The Good: Border Patrol Serial Killer In Custody
Juan David Ortiz 35, was taken into custody without incident after one of his 5 victims managed to escape his car and report him to police. As Juan stopped to use a gas station bathroom, Texas State Troopers recognized his car as flagged and saw his weapon laying on his seat before confronting him. Despite what seems to have been a suicide attempt by cop, police arrested Ortiz hiding under a pick up truck holding his phone as if it were a gun, suggesting he was baiting law enforcement to shoot him. Webb County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Federico Garza spoke at Monday’s press conference and outlined the details of the case: “He had numerous, numerous weapons — he was loading up all these weapons thinking that DPS was going to confront him and he was looking at a confrontation. Thank God that didn’t happen,”
After being taken into custody Ortiz admitted to the killings of 4 other women over a span of two weeks. Melissa Ramirez, 29; Claudine Ann Luera, 42; Nikki Enriquez, 28; and Guiselda Alicia Cantu, 35 were all found miles from one another just outside of Laredo city limits. The sole survivor of the attacks, Erica Peña 26, spoke about the attempt on her life and the moments leading up to her escape with her aunt but is staying mostly out of the media.
Ortiz is facing a slew of charges with a bond set at 2.5 million.
The Bad: Hurricane Florence Makes Landfall In North Carolina
This week, the Southern United States braced for hurricane Florence that made landfall in North Carolina. Currently Florence is diminishing in power but only after leaving massive damage to North, South Carolina and Virginia. So far the death toll has raised to 37 however the number is expected to rise as more rescue workers continue to unearth the extent of the wreckage.
In addition to the lives lost from torrential flooding and winds, the property damage is likely to have a lasting effect on the economic stability of the citizens. A big part of the Carolina’s economy is based on agriculture and manufacturing which both have taken a hit after the damage sustained over the past several days. Tobacco and corn fields have been severely damaged and reports reveal that abandoned chicken and pig farms have filled with the carcasses of drowned bodies; 1.7 million chicken are estimated to have died along with thousands of hogs.
Despite the devastating effects of the category 4 hurricane, spirits continue to stay strong as neighboring states and citizens extend their help. Operation BBQ Relief, a company based out of Missiouri has deployed hot meals to displaced residents and first responders in North Carolina as donations and additional relief efforts are made.
Our thoughts go out to everyone effected by Hurricane Florence and we wish the citizens and states effected a quick recovery.
The Good: CBC & Toronto Star Investigate Ticketmaster
After the complaints from thousands of frustrated fans who claimed ticket websites were driving up prices by allowing fake accounts to purchase tickets, an undercover investigation was initiated by the Toronto Star news outlet and the Canadian Broadcasting Center who have allegedly confirmed the allegations.
The report reveals that Ticketmaster is helping scalpers with an underground program that allows them to buy tickets and resell them at a higher price on an online platform while recouping hundreds of thoudands in transaction fees.
One of the reporters who went to a Las Vegas entertainment conference undercover as a ticket broker spoke about his findings earlier this week: “They have a secret scalper program that they don’t talk about in any corporate reports,” said Dave Seglins. “What we discovered is they are selling something called TradeDesk, which is an online system….It’s purposely designed for professional scalpers. It helps manage large inventories.”
Although there are no federal laws on ticket scalping, the unfair cost to consumers raises a moral debate that Seglins felt needed to be shown to the customers.
“I’m hoping from an investigation like this, we’re really bringing transparency so that people could look at this and ask whether this is right, moral, ethical, legal,” said Seglins.
Ticketmaster released a statement regarding the accusations quickly stating: “It is categorically untrue that Ticketmaster has any program in place to enable resellers to acquire large volumes of tickets at the expense of consumers.” Despite their claim of innocence, Ticketmaster also stated it has begun an “internal review of [its] professional reseller accounts and employee practices.”
The Bad: Canadians Barred From U.S. Border For Marijuana
On October 17th, Canada will become the first major industrialized nation to legally allow the commercial sale of marijuana. Despite the legality of marijuana’s use in Canada, U.S. border officials have announced border agents will take a strong stance agaisnt allowing marijuana users, or even it’s industry professionals like investors within the country.
Todd Owen, executive assistant commissioner for the Office of Field Operations, briefed POLITICO on how operations at the border would move forward following Canada’s legalization: “Our officers are not going to be asking everyone whether they have used marijuana, but if other questions lead there — or if there is a smell coming from the car, they might ask…Likewise, marijuana residue, which can linger for weeks inside a car, could be detected by CBP inspection dogs and lead to further questioning. If asked about past drug use, travelers should not lie, Owen said. “If you lie about it, that’s fraud and misrepresentation, which carries a lifetime ban.”
As more U.S. states enact more liberal marijuana laws, the pressure from politicians, lawmakers and business owners within the country along with the loss of potential revenue will likely add to mounting approval for decriminalizing marijuana on a federal level completely. Canada is slated to earn billions from the marijuana industry after the historic enactment of their new marijuana legislation coming this fall despite marijuana related stocks falling following the U.S.’s announcement.
The Good: Spotify To Allow Independent Artists To Upload Directly To Platform
With news that could potentially change the digital industry for artists, Spotify has announced it will be launching the beta version of a newly implemented program that will allow artists who aren’t signed to a major label to upload their music directly to the platform. Currently, artists who want their music upoload to Spotify are forced to pay a third party like TuneCore for access to the digital space, however new plans would eliminate the need for services like TuneCore or CD Baby as Spotify’s feature is being offered to artists for free.
Unlike Soundcloud users are urged to view their upload as an official release date as songs won’t be immediately available for streaming. Spotify’s team will be checking for copyright infrigments and duplicates before allowing songs to become available and suggest artists submit their songs at least 5 days ahead of their intended release. Spotify’s Kene Anoliefo, a senior product lead for Spotify’s Creator Marketplace spoke to th9e ‘The Verge’ about the pending change and the implications on the economics of the independent digital era: “We created a pretty simple and fair deal for uploading music where artists receive 50 percent of Spotify’s net revenue, and Spotify also accounts to publishers and collection societies for additional royalties related to the musical composition,” Anoliefo said. “Artists will receive automatic monthly royalty checks. They will be able to view all of that information and check all their data within Spotify for Artists.”
The Bad: Frank Ocean Takes Legal Action Over Astroworld
More Things You Should Know:
More Things You Should Know:
– Typhoon Mangkhut Makes Landfall In The Philippines. Millions displaced.
– Floyd Mayweather Says He Will Come Out Of Retirement To Fight Manny Pacquioa
– Justin Bieber Applies For U.S. Citizenship
– Driver Rescues 64 Abandoned Animals In Wake Of Hurricane Florence
– Australians Are Finding Needles In Their Strawberries
– Great Grandfather Successfully Fights Off Armed Robbers In Ireland
– Coke Considering Making Cannabis Infused Version Of Soda
– Personal Use Of Marijuana Now Legal In South Africa
Make sure to stay up to date on the week’s top stories only here at EMCEE!