1000: Hijab Hoax

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

3h 59m
January 18th, 2018
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Executive Producers: Sir Andy Chan, Sir Zon Jr. of the One Cat Army, Sir El Hawkins, Benjamin Naidus, Terry Clark, Sir Dan, Protector of Underwater Criminal Investigators, Andrew Daniel, Sir Atomic Rod Adams, Baron of the Gold Coast, Caleb Crossman, Brian Schaefer, Robert Kitsell, Sir Horatio of Wandsworth UK, edward sheats, Ryan Brady, Christopher Spaulding

Associate Executive Producers: Louis Pipkin, Sir Dave Fugazzotto, Baron of Kansas City, Ryan, Bill HUDEC, Sir Gordon Walton, Torben Pedersen, anthony renna, scott cooper, Sir Tristan Banning, Jonas Astrom, Sir Lennart, Sir Snoldus of the Dudes named Ben, Sir Rhoag, Black Knight of the Okanogan Plains, Nils Bonacker, Sir Black Balls of Twit, Baron of Logan Square, Adam Dill, Sir Dick Bangs, Thaddeus Parker, Dame Rebecca Foster the cat wrangler, Sir Zon Jr. of the One Cat Army, Sir Onymous of Dogpatch and Lower Slobovia

Cover Artist: Red Beard

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Pro-Tip: Searx.me
About Searx
Sun, 14 Jan 2018 12:26
about - searx.meSearx is a metasearch engine, aggregating the results of other search engines while not storing information about its users.
Why use searx?searx may not offer you as personalised results as Google, but it doesn't generate a profile about yousearx doesn't care about what you search for, never shares anything with a third party, and it can't be used to compromise yousearx is free software, the code is 100% open and you can help to make it better. See more on githubIf you do care about privacy, want to be a conscious user, or otherwise believe in digital freedom, make searx your default search engine or run it on your own server
Technical details - How does it work?Searx is a metasearch engine, inspired by the seeks project.
It provides basic privacy by mixing your queries with searches on other platforms without storing search data. Queries are made using a POST request on every browser (except chrome*). Therefore they show up in neither our logs, nor your url history. In case of Chrome* users there is an exception, searx uses the search bar to perform GET requests.
Searx can be added to your browser's search bar; moreover, it can be set as the default search engine.
How can I make it my own?Searx appreciates your concern regarding logs, so take the code and run it yourself!
Add your Searx to this list to help other people reclaim their privacy and make the Internet freer!
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The 1K Archive!
Refer
to me as Bryan.
I’ve
made a S3 web seeded torrent for all 1000 episodes. Plus a seed box in
Amsterdam and California. This will provide a very fast initial seed.
Call
to action URLs:
1000.shutupslave.com
1000.shutupslaves.com
1000.420yolo.co
1000.bringyourwallet.com
Test it out and
download the 1000 episode test torrent. Please don’t distribute this one
or let it finish yet. Wait for official torrent link at those call
to action URLs.
Technical
information:
From
the call to action URL I will update the GitHub archive with the 1000 episode
archive when the episode comes out.
The
torrent will look for the following web seeds:
http://cdn.ipfu.org/p/na <- ACTIVE
http://na-cdn.420yolo.co/p/na <- INACTIVE BACKUP
http://rubicon.curry.com/p/na <- OPTIONAL WEB SEED
http://victor.curry.com/p/na <- OPTIONAL WEB SEED
If
you have a web seed you can add to the mix, or you know someone that can they
can host the resulting “no_agenda” directory and it’s contents at the path
above and you can add the server CNAME or A record to one of those subdomains.
Or
simply download the torrent to a "seed box” and seed it.
I’ve
been maintaining this No Agenda
GitHub org for a several years and updating the torrent-archive repository weekly
for 2 years. This is not my first rodeo.
trygoat.com
www.TryGoat.com
TYFYC
Sir Adrian Archer
Ottawa, Canada
Silicon Valley
''Oh My God, This Is So F---ed Up'': Inside Silicon Valley's Secretive, Orgiastic Dark Side
Fri, 12 Jan 2018 11:53
Romans of the Decadence (1847), by Thomas Couture, as updated to parody Silicon Valley's male-dominated sexual and sexist culture.
About once a month, on a Friday or Saturday night, the Silicon Valley Technorati gather for a drug-heavy, sex-heavy party. Sometimes the venue is an epic mansion in San Francisco's Pacific Heights; sometimes it's a lavish home in the foothills of Atherton or Hillsborough. On special occasions, the guests will travel north to someone's chteau in Napa Valley or to a private beachfront property in Malibu or to a boat off the coast of Ibiza, and the bacchanal will last an entire weekend. The places change, but many of the players and the purpose remain the same.
The stories I've been told by nearly two dozen people who have attended these events or have intimate knowledge of them are remarkable in a number of ways. Many participants don't seem the least bit embarrassed, much less ashamed. On the contrary, they speak proudly about how they're overturning traditions and paradigms in their private lives, just as they do in the technology world they rule. Like Julian Assange denouncing the nation-state, industry hotshots speak of these activities in a tone that is at once self-congratulatory and dismissive of criticism. Their behavior at these high-end parties is an extension of the progressiveness and open-mindedness'--the audacity, if you will'--that make founders think they can change the world. And they believe that their entitlement to disrupt doesn't stop at technology; it extends to society as well. Few participants, however, have been willing to describe these scenes to me without a guarantee of anonymity.
If this were just confined to personal lives it would be one thing. But what happens at these sex parties'--and in open relationships'--unfortunately, doesn't stay there. The freewheeling sex lives pursued by men in tech'--from the elite down to the rank and file'--have consequences for how business gets done in Silicon Valley.
Sex Parties of the Tech and FamousFrom reports of those who have attended these parties, guests and hosts include powerful first-round investors, well-known entrepreneurs, and top executives. Some of them are the titans of the Valley, household names. The female guests have different qualifications. If you are attractive, willing, and (usually) young, you needn't worry about your r(C)sum(C) or bank account. Some of the women work in tech in the Bay Area, but others come from Los Angeles and beyond, and are employed in symbiotic industries such as real estate, personal training, and public relations. In some scenarios, the ratio of women to wealthy men is roughly two to one, so the men have more than enough women to choose from. ''You know when it's that kind of party,'' one male tech investor told me. ''At normal tech parties, there are hardly any women. At these kinds of party, there are tons of them.''
I believe there is a critical story to tell about how the women who participate in these events are often marginalized, even if they attend of their own volition. One female investor who had heard of these parties before I approached her told me, ''Women are participating in this culture to improve their lives. They are an underclass in Silicon Valley.'' A male investor who works for one of the most powerful men in tech put it this way: ''I see a lot of men leading people on, sleeping with a dozen women at the same time. But if each of the dozen women doesn't care, is there any crime committed? You could say it's disgusting but not illegal'--it just perpetuates a culture that keeps women down.''
To be clear, there is a wide range of parties for experimental sexual behavior. Some, devoted entirely to sex, may be drug- and alcohol-free (to encourage safety and performance) and demand a balanced gender ratio. Others are very heavy on drugs and women and usually end in group ''cuddle puddles,'' a gateway to ever-so-slightly more discreet sexual encounters.
Men show up only if directly invited by the host, and they can often bring as many women as they want, but guys can't come along as plus-ones. (That would upset the preferred gender ratio.) Invitations are shared via word of mouth, Facebook, Snapchat (perfect, because messages soon disappear), or even basic Paperless Post. Nothing in the wording screams ''sex party'' or ''cuddle puddle,'' in case the invitation gets forwarded or someone takes a screenshot. Besides, there's no need to spell things out; the guests on the list understand just what kind of party this is. Women too will spread the word among their female friends, and the expectations are hardly hidden. ''They might say, 'Do you want to come to this really exclusive hot party? The theme is bondage,' '' one female entrepreneur told me. '' 'It's at this V.C. or founder's house and he asked me to invite you.' ''
''IT'S VERY RISKY'--ONCE YOU'RE IN THAT CIRCLE, ONCE YOU DECIDE YOU WANT TO PLAY THE GAME, YOU CAN'T BACK OUT.''
Perhaps this culture is just one of the many offshoots of the sexually progressive Bay Area, which gave rise to the desert festival of free expression Burning Man, now frequented by the tech elite. Still, the vast majority of people in Silicon Valley have no idea these kinds of sex parties are happening at all. If you're reading this and shaking your head saying, ''This isn't the Silicon Valley that I know,'' you may not be a rich and edgy male founder or investor, or a female in tech in her 20s. And you might not understand, anyway. ''Anyone else who is on the outside would be looking at this and saying, Oh my God, this is so fucked up,'' one female entrepreneur told me. ''But the people in it have a very different perception about what's going on.''
This is how the night goes down, according to those who have attended. Guests arrive before dinner and are checked in by private security guards, who will turn you away if you're not on the list. Sometimes the evening is catered. But at the most intimate gatherings, guests will cook dinner together; that way they don't have to kick out the help after dessert. Alcohol lubricates the conversation until, after the final course, the drugs roll out. Some form of MDMA, a.k.a. Ecstasy or Molly, known for transforming relative strangers into extremely affectionate friends, is de rigueur, including Molly tablets that have been molded into the logos of some of the hottest tech companies. Some refer to these parties as ''E-parties.''
MDMA is a powerful and long-lasting drug whose one-two punch of euphoria and manic energy can keep you rolling for three or four hours. As dopamine fires, connections spark around the room, and normal inhibitions drop away. People start cuddling and making out. These aren't group orgies, per se, but guests will break out into twosomes or threesomes or more. They may disappear into one of the venue's many rooms, or they may simply get down in the open. Night turns to day, and the group reconvenes for breakfast, after which some may have intercourse again. Eat, drugs, sex, repeat.
These sex parties happen so often among the premier V.C. and founder crowd that this isn't a scandal or even really a secret, I've been told; it's a lifestyle choice. This isn't Prohibition or the McCarthy era, people remind me; it's Silicon Valley in the 21st century. No one has been forced to attend, and they're not hiding anything, not even if they're married or in a committed relationship. They're just being discreet in the real world. Many guests are invited as couples'--husbands and wives, boyfriends and girlfriends'--because open relationships are the new normal.
While some parties may be devoted primarily to drugs and sexual activity, others may boast just pockets of it, and some guests can be caught unawares. In June 2017, one young woman'--let's call her Jane Doe'--received a Paperless Post invite for ''a party on the edge of the earth'' at the home of a wealthy venture capitalist. The invite requested ''glamazon adventurer, safari chic and jungle tribal attire.'' Ironically, the gathering was held just a week after sexual-harassment allegations against Binary Capital co-founder Justin Caldbeck had been reported, but that didn't seem to discourage certain guests from indulging in heavy petting in the open.
''It was in the middle of the Binary thing,'' Jane Doe told me, referring to the scandal at the V.C. firm. ''And it was all so ridiculous.'' Doe found herself on the floor with two couples, including a male entrepreneur and his wife. The living room had been blanketed in plush white faux fur and pillows, where, as the evening wore on, several people lay down and started stroking one another, Doe said, in what became a sizable cuddle puddle. One venture capitalist, dressed up as a bunny (it's unclear how this fit into the edge-of-the-earth theme), offered Jane Doe some powder in a plastic bag. It was Molly. ''They said it will just make you feel relaxed and you're going to like being touched,'' Doe recounted to me.
Nervous, she dipped her finger into the powder and put it in her mouth. Soon, her guard dropped. Then, the male founder asked if he could kiss her. ''It was so weird,'' she says. ''I'm like, 'Your wife is right there; is she O.K. with this?' '' The founder's wife acknowledged that, yes, she was O.K. with it. Jane Doe, who considers herself fairly adventurous and open-minded, kissed the founder, then became uncomfortable, feeling as if she had been pressured or targeted. ''I don't know what I'm doing, I feel really stupid, I'm drugged up because I'd never taken it before, and he knew I'd never taken it,'' she recalled. She tried to escape to a different area of the party. ''I felt gross because I had participated in making out with him and then he kept trying to find me and I kept trying to run away and hide. I remember saying to him, 'Aren't people going to wonder?' And he said, 'The people that know me know what is going on, and the people that don't, I don't really care.' '' Before dawn, she jumped into her car and left. ''What's not O.K. about this scene is that it is so money- and power-dominated. It's a problem because it's an abuse of power. I would never do it again.''
While this particular woman felt ambushed, if it's your first time, a friend will normally fill you in on what you're signing up for, and you are expected to keep it to yourself. You know that if you do drugs with someone you work with you shouldn't mention it to anyone, and the same goes with sex. In other words, we're not hiding anything, but, actually, we kind of are. You only get invited if you can be trusted and if you're going to play ball. ''You can choose not to hook up with [a specific] someone, but you can't not hook up with anybody, because that would be voyeurism. So if you don't participate, don't come in,'' says one frequent attendee, whom I'll call Founder X, an ambitious, world-traveling entrepreneur.
They don't necessarily see themselves as predatory. When they look in the mirror, they see individuals setting a new paradigm of behavior by pushing the boundaries of social mores and values. ''What's making this possible is the same progressiveness and open-mindedness that allows us to be creative and disruptive about ideas,'' Founder X told me. When I asked him about Jane Doe's experience, he said, ''This is a private party where powerful people want to get together and there are a lot of women and a lot of people who are fucked up. At any party, there can be a situation where people cross the line. Somebody fucked up, somebody crossed the line, but that's not an indictment on the cuddle puddle; that's an indictment on crossing the line. Doesn't that happen everywhere?'' It's worth asking, however, if these sexual adventurers are so progressive, why do these parties seem to lean so heavily toward male-heterosexual fantasies? Women are often expected to be involved in threesomes that include other women; male gay and bisexual behavior is conspicuously absent. ''Oddly, it's completely unthinkable that guys would be bisexual or curious,'' says one V.C. who attends and is married (I'll call him Married V.C.). ''It's a total double standard.'' In other words, at these parties men don't make out with other men. And, outside of the new types of drugs, these stories might have come out of the Playboy Mansion circa 1972.
I had a wide-ranging conversation with Twitter co-founder Evan Williams about the peculiar mixture of audacity, eccentricity, and wealth that swirls in Silicon Valley. Williams, who is married with two kids, became an Internet celebrity thanks to his first company, Blogger. He pointed out that he was never single, well known, and rich at the same time, and that he isn't part of this scene, but recognizes the motivations of his peers. ''This is a strange place that has created incredible things in the world and therefore attracts these types of people and enables these types of people. How could it be anything but weird and dramatic and people on the edge testing everything?'' On the one hand, he said, ''if you thought like everyone else, you can't invent the future,'' yet he also warned that, sometimes, this is a ''recipe for disaster.''
Rich men expecting casual sexual access to women is anything but a new paradigm. But many of the A-listers in Silicon Valley have something unique in common: a lonely adolescence devoid of contact with the opposite sex. Married V.C. described his teenage life as years of playing computer games and not going on a date until he was 20 years old. Now, to his amazement, he finds himself in a circle of trusted and adventurous tech friends with the money and resources to explore their every desire. After years of restriction and longing, he is living a fantasy, and his wife is right there along with him.
Married V.C.'s story'--that his current voraciousness is explained by his sexual deprivation in adolescence'--is one I hear a lot in Silicon Valley. They are finally getting theirs.
Founder HoundersThere is an often told story that Silicon Valley is filled with women looking to cash in by marrying wealthy tech moguls. Whether there really is a significant number of such women is debatable. The story about them is alive and well, however, at least among the wealthy men who fear they might fall victim. In fact, these guys even have a term for the women who pursue them: founder hounders.
When I ask Founder X whether these men are taking advantage of women by feeding them inhibition-melting drugs at sex parties, he replies that, on the contrary, it's women who are taking advantage of him and his tribe, preying on them for their money.
On their way up to a potential multi-million-dollar payout, some younger founders report, more and more women seem to become mysteriously attracted to them no matter how awkward, uncool, or un­at­trac­tive they may be.
However many founder hounders exist, the idea of these women lives large in the minds of Silicon Valley founders, who often trade stories about women they've dated. As Founder X puts it, ''We'll say whether some girl is a fucking gold digger or not, so we know who to avoid.''
When I tell her this, Ava, a young female entrepreneur, rolls her eyes. According to Ava, who asked me to disguise her real identity and has dated several founders, it's the men, not the women, who seem obsessed with displays of wealth and privilege. She tells of being flown to exotic locations, put up in fancy hotels, and other ways rich men have used their money to woo her. Backing up Ava's view are the profiles one finds on dating apps where men routinely brag about their tech jobs or start-ups. In their online profiles, men are all but saying, ''Hello, would you like to come up to my loft and see my stock options?''
In Ava's experience, however, once men like this land a woman, they are quick to throw her back. After a few extravagant dates, Ava says, she will initiate a conversation about where the tryst is going. The men then end things, several using the same explanation. ''They say, 'I'm still catching up. I lost my virginity when I was 25,' '' Ava tells me. ''And I'll say, 'Well, you're 33 now, are we all caught up yet?' In any other context, [these fancy dates] would be romantic, but instead it's charged because no one would fuck them in high school. . . . I honestly think what they want is a do-over because women wouldn't bone them until now.''
Ava's jaundiced view of newly wealthy moguls would be funny if their gold-digger obsession didn't mask something serious. The claim of being stalked by women often becomes an excuse used by some tech stars to justify their own predatory behavior.
What that adds up to is a great deal of ego at play. ''It's awesome,'' says Founder X. At work, he explains, ''you're well funded. You have relative traction.'' Outside work, ''why do I have to compromise? Why do I have to get married? Why do I have to be exclusive? If you've got a couple girls interested in you, you can set the terms and say, 'This is what I want.' You can say, 'I'm happy to date you, but I'm not exclusive.' These are becoming table stakes for guys who couldn't get a girl in high school.''
Furthermore, these elite founders, C.E.O.'s, and V.C.'s see themselves as more influential than most hot-shit bankers, actors, and athletes will ever be. ''We have more cachet than a random rich dude because we make products that touch a lot of people,'' says Founder X. ''You make a movie, and people watch it for a weekend. You make a product, and it touches people's lives for years.''
At least on the financial level, Founder X has a point. The payouts of A-list actors and the wolves of Wall Street just aren't that impressive among the Silicon Valley elite. Managing directors at top-tier investment banks may pocket a million a year and be worth tens of millions after a long career. Early employees at tech firms like Uber, Airbnb, and Snapchat can make many times that amount of money in a matter of years. Celebrities such as Ashton Kutcher, Jared Leto, and Leonardo DiCaprio have jumped on that power train and now make personal investments in tech companies. The basketball great Kobe Bryant started his own venture-capital firm. LeBron James has rebranded himself as not just an athlete but also an investor and entrepreneur.
With famous actors and athletes wanting to get into the tech game, it's no surprise that some in the Valley have a high opinion of their attractiveness and what they should expect or deserve in terms of their sex lives. In the Valley, this expectation is often passed off as enlightened'--a contribution to the evolution of human behavior.
For many women who describe it, however, it's a new immaturity'--sexist behavior dressed up with a lot of highfalutin talk'--that reinforces traditional power structures, demeans women, and boosts some of the biggest male egos in history: just another manifestation of Brotopia.
When I spoke about Silicon Valley's sex parties'--specifically those where women vastly outnumber men'--with Elisabeth Sheff, a Chattanooga-based writer and professor who has spent two dec­ades researching open relationships, her reaction was heated: ''That's exploitation. That's old-school, fucked-up masculine arrogance and borderline prostitution,'' she said. ''The men don't have to prostitute themselves, because they have the money. . . . 'I should be able to have sex with a woman because I'm a rich guy.' That is not even one particle progressive; that is the same tired bullshit. It's trying to blend the new and keeping the old attitudes, and those old attitudes are based in patriarchy, so they come at the expense of women.''
Jennifer Russell, who runs the established Camp Mystic at Burning Man, is more sympathetic. ''Men and women are equally drawn to creating a structure that invites their full sexual expression, and events like this are a safe place to dabble,'' she says. ''It's way better than a swingers' club would feel because this is at a home and you are surrounded by people you know.''
Married V.C. admits, however, that for many men these parties aren't so much about self-expression as they are about simply sport fucking. ''Some guys will whip out their phones and show off the trophy gallery of girls they've hooked up with,'' he says. ''Maybe this is behavior that happened on Wall Street all the time, but in a way they owned it. These founders do this, but try not to own it. They talk about diversity on one side of their mouth, but on the other side they say all of this shit.''
The New Paradigm for Women Getting ScrewedFor successful women in Silicon Valley, the drug-and-sex-party scene is a minefield to navigate. This isn't a matter of Bay Area tech women being more prudish than most; I doubt recent history has ever seen a cohort of women more adventurous or less restrained in exploring sexual boundaries. The problem is that the culture of sexual adventurism now permeating Silicon Valley tends to be more consequential for women than for men, particularly as it relates to their careers in tech.
Take multi-time entrepreneur Esther Crawford, who is familiar with sex parties (specifically those with an equal gender ratio and strict rules around consent) and talks openly about her sexual experiments and open relationships. For four years, she had been in a non-monogamous (they say ''monogamish'') relationship with Chris Messina, a former Google and Uber employee best known for inventing the hashtag. More recently, Crawford and Messina have started a company together called Molly'--perhaps not un-coincidentally the same name as the drug'--where they are developing a ''nonjudgmental (artificially intelligent) friend who will support your path to more self-awareness.'' They also chose to become monogamous for a while; seeing other people was getting too complicated. ''The future of relationships is not just with humans but A.I. characters,'' Crawford told me. By December 2017, they had raised $1.5 million for their new company. In the meantime, Crawford is acutely aware of the harsh reality that as a female entrepreneur she faces so many challenges that men don't. What she has found is that, for a woman, pushing private sexual boundaries comes with a price.
When Crawford was raising funds for her second company, a social-media app called Glmps, she went to dinner with an angel investor at a hip restaurant on San Francisco's Valencia Street. At the end of the meal, he handed her a check for $20,000, then immediately tried to kiss her. ''I certainly wasn't coming on to him,'' she asserts. ''I kind of leaned back, and he ordered me an Uber, and I was like, 'I gotta go home.' '' Crawford thinks it's likely that this particular investor knew about her sexual openness and found it difficult to think of her simply as an entrepreneur rather than as a potential hookup. This encounter is an example of a unique penalty women face if they choose to participate in the ''we're all cool about sex'' scene.
Ava was working as an executive assistant at Google when she ran into her married boss at a bondage club in San Francisco. He was getting a blow job from a woman strapped to a spanking bench who was being entered by another man from behind. Ava and her boss, an engineer, locked eyes but didn't exchange a word and never spoke of the encounter again. However, a few months later, at a Google off-site event, another married male colleague approached her. ''He hits on me, and I was like, What are you doing? Don't touch me. Who are you again? He was like, I know who you are. The other guys said you like all this stuff.'' Someone had outed Ava. She quit working at Google shortly thereafter. ''The trust works one way,'' Ava says. ''The stigma for a woman to do it is so much higher. I'm supposed to be in this industry where everyone is open and accepting, but as a woman the punishment is so much more unknown.''
Crawford can't even count the number of men who've told her how lucky she is to have so many eligible men to date in the male-dominated tech scene. ''Of all the privileges in the world, that is not the one I would choose,'' she says fiercely. ''I'd choose equal pay for equal work. I'd choose having better access to capital and power. I'd choose not being passed over for promotions. I'd choose not having to worry about being in the 23.1 percent of undergraduate college women who get sexually assaulted. I'd choose not being slut-shamed if I do opt to explore my sexuality.''
Married V.C. admits he might decline to hire or fund a woman he's come across within his sex-partying tribe. ''If it's a friend of a friend or you've seen them half-naked at Burning Man, all these ties come into play,'' he says. ''Those things do happen. It's making San Francisco feel really small and insular because everybody's dated everybody.'' Men actually get business done at sex parties and strip clubs. But when women put themselves in these situations, they risk losing credibility and respect.
The party scene is now so pervasive that women entrepreneurs say turning down invitations relegates them to the uncool-kids' table. ''It's very hard to create a personal connection with a male investor, and if you succeed, they become attracted to you,'' one told me. ''They think you're part of their inner circle, [and] in San Francisco that means you're invited to some kind of orgy. I couldn't escape it here. Not doing it was a thing.'' Rather than finding it odd that she would attend a sex party, says this entrepreneur, people would be confused about her not attending. ''The fact that you don't go is weird,'' the entrepreneur said, and it means being left out of important conversations. ''They talk business at these parties. They do business,'' she said. ''They decide things.'' Ultimately, this entrepreneur got so fed up that she moved herself and her start-up to New York and left Silicon Valley for good.
The women who do say yes to these parties rarely see a big business payoff. ''There is a desire to be included and invited to these kinds of things and sometimes it felt like it was productive to go and you could get ahead faster by cultivating relationships in this way,'' one female tech worker told me. ''Over time, I realized that it's false advertising and it's not something women should think is a way to get ahead. It's very risky'--once you're in that circle, once you decide you want to play the game, you can't back out. If you really believe that's going to get you to a serious place in your career, that's delusion.''
Another female entrepreneur described the unfair power dynamic that's created. ''There is this undercurrent of a feeling like you're prostituting yourself in order to get ahead because, let's be real, if you're dating someone powerful, it can open doors for you. And that's what women who make the calculation to play the game want, but they don't know all the risks associated with it,'' she said. ''If you do participate in these sex parties, don't ever think about starting a company or having someone invest in you. Those doors get shut. But if you don't participate, you're shut out. You're damned if you do, damned if you don't.''
It hearkens back to those popular 1980s teen movies which tell the ''heartwarming'' story of a glasses-wearing nerd who is transformed into the cool, funny kid who gets all the hot chicks. But we're not living a teenage dream. Great companies don't spring magically to life when a nerd gets laid three times in a row. Great companies are built in the office, with hard work put in by a team. The problem is that weekend views of women as sex pawns and founder hounders can't help but affect weekday views of women as colleagues, entrepreneurs, and peers.
Adapted fromBrotopia: Breaking Up the Boys' Club of Silicon Valley,by Emily Chang, to be published on February 6, 2018, by Portfolio, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC; (C) 2018 by the author.
CORRECTION: A photo with incorrect caption information has been removed from the story.
The first truth-bending claim of the Trump administration came just a day after the inauguration, when Sean Spicer introduced himself to the world by claiming that Trump's inauguration had drawn the largest audience ever, despite several photos showing a rather sparse crowd. Within a month, Spicer, once a well-respected journeyman flack in D.C. media circles, had cemented his reputation as Trump's own Baghdad Bob.
Left, by Lucas Jackson/Pool/Getty Images; right, by Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images.Less than two weeks after he was inaugurated, Trump bungled a major campaign promise when he signed an executive order restricting travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States. The order sparked protests across the country and threw border control into chaos as it struggled to implement . . . something. Federal courts immediately blocked the ban, declaring that it was an unconstitutional religious test meant to discriminate against Muslims, and pointed to Trump's own comments as proof. The ban continues to wind its way through federal court, continually hamstrung thanks to the way Trump and then adviser Steve Bannon mangled its initial rollout.
By Stephanie Keith/Getty Images.Back when she was still known as Trump's maternal handler, the White House adviser drew scrutiny for kneeling on an Oval Office couch as casually as if she owned the place (she does not). She told the press that she had done so to snap a photo of Trump and a group of visiting presidents of H.C.B.U.s, and that it seemed to be the best angle.By Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images.The lawsuit against Trump University was the perfect allegory for a Trump presidency: the real-estate billionaire stood accused of taking tens of thousands of dollars from regular folks, promising that his financial know-how would make them wealthy overnight, and then leaving them with nothing. Back in March, Trump settled three separate lawsuits'--two class-action suits and a fraud case'--against the university for $25 million.By Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post via Getty Images.Among a White House filled with apocalyptic blowhards, stoic generals, and fast-talking fame-seekers, Jared Kushner , an overweening real-estate manager with disproportionate power over his father-in-law, stood out by trying to avoid the spotlight. One could wax poetic about how the Harvard legacy student assumed responsibility for tasks in which he had little experience: overhauling government IT, creating peace in the Middle East, and tackling the opioid epidemic, to name a few. But a picture, as always, speaks a thousand words'--specifically that picture of Jared in Iraq, practicing boat-shoes diplomacy in a war zone.By Dominique A. Pineiro/Getty Images.Prior to James Comey's firing, those who believed that his eleventh-hour letter regarding her e-mails cost Hillary Clinton the election saw this image as a clear sign that he supported Trump in all things MAGA. Funny how far a little context can go: Comey's close friend Benjamin Wittes told The New York Times that in an attempt to avoid said photo, the 6-foot-8 Comey attempted to blend in with the blue curtains at the back of the room, futilely hoping that Trump would not spot him.By Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg/Getty Images.If people obsessed over the size of Trump's hands, they were almost equally fixated by Melania's'--specifically, why they were seldom anywhere near those of her husband, or why they slapped his away, or what it meant that, when they did come into contact with the president's diminutive mitts, they instinctively clenched into fists.By Jonathan Ernst/Reuters.Trump's dance of loathing-turned-love-turned-loathing with Morning Joe took a remarkably stupid turn in June, when he decided to bash ''Low I.Q. Crazy Mika, along with Psycho Joe'' for criticizing him on their show. Over the course of their feud, Trump at various points suggested Scarborough murdered an intern, and accused Brzezinski of committing an equally heinous crime in his eyes: getting a face-lift.By Mark Peterson/Redux.When Donald Trump chooses to defend white supremacists or taunt North Korean leadership before a crowd, onlookers draw a small measure of comfort from chief of staff John Kelly's crestfallen reactions, reading them as a sign that perhaps someone with some level of sanity holds a modicum of influence over the president. (Kelly, however, insists that he just has the military equivalent of resting bitch face.)By Drew Angerer/Getty Images.The law requires that the Secret Service provide protection to the president and vice president's immediate family, but the law was perhaps unprepared for the globetrotting Trump clan, which consists of one wife, five children, three children-in-law, and eight grandchildren. To complicate matters, Melania Trump adamantly refused to leave Trump Tower for the first several months of the presidency, keeping 11-year-old Barron Trump with her. (Nor did it help that Trump insisted on dragging his coterie to his various properties for golf weekends, forcing the Secret Service to do work overtime.) In August it was reported that the Secret Service would exceed its overtime-pay caps due to the sheer number of man-hours necessary to fulfill their duties.By Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images.It is a fairly well-known fact that staring directly at a solar eclipse will fry your retinas, and on the eve of the 2017 eclipse, scientists made sure Americans were prepared, cautioning the general public to wear special glasses or to construct a pinhole viewer. But the president, who is not the biggest fan of scientists, ignored their warnings, choosing instead to gaze directly at the one thing that dared to challenge his position as the star around which everything revolves.By Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images.Of course Melania Trump, former model and Upper East Side inhabitant, would think nothing of wearing stiletto heels while preparing to visit a hurricane disaster zone. But after the Internet slammed her for her tone-deaf fashion faux pas, a practice that goes back centuries, she emerged from Air Force One just hours later wearing a brand-new pair of white sneakers and what appeared to be a men's button-up shirt.By Alex Wong/Getty Images.North Korea's ''three generations of punishment'' law dictates that if a citizen commits a crime, they and their entire family will be sent to prison camps, and the next two generations of children will remain there. Somewhat similarly, Donald Trump declared that Steph Curry's refusal to attend a White House ceremony acknowledging the Golden State Warriors N.B.A. Championship meant that the entire team's invite was withdrawn. (When N.F.L. player Tom Brady's turn came for a White House invite, he sidestepped controversy by claiming an illness in the family.)By Maddie Meyer/Getty Images.Of all the Trump administration officials who habitually use taxpayer dollars to fund their private jet travel, Tom Price, the former Health and Human Services secretary, was the only one let go because of it. Granted, his plane use was egregious compared to the other Cabinet members being investigated: whereas Ryan Zinke,Steve Mnuchin, and Scott Pruitt racked up a few thousand dollars in dubious flights to their homes and to the occasional donor party, Price spent $400,0000 on flights to places like Nashville (where his son lives), Philadelphia (which is less than a two-hour train ride from D.C.), and St. Simons, a private island in Georgia where he and his wife happen to own a million-dollar property. Such graft somehow infuriated Trump, who told reporters that he was ''not happy'' with Price's plane profligacy.By Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images.
Giant Voice System IPAWS
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The state can't agree on what the missile alert interface actual - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL
Wed, 17 Jan 2018 13:26
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - On Monday night, the governor's office released an image of what it said was the interface used to send a false missile alert to Hawaii smart phones.
The confusing and seemingly rudimentary design quickly grabbed headlines nationally.
But a day later, the state's emergency management agency is disputing that image '-- and has released a different one.
Officials from the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency said the first image was sent in error, but declined to provide an actual photo of the interface.
Instead on Tuesday, they gave Hawaii News Now something they said was similar to the actual interface, and it included a drop down menu '-- not a list of possible real and test alerts.
The revelation was another chapter in what some have called a frustrating (and, at times, downright bizarre) response to Saturday's false alarm about an inbound ballistic missile.
Richard Rapoza, emergency management agency spokesman, said of the newly-released image: "This is a close facsimile. The operator should have selected the 'DRILL-PACOM (DEMO)' option, but instead clicked on the 'PACOM (CDW)' option."
The first image was released Monday, just before the governor held a rare, statewide address to again apologize for the false alarm blunder.
The image, provided to the governor's office by the emergency management agency, showed a screen with a list of options for alerts.
The governor's office said it was nearly identical to the one the employee who inadvertently sent out the false alert would have seen. The biggest difference? The image included the option to send out a false alarm correction alert to phones, if a mistake is made again.
When asked Tuesday why the image was different than the one provided by Hawaii Emergency Management, the governor's office directed Hawaii News Now back to the agency.
And the agency said an employee who wasn't authorized to provided the first photo.
One thing is for certain: There is no physical button to press that triggers a ballistic missile alarm and the "False Alarm BMD (CEM) - STATE ONLY" option was not there on Saturday '-- when it was needed most. Officials implemented that option soon after Saturday's mistake.
Separately, the emergency management agency continues to maintain that in order for the false alert to be triggered, the employee '-- who has since been reassigned '-- had to click "yes" on a second confirmation page.
The false alert went out to Hawaii's 1.4 million residents and hundreds of thousands of visitors on Saturday morning, triggering widespread panic.
Since Saturday's false alarm, Gov. Ige has vowed a false alert "won't happen again." He has also assigned Brig. Gen. Kenneth S. Hara, the state's deputy adjutant general, to review the emergency management system and implement improvements.
' 'After false missile alert, some Hawaii businesses threw customers out
' Here's what to do in the event of an actual nuclear attack
' Fearing inbound missile, many uttered what they thought might be their last words
' Terrifying': False ballistic missile threat sends Hawaii into panic
' WATCH: Ige says false missile threat alarm was result of someone pushing wrong button
This story will be updated.
Copyright 2018 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.
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Hawaii missile alert: How one employee 'pushed the wrong button' and caused a wave of panic
Mon, 15 Jan 2018 13:43
Post Nation
By Amy B Wang
January 14, 2018 at 4:15 PM
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Hawaii residents received emergency alerts warning of a ''ballistic missile threat'' in the early morning of Jan. 13. Officials said the warnings were false. (Victoria Walker/The Washington Post)Shortly after 8 a.m. local time Saturday morning, an employee at the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency settled in at the start of his shift. Among his duties that day was to initiate an internal test of the emergency missile warning system: essentially, to practice sending an emergency alert to the public without actually sending it to the public.
It was a drill the agency had started with some regularity last November '-- around the time Hawaii reinstated its Cold War-era nuclear warning sirens amid growing fears of an attack by North Korea '-- and so, while the tests were not yet routine enough to be predictable, they were not entirely new either, according to an agency spokesman.
Around 8:05 a.m., the Hawaii emergency employee initiated the internal test, according to a timeline released by the state. From a drop-down menu on a computer program, he saw two options: ''Test missile alert'' and ''Missile alert.'' He was supposed to choose the former; as much of the world now knows, he chose the latter, an initiation of a real-life missile alert.
''In this case, the operator selected the wrong menu option,'' HEMA spokesman Richard Rapoza told The Washington Post on Sunday.
Related: ['BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII,' the alert screamed. It was a false alarm.]
Around 8:07 a.m., an errant alert went out to scores of Hawaii residents and tourists on their cellphones: ''BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.'' A more detailed message scrolled across television screens in Hawaii, suggesting, ''If you are indoors, stay indoors. If you are outdoors, seek immediate shelter in a building. Remain indoors well away from windows. If you are driving, pull safely to the side of the road and seek shelter in a building or lay on the floor.''
The false warning sparked a wave of panic as thousands of people, many assuming they had only minutes to live, scrambled to seek shelter and say their final goodbyes to loved ones. The situation was exacerbated by a 38-minute gap between the initial alert and a subsequent wireless alert stating the missile warning was a mistake.
Hours afterward, Hawaii Gov. David Ige (D) apologized for the ''pain and confusion'' the wayward alert had caused and said it had been ''a mistake made during a standard procedure at the changeover of a shift and an employee pushed the wrong button.'' But one day after the debacle, more details are emerging about how such a mistake occurred, amid growing calls for accountability and for a close reexamination of the wireless emergency alert system.
Cars drive past a highway sign that says ''MISSILE ALERT IN ERROR THERE IS NO THREAT'' on the H-1 Freeway in Honolulu on Saturday. The state emergency officials announced human error as cause for a statewide announcement of an incoming missile strike alert that was sent to mobile phones. (Anthony Quintano/Civil Beat/AP)On Sunday, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai called the false alert ''absolutely unacceptable'' and said a full investigation was ''well underway.'' At least initially, Pai seemed to cast blame on state-level officials for the error.
''Based on the information we have collected so far, it appears that the government of Hawaii did not have reasonable safeguards or process controls in place to prevent the transmission of a false alert,'' Pai said in a statement. ''Federal, state, and local officials throughout the country need to work together to identify any vulnerabilities to false alerts and do what's necessary to fix them. We also must ensure that corrections are issued immediately in the event that a false alert does go out.''
Pai did not elaborate on what safeguards or process controls were lacking in Hawaii that might typically be in place elsewhere. Wireless emergency alerts are dispatched during critical emergency situations '-- to warn the public of dangerous weather, missing children and security threats '-- and are a partnership of the FCC, FEMA and the wireless industry. While the FCC establishes rules and regulations surrounding emergency alerting, responsibility for sending those messages typically falls to emergency management officials.
Part of what worsened the situation Saturday was that there was no system in place at the state emergency agency for correcting the error, Rapoza said. The state agency had standing permission through FEMA to use civil warning systems to send out the missile alert '-- but not to send out a subsequent false alarm alert, he said.
Watch more!
Hawaii Gov. David Ige (D) said a false wireless emergency alert that a ballistic missile was headed for Hawaii was "unfortunate and regrettable." (Reuters)Though the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency posted a follow-up tweet at 8:20 a.m. saying there was ''NO missile threat,'' it wouldn't be until 8:45 a.m. that a subsequent cellphone alert was sent telling people to stand down.
''We had to double back and work with FEMA [to craft and approve the false alarm alert] and that's what took time,'' Rapoza said.
That has since been remedied, he said, with a cancellation option that can be triggered within seconds of a mistake.
''In the past there was no cancellation button. There was no false alarm button at all,'' Rapoza said. ''Now there is a command to issue a message immediately that goes over on the same system saying 'It's a false alarm. Please disregard.' as soon as the mistake is identified.''
Related: ['Is this the end of my life?': False alert of missile attack sends Hawaii scrambling]
The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency said it has also suspended all internal drills until the investigation is completed. In addition, it has put in place a ''two-person activation/verification rule'' for tests and actual missile launch notifications. On Saturday, Ripoza said, the employee was asked in the computer program to confirm that he wanted to send the message. In the future, a second person will be required for confirmation.
The agency said it would issue a preliminary report of findings and corrective actions next week. The employee in question has been temporarily reassigned, Rapoza said, but there are no plans to fire him.
''Part of the problem was it was too easy '-- for anyone '-- to make such a big mistake,'' Rapoza said. ''We have to make sure that we're not looking for retribution, but we should be fixing the problems in the system. .'‰.'‰. I know that it's a very, very difficult situation for him.''
The errant alert had sparked angry responses by state and federal officials for more accountability over the emergency alert system. On Saturday, Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) blasted the false alarm as ''totally inexcusable'' and called for the process to be fixed.
''This system failed miserably and we need to start over,'' Schatz tweeted. On Sunday, he indicated he would be open to drafting legislation to change the notification system if necessary.
Other Hawaii leaders focused not on the alert system but on the growing tensions between the United States and North Korea that had fueled fears of a nuclear strike in the first place. On CNN's ''State of the Union'' Sunday, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) criticized President Trump for not taking the threat of nuclear war seriously enough and urged him to engage North Korean leaders in serious negotiations to denuclearize.
The mistaken alert was sent Saturday while the president was at Trump International Golf Club near his vacation home in Palm Beach, Fla., although it was not clear whether he was on the golf course at the time.
A White House official said Trump was quickly briefed by deputy national security adviser Ricky L. Waddell, who accompanied Trump from Washington. He later discussed the episode with National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster and White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly, the official said.
The federal government keeps track of North Korean launches through several means, including satellite surveillance, and officials around Trump would have known that no missile was detected.
Trump was not seen in public Saturday, and he issued no statements about the incident.
The only public mention of the incident came from deputy White House Press Secretary Lindsay Walters, who made clear that the federal government was not involved.
''The president has been briefed on the state of Hawaii's emergency management exercise. This was purely a state exercise,'' Walters said.
Walters also accompanied Trump to Florida.
While there is no protocol that applies directly to such a mistake, past presidents have often weighed in to reassure the public at times of stress or threat. '‹
Anne Gearan, Todd C. Frankel and Brian Fung contributed to this report.
Read more:
CDC postpones session on 'preparing for the unthinkable': a nuclear blast
'Is this the end of my life?': False alert of missile attack sends Hawaii scrambling
What to do in case of a nuclear attack
Perspective:A bomb is just minutes from destroying your world. Now what?
Amy B Wang is a general assignment reporter for The Washington Post.
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Feds say state didn't need to wait on them for missile-alert correction '' KHON2
Tue, 16 Jan 2018 23:01
The state said Saturday that waiting for federal approval was one of the reasons it took so long to issue a cancellation message on the same system that had carried the false alarm. But Always Investigating learned directly from the feds that wasn't true.
FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, told KHON2 not only is their permission and approval not needed for messages, but that it's been that way ever since the state applied to use the wireless emergency alert system about six years ago. Now the state tells us it was really seeking FEMA advice, not approval, before sending out the all-clear to all cell phones 38 minutes later.
FEMA provides a system called IPAWS '-- the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System. Think of it as a backbone that local authorities, like the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency (HI-EMA) then latch on to, but first have to build or buy their own software interfaces to write and broadcast alerts directly to your cell phone.
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That's how messages, whether things like tsunami warnings or Saturday's false missile threat, blare on your cellular handset.
But what about retractions or all-clears? The state said Saturday, and wrote on their timeline of false-alarm events, that they had to wait for federal approval to text false alarm through the same IPAWS mass alert system that carried the first alert.
Here's how Vern Miyagi, HI-EMA administrator, described it Saturday: ''At 8:45 a.m. after getting authorization from FEMA's IPAWS Integrated Public Alert and Warning System, HI-EMA issued a civil emergency message that verbally alerted people that this was false. a missile was not incoming. This was false alarm.''
KHON2 went directly to FEMA documentation of the IPAWS system and found messaging is locally, not federally, controlled. So we checked directly with FEMA whose spokesperson told Always Investigating: ''FEMA approval was not required to send the retraction message.''
FEMA told us Hi-EMA didn't have to wait.
''The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency possesses the authority to cancel or retract Hawaii Emergency Management Agency-initiated warnings, without intervention or approval from FEMA,'' Eileen Lainez, FEMA spokesperson, told Always Investigating.
Approval was not needed per FEMA, yet that's where the state told us Saturday they lost a lot of time. We showed those responses to U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz who said, ''This is deeply frustrating. That's quite bad, but even if there were some rule that required you to go back to FEMA, somebody should have used their judgment to just go ahead and retract it.''
KHON2 asked HI-EMA, why the discrepancy?
''I'm not going to say it was needed,'' HI-EMA spokesperson Richard Rapoza said. ''At this point that's part of our investigation to see if it was absolutely required, but the answer wasn't clear to us at the time.''
KHON2 asked, why cast it as an authorization and approval needed on Saturday?
''I think there was actually some confusion at the time,'' Rapoza said. ''When Vern and the governor and various people spoke Saturday, we were right on the heels of a big event. And so getting all of our information straight, making sure everybody understood exactly what was going on, was a bit of a challenge. So people might have used words, they may have used nomenclature, that may have characterized things in a way that was fast or convenient as opposed to absolutely carefully worded.''
HI-EMA now tells Always Investigating they called FEMA for guidance on how to distribute the all-clear, asking for help, not permission, on how to send a correction.
''Because it wasn't built into the system it wasn't absolutely clear what appropriate channel of IPAWS was to send the message out,'' Rapoza said.
KHON2 asked: Why even take the time to even ask what's ''appropriate'' again when the most inappropriate thing had just happened?
''At that point there's an argument made that we didn't want to add insult to injury and start running around just trying one thing after another,'' Rapoza said. ''It's important to do it properly.''
''The state called us that morning to discuss the false alert and to ask for technical guidance, which we provided during that call,'' FEMA's spokesperson told KHON2.
''Confidence is close to zero, so the only way you're going to be able to rebuild confidence is to be totally truthful about what happened. There are no excuses there is no way to make this sound better than it really is, we just have to work on fixing this,'' Schatz said.
FEMA tells me they are ''in contact with the State of Hawaii, FEMA Region IX, and the FCC, gathering more details to understand how this occurred, and how to prevent such occurrences in the future.''
FEMA tries to head these kinds of mistakes off with standard guidance, such as a 2015 field guide for states and agencies to build their front-end interfaces with an ''easily accessed 'Cancel' function. Yet despite that advice from FEMA in black and white, dating back years, HI-EMA had no cancel button before Saturday.
''It's outrageous the idea they had difficulty retracting this message that caused everybody to panic shows that they hadn't really thought this thing through,'' Schatz said. ''FEMA instructed our state agencies on how to set this thing up, they were not ready for prime time, and that's what this thing was.''
As to why other agencies here who knew it was false couldn't just trigger an IPAWS correction while HI-EMA waited?
We found out Hawaii is one of only a handful of states and territories that have only one agency signed up to use IPAWS. In the vast majority of states, the counties, police, sheriffs, even some private agencies can use the FEMA IPAWS system to write and send alerts to all of their region's cellular handsets.
Online resources:
January 13, 2018
The cause of the false alarm was human error.
January 13, 2018
''It was a procedure that occurs at the change of shift where they go through to make sure that the system is working and an employee pushed '...
January 11, 2018
The number of people missing since mudslides engulfed this wealthy coastal town surged to 48 Thursday as hundreds of rescue workers slogged '...
January 14, 2018
The agency continues to deal with public backlash, and employees have been receiving death threats.
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Japan fugu blowfish meat scare sees Gamagori city turn to emergency loudspeaker system for recall - CBS News
Thu, 18 Jan 2018 14:02
In a June 5, 2012 file photo, a blowfish, known as fugu in Japan, is seen on a chopping board before its toxic internal organs are removed at a Japanese restaurant in Tokyo.
Getty
TOKYO -- A city in central Japan used its emergency loudspeaker system in an attempt to recall four packages of blowfish meat after discovering a fifth one contained the potentially deadly liver.
No one has died. The fish, known as fugu, is an expensive winter delicacy but requires a license to prepare because of the dangers of mishandling. The fugu's liver is mostly toxic and banned.
Regional health officials said Tuesday a supermarket in Gamagori sold five packages of assorted blowfish meat on Monday. The inclusion of the liver in the package could have contaminated the other meat with the fugu poison.
In a June 5, 2012 file photo, Japanese chef Shigekazu Suzuki cuts and trims a pufferfish, known as fugu in Japan, to remove toxic internal organs at his restaurant in Tokyo.
Getty
Health authorities found that the store had been selling the liver of the particular kind of blowfish, called "yorito fugu," or blunthead puffer, for years because it's nearly non-toxic, health ministry official Yohei Ohashi said. No health problems have been reported from past consumption of the liver sold at the store, he said.
The illegal sales surfaced Monday when a buyer of one package took it to a health center. With four other packages sold but unaccounted for, city officials alerted residents via the emergency loudspeakers normally used for earthquakes and other disasters. Two packages have since been returned.
The health ministry ordered the store to recall all the blowfish packages and suspend their sale, but the store told officials that it will no longer sell blowfish, Ohashi said.
(C) 2018 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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TV stations in Guam accidentally broadcast civil danger warning - BNO News
Mon, 15 Jan 2018 23:33
The incident happened at about 12:25 a.m. local time on Tuesday when a woman working at local radio station KSTO AM activated the Emergency Alert System (EAS), resulting in the broadcast of a Civil Danger Warning.
"Emergency Alert System: Civil Danger Warning," said the message that appeared on all of the island's TV channels. "An EAS Participant has issued a Civil Danger Warning for the following Guam counties: Guam. Effective until August 15, 12:40 AM ChST."
A real warning would normally include information about the threat and the recommended course of action, but a Civil Danger Warning is a rare type of alert which is used to warn of danger to a significant civilian population. Examples include an imminent or in-progress military or terrorist attack.
The mistake startled many viewers, prompting some of them to call police or the Office of Homeland Security in an attempt to get information. Guam Homeland Security Advisor George Charfauros said the agency had received "a lot" of phone calls.
There were conflicting reports on whether the message was also broadcast on local radio stations, but Charfauros said the island's emergency sirens had not been activated. "Many people were asleep, fortunately," he said.
"The unauthorized test was NOT connected to any emergency, threat or warning," Guam Homeland Security and Civil Defense (GHS/OCD) said in a brief statement. "GHS/OCD has worked with KSTO to ensure the human error will not occur again."
Homeland Security Advisor Charfauros said an unauthorized employee at KSTO AM had caused the system to be activated, but he provided no further information, except to say that the action is not believed to have been intentional.
Guam has been at the center of attention for days after North Korea threatened to launch missiles towards the U.S. territory, which is home to 162,000 Americans and the Anderson Air Force Base. Although the North's threat is to launch missiles into the water, it has nonetheless raised tensions.
"Residents and visitors are reminded to remain calm, even with the continued unconfirmed reports throughout the media," Charfauros said in a statement. "Remember there is no change in threat level, we continue business as usual and know there are U.S. Department of Defense capabilities in place."
Charfauros added: "We continue communication with our federal and military partners and have not received official statement warranting any concern for imminent threat to Guam or the Marianas."
Guam radio stations spark terror by ACCIDENTALLY broadcasting nuclear missile warning just days after North Korea threatened to attack island
Mon, 15 Jan 2018 23:33
TWO radio stations on the Pacific island of Guam are in hot water after accidentally broadcasting a missile warning klaxon - sparking fears of a North Korean nuke attack.
The civil danger warning message was mistakenly broadcast because of "human error" just after midnight today by both the KTWG and KSTO radio stations.
Alamy
The emergency alert was broadcast on two the island's radio stationsKim has threatened to fire four Hwasong ICBM towards GuamThe broadcast alert came just days after noisy neighbour Kim Jong-un threatened to fire four Hwasong nuclear missiles in the direction of the American island territory.
The alarm read: "A broadcast station or cable system has issued a civil danger warning for the following countries/areas: Guam; at 12:25 a.m. on Aug. 15, 2017, effective until 12:40 a.m. Message from KTWGKSTO."
However the worrying test was not connected to any emergency, heightened threat or warning, BNO news reported.
George Charfauros, Guam Homeland Security Advisor, said in a statement: "Remember there is no change in threat level, we continue business as usual and know there are US Department of Defense capabilities in place.
"We continue communication with our federal and military partners and have not received official statement warranting any concern for imminent threat to Guam or the Marianas.''
Kim has revealed he has delayed a decision on firing towards Guam while he watches US actions a little longer, the North's state media said on Tuesday.
The chilling government leaflet was distributed on FridayAP:Associated Press
One worried local fills his trolley to the brim with bottled waterThe island last week issued residents with a chilling 'what to do in case of nuclear attack' leaflet amid fears of an imminent strike from North Korea.
The Pacific islanders were put on red alert after the local government issued the emergency fact sheet with the message "don't look at the fireball."
Titled "In Case of Emergency... Preparing for an Imminent Missile Threat", it says: "Do not look at the flash or fireball '' It can blind you."
It goes on "Take cover behind anything that might offer protection".
The island's 160,000 residents were put in the cross-hairs after it was revealed North Korea is now armed with nuclear warheads able to be fixed to its intercontinental missiles.
The flier also offers guidance on removing radioactive material: "When possible, take a shower with lots of soap and water to help remove radioactive contamination."
But don't scratch or scrub skin and "do not use conditioner in your hair because it will bind radioactive material to your hair."
Guam is just over 2,000 miles from North KoreaReuters
News that the island is on nuclear alert has panicked thousandsAfter the leaflet was distributed, many residents hit their local stores to stock up on food and drink ahead of what they fear could be the start of World War Three.
Some were seen leaving shops with shopping trolleys overflowing with canned food and bottles of water.
However, others went about their everyday lives as usual -with many hitting the beach to chill out.
Officials haven't raised the US territory's threat level even after Pyongyang laid out plans to strike near the island in the coming weeks, Guam Gov. Eddie Calvo said.
He noted that Guam has many buildings made to withstand powerful typhoons, but acknowledged that nothing can protect against a thermonuclear attack.
A war of words between US President Donald Trump '-- who said North Korea would be met with "fire and fury" if it stepped out of line '-- and officials under despotic leader Kim has brought the prospect of open and devastating warfare closer than ever.
Reuters
Guam has been threatened with a missile attack from North Korea by 'mid-August'Reuters
Kim cackles during a test launch of a long-range Hwasong-12 missile in MayPropaganda chiefs for the North Korean regime issued a statement saying four rockets would sent to Guam by "mid-August".
Squaring up to Kim again on Friday, President Trump said the dictator would "regret it fast" if he followed through on his threats.
Earlier the President warned that military plans are "locked and loaded" and urged Kim to ''find another path''.
North Korean state-run tv delivers statement berating Donald Trump and announcing missile launch plans in GuamGuam hosts large US military bases where regular air and sea sorties towards the Korean peninsula are launched.
Seeking to assure his citizens, Guam Governer Eddie Calvo told reporters on Friday that the island is "safe and sound".
"There are no changes," Calvo said. "Everyone should continue to live their lives."
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The island's administration is holding regular meetings with US Homeland Security '-- who provided the information contained in the chilling fact-sheet.
It recommends islanders to prepare by building emergency supply kits and figuring out where the nearest concrete shelter or "protected space" is.
Schools and public buildings are recommended as suitable places of refuge in the event of a nuclear attack.
Guam Homeland Security spokeswoman Jenna Gaminde said the island would sound all 15 of its All Hazards Alert Warning System sirens and emergency broadcasts would be published on TV and radio.
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Sonoma County Officials Opted Not to Send Mass Alert on Deadly Fire
Mon, 15 Jan 2018 23:32
(TNS) - As fires that would prove devastating burned across the North Bay late Sunday, Sonoma County considered sending a mass alert to cell phones in the region to warn of the rapidly spreading flames. But county officials decided against it, worried that doing so might create widespread panic and hinder the ability of first responders to combat the blazes.
It's unclear how much that decision might have affected area residents' responses to the deadly wildfires, particularly since many cell phone towers were destroyed in the blaze, making such messages undeliverable. But it adds to concerns that some in the fires' paths were not alerted about the danger, leaving them little time to flee.
As of Wednesday evening, 13 people were confirmed dead in the Sonoma County fires, and officials expected the total to rise.
In the early hours of the blaze, officials at the Sonoma County Fire and Emergency Services Department discussed sending something similar to an Amber Alert to cell phones in the area, but chose not to since it would have gone to tens of thousands of people not in immediate danger.
The type of warning, called a Wireless Emergency Alert, can only target phones in large geographic areas, according to Sonoma County Fire and Emergency Services Coordinator Zachary Hamill, who made the decision not to send the wireless alert together with the county's emergency manager, Christopher Helgren.
''If I had done the Wireless Emergency Alert I would have been notifying Petaluma, Cotati, Rohnert Park, Sebastopol, Sonoma '-- all of the cities and unincorporated areas in the county,'' Hamill said. ''And I didn't need to do that, I needed to focus on who specifically needed'' help. Jennifer Larocque, a spokeswoman for Sonoma County, said that sending such a widespread warning could have made it hard for first responders to combat the fire and help those in need.
''Providing mass information to people not affected could have caused mass traffic backups, which could have impacted emergency service providers and delayed emergency response,'' Larocque said.
The Sonoma County Fire and Emergency Services Department is one of dozens of California agencies that can send Wireless Emergency Alerts, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which administers the service. All major cell phone carriers have the technology, and everyone targeted by the alerts receives them unless they have actively opted not to get them.
Use of the alerts '-- in which only 90 characters can be transmitted '-- has seen mixed success in California when used for wildfire warnings.
Although there have been few instances of the alerts being deployed in situations similar to the Wine Country fires, on at least one occasion the technology seemed to create more confusion than help. In June, a swath of Southern California was ordered to ''evacuate now'' as crews battled a fire in Riverside County. Neighboring police and fire departments took to social media to explain the order did not apply to their areas.
Rather than deploy the wireless alert system, Sonoma County emergency officials tried to warn residents and issue evacuation orders through multiple avenues, including broadcasting on the radio, robo-calling residents, sending email and text alerts and physically knocking on doors or announcing orders through P.A. systems.
Still, many people, some in areas decimated by the fires, said they never received an official warning and fled only after being awakened by the smell of smoke, the sound of sirens, or neighbors pounding on their doors.
One of the warnings was a ''reverse 911'' call, which went out to all landline telephones in unincorporated parts of Sonoma County. ''We can circle this neighborhood, and it will call all those houses,'' Sonoma County Sheriff Rob Giordano said at a Wednesday news conference.
Along with automated calls to landlines, the county has other alert systems for cell phones, but they are available only to those who register to receive them. ''If you don't sign your cell phone up, you don't get that service,'' Giordano said.
One system, called Nixle, is widely used by law enforcement. Joel Rosen, chief marketing officer of Nixle's parent company Everbridge, said that prior to the fires, about 300,000 people in Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino and Lake counties were signed up to receive the alerts, about a third of the total population. Since the fires began, the number of people signed up for alerts has sharply increased, Rosen said.
Another emergency notification system in Sonoma County, SoCo Alerts, had 10,557 people signed up in mid-June. Just 7,658 of those were in Santa Rosa '-- a city of more than 175,000 that was devastated by the fire.
Santa Rosa Fire Department spokesman Paul Lowenthal helped make the call to evacuate parts of the city early Monday morning as the Tubbs Fire raced toward residential and commercial neighborhoods. When emergency responders arrived to help residents, smoke was already choking the air, embers were falling, and cell service was out, he said.
''During your typical California wildfire you craft messages, get evacuation plans, run them through law enforcement and operations and everyone agrees on them and works out sheltering needs,'' Lowenthal said. ''This was not that type of incident. ... This was nothing like anything I have ever experienced around here.''
Hamill, emergency coordinator of the Sonoma County Fire and Emergency Services Department, said the county will review its decision not to issue a Wireless Emergency Alert when they are no longer fighting the blaze.
''It's possible we could have said, 'Hey, be on the lookout, if you feel like your life is in danger, please evacuate,' but we didn't obviously,'' Hamill said. ''We've never done an evacuation to this scale ever before, so this will have to be one of those after action items we review and determine how we can do this better next time.''
(C)2017 the San Francisco Chronicle
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The Broadcasters' Desktop Resource
Mon, 15 Jan 2018 23:31
Information on EAS - CAP - IPAWS - FEMA
The idea is to bring some clarity to the issues and answer your questions. Definitions and
a fair amount of historical info is below, including air checks from the National EAS Test.
(Last update 1/13/18)
1/13/18 - Hawaii Emergency Management issued a false alarm about a missile attack this morning, declaring it was not a drill (image here). So far, reports have confirmed it hit the EAS, WEA, and local sirens. Apparently it took over a half an hour to issue a retraction, after a Hawaiian Congresswoman (Tulsi Gabbard, D-HI) initiated calling the EM HQ. There are currently no reports why a retraction was not issued immediately, nor exactly how it happened, but officials are conferring.
1/8/18 - The FEMA reports that the RWT for today did not happen for the Central Time Zone. FEMA engineers are "looking into the matter," to try to determine the problem.
12/14/17 - The FCC has approved adding the BLU code to the EAS. Stations will be voluntary users, manufacturers will be expected to include BLU in their next updates.
12/8/17 - The FCC has released its initial review of the 2017 NPT in September. The Public Notice is here.
12/6/17 - Alabama's EMA sent out an RWT with a CEM header by mistake. (Yes, a second time.)
11/21/17 - The IPAWS system server went off-line for about 11 hours between Monday night and Tuesday AM. It was re-booted and restored at 10AM EST.
11/19/17 - Alabama's EMA sent out an RWT with a CEM header by mistake.
11/14/17 - The FEMA RWT of the IPAWS was delayed for several hours in the Eastern and Central time zones. Additionally, a mal-formed alert that should not have gone through the system was sent to some stations in the Central time zone.
11/9/17 - The FCC requires all stations to file Form Three by November 13th.
11/2/17 - The FCC mandated deadline for sending your multilingual plans is November 6th, based on the FCC's Compliance Guide in August. Check the top of page 3. The SECC is to report to the FCC next year. Some SECCs have said they are willing to accept reports after the 6th. It is best to contact them to be sure!
10/13/17 - This is sort of an FYI: authorities in Sonoma CA last week did NOT use EAS or WEA for alerting people in the fire zone of Sonoma County (Santa Rosa) that has devastated that area and killed more than 40 people. They said it was an intentional decision. Observers noted the decision came after many cell sites were destroyed. This puts more pressure on stations to step up and serve, as did KZST Santa Rosa. Other reports note KSRO and its cluster were working hard, too.
9/27/17 - The NPT came and went. For those of you who had trouble doing Form Two, it has been extended. A summary is here.
9/20/17 - The FCC does remind you that you need a new 2017 EAS Handbook to be customized and printed. The download link is here.
9/20/17 - The FEMA has announced the 2017 NPT date: September 27th at 2:20 PM EDT, with a rain date of Oct 4th. Here is the official notice. The FCC's Public Notice is here.
Deadlines of note:
1. All EAS Participants are required to register with ETRS and must complete the filing of Form One as soon as possible.
2. The 2017 EAS Handbook must be customized, printed, and posted at the EAS Control Point.
3. The "day of test" information sought by ETRS Form Two must be filed at or before 11:59 PM EDT on September 27, 2017.
4. The detailed post-test data ETRS Form Three must be filed on or before November 13, 2017.
8/28/17 - Partially due to the effects of Hurricane Harvey on SE Texas (and likely partially due to the problems with the CORES and ETRS web sites), the FCC has extended the August 28th deadline for filing Form One; later filings will be accepted - but stresses for stations to do it as soon as possible.
8/16/17 - The FCC released a "Small Entity Compliance Guide" repeated the requirement for SECCs to submit reports on how stations are handling multilingual EAS alerts. They are required to submit to the SECCs their plans by November 13th.
8/15/17 - An EAS test on the island of Guam went awry when a station employee practicing how to send an alert hit "send" instead of "cancel."
7/25/17 - The ETRS is now open and operative. Reminder: You must register and complete Form One prior to August 28th. Trouble? Contact Austin: 202-418-1462
It takes less than 30 seconds to sign up for the free one-time-a-week BDR Newsletter. Just click here.
Looking for the article index list? It is right here - just click and see!
7/11/17 - The FEMA has named 44 individuals to the latest IPAWS subcommittee, calling it one of its highest priorities for 2017. The subcommittee will first meet August 8/9 in Washington DC and is tasked with bringing recommendations forward to improve the public alerting system.
6/22/17- The FCC adopts the BLU alert for Law Enforcement
4/21/17 - The FEMA released its report on the 2016 EAS NPT in September. A copy can be seen here. A test is expected to be announced during the NAB Show for this Fall, likely September.
3/24/17 - The FCC's latest order requires, among other things, for stations to submit plans for multilingual EAS operations to the SECCs for reporting to the FCC.
12/28/16 - The PSHSB (Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau) of the FCC has released its first look at the 2016 NPT in September. 94% of 21,000+ stations reported reception of the test, with 85% successfully relaying it. Over 2/3 reported no problems at all - all in all an improvement from 2011.
12/15/16 - The FCC abruptly called off the plan to vote on a number of EAS changes, including a multilingual requirement on stations. It appears that there will be no EAS action until after the inauguration of President Trump next month, and clarification of what he will do with the FCC's vacant chairs.
11/7/16 - A test by a US Cellular tech in the IPAWS test and development lab leaked onto the WEA system beginning around 1PM CST. The test went over the entire live US Cellular network and the WEA somehow was repeated as many as a dozen or dozen and a half times over a couple of hours. One report says US Cellular was involved (see screen shot). Apparently, any cell phone that "talked" to a US Cellular tower would have been affected.
9/28/16 - The 2016 NPT went off pretty much as expected - a lot of success - it was a test, after all, and there is nothing wrong with failure, as it helps improve the EAS for future use as stations handle the few issues that were highlighted today. More information is here.
9/27/16 - With a day to spare, the FCC has denied the request for wavier by Gorman-Redlich, so that older EAS boxes (which do not recognize 000000) might still be used. The FCC really wants the 000000 to be recognized. (On the other hand, footnote 51 does seem to indicate a possibility that individual stations may seek a wavier, but this might not have a certain result.)
9/19/16 - Monroe-Electronics has released a short (6 page) illustrated application note for Version 3.0 users to help stations be sure they have got the necessary options set and ready for the NPT on September 28th. (Stations using Version 2.x should use this one.)
9/19/16 - Today's RMT from the FEMA was only sent in three groups, much like the coming NPT next week. PDT, Alaska, and the Pacific islands were sent along with MDT (AST was with EDT).
9/14/16 - Check your logs! The FEMA ran an RWT with 000000 at 2PM EDT today. This is a great opportunity to see how your receiver responds to an "All US" test. This is not a worry for anyone - it does not have to be logged officially. Rather, it is a chance to check your filters and see if your machine recognizes 000000, and what it does. If you did not get this test, contact your manufacturer's support line - or the instructions you got on the last update. Unfortunately, there was also an invalid certificate issue - but the FEMA says this now has been fixed until 2019.
9/12/16 - Sources at the FEMA note problems with this morning's CAP test. It appears to have been centered on the certificate, which went out of date again. Some EAS receivers which have been set to ignore a bad certificate have received the test. Others did not. The FEMA is working on the problem.
9/6/16 - In the aftermath of a botched EAS alert on Long Island, NY, the local County Executive first blamed the FEMA, then an EAS machine, then "the system" for an alert that included a truncated evacuation of Fire Island which could have been interpreted as ordering evacuating all of Suffolk County on the East end of Long Island.
8/26/16 - This is when all stations are supposed to be registered for the 9/28 NPT. What happens if you do not get it done? The FCC says they are more interested right now in getting folks in the ETRS and getting their stations registered, so they can report on the NPT, than in issuing citations. So, according to the FCC, do it now, even if you are late.
7/11/16 - The FCC added by Report and Order three new EAS codes on July 6th, effective on January 6th, mandating that manufacturers add them to their system and any upgrades made by stations after one year must include them. The new codes are: Extreme Wind Warning (EWW), Storm Surge Watch (SSA) and Storm Surge Warning (SSW). (As with "normal" codes, these are all voluntary.)
6/20/16 - The Reply Comment period on the FCC's EAS NPRM is well along now, ending on July 8th. If you want to make a comment easily, just go to the EFCS to comment on Docket number 15-94. You can read the existing comments, or add yours.
3/30/16 - The FCC has issued a Multilingual EAS Order. So far, the upshot is the FCC is telling to SECCs to provide data on multilingual EAS usage. It does not yet require multilingual broadcasts by EAS participants.
3/24/16 - The EAS NPRM was published in the Federal Register this morning. Comments are due on or before May 9, 2016 and reply comments are due on or before June 7, 2016. One key point, the docket number has changed from 04-296 to 15-94. So be sure to use 15-94 on the ECFS.
3/3/16 - The FEMA announced through the Alabama Broadcasters' Association that an NPT will be sent to that state, in lieu of the cancelled one from last week. It is scheduled for March 10th at 11:15AM.
2/25/16 - How did things work out on the recent NPT? Like any test, one might call it a success, in that many stations got the test and either forwarded it or discovered some problems in settings - there were many reports on non-forwarding.
The biggest problem seems to have come from the FEMA and state broadcast associations in the South that cancelled the test at the last minute - but did not see fit to notify stations in any way.
Other issues included some AES settings caused the audio to be slowed dramatically - or no audio at all.
2/23/16 - The FEMA announced the next National EAS Test - it will be conducted on Wednesday. September 28 at 2:20PM ET. It appears to be an IPAWS-only - not using the PEP stations via legacy EAS. Meanwhile, the FCC expects the ETRS (Electronic Test Reporting System) to be up and running by mid-year so EAS Participants can "sign up" before the test.
11/23/15 - The FCC advisory committee, CSRIC will meet on December 3rd to discuss ways to improve the reliability and security of the communications infrastructure. The meeting will be streamed at www.fcc.gov/live.
11/19/15 - The FEMA NPT went off well according to reports. Reports from the various states indicate that most stations got the NPT.
In fact, even a non-advertised function went well. Users of the DASDEC EAS receivers reported the ability to get Spanish language versions of the test cleanly and clearly. This demonstrates that it is possible to send language specific alerts to areas of high concentration of various language speakers.
We asked Ed Czarnecki, Monroe Electronics' senior director for strategy and global government affairs, about the multilingual aspect of the test. He said "The NPT was a single CAP message with two information blocks - one in English and the other in Spanish. Each info block contained the full expanded text of the Emergency Alert in each respective language. The CAP message also contained two audio files embedded in the message itself - again English and Spanish.
DASDEC multilingual users have the option to configure their systems to play either language or both.
If the audio file was damaged or unplayable for whatever reason then the DASDEC would utilize fully featured text to speech. However all the multilingual - DASDECs played the original audio file perfectly.
The successful completion of this test gives us and our broadcast partners confidence that we have a flexible and workable path forward to support multilingual public alert and warning in this country.''
11/17/15 - The FEMA continues to roll out regional tests of the IPAWS system. This time, on November 17th at 4:20 EST, the NPT test sequences will be sent to stations in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and Nevada. The location code PEP code will also be part of the test, although the 000000 apparently will not be used as it is not required until next year. There will again be several online seminars available to answer questions. Check with fema.gov for details.
8/10/15 - The FEMA is planning an New England IPAWS test in September (16th), in coordination with state broadcast associations in CT, ME, MA, NH, RI, and VT. The test, at 2:20PM EDT will test the NPT code. There will be an online seminar on September 3rd at 10 AM EDT to answer questions.
7/13/15 - The IPAWS CAP RMT did not run today in the EDT Zone.
6/30/15 - The clock has stared on the R&O items below, as the FCC published them in the Federal Record. There is already some pushback on the ETRS and audio follow video crawl. It remains to be seen if the equipment can be put in place on the the FCC's timeline. FYI: Monroe Electronics (DASDEC) EAS boxes are already programmed for the 000000 and NPT. And, both Gorman-Redlich and TFT have stated that their CAP converters handle the 000000 and NPT.
6/2/15 - Only 3.5 years after the National EAS Test, the FCC has released four proposed improvements to the EAS, in its 6th Report and Order. Among the FCC's proposals:
Within 12 months: designate 000000 as the code for a National Alert (EAN) - and require the use of the code.
Within 12 months: require the ability to use NPT for future national tests, such as the one the FEMA says they are planning.
Within 60 days: Require use of an FCC website to report test data, which would be used in a mapbook to visually demonstrate the propagation of tests.
Within 6 months: Require TV stations to standardize and use tones and crawls to make sure all viewers/listeners can understand any emergency information, even outside of EAS.
Sometime: require the FCC and the FEMA to cooperate.
5/18/15 - The Enforcement shoe has dropped on iHeart Media for the false EAS tones (a repeat of the National EAS Test) run on the Bobby Bones Show in October 24, 2014. The Order for $1 Million in civil penalties (plus a compliance plan) was agreed to by iHeart Media to conclude the matter. It is worth noting that part of the reason for the large settlement was that the program was more than just on locally in Nashville (WSIX) - it was on satellite and carried in a number of markets.
However - it is also worth noting that none of the other radio/TV/cable stations that ran the EAN were - or will be fined. Officially, under the current - non-new-rewritten Part 11 that the FCC has been promising for years - Rules, an EAN must be relayed, but header information was to be observed. That would have prevented the fake EAN from running. But, in typical bureaucratic manner, in reaction to a slight delay at some stations in the 2011 National Test caused by a programming error at the FEMA, a more recent Policy statement and part of the NPRM for Part 11 now says stations are to run an EAN immediately, regardless of the timestamp.
This will need to be sorted out in the - eventual - new Part 11.
5/5/15 - The CAP RWT for the American Samoa time zone was not sent this week.
4/1/15 - Are you ready for the National Public Alering System (NPAS)? No, this is not an April Fools' joke. The NPAS - or "Alert Ready" - is the Canadian system that is now in full operation as of today.
Similar to the EAS rules in the US, the Canadian regulatory agency (CRTC) requires most all radio/TV/satellite/cable/video-on-demand stations to participate in NPAS and broadcast alerts where there is danger to life or property. (There is a one year extension of time for campus/community/ native broadcasters and "radiocommunications distribution" services to comply with the requiremen.)
You can listen to the Canadian Alert Tone here.
Receiver and alerting gear similar to that in the US will be in use, however it appears that broadcasters will have less option in relaying alerts. There is even a national message aggregator, similar to the US IPAWS. The government plans to spend about $2 million on a national marketing campaign to inform the public and encourage them to visit the Alert Ready site, which contains explanations, video examples, and links to agencies that can help during emergencies.
Complete information - including the new rules - on the Canadian NPAS can be found here. Among the interesting facts are that there are 153 event codes (approximately three times as many as in the US) and that SGC (geo-codes) are used which, unlike FIPS, are able to zero in on a very tight localized area, or wide regional spread, as needed.
3/31/15 - "Something" happened with the IPAWS CAP RWT this week. Details are sketchy, but someone from the PSHSB noted it was apparently confined to Comcast cable systems. The official word was: "Yesterday [Monday] at 11am EST Comcast inadvertently released a FEMA [IPAWS] EAS Test Alert to a limited number of its devices. This was not a national issue and affected only certain states." It appears mostly in some Eastern states, but also some as far away as California and Nevada TV stations received and broadcast an odd RWT.
3/24/15 - The Part 11 re-write is coming RSN.
2/9/15 - If you are in the Eastern Time Zone and did not receive an RWT from IPAWS, do not worry. The FEMA did NOT send a CAP RWT this week. Just mark your EAS log appropriately. (The other zones appear OK.)
2/4/15 - IPAWS will do a live test of the NPT code for broadcast and cable operations on Wednesday, March 18th at 2:30PM EST in the following four states:
Michigan - Ohio - Kentucky - Tennessee
The FEMA has planned a tech webinar for participants. It is scheduled for next Wednesday 2/11, at 12 Noon, EST, to go through device configuration. Here is the link
For DASDEC/One-Net owners, an application note on configuring the autoforward for the NPT event test can be found at this link.
1/20/15 - The FCC has issued yet another warning not to play with the EAS tones. Perhaps you remember early last year when the FCC fined NBCUniversal, Disney/ESPN, and Viacom about $2 million for violations, primarly in regards to a commercial for the movie Olympus Has Fallen, run with unauthorized tones in them. NBCUniversal paid their half million, but the others wanted to have the fines reduced or waived. Instead, the FCC has stood fast, and issued an NAL for $1.4 million against Viacom and ESPN, as well as a Public Notice on the matter.
1/5/15 - The first IPAWS CAP RWT for the new year seems to be a double shot. The Eastern and Central time zones are reporting two RWTs about 30 seconds apart.
11/17/14 - The weekly IPAWS CAP RWT was not transmitted to the Mountain time zone today. This has been confirmed by the FEMA and will appear on their end-of-month report.
11/7/14 - The FCC finally said something about the false repeat of the 2011 National EAS Test. They issued a Public Notice late Friday afternoon. They want to alert stations about the possibility of a "Sunday Surprise" and collect comments on the impact of false alerts, as well as how it happened.
11/6/14 - The false repeat of the 2011 National EAS Test may leave a little "Easter Egg" for unsuspecting stations: an EAN could launch on November 9th, if your EAS receiver is "holding" the alert tones sent out by WSIX last week until the date matches. Ed Czarnecki of Monroe Electronics, makers of the DASDEC EAS receivers suggests that "just in case," stations that ran the Bobby Bones Show should check to ensure the fake EAN is not being held in the alert queue. He has provided a detailed instruction sheet to ensure your station will not have a nasty surprise. The Field Service Bulletin is available here. DASDEC really is trying to help: they are working on calling all the stations they know have their units.
On another issue: the call to "set your receivers for 'strict time'" or otherwise ignore EANs with defective timestamps, remember the FCC stated multiple times that "immediately" is the rule: 11.51(m)(2) and 11.52(e)(2). MORE TO THE POINT: only one manufacturer has this menu setting, you will waste your time if you go looking for it on non-sage receivers.
11/3/14 - The FEMA advises the RWT from IPAWS was not sent to the Pacific time zone today.
10/29/14 - Reflecting on some of the issues raised by last week's fake EAN, Richard Rudman discusses some key issues raised and his view of the best way forward.
10/24/14 - An EAN (rebroadcast from the National EAS Test in 2011) was launched this morning. The Tennessee Association of Broadcasters (TAB) reported the source was a board operator a Nashville FM station, relayed by satellite to other markets, including Atlanta GA, Detroit MI, and Austin TX. (Some screen shots of TV alerts can be seen here.)
The tones from the test were dated November 9th and from "COMCAST" ... but it originated, as you can hear here, on the "Bobby Bones Show." On the audio track, the "talent" is making some comment on the previous night's baseball game, but goes way off the reservation with the tones. Curiously, if he had done as he said, replayed a local area test, it would not have gone very far. But the FCC has said that EANs should be carried immediately.
(Note: The FCC has stated that EANs must run "immediately," regardless of time-stamp. We would remind our readers of 11.51(m)(2) and 11.52(e)(2), among other statements.)
This story will continue!
10/20/14 - The RWT from the FEMA IPAWS: Today's test missed the Central time zone. Reports of "normal" reception have come from the East and Mountain time zones. Reports from IL, IN, MN, and WI all say no RWT was received. An acknowledgement from the FEMA confirmed. (One report indicated that the Eastern time zone got two tests: 11:01A and 11:03A.)
10/3/14 - Today, the FEMA announced that they missed the RWT for Alaska on September 15th.
9/17/14 - The test in West Virginia seemed to go off pretty well. The first reports in are that most of the decoders got the test OK, and the text to speech worked just fine. (As expected, a few filters were not set correctly, but that is fixable.) As intended, the test appears to have stayed in WV.
9/12/14 - When will we see the next National EAS Test? Likely in late 2015 or early 2016. The FCC has to adopt the NPT code some additional rules (like mandated reports - the bureaucrat's delight) and ensure cooperation between it and the FEMA.
9/6/14 - West Virginia will be the test bed for the FEMA IPAWS CAP system. A sort of "National" test using the NPT code is scheduled to be done on Wednesday September 17th, except it will be only sent to stations in WV. At least that is the plan. A rebroadcast of the meeting about the test is here. The WVBA posted this message.
Test Info: 2:00 PM EDT on September 17. Event Code: National Periodic Test (NPT)
Originator Code: Primary Entry Point (PEP). Location Code: All of West Virginia
8/13/14 - Some stations using Sage gear are reporting problems with statewide tests using audio files unless they are updated to firmware version 89-8. (Otherwise you get Text-to-Speech only.)
7/14/14 - The NPRM for the long-awaited Part 11 rewrite has finally appeared. The FCC is soliciting comments on changes that need to be made to the EAS Rules. Not every rule is in this NPRM, 14-93, which is probably good, as it will speed this action up. Among the items in this NPRM are the location code for EAN, that the EAN must be immediately aired, some new header codes (NPT = National Test), mandating reporting of NPT coded tests (the ETRS), visual crawl and audio accessibility, and a six-month deadline to replace non-conforming equipment. Comments are open through August 14th (Docket 04-296), with 15 more days for Reply Comments.
5/22/14 - The FCC has extended by 18 months the waiver it issued regarding the Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) PSAs that have been distributed by the FEMA. These PSAs contain WEA EAS tones - which has become a rather lightning rod for fines of late. The FCC says these PSAs may run: The waiver is available here.
DC Attorney Cary Tepper says: "PROCEED WITH CAUTION -- the FCC did not grant an unconditional waiver. The waiver applies only to announcements that 'mak[e] it clear that the WEA Attention Signals are being used in the context of the PSA and for the purpose of educating the viewing or listening public about the functions of their WEA-capable mobile devices and the WEA program.' The FCC warned that 'leading off a PSA with a WEA Attention Signal, without warning, may be an effective attention-getting device, but it would violate the conditions of this waiver because of the effect that it could have on the listening or viewing public.'"
Tepper urges folks "to screen all FEMA PSAs containing an emergency tone to ensure it is a WEA (and not an EAS) tone, and that the PSA meets the FCC's waiver conditions and therefore does not pose a risk of confusing the public as to whether an emergency is actually occurring."
4/21/14 - Tthe IPAWS CAP RWT did not run in the CDT zone. Information from the FEMA indicates that this time zone was missed during the test this week.
4/14/14 - From comments at NAB: The FCC plans the NPRM on the Part 11 rewrite to actually happen later this year. Stations should make sure their EAS gear is behind a firewall, to reduce possibilities of hacking. There has been some discussion with the NWS over message flooding. And, they will be more aggressive on the use of EAS tones and soundalikes in spots.
4/6/14 - DASDEC EAS firmware has been updated to Version 2.5-0. It is available at: digitalalertsystems.com
3/11/14 - Still waiting for the Part 11 re-write? You may need to wait longer. The FCC released a Public Notice today, seeking comment on EAS issues such as supporting multilingual information matters. If you desire to comment, you can do it on line, on the ECFS. (The Cocket number is 04-296)
3/7/14 - This has been a real strange week for EAS. "Leaking" Live Code tests, fake EAS tests, and even a couple that no one can account for in public. The latest news is that Kingsford Charcoal is planning to release an ad on Monday that contains EAS Tones. It is the advice of the NAB, among others, not to run this spot!
3/5/14 - Today's live code test in IL appears to have "leaked" somehow into parts of Indiana - both on broadcast stations and cell phones. There is no complete explanation as yet, but it did surprise a number of stations - and likely listeners. Rreports (Yahoo, Fox, jconline.com) suggest it was an old alert from Nov 17th last year. A few folks are trying to trace this back,
Live code (real, regular EAS Codes, not DMO) tests have been announced for a number of states. Currently:
On March 4th, KY, IL, and SC had a TOR test. (Some stations in NC reported the alert)
On March 6th, MO plans a TOR test. (moved from 3/4)
On March 11th, VA will do a TOR test.
On March 27th, AK will do a TSW.
On April 24th, WI will do a TOR.
If you are in or near these states, you will want to be aware and careful, lest it panic your listeners.
(Alaska, Indiana, and South Dakota also have plans for live code tests. AK sends a TSW on March 27th, and a CAE later in the year.)
3/3/14 - OK, one more time: it is illegal to use EAS tones for anything but EAS activations. No movie trailers, no news reports, no silliness. The FCC is not amused. This NAL for $1.9 million to Disney, Viacom, and NBCUniversal push off all excuses - include weasel-wording from lawyers saying it was not "transmitted," or it was not false, or it was "obvious." Broadcasters, cable networks, anyone who transmits or causes to be transmitted the EAS tones will find themselves in hot water. That is the FCC's strong message. Got it?
2/19/14 - Yes, some stations still do not understand the need for an EAS receiver. KBDX-AM in Dallas, TX received an NALF for $9k for not having an operational EAS receiver nor logs.
1/13/14 - The IPAWS CAP RWT was not received by some stations. Reports do say tests were received in EST, CST, MST, and PST. A software issue with the SAGE endec caused users to miss reception. A common comment was:
Jan 13 18:00:33 VerifyCap: verify_cap exited with error 114
Jan 13 18:00:33 Validation error for 68628 (114), alert ignored
IPAWS did issue a statement that there was a problem. Sage now acknowledges there is an issue - a security certificate used to authenticate IPAWS messages has expired in the ENDEC - and a software 89.6 and separate certificate update is pending on the sage alerting systems site.
Checking with other companies: Digital Alert Systems (DASDEC) confirms no certificate issues are forseen for their products. TFT has also indicated no issues are anticipated.
1/8/14 - The FEMA IPAWS office issued a statement to try to resolve some of the comments recently about a proposal floated by FEMA that appeared to indicate a desire to privatize or outsize the IPAWS CAP services. Antwane Johnson wrote that IPAWS "does not anticipate that there would be any changes to the IPAWS-OPEN alert input or output interfaces and no impact to our alert origination and alert dissemination partners beyond normal planned functional improvements."
12/10/13 - The FEMA CAP Server apparently has been operating without major issues over the past month. All time zones report receiving all the scheduled RWTs.
12/1/13 - Several states are now experimenting with voice messages attached to the CAP RWTs. The initial reports are the the audio files are clearer than Text-to-speech. However, clearly this will depend upon the conditions where the audio is recorded.
11/20/13 - Chairman Tom Wheeler has announced his choice to head the PSHSB (Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau) and replace RAdm Jamie Barnett. The new Chief will be RAdm David Simpson.
11/5/13 - The FCC finally has issued more than a mere Public Notice regarding the use of EAS tones (and sound alikes) in ads, promos, and programming. Bottom line: it is illegal. A rather large fine has been proposed for Turner Broadcast for violating this rule. And a Bowling Green, KY station agreed to make a $39k 'voluntary contribution' to clear them running EAS tones in a commercial.
10/21/13 - Sage has released a firmware update: V89.6 to solve a problem with text to speech. Other recent updates involve issues such as IPAWS polling. The update. And some information on updates. (Thanks to: Todd Hausser)
10/14/13 - As reported, the FEMA decided the RWT was not "essential" during the partial federal shutdown, and did not run it. Nothing official will be offered until the end of the month, but all time zones reported no RWT this week.
10/7/13 - Thus far reports indicate FEMA ran the CAP RWT this week as scheduled, despite the other silliness going on in Washington, DC this week. We must give credit when due!
9/25/13 - Richard Rudman says: "It is a good thing when the National Weather Service (NWS) warns the public when bad weather threatens life and property. Yet,some EAS participants are wondering if there can be too much of a good thing. Some parts of the country are experiencing many NWS EAS weather warnings in very short periods of time that, despite their good intent, may be excessively disrupting programming and driving listeners and viewers away. The Broadcast Warning Working Group (BWWG) wants to find out if EAS participants are cutting back on the number of NWS EAS events they relay. They have created a short survey to find out. Here's the link to the survey:
https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/RC62CGC
The BWWG will report back with the results of the survey.
9/24/13 - The FCC has issued a Public Notice inviting comments on equipment and operational issues related to the first National EAS Test in November 2011. Comments are due by October 23rd. The Docket Number 04-296. The Public Notice is located here.
9/23/13 - We have reports of missing CAP RWTs today. On good authority we can tell you that the scheduled RWTs seem to be missing for the Eastern, Mountain, and Pacific time zones today. Apparently FEMA sent only Guam, Atlantic, Central and Alaska time zones thus far. Any missed CAP RWTs will be listed in the monthly summary provided by FEMA. (You do not get the monthly summary? Sign up here.)
9/17/13 - Nebraska conducted a CAP text-to-speech test through IPAWS. Most stations reported success. A number of states are now running with CAP tests through the IPAWS server. Stations are cautioned to check the logs carefully to see where the tests come from - as it is no longer always the national FEMA folks.
9/2/13 - Perhaps in honor of Labor Day it was a day off at the FEMA. They have now confirmed that they did not issue an RWT as has been the custom on Mondays.
8/9/13 - Interested in a summary of the state of EAS in mid-2013? Richard Rudman presented this information to the Texas Association of Broadcasters this week.
8/9/13 - The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) has come out with a "quiet hours" directive for AMBER alerts for WEA between the hours of 10 PM and 7 AM.
7/22/13 - This week's FEMA CAP RWT failed to connect in Connecticut due to an incorrect FIPS code. Apparently a digit was left off the state code.
7/15/13 - The FCC has rejected waiver requests from three companies for not having installed new EAS Receivers (CAP Compliant) by the June 30, 2012 deadline. Each appeared to have waited too long to get their receivers ordered in time for delivery before the deadline. There was no specific fine nor indication of when/if the FCC would issue such a fine, but it was made clear that waivers have to meet a very high standard to succeed.
7/15/13 - Reports this morning indicated the Weekly test in the EDT zone went missing due to a programming error. The IPAWS CAP Server was up, but the EDT test was not sent. This has been confirmed with the FEMA folks.
7/9/13 - Several publications, including ZDNet and Wired have reported security holes in DASDEC EAS boxes. This is old information, as DAS had released firmware in April to resolve any issues. More information is here. All DASDEC units should be updated to V2.0-2 at the DAS site.
6/10/13 - There are widespread reports from around the country that there have been glitches in the IPAWS CAP Server this morning during the overnight hours and at 8:45AM, 9:09AM and 9:46AM EDT. Several stations in the CDT time zone reported not receiving the weekly test.
6/6/13 - Monroe Electronics/Digital Alert Systems released an advisory to remind stations about ensuring security for their EAS codecs - and to be sure they have the latest software update. A discussion of the "Zombie Alert" and related issues is located here.
5/31/13 - The FCC PSHSB has rather rapidly released an Order which permits playing the FEMA/Ad Council ads for cell phone alerts. The waiver is for a year.
5/30/13 - It really is hard to know how to react to this one. Remember the FEMA web page with "useful advice" on what to do in an emergency (How checking local radio stations was at the end of the list)? Well, then you may be non-plussed to see this new PSA (there are similar radio spots) that the FEMA expects broadcasters to run, telling people that they can rely upon cellphone alerts to make them secure. (The people in Norman, OK will be glad to tell you how useful cellphones were after the tornado hit. And, even when they work and the cell companies transmit - which many do not - the WEA message is limited to 90 characters. Then what? )
But if that were not enough, included is a free violation of the FCC Rules (11.45). Although some reports indicate the tones have been made shorter and lower in level, several state associations have already told their members to pull any such spots that they have in house. We will leave it to you to ponder this one.
5/29/13 - There is another software update for the Sage digital EAS boxes; 89.5. This update is to correct some issues with CAP Audio, especially when over one minute in length. Those of you on DASDEC boxes can get their 2.02 update here. If you have not updated your EAS boxes, you should, to ensure good connection to the FEMA server.
5/28/13 - The FEMA IPAWS OPEN CAP Server was done this morning from approximately 02:57 to after 9AM EDT. It appears there were differing times in different time zones.
5/14/13 - A number of stations reported intermittant CAP service today. It was across the country, but it appeared that only a portion of stations were affected.
5/2/13 - The PSHSB (Public Safety and Homeland Safety Bureau) of the FCC has issued a statement encouraging the SECC's to update their state plans and monitoring assignments. An outgrowth of the recent report on the National EAS test, the FCC wants SECCs to review Section 11.21 and ensure it is up-to-date. Some changes may only need informal latters.
5/2/13 - The FEMA and Premiere Networks are working on a plan to provide an additional data path to stations from the IPAWS OPEN server. A date for implementation has not yet been announced, but most observers see any additional options for receiving the CAP messages is good for the industry.
4/18/13 - The IPAWS CAP server was down today from 7:59 to 8:16AM EDT
4/12/13 - You may breath again! All those of you who have been holding their breath, waiting for the FCC's report on the National EAS Test. It was released Friday - just after the NAB Spring Show.
Highlights:
The FCC called the test an overall success.
Audio quality was poor due to a FEMA connection issue.
13,787 broadcasters reported - and 83% said they got it and relayed, even though the audio was poor.
Three PEP stations did not get the test, and those regions missed it.
The abrupt shortening of the test made it less useful for diagnostics.
Some EAS boxes did not perform as expected, but did as mandated.
Another national test is needed.
Additional audio paths need to be explored.
A number of monitoring assigments were apparently not correct.
The FCC needs to move to get Part 11 updated, and receive updated State and Local plans filed.
The FCC suggests initiating a web-based reporting system for EAS tests.
3/13/13 - Monroe Electronics and Digital Alert Systems have delivered the first CAP-enabled receivers for Canada's multilingual NAAD (Net Alert Aggregation and Dissemination) system. Fully functional in English and French-Canadian, the DASDEC and R189 One-Net systems can provide CAP-driven audio announcements for weather alerts and civil emergencies. The DASDEC now handles English, Spanish, and Canadian-French.
3/11/13 - The IPAWS CAP server was reported up and down this morning, for example: from 8:25 to 9:22AM EDT and 9:31 to 9:42AM EDT.
3/7/13 - This past Monday's RWT from the FEMA was not received by some users with DASDEC EAS receivers. The focus on what happened is on a minor issue with the scheduled software update that was made to the IPAWS aggregator last week.
If you did not get the test, just note it "failed" and determined that it was not a local problem.
Broadcasters should not be unduly worried at this point, as a software update will certainly be forthcoming to fix things. Whether or not everyone will receive next Monday's RWT from the IPAWS CAP server as usual will depend on how things are handled. More information will be posted as available.
3/6/13 - TFT has received Certification from the FCC on their new EAS911+ CAP-enabled EAS receiver. The unit has also complete FEMA compliance testing for CAP decoding. TFT will be showing the product at the NAB Spring Show next month.
3/5/13 - Another movie trailer - for "Olympus Has Fallen" - is running around the country with EAS tones included. While the tones have not yet been reported to contain any useful information, it is a violation of 73.1217 - it may be worthwhile to inform your traffic/sales/management. (The producer is supposely doing a remake without the tones - but check which version you may be airing!)
2/28/13 - The FEMA has finally responded to many requests by the BWWG and others for delivering information on the IPAWS OPEN server status and the occasional issues. They have set up a mailing list which also will inform users of the status of the weekly tests, so users can compare with their local logs, and information on when problems occur. To sign up, go here.
2/26/13 - A web seminar has been scheduled for Wednesday, March 6th to discuss the state of the public warning systems and how to improve them, especially on the state and local level. The time for the broadcast is 2PM Eastern time. The link to the broadcast is here.
2/26/13 - NPR is in the midst of a study to see how stations can better serve deaf persons with EAS messages. Methods may include strobe lights or vibrators actiivated by RDS signals.
2/26/13 - A scheduled outage of the IPAWS OPEN CAP Server has been announced for Wednesday 9:30 to 10:00 AM EST tomorrow (Wednesday) 2/27. There is to be a software upgrade.
2/25/13 - The FCC has renamed CMAS as WEA - Wireless Emergency Alerts.
2/12/13 - Here is a bit more of what facts we know about the fake EAS event Monday:
Of the six stations affected, all were either without firewalls or using improperly provisioned firewalls.
Of the six stations affected, all were still using the default password.
A threat by "Anonymous" to disrupt the President's speech on the Internet drove a lot of high level activity.
The vast majority of stations are not in any danger of attack in the same way.
SECCs, LECCs, the FCC, and the FEMA need to consider what other adjustments need to be made to provide a higher level of security to the entire EAS, and prevent a cascade "prank."
The main threat has been - and will continue to be - to the Internet connectivity of any business. If your company has not previously looked at the logs of "attempted entries" to your system, do so, and be enlightened. Remember: most stations now have some sort of IP connection for remote control, consoles, processors, and more. All of these need protection.
2/12/13 -
The intrusion was not a "general hack."
It was not an exploit of a known vulnerability.
It was a penetration into a station's network and then a logon into their EAS receiver.
It appears a YouTube video from 2009 (note the comments), was the source for the mp3 that was uploaded to the EAS box.
Key point: The unauthorized EAS device access and subsequent alert happened because the system was still using the factory default password. While no one has admitted to not having a working firewall, one station did claim that their attack was launched from another continent.
To repeat: While it has be indicated the event developed from a breech of a company LAN, the resulting on-air issue was due to the failure of stations to change the default passwords.
Please check your EAS box now and verify that the password has been changed!
It would also be a smart thing to check your firewall to ensure it is operating properly to keep non-authorized personnel out of your LAN.
Do not connect your EAS box directly to the Internet.
If at all possible, do not place your EAS box on the same network as used by any air talent. All it takes is one Trojan Horse, and it is as good as having no protection.
If you are unsure of the above, the FCC recommends you unplug your EAS box until it is fixed.
Another problem popped up today. Several stations, and apparently NBC Today played the audio on the air, including the databursts. There have been scattered reports of stations relaying this. It is a good idea to ensure filters are set correctly (fips codes), and the relay time window does not accept outdated alerts.
2/11/13 - Have you changed the passwords on your EAS receivers from the default? If not, please be aware that hackers have managed to penetrate EAS CAP receivers in at least two states and put out a fake alert. Other stations caught it and blocked it in at least three states. Do not operate with your default password! A few sites have video/audio of the event.
2/11/13 - The FEMA advises us that the IPAWS OPEN Server still is intermittantly up and down at 6AM EST. It has been reported to be back up at 9:33AM EST, although some areas reported problems until 2:30PM EST
2/10/13 - The IPAWS OPEN CAP Server went down at 10PM EST.
1/16/13 - Lamar Smith (KDWN Las Vegas) was the latest to be added to the PEPAC (Primary Entry Point Advisory Committee), The ten member committee helps bridge the FCC and the FEMA with the PEP (Primary Entry Point) stations in each state.
1/10/13 - The FCC report on the Derecho storms last year have a couple of interesting points. While they "like" what the broadcast community does, the writers also appear to think 911 and other alerting methods like CMAS are the future.
1/10/13 - A presentation at NAB by the FEMA's Wade Witmer and representatives from NOAA and the cellular industry discussed the state of alerting, especially the current CMAS rollout. Some of the topics included the rather difficult time the cellular industry is having getting the right messages to the right subscribers.
1/9/13 - EAS ALERT : If you were wondering when the FCC was going to enforce the requirements for stations to monitor IPAWS OPEN CAP feeds, wonder no longer. An NOV was issued to KPRI, San Diego for not having records of monitoring the CAP feeds nor reasons why tests were not received.
12/31/12 - Another IPAWS OPEN outage has been reported, starting around 9:30 AM EST. It appears to have been completely restored by 2:30PM. The outages seem to be different in some areas. e.g. The MST Monday test was received normally.
12/24/12 - The FEMA IPAWS OPEN server was reported to be up and down approximately 8:32PM - 12:20 AM EST
12/20/12 - Another "rolling restart" was apparently done successfully.
12/17/12 - The FEMA plans a "rolling restart" of the ATOM server at 3 PM EST today.
12/14/12 - The IPAWS OPEN server is reported down at 4:24PM EST. Restoration appears to be at approximately 5:22 PM EST. What was described as a "rolling restart" process did not, and a manual restart happened. The FEMA is looking into what happened.
12/12/12 - The IPAWS OPEN server went down today, but without any advance notice, at 11:23AM EST. Complete restoration was finally at approximately 12:45PM EST.
12/11/12 - The FEMA has been doing an upgrade on the IPAWS OPEN server. It was supposed to take a few hours today (Tuesday), but late at night, there was information that there was a snag, and the installation of a mirror server would have to be done another time. The plan for an "active-active" system with rollover, is hoped to prevent any systemic outages in the future - one of the two servers always being active and an automatice "failover" going into effect in case of problems.
(Prior known outages of the FEMA IPAWS OPEN server are located here.)
10/29/12 - Hurricane Sandy smashed into the East Coast today. Few EAS messages were sent, as it was pretty clear this was coming and the wall-to-wall coverage on the TV nets and many "full service" radio stations pretty much informed everyone. On the other hand, the FCC and FEMA have other ideas on how you may wish to communicate - or at least some might think the priorities are a bit upside-down. At least they got to radio. Broadcasters should feel "special."
10/26/12 - The New Jersey Broadcasters' Association reports that the state's EAS systems suffered a major outage after a lightning strike caused major issues with new EMnet system. A backup trunked radio system also failed at the same time, prompting calls for more periodic testing to ensure both the EAS and backup systems were always ready.
10/15/12 - For those of you who wonder how tests of emergency alert systems work in other countries, perhaps it will provide a small sense of perverse comfort to know that having problems during national tests is not confined to the US.
IPAWS OPEN CAP and the RWT
The FEMA has listened to requests from the BWWG and the broadcast community and announced the IPAWS OPEN RWTs will continue TFN.
These tests - scheduled for Monday at 10 AM local standard time (11 AM DST) for the main time zone in each state - will be initiated by the IPAWS OPEN CAP server each week
Exactly does it mean for a station to be "compliant?"
Each station must purchase, install, and make operative an EAS receiver capable of receiving CAP/EAS messages. The most important change from previous operation is that a station must be connected to the IPAWS CAP server and receiving data. That, of course, requires the new generation of decoders and a wideband Internet connection. At this time, none of the various state/area aggregator tests are required. This will change as state and local plans - or amendments - are filed with the FCC but, as of now, in most places, you are only adding the CAP/EAS to your existing state plan.
Do you have to log the tests from the IPAWS server?
Yes. ALL TESTS FOR YOUR AREA that are received - and decoded - should be logged, according to the FCC. Tests from other states/areas that are not in your decode chart are not required.
If there is a problem with the IPAWS RWT tests, what should be done?
The FCC currently says that stations may just put "Did not receive RWT from IPAWS" or some such notation. If you know why there was a problem, add that. However, there is no urgent need to search out and log the reason. If we know of any IPAWS OPEN issues, we will note them above.
Will the FEMA have a web page to explain problems/errors?
According to the FEMA, not at this time. Their main concern is that you have a "connected" status. Beyond that, they will distribute information as available, but not necessarily on any schedule.
How often should you poll the IPAWS server?
Some suggestions range from every 30 seconds, to 60 seconds, to as long as 5 minutes. At this time it is up to the station. A slide on a FEMA presentation says 30 seconds. Some receivers default to 60 seconds. In the future, when state and local alerts may be transmitted by CAP, some may feel there is a need to be on the slower end of the scale, but many system experts say 30 seconds is too often.
IPAWS OPEN SERVICE CONNECTION TIPS
The three most common problems for those installing new EAS receivers:
1. Make sure you have the most current software. (Especially Sage owners)
2. Have the IPAWS server name (FQDN) entered in the setup.
3. Ensure your firewall will allow you to poll the server.
If you still have issues, contact your receiver's tech support line.
7/9/12 - Sage owners: there is a software glitch that causes the receiver to lock up. It may be related to momentary loss of connection with the IPAWS or CAP server. A reboot usually resolves the problem. Sage has indicated they will have a software update to try to resolve this issue (Version 89.2).
12/22/11 -The FEMA has released a new online course designed by Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS), for emergency managers and others. The course, IS-247, is designed to support and test skills needed to draft more appropriate, effective, and accessible warning messages and to teach practices for the effective use of Common Alerting Protocol (CAP).
Anyone can go through the course and file the test, seeking certification. (It will also give broadcasters an idea of what local EMs are expected to know.)
The FEMA expects to require this training for all emergency warning centers before they are permitted to upload warnings to the FEMA OPEN aggregator server. Completion of IS-247 will also be required for any alerting official to send an alert via IPAWS, and is also to be made part of the NIMS (National Incident Management System), and certification being required in order for agencies to get federal funding.
EAS QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Definitions (if all those abbreviations and acronyms confuse you) back to the top
Questions:
Q: What is now required to be on the EAS Log each week?
A: Each station must receive an RWT each week from each monitoring assignment (LP1, LP2, NWR, IPAWS OPEN, etc) as required by the FCC or as noted in the current State Plan. Each station must send an RWT each week. Once each month an RMT must be received and relayed.
If a test is not received or sent, a notation must be made in the EAS log acknowledging the failure and the reason for the failure, after the Chief Operator investigates.
Q: Is it true that the FCC requires that OTA (over the air relay) must be used when crafting EAS local and state plans, and will continue that requirement when Part 11 has been re-written.
A: Nowhere in Part 11 is it stated that EAS plans must use OTA systems to propagate EAS messages. Wireless state and local relay networks (LRN's) can (and in the opinion of the BWWG should) be used as point-multi-point distribution means for EAS from warning centers to as many broadcast and cable entry points as possible. There will be exceptions, but OTA Relaying of EAS messages (Daisy Chain) is a carry over from EBS and is (and should only be) only used by those who choose to continue to do so in their EAS plans because there is no other alternative.
Washington state and some other areas are already implementing various forms of LRN's for CAP (Common Alerting Protocol) EAS. At the Federal level the need for relay using CAP should end when all entities subject to Part 11 have their CAP boxes installed and have programmed in IP addresses so they can poll CAP message aggregators. OTA Relaying of EAS messages (Daisy Chain) is a carry over from EBS and is only used by those that choose to continue to do so.
Q: Does CAP automatically play embedded audio files for the voice portion of CAP-EAS messaging for broadcast?A: No. At TV stations the CAP Text Message data stream generates a video screen crawl. The data stream also generates audio from a text-to-speech feature built into the EAS box. Radio uses the text-to-speech feature. This completely eliminates the problems with poor audio quality for "Classic EAS". Yes, CAP messages can carry embedded audio files, but to get around payload/throughput problems they can be posted for download and referred to by putting their URL's in the CAP message.
Q: What about the CAP Converters?A: Several manufacturers have produced add-on boxes that will decode the CAP transmissions and feed them to an existing EAS receiver. At this moment, that seems to satisfy the FCC's requirements.
Q: What has been settled?A: CAP V 1.2 has been adopted by FEMA. The CAP is a very powerful tool that can really improve warnings. (Want to know more about CAP? CAP V 1.2 is described here, 3rd entry from the top.) Q: Will there be changes in Part 11?A: Yes. This is one reason some manufacturers have held back in production of EAS boxes, until the all Part 11 changes are known. The FCC has called for comments and promises to release the Part 11 changes "real soon now."
There still remains a big missing link in Part 11 - there is still no firm connection to local emergency management to make sure that warnings and tests originate properly from the people who have the real responsibility to warn -- i.e., the emergency managers. It is doubtful Part 11 will ever have this included without Congressional action for any number of reasons.
Q: Who is in charge of EAS: the FEMA or the FCC?A: A very good question. A fair part of the controversy right now is that FEMA IPAWS was originally designed to cover only federal issues geared to federal government continuity, not local/state warnings, mandatory governor level and governor-designee messages, or even AMBER Alerts.
IPAWS scope was extended to the state/local level after prodding by the BWWG, NAB and NASBA, but all the pieces to make this a reality are not in place yet. The FEMA's work to date also does not take into consideration all the elements of state and local concerns that are definitely part of the FCC's Second Report and Order on EAS. This disconnect needs to be worked out.
Q: Something else you'd like to know? Ask and we shall try to find the answers. Use the contact form below.Definitions:
CAP - Common Alerting Protocol
IPAWS - Integrated Public Alert and Warning System
OPEN - Open Platform for Emergency Networks
SOAP - Simple Object Access Protocol
CSRIC - Communications Security, Reliability and Interoperability Council
ECIG - EAS-CAP Industry Group
STATE PLANS
For those worried about the requirements in Part 11 about the State Plan and State Map, the FCC is not expecting new State Plans. At this point, they are asking for "Amendments" to existing plans - and the maps are for a future time.
WEA .... CMAS
2/25/13 - The FCC has renamed CMAS as WEA - Wireless Emergency Alerts.
6/28/12 - National Weather Radio is now sending out weather alerts to mobile devices that are enabled to receive the CMAS. These alerts - various warnings - announced on the NWS Home Page are in CAP and will include Tornado and Flash Flood Warnings, Hurricane, Typhoon, Dust Storm and Extreme Wind Warnings Blizzard and Ice Storm Warnings, and Tsunami Warnings. More information is on the NWS site here. A chart of the warnings is here. News reports indicate some alerts have already been sent/received in different parts of the US.
THE 2011 NATIONAL EAS TEST
More info on the National EAS Test is archived here.
1/26/13 - The FCC still has not finished its study of the November National EAS Test.
10/15/12 - For those of you who wonder how tests of emergency alert systems work in other countries, perhaps it will provide a small sense of perverse comfort to know that having problems during national tests is not confined to the US.
11/29/11 - FEMA held a web broadcast to officially announce the National EAS Test was a success. Diagnosis for the problems with the audio during the National EAN Test - the output of an EAS encoder being backfed into the conference bridge - placed blame on the failure of the FEMA Failsafe (... see the item dated 11/12/11 below).
During the discussion, which saw a number of questions raised and discussed, FEMA and FCC representatives said they learned a lot from the test - and after they finish reviewing the reports, plan to issue the new Part 11 Rules.
The three-minute delay experienced by some EAS receivers holding the test until the time programmed in the headers (2:03 PM) was explained as an incorrect setting on the FEMA encoder.
A highlight of the discussion was when Suzanne Goucher of the Maine Assn. of Broadcasters revealed that Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) plans to introduce legislation in the US Senate to direct FEMA to officially authorize the IPAWS program created by President Bush in 2006, but never made into law. The Bill would create an advisory committee to direct EAS training by FEMA would be incorporated into the National Incident Management System (NIMS); all entities wishing FEMA funding would have to be trained on EAS operations. FEMA funds would be allocated by law for this, to ensure some Congressional oversight of the IPAWS program.
Other information mentioned during the broadcast included mention that another National Test will be planned, likely next year; the need to deal with the sociology of warnings where people tend to ignore them; the need to deal with the TV/Cable issue where systems force-tune viewers to one feed, rather than letting viewers stay with local stations; and suggestions that future tests have clear goals and a definition of success or failure set out before the next test.
A Note to everyone: We could sit here and give you paragraphs of quotes from people who thought the National EAS Test was "the best ever" or "a total failure" - and everything inbetween. We could relate some of the finger-pointing that has gone on, from bureaucrats to the Congress - and our opinion of that. However, we are not sure that helps anyone.
If the test had been run by broadcasters, you would have known the problems and solutions within hours. Unfortunately, things do not run quite that fast inside the Beltway. So, until the web broadcast where the FEMA says they will discuss their extensive post-test testing, you may find the explanations below sufficient. When there is a clear narrative of the path ahead, you will find it right here. (Feel free to bookmark this page, we will post something as soon as we know it.)
11/15/11 - Following the National EAS Test, Rep Greg Walden, R-OR, has announced he plans "bipartisan hearings" on Thursday at the House Communications Subcommittee to question the FCC and the FEMA. Noting that most of Oregon did not receive the test, Walden's sub-committee will ask "what worked, what didn't and where we can go to fix it."
11/14/11 - A hacker in San Francisco has given Anonymous code that could place a fake EAS message on the air.
11/12/11 THE ANSWER to the audio mess!
After analyzing the EAN audio, it has been confirmed that a hardware failure related to the FEMA Bridge at a PEP station - WCCO - was the cause of the audio loop back to the FEMA sending source - a conference bridge. That affected most everyone who got their test via a path from the FEMA PEP bridge and explains why the audio from sample points around the country are very similar.
If you follow the stations in the chart below, there seems to be some correlation between the decoders that worked and those that did not. There were two aspects that appear to be involved:
The headers. A receiver needs to decode two of the three data bursts to initiate a valid alert. If the signal or audio is marginal, this could cause only one data burst to be "recognized" ... which on some machines (the digital Sages, for example) would cause whatever was on the air to be stopped - then silence until the EOM was received.
The audio levels. It seems like some receivers were very touchy on audio levels, causing distortion that might make it harder for the bursts to be decoded. Previous tests had shown most EAS receivers could decode bursts with significant distortion, but some of the newer digital machines apparently had trouble if the levels were not in a narrow range.
Reports also indicate that some with DASDEC receivers got the audio and WAITED
until 2:03 EST to play the EAN, just as the receiver was designed - to react to the time stamps on the alert. One state was late into their test as the feed from FEMA was unexpectedly lost, and that or something similar may be part of the lack of audio in two other states. Oregon Public Broadcasting was said to have had technical issues, preventing most stations in the state from getting the test.
We are still chasing down what happened in the places where no audio was received at all. It does seem that some EAS receivers, upon receipt of a header, mute audio. If, it is postulated, the rest of the header was not decoded properly, it could have left the stream with no audio. More answers are expected, as the bureaucrats say, RSN.
In the meantime, we will try to offer some more diagnostic info for any of you who want to do more analysis. Here is some other audio,as recorded around the country (if you can add to the information, please let us know!):
EAN Source
Encoder
Receiving Station
Decoder
NotesKIIM, Tucson, AZ KOHN, Sells, AZTFT2
KFWB, Los Angeles - PEPSageKNX, Los AngelesSage-D5
KNX, Los Angeles KLTX, Long Beach, CASage-D5
KFI, Los Angeles KXLA/KXOL, Los Angeles 5
KCBS, San Francisco KQED, San FranciscoSage-D1
NPR Squawk KQEI, SacramentoSage-D5
KCBS, San Francisco - LP1 KTRB, San FranciscoSage1
WTAM - Cleveland WHBC, Canton OH 1
WQXK, Salem, OH 5
WHKO, Dayton, OH - LP1 WSWO-LP, Huber Heights, OHDASDEC II5
WASK, Lafayette, IN WBAA, West Lafayette, INTFT5
WHO, Des Moines, IA - PEP 1
WRKO, Boston 1
WICY, Canton, NYBurk4
NPR - PEP WMRA, Harrisonburg, VABurk4
NPR Squawk WUVT, Blacksburg, VASage-D5
KORD, Richland, WA 1
KPTZ, Port Townsend, WA 3
KLBJ, Austin, TX (TSN?)SageKUT, Austin, TXSage2
KJXJ, Franklin, TX KUTX, Somerville, TX 5
KNOW, MN Public RadioSageKVSC, St Cloud, MNSage-D3
WRVM, Suring, WI 4
KNOW, Mpls/St. Paul, MN 1
WJR, Detroit - PEPSage NPR WKAR - State PrimarySage
WKAR - State PrimarySageWCSG, Grand Rapids, MI 1
WKAR - State PrimarySageWHMI, Howell, MITFT5
WKAR - State PrimarySageMichigan Radio NetworkTFT Michigan Radio NetworkTFTWTCM, Traverse City, MITFT5
KFYR - PEP KDLR, Devils Lake, NDDASDEC II1
WSM-FM - PEP, Nashville, TN WFCM, Murfreesboro, TNDASDEC II1
WQDR, Raleigh, NC - PEP WVJD-LP, Raleigh, NCSage-D5
WDCG, Raleigh, NC WQDR, Raleigh, NCSage1
WJGH, Jacksonville, FL - LP1SageWYRE, St. Augustine, FLSage4
WFBC-FM - LP1 WCKI, SCDASDEC II2
Notes:
Looped Audio, but understandable
Looped Audio, very difficult to understand
Completely unusable audio - truncated
Completely unusable audio - feedback
Silence aside from databursts and/or a few words (often affected by processing)
TV AND SATELLITE VIDEO:
Twin Cities Public Television, Minneapolis, MN
Don Heppelmann says: "The bottom four boxes are KSMQ-DT in Austin Minnesota.
TCPT provides their master control, but they do their own EAS.
The Four middle boxes are Comcast, DirecTV, Dish, and Comcast.
The rest are Twin Cities Public Television over the air services."
WAS THE NATIONAL EAS TEST DOOMED AT THE SOURCE?
FIRST OF ALL: It was a test! It was only a test! No matter what the national media or Lady Gaga lovers say, it was a test. It was largely, in that sense a success, because if nothing else, most every receiver got the header and opened. If nothing else, it is much clearer what needs to be fixed. And, since most of the EAS is volunteer, it gives some impetous to make some changes in the relationship between mandated broadcasters and the feds.
Audio from NPR shows that the "echo" and the looping may well have started at FEMA. There is some thought that the way EAN works is that when the header came around again, the receivers grabbed it and "overrode" the first test. That would explain the tones on top of the message.
Some other audio from around the country (the calls may be
AND SO IT GOES!
Reports from around the country indicate a lot of things need to be worked on.
There were tones over audio, low level audio, echo, aborted audio, and more. Some stations only got the EAS tones and no audio. Others got six words and then silence.
It appears that Oregon mostly did not get the EAN, those that got anything only got tones. This was also reported in Minnesota.
However, here is the bright side: in most cases, the EAS boxes did receive and decode the EAN headers. Perhaps it is time now to address the audio chain..... perhaps put some broadcasters on to it???
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Course Summary
Mon, 15 Jan 2018 23:11
Table of Contents:
Course OverviewThe goal of this course is to provide authorized public safety officials with:
Increased awareness of the benefits of using IPAWS for effective public warningsSkills to draft more appropriate, effective, and accessible warning messagesBest practices in the effective use of Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) to reach all members of their communitiesLesson OverviewThis lesson provides an overview of IPAWS, its operation and benefits.
Upon completion of this lesson, you should be able to:
Define Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS).Identify the benefits of using IPAWS for generating warnings.Describe IPAWS operation.
IPAWS OverviewThe Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) is a comprehensive, coordinated, integrated system that can be used by authorized public officials to deliver effective alert messages to the American public.
IPAWS is the nation's next-generation infrastructure of alert and warning networks. IPAWS ensures the President can alert and warn the public under any condition. Additionally, IPAWS will provide Federal, State, territorial, tribal, and local warning authorities the capabilities to alert and warn their communities of all hazards impacting public safety and well-being via multiple communication pathways. FEMA is upgrading the alert and warning infrastructure so that no matter what the crisis, the public will receive life-saving information via at least one path.
IPAWS Architectural DiagramIPAWS allows alerting authorities to write their own message using commercially available software that is compliant with open standards. The message is then delivered to the IPAWS Open Platform for Emergency Networks (OPEN) where it is authenticated, and then delivered simultaneously through multiple communications pathways reaching as many people as possible to save lives and protect property.
The graphic below summarizes IPAWS architecture. We will go over it in detail later in this lesson.
IPAWS BackgroundClick on each link below to learn more about the background on IPAWS.
Presidential vs. Local Alerting: IPAWS ensures that under all conditions the President of the United States can alert and warn the American people in situations of war, terrorist attack, natural disaster, or other hazards to public safety and well-being. However, it also recognizes that most alerts and warnings are issued at the state and local level, allowing authorized users to create location-specific alerts that are scaled to cover areas as big as their entire jurisdiction or a much smaller area within their jurisdiction.Executive Order (E.O.) 13407: E.O. 13407 established as policy the requirement for the United States to have an effective, reliable, integrated, flexible, and comprehensive system to alert and warn the American people. FEMA is designated within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to implement the policy of the United States for a public alert and warning system as outlined in E.O. 13407 and has established a program office to implement IPAWS. FEMA and its federal partners, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA's) National Weather Service (NWS) and the DHS Science and Technology Directorate are working together to transform the national alert and warning system to enable rapid dissemination of authenticated alert information over as many communications channels as possible.FCC Orders: The FCC's role includes prescribing rules that establish technical standards for the Emergency Alert System (EAS), procedures for EAS participants to follow in the event the EAS is activated, EAS testing protocols, and approving state EAS plans. Additionally, the FCC issues rules establishing requirements for the Commercial Mobile Alert System.Common Alerting Protocol (CAP): The Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) is a simple, flexible data interchange format for collecting and distributing ''all-hazard'' safety notifications and emergency warnings over information networks and public alerting systems. CAP provides compatibility with all kinds of information and public alerting systems, including those designed for multilingual and access and functional needs populations. FEMA has adopted CAP and the IPAWS CAP Profile to ensure compatibility with the requirements of existing and emerging dissemination systems.
FEMA IPAWS Federal PartnershipsFEMA has partnered with recognized government and industry leaders and technical experts to ensure that the IPAWS program incorporates the latest technology and is practical for prospective users including local broadcasters, emergency responders and the general public. FEMA's partners in the development of the IPAWS program include:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC): The FCC establishes the rules for broadcasters, cable system operators, and other participants regarding the technical requirements of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and the rules for commercial mobile service providers who opt to participate in the voluntary Commercial Mobile Alert System.National Weather Service (NWS): The NWS provides emergency weather and tsunami information to alert the public of dangerous local weather conditions and other emergencies. Go to http://alerts.weather.gov/ for more information on the NWS implementation of CAP.
IPAWS Benefits''One Input, Multiple OutputsDo you recall the IPAWS architecture diagram reviewed earlier? Recall that IPAWS allows authorized alerting authorities to write their own message using commercial software that is compliant with OPEN standards. A message only has to be input once, and once authenticated; it is delivered over multiple communications pathways, including the Emergency Alert System, commercial mobile services, Internet services, NWS services, state and local alerting systems, and alerting technologies for persons with access and functional needs.
IPAWS Benefits''GeotargetedIPAWS will ensure that the President can reach the American people, but it also recognizes that most alerts and warnings are issued at a state and local level. Alerting authorities can create location-specific alerts that are scaled to cover areas as big as their entire jurisdiction or a much smaller area within their jurisdiction, depending on the delivery capabilities of the system used for public dissemination.
For example, alerts relayed via EAS and broadcast by a local TV station will cover the entire viewing area of the station. Alerts relayed by CMAS are required to be delivered to an entire county although some cellular service providers may opt to broadcast to smaller affected areas.
IPAWS Benefits-Standardized Messaging FormatThe Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) is an open, non-proprietary digital message format for all types of public and private emergency alerts and notifications, which can be delivered across multiple communications pathways such as:
Broadcast TV and radioCable and satellite TV and radioMobile/cellular and wireless devicesSignageEmerging technologiesYou will learn more about CAP in Lesson 3''Common Alerting Protocol Message Composition.
IPAWS Benefits''Rich Content (Multimedia)In addition to emergency alert-required data, CAP alerts delivered by IPAWS may carry rich information such as images, audio, video, geospatial data, etc., that alert originators may include and disseminators may utilize to provide supplemental information to their audiences.
The photo at the right is a picture of Amber Hagerman, for whom the national America's Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response (AMBER) alert system was named.
IPAWS Benefits''Reliability, Redundancy, Security and AccessibilityIPAWS uses redundant alerting paths (TV, radio, cell phone, etc.) to increase the chance an alert will reach the public. IPAWS hardware and software components are designed to be reliable. The digital signature capability ensures message integrity and authenticity. Finally, CAP provides compatibility with public alerting systems, including those designed for multilingual populations and those with access and functional needs.
IPAWS Architectural Diagram and OperationFederal, State, territorial, tribal, and local warning/alerting authorities are in charge of alerting their communities of all hazards using IPAWS-compliant alert origination tools.
Alert origination tools are software products used by emergency managers, public safety officials, and other alerting authorities to create and send critical life saving messages to the public.
The centralized alert aggregator/gateway receives CAP alert messages from various message origination/authoring tools, authenticates the sender, and sends the alert messages to IPAWS-compliant dissemination systems.
Multiple alert dissemination systems will have access to IPAWS:
IPAWS alerts can be delivered by the Emergency Alert System, using AM, FM, and satellite radio as well as broadcast, cable, and satellite TV. Equipment used by Emergency Alert System participants (broadcasters, cable TV operators, etc.) monitor IPAWS to retrieve CAP alerts intended for their geographic area. CAP is converted to legacy EAS format in accordance with manufacturer guidelines and is relayed to the public.Alerts can be delivered via the Commercial Mobile Alert System (CMAS) that allows customers who own a CMAS enabled mobile device to receive geographically targeted messages alerting them of imminent threats to safety in their area (including Presidential and AMBER alerts). Participating cellular mobile service providers receive and route IPAWS alerts to cell towers in the affected area. IPAWS is the sole means of accessing CMAS.The National Weather Service operates the All-Hazards Emergency Message Collection System (HazCollect) to deliver ''Non-Weather Emergency Messages'' (NWEMs) through NOAA Weather Radio and other NWS dissemination services. IPAWS is the sole automated system for routing alerts to HazCollect.Alerts will be available on the Internet through web based applications, email, instant messaging, social media, and RSS/ATOM feeds. Both public and private sector services may monitor IPAWS and disseminate alerts.State, local, territorial, and tribal alerting systems such as emergency telephone networks, sirens, and digital road signs may also be configured to retrieve alerts from IPAWS once they are IPAWS/CAP compliant.Finally, CAP and IPAWS make it possible to integrate future alerting technologies and systems.
ResourcesFEMA IPAWS Website: For more information on IPAWS, view the FEMA IPAWS website (https://www.fema.gov/integrated-public-alert-warning-system).Executive Order (E.O.) 13407: Complete text of E.O. 13407 is available at http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2006/pdf/06-5829.pdf.FCC Orders: To access FCC EAS rules and regulations, go to http://ecfr.gpoaccess.gov/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=ecfr&sid=75127c72007aa6a3f1ce8fda8cb814e2&rgn=div5&view=text&node=47:1.0.1.1.11&idno=47. For access to a list of state EAS contacts and plans go to http://transition.fcc.gov/pshs/services/eas/chairs.html.CMAS: go to http://www.fema.gov/pdf/emergency/ipaws/cmas_factsheet.pdf to learn more about CMAS.FCC rules pertaining to CMAS:http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CFR-2010-title47-vol1/pdf/CFR-2010-title47-vol1-part10.pdfNOAA/NWS HazCollect System: go to http://www.weather.gov/os/hazcollect/ for further information about HazCollect.OASIS Emergency Management Technical Committee: go to http://www.oasis-open.org/committees/tc_home.php?wg_abbrev=emergency for further information about activities of OASIS relating to emergency management.EAS-CAP Industry Group: go to http://www.eas-cap.org to access the EAS-CAP Industry Group website.
Lesson SummaryThis lesson provides an overview of IPAWS, its operation and benefits.
You should now be able to:
Define Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS)Identify the benefits of using IPAWS for generating warningsDescribe IPAWS operationIn the next lesson, you will learn about and apply the criteria for creating appropriate, effective and accessible alert and warning messages.
Lesson OverviewThis lesson provides an overview of creating appropriate, effective, and accessible alert and warning messages.
Upon completion of this lesson, you should be able to:
Identify the basis for determining who is authorized to send IPAWS alert and warning messagesApply criteria for sending appropriate alert messagesIdentify the components of effective alert and warning messagesApply criteria for creating accessible alert and warning messagesDescribe factors that influence public response to warning messagesDiscuss the myths associated with public response to warning messagesWho Can Send IPAWS Alerts and Warning Messages?Designated Alerting Authorities at the Federal, State, Local, Tribal and Territorial levels are authorized to send alerts and warning messages to their respective communities. After successfully completing this course, Designated Alerting Authorities may apply to FEMA for access to IPAWS on behalf of their jurisdictions.
There are a number of government programs with written plans that may indicate specific alerting authorities, including:
State/Regional/Local Emergency Alert System PlanState/Tribal/Local Emergency Operations Plan (Warning Annex)State/Regional/Local AMBER Alert PlanRadiological Emergency Preparedness Program PlanChemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program PlanOther hazard specific emergency plans or interjurisdictional agreementsCollaborative Operating Group (COG)A Collaborative Operating Group (COG) is a term used by IPAWS to designate an organization that is responsible for coordinating emergency management/incident response activities and public alerting. It typically consists of public safety officials who need to coordinate actions, communicate and exchange information in a collaborative environment. Examples of organizations that may constitute a COG include state, regional, county, or municipal emergency management/incident response organization, state law enforcement agency, Federal agency, military unit, public health department, fire services organization, mutual aid partners, etc.
A COG is established when a sponsoring organization executes a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with FEMA. A Federal, State, territorial, or local organization (as defined by the Stafford Act https://www.fema.gov/library/viewRecord.do?fromSearch=fromsearch&id=3564), a federally recognized Native American Indian tribe, or other private nonprofit organizations eligible under the Public Assistance Program may apply for authentication.
Applying for Alerting AuthorityIn addition to executing an MOA, the COG must also apply for specific alerting authorities, including the geographic extent of authority (e.g. county) and types of alerts (event codes, e.g. CAE - Child Abduction Emergency, discussed later in this course).
Before submitting to FEMA, the application must be reviewed by a state authority to ensure that the request is consistent with state Emergency Alert System, AMBER, other emergency operations plans and current practice. Further details regarding the application process may be found on the IPAWS website (https://www.fema.gov/integrated-public-alert-warning-system).
Criteria for Issuing WarningsDeciding whether to issue a public warning can be a difficult decision. Ultimately it will be a matter of local judgment; however, it will be helpful to have an outline of decision criteria to assist you with the process. When deciding whether to issue a public warning, the following criteria can be applied:
Does the hazardous situation require the public to take immediate action?Does the hazardous situation pose a serious threat to life or property?Is there a high degree of probability the hazard situation will occur?Your State or Local EAS Plan or other emergency plans may provide criteria for issuing public alerts, including activating the Emergency Alert System, and if so, should be incorporated into your local procedures.
Application of Criteria for Appropriately Issuing Alert MessagesYour alert authoring software will provide fields that correspond to the previous three questions. Each field will provide a list of values to select from. In order to be routed to the Commercial Mobile Alert System, the alert must contain certain values for these fields, reflecting ''Imminent Threat:''
Urgency: Immediate or ExpectedSeverity: Extreme or SevereCertainty: Observed or LikelyAlthough not currently required, these values may also provide a good rule of thumb for relaying public alerts via the Emergency Alert System. An example of the application of these criteria by the National Weather Service for a Tornado Warning is shown in the adjacent graphic.
Alerting Criteria Derived from EAS Specific Area Message Encoding (SAME) ProtocolAssuming you are starting from an occurring or impending potentially hazardous event, the first question is whether or not the event meets the appropriate definitions for warning or emergency, as defined by the SAME protocol.
Warning messages: These are issued for those events that alone pose a significant threat to public safety and/or property, probability of occurrence and location is high, and the onset time is relatively short.Emergency messages: These are issued for those events that by themselves would not kill or injure or do property damage but indirectly may cause other things to happen that result in a hazard.Your State or Local EAS Plan or other emergency plans may provide criteria for issuing public alerts, including activating the Emergency Alert System, and if so, should be incorporated into your local procedures.
Appropriate Event Names and Event CodesNow let us look at the various event names and codes used for disseminating warning messages. All three major public dissemination services''EAS, CMAS, and HazCollect''use the same hazardous event names and corresponding event codes that are derived from FCC rules.
The following factors should be considered in the selection of appropriate event codes. Click on each link below to learn more about the factors:
Hazardous weather and coastal events: Event codes relating to hazardous weather and coastal events are reserved for the National Weather Service.State/Local Emergency Plans: State or local EAS plans may limit the types of codes which EAS participants (e.g., broadcasters) are assigned to monitor for EAS broadcast.Relevant hazards: Certain types of hazards may not be relevant to the risks in your community. For example, volcanoes or avalanches may not be present in your part of the country.Event codes specified in your application and implemented in IPAWS: The event codes that are specified in your application and implemented in IPAWS will determine which types of alerts are relayed to the dissemination services.Local knowledge: Finally, the selection of event code may determine what is displayed in a television "crawl" and your selection of event code may depend on what members of your community will understand based on local practice.Appropriate Use of Hazard-specific Event Names/CodesThe following list of event codes and names are generally related to the type of hazardous situation:
Warnings:
Avalanche Warning (AVW)Civil Danger Warning (CDW)Earthquake Warning (EQW)Fire Warning (FRW)Hazardous Materials Warning (HMW)Law Enforcement Warning (LEW)Nuclear Power Plant Warning (NUW)Radiological Hazard Warning (RHW)Volcano Warning (VOW)Emergencies:
Avalanche Watch (AVA)Child Abduction Emergency (CAE)Civil Emergency Message (CEM)Local Area Emergency (LAE)911 Telephone Outage Emergency (TOE)Appropriate Use of Instruction-specific Event Names/CodesIf you wish to focus more on the instructions to the public than the particular hazard, there are two instruction-specific event names/codes available:
Evacuation Immediate (EVI): This event name/code is most appropriately used to instruct the public to evacuate for imminent events. For longer lead times, (e.g. several days), other methods of communication may be more appropriate such as media advisories.Shelter in Place Warning (SPW): This event name/code may be appropriate for hazardous materials, radiological, law enforcement, or other types of events; however it is more effective if your community has been educated as to its meaning in advance.Components of Effective Warning MessagesEffective warnings are those that result in members of the public taking recommended actions to protect themselves. To help ensure that warning messages are effective, they must be issued in a timely manner and the following components should be included:
Specific Hazard: What is/are the hazards that are threatening? What are the potential risks for the community? Location: Where will the impacts occur? Is the location described so those without local knowledge can understand their risk?Timeframes: When will it arrive at various locations? How long will the impacts last?Source of Warning: Who is issuing the warning? Is it an official source with public credibility?Magnitude: A description of the expected impact. How bad is it likely to get?Likelihood: The probability of occurrence of the impact.Protective Behavior: What protective actions should people take and when? If evacuation is called for, where should people go and what should they take with them?Accessible Alert and Warning MessagesHow you write an alert/warning message is nearly as important as what you write. Poorly written warnings can undermine both understanding and credibility.
''Style" refers to how you write. Here are some style elements to consider when writing accessible and usable alert and warning messages. Be:
Specific: If the message is not specific enough about the ''Who? What? When? Where? Why? How?,'' the public will spend more time seeking specific information to confirm the risk. If necessary, be specific about what is or is not known about the hazard.Consistent: An alert/warning should be internally consistent, that is, one part of the message should not contradict another part. It should be consistent with messages that are distributed via other channels. To the extent possible, alerts/warnings should be consistent from event to event, to the degree that the hazard is similar.Certain: Avoid conveying a sense of uncertainty, either in content or in tone. Confine the message to what is known, or if necessary, describe what is unknown in certain terms. Do not guess or speculate.Clear: Use common words that can easily be understood. Do not use technical terminology or jargon. If protective instructions are precautionary, state so clearly. If the probability of occurrence of the hazard event is less than 100%, try to convey in simple terms what the likelihood of occurrence is.Accurate: Do not overstate or understate the facts. Do not omit important information. Convey respect for the intelligence and judgment of your public.Accessible Alert and Warning Messages for Persons with Access and Functional NeedsAs the message originator, you should keep in mind the needs of persons with access and functional needs.
Clear and simple language: A general guideline to follow is to use clear and simple language whenever possible, with minimal use of abbreviations. The most important information should be presented first.Text-to-speech conversion: Care must be taken in composing text that is converted to audio by text-to-speech equipment. Consult your NWS Weather Forecast Office for local guidance regarding NOAA Weather Radio requirements.Consistent audio: IPAWS and CAP can accommodate pre-recorded audio files that may be used by Emergency Alert System participants (e.g., broadcasters) and that assist the blind or those with low vision. The audio should be as consistent as possible with the text and should ensure that any abbreviations are spoken as full words.Ample text and audio to explain images/maps: Since IPAWS OPEN provides the capability to deliver multimedia messages, ample text and audio should be provided to explain images or maps, so that message recipients can understand the meaning of what is being conveyed graphically.Screen reading and text-to-speech devices: Some mobile devices and currently available software provide screen reading and text-to-speech conversion capabilities for alerts delivered via Internet technologies. When considering these and other translation technologies, craft messages that avoid non-standard language formats and terminology.Accessible Alert and Warning Messages for Persons with English as a Second LanguageNon-English-speaking persons may not understand warnings that are provided in English. Communities with high percentages of non-English-speaking people should issue warnings in the primary language(s) of the population as well as in English.
IPAWS does not provide translation services, but it is capable of accepting and relaying alerts in multiple languages as composed by the alert originator.
Your alert authoring or other software programs may provide automated translation, but you should validate any automatically translated text with a speaker of the language to avoid errors. The use of pre-translated templates may serve to minimize the amount of information requiring translation for actual alerts.
Features of modern communication devices owned by end users can also provide translation of IPAWS alerts to the targeted language supported by the device.
Good and Bad Warning Message ExampleReview each of the messages below and decide which a good and which a bad message is.
Message (A): 50 percent chance of dam failure. People in Ogdenville should consider evacuating.
Message (B): A dangerous wildfire is moving towards North Haverbrook and is expected to reach the north edge of town within the next hour. All persons remaining within the hazard area must evacuate now to a safe location to the west or east. A shelter is now open at Waverly Hills High School Gym. Pets are permitted.
Message (A) is an example of a bad message. It lacks certainty which may not motivate action. It does not give clear protective action by saying "consider evacuating" vs. "evacuate."
Message (B) is an example of a good message. It clearly states what the threat is, what area is threatened, and what specifically to do.
Best Practice Example'--Using Planning TemplatesThe use of templates, tailored to those hazards likely in your warning area, can help prevent errors or omissions that can occur in moments of urgency. Using a template that incorporates pre-approved language can reduce delays in issuing alerts and warnings. Finally, if you need to use a language in addition to English, your templates can be translated in advance.
Your alert authoring software may provide the capability to create and reuse templates. If not, you can use word processing software to store your template and create your message to copy and paste into your alerting software. It is recommended that if you do utilize templates, customize them for the types of hazardous events that may occur in your area. The adjacent graphic shows an example of an evacuation warning template.
Sample TemplateDisasterville Template for Emergency Alert System Message
Immediate Evacuation Order (EVI)Replace all bracketed text below
(Headline field)
Immediate Evacuation Ordered for [geographic description of area to be evacuated]
(Description field)
Effective immediately, and extending until [further notice or expiration time], the Mayor of Disasterville has issued an evacuation order for all persons living, working, or travelling in the vicinity of [geographic description of area to be evacuated]. This area is at immediate risk from [brief description of the hazardous conditions].
(Instruction field)
To protect yourself and your family from this dangerous situation, the following actions are strongly urged:
*Leave your home or workplace immediately for a safe destination outside the hazard area via [specify recommended route(s) of travel].
*Take only pets and essential items such as medications with you.
[*Instruction related to school children if applicable, e.g. Do not pick up your children from school. They are being evacuated by school officials.]
A shelter operated by [organization, e.g. the Red Cross] is available at [address of public shelter]. If you need evacuation assistance, call 555-10009. Do not call 9 1 1 unless you have a serious personal emergency. For further information, tune to radio station KKKK.
Factors Influencing Public Response to a WarningAccessibility of alert and warning messages refers to whether individuals hear and understand them. An appreciation of the multiple social factors that influence accessibility is useful. The primary response factors that influence the public's response to a warning are:
Interpretation of message: When different people listen to the same message, there may be a variation in what they hear, leading to different interpretation and response.Previous experiences: Often people will rely on their previous experiences with the hazard to determine what actions they initially take (or don't take).Observations: Individual responses to warnings vary, but most people will seek some form of confirmation. For example, some people will look for more information through environmental cues, while others will seek to contact from other trusted sources. Optimism bias (thinking that ''disasters happen to other people'') is overcome with confirmation.Level of community interaction: People who have more contacts in the community will receive more warnings and are more likely to act; also, they are more likely to trust officials.Perception of risk/proximity: People tend to make a rapid assessment of the relative safety of their location, producing an emergent perception of risk. If their perception of personal risk is high, people will act quickly. When the perception is low, they will delay acting.Length of residency: Transients, tourists, and newcomers to the area lack knowledge of local hazards and the history of local disasters, so they may react differently.Family composition: Families, more than individuals, tend to heed evacuation warnings. Research indicates that people tend to confer with family, extended family, and friends prior to making a decision. They do this to ensure that their loved ones are safe and also to determine whether they may need to provide protection for their loved ones. Their decisions are based on the following factors related to family composition:Family network: People are more likely to act if they have relatives nearby who may warn them and offer them short-term shelter.Presence of children: Concern for children's safety will elicit quicker response from parents.Presence of pets: People often view their pets as they would their children and will take action to protect them. However, whereas families with children usually act more quickly to take precautions, in emergencies requiring evacuation, people with pets may endanger their own lives by refusing to evacuate, because many public shelters do not allow pets.Access and functional needs: Individuals with access and functional needs may need alerts in accessible formats and additional time and assistance for evacuating.Additional Factors Influencing Public Response to a WarningThe following additional social factors also influence the extent to which warnings and alerts are received, comprehended, and heeded:
Age: The very young and the elderly may not be able to receive and/or respond appropriately to alerts and warnings. Many in this group may also need assistance.Language: Non-English-speaking persons may not understand warnings that are provided in English. Communities with high percentages of non-English-speaking people should issue warnings in the primary language(s) of the population as well as in English.Individuals with access and functional needs: Alternative alert and warning methods are needed for individuals with access and functional needs such as the blind or low-vision and deaf or hard of hearing. Both audio and equivalent text messages should be available.Type of community: Residents of rural communities may have more difficulty receiving warnings than those living in urban areas.Level of individual preparedness: People who have taken the time to prepare for hazards (i.e., they have a plan and disaster supply kit, and have exercised the plan) are more likely to heed warning and act appropriately. Getting the preparedness buy-in is often the challenge.Myths Associated with Public Response to Warning MessagesThe following are popular myths associated with public response to warning messages:
People usually panic in response to warnings: People DO NOT panic in response to warnings. People do not go running wildly through the streets when they hear a warning. Rather, they seek additional information to make a response decision.If you false alarm or ''Cry Wolf'' with your warnings, the public will tune you out: While there is a limit to the public's trust, ''Cry Wolf'' syndrome is NOT a problem IF ''false alarms'' are well explained and understood; people do take into account that officials are making difficult decisions to protect them from harm.An effective warning message is a simple one, with as little detail as possible: The 'less is more' principle does not apply for public warnings. Research has shown that people need sufficient information to validate their risk and spur them to take appropriate action.People usually understand what the sounding of various siren signals mean: People DO NOT always understand what the sounding of various siren signals mean. The best use of outdoor warning sirens is to alert people to immediately seek additional information about an imminent threat.ResourcesApplying for IPAWS Access: https://www.fema.gov/integrated-public-alert-warning-system for more information on how to apply to FEMA for access to IPAWS.Event Codes: http://www.weather.gov/os/eas_codes.shtml for more information on event codes.Planning Templates: For more information on use of Planning Templates, http://www.fema.gov/pdf/about/divisions/npd/CPG_101_V2.pdf, view page 3-9 of FEMA's Comprehensive Preparedness Guide.Warnings Research:http://orise.orau.gov/CSEPP/publications/files/CommunicationFinal.pdf for a discussion of research findings.Writing Accessible Alerts and Warning Messages: For more information on writing accessible alerts and warning messages, http://ncam.wgbh.org/invent_build/analog/alerts/information-requirementsalerts.Lesson SummaryThis lesson provided an overview of creating appropriate, effective, and accessible alert and warning messages.
You should now be able to:
Identify the basis for determining who is authorized to send IPAWS alert and warning messagesApply criteria for sending appropriate alert messagesIdentify the components of effective alert and warning messagesApply criteria for creating accessible alert and warning messagesDescribe factors that influence public response to warning messagesDiscuss the myths associated with public response to warning messagesIn the next lesson, you will be introduced to the Common Alerting Protocol and various channels used for disseminating IPAWS alert and warning messages.
Lesson OverviewThis lesson provides an introduction to the Common Alerting Protocol (CAP), its component elements, and their associated values. It also identifies how a CMAS message is mapped from CAP.
Upon completion of this lesson, you should be able to:
Define CAPIdentify some of the commonly used CAP elements and their associated valuesIdentify how a CMAS message is mapped from CAP
What is Common Alerting Protocol (CAP)?The Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) is an XML-based data format standard for exchanging alert data among many different technologies and systems. CAP allows a warning message to be sent simultaneously over many CAP-compliant warning systems to many different outlets (such as radio, television, cell phones, Internet).
CAP is a well established international technical specification developed by the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS). The concept grew out of an earlier effort of the Partnership for Public Warning.
CAP Data ElementsThis lesson describes some of the commonly used data elements and their corresponding values that the alert originator either selects or composes using CAP-compliant alert authoring software. Note that your software may provide slightly different labels for these data elements:
Urgency: Available values for the urgency element are:''Immediate'' - Responsive action should be taken immediately''Expected'' - Responsive action should be taken soon (within next hour)''Future'' - Responsive action should be taken in the near future''Past'' - Responsive action is no longer required''Unknown'' - Urgency not knownOnly those alerts with an urgency of immediate or expected meet the requirements of the Commercial Mobile Alert System ''imminent threat'' alert.
Severity: Available values for the severity element are:''Extreme'' - Extraordinary threat to life or property''Severe'' - Significant threat to life or property''Moderate'' - Possible threat to life or property''Minor'' - Minimal to no known threat to life or property''Unknown'' - Severity unknownOnly those alerts with a severity of extreme or severe meet the requirements of the Commercial Mobile Alert System ''imminent threat'' alert.
Certainty: Available values for the certainty element are:''Observed'' - Determined to have occurred or to be ongoing''Likely'' - Probability is greater than or equal to 50%''Possible'' - Probability is less than 50%''Unlikely'' - Not expected to occur''Unknown'' - Certainty unknownOnly those alerts with a certainty of observed or likely meet the requirements of the Commercial Mobile Alert System ''imminent threat'' alert.
Event code: Alerts intended for the Emergency Alert System, the Commercial Mobile Alert System, and/or the NWS HazCollect system must use one of the three letter codes discussed in the previous lesson. Typically, authoring software will provide a pick list of event names for the user (e.g. Civil Emergency Message) and assign the corresponding code (e.g. CEM) to the CAP alert.
Event Category: Available values for the category element are:''Geo'' - Geophysical (including landslides)''Met'' - Meteorological (including floods)''Safety'' - General emergency and public safety''Security'' - Law enforcement, military, homeland and local/private security''Rescue'' - Rescue and recovery''Fire'' - Fire suppression and rescue''Health'' - Medical and public health''Env'' - Pollution and other environmental''Transport'' - Public and private transportation''Infra'' - Utility, telecommunication, other non-transport infrastructure''CBRNE'' - Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear or High-Yield Explosive threat or attack''Other'' - Other eventsThese values are used by the Commercial Mobile Alert System if the event code is missing or does not match the required event codes.
Expires: The expires element contains a date/time value specified by the originator. For EAS, CMAS and HazCollect, all messages are deemed to be effective from the time they are sent to IPAWS. Although the expires element is optional per the CAP specification, it is a required element for all messages relayed to IPAWS for routing to these three systems.
Headline: This is a text element defined as a ''brief, human-readable headline'' that is composed by the alert originator. For the NWS HazCollect system, the headline must be no longer than 160 characters including blank spaces. Internet services may use the headline value to populate Short Message Service (SMS) text, intended for subscriber-based, non-CMAS mobile systems, in which case the number of characters may be limited to 140.
Description: This is a text element defined as ''an extended human readable description of the hazard or event that occasioned this message'' that is composed by the alert originator. The value of this element is not used by the Commercial Mobile Alert System, but should be used for all alerts routed to the Emergency Alert System and HazCollect. This is where you place the important information (who, what, when, and where) about the hazardous situation.
Instruction: This text element is defined as ''describing the recommended action to be taken by recipients of the alert message'' that is composed by the alert originator. The value of this element is not used by the Commercial Mobile Alert System (see Response Type below), but should be used for all alerts routed to the Emergency Alert System and HazCollect. This is where you place the important information (how and why) of your protective behavior instruction. Broadcast EAS messages are limited by FCC rules to two minutes. For HazCollect, the total number of words for the description and instruction combined should not exceed 160 words, and this is a good rule of thumb for all EAS messages.
Response Type: Available values for the response type elements that are used by the Commercial Mobile Alert System are:''Shelter'' - Take shelter in place or per instruction''Evacuate'' - Relocate as instructed in the instruction''Prepare'' - Make preparations per the instruction''Execute'' - Execute a pre-planned activity identified in instruction''Avoid'' - Avoid the subject event as per the instruction''Monitor'' - Attend to information sources as described in instructionThese values are used by IPAWS to convert to message text that is routed to CMAS.
Area Description: The area description element is defined as a ''text description of the affected area'' composed by the alert originator. The value of this element is not used by the Commercial Mobile Alert System.
Geocode: IPAWS messages intended for EAS, CMAS and/or HazCollect should contain one or more location codes, usually corresponding to the county or counties for which the alert has been issued. If you have been authorized through the application process to issue alerts for more than one county, your software may present you with a pick list of county names and assign the corresponding FIPS code to the CAP alert.
Polygon/Circle: Your authoring software may provide a map interface that allows you to draw a polygon or circle to define the affected area of the alert message and assign corresponding values to the CAP alert. Dissemination services that include a mapping component can then retrieve and display the more precise warning area. Cellular mobile service providers may opt to use the boundaries of the geospatially defined area to activate specific cell towers.
Resource: The optional resource element and related sub-elements offer the ability to incorporate multi-media such as images, audio, video, etc. Your authoring software may reference these files as attachments.
"Mapping" between CAP and CMASThe primary purpose of a CMAS message is to briefly alert the recipient that a hazardous event is occurring (or will occur) in the geographic area in which the recipient is located. The CMAS specification limits the message to not more than 90 characters.
As noted in the previous section, CMAS does not use any values from the CAP description, instruction, or area description elements for ''imminent threat'' alerts. Instead, IPAWS generates text derived from other CAP elements to compose the message using a specific format.
CMAS Message Format:
''[Event name corresponding to event code element]
in this area until
[Expiration time in local time zone derived from expires element].
[Assigned value derived from instruction-specific event code (EVI, SPW) or response type element per below].
[Sender Name value, typically associated with the alert originator log in ID]''
Assigned Values
The assigned values are as follows:
EVI/Evacuate=''Evacuate now''SPW/Shelter=''Take shelter now''Prepare=''Prepare for Action''Execute=''Execute Action''Monitor=''Monitor Radio or TV''Avoid=''Avoid Hazard''
CAP to CMAS Message Conversion ExampleUsing this format for generating a CMAS message from CAP elements, here is an example of a message converted to CMAS.
CAP Message
CMAS Message
Event Code: FFW
Flash Flood Warning
Geocode: 006109
In this area
Expires: 2003-06-17T16:00:00-07:00
until 7:00 PM PDT
Response Type: Avoid
Headline: FLASH FLOOD WARNING ISSUED FOR TUOLUMNE COUNTY
Description: THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN JACKSONVILLE HAS ISSUED A
* FLOOD WARNING FOR URBAN AREAS AND SMALL STREAMS IN NORTHERN TUOLUMNE COUNTY
* UNTIL 700 PM PDT
* AT 523 PM PDT...WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED AN AREA OF STRONG AND SLOW MOVING THUNDERSTORMS PRODUCING VERY HEAVY RAINFALL. THESE STORMS HAVE ALREADY PRODUCED RAINFALL ACCUMULATIONS OF 5 TO 7 INCHES...WITH ANOTHER 2 TO 4 INCHES LIKELY THROUGH 700 PM PDT THIS EVENING.
Instruction: PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...
DO NOT DRIVE YOUR VEHICLE INTO AREAS WHERE THE WATER COVERS THE ROADWAY. THE WATER DEPTH MAY BE TOO GREAT TO ALLOW YOUR CAR TO CROSS SAFELY. MOVE TO HIGHER GROUND.
Avoid hazard.
ResourcesNWS CAP 1.2 Wiki: https://wiki.citizen.apps.gov/nws_developers/index.php/Category:Common_Alerting_Protocol.OASIS CAP 1.2 Standard: http://www.oasis-open.org/committees/download.php/14759/emergency-CAPv1.2.pdf.NWS Warning Criteria Reference Chart: This is a spreadsheet used by NWS listing various types of alerts with urgency, severity, and certainty. It can be accessed only as part of this course in Lesson 3.Local Codes:http://www.census.gov/geo/www/ansi/countylookup.html
Lesson SummaryThis lesson provided an overview of the commonly used Common Alerting Protocol elements and their associated values. It also identified how a CMAS message is mapped from CAP.
You should now be able to:
Define CAPIdentify some of the commonly used CAP elements and their associated valuesIdentify how a CMAS message is mapped from CAP
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THE MESSAGE IS NOT OFFICIAL LANGUAGE-''This Is Not A Drill'': False Emergency Alert Warning Of Ballistic Missile Threat To Hawaii Terrorizes Citizens Across The State
Mon, 15 Jan 2018 22:57
In a scenario that has caused widespread outrage, citizens across Hawaii received a startling message on their phones from the Emergency Alert System (EAS) that told them that a ballistic missile was incoming and to seek immediate shelter.
That's right, all across Hawaii residents believed that they were under attack, presumably from North Korea, with the apparent false alarm not being fixed for upwards of 37 minutes for any resident who wasn't spending the morning on Twitter.
''The emergency alert claiming a ballistic missile attack was inbound was sent at 8:08AM. It took until 8:45AM to state it was a false alarm. 37 minutes where anyone in Hawaii who doesn't sit on Twitter dot com all day thought their island might be incinerated. Fire people. Fix it,'' noted Twitter user Jerry Dunleavy.
Breitbart News also reported:
White House Deputy Press Secretary Lindsay Walters later implied the false warning stemmed from a state, rather than federal, mishap. ''The President has been briefed on the state of Hawaii's emergency management exercise. This was purely a state exercise,'' he said in a statement
According to the Associated Press (AP), Hawaii Emergency Management Agency spokesman Richard Repoza confirmed a false alarm.
''Hawaii Emergency Management Agency spokesman Richard Repoza said it was a false alarm and the agency is trying to determine what happened.,'' the AP reports.
The message, initially thought authentic, spread quickly on social media, prompting some panic, as Fox News reported Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) estimated over one million Hawaiians received the erroneous alert. The EAS protocol should only be available to government officials.
Interestingly, the location of the false alarm was also particularly worrying when you consider the public threats from North Korea which now, ''possesses ballistic missiles reportedly capable of reaching the Aloha State.''
To recap, over a million people in Hawaii were given a warning that claimed that they were about to be hit by a ballistic missile. One has to wonder how on earth this could possibly happen and whether or not there was actually a missile threat that is now being covered up?
Click here to subscribe: Join over one million monthly readers and receive breaking news, strategies, ideas and commentary.Please Spread The Word And Share This Post
Author: Alex Thomas
Views: Read by 4,696 people
Date: January 13th, 2018
Website:www.SHTFplan.com
Copyright Information: Copyright SHTFplan and Mac Slavo. This content may be freely reproduced in full or in part in digital form with full attribution to the author and a link to www.shtfplan.com. Please contact us for permission to reproduce this content in other media formats.
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FEMA's Emergency Alert System Hacked: Warns of Hazardous Materials Disaster
Mon, 15 Jan 2018 22:53
Yesterday we covered the first ever nationwide test of the FEMA IPAWS integration into the Emergency Alert System; while there were a few random glitches, at first it looked like everything went well. But last night, in Utica, New York, Television viewers started seeing weird messages pop up on their screen warning of a pending Hazardous Materials disaster somewhere in the United States.
The odd warning was sent over WKTV News Channel 2 in Utica, New York. The station quickly sent out a message on their Facebook page saying there was no emergency and blamed the message on FEMA test codes that were not intended for public broadcast. But hours later, concerned viewers reported seeing the message pop up on their screens again.
The Emergency Alert Broadcast ended with part of a line from the Dr. Seuss book, Green Eggs and Ham. It Read:
''Would you. Could you. On a Train? Wait for further instructions.''
The Station then posted another update to their Facebook Page saying:
Another warning message was sent out in error at 10:38 p.m.
There is no emergency. This message originated from FEMA as a test and had the National Location Code in it. Tests should not have that code as it is automatically re-transmitted. We apologize for any inconvenience.
We have contacted New York State Broadcasters Association who administers the Emergency Alert System in NY. We are working with FEMA to resolve this.
In a comment on that same Facebook Post, the KTNV then claimed that the EAS alert was hacked by an outside source saying:
FEMA replied that they did not send this out. They will launch a full investigation into how their codes were hacked. WKTV seems to be the only target of this hack. For now, we have disabled the codes in our decoder that trigger this alert. If there is a real National Alert, we will still receive it from the local radio stations we are assigned to monitor. WKTV will cooperate fully with FEMA, providing information about our hardware, software and internet access, and will provide log files from our devices. This information will be helpful to FEMA to track down the source of this hack.
People Reporting FEMA IPAWS Sending Out Large Number of Emergency Alerts
Mon, 15 Jan 2018 22:52
We are receiving hundreds of reports from people throughout the country who are saying their phones are freezing up, some after receiving over 20 FEMA IPAWS Emergency Alerts on their phones.
Back in September, FEMA conducted a nationwide test of their EAS Integrated Public Alert & Warning System (IPAWS), but that test was announced well ahead of time and did not include the IPAWS WEA integrations that allows these types of messages to be delivered to smartphone devices. Today's message was not announced by FEMA, so it was either a technical glitch or the system may have been hacked like back in September '' then again FEMA just might need to get their shit together!
Most of the reports say the message reads:
''TEST:IPAWSTester- Area Emergency Test #1'' Integrated Public Alert Warning System
A number of law enforcement agencies and 911 call centers have been inundated with calls from panicked people who have no idea what these messages mean. The fact that these emergency response agencies are puzzled by the messages suggests that this was not a regularly scheduled test since they would have been informed.
Others have taken to Twitter, trying to figure out how to disable the alerts and stop their phones from freezing up, something that would be a problem during an actual emergency. We are all for being able to alert people during times of crisis, but someone over at FEMA really needs to figure this system out!
FEMA's Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) is an internet-based capability Federal, State, territorial, tribal, and local authorities can use to issue critical public alerts and warnings.
According to FEMA, IPAWS was built to ensure that under all conditions the President of the United States can alert and warn the American people. IPAWS allows alerting authorities to deliver alerts simultaneously through multiple communications devices reaching as many people as possible. These communication pathways include Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) that send messages directly to smartphones, even when cellular networks are overloaded and can no longer support person-to-person calls, texts, or emails.
Passwords Blamed for Fake Zombie Attack Alert
Mon, 15 Jan 2018 22:52
Broadcasters are being urged to change the passwords on their Emergency Alert System (EAS) units in light of several reports of EAS hackings that resulted in phony EAS alerts being issued. It appears someone figured out the factory-default password of certain encoders, and sent a fake zombie attack alert via EAS.
It's only been recently that EAS devices have been accessible via the internet when the FCC and FEMA led EAS participants to convert to a system that uses the web and the Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) to help facilitate delivery of a single message through multiple means. Richard Rudman, an expert and advocate for EAS, told Radio World magazine's Leslie Stimson that the hacks were not related to CAP, nor to FEMA's Integrated Public Alert and Warning System's (IPAWS) system for facilitating EAS delivery called IPAWS-OPEN. FEMA issued a statement saying IPAWS was not hacked, and that the incident did not interfere with FEMA's ability to activate EAS.
Rudman says the hacker knew what he was doing, but EAS systems would not be vulnerable if the units are placed behind a firewall, and strong passwords are used. He suggested use of Gibson Research site for testing password strength.
There is a bright side, at least according to Karole White of the Michigan Association of Broadcasters. She's quoted by TVNewsCheck as saying, "...this minor attack, while it may have confused or frightened people, uncovered some weaknesses that we can look at fix, and adjust to."
All the best,
Rick
Galain Solutions, Inc.
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FEMA Names Members of New IPAWS Subcommittee | TvTechnology
Mon, 15 Jan 2018 22:50
WASHINGTON'-- To ensure the nation continues to adopt the best standards and operating procedures when it comes to emergency alerting, the Federal Emergency Management Agency recently announced the names of 31 individuals that will be serving on the IPAWS subcommittee, which is part of FEMA's National Advisory Council.
The first IPAWS subcommittee meeting will be held Aug. 8 and 9 in Washington, and will meet up to four times per year (two in person and two by video conferencing).
Among the subcommittee's responsibilities are providing recommendations for new alerting protocols and operating procedures for the nation's public alert and warning system, as well as submitting a recommendation report on the overall system to the NAC. Any subcommittee report will be submitted to other government agencies, including the House and Senate committees on homeland security.
NAC itself is tasked with advising FEMA's administrator on all aspects of emergency management.
The new club of 31 members joins eight federal leaders and five members from the NAC to create a total group of 44 that include broadcasters, emergency management agencies, emergency response providers and consumer advocate groups, among others.
In addition to expected representatives like state officials and emergency management agencies, a FEMA selection panel requested participation from national tribal organizations, organizations representing individuals with disabilities, those representing individuals with limited English proficiency and the elderly (although only one organization is included from the later three: a representative from a center for the deaf/hard of hearing in North Carolina).
The subcommittee will also include chairman of the Federal Communications Commission or someone that Chairman Ajit Pai designates to serve.
It was back in September 2016 that FEMA called for applications to this subcommittee as part of its modernization efforts. The committee will disband by April 2019.
When contacted by Radio World, one new committee member, Ed Czarnecki with Monroe Electronics, said he's most looking forward to the collaborating with colleagues across the government and within different industries to further advance the capabilities of FEMA IPAWS.
The complete IPAWS subcommittee list:
State and Local Governments; Emergency Management Agencies; Emergency Response Providers
Samantha Brear, Alert Iowa Program Manager and E911 Program Planner
Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management
Benjamin Krakauer, Assistant Commissioner, Strategy & Program Development
New York City Emergency Management
Francisco Snchez, Liaison and Public Information Officer
Harris County (Texas) Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management
Art Botterell, Senior Emergency Services Coordinator
California Governor's Office of Emergency Services
Michael Sprayberry (NAC Member), Director
North Carolina Emergency Management, North Carolina Department of Public Safety
Gerard Dio (NAC Member),(Retired) Fire Chief
Fire Department City of Worcester (Mass.)
Federally Recognized Indian Tribes and National Indian Organizations
Robert Deleon, Emergency Manager /Emergency Operations Director
Gila River Indian Community
Michael Fila, Emergency Manager/Public Health Officer
Office of Emergency Management, Cocopah Indian Tribe
Communications Service Providers
Thomas Crane, Senior Solutions Consultant
Everbridge Inc.
Don Hall, Government Solutions Director
OnSolve LLC
Vendors, Developers and Manufacturers of Systems, Facilities, Equipment and Capabilities for the Provision of Communications Services
Edward Czarnecki, Senior Director, Strategy and Government Affairs
Monroe Electronics Inc.
Harold Price, President
Sage Alerting Systems Inc.
Mark Demski, Senior Client Services Manager
WebEOC Intermedix Corp.
John Lawson, Executive Director
AWARN Alliance
Hutch McClendon, CEO and President
Advanced, Computers and Communications LLC
Third-Party Service Bureaus
Richard Strack, Chief Engineer
Boise State Public Radio
Broadcasting Industry, Including Public Broadcasting
Suzanne Goucher, President and Chief Executive Officer
Maine Association of Broadcasters
Sam Matheny, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer
National Association of Broadcasters
Dana Golub, Senior Director, Public Programs
Public Broadcasting Service
Commercial Mobile Radio Service Industry
Brian Josef, Assistant Vice President Regulatory Affairs
CTIA
Cable Industry
Craig Saari, Principle Video Engineer II
Charter Communications
Andy Scott, Vice President of Engineering
NCTA '' The Internet & Television Association
Satellite Industry
John Archer, Vice President and General Manager Operations
Sirius XM Satellite Radio
Steven Hill, Chief Executive Officer
Satellite and Broadcast Communication Association
National Organizations Representing Individuals With Disabilities; Blind, Deaf and Hearing-Loss Communities; Individuals With Access and Functional Needs; Elderly
Donna Platt, Emergency Preparedness Coordinator
North Carolina Division of Services for the Deaf and the Hard of Hearing
Bryen Yunashko, Owner
Access256 Productions LLC
Consumer or Privacy Advocates
Harold Feld, Senior Vice President
Public Knowledge
Organizations Representing Individuals With Limited-English Proficiency
Lillian McDonald, Managing Director Emergency Response Services
Twin Cities PBS
Jacqueline Nguyen, Senior Project Specialist
CalOptima
Other Stakeholders and Interested and Affected Parties
Dennis Mileti, Professor Emeritus, Director of the Natural Hazards Center
University of Colorado at Boulder
Frank Mark Lucia, Independent Telecommunications Professional, and Consultant
Georgia Tech Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center
Tafaimamao Tua-Tupuola, Director of University Center for Excellence on Developmental Disabilities
American Samoa Community College
Darrell Darnell, Senior Associate Vice President for Safety and Security
George Washington University
Dr. Meloyde Batten-Mickens(NAC Member), Interim Chief/Director of Public Safety
Simmons College
Capt. William ''Brett'' Bailey (NAC Member), Investigations Commander
Tulsa Police Department
Jeanne-Aimee DeMarrais (NAC Member), Senior Director U.S. Emergencies
Save the Children
Senior Federal Leaders (or Their Designees)
The Deputy Administrator for Protection and National Preparedness of the Federal Emergency Management Agency
The Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission
The Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the Department of Commerce
The Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information of the Department of Commerce
The Under Secretary for Science and Technology of the Department of Homeland Security
The Under Secretary for the National Protection and Programs Directorate
The Director of Disability Integration and Coordination of the Federal Emergency Management Agency
The Chairperson of the National Council on Disability
This story originally appeared on TVT's sister publication Radio World.
EAS Hack has Engineers on Alert | TvTechnology
Mon, 15 Jan 2018 22:49
MULTIPLE CITIES '' A hack into the nation's Emergency Alert System this week that coincided with a threat by Anonymous to disrupt the State of the Union Address on Tuesday has broadcast engineers buzzing.''They aren't just trying to get in through the Web interface!'' one engineer wrote on an online EAS forum. ''As we speak - all of our 'exposed' boxes have a bot knocking on them, trying to access the root or NOUSER passwords to the shell/terminal'--not just the Web interface! So far on our boxes'--they have been unsuccessful, as we've changed our root passwords, and they aren't based on a dictionary word.''
­­
He said the bot knocks were coming through a Tor network, which disguises the physical location of actual IP addresses.
''It seems from their fingerprints that they are not from a single person [or] source,'' he said.
KRTV-TV in Great Falls, Mont., WBKP-TV, WBUP-TV and WNMU-TV in Marquette, Mich.; and KNME/KNDM in Albuquerque, N.M. were reported to have carried a bogus EAS message about zombies rising from graves on Monday. Stations in Utah and California may also have received the alert. Greg MacDonald, president and CEO of the Montana Broadcasters Association, said preliminary reports indicated the attacks were initiated overseas, according to KRTV.
Broadcast engineer Barry Mishkind is reporting that at least six stations were affected, and that none had changed default passwords on EAS equipment, or had firewalls between the equipment and the Internet. He noted that the attacks followed an 11-hour outage of the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System server managed by the Federal Emergence Management Agency.
IPAWS is the relatively new, IP-based emergency warning network that broadcasters now monitor for alerts from a variety of sources, including the Emergency Alert System. FEMA administers the system. Outages were reported in mid-December, due to complications from an upgrade.
A FEMA spokesman told Radio World's Leslie Stimson that the zombie attack did not breach or compromised the IPAWS, and that it had ''no impact on FEMA's ability to activate the Emergency Alert System.''
The EAS typically is used for severe weather warnings, AMBER Alerts and other public-safety messages. It also can be activated by the President of the United States to issue a nationwide warning carried simultaneously by all cable TV systems, radio stations and broadcast television stations. The zombie attack came a day before President Obama delivered a State of the Union Address issuing an executive order to increase cybersecurity. Hacker group Anonymous had threatened to disrupt streaming coverage of the speech, but failed to do so, CNET reported. No president has ever activated the EAS to issue a message.
EAS expert Richard Rudman added that no EAS hack attacks were reported during the Tuesday evening address from Washington, D.C.
The zombie thread on the EAS Forum indicates that engineers are busy identifying and closing security holes. Remote monitoring of EAS equipment should be done only through a secure network, one writes. Another said IP addresses attempting brute-force logins could be blacklisted. Encoders/decoders may need to be updated to newer versions of operating software, for example. All seem to agree that changing passwords and setting up firewalls are imperative to start.
The Federal Communications Commission said as much Tuesday in an urgent advisory that was passed on to the membership of the National Association of Broadcasters. Other than the advisory, the FCC has not commented on the hack. FEMA has said only that it is supporting the FCC and other federal agencies'--which many assume to be the FBI'--in investigating the incident.
In the meantime, the source of the hack remains unknown. Mishkind cited a 2009 video from YouTube (below) as the possible source for the zombie warning. The type of tones in the video can trigger EAS gear and are illegal to record or reproduce, but they occasionally make it into a news broadcast. EAS tones appeared in a piece on NBC's ''Today Show'' in 2011 when broadcasters were preparing for a nationwide test of the new system.
On Tuesday, a radio station in La Crosse, Wis., replayed the zombie alert and triggered another downstream station's EAS receiver, according to the La Crosse Tribune. The station, WKBT-TV, wound up issuing the zombie alert.
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The false alarm in Hawaii revealed an abdication of leadership by Trump - The Washington Post
Tue, 16 Jan 2018 13:49
Hawaii residents received emergency alerts warning of a "ballistic missile threat" in the early morning of Jan. 13. A follow-up message 38 minute later confirmed the warning was a false alarm. (Victoria Walker,Elyse Samuels/The Washington Post)
On a normal day, there aren't many people heading to Google to figure out how to survive a nuclear strike. But Saturday was not a normal day.
Shortly after 2:30 p.m. Eastern, searches for ''how to survive nuclear'' peaked in the U.S., from being almost nonexistent to being almost twice as common as ''how to make pasta.'' The increase was centered in Hawaii, where about 90 minutes earlier, a warning had gone out over the state's emergency alert system: ''BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL''.
You can see when that alert went out on this graph.
It was wrong.
According to a timeline released by the state, the alert was triggered at 8:07 a.m. local time when, during an internal drill, an employee hit the wrong button. For 13 minutes it went uncorrected, until the emergency management agency sent an update on social media.
Over the ensuing hours, a number of people have relayed their experience after receiving the incorrect message. Near panic. Comforting children while worrying about loved ones. Confusion and uncertainty from officials. In the absence of other information, cobbling together what evidence they could for whether they would survive the day.
Many reported first hearing that the alert was a mistake from the Twitter account of Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii).
Her tweet went out within about 15 minutes of the false alarm to her 174,000 followers. She was probably the first well-known authority figure to inform the public that there was no need to panic. News outlets picked up that clarification and spread it widely.
This, by contrast, was President Trump's first tweet after the incorrect alert went out.
It was sent more than three hours after the alert went out. As you can see, it has nothing to do with the alert. Those who follow Trump on Twitter '-- 46.6 million of them '-- haven't been given any information about what happened on Saturday at all.
The White House did release a statement, well after the alert was revealed to be incorrect.
''The President has been briefed on the state of Hawaii's emergency management exercise,'' it read. ''This was purely a state exercise.''
At the time the incorrect alert went out Trump was finishing up a round of golf at Trump National Golf Course in Florida.
Consider his responses. First that statement, which has one obvious aim: To assure the American people that it wasn't his fault that the false alert went out '-- it was Hawaii's. Then, that tweet, which shows what was preoccupying the president at the moment. Not that one of the 50 states had been briefly wracked with terror after a mistake was made by the people whose job it is to keep them safe. Instead, an insistence to the American people that the media is ''fake news,'' which was probably a response to the reports that trickled out bolstering a story from the Wall Street Journal that Trump had allegedly paid hush money to a porn star with whom he'd had an affair.
That was the thing that Trump urgently wanted to clear up: The media couldn't be trusted when it reported on him.
Trump could have tweeted as soon as possible that the alert was a false alarm, sharing that information with millions of Americans immediately. He could have additionally shared information about what went wrong, and assured people that he would work to make sure that no such error happened again in the future. He could, at the very least, have sought to offer some emotional support to the people of Hawaii. He did none of these. He has, as of writing, done none of these.
Since the beginning of his presidency, Trump has rarely assumed that traditional leadership role of the presidency. He's always taken a hostile attitude toward those who opposed his candidacy, certainly, but he's also been apathetic about stepping up more broadly to inform, guide and assure the American public. The primary concerns Trump conveys to Americans are about Trump: About how he's being treated, about how well he is doing, about the media and his opponents and how he just wants to make America great again. The White House releases statements and, as he did on Friday in recognizing Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Trump will read them or tweet about them. But it's clearly not where his heart lies.
Perhaps that the incident occurred in Hawaii plays a role. It seems odd to have to note that, but it's certainly defensible. From his attorney general at one point dismissing the state as ''an island in the Pacific'' to Trump's general focus on states he won to, we have to note, the gulf between his responses to the hurricanes that struck Texas and Florida and the one that nearly wiped Puerto Rico clean '-- there is plenty of evidence that can be cited for Trump's not necessarily having the state of Hawaii at the forefront of his thoughts. Normally, one wouldn't even assume that a president might be indifferent to one of the 50 states; here, it's impossible not to wonder if it's the case.
This is not a high hurdle for a president to face. Should a state be informed that a missile is inbound, it seems self-evident that the president should be made aware of this as rapidly as possible '-- even if golfing '-- and act quickly to confirm or rebut the claim. To then quickly inform the public that the story is not true and insist that a review will be undertaken nationally to prevent such a thing from happening again. Perhaps a photo of the president, stern look on his face, speaking with the governor of Hawaii.
An assurance that the government recognizes that a mistake was made and that it is handling things. That didn't happen.
It's also hard to imagine that Trump didn't make the situation more stressful in another way. His constant prodding of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has dramatically increased the sense that a missile might actually be launched at Hawaii from that nation. During the past 12 months, we've learned a lot more about what North Korea can do, and we've heard experts describe Trump's response as exacerbating, not lessening, the possibility of conflict.
The result is that there was actually one message Trump sent to Hawaiians on Saturday.
You're on your own.
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BOOM!-Incident Management and Communications '' Everbridge.com
Mon, 15 Jan 2018 21:51
Without the right message templates, time can be wasted and responders can send confusing or inaccurate notifications, when seconds count.
To improve the effectiveness of your incident communications, Everbridge provides access to pre-built message templates designed with clear & concise words, customized details based on the incident type and dynamic selection of recipients based on severity, location, required skills, on-call status or any variables you choose.
Active Shooter "All Clear" '–ª Evacuation '–ª Conference Bridge Activation '–ª Emergency Operations Center (EOC) - Activation '–ª Internal Emergency - Evacuation '–ª Office - Delayed Opening, Closed, Open '–ª Severe Weather '–ª Shelter In Place '–ª Staff Recall '–ª System Testing '–ª Work At Home / Alternate Site
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Gomez, Inc. | Crunchbase
Mon, 15 Jan 2018 21:33
Number of Acquisitions
3 Acquired Organization Name
Announced Date
Price
Transaction Name
Jan 11, 2011
'--
BEZ Systems acquired by Gomez, Inc. Sep 30, 2002
'--
Porivo Technologies acquired by Gomez, Inc. Number of Past Team Members
14
Yuan Cheng, Senior Vice President of Engineering - Everbridge
Mon, 15 Jan 2018 21:32
Yuan Cheng is the senior vice president, Engineering at Everbridge. In this role, Cheng is responsible for overseeing the worldwide development of Everbridge solutions.
Most recently, Cheng was the founder and CEO of Hypersun Group Ltd. which was acquired by Everbridge in 2012. Previous to Hypersun, Cheng was general manager of Gomez China Operations, establishing an offshore engineering team for that company. Prior to joining Gomez, Cheng managed the BroadVision Commerce product at BroadVision. He holds two US patents (7,765,295 and 8,095,650) for his work in methods and apparatus for real user monitoring.
Cheng received his Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering with a concentration in Information Science from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2000 and his Bachelor of Engineering, Precision Instruments from Tsinghua University in 1994.
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Federal Signal Partners with Everbridge to Provide Critical Communications | Federal Signal
Mon, 15 Jan 2018 20:05
University Park, IL., March 17, 2015 '--Federal Signal Corporation (NYSE: FSS), a global leader in environmental and safety solutions, has formed a strategic partnership with Everbridge, the worldwide leader in unified critical communications. This alliance will provide an industry leading unified platform integrating Federal Signal's SmartMsg mass notification solution, powered by Everbridge, to enable communication with Federal Signal's physical devices such as indoor and outdoor sirens, panic buttons, digital signage, and two-way radios to trigger emergency notifications, along with other communications.
''Communities rely heavily on outdoor warning systems and multimodal communications to ensure that the right message is sent to right people at the right time,'' said Matthew Brady, vice president of the Integrated Systems Division of Federal Signal. ''As technology advances, it is imperative to integrate hardware driven warning systems with multimodal communications software. This integration will enhance efficiency and safety by providing a single easy-to-use interface on desktops, smart phones and tablets. We are excited to partner with Everbridge to provide a solution that integrates with our market leading indoor and outdoor warning solutions to meet our customer's critical communication needs.''
The strategic partnership between Everbridge and Federal Signal is the first of its kind in the market for emergency warning and critical communications solutions. The integration between the two companies will enhance efficiency and safety by providing a single interface to control all emergency alerting tools and communications simultaneously.
''This is a game-changing partnership between Everbridge and Federal Signal. Now, Federal Signal's customers can connect audible and visual devices to the Everbridge platform to deliver real-time contextual communications during critical events,'' said Jaime Ellertson, CEO of Everbridge. ''We are very excited to provide customers with the ability to harness The Internet of Things to improve critical event preparedness and response.''
The integration enhances efficiency and safety by providing a single interface to control all emergency alerting tools and communications simultaneously. According to a recent report from Gartner, titled The Internet of Things Will Shape Smart Cities, ''The best-case scenario is for cities with centralized emergency response and safety systems where they can connect the city infrastructure and assets and provide a data stream between the infrastructure and city's centralized management systems.''1
Customers can now utilize either Federal Signal's Mass Notification Platform or the Everbridge Suite interface to activate physical devices. Examples of the integration in action include:
' Following a hazardous chemical spill, businesses and local governments can activate emergency sirens to deliver notifications that alert individuals to evacuate their nearby homes and facilities
' Warning systems for cities, municipalities, universities, industrial sites and nuclear power plants can now be activated to broadcast national weather service storm warnings or lockdown situations directly from the new Federal Signal Mass Notification solution.
1 Gartner, The Internet of Things Will Shape Smart Cities, Alfonso Velosa, Refreshed: 19 September 2014 | First Published: 28 March 2014.
About Federal Signal Integrated Systems Division
Federal Signal's Integrated Systems Division is a leader in designing and implementing integrated safety and security solutions for communities and facilities around the world. For more information regarding the Federal Signal SmartMsg product line visit http://www.alertnotification.com/products/mass-notification
About Federal Signal
Federal Signal Corporation (NYSE: FSS) provides products and services to protect people and our planet. Founded in 1901, Federal Signal is a leading global designer and manufacturer of products and total solutions that serve municipal, governmental, industrial and commercial customers. Headquartered in Oak Brook, Ill., with manufacturing facilities worldwide, the Company operates three groups: Safety and Security Systems, Environmental Solutions and Fire Rescue. For more information on Federal Signal, visit federalsignal.com.
About Everbridge
When every second counts, Everbridge connects the right people, devices and the Internet of Things (IoT), whether around the corner or across the globe, with the right information and context. By connecting over 70 million devices during critical events'--public safety incidents, IT service disruptions, healthcare code alerts and more'--Everbridge's Unified Critical Communication Platform delivers secure, compliant and automated communications when they are needed the most. More than 2,700 global organizations rely on us to manage these critical communications. For more information about Everbridge, visit www.everbridge.com, read the company blog, http://www.everbridge.com/blog, and follow on Twitter and Facebook.
Media Contact: Gabriella Churchill | 708-534-7644 | gchurchill@federalsignal.com
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Mass Notification Software, Mass Text Notification System Software | Federal Signal
Mon, 15 Jan 2018 19:59
Looking to be an Expert in our warning and mass notification products, services and solutions? Our Training Academy offers hands-on courses that will certify you in our products. Contact us at Training@federalsignal.com for more information.
FIND OUT MORE TODAY
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9-1-1 Magazine: Complete Emergency Communications Overhaul for Hawaii Emergency Warning System
Mon, 15 Jan 2018 19:57
Complete Emergency Communications Overhaul for Hawaii Emergency Warning SystemDate: 2013-07-02Federal Signal Alerting & Notification Systems, a leader in mass notification solutions for communities and facilities around the world, has completed the first phase of a statewide emergency warning system upgrade in Hawaii. The project replaces existing VHF and trunked radio networks with redundant satellite and cellular communications for controlling and monitoring the sirens throughout the state, and replaces aging siren equipment. The first fully integrated statewide siren network, Hawaii's new emergency warning and communications system covers the largest geographical area of any U.S. system.
''Working with a state like Hawaii poses unique geographical and logistical challenges,'' said John Von Thaden, vice president and general manager for Federal Signal. ''The system will cover four counties and six islands spanning over 300 miles and provide the state with a common communications infrastructure. The new system provides the state with the ability to monitor every siren from a centralized location. Our job was to integrate the islands through an efficient and redundant method using connected, streamlined technologies.''
For more than 60 years, Federal Signal has worked with Hawaii to provide alerting systems across the state. Through this project, Federal Signal will simplify maintenance of the warning system, create a single, statewide communication infrastructure for integrated monitoring and control, and allow for a backup activation network, should one ever fail.
''The existing sirens in Hawaii are comprised of a variety of product ages and versions, with varying capabilities. This coupled with the vast communications distances and varying terrain and heavy foliage poses a number of integration problems. We knew that we needed to create a modern, hybrid system that didn't just rely on a singular network,'' said Scott Cassidy, director of engineering for Federal Signal. ''The new system takes existing warning sirens and updates them with an activation network that allows customized communication '-- from statewide alerts to local community notifications '-- at the touch of a button.''
Previous warning systems in Hawaii relied on radio transmissions, most of which didn't allow for two-way communications or error messaging when a siren or communications path failed. Federal Signal's satellite and cellular hybrid system includes an array of speakers made up of drivers that can communicate through voice, text-to-speech and pre-recorded audio. Electronic controllers can manage messages, continually monitor readiness of the sirens, quickly confirm activation, and alert operators about system operational status.
''Given the geographic complexity and diversity of existing warning equipment in our state, we needed a partner who could pull a mission critical system together and manage the integration of software, communications, and siren equipment for a mission critical system,'' said Tom Simon, Systems Engineer for the State of Hawaii. ''After working together for many years with Federal Signal, we knew we shared the common goal of establishing an outdoor siren warning system to support our residents and visitors for years to come.''
The first phase of the Hawaii project included the rollout of a new system on the island of Oahu and consisted of 144 siren upgrades. Federal Signal plans to complete a second island upgrade during summer 2013, with the other islands coming soon after.
For more information on Federal Signal, visit: http://www.federalsignal.com.
- Corporate News/9-1-1magazine.com (via Federal Signal, 6/25/13)
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Emergency Alert System: What To Know After Hawaii's Missile False Alarm
Mon, 15 Jan 2018 19:37
Around 8 am local time on Jan. 13, Hawaiians received what will probably (hopefully) amount to the scare of their lifetimes. ''BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL'' came through the emergency alert systems on cell phones all across the islands.
The good news is that this was a false alarm. But the bad news is that the ambiguity surrounding the alert isn't the most comforting for a section of the country on edge over the escalating tensions between the U.S. and North Korea.
Hawaii Gov. David Ige claimed Saturday that alert was the result of an official simply ''[pressing] the wrong button'' during an employee shift change, but broader questions remain. Why didn't I get the notification here in San Diego, well within the range of intercontinental ballistic missiles that North Korea has tested in recent months? And assuming you weren't lucky enough to be on a beach in Hawaii when the alert went out, why didn't the average U.S. citizen receive one where they live?
The emergency alert received by hundreds of Hawaii residents falsely alerting them to an incoming ballistic missileTo understand today's scare, it's important to understand how our national emergency alert system functions. The National Incident Management System (NIMS) is the systematic approach laid out by the federal government for departments and agencies at all levels of government, nongovernmental organizations, and the private sector to prevent, respond to, recover from, and mitigate any and all kinds of incidents, no matter the size or scope. NIMS dictates that the initial authority for disaster response resides at the county level, so that's where most Mass Notification Systems that participate in the Emergency Alert System network reside.
The Emergency Alert System network is layered between federal, state, county, and local authorities through a system called the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) and controlled through the IPAWS Program Management Office at FEMA. The IPAWS PMO encourages partners to regularly test public alert and warning systems; in fact, the IPAWS Modernization Act of 2015, ratified in April 2016, requires IPAWS PMO to test the system not less than once every three years.
All systems compatible with IPAWS use the Common Alerting Protocol, an international standard, to send public alerts and warnings between systems and jurisdictions. State and local agencies, like Hawaii's Emergency Management Agency (HI-EMA), have their own systems, produced by a variety of manufacturers, to alert the public when a natural or manmade disaster is occurring or imminent. These mass notification systems use a variety of mediums to communicate danger to wide (or very narrow) swaths of people: they're capable of desktop alerts, text messaging, reverse 9-1-1, email, Wireless Emergency Alerts, announcement or siren over a loudspeaker, and more. All systems in use on bases, municipalities, and other agencies are IPAWS compatible but not all can send information two-way; most of the bases operate in a receive-only manner.
Related: Ballistic Missile False Alarm That Sparked Panic In Hawaii Caused By Wrong Button, Officials Say >>
These systems, the modern version of the CONELRAD (Control of Electromagnetic Radiation) method of emergency broadcasting established in 1951 at the outset of the Cold War, are powerfully effective in their ubiquity and power. Mass notification systems happen to be excellent tools for public awareness, and required testing can take any form. On many military bases, for example, the systems are tested each morning and night by using loudspeakers to play colors. Pretty smart, eh?
The specific kind of alert that Hawaiians received while they slept in or ate breakfast this morning was a Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA). WEAs use a different technology than voice calls or text messages and can only be used in three situations: 1. Alerts issued by the President; 2: Alerts involving imminent threats to safety or life; or 3: Amber Alerts. Participating carriers may block all but Presidential alerts.
The good news about WEAs are that they are location specific: even if you happened to be a tourist visiting Hawaii this morning, you would've received the alert (so long as your carrier participates). Carriers who do not participate are required to notify consumers, but the major carriers have all opted in. But the big problem, obviously, is that they're more subject to human error than their military counterparts.
Now, civilian agencies probably don't have the capability to detect ballistic missile launches, so in a real-life incident that message would have to come from the military, likely U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM) headquartered right there in Hawaii. PACOM would notify their base Emergency Operations Center (EOC) who would pass it up to the Regional EOC. Of note, the bases usually don't have control of the WEA tech and can notify only those registered in their systems (but can receive all IPAWS notifications). Because of that, the base or regional EOC would have to notify Hawaii EMA for transmission. That didn't happen today because there wasn't a ballistic missile inbound.
A medium-range ballistic missile target is launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility in Kauai, Hawaii, during Flight Test Standard Missile-27, Event 2. The target was successfully intercepted by SM-6 missiles fired from the guided-missile destroyer USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53).The governor of Hawaii claims that during a shift change, an operator simply hit the wrong button. Well, it doesn't exactly work that way. These alerts are not actuated by physically pushed buttons because the number of buttons that would require, for all of the different types of alerts, would be unwieldy. An operator would either type in the desired alert (or select from canned messages), select which communications mediums they'd like to use and the populations they'd like to alert, and then hit ''send'' and then again confirm that they really want to send that message. The canned messages might be available as electronically selectable on a computer screen (like a Windows button) but a ''confirm'' dialogue would still be required.
Time will tell what really happened, but as a Certified Emergency Manager (CEM) who helped set up the Mass Notification System for a major military base, I know that what likely occurred was a serious breach in procedure at Hawaii EMA. The authority who issued today's alert and then took 40 minutes to send a retraction on WEA. PACOM immediately released a message saying that there was no threat, so why didn't Hawaii EMA immediately send a retraction via WEA? There are serious implications associated with false alerts. What happens when an alert about a tsunami, wildfire, or active shooter are real and people ignore them?
Maybe we were hacked, as some have alleged , but probably not. No matter what happened, someone must be held accountable for this egregious breach of professionalism '-- and that person is almost definitely sitting at HI-EMA. Let's hope that this scare motivates agencies across the nation to take a look at their own procedures. And let's hope Gov. Ige holds his team accountable.
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Integrated Public Alert Warning Systems (IPAWS) OPEN Developers | FEMA.gov
Mon, 15 Jan 2018 19:24
The IPAWS-OPEN Developer List includes the names of third-party organizations that have executed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for the purpose of gaining access to the IPAWS-OPEN Test Environment to support interoperable software development. Additional information is provided regarding planned system functionality.
What You Should Know About Hawaii's Ballistic Missile False Alarm, According To A Former Navy Emergency Manager - The VABA
Mon, 15 Jan 2018 19:13
Around 8 am local time on Jan. 13, Hawaiians received what will probably (hopefully) amount to the scare of their lifetimes. ''BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL'' came through the emergency alert systems on cell phones all across the islands.
The good news is that this was a false alarm. But the bad news is that the ambiguity surrounding the alert isn't the most comforting for a section of the country on edge over the escalating tensions between the U.S. and North Korea.
Hawaii Gov. David Ige claimed Saturday that alert was the result of an official simply ''[pressing] the wrong button'' during an employee shift change, but broader questions remain. Why didn't I get the notification here in San Diego, well within the range of intercontinental ballistic missiles that North Korea has tested in recent months? And assuming you weren't lucky enough to be on a beach in Hawaii when the alert went out, why didn't the average U.S. citizen receive one where they live?
The emergency alert received by hundreds of Hawaii residents falsely alerting them to an incoming ballistic missile
To understand today's scare, it's important to understand how our national emergency alert system functions. The National Incident Management System (NIMS) is the systematic approach laid out by the federal government for departments and agencies at all levels of government, nongovernmental organizations, and the private sector to prevent, respond to, recover from, and mitigate any and all kinds of incidents, no matter the size or scope. NIMS dictates that the initial authority for disaster response resides at the county level, so that's where most Mass Notification Systems that participate in the Emergency Alert System network reside.
The Emergency Alert System network is layered between federal, state, county, and local authorities through a system called the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) and controlled through the IPAWS Program Management Office at FEMA. The IPAWS PMO encourages partners to regularly test public alert and warning systems; in fact, the IPAWS Modernization Act of 2015, ratified in April 2016, requires IPAWS PMO to test the system not less than once every three years.
All systems compatible with IPAWS use the Common Alerting Protocol, an international standard, to send public alerts and warnings between systems and jurisdictions. State and local agencies, like Hawaii's Emergency Management Agency (HI-EMA), have their own systems, produced by a variety of manufacturers, to alert the public when a natural or manmade disaster is occurring or imminent. These mass notification systems use a variety of mediums to communicate danger to wide (or very narrow) swaths of people: they're capable of desktop alerts, text messaging, reverse 9-1-1, email, Wireless Emergency Alerts, announcement or siren over a loudspeaker, and more. All systems in use on bases, municipalities, and other agencies are IPAWS compatible but not all can send information two-way; most of the bases operate in a receive-only manner.
Related: Ballistic Missile False Alarm That Sparked Panic In Hawaii Caused By Wrong Button, Officials Say >>
These systems, the modern version of the CONELRAD (Control of Electromagnetic Radiation) method of emergency broadcasting established in 1951 at the outset of the Cold War, are powerfully effective in their ubiquity and power. Mass notification systems happen to be excellent tools for public awareness, and required testing can take any form. On many military bases, for example, the systems are tested each morning and night by using loudspeakers to play colors. Pretty smart, eh?
The specific kind of alert that Hawaiians received while they slept in or ate breakfast this morning was a Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA). WEAs use a different technology than voice calls or text messages and can only be used in three situations: 1. Alerts issued by the President; 2: Alerts involving imminent threats to safety or life; or 3: Amber Alerts. Participating carriers may block all but Presidential alerts.
The good news about WEAs are that they are location specific: even if you happened to be a tourist visiting Hawaii this morning, you would've received the alert (so long as your carrier participates). Carriers who do not participate are required to notify consumers, but the major carriers have all opted in. But the big problem, obviously, is that they're more subject to human error than their military counterparts.
Now, civilian agencies probably don't have the capability to detect ballistic missile launches, so in a real-life incident that message would have to come from the military, likely U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM) headquartered right there in Hawaii. PACOM would notify their base Emergency Operations Center (EOC) who would pass it up to the Regional EOC. Of note, the bases usually don't have control of the WEA tech and can notify only those registered in their systems (but can receive all IPAWS notifications). Because of that, the base or regional EOC would have to notify Hawaii EMA for transmission. That didn't happen today because there wasn't a ballistic missile inbound.
A medium-range ballistic missile target is launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility in Kauai, Hawaii, during Flight Test Standard Missile-27, Event 2. The target was successfully intercepted by SM-6 missiles fired from the guided-missile destroyer USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53).
The governor of Hawaii claims that during a shift change, an operator simply hit the wrong button. Well, it doesn't exactly work that way. These alerts are not actuated by physically pushed buttons because the number of buttons that would require, for all of the different types of alerts, would be unwieldy. An operator would either type in the desired alert (or select from canned messages), select which communications mediums they'd like to use and the populations they'd like to alert, and then hit ''send'' and then again confirm that they really want to send that message. The canned messages might be available as electronically selectable on a computer screen (like a Windows button) but a ''confirm'' dialogue would still be required.
Time will tell what really happened, but as a Certified Emergency Manager (CEM) who helped set up the Mass Notification System for a major military base, I know that what likely occurred was a serious breach in procedure at Hawaii EMA. The authority who issued today's alert and then took 40 minutes to send a retraction on WEA. PACOM immediately released a message saying that there was no threat, so why didn't Hawaii EMA immediately send a retraction via WEA? There are serious implications associated with false alerts. What happens when an alert about a tsunami, wildfire, or active shooter are real and people ignore them?
Maybe we were hacked, as some have alleged , but probably not. No matter what happened, someone must be held accountable for this egregious breach of professionalism '-- and that person is almost definitely sitting at HI-EMA. Let's hope that this scare motivates agencies across the nation to take a look at their own procedures. And let's hope Gov. Ige holds his team accountable.
WATCH NEXT:
The post What You Should Know About Hawaii's Ballistic Missile False Alarm, According To A Former Navy Emergency Manager appeared first on Task & Purpose.
Executive Order 13407
Mon, 15 Jan 2018 18:52
Executive Order 13407 of June 26, 2006Public Alert and Warning SystemBy the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, as amended (42 U.S.C. 5121 et seq.), and the Homeland Security Act of 2002, as amended (6 U.S.C. 101 et seq.), it is hereby ordered as follows:Section 1. Policy. It is the policy of the United States to have an effective, reliable, integrated, flexible, and comprehensive system to alert and warn the American people in situations of war, terrorist attack, natural disaster, or other hazards to public safety and well-being (public alert and warning system), taking appropriate account of the functions, capabilities, and needs of the private sector and of all levels of government in our Federal system, and to ensure that under all conditions the President can communicate with the American people.Sec. 2. Functions of the Secretary of Homeland Security.(a) To implement the policy set forth in section 1 of this order, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall:(i) inventory, evaluate, and assess the capabilities and integration with the public alert and warning system of Federal, State, territorial, tribal, and local public alert and warning resources;(ii) establish or adopt, as appropriate, common alerting and warning protocols, standards, terminology, and operating procedures for the public alert and warning system to enable interoperability and the secure delivery of coordinated messages to the American people through as many communication pathways as practicable, taking account of Federal Communications Commission rules as provided by law;(iii) ensure the capability to adapt the distribution and content of communications on the basis of geographic location, risks, or personal user preferences, as appropriate;(iv) include in the public alert and warning system the capability to alert and warn all Americans, including those with disabilities and those without an understanding of the English language;(v) through cooperation with the owners and operators of communication facilities, maintain, protect, and, if necessary, restore communications facilities and capabilities necessary for the public alert and warning system;(vi) ensure the conduct of training, tests, and exercises for the public alert and warning system;(vii) ensure the conduct of public education efforts so that State, territorial, tribal, and local governments, the private sector, and the American people understand the functions of the public alert and warning system and how to access, use, and respond to information from the public alert and warning system;(viii) consult, coordinate, and cooperate with the private sector, including communications media organizations, and Federal, State, territorial, tribal, and local governmental authorities, including emergency response providers, as appropriate;(ix) administer the Emergency Alert System (EAS) as a critical component of the public alert and warning system; and(x) ensure that under all conditions the President of the United States can alert and warn the American people.
(b) In performing the functions set forth in subsection (a) of this section, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall coordinate with the Secretary of Commerce, the heads of other departments and agencies of the executive branch (agencies), and other officers of the United States, as appropriate, and the Federal Communications Commission.(c) The Secretary of Homeland Security may issue guidance to implement this order.Sec. 3. Duties of Heads of Departments and Agencies.(a) The heads of agencies shall provide such assistance and information as the Secretary of Homeland Security may request to implement this order.(b) In addition to performing the duties specified under subsection (a) of this section:(i) the Secretary of Commerce shall make available to the Secretary of Homeland Security, to assist in implementing this order, the capabilities and expertise of the Department of Commerce relating to standards, technology, telecommunications, dissemination systems, and weather;(ii) the Secretary of Defense shall provide to the Secretary of Homeland Security requirements for the public alert and warning system necessary to ensure proper coordination of the functions of the Department of Defense with the use of such system;(iii) the Federal Communications Commission shall, as provided by law, adopt rules to ensure that communications systems have the capacity to transmit alerts and warnings to the public as part of the public alert and warning system; and(iv) the heads of agencies with capabilities for public alert and warning shall comply with guidance issued by the Secretary of Homeland Security under subsection 2(c) of this order, and shall develop and maintain such capabilities in a manner consistent and interoperable with the public alert and warning system.
Sec. 4. Reports on Implementation. Not later than 90 days after the date of this order, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall submit to the President, through the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, a plan for the implementation of this order, and shall thereafter submit reports from time to time, and not less often than once each year, on such implementation, together with any recommendations the Secretary finds appropriate.Sec. 5. Amendment, Revocation, and Transition.(a) Section 3(b)(4) of Executive Order 12472 of April 3, 1984, as amended, is further amended by striking ``Emergency Broadcast System'' and inserting in lieu thereof ``Emergency Alert System''.(b) Not later than 120 days after the date of this order, the Secretary of Homeland Security, after consultation with the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, shall issue guidance under section 2(c) of this order that shall address the subject matter of the presidential memorandum of September 15, 1995, for the Director, Federal Emergency Management Agency, on Presidential Communications with the General Public During Periods of National Emergency, and upon issuance of such guidance such memorandum is revoked.(c) The Secretary of Homeland Security shall ensure an orderly and effective transition, without loss of capability, from alert and warning systems available as of the date of this order to the public alert and warning system for which this order provides.Sec. 6. General Provisions. (a) This order shall be implemented in a manner consistent with:(i) applicable law and presidential guidance, including Executive Order 12472 of April 3, 1984, as amended, and subject to the availability of appropriations; and(ii) the authorities of agencies, or heads of agencies, vested by law.
(b) This order shall not be construed to impair or otherwise affect the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budget, administrative, and legislative proposals.(c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any rights or benefits, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by a party against the United States, its agencies, instrumentalities, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.[signed:] George W. Bush
THE WHITE HOUSE,June 26, 2006.
Integrated Public Alert & Warning System | FEMA.gov
Mon, 15 Jan 2018 18:44
This section contains general information about the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS), the nation's alert and warning infrastructure.
During an emergency, alert and warning officials need to provide the public with life-saving information quickly. IPAWS is a modernization and integration of the nation's alert and warning infrastructure, and will save time when time matters most, protecting life and property. Watch a video about IPAWS.
Federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial alerting authorities can use IPAWS and integrate local systems that use Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) standards with the IPAWS infrastructure. IPAWS provides public safety officials with an effective way to alert and warn the public about serious emergencies using the Emergency Alert System (EAS), Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio, and other public alerting systems from a single interface. View a list of IPAWS Organizations with Public Alerting Authority Completed in each state.
To learn more about WEA, click here. To view previous webinar recordings, please visit https://femaipawslab.webex.com and choose the "View Event Recordings" link located at on the top right hand side of the page.
FEMA's Emergency Management Institute offers independent study courses online to authorized public safety officials and the American people:
Japan public broadcaster falsely reports N. Korean missile launch '-- RT World News
Tue, 16 Jan 2018 12:04
Japanese media outlet NHK has apologized for issuing a false report of a North Korean missile launch Tuesday evening local time.
An apology was issued on the Japanese language version of NHK's website and later shared on its social media platforms.
"Around 6:55pm earlier we reported on the NHK's news site and NHK's news disaster prevention application 'Pattern of North Korean missile launch' but this was incorrectly issued. J alert has not appeared. I must sincerely apologize,'' the news outlet wrote.
The incident comes just four days after a public warning was issued to residents in Hawaii to ''seek immediate shelter'' from an alleged incoming ballistic missile which had been launched.
That alert was issued in error by the Hawaii Civil Defense, which apologized profusely and sparked debate online about US President Donald Trump's rhetoric regarding his country's nuclear capabilities and the threat posed by the North Korean regime.
READ MORE: 'This is not a drill': Hawaii gets ballistic missile alert 'by mistake'
Porn site saw spike in traffic after Hawaii missile threat
Thu, 18 Jan 2018 13:02
Residents in Hawaii received a text message alert at 8:07am on Saturday, January 13, stating that a ballistic missile was headed towards the islandPorn website Pornhub revealed that in the time after the text was sent, the site saw a huge decline in traffic as people were seeking shelter At 8:45am residents were alerted that it was a false alarm and Pornhub shared that just 16 minutes after the second alert, there was a huge surge in viewsHawaii's false alarm missile threat caused an almost unbearable amount of tension for residents - so much so that it sent some of them searching for relief in a rather risque place: a porn site.
Porn website Pornhub has revealed it saw a huge spike in traffic in the minutes after it was revealed the incoming ballistic missile warning had been a false alarm - with views in Hawaii coming in at nearly 50 per cent more than usual.
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Unsurprisingly, this leap in numbers followed a dramatic decline, which took place after residents received the first text alert at 8.07am on Saturday 13 January, warning them that a ballistic missile was heading their way.
Seeking relief: Pornhub revealed that traffic skyrocketed after residents of Hawaii were notified that the missile threat was a false alarm and pageviews were 50 per cent higherAt this point, pageviews plummeted as people sought shelter from what they thought a severe threat to their lives, with traffic reaching 77 per cent lower then usual during the 20 minutes after the warning went out.
At 8.23am exactly the website experienced its lowest numbers, with views beginning to climb up into normal range once again after 8.45am, when residents were told that the warning had in fact been a false alarm.
But far from just returning to normal, Pornhub's statisticians were fascinated to learn that the site's numbers then soared in quite the opposite direction, shooting up above average and ranging at a peak 48 per cent increase in its average Saturday morning numbers.
The all-time high came at 9.01am exactly, just 15 minutes after the second message was sent out - no doubt having given people time to return to their homes (and, apparently, their computers) after seeking shelter.
Pornhub's Hawaii trend analysis comes just after a few months after it was revealed people are - on the whole - watching far less porn that they did ten years ago.
Pornhub reveals it saw a 50% spike in traffic minutes after the Hawaii missile threatResidents of Hawaii received a text message alert at 8:07am on Saturday, January 13, stating that a ballistic missile was headed towards the island
Pornhub revealed a steep drop in traffic at 8:07am, immediately after the text was sent out
By 8:23am, traffic was a massive -77% below what a typical Saturday got
At 8:45am, residents were then notified that the alert was a false alarm
The site reports that traffic went back to normal after the false alarm
By 9:01am, just 16 minutes after the false alarm, traffic surged to +48% typical levels
...
In honor of its ten year anniversary in May, the pornography purveyor has released 10 years worth of information about who is watching porn, how they're watching, and what they're watching.
While some of the survey results were unsurprising - 'MILF' was one of the sites most enduring categories, for example - some of the statistics were less predictable, such as the fact that Kim Kardashian was the most popular porn star of 2008 (her infamous sex tape was released one year prior).
One of the most notable results from the survey, however, was the way that technology has impacted how society views pornography.
When Pornhub launched in 2007, a mere one per cent of viewers tuned in on a mobile device. By May 2017, that number has soared to 75 per cent.
The site also revealed that it saw a huge increase in the amount of content available - with more than 1.5 million hours worth of footage available to stream. That amounts to more than 173 years of content.
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Despite such a massive increase in content, the average viewer actually spends less time watching porn today than they did ten years ago. In 2007, a visitor to the site spent an average of 13 minutes on the site, clicking through a total of 14 pages.
These days, the average viewer spends an average of four minutes less, and browses fewer total pages. In 2017, PornHub visitors spent nine minutes clicking through just nine pages.
...
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#MeToo
Five women accuse actor James Franco of inappropriate or sexually exploitative behavior - LA Times
Mon, 15 Jan 2018 12:56
By Daniel Miller and Amy Kaufman
Jan 11, 2018
James Franco. (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times) James Franco. (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)It should have been a pure moment of triumph for James Franco. He collected one of Hollywood's top prizes at the Golden Globe Awards on Sunday, validating an untraditional career in which he's been a bankable leading man, Ivy League academic and eccentric auteur.
But as he stood on the ballroom stage, some were paying more attention to the Time's Up pin on his lapel than the gold statue he picked up for his turn in ''The Disaster Artist.''
It ''was like a slap in my face,'' said Sarah Tither-Kaplan, a former acting student at the film school Franco founded who went on to appear in several of his productions.
Tither-Kaplan is one of five women who, in interviews with The Times, accused Franco, 39, of behavior they found to be inappropriate or sexually exploitative. Four were his students, and another said he was her mentor.
In some cases, they said they believed Franco could offer them career advancement, and acquiesced to his wishes even when they were uncomfortable.
''I feel there was an abuse of power, and there was a culture of exploiting non-celebrity women, and a culture of women being replaceable,'' said Tither-Kaplan, who was one of many women who took to Twitter on Sunday night to vent anger over Franco's win and his support of Time's Up, the initiative combating sexual misconduct in Hollywood.
She told The Times that in a nude orgy scene she filmed with Franco and several women three years ago, he removed protective plastic guards covering other actresses' vaginas while simulating oral sex on them.
Two other student actresses also recounted negative on-set experiences. Both said Franco became angry when no women, while at the shoot, would agree to be topless.
Franco's attorney, Michael Plonsker, disputed all of the women's allegations and directed The Times to Franco's comments Tuesday night on ''The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.''
''Look, in my life I pride myself on taking responsibility for things that I have done,'' he told Colbert. ''I have to do that to maintain my well being. The things that I heard that were on Twitter are not accurate. But I completely support people coming out and being able to have a voice because they didn't have a voice for so long. So I don't want to shut them down in any way.''
''If I have done something wrong,'' he added, ''I will fix it '-- I have to.''
Look, in my life I pride myself on taking responsibility for things that I have done. ... If I have done something wrong, I will fix it '-- I have to.
James Franco
A creative force in Hollywood with a reputation for being indefatigable, Franco has acted in several notable films and TV shows over his 20-year career. They include ''Freaks and Geeks,'' ''Pineapple Express'' and ''127 Hours,'' which netted him an Oscar nomination for lead actor. He's directed episodes of HBO's ''The Deuce'' '-- on which he currently stars in two leading roles, playing twins '-- and served as a producer on films and TV shows including the ''The Interview'' and the Hulu series "11.22.63.''
His affinity for tackling unexpected projects, coupled with a prolific work ethic, have become part of his Hollywood mystique. Over the last decade, he's directed more than two-dozen low-budget indie features and shorts, written books and even turned his experience co-starring on soap opera ''General Hospital'' into an exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art. In 2014, he launched a film school '-- Studio 4 in Los Angeles and New York '-- where he taught and mentored hundreds of aspiring actors and filmmakers; both locations abruptly closed last fall.
James Franco appears at the Golden Globe Awards wearing a Time's Up pin. Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times Franco has also attracted attention for controversial behavior on social media. In 2014, he used Instagram to ask a 17-year-old British girl he'd met outside a New York theater if she had a boyfriend and whether she was 18. Even after learning her age, he asked for the name of her hotel and if he should rent a room.
After that episode became public, Franco apologized on ABC's ''Live! With Kelly and Michael.'' ''I'm embarrassed, and I guess I'm just a model of how social media is tricky,'' he said. ''I used bad judgment and I learned my lesson.''
Teacher-student interactions
Before opening Studio 4, Franco taught at Playhouse West in North Hollywood '-- a school where he'd received training as an actor.
Two of his former students there said he put female students in uncomfortable situations beyond the normal parameters of acting class.
Hilary Dusome, 33, who took a class from Franco in 2012, said that at first, she found him to be "a really generous spirit" eager to help aspiring actors.
Her feelings shifted after being selected to appear, with a handful of other female students, in what she thought was one of Franco's ''art films.'' Natalie Chmiel, the other student, said she was told the footage would be used in a 7 For All Mankind jeans commercial.
Both women described what they considered to be an unprofessional and hostile shoot at a strip club.
Midway through filming, Dusome said Franco approached the actresses '-- who wore masks and lingerie '-- and asked, "So, who wants to take your shirt off?"
When no actresses volunteered, Franco stormed off, Dusome recalled.
"I felt like I was selected for something based on my hard work and my merit, and when I realized it was because I have nice [breasts], it was pretty clear that was not the case," Dusome said. "I don't think he started teaching with bad intentions, but he went down a bad path and damaged a lot of people in the process."
I don't think he started teaching with bad intentions, but he went down a bad path and damaged a lot of people in the process.
Hilary Dusome, former student
Chmiel, 33, also recalled Franco asking the women if any of them wanted to take their top off, and that he was ''visibly angry'' when they declined.
''He just took advantage of our eagerness to work and be a part of something bigger,'' Chmiel said. ''We were all these up-and-coming actors who were so hopeful.''
Franco did not make the request the women alleged, his attorney said.
Stories from Studio 4
Franco launched Studio 4 in 2014 in association with Playhouse West '-- famously the home of the late acting coach Sanford Meisner. The North Hollywood school opened first; the New York City outpost soon thereafter. Most of the classes were not taught by Franco, who was also juggling professorial duties at USC, UCLA and CalArts in addition to a busy film schedule.
More than a dozen former students told The Times in interviews that they had a positive experience at Studio 4, where pupils were initially charged a monthly tuition of $300. Many said they were shocked by the school's sudden closure last fall, and did not know why it had shuttered.
Former student Prashant Thakker said Franco put in extra effort to make students feel heard, even meeting with them outside of class hours. ''If he felt the class wasn't enough, he would take us writers to a separate venue outside of class. He would keep teaching us over and over again,'' he said.
But not every student was pleased.
''It was kind of a bummer,'' said Kelsey Ann Wacker, a New York student. ''He was shooting 'The Deuce,' but would come to class, and you were like, 'Did you just fall asleep under your ball cap?' He'd sit at the front and be a grouch. I wish he would have taken more of a responsibility to teach.''
One of the things that made Studio 4 different from other acting schools, Franco promised, was its ability to funnel promising talent into the actor's own projects. Indeed, the school's now-closed website said that Franco and his production company, Rabbit Bandini Productions, would ''cast roles directly from his classes, and will involve his students in a variety of his film and art projects."
But several students said that these parts were rarely handed out to people in the classes.
''They would tell us that smaller parts in their projects were being held exclusively for students '-- often they were opportunities for extra work or parts that required nudity,'' said Devyn LaBella, who spent a year as a student at the NoHo location. ''I didn't have agency representation at the time, so I thought, 'Well, I'm not going to be able to get into good auditions, so this might be my opportunity.'''
LaBella said she and classmates uploaded auditions to a website, but no one she knew ever heard back.
Katie Ryan, who met Franco at Playhouse West and took several classes at Studio 4, said the actor ''would always make everybody think there were possible roles on the table if we were to perform sexual acts or take off our shirts" in his projects.
She said that for years, she received mass email requests from Franco to audition for roles playing "a prostitute or a hooker."
Franco is ''not aware that any of the actions alleged by Ms. Ryan ever occurred,'' his attorney said.
Vince Jolivette, co-owner of Rabbit Bandini, which ran Studio 4, said in a statement provided by Franco's attorney that ''the school was always run professionally.''
''Our instructors were excellent, student feedback was positive,'' he said, noting that they were investigating complaints about the school that are ''very inconsistent with the mission.''
Some students did appear in Rabbit Bandini productions. In 2015, the company made a deal with digital distributor Maker Studios to premiere two original series spawned from Studio 4. One of the projects was a docu-series that went behind the scenes of Franco's Sex Scenes master class, which taught students about the art of being intimate on camera.
'Red flags'
As part of Tither-Kaplan's experience in the Sex Scenes class, she and her partner created a short film, ''Hungry Girl,'' which shows her topless and was uploaded to the video-sharing website Vimeo. Last year, she discovered images from the film on at least one pornography website.
''Now, if you Google me, you can see me naked,'' said Tither-Kaplan, 26. ''Before I've ever been on TV or before I've ever had any real credits or before any of this '-- of course I regret that. I don't want that.''
Sarah Tither-Kaplan at her apartment in Los Angeles. Christina House / Los Angeles Times The video posted to Vimeo, Plonsker said, was not under the control of the school or Franco. ''Any online posting of videos, including if applicable Vimeo, were operated and created by the students to showcase their collective work,'' he said.
Rabbit Bandini appeared to be aware that the videos had been uploaded. In a May 2015 email sent to Tither-Kaplan and her fellow ''Sex Sceners,'' which was reviewed by The Times, a company employee told the class he ''just wanted to let [them] know the films are now up on the Studio 4 Vimeo Channel.''
School leadership will be investigating these complaints, Plonsker said, adding: ''They are committed to hearing voices of concerns and being receptive to their issues.''
In 2015, Franco asked Tither-Kaplan to play a prostitute in another of his projects, the feature film ''The Long Home,'' with a cast that included him, Josh Hutcherson, Courtney Love and Timothy Hutton.
The part required her to perform nude, and she agreed because she considered it a big break. In fact, she signed nudity agreements for each of the films she made with Franco.
But one day on set in May 2015, a producer approached her and other women to ask if they wanted to film a ''bonus scene'' of an orgy. In it, Tither-Kaplan appeared fully nude, she said. A handful of other women were selected to appear with Franco, who simulated performing oral sex on each of them, Tither-Kaplan said. But in each case, she said he removed a clear plastic guard that covered their vaginas '-- and continued to simulate the sex act with no protection.
Then, Tither-Kaplan said, she and her female co-stars were asked to appear topless in an unscripted scene and dance around Franco while wearing animal skulls atop their heads. One actress who balked was sent home the next day, Tither-Kaplan said.
''I got it in my head pretty quickly that, OK, you don't say 'no' to this guy,'' she said.
Another actress who participated in the shoots confirmed Tither-Kaplan's account of the unscripted sequence that led to the departure of an actress. She also confirmed the removal of the plastic guards.
Franco's attorney, Plonsker, said ''the allegations about the protective guards are not accurate.'' He also pointed to numerous social media posts by Tither-Kaplan that reflected a positive experience on the set.
Tither-Kaplan acknowledged those glowing remarks '-- she said she had been excited about making new friends during production and also wanted to promote her work on a notable project. Still, she said, the negative experiences were ''red flags.''
I got it in my head pretty quickly that, OK, you don't say 'no' to this guy.
Sarah Tither-Kaplan
In a statement provided by Franco's attorney, Cynthia Huffman, a casting director who worked on ''The Long Home,'' said she did not receive any complaints and that she ''personally checked on all the actresses constantly to make sure they were ok and comfortable.''
''James is all about giving up and comers, actors and actresses and young filmmakers a break in this business,'' Huffman said. ''I feel horrible that anyone was made to feel uncomfortable but we went to great lengths to make sure all the actresses in the nude scenes felt comfortable and safe.''
No distribution deal for ''The Long Home'' or formal release plans have been announced.
Tither-Kaplan's parents both said their daughter complained about several negative experiences on Franco's projects.
Late last year, after Harvey Weinstein's alleged abuse of women became public, Tither-Kaplan said Franco apologized for making her feel uncomfortable.
''I want to give him credit for at least being open to communicating with me,'' she said. ''I felt that he was still not really taking accountability for the environment on the sets.''
'The power dynamic was really off'
Violet Paley, 23, told The Times that when she met Franco in early 2016 she was eager to become a filmmaker and that he had been willing to give her notes on her script.
They had begun a romantic relationship when she said he pressured her into performing oral sex on him '-- an act she'd never done with him at that point '-- while sitting in her car.
''I was talking to him, all of a sudden his penis was out,'' said Paley. ''I got really nervous, and I said, 'Can we do this later?' He was kind of nudging my head down, and I just didn't want him to hate me, so I did it.''
She began to perform the sex act, but was uncomfortable. To extricate herself from the situation, she told Franco she spotted someone near the car.
Franco's attorney, Plonsker, denied Paley's allegations, calling them ''not accurate.''
Later, Paley said, she and Franco advanced their consensual sexual relationship. Today, she said she would have handled the encounter in the car differently, especially in the wake of the Weinstein scandal. ''I would say, 'No, stop, get out of my car,''' she said. ''The power dynamic was really off.''
Violet Paley Violet Paley Paley said she told several friends and family members about her encounter with Franco. Five of them confirmed their conversations with The Times.
After Franco won the Golden Globe, Paley expressed her outrage Sunday night, tweeting about their alleged encounter in her car.
Amid social media criticism that her allegations detract from criminal allegations against Hollywood figures, Paley has defended her right to speak out while also acknowledging that her story is complicated by her and Franco's consensual relationship. ''It's been hard to come forward about this,'' she wrote on Twitter.
After the Weinstein allegations were reported last fall, Paley emailed Franco, expressing her anger and sadness over his treatment of her (she provided The Times with a copy of the email). He didn't respond, though they later spoke by phone and he tried to make amends, she said.
He said it was wrong for him to have a sexual relationship with someone he knew to be in recovery for substance abuse, Paley recalled. However, she said he told her he hadn't done ''anything illegal'' and insisted, ''I'm a changed man.''
Indeed, just a few months before, he told Out magazine he'd embarked on a "new chapter of my life."
"I was very work-addicted,'' he admitted, ''and addicted to other things '-- not substances, I got over that a long time ago '-- but I've recently changed my life.''
Amid the Hollywood awards season '-- already shaped by an industrywide awakening over how women are treated '-- it is unclear how the allegations will affect Franco's standing. The New York Times on Tuesday canceled a planned event with the actor, citing the controversy. On Thursday, Franco won a Critics' Choice Award but didn't show up to accept it.
Academy Award nominations will be announced Jan. 23.
daniel.miller@latimes.com
@DanielNMiller
amy.kaufman@latimes.com
@AmyKinLA
UPDATES:
6:38 p.m.: This story was updated to include Franco's Critics' Choice Award, which he didn't show up to accept on Thursday evening.
This story was originally published at 3 a.m.
Aziz Ansari Is Guilty. Of Not Being a Mind Reader. - The New York Times
Tue, 16 Jan 2018 12:23
After arriving at his TriBeCa apartment on the appointed evening '-- she was ''excited,'' having carefully chosen her outfit after consulting with friends '-- they exchanged small talk and drank wine. ''It was white,'' she said. ''I didn't get to choose and I prefer red, but it was white wine.'' Yes, we are apparently meant to read into the nonconsensual wine choice.
They went out to dinner nearby and then returned home to Mr. Ansari's apartment. As Grace tells it, the actor was far too eager to get back to his place after he paid for dinner: ''Like, he got the check and then it was bada-boom, bada-bing, we're out of there.'' Another sign of his apparent boorishness.
Grace complimented Mr. Ansari's kitchen countertops. The actor then made a move, asking her to sit on the counter. They started kissing. He undressed her and then himself.
In the 30 or so minutes that followed '-- recounted beat by cringe-inducing beat '-- they hooked up. Mr. Ansari persistently tried to have penetrative sex with her, and Grace says she was deeply uncomfortable throughout. At various points, she told the reporter, she attempted to voice her hesitation, and that Mr. Ansari ignored her signals.
At last, she uttered the word ''no'' for the first time during their encounter, to Mr. Ansari's suggestion that they have sex in front of a mirror. He said: '''How about we just chill, but this time with our clothes on?'''
They got dressed, sat on the couch and watched ''Seinfeld.'' She said to him: ''You guys are all the same.'' He called her an Uber. She cried on the way home. Fin.
If you are wondering what about this evening constituted the ''worst night'' of Grace's life, or why it is being framed as a #MeToo story by a feminist website, you probably feel as confused as Mr. Ansari did the next day. ''It was fun meeting you last night,'' he texted.
''Last night might've been fun for you, but it wasn't for me,'' she responded. ''You ignored clear nonverbal cues; you kept going with advances. You had to have noticed I was uncomfortable.'' He replied with an apology.
Read Grace's text message again.
Put in other words: I am angry that you weren't able to read my mind.
It is worth carefully studying Grace's story. Encoded in it are new yet deeply retrograde ideas about what constitutes consent '-- and what constitutes sexual violence.
We are told by the reporter that Grace ''says she used verbal and nonverbal cues to indicate how uncomfortable and distressed she was.'' She adds that ''whether Ansari didn't notice Grace's reticence or knowingly ignored it is impossible for her to say.'' We are told that ''he wouldn't let her move away from him,'' in the encounter.
Yet Mr. Ansari, in a statement responding to Grace's story, said that ''by all indications'' the encounter was ''completely consensual.''
I am a proud feminist, and this is what I thought while reading Grace's story:
If you are hanging out naked with a man, it's safe to assume he is going to try to have sex with you.
If the inability to choose a pinot noir over a pinot grigio offends you, you can leave right then and there.
If you don't like the way your date hustles through paying the check, you can say, ''I've had a lovely evening and I'm going home now.''
If you go home with him and discover he's a terrible kisser, say ''I'm out.''
If you start to hook up and don't like the way he smells or the way he talks (or doesn't talk), end it.
If he pressures you to do something you don't want to do, use a four-letter word, stand up on your two legs and walk out his door.
Aziz Ansari sounds like he was aggressive and selfish and obnoxious that night. Isn't it heartbreaking and depressing that men '-- especially ones who present themselves publicly as feminists '-- so often act this way in private? Shouldn't we try to change our broken sexual culture? And isn't it enraging that women are socialized to be docile and accommodating and to put men's desires before their own? Yes. Yes. Yes.
But the solution to these problems does not begin with women torching men for failing to understand their ''nonverbal cues.'' It is for women to be more verbal. It's to say: ''This is what turns me on.'' It's to say ''I don't want to do that.'' And, yes, sometimes it means saying piss off.
The single most distressing thing to me about Grace's story is that the only person with any agency in the story seems to be Aziz Ansari. Grace is merely acted upon.
All of this put me in mind of another piece published this weekend, this one by the novelist and feminist icon Margaret Atwood. ''My fundamental position is that women are human beings,'' she writes. ''Nor do I believe that women are children, incapable of agency or of making moral decisions. If they were, we're back to the 19th century, and women should not own property, have credit cards, have access to higher education, control their own reproduction or vote. There are powerful groups in North America pushing this agenda, but they are not usually considered feminists.''
Except, increasingly, they are.
Grace's story was met with so many digital hosannas by young feminists, who insisted that consent is only consent if it is affirmative, active, continuous and '-- and this is the word most used '-- enthusiastic. Consent isn't the only thing they are radically redefining. A recent survey by The Economist/YouGov found that approximately 25 percent of millennial-age American women think asking someone for a drink is harassment. More than a third say that if a man compliments a woman's looks it is harassment.
To judge from social media reaction to Grace's story, they also see a flagrant abuse of power in this sexual encounter. Yes, Mr. Ansari is a wealthy celebrity with a Netflix show. But he had no actual power over Grace '-- professionally or otherwise. And lumping him in with the same movement that brought down men who ran movie studios and forced themselves on actresses, or the factory floor supervisors who demanded sex from women workers, trivializes what #MeToo first stood for.
I'm sorry Grace had this experience. I too have had lousy romantic encounters, as has every adult woman I know. I have regretted these encounters, and not said anything at all. And I have regretted them and said so, like Grace did. And I know I am lucky that these unpleasant moments were far from being anything approaching assault or rape, or even the worst night of my life.
But the response to Grace's story makes me think that many of my fellow feminists might insist that my experience was just that, and for me to define it otherwise is nothing more than my internalized misogyny.
There is a useful term for what Grace experienced on her night with Mr. Ansari. It's called ''bad sex.'' It sucks.
The feminist answer is to push for a culture in which boys and young men are taught that sex does not have to be pursued like they're in a porn film, and one in which girls and young women are empowered to be bolder, braver and louder about what they want. The insidious attempt by some women to criminalize awkward, gross and entitled sex takes women back to the days of smelling salts and fainting couches. That's somewhere I, for one, don't want to go.
Continue reading the main story
Am I a bad feminist? - The Globe and Mail
Tue, 16 Jan 2018 13:44
Margaret Atwood is the author of more than 40 books of poetry, fiction and essays, including The Handmaid's Tale.
It seems that I am a "Bad Feminist." I can add that to the other things I've been accused of since 1972, such as climbing to fame up a pyramid of decapitated men's heads (a leftie journal), of being a dominatrix bent on the subjugation of men (a rightie one, complete with an illustration of me in leather boots and a whip) and of being an awful person who can annihilate '' with her magic White Witch powers '' anyone critical of her at Toronto dinner tables. I'm so scary! And now, it seems, I am conducting a War on Women, like the misogynistic, rape-enabling Bad Feminist that I am.
What would a Good Feminist look like, in the eyes of my accusers?
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My fundamental position is that women are human beings, with the full range of saintly and demonic behaviours this entails, including criminal ones. They're not angels, incapable of wrongdoing. If they were, we wouldn't need a legal system.
Read also: More than 10 writers remove their names from controversial letter in Steven Galloway case
Nor do I believe that women are children, incapable of agency or of making moral decisions. If they were, we're back to the 19th century, and women should not own property, have credit cards, have access to higher education, control their own reproduction or vote. There are powerful groups in North America pushing this agenda, but they are not usually considered feminists.
Furthermore, I believe that in order to have civil and human rights for women there have to be civil and human rights, period, including the right to fundamental justice, just as for women to have the vote, there has to be a vote. Do Good Feminists believe that only women should have such rights? Surely not. That would be to flip the coin on the old state of affairs in which only men had such rights.
So let us suppose that my Good Feminist accusers, and the Bad Feminist that is me, agree on the above points. Where do we diverge? And how did I get into such hot water with the Good Feminists?
In November of 2016, I signed '' as a matter of principle, as I have signed many petitions '' an Open Letter called UBC Accountable, which calls for holding the University of British Columbia accountable for its failed process in its treatment of one of its former employees, Steven Galloway, the former chair of the department of creative writing, as well as its treatment of those who became ancillary complainants in the case. Specifically, several years ago, the university went public in national media before there was an inquiry, and even before the accused was allowed to know the details of the accusation. Before he could find them out, he had to sign a confidentiality agreement. The public '' including me '' was left with the impression that this man was a violent serial rapist, and everyone was free to attack him publicly, since under the agreement he had signed, he couldn't say anything to defend himself. A barrage of invective followed.
But then, after an inquiry by a judge that went on for months, with multiple witnesses and interviews, the judge said there had been no sexual assault, according to a statement released by Mr. Galloway through his lawyer. The employee got fired anyway. Everyone was surprised, including me. His faculty association launched a grievance, which is continuing, and until it is over, the public still cannot have access to the judge's report or her reasoning from the evidence presented. The not-guilty verdict displeased some people. They continued to attack. It was at this point that details of UBC's flawed process began to circulate, and the UBC Accountable letter came into being.
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A fair-minded person would now withhold judgment as to guilt until the report and the evidence are available for us to see. We are grownups: We can make up our own minds, one way or the other. The signatories of the UBC Accountable letter have always taken this position. My critics have not, because they have already made up their minds. Are these Good Feminists fair-minded people? If not, they are just feeding into the very old narrative that holds women to be incapable of fairness or of considered judgment, and they are giving the opponents of women yet another reason to deny them positions of decision-making in the world.
A digression: Witch talk. Another point against me is that I compared the UBC proceedings to the Salem witchcraft trials, in which a person was guilty because accused, since the rules of evidence were such that you could not be found innocent. My Good Feminist accusers take exception to this comparison. They think I was comparing them to the teenaged Salem witchfinders and calling them hysterical little girls. I was alluding instead to the structure in place at the trials themselves.
There are, at present, three kinds of "witch" language. 1) Calling someone a witch, as applied lavishly to Hillary Clinton during the recent election. 2) "Witchhunt," used to imply that someone is looking for something that doesn't exist. 3) The structure of the Salem witchcraft trials, in which you were guilty because accused. I was talking about the third use.
This structure '' guilty because accused '' has applied in many more episodes in human history than Salem. It tends to kick in during the "Terror and Virtue" phase of revolutions '' something has gone wrong, and there must be a purge, as in the French Revolution, Stalin's purges in the USSR, the Red Guard period in China, the reign of the Generals in Argentina and the early days of the Iranian Revolution. The list is long and Left and Right have both indulged. Before "Terror and Virtue" is over, a great many have fallen by the wayside. Note that I am not saying that there are no traitors or whatever the target group may be; simply that in such times, the usual rules of evidence are bypassed.
Such things are always done in the name of ushering in a better world. Sometimes they do usher one in, for a time anyway. Sometimes they are used as an excuse for new forms of oppression. As for vigilante justice '' condemnation without a trial '' it begins as a response to a lack of justice '' either the system is corrupt, as in prerevolutionary France, or there isn't one, as in the Wild West '' so people take things into their own hands. But understandable and temporary vigilante justice can morph into a culturally solidified lynch-mob habit, in which the available mode of justice is thrown out the window, and extralegal power structures are put into place and maintained. The Cosa Nostra, for instance, began as a resistance to political tyranny.
The #MeToo moment is a symptom of a broken legal system. All too frequently, women and other sexual-abuse complainants couldn't get a fair hearing through institutions '' including corporate structures '' so they used a new tool: the internet. Stars fell from the skies. This has been very effective, and has been seen as a massive wake-up call. But what next? The legal system can be fixed, or our society could dispose of it. Institutions, corporations and workplaces can houseclean, or they can expect more stars to fall, and also a lot of asteroids.
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If the legal system is bypassed because it is seen as ineffectual, what will take its place? Who will be the new power brokers? It won't be the Bad Feminists like me. We are acceptable neither to Right nor to Left. In times of extremes, extremists win. Their ideology becomes a religion, anyone who doesn't puppet their views is seen as an apostate, a heretic or a traitor, and moderates in the middle are annihilated. Fiction writers are particularly suspect because they write about human beings, and people are morally ambiguous. The aim of ideology is to eliminate ambiguity.
The UBC Accountable letter is also a symptom '' a symptom of the failure of the University of British Columbia and its flawed process. This should have been a matter addressed by Canadian Civil Liberties or B.C. Civil Liberties. Maybe these organizations will now put up their hands. Since the letter has now become a censorship issue '' with calls being made to erase the site and the many thoughtful words of its writers '' perhaps PEN Canada, PEN International, CJFE and Index on Censorship may also have a view.
The letter said from the beginning that UBC failed accused and complainants both. I would add that it failed the taxpaying public, who fund UBC to the tune of $600-million a year. We would like to know how our money was spent in this instance. Donors to UBC '' and it receives billions of dollars in private donations '' also have a right to know.
In this whole affair, writers have been set against one another, especially since the letter was distorted by its attackers and vilified as a War on Women. But at this time, I call upon all '' both the Good Feminists and the Bad Feminists like me '' to drop their unproductive squabbling, join forces and direct the spotlight where it should have been all along '' at UBC. Two of the ancillary complainants have now spoken out against UBC's process in this affair. For that, they should be thanked.
Once UBC has begun an independent inquiry into its own actions '' such as the one conducted recently at Wilfrid Laurier University '' and has pledged to make that inquiry public, the UBC Accountable site will have served its purpose. That purpose was never to squash women. Why have accountability and transparency been framed as antithetical to women's rights?
A war among women, as opposed to a war on women, is always pleasing to those who do not wish women well. This is a very important moment. I hope it will not be squandered.
Caliphate!
Egyptian branch of ISIS declares war on Hamas as tensions rise in Sinai | intelNews.org
Tue, 16 Jan 2018 11:56
January 12, 2018 by Joseph Fitsanakis
The Islamic State in Egypt's Sinai Province has declared war on the Palestinian militant group Hamas, in a move that experts say will furhter-complicate an already volatile security situation in eastern Egypt. Many observers see the group, Wilayat Sinai, as the strongest international arm of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Known officially as ISIS '' Sinai Province, Wilayat Sinai was behind the 2015 downing of Metrojet Flight 9268, which killed all 224 passengers and crew onboard, most of them Russians. The same group killed 311 people at a Sufi mosque in November of last year, in what has become known as the worst terrorist attack in Egypt's modern history.
Israeli sources claim that, in the past, Wilayat Sinai has had limited cooperation with Hamas, the militant group that controls the Gaza Strip, a coastal section of the Palestinian territories that borders with Egypt's Sinai Province. The two organizations are believed to have engaged in limited cross-border arms-smuggling, while some injured Wilayat Sinai fighters have been treated in Gaza Strip hospitals. But the two groups have major ideological differences that contribute to their increasingly tense relationship. The Islamic State objects to participation in democratic elections, which it sees as efforts to place human will above divine law. It has thus condemned Hamas' decision to participate in the 2006 elections in the Palestinian territories. Additionally, even though it promotes Sunni Islam, Hamas is far less strict in its religious approach than the Islamic State, and does not impose Sharia (Islamic law based on the Quran) in the territory it controls. Furthermore, Hamas suppresses Saudi-inspired Wahhabism and its security forces often arrest ISIS and al-Qaeda sympathizers in the Gaza Strip. In the past month, ISIS accused Hamas of having failed to prevent America's formal recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Additionally, ISIS is opposed to the support that Hamas receives from Iran, a Shiite nation that ISIS regards as heretical.
There are reports that Hamas has been quietly collaborating with Egypt and even Israel in recent months, in order to combat the rise of ISIS in the region. For several months now, the Palestinian group has exercised stricter control over its seven-mile-long border with Egypt. It has rebuilt border barriers that had previously been destroyed and has installed security fences and a digital surveillance system. It has also launched a public-relations effort to shame the families of young men from Gaza who have joined ISIS forces in Sinai. In response to these moves, Wilayat Sinai has publicly urged its supporters to kill members of Hamas and attack the group's security installations and public buildings. The ISIS-affiliated group has also urged its members to eliminate members of the small Shiite Muslim community in the Gaza strip. According to experts, the decision by Wilayat Sinai to declare war on Hamas means that the group has now virtually surrounded itself with adversaries. The move may also increase informal collaboration between Hamas and the Israeli government, say observers.
'–º Author: Joseph Fitsanakis | Date: 12 January 2018 | Permalink
Shut Up Slave!
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European Commission - PRESS RELEASES - Press release - Next steps against fake news: Commission sets up High-Level Expert Group and launches public consultation
Sun, 14 Jan 2018 15:13
The work of the High-Level Expert Group as well as the results of the public consultation will contribute to the development of an EU-level strategy on how to tackle the spreading of fake news, to be presented in spring 2018.
First Vice-President Frans Timmermans said: "The freedom to receive and impart information and the pluralism of the media are enshrined in the EU's Charter of Fundamental Rights. We live in an era where the flow of information and misinformation has become almost overwhelming. That is why we need to give our citizens the tools to identify fake news, improve trust online, and manage the information they receive.''
Andrus Ansip,Vice-President for the Digital Single Market, added: "We need to find a balanced approach between the freedom of expression, media pluralism and a citizens' right to access diverse and reliable information. All the relevant players like online platforms or news media should play a part in the solution."
Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner responsible for Digital Economy and Society, stated: "At the heart of my action lies the defence of citizens' right to quality information which is a cornerstone of our democracies. I want to have an open and broad discussion about fake news to address this complex phenomenon in order to overcome the challenges ahead of us."
Public input expected until February
Citizens, social media platforms, news organisations (broadcasters, print media, news agencies, online media and fact-checkers), researchers and public authorities are all invited to share their views in the public consultation until mid-February. It will gather opinions on what actions could be taken at EU level to give citizens effective tools to identify reliable and verified information and adapt to the challenges of the digital age.
The contributions are expected in three main areas:
The scope of the problem, i.e. how fake news is perceived by citizens and stakeholders, how they are aware of online disinformation, or how they trust different media
Assessment of measures already taken by platforms, news media companies and civil society organisations to counter the spread of fake news online, as well as positions on the roles and responsibilities of the relevant stakeholders
Possible future actions to strengthen citizens access to reliable and verified information and prevent the spread of disinformation online
This consultation only addresses fake news and disinformation online when the content is not per se illegal and thus not covered by existing EU or national legislative and self-regulatory actions.
High-Level Expert Group opens for applications
The Commission is inviting experts to apply for the High-Level Group on fake news to advise the Commission on scoping the phenomenon, defining the roles and responsibilities of relevant stakeholders, grasping the international dimension, taking stock of the positions at stake, and formulating recommendations. As far as possible, the group should include several representatives of each field of expertise, be it academia or civil society delegate. The Commission aims at a balanced selection of the experts.
The call for application is open until mid-December. The High-Level Expert Group is expected to start in January 2018 and will work over several months.
Background
Online platforms and other internet services have provided new ways for people to connect, debate and to gather information. However, the spread of news intentionally misleading readers has become an increasing problem for the functioning of our democracies, affecting peoples' understanding of reality.
On 17 and 18 November 2016, the Commission hosted its second Annual Colloquium on Fundamental Rights, on the topic of "Media Pluralism and Democracy". A Eurobarometer survey published on 17 November 2016 showed that European citizens are worried about the independence of the media, and levels of trust in media are low.
In his mission letter, President Jean-Claude Juncker tasked Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society Mariya Gabriel to look into the challenges the online platforms create for our democracies with regard to the spread of fake information and initiate a reflection on what would be needed at EU level to protect our citizens.
In June 2017, the European Parliament adopted a Resolution calling on the Commission to analyse in depth the current situation and legal framework with regard to fake news and to verify the possibility of legislative intervention to limit the dissemination and spreading of fake content. The Commission has confirmed that this is a priority and has included the initiative against fake news online in its 2018 Work Programme.
For More Information
Public Consultation
Call for application: High-Level Expert Group
Web-streaming of the Multi-Stakeholder Conference: 13 November and 14 November
Vice-President Andrus Ansip's speech in the European Parliament, 5 April 2017
ANNEX
Building an EU strategy to tackle the spreading of fake news online
The Commission's key initiatives and events:
March 2015: under the mandate of the European Council, the EEAS East Strategic Communication Task Force was launched to identify, analyse, and raise awareness of Russia's ongoing disinformation campaigns on a daily basis
May 2016: Presentation of the Communication on Online Platforms, encouraging the industry to step-up voluntary efforts to tackle practices such as fake or misleading online reviews.
13 November 2017: Launch of the Public Consultation and the High-Level Group on fake news, Multi-Stakeholder event in Brussels combined with an ongoing dialogue with Member States
January 2018: First meeting of the High-Level Group on fake news
March 2018: Results from the Public Consultation and Eurobarometer Survey
April 2018: Report from the High-Level Group
Spring 2018: Communication on fake news and online disinformation
The Commission's Representations in the EU Member States and external delegations in third countries will participate in the debate and gather information on national rules and initiatives addressing the spread of fake news in their countries.
Next steps against fake news: High-Level Expert Group to tackle disinformation meets for the first time [updated on 12/01/2018 at 15:50]
Sun, 14 Jan 2018 15:14
Visit of the College of Commissioners to Sofia: Bulgarian Presidency begins with '‚¬100 million Juncker Plan loan for agri-pharma business Huvepharma
Yesterday evening President Juncker and the College participated in the opening ceremony of the Bulgarian Presidency of the EU, with Prime Minister Borissov, President Radev, Minister in charge of the Bulgarian Presidency Lilyana Pavlova, President Tusk and President Tajani. President Juncker delivered a speech in which he said: "You can count on us ('...) because your place is in Europe. And your place is in Schengen. And your place is in the euro. We will work for that. The Commission will be by Bulgaria's side: united we stand strong and united we will stand."(watch the opening ceremony on EbS+) The ceremony was followed by a working dinner, hosted by President Borissov. The visit of the College of Commissioners continues today. This morning President Juncker and Prime Minister Borissov witnessed the signing of a new European Investment Bank (EIB) loan of '‚¬100 million with Bulgarian agri-pharma business Huvepharma to finance a boost in production levels and research and development (R&D) in the area of animal health. The loan is guaranteed by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the central pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe, the Juncker Plan. The deal was signed by Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, Agriculture Minister of Bulgaria Rumen Porodzanov, EIB Vice-President Andrew McDowell and Kiril Domuschiev, Chief Executive Officer of Biovet's parent company Huvepharma. (For more information about the EFSI project and the latest Investment Plan results see theInvestment Plan website). Speaking about the deal in his press conference with Prime Minister Borissov this morning, President Juncker said: "This will not only create 200 jobs locally but will also reinforce Europe's leading position in the global animal health sector.To me this not only shows this country's potential but it shows that Bulgaria is a leader in Europe." President Juncker also underlined the importance of the upcoming Bulgarian Presidency in the delivery on our Roadmap for a more united, stronger and more democratic Union, and in finding consensus in the ongoing legislative proposals. On Bulgaria's prospects of joining the euro, President Juncker said: "Bulgaria is on the right track. Government debt is, with clearly below 30%, one of the lowest of the European Union and of the eurozone, budget deficit is an unknown term in this country, unemployment is falling, which also shows that bigger improvements have been made concerning real convergence in Bulgaria. (...) I am of the opinion that Bulgaria should join the ERMII as quickly as possible."(For more information: Margaritis Schinas '' Tel.: +32 229 60524; Mina Andreeva '' Tel.: +32 229 91382; Annika Breidthardt '' Tel.: +32 229 56153; Siobhn Millbright '' Tel.: +32 229 57361)
Payment services: Consumers to benefit from cheaper, safer and more innovative electronic payments
The revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2), which will apply as of 13 January 2018, aims to modernise Europe's payment services to the benefit of both consumers and businesses, so as to keep pace with this rapidly evolving market. Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice-President responsible for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union said. "This legislation is another step towards a digital single market in the EU. It will promote the development of innovative online and mobile payments, which will benefit the economy and growth. With PSD2 becoming applicable, we are banning surcharges for consumer debit and credit card payments. This could save more than '‚¬550 million per year for EU consumers. Consumers will also be better protected when they make payments." The new rules will be applicable as of 13 January 2018 through provisions that Member States have introduced in their national laws in compliance with the EU legislation. The Commission calls on Member States who have not yet transposed the Directive, to do so as a matter of urgency. For more information please see the full press release and MEMO available online (For more information: Vanessa Mock - Tel.: +32 229 56194; Letizia Lupini - Tel.: +32 229 51958)
Next steps against fake news: High-Level Expert Group to tackle disinformation meets for the first time [updated on 12/01/2018 at 15:50]As announced in November 2017, the High-Level Expert Group appointed to advise the European Commission on how to tackle the spread of online disinformation will meet for the first time next Monday 15 January at 10:00. The High-Level Expert Group will contribute to the development of an EU-level strategy on how to tackle this phenomenon, to be presented in spring 2018. Following the Commission's call for application last November, the Commission received over 300 applications for the group. The experts will advise the Commission on scoping the phenomenon, defining the roles and responsibilities of relevant stakeholders, grasping the international dimension, taking stock of the positions at stake, and formulating recommendations. The selection of members ensures a wide participation of expertise, a balanced geographical representation, gender balance, and a balanced view of both social media platforms and media organisations, civil society organisation and experts such as journalists and academia. The procedure has followed the usual rules for selection of expert groups of the Commission. The final list of participants can be found here. Mandated by President Juncker, Commissioner Mariya Gabriel launched the initiative in November 2017 together with a public consultation open until 23 February. On Monday 15 January, the Commissioner will hold a press point at 11:00 with the Chair of the group, Prof. Dr. Madeleine de Cock Buning from Utrecht University, specialised in Intellectual Property, Copyright and Media and Communication Law. The press point can be followed live on EbS. In establishing the group, the Commission has worked closely with the EEAS East Stratcom Task Force, which was set up by the High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini in 2015 to address disinformation activities by external actors. You can find more information about the High-Level Expert Group's work here, as well as in a press release and in Commissioner Gabriel's speech. (For more information: Nathalie Vandystadt '' Tel.: +32 229 67083; Inga H¶glund '' Tel.: +32 229 50698; Julia-Henriette Br¤uer '' Tel.: +32 229 80707)
New opportunities for Europe's leading innovators in the fields of Added-Value Manufacturing and Urban Mobility
Today, the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) is launching a Call for the creation of two new Knowledge and Innovation Communities: EIT Manufacturing and EIT Urban Mobility. The former will contribute to the development of a more sustainable and environmentally-friendly manufacturing process in the industrial sector. The latter will focus on smart, green and integrated transport. The two new pan-European partnerships of universities, research organisations and businesses will join the six existing Knowledge and Innovation Communities on climate (EIT Climate-KIC), digitisation (EIT Digital), food (EIT Food), health (EIT Health), renewable energy (EIT InnoEnergy), and raw materials (EIT Raw Materials). They will help to boost innovation in strategic sectors where Europe needs to build and maintain a competitive advantage. Tibor Navracsics, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, responsible for the EIT, said: "The EIT Knowledge and Innovation Communities are part of Europe's answer to the global challenges our societies face. It is only by innovating, investing in talent and developing solutions that we will be able to build resilient, sustainable and inclusive societies. Therefore I am looking forward to welcoming the new Knowledge and Innovation Communities in the fields of added-value manufacturing and urban mobility." Read the EIT's press release here. The EIT is an independent EU body set up to boost innovation and entrepreneurship across Europe '' more details are available here. (For more information: Nathalie Vandystadt - Tel.: +32 229 67083; Joseph Waldstein - Tel.: +32 229 56184; Julia-Henriette Br¤uer '' Tel.: +32 229 80707)
Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of the Chapelfield Partnership by intu and LaSalle Investment Management
The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of joint control over the Chapelfield Partnership LP by intu properties plc ("intu") and LaSalle Investment Management ("LaSalle"), all of the UK. The Chapelfiled Partnership, currently indirectly wholly owned by intu, owns and operates the Chapelfield Shopping Centre in Norwich, UK. intu is a real estate investment trust, largely focused on shopping centre ownership, management and development across the UK and, to a lesser extent, in Spain. LaSalle '' a subsidiary of Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated of the US '' is a real estate investment management firm. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns given the companies' moderate combined market positions in the provision of real estate services in the UK resulting from the proposed transaction. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure. More information will be available on the Commission's competition website, in the public case register under the case number M.8720. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso '' Tel.: +32 229 80100; Maria Sarantopoulou - Tel.: +32 229 13740)
La Commission lance un appel propositions pour les nouvelles campagnes de promotions des produits agro-alimentaires europ(C)ens
Un appel propositions pour une nouvelle campagne de promotion des produits agro-alimentaires de l'Union europ(C)enne s'ouvre aujourd'hui avec un budget de pr¨s de '‚¬170 million, en nette augmentation par rapport aux '‚¬142 million disponibles l'ann(C)e derni¨re. Deux tiers de la somme seront utilis(C)s pour promouvoir les produits de l'UE travers le monde et trouver de nouveaux march(C)s, en ciblant principalement des pays tiers fort potentiel de croissance. Le Commissaire l'agriculture Phil Hogan a dit: "l'UE est le plus grand exportateur de produits agro-alimentaires et la r(C)f(C)rence mondiale en ce qui concerne les produits alimentaires de haute qualit(C). J'ai eu l'occasion de constater de mes propres yeux l'int(C)rªt des consommateurs et des entreprises pour les produits agroalimentaires de l'UE dans le cadre de mes nombreuses missions commerciales l'(C)tranger. Je me r(C)jouis de ces nouveaux programmes de promotion qui, par le pass(C), ont ouvert la voie de nouveaux candidats et ont accru notre visibilit(C) dans le monde entier." Au sein du territoire de l'Union, l'accent sera mis sur les labels de qualit(C) existants: label bio, IGP, AOP, et sur les campagnes visant promouvoir la consommation de fruits et l(C)gumes. Les organisations de producteurs et associations sectorielles peuvent envoyer leurs propositions via un portail d(C)di(C) jusqu'au 12 avril. Un communiqu(C) de presse dans toutes les langues est disponible en ligne. (Pour plus d'information: Daniel Rosario '' Tel: +32 2 29 56185;Cl(C)mence Robin '' Tel: +32 229 52 509)
Agriculture: the Commission approves new geographical indication from the Netherlands
The Commission has approved today the addition of a new product from The Netherlands to the quality register of Traditional Speciality Guaranteed (TSG). 'Suikerstroop' is dark brown syrup made of the syrupy liquid left behind during the production of sugar from sugar beet or sugar cane. It has a sweet taste due to its large sugar content (at least 70%) but is also a bit salty due to the minerals and other components from the sugar beet or sugar cane found in the syrup as a result of the production process. Historically, 'suikerstroop' is a by-product of sugar refining and it has been a much-used ingredient in traditional Dutch dishes, such as Groningse kruidkoek or Limburgse zoervleisj. A sauce made out of 'suikerstroop' called stroopsaus is also a recommended accompaniment for many traditional dishes. The scheme for traditional specialities guaranteed is to help the producers of traditional products to communicate to consumers the value-adding attributes of their product. A name can be registered as a traditional speciality guaranteed where it describes a specific product or foodstuff that results from a mode of production, processing or composition corresponding to traditional practice for that product or foodstuff; or is produced from raw materials or ingredients that are those traditionally used. More information: webpages on quality products and DOOR database of protected products.(For more information: Daniel Rosario '' Tel: +32 229 56 185; Cl(C)mence Robin '' Tel: +32 229)
Eurostat: Le taux d'(C)pargne des m(C)nages stable 12,0% dans la zone euro
Au troisi¨me trimestre 2017, le taux d'(C)pargne des m(C)nages a (C)t(C) de 12,0% dans la zone euro, stable par rapport au deuxi¨me trimestre 2017. Le taux d'investissement des m(C)nages a quant lui (C)t(C) de 8,8% au troisi¨me trimestre 2017 dans la zone euro, contre 8,7% au trimestre pr(C)c(C)dent. Ces informations, qui proviennent de la premi¨re diffusion de donn(C)es, corrig(C)es des variations saisonni¨res, sur les comptes europ(C)ens trimestriels des secteurs, sont publi(C)es par Eurostat, l'office statistique de l'Union europ(C)enne, et la Banque centrale europ(C)enne (BCE). Un communiqu(C) de presse est disponible ici. (Pour plus d'informations: Annika Breidthardt '' Tel.: +32 229 56153; Juliana Dahl '' Tel.: +32 229 59914)
Eurostat: Le taux d'investissement des entreprises en baisse 22,4% dans la zone euro
Au troisi¨me trimestre 2017, le taux d'investissement des entreprises s'est (C)tabli 22,4% dans la zone euro, contre 23,1% au trimestre pr(C)c(C)dent. La part des profits des entreprises s'est quant elle situ(C)e 41,4% au troisi¨me trimestre 2017 dans la zone euro, contre 41,0% au deuxi¨me trimestre 2017. Ces informations, qui proviennent de la premi¨re diffusion de donn(C)es, corrig(C)es des variations saisonni¨res, sur les comptes europ(C)ens trimestriels des secteurs, sont publi(C)es par Eurostat, l'office statistique de l'Union europ(C)enne, et la Banque centrale europ(C)enne (BCE). Un communiqu(C) de presse est disponible ici. (Pour plus d'informations: Annika Breidthardt '' Tel.: +32 229 56153; Juliana Dahl '' Tel.: +32 229 59914)
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Upcoming events of the European Commission (ex-Top News)
Commission to float anti-'fake news' proposals in spring
Tue, 16 Jan 2018 18:28
BRUSSELS, 15. Jan, 16:29
The European Commission will be proposing EU-level plans before the summer on how to tackle fake news.
Mariya Gabriel, the EU commissioner for digital economy, told reporters in Brussels on Monday (15 January) that its future proposals would be sourced from a group of experts that includes Silicon valley tech firms, academics, journalists, and others.
Dutch academic de Cock Buning (l) and digital commissioner Gabriel (Photo: European Commission)"Fake news is spreading at a worrying rate, it threatens the reputation of the media and the well-being of our democracies and threatens to undermine our democratic values," she said.
The task is tricky given most fake news is not illegal, posing larger questions on the freedom of expression and information.
The group, which met for the first time on Monday, is composed of some 40 people assigned to provide the commission with options on how to prevent the dissemination of fake news both online and offline.
"It is in the light of this that I think we will be able to identify the best ways of tackling the problem," said Gabriel.
A separate public consultation was also launched last November. Its outcome, due at the end of February, is also set to feed into the commission plans.
Wicked problemMadeleine de Cock Buning, a Dutch university professor, presides over the group of 40.
"We have to face this wicked problem," she said, speaking alongside Gabriel at a joint press conference.
Cock Buning also chairs the European Regulators Group for Audio-visual Media Services, an advisory body of EU national regulators.
Outstanding issues on how to define fake news and who would enforce the rules remain unanswered.
But she said the group would most likely propose a multi-dimensional solution that includes different levels of regulation.
"We are in the process of discovering of what would be the most efficient to do, also taking care of the freedom of information aspect," she said.
National electionsOne Oxford University study looked at 28 million feeds shared in political debates and elections in the US, UK, France, and Germany.
It found a seven-to-one real news versus fake news ratio in France. The UK and Germany had a ratio of four-to-one. Such figures have political leaders worried.
Earlier this month, French president Emmanuel Macron vowed to introduce a law to ban fake news on the internet during French election campaigns.
But the French move has its sceptics.
Pierre Haski, who heads Reporters without Borders, told the French literary magazine Le Nouveau that Macron's plan will end up targeting sponsored content and not fake news.
"You have to be extremely vigilant when putting together this type of legal text in order not to open the Pandora box," he warned.
Eng: Voorzitter EU-nepnieuws taskforce ziet 'Europees keurmerk' voor nieuws als 'optie' | ThePostOnline
Tue, 16 Jan 2018 18:27
Maandag ging de EU-expertgroep tegen desinformatie van start. Deze groep van 39 academici, journalisten en vertegenwoordigers van Google, Twitter en Facebook gaat kijken wat er tegen nepnieuws te doen valt. De taskforce onder leiding van de Nederlandse hoogleraar mediarecht Madeleine de Cock Buning zal vervolgens advies uitbrengen aan de Europese Commissie. Die komt dan komend voorjaar met een plan om nepnieuws tegen te gaan.
Een Europees keurmerk is een optieNRC Handelsblad interviewde De Cock Buning dinsdag en stelde onder meer de volgende vraag:
''Waar gaat dit naar toe? Een 'Europees keurmerk' voor echt nieuws en nepnieuws?''
En dan antwoordt De Cock Buning:
''Dat zou een optie zijn. Maar we streven niet naar zoiets als een ministerie van Waarheid. Dat is zeker niet de bedoeling. Onlangs was er een kritisch journalistiek verslag over de Poolse regering die dat vervolgens bestempelde als nepnieuws en de makers een boete oplegde. Die kant wil je natuurlijk niet op, want dat is misbruik maken van de term nepnieuws.''
Dikke doei, een Europees keurmerk is n""it een optieDie maar doet er niet toe. Het gaat om die eerste zin: een Europees keurmerk voor echt nieuws en nepnieuws 'zou een optie zijn'. De Cock Buning is bereid iets dergelijks aan de Europese Commissie te adviseren. Het idee is net zo krankjorum als dat van brigade-generaal Wilfred Rietdijk die afgelopen zomer voorstelde de overheid bij nieuwsberichten een vinkje van goedkeuring te laten zetten.
Het is bovendien doodeng: Overheden kruipen langzaam in de richting dat ze zich actief met uw nieuwsvoorziening gaan bemoeien. En in dit geval betekent het dat Jean-Claude Juncker gaat bepalen wat u mag lezen.
Dikke doei, een Europees keurmerk voor nieuws is n""it een optie.
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Toon / Verberg Reacties
Sinds september 2017 moet je ingelogd zijn op Facebook om hieronder meer dan de standaard aantal reacties te laden.
Het gaat hier helaas om een verandering die Facebook zelf heeft doorgevoerd.
Maar je kunt ook reageren via Disqus.
Steun ThePostOnlineDoe een donatie aan TPOMaak TPO mogelijk
Nieuws overzicht18:47 RTL heel blij met discussie rond realityprogramma's naar aanleiding van De Zaak Barbie
18:41 VIDEO '' Up close and personal: PvdA Kamerlid William Moorlag over de schijnconstructie-affaire
18:34 Frans Bauer gasthoofdredacteur van Story
18:24 Samantha 'Barbie' de Jong raakte bewusteloos door overmatig drugsgebruik
16:57 Geert Wilders geeft Utrechtse lijsttrekker uitbrander vanwege moskee-opmerking
16:29 Omtalen '' Amsterdamse J.P. Coenschool gaat naam veranderen want J.P. Coen
15:54 PvdA Kamerlid William Moorlag overwoog zetelroof
'Kremlin-trollen zijn officieel Russisch wapen' | Buitenland | AD.nl
Thu, 18 Jan 2018 12:46
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Russian disinformation campaign has been 'extremely successful' in Europe, warns EU | The Independent
Thu, 18 Jan 2018 12:46
An ''orchestrated'' propaganda campaign by the Russian government has been ''extremely successful'' at spreading disinformation throughout the European Union, the European Commission has warned.
Julian King, the Commission's security chief, said the EU had identified ''3,500 examples of pro-Kremlin disinformation contradicting publicly available facts repeated in many languages on many occasions''.
Mr King said the Russian military viewed information as ''another type of armed force'' and that the EU would unveil a new strategy for combating fake news in the spring of 2018.
''There seems, frankly, little doubt, that the pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign is an orchestrated strategy '' delivering the same disinformation stories in as many languages as possible, through as many channels as possible, as often as possible,'' Mr King told MEPs at the European Parliament in Strasbourg.
''We have to remain vigilant. The purpose of a disinformation campaign is to get people to believe that the disinformation is fact, is credible. If we look at opinion polls measuring how many people accept obviously disinformation planted in pro-Kremlin media, then unfortunately we have to conclude that Russian disinformation can be extremely successful.''
MEPs discussed the issue of Russian disinformation on Wednesday afternoon in a two-hour debate. Sandra Kalniete, a Latvian politician and vice chair of the European Parliament's largest group, the centre-right European People's Party, said the EU needed to step up its efforts and increase funding to its cybersecurity taskforce.
''Given the political dynamics in Washington, European states will have to take the lead in any collective action vis- -vis the Kremlin and setting international rules for cyberspace,'' she said, alluding the US president Donald Trump's alleged links to the Russian government.
Ms Kalniete said societies needed to be made ''more resilient'' through transparency and increased regulation, also blaming the rise of Facebook and social media for the effectiveness of propaganda.
''The world's richest and most powerful publisher, Facebook, has replaced editors with algorism '' shifting societies away from critical thinking whilst making billions from our clicks,'' she said.
''I am convinced that quality journalism should be supported by the governments, including the EU, because otherwise it will disappear and leave us at the mercy of the Kremlin and other trolls who have learned how to play the social media game.''
Security chief for the European Commission, Julian King, has said the disinformation contradicts 'publicly available facts' (EbS )
A number of MEPs mentioned the UK's Brexit referendum as being a possible victim of disinformation. Jeppe Kofod, a socialist MEP from Denmark, suggested that the 2019 European Parliament elections would likely be interfered with.
''Next year the citizens of Europe will elect a new European Parliament. This raises an uncomfortable question: how many seats will Russia get?'' he said.
''Let's not kid ourselves, Russian meddling in democratic elections is no longer the exception, it is becoming the norm. From the US presidential election to Brexit, the hands of the Kremlin have been busy dancing along keyboards, spreading disinformation '' the full extent of which is yet to be understood by all of us.''
Gerard Batten, Ukip MEP and Brexit spokesperson said he believed that ''Mr Putin is a gangster who runs a gangster state.''
But he added: ''You are seeking to create a scapegoat for your own unpopularity with the people's of Europe. Don't blame the Russians for your own mistakes.''
He described Russian disinformation as ''a distraction'' and accused the EU of being ''the authors of your own unpopularity''.
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Police Hunt Down Facebook Users Who Made 'Offensive' Comments About Muslim Grooming Gangs Online
Sat, 13 Jan 2018 13:32
The force launched an investigation into comments left on its Facebook page in response to articles about the Operation Shelter scandal, in which young white British girls in were groomed, sexually abused and trafficked by mostly Muslim men of South Asian descent in Newcastle.
Officers made a review of every comment on the page after a member of the public complained that a number of posts referred to the race and religion of the 18 people convicted following the operation.
ChronicleLive reports that police recorded two cases of racially aggravated public order offences among responses to the news articles on Facebook, and have now tracked down six people responsible for posts ''deemed to be offensive and potentially criminal''.
A spokesman from Northumbria Police said: ''As a result of a complaint, we can confirm we looked into a number of comments posted on the force's Facebook page.
''Following an investigation, which has now concluded, we spoke to two males as voluntary attenders and visited a further four people in their homes, and provided them with words of advice.
''All expressed their remorse and stated that the intention of their comments was not to cause concern or to be offensive and have acknowledged the words of advice provided.''
The spokesman added: ''We would also like to take this opportunity to remind people using social media that they should do so responsibly and ensure they do not post anything which could be considered offensive.''
Campaigners and MPs had demanded that the crimes of groomers who target white girls be treated as ''racially aggravated'', urging Britain's Attorney-General to review the Newcastle gang members' sentences after claims that the racist nature of the crimes was not reflected in their punishment.
But despite the abuse having been labeled ''profoundly racist'' by former director of public prosecutions Lord MacDonald, members of the grooming gang escaped the harsher sentences which accompany racially motivated crimes, with Judge Penny Moreland claiming victims were targeted ''not because of their race, but because they were young, impressionable, naive and vulnerable''.
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Greece braced for strikes over planned move to limit industrial action | World news | The Guardian
Mon, 15 Jan 2018 17:55
Unions promise walkouts as MPs prepare to vote on measures attached to 2015 bailout
Alexis Tsipras's leftist-led government has agreed that unions will have to have much larger quorums for strikes to be called. Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty ImagesGreece is braced for industrial action as its MPs prepare to vote on implementing some of the most politically sensitive measures attached to its 2015 bailout.
On Monday, MPs will be called to endorse a ''multi-bill'' of emergency reforms that includes contentious legislation to limit industrial action. Unionists have reacted with a barrage of strikes, with more work stoppages and walkouts promised.
''These were rights won with sweat and blood more than three decades ago,'' Odysseus Trivalas, the president of the union of public sector workers, told the Guardian. ''Banks, industrialists and foreign investors want to deny us them. We won't make it easy. We will take to the streets.''
In the nearly nine years since its descent into economic crisis, an estimated 50 general strikes have been held in Greece with workers viewing industrial action as sacrosanct. Under the new law, Alexis Tsipras's leftist-led government has agreed that unions will have to have much larger quorums to enable strikes to be called.
''Effectively it will be impossible for workers in factories to have their voice heard,'' said Trivalas. ''They keep saying Greece is turning a corner, that this will help growth, but the reality is the little man won't feel it in his pocket for another 20 years. The law is totally undemocratic, a form of modern slavery.''
Communist-affiliated trade unionists stormed the labour ministry last week, prising open metal shutters with knives and crowbars before confronting the minister, Effie Achtsioglou, in her eighth-floor office.
The slight 32-year-old was visibly shaken as protesters, shouting: ''Shame on you,'' demanded she withdraw the measure. A banner bearing the words ''Hands off strikes, it's a labour right'' was hung from the building's facade.
In addition to the strike clampdown, the multi-purpose bill also foresees properties belonging to bad debt holders being auctioned online. This is essential, creditors say, if Greece's large level of non-performing bank loans is also to be dealt with. Both measures have been hugely unsettling for governing leftists, many of whom started off in the trade union movement.
About 100 reforms, known as ''prior actions'', are contained in the bill being debated. Although they are ultimately expected to be passed, Tsipras, the prime minister, has been forced to prevail on Syriza cadres to see the bigger picture: that, once the measures are approved, Greece will be able to complete a compliance review that will release more emergency funds before its third, and hopefully last, bailout programme expires in August.
Holding his first cabinet meeting of the year last week, the leader announced that the country was in the ''final stretch'' of international supervision '' surveillance ushered in with its first '‚¬120bn (£107bn) economic adjustment programme in May 2010.
''A lot of Syriza MPs are upset because these measures hurt their leftwing ideology and feelings,'' said the political analyst Pantelis Kapsis.
The Greek government is hoping to make a ''clean exit'' from creditor oversight, calculating that a successful compliance review will facilitate market forays that will allow the country to build a cash buffer before its '‚¬86bn bailout '' orchestrated by the European Union, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank '' officially ends.
Excluded from capital markets since the outbreak of the crisis, Greece has been unable to refinance a debt load that at about '‚¬320bn, or 180% of GDP, is by far the highest in the EU.
For Tsipras, personally, regaining economic independence has become essential to his own political survival given Syriza's dramatic slide in popularity under the weight of austerity measures. On Sunday, Athens was told clearly that international monitoring was unlikely to end soon. Debt relief, said Thomas Wieser, the outgoing Euro Working Group chief and a central player in the Greek debt drama, was only likely only if Athens pushed through further reforms once its bailout formally ends.
Strikes in Greece against a reform of the strike law '' FashionmadeinLA
Mon, 15 Jan 2018 17:55
''¸ AFP '' Louisa Gouliamaki '' | Closed metro station in Athens for the 24-hour strike called this January 12, 2018 to protest against a reform of the strike law
Numerous public services in Greece were affected this Friday by a series of strikes called to protest against a reform of the strike law demanded by the country's creditors.
Because of these protests, transports in Athens were heavily disrupted, hospitals operated with minimal services and ships were blocked at the docks.
The strikers protest against a reform that should be voted, with others, during the day in Parliament.
It provides that in order to hold a strike it must be approved in a vote by 50% of the registered members of the unions, compared to 20% currently.
Greece has experienced some 50 general strikes since the beginning of the economic crisis in 2010.
The country expects to receive 4,500 million euros (5,450 million dollars) from the current aid agreement once it has satisfied the reform demands imposed by the creditors.
This last agreement expires next August and Greece is expected to be able to refinance itself in the markets, for the first time in nine years.
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Airline Passengers Stranded in Boston Told to Delete Videos From Phones or Face Getting Arrested
Thu, 18 Jan 2018 13:22
Updated I Passengers made to sit on the tarmac at Boston Logan International Airport for around two hours say they were forced to delete videos of the incident from their phones by an airline staff member, who also threatened to have them arrested if they didn't comply.
After would-be passengers of the Toronto-bound Porter Airlines flight learned that their trip would be canceled due to a mechanical malfunction on the aircraft, they were ordered to leave the plane and wait in the terminal building.
The ordeal began after a 3-hour flight delay due to a luggage compartment issue, Kira Wegler, a Toronto resident returning home from a Florida vacation with her family, told Newsweek.
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"The crew made the announcement that if they couldn't fix the issue by 10PM, that we couldn't fly because in their words, 'it's past our shift maximum and we will turn in to pumpkins'."
Porter Airlines said the "bomb cyclone" that hit Boston and other parts of the East Coast was behind a flight delay on January 5. Getty
After being told that the gate's public address system was not working, passengers had to line up to get information individually from Porter staff.
Things became heated, however, when frustrated passengers began to pull out their phones and video-record Porter staff delivering information.
"At this point, the customer service representatives came from behind the counter, demanding that the individuals delete the footage otherwise they will not help us any further. If we didn't comply, Porter's representative also threatened to call the police and have us arrested," Wegler said.
"He was demanding that he check the phones in question to ensure the footage was removed from the devices and recently deleted folders."
She said passengers were warned that if they failed to delete their video recordings they "were going to have us arrested."
Wegler said many of her fellow passengers agreed to delete their videos. However, she decided to keep some on her phone, despite the airline staff's threats.
One of Wegler's videos appears to show a Porter representative in a standoff with customers. One customer can be heard saying: "Call the cops. What are they going to do?"
"Don't make it worse," the airline representative can be heard responding. Another customer chimes in, saying: "Why don't you go behind the counter and take care of your customers. People are frustrated."
The Massachusetts Port Authority has said there is no law or policyprohibiting filming inside the Logan airport.
"There is no law or policy that prohibits filming inside Logan Airport except in secure areas and of all security procedures," MPA spokesperson Jennifer Mehigan told Newsweek.
Porter Airlines spokesperson Brad Cicero told Newsweek the company "apologizes to everyone who was affected by the flight delay and for the information provided about taking video." He said the delay was a result of the "bomb cyclone" that rocked much of the East Coast.
"We do not have any policy that would prevent people from taking video at airports," he said. "Circumstances may differ on an aircraft if taking video has the potential to affect safety or the personal comfort of others on board."
He continued, "There is an airport policy at Boston Logan Airport about not allowing filming in secure airport areas and at security screening. In this particular case, there was a misunderstanding by the team member involved that taking video beyond the security checkpoint was part of the secure area and was not permitted. He did not realize the distinction at the time, but we have advised the team members involved for future reference."
Cicero said that while the request to stop filming and to delete footage was incorrect, "the intention was only to try and enforce what was believed to be an airport policy." He said that he has been advised that if policies apply, which was not the case in this instance, it is not uncommon for staff to ask that video and photos to be deleted.
He also refuted passengers' claims, insisting that "while it was indicated at the time that police based at the airport could be called to address this situation, there was no direct statement that passengers would be arrested."
Passengers ended up having to spend three extra days in Boston until they could be placed on a different Toronto-bound Porter flight on Monday.
While Porter has provided hotel accommodations and covered the cost of some meals, it has refused to pay stranded passengers additional compensation, citing the weather as the cause of its flight delay rather than mechanical reasons.
"To this day, no one from Porter has reached out directly or apologized. All I have received is a $100 voucher towards a future Porter flight, which doesn't even cover the initial cost of the flight," Wegler said.
"Making unfounded threats of police action was completely unacceptable and made us feel abused and helpless. If Porter's claim that the representative was acting on his knowledge of security regulations, then they should strongly consider retraining ALL their staff to ensure that everyone is aware of these important and relevant regulations."
It is common policy for airlines to be exempt from having to pay compensation for flights delayed by weather-related problems.
"The conditions were such that, after arriving, one of the aircraft doors froze," Cicero said. "It could not be fixed prior to the crew exhausting their regulated duty day limits, preventing the flight from departing."
He continued, "Because the root causes of the cancellation were weather related, we assisted with finding hotels in the area for those who needed accommodation. Porter does not typically pay for these costs when flights are affected by weather, but we do our best to help find reduced rates."
He added, "We understand that this is frustrating for anyone who has a flight delayed for multiple days. It isn't our intention to put people in this situation, but the severe nature of the storm resulted in significant effects."
The extreme cold and snow from Winter Storm Grayson last week caused chaos at airports nationwide, leading to more than 3,300 flights getting canceled. Terminals in major airports such as JFK Airport in New York City were nearly brought to a standstill over the weekend due to mounting delays, freezing cold and equipment problems.
This story has been updated to include quotes from witnesses, as well as information about Winter Storm Grayson.
Brexit
Juncker says would like Britain to rejoin EU after Brexit
Wed, 17 Jan 2018 14:16
STRASBOURG (Reuters) - EU chief executive Jean-Claude Juncker renewed an offer to Britain on Wednesday to stay in the European Union and said he hoped that even if it goes through with Brexit it would apply to rejoin the bloc.
Speaking to the European Parliament, where he had endorsed a statement on Tuesday by European Council President Donald Tusk that Britain would be welcome to remain Juncker said he accepted a share of responsibility for the British referendum vote in 2016 to leave the Union.
''I still feel the exit of Britain is a catastrophe, yes, a defeat we all have to take responsibility for,'' he said, responding to a written question from a German lawmaker who had asked if Juncker felt responsible for Brexit.
''But the reasons for the British exit lie deeper. As Prime Minister (Theresa) May has said, the British never felt at ease in the EU and for 40 years they haven't been given the chance to feel more at ease. That is why the blame is on many.''
''Mr. Tusk and I once again reached out to the British government yesterday and said that if the British people, the British parliament, the British government, wish for another way than Brexit, we would be prepared to discuss it. We are not throwing out the British, we want them to stay. And if they want to, they should be able to.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker arrives to attend a debate at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, January 17, 2018. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler ''But I noticed that in London, they have reacted almost upset at this reaction. Be it as it may, once the British have left under Article 50 there is still Article 49 which allows a return to membership and I would like that. I would like us now to treat each other with respect and not abandon each other.''
There has been a surge in debate this month in Britain on whether there should be a second vote to endorse the terms on which Britain leaves. However, May's spokesman said on Tuesday that there was no question of not following through in March next year on the referendum vote of June 2016 to leave the EU.
Constitutional lawyers are divided on whether Britain can withdraw its two-year notice to quit but the exchanges underline a view in Brussels that an EU political consensus could be found to avert Brexit -- even if most are now resigned to Britain leaving and believe the Union will weather the disruption.
Among those who have spoken of a willingness to help Britain stay or to rejoin have been French President Emmanuel Macron. Asked about the current debate, one of his advisers said on Wednesday that France would still welcome a change of heart.
''If tomorrow, or the day after, the United Kingdom decided to change its mind, it's clear that we would look at this with kindness,'' the adviser said. ''But it's not up to us to say if the UK wants to change its mind.''
Reporting by Alastair Macdonald; editing by Philip Blenkinsop and Toby Chopra
Hate Trumps Love
WH doctor declares Trump in 'excellent' health, mentally fit for office - politics
Tue, 16 Jan 2018 22:10
President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Democrat slams Donald Trump Jr. for 'serious case of amnesia' after testimonySkier Lindsey Vonn: I don't want to represent Trump at OlympicsPoll: 4 in 10 Republicans think senior Trump advisers had improper dealings with RussiaMORE 's doctor announced Tuesday he is in ''excellent'' health and fit for office, saying the president himself requested a mental health assessment to dismiss questions about his fitness.
Navy Rear Adm. Dr. Ronny Jackson, Trump's military physician, led an unusual briefing at the White House where he offered a detailed rundown of the president's recent physical exam.
''The president's overall health is excellent,'' Jackson said. ''His cardiac performance during his physical exam was very good, he continues to enjoy the significant, long-term cardiac and overall health benefits that come from a lifetime of abstinence from tobacco and alcohol."
"All data indicates the president is healthy and will remain so for the duration of his presidency," Jackson added.
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Jackson said Trump could stand to lose 10 to 15 pounds and improve his diet. He also has slightly high cholesterol that's being treated by the drug Crestor.
The president currently "doesn't have a dedicated, defined exercise program," but Jackson said that could "easily change" and added that he's been impressed by the president's stamina in office.
"We talked about diet and exercise a lot, he's more enthusiastic about the diet part than the exercise part, but we will do both," Jackson said.
The 6-foot-3-inch, 239-pound president is one pound away from being considered obese under a scale used by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. One reporter asked how Trump could eat so much fast food and drink so much Diet Coke and still receive a good bill of health.
''It's called genetics, I don't know, some people have good genes,'' Jackson said.
Jackson revealed in detail how Trump requested a mental health evaluation in order to put questions about his fitness to rest.
The doctor said he had not planned to include one because it was not recommended by medical protocol and he had no personal questions about his mental fitness.
''I've seen him every day," Jackson said. "I had absolutely no concerns about his cognitive ability or his neurological functions.''
But on the president's urging, Jackson conducted the Montreal Cognitive Assessment, with Trump scoring a 30 out of 30.
That test is not a psychological evaluation but tests for cognitive disorders like Alzheimer's. The evaluation, and Trump's request for the test, comes after Democrats have raised concerns about the president's mental fitness for office.
"I can reliably say, and the folks in the mental health community would back me up on that, that if he had some type of mental cognitive issue that this test is sensitive enough to pick up on that," Jackson said.
Jackson dismissed reports from several mental health experts that have claimed that Trump is showing signs of mental decline. Several specialists have briefed Democratic lawmakers to raise the alarm over Trump's mental stability, but none of them have examined Trump in person.
The American Psychiatric Association prohibits doctors from diagnosing public figures from afar.
''People shouldn't be making the assessments about the president unless they've had the opportunity to get to know him and examine him,'' Jackson said. ''In my opinion, that's just tabloid psychiatry. I'm not going to address it or fall into responding to those questions or accusations.''
The president is taking few medications '-- low doses of Aspirin and Crestor, a cream for rosacea, and a multivitamin. Jackson said he will prescribe a higher level of Crestor for Trump.
Jackson acknowledged that the president takes Propecia, a prescription medicine meant to address male hair loss.
And he sought to put to bed several questions raised by the media over the president's recent public appearances.
Trump appeared to slur his words in one speech in which he took a break to grab some water.
Jackson said he had given the over-the-counter drug Sudafed to the president for congestion, which gave him dry mouth. The president does not have dentures or partial dentures, his doctor said.
Jonathan Easley contributed.
Updated at 4:22 p.m.
Trump's Physical Revealed Serious Heart Concerns, Outside Experts Say - The New York Times
Thu, 18 Jan 2018 12:50
Dr. Eric Topol, a cardiologist at the Scripps Research Institute, said that it is impossible to ignore the dangers of the president's elevated cholesterol levels when providing an overall assessment of Mr. Trump's health.
''That's a really high LDL,'' Dr. Topol said. ''We're talking about a 70-plus-year-old man who is obese and doesn't exercise. Just looking at the lab value, you would raise a big red flag.''
He added: ''I would never use the words 'excellent health.' How you could take these indices and say excellent health? That is completely contradicted.''
During an appearance on Tuesday in the White House briefing room, Dr. Jackson said he would be prescribing a higher dose of Crestor, the brand name for rosuvastatin, to help lower the president's LDL levels. All of the cardiologists said that would be essential in trying to control Mr. Trump's risk of a heart attack, though several said they wondered whether Mr. Trump was regularly taking his medicine as prescribed.
Dr. Daniel Rader, the director of the lipid clinic at the University of Pennsylvania's medical school, said that taking a daily dose of 10 milligrams of Crestor should reduce LDL levels by at least 30 percent, which means that Trump's LDL started out over 200, a dangerous level.
''One obvious question is, how long has he been on a statin?'' Dr. Rader said. ''What was his LDL before he started taking it?''
He noted that a man who recently started taking a statin and who had an LDL over 200 for most of his life is at much higher risk than someone whose LDL was normal until recently and who then started taking a statin.
Dr. Jackson said he is also pressing Mr. Trump '-- who at 6-foot-3 and 239 pounds is just below the official label of obese '-- to eat better and abandon his largely sedentary life for one that includes exercise.
But on the positive side, Dr. Jackson also said Mr. Trump had no history of smoking or drinking and did not have diabetes. An exercise stress test using a treadmill showed ''above average'' capacity for his age. An ultrasound of the heart was normal, he said.
''His cardiac health is excellent,'' Dr. Jackson said. ''He doesn't smoke, he doesn't have diabetes '-- a lot of the traditional risk factors he doesn't have. And so I think those things, in combination with the excellent cardiac results that we got from the exercise stress test, I think, are very reassuring.''
Asked whether Mr. Trump has heart disease, Dr. Jackson said he did not. ''Technically, he has nonclinical coronary atherosclerosis,'' Dr. Jackson told reporters.
Outside doctors '-- who have not directly examined Mr. Trump '-- questioned that conclusion, saying that the combination of Mr. Trump's weight and the cardiac test results raised more concerns than Dr. Jackson's comments would reflect.
Dr. Sanjay Gupta, the chief medical correspondent for CNN, repeatedly expressed concern on Wednesday about test results that showed Mr. Trump's coronary calcium score had increased to 133, from 34 in 2009. On CNN, Dr. Gupta repeatedly showed a chart suggesting that levels above 100 indicate someone with heart disease.
That helped spark a flurry of activity on Twitter, where people debated whether the president officially had heart disease, based on the lab results released by Dr. Jackson and his comments to reporters.
Dr. Topol and the other cardiologists contacted Wednesday disagreed with Dr. Gupta about the calcium test, which measures the amount of plaque containing calcium in a person's blood. Higher numbers indicate the development of coronary artery disease, which could lead to dangerous blockages in the heart.
But Dr. Topol said he would not be concerned unless a patient of Mr. Trump's age came to him with calcium levels of 700 or more.
''That tells you there's some calcium,'' he said. ''It doesn't tell you whether that's inside or outside the arteries. That doesn't tell me the risk.''
Dr. Rader and Dr. Maron said Mr. Trump's calcium score does not mean much. If people take statins their calcium scores go up because statins help plaques heal and leave behind calcium-containing scar tissue.
''I have seen this so many times. I tell people who have been on statins not to have it redone,'' Dr. Rader said.
The cardiologists said the president's weight and diet were a serious problem that probably contributed to his high LDL level and increased his risk for heart problems. Dr. Topol dismissed as irrelevant the debate about whether the president technically met the definition of obese.
''Here the issue is, does he have abdominal obesity?'' Dr. Topol said. ''I don't care what his height is. All you have to do is look at his abdomen. Abdominal obesity, that's the machinery for inflammation for the heart.''
Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, stood behind Dr. Jackson's assessment of the president's health, noting on Wednesday that he has been a White House physician for 12 years, treating Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama in addition to Mr. Trump.
''He is the only doctor that has weighed in on this matter that has actually examined the president,'' Ms. Sanders said. She called Dr. Jackson ''the only credible source when it comes to diagnosing any health concerns.''
We support what he said yesterday 100 percent '-- that he is in excellent health,'' she said.
Several former members of Mr. Obama's White House staff echoed that praise of Dr. Jackson.
David Axelrod, who served as one of Mr. Obama's top advisers in the White House, said Tuesday on Twitter: ''I knew Dr. Ronny Jackson in the White House. In my experience, he was very good guy and straight shooter.''
Even so, the cardiologists said Dr. Jackson understated the president's risk of having heart trouble. Dr. Maron calculated the president's risk of having a heart attack or stroke in the next 10 years, based on the high LDL levels and normal blood pressure. The result placed him in the top 25 percent of the population.
''I would call that high,'' Dr. Maron said.
Michael D. Shear reported from Washington, and Gina Kolata from Princeton, N.J.
Get politics and Washington news updates via Facebook, Twitter and the Morning Briefing newsletter.
A version of this article appears in print on January 18, 2018, on Page A14 of the New York edition with the headline: Heart Doctors See 'Big Red Flag' for President.
Continue reading the main story
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Thu, 18 Jan 2018 12:52
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The Montreal Cognitive Assessment test Trump aced, explained - Vox
Wed, 17 Jan 2018 13:14
On Tuesday, Dr. Ronny Jackson, Donald Trump's physician, told the world that the president ''has absolutely no cognitive or mental issues whatsoever.''
He came to this conclusion, he said, after meeting regularly with Trump and from the president's perfect score of 30 out of 30 on the Montreal Cognitive Assessment conducted during his physical exam on Friday.
The Montreal Cognitive Assessment, or MoCa, is a tool designed to spot the symptoms of dementia that come with a neurodegenerative disease like Alzheimer's or Parkinson's. According to Jackson, Trump requested a cognitive test during his annual physical, and is the first president to have undergone one.
To the able-minded, some of the questions might look overly simple or silly. It asks, for instance, for the patient to identify the names of a few animals, and correctly state their date and location. It has basic tasks like counting backwards by seven, and drawing a clock that reads 10 past 11. These are some of the basic mental processes that tragically slip away from people with dementia. (See the whole test here).
One of the questions of cognitive ability on the Montreal Cognitive assement. It's a pretty useful tool to quickly assess dementia symptoms, or to assess cognitive functioning after a stroke. A 2007 study in the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry found the Montreal Cognitive Assessment correctly detected 94 percent of patients with mild cognitive impairment, performing better than another test of cognitive wherewithal. It's been shown to be helpful in identifying symptoms in Parkinson's patients, and in those who have suffered a stroke.
So that's what the test does. What it does not assess is just as important. It doesn't assess personality or judgment, as the Canadian Press reports. It's not designed to tell us if someone is fit to be president of the United States.
So it's easy to ridicule, as many on the left are doing. It's also odd to boast about (see Donald Trump Jr's tweet below.)
But all information is useful. And so is the result of this test, in a small way.
Journalists and mental health professionals have argued, publicly, that Trump's apparent deterioration of vocabulary over the past decades is a sign of cognitive decline. It's important to know that Trump does not have signs of dementia so obvious to register on this test.
During the press conference where Jackson explained the results, CNN's Sanjay Gupta (a medical doctor) did point out that the test cannot always find the earliest stages of dementia, like personality or mood changes.
As Richard Friedman, a professor of clinical psychiatry and director of psychopharmacology clinic at Weill Cornell Medical College, has argued in the Washington Post, we don't need a test to judge Trump's fitness for office: ''The most accurate measure of a person's fitness, whether mental or physical, is observable function in the real world '-- not the results of a fancy test or expert opinion. The fact is that Americans already have all the data they need to judge Trump's fitness.''
Further Reading: Trump's health
The Latest: Doctor says Trump aced cognitive test
Thu, 18 Jan 2018 13:58
WASHINGTON (AP) '-- The Latest on President Donald Trump's health (all times local):
10:45 p.m.
The White House physician says President Donald Trump performed "exceedingly well" on a surprise cognitive screening test administered last week.
Navy doctor Ronny Jackson administered Trump's first presidential physical. He says Trump received a perfect score on a test designed to detect early signs of memory loss and other mild cognitive impairment.
He also reports the 6-foot-3 president weighed in at 239 pounds '-- three pounds heavier than he was in September 2016, the last time Trump revealed his weight to the public. That number puts Trump on the cusp of '-- but just under '-- the obesity mark.
Jackson says, "The president's overall health is excellent." He predicts Trump will remain healthy for the duration of his presidency despite limited exercise and a diet heavy on fast food.
__
4:20 p.m.
President Donald Trump asked that a cognitive test be included as part of his first physical exam.
Trump's physician '-- Navy doctor Ronny Jackson '-- says the president achieved a perfect score on the test, which was included in last Friday's medical checkup.
Jackson says Trump's 30 out of 30 score means there's no indication that Trump has any cognitive issues.
The doctor speculates that Trump requested the exam in an attempt to beat back the narrative of the past few weeks that he is mentally unfit for office.
Jackson describes Trump as "very sharp" and "very articulate when he speaks to me."
The doctor says he's found "no reason whatsoever" to think the president has any issues with his thought process.
___
4:15 p.m.
President Donald Trump performed "exceedingly well" on cognitive screening during his recent physical examination.
That's according to his White House physician, navy doctor Ronny Jackson.
The doctor says he had "absolutely no concerns" about the 71-year-old president's cognitive abilities, but performed the screening because Trump asked him to do it.
Jackson says Trump's overall health "is excellent." Jackson is providing a more detailed readout Tuesday following Trump's first physical last Friday at the Walter Reed military hospital.
___
4:10 p.m.
President Donald Trump's doctor says he's confident that Trump has a "very strong and a very probable possibility" of completing his presidency "with no medical issues."
Navy doctor Ronny Jackson says his assessment is based on Trump's cardiac assessment.
Trump had his first physical last Friday. Jackson says Trump's heart exam was normal, with regular rhythm and no abnormal sounds.
Trump also has no heart disease and no family history of it.
Jackson says that based on the clinical information he has on Trump and his year of observing the president, "I feel very confident that he has a very strong and a very probable possibility of making it completely through his presidency with no medical issues."
Trump took office at age 70, making him the oldest incoming U.S. president.
___
4 p.m.
President Donald Trump's overall health "is excellent" and he did "exceedingly well" on cognitive screening.
That's according to his White House physician, Navy doctor Ronny Jackson.
Jackson is providing a more detailed readout Tuesday following Trump's first physical last Friday at the Walter Reed military hospital.
Jackson reports that the 6-foot-3 president weighed in at 239 pounds '-- three pounds heavier than he was in September 2016.
Trump's blood pressure was 122 over 74, and his total cholesterol was 223, which is higher than recommended.
Trump was 70 when he took office, making him the oldest person ever elected to the nation's highest office.
Jackson says Trump is healthy and should remain so for the remainder of his presidency.
___
7:30 a.m.
A fuller readout of President Donald Trump's health following his first medical check-up is expected later Tuesday.
Trump's White House physician - Navy doctor Ronny Jackson - declared Trump to be in "excellent health" following last Friday's exam at the Walter Reed military hospital in Maryland.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Jackson will attend her briefing Tuesday to provide a more complete readout on Trump's physical health.
Not expected are any conclusions about Trump's mental acuity. Questions about Trump's mental fitness have been raised following comments attributed to some of his close advisers in a new book, and his recent slurring of words on national TV.
Presidents aren't required to get a checkup, but modern presidents do so regularly and release a doctor's report on the findings.
Migrants
California Hires Eric Holder as Legal Bulwark Against Donald Trump - The New York Times
Mon, 15 Jan 2018 03:12
President Obama with Eric H. Holder Jr. in September 2014, when Mr. Holder announced he was stepping down as attorney general. Credit Doug Mills/The New York Times LOS ANGELES '-- Girding for four years of potential battles with President-elect Donald J. Trump, Democratic leaders of the California Legislature announced Wednesday that they had hired Eric H. Holder Jr., who was attorney general under President Obama, to represent them in any legal fights against the new Republican White House.
The decision by the Legislature to retain Mr. Holder, who is now a prominent Washington lawyer, is the latest sign ofthe ideological battle that may play out over the next four years between this predominantly Democratic state and Washington. Hillary Clinton, the Democratic candidate for president, defeated Mr. Trump by more than four million votes here.
''Having the former attorney general of the United States brings us a lot of firepower in order to prepare to safeguard the values of the people of California,'' Kevin de Le"n, the Democratic leader of the Senate, said in an interview. ''This means we are very, very serious.''
Mr. de Le"n said he expected California to challenge Washington '-- and defend itself from policies instituted in Washington '-- on issues including the environment, immigration and criminal justice. He said California Democrats decided to turn to Mr. Holder as they watched Mr. Trump assemble his cabinet and begin to set the tone for his presidency.
''It was very clear that it wasn't just campaign rhetoric,'' Mr. de Le"n said of Mr. Trump's proposals over the past year. ''He was surrounding himself with people who are a very clear and present danger to the economic prosperity of California.''
Mr. Trump did not immediately return requests for comment.
The move by Mr. de Le"n and his Democratic counterpart in the Assembly, Anthony Rendon, follows Gov. Jerry Brown's appointment of Representative Xavier Becerra as attorney general last month, to succeed Kamala D. Harris, who was elected to the United States Senate.
That appointment made Mr. Becerra one of the highest-ranking Latino officials in this state, and he is expected to be instrumental in battling with the Trump White House over any attempt to enforce stringent measures aimed at immigrants. Mr. Brown has made clear that he intends to challenge the administration on global warming and that his attorney general will be a key to that battle.
The Democratic Party controls two-thirds of both the Assembly and the Senate in California. Every statewide elected official is a Democrat.
Mr. Holder was Mr. Obama's attorney general from 2009 to 2015. He was the first African-American to hold that position. He is a partner at Covington & Burling, a law firm in Washington that specializes in representing states and companies against the federal government.
''I am honored that the Legislature chose Covington to serve as its legal adviser as it considers how to respond to potential changes in federal law that could impact California's residents and policy priorities,'' Mr. Holder said in a statement. ''I am confident that our expertise across a wide array of federal legal and regulatory issues will be a great resource to the Legislature.''
The Legislature has an ample stable of lawyers on staff, but officials said Mr. Holder and his firm brought specific litigation and political skills that could be needed in the coming years. Mr. de Le"n said the final compensation for the firm had not been set, but would be publicly disclosed once it was.
''The cost will be very minimal compared to the billions of dollars at stake if California doesn't adequately make its case,'' he said.
A version of this article appears in print on , on Page A14 of the New York edition with the headline: Expecting Trouble, California Picks Up Some Legal Muscle . Order Reprints | Today's Paper | Subscribe
BTC
Bitcoin headed to $100,000 in 2018: Analyst who forecast 2017 price move
Tue, 16 Jan 2018 16:39
Bitcoin could hit $100,000 in 2018, an analyst who correctly predicted the cryptocurrency's rally at the start of last year told CNBC on Tuesday.
Kay Van-Petersen, an analyst at Saxo Bank, added that other rival digital coins could also outperform.
Van-Petersen forecast in December 2016 that bitcoin would reach $2,000 in 2017. At the time, bitcoin was trading below $900, according to CoinDesk, a website that tracks the price of digital currencies on a number of different exchanges.
Bitcoin blew past the $2,000 figure in May.
Van-Petersen said Tuesday that bitcoin could hit between $50,000 and $100,000 in 2018.
"First off, you could argue we have had a proper correction in bitcoin, it has had a 50 percent pull back at one point, which is healthy. But we have still not seen the full effect of the futures contracts," Van-Petersen said.
The CME and Cboe both launched bitcoin futures trading contracts last year. The move was seen as a way to get more institutional investors involved in the cryptocurrency market and legitimize it. But trading got off to a light start. Van-Petersen said that more institutions will get on board over time, but it won't happen quickly.
To reach $100,000, bitcoin would need to rally over 635 percent from Tuesday's highest price of $13,601.43, according to CoinDesk. Previously, Van-Petersen said that $100,000 could take ten years to hit.
Also, bitcoin has been trading sideways since the start of the year. But the Saxo Bank analyst said that bitcoin tends to trade around a certain level then "re-rates".
"I wouldn't be surprised if it's something we are seeing. It's kind of building a foundation, then will re-rate a bit higher."
Bitcoin and other coins, including ethereum and ripple, saw a big sell-off on Tuesday, however.
Still, Van-Petersen said that ethereum is likely to outperform bitcoin this year.
"Ethereum came after bitcoin, it has a more unified leadership than bitcoin," she said. "They seem to be a bit further along the way in regards to forming the solution to scaling issues. And you can see transactions on their side eclipses transactions across other cryptos."
Cryptocurrency 'bloodbath' as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, LiteCoin drop | Metro News
Tue, 16 Jan 2018 16:23
This graph vividly shows the collapse of Bitcoin over the past 24 hours (Chart: Coindesk)The price of Bitcoin and hundreds of other cryptocurrencies including Ethereum and Ripple has plummeted amid fears that governments will launch devastating crackdowns on the trading of virtual coins.
The value of Bitcoin tumbled to below $12,000 as the prospect of strict new rules being introduced saw investors take fright from the cryptocurrency.
Girl, 12, beaten up by bullies and all people did was stand by and film it The second and third biggest cryptocurrencies, Ethereum and Ripple, also nosedived along with hundreds of other cryptocurrencies in what's been described as a 'bloodbath'.
Bitcoin is now trading almost 20 percent lower today than it was yesterday afternoon when it peaked at a price of about $14,300 before plunging to roughly $11,600 at the time of writing on Tuesday morning.
The world's most valuable and famous cryptocurrency has had a miserable year so far, dropping from an incredible high of almost $20,000 before Christmas.
Hundreds of cryptocurrencies are in the red, including most of the top 10 virtual coins (Picture: CoinMarketCap)2However, investors who were lucky enough to buy up Bitcoin early enough don't really have anything to grumble about, because it has shot up from a price of just $900 in January 2017.
This gigantic hit to the cryptocurrency markets comes after China announced plans to stop people mining cryptocurrencies.
South Korea is also considering placing a ban on the trading of virtual coins.
Iqbal Gandham, UK Managing Director at the 'social trading and investment network' eToro, said: 'The market is correcting off the back of news that China is moving to crack down on cryptocurrency trading.
'Chinese investors are likely spooked having heard the news and the market is on edge as a result.
''But we don't expect to see a major sell-off. Bitcoin, in particular, has gone through this cycle before, eventually shrugging off regulatory clampdowns from governments and central banks after initially falling in price.'
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Germany's Bundesbank has also called for global regulation of Bitcoin, while France's finance minister wants tougher rules for cryptocurrencies.
Last week, the US billionaire Warren Buffett ruled out a foray into cryptocurrencies, warning that the Bitcoin boom will 'come to a bad ending'.
He joined the chorus of voices criticising the digital currency, which endured a rollercoaster ride at the tail end of 2017.
His comments came just a day after JP Morgan chief executive Jamie Dimon said he regretted calling Bitcoin a 'fraud'.
The Wall Street boss was one of the most high-profile critics of the digital currency, saying he would fire employees trading the digital currency.
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Neil Wilson, senior market analyst at ETX Capital, said: 'Bitcoin faces a regulatory crunch sooner or later and increasingly we see signs of this starting to bite following South Korea's tentative plans to ban trading on cryptocurrencies and China's move to shutter mines.
'Latest developments suggest more regulatory pressures.
'China is said to be targeting websites and mobile apps that offer exchange-like services, in a bid to block access to platforms that deliver centralised trading on cryptocurrencies.
'In addition to developments in China, South Korean finance minister Kim Dong-yeon reiterated on Tuesday that the government is actively considering an outright ban on crypto trading.'
MORE: You can now store Ripple and Bitcoin in a creepy microchip implant that's been compared to 'the mark of the beast'
MORE: KFC will now let you buy fried chicken using the cryptocurrency Bitcoin
Blockstream - Lightning Charge Powers Developers & Blockstream Store
Wed, 17 Jan 2018 13:21
With the release of the 1.0 spec for Lightning and the verification of interoperability among the three Lightning teams, the Lightning Network is racing forward. Bitcoin users are now able to take advantage of instant bitcoin transactions, improved scalability, and lower fees'--enabling many new use cases, such as micropayments. In addition, like Bitcoin itself, the Lightning Network is decentralized: no online payment center or credit card company is required to authorize transactions or to hold funds. Instead, users directly connect to the Lightning Network by creating multiple payment channels of their choice, without relying on a centralized third party.
Blockstream's implementation of the Lightning spec, c-lightning, focuses on the needs of the developers who will be creating Lightning-powered Bitcoin applications for these users. Though c-lightning is a low-level technology designed to implement the Lightning spec without added complexity, the true power of such an implementation can be unlocked by developer tools. We've seen the hard work required to integrate with credit card companies and with existing online payment systems, and we want to make it easier than ever to accept payments through Lightning.
To meet this need, we're delighted to introduce Lightning Charge to the Elements Project. This complementary package for c-lightning, designed by independent developer Nadav Ivgi working with Blockstream, makes it simple to build apps on top of Lightning.
Lightning Charge is a micropayment processing system written in node.js. It exposes the functionality of c-lightning through its REST API, which can be accessed through JavaScript and PHP libraries, both of which have also been released through the Elements Project. Web developers will be able to work with c-lightning through their normal programming techniques, and they'll also get expanded functionality such as currency conversion, invoice metadata, streaming payment updates, and webhooks. Together, these additions make it easy for developers to use c-lightning to create their own, independent web-payment infrastructures.
The power of Lightning Charge isn't just theoretical; it's already powering the Blockstream Store, a working e-commerce site that we are launching today. The Blockstream Store allows you to use Lightning payments on the Bitcoin mainnet to make small purchases of stickers and t-shirts. By offering an early demonstration of this cutting-edge technology, we hope to bring Lightning to life with real-world functionality, providing a way for you to test Lightning and become a part of the micropayment revolution. However, the entire Lightning Network is still in a testing stage, with both known and unknown bugs, so you should use the Store with care, at your own risk.
The Blockstream Store is built on WordPress and WooCommerce and connects with Lightning Charge and c-lightning through a WooCommerce Lightning Gateway, which we are also releasing today as part of the Elements Project.
Lightning Charge and the WooCommerce Lightning Gateway are both available as part of the Elements Project: download them to begin work on your own c-lightning projects. We invite you to participate by reporting issues, asking questions, and making contributions through the Lightning Charge repo. You can also join us in discussing these projects on the lightning-dev mailing list or the #lightning-dev IRC channel.
Vegas Massacre
EXCLUSIVE: Valet Receipt Indicates Marilou Danley Was at Mandalay Bay on Day of Las Vegas Shooting
Tue, 16 Jan 2018 23:47
An exclusively obtained Mandalay Bay valet receipt shows a woman using the name Marilou Danley checked Stephen Paddock's vehicle into the hotel hours before the Las Vegas shooting.
NEW YORK CITY, NY (Laura Loomer)'Š'--'ŠFirst published five days after the massacre, the receipt with the ticket number 275274484 shows that a woman using the name of Stephen Paddock's girlfriend MariLou Danley dropped off a grey Chrysler vehicle at the Mandalay Bay at 12:26 p.m. PDT on October 1st, 2017, the same day as the Las Vegas shooting.
The unidentified individual, who needed to know both Paddock's name and his room number in order to check in his vehicle, was charged $20 to have it parked overnight in Mandalay Bay's East Garage.
According to a Mandalay Bay employee, if the driver was not Danley, the person who last dropped the car off in valet would also had to have known her name, along with the unusual spelling of her uncommon name. The individual also would have had to have been a female since all guests who valet their vehicles are asked to provide their first and last name.
''When a guest pulls into valet, we ask them if they are staying at the hotel or just visiting. If they are staying at the hotel, we issue them a hotel ticket and ask them for their first and last name. If they have a gold, platinum, or noir tier rewards card, they show us and then we would link it up to that instead because that makes their valet free.''
This reporter has exclusively obtained more than five Mandalay Bay valet receipts that document Paddock's stay at Mandalay Bay. According to a source at Mandalay Bay, ''Paddock was a Platinum member for M Life rewards, so he used his (players) card to get free valet.''
Stephen Paddock's vehicle and valet log inside the East Mandalay Bay parking garageThe exclusively obtained receipts prior to the receipt dated October 1, 2017 all have Paddock's name and list him as being a Platinum member, which would make his valet free. However, the receipt dated October 1 differs from the rest of the receipts in that it has Danley's name and indicates that $20 was paid, in comparison to the other comped valet entries.
Oddly enough, unlike all of the other valet receipts, a name is missing from the cashier' section of the receipt dated Oct. 1, 2017, and it is still unknown who the ''greeter'' was. However, surveillance footage from the valet area at Mandalay Bay would quickly reveal the identity of the driver and the employee who possibly greeted Danley just hours before the shooting.
In this case, had the driver been Paddock, it would have been unorthodox, without a large tip, for the unnamed ''greeter''' to falsely enter the name of a female instead. Moreover, documentation of Paddock's valet receipts this reporter has exclusively obtained show that he used his own name and his Platinum membership the other 14 times he used the Mandalay Bay valet service during his stay at Mandalay Bay throughout the month of September.
Lastly, the receipt shows Paddock's vehicle was checked out on Wednesday, October 4th at 10:32 a.m. PDT. A Mandalay Bay employee told this reporter that this time signifies the moment the FBI arrived to assume custody of the vehicle.
Mandalay Bay Valet Receipt Dated Oct. 1, 2017 with MariLou Danley's nameThis receipt poses a major problem for the FBI and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD), who currently hold the position that Paddock acted alone in both the planning and execution of the October 1st mass shooting. However, unseald FBI search warrats further indicate that Danley isn't as inocent as she, her lawyers, and the authorities would like the public to believe. It is worth noting that another valet receipt exclsuively obtained by this reporter previously caused authroities to change their official narrative after the receipt proved the FBI and LVMPD were misleading the public about Paddock's actual check in date.
Poking yet another hole in the ''official narrative'', it is impossible for Danley to have been present at the Mandalay Bay, if she was indeed vacationing in the Philippines at the time of the shooting.
Reuters previously reported that Danley arrived in the Philippines on Friday, September 15th, then flew to Hong Kong on the 22nd before returning to the Philippines on the 25th, and didn't leave until she allegedly boarded a flight to Los Angeles on Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017 where she was supposedly greeted and questioned by FBI officials upon her arrival.
Mari Lou Danley greeted by authorities at the airport in a wheelchair, Oct. 3, 2017Previously sealed FBI documents that were released on Friday January 12, 2018 reveal that Danley was more than a ''person of interest''' to authorities, and rather was considered the ''most likely accomplice''' to Paddock's murderous rampage. The unseald documents show that Danley's fingerprints were found on ammunition located inside loaded magazines recovered from Paddock's 32nd floor sniper's nest.
In a statement read by her lawyer, Danley said she ''loved'' Paddock and hoped for a quiet future together with him prior to his killing spree. But, was that love strong enough to lie for him, to drive for him, or to kill for him?
Worth noting, multiple Mandalay Bay employees have told this reporter an asian looking woman was seen walking at night with Paddock in front of the Mandalay Bay valet center on Saturday, September 30th, the night before the shooting.
Despite the fact that the attack was the worst mass shooting in U.S. history, authorities and investigators have struggled to contain leaks as they desperately try to control their desired narrative of the events that unfolded on October 1. They have still not provided a motive behind the shooting.
However, FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe may have foreshadowed this extraordinary plot twist documented in the form of yet another valet receipt when he told CNBC: ''There's all kinds of things that surprise us in each one of these events.'''
The FBI, LVMPD and MGM Resorts International were asked for comment regarding this report via phone and email, but all failed to respond by the time of publication.
UPDATE: As of 1:52 pm EST January 16, 2018, Loomer was able to obtain a statement from MGM Resorts International via phone.
Debra DeShong, the Senior VP of Global Corporate Communications and Industry Affairs for MGMResortsIntl was asked to comment on the receipt and whether or not MariLou Danley was on the property of Mandalay Bay October 1, 2017, the day of the shooting. DeShong said, ''I am not at liberty to discuss details of the investigation. I can't help you with this matter. I'm not going to comment.''
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New Charges Possible In Mandalay Bay Shooting While Mystery Shrouds Broken CCTV | Zero Hedge
Wed, 17 Jan 2018 05:32
New charges could be coming in the Las Vegas Mandalay Bay mass murder, an attorney for the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police said Tuesday during a courtroom battle over the release of search warrants related to the shooting.
Arguing in against several media organizations who made the request, LVPD attorney Nicholas Crosby noted that because potential charges against other people could be in the works - releasing the warrants could taint their ongoing investigation, according to Fox News.
Crosby said that no new charges are imminent, though could come in the future.
Crosby's revelation came as a surprise to most in the courtroom. It was the newest information in regards to the investigation that the public seems to have garnered unwittingly by Crosby when explaining to have the warrants remained sealed. Crosby did not say who would face charges.
Crosby, paradoxically, posited that he cannot argue the facts of the case without compromising what the police are trying to protect. He suggested having an in-camera hearing, meaning one in private.
While the Las Vegas PD's warrants were kept under seal for the time being, last week FBI search warrants were unsealed for Stephen Paddock and girlfriend Marilou Danley's email accounts, which revealed Paddock engaging in a cryptic exchange with himself over various firearms used in the shooting.
Ms. Danley also admitted to investigators that her fingerprints were likely to be on the ammunition, as she said she frequently helped Paddock load magazines and move rounds.
Multimillionaire real-estate developer and video-poker aficionado Stephen Paddock, 64, unleashed a hail of bullets into the crowd at the Route 91 Harvest Festival from the 32nd floor of Mandalay Bay on the night of October 1, 2017, killing 58 over a 10 minute period before reportedly shooting himself in the head.
Meanwhile one of several questions surrounding the still-unsolved Mandalay Bay shooting is the lack of any closed circuit television footage (CCTV) of shooter Stephen Paddock anywhere in the hotel in the days leading up to the deadliest shooting in modern U.S. history.
Stephen Paddock
No footage has been seen of Paddock checking in at the Mandalay Bay lobby, walking around the hotel, or lugging more than 20 long rifles up to his 32nd floor room along with thousands of rounds of ammunition before his deadly rampage on October 1, 2017 which claimed the lives of 58 country-music fans over a 10 minute period.
Mandalay Bay Valet Chad Nishimura spoke briefly with Paddock, and said he "seemed like a normal guy. When he came in, nothing too weird about him. He didn't have any crazy bags with him that I can remember. We are a convention hotel so we have a bunch of people that have boxes and multiple carts worth of stuff. There's nothing weird that I can remember."
Given that Las Vegas casinos are some of the most heavily monitored establishments in the United States - if not the world, it stands to reason that there would at least be some footage of Paddock roaming around before the attack - however there may be an explanation...
After a theft of marketing materials during the 2017 VMworld conference held in the Mandalay Bay Convention Center August 27-31, hotel officials were unable to provide closed circuit television footage due to "camera/equipment malfunction."
As The Register reported two weeks after the theft:
[H]yperconverged contender Maxta printed badges bearing the motto ''You can't have it your way with Nutanix'' and stored them in private areas of its stand at the exhibition running alongside VMware's conference. The company alleged that 200 of the badges were removed from the stand by parties unknown.
Maxta therefore sought CCTV footage of the exhibition floor. The company that runs VMworld security took the request seriously enough to approach the venue, Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. In correspondence seen by The Register Mandalay Bay staff say ''Video of the incident area was not available due to camera/equipment malfunction''.
VMworld's security firm was also told that security footage ''is proprietary to Mandalay Bay'' and cannot be viewed by third parties.
Maxta tells us it was also given the ''proprietary'' excuse.
Mandalay Bay security executives ignored multiple requests by The Register as to their policies regarding security footage or why the system was down, noting "It's richly ironic that CCTV failed to work at an exhibition that hosts as big a collection of storage and security vendors as you're likely to find together at one place and at one time. It's also odd that Mandalay Bay's video cameras and recorders went down '' perhaps it saves the reliable surveillance kit for spotting naughtiness on the the gaming floor."
The lack of CCTV footage is just one of many strange aspects of the still-unsolved deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history - which include a shifting timeline, a mysteriously missing security guard, strange stock options activity leading up to the attack, $100,000 Paddock wired to his girlfriend in the Philippines days before the attack, a claim by ISIS that Paddock had converted to Islam six months before the attack, a strange 4chan warning of a "high incident project" three weeks before the attack, and a strange woman warning people about the shooting before the concert:
Paddock also took over 20 cruises to the Middle East and Europe, including Jordan and the UAE.
As we reported on Saturday, unsealed search warrants reveal Paddock may have been setting up some of arrangement over email in July, 2017, seemingly with himself.
In an email sent from Paddock's Microsoft Live email account, "centralpark1@live.com" to "centralpark4804@gmail.com," Paddock wrote "try and ar before u buy. we have huge selection. located in the las vegas area." The "centralpark4804" account wrote back "we have a wide variety of optics and ammunition to try." Paddock emailed back "for a thrill try out bumpfire ar's with a 100 round magazine."
According to some, this is the first information on the record suggesting that the gunman may have had help.
The warrant goes on to read "Investigators believe these communications may have been related to the eventual attack that occurred at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas."
Upon searching Paddock's Mesquite, NV home, police recovered approximately 18 firearms, more ammonia nitrate, several pounds of the explosive tannerite, several rounds of ammunition, and "electronic devices" - while a "large quantity of ammunition and multiple firearms" were recovered from Paddock's Reno residence.
Paddock also reportedly attempted to buy a large quantity of tracer ammunition in the month prior to the attack, however the dealer he approached did not have any in stock.
Illustration of Paddock's room, 32nd Floor
While breaching Paddock's room at approximately 10:55 pm, an officer accidentally fired one round from his sidearm, reportedly not hitting anyone. Paddock, meanwhile, was found laying awkwardly over a rifle with what investigators reported to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Oddly, recordings of the incident do not contain Paddock's final "suicide shot."
Apparently what happens in Vegas really does stay in Vegas - even when it comes to the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
Homeless
Why is liberal California the poverty capital of America? - LA Times
Mon, 15 Jan 2018 12:21
Guess which state has the highest poverty rate in the country? Not Mississippi, New Mexico, or West Virginia, but California, where nearly one out of five residents is poor. That's according to the Census Bureau's Supplemental Poverty Measure, which factors in the cost of housing, food, utilities and clothing, and which includes noncash government assistance as a form of income.
Given robust job growth and the prosperity generated by several industries, it's worth asking why California has fallen behind, especially when the state's per-capita GDP increased approximately twice as much as the U.S. average over the five years ending in 2016 (12.5%, compared with 6.27%).
It's not as though California policymakers have neglected to wage war on poverty. Sacramento and local governments have spent massive amounts in the cause. Several state and municipal benefit programs overlap with one another; in some cases, individuals with incomes 200% above the poverty line receive benefits. California state and local governments spent nearly $958 billion from 1992 through 2015 on public welfare programs, including cash-assistance payments, vendor payments and ''other public welfare,'' according to the Census Bureau. California, with 12% of the American population, is home today to about one in three of the nation's welfare recipients.
California Democrats have long been free to indulge blue-state ideology while paying little or no political price. The generous spending, then, has not only failed to decrease poverty; it actually seems to have made it worse.
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, some states '-- principally Wisconsin, Michigan, and Virginia '-- initiated welfare reform, as did the federal government under President Clinton and a Republican Congress. Tied together by a common thread of strong work requirements, these overhauls were a big success: Welfare rolls plummeted and millions of former aid recipients entered the labor force.
The state and local bureaucracies that implement California's antipoverty programs, however, resisted pro-work reforms. In fact, California recipients of state aid receive a disproportionately large share of it in no-strings-attached cash disbursements. It's as though welfare reform passed California by, leaving a dependency trap in place. Immigrants are falling into it: 55% of immigrant families in the state get some kind of means-tested benefits, compared with just 30% of natives.
Self-interest in the social-services community may be at fault. As economist William A. Niskanen explained back in 1971, public agencies seek to maximize their budgets, through which they acquire increased power, status, comfort and security. To keep growing its budget, and hence its power, a welfare bureaucracy has an incentive to expand its ''customer'' base. With 883,000 full-time-equivalent state and local employees in 2014, California has an enormous bureaucracy. Many work in social services, and many would lose their jobs if the typical welfare client were to move off the welfare rolls.
Further contributing to the poverty problem is California's housing crisis. More than four in 10 households spent more than 30% of their income on housing in 2015. A shortage of available units has driven prices ever higher, far above income increases. And that shortage is a direct outgrowth of misguided policies.
''Counties and local governments have imposed restrictive land-use regulations that drove up the price of land and dwellings,'' explains analyst Wendell Cox. ''Middle-income households have been forced to accept lower standards of living while the less fortunate have been driven into poverty by the high cost of housing.'' The California Environmental Quality Act, passed in 1971, is one example; it can add $1 million to the cost of completing a housing development, says Todd Williams, an Oakland attorney who chairs the Wendel Rosen Black & Dean land-use group. CEQA costs have been known to shut down entire homebuilding projects. CEQA reform would help increase housing supply, but there's no real movement to change the law.
Extensive environmental regulations aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions make energy more expensive, also hurting the poor. By some estimates, California energy costs are as much as 50% higher than the national average. Jonathan A. Lesser of Continental Economics, author of a 2015 Manhattan Institute study, ''Less Carbon, Higher Prices,'' found that ''in 2012, nearly 1 million California households faced '... energy expenditures exceeding 10% of household income. In certain California counties, the rate of energy poverty was as high as 15% of all households.'' A Pacific Research Institute study by Wayne Winegarden found that the rate could exceed 17% of median income in some areas.
Looking to help poor and low-income residents, California lawmakers recently passed a measure raising the minimum wage from $10 an hour to $15 an hour by 2022 '-- but a higher minimum wage will do nothing for the 60% of Californians who live in poverty and don't have jobs. And research indicates that it could cause many who do have jobs to lose them. A Harvard University study found evidence that ''higher minimum wages increase overall exit rates for restaurants'' in the Bay Area, where more than a dozen cities and counties, including San Francisco, have changed their minimum-wage ordinances in the last five years. ''Estimates suggest that a one-dollar increase in the minimum wage leads to a 14% increase in the likelihood of exit for a 3.5-star restaurant (which is the median rating),'' the report says. These restaurants are a significant source of employment for low-skilled and entry-level workers.
Apparently content with futile poverty policies, Sacramento lawmakers can turn their attention to what historian Victor Davis Hanson aptly describes as a fixation on ''remaking the world.'' The political class wants to build a costly and needless high-speed rail system; talks of secession from a United States presided over by Donald Trump; hired former attorney general Eric H. Holder Jr. to ''resist'' Trump's agenda; enacted the first state-level cap-and-trade regime; established California as a ''sanctuary state'' for illegal immigrants; banned plastic bags, threatening the jobs of thousands of workers involved in their manufacture; and is consumed by its dedication to ''California values.'' All this only reinforces the rest of America's perception of an out-of-touch Left Coast, to the disservice of millions of Californians whose values are more traditional, including many of the state's poor residents.
With a permanent majority in the state Senate and the Assembly, a prolonged dominance in the executive branch and a weak opposition, California Democrats have long been free to indulge blue-state ideology while paying little or no political price. The state's poverty problem is unlikely to improve while policymakers remain unwilling to unleash the engines of economic prosperity that drove California to its golden years.
Kerry Jackson is the Pacific Research Institute's fellow in California studies. This essay was adapted from the winter issue ofCity Journal.
Follow the Opinion section on Twitter @latimesopinion or Facebook
Fake News
2017 Fake News Awards Released'...
Thu, 18 Jan 2018 04:53
President Trump and team have released the TOP Eleven Fake News Stories of 2017:
11. ''RUSSIA COLLUSION!'' Russian collusion is perhaps the greatest hoax perpetrated on the American people. THERE IS NO COLLUSION!
10. The New York Times FALSELY claimed on the front page that the Trump administration had hidden a climate report.
09. CNN FALSELY reported that former FBI Director James Comey would dispute President Trump's claim that he was told he is not under investigation.
08. Newsweek FALSELY reported that Polish First Lady Agata Kornhauser-Duda did not shake President Trump's hand.
07. CNN FALSELY reported about Anthony Scaramucci's meeting with a Russian, but retracted it due to a ''significant breakdown in process.''
06. CNN FALSELY edited a video to make it appear President Trump defiantly overfed fish during a visit with the Japanese prime minister. Japanese prime minister actually led the way with the feeding.
05. Washington Post FALSELY reported the President's massive sold-out rally in Pensacola, Florida was empty. Dishonest reporter showed picture of empty arena HOURS before crowd started pouring in.
04. TIME FALSELY reported that President Trump removed a bust of Martin Luther King, Jr. from the Oval Office.
03. CNN FALSELY reported that candidate Donald Trump and his son Donald J. Trump, Jr. had access to hacked documents from WikiLeaks.
02. ABC News' Brian Ross CHOKES and sends markets in a downward spiral with false report about Michael Flynn testifying against President Trump.
01. The New York Times' Paul Krugman claimed on the day of President Trump's historic, landslide victory that the economy would never recover.
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Vegans
Swiss town denies passport to Dutch vegan because she is 'too annoying'
Wed, 17 Jan 2018 04:07
A Dutch vegan who applied for a Swiss passport has had her application rejected because the locals found her too annoying.
Nancy Holten, 42, moved to Switzerland from the Netherlands when she was eight years old and now has children who are Swiss nationals.
However, when she tried to get a Swiss passport for herself, residents of Gipf-Oberfrick in the canton of Aargau rejected her application.
View photos
Rejected: Nancy Holten was denied a Swiss passport because she annoyed locals (CEN)
More MORE: Sex assault defendant 'cuts his own throat' in the dock as he awaits sentence
MORE: Pretty Boy the cat acted as midwife for a pregnant goat and it was too adorable
Ms Holten, a vegan and animal rights activist, has campaigned against the use of cowbells in the village and her actions have annoyed the locals.
The resident's committee argued that if she does not accept Swiss traditions and the Swiss way of life, she should not be able to become an official national.
Ms Holten told local media: ''The bells, which the cows have to wear when they walk to and from the pasture, are especially heavy.
View photos
Campaign: The residents of the village made their feelings very clear (CEN)
More ''The animals carry around five kilograms around their neck. It causes friction and burns to their skin.''
She added: ''The sound that cow bells make is a hundred decibel. It is comparable with a pneumatic drill. We also would not want such a thing hanging close to our ears?''
Tanja Suter, the president of the local Swiss People's Party, claimed Ms Holten has a ''big mouth'' and that residents did not want to grant her citizenship ''if she annoys us and doesn't respect our traditions''.
View photos
Animal rights: Ms Holten campaigned to get rid of cowbells (CEN)
More Responding to the rejection, Ms Holten said: ''I think I spoke my mind too often, and I say it out too loud.''
Ms Holten, who describes herself as a freelance journalist, model and drama student, has also campaigned against a number of other Swiss traditions like hunting, pig races and the noisy church bells in town.
She was previously rejected for citizenship in 2015 after residents voted to block her initial application.
View photos
Anger: Vegan Ms Holten said the cowbells were too loud and heavy (CEN)
More The case has now been transferred to the Cantonal government in Aargau, which can overrule the decision and can still grant her a Swiss passport despite the objections of the locals.
Local residents in Switzerland often have a say in citizenship applications, which are decided by the cantons and towns where the applicants live rather than federal government.
It is still very difficult to be granted Swiss citizenship and being born in the country does not give the children or even the grandchildren of immigrants the automatic right to be Swiss.
Top pic: CEN
FISA
Understanding FISA-702(16)(17) And How It Was Used in 2016'.... | The Last Refuge
Mon, 15 Jan 2018 14:34
Consider this an addendum ''break out'' thread, a reference of sorts, to help prepare people for the upcoming week and discussions about FISA-702.
We'll break down the term: '' FISA-702(16)(17) '' into the elements that will help you make sense of this story in the future.
FISA '' Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act702 '' An American caught up in the process of Foreign Surveillance(16) '' A search query based on ''TO'' and/or ''FROM''(17) '' A search query based on ''ABOUT''Again, to repeat, there are differing FISA rules for use of the NSA or FBI database depending on the originating intelligence compartment.
If a search is conducted from an intelligence compartment within the U.S. government whose objective is to ensure ''National Security'' there are different FISA rules than a search from an intelligence compartment not engaged in ''National Security''.
The DOJ has a ''National Security Division''. Their compartment rules on FISA searches and reviews are different from the DOJ ''Civil Rights Division''. There are 30 DOJ divisions.
The FBI (a department within the DOJ) has a Counterintelligence Division that focuses on terrorism threats etc. A FISA search from within the Counterintelligence Division has different rules than a FISA search from the Science and Technology Division.
So, We Begin: FISA searches can be conducted on any foreign person without issue. All non-U.S. citizens on the entire planet can be searched 24/7/365 no issues. FISA searches on foreign people have no restrictions at all.
However, when the FISA search returns data identifying a U.S. citizen, everything changes. Those changes are under the identifying term ''702''. A ''702'' is an American person.
All U.S. citizens are protected by the fourth amendment against unlawful search and seizure. All searches of U.S. people must have a valid reason. Title III says any search for a potential criminal investigation must have a judicial warrant. Additionally, any criminal search of the FISA database must also have a warrant (technically, 'approval').
Any FISA searches of foreign subjects, might need FISA Court approval if the returned data includes a U.S. subject (''702'').
However, When a FISA-702 search is conducted based on the need for ''national security'' no approval from the FISA court is needed. Search away. If the FISA search is because of a ''vital national security interest'' the resulting search data can be opened, and all 'upstream' connections explored, without seeking permission from the FISA court.
'...A ''FISA-702(16)'' Search Result '' would be a search result of the FBI (counter terrorism) database or NSA database that returns an American person as a result of a ''To'' or ''From'' (16) type data search.
EXAMPLE: Querying phone data (phone number) TO: Operator BadGuy or FROM: Operator BadGuy '' might return a list of phone numbers that also contains an American persons' phone number. That American person is protected by the fourth amendment. To look at the ''upstream'' connections of the American Person to other people, likely more Americans, the search operator would need to ask permission of the FISA Court to review the upstream results.
[NOTE: *Exception* '' the search was vital to national security. If so, the upstream phone numbers could be reviewed without asking FISA permission.]
'...A ''FISA-702(17)'' Search Result '' would be a search result of the FBI (counter terrorism) database or NSA database that returns an American person (702) as a result of an ''ABOUT'' (17) type data search.
EXAMPLE: Querying everything in email ABOUT: Mohammed BadGuy '' might return communication of an American who wrote a letter about Mohammed BadGuy or maybe he told a friend in a text to check out a media story about Mohammed BadGuy. To look at the email or text of the American, the search operator would need to ask permission of the FISA Court to see the email/text content.
[NOTE: *Exception* '' the search was vital to national security?. If So, the email and text could be looked at without asking permission]
November 2015 through April 2016 FISA-702(17) ''About Queries'', returns from searches, were identified by NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers, being conducted by the intelligence community (FBI), by ''contractors'' and ''individuals'' for reasons that: 'were unauthorized; 'were directly related to U.S. persons; 'and had nothing to do with National Security; 'and were conducted by people who did not request FISA Court Approval.
Director Mike Rogers discovered FBI contractors doing FISA-702 ''About Searches'' that resulted in returns providing information on Americans. Those results were passed on to people outside government.
Pg 83. ''FBI gave raw Section 702''acquired information to a private entity that was not a federal agency and whose personnel were not sufficiently supervised by a federal agency for compliance minimization procedures.''(2017 FISA Court Opinion '' 99 Page Brief)
Someone inside the FBI was giving FISA-702 search results on U.S. individuals to a private entity that had nothing to do with government. Those 702 (American Citizen) results were not ''minimized'' and exposed the private data of the American citizen(s).
In addition, NSA Director Mike Rogers, who is also in charge of Cyber Command, discovered people within the intelligence community were doing ''searches'' of the NSA and FBI database that were returning information that had nothing to do with ''Foreign Individuals''.
Rogers requested a full FISA-702 Compliance Review.
As an outcome of that review, the DOJ/FBI compliance officer noted FISA violations. Again, the FISA Court (page 84):
We do not know how many FISA-702 violations took place prior to NSA Mike Rogers initiating the full FISA-702 review in April 2016. Nor do we know who the insider FBI individuals were; or what results were passed on; or what was done with the results.
However, given the nature of what was taking place at the time (March, April, May, 2016) it appears likely this was part of the DOJ/FBI/Fusion-GPS collision to gather information on the candidacy of Donald Trump.
CTH received a tip that Fusion GPS (either 'individuals' or the company) were one of the ''contractors'' mentioned, additionally the ''private entity'' could also be inside the Fusion GPS network. Another ''contractor'' could possibly be CrowdStrike. From all appearances there were multiple people involved.
These 'passed-along' FISA-702 raw search results appear to be the seeds which were fertilized by Glenn Simpson, Mary Jacobs, Nellie Ohr; ''unmasked'' by Obama administration officials; and enhanced/laundered by Christopher Steele '' to end with a ''Steele Dossier'' returned to the FBI via Counterintelligence Agent Peter Strzok, DOJ Deputy Bruce Ohr, and DOJ/FBI lawyer Lisa Page, for their ''insurance policy''.
The DOJ and FBI then took the dossier, full circle, back to the FISA Court to gain 702 surveillance authority and approval (media says 'warrant'), upon the Trump Campaign (October 2016), and President-Elect (after November 8th, 2016).
In October 2016, immediately after the DOJ lawyers formatted the FBI information (Steele Dossier etc.) for a valid FISC application, the head of the DOJ National Security Division, Asst. Attorney General John P Carlin, left his job. Carlin's exit came as the DOJ-NSD and Admiral Rogers informed the FISC that frequent unauthorized FISA-702 searches had been conducted. Read Here.
All research indicates the intelligence information the DOJ and FBI collected via their FISA-702 queries, combined with the intelligence Fusion GPS created in their earlier use of contractor access to FISA-702(17) ''about queries'', was the intelligence data manipulated by Nellie Ohr, and laundered by Christopher Steele for use in creating ''The Russian Dossier''.
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(1) National Security - Quora
Mon, 15 Jan 2018 14:32
How countries invest in protecting their populations, infrastructure and everything else pertaining to the state. The focus is on how specific states pursue these goals. International security should be used to discuss international organizations ...
(more) Loading'... How countries invest in protecting their populations, infrastructure and everything else pertaining to the state. The focus is on how specific states pursue these goals. International security should be used to discuss international organizations or coalitions.
National Security Law and Legal Definition | USLegal, Inc.
Mon, 15 Jan 2018 14:31
National security is a corporate term covering both national defense and foreign relations of the U.S. It refers to the protection of a nation from attack or other danger by holding adequate armed forces and guarding state secrets. The term national security encompasses within it economic security, monetary security, energy security, environmental security, military security, political security and security of energy and natural resources. Specifically, national security means a circumstance that exists as a result of a military or defense advantage over any foreign nation or group of nations, or a friendly foreign relations position, or a defense position capable of successfully protesting hostile or destructive action.
In Cole v. Young, 351 U.S. 536 (U.S. 1956), the court observed that ''the term "national security" in the Summary Suspension Act (64 Stat 476), authorizing the heads of specified federal agencies to summarily dismiss federal employees upon a determination that dismissal is necessary or advisable in the interest of the "national security," is used in a definite and limited sense and relates only to those activities which are directly concerned with the nation's safety, as distinguished from the general welfare.''
FaceBag
Facebook is done with quality journalism. Deal with it.
Tue, 16 Jan 2018 13:51
For Facebook, journalism has been a pain in the neck from day one. Now, bogged down with the insoluble problems of fake news and bad PR, it's clear that Facebook will gradually pull the plug on news. Publishers should stop whining and move on.
Let's admit that publishers have been screwed by Facebook. Not because Mark Zuckerberg is evil, but because he's a pragmatist. His latest move should not come as a surprise. On Thursday, for the second time in six months, Facebook stated publicly that news (i.e., journalism) will appear further down in everyone's newsfeed, in order to favor posts from friends, family and ''groups.'' Here is how Zuck defended the move:
''The research shows that when we use social media to connect with people we care about, it can be good for our well-being. We can feel more connected and less lonely, and that correlates with long term measures of happiness and health. On the other hand, passively reading articles or watching videos'Š'--'Ševen if they're entertaining or informative'Š'--'Šmay not be as good. Based on this, we're making a major change to how we build Facebook. I'm changing the goal I give our product teams from focusing on helping you find relevant content to helping you have more meaningful social interactions''.
Consider us notified. Facebook is done with journalism. It will happen, slowly, gradually, but the trend is here. In this context, the email sent yesterday by Campbell Brown, Facebook's head of news partnerships, who states ''news remains a top priority for us,'' rings hollow.
Viewed from its perspective, Facebook has all the reasons in the world to get rid of journalism:
' As acknowledged several times by Mark Zuckerberg, news doesn't share well, compared to friends and family posts, while the entire Facebook model is based on the speed of sharing, multiplied by its two billion users, and coupled to an unparalleled knowledge of each one.
' Maintaining a large newsfeed presence of information could become expensive for Facebook. A few weeks ago, Mark Zuckerberg hinted that profits might be affected by the cost of hiring thousands of human moderators to fight misinformation. It is unclear whether FB will forgo this idea (most likely, it will hire some of them'...)
' News has turned into a PR nightmare for Facebook. Fires erupted constantly, and they were hard to contain, as with the outrage triggered by the deletion of the Napalm Girl photograph from the Norwegian daily Aftenposten, to name just one incident.
' Most of the time, news is inherently dark, and Facebook wants to promote a positive view of society, fearing that gloom translates into disaffection. (This idea is highly disputable: Netflix original creations, for instance, are filled with scores of grim series that viewers love.)
News doesn't have a palatable business model for Facebook. We covered this already:The cost of managing streams of information, developing & maintaining products, and dealing with publishers'Š'--'Šcompared to the revenue, is not worth the effort. Switching to entertainment will translate into more money for much less risk.
' Dealing with media companies is especially complicated. Three constant features characterize publishers: a deep sense of entitlement (''We are the news, you owe this and that to us''), a lack of technical competence (they expect FB to come up with ready-to-use products), and, in Europe, a propensity to call on Daddy (the government) and Mommy (Brussels) when things go awry.
The list could go on. I always thought that if I were Zuckerberg, given the hassles, I would have, slowly but surely, retreated from news. That is exactly what's happening.
Facebook, for its part, made a solid collection of mistakes in dealing with news media. Some honest, others'...less honest.
Facebook can't help but consider the ROW as a giant test bed for its ideas. (ROW refers to Rest Of the World, i.e., countries outside the United States and more precisely, the world beyond Building N°10 in Menlo Park, California). Even if this is more a result of the ingrained insular culture of Silicon Valley than sheer cynicism, the consequences have been negative.
In the search for the right business model, Facebook lured the media industry with a flurry of novelties. Driven by a mixture of na¯vet(C), herd mentality, Fear Of Missing Out (Fomo), and a burning desire to monetize journalism, publishers jumped on every bone Facebook threw at them, hoping for the magic infusion they were no longer able to find on their own.
Facebook came up with glowing new products like Newsfeed, Instant Articles, and Facebook Live, providing silly advice for thriving on the platform (''Play on emotion, folks, users love it!'Š'--'ŠHem, this might be difficult, we are business news providers'...''). Facebook promised a deluge of eyeballs. Caught in the headlights, deer-like publishers silenced their mental warning that said to look deeper, and gave up loads of content in exchange for nearly nothing.
After investing significantly in dedicated teams to produce, promote, and strategize their presence on Facebook, publishers of editorial quality were left with hemorrhaging viewerships and a trickle of revenue. (A group of profusely funded media innovators like BuzzFeed, Vice and others '--who cleverly designed their products to blend neatly into Facebook'--started out doing well, but now face disappointment).
Those who imagined Las Vegas, now find themselves stuck in Detroit.
Facebook killed the news media three timesFirst, it killed the notion of brand. Year after year, the percentage of people able to recall where they got their news, is dwindling. ''I read it on Facebook'' now applies to half the population of the United States and Europe, and much more in countries where Facebook embodies the Internet.
Second, the notion of authorship has also vanished. Almost nobody has a clue who wrote what. Gradually, the two pillars of the trusting relationship between the media and its customers eroded, before crumbling altogether. Facebook has flattened the news for good.
Third, Facebook annihilated the business model of news by opening the way to a massive, ultra-cheap and ultra-targeted advertising system that brings next to nothing to the publishers. The reality of Facebook's revenue stream is harsh: a European publisher told me last week that its RPM (Revenue per thousands) for videos on Facebook was about 30 cents of a Euro (that is 37 cents on a dollar). A pittance.
Zuckerberg's last message has the merit of clarity. It says: ''Sorry guys, it didn't work as expected, go somewhere else or face a slow but inexorable extinction in our ecosystem. Nothing personal, here. Just business.''
Even the timing of the announcement was not left to chance. On January 31, Facebook will release its financial results for the fiscal year 2017. Analysts are unanimously forecasting spectacular growth. (In passing, it will erase Friday's 4.5% drop in FB's stock that followed the announcement on the newsfeed overhaul):
Publishers now must move onOnce the acute pain is gone, the industry will realize that this is not such bad news after all. It is time to regroup and refocus on the basics. It will eventually mean disbanding or repurposing the teams assembled to deal with Facebook production requirements.
First, Facebook remains a formidable field to reach non-core audiences and do all sorts of marketing tests, thanks to its exceptional ability to pinpoint any group, and its incredible reach.
Second, all the resources that were diverted to feed the Facebook machine, can be focused on developing news products that directly impact the company's activity'Š'--'Šfinding, retaining and converting loyal readers'Š'--'Šas opposed to pursuing elusive cohorts who can't remember the name of the news brand. The quest for quality readership will prevail over the mirage of a mass audience once promised by Facebook.
One final thought (for now). On Friday, Adam Mosseri, Facebook's newsfeed chief, said to Wired:
''There will also be more group content. Group content tends to inspire a lot of conversation. Communities on Facebook are becoming increasingly active and vibrant.''
This vision could backfire terribly: an increase in the weight of ''groups'' means reinforcement of Facebook's worst features'Š'--'Šcognitive bubbles'Š'--'Šwhere users are kept in silos fueled by a torrent of fake news and extremism.
'-- frederic.filloux@mondaynote.com
Facebook expand probe in Russia's influence on Brexit | Daily Mail Online
Thu, 18 Jan 2018 13:12
Facebook has told the Government's fake news inquiry it will expand its investigation into whether Russian agents attempted to influence the Brexit vote.
The social media giant previously said it found just three Brexit-related ads linked to the Russia-based Internet Research Agency (IRA), and they were viewed by just 200 people.
But MP Damian Collins, chairman of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, responded by accusing Facebook of not properly investigating alleged Russian meddling.
Today, he revealed the company is now expanding its probe to look for other 'coordinated activity around the Brexit referendum'.
The EU referendum was an political earthquake in British politics. Facebook have today announced they are expanding their probe into alleged Russian meddling the campaign
Simon Milner, Facebook's UK policy director, wrote to the committee: 'You expressed a view that there may be other similar co-ordinated activity from Russia that we had not yet identified through our investigation and asked us to continue our investigatory work.
'We have considered your request and can confirm that our investigatory team is now looking to see if we can identify other similar clusters engaged in co-ordinated activity around the Brexit referendum that was not identified previously.
'This work requires detailed analysis of historic data by our security experts, who are also engaged in preventing live threats to our service.
'We are committed to making all reasonable efforts to establish whether or not there was co-ordinated activity similar to that which was found in the US and will report back to you as soon as the work has been completed.'
Mr Collins said today: 'I welcome the fact that Facebook have now responded to the committee's request for information regarding the abuse of their platform during the Brexit Referendum. I look forward to reviewing their findings.'
Some have claimed Russia used the social network to influence the EU referendum
Theresa May has previously accused Russia of spreading fake news and misinformation online as part of a campaign to 'sow discord in the West'.
But Facebook's previously statement on the matter had cast doubt over assertions by pro Remain MPs that Moscow-based propaganda groups were trying to sway the vote by posting ads online.
It follows an investigation in the US earlier this year which ruled hundreds of Russia-linked Facebook accounts had attempted to influence the US presidential election.
Investigating that issue, Facebook found approximately 470 accounts linked to the Internet Research Agency agency had spent around 100,000 dollars (£75,000) on more than 3,000 adverts.
MIC
I Paid To See A Movie About Singing. I Got Ninety Minutes Of Pentagon Propaganda.
Sat, 13 Jan 2018 10:40
To cap off a long, strange day, my husband and I took the kids out last night to see Pitch Perfect 3. The first Pitch Perfect is a firm favorite in our household, the kind of movie we end up watching when we can't agree on what to watch. We'd been waiting til we all had a night to see the latest one together, so we made a night of it and went out for some dinner, too. I even had a Coke. The sugary kind. This was a big night, people! So we were all in high spirits and I entered the theater excited to see some good music and have a good time.
I wasn't expecting a masterpiece, but I also wasn't expecting to be blasted in the face with ninety minutes of blatant war propaganda from the United States Department of Defense.
Before I go on I should mention that a group called Insurge Intelligence published a report a few months back on thousands of military and intelligence documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act which showed unbelievably extensive involvement of US defense and intelligence agencies in the production of popular Hollywood movies and TV shows. Just from the information this group was able to gain access to, the scripts and development of over 800 films and 1,000 television titles were found to have been influenced by the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA to advance the interests of the US war machine. We're talking about big, high profile titles you've definitely heard of, from Transformers to Meet the Parents.
So it's an established fact that these depraved agencies of destruction and domination are balls-deep in Hollywood production. You can understand my discomfort, then, as it became evident that the movie I'd sat down to watch with my family was set on US military bases for no reason whatsoever. There was nothing about the plot of Pitch Perfect 3 that required this; any music tour of any kind would have worked just as well. The antagonist had nothing to do with the military, the protagonists were a civilian a capella singing group, and the general conflicts and resolutions of the film were entirely uninvolved with anything related to the armed forces of any nation.
Indeed, the film looks like it was initially written to have taken place in a civilian setting, then after many rewrites and the involvement of God knows what agencies managed to force itself onto US military bases. As Insurge Intelligence noted in its report, once that happens the war machine is granted what amounts to total creative control of the film's production, up to and including the ability to cancel production altogether by withdrawing support.
Sure enough, retired Army lieutenant colonel Thomas Lesnieski, who was involved with the production of the film, says that in order to ''make sure that the way the military is portrayed is done right,'' changes were made to the script of Pitch Perfect 3 after the film enlisted ''DoD support''.
As far as the film in question is concerned, ''the way the military is portrayed'' could not have been more propagandistic. The heroines were constantly drooling over the handsome, sexy servicemen, there was nonstop saluting, flag-waving and patriotic ''thank you for your service'' lines, the lead cast did an entire number dressed in camouflage, a lesbian character said she wanted to enlist ''now that they let gay people join,'' servicemen were portrayed as charming heroes and protectors of women, and life on a military base was portrayed as a fun party where you get to go to awesome concerts and have a great time. You could not possibly pack more glorification of the US war machine into a movie if you tried.
Air Force Captain Meredith Kirchoff, a public affairs officer at Dobbins Air Reserve Base where the film was shot, gushes over the movie for the way it ''humanizes'' (read: normalizes) the human resources used to power the American war machine while US civilians are deprived of the basic social safety nets accorded to everyone else in every other major country on earth.
The US Department of Defense was given a ''special thanks to'' line at the tail of the end credits.
Again: there was no discernible reason for this film to be set on military bases. At all. Anyone who gets involved in filmmaking for love of that artistic medium loathes the involvement of any outside influencer putting pressure on them to change their script and produce their movie in a certain way to advance their own agendas, but this film deliberately sought that influence out. From top to bottom, a sequel to a popular movie about an all-female singing group was built to normalize the globe-spanning war machine that is closely approaching a trillion dollar budget and recruit teenage girls into its ranks to be used for slaughter and destruction.
I love Pitch Perfect. It's honestly one of my favorite movies ever. It's an effortless romp of a film about the joy of delightfully unique individuals not overcoming those differences but enthusing about them in each other, enjoying them, embracing them and collaborating together to create something beautiful, inspired, healthy and new. It speaks to my heart about what we have to do as a species to create utopia and avoid self-destruction. To take that and twist it into another advertisement for the blood-thirsty, child-killing, empire building war machine was all kinds of heartbreaking to me.
When we came home and the kids were out of earshot my husband and I started angrily fuming about what manipulative, disgusting, art-killing parasites these people are, then remembered we have a podcast now so we hit record before we ran out of rage:
Keep fighting.
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Documents Expose How Hollywood Promotes War On Behalf Of The Pentagon, CIA, & NSA | Zero Hedge
Sat, 13 Jan 2018 10:43
Authored by Tom Secker and Matthew Alford via Medium.com,
Published by INSURGE INTELLIGENCE, a crowdfunded investigative journalism project for people and planet.
Tom Secker and Matthew Alford report on their astonishing findings from trawling through thousands of new US military and intelligence documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.
The documents reveal for the first time the vast scale of US government control in Hollywood, including the ability to manipulate scripts or even prevent films too critical of the Pentagon from being made? - not to mention influencing some of the most popular film franchises in recent years.
This raises new questions not only about the way censorship works in the modern entertainment industry, but also about Hollywood's little known role as a propaganda machine for the US national security apparatus.
When we first looked at the relationship between politics, film and television at the turn of the 21st century, we accepted the consensus opinion that a small office at the Pentagon had, on request, assisted the production of around 200 movies throughout the history of modern media, with minimal input on the scripts.
How ignorant we were.
More appropriately, how misled we had been.
We have recently acquired 4,000 new pages of documents from the Pentagon and CIA through the Freedom of Information Act. For us, these documents were the final nail in the coffin.
These documents for the first time demonstrate that the US government has worked behind the scenes on over 800 major movies and more than 1,000 TV titles.
The previous best estimate, in a dry academic book way back in 2005, was that the Pentagon had worked on less than 600 films and an unspecified handful of television shows.
The CIA's role was assumed to be just a dozen or so productions, until very good books by Tricia Jenkins and Simon Willmetts were published in 2016. But even then, they missed or underplayed important cases, including Charlie Wilson's War and Meet the Parents.
Jon Voight in Transformers?'--?in this scene, just after American troops have been attacked by a Decepticon robot, Pentagon Hollywood liaison Phil Strub inserted the line 'Bring em home', granting the military a protective, paternalistic quality, when in reality the DOD does quite the opposite.
Alongside the massive scale of these operations, our new book National Security Cinema details how US government involvement also includes script rewrites on some of the biggest and most popular films, including James Bond, the Transformers franchise, and movies from the Marvel and DC cinematic universes.
A similar influence is exerted over military-supported TV, which ranges from Hawaii Five-O to America's Got Talent, Oprah and Jay Leno to Cupcake Wars, along with numerous documentaries by PBS, the History Channel and the BBC.
National Security Cinema also reveals how dozens of films and TV shows have been supported and influenced by the CIA, including the James Bond adventure Thunderball, the Tom Clancy thriller Patriot Games and more recent films, including Meet the Parents and Salt.
The CIA even helped to make an episode of Top Chef that was hosted at Langley, featuring then-CIA director Leon Panetta who was shown as having to skip dessert to attend to vital business. Was this scene real, or was it a dramatic statement for the cameras?
James Bond and Domino are rescued via a plane and skyhook that was loaned to the production by CIA front company Intermountain Aviation?'--?Thunderball
The Military's Political Censorship of HollywoodWhen a writer or producer approaches the Pentagon and asks for access to military assets to help make their film, they have to submit their script to the entertainment liaison offices for vetting. Ultimately, the man with the final say is Phil Strub, the Department of Defense's (DOD) chief Hollywood liaison.
If there are characters, action or dialogue that the DOD don't approve of then the film-maker has to make changes to accommodate the military's demands. If they refuse then the Pentagon packs up its toys and goes home. To obtain full cooperation the producers have to sign contracts?'--?Production Assistance Agreements?'--?which lock them into using a military-approved version of the script.
This can lead to arguments when actors and directors ad lib or improvise outside of this approved screenplay.
On set at Edwards Air Force base during the filming of Iron Man, there was an angry confrontation between Strub and director Jon Favreau.
Favreau wanted a military character to say the line, 'People would kill themselves for the opportunities I have', but Strub objected. Favreau argued that the line should remain in the film, and according to Strub:
'He's getting redder and redder in the face and I'm getting just as annoyed. It was pretty awkward and then he said, angrily, ''Well how about they'd walk over hot coals?'' I said ''fine.'' He was so surprised it was that easy.'
In the end, this compromised line did not appear in the finished film.
One of several scenes for Iron Man filmed at Edwards Air Force Base
It seems that any reference to military suicide?'--?even an off-hand remark in a superhero action-comedy adventure?'--?is something the DOD's Hollywood office will not allow. It is understandably a sensitive and embarrassing topic for them, when during some periods of the ever-expanding and increasingly futile 'War on Terror', more US servicemen have killed themselves than have died in combat. But why shouldn't a movie about a man who builds his own flying suit of armour not be able to include such jokes?
Another one-line quip that was censored by the DOD came in the James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies.
When Bond is about to HALO jump out of a military transport plane they realise he's going to land in Vietnamese waters. In the original script Bond's CIA sidekick jokes 'You know what will happen. It will be war, and maybe this time we'll win.'
This line was removed at the request of the DOD.
Strangely, Phil Strub denied that there was any support for Tomorrow Never Dies, while the pre-eminent scholar in the field Lawrence Suid only lists the DOD connection under 'Unacknowledged Cooperation'.
But the DOD are credited at the end of the film and we obtained a copy of the Production Assistance Agreement between the producers and the Pentagon.
The DOD-approved version of the HALO scene in Tomorrow Never Dies
Vietnam is evidently another sore topic for the US military, which also removed a reference to the war from the screenplay for Hulk (2003). While the military are not credited at the end of the film, on IMDB or in the DOD's own database of supported movies, we acquired a dossier from the US Marine Corps detailing their 'radical' changes to the script.
This included making the laboratory where the Hulk is accidentally created into a non-military facility, making the director of the lab an ex-military character, and changing the code name of the military operation to capture the Hulk from 'Ranch Hand' to 'Angry Man'.
'Ranch Hand' is the name of a real military operation that saw the US Air Force dump millions of gallons of pesticides and other poisons onto the Vietnamese countryside, rendering millions of acres of farmland poisoned and infertile.
They also removed dialogue referring to 'all those boys, guinea pigs, dying from radiation, and germ warfare', an apparent reference to covert military experiments on human subjects.
The documents we obtained further reveal that the Pentagon has the power to stop a film from being made by refusing or withdrawing support. Some movies such as Top Gun, Transformers and Act of Valor are so dependent on military cooperation that they couldn't have been made without submitting to this process. Others were not so lucky.
The movie Countermeasures was rejected by the military for several reasons, and consequently never produced. One of the reasons is that the script included references to the Iran-Contra scandal, and as Strub saw it 'There's no need for us to'... remind the public of the Iran-Contra affair.'
Similarly Fields of Fire and Top Gun 2 were never made because they couldn't obtain military support, again due to politically controversial aspects of the scripts.
This 'soft' censorship also affects TV. For example, a planned Louis Theroux documentary on Marine Corps recruit training was rejected, and as a result was never made.
It is impossible to know exactly how widespread this military censorship of entertainment is because many files are still being withheld. The majority of the documents we obtained are diary-like reports from the entertainment liaison offices, which rarely refer to script changes, and never in an explicit, detailed way. However, the documents do reveal that the DOD requires a preview screening of any project they support and sometimes makes changes even after a production has wrapped.
The documents also record the pro-active nature of the military's operations in Hollywood and that they are finding ways to get involved during the earliest stages of development, 'when characters and storylines are most easily shaped to the Army's benefit.'
The DOD's influence on popular culture can be found at all stages of production, granting them the same kind of power as major studio executives.
Agencywood: The CIA and NSA's Influence on Movie ScriptsDespite having far fewer cinematic assets the CIA has also been able to wield considerable influence on some of the projects they have supported (or refused to support).
There is no formal CIA script review process but the Agency's long-serving entertainment liaison officer Chase Brandon was able to insert himself into the early stages of the writing process on several TV and film productions.
The new recruits arrive at CIA training facility The Farm in The Recruit
Brandon did this most prominently on the spy thriller The Recruit, where a new agent is put through CIA training at The Farm?'--?an obvious vehicle for inducting the audience into that world and giving them a glimpse behind the curtain. The original story treatment and early drafts of the script were written by Brandon, though he is only credited on the film as a technical advisor, covering up his influence on the content.
The Recruit includes lines about the new threats of the post-Soviet world (including that great villainous justification for a $600 billion defense budget, Peru), along with rebuttals of the idea that the CIA failed to prevent 9/11. And it repeats the adage that 'the CIA's failures are known, but its successes are not'. All of this helped to propagate the idea that the Agency is a benevolent, rational actor in a chaotic and dangerous world.
The CIA has also managed to censor scripts, removing or changing sequences that they didn't want the public to see. On Zero Dark Thirty screenwriter Mark Boal 'verbally shared' his script with CIA officers, and they removed a scene where a drunk CIA officer fires an AK-47 into the air from a rooftop in Islamabad, and removed the use of dogs from the torture scenes.
In a very different kind of film, the hugely popular romantic comedy Meet the Parents, Brandon requested that they change a scene where Ben Stiller's character discovers Robert De Niro's (Stiller's father-in-law to be) secret hideaway. In the original script Stiller finds CIA torture manuals on a desk, but Brandon changed that to photos of Robert De Niro with various dignitaries.
Ben Stiller discovers that Robert De Niro is working for the CIA?'--?Meet the Parents
Indeed, the CIA's ability to influence movie scripts goes back to their early years. In the 1940s and 50s they managed to prevent any mention of themselves appearing in film and TV until North by Northwest in 1959. This included rejecting requests for production support, meaning that some films were never made, and censoring all references to the CIA in the script for the Bob Hope comedy My Favourite Spy.
The CIA even sabotaged a planned series of documentaries about their predecessor, the OSS, by having assets at CBS develop a rival production to muscle the smaller studio out of the market. Once this was achieved, the Agency pulled the plug on the CBS series too, ensuring that the activities of the OSS remained safe from public scrutiny.
While very little is known about the NSA's activities in the entertainment industry we did find indications that they are adopting similar tactics to the CIA and DOD.
Internal NSA emails show that the producers of Enemy of the State were invited on multiple tours of NSA headquarters. When they used a helicopter to film aerial footage of Fort Meade, the NSA did not prevent them from using it in the movie.
According to a 1998 interview with producer Jerry Bruckheimer, they changed the script at the NSA's request so that the wrongdoings were the actions of one bad apple NSA official, and not the agency in general.
Bruckheimer said:
'I think the NSA people will be pleased. They certainly won't come out as bad as they could have. NSA's not the villain.'
This idea of using cinema to pin the blame for problems on isolated rogue agents or bad apples, thus avoiding any notion of systemic, institutional or criminal responsibility, is right out of the CIA/DOD's playbook.
NSA headquarters at Fort Meade?'--?Enemy of the State
In all, we are looking at a vast, militarised propaganda apparatus operating throughout the screen entertainment industry in the United States.
It is not quite an official censor, since decisions on scripts are made voluntarily by producers, but it represents a major and scarcely acknowledged pressure on the kind of narratives and images we see on the big and small screens.
In societies already eager to use our hard power overseas, the shaping of our popular culture to promote a pro-war mindset must be taken seriously.
* * *
Tom Secker and Matthew Alford are co-authors of the new book, National Security Cinema: The Shocking New Evidence of Government Control in Hollywood.
Charlottesville
Armed Antifa PROFESSOR Admits to Chasing Charlottesville Driver With Rifle BEFORE DEADLY CRASH!
Tue, 16 Jan 2018 21:18
January 16, 2018 by Cassandra Fairbanks Dwayne Dixon, a University of North Carolina anthropology professor and leader of the armed Antifa group Redneck Revolt, has admitted to chasing James Alex Fields Jr. with a rifle just before he drove into a group of protesters '-- killing Heather Heyer.
Dwayne Dixon via ABC News
This new revelation adds some insight into what was happening in the moments leading up to the fatal incident.
In a Facebook post by Dixon on January 7, obtained by the Gateway Pundit, he wrote:
''I take perverse pleasure in having carried this Spike's lower in the defense of Justice Park on August 12th. I used this rifle to chase off James Fields from our block of 4th St before he attacked the marchers to the south. Spike's needs a good lesson in ethics and antifascism.''
The post included a photo of the 45-year-old holding a rifle.
Dixon's Facebook page now appears to have now been scrubbed or set to private.
The ''Spikes'' Dixon was referring to appears to be Spike's Tactical, who had upset militant leftists earlier in the day with a Facebook ad that read ''not today Antifa.''
Following a day of violence over a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville on August 12, dubbed 'Unite the Right', Fields, 20, drove his vehicle into a group of protesters '-- killing 32-year-old Heyer and injuring 35 other people. He is now charged with first-degree murder.
James Alex Fields Jr.
Though this was quickly branded an act of terrorism by the media, according to police reports after the accident, Fields had expressed shock and remorse asking, ''Are they okay?'' This concern lead many to question if it had been an accident.
Dixon's militant leftist group, Redneck Revolt, has approximately 40 chapters nationwide.
According to a report from the Herald Sun, Dixon was charged with two misdemeanors after be brought a semi-automatic rifle to downtown Durham over rumors of a ''white supremacist rally'' that never happened.
A few months before the clash in Charlottesville, an Arizona chapter of the organization, which was previously known as the ''John Brown Gun Club,'' released an unintentionally comical video showcasing their ''training day.'' In the footage, the oddballs are seen shooting at printouts of memes, including Pepe the Frog.
In an interview with ABC News , Dixon described the hours after Charlottesville as feeling like ''leaving a battlefield.''
''They're not just speaking '' they're marching. They're marching in a way that's intimidating, as we all know is harking back to the torch light rallies of the Nazi era.''
Despite calls for the university to fire Dixon, he remains employed.
''When the left uses violence, in the rare cases that it happens, it's resistance,'' Dixon said.
Based on his new admission, his ''resistance'' may have been a factor in the tragic events that unfolded that day.
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Nudelman
Victoria Nuland named CEO of Center for a New American Security
Sun, 14 Jan 2018 16:13
WASHINGTON '-- Victoria Nuland, a longtime U.S. State Department official, has been named the new CEO of the Center for a New American Security think tank, while former Deputy Secretary of Defense Bob Work will be stepping up his involvement with the group.
She succeeds Mich¨le Flournoy, the former undersecretary of defense for policy, who co-founded CNAS in 2007. Flournoy, who is leaving to create a new consulting group, will remain on the think tank's board.
Nuland comes to the group with a strong bipartisan background. Under the George W. Bush administration, she served as deputy national security adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney and deputy chief of mission for the United States at NATO, before becoming the full ambassador to NATO in President George W. Bush's second term.
She then became the State Department's spokeswoman for President Barack Obama's first term, later transitioning to assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs from September 2013 until the end of the administration.
''I am honored to join CNAS at this vital time,'' Nuland said in a news release. ''For over a decade, the Center has excelled in offering pragmatic, bipartisan solutions to our nation's most pressing national security and defense challenges. Those are needed more than ever today. As CEO, I look forward to working with the men and women of CNAS and leaders across the national security community to advance the best ideas and the strongest public consensus for principled American leadership in the world.''
Work, who retired from the Pentagon in July, will also become a more visible part of the think tank, with the group announcing he will serve as senior counselor for defense. Work is a previous CEO of the think tank.
In a release, the group said Work will ''advise CNAS' defense studies, produce analyses related to the future of warfare, and lead signature CNAS initiatives including the Artificial Intelligence Task Force and the Evolving the Future Force Initiative.''
That all seems in line with the Third Offset technology focus he brought to the Pentagon.
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TWiT is suing Twitter, alleging breach of contract and copyright infringement | TechCrunch
Wed, 17 Jan 2018 04:21
TWiT, officially known as This Week in Tech, is suing Twitter. The audio and video media platform alleges breach of written contract, breach of oral agreement, intentional interference with prospective economic advantage and trademark infringement.
As the story goes, Twitter co-founder Evan Williams had previously told Leo Laporte Twitter was simply a text-based microblogging service, the lawsuit states.
''Williams also acknowledged that Twitter was aware of the conflict'' between the TWITTER and TWiT mark, the lawsuit alleges. ''At that time Williams, on behalf of Twitter, acknowledged the confusion which likely would arise from the use of TWITTER in the marketplace, as well as instances of actual confusion which already had arisen.''
Because Twitter and TWiT were relatively different, Laporte and Williams agreed to allow the trademarks to coexist, ''conditioned on each company continuing its own unique distribution platform,'' TWiT writes in its suit.
As the lawsuit alleges, what happened on Twitter '-- short, 140-character bursts of text '-- was very different from the audio and video TWiT produced on its platform. In 2009, however, Laporte felt concerned that Twitter was going to move in on TWiT's audio and video, the lawsuit states. That's when Laporte allegedly reached out to Williams, who told Laporte ''we're not expanding to audio or video under the Twitter brand,'' the lawsuit states.
In May 2017, however, Twitter announced its plans to bring original, premium video content to its platform. In July, TWiT's attorneys demanded that Twitter stop expanding the use of the Twitter trademark.
''Since that time, the parties have engaged in communications with the goal of informally resolving this dispute,'' the lawsuit states. ''These efforts have not resolved the dispute, and Twitter continues its expansion into TWiT's business in breach of its agreement with Plaintiffs, refuting its representations and promises made, and infringing on Plaintiffs' intellectual property rights, all to Plaintiffs' injury.''
TWiT is seeking a relief including a preliminary and permanent injunction that orders Twitter to stop using the mark in connection with the distribution of audio and video content, and ''any and all profits derived from the unlawful acts.''
Neither TWiT nor Twitter were immediately available for comment.
Stanford's AI Predicts Death for Better End-of-Life Care - IEEE Spectrum
Thu, 18 Jan 2018 13:37
Using artificial intelligence to predict when patients may die sounds like an episode from the dystopian science fiction TV series ''Black Mirror.'' But Stanford University researchers see this use of AI as a benign opportunity to help prompt physicians and patients to have necessary end-of-life conversations earlier.
Many physicians often provide overly rosy estimates about when their patients will die and delay having the difficult conversations about end-of-life options. That understandable human tendency can lead to patients receiving unwanted, expensive and aggressive treatments in a hospital at their time of death instead of being allowed to die more peacefully in relative comfort. The alternative being tested by a Stanford University team would use AI to help physicians screen for newly-admitted patients who could benefit from talking about palliative care choices.
Past studies have shown that about 80 percent of Americans would prefer to spend their last days at home if possible. In reality, up to 60 percent of Americans end up dying in an acute care hospital while receiving aggressive medical treatments, according to research cited by the Stanford group's paper ''Improving Palliative Care with Deep Learning'' published on the arXiv preprint server.
Palliative care experts usually wait for the medical team in charge of a given patient to request their services, which typically include providing relief for patients suffering from serious illnesses and possibly recording end-of-life treatment preferences in a living will. But Stephanie Harman, an internal medicine physician and founding medical director of Palliative Care Services for Stanford Health Care, saw an opportunity to flip that routine around by giving palliative care physicians the ability to identify and proactively reach out to patients.
Harman took her idea to Nigam Shah, associate professor of medicine and biomedical informatics at Stanford University. Shah had been talking about possible collaborations involving AI in healthcare with Andrew Ng, an adjunct professor at Stanford University and former head of the Baidu AI Group. They agreed that the palliative care idea seemed like a good project to explore together.
The Stanford team's AI algorithms rely upon deep learning, the popular machine learning technique that uses neural networks to filter and learn from huge amounts of data. The researchers trained a deep learning algorithm on the Electronic Health Records of about 2 million adult and child patients admitted to either the Stanford Hospital or Lucile Packard Children's hospital to predict the mortality of a given patient within the next three to 12 months. (Predicting the death of a patient within three months would provide too little time for the preparations needed in palliative care.)
''We could build a predictive model using routinely collected operational data in the healthcare setting, as opposed to a carefully designed experimental study,'' says Anand Avati, a PhD candidate in computer science at the AI Lab of Stanford University. '' The scale of data available allowed us to build an all-cause mortality prediction model, instead of being disease or demographic specific.''
The pilot study's use of an algorithm to predict patient mortality'-- which was approved by an i nstitutional r eview b oard'--turns out to be less scary than one might think. From an ethics and medical care standpoint, the deep learning model's assistance in helping human physicians screen patients for palliative care generally comes with major benefits and few downsides.
''We think that keeping a doctor in the loop and thinking of this as 'machine learning plus the doctor' is the way to go as opposed to blindly doing medical interventions based on algorithms'... that puts us on firmer ground both ethically and safety-wise,'' says Kenneth Jung, a research scientist at Stanford University.
One potential complication with deep learning algorithms is that even their creators often cannot explain why a deep learning model came up with a particular result. That black box nature of deep learning means it might normally be difficult to tell how the Stanford group's model comes to the conclusion that any given patient would likely die within a year.
Fortunately, the reasoning behind the deep learning model's mortality predictions does not particularly matter in this case. The palliative care team is primarily concerned with accurately identifying patients who could benefit from their attention, as opposed to needing to know exactly why the algorithm predicts a given patient might die within a year. Jung explains it as follows:
That's why in this particular case we're more comfortable with having a black box model. The palliative care intervention is not tied to why somebody is getting sick. If it was a different hypothetical case of 'somebody is going to die and we need to pick treatment options,' in that case we do want to understand the causes because of the treatment. But in this setting, it doesn't matter as much as long as we get it right.
Still, it may be useful to know why the deep learning model made its predictions for research purposes. In this case, the Stanford group used a common error analysis technique, called ablation analysis, to provide some insight behind the deep learning model's decision-making. Their method involved tuning the model little by little through tweaking individual parameters to figure out what impact those parameters had on the model's decisions.
The Stanford group also emphasized that patients do not need to be standing near death's door in order to benefit from palliative care. The early stages of the pilot study showed that it was often beneficial for physicians to have the end-of-life discussions with seriously ill patients even if they were not likely to die within the next year, Jung says.
In the end, the deep learning model's focus on predicting death is far from sinister. Mortality simply happens to be a useful measure that is fairly straightforward'--is the person dead or not'--compared with the researchers' main interest in figuring out the best timing for patients to get a visit from the palliative care team.
The Stanford group aims to gauge the pilot study's success based on outcomes such as how the physicians on both the palliative care team and the first-line team caring for the patients behave differently. They also want to see if the AI prescreening can improve the rate of patients getting their wishes for end-of-life care documented and reduce the number of people who end up dying in the intensive care unit (ICU) against their interests.
''We want to make sure the sickest patients and their families get a chance to talk about what they want to happen b efore they become critically ill and they end up in the ICU,'' Jung says.
Games targeting users with ads from m etadata-2
Thu, 18 Jan 2018 14:17
Games Targeting users with metadata-1
Thu, 18 Jan 2018 14:17
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Keep this White Supremacy Pyramid handy. You'll never know when you may need it... - Democratic Underground
Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:56
Replies to this discussion thread
Response to MrScorpio (Original post)
Thu Aug 11, 2016, 12:52 PM
Jamaal510(10,517 posts)
6. This pyramid
left out accusations of "playing the race card", but I guess that might go under "blaming the victim". When people accuse you of playing the race card, they want to pretend that the grievances of disadvantaged groups are all make-believe, that it's all just a game, and they want us to shut up. Also the "reverse racism" thing really makes me mad. There's no such thing as "reverse racism", and the concept doesn't make sense except when used by bullies to claim victim status.
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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)
Thu Aug 11, 2016, 03:28 PM
ismnotwasm(33,643 posts)
8. A little bit off topic
But my SIL works in prison corrections--he's now an investigator as well as on a couple of special teams--like SWAT--Guess which gang is the MOST problematic? Yup. White supremacists.Now, If I was to guess, from my white perspective and given the geographical area and racial makeup, I would have thought Latino gangs.
Nope all over that.
Now do "we" (we as in white people) hear about "White gangs", nearly as often as other types? Nope. When "we" hear "gang-related shootings"--practically a code for AA gangs-- are we thinking white gangs? Hell no we aren't. Does the media even refer such shootings as"gang-related"? I wonder.
Language carries our cultural freight, always.
Anyway--Handy graphic, thank you
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'Stop de vervalsing' | Binnenland | Telegraaf.nl
Wed, 17 Jan 2018 11:18
Stop met het herschrijven van onze geschiedenis op last van een kleine groep activisten. Die klemmende oproep doen de gerenommeerde emeritus hoogleraren Piet Emmer en Frank Ankersmit naar aanleiding van de nieuwe beeldenstorm die is ontketend in Nederland.
Zo werd gisteren besloten dat de J.P. Coenschool in Amsterdam een andere naam krijgt, omdat Coen veel doden op zijn geweten had. Het Mauritshuis haalde een buste van haar naamgever weg omdat die zich zou hebben verrijkt aan slavernij.
Absurd, vinden de wetenschappers de manier waarop ons land zich laat gijzelen door deze geschiedvervalsers. 'žDe morele ijdelheid waarmee de slavernij nu wordt veroordeeld, duidt op een volkomen gebrek aan historisch besef.''
Vaccine$
Vaccinated vs. Unvaccinated: Mawson Homeschooled Study Reveals Who is Sicker
Mon, 15 Jan 2018 15:07
http://www.cmsri.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/MawsonStudyHealthOutcomes5.8.2017.pdf
It's never been done before. The first-of-its-kind study of vaccinated vs. unvaccinated American homeschooled children shows who is really ailing'...and parents should be worried
Something is wrong with America's children. They are sick '' allergic, asthmatic, anxious, autoimmune, autistic, hyperactive, distracted and learning disabled. Thirty-two million American children '' a full 43% of them '' suffer from at least one of 20 chronic illnesses not including obesity. Across the board, once rare pediatric disorders from autism and ADD to Type 1 diabetes and Tourette's syndrome are soaring, though few studies pool the data. Compared to their parents, children today are four times more likely to have a chronic illness . And while their grandparents might never have swallowed a pill as children, the current generation of kids is a pharmaceutical sales rep's dream come true: More than one million American children under five years old takes a psychiatric drug. More than 8.3 million kids under 17 have consumed psychiatric drugs, and in any given month one in four is taking at least one prescription drug for something.
Fast food, bad genes, too much TV, video games, pesticides, plastics '' name the environmental factor and it has been implicated in the surge of sickness, although none adequately explains the scale or scope of the epidemic. There is one exposure, however, that has evaded the search, despite that children have received it by direct injection in steadily accumulating doses far beyond anything past generations ever saw: 50 doses of 14 vaccines by age six, 69 doses of 16 pharmaceutical vaccines containing powerfully immune-altering ingredients by age 18.
We're assured vaccines are ''safe and effective'' even though public health officials acknowledge they sometimes have serious side-effects including death and despite the troubling fact that no long-term study of their effects on overall health has ever been conducted. Remarkably, not a single published study has ever compared vaccinated kids to unvaccinated kids to see who is healthier years after the shots. Until now.
A pilot study of 666 homeschooled six to 12-year-olds from four American states published on April 27th in the Journal of Translational Sciences, compared 261 unvaccinated children with 405 partially or fully vaccinated children, and assessed their overall health based on their mothers' reports of vaccinations and physician-diagnosed illnesses. What it found about increases in immune-mediated diseases like allergies and neurodevelopmental diseases including autism, should make all parents think twice before they ever vaccinate again:
*Vaccinated children were over four-fold more likely to be diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum (OR 4.3)
*Vaccinated children were 30-foldmore likely to be diagnosed with allergic rhinitis (hay fever) than non-vaccinated children
* Vaccinated children were 22-foldmore likely to require an allergy medication than unvaccinated children
*Vaccinated children were over five-fold more likely to be diagnosed with a learning disability than unvaccinated children (OR 5.2)
*Vaccinated children were 340 percent more likely to be diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder than unvaccinated children (OR 4.3)
* Vaccinated children were 5.9-fold more likely to have been diagnosedwithpneumonia than unvaccinated children
*Vaccinated children were 3.8-fold more likely to be diagnosed with middle earinfection (otitis media) than unvaccinated children (OR 3.8)
*Vaccinated children were 700 percent more likely to have had surgery to insert ear drainage tubes than unvaccinated children (OR 8.1)
* Vaccinated children were 2.4-fold more likely to have been diagnosed with any chronic illness than unvaccinated children
Homeschooler vs. Homeschooler
The trouble with doing a vaccinated vs. unvaccinated study a century or so after it should have been done is that virtually all American children are vaccinated today. When 95 percent of children get injections, there are few 'controls' left for studying long-term outcomes. Comparing American children at large to small pockets of unvaccinated children like those in the Amish community is revealing, but critics say they are comparing apples to oranges. There are too many other variables -- diet, fresh air, computer time, for example '' that might explain differences in health besides vaccination status.
So, Anthony Mawson, a professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics in the School of Public Health, Jackson State University, along with colleagues Azad Bhuiyan and Binu Jacob, collaborated with Brian D. Ray, president of the National Home Education Research Institute in Salem, OR, to engage and enrol homeschooling families to participate in the study. In this way, homeschoolers were compared to homeschoolers (apples to apples), but with the added advantage that homeschoolers as a population match the profiles of American families at large. The families who responded to the anonymous online survey were recruited through homeschooling associations in Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Oregon.
The Disease Trade
Both vaccinated and unvaccinated children in the study got sick sometimes. As expected, vaccinated children were less likely to have some infections they were vaccinated against: they were significantly less likely to have had chickenpox (Odds Ratio 0.26) and whooping cough (pertussis) (OR 0.3) (see Table 2).
However, in spite of public health hysteria over outbreaks of measles at Disneyland and mumps resurgence, there was no evidence that vaccinated children were any more protected against these so-called ''vaccine-preventable diseases''. Children in both groups had about the same rates of infection with measles, mumps, Hepatitis A and B, influenza, rotavirus and meningitis (both viral and bacterial).
Unvaccinated children in the study were actually better protected against some ''vaccine-preventable diseases'' than children who got the shots. Since 2000, the CDC has recommended four shots against seven different strains of pneumococcal infections before age 15 months (13 strains since 2010), but vaccinated children in the study were 490 percent more likely to have been diagnosed with pneumonia compared to unvaccinated children (OR 5.9).
Brain Drain
So, what is the cost for this weak vaccine protection against chickenpox and pertussis?
The link between autism and vaccination is the biggest tornado in the vaccine storm. Autism has soared from a rare disorder to something affecting a child in every other classroom: in the 80s, it struck one in 10,000 children, by the early 1990s, one in 2,500. Five years ago, one in 88 children was diagnosed as autistic and today it is one in 68.
In the homeschooler study, the risk of being diagnosed on the autism spectrum was over four-fold higher among vaccinated children than unvaccinated children (OR 4.2).
''We do not know all of the causes of ASD,'' the Centers for Disease Control says'' which avoids saying they haven't identified any cause for it. Or any treatment.
They still quote a 2004 Pediatrics study claiming to refute a link between autism and vaccines even though one of its authors, their own top scientist William Thompson, has admitted that he and his colleagues colluded to obscure and then shred data (he kept copies) which sh owed a link between autism and the MMR vaccine. ''Oh my God, I can't believe we did what we did,'' Thompson confessed in one taped telephone chat to Brian Hooker , a bioengineer professor at Simpson University and the father of an autistic child.
The Thompson whistleblower case is the basis of the 2016 documentary Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe by Andrew Wakefield, the gastroenterologist who was among the first to suggest a possible link between the MMR vaccine and autism in the late '90s, and who has become a symbol of how the system deals with dissenters. It's the film the CDC does not want anyone to see.
The CDC also fails to mention that the federal government has been forced to acknowledge vaccination's role in inducing autism and has awarded compensation to some parents of damaged children. Other courts have recognized the connection between autism and vaccination too. Besides that, there are the thousands of parents the courts and federal government pretend don't exist who all tell the same story over and over again: that they watched their children regress into autism following vaccination.
Brain and nervous system damage from vaccines is nothing new. Crippling and potentially blinding Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis, for example, (which causes MRI-visible white spots on the brain and can progress to multiple sclerosis,) has been described in the medical literature for decades and is a documented side effect of virtually every vaccine. Narcolepsy and Guillain Barr(C) Syndrome are other examples.
So, what role might vaccines have in subtler brain damage? Don't ask the CDC because they've never looked. But the JSU study found the odds for vaccinated children having a learning disability were over five-fold that of unvaccinated children (OR 5.2), over four-fold for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) (OR 4.3) and over three-fold for any neurodevelopmental disorder (i.e., impairment of growth and development of the brain or central nervous system associated with a diagnosis of Learning Disability, ADHD and/or ASD) (OR 3.67).
Mercury, Aluminum and What Else?
Vaccine ingredients are known to cause brain damage. Robert Kennedy Jr. has been highlighting the dangers of mercury as thimerosal used as a preservative in vaccines and its relationship to autism.
Aluminium is another well-documented neurotoxin added to vaccines as an adjuvant to evoke an immune system response. Recent research has thrown everything scientists used to say about it (and the CDC still does) in the bin: aluminum is not excreted from the body within hours or days, but it persists for years and can migrate to organs including lymph, spleen and brain . Aluminum in vaccines has been implicated in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome , Macrophagic Myofasciitis in numerous autoimmune diseases , Alzheimer's disease , in sudden deaths following vaccination and in autism .
The FDA does not deny its toxicity '' just that there is enough aluminum toxin in vaccines to cause harm. But it calculates risk based on oral exposure. Even so it describes memory impairment in lab mice and ''very young animals [which] appeared weaker and less active [and] less coordinated when their mothers were exposed to large amounts of aluminum during pregnancy and while nursing.''
Injected exposure can hardly be safer. ''It should be obvious that the route of exposure which bypasses the protective barriers of the gastrointestinal tract and/or the skin will likely require a much lower dose to produce a toxic outcome,'' says a 2014 review implicating aluminium in the autism epidemic.
Besides toxic metals like aluminum and mercury, vaccines may contain contaminants from DNA from human aborted fetus cells, animal DNA and retroviruses and a host of debris and metal contaminants that are not measured by oversight agencies and whose health effects have never been studied.
The Ear Infection Connection
Vaccinated children in the study were nearly four-fold more likely than unvaccinated children in the study to have had a doctor-diagnosed ear infection (OR 3.8), and they were 700% more likely to have had surgery to insert ear drainage tubes for repeat or persistent infections (OR 8.0).
Acute ear infections have increased worldwide in recent decades and are so common they are almost unremarkable now; they affect 80% of American children by age three and are the leading reason for child doctor visits, antibiotic use and the number one pediatric surgical procedure ''insertion of plastic tubes in the ears. Childhood ear infections cost the health care system almost three billion dollars a year.
The study points to reports of middle ear infection filed with the government's Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS). A VAERS database search for children younger than one year of age who developed otitis media within one week of vaccination revealed 438,573 cases reported between 1990 and 2011, ''often with fever and other signs and symptoms of inflammation and central nervous system involvement.'' If that was the reported number for children under a year old within one week, how many children of all ages get common ear infections following vaccination? No one knows.
Messed-Up Microbiomes
As a possible mechanism for vaccine-induced ear infection, study authors Mawson and colleagues cite a 2006 study that looked at the types of bacteria in the nasal passages of children immunized with pneumococcal vaccine vs. ''historical controls'' '' kids from the prePCV-7 era -- and found an increased colonization of a bacteria called M. catarrhalis in the vaccinated group. M. catarrhalis, it turns out, is associated with an increased risk of ear infection.
No surprise then that vaccinated children in the study were over two-fold more likely to have taken antibiotics (OR 2.4). They were also hospitalized more often (OR 1.8).
Broad spectrum antibiotics like those frequently used for ear infections are like napalm on the microbiome -- they may wipe out bugs that cause ear infections but they affect many other microbes as well, shifting microbiome composition in ways that science is only beginning to understand how profoundly this impacts health. New research links microbiome shifts to a growing list of diseases from irritable bowel syndrome, obesity, Crohn's disease , diabetes and multiple sclerosis to mood disorders such as anxiety and depression, mental illnesses such as schizophrenia and autism .
In a 2011 Lancet study , Danish researchers concluded the pneumococcal vaccine had a ''much broader effect...on the microbial community than currently assumed, and highlights the need for careful monitoring when implementing vaccines...''
Another recent study found it isn't just pneumococcal bugs that are affected, but several unexpected types of infectious bugs rush in to colonize where vaccines have been. What is the net effect of 69 vaccines on a developing child's microbiome? Public health officials haven't even asked the question.
Wheezy and Itchy
The JSU study shows that vaccinated children were thirty-fold more likely to have been diagnosed with allergic rhinitis (hay fever) than unvaccinated children (OR 30.1), which exceeds the strength of the association between smoking and lung cancer. They also had a higher odds of overall allergies (OR 3.9), and three-fold higher odds of being diagnosed with eczema. (OR 3.1).
All this allergic disease was leading to more medication. The vaccinated children in the study were 22-fold more likely to have taken allergy medicine than the unvaccinated.
Allergic rhinitis (hay fever) is another of those current inexplicably soaring pediatric plagues; in 2012, it affected 6.6 million children. It is strongly associated with another spiking childhood disorder, asthma. More than three million American kids have a food allergy and one in four children have eczema . Worldwide, allergies have been increasing and they now affect almost half of all American school kids.
As with autism, public health authorities have no answers to explain the explosion of immune-mediated allergic disease. But researchers routinely create animal models of allergic disease by exposing them to aluminum adjuvants '' the sort used in vaccines '' at the same time as allergens. Recent experiments ( here , here and here , for example) describe how scientists use aluminum to stimulate allergic rhinitis (hay fever) in mice.
This 2014 study describes how researchers used aluminum hydroxide bound to a bordetella pertussis (that's whooping cough bacteria in every child's two, four, six and 18-month DTaP which also contains aluminum) and exposed the animal to an oral antigen (ie., food, like peanuts or soya) to produce rats with food allergies.
Studies like these ( here and here) describe how aluminum hydroxide linked to egg white protein (another vaccine ingredient) is used to create animal models of asthma.
So how does the CDC fail to consider if the very thing scientists are using to create allergic disease in animals is also creating allergic disease in children?
No Explanation?
''There was no explanation for the differences in health outcomes observed between the vaccinated and unvaccinated groups of children other than vaccination itself,'' the study's authors concluded. Although the design of the study limits causal interpretation, they added, there is an apparent dose-response relationship between vaccination and chronic illness too, with the partially vaccinated showing intermediate odds of being diagnosed with chickenpox and whooping cough as well as ear infection, pneumonia, allergic rhinitis, ADHD, eczema, and learning disability (see Table 4).
''The extent to which these findings apply to the population of homeschooled children as well as the general population awaits further research on vaccinated and unvaccinated children,'' Mawson and colleagues say. ''Investigating and understanding the biological basis of these unexpected nonspecific outcomes of vaccination is essential for ensuring evidence-based vaccine policies and decisions.''
There is little evidence, however, that the mainstream medical establishment has any interest in understanding unexpected outcomes. Its message is clear: vaccines are modern medicine's greatest miracle, an intervention that has saved millions of lives and improved quality of life for millions more. The fine print, acknowledged since vaccines began, is that a few children will suffer serious consequences from vaccines, including death, but their lives are a small sacrifice for the greater good of protecting of humanity from plagues of infectious disease.
For more than a century it has been accepted public health dogma that vaccine benefits outweigh risks. What's more, with the introduction of five new vaccines since 1995, bringing the total inoculations to 35 by kindergarten age, studies of the combined effect of vaccines have never been done. The reality is: real vaccine benefits are theoretical and real vaccine risks are unknown.
The emerging ''vaccine war'' is really just growing numbers of ''hesitant'' parents (and health practitioners) questioning the CDC vaccine schedule for good reasons: Why are doctors who profit from vaccines the spokesmen for public health? Can government health agencies really be trusted to protect our children when they are so wedded to the pharmaceutical industry? Why are toxins in vaccines? Does my kid really need this vaccine or is somebody selling it, like Coca Cola and video games? Why is it acceptable to knowingly sacrifice some children for the greater good? Is that greater good real or is it a mirage?
That vaccines may sometimes curb natural infections like chickenpox sometimes appears to be the case. What's not been answered is the cost? What else do vaccines do? And if they are such a miracle, then why are American kids so sick?
This pilot study shows us that if mainstream medicine and our public health agencies are really interested in children's health, not just vaccine profits or defending vaccine religion against blasphemy, what is needed is not the will to make everyone believe, but the courage to find out.
Airbus vs Boeing
Airbus A380, Once the Future of Aviation, May Cease Production - The New York Times
Tue, 16 Jan 2018 13:47
While it would be premature to write the A380's obituary, there is little doubt that the double-decker plane '-- once touted as the future of aviation '-- has been an enormous disappointment and a financial disaster for Airbus, the most formidable competitor to Boeing in the passenger airplane market.
When Airbus started delivering the A380 a decade ago, after spending $25 billion to develop it, the company based near Toulouse, France, saw the plane as the solution to airport congestion and to increased demand for air travel. Only so many planes can land at an airport in any given day, so Airbus reasoned that planes carrying more people would allow airports to absorb more passengers.
The A380 can carry more than 500 passengers while also offering amenities like showers, first-class suites and a bar.
But the airline industry responded by increasing traffic to smaller airports, a change that favored Boeing and its 787 Dreamliner, a midsize, wide-bodied plane that can carry a maximum of 330 passengers. The Dreamliner has two engines, making it much less expensive to maintain than the four-engine A380.
Mr. Aboulafia of Teal Group noted that it is now possible to fly directly to Spain from Washington, D.C., without passing through a large hub like London or Frankfurt.
''As smaller, more efficient planes flood the market,'' he said in an email, ''new city pairs are being created almost every day, killing the case for larger aircraft.''
Airbus did not book any orders for the A380 last year, the company said on Monday. In fact, orders for two planes were canceled.
The superjumbo's poor performance overshadowed an otherwise decent year for Airbus, which said on Monday that it delivered 718 aircraft in 2017, a 4 percent increase from the previous year. The company said it had a backlog of orders worth $1.1 trillion.
Airbus could further benefit from a general upswing in commercial air travel, and it may profit from a trade dispute between its archrival Boeing and Bombardier of Canada.
The United States Commerce Department imposed punitive tariffs on Bombardier last year after Boeing accused it of receiving unfair subsidies from the Canadian government. Bombardier is challenging the tariffs, but has also struck a deal to build its new CSeries midrange planes at an Airbus factory in Alabama. That could allow Bombardier to avoid the penalties.
Airbus's best-seller by far in 2017 was the A320 line, versions of which can carry up to 240 passengers, or about half as many as the A380.
Mr. Leahy, the Airbus chief operating officer, said on Monday that the A380's best days were ahead. Passenger traffic is doubling every 15 years, he said, meaning that the original rationale for the model still holds.
Airbus, as a result, is still betting that airlines flying between large, highly congested hubs in London or New Delhi will have no choice but to buy larger planes if they want to continue to grow.
''If people want to fly, they need to fly in bigger aircraft,'' Mr. Leahy said. ''This is an airplane whose time will come.''
But he acknowledged that, until that day arrives, Airbus needs a minimum of six to eight orders a year to keep production alive at the A380's final assembly plant near Toulouse. For the moment, he said, the only likely customer for those planes is Emirates.
''They are probably the only one who has the ability right now,'' Mr. Leahy said.
Correction: January 15, 2018An earlier version of this article misstated the city where Airbus is based. It is based in Toulouse, France, not Paris.
Correction: January 15, 2018An earlier version of this article misstated the value of the Airbus's backlog of orders. It is worth $1.1 trillion, not $1.1 billion.
Follow Jack Ewing on Twitter: @JackEwingNYT.
A version of this article appears in print on January 16, 2018, on Page B2 of the New York edition with the headline: Airbus May Stop Making Its Biggest Passenger Jet.
Continue reading the main story
Service Goat
12news.com | Study finds people would rather hang out with their dogs than friends
Thu, 18 Jan 2018 12:53
Friends or dogs? That's the question posed by researchers conducting a study by Link AKC.
For parents of fur-babies, the conclusion might be obvious: Americans would rather hang out with their dogs than their friends.
Researchers surveyed 2,000 dog owners for the study.
Here are some other takeaways from their research, according to the New York Post:
Six in 10 people said their dog often takes care of them82 percent of dog owners noticed an improvement in their mental and emotional health because of their dogsFour in 10 people said their dogs helped get over the loss of a loved oneOver half said seeing their pet when they come home makes them extremely happy88 percent said their dog helped make them a better person55 percent of people said "unconditional love" was the biggest benefit of owning a dogThe Daily Blast Live Team weighs in in this clip from their show.
Catch DBL weekday afternoons or watch online.
(C) 2018 TEGNA MEDIA
Clips And Docs
VIDEO - Sam Zell: BlackRock's Fink hypocritical to push social responsibility
Thu, 18 Jan 2018 14:06
BlackRock's Larry Fink and other CEOs are "extraordinarily hypocritical" to push companies for more social responsibility, billionaire investor Sam Zell told CNBC on Tuesday.
The New York Times reported Fink will tell business leaders in a letter on Tuesday that their companies need to do more than just make profits. Companies need to contribute to society as well if they want to receive support, Fink argues in a draft letter obtained by the Times.
Fink's BlackRock manages more than $6 trillion in investments through 401(k) plans, exchange-traded funds and mutual funds.
Fink and seven partners founded BlackRock in the late 1980s, and the firm has grown to the largest asset manager in the world.
"They talk about the fact that they're in effect going to do exactly what market does," said Zell, the founder and chairman of property specialist Equity Group Investments. "And then they put up public policy statements that suggest that they're going to advocate the market doing things other than what happens every day."
"Either they're a passive fund that follows the market or they're a leader that's setting the tone," Zell said in an interview on "Squawk Box," adding BlackRock can't have it both ways.
Zell questioned whether America is ready to have BlackRock "in charge of the NYSE," saying "I didn't know Larry Fink had been made God."
Zell made his fortune in the real estate business over a decadeslong career. He describes himself as a social liberal and a fiscal conservative. He's also an active philanthropist with a focus on entrepreneurial education.
He chairs five NYSE-listed companies, including three real estate investment trusts.
BlackRock did not immediately respond to CNBC's request for comment.
VIDEO - California Homeless Problem - YouTube
Thu, 18 Jan 2018 13:47
VIDEO - White House Holds Daily Press Briefing '-- Tuesday, Jan. 16 2018 | CNBC - YouTube
Thu, 18 Jan 2018 13:40
VIDEO - Lindsey Graham calls Mexico a hellhole in 2013 - YouTube
Thu, 18 Jan 2018 13:33
VIDEO - JW President Tom Fitton: The Clinton Gang Has Been 'Looting and abusing' Haiti for Decades - YouTube
Thu, 18 Jan 2018 13:27
VIDEO - Facebook, Google tell Congress how they're fighting extremist content
Thu, 18 Jan 2018 13:18
Facebook, Google and Twitter told Congress Wednesday that they've gone beyond screening and removing extremist content and are creating more anti-terror propaganda to pre-empt violent messages at the source.
Representatives from the three companies told the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation that they are, among other things, targeting people likely to be swayed by extremist messages and pushing content aimed at countering that message. Several senators criticized their past efforts as not going far enough.
"We believe that a key part of combating extremism is preventing recruitment by disrupting the underlying ideologies that drive people to commit acts of violence. That's why we support a variety of counterspeech efforts," said Monika Bickert, Facebook's head of global policy management, according to an advance copy of her testimony obtained by CNBC.
Bickert said that in addition to using image matching and language analysis to identify terror content before it's posted, the company is ramping up what it calls "counterspeech."
Facebook is also working with universities, nongovernmental organizations and community groups around the world "to empower positive and moderate voices," Bickert said.
Google's YouTube, meanwhile, says it will continue to use what it calls the "Redirect Method," developed by Google's Jigsaw research group, to send anti-terror messages to people likely to seek out extremist content through what is essentially targeted advertising. If YouTube determines that a person may be headed toward extremism based on their search history, it will serve them ads that subtly contradict the propaganda that they might see from ISIS or other such groups. Meanwhile, YouTube supports "Creators for Change," a group of people who use their channels to counteract hate.
VIDEO - Apple awarding $2500 RSUs: Tim Cook email
Thu, 18 Jan 2018 13:04
Apple continued a blitz of investment announcements on Wednesday with a stock-based compensation award for some employees.
The iPhone maker will grant $2,500 in restricted stock units over the coming months. Restricted stock units are valued in company stock, but vest over time. Apple's stock hit an all-time intraday high of $179.39 a share on Tuesday.
Bloomberg previously reported the news, citing anonymous sources. An email obtained by Axios said the stock awards would be available "to all individual contributors and management up to and including Senior Managers worldwide, [b]oth full-time and part-time."
It's not clear exactly how many employees that includes, or if new employees would be included. Nor is it clear when the award would vest, or whether the $2,500 sum is more or less than would usually be awarded to employees at that level. But the RSUs are likely to apply to most employees worldwide, including retail.
The stock awards follow Apple's announcement of a large-scale commitment to the U.S. economy, albeit thin on details. The company said it will add $350 billion in support of the U.S. economy over the next five years, with contributions from a new campus, payments to suppliers, job creation, capital expenditures, and taxes on overseas cash.
Apple has 84,000 U.S. employees, out of 123,000 full-time equivalent employees worldwide, as of September 2017. The average Apple salary is $101,000, according to third-party data source Paysa.
Here's an email from CEO Tim Cook, obtained by Axios:
Team,
This morning we announced a new set of investments Apple will be making over the next several years, including expanding some of our existing campuses and establishing a new one. We're also extending our efforts in support of coding education, ConnectED and STEAM programs. I encourage you to read about these announcements on AppleWeb.
I'm excited to let you know that we're also increasing our investment in our most important resource '-- our people. You are the heart and soul of Apple and we want you to share in the success made possible through your efforts. Your dedication helps Apple make the best products in the world, surprise and delight our customers, and ultimately make the world a better place.
To show our support for our team and our confidence in Apple's future, we'll be issuing a grant of $2,500 in restricted stock units to all individual contributors and management up to and including Senior Managers worldwide. Both full-time and part-time employees across all aspects of Apple's business are eligible. Details are available on AppleWeb.
We also know how much our employees value giving back to the communities where we all work and live. I'm happy to announce that starting immediately and running through the end of 2018, Apple will match all employee charitable donations, up to $10,000 annually, at a rate of two to one. In addition, Apple will double the amount we match for each hour you donate your time. Last year, your generosity helped people around the world through causes that are important to you. I'm proud that this year we'll be able to build on that tradition of giving.
Apple's success comes from our people and I am proud to work alongside each of you. On behalf of the Executive Team, thank you for your hard work and dedication.
Tim
VIDEO - Barry Callebaut reveals the fourth type in chocolate: Ruby | Barry Callebaut
Thu, 18 Jan 2018 12:59
Today, 80 years after the launch of White chocolate as the third type after Dark and Milk, Barry Callebaut, the world's leading manufacturer of high-quality chocolate and cocoa products, reveals the fourth type in chocolate 'Ruby' which is made from the Ruby cocoa bean. Ruby chocolate has an intense taste and characteristic reddish color.
The Ruby bean is unique because the fresh berry-fruitiness and color precursors are naturally present. The cocoa beans are sourced from different regions of the world. The bean has a specific set of attributes, which Barry Callebaut managed to unlock through an innovative process that took many years to develop.
According to quantitative research performed by independent international market and consumer agency Haystack, Ruby chocolate meets a consumer need no chocolate ever did before. It's expected that Ruby, like Dark, Milk and White chocolates will be introduced in different product categories.
The invention of Ruby chocolate is the work of global R&D centers of Barry Callebaut, based in France and Belgium - part of a global network of 28 R&D centers- , the Jacobs University, and over 175 years of expertise in sourcing and manufacturing.
The fourth type in chocolate offers a totally new taste experience, which is not bitter, milky or sweet, but a tension between berry-fruitiness and luscious smoothness. To create Ruby chocolate no berries or berry flavor, nor color, is added.
Ruby chocolate has been tested and validated through extensive consumer research run by independent global research agencies Haystack and Ipsos in the UK, US, China and Japan.
As part of these studies, Ruby's consumer appeal and purchase intent have been tested, indicating consumers would buy Ruby chocolate at different price points.
Peter Boone, Barry Callebaut's Chief Innovation & Quality Officer, said: ''Barry Callebaut has established itself as a pioneer and innovator in chocolate and cocoa, globally. Consumer research in very different markets confirms that Ruby chocolate not only satisfies a new consumer need found among Millennials - Hedonistic Indulgence - but also high purchase intent at different price points. We're looking forward to working with our partners on introducing this innovative breakthrough to the market and making the new Ruby chocolate category available to chocolate manufacturers and consumers around the world as the fourth reference next to Dark, Milk and White chocolate.''
Ruby chocolate was revealed at an exclusive launch event in Shanghai, China, on September 5, 2017.
VIDEO - CNN: Trump 'borderline obese' - predicts heart attack in '3-5 years' - The American MirrorThe American Mirror
Thu, 18 Jan 2018 12:20
Despite President Trump's positive health exam results, CNN simply won't accept the White House doctor's assessment.
Pundits who have not examined Trump parsed the results and drew conclusions likely intended to scare viewers.
Host Alisyn Camerota and medical analyst Sanji Gupta declared Trump to be ''borderline obese,'' predicted he would have a heart attack in ''3-5 years'' and Gupta concluded the president has heart disease.
Camerota held back laughs over Trump's height, which the exam found to be 6'3'". He had reportedly been 6'2'" in the past.
''Somehow he has grown while being in the White House,'' she snarked.
Because of Trump's weight of 239 lbs., she said his Body Mass Index is ''two-nine point nine.''
Gupta conceded the BMI ratio is ''not a perfect ratio by any means,'' but nevertheless, went on to declare Trump ''borderline obese.''
''So he's point-one away from being in the obese category,'' Camerota emphasized.
After Vice President Joe Biden's doctor panned CNN's hysteria, Camerota went back to Gupta.
Because of Trump's calcium score, CNN predicted the president will have a ''heart attack or heart disease'' in ''3-5 years.''
But Gupta was more aggressive.
''So the president has heart disease,'' he declared.
Yesterday, CNN host Brian Stelter didn't accept Dr. Ronny Jackson's findings, either.
''Here's how the next few hours will go,'' he sniffed. ''Trump supporters will say 'Concerns about Trump's mental health were always absurd. Case closed now.'
''The obvious response: 'The Q's about fitness for office are serious. Someone could be sharp as a tack, but still unfit,'' he tweeted.
VIDEO -Paul Begala: Trump is an autocrat, he wants to be like Assad or Stalin
Thu, 18 Jan 2018 05:04
VIDEO - Rand Paul tells a surprising story about Trump and Haiti long before he was president '' TheBlaze
Thu, 18 Jan 2018 03:20
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VIDEO - The Existential Threat of Big Tech | Franklin Foer | RSA Replay - YouTube
Thu, 18 Jan 2018 02:01
VIDEO - Support Project Veritas '-- Anedot
Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:42
Project Veritas exposed the shocking tactics Twitter uses to silence opponents and chill free speech.
But the mainstream media has done all they can to ignore and snuff out yet another Project Veritas investigation.
The only way to make sure this story is heard by the American people -- the only way to make sure Twitter is held accountable for their shocking attacks on free speech -- is by getting the word out ourselves.
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VIDEO - Incredible: Professor's Defense of Free Speech Leaves Regressive Leftist Literally Speechless >> Alex Jones' Infowars: There's a war on for your mind!
Wed, 17 Jan 2018 13:33
A clip in which Professor Jordan B. Peterson explains why his free speech is more important than the risk of a transgender person being offended is going viral.
Peterson was previously embroiled in a controversy as a result of his refusal to comply with Canada's draconian Bill C-16, which makes it a hate crime to not use someone's preferred gender pronouns.
The video features Peterson, who is currently doing a series of lectures in London, being interviewed by far-left UK broadcaster Channel 4.
The host asks the professor, ''Why should your right to freedom of speech trump a trans person's right not to be offended?''
First of all, the idea that someone has a right to not be offended is hilarious. No such right exists.
Peterson's comeback is brutal.
''Because in order to be able to think, you have to risk being offensive '' I mean look at the conversation we're having right now '' you're certainly willing to risk offending me in the pursuit of truth '' why should you have the right to do that?''
''You get my point, you're doing what you should do,'' Peterson continues. ''Which is digging a bit to see what the hell's going on and that is what you should do, but you're exercising your freedom of speech to certainly risk offending me, and that's fine, more power to you as far as I'm concerned.''
The host is dumbfounded, stammering, ''So you haven't sat there and'....I'm just trying to work that out'' before she falls silent and completely loses the ability to speak.
Peterson leans back and takes a sip of water having achieved a simple yet crushing victory.
Respondents to the video expressed their glee.
''They should probably go back to smearing him on their clickbait blogs. Debating him probably wasnt a very smart idea,'' commented one.
''Absolutely demolished,'' added another.
''This is legendary,'' remarked another.
Channel 4 is obviously not too keen on seeing the clip go viral. It's completely blocked on Facebook.
Given the utter embarrassment Peterson just inflicted upon their entire narrative, you can see why.
SUBSCRIBE on YouTube:
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Paul Joseph Watson is the editor at large of Infowars.com and Prison Planet.com.
VIDEO - The state can't agree on what the missile alert interface actual - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL
Wed, 17 Jan 2018 13:26
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - On Monday night, the governor's office released an image of what it said was the interface used to send a false missile alert to Hawaii smart phones.
The confusing and seemingly rudimentary design quickly grabbed headlines nationally.
But a day later, the state's emergency management agency is disputing that image '-- and has released a different one.
Officials from the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency said the first image was sent in error, but declined to provide an actual photo of the interface.
Instead on Tuesday, they gave Hawaii News Now something they said was similar to the actual interface, and it included a drop down menu '-- not a list of possible real and test alerts.
The revelation was another chapter in what some have called a frustrating (and, at times, downright bizarre) response to Saturday's false alarm about an inbound ballistic missile.
Richard Rapoza, emergency management agency spokesman, said of the newly-released image: "This is a close facsimile. The operator should have selected the 'DRILL-PACOM (DEMO)' option, but instead clicked on the 'PACOM (CDW)' option."
The first image was released Monday, just before the governor held a rare, statewide address to again apologize for the false alarm blunder.
The image, provided to the governor's office by the emergency management agency, showed a screen with a list of options for alerts.
The governor's office said it was nearly identical to the one the employee who inadvertently sent out the false alert would have seen. The biggest difference? The image included the option to send out a false alarm correction alert to phones, if a mistake is made again.
When asked Tuesday why the image was different than the one provided by Hawaii Emergency Management, the governor's office directed Hawaii News Now back to the agency.
And the agency said an employee who wasn't authorized to provided the first photo.
One thing is for certain: There is no physical button to press that triggers a ballistic missile alarm and the "False Alarm BMD (CEM) - STATE ONLY" option was not there on Saturday '-- when it was needed most. Officials implemented that option soon after Saturday's mistake.
Separately, the emergency management agency continues to maintain that in order for the false alert to be triggered, the employee '-- who has since been reassigned '-- had to click "yes" on a second confirmation page.
The false alert went out to Hawaii's 1.4 million residents and hundreds of thousands of visitors on Saturday morning, triggering widespread panic.
Since Saturday's false alarm, Gov. Ige has vowed a false alert "won't happen again." He has also assigned Brig. Gen. Kenneth S. Hara, the state's deputy adjutant general, to review the emergency management system and implement improvements.
' 'After false missile alert, some Hawaii businesses threw customers out
' Here's what to do in the event of an actual nuclear attack
' Fearing inbound missile, many uttered what they thought might be their last words
' Terrifying': False ballistic missile threat sends Hawaii into panic
' WATCH: Ige says false missile threat alarm was result of someone pushing wrong button
This story will be updated.
Copyright 2018 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.
VIDEO - Democrat Andrew Stein: Trump is not a racist - YouTube
Wed, 17 Jan 2018 13:13
VIDEO - DHS Sec Nielsen says she didn't hear Trump make vulgar comment, says he used 'tough language'
Wed, 17 Jan 2018 12:23
VIDEO - Press Sec: If Trump is Racist, 'Why Did NBC Give Him a Show for a Decade?'
Wed, 17 Jan 2018 12:22
VIDEO - Cory Booker explodes at hearing over Trump's reported 's---thole' comments: I had 'tears of rage'
Wed, 17 Jan 2018 12:22
VIDEO - Stunningly Rude and Disrespectful Conduct by CNN's Jim Acosta'... | The Last Refuge
Wed, 17 Jan 2018 12:21
CNN Chief White House Correspondent Jim Acosta has a history of rude journalistic behavior and disrespect that has never before been allowed in the White House.
Today during an oval office meeting between President Trump and President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan the CNN journalist exhibited a level of disrespectful behavior that should lead to his White House press credentials being revoked permanently.
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VIDEO - Aziz Ansari: Everyone is picking sides over his story - CNN
Tue, 16 Jan 2018 20:06
That's the debate currently raging in the wake of the "Master of None" star responding to an allegation of sexual assault by a woman he went out on a date with last fall.
There are two sides that are drawing supporters.
Some are saying the allegations against Ansari assault weakens the #MeToo movement.
The other side: This is the kind of conduct that has given rise to movements like #MeToo and #TimesUp and that just because it happens a lot doesn't make it right.
The story has all of the ingredients of one that begs controversy: sexual politics and power, and comes at a time when Hollywood and the culture is grappling with the treatment of women.
In a 3000-word story published on Saturday by the website Babe, a 23-year-old photographer, who shared her account anonymously (the publication used the name "Grace" to identify her), described a date with Ansari in which she alleged he pressured her to have sex.According to the woman, she was repeatedly "pressured" by Ansari to have intercourse, which they didn't, and to perform oral sex, which she says they did.
The woman told Babe she used verbal and non-verbal cues to communicate she was "distressed." Following the encounter, Ansari arranged for an Uber to pick her up, she said.
"I cried the whole ride home. At that point I felt violated," she said, telling Babe she felt her experience with Ansari amounted to sexual assault.
CNN does not know the identity of the woman.
Ansari released a statement saying he went on a date with the woman and engaged in sexual activity "which by all indications was completely consensual."
"The next day, I got a text from her saying that although 'it may have seemed okay,' upon further reflection, she felt uncomfortable," Ansari wrote in a statement obtained by CNN on Sunday. "It was true that everything did seem okay to me, so when I heard that it was not the case for her, I was surprised and concerned."
In a Sunday column for the Atlantic, contributing editor, Caitlin Flanagan defended the actor and said he was being professionally "assassinated" by "Grace" and the writer of the Babe report."The clinical detail in which the story is told is intended not to validate her account as much as it is to hurt and humiliate Ansari," she wrote. "Together, the two women may have destroyed Ansari's career, which is now the punishment for every kind of male sexual misconduct, from the grotesque to the disappointing."
"I am a proud feminist, and this is what I thought while reading Grace's story, " Weiss wrote. "If you are hanging out naked with a man, it's safe to assume he is going to try to have sex with you."
On Monday night, HLN host Ashleigh Banfield read an open letter to "Grace" in which she accused her of damaging the #MeToo movement and called her actions "appalling" for going to the press with "a story of a bad date."
"You have chiseled away at a movement that I, along with all of my sisters in the workplace, have been dreaming of for decades," Banfield said. "A movement that has finally changed an oversexed professional environment that I, too, have struggled through at times over the last 30 years in broadcasting."
It's similar to a sentiment shared by Sonny Bunch in an opinion piece written for the Washington Post.In it Bunch argues the allegations against Ansari are "nothing like the ugly tales of sexual abuse that have wafted out of Hollywood over the past six months or so" which have given rise to the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements.
"The #MeToo movement's story has been a relatively straightforward one that garners support from both sides of the aisle and all decent people, because it is a tale of how powerful people humiliate and subjugate those who want nothing more than a chance to chase their dreams, " Bunch wrote. "The babe story is not about this. It is about a date that went badly, one that did not live up to the expectations of the woman involved."
But there are those who see such rallying around Ansari as just the thing that has given rise to the need for such movements.
Noted feminist author Jessica Valenti tweeted on Sunday, "A lot of men will read that post about Aziz Ansari and see an everyday, reasonable sexual interaction. But part of what women are saying right now is that what the culture considers 'normal' sexual encounters are not working for us, and oftentimes harmful."
Los Angeles Times opinion contributor Jamil Smith tweeted, "I was finally able to read the account of the date with @azizansari. From the described events, he appears to have no understanding whatsoever of sexual consent. Nor do his defenders, it seems. It is appalling to see some shift attention away from his coercive and violative acts."
In an interview with CNN's Brian Stelter, Joshi Herrmann, editor in chief of Babe's parent company, Tab Media, defended the publication of the story by Ansari's accuser.
"It's newsworthy because of who he is and what he has said in his standup, what he has written in his book, what he has proclaimed on late night TV," Herrmann said. "Her account is pointing out a striking tension between those things and the way she says he treated her in private."
VIDEO - Muslims fear backlash over hijab hoax as school takes heat for press conference | CTV News
Tue, 16 Jan 2018 17:32
After Toronto police concluded that an 11-year-old girl in a hijab was never attacked by a stranger wielding scissors, critics are questioning her school's decision to hold a news conference where she told reporters her story.
Surrounded by her family, the Grade 6 student appeared in front of TV cameras and answered questions from a throng of reporters at Pauline Johnson Public School in Scarborough late last Friday, hours after she claimed the incident occurred, and after the Toronto District School Board contacted police and her family.
Police initially announced they were investigating the incident as a hate crime, sparking outrage in Canada and abroad as several political figures weighed in, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau who declared: ''That is not what Canada is.''
However, upon further investigation, Toronto Police Service spokesperson Mark Pugash announced on Monday that the incident ''did not happen.''
After that revelation, psychologist Dr. Oren Amitay was among those questioning the Toronto District School Board for giving the media access to the girl.
''I've been involved in a number of issues where the school board, acting with the best of intentions but being driven by political correctness and virtue-signalling, has made some wrong calls,'' he told CTV News Channel on Monday.
Amitay suggests the story may have been pushed forward by an overeager school official who wanted to do the progressive thing, but didn't take the time to properly vet the girl's account.
''This was definitely the wrong call,'' he said. ''And whoever allowed it to go forward should be held accountable in some capacity.''
Crime specialist and former Toronto police officer Steve Ryan suggested the news conference put the girl in over her head.
''You're paraded out in front of all these cameras and what is an 11-year-old to do?'' he said. ''Now she's committed to this story. How does she now go back on that story when you're facing all these cameras, and you're facing all these questions?''
The Toronto District School Board says it did not organize a formal press conference for the girl.
''Our motivation for commenting on the issue at the time was out of compassion, care, concern and support,'' the TDSB said in a statement on Monday. The school board said it was doing the same as ''many elected leaders'' at all levels via interviews and on social media.
Digital media strategist Mark Blevis says the story's initial popularity, as well as its harsh turn after it was revealed to be false, shows just how quick people are to jump to politically-motivated conclusions.
''With outrage culture there's this big movement towards piling on,'' he told CTV Ottawa.
The revelation touched off a second wave of outrage from critics, with some targeting the girl with hateful comments online.
The backlash has sparked fears among Muslims that it will inspire more discrimination in the future.
''This will probably be used as an opportunity to downplay all the times that Muslims come out and speak out against Islamophobia,'' Sabrine Azraq, of the Canadian Council of Muslim Women, told CTV National News.
Azraq says it's important to push back against the anger generated by the false story, saying it should not be allowed to ''derail the very serious matters that are happening in this country.''
Human rights activist Amira Elghawaby echoed Azraq's concerns, adding that she hopes it does not discourage hate crime victims from reporting real incidents.
''When someone feels that they've been victimized they should not be afraid to come forward to the police,'' Elghawaby told CTV News Channel.
She added that the Muslim community is feeling particularly sensitive at the moment, with the anniversary of the Quebec City mosque massacre approaching on Jan. 29.
''People are thinking about that,'' she said. ''Unfortunately, we do have true cases that have occurred and this really came at a time when there's a lot of anxiety.''
Elghawaby also pointed out that the girl is quite young, and children have made up such stories in the past.
''She's just an 11-year-old girl,'' Elghawaby said. ''And that's also something that we have to remember as we try to understand.''
Sabreena Ghaffar-Siddiqui, of the Canadian Council of Muslim Women, also urged people to take the girl's age into account. She pointed out that the incident was fabricated by an 11-year-old, not an adult leader in the Muslim community.
''We need to keep reminding ourselves that we are talking about a child here,'' told CTV Toronto.
With files from CTV Toronto and CTV Ottawa
VIDEO - Kevin Spacey accused of racism on set of House of Cards | Daily Mail Online
Tue, 16 Jan 2018 13:34
Disgraced actor Kevin Spacey now accused of racism and refusing to acknowledge black employees on first season of House of Cards, DailyMailTV has exclusively learned from a former security boss.
Aziz Ansari is denying a woman's claims over the weekend that the Master of None star left her feeling 'violated' after a date. In a statement to Variety, the star said he thought their evening was 'completely consensual.'
Sarah Palin's son, Track, was accused of assault twice last year. In this DailyMailTV exclusive, his ex speaks out about the alleged physical abuse that led her to file for sole custody of their son and what she thinks fuels Track's rage.
It's the ninth anniversary of the 'Miracle on the Hudson' when famed Capt. Sully Sullenberger crash landed a plane to safety in the water. DailyMailTV is speaking exclusively with one of the 155 survivors, Adir Freilich, with a chilling account of the crash and how it's changed his life. For more from Adir Freilich, check his podcast StartUpCamel.com.
The sons of some of Hollywood's finest took over the runway this weekend at the Dolce & Gabbana fashion show in Milan. Daniel Day Lewis, Piers Brosnan and Jude Law's sons represented Millennials at the splashy event.
And, there will soon be a new generation of celebrity babies. DailyMailTV takes a look at who's expecting this year. Kim Kardashian's surrogate could be the first to give birth, followed by a few stars set to join the five-timers parenting club, including Alec Baldwin.
VIDEO - Fever outbreak in Africa CONFIRMED by Ugandan health ministry | Daily Star
Tue, 16 Jan 2018 12:54
HEALTH bosses have confirmed they are facing an outbreak of the ''eye-bleeding fever'' after four people died of the suspected disease in weeks.
Uganda's health ministry has today finally admitted it is facing the risk of a large-scale explosion of the viral hemorrhagic fever (VHF).
VHF causes victims to suffer a burning fever before beginning to bleed from orifices including their eyes, anuses and mouths.
It comes after a girl, nine, was reportedly killed by the infection Uganda, and three people died in neighbouring South Sudan of similar symptoms.
Uganda health minster Sarah Opendi confirmed emergency response teams are now being deployed to the districts of Nakaseke and Luweero.
She also identified the mystery disease, saying tests have revealed the infection is Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever (CCHF).
Worldwide epidemic diseases Recent outbreaks of Chloera, Yellow Fever and the Zika Virus have swept the globe. Here are some of the most recent epidemics.
1 / 11
Getty Images Ebola: Victim Pauline Cafferkey was transported to a London Hospital in an isolation tent for the third time
Today, health minister Opendi said: "Results from Uganda Virus Research Institute tested positive for the Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever and negative for other viral Hemorrhagic Fevers like Ebola, Marburg, Rift Valley Fever and Sosua.''
The confirmation comes after just two weeks ago the Ugandan Health Ministry denied there was an outbreak.
Positive tests for CCHF came from samples taken from a 9-year-old paitent Kihwoko Hospital.
NTV
VICTIMS: Disease control agents investigate the home of a suspected patient in Uganda NTV
SARAH OPENDI: Uganda's health minister confirmed a patient had tested positive for CCHF ''Results from Uganda Virus Research Institute tested positive for the Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever''
Sarah OpendiExperts from the World Health Organisation (WHO) have already said they were monitoring for an outbreak after reports in South Sudan.
CCHF is spread to humans via tick bites or contact with raw meat and infected animal blood immediately after slaughter.
"CCHF outbreaks constitute a threat to public health services because of its epidemic potential, its high case fatality ratio (10-40%), its potential for nosocomial outbreaks and the difficulties in treatment and prevention,'' WHO's description of the virus reads.
MILLIONS dead: the last major flu pandemic The last major outbreak of the deadly H1N1 flu virus was in 1918 at the close of WW1. It is estimated that 50-100 million people died '' a total of 2-3% of the world's entire population '' with 500 million more infected by the lethal strain. To this day, nobody knows what caused the pandemic.
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UIG via Getty Images Image shows warehouses that were converted to keep the infected people quarantined.
WHO first raised fears of a VHF outbreak in central Africa with a report of a number of deaths in South Sudan.
A pregnant woman, and two teenagers all succumbed to a mystery infection along with a number of animals.
However, it is not confirmed whether these deaths are also from CCHF or a separate similar strain of VHF.
Outbreak in the nation could be catastrophic '' with South Sudan bordered by Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, the Congo and the Central African Republic.
GETTY
OUTBREAK: World power mobilised when Africa was hit by an Ebola in 2014 Deadliest epidemics in history From Ebola to the Black Death, here are the deadliest epidemics in history
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Getty Malaria: Between 350 to 500 million cases of malaria are diagnosed each year in sub-Saharan Africa, though fortunately there is a good survival rate
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There were fears up to 60 people could be infected, and are each undergoing analysis by a team from the Sudanese health ministry and WHO.
In a recent report, WHO wrote: "The outbreak of suspected viral haemorrhagic fever in South Sudan could rapidly evolve, and critical information including laboratory confirmation of the etiology of disease is needed to direct response efforts.
"Strengthened surveillance in affected human and animal populations is needed to facilitate rapid detection of human and animal cases and response.
''Strengthened capacity to clinically manage any new cases is also needed in the affected area.''
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Hello friends! I'm back with more exciting events to share (yes, even the bodies that live forever)!
This week I was able to be a part of the biggest technology conventions in Las Vegas. We are so lucky to be living in a culture with such great technology.
As a millennial (a term I hate) I thought I was up to date on the latest technology, but boy oh boy was I wrong.
For starters I have a disclaimer'...I do not know all there is to know about these products, nor am I a representative of any of the businesses that were at the convention. I am just a spectator who is sharing what I witnessed, and sharing my personal thoughts on the products from the 2018 CES Convention.
I was working the convention as a Brand Model Ambassador for a local company in Las Vegas. This was my first experience with the CES convention. The first few days at the convention, I didn't get a chance to walk around much or honestly care too. I didn't think that there would be anything more than new tv's and home appliances, but I was mistaken. On day 3 I decided to walk around because I saw a friend of a friend post something about bodies of the future, and that really piqued my interest.(I missed day two because of the black out. )
As I started to walk, I began to realize technology was coming along so much faster than I had realized. VRs (virtual reality) were definitely a big part of this convention. You couldn't walk more than 40 yards without seeing the ''newest biggest VR''. Now I am not a huge fan of VRs and I say this because I would rather travel and experience something in real life rather than see it with a virtual reality product. But with physical and/or monetary limitations, I could see how this would be beneficial, at least you could experience it in that way. In addition, if I was a huge fan of video games I could see how a VR would be something cool to have to enhance the experience of it all.
Having a ''smart house'' is coming to life, now you can have a smart, well'... everything. A smart kitchen, a smart laundry room, and a smart living room. Any household appliance or entertainment system is now ''smart''. Out of the entire household electronics that I was able to see the one that blew my mind was the new ''wall paper'' TV and the ''roll up'' TV. Crazy thin and portable!
On top of having smart appliances you can now have household robots that have different functions. I won't touch a lot on what they do because there were so many different types and I wasn't able to stop and look at all of them all. The one I did see that I enjoyed was a robot that was a ''teaching robot''. And, as a person who loves to google to learn more things that is something I would definitely love to have in my home. Oh and don't let me forget about the robot dog! They introduced it as a dog that plays, barks, snuggles and the best part is you don't have to clean up after it!
Polaroid is also making a comeback. They basically re-invented themselves, they are still the good old instant printable pictures that you know and love but have now added new types of film with different types of filters. For example, the filters can make your pictures colored or look old. It was a fun booth to visit. I enjoy the simplicity of Polaroid, reminding me of the fun I had as a kid.
Kodiak was also cool to visit. They demonstrated a 3D printer. Just like on the Big Bang Theory, they were able to make little ''action figures'' of whatever they scanned. Wouldn't you love to have a miniature version of yourself?
Drones are honestly just getting better and better. There were drones for everyone, to many to mention here. I am going to start a travel vlog soon and a few of the drones featured at CES would be perfect to use. As an avid lover of travel vlogs I cannot wait to see where drones take us. Also, drone races are here and who doesn't love a good drone race. Drones can do some amazing things such as carry medical supplies, go under water, and follow you with facial recognition (the selfie drone). Pretty exciting!
So, everything is already blowing my mind, when I am introduced to the new and improved automobiles. Man oh man were they slick and futuristic looking. Wait'...I think I am living in the future! Anyway, self-driving cars have come a long way. I am only going to talk about the car that I looked at (if I talk about all of them we will be here forever). The brand new Nissan car was honestly the coolest car! I wasn't even planning on going to see the cars at the convention because let's be honest I am too broke to be doing anything but dream of buying any of the new vehicles. But, when I heard that there was a car that could ''read your mind'' I had to go see what it was all about. I posted the video I took of the presentation explaining the car because it's going to be less confusing than it would be if I tried to explain it to you.
I could go on and on about all of the things that I saw at the convention but now on to what you are all here for'...''the Bodies that live forever''.
I thought the presentation at this booth was for real. Spoiler Alert'...it's not.
I had no idea the body lying there wasn't real. I did not see a sign posted anywhere that it was fake. And, after seeing all the new technology at the convention, it wouldn't surprise me if it wasn't. The body looked real!! I touched it!! And, after watching the video presentation, I was freaking amazed! I believed. I wanted to live forever, apparently so did a lot of people that saw my video on Facebook. It went viral! I quickly came to find out that my videos about the bodies had gone viral and had already had over 30,000 shares. Now at over 100,000 shares. After watching my video's wouldn't you believe it was true?
Anyway, the real reason the booth of the bodies was simply to promote a new Netflix show coming out on February 2nd. Bummer huh? Would you want to live forever? I'm not sure'...
I added my snapchats I took at the convention below, if you want to take the time to watch them. I am no videographer and I did not expect to reach this many people. Like, I said I was just expecting some friends and family to see them. If you have any questions feel free to ask, I will be answering as many of them as I can.
Here's to a life of spontaneity!
Everchanginghorizon_
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VIDEO - Liam Neeson Warns That #MeToo is Turning Into a 'Witch Hunt' [VIDEO] - DANGEROUS
Mon, 15 Jan 2018 12:29
Posted on January 14, 2018
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Taken and Star Wars actor Liam Neeson expressed views critical of the #MeToo movement on Irish television's The Late Late Show, stating that the culture of accusing men of sexual harassment and the subsequent assumption of guilt may be harming innocent people.
''There's some people, famous people, being suddenly accused of touching some girl's knee, or something, and suddenly they're being dropped from their program or something,'' he said, adding that the accusations'--some of which are baseless'--are tantamount to a witch hunt.
Neeson cited the case of Garrison Keillor, who was dismissed from Minnesota Public Radio after allegations that he sexually harassed a woman were made public. He relayed Keillor's claim in the Star Tribune that his ''inappropriate behavior'' was limited to touching a woman's bare back after she told him a sad story and he offered her a hug without asking first.
Neeson explained how Keillor, in his version of the events, apologized for the faux pas and was told by the alleged victim that it wasn't an issue'--until he was contacted months later by her lawyers when the #MeToo movement first kicked off.
The actor condemned Kevin Spacey, who is facing multiple accusations of sexual misconduct and attempted child rape, but said he was undecided on the claims against fellow actor Dustin Hoffman.
''The Dustin Hoffman thing, I'm on the fence about that,'' Neeson said. ''When you're doing a play and you're with your family '' other actors, technicians '' you do silly things and it becomes kind of superstitious if you don't do it every night you think it's going to jinx the show. I'm not saying I've done similar things to what [Hoffman] apparently did but it's childhood stuff.''
Hoffman has been accused of sexual harassment, sexual assault, and exposing himself to an underage girl. The accusations stem from incidents that occurred during a theatrical production in the 1980s, in which he allegedly groped a young woman's breasts.
Photograph courtesy of Getty Images/Francois Durand.
VIDEO - White House, WSJ go to the tape over "fake news" feud - Axios
Mon, 15 Jan 2018 12:26
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VIDEO - Cathy Newman's catastrophic interview with Jordan Peterson | Coffee House
Thu, 18 Jan 2018 04:35
In the magazine this week (out tomorrow) I have written a piece about the Canadian Professor Jordan Peterson. He has been in the UK over the last week to talk about his new book 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos. Among many other things '' much more of which I go into in the piece '' his visit showed up the UK's broadcast media in a very bad light.
On Saturday morning, Peterson made an appearance on Radio 4's Today programme. They gave him a hurried four minutes at the end of the show. They could have quizzed him on almost anything and got a point of view different from almost any other they had ever allowed their listeners to hear. Instead they decided to treat him in an alternately jocular and hostile manner. First: 'Look at this whacky Canadian from out of town'. Then: 'warning signs: heretic'. The Today programme wasted the opportunity.
But they scored a veritable home-run compared to the interview Cathy Newman did with him yesterday for Channel 4 News. The full half-hour interview is available online. If I was Channel 4 I would take it down. If I was Cathy Newman I would sue or seek a super-injunction. I don't think I have ever witnessed an interview that is more catastrophic for the interviewer.
Whatever else anybody might think of him, Professor Peterson is a man of remarkable learning and experience, and does not appear to have arrived at any of his views by the now common means of 'I reckon'. Yet Newman, who approaches the interview with the trademark sourness she employs for everyone she expects to disagree with, treats this is just another chance to burnish her own social justice credentials and expose her guest as a bigot. Big mistake.
Storming straight in with the differences between the sexes, in the opening minutes it is clear that Professor Peterson is willing to back up all his views with references, data and calm analysis. By 4 minutes in Cathy Newman is saying 'What gives you the right to say that?'. One answer to which is 'Because you invited me on your show.' Another being 'Because I have years of experience in these fields as a psychologist and academic as well as being a human being with eyes.' Peterson is too polite to say this. But it becomes clear that in the face of the facts Channel 4's prize interviewer has nothing more than stances. And not even especially intelligent stances.
By 11 minutes in she is saying ' I think I take issue with (that)', before demonstrating that she can't. Soon she is reduced to dropping the bombshell observation that 'all women are different'. By 16.45 there is a palpable win, as Peterson points out that Newman has exactly the disagreeable and aggressive qualities that allow certain types of people to succeed. By 19.30 she is having to throw out things to him that he hasn't even said, such as 'You're saying women aren't intelligent enough to run top companies'. A minute later and she is reduced to countering empirical evidence with anecdote. Peterson presents the data about men in general and Newman responds with the 'I know plenty of men who aren't (like that)' card. Shortly after that (at 22.25) Newman is reduced to spluttering and then silence. She tries to pull herself together. But she can think of nothing to say. She tries to whip herself back up to a fever of indignation, but that doesn't work either. And then finally she tries to finish off the interview in the same way the Today programme did by taking up a half-humorous evolutionary case-study Peterson has written about (lobsters) and used it to try to present him as some kind of madman or imbecile.
The general British broadcast media treatment of Peterson was not just ignorant and parochial (and aren't some 'internationalists' just the most parochial people of all?). It showed that it has become acceptable for an interviewer to go in with nothing other than an ambition to demonstrate their moral superiority at the expense of the interviewee. This may be fun and help burnish the sense of moral preening of the presenter. But it allows the audience to learn nothing. Indeed the only thing it does do is to replace serious discussion with an embedding of existing prejudices. It is in places like this that the 'division' that we hear so much occurs. If you happen to share Cathy Newman's views then you want her not only to show them but to crush or expose any and all enemies. But if yesterday's interview is anything to go by, all she has is attitudes. And lazy attitudes at that. In the face of facts she is reduced to talking about people she knows.
That isn't news. It isn't even interviewing. It is grandstanding. This nation's broadcasters should feel ashamed.
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