1041: Hairy Mary

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

2h 47m
June 10th, 2018
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Executive Producers: Dame gobygobygoby, Laurent Bureau - Sir Agent Provacateur, Trent Perkins, Sir Husky Bottoms of the Hardwoods Scott Moore

Associate Executive Producers: Beau Brown - Sir Burgess of the Ozarks, Barrettes Dame Susan Johnson

Cover Artist: Mike Riley


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Stormy Daniels a powerful woman selling her body vs Miss America No More BODY selling!
Hanged vs. Hung: What's the Difference? - Writing Explained
Sun, 10 Jun 2018 14:59
There is a good amount of confusion surrounding the verb hang and its various tenses. Is hanged or hung correct? Are they interchangeable? If not, what is the difference between the two?
In this post, I want to go over some basic tenses of the verb hang, illustrate them to you with example sentences, and give you a few tips to remember when to use which one for the future.
After reading this post, you shouldn't have any trouble picking the correct tense to include in your writing.
When to Use HangHang, of course, is the present tense form of the verb. Hang has a few different uses and meanings.
For example,
To fasten from above with no support from below; suspend '' Will you hang this picture on the wall?To hold or decline downward; let droop '' Don't hang your head in shame.To pay strict attention '' He hangs on my every word.To cling tightly to something '' Hang on to the rope.When to Use HangedHanged is the past tense and past participle of hang only when used in the sense of ''put to death by hanging.''
For example,
The traitor was hanged for treason.The criminal was hanged in the public square for his crimes.It's important to remember that hanged has a very specific use. We only use hanged when we are referring to the killing of a human being by suspending the person by the neck. With all other past tenses of hang, you will want to use hung.
And if death is not intended or likely, or the person is suspended by a body part other than the neck, use hung.
For example,
They hung him out to dry.He was hung upside down as part of the prank.They hung him by his arms and beat him.When to Use HungHung is the regular past tense of hang. For example, the past tense of all of the beginning examples would use hung.
I hung the picture on the wall.He hung his head in shame.He hung on every word.He hung on to the rope.All inanimate objects, such as paintings, shelves, or Christmas ornaments are hung.
Last night we hung the lights on the Christmas tree.I hung this shelving unit last week.Can Hanged and Hung Be Used Interchangeably?Some will say that these two words, hanged vs. hung, can be used interchangeably, even in the sense of ''put to death by hanging,'' and this is corroborated by some usage guides such as Fowler's, stating that it isn't necessarily erroneous to use hung in the case of executions, just less customary in Standard English.
However, I highly advise against using these words interchangeably. The vast majority of writing professionals object to the use of hung in execution contexts. The 2008 American Heritage Dictionary Usage Panel Survey showed 71 percent of experts objected to hung used in this sense. The Panel's opposition has remained strong since the survey began in the 1960s.
The Chicago Manual of Style and The AP Stylebook both prescribe the traditional distinction, so it is probably in your best interest as a writer to do the same.
The AP Style entry on hanged vs. hung states,
One hangs a picture, a criminal or oneself.
For past tense or the passive, use hanged when referring to execution or suicides, hung for other actions.
History of Hanged and HungIt's good to know when to use which word, but you might be wondering, ''Why in the first place is there two different past-tense forms of the same word?'' There actually is a pretty neat history as to why.
According to Fowler's Modern English Usage Guide, in Old English there were actually two different words for hang (hon and hangen), and the entanglement of these words (plus an Old Norse word hengjan) is why we have two past-tense forms for the same word in modern English.
Remember the DifferenceA good mnemonic to remember the difference is the following sentence,
Curtains are hung and people are hanged.This echoes what I said above, to use hung with inanimate objects like curtains, but to use hanged to refer to death by hanging.
SummaryThe two words, hung vs. hanged, are both the past tense of hang but have different uses in a sentence.
Hanged refers to death by hanging, whether it be suicide or execution.
Hung is used is all other references.
CNN's Anthony Bourdain dead at 61 - CNN
Fri, 08 Jun 2018 11:43
By Brian Stelter
Updated at 7:41 AM ET, Fri June 8, 2018
Anthony Bourdain was found unresponsive in his hotel room in France early Friday
New York (CNN) '-- Anthony Bourdain, a gifted storyteller and writer who took CNN viewers around the world, has died. He was 61.
CNN confirmed Bourdain's death on Friday and said the cause of death was suicide.
"It is with extraordinary sadness we can confirm the death of our friend and colleague, Anthony Bourdain," the network said in a statement Friday morning. "His love of great adventure, new friends, fine food and drink and the remarkable stories of the world made him a unique storyteller. His talents never ceased to amaze us and we will miss him very much. Our thoughts and prayers are with his daughter and family at this incredibly difficult time."
Bourdain was in France working on an upcoming episode of his award-winning CNN series "Parts Unknown." His close friend Eric Ripert, the French chef, found Bourdain unresponsive in his hotel room Friday morning.
Anthony Bourdain in Port of Spain, Trinidad on January 4, 2017.
Anthony Bourdain in Port of Spain, Trinidad on January 4, 2017.
Bourdain was a master of his crafts -- first in the kitchen and then in the media. Through his TV shows and books, he explored the human condition and helped audiences think differently about food, travel and themselves. He advocated for marginalized populations and campaigned for safer working conditions for restaurant staffs.
Trump to Blame
Stop with the: saying demons instead of the real problem
Bourdain Chantix
ITM, Adam,
In 2011, Bourdain was interviewed by Marc Maron on his WTF Podcast. Maron
Re-Released the episode a couple days ago on the WTF Podcast Feed. And soon
after, it was edited and released again. The show ended several minutes earlier
then the original. Included is a clip from the final few minutes which were
later edited-out where Bourdain talks about how he uses Chantix off-and-on and
even mentions Suicide as a possible side-effect.
I was able to find both the Edited (Up Top) and Original recording from
-Producer Daniel from Coos Bay, OR
Pfizer's Chantix Going Up In Smoke
Smoking is bad for you, but quitting could be worse.
A report by the Institute for Safe Medication Practices showed on Wednesday that Pfizer 's blockbuster smoking cessation drug Chantix could have a variety of highly undesirable side effects that might make quitting cold-turkey a much better option.
The study showed that Chantix is suspected to have caused adverse affects ranging from diabetes, to skin irritation, to seizures, psychosis, and even serious falls. The non-profit organization started investigating the drug after it became clear that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration was receiving an overwhelming volume of reports of adverse affects from patients. In the fourth quarter of 2007, Chantix accounted for 988 serious injuries reported to the FDA, more than any other individual drug during that time period.
Pfizer's response to the report said: "It is important to understand the limitations of spontaneous adverse event reporting. Often these reports lack sufficient medical information and/or have confounding factors that prevent a meaningful assessment of causality."
The company adamantly defended the drug and its current labeling, and said: "Based on Pfizer and the FDA's continuous review of all available safety information, including adverse event reports received to date, the current Chantix label accurately reflects the product's efficacy and safety profile."
Earlier this year, the FDA issued a public safety advisory about the drug causing psychiatric symptoms including suicidal thoughts and suicidal tendencies. Since Chantix's approval in May 2006 until the end of December 2007, the FDA had received 227 domestic reports of suicidal acts, thoughts or behaviors, 397 cases of possible psychosis and 525 reports of hostility or aggression with many of the patients reporting hallucinations and thoughts of killing people. This also included 28 suicides.
"We have immediate safety concerns about the use of [Chantix] among persons operating aircraft, trains, buses and other vehicles, or in other settings where a lapse in alertness or motor control could lead to massive, serious injury," said the ISMP in the study.
The Federal Aviation Administration banned the use of the drug for pilots and air traffic controllers after the report was issued. The FAA determined on Wednesday that they no longer consider the drug safe. They are notifying pilots and air traffic controllers by letter. The agency identified 150 pilots and 30 air traffic controllers that have taken or may currently be taking Chantix. The letter tells those people to stop taking the drug immediately and to not work for 72 hours after ceasing the medication. The agency originally approved the use of the drug for pilots and air traffic controllers in July 2007.
The ISMP is urging the FDA and Pfizer to look further into the side effects of Chantix through further testing and to issue more severe warnings to consumers on the risks that the drug posses to their well-being.
A monthly supply of Chantix costs $130.0 and the drug is prescribed for three to six weeks to help quit smoking. More than 3.5 million people in the U.S. have used Chantix.
Shares of Pfizer fell 1.3%, or 25 cents, to $19.76, in after hours trading.
Reminder-Lost connections book
U.S. Suicide Rates Rise By Almost A Third In Half Of States Since 1999 : Shots - Health News : NPR
Thu, 07 Jun 2018 20:34
Suicide rates have increased in nearly every state over the last two decades, and half of the states have seen suicide rates go up more than 30 percent.
Suicide is a major public health issue, accounting for nearly 45,000 deaths in 2016 alone. That's why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta decided to take a comprehensive look at suicides from 1999 to 2016.
"Suicide in this country really is a problem that is impacted by so many factors. It's not just a mental health concern," says Deborah Stone, a behavioral scientist at the CDC and the lead author of the new study. "There are many different circumstances and factors that contribute to suicide. And so that's one of the things that this study really shows us. It points to the need for a comprehensive approach to prevention."
She and her colleagues collected data on suicide deaths from all states. In addition, to better understand the circumstances surrounding suicide, they turned to more detailed information collected by 27 states on suicides that occurred in 2015.
If you or someone you know may be considering suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (En Espa±ol: 1-888-628-9454; Deaf and Hard of Hearing: 1-800-799-4889) or the Crisis Text Line by texting 741741.
The rise in suicide rates was highest in the central, northern region of the U.S., with North Dakota, for example, seeing a 57.6 percent increase since 1999. Nevada was the only state that saw no increase, and Delaware saw the smallest increase which was 5.9 percent.
The findings were published in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
Guns were the most common method used for suicide, accounting for almost half of the people who died.
Often, the suicide seemed to happen without warning: 54 percent of the people who killed themselves didn't have a previously known mental health issue. "Instead, these folks were suffering from other issues, such as relationship problems, substance misuse, physical health problems, job or financial problems, and recent crises or things that were coming up in their lives that they were anticipating," says Stone.
Researchers and advocacy groups who work to prevent suicide say the report shows that much more needs to be done to tackle this growing problem.
"None of this is surprising information, which is not to trivialize its importance. I think it captures a lot of trends that we've been becoming more and more aware of over recent years," says psychologist Michael Anestis at the University of Southern Mississippi, who researches suicide and is the author of Guns and Suicide: An American Epidemic.
He thinks the general public commonly pictures someone like fashion designer Kate Spade, who was getting treatment for a long period before killing herself, but that's often not the case.
That means any public health effort to reduce suicides can't solely focus on those who have reached out for help. It has to be paired with measures that would make suicidal people less likely to die even if they never went to see a doctor.
The CDC report cites several different approaches that could work, such as working to stabilize housing and teaching coping and problem-solving skills early in life.
The report also cites the need to reduce "access to lethal means," but without explicitly mentioning firearms or controversial issues such as gun control legislation. Asked if that was a deliberate omission, because of the political climate surrounding gun control, Stone said that suicide rates have been increasing across all methods.
"So it's not just about firearms, it's also about other methods of suicide such as hanging, suffocation, poisoning and the like," she said. "We are concerned with all aspects of suicide prevention, including access to lethal means, and so we do include that in a comprehensive approach to suicide prevention."
But Anestis believes that it's important to not beat around the bush when it comes to guns, and to talk about the importance of things like waiting periods for purchase, and storing guns locked and unloaded.
"American suicide is predominantly a firearm issue. Anytime we want to resolve something that involves firearms, we've need to talk about firearms explicitly," he says. "The conversation about firearms and suicide doesn't have to be a debate about the Second Amendment. It could be a debate about where can we find some common ground that doesn't simply involve only talking about people with mental illnesses, because as this paper shows, that's not going to get the job done."
Research shows that the decision to attempt suicide is often made quickly, in an impulsive way, says Robert Gebbia, the head of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
"You may be thinking about it over time, but that moment when you actually make an attempt is a very short window," he explains. "If you could make it harder to make that attempt by not having access to the means, often what happens is the feelings will pass, it gives people time for someone to intervene and get them help, so that is a really important preventative step that can be done. And there's good research to support that."
Suicide researchers already know a lot of the information in this new report, says Gebbia, "but the public doesn't. And so a report like this really draws attention to the fact that we need to do a whole lot more to prevent suicide, to save lives."
He points out, for example, that the nation currently has no federally funded suicide prevention program for adults. "There are some for youth, but they're very, very tiny," says Gebbia. "We can't expect a major public health problem like this to be addressed unless we see the investment."
The CDC said that people can learn about warning signs of suicide to help people at risk. One resource is the website: www.BeThe1to.com. To reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
Suicides have increased by more than 30% since 1999 in half the states, CDC says
Sun, 10 Jun 2018 14:37
Suicide rates rose across the U.S. from 1999 to 2016, according to a new report from the CDC. Half of the states saw an increase of more than 30%. (CDC National Vital Statistics System)
More than a decade of steadily rising rates have made suicide the nation's 10th leading cause of death and one of only three causes of death '-- including Alzheimer's disease and drug overdoses '-- that are increasing in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In a report that examines trends in suicide at the state level from 1999 to 2016, the CDC reports that suicide rates have increased in nearly all states. In half of the states, the agency found the rate at which people took their own lives rose more than 30%.
In releasing the report, one day after fashion designer Kate Spade was found dead by suicide in New York, CDC officials underscored that more than half the people who died by suicide '-- 54% '-- did not have a known diagnosed mental health condition at the time of their death.
A study that examined suicide trends in 27 states found that in many cases, victims acted after experiencing relationship problems or loss; substance misuse; physical health problems; or job, money, legal or housing stress.
''Our data suggests suicide is more than a mental health issue,'' said Deborah M. Stone, the lead author of the new study.
Noting that suicide is ''very rare'' among those with chronic depression, Stone added that while depression sufferers should ''get the care they need,'' friends, families and co-workers should not overlook the risk of self-harm among those who have never been diagnosed with mental illness.
On Thursday, public health officials urged people with suicidal thoughts to seek help by contacting the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: (800) 273-8255. They also stressed that Americans should learn the warning signs of suicide so they can recognize those at risk of harming themselves.
Among the agency's recommendations: Reduce access to lethal means of ending a life '-- such as medications and firearms '-- among people at risk.
''From individuals and communities to employers and healthcare professionals, everyone can play a role in efforts to help save lives and reverse this troubling rise in suicide,'' said Dr. Anne Schuchat, the CDC's principal deputy director.
In 2016, nearly 45,000 Americans 10 or older died by suicide. The increases were particularly stark in the states in the intermountain West, including Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, North and South Dakota, Kansas, Minnesota and Oklahoma. Between 1999 and 2016, suicide rates in these states (as well as in Vermont, New Hampshire and South Carolina) rose between 38% and 58%.
Roughly half of the suicides in 2016 were carried out with a gun, a number that remained steady across the period studied. Suffocation, including hanging, was the next most common method of suicide, followed by poisoning.
Opioids were present in 31% of individuals who died by suicide. While Stone acknowledged that a person's intentions are not always clear when drugs of abuse are present, these were deemed to be suicides in which self-inflicted poisoning was considered the cause of death.
In a closer look at suicides in 2015, CDC researchers found that 29.4% took place within two weeks of a crisis '-- most commonly a breakup or other problem related to an intimate-partner relationship. Among the less-common factors presumed to have contributed to the suicides studied were physical health problems, legal difficulties, a family relationship issue or a job-related problem.
In a 2016 report, the CDC found that suicide rates in the United States jumped 24% in the years between 1999 and 2014. That rise was driven by stark increases in the numbers of white women and Native Americans who are taking their own lives.
In the age group of greatest vulnerability for suicide '-- between 45 and 64 '-- that report found that rates of suicide among women in 2014 vaulted 80% over 1999's rates. That trend has begun to close a longstanding gender gap in suicide, in which men were far more likely than women to take their own lives.
Dr. Steven H. Woolf, a Virginia Commonwealth University physician who has studied suicide in the U.S., says the trend of rising self-harm is, by now, well established.
''We really have to focus on what's going on in people's lives that's driving so many to such desperate acts,'' said Woolf, who chronicled what has become known as America's ''epidemic of despair'' '-- rising death rates due to drug overdoses, suicide and diseases related to substance abuse '-- in a recent essay in the journal BMJ.
Woolf said that while depression remains a major risk factor for suicide and other forms of self-harm, scant access to mental healthcare has driven down diagnoses even as it allows despair to fester.
''But our research shows something more alarming '-- these increases are occurring in places that have been struggling for many years: places where incomes have been stagnant and poverty rates have been high. The pressures on middle-class and low-income families are considerable and have been a persistent problem for some years now, and it's taking its toll.''
To address these problems, Woolf said, ''the answer is not suicide hotlines. We need to focus on things that reduce stress on American families, and that includes economic assistance, jobs and access to education.''
The CDC report urges states to take a ''comprehensive public health approach'' to suicide prevention and address the range of factors contributing to suicide.
First among the strategies that the CDC has recommended to states in a 2017 ''technical report'' is to ''strengthen economic supports,'' including bolstering household financial security and adopting policies that stabilize housing.
The report also encouraged initiatives to strengthen access to mental health care and programs to improve problem-solving and coping skills in parents and schoolchildren.
3:40 p.m.: This article was updated with more details on and analysis of U.S. suicide trends.
This article was originally published at 11:20 a.m.
Anthony Bourdain on Asia Argento and How Movies Inspire His Show | IndieWire
Fri, 08 Jun 2018 13:29
The television host talks about how movies influence every aspect of his show and how Argento has inspired his latest stage of life.
Anthony Bourdain watched 30 minutes of ''Baby Driver'' before he walked out of the movie theater. ''It rubbed me the wrong way from the beginning,'' he said, looking back on an experience that led him to tweet ''Fuck BABY DRIVER'' to his millions of followers. ''I felt like right away I knew what was going to happen to everybody in the cast. I just felt it was telegraphed so early and painfully. I had a violent physical reaction. I stumbled out the theater in a pit of depression and fury.''
That's the thing about Bourdain, who has spent two decades hosting food shows with a unique blend of machismo, travel fever, and cultural inquiry: A television personality who's a creature of cinema, he devours movies almost as frequently as the cuisines at the center of his show. And in all instances, he's man of discerning tastes.
''When you called, I was watching 'Edge of Darkness,' with Mel Gibson, which is this horrifyingly bad film based on this incredibly great five-hour British series,'' he said, picking up the phone on a Thursday afternoon in between shoots. ''I'm mesmerized by its awfulness. Some things should never be remade.''
That said, Bourdain often indulges in remakes and homages within his shows. On CNN's ''Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown,'' which he's hosted for five years, his cinematic influences often overshadow the food in the various countries he travels. ''It's always been, to one extent or another, a stealth food show,'' he said. ''We pretend it's about food. It rarely is. We always talk about films first, before we head to a location, for visual cues, for sound, for editing. We love nothing more than duping, emulating, or riffing on a film that few of our audiences have actually seen.''
A Perfect MatchOn his show, Bourdain has spent time with film luminaries ranging from Frances Ford Coppola to Darren Aronofsky, but the June 3 episode is an especially potent reflection of his cinephilia: ''Hong Kong'' finds Bourdain celebrating the city through his longtime affection for Wong Kar-wai movies, sampling expressionistic clips from ''Chungking Express'' and ''In the Mood for Love,'' and hanging around the city with the filmmaker's rambunctious cinematographer Christopher Doyle. Watching Doyle, a kooky ball of energy whose grey hair and lanky figure resemble Bourdain enough to make them look like brothers, it's a wonder it took so long for their paths to cross. ''He was a hero to me,'' Bourdain said. ''I had hoped and planned to just do a couple of scenes with the guy, talk about his films, how he looked at Hong Kong, what he looked for there.''
Instead, Doyle zipped around Hong Kong with Bourdain and his crew, talking through his creative philosophy and introducing him to various locals. Ultimately, Doyle took charge of the camerawork '-- in the show, he arrives late to one restaurant sit-down and forces the team to redo the setup '-- and served as one of three credited cinematographers. ''It was this wonderful, magical sort of kismet,'' Bourdain said.
Speaking to the host as they roam the city, Doyle expresses a series of philosophies that resonate with Bourdain's own. ''Our job as artists is to show you the world you think you know and celebrate it,'' the camera guru says at one point, later adding, ''If we try to be as true as possible to the way we see things, perhaps, perhaps, it translates [and] gives voice to the unspoken.''
The 42-minute episode celebrates Wong and Doyle's work, but in a broader sense, it feels like a natural extension of Bourdain's homegrown oeuvre '-- it's a lush, riveting overview of Hong Kong's history, its struggles with gentrification, and multicultural inhabitants. They just happen to be eating great food, too.
Filming Asia With Asia ArgentoAsia Argento and Christopher Doyle
The episode also points to another new collaborator in Bourdain's life: Actress and filmmaker Asia Argento, Bourdain's girlfriend, served as a last-minute director when the original director fell ill. (The couple first met when Argento appeared on the show's eighth season in 2016.)
It's a welcome new chapter for Argento, who has spent months contending with being one of several victims of sexual abuse by Harvey Weinstein to speak out about it. With the episode airing a week after Weinstein's courtroom arraignment, Argento declined to be interviewed about her experience on the show, but in an official Q&A posted to CNN's site, she said she ''happily made this leap into the unknown,'' and noted that her experience acting in Olivier Assayas' 2007 Hong Kong thriller ''Boarding Gate'' prepared her for the challenge of running around the city with a camera. ''I felt a kinship with the organized chaos,'' she said.
For Bourdain, bringing Argento further into his professional world proved to be a natural extension of their bond. ''Look, anytime I can get work out of Asia '-- even random suggestions, like when she calls me mid-show to make me aware of a Nigerian psychedelic rock scene of the mid-to-late-'70s '-- that's a huge help to the show,'' he said. ''I'd love to have her a continuing director. I just don't think we can afford her. But, my god, I'd love nothing more than to repeat the experience. She made it incredible.''
Argento's own work on both sides of the camera tends toward rough, visceral narrative experiences, and her sensibilities prove a natural union with Bourdain, whose baritone voiceover and John Wayne swagger sits at the cross-section of Hong Kong's evolving identity. From a swift overview of the city's growth from a fishing village into a global center of urban development, the episode careens through beguiling locations: upscale cantonese eatery Happy Paradise, a grimy punk rock club where he dines with a young band named David Boring, tranquil boat rides, and a Ghanaian restaurant for African refugees.
Doyle frequently usurps Bourdain's penchant for poetic observations. Considering the impact of construction and rising costs of living for the city's older population, Doyle asserts, ''We can't change the evolution of history or gentrification '-- but at least we can see what we're losing.'' He's joined by filmmaker Jenny Suen, who co-directed ''The White Girl'' with Doyle last year. Suen's perspective rescues the episode from the lingering possibility of an Orientalist simplification. In considering the challenges of representing the culture for non-Chinese audiences, she concludes, ''The only way is not to be cynical about it.''
This article continues on the next page.
Former Clinton Spokesman Tells Anthony Bourdain To Eat A Scorpion For Suggesting Hillary Knew About Weinstein - The Daily Caller
Sat, 09 Jun 2018 09:55
A former spokesman for Hillary Clinton had choice words for celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain Wednesday, after he suggested in a tweet that she knew about Harvey Weinstein allegedly preying on women.
Brian Fallon, a former spokesman for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, told Anthony Bourdain ''to eat a scorpion or something'' after Bourdain tweeted that Clinton knew more than she let on about Weinstein's alleged sexual assault on multiple women.
''The Weinstein stories had been out for years,'' wrote Bourdain Twitter.
know what Hillary Clinton is NOT? She's not stupid. Or unsophisticated about the world. The Weinstein stories had been out there for years
'-- Anthony Bourdain (@Bourdain) October 11, 2017
This comment did not set well with Fallon, tweeting, ''Go eat a scorpion or something.''
Go eat a scorpion or something.https://t.co/jlKBC2TDmI
'-- Brian Fallon (@brianefallon) October 12, 2017
Bourdain's girlfriend, actress Asia Argento, accused Weinstein of raping her.
Clinton wrote her condemnation of friend and large donor Harvey Weinstein in a statement on Twitter Tuesday. She also spoke about how Weinstein's alleged sexual assault on women made her ''sick'' to CNN's Fareed Zakaria.
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Social Media Is Killing America - Especially Women - UlstermanBooks.com
Sat, 09 Jun 2018 08:44
According to the CDC, the suicide rate among women of certain age groups has jumped 80% since 1999.
EIGHTY PERCENT.It's an appallingly tragic number and one that does not receive nearly enough honest attention.
To have a 30% increase in suicide among all Americans and an 80% increase among segments of women over a span of twenty years is cause for both alarm and serious reflection that should have everyone demanding answers.
I offer these graphics as evidence:
An entire generation of Americans, particularly women, has been raised with the significant influence of social media since 1999. The correlation between that and the spike in suicide rates cannot be ignored '' the two go hand in hand.
Social media was (and continues to be) touted as a way of bringing people together '' but does it really? Or is it a mass exercise in superficiality and unrealistic expectation that appears to most negatively impact women?
Add to social media the part education plays. For the last 20+ years, children have been told that feelings matter above all else '' how they feel, how they make others feel, etc. In the modern era school environment everything is secondary to feelings. It's akin to giving a child a cookie whenever they want. The result is an unhealthy and ultimately very unhappy child.
The schools have been doing the same disservice to our children '' and far too many parents have allowed it to happen. Why? Because everyone else is doing it. It's considered the social norm as displayed across all social media platforms '' one deadly influence leading the other.
How much attention has school violence received vs suicide rates? Have there been protests against suicide? 24/7 media coverage? Front page magazine articles?
No, not really. Particularly when compared to the kind of coverage a school shooting receives and yet school violence has steadily been on the decline while suicide rates are spiking. That's not the truth being shared by the media, or the education system, but it IS the truth:
Our schools are undeniably safer yet that is not the message being spread via the media including social media. That is but one of so many deceptions common to the modern era that has an entire generation being raised on lies until eventually reality and truth visit them and sadly a greater and greater number cannot handle it and end their lives.
Kids spend hours standing in front of a mirror practicing a smile they hope will appeal to others. Every fault is magnified. Every potential strength buried under layers of self-doubt. Selfies are taken not to enjoy the moment, but to try and convince the equally fake and phony masses that they are enjoying the moment. Communication is shortened to a few words or an emoji while real communication, real relationships, disappear until people realize they are left alone and feeling they don't possess the power to change that. Their life is a mass of meaningless electronic photos, likes, upvotes, downvotes, all without substance, meaning '' the things worth living for.
They were taught how feelings are everything yet they feel bad all the time so what are they to do?
Stop feeling. Stop pretending. Stop trying.
They end it.
(And yes, the knowledge that this reflection will be shared on social media doesn't escape me. Strange days'...)
''We're all alone together screaming in silence.'' Murder on Matia
D.W. Ulsterman is an author, educator, socio-political commentator, and the creator of the popular San Juan Islands Mystery series.
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Anthony Bourdain's candid quotes on drugs and depression
Sat, 09 Jun 2018 05:23
Anthony Bourdain at Build Studio in New York City last fall. (Photo: Getty Images)
The news of Anthony Bourdain's apparent suicide has rocked the entertainment and culinary worlds. The chef-turned-TV host was found dead in his hotel room in France where he was filming his hit CNN show, Parts Unknown. He was 61 and leaves behind an 11-year-old daughter.
While circumstances around his passing are unclear, an untimely death is something the acclaimed author had discussed throughout the years, given his openness about substance abuse and his struggle to get clean nearly three decades ago.
''Drugs and addiction are two different things,'' he reflected to Biography.com in 2016. ''All I can tell you is this: I got off of heroin in the 1980s. Friends of mine from the '70s and '80s, they just got off five, six, maybe 10 years ago. And we're the lucky ones. We made it out alive. There are a lot of guys that didn't get that far. But you know, I also don't have that many regrets either.''
He added, ''Look, man, the only thing that matters is life or death. That's the edge. Embarrassment, shame, humiliation, I can live with those. I'm used to it. Why hang onto it, though?''
Bourdain wasn't quick to label his life ''charmed.''
''I don't know about 'charmed.' But I'm still here '-- on my third life, or maybe fourth. Who knows? I should've died in my 20s,'' he said. ''I became successful in my 40s. I became a dad in my 50s. I feel like I've stolen a car '-- a really nice car '-- and I keep looking in the rearview mirror for flashing lights. But there's been nothing yet.''
Bourdain was working as the executive chef at Les Halles in 2000 when he published his memoir, Kitchen Confidential that changed everything. He was never shy about discussing his past drug use '-- something that was rampant in his world. He first dabbled with drugs in high school when he fell in love with an older girl, Nancy Putkoski. He followed her to Vassar College in 1973 '-- before dropping out after two years and enrolling at the Culinary Institute of America '-- and the two wed in 1985. (The marriage ended in 2005.)
''That kind of love and codependency and sense of adventure '-- we were criminals together,'' he said in a New Yorker profile last year. ''A lot of our life was built around that, and happily so.''
Bourdain told the publication that he bought his first bag of heroin on Rivington Street in 1980. ''When I started getting symptoms of withdrawal, I was proud of myself,'' he stated, saying he copped every day as it held a special allure. But that grew thin.
''Getting ripped off, running from the cops,'' he recalled. ''I'm a vain person. I didn't like what I saw in the mirror.'' Bourdain switched to methadone, but quit cold turkey around 1987 after getting over it. Then he spent several years addicted to cocaine. ''I just bottomed out on crack,'' he told the New Yorker. It was so bad that sometimes between fixes, he would dig paint chips out of the carpet in his apartment and attempt to smoke them on the off chance that they were pebbles of crack.
Bourdain recalled an instance when he was riding in a taxi with three friends after getting heroin on the Lower East Side. He was telling them about an article he read on the statistical likelihood of getting off drugs. ''Only one in four has a chance at making it,'' he told them. In Kitchen Confidential, Bourdain wrote that he made it and his friends had not. ''I was the guy.'' He got clean around 1990, but still drank alcohol, as evident on his shows No Reservations and Parts Unknown.
''Most people who kick heroin and cocaine have to give up on everything. Maybe because my experiences were so awful in the end, I've never been tempted to relapse,'' he wrote in his first memoir. ''You see me drink myself stupid on my show all the time. And I have a lot of fun doing that. But I'm not sitting at home having a cocktail. Never, ever. I don't ever drink in my house. '... When I indulge, I indulge. But I don't let it bleed over into the rest of my life.''
The television host also discussed thoughts of depression. In a 2016 episode of Parts Unknown, Bourdain traveled to Argentina for psychotherapy '-- something widely popular in the country.
''Well, things have been happening,'' he says on camera. ''I will find myself in an airport, for instance, and I'll order an airport hamburger. It's an insignificant thing, it's a small thing, it's a hamburger, but it's not a good one. Suddenly I look at the hamburger and I find myself in a spiral of depression that can last for days.''
''It's like that with the good stuff too,'' he added. ''I have a couple of happy minutes there where I'm thinking life is pretty good.''
Bourdain also spoke about feeling out of place. ''I feel like Quasimodo the hunchback of Notre Dame '-- if he stayed in nice hotel suites with high-thread-count sheets, that would be me. I feel kind of like a freak, and I feel very isolated,'' he admitted.
He also opened up about his trouble with communication. ''I communicate for a living, but I'm terrible with communicating with people I care about. I'm good with my daughter,'' he said. ''An 8-year-old is about my level of communication skills, so that works out. But beyond that I'm really terrible.''
Bourdain also told the therapist about a recurring dream he's had ''for as long as I can remember.''
''I'm stuck in a vast old Victorian hotel with endless rooms and hallways trying to check out, but I can't,'' he said. ''I spend a lot of time in hotels, but this one is menacing because I just can't leave it. And then there's another part to this dream, always, where I'm trying to go home but I can't quite remember where that is.''
Regarding his depression, Bourdain brushed off the public's response. ''I'm not going to get a lot of sympathy from people, frankly,'' he said on the episode. ''I mean, I have the best job in the world, let's face it. I go anywhere I want, I do what I want. That guy over there loading sausages onto the grill, that's work. This is not so bad. It's alright. I'll make it.''
As much as Bourdain loved his job '-- which had him traveling about 250 days a year '-- he often described life on the road as lonely. ''I'm living the dream,'' Bourdain told People in 2016. ''I have the best job in the world and I'm very grateful for that. And I don't plan on walking away from that any time soon, I can assure you '-- but it comes at a cost.''
His marriage to Ottavia Busia ended earlier that year with his schedule being partly to blame. ''I now wake up alone in lot of faraway places looking at beautiful vistas and doing interesting things,'' he said. ''But the truth is I'm alone for most of that time.''
Busia and Bourdain are parents to Ariane, now 11. In an interview with the magazine a few months ago, he said he felt ''some responsibility'' to ''at least try to live'' for her.
''I also do feel I have things to live for,'' Bourdain explained. ''There have been times, honestly, in my life that I figured, 'I've had a good run '-- why not just do this stupid thing, this selfish thing '... jump off a cliff into water of indeterminate depth,''' he said, referring to a stunt he did on his Travel Channel show.
Bourdain also scoffed at the idea of retiring.
''I've tried. I just think I'm just too nervous, neurotic, driven,'' he told People. ''I would have had a different answer a few years ago. I might have deluded myself into thinking that I'd be happy in a hammock or gardening. But no, I'm quite sure I can't.''
He added, ''I'm going to pretty much die in the saddle.'' In the interview, Bourdain described himself as ''happy.''
If you or someone you know needs help, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or text ''help'' to the Crisis Text Line at 741-74. You can also go online here.
Read more from Yahoo Entertainment:
Anthony Bourdain and the women he leaves behindCelebrities, fellow chefs react to Anthony Bourdain's death by suicideKathy Griffin defends Samantha Bee: 'TBS, if you don't stand by her, I am coming for you'
Like Anthony Bourdain, I had suicidal depression. I got better. Here's how. - Vox
Sat, 09 Jun 2018 05:16
I don't know what was going through Anthony Bourdain's mind when he took his own life. But I remember what was going through mine when I wanted to end my life.
Depression, for me, wasn't sadness. Sadness is a feeling, and my depression was the opposite of feeling '-- a numbness, a sense that all value in the world was snuffed out. In order to feel sad, you have to care about something: My depression annihilated the very idea of caring.
My friends and family didn't really matter, said my depression. I would never find a partner, it whispered. Life was nothing but emptiness, and there was only one escape. I was 25 years old, a young man in the prime of his life, and utterly hopeless.
I'm 30 now. I survived '-- and, more than that, I'm happy. I'm getting married in October, I spend tons of time with my friends and family, and I'm thrilled with my career. The happiness my depression said was impossible is here, and it's real.
My story isn't everyone's. I'm not a psychologist, and I can't speak in universals about something as personal as depression. But what I can say is this: If you're depressed, neither Bourdain's fate nor Kate Spade's has to be yours. You can get better.
Here's how I did.
I got helpFor a long time after my depression got truly threatening, I didn't talk about it. I went about living my life, trying to distract myself from what was happening. For a time, this seemed like it was working: When I started at Vox, the validation of a career I loved kept the sense of pointlessness at bay.
But this was a Band-Aid. As my time at Vox progressed and the job became a normal part of my life, depression started creeping back in. The same old fatalism permeated my thoughts.
It's easy to see depression as a product of bad things happening to you '-- you lose a loved one, for example, and it ruins you. That is how it works for many people. But for me, depression wasn't situational and couldn't be fixed by professional or personal successes.
It was a war, and I was losing. It wasn't until the summer of 2015, more than a year after the dark time began, that things started to turn around. And I know exactly why: I stopped hiding the way I felt, and clued in people who loved me about what was going on.
One of the many lies depression tells you is that you should feel ashamed of being its victim. That if you tell the people around you that you're suffering, they'll judge you or they won't care. The best thing you can do is keep them from worrying and put on a brave face. I was really good at this: People would always tell me how happy I seemed on the outside, how bubbly and friendly I was, even when on the inside, I knew I wasn't.
There was only one person who figured out that something was wrong: my mother. When I would go over to my parents' house for dinner, she would ask me what was wrong. I always made up an excuse. But one day, I finally stopped lying and told my family. They listened, and told me that they loved me, and that I could get help if I needed it.
There's a Catch-22 with depression: The most generally effective treatments are medication and therapy, but it takes some work to get yourself an appointment with a doctor or therapist (assuming you even have access to affordable mental health care in the first place). If you have serious depression, though, you're convinced that any work is hopeless '-- you won't try to find a therapist because your depression is telling you it won't help anyway. The best treatment is precluded by the disease.
My sister '-- and I'll never be able to repay her for this '-- did the research for me. She found me a therapist and connected us via email. Having someone else do the simplest work, writing an email, broke the Catch-22. I went to my first appointment in July 2015.
You have to open upTherapy isn't a panacea. It doesn't help everyone, and even many people who do benefit wouldn't say their depression has been ''cured.'' But that wasn't the point for me. What my therapist did was help me manage my depression, and not just with medication. She taught me mental techniques, routines and habits of thinking that could check depression's influence over my mind.
I won't go into details of my therapy sessions. Some of them, like the specifics of our conversations about suicidal thoughts, are still too raw.
What is important, though, is that they helped. These tools helped lift the cloud of depression. It's not a coincidence that in the second half of 2015, I went on my first date with the woman who will soon become my wife. Before therapy, I don't think I was open enough to the idea that anyone could love me and be able to make a real relationship work.
The more I used therapy tools, the better I became at opening up and convincing myself that life was worth living. Between this self-care and the successful relationship it enabled, I was in a good enough place that I stopped needing regular therapy appointments altogether.
I don't want you to think that my life is perfect. I still have problems. But they're more mundane problems, like handling family finances on a journalist's salary, rather than life-threatening ones, like suicidal thoughts. That seemed impossible three years ago.
The one thing I wish everyone could understand about depression is that it is a social disease. The part that makes suicide look like a way out is that you feel profoundly alone. This is a lie, but it can only be shown to be a lie through honesty with yourself and the people around you.
If you think someone in your life is depressed, ask them how they're feeling and tell them you're there if they need you. Maybe they'll say they're fine, and maybe they're telling the truth. But if they aren't, just keep showing them you're there. And if they tell you they're in trouble, then help.
And if you are suffering, you can get through this. Tell someone '-- anyone. The stigma around mental illness '-- it shut me up too, and it cost me dearly. There are people who care about you, who will do the work necessary to help you survive. All you have to do is ask.
The National Suicide Prevention Hotline is 1-800-273-8255. It's available 24 hours a day, seven days a week; you should call if you're having suicidal thoughts of any kind. Non-US readers can find a number for their country here.
If you feel like you want to talk to me, my email is zack@vox.com. I'm not a therapist, but I can help you find one.
Bourdain, Spade suicides highlight need for new depression drugs | Article [AMP] | Reuters
Sat, 09 Jun 2018 00:31
Fri Jun 8, 2018 / 4:30 PM EDT
CHICAGO (Reuters) - The suicides this week of Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade have cast fresh light on the need for more effective treatments for major depression, an area that has been largely abandoned by big pharmaceutical companies.
The news shocked fans and came as U.S. health authorities reported a sharp spike in suicide rates across the country since the beginning of the century. They called for a comprehensive approach to addressing depression and other contributing factors.
With the availability of numerous cheap generic antidepressants, many of which offer only marginal benefit, developing medicines for depression is a tough sell.
Drugmakers have 140 therapies in development targeting mental health issues, including 39 aimed at depression, according to the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America trade group. That compares with the industry's work on some 1,100 experimental cancer drugs, which can command some of the highest prices.
"Psychiatry has become a disfavored area for investment," said Harry Tracy, whose newsletter NeuroPerspective tracks developments in drug treatments for psychiatric problems. "Insurers say 'why should we pay more for a new treatment?'"
Developing antidepressants is risky. Patients in clinical trials often show a big placebo response, masking the efficacy of the drug being tested. In addition, once approved, antidepressants require a large sales force to reach psychiatrists as well as primary care providers.
Another impediment is the difficulty of conducting early depression research on animals that could form a basis for trials in people.
"This has been a big challenge to translate over to human clinical trials," said Caroline Ko, project leader of NewCures, a newly formed program at Northwestern University aimed at reducing the risk of investment in treatments for depression, pain, Parkinson's and other diseases.
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N ) is the only large pharmaceutical company making a major investment in a new antidepressant, Tracy said. Smaller players include Sage Therapeutics (SAGE.O ), which expects a decision from U.S. regulators on a treatment for post-partum depression by the end of the year.
J&J's esketamine targets treatment-resistant depression. It is similar to ketamine, which is used as an anesthetic and to relieve pain, and often abused as a recreational party drug with the street nickname Special K.
The company expects to file for U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval of esketamine this year.
Dr. Husseini Manji, global head of neuroscience at J&J's Janssen unit, said there is great need for new treatments as about half of people with depression fail to respond to current therapies.
He believes esketamine, a rapid-acting nasal spray, will narrow the time it takes for patients to see a benefit.
"Standard antidepressants can take weeks to work. They really are not useful in a crisis situation," said Carla Canuso, who is leading J&J's effort testing the drug in people deemed at imminent risk for suicide, which is most commonly associated with depression.
Allergan Plc (AGN.N ) is developing rapastinel, a fast-acting intravenous antidepressant the company purchased in 2015.
The drug has breakthrough therapy designation from the FDA, with clinical trial results expected in early 2019. Last month, the company acquired another depression drug from its collaborator Aptinyx.
Dr. Julie Goldstein Grumet, a behavioral health expert from the Suicide Prevention Resource Center, said besides Bourdain and Spade, 122 people in the United States took their lives by suicide each day last week. Many were never even diagnosed with a mental illness.
"We're missing opportunities to screen people for the risk of suicide," she said.
(Reporting by Julie Steenhuysen; Editing by Michele Gershberg and Bill Berkrot)
Anthony Bourdain - Wikipedia
Sat, 09 Jun 2018 10:13
Anthony Bourdain, known to his friends as "Tony," was born June 25, 1956 in New York City and grew up in Leonia, New Jersey.[7][8][9] His parents were Pierre Bourdain (d. 1987), a classical music industry executive for Columbia Records,[10][11] and Gladys Bourdain (n(C)e Sacksman),[12][13][14][15] a staff editor for The New York Times.[16] His younger brother, Christopher, became a currency analyst,[7] and made appearances on some of his TV shows.[17] Bourdain said he was raised without religion, and that his family was Catholic on his father's side and Jewish on his mother's.[18] His paternal grandparents were French: his paternal grandfather emigrated from Arcachon to New York following World War I, and his father grew up speaking French and spent many summers in France.[19] Bourdain was a Boy Scout growing up.[20]
Writing Bourdain's New York Times bestselling book Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly (2000) was an outgrowth of his 1999 article in The New Yorker called "Don't Eat Before Reading This."[30][31] A sequel,[32]Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook, was published in 2010.[33]
He wrote two more New York Times bestselling nonfiction books: A Cook's Tour (2001),[34] an account of his food and travel exploits around the world, written in conjunction with his first television series of the same title,[34] and The Nasty Bits (2006), another collection of essays centered on food.[33] His additional books include Anthony Bourdain's Les Halles Cookbook,[27] the culinary mysteries Bone in the Throat[27] and Gone Bamboo,[27] a hypothetical historical investigation, Typhoid Mary: An Urban Historical,[35] and No Reservations: Around the World on an Empty Stomach.[36]
His articles and essays appeared in many publications, including in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Times, Los Angeles Times, The Observer, Gourmet, Maxim, Esquire (UK), Scotland on Sunday, The Face, Food Arts, Limb by Limb, BlackBook, The Independent, Best Life, the Financial Times, and Town & Country. On the internet, his blog for Season 3 of Top Chef[37] was nominated for a Webby Award for best Blog '' Cultural/Personal in 2008.[38]
In 2012, Bourdain co-wrote the original graphic novel Get Jiro! for DC Comics/Vertigo along with Joel Rose, with art by Langdon Foss.[39][40]
Television As series host A Cook's Tour (2002''2003) The acclaim surrounding Bourdain's memoir, Kitchen Confidential, led to an offer by the Food Network for him to host his own food and world-travel show, A Cook's Tour, which premiered in January 2002. It ran for 35 episodes, through 2003.[41]
No Reservations (2005''2012) In July 2005, he premiered a new, somewhat similar television series, Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations, on the Travel Channel. As a further result of the immense popularity of Kitchen Confidential, the Fox sitcom Kitchen Confidential aired in 2005, in which the character "Jack Bourdain" is based loosely on his biography and persona.
In July 2006, he and his crew were in Beirut filming an episode of No Reservations when the Israel-Lebanon conflict broke out unexpectedly after the crew had filmed only a few hours of footage for the food and travel show.[42] His producers compiled behind-the-scenes footage of him and his production staff, including not only their initial attempts to film the episode, but also their firsthand encounters with Hezbollah supporters, their days of waiting for news with other expatriates in a Beirut hotel, and their eventual escape aided by a fixer (unseen in the footage), whom Bourdain dubbed Mr. Wolf after Harvey Keitel's character in Pulp Fiction. Bourdain and his crew were finally evacuated with other American citizens, on the morning of July 20, by the United States Marine Corps. The Beirut No Reservations episode, which aired on August 21, 2006, was nominated for an Emmy Award in 2007.[43]
The Layover (2011''2013) The Travel Channel announced in July 2011 that it would be adding a second one-hour ten-episode Bourdain show to be titled The Layover, which premiered November 21, 2011.[44] Each episode featured an exploration of a city that can be undertaken within an air travel layover of 24 to 48 hours. The series ran for 20 episodes, through February 2013.
Parts Unknown (2013''2018) In May 2012, Bourdain announced that he would be leaving the Travel Channel. In December he explained on his blog that his departure was due to his frustration with the channel's new ownership using his voice and image to make it seem as if he were endorsing a car brand, and the channel's creating three "special episodes" consisting solely of clips from the seven official episodes of that season.[45] He went on to host Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown for CNN. The program focuses on other cuisines, cultures and politics and premiered April 14, 2013.[46]
President Barack Obama was featured on the program in an episode filmed in Vietnam that aired in September 2016.[47] As of 2017[update], the show has been set in places such as Libya, Tokyo, Punjab,[48] Jamaica,[49] Ethiopia,[50] Nigeria,[51] and Armenia.[52]
Top Chef and other guest appearances Food programs Bourdain appeared five times as guest judge on Bravo's Top Chef reality cooking competition program: first in the November 2006 "Thanksgiving" episode of Season 2, and again in June 2007 in the first episode of Season 3, judging the "exotic surf and turf" competition that featured ingredients including abalone, alligator, black chicken, geoduck and eel. His third appearance was also in Season 3, as an expert on air travel, judging the competitors' airplane meals. He also wrote weekly blog commentaries for many of the Season 3 episodes, filling in as a guest blogger while Top Chef judge Tom Colicchio was busy opening a new restaurant. He next appeared as a guest judge for the opening episode of Season 4, in which pairs of chefs competed head-to-head in the preparation of various classic dishes, and again in the Season 4 Restaurant Wars episode, temporarily taking the place of head judge Tom Colicchio, who was at a charity event. He was also one of the main judges on Top Chef All-Stars (Top Chef, Season 8).
Between 2012 and 2016, he served as narrator and executive producer for several episodes of the award-winning PBS series The Mind of a Chef.[53]
He made a guest appearance on the August 6, 2007 New York City episode of Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern, and Andrew Zimmern appeared as a guest on the New York City episode of Bourdain's No Reservations airing the same day. On October 20, 2008 Bourdain hosted a special, At the Table with Anthony Bourdain, on the Travel Channel. In 2013 he was an executive producer and appeared as a judge and mentor in ABC's cooking competition show, The Taste.[54]
Other series and animation Bourdain appeared in an episode of TLC's reality show Miami Ink, aired on August 28, 2006, in which artist Chris Garver tattooed a skull on his right shoulder. Bourdain, who noted it was his fourth tattoo, said that one reason for the skull was that he wished to balance the ouroboros tattoo he had inked on his opposite shoulder in Malaysia, while filming Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations. He was a consultant and writer for the HBO series Treme.[55][56]
In 2010, he appeared on Nick, Jr.'s Yo Gabba Gabba! as Dr. Tony. In 2011 he voiced himself in a cameo on an episode of The Simpsons entitled "The Food Wife", in which Marge, Lisa, and Bart start a food blog called The Three Mouthkateers.[57] He appeared in a 2013 episode of the FX animated show Archer (S04E07) voicing chef Lance Casteau, a parody of himself.[58]
Publishing Ecco Press, a division of HarperCollins, announced in September 2011 that Bourdain would have his own publishing line, which would include acquiring three to five titles per year that "reflect his remarkably eclectic tastes".[59] The first books that the imprint published, released in 2013, include L.A. Son: My Life, My City, My Food by Roy Choi, Tien Nguyen, and Natasha Phan,[60]Prophets of Smoked Meat by Daniel Vaughn, and Pain Don't Hurt by Mark Miller.[61] Bourdain also announced plans to publish a book by Marilyn Hagerty.[62]
In describing the line, he said, "This will be a line of books for people with strong voices who are good at something'--who speak with authority. Discern nothing from this initial list'--other than a general affection for people who cook food and like food. The ability to kick people in the head is just as compelling to us'--as long as that's coupled with an ability to vividly describe the experience. We are just as intent on crossing genres as we are enthusiastic about our first three authors. It only gets weirder from here."[63]
Film Bourdain appeared as himself in the 2015 film The Big Short, in which he used seafood stew as an analogy for a collateralized debt obligation.[64] He also produced and starred in Wasted! The Story of Food Waste.[65][66]
Drew Magary in a column for GQ reflected that Bourdain was heir in spirit to Hunter S. Thompson.[67] The Smithsonian Institution declared Bourdain "the original rock star" of the culinary world,[68] while his public persona was characterized by Gothamist as "culinary bad boy".[69] Due to his liberal use of profanity and sexual references in his television show No Reservations, the network placed viewer discretion advisories during each episode.[70]
Bourdain was known for consuming exotic local specialty dishes, having eaten "sheep testicles in Morocco, ant eggs in Puebla, Mexico, a raw seal eyeball as part of a traditional Inuit seal hunt, and an entire cobra'--beating heart, blood, bile, and meat'--in Vietnam".[71] Bourdain was quoted as saying that a Chicken McNugget was the most disgusting thing he ever ate,[72] although he declared that the unwashed warthog rectum he ate in Namibia was "the worst meal of [his] life",[73] along with the fermented shark he ate in Iceland.[74]
Bourdain was noted for his put-downs of celebrity chefs, such as Paula Deen, Bobby Flay, Guy Fieri, Sandra Lee, and Rachael Ray,[75][76] and appeared irritated by both the overt commercialism of the celebrity cooking industry and its lack of culinary authenticity. He voiced a "serious disdain for food demigods like Alan Richman, Alice Waters, and Alain Ducasse."[77] Bourdain recognized the irony of his transformation into a celebrity chef and, to some extent, began to qualify his insults; in the 2007 New Orleans episode of No Reservations, he reconciled with Emeril Lagasse. He was consistently outspoken in his praise for chefs he admired, particularly Ferran Adri , Juan Mari Arzak, Mario Batali, Fergus Henderson, Jos(C) Andr(C)s, Thomas Keller, Martin Picard, Eric Ripert, and Marco Pierre White,[78] as well as his former proteg(C) and colleagues at Brasserie Les Halles. He spoke very highly of Julia Child, saying that she "influenced the way I grew up and my entire value system."[79]
Bourdain was also known for his sarcastic comments about vegan and vegetarian activists, saying that their lifestyle is rude to the inhabitants of many countries he visits. He said he considers vegetarianism, except in the case of religious strictures as in India, a "First World luxury".[80] He clarified that he believed Americans eat too much meat, and admired vegetarians who allow themselves to put aside their vegetarianism when they travel in order to be respectful of their hosts.[77]
His book, The Nasty Bits, is dedicated to "Joey, Johnny, and Dee Dee" of the Ramones. Bourdain declared fond appreciation for their music, as well that of other early punk bands such as Dead Boys, and The Voidoids.[81] He said that the playing of music by Billy Joel, Elton John or Grateful Dead in his kitchen was grounds for firing.[81] Billy Joel, however, was a fan of Bourdain's and subsequently visited the restaurant.[82]
On both No Reservations and Parts Unknown, he dined with and interviewed many musicians, both in the U.S. and elsewhere, with a special focus on glam and punk rockers such as Alice Cooper, David Johansen, Marky Ramone and Iggy Pop.[83][84] He featured contemporary band Queens of the Stone Age on No Reservations several times, and they composed and performed the theme song for Parts Unknown.[85]
Bourdain married his high school girlfriend, Nancy Putkoski, in 1985, and they remained together for two decades, divorcing in 2005.[86] On April 20, 2007, he married Ottavia Busia, a mixed martial artist.[87][88][89] The couple's daughter, Ariane, was born in 2007.[88] Bourdain noted that having to be away from his wife and child for about 250 days a year working on his television shows became a strain.[90] Busia appeared in several episodes of No Reservations'--notably the ones in Sardinia (her birthplace), Tuscany (in which she plays a disgruntled Italian diner), Rome, Rio de Janeiro, and Naples. The couple divorced amicably in 2016.[91][92] In 2017, Bourdain began dating Italian actress Asia Argento, whom he met when she appeared on the Rome episode of Parts Unknown.[93][94][95]
Bourdain practiced the martial art Brazilian jiu jitsu, earning a blue belt in August 2015.[96] He won gold at the IBJJF New York Spring International Open Championship 2016, in the Middleweight Master 5 (age 56 and older) division.[97]
Bourdain had been known for being an unrepentant drinker and smoker. In a nod to Bourdain's (at the time) two-pack-a-day cigarette habit, renowned chef Thomas Keller once served him a 20-course tasting menu which included a mid-meal "coffee and cigarette": a coffee custard infused with tobacco, together with a foie gras mousse.[98] Bourdain stopped cigarette smoking in the summer of 2007 for the sake of his daughter.[99]
A former user of cocaine, heroin, and LSD, in Kitchen Confidential he wrote of his experience in a trendy SoHo restaurant in 1981: "We were high all the time, sneaking off to the walk-in refrigerator at every opportunity to 'conceptualize.' Hardly a decision was made without drugs. Cannabis, methaqualone, cocaine, LSD, psilocybin mushrooms soaked in honey and used to sweeten tea, secobarbital, tuinal, amphetamine, codeine and, increasingly, heroin, which we'd send a Spanish-speaking busboy over to Alphabet City to get."[100]
FACT CHECK: Was Anthony Bourdain About to Expose an Elite Pedophile Ring?
Sun, 10 Jun 2018 03:50
CLAIM TV celebrity and food writer Anthony Bourdain was planning to run an expos(C) of an pedophile ring at the time of his death.
False RATING ORIGIN As much of the world grieved the death of TV celebrity and food writer Anthony Bourdain, the Neon Nettle fake news site shamelessly exploited the tragedy to push out yet another fabricated clickbait story about ''elite pedophile rings.''
A 9 June 2018 Neon Nettle article headlined ''Anthony Bourdain Was About to Expose an Elite Pedophile Ring Before He Died'' stated the following:
As the world still reels in shock at the news that journalist Anthony Bourdain has been found dead, evidence is now emerging that the mainstream reporter was about to expose an elite pedophile ring just before he died.
More recently, following news of a major child trafficking bust, sources are stating that Bourdain was planning on running ''an expos(C)'' and the sex slave network.
However, the text of the article was a typical Neon Nettle disjointed word salad that provided absolutely no substantiation or documentation for their assertion that Bourdain was ''about to expose an elite pedophile ring.'' The sum total of the case presented by Neon Nettle was a pair of out-of-context tweets from Bourdain, which Neon Nettle attempted to spin as evidence of some undefined conspiracy involving Hillary Clinton and Harvey Weinstein:
know what Hillary Clinton is NOT? She's not stupid. Or unsophisticated about the world. The Weinstein stories had been out there for years
'-- Anthony Bourdain (@Bourdain) October 11, 2017
So go for it , but no one would give a shit if it wasn't Trump and he wasn't President. A lot of people are shady, or assholes , that mean the Feds can jack you up? He was shady 2 years ago no warrants?
'-- Jeff Hulme (@jeffhulme) May 2, 2018
Certainly Bourdain had openly criticized Hillary Clinton's response when film producer Harvey Weinstein '-- a longtime Clinton donor '-- was accused of sexually assaulting and harassing dozens of women, including Bourdain's girlfriend, Asia Argento. Bourdain expressed incredulity that Clinton could have been unaware of Weinstein's sexual misbehavior, but the Weinstein scandal had nothing to do with a child sex trafficking sting later conducted in the Atlanta area, to which Neon Nettle bizarrely attempted to link it.
Neon Nettle's tortured logic seemed to be that Bourdain's Parts Unknown program aired on CNN, and CNN is headquartered in Atlanta, where a child sex-trafficking ring was recently busted, so '... something. The bottom line is that absolutely nothing suggests Anthony Bourdain knew about, much less was planning to expose, any ''elite pedophile ring.''
Neon Nettle also tossed an abundance of obfuscatory false and misleading statements into their word salad to deflect from the article's complete lack of substance:
o Although Mr. Bourdain's death has been officially declared a suicide, many see his untimely passing a suspicious and unexpected.
Bourdain's death may have been unexpected to many, but that it was the result of a suicide is not rationally disputed.
o It's no secret that people who cross the Clintons' path end up dead '... Usually from suicide.
This statement is nothing more than a rehash of rumors we first debunked here over twenty years ago. And it's irrelevant, as Bourdain plainly expressed that he didn't believe Hillary Clinton was in any way responsible for Harvey Weinstein's crimes:
Hillary is CLEARLY not responsible for anything Weinstein Thats screamingly obvious. Her response to questions though has been uninspiring
'-- Anthony Bourdain (@Bourdain) October 12, 2017
o Just this week, famous designer and Clinton Foundation member, Kate Spade reportedly killed herself. According to Spade's family, she had also been threatened for speaking out.
Again, there is no ''reportedly'' to designer Kate Spade's death by suicide. And what Spade's sister maintained she was ''threatened'' over was speaking out about her sibling's mental illness, not anything remotely related to child sex trafficking or ''pedophile rings.''
o More recently, following news of a major child trafficking bust, sources are stating that Bourdain was planning on running ''an expos(C)'' and the sex slave network.
We found zero evidence of any ''source'' '-- outside of disreputable Neon Nettle itself '-- stating that Bourdain had plans to run a ''sex slave network expos(C)'' on his travel and food show. (Naturally, Neon Nettle neither identified nor linked to a any such ''source.'')
o Despite reports that 160 children were rescued and will almost 150 arrested during the raids [in Atlanta], Mr. Bourdain's network, CNN, has refused to cover the case. Even more bizarrely, suspicious ''fact-checking'' website Snopes even went as far as to debunk reports that the raids even took place.
This statement was completely and utterly untrue. We debunked false reports that a so-called 'child trafficking bunker' had been discovered near Tucson (it was actually an abandoned homeless encampment); we wrote nothing about the completely unrelated Operation Safe Summer raids conducted by the FBI's Atlanta field office.
o A group of retired veterans uncovered child trafficking camp in the Tucson, Arizona. After accidentally stumbling upon the ''pedophile bunker'' whilst looking for homeless vets, they found children's toys, pornography, and even a human skull believed to belong to a child aged 7-8.
Again, not only is the Tucson ''pedophile bunker'' claim false, but the related rumor that a child's skull'' was found at the site is untrue as well. (The skull was that of an adult, not a child, and it was found in a remote area more than twenty miles northwest of Tucson, not at the site of the supposed ''pedophile bunker.'')
All of this misreporting was par for the course for Neon Nettle, a notorious fake news site with a predilection for publishing sensationalized and exaggerated (if not completely fabricated) stories about pedophiles. True to form, Neon Nettle added multiple false elements to this particular report to enhance its luridness.
Everything points to the premeditated murder of Anthony Bourdain '' The Millennium Report
Sun, 10 Jun 2018 03:48
And there are multiple reasons why the Illuminati wanted to get rid of himTMR Editor's Note: We totally agree with the explanation provided in the screenshot below by a reddit commentator.
Anthony certainly did not hang himselfDoes anyone really believe that Anthony Bourdain hung himself in this quaint little French hotel without leaving a single warning or clue? He gave no indication whatsoever of committing an act of suicide. Most significantly, he just was not the type to take such a radical leap and contrary to his nature.
Feud with HillaryThen there is this tweet by Hillary Clinton's former campaign spokesman, Brian Fallon. He tells Anthony Bourdain to ''Go eat a scorpion or something.'' (See: https://t.co/jlKBC2TDmI)
The following screenshot details more of the back story of what was really a rapidly exploding public feud.
Anthony was going Kanye West and Elon MuskInfowars also has an important perspective on this murderous affair as follows. Alex Jones provides critical insights into the awakening that Bourdain was quickly experiencing and then sharing with the world via his high platform at CNN.
Anthony Bourdain Murdered'--And, ''Yes!'', by all the usual suspects. (Video)Anthony's girlfriend and #MeToo movement leader recently tore 'em up at CannesThere's no question that this duo '-- Anthony & Asia '-- had completely left the reservation of political correctness. Not only had Asia already gone totally rogue on the Hollywood Pedogate scandal, she has shown more fang in the establishment forums than anyone else in the #MeToo movement. View this video in order to really understand just how deep into the swamp Asia had gone.
Asia Argento Calls Cannes Harvey Weinstein's 'Hunting Ground' In Festival Speech (Video)The screenshot below offers crucial insights on Anthony Bourdain's girlfriend '-- Asia Argento '-- a #MeToo firebrand of the highest order.
Now here's Anthony Bourdain's reaction to Asia Argento's speech at Cannes. It ought to be obvious that Anthony greatly empowered his girlfriend to take on the Hollywood elites'... right on their own turf. This has NEVER happened before'...and will probably never happen again now that the Hollywood mob has murdered Anthony.
Anthony Bourdain on Asia Argento's Cannes Speech: 'I Knew It Would Be a Nuclear Bomb'The Millennium Report June 9, 2018
Any Collusion?
Ex-Senate Aide Charged in Leak Case Where Times Reporter's Records Were Seized - The New York Times
Fri, 08 Jun 2018 11:55
Federal law enforcement officials secretly seized years' worth of a New York Times reporter's phone and email records this year in an investigation of classified information leaks. Credit Joshua Roberts/Reuters WASHINGTON '-- A former Senate Intelligence Committee aide was arrested on Thursday in an investigation of classified information leaks where prosecutors also secretly seized years' worth of a New York Times reporter's phone and email records.
The former aide, James A. Wolfe, 57, was charged with lying repeatedly to investigators about his contacts with three reporters. According to the authorities, Mr. Wolfe made false statements to the F.B.I. about providing two of them with sensitive information related to the committee's work. He denied to investigators that he ever gave classified material to journalists, the indictment said.
Mr. Wolfe, the Intelligence Committee's director of security, was slated to appear before a federal judge on Friday in Washington. Reached on Thursday evening before his arrest, Mr. Wolfe declined to comment.
Mr. Wolfe's case led to the first known instance of the Justice Department going after a reporter's data under President Trump. The seizure was disclosed in a letter to the Times reporter, Ali Watkins, who had been in a three-year relationship with Mr. Wolfe. The seizure suggested that prosecutors under the Trump administration will continue the aggressive tactics employed under President Barack Obama.
In his role with the committee, Mr. Wolfe was responsible for safeguarding classified and other sensitive information shared with lawmakers. He stopped performing committee work in December and retired in May.
Court documents describe Mr. Wolfe's communications with four reporters '-- including Ms. Watkins '-- using encrypted messaging applications. It appeared that the F.B.I. was investigating how Ms. Watkins learned that Russian spies in 2013 had tried to recruit Carter Page, a former Trump foreign policy adviser. She published an article for BuzzFeed News on April 3, 2017, about the attempted recruitment of Mr. Page in which he confirmed the contacts.
F.B.I. agents initially approached Ms. Watkins about the relationship she had with Mr. Wolfe, saying they were investigating unauthorized leaks. The Justice Department told her in a letter sent in February that her records had been seized. The Times learned on Thursday of the letter, which came from the national security division of the United States attorney's office in Washington.
In another case, the indictment said, Mr. Wolfe used an encrypted messaging app to alert another reporter in October 2017 that he had served Mr. Page with a subpoena to testify before the committee. The reporter, who was not named, published an article disclosing that Mr. Page had been compelled to appear. After it was published, Mr. Wolfe wrote to the journalist to say, ''Good job!'' and, ''I'm glad you got the scoop,'' according to court papers.
The same month, Mr. Wolfe reached out to a third reporter on the same unidentified app to offer to serve as an unnamed source, the documents said.
Mr. Wolfe also communicated with a fourth reporter, using his Senate email account, from 2015 to 2017, prosecutors said. They said he denied those contacts.
11 pages, 2.43 MBNews media advocates consider the idea of mining a journalist's records for sources to be an intrusion on First Amendment freedoms, and prosecutors acknowledge it is one of the most delicate steps the Justice Department can take. ''Freedom of the press is a cornerstone of democracy, and communications between journalists and their sources demand protection,'' said Eileen Murphy, a Times spokeswoman.
Ms. Watkins's personal lawyer, Mark J. MacDougall, said: ''It's always disconcerting when a journalist's telephone records are obtained by the Justice Department '-- through a grand jury subpoena or other legal process. Whether it was really necessary here will depend on the nature of the investigation and the scope of any charges.''
A prosecutor notified Ms. Watkins on Feb. 13 that the Justice Department had years of customer records and subscriber information from telecommunications companies, including Google and Verizon, for two email accounts and a phone number of hers. Investigators did not obtain the content of the messages themselves.
The records covered years' worth of Ms. Watkins's communications before she joined The Times in December 2017 to cover federal law enforcement. During a seven-month period last year for which prosecutors sought additional phone records, she worked for BuzzFeed News and then Politico reporting on national security.
Shortly before she began working at The Times, Ms. Watkins was approached by the F.B.I. agents, who asserted that Mr. Wolfe had helped her with articles while they were dating. She did not answer their questions. Mr. Wolfe was not a source of classified information for Ms. Watkins during their relationship, she said. That same month, F.B.I. agents asked Mr. Wolfe about an article written by Ms. Watkins. He denied knowing the reporter's sources.
During the same interview with the F.B.I., Mr. Wolfe denied knowing Ms. Watkins. But confronted with pictures of the two together, he admitted being in a ''personal relationship'' with her since 2014.
Ms. Watkins said she told editors at BuzzFeed News and Politico about it and continued to cover national security, including the committee's work. Ben Smith, the editor in chief of BuzzFeed News, said in a statement, ''We're deeply troubled by what looks like a case of law enforcement interfering with a reporter's constitutional right to gather information about her own government.''
A Politico spokesman, Brad Dayspring, said that the situation was ''managed accordingly'' after Ms. Watkins disclosed the matter, and that her beat was national security and law enforcement, not solely the committee, which other reporters primarily covered.
Ms. Watkins also told editors at The Times about the previous relationship when she was hired to cover federal law enforcement.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions said last year that the Justice Department was pursuing about three times as many leak investigations as were open at the end of the Obama administration. Under Mr. Obama, the Justice Department prosecuted more leak cases than all previous administrations combined.
''The attorney general has stated that investigations and prosecutions of unauthorized disclosure of controlled information are a priority of the Department of Justice,'' John Demers, a top Justice Department official, said in a statement announcing Mr. Wolfe's arrest.
The investigation came to light after the Senate Intelligence Committee made a cryptic announcement on Wednesday that it was cooperating with the Department of Justice ''in a pending investigation.'' Earlier, the Senate quietly and unanimously adopted a resolution to share committee information with the Justice Department ''in connection with a pending investigation arising out of the unauthorized disclosure of information.''
Mr. Wolfe, a former Army intelligence analyst, worked for the committee in a nonpartisan capacity for nearly 30 years. He worked closely with both Democrats and Republicans on the committee.
Mr. Trump has complained bitterly about leaks and demanded that law enforcement officials seek criminal charges against government officials involved in illegal and sometimes embarrassing disclosures of national security secrets.
When law enforcement officials obtained journalists' records during the Obama administration, members of Congress in both parties sounded alarms, and the moves touched off a firestorm among advocates for press freedom that helped prompt the Justice Department to rewrite its relevant guidelines.
Under Justice Department regulations, investigators must clear additional hurdles before they can seek business records that could reveal a reporter's confidential sources, such as phone and email records. In particular, the rules require the government to have ''made all reasonable attempts to obtain the information from alternative, non-media sources'' before investigators may target a reporter's information.
In addition, the rules generally require the Justice Department to notify reporters first to allow them to negotiate over the scope of their demand for information and potentially challenge it in court. The rules permit the attorney general to make an exception to that practice if he ''determines that, for compelling reasons, such negotiations would pose a clear and substantial threat to the integrity of the investigation, risk grave harm to national security, or present an imminent risk of death or serious bodily harm.''
Top Justice Department officials must sign off on any attempt to gain access to a journalist's communications records.
It is not clear whether investigators exhausted all of their avenues of information before confiscating Ms. Watkins's information. She was not notified before they gained access to her information from the telecommunications companies. Among the records seized were those associated with her university email address from her undergraduate years.
''We intend to get to the bottom of these leaks. I think it has reached epidemic proportions,'' Mr. Sessions said in November during testimony on Capitol Hill. ''It cannot be allowed to continue, and we will do our best effort to ensure it does not continue.''
The Intelligence Committee is responsible for carrying out oversight of American intelligence agencies, including the F.B.I., the C.I.A. and the National Security Agency, and their secretive operations. It is one of the most tightly secured groups in Congress, with strict rules for lawmakers and the professional staff governing the circulation and release of sensitive, and often classified, information that passes before the committee.
As security director, Mr. Wolfe would have been responsible for ensuring that those rules were upheld. When the committee became a matter of intense interest as it undertook a bipartisan investigation of Russia's election meddling, Mr. Wolfe played a more visible role ushering witnesses in and out of the committee's secured office space.
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Senate Intelligence Committee Staffer Indicted in Leak Investigation - WSJ
Fri, 08 Jun 2018 11:50
A veteran Senate staffer has been indicted as part of a probe related to the unauthorized disclosure of classified information that has also obtained the records of a New York Times reporter.
James A. Wolfe, the longtime head of security for the Senate Intelligence Committee, was arrested late Thursday, federal prosecutors said. Mr. Wolfe was indicted on charges of ''making false statements to special agents of the FBI during the course of an investigation into the unlawful disclosure of classified information,'' prosecutors said in a statement late Thursday.
''Wolfe is alleged to have lied to FBI agents in December 2017 about his repeated contacts with three reporters, including through his use of encrypted messaging applications,'' prosecutors said. ''Wolfe is further alleged to have made false statements to the FBI about providing two reporters with non-public information related to the matters occurring before the [Senate Select Committee on Intelligence].''
Mr. Wolfe didn't respond to a request for comment. According to his LinkedIn profile, Mr. Wolfe is a 31-year veteran on the Senate Intelligence Committee. He is a professional staffer who has served on the committee under chairmen of both parties.
As part of the same probe, investigators have obtained records from reporter Ali Watkins, according to people familiar with the matter. Prosecutors typically avoid such a tactic because of concerns about respecting freedom of the press.
The Senate this week agreed to turn over documents to the Justice Department as part of the investigation in an unusual resolution that passed by unanimous consent on the Senate floor. Under Senate rules, the full body needs to approve any request to turn over its internal documents to the executive branch.
''The Select Committee on Intelligence has received a request from the Department of Justice for records pertinent to a pending investigation arising out of allegations of the unauthorized disclosure of information by a former employee of the Committee,'' Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a statement entered into the congressional record.
Ms. Watkins is a national security reporter for the New York Times.
She previously worked at BuzzFeed, Politico and McClatchy where she also covered national security'--primarily the intelligence committees on Capitol Hill. Her records were seized by prosecutors recently, people familiar with the matter said.
Ms. Watkins had a romantic relationship with Mr. Wolfe while she was covering the Senate Intelligence Committee for BuzzFeed, according to people briefed on the matter. She didn't respond to requests for comment.
''It's always disconcerting when a journalist's telephone records are obtained by the Justice Department'--through a grand jury subpoena or other legal process,'' Mark MacDougall, an attorney for Ms. Watkins, told the New York Times. ''Whether it was really necessary here will depend on the nature of the investigation and the scope of any charges.''
A person familiar with the matter said Ms. Watkins disclosed the relationship when she joined the New York Times. A spokeswoman for the New York Times said the seizure of a reporter's records undermines media freedom.
''Freedom of the press is a cornerstone of democracy and we believe that communications between journalists and their sources demand protection,'' said Eileen Murphy, senior vice president for corporate communications at the paper. ''This decision by the Justice Department will endanger reporters ability to promise confidentiality to their sources and, ultimately, undermine the ability of a free press to shine a much needed light on government actions. That should be a grave concern to anyone who cares about an informed citizenry.''
Ben Smith, the editor in chief for BuzzFeed, said, ''We're deeply troubled by what looks like a case of law enforcement interfering with a reporter's constitutional right to gather information about her own government.''
A spokesman for Politico said Ms. Watkins didn't primarily cover the Senate Intelligence Committee for the publication and it was aware of her relationship with a top staffer on the panel.
None of the publications that employed Ms. Watkins report being subpoenaed for records.
Information gathered by reporters isn't protected by law, though several reporters have refused to testify about their sources, prompting standoffs with law enforcement. A New York Times reporter was jailed in 2005 for refusing to testify about the leak of a CIA operative's name.
The government ended a seven-year standoff with another New York Times reporter, James Risen, over attempts to order him to reveal his sources as part of a different leak investigation in 2015.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions last year promised to tamp down leaks of sensitive government information after President Donald Trump complained that the leaks jeopardized national security. He also criticized Mr. Sessions as ''weak'' on the issue.
Mr. Sessions said in August that the Justice Department had more than tripled the number of active leak investigations from the number pending at the end of the Obama administration, which brought more leak cases than all prior administrations combined.
''We will not allow rogue anonymous sources with security clearances to sell out our country any longer,'' Mr. Sessions said at the time.
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has said the department continues to review its guidelines related to subpoenas of journalists.
'--Sadie Gurman contributed to this article.
Write to Byron Tau at byron.tau@wsj.com and Erica Orden at erica.orden@wsj.com
Inspector general says he expects June 14 release date for highly anticipated report on Clinton email case
Sat, 09 Jun 2018 09:29
Justice Department Inspector General Michael E. Horowtiz. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)The Justice Department inspector general anticipates making public on June 14 his report reviewing how the FBI and the department handled the investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server, according to a letter sent to lawmakers Thursday.
In the letter to Republican and Democratic leaders on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz wrote that he was done with ''much of'' the review and classification of the report, and that he expected to make it public in a week's time. Horowitz also agreed to testify before the committee on June 18.
Horowitz's report is expected to blast former FBI director James B. Comey and other top bureau and Justice Department officials for the handling of the case, people familiar with it said. It will almost certainly be used by President Trump to attack current and former law enforcement leaders at whom he has repeatedly taken aim in recent days and months.
Trump this week questioned on Twitter whether Horowitz, who had previously hoped to finish the report in May, might be softening his findings. The inspector general wrote in his letter that he was completing the ''ordinary processes'' for such reports. As in all cases, those targeted by the report have been given a chance to review drafts of the findings and provide feedback, people familiar with the matter have said.
[As Justice Dept. inspector general moves from Clinton email to Russia and Trump, he risks becoming a political weapon]
''What is taking so long with the Inspector General's Report on Crooked Hillary and Slippery James Comey,'' Trump wrote. ''Numerous delays. Hope Report is not being changed and made weaker! There are so many horrible things to tell, the public has the right to know. Transparency!''
People familiar with the report said it takes particular aim at Comey, whose decisions at the end of the Clinton email investigation already have drawn significant criticism.
Comey, without telling his Justice Department bosses what he was about to do, announced publicly in July 2016 that he was recommending the case be closed with no charges. Then, just weeks before the election, Comey revealed to Congress that investigators had resumed their work '-- apparently bucking Justice Department procedure of not taking overt steps in a case that might have an impact in an election.
Clinton has blamed the move for her loss to Trump. Comey has defended his actions as necessary to preserve the integrity of the FBI in an unprecedented case.
June 14 is Trump's birthday.
Trump Calls for Russia to Be Readmitted to G-7 - The New York Times
Fri, 08 Jun 2018 12:52
The logo of the upcoming G-7 Summit was on display in Quebec on Wednesday. Credit Yves Herman/Reuters WASHINGTON '-- President Trump called on the world's leading economies on Friday to reinstate Russia to the Group of 7 nations four years after it was cast out for annexing Crimea, once again putting him at odds with America's leading allies in Europe and Asia.
The president made the suggestion to reporters as he headed to Canada for the annual meeting of the G-7, a gathering that already was promising to be crackling with tension over trade, Iran and Mr. Trump's sharp-edged approach to foreign leaders.
Russia joined the group in the 1990s after emerging from the wreckage of the Soviet Union, making it the G-8, but its armed intervention in its neighbor Ukraine in 2014 and its seizure of the Crimean peninsula isolated it from other major powers.
The remaining members, led by the United States under President Barack Obama, expelled it in a sign of global resolve not to let established international borders be rewritten by force.
Mr. Trump spent Friday skirmishing with the leaders of two other members of the G-7, Canada and France, and decided to skip the end of the annual meeting being held in Quebec and fly on Saturday morning to Singapore, where he plans to meet North Korea's leader, Kim Jong-un, for a landmark nuclear summit meeting on Tuesday.
The notion of readmitting Russia to the world's most exclusive club without any concession by the Kremlin reflects the unusually friendly approach that Mr. Trump has taken to Russia since becoming president, a policy at odds with both Republicans and Democrats in Washington as well as leaders in Europe.
What is a rules based international world order
Sat, 09 Jun 2018 15:13
Executive Summary 3Overview 4Australia and the United Nations5The United Nations and therules-based international order7UN reform 13Peace and security '' a safer world16Human rights and humanitarian action '' a fairer world19Global Development '' a more sustainable world20Conclusion23More than ever the United Nations needs Australia '...and Australia needs the United Nations.MICHAEL G SMITH, ON ELECTION AS UNAA NATIONAL PRESIDENT, AGM, MELBOURNE, 4 SEPTEMBER 2016.This paper is based on 'client advice' prepared for Mr Luke Gosling MP, Federal Member for Solomon, by the Australian Parliamentary Library. The UNAA is grateful to Mr Gosling for making the original advice available, and UNAA acknowledges the useful background work of the Parliamentary Library. Any errors in the document, however, should be attributed to UNAA.Front Cover: UN Photo Lamphay Inthakoun This Page: UN Photo/Yutaka Nagata
A concept gaining increasing currency both in Australia and internationally is that of a 'rules-based international order'. This means a shared commitment by all countries to conduct their activities in accordance with agreed rules that evolve over time, such as international law, regional security arrangements, trade agreements, immigration protocols, and cultural arrangements. As demonstrated since the formation of the United Nations following the \Second World War, a rules-based international order is the only alternative to international coercion by competing great powers, spheres of influence, client states and terrorist organisations. Moreover, global development through the achievement of the sustainable development goals (SDGs) can only occur within a ru\les-based international system based on commitment and respect. An effective rules-based international order depends largely on the professionalism and neutrality of the United Nations, and the effectiveness of the United Nations depends mostly on the commitment by its Member States.As a medium power, Australia has a profound interest in promoting multilateral diplomacy and actions to preserve and strengthen the rules-based international order. The United Nations has proved to be a 'force multiplier' for many countries including Australia: by providing global contributions to peace and security, sustainable development, humanitarian relief and human rights. In the Asia-Pacific region alone, Australia has frequently benefited by pursuing its national security interests through the United Nations; as evidenced by Australia's support to Indonesia for its independence, the Korean War, the peace process and elections in Cambodia, and events leading to the independence of Timor-Leste. Continuing reform of the United Nations'--including along the lines suggested by the International Commission on Multilateralism1'--will be required if the Organisation is to fulfil its Charter, so skilfully crafted and agreed in October 1945 following the horrors of the Second World War. Notably, Australia played an influential role in the formation of the United Nations, and continues to support the Organisation as its 11th highest financial contributor. While the world has changed remarkably since the Charter was enacted, and the UN's membership almost quadrupled, the necessity for the existence of the United Nations has not diminished. Overall, the United Nations has served humanity well, despite the Organisation's limitations and imperfections. A world without the United Nations and a rules-based international order would be even more troubled, insecure and poorer than it is. This paper outlines the critical role of the United Nations in enhancing the rules-based international order, and contributing to a safer, fairer, and more sustainable world. The paper outlines the major organisational entities that the United Nations comprises, convenes or contributes to; r eminds all Australians of the critical role that the United Nations plays in the rules-based international system; and advocates that it is in Australia's national security interests to contribute to, and strengthen, the United Nations. The paper also highlights Australia's continuing support for the Organisation since its formation in 1945. Comments and suggestions to improve the paper are welcomed at admin@unaa.org.au. 1 Independent Commission on Multilateralism (ICM), Pulling Together: the multilateral system and its future, New York: International Peace Institute, September 2016. https://www.icm2016.org/IMG/pdf/icm_summary_report.pdf EXECUTIVE SUMMARYUNAA '' UN RULES-BASED INTERNATIONAL ORDER | 3
The United Nations provides a platform for Member States, both large and small, to have a voice. UN membership has grown from its original 51 members in 1945 to 193 members in 2017, with the newly formed states of Timor-Leste and South Sudan amongst the most recent members. The Organisation's work is guided by its Charter, skilfully crafted at Dumbarton Oaks, Washington D.C. in 1944 in the horrific shadows of the Second World War, and completed in San Francisco in 1945. Amendments to the Charter can be made by a vote of two thirds of the members of the UN General Assembly (UNGA), which has occurred on three occasions (1963, 1968 and 1971). Predictably, many Member States have argued that UN structures'--as stated in the Charter'--are outdated. The main organs of the United Nations are the UNGA, the Security Council (UNSC), the Economic and Social Council, the Trusteeship Council, the International Court of Justice (ICJ), and the UN Secretariat. While it is widely accepted that changes are needed, reforming the United Nations is difficult, although not impossible. The United Nations exists and performs to the extent permitted by its Member States, and continuous reform and debate on improving the UN system has occurred since its formation. While the United Nations is an imperfect system, its multilateral diplomacy and critical field work remain vital for international security, humanitarian action, human rights and sustainable development. Millions of people around the world are vitally dependent on the United Nations, which is of central importance to the effectiveness of a rules-based international order.This paper outlines the critical role of the United Nations in enhancing the rules-based international order, and contributing to a safer, fairer, and more sustainable world. The paper outlines the major organisational entities that the United Nations comprises, convenes or contributes to; reminds all Australians of the critical role that the United Nations plays in the rules-based international system; and advocates that it is in Australia's national security interests to contribute to, and strengthen, the United Nations. The paper also highlights Australia's continuing support for the Organisation since its formation in 1945.4 | UNAA '' UN RULES-BASED INTERNATIONAL ORDERUN Photo / Tobin Jones
Australia has a long history of active involvement in the United Nations: as a founding member in 1945, and on five occasions as a non-permanent member of the UNSC'--1946-47, 1956-57, 1973-74, 1985-86 and 2013-14. During its formation, and led by the Minister for External Affairs, Dr H. V. Evatt, the Australian delegation played an instrumental role in framing the UN Charter. The United Nations officially came into existence on 24 October 1945 upon ratification of the Charter by the permanent five members (P5)'--United States, Soviet Union (now the Russian Federation), United Kingdom, France and China'--and 41 other countries. On 17 January 1946, the UNSC met for the first time at Church House, Westminster, in London, United Kingdom. As an acknowledgement of Australia's contribution, Australia was elected to the Executive Committee of the UN Preparatory Commission, to the first UNSC, to the Economic and Social Council, and to the first Commission on Human Rights (CHR). Evatt himself was elected as President of the UNGA in 1948. Successive Australian governments have placed varying degrees of importance on the UN system and its subsidiary organs, but have continuously supported the Organisation and its need for reform.In 2017, Australia is the 11th largest financial contributor to the United Nations. Australia has consistently supported the UN's peace and security initiatives, but unlike many other countries Australia has filled very few senior posts (civilian and military) in the Organisation. In field operations, Australia has provided some military Force Commanders and Police Commissioners, but is yet to provide a Mission leader'--a Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG). In recent years, Australia's important contribution to UN peace operations has seriously declined and Australia is currently ranked 85th amongst Member States. In September 2017, Australia will celebrate 70 years 2 The Memorial is dedicated to all Australian peacekeepers: military, police and civilian. While most peacekeepers have served under the UN flag, Australia has also provided peacekeepers to non-UN missions, such as Somalia, Sierra Leone, B\ougainville and the Solomon Islands.of its commitment to UN peacekeeping, which commenced in Indonesia in 1947. To commemorate this, the Australian Peacekeeping Memorial will be unveiled on ANZAC Parade in Canberra.2The UN's Charter begins with the critical words we the peoples'.... Although comprised of Member States, the UN's founders also believed it important that civil society around the world should have active representation and involvement. Along with associations in other countries, Australian citizens were quick to form the United Nations Association of Australia (UNAA) in 1946. The UNAA continues to maintain an active presence throughout Australia to inform, inspire and engage all Australians to help promote the goals and work of the United Nations for a safer, fairer and more sustainable world. UNAA is a member of the World Federation of United Nations Associations (WFUNA). With membership of around 100 national associations, WFUNA helps advance the UN's vital work and expresses the needs and aspirations of civil society globally.The UNSC is the UN's principal body responsible for ensuring international peace and security. At the UN's formation, the P5 insisted on their right to exercise a veto to protect their interests. Australia argued against this veto except for Chapter VII actions, but the Soviet Union insisted on retaining this right more generally and the other great powers supported Moscow. Australia's concern that a great power could use its veto to override the wishes of the majority of UN members caused Australia to advocate for the UNGA to have the right to take up a case if the Council had not accepted responsibility for it. This successful proposal was one of Australia's key early achievements.Australia also worked to improve the human rights dimension of the UN Charter and hone the Organisation's social and economic aims. The AND THE UNITED NATIONSUNAA '' UN RULES-BASED INTERNATIONAL ORDER | 5
6 | UNAA '' UN RULES-BASED INTERNATIONAL ORDERefforts of the Australian delegation led to several positive amendments to the Charter. As well, Jessie Street, a member of the Australian delegation, worked with women from other delegations to ensure that the Preamble to the Charter affirmed the equal rights of men and women, and that human rights were to be respected regardless of race, sex, language or religion. The Human Rights Council (HRC) replaced the UN's CHR in 2006. In 2017, Australia is seeking a seat on the HRC for the first time. Australia also played an influential role in the formation of the ICJ, formed under Chapter XIV of the Charter as the UN's principal judicial body. Alongside other states, Australia pressed for the ICJ to possess compulsory jurisdiction with respect to all justifiable disputes, though the great powers blocked this expansive conception. Despite this setback, Australia did enjoy some successes. Australia campaigned with Cuba for the UN's Charter to include a requirement that would obligate states to follow the decisions of the ICJ in cases to which they were a party. This idea was adopted. In 2014, the ICJ made a binding decision on a case brought by Australia against Japan for whaling in the Antarctic. The ICJ found that Japan's whaling program in the Antarctic was not in accordance with the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling.
UNAA '' UN RULES-BASED INTERNATIONAL ORDER | 7The Australian Government's 2016 Defence White Paper refers to the 'rules-based global order' on 46 occasions. The document mentions the United Nations, but underestimates the UN's significant role in helping maintain international order. This was the first time the concept of a rules-based international order featured so prominently throughout a Defence White Paper.3 The 2016 Defence White Paper states that: 'The stability of the rules-based global order is essential for Australia's security and prosperity.'4 And the document describes the rules-based global order as a ''... broad architecture of international governance which has developed since the end of the Second World War. This governance framework, including the United Nations, international laws and conventions and regional security architectures, has helped support Australia's security and economic interests for 70 years.'5 Although this assessment is correct, the 2016 Defence White Paper fails to fully acknowledge the critical work of the United Nations in ensuring the rules-based international order, or to explain how national Defence capabilities and priorities support the UN's efforts to maintain peace and security'--the cornerstone of a rules-based international system. The document fails to highlight the significant occasions on which Australia's national security interests have been pursued through the United Nations. Little mention is made of the importance of UN peace operations, peacebuilding and conflict prevention, or of Australia's critical support to the United Nations in these essential endeavours for the maintenance of peace and security.3 The 2013 edition made reference on eight occasions; the 2009 edition four times (referred to as 'multipolar global order'); and nil in the 2000 edition. Department of Defence, 'White paper: links and down\loads: previous white papers', DoD website.4 Australian Government, '2016 Defence White Paper', Department of Defence, p. 15.5 Ibid., p. 45. RULE-OF-LAWA key aspect of the rules-based international order is the development of international law. While international law has been in existence long before the UN's formation, one of the UN's achievements has been to develop and strengthen international law. The UN Charter specifically seeks to 'establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained'...'. As such, the UNGA has adopted important multilateral treaties, including: >The Co nvention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (1948),>the Inter national Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (1965), >the Inter national Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966), >the Inter national Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966),>the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (1979),>the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (1982),>the Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989),>the Compr ehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (1996),>the Inter national Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism (1999), and >the Conven tion on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (2006). The rules-based international order can generally be described as a shared commitment by all countries to conduct their activities in accordance with agreed rules that evolve over time, such as international law, regional security arrangements, trade agreements, immigration protocols, and cultural arrangements.THE UNITED NATIONS AND THE RULES-BASED
Professor Ramesh Thakur (a former UN Assistant Secretary-General) points out the importance of the United Nations as a 'symbol of global governance'. Thakur maintains that the: '... UN will remain relevant for setting international standards and norms to regulate interstate behaviour. Norms, laws and treaties for governing the global commons will either be negotiated in UN forums, or ratified by the UN machinery. Its humanitarian service delivery functions are widely appreciated. Its peace operations offer the best crossover between cost efficiency and effectiveness.' And, 'There is no foreseeable substitute for the UN's institutional and political legitimacy. If international consensus exists, the United Nations can provide the most authoritative forum for translating that into new norms, treaties, policies and operations. No other forum could leverage that process more efficiently or effectively.' 6 UN PROGRAMSThrough its extensive global programs, funds, commissions and offices the United Nations makes a significant and positive contribution to the rules-based international order. The key agencies are:UNDP: The United Nations Development Programme works in nearly 170 countries and territories, helping to eradicate poverty , reduce inequalities and build resilience so countries can sustain progress. As the UN's development agency, UNDP plays a critical role in helping countries achieve the SDGs.UNICEF: The United Nations Children's Fund provides long-term humanitarian and development assistance to children and mothers.UNHCR: The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees protects refugees worldwide and facilitates their return home or resettlement.WFP: The World Food Programme aims to eradicate hunger and malnutrition. It is the world' s largest humanitarian agency. Every year, WFP feeds almost 80 million people in around 75 countries.UNODC: The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime helps Member States fight drugs, crime, and terrorism.6 R Thakur, 'Presence of UN makes exercise of power more effective: the body is a symbol of global governance', The Australian, 26 June 2012, p. 9.8 | UNAA '' UN RULES-BASED INTERNATIONAL ORDER
UNAA '' UN RULES-BASED INTERNATIONAL ORDER | 9UN Photo/UNHCRUNFPA: The United Nations Population Fund is the lead UN agency for delivering a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every birth is safe, and every young person's potential is fulfilled.UNCTAD: The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development is the United Nations body responsible for dealing with development issues, particularly international trade '' the main driver of development. UNEP: The United Nations Environment Programme established in 1972, is the voice for the environment within the UN system. UNEP acts as a catalyst, advocate, educator and facilitator to promote the wise use and sustainable development of the global environment.UNRWA: The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian refugees has contributed to the welfare and human development of four generations of Palestinian refugees, now numbering more than five million. It's services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, microfinance and emergency assistance, including in times of armed conflict. It reports only to the UNGA. UN Women: UN Women merges and builds on the important work of four previously distinct parts of the UN system, which focus exclusively on gen\der equality and women's empowerment.UN-Habitat: The mission of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme is to promote socially and environmentally sustainable human settlements development and the achievement of adequate shelter for all.
10 | UNAA '' UN RULES-BASED INTERNATIONAL ORDER INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICEThe ICJ was established under Chapter XIV of the UN Charter as the principal judicial organ of the United Nations. The ICJ has jurisdiction to decide on contentious cases br ought before it by States (not individuals) and give advisory opinions to the United Nations or specialised agencies. While all members of the United Nations are ipso facto parties to the Statute of the International Court of Justice under the UN Charter (Article 93), its jurisdiction is restricted to States that consent to a matter being heard by the ICJ under the ICJ Statute (Article 35). INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT (ICC)The permanent International Criminal Court was formally established on 1 July 2002 when the Rome Statute was ratified by 60 States. Unlike the ICJ, which only hears matters between States, the ICC can consider cases against individuals accused of genocide, crimes against h\umanity and war crimes that were committed on or after 1 July 2002. At present, 124 countries are State Parties to the Rome Statute, including Australia that signed the treaty on 9 December 1998 and ratified on 1 July 2002. UN SPECIALISED AGENCIESImportant contributions to an effective rules-based international order include a critical range of activities that many Australians take for granted'--such as international post, air travel, telecommunications, banking and much more. None of these would be possible without a well-established rules-based international order developed through negotiation and consultations and administered as autonomous UN specialised agencies. KEY SPECIALISED AGENCIES INCLUDE: TELECOMMUNICATIONS. The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is the oldest international organisation, which was established in 1865 during the time of the telegraph. The ITUs role is to allocate global radio spectrum and satellite orbits, develop the technical standards that ensure networks and technologies seamlessly interconnect, and strive to improve access to ICTs to underserved communities worldwide. The ITU's membership is made up of public and private sector participants: 193 Mem\ber States, 700 technology companies and a number of academic institutions and ICT regulators.POSTAL SERVICES. The Universal Postal Union (UPU) is the second oldest international organisation having been established in 1874. The UPU sets the rules for international mail exchange and has 192 member states that finance the organisation. Australia has been a member since 1907. On 1 July 1948, the \UPU became a specialised UN agency. The UPU is playing its part helping member states to work towards achieving the SDGs. AVIATION. International aviation agreements and standards were provisionally established in 1944 and then then formalised as a UN specialised agency, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). The ICAO manages the Convention on International Civil Aviation (Chicago Convention), which is legally binding on 191 Member States. Australia is currently one of 36 ICAO Council members for the period 2016''2019.
UNAA '' UN RULES-BASED INTERNATIONAL ORDER | 11FOOD. The UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) was established in 1945 as a specialised UN agency, through the agreement of 44 governments including Australia. The FAO's main objectives are to:> eliminate hunger , food insecurity and malnutrition;>make agricultur e, forestry and fisheries more productive and sustainable;>r educe rural poverty;>enable inclusive and efficient agricultural and food systems; and>incr ease the resilience of livelihoods to threats and crises. Another food security related agency, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), was established in 1977, initially as an international financial institution, and now has 176 Member States. IFAD's main focus is on eradicating rural poverty in developing countries.FINANCE. Following the Bretton Woods conference of July 1944, two organisations were formed: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). On 15 November 1947, the IBRD and the United Nations formalised their relationship. The IBRD later evolved into the World Bank Group of development institutions, currently including 189 members and comprised of the: >Inter national Bank for Reconstruction and Development, >Inter national Development Association, >Inter national Finance Corporation, >Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency , and >Inter national Centre for the settlement of Investment Disputes. The IMF was formed in 1944 with the primary purpose of ensuring the stability of the inter national monetary system'--the system of exchange rates and international payments that enables countries (and their citizens) to transact with each other. The Fund's mandate was updated in 2012 to include all macroeconomic and financial sector issues that bear on global stability. The IMF has 189 member countries. Towards the end of 2016 the IMF had $28 billion in outstanding loans to 74 nations. OTHER UN SPECIALISED AGENCIESOTHER UN SPECIALISED AGENCIES ALSO MAKE IMPORTANT CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE RULES-BASED INTERNATIONAL ORDER. THESE INCLUDE:>the Inter national Labour Organisation (ILO),>the Inter national Maritime Organization (IMO),>the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Or ganization (UNESCO),>the United Nations Industrial Development Or ganization (UNIDO),>the W orld Health Organization (WHO),>the W orld Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO),>the W orld Meteorological Organization (WMO), and>the W orld Tourism Organization (UNWTO).
12 | UNAA '' UN RULES-BASED INTERNATIONAL ORDER OTHER SPECIALISED UN-AFFILIATED INTERNATIONAL ORGANISATIONSTHE UNITED NATIONS IS ALSO FORMALLY AFFILIATED WITH A NUMBER OF IMPORTANT MULTILATERAL ORGANISATIONS. THESE INCLUDE THE: INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY (IAEA), the world's centre for cooperation in the nuclear field. The Agency works with its Memb\er States and multiple partners worldwide to promote the safe, secure and peaceful use of nuclear technologies.WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION (WTO), a forum for governments to negotiate trade agreements, and a place where member governments try to sort out the trade problems they face with each other.PREPARATORY COMMISSION FOR THE COMPREHENSIVE NUCLEAR-TEST-BAN TREATY ORGANIZATION (CTBTO), promotes the Treaty (not yet in force) and the build-up of the verification regime so that it is operational when the Treaty enters into force.ORGANISATION FOR THE PROHIBITION OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS (OPCW), the implementing body of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), which entered into force in 1997. OPCW Member States work together to achieve a world free of chemical weapons.INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL POLICE ORGANIZATION (ICPO-INTERPOL), officially created in 1923 and has 190 member countries working together on a daily b\asis, using the databases, tools and secure communications systems that the Organisation offers.INTERNATIONAL HYDROGRAPHIC ORGANIZATION (IHO), established in 1921 as an intergovernmental consultative and technical organisation to support safety of navigation and the protection of the marine environment.INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR THE UNIFICATION OF PRIVATE LAW (UNIDROIT), originally a product of the League of Nations having been set up as an auxiliary organ in 1926. Following the demise of the League of Nations, UNIDROIT was re-established in 1940 under a multilateral agreement known as the UNIDROIT Statute. Only States that accede to the Statute ca\n gain membership: currently there are 63 members, including Australia.
UNAA '' UN RULES-BASED INTERNATIONAL ORDER | 13UN Photo/Rick BajornasSince its formation in 1945, the UN's structure and operations have been subject to significant scrutiny and change. The Organisation's traditional role in peace operations, for example, has changed remarkably in order to deal with the contemporary nature of international conflict and insecurity. A series of reviews have resulted in changes to the workings and composition of the UNSC, UNGA and\ the organisational structure and responsibilities of the Secretariat, but changes have been incremental. SECURITY COUNCIL REFORMThe powers of the UNSC include the establishment of peacekeeping and special political and peacebuilding missions, as well as the authorisation of international sanctions and military action. The UNSC is the only UN body with the authority to issue binding resolutions to member states and, unlike the UNGA which meets annually, it is on permanent stand-by to deal with emergencies. Along with the P5 members, the UNSC has temporary members on a rotating basis by geographic region. In its first two decades, the UNSC had six non-permanent members, which expanded to 10 in 1968. Non-permanent members are elected by the UNGA for two-year terms starting on 1 January, with five replaced each year. Despite the many changes that have occurred within the UN system, reform of the UNSC has proved the most difficult, with P5 members failing to agree on changes to composition and veto rights. The use of veto by the P5 members of the Council remains a particularly contentious issue. Substantial pressure to reform the UNSC has been building in recent years, with reform proposals being promoted by groups such as the Global Centre for the 7 General Assembly of the United Nations, 'Code of Conduct regarding Security Council action against genocide, crimes against humanity or war crimes', statement, 23 October 20158 The Elders, 'Strengthening the United Nations', statement, 7 February 2015.Responsibility to Protect (GlobalR2P) and The Elders (an influential group founded by Nelson Mandela and currently chaired by former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan). > In May 2013, under the GlobalR2P umbrella, the Accountability, Coherence and Transparency (ACT) Group was formed, with 27 small and mid-sized countries promoting UNSC reform. In July 2015, the ACT Group circulated a Code of Conduct that called on Council members 'to not vote against any credible draft resolution intended to prevent or halt mass atrocities'. Two P5 members, France and the UK, recently demonstrated their willingness to promote veto restraint in cases where genocide or mass atrocities are being reported. The ACT Code of Conduct was officially launched in the UNGA on 23 October 2015.7> On 7 February 2015, The Elders adopted a statement on strengthening the United Nations.8 UN Photo/Rick Bajornas
14 | UNAA '' UN RULES-BASED INTERNATIONAL ORDER ORGANISATIONAL REFORMNumerous proposals for organisational reform have been put forward. Some of these have been accepted, including a resolution adopted on 3 October 1995 by the UNGA on strengthening the UN system. This resolution noted the work already underway at that time by numerous working groups on specific reform topics.9 In 1992, through the initiative of Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali, the UNSC adopted An agenda for Peace: preventative diplomacy, peacemaking and peacekeeping.10 This report highlighted that peacekeeping alone was insufficient to ensure lasting peace and set out four basic tracks through which peace might be pursued: preventative diplomacy, peacemaking, peacekeeping and post-conflict peacebuilding. The Agenda for Peace stressed that the United Nations must always respect the fundamental sovereignty of Member States, and described the concept of post-conflict peacebuilding as action to identify and support structures that help solidify peace and avoid a relapse into conflict.In 1997, Secretary-General Kofi Annan, presented a report to the UNGA, titled Renewing the United Nations, that sought to build on earlier reforms and further transform the leadership and management structure of the United Nations. Annan's aim was to 'renew the confidence of Member States in the relevance and effectiveness of the Organisation and revitalize the spirit and commitment of its staff'.11 Many of Annan's proposals were adopted in UNGA Resolution 52/12 of November 1997, including: >establishing the Deputy Secretary-General position;>revitalising the working methods of the UNGA;>prescribing a time frame for concluding status-of-forces agreements between the UN and the host government for peacekeeping operations;>revising the work undertaken by the Disarmament Commission and the First 9 United Nations General Assembly, 'Resolution adopted by the General Assembly: strengthening the United Nations system', A/RES/49/252, 3 October 1995.10 An agenda for Peace: preventative diplomacy, peacemaking and peacekeeping, Report of the Secretary-General of the United Nations pursuant to the statement adopted by the Summit Meeting of the S\ecurity Council on 31 January 1992. 11 United Nations General Assembly, Renewing the United Nations: a programme for reform A/51/950, 14 July 1997. 12 Report of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty (ICSS), The Responsibility to Protect, Ottawa, Canada, December 2001, http://responsibilitytoprotect.org/ICISS%20Report.pdf.13 M Albright, R Cook, L Dini, L Axworthy, A Palacio and S Pitsuwan, 'A new UN', Wall Street Journal, cited in Global Policy Forum, website, 8 July 2005.14 Ibid.Committee of the UNGA with the intent of updating, rationalising and streamlining; and>discontinuing the High-level Advisory Boar d on Sustainable Development.THERE HAVE ALSO BEEN IMPORTANT EXTERNAL EFFORTS TO REFORM THE UNITED NATIONS. FOR EXAMPLE: >I n September 2000, the Canadian government established the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty (ICISS) to recommend how the international community should better respond to humanitarian and human rights disasters such as Rwanda and Srebrenica. In 2001 the ICISS, co-chaired by Gareth Evans (former Australian Foreign Minister and then President and Chief Executive of the International Crisis Group) and the Secretary-General's Special Advisor Mohamed Sahnoun (a senior diplomat from Algeria) presented their recommendations in a document titled Responsibility to Protect (R2P) which addressed the requirements to prevent and respond to acts of genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.12 >In July 2005, former foreign ministers from Canada, Italy, Spain, Thailand, the United Kingdom and the United States, wrote an open letter to the Wall Street Journal calling for UN reform.13 The letter supported the establishment of the HRC, acceptance of the Secretary-General's definition of 'terrorism', recognition of the R2P norm, better support for the Community of Democracies (an international organisation comprising the government, civil society and private sector to promote democracy), and a greater commitment of aid from developed countries.14
UNAA '' UN RULES-BASED INTERNATIONAL ORDER | 15> In 2016, the ICM (headed by former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd) presented its final report titled Pulling together: the multilateral system and its future. The report highlighted the urgent need for UN reform, identifying 10 general principles of change and recommending 15 specific issues that needed to be addressed if the United Nations was to be effective.15 In late 2003, Kofi Annan commissioned the High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change to review the effectiveness of the United Nations in meeting contemporary challenges. The panel was chaired by Anand Panyarachun, a former Prime Minister of Thailand, and included Gareth Evans from Australia. The panel's report, A more secure world: our shared responsibility, was presented in late 2004 and recommended far reaching reforms.16 Annan used this report in preparing for the 2005 World Summit, for which he presented In Larger Freedom: Towards Security, Development and Human Rights for All. This ambitious report called for broad reforms, including expanding membership of the UNSC, replacing the CHR with a standing HRC, the adoption of R2P, and overhauling the Secretariat.17 Many of Annan's proposals were agreed by national leaders at the World Summit, including the application of the R2P norm, re-commitment to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and the establishment of the HRC in 2006 to replace the CHR.18 Each year since the 2005 World Summit, the UNGA has continued to support the Ad Hoc Working Group on the revitalisation of the UNGA, resulting in numerous changes that are mostly 15 ICM, op. cit.16 Report of the High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change: A more secure world: our shared responsibility, 2004, http://www.un.org/en/peacebuilding/pdf/historical/hlp_more_secure_world.pdf. 17 UN World Summit, In Larger Freedom: towards Security, Development and Human Rights for All, September 2005.18 United Nations General Assembly, '2005 World Summit outcome', A/RES/60/1, 24 October 2005; United Nations Hum\an Rights Council, 'About the Human Rights Council', UNHRC website.19 B Ki-Moon, 'Remarks to the General Assembly on the revitalization of the work of the General Assembly', speech, 3 Novembe\r 2015.20 Ibid.21 Report of the High-level Independent Panel on Peace Operations: Unit\ing our strengths for peace: politics, partnership and people, http://www.un.org/en/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/70/95.22 Report of the advisory group of experts on the 2015 review of the UN peacebuilding architecture, The Challenge of Sustaining Peace, http://www.un.org/en/peacebuilding/pdf/150630%20Report%20of%20the%20AGE%20on%20the%20201\5%20Peacebuilding%20Review%20FI.NAL.pdf.23 Report of high-level advisory group for the global study on the implementation of Security Council resolution 1325 (2000) on women, peace and security, Preventing conflict, transforming justice, securing the peace, http://ww\w2.unwomen.org/-/media/files/un%20women/wps/highlights/unw-global-study-1325-2015.pdf?vs=2435.administrative in nature. In November 2015, Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon, remarked on the program to revitalise the work of the UNGA, noting improvements to the functions of the Office of the UNGA President following allegations of corruption against the President of the 68th Session.19 The Secretary-General called for greater transparency and accountability arguing that 'the United Nations should embody the highest level of integrity and ethical standards'. He acknowledged the work already achieved under the revitalisation program and welcomed the UNGA's involvement of civil society 'whose voices and actions can add great value to our work'. Part of the revitalisation program included measures for selecting and appointing future UN Secretary-Generals, which were implemented for the selection of Moon's replacement.20 Before the succession of Antonio Guterres as the UN's ninth Secretary-General in January 2017, Moon oversaw the submission of a series of reform initiatives. Key amongst these were the report of the High-level Independent Panel on Peace Operations, Uniting Our Strengths for Peace: Politics, Partnership and People,21 chaired by Jose Ramos Horta, Nobel Peace Laureate and former President and Prime Minister of Timor-Leste; the Advisory Group of Experts on the 2015 Review of the United Nations Peacebuilding Architecture, The Challenge of Sustaining Peace;22 and the High-Level Advisory Group for the Global Study on the Implementation of UNSC Resolution 1325 (2000) on women, peace, and security, Preventing Conflict, Transforming Justice, Securing the Peace.23 The implementation of the findings of these reports will be important in the UN's continuing reform program.
'' A SAFER WORLD16 | UNAA '' UN RULES-BASED INTERNATIONAL ORDERUN Photo/Eskinder DebebeThe UN Charter gives the UNSC primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security. In fulfilling this responsibility the Council may adopt a range of measures, including the establishment of UN peacekeeping operations, special political and peacebuilding missions, and/or the implementation \of sanctions or military action.The United Nations has no standing armed forces of its own and the military and police personnel deployed to field missions are provided by Member States. The legal basis for such action is found in Chapters VI, VII and VIII of the Charter. Chapter VI deals with the 'Pacific Settlement of Disputes'; Chapter VII contains provisions related to 'Action with Respect to Threats to the Peace, Breaches of the Peace and Acts of Aggression'; and Chapter VIII provides for the involvement of regional arrangements and agencies in the maintenance of international peace and security, provided such activities are consistent with the purposes and principles outlined in Chapter I.The traditional role of peacekeeping, to monitor ceasefires and separate inter-state parties, was largely transformed following the end of the Cold War, with the United Nations increasingly being required to intervene in a growing number of intra-state conflicts. Some security actors no longer respected geographic borders, international law, or the neutrality of the United Nations. The challenges facing peace operations were exacerbated by the increased threat of terrorism and organized crime, as well as the impact of human trafficking and environmental degradation on human security. The term 'complex peace operations' became commonplace to describe these 'messy' interventions. Since the end of the Cold War, peace missions have been increasingly deployed to help prevent conflict, stabilise fractured countries, and to help maintain the rule of law in insecure environments where there has been an uncertain peace to keep. In dealing with these complex situations the UN's limitations were highlighted in the landmark Report of the Panel on United Nations Peace Operations (Brahimi Report) of 2000, commissioned by Kofi Annan. The Brahimi Report highlighted UN deficiencies and the lack of support from Member States, and recommended significant organisational change, improved unity
UNAA '' UN RULES-BASED INTERNATIONAL ORDER | 17of effort, better planning and decision-making, and rapid deployment when required.24 Since the Brahimi Report there have been continuing efforts to improve the effectiveness of the United Nations, including an initiative to enhance resources through strengthened partnership with Member States and regional organisations,25 the development of guidelines to improve the protection of civilians,26 and improved logistical support arrangements.27 Despite these significant efforts, however, there remains much room for improvement, as identified in the report of the 2015 High-level Independent Panel on Peace Operations (already referred to). Among other initiatives, the panel's report called for greater attention on conflict prevention mechanisms and peacebuilding, to be better facilitated by an overhaul of the UN's inefficient personnel management system. The UN's limitations in peace operations notwithstanding, it is clear that the world would be far less secure and millions of people more at risk without the United Nations. For example, a 2005 RAND Corporation study concluded that 'the United Nations provides the most suitable institutional framework for all but the largest and most demanding of nation-building missions due to the UN's comparative low cost structure, high success rate, and high degree of international legitimacy'.28 The study compared UN nation-building efforts to those of the United States and found that UN missions were far more cost effective and successful, with seven out of eight UN case studies having resulted in peaceful outcomes at that time.29 The United Nations peacekeeping 'Capstone Doctrine' describes the five main measures available to the United Nations.30 In reality, these measures are seldom implemented in isolation and interventions often reflect elements of all categories:24 UN A/55/305-S/2000/809, 21 August 2000, Report of the Panel on Unite\d Nations Peace Operations (Brahimi Report), http://www.un.org/documents/ga/docs/55/a55305.pdf.25 A New Partnership Agenda: charting a new horizon for UN Peacekeeping\, Department of Peacekeeping Operations and Department of Field Support, New York, July 2009, http://www.un.org/en/peacekeeping/documents/newhorizon.pdf.26 Protecting Civilians in the Context of UN Peacekeeping Operations: success\es, setbacks and remaining challenges, New York, November 2009, http://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/B752FF2063E282B08525767100751B90-unocha_protecting_nov2009.pdf.27 UN Global Field Support Strategy, A/64/633 26 January 2010, http://www.un.org/en/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/64/633.28 RAND Corporation media release 2005, http://www.rand.org/news/press/2005/02/18.html.29 RAND Corporation, James Dobbins et al, The UN's Role in Nation-Building: from Congo to Iraq, 2005. The eight casse studies were Belgian Congo, Namibia, El Salvador, Cambodia, Mozambique, Eastern Slavonia, Sierra Leone and Timor-Leste. http://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/monographs/2005/RAND_MG304.pdf.30 United Nations, United Nations Peacekeeping Operations; Principles a\nd Guidelines, United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations, 2008, p. 13.CONFLICT PREVENTION involves the application of structural or diplomatic measures to keep intra-state or inter-state tensions and disputes from escalating into violent conflict. Ideally, it should build on structured early warning, information gathering and a careful analysis of the factors driving the conflict. Conflict prevention activities may include the use of the Secretary- General's 'good offices', preventive deployment or confidence-building measures.PEACEMAKING generally includes measures to address conflicts in progress and usually involves diplomatic action to bring hostile parties to a negotiated agreement. The United Nations Secretary-General, upon the request of the UNSC or the UNGA or at his/her own initiative, may exercise his/her ''good offices'' to facilitate the resolution of the conflict. Peacemakers may also be envoys, governments, groups of states, regional organisations or the United Nations. Peacemaking efforts may also be under-taken by unofficial and non-governmental groups, or by a prominent personality working independently.PEACEKEEPING is a technique designed to preserve the peace, however fragile, where fighting has been halted, and to assist in implementing agreements achieved by the peacemakers. Over the years, peacekeeping has evolved from a primarily military model of observing cease-fires and the separation of forces after inter-state wars, to incorporate a complex model of many elements''military, police and civilian''working together to help lay the foundations for sustainable peace. The three guiding principles underlying all peacekeeping operations are: consent of the parties, impartiality, and the non-use of force except in self-defence and defence of the mandate.
Peacekeeping is financed in the same way as the broader United Nations with a system of assessed contributions. In practice this means that countries with developed economies pay more and those with less developed economies tend to provide the bulk of the personnel.PEACE ENFORCEMENT involves the application, with the authorization of the UNSC, of a range of coercive measures, including the use of military force. Such actions are authorized to restore international peace and security in situations where the UNSC has determined the existence of a threat to the peace, breach of the peace or act of aggression. The Council may utilize, where appropriate, regional organizations and agencies for enforcement action under its authority.PEACEBUILDING involves a range of measures targeted to reduce the risk of lapsing or relapsing into conflict by strengthening national capacities at all levels for conflict management, and to lay the foundation for sustainable peace and development. Peacebuilding is a complex, long-term process of creating the necessary conditions for sustainable peace. It works by addressing the deep-rooted, structural causes of violent conflict in a comprehensive manner. Peacebuilding measures address core issues that affect the functioning of society and the State. 31 The breakdown of the 102,081 personnel was: military 87,254, police 13,079, ci\vilians 1,757, http://www.un.org/en/peacekeeping/documents/Yearly.pdf.32 The breakdown of the 3,701 personnel was: uniformed (military and police) 83\8, civilian 950, locally engaged civilians 1,819, and UN Volunteers 94, http://www.un.org/undpa/sites/www.un.org.undpa/files/ppbm_November_2015.pdf.33 Refer http://www.un.org/en/peacekeeping/contributors/2016/dec16_2.pdf.34 UN Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations, http://www.un.org/en/peacekeeping/ctte/CTTEE.htm.As at June 2016, 102,081 military, police and civilian personnel were serving in 16 peacekeeping missions with a peacekeeping budget of around US$8.2 billion per annum.31 In addition, 3,701 UN personnel were deployed on 11 political and peacebuilding missions,32 while numerous special envoys, advisers and rapporteurs were actively pursuing peace initiatives in trouble spots around the globe.Although Australia has been a consistent contributor to UN peace operations, by December 2016 it's contribution had fallen to an all time low. With only 36 peacekeepers deployed (16 troops, 13 military experts and seven police), Australia was ranked a lowly 87th,33 thereby enabling Australia to have only limited influence in the important Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations, which was established on 18 February 1965 to conduct a comprehensive review of issues relating to peacekeeping.34 102,081 personnel serving16 peacekeeping missionsUS $8.2 billionpeacekeeping budget per annum 36 Australian peacekeepers deployed in 201618 | UNAA '' UN RULES-BASED INTERNATIONAL ORDER
AND HUMAN RIGHTS '' A FAIRER WORLDUNAA '' UN RULES-BASED INTERNATIONAL ORDER | 19In addition to the work of the UNSC, the UNGA, the Secretariat, and its numerous peace missions, the Organisation provides an enormous contribution in the critical areas of humanitarian action and human rights, both of which are key contributors to an effective rules-based international order. One of the purposes of the United Nations, as stated in its Charter, is to achieve international cooperation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural, or humanitarian character. The Organisation is relied upon by the international community to help coordinate humanitarian relief operations, mitigate the impacts of natural and man-made disasters, promote sustainable development through the SDGs and thereby reduce poverty. HUMANITARIAN ACTIONThe UN's humanitarian action is coordinated through the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), and implemented through its purpose specific humanitarian agencies, such as UNHCR and UNRWA (for refugees), WFP, UNICEF, UNFPA and UN-Habitat (mentioned earlier). UNDP plays a special role in managing development programs and providing UN Resident Coordinators in many countries to deal with disaster management. Australia has traditionally been a major contributor to the UN's humanitarian efforts, including with the resettlement of refugees (the current situation with Manus Island and Nauru notwithstanding).35 United Nations General Assembly, 'Human Rights Council', UNGA Resolution 251, A/RES/60/251, adopt\ed 15 March 2006, distributed 3 April 2006.36 Ibid.37 United Nations General Assembly, 'General Assembly establishes new Human Rights Council by vote of 1\70 in favour to 4 against, with 3 abstentions', press release, 15 March 2006. HUMAN RIGHTS The United Nations has always performed a critical role in monitoring and improving human rights, particularly for the most disadvantaged in poorer countries and in regions affected by conflict. The HRC was established on 15 March 2006 to replace the CHR as a subsidiary organ of the UNGA (Resolution 251).35 The change was made mainly because of complaints about 'excessive politicization' and States seeking membership 'to protect themselves against criticism or to criticize others'.36 Through the CANZ group (Canada, Australia, New Zealand), Australia participated actively in supporting the establishment of the HRC, including the adoption of the Universal Periodic Review mechanism, under which the human rights records of all Member States are reviewed every four years. The HRC elevated human rights within the hierarchy of UN bodies, whereas its predecessor, the CHR, had been a functional commission of the ECOSOC. As a subsidiary organ of the UNGA, the HRC has the authority to submit relevant recommendations to the UNGA and other UN bodies via the Assembly.37 UN Photo/Martine Perret
'' A MORE SUSTAINABLE WORLD20 | UNAA '' UN RULES-BASED INTERNATIONAL ORDER THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS (SDGS)In September 2000, the UN Millennium Declaration was adopted by Member States with a deadline of 2015. The eight targets for developing countries were known as the MDGs. The SDGs replaced the MDGs in September 2015, unanimously endorsed by all Member States as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The SDGs are a set of 17 goals and 169 targets that all Member States are to achieve and report against. The purpose of the SDGs is to mobilize action over the next 15 years towards ending poverty and hunger, protecting the world from environmental degradation, and fostering prosperous, peaceful, just and inclusive societies. The 17 Goals are:GOAL 1. End poverty in all its forms everywhereGOAL 2. End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agricultureGOAL 3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all agesGOAL 4. Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for allGOAL 5. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girlsGOAL 6. Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for al\lGOAL 7. Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for allGOAL 8. Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
UNAA '' UN RULES-BASED INTERNATIONAL ORDER | 21GOAL 9. Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovationGOAL 10. Reduce inequality within and among countriesGOAL 11. Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainableGOAL 12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patternsGOAL 13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts. (Acknowledging th\at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is the primary international, intergovernmental forum for negotiating the global response to climate change.)GOAL 14. Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable developmentGOAL 15. Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity lossGOAL 16. Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levelsGOAL 17. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development
22 | UNAA '' UN RULES-BASED INTERNATIONAL ORDERTwo key agreements have shaped the international community's approach to climate change, the 1997 Kyoto Protocol38 and the 2015 Paris Agreement.39 The Kyoto Protocol is an international agreement that commits developed countries to binding targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Under the Protocol, countries must meet their targets primarily through national measures. However, the Protocol also offers them an additional means to meet their targets by way of three market-based mechanisms: International Emissions Trading, Clean Development Mechanism, and Joint Implementation. These mechanisms were designed to help stimulate green investment and help Parties meet their emission targets in a cost-effective way. The Kyoto Protocol also assists countries in adapting to the adverse effects of climate change by facilitating the development and deployment of technologies that can help increase resilience to the impacts of climate change. The Kyoto Protocol's first commitment period ran from 2008 to 2012 and aimed to reduce the collective greenhouse gas emissions of developed country Parties by at least five per cent below 1990 levels. In 2012, the Protocol was amended to establish a second commitment period from 2013 to 2020. Australia ratified the Protocol on 3 December 2007.40 The Paris Agreement was adopted by all 196 Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) during a conference in Paris held from 30 November to 12 December 2015. The Agreement obliges all Parties to take coordinated action to address climate change from 2020. Key elements of the Agreement include:>a global goal to hold average temperatur e increase to well below 2 degrees centigrade and pursue efforts to keep warming below 1.5 degrees centigrade above pre-industrial levels;>all countries to set mitigation tar gets from 2020 and review targets every five years to build ambition over time, informed by a global stocktake;38 The information in this section is drawn from United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, 'Kyoto Protocol', n.d., accessed 3 November 2016.39 Refer https://unfccc.int/resource/docs/2015/cop21/eng/l09r01.pdf 40 Australia adopted a Quantified Emissions Limitation or Reduction O\bligation (QELRO) limiting Australia's emissions growth over the first commitment period to 108 per cent of 1990 levels. Australia \submitted a second commitment period QELRO of 99.5 per cent, consistent with the Government's unconditional target to reduce emissions by five per cent below 2000 levels by 2020.41 Refer http://www.unglobalcompact.org.au/about/principles/, downloaded 7 February 2017> robust transparency and accountability rules to provide confidence in countries' actions and track progress towards targets;>pr omoting action to adapt and build resilience to climate impacts; and>financial, technological and capacity building support to help developing countries implement the Agreement.Under the Agreement, Australia has set a target to reduce its greenhouse emissions by 26-28 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. The Agreement entered into force on 4 November 2016. THE UN GLOBAL COMPACTThe United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) is the world's largest corporate sustainability initiative, with over 12,000 participating businesses and other organisations. The UNGC works with business to create a sustainable and inclusive global economy that delivers lasting benefits to all people, communities and markets. UNGC is both a practical framework for action and a platform for demonstrating corporate commitment and leadership. The initiative combines the global reach, convening power and moral authority of the United Nations with the private sector's solution-finding strengths and the expertise and capacities of a range of stakeholders. UNGC members voluntarily pledge to:>operate r esponsibly in accordance with the UNGC's; 41> take actions that support the society ar ound it;> commit to the ef fort from the organisation's highest level, pushing sustainability deep into its DNA;>r eport annually on the organisation's ongoing efforts; and>engage locally wher e the organisation has a presence. CLIMATE CHANGE
In an increasingly multipolar and unpredictable world order a commitment to an effective rules-based international system is required more than ever. The United Nations continues to be central in promoting global stability, human rights and sustainable development, and for small and medium countries, including Australia, the Organisation provides a neutral platform and force multiplier. But there are no easy solutions in the quest for durable peace and security, for ensuring justice and human rights for all, and for alleviating poverty a\nd working collectively for a more sustainable world. The United Nations is far from perfect and in need of continuing reform, but the world is far better for the United Nations and there is no viable alternative to replace it. If Member States want the Organisation to work efficiently then they must provide sufficient resources and advocate for meaningful reform. Born from the horrors of the Second World War and its more than 50 million victims, there should be no appetite to return to an anarchic world with senseless competition between major and emerging powers. More than 70 years ago Australia played an influential role in the establishment of the United Nations. Australia can boast a proud record of continuing its support for the Organisation, often to the benefit of its own national security interests in the Asia Pacific region. Given contemporary international uncertainty the United Nations needs Australia's support more than ever ... and Australia needs the United Nations more than ever. In addition to continuing to provide significant financial contributions, Australia should nominate for m\ore senior positions within the Organisation, and should reclaim its historical influence by contributing more purposefully to the UN's efforts in conflict prevention, peacekeeping and peacebuilding. In so doing, Australia will make a significant contribution to enhancing the rules-based international order.UNAA '' UN RULES-BASED INTERNATIONAL ORDER | 23Inform. Inspire. Engage.UN Photo/Mark Garten
United Nations Association of Australiawww.unaa.org.auPhone: 02 6247 4499Postal Address: Office 206, Griffin Centre, 20 Genge St. Canberra City, ACT 2601 AustraliaUN Photo/Joao Araujo Pinto
US challenging rules-based international order: EU president - Pars Today
Sat, 09 Jun 2018 15:12
The European Union president, Donald Tusk, has expressed worries that US President Donald Trump is in fact threatening the rules-based international order established in the wake of the Cold War by his attempts to break or renegotiate a number of international agreements.
''It is evident that the American president and the rest of the group continue to disagree on trade, climate change and the Iran nuclear deal,'' Tusk said at a press conference ahead of the 44th G7 summit in the Canadian town of La Malbaie, north of Quebec, on Friday.
In June last year, Trump announced that he would pull his country out of the 2015 global agreement to fight climate change, known as the Paris Agreement, characterizing the move as ''a reassertion of American sovereignty'', drawing at the time rebuke from Democrats at home and world leaders who had pressed him not to abandon the 197-nation accord.
The American leader, on May 8, also walked away from the landmark nuclear agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which was reached between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council - the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China - plus Germany.
He further vowed to reinstate US nuclear sanctions on Iran and impose "the highest level" of economic bans on the Islamic Republic. His controversial decision faced criticism from the EU and the other signatories of the historic deal.
Furthermore, Trump decided in March to restrict the import of metals from the EU, imposing 25-percent tariffs on steel and 15-percent tariffs on aluminum. The move infuriated the bloc, prompting it to take counter-measures by preparing a hit-list for tariffs targeting typical American products, including blue jeans, motorbikes and whiskey.
''What worries me most, however, is the fact that the rules-based international order is being challenged, quite surprisingly not by the usual suspects but by its main architect and guarantor, the US,'' Tusk further said at the presser.
The G7 summit, which groups Canada, the US, the UK, France, Italy, Japan and Germany, is slated to be held on June 8-9. The G7 nations represent more than 60 percent of global net worth.
In 2014, after the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea joined Russia after a referendum, Russia was suspended from the group, at the time called G8, because of its ''annexation'' of Crimea. Moscow, however, said then that it had been the Crimeans' will displayed in the plebiscite, in which 96.8 percent of participants voted in favor of the move, to become part of the Russian Federation, and not an occupation or a forced annexation as the West claims to be.
Shortly before departing for Canada, Trump, however, said that Russia should be readmitted to the group. His remarks shocked other G7 nations, prompting them to direct a barrage of criticism toward him.
''Let's leave the G7 as it is,'' said Tusk, adding that they could not force the White House to change its mind.
''At the same time we will not stop trying to convince our American friends and President Trump that undermining this order makes no sense at all, because it would only play into the hands of those who seek a new post-West order where liberal democracy and fundamental freedoms would cease to exist,'' the EU president further said.
Top EU figure: Trump is 'undermining' world order the US created
Sat, 09 Jun 2018 15:07
Skip to content''We will not stop trying to convince our American friends and President Trump that undermining this order makes no sense at all.''A top European Union figure said Friday that President Trump is ''undermining'' the U.S.-led international order.
''The rules-based international order is being challenged '... not by the usual suspects but by its main architect and guarantor, the U.S.,'' Donald Tusk, president of the European Commission, told reporters at a news conference according to The Washington Post. The conference took place ahead of the Group of Seven summit in Canada.
''We will not stop trying to convince our American friends and President Trump that undermining this order makes no sense at all, because it would only play into the hands of those who seek a new, post-West order, where liberal democracy and fundamental freedoms would cease to exist,'' he said.Tusk spoke just hours after Trump had suggested Russia be reinstated into the group '-- a suggestion that garnered bipartisan condemnation.
''This is weak,'' said Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), a vocal Trump critic. ''Putin is not our friend and he is not the president's buddy. He is a thug using Soviet-style aggression to wage a shadow war against America, and our leaders should act like it.''
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Jack Posobiec on Twitter: "The entire left who spend the last two years screaming about foreign influence are now cheering for Germany, France, and Canada against the US president. Really."
Sun, 10 Jun 2018 03:27
Log in Sign up Jack Posobiec🇺🇸 @ JackPosobiec The entire left who spend the last two years screaming about foreign influence are now cheering for Germany, France, and Canada against the US president. Really.
8:07 PM - 9 Jun 2018 OJ @ Whitecaps1
19m Replying to
@JackPosobiec Crazy right
View conversation · mary chaffee @ marychacha
19m Replying to
@JackPosobiec Who's side are they on??
View conversation · sara 🌹 @ sara_Hamilton1
18m Replying to
@JackPosobiec Well ,it's no surprise after they cheered MS-13, Hamas, Antifa and NK
View conversation · Volodimir Shevchenko @ radiogalaxy4
18m Replying to
@JackPosobiec Trump openly entered the battle as a Putin's warrior - in the long time hybrid offensive of the Moscow Nazi horde against the European civilization.
View conversation · Ticklante @ FTKL
18m Replying to
@JackPosobiec Proof that Trump Derangement Syndrome is real. smh
View conversation · Ethan Charles @ The_Oracle19
18m Replying to
@JackPosobiec Leftism is a disease
View conversation · TradingBad @ TraedingBad
18m Replying to
@JackPosobiec @NYDailyNews @NYDailyNews Defends george soros.
View conversation · Esox Masquinongy #SethRich @ Joelsh12
18m Replying to
@JackPosobiec Can't get any stupider!
View conversation · Lisa Kay not a bot @ Lisa61814752
18m Replying to
@JackPosobiec Why are they so crazy?
View conversation · Terry Niebeling @ terryniebeling
18m Replying to
@JackPosobiec Anything to prove a point... Wait, what point are we arguing today?
View conversation · Trump Supporter @ cdmerrill2
16m Replying to
@JackPosobiec @Herbert_L_Reed Those cheering against the US need to be exiled to the countries they want to cheer for. If you want to act like an anti-American then you should lose your citizenship and exiled.
View conversation · Jolene Doty @ JoleneDoty
16m Replying to
@JackPosobiec #Irony View conversation · The Catch Fence ' @ TheCatchFence
16m Replying to
@JackPosobiec they're our ''allies'' so long as they can take advantage of us. With allies like that, who needs enemies?
View conversation · Mat-N-Sher @ matandsher
15m Replying to
@JackPosobiec @SenateDems @HouseDemocrats The media, the
@SenateDems @HouseDemocrats are openly rooting against our President...unreal! They stand up for foreign countries, MS13 and illegal immigrants rather than the USA. It is un-freakin-real.
#MAGA #AmericaFirst View conversation · swaddlethatbaby @ bigplaincircle
15m Replying to
@JackPosobiec It's quite unbelievable yet not- these traitors are exposing themselves and Trump and Patriots that love America are winning!
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A guide to understanding the dairy dispute between the U.S. and Canada - The Globe and Mail
Sun, 10 Jun 2018 00:08
High tariffs, ultrafiltered milk and supply management play key roles in the dispute
Dairy cows are shown in a barn on a farm in Eastern Ontario on Wednesday, April 19, 2017.
Why are U.S. dairy farmers mad at Canada?
Canada has long maintained a high tariff wall on most dairy products. The duty on milk is 270 per cent. That keeps most imports from the United States and elsewhere out of Canada, while helping to prop up higher domestic prices. One notable exception is ultrafiltered milk and other protein-rich dairy ingredients used to make dairy products such as cheese and yogurt. North American free-trade rules do not cover these ingredients, so they enter Canada duty-free. And in recent years, U.S. dairies have developed a booming business selling these low-cost products to dairies in Canada ($133-million last year). That all changed about a year ago, when Canadian dairy farmers and producers moved to close the breach in the tariff wall with a new "ingredients strategy." They persuaded regulators to create a new lower-priced class of industrial milk as an incentive to get dairies to produce protein substances in Canada, using Canadian milk. The result was predictable: U.S. imports fell in 2016, and are declining sharply so far this year.
What is ultrafiltered milk?
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Milk is made up of three main components '' milk fat, protein-rich solids and water. New technology has made it easier to separate milk into its component parts and concentrate them by reducing water content. This makes protein substances easier and cheaper to ship compared with raw milk. It also increases the efficiency of cheese production, particularly if the ingredients include cheaper U.S. milk.
Read more: The milk war: How a letter in Wisconsin set off a trade dispute between the U.S. and Canada
What is supply management?
Supply management is the uniquely Canadian regime that governs virtually every aspect of milk, chicken and egg production. The system depends on three "pillars" '' a tariff wall to block imports, strict quotas that determine how much each farmer can produce and fixed prices paid to producers. The system was created in the 1970s to help stabilize farmers' incomes. But as the food industry has gone global, supply management has faced mounting internal and external pressure, including persistent trade complaints from the United States, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. The World Trade Organization has ruled that the high prices paid to Canadian farmers are subsidies, making exports very difficult. For Canadian consumers, supply management also means consistently higher retail prices for dairy, chicken and eggs.
Will the United States push for an end to supply management in renegotiating NAFTA?
Not likely. When U.S. President Donald Trump rails about the "very unfair things" Canada is doing to U.S. dairy farmers, he is mostly talking about issues such as ultrafiltered milk. The Trump administration set out its priorities for renegotiating the North American free-trade agreement (NAFTA) in a recent letter to members of Congress. In it, the administration said it would seek to reduce various non-tariff barriers to agricultural trade, including rules limiting imports and "unjustified trade restrictions" on new technologies. That is an apparent reference to Canada's ingredients-pricing scheme. But the letter also pledges to "eliminate all export subsidies on agricultural products," which could be interpreted as a challenge to the pricing regime that underpins Canada's dairy industry. That has prompted speculation that Canada could trade away supply management for free trade in softwood lumber.
Why did Donald Trump choose Wisconsin to deliver his dairy tirade against Canada?
Story continues below advertisement
Wisconsin is a major dairy-producing state. It is also a state Mr. Trump won narrowly in the November election. And it is home to Republican House speaker Paul Ryan, a key ally for the President's legislative agenda in Washington. The tough talk on dairy is also a sop to key Congressional Democrats such as Senate leader Charles Schumer of New York, who has led the charge against Canadian dairy policies. Mr. Trump will likely need the support of Mr. Schumer and other key Democrats to renegotiate NAFTA, but also on tax reform and health care.
Why is supply management so entrenched in Canada?
The dairy industry's political clout should be waning. Just 13 federal ridings have more than 300 dairy farms '' eight in Quebec and five in Ontario. When the supply-management system was created, Canada had nearly 140,000 dairy farms. Today, it has fewer than 12,000, and every year, a few hundred disappear as farmers leave the business and sell their quota. And yet, all three major political parties (and virtually every MP) have vowed to support the system. The industry is heavily concentrated in Quebec and Ontario, which together produce about 70 per cent of the country's milk. Quebec alone is home to nearly half of Canada's dairy farms '' 5,894 '' and pockets nearly 40 per cent of dairy revenues.
How is the growing global milk glut exacerbating Canada-U.S. trade friction?
Canadian ambassador to Washington David MacNaughton has insisted that a global oversupply of milk, not Canada, is to blame for the problems of U.S. dairy farmers. And yet, Canadian dairy farmers have been struggling to contain a deepening crisis that is threatening the long-term survival of the carefully calibrated supply-management regime. That balance has been upended by the surge of milk-protein imports, a glut of skim milk and underinvestment in dairy processing. Canada is producing too much milk, but not enough butter, and that is putting downward pressure on overall farm incomes. U.S. farmers, meanwhile, are suffering from overproduction and falling global milk prices. The United States enjoys a large dairy trade surplus with Canada.
Editor's Note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly said the supply-management system was created in the late 1960s. In fact, it was created in the 1970s.
Amazon Work Around
slave33 on NAS:
ITM @adam
My method for OTG Amazon use:
1. Create Amazon account with dummy email
2. Buy Amazon gift card with cash
3. Have packages delivered to Amazon Locker (at most Whole Foods)
Study Reveals 45% Of American Teens Are Online "Almost Constantly" | Zero Hedge
Fri, 08 Jun 2018 03:37
"ATTRIBUTION: Attributed to SOCRATES by Plato, according to William L.Patty and Louise S. Johnson, Personality and Adjustment, p. 277(1953).
This passage was very popular in the 1960s and its essence was used bythe Mayor of Amsterdam, Gijsbert van Hall, following a streetdemonstration in 1966, as reported by The New York Times, April 3,1966, p. 16. This use prompted Malcolm S. Forbes to write an editorialon youth.?Forbes, April 15, 1966, p. 11. In that same issue, under theheading 'Side Lines,' pp. 5?6, is a summary of the efforts ofresearchers and scholars to confirm the wording of Socrates, or Plato,but without success. Evidently, the quotation is spurious."
Interestingly, there is a real quote from Plato's Republic which,while not as punchy as the fake one, makes a similar point about theidleness of youth:
"The democratic youth . . . lives along day by day, gratifying thedesire that occurs to him, at one time drinking and listening to theflute, at another downing water and reducing, now practisinggymnastic, and again idling and neglecting everything; and sometimesspending his time as though he were occupied."
Having read enough Plato I knew that quote was fabricated. It only took one search to find that out. Why am I not surprised that some psychologists, in the 1950s, got away with making shit up? Can't do that today. Thanks to the Internet.
I have had to quote sections of various writings by Plato (in an academic setting). You quote the exact text, by title, and the line, and then the page, along with the edition and translation. When there was no attribution to a particular text (The Republic, Symposium, Phaedrus, Euthydemus, Aplogy) it was obvious to me the quote was fraudulent.
No philosophy scholar claims to quote anything from Socrates. Socrates left no written work behind, or at least none that is extant. Every attribution made about Socrates comes from his student, Plato. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plato
Statement On The Reintroduction Of The ENCRYPT Act
Fri, 08 Jun 2018 04:06
Washington, DC '' '' Internet Association President and CEO Michael Beckerman issued the following statement on the reintroduction of the Ensuring National Constitutional Rights for Your Private Telecommunications (ENCRYPT) Act of 2017:
''The internet industry applauds Rep. Ted Lieu, Rep. Jim Jordan, Rep. Suzan DelBene, and Rep. Mike Bishop for reintroducing the ENCRYPT Act. Weakening encryption by requiring companies to engineer vulnerabilities into their devices and services makes us all less safe and less secure. Encryption protects our country from countless threats to the financial system, sensitive infrastructure, and individual privacy. The ENCRYPT Act recognizes the importance of encryption to our national security and daily lives.''
Cisco Meraki | Next gen retail
Sun, 10 Jun 2018 00:22
Cisco Meraki's integrated solution enables enhanced guest experiences while delivering the rich intelligence required to drive business decisions and increase customer loyalty. Meet compliance requirements with the easiest to deploy and manage system that also propels your business forward.
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Cisco Meraki provides the easiest to deploy and use guest WiFi solution, including built-in support for customized portals, integrated security, and reliable coverage to support guests along side POS and internal networks '-- without extra appliances, licenses, or complex configurations.
WiFi with Facebook Login integration lets guests use check-ins to connect to your WiFi network, enabling additional demographics data through Facebook, and providing built-in endorsement and exposure to your brand.
Rich, detailed analytics for deep insight
Rich analytics deliver breakthrough visibility into guest activity and shopper profiles. See detailed reports on mobile devices, web traffic, and popular smartphone applications, such as price comparison apps.
User analysis and control
A detailed traffic report page identifies web sites shoppers access most frequently and reports browsing time spent on each. Track users' locations in large retail environments and monitor employee scanner or POS devices. Throttle bandwidth for high-bandwidth apps, and even block access to undesired sites, such as competitors' or online stores.
Cloud-managed WIDS / WIPS
Air Marshal, Cisco Meraki's integrated WIDS / WIPS, provides full-time rogue detection with containment, including automatic mitigation based on keywords or rogues seen on the LAN.
Air Marshal is fully integrated into Cisco Meraki APs, and requires no additional licenses or appliances. Simply turn any AP into an Air Marshal to have round-the-clock protection of your network.
Location analytics
Cisco Meraki Location Analytics, integrated into wireless APs, displays real-time location statistics to improve customer engagement and loyalty across sites. Data collected by intelligent APs is synced with the Cisco Meraki cloud, automatically reported in the dashboard, and exported to third-party applications via the Location Analytics API.
Learn More About Location AnalyticsShopper sign-on integration with CRM and loyalty programs
The Cisco Meraki EXCAP API integrates with retail loyalty programs and CRM systems. Use shopper sign-on events to trigger loyalty rewards, send promotional messages, and even alert staff to VIP customer presence.
Build historical profiles of shoppers and patterns of network activity, and tie network activity to revenue in your CRM to identify high-value frequent visitors. Deliver location-based ads and promotions and execute interactive customer campaigns.
Use analytics data to monitor productivity of in-store employees, measure mPOS device utilization, and calculate mobile inventory scanner ROI.
Serve guests, scanners, mPOS, and more with one infrastructure
Cisco Meraki Systems Manager provides over-the-air centralized management, diagnostics, and monitoring for PC, Mac, iOS, and Android-based retail devices, including inventory scanners and point-of-sale devices. Systems Manager monitors each of your organization's devices, showing useful metrics including client hardware/software information and recent location, and even lets administrators remotely lock and erase devices.
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The Cisco Meraki cloud-managed architecture and products are PCI Data Security Standards (DSS) Level 1 certified. A comprehensive solution ensures your environment is PCI compliant, held to the strict standards of a Level 1 PCI audit (the most rigorous audit level). Cisco Meraki's rich security feature set addresses all of the PCI requirements, helping customers to build and maintain a secure network, protect cardholder data, maintain a vulnerability management program, implement strong access control measures, and monitor network security. Our report on compliance is available for your QSA to review upon request.
Analyze activity with automatic reporting
View a report on guest devices that have connected, measure the bandwidth they've used, and even find the most popular apps. Use built-in PCI reporting to identify weaknesses in configurations and fix items out of compliance.
Summary reports are delivered to your inbox at any time or on an automatic, monthly schedule.
Try MerakiAttend a webinar to receive a complimentary Meraki 802.11ac access point, request evaluation gear, or start an instant live demo.
Thu, 07 Jun 2018 22:02
Brief Answer
For More
1. What does PBIS stand for?
"PBIS" is short for Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports. This language comes directly from the 1997 reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). PBIS is used interchangeably with SWPBS, which is short for "School-wide Positive Behavior Supports." PBIS is based on principles of applied behavior analysis and the prevention approach and values of positive behavior support.
"What is SWPBS?""The Evolution of Discipline Practices: School-Wide Positive Behavior Supports" (Sugai & Horner, 2002) "Effective Behavior Support" (Lewis & Sugai, 1999)"Applying Positive Behavioral Support and Functional Behavioral Assessment in Schools" (Sugai et al., 2000)
2. What is PBIS?
PBIS is a framework or approach for assisting school personnel in adopting and organizing evidence-based behavioral interventions into an integrated continuum that enhances academic and social behavior outcomes for all students.PBIS IS NOT a packaged curriculum, scripted intervention, or manualized strategy. PBIS IS a prevention-oriented way for school personnel to (a) organize evidence-based practices, (b) improve their implementation of those practices, and (c) maximize academic and social behavior outcomes for students.PBIS supports the success of ALLstudents.
3. What does the OSEP Center on PBIS do?
The primary functions of the Center on PBIS are to study, organize, and disseminate empirically-supported behavioral practices and interventions within the prevention-oriented framework of PBIS systems. The Center mainly works with school, district, and state leadership teams to improve the social culture and behavioral climate of classrooms and schools.
4. What are PBIS "systems?"
PBIS emphasizes the establishment of organizational supports or systems that give school personnel capacity to use effective interventions accurately and successfully at the school, district, and state levels. These supports include (a) team-based leadership, (b) data-based decision-making, (c) continuous monitoring of student behavior, (d) regular universal screening, and (e) effective on-going professional development.
"SWPBS Implementation Blueprint and Self-Assessment" (PBIS Center, 2015)"SWPBS Professional Development Blueprint and Workbooks" (PBIS Center, 2010)"SWPBS Evaluation Blueprint" (PBIS Center, 2010)"Evidence-based Practices in Classroom Management: Considerations for Research to Practice" (Simonsen et al., 2008)
5. What does PBIS have to do with school discipline and classroom management?
Effective classroom management and preventive school discipline are essential for supporting teaching and learning.PBIS goes further by emphasizing that classroom management and preventive school discipline must be integrated and working together with effective academic instruction in a positive and safe school climate to maximize success for all students.
6. Where is the best place for schools to access PBIS materials and information?
The Center is a great source for learning and obtaining information about PBIS, in particular, defining what PBIS is, what it looks like, how it can be established, what outcomes are possible, etc. However, other sources (e.g., consultants, publishers, universities, trainers) not formally associated with the Center also provide PBIS resources to schools.
7. How does the Center include and involve family and community members?
The voices and perspectives of family and community members are involved directly in the PBIS process through active participation on, for example, leadership teams, practice implementation, and outcome evaluations at the school, district, and state levels.
"SWPBS Implementation Blueprint and Self-Assessment" (PBIS Center, 2015)
8. How is PBIS related to "Response-to-Intervention" (RtI)?
The logic, tenets, and principles of PBIS are the same as those represented in RtI (e.g., universal screening, continuous progress monitoring, data-based decision making, implementation fidelity, evidence-based interventions). Literacy and numeracy implementation frameworks are examples of the application of RtI for academic behavior, and PBIS is an example of the application of RtI for social behavior.
"Response-to-Intervention and PBIS" (PBIS Center, 2009)
9. Does the Center on PBIS endorse or promote commercial products, vendors, or businesses?
No, because of its federally directed mandate, purpose, and functions, the Center on PBIS identifies and recommends general research-based practices (e.g., active supervision, reinforcement, social skills instruction, behavioral contracting, self-management). Although these practices may be included within the products, curricula, etc. of other providers, the Center does not promote specific vendors or endorse commercial products.
10. How does PBIS respond to the use of punishment (e.g., detention, timeout, verbal reprimands), especially for students with serious problem behavior?
Although PBIS has no specific restrictions on the use of consequence-based strategies designed to reduce serious problem behavior, teaching-oriented, positive, and preventive strategies are emphasized for all students, to the greatest extent possible. The emphasis is on the use of the most effective and most positive approach to addressing even the most severe problem behaviors. Most students will succeed when a positive school culture is promoted, informative corrective feedback is provided, academic success is maximized, and use of prosocial skills is acknowledged.When student problem behavior is unresponsive to preventive school-wide and classroom-wide procedures, information about the student's behavior is used to (a) understand why the problem behavior is occurring (function); (b) strengthen more acceptable alternative behaviors (social skills); (c) remove antecedents and consequences that trigger and maintain problem behavior, respectively; and (d) add antecedents and consequences that trigger and maintain acceptable alternative behaviors.
"Applying Positive Behavioral Support and Functional Behavioral Assessment in Schools" (Sugai et al., 2000)
How Does PBIS Rewards Work?
Thu, 07 Jun 2018 21:48
Advanced Referral SystemOur Advanced Referral System (ARS) shares all of the advantages of the rest of PBIS Rewards '' it eliminates paperwork, can be utilized anywhere in the school with the mobile App, and tracks all aspects of referrals automatically. Schools love this convenience. If the situation arises when a referral is necessary, ARS allows you to document the situation on the spot. After you submit the referral, you can see how the office responded from your desktop portal. Staff members will be able to see all minor referrals for a student so that when it is time to roll up to a major referral, that is easy too.
Check-In/Check-OutWith the Check-In/Check-Out (CICO) system for students in PBIS Rewards, you can easily manage and track the CICO progress for those students and eliminate the headaches that come with paper CICO intervention forms. The Check-In/Check-Out PBIS Rewards add-on gives you a clear view on the progress of your Tier II PBIS initiative. Because it's digital, CICO is easier for your staff and students. The data generated will help your CICO PBIS initiative operate more efficiently, enabling students to progress back into Tier I.
Teacher RewardsTeachers deserve all the recognition they get and more. We have a way that you can give them more. Teacher Rewards works in a similar manner to how students receive recognition and redeem points. The school can set certain expectations and point values for those expectations, then recognize those throughout the year. The school sets up a Teacher Rewards store, and staff members shop the store with their points. This is a great way to give staff a few extra perks they deserve.
Rapid DNA
Explained by Illuminadia
Hello gentlemen, IllumiNadia here,
So I'm not an expert on this rapid DNA act, but I can fill
you in on what I know about the technology to give you a better understanding
of what the FBI is using to profile criminals. A little history: Like Adam
said, it took YEARS for scientists to sequence the human genome. The Human
Genome Project, which started in 1988 (actual sequencing started in 1996)
and finished in 2003, was a worldwide effort to sequence the entire human
genome (well, ~99% of it) for the first time (1). This was groundbreaking, and
the genome sequenced was used as a template for future genetic
The way DNA is sequenced today is incredibly fast and is
being developed by companies all over the world. I read that they're
specifically using IntegenX rapid sequencing machines, which are about the size
of a printer. The DNA is placed onto tubes and shoved into this machine and it
takes about two hours to analyze 5 to 7 samples at once. A child could do it.
The now analyzed DNA is then used to identify criminals by comparing the sample
to the samples of individuals they already have in their library.
They analyze STR (short tandem repeats) regions of alleles,
which are highly mutable portions on the chromosome, and the variances are so
unique to each individual that it's essentially like a fingerprint. This is
also called DNA barcoding.
All the processes it undergoes used to be done separately by
hand by an entire laboratory and would take up to 9 hours to a couple days of
work for only one sample (given someone didn't screw it up or contaminate the
sample, which happens). This technology is cheaper than having an entire lab,
so these scientists who used to do this are probably now out of a job.
This technology has been available since 2005 and has gotten
significantly more efficient over time, which is why more and more people are
able to analyze their own DNA for so cheap now, when it used to cost thousands
of dollars. I could see how this would save taxpayer money.
I don't necessarily agree about the inaccuracy of DNA identification,
but I do think that it would be easy to scoop up DNA of an individual who had
no relationship to the crime whatsoever. I'm still trying to look into the
details of this act so if I find something important, I'll let you know.
I hope that helps somewhat. I am hoping another producer out
there can expand on this a little more (like my new buddy Eric
Here's a video which has a lot more details on this
Kindest regards,
Works cited:
1. No author, About NHGRI: A Brief History
and Timeline. National Human Genome Research Institute, February 12, 2018. https://www.genome.gov/12011238/an-overview-of-the-human-genome-project/
A Specialist explains
I’d like to stay anonymous, long time listener to the
show. I have been a forensic DNA analyst
for over 18 years. I have qualified as an forensic DNA expert in court over 100
times and I have validated a Rapid DNA instrument to test crime scene evidence
samples and buccal (cheek) swabs.
A forensic validation is required prior to testing real
crime scene evidence/reference buccal swabs (cheek swabs) on an instrument to
be used in a criminal investigation. A validation is a thorough test of an
instrument to know the data is reliable, reproducible and the limitations of
the instrument. Required studies include
sensitivity (how much DNA is needed), mixture studies (how does the instrument
behave in the presence of more than 1 person’s DNA), contamination studies,
inhibition (is there a substance/material that prevents (or inhibits) the
instrument from working), precision, accuracy and case type samples (trying the
instrument out on all kinds of forensic type samples like blood on a dirty
sidewalk, etc). The object is to test
the instrument to the point of failure so you understand what works and what will
not work on an instrument.
These rapid DNA instruments are closed systems that
produce a profile in 2 hours. They call
it “swab in, answer out”. It’s using the
same technology that is used in DNA crime labs all over the country, it’s just
miniaturized into a single box using microfluidics. DNA is DNA so whether its from your cheek or
blood left at a crime scene, the instrument doesn’t care where the DNA came
from. If you provide enough quality DNA
into the instrument, you will obtain a reliable and accurate DNA profile. The Rapid DNA instrument does great with
buccal swabs (cheek swab) as it’s designed to do. We have validated our instrument to test
crime scene samples with large concentrations of DNA - blood, saliva, neat
semen (not mixed, not diluted). The
saliva includes spit, cigarettes and gum.
We do not test samples where we can’t take multiple samples - so the
crime lab tests the main crime scene sample in the traditional way for upload
into CODIS, the National and State DNA database. The rapid DNA profile on any remaining evidence
(extra not needed for the crime lab) is only used for a quick investigative
We don’t accept samples that could be mixtures (more than
one person mixed together) and if we do obtain a mixture, we do not interpret
the mixture but call the results inconclusive.
The mixture study did not perform as well as traditional testing so
therefore, we don’t accept results from mixed DNA samples. We don’t accept DNA samples from low quantity
sources like door handles or worn clothing.
The instrument is designed for high concentrations of DNA samples.
Hope this helps and if you have any DNA questions, feel
free to ask. Always wanted to be a
I like you actually want to know the answer and dig
Anonymous…except for my email address :)
War on Men
Why can't we hate men? - The Washington Post
Sun, 10 Jun 2018 03:00
Film producer Harvey Weinstein leaves court in New York on June 5. (Brendan Mcdermid/Reuters) by Suzanna Danuta Walters June 8 at 8:13 PM
Suzanna Danuta Walters, a professor of sociology and director of the Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program at Northeastern University, is the editor of the gender studies journal Signs.
It's not that Eric Schneiderman (the now-former New York attorney general accused of abuse by multiple women) pushed me over the edge. My edge has been crossed for a long time, before President Trump, before Harvey Weinstein, before ''mansplaining'' and ''incels.'' Before live-streaming sexual assaults and red pill men's groups and rape camps as a tool of war and the deadening banality of male prerogative.
Seen in this indisputably true context, it seems logical to hate men. I can't lie, I've always had a soft spot for the radical feminist smackdown, for naming the problem in no uncertain terms. I've rankled at the ''but we don't hate men'' protestations of generations of would-be feminists and found the ''men are not the problem, this system is'' obfuscation too precious by half.
But, of course, the criticisms of this blanket condemnation of men '-- from transnational feminists who decry such glib universalism to U.S. women of color who demand an intersectional perspective '-- are mostly on the mark. These critics rightly insist on an analysis of male power as institutional, not narrowly personal or individual or biologically based in male bodies. Growing movements to challenge a masculinity built on domination and violence and to engage boys and men in feminism are both gratifying and necessary. Please continue.
But this recognition of the complexity of male domination (how different it can be in different parts of the world, how racism shapes it) should not '-- must not '-- mean we forget some universal facts.
Pretty much everywhere in the world, this is true: Women experience sexual violence, and the threat of that violence permeates our choices big and small. In addition, male violence is not restricted to intimate-partner attacks or sexual assault but plagues us in the form of terrorism and mass gun violence. Women are underrepresented in higher-wage jobs, local and federal government, business, educational leadership, etc.; wage inequality continues to permeate every economy and almost every industry; women continue to provide far higher rates of unpaid labor in the home (e.g., child care, elder care, care for disabled individuals, housework and food provision); women have less access to education, particularly at the higher levels; women have lower rates of property ownership.
The list goes on. It varies by country, but these global realities '-- of women's economic, political, social and sexual vulnerabilities '-- are, well, real. Indeed, the nations in which these inequities have been radically minimized (e.g., Iceland) are those in which deliberate effort has been made to both own up to gender disparities and to address them directly and concretely.
So, in this moment, here in the land of legislatively legitimated toxic masculinity, is it really so illogical to hate men? For all the power of #MeToo and #TimesUp and the women's marches, only a relatively few men have been called to task, and I've yet to see a mass wave of prosecutions or even serious recognition of wrongdoing. On the contrary, cries of ''witch hunt'' and the plotted resurrection of celebrity offenders came quick on the heels of the outcry over endemic sexual harassment and violence. But we're not supposed to hate them because .'‰.'‰. #NotAllMen. I love Michelle Obama as much as the next woman, but when they have gone low for all of human history, maybe it's time for us to go all Thelma and Louise and Foxy Brown on their collective butts.
The world has little place for feminist anger. Women are supposed to support, not condemn, offer succor not dismissal. We're supposed to feel more empathy for your fear of being called a harasser than we are for the women harassed. We are told he's with us and #NotHim. But, truly, if he were with us, wouldn't this all have ended a long time ago? If he really were with us, wouldn't he reckon that one good way to change structural violence and inequity would be to refuse the power that comes with it?
So men, if you really are #WithUs and would like us to not hate you for all the millennia of woe you have produced and benefited from, start with this: Lean out so we can actually just stand up without being beaten down. Pledge to vote for feminist women only. Don't run for office. Don't be in charge of anything. Step away from the power. We got this. And please know that your crocodile tears won't be wiped away by us anymore. We have every right to hate you. You have done us wrong. #BecausePatriarchy. It is long past time to play hard for Team Feminism. And win.
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Princeton Discussion Group Teaches Men That Being The Breadwinner Is Bad | The Daily Caller
Sun, 10 Jun 2018 13:56
Princeton Discussion Group Teaches Men That Being The Breadwinner Is Bad | The Daily CallerHomeVideoPoliticsUSWorldEntertainmentSportsBusinessOpinionOutdoorsShopDaily Caller ShopDaily DealerIssuesEducation EnergyHealthMediaSend a Tip3:40 PM 06/08/2018Grace Carr | Reporter
New Jersey's Princeton University has a discussion group that encourages men to be more effeminate in an effort to escape the societal box of masculinity.
The university's ''Men's Allied Voices for a Respectful & Inclusive Community'' (MAVRIC) hosts lunch conversations twice a week in order to ''unpack our own internalized ideas about what it is to be a man,'' according to the group's website. It also ''look[s] for the tender spots where some emotion comes to the surface.''
The men in the group seek to free themselves from the ''man-box'' they live in by ''asking ourselves to be tremendously vulnerable,'' citing the rise of the #MeToo movement as an example of disgusting male privilege. (RELATED: Princeton Hopes To Promote 'Healthy Masculinity' On Campus)
The MAVRIC Project began in 2013 but didn't established its online presence until 2016 when it created a website to engage existing members and draw in new ones. The group has a blog, Facebook page and also hosts speakers who talk about why common notions of masculinity are harmful.
Princeton's blog on ''Healthy Masculinity'' also encourages men to break from what are considered stereotypical roles of being the ''breadwinner'' for a family and showing strength. The blog encourages men to show emotion, express vulnerability, emotionally nurture others and practice self-care. Men should also confront other men who act aggressively or too comfortably ascribe to the male stereotype.
The goal of the men's discussions in the group is ''to have honest and transparent conversations around masculinity,'' according to MAVRIC Project Director Jean Semelfort, Campus Reform reported.
Follow Grace on Twitter.
Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact [email protected] . Tags : campus reform new jersey princeton university Trending(C) Copyright 2010 - 2018 | The Daily Caller
Healthy Masculinity (via UMatter) | Men's Allied Voices for a Respectful & Inclusive Community (MAVRIC) Project
Sun, 10 Jun 2018 13:56
You've probably heard expressions like ''man up'' or ''real men don't cry.'' While the concept of gender is often associated with women, statements like these reflect gendered expectations for men too. Think about a term like guy code: it refers to the unspoken rules that men are ''supposed'' to follow.
How do men learn the rules? Starting from childhood, boys and men are often called out for behavior that doesn't match society's definition of manhood. It might take the form of name calling (''sissy,'' ''punk,'' ''wuss''), being told that they're gay or ''throw like a girl,'' or aggression against them such as hitting, bullying, or even sexual assault.
This forces men to make a choice. Either:
Go along with stereotypical male roles, even if they personally don't agree with them; orPush back against the rules and feel like they're ''going against the grain.''Adhering to male stereotypes:Allowing a fuller range of emotions and behaviors:Avoiding help-seeking (medical attention, emotional support)Not showing weakness, presenting as tough, expecting other men and boys to be tough(er)Restricting emotions to ''acceptable'' ones for men (anger, happiness, jealousy, lust)Caretaking exclusively, being the ''breadwinner''Pressuring other men to behave in stereotypically masculine waysAsking for help when neededShowing vulnerabilityExpressing a wide range of emotions (sadness, fear, shame, kindness, tenderness)Developing healthy relationship skills (active listening, communication, nonjudgmental support, asking for and giving consent)Feeling comfortable in emotionally nurturing rolesCalling out/in other men who engage in behaviors that are disrespectful or aggressiveThis can lead to men not taking care of themselves, not recognizing that others need help, and in some cases actually hurting other people.This allows men to take care of themselves, recognize when others need help, care for others, and contribute to a more respectful culture for all genders.Actually, research shows that MOST men don't personally agree with ''real men'' stereotypes. Unfortunately, many go along with the expected attitudes and behaviors because they think most other men endorse them. What that means is that most men actually support a fuller range of human emotions and behaviors.
There are many positive qualities that have historically been defined as either masculine (leadership, strength, courage) or feminine (nurturing, compassion, caring). In reality, people are individuals with a unique combination of attributes. By getting rid of the rules about who can have what qualities, people of all genders can be respected for who they are.
How to encourage men to be their true selves, instead of being confined to stereotypes:
Address disrespect by calling people in/outAllow men to express a wide range of emotionsEncourage men to demonstrate nurturing, compassion, and caring behavior toward themselves and othersCreate openings for men to share their experiences and feelings, especially if you sense there's a problemIf you see a man hurting, check in with himIf you're a man, ask for help when you are strugglingJoin us in the MAVRIC Project, where we're committed to promoting healthy masculinityThere are many different ways to be a man. Acknowledging this provides an opportunity for everyone (all genders) to be respected for who they are and, in turn, give respect to others.
Free Tommy
Live: Far-right march for Tommy Robinson's release, counter protests expected - YouTube
Sat, 09 Jun 2018 21:32
London: Massive Crowds Gather to Hear Geert Wilders Demand Tommy Robinson's Release
Sat, 09 Jun 2018 21:27
Massive crowds turned out in London on Saturday to rally for free speech and hear Dutch firebrand Geert Wilders demand the release of Tommy Robinson from prison.''It's so good to see so many of you here today, you are all heroes for being here today,'' said the Freedom Party leader, an outspoken critic of radical Islam who rose to second place in the Dutch national elections last year.
Wilders told the crowd he had come to Britain to tell Robinson's supporters they ''will never walk alone'' and to ''tell the world, and the UK government in particular: Free Tommy Robinson!''
''At this very moment, thousands of people all over the world are demonstrating in front of British embassies, from LA to Sydney, and over half a million people have already signed the petition for Tommy,'' he told the crowd.
''And all with the one important message: Free Tommy!
''So, Downing Street is just around the corner, so maybe once again, as loud as possible as we can, let them hear our message: Free Tommy Robinson!'' he cried, prompting extended chants of 'Oh, Tommy Tommy, Tommy Tommy Tommy Tommy Robinson!' and 'We want Tommy out!'
London today. Free Tommy!#FreeTommy #FreedomOfSpeech pic.twitter.com/QIrP03avkn
'-- Geert Wilders (@geertwilderspvv) June 9, 2018
''Listen to us Theresa May, listen to us Sajid Javid, listen to us Sadiq Khan,'' he continued, each name provoking passionate boos.
''Listen to us, all you in power: we want the release of Tommy Robinson!
''Tommy Robinson is the greatest freedom fighter of Britain today. Tommy Robinson is a freedom fighter. He says what no-one dares to say. He has guts. He has courage.
''And that is more than we can say for all those people that govern us. Because our governors sold us out with mass immigration, with Islamisation, with open borders. We are almost foreigners in our own land,'' he declared.
''And if we complain about it, they call us racists or Islamophobes '-- but I say, no more. And what do you say?'' Wilders asked the assembled crowds.
''No more!'' they shouted back.
''That's right. Enough is enough. We will not be gagged anymore. No more tyranny.
''My friends, 75 years ago, your fathers and grandfathers liberated my country from tyranny,'' he continued.
''My country, the Netherlands, is a free country today, because the British brave boys and men, people like you, liberated us.
''And do you know how we used to call these British soldiers? We called them Tommies!'' he exclaimed.
''But today your government has put a Tommy in jail. Freedom is behind bars. Tommy is behind bars.
''And that is totally unacceptable, and that is why we say: Set him free!'' Wilders shouted.
Some questions by UK immigration officers:
Q: Why are you here?A: To speak at a rally.
Q: For what exact purpose:A: To Free Tommy Robinson!
Had to wait a few minutes with my security detail.
And then they let me IN!#FreeTommy
'-- Geert Wilders (@geertwilderspvv) June 9, 2018
''Tommy is in jail while the British state looked the other way for years, when thousands '-- thousands '-- of English children and girls were brutally raped by those grooming gangs.
''They were your daughters. The daughters of the brave Tommies. The daughters of the hard-working, decent people of Britain, who made this beautiful country so great.
''But for years, and years, the police, the politicians, the prosecutors did nothing, and looked the other way.
''They refused to listen to the victims. They arrested fathers who tried to liberate their daughters. They left children in the hands of those gangs.
''But Tommy, my friends, Tommy acted. Tommy didn't look in the other direction. He refused to ignore the problem. He gave voice to millions of Britons who were abandoned by the authorities.
''And when Tommy protested, the same authorities could not be fast enough to jail him and to gag the media.
''And I tell you: that is not democracy. That is not freedom. That is what they do in Saudi Arabia.
''So I ask you: Do you want to be Britain, or Saudi Arabia?
''My friends, it was not Tommy who was breaching the peace, it was your government who was breaching the peace!'' he declared.
''And we cannot, and we will not, accept it any longer. We want freedom, and it is our duty to speak out against rape, against grooming gangs, against Sharia law, against barbarism '-- and we demand the release of Tommy Robinson.
''So here we stand in full solidarity with Tommy, because, like him, we are sick and tired from being silenced.
''And I tell you, today we have a message for all the government of the world, and our message is: 'We will not be silenced! We will not be intimidated! And we tell the government, we are not afraid of you!
''We will never surrender! We will stand strong and do our duty, we will defend our civilisation, and we will protect our people.
''And I tell you, to the governments, you can throw us in jail, but you will never defeat us.
''Because, my friends, for every Tommy whom you imprison, thousands will rise up.
''So take notice Theresa May, take notice Dutch prime minister Rutte, take notice, Mrs Merkel and President Macron.
''Take notice: The future is ours, and not yours. We will defeat you politically '-- because we, my friends, we are the people.
''And every day, more people are joining our cause. The cause of freedom. Every day our members grow, and our demands are right and just.
''This is what we want. First, and most important: Free Tommy Robinson!
''But we also want you to give our countries back to us. Stop selling us out. Stop the mass immigration. Protect your own people. Stop gagging us. Restore the freedom of speech.
''My friends: long live Great Britain,'' he concluded.
''Allow me, long live the Netherlands.
''Long live freedom.
''But most of all, long live Tommy Robinson!''
Follow Jack Montgomery on Twitter: @JackBMontgomery Follow Breitbart London on Facebook: Breitbart London
The Battle of Trafalgar Square: where does the responsibility really lie? '' The Slog.
Sat, 09 Jun 2018 21:20
Saturday's violence in and around London's Trafalgar Square was far more than a riot by hooligans. We should see it as a symptom, and a foretaste of more to come. ¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤
As I write, a demonstration by the Free Tommy network is taking place in London's Trafalgar Square. It seems to have turned into an unpleasant riot, in which the Met Police were '' to be kind '' not really in control of events: this despite them turning up in full riot gear, and with every which way kind of ground and helicopter based monitoring of the event. And to complete the self-righteous anger of the UK Left, Geert Wilders came to speak at the demo.
Viewing the social media videos over the last two hours, it's obvious the police were significantly outnumbered by demonstrators.
Now we can all argue uphill and down dale forever about the case for and against ''Tommy Robinson'''....as indeed has been done over the last few weeks on this site. But to start doing this again is to miss the Higher Order point. It is this: the constipated political correctness of the legislative classes in Britain has created Robinson in general and this demo outcome in particular.
Herewith the evidence supporting that view:
For more than thirty years, they have ignored the concerns and fears expressed by Britons in relation to excessive immigration. (And let's stop using the 'migration' euphemism '' it's not applicable)Since 2005, they have followed a policy of appeasement of the British Islamic community that continues to this dayOver the last seven years, the Government has shown zero interest in the unemployment and low wages at the poor end of Britain's massesDuring that same self-imposed and economically pointless period of austerity, they have cut back the police numbers to a level where the ordinary citizen is no longer protected in any real senseSince 2016, the policy of appeasement has been applied in turn to negotiations with the European Commission, in a thinly disguised attempt to turn Brexit into Brexin.The collapse of UKIP has blocked the last safety valve via which desperate UK citizens can let off steam.The more rabid supporters of Tommy Robinson cannot understand why the pathetic pleas in mitigation of Muslim rapists earn nothing more than a rap over the knuckles, and bankers guilty of massive fraud stay out of jail'....while their hero gets banged up for 13 months.
My own viewpoint is that Robinson is a wannabe martyr and attention seeker. I'd bang him up as well, but I would expect the same equality before the Law for those more privileged than he.
Let's state the big issue here more clearly: Tommy Robinson is high profile '' and the police were unable to keep order this afternoon '' because the political class is more interested in stroking bankers, Brussels globalists and Saudi Nazis than in protecting UK citizens. In that context, they have flunked the first and most important job of national governance: defence of The People against attack'....be that attack military, financial, religious, sovereign or technological.
So what happens now? In the medium term, nobody knows. But I can guarantee that tomorrow, the reaction across the British (C)lites will be predictable, pompous and pointless.
The police will be praised for their bravery
The Establishment will condemn the violence and call for tough sentences
The Left will dismiss the demonstrators as Far Right. Owen Jones will call them fascists, and demand he be allowed to smash them
There will be references to Nazi regalia
The Remainers will blame the Brexit campaign for inciting racial hatred
The Guardian and The Independent will argue that the EDL should be banned
The SWP will call for all-out direct action by our comrades and sisters on the streets to counter Hitlerism.
Brussels in general and Guy Verhofstadt in particular will make statements and tweet to the effect that the British Government needs the EU as a bulwark against inexcusable racism.
None of them will accept any blame for where we are. So accustomed are they now to power without accountability, it will not occur to any of them that their lunatic immigration policies, neoliberal values, lazy denialism, personal greed, rigid thinking systems, disdain for common people, egotistical ambitions, robotic pc, dumbed education and absence of cojones are in any way responsible for this violent, corrupt, exploitative, unthinking and ethically bankrupt Britain set out before us today.
Well, they have brought it upon themselves, these self-styled ''(C)lites'' of Tory moneterism, Lablib ideology and Brussels sociopathy. They will not get so much as an ounce of sympathy from this quarter.
Shape up US businesses: GDPR will be coming stateside
Sat, 09 Jun 2018 14:48
Despite the significant financial penalties, US consumers have tended to look away or forgive brands in the aftermath of a breach, but recent research shows that this is no longer the case.
High profile security breaches, such as the one hitting Hyatt Hotels last October, combined with the focus on privacy and personal data resulting from the Facebook case has created a more informed consumer. The majority is now demanding that brands better protect their data, threatening to take dollars and loyalty elsewhere if they feel their security is being compromised.
European consumers have long been preoccupied by privacy which leaves us wondering why the US hasn't yet followed suit and why it took so long for consumers to show appropriate concern? With the EU passing GDPR to address data security, will we see the US implement similar laws to address increased consumer anxiety?
EU vs USTo understand why the EU is taking the lead on security, you must look at difference in how consumers and businesses are prioritized in each region. At a Government level, the EU legislates with a focus on the rights and the well-being of individuals. Conversely, the US leans more towards corporate health with many of its laws looking to protect large companies from financial consequences.
But the difference between the two regions' consumer protection laws can also be attributed to culture. The best example being the use of credit cards. In the United States, it's customary for restaurants to take credit cards away from the individual to take payment. Citizens think nothing of it as they hand their card away to a near-stranger. On the other hand, European restaurant staff will bring over a machine to the table to run cards in front of the consumer, a much safer method.
Seeing the difference between these countries, the implementation of GDPR and increased concern from American consumers, US businesses should heed the alerts and start working towards best practice now.
Where the US will goWhile it's likely that the US won't implement GDPR exactly as the EU has, we should be prepared to see portions of it come across the Atlantic over the next few years.
Privacy and consentOne of the most important elements of GDPR that is likely to come to the US is consumer consent and education around companies' personal data collection. This is especially topical with the Facebook scandal this year. Explicit and informed consent will become a key part of U.S. law and every brand, platform, and publisher that collects data will need to get opt-ins from users.
It will be vital for consumers to be clearly informed of what is going to happen to their personal data. You can already see this happening in the backlash against Facebook for sharing user data without consent with Cambridge Analytica. Consumer outrage has the company considering a paid version for opt-out users. Many will probably agree to share their data rather than pay but at least they will have a clear choice in the matter.
New roles and responsibilitiesMany companies in the US already have a Chief Security Officer so it should be no surprise that this will likely continue to spread and perhaps become more aligned with the Data Protection Officer role that the GDPR outlines. As privacy laws in the US become more stringent, this executive will be hired to make sure the company stays compliant so they don't face fines and or reputational ruin.
Timely reportingFinally, we are likely to see an improvement in the timeliness of data breach notifications '' something the US has struggled with over the years. For example, Equifax waited six weeks to disclose that the PII of 143M US citizens were compromised in a data breach while Yahoo announced a massive data breach from 2013 three years after the fact. The GDPR enforces companies suffering data breaches to notify within 72 hours of occurrence, unless the breach is unlikely to result in a risk to consumers.
This is a process likely to bleed into US legislation in the not too distant future. These laws are already required to ensure HIPAA compliance in the healthcare industry. Some states have implemented penalties for data breach notice delay, Florida, for example, imposes a thirty-day deadline to provide notice to individuals impacted. This is the shortest deadline among all states with similar statutes but frankly, thirty days is too long. Consumers need to protect themselves as soon as they can. To appease the increasingly concerned US consumer base, we'll likely see the deadline will move from a month to a matter of days.
The State of the UnionWhile some American personal information security practices must be improved, credit card companies have addressed data security with the creation of PCI DSS. Although PCI DSS must be implemented by all who handle cardholder data, a formal validation of PCI DSS compliance is not mandatory nor is it required by federal law in the US. However, US companies who aren't PCI DSS compliant when they experience a security breach are subject to penalties from credit card companies. But clearly, further improvement is ahead.
The US must follow in the direction of the EU, where protecting consumer rights and information is placed above all. With the massive Equifax hack this year, nearly everyone's finances in the U.S. are in jeopardy with hackers having access to their identities '' impacting their credit scores and therefore their ability to live as they desire. Because of lax protection laws and little consequence, the valuable information that can make or break an American's success is out there for the taking. Consumers are now realizing that this risk is unacceptable and it must change. Businesses should be adopting best practices now or face the stress of last-minute scrambling to ensure compliance in this changing consumer climate.
Death to the meme? Activists believe EU copyright law could destroy internet culture
Sat, 09 Jun 2018 14:56
Internet interaction could forever be changed, according to digital rights groups, if the European Union passes revamped copyright legislation effectively banning memes, Wikipedia citation and other staples of the online world.
The EU is set to vote on draft legislation regarding a digital single market later this month. In the update to European copyright law, greater onus is being put on so-called ''information society service providers'' to protect creative work by artists, academics and publishers of original content.
The legislation would force websites and online platforms to ''take measures to ensure the functioning of agreements concluded with rightholders for the use of their works.'' However, Article 13 of the proposal is being criticized by some digital freedom activists who believe it could destroy the fabric of the internet.
It's being argued that memes, such a Grumpy Cat, Pepe the Frog and More Cowbell could be some of the more bizarre elements of the internet hit by the legislative overhaul.
Reads that a new EU copyright law seeks to ban the use of memes. Immediately searches for appropriate #DragRace GIF. pic.twitter.com/2eJc5RNKli
'-- William Lee Adams (@willyleeadams) June 8, 2018@EU_Commission can't handle the memes pic.twitter.com/gPDD0PGVUS
'-- Anthony '¸'¸'¸ (@AnthonydByrne22) June 8, 2018The oppressive communist #EU wants to make memes illegal by banning those without copyright permission pic.twitter.com/zy1MQ7Llhp
'-- Anonymous (@Anon_decoder) June 8, 2018The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a digital rights organization based in San Francisco, described the proposal as ''unworkable and dangerous''. Citing Wikipedia as an example of how the law could have a negative impact, the EFF said the online encyclopedia could be forced to stop submissions of information and images.
The group said that if the law was applied in its strictest sense, videos of protests with music in the background, or even online adverts displaying the cover of a book, could be pulled offline. The group said the only country to embrace such a law is China, where online public discourse is routinely policed and inhibited.
''The collateral damage they [the EU] will impose on every realm of public life can't be overstated,'' the EFF warned. ''The internet, after all, is inextricably bound up in the daily lives of hundreds of millions of Europeans and an entire constellation of sites and services will be adversely affected by Article 13.''
With a vote on the article set to go ahead on June 20, Campaign group Save Your Internet has since set up a website to lobby members of the European Parliament. ''Article 13 would restrict the ability of internet users to consume content. The days of communicating through gifs and memes, listening to your favourite remixes online might be coming to an end,'' the group said.
AI Is Not Magic; It's Manual Labor (& Math)
Fri, 08 Jun 2018 12:56
Below is a practical demonstration of machine learning'Š'--'Ša form of artificial intelligence'Š'--'Šand computer vision applied to a product called Density'Š'--'Šan anonymous people counting system used by workplace teams to understand how offices are used.
Source: https://xkcd.com/1838/To appreciate the manual efforts behind AI, it helps to first understand the challenging environments we've asked computers to deal with and thereby the real meaning of the term ''accuracy.''
For the purposes of this article, I'm going to use counting people as the practical example.
Human-spottingIn the world of people count, companies often refer to accuracy in round, blanket terms. Phrases like, ''We're 94% accurate at counting people!'' make for good marketing. Unfortunately, uniform accuracy is an impossible promise in real world applications.
Human behavior and built environments are so variable from space to space or building to building, that the accuracy of one installation usually differs from all others. This reality is obvious if you operate a system at any meaningful scale.
ImportantAccuracy is not just hard to achieve, it can also expose a shortcoming of a company's technology to report on. For example, with certain technologies (like cameras), quality assurance would invade customer privacy.The Variability Problem -or- ''The Things They Carried'' -or- ''What The Hell Is That?''Illustrated below are examples of the variability problem. These demonstrations are from live Density deployments in corporate offices and college campuses around the U.S..
A Spaceship Trashcan at 3amBelow is a rare event. It's a giant trashcan that rolls through in the wee hours of a workday morning.
The trashcan is objectively hard for an autonomous computing device to distinguish. The subjects in the scene are both moving, they're both reasonably organic shapes, and they are attached to one another.
The Imperial Star Destroyer of trashcansTeamwork & Stuff on WheelsIn this scene, multiple people wrangle a large object through a doorway. The fact that there are only two people in view and just one of them exits is obvious to the human eye but an untrained algorithm can make all sorts of wrong-headed mistakes.
The reason is that this event is not ''nominal'' or: according to plan or design. It is ''anomalous'' or: deviating from what is standard or expected.
This may be self-evident but anomalous events are hard to explain to an algorithm because there are so few of them.Successful human collaborationIt's kind of like telling a computer, ''This is a cat, and that's a cat, and this is a cat, too,'' and the computer pointing at a random television and saying, ''Cat?'' And you saying, ''Dammit John'... Who put the TV there?'' '... but for humans.Environments And Data QualityRegardless of the technology: radar, millimeter wave, depth, thermal, cameras, whatever'Š'--'Šwhen you decide to measure atoms instead of bits, you quickly realize you can't normalize or control for the real world that you're deployed in.
To teach the machine, you have to be creative but most importantly, you need a lot of data from as many of the variable and hostile environment types a machine might encounter.
High reflectivity + small spaces = noisy dataTeaching the MachineFortunately, for modern technical companies, we have better tools today than we've had in the past'Š'--'Šnot the least of which is almost 70 years of research into artificial intelligence and tooling. Alan Turing proposed his eponymous test in 1950. Shortly after, a team at Dartmouth started building programs that could play checkers, solve word problems, and do math.
The time it would take, however, to realize the true value of artificial intelligence was consistently underestimated and, in more recent times, overestimated.
Under-estimationFor example, researchers believed automated, accurate language translation would be solved before the end of the 1960s. This particular story may be apocryphal but, at the time, a computer would translate the English: ''out of sight, out of mind'' to the Russian: ''blind idiot.''
It wasn't until some 30 years later in the 1990s that automated translation began to make some progress and become a market of its own.
Over-estimationAwesome Netflix documentaryMost people thought the Watson-equivalent for the Chinese board game ''Go'' was a long way off. Go is much harder to model than Chess. There are just more potential moves at any given moment and each has cascading implications on gameplay and position.
As you may already know, AlphaGo, the Go-playing algorithm, beat the human champion, Lee Sedol, in 2016'Š'--'Ša decade ahead of predictions. The latest version from the team at DeepMind is considered the strongest Go player of all time.
The game is more than two thousand years old.
So, what's the point?The point is that it's fun to speculate on the infinite and future potential of artificial intelligence. But we should all just get used to being off by a decade or two. Instead, I think it's productive to look at the pragmatic applications of what early researchers have made possible for us.
Today, we are materially benefitting from nearly a century of academic work invested in symbolic systems, ''Good Old Fashioned AI,'' deep learning models, and extraordinary leaps in low-cost, high-powered computing.
Despite these extraordinary advances, however, something as simple as counting people is still very hard; and, I suspect, will remain so as long as humans are the subject.Human behavior is not obvious to a computer. Even in a non-hostile physical environment (like the reasonably clear depth stream below) a computer can't easily distinguish what's human and what's not human; even though you and I can.
Therein lies a popular solution for variability'Š'--'Šthe way AI companies (Google included!) solve problems like these is to teach the machine what's obvious to us.Dog :)''Labeling:'' The Adult Version of a Coloring BookFor Density, we address the variability problem by designing our own labeling tools. They are like Microsoft Paint, but funner.
This is the real, manual human work behind a lot of artificial intelligence. When there are no open-source alternatives for a dataset, like the anonymous data Density collects, you have tell a computer what's what.
As said above, 'labeling' is like telling a computer, ''This is a cat, and that's a cat, and this is a cat, too,'' and the computer pointing at a cat and saying, ''Cat?''And you saying, ''YES! Cat! Oh my heart is full! Cat! Thank god they're not carrying a TV.'' '... but for humans.Below you'll see how we paint what we believe to be the door and the person's arms, head, body, etc. What is critical to training like this is that it is just as important to tell a computer what is not a human as what is.
We build our models using many tens of thousands of frames like this one.
Labeling what's what in a sceneEnd ResultLarger Network = Higher Accuracy = Larger Network = '...
We are always feeding the machine. As Density's network continues to expand, we learn to handle new, unexpected environments and behaviors.
And when you give high quality, labeled data to talented engineers who specialize in computer vision and machine learning, computers can learn quickly.
Plates & Carried ObjectsComputer vision results above are all processed locally on Density's DPUs.Ignoring Large Objects:Handling Lines:Reliable AccuracyFor Density, we deal with accuracy door-by-door. We generate ground-truth or our ''control'' by annotating a statistical sample of every door and then comparing the human annotator's results with the algorithm's.
''Supervised Learning,'' or ''a Tool for Ground-truth,'' or ''Humans telling computers what is and what is not a 'cat.'''Supervised learning A custom application used by a team of Density annotators to ensure accuracy and proactively identify issues.
Slide from an accuracy deckWe deliver accuracy reports like the following. Accuracy improves datasets grows.
AI at Google: our principles
Sun, 10 Jun 2018 11:09
At its heart, AI is computer programming that learns and adapts. It can't solve every problem, but its potential to improve our lives is profound. At Google, we use AI to make products more useful'--from email that's spam-free and easier to compose, to a digital assistant you can speak to naturally, to photos that pop the fun stuff out for you to enjoy.
Beyond our products, we're using AI to help people tackle urgent problems. A pair of high school students are building AI-powered sensors to predict the risk of wildfires. Farmers are using it to monitor the health of their herds. Doctors are starting to use AI to help diagnose cancer and prevent blindness. These clear benefits are why Google invests heavily in AI research and development, and makes AI technologies widely available to others via our tools and open-source code.
We recognize that such powerful technology raises equally powerful questions about its use. How AI is developed and used will have a significant impact on society for many years to come. As a leader in AI, we feel a deep responsibility to get this right. So today, we're announcing seven principles to guide our work going forward. These are not theoretical concepts; they are concrete standards that will actively govern our research and product development and will impact our business decisions.
We acknowledge that this area is dynamic and evolving, and we will approach our work with humility, a commitment to internal and external engagement, and a willingness to adapt our approach as we learn over time.
Objectives for AI applicationsWe will assess AI applications in view of the following objectives. We believe that AI should:
1. Be socially beneficial.
The expanded reach of new technologies increasingly touches society as a whole. Advances in AI will have transformative impacts in a wide range of fields, including healthcare, security, energy, transportation, manufacturing, and entertainment. As we consider potential development and uses of AI technologies, we will take into account a broad range of social and economic factors, and will proceed where we believe that the overall likely benefits substantially exceed the foreseeable risks and downsides.
AI also enhances our ability to understand the meaning of content at scale. We will strive to make high-quality and accurate information readily available using AI, while continuing to respect cultural, social, and legal norms in the countries where we operate. And we will continue to thoughtfully evaluate when to make our technologies available on a non-commercial basis.
2. Avoid creating or reinforcing unfair bias.
AI algorithms and datasets can reflect, reinforce, or reduce unfair biases. We recognize that distinguishing fair from unfair biases is not always simple, and differs across cultures and societies. We will seek to avoid unjust impacts on people, particularly those related to sensitive characteristics such as race, ethnicity, gender, nationality, income, sexual orientation, ability, and political or religious belief.
3. Be built and tested for safety.
We will continue to develop and apply strong safety and security practices to avoid unintended results that create risks of harm. We will design our AI systems to be appropriately cautious, and seek to develop them in accordance with best practices in AI safety research. In appropriate cases, we will test AI technologies in constrained environments and monitor their operation after deployment.
4. Be accountable to people.
We will design AI systems that provide appropriate opportunities for feedback, relevant explanations, and appeal. Our AI technologies will be subject to appropriate human direction and control.
5. Incorporate privacy design principles.
We will incorporate our privacy principles in the development and use of our AI technologies. We will give opportunity for notice and consent, encourage architectures with privacy safeguards, and provide appropriate transparency and control over the use of data.
6. Uphold high standards of scientific excellence.
Technological innovation is rooted in the scientific method and a commitment to open inquiry, intellectual rigor, integrity, and collaboration. AI tools have the potential to unlock new realms of scientific research and knowledge in critical domains like biology, chemistry, medicine, and environmental sciences. We aspire to high standards of scientific excellence as we work to progress AI development.
We will work with a range of stakeholders to promote thoughtful leadership in this area, drawing on scientifically rigorous and multidisciplinary approaches. And we will responsibly share AI knowledge by publishing educational materials, best practices, and research that enable more people to develop useful AI applications.
7. Be made available for uses that accord with these principles.
Many technologies have multiple uses. We will work to limit potentially harmful or abusive applications. As we develop and deploy AI technologies, we will evaluate likely uses in light of the following factors:
Primary purpose and use: the primary purpose and likely use of a technology and application, including how closely the solution is related to or adaptable to a harmful use
Nature and uniqueness: whether we are making available technology that is unique or more generally available
Scale: whether the use of this technology will have significant impact
Nature of Google's involvement: whether we are providing general-purpose tools, integrating tools for customers, or developing custom solutions
AI applications we will not pursueIn addition to the above objectives, we will not design or deploy AI in the following application areas:
Technologies that cause or are likely to cause overall harm. Where there is a material risk of harm, we will proceed only where we believe that the benefits substantially outweigh the risks, and will incorporate appropriate safety constraints.
Weapons or other technologies whose principal purpose or implementation is to cause or directly facilitate injury to people.
Technologies that gather or use information for surveillance violating internationally accepted norms.
Technologies whose purpose contravenes widely accepted principles of international law and human rights.
We want to be clear that while we are not developing AI for use in weapons, we will continue our work with governments and the military in many other areas. These include cybersecurity, training, military recruitment, veterans' healthcare, and search and rescue. These collaborations are important and we'll actively look for more ways to augment the critical work of these organizations and keep service members and civilians safe.
AI for the long termWhile this is how we're choosing to approach AI, we understand there is room for many voices in this conversation. As AI technologies progress, we'll work with a range of stakeholders to promote thoughtful leadership in this area, drawing on scientifically rigorous and multidisciplinary approaches. And we will continue to share what we've learned to improve AI technologies and practices.
We believe these principles are the right foundation for our company and the future development of AI. This approach is consistent with the values laid out in our original Founders' Letter back in 2004. There we made clear our intention to take a long-term perspective, even if it means making short-term tradeoffs. We said it then, and we believe it now.
Scientists Made an Psychopathic AI Based on Reddit
Sun, 10 Jun 2018 12:34
Scientists at MIT have created an AI psychopath trained on images from a particularly disturbing thread on Reddit. Norman is designed to illustrate that the data used for machine learning can significantly impact its outcome. ''Norman suffered from extended exposure to the darkest corners of Reddit, and represents a case study on the dangers of Artificial Intelligence gone wrong when biased data is used in machine learning algorithms,'' writes the research team.
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Norman is trained on image captioning, a form of deep learning that lets AI generate text descriptions of an image. Norman learned from image captions of a particularly disturbing subreddit, dedicated to images of gore and death. Then, the team sent Norman to take a Rorschach inkblot test, a well known psychological test developed in 1921 designed to interpret subjects' psychological states based on what they see in the image. Scientists compared Norman's responses on a standard image captioning neural network.
When a standard AI sees ''a group of birds sitting on top of a tree branch,'' Norman sees ''a man is electrocuted and catches to death. Normal AI sees ''a black and white photo of a baseball glove,'' psychopathic AI sees ''man is murdered by machine gun in broad daylight.''
Previously, the team at MIT developed an AI called Shelly who writes horror stories, and a Nightmare Machine AI that turns ordinary photographs into haunted faces and haunted places. While MIT unveiled Norman on April Fool's day, what Norman demonstrates is no joke: ''when people talk about AI algorithms being biased and unfair, the culprit is often not the algorithm itself, but the biased data that was fed to it. The same method can see very different things in an image, even sick things, if trained on the wrong (or, the right!) data set."
(via MIT)
Religion isn't the opiate of the masses '-- AI is
Sun, 10 Jun 2018 12:46
Overall leisure time has increased by over an hour per day in the past ten years . How are we spending these extra 365 hours per year? Not playing with our kids, working on passion projects, exercising, or any other wholesome activity you may have guessed '-- we're spending it in front of screens.
In 2007, just 33 percent of leisure time was spent on screens; today, that number has increased to 47 percent '-- over three and a half hours per day. According to research from McKinsey, smartphone users interact with their devices an average of 85 times a day and almost half of all users (46 percent) report they could not live without their smartphone.
Why are we becoming increasingly addicted to our devices?
The answer lies in increasingly sophisticated algorithms and strategies that social media sites, video streaming platforms, and mobile games employ to increase engagement, dependence, and loyalty.
How AI taps into human weakness Numerous studies have demonstrated the deleterious effects of social media, screen time, and passive consumption of internet content. Even Facebook has examined these studies, and suggested that user behavior can change how interacting with Facebook affects mood and overall anxiety levels.
A study from UC San Diego and Yale found that people who clicked on four times as many links as the average person reported worse mental health . And yet, our dependence on screen time is growing at alarming rates '-- and shows no signs of slowing down.
The reason is that AI-based applications have become increasingly adroit at exploiting human weakness. For instance, I recently wrote about how Netflix leverages predictive analytics to choose shows '-- oftentimes the TV streaming giant won't even watch the pilot before investing! The algorithm is highly effective at selecting content (and presenting it '-- the 12 seconds between episodes don't leave much time for exerting self-control) in ways that promote binge-watching: 61 percent of users regularly watch between two to six episodes of a show in one sitting.
Similarly, the Facebook NewsFeed shows content to users based on a variety of signals (including internet speed, type of content the user typically engages with, and timeliness), with the intention of predicting which content users will engage with the most '-- thereby increasing engagement. Likewise, mobile games use various tactics including push notifications sent at strategic moments, based on predictive analytics, community chat options, and freemium models to push users back into the app. And it works: the average American spends between 30 minutes to an hour playing mobile games, and $87 per year on so-called ''free-to-play'' games.
Even tools like Buffer and Hootsuite rely on AI to game content for increased user engagement. The reality is, almost every consumer-facing company out there uses AI to try and hook people on more screen time. As McKinsey noted, it's commonplace for ''engineers [to] combine data-driven behavioral insights with psychological techniques to nudge and persuade individuals to spend more time on their devices. Academics and industry insiders have detailed examples of persuasive in-software design .''
While on the surface, this isn't particularly sinister (and I'm certainly not advocating that companies stop using AI to increase engagement) what it means is that we're training algorithms to exploit human nature in a way that's not necessarily healthy. Maybe the threat of AI isn't robot overlords turning the world into the Matrix, but rather a day when AI has us so effectively hooked on screens that overall human happiness declines.
The line between understanding and exploiting AI is not summarily a force for good or evil; it's simply a force. And as its prevalence expands, we need to be careful to examine that force and protect ourselves against it when necessary. Whether it's the spread of fake news, children turning into smart-speaker tyrants , addiction to a game, or just binge-watching TV instead of reading a book or going on a run. AI can be harmful, whether or not we intend it to be when we employ it.
There's not a great answer to this problem. Obviously, Netflix, Facebook, mobile games, and virtually every content platform out there (including this one) will continue to leverage AI to get people to use their products. The impetus for protection will either land on the individual (although self-control becomes harder and harder as engagement mechanics improve) or on the burgeoning market of 'Unplug' apps. Products like Offtime, an app that helps users unplug by blocking Facebook and games may become increasingly popular as people see their time being eaten up by binge-worthy TV shows.
As consumer awareness grows alongside the use of AI, protecting against addiction will become a major point of focus and contention.
Read next: Research: Restricting free speech isn't the solution to violence and hate speech
Uber's Patenting Technology That Can Tell When You're Drunk
Sun, 10 Jun 2018 14:44
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Public university prohibits 'harsh text messages' - The College Fix
Fri, 08 Jun 2018 20:08
School also forbids 'rumors' and 'embarrassing pictures'
As part of its code of conduct, a public university in Alabama prohibits its students from sending ''harsh text messages,'' a policy that has earned it the worst possible rating from a campus free-speech watchdog group.
The University of West Alabama's Cyberbullying and Cyber Harassment Policy defines harassment as ''conduct that disrupts the educational environment of the university.'' Conduct that the university has defined as harassment includes ''harsh text messages or emails, rumors sent by email or posted on social networking sites, and embarrassing pictures, videos, websites, or fake profiles.''
The policy provides several examples of ''instances where social media can cause harm to the university or member of the UWA community,'' though none of the examples includes ''harsh text messages'' or ''rumors.''
The College Fix reached out repeatedly to university officials to learn more about the policy, including whether any students had ever been sanctioned by the school for sending a harsh text message. The school's public relations department did not respond to several requests for comment; nor did its Vice President of Student Affairs Richard Hester.
Robert Upchurch, listed as a contact in the school's Cyber Harassment Policy, also did not respond to a request for comment from The Fix.
The school's speech policy garnered the lowest possible rating from the campus civil rights advocacy group the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.
''The University of West Alabama's 'Cyberbullying and Cyber Harassment Policy Statement' earns FIRE's worst 'red light' rating because it is a clear and substantial restriction on constitutionally protected expression,'' Laura Beltz, a policy reform program operator at FIRE, said in a statement.
''Online messages do not lose First Amendment protection simply because they're subjectively viewed as harsh, embarrassing, or as an unverified rumor,'' Beltz continued. ''For example, a single tweet that criticizes the university administration would be punishable under this policy, but would typically be protected by the First Amendment.''
The foundation said that the policy should be ''revised to provide a definition of cyberbullying and cyber harassment that tracks the Supreme Court's standard for peer harassment in the educational setting.''
''That standard requires conduct to be so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that the individual is effectively denied equal access to the university's resources and opportunities '-- far from a single harsh text or an embarrassing email. By revising the definition this way, the university can respond to conduct that prevents a student from receiving his or her education without infringing on protected speech,'' Beltz said.
MORE: Many campuses maintain militant speech codes
MORE: You can speak your mind for one two-hour block a week at this university
IMAGE: Shutterstock.com
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Transgender Boys Dominate High School Girls at State Track Meet
Sat, 09 Jun 2018 15:04
Two transgender high school students took home first and second places in the 100-meter dash at a girls' state track meet in Connecticut Monday.
One of them, Bulkeley sophomore Terry Miller, broke records in both the 100 and 200-meter events, the latter spanning back to 1997.
Terry Miller of Bulkeley wins the 100m girls dash i. 11.72 (meet record). Andraya Yearwood of Cromwell 2nd, RHAM's Bridget Lalonde 3rd #cttrack pic.twitter.com/4GmLRyicDI
'-- GameTimeCT (@GameTimeCT) June 4, 2018
Just last year during the winter indoor season, Miller had raced as a boy.
The runner-up 100 meter transgender runner, Andraya Yearwood from Cromwell, also won the Class M sprint titles last year, despite never undergoing hormonal treatment.
The victories have prompted a look at how gender affects sports in the state, where gender identity is recognized.
The Connecticut Post spoke to one of the losing female students, but she didn't seem too upset she lost to biological males.
''To be honest, I think it's great they get a chance to compete and as long as they're happy, I guess, there's not that much I can do,'' said RHAM High School student Bridget Lalonde, who finished third place in the 100 meter race. ''The rules are the rules. The only competition is the clock. You can only run as fast as you can.''
Lalonde also came in second against Miller in the 200 meter race.
Terry Miller of Bulkeley sets another meet record in winning the girls 200m, 24.17 #cttrack pic.twitter.com/6hAaFApIwk
'-- GameTimeCT (@GameTimeCT) June 4, 2018
Miller attempted a sweep by winning the 400 meter race as well, but faltered and placed fourth.
The winner of the 400, Newton High School's Carly Swierbut, told The Post she didn't have a problem racing against transgender students.
''Quite honestly, I just focused on me,'' Swierbut said. ''I know how to run this race. I just focused on the lane in front of me and didn't worry about anybody else.''
She added, ''If you're good enough to run, you're good enough to run. If somebody wants to win, they're going to work their tail off to win. It doesn't matter who you are, what you are, everybody should have the chance.''
Parents and coaches on the other hand are asking why the state's athletic committee hasn't worked to level the playing field.
Hillhouse High School coach Gary Moore said last week he didn't think the rules were ''fair to the girls,'' and this week he questioned why other coaches weren't raising the issue.
From The Post:
''I've been stopped by at least five coaches (Monday), all of them saying they really liked what I said in the paper. How come other coaches aren't talking? This is a big issue a lot of coaches have, that we've got to do something, but how come you're not saying anything? I've said what I needed to say. I'm getting a little annoyed with the coaches that we haven't been able to get together and do what's best for everybody.''
The parent of one of the girls who placed sixth in the 100 also called on the state to change their rules.
''Sports are set up for fairness. Biologically male and female are different,'' said Bianca Stanescu.
''The great majority is being sacrificed for the minority.''
The Post also notes, ''The team standings were altered, too. Southington won the team title with 35 points, three ahead of Bloomfield. Without the Miller and Yearwood, Bloomfield would have had 34. You spread around Miller's 25 points and Yearwood's points and obviously a number of other team standings were altered.''
Despite leagues such as the NCAA having rules requiring transgender players undergo a year's worth of hormone treatments, the Connecticut Intersscholastic Athletic Conference hasn't budged claiming to do so would be discrimination.
''A lot of people have asked, can you run a separate race, can you put an asterisk next to their name, do something that shows there is a standard that is different from that?'' CIAC executive director Karissa Niehoff told The Post. ''When you get into that playing out, you have got civil rights issues.''
''Then within the same gender, you are taking one population of the gender and you're separating them and creating another class. That's what Title IX speaks to. That's what Office of Civil Rights guidelines speak to. You cannot discriminate based on gender. And in our case in Connecticut, gender is gender identity.''
Of the girls who may feel angry, she added, ''We do feel for them.''
''Fully agree it doesn't feel good. The optic isn't good. But we really do have to look at the bigger issues that speak to civil rights and the fact this is high school sports.''
For now, it doesn't look like anything will be done, but The Post did indicate ''there was talk among opponents of starting collective legal action.''
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Flight Attendants Say Angry Passengers Are Creating a Big Safety Problem on Planes
Sun, 10 Jun 2018 11:44
Some say airline staffers are more hesitant to enforce rules, which could threaten safety
The fury has died down, but the rash of viral confrontations on airplanes is still very much on flight attendants' minds. They are demoralized and anxious, afraid of becoming the villain in a cellphone video that spreads across the globe '-- creating a situation some say could result in safety lapses on planes.
Several flight attendants who spoke to TIME said they have seen colleagues ignore unbuckled belts, incorrectly placed bags and similar violations of federal safety rules in order to avoid sparking confrontations with passengers. ''A lot of flight attendants feel uncomfortable performing essential job functions and responsibilities because one angry person can change our employment status,'' said Ben, a flight attendant working for a major U.S. airline, who spoke on condition that his last name not be used.
The recent tensions between fliers and crew arose in April, when a video posted online showed a passenger being dragged off a United Airlines flight after refusing to give up his seat. Two weeks later, an American Airlines flight attendant was suspended after yanking a stroller from a mother, leading to a heated argument that was caught on camera. And just last month, a family was kicked off a JetBlue flight after a dispute with a flight attendant over where to store a birthday cake.
Read more!
While it's still relatively rare for trouble to brew aboard flights, smartphone videos posted to social media make the incidents seem more frequent, creating friction in the cabin at a moment when confrontations can quickly spiral into viral moments. Since the United episode, in which passenger David Dao was left bloodied and with a concussion after being forced to give up his seat, flight attendants said they started noticing an attitude shift among passengers.
''Just about every other flight, I would have a passenger make a reference to the United Airways incident, and be like, 'Well, you guys are always saying, please fasten your seatbelt, put up your tray tables, pull your seat back forward. What if I don't? Are you going to drag me off the plane like they did on United?''' said Jenny, a flight attendant for nearly 20 years, who declined to give her last name.
If flight attendants don't have the respect of their passengers, some experts say there could be far more serious problems than an unbuckled seatbelt. Passengers who don't obey rules could mean chaos in a true emergency, said Sara Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants, which represents 50,000 members at 20 airlines.
''If we have not established that authority, and passengers are not listening to flight attendants, it can be catastrophic,'' Nelson said. ''It can be the demise of an entire airplane.''
Read More: The Best U.S. Airlines for Your Money in 2017
Not all agree with such dire predictions. John Cox, a retired U.S. Airways captain who now runs aviation safety consulting firm Safety Operating Systems, acknowledged that flight attendants are under intense pressure, but he does not believe that poses a safety threat. ''There's always pandemonium during a life-threatening evacuation,'' Cox said. ''But history has shown us that when you stress people to that level, they turn to who they believe is the expert on scene. Every time, it's the flight attendant.''
The recent incidents have drawn new attention to customer complaints about airlines. Passengers filed 1,909 complaints with the Department of Transportation in April, a 70% bump year-over-year and a 69% increase from March. The gripes mostly involved flight cancellations and delays, lost baggage and ticketing issues. Airlines have also been criticized lately for finding clever ways to raise prices, experimenting with reduced legroom and struggling with massive delays caused by computer outages.
After the United incident, several major airlines reviewed their policies and made changes. United instituted a new rule that employees could not revoke a passenger's seat after he or she had already boarded, according to a news release the airline issued in late April. United also pledged to limit its use of law enforcement in future cases of disputes with passengers.
When asked about the safety concerns flight attendants have raised in the wake of the incidents, United and JetBlue did not respond to requests for comment. American referred to a memo its CEO Doug Parker sent to employees in late May. In the note, Parker says the ''dedication and commitment to customer service for everyone in our industry has recently been called into question.'' ''We now live in a world where all eyes (and video cameras) are on us,'' he wrote, later adding that the airline would offer web-based training in de-escalating conflicts.
Delta provided a statement through a flight attendant named Mathew Palmer, who said the company's ''leaders are working directly with us to find solutions and set them in place quickly.'' ''The social media effect has certainly had an impact on our jobs, but my colleagues and I are safety professionals and we remain focused on working with our customers to ensure safety is taken seriously,'' the statement said. ''Not only do the people on the ground have our backs, but we have the tools at our fingertips to get ahead of a customer issue and make it right, even at 30,000 feet.''
The Federal Aviation Administration did not directly respond to the potential safety risks raised by flight attendants. ''A flight attendant's primary responsibility is aviation safety,'' the FAA said in a statement. ''Flight attendants provide passengers with a safety briefing, remind them to comply with FAA safety regulations, and provide instructions during an emergency. Our nation's flight attendants are well-trained professionals who are required to comply with the FAA's regulations.''
Read More: These Are the Airlines Most Likely to Bump You Off a Flight
This is not the first time tensions have arisen between between flight attendants and crew. There were similar levels of ''air rage'' in the late 1990s, as America's skies saw a spike in unruly passengers confronting or attacking airline personnel. At the time, the solution involved harsher penalties for interfering with crewmembers. Now, flight attendants say airlines need to do a better job of teaching passengers that attendants' primary duty is safety, not customer service. ''We don't go to training every year to learn how to serve Cokes,'' said Steven, also a longtime flight attendant with a major U.S. airline. Others say it's a matter of catching problems well before takeoff.
''We're paying more attention to the customers coming on board, paying more attention to the attitudes that are coming on board,'' Ben said. ''And if there's any negativity, we address it before the door closes.''
Happy Naked News
Women break world skinny dipping record with Ireland beach swim | World news | The Guardian
Sun, 10 Jun 2018 03:45
Thousands of women have shed their inhibitions and their clothes on a secluded beach in Ireland for a world-record setting ''skinny dip'' to raise funds for a children's cancer charity.
Lucia Sinigagliesi, the Guinness World Records official that adjudicated the naked swim on Saturday, said that 2,505 women spent at least five minutes in the sea to set a new world record.
Related: No skinny dipping please, I'm British | Peter Bradshaw
The previous record was set in Western Australia in 2015 when 786 participants swam naked near Perth, although an event in Finland involving 789 people also claimed the record.
On Saturday, in 12C waters off Magheramore beach 50km south of Dublin, more than three times that number gathered to break the record.
The swim has been an annual event since it was started by Dee Featherstone in 2013, just weeks after her own mastectomy. The events have raised thousands of euro.
''Oh my god it was amazing. I have never been naked in front of anybody before, except my husband, and it was brilliant and bracing. It was great craic,'' Deirdre Betson from Dunboyne said after leaving the water. ''We are all different shapes and sizes and ages and it was just super.''
This year the money raised will go to Aoibheann's Pink Tie, a charity set up in 2010 by Mick Rochford and Jimmy Norman, after Norman's daughter Aoibheann died from cancer at the age of eight.
''Aoibheann went to school with my daughter. She would have been 17 this year. We did it in her memory,'' said Betson.
Will Saudi Arabia be the answer to Israel's gas conundrums? | Asia Times
Sat, 09 Jun 2018 00:28
About 80 kilometers off the coast of Haifa in Israel, a string of rigs, platforms and pipelines now work day and night, extracting natural gas from one of the largest reservoirs in the Eastern Mediterranean.
This resource, known as the Tamar Field, now powers businesses and homes throughout Israel. It has helped the country approach self-sufficiency in electricity production, while radically improving its energy import bill.
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Along with other neighboring fields, Tamar also places Israel in the normally-enviable position of holding a major natural gas surplus, ready for export.
Yet '' so far'' Israel has failed to fully capitalize on this bounty.
Instead, a combination of security, politics and prices have kept many of Tel Aviv's hydrocarbon riches locked firmly beneath the sea floor.
Now, though, the effort to find a way to release this giant resource has led to some controversial plans '' as well as some unlikely-sounding deals with former foes.
Domestic and foreignIsrael has several large offshore gas reserves, with the now-depleted Ashkelon field the first to be exploited. Tamar was then discovered in 2009, with the larger Leviathan field uncovered in 2010. Since then, two more fields have also been discovered '' Karish and Tanin.
Two companies have been key in developing Tamar and Leviathan '' Texas-based Nobel Energy and Israel's Delek Group '' while Karish and Tanin are being developed by Greece's Energean.
So far, however, only Tamar has been brought into production, while Leviathan is scheduled to begin delivering gas next year. Of the other two, Karish will be the first to begin output, with this scheduled for 2021.
Given the extent of these reserves and the relatively small size of Israel's domestic market, much of the gas from the most recent discoveries is thus targeted for overseas sale.
On paper, there are also many potential buyers.
To the north is Turkey, with a large and growing economy, while to the northwest lies Europe. Egypt, too, has a fast-growing population and rapidly expanding economic needs, while to the south, Jordan has no oil and gas of its own.
Yet, ''all of the possibilities for export of Israeli gas, except to Jordan, are very difficult,'' says Charles Ellinas, the CEO of energy consultancy EC Cyprus Natural Hydrocarbons Co.
Nobel has a deal with the Hashemite Kingdom's national electricity company to supply $10 billion worth of gas via a planned underground pipeline. Israel also already supplies gas to Jordan's potash and bromine industries, via a third-party US company.
Exporting to Turkey, however, would indeed be a lot more difficult. This is not only because of the current dire relations between Ankara and Tel Aviv, but also due to the unresolved Cyprus dispute. Any pipeline heading for the Turkish coast would have to go through Cypriot waters '' a route unlikely to find backers while the island remains de facto divided.
Meanwhile, a route to Europe bypassing Turkey '' the proposed East Med Pipeline '' would have to travel 2,000km between Israel, south Cyprus, Greece and Italy. This also involves crossing one of the most seismically active sea floors in the Mediterranean, often at great depth.
In addition, ''Even if it were technically possible,'' says Ellinas, ''it would not be commercially feasible.''
This is because Israeli gas is relatively expensive, in recent times seeing it at much the same price as the Russian gas already supplied to much of Europe. With the additional cost of the East Med pipeline '' estimated at about $7.5 billion '' ''by the time the gas got to Europe, it would be too expensive for gas companies to contemplate buying,'' says Ellinas.
Regarding Egypt, a recent deal between Delek, Nobel and Egyptian company Dolphinus Holding to buy $15 billion of gas was struck back in February.
Yet, this is being hampered by an ongoing dispute between the two countries over a 2015 ruling by the International Chamber of Commerce that ordered Egypt to pay Israel $2 billion in compensation for earlier non-delivery of Egyptian gas to Israel.
This occurred when repeated attacks by militants on a pipeline in Sinai led to Egypt shutting off supply, back in 2012. Cairo is likely to insist on some adjustment to this compensation in the light of this new, $15 billion deal, potentially adding to costs.
In addition, the route Israeli gas will take to get to Egypt is also undecided. The Sinai '' the shortest land route '' is still subject to security concerns, while an undersea route would also add to the expense.
In addition, ''you have to ask, why would Egypt sign such a deal with Israel when it doesn't know its future demand and has major gas resources of its own?'' says Tareq Baconi, a research fellow with the European Council on Foreign Relations. These resources include the Eastern Mediterranean's largest find ­to date '' the giant Zohr gas field.
''The answer is that the gas is not intended for Egypt,'' adds Baconi, ''but for re-export. So, maybe in future, Egypt will act as a fig leaf for Israeli gas being sold on elsewhere.''
Saudi needs One place that certainly needs extra gas is Saudi Arabia. Strong population growth, combined with plans to diversify and further expand the economy, have recently propelled the Kingdom's oil and gas major, Saudi Aramco, to look for more supply on the global market.
Until now, much of the country's electricity has been generated by burning fuel oil, of which Saudi Arabia has had a legendary abundance. This is proving no longer sustainable, however, with the search for gas part of a recent diversification strategy that has included investment in nuclear and solar.
Meanwhile, Israeli-Saudi relations have undoubtedly been improving in recent times, as both find common causes '' and downgrade past disputes.
''Palestine has become more of a secondary issue,'' says Baconi. ''Iran is the principal issue and is dominating the agenda of the Gulf monarchies. Israel is a potential ally in that struggle.''
Yet, while current circumstances might favor Israeli-Saudi rapprochement, obstacles still remain when it comes to gas.
''There's no infrastructure to bring gas originating in Israel to the main centers in Saudi Arabia,'' points out Baconi. Gas arriving on the Kingdom's northern frontier would have many hundreds of kilometers to go before arriving at Riyadh, Jeddah, Mecca or Medina.
Yet, if Saudi plans to construct the giant, $500 billion new city of Neom in the north, go ahead, ''this would dramatically change the situation,'' says Baconi. Uncertainty, however, still surrounds these grandiose plans.
At the same time, ''there would still be a problem with pricing,'' says Ellinas. ''Israeli gas is still expensive. Plus, it would be even more politically challenging '' it would be a very big step for the reform-driving Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, with many waiting for him to make one false move.''
Yet this is a region where nowadays, few of the past's certainties seem quite so solid '' and where those who are apparently opposed in one sphere may well work as allies in another.
continue reading
Pipelay under way at Leviathan offshore Israel - Offshore
Sat, 09 Jun 2018 00:22
Offshore staff
HOUSTON '' Noble Energy's Tamar gas field offshore Israel has completed its fifth year of operations, producing a cumulative 1.5 tcf.
First-quarter 2018 output was also a new record, with total sales volumes of 959 MMcfe/d.
Leviathan, the company's second deepwater greenfield development project in the Israeli sector, is around 45% complete. Early last month a drilling rig started operations on the Leviathan-3 well, while a pipelay vessel is installing infield flowlines and gas-gathering pipelines that will connect to the platform.
Noble, which anticipates first gas sales from the field by end-2019, has recently executed various natural gas contracts with customers in Egypt and Israel bringing total volumes under contract for Leviathan to more than 900 MMcf/d.
Included in this amount is a new agreement with an existing customer to provide around 40 MMcf/d from Tamar starting in the current quarter, which will transfer to Leviathan following field start-up.
Last week Noble Energy signed a heads of agreement with the government of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea and other third-parties establishing the framework for development of natural gas from the Alen field in blocks O and I offshore Equatorial Guinea. To date, natural gas produced has been re-injected into the reservoir to enhance liquids recovery.
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The agreement outlines commercial terms for processing of the gas through Alba Plant LLC's liquefied petroleum gas plant (Noble 28%) and EGLNG's liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility, both at the Punta Europa complex on Bioko Island.
This would result in the Alen field partners and the EG LNG owners accessing global LNG markets.
Gary W. Willingham, Noble's EVP Operations, said: ''This project will transform the Alen platform into an offshore hub for potential development of additional gas fields nearby. First production is anticipated early in the next decade.''
Existing production and processing facilities at the Alen platform and in Punta Europa are said to require only minor modifications to produce and process the Alen gas.
The parties plan to construct a 65-km (40-mi) pipeline to transport gas from the Alen platform to the onshore facilities, with capacity to handle production from multiple fields.
Noble estimates an incremental 600 bcfe could be recovered.
Directed Energy Weapons
What Mystery Illness That Attacked US Embassy Staff In China
Sat, 09 Jun 2018 09:28
A mysterious illness has reportedly affected the US embassy staff in China, and as a result, the decision was made to remove several people from the positions. This situation is quite similar to what happened with a few staff members in Cuba.
The Cuba embassy was hit last year by this mysterious illness when a total of 24 US employees reported problems. These were described as ''auditory sensations,'' and it caused brain injuries. It was speculated that some agency or government might be responsible for these attacks that could have been conducted with some type of sonic weapon.
All this comes at the moment when US and China relations are at a quite low level due to the possibility of an intensification of a trade war. Only a few days ago, the State Department issued a warning to its personnel that one employee of their China embassy reported ''subtle and vague, but abnormal, sensations of sound and pressure.''
Source:arstechnica.comThese reports were taken seriously, but they still do not know the cause. It is advised to anyone who encounters anything unusual to move to a safe place. This includes any changes and ''unusual acute auditory or sensory phenomena.'' It was noted that Cuban staff members had brain injuries and one official in China was diagnosed with mild brain trauma.
In case that unusual symptoms occur, any member should inform medical staff. It is said by the State Department: ''if they note new onset of symptoms that may have begun in association with experiencing unidentified auditory sensations.''
At both locations in Cuba and China, the US dispatched special teams to investigate these mysterious attacks. America didn't accuse any of the government, and Cuban officials denied any involvement in this case.
A sonic attack can cause symptoms such as headaches, vertigo, permanent hearing loss, dizziness, vomiting and in severe cases, even brain damage.
Source: bbc.com
Dogs are People too
Talking to Your Dog in a Baby Voice Is Actually a Good Thing | Travel + Leisure
Thu, 07 Jun 2018 20:18
Forget the canine naysayers: You're not just a crazy dog mom or dog dad, after all! As it turns out, our pup companions of all ages really may respond better to us when we talk to them with that special doggie-woggie, puppy-wuppy baby voice.
According to a recent study out of York, U.K., and published in May in Animal Cognition, dogs pay better attention to humans when they use a ''baby voice'' tone in their speech towards them. Not only that, our fur babies also tend to connect with us more deeply from an emotional standpoint when we use baby-talk.
The British researchers evaluated human relationships with adult dogs, in effect measuring whether the pets preferred our baby voice, scientifically known as ''dog-directed speech'' (DDS), or if the pups responded equally to ''adult-directed speech'' (ADS), which is just the way you speak to another human adult. The results of the study appear to show that dogs are notably more responsive to baby-talk (DDS) vs. our regular voices (ADS).
Additionally, and perhaps not too surprisingly, dogs were also found to be more responsive when people included dog-related content in their speech, such as the words ''dog'' and ''walk'' as opposed to adult-related content like ''Sorry dude, I have to run some errands without you.''
Alex Benjamin, a PhD student from the University of York told the Huffington Post U.K., ''We found that adult dogs were more likely to want to interact and spend time with the speaker that used dog-directed speech with dog-related content, than they did those that used adult-directed speech with no dog-related content '... When we mixed-up the two types of speech and content, the dogs showed no preference for one speaker over the other. This suggests that adult dogs need to hear dog-relevant words spoken in a high-pitched emotional voice in order to find it relevant.''
So go ahead, coo over your little baby pupster to your heart's content, just be sure to also mix in a few words from our mutually understood human-doggo vocabulary to capture their attention at its fullest. Researchers hope these findings will be useful for pet parents, as well as veterinarians, rescue workers and other people who regularly interact with dogs.
No word yet on whether cats are similarly affected by baby voices and cat-related content, but if Taylor Swift has anything to say on the matter, you'll hear it here first.
Pawternity leave for new pet parents? Nordic company says yes
Fri, 08 Jun 2018 03:35
A pet supply company based in Norway, Sweden and Finland has started offering its 1,500 employees 3 days of paid pawternity leave to help them and their new pet get settled in.
Moms and dads in the United States have trouble getting any time off when they add new human babies to their families, but a pet food company based in Norway, Sweden and Finland is giving its employees paid ''pawternity'' after they adopt a new pet.
The CEO of Musti Group, described as the largest pet supply chain in the Nordic countries, began offering the 3-day parental leave on June 1. The company has 1,500 employees, 90 percent of whom have pets.
''Pets always come first in everything we do, and that's why pawternity leave is a natural step in developing our culture,'' Musti Group CEO David R¶nnberg said in a statement. ''Adopting a pet is a significant decision and changes everyday life considerably. We want to support our employees during their first days with their new family member and ensure that they can enjoy those precious moments to the fullest.''
Depending on the needs of each pet, R¶nnberg says, the first days spent together can be rather intense. Sleepless nights are just as common among new pet parents as those with human babies, and just like their human counterparts, new pets require constant attention and unconditional love.
''Paying attention to a pet's needs and spending time with them supports their learning, builds trust and helps prevent behavioral disorders in the future,'' R¶nnberg says.
It's also healthy for business. Henri M¤kinen, marketing director of Musti Group, says the leave contributes to the well-being of the entire family and helps employees balance their work-home life.
Musti is challenging other companies to consider pawternity for their employees, too.
Pet news, photos and more delivered to your inbox. Sign up now for the Pet Pal Connection newsletter!View more onThe Mercury News
VIDEO - Trump Greeted By Trudeau At G7 Meeting In Quebec Amid Tension - YouTube
Sun, 10 Jun 2018 14:37
VIDEO - Bill Clinton Questions Al Franken Accusations: 'Women on Saturday Night Live' Defended Him | Mediaite
Sun, 10 Jun 2018 14:06
Former President Bill Clinton sat down with PBS NewsHour managing editor and anchor Judy Woodruff on Thursday to talk about the Monica Lewinsky scandal.
Taking a softer tone, Clinton admitted the former intern ''paid quite a price'' for the affair.
Yet when talk turned to former Senator Al Franken (D-MN) and his resignation after a sexual harassment scandal of his own, Clinton seemed to call into question at least one of the accuser's accounts.
''I assume you think that what happened with you was more serious than what happened with Senator '-- former Senator Al Franken,'' Woodruff said.
''He was driven from office, from the U.S. Senate. So, norms have changed. Do you think that's a good thing?'' she then asked.
''Well, in general, I think it's a good thing, yes,'' Clinton remarked.
He then said this, seemingly defending the former senator:
I think that '-- I will be honest '-- the Franken case, for me, was a difficult case, a hard case. There may be things I don't know. But I '-- maybe I'm just an old-fashioned person, but it seemed to me that there were 29 women on Saturday Night Live that put out a statement for him, and that the first and most fantastic story was called, I believe, into question.
Too late to wade into it now. I mean, I think it's a grievous thing to take away from the people a decision they have made, especially when there is an election coming up again. But it's done now.
And I think that all of us should just be focusing on how to do better and how to go forward.
Last year, Franken was accused of groping and forcibly kissing Leeann Tweeden, a Los Angeles radio news anchor, during a 2006 USO Tour. After Tweeden spoke out, seven other women came forward, prompting Franken's resignation.
Watch above, via PBS.
[image via screengrab]
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VIDEO - Poo jogger: What is behind the phenomenon
Sun, 10 Jun 2018 13:59
Months later, a copy cat "pooper" in the US city of Little Rock, Arkansas, dubbed the "s--- bandit" by irate locals began relieving himself in the driveways of residents' homes.
So what causes people to behave in such a bewildering way?
Leading clinical psychologist, Grant Brecht, says the act can have an adrenalin rush similar to the feeling of taking a "hit of heroin".
"They are seeking a thrill and they get addicted to the way it makes them feel ... equating it to taking a hit of heroin," he said.
"It can make them feel invincible ... it can also tie into the idea of delusions of grandeur."
Mr Brecht says there are a number of reasons behind public defecation, spanning from elimination disorder - a diagnosable mental condition marked by the inappropriate passage of faeces - to incontinence.
"The thing is nobody really knows why," Mr Brecht said.
"There are so many different reasons behind it that there could be a different reason for every person that undertakes that type of behaviour."
The first thing to establish is whether the behaviour is intentional.
"Sometimes it appears as a type of vindictive rage," he said.
"It's the ultimate expression of aggression aimed at something or someone the person feels anger or envy towards. They feel so enraged that they defecate on that person's doorstep. They're motivated by their anger and that's what behind their behaviour."
Mr Brecht, who has been a clinical psychologist for more than 30 years, says his own theory is that in some cases it can be a form of obsessive compulsive disorder.
"A person might be feeling really anxious, they could be under a lot of pressure at work and one day they defecate in a certain place for whatever reason," he said.
"Then they feel this compulsion to return there every day because if they don't, they fear something could go wrong in their lives. It's like's when a person continues to wash their hands, or they put their shoes under their bed every night, it's fuelled by anxiety or fear that something bad will happen if they don't."
Sydney clinical psychologist Pandelis Tsomis could not comment on Macintosh's case but, in general, said such repeated behaviour could be associated with obsessive compulsive order.
"The only thing I can think of is obsessive compulsive disorder, where people act out a behaviour that makes no sense but has a soothing or relieving effect," he said.
"There could be emotional tension."
He said the act of defecating could be associated with relief.
"It's that obsessive compulsive drive - if I do not poo there, something bad may happen. Literature about obsessive compulsive disorder shows people think, 'I have to open and close the fridge or my parents will die in a car crash'. Or, 'If I don't drink four glasses of water, I may get cancer'. There is some sort of drive, obsession, something to reduce anxiety," he said.
"With OCD type stuff, it's irrational stuff, where instead of A leads to B, A leads to W, and you've missed a whole sequence of events in between.
"But you would have to interrogate that person and ask them to be honest ... without that you may never know," he said.
Could jogging be to blame?
Photo: Peter BraigIt may be that the reason for such acts has more to do with the body than the mind.
Studies have shown gastrointestinal problems are common for endurance athletes, with 30 to 50 per cent experiencing some kind of gut issues, according to research published in Sports Medicine.
And among elite endurance athletes, particularly long distance runners, the prevalence of exercise-induced gastrointestinal symptoms was found to be up to 70 per cent.
"It affects gastrointestinal function," says Melbourne exercise physiologist Yujin Lim.
"When running your body preferences blood flow, moving it away from the gut into lower limbs and extremities. From there your GI function is compromised and for some people these things can happen.
"To the extent of needing to defecate on a jog regularly ... that's potentially questionable."
Long distance runners were more likely to encounter these symptoms, he said.
"With more intensity comes more demand and more of the body trying to preference running function over other functions in the body, especially if it goes to extreme lengths."
Melissa Cunningham reports breaking news for The Age.
Simone is a breaking news reporter for The Age. Most recently she covered breaking news for The Australian in Melbourne.
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VIDEO - Mika Brzezinski: Source Told Me Trump is 'Upset' He 'Can't Watch Porn in the White House' - YouTube
Sun, 10 Jun 2018 13:37
VIDEO - Make the G7 the G8 Again | Left, Right & Center | Political Discussion & News | KCRW | KCRW
Sun, 10 Jun 2018 12:53
InfoPresident Trump says Russia should be invited back to the group of world leaders.
FROM THIS EPISODEBefore heading to the summit with the leaders of the world's most advanced economies, President Trump says Vladimir Putin should be let back in. Russia was expelled from the then-G8 after the annexation of Crimea in Ukraine. The president also plans to leave the summit early, perhaps because he knows he's going to get an earful about trade, the Iran nuclear deal, climate change, and perhaps because he's just days away from another summit '-- his meeting with Kim Jong-Un in Singapore '-- for which Trump says he doesn't really need to prepare. He is, reportedly, prepared for hundreds of potential pardons. He's still taking suggestions though, inviting professional football players to send him names instead of protesting during the national anthem. The panel also analyzes this week's primary election results with Paul Mitchell, vice president of a political data firm in California, and the contested seats in the state and how immigration is dividing Republicans and voters.
European Council President Donald Tusk, Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May, Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel, U.S. President Donald Trump and Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pose during a family photo at the G7 Summit in the Charlevoix city of La Malbaie, Quebec, Canada, June 8, 2018. REUTERS/Yves Herman
Guests: Felicia Wong , Roosevelt Institute , @FeliciaWongRI David Frum , The Atlantic , @davidfrum Paul Mitchell , Political Data, Inc , @paulmitche11
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VIDEO - Newark 'Virtual Police' initiative will allow residents to view police cameras | abc7ny.com
Sun, 10 Jun 2018 12:38
Thursday, April 26, 2018
NEWARK, New Jersey (WABC) --
Newark Mayor Ras Baraka on Thursday announced the launch of the "Citizen Virtual Patrol," a virtual policing program.
"This invaluable technology puts a real-time crime reporting tool in the hands of every concerned community member," Baraka said.
Officials say 62 surveillance cameras are up around the city, and beginning Thursday, anyone will be able to log onto the Newark Police Department's website
NPD.NewarkPublicSafety.org and view them.
The hope is that this will encourage citizens to aid police during investigations and deter criminal activity.
"This will result in safer neighborhoods and a stronger partnership between police and the community in safeguarding the City of Newark," Baraka said.
The city plans to increase the number of cameras to 125 by October, with live monitoring by Newark police officials. Then, another 200 will be added to the system.
They also plan to launch a mobile version of the software.
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Sun, 10 Jun 2018 12:15
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VIDEO - Jogger Recorded On Video Trashing Lake Merritt Homeless Encampment '' CBS San Francisco
Sun, 10 Jun 2018 11:52
OAKLAND (CBS SF) '-- Emotions ran high on social media Saturday after Facebook video showed a jogger tossing a homeless man's belonging into Oakland's Lake Merritt.
The incident took place at about 6:30 p.m. Friday when witnesses say an unidentified jogger began scooping up a homeless man's blankets and clothes and tossing them into the water.
Once the jogger realized others were watching, he began to toss the belongings into a trash can. All of it was caught on video.
''The audacity, the lack of compassion for another human being, the greater context of where we are as a society,'' said JJ Harris who recorded the incident.
Harris and others can be heard on the video asking the man to stop, but he continued.
The jogger can be heard saying to the witnesses '-- ''I'm just picking up trash. What do you want me to do? It's all over the place, if you want to help, help.''
There is growing anger toward the homeless in the neighborhood.
''People are generally fed up on both sides of the equation,'' Harris said.
Harris posted the video on social media where some people supported and praised the jogger while others were critical of his actions.
When asked about the incident Saturday, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said it was ''not appropriate.''
''I feel the frustration of both sides, now I will say clearly that was not appropriate,'' she said. ''It's not appropriate to take someone's belongings, it's not appropriate to trash our beautiful Lake Merritt.
The homeless man '-- Greg Markson '-- was not there when the incident took place. But since the video was posted, people have come by to drop off clothes and blankets to replace those destroyed by the jogger.
''I'm appreciative,'' he told KPIX 5. ''I'm happy.''
VIDEO - Hawaii volcano eruption: Freezing rain and ice hits Kilauea and alarms scientists | World | News | Express.co.uk
Sun, 10 Jun 2018 11:49
Express. Home of the Daily and Sunday Express. THE Hawaii volcano eruption has triggered a shock event that has left experts baffled, with one meteorologist admitting he has "never seen this before," after the explosive lava caused a winter freeze blast. PUBLISHED: 08:49, Sun, Jun 10, 2018 | UPDATED: 09:13, Sun, Jun 10, 2018
Mysterious weather events have struck Hawaii's Big Island, where the volcano Kilauea continues to erupt and spew lava.
The Hawaii National Weather Service was forced to issue a shock Winter Weather Advisory alert after freezing rain and ice appeared in areas of the Big Island.
The unusual weather event is incredibly rare and meteorologists have admitted that they have "never seen this before".
One Hawaiian meteorologist Pete Caggiano told viewers: "Lava flow has actually prompted a winter weather advisory for the summit of the Big Island.
"Lava is entering into the ocean that is creating a lot of steam. As that steam rises up it cools and falls back down as freezing rain and fog.
"I have never seen this before. This has sparked a winter weather warning for above 12,000 ft. There are ice on the roadways so this is creating dangerous conditions.
"This weather is yet another unusual byproduct of this lava flow that continues to emerge."
According to the official advisory, recent observations from the summit of Mauna Kea, 72 miles from Kilauea, indicate below-freezing temperatures are bringing freezing fog and rain.
Mysterious weather events have struck Hawaii's Big Island
II have never seen this before
Pete Caggiano
The US Geological Survey admitted yesterday that no-one knows exactly when the month-long lava chaos will end.
Vulcanologists confirmed the month-old eruption on Hawaii's Big Island has entered a new, quieter calmer phase inside the crater.
The latest update revealed the lava fountains of 200ft are continuing "unabated".
Strong winds are pushing volcanic emissions - or vog - to smaller islands nearby.
The latest update revealed the lava fountains of 200ft are continuing "unabated"
Vog is a harmful air pollution that results when the sulfur dioxide mixes with oxygen and moisture around the island.
The volcanic disaster is believed to be the most costly and destructive in US history.
More than 400 homes have been destroyed since the eruptions started around a month ago.
The latest lava flow appears to have created nearly a mile of new land off Kapoho Bay , according to officials from the US Geological Survey.
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VIDEO - '–¶ Two-Minute Drill: Mika claims Trump's mad he can't watch porn in the White House by Mike Opelka
Sun, 10 Jun 2018 11:38
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VIDEO - World record set for largest skinny dip on Co Wicklow beach - BBC News
Sun, 10 Jun 2018 03:56
More than 2,500 women have stripped naked on a beach in the Republic of Ireland to break the world record for the largest skinny dip.
Magheramore Beach, just south of Wicklow Town, was the venue for the women-only event on Saturday morning.
The combined efforts of the 2,505 women broke the existing Guinness World Record, which had been set in 2015 when 786 people bared all on South Beach in Perth, Australia.
The event marked the sixth year of the annual Strip and Dip charity swim, which was founded by Deirdre Featherstone when she was undergoing treatment for breast cancer.
More than '‚¬150,000 has been raised to date for children suffering for cancer, with participants in Saturday's event raising funds for Aoibheann's Pink Tie, a children's cancer charity.
VIDEO - Take a look at the new ginger emojis - BBC News
Sun, 10 Jun 2018 03:54
VideoWoozy face, ginger heads and one for the baldies'...new emojis make their debut.
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Sun, 10 Jun 2018 03:52
VIDEO - Anthony Bourdain on Asia Argento's Cannes Speech: 'I Knew It Would Be a Nuclear Bomb' '' The Millennium Report
Sun, 10 Jun 2018 03:46
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VIDEO - Amber Athey on Twitter: "WATCH: President Trump nukes @CNN reporter into another dimension. "I figured. Fake news CNN. The worst!" he said. "I had no idea you were CNN, after the question I was just curious who you were with." https://t.co/WC5MJfb
Sun, 10 Jun 2018 03:29
Log in Sign up Amber Athey @ amber_athey WATCH: President Trump nukes
@CNN reporter into another dimension. "I figured. Fake news CNN. The worst!" he said. "I had no idea you were CNN, after the question I was just curious who you were with."
pic.twitter.com/WC5MJfbeGy 8:37 AM - 9 Jun 2018 Twitter by: Amber Athey @amber_athey Dave Bricker @ CognitiveCaveat
10h Replying to
@amber_athey @DonaldJTrumpJr @CNN That's not nuking, it's immature and childish. He proved himself that fake news is only that news that paints him in a negative light because he is too thin skinned to do his job.
View conversation · Chewbacca Trump @ medraresteak
10h Replying to
@CognitiveCaveat @amber_athey and
2 others I'd describe it more as skewering a bonehead
View conversation · That One Girl @ DodgingUnicorns
10h Replying to
@amber_athey @trumps_feed @CNN Nah. Weak.
View conversation · Lainey @ realLainey
10h Replying to
@amber_athey @trumps_feed @CNN Why do you or would he consider the question suspect, given the recent and vocal criticisms about trade? It was a fair-minded question and his answer that the relationship is still good is all he needed to emphasize. What do you consider to be a reporter's job if it isn't this?
View conversation · AppetiteForObstruction @ ATPacy
10h Replying to
@amber_athey @trumps_feed @CNN Bull.He sounds like an ass.Coddling Putin while he attacks our best allies.Blaming AMERICA for Russia's taking of Crimea.He will go down in history as the worst President ever.And he won't even finish his first term.Screenshot this and take it to the bank.
View conversation · Jonny Axelsson @ jaxroam
10h Replying to
@amber_athey @CNN You seriously haven't seen a deflect before? This is what politicians do to avoid answering questions. It isn't clever, it can be slick. Here it is neither.
View conversation · Dave Bricker @ CognitiveCaveat
10h Replying to
@medraresteak @amber_athey and
2 others Refer to my previous statement. The Office of POTUS is an office where the behavior of its holder has a responsibility to act in a dignified manner and not like an immature 11 year old who cannot withstand criticism. No matter your politics you cannot encourage such behavior.
View conversation · Amy Green @ _MyLittlePretty
10h Replying to
@amber_athey @DonaldJTrumpJr @CNN You know they are laughing at Trump right!? He's a piss poor excuse for a man.
View conversation · Chewbacca Trump @ medraresteak
10h Replying to
@CognitiveCaveat @amber_athey and
2 others There's no respect for him. It's a personal war that CNN started.
View conversation · James Parkley @ jnarls
10h Replying to
@amber_athey @DonaldJTrumpJr @CNN pic.twitter.com/lNP8DAZ8vX View conversation · Dave Bricker @ CognitiveCaveat
10h Replying to
@medraresteak @amber_athey and
2 others The media has a responsibility to act as a tacit check on government. Fox News did it to Obama and is failing miserably. CNN vice versa. It still doesn't give the President the right to act in the manner in which he is. He lost that right when he won the election.
View conversation · James Parkley @ jnarls
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@amber_athey @DonaldJTrumpJr @CNN pic.twitter.com/LzyiegSswX View conversation · Enter a topic, @name, or fullname
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VIDEO - Man Confronts Bill Clinton Over 26 Flights On Jeffrey Epstein's Lolita Express
Sun, 10 Jun 2018 03:25
Howard Caplan, host of The Traffick Report Show and Infowars guest, asked Bill Clinton about the 26 flights he took on convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein's private jet the Lolita Express.
While attending a Bill Clinton speaking event, Caplan interrupted and shouted, ''Why did you fly on Jeffrey Epstein's Lolita Express 26 times? What were you doing on Jeffrey Epstein's plane?''
The crowd began booing immediately and Caplan was escorted out of the building.
Bill Clinton flew on Epstein's Lolita Express at least 26 times according to flight logs and the billionaire sex offender had 21 phone numbers for Bill.
Listed directly under ''President William J. Clinton'' is Kevin Spacey who has been accused of molesting multiple people, including underage boys.
Infowars is orchestrating a protest for Bill Clinton's upcoming visit to Austin, Texas on June 10.
Ex-Secret Service agent Dan Bongino previously threatened to release information on Bill Clinton's Lolita Express flights where he is rumored to have had sexual relations with underage individuals.
In April, Infowars wrote about Caplan confronting Joe Biden over his inappropriate touching of young girls on CSPAN.
In the video below Infowars reporter Rob Dew interviews Caplan about his Joe Biden confrontation.
In July of 2017, Caplan was allegedly assaulted by a group of men who targeted him over his support for President Trump.
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Sun, 10 Jun 2018 02:39
VIDEO - YouTube Energy drinks: power or poison?
Sun, 10 Jun 2018 00:36
VIDEO - President Trump Discusses Results 7 Summit Meeting, Jun 9 2018 | C-SPAN.org
Sun, 10 Jun 2018 00:28
June 9, 2018 2018-06-09T13:57:57-04:00 https://images.c-span.org/Files/983/20180609101617001_hd.jpg Before departing for Singapore for an upcoming, historical meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, President Trump delivered remarks and took questions at a news conference at the G-7 Summit in Quebec, Canada. He talked about trade imbalances with other countries, his relationship with other G-7 leaders, renegotiating NAFTA, Russian membership in the economic group and his expectations for next week's summit with Kim Jong Un.Before departing for Singapore for an upcoming, historical meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, President Trump delivered remarks and'... read more
President Trump Speaks at G-7 Summit Before departing for Singapore for an upcoming, historical meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, President Trump delivered remarks and took questions at a news conference at the G-7 Summit in Quebec, Canada. He talked about trade imbalances with other countries, his relationship with other G-7 leaders, renegotiating NAFTA, Russian membership in the economic group and his expectations for next week's summit with Kim Jong Un. close
*This transcript was compiled from uncorrected Closed Captioning.
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Sat, 09 Jun 2018 21:28
VIDEO - CNBC's John Harwood Concerned About Trump's 'State of Mind' After Presser: 'He Did Not Look Well'
Sat, 09 Jun 2018 16:18
President Trump's press conference this morning at the G-7 summit was so stunning to the panel on MSNBC's AM Joy that they wondered if the President is well.
Trump today stood by his call to reinstate Russia in the G-7, blamed Barack Obama for the annexation of Crimea, and he also got in a few shots at the ''fake news,'' CNN in particular.
Joy Reid brought up the tariff discussion before CNBC's John Harwood brought things to Trump's state of mind:
''I'll be honest, as a citizen, I'm concerned about the President's state of mind. He did not look well to me in that press conference. He was not speaking logically or rationally. It sounded as if he was making stuff us, saying, you know, China told me nobody's ever talked to us or saying, 'Oh, you know, I talked to Justin Trudeau,' and he can't believe he was getting away with so much trade stuff. I don't think those things are true. There was something about his affect which was oddly kind of languid from him. I don't know what it means, but he did not look well to me.''
MSNBC contributor Malcolm Nance agreed, saying, ''I think Steve Schmidt said this the other day, that Donald Trump comes off like a moron'... I think he came off like an idiot today. I was almost shocked at the way that he spoke with utter contempt of every president that preceded him.''
He found the president to be very narcissistic today and argued, ''This man wouldn't qualify for the nuclear weapons control system to allow him to be anywhere near the nuclear control'... keys or even guarding them.''
''He came off like Mad King Donald,'' he added.
Mother Jones DC bureau chief David Corn weighed in along the same lines, telling Reid, ''If you were talking to me this morning the way we just heard Donald Trump talk, I would ask you if you'd taken any medication, advise you not to operate any heavy machinery.''
Watch above, via MSNBC.
[image via screengrab]
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Sat, 09 Jun 2018 15:38
VIDEO - Pelosi scoffs at strong US consumer confidence figures | Fox News
Sat, 09 Jun 2018 15:31
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Thursday resumed her attacks against President Donald Trump, this time criticizing the nation's nearly 18-year high in consumer confidence under the president's leadership.
The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index rose 2.4 points in May, reaching 128 -- for the highest reading in more than 17 years, the organization said this week.
But in her weekly news conference, the California Democrat downplayed the figure, just a week after she claimed low unemployment numbers reported earlier ''mean little'' to the American people.
'Negative Nancy'
Her recent responses about the economy have prompted Republicans to nickname her ''Negative Nancy'' over her attempts to downplay positive news.
"(P)eople say, 'Oh my goodness, ... people are saying the unemployment rate is down, why isn't my purchasing power increasing?" Pelosi said. "So, this isn't just about the unemployment rate, it's about wages rising in our country, so that consumer confidence is restored.''
But just as consumer confidence hit its highest point in decades, data revealed last week also showed that the unemployment rate dropped to an 18-year-low of 3.8 percent, with the addition of 223,000 jobs in May, and average hourly earnings rose 0.3 percent.
Nevertheless, Pelosi went on to attack the administration and the GOP, saying "Republicans' cruel, cynical health care sabotage campaign is already spiking families' premiums by double digits and pushing millions off their coverage, according to the nonpartisan CBO [Congressional Budget Office]."
She continued her analysis:
"Big Pharma continues to hoard the benefits of the GOP tax scam, using their handouts to further enrich executives and shareholders instead of lowering prescription drug costs for seniors and sick kids. At the same time, the president's reckless policies are exploding gas prices, wiping out the few meager gains that some families should have received from the GOP tax scam, as wages remain stagnant."
Critics, left and right
But while Pelosi rails against Trump and company, she is facing increasing criticism both from the right and left of the Democratic Party.
On the left, Pelosi is viewed as too moderate at a time when the party is embracing the socialist politics of U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and openly campaigning for some form of socialized medicine and greater government regulation of the economy.
She drew fire after confirming the party will abide by the fiscally conservative pay-as-you-go budget rule if the party regains the majority after November elections. The budget-neutral rule requires tax cuts or increases in spending to be covered by tax increases or cuts in spending.
U.S. Rep. Raºl Grijalva, D-Ariz., criticized Pelosi and other Democrats for conceding and promising to adopt the rule.
''The pay-go thing is an absurd idea now given the times and given what's already been done to curry favor with corporate America,'' Grijalva said, according to the Hill.
''It's a stupid rule. It is entirely counter-productive to progressive policy goals,'' wrote Esquire's Charles Pierce. ''In case nobody in the Democratic leadership has noticed, the rising energy in the party is not coming out of the budget-hawk cryptkeepers.''
''Right now, the country is giving serious consideration to things like Medicare-for-all and some sort of free college. This isn't the time to go all Al From again. It also guarantees a serious intraparty skirmish that's already underway,'' he added.
Too anti-Trump?
On the right, red-state Democrats want to see some moderation of her tone when it comes to attacks on Trump, fearing it will hurt their prospects in the midterm elections.
Many candidates also fear GOP's efforts to use Pelosi's statements to portray the whole party as out-of-touch and representative of West Coast liberals.
U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb, D-Pa., distanced himself from Pelosi during the election last year and said he wouldn't vote for her remaining the minority leader in the U.S. House. His strategy paid off as he won the special election in a historically GOP district that Trump had won by nearly 20 points.
VIDEO - Theresa May's latest Brexit plan not 'workable solution', Guy Verhofstadt says | The Independent
Sat, 09 Jun 2018 15:09
The European Parliament's Brexit chief has poured cold water on Theresa May's plan to solve the Northern Ireland border issue, just hours after the PM released revised proposals designed to placate both Brussels and Brexiteers in her own Cabinet.
Reaction from the European Commission to the UK's white paper has been polite but cautious, with chief negotiator Michel Barnier saying they would examine the proposals to see whether they were up to scratch. Mr Barnier said the plan would have to respect the integrity of the single market, and be a ''workable solution'' to the border of an ''all-weather'' character.
But Guy Verhofstadt, who has taken the role as a vocal outrider for Brussels during Brexit negotiations, said on Thursday afternoon that the plan did not look workable.
Read more EU advises businesses not to use British components because of Brexit
He warned that it was ''difficult to see how [the] UK proposal on customs aspects of the Ireland/Northern Ireland backstop will deliver a workable solution to avoid a hard border and respect integrity of the single market and customs union'', adding that ''a backstop that is temporary is not a backstop, unless the definitive arrangement is the same as the backstop''.
European Commission officials said they were studying the proposals while British diplomats in Brussels said they would begin to talks over the plans. Also commenting shortly after the release of the latest plan, Mr Barnier said: ''I welcome publication of UK proposal on customs aspects of Ireland/Northern Ireland backstop.''
''We will examine it with three questions: is it a workable solution to avoid a hard border? Does it respect the integrity of the single market and customs union? Is it an all-weather backstop?''
The Prime Minister emerged from a Cabinet row today after Brexiteers demanded that the so-called ''backstop'' plan for the Irish border be strictly time-limited. Brexit Secretary David Davis had reportedly threatened to resign over the issue: he and other Brexiteers fear that plans to align the whole UK with the single market and customs union until another way of preventing a hard border was found would amount to keeping Britain tied to EU rules indefinitely.
Mr Davis appears to have carried the day, as the proposals say that ''the temporary customs arrangement, should it be needed, should be time limited, and that it will be only in place until the future customs arrangement can be introduced''. But the white paper is, again, light on detail, and says only that ''there are a range of options for how a time limit could be delivered, which the UK will propose and discuss with the EU''. British diplomats did not provide any more information about what these options might entail.
Brexit threatens life on the Irish border: in pictures 1/15 John Murphy flies the European flag outside his home near the border village of Forkhill, Co Armagh
2/15 An abandoned shop is seen in Mullan, Co Monaghan. The building was home to four families who left during the Troubles. The town was largely abandoned after the hard border was put in place during the conflict. Mullan has seen some regeneration in recent years, but faces an uncertain future with Brexit on the horizon
3/15 Mervyn Johnson owns a garage in the border town of Pettigo, which straddles the counties of Donegal and Fermanagh. 'I've been here since 1956, it was a bit of a problem for a few years. My premises has been blown up about six or seven times, we just kept building and starting again,' Johnson said laughing. 'We just got used to it [the hard border] really but now that it's gone, we wouldn't like it back again'
4/15 Farmer Gordon Crockett's Coshquin farm straddles both Derry/Londonderry in the North and Donegal in the Republic. 'At the minute there is no real problem, you can cross the border as free as you want. We could cross it six or eight times a day,' said Crockett. 'If there was any sort of obstruction it would slow down our work every day'
5/15 A defaced 'Welcome to Northern Ireland' sign stands on the border in Middletown, Co Armagh
Photography by Reuters/Clodagh Kilcoyne
6/15 Potter Brenda McGinn stands outside her Mullan, Co Monaghan, studio '' the former Jas Boylan shoe factory which was the main employer in the area until it shut down due to the Troubles. 'When I came back, this would have been somewhere you would have driven through and have been quite sad. It was a decrepit looking village,' said McGinn, whose Busy Bee Ceramics is one of a handful of enterprises restoring life to the community. 'Now this is a revitalised, old hidden village'
7/15 Union Flag colours painted on kerbstones and bus-stops along the border village of Newbuildings, Co Derry/Londonderry
8/15 Grass reflected in Lattone Lough, which is split by the border between Cavan and Fermanagh, seen from near Ballinacor, Northern Ireland
9/15 Donegalman David McClintock sits in the Border Cafe in the village of Muff, which straddles Donegal and Derry/Londonderry
10/15 An old Irish phone box stands alongside a bus stop in the border town of Glaslough, Co Monaghan
11/15 Billboards are viewed from inside a disused customs hut in Carrickcarnon, Co Down, on the border with Co Louth in the Republic
12/15 Seamus McQuaid takes packages that locals on the Irish side of the border have delivered to his business, McQuaid Auto-Parts, to save money on postal fees, near the Co Fermanagh village of Newtownbutler. 'I live in the south but the business is in the North,' said McQaid. "I wholesale into the Republic of Ireland so if there's duty, I'll have to set up a company 200 yards up the road to sell to my customers. I'll have to bring the same product in through Dublin instead of Belfast'
13/15 A disused Great Northern Railway line and station that was for customs and excise on the border town of Glenfarne, Co Leitrim
14/15 Alice Mullen, from Monaghan in the Republic of Ireland, does her shopping at a former customs post on the border in Middletown, Co Armagh. 'I'd be very worried if it was a hard border, I remember when people were divided. I would be very afraid of the threat to the peace process, it was a dreadful time to live through. Even to go to mass on a Sunday, you'd have to go through checkpoints. It is terribly stressful,' said Mullen. 'All those barricades and boundaries were pulled down. I see it as a huge big exercise of trust and I do believe everyone breathed a sigh of relief'
15/15 A bus stop and red post box stand in the border town of Jonesborough, Co Armagh
EU officials have said that in order for substantial progress to be made on Brexit at an upcoming Brussels summit later this month, Britain would have to accept that the backstop could not be time-limited and that it would have to only apply to Northern Ireland, rather than the whole UK.
Downing Street has resisted the calls to treat Northern Ireland differently however, after pressure from the DUP, a right-wing Northern Irish party on which Ms May relies on for her majority in the House of Commons.
More about: | Brexit | Theresa May | Guy Verhofstadt | Michel Barnier | EU | Ireland | Customs | Trade | Northern Ireland | Northern Ireland border
VIDEO - YouTube
Sat, 09 Jun 2018 14:54
VIDEO - 'No dogs allowed, but what about my assistance dog?' - BBC News
Sat, 09 Jun 2018 14:46
Image copyright Abby Cappleman Image caption Abby enjoys her independent life with her assistance dog Chloe Abby Cappleman studies computing at college in Wellington, in Shropshire. She also has Asperger's syndrome, a form of autism. And thanks to her assistance dog, Chloe, she has the confidence to lead an independent life outside her home.
"She's very tolerant of my emotional meltdowns," Abby told the BBC.
"Chloe sits with me and licks me. She is perfect for me."
Image copyright Abby Cappleman Image caption Chloe can alert Abby to her seizures Most companies only allow guide dogs on their premises, so 18-year-old Abby has been trying to raise awareness about people who rely on assistance dogs. She has set up a petition to get the government to make it a legal requirement for service providers to display a sticker which welcomes all assistance dogs.
She has also created a Facebook account called Chloe the Assistance Dog where she posts their experiences:
According to the charity organisation Assistance Dogs UK, more than 7,000 disabled people in the UK rely on an assistance dog to help with practical tasks as well as offering emotional support and independence.
Abby has made a video to demonstrate the things her assistance dog can do for her.
She has also filmed some of the less positive encounters she's had while out with her dog.
These included one in May when, moments after Abby and Chloe entered a shop in Shrewsbury, they were asked to leave, due to a "No dogs allowed" policy.
Although Abby explained that Chloe was her assistance dog and that it was her legal right to be there, the shop manager insisted they leave.
Image copyright Abby Cappleman Image caption Carrying cards which help to explain Abby's condition are very useful For most people, being asked to leave a shop would not be a good experience, but it would be amplified for someone with autism.
The police were called and an officer, who has two autistic daughters herself, arrived on the scene.
"It was very stressful," Abby explained, "but the policewoman helped calm me down. She was fantastic. She went above and beyond."
Police community support officer (PCSO), Maria Chattington-Lowe,informed the shopkeeper he was breaking the law and that people like Abby are not obliged to disclose their condition:
"Every shopkeeper has to make reasonable adjustments," said PCSO Maria.
"Even a school or college has to allow them. My daughters have the same condition, they don't like to be touched. Even I wouldn't touch her; it's invading her personal space."
She went on to describe the importance of Chloe to Abby's wellbeing:
"Her dog gives her that comfort of not being alone, and helps with physical tasks. It's like a befriending system. A little bit like a guide dog.
"Young people often can have physical meltdowns when they're in certain environments. Even lighting can affect them - they go hazy and start to have panic attacks. The dog can pick up on that."
Image copyright Abby Cappleman Image caption Chloe the assistance dog is 'perfect' for Abby Since having the law explained to him, the shop manager told the BBC he had looked up the Equality Act 2010 and regretted how he had spoken to Abby:
"As soon as she went, I read up about it and I was sorry for what I said to her," he said. "It's been a learning experience for me."
Image copyright Abby Cappleman Image caption Inside Chloe's jacket is Abby's medicine and a card which explains her condition This wasn't the first time Abby had been treated in this way, and she hopes her petition will help her mission to promote an understanding of assistance dogs:
"I did not want to target the shop, but to spread awareness. This is something that people like me are subjected to, but not everyone is as stubborn as I am!
"At least if anyone else with an assistance dog goes into his shop, he'll know to let them in next time."
Interviewed and produced by Sherie Ryder, BBC UGC and Social News
VIDEO - Plan to diversify elite high schools in New York City announced by Mayor Bill de Blasio | abc7ny.com
Sat, 09 Jun 2018 09:51
Sunday, June 03, 2018 06:29PM
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Saturday he will push to diversify the city's elite specialized high schools by setting aside seats for low-income students who just missed the test score cutoff.
De Blasio announced in an op-ed on the education website Chalkbeat that starting in fall 2019, 20 percent of the seats at the specialized high schools will be set aside for economically disadvantaged students with scores just below the cutoff.
Admission to the eight academically rigorous schools, including Stuyvesant High School and the Bronx High School of Science, is governed by a single test that's offered to eighth graders in the fall.
Critics have long complained that the reliance on the test leads to a lack of diversity at the schools, which are overwhelmingly Asian and white. About 10 percent of the students at the eight school are black or Hispanic, although black and Hispanic students make up two-thirds of the city's public school population overall.
Many middle-class parents spend hundreds if not thousands of dollars on tutors to prepare their children for the test.
De Blasio, a Democrat, said he would like to eventually replace the test with a new admissions process using measures such as middle school class rankings. He called the Specialized High School Admissions Test "a roadblock to justice, progress and academic excellence."
Overhauling the admissions process for the specialized high schools would require action by the state legislature.
More New York City news *
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Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts (Copyright (C)2018 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
VIDEO - Facebook bug set 14 million users' sharing settings to public
Sat, 09 Jun 2018 09:40
For a period of four days in May, about 14 million Facebook users around the world had their default sharing setting for all new posts set to public, the company revealed Thursday. The bug, which affected those users from May 18 to May 22, occurred while Facebook was testing a new feature.
After Facebook employees discovered the bug, the company went back and changed the privacy settings for all posts shared by those 14 million users during that time.
Facebook changed every post by those users during the affected time period to private, including posts that people may have meant to share publicly. The company told CNN it took five days to make those changes.
Affected Facebook users will get a notification on the app or website starting Thursday. They'll see a message from Facebook urging users to "Please Review Your Posts" and a link to a list of what they shared on Facebook while the bug was active.
Related: Facebook faces new regulatory backlash over data privacy
Facebook posts typically default to the last "audience" a post was shared with, such as family members, friends, or friends except their boss. That default was changed to public for the 14 million users, but if affected users noticed, they could have manually switched the setting themselves.
"We recently found a bug that automatically suggested posting publicly when some people were creating their Facebook posts," said Erin Egan, Facebook's chief privacy officer. "We have fixed this issue and starting today we are letting everyone affected know and asking them to review any posts they made during that time. To be clear, this bug did not impact anything people had posted before -- and they could still choose their audience just as they always have."
A Facebook spokesperson said the notification is the start of new proactive and transparent way for the company to handle issues going forward.
CNNMoney (San Francisco) First published June 7, 2018: 3:00 PM ET
VIDEO - YouTube MSNBC Host Calls Out Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) For Comparing President Donald Trump To A Terrorist
Sat, 09 Jun 2018 09:25
VIDEO - ASMR: Why videos of shaking sweets, cutting soap and whispering for hours are an online phenomenon | Euronews
Sat, 09 Jun 2018 09:13
It's about Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response.
Once known as brain tingles, or brain orgasms, the term was coined in 2010 to describe a phenomenon that can be triggered by sound. It can be experienced by around a fifth of the population
The effect is like a massage by sound, and experts have sought out, and found, a wide range of different ways to stimulate it.
From shaking sweets to cutting soap, crinkling wrappers or scratching cardboard, or even simply whispering.
NBC News' Left Field team, with a bit of help from Miss Candy, gave some different techniques a road test.
VIDEO - President Trump "may invite Kim Jong-un to White House" | Euronews
Sat, 09 Jun 2018 09:00
US President Donald Trump has revealed he may invite North Korea's Kim Jong-un to the United States if their upcoming summit goes well.
Trump also said he was prepared to walk away from the summit if necessary.
The pair are meeting in Singapore next Tuesday for the first time.
Trump responded to reporters' questions at a White House press conference; "Certainly, if it goes well; and I think it would be well received; I think he would look at it very favourably, so I think that could happen."
Reporter: _"Would it be here at the White House House or at Mar-a-Lago?"_
Trump replied; "Maybe we'll start with the White House. What do you think?"
Joining Trump at the podium was Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Tokyo has long been a target of Pyongyang's aggression and a North Korean missile landed in Japanese waters just last year.
North Korea is also holding Japanese abductees that Abe wants released.
Trump made it clear the summit needs to give real results or he'll walk away; "I am totally prepared to walk. It could happen. Maybe it won't be necessary. I hope it won't be necessary to walk because I really believe that Kim Jong-un wants to do something that is going to be great for his people and also great for his family, great for himself."
After years of isolation, the summit is an opportunity for Kim to come in from the cold.
But still in question; what is he ready to concede?
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Thursday the only acceptable outcome is the complete denuclearisation of North Korea.
Whether that's a price Kim is ready to pay will be seen next week in Singapore.
VIDEO - Democrats' IT scandal set to explode with possible plea deal | Fox News
Fri, 08 Jun 2018 04:01
The curious case of Imran Awan, which sounds like an international spy thriller, is entering its third act. Awan was a congressional IT aide to Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., and he was finally fired just after he was arrested trying to fly to Pakistan last summer.
Awan and his wife, Hina Alvi, were charged last summer with bank fraud. They now appear poised to strike a plea deal with the Department of Justice. A plea agreement hearing is set for July 3 before U.S. District Judge Tanya S. Chutkan in Washington, Fox News reported Wednesday.
As I've dug deep into this case for my book ''Spies in Congress'' (out later this year), sources have made it clear that the bank fraud charges in this case, though very real, are just a way to hold the defendants.
Alleged theft of congressional equipment, massive data breaches of Congress members' emails, likely espionage and more are all wrapped up in this case that involves data from 40 or more Democratic members of Congress.
Sources tell me that the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force has been looking into this matter since well before Awan and his crew of Pakistani congressional IT aides were booted off the House computer network in February 2017.
Sources also say that investigators were particularly interested in whether anyone else in the congressional offices that all of these IT aides worked for was involved in alleged improper activity. This might include Rep. Wasserman Schultz, who was the Democratic National Committee (DNC) chair when she employed Awan. It might also include former Rep. Xavier Becerra, D-Calif., who employed Awan when Becerra was chairman of the House Democratic Caucus. Becerra is now California attorney general.
''The House Office of Inspector General tracked the Awans network usage and found that a massive amount of data was flowing from the (congressional) networks,'' said Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa. ''Over 5,700 logins by the five Awan associates were discovered on a single server within the House, the server of the Democratic Caucus Chairman, then Rep. Xavier Becerra of California. Up to 40 or more members of Congress had all of their data moved out their office servers and onto the Becerra server without their knowledge or consent.''
Becerra left Congress in January 2017. Before he left, Capitol Police wanted a copy of the caucus server's contents.
Becerra presumably told Imran Awan that Capitol Police wanted a copy of the server. What is known is that Awan did produce a copy of a server's data for Capitol Police; however, after taking a look at the data they were provided, Capitol Police determined they were given a copy of data from some other server instead.
''Capitol Police found that the image (the copy of the server contents) they were supplied was false,'' said Rep. Perry, quoting a report from the House Office of Inspector General.
So the Awans had access to '' in fact, were copying '' all the emails, personal schedules and other data from the Democrats they worked for to this server and, according to other reports, a Dropbox account.
Imran Awan was also going back to Pakistan for long stays and, in fact, at times worked remotely from Pakistan. This is where the case leads to possible espionage.
Meanwhile, court hearings on the alleged bank fraud Imran Awan and Hina Alvi have been charged with have been delayed again and again. The last hearing took place in October 2017.
The delays came as Department of Justice prosecutors and defense attorneys have been fighting it out over a laptop found in a cubbyhole (what was once a phone booth) in congressional office building that has the username ''REPDWS'' (a computer used by Imran Awan that is the property of Rep. Wasserman Schultz's office).
What's on this computer we can only surmise, but it is clear that Wasserman Schultz wants the evidence kept out of court. She even publicly threatened the chief of the Capitol Police with ''consequences'' if the laptop wasn't returned.
Meanwhile, a House Office of Inspector General investigation determined that Awan and his crew (none of whom underwent background checks to gain the IT positions they held in Congress) committed numerous violations of House security policies.
There is a lot more to come from this explosive case. Before this plea agreement hearing was set the biggest worry was that the government's odd failure to prosecute Awan for alleged thefts of government equipment (some of which were found in a garage of one of Awan's rental properties) and the many alleged national security violations pointed to a political cover-up.
Now it appears the plot is set for a riveting climax.
VIDEO - Lionel🇺🇸 on Twitter: "#PedoGate is real. It is occurring and is going on under the very nose of American bought and sold corporate media. Listen to the words of Sheriff Grady Judd. Listen specifically to what he says. Listen to the entire pi
Fri, 08 Jun 2018 03:38
Annie La B ðŸ...…🇺🇸 @ arelab13
16h Replying to
@LionelMedia Dear God.
View conversation · Jeff A. Taylor @ TheFree_Lance
15h Replying to
@LionelMedia @PepperPotts_ATL wsbtv.com/news/local/nor'... View conversation · Dr. Rich Palazzolo @ dr_palazzolo
14h Replying to
@LionelMedia RTd. There needs to be a ramping up of everything necessary to address this full force.
View conversation · Kim @ KimberlyWise
13h Replying to
@LionelMedia Polk county sheriff Grady Judd is what we need more of- he is working to save our children!
#pedogate #pizzagate youtu.be/6ulZ1dNv35Y View conversation · Kim @ KimberlyWise
13h Replying to
@LionelMedia Very powerful clip ðŸðŸ‡ºðŸ‡¸
View conversation · alicia previn @ lovelyprevin
12h Replying to
@LionelMedia @PepperPotts_ATL There are no words no way to even imagine the pain on every level for
#PedoGate These people don't deserve to live.
View conversation · J Dee @ jdeegraham
8h Replying to
@LionelMedia @LRarey Years ago my co=worker from Thailand told me American men use to go to Thailand and paid a lot of money to have sex with babies only months old.... I couldn't believe my ears, now to hear it is going on here is such sad news.
View conversation · Linda Rarey @ LRarey
8h Replying to
@jdeegraham @LionelMedia Tragic but true.
View conversation · CookieMossa @ ValVaaniaGlass
6h Replying to
@LionelMedia Death is too kind for these vile degenerates 🤮
View conversation · Wesley WilliamsðŸŽðŸ‘ðŸ--¥ðŸ'' @ WesleyGW
6h Replying to
@LionelMedia Just threw up in my mouth a little bit. ðŸ
View conversation · Born in Israel! @ dorbar
5h Replying to
@LionelMedia My rage was under check, it's the tears I couldn't control...ðŸ°
View conversation · Jennifer Hoffman @ Jenniferhoffman
2h Replying to
@LionelMedia I have no sympathy or Mercy for these people. Firing squad after a quick trial. No prison they don't even deserve to live on the planet.
View conversation ·
VIDEO - YouTube
Thu, 07 Jun 2018 22:08
VIDEO - School-wide PBIS: An Example of Applied Behavior Analysis Implemented at a Scale of Social Importance
Thu, 07 Jun 2018 22:07
Behav Anal Pract . 2015 May; 8(1): 80''85.
Robert H. Horner1grid.170202.60000000419368008University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403 USA
George Sugai2grid.63054.340000000088067226University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT USA
1grid.170202.60000000419368008University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403 USA
2grid.63054.340000000088067226University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT USA
Corresponding author.
Copyright (C) Association for Behavior Analysis International 2015
This article has been
cited by other articles in PMC.
AbstractSchool-wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) is an example of applied behavior analysis implemented at a scale of social importance. In this paper, PBIS is defined and the contributions of behavior analysis in shaping both the content and implementation of PBIS are reviewed. Specific lessons learned from implementation of PBIS over the past 20 years are summarized.
Keywords: Positive behavioral interventions and supports, Whole-school social culture, Applied behavior analysis
Behavior Analysis in Practice is focused on practical demonstrations of behavior analysis in school, community, work, and home contexts. One current example is the emergence of school-wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) as a framework for improving the academic and social outcomes for students. In this paper, we describe PBIS, the contributions of behavior analysis to defining, evaluating, and implementing PBIS, and initial lessons learned from the past 20 years of implementing PBIS across over 21,000 schools in the USA. Our goals are to both frame the strong tie between PBIS and ABA and suggest lessons learned that may influence both research and large-scale implementation efforts with other examples of behavioral intervention.
School-wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and SupportsSchool-wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) is a framework for delivering both the whole-school social culture and additional tiers of behavior support intensity needed to improve educational and social outcomes for all students. PBIS is an applied example of behavioral theory (Baer et al. 1968; Cooper et al. 2007; Dunlap et al. 2008). As Anderson and Kincaid (2005) have noted, the PBIS meets each of the five features used to define applied behavior analysis (applied and behavioral; analytic and conceptual; technological; effective; and generality). Many in the field may in fact argue that positive behavior support is best described simply as an instance of behavior analysis. Others, however, (including Anderson and Kincaid) have argued that elements of PBIS, including person-centered planning (Kincaid et al. 2005), wrap-around mental health supports (Eber et al. 2009), self-determination (Carr et al. 1999; Wehemeyer 2005), prevention science (Catalano et al. 2002; Gordon 1983), and implementation science (Fixsen et al. 2005) include elements that are not yet validated through behavioral science. Regardless of whether PBIS is ''only'' or ''mostly'' behavior analysis, a central message is that PBIS grew from and is infused with the principles and technology of behavior analysis.
The impact of behavior analysis on PBIS is most clear in (a) the emphasis on operational definitions of behavior and intervention elements, (b) the logic model used to select environmental manipulations designed to alter student and staff behavior, and (c) an unrelenting commitment to measurement of both implementation fidelity and the impact of PBIS on student outcomes. Two themes that define PBIS are a focus on the whole-school as the unit of intervention (Biglan 1995; Mayer 1995; Mayer and Butterworth 1979), and the simultaneous development of interventions tied to at least three tiers of support intensity (Fuchs and Fuchs 2006). Figure 1 presents the frequently referenced multi-tiered prevention approach borrowed from community health and first introduced to education by Hill Walker (Walker et al. 1996). The logic from this approach starts with defining an organization's most highly valued outcomes (e.g., reading, math, writing, and social behavior), and then selecting the smallest set of research-validated procedures needed to deliver these outcomes with at least 80 % of the target population. In schools, this ''Tier I'' level focuses on establishing a school-wide positive social culture that includes (a) defining and teaching a small set of behavioral expectations (e.g., be respectful, be responsible, and be safe), (b) establishing a ubiquitous system for reinforcing performance of these expectations, (c) implementing a consistent system for interrupting, correcting, and redirecting behavioral errors, and (d) building an efficient system to collect, summarize, and use data for decision-making (Horner et al. 2010; Putnam et al. 2002; Sugai and Lewis 1999; Sugai et al. 2014).
Multi-tiered prevention model
As symbolized by the Tier I (primary prevention) level in Fig. 1 , all students experience Tier I behavior support. This level of support is not dependent on documented ''need'' or some formal assessment protocol. Tier I (primary prevention) is proactive and designed to be administered before error patterns develop. Because all students receive Tier I supports, these practices must be highly efficient and logically integrated with all other elements of the environment. The start of each school year begins by teaching and/or reviewing school-wide behavioral expectations before students have had the opportunity to make behavioral mistakes. Primary prevention is intended to both reduce the likelihood of initial problem behaviors and support the sustained shift toward positive behavior when more intense supports are implemented later in the year.
Tier II (secondary prevention) practices focus on moderate intensity supports that address the most common needs of students with ongoing problem behavior. As indicated in Fig. 1 , Tier II supports are added to Tier I supports and are designed for the 10''15 % of students who benefit from additional structure, more overt, and frequent antecedent prompts, a higher rate of positive recognition, and elevated training in both behavioral expectations and self-regulation skills (Crone et al. 2010; Sugai et al. 2014). The elevated level of risk experienced by these students is matched not only by elevated support intensity, but also by the frequency and specificity with which progress monitoring data are collected. Tier II supports typically are packaged and standardized for highly efficient implementation across multiple students (e.g., first step to success Walker et al. 2009; check-in/ check-out Hawken et al. 2006).
Tier III (tertiary prevention) practices are characterized by individualized assessment, individualized support plan design, comprehensive support plan implementation, and the management of support by a team uniquely organized to meet the preferences and needs of individual student (Scott et al. 2008). The establishment of Tier III supports is an overt commitment by the system to include a full range of students in the school. An important addition to Tier III support practices is a formal process for monitoring both if a support plan is being implemented as well as if it is being effective (Pinkelman 2014). Tier III supports are not new to schools. Special education expectations for individualized support have been required since 1975. The value of this approach, however, now extends beyond special education to all students requiring higher intensity supports. When implementing Tier III behavior supports, teams consider behavioral, academic, mental health, physical, social, and contextual variables (Crone et al. 2010). This is a high-intensity approach to support, intended for 5 % or fewer students within a school. As symbolized within Fig. 1 , Tier III supports are expected to be (a) needed less often than Tier I and Tier II supports and (b) more effective when they are implemented within schools that simultaneously offer Tier I and Tier II supports.
Implementation of PBIS has been formally evaluated in a number of descriptive, evaluation, and experimental studies. Findings indicate that PBIS is experimentally associated with reduction in office discipline referrals (Bradshaw et al. 2010, 2012; Horner et al. 2009; Safran and Oswald 2003), reduction in out of school suspensions and expulsions (Bradshaw et al. 2010), improved social emotional competence (Bradshaw et al. 2012), improved organizational efficiency (Bradshaw et al. 2008, 2009), improved academic outcomes (Horner et al. 2009), improved perception of safety (Horner et al. 2009; Ross et al. 2012), and reduction in bullying (Ross and Horner 2009; Waasdorp et al. 2012).
Lessons LearnedA worthy question is why PBIS has been so widely adopted over the past 20 years when so many other examples of behavior analysis have offered impressive research outcomes with limited societal adoption. We offer the following as ''lessons learned'' that may guide future research and dissemination efforts.
Emphasize Core Features and Evidence-based Strategies. Behavioral theory focuses on the behavioral mechanism(s) by which core features of an environment alter behavior. Core features are the ''kernels'' or ''smallest functional units'' needed to produce valued outcomes (Embry and Biglan
2008). Within PBIS, consistent attention has been given to operational descriptions of the core features needed to achieve academic and social gains for students. The focus on core features allows the separation of the strategy being employed (e.g., second step Frey et al.
2005) and the feature being established (e.g., increased instruction of pro-social behavior). Students behave differently when core features are in place, and core features are more likely to be in place when research validated programs are implemented. Too often, however, programs and core features are combined, and users emphasize adoption of the program or package without confirming implementation of functional core features. Emphasizing core features, rather than the practices that are used to achieve the core features, allows school personnel to tailor new strategies and packages to the local cultural and context. For example, while schools using PBIS are expected to define and teach school-wide behavioral expectations, the specific expectations and the method for teaching the expectations are left to match the culture, resources and organizational demands of the local school.
The focus on core features also has direct relevance for the implementation process. Because adoption of a package or intervention strategy is not adoption of PBIS, school teams need a formal way to assess if core features are in place. This is done through formal fidelity assessment. Implementation of PBIS is not determined by participation in a training workshop, employment of a ''certified trainer,'' or purchasing an instructional product. Implementation of PBIS is assessed by measuring if the core features of Tier I, Tier II, and Tier III support are in place in a school (c.f. Algozzine et al.
Implement ''Systems'' that Support and Sustain Effective Practices. The likelihood that a school will implement and sustain PBIS with high fidelity depends largely on attention not just to the PBIS core features, but the ''systems'' that support implementation (e.g., policies, team structures, data systems, funding, and regulations) (McIntosh et al.
2010). Figure
2 provides a summary of the integration of outcomes, intervention practices that change student behavior, the systems that support and sustain adult behavior, and the data needed for adaptation and continued improvement.
Behavioral theory teaches us that organizations do not behave, people behave. And people behave differently within social contexts with clearly defined contingencies (Dickinson
2000). Organizational behavioral theory extends what we have learned about developing adaptive individual behavior patterns, to development of similar behavior patterns across coordinated groups of individuals (Abernathy and Lattal
20142012; McIntosh et al.
Collect and Use Data for Decision-making. Among the great contributions of behavior analysis has been a consistent emphasis on operational measurement (Cooper et al.
2007). Within PBIS, behavioral measurement is central at two levels. The first level focuses on the extent to which adopted procedures have been successful in establishing the core features of PBIS (e.g., measurement of fidelity or intervention integrity; Fryling et al.
2012). Investing in valid, reliable, and efficient measures of implementation fidelity led to over 11,524 schools in 2014 systematically measuring PBIS fidelity with 81 % meeting Tier I fidelity criteria during the year. The second, and more traditional, emphasis is on continuous measurement of student behavior. Within PBIS, school teams monitor student discipline patterns to assess not just the frequency of problems, but the type of problem behavior, locations where problems are most and least likely, time of day, students engaging in problem behavior, and the perceived maintaining behavioral function of problem behavior. By asking every staff member in a school to record not just who and what a student did that was problematic, but the perceived function of the problem behavior, PBIS builds a system that extends function-based behavior support from Tier III, high-intensity, individual support plans to the Tier II and Tier I levels of school-wide prevention. The key is that data are used not just for policy levels reports to state and district administrators, but for local decision-making at the school and classroom level. Effective use of data by school teams has been demonstrated to improve educational outcomes (Newton et al.
2012), and the repeated use of data at the school level has been associated with improved sustainability of PBIS implementation (McItosh et al.
Implementation Process
A fourth lesson drawn from behavior analysis is an emphasis on the implementation process. Implementation science (Fixsen et al.
2013) separates intervention practices (what is done to change student behavior) from the practices used to change an organizational system (adoption of the intervention practices). It is as important to define how effective practices are adopted as it is to provide the research demonstrating that these practices both produce desired change in the organization, and desired outcomes for the target population.
3 integrates the lessons learned from implementation of PBIS. First, implementation of PBIS in schools requires a district or regional implementation team. Students are the unit of impact, schools are the unit of intervention, but districts are the unit of implementation. Teams are the mechanism for comprehensive and sustained implementation. The district leadership team is more than advisory or informative they actively manage and guide the implementation process. Second, there is a tendency for implementation efforts to both start and end with initial demonstrations. This is ineffective. Effective implementation processes build district and school capacity while establishing initial demonstrations. As initial schools in a district adopt PBIS the leadership team needs to be improving district capacity to (a) conduct PBIS training without reliance on external trainers, (b) provide active coaching of trained skills to ensure that they are applied under natural conditions, at high fidelity, and with the adaptation to local culture needed to achieve the core features, (c) establish the behavioral expertise in behavior analysis needed for moving from the foundational knowledge needed for Tier I practices to the more sophisticated knowledge needed for implementation of Tier II and Tier III supports, and (d) development of the evaluation capacity to assess both school-level and district-level outcomes. Failure to invest in the implementation elements needed to move from ''demonstration'' to ''full implementation'' too often results in major fiscal and organizational loss (Horner et al.
SummaryThe promise of applied behavior analysis is that our understanding of human behavior will have direct impact on improving social systems. The challenges faced in schools, families, work places, and communities require better application of behavioral theory. School-wide PBIS is one example of successful implementation of behavioral theory to address a major social concern. It is an example that is still evolving, but with over 21,000 schools in the USA actively engaged in implementing PBIS, and a growing body of scholarship supporting the impact of PBIS on student behavior it is worthwhile to consider lessons learned. A full summary of these lessons is beyond the scope of the present paper, but four key messages have relevance for anyone extending behavioral theory to large social systems.
First, use current science to isolate the smallest number of core features needed in a context to produce valued outcomes. Identify multiple strategies and practices for establishing these core features allows different implementers to select the strategy or practice that best fits their social and cultural context.
Second, implement the ''systems'' needed for sustained high fidelity use of effective practices. Systems include the policies, teaming structures, decision-making protocols, funding, and organizational practices that allow effective interventions to be adopted with efficiency and effectiveness. Third, a central part of this process is development of data systems that allow all individuals in the system to engage in effective decision-making. Finally, attention to the implementation process is as critical as attention to the research-validated practices. Implementation includes attention to the selection of core practices, the teams needed to achieve functional effects, the stages of adoption, and the development of the drivers and data systems that allow effective practices to flourish.
AcknowledgmentsThis research was supported by the Office of Special Education Programs US Department of Education (H326S980003). Opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the position of the US Department of Education, and such endorsements should not be inferred.
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Articles from Behavior Analysis in Practice are provided here courtesy of Association for Behavior Analysis International
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VIDEO - Sarah Sanders Pulverizes CNN's Chris Cuomo in Brutal Interview
Thu, 07 Jun 2018 21:33
Cuomo slapped down on his home turfWhite House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders joined CNN's Chris Cuomo Wednesday for an interview where she was forced to put the fake news host in his place.
The interview started with a tense exchange in which Sanders sidelined questions about the president's outside legal counsel.
''I answered this question on Monday,'' Sanders said. ''I answered it on Tuesday, and I'm going to answer it the same way today, and you're probably not going to like it anymore. But this is a legal matter and the appropriate individuals to answer questions on a legal matter are the outside counsel. And I would direct you to them.''
''I get that's the answer, but you also get that's unsatisfying?'' Cuomo asked.
''I don't understand having to answer the same question over and over and over again,'' Sanders answered '' but that didn't satisfy Cuomo.
''In all due respect, it's because you didn't answer it,'' he said.
''That's not true,'' Sanders replied. ''I've answered it, you just didn't like the answer.''
''Fair point,'' Cuomo conceded.
She later revisited the point when she charged CNN with attempting to only get the answers they want, and not reporting objective facts.
''What I think is important to remember is that you guys get to ask the questions, but you can't always complain about the answers,'' Sanders told Cuomo. ''You constantly ask the same question over and over and over again and expect different answers and then get mad when the answers don't change.''
''Unfortunately, you guys quit reporting the news. When I can read a news story and I have no idea what side of the story the reporter is on, that's a good news story,'' Sanders said. ''You'll be hard-pressed to find a lot of news that looks like that.''
Elsewhere in the interview, Sanders also defended her credibility in light of Cuomo's attacks.
''I'm very comfortable with my credibility, and the fact that I think by sitting here right now and taking questions from you shows the type of person I am. It shows my effort to provide information. And frankly, to be in an environment that's not exactly friendly, that's not exactly one that I think a lot of people in my position would come and sit in. And I think that speaks a lot to my credibility.''
She also stuck it to Dems, saying they have no message.
''The Democrats no longer have a message'... Democrats are gonna to have to decide at some point'... that they hate this President more than they love this country.''
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