How long has the Memphis bridge had this crack in it? – National & International News – WED 19May2021

Arkansas Department of Transportation fires inspector who failed to spot crack in 2019.

How long has the Memphis bridge crack been there? 1 in 10 police departments can access Ring cameras without a warrant. 8000 migrants arrive in Spanish enclave in 36 hours.

NATIONAL NEWS

Memphis bridge crack has been there for at least 2 years

Arkansas Department of Transportation Director Lorie Tudor says she has fired a department inspector who failed to spot the crack in the 1-40 “New Bridge” that connects Memphis and West Memphis, AR, over the Mississippi River. Drone footage from 2019 has surfaced showing that the crack was visible even then. Tudor has not identified the inspector, but said that the inspector failed to note the crack in a fall 2019 report or any 2020 report. The inspector had been with the department for 15 years. Tudor said that all “fracture critical” bridges last inspected by the fired employee will be re-inspected.

Transport officials have not given a timeline for the repair of the I-40 bridge but have said it could take weeks. In the meantime, all traffic, including semis, is being redirected to the 71-year-old two-lane I-55 bridge. Officials have ordered a drone inspection of the I-55 bridge “out of an abundance of caution”.

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1 in 10 police departments have warrantless access to Amazon Ring cameras

Millions of people across the US have purchased doorbell cameras from Amazon Ring to protect their homes. Ring constantly records video outside your home, and all that data is uploaded and stored into Amazon’s Cloud. One Amazon software, Max Eliaser, recognized the problems with this, writing in a 2020 company memo that Ring is “simply not compatible with a free society”.

Since 2018, Amazon has brokered deals with 1,800 local law enforcement agencies across the US. These deals allow members of law enforcement to request recorded video content from Ring users without a warrant. And the number of these agreement is on the increase.

In the past year, law enforcement agencies have made more than 22,000 individual requests to access captured and recorded content from Ring cameras. Amazingly, this does not violate the fourth amendment, since the cameras are owned by civilians.

Many who aren’t running criminal enterprises out of their homes may be willing to sacrifice their privacy to keep their homes safe. However, it is worth considering that warrantless access means a member of law enforcement can access this data at any time, for any reason (or for no reason). This leaves the system wide open to abuse.

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INTERNATIONAL NEWS

1000s of migrants arrive in Spanish enclave in a matter of days

In just 36 hours, 8000 migrants have arrived in a Spanish-owned enclave bordering Morocco. Thousands of people from Morocco,  North Africa or sub-Saharan Africa either used rafts or swam around the breakwater that separates the enclave from Morocco. At least 2000 are minors. The influx apparently caught Spain off guard and left authorities to grapple with a sudden humanitarian crisis.

The wave of migrants seems to be connected to a dispute between the Spanish and Moroccan government. Spain recently allowed a leader of a Western Saharan independence group to come to Spain for COVID-19 treatment. This angered Morocco, who annexed Western Sahara in 1975. Karima Benyaich, Morocco’s ambassador to Spain, appeared to draw a direct link to the incidents. Benyaich implied that Spain’s actions had consequences that “must be accepted”.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said anyone who had entered Ceuta irregularly would be “immediately returned”.

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