VP debate fact-check: Mike Pence and Tim Kaine’s claims reviewed

Alan Yuhas fact-checked the statements of the vice-presidential nominees at the first presidential debate at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia

Mike Pence: Norwood University

In his opening statement, Pence misstated the name of the university hosting the debate. It is Longwood University, not Norwood.

He also said that Barack Obama has raised more taxes to extraordinary levels

This isnt quite right. There were two major changes to the tax code in Obamas two terms: the 2012 expiration of tax cuts created by George W Bush (with extensions for people making less than $400,000 a year), and levies to fund the Affordable Care Act (including a penalty for not having health insurance, a 10% tax on tanning services and a 3.8% tax on investment income for top earners).

Obama also enacted temporary cuts meant to spur investment and help Americans in the depths of the financial crisis, but all in all tax rates for most Americans have not changed much since Bushs presidency, according to a report by the nonpartisan congressional budget office. Under Bush, the top tax rate was 35%; under Obama, the wealthiest Americans pay 39.5%.

Pence: The Obama administration has stifled the economy

Obama took office in the depths of the 2008 financial crisis, and the economy has crawled back into recovery over his two terms, with employment nearly down to pre-crisis levels. Its arguable that his policies have restricted some growth, but the economy has held to a steadily upward track.

This summer the OECD gave its stamp of approval to the US economy, saying in a report: the US economy has rebounded: output has surpassed its pre-crisis peak by 10%, robust private-sector employment gains have sharply reduced unemployment, fiscal sustainability has been largely restored and corporate profits are high.

Pence: The Clinton Foundation accepted foreign donations while she was secretary of state She kept that pay-to-play process in

Pence is correct that the foundation took donations from foreign governments, and that the charity did not disclose every contribution in violation of an agreement to identify donors that it made with the Obama administration. But no one has yet produced evidence of a quid pro quo exchange between the Clinton Foundation and its donors.

Pence: It was a failure of the secretary of state to acquire a status of forces agreement with Iraq

The argument that Hillary Clintons failure to secure an agreement with Baghdad over keeping American troops in Iraq ignores several key facts, including that the Bush administration similarly failed. It also ignores that Isiss first segments formed out of the post-invasion civil war in Iraq, while Bush was president; that the group took root in Syrias civil war, where the US did not intervene until 2014; that Obama withdrew American forces in 2011 under the timeline agreed on by Bush and Baghdad. Pence also voted for the Iraq war, and unlike Clinton has not expressed regret for the vote.

Tim Kaine listens as Mike Pence speaks. Photograph: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Donald Trump supported the destabilizing invasion of Iraq in 2002 and supported surgical intervention to remove Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, though he now claims otherwise. He also supported withdrawal from Iraq in 2007 and 2008.

Tim Kaine claims that the Bush-era tax cuts were a direct cause of the financial crisis

The tax cuts signed by Bush lowered taxes on income, capital gains and dividends, and had several provisions to help married people, parents and the poor. They greatly benefited the wealthy, and unsurprisingly became a symbol of the way inequality in the US has yawned into a chasm between the rich and everyone else. But while inequality may be a destabilizing force in the economy, the tax cuts themselves were not one of the factors that drove the 2008 crisis.

A lack of regulation on Wall Street, on the other hand, ranks among the more important causes of the crisis, whose causes include rampant, feckless mortgage lending, irresponsible bundling of those mortgages, and carelessness by ratings agencies and central bankers.

Kaine: 15m new jobs gained in the Obama administration

Kaine is cherry picking statistics, and the 15m figure is not correct in context. Since Obama took office in January 2009 the US has created 10.8m private-sector jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Kaine is counting back from the depths of the economic recession, in early 2010, which would erase a full year off of Obamas presidency.

Kaine: The debt explosion on the Trump side is much much bigger than anything on the Clinton side

Kaine is correct, according to conservative and nonpartisan thinktanks alike. Clintons proposed tax plan would add $191bn to the debt over the long term, according to the Committee for a Responsible Budget, a conservative thinktank. The Tax Policy Center, however, estimates that she would add $1.1tn in revenue in a decade, though much of that would be offset by increased spending. The Tax Foundation estimated that Trumps plan would add $5.3tn to the debt.

Kaine: Even Richard Nixon released his taxes

Richard Nixon did not release his tax returns while running for president in 1960 or in 1968 he released them in 1973, after his second term began. In 1968 Nixon only gave a limited glimpse of his to a magazine writer and only released the returns under pressure from the Watergate inquiry. He released the returns despite an audit by the IRS, which Trump has repeatedly claimed is his reason for not releasing returns.

You can look at Nixons returns at the Presidential Tax History Project. You can look at Trumps 1995 returns at the New York Times. If you can somehow see Trumps later returns, feel free to send copies along to our offices at 222 Broadway, New York.

Kaine: Trump and Pence want to privatize social security

Neither Clinton nor Trump has proposed privatizing social security. Pence, on the other hand, supported a 2005 plan that would have modified the program into a private system.

Pence: Hes created a business thats worth billions of dollars

There is no direct evidence that Trumps business is worth billions of dollars the only tax return publicly available, published by the New York Times last weekend, shows that he reported a $916m loss in 1995. Trump could prove the worth of his business by publishing his returns. Forbes estimates Trump is worth $3.7bn, far lower than his claimed $10bn.

Mike Pence responds to Tim Kaine. Photograph: Pool/Getty Images

Kaine: Trump would let states decide whether to be rid of the minimum wage

Kaine is correct insofar as Trump has a position on minimum wages, if hes talking about the federal minimum wage, specifically.

Trump has changed his position on the minimum wage at least three times, including within the span of a single interview. On 26 July, when Fox News host Bill OReilly asked him where he would set a federal minimum wage, he repeated a stance from May that the US does not need one: There doesnt have to be.

He then immediately changed his position: Well, I would leave it, and raise it somewhat. A day later in Florida he said he wanted a $10 an hour minimum wage, up from the current level of $7.25, and confirmed to a reporter: federal. He has most consistently said that states should decide a minimum wage.

Kaine notes, correctly, that black people are more likely than white people to be arrested and given long sentences.

They are also more likely to be shot by police.

Pence: Clinton and Kaine support open borders

Neither ticket supports open borders, which the US does not have. Pence appears to be using the word to denigrate Barack Obamas support for immigration reform and protection for some undocumented people from deportation. But Obama has deported a record more than 2.5 million people since he took office, including a record 438,421 people in 2013, and increased border patrol staff to a record 21,444 agents in 2011; his policy could not reasonably be described as amnesty or open borders.

Clinton supports reform to let people pass background checks and pay backtaxes in order to stay in the US, and she supports Obamas executive actions to shield some migrants, such as people who were brought to the US as children. Like Obama, she supports the deportation for people with criminal records.

Kaine: Trump has called Mexicans rapists and criminals He attacked an Indiana-born federal judge and said he was unqualified He said African Americans are living in hell

Kaine is right that Trump has broadly characterized immigrants in derogatory terms, but Trump also almost always gives himself a way out. On 16 June 2015, when he announced his candidacy, Trump said: Theyre sending people that have lots of problems, and theyre bringing those problems with us. Theyre bringing drugs. Theyre bringing crime. Theyre rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.

Trumps claim is patently false, as we and fellow fact-checkers have repeatedly shown, since most migrants leave their homes for work or family and the Mexican government has nothing to do with their emigration. Statistics on crime by non-citizens mostly suggest that Mexican migrants more of whom are leaving the US than entering dont affect overall crime rates.

Trump has indeed called judge Gonzalo Curiel unqualified because the American judge is Mexican, and said that African Americans are living in hell.

Pence: Clinton called half of our supporters deplorable

At a fundraiser Clinton said: To just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trumps supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. This group, she said, included racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic people. She later regretted the generalization of half.

Mike Pence. Photograph: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Polling suggests that Trumps supporters are more likely than other voters to express negative sentiments about minorities. Polls also show lower but significant such sentiment among supporters of Clinton. Her generalization pointed to real racial animus, ignored it among her own supporters and showed how difficult it is to attach a number to racism, even while separate polling shows racism is affecting millions in widespread and systemic ways.

Trumps complaint contradicts his own past remarks. In 2012, after Mitt Romney was lambasted for dismissing 47% of Americans, Trump agreed, telling Fox News: You do have a large percentage of people that feel theyre entitled. Last year he similarly dismissed half of all Americans, telling Fox: We have a society that sits back and says, We dont have to do anything. Eventually the 50% cannot carry, and its unfair to them, but cannot carry the other 50%.

Kaine: Trump hasnt apologized to anyone

Trump has expressed regret for having said the wrong thing but not said what that thing was or whom he had caused personal pain.

Kaine: Trump supports the mass deportation of 11 million people

During a 10 November debate Trump expressed support for Dwight Eisenhowers Operation Wetback, the forcible deportation of hundreds of thousands of migrants, sometimes under inhumane circumstances. He was pressed on this support in an interview with OReilly, who himself called the operation really brutal.

Well, well, Ive heard it both ways. Ive heard good reports, Ive heard bad reports, Trump told the Fox News host. We would do it in a very humane way.

But Trump has given mixed messages since his early calls for mass deportation, and he has used the phrase deportation force. In August of this year, he appeared to have doubts, until finally promising no amnesty and a humane removal of migrants.

Kaine: The nuclear deal with Iran has prevented Tehran from developing weapons

The nuclear deal with Iran was finalized in July 2015, three years after the end of Clintons term as secretary of state, and it does not completely remove Irans nuclear program. It removes a reserve of medium-enriched uranium, cuts into its low-enriched uranium, and allows access to international inspectors.

Kaine also appears to exaggerate how quickly Iran could have developed a bomb. During negotiations, intelligence officials and analysts said they believed Iran was two to three months away from bomb capabilities. The terms of the deal extend that breakout ability to a year, and have restrictions extending over 10, 15 and 25 years.

Tim Kaine. Photograph: Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images

Pence: The US doesnt know who Syrian refugees are and should block them

The government has a fairly clear idea about how many people are in the US without legal authorization. Using data from the census, Department of Homeland Security, Office of Refugee Resettlement and surveys and analysis from Mexico and Latin American countries, the DHS and nonpartisan Pew Research have each been able to estimate the number and arrived at similar figures in recent years: around 11.3 million to 11.5 million people. The margin of error for these figures is generally around a million people at most, not 20 million people as Trump says.

Pew and the DHS both try to account for deaths, under-counted groups, arrivals and departures, and have adjusted their calculations based on decades worth of research. Both have found that net migration has stabilized in recent years, and that more undocumented Mexicans are leaving the US than entering it. In other words, recent net migration into the US has hovered near its lowest levels of the past 20 years.

Kaine: Blocking Syrian refugees is unconstitutional

On Monday, the seventh circuit court of appeals accused Pence of baseless nightmare speculation and compared the governors attempt to block refugees to an attempt to exclude black people from his state, Indiana. Pence tried to deny 174 refugees resettlement aid, and the case was taken to court.

The governor of Indiana believes, though without evidence, that some of these persons were sent to Syria by Isis to engage in terrorism and now wish to infiltrate the United States in order to commit terrorist acts here. No evidence of this belief has been presented, however; it is nightmare speculation, Judge Richard Posner wrote in the opinion. Pence lost the case.

Before he became Trumps running mate, Pence did not support his call to ban Muslims from entering the US.

Governor Mike Pence (@GovPenceIN)

Calls to ban Muslims from entering the U.S. are offensive and unconstitutional.

December 8, 2015

Kaine: A Republican FBI director concluded that there was no reasonable prosecutor who would charge Clinton with wrongdoing

FBI Director James Comey was Bushs deputy attorney general, and a registered Republican, but is no longer registered with the party. Comey did say that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case against Clinton over her use of a private email server while secretary of state. But Comey also excoriated Clinton for extremely careless practices and found that she had spoken falsely repeatedly about the system.

Kaine: Trump has praised Vladimir Putin and its clear that he has business dealings with Russian oligarchs who are dealing with Putin

Trump has repeatedly called Russias president a strong leader and spoken approvingly of this strength and Putins polling numbers. For instance, on 18 December 2015 he told MSNBC: Ive always felt fine about Putin. I think that hes a strong leader.

He added: Hes running his country and at least hes a leader, unlike what we have in this country.

Last September, he told Fox News: In terms of leadership [Putins] getting an A. In a 10 March debate, Trump tried to hedge on semantics. Strong doesnt mean good, he said. Putin is a strong leader, absolutely. He is a strong leader. Now I dont say that in a good way or a bad way. I say it as a fact.

Pence also said, as Kaine points out, that its inarguable that Putin is a stronger leader than Obama.

Kaine also said that Putin has run his economy into the ground, he persecutes LGBT folks and journalists.

The caliber of Putins leadership is debatable in and of itself. Russias economy under Putins 16 years of leadership has become over reliant on oil and hamstrung by economic sanctions, themselves prompted by Putins aggressive military action in Ukraine. The value of the ruble has collapsed, and the Kremlin started hinting that it would start to reach into its reserves. The economy has shrunk to a smaller GDP than Spain, according to the IMF, and Russias newly active military is involved in conflicts in Ukraine and Syria that appear to have no resolution in sight. In Ukraine nearly 10,000 people have been killed, and in Syria nearly 500,000. Putin has passed anti-LGBT laws, clamped down on the press, and been accused of murdering opponents, including journalists.

Kaine: Trump on the other hand didnt know that Russia had invaded Crimea

Pence: He knew that.

Heres what Trump told ABCs This Week in August: Hes not going into Ukraine, OK, just so you understand. Hes not going to go into Ukraine, all right? You can mark it down. You can put it down. You can take it anywhere you want.

Host George Stephanopoulos: Well, hes already there, isnt he?

Trump: OK, well, hes there in a certain way. But Im not there. You have Obama there. And frankly, that whole part of the world is a mess under Obama with all the strength that youre talking about and all of the power of Nato and all of this. In the meantime, hes going away. He takes Crimea.

Back in 2014, Trump called the invasion of Ukraine so smart.

Pence: That [diplomatic] reset [overseen by Clinton] resulted in the invasion of Ukraine

This claim strains credulity. Russia invaded Ukraine in the wake of the countrys 2014 revolution, which ousted a pro-Kremlin president who had reneged on a pledge to join an economic pact with the EU.

There is an argument, vaguely, that a lack of American or Nato forces in eastern Europe may have encouraged Russias actions, but this is speculative at best. Ukraine is not a member of Nato, the history of Crimea and Russia goes back centuries, and the continued war in eastern Ukraine is being fueled by both the Kremlin and local forces.

Pence: The Associated Press found that more than half of Clintons meetings as secretary of state were with donors to the Clinton Foundation

The AP story on Clintons meetings did not include her meetings with people in the US government and from foreign governments who were by a huge margin the people she met with while serving as the top diplomat of the United States.

The news agency deleted a tweet about the story virtually verbatim to what Pence said for lack of context, and the Associated Presss vice-president for standards John Daniszewski wrote a blog post about the decision.

Pence: Trump and I would just never support legislation that would punish a woman for making the heartbreaking decision to terminate a pregnancy

Kaine is correct that Trump suggested women should be punished for having abortions he then recanted the idea at the end of a day of flip-flopping positions. Unlike Pence, Trump has not been pro-life his whole life. In 1999, he said: I hate the concept of abortion. I hate it. I hate everything it stands for, I cringe when I listen to people debating the subject, but still I just believe in choice.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/oct/04/vice-president-debate-fact-check-mike-pence-tim-kaine

Rolling Stones hint new album coming out on 6 October

First release since 2005 comprises raw cover versions of Chicago blues classics, according to producer Don Was

The Rolling Stones have hinted they are about to release their first album in more than a decade, apparently a collection of covers of Chicago blues classics.

The band took to Twitter to tease the line Coming October 6 along with a snippet of Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and the rest of the band jamming out a hard blues song with harmonica.

The Rolling Stones (@RollingStones)

COMING OCTOBER 6 pic.twitter.com/c7XSocAIDK

October 4, 2016

The band did not offer further details but Don Was, the US producer who has overseen the Stones studio sessions over the past two decades, said they had cut an album of takes on Chicago blues songs.

The Stones recorded the album in three days with a simple microphone set-up and no further studio touch-ups, hoping to preserve a raw, authentic feel, Was told the French newspaper Le Figaro last week.

Guitar great Eric Clapton also took part in sessions as he was recording an album in an adjacent studio, said the producer, who is also known for his band Was (Not Was) of the 1980s.

On Friday the Stones will inaugurate Desert Trip, a new festival in California that aims to bring together living legends of rock.

The septuagenarian rockers one of the highest-grossing acts in the music business will share the three-day festival bill with Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan, Roger Waters, The Who and Neil Young.

The Rolling Stones have not released a studio album since 2005s A Bigger Bang, which consisted of original material that largely stayed true to the bands blues rock roots.

The rockers have released a series of concert recordings in the past decade, however.

Richards, 72, has often spoken of his love of Chicago blues and its influence over his guitar-playing while growing up in England. The blues, born among African Americans in the US South, took on a new life with the Great Migration to industrialised northern cities with added amplification and gradual rock elements.

Richards, notorious for his hard living, has remained energetic and a year ago put out a solo album in which he also takes vocal duties. He revealed at the time that the Stones planned to return to the studio in 2016.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/music/2016/oct/05/rolling-stones-hint-new-album-coming-out-on-6-october

The Nigerian artist who is exploding the myth of the authentic African experience

Njideka Akunyili Crosby was 16 before she took her first art class. She talks about why most of the figures in her paintings appear to be doing nothing at all, Mean Girls at Yale, and the debt she owes Harlems Studio Museum

Njideka Akunyili Crosby is walking around the Victoria Miro gallery in east London, calmly examining her paintings. The collaged pictures of herself and her family lie on the floor, waiting to be hung; she brought the last two in her own luggage from Los Angeles, having stayed up all night before the flight to finish them.

She is seven months pregnant with her first baby, though you would barely notice. People in LA say, whats your birth plan, and Im like, I dont know! My whole mind has just been on this show, she says, her laughter resonating around the vast white room. She adds that, being from Nigeria, the whole fuss around pregnancy in California seems a little unnecessary. Im from the village, she says, wryly, and women there seem to give birth just fine without all this stuff.

She moved to the US at the age of 16, and discovered that her homeland didnt really matter to the outside world, other than as the scene of crises. I dont want to write off the horrible things that happen in various African countries, but were not all walking around thinking about Aids and Boko Haram all the time. Those things affect us, but lots of times our problems are the silly daily problems that you have here. How do I get a date? Will my pay cheque be enough for this dress I want to wear to the wedding?

Super Blue Omo, 2016 by Njideka Akunyili Crosby. Photograph: Courtesy Norton Museum of Art

Her heroine is the author Chimananda Ngozi Adichie, who also moved from Nigeria to the US to study. They have met a couple of times: She has this short story where the main character goes to a writing workshop, and she writes about someone whose boss is sexually harrassing her. And the teacher says to her, Why dont you write about an authentic African experience? Well, what is authentic you think we dont have these issues in Nigeria, too? Stuck in traffic, 30 minutes late for a meeting that is the bulk of life. Its a horrible example, but even in the midst of a tragedy like the Ebola epidemic most people are probably just living their lives. Thats why so many of my figures [in the paintings] are really doing nothing. I think people sensationalise places in their heads, so I wanted to show just how normal life is in Nigeria.

Ike Ya, 2016 by Njideka Akunyili Crosby. Photograph: Courtesy the Artist and Victoria Miro, London

Akunyili Crosby left Nigeria with her older sister to study in Philadelphia. She considers herself an American artist, as well as an African one, having studied art at Swarthmore College and Philadelphia University of the Arts, before taking her MFA at Yale, where she was also a teaching assistant. None of this was expected she left Nigeria thinking she would become a doctor just like her father and several of her five siblings. Her earliest memory is of poring over her dads Atlas of Diseases, fascinated by the human body. Yet when, aged 16, she added painting a fun class to her really intense and science based community college courses, her art teacher encouraged her to take it further. That was my first painting class ever in my life, she says, clearly still surprised by how her life has turned out. Her teacher wasnt wrong though: she has since been awarded the Prix Canson 2016, the 2015 Next Generation prize at the New Museum of Contemporary Art, the 2015 Joyce Alexander Wein Artist Prize at the Studio Museum in Harlem, and was listed in Foreign Policys Leading 100 Global Thinkers of 2015.

Initially, her paintings seem reasonably simple, with their domestic scenes of living rooms, couples, families. But there are so many layers: the collaged materials she uses as background, taken from Nigerian popular culture, or portrait fabrics printed with peoples faces from her familys weddings. Her marriage to a white Texan, Justin Crosby, is there too, with their differencein colour, in family background. Although that difference became perhaps too obvious for her. Ifelt I was making too many pieces withthe couple in it, so then I thought, what if I take the couple out? How do Istill say everything I want to say? Itryto keep it interesting for myself becauseeach piece is a puzzle.

After growing up in the city of Enugu, Akunyili Crosby moved to a girls boarding school in Lagos. I was used to spending weekends and summers with my grandmother in the village. Kerosene lamps only, so everybody goes to bed when the sun sets at seven, and there is nothing to do. Get up at 5.30 and sweep the floor with palm fronds. So I experienced those two spaces, growing up, then went to Queens College, which is probably the most prestigious girls school in the country. It really was my first contact with a cosmopolitan life.

See Through, 2016 by Njideka Akunyili Crosby. Photograph: Courtesy the Artist and Victoria Miro, London

The reason for this change in circumstance is quite astounding, and Akunyili Crosby tells the story with great pride. Her mother, Dora Akunyili, who died in 2014, had studied pharmacy and taught at a university, among other jobs. Diagnosed as needing major surgery, she was given 12,000 from a work insurance fund to go to London and have treatment. But the London doctor said it was a misdiagnosis, so she went home again and gave the money back. Nigeria is not a country where anybody ever asks for your receipts, her daughter explains, and knowing how poor we were at the time, its amazing that she didnt keep it. But Dora was unaware that the story of the incredibly honest pharmacist rose up the ranks until one day, years later, she got a phone call at home from President Obasanjo. He was desperate to solve the problem of counterfeit and fake medicine that was killing so many Nigerians, and asked her to help. Akunyili was made head of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, took on frightening crime cartels and won becoming a national hero.

Does it make her daughter feel duty-bound to live a moral life? Oh yes! I always feel my life in Nigeria is quite different from my life in the States. Every time I come back, I go from being anonymous I hand my passport over and its the same every time. They look at it, look up at me, say, Are you who Ithink you are? I hope youre like your mother! And I say [she whimpers], Itry!

I ask her what Yale was like, but she isnt too keen to talk about it. Have you seen Mean Girls? she asks, comically, or the season of Project Runway where everyone gangs up on Michael Costello? Arriving at the Studio Museum in Harlem, a space for black artists, was her salvation after that. Yale was not a community. But I think of the Studio Museum as a family. She says that almost every successful black artist in the US was nurtured there. In fact, she feels the debt so strongly that she recently gave them a substantial amount of money. I told my husband that in Nigeria there are two kinds of giving, and one of them hurts. I want to feel like I lost something. Thats howmuch they mean to me.

Njideka Akunyili Crosby: Portals is at Gallery II, Victoria Miro, London N1 7RW (020 7336 8109) from 4 October until 5 November 2016.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/oct/03/nigerian-artist-myth-authentic-african-experience-njideka-akunyili-crosby-harlem-studio-museum

Amazon’s Alexa saves the day in new ad campaign

An exasperated mom wants to know exactly how many minutes are in 18 years in this scene from the campaign.
Image: amazon/screenshot

It may not be immediately obvious why one should choose to put a computerized talking cylinder in charge of various household tasks.

Amazon is doing its best job of explaining with a new series of short of vignettes in which Alexa, the digital assistant programmed into its Echo device, solves a succession of everyday domestic conundrums.

The spots manage to convey a lot in these brief bursts of life, despite the only dialogue being a question or request posed to the gadget and a subsequent robotic reply.

In one, for instance, a proud mom asks Alexa whether it’s supposed to rain as she watches her son chalk an impressive mural on the front driveway.

Another consists only of a woman requesting that her butterfly’s birthday be added to her calendar.

In a third, a girl’s delighted discovery of a leafy branch prompts motherly praise followed by a hasty query about poison oak as the child itches her face.

Each manages to wed a sense of emotion and humor to the apparatus that might not be apparent in its stilted voice or lofty promises of the “Internet of things” revolution.

In addition to practical use cases, the videos seem to be a recognition that consumers must first trust a technology on a gut level before they welcome it into the intimate boundaries of their home life.

The campaign follows the release of a similar longer spot last week in which a well-meaning dad uses the Echo to cheer up his daughter after a break up.

The commercials mark Amazon’s second big advertising effort centered around the household assistant after a set of Super Bowl ads the e-commerce giants first featuring Alec Baldwin, Missy Elliot, Dan Marino and other stars.

In addition to the campaign, Amazon also announced a host of new features for the Echo including stock quotes from CNBC, news from CNN and general knowledge from social question-and-answer service Quora.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2016/10/03/amazon-echo-ad-campaign/

Story about man marrying granddaughter goes viral, is probably fake

Image: Getty Images/CSA Images RF

If you wanted to trick a bunch of media outlets into picking up a fake viral story, how would you go about it?

First, you’d probably choose the state of Florida, which can probably start counting weird news stories among its major exports. Second, you’d throw up a website with a generic newspaper name. Third, come up with some sort of news story that is tailor-made to bring in the clicks.

And here we are, with the “Florida Sun Post,” and a story about a Miami millionaire who accidentally married his daughter.

All indications point to the story and the website being fake. That hasn’t stopped numerous media outlets from picking up the story, including The Independent, Elite Daily, Complex and UK tabloid The Sun. Those reports then spread further, with the New York Post, picking up the Sun‘s report.

The questionable nature of the story and website was first noticed by whoever runs the Twitter parody account @_FloridaMan, which is dedicated to weird Florida news.

Fake news continues to permeate the internet, with the occasional story getting picked up by mainstream outlets. Facebook has struggled to keep fake news out of its Trending Topics section now that it is almost entirely run by algorithms. A particularly infamous fake internet story circulated in 2014 about a woman who claimed to have gotten surgery to add a third breast.

Another fake story centered on a claim that Michael Jordan was going to move the Charlotte Hornets out of North Carolina. That was perpetrated in part by a fake ABC News website that has a similar web address and similar look to the real ABC News website.

Scratching the surface of the “Florida Sun Post” website reveals that the page was begun just a few days ago, as noted by the Twitter account.

The site itself also seems off in a variety of ways. Every story expect for the one that has gone viral is behind a paywall, and there seems to be almost no coherence to the stories on the various pages. Much of it has an international bent, including the “Sport” page, which includes cricket coverage.

Strangely enough, I could not find the viral marriage story anywhere on its site. The story appears to only be accessible if you have the direct link. The story also appears to be the only article outsides of a paywall. We did not want to pay the $4.99 to see what lay behind it.

The story itself is also very strangely written. There is no byline, although the post claims that the unnamed man talked to “reporters” and the woman talked to “journalists.”

Other stories on the website appear to be based on other reports, such as a teen in Pensacola fatally stabbing his older brother. That story was posted on Monday, although the Associated Press published about the incident on Friday.

Deeper parts of the website appear to be copy-and-paste jobs. The privacy page appears to be verbatim from freeprivacypolicy.com. The “terms” page is slightly most customized, and claims to have been last edited on Jan. 15, 2010.

I reached out to the website through its contact page, and received back an email that Google immediately deemed suspicious.

Despite what appears to be a very fake website possibly designed to go viral (the website’s pages are loaded with sponsored links that tend to generate a decent amount of cash when displayed on highly trafficked pages), the story had spread relatively wide by Monday morning.

The Independent appeared to be among he first outlets to aggregate the story. I reached out to them to ask if the article was under review. They did not immediately respond.

But if there was any question over whether the story was gaining steam, Drudge Report still has an active link to the Independent post, meaning the paper has little incentive not to keep on receiving that sweet, sweet Drudge traffic.

The Drudge Report also linked out to the Independent‘s story from its website and twitter account.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2016/10/03/fake-news-story-man-marries-granddaughter/

14 Meerkat users on why they used the live video app

Meerkat, a livestreaming app, was removed from the app stores last week.
Image: meerkat screenshot

Meerkat is dead. The mobile app that ignited a live-steaming revolution when it made its debut at South by Southwest 2015 was removed from the iOS and Android app stores Friday.

Its funeral has been long awaited as the app battled for attention with Twitter’s Periscope and Facebook Live. Meerkat founder and CEO Ben Rubin announced a pivot for his company back in March and released his latest project, Houseparty, an app for group video calls, last week.

But the community that Meerkat helped build is alive and well. Mashable asked 14 of the earliest users and some of the most-followed app personalities why they used Meerkat and how it influenced their lives. They told us in their own words:

Tiffany Diamond

advertising producer

Meerkat was an amazing platform for connecting with people around the world. It was the first time that a social network felt real in creating friendships and getting to know people.

There’s friends I made through Meerkat that I still have today. Meerkat was a close knit community that supported each other. I’m blessed to have amassed over 100,000 followers on the platform, which helped in getting me comfortable in front of the camera, which led to me launching my own YouTube channel.

When Meerkat was at its peak it was definitely the most fun social media experience I ever had. From celebrating birthdays and engagements to even watching people sky dive. Meerkat invited me into people’s lives. Sad that it’s over, but the friendships remain!

Geoff Golberg

digital marketing consultant

Meerkat ushered in a new era of livestreaming. Their focus on equipping users with tools and features to foster a two-way, participatory environment was second to none. With far fewer resources than Periscope/FB Live, they managed to ship meaningful updates to their product at an alarming rate.

Meerkats early focus on community (and that early community was incredibly unique!) was their special sauce. They were fortunate to have an exceptional community manager, Niv Dror (currently at Product Hunt), on their team. Unfortunately, after Nivs departure, Meerkat lost their community focus and instead opted to chase Hollywood/celebrities. That, ultimately, is what led to their demise.

Victoria Fratz

actress and social media influencer

When asked to describe what it was I loved about Meerkat, so many streams, events, and meet ups came to mind. One particular stream that stuck out was the time I visited the Meerkat HQ and got lost in the streets of San Francisco. Fortunately, I was streaming and walking, albeit in circles, and my viewers came to the rescue. They went over to Dave Grossblatt’s stream, another frequent Meerkater who specialized in showing viewers around SF, and told him where I was. That day turned into such an adventure! I started my morning on a mission to get coffee, got lost, met Dave (and got coffee), and then spent the rest of the afternoon hanging out with my new friend while he gave me a tour of San Francisco’s charms.

That stream is the perfect representation for why I love Meerkat so much and will forever be grateful for what the app gave me. For me it was always about these amazing interactions I was having with viewers from all around the world. They could tune into whatever escapades I was up to and tell me stories of their own, give recommendations, or just tell me they liked my smile which made my day! So for my friends at Meerkat, thank you guys for what you created. It changed my life in such an amazing way and there will always be a part of me that’s still the #MeerkatQueen

Image: courtesy of victoria fratz

Steve Isaacs

managing creative director in digital at bpg advertising

From the first moment of my first stream, I was hooked. The ease and simplicity of the interface, the cute animated Meerkat when it was trying to connect, everything just felt right. I started streaming during SXSW, and to everyone there it seemed like something truly transformative was taking place. The idea of an interactive window into someone else’s world was intoxicating.

Niv, who watched over the Meerkat community, made the whole thing feel like a family. Those months were, without question, the best time Ive ever had on the Internet with any social network, app, community or product. I felt that it was inevitable that Meerkat was going to take over the world. The wide open feeling of broadcasting with random folks anywhere in the world and finding some kind of connection, I truly feel is the best of what the Internet is capable of achieving, and to this day I dont think anyone has done it quite as well as Meerkat did.

Ryan Bell

founder of Summit.Live and creative strategist

Meerkat began beautifully at SXSW and helped start a large movement in disruptive media that were still catching up to. We look at Facebook and Periscope now and see them just beginning to do some of the things that Meerkat did a year ago. Saying farewell to Meerkat is strange because it may have died from moving too fast.

Goodbye to something amazing that was a catalyst and an amplifier. As the space grows and matures I often feel as though the innovations that Meerkat seemed to aim towards would have been welcome now. It was truly ahead of its time.

Cathy Hackl

CEO of Cathy Hackl Consulting

Meerkat started the live video revolution. It was the first time I felt I could experience SXSW in real time without being there and made me excited for the future of video. As one of the first people in the PR & social media community to use Meerkat, I saw it not only as a fun app, but a tool crafted for storytelling in an authentic, immediate and raw way. Thank you Meerkat for starting it all.

Suzanne Nguyen

millennial marketer

Meerkat day’s may be over, but the impact it had on me still lingers on. Because the platform was my training ground to be where I am today. Thank you and may you RIP Meerkat.

Nguyen made a Snapchat Story chronicling the rise and fall of Meerkat.

Image: suzanne nguyen

Brian Fanzo

CEO of iSocialFanz

I wasn’t a video blogger, I’m not someone that loves to consume video, the concept of live streaming wasn’t something I thought would have valuable for me and my business. That all changed thanks to a fuzzy little animal that lived in my phone that created a community, that bled yellow and transformed my business my passion, my belief in the power of community.

For many Meerkat created the mobile live streaming buzz at SXSW, that is now dominated by Facebook and Twitter. For me I believe Meerkat did far more than pioneer this new way of having conversations with your community via video. It gave early adopters social media power users and many they didn’t feel that they could get their voice heard a community, a platform and ultimately friends around the world.

Vincenzo Landino

creative director at Aftermarq

As one of the first users of Meerkat, it was one of those platforms that instantly changed the game for me. The community of friends that I was able to make is beyond anything I’ve ever seen on social media. Digital avatars turned into live talking faces.

One of my favorite memories was the epic 7 hour karaoke live stream that helped launch my love for live video: “At 9:00 on a Saturday evening, the crowd shuffled in, there was my phone in front of me with people telling me what to sing!” That little live-stream launched me into another level and have since had live video projects with Barilla Pasta, Edelman Digital, Tinder, DC United, numerous events and conferences and a 1 Billion impression campaign with Applebees and BTC Revolutions. All of this happened because of Meerkat.

Chris Strub

social media consultant for Humana

Meerkat created an environment that inspired connections worldwide through unprecedented authenticity. While the app itself may be gone, many of us continue to cherish the genuine friendships made last summer.

Anthony Quintano

engagement editor at Honolulu Civil Beat

What I enjoyed most was the connection the users had with the creators of the app. Ben Rubin and his team were the best example of how a company should listen to their users and give them what they want. The transparency with users as they improved the platform was another important part of what I loved Meerkat. They were always letting users know when features were coming, and what they were. No secrecy around where the app was going. Every user felt like they had the founders attention and would be heard.

Gregg Weiss

VP of social media at Mastercard

Meerkat changed everything. It wasn’t just an app; it was a community. Meerkat didn’t just turn our phones into live streaming devices they turned our phones into ways to make new friends and build a unique community of people who supported each other’s content.

The excitement after the launch and each time a new feature came out was something I’ve never experienced before. For me, it felt like the digital-nerd version of when the Beatles came to the US in the 1960s. Meerkat mattered. It stood for something. It brought people together. The Meerkat brand was strong. The people behind it were approachable and truly cared about the community. And the community cared about each other. Some of the people I interact with most on other platforms now are people I met on Meerkat.

Liza Dixon

masters student

I will never forget the experience of opening Meerkat for the first time. In a sea of highly curated, overly-photoshopped social platforms, Meerkat was an instant standout. The raw nature of participatory, live video attracted a different kind of communityone in which mistakes were a celebrated and key to its allure.

It was a powerful experience to have in your hands a tool which allowed you to travel to places you would likely never have gone and engage real-time with people you would have never met otherwise. For the countless hours I spent streaming, what I received in return from viewers can never be measured. It is a real gift to be a part of this community. I put it this way because even though our favorite little animal is gone from the App Store, the community founded by Meerkat is still flourishing.

Joe Wilson

writer, director and creator of PlayShorts and Vampire Mob

Meerkat was the place where I met friends I still speak to daily, some of whom have crashed on my couch. It’s also where I self diagnosed my resting b**** face. Life changer!

Read more: http://mashable.com/2016/10/03/meerkat-app-eulogy/

15 Stories Of Terrible Neighbors That Will Make Your Blood Boil

Unless we arelucky enough to live in a secluded area with a nice, long driveway that removes us from society (ah, the dream), neighbors can be a huge problem.

Sure, neighbors can also be lovely people, and can even become some of our very best friends. It really all depends on how your lifestyles match together. Sometimes, though, we are vastly different people from our neighbors, and sometimes neighbors can be, well, a little wackadoo.

These 15 stories from neighbors range from simply annoying to flat-out nuts. Luckily, no one gets hurt in these tales, but some of them sure are creepy! I’m so glad that I haven’t had any of this happen to me. The worst thing that happens in my apartment is when one of the neighbors cooks food that doesn’t smell particularly yummy.

Have you ever had a neighbor as bad as the ones below? Maybe some repeat 3 a.m. partiers, or parents that let their petscome into your backyard and destroy your magnolia bushes?

Let us know your crazy stories in the comments. And

[H/T: Reddit 1, 2, 3]

Thumbnail source: Flickr



“I was cooking steak and bacon on the porch in the summer and they called the fire department once for the smoke.” Randrath



“Cop here. I went to a disturbance call where two neighbors were blowing leaves at each other with leaf blowers. They were actually mad while doing this.” jkorpela



“My neighbor cut the Cable with her garden sheers, I presume an argument over the bill. She wouldn’t let the cable company in to repair it. So they had to bypass her house; my house and about 6 others had no TV, phone or internet for 8 days.” Bbrhuft



“Looked out of my window to see my neighbor leaning over my 6ft high fence, and stretching right into my yard to saw some of the main branches off my tree. My tree had never extended over the fence and her limb-hacking killed it.

“A few months later, she cut one of the wires attached to our boundary fence that was holding up a shade cloth in my backyard. I called the cops on her. And a couple of weeks later, all the plants along our boundary fence mysteriously died, and seriously damaged some of my trees…” gadget_girl



“My parent’s next-door neighbor (who is also my mother’s cousin) sued them 3 or 4 times over property disputes and once because his adult son allegedly fell over a decorative rock to prevent said neighbor from parking on my parent’s lawn. The guy’s house has been condemned but they still live there.” princessaurus_rex



“When I was a baby the old lady who lived above us put a hose through the window into my cot.” gotn



“‘Blower Dude’ as the whole family refers to him. When we moved in he told my dad none of the neighbors got along with him (gee, wonder why) and then said since there were no deciduous trees on his property he would be blowing any leaves that fell into his yard over our fence.

“This guy used his leaf blower 4-5 times a day. He would spend hours carefully blowing the snow off his chain link fence while it was still snowing. Wanna sleep in? You’ll have to make it through his two backyard passes before 10, so good luck.” Reddit user



“Our neighbor two houses down always comes sprinting out of his house to flip off the ice cream truck. It’s pretty funny.” akantho



“Our neighbor complained to the HOA that my cat was staring at her.” elizardbreathjones



“The neighbors upstairs keep overflowing their washing machine which causes flooding in our house. Now I have anxiety whenever I hear water running.” crossyourheart



“Spends his nightspeering into everyone’s windows and yards from his windows or porch with his infrared goggles. Occasionally leaves notes like ‘nice movie you were watching in your living room last night’ on the mailboxes.” emlgsh



“The neighbor who stole our stuff all the time. I’m pretty sure she stole my first Nintendo DS. One day my mom was housesitting for her and she opened a cupboard and it was full of our stuff.” iammrsbug



“My friends and I started rollerblading and they started putting gravel and semi-large stones in the road. They once threw rocks at us while we were riding our bikes.” alecbrownbear



“Bagpipes. All. The. Time.” Avatar_ZW



“My house was yellow. My neighbor wouldn’t stop complaining about how they hated the color. Then one time when I was away on a business trip, they had it painted white and tried to stick me with the bill.” The-Horse-Yeller

Have you ever had a terrible neighbor before? Let us know your story and

Read more: http://www.littlethings.com/terrible-neighbor-stories/

Clinton-Backed Branch Of Foundation Donor Gm Now Caught In Major Scandal

October 23, 2011: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gets out of a GM “Spark” while touring the GM Powertrain plant in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.  (Reuters)

Hillary Clinton had glowing words for the General Motors plant in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, when she traveled there in 2011 as secretary of state to announce the joint venture — of GM and an Uzbekistan state-owned firm — as a finalist for a State Department award.

It is a collaboration between Uzbek and American companies, and it will serve as a symbol of our friendship and cooperation, Clinton said, touting the plants newest, most advanced technology.

The visit came a year after the General Motors Foundation had contributed $684,455 in vehicles to the Clinton Foundation.

Fast-forward several years, and GM-Uzbekistan is now embroiled in a massive scandal, reportedly facing charges of fraud, money laundering, and embezzlement, a legal case that has reached high-ranking government officials in the country.

Clinton isnt tied to any of the allegations. But its another example of how Clinton Foundation donations and subsequent State Department actions have put the Democratic presidential nominee in an awkward position. The 2011 praise wasnt a one-off, either. Clintons State Department again made GM Uzbekistan a finalist for the Award for Corporate Excellence in 2012.

Peter Flaherty, president of the watchdog National Legal and Policy Center, said the GM branchs recent turmoil casts doubt on Clintons judgment. 

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This episode is another example for the Clintons of how, if you do business with them, they will do something for you, Flaherty told FoxNews.com. Any enterprise in Uzbekistan is going to be suspect. It is notoriously corrupt, and the government dominates everything. A company there seems like an unlikely nominee for a corporate excellence award.

Earlier this year, authorities detained GM Uzbekistan General Director Tohirjon Jalilov. Uzbek prosecutors also have reportedly been investigating the GM ventures business partners and officials with Uzbekistans National Security Service. Uzbek Deputy Prime Minister Ulughbek Rozikulov was reportedly questioned in the matter.

Asked for comment, Clinton campaign spokesman Josh Schwerin noted the U.S. government had honored GM well before Clinton served as secretary of state — referencing that in 2006, GMs joint venture in Colombia actually won the award. It was merely a finalist under Clinton.

While GM did receive the Secretary of States 2006 Award for Corporate Excellence from the Bush administration, it did not receive the award while Secretary Clinton was in office, Schwerin told FoxNews.com. Further, it appears that the legal issues you refer to began several years after Clinton left office. The fact remains that Hillary Clinton never took action as secretary of state because of donations to the Clinton Foundation.

GM owns 25 percent of the company established in 2008, while UzAvtosanoat, an Uzbek firm, controls 75 percent.

We are aware that one of the suspects arrested was an Uzbek national who worked at the joint venture company and also UzAvto, and he has been dismissed by the joint venture, GM spokesman Patrick Morrissey told FoxNews.com. We cant comment on any other law enforcement actions.

Morrissey also said that U.S. auto bailout money GM received was not directed toward its international operation. He said no U.S. government financial support of any kind was provided to GM Uzbekistan.

Uzbekistan President Islam Karimov — whose 27-reign earned him the reputation of a ruthless tyrant — reportedly uncovered the alleged misconduct this spring regarding an elaborate export-import scheme for vehicles that were supposed to be sold in Russia but were instead allegedly shipped back to Uzbekistan and sold at higher prices to maximize profits for executives. Karimov, who died in September, is most remembered for having his troops kill 700 unarmed protestors in 2005, and running a centralized economy.

The global watchdog group Transparency International ranked Uzbekistan 153 on its corruption index, with a transparency score of just 19.

So, there are reasons to doubt the legitimacy of the prosecution, said Flaherty.

Everything in Uzbekistan is political, so I wouldnt put a lot of faith in the criminal justice system, Flaherty said. But it seems like the Clintons still are not very discerning about who they associate with.

General Motors Corporation has contributed between $50,000 and $100,000 to the Clinton Foundation. Also, in February 2010, the General Motors Foundation announced a donation of 30 pickup trucks to the Clinton Foundation, which GMs Morrissey said were valued at $684,455, to be used in relief efforts in Haiti. Hillary Clinton delivered the remarks at the GM Uzbekistan plant the following year, and the company was a finalist for the State Department honor in back-to-back years.

In a statement to FoxNews.com, the Clinton Foundation noted most of the other GM donations to the foundation went for the Clinton Global Initiative.

GM was a member of the Clinton Global Initiative for several years, and their financial contributions to the Foundation are totally comprised of CGI membership fees, the statement said. In this time, they partnered on a wide range of commitments, from initiatives to expand clean energy in their automobile lines, to a training program for NGO leaders, to an effort to promote HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention in China.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/10/04/clinton-backed-branch-foundation-donor-gm-now-caught-in-major-scandal.html

Bill Clinton Calls Obamacare ‘Crazy System’ While Campaigning In Michigan

Former President Bill Clinton speaks, Monday, Oct. 3, 2016 at Northbank Center in downtown Flint, Mich.  (Jake May/The Flint Journal via AP)

Former president Bill Clinton appeared to take a shot at President Obama’s signature health care legislation during a campaign stop in Michigan on Monday, calling it a “crazy system” that “doesn’t make any sense.” 

Clinton was in Flint, Michigan for a campaign event for his wife and was on the topic of government-run marketplaces under ObamaCare when he made the remarks, The Daily Caller reported.

“It doesn’t make any sense. The insurance model doesn’t work here,” he said. 

He added that ObamaCare “works fine” for people with “modest” incomes eligible for government subsidies but that “the people that are getting killed in this deal are small business people and individuals who make just a little too much to get any of these subsidies,” the Daily Caller reported. 

Youve got this crazy system where all of a sudden 25 million more people have health care and then the people are out there busting it, sometimes 60 hours a week, wind up with their premiums doubled and their coverage cut in half, Clinton said. Its the craziest thing in the world. 

Clinton’s comments on ObamaCare were immediately seized upon by the Republican National Committee, who put out video clips of his speech. 

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Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/10/03/bill-clinton-calls-obamacare-crazy-system-while-campaigning-in-michigan.html

Barnsley and Middlesbrough see pupil exclusion rises of 300% – BBC News

Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption The biggest increases in fixed term exclusions were recorded in Middlesbrough, Barnsley and North Lincolnshire

The number of pupils expelled from schools in some parts of England has risen by more than 300% in three years.

There were 5,800 permanent exclusions in 2014-15 compared with 4,630 three years ago, government figures show.

Fixed term or temporary exclusions rose from 267,520 to 302,980 in the same period.

Some councils where large rises have been recorded said the increase reflected a greater willingness to tackle “poor behaviour”.

The largest rises were seen in Middlesbrough, Barnsley and North Lincolnshire.

Both Barnsley and Middlesbrough also had the highest exclusion rates, with about one in six of all school children being excluded for a fixed period last year.

Not only has the number of fixed term exclusions increased, but the average number of days children are excluded for has increased steadily over three years – from 4.18 days in 2012-13, to 4.23 in 2013-14 and 4.38 in 2014-15.

Middlesbrough saw the largest increase in fixed term exclusions, up 357% from 750 in 2012-13 to 2,080 in 2014-15.

The council says the rise reflects efforts by head teachers to tackle poor behaviour.

“Exclusions are a measure of last resort when all other avenues have been exhausted, and are designed to change behaviour and improve life chances,” a spokesman for Middlesbrough Borough Council said.

“Poor behavioural standards by students damage not only their own chances but the prospects of those around them.”

Barnsley saw a rise of 303% and North Lincolnshire 110% during the same period.

See how many pupils were excluded by schools in your area with our interactive map.

Image copyright Tableau

Both Teesside and North Lincolnshire have suffered thousands of steel industry job losses in the past two years.

Tony Draper, former president of the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) and current head at Water Hall Primary School in Northamptonshire, said there might be a correlation between particularly high levels of exclusions and wider economic uncertainty in some areas.

“Families in financial difficulty, or with difficult personal circumstances are examples of this, so that could explain the regional variations in the statistics,” Mr Draper said.

He also warned school finances were “at breaking point” meaning some measures which might stave off the need for exclusions, such as counselling, support work or clubs, “may be lost”.

‘Sexual misconduct’

Alison Ryan, senior policy adviser with the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, said there was a “perfect storm” in some parts of England where long-term unemployment, local authority service cuts, teacher shortages and a lack of available provision for children with special educational needs was severely damaging the prospects of some children.

Persistent disruptive behaviour accounted for the lion’s share – 79,590 – of fixed term exclusions, followed by 52,710 for verbal abuse, and 54,370 for assaulting a pupil.

More than 8,000 pupils were excluded for drug and alcohol offences and 2,250 related to sexual misconduct.

Bullying accounts for about 3,000 of fixed term exclusions and 30 permanent exclusions each year.

The mother of one victim of persistent bullying in Essex said the school’s decision to exclude the perpetrator ended up being the only option after all other efforts failed.

The bullying, she said, had been “awful” and had taken a huge toll on her daughter.

Ms Ryan said exclusions also had significant consequences on those excluded.

“If you are alienated at school you are more likely to end up not in employment or training and in the justice system at a later stage,” she said.

The rise in the past four years follows a period steady decline in the numbers and rate of exclusions before 2012-13.

The Department for Education was approached for comment but did not respond.

Related Topics

Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-37340042