500 Days of Kristin, Day 253: Camden Said the F-Word Once

Kristin Cavallari—mother to Camden Jack, Jaxon Wyatt, and a forthcoming baby to be named after a dog —recently spoke to People.com’s Moms&Babies section about the challenges of being a mom and a Kristin Cavallari.

Read more…

‘Fear the Walking Dead’ Boss Previews Faster Pace, Mix of Land and Sea in Season 2

Showrunner Dave Erickson talks with THR about what to expect from the 15-episode second season.read more

Reports: Dermatologist Found Dead After Cocaine-Fueled Night of Partying With HBO Producer

A respected Long Island dermatologist and mother of three was found dead this weekend after what cops are reportedly characterizing as a cocaine-fueled night on the town with a television producer she met on Facebook. Read more…

Tiny, Dysfunctional Family to Protest National Weather Service Over the Gays or Whatever

The sign-toting human embodiment of talk radio will stage a protest of the National Weather Service on October 8 because they’ve run out of new things to hate. They’re also somehow tying gays into the protest, of course, because everyone knows we secretly control the weather. (Why else would chemtrails be so neatly arranged in the sky? Duh!)

Read more…

Assisted Suicide Now Legal in California

On Monday, California became the fifth state to legalize assisted suicide for terminally ill patients, bringing an end to decades of moral and legislative debate.Read more…

Hey, Uhh—Check Out Benji Madden’s Scalp Tattoo. It’s New!

Hey—ahh. Man, hey, um—look at this! Hey! Cameron Diaz’s husband Benji Madden from PacSun break room mid-day motivation band Good Charlotte got a new scalp tattoo—isn’t it good? [Nodding with eyes wide to convey the idea that you should do the same.] Hmm?

Read more…

Here’s That Anti-Semitic Joke Joe Biden Tried to Keep Off the Record

In 1974, Joe Biden gave a very good, extremely horny interview to Kitty Kelley. Just about the only thing that didn’t make it into the article, which ran in Washingtonian Magazine, was a mysterious anti-semitic joke Biden made to another senator. You’d think a joke that uncouth would be funny—but sadly, you thought wrong.

Read more…

Stop Driving Through Floods, You Idiots

When it became clear last week that the looming weather catastrophe wouldn’t be remembered for Hurricane Joaquin, but rather the historic flooding in the Carolinas , I knew that the internet would be plastered with videos of idiots driving through floods come Monday. Idiots came through. Don’t drive through a flood, you idiots.

Read more…

Relativity Bankruptcy: Judge Not Ready to Approve Sale

Tucker Tooley stepping down as Relativity president.read more

‘Goosebumps': Film Review

Jack Black plays R.L. Stine in this lively take on the hit YA horror-lite books.read more

Julianna Margulies on ‘Good Wife’ Feud Rumors: “There’s No Animosity on My Part”

The actress shuts down speculation of tension on set between her and former ‘Good Wife’ co-star Archie Panjabi. read more

‘The Flash’ Movie Finds Its Director (Exclusive)

‘Flash’ would be the feature directorial debut of the best-selling author of ‘Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter’ and ‘Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.’read more

Hollywood Film Awards: Honors Going to ‘Furious 7,’ ‘Amy,’ More (Exclusive)

The host of the first awards ceremony of the season also announced honors for ‘Black Mass,’ ‘Bridge of Spies,’ ‘Cinderella,’ ‘The Danish Girl,’ ‘Jurassic World,’ ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ and ‘Suffragette.’read more

Relativity Bankruptcy: Details of Ryan Kavanaugh’s Deal Revealed

His investment group is putting up $60 million in cash and taking on $30 million in debt.read more

Britain’s laws may be too outdated to be used against Uber in its taximeter lawsuit

Black Cab Uber protest in London

UK’s High Court this week will issue a ruling about whether Uber’s driver app can legally be classed as a taximeter or not.

Black cabs say the Uber smartphone app is illegal because it calculates fares like a meter. By law, only black cabs can have meters installed.

Here’s the weird thing about the case: Transport for London, the organisation that regulates things like black cabs and the London Underground, has already issued a decision on the taximeter case. It said that Uber’s app is perfectly fine and legal. But that’s not good enough for London’s black cabs.

TfL admits in its initial ruling on the taximeter issue that there simply aren’t enough laws and regulations to help it decide how to deal with Uber.

“We have always accepted the law is untested,” TfL wrote. “We decided it would be appropriate to invite the High Court to issue a declaration as to the correct interpretation of the law.”

Basically TfL is admitting that it doesn’t know how to deal with Uber because the country’s existing laws and regulations aren’t up-to-date. Elsewhere in the letter it goes even further: “The legislation has not kept pace with advances in technology.”

Here’s what the taximeter case is all about: A taximeter is a little box in a taxi that calculates the fare. Black cabs can have the boxes fitted, but it’s illegal for private hire vehicles to use them. Uber drivers in London all need to drive private hire vehicles, so they shouldn’t be using taximeters. That means that the black cabs and Uber have gone to court to try to define exactly what a taximeter is.

This is the most comprehensive description of what a taximeter is, via the Measuring Instruments (Taximeters) Regulations 2006:

A device that works together with a signal generator to make a measuring instrument; with the device measuring duration, calculating distance on the basis of a signal delivered by the distance signal generator; and calculating and displaying the fare to be paid for a trip on the basis of the calculated distance or the measured duration of the trip, or both.

It’s a box that measures how long the ride takes, basically. So is the Uber app a taximeter? Obviously it’s not a specialist device like the black cabs use, but does the driver’s phone become a taximeter when it has the app running? That’s what the High Court is going to decide tomorrow. 

Taxi drivers say that Uber’s app is a taximeter because it’s a device inside the car that works out how long the trip lasts. Simple, right? But Uber disagrees. It says that its app has no actual connection to the vehicle, and any fare calculations take place on an Uber server and are transmitted to the phone.

TfL agreed with Uber in its ruling, and said that the driver phones didn’t count as a taximeter because the fares were sent to it from elsewhere:

Transport for London on Uber taximeter

Here’s another paragraph from TfL supporting Uber:

TfL’s view is that smartphones that transmit location information (based on GPS data) between vehicles and operators, have no operational connection with the vehicles, and receive information about fares which are calculated remotely from the vehicle, are not taximeters within the meaning of the legislation (section 11 of the Private Hire Vehicles (London) Act 1998).

Another letter sent by TfL in March goes into even more depth. It says that TfL didn’t rule that Uber driver phones count as taximeters because cars aren’t physically “equipped” with taximeters. Because there’s no physical link between the car, its engine, and the device, it can’t count as being operationally linked. That’s how in-depth this case has gotten.

This High Court case highlights a big issue that keeps happening with Uber: Countries simply don’t have up-to-date laws when it comes to taxis. TfL has already said Uber is acting within the law, but it can’t defend that judgement because our laws are outdated. The High Court judgement could do one of two things: It could solidify TfL’s ruling and make the UK’s laws clear when it comes to ridesharing apps, or it could rule against TfL, and make it even more confusing for regulators in the future. 

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: The Tesla Model X is here — and the doors will blow your mind

South Carolina flood: Door-to-door searches, swamped roads

A woman walks down a flooded sidewalk toward an open convenience store in Charleston, S.C., Sunday, Oct. 4, 2015. President Barack Obama declared a state of emergency in South Carolina and ordered federal aid to bolster state and local efforts as flood warnings remained in effect for many parts of the East Coast through Sunday. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Days of torrential rains kept much of South Carolina and its capital gripped by floodwaters early Monday as emergency responders promised renewed door-to-door searches for anyone still trapped after a weekend deluge and hundreds of rescues.

At least seven weather-related deaths have been blamed on the vast rainstorm.

Heavy rain kept falling into the early hours Monday around the Carolinas from the storm that began swamping the Southeast late last week, part of an unprecedented low pressure system that dumped more than 20 inches on one spot alone in Columbia, the South Carolina capital.

Sunday was the wettest day in the history of Columbia, according to the National Weather Service. The rainfall total at the Columbia Metropolitan Airport was 6.87 inches, the most rain that’s ever fallen there in one day. The rainstorm dumped so much water on South Carolina and parts of several surrounding states that even the weather experts said they were astonished.

“The flooding is unprecedented and historical,” said Dr. Marshall Shepherd, a meteorologist and director of the atmospheric sciences program at the University of Georgia, in an email to The Associated Press.

He said the unique double punch of the upper level low — aided by a “river” of tropical moisture in the atmosphere from Hurricane Joaquin spinning far out in the Atlantic — gave the monster rainstorm its punch.

The deluge made for otherworldly scenes in the state capital of Columbia as floodwaters nearly touched the stoplights Sunday at one downtown intersection. Rainwater cascaded like a waterfall over jagged asphalt where a road sheered apart and many cars were submerged under flooded streets.

The flooding forced hundreds of weekend rescues and threatened the drinking water supply for hundreds of thousands in Columbia, with officials there warning some could be without potable water for days because of water main breaks. Electrical outages affecting thousands also were reported. Elsewhere, nearly 75 miles of Interstate 95 — the main link from the Southeast U.S. to the Northeast — had to be closed for a time.

Officials counted several hundred water rescues at one point Sunday. But Columbia Fire Chief Aubry Jenkins said in an interview that there were quickly too many rescues to even tally. Among those rescued were a woman and baby lifted to safety by helicopter.

Police in the flooded South Carolina capital of Columbia say they and other emergency crews would continue with “concentrated search and rescue operations” early Monday.

Columbia Police Chief William Holbrook issued a statement saying the operations would check for any people in the city and nearby Richland County still needing evacuation from flooded areas. He urged anyone still needing help to call 911, saying they would be taken out on military vehicles and bused to shelters.

“The operation will also include overall welfare checks,” he said, adding crews will mark the front doors of homes checked with a fluorescent orange X once searched.

After a nightmarish weekend marked by scenes of swift-water rescues, bridge washouts and small dams giving way, reality was setting in Monday as people waited and hoped for the rains to ease. Some reports indicate the sun could peek out Tuesday. Many recovery tasks lay ahead.

Several schools and colleges, including the University of South Carolina, canceled classes Monday and some businesses planned to stay shuttered.

Numerous roads and bridges around the state were washed out or under water. All will have to be checked to see if they are structurally sound or repaired.

“It’s going to be week or months before all of the roads are assessed,” state Adjutant General Bob Livingston Jr. said.

People were told to stay off roads and remain indoors until floodwaters recede, and a curfew was in place overnight for Columbia and two surrounding counties. The capital city told all 375,000 of its water customers to boil water before drinking because of water line breaks and rising water threatening a treatment plant. Nearly 30,000 customers were without power at one point.

One of the hardest hit areas in Columbia was near Gills Creek, where a weather station recorded more than 20 inches of rain — or more than a third of the city’s average yearly rainfall — from Friday through Sunday. The creek was 10 feet above flood stage, spilling floodwaters that almost reached the stoplights at a four-lane intersection. Shaw Air Force Base, east of Columbia, has seen more than 19 inches of rain over the last few days.

Rescue crews used boats to evacuate the family of Jeff Whalen, whose house backs up on the creek.

“I got up around 6:15 and a neighbor called to tell us we should get out as soon as we can,” Whalen said. “About that point it was about a foot below the door and when we left it was a foot in the house. It came quickly obviously.”

Along the coast, rainfall had exceeded two feet since Friday in some areas around Charleston, though conditions had improved enough that residents and business owners were allowed downtown on a limited basis.

Charleston Mayor Joe Riley said he’s never seen flooding as bad in his 40 years as mayor.

“This was a record storm,” he said.

At least seven weather-related deaths have been reported since rains began spreading over the Eastern Seaboard, which appeared to dodge the full fury of Hurricane Joaquin which was rapidly weakening as it veered every further out into the Atlantic.

One death was reported in the Columbia area Sunday. In another incident, a woman was killed when her SUV was swept into flood waters in Columbia. Richland County Coroner Gary Watts said the woman’s body was found Sunday afternoon, about 12 hours after she disappeared in flood waters near downtown Columbia.

Three people died in separate weather-related traffic accidents in South Carolina on Friday and Saturday, the Highway Patrol said. In North Carolina, a driver died on a rain-slickened road on Saturday, according to that state’s Highway Patrol. On Thursday, a woman drowned in her car in Spartanburg, South Carolina, while a passenger in North Carolina was killed when a tree fell onto the highway.

The flooding also prompted acts of kindness in Columbia.

Rawlings LaMotte, 38, a residential real estate broker, said he and a friend got into a small motorboat and ended up ferrying several people to safety, including a man who had been out of town and found roads to his home blocked.

“Until you’ve experienced something like this, you have no idea how bad it really is,” LaMotte said.

Julie Beitz, president of the Forest Acres neighborhood association, said she paid for a stranger to stay at Extended Stay after her car was submerged on a nearby flooded road.

“You do anything you can to help people,” Beitz said.


Contributing to this report were Associated Press writers Bruce Smith in Charleston, South Carolina; Mitch Weiss in Greenville, South Carolina; Jonathan Drew in Durham, North Carolina; and Susanne Schafer in Columbia; and Meg Kinnard in Blythewood, South Carolina.

Join the conversation about this story »