ProfNet Experts Available on Boko Haram, Same-Sex Divorce, Live E-Learning, More

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May 14, 2014, 15:40 ET from ProfNet

NEW YORK, May 14, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Below are experts from the ProfNet network that are available to discuss timely issues in your coverage area. If you are interested in interviewing any of the experts, please contact them via the contact information at the end of the listing.

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  • How to Respond to Terror Groups Like Boko Haram
  • Kidnapping for Ransom, Hostage Taking and Extortion on the Increase
  • Forcing Google to Remove Links Creates a 'Nightmare' Situation
  • Shelly Sterling's Rights as Co-owner of the Clippers
  • Comedian Takes Patent Troll Lawsuit Standing up
  • Bishop's Divorce May Be Same-Sex Marriage Inroad
  • 'Godzilla' and Other Motion Picture Copyrights and Trademark Protection Issues
  • Patent Eligibility of Non-Human Clones
  • Impact of 38 Studios Bankruptcy on Rhode Island's Finances and Credit Rating
  • Live E-Learning Could Produce Better Results Than Self-Paced Video Learning


  • Assistant Editor – Mashable (CA)
  • Political Reporter – The Roanoke Times (VA)
  • Part-Time News Assistant – amNewYork (NY)


  • Meet the Masters: The Art of Science Writing
  • Grammar Hammer: A Flair for Flare?
  • Taking Control of Your Book's Success: A Self-Publishing Primer



How to Respond to Terror Groups Like Boko Haram
Dr. Louise Shelley
Director Terrorism, Transnational Crime, and Corruption Center
George Mason University, Arlington, Va.
"Kidnapping has not been significantly looked at as a global problem with terrorist organizations. These organizations have diversified their fundraising to include kidnapping. They must be addressed through their business logic."
Professor Shelley's new book details how to deal with Boko Haram specifically, and other groups in general, without military intervention. Shelley is one of the top human-trafficking experts in the world. Her books are taught as textbooks at major universities.
Media Contact: Buzz McClain, 

Kidnapping for Ransom, Hostage Taking and Extortion on the Increase
Bruce Kaplan
Managing Director - Senior Response Consultant
Hazelwood Street Consultants, Miami
"Global terrorism and criminal organizations have combined to create an increase in kidnapping for ransom, hostage taking and extortion. These violent actors are increasing as governments find themselves incapable of stopping them alone. That is where expert groups such as ours can save lives, restore families and companies, and help governments."
Kaplan is available to discuss kidnapping for ransom and other cases, extortion, marine piracy and global terrorism issues. He manages kidnap (for ransom or other), marine piracy, extortion and terrorism cases on a global basis for a Lloyd's of London syndicate. He manages a global team of experts on negotiation, rescue and/or release of hostages of kidnapping, piracy, and resolve cases of extortion and terrorism. He has served as an advisor to governmental agencies, and has successfully managed over 300 cases of kidnapping and extortion. He is the author of "Surviving Marine Piracy" (2013), as well as daily intelligence summaries and a bi-annual "Kidnap for Ransom and Extortion Guide." He is fluent in Spanish.
Media Contact: Charles Safdie, 

Forcing Google to Remove Links Creates a 'Nightmare' Situation
Fred Cate
C. Ben Dutton Professor of Law
Director, Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research
Indiana University Maurer School of Law
"The decision today by the European Union's Court of Justice that Google must remove links to accurate news stories is staggering, in part because it finds a legal right within Europe to demand that links be removed even though they are to accurate publications of newsworthy events. I am sympathetic with the desire not to have certain information appear online, but this approach is like a child playing peek-a-boo, confident that he is not being watched because he has covered his own eyes. It creates an unworkable situation in which online service providers now have some process for determining when and under what conditions to remove links to material that any European finds objectionable."
According to Cate, an internationally recognized expert in on cybersecurity law and policy and personal privacy, the decision heightens the tension between the United States and Europe over the tension between privacy and freedom of expression and runs the risk of miring online service providers with potentially millions of requests to remove links to certain online information that will still be accessible via the Web and will still be linked outside of Europe. Cate is a member of the inaugural U.S. Department of Homeland Security Data Privacy and Integrity Committee Cybersecurity Subcommittee and one of the founding editors of the Oxford University Press journal International Data Privacy Law. He is available to discuss the EU's decision and its implications as well as other topics related to cybersecurity and privacy policy, both at home and abroad.
Contact: Brianne O'Donnell, 

Shelly Sterling's Rights as Co-owner of the Clippers
Stacy Phillips
Phillips Lerner, Los Angeles
"In a divorce, everyone usually suffers. Ask yourself right now: Is war necessary? Must you really fight a war to maintain a healthy sense of control? The art of control comes in the ability to find equitable solutions and to make peace, both with your ex and yourself."
Phillips, a certified family law specialist, is available to discuss Shelly Sterling's rights as co-owner of the Clippers. She is the author of the book, "Divorce: It's All About Control - How to Win the Emotional, Psychological and Legal Wars," now in its sixth printing. She can speak to how the divorced ex plays a part in these matters. As a staunch supporter of victims' rights, Phillips assisted in the drafting of Senate Bill 924 (codified in California Code of Civil Procedure Section 340.15), which extended the statute of limitations period for victims of domestic violence to sue their abusers in civil court. Phillips represents business executives, entrepreneurs, sports, entertainment, political and religious figures, and other high-net-worth individuals.
Media Contact: Elizabeth Lampert, 

Comedian Takes Patent Troll Lawsuit Standing Up
William Munck
Intellectual Property Attorney
Munck Wilson Mandala in Dallas
"Popular comedian and top-rated iTunes podcaster Adam Carolla is going on the offensive to defend himself in a suit filed against him in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas by so-called patent troll Personal Audio Inc. The company claims Carolla is infringing its patent for podcasting technology. But Carolla says he will not settle, and he's calling on crowd funding to raise money for his defense. His argument is that Personal Audio is not a legitimate patent owner enforcing its 'technology ownership rights' but rather an entity formed for no redeeming industry purpose with no intention to ever manufacture or market the patented invention. The argument strikes a nerve because what he argues Personal Audio is doing feels un-American. The U.S. patent system is broken. The Patent and Trademark Office issues too many fundamentally flawed patents that years later place tremendous financial burdens on U.S. businesses defending against cost-of-defense patent trolls."
Media Contact: Robert Tharp, 

Bishop's Divorce May Be Same-Sex Marriage Inroad
Amber Liddell Alwais
Divorce Attorney
McCurley Orsinger McCurley Nelson & Downing L.L.P. in San Antonio
"For proponents of gay marriage, the impending divorce of V. Gene Robinson, the first openly gay Episcopalian bishop, could be viewed as another advance in the fight to legalize same-sex unions. Robinson, who became the Episcopal Church's first openly gay bishop in 2003, recently announced that he and his partner of 25 years are divorcing. It's sad to see the demise of any relationship, but their split shows that all couples face the same kinds of problems. In a way, the fact that one of the most high-profile advocates for marriage equality is now dealing with the other end of the spectrum is just another way to show that we are all the same. Sometimes relationships work and sometimes they don't. Granted, gay divorce is still a legal gray area, but that too should normalize over the coming years."
Media Contact: Amy Hunt, 

'Godzilla' and Other Motion Picture Copyrights and Trademark Protection Issues
Charles Shephard
Greenberg Glusker, Los Angeles
"'Godzilla' is just as protected as Mickey Mouse. Toho's lucrative licensing efforts, which include endorsements, toys, comic books, video games, and even official wine and sake brands, require the company to be vigilant against copycats."
Since the mid-1980s, Shephard has been Godzilla's lead lawyer, filing suits like the one against a wine called Cabzilla that resulted in a winemaker being forced to dump its stock of Cabernet Sauvignon down the drain.
Media Contact: Elizabeth Lampert, 

Patent Eligibility of Non-Human Clones
Judith Tofennetti
McDermott Will & Emery, Washington, D.C.
Despite advances in health care and medicine, every year more patients become candidates for organ replacement. Organs that are on high demand for transplantation include kidney, liver, heart, pancreas, lung and intestine. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the recurring theme every year is the imbalance between the supply of organs and the number of patients who could benefit from transplantation. The supply of organs, which is mainly through donations, simply cannot keep up with the demand. With laws generally prohibiting the sale and trafficking of human organs for profit, scientists in the field of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine worked over the last few decades to develop new methods for obtaining human organs and tissues suitable for transplantation. The latest technology that is being tested is 3D-printing, also known as bioprinting, to generate functional three dimensional human organs. Can the organs be patented?
Tofennetti says: "In a recent ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (In re Roslin Institute, May 8, 2014), the Court held that Dolly the (cloned) sheep and all clones that are substantially the same as the parent organism are ineligible subject matter for patent coverage. The court, however, did not completely close the door on patent eligibility of non-human clones, but made it clear that any future patent claims directed to cloned organisms must be crafted so as to show that the cloned organism is 'markedly different' to distinguish the cloned organism from the naturally existing organism in a substantive manner."
Media Contact: Elizabeth Lampert, 

Impact of 38 Studios Bankruptcy on Rhode Island's Finances and Credit Rating
Anthony Figliola
Vice President
Empire Government Strategies
Figliola is available to discuss the impact of the 38 Studios bankruptcy on Rhode Island's finances and credit rating: "38 Studios is Rhode Island's Solyndra. Rhode Island foolishly gave away almost the whole store to a startup."
Figliola regularly appears in the media as a commentator on economic development. Prior to joining EGS, he was the youngest appointed deputy supervisor for the Town of Brookhaven, New York's second-largest municipality, where he was responsible for a staff of 500 employees and the town's economic and workforce development and energy initiatives. In that role, he managed a portfolio of expanding businesses generating over $1 billion in capital investments and secured over $300 million in government incentives for those businesses to expand and relocate.
Media Contact: Tony Greco, 

Live E-Learning Could Produce Better Results Than Self-Paced Video Learning
Harman Singh
CEO and Founder
"For thousands of years, live instructors have been the key to quality education for an important reason: Learners need their help to fully decipher the concepts. Many e-learning education providers have reduced this model of instructor-led learning to video-based instruction to make it more accessible through the internet. However, the higher online dropout rate suggests video-based learning without live instruction with an instructor is not working. It's time we enabled real educators to deliver online learning."
Since Singh founded WizIQ in 2006, the company has evolved to be the first and only online global education marketplace to offer live instructor-led learning. His career as a visionary e-learning innovator spans more than 13 years. Singh has successfully leveraged technology to replicate the classroom experience online making it more accessible, for both students and teachers. He has directed the company's growth, while developing and creating WizIQ's vision and business strategy. Singh is recognized for his expertise in conceptualizing, planning and developing specialized solutions for the online learning industry. He provides both strategic and tactical direction at WizIQ. His leadership and determination has enabled WizIQ to consistently excel at developing and implementing solutions that create value for working professionals, instructors and corporations. The company has received multiple leading awards for its innovative solution, including the Global e-Learning Awards 2012 for the 'Best Virtual Classroom Provider' from the World Education Congress (WEC).
Media Contact: Chris Navalta,



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