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Brett Wilkins

Editor-at-Large based in San Francisco, CA, United States. Joined on Jun 15, 2012
Expertise in Food, dining & restaurants, Travel, Nightlife, clubbing, Politics



CIA drone strike against al-Qaeda kills U.S., Italian hostages

Washington - A U.S. drone strike targeting al-Qaeda fighters in Pakistan killed two hostages, an American and an Italian, in January, President Barack Obama said on Thursday.

Jeb Bush: NSA mass surveillance 'best part of Obama presidency'

Seattle - Possible Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush praised President Barack Obama for enhancing the National Security Agency by continuing its worldwide program of mass surveillance and bulk data collection.

Man dies after spine broken during Baltimore police arrest

Baltimore - A Baltimore man has died a week after suffering a broken spine while being arrested and transported by police for allegedly carrying a knife in his pants.

Murder, rape, neglect in California mental health institutions Special

Sacramento - More than 800 pages of records released by the California Department of Public Health have revealed horrific crimes, including deadly physical abuse and neglect, rape, and brutal beatings, inside five mental health institutions.

Chicago offers $5.5 million to police torture victims

Chicago - Mayor Rahm Emmanuel and several Chicago aldermen are offering a $5.5 million reparations package for people who were tortured during the tenure of former police commander John Burge.

San Francisco board votes unanimously for circus animal ban

San Francisco - Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! But not if you live in or visit San Francisco, where lawmakers voted unanimously Tuesday to ban wild and exotic animal performances in circuses and shows.

Gravity Payments CEO Dan Price to set $70K company minimum wage

Seattle - Concerned about growing economic inequality, the CEO of a credit card processing company is taking a nearly $1 million pay cut and raising the firm's minimum salary to $70,000.

California deputies brutally beat man after stolen horse pursuit

Apple Valley - A TV news helicopter captured disturbing footage of Southern California sheriff's deputies brutally attacking a man who was lying on the ground and surrendering after being shot with a stun gun during a bizarre pursuit involving a stolen horse.

Gov't secretly tracked nearly all U.S.-overseas calls since 1992

Nearly a decade before the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, the Justice Department and Drug Enforcement Administration began collecting records of most international phone calls made by Americans.

YouTube Kids app accused of deceptive, excessive advertising

Consumer groups have expressed outrage at Google's new YouTube Kids app, which critics accuse of excessive and deceptive advertising practices.

S. Carolina officer charged with murder in black man's death

North Charleston - A South Carolina police officer was arrested and charged with first-degree murder on Tuesday after video emerged of him shooting and killing an unarmed man who was running away following a traffic stop.

VG-10: The gold standard of Japanese stainless steel Special

Echizen - Nestled in a verdant plain between mountains and sea, surrounded by rice paddies and cedar forests, lies the city of Echizen, Fukui Prefecture, Japan.

Tokyo's real-life 'Harajuku Girls' Special

Tokyo - In a city renowned for its cutting-edge fashion scene, one neighborhood is known the world over for the imaginatively-dressed teenage girls who congregate there each weekend to flaunt their latest meticulously prepared looks—Harajuku.

San Francisco, tech companies, boycott Indiana over anti-gay law

San Francisco - The city of San Francisco has joined with a growing number of tech companies in boycotting Indiana over the conservative Midwestern state's new anti-gay 'religious freedom' law.

Official: S.F. jail inmates forced into 'gladiator-style' fights

San Francisco - San Francisco Sheriff's deputies allegedly forced inmates at a county jail to engage in "gladiator-style" fights, betting on the outcomes and threatening violence, including rape, as punishment for prisoners who refused to participate.

Ellen Pao loses discrimination lawsuit against Kleiner Perkins

San Francisco - A prominent Silicon Valley venture capital firm triumphed on Friday over a former junior partner who sued claiming she was discriminated against because of her gender.

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid to retire from Senate

Washington - Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid announced on Friday he won't seek reelection in 2016, a move that surprised many Americans and sparked speculation about who will replace him and his role as Democratic leader.

DEA agents allegedly hosted cartel-funded orgies with prostitutes

Washington - Drug Enforcement Administration agents stationed abroad allegedly hosted sex parties with prostitutes reportedly funded with money from drug cartels, according to a newly-released Justice Department report.

Amnesty International: Palestinians committed war crimes in Gaza

The prominent international human rights group Amnesty International has accused Palestinians of committing war crimes during last year's war in Gaza.

Doctors' group says 1.3 million killed in U.S. 'War on Terror'

A group of international physicians' organizations has published a study concluding US-led wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan have killed more than 1.3 million people.
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