Almanac

News - January 8, 2014

Preliminary hearing delayed in fatal DUI case

A preliminary hearing for a woman accused of vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence has been delayed until March 27.

Marjorie Reitzell pleaded not guilty in November to charges related to the deaths of a Menlo Park couple with three teenage children. Balbir Singh, 50, and Kamal Kaur Singh, 45, were walking their dog along Chilco Street during the early evening of Oct. 24 when they were hit from behind by a Honda driven by the defendant, according to the police report. A preliminary screen showed that her blood alcohol was more than twice the legal limit of 0.08 percent at the time of the crash, District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.

Convicted of a misdemeanor DUI in November 2012, she had a valid driver's license at the time of the fatal collision, according to law enforcement officials.

A preliminary hearing originally scheduled for January was delayed due to the defense attorney's anticipated involvement in a murder trial during the next two months. Ms. Reitzell remains in custody on $2 million bail.

Facebook sued over user privacy

Has Facebook been snooping around your private messages? A lawsuit has accused the social media company of scanning messages sent via the website for URLs that it then allegedly uses for data mining and marketing, all without disclosing the surveillance to users.

The class action lawsuit, filed in federal court by Matthew Campbell and Michael Hurley on Dec. 30, claims that Facebook systematically intercepts messages that users believe are confidential, making it likely they "reveal facts about themselves they would not reveal had they known the content was being monitored."

The complaint cites a 2013 study conducted by a Swiss security firm, High-Tech Bridge, that embedded unique URLs in private messages to test whether 50 web services, including Facebook, would click on the links. Facebook was "caught scanning URLs," according to the lawsuit.

Facebook has said it believes the allegations to be without merit, and will defend itself vigorously.

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