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Internet Cafe

Weathersfield police

WEATHERSFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) – Weathersfield Police are investigating a robbery at Playtime Internet Cafe on Route 422.

Police confirmed that the robbery happened around 1:30 p.m. and said that the suspect did not show a weapon.

Witnesses said the suspect then fled and entered a car, according to police.

Police do have a description of the suspect but declined to release it.

No injuries were reported at the scene.


Article source: http://wkbn.com/2015/04/13/robbery-reported-at-weathersfield-internet-cafe/

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The Ohio Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that the owners of two Internet sweepstakes cafes who sued Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty were entitled to see evidence collected by undercover police officers investigating illegal gambling.

The county prosecutor had argued that it had an absolute ability to deny access to the materials as part of a work product by law enforcement and through attorney-client privilege.

But the court, agreeing with the Ohio 8th District Court of Appeals, ruled that while some material could be withheld, the cafe owners had shown a compelling need to see the information as part of their civil action.

That need, Justice Sharon Kennedy wrote in the court's 6-1 decision, outweighed the interests of the Cuyahoga County prosecutor to keep that information confidential.

The case involves JC Marketing, which owned two Internet cafes in Cuyahoga County. After investigations by law enforcement officers, 10 individuals and seven companies were indicted in May 2012 on charges that they had used Internet sweepstakes parlors to promote illegal gambling.

JC and its owners were not indicted. But McGinty's office sent letters to them and owners of other Internet cafes threatening criminal prosecution unless they stopped the sweepstakes offers. In response, JC closed its cafes.

JC sued, arguing it was not promoting gambling because customers did not have to pay to play the online sweepstakes games, and asking the court to block the prosecutor from trying to apply gaming laws against the business.

As part of the suit, JC's lawyers requested to see materials from law enforcement's Internet cafes investigations. After the court granted JC's request, the county prosecutor appealed, first to the 8th District and then to the Ohio Supreme Court.

In her opinion, Kennedy wrote that prosecutors do not have an absolute privilege that allows them to refuse to turn over materials in discovery. Rather, there must be a balancing of the prosecutor's need for silence against the needs of the suing litigants.

"The interests of both parties are significant here," Justice Kennedy wrote. "The prosecuting attorney must protect the safety of informants and others identified in the investigation, safeguard the integrity of his investigative processes. ... But [J C Marketing's] interests in obtaining discovery are also strong, because by issuing the cease-and-desist letter, the prosecuting attorney in effect shut down [the company's] business, even though the business had never even been charged with violating the law."

Names of informants and undercover officers could be redacted, the court said, but JC's interests in reviewing the material were compelling enough that it should be given the information.

The court let stand the 8th District's determination that communications, such as emails,  between prosecutors and investigating officers were covered by the law enforcement investigatory privilege and the attorney-work-product privilege.

Kennedy was joined by Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor and Justices Paul E. Pfeifer, Judith Ann Lanzinger, Judith L. French and William M. O'Neill.

Justice Terrence O'Donnell dissented, writing that confidentiality of law enforcement investigations is similar to the need for secrecy in grand jury proceedings. In his view, the standard for obtaining grand jury testimony should apply when a civil litigant seeks discovery of records protected by the law enforcement investigatory privilege.

"Information protected by the law-enforcement investigatory privilege should be protected from disclosure in civil litigation unless the party seeking discovery demonstrates a particularized need for the information, that the ends of justice require disclosure to ensure a fair trial, and that the need for discovery outweighs the public interest in confidentiality," he wrote.

by Jon Day

TOKYO, April 11 (Xinhua) -- "It's heated in winter and cooled in summer, I've got all the videos I could hope to watch and all the magazines I could hope to read. I shower twice a day here and have a hot meal once a day. This space is my own. It's cramped and I can hear everything going on either side of me, but it's a roof over my head."

Putting down his cigarette in an overflowing ashtray and taking a hefty swig from a bottle of green tea, Tomohide Sakai, 39, summed up his situation to Xinhua stating simply, "things could be worse."

Sakai is one of a growing number of temporary workers and unemployed people who due largely to financial reasons are now calling Japan's urban Internet cafes home. This growing demographic has come to be known as net cafe refugees, a term Sakai feels is pretty accurate.

"I guess in a sense we are refugees, in as much as we have nowhere else to go. The next stop for most of us would either be a homeless shelter, which would mean a very limited chance of being in an area to catch ad hoc temporary work and having to deal with 'difficult' residents, or on the streets," said Sakai, in between mouthfuls of a rice ball, bought from a vending machine just around the corner from his 2.5-meter squared booth.

Sakai said he had everything to look forward to in his younger days. A reasonable education that saw him graduating from a better- than-average university in the city had set him up for a job as a junior accountant at what he believed was a reputable firm.

He was earning a decent wage, could afford to take his then girlfriend out a couple of times a week for a meal or a movie, and even managed to put some money by each month as he was saving for a trip to Bali during which he planned to propose to his girlfriend.

"I had it all figured out. I had the job, the girl and I could see how my life was panning out. We'd get married and have a couple of kids, buy a house in the suburbs and be a family. It's perhaps not the most glamorous of stories, but it's all I ever wanted. This was my dream. But despite what they tell you in the movies, not all dreams come true," Sakai said forlornly.

He explained that the company he was working for, unbeknown to him at the time, was a subsidiary of a construction company with ties to the Japanese mafia and that his company and all its assets were "redistributed" to become more cost effective, and many of the staff "relocated." Sakai explained that he now understand that this was all code for the yakuza using the business as a front to launder money and eventually selling it off altogether to pay off a substantial debt, or as a downpayment for a more lucrative scheme.

Since then, the 39-year-old has been in and out of temporary work, which has included working construction, day laboring, working as a delivery driver to girls working in the sex trade and packing goods in a food warehouse. He said that all of the jobs are either in or around Tokyo and its suburbs, so staying in net cafes in central Tokyo is the best choice as, despite the higher prices, it's easier and faster to get to job sites or pickup places.

"I've made friends along the way, but as you can imagine it's fairly transient in places like these with people constantly coming and going. People are also turfed out by the management or the police if there are any disturbances like disorderly behavior, harassment to girls, or theft. But all-in-all I guess I've been living in net cafes for more than 15 years now," said Sakai.

"Since I lost my job, I couldn't get back on my feet. I managed to get a few part-time jobs, but they never led anywhere. My girlfriend got tired and left as she could see our plans imploding before her and I assume she moved on to the next guy with a regular pay check," he said.

While admitting he only earns a mere fraction of the amount someone his age would be earning if they worked for a regular company, he said he makes "enough to get by," which for Sakai equates to enough to cover his tab at whichever net cafe he's staying at, a hot meal a day from Yoshinoya or something similar and a can or two of Chu-Hi, a carbonated drink made from shochu and flavored with fruit juice and priced well below that of other alcoholic beverages, including beer.

"For the time being, as long as I've got my cigarettes and couple of cans of Chu-Hi and don't have to sleep on the streets, I 'm okay. I don't bother thinking about the future, except for making sure I've got enough work to feed myself, what would be the point?" asked Sakai rhetorically.

The numbers of net cafe refugees like Sakai have been on the rise since the late 1990s and early 2000s and fluctuate according to the employment market. Due to the fact that not all refugees are living in the cafes 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, social worker Makoto Kawazoe has said it's hard for the government to fix a precise number on these transients.

"I'm not homeless and use net cafes a couple of times a week or at weekends," Sachi Matsushita, a 22-year-old from Saitama Prefecture, told Xinhua, describing herself as a "furitaa" meaning someone with no regular employment.

"I don't get on with my parents because I dropped out of vocational college, but I still have my room in their house with some of my stuff in it, but my most important possessions are in here," she said, gesturing to a mid-sized fluorescent pink suitcase on wheels, "And I keep some stuff in lockers near the station," she added.

When quizzed on how she earned a living, Matsushita said once or twice a week she would meet with male "customers" and have dinner, refusing to divulge anything more than that, aside from saying they were usually "men of means" who were happy to take care of her financially. She said that in between or after "work" it was too far for her to get home by taxi so she'd usually come to a net cafe and sleep, play games or read, until the trains restarted.

Like Sakai, Matsushita was hardly holding out for a bright future.

"I don't dream of settling down with a husband and having a family, most of my customers are married with kids, why would I want a guy like that? I can take care of myself," she said, as her mobile phone started buzzing and flashing excitedly.

Muttering a volley of expletives under her breath, Matsushita said she had to go and buy a new lipstick and probably wouldn't be back later tonight. At the front desk she paid for a "double 9- hour pack" (package deal) and asked the attendant why they'd stopped the cheaper 24-hour pack.

She entered the lift dragging her life on wheels behind her, while dexterously tapping out yet another text. "I think they're trying to get rid of us by raising the prices," she said, as the elevator doors opened. And with a smile and a wave, teetered away on pin-heels toward another night of neon-lit obscurity in downtown Tokyo.

Article source: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2015-04/11/c_134142157.htm

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The Ohio Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that the owners of two Internet sweepstakes cafes who sued Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty were entitled to see evidence collected by undercover police officers investigating illegal gambling.

The county prosecutor had argued that it had an absolute ability to deny access to the materials as part of a work product by law enforcement and through attorney-client privilege.

But the court, agreeing with the Ohio 8th District Court of Appeals, ruled that while some material could be withheld, the cafe owners had shown a compelling need to see the information as part of their civil action.

That need, Justice Sharon Kennedy wrote in the court's 6-1 decision, outweighed the interests of the Cuyahoga County prosecutor to keep that information confidential.

The case involves JC Marketing, which owned two Internet cafes in Cuyahoga County. After investigations by law enforcement officers, 10 individuals and seven companies were indicted in May 2012 on charges that they had used Internet sweepstakes parlors to promote illegal gambling.

JC and its owners were not indicted. But McGinty's office sent letters to them and owners of other Internet cafes threatening criminal prosecution unless they stopped the sweepstakes offers. In response, JC closed its cafes.

JC sued, arguing it was not promoting gambling because customers did not have to pay to play the online sweepstakes games, and asking the court to block the prosecutor from trying to apply gaming laws against the business.

As part of the suit, JC's lawyers requested to see materials from law enforcement's Internet cafes investigations. After the court granted JC's request, the county prosecutor appealed, first to the 8th District and then to the Ohio Supreme Court.

In her opinion, Kennedy wrote that prosecutors do not have an absolute privilege that allows them to refuse to turn over materials in discovery. Rather, there must be a balancing of the prosecutor's need for silence against the needs of the suing litigants.

"The interests of both parties are significant here," Justice Kennedy wrote. "The prosecuting attorney must protect the safety of informants and others identified in the investigation, safeguard the integrity of his investigative processes. ... But [J C Marketing's] interests in obtaining discovery are also strong, because by issuing the cease-and-desist letter, the prosecuting attorney in effect shut down [the company's] business, even though the business had never even been charged with violating the law."

Names of informants and undercover officers could be redacted, the court said, but JC's interests in reviewing the material were compelling enough that it should be given the information.

The court let stand the 8th District's determination that communications, such as emails,  between prosecutors and investigating officers were covered by the law enforcement investigatory privilege and the attorney-work-product privilege.

Kennedy was joined by Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor and Justices Paul E. Pfeifer, Judith Ann Lanzinger, Judith L. French and William M. O'Neill.

Justice Terrence O'Donnell dissented, writing that confidentiality of law enforcement investigations is similar to the need for secrecy in grand jury proceedings. In his view, the standard for obtaining grand jury testimony should apply when a civil litigant seeks discovery of records protected by the law enforcement investigatory privilege.

"Information protected by the law-enforcement investigatory privilege should be protected from disclosure in civil litigation unless the party seeking discovery demonstrates a particularized need for the information, that the ends of justice require disclosure to ensure a fair trial, and that the need for discovery outweighs the public interest in confidentiality," he wrote.

It's 'Game Over' for five internet cafes throughout Jacksonville after police raided their businesses Friday. Roger Weeder reports.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

Five Internet cafes are being raided by the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office vice unit Friday, JSO director Tom Hackney announced.

Hackney said the raids, which are part of Operation Reel Stop, are expected to bring arrests. News4Jax will update as soon as that information becomes available.

"These businesses and the types of businesses that they do, they're illegal. That's just plain and simple," Hackney said.

The operation is a joint investigation by JSO, the State Attorney's Office and the statewide prosectuor.

Hackney said search warrants are being conducted on five "gambling houses" around the city:

  • Calypso Sun Sweepstakes at 6058 Merrill Road
  • Lucky Strike at 10150 Beach Blvd.
  • Lucky 7's Cyber Cafe at 5150 Timuquana Road, Suite 16
  • Calypso Sun Cyber Cafe at 7900 103rd St., Suite 21
  • Spinners Palace A Cyber Cafe at 708 Edgewood Ave. N.


“This is really the third generation of these entities. You see them close and another one pops up," Hackney said. “In order to try to combat that sort of whack-a-mole thing that happens with these, we're beginning to look at and make efforts toward some legal action against the landlords who continually rent and lease to these types of businesses.”

Hackney said the raids are the result of lengthy undercover investigations to ensure that gambling is taking places at the businesses, which claim to offer only games of chance, which are legal.

“I really want to make sure that our message to the owners and operators of these types of businesses is that, 'Your business is illegal. Comply with the law or you might be the next one featured here when we talk about it. We're going to shut you down. We're going to make arrests,'" Hackney said. "Today is the tip of an iceberg.”

Hackney said investigators will seize the items in the businesses, shut them down and move on to the next group.

In what could be a chilling vision of our own future, city-centre workers in Japan are now living in cubicles in internet cafes to save on rent.

With much of London so expensive ordinary human beings can no longer live there, only Russian oligarchs, this could happen here sooner than we might like to think.

The worrying Japanese trend was shown off in a documentary called Net Cafe Refugees.

Low-paid young men who spent most of their time playing games in cheap internet cafes have moved completely into the 24-hour cafes which have cubicles where the computer user can even fall asleep.

There are also bathrooms where they can freshen up before heading back off to their low-paying, thankless jobs.

Fumiya, 26, works as a security guard on a construction site, and says, ‘I originally wanted an apartment of course but it was expensive here in the city, so I decided to just live at the Internet cafe.

‘I spent most of my time there anyway hanging out, so it wasn’t really much of a step to spend the rest of my time there. I must admit it is not that easy to sleep here, you never feel rested because there’s always noises and disturbances going on around but it’s got great facilities. I had hoped I’d be able to save some money but it doesn’t really work out like that. It’s just getting me from one day to the next.”

Social worker Makoto Kawazoe said: Internet cafe refugees started appearing in the late 1990s but became a larger social issue in the 2000s.’

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The cities in Japan can be challenging to live in. If you are not making a full-time salary, which typically involves long hours and high stress, then you are a temporary worker, which basically means you are on a short-term contract and making half as much as a “salary man.” With such low wages and rising rental costs, it’s tough to make rent.

That’s why temporary workers have come up with an unusual solution to the problem of finding affordable housing: They’re living in local Internet cafes. The 24-hour Internet cafes in Japan have private rooms where a customer can sit on a cushion on the floor, play games, and surf the net—or just enough space to curl up and sleep.

CyberHomeless_21

Residents can even use other available facilities, including kitchens and bathrooms. Showers are taken at a local bathhouse (Onsen).

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Award-winning photojournalist Shiho Fukada created a short 10-minute documentary that delves into the lives of these “Net Cafe Refugees,” and it is nothing short of fascinating. Watch the trailer to hear their stories, and check out Japan’s Disposable Workers—the 3-part series the film is a part of.

Japan’s Disposable Workers: Net Cafe Refugees from MediaStorm on Vimeo.

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via faithistorment

Article source: http://www.visualnews.com/2015/03/net-cafe-refugees/