Beyond the Bricks Week of 1/29
by Salman Mustafa | published Feb. 5th, 2018
Fitness App Reveals Locations of Secret U.S. Military Bases Abroad
"Strava," a fitness app that allows users to upload their workout logs online from GPS devices, revealed the locations of military installations in Syria, Afghanistan and more in a detailed heat map. In addition, the app also revealed the movement patterns and frequency of movement of personnel who used it.
In an open letter, Chief Executive Officer James Quarles said the company is “committed to working with military and government officials to address potentially sensitive data."
Trump’s First State of the Union Calls for Unity in a Divided Nation
President Donald Trump addressed a joint session of congress on Tuesday night with a focus on his administration’s “extraordinary success,” rebuilding the nation’s crumbling infrastructure and an overhaul of immigration policies.
Trump appealed to stoic and pressed Democrats to “set aside our differences, to seek out common ground and to summon the unity we need to deliver for the people.”
His address did avoid many of the controversies that have plagued his administration, including the investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 election and whether Trump obstructed justice in an effort to undermine the allegations. Trump also skirted the issue of the “Me Too” movement of women speaking out against sexual harassment and assault.
Trump shocked lawmakers at a meeting in the Oval Office earlier this month by using vulgar language to disparagingly refer to African countries. However, at the address, he presented himself as tolerant and appreciative of the nation’s diverse people.
Overall, his base of Republican supporters appeared largely pleased by the address, whereas the Democrats in the room were reserved. They vocalized their disapproval at one point when Trump proposed a limit for the number of family members immigrants can bring into the country. Some Democrats invited "Dreamers" who were about to lose their protections from deportation to the House Chamber as an act of defiance.
Trump celebrated the heroes involved in rescues during the devastation of Hurricane Harvey. He also acknowledged the parents of Otto Warmbier, an American university student who died after being detained in North Korea for 17 months.
State Division of Human Rights Rules Fired RIT Doctor as Likely Discriminated Against
The State Division of Human Rights (DHR) has determined that Dr. Annamaria Kontor of the RIT Student Health Center was likely discriminated against when she was terminated from employment for administering hormone therapy to transgender students.
Dr. Kontor was abruptly fired in May 2017, leading her to file a complaint with the state DHR arguing that she had been fired for providing medical care to transgender students.
Student Health Center Director Wendy Gelbard said in a letter to the editor published in Reporter that transgender hormone therapy “has been, and continues to be, beyond the scope of practice of the Student Health Center.” She also claimed that Dr. Kontor was warned twice, but failed to provide written evidence.
Contrarily, Dr. Kontor said she had been treating students for months with the university’s knowledge and support and had a medical obligation to do so. The DHR report concluded: "Investigation revealed that [RIT] has no policy regarding hormone therapy for transgender students and there is no documentation to establish that (Kontor) was ever told to stop prescribing hormone therapy by a supervisor." Since being fired from RIT, Dr. Kontor has opened a private practice catering to young transgender people in the Rochester area.