Watch this short, satirical film, written by Oren Ginzburg and narrated by actor and comedian David Mitchell, which tells the story of how tribal peoples are being destroyed in the name of ‘development’.
(vor 3 Stunden / 3 hours ago)
(30.06.2016) – Boris Johnson abandons ambitions of becoming PM after Michael Gove drops him and launches own campaign – Justice Secretary says Johnson was not up to job and questions if his ‚heart and soul‘ were in pushing through Brexit – Boris aide said to have vented anger at Gove in expletive-laden text accusing him of plotting to win keys to No10 – Furious Conservative MP Jake Berry says on Twitter that there is a ‚very deep pit reserved in Hell‘ for Gove – Alliance between Leave campaigners ripped up as Treasury minister Andrea Leadsom enters Tory contest – Home Secretary Theresa May installed as favourite after delivering bravura performance at her launch
Or the government could seek to learn who has been attending political protests or advocacy-group meetings, checking which phones were near a particular tower at a particular time. As the law now stands, authorities can often ask your cellphone provider to release the list of every cell tower your phone contacted without ever needing to go before a judge to get a warrant, which would otherwise require them to show probable cause that a crime has been committed. There are those who see absolutely nothing wrong with the government being able to request, or even require, such cooperation. The phone was with you in public places. Anyone could have spotted you entering or leaving the doctor’s office or support group. And the records the government is requesting were maintained by a business for its own use. Hardly private, right?
The letter refers to anti-social behaviour in traffic, on public transport and in the streets. ‘We feel a growing unease when people misuse our freedoms to spoil everything, when they have come to our country for freedom,’ Rutte says. ‘People who don’t want to adapt… who attack gay people, who shout at women in short skirts or call ordinary Dutch people racist.’
According to TeleSur, multiple armed men entered La Madame on May 22, killing seven people and injuring at least 12 after firing into a packed club of about 180. Excelsior, a Mexican daily newspaper, reported that the gunmen fled the scene immediately following the attack, at which point the injured called for help and spread word of the shooting on social media.
Use our interactive to calculate your own contributions to European initiatives in different countries
MR. KIRBY: What I’d say, Mike — what I’d say to that, Mike, is what I’ve been saying for the last few days, that the Afghan forces have advantages, they have capability to protect their territory and their people, they have the capacity to do that. What — what I think the Afghan people want to see and what they deserve to see is the leadership and the will to use those advantages to their benefit. Thanks, everybody, going to have to go now. (CROSSTALK) Q: … can you clarify the numbers one more time, so I have no mistakes? 3,000 going into the airport, 1,000 first going to Qatar and then to Afghanistan to help with SIVs, or staying in Qatar? MR. KIRBY: No — no, I said the — the 1,000 enablers will go to Qatar for right now. I can’t predict whether there’ll be onward movement from there. Right now, they’re going to Qatar … Q: And the 3,500 … MR. KIRBY: … again, for helping process, and then 3,000 to the airport in the next few days and then there’ll be a reserve force out of Bragg that will — that will stage out of Kuwait, and that’s roughly 3,500 to 4,000. Q: And all of that’s in addition to the 650 who are there … MR. KIRBY: That is correct.
Pressed on how the U.S. can take an „evenhanded“ approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict when the Hamas terrorist group does not recognize Israel’s right to exist, Sanders slammed the Netanyahu government, saying it is not innocent in the hostilities. „What you have got to do is also understand that over the years the Netanyahu government has become extremely right-wing. And that there are people in the Israeli government now who are overt racists,“ Sanders told the CBS program. „You have in West Jerusalem people being evicted from their homes. Tremendous pressure on people within Israel, the Arab community, as well as Gaza.“
(13.05.2021) They fired a rubber bullet that hit his face. The name might conjure up this image of a bouncy little ball, but rubber bullets can be as big as your palm, and they are very much still bullets. That same night, Israeli police shoot again down that same road. „Don’t shoot, there are children there! My son is there!“ a Palestinian man yells. „Whoever is out at this time is not a child,“ an officer replies, while another fires a stun grenade for no apparent reason.
It looks like something out of a tinpot tyranny. The church service was being livestreamed online. Halfway through, two cops appear and arrogantly walk to the sanctuary itself, the area around the altar. They then take over the lectern from the priest and issue a dire warning to the people who had gathered to commemorate the darkest day in the Christian faith – the trial and execution of Christ. ‘You need to go home’, an officer says. ‘Failure to comply with this direction to leave… could lead you to be fined £200 or, if you fail to give your details, to you being arrested.’
… The bad news is that Johnson’s “papers for pints” plan is essentially a national ID card by stealth, one that would link our identity to our Covid status – whether we’ve been vaccinated, had a recent negative test or have antibodies. The UK has already toyed with national ID cards. It rejected them in 2010. As Theresa May, then home secretary, explained in 2010: “This isn’t just about cost savings, it’s actually about the principle, it’s about getting the balance right between national security and civil liberties, and that’s what the new coalition government is doing.”
The Netherlands goes to the polls to elect a new government on March 15, 16 and 17. Here’s a round-up of useful articles and resources, regularly updated.
A University of Oxford spokesperson said clinical trials showed similar immune responses in younger and older adults, a good safety profile and high efficacy in younger adults. “There is no basis for the claims of very low efficacy of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine which have been circulating in the media,” they said. While it is true that there was less data from older adults involved in the trials, the team say early figures were promising: “Preliminary efficacy data in older adults supports the importance of this vaccine for use in this population,” they said.
How long it takes for various countries to reach herd immunity will depend in part on how fast they can access vaccines and what share of their populations are willing to get the shot. But as mentioned above, there’s another crucial factor. “It’s really going to come down to what we learn over the next few months about how well the vaccine prevents infection and transmission,” Murray said, adding that she doesn’t expect we’ll have an answer to that until March at the earliest.
Daisy Affum and Errol Johnson spoke about how Londoners should come together to tackle the hunger crisis as they posed for portraits by artist Henry Hudson which can be bought by readers to support Food for London Now. Ms Affum, who works as a catering manager at a school but helps feed vulnerable Londoners in her spare time, said: “This issue of people going hungry was here long before Covid-19 but the virus has made it worse.”
Watch our 25th Anniversary live celebration on Sunday beginning at 3 pm EST with guests Oliver Stone, Diane Duston, John Pilger, Nat Parry, Ray McGovern, Spencer Oliver and Gareth Porter right here. Watch it live here with your hosts Elizabeth Vos and Joe Lauria:
In August, the respected CATO Institute reported that 62% of Americans acknowledge holding views that many people consider offensive. Among conservatives, that number skyrockets to 77%. With potentially tens of millions of closeted fans, Trump is a pollster’s nightmare. The wife of a pro-Trump buddy of mine detests the 45th president. Yet, when she slams Trump — which is very often — my friend smiles, nods approvingly, and replies, “I hear ya, sweetie,” or, “you sure got that right, honey.” Another guy who does the same thing says, “Happy wife; happy life.”
(02.10.2020) Q: Having watched Julian Assange’s trial firsthand, can you describe the prevailing atmosphere in the court? The prevailing atmosphere has been shocking. I say that without hesitation; I have sat in many courts and seldom known such a corruption of due process; this is due revenge. Putting aside the ritual associated with ‘British justice’, at times it has been evocative of a Stalinist show trial. One difference is that in the show trials, the defendant stood in the court proper. In the Assange trial, the defendant was caged behind thick glass, and had to crawl on his knees to a slit in the glass, overseen by his guard, to make contact with his lawyers. His message, whispered barely audibly through face masks, was then passed by post-it the length of the court to where his barristers were arguing the case against his extradition to an American hellhole. Consider this daily routine of Julian Assange, an Australian on trial for truth-telling journalism…
The only possible conclusion from yesterday’s testimony is that the performance of the representative of the United States Government was, in and of itself, full and sufficient evidence that there is no possibility that Julian Assange will receive fair consideration and treatment of his mental health issues within the United States system. The US government has just demonstrated that to us, in open court, to perfection.
„I don’t know what the hell he’s saying,“ Hannity said. „What’s going on here? Democrats refuse to talk about it in public. The mob and the media, they’re not talking about it in public. But I can tell you, I know for a fact in private, they are telling me and many other people they know it is a serious problem.
Lewis called on the next generation to carry on the mantle of civil rights and continue getting into “good trouble, necessary trouble.” “While my time here has now come to an end, I want you to know that in the last days and hours of my life you inspired me. You filled me with hope about the next chapter of the great American story when you used your power to make a difference in our society,” Lewis wrote.
(July 19, 2016) If All Lives Matter, why is the black community continually asked to justify its anger and grief? If All Lives Matter, why does the court system continue to put the victims of racial discrimination and police brutality on trial, rather than punishing their assailants? If All Lives Matter, why do our fellow Americans continually challenge African-Americans to justify our pain instead of empathizing with it? Do all lives matter? Of course! And you will be hard pressed to find any African-American who would say otherwise. But we will continue to say Black Lives Matter until African-American lives are given the same value as the lives of people from other countries, our police officers, your property, a lion named Cecil, and a gorilla named Harambe.
Even if you say “Jewish left” instead of “Israeli left” because it sounds more patriotic, they’ll always have another loyalty test on the way. Because groveling, stammering and apologizing for what you believe in won’t spare you. The right is ready to go on television, on radio, online, wherever necessary, to defend an apartheid plan, to defend billions being spent at a time of deep recession and to defend a corrupt prime minister. They’re ready to defend the most galling things, and you’re not ready to defend the truth? Try it sometime. Believe me, it’s easier.
„We want to get sports back. We miss sports,“ Trump said. „We need sports in terms of the psyche, the psyche of our country.“ „We want to be back to normal where you have the big crowds where they’re practically standing on top of each other, not where they’re worried,“ Trump added.
The measure needed 60 votes to pass. It got 59. The outcome is especially frustrating since four senators didn’t vote on the amendment at all, and at least one would have voted yes. Lamar Alexander couldn’t vote because he’s quarantined. Two others — Ben Sasse and Bernie Sanders — didn’t respond to request for comment on where they were during the vote. An aide told Politico that Patty Murray would have voted yes had she been there, but the senator was not in Washington, DC, when the vote occurred.
“The use of force is justified because the officer believed he was under attack from the suspect even though you might think the suspect wasn’t fighting back at that time, he wasn’t complying either. He didn’t go to the ground. He didn’t say ‘I give up.’” — officer’s attorney
Along with cases and deaths, the number of people in hospital with coronavirus is also slowly falling. A total of 15,051 people were in hospital with coronavirus, the government said on Monday, down from 15,239 on Sunday.
– The infant, who had underlying health issues, is the youngest victim to die with the disease in the UK – The amount of tests fell to 9,406, whereas the last two days recorded more than 10,000 daily tests – Deaths in Scotland rose 46 to 218, Wales rose by 13 to 154 and Northern Ireland rose eight to 56 – Prof Neil Ferguson braced public for weeks more of high cases, but said lockdown could be relaxed in May
(27.04.2018) Watching Hollywood thrillers, you’d think the world was pretty good at protecting the public from deadly microorganisms. We like to believe that somewhere out there, there is a team ready to spring into action – equipped with the latest and best technologies. Government agents like Jack Bauer in 24. Harvard professors like Robert Langdon in Inferno. And WHO epidemiologists like Dr. Leonora Orantes in Contagion – who even risked getting kidnapped as she pursued “Patient Zero.” In the real world, though, the health infrastructure we have for normal times breaks down very rapidly during major infectious disease outbreaks. This is especially true in poor countries. But even in the U.S., our response to a pandemic or widespread bioterror attack would be insufficient.
Global_ized – 19 hours ago: Not only will it go there, if you do this on mobile it’s setup to jump you lower on the page to the donation section so that you don’t see any of the information at the top
Donald Trump cannot be trusted to define antisemitism for Jews. He incites deadly white nationalist violence against our communities. He calls us disloyal. When speaking to American Jews, he refers to Israel as “your country” because he believes we do not really belong here. Conflating criticism of the Israeli government with antisemitism is actually antisemitic because it implies that all Jews agree with, and are responsible for, Israel’s actions. This order will not protect our communities from Trump’s white nationalism or the violent threats we face. It will be used to target and silence human rights advocates and, in particular, Palestinian and Muslim college students. American Jews will not allow Trump to speak for or silence us.
At the same time, the Delhi Police’s lathi-charge on agitating students must be condemned, and action must be demanded against those who ordered it. There was certainly nothing wrong in students going to Parliament to vent their just grievances. I express my full support to the students of JNU.
Free speech protections have been given a bit of a boost in Canada. Simultaneously, the leash on the country’s law enforcement has been tightened a little. That’s how these things go. Personal rights and government power are often zero-sum. This case — dealing with the arrest of a counter-protester — ensures Canadian law enforcement can’t just go around arresting people for the „crime“ of not committing any crimes. (via a site that wrote about it but somehow found it impossible to include a link to the freely-available ruling, so here’s a link to the Supreme Court’s site)
The very word possessed such talismanic power that you could even get away with attacking whole countries and killing all kinds of people just so the ones who survived could have democracy. Then these gatekeepers of good manners lost a referendum (Brexit) and an election (Trump) and decided that democracy was totally passé. The volte-face they performed was rather breathtaking in its coordination, like a little shoal of well-disciplined fish avoiding troubled waters with mindless accuracy.
Boris Johnson’s powerful adviser Dominic Cummings has urged his army of Whitehall aides to hold their nerve and ‚be cool like Fonzie‘ over the Prime Minster’s plan to ignore Parliament’s orders to seek an extension to EU membership. If MPs again block a General Election tomorrow, the Downing Street enforcer warned Government special advisers to prepare for an extraordinary showdown. He said Mr Johnson would refuse to bend to the will of Parliament – and insisted there is a ‚alternative‘ legal loophole.
(vor 8 Stunden) The two vehicles in question are: gold/white small Toyota truck and a USPS Postal Van. Please stay away from these areas and stay indoors. There are reports of an active shooter at the Home Depot in Odessa. For the safety of the public and law enforcement please stay away from the area and stay in your homes. We will update with more information as soon as possible.
Maybe at night, when he’s alone with nobody but Fox News to keep him company, Trump envisions a future in which all Americans will appreciate how much he’s suffered for their salvation. He does seem to think of himself as something super-special. And if you listen to him answering questions without the help of a teleprompter, there is a tendency to wonder if he’s speaking in tongues.
His disappearance led to demonstrations in Nantes and resonated beyond over the tactics of the police, who have already been criticized for injuring protesters during weekly anti-government “yellow vests” protests around the country. Banners bearing the question “Where Is Steve?” have been held aloft at many of those protests since he disappeared.
who are in dire need of all the support they can get. The Democratic governor and his administration… (2/3) …are corrupt to the core, and the people of Puerto Rico have been suffering because of this kind of corruption for far too long. Anyone of us who is elected will be the head of the Democratic Party, and as such we need to let all Democrats know—indeed all Americans—that… (3/3) …we will stand up against corruption, even when that corruption is within our own Democratic ranks. So please come down here, even if it’s just for a day, to show your support for the Puerto Rican people and their righteous cause
Trump said he asked his generals, „I want to know something before you go. How many people would be killed, in this case Iranians?“ The generals said approximately 150 people would be killed, the president said. „I thought about it for a second and I said, you know what, they shot down an unmanned drone, plane, whatever you want to call it, and here we are sitting with a 150 dead people that would have taken place probably within a half an hour after I said go ahead,“ Trump said. „And I didn’t like it, I didn’t think, I didn’t think it was proportionate.“
I am willing to bet the farm on Boris Johnson becoming the next leader of the Conservative party because any other outcome is pretty much mathematically impossible. So the drama – such as it is – of the next few weeks is going to be irrelevant soon. I suggest we agree on that and get down to the serious business of playing Fantasy Cabinet.
For Streeck this is all evidence that the Left, broadly defined, is losing its soul to the European project: “There is not even a debate on the crucial issue of whether the EU can at all be a vehicle for anti-capitalist politics. Instead, there is a naïve or opportunistic acceptance — and it’s hard to say which is worse — of the feel-good ‘Europeanism’ so popular among young people and so useful for both Green electioneering and European technocrats seeking legitimacy for their neoliberal regime.”
He told the Daily Mail: ‘I took drugs on several occasions at social events more than 20 years ago. At the time I was a young journalist. It was a mistake. I look back and I think, I wish I hadn’t done that.’ Mr Gove, 51, insisted his past mistakes should not be held against him as he battles to replace Theresa May as prime minister. She stepped down as Tory leader yesterday.
If there are any parallels to be drawn with the nation’s current predicament vis-à-vis an overbearing and bullying European power, it is perhaps in the words of Baldwin’s cousin Rudyard Kipling: that if you keep paying the Danegeld, you will never get rid of the Dane. Or, as Churchill put it: ‘An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.’
– YouGov polling reveals the north, midlands, Wales and south back No Deal – Only Scotland and London would rather stay in the EU than leave with No Deal – The same survey of 2,000 voters reveal almost half want May to resign as PM – Among Leave voters there is even more discontent with the Prime Minister
Amber, Saj and Hunt are recognised by a quarter to a third of voters, Mogg (who is not running) and Gove are recognised by two fifths of voters. There is only one candidate who stands out with over three quarters of the public recognising him – Boris.
“There is a very important principle in international life,” Mr. Netanyahu said late Monday after attending the Golan signing ceremony at the White House. “When you start wars of aggression, you lose territory, do not come and claim it afterwards. It belongs to us.”
YouGov puts the recent slide in support for Corbyn down to “Brexit indecisiveness”. You don’t say…
There should: 38% There should not: 52% via @YouGov, 14 – 15 Mar
Forget Brexit (I dare you!). The game now, in the Tory Party, is positioning for the looming leadership election. Because I can find no one in the Cabinet or on the backbenches who any longer believes Theresa May will be Prime Minister for longer than a few weeks, such is their fury and agony that we’re 18 days from leaving the EU and we still don’t know the how, the when or even the whether (OK, so it was impossible to forget Brexit – sorry!).
“You can feel it now. In Congress, it has started to shift. It has started to shift. We’re not there yet. We’re not all the way there, but it has started to shift,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) said at a presidential campaign event Sunday night in Davenport, Iowa, when discussing her support for the Green New Deal. “We’ve got new energy in this. We’ve got new blood in this. We’ve got new ideas in this.“
He also stressed the importance of maintaining harmony with Tehran, with whom Iraq has $12 billion worth of bilateral trade each year. „It is of fundamental interest for Iraq to have good relations with Iran,“ he said… „The U.S. is a major power,“ Salih said. „But do not pursue your own policy priorities, we live here.“
„We fear a Sanders run risks dividing the well-fractured Democratic Party, and could lead to another split in the 2020 presidential vote. There is too much at stake to take that gamble. If we are going to maintain a two-party system, the mandate needs to be a clear one.“
The Prime Minister is facing a vote that could topple her government. Here is your day-by-day guide to what could lie ahead – though of course, it could all change dramatically
(7.11.2017) It’s stupid to think that Kroll and Black Cube are the only ones trying to offer the wealthy these services, and it’s stupid to think that Weinstein is the only rich asshole using such services to cover up his personal evils. Weinstein got caught because he happens to have a fetish for women of means, who became wealthy themselves and who can with enough effort can get their voices heard. Imagine crossing a wealthy person and not having such means at your disposal. This has doubtless happened to countless people.
“When you are Tory MP, you’re over 55 and you’ve been there for a few years,” he said. “And you think on principle you ought to rebel but then, of course, you know what happens to Tory MPs when they retire if they’ve been good boys and girls? “They go to the House of Lords and rebels don’t go to the House of Lords!”
I’ve spent some hours scouting the text of the draft Withdrawal Agreement and Outline Political Declaration. As an initial review, it is of course impossible to delve into the minutiae of case law that apply to any single line and cross reference all of the cited directives, but as an exercise in reconnaissance at least you can over a few hours get a reasonable map picture of what is going on. The problem is not singular, but a mosaic of issues.
An ex-minister told MailOnline: ‚I think a few people are holding off, will read the deal, square off their associations this weekend, then put in a letter.‘ Brexiteer MP Conor Burns told LBC: ‚There’s a lot of febrile talk. What I can tell you is there’s no orchestrated attempt to put letters in. ‚But sensing the levels of frustration and annoyance colleagues are feeling it would not surprise me if organically letters are going in.‘
(16.8.2016) We’ve already made it quite clear where we stand on Peter Thiel financing a number of lawsuits against Gawker Media as some sort of retaliation for some articles he didn’t like. Lots of people who really hate Gawker don’t seem to care how problematic Thiel’s actions are, but you should be concerned, even if you dislike Gawker — in part, because many of the lawsuits Thiel appears to be backing are clearly bogus and just designed to bankrupt the company, which happened a couple months ago. This week is the auction to see who ends up with Gawker, and Thiel is taking a weird victory lap with a silly and misleading oped in the NY Times where he argues that this was really all about making a stand for privacy and has nothing to do with shitting on the First Amendment. There’s a lot in the article that’s bullshit, and it deserves a thorough debunking, so here we go.
Let’s go to our Kan Hyeong-woo who is at the Unification Observatory in Goseong, South Korea, right next to the border. Hyeong-woo, what’s the atmosphere like? and give us the details on the agenda for today. Well Ji-yeon, as you could imagine… seeing their long-lost relatives for the first time in decades and having to be apart again,… words cannot describe how heartbreaking it must be.
(9.7.2018) A week ago, the Israeli Ministry of Education held a conference in Jerusalem for the state’s religious education sector (Ynet reports, Hebrew, English here). Education Minister Naftali Bennett was also present. The theme was “speaking about the values of the Jewish family in 2018, about education to healthy sexuality, modesty, feminism, values and Zionism.” On the stage was an aging terrorist, Moshe Zar, a former founding member of the Jewish-terrorist movement “Jewish Underground” (in 1980’s), who said the following: “I am known for saying ‘Build a house, it’s like you wiped out a hundred Arabs. Build a settlement, it’s like you wiped out tens of thousands of goyim [‘non-Jews’]’. That’s the truth”. His words were applauded by a considerable number of the public, including the settler standing beside him, Yael Shevach, the widow of rabbi Raziel Shevach, who was murdered in January on a road in the occupied West Bank outside the settlement he lived in. Israeli journalist David Sheen has provided the video with subtitles here.
WHAT CAN be done to counter such brainwashing? Not much. First of all: there is a vital need for a second voice. Brainwashing can be efficient only when the official voice enjoys a complete monopoly. That was one of the aims of Haolam Hazeh, the weekly which I edited for 40 years. It met every untrue government version with a contrary version. Although our voice was weak, compared to the powerful government machine (even in those days), the very fact that there are two voices, however unequal, prevents a total brainwashing. The citizen hears two versions and wonders „who is right?“ If all the peace and human rights groups in Israel set up a joint center for information, which will be heard, perhaps the monopoly of official propaganda can be broken. Perhaps. There is in the country a tiny band of commentators who are not afraid to tell the truth, even when this is considered treason. Gideon Levy, Amira Hass and a few others. We must ensure that their voice is heard. They must be encouraged.
“It would seem to me that in a journalistic environment where nine out of ten articles that are written about the Gaza conflict are critical of Israel, you’d think that some journalists would take the time and go and meet with experts and try to understand what could have been done differently or better before they criticize. And I just haven’t seen it,” Friedman said at a media conference in Jerusalem.
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Friday the cold feet on a U.S.-North Korea summit may have just warmed back up after President Donald Trump floated the idea that the summit could be back on. “We have got some, possibly, some good news on the Korea summit, where it may, if our diplomats can pull it off, may have it back on even,” Mattis told reporters outside the Pentagon, where he waited to greet Denmark’s defense minister. “Our president just sent out a note about that a few moments ago,” Mattis continued. “That is a usual give and take, you know, of trying to put together big summits and stuff. The diplomats are still at work.”
„I cannot stop my excitement as we meet here at such a historical place. Also, it is very moving that you, Mr. President, have come to Panmunjom, the demarcation line, to greet me,“ the North Korean leader said. Moon also sounded upbeat, saying they were facing a „historic moment.“ Kim surprised many by inviting Moon to briefly cross the inter-Korean border to the North Korean side, which officials from Seoul’s presidential office Cheong Wa Dae later said was not prearranged.
Or you can simple google it by the number „patent us 9,132,135 b2“. #Skripal #Syria #Russia
(4.4.2018) Around 1:40 am on Tuesday, April 3, Mountain View patrol officers proactively checked a license plate of a vehicle that was parked in a lot on the 600 block of Showers Drive. The license plate came back to a registered owner out of Southern California who had been reported missing on March 31 to the San Diego County Sheriff’s Office. We called the Sheriff’s Office to confirm the missing persons reports, and personnel there told us that in that report, the woman had been reported missing and “at risk” because she had never gone missing or left home before. We contacted the woman inside the vehicle, who was asleep, to check on her and to determine if she was the same person who had been reported missing. The woman, identified as 38-year-old Menifee resident Nasim Aghdam, positively identified herself to us and told us during our contact with her that she had decided to leave her family’s home a few days prior due to family issues. She stated she had come to the area to stay with family and while she was currently living out of her vehicle, she was in the process of looking for a job. During our contact with her, she was asked a series of questions including, but not limited to, if she was a danger to herself or others. At no point during our roughly 20 minute interaction with her did she mention anything about YouTube, if she was upset with them, or that she had planned to harm herself or others. Throughout our entire interaction with her, she was calm and cooperative. At the conclusion of our interaction with her, she in no way met any reason for us to speak with her further or possibly detain her. A short time later, we phoned her family to let them know she had been located. During that call, we spoke with both the woman’s father and her brother. The father confirmed to us that the family had been having issues at home, but did not act in any way concerned about why his daughter had left. At no point during that conversation did either Aghdam’s father or brother make any statements regarding the woman’s potential threat to, or a possible attack on, the YouTube campus. Also, there was no indication from either Aghdam or her family that she may have been in possession of any weapons. Roughly one hour after our phone call to Aghdam’s family, her father called us back to let us know that she made a series of vegan videos for her channel on YouTube and that the company had recently done something to her videos that had caused her to become upset. Aghdam’s father stated that she may have been in the area because of this. He did not seemed concerned that she was in the area, and wanted to simply let us know that may have been a reason for her move up here. Once again, at no point
The title of Hartung’s article sums it up: The Pentagon Budget as Corporate Welfare for Weapons Makers. Put succinctly, it’s warfare as welfare – and wealth-care – for the military-industrial complex.
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Conservative Rob Halfon, a former Skills Minister who chairs the Commons Education Committee, said the appointment had “gone badly wrong”. Citing “some quite dark articles” Mr Young wrote “where he talks about the disabled, the working classes … and ‘progressive eugenics’”, he added: “I find this incredibly dark and very dangerous stuff.” Mr Johnson admitted some of Mr Young’s tweets and remarks were “obnoxious”, “wrong”, “repellent”, “offensive”, “foolish” and “objectionable”.
Yet today the Prime Minister praised his „good work“ setting up free schools – and said he’ll be given another chance. „Frankly I’m not at all impressed by those comments,“ she told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show. But she said: „He’s now in public office. As far as I’m concerned, if he was to continue to use that sort of language and talk in that sort of way, he would no longer be in public office.“ She added: „He’s apologised.“
In other words, meritocracy only functions to offer ideological cover for plutocracy – or government by the wealthy. That is to say, it functions as a dominant social ideal, providing cover for exactly the kind of government that has promoted Young to a position of power. More simply put, Young’s argument about a cognitive elite seems odd to those who feel that there are already too many fools in power.
People of Palestine, your „president“ Mahmoud Abbas is none. There is no „palestinian authority“. Fatah, Palestine Liberation Organization and the Israeli Joint List, the third biggest Knesset group, they all let you down. Everything they say is worthless. Everything the weak, struggling autocrats Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu say is worthless. Everything the „European Union“ says, a designed clone, a clownish would-be copy of the United States of America that does not even recognize the rightful existence of sovereign european democracies, is worthless. The arab monarchies did not help you either. The military dictatorship of Egypt is your enemy. You are surrounded by enemies. The governments of China, Russia, they don´t care about you. There is no help coming. To them, you are to suffer. You are to die. You are to be exploited, humiliated, silenced, on and on and on, ´til the end of all times. End that time now. Do something. And do the right thing.
Our 10th jubilee edition of the “Progotronics” compilation is now available for download from our Bandcamp. As usual, it brings 20 new bands and songs, what also means that in 10 months we presented 200 bands through Progotronics. We will be back in December with the Vol. 11, but until then enjoy this new piece of music, share it with your friends, and support the bands.
Two years ago, the controversial Italian neurosurgeon Sergio Canavero made a brazen announcement: In December 2017, for the first time in history, he would transplant a human head. The prospect of a head transplant raises all kinds of questions, both technical and ethical. There may be no bigger question, though, than the one that also seems most obvious: From where, exactly, are they going to get this body and head?
The United States is a nation at war. But for much of the past two decades, a great deal of the Pentagon’s overseas activities would not technically classify as combat, with all its attendant logistical trappings and legal tango. In fact, much of this activity receives rather benign categories: “building partner capacity”; “Light footprint” ; or “Assisting or accompanying,” like a maiden aunt chaperoning a young couple to a dance. But from the ground, some of this stuff still looks an awful lot like combat.
Those programs were authorized under section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), a law that will expire on December 31 unless Congress reauthorizes the law or passes new legislation. On one side, you’ve got the Trump administration and former intelligence chiefs all pushing for a clean reauthorization on a permanent basis. On the other, you’ve got several lawmakers who have vowed to fight the reauthorization until they learn how many Americans are swept up under existing surveillance powers.
Sputnik Spooner: Guitar, Vocals Roger Steen: Guitar, Vocals Prairie Prince: Drums Mingo Lewis: Drums, Percussion, Vocals Vince Welnick: Keyboards, Vocals Michael Cotton: Synthesizers Rick Anderson: Bass, Vocals Fee Waybill: Lead Vocals Re Styles: Vocal On “Don’t Touch Me There” 1978
“Vika lives in a very thick, complex forest, and it is up in the canopy so it is difficult to find. It is also a rare species. It is likely there are not many of these rats left,” mammalogist Tyrone Lavery of the Field Museum in Chicago, who led the research, said on Thursday.
The seventh Progotronics compilation is in front of you! 20 new songs covering multiple genres ranging from Progressive Rock to Progressive Metal to Post-Rock, Psychedelia and Fusion. released August 25, 2017
Are you seeing a trend yet? Google (GOOG) has been a partner with the CIA since 2004 when the company bought Keyhole, a mapping technology business that eventually became Google Earth. In 2010, Google and In-Q-Tel made a joint investment on a company called Recorded Future, which has the Minority Report-style goal of creating a “temporal analytics engine” that scours the web and creates curves that predict where events may head.
(24.August) Google has its reasons for choosing to censor viewpoints that clash with or even raise questions about the official narrative. Google shares deep connections with the U.S.’ political powerbrokers, notably with the CIA, which originally helped fund Google into existence with the intention of controlling the flow of information. Since then, the collusion has only grown. Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt is a regular attendee of the controversial Bilderberg conference and Google’s Jigsaw has been intimately involved in covert regime change operations abroad — including in Syria, where it created a tool to bolster Al-Qaeda’s ranks.
With all the nine unions under the aegis of the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) threatening to go on strike on Tuesday, services at public sector banks are likely to take a hit. A large number of banks have already informed their customers that functioning of branches and offices will be impacted if the strike takes off.
(16.8.2017) – Christopher Cantwell says he hopes somebody ‚more racist‘ and ‚capable‘ than the president will come along to help him spread his racist message – ‚Somebody like Donald Trump, who does not give his daughter to a Jew,‘ he said – ‚I don’t think you could feel the way I do about race, and watch that Kushner bastard walk around with that beautiful girl,‘ he said – Cantwell, who had been talking about how he was trying to make himself ‚more capable of violence‘, said he hoped to find someone more ‚capable… to do that‘ – ‚We’re not non-violent. We’ll f***ing kill these people if we have to‘, he said – A woman died, and 19 were injured when a white nationalist plowed his car into the crowd at the Charlottesville Unite the Right rally on Saturday – But white nationlaist Cantwell said he considered the rally a win for his side – ‚I think a lot more people are going to die before we’re done here,‘ he said – ‚People die every day. The fact that nobody on our side died… (and) none of our people killed anyone unjustly, I think is a plus for us‘ – Trump doubled down on a claim there was bigotry on both sides during Charlottesville incident during a press conference at his Tower on Tuesday – His daughter and son-in-law, who are frequently at the president’s side, are believed to have remained at his New Jersey golf club with their kids
So, as insiders go, George Osborne, Citigroup and Blackrock should know what is going on as they are at the political heart of London; so if they say Theresa May is leaving, she’s leaving. You can bank on that!
“There is no doubt that Saudi Arabia supports terrorist groups round the globe,” he said, adding, “You can find their trace in Syria and Iraq and the world has now admitted the ideological position of Saudi Arabia in all terrorist moves.
(11.10.2016) In the coming fortnight, the illiberal Investigatory Powers Bill will pass through Parliament, making it easier for the British Government to spy on citizens entirely innocent of any crime. The bill will allow the Government to hand UK tech firms top-secret notices to hack their customers; the police will be able to look at your internet browsing history, and your personal data will be tied together so the state can find out if you’ve attended a protest, who your friends are, and where you live. The most authoritarian piece of spying legislation any democratic government has ever proposed has sped through Parliament with only a whimper of opposition.
He also claimed „politics has changed“ and that people have „had enough“ of the Conservatives: „And you know what? Politics has changed. Politics isn’t going back into the box where it was before.
You would think that, as the reverberations from last week’s Manchester terror attack continue to be felt, the UK media would be scouring through the literal and figurative rubble trying to find leads. After all, is that not what a profit-driven media in a free society is supposed to do? But in the case of this attack, the corporate media have demonstrated extreme passivity. They have mostly waited for press releases from the government, police and intelligence services. The only things they seem to be chasing are the families of the deceased. (The one exception has been the admirable Peter Oborne, an old-school, maverick journalist who has long written for the right-wing press, including the Daily Mail.)
(29.4.17) The Saudi war on Yemen, actively supported by the U.S., is going nowhere. The Saudis are daily losing soldiers to Yemeni incursions (vid) into south Saudi Arabia. There is no chance that Saudi supported forces will take the Houthi/Saleh controlled northern Yemen and the capital Sanaa. The United Arab Emirates has supported the Saudi war with capable forces. But the UAE only wants Aden port and its nearby oil-loading facilities for its DP World port management business. The Saudis want the ports as outlets for their oil exports away from their Persian Gulf ports that Iran could easily disable. But they also want to control all of Yemen.
Next week, people across the city region will be asked to go to the polls to vote to elect our first ever Metro Mayor. This is a new position that will have huge implications for the region, with the successful candidate handed a raft of new powers for governing the entire city region.
Prime Minister Theresa May of Britain, who is in Scotland today, is expected to begin on Wednesday the formal, two-year process of negotiating Britain’s exit from the E.U. European leaders (but not Ms. May) gathered in Rome on Saturday to pledge continued integration among member states but acknowledged that they were “facing unprecedented challenges.”
As Techdirt has reported, the election of Donald Trump has turned the world of US trade deals upside-down. The US officially pulled out of TPP, although some still hope it might come back in some form. TAFTA/TTIP seems to be on ice, but Trump’s choice for US trade representative has just said he is open to resuming negotiations, so it’s not clear what might happen there (or with TISA). Against that confusing backdrop, the European Union has been quick to emphasize that it is in favor of trade deals, and is keen to sign as many as possible, presumably hoping to fill the economic and political vacuum left by the US. One of the negotiations that has been going on in the background is for a major trade agreement between the EU and Japan. It began back in March 2013, but has garnered little attention, as people focused on the more imminent threats of TPP, TTIP, CETA and TISA. That’s just changed, thanks in part to a joint statement signed by dozens of civil societies in both the EU and Japan, who write:
In this context, the United States is plausibly leveraging its control over access to U.S. airports, which are central “nodes” in the global network of air travel between different destinations. It is using this control to attack the key vulnerabilities of other networked actors, by going after the central nodes in their networks (the hub airports) and potentially severely damaging them.
“There is a reason behind the fact that those who accused us of not fighting against ISIL and bore down on us internationally have started to tell us not to go further into Syria after we attacked ISIL. The plays and excuses of those who support another terrorist group against ISIL were distorted after Turkey has progressed in the field. It has become apparent that they do not want to eliminate ISIL and other terrorist organizations from the region, but rather to transform the region into an endless sea of blood and fire. As you can see, those who cannot confront us are planning to make us kneel down and hurt us with the help of terrorist organizations,” he said.
For those unaware of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 or RIPA as mentioned in this article, the laws were passed in July 2000 and updated in 2003, 2010 and 2015. (Read the legislation.gov.uk page HERE)
Thomas Drake, a former N.S.A. executive and whistle-blower who has become one of the agency’s most vocal critics, told me, “If you target everything, there’s no target.” Drake favors what he calls “a traditional law-enforcement” approach to terrorism, gathering more intelligence on a smaller set of targets. Decisions about which targets matter, he said, should be driven by human expertise, not by a database.
(20.10.2016) “If you impose a no-fly zone, how do you respond to their concerns?” Wallace asked. “Secondly, if you impose a no-fly zone and a Russian plane violates that, does President Clinton shoot that plane down?” Clinton stuck to an argument she has made many times: Creating an area where Syrian and Russian planes cannot fly would give the U.S. “leverage” over Syria and Russia to negotiate a political resolution.
(28.11.2015) All there is to say about this video posted by a friend is, Watch it. A former Israeli soldier named Ido Gal Razon who was a hero of an Israeli operation in Gaza eight years ago called “Clear as Wine” testifies before a parliamentary committee about his PTSD.
(Mai 2016) Fueling suspicion is the fact that the agency is very secretive about its program and wants to keep it exempt from the requirements of the Privacy Act, the 1974 law that regulates what the federal government can and cannot do with information about citizens. In particular, federal officials do not want to disclose who is in the database or why they are in there. Presently, there are between 50 million and 70 million people in the FBI’s registry. The information the agency has includes iris scans, voice recordings and gait measures, as well as records of scars, tattoos and other distinguishing characteristics.
Lavrov noted that some of Russia’s Western partners seem to be guided by children’s resentments or whims in their relations with Russia. „After all, it is vitally important for a politician not to shut the door close,“ he said. „It is not good and it means that a person is on the verge of a breakdown, which is inadmissible in politics. It is necessary to do everything in a well-balanced manner and have several possible scenarios meeting your interests but not to rely on only one scenario base on your and only your interests where all the rest are allocated the role with the only words, ‘Yes, Sir.’“ „It doesn’t work that way and will never do,“ Lavrov stressed.
If you looked at Google Maps this week, you might have noticed something strange: less green.
We’ve already made it quite clear where we stand on Peter Thiel financing a number of lawsuits against Gawker Media as some sort of retaliation for some articles he didn’t like. Lots of people who really hate Gawker don’t seem to care how problematic Thiel’s actions are, but you should be concerned, even if you dislike Gawker — in part, because many of the lawsuits Thiel appears to be backing are clearly bogus and just designed to bankrupt the company, which happened a couple months ago. This week is the auction to see who ends up with Gawker, and Thiel is taking a weird victory lap with a silly and misleading oped in the NY Times where he argues that this was really all about making a stand for privacy and has nothing to do with shitting on the First Amendment. There’s a lot in the article that’s bullshit, and it deserves a thorough debunking, so here we go.
A SLAPP is a technique that’s used to silence speech on the Internet and elsewhere, usually because that speech is embarrassing for the plaintiff. Plaintiffs who bring SLAPPs often aren’t interested in winning the case. Their goal is simply to silence their critics through the threat of time-consuming and expensive litigation. SLAPPs threaten the defendants’ freedom of expression, as well as everyone else’s right to hear diverse opinions and points of view.
„The status of the opposition is resilient in the face of horrendous attacks by the Syrian and Russian forces,” a U.S. intelligence official explained to The Daily Beast. “The defeat of Assad is a necessary precondition to ultimately defeat [ISIS]. As long as there is a failed leader in Damascus and a failed state in Syria, [ISIS] will have a place to operate from. “You can’t deal with ISIS if you have a failed state,” the U.S. official observed.“
A Lenovo smartphone unveiled Thursday will be clever enough to grasp your physical surroundings — such as the room’s size and the presence of other people — and potentially transform how we interact with e-commerce, education and gaming. Today’s smartphones track location through GPS and cell towers, but that does little more than tell apps where you are. Tapping Google’s 3-year-old Project Tango , the new Phab2 Pro phone will use software and sensors to track motions and map building interiors, including the location of doors and windows.
The intention is to let another member of your family following along in case things go off course, as has happened here and there in the past.
„This is amazing, people are finally taking the political debate into their own hands,“ 19-year-old literature student Zoe beamed as she roamed Paris‘ Place de la Republique, where thousands are meeting nightly to debate, protest and dream of another world.
The CIA has a division known as the Office of Public Affairs. Its job is to work with journalists and creatives on movies and projects, but often, what the OPA actually does when it provides its “support” is unknown. There are very few records of actual meetings held or resources provided.
When they tried to submit their null findings, they „were rejected time and time again,“ the paper reports. So there you go. Not just a boring „no result“ study from an unknown researcher. Nor a trivial correction to previous work. This is a well-known researcher evaluating his entire output on a subject and concluding that he’s been wrong for years. And yet he couldn’t get it published.
(22.März) When BBC News reported the FBI’s warning, they ended their article with the comment, “However, there has not yet been a real-world example of such hacking.” We’re not so sure. If investigative journalist Michael Hastings were still alive, he would probably investigate the kind of “accident” that killed him. To see our coverage of this fascinating case, please go here, here, here, here, and here.
(21.März) And he’s right, mostly. By and large, no one at these companies is intentionally programing their systems to ignore black people or tease Asians. And folks who work on algorithmic bias, like Suresh Venkatasubramanian, a professor of computer science at the University of Utah, say that’s generally what they’re seeing too. “I don’t think there’s a conscious desire to ignore these issues,“ he said. „I think it’s just that they don’t think about it at all. No one really spends a lot of time thinking about privilege and status, if you are the defaults you just assume you just are.”
(26.Februar) There may be issues with some embeds, who knows?
It’s not privacy vs. security at all, but rather who gets to set the rules over how software works in an era where software controls everything.
It’s strange how the visual disconnect interrupts you as you speed down the bumpy, pot-holed road. Where have all the people gone, I kept asking myself? Why are those who live here not rebuilding their homes? And then I remembered the thousands of Syrian refugees I saw and met streaming through the hot cornfields of northern Greece last summer en route to Macedonia, and the pictures of those tens of thousands walking the frozen railway tracks north to Germany, and of course it made sense. This is the midden which those people left, the “Ground Zero” they abandoned.
“Let’s go to the big picture of what we all want,” Penn said. “We all want this drug problem to stop. We all want them – the killings in Chicago – to stop. We are the consumer,” Penn argued, adding, “and if you are in the moral right, or on the far left, just as many of your children are doing these drugs.” “And how much time have they spent in the last week since this article came out, talking about that?” Penn continued. “One percent? I think that’d be generous,” he said, before bringing his remarks back full circle. “My article failed,” Penn said. “Let me be clear. My article has failed.”
Dear Governor Snyder: Thanks to you, sir, and the premeditated actions of your administrators, you have effectively poisoned, not just some, but apparently ALL of the children in my hometown of Flint, Michigan. And for that, you have to go to jail. To poison all the children in an historic American city is no small feat. Even international terrorist organizations haven’t figured out yet how to do something on a magnitude like this. But you did. Your staff and others knew that the water in the Flint River was poison — but you decided that taking over the city and „cutting costs“ to „balance the budget“ was more important than the people’s health (not to mention their democratic rights to elect their own leaders.) So you cut off the clean, fresh glacial lake water of Lake Huron that the citizens of Flint (including myself) had been drinking for decades and, instead, made them drink water from the industrial cesspool we call the Flint River — a body of „water“ where toxins from a dozen General Motors and DuPont factories have been dumped for over a hundred years.
(28.11.2015) All there is to say about this video posted by a friend is, Watch it. A former Israeli soldier named Ido Gal Razon who was a hero of an Israeli operation in Gaza eight years ago called “Clear as Wine” testifies before a parliamentary committee about his PTSD.
Great news for people who think there’s just too damn much freedom in this country: the government’s „no-fly“ list is about to get much, much longer.
Theresa May, the UK Home Secretary who seems like a comic book version of a government authoritarian, is leading the charge in the UK for its new Snooper’s Charter, officially called the „Investigatory Powers Bill,“ that is filled with all kinds of nasty stuff for making it easier for the government to spy on everyone. Among the many problematic elements is the demand for basically everyone’s metadata. May dismissed the concerns about this by saying it’s nothing more than „an itemised phone bill.“ Given that, Member of Parliament Keith Vaz noted to May that people might be interested to see May’s itemized phone bill.
I am writing to you from a geography where artillery shells fired from tanks fall next to us, where cruelty of war and violence, all forms of brutality have become daily routine for a longtime and where weapons and death have consumed relevance of all words. For days and months now; there is a de facto martial law in place and fundamental human rights and freedoms are suspended. People are literally imprisoned in their basements, their houses torn down under artillery fire, people are showered by bullets, shot and killed by snipers in the middle of the streets. Their bodies are left on the streets and could not be picked up for days neither by medical workers nor their families. The name of this geography is Kurdistan.
„#Iwillprotectyou with my last breath Sofia!“ wrote Brandon Sterne, a 22-year Navy veteran who served in Iraq. Sterne told the AP Wednesday that he had seen in Iraq the importance of supporting people of all faiths and races. He said he was particularly heartened by all of the posts from „my brothers and sisters in arms.“ „I would just tell her that hatred’s not going to win, that it’s OK,“ Sterne said. „There are good people in the world, and the good people will always protect her from the evil people.“
I was asked to comment on the criticisms that Xavier has received after announcing his ESC entry but I don’t know what to say really. Anyone who thinks I would share my home with a Racist, a Homophobe an Extremist does not know me and in truth that person probably doesn’t want to know me because the lies and untruths create a world where Haters feel like Heroes living in a Fantasy Film. If you ask me if these men are my friends and if I stand beside them I would say they are my Brother and I am bound to them! God Bless Rea
In other words, the High Court Judges within the Family Division are now tasked with determining whether children will be made wards of the state based solely on suspicions of possible radicalization. Children torn from mothers and fathers in Muslim homes will be subject to the whims and inherently flawed watch of the larger citizenry. A citizenry, mind you, that has had its vigilance unduly ramped up by the government’s past actions and requests. It’s hard to imagine a better recipe for the unfair targeting of Muslim families than this.
(12.September 2014) Did you feel your were violating people’s rights? N: Definitely. In Israeli intelligence regarding Palestinians, they don’t really have rights. Nobody asks that question. It’s not [like] Israeli citizens, where if you want to gather information about them you need to go to court. A: The only limitation is the limitation of resources. There’s no procedural questions regarding who can and cannot be surveilled. Everybody is fair game. N: An 18-year-old soldier who thinks: “We need to gather information on this or that person” – that 18-year-old kid [in Unit 8200] is the one that decides.
From free college tuition to humane incarceration, Europe has many of the answers. “I’ve never been a cynic, I’ve always believed that cynicism is just a different form of narcissism,” he told the rapt Toronto audience. “And I do believe in the goodness of people, and I do believe most people have a conscience, they know right from wrong…they’re just afraid, or they’re ignorant, but once those things get fixed, stop living in fear, stop being stupid, things will get better.” Citing his line in the film that “anything is possible,” Moore continued: “I believe we can start to make the case for all of this could happen in the next 2-3 years, and I actually think that will happen. It’s going to happen because young people are going to make it happen. There are not as many haters in the young generation as there are in the older generation … the young people will come up and they don’t have that level of hate, and they know they got a raw deal, they got a raw fucking deal. And we gave it to them, my generation, which was not right, and we should try to do something about it.”
Stanley cites the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s revelation of CBP documents that suggest the CBP will use “non-lethal weapons designed to immobilize TOIs [targets of interest].” But, he thinks, “there is good reason to think that, once current controversies subside and the spotlight of public attention shifts elsewhere, we will see a push for drones armed with lethal weapons.”
We did a lot of things that seemed crazy at the time. Many of those crazy things now have over a billion users, like Google Maps, YouTube, Chrome, and Android. And we haven’t stopped there. We are still trying to do things other people think are crazy but we are super excited about. We’ve long believed that over time companies tend to get comfortable doing the same thing, just making incremental changes. But in the technology industry, where revolutionary ideas drive the next big growth areas, you need to be a bit uncomfortable to stay relevant. Our company is operating well today, but we think we can make it cleaner and more accountable. So we are creating a new company, called Alphabet (http://abc.xyz). I am really excited to be running Alphabet as CEO with help from my capable partner, Sergey, as President.
Greece has submitted an official request to the International Monetary Fund for a new loan as it seeks a huge third bailout from its creditors, the finance ministry said. “We would like to inform you that we are seeking a new loan facility from the International Monetary Fund,” Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos wrote in a letter to Christine Lagarde, the managing director of the IMF.
As Techdirt has noted many times, one of the things that makes it hard to engage sensibly with so-called „trade negotiations“ like TPP and TAFTA/TTIP is the secrecy surrounding them. Aside from the odd leak and any crumbs of information that drop from the negotiating table, one of the few things that are made public is the predicted benefit of participating in these agreements. To hear the politicians tell it, the models employed for this purpose prove that a country would be crazy not to sign up to whatever deal they are currently pushing. Given the central role played by these econometric models, you’d think more would be done to refine them and check whether they get it right. Here’s what has happened on this front in Australia, as reported by the Sydney Morning Herald:
(21.April) The problem here isn´t demand; it´s a culture of reliance built up through years of the police and other agencies consistently responding to incidents (or are they just events?) where individuals and communities have lost the ability to manage situations themselves. They call the police, the police say yes, and then find themselves entwined in a game of, ‘touched you last.’ Once embroiled in the ‘event’ police find themselves trapped as players in a game that shouldn’t be theirs to play. Is this the ‘invisible demand’ that is the real cause of the police struggling to cope with austerity?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: ..in terms of what is still under discussion, everything is under discussion. Let me give you an example. We have, as I think you all know, decided on a modified Arak reactor that will ensure that there is not weapons-grade plutonium produced in Iran. There are myriad details involved in that, everything from how is that project going to be managed, who’s going to do it, who’s going to certify the design, how will it be monitored, what happens to the heavy water, what happens to the spent fuel, and about a hundred other details that underlie that decision – many details. All of those have to be agreed to. We have to understand what we have agreed to here. SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: And that’s not even one of the toughest. SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: That’s not the tough – I’m using it as an example because you’re all well familiar with it. There are others that are much, much, much more complex than that – deciding on what the UN Security Council resolution is going to say. And as I’ve explained to you all before, this is the P5+1 so we have to get agreement among ourselves and then we have to get agreement with Iran. So it is a very complex process and we have to take an awful lot into account, not least of all what technical experts tell us is real or not.
Netanyahu seems amused. He took to the stand to defend his deputy minister. He’ll undoubtedly characterize this as an example of Israel’s “robust” democracy. But the government’s response to the Joint Arab List’s request (“We are doing you people a favor by even allowing you to be seated here”) appears less like an example of a lovable rollicking democracy than an ethnocratic state in a destructive nationalist spiral.
They are not who you think they are. They are not the NSA or the CIA. They are the National Security Analysis Center (NSAC), an obscure element of the Justice Department that has grown from its creation in 2008 into a sprawling 400-person, $150 million-a-year multi-agency organization employing almost 300 analysts, the majority of whom are corporate contractors. [A list of contractors known to be associated with NSAC can be viewed here.]
Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was heckled on Tuesday, as citizens expressed their discontent with the United States‘ continued presence in Okinawa. The jeers took place during a ceremony to mark the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Okinawa. As the prime minister approached the podium, voices could be heard shouting “What are you doing here?” and “Go home!” The cries from the 5,000-strong crowd resulted in a visibly flustered Abe. Carrying on with his planned speech, Abe told the audience that “people in Okinawa have long been asked to carry a big burden for our security,” adding that “we will continue to do our best to reduce [it].”
Last Thursday the New America Foundation hosted a remarkable event: a Palestinian photographer and Israeli human rights worker detailing war crimes during the forgotten war of Gaza last summer. Israelis have been trying to forget about the war since it happened, said the human rights worker, Avner Gvaryahu of Breaking the Silence, and the world media has been helping them to do so. If you think about the last Israeli slaughter, Cast Lead of ’09, the Goldstone Report came out ten months later. This time there’s nothing like Goldstone, so it’s been left to human rights groups and journalists to perform the necessary function, summarizing the atrocities.
Whereas: Today, our Fourth Amendment, which protects Americans from government search and seizure unless there is probable cause of a crime, is under assault like never before; and Whereas: This country fought a revolution over issues like generalized warrants, where soldiers would go from house to house, searching anything they liked; and Whereas: This is a defining moment for our country; and Whereas: Our elected officials are not above the law and Congress MUST reassert our Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable search and seizure; Therefore: I thank Senator Paul for his filibuster and will stand with him to stop the NSA’s illegal domestic spying.
I just watched an hour Rand Paul’s filibuster of the Patriot Act, and there have been some inspiring moments. The senator said that democracies are no inherent safeguard against depredations on people’s rights. He alluded to Nazi Germany as a case where people had elevated fascists. He cited the case of the late Richard Jewell falsely accused of planting bombs at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996 and said that if Jewell had been black, he would have been killed by a mob. He said that the people had approved of the internment of the Japanese during World War II, and the denial of the right of habeas corpus to young people just because their grandparent was Japanese. And that could happen again, he said.
The Senate today is holding a key procedural vote that would allow the Trans-Pacific Partnership to be “fast-tracked.” So who can read the text of the TPP? Not you, it’s classified. Even members of Congress can only look at it one section at a time in the Capitol’s basement, without most of their staff or the ability to keep notes. But there’s an exception: if you’re part of one of 28 U.S. government-appointed trade advisory committees providing advice to the U.S. negotiators. The committees with the most access to what’s going on in the negotiations are 16 “Industry Trade Advisory Committees,” whose members include AT&T, General Electric, Apple, Dow Chemical, Nike, Walmart and the American Petroleum Institute.
We already wrote a bit about Seymour Hersh’s big story, arguing that pretty much everything the public has been told about the Osama bin Laden raid is false. There are plenty of questions that have been raised about some of the specifics in the story, but some people noticed that nearly four years ago, there was a tweet and a blog post, both by RJ Hillhouse, that both made the same basic argument. Hillhouse is well connected with the intelligence community and has told The Intercept that she thinks Hersh’s sources are different than her own: “I would be shocked if … my sources would talk to [Hersh], given their politics and given the sensitivity that the administration had toward this story.” She notes that after her original post, she was strongly pressured to shut up about the issue, and did so (though she didn’t delete her post or tweet). Either way, in a new post, she seems pissed off that Hersh is getting credit for the story, saying that it’s „plagiarism.“
(7.May) The gold standard of sampling is random, where every unit has equal chance of selection, which allows us to do amazing things like predict elections with tiny samples of thousands. Sometimes, researchers use convenience samples — whomever they can find easily — and those can be okay, or not, depending on how typical the sample ends up being compared to the universe. Sometimes, in cases like this, the sampling affects behavior: people who self-identify their politics are almost certainly going to behave quite differently, on average, than people who do not, when it comes to the behavior in question which is sharing and clicking through ideologically challenging content.
In fact there are those who would argue that society is currently progressing towards something worse, a reality by the way that the financial elite are well aware of. When the public’s collective misery reaches a tipping point, and people begin to mobilize, the digital panopticon of the ruling class will be leveraged to preserve social control. They’ll do what they’ve always done, tirelessly work to maintain power and impose hierarchy.
Have you seen what’s in the new TPP trade deal? Most likely, you haven’t – and don’t bother trying to Google it. The government doesn’t want you to read this massive new trade agreement. It’s top secret. Why? Here’s the real answer people have given me: “We can’t make this deal public because if the American people saw what was in it, they would be opposed to it.”
We’ve been talking for a while about the ridiculousness of the civil asset forfeiture system in the US, whereby law enforcement can basically steal what they want (and some cops will even admit that, to them, it’s shopping for stuff they want). If you don’t remember, it basically just involves police taking stuff and then insisting that it was ill-gotten goods from some sort of law breaking activity — which would be kept by filing a civil lawsuit against the stuff itself rather than the person. There didn’t need to be any criminal conviction at all. Earlier this year, Eric Holder tried to limit the DOJ’s assistance of such shopping sprees by law enforcement, but police were still open to using the process to take stuff. And, now, some states are trying to take action.
Every couple of years, like clockwork, the RIAA gets its friends in Congress to introduce some form of a performance rights bill, that would require radio stations to pay compulsory licenses to performers of the music they play on the radio. Every year it goes nowhere because the radio owners‘ big lobbying group, the NAB, is about equal in power to the RIAA. So the two sides fight it out, donate a lot of money to Congress, and nothing changes. There’s generally a lot of FUD thrown up in the process, along with some crap about „fairness“ when that’s not what they’re really pushing for at all.
„A military strike by Israel or the U.S. would only set back the nuclear program by two years,“ she said. „You can’t bomb their nuclear know-how, and they will rebuild everything. The alternatives are there but the best option is a diplomatic negotiated solution.“
As a Hebrew speaker I am appalled…these otherwise pleasant young soldiers are being compelled TRULY — the translation is LITERALLY ACCURATE – to say „Are you Arab? Then you cant pass here“…and „This is just for Jews.“ I understand and speak Hebrew and there is ZERO DISTORTION in the translation of what is happening here. In fact the actual conversation in Hebrew is even worse, more shameful, more conscious on both sides of the shame. Then the tense, inevitable challenge to two young men who are just trying to WALK ON THEIR STREET…“what, are you trying to show you are a man?“ These awful directions — these young people having to say, ‚it is decided…the commander decided…“ when reasonable citizens ask, why can’t I walk here? As a Jew I am appalled, ashamed, horrified, outraged…they are asking them THEIR RELIGION as armed guards keep them from walking on their own town’s streets…one guy says, pointing at a woman in a long dress, ’she is walking‘ and the soldiers have to reply, ’she is a Jew…“ This is flat out Berlin 1933. Hasbara I say, bring it on. Watch this and come talk to me, I am here, I want to know EXACTLY HOW YOU JUSTIFY A STATE THAT ENFORCES SUCH CONVERSATIONS , I am standing by for your comments or any further justification anyone needs to understand that things categorically need to change. Naomi here.
However, not everybody felt the party spirit along the way, saying that it’s uncomfortable seeing American armored vehicles rolling through their cities and towns. The convoy was also greeted by dozens of demonstrators as it returned to its German base on Wednesday. The people held banners, reading “Peace,” “Tanks? No thanks!” and “Army, go home! No one misses you!” “We might be small in number here, but we represent many all over Germany, who want the soldiers the weapons, the tanks, from our land,” one of the protesters told RT.
Obama added: „There are people in both our countries and beyond who oppose a diplomatic resolution. My message to you – the people of Iran – is that together we have to speak up for the future we seek. The days and weeks ahead will be critical. Our negotiations have made progress, but gaps remain.“ The video carries Farsi subtitles and is largely aimed at Iran’s young audience, who reportedly see the US as an enemy.
(12.9.2014) Once again, US politicians and pundits are beating the drums of war, trying to get our nation involved in yet another conflict. A few years ago it was Iran, with “all options on the table.” Last year it was a red line that threatened to drag us into the conflict in Syria. This time it’s Iraq. We, the youth of the United States of America, oppose war. We oppose war not because we don’t care about the rest of the world; we oppose war precisely because we do. We oppose war not because we don’t care about our security; we oppose war precisely because we do. We oppose war not because we don’t care about our troops; we oppose war precisely because we do. We oppose war not because we aren’t concerned with our future; we oppose war precisely because we do. There is no future in war.
As you may have heard, the law enforcement and intelligence communities have been pushing strongly for backdoors in encryption. They talk about ridiculous things like „golden keys,“ pretending that it’s somehow possible to create something that only the good guys can use. Many in the security community have been pointing out that this is flat-out impossible. The second you introduce a backdoor, there is no way to say that only „the good guys“ can use it.
Speaking of principles, at RootsAction.org and elsewhere, in organizing campaigns on behalf of James Risen and now on behalf of Jeffrey Sterling, we’re really resolute with the principle that we’ve got to support investigative journalists and whistleblowers. We can’t allow the government to drive a wedge between the two. You can’t have the informed consent of the governed unless you have whistleblowers who give us the unofficial stories and journalists who are willing and able to report them.
A lot has changed at SpaceX in the last 18 months. The company has made resupply missions to the International Space Station seem routine, performed the first attempt to recover a rocket for reuse, and announced a $1 billion investment from Google that will help it develop more robust Internet connections for Earth and, eventually, human colonies elsewhere in the solar system.
Now, I am not qualified to speak on foreign affairs but, nonetheless, I must share this with you at a personal level. Our Foreign Minister, Nikos Kotzias, briefed us that on his first day at the job he heard in the news bulletins that the EU had approved new sanctions on Russia unanimously. The problem was that he, and the new Greek government, were never asked!
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When you’re flying, your internet connection is completely in the hands of a single company. There’s no searching around for another signal. So, however the provider decides to handle your connection, that’s what you’re stuck with. A captive audience usually results in fun things like high prices and connection throttling. And, if you’re Gogo Inflight, it means compromising the security of every traveler who chooses to use the service, just because you can.
When Congress passes a bill that’s 1,603 pages long you can be sure that there’s a great deal in it that is noticed by few people, including the members who voted for it.
Prepare to have your imaginations beggared! Here’s Michael Hayden’s relentless lies, told over an expanded period of time, about a program that wasn’t doing any good, as documented in the Senate Committee’s report.
Once again, US politicians and pundits are beating the drums of war, trying to get our nation involved in yet another conflict. A few years ago it was Iran, with “all options on the table.” Last year it was a red line that threatened to drag us into the conflict in Syria. This time it’s Iraq. We, the youth of America, have grown up in war, war war. War has become the new norm for our generation. But these conflicts—declared by older people but fought and paid for by young people—are robbing us of our future and we’re tired of it. There is no future in war. We, the youth of America, are taking a stand against war and reclaiming our future. War does not work. Period.
The idea that any criticism of Israel at all is “anti-Semitic” is one that has been pushed here in the United States for decades. But Jon Stewart, himself a Jew, responded to allegations of anti-Semitism leveled against him with a statement that even Fox News would find it hard to misconstrue: “Go Fuck Yourself.”
Sand here is echoing both the ultra-Orthodox, who accuse the secular of transplanting foreign ideals into “authentic” Judaism, and Benjamin Netanyahu, who famously said, “the leftists have forgotten what it is to be Jews.” Sand wants Jews to choose: You can be either religious or nationalist (or both), but if you are neither, then you are not Jewish. And don’t bother him with talk of Jewish ancestry and DNA, because if that’s your alternative, then your definition of Jewishness is racial, just like the anti-Semites.
Here at the G20 summit, leaders representing 85% of world GDP are meeting in Brisbane, Australia. It’s not just the G20 group of world leaders who are meeting. Also here are the heads of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank. There’s also the associated organisations, such as the B20 (business), C20 (civil society), L20 (labour), T20 (think tanks), and Y20 (youth).
How did the organs of state security learn I was coming? It is more likely to have been guilt by association than the residue from a BOLO. In short, when I travel to New York to teach, I normally email my friend Martha at Maryhouse in the Bowery – the Catholic Worker house founded by her grandmother, Dorothy Day.(…) Here’s the catch. Catholic Workers are involved not only in extending hospitality but also in activism, trying, as Dorothy Day did, to make the world a less violent, more caring place. It is primarily the activism, of course, that brings scrutiny from the organs of security, but you might call it “political activism, primarily anti-war,” as the State Department did.(…) And for that, they often pay a price, including being snooped upon, in violation of the Fourth Amendment, for exercising their rights under the First.(…) You are perhaps thinking that the National Security Agency stores only metadata; and, if so, you would be wrong. Content is saved. So if the government wants to access the content of emails from the past, no problem.(…) So my best guess is that I can blame the “subversive” activities of the Catholic Workers and the monitoring of them by the organs of state security, for my recent arrest and overnight accommodations in The Tombs.
„I have always thought that those who resort to violence or those who go as far as exploding themselves are sick and inhuman. But now I know how it feels to have nothing to lose but your worthless life. I know how it feels to be so desperate that you literally cry from disappointment when you actually wake up in the morning, and to spend the night before asking God for a last favor … to take your life because you’re just too cowardly to take it yourself. #Gaza is no longer a city or a territory. It is a disease. It is an unbearable pain, an un-treatable wound. Gaza is the opposite of life, but at the same time far beyond death.“
There are times that I wonder if former NSA General Counsel Stewart Baker is just trolling with his various comments, because they’re so frequently out of touch with reality, even though he’s clearly an intelligent guy. His latest is to join in with the misguided attacks on Apple and Google making mobile encryption the default on iOS and Android devices, with an especially bizarre argument: protecting the privacy of your users is bad for business. Oh really? Specifically, Baker engages in some hysterically wrong historical revisionism concerning the rise and fall of RIM/Blackberry:
I’ve discussed in the past how many people mistake privacy as some sort of absolute „thing“ rather than a spectrum of trade-offs. Leaving your home to go to the store involves giving up a small amount of privacy, but it’s a trade-off most people feel is worth it (not so much for some uber-celebrities, and then they choose other options). Sharing information with a website is often seen as a reasonable trade-off for the services/information that website provides. The real problem is often just that the true trade-offs aren’t clear. What you’re giving up and what you’re getting back aren’t always done transparently, and that’s where people feel their privacy is being violated.
Though it’s a bedrock American principle that citizens can steer their own government by electing new officials, Glennon suggests that in practice, much of our government no longer works that way. In a new book, “National Security and Double Government,” he catalogs the ways that the defense and national security apparatus is effectively self-governing, with virtually no accountability, transparency, or checks and balances of any kind. He uses the term “double government”: There’s the one we elect, and then there’s the one behind it, steering huge swaths of policy almost unchecked. Elected officials end up serving as mere cover for the real decisions made by the bureaucracy.
The same thing is true of government bureaucrats within the intelligence community. They’re going to advise elected officials in ways that continually push and expand their own capabilities and powers, rather than limit them. And while what happens with lobbyists is often not directly publicly viewable, there can at least be some public recognition of policies and regulations that come out of those discussions. When it comes to the intelligence community, many of the results are kept entirely secret, so there’s basically no pushback and no „other side“ heard. The intelligence community acts as secret lobbyists for the expansion of the surveillance state, and the government basically says „okay.“ And that doesn’t even begin to go down the road of recognizing how much of this „expansion“ of the surveillance state also happens to massively benefit the private corporations that former intelligence officials jump to right after leaving the government.
“I was summoned down to a meeting in the Situation Room, where I was told I would have to ‘explain’ this deal to Rahm… It did not take long to get ugly,” Panetta wrote in ‚Worthy Fights: A Memoir of Leaders in War and Peace.‘ “’The president wants to know who the f**k authorized this release to the committees,’” Rahm said, slamming his hand down on the table. ‘I have a president with his hair on fire, and I want to know what the f**k you did to f**k this up so bad!’”