The Daily Populous

Wednesday November 14th, 2018 day edition

image for Baltimore votes to become first large U.S. city to ban water privatization

WASHINGTON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The city of Baltimore voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to ban the privatization of its water and sewerage systems, in what supporters say is the first large U.S. jurisdiction to take such a step.

A Baltimore official said multiple cities have expressed interest in similar provisions.

The measure “sends a strong message to private corporations,” said Rianna Eckel, Maryland state organizer for Food & Water Watch, an advocacy group that promoted the ballot initiative.

“It’s not a sure-fire trick to prevent any privatization ever, but it prohibits the most dangerous efforts,” she added.

Baltimore has one of the oldest water systems in the country, and decades of deferred maintenance have resulted in a quadrupling of water rates since 2000, Eckel said.

It has also prompted worries that privatization would cause further spikes, and that the city would have no control over who these most affected.

Eckel pointed to Food & Water Watch research finding that private water utilities tend to charge almost 60 percent more than public counterparts. »

Nintendo wins $12m lawsuit against ROM sites run by a married couple

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The ROM site owners are married couple Jacob and Cristian Mathias, who registered the two sites under their company, Mathias Designs.

Their legal troubles started this past summer when Nintendo filed a complaint with the federal court against them.

The two ROM sites the Mathias couple ran offered pirated copies of Nintendo’s retro games, including Super Mario World, Mario Kart 64, Super Mario All-Stars, and many more. »

Retired firefighter who fired shotgun at black teen asking for directions gets up to 10 years in prison

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A white retired firefighter in Michigan found guilty of firing a shotgun from his porch at a black teenager who knocked on his front door because he was lost was sentenced Tuesday to four to 10 years in prison.

Ziegler, a retired Detroit firefighter, grabbed his shotgun and chased after Walker, firing one round as the teen fled.

He claimed he believed Walker was trying to rob him and the shotgun accidentally fired when he tripped. »