Say Hello To Uber On Messenger

Uber is always looking for new ways to connect people with safe, reliable transportation at the push of a button. Over the years, the Uber experience has become more social. With uberPOOL, we’ve not only made it more affordable to get around the city, but have also helped people make new connections when they share their trip. Today, in partnership with Facebook, we’re bringing you and your friends closer together right where you are: on Messenger.

Powered by Uber’s API, Messenger now enables its millions of users to sign up for Uber with one tap and request a ride, all without having to leave Messenger or download the Uber app. Ride status updates and ride receipts are delivered to a private conversation between you and Uber on Messenger, making it easy to track your Uber ride and payment history.

  • Meeting a loved one for dinner? Send them the restaurant location on Messenger, and they can request a ride there by simply tapping on the address.
  • Running late for a work meeting? Share your current Uber trip with coworkers through Messenger so they know exactly when you’ll arrive.
  • Picking up friends in your Uber on the way to a concert? Request in Messenger and your friends will know when to be outside to jump into the Uber.

With Uber on Messenger, you and your friends can keep the conversation going, whether it’s on Messenger or in your Uber.

To get started, download the latest Messenger app, and either start a conversation with Uber and tap the car icon Messenger Car Icon , or tap the more menu Messenger More Iconin any Messenger conversation and select Transportation. Never used Uber? No problem. You can sign up for a new Uber account within Messenger in a matter of seconds and start riding. Your first ride in Messenger is free, up to $20. Current Uber users can connect their existing account in Messenger and start requesting rides from any conversation.

With the ability to request, view, and pay for an Uber ride in Messenger, taking your next ride is as simple as sending a message (or an animated GIF). Uber on Messenger will start rolling out in the U.S. today, with more to come soon. We’re excited to continue working with Facebook to find more ways to bring people together — and bring even more of the Uber experience to Messenger.

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School boards elect new positions

Several school boards throughout San Joaquin County held regularly scheduled meetings on Tuesday, the last of the calendar year before classes will resume in January after winter break.

Lodi, Manteca and Stockton unifieds took time last night to appoint board members to new positions on the board, mainly for President, Vice President and clerk.

In Lodi, Ron Freitas was named President, Ron Herberle was named Vice President and Ralph Womack as clerk.

Manteca’s board kept Deborah Romero as President, while trustee Stephen Schluer was appointed Vice President and Sam Fant was named clerk.

Kathy Garcia is now board President for Stockton Unified. Previous President, Gloria Allen, will move to Vice President and Maria Mendez is now clerk.

FBI Searches The Home Of California Shooter’s Former Neighbor

RIVERSIDE, Calif., Dec 5 (Reuters) – Federal agents in Riverside conducted a search early on Saturday at what neighbors say was the house of a childhood friend of Syed Rizwan Farook, who with his wife killed 14 people in a mass shooting in California on Wednesday.

The searched house was located next door to the home in which Farook lived with his family for more than a decade.

Federal Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Laura Eimiller confirmed that a federal search warrant had been executed in Riverside overnight, but declined to give the address or comment on the reason for the search.

A source close to the investigation said the search took place at the home of Enrique Marquez, and that investigators were looking into the relationship between Marquez and Farook. Marquez has not been charged with any crime.

Four neighbors interviewed on Saturday said that Marquez was a good friend of Farook.

Farook, 28, and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, 29, most recently lived in Redlands, a community about 30 miles (48 km) northeast of Riverside. The couple died in a shootout with police hours after their attack on a party for civil servants in nearby San Bernardino.

U.S. authorities are investigating the shootings as an act of terrorism, and on Saturday Islamic State said the couple were followers of the militant group.

NBC News reported the house that was searched is home to a man who authorities believe bought the assault rifles Farook and Malik used in the attack.

A FRIENDSHIP

Sandie Emperador, 30, said she saw Marquez and Farook working together on many occasions fixing cars in Farook’s garage.

Another neighbor, who declined to give her name, said she regularly saw Marquez visit Farook in his home and often saw the two of them laughing together, but that the friendship seemed to end abruptly about three years ago.

Around that time, she said, she was surprised to see them both standing on the street one day without acknowledging one another. After that, she said, she did not see them together again.

Several neighbors said they noticed about two years ago that Farook had begun wearing traditional Pakistani clothing – a long tunic and an Islamic prayer cap. He also began growing his beard out.

Neighbor Phyllis Hoops, 80, said she often saw the Farook family taking a walk together in the evenings. She said they did not associate with other people in the neighborhood except for Marquez, but that he and Farook would often spend entire days working on cars together.

According to public records, Farook and Malik moved to a townhouse in Redlands in August.

Emperador said she had not seen Marquez around the neighborhood for several months.

Maria Gutierrez, 56, who lives next door to the house that was raided, said FBI agents evacuated her and her family from their house at 1:30 a.m. on Saturday in preparation for the raid.

The neighbor who did not want to give her name said the search lasted until roughly 9 a.m., and that the agents used a blow torch and had dogs with them. At one point, she said, she saw two people she knew to be living in the house standing on the front lawn in handcuffs. She did not see Marquez.

Part of the garage door was torn apart and a window to the garage was broken at the house that neighbors said was searched by federal agents. (Reporting by Rory Caroll and Yasmeen Abutaleb in Riverside; Writing by Emily Flitter in New York and Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles; Editing by Alan Crosby and Chris Reese)

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Scott Weiland Talks About Musical Legacy And Influences In Final Video Interviews

In one of Scott Weiland’s final video interviews, recorded two days before his death at the age of 48, the former Stone Temple Pilots frontman speaks about everything from his musical legacy to David Bowie.

The interview took place backstage before Weiland’s last performance at Adelaide Hall in Toronto on Tuesday.

In the clip, Weiland offers candid answers to Dawn Hamilton of “Live in Limbo.” When asked how he would define his music legacy, the former Velvet Revolver frontman replies, “First off, I [view] the bands I’ve been in as rock ‘n’ roll. I’ve always looked at us also as bands that changed from album to album, and morph into different sounds. I think to stay in one sound is a career killer.”

Throughout his career, Weiland no doubt played around with many different sounds and appearances, which makes sense considering he cites Bowie as a major source of inspiration.

“He’s my biggest influence musically, vocally and fashion-wise,” he tells Hamilton.

The interview wraps up with Weiland admitting that he would be open to a Velvet Revolver reunion, which we’re sure many fans would have loved to see.

You can watch the entire interview below:

Toronto radio station 102.1 The Edge also recorded an interview with Weiland the same day in which he talks about his first-ever concert and his first and last tattoos. He also speaks about the impact The Beatles had on his life and career.

Also on HuffPost:

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In Slap At Obama, GOP-Led House Moves To Block Steep Cuts To Greenhouse Gas Emissions

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WASHINGTON (AP) — As President Barack Obama worked to hammer out a global climate agreement in Paris, Republicans in Congress moved to block his plan to force steep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions from U.S. power plants.

The House passed two resolutions Tuesday disapproving Obama’s power-plant rules and rendering them inoperative. A measure blocking an Environmental Protection Agency rule for existing power plants was approved 242-180, while a measure blocking a rule on future power plants was approved 235-188.

The votes come after the Senate approved identical motions last month under a little-used law that allows Congress to block executive actions it considers onerous. The measures now go to the White House, where they face almost-certain vetoes. Just four Democrats sided with Republicans to support the measures, which fell far short of the numbers needed to override a veto in both the House and Senate.

 

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said Obama wants to reduce carbon emissions, but his policies will kill jobs, increase electricity costs and decrease the reliability of the U.S. energy supply.

And Rep. Jeff Duncan, R-S.C., said he wished Obama took the threat posed by “radical jihadists” such as the Islamic State as seriously as he takes what Duncan called a “pseudoscientific threat” posed by climate change.

Democrats countered that the power-plant rules were important steps to slow global climate change that is already causing real harm through increased droughts, wildfires, floods and more severe storms.

Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J., said it was regrettable that Republicans were trying to block the power-plant rules even as officials from more than 190 nearly countries and many of the world’s largest private companies gathered in Paris to work out details of a global agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The global agreement “will prevent us from further overheating the earth and causing major disruptions to people’s lives, their property and to the global economy,” Pallone said. “We know that (climate change) will endanger our children’s future if we don’t act now.”

The Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan requires states to cut carbon emissions by 32 percent by 2030, based on emissions in 2005. Each state has a customized target and is responsible for drawing up an effective plan to meet its goal.

The EPA says it has authority to enact the plan under the Clean Air Act.

Twenty-five mostly Republican states, led by Texas and West Virginia, are contesting the plan in court, calling it an unlawful power grab that will kill jobs and drive up electricity costs. Several utilities, the National Mining Association and the nation’s largest privately owned coal company also are suing the EPA.

 

GOP lawmakers challenged the administration’s action under the little-used Congressional Review Act, which allows Congress to block executive actions with simple majority votes. The maneuver is subject to a presidential veto and has rarely been successful.

The White House issued a veto threat last month, saying the resolutions undermine public health protections of the Clean Air Act and “stop critical U.S. efforts to reduce dangerous carbon pollution from power plants.”

Speaking in Paris Tuesday, Obama said parts of a global climate agreement should be legally binding. His declaration was both a boost to climate negotiators seeking a tough accord and a challenge to Republicans in Congress, many of whom reject the idea of global warming.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said Republicans were in step with the American people, who want jobs and economic growth.

“I think when you weigh the costs and the benefits against these so-called legally binding obligations they don’t add up,” Ryan told reporters. “I think it’s very clear people want jobs.”

Related On HuffPost: 

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High court’s election-year lineup includes affirmative action, abortion, Obamacare

Security guards walk the steps of the Supreme Court before Justice Elena Kagan's investiture ceremony in Washington, October 1, 2010. Photo by Larry Downing/Reuters

The Supreme Court’s election-year lineup is rich in high-profile cases. Photo by Larry Downing/Reuters

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court’s lineup of new cases is fit for an election year.

Affirmative action, abortion and another look at the Obama health care law all are before the court, and they could well be joined by immigration, giving the justices a run of cases that reads like a campaign platform.

Also coming; disputes involving public-sector labor unions, the death penalty and the way electoral districts are drawn.

Decisions in these high-profile cases almost certainly will split the court along ideological lines, mirroring the country’s stark partisan split. What’s more, the most contentious issues won’t be resolved until late June, barely four months before the 2016 presidential election.

What started as a somewhat sleepy term — especially following major decisions last June on health care and same-sex marriage — has become much more interesting, says University of Pennsylvania law dean Theodore Ruger.

“This is a court that remains very assertive in its role in declaring what the law is,” Ruger said.

The accumulation of wrenching social issues and pointed policy disputes at the Supreme Court at this moment is mostly a matter of chance. A legal fight over the regulation of abortion clinics in Texas has been underway for two and a half years. President Barack Obama’s plan to shield from deportation millions of immigrants who are living in the country illegally was rolled out a year ago and almost immediately challenged in court. Faith-based groups that say they are forced to be complicit in providing objectionable birth control to women covered under their health plans have been challenging the Obama administration for more than three years.

It is still is possible the immigration dispute will not be heard until next fall, if at all.

Now that the cases are at the marble courthouse atop Capitol Hill, the justices’ decisions could feed campaign rhetoric that already has been heated on abortion and immigration, to name just two issues.

In June 2012, Chief Justice John Roberts provided the decisive vote that saved Obama’s health care overhaul in the midst of the president’s campaign for re-election.

A short time later, Republican candidate Mitt Romney proclaimed that as president he would do what the high court failed to do that June — get rid of the health care law. Obama won re-election, and the law survived.

Ruger said the chief justice wrote a nuanced opinion that appeared to show some sensitivity to the looming election.

“I think Roberts recognized this was going to be an issue in front of the voters,” Ruger said. The electorate ultimately would decide the health care law’s fate, he said.

Court decisions close to an election, especially when they produce big changes in the law, also can increase attention paid to those issues.

This is part of what Texas A&M University political scientist Joseph Ura called the court’s agenda-setting effect. Ura pointed to Brown v. Board of Education’s outlawing of racial segregation in public schools and Lawrence v. Texas’ ban on state anti-sodomy laws as examples of past decisions that altered “the existing arrangement of material or symbolic benefits in our political system.” Researchers found that those decisions “led to a large, sustained increase in the media’s attention” to those issues, Ura said.

Last term’s big rulings on health care and same-sex marriage already have prompted criticism of the court, and of Roberts and Justice Anthony Kennedy in particular, from several Republican presidential candidates. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, for example, has said that putting Roberts on the court was a mistake, even though Cruz endorsed his nomination in 2005.

The court’s 2010 decision in Citizens United that led to a flood of what critics call “dark money” in political campaigns remains controversial, and Democratic candidates have pledged to try to undo it.

The Roe v. Wade decision in 1973 that established a woman’s right to an abortion produced a backlash that eventually showed up in election returns, said Sara Benesh, a political scientist at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. “A lot of scholars say (President Ronald) Reagan got elected because of Roe v. Wade. Pro-life forces really got him moving in his campaign,” Benesh said.

But there is little evidence that the court itself will become an issue in the campaign, except perhaps on the margins, she said.

The court and the justices are little known to the public. “It seems to me a long, drawn-out relationship between any decision the court might make and any decision an individual might make in the voting booth,” Benesh said.

Every four years, interest groups across the political spectrum try to make that connection for voters. Elections matter, they say, because the winner may get to choose justices who will serve for the next quarter century or longer.

Indeed, with four justices in their late 70s or early 80s, and the court so closely and fiercely divided, any appointment could dramatically change the court’s direction.

The post High court’s election-year lineup includes affirmative action, abortion, Obamacare appeared first on PBS NewsHour.