Your daily 6: Coast Guard suggests employees babysit, 1943 penny could fetch $170k, Lady Gaga speaks out on R. Kelly - STLtoday.com thumbnail
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Your daily 6: Coast Guard suggests employees babysit, 1943 penny could fetch $170k, Lady Gaga speaks out on R. Kelly – STLtoday.com

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Coast Guard families told they can have garage sales, babysit to cope with government shutdown

Managing Furlough by on Scribd

Employees of the U.S. Coast Guard who are facing a long U.S. government shutdown just received a suggestion: To get by without pay, consider holding a garage sale, babysitting or serving as a “mystery shopper.”
The suggestions were part of a five-page tip sheet published by the Coast Guard Support Program, an employee-assistance arm of the service often known as CG SUPRT. It is designated to offer Coast Guard members help with mental-health issues or other concerns about their lives, including financial wellness.
The Coast Guard receives funding from the Department of Homeland Security, and is subjected to the shuttering of parts of the government along with DHS’s other agencies. That stands in contrast to other military services, which are part of the Defense Department and have funding.
The tip sheet, titled “Managing your finances during a furlough,” applies to the Coast Guard’s 8,500-person civilian work force. About 6,400 of them are on indefinite furlough, while 2,100 are working without pay after being identified as essential workers, said Lt. Cmdr. Scott McBride, a service spokesman. They were last paid for the two-week period ending Dec. 22.
“While it may be uncomfortable to deal with the hard facts, it’s best to avoid the ‘hide your head in the sand’ reaction,” the tip sheet said. “Stay in charge of the situation by getting a clear understanding of what’s happening.”
The Coast Guard removed the tip sheet from the support program’s website late Wednesday morning after The Washington Post inquired about it.
The suggestions do not “reflect the Coast Guard’s current efforts to support our workforce during this lapse in appropriations,” said Lt. Cmdr. Scott McBride, a service spokesman. “As such, this guidance has been removed.”
The situation shows the increasing strain that the service is under as the partial government shutdown continues. About 41,000 active-duty Coast Guardsmen are working without pay. Their next check is due Jan. 15.
Overall, about 420,000 government employees are working under the promise they will be paid retroactively, with nearly another 350,000 on furlough at home.

Rare 1943 penny could fetch more than $170,000 in auction

Image: Heritage Auctions HA.com

HA.com

Don Lutes Jr. kept the 1943 copper penny he stumbled upon in his high school cafeteria seven decades ago in a safe behind a wall in his Massachusetts home.
All US pennies were supposed to be made of zinc-coated steel that year to conserve the copper needed for wartime essentials like shell casings and telephone wire, according to Heritage Auctions, a Dallas-based auction house. But a small number of copper pennies were created by mistake. Only a few of them exist today, making them special to coin collectors.
Lutes knew his coin was rare and held on to it. But as his health declined last year, Lutes decided to sell the coin, said Peter Karpenski, a friend and fellow coin collector.
Lutes’ prized possession could fetch a pretty penny. Heritage Auctions, which is overseeing the sale, estimates the coin is worth at least $170,000.
The top bid after a two-week online auction is $130,000, according to Heritage Auctions. The online auction ends at 6 p.m. Thursday when a live auction will begin at the Florida United Numismatics convention in Orlando.
“What makes this so exciting is that it’s the only time ever in history when the discovery coin for this piece has been available for sale. In other words, this was the first one that was ever found,” said Sarah Miller, Director of Numismatics for Heritage Auctions’ New York office.
The 1943 copper penny “is the most famous error coin,” according to Heritage Auctions.
Miller said 10 to 15 of the 1943 copper pennies exist today.

Elderly, conservatives shared more Facebook fakery in 2016

FILE – This Nov. 1, 2017 file photo shows prints of some of the Facebook ads linked to a Russian effort to disrupt the American political process and stir up tensions around divisive social issues, released by members of the U.S. House Intelligence committee, in Washington. According to a study published Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019 in Science Advances, people over 65 and conservatives shared far more false information in 2016 on Facebook than others. Researchers say that for every piece of “fake news” shared by young adults or moderates or super liberals, senior citizens and very conservatives shared about 7 false items. Experts say seniors might not discern truth from fiction on social media as easily. They say sheer volume of pro-Trump false info may have skewed the sharing numbers to the right. (AP Photo/Jon Elswick, File)

Jon Elswick

Sharing false information on Facebook is old.
People over 65 and ultraconservatives shared about seven times more fake information masquerading as news on the social media site than younger adults, moderates and liberals during the 2016 election season, a new study finds.
The first major study to look at who is sharing links from debunked sites finds that not many people are doing it. On average only 8.5 percent of those studied — about 1 person out of 12 — shared false information during the 2016 campaign, according to the study in Wednesday’s journal Science Advances. But those doing it tend to be older and more conservative.
“For something to be viral you’ve got to know who shares it,” said study co-author Jonathan Nagler, a politics professor and co-director of the Social Media and Political Participation Lab at New York University. “Wow, old people are much more likely than young people to do this.”
Facebook and other social media companies were caught off guard in 2016 when Russian agents exploited their platforms to meddle with the U.S. presidential election by spreading fake news, impersonating Americans and running targeted advertisements to try to sway votes. Since then, the companies have thrown millions of dollars and thousands of people into fighting false information.
Researchers at Princeton University and NYU in 2016 interviewed 2,711 people who used Facebook. Of those, nearly half agreed to share all their postings with the professors.
The researchers used three different lists of false information sites — one compiled by BuzzFeed and two others from academic research teams — and counted how often people shared from those sites. Then to double-check, they looked at 897 specific articles that had been found false by fact checkers and saw how often those were spread.
All those lists showed similar trends.
When other demographic factors and overall posting tendencies are factored in, the average person older than 65 shared seven times more false information than those between 18 and 29. The seniors shared more than twice as many fake stories as people between 45 and 64 and more than three times that of people in the 30- to 44-year-old range, said lead study author Andrew Guess, a politics professor at Princeton.
The simplest theory for why older people share more false information is a lack of “digital literacy,” said study co-author Joshua Tucker, also co-director of the NYU social media political lab. Senior citizens may not tell truth from lies on social networks as easily as others, the researchers said.

Trump’s border visit comes as shutdown talks fall apart

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As seen from a window outside the Oval Office, President Donald Trump gives a prime-time address about border security Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2018, at the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Carolyn Kaster

WASHINGTON •  President Donald Trump is taking the shutdown battle to the U.S.-Mexico border, seeking to bolster his case for the border wall after negotiations with Democrats blew up over his funding demands.
Trump stalked out of his meeting with congressional leaders — “I said bye-bye,” he tweeted soon after — as efforts to end the partial government shutdown fell into deeper disarray. Hundreds of thousands of federal workers now face lost paychecks on Friday.
During his stop Thursday in McAllen, Texas, Trump will visit a border patrol station for a roundtable on immigration and border security and will get a security briefing on the border. But Trump has expressed his own doubts that his appearance and remarks will change any minds, as he seeks $5.7 billion for the wall that has been his signature promise since his presidential campaign.
McAllen is located in the Rio Grande Valley, the busiest part of the border for illegal border crossings.
The unraveling talks prompted further speculation about whether Trump would declare a national emergency and try to authorize the wall on his own if Congress won’t approve the money he’s seeking.
“I think we might work a deal, and if we don’t I might go that route,” he said.
The White House meeting in the Situation Room ended after just 14 minutes. Democrats said they asked Trump to re-open the government but that he told them if he did they wouldn’t give him money for the wall. Republicans said Trump posed a direct question to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi: If he opened the government, would she fund the wall? She said no.
Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said Trump slammed his hand on the table. However, Republicans said Trump, who handed out candy at the start of the meeting, did not raise his voice and there was no table pounding.
Some Republicans were concerned about the administration’s talk of possibly declaring a national emergency at the border, seeing that as an unprecedented claim on the right of Congress to allocate funding except in the most dire circumstances.

Denver could become the first US city to decriminalize magic mushrooms

An advocacy group has collected nearly 9,500 signatures to get a measure on the ballot in May that would decriminalize psychedelic mushrooms in Denver.

Getty Images

An advocacy group has collected nearly 9,500 signatures to get a measure on the ballot in May that would decriminalize psychedelic mushrooms in Denver.
On Monday, petitions were submitted to the city and county of Denver’s Elections Division for the measure to appear on the upcoming ballot, and the division has 25 days to review.

@DecriminalizeDenver (Psilocybin Initiative) has submitted petitions for an Initiated Ordinance. We have 25 days to review the petitions to see if they contain enough valid signatures for the ordinance to appear on the May ballot. pic.twitter.com/VRizVqgO7u— Denver Elections (@DenverElections) January 7, 2019

“We want people kept out of prison, families kept together,” said Kevin Matthews, the campaign director of Decriminalize Denver. “That was the main motivation for this.”
It’s important to note that the measure would not legalize the use or sale of magic mushrooms in Colorado’s capital but instead would treat possession of the drug as the lowest law enforcement priority.
Under federal law, psychedelic mushrooms are classified as a Schedule I drug, the same as heroin or LSD. This means they have no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.
Matthews says he wants to educate people on the effects of magic mushrooms and remove misunderstanding around their use and purpose.
The group claims psilocybin, a naturally occurring fungi, can reduce psychological stress, reduce opioid use and remain non-addictive.
“As the amount of research with psilocybin increases across the world, and more people hear of its significant therapeutic potential, it is only natural that more people are growing curious about it,” Amanda Feilding, founder and director of the Beckley Foundation, a drug research think tank based in the United Kingdom, said in an email on Wednesday.
There has been a growing body of research to evaluate psilocybin’s possible role in medicine — and that research is complex, said Dr. George Greer, president the Heffter Research Institute in Santa Fe, New Mexico, a nonprofit that promotes the study of hallucinogens and related compounds in science.
So far, published research has shown that psilocybin can help reduce cancer patients’ depression and anxiety, and help benefit alcohol and smoking addictions and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Yet “the problem with the mushroom when used for treatment is that the dose can vary widely and unpredictably,” Greer said.
“Additionally, a small portion of people have histories of psychotic or manic episodes, and psilocybin could worsen those conditions or trigger a relapse,” he said.
“At present, only a handful of clinicians have been formally trained to administer psilocybin, all in university research projects, and none of them are in Colorado or Oregon,” Greer said.

Lady Gaga speaks out on R. Kelly

Lady Gaga has apologized for working with R. Kelly and said she plans to remove their 2013 single from streaming services.
A recent Lifetime documentary chronicles allegations of abuse, predatory behavior and pedophilia against Kelly, and Gaga has been under fire to condemn him. Kelly has strongly denied the allegations.
Gaga’s single “Do What U Want (With My Body)” featured vocals by Kelly, which was controversial at the time because the R&B singer had stood trial in Chicago on child pornography charges a few years prior to the single’s release. Kelly was acquitted.
“As a victim of sexual assault myself, I made both the song and the video at a dark time in my life, my intention was to create something extremely defiant and provocative because I was angry and still hadn’t processed the trauma that had occurred in my own life,” Lady Gaga said in a statement.
“The song is called “Do What U Want (With My Body),” I think it’s clear how explicitly twisted my thinking was at the time.”
She said she will not work with Kelly again.
“I intend to remove this song off of iTunes and other streaming platforms and will not be working with him again,” she said. “I’m sorry, both for my poor judgment when I was young, and for not speaking out sooner.”
“Surviving R. Kelly” aired over three nights on Lifetime and has renewed interest in allegations against Kelly.
On Tuesday, a Chicago prosecutor said her office has been in touch with two families related to allegations against Kelly since the series aired. He could also be facing an investigation in Georgia, where an attorney for the family of Joycelyn Savage, one of the women featured in the documentary, said the Fulton County District Attorney is conducting an investigation into Kelly.

iParty: Lady Gaga fans at Scottrade Center in 2017

Lady Gaga fans outside Scottrade Center

Gypsy Havoc and Jenna Cydal, both of St. Louis, before Lady Gaga performs at Scottrade Center in St. Louis on Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017. Photo by Jon Gitchoff

Jon Gitchoff

Lady Gaga fans outside Scottrade Center

Alista Domeika of Terre Haute, Ind. before Lady Gaga performs at Scottrade Center in St. Louis on Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017. Photo by Jon Gitchoff

Jon Gitchoff

Lady Gaga fans outside Scottrade Center

Michelle Blom and Kayleigh Sanders, both of Bethalto, Ill., before Lady Gaga performs at Scottrade Center in St. Louis on Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017. Photo by Jon Gitchoff

Jon Gitchoff

Lady Gaga fans outside Scottrade Center

Michael Harris and Anthony James Gerard, both of Little Rock, Ark., before Lady Gaga performs at Scottrade Center in St. Louis on Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017. Photo by Jon Gitchoff

Jon Gitchoff

Lady Gaga fans outside Scottrade Center

Kerry Condreay and Annie Toal, both of St. Louis, before Lady Gaga performs at Scottrade Center in St. Louis on Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017. Photo by Jon Gitchoff

Jon Gitchoff

Lady Gaga fans outside Scottrade Center

Libby Fox of Lafayette, Ind. and Heather Mallozi of St. Louis before Lady Gaga performs at Scottrade Center in St. Louis on Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017. Photo by Jon Gitchoff

Jon Gitchoff

Lady Gaga fans outside Scottrade Center

Pete Buschbacher of Brentwood, Mo. and Ashley Grady of St. Louis before Lady Gaga performs at Scottrade Center in St. Louis on Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017. Photo by Jon Gitchoff

Jon Gitchoff

Lady Gaga fans outside Scottrade Center

Uriel Carrillo and Kimberly Kim, both of Milwaukee, Wis., before Lady Gaga performs at Scottrade Center in St. Louis on Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017. Photo by Jon Gitchoff

Jon Gitchoff

Lady Gaga fans outside Scottrade Center

Shealyn Healy of Carmi, Ill. and Maddie Gillard of Albion, Ill. before Lady Gaga performs at Scottrade Center in St. Louis on Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017. Photo by Jon Gitchoff

Jon Gitchoff

Lady Gaga fans outside Scottrade Center

From the left, Andrew Schwan, Bailey Bricker, Josh Weiss, Kate Schwan and Will Rohlfing, all of St. Louis, before Lady Gaga performs at Scottrade Center in St. Louis on Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017. Photo by Jon Gitchoff

Jon Gitchoff

Lady Gaga fans outside Scottrade Center

Amity Spina and Lynn Mundwiller, both of Wentzville, Mo., before Lady Gaga performs at Scottrade Center in St. Louis on Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017. Photo by Jon Gitchoff

Jon Gitchoff

Lady Gaga fans outside Scottrade Center

From the left, Samantha Freimanis of Indianapolis, Ind., Chris Freimanis of Indianapolis, Ind., Lare Carnat of Lake Ann, Mich. and Rachel Ham of Belleville, Ill. before Lady Gaga performs at Scottrade Center in St. Louis on Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017. Photo by Jon Gitchoff

Jon Gitchoff

Lady Gaga fans outside Scottrade Center

Miguel Gonzales of Kansas City, Mo. and Michelle Schrader of St. Louis before Lady Gaga performs at Scottrade Center in St. Louis on Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017. Photo by Jon Gitchoff

Jon Gitchoff

Lady Gaga fans outside Scottrade Center

From the left, Hannah Morrow, Emilee Marshall and Natalie Howard, all of Bloomington, Ill., before Lady Gaga performs at Scottrade Center in St. Louis on Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017. Photo by Jon Gitchoff

Jon Gitchoff

Lady Gaga fans outside Scottrade Center

From the left, John W. Hood of Richmond Heights, Mo., Andrew Giudicy of St. Louis and Maisha Simpson of St. Louis before Lady Gaga performs at Scottrade Center in St. Louis on Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017. Photo by Jon Gitchoff

Jon Gitchoff

Lady Gaga fans outside Scottrade Center

Amber Fitzwater and Tina Murrell, both of Bloomington, Ill., before Lady Gaga performs at Scottrade Center in St. Louis on Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017. Photo by Jon Gitchoff

Jon Gitchoff

Lady Gaga fans outside Scottrade Center

Jordan Davidson of Macomb, Ill. and Kaitlynn Dodds of Quincy, Ill. before Lady Gaga performs at Scottrade Center in St. Louis on Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017. Photo by Jon Gitchoff

Jon Gitchoff

Lady Gaga fans outside Scottrade Center

Jennifer Costello of Louisville, Ky. and Jessica Costello of Fort Myers, Fla. before Lady Gaga performs at Scottrade Center in St. Louis on Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017. Photo by Jon Gitchoff

Jon Gitchoff

Lady Gaga fans outside Scottrade Center

From the left, Jack Brown of St. Louis, Liz Isenmann of St. Louis and Liz Schrum of Marshalltown, Iowa before Lady Gaga performs at Scottrade Center in St. Louis on Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017. Photo by Jon Gitchoff

Jon Gitchoff

Lady Gaga fans outside Scottrade Center

Karendi Jeffers and Connor Barnett, both of Joplin, Mo., before Lady Gaga performs at Scottrade Center in St. Louis on Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017. Photo by Jon Gitchoff

Jon Gitchoff

Lady Gaga fans outside Scottrade Center

Marcy Hannick and Caleb Bentley, both of St. Louis, before Lady Gaga performs at Scottrade Center in St. Louis on Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017. Photo by Jon Gitchoff

Jon Gitchoff

Lady Gaga fans outside Scottrade Center

Gabby Toombs and Alyx Connolly, both of Memphis, Tenn., before Lady Gaga performs at Scottrade Center in St. Louis on Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017. Photo by Jon Gitchoff

Jon Gitchoff

Lady Gaga fans outside Scottrade Center

From the left, Kelsey Booth of Alton, Ill., Logan English of Murray, Ky. and Allin Montford of Murray, Ky. before Lady Gaga performs at Scottrade Center in St. Louis on Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017. Photo by Jon Gitchoff

Jon Gitchoff

Lady Gaga fans outside Scottrade Center

Paris Amor of St. Louis and Andrey Wilke of Dallas, Texas before Lady Gaga performs at Scottrade Center in St. Louis on Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017. Photo by Jon Gitchoff

Jon Gitchoff

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