend; don’t use a social network to introduce your new mate to friends and family; and sometimes actually call the person rather than sending email or texts.
The results were based on Internet surveys conducted with 1,068 Canadian singles from Oct. 13 to 15. No margin of error was provided.
“Early 2011” – “The FBI contacted New Zealand Police in early 2011 with a request to assist with their investigation into the Mega Conspiracy.” said Detective Inspector Grant Wormald of OFCANZ
28-OCT-2011 – MegaUpload labelled a ‘rogue’ site by MPAA.
The MPAA has submitted a new list of “notorious websites” to the Office of the US Trade Representative, sites that are all in danger of becoming the target of planned U.S. legislation. The list contains the most-visited torrent sites including The Pirate Bay, file-hosting and linking sites such as MegaUpload, and Russia’s Facebook equivalent, VKontakte. Interestingly, file-hosting service RapidShare is absent from the filing.
09-DEC-2011 – MegaUpload releases a music video with RIAA artists endorsing MegaUpload.
MegaUpload is currently being portrayed by the MPAA and RIAA as one of the world’s leading rogue sites. But top music stars including P Diddy, Will.i.am, Alicia Keys, Snoop Dogg and Kanye West disagree and are giving the site their full support in a brand new song. TorrentFreak caught up with the elusive founder of MegaUpload, Kim Dotcom, who shrugged off “this rogue nonsense” and told us he wants content owners to get paid.
10-DEC-2011 – UMG doesn’t like the video. Has it removed from YouTube.
Earlier today, Megaupload released a pop video featuring mainstream artists who endorse the cyberlocker service. News of the controversial Mega Song even trended on Twitter, but has now been removed from YouTube on copyright grounds by Universal Music. Kim Dotcom says that Megaupload owns everything in the video, and that the label has engaged in dirty tricks in an attempt to sabotage their successful viral campaign.
12-DEC-2011 – MegaUpload files suit against UMG on the grounds that UMG cannot remove the content as MegaUpload holds the copyright, not UMG.
File-hosting service Megaupload has told TorrentFreak that it will sue Universal for wrongfully taking down its content from YouTube. Universal took action Friday to remove a Megaupload-produced pop video which featured leading artists singing the cyberlocker service’s praises. The move has also prompted the company to enter the SOPA debate, with a call for like-minded people to join forces and fight for an Internet without censorship.
16-DEC-2011 – UMG says “So what? We can take down whatever we want!” and “You can’t touch us. This isn’t DMCA. We didn’t take it down because of copyright. We took it down because we can.”
A week ago today, Megaupload’s now-famous Mega Song was on its way to becoming a viral hit, only to be cut down from YouTube by a Universal Music takedown demand. Following the filing of a Megaupload lawsuit the song is back online, but Universal are standing firm. You can’t touch us on DMCA grounds, the label says in a new filing, adding it can take down any material, even if it doesn’t infringe their rights.
21-DEC-2011 – MegaUpload labelled a “rogue” site by the USTR.
The US Government has classified some of the largest websites on the Internet as examples of sites which sustain global piracy. The list released by the United States Trade Representative draws exclusively on input from rightsholders. It includes popular torrent sites such as The Pirate Bay, file-hosting service Megaupload and Russia’s leading social network VKontakte.
28-DEC-2011 – MegaUpload wants an explaination from UMG.
In their 18-page response filing at the US District Court for Northern Californian earlier this month, not once did Universal Music say why they forced YouTube to remove Megaupload’s Mega Song. Since that’s what the dispute between the two companies is all about, that was a pretty strange event. In a new filing, Megaupload makes it clear that it isn’t going to be brushed aside. The cyberlocker wants answers, and it will dig deep to get them.
19-JAN-2012 – MegaUpload shut down by Feds
MegaUpload, one of the largest file-sharing sites on the Internet, has been shut down by federal prosecutors in Virginia. The site’s founder Kim Dotcom and three others were arrested by the police in New Zealand at the request of US authorities. MegaVideo, the streaming site belonging to same company, and a total of 18 domains connected to the Mega company were seized and datacenters in three countries raided.
I saw this at
I dont usually post shit like this.. but wow lol.. How do you trip into a lifeboat ?
The captain of the Italian cruise ship gave a slapstick explanation of how he ended up safely in a lifeboat instead of going down with his ship, saying he tripped and fell into the boat as it was being lowered into the sea, Italian media reported today.
“I had no intention of escaping,” Francesco Schettino, 52, said during his first court hearing Tuesday, according to Italy’s Corriere della Sera newspaper.
“I was helping some passengers put the life boat to sea. At a certain point the mechanism for lowering it, blocked. We had to force it. Suddenly the system unblocked itself and I tripped and I found myself inside the life boat with a number of passengers.”
Once in the lifeboat that was lowered into the sea, Schettino insisted to the court that it was “impossible to go back onboard.”
The captain also reportedly admitted to the court that he lied at one point when he assured officials that he had dropped anchor shortly after the Costa Concordia slammed into a rock to stabilize the luxury liner.
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However a video by the Guardia di Finanza who arrived onsite 10 minutes after the disaster clearly shows that the anchor had not been lowered. Schettino admitted Tuesday that he lied about the anchor, the newspaper reported.
The luxury cruise ship was carrying more than 4,000 passengers and crew when it struck rocks Friday evening near Giglio off the coast of Tuscany, during a close pass to shore. At least 11 people were killed in the aftermath when the ship keeled over. Nearly two dozen people are still missing, including an American couple from Minnesota.
Schettino reportedly admitted that he made mistakes that led to the crash and afterwards, but said the ship’s course, including the now-controversial close pass, had been set from the beginning. The cruise line previously said Schettino had made an unauthorized deviation from the programmed route.
Schettino, who is currently under house arrest, is under investigation for potentially causing the wreck by steering into the rocks and then abandoning the panicked passengers for a lifeboat as the ship plunged over on its side. In recorded radio transmissions released Tuesday, Schettino is heard telling Italian Port Authority officials he and other officers abandoned ship.
“And with 100 people still on board, you abandon ship? [expletive],” the Port Authority officer says in response.
Schettino appears to correct himself, saying, “I didn’t abandon any ship… because the ship turned on its side quickly and we were catapulted into the water.”
The recording goes on to show the Port Authority official repeatedly berating Schettino for not going back to the ship to coordinate rescue efforts, and at one point ordering Schettino to “get back on board for [expletive]’s sake!”
Italians appear divided on how to view the embattled cruise captain.
Some, like Schettino’s neighbor, said he “is a hero who saved over 4,000 people,” Italy’s ANSA news outlet reported. Schettino’s wife said Tuesday her husband made some quick decisions after the initial impact that helped save passenger’s lives.
“It is for this reason that we feel the need to strongly reject any attempt to delegitimize him and ask you to understand his tragedy and personal drama,” Fabiola Russo told reporters Tuesday.
In editorials in Italian newspapers, however, Schettino was heavily criticized, one calling him the “coward captain” and another saying the incident shows the Italian national character with its greatness and “all its shortcomings.”
Online Facebook groups have reportedly emerged on either side of the argument.
On December 22, Aarifa was admitted to Lahore’s CMH hospital after suffering cardiac arrest. On Thursday, doctors said there is no hope for her survival, and that her life support could be switched off ‘at any time’.
Aarifa’s father, Lt Col (Retd) Amjad Karim Randhawa told The Express Tribune that she had suffered an epileptic attack, which caused severe brain and heart damage. Randhawa said “only a miracle will allow my brilliant, genius daughter to live now”.
After the news of Aarifa’s condition emerged, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif took notice and offered economic support to the family, but they have refused to take the money.
When Aarifa, now 16, was given the title of a Microsoft professional as a young child, she visited the company’s headquarters in the US. When she met Bill Gates himself, she had two questions: Why weren’t children allowed to work for Microsoft, and why such few women worked for the organisation.
Her love for technology, however, started long before she was recognised internationally. After discovering computers for the first time at the age of five, she pestered her father for a personal computer, and after that there was no looking back.
Aarifa’s father recalled the year in which his daughter passed the test which enabled her to be declared the youngest professional certified by Microsoft in the world. “When she passed the test at age nine, everyone thought the result was wrong,” he reminisced. She wanted to make software just like Bill Gates, he added. She would say that she wanted to work for children and poor people.
Proudly, he said she came from a ‘low-profile’ family, but she would always say she wanted to study all over the world and then come back to help the people in her village. Her dreams were never for herself alone.
Aarifa’s achievements go far beyond recognition from Microsoft alone. The 16-year-old, a student of Lahore Grammar School’s Paragon campus, has represented Pakistan in various international forums. In 2005, the child prodigy received the Fatimah Jinnah Gold Medal from the government as well as the Salaam Pakistan Youth Award. In addition, she has received the president’s award for Pride of Performance, medals from IT professionals around the world, and also became a brand ambassador for PTCL in 2010.
Her talents however, are versatile. Besides excelling in the field of science and technology, Aarifa also flew a plane at the age of 10.
Aarifa’s life hangs in the balance, and while most have given up hope, her father says: “I am praying and I want everyone to pray for her”. (WITH ADDITIONAL INPUT FROM THE NEWS DESK)
Wendy’s is investing $200 million on a return to Japan after leaving the country in 2009, according to Bloomberg.
The signature burger of this venture is a $16 Foie Gras Rossini, aka the Premium Sandwich.
Judging from the picture below it features the traditional square beef patty topped with foie gras topped with perhaps truffle butter. The word Rossini refers to Tournedos Rossini, a French dish involving filet mignon and foie gras that was purportedly created for the gourmand Italian composer Gioachino Rossini.
The burger and other upscale dishes will sell in Tokyo’s Omotesando luxury shopping district at the first of 100 targeted stores.
Foie gras is made from the liver of a goose or duck that has been force fed to make it fat. Presumably this dish would not work in America, where the average person doesn’t like the sound of goose liver pate, and where animal rights groups are outraged by the dish, leading to several state bans. In Japan, however, people who have the stomach and the conscience to eat raw fish and whale meat can probably handle foie gras.
McDonald’s has already shown the value of dramatic localization around the world. Still Wendy’s is taking rebranding to a new level.
After two decades of research, a group of Canadian scientists has won approval to start testing an experimental HIV vaccine on humans.
The vaccine, developed by researchers at the University of Western Ontario, has received a green light from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for clinical human trials.
Beginning in January, the vaccine will be given to 40 healthy people with HIV to test its safety.
Dr. Chil-Yong Kang, professor of virology at the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Western Ontario, called the FDA approval a “milestone.”
“We started the basic science research two decades ago,” Kang said. “The vaccine development, we started 10 years ago. This is incredible for us to get to this stage of development.”
Kang said the vaccine, called SAV001, is the first preventative HIV vaccine approved for clinical trials to use a killed whole HIV-1 virus to activate the immune response in humans.
The strategy has been used before to develop successful vaccines for influenza, polio, rabies and hepatitis A. Kang said these past successes for other viral diseases provide hope the Canadian-developed vaccine will work against HIV.
The human immunodeficiency virus used in the vaccine has been genetically altered to render it non-pathogenic, or unable to cause disease. Kang and his research team then further inactivated the virus using chemicals and radiation.
“In the past, people did not use this strategy (using a killed whole HIV virus) because people did not know how to make a safer virus and people did not know how to make large quantities of it,” Kang said. “Now we have solved those problems by the genetic engineering of the virus.”
According to the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, there are 30 HIV vaccines currently being tested in phase 1 clinical trials around the world.
Many of these vaccines have largely focused on using one specific component of the human immunodeficiency virus to trigger an immune response. Other vaccines have used other viral vectors to create a vaccine. Right now, there is no effective HIV vaccine.
Dr. Jonathan Angel, president of the Canadian Association for HIV Research, whose research is funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, said it is exciting that a Canadian scientist’s work has progressed from the basic research level to a vaccine approved for human clinical trials, meeting the rigorous criteria of the FDA.
But he also cautioned that developing an effective HIV vaccine remains a daunting task because HIV is a complex virus that scientists do not yet completely understand.
Should the SAV001 be proven safe, the vaccine will enter the second phase of clinical trials, in which it will be tested on 600 HIV-negative volunteers at high risk for HIV infection. Researchers will measure the volunteers’ immune response to the vaccine.
The third and final phase would enroll 6,000 HIV-negative volunteers at high risk for the disease. The participants, half of whom would be vaccinated and half un-vaccinated, would be tracked for three years to see how many in each group became infected with HIV.
Kang and his team received funding from Sumagen Canada, a company created in 2008 to support the development of the vaccine and a subsidiary of a Korean-based pharmaceutical venture company.
A Dutch architectural firm has apologized for its design of twin skyscrapers in central Seoul which resemble the exploding World Trade Center towers in New York and have infuriated families of the victims of the 9/11 attacks.
The blueprint for the luxury apartment buildings was released last week and shows a structure which juts out at the middle to accommodate pools, restaurants, cafes and a gym.
Relatives of victims of al Qaeda’s September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States have expressed outrage, according to U.S. media reports, saying the designers have no respect for those that died and branding the design a cheap publicity stunt.
Designer MVRDV said it had not intended to create an image resembling the attacks, and it did not see the resemblance during the design process.
“We sincerely apologize to anyone whose feelings we have hurt. It was not our intention,” the company said on its website.
It did not indicate whether it would change the design….
Have you used Ticketmaster in the last 12 years? If so, you can file a claim to receive a share of a long-awaited class action settlement with Ticketmaster for charging excessive and deceptive processing fees.
The Ticketmaster settlement will resolve a class action lawsuit, entitled Curt Schlesinger, et al. v. Ticketmaster, that alleges Ticketmaster’s Order Processing Fees and UPS Expedited Delivery prices of tickets are excessive and deceptive.
The Ticketmaster class action lawsuit claims the company deceived and misled customers into believing that its Order Processing Fee was a pass-through of the amount that UPS charged Ticketmaster for that delivery when it was actually a profit generator for Ticketmaster. The Ticketmaster class action lawsuit also asserts that Ticketmaster’s UPS delivery charges are excessive and deceptive.
Ticketmaster denies any wrongdoing but has agreed to settle the case to avoid ongoing litigation.
The Ticketmaster class action settlement includes all U.S. residents who purchased tickets on Ticketmaster.com between October 21, 1999 and October 19, 2011 and paid money to Ticketmaster for an Order Processing Fee (OPF) that was not refunded. It also includes a subclass of all Class Members who paid a delivery price for expedited delivery for their tickets via UPS.
The Ticketmaster fee settlement will provide discount codes that can be used for future purchases for U.S. events from Ticketmaster.com. For each transaction you made during the Class Period, you will receive one discount code via email for a $1.50 discount, up to a maximum of 17 codes. The codes may be combined up to a maximum of two credits ($3.00).
Class Members who also fall under the UPS Subclass will also receive one UPS code for $5.00 off expedited delivery fees on purchases from Ticektmaster.com for each transaction they made using UPS delivery of their tickets during the Class Period, up to 17 transactions.
All Class Members will automatically receive these benefits from the Ticketmaster fee class action settlement via email at the addresses associated with their Ticketmaster account if the settlement is approved at the May 29, 2012 Final Approval Hearing. If you have not received a Ticketmaster Class Action Settlement email yet and believe you are a Class Member, contact the Settlement Administrator at email@example.com to update your email address.
The deadline to opt out of the Ticketmaster settlement is February 16, 2012.
More information on your rights in the Ticketmaster Fee Class Action Lawsuit Settlement can be found at www.TicketFeeLitigation.com.
Researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine (AEC) have found evidence that certain fungi possess another talent beyond their ability to decompose matter: the capacity to use radioactivity as an energy source for making food and spurring their growth.
Detailing the research in Public Library of Science ONE, AEC’s Arturo Casadevall said his interest was piqued five years ago when he read about how a robot sent into the still-highly-radioactive Chernobyl reactor had returned with samples of black, melanin-rich fungi that were growing on the ruined reactor’s walls. “I found that very interesting and began discussing with colleagues whether these fungi might be using the radiation emissions as an energy source,” explained Casadevall.
Casadevall and his co-researchers then set about performing a variety of tests using several different fungi. Two types – one that was induced to make melanin (Crytococcus neoformans) and another that naturally contains it (Wangiella dermatitidis) – were exposed to levels of ionizing radiation approximately 500 times higher than background levels.
Both of these melanin-containing species grew significantly faster than when exposed to standard background radiation.
“Just as the pigment chlorophyll converts sunlight into chemical energy that allows green plants to live and grow, our research suggests that melanin can use a different portion of the electromagnetic spectrum – ionizing radiation – to benefit the fungi containing it,” said co-researcher Ekaterina Dadachova.
Investigating further, the researchers measured the electron spin resonance signal after melanin was exposed to ionizing radiation and found that radiation interacts with melanin to alter its electron structure. This, they believe, is an essential step for capturing radiation and converting it into a different form of energy to make food. Until now, melanin’s biological role in fungi – if any – had been a mystery. Interestingly, the melanin in fungi is no different chemically from the melanin in our skin, leading Casadevall to speculate that melanin could be providing energy to skin cells.
And radiation-munching fungi could be on the menu for future space missions. “Since ionizing radiation is prevalent in outer space, astronauts might be able to rely on fungi as an inexhaustible food source on long missions or for colonizing other planets,” noted Dadachova.
Hong Kong – WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange blasted the mainstream media, Washington, banks and the Internet itself as he addressed journalists in Hong Kong on Monday via videolink from house arrest in England.
The Internet itself had become “the most significant surveillance machine that we have ever seen,” Assange said in reference to the amount of information people give about themselves online. (photo: Andrew Winning, Reuters) Fresh from accepting a top award for journalism from the prestigious Walkley Foundation in his native Australia on Sunday, Assange spoke to the News World Summit in Hong Kong before keeping a regular appointment with the police.
He defended his right to call himself a journalist and said WikiLeaks’ next “battle” would be to ensure that the Internet does not turn into a vast surveillance tool for governments and corporations.
“Of course I’m a goddamn journalist,” he responded with affected frustration when a moderator of the conference asked if he was a member of the profession.
He said his written record spoke for itself and argued that the only reason people kept asking him if he was a journalist was because the United States’ government wanted to silence him.
“The United States government does not want legal protection for us,” he said, referring to a US Justice Department investigation into his whistle-blower website for releasing secret diplomatic and military documents.
The former hacker criticised journalists and the mainstream media for becoming too cosy with the powerful and secretive organisations they were supposed to be holding to account.
In a 40-minute address, he also accused credit card companies such as Visa and Mastercard of illegally cutting WikiLeaks off from funding under a secret deal with the White House.
“Issues that should be decided in open court are being decided in back rooms in Washington,” he said.
The Internet itself had become “the most significant surveillance machine that we have ever seen,” Assange said in reference to the amount of information people give about themselves online.
“It’s not an age of transparency at all … the amount of secret information is more than ever before,” he said, adding that information flows in but is not flowing out of governments and other powerful organisations.
“I see that really is our big battle. The technology gives and the technology takes away,” he added.
The anti-secrecy activist then help up a handwritten sign from an aide telling him to “stop” talking or he would be late for a mandatory appointment with police.
Assange, 40, is under house arrest in England pending the outcome of a Swedish extradition request over claims of rape and sexual assault made by two women. He says he is the victim of a smear campaign.
The Jerry Sandusky situation seems a matter of failure to connect certain dots, or perhaps unwillingness in that regard. Lots of people besides the former Penn State defensive coordinator have some explaining to do.
Allegations of improper conduct with an underage male first surfaced in 1998, while Sandusky was still employed by Penn State. That incident allegedly occurred in a shower at Penn State’s on-campus football facility. No charges were filed.
Sandusky retired the next year, in 1999. He was 55, prime age for a coach. Odd, to say the least – especially with Joe Paterno thought even then to be ready to quit and Sandusky a likely, openly-discussed successor.
It seems logical to ask: What did Paterno know, and when did he know it? What did Penn State’s administration know, and when did they know it?
Best-case scenario: Charges are never brought, and Sandusky walks away with his reputation permanently scarred. The rumors, the jokes, the sideways glances – they won’t ever stop. Paterno and Penn State do the great escape.
Worst-case scenario: Sandusky is charged. Then it seems reasonable to wonder: Did Penn State not make an issue of Sandusky’s alleged behavior in 1998 in exchange for him walking away from the program at an age premature for most coaches? Did Penn State’s considerable influence help get Sandusky off the hook?
Don’t kid yourself. That could happen. Don’t underestimate the power of Paterno and Penn State in central Pennsylvania when it comes to politicians, the police and the media.
In 1999, Penn State was rid of Sandusky. His rep was unblemished, which allowed him to continue running a charitable foundation that gave him access to underage males. To be a volunteer assistant with a high school football team, thus gaining access to underage males.
If Paterno and Penn State knew, but didn’t act, instead facilitating Sandusky’s untroubled retirement – are Paterno and Penn State responsible for untoward acts since committed by Sandusky?
This is far from an outrageous hypothesis, especially given the convenient timeline.
Initially accused in 1998. Retires in 1999. Never coaches college football again. Sandusky was very successful at what he did. The architect of Linebacker U. Helped win national championships in 1982 and 1986. Recognized as college football’s top assistant in 1986 and 1999.
Never any stories about Sandusky being pursued for a high-profile job. Never any rumors about him coming out of retirement.
But there’s no shortage of stories and rumors about Penn State football sweeping problems under the rug, is there?
Why did college football let an accomplished coach like Sandusky walk away at 55? Why did he disappear into relative anonymity?
A grand jury, spurred by a complaint made by a 15-year-old boy in 2009, has been investigating Sandusky for 18 months. Witnesses include Paterno and Penn State athletic director Tim Curley. Interviewing Paterno about a subject like this had to have been one of the single most uncomfortable acts in the history of jurisprudence.
Plenty of questions remain yet unanswered. Potentially among them: What’s more important, Penn State football or the welfare of a few kids?
You might not want to hear the answer.
Mark Madden hosts a radio show 3-6 p.m. weekdays on WXDX-FM (105.9).
The world’s only known white kiwi has survived surgery to remove stones from her gizzard, reports a New Zealand Wildlife Centre.
Over a week ago, rangers noted that Manukura, the six-month-old chick, was off her food.
X-rays revealed that two large stones were obstructing the chick’s guts.
In two separate operations, vets at Wellington Hospital in New Zealand used lasers to successfully break apart the rocks.
Manukura (Credit: Pukaha/NZ) Manukura, the little white kiwi, is not an albino but a rare colour morph
Pukaha Mount Bruce, New Zealand’s North Island wildlife centre, where Manukura lives, reported that the bird’s heart slowed suddenly during the surgery giving the operating team “a bit of a scare”.
But the little white bird pulled through and is recovering in isolation from other animals.
Kiwis, like other birds, swallow stones to help them digest their food. But Manukura, it seems, swallowed more than she could stomach.
Manukura, a North Island Brown Kiwi, is the 13th kiwi hatched in captivity at the centre this year.
In August 2010, while searching for an officer’s stolen handgun, Harrisburg police seized tens of thousands of dollars in cash from Antoine Black’s home on Logan Street.
Black is claiming in a federal lawsuit that the cops should have left that money alone, especially since they didn’t find the missing gun in his house or charge him with a crime.
money.jpgThe Patriot-NewsAntoine Black contends that nearly $43,000 was seized and that he received only $28,980 back.
He is arguing that the seizure of the cash, which authorities unsuccessfully sought to forfeit by attempting to link it to drug dealing, violated his constitutional rights.
The 42-year-old Black also claims authorities didn’t return all the money they took after an arbitration board appointed by Dauphin County Court rebuffed the forfeiture request in March. He contends that nearly $43,000 was seized and that he received only $28,980 back.
City spokesman Robert Philbin declined to discuss Black’s U.S. Middle District Court case.
District Attorney Edward M. Marsico Jr., whose office lost the forfeiture action against Black’s money, insisted that officers had solid legal grounds to confiscate the cash.
Evidence of drug activity found in the home justified the seizure, even though criminal charges weren’t filed against Black after the August 2010 search, Marsico said.
County court records show that at the time of the search, Black was facing an unrelated drug possession charge filed by city police in connection with a June 2010 traffic stop.
Marsico said the amount of money seized from Black’s home was over-estimated initially and that the $28,980 figure is accurate. All cash that was taken was given back to Black after the arbitration ruling, he said.
In his federal suit against the city and its police, Black claims police searched his home for the police officer’s stolen gun based on incorrect information from an informant. The gun in question, plus other police gear, had been taken from the officer’s parked car.
During the search, police took $13,940 from a purse in his home and $29,000 that was in a Tastykake box on the third floor, Black claims.
Black’s lawyer in the federal suit, Robert S. Mirin, said he had not asked Black why he had so much cash in the house.
“He feels he is owed this money,” Mirin said of Black’s reason for suing. “He feels there are civil rights issues also.”
Black, who seeks more than $75,000 in damages, contends in the suit that his family was “greatly upset” by what he argues was an unjustified search and seizure.
Marsico said the money seizure was justified because cocaine residue was found in Black’s home during the failed hunt for the gun.
The forfeiture petition his office filed for the cash indicated that such residue was detected on a scale and in plastic bags in the house. Marsico said the cash itself also tested positive for drug residue.
Officers therefore had legal grounds to impound Black’s money even though the search warrant was only issued regarding a search for the stolen police pistol, Marsico said. In such cases, he said, officers can react to illegal activity they see that is not specified in a warrant.
The presence of that much cash in Black’s house would not alone have been enough to justify its seizure since it isn’t illegal to have large amounts of currency in your abode, said Wesley Oliver, an associate professor at Widener Law School’s Susquehanna Township campus.
Even drug residue on the bills wouldn’t have provided enough justification, he said, because “30 [percent] to 40 percent of the cash in America is tainted with cocaine.”
However, Oliver said the cash seizure could be justified by other evidence of illegal drug activity at the site.
Black is pursuing his federal suit while battling the criminal charges in his Dauphin County Court drug possession case.
In that case, Harrisburg police claim they pulled him over for a traffic violation and found 30 bags of crack cocaine in a car he was driving. Black is scheduled for trial in the drug case in December.