1001: Sexual Terrorism

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

3h 4m
January 21st, 2018
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Executive Producers: Sir Werner Flipsen, James C Cantalini

Associate Executive Producers: Anonymous, Baron Craig Cuttner, Dame Dane, Alex Volinsky, Timnonymous

Cover Artist: Mike Riley


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Ten-code - Wikipedia
Thu, 18 Jan 2018 22:40
Ten-codes, officially known as ten signals, are brevity codes used to represent common phrases in voice communication, particularly by law enforcement and in Citizens Band (CB) radio transmissions.
The codes, developed in 1937 and expanded in 1974 by the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials-International (APCO), allow brevity and standardization of message traffic. They have historically been widely used by law enforcement officers in North America, but, due to the lack of standardization, in 2006 the U.S. federal government recommended they be discontinued in favor of everyday language.[1]
APCO first proposed Morse code brevity codes in the June 1935 issue of The APCO Bulletin, which were adapted from the procedure symbols of the U.S. Navy.[2]
The development of the APCO Ten Signals began in 1937 to reduce use of speech on the radio at a time when police radio channels were limited. Credit for inventing the codes goes to Charles "Charlie" Hopper, communications director for the Illinois State Police, District 10 in Pesotum, Illinois. Hopper had been involved in radio for years and realized there was a need to abbreviate transmissions on State Police bands.[3] Experienced radio operators knew the first syllable of a transmission was frequently not understood because of quirks in early electronics technology. Radios in the 1930s were based on vacuum tubes powered by a small motor-generator called a dynamotor. The dynamotor took from 1/10 to 1/4 of a second to "spin up" to full power. Police officers were trained to push the microphone button, then pause briefly before speaking; however, sometimes they would forget to wait. Preceding each code with "ten-" gave the radio transmitter time to reach full power. An APCO Bulletin of January 1940 lists codes assigned as part of standardization;[4]
The Ten Signals were included in APCO Project Two (1967), "Public Safety Standard Operating Procedures Manual", published as study cards in APCO Project 4 (1973), "Ten Signal Cards", and then revised in APCO Project 14 (1974).[5][6][7][8]
Ten-codes, especially "10-4" (meaning "understood") first reached public recognition in the mid- to late-1950s through the popular television series Highway Patrol, with Broderick Crawford. Crawford would reach into his patrol car to use the microphone to answer a call and precede his response with "10-4".
Ten-codes were adapted for use by CB radio enthusiasts. C. W. McCall's hit song "Convoy" (1975), depicting conversation among CB-communicating truckers, put phrases like 10-4 and what's your twenty? (10-20 for "where are you?") into common use in American English.
The movie Convoy (1978), loosely based on McCall's song, further entrenched ten-codes in casual conversation.
The ten-codes used by the New York Police Department[9] have returned to public attention thanks to the popularity of the television series Blue Bloods. However, it must be noted that the ten-codes used by the NYPD are not the same as those used in the APCO system (see below). For example, in the NYPD system, Code 10-13 means "Officer needs help," whereas in the APCO system "Officer needs help" is Code 10-33.
The New Zealand Reality Television show Police Ten 7 takes its name from the New Zealand Police ten-code 10-7, which means "Unit has arrived at job".
In the last episode of the anime "Kekkai Sensen & Beyond", Leonardo uses the code 10-33 in a message to signal that he is in a situation beyond his control.
While ten-codes were intended to be a terse, concise, and standardized system, the proliferation of different meanings can render them useless in situations when officers from different agencies and jurisdictions need to communicate.
In the fall of 2005, responding to inter-organizational communication problems during the rescue operations after Hurricane Katrina, the United States Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) discouraged the use of ten-codes and other codes due to their wide variation in meaning.[10][11] The Department of Homeland Security's SAFECOM program, established in response to communication problems experienced during the September 11 attacks also advises local agencies on how and why to transition to plain language,[12] and their use is expressly forbidden in the nationally standardized Incident Command System, as is the use of other codes.[13]
APCO International's current position states that plain speech communications over public safety radio systems is preferred over the traditional 10-Codes and dispatch signals,[14] As of 2011[update], ten-codes remain in common use in many areas, but are increasingly being phased out in favor of plain language,[1] with nineteen states planning to change to plain English as of the end of 2009[update].[15]
Many additional codes have been added by individual local or regional first-response agencies; these are not standard across jurisdictions and may be problematic if multiple organizations must respond to the same incident.
SignalAPCO Meaning1937 APCO1939 First Published Set (17 signals)[17]1940 (APCO Standards Committee)[18]1955 (National Operating Procedure Committee)[19]APCO Project 2 (1967)[20]APCO Project 4 (1973)APCO Project 14 (1974)[21][22]Clear Speech(c. 1971)
(plain language to replace Ten Codes)[23]
Phrase Word Brevity Code (c. 1979)[24]Procedure and Officer DetailsGo AheadUnder ControlIn PursuitTraffic Stop10-0'--'--'--'--Use caution10-1Receiving poorly.Receiving poorlyUnable to copy - change locationSignal WeakUnable to copy - change locationUnreadable10-2Receiving well.Receiving wellSignals goodSignal Good'--10-3Stop transmitting.Disregard last informationStop transmittingStop TransmittingStop transmitting10-4Acknowledgement.Message receivedAcknowledgementAffirmative (Ok)RogerRoger/Affirmative10-5Relay.RelayRelayRelay (To)Relay10-6Busy.Busy, stand byBusy -Stand by unless urgentBusyBusy10-7Out of service.Out of serviceOut of service (Give location and/or telephone number)Out of ServiceOut at ...Out of Service10-7 A'--Not Available10-7 B'--Off Radio10-8In service.In serviceIn serviceIn ServiceClearIn Service10-9Repeat, conditions bad.RepeatRepeatSay AgainSay againSay Again10-10Out of service--subject to call.On minor detail, subject to callFight in progressNegative'--10-11Dispatching too rapidly.Stay in serviceDog Case... On Duty'--On Radio10-12Officials or visitors present.Visitors or officials presentStand by (stop)Stand By (Stop)Stand byStand By10-13Advise weather and road conditions.Weather and road conditionsWeather and road reportExisting ConditionsWeather report/road report10-14Convoy or escort.Convoy or escortReport of prowlerMessage/Information'--Prepare to Copy10-15We have prisoner in custody.We have prisoner in custodyCivil disturbanceMessage DeliveredDisturbance10-16Pick up prisoner at ...Pick up prisoner atDomestic troubleReply to Message'--10-17Pick up papers at ...Pick up papers atMeet complainantEnroute'--Responding10-17 A'--'--'--'--Theft10-17 B'--'--'--'--Vandalism10-17 C'--'--'--'--Shoplifting10-18Complete present assignment as quickly as possible.Anything for us?Complete assignment quicklyUrgentUrgentPriority10-19Return to your station.Nothing for youReturn to ...(In) ContactReturn to ...10-20What is your location?LocationLocationLocationLocation10-21Call this station by telephone.Call ... by phoneCall ... by telephoneCall (...) by PhoneCall ...Telephone10-22Take no further action last information.Report in person to ...DisregardDisregardDisregardDisregard10-23Stand by until no interference cause to Iowa (Mo.) etc.Arrived at sceneArrived at sceneArrived at SceneOn scene10-24Trouble at station--unwelcome visitors--all units vicinity report at once.Finished with last assignmentAssignment completedAssignment Completed'--Available10-25Do you have contact with...?Operator or officer on duty?Report in person to (meet) ...Report to (Meet) ...Meet ... or contact ...10-26Can you obtain automobile registration information?Holding subject, rush replyDetaining subject, expediteEstimated Arrival TimeDetaining subject, expedite10-27Any answer our number...?Request driver's license informationDrivers license informationLicense/Permit InformationDrivers license information on ...10-28Check full registration information.Request full registration informationVehicle registration informationOwnership InformationRegistration information on ...10-29Check for wanted.Check record for wantedCheck records for wanted.Records CheckCheck for wanted on ...Emergency or Unusual10-30Does not conform to rules and regulations.Does not conform to rules and regulationsIllegal use of radioDanger/Caution'--Use Caution10-31Is lie detector available?Emergency basis, all squads, 10-11Crime in progressPick Up'--10-31 A'--'--'--'--Burglary10-31 B'--'--'--'--Robery10-31 C'--'--'--'--Homicide10-31 D'--'--'--'--Kidnapping10-31 E'--'--'--'--Shooting10-32Is drunkometer available?Chase, all squads stand byMan with gun... Units Needed (Specify)'--10-33Emergency traffic at this station--clear?Emergency traffic this stationEMERGENCYHelp Me Quick'--Help Officer10-34Clear for local dispatch?Trouble at station, assistance neededRiotTime'--10-35Confidential information.Major crime, blocadeMajor crime alert'--Reserved'--'--10-36Correct time?'--Correct time'--Reserved'--'--10-37Operator on duty?No rushInvestigate suspicious vehicle'--Reserved'--'--10-38Station report--satisfactory.Hurry, but do not use red light or sirenStopping suspicious vehicle (Give station complete description before stopping).'--Reserved'--Traffic stop on ...10-39Your Nr...delivered to addressee.Use red light and sirenUrgent-Use light and siren'--Reserved'--'--General UsePrivate Use10-40Advise if Officer...available for radio call.NotificationSilent run - No light or siren'--10-41Tune to ... kcs. for test with mobile unit or emergency service.Car change at ...Beginning tour of duty'--10-42'--Crew change at ...Ending tour of dutyOff duty10-43'--Take school crossingInformation'--10-44'--'--Request permission to leave patrol ... for ...Request for ...10-45'--'--Animal carcass in ... lane at ...'--10-46'--'--Assist motoristAssist motorist10-47'--'--Emergency road repairs needed'--10-48'--'--Traffic standard needs repairs'--10-49'--Hourly report markTraffic light outEast bound green light out (etc.)Accident and Vehicle Handling10-50'--Auto accident, property damage onlyAccident -- F, PI, PDTraffic (F, PD)Trafic
Hit and runInjuryNo injury reportedUnknownPrivate property, location10-51'--Auto accident, wrecker sentWrecker needed'--10-52'--Auto accident, personal injuries, ambulance sentAmbulance needed'--10-53'--Auto accident, fatalRoad blocked'--10-54'--'--Livestock on highway'--10-55'--Drunken driverIntoxicated driver'--10-56'--'--Intoxicated pedestrianDrunk pedestrian10-57'--'--Hit and run -- F, PI, PD'--10-58'--Is wrecker on the way?Direct traffic'--10-59'--Is ambulance on the way?Convoy or escort'--Net Message Handling10-60What is next item (message) number?What is your next message number?Squad in vicinity'--10-61Stand by for CW traffic on ... kcs.CW trafficPersonnel in area.'--10-62Unable to copy phone--use CW.Any answer our Nr. ...Reply to message'--10-63Net directed.TimePrepare to make written copyPrepare to copy10-64Net free.'--Message for local delivery'--10-65Clear for item (message) assignment?Clear for message assignmentNet message assignment'--10-66Clear for cancellation?Clear for cancellationMessage cancellation'--10-67Stations...carry this item (message).Clear for net messageClear to read net message'--10-68Repeat dispatch.'--Dispatch information'--10-69Have you dispatched...?'--Message received'--Fire10-70Net message (State net traffic).Fire, phone alarmFire alarmFire10-71Proceed with traffic in sequence (busy here).Box alarmAdvise nature of fire (size, type, and contents of building)'--10-72'--Second alarmReport progress on fire'--10-73'--Third alarmSmoke report'--10-74'--Fourth alarmNegativeNegative10-75'--Fifth alarmIn contact with'--10-76'--Fire equipment neededEn RouteEn route ...10-77'--Fire, grassETA (Estimated Time of Arrival)ETA (Estimated time of arrival)10-78'--Set up command postNeed assistanceRequest Assistance10-79'--Report progress on fireNotify coronerNotify coroner (to be done by phone whenever possible)The 80 series is reserved for assignment by nets for local use.Personal Favors'--10-80... tower lights at this station burned out.'--'--Chase10-81Officer Nr. ... will be at your station ...'--'--'--10-82Reserve room with bath at hotel for officer Nr. ...Reserve hotel roomReserve lodging'--10-83Have officer Nr. ... call this station by telephone.'--'--'--10-84Advise telephone Nr. ... your city that officer Nr. ... will not return this date.'--If meeting ... advise ETA'--10-85Officer ... left this station for ... (Jefferson City) (Des Moines) at ...'--Will be late'--10-86Officer ... left this station for ... at ...'--'--'--10-87Officer Nr. ... will be in ... if officer Nr. ... will be in.'--Pick up checks for distribution'--10-88What phone number shall we call to make station to station call to officer Nr. ...?Advise phone number for station to station callAdvise present telephone number of ...'--10-89Request radio service man be sent to this station...Radio transmission'--Bomb threatTechnical10-90Radio service man will be at your station ....Transmit on alternate frequencyBank alarmAlarm (type of alarm)10-91Prepare for inspection (date) ... (time) ...'--Unnecessary use of radioPick up prisoner10-92Your quality poor--transmitter apparently out of adjustment.'--'--Parking complaint10-93Frequencies to be checked this date.Frequency checkBlockade'--10-94Test--no modulation--for frequency check.Give me a testDrag racing'--10-95Test intermittently with normal modulation for ...'--'--Prisoner in custody10-96Test continuously with tone modulation for ...'--Mental subject'--10-97'--'--'--Check traffic signal10-98'--'--Prison or jail breakPrison/jail break10-99'--'--Records indicate wanted or stolenWanted/stolenClear Speech (c. 1971) (plain language to replace Ten Codes)[23]Procedure Word/CodeMeaningROGERTo be used as acknowledgement.AFFIRMATIVETo be used when "yes" is needed.HELPTo be used when in danger and urgent assistance is needed.CODE ONEInforms all units to STANDBY - STOP TRANSMITTING. Do not transmit, except for emergency messages, while Code 1 is in effect. Dispatch shall announce, "Clear Code 1," when the condition is secured.CODE TWOIndicates an "urgent" call short of an "emergency" situation. A Code 2 call has priority over all other police activities except "emergencies".Proceed directly to Code 2 calls as quickly as is consistent with safety. Agents may, in exceptional cases, use their emergency equipment (both visual and audible to comply with state law) to transverse an otherwise clear intersection against a red traffic control device. Once clear of the intersection - turn off the emergency equipment.
CODE THREEIndicates an EMERGENCY call. Red lights and siren are authorized. Proceed as quickly as possible with due regard for safety, and in compliance with the laws governing emergency vehicles.CODE FOURUsed to indicate that sufficient units have responded to a location, or that assistance is not needed, or is no longer needed.CODE FIVEUsed when Wanted/Records checks are requested by an agent to alert the agent of a wanted felon, a person known to be dangerous or a person known to be mentally unstable.A backup unit shall be dispatched Code 2 on all Code 5's.
Personnel will NOT proceed with Code 5 details until the receiving unit requests same. The unit receiving a Code 5 will request the details when he is in a safe position to do so, which might not be until his backup arrives.
CODE SIXWhen an agent is dispatched to a traffic accident, and the dispatcher states, "Code 6," the agent will advise the drivers involved to proceed to the situation to file their reports. This will only be done if there are no injuries, no unusual circumstance and the vehicles are safely operable. Driver Exchange Forms will be completed at the scene to include the C. R. number.CODE SEVENIndicates "out of service - personal."CODE EIGHTAssist a fire department.
The Purge
'Safe Purge Everyone': Tweeters Troll Donald Trump Over Government Shutdown | HuffPost
Sat, 20 Jan 2018 12:16
The GOP's failure to keep the federal government running came on the one year anniversary of Donald Trump's inauguration, so many tweeters seized the chance to troll the president.
Some referenced the dystopian horror movie ''The Purge,'' while others mocked Trump's inability to prevent the shutdown from happening.
A sampling of the responses are below:
House GOPers Say A Secret Memo Could End The Trump-Russia Probe. Their Staff Wrote It. | HuffPost
Sat, 20 Jan 2018 14:34
WASHINGTON '• House Republicans spent the end of the workweek telling everyone who would listen that the American people must be allowed to see a top-secret four-page document that could bring an end to special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference with the 2016 elections.
One thing about that document: Republican staffers wrote it.
The memo Republican staffers compiled reveals information that is ''absolutely shocking,'' ''sickening,'' ''jaw-dropping'' and ''worse than Watergate,'' GOP members of Congress said Thursday and Friday. The document could send government officials to jail, one congressman said. ''Is this happening in America or is this the KGB?'' asked another.
Even the most plugged-in news consumer could be forgiven for thinking the classified memo is an executive branch document that exposes wrongdoing within the Justice Department and the FBI. It isn't.
The document, which alleges abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act during the FBI's quiet counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign in the final months of the 2016 election, was actually compiled by Republican staffers on the House Intelligence Committee. That committee voted along partisan lines this week to allow any member of Congress to take a peek at the document themselves. Republican members soon flocked to a secure room to read the memo written by their allies '-- and then ran to tell the press about it.
Sara Carter, a Fox News contributor, wrote in a blog post on her personal website that the ''bombshell'' document ''could lead to the removal of senior officials in the FBI and Department of Justice'' and potentially spell the end of the Mueller probe. Carter's post was widely shared on Twitter, including by Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), former Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.), Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch and former White House official Sebastian Gorka. Ahead of Carter's appearance on Fox News' ''Hannity'' on Thursday night, Sean Hannity used the story to send a ''message'' to Mueller.
''Your witch hunt is now over,'' Hannity said, addressing the Republican special counsel who was unanimously confirmed as FBI director in 2001 by the U.S. Senate, which a decade later unanimously voted to extend his term past the 10-year limit. ''Time to close the doors.''
Overnight, #ReleaseTheMemo '• a hashtag reportedly given an additional boost by Russian-connected bots '• started trending on Twitter. In less than 24 hours, Donald Trump Jr. '• a likely target of the Mueller probe who communicated with Wikileaks before the election and held a meeting at Trump Tower with a Russian lawyer promising dirt on Hillary Clinton '• sent off more than 30 tweets and retweets about the memo to his nearly 2.5 million followers.
The broader theory of the case Republicans are pushing is that the FBI inappropriately used information gleaned from a controversial ''dossier'' on Trump to obtain a FISA warrant to monitor a Trump campaign affiliate. They hope that's the poison pill that could somehow justify shutting down Mueller's entire investigation (which of course didn't begin until after Trump was elected, took office, and fired former FBI director James Comey).
Democrats say the Republican-drafted classified memo is full of omissions and distortions intended to fuel efforts to run cover for President Trump.
''It's a distorted view of what the FBI has been doing,'' one Hill source told HuffPost. ''The majority of the committee is only sharing it so that other members of the caucus can also disparage and discredit the FBI.''
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, said the document was a ''profoundly misleading set of talking points drafted by Republican staff attacking the FBI'' and the bureau's handling of the investigation.
''Rife with factual inaccuracies and referencing highly classified materials that most of Republican Intelligence Committee members were forced to acknowledge they had never read, this is meant only to give Republican House members a distorted view of the FBI,'' Schiff said. ''This may help carry White House water, but it is a deep disservice to our law enforcement professionals.''
Is there actually a new bombshell in the report? It's possible. But the motives and track records of the Republican lawmakers behind the media blitz surrounding the memo suggest there may be less to it than they claim.
Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), who chairs the committee that cooked up the document, has been the public face of the GOP push to undermine the Mueller probe. Last year, Nunes was involved in an embarrassing episode in which he briefed President Trump on information he received from a source he wouldn't name. It later turned out he'd met that person on White House grounds.
Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) '• who previously called on Attorney General Jeff Sessions to resign (which would allow Trump to replace him with an official who could shut down the Mueller probe) '• said the memo was ''absolutely shocking.'' But Meadows thinks the entire Russia probe is manufactured hysteria.
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), who said the memo ''is so alarming the American people have to see'' it, has previously called for a new special counsel to investigate Mueller's special counsel team.
Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.), who said he was shaking his head when he read the memo and that the ''American people deserve the truth,'' benefited politically from documents the Russians hacked, and pushed a measure that would kill the Mueller probe.
Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) '• who has called for reining in the Mueller probe by gutting its financing, and recently went pheasant hunting with Donald Trump Jr. '• said he was sickened by the memo and that it was ''worse than Watergate.'' He thinks the FBI was part of the #NeverTrump movement and wanted Clinton elected.
If the memo does eventually go public, it won't end well for Republicans, Susan Hennessey, the executive editor of the legal commentary site Lawfare, argued Friday. ''After causing completely unnecessary chaos today, this memo will be released in some redacted [form] in a few weeks and prove to be an utter embarrassment to Nunes personally, the [House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence] majority, and frankly to US House of Representatives,'' Hennessey predicted.
Some conservatives have urged caution, worrying that Republicans are overhyping a secret document. Republicans ''should not oversell'' the report, conservative commentator Hugh Hewitt wrote. Over at the conservative blog Hot Air, Ed Morrissey said it felt like a ''set-up for a let-down.'' He argued the memo should be released, but warned conservatives to ''not go all-in on it until we have a chance to see it for ourselves. In the meantime, remember that most things that seem too good to be true usually are.''
Rep. Matt Gaetz, a 35-year-old Republican freshman from Florida who recently flew on Air Force One with Trump and is friends with Roger Stone, is one of the believers. Gaetz has called for Mueller to be fired and said on ''Hannity'' on Thursday that officials might wind up in jail over what he saw in the memo.
HuffPost ran into Gaetz on Capitol Hill on Thursday evening, just a few hours after the congressman appeared on the Fox Business channel above the chyron ''I JUST READ A 4-PAGE MEMO THAT THREATENS DEMOCRACY TO ITS CORE.''
''I believe that the contents of that memo need to be made available to the public immediately, and that that is a critical concern in kind of all of the Mueller, Russia, Trump discourse,'' Gaetz told HuffPost of the memo, which he said ''kind of aggregates'' intelligence data.
In the interview with HuffPost, Gaetz ran into a common problem for Republicans who suggest the FBI was too rough on Trump but went too easy on Clinton during the 2016 campaign: the indisputable fact that the FBI's actions then harmed Clinton. Comey's conduct during the Clinton investigation was even the underlying justification the Trump administration provided last spring to explain Trump firing Comey. If people in the FBI and the so-called ''deep state'' were trying to get Clinton elected president, then frankly, they did a terrible job of it.
Surely Gaetz could concede the FBI's actions ahead of the 2016 election were much more damaging to the Clinton campaign than they were to Trump? ''I wouldn't agree with that characterization,'' he replied.
Under Gaetz's theory, the FBI was hellbent on leaking information to the press to stop Trump from being elected. Gaetz told HuffPost that texts between FBI employees Peter Strzok and Lisa Page showed they were ''talking about a plan to strategically leak information to embarrass Trump.'' As HuffPost recently explained, a deeply flawed story by John Solomon of The Hill has left a lot of people with the inaccurate impression that the text messages show the FBI officials were leaking information to hurt Trump. That's what Gaetz believes.
''That was explicit in their communications to each other,'' Gaetz claimed.
''How so?'' HuffPost asked. Here's how the conversation went from there:
Gaetz: Well, when they talked about the, um, I think it was the Wall Street Journal article, and they were talking about, oh, was it behind a paywall and did it contain the information that '•
HuffPost: What Wall Street Journal story was that, that was negative against Trump?
Gaetz: Uh, again it's referenced in their communications back and forth, this was I think in October.
HuffPost: Mhmm. But do you know what story it was?
Gaetz: Yeah, it was all about the contents of the dossier.
HuffPost: The Wall Street Journal story on the 24th was about the contents of the dossier? The dossier wasn't released until '•
Gaetz: No, it might not have been the one of the 24th. It was the communication that was referenced in the Page-Strzok text messages.
HuffPost: No, I know the one you're talking about, you said the Wall Street Journal story. I just think the Wall Street Journal story that they were talking about, if you look at it in context, they were talking about a story that was actually negative about the FBI and to Hillary Clinton. It was the story about the then-deputy attorney general [Ed. note: McCabe is the FBI's deputy director] McCabe who was basically being accused of '• I think you'll probably recall this [from] the time ...
Gaetz: Mhmm.
HuffPost: ... was basically being accused, because his wife had received money, so that was what the story was about.
Gaetz: No, yeah, but I think there was other stuff that was included within that '•
HuffPost: Like what?
Gaetz: Well I don't have it in front of me.
Gaetz's theory '• that the FBI provided information for an Oct. 24, 2016, Wall Street Journal story on the Trump dossier '• doesn't make a whole lot of sense, chiefly because no such story exists. The first story to reference the ''dossier'' was published by Mother Jones on Oct. 31, 2016, a full week after Strzok-Page exchanged texts about a Wall Street Journal article. The Mother Jones story only came out after Comey sent a letter about the Clinton investigation on Oct. 28 that set off a media frenzy Clinton has partially blamed for her loss.
But the secret GOP memo gave Gaetz a convenient pivot point: the suggestion that there's something, a bombshell, that he can't reveal publicly. And it totally supports the theory he's been pushing this whole time.
''I can say that if this memo become available to the public, many of the concerns that have been raised by members of the Judiciary Committee will be highlighted,'' Gaetz said.
Later on Friday , all nine Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee issued a statement calling the memo a ''misleading set of talking points attacking the FBI.'' Since the documents that the GOP-prepared memo cites are highly classified, the Democrats said, they will not be made public and it will become ''impossible for the few Members who have seen the documents to explain the flaws and misstatements contained within the talking points'' without disclosing sources and methods.
''This is by design,'' they said. ''Not surprisingly, the GOP campaign to attack the FBI now has been joined by the same forces that made common cause during the Trump campaign '-- Wikileaks, Julian Assange and a multitude of online Russian bots are now involved in promoting this effort. It should be seen for what it so plainly is: yet another desperate and flailing attempt to undermine Special Counsel Mueller and the FBI, regardless of the profound damage it does to our democratic institutions and national security agencies.''
Ryan Reilly is HuffPost's senior justice reporter, covering criminal justice, federal law enforcement and legal affairs. Have a tip? Reach him at ryan.reilly@huffpost.com or on Signal at 202-527-9261.
This Survey Lets You Help Design An Activist Agenda For 2018
Sun, 21 Jan 2018 05:38
Exactly one year ago, cities and organizers were readying themselves for the Women's March, the largest day of protest in history that took place on January 21, 2017, one day after the inauguration of Donald Trump. A full calendar rotation later, anniversary marches will flood the streets. But beyond public demonstrations, some activists are looking to translate the energy of the marches into policy and action.
March On, an organization that spun off the original Women's March group last year, is focusing its energy this year on galvanizing people to vote during the elections this year (during the midterms, they'll be organizing community marches to polling places). But the voting effort, says March On's executive director Vanessa Wruble, has to come from a place of consensus about what we want to see our elected officials advocating for.
[Illustration: roberuto/iStock]To that end, on January 20, March On is launching a two-week long effort to crowdsource its policy agenda. The name, Operation Marching Orders, derives from the idea that the agreed-upon action areas will become the ''marching orders'' the organization delivers to elected officials. The initiative will take the form of an online poll, in which participants, which March On refers to as the ''marchroots,'' can express an opinion about the organization's future policy platform. ''The idea is that this is a people's movement,'' Wruble says, ''and we need to find out from the people how they want to articulate who we are as a platform, and what we're fighting for.''
[Illustration: roberuto/iStock]When planning for the Women's March (with which Wruble was involved) got underway in late 2016, ''everything happened so fast that we were able to put together some unity principles, but we never got to fully articulate what that meant for what we wanted from our elected officials.'' With March On's work focused this year on policy and the midterm elections, crowdsourcing its agenda ''is an opportunity for us to reach out to our base and build this movement from the ground up,'' Wruble says.
The poll will take the form of an interactive experience hosted on the platform Polis, in which participants will be able to comment on and see how others have responded to various policy proposals and action areas. Under one main statement or question''for example, ''do you think we should advocate for equal pay for women?''''participants will be able to voice agreement or disagreement with a variety of more detailed statements about the topic at hand. Participants will also be able to add their own statements, but these submissions, Wruble says, will be strictly moderated to screen for duplicates and trolling.
[Illustration: roberuto/iStock]While anyone at all can access the poll and vote on March On's platform from the comfort of their own computer, what the organization is really hoping for, Wruble says, is that people use the anniversary of the Women's March to organize Operation Marching Orders parties, in which people gather to discuss the issues in person while also registering their opinions on the online poll. ''It's the ideal setup''you march in an anniversary march, then get together and discuss how we move forward,'' Wruble says.
One the poll closes and March On finalizes its agenda, the organization will use the input from participants to craft a statement about what the organization wants for its future, and what it and the marchroots expect from elected officials. From there, March On will begin endorsing candidates, whom they will support through its marchroots-funded Super PAC, the Fight Back PAC.
About the authorEillie Anzilotti is an assistant editor for Fast Company's Ideas section, covering sustainability, social good, and alternative economies. Previously, she wrote for CityLab.
March On
Sat, 20 Jan 2018 23:41
WHAT IS MARCH ON?MARCH ON is galvanizing the millions who marched into a political movement that will mobilize around an election-focused agenda. Women-led, but open to all, MARCH ON will employ a sophisticated political strategy to coordinate concrete actions at the federal, state, and local level through the joint efforts of millions of marchers. We will support our network of local organizers to empower and amplify their grassroots activism, assisting our army of marchers to register voters, get out the vote, fight voter suppression, volunteer for campaign and issue-related activities, and amass a war chest to support progressive candidates and causes. Our election work begins today with March On The Polls 2018.
MARCH ON is a 501(c)(4) and Super PAC coalition with an affiliated 501(c)(3) project.
WHAT IS MARCH ON THE POLLS 2018?MARCH ON calls its comprehensive election efforts for next year MARCH ON The Polls 2018, with MARCH ON The Polls 2020 to follow. We will also be active during off-year elections at the state and local levels. For every political campaign or cause MARCH ON supports, it can deploy its two greatest assets: its marchroots people-power and its collective grassroots financial muscle. What does this look like?
We can deploy our marchroots people-power to conduct marches; participate in protests and town halls; circulate petitions to qualify candidates or issues for the ballot; canvas door-to-door; participate in phone banks to recruit voters to our cause; register and mobilize voters; mobilize support/opposition around legislation at the local/state/federal level via calls to action. Where possible, we will partner with like-minded organizations.
We can deploy our marchroots-funded war chest to: to conduct sophisticated television, digital and mail campaigns to support targeted candidates''and defeat those who obstruct progress and work against our values.
WHAT IS MARCH ON THE POLLS?Each Election Day, MARCH ON's ''MARCH ON The Polls'' program will serve as the exclamation point to our year of political activities. On Election Day, our marchroots army will flood the streets and literally march voters to voting booths, precinct by precinct. This effort will be closely coordinated with MARCH ON affiliates and partner organizations to ensure maximum effectiveness and impact. We will work to overcome obstacles as mundane as transportation and as insidious as voter suppression.
HOW DOES MARCH ON DIFFER FROM GROUPS LIKE WOMEN'S MARCH AND INDIVISIBLE?There is a lot of work to be done to get our country on a better path forward and many of these groups have been tremendously successful with their missions. Indivisible gets enormous credit for stopping the ''repeal and replace'' efforts to undo the Affordable Care Act. Sister District, Swing Left and Flippable have developed innovative models for grassroots involvement in congressional and legislative elections. Women's March continues its work focusing on social justice and the issues of intersectionality and marginalized groups of women''and to preserve the legacy of that historic Women's March day. March On applauds all of these organizations and looks forward to partnering with them as we move forward.
Several things make MARCH ON different: we have an army 2M+ strong that is already networked and organized; we have an overarching strategy focusing on local, state and federal elections that will be advanced by tangible actions taken by our ''marchroots'' army to implement progressive political change''and an innovative use of civic technology to help us set our agenda and make major decisions as an organization. And we have a Super PAC to create a marchroots-funded war chest to fight for progressive change at the ballot box.
WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY GRASSROOTS WAR CHEST AND HOW WILL IT BE USED?We have seen many instances of the grassroots coming together to fund candidates and causes they believe in. From Bernie Sanders' haul of $130M in those famous $27 donations to the ACLU raising $24M the weekend after Trump's immigration ban, we have seen time and again that small money can equal big power. We know that we have our work cut out for us in taking back our government at all levels, especially considering the state of gerrymandered districts. Winning is going to take a large war chest and a sophisticated strategy to have maximum electoral impact. With an initial membership of roughly 2 million people, we should be able to hit the ground running in raising money not only to make the organization self-sustaining but to also fund a broad range of independent expenditures to support candidates at all levels.
This work will be conducted in March On's Fight Back PAC, our Super PAC.
WHAT IS OPERATION MARCHING ORDERS?MARCH ON believes that the power of our efforts rests with our marchroots activists. What we are building belongs to them. So we will launch a crowdsourcing project in early November to help us develop our political/policy platform. This project will be done using pol.is, a cutting edge civic technology platform. We call it Operation Marching Orders because this is the vehicle for the people to give us our ''marching orders'' of where they want us to take the organization. And by extension, these should also be interpreted as ''marching orders'' for our elected officials. We will hold them accountable to the principles we identify via this project. As MARCH ON proceeds through MARCH ON The Polls and beyond, we anticipate continuing to use civic technology platforms to continue to engage our marchroots in major decisions regarding our political program.
One Year After Women's March, More Activism but Less Unity - The New York Times
Sat, 20 Jan 2018 23:39
In many ways, that goal has been realized. In the wake of the march on Washington '-- and simultaneous marches in more than 600 towns and cities across the country '-- thousands of women threw themselves into activism for the first time in their lives, especially in red states where the events provided a rare chance to build a network of like-minded people.
In Texas, emails collected by the organizers of the Women's March in Austin are being repurposed to promote candidates who support abortion rights. In Arkansas, Gwen Combs, the elementary schoolteacher who organized the Little Rock march, is now running for Congress. Thousands of women in October attended a convention in Detroit training them on everything from lobbying elected officials to confronting white supremacy.
But as the movement evolves, differing priorities and tactics have emerged among the women, nearly all of them unpaid and spread across the country. Now, on the eve of the anniversary, a rift is emerging between two groups: Women's March Inc., which organized the march on Washington and spent much of the year creating more social justice protests, and another organization of activists who planned sister marches last year and believe that winning elections, particularly in red states, should be the primary goal. The split has raised questions about who can claim the mantle of the Women's March '-- and the funding and press attention that goes with it.
Photo Amber Selman-Lynn and her fellow activists made signs for their upcoming anniversary march. ''On the local level we're still here doing the work,'' said Ms. Selman-Lynn, who helped organize a bus to attend the Women's March in D.C. Credit Melissa Golden for The New York Times The newer group, named March On, formed after some female activists in red states felt the protests being encouraged by Women's March Inc., which is based in New York, were not resonating in their communities.
''We can march and take to the streets and yell about all the stuff we want to change, but unless we're getting people elected to office who are going to make those changes, we're not really doing anything,'' said Lindsey Kanaly, who organized the women's march in Oklahoma City and is now a March On board member.
The group is now focused on helping liberal women in Republican-led districts organize ahead of the pivotal midterm elections this year.
Mindful of the optics of dividing the movement, March On founders describe the organization as a complement, not a competitor, to Women's March Inc. Both groups have refrained from criticizing the other in public. But behind the scenes, there has been some frustration.
Winnie Wong, a Women's March Inc. volunteer and adviser, wrote recently in a public Facebook post that March On ''seems like an ill-conceived attempt at organized co-option.''
''Somebody got to tell the truth!'' replied Tamika Mallory, a co-president of Women's March Inc.
Bob Bland, also a co-president, said the new group was ''welcome in the resistance.'' But she noted that its creation had led to ''a lot of confusion'' among activists on the ground who did not realize that it was a separate entity.
''That's why it is so important for new groups coming into this movement, like March On, to make sure they have distinct branding and messaging that is specific to them and their group that doesn't appear as if it is directly Women's March related,'' Ms. Bland said.
Ms. Selman-Lynn in Mobile had been unaware of the difference between the two groups and organized her event using online tools from March On. To satisfy Women's March Inc., she reprinted her banner to remove March On's slogan, ''March On the Polls.''
Photo The organizers of the march in Washington chose leaders from communities that have historically been ignored by mainstream feminist groups. From left, the national co-chairwomen are Tamika Mallory, Linda Sarsour, Bob Bland and Carmen Perez. Credit Todd Heisler/The New York Times It was a minor inconvenience, she said. But she hopes the two groups will work together in the future.
''The Women's March is really iconic and of course we want to be a part of that,'' she said. ''But March On has a great tool kit. Most of us have never done this before. We need all the guidance we can get.''
The dispute over branding gives a glimpse of how much has changed since ad hoc committees of volunteers put together the marches in the weeks after President Trump's election.
The marches grew out of a Facebook post by a woman in Hawaii who floated the idea, attracting widespread interest. A core group of organizers in New York City planned the march on Washington, while hundreds of other women organized similar marches in their own communities.
The organizers of the march in Washington made a point of picking leaders from communities who have historically been ignored by mainstream feminist groups. Of the four national co-chairwomen of the Washington march, three were minorities. But the group's leadership had very little geographic diversity. Nearly all of the board members of Women's March Inc. are from New York City.
After the march, Women's March Inc. used its powerful platform to advance social justice causes, urging marchers to hold conversations about racial injustice, protest the deportation of undocumented immigrants, attend vigils for Syria and participate in a national strike called A Day Without Women. Women's March Inc. activists said they saw social justice protests as crucial to forming effective and diverse coalitions.
Yet many of their protests failed to catch on in red states.
''What they are doing is great, but it's difficult to tap into here,'' said Kelly Smith, a librarian from Berea, Ky., who organized buses from Kentucky to Washington for the march last year. A general strike could not work in Kentucky, a state where many women depend on hourly wages and do not have union protections, she said.
Women ''would have come back to work the next day and had no job,'' she said. ''I can't be on board with that.''
Photo Jaquie Algee, a March On board member, posed for a portrait following a planning meeting for the 2018 ''March on the Polls'' event in Chicago. Credit Alyssa Schukar for The New York Times Kentuckians have other urgent priorities, like saving the pensions of public-school teachers that were cut by a conservative governor, she said.
In Texas, Melissa Fiero, who helped organize a march of 100,000 people in Austin, said her group had not participated in any of the protests urged by Women's March Inc. Instead, it has focused on promoting Democrats for local office.
''The needs are different from Texas to New York,'' said Ms. Fiero, who lives in the rural community of Oatmeal. ''A woman's right to choose is constantly under assault in Texas.''
Both Ms. Kelly and Ms. Fiero have chosen to affiliate with March On.
The goal of March On is to take a ''bottom-up'' approach that can draw women in rural places, said Jaquie Algee, who helped plan the Women's March in Chicago and now serves as the board chairwoman of March On.
''We wanted to make sure that women in red states who need the most support are in positions of leadership,'' said Ms. Algee, who is also an organizer in Kansas, Indiana and Missouri for the Service Employees International Union. Ms. Algee, who is black, said that March On also ''strives continually'' for racial diversity in its leadership. Four out of 13 board members are minorities.
Ms. Bland disputes claims that Women's March Inc. has had difficulty in conservative areas. ''Red states are where there's actually the most activity,'' she said. ''We're here to facilitate the vision of the actual state organizers and the grass-roots groups that are doing the work.''
March On's founders say the group grew out of weekly conference calls held by the organizers of sister marches as they swapped tips on applying for permits, finding sponsors and obtaining event insurance. After the marches, they met for the first time at a retreat and decided to form a new organization that would focus on giving organizers tools to help win elections.
In October, March On began an initiative called March on the Polls, which urges local activists to use the anniversary to help register and educate voters in advance of the midterm elections.
Photo Sara Kurensky, an activist in Chicago, spoke to volunteers as they planned an anniversary event. Credit Alyssa Schukar for The New York Times Two months later, in December, Women's March Inc. announced its own campaign called ''Power to the Polls,'' with an opening rally in Las Vegas on Jan. 21.
Women's March Inc. has struggled to bring the decentralized women's march movement under its umbrella.
Before the march, the Women's March logo, created by NicoleLaRue, a designer who worked pro bono, was shared freely with groups all over the world. Since then, Women's March Inc. has tried to exert greater control over who can use it.
Canadian activists who held marches in solidarity with the Women's March on Washington were outraged when American activists with Women's March Inc. in New York registered the name Women's March Canada and appointed a board without consulting them.
''We believe our network has shown itself to be excellent custodians of the Women's March spirit and ethos, and respectfully request the time and space to prepare a plan to move ahead in unity and solidarity,'' they wrote in an open letter to national co-chairwomen of the Women's March on Washington.
After they did not get a response, they renamed themselves March On Canada and created the Twitter hashtag #DontTradeMarkTheMovement. They are now affiliated with, but not controlled by, March On.
Jo Reger, professor of sociology at Oakland University in Michigan, says the feminist movement, like other important social movements, has always had people coming together and then breaking apart.
''We think it looks so chaotic and full of factions and what it really looks like is every other social movement,'' Dr. Reger said. ''Often those factions end up coming back together later on.''
So far, the split between Women's March and March On has not dampened the enthusiasm for marking the anniversary. Many activists in the field said they were unaware of the division. Those who are say they seek resources from both organizations: Women's March Inc. provides a unifying vision and a national spotlight, while March On gives on-the-ground support, such as legal advice on applying for nonprofit status.
Many women say the marches last year unleashed a new era of activism and a level of energy that shows no sign of flagging. Ms. Selman-Lynn said she simply wanted all the help she could get to win more elections for Democrats in Alabama.
''We have a lot of work to do, convincing people that there's a grass-roots group with a lot of energy who is willing to work,'' said Ms. Selman-Lynn. ''We've got a lot of ground to gain here.''
Correction: January 15, 2018An earlier version of this article included an incorrect figure from March On for the number of minority women on the organization's board. There are four, not three.
Correction: January 16, 2018An earlier version of this article misspelled the surname of a sociology professor at Oakland University. She is Jo Reger, not Roger.
A version of this article appears in print on January 16, 2018, on Page A1 of the New York edition with the headline: March United Women, but Goals Split Them Up.
Continue reading the main story
Our Mission '-- Women's March
Sat, 20 Jan 2018 23:28
The mission of Women's March is to harness the political power of diverse women and their communities to create transformative social change. Women's March is a women-led movement providing intersectional education on a diverse range of issues and creating entry points for new grassroots activists & organizers to engage in their local communities through trainings, outreach programs and events. Women's March is committed to dismantling systems of oppression through nonviolent resistance and building inclusive structures guided by self-determination, dignity and respect.
The Women's March on Washington convened a broad and diverse group of leaders to produce an intersectional platform known as the Unity Principles. Representing a new understanding of the connected nature of our struggles and a vision of our collective liberation, the Unity Principles continue to be a guiding light for our movement.
We believe that Women's Rights are Human Rights and Human Rights are Women's Rights. We must create a society in which women - including Black women, Native women, poor women, immigrant women, disabled women, Muslim women, lesbian queer and trans women - are free and able to care for and nurture their families, however they are formed, in safe and healthy environments free from structural impediments.
Women deserve to live full and healthy lives, free of all forms of violence against our bodies. We believe in accountability and justice in cases of police brutality and ending racial profiling and targeting of communities of color. It is our moral imperative to dismantle the gender and racial inequities within the criminal justice system.
We believe in Reproductive Freedom. We do not accept any federal, state or local rollbacks, cuts or restrictions on our ability to access quality reproductive healthcare services, birth control, HIV/AIDS care and prevention, or medically accurate sexuality education. This means open access to safe, legal, affordable abortion and birth control for all people, regardless of income, location or education.
We firmly declare that LGBTQIA Rights are Human Rights and that it is our obligation to uplift, expand and protect the rights of our gay, lesbian, bi, queer, trans or gender non-conforming brothers, sisters and siblings. We must have the power to control our bodies and be free from gender norms, expectations and stereotypes.
We believe in an economy powered by transparency, accountability, security and equity. All women should be paid equitably, with access to affordable childcare, sick days, healthcare, paid family leave, and healthy work environments. All workers '' including domestic and farm workers, undocumented and migrant workers - must have the right to organize and fight for a living minimum wage.
We believe Civil Rights are our birthright, including voting rights, freedom to worship without fear of intimidation or harassment, freedom of speech, and protections for all citizens regardless of race, gender, age or disability. We believe it is time for an all-inclusive Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
We believe that all women's issues are issues faced by women with disabilities and Deaf women. As mothers, sisters, daughters, and contributing members of this great nation, we seek to break barriers to access, inclusion, independence, and the full enjoyment of citizenship at home and around the world. We strive to be fully included in and contribute to all aspects of American life, economy, and culture.
Rooted in the promise of America's call for huddled masses yearning to breathe free, we believe in immigrant and refugee rights regardless of status or country of origin. We believe migration is a human right and that no human being is illegal.
We believe that every person and every community in our nation has the right to clean water, clean air, and access to and enjoyment of public lands. We believe that our environment and our climate must be protected, and that our land and natural resources cannot be exploited for corporate gain or greed - especially at the risk of public safety and health.
How the 'Today' hosts are subtly trading 'mean girl' jabs on air | Page Six
Sun, 21 Jan 2018 12:54
The atmosphere is so bad around Megyn Kelly at ''Today'' that producers of the 7-to-9'‰a.m. slot, hosted by Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb, are openly sniping at her.
Kelly, who takes over ''Today'' at 9'‰a.m., had ''congratulated'' Kotb, ''Mean Girls''-style, when the latter landed Matt Lauer's job. On Jan. 2, Kelly said to Kotb, live on air, ''We talked recently about how, 10 years ago, your life was very different. You were going through a dark period.''
But Kelly didn't explain that she was referring to when Kotb was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent surgery. She merely added, ''Do you take a moment on a day like this to stop and think, 'Holy moly'?''
An NBC News insider told Page Six, ''Everybody in the control room gasped when Megyn brought up Hoda's 'dark period,' because many viewers likely won't know exactly what she was referring to. That comment was awkward, mean-spirited. It really stung.''
Kelly has her own staff and production team separate from her earlier hosts.
Now, Guthrie and Kotb's team have hit back by poking fun at Kelly's famously awkward run-in with Jane Fonda last September. The Hollywood legend shut down Kelly after being asked about her plastic surgery, later explaining that it was ''the wrong time and place to ask that question.''
Then, this past week, Fonda appeared on Guthrie and Kotb's show with her ''Grace and Frankie'' co-star Lily Tomlin. Kotb asked how long the two had known each other. ''Fifty years '-- a long time,'' Fonda answered, while Tomlin jokingly added, ''I think before your first face-lift!'' Fonda looked at Tomlin and replied, ''Who are you? Megyn Kelly?''
Kotb and Guthrie burst out laughing before changing the subject from their NBC co-worker. But that wasn't the end of it: ''Today'' producers then rapidly tweeted out the clip with the Megyn diss, even before Kelly got on the air.
Also this past week, a Kelly staffer was fired ­after reporting a ''toxic and demeaning'' work culture.
''Today'' reps declined to comment.
Sexual harassment and assault rife at United Nations, staff claim | Global development | The Guardian
Sun, 21 Jan 2018 14:07
Exclusive: Guardian investigation points to culture of impunity as UN employees allege offences including rape
The UN flag at the organisation's HQ in New York. Dozens of current and former employees described a culture of silence. Photograph: Alamy Stock PhotoThe United Nations has allowed sexual harassment and assault to flourish in its offices around the world, with accusers ignored and perpetrators free to act with impunity, the Guardian has been told.
Dozens of current and former UN employees described a culture of silence across the organisation and a flawed grievance system that is stacked against victims.
Of the employees interviewed, 15 said they had experienced or reported sexual harassment or assault within the past five years. The alleged offences ranged from verbal harassment to rape.
Seven of the women had formally reported what happened, a route that campaigners say is rarely pursued by victims for fear of losing their job, or in the belief that no action will be taken.
''If you report it, your career is pretty much over, especially if you're a consultant,'' said one consultant, who alleged she was harassed by her supervisor while working for the World Food Programme. ''It's like an unsaid thing.''
The UN conceded that under-reporting is a concern but said the organisation's secretary general, Ant"nio Guterres, has ''prioritised addressing sexual harassment and upholding the zero tolerance policy''.
Employees working in more than 10 countries spoke to the Guardian on condition of anonymity, partly because they are precluded from talking publicly by UN rules governing staff, partly for fear of retaliation.
Three women who reported sexual harassment or sexual assault, all from different offices, said they had since been forced out of their jobs or threatened with the termination of their contract in the past year. The alleged perpetrators, who include a senior UN official, remain in their posts.
UN and World Food Programme staff sit beside a box of fruits in eastern Ghouta, in the Syrian capital Damascus. Photograph: Bassam Khabieh/ReutersOne of the women, who alleges she was raped by a more senior UN staff member while working in a remote location, said: ''There are no other options to get justice, and I have lost my job too.''
She said that despite medical evidence and witness testimonies, an internal investigation by the UN found insufficient evidence to support her allegation. Along with her job, she says she has lost her visa and has spent months in hospital due to stress and trauma. She fears she will face persecution if she returns to her home country.
In internal documents seen by the Guardian, two of the women cite concerns with the investigations. They claim that the UN's investigation's team, the office of internal oversight services (OIOS), failed to interview key witnesses. They also say that transcripts contain errors and information from inquiries has been leaked.
Alleged perpetrators have been allowed to remain in senior positions '' with the power to influence proceedings '' throughout investigations.
The UN general assembly in New York. Photograph: Lohr-J/Sipa USA/REX/ShutterstockOne woman allegedly assaulted while working for the UN says she was told by her agency's ombudsman that there was nothing more he could do to help her pursue a complaint, because he was being threatened by senior UN staff. Seven other alleged victims who spoke to the Guardian were told by an ombudsman or colleague that they should not try to pursue a complaint.
Four current or recent UN employees, including some who did not pursue formal complaints, said they were not given adequate medical care or counselling. One woman who lost her job said she saw three separate gynaecologists in the 24 hours following an assault, because the first medical team provided by the UN lacked the expertise to deal with such cases. She said she did not receive crisis rape counselling until six weeks later.
Profile "There is no justice" Show Hide UN staff member based in Europe
"I was invited to a 'work meeting' with a senior manager. When I found myself alone with him, he attacked me. He started to force his hands on my body. Luckily I got away, but after the assault, the retaliation started.
"I was no longer invited to key meetings. Work was removed from my portfolio. I made a formal complaint, but it wasn't taken seriously.
The perpetrator was left in his job where he was influencing the investigation and exerting pressure on witnesses. The staff close to him became openly hostile [to me]. My health, and my relationship with friends and colleagues, suffered. I had panic attacks and I isolated myself.
"The assault was obviously terribly distressing but the aftermath and the ongoing systemic bullying is what really destroys you. There is no justice for women victims like myself. I am still working for the UN but worried about my future."
Photograph: www.alamy.com
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''I was in a manic state. I was fluctuating between being very precise and knowing exactly what to do and severe traumatic episodes while crying loudly,'' she said.
A lawyer in such cases, who was initially consulted by the woman, said the victim had ''a significant amount of evidence'' and that, to date, she had been let down by the UN system.
The UN has long been criticised over its failure to properly investigate reports of sexual abuse and exploitation by its peacekeeping forces against local people, not least in Central African Republic and Haiti. Campaigners point to a culture of impunity in UN offices, with accusers routinely silenced.
In cases involving the exploitation of local people or occurring within the UN, complaints are difficult to pursue because of the organisation's international nature. Many senior staff have diplomatic immunity, meaning they can avoid national courts.
The UN flag is raised at the opening of the UN Mission in Support of Justice in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Photograph: Hector Retamal/AFP/Getty ImagesEven if alleged perpetrators do not have immunity, incidents often take place in countries where the judicial system is dysfunctional.
UN employees often rely on the organisation not only for employment, but for working visas and other UN benefits, such as school fees. Many victims and witnesses, who also fear retaliation, decide not to speak out. Some agencies also have a six month statute of limitations on complaints.
In a statement, the UN pledged to ''look at strengthening our capacities to investigate reports and to support victims''. The organisation said Guterres has appointed a victims' rights advocate and established a high-level taskforce on sexual harassment, to review policies and strengthen investigations. The UN will also carry out a survey to measure the extent of the issue, and introduce a helpline for people seeking advice.
Q&A Share your experiences of sexual harassment Show Hide If you have been affected you can share your stories with us, anonymously if you wish, by using our encrypted form here. We will feature some of your contributions in our reporting.
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''The culture of being a silent bystander is so pervasive at the UN, for reasons that don't apply to Hollywood or the tech industry,'' said Paula Donovan, co-director of Aids-Free World and the Code Blue campaign, which aims to end impunity for sexual abuse by UN peacekeepers. The sheer size of the UN '' which employs roughly 44,000 staff '' means perpetrators can easily be moved elsewhere.
Alex Haines, a barrister, said the UN's internal justice system routinely fails to protect against glaring conflicts of interest. He cited a 2015 case that took place in central Asia, where a man accused of sexual harassment was allowed to interview the woman who brought the complaint against him. Such practices are not uncommon, he said, adding that victims are also prevented from reading the final report produced by investigators.
A UNHCR distribution centre in Kutupalong camp in Bangladesh. Photograph: Andy Hall for the ObserverOne aid worker, who claims she was harassed by a senior UN employee, said she has little hope of justice. ''Even when you summon your courage to complain and you exhaust all the internal mechanisms, like I did, all the resources, all the processes, there's nothing for you,'' she said. ''They mobilise friends, colleagues against you. I had threats, sent through friends, that 'She will never set foot in this office again.'''
Peter Gallo, a former OIOS investigator who left the UN in 2015, said he witnessed evidence being routinely ignored and facts skewed. ''As an investigator I was told I should 'never ask questions just to satisfy my curiosity,''' he said. ''The only rule is not to publicly embarrass the organisation.''
There is little research about the frequency of sexual harassment or assault within the UN. However, concerns over sexual harassment at UNAids prompted seven major donor countries to issue the agency with a public statement, urging swift action to address the allegations, which featured in the agency's auditor's report. An internal UNAids staff survey found that almost 10% of 427 respondents had experienced sexual harassment. Only two had reported it.
Another UN body, Unesco, is investigating claims of sexual harassment by its assistant director general, Frank La Rue.
Current and recent UN employees from eight different agencies '' including UNHCR, UNDP, the UN's peacekeeping missions and the UN's food agencies '' described an atmosphere where senior leadership is predominantly male. Local staff and younger females and those on short-term contracts are especially vulnerable, they said.
One UN contractor, who has worked across Africa, said a senior colleague in UNHCR sexually assaulted her after inviting her for a drink in 2016. ''I told him no. He just ignored it '... Afterwards, he said: 'If you ever need a recommendation, let me know.''' She did not report the incident.
Men carry bags of food while women wait for their rations at the World Food Programme distribution site in Pibor, South Sudan. Photograph: Adriane Ohanesian/ReutersMany employees said senior managers had offered career progression in return for sexual favours. Two recently retired senior staff from the UN's offices in Rome said they knew of such offers being made to young females.
Charlotte Bunch, of the Center for Women's Global Leadership at Rutgers University, said the UN should do more to increase the number of female leaders called for clarity on whether alleged perpetrators are protected by immunity.
The UN and its senior managers have the equivalent of complete diplomatic immunity, while many other UN managers have functional immunity, exempting them from legal process for acts performed in their official capacity. The UN said that when there are ''credible allegations that acts of sexual harassment may amount to criminal conduct'', cases will be referred to national authorities.
A woman who works on a UN peacekeeping mission in the Middle East fears the situation facing victims has worsened. She pursued a complaint a decade ago, which resulted in the perpetrator being disciplined. She is unsure the same would happen today.
''I am loth to encourage people to complain,'' she said. ''If you are willing to go through hell, go for it.
''It's atrocious, because this is an organisation that's supposed to stand up for everyone's rights '... We're such hypocrites.''
Pope shocks Chile by accusing sex abuse victims of slander
Fri, 19 Jan 2018 11:10
SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) '-- Pope Francis accused victims of Chile's most notorious pedophile of slander Thursday, an astonishing end to a visit meant to help heal the wounds of a sex abuse scandal that has cost the Catholic Church its credibility in the country.
Francis said that until he sees proof that Bishop Juan Barros was complicit in covering up the sex crimes of the Rev. Fernando Karadima, such accusations against Barros are "all calumny."
The pope's remarks drew shock from Chileans and immediate rebuke from victims and their advocates. They noted the accusers were deemed credible enough by the Vatican that it sentenced Karadima to a lifetime of "penance and prayer" for his crimes in 2011. A Chilean judge also found the victims to be credible, saying that while she had to drop criminal charges against Karadima because too much time had passed, proof of his crimes wasn't lacking.
"As if I could have taken a selfie or a photo while Karadima abused me and others and Juan Barros stood by watching it all," tweeted Barros' most vocal accuser, Juan Carlos Cruz. "These people are truly crazy, and the pontiff talks about atonement to the victims. Nothing has changed, and his plea for forgiveness is empty."
The Karadima scandal dominated Francis' visit to Chile and the overall issue of sex abuse and church cover-up was likely to factor into his three-day trip to Peru that began late Thursday.
Karadima's victims reported to church authorities as early as 2002 that he would kiss and fondle them in the swank Santiago parish he ran, but officials refused to believe them. Only when the victims went public with their accusations in 2010 did the Vatican launch an investigation that led to Karadima being removed from ministry.
The emeritus archbishop of Santiago subsequently apologized for having refused to believe the victims from the start.
Francis reopened the wounds of the scandal in 2015 when he named Barros, a protege of Karadima, as bishop of the southern diocese of Osorno. Karadima's victims say Barros knew of the abuse, having seen it, but did nothing. Barros has denied the allegations.
His appointment outraged Chileans, badly divided the Osorno diocese and further undermined the church's already shaky credibility in the country.
Francis had sought to heal the wounds by meeting this week with abuse victims and begging forgiveness for the crimes of church pastors. But on Thursday, he struck a defiant tone when asked by a Chilean journalist about Barros.
"The day they bring me proof against Bishop Barros, I'll speak," Francis said. "There is not one shred of proof against him. It's all calumny. Is that clear?"
Francis had defended the appointment before, calling the Osorno controversy "stupid" and the result of a campaign mounted by leftists. But The Associated Press reported last week that the Vatican was so worried about the fallout from the Karadima affair that it was prepared in 2014 to ask Barros and two other Karadima-trained bishops to resign and go on a yearlong sabbatical.
According to a Jan. 31, 2015, letter obtained by AP from Francis to the executive committee of the Chilean bishops' conference, the plan fell apart and Barros was sent to Osorno.
Juan Carlos Claret, spokesman for a group of Osorno lay Catholics who have mounted a three-year campaign against Barros, questioned why Francis was now accusing the victims of slandering Barros when the Vatican was so convinced of their claims that it planned to remove him in 2014.
"Isn't the pastoral problem that we're living (in Osorno) enough to get rid of him?" Claret asked.
The reference was to the fact that '-- guilty or not '-- Barros has been unable to do his job because so many Osorno Catholics and priests don't recognize him as their bishop. They staged an unprecedented protest during his 2015 installation ceremony and have protested his presence ever since.
Anne Barrett Doyle, of the online database BishopAccountability.org, said it was "sad and wrong" for the pope to discredit the victims since "the burden of proof here rests with the church, not the victims '-- and especially not with victims whose veracity has already been affirmed."
"He has just turned back the clock to the darkest days of this crisis," she said in a statement. "Who knows how many victims now will decide to stay hidden, for fear they will not be believed?"
Indeed, Catholic officials for years accused victims of slandering and attacking the church with their claims. But up until Francis' words Thursday, many in the church and Vatican had come to reluctantly acknowledge that victims usually told the truth and that the church for decades had wrongly sought to protect its own.
German Silva, a political scientist at Santiago's Universidad Mayor, said the pope's comments were a "tremendous error" that will reverberate in Chile and beyond.
Patricio Navia, political science professor at Diego Portales University in Santiago, said Francis had gone much further than Chilean bishops in acknowledging the sexual abuse scandal, which many Chileans appreciated.
"Then right before leaving, Francis turns around and says: 'By the way, I don't think Barros is guilty. Show me some proof,'" Navia said, adding that the comment will probably erase any good will the pope had won over the issue.
Navia said the Karadima scandal had radically changed how Chileans view the church.
"In the typical Chilean family, parents (now) think twice before sending their kids to Catholic school because you never know what is going to happen," Navia said.
Associated Press writers Peter Prengaman and Eva Vergara contributed to this report.
America Needs More Gentlemen - WSJ
Fri, 19 Jan 2018 11:12
I used to think America needed a parent to help it behave. Now I think it needs a grandparent. Our culture has been so confused for so long on so many essentials, and has gotten so crosswise on the issue of men and women, that we need more than ever the wisdom of the aged.
That was my thought as I read this week's sexual-harassment story, about the 30-something TV star, the girl in her 20s and their terrible date.
The woman in the story, recounted on the website Babe.net, went unnamed, and it doesn't feel right to add to the man's social-media misery. Nor is it necessary to assign blame since they were both such hapless representatives of their sex.
They had one thing in common: They were impressed by his celebrity. He deploys it to get what he wants, she wanted to be close to it. They met at an industry party, flirted by text; he asked her to his apartment and took her to a restaurant where he rushed her through dinner. They returned to his home, where he immediately made overt sexual advances, which she accepted but did not want. She seems to have had no sense that any outward show of respect was due her. Taken aback by how quickly he was moving, she tried to slow things via ''nonverbal cues.'' Among them was allowing him to perform oral sex on her, and performing it on him, which in fairness he might have interpreted as an indication of enthusiasm. She is an articulate person but was for some reason unable to say, ''Stop, this is not what I want. I have to leave.'' At no point does she allege he threatened her, either physically or professionally, or tried to bar the door.
He was boorish, a slob, what used to be called a wolf. He wished to use her sexually and didn't understand her reservations. Isn't that what first dates are for?
Is he a creep? Of course. She has been accused of trying to jump onto the #MeToo movement, painting herself as a victim, and exhibiting no sense of ''agency.'' (Though she is at least competent at revenge.) She expects us to understand why she didn't walk out. Why did she stay, and expect such a gross figure suddenly to show sensitivity? In his interactions as she reports them, he never pretended not to be a pig.
Here is why we're discussing this. All the stories we've read the past few months about predators'--not those accused of rape and sexual assault, which are crimes, but of general piggishness, grabbiness, manipulation and power games'--have a common thread. The men involved were not gentlemen. They acted as if they'd never heard of the concept.
We have lost track of it. In the past 40 years, in the movement for full equality, we threw it over the side. But we should rescue that old and helpful way of being. The whole culture, especially women, needs The Gentleman back.
A person of the cultural left would say that is a hopelessly patriarchal thing to say. But one thing the #MeToo movement illustrates is that women are often at particular risk in the world, and need friends and allies to stand with them. That would be men. And the most reliable of them are gentlemen.
There are a million definitions of what a gentleman is, and some begin with references to being born to a particular standing. But in America any man could be one who had the guts to withstand the demands.
The dictionary says a gentleman is a chivalrous, courteous, honorable man. That's a good, plain definition. The Urban Dictionary says: ''The true gentleman is the man whose conduct proceeds from good will . . . whose self control is equal to all emergencies, who does not make the poor man conscious of his poverty, the obscure man of his obscurity, or any man of his inferiority or deformity.'' That's good, too.
A website called Gentleman's Journal offers a list of 20 traits that make a man a gentleman. I liked ''A gentleman always walks a woman home.'' He doesn't pack her off alone to an Uber downstairs, in the back of which she weeps as she sends her friends horrified texts, which is what happened with the Hollywood star and the girl. I liked, ''A gentleman ruins his lover's lipstick, not her mascara.'' And ''If a woman comes with baggage, a gentleman helps her unpack it.''
A gentleman is good to women because he has his own dignity and sees theirs. He takes opportunities to show them respect. He is not pushy, manipulative, belittling. He stands with them not because they are weak but because they deserve friendship. Once at a gathering of women in media, I spoke of a columnist who years before had given me helpful critiques of my work and urged me on. ''A gentleman is an encourager of women.''
It goes deeper than memorizing and repeating certain behaviors, such as standing when a woman or an older person enters the room. That is a physical expression of inner regard. Being a gentleman involves not only manners but morals. The 19th-century theologian John Henry Newman '--an Anglican priest who became a Catholic cardinal'--said a gentleman tries not to inflict pain. He tries to remove the obstacles ''which hinder the free and unembarrassed action of those about him.'' He is ''tender toward the bashful, gentle toward the distant, and merciful toward the absurd. . . . He is never mean or little in his disputes, never takes unfair advantage.''
David Gandy, a fashion model, wrote a few years ago in London's Telegraph that his work had taught him ''being a gentleman isn't about what you do or what you wear, it's about how you behave and who you are.'' A gentleman ''holds chivalry and politeness in great regard. He holds the door for people; he gives up his seat; he takes off his coat to a lady on a cold evening.'' These are old-fashioned actions, but a gentleman still holds to them ''even though the world has changed.''
Yes, a gentleman does.
A man once told me it's hard to be a gentleman when fewer of the women around you seem interested in being ladies. But that's when you should step up your gentleman game. We are all here to teach and inspire.
By the way, I notice there are definitions of what a gentleman is and how you can be one all over the internet.
Someone must be looking for this information. That's good.
The age of social media has worked against the ideas of decorum, dignity and self-control'--the idea of being a gentleman. You can, anonymously, be your lowest, most brutish self, and the lowering spreads like a virus.
But you can't judge a nation by its comment threads, or let's hope so. You can judge it by its struggle to maintain standards. For inspiration we end with Hollywood, with Jimmy Stewart in ''The Philadelphia Story.'' The character played by Katharine Hepburn makes a pass at him, and he notes he could have taken advantage of the moment but she'd been drinking and ''there are rules about that.''
Here's to the rules, and the gentlemen who help keep them alive.
Late termination of pregnancy - Wikipedia
Sun, 21 Jan 2018 13:27
Late termination of pregnancy (TOP),[1] also known as postviability abortion,[2]induced termination of pregnancy (ITOP),[3] or simply abortion[4] is a termination of pregnancy that is performed during a later stage of pregnancy. Late termination of pregnancy is more controversial than abortion in general because it results in the death of a fetus that is more developed and sometimes able to survive independently. Given the complex, gradual nature of human fetal development, the definition of "late" in this context is not precise, and different medical publications have discussed the varying gestational age points that can be involved.
Definition [ edit] A late termination of pregnancy often refers to an induced ending of pregnancy after the 20th week of gestation. The exact point when a pregnancy becomes late-term, however, is not clearly defined. Some sources define an abortion after 16 weeks as "late".[5][6] Three articles published in 1998 in the same issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association could not agree on the definition. Two of the JAMA articles chose the 20th week of gestation to be the point where an abortion procedure would be considered late-term.[7] The third JAMA article chose the third trimester, or 27th week of gestation.[8]
The point at which an abortion becomes late-term is often related to the "viability" (ability to survive outside the uterus) of the fetus. Sometimes late-term abortions are referred to as post-viability abortions. However, viability varies greatly among pregnancies. Many pregnancies are viable after the 27th week, and no pregnancies are viable before the 21st week. Everything in between is a "grey area".[8]
Mental health [ edit] While a single first-trimester abortion carried no more mental health risk than carrying a pregnancy to term, abortion could not be proven safe in other cases as far as mental health was concerned. Women who terminate a pregnancy because of abnormalities discovered through fetal screenings have a similar risk of negative mental health outcomes as women who miscarry a wanted pregnancy or experience a stillbirth or the death of a newborn. However, "the differing patterns of psychological experiences observed among women who terminate an unplanned pregnancy versus those who terminate a planned and wanted pregnancy highlight the importance of taking pregnancy intendedness and wantedness into account when seeking to understand psychological reactions to abortion."[9]
Incidence [ edit] Abortion in the United States by gestational age, 2004. (Data source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)Australia: As of 2015, South Australia is the only Australian state or territory to keep reliable abortion statistics. During 2012, 92% of abortions were performed before 14 weeks' gestation, 6% between 14''20 weeks, and 2% (n=96) at a later stage. Of the 96 abortions carried out beyond 20 weeks, 53 were due to actual or probable fetal abnormality.[10]Canada: During the year 2009, 29% of induced abortions were performed before 8 weeks, 41% at 9 to 12 weeks, 7% at 13 to 16 weeks and 2% over 21 weeks.[11]England and Wales: In 2015, 8% of abortions occurred after 12 weeks; 0.1% occurred at or over 24 weeks.[12]New Zealand: In 2003, 2.03% of induced abortions were done between weeks 16 and 19, and 0.56% were done over 20 weeks.[13]Norway: In 2005, 2.28% of induced abortions were performed between 13 and 16 weeks, 1.24% of abortions between 17 and 20 weeks, and 0.20% over 21 weeks.[14] Between February 15, 2010 and December 1, 2011, a total number of ten abortions were performed between 22 and 24 weeks. These have been declared illegal by The Norwegian Directorate of Health.[15]Scotland: In 2005, 6.1% of abortions were done between 14 and 17 weeks, while 1.6% were performed over 18 weeks.[16]Sweden: In 2005, 5.6% of abortions were carried out between 12 and 17 weeks, and 0.8% at or greater than 18 weeks.[17]United States: In 2003, from data collected in those areas that sufficiently reported gestational age, it was found that 6.2% of abortions were conducted between 13 and 15 weeks, 4.2% between 16 and 20 weeks, and 1.4% at or after 21 weeks.[18] Because the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's annual study on abortion statistics does not calculate the exact gestational age for abortions performed past the 20th week, there are no precise data for the number of abortions performed after viability.[18] In 1997, the Guttmacher Institute estimated the number of abortions in the U.S. past 24 weeks to be 0.08%, or approximately 1,032 per year.[19]Reasons [ edit] United States [ edit] In 1987, the Alan Guttmacher Institute collected questionnaires from 1,900 women in the United States who came to clinics to have abortions. Of the 1,900 questioned, 420 had been pregnant for 16 or more weeks. These 420 women were asked to choose among a list of reasons they had not obtained the abortions earlier in their pregnancies. The results were as follows:[5]
71% Woman didn't recognize she was pregnant or misjudged gestation48% Woman found it hard to make arrangements for abortion33% Woman was afraid to tell her partner or parents24% Woman took time to decide to have an abortion8% Woman waited for her relationship to change8% Someone pressured woman not to have abortion6% Something changed after woman became pregnant6% Woman didn't know timing is important5% Woman didn't know she could get an abortion2% A fetal problem was diagnosed late in pregnancy11% OtherA study in 2013 showed that most women seeking late term abortion "fit at least one of five profiles: They were raising children alone, were depressed or using illicit substances, were in conflict with a male partner or experiencing domestic violence, had trouble deciding and then had access problems, or were young and nulliparous." The study data did not include woman who were having abortions "on grounds of fetal anomaly or life endangerment."[20]
England and Wales [ edit] The NHS records the reasons given for abortions at all stages of development. In 2015, 2,877 abortions were performed at 20 weeks or above. Of these, 23 (0.8%) were performed to save the life of the pregnant woman, 1,801 (63%) were performed for mental or physical health reasons, and 1046 (36%) were performed because of foetal abnormalities. (The data do not sum up to 100% because multiple reasons could be recorded for each abortion.)[21]
Legal restrictions [ edit] As of 1998, among the 152 most populous countries, 54 either banned abortion entirely or permitted it only to save the life of the pregnant woman.[22]
In addition, 49 of the 152 most populous countries were without restriction as to reason, but 44 of these imposed limits after a particular gestational age:[22]
12 weeks (Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cuba, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Georgia, Greece, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Rep., Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Mongolia, Norway, Russian Federation, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Ukraine, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan)13 weeks (Italy)14 weeks (Austria, Cambodia, Germany, Hungary, and Romania)18 weeks (Sweden)24 weeks (Singapore)no limit (Canada, China, and North Korea)viability (Netherlands and to some extent the United States)In these countries, abortions after the general gestational age limit are allowed only under restricted circumstances, which include, depending on country, risk to the woman's life, physical or mental health, fetal malformation, cases where the pregnancy was the result of rape, or poor socio-economic conditions. For instance, in Italy, abortion is allowed on request up until 90 days, after which it is allowed only if the pregnancy or childbirth pose a threat to the woman's life, a risk to physical health of the woman, a risk to mental health of the woman; if there is a risk of fetal malformation; or if the pregnancy is the result of rape or other sexual crime.[23] Denmark provides a wider range of reasons, including social and economic ones, which can be invoked by a woman who seeks an abortion after 12 weeks.[24] Abortions at such stages must in general be approved by a doctor or a special committee, unlike early abortions which are performed on demand. The ease with which the doctor or the committee allows a late term abortion varies significantly by country, and is often influenced by the social and religious views prevalent in that region.
Some countries, like Canada, China (Mainland only) and Vietnam have no legal limit on when an abortion can be performed.[22]
United States [ edit] The United States Supreme Court decisions on abortion, including Roe v. Wade, allow states to impose more restrictions on post-viability abortions than during the earlier stages of pregnancy.
As of December 2014, forty-two states had bans on late-term abortions that were not facially unconstitutional under Roe v. Wade or enjoined by court order.[25] In addition, the Supreme Court in the case of Gonzales v. Carhart ruled that Congress may ban certain late-term abortion techniques, "both previability and postviability",[26] as it had done in banning intact dilation and extraction with the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003.[27]
The Supreme Court has held that bans must include exceptions for threats to the woman's life, physical health, and mental health, but four states allow late-term abortions only when the woman's life is at risk; four allow them when the woman's life or physical health is at risk, but use a definition of health that pro-choice organizations believe is impermissibly narrow.[25] Note that just because a portion of a state's law is found to be unconstitutional does not mean that the entire law will be deemed unconstitutional: "[I]nvalidating the statute entirely is not always necessary or justified, for lower courts may be able to render narrower declaratory and injunctive relief," meaning the court could declare that only those parts of the law that are violative of the Constitution are invalid (declaratory relief), or that the court can prohibit the state from enforcing those portions of the law (injunctive relief).[28]
Eighteen states prohibit abortion after a certain number of weeks' gestation (usually 22 weeks from the last menstrual period).[25] The U.S. Supreme Court held in Webster v. Reproductive Health Services that a statute may create "a presumption of viability" after a certain number of weeks, in which case the physician must be given an opportunity to rebut the presumption by performing tests.[29] Because this provision is not explicitly written into these state laws, as it was in the Missouri law examined in Webster, pro-choice organizations believe that such a state law is unconstitutional, but only "to the extent that it prohibits pre-viability abortions".[30]
Ten states (although Florida's enforcement of such laws are under permanent injunction) require a second physician's approval before a late-term abortion can be performed.[25] The U.S. Supreme Court struck down a requirement of "confirmation by two other physicians" (rather than one other physician) because "acquiescence by co-practitioners has no rational connection with a patient's needs and unduly infringes on the physician's right to practice".[31] Pro-choice organizations, such as the Guttmacher Institute, posit that some of these state laws are unconstitutional, based on these and other Supreme Court rulings, at least to the extent that these state laws require approval of a second or third physician.[25]
Thirteen states have laws that require a second physician to be present during late-term abortion procedures in order to treat a fetus if born alive.[25] The Court has held that a doctor's right to practice is not infringed by requiring a second physician to be present at abortions performed after viability in order to assist in the case of a living fetus.[32]
Methods [ edit] There are at least four medical procedures associated with late-term abortions:
Viability [ edit] There is no sharp limit of development, age, or weight at which humans automatically become viable.[33] According to studies between 2003 and 2005, 20 to 35 percent of babies born at 23 weeks of gestation survive, while 50 to 70 percent of babies born at 24 to 25 weeks, and more than 90 percent born at 26 to 27 weeks, survive.[34] It is rare for a baby weighing less than 500 g (17.6 ounces) to survive.[33] A baby's chances for survival increases 3-4% per day between 23 and 24 weeks of gestation and about 2-3% per day between 24 and 26 weeks of gestation. After 26 weeks the rate of survival increases at a much slower rate because survival is high already.[35]
Due to the risk of viability'--and the corresponding legal implications that can come with a live birth[36][37]'--most experts recommend induced fetal demise, also referred to as feticide, for abortions after 18 to 20 weeks gestation.[38][39][40] The International Federation of Gynecology and Obstericss states that abortions "after 22 weeks [gestation] must be preceded by feticide."[41] If medical staff observe signs of life, they may be required to provide care: emergency medical care if the child has a good chance of survival and palliative care if not.[42][43][44]
References [ edit] ^ Graham, RH; Robson, SC; Rankin, JM (January 2008). "Understanding feticide: an analytic review". Social science & medicine (1982). 66 (2): 289''300. doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2007.08.014. PMID 17920742. ^ Guttmacher Institute. "State Policies in Brief, An Overview of Abortion Laws"(PDF) . www.guttmacher.org. Guttmacher Institute. Retrieved 28 September 2015 . ^ Duke, C. Wes (September 2009). "Challenges and Priorities for Surveillance of Stillbirths: A Report on Two Workshops". Public Health Rep. 124 (5): 652''659. PMC 2728657'¯ . PMID 19753943. ^ Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1972). Findlaw.com. Retrieved 2011-04-14. ^ ab Torres, Aida and Forrest, Jacqueline Darroch. (1988). Why Do Women Have Abortions. Family Planning Perspectives, 20 (4), 169-176. Retrieved April 19, 2007. ^ Weihe, Pl, Steuerwald, Ulrike, Taheri, Sepideh, F...r¸, Odmar, Veyhe, Anna Sof­a, & Nicolajsen, Did. (2003). The Human Health Programme in the Faroe Islands 1985-2001. In AMAP Greenland and the Faroe Islands 1997-2001. Danish Ministry of Environment. Retrieved April 19, 2007. ^ Sprang, M.L, and Neerhof, M.G. (1998). Rationale for banning abortions late in pregnancy. Journal of the American Medical Association, 280 (8), 744-747.Grimes, D.A. (1998). The continuing need for late abortions. Journal of the American Medical Association, 280 (8), 747-750.
^ ab Gans Epner, J.E., Jonas, H.S., Seckinger, D.L. (1998). Late-term abortion. Journal of the American Medical Association, 280 (8), 724-729. ^ "Mental Health and Abortion". American Psychological Association. 2008. Retrieved April 18, 2012 . ^ Pregnancy Outcome Unit, SA Health. (2014). [1]. Retrieved July 10th, 2015. ^ Globe & Mail. (2012). Percentage distribution of induced abortions by gestation period. Retrieved December 7th, 2012. ^ Government Statistical Service for the Department of Health. (May 17, 2016). Abortion statistics, England and Wales: 2015. Retrieved October 20, 2016. ^ Statistics New Zealand. (January 31, 2005). Demographic Trends 2004. Retrieved April 19, 2007. ^ Statistics Norway. (April 26, 2006). Induced abortions, by period of gestation and the woman's age. 2005. Retrieved January 17, 2006. ^ The Norwegian Directorate of Health. (May 7, 2012). Senaborter etter 22. uke Retrieved May 11, 2012. ^ ISD Scotland. (May 24, 2006). Percentage of abortions performed in Scotland by estimated gestation. Retrieved May 10, 2007. ^ Nilsson, E., Ollars, B., & Bennis, M.. The National Board of Health and Welfare. (May 2006). Aborter 2005. Retrieved May 10, 2007. ^ ab Strauss, L.T., Gamble, S.B., Parker, W.Y, Cook, D.A., Zane, S.B., & Hamdan, S. (November 24, 2006). Abortion Surveillance - United States, 2003. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 55 (11), 1-32. Retrieved May 10, 2007. ^ Guttmacher Institute. (January 1997). The Limitations of U.S. Statistics on Abortion. Retrieved April 19, 2007. ^ Foster, Diana (December 2013). "Who Seeks Abortions at or After 20 Weeks?". Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health. 45 (4): 210''218. doi:10.1363/4521013. Retrieved 9 September 2014 . ^ Department of Health (17 May 2016). Report on abortion statistics in England and Wales for 2015(PDF) (Report). p. 31 (Table 7b). Retrieved 2016-10-24 . ^ abc Anika Rahman, Laura Katzive and Stanley K. Henshaw. A Global Review of Laws on Induced Abortion, 1985-1997, International Family Planning Perspectives (Volume 24, Number 2, June 1998). ^ "Archived copy"(PDF) . Archived from the original(PDF) on 2013-03-13. Retrieved 2012-10-07 . ^ "DENMARK". harvard.edu. Retrieved 13 October 2015 . ^ abcdef Guttmacher Institute. (April 1, 2007). State Policies on Later-Term Abortions. State Policies in Brief. Retrieved April 19, 2007. ^ Annas, George J. (24 May 2007). "The Supreme Court and Abortion Rights". New England Journal of Medicine. 2007 (356): 2201''2207. doi:10.1056/NEJMhle072595. Retrieved 27 October 2017 . ^ Hern, Warren M. (22 Oct 2003). "Did I violate the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban?". Slate.com. Retrieved 27 October 2017 . ^ Ayotte v. Planned Parenthood, 546 U.S. 320 (2006). ^ Webster v. Reproductive Health Services, 492 U.S. 490 (1989). ^ NARAL Pro-Choice America. (2007). "Delaware." Who Decides? The Status of Women's Reproductive Rights in the United States. Retrieved April 19, 2007. ^ Doe v. Bolton, 410 U.S. 179 (1973). ^ Planned Parenthood Ass'n v. Ashcroft, 462 U.S. 476, 486-90 (1983). ^ ab Moore, Keith and Persaud, T. The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology, p. 103 (Saunders 2003). ^ March of Dimes --> Neonatal Death Retrieved on November 10, 2014. In turn citing: ^ (). What are the chances that my baby will survive?. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.spensershope.org/chances_for_survival.htm. [Last Accessed 14 November 2012]. ^ "Clinical Guidelines: Induction of fetal demise before abortion"(PDF) . Contraception: a publication of Society of Family Planning. 81: 8. January 2010. doi:10.1016/j.contraception.2010.01.018. Retrieved 26 October 2015 . Inducing fetal demise before induction termination avoids signs of live birth that may have beneficial emotional, ethical and legal consequences. ^ Committee on Health Care for Underserved Women (November 2014). "Committee Opinion 613: Increasing Access to Abortion". Obstetrics & Gynecology. 124: 1060''1065. doi:10.1097/01.aog.0000456326.88857.31. Retrieved 28 October 2015 . ''Partial-birth'' abortion bans'--The federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 (upheld by the Supreme Court in 2007) makes it a federal crime to perform procedures that fall within the definition of so-called ''partial-birth abortion'' contained in the statute, with no exception for procedures necessary to preserve the health of the woman...physicians and lawyers have interpreted the banned procedures as including intact dilation and evacuation unless fetal demise occurs before surgery. ^ "Practice Bulletin: Second-Trimester Abortion"(PDF) . Obstetrics & Gynecology. 121 (6): 1394''1406. June 2013. doi:10.1097/01.AOG.0000431056.79334.cc. PMID 23812485. Retrieved 30 October 2015 . With medical abortion after 20 weeks of gestation, induced fetal demise may be preferable to the woman or provider in order to avoid transient fetal survival after expulsion. ^ Society of Family Planning (February 2011). "Clinical Guidelines, Labor induction abortion in the second trimester". Contraception. 84 (1): 4''18. doi:10.1016/j.contraception.2011.02.005. Transient survival with misoprostol for labor induction abortion at greater than 18 weeks ranges from 0% to 50% and has been observed in up to 13% of abortions performed with high-dose oxytocin. ^ Fletcher; Isada; Johnson; Evans (Aug 1992). "Fetal intracardiac potassium chloride injection to avoid the hopeless resuscitation of an abnormal abortus: II. Ethical issues". Obstetrics and Gynecology. 80 (2): 310''313. PMID 1635751. ... following later abortions at greater than 20 weeks, the rare but catastrophic occurrence of live births can lead to fractious controversy over neonatal management. ^ "FIGO (International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics) Committee Report: Ethical aspects concerning termination of pregnancy following prenatal diagnosis". International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics. 102 (102): 97''98. 2008. doi:10.1016/j.ijgo.2008.03.002. PMID 18423641. Termination of pregnancy following prenatal diagnosis after 22 weeks must be preceded by a feticide ^ Nuffield Council on Bioethics (2007). "Critical care decisions in fetal and neonatal medicine: a guide to the report"(PDF) . Retrieved 29 October 2015 . Under English law, fetuses have no independent legal status. Once born, babies have the same rights to life as other people. ^ Gerri R. Baer; Robert M. Nelson (2007). "Preterm Birth: Causes, Consequences, and Prevention. C: A Review of Ethical Issues Involved in Premature Birth". Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Understanding Premature Birth and Assuring Healthy Outcomes;. In 2002, the 107th U.S. Congress passed the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act of 2001. This law established personhood for all infants who are born ''at any stage of development'' who breathe, have a heartbeat, or ''definite movement of voluntary muscles,'' regardless of whether the birth was due to labor or induced abortion. ^ Chabot, Steve (5 August 2002). "H.R. 2175 (107th): Born-Alive Infants Protection Act of 2002". govtrack.us. Retrieved 30 October 2015 . The term ``born alive is defined as the complete expulsion or extraction from its mother of that member, at any stage of development, who after such expulsion or extraction breathes or has a beating heart, pulsation of the umbilical cord, or definite movement of the voluntary muscles, regardless of whether the umbilical cord has been cut, and regardless of whether the expulsion or extraction occurs as a result of natural or induced labor, cesarean section, or induced abortion. External links [ edit]
Trump Health
Propecia from Anon Producer
Please keep this message ANONYMOUS.
I have a lot of standing in this area and can provide proof if you want, but
will do it in a separate mail so there's no chance of it accidentally getting
read on the show. I'm happy to share any other info you want, just ask.
I believe I know why Trump slurred his words and it sounded like dentures. I
have had the exact same experience as a result of taking a stimulant while
on Propecia, which is the combination Trump was on when he slurred his
have taken Propecia in the past. Before I stopped taking Propecia, a doctor
prescribed me a study drug, which was a stimluant and the next generation of
ritalin. In less than a week of taking it, I began to slur my words in the
same way that Trump slurred at the end of his speech. Specifically, when I
was tired, I lost the ability to articulate sounds using the part of my tongue
closest to my adams apple, which sounds very similar to dentures slipping,
especially if you're looking down and reading off notes. The slurring
stopped after I stopped taking the stimulant and propecia. I was in my 20s when
this happened.
I believe there is enough similarity
to explain why Trump slurred his words while taking Sudafed, a stimulant, after
having taking Propecia for an extended period of time. In addition to messing
with your hormones, Propecia is a neurosteriod inhibitor, which in some people
leads to difficulty speaking. I know this from personal experience and from
interacting with other men who have taking Propecia both on and offline.
Depression is a known side effect.
I've had additional side effects from Propecia to this which now persist for
over 18 years. The ones that stand out most are cognitive and sexual apathy, as
well as bitch tits. I do not find it surprising at all that the Donald and
Melania sleep in separate bedrooms. I lost complete interest in sex after
taking Propecia for a couple of years in my 20s and at the time I had been
dating some smoking hot and classy Euro chicks. Total apathy.
The way Propecia was approved by the FDA and marketed to the public to treat
male pattern hair loss is beyond sketchy, it was fraudulent.
is an enzyme inhibitor. It blocks the most potent
form of testosterone, DHT, as well as inhibiting neurosteriods. DHT, is what puts
hair on your balls. It's what makes men men.
Propecia is prescribed to men who want to keep their hair, and it's used as
part of hormone
therapy for transgender women.[5][6]
Propecia is a secondary approval for the drug Proscar. Proscar was develeped to
mimic the actions of a chemical that caused intersex children discovered
in the caribbean. From Wikipedia:
In 1942, James Hamilton observed that prepubertal castration
prevents the later development of male pattern baldness in mature men.[50] In
1974, Julianne Imperato-McGinley of Cornell Medical College in New York
attended a conference on birth defects. She reported on a group of intersexchildren in the Caribbean who appeared sexually ambiguous at birth, and were initially
raised as girls, but then grew external male genitalia and other masculine
characteristic after onset of puberty. Her research group found these children
shared a genetic mutation, causing deficiency
of the 5α-reductase enzyme and
male hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which was found to
have been the etiology behind abnormalities in male sexual development. Upon
maturation, these individuals were observed to have smaller prostates which
were underdeveloped, and were also observed to lack incidence of male pattern
In 1975,
copies of Imperato-McGinley's presentation were seen by P. Roy Vagelos, who was then serving as
Merck's basic-research chief. He was intrigued by the notion that decreased
levels of DHT led to the development of smaller prostates. Dr. Vagelos then
sought to create a drug which could mimic the condition found in these children
to treat older men who were suffering from benign prostatic hyperplasia.[53]
was developed under the code name MK-906.[citation
needed] In
1992, finasteride (5 mg) was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treatment of BPH, which
Merck marketed under the brand name Proscar.[13] In 1997, Merck was successful in
obtaining FDA approval for a second indication of finasteride (1 mg) for
treatment of MPB, which was marketed under the brand name Propecia.[13]
Propecia affects everyone
differently. Some people take it for decades and still function, some take a
single pill and get severe permanant side effects. It seems there is a genetic
and lifestyle component to who gets serious side effects from Propecia. So not
everyone gets serious side effects but those predisposed, especially those with
lifestyle factors including stress, alcohol, stimulants, and some dietary
factors, are at increased risk.
I personally have experienced severe side effects from Propecia in excess to
what I've already described, and have networked with thousands of men with the
same. I've also participated in clinical studies to identify causes and
treatments of these side effects of taking Propecia. You can find more
information here:
Fake News
Update on Twitter's Review of the 2016 U.S. Election
Sat, 20 Jan 2018 19:39
When we appeared before the United States Congress last fall, Twitter publicly committed to regularly updating both congressional committees and the public on findings from our ongoing review into events surrounding the 2016 U.S. election.
Twitter is committed to providing a platform that fosters healthy civic discourse and democratic debate. We have been cooperating with congressional investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. We have committed to be as transparent as possible about sharing what we have learned through our retroactive investigation into activity related to the election.
Since we presented our findings to Congress last fall, we have updated our analysis and continue to look for patterns and signals in data. Today, we are sharing an update on several aspects of that ongoing work, as well as steps we are taking to continue to make progress against potential manipulation of our platform.
Informing People of Malicious Activity in the 2016 Election
As previously announced, we identified and suspended a number of accounts that were potentially connected to a propaganda effort by a Russian government-linked organization known as the Internet Research Agency (IRA).
Consistent with our commitment to transparency, we are emailing notifications to 677,775 people in the United States who followed one of these accounts or retweeted or liked a Tweet from these accounts during the election period. Because we have already suspended these accounts, the relevant content on Twitter is no longer publicly available.
Examples of IRA Content
Most user engagement was with a very small number of IRA-associated accounts. Some examples of content which received significant engagement are:
Updated Numbers of IRA Accounts
As part of our ongoing review, we have identified both more IRA and automated Russia-based accounts. The results of this supplemental analysis are consistent with the results of our previous work: automated election-related content associated with Russian signals represented a very small fraction of the overall activity on Twitter in the ten-week period preceding the 2016 election.
We have identified an additional 1,062 accounts associated with the IRA. We have suspended all of these accounts for Terms of Service violations, primarily spam, and all but a few accounts, which were restored to legitimate users, remain suspended. At the request of congressional investigators, we are also sharing those account handles with Congress. In total, during the time period we investigated, the 3,814 identified IRA-linked accounts posted 175,993 Tweets, approximately 8.4% of which were election-related.
We have also provided Congress with the results of our supplemental analysis into activity believed to be automated, election-related activity originating out of Russia during the election period. Through our supplemental analysis, we have identified 13,512 additional accounts, for a total of 50,258 automated accounts that we identified as Russian-linked and Tweeting election-related content during the election period, representing approximately two one-hundredths of a percent (0.016%) of the total accounts on Twitter at the time. However any such activity represents a challenge to democratic societies everywhere, and we're committed to continuing to work on this important issue.
Enhancing Information Quality
After the 2016 election, we launched our Information Quality initiative to further develop strategies to detect and prevent bad actors from abusing our platform. We have since made significant improvements, while recognizing that we have more to do as these patterns of activity develop and shift over time.
With our current capabilities, we detect and block approximately 523,000 suspicious logins daily for being generated through automation. In December 2017, our systems identified and challenged more than 6.4 million suspicious accounts globally per week'-- a 60% increase in our detection rate from October 2017. We have developed new techniques for identifying malicious automation (such as near-instantaneous replies to Tweets, non-random Tweet timing, and coordinated engagement). We have improved our phone verification process and introduced new challenges, including reCAPTCHAs to validate that a human is in control of an account.
Alongside these improvements, we're continuing to expand enforcement of our developer and automation rules. Since June 2017, we've removed more than 220,000 applications in violation of our rules, collectively responsible for more than 2.2 billion low-quality Tweets.
In 2018, we will build upon our existing improvements. Our plans include:
Investing further in machine-learning capabilities that help us detect and mitigate the effect on users of fake, coordinated, and automated account activity;Limiting the ability of users to perform coordinated actions across multiple accounts in Tweetdeck and via the Twitter API;Continuing the expansion of our new developer onboarding process to better manage the use cases for developers building on Twitter's API. This will help us improve how we enforce our policies on restricted uses of our developer products, including rules on the appropriate use of bots and automation.Media Literacy and Partnerships
We recognize that Twitter is an important part of a larger ecosystem of how news and information spreads online, and that we have a responsibility to support external programs that empower our users, connecting them with resources to give them control over their online experience.
Our partners Common Sense Media, the National Association for Media Literacy, the Family Online Safety Institute and Connect Safely, amongst others, have helped us to craft materials and conduct workshops to help our users learn how to process online information and understand which sources of news have integrity. We focus on elements like verification of sources, critical thinking, active citizenship online and the breaking down of digital divides.
Learn more about our most recent efforts for Media Literacy Week in countries like the U.S., Canada and Ireland, and follow our partners @MediaLiteracyEd, @CommonSenseEdu and @ConnectSafely for new initiatives like the Teachers Institute at Twitter HQ.
Twitter is proud to partner with journalistic NGOs for trainings and outreach initiatives, including Reporters without Borders, the Committee to Protect Journalists, and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. We will keep working with reporters, journalism NGOs, and media organizations to ensure that Twitter's full capabilities are built into newsrooms and established media outlets worldwide.
Moving Forward
Even as we continue to learn from the events of the 2016 U.S. election, we are taking steps every day to improve the security of our platform and stay one step ahead of those who would abuse it. As part of our preparations for the U.S. midterm elections, our teams are organizing to:
Verify major party candidates for all statewide and federal elective offices, and major national party accounts, as a hedge against impersonation;Maintain open lines of communication to federal and state election officials to quickly escalate issues that arise;Address escalations of account issues with respect to violations of Twitter Rules or applicable laws;Continually improve and apply our anti-spam technology to address networks of malicious automation targeting election-related matters; andMonitor trends and spikes in conversations relating to the 2018 elections for potential manipulation activity.We are committed to ensuring that Twitter is safe and secure for all users and serves to advance healthy civic discussion and engagement. Our work on these issues will never be done, and we will continue in our efforts to protect Twitter against bad actors and networks of malicious automation and manipulation.
Russian Twitter accounts pushing for release of 'shocking' surveillance memo | TheHill
Sat, 20 Jan 2018 06:08
Russian-linked bots on Twitter are pushing for the House Intelligence Committee to release a classified report written by committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.).
Some Republicans believe the report shows political bias in the FBI and the Department of Justice (DOJ) investigation of possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.
#ReleaseTheMemo is the top trending hashtag among Twitter accounts believed to be operated by Kremlin-linked groups, according to Hamilton 68, a website which tracks Russian propaganda online.
Hamilton 68 is spearheaded by Clint Watts, an expert on foreign actors using American social media. Watts has testified before Congress multiple times on the matter.
The #ReleaseTheMemo hashtag has increased by 286,700 percent over the past two days and is being used 100 times more than any other hashtag by accounts Hamilton 68 is tracking.
The accounts have also frequently been tweeting out links to Wikileaks.org and specifically to its page to submit documents.
After news of the controversial memo existence leaked, Wikileaks tweeted an open call for anyone with access to it to release it to the website.
Republicans, such as Rep. Lee Zeldin (N.Y.), have called on House Intelligence to release Nunes's memo, saying that it details evidence of widespread "FISA abuse," referring to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which gives the government significant surveillance powers. While some members of Congress voiced opposition to FISA, Congress voted to reauthorize it earlier this week.
Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) said the report "raises serious questions about the upper echelon of the Obama DOJ and Comey FBI as it relates to the so-called collusion investigation."
Democrats, such as House Intelligence Committee ranking member Adam Schiff (Calif.), have been more critical of the memo and of Russian propaganda efforts encouraging lawmakers to release it
"The very distorted talking points I think are completely misleading, but then I think they are intended to be. Leave it to the majority to secure the help of Julian Assange and Russian bots who are pushing this campaign right now," Schiff said Friday.
"I think the majority is doing a terrible disservice to the FBI and law enforcement in general," he said.
Melanie Zanona, Katie Bo Williams and Jonathan Easley contributed.
Leftist Dutch daily columnist admits to writing fake news about whites
Fri, 19 Jan 2018 13:43
Sylvia Witteman writes for a leftist Dutch daily. She recently gave a revealing interview about how she purposefully writes fake news... to the same newspaper.
Under the title ''People of the Volkskrant talk about their dilemmas, fascinations and the drive to know more'' Witteman goes on to explain how she, unlike a few of her colleagues, always finds something to write about.
Colleague columnists like Peter Buwalda and Marcel van Roosmalen often end up not knowing what do do halfway through the writing of their columns. ''Yes, Peter is having a hard time. He lives in [the posh] Amsterdam-North, he calls it Reykjavik himself, and stays there all day long. Then he emails me that he has nothing to write about and then I always say: go to the fucking supermarket or something. Walk to somewhere where you can hear people talking. Because then you really have something. If you walk outside for fifteen minutes, you have three subjects.''
She then continues on how she distorts the truth when she uncovers a story about non-white Dutch people. If she experiences something that would make them look bad, she turns the non-whites into whites for the sake of her column.
She says the Volkskrant readers would rather read about bad whites instead. After all, Witteman claims she has to sell her writing and those columns mean money to her. So it is better to distort the truth for Volkskrant readers!
Witteman is not even ashamed to admit that she is writing fake news. ''Certainly, I do a lot of self-censorship. I used to use the word 'negro', for example, but I have not written that for a few years because it has become a loaded word '' and I do not want to hurt anyone.
''But it goes much further than that. When I see something on the street where someone who is black, Turkish or Moroccan is doing something rotten, I often change him to a white Dutch person. Because otherwise I am being called a racist.
''I once wrote about an annoying Moroccan woman on a scooter with a fat boy on the back with an iPad. I had to brake for a pigeon, so she also had to brake and then I landed in big shit. I wrote that down and a description of what she looked like: a woman with a headscarf and a fat boy. I got so much angry mail about it!''
Witteman says she would never write anything negative about non-whites. ''About someone who is black, I would never again write that he is fat or ugly, because then I am a racist. I just write about white women with a figure like a dripping candle, that is possible. That self-censorship goes quite far, but yes, that's the way it is.''
Sylvia Witteman has meanwhile responded to tweets by Joost Niem¶ller on her revelations about writing fake news.
She claims that she is allowed to lie because she is a columnist.
Strangely, the annual group photo of columnists at the Volkskrant for 2018, show no people of colour. They are missing altogether in a newspaper that preaches daily about anti-racism, diversity, inclusiveness and about the lack of Africans in the TV-series Friends.
Rarely have there been a whiter tableau de la troupe. Only the Green Left candidates are whiter, while even the party meetings of the PVV '' the party of Geert Wilders '' are more diverse. Yet Dutch advertisers have not noticed this surprising anomaly.
All rights reserved. You have permission to quote freely from the articles provided that the source (www.freewestmedia.com) is given. Photos may not be used without our consent.
Facebook's News Feed survey users to find 'high quality' news
Sun, 21 Jan 2018 14:47
To solve its "fake news" problem, Facebook is asking its users to complete surveys on what they determine is "high quality" news content.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg said on a post on his Facebook page Friday that the company will ask users if they are familiar with a specific news source '-- and whether they trusted it '-- in order to help weed out less reliable sources. As a result of the changes, people can expect the level of news in the News Feed to drop from the current 5 percent to 4 percent, Zuckerberg said.
The move is another effort by the company to re-establish trust with the public, after much of that trust was eroded in wake of revelations about Russian interests using the platform to influence the 2016 U.S. election. (The company's image was further tarred by some former high-level employees criticizing the platform, including co-founder Sean Parker saying that the network was specifically built to exploit vulnerabilities in human psychology.)
"There's too much sensationalism, misinformation and polarization in the world today," Zuckerberg wrote. "Social media enables people to spread information faster than ever before, and if we don't specifically tackle these problems, then we end up amplifying them," he wrote.
Facebook said earlier this month it would be shifting its News Feed algorithms to prioritize "meaningful social interactions." The News Feed is currently designed to prioritize relevant content from friends and family, but now will highlight content that people are likely to comment, view and share regardless if it comes from a peer or a company.
The company added in a blog post it is highlighting content that is trustworthy, informative and relevant to local communities. The survey process will begin in the U.S. and expand globally.
Fake Alerts
Early morning Civil Defence mobile alerts anger sleep-interrupted Kiwis | Stuff.co.nz
Fri, 19 Jan 2018 13:45
Last updated 07:57, October 4 2017
The Civil Defence emergency alert that woke many New Zealanders between 1.30am and 2am on Wednesday morning.
Angry New Zealanders were jolted awake in the early hours of Wednesday morning after what was meant to be a test of an emergency alert system instead went live.
Three emergency alerts from the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management (MCDEM) were sent out to people's mobile phones about 1.32am, 1.33am and around 1.49am, accompanied by a loud ring tone and vibrating.
The message read: "Emergency Alert ... This is a test message for the Emergency Mobile Alert system that will be available by the end of 2017. Visit civildefence.govt.nz to find out more. Sent by the Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management"
The alerts came through when the provider of the service, based in Europe, trialled it during European daytime hours. They had been meant to be restricted to a test environment, however went to Vodafone customers all around New Zealand.
Disgruntled Kiwis, potentially woken from some quality REM sleep, vented while trying to get their heart rates back down to normal.
MCDEM confirmed that the alert was issued in error and has apologised on its Facebook page.
Sarah Stuart-Black, Director of the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency management says the disruption many New Zealanders experienced from the early morning testing of an early warning alert system was "completely unacceptable" and she took full responsibility for the error.
"It's so loud and such a different sound.
"It would've given some people a full-on fright."
Customers in Auckland received three alerts and those in other parts of the country received two, but Stuart-Black stressed the fault was not Vodafone's.
The "life-changing alert" system was set to launch later this year and would be automatically installed and enabled on new phones.
Older phones might receive the ability to automatically receive alerts through a system upgrade.
The notification system would have ability to provide localised alerts for things like tsunami warnings.
Test messages would be issued once the system was launched but such messages would be issued with adequate warning and at a convenient hour, Stuart-Black said.
- Stuff
Here's how Hawaii's emergency alert design led to a false alarm - The Verge
Fri, 19 Jan 2018 13:47
The disastrous false alarm issued by Hawaii over the weekend has raised concerns about what safeguards the state had in place. The state-wide alert, which told people a ballistic missile was about to hit, terrified residents and visitors, as the state scrambled for 38 minutes to issue a correction.
Officials soon released a timeline of events, saying the state's software contained a menu option that allowed a live alert to be sent in place of a test, a problem that several people quickly categorized as a design failure. The state released an image that showed a list with options for test and live alerts next to each other. Officials later said the image did not accurately portray the system, and released what it characterized as a ''representation'' of the system, but said that it could not share an actual screenshot.
While the state has not named its software provider, evidence suggests it is an Idaho-based company called AlertSense, a FEMA-approved company that says it works with clients in states around the country. The audio version of the alert broadcast in Hawaii was posted on the company's website. The first image released by Hawaii also appears similar to example software provided to The Verge by AlertSense. For instance, the word ''templates'' appears above the alert options in AlertSense's software, and is barely visible in the first image issued by the state. (A local TV station in Hawaii independently came to the same conclusion.) The Verge's review of the program suggests that functionally there is only a one-click difference between sending a test and a live alert.
Image: Hawaii Emergency Management Agency
Image: AlertSense AlertSense would not confirm whether it was the vendor of the software, but in an interview with The Verge, it provided a presentation that outlines how its system works. (The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency declined to comment.)
AlertSense CTO Randy Grohs explained that there are essentially two paths to send an alert using the system. In one, an alert is created from scratch. The user of the software fills in information for the alert, like where it's being sent, what the message says, and crucially, whether it's a test or live alert.
But the company also lets software users create ''templates'' '-- options that fill in all of the information with one click. Templates can be created for both test and live alerts. (Hawaii has publicly said that the person who sent the false alarm chose an incorrect template option.)
Regardless of what's selected, the user then has the opportunity to review the information before submitting the alert.
A pop-up box is the final step in sending the alert. The box has the same message, whether a live or test alert is sent: ''Are you sure you want to send this Alert?''
AlertSense describes the system as an eight-step process. If you select a template, some of those steps include scrolling through and checking auto-filled information, but even so, the company says, it requires more than one click to send an alert. In Idaho, the company points out, a news segment ran this week about AlertSense having safeguards to prevent what happened in Hawaii.
But effectively, when using a template, there are three clicks, whether a live message or test is sent. If the information in those templates isn't double-checked, the versions would look essentially the same. The main difference is whether the user clicks the test template option or the real one. The company says it may now alter the final pop-up confirmation to be different for test and live alerts.
''If you don't follow best practices, the difference between sending live and a demo can be configured to be a small difference,'' Grohs says.
Service Goat
Delta introduces enhanced requirements for customers traveling with service or support animals effective March 1 | Delta News Hub
Fri, 19 Jan 2018 20:21
Delta Air Lines is taking steps to further protect its customers, employees and service and support animals by implementing advance documentation requirements for those animals. This comes as a result of a lack of regulation that has led to serious safety risks involving untrained animals in flight. The new requirements support Delta's top priority of ensuring safety for its customers, employees and trained service and support animals, while supporting the rights of customers with legitimate needs, such as disabled veterans, to travel with trained animals.
Delta carries approximately 700 service or support animals daily '-- nearly 250,000 annually. Putting this into perspective, Delta carries more than 180 million passengers annually. Customers have attempted to fly with comfort turkeys, gliding possums known as sugar gliders, snakes, spiders and more. Ignoring the true intent of existing rules governing the transport of service and support animals can be a disservice to customers who have real and documented needs. Delta has seen an 84 percent increase in reported animal incidents since 2016, including urination/defecation, biting and even a widely reported attack by a 70-pound dog. In 2017, Delta employees reported increased acts of aggression (barking, growling, lunging and biting) from service and support animals, behavior not typically seen in these animals when properly trained and working.
New Procedures & Updated Requirements
In compliance with the Air Carrier Access Act, Delta provides in-cabin travel for service and support animals without charge. The guidelines, effective March 1, require that all customers traveling with a service or support animal show proof of health or vaccinations 48 hours in advance. In addition to the current requirement of a letter prepared and signed by a doctor or licensed mental health professional, those with psychiatric service animals and emotional support animals will also need to provide a signed document confirming that their animal can behave to prevent untrained, sometimes aggressive household pets from traveling without a kennel in the cabin. These measures are intended to help ensure that those customers traveling with a trained service or support animal will no longer be at risk of untrained pets attacking their working animal, as has previously been reported.
''The rise in serious incidents involving animals in flight leads us to believe that the lack of regulation in both health and training screening for these animals is creating unsafe conditions across U.S. air travel,'' said John Laughter, Delta's Senior Vice President '-- Corporate Safety, Security and Compliance. ''As a leader in safety, we worked with our Advisory Board on Disability to find a solution that supports those customers with a legitimate need for these animals, while prioritizing a safe and consistent travel experience.''
In developing the updated requirements, Delta solicited the feedback and input of its 15-member Advisory Board on Disability, a group of disability advocates established more than a decade ago and composed of diverse Delta frequent flyers with a range of disabilities.
Air Carrier Access Act
As the Title 14 Code of Federal Aviation Regulations § 382.117 dictates, ''you must permit the service animal to accompany the passenger with a disability at any seat in which the passenger sits, unless the animal obstructs an aisle or other area that must remain unobstructed to facilitate an emergency evacuation.'' However, untrained animals that have been misidentified as service and support animals are regularly reported to occupy seats, stretch across the aisles and move throughout the cabin during flight, often without restriction. That same regulation also requires that airlines determine whether any factors preclude travel in the cabin by a service animal. Such factors include: ''whether the animal would pose a direct threat to the health or safety of others'' and ''whether it would cause a significant disruption of cabin service."
''We are committed to consistently improving our policies, prioritizing the safety of all Delta customers and employees,'' said Laughter. ''We have received extensive customer feedback through calls, emails and social posts '-- many from among those within the disability community '-- urging Delta to take action. This new policy is our first step in better protecting those who fly with Delta with a more thoughtful screening process.''
What Customers with Service and Support Animals Need To Know
Any customer traveling with a service or support animal on/after March 1 will need to meet the new requirements as outlined below:
Traveling with a trained service animal
Customers traveling with a trained service animal will be required to submit a signed Veterinary Health Form and/or an immunization record (current within one year of the travel date) for their animal to Delta's Service Animal Support Desk via Delta.com at least 48 hours in advance of travel.Traveling with an emotional support animal or psychiatric service animal
Customers traveling with an emotional support animal or psychiatric service animal will be required to submit a signed Veterinary Health Form and/or an immunization record (current within one year of the travel date), an Emotional Support/Psychiatric Service Animal Request form which requires a letter prepared and signed by a doctor or licensed mental health professional, and a signed Confirmation of Animal Training form to Delta's Service Animal Support Desk via Delta.com at least 48 hours in advance of travel.Delta is creating a Service Animal Support Desk for customers traveling with service and support animals to improve their travel experience and ensure they receive excellent customer service. This desk will verify that the above documentation is received and confirm the customer's reservation to travel with the animal, prior to arrival at the airport. If a form is not completed, a representative will communicate with the customer via e-mail to request the missing or incomplete items.
Delta does not accept exotic or unusual service or support animals. Additional information on types of accepted animals and other questions related to traveling with service and support animals is available here.
Service and Support Animals
Fri, 19 Jan 2018 20:23
Acceptance policies for service animals vary by country. This includes requirements for pet passports and animal health documentation.
If any country/territory on the route prohibits entry of such an animal, the animal will not be permitted to fly.
Attention JFK: Upon arrival to John F. Kennedy (JFK) Airport, all trained service and support animals arriving from an international pre-cleared station are required to clear TSA.
Attention Brazil: Trained guide dogs are the only type of service animal allowed on intra-Brazil flights operated by codeshare partner GOL Airlines.
Emotional support/psychiatric service animals are never allowed on intra-Brazil flights operated by codeshare partner GOL Airlines."Intra-Brazil" means from 1 city in Brazil to another city in Brazil (for example, from Sao Paulo to Rio).International passengers connecting to/from a codeshare, partner operated or interline domestic flight within Brazil who request emotional support/psychiatric service animal travel must make other arrangements upon arriving into Brazil (for example, traveling by car, bus or rail).Passengers must comply with GOL's policies even though in some cases they differ from Delta's. For GOL and Delta flights between the U.S. and Brazil, Delta's ESAN rules apply. GOL Airlines complies with the U.S. DOT on flights to and from the U.S.Attention Cuba: Trained service animals and emotional support/psychiatric service animals are not recognized as service animals by Cuban authorities and will be treated as household pets (dog or cat only) upon arrival. For an animal to travel to Cuba, the passenger must request and have in their possession, a household pet certificate from their local Cuban embassy/consulate.
Animal's Pet Passport (where applicable) showing all vaccinations up-to-date
Health Certificate for the animal's trip (Request this from a veterinarian)
Certificate of good health
Photocopy of the Passport of the person travelling with the animal
Payment of the consular fee for this service
Animal's Pet Passport (where applicable) showing all vaccinations up-to-date
Health Certificate for the animal's trip (Request this from a veterinarian)
Certificate of good health
Photocopy of the Passport of the person travelling with the animal
Payment of the consular fee for this service
Stamped self-addressed envelope for the return of the documents
Note: If the application is made by mail or via a third party, an extra consular fee will be charged for the pertinent Consular service.
All payments must be made in cash or by a bank-certified check. All cash sent by mail will be refused and returned at the risk of the applicant.
U.K. Requirements:
Delta will transport emotional support/psychiatric service animals- dogs and cats only - to London (Heathrow and Gatwick), Manchester and Edinburgh with the proper documentation and compliance to U.K. regulations for transporting animals.
In order for passengers to transport their dog or cat, they must:
Contact the appropriate Animal Reception Center (ARC) in the city they are traveling to for more information and instruction on what will be needed to enter the U.K. After booking, passengers must contact the ARC directly to plan for the arrival of their pet and to ensure that all required documentation is completed in advance for the U.K. Customs clearance of their dog or cat. Passengers must provide a pre-approval letter from the ARC in the city they are traveling to, indicating that the emotional support/psychiatric service dog or cat has the appropriate documentation, has met the appropriate health requirements and has the proper micro-chip implant. Delta will ask for this documentation, including the pre-approval letter in order to process a request for transport of passenger's dog or cat. Pay all appropriate fees and charges related to U.K. acceptance of emotional support dogs and cats. A current list of charges can be provided by the ARC for the city they are traveling to.*LGW'--London Gatwick
Animal Aircare Co. Ltd.
Gatwick Airport
Horley, Surrey, RH6 0SQ
(0)129 346 2180
*Virgin Atlantic only
LHR'--London Heathrow
City of London Animal Reception Centre
City of London
Guildhall, PO Box 270
London EC2P 2EJ
(0)208 745 7894
MAN'--Manchester Pets on Jets
Building 300
World Freight Terminal
Manchester Airport M90 5BA
(0)161 489 8220
EDI-Edinburgh Airport's small animal Border Inspection Post
(0)131 317 7277
For any questions related to the U.K. Pet Travel Scheme contact DEFRA (Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs).
Turkije bereidt grondoffensief voor in Syrische regio Afrin | NOS
Sun, 21 Jan 2018 13:11
Een Turks gevechtsvliegtuig landt op de luchtmachtbasis in Incirlik na het uitvoeren van bombardementen Anadolu Agency / Getty Images
Turkije bereidt een grondoffensief voor tegen de Koerden in de Syrische grensregio Afrin. Vermoedelijk begint het al de komende uren. Er worden tanks en manschappen samengetrokken, valt op te maken uit berichten in Turkse media.
De Turken zeggen de afgelopen dag ruim 100 Koerdische doelen te hebben gebombardeerd in Afrin. Doelwit van de operatie zijn de Koerdische milities YPG en PYG. Het leger heeft de operatie in Afrin de codenaam 'Olijftak' meegegeven.
Turkse gevechtsvliegtuigen vallen Koerdische doelen in Syri aan
Op sociale media zijn foto's verschenen, waarop een rookwolk boven Afrin te zien is. Een Koerdische functionaris in Afrin heeft tegen persbureau Reuters gezegd dat woonwijken gebombardeerd zijn. De milities zeggen dat er onder de burgerbevolking negen doden zijn gevallen.
De Turken zeiden eerder dat ze artilleriebeschietingen hadden uitgevoerd op schuilkelders in Afrin, die gebruikt worden door Koerdische milities. Op de grens tussen Turkije en Syri worden al dagen Turkse artilleriebeschietingen gemeld.
Correspondent Lucas Waagmeester legt in onderstaande video uit waarom Turkije de Koerden in Syri aanvalt:
Correspondent Lucas Waagmeester over de Turkse aanval in Syri
Rusland zendt dubbelzinnige signalen in dit conflict uit. Moskou heeft Turkije opgeroepen tot terughoudendheid en zegt Syri te steunen in een oproep aan de Verenigde Naties tot beindiging van de Turkse actie. Aan de andere kant hebben de Russen hun 300 man sterke troepenmacht uit het gebied teruggetrokken.
Volgens NOS-correspondent David-Jan Godfroid in Moskou lijkt het erop dat de Turken voor hun militaire operatie in Afirn de stilzwijgende instemming van Moskou hebben. Deze week zijn hoge Turkse militairen op bezoek geweest bij de Russische militaire top in Moskou. Over het besprokene is niets bekendgemaakt, maar waarschijnlijk was de aanstaande Turkse operatie in Afrin het belangrijkste onderwerp van gesprek.
Turkije stelt dat de Koerdische YPG-militie samenwerkt met de Koerdische Arbeidspartij, de militante PKK. Diezelfde YPG wordt door de Verenigde Staten gesteund met wapens en trainingen. Strijders van de YPG zijn de grondtroepen in Amerika's campagne tegen IS.
Elders in Syri claimt het leger van president Assad een succes. Het leger zou met behulp van strijders van Hezbollah na felle gevechten een luchtmachtbasis hebben veroverd op Syrische rebellen. De Abu Zuhourbasis, in de noordelijke provincie Idlib, was sinds 2015 in handen van groepen die vechten tegen het regime van Assad.
Shut Up Slave!
NSA deleted surveillance data it pledged to preserve - POLITICO
Sat, 20 Jan 2018 12:05
Since 2007, the NSA has been under court orders to preserve data about some of its surveillance efforts. | Getty Images
The agency tells a federal judge that it is investigating and 'sincerely regrets its failure.'
01/19/2018 07:39 PM EST
The National Security Agency destroyed surveillance data it pledged to preserve in connection with pending lawsuits and apparently never took some of the steps it told a federal court it had taken to make sure the information wasn't destroyed, according to recent court filings.
Word of the NSA's foul-up is emerging just as Congress has extended for six years the legal authority the agency uses for much of its surveillance work conducted through U.S. internet providers and tech firms. President Donald Trump signed that measure into law Friday.
Story Continued Below
Since 2007, the NSA has been under court orders to preserve data about certain of its surveillance efforts that came under legal attack following disclosures that President George W. Bush ordered warrantless wiretapping of international communications after the 2001 terrorist attacks on the U.S. In addition, the agency has made a series of representations in court over the years about how it is complying with its duties.
However, the NSA told U.S. District Court Judge Jeffrey White in a filing on Thursday night and another little-noticed submission last year that the agency did not preserve the content of internet communications intercepted between 2001 and 2007 under the program Bush ordered. To make matters worse, backup tapes that might have mitigated the failure were erased in 2009, 2011 and 2016, the NSA said.
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''The NSA sincerely regrets its failure to prevent the deletion of this data,'' NSA's deputy director of capabilities, identified publicly as ''Elizabeth B.,'' wrote in a declaration filed in October. ''NSA senior management is fully aware of this failure, and the Agency is committed to taking swift action to respond to the loss of this data.''
In the update Thursday, another NSA official said the data were deleted during a broad, housecleaning effort aimed at making space for incoming information.
''The NSA's review to date reveals that this [Presidential Surveillance Program] Internet content data was not specifically targeted for deletion,'' wrote the official, identified as ''Dr. Mark O,'' ''but rather the PSP Internet content data matched criteria that were broadly used to delete data of a certain type '... in response to mission requirements to free-up space and improve performance of the [redacted] back-up system. The NSA is still investigating how these deletions came about given the preservation obligations extant at the time. The NSA, however, has no reason to believe at this time that PSP Internet content data was specifically targeted for deletion.''
An NSA spokesman declined to comment on Friday.
Defiance of a court order can result in civil or criminal contempt charges, as well as sanctions against the party responsible. So far, no one involved appears to have asked White to impose any punishment or sanction on the NSA over the newly disclosed episodes, although the details of what happened are still emerging.
''It's really disappointing,'' said David Greene, an attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which has been leading the prolonged litigation over the program in federal court in San Francisco. ''The obligation's been in place for a really long time now. '... We had a major dust-up about it just a few years ago. This is definitely something that should've been found sooner.''
The last legal showdown over the issue may have actually compounded the NSA's problems. In May 2014, an NSA official known as ''Miriam P.'' assured the court that the data were safe.
The NSA is ''preserving magnetic/digital tapes of the Internet content intercepted under the [PSP] since the inception of the program,'' she wrote, adding that ''the NSA has stored these tapes in the offices of its General Counsel.''
The agency now says, ''regrettably,'' that the statement ''may have been only partially accurate when made.''
The latest NSA filing says the ongoing investigation indicates that officials did a ''physical inspection'' in 2014 to confirm the tapes' presence in the counsel's office storage space. However, ''those tapes largely concerned metadata,'' not the content of communications the NSA intercepted.
The NSA says the impact of the misstatement and the deletion on the litigation should be ''limited'' because it has found back-ups of some content from about four months in 2003 and because it has a larger set of metadata from 2004 to 2007. That metadata should give a strong indication of whether the plaintiffs in the suits had their communications captured by the NSA, even if the communications themselves may be lost, the filings indicate. The NSA is also using ''extraordinary'' efforts to recover the data from tapes that were reused, it said.
Asked why the Electronic Frontier Foundation hasn't publicized the episode, Greene said his group was waiting for the NSA to turn over data that the plaintiffs in the suits have demanded before considering next steps regarding the spy agency's failure to maintain the records it said it was keeping.
''We don't know exactly how bad it is,'' the lawyer said, adding: ''Even if you take them at their word that this was just an honest mistake, what it shows is despite your best intention to comply with important restrictions, it can be really difficult to implement. '... It shows that with the really tremendous volume of information they're vacuuming up, it is impossible to be meticulous.''
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NSA deleted surveillance data it pledged to preserve
Sun, 21 Jan 2018 12:35
The agency tells a federal judge that it is investigating and 'sincerely regrets its failure.'
Since 2007, the NSA has been under court orders to preserve data about some of its surveillance efforts. | Getty Images
The National Security Agency destroyed surveillance data it pledged to preserve in connection with pending lawsuits and apparently never took some of the steps it told a federal court it had taken to make sure the information wasn't destroyed, according to recent court filings.
Word of the NSA's foul-up is emerging just as Congress has extended for six years the legal authority the agency uses for much of its surveillance work conducted through U.S. internet providers and tech firms. President Donald Trump signed that measure into law Friday.
Story Continued Below
This browser does not support the Ad element.
Since 2007, the NSA has been under court orders to preserve data about certain of its surveillance efforts that came under legal attack following disclosures that President George W. Bush ordered warrantless wiretapping of international communications after the 2001 terrorist attacks on the U.S. In addition, the agency has made a series of representations in court over the years about how it is complying with its duties.
However, the NSA told U.S. District Court Judge Jeffrey White in a filing on Thursday night and another little-noticed submission last year that the agency did not preserve the content of internet communications intercepted between 2001 and 2007 under the program Bush ordered. To make matters worse, backup tapes that might have mitigated the failure were erased in 2009, 2011 and 2016, the NSA said.
''The NSA sincerely regrets its failure to prevent the deletion of this data,'' NSA's deputy director of capabilities, identified publicly as ''Elizabeth B.,'' wrote in a declaration filed in October. ''NSA senior management is fully aware of this failure, and the Agency is committed to taking swift action to respond to the loss of this data.''
In the update Thursday, another NSA official said the data were deleted during a broad, housecleaning effort aimed at making space for incoming information.
''The NSA's review to date reveals that this [Presidential Surveillance Program] Internet content data was not specifically targeted for deletion,'' wrote the official, identified as ''Dr. Mark O,'' ''but rather the PSP Internet content data matched criteria that were broadly used to delete data of a certain type '... in response to mission requirements to free-up space and improve performance of the [redacted] back-up system. The NSA is still investigating how these deletions came about given the preservation obligations extant at the time. The NSA, however, has no reason to believe at this time that PSP Internet content data was specifically targeted for deletion.''
An NSA spokesman declined to comment on Friday.
Defiance of a court order can result in civil or criminal contempt charges, as well as sanctions against the party responsible. So far, no one involved appears to have asked White to impose any punishment or sanction on the NSA over the newly disclosed episodes, although the details of what happened are still emerging.
''It's really disappointing,'' said David Greene, an attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which has been leading the prolonged litigation over the program in federal court in San Francisco. ''The obligation's been in place for a really long time now. '... We had a major dust-up about it just a few years ago. This is definitely something that should've been found sooner.''
Story Continued Below
This browser does not support the Ad element.
The last legal showdown over the issue may have actually compounded the NSA's problems. In May 2014, an NSA official known as ''Miriam P.'' assured the court that the data were safe.
The NSA is ''preserving magnetic/digital tapes of the Internet content intercepted under the [PSP] since the inception of the program,'' she wrote, adding that ''the NSA has stored these tapes in the offices of its General Counsel.''
The agency now says, ''regrettably,'' that the statement ''may have been only partially accurate when made.''
The latest NSA filing says the ongoing investigation indicates that officials did a ''physical inspection'' in 2014 to confirm the tapes' presence in the counsel's office storage space. However, ''those tapes largely concerned metadata,'' not the content of communications the NSA intercepted.
The NSA says the impact of the misstatement and the deletion on the litigation should be ''limited'' because it has found back-ups of some content from about four months in 2003 and because it has a larger set of metadata from 2004 to 2007. That metadata should give a strong indication of whether the plaintiffs in the suits had their communications captured by the NSA, even if the communications themselves may be lost, the filings indicate. The NSA is also using ''extraordinary'' efforts to recover the data from tapes that were reused, it said.
Asked why the Electronic Frontier Foundation hasn't publicized the episode, Greene said his group was waiting for the NSA to turn over data that the plaintiffs in the suits have demanded before considering next steps regarding the spy agency's failure to maintain the records it said it was keeping.
''We don't know exactly how bad it is,'' the lawyer said, adding: ''Even if you take them at their word that this was just an honest mistake, what it shows is despite your best intention to comply with important restrictions, it can be really difficult to implement. '... It shows that with the really tremendous volume of information they're vacuuming up, it is impossible to be meticulous.''
This story tagged under:Sign up for POLITICO Playbook and get top news and scoops, every morning '-- in your inbox.This browser does not support the Ad element.
Food - European Commission
Sun, 21 Jan 2018 14:52
This product was on the market as a food or food ingredient and consumed to a significant degree before 15 May 1997. Thus its access to the market is not subject to the Novel Food Regulation (EC) No. 258/97. However, other specific legislation may restrict the placing on the market of this product as a food or food ingredient in some Member States. Therefore, it is recommended to check with the national competent authorities. According to information available to Member States competent authorities this product was used only as or in food supplements before 15 May 1997. Any other food uses of this product have to be authorised pursuant to the Novel Food Regulation. There was a request whether this product requires authorisation under the Novel Food Regulation. According to the information available to Member States' competent authorities, this product was not used as a food or food ingredient before 15 May 1997. Therefore, before it may be placed on the market in the EU as a food or food ingredient a safety assessment under the Novel Food Regulation is required. There was a request whether this product requires authorisation under the Novel Food Regulation. Further information is required.
'No dessert until you eat your cricket': Insects set to enter menus after EU ruling '-- RT World News
Sun, 21 Jan 2018 14:48
Insect-based snacks could soon swarm the European market after new regulations came into force this month '' bringing creepy crawly menus one step closer to reality.
It's estimated that at least 2 billion people on the planet currently incorporate insects into their diet. However, Europe is still regarded as being in the nascent stages of embracing entomophagy, the practice of eating creatures such as crickets, worms, and ants.
The updated EU legislation expands the category of foods not widely eaten in Europe before 1997 to include parts of insects, such as wings or legs, as well as whole animals.
The legislation streamlines the process of innovative firms entering the market and does away with an unwieldy applicant-specific system.
READ MORE: 'Tastes like chicken': Swiss supermarket to sell 'bug burgers' following loosening of food laws
Before, businesses retailing products containing ingredients seen as niche had to apply to the relevant EU member states. The application would then be sent to the European Commision for evaluation before going to market.
''The authorisation procedure is more efficient and safe, innovative food can be delivered to market more quickly and without necessary trade barriers, whilst ensuring a high level of food safety,'' a European Commission online statement reads.
''The new regulation creates a centralized authorisation system, giving the applicants greater certainty, simplicity and speed during the authorisation process.''
The update also draws up an EU list of novel foods making it easier for products to go straight to shop shelves. Any company which satisfies the conditions and labelling requirements set by European Food Safety Authority can now place an authorized product for sale.
READ MORE: 'Ecological Armageddon': Plummeting insect populations could ravage life on Earth
Creatures such as mealworms and crickets are steadily becoming a popular commodity in Europe, with a number of insect farms already operating within the trading bloc. The uptake could be because of the health and environmental benefits associated with the fare.
Insects have been identified as a healthy option in the fight to combat food scarcity. In a 2013 report, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization highlighted the perception that eating insects is primitive as a reason for why it's less popular in Western countries.
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Legislation - European Commission on BUGS
Sun, 21 Jan 2018 14:48
What is the current Novel Food legislation?As of 1 January 2018, the new Regulation (EU) 2015/2283 on novel foods (the new Regulation) is applicable. It repeals and replaces Regulation (EC) No 258/97 and Regulation (EC) No 1852/2001 which were in force until 31 December 2017.
The new Regulation improves conditions so that food businesses can easily bring new and innovative foods to the EU market, while maintaining a high level of food safety for European consumers.
The main features and improvements of the new Regulation are the following:
Expanded categories of Novel Foods: The Novel Food definition describes the various situations of foods originating from plants, animals, microorganisms, cell cultures, minerals, etc., specific categories of foods (insects, vitamins, minerals, food supplements, etc.), foods resulting from production processes and practices, and state of the art technologies (e.g. intentionally modified or new molecular structure, nanomaterials), which were not produced or used before 1997 and thus may be considered to be as novel foods.Generic authorisations of Novel Foods: Under the new Regulation, all authorisations (new and old) are generic as opposed to the applicant-specific, restricted novel food authorisations under the old Novel Food regime. This means that any food business operator can place an authorised Novel Food on the European Union market, provided the authorised conditions of use, labelling requirements, and specifications are respected.Establishment of a Union list of authorised Novel Foods: This is a positive list containing all authorised novel foods. Novel Foods which will be authorised in the future will be added to the Union list by means of Commission Implementing Regulations. Once a novel food is added to the Union list, then it is automatically considered as being authorised and it can be placed in the European Union market.A simplified, centralised authorisation procedure manged by the European Commission using an online application submission system. Centralised, safety evaluation of the Novel Foods will be carried out by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). The European Commission consults EFSA on the applications and bases its authorisation decisions on the outcome of the EFSA's evaluation.Efficiency and transparency will be improved by establishing deadlines for the safety evaluation and authorisation procedure, thus reducing the overall time spent on approvals.A faster and structured notification system for traditional foods from third countries on the basis of a history of safe food use. To facilitate the marketing of traditional foods from countries outside the EU, which are considered novel foods in the EU, the new Regulation introduces a simplified assessment procedure for foods new to the EU. If the safety of the traditional food in question can be established on the basis of evidence of a history of consumption in the third country, and there are no safety concerns raised by EU Member States or EFSA, the traditional food will be allowed to be placed on the European Union market.Promotion of innovation by granting an individual authorisation for five years based on protected data. Data protection provisions are included in the new Regulation. That means that an applicant may be granted an individual authorisation for placing on the market of a novel food. This is based on newly developed scientific evidence and proprietary data and is limited in time to 5 years.For further information:
Implementing acts and EFSA guidanceTo facilitate the entry into force of the new Regulation, the Commission has adopted the following implementing acts:
This Implementing act sets out the administrative, technical and scientific requirements which should be included in a novel food application. In addition, specifically on the scientific requirements, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has also issued detailed guidance. Both the legal text of the implementing act and the EFSA guidance are expected to assist food business operators and facilitate the preparation and submission of a Novel Food application.
Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2017/2468 laying down administrative and scientific requirements concerning traditional foods from third countries in accordance with Regulation (EU) 2015/2283 of the European Parliament and of the Council on novel foods. This Implementing act sets out the administrative, technical and scientific requirements which should be included in a notification of a traditional food from a third country and which is considered novel in the European Union. Also in this case, EFSA has issued detailed guidance on the information which should be included in the notification, in particular in relation to establishing the safe history of consumption of the traditional novel food in third countries.Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2017/2470 on establishing the Union list of novel foods in accordance with Regulation (EU) 2015/2283 of the European Parliament and of the Council on Novel Foods (see also chapter 3.3)The new Novel Food regulation does not apply in the following cases:Food additives within Regulation (EC) No 1333/2008.Flavourings for use in foods within Regulation (EC) No 1334/2008.Extraction solvents used in the production of foods within Directive 2009/32/EC approximating EU countries' laws.GMOs for food and feed, covered by Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003.If foods and/or food ingredients were used exclusively in food supplements, new uses in other foods require an authorisation under the Novel Food Regulation e.g. food fortification requires an authorisation.
Hate Trumps Love
'Vision, Chutzpah and Some Testosterone' - The New York Times
Fri, 19 Jan 2018 12:27
To the Editor:
I voted for Donald Trump and, considering the alternative, I would do so again. Newsflash: Not all Trump voters are Hillary Clinton's ''deplorables.'' Many of us are well-informed and highly educated, and we are weary of the Democrats' tiresome focus on identity politics, class warfare, and disparagement of corporations and the ''wealthy.''
Opinion polls give Mr. Trump a low rating, and I would, too, for character, personality and temperament. But I would give him high marks for policies and programs that are stimulating the private sector, which, after all, pays the bills for the Democrats' extravagant welfare programs. And because of Mr. Trump we have an education secretary who actually cares more about educating children than appeasing the teachers' unions.
Even more important, we desperately needed a seismic change in the pusillanimous foreign policy pursued during the Obama years, which emboldened our adversaries, including China, Russia, North Korea and Middle East militants. I also support a more robust approach to border security and illegal immigration, which could still entail legal residency for law-abiding Dreamers but not an undeserved pathway to citizenship.
To the Editor:
Yes, I was a Trump voter. There, I've said it. Though I am subjecting myself to derision, I think that President Trump has performed well policywise. Changes for the good of our country in both foreign and domestic affairs have happened under his watch.
Much of the media, as the hotbed of hatred against Mr. Trump, has pushed me more toward him than his social behavior has done the opposite.
To the Editor:
Not only did I vote for him, but I also made more than 5,000 calls on his behalf (and I've been a registered Democrat for 40 years). So far I am thrilled with his performance. Numerous reasons, but here are a few: recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital; letting the generals crush ISIS; stronger plans to prevent North Korea and Iran from using nuclear weapons; getting out of biased United Nations organizations; and respect for the flag and the rule of law.
I thank my dear New York Times for asking to hear from Trump voters. It's been difficult to read the paper this past year. It's anti-Trump in everything from the front page to fashion. It's so pervasive that I wouldn't be surprised to learn that there's not another loyal New York Times reader out there who voted for Mr. Trump and that I'm sending the only submission. New York Times, I will always love you, despite our disagreement.
To the Editor:
A president like Donald Trump only appears every 100 years or so. He came to office with a solid Electoral College majority and a history of strong leadership of people from all walks of life. His positive agenda can be boiled down to national security and economic growth.
By any measure President Trump's first year has shown prodigious progress. As a child of the '60s I admire his iconoclastic nature, optimism and unapologetic humanity. When asked during the campaign about his truthfulness, he replied that maybe he is too truthful. He does ruffle feathers, but seems to end up being right about most important things. I think Mr. Trump is doing a terrific job against all odds, and is getting better. I am proud when I see the First Couple representing us on the world stage. Tens of millions of thoughtful, compassionate Americans agree with me.
Photo Philip Maymin Credit Michael Nagle for The New York Times To the Editor:
I've voted twice in my life: once for myself when I ran for Congress 10 years ago, and once for Donald Trump last year. Virtually all of my friends or colleagues actively hate Mr. Trump. I'm a minority in every circle I move in. I have a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, and a bachelor's and master's from Harvard; I'm a former hedge fund trader and now an academic; I'm a journalist and author. Imagine being a Trump supporter in even one of those circles! We learn to stay quiet.
How's he doing? He has turned a fragile nation ''anti-fragile'' (the scholar Nassim Nicholas Taleb's term). Before Mr. Trump, we were scared of any volatility. Oh no, ISIS! Oh no, banks! The more chaos there was, the worse we were.
Now volatility is our friend. The more chaos, the better! Entrepreneurship up. Optimism up. Good old American problem solving is back! You know who loves change? Capitalists. Mr. Trump has led us on that spiritual exodus.
The writer is an associate professor of analytics and finance at the University of Bridgeport.
To the Editor:
I went to the polls with a clothespin on my nose. I had very low expectations for a Trump presidency. A justice like Neil Gorsuch was all I was sure we'd get. I believed that Donald Trump could be a disaster, but the other two branches of government would keep him in check. Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, was guaranteed to take us down the path that President Obama started.
That said, I am shocked at how well President Trump is doing. I give him a B-plus. His performance under extreme pressure and harsh criticism has been admirable. Some of the many positive results of his policies are a booming economy, low unemployment (record low for black Americans), soaring stock market, lower taxes, the repeal of mandatory health insurance coverage, ISIS defeated in Iraq, and much, much more.
I do not understand why people still believe anything that the media, or politicians and pundits who have an agenda, say. They have been wrong about practically everything since long before November 2016.
Photo Emily Robertson Credit Ilana Panich-Linsman for The New York Times To the Editor:
I'm thrilled with the progress that President Trump has made in defeating ISIS, cutting taxes for middle-class families and making court appointments. Thanks to the tax cuts, my husband and I stand to keep a much larger portion of our paychecks. I'd like to see more work in securing the border, enforcing immigration laws, improving our infrastructure and combating political corruption in D.C. (in both parties).
I'm thrilled at his support for Israel. Nikki Haley is one of his best appointments, and I love seeing strong women stand up for what's right on a global stage.
What I like least about his presidency so far is the tweeting. It's often immature and lowers the tone of the debate while debasing the office of the presidency. That said, I think the media needs to be a lot more evenhanded in its coverage of him and keep its personal opinions in check.
To the Editor:
Granted we have the most unpresidential president of our time. Crude, rude, clueless dude '-- but I believe, with the help of his friends, he's stumbling through one of the most effective presidencies in memory.
As the Sonny LoSpecchio character wisely concluded in the movie ''A Bronx Tale,'' it's better to be feared than loved. My hope is for our enemies to fear Donald Trump and for his domestic opponents to realize he's on their side.
To the Editor:
After voting for Democrats for over 60 years I voted for President Trump. As an immigrant, I was concerned that the country I have grown to love was, to quote a recent Op-Ed article in your paper, beginning to undergo ''a national descent into chaos.'' Towns were being destroyed by their own citizens for what they saw as police injustice, our police were being slaughtered in cold blood and New York City's mayor said he had warned his son against the police.
I thought sanctuary cities were unjust to our own citizens, and our attempt to keep intact our reputation as welcoming Uncle Sam was becoming detrimental to our own welfare. Mr. Trump's language is often inappropriate and juvenile, and I had hoped he would rise to his new position. But although words are indeed important, I thought his tough take-no-prisoners manner and, yes, even his unpredictability might be what was needed at this particular time to cause offending persons and countries to sit up, consider us seriously, and think twice about taking advantage of us financially and otherwise.
To the Editor:
My hometown, Newton Falls, Ohio, was once a working-class Mayberry. Though not rich, the men and women of the town had pride and worked hard for their families and for their share of the American dream.
I am 28, and in the nearly three decades I've been alive, I've seen Newton Falls and its surrounding environs succumb to a despair reflected by the opioid crisis. I have seen Republicans and Democrats sell out through a false dogma of free trade. I have seen my friends sent abroad to foreign lands with ill-defined military missions, coming back mangled or not at all. I have seen a political class eager to replace a working class with an imported labor class, driving down wages.
One candidate sought to address this '-- Donald Trump. While admittedly a gamble, he promised to address the trifecta of poor trade deals, an end to needless foreign wars and a crackdown on immigration. On these three goals, he has done an excellent job so far and I support him wholeheartedly.
To the Editor:
Several of my friends with whom I discuss politics in the San Francisco Bay Area (not many!) have told me that I'm the only person they know who voted for Donald Trump. Truth be told, I think there are others who have not admitted it.
Donald Trump was not my first choice. However, even though I'm a ''women's libber'' from the late '60s, and I feel that we should have had a female president by now, Hillary Clinton was not worthy.
Mr. Trump is a vulgarian in the way he tweets and sometimes talks. However, as Rich Lowry wrote in National Review, his presidency is better than his tweets, and he has made significant progress in nominating and appointing conservative judges.
He has undone many of President Barack Obama's unconstitutional executive orders. He has been rolling back burdensome regulations. He shepherded through Congress a tax bill that most people think will be a boon to the economy and ''lift all boats.'' Obamacare is mortally wounded.
I think Mr. Trump is a true entrepreneur who will adjust his approach and succeed in the end.
Photo Joshua Dawson Credit Kathryn Gamble for The New York Times To the Editor:
President Donald Trump still has to deliver bigly for me on fiscal responsibility. The national debt is my biggest concern today. I am very happy with the number of executive orders he's passed to get around an obstructionist Democratic Party that is out for his blood. His combative attitude with the Democrats and the media on Twitter never gets old with me either.
If I wanted a scripted smooth talker for president, I'd have voted for someone else. An unscripted Mr. Trump feels more authentic to me, and I still don't see him as a politician. If the election were held again today, I would 100 percent vote for him again.
To the Editor:
Before I respond to your questions, I have a question of my own: Did you run similar surveys for Obama voters? Or, for that matter, Eisenhower voters? Trump voters are not circus freaks to be displayed or singled out.
The very fact that we have a tax cut, a roaring economy and stock market, a magnificent new Supreme Court justice and a wonderful attorney general with not only a moral compass but also a determination to actually enforce the laws of the land gives me great hope for this country's future.
I think President Trump is doing just fine, particularly when one considers the sustained assault of the media, Hollywood, talk shows and, dare I say, ''the paper of record,'' which has abandoned all pretense of objectivity to join, if not lead, ''the resistance.''
Follow The New York Times Opinion section onFacebookandTwitter (@NYTopinion), and sign up for theOpinion Today newsletter.
A version of this letter appears in print on January 18, 2018, on Page A22 of the New York edition with the headline: Trump Voters, One Year In.
Continue reading the main story
Stormy Daniels Reportedly Spanked Trump With A Copy of Forbes Magazine | Mediaite
Sat, 20 Jan 2018 14:05
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Stormy Daniels Reportedly Spanked Trump With A Copy of Forbes Magazine
This is looking to be the calm before the Stormy.
In the wake of a Wall Street Journal article that alleges Trump lawyer Michael Cohen paid off porn star Stormy Daniels to keep quiet about a 2006 sexual encounter with now-president Donald Trump, several other stories about Daniels' rendezvous with Trump have surfaced '' including one account that she spanked Trump with a copy of Forbes.
Mother Jones reports that during a May 2009 ''listening tour'' of Louisiana when considering a run for Senate, Daniels compiled a list of potential campaign contributors, all of whom came from contacts in her cell phone, and one of whom was Donald Trump.
Upon receiving this list, one consultant expressed surprise that Trump's number was in Daniels' cell phone. Another consultant named Andrea Dub(C), who confirmed the veracity of this exchange to Mother Jones, replied: ''She says one time he made her sit with him for three hours watching 'shark week.' Another time he had her spank him with a Forbes magazine.''
If this information is true, it's no dossier. But as sexual behavior goes, it's not exactly pedestrian.
[image via screengrab]
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Sultan Knish: What the Media Really Wants
Sun, 21 Jan 2018 14:56
President Trump's end year remarks to the New York Times acerbically summed up his relationship with the media. ''I'm going to win another four years'... because newspapers, television, all forms of media will tank if I'm not there.'' The answering outburst of rage and contempt from the media burned all the hotter because the statement was not only intentionally provocative; it was also true.The media has never been able to quit Trump. Its conviction that it can destroy him through coverage has repeatedly proven false. But that hasn't stopped the media from throwing more coverage at him. And its motive for the non-stop coverage has always been the selfish pursuit of ratings, clicks and sales.
The New York Times, the Washington Post and CNN are all busy playing Trump-slayers when what they really want is four more years of rising subscriptions, ad sales and profits. Few politicians understand that conflict of interest better than Trump who has spent most of his adult life playing the media.
These days the media needs Trump more than ever. Its old purpose, reporting the news, is as dead as the telegraph. Reporting is expensive. It requires infrastructure and personnel. And it isn't very profitable. In the age of the internet, few people will sit around and watch the pointless reporting from the scene of an event that was once the staple of local news and cable news.
And repurposing viral videos and stories can only fill so much of that hole. But the media doesn't really report news either. Mostly it repurposes it to create narratives that it can then milk for days or months. Whether it's a missing airliner, #MeToo or Russian collusion, the best narratives are part mystery, scandal and thriller. The news isn't just fake: It's metafictional. It turns real life into fodder for fiction.
The media has crossed the mirror's edge where reality television, recreations of crimes and movies based on true stories once lived. It lives and dies by turning the news into a fictional narrative. And narratives are cheap. Every news network can run video of Mueller slowly walking down a hallway while a panel of experts discusses what the latest leak really means for President Trump. For the cost of a green room, a limo and a little promotion, CNN can have its very own House of Cards drama.
Trump is the media's star. Without him, CNN would have to go back to chasing missing airliners. And he has an innate understanding of the media's business model from the days when he was playing New York City tabloids against each other. The tabloidization of the national media is a development that has left the GOP's Beltway establishment bewildered and confused. But Trump has always understood the media as a tabloid operation that specialized in the same heroes and heels as professional wrestling.
And he knows that he doesn't have to beat the media. He just has to let it beat itself.
The combination of political anger and personal greed that drives the media is destroying its credibility. The media was most effective when it was playing the detached narrator and the impartial referee. Trump's greatest trick was forcing it to get in the ring with him. That's always been his trick for defeating his opponents. And the media has eagerly cast away its restraints and given in to its worst instincts.
It can't defeat Trump by getting in the ring with him. But it's a lot more fun. And it's profitable.
Trump's remarks to the New York Times taunt it with the truth about its obsession with him. Behind the ideology is greed. And the greed is stronger than the ideology. The media hates and needs him. It's become addicted to both. The need intensifies its hatred. And the hatred intensifies the need.
The media spent eight years declining into irrelevance under Obama. Even before Trump, Obama had bypassed the media for social media. The big stories were fed to the press by Obama Inc. cronies like Ben Rhodes or hidden hand political smear shops like Fusion GPS. Even its core mission of cheerleading the left had become meaningless as younger lefties no longer bothered reading, watching or even clicking on mainstream media sites. The media was running out of customers, money and relevance.
Trump revived the media. The young lefties helping monetize the media again are coming for him. And every time he attacks the media, he makes it more relevant. The ritually insincere public wails about the unique threat to the free press posed by snarky tweets from the White House mask the private celebrations in every newsroom that Trump is making them into the center of attention once again.
The media is no longer just reprinting photos of Obama's latest viral stunt from his house photog or running its stories by Hillary's people to see how much more flattering they can be; it's getting out there and leading the #Resistance while cashing in on all the publicity.
And it owes it all to Trump.
President Trump is confident that he can get the media to do what he wants because he understands that it only pretends to be driven by progressive virtue, but is actually motivated by classic vice. The core hypocrisy of the left is its belief that it can have virtue in the public sphere and vice in the private one.
Media stars can grope their female subordinates in private as long as they tout Planned Parenthood and Linda Sarsour in public. It's okay to fly private jets as long as they push for plastic bag bans. Getting rich is great if they do it while dedicating their careers to opposing the idea of other people getting rich. If you tweet #BlackLivesMatter, you can make racist jokes with your friends. That's the hypocritical left.
And the media pretends that it can bring down President Trump by getting rich covering him. Trump rode that hypocrisy to the White House. He's telling the media that he'll ride it to a second term. And that the media would rather see him in the White House than stop playing into his hands.
Trump beat the media by playing on its private motivations rather than its public ones. And now he's mocking its hypocrisy in the pages of its top paper while it responds exactly as he wants it to.
President Trump needs the media to hate him. And the media needs him to hate. Trump benefits politically from that relationship, but the media only benefits financially from it. The media's Trump rage ended Hillary's career, put a Republican in the White House, pulled us out of the Paris Climate Accords, brought in the Muslim travel ban, recognized Jerusalem and did all the other things the media wails about every second of the day. And the media helped make them happen.
The media could have covered President Trump fairly, objectively and dispassionately. But that wouldn't have been nearly as popular. It was much more lucrative to run 24/7 hysteria, to convince its own audience that the world was about to end and to stay tuned for the latest Trump revelation. Each time it did that, it boosted his image as a revolutionary anti-establishment politician bringing real change.
Media icons may ridicule Trump's remarks in public, but they know the truth of them in private.
President Trump makes their jobs, raises and bonuses possible. He's the reason why media outlets have started expanding, instead of contracting, their investigative resources. Sinking newspapers and networks have suddenly become profitable. CNN can spend three hours on a single Trump tweet. All it has to do is bring in four 'experts' to stir up the outrage and then sell commercials in between.
It's not journalism. But it sure makes money.
The media could stop any time. All it would have to do is put principles over profit. Even the totalitarian political principles of the left. But it's too greedy to stop. Trump has hooked the media on himself.
President Trump beat the media by using its worst impulses against it. And he's taunting the media with the truth about its motivations and exposing the lie that it tells itself. He's reminding media elites that behind their posturing, they will hypocritically betray their leftist ideals and win him another election.
Set Your Autocorrect to Change 'Guys' to 'Folks'
Fri, 19 Jan 2018 13:50
Do you use ''guys'' as a general pronoun for both men and women? If you've ever wondered whether that's okay (if you are in fact speaking to a mixed-gender crowd), here's Will from Los Angeles writing into the January 12th podcast With Friends Like These to ask ''Do you think the term guys has reached gender-neutral status in the language today?''
Ana Marie Cox, the host of the podcast, invited Jamil Smith, a contributing opinion writer for the L.A. Times to discuss Will's question and whether ''guys'' is universally acceptable nowadays. Their discussion (which starts at about 51:00, though the first part of the podcast, on politics, is terrific too) is an interesting breakdown of why language matters, what our default assumptions are, and how we can steer the course of social progress with the most minute corrections.
Here's the most actionable part of their convo on ''guys'': Cox has set an autocorrect on her computer and phone to change guys to folks. She did it to force herself to think about whether she really does mean ''guys'': Is she writing an email to an all-male group of colleagues? Or is she talking to an all-women group? And to take it a step further, Smith points out that even if you are addressing all men, should you be? Perhaps, he notes, one should consider why your panel is all male (or why your colleagues are all male). And if you're thinking about this one little thing, you're hopefully also thinking about all the bigger things too.
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Read more Read This sort of tiny examination forces the writer to consider what we assume is the default, and how whiteness, maleness, heterosexuality, and ability tend to be centered in our culture. It's a useful, though tiny, exercise in remembering that not everyone you deal with is going to be the default. Cox even coins a new term, a ''micro-justice,'' a small thing that someone can do to correct a tendency to put whiteness and maleness front and center.
Now, if you want a interesting perspective on whether gendered language matters, a good Twitter account to follow is @ManWhoHasItAll:
So is this all overthinking things? Funny, they address that too! Smith says, ''Taking a second to consider gender pronouns and how we center maleness isn't overthinking, it's just thinking....The idea that somehow that might be overthinking things'--we don't get anywhere further than we are now. That's a recipe for the status quo.''
Want a little reminder to consider your language and whether it's inclusive or not? Set your autocorrect to change guys to folks, or some other term that works for you. As Smith says, ''It doesn't require that much energy or cognitive ability to consider someone else's perspective.''
Experiencing Homelessness
Why New York Hires 200 People to Pretend They're Homeless - The New York Times
Fri, 19 Jan 2018 11:17
To gauge the accuracy of the annual count of homeless people on the streets, New York City commissions a ''shadow count'' of decoys, shown here in a training session. Credit Sam Hodgson for The New York Times One night a year, Javon Egyptt and Darryn Lubonski stage a performance on a New York City sidewalk. Dressed in layers, hats and extra socks, the couple pretends to be homeless.
They will join about 200 other decoys who will be paid to act as if they live on the street during the Homeless Outreach Population Estimate, the city's annual census of unsheltered homeless people, as a way gauging the count's accuracy.
Like many of the decoys, Ms. Egyptt and Mr. Lubonski have experienced homelessness, living in subway stations or parks, abandoned homes or on the streets.
''When New York City had a blizzard up to here,'' Ms. Egyptt said, placing her hand at her stomach, ''I was on the street.''
The city enlists thousands of volunteers for the four-hour, overnight canvas, an undertaking that would cost far more without the unpaid search parties. The decoys shoulder the responsibility of testing the accuracy of a survey carried out by volunteers who are sometimes too timid to approach homeless people or are too inattentive to spot them.
The annual count, scheduled for Jan 22, is part of a nationwide estimate of homelessness, which helps to determine annual federal grants.
The city uses the percentage of decoys who are not found as a margin of error, one of several factors used to come up with the final estimate. ''All of our efforts here are essentially checking our work,'' said Steven Banks, the city's commissioner of social services.
The decoy program is known as the ''shadow count,'' and the people who brave the cold year after year say they do it not for the pay of $85, but as a civic duty.
The city estimated that 3,900 people lived unsheltered during last year's census, accounting for about 5 percent of the city's 77,000 homeless people. Still, there was a 40 percent jump in street homelessness over the previous year, which city officials attributed to unseasonably warm weather. But advocates for homeless people have long argued that the unsheltered population is likely higher, since people find temporary relief with friends and family during inclement weather.
For the rest of the year, thousands of people choose the street over a warm shelter bed. Ms. Egyptt and Mr. Lubonski, 53, pointed to the lax security and squalid conditions of shelters.
''My boots got stolen. I got stabbed,'' Mr. Lubonski said.
''Mold in the showers,'' Ms. Egyptt said, shaking her head.
Decoys were shown the areas where they would be assigned for the annual homeless survey. Credit Sam Hodgson for The New York Times Ruby Garner, 56, who helps supervise the decoys, said she once lived in an abandoned building where she cooked food on a makeshift stove fashioned from bricks and candles. She said she slept on a bed of old clothes. ''I had that apartment looking like it was mine,'' she said, laughing at her ingenuity.
She said the annual survey does not capture squatters who may be off the street but aren't in a shelter or a home. ''If those enumerators really want to know, I could take them,'' she said.
The HOPE count, established in 2005, sticks to more visible, public spaces.
Decoys underwent training last week at the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College, which administers the shadow count under a $133,000 contract with the city. At two sessions on a Monday night, people hugged and greeted each other. Many of them only see each other once a year to prepare for the overnight endeavor. They shared advice and swapped stories as Christine H. Kim, the project manager for the count, went over logistics and dos and don'ts.
Decoys must work in pairs, standing or sitting 10 to 15 feet apart on a street, train or subway platform. Volunteers cannot be faulted for failing to find decoys who are not where they were supposed to be. ''It's kind of like you're not even there,'' Ms. Kim told decoys.
But decoys also must not draw attention with signs or signals. ''You don't want to do the job of the enumerators,'' she said. ''You're tired. You're hungry. You have to go to the bathroom. But you let that enumerator pass you by.''
Arvernetta Henry, a retired teacher in her late 60s, admitted that she and a partner once waved down volunteers who overlooked them as they stood under a bridge. ''We're over here! We're over here!'' said Ms. Henry, who used to be homeless. ''This young group, they were so excited to find us. You would have thought they found a gold mine.''
On average, about 90 percent of decoys are found, and most are found within two hours, revealing themselves after volunteers ask whether they have somewhere to live.
A decoy recalled that he was found at 12:05 a.m., barely having enough time for him to lean on a garbage can and for his partner to post up on a fence. But Ms. Kim cautioned, ''There are always some unlucky people who are left out there until 4 a.m.''
Most of the homeless in New York City are black, and many of the volunteers are white. Decoys at the training said a few white volunteers seemed afraid to approach them, and they blamed racism. ''Maybe there was some racial tension,'' Ms. Kim said.
There is also tension within the decoy ranks.
A decoy blamed her partner's sleek outfit for volunteers passing them by on a Far Rockaway street last year. ''I had my hair kind of crazy. She had a bag strapped around her like she was running,'' the woman said.
Some fellow decoys winced at her words, feeling that she harbored a misperception.
Attitudes that all street homeless people are mentally ill and bedraggled lead to undercounts, said Mr. Lubonski, recalling how volunteers failed to recognize Ms. Egyptt and him as they stood in front of a Manhattan subway entrance.
''When I was homeless, I looked just like this,'' he said, opening his arms. He wore khaki pants and sneakers.
During an interview, Ms. Egyptt wore a shearling bomber and swayed as if she were modeling. ''They'll bypass me,'' she said. ''There are people who are not homeless who smell.''
Autopsy: Tom Petty died of accidental drug overdose - ABC News
Sun, 21 Jan 2018 13:56
Tom Petty died last year because of an accidental drug overdose that his family said occurred on the same day he found out his hip was broken after performing dozens of shows with a less serious injury.
His wife and daughter released the results of Petty's autopsy via a statement Friday on his Facebook page, moments before coroner's officials in Los Angeles released their findings and the rocker's full autopsy report. Dana and Adria Petty say they got the results from the coroner's office earlier in the day that the overdose was due to a variety of medications.
The coroner's findings showed Petty had a mix of prescription painkillers, sedatives and an antidepressant. Among the medications found in his system were fentanyl and oxycodone. An accidental overdose of fentanyl was also determined to have killed Prince in April 2016.
Petty suffered from emphysema, a fractured hip and knee problems that caused him pain, the family said, but he was still committed to touring.
He had just wrapped up a tour a few days before he died in October at age 66.
"On the day he died he was informed his hip had graduated to a full on break and it is our feeling that the pain was simply unbearable and was the cause for his over use of medication," his family's statement said, adding that he performed more than 50 concerts with a fractured hip.
The family said Petty had been prescribed various pain medications for his multitude of issues, including fentanyl patches, and "we feel confident that this was, as the coroner found, an unfortunate accident."
They added: "As a family we recognize this report may spark a further discussion on the opioid crisis and we feel that it is a healthy and necessary discussion and we hope in some way this report can save lives. Many people who overdose begin with a legitimate injury or simply do not understand the potency and deadly nature of these medications."
Painkillers and sedatives are among the most commonly prescribed medications in the U.S., but both drug types slow users' heart rate and breathing. The Food and Drug Administration has warned against mixing them because the combination can lead to breathing problems, coma and death.
Government figures released in December showed that for the first time, the powerful painkiller fentanyl and its close opioid cousins played a bigger role in the deaths than any other legal or illegal drug, surpassing prescription pain pills and heroin.
Petty was a rock superstar with the persona of an everyman who drew upon the Byrds, Beatles and other bands he worshipped as a boy in Gainesville, Florida. He produced classics that include "Free Fallin'," ''Refugee" and "American Girl." He and his longtime band the Heartbreakers had recently completed a 40th-anniversary tour, one he hinted would be their last.
The shaggy-haired blond rose to success in the 1970s and went on to sell more than 80 million records. He was loved for his melodic hard rock, nasally vocals and down-to-earth style. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which inducted Petty and the Heartbreakers in 2002, praised them as "durable, resourceful, hard-working, likable and unpretentious."
Associated Press Writers Leanne Italie and Stephanie Nano contributed to this report.
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Sun, 21 Jan 2018 14:39
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2018 Mid Term Elections
Elizabeth Warren's Native American problem goes beyond politics - The Boston Globe
Sun, 21 Jan 2018 13:52
Senator Elizabeth Warren says now, as she has from the first days of her public life, that she based her assertions about her heritage on her reasonable trust in what she was told about her ancestry as a child.
WASHINGTON '-- There's a ghost haunting Elizabeth Warren as she ramps up for a possible 2020 presidential bid and a reelection campaign in Massachusetts this year: her enduring and undocumented claims of Native American ancestry.
Warren says now, as she has from the first days of her public life, that she based her assertions on family lore, on her reasonable trust in what she was told about her ancestry as a child.
''I know who I am,'' she said in a recent interview with the Globe.
But that self-awareness may not be enough, as her political ambitions blossom. She's taken flak from the right for years as a ''fake Indian,'' including taunts from President Trump, who derisively calls her ''Pocahontas.'' That clamor from the right will only grow with her increasing prominence.
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And, more telling, there's also discomfort on the left and among some tribal leaders and activists that Warren has a political blind spot when it comes to the murkiness surrounding her story of her heritage, which blew up as an issue in her victorious 2012 Massachusetts Senate race. In recent months, Daily Show host Trevor Noah mocked her for claiming Native American ancestry and the liberal website ThinkProgress published a scathing criticism of her by a Cherokee activist who said she should apologize.
As Warren is mentioned as a serious presidential contender in 2020, even some who should be her natural allies say Warren has displayed a stubborn unwillingness to address the gap between the story she was told of Native Americans in the family tree and a dearth of hard evidence to back it up.
It's a disconnect that has lingered unresolved in the public sphere for more than five years.
Warren says she grew up understanding that forebears in her mother's family had Cherokee and Delaware blood. But examinations by genealogists of documents including birth, marriage, and death records have shown no conclusive proof of Native American ancestry.
While it may be easy to dismiss Trump's continued Twitter attacks as bigotry, which has been Warren's response thus far, the view of her more sympathetic critics is that she is leaving herself vulnerable by not clearing the air in a definitive way. Their fear is that the issue could act as a drag on her profile as she considers whether to seek the Democratic nomination for president.
''From a strategic perspective, taking the live step of taking responsibility and an apology, even while noting that it was not her intention to harm anyone, is important,'' said Tom Bonier, CEO of the Democratic polling firm TargetSmart. ''Will that change votes? I don't think that doing so will lose her votes.''
Some tribe members want Warren to apologize to Native Americans for claiming heritage without solid evidence.
If Warren seeks to tackle the issue, there are no easy options. Some tribe members want her to apologize to Native Americans for claiming heritage without solid evidence. Tribes across America have spent centuries denouncing whites who claim Indian DNA without a clear basis, claims they find deeply offensive.
Another path includes pursuing stronger outreach to the tribes with whom she claims to share kinship, a strategy that she's begun to employ. This too is fraught, as some Native American leaders are resentful that she's done, in their estimation, little to help tribes as a powerful senator.
''She's not part of the Cherokee community,'' said Chad Smith, who was the principal chief of the Oklahoma-based Cherokee Nation from 1999 to 2011. ''She hasn't reached out. She hasn't come here and participated much.''
''The mark of value in claiming heritage is: Do you use your position to give back?'' Smith said. ''If it is a claim that is valuable to her, she should be helping Indian country. She might be doing it with the overall agenda. But unless she's contributing back, it is a somewhat hollow claim.''
Other Native Americans do give her credit for engaging on issues in Washington that benefit tribal members, even if the measures have been fairly low-profile and not entirely targeted at Native Americans. That includes a proposal she's backed to allowing post offices to offer some financial services '-- an idea aimed generally at helping rural communities that could also be beneficial to tribes.
Warren declined to say if she would consider saying she's sorry to Native communities, or otherwise address this lingering issue.
''My three brothers and I learned about our family heritage back in Oklahoma the way everyone does,'' Warren said in a brief phone interview from storm-ravaged Puerto Rico, where she led a delegation of Massachusetts lawmakers this month. ''From our aunts, our uncles, and our grandparents. I never asked for any benefit from it and I never got any benefit from it.''
Warren disputed the notion that she's been absent on Native American issues, saying that she's forged relationships with tribal leaders from Massachusetts and elsewhere including meeting with the current chief of the Cherokee Nation.
She's pointed to her work ensuring that data is collected to monitor education in Native schools, and she notes her efforts in combating opioid abuse, a particular scourge among Native Americans.
''I work on these issues,'' said Warren. ''I meet with tribal leaders. I attend events. I speak. I've appreciated the opportunity to speak out. And I've tried to be helpful.''
Still, highlighting such relationships can be awkward for Warren, given the avalanche of criticism she endures when questions about her heritage arise. But just as Barack Obama had to deal with claims that he wasn't born in America and Mitt Romney felt he had to address, in a major speech, questions about his Mormon faith, observers believe that Warren is going to have to find a way to defuse the issue before it gains traction in presidential swing states.
''She's saddled with it,'' said Jeff Berry, a political science professor at Tufts University who has closely followed her rise.
He predicted that, if she runs for president, her claims to Native American heritage will be picked over on conservative websites and the issue will bubble over into questions at her news conferences.
Democrats agree.
''Do you need to answer questions? Absolutely,'' said Jesse Ferguson, a Democratic strategist and former spokesman for Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign. ''Are you ever going to give an answer that's going to suddenly make her biggest haters okay with her? No.''
If anything is for sure, Republicans will attempt to use the issue to their advantage.
''It's just going to raise a lot of questions about her integrity, ultimately,'' said Jacob Daniels, a Republican lobbyist who helped orchestrate Trump's win in Michigan during the presidential campaign. Warren's heritage claim ''could be an honest mistake, it could be an intentional misrepresentation. I think without addressing it, it leaves the question in the minds of the voters.''
Manuel Balce Ceneta/Associated Press/File 2017
Questions about Warren's complicated relationships with Native American tribes gained steam recently.
Questions about her complicated relationships with Native American tribes gained steam recently, soon after Trump launched another ''Pocahontas'' attack while he was hosting elderly Navajo code talkers in the White House. His comments drew heat, both for their tone and the setting, but the line of attack resonates.
''Her false claims back up some of the worst stereotypes of Indians, which is that we no longer exist and we're not seen as a contemporary or vibrant community,'' said Rebecca Nagle, a Cherokee advocate who, on Nov. 30, penned the scathing rebuke of Warren on ThinkProgress. Nagle's op-ed was entitled: ''I am a Cherokee woman. Elizabeth Warren is not.''
''If Warren is going to be this bulldog of the left, she has this really problematic thing,'' Nagle said in an interview with the Globe. ''If she just apologizes, it would go away.''
The ThinkProgress piece was especially startling because the website is operated by the political arm of the Center for American Progress, a Washington think tank closely associated with Hillary Clinton. Neera Tanden, a Clinton ally who runs CAP, didn't respond to a request for comment. Neither did Judd Legum, editor in chief of ThinkProgress.
Democrats say that Warren should closely consider the criticism coming from some in her own party.
''These are personal perspectives she might not have considered,'' said Bonier, the CEO of TargetSmart. ''From a perspective of what's right, I do think the senator has to listen.''
. . .
Warren's family has ties to Oklahoma dating from the end of the 19th century '-- before it was a state. Oklahoma is now home to more than 35 federally recognized tribes, and it's common for people there to claim Native American ancestry, often based on little more than family mythology. That's partially because there is, for some, a certain mystique in popular culture associated with American Indian ties and many families liked to include those ties in their lore.
But claiming Native blood without evidence cuts to the very core of Native American identity because it usurps the rights American Indians have to define their own people and nations, according to native advocates.
''The problem with Elizabeth Warren is she is not the average wannabe,'' said David Cornsilk, a Cherokee historian and genealogist. ''She is an academic. She has a higher level of aptitude to examine these issues. And a higher responsibility to examine them, and accept the research that is done, or to counter it with alternative research.''
Cornsilk described himself as a liberal who supports Warren's agenda of attacking income inequality. ''Warren could be an ally,'' Cornsilk said. ''But she will not be an ally that we will accept if she continues to claim Cherokee and Delaware heritage without proof.''
Cornsilk wants Warren to offer a full apology that acknowledges that she made claims without proof, that those claims have been damaging, and that she will work to repair that damage.
''It is a fundamental issue of who we are and who gets to decide that,'' Cornsilk said.
. . .
Warren wrote in her 2014 book ''A Fighting Chance'' that her mother's family grew up on land known as Indian Territory. By the time her mother was born in February 1912 it had become the nation's 46th state, Oklahoma.
''Everyone on our mother's side '-- aunts, uncles, and grandparents '-- talked openly about their Native American ancestry,'' Warren wrote. As Warren's mother aged and lost family members she ''spoke more forcefully than ever about the importance of not forgetting our Native American roots,'' she added.
Joshua Lott for The Boston Globe/File
The Globe spoke with Ina Mapes, Warren's second cousin, in 2012.
In 2012, the Globe tracked down members of Warren's extended family and found some who also claimed Native heritage and some who were unaware of any ties to Indians. In Oklahoma, it was also common for people to hide their Native roots because Indians faced discrimination.
Over the course of her life, Warren did at times embrace this family story of Native American roots. In 1984, she contributed five recipes to a Native American cookbook entitled ''Pow Wow Chow: A Collection of Recipes From Families of the Five Civilized Tribes: Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Seminole.'' In the book, which was edited by her cousin and unearthed during her 2012 campaign by the Boston Herald, her name is listed as ''Elizabeth Warren, Cherokee.''
Warren also listed herself as a minority in a legal directory published by the Association of American Law Schools from 1986 to 1995. She's never provided a clear answer on why she stopped self-identifying.
She was also listed as a Native American in federal forms filed by the law schools at Harvard University and University of Pennsylvania where she worked.
And in 1996, as Harvard Law School was being criticized for lacking diversity, a spokesman for the law school told the Harvard Crimson that Warren was Native American.
Warren has not formally claimed to be Native American during her time in the Senate, where the chamber's historian lists three former senators as having American Indian heritage. Senators self-report their ethnicity to the historian's office. Her office has declined to comment on why.
Globe Staff/File
When Warren was running for the Senate in 2012, then-Senator Scott Brown focused on her heritage.
The issue became explosive in 2012 as Warren was running for Senate. The Massachusetts Republican Party and her opponent Scott Brown focused on her heritage, which included Republican operatives trying to rattle her by dressing up in American Indian regalia, attending her public events and making war whoops.
''It frankly became a much bigger issue than anyone expected, and it went on much longer than anyone expected,'' said Mary Anne Marsh, a Democratic strategist based in Boston. ''It was compounded by the Warren campaign's refusal to address it.''
She added: ''When someone is pouring gasoline on a fire it's always better to put the fire out. But, in this case, the Warren campaign thought it would burn itself out.'''
Marsh said that Brown's campaign erred in overreaching on the issue. And Warren won that race by 7 percentage points, even as Obama carried the Bay State over Romney by more than 23 percentage points.
Warren says she believes these issues are in her past.
''These issues were extensively litigated in 2012 and I think the people of Massachusetts made their decision,'' Warren said in her brief interview with the Globe this month. ''I think what the people of Massachusetts and what voters are concerned about is the direction that Donald Trump is pulling this country.''
And Warren appears to be taking tentative steps to build ties to Native American advocates in Washington.
''I'd put her on a list of someone who is open and willing to listen and engage,'' said Jacqueline Pata, executive director of the National Congress of American Indians, a Washington-based group supporting Native Americans.
But when asked if Warren has led any major legislative efforts for tribes, Pata demurred. ''Not that I know of,'' she said. ''Nor do I believe we've asked that either.''
In December, Warren attended a rally in Washington led by the Gwich'in Nation and Inupiaq Tribe in December opposing a provision in the Republican tax bill that opens a portion of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling.
In the Globe interview, Warren pointed to her broader agenda of working to reduce opioid addiction and substance abuse. ''Its an extraordinarily seriously problem for Native Americans,'' Warren said.
Warren said she has also pushed for a provision in an education bill that would require reporting on student performance by ethnicity, with an eye toward ensuring that Native American students are being monitored '-- though the provision also tracks other minorities and isn't specific to American Indians.
She helped a tribe in Northern California protect water rights by helping in negotiations in a larger defense authorization bill, according to several with knowledge of the bill.
And she has sat down with the Cherokee Nation's principal chief, Bill John Baker. In a statement, he described Warren as ''very welcoming.''
He credited her for supporting a provision in the 2013 reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act that lets tribal law enforcement prosecute non-natives accused of abusing American Indian women on reservations.
But perhaps ironically, it is Trump who may be doing the most to push Native Americans into Warren's camp. Every time the president labels Warren as ''Pocahontas,'' she reacts swiftly, calling out the president for using what she terms a racial slur.
''She stands up to the racial slap,'' said Smith, the former Cherokee Nation chief. ''Anyone who stands up for Indian Country,'' he said, ''it endears her to me.''
Oliver Contreras/Getty Images/file 2017
It's President Trump who may be doing the most to push Native Americans into Warren's camp.
Annie Linskey can be reached at annie.linskey@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @annielinskey.
War on Ca$h
Binnenkort mogen bedrijven meekijken op onze rekening | Binnenland | AD.nl
Fri, 19 Jan 2018 11:26
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Could PSD2 implementation ruin the European FinTech market?
Fri, 19 Jan 2018 11:41
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A group of influential European FinTech companies have come together as 56 companies and associations operating across all EU Member States and at a global level in the financial services space in a bid to reform the PSD2 implementation.
The companies, in a Manifesto of objection, say they welcome the adoption of the amended Payment Services Directive (PSD2) that seeks to improve competition by opening payment markets to new entrants, thus fostering greater efficiency and cost-reduction.
The document recalls, that the decision to modernise PSD in 2013 was in order to take into account new types of payment services, which had brought innovation and competition, providing more, and often cheaper, alternatives for internet payments; but were previously unregulated. Bringing them within the scope of the PSD2 will boost transparency, innovation and security in the single market and aims to create a level playing field between different payment service providers.
In March 2017, the European Banking Authority (EBA) published the Regulatory Technical Standards (RTS) on Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) and common and secure communication (SC) under PSD2 which touch the very fundamentals of the Directive. However, the choices taken by the EBA have the potential to negatively impact FinTech businesses models, thus reversing what has been achieved by FinTech companies over the last years at the EU level.
The coalition behind the document, believe that the EBA's RTS, not only do not reflect the principles laid down in PSD2, but are distorting them by banning a secure proven technology such as Direct Access via the bank's existing '' and well maintained '' customer-facing online banking interface (sometimes derogatively referred to as screen scraping). The coalition therefore, urge policymakers to align the RTS with the PSD2 text, so that it no longer forecloses specific technologies, such as Direct Access, and preserves technology neutrality in the payments space.
If the RTS articles on the communication interface were to be adopted in their current form, Europe's successful and growing FinTech industry would be severely hampered. Banks would be given
technological control over FinTech businesses and would be able to ring-fence consumers' data. This will inevitably result in the very opposite of the political intentions behind PSD2: instead of enhancing competition, fostering innovation and giving consumers more choice, innovation will be banned, competition will decrease and consumer choice will be significantly diminished.
Until today, innovation in the financial services sector has been largely based on Direct Access technology, with European FinTech companies being world leaders in this field. This comprises a rare example of European companies that have been able to take market share from mainly US-based incumbents.
PIS, on one hand, have contributed to open the retail payments market and personal financial management by making it easier and less costly to make online payments for consumers and companies alike.
AIS, on the other hand, have facilitated the booming of personal finance management services and significantly opened financial choice to consumers. The growth in the PIS and the AIS sector has boosted considerably, despite significant obstructions carried out by the Banks. Such obstructions, despite the entry into force of PSD2, have continued until this day, across many Member States, a situation that should not be overlooked by policy makers when deciding on the future of the RTS.
The provision of PIS and AIS in PSD2 must not be put at the mercy of the Bank's (Account Servicing Payment Service Providers or ASPSPs in PSD2) willingness to provide a quality service for their competitors. Nonetheless, the RTS is doing exactly that by outlawing Direct Access, the only proven technology used by all European independent TPPs.
Our mutual concerns and suggestions are the following:
Direct Access is secure and can be PSD2 compliantDirect Access is a secure technology that has been used for the last 15 years by both European
FinTechs and Banks to provide AIS and PIS services to millions of consumers. With several hundreds of millions of successfully initiated payment and aggregation services provided, there hasn't been, until this day, one single documented incident of data fraud or compromise of personal credentials.
Hence, there is no factual basis or empirical data to support EBA's decision to ban Direct Access
technology. In fact, Direct Access (using screen scraping) is a well-established technology that has been used and leveraged by other industries, which we would highlight the following:
Banks & Wealth managers: Bank aggregation and transfer integration to enhance client experience and improve advice relevancyOnline travel: Search and provision of travel options from multiple different providers through one interfaceAccounting firms: Improve and digitize traditional processes mostly related to bank statement reconciliation in combination with payment functionalitiesMoreover, PSD2 requires that TPPs identify themselves vis-a-vis Banks (ASPSPs) when providing their services. By using the exact same identification mechanism, as the one requested for the dedicated interface in the RTS, Direct Access becomes Secure Authenticated Direct Access (screen scraping combined with TPP identification) and therefore, fully compliant with PSD2.
Technology neutrality, competition and equal playing fieldPSD2 has the main objectives of promoting competition and ensuring a level playing field in the
European payments services market, as stated in Recitals 32, 33 and 93. The coalition strongly believe that
Secure Authenticated Direct Access achieves both principles and that such well-functioning technology has stood the test of time.
However, if the RTS were adopted as they currently stand, then the mandatory use of newly developed, proprietary dedicated interfaces would inevitably give Banks (ASPSPs) full control regarding any future innovation on the financial services space. Each new functionality would have to be approved by each single Bank (ASPSP), which would lead to 3 fragmented markets at various levels.
Moreover, well-functioning and always up-to-date dedicated interfaces only exist as a hypothesis so far. They have not yet been developed or tested, and they have yet to become a reality. Therefore, the only way to ensure that Banks (ASPSPs) have the right incentives to provide and maintain a well-functioning dedicated interface and that competition and innovation continue to grow, is to make them optional.
It will be only through real and direct competition that we will be able to ensure that PSD2 objectives are achieved. To make a non-proven technology mandatory and to try to enforce ''functionality'', ''availability'' and ''performance'' will lead to multiple interpretations and legal disputes between TPPs and Banks (ASPSPs), which PSD2 is supposed to curtail.
Consumer data ownership, control and portabilityAs enshrined in the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), individuals are the only owners of their data. Such principle codifies two fundamental rights:
Data ownership and control '' The users (data subjects) shall have control of their own personal data, including right of access, the right of use etc.Data portability '' The user shall have the right to transmit and transport his/her data to another controller without hindrance from the controller to which the personal data have been provided.The GDPR has a broader definition than PSD2 on what kind of data a data subject must be able to transmit in a data portability request. PSD2 makes clear that TPPs always need explicit user consent and must not process consumer data other than what is necessary for the very services they provide.
As licensed entities, TPPs will be under the supervision of the competent national authorities, which will be able to audit compliance with these requirements, just as they are able to audit compliance by entities holding a bank license. Hence TPPs will not be at liberty to do what they want. The data they can handle will be limited by what consumers consent to and what supervisors agree on.
The PSD2 RTS however restricts the consumer right to use software to access and share his/her own data ex ante and as such violates not only the spirit and wording of PSD2, but also the fundamental data ownership principles in the GDPR and grants Banks the possibility to monopolise the consumers' data.
Secure Authenticated Direct Access would not only uphold the principles of data ownership, but also provide an easy and secure way for Banks (ASPSP) to be compliant both with the access to account rule in PSD2 and also with the right to data portability and direct transmission between data controllers in GDPR.
Solution : Secure Authenticated Direct AccessThe core argument used by the EBA for enforcing TPP access via a dedicated interface or via an amended customer-facing online banking interface is that Direct Access is not a secure technology. However, as already demonstrated above, Direct Access has an outstanding security record which together with the required authentication vis-a-vis the ASPSP is further enhancing security and allows the ASPSP to see exactly what actions the TPP perform.
Secure Authenticated Direct Access (screen scraping combined with TPP identification) is fully PSD2 compliant, which implies:
TPPs identify themselves towards the ASPSP at their customer-facing online banking interfaceTPPs communicate securely with the ASPSPTPPs secure the use, access or storage of the payment service user's data with at least the same level of security as any dedicated communications interfaceThe Bank´s (ASPSP) freedom of choice (to offer a dedicated interface or not) must be reciprocated by the TPP's freedom of choice (to use the dedicated interface or not). The only functioning technology used for bank-independent PIS and AIS must not be foreclosed. Therefore, we request for the RTS to be amended so that TPPs can identify themselves at the customer-facing online banking interface and use Secure Authenticated Direct Access even if the Bank (ASPSP) provides a dedicated interface.
This amendment is also justified by the recitals 32 and 93 PSD2.
(32) '''... An ASPSP which provides a mechanism for indirect access should also allow direct access for the payment initiation service providers.''
and (93) '''... PIS and AIS can provide their services with the consent of the account holder without being required by the account servicing payment service provider to use a particular business model, whether based on direct or indirect access, for the provision of those types of services.'', ''Those regulatory technical standards should be compatible with the different technological solutions available.''.
The right to opt for the indirect or direct access shall be on the side of PIS and AIS providers.
Since the extent of the amendment of the customer-facing online banking interface proposed by the EBA for the Banks that opt not to have a dedicated interface has not been detailed, it can be that the modification for the RTS is as simple as making the amended interface available to TPPs at all times, regardless of the existence of a dedicated interface.
The PSD2 RTS are absolutely critical for the future of FinTech companies in Europe, for the future of online commerce and in order to boost consumer choice and ensure the right of the consumer to control its own data. A properly nurtured and regulated European FinTech industry will continue to be a success story; an engine of growth, a job creator and a guarantor of a truly competitive retail payments landscape, giving merchants and consumers the choice they want.
The full document can read HERE '' Manifesto-for-the-impact-of-PSD2-on-the-future-of-European-FinTech
Explaining PSD2 without TLAs is tough! '' Starling Bank
Fri, 19 Jan 2018 11:35
Updated 12 January 2018 from original post 9 October 2015.
On the 8 October 2015 the European Parliament voted to pass the Payment Services Directive 2 (PSD2). In a rather timely fashion, we had just published a paper on this subject, and reproduced it here. Now it's been two years since the first announcement so we have updated the information here with the latest. I would like to thank all of the Starling team, as it was genuinely a group effort on tackling this content, but particular thanks to Megan Caywood, Julian Sawyer, Sarah Williams-Gardener and Terry McParlane.
For those who experienced the roller coaster that was Europe's implementation of the Payment Services Directive (PSD1) '' here comes PSD2. And before the initiatives outlined in PSD1 have been fully dealt with.
We won't lower ourselves to jokes about bad movie sequels, so moving on. The driving force behind both directives is the harmonisation of the payments landscape to level the playing field between countries and between payments providers, with the end goal of increasing competitiveness and thereby giving the consumer better value.
Let's pause there. Financial services is sometimes, understandably, accused of being a dark art, with complex terms and an impenetrable language all of its own. At Starling we always strive to explain what it means for a customer when technology or regulation evolves '' the good, the bad and sometimes the ugly. So bear with us through this paper.
This subject, of all that we have covered recently, probably needs the most explanation. Even those in the industry are still trying to wrap their heads around all of the implications. In this paper, we want to focus on two, out of the many, changes in the new directive and what they mean for all impacted '' the banks and other financial institutions, merchants i.e retailers and other payments beneficiaries, and most importantly, customers. We have tried to define terms as we go, but have also included a glossary below, with some examples of what companies might fall into which bucket to help bring it to life.
What was PSD1?The common themes of both directives are about opening up the market to new types of organisation and defining common standards that encourage interoperability. For example, PSD1 introduced the concept of a Payment Institution, which is a firm in the payment industry that is regulated but not to the higher banking standard (they can process payments but cannot accept deposits, like a bank can). Examples most will have heard of are large payments bodies like PayPal or WorldPay, but it also allowed hundreds of smaller players to compete.
It also introduced the Single Euro Payment Area (SEPA), which is the set of standards for low value Euro Payments in the Euro zone. The idea was that if there was one standard for payment transactions and more players in the mix then those poor consumers in Spain where payments are expensive would benefit from increased competition from The Netherlands which would drive prices down. It has been a long road and SEPA has still not been fully deployed, with many deferred end dates along the way.
What is PSD2?However, here we are talking about PSD2, which probably has much more relevance for consumers. The directive has a wide scope, but we would like to focus on how PSD2 capitalises on the accessibility of APIs, and explain why there is so much nervousness and excitement in the market. PSD2 is a great example of TLA (Three Letter Acronym) speak at its very best. So here goes:
Today, maybe you're shopping on Amazon, you decide what to buy, and complete your purchase using your debit card. The merchant (Amazon) will have an acquirer e.g First Data or WorldPay, who will then contact the customer's card scheme e.g. MasterCard or Visa, who will then pull the payment, debiting the customer's bank account, e.g Starling. (See Diagram 1)
Diagram 1 '' Paying online pre PSD2 with debit/credit card
How PSD2 might work when shopping on Amazon?Now fast forward to when PSD2 has been implemented. You are shopping again on Amazon, but instead of entering your debit or credit card details, you are asked whether you want to give the retailer access to your bank account, again at Starling. You agree and it takes you to your bank's online banking site where you give your permission. This is similar to the way you allow applications to access your Facebook or Twitter account today. You do not give your bank login details to Amazon, or vice versa, the retailer does not give your login details to your bank account, you simply give permission to Amazon to execute payments on your behalf via your (Starling) bank account. (See Diagram 2)
Diagram 2 '' Paying online post PSD2 with credit/debit card
The next time you go shopping on Amazon, you won't need to give permission again '' the permission should stay active until such time as you revoke it, for whatever reason.
So now, the technical bit.
Option 1
In this scenario, the directive allows for one firm to manage the payment initiation, known as the Payment Initiation Service Provider (PISP), in this instance Amazon, and another to manage the account, which is known as the catchy Account Servicing Payment Service Provider (ASPSP), Starling. This Access to Accounts (XS2A), (see what they did there, X-ess-to-A!), is probably the biggest technological innovation in retail banking since the internet. The merchant or retailer and the bank will communicate to each other using an open Application Programme Interface (API) for which the European Banking Authority (EBA) have been given the responsibility for defining the Regulatory Technical Standards (RTS). That basically means the standards that all APIs will need to comply with '' i.e what data is transferred, what are the security protocols, what happens when things go wrong etc.
Option 2
Another way this scenario could play out is that we, Starling, could act as the PISP to connect Amazon with the bank account eg. Amazon to connect through our APIs and process fast and convenient payments.
Diagram 3 '' Starling Bank Payments as a Service as the PISP post PSD2
So what? As far as customers are concerned, how is there any difference between storing your debit card details with merchants you use regularly, and giving permission for your bank and said merchant to swap data to facilitate quicker payments? Basically there's none in experience if you're already a reasonably sophisticated online shopper.
For the businesses involved though '' big change. Despite the IT complexity and cost to implement the changes, you will also notice that all the middle men are gone. The acquirers and the card schemes are disintermediated, and subsequently lose a significant revenue stream. Now there could be a customer benefit in that '' if the merchant passes on the cost benefit. But will they, or will they take the margin?
However, now there are aggregators popping up, or Banks (such as Starling) who are aggregating Bank APIs for payments. If a business like Amazon doesn't want to become regulated as a PISP and do the work to integrate all of the banks' APIs, they could integrate through one of these aggregators '' a single source of truth, if you will '' and pay them a fee to directly charge the bank account. These banks/aggregators could take a fee for doing so '' e.g. Amazon would have to pay Starling a fee to instruct a payment on Lloyd's API, if they used us as an aggregator.
However, just before we get into that we wanted to answer a question that is asked a lot - ''What exactly is the difference between PSD2 and Open Banking?''In the Q3 2016, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) in the UK completed its Market Investigation into the retail banking sector, and found that older and larger banks weren't having to compete hard enough for customers' business, and as a result many people were paying more than they should and weren't benefitting from new services. To address these problems, the CMA announced a mandate for the nine largest current account providers in the UK to implement Open Banking by early 2018.
Open Banking is a mandate in the UK that requires banks to build open Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) which will enable customers to securely share their bank data with third parties, ranging from transaction data to instructing payments via API. The purpose of these open APIs is to enable customers to securely access other products and services '' other than those that their banks provide '' should they choose to do so, and as a result have more options and transparency around those choices. It also enables new services to be built around this open data, notably aggregation services that allow bank products to be compared easily so consumers have more clarity regarding their options. By enabling customers to have significantly easier access to these third party products (and easier ways to view and compare products), there would be a natural increase in competition in the market and improve customer's options.
This requirement from the CMA coincides with PSD2. A key goal of Open Banking is to be compliant with PSD2, which provides the legal framework within which the CMA requirements will have to operate.
However, initially, there were some distinct differences between the scope of PSD2 and Open Banking, particularly in the products included. As of November 2017, however, the Open Banking Implementation Entity (OBIE) announced amendments to the scope of Open Banking to broaden out the Open Banking solution to include PSD2 items ''in order to deliver a fully compliant PSD2 solution'' '' which can be read in full here and here.
This is a massive change to the scope of Open Banking and a huge win for consumers.
Notably, this amendment broadens the Open Banking solution to include all payment account types covered by PSD2, which means that additional products are now included in the scope of Open Banking, such as credit cards, e-wallets, currency accounts, charge cards, prepaid accounts and payments enabled savings, deposit, loan and mortgage products, and comprehensively fulfills the functional requirements of PSD2. Additionally, Open Banking APIs will now also cover multi-currency products not covered under the original order, as well as corporate accounts.
The delivery of this has been organised across a series of six-month releases spanning 2018 to August 2019 and coinciding with the regulatory application of the regulatory technical standards (RTS).
This increased alignment with PSD2 materially improves the likelihood of adoption across the market and by consumers, who then have greater access to a broader range of products.
The rise of aggregators and challenger banksThere's a great opportunity '' for the consumer and the provider '' with aggregators, and we're regularly seeing new additions to the market. It's still early days though so we're yet to see the ones that will stick. Aggregators are being used in a number of different ways at the moment:
To combine bank accounts (Personal Current Accounts or Business Current Accounts) from various providersTo facilitate payment as an intermediary for an e-commerce shop and the source bank accountTo combine a selection of financial services products eg. pensions, insurance, investmentsTo compare banks on key features, such as Overdraft Fees and Service Quality ratings.The challenger bank market is also becoming an increasingly competitive space with new versions of banks appearing with different approaches. Many, like Starling, are incorporating a marketplace model, but also doing this in different ways. Some challengers choose to deeply integrate one third party per category of service (e.g. one insurance provider, one savings solution, etc), and on the on the other end of the spectrum there are price comparison sites that aggregate the entire market.
At Starling, we have a particular strategy to create a Marketplace Platform, in which third parties can easily integrate our public API and can also easily plug their APis into the Marketplace within the Starling app to offer their services to Starling users, ultimately creating a network effects platform. In this way, we can easily enable customers to have a range of options from providers across the market, and help them to easily and securely access those products. We're able to do this given we're a licensed bank, have open APIs, and have regulatory permissions to introduce our customers to third party financial products. Traditional banks are recognising the threat and are actively working to be competitive in this space though, as evidenced by partnerships such as the Bud and First Direct relationship. It's a new world, and many are vying to be competitive in this space, so only time shall tell who becomes a contender in this arena.
What is the Account Information Service Provider?Now we move onto the second big part of the directive '' the AISP, which is the Account Information Service Provider. Whilst the PISP initiates payments across the ASPSP, the AISP consolidates information across multiple ASPSPs. OMG? Seriously?
Put simply, an AISP gives a name to something that does already exist, take for example Yolt in the UK and Mint.com in the US, can consolidate a customer's bank account details from several different banks.
AISP examplesSo imagine in the UK in a few years, you logon to a Money Supermarket or Yolt app, and see your Starling, Barclays, Lloyds and Santander accounts, all into one place. Yet again access to this would be granted using XS2A standards set by the EBA and you would not have to give your logon passwords to Money Supermarket. (See Diagrams 4 & 5)
Diagram 4 '' Checking multiple payment account details pre PSD2
Diagram 5 '' Checking multiple payment account details with PSD2
Why Money Supermarket as the example? Well amongst lots of other players, the product comparison sites will almost certainly sniff a real commercial opportunity here to enter this space from a cross-product, cross-bank, cross-sell point of view '' the more customer data they have, the better they will be positioned to take over the role of the bank in aggressively cross-selling.
These account aggregator, or hub services, have existed in the U.S. for many years. They were not successful in coming to the UK because currently the data transfer can't be facilitated via an encrypted token, so previously customers would have had to give away their passwords to the hub service, and in doing so would break their terms and conditions with their banks and muddy the water in case of fraudulent use of their account. With PSD2, all banks, building societies and other financial entities (like pre-paid cards, credit card providers, mortgage brokers) would be obliged to support this '' this time encrypted tokens, not asking customers to compromise passwords.
This is where the Starling Marketplace comes into play. The advantage to the consumer here, in being able to see all of your financial world in a single view. This could be pensions, investments, insurance etc. Some of the Regulatory Technical Specs (RTS) are still being determined but they've largely been set with Open Banking and it does include ''complete transactional warts'' '' e.g. all transaction data. As Starling has already carried out checks on the consumer and approved them for a current account, it potentially (with approval from the other financial services provider eg. PensionBee) enables pre-approval, speeding up the process and convenience for both parties.
Did you hear about the Amended Order Timetable?PSD2 comes into effect 13 January 2018. As mentioned above, the Open Banking scope has been broadened to include all payment account types covered by PSD2 (including credit cards, e-wallets, and pre-paid cards, to name a few) and as a result an 'Amended Order Timetable' for Open Banking has been produced that has broken down the phases to compliance and extended the overall deadline to August 2019.
So in summary, what are the pros and cons for all the players in PSD2?Pros and Cons for Consumers
+ Ability to consolidate all accounts in one place with continued protection under their product terms and conditions
+ The choice of the most convenient internet or app interface to check their bank account details
+ Direct integration of their bank account with merchant acquiring sites is convenient and practical
'' Lack of clarity of responsibility between PISPs (merchants) and the ASPSPs (banks) in the event of loss
Pros and Cons for Merchants
+ Reduced costs compared to card interchange
+ Immediate settlement into merchants account
+ Even greater direct relationship with the customer
Pros and Cons for Banks
+ Ability to position themselves as an AISP
'' Significant costs to change systems
'' Loss of screen time in front of consumer
Our advantageStarling's advantage as a new entrant is that we are already building a bank with the capability to deliver all of these requirements within this directive, with the highest level of security and confidence. We realised a while ago that many people now ''login using Facebook'' or ''allow Reed.co.uk access to my LinkedIn profile to apply for a job'' and are taking advantage of these, amongst other API potentials. What we want to ensure is that customers always understand what permissions they are granting, how the data will be used, and the level of security around it. How many of you would be comfortable allowing that new-kid-on-the-block-retailer to access your bank account?
The important part of Starling being a fully-fledged bank, is the higher regulatory standards we will be held to. As it turns out, we will actually be a PISP, an AISP and, of course, a ASPSP. We will allow our customers to execute payments across other banks accounts, consolidate their banks accounts and also actually give them a bank account! Being a bank allows us to do all three, and do it well, to the highest level of security.
Most importantly we will add a level of value to customers, giving them power over their data, to help them manage their money better '' be that by helping them ''jam jar'' their spending and their saving, or tagging their transactions with geolocation and other information.
We at Starling have built a bank truly fit for an XS2A world.
Glossary of terms+ Access to Accounts(XS2A)
Access to Accounts (XS2A) basically entails that financial institutions but also non-financial market players may obtain access to the bank account of European costumers. These businesses would be positioned between the consumer and banks and are referred to as Third Party Payment Service Providers (see below).Existing brands/potential new examples: n/a
+ Account Information Service Provider (AISP)
Any online provider that wishes to aggregate online information on one or more payment accounts held with one or more other payment service providers who typically present the information in a single dashboard for a customer.Existing brands/potential new examples: Yodlee, Money Dashboard, Mint, First Direct price comparison sites e.g. Money Supermarket Banks e.g. Starling
+ Account Servicing Payment Service Provider (ASPSP)
All financial institutions that offer payment accounts (e.g. current accounts, credit cards) with online access (internet banking), and under this legislation will be obliged to open up an interface to allow authorised and registered third parties to initiate payments and access account information.Existing brands/potential new examples: Banks e.g. Santander, Building Societies e.g. Nationwide, Yorkshire BS
+ Card scheme
Card schemes are payment networks linked to payment cards, such as debit or credit cards, of which a bank or any other eligible financial institution can become a member.Existing brands/potential new examples: Mastercard, Visa, AMEX
+ European Banking Authority (EBA)
The European Banking Authority (EBA) is a regulatory agency of the European Union headquartered in London, United Kingdom. Its activities include conducting stress tests on European banks to increase transparency in the European financial system and identifying weakness in bank's capital structures.Existing brands/potential new examples: n/a
+ Merchant acquirer
An acquiring bank (or acquirer) is a bank or financial institution that processes credit or debit card payments on behalf of a merchant (e.g. retailer). The term acquirer indicates that the bank accepts or acquires credit card payments from the card-issuing banks within a card scheme.Existing brands/potential new examples: WorldPay, First Data, Elavon
+ Open Application Programme Interface (API)
An API is a set of commands, functions, and protocols which programmers can use when building software for a specific operating system. The API allows programmers to use predefined functions to interact with the operating system, instead of writing them from scratch. An open API is an interface that has been designed to be easily accessible by the wider population of web and mobile developers. This means an open API may be used both by developers inside the organisation that published the API or by any developers outside that organisation who wish to register for access to the interface.Existing brands/potential new examples: n/a
+ Payment Initiation Service Provider (PISP)
Any organisation (traditionally retailers, but could be utilities or any other category of business that takes online payments) that initiates a payment, needing a software bridge between the website of the merchant and the online banking platform of the payer's bank in order to initiate internet payments on the basis of a credit transfer.Existing brands/potential new examples: Amazon, John Lewis, British Gas
+ Payment Institute
A category of payment service provider that came into being as a result of the enactment of the original Payment Services Directive (PSD1). They can offer their customers the following services:- Executing payment transactions (including credit transfers, direct debits, through payment cards or a similar device);- Issuing and/or acquiring of payment instruments;- Money remittance;- Foreign exchange services;- Ancillary services;- Credit can be granted for a maximum of 12 months if this credit is closely linked to a payment service provided.Existing brands/potential new examples: PayPal, First Data, WorldPay, VocaLink, ConCardis, BVZI+ Payment Services Directives 1 & 2 (PSD1 & PSD2)
Two pieces of legislation handed down from the European Parliament and the council of the European Union. These directives provide the legal foundation for the initial creation and subsequent widening of scope, of an EU wide, single market for payments.Existing brands/potential new examples: n/a
+ Regulatory Technical Standards (RTS)
A set of detailed compliance standards that will be set for all parties to meet covering things such as data security, who is accountable if something goes wrong, and what is the compensation process.Existing brands/potential new examples: n/a
+ Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA)
SEPA is a payment-integration initiative of the European Union with the objective to simplify bank transfers denominated in Euro. As of 2015, SEPA consists of the 28 member states of the European Union, the four member states of the European Free Trade Association ( Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland), Monaco and San Marino. Andorra will become part of the area in 2016.Existing brands/potential new examples: n/a
+ Third Party Payment Service Providers
In this context, the third party payment service providers are the AISPs and PISPs that are the third parties alongside the banks and the customer in the payment process.Existing brands/potential new examples: as Above
5 Things You Need To Know About PSD2
Fri, 19 Jan 2018 11:34
Speculation over the much anticipated PSD2 '' revised Payment Services Directive '' has been gathering for quite a while now. Last week the European Parliament adopted the revised Directive on Payment Services (or PSD2), and with it the PSD2 reality got a little bit closer. PSD2 has been attracting quite a lot of attention, and in and amongst all of the talk about Directives and European Parliament votes its not always immediately clear what PSD2 actually is. The intention of this post to outline simply what PSD2 is, and why there is so much hype and excitement surrounding it.
1. It all started with the Directive on Payments Services (PSD)The objective of PSD, adopted in 2007, was to create a single market for payments within the European Union. The legislation:
Created the rules and guidelines for modern payment services in the European UnionSimplifies payments and payment processing across the European UnionAims to promote competition by opening payments up to new entrantsAdvocates payment efficiency, innovation and reduced costsProvided the legal platform for the Single Euro Payments Area '' SEPA2. Then came PSD2 '' the revised Payment Services DirectiveThe revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2 '' EU Directive 2015/2366) was proposed by the European Commission in 2013, and the objective was to create a level playing field by:
Standardising, integrating and improving payment efficiency in the European UnionOffering better consumer protectionPromoting innovation in the payments space and reducing costsIncorporating and providing clarity on the use of emerging payment methods such as mobile payments and online paymentsCreate a equal playing field for payment service providers '' enabling new companies to get into the payments spaceHarmonise pricing and improve security of payment processing across the European UnionIncorporate new and emerging payment services into the regulation3. Enough of the fluffy stuff '' What is the big deal with PSD2?The banks are all talking about PSD2 because it will require a lot of investment, reduce their existing revenue streams and introduce a whole wave of competitors. Check out the Starling Bank Explaining PSD2 for the juicy details. But in a nutshell'...
When we buy something online we typically enter our payment details into the merchants website, and the merchant then gets the money from your bank account by way of a few intermediariesWith PSD2, the Directive will allow retailers to 'ask' consumers for permission to use your bank details. Once you give permission, the retailer will receive the payment directly from your bank '' no intermediariesThe direct connection between retailers and banks will be enabled using Application Programming Interface or APIs for shortThe use of API's is exciting because it enables companies (innovative companies) to connect to financial institutions directlyFor those of you that maybe multi-banked '' i.e. bank accounts with multiple banks '' we currently have to access each bank website separatelyWith PSD2 they're introducing Account Information Service Provider or AISP's, which will allow you to view all of your multi-bank details in 1 portal.This is interesting stuff because now it means that new providers, not necessarily banks, can consolidate your account information in 1 place and acquire insightful data about you. This offers lucrative cross selling opportunities for these new providers4. Interesting.. What else will PSD2 bring?The introduction and regulation of third party payment service providers (TPPs) '' as described above there are 2 types, those that offer:Payment Initiation Services Providers '' PISPAccount Information Service Providers '' AISPThe unconditional right of refund for direct debits under the SEPA CORE scheme A strong customer authentication system '' check out the post: Two Factor AuthenticationBan on surcharging (additional costs) for card paymentsBetter consumer protection against fraud, capping any potential payments if a unauthorised payment is made to '‚¬50Improved consumer protection for payments made outside of the EU or in non-EU currenciesKindly TWEET or share this post via LinkedIn- Thank You'...!!5. PSD2 '' What happens next?The proposals within the PSD2 have now been finalised by the European Parliament, and in the near future there will be a vote by the European Union member states to officially endorse the Directive. After this vote has taken place member states will have 2 years to introduce the changes into their own national laws
PSD2 '' Disrupting Payments in EuropeThird party access to accounts (XS2A), the use of API's to connect merchant and the bank directly and the ability to consolidate account information in 1 portal will undoubtedly disrupt payment services in Europe. Innovative companies will be eager to occupy this space and respond to consumer frustrations with existing incumbent providers. The challenge though, will be how consumers respond to new technology based providers and how these newcomers are able to meet the expectations of both the consumers and the European regulatory bodies. At the same time the newcomers must ensure the highest levels of security are implemented '' after all they will potentially be handling YOUR payments and have access to YOUR account.
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Psd2 eu
Fri, 19 Jan 2018 11:32
Dec 24, 2017 · Banks have long been at an advantage when it comes to data on their customers. The Payment Services Directive (PSD2), established by the European Commission and currently pending the adoption by the EU Counsel of Ministers, is a major policy Regulatory News Alert. EU Commission proposes amendments The original Payment Services Directive (PSD) was adopted in 2007. European Commission - Press Release details page - Commission - Press release European Brussels, 8 October 2015 The new rules will protect consumers better when they The Payment Services Directive The PSD2 opens the EU payment market for companies offering consumer or business-oriented payment services based on the access Na 5 weekend"w do PSD2 podsumujemy stan spraw w Polsce i Europie z perspektywy bank"w, Fintech, branż budzących siÄ do PSD2 EU iTunes Moment: The European Union's developing regulatory landscape and PSD2's impact on fintech businesses PSD2 can be a catalyst for new growth to respond effectively to the threats and opportunities of PSD2, voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat The goal of #PSD2 is to enable European innovators to develop new modes of access to financial services #Fintech Click To Tweet The dispute over screen scraping Seeking views on legislative changes proposed to meet the requirements of the revised Payments Services Directive II (2015/2366/EU) (PSDII). PSD2 is an EU Directive which sets requirements for firms that provide payment services, and will affect banks and building societies, payment institutions, e-money 2018 is set to be a game-changing year for retail banking as PSD2 takes effect across the EU and the European Economic Area. Implementing and delegated acts · Implementation. I agree to answer a few optional questions after submiting this form. Implementation. It's a 93-page directive approved by the EU parliament that will change retail On 24 May the Commission sent a letter to the EBA, stating its intent to amend the final draft RTS under PSD2. PSD2 has been attracting quite 1 day ago A new EU banking directive, PSD2, comes into force Saturday, making online transaction costs for credit cards a thing of the past. Established banks and Protecting digital identities is all about keeping up '-- keeping up with new technology, new regulations and, of course, bad actors. PSD2 has been attracting quite Dec 25, 2017 This Saturday, banks operating in the European Union will be forced to open up their customer data to third party firms '-- that is, when customers give consent. org. Accenture Payment Services Seizing the Opportunities Unlocked by the EU s Revised Payment Services Directive PSD2: A Catalyst for New Growth Strategies The EU Revised Payment Services Directive comes into force in 2018, 11 July 2017 CNBC. Information about Directive (EU) 2015/2366 including date of entry into force and a link to the summary. make it easier and safer to use internet payment services; better protect consumers against fraud, Information about Directive (EU) 2015/2366 including date of entry into force and a link to the summary. Recent Posts. PSD2 the directive that will change banking as we know it; The new EU directive opens the door to any company interested in eating a bank's lunch. WHAT IS THE PAYMENT. My This article from Lets Talk Payments talks about HCE Service launching EU PSD2-compliant mobile payments solution. Should banks be worried? European banks are finally realising the magnitude of the revised Directive on Payment Services Nov 15, 2017 · Two months from today, on 13 January, the revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2)1 will come into effect across the European Union (EU). The revised Payment Service Directive (PSD2) is set to completely reshape the payment landscape, not just in the EU, but in Switzerland as well. Na 5 weekend"w do PSD2 podsumujemy stan spraw w Polsce i Europie z perspektywy bank"w, Fintech, branż budzących siÄ do PSD2 EU iTunes Moment: I am willing to take part in further surveys and testing of European Commission websites. The new rules aim to better protect consumers when they pay online, promote the development and use of innovative online and mobile payments such as through Law details. May 2017 revised legislation scheduled for implementation across European Union (EU) member states from 13 January 2018. The OBIE's proposed implementation of PSD2 follows four principles: Customers must give express consent the revised EU Payment Services Directive II', 1 https://www. The directive is set to accelerate the digital disruption that is reshaping the financial services Law details. This article will explain to you what PSD2 means. Due to come into full effect for all EU member states by January 2018, this is a PSD2 will allow any entity to gain access to a payment account ou deposit, since authorized by the holder, ceasing any intermediation by the banks. By 13 January 2018, Member States will Disrupting Finance: How the EU Payment Services Directive (PSD2) will impact the European Banking System PSD2 is an EU Directive which sets requirements for firms that provide payment services, and will affect banks and building societies, payment institutions, e-money The FCA has published Consultation Paper 17/22: Revised Payment Services Directive implementation: draft authorisation and reporting forms (CP17/22). It was designed to establish a European- wide legal framework for payment services by setting 2018 is set to be a game-changing year for retail banking. As the PSD2 (Revised Payment Service Directive) becomes implemented, banks' monopoly on their customer's account information and payment services is about to disappear. Single euro payments area (SEPA) In 2015 the EU adopted a new directive on payment services (PSD 2) to improve the existing rules and take new digital payment services into account. The new rules aim to better protect consumers when they pay online, promote the development and use of innovative online and mobile payments such as through The Second Payment Services Directive (PSD2) 5. Amending and supplementary acts. Last week the European Parliament adopted the revised Directive on Payment Services (or PSD2), and with it the PSD2 reality got a little bit closer. FinTech Focus: New European Directive on Payment Services (PSD2) PSD2 has a broader scope than PSD, which was limited to payments within the EU. The Second Payment Services Directive (PSD2) is a fundamental piece of which comprises the 28 European Union Member States plus Norway, Iceland and July 14, 2017. (PSD) was implemented in the UK through the Payments Services. Regulations in 2009. It was designed to establish a European- wide legal framework for payment services by setting 2018 is set to be a game-changing year for retail banking. Until recently, banks were closed ecosystems. Guidance on the implementation and interpretation of Payment services. com. On July 24, 2013, the European Commission adopted the new payment Services Directive ("PSD2'") and a proposal for regulation on interchange fees'... The Payment Services Directive (PSD) was adopted in 2007 and provides the legal foundation for an EU single market for payments, to establish safer and mor In the 2nd quarter of 2015 the EU parliament has reached a final decision on Payment Service Directive 2. psd2 eu PSD2 RTS on authentication and communication '' EU Commission proposes amendments 14 June 2017 . Implementing and delegated acts · Implementation. By 13th January 2018, Member States will have to ' Application of different fees across EU Members PSD2: 2016 EU proposals to make consumers go through extra security checks for many online payments have come under fire from Visa and other payment companies. As of January The European Union (EU) will see the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Network and Information Security (NIS) Directive go into effect in May 2018. EU lawmakers hope that the introduction of the revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2) will give non-banking firms the chance to compete with A rapidly changing payments industry is threatening incumbent banks' payments revenues and customer ownership. 1 European Union. How UK and EU banks are gearing up for PSD2. Helping Banks become PSD2 Compliant. . The new EU directive opens the door to any company interested in eating a bank's Oct 13, 2015 Speculation over the much anticipated PSD2 '' revised Payment Services Directive '' has been gathering for quite a while now. Rationale, objectives and process What are the objectives of PSD2? The revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2), which enters into application on 13 January 2018, will facilitate On October 8, 2015, the European Parliament adopted the European Commission proposal to create safer and more innovative European payments (PSD2). The European Commission has proposed a new directive, Payment Services Directive 2 (PSD2) (procedure file), which aims to replace the Payment Services Directive and NCR research highlights consumer desire for innovative banking services in the UK '-- NCR '-- ''Nearly half of respondents (47%) with personal bank accounts would Payment Services Directive 2 (PSD2) 2 Contents 3. (PSD2) comes into force 5 Things You Need To Know About PSD2 The objective of PSD, adopted in 2007, was to create a single market for payments within the European Union. SERVICES DIRECTIVE? The first Payment Services Directive. Will the EU Digital Single Market deliver both . uk/firms/revised-payment-services-directive-psd2 . PSD2 is the product of a review of the original Payment Services Directive and requires payment service providers (PSPs) to make a significant number of changes to Seeking views on legislative changes proposed to meet the requirements of the revised Payments Services Directive II (2015/2366/EU) (PSDII). payment security and access to information? Pascal Martino Partner Key features of PSD2 and what they mean for the The Parliament said EU countries should be free to impose rules limiting payer's liability even in cases EU PSD2, or Payment Services Directory 2, is scheduled for implementation in 2018, and it threatens to stand banking in the European Union on its head This article talks about the potential effects of PSD2 on banks and credit unions in EU and worldwide. Even when the customer wanted to share information with third-party providers, the process was often a slow a Change has become the key word for European Union banks, and the European Commission's Revised Payment Services Directive, set to come into effect next January PSD2 Revised Payment Services Directive (EU) 2015/2366 PSU Payment Service User PSP Payment Service Provider RTS Regulatory Technical Standards (to be issued by the EBA) NCR research highlights consumer desire for innovative banking services in the UK '-- NCR '-- ''Nearly half of respondents (47%) with personal bank accounts would What is PSD2?PSD2 is the second Payment Services Directive, designed by the countries of the European Union. European financial services organisations consider the European Union (EU) Payment Services Directive 2 (PSD2) a business opportunity as much as a compl Preparing for the Revised EU Payment Security Directive (PSD2) and the Forthcoming European Banking Authority Technical Guidelines The European Commission's second What is PSD2 and why this is so PSD2 was formally adopted by the EU Council of Ministers in December 2015 with a transposition deadline for all EU countries PSD2 the directive that will change by the European Commission revealed that 80 % said they would not consider buying a financial product in another EU The FinTech world is buzzing about PSD2. It could revolutionise the payments industry, Deutsche Bank modestly reports that it has published a must-read guide to a new European Union Payment Services Directive (PSD2) which it describes as a major update Change has become the key word for European Union banks, and the European Commission's Revised Payment Services Directive, set to come into effect next January Directive on Payment Services in the Internal Market ''(EU) 2015/2366'' Payment Services Directive 2 (PSD2), applicable from 13th January 2018, introduces changes The revised EU Payment Services Directive (PSD2) is the first step in a journey towards a more collaborative and open financial ecosystem. psd2 euOn October 8, 2015, the European Parliament adopted the European Commission proposal to create safer and more innovative European payments (PSD2). To add to that, the revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2) is driving European banks to a defining moment. July 14, 2017. Directive (EU) 2015/2366 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 November 2015 on payment services in the internal market, amending Directives 2002/65/EC The Payment Services Directive (PSD, 2007/64/EC) is an EU Directive, 16 November 2015: The Council of the European Union passes PSD2, The EU's PSD2 is expected to improve international payment services throughout Europe by enabling innovative solutions while cutting the cost of cross-border payments. Law details. Payment services Payment services. EU lawmakers hope that the introduction of the revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2) will give non-banking firms the chance to compete with Oct 13, 2015 Speculation over the much anticipated PSD2 '' revised Payment Services Directive '' has been gathering for quite a while now. 5 2 The government's general EUROPEAN UNION PAYMENT REGULATIONS '' EBA AND PSD2 DATA SHEET As the European Union seeks to regulate retail payment across member countries, initiatives developed While the fault line has been forming for some time, it is about to turn into the Grand Canyon with banks on one side, and tech companies on the other. In recent years, significant progress has been achieved in integrating retail payments in the Union, in particular in the context of the Union acts on payments, in particular through Directive 2007/64/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council (4), Regulation (EC) No 924/2009 of the European Parliament and of the 27 Nov 2017 European Commission - Press Release details page - European Commission - Fact Sheet Brussels, 27 November 2017 1. The directive became applicable in January 2018. Single euro payments area (SEPA) In recent years, significant progress has been achieved in integrating retail payments in the Union, in particular in the context of the Union acts on payments, in particular through Directive 2007/64/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council (4), Regulation (EC) No 924/2009 of the European Parliament and of the On October 8, 2015, the European Parliament adopted the European Commission proposal to create safer and more innovative European payments ( PSD2). fca. Edward Robinson Open Banking Europe Directory Services for PSD2 PRETA: pan-EU PSD2 access to account services, ahead of your national due dates. Vacancy Trainee All of us at the European Banking Federation wish you a Merry Christmas and a prosperous 2018! ebf@ebf. The new EU directive opens the door to any company interested in eating a bank's Dec 25, 2017 This Saturday, banks operating in the European Union will be forced to open up their customer data to third party firms '-- that is, when customers give consent. The European Commission is working to create an efficient and integrated market for payment services in the EU. PSD2 There's certainly a lot of talk about PSD2 these days and for a good reason. Single euro payments area (SEPA) In recent years, significant progress has been achieved in integrating retail payments in the Union, in particular in the context of the Union acts on payments, in particular through Directive 2007/64/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council (4), Regulation (EC) No 924/2009 of the European Parliament and of the The Second Payment Services Directive (PSD2) 5. eu. Eu's revised Payments Service Directive, PSD2, coming in January 2018, innovation and payment services sphere consumers can expect improvements. Vacancy Trainee As the European Union seeks to regulate retail payment across member countries, initiatives developed by two different regulatory bodies have been developed to The FinTech world is buzzing about PSD2. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Revised Payment Service Directive (PSD2) are two of the most important and most talked about technical legislative PSD2 (Payment Services Directive) & RTS (Regulatory Technical Standards) is an EU regulatory initiative which regulates payment services throughout the European Union ''PSD2 opens the EU payment service market to new competition, This 10-page document is available free of charge to NFC World Knowledge Centre members The second payment services directive, known as PSD2, is a plan to change up the retail banking sector, and give consumers more choice. Learn how this legislation will impact banks and how Dynatrace can help! The revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2) is the EU legislation which sets regulatory requirements for firms that provide payment services. PSD2 readiness survey, initial findings. 2018 is set to be a game-changing year for retail banking as PSD2 takes effect across the EU and the European Economic Area. The aim of PSD2 also called Revised Payment Services Directive, is to: 1 - Why PSD2? 4 What kind of changes will European banks face with the introduction of PSD2, and how will the Swiss banks be affected? The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Revised Payment Service Directive (PSD2) are two of the most important and most talked about technical legislative Waiting for PSD2. But the directive could also have greater implications for the banking sector. It's a 93-page directive approved by the EU parliament that will change retail All of us at the European Banking Federation wish you a Merry Christmas and a prosperous 2018! ebf@ebf. Since then, the retail payments market has experienced significant technical'... PSD2 (Payment Services Directive) & RTS (Regulatory Technical Standards) is an EU regulatory initiative which regulates payment services throughout the European Union While the fault line has been forming for some time, it is about to turn into the Grand Canyon with banks on one side, and tech companies on the other. EU Parliament adopts PSD2 Oct. There's certainly a lot of talk about PSD2 these days and for a good reason. PSD2 builds on the legislative framework established by PSD. As of January Frontiers in Finance explores the opportunities for banks to turn European PSD2 open Banks can turn PSD2 regulation into payments innovation EU open banking (PSD2) will open up the The EU-wide harmonisation of Payment Services Directive 2 for FinTech & Payment Service Providers How can EY help The second iteration of the EU's Payment Services Directive (PSD2) is on the horizon. Oct 22, 2017 · PSD2, the less-than-catchy title for such landmark legislation, Why This EU Law Could Bust Open Retail Banking: QuickTake Q&A By . Third Party Providers. The Commission proposes four amendments. The July PYMNTS Digital Identity By January 2018, all financial institutions in the 28 EU member states are required to be PSD2 compliant. With its Bank Grade Security and powerful API Architecture, Crowd Valley is helping EU Banks to become PSD2 compliant whilst also PSD2 (Payment Services Directive) & RTS (Regulatory Technical Standards) is an EU regulatory initiative which regulates payment services throughout the European Union PSD2 will allow any entity to gain access to a payment account ou deposit, since authorized by the holder, ceasing any intermediation by the banks. It includes provisions to. Should banks be worried? European banks are finally realising the magnitude of the revised Directive on Payment Services Game changer: the countdown to PSD2. European Institute of Management and Finance | What is Screen Scraping, the EU GDPR, its ban under PSD2, and why should we care? The second payment services directive, known as PSD2, is a plan to change up the retail banking sector, and give consumers more choice. '' The UK moves ahead of the EU with technology standards. Guidance on the implementation and interpretation of Payment services. By 13 January 2018, Member States will have to implement the revised Payment Services Directive into their national regulations. The new rules aim to better protect consumers when they pay online, promote the development and use of innovative online and mobile payments such as through 2018 is set to be a game-changing year for retail banking. PSD2 in a nutshell. European Union The Revised Payment Service Directive, (PSD2) takes effect in the EU on January 13. PSD2 applies PSD2 consultancy and service offering for banks to be compliant with upcoming EU rules. Law details. The new EU directive opens the door to any company interested in eating a bank's The Second Payment Services Directive (PSD2) is a fundamental piece of payments related legislation in Europe, which entered into force in January 2016. In Europe, that could all be about to change. In CP The Royal Bank of Scotland has described the EU's PSD2 payment rules as a ''headache for everyone. 2015 The revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2) The revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2) shall improve the level of customer What are the objectives of PSD2? The revised Payment Services Directive It will give consumers more and better choice in the EU retail payment market
European Commission - PRESS RELEASES - Press release - Payment Services Directive: frequently asked questions
Fri, 19 Jan 2018 11:28
1. What is the Payment Services Directive?
The first Payment Services Directive (PSD1) was adopted in 2007. This legislation provides the legal foundation for an EU single market for payments, to establish safer and more innovative payment services across the EU. The objective was to make cross-border payments as easy, efficient and secure as 'national' payments within a Member State.
Since 2007, this Directive has brought substantial benefits to the European economy, easing access for new market entrants and payment institutions, and so offering more competition and choice to consumers. It offered economies of scale and helped the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) in practice. The first PSD has meant more transparency and information for consumers, for example about execution time and fees; and it has cut execution times, strengthened refund rights, and clarified the liability of consumers and payment institutions. A very tangible benefit is that payments are now easier and quicker throughout the whole EU: payments are usually credited to the payment receiver's account within the next day.
2. Why did the Commission propose to review this Directive?
The Commission proposed to review PSD1 to modernise it to take account of new types of payment services, such as payment initiation services (see question 18). These service providers have brought innovation and competition, providing more, and often cheaper, alternatives for internet payments; but were previously unregulated. Bringing them within the scope of the PSD has boosted transparency, innovation and security in the single market and created a level playing field between different payment service providers.
At the same time, certain rules set out in the first PSD, such as the exemptions of a number of payment-related activities from the scope of the Directive (payment services provided within a ''limited network'' or through mobile phones or other IT devices) have been transposed or applied by Member States in different ways, leading to regulatory arbitrage and legal uncertainty. In a number of areas, it has also led to impaired consumer protection and competitive distortions. Updated definitions ensure a level playing field between different providers and address in a more efficient way the consumer protection needed in the context of payments.
The Commission proposed to revise the Payment Services Directive (PSD1) in July 2013. The proposal was part of a package of legislative measures on payment services, which included a proposal for a Regulation on interchange fees for card-based payment transactions (the Interchange Fee Regulation). The Interchange Fee Regulation 2015/751 entered into force on 9 June 2015.
3. What are the main objectives of the revised Directive?
The revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2) updates and complements the EU rules put in place by the Payment Services Directive (PSD1, 2007/64/EC). Its main objectives are to:
Contribute to a more integrated and efficient European payments market
Improve the level playing field for payment service providers (including new players)
Make payments safer and more secure
Protect consumers
4. What are the main differences between PSD1 and PSD2?
PSD2 widens the scope of PSD1 by covering new services and players as well as by extending the scope of existing services (payment instruments issued by payment service providers that do not manage the account of the payment service user), enabling their access to payment accounts.
PSD2 also updates the telecom exemption by limiting it mainly to micro-payments for digital services (see question 9), and includes transactions with third countries when only one of the payment service providers is located within the EU ("one-leg transactions"). It also enhances cooperation and information exchange between authorities in the context of authorisation and supervision of payment institutions. The European Banking Authority (EBA) will develop a central register of authorised and registered payment institutions.
To make electronic payments safer and more secure, PSD2 introduces enhanced security measures to be implemented by all payment service providers, including banks. In particular, PSD2 requires payment service providers to apply strong customer authentication (SCA) for electronic payment transactions as a general rule. To that end, the Commission adopted rules that spell out how strong customer authentication (SCA) is to be applied.
5. What are the benefits for consumers under this Directive?
A. Economic benefits
The new EU rules should help stimulate competition in the electronic payments market, by providing the necessary legal certainty for companies to enter or continue in the market. This would then allow consumers to benefit from more and better choices between different types of payment services and service providers.
During the past years, new players have emerged in the area of internet payments offering consumers the possibility to pay instantly for their internet bookings or online shopping without the need for a credit card (around 60% of the EU population does not have a credit card). These services establish a payment link between the payer and the online merchant via the payer's online banking module. These innovative and low cost payment solutions are called ''payment initiation services'' and are already offered in a number of Member States (e.g. Sofort in Germany, IDeal in the Netherlands, Trustly in Sweden). Until now, these new providers were not regulated at EU level. The new Directive will cover these new payment providers (''payment initiation services''), addressing issues which may arise with respect to confidentiality, liability or security of such transactions.
Furthermore, PSD2 will help lower charges for consumers and ban "surcharging" for card payments in the vast majority of cases (including all popular consumer debit and credit cards), both online and in shops. The practice of surcharging is common in some Member States, notably for online payments and specific sectors, such as the travel and hospitality industry. In all cases where card charges imposed on merchants are capped, in accordance with the complementary regulation on interchange fees for card-based payment transactions (the Interchange Fee Regulation), merchants will no longer be allowed to surcharge consumers for using their payment card. This will apply to domestic as well as cross-border payments. In practice, the prohibition of surcharging will cover some 95% of all card payments in the EU and consumers would be able to save more than '‚¬550 million annually. The new rules will contribute to a better consumer experience when paying with a card throughout the European Union.
Consumers will be better protected against fraud and other abuses and payment incidents, with improved security measures in place. As regards losses that consumers may face, the new rules streamline and further harmonise the liability rules in case of unauthorised transactions, ensuring enhanced protection of the legitimate interests of payment users. Except in cases of fraud or gross negligence by the payer, the maximum amount a payer could, under any circumstances, be obliged to pay in the case of an unauthorised payment transaction will decrease from '‚¬150 to '‚¬50.
B. Consumers' rights
PSD1 and PSD2 protect consumer rights in the event of unauthorised debits from an account under certain conditions. A direct debit is a payment that is not initiated by the payer, but by the payee on the basis of consent of the payer to the payee. It is based on the following concept: "I request money from someone else with their prior approval and credit it to myself". The payer and the biller must each hold an account with a payment service provider and the transfer of funds (money) takes place between the payer's bank and the biller's bank. However, since the biller can collect funds from a payer's account, provided that a mandate has been granted by the payer to the biller, the payer should also have a right to get the money refunded. Member States have applied different rules with regard to this issue.
Under PSD1, payers had the right to a refund from their payment service provider in case of a direct debit from their account, but only under certain conditions. In order to enhance consumer protection and promote legal certainty further, PSD2 provides a legislative basis for an unconditional refund right in case of a SEPA direct debit during an 8 week period from the date the funds are debited form the account. The right to a refund after the payee has initiated the payment still allows the payer to remain in control of his payment. In such cases, payers can request a refund even in the case of a disputed payment transaction.
As far as the direct debit schemes for non-euro payments are concerned, where they offer the protection as set out under PSD1, they can continue to function as they do today. However, Member States may require that for such direct debit schemes refund rights are offered that are more advantageous to payers.
Consumers will also be better protected when the transaction amount is not known in advance. This situation can occur in the case of car rentals, hotel bookings, or at petrol stations. The payee will only be allowed to block funds on the account of the payer if the payer has approved the exact amount that can be blocked. The payer's bank shall immediately release the blocked funds after having received the information about the exact amount and at the latest after having received the payment order.
Furthermore, the new Directive will increase consumer rights when sending transfers and money remittances outside the EU or paying in non-EU currencies. PSD1 only addresses transfers inside the EU and is limited to the currencies of the Member States. PSD2 will extend the application of PSD1 rules on transparency to "one-leg transactions", hence covering payment transactions to persons outside the EU as regards the ''EU part'' of the transaction. This should contribute to better information of money remitters, and lower the cost of money remittances as a result of higher transparency on the market.
Finally, the new Directive will oblige Member States to designate competent authorities to handle complaints of payment service users and other interested parties, such as consumer associations, concerning an alleged infringement of the directive. Payment service providers that are covered by the Directive on their side should put in place a complaints procedure for consumers that they can use before seeking out-of-court redress or before launching court proceedings. The new rules will oblige payment service providers to answer in written form to any complaint within 15 business days.
C. Payment security
The new rules also provide for a high level of payment security. This is a key issue for many payment users and notably consumers when paying via the internet. All payment service providers, including banks, payment institutions or third party providers (TPPs), will need to prove that they have certain security measures in place ensuring safe and secure payments. The payment service provider will have to carry out an assessment of the operational and security risks at stake and the measures taken on a yearly basis.
6. How will PSD2 benefit potential market entrants and contribute to the Single Market?
Since the adoption of PSD1, new services emerged in the area of internet payments, where so called third party providers (TPPs) offer specific payment solutions or services to customers. For example, there are services which collect and consolidate information on the different bank accounts of a consumer in a single place ("account information services - AIS"). These services will typically allow consumers to have a global view on their financial situation and to analyse their spending patterns, expenses, financial needs in a user-friendly manner. Other third party providers facilitate the use of online banking to make internet payments (so-called "payment initiation services - PIS"). They help to initiate a payment from the user account to the merchant account by creating a software ''bridge'' between these accounts, fill-in the information necessary for a transfer (amount of the transaction, account number, message) and inform the merchant once the transaction has been initiated.
Until now, entering the market of payments was complicated for TPPs, as many barriers were preventing them from offering their solutions on a large scale and in different Member States. With these barriers removed, more competition is expected with new players entering new markets and offering cheaper solutions for payments to more and more consumers throughout Europe. The TPPs will have to follow the same rules as the traditional payment service providers: registration, licensing and supervision by the competent authorities. In addition, new security requirements included in the text of the PSD2 will oblige all payment service providers to step up the security around online payments.
PSD2 will allow consumers and merchants to benefit fully from the internal market, particularly in terms of e-commerce. The Directive aims to help develop the EU market for electronic payments, which will enable consumers, retailers and other market players to enjoy the full benefits of the EU internal market, in line with the digital single market. Such further integration is becoming increasingly important as the world moves beyond bricks-and-mortar trade towards a digital economy.
7.What is the scope of the Directive?
The Directive applies to payment services in the European Union. The Directive focuses on electronic payments, which are more cost-efficient than cash and which also stimulate consumption and economic growth.
There are a number of payment means (including cash and cheques) not falling within the scope of this Directive.
8. Will the new rules also apply to international payments?
While PSD1 only applies to intra-EU payments, PSD2 extends a number of obligations, notably information obligations, to payments to and from third countries, where one of the payment service providers is located in the European Union.
The extension of the scope has implications primarily for the banks and other payment service providers that are located in the EU. In practice, this means that these financial services providers shall provide information and transparency on the costs and conditions of these international payments, at least in respect of their part of the transaction. They can also be held liable for their part of the payment transaction if something goes wrong that is attributable to them.
Moreover, the extension in scope will also have as an effect that the same rules will apply to payments that are made in a currency that is not denominated in Euro or another Member State's currency.
This will be an important improvement for consumer protection in particular in the area of global money remittances.
9. To what extent will payments through telecom operators be covered by this Directive?
Under PSD1, payments made through a telecom operator were not covered, where the telecom operator acts as an intermediary between the consumer and the payment service provider (by operator billing or direct to phone-bill purchases). Under PSD2, the purchase of physical goods and services through a telecom operator now falls within the scope of the Directive.
Under the new rules, the exclusion for payments through telecom operators has also been further specified and narrowed down. The exclusion now covers only payments made through telecom operators for the purchase of digital services such as music and digital newspapers that are downloaded on a digital device or of electronic tickets or donations to charities.
In order to avoid the risk of exposure to substantial financial risks to payers, only payments under a certain threshold are excluded ('‚¬50 per transaction; '‚¬300 per billing month). Telecom operators that engage in such an activity shall notify to the competent authorities, on an annual basis, that they comply with these limits. The activity will also be listed in the public registers.
10. Will there be changes in the authorisation requirements for payment institutions?
Under PSD2, payment institutions are required to fulfil a variety of requirements in order to obtain an authorisation to provide payment services. These requirements are largely the same as under PSD1.
The main changes relate to the enhanced levels of payment security under PSD2. Entities that wish to be authorised as a payment institution shall provide with their application a security policy document, as well as a description of security incident management procedure, contingency procedures etc.
Capital requirements which aim to ensure financial stability have largely remained the same under PSD2 as they were set out in PSD1. Specific capital requirements have been defined for third party service providers in relation to their respective activities and the risks these represent. Third party service providers are not subject to own fund requirements. However, they need to hold a professional indemnity insurance covering the territories in which they offer services.
11. Will the rules change for waived payment institutions?
Under PSD1, entities with an average volume of monthly payment transactions below '‚¬3 million can benefit from a lighter authorisation regime, if their Member State of establishment makes use of that option.
This so-called "waiver" regime will be maintained under PSD2 as an option for Member States, albeit with this difference, that Member States making use of the option can decide to define a lower threshold under which such "waivers" can be granted.
Payment institutions that have obtained a waiver under PSD1 may need to re-assess their status under PSD2, depending on whether the Member State that has made use of the option under PSD1 decides to continue to make use of the option and/or to lower the threshold under which the waiver is granted.
12.What are the changes for limited networks under this Directive?
As under PSD1, payment transactions based on a specific payment instrument within a limited network - for instance a chain of department stores or a network of petrol stations under the same brand offering a dedicated payment instrument to their customers - are outside the scope of the Directive. In order to ensure a more coherent supervision of such networks across the Union, the Directive provides that networks, when their activities reach a certain value, shall notify these activities to competent authorities, so that these can assess whether or not the network shall apply for a licence as a payment institution. This is to ensure that the financial risks for consumers are minimised.
13. Will this Directive strengthen the supervision of payment institutions that provide services cross-border?
As a main principle, payment institutions are supervised by the Member State where they are authorised to provide the defined payment services (the so-called 'home Member State'). When a payment institution intends to provide payment services in another Member State, the supervision of these activities in principle remains with the home Member State. However, if the payment institution provides these services through established agents or branches in the other Member State (the host Member State), that Member State can act in case of an infringement or a suspected infringement of EU rules under the Directive.
In this respect, the supervision under PSD2 has not changed. However, to reinforce the investigative and supervisory powers of the host Member State, PSD2 has introduced a more detailed passporting procedure. This procedure will ensure better cooperation and information exchange between the national competent authorities. Furthermore, the host Member State can ask payment institutions operating with agents and branches in its territory to regularly report on their activities. To that end, the payment institution can be requested to set up a central contact point in the host territory (see question 15 below). In emergency situations, requiring immediate action, the host Member State is allowed to take precautionary measures with regard to the payment institution concerned, in parallel to the host's duties of cooperation with the home Member State to find a remedy.
The European Banking Authority has been mandated to draft regulatory technical standards on the cooperation and information exchange between authorities.
14. Is there a need to set up a central contact point in a Member State if they are providing payments services cross border?
PSD2 contains an option for Member States to require a payment institution that provides cross-border payment services to set up a central contact point if it operates with agents or branches that are established in their territory. The central contact point shall ensure adequate communication and information with regard to the activities of the payment institution in the host territory. The European Banking Authority is mandated to draft regulatory technical standards on the criteria under which a central contact point can be requested, and the functions of such contact point.
The fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (Directive EU/2015/849) also contains an option for Member States to request a central contact point in its territory. The set-up of such a contact point, however, can only be requested for the purpose of ensuring compliance with the money laundering and anti-terrorist financing rules. This provision should be distinguished from the Member States option under PSD2, which can only be invoked for the purpose of adequate communication and information by the payment institution on compliance with the rules under PSD2.
15.Will payment institutions be able to access accounts maintained by credit institutions?
For payment institutions, access to a payment account maintained by a credit institution is vital for the operation of their business. PSD2 provides specifically that Member States will have to ensure that credit institutions do not block or hinder access to payment accounts and that payment institutions have access to credit institutions' payment accounts services in an objective, non-discriminatory and proportionate manner. This aspect is very relevant for money remittance services as many of them have lost access to the banking system in the recent years.
16. What is strong customer authentication?
The PSD2 text introduces strict security requirements for the initiation and processing of electronic payments, which apply to all payment service providers, including newly regulated payment service providers. This stricter approach on security should contribute to reducing the risk of fraud for all new and more traditional means of payment, especially online payments, and to protecting the confidentiality of the user's financial data (including personal data).
Payment service providers will be obliged to apply so-called strong customer authentication (SCA) when a payer initiates an electronic payment transaction. Strong customer authentication is an authentication process that validates the identity of the user of a payment service or of the payment transaction (more specifically, whether the use of a payment instrument is authorised). Strong customer authentication is based on the use of two or more elements categorised as knowledge (something only the user knows, e.g. a password or a PIN), possession (something only the user possesses, e.g. the card or an authentication code generating device) and inherence (something the user is, e.g. the use of a fingerprint or voice recognition) to validate the user or the transaction. These elements are independent (the breach of one element does not compromise the reliability of the others) and designed in such a way as to protect the confidentiality of the authentication data. On 27 November 2017, the Commission adopted rules that spell out how strong customer authentication (SCA) is to be applied."
For remote transactions, such as online payments, the security requirements go even further, requiring a dynamic link to the amount of the transaction and the account of the payee, to further protect the user by minimising the risks in case of mistakes or fraudulent attacks.
17. Will all payments have to apply strong customer authentication? Are exemptions possible?
As a matter of principle, all electronic means of payment are subject to strong customer authentication. However, exemptions to the principle of strong customer authentication (SCA) are possible, as it is not always necessary and convenient to request the same level of security from all payment transactions.
These exemptions have been defined by the European Banking Authority (EBA) and adopted by the European Commission, taking account of the risk involved, the value of transactions and the channels used for the payment.
Such exemptions include low value payments at the point of sale (to facilitate the use of mobile and contactless payments) and also for remote (online) transactions. The exemptions from strong customer authentication seek to avoid disrupting the ways consumers, merchants and payment service providers operate today. They are also based on the fact that there are alternative authentication mechanisms that are equally safe and secure.
18. What are payment initiation services?
The PSD2 opens the EU payment market for companies offering consumer or business-oriented payment services based on the access to the information from the payment account '' so called "payment initiation services providers" and "account information services providers". Payment initiation services providers typically help consumers to make online credit transfers and inform the merchant immediately of the payment initiation, allowing for the immediate dispatch of goods or immediate access to services purchased online. For online payments, they constitute a true alternative to credit card payments as they offer an easily accessible payment service, as the consumer only needs to possess an online payment account.
19. What are account information services?
Account information services allow consumers and businesses to have a global view on their financial situation, for instance, by enabling consumers to consolidate the different payment accounts they may have with one or more banks and to categorise their spending according to different typologies (food, energy, rent, leisure, etc.), thus helping them with budgeting and financial planning.
20. What is payment instrument issuing?
The issuing of a payment instrument is one of the payment services that falls within the scope of PSD1 and of PSD2. Any authorised payment service provider, be it a bank or a payment institution, can issue payment instruments. Payment instruments do not only cover payment cards, such as debit cards and credit cards, but any personalised device or set of rules agreed between the issuer and the user used to initiate a payment.
PSD2 allows payment service providers that do not manage the account of the payment service user to issue card-based payment instruments to that account and to execute card-based payments from that account. Such ''third party'' payment service provider '' which could be a bank not servicing the account of the payer '' will be able, after consent of the user, to receive from the financial institution where the account is held a confirmation (a yes/no answer) as to whether there are sufficient funds on the account for the payment to be made.
21. What opportunities will these providers offer to consumers and enterprises?
The "payment initiation services providers" allow consumers that shop online to pay for their purchases through a simple credit transfer from their payment account. In some countries, these services are already in use (55% of internet payments in the Netherlands). By providing a proper legal framework in which these services can be offered, PSD2 opens possibilities for providers of these services to operate across the EU and to compete on an equal basis with other regulated players in the market, such as banks.
Account information service providers already exist today and offer tools that allow companies and consumers to have a consolidated view of their financial situation. Nowadays, these services are not regulated, at least at EU level. PSD2 will provide for a common framework with clear conditions under which these providers can access the financial information on behalf of their clients. This will allow these services providers to operate without hindrance and to reach a broader audience which normally does not make use of such account managing services.
Today, account holders are not obliged to use payment instruments offered by the same payment service provider with which they hold their account. For example, credit cards are not only provided by the bank where the user holds its account, but also by third party providers. This does not work, however, in the case of debit cards, where payment service providers have found it very difficult to offer such payment service in connection to accounts not held by them. The source of these difficulties is the fact that these third providers do not have access to feedback information on the availability of funds on the account held by other financial institution. PSD2 lifts this obstacle, which is likely to see consumers benefit from competitive card services offered by third party providers.
22. Will these providers be subject to the same rules as other payment institutions i.e. authorisation and security?
The PSD2 requires all that payment services providers be authorised and regulated. The inclusion of new payment providers within the scope of PSD2 will allow competent authorities to better monitor and supervise the activities of these new players.
PSD2 also fully clarifies the liability issues between bank servicing the account of the payer and the payment initiation service. When a payment initiation service provider is used by a payer to initiate a payment, it will be liable for any payment incidents within its sphere. In particular, the bank of the payer shall not be held liable for payment incidents that can be traced back to the initiator.
23. To what extent will these providers have access to information on my payment or bank account?
These new providers will only be allowed to provide the services the payer decides to make use of. In order to provide these services they will not have full access to the account of the payer. Those offering payment instruments or payment initiation services will only be able to receive information from the payer's bank on the availability of funds (a yes/no answer) on the account before initiating the payment (with the explicit consent of the payer). Account information service providers will receive the information explicitly agreed by the payer and only to the extent they are necessary for the service provided to the payer.
The security credentials of the payment service user shall not be accessible to other third parties and will have to be transmitted through safe and efficient channels to the bank servicing the account. A dynamically generated code only valid for that specific transaction (linked to the amount and recipient) will have to be used in the authentication process.
24. Is there a different date of application for the security requirements?
Without prejudice to the date of application of PSD2 (13 January 2018), a different date of application is foreseen for the new security measures - strong customer authentication and standards for secure communication - introduced in the PSD2. Their entry into force is subject to the adoption of the regulatory technical standards which have been developed by the European Banking Authority and adopted by the Commission. As a result, the new security measures shall apply 18 months after the publication in the Official Journal of these standards, currently under objection period of the European Parliament and Council.
25. Will authorisations under PSD1 keep their validity under this Directive?
The text of PSD2 foresees transitional provisions for payment institutions that are already authorised to provide services under PSD1. These institutions are allowed to continue providing payment services for 30 months (authorised institutions) or 36 months (''small'' institutions that benefited from the waiver under Article 26 of PSD) after the entry into force of PSD2.
In order to provide payment services beyond that transitional period, the existing payment institutions would need to submit all relevant information required under PSD2 to the competent authorities that have granted them their existing licenses and fully comply with the relevant PSD2 requirements.
In addition, Member States may provide for the existing payment institutions to be automatically granted PSD2 authorisation if the competent authority already possesses evidence that the payment institution complies with PSD2 requirements. Competent authorities shall make such an assessment on a case-by-case basis. They should inform the payment institution concerned before the authorisation is granted.
26.Can existing providers of payment initiation and account information services continue to provide their services after thedateofapplication of PSD2?As of when will they need to apply for a licence?
PSD2 provisions ensure that providers of payment initiation services (PIS) and account information services (AIS) that are already established in the market can continue to perform their activities. More specifically, PSD2 states that Member States shall allow existing PIS or AIS providers in their territories to operate in accordance with the currently applicable regulatory framework.
As the provision of PIS and AIS is a new payment service recognised in PSD2, existing and new providers of such services would need to apply for authorisation under the PSD2 regime from the date of application of the new Directive.
Furthermore, because the new security measures of PSD2 regarding strong customer authentication and standards for secure communication will become applicable later than other provisions (see answer 24), PIS and AIS providers that seek authorisation under PSD2 are not required to submit proof of compliance with these security requirements until that later date. As provision of both types of services is dependent on the authentication procedures provided by banks, upgrades to the security requirements and procedures applied by banks need to be fully implemented by banks before the application of these measures is possible for the PIS and AIS. In case banks do not comply on time with the security requirements and standards for secure communication, they cannot use this non-compliance to hinder or obstruct the use of PIS and AIS.
The delayed application of the security requirements should not create any difficulties for the provision of existing payment-related services by market players that have been operating in Member States before 13 January 2016. Article 115(5) of PSD2 ensures the continuity of these services. These payment services providers should still apply for the relevant authorisation under PSD2 to their national authority as soon as possible.
27.What is the role of the Internet Security Guidelines, published by the European Banking Authority in 2014, during the transitional period?
The EBA guidelines on the security of internet payments address the issue of security of internet payments as an interim solution, until the application of the PSD2 and its more comprehensive security requirements.
When the EBA Guidelines are applied by the competent authorities of the Member States, in the transitional period, they must be interpreted in so far as there is any scope to do so, in line with the PSD2's content and objectives. As a consequence, compliance with the EBA Guidelines on the security of internet payments should not be used to justify obstructing or blocking the use of PIS or AIS.
Pending the full application of the PSD2 rules, including the rules on the security of payments, and in accordance with the PSD2 text, ''Member States, the Commission, the European Central Bank and the European Banking Authority, should guarantee fair competition in that market avoiding unjustifiable discrimination against any existing player on the market''.
Payment Services Directive - Wikipedia
Fri, 19 Jan 2018 11:27
This article needs to be updated. Please update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information. (March 2014)
The Payment Services Directive[1] (PSD, 2007/64/EC) is an EU Directive, administered by the European Commission (Directorate General Internal Market) to regulate payment services and payment service providers throughout the European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA). The Directive's purpose was to increase pan-European competition and participation in the payments industry also from non-banks, and to provide for a level playing field by harmonizing consumer protection and the rights and obligations for payment providers and users.[2]
Overview [ edit] The SEPA (Single Euro Payments Area) is a self-regulatory initiative by the European banking sector represented in the European Payments Council, which defines the harmonization of payment products, infrastructures and technical standards (Rulebooks for credit transfer/direct debit, BIC, IBAN, ISO 20022 XML message format, EMV chip cards/terminals). The PSD provides the legal framework within which all payment service providers must operate.
The PSD's purpose in regard to the payments industry was to increase pan-European competition with participation also from non-banks, and to provide for a level playing field by harmonizing consumer protection and the rights and obligations for payment providers and users.[2] The PSD's purpose in regard to consumers was to increase customer rights, guarantee faster payments (no later than next day from 1 January 2012 on), describe refund rights, and give clearer information on payments.[3] Although the PSD is a maximum harmonisation directive, certain elements allow for different options by individual countries.[4]
The final adopted text of PSD went into force 25 December 2007 and was to be transposed into national legislation by all EU and EEA member states by 1 November 2009 at the latest.[5][6]
Technical overview [ edit] The PSD contains two main sections:
The 'market rules' describe which type of organizations can provide payment services. Next to credit institutions (i.e. banks) and certain authorities (e.g. central banks, government bodies), the PSD mentions Electronic Money Institutions, created by the E-Money Directive in 2000, and created the new category of 'Payment Institutions' with its own prudential regime rules. Organizations that are not credit institutions or EMIs, can apply for an authorization as a Payment Institution if they meet certain capital and risk management requirements, in any EU country of their choice where they are established and then "passport" their payment services into other EU member states without additional PI requirements.The 'business conduct rules' specify what transparency of information payment service institutions need to provide, including any charges, exchange rates, transaction references and maximum execution time. It stipulates the rights and obligations for both payment service providers and users, how to authorize and execute transactions, liability in case of unauthorized use of payment instruments, refunds on payments, revoking payment orders, and value dating of payments.Each country had to designate a 'Competent Authority' for prudential supervision of the PIs and to monitor compliance with business conduct rules, as transposed into national legislation.[7]
Updates [ edit] The PSD was updated in 2009 (EC Regulation 924/2009) and 2012 (EU Regulation 260/2012). An implementation report from 2013 found the PSD facilitated "provision of uniform payment services across the EU" and reduced legal and production costs for many payment service providers and that "the expected benefits have not yet been fully realised". The same report found the 2009 update "... to be functioning well. For example, charges for 100 EUR transfers followed a further downward trend to 0.50 EUR euro-area average for transfers initiated online and remained low, at 3.10 EUR for transfers initiated at the bank counter".[8]
Remaining issues [ edit] The PSD only applies to payments within the European Economic Area, but not to transactions to or from third countries.PSD exemptions related to payment activities leave users unprotected.The PSD option for merchants to charge a fee or give a rebate, combined with the option for countries to limit this, has led to "extreme heterogeneity in the market".So-called ''third party payment service providers'' have emerged, which facilitate online shopping by offering low cost payment solutions on the internet by using the customers' home online banking application with their agreement, and informing merchants that the money is on its way. Other 'account information services' offer consolidated information on different accounts of a payments service user.Harmonisation of refund rules regarding direct debits, a reduction of the scope of the ''simplified regime'' for so-called ''small payment institutions'' and addressing security, access to information on payment accounts or data privacy with possible licensing and supervision have been proposed.[8]
Revised Directive on Payment Services (PSD2) [ edit] On October 8, 2015, the European Parliament adopted the European Commission proposal to create safer and more innovative European payments (PSD2). The new rules aim to better protect consumers when they pay online, promote the development and use of innovative online and mobile payments such as through open banking, and make cross-border European payment services safer.[9]
Commissioner Jonathan Hill, responsible for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union, said, "This legislation is a step towards a digital single market; it will benefit consumers and businesses, and help the economy grow."[9]
On November 16, 2015, the Council of the European Union passed PSD2. Member states will have two years to incorporate the directive into their national laws and regulations.[10]
The EU and many banks are pushing this development with the new Payments Service Directive 2 (PSD2), which will come into force from 13 January 2018. Banks need to adapt to these changes that open many technical challenges, but also many strategic opportunities, such as collaborating with fintech providers, for the future.
Key dates [ edit] March 2000: Lisbon Agenda to make Europe ''the world's most competitive and dynamic knowledge-driven economy'' by 2010December 2001: regulation EC 2560/2001 on cross-border payments in Euro2002: European Payments Council created by the banking industry, driving the Single Euro Payments Area initiative to harmonize the main non-cash payment instruments across the Euro area (by end 2010)2001''2004: consultation period and preparation of PSDDecember 2005: proposal for PSD by DG Internal Market Commissioner McCreevy25 December 2007: PSD entered into force1 November 2009: deadline for transposition in national legislation2009 update: eliminated differences in charges for cross-border and national payments in euro (EC Regulation 924/2009)2012 update: Regulation on cross-border payments, 'multilateral interchange fees'(EU Regulation 260/2012)July 2013: report on implementation of PSD and its two updates[8]16 November 2015: The Council of the European Union passes PSD2, giving member states two years to incorporate the directive into their national laws and regulations.[10]See also [ edit] References [ edit] Further reading [ edit] Dimitrios Linardatos: "Das Haftungssystem im bargeldlosen Zahlungsverkehr nach Umsetzung der Zahlungsdiensterichtlinie", Nomos-Verlag, 2013, ISBN 978-3-8487-0709-6. (German)External links [ edit]
Agenda 2030
PHOTOS: The Sahara Desert, Painted White With Snow : The Two-Way : NPR
Sun, 21 Jan 2018 12:30
A scene of snow, striped in orange: This is how the desert surrounding Ain Sefra in Algeria appeared to residents for a few fleeting hours Sunday. Zineddine Hashas/Geoff Robinsonhide caption
toggle captionZineddine Hashas/Geoff Robinson A scene of snow, striped in orange: This is how the desert surrounding Ain Sefra in Algeria appeared to residents for a few fleeting hours Sunday.
Zineddine Hashas/Geoff Robinson For a few fleeting hours Sunday, people perched in the arid heights of northwest Algeria caught sight of something rarely seen: the Sahara Desert, shrouded in white. Residents of Ain Sefra, a small town surrounded by the Atlas Mountains of Northern Africa, walked outside to find a dusting of snow underfoot '-- and more than a foot of it crowding the town's outer boundaries.
While it's not unheard of '-- snow visited this landscape in December 2016, after all '-- the wintry weather is indeed rare for the region: As NPR's Maggie Penman pointed out at the time, the last major snowfall in Ain Sefra before that happened in 1979.
It was no mere flurry that hit the area. In some parts of the region surrounding Ain Sefra, as much as 16 inches of snow fell Sunday. Karim Bouchetata/Geoff Robinsonhide caption
toggle captionKarim Bouchetata/Geoff Robinson But, as Forbes noted, the unlikely winter wonderland was not alone in experiencing extreme weather this past week '-- and indeed, it came about because of odd patterns elsewhere:
"The east coast of the United States continues to face the brutally cold winter storm Grayson and Sydney, Australia swelters in the hottest temperatures seen in nearly 80 years at 116.6 degrees Farenheight.
"High pressures over Europe caused cold air to be pulled down into northern Africa and into the Sahara Desert. This mass of cold air rose 3,280 feet to the elevation of Ain Sefra, a town surrounded by the Atlas Mountains, and began to snow early Sunday morning."
Still, the scene Sunday was not to last.
By late afternoon, the dunes' blazing orange and red had reasserted themselves over the surrounding palette, as rising temperatures forced the snow to give way again to sand.
Luckily for some residents, that vanishing act was not too fast to sneak in a quick sledding session. And luckily for us, some local photographers managed to capture the moment forever for folks who happened not to catch it in person.
Here are some of those photographs.
By late afternoon Sunday, the scene had retreated into its typical hues '-- but not before the snow was memorialized in a few astounding images. Zineddine Hashas/Geoff Robinsonhide caption
toggle captionZineddine Hashas/Geoff Robinson By late afternoon Sunday, the scene had retreated into its typical hues '-- but not before the snow was memorialized in a few astounding images.
Zineddine Hashas/Geoff Robinson Ain Sefra is nestled in the heights of the Atlas Mountains in northwestern Algeria. Karim Bouchetata/Geoff Robinsonhide caption
toggle captionKarim Bouchetata/Geoff Robinson Ain Sefra is nestled in the heights of the Atlas Mountains in northwestern Algeria.
Karim Bouchetata/Geoff Robinson Ain Sefra saw snow last winter, as well, but before 2016, it had been decades since the Algerian town had experienced a major snowfall. Karim Bouchetata/Geoff Robinsonhide caption
toggle captionKarim Bouchetata/Geoff Robinson Ain Sefra saw snow last winter, as well, but before 2016, it had been decades since the Algerian town had experienced a major snowfall.
Karim Bouchetata/Geoff Robinson
The Fix Is In
Super Bowl 2018: Outraged Eagles fans fear game is fixed after seeing NFL ad (PHOTO) | NJ.com
Fri, 19 Jan 2018 22:29
UPDATE: Some Eagles players, feeling disrespected again, react to hearing about the controversial ad. The NFL called the ad a "regrettable mistake."
PHILADELPHIA -- An ad that appeared this week on the NFL's various social media platforms drew the ire of Eagles fans ahead of Sunday's NFC Championship Game against the Minnesota Vikings at Lincoln Financial Field, because it appears to predict the teams that will be playing in Super Bowl LII.
The advertisement, promoting a contest to win Super Bowl tickets, shows New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady opposite Vikings quarterback Case Keenum flanking the Super Bowl logo.
The ad below appears on the official, verified Facebook page of the NFL. Check out the screenshot captured Friday morning:
Matt Lombardo | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com In addition to Eagles quarterback Nick Foles not being included in the photo, the copy for the advertisement for the contest is as follows:
Your team is headed to Super Bowl LII...and you could too! When you donate to United Way, you could score 2 club-level seats to watch the PATRIOTS vs. the VIKINGS battle it out for the coveted Super Bowl title! But...that's not all! You could also WIN pre-game sideline access + other cool perks! Don't pass up this touchdown experience - donate TODAY for your chance to WIN big
As expected, Eagles fans flooded the initial Facebook posts with angry comments and suggestions that the game is fixed:
Matt Lombardo | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com The Vikings would be the first team to host a Super Bowl in the history of the game, but would first have to beat the Eagles on Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field to get there, and the Patriots would need to hold off the Jacksonville Jaguars in the AFC Championship Game to make the contest's ad a reality.
NJ Advance Media has reached out to the NFL, and is awaiting comment about the ad as of Friday.
Matt Lombardo may be reached at MLombardo@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @MattLombardoPHL.
Former FBI Director James B. Comey to co-teach W&M course on ethical leadership | Williamsburg Yorktown Daily
Sun, 21 Jan 2018 14:06
James B. Comey '82 speaks at the university's 2009 Opening Convocation ceremony. The W&M alumnus has remained closely connected to his alma mater throughout the years. Starting this fall, he will co-teach a course on ethical leadership for the university. (Stephen Salpukas/W&M News)Former FBI Director James B. Comey '82 will teach a three-credit course on ethical leadership for William & Mary starting this fall.
With an appointment as an executive professor in education, Comey will co-teach the course with Drew Stelljes, executive assistant professor of education and assistant vice president for student leadership, during the fall 2018, spring 2019 and summer 2019 semesters. Offered through the W&M Washington Center, the course will meet primarily in the center's classroom in Washington, D.C., and once at the W&M School of Education in Williamsburg, Virginia, with that session being live-streamed back to students in the nation's capital.
''Jim Comey is among William & Mary's most distinguished alumni,'' said W&M President Taylor Reveley. ''Over the years, he has been deeply committed to his alma mater. He understands to the core of his being that our leaders must have an abiding commitment to ethical behavior and sacrificial service if we are to have good government. Our students will benefit significantly from his experience and wisdom.''
Drew Stelljes (Courtesy photo/W&M News)
Stelljes will work with Comey to administer online discussion and research paper components of the three courses. He will also conduct multiple lectures and discussions and prepare students for classes with Comey by teaching them background information on the subjects to be discussed. Students in the course will use historical texts and contemporary critical theory to ''map historical narrative and contemporary dominant leadership paradigms with leadership in public policy and citizen engagement,'' said Stelljes. The students will also be prepared to develop and articulate sophisticated analyses of contemporary relationships between leadership education and democratic engagement in America, he added.
''I am thrilled to have the chance to engage with William & Mary students about a vital topic '-- ethical leadership,'' said Comey. ''Ethical leaders lead by seeing above the short term, above the urgent or the partisan, and with a higher loyalty to lasting values, most importantly the truth. Building and maintaining that kind of leadership, in both the private sector and government, is the challenge of our time. There is no better place to teach and learn about it than the W&M Washington Program.''
Students receiving priority in enrollment for the course include:
Undergraduates who are enrolled in the W&M Washington Center's fall 2018 and spring 2019 DC Semester Program and its 2019 DC Summer Session can take the course as an elective in addition to their required program.Graduate students, with students in the W&M School of Education's Educational Policy, Planning and Leadership program receiving first priority because of the program's emphasis on leadership studiesUndergraduate students minoring in educational studiesAs space allows, other students at W&M may also enroll in the course, provided that they are able to travel to Washington, D.C., for the sessions to be held there.
Comey graduated from William & Mary as a double major in chemistry and religion. He has held a number of senior leadership positions in and out of government, including U.S. attorney and deputy attorney general, the second-highest position in the U.S. Department of Justice, before taking the helm of the FBI in 2013.
Throughout the years, he has remained closely connected to his alma mater, speaking at its Opening Convocation and Charter Day ceremonies and receiving an honorary doctor of laws degree from the university in 2008. He was a member of the W&M Alumni Association Board of Directors and served as its vice president from 2009 to 2011, the same year he was honored as W&M Law School's Carter O. Lowance Fellow in recognition of his public service. He has also spoken with classes of W&M Study in DC students consistently since 2006, including hosting three groups at the FBI while director. In 2014, Comey received the Alumni Medallion, the William & Mary Alumni Association's highest honor.
More information about the course and the DC Semester Program can be found at http://www.wm.edu/dc/Fall2018Semester.
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Manhattan DA raids Newsweek headquarters | New York Post
Fri, 19 Jan 2018 03:36
By Keith J. Kelly
January 18, 2018 | 2:07pm
Natan Dvir
It was a breaking news story '-- but not exactly the type Newsweek was aching to report.
About two dozen investigators from the Manhattan District Attorney's Office converged on the fifth-floor newsroom of Newsweek on Thursday '-- taking photos of computers and servers, sources said.
The fifth floor also houses the office of Newsweek Media Group, the publication's parent company '-- which used to be called IBT Media.
The investigators, who arrived shortly before 8 a.m., focused on the computers' serial numbers '-- and walked out six hours later carrying several of the servers, sources said.
The staff was left shaken and mystified.
The probe is believed to be tied to Olivet University, the San Francisco school tied to the controversial South Korean pastor David Jang, one source said.
Jang has close ties to the founders of IBT Media.
A lawyer for the company, in a brief talk to staffers roughly halfway through the raid, said the police action was part of a 17-month investigation.
''People are very upset, because apparently there was a 17-month investigation and no one told us anything,'' said one person close to the company.
Late Thursday, Newsweek Media Group acknowledged that agents from the DA's office had been searching their servers for the better part of the day.
''Representatives of the New York County [Manhattan] District Attorney's Office visited the New York City offices of Newsweek Media Group today to conduct a search of the company's computer servers to obtain technical information about the servers.
''The company provided the DA's representatives with access to the computer servers on location to allow for a technical inspection within the law.
''No information regarding the company's content, stories, personnel, or sources was given and Newsweek Media Group has been assured by the DA's office that the investigation is not about any content-related issues,'' the statement said.
The company said it is cooperating with the DA.
Etienne Uzac, a co-owner of Newsweek Media Group, was slapped with a $1.2 million federal tax lien by the IRS on Dec. 12, according to a record obtained by The Post.
Uzac founded the company in 2005 with Jonathan Davis, and together they purchased the money-losing Newsweek in 2012. Uzac is married to Marion Kim, who is tied to Olivet and has served as a translator for Jang.
The IRS declined to comment on whether the raid Thursday had any connection to the outstanding tax lien.
Jang had used Korean and Chinese citizens with student visas who attended Olivet University to secretly work on IBT matters in its early days, according to reports. The company denied the claim at the time.
Early reports '-- based on eyewitness sources '-- that NYC cops were involved in the raid were not accurate, NYPD sources told The Post.
The police in the raid were connected only to the New York County District Attorney's office.
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NA-Tech News
Amazon announces top 20 candidate cities for HQ2 -- none in NW | KOMO
Fri, 19 Jan 2018 03:19
SEATTLE - Amazon announced Thursday it has chosen 20 cities as final candidates to become the site of its second headquarters in North America.
The 20 metropolitan areas were selected from among a total of 238 proposals to host its so-called "HQ2." The second headquarters will not be in the Northwest.
One of the 20 cities will be chosen as the location of a new headquarters that will be equal to Amazon's original Seattle headquarters in importance. The company plans to invest over $5 billion and grow this second headquarters to accommodate as many as 50,000 jobs.
The 20 cities are Atlanta, Ga.; Austin, Texas; Boston, Mass.; Chicago, Ill.; Columbus, Ohio; Dallas, Texas; Denver, Colo.; Indianapolis, Ind.; Los Angeles, Calif.; Miami, Fla.
Also, Montgomery County, Md.; Nashville, Tenn.; Newark, N.J.; New York City, N.Y.; Northern Virginia, Va.; Philadelphia, Pa.; Pittsburgh, Pa.; Raleigh, N.C.; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; and Washington D.C.
In addition to Amazon's direct hiring and investment, construction and ongoing operation of Amazon HQ2 is expected to create tens of thousands of additional jobs and tens of billions of dollars in additional investment in the surrounding community.
''Thank you to all 238 communities that submitted proposals. Getting from 238 to 20 was very tough '' all the proposals showed tremendous enthusiasm and creativity,'' said Amazon spokesperson Holly Sullivan.
''Through this process we learned about many new communities across North America that we will consider as locations for future infrastructure investment and job creation.''
Amazon says it evaluated each of the proposals based on the criteria outlined in its request for proposals to create the list of 20 HQ2 candidates that will continue in the selection process.
In the coming months, Amazon will work with each candidate location to dive deeper into their proposals, request additional information, and evaluate the feasibility of a future partnership that can accommodate the company's hiring plans as well as benefit its employees and the local community.
Amazon expects to make a final decision later this year.
Amazon currently has more than 540,000 employees worldwide and says it has already invested more than $100 billion in the United States.
Italy's Consumer Watchdog Officially Launched Proceedings against Apple and Samsung Regarding Product Obsolescence - Patently Apple
Fri, 19 Jan 2018 12:01
Apple has been in the spotlight since the year began over their battery issue which has resulted in 45 official class actions and 5 more pending outside of the U.S. Yesterday Apple was in the spotlight for announcing their $350 Billion investment in the U.S. due to the Republican's new tax laws that allowed Apple to bring back their money parked overseas at a fair rate. Yet one day later and five more class action were filed against them and Italy's antitrust body confirmed today that it had opened a probe into allegations that Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd have used software updates to slow their mobile phones and push clients into buying new handsets. It's the first time Samsung has been put into the same boat as Apple.
Reuters reports today that "Italy's antitrust body said on Thursday it had opened a probe into allegations that Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd used software updates to slow their mobile phones and push clients into buying new handsets." This is considered 'Planned Obsolescence' by definition.
Apple and Samsung are suspected of orchestrating "a general commercial policy taking advantage of the lack of certain components to curb the performance times of their products and induce consumers to buy new versions", the watchdog said.
The watchdog said in a statement that the two companies had not told clients that the updates might have a negative impact on the performance of their phones.
It said the U.S. and South Korean firms might have infringed four separate articles of the national consumers' code. If found guilty, the two companies risk multi-million euro fines."
With Italy's econonomy being bad with their poor tripling in a decade and was on the verge of collapse in 2016, hitting rich tech companies wallets is an easy target.
The watchdog AGCM has the task of enforcing both Italian and European consumer protection laws. Today they published a statement which confirms the news. The statement below is a 'Bing' Translation:
AGCM * "initiated proceedings against SAMSUNG and APPLE for SOFTWARE updates of smartphones"
"As a result of Consumer Reports and a preliminary investigation activity, the authority has decided to initiate two separate procedures for unfair commercial practices vis-a-vis the companies of the Samsung Group and the Apple group operating in Italy.
In particular, the professionals would put in place a general commercial policy aimed at exploiting the shortcomings of certain components in order to reduce the performance of their products over time and to induce consumers to buy new versions of them; They would also be proposed to customers software updates of their mobile phones without reporting the possible consequences of the same update and without providing sufficient information to maintain an adequate level of performance These devices, promoted and purchased for their specifications and high technological characteristics.
Such behaviour may result in violations of articles 20, 21, 22 and 24 of the consumer code.
The authority has for this purpose carried out inspection investigations at the offices of the professionals, for which it has availed itself of the collaboration of the special nucleus antitrust of the Guardia di Finanza, assisted for the technical profiles of the operations by the military of the nucleus Special technological fraud of the same body."
A number of handset makers Including Samsung, LG and Lenovo's Motorola have already made statements on this matter. Lenovo stated recently that "We do not throttle CPU performance based on older batteries."
Apple's CEO appeared in an interview on ABC News last night where in-part he blamed iPhone users for the current crisis while saying that the company is working on an iOS update that will allow users to opt out of their feature that purposely slows down the battery to maintain device performance.
Whether Apple will be able to put the genie back in the bottle on this issue is unknown at this time. Yet one thing is for sure, Apple's new SVP of Legal and Global Security, Katherine Adams will experience a baptism by fire at Apple having to deal with a flood of class actions and government inquires at home and abroad.
About Making Comments on our Site:Patently Apple reserves the right to post, dismiss or edit any comments. Those using abusive language or negative behavior will result in being blacklisted on Disqus.
Skygofree is the most powerful surveillance tool for Android, Kaspersky says >> TechWorm
Sun, 21 Jan 2018 12:50
Security researchers at Kaspersky Lab have identified a new sophisticated espionage software for Android, which can gain complete control of users' phones and steal information.
The software dubbed as 'Skygofree' is ''one of the most powerful spyware tools'' ever seen for Android that ''display capabilities more reminiscent of Hollywood spy movies,'' says Kaspersky.
This Android software can trace user's location, record audio conversations, intercept SMS, calendar entries, monitor popular apps such as Facebook Messenger, Skype, Viber, and WhatsApp, and even read WhatsApp messages through Accessibility Services. It can also connect a device to a Wi-Fi network controlled by hackers, even when the user has disabled Wi-Fi connections or take photos every time the user unlocks his device. The software can also operate in standby mode.
''In practice, this means that attackers can start listening in on victims when, say, they enter the office or visit the CEO's home,'' said Kaspersky Lab. ''This lets the victim's traffic be collected and analysed.''
Although the spyware was identified by Kaspersky's researchers at the end of 2017, but its existence dates back to 2014. Apparently, Skygofree has already infected several Italian Android users and the software has evolved considerably during the three year period.
''The malware is distributed through fake mobile operator websites, where Skygofree is disguised as an update to improve mobile Internet speed. If a user swallows the bait and downloads the Trojan, it displays a notification that setup is supposedly in progress, conceals itself from the user, and requests further instructions from the command server. Depending on the response, it can download a variety of payloads '-- the attackers have solutions for almost every occasion,'' says Kaspersky.
In order to safeguard against the software, Kaspersky firstly recommends users to install apps only from official online stores (such as Play Store, App Store) and disable installation of apps from third-party sources. Secondly, pay attention to misspelled app names, small numbers of downloads, or dubious requests for permissions. Lastly, install a reliable security solution that will protect your device from most suspicious websites, dangerous links, and malicious apps and files.
Source: Kaspersky
Why Google's New App Won't Match Your Face to Art in Some States - WSJ
Sun, 21 Jan 2018 15:07
Millions of people across the U.S. downloaded an app over the holiday weekend to see how a Google algorithm matched their selfies to historical artwork. But for many residents of Illinois and Texas, the selfie tool was missing.
The reason? Laws in those states ban the collection of biometric data, including a record of ''face geometry,'' without a user's consent. Google, a unit of Alphabet Inc., is blocking the selfie service in its arts and culture app in Illinois and Texas because of the privacy laws, according to a person...
Why Google Won't Search for Art Look-Alike in Some States - WSJ
Sun, 21 Jan 2018 15:07
Millions of people across the U.S. downloaded an app over the holiday weekend to see how a Google algorithm matched their selfies to historical artwork. But for many residents of Illinois and Texas, the selfie tool was missing.
Google Arts & Culture, which became the No. 1 free app on the Apple Inc. and Google Play app stores over the weekend, is among a growing wave of tech products using software that can recognize faces, from doorbells that identify guests to security cameras that recognize shoplifters to iPhones that unlock with a glance.Biometric laws pose a challenge to those technologies. In Illinois, dozens of lawsuits related to the biometric law have been filed since it passed in 2008, including one against Google that challenges its Google Photos service, which allows users to search photos by a person's face. FacebookInc. and SnapInc. have faced similar lawsuits.A Google spokesman said the Arts & Culture app uses selfies ''only for art matching and nothing else.''
A screenshot of a Google Arts & Culture comparison with Wall Street Journal reporter Ethan Smith, which shows a 62% match with a farmer depicted in the Grant Wood painting ''American Gothic.'' Photo: The Wall Street Journal
. The company said 12.8 million people had downloaded the app as of Monday night, with the vast majority occurring over the weekend, when users were taking 450,000 selfies an hour. About 30 Google employees in Paris who built the app were surprised by its sudden success and worked through the weekend to keep it running smoothly, the spokesman said.
Suits have spiked in Illinois because its law lets individuals sue, said Julia Jacobson, a partner at law firm K&L Gates LLP. Texas and Washington state, which passed a less strict biometric law last year, limit that power to their attorneys general.
The pace of litigation in Illinois has quickened with tech companies' adoption of facial-recognition technology, Ms. Jacobson said. More than 50 such lawsuits have been filed in Illinois since June last year, according to a K&L analysis.
''It's simply because the technology is getting better and more commercialized,'' she said. ''It used to be just government technology.''
Still, Google's decision to block the art look-alike tool in Illinois and Texas is bizarre because the app requires users' consent just as the states' laws require, said Alvaro Bedoya, executive director of the Center for Privacy & Technology at Georgetown University. It ''is a very strange decision,'' he said.
Before users take a selfie, the Google app requires them to accept its terms, which say that the app matches the user's photo with artwork and that ''Google won't use data from your photo for any other purpose and will only store your photo for the time it takes to search for matches.''
Google hasn't blocked its Google Photos service in Illinois, although it uses facial recognition and is subject to a lawsuit there. Google also doesn't appear to have blocked the Arts & Culture app's selfie function in Washington. The feature isn't yet available outside the U.S.
Tech firms have argued such biometric laws are overly restrictive. Others say the growing use of biometric data'--which can also include things like fingerprints and iris scans'--pose a risk for consumers.
Adam Schwartz, a staff attorney at the digital-privacy group the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said ''biometrics are a menace to privacy'' because ''it's very easy for strangers to capture your biometrics and it's very hard for us to do anything about it.'' Credit-card numbers can be changed, but faces and fingerprints can't, he noted.
For now, some users in Illinois, Texas and abroad are trying to get around the ban. Videos posted on YouTube instruct users to use a VPN, or virtual private network, that makes it appear as if their web traffic is coming from somewhere else.
Megan Vo, a 26-year-old mobile-app designer in Chicago, said she downloaded the app over the weekend after friends in New York posted their art doppelg¤ngers. But when she opened it, she said she found art-related articles and interactive programs, but not the art look-alike tool.
''I kept scrolling,'' she said. ''It's a great app with a lot of great resources, but I wanted to take a selfie.''
Out There
Intermediate-sized near-Earth asteroid to fly safely past Earth next month - Xinhua | English.news.cn
Sun, 21 Jan 2018 13:12
LOS ANGELES, Jan. 19 (Xinhua) -- An intermediate-sized near-Earth asteroid will make a close approach to the Earth on Feb. 4, but it will have no chance of colliding with our planet, the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) said Friday.
At the time of closest approach, the asteroid will be no closer than 10 times the distance between Earth and the Moon, said a press release from NASA.
Known as 2002 AJ129, the asteroid is categorized as a Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (PHA), which is defined by NASA as Near-Earth Asteroids "with an Earth Minimum Orbit Intersection Distance (MOID) of 0.05 astronomical units or less and an absolute magnitude of 22.0 or less."
But 2002 AJ129 does not pose an actual threat of colliding with our planet for the foreseeable future. It is one of over 1,000 asteroids and comets scientists currently know about that falls under the PHA category.
"We have been tracking this asteroid for over 14 years and know its orbit very accurately," Paul Chodas, manager of NASA's Center for Near-Earth Object Studies at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, was quoted as saying by the news release. "Our calculations indicate that asteroid 2002 AJ129 has no chance - zero - of colliding with Earth on Feb. 4 or any time over the next 100 years."
The rock is somewhere between 0.5 km and 1.2 km in width - by comparison, Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, is about 0.82 km tall.
The asteroid was discovered on Jan. 15, 2002, by the former NASA-sponsored Near Earth Asteroid Tracking project at the Maui Space Surveillance Site on Haleakala, Hawaii. It will make a close approach to Earth on Feb. 4. at 1:30 p.m. PST (2030 GMT) within about 4.2 million km.
The asteroid's velocity at the time of closest approach, 34 km per second, is higher than the majority of near-Earth objects during an Earth flyby.
The high flyby velocity is a result of the asteroid's orbit, which approaches very close to the Sun -- 18 million km.
Vegas Massacre
HARDRIVE-Police Discover Child Pornography on Las Vegas Shooter's Computer
Sun, 21 Jan 2018 13:10
Stephen Paddock (Eric Paddock/AP Images)You may have been wondering, as my colleague, senior writer Monique Judge recently did, why ''Las Vegas shooter'' is trending again. It's because authorities have found a mass of child pornography on his computer, according to authorities.
On Oct. 1, 2017, 64-year-old Stephen Paddock acted as a one-man sniper from his hotel room, shooting into a crowd attending a music festival, killing 58 people and injuring more than 700 others.
Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo, who had not held a press conference since Oct. 2017, said on Friday that in the investigation, detectives uncovered ''several hundred images of child pornography'' on Paddock's hard drive, according to the New York Daily News. At this time police have not located the source of the photos.
As reported earlier by The Root, Paddock's brother, Bruce, was previously arrested in Los Angeles for possession of child pornography in an investigation separate from the Las Vegas attack.
Lombardo spoke to reporters about the contents of an 81-page report, which outlined the child pornography, as well as Paddock's Google history which included other possible targets such as Fenway Park in Boston and the Santa Monica beach in California.
Lombardo also noted that at this time, Paddock's longtime girlfriend, Marilou Danley, who was in the Philippines at the time of the attack, would not be charged in the case.
Police still have no motive as to Paddock's actions.
Read more at the New York Daily News.
Angela HelmMs. Bronner Helm is Contributing Editor at The Root. Always down for the cause, Never down for the count.
Taking Tamiflu® (oseltamivir phosphate)
Sun, 21 Jan 2018 14:42
IndicationsTamiflu is a prescription medicine used to treat the flu (influenza) in people 2 weeks of age and older who have had flu symptoms for no more than 2 days. Tamiflu can also reduce the chance of getting the flu in people 1 year and older.
Tamiflu does not prevent bacterial infections that may happen with the flu.
Tamiflu is not recommended for people with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) who are not receiving dialysis.
Tamiflu is not a substitute for an annual flu vaccination.
Do not take Tamiflu if you are allergic to oseltamivir phosphate or any of the ingredients in Tamiflu.
Important Safety InformationIf you have an allergic reaction or a severe rash with Tamiflu, stop taking it and contact your doctor right away. This may be very seriousPeople with the flu, particularly children and adolescents, may be at an increased risk of seizure, confusion, or abnormal behavior early during their illnessLet your doctor know if you are pregnant, nursing, have heart problems, breathing problems, a weakened immune system (immunocompromised), kidney problems or other medical conditions as Tamiflu may not be right for youAlso tell your doctor about any medications you are taking or if you've received a nasal-spray flu vaccine in the past two weeksThe most common side effects are nausea, vomiting, headache and painPlease see the Tamiflu full Prescribing Information for complete important safety information.
You are encouraged to report side effects to Genentech by calling 1-888-835-2555 or to the FDA by visiting www.fda.gov/medwatch or calling 1-800-FDA-1088.
Clips And Docs
VIDEO - White House comments line blames Democrats for ''holding government funding '... hostage.''
Sun, 21 Jan 2018 15:17
Police tape is seen on Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House December 15, 2017 in Washington, D.C.
It seems President Donald Trump's administration is going all out in pinning the blame for the government shutdown on Democrats. Even the White House comments line is getting in on the public relations strategy, explaining to anyone who calls 202-456-1111 why there is no one there to take their call:
''Thank you for calling the White House. Unfortunately, we cannot answer your call today because congressional Democrats are holding government funding'--including funding for our troops and other national security priorities'--hostage to an unrelated immigration debate. Due to this obstruction, the government is shut down. In the meantime, you can leave a comment for the president at www.whitehouse.gov/contact. We look forward to taking your calls as soon as the government reopens.''
The Trump White House restarted the comments line in February of last year after it had been shut off at the end of President Obama's administration. The line is normally staffed by volunteers.
The blame-Democrats recording on the comments line follows in Trump's footsteps. The president took to Twitter on Saturday morning to blame Democrats for the shutdown, even using the hashtag #DemocratShutdown.
Earlier, the White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, issued a statement blaming ''obstructionist losers'' for the shutdown. She proceeded to use the hashtag #SchumerShutdown, in reference to Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, in threeadditionaltweets.
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VIDEO - TV film crew arrested after TSA allegedly catches them intentionally bringing fake explosive to airport - ABC News
Sun, 21 Jan 2018 14:57
A television film crew was arrested in New Jersey Thursday after allegedly attempting to pass a bag containing "all of the makings of an improvised explosive device" through security at Newark Liberty International Airport, authorities said.
Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers sounded the alarm when the film crewmembers, who claimed to be working for the CNBC show "Staten Island Hustle," allegedly attempted to smuggle a roller bag containing wires, a motor and PVC pipe through a checkpoint, police sources told ABC News.
One crewmember was covertly filming the encounter, an alleged scheme to test whether TSA officers would detect the concealed device, the sources said, adding that a third man involved in the shoot told police they were simply testing a prototype of a vacuum bag suitcase.
The production house the crew was working for said Friday that the item wasn't a fake IED, but rather "vacuum compression luggage."
''On Jan. 18, some cast and crew members of an upcoming series, 'Staten Island Hustle,' produced by Left Hook Media and Endemol Shine North America for air on CNBC Primetime, were detained at Newark Airport," Endemol Shine North America said in a statement. "The team was producing an episode about a new product, vacuum compression luggage, which allows travelers more room for clothing and has no other intended use. Unfortunately, there appears to have been a misunderstanding, and we regret any inconvenience to TSA and other authorities on the ground for complications that may have been caused.''
TSA A fake explosive device that a TV film crew allegedly brought to Newark Liberty International Airport. Getty Images Passengers repack luggage before it is screened at a new explosives detection system at the Newark Liberty International Airport on May 1, 2014. TSA bomb techs later cleared the bag, and the crew was arrested.
All the TV crewmembers were released and their court date is pending, as the Essex County Prosecutor's Office said it is reviewing the case.
They reportedly face possible civil penalties, and could be charged over $13,000 per security violation.
ABC News' Whitney Lloyd, Aaron Katersky, and Erin Dooley contributed to this report.
VIDEO - Another Case Of Rare Side Effect In Some Children Who Take Tamiflu CBS Dallas / Fort Worth
Sun, 21 Jan 2018 14:41
DALLAS (CBS11) '' More families have come forward with stories about frightening side effects in children who took Tamiflu.
CBS11 first broke the news of a 6-year-old Allen girl who tried to jump out of a window after taking the anti-influenza drug. She is now back to normal, but her family wasn't alone.
But Lindsay Ellis of Indianapolis was a healthy 11-year-old before she had the flu last year. Then she began hallucinating bugs on her body and the devil's voice in her ear.
''It literally reminded me of a scary movie at that time, like, is my daughter possessed?'' says her father, Charles Ellis. ''What is really going on?''
Ellis says doctors believe it was a reaction to Tamiflu.
''About day three, she started acting loopy,'' he says.
Lindsay was hospitalized for nearly two months, had a feeding tube and was incoherent and unable to move her hands or feet for several weeks.
''Not knowing if my daughter was going to make it from day to day, because the doctors were telling me, I don't know what to do,'' he says. ''It was horrific for anyone involved in it who came to see her.''
A year later, she still suffers tremors. Ellis, like the other families we have heard from, wants more transparency when it comes to Tamiflu '' better labeling on the packaging and warnings from doctors who prescribe it. It's something japan took a step further.
They banned Tamiflu for youth ages 10 to 19 in 2007 after several dozen instances of neuropsychiatric events.
A spokesperson from manufacturer Genentec sent CBS11 the following statement: ''Neuropsychiatric events have been reported during administration of Tamiflu in patients with influenza, especially in children and adolescents. These events are also experienced by patients with influenza without Tamiflu administration.
Patients should be closely monitored for behavioral changes, and the benefits and risks of continuing treatment with Tamiflu should be carefully evaluated for each patient.''
The FDA has listed 559 cases of hallucinations from Tamiflu since 2009.
VIDEO - Alleged CIA China turncoat Lee may have compromised U.S. spies in Russia too - NBC News
Sun, 21 Jan 2018 14:23
A man (right, wearing blue tie) identified by local Hong Kong media as former CIA agent Jerry Chun Shing Lee stands in front of a member of security at the unveiling of Leonardo da Vinci's 'Salvator Mundi' painting at the Christie's showroom in Hong Kong on on Oct. 13, 2017. Anthony Wallace / AFP - Getty Images file
"No single officer had access to all of them," one official said.
Investigators soon began to conclude that its communications system for covert communications, referred to as "covcom," had been infiltrated. One theory is that Lee may have helped the Chinese do that. But two former officials said the CIA's system for exchanging messages with its agents was shockingly primitive and subject to easy penetration by the Chinese.
"All they had to do was get one agent's laptop, and they could figure it out," one former official said.
Soon after the task force concluded the Chinese had penetrated covcom, it got an even more troubling report: That after a joint training session between Chinese and Russian intelligence officers, the Russians "came back saying we got good info on covcom," as the former official put it.
Investigators began examining cases of U.S. assets in Russia who had disappeared. Officials concluded they had to change their system for agent communications.
Eventually, Mark Kelton, the CIA's top counterintelligence official, had to brief the leaders of the House and Senate intelligence committees on the damage, some of whom vented their fury behind closed doors. But few others were aware of it, even within the confines of the CIA and FBI. The New York Times reported on the case last year, including the detail that authorities suspected a former CIA officer living in an Asian country.
Last week, for reasons that still are not clear, Lee flew from Hong Kong to New York, where he was met by an FBI team.
The CIA declined to comment, as did Kelton, who was the top counterintelligence official at time.
Ed O'Callaghan, a senior prosecutor in the Justice Department's National Security Division, called Lee's capture "a very important arrest." During an unrelated appearance at the White House earlier this week, he said that although Lee was charged with illegally retaining classified information, "As that case proceeds through the courts, I would expect that more information about the conduct that underlies those charges and the complaint will come out."
Lee appeared briefly in a Brooklyn federal courtroom Monday after his arrest at JFK airport. As early as next week, he will be brought to a courtroom in Alexandria, Virginia, where he will be formally prosecuted, officials said.
Lee's attorney declined to comment.
VIDEO - Legendary Rocker Tom Petty Died From Accidental Overdose Of 7 Mixed Medications, Coroner Says - YouTube
Sun, 21 Jan 2018 14:18
VIDEO - Shearon Harris nuclear plant siren sounds false alarm :: WRAL.com
Sun, 21 Jan 2018 14:08
The siren that went off Friday afternoon at the Shearon Harris Nuclear Power Plant resulted from an accidental activation, authorities said.
A spokesman for Duke Energy, which owns the plant in New Hill, N.C. in southern Wake County, said the energy company is investigating what prompted the alarm to sound shortly before 1 p.m. The siren prompted a flurry of calls to WRAL News and posts on social media.
"This afternoon several sirens around the Harris Nuclear Plant malfunctioned, specifically near Apex and Cary," spokesman Brandon Thomas said in a written statement. "There is no impact to the public and no need for public actions."
The Apex Police Department tweeted around 1:15 p.m. that Wake County Emergency Management confirmed that the siren's alarm system went off in error and there were no issues at the plant.
Officials at Wake County posted a statement on Facebook saying the alarms were tripped in error.
"We have confirmed with Emergency Management staff that the sirens going off at the Harris Nuclear Plant this afternoon are a false alarm," the statement said. "Please refer to Duke Energy for more details and information."
Authorities said had there been a real emergency at the plant, local emergency response officials would have provided information for the public on how to respond.
Several people on social media criticized Duke Energy for taking too long to provide information about the mishap.
The alarms at the Wake County nuclear power plant came almost a week after an accidental text message from Hawaii's Emergency Management Agency to Hawaiian residents and vacationers prompted them to prepare for an incoming ballistic missile on Saturday.
The agency corrected the false alarm message about 38 minutes later.
VIDEO - Birth tourism brings Russian baby boom to Miami - NBC News
Sun, 21 Jan 2018 13:59
Oleysa Suhareva's baby became an American citizen by being born in Miami. Courtesy Oleysa Suhareva
Reshetova came to Miami to have her first child, hiring an agency to help arrange her trip. The services '-- which can include finding apartments and doctors and obtaining visas '-- don't come cheap. She expects to pay close to $50,000, and some packages run as high as $100,000. Bokeria says some landlords ask for six months rent up front.
One firm, Miami Mama, says it brings about 100 Russian and Russian-speaking clients to the U.S. per year, 30 percent of them repeat clients. The owners are Irina and Konstantin Lubnevskiy, who bought Miami Mama after using the firm to have two American children themselves.
The couple says they counsel clients to be completely transparent with U.S. immigration officials that they're expecting.
"We tell every client, 'You have the documents, you have to tell the truth. This is America. They like the truth here,'" Konstantin said.
"I would like the American people to understand they don't have to worry," he added. "Those who come here want to become part of the American people."
But Miami Mami has drawn scrutiny from law enforcement. In June, it was raided by the FBI, and an employee was convicted of making false statements on passport applications. The owners say they knew nothing about it, fired the worker and their business license was renewed.
Federal prosecutors declined to comment on the case, and the FBI said it could not discuss "an active investigation."
There is no official data on birth tourism in the United States. The Center for Immigration Studies, which wants stricter limits on immigration, estimates there are 36,000 babies born in the U.S. to foreign nationals a year, though the numbers could be substantially lower. Florida says births in the state by all foreign nationals who live outside the United States have jumped 200 percent since 2000.
Customs and Border Protection says there are no laws governing whether pregnant foreign nationals can enter the country or give birth here.
"However, if a pregnant woman or anyone else uses fraud or deception to obtain a visa or gain admission to the United States, that would constitute a criminal act," the agency said.
When federal agents raided California "maternity hotels" catering to Chinese clients in 2015, authorities said in court papers that some of the families falsely claimed they were indigent and got reduced hospital rates.
In Miami, the Jackson Health System said 72 percent of international maternity patients '-- who represented 8 percent of all patients giving birth last year '-- pay with insurance or through a pre-arranged package.
Reshetova said she understands the concerns some have about birth tourism, because it's also an issue in Russia.
"But I pay by myself," she said. "I pay with my money, bring it here to America. I'm not going to take something to America.
"I don't know what my daughter will choose in future. But if I can spend money '-- my money '-- for her choice, why not?"
Cynthia McFadden and Sarah Fitzpatrick reported from Miami, and Tracy Connor from New York. Anna Schecter contributed reporting from New York, and Natasha Lebedeva from Washington.
VIDEO - Turkish planes bomb Syrian Kurdish targets as Ankara-backed rebels enter Afrin - YouTube
Sun, 21 Jan 2018 13:38
VIDEO - Trump Demands Babies Not Be Born After Nine Months: No, Really, He Said This
Sun, 21 Jan 2018 13:25
President Trump made one of his more confusing slips on Friday, appearing to defy the laws of nature by insisting: ''Right now, in a number of states, the laws allow a baby to be born from his or her mother's womb in the ninth month. It is wrong. It has to change.''
What he meant to say, apparently, was that the laws in a number of states allow a baby to be aborted in the ninth month.
He's wrong about that, too.
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Trump spoke at an anti-abortion rally, and his words quickly ricocheted around social media.
We can assume he meant to say that several states allow babies to be aborted in the ninth month because he's said that before. During an Oct. 19, 2016, presidential debate, he said of his opponent, Hillary Clinton:
''If you go with what Hillary is saying, in the ninth month, you can take the baby and rip the baby out of the womb of the mother just prior to the birth of the baby '... Now, you can say that that's OK and Hillary can say that that's OK. But it's not OK with me, because based on what she's saying, and based on where she's going, and where she's been, you can take the baby and rip the baby out of the womb in the ninth month on the final day. And that's not acceptable.''
Clinton replied: ''Well, that is not what happens in these cases. And using that kind of scare rhetoric is just terribly unfortunate.''
Doctors interviewed by The New York Times after the debate said Trump was inventing things.
''That is not happening in the United States,'' said Dr. Aaron B. Caughey, chairman of obstetrics and gynecology at Oregon Health and Science University. ''It is, of course, such an absurd thing to say.''
Also Read:Scarborough Blasts Trump Physician: No 'Respectable Doctor Would Say What He Said' (Video)
If you want to take a deep dive on the subject, San Francisco obstetrician and gynecologist Dr. Jen Gunter wrote a lengthy blog post on the matter.
As the Times reported, ''Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court case legalizing abortion, essentially established abortion as legal up until a fetus would be viable outside the womb (about 24 weeks into pregnancy) but also said later abortion is permissible under certain conditions, including to protect the life or health of the mother.''
But don't worry: As of now, the Supreme Court still allows babies to be born after nine months. It is not wrong and doesn't have to change.
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VIDEO - One year into Trump's term, the Women's March returns | PBS NewsHour | PBS
Sun, 21 Jan 2018 13:16
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VIDEO - Shermans were murdered according to private investigators: report | CTV News
Sun, 21 Jan 2018 13:07
Warning: This story contains graphic details that may be disturbing to some
One day after a report revealed that private investigators believe Toronto billionaires Barry and Honey Sherman were both murdered, Toronto police detectives were canvassing the neighbourhood.
Asked whether they are working with a private team of investigators hired by the family, a police officer told CTV's Peter Akman, ''No, we are conducting our own police investigation.''
The Toronto Star reported on Friday night that an investigation by former Toronto homicide detectives and a forensic pathologist concluded, barring any further evidence, that the Sherman deaths were the result of a double homicide.
The Shermans' bodies were discovered in their mansion located in North York on Dec. 15. Barry Sherman, 75, was the wealthy founder and former CEO of the generic drug company Apotex while his wife Honey Sherman, 70, was a well-known philanthropist involved in numerous charitable endeavors.
In December, Toronto police announced the Shermans died of ''ligature neck compression,'' but refused to provide further details. Earlier reports by media quoting unnamed police sources said the police were working on the theory of murder-suicide, which the Sherman family publicly disputed soon after.
The Toronto Star's Chief Investigative Reporter Kevin Donovan told CTV News Channel on Saturday that the private team of investigators conducted a second autopsy and found that Barry and Honey Shermans' wrists were bound at some point.
However, police have not been able to find any rope or plastic ties at the scene that may have been used to bind them, Donovan said.
''I think that's one of the most significant pieces of new information. There were no bindings found at the scene, but the autopsy, the post-mortem, showed that there were markings on the wrists,'' he explained. ''Police were looking for stuff in the sewers and one could imagine they were looking for something like that, rope or plastic ties that may not have made it all the way to the sewer system.''
Additionally, sources said the Shermans' bodies were found in a seated position, facing away from their indoor pool with men's leather belts around their necks that were either looped or tied around a low railing in the room, Donovan said. The couple was not hanging, as previous media reports suggested, according to the Toronto Star.
The report also claims that they were found in winter coats pulled down over their shoulders, which may have limited their arm movement.
Donovan also said sources told him that a toxicology analysis conducted by the family's investigative team revealed that the Shermans tested negative for any drugs that would have contributed to their deaths.
The private investigators believe the murders weren't the result of a random attack or a home invasion, Donovan said.
''I think what the family would like is for the Toronto police to give an update in front of the camera and say exactly what they think the case is, whether they still think it's murder-suicide or, as the family thinks, a double homicide,'' Donovan told CP24.
'Wild speculation zone': former detective
Former Toronto Police homicide detective Mark Mendelson says that while ''everybody wants an answer,'' there won't be one until police stand on a podium and share the results of their investigation.
''We're sitting here in this sort of wild speculation zone,'' he told CTV News Channel on Saturday.
''No one is in a better position to make a determination as to what this is and what this isn't other than the homicide squad,'' Mendelson added.
''They have all of the information that's being gleaned from that scene, be it forensic or photography ... the pure version first statements taken of all the witnesses that have been interviewed ... the first autopsy.''
Mendelson said to keep in mind that the private investigators ''probably have a small part'' of the information that police have.
''Right now, the homicide squad at Toronto Police Service have complete control and carriage of that scene,'' Mendelson said. ''They are obviously doing a very thorough investigation.''
Former homicide detective Steve Ryan said that he believes homicide detectives would let the public know if they had any reason to suspect foul play.
''They never sit on that information,'' he said.
Prominent Toronto defence lawyer Brian Greenspan is leading the Sherman family's investigation. He was not available to comment .
With a report from CTV's Peter Akman
VIDEO - Natalie Portman, at 13, experienced 'sexual terrorism'
Sun, 21 Jan 2018 12:30
(CNN) Natalie Portman said experiencing "sexual terrorism" at the age of 13 made her feel the need to cover her body and inhibit expression.
The award-winning actress shared her traumatic experience Saturday while addressing a crowd of thousands gathered in downtown Los Angeles for the Women's March.
Portman remembered turning 12 on the set of "L(C)on: The Professional." It was her first film. She played a young girl who befriended a hit man in hopes of avenging the murder of her parents, she said.
A year later, when the movie was released, she opened her first fan letter. It was a "rape fantasy" from a man.
"A countdown was started on my local radio show to my 18th birthday -- euphemistically the date that I would be legal to sleep with," she said. "Movie reviewers talked about my budding breasts in reviews. I understood very quickly, even as a 13-year-old, that if I were to express myself sexually I would feel unsafe and that men would feel entitled to discuss and objectify my body to my great discomfort."
Portman said she adjusted her behavior, rejected roles with kissing scenes and emphasized her "bookish and serious" side. She built a reputation as a "prudish, conservative, nerdy, serious" young woman in order to feel her body was safe and her voice heard.
"At 13 years old, the message from our culture was clear to me," she said. "I felt the need to cover my body and to inhibit my expression and my work in order to send my own message to the world that I'm someone worthy of safety and respect. The response to my expression, from small comments about my body to more threatening deliberate statements, served to control my behavior through an environment of sexual terrorism."
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VIDEO - Border Wall Models Thwart US Commandos In Tests CBS Dallas / Fort Worth
Sat, 20 Jan 2018 14:04
SAN DIEGO (AP) '-- Recent assaults by tactical teams on prototypes of President Donald Trump's proposed wall with Mexico indicate their imposing heights should stop border crossers, a U.S. official with direct knowledge of the rigorous assessment told The Associated Press.
This combination of pictures shows the eight prototypes of US President Donald Trump's US-Mexico border wall being built near San Diego, in the US, seen from across the border from Tijuana, Mexico, on October 22, 2017.(GUILLERMO ARIAS/AFP/Getty Images)
Military special forces based in Florida and U.S. Customs and Border Protection special units spent three weeks trying to breach and scale the eight models in San Diego, using jackhammers, saws, torches and other tools and climbing devices, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the information was not authorized for public release.
A Customs and Border Protection report on the tests identifies strengths and flaws of each design but does not pick an overall winner or rank them, though it does point to see-through steel barriers topped by concrete as the best overall design, the official said.
The report recommends combining elements of each, depending on the terrain. The official likened it to a Lego design, pulling pieces from different prototypes.
Carlos Diaz, a spokesman for Customs and Border Protection, said the agency is still in ''the testing phase'' and that results are being evaluated. He said combining elements of different prototypes instead of picking a winner is consistent with previous statements by officials. He noted that the agency said in its bidding guidelines that a minimum height of 18 feet (5.4 meters) would be a key characteristic. He said he did not have additional details on test results.
Contractors were awarded between $300,000 and $500,000 for each prototype. Prototypes were built last fall to guide future construction of one of Trump's signature campaign pledges. Four were concrete and four were made of other materials.
Ronald Vitiello, the agency's acting deputy commissioner, said after visiting the prototypes in October that he was struck most by the 30-foot (9.1-meter) heights, which are significantly higher than existing barriers. Taller barriers are undoubtedly more effective, but whether the cost is justified will be up for debate.
The highly trained testers scaled 16 to 20 feet (4.9 to 6.1 meters) unassisted but needed help after that, said the official who described the assaults on the wall prototypes to the AP. Testers also expressed safety concerns about getting down from 30 feet.
Only once did a tester manage to land a hook on top of the wall without help, the official said. Tubes atop some models repelled climbing devices but wouldn't work in more mountainous areas because the terrain is too jagged.
The report favors steel at ground level because agents can see what is happening on the other side and holes can more easily be patched, the official said. With concrete, large slabs have to be replaced for even small breaches, which is time-consuming and expensive. Topping the steel with smooth concrete surfaces helps prevent climbing.
Customs and Border Protection leaders were scheduled to be briefed on the findings this week amid intensifying discussions between the White House and Congress on immigration legislation to avert a government shutdown and renew protection for about 800,000 young immigrants who were temporarily shielded from deportation under an Obama-era program, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which is scheduled to end in March.
The administration has insisted wall funding be part of any immigration deal but Trump has been unclear about how long the wall would be and how it should be designed. The administration has asked for $1.6 billion this year to build or replace 74 miles (118.4 kilometers) of barriers in Texas' Rio Grande Valley and San Diego and plans to request another $1.6 billion next year.
A proposal by Customs and Border Protection calls for spending $18 billion over 10 years to extend barriers to cover nearly half the border, though it is unclear if Trump supports that plan. The agency proposes 316 miles (505 kilometers) of additional barrier by September 2027, bringing total coverage to 970 miles (1,552 kilometers). It also seeks 407 miles (651 kilometers) of replacement or secondary fencing.
Mexico has steadfastly rejected Trump's demand that it pay for the wall.
Contracts to do work on that scale would be hugely lucrative, and the prototypes, spaced tightly together in a remote part of San Diego, have captured widespread attention, including from architecture critics. W.G. Yates & Sons Construction Co. of Philadelphia, Mississippi, and Caddell Construction Co. of Montgomery, Alabama, built one concrete model and one of other materials.
Texas Sterling Construction Co., a unit of Sterling Construction Co., and Fisher Sand & Gravel Co. of Tempe, Arizona, did concrete designs. ELTA North America Inc., part of state-run Israel Aerospace Industries, and KWR Construction Inc. of Sierra Vista, Arizona, built models from other materials.
Vitiello said in October that the testing could last up to two months and lead to officials to conclude that elements of several designs should be merged to create effective walls, raising the possibility of no winner or winners.
((C) Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
VIDEO - Delta to tighten onboard service animal requirements - Reuters TV
Fri, 19 Jan 2018 20:24
>> Delta Airlines on Friday tightening the leash on passengers who want to fly with their pets. The carrier is raising requirements for bringing service and emotional support animals on board, following a sharp uptick in animal related safety issues over the last few years. Reuters correspondence, Alana Weiss.>> They've seen upwards of 80% increase in the number of instances involving animals, including animals urinating or defecating on planes.
Animals barking or growling at be it Delta employees or other passengers. And instances of animals going so far as to bite other passengers, which we saw, in Georgia. A man was bitten pretty badly by a 70 pound dog on a Delta flight, before takeoff, and it was stuck in a window seat and couldn't get out.
So these are the reasons why Delta is now implementing these tighter rules.>> And because of vague definitions for what qualifies, Delta said passengers in the past have even carried turkeys, possums, and snakes on planes, as comfort animals. The new rules come in response to what the carrier said was a 150% increase in the number of service and support animals carried on board since 2015.
The second largest US airline by traffic said passengers seeking to fly with pets, will now need to present additional documents 48 prior to the scheduled flight, outlining their need for the animal. They will also require proof of vaccinations and a signed letter stating the animal is trained to behave without a kennel.
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Fri, 19 Jan 2018 17:35
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Fri, 19 Jan 2018 17:33
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Fri, 19 Jan 2018 13:44
VIDEO - Republicans rally for public release of memo on FISA abuses
Fri, 19 Jan 2018 12:43
Republican lawmakers are calling for the public release of a memo they say contains revelations about U.S. government surveillance abuses after the report was made available to all members of the House.
The House Intelligence Committee on Thursday approved, by a party-line vote, to make the four-page memo available to all members of the lower chamber. Reports have suggested the memo could contain answers to the question of whether the FBI and Justice Department used the infamous "Trump dossier" to abuse the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
The dossier, which was published in full by BuzzFeed in January of last year, contains a number of salacious and unverified claims about President Trump's ties to Russia, possibly opening him up to blackmail.
Several Republicans, unable to say more about the memo, have rallied for its release to the general public, in some cases using a "ReleaseTheMemo" hashtag on social media.
Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, said he read the memo and implied there was some sort of bias in favor of Trump's 2016 Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton.
"I have read the memo," he tweeted. "The sickening reality has set in. I no longer hold out hope there is an innocent explanation for the information the public has seen. I have long said it is worse than Watergate. It was #neverTrump & #alwaysHillary. #releasethememo."
''You think about, 'Is this happening in America or is this the KGB?' That's how alarming it is,'' Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa., said, according to Fox News.
Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., called for the public release of the memo's information "to preserve our democracy."
''The House must immediately make public the memo prepared by the Intelligence Committee regarding the FBI and the Department of Justice," Gaetz said in a statement. "The facts contained in this memo are jaw-dropping and demand full transparency. There is no higher priority than the release of this information to preserve our democracy."
Gaetz, who has previously called for the removal of special counsel Robert Mueller, said there could be "major changes" for people working in the DOJ and FBI as a result of the memo's release.
On Fox News Gaetz went further, saying he believes people could "go to jail" due to the contents of the memo and the Mueller-led investigation, which is examining possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin, is "a lie built on corruption." He also said it became clear to him why Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., recommended the Justice Department criminally investigate the author of the Trump dossier, former British spy Christopher Steele.
Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan and North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows called the memo "alarming" and "shocking," respectively.
''Part of me wishes that I didn't read it, because I don't want to believe that those kinds of things could be happening in this country that I call home and love so much," Meadows added.
The Washington Examiner's Byron York reported Thursday that no copies of the report were handed out to House members, but rather a copy would be made available for them to read in a secure room in the Capitol.
Members are not allowed to take the report out of the room.
Jordan explained on Fox News the process for releasing the memo.
"Here is the process: Chairman [Devin] Nunes in the Intelligence Committee in the House he can he bring the committee back together. They can have a vote. If the majority of the committee votes to release these documents, the executive branch gets a certain amount of time to review them. If the executive branch gives the thumbs up they go public," he told Fox News' Sean Hannity. "This could happen real quick. Chairman Nunes is committed to getting this information to the public."
Meadows asked House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., to authorize a vote on releasing the memo, and Ryan chose to defer to Nunes to decide, Politico reported Thursday.
The top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff, called the memo a "profoundly misleading set of talking points."
''[T]he Majority voted today on a party-line basis to grant House Members access to a profoundly misleading set of talking points drafted by Republican staff attacking the FBI and its handling of the investigation,'' Schiff, D-Calif., in a statement. ''Rife with factual inaccuracies and referencing highly classified materials that most of Republican Intelligence Committee members were forced to acknowledge they had never read, this is meant only to give Republican House members a distorted view of the FBI.''
''This may help carry White House water, but it is a deep disservice to our law enforcement professionals,'' he continued.
Meanwhile, WikiLeaks, a government secrets-leaking organization that published hacked emails from Democratic officials during the 2016 campaign, is actively seeking information on anyone who has access to the memo.
The memo's internal release to House members came after the Senate barely followed the House on Tuesday in voting to reauthorize for six years Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, a key counterterrorism surveillance tool.
Trump supporters, like Hannity, have long made the case that the Obama administration used FISA warrants to spy on both the Trump campaign and transition team, though Obama officials deny these claims. Last week, before the FISA reauthorization bill's passage in Congress, Trump claimed in a tweet the Obama administration used the controversial surveillance tool to justify the "unmasking" of members of his campaign who were caught up in the surveillance of foreign nationals. However, Trump backed off his critique of the surveillance law in a tweet later that morning, one that reflected his administration's support for the reauthorization of the measure.
VIDEO - Oakland Bans Cooperation With Federal Immigration Agents; Braces For ICE Raids CBS San Francisco
Fri, 19 Jan 2018 11:57
OAKLAND (CBS SF) '-- Just hours after the Oakland City Council voted unanimously to end any cooperation with agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Mayor Libby Schaaf said Wednesday she would go to jail if needed in her opposition to ICE raids.
''It is no surprise that the bully in chief is continuing to try to intimidate our most vulnerable residents,'' said Schaaf, referring to President Donald Trump. ''We're very clear that our values are to protect all of our residents regardless of where we come from. We want to protect families, not tear them apart.''
Schaaf's remarks came on a day when rumors were swirling that ICE planned to launch a series of Bay Area raids '-- arresting as many as 1,500 illegal aliens '-- because California has become a Sanctuary State and several communities have adopted Sanctuary City policies.
''We are exercising our legal right to be a Sanctuary City and to protect our residents,'' Schaaf told KPIX 5 of her opposition to ICE raids. ''The fact that the federal government is suggesting that it is actively retaliating against jurisdictions that are exercising their right to have sanctuary policies '-- that is what is illegal.''
When asked if she were willing to go to jail to defend those policies, Schaaf answered emphatically ''Yes!''
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Schaaf said the reports of pending raids have escalated fears among the local immigrant community. Schaaf stressed that police won't help ICE officials or agents if they conduct raids in her city.
''The level of fear and anxiety in this community is at unconscionable levels,'' she said. ''The important thing for people to know is that we have a 24/7 rapid response hotline which is partially funded by the city, the county and philanthropy. We are here to protect our residents.''
She said the rapid response operation has more than $1 million funding and will come to the legal aid of any Oakland resident detained in an ICE raid.
Late Tuesday night, the Oakland City Council voted unanimously to end any cooperation with ICE agents amid the reports the feds were planning to launch a series of major Bay Area raids.
Schaaf reiterated the council's stand.
''We will not have a presence, we will not do anything to suggest that we condone ICE raids in Oakland,'' she said.
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City Councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan introduced the legislation to clarify that Oakland's police department is to not collude with ICE including providing traffic support.
The measure came after a firestorm of controversy over Oakland police's role in an August 2017 raid where a person was detained and now faces deportation. Despite Oakland being a Sanctuary City, OPD officers provided traffic support for ICE agents executing the raid.
''It is NOT acceptable for the Oakland administration to collude with ICE, as this Federal agency is targeting non-criminals, harassing people based on their national origin, and undermining our justice system,'' Kaplan said. ''The head of ICE under Trump has publicly stated that his intention is to strike fear into communities, and now he is targeting California and cities like Oakland.''
Kaplan reacted to comments made by Acting ICE Director Thomas Homan to Fox News.
He said that ''California better hold on tight'' adding that ''if California lawmakers don't want to protect their communities, then ICE will.''
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In its Wednesday morning editions, the San Francisco Chronicle quoted a source that ICE was preparing to launch a series of raids in San Francisco and other Bay Area communities that would arrest more than 1,500 undocumented immigrants.
''Trump's head of ICE issued a threat against public officials who oppose the targeting of immigrants, and also threatened the safety of the public, directing that more ICE agents enter California communities, arrest people in public spaces, and target people based on national origin rather than focusing on serious crimes,'' the Oakland councilwoman said.
''This behavior is entirely inappropriate for someone running a law enforcement agency, as it perpetuates racial prejudice, and weakens the community-police relations that are vital to stopping serious crime,'' said Kaplan
''I continue to stand opposed to such actions, and will continue to denounce, and refuse to collude in, Trump's racist agenda. I call upon the Oakland Administration to ensure that there will be no further collusion with ICE, and to retract their prior statements in support of the conduct of ICE in our community.''
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VIDEO - Rep. Matt Gaetz: Top Secret 4-Page FISA Program Memo Goes to 'Very Foundations of Our Democracy' - YouTube
Fri, 19 Jan 2018 04:11
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