Cover for No Agenda Show 1046: Pot on Sale
June 28th, 2018 • 2h 58m

1046: Pot on Sale


Every new episode of No Agenda is accompanied by a comprehensive list of shownotes curated by Adam while preparing for the show. Clips played by the hosts during the show can also be found here.

Thermostats, Locks and Lights: Digital Tools of Domestic Abuse - The New York Times
Mon, 25 Jun 2018 04:43
In training sessions on domestic violence and technology, people have started asking about how to handle the use of connected home devices in abuse situations, said Erica Olsen, director of the Safety Net Project at the National Network to End Domestic Violence. Credit Tony Luong for The New York Times SAN FRANCISCO '-- The people who called into the help hotlines and domestic violence shelters said they felt as if they were going crazy.
One woman had turned on her air-conditioner, but said it then switched off without her touching it. Another said the code numbers of the digital lock at her front door changed every day and she could not figure out why. Still another told an abuse help line that she kept hearing the doorbell ring, but no one was there.
Their stories are part of a new pattern of behavior in domestic abuse cases tied to the rise of smart home technology. Internet-connected locks, speakers, thermostats, lights and cameras that have been marketed as the newest conveniences are now also being used as a means for harassment, monitoring, revenge and control.
In more than 30 interviews with The New York Times, domestic abuse victims, their lawyers, shelter workers and emergency responders described how the technology was becoming an alarming new tool. Abusers '-- using apps on their smartphones, which are connected to the internet-enabled devices '-- would remotely control everyday objects in the home, sometimes to watch and listen, other times to scare or show power. Even after a partner had left the home, the devices often stayed and continued to be used to intimidate and confuse.
For victims and emergency responders, the experiences were often aggravated by a lack of knowledge about how smart technology works, how much power the other person had over the devices, how to legally deal with the behavior and how to make it stop.
''People have started to raise their hands in trainings and ask what to do about this,'' Erica Olsen, director of the Safety Net Project at the National Network to End Domestic Violence, said of sessions she holds about technology and abuse. She said she was wary of discussing the misuse of emerging technologies because ''we don't want to introduce the idea to the world, but now that it's become so prevalent, the cat's out of the bag.''
Some of tech's biggest companies make smart home products, such as Amazon with its Echo speaker and Alphabet's Nest smart thermostat. The devices are typically positioned as helpful life companions, including when people are at work or on vacation and want to remotely supervise their homes.
Some connected device makers said they had not received reports of their products being used in abuse situations. The gadgets can be disabled through reset buttons and changing a home's Wi-Fi password, but their makers said there was no catchall fix. Making it easy for people to switch who controls the account of a smart home product can inadvertently also make access to the systems easier for criminal hackers.
No groups or individuals appear to be tracking the use of internet-connected devices in domestic abuse, because the technology is relatively new, though it is rapidly catching on. In 2017, 29 million homes in the United States had some smart technology, according to a report by McKinsey, which estimated that the number was growing by 31 percent a year.
Image Some of tech's biggest companies make smart home products, including Amazon with its Echo speaker and Alexa smart assistant. Credit Karsten Moran for The New York Times Connected home devices have increasingly cropped up in domestic abuse cases over the past year, according to those working with victims of domestic violence. Those at help lines said more people were calling in the last 12 months about losing control of Wi-Fi-enabled doors, speakers, thermostats, lights and cameras. Lawyers also said they were wrangling with how to add language to restraining orders to cover smart home technology.
Muneerah Budhwani, who takes calls at the National Domestic Violence Hotline, said she started hearing stories about smart homes in abuse situations last winter. ''Callers have said the abusers were monitoring and controlling them remotely through the smart home appliances and the smart home system,'' she said.
Graciela Rodriguez, who runs a 30-bed emergency shelter at the Center for Domestic Peace in San Rafael, Calif., said some people had recently come in with tales of ''the crazy-making things'' like thermostats suddenly kicking up to 100 degrees or smart speakers turning on blasting music.
''They feel like they're losing control of their home,'' she said. ''After they spend a few days here, they realize they were being abused.''
Smart home technology can be easily harnessed for misuse for several reasons. Tools like connected in-home security cameras are relatively inexpensive '-- some retail for $40 '-- and are straightforward to install. Usually, one person in a relationship takes charge of putting in the technology, knows how it works and has all the passwords. This gives that person the power to turn the technology against the other person.
Emergency responders said many victims of smart home-enabled abuse were women.
Connected home gadgets are largely installed by men, said Melissa Gregg, a research director at Intel working on the implications of smart home technology. Many women also do not have all the apps on their phones, said Jenny Kennedy, a postdoctoral research fellow at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, who is researching families that install smart home technology.
(One in three women and one in four men have been victims of physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner, according to a 2010 Centers for Disease Control report.)
The people who spoke to The Times about being harassed through smart home gadgetry were all women, many from wealthy enclaves where this type of technology has taken off. They declined to publicly use their names, citing safety and because some were in the process of leaving their abusers. Their stories were corroborated by domestic violence workers and lawyers who handled their cases.
Each said the use of internet-connected devices by their abusers was invasive '-- one called it a form of ''jungle warfare'' because it was hard to know where the attacks were coming from. They also described it as an asymmetry of power because their partners had control over the technology '-- and by extension, over them.
One of the women, a doctor in Silicon Valley, said her husband, an engineer, ''controls the thermostat. He controls the lights. He controls the music.'' She said, ''Abusive relationships are about power and control, and he uses technology.''
Image Ruth Patrick, who runs WomenSV, a domestic violence program in Silicon Valley, said she had some clients who were put on psychiatric holds '-- a stay at a medical facility so mental health can be evaluated '-- after abuse involving home devices. Credit Anastasiia Sapon for The New York Times She said she did not know how all of the technology worked or exactly how to remove her husband from the accounts. But she said she dreamed about retaking the technology soon.
''I have a specific exit plan that I'm in the process of implementing, and one of my fantasies is to be able to say, 'O.K. Google, play whatever music I want,''' she said. Her plan with the smart thermostat, she said, was to ''pull it out of the wall.''
When a victim uninstalls the devices, this can escalate a conflict, experts said. ''The abuser can see it's disabled, and that may trigger enhanced violence,'' said Jennifer Becker, a lawyer at Legal Momentum, a women's rights legal advocacy group.
Eva Galperin, director of cybersecurity for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital rights group, said disabling the devices could also further cut off a victim. ''They're not sure how their abuser is getting in and they're not necessarily able to figure it out because they don't know how the systems work,'' Ms. Galperin said. ''What they do is they just turn everything off, and that just further isolates them.''
Legal recourse may be limited. Abusers have learned to use smart home technology to further their power and control in ways that often fall outside existing criminal laws, Ms. Becker said. In some cases, she said, if an abuser circulates video taken by a connected indoor security camera, it could violate some states' revenge porn laws, which aim to stop a former partner from sharing intimate photographs and videos online.
Advocates are beginning to educate emergency responders that when people get restraining orders, they need to ask the judge to include all smart home device accounts known and unknown to victims. Many people do not know to ask about this yet, Ms. Becker said. But even if people get restraining orders, remotely changing the temperature in a house or suddenly turning on the TV or lights may not contravene a no-contact order, she said.
Several law enforcement officials said the technology was too new to have shown up in their cases, though they suspected the activity was occurring.
''I'm sure that it's happening,'' said Zach Perron, a captain in the police department in Palo Alto, Calif. ''It makes complete sense knowing what I know about the psychology of domestic violence suspects. Domestic violence is largely about control '-- people think of physical violence but there's emotional violence, too.''
Some people do not believe the use of smart home devices is a problem, said Ruth Patrick, who runs WomenSV, a domestic violence program in Silicon Valley. She said she had some clients who were put on psychiatric holds '-- a stay at a medical facility so mental health can be evaluated '-- after abuse involving home devices.
''If you tell the wrong person your husband knows your every move, and he knows what you've said in your bedroom, you can start to look crazy,'' she said. ''It's so much easier to believe someone's crazy than to believe all these things are happening.''
Asking everyone in a home to understand smart home technology is essential, researchers said.
''When we see new technology come out, people often think, 'Wow, my life is going to be a lot safer,''' said Katie Ray-Jones, chief executive of the National Domestic Violence Hotline. But ''we often see the opposite with survivors of domestic violence.''
Follow Nellie Bowles on Twitter: @NellieBowles
If you are in an abusive relationship, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.
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Wed, 27 Jun 2018 13:46
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Facebook wants to hide secret inaudible messages in TV ads
Tue, 26 Jun 2018 01:54
Facebook has filed a patent for a system that hides audio clips in TV advertsThese sounds would be so high-pitched that they are inaudible to humansThey would trigger your phone to record background noises in your homeClips would help advertisers determine whether you are watching their adsFacebook wants to spy on you by hiding inaudible messages in TV ads.
These secret messages would force your phone to record audio of your private conversations without you knowing, according to a patent application by the firm.
Clips taken of your background conversations or movements across a room would help advertisers determine whether you are watching their promotions.
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Facebook wants to hide secret messages in TV adverts so it can spy on your watching habits a new patent application reveals. This image from the application details how Facebook would use your television (top) to send messages to applications on your phone (bottom)According to the patent, spotted by Metro, the system would use 'a non-human hearable digital sound' to activate your phone's microphone.
This noise, which could be a sound so high-pitched that humans cannot hear it, would contain a 'machine recognisable' set of Morse code-style beeps.
Once your phone hears the trigger, it would begin to record 'ambient noise' in your home, such as the sound of your air conditioning unit, plumbing noises from your pipes and even your movements from one room to another.
Your phone would even listen in on 'distant human speech' and 'creaks from thermal contraction', according to the patent.
TV advertisers would use this data to determine whether you had muted your TV or moved to a different room when their promotional clip played.
A patent filed the company reveals it has designed a system that uses high-pitched sounds inaudible to humans to force your smartphone to record audio of your home. This illustration shows a sound wave in an advert masking a high-pitched message to smartphonesThis would help them to better calculate the number of people who watched their advert.
A muffled code sound could mean you have moved away from your television, while if they trigger is picked up loud and clear you are likely still in front of the screen.
Facebook would store the ads people tuned into to help it show content that is better-honed to their preferences in future, the patent says.
HOW DOES FACEBOOK PLAN TO TRACK USERS THROUGH TV ADS?A Facebook patent filed in June reveals the company has designed a system to track its users through TV adverts.
The system uses 'a non-human hearable digital sound' to trigger your phone's microphone to record background 'ambient' noises in your home.
The trigger noise is hidden underneath the normal audio of adverts and could be so high-pitched that humans cannot hear it, Facebook said.
It would contain a 'machine recognisable' set of Morse code-style sounds.
If you phone hears the noise, it would begin to listen in to noises in your home, including 'distant human movement and speech'.
TV advertisers would use this data to determine whether you had muted your TV or moved to a different room when their promotional clip played.
Facebook has repeatedly stated that its patent applications should not be taken as evidence for its future product plans.
'Most of the technology outlined in these patents has not been included in any of our products, and never will be,' Allen Lo, a Facebook vice president and the company's head of intellectual property, told the New York Times.
But experts argue that a company's intellectual property is a clear indicator of the direction it is headed.
'A patent portfolio is a map of how a company thinks about where its technology is going,' said Jason Schultz, a law professor at New York University.
Facebook, fronted by controversial CEO Mark Zuckerberg (file photo), insisted most of the technology outlined in the firm's patents does not make it into its products Facebook has repeatedly denied it uses audio taken from smartphone microphones to target its adverts.
The firm most recently spoken about the practice in a bumper document presented to Congress in April following the Cambridge Analytica data scandal.
In answering whether the Menlo Park firm ever captures microphone or camera data without a user's knowledge, a spokesman said: 'No, Facebook does not engage in these practices or capture data from a microphone or camera without consent.'
Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie said in March that he believed companies like Facebook use phone microphones to help tailor their adverts.
WHAT IS THE CAMBRIDGE ANALYTICA SCANDAL?Communications firms Cambridge Analytica has offices in London, New York, Washington, as well as Brazil and Malaysia.
The company boasts it can 'find your voters and move them to action' through data-driven campaigns and a team that includes data scientists and behavioural psychologists.
'Within the United States alone, we have played a pivotal role in winning presidential races as well as congressional and state elections,' with data on more than 230 million American voters, Cambridge Analytica claims on its website.
The company profited from a feature that meant apps could ask for permission to access your own data as well as the data of all your Facebook friends.
The data firm suspended its chief executive, Alexander Nix (pictured), after recordings emerged of him making a series of controversial claims, including boasts that Cambridge Analytica had a pivotal role in the election of Donald TrumpThis meant the company was able to mine the information of 87 million Facebook users even though just 270,000 people gave them permission to do so.
This was designed to help them create software that can predict and influence voters' choices at the ballot box.
The data firm suspended its chief executive, Alexander Nix, after recordings emerged of him making a series of controversial claims, including boasts that Cambridge Analytica had a pivotal role in the election of Donald Trump.
This information is said to have been used to help the Brexit campaign in the UK.
Wylie, a former employee of Cambridge Analytica, the political consultancy firm that harvested the data of 87 million Facebook users via a loophole in Facebook's privacy settings, told a Commons committee he believed the social media giant was able to decipher whether someone is out in a crowd of people, in the office or at home.
He said: 'On a comment about using audio and processing audio, you can use it for, my understanding generally of how companies use it... not just Facebook, but generally other apps that pull audio, is for environmental context.
'So if, for example, you have a television playing versus if you're in a busy place with a lot of people talking versus a work environment.'
'It's not to say they're listening to what you're saying. It's not natural language processing. That would be hard to scale.
'But to understand the environmental context of where you are to improve the contextual value of the ad itself' is possible.'
Hundreds of privacy-invading apps are using ultrasonic sounds to track you | ZDNet
Tue, 26 Jun 2018 12:42
A new privacy-busting technique that tracks consumers through the use of ultrasonic tones may have once sounded like the stuff of science fiction novels, but today it's reality.
These near-silent tones can't be picked up by the human ear, but there are apps in your phone that are always listening for them. This technology is called ultrasonic cross-device tracking, and it works by emitting high-frequency tones in advertisements and billboards, web pages, and across brick-and-mortar retail outlets or sports stadiums. Apps with access to your phone's microphone can pick up these tones and build up a profile about what you've seen, where, and in some cases even the websites you've visited.
The technology is still in its infancy, but it's growing in popularity.
In the past year, researchers found 234 Android apps that include the ability to listen for ultrasonic tones "without the user's knowledge," one paper said.
The researchers note that some apps use the beacons to display location-specific advertising content on user's phones, like tickets and vouchers for festivals. Several stores in two unnamed European cities have already installed these ultrasonic beacons.
Many of these apps have been downloaded thousands or millions of times, such as games -- like Pinoy Henyo, which was named in the research as one of the apps that opens up the microphone to listen to ultrasonic tones. Other app makers were named in the paper -- including McDonalds and Krispy Kreme, though it's not known how either company utilizes their ad-tracking technology. We've reached out for comment.
The researchers criticize the technique as a "threat to the privacy of a user," as they "enable unnoticeably tracking locations, behavior and devices."
Using this ad-tracking technology allows ad companies to link media-consuming habits to a person's identity by picking up ultrasonic tones from websites, and radio and television broadcasts.
"An adversary can precisely link the watching of even sensitive content such as adult movies or political documentations to a single individual -- even at varying locations," they say.
The ultrasonic tones can also be used to track locations, behavior, and purchase habits across different devices, which allows the advertiser to serve more specific and tailored advertisements based on where you've been.
Worst of all, the researchers say that this ultrasonic tracking technology can de-anonymize users of bitcoin, which is designed to be used without the need for a name.
A similar technique can be used for those who are browsing the web using the Tor anonymity network, which prevents eavesdroppers from monitoring your web traffic and browsing history.
How big of an issue is it? For one, it's not immediately known if an app contains this ad-tracking technology -- but if it asks for your microphone, that might be a dead giveaway.
"The user just needs to install a regular mobile application that is listening to ultrasonic signals through the microphone in the background," said the researchers.
"Once the user has installed these applications on her phone, she neither knows when the microphone is activated nor is she able to see which information is sent to the company servers," they said.
It's not as easy to know if an app has the ultrasonic technology built-in, but it's always wise to check your app permissions. If there's no reason for an app, like a game or a news app, to have access to your microphone, switch it off.
Google invests $22M in KaiOS, bringing Maps, YouTube, & Assistant to smart feature phones | 9to5Google
Thu, 28 Jun 2018 11:33
To bring the Next Billion Users online, Google has developed specialized apps like Tez and Files Go, while optimizing others for specific needs, like limited connectivity. To popularize Assistant, Maps, and other services to those using feature phones, Google today invested $22 million in KaiOS.
Right underneath smartphones, including Android Go, a new ''smart feature phone'' category has emerged in recent years. Retaining the dumb phone form factor with a small 2-3 inch screen and T9 dial pad, many of these devices are used in developing countries where smartphones are not yet affordable.
Based on Linux, KaiOS is one company offering an operating system to run on this limited hardware. One of the smarter aspects of these devices is an app store where developers can build shopping, news, and gaming capabilities. Leveraging web technologies, applications are built with HTML5, Javascript, and CSS.
Other features include 4G LTE that allows for video calling, dual-SIM support, Wi-Fi, GPS, and payments via NFC.
The $22 million Series A investment will help ''fast-track development and global deployment of KaiOS-enabled smart feature phones.'' Meanwhile, the two companies are working to bring Google Assistant, Maps, YouTube, and Search to KaiOS.
Google already partnered with JioPhone in India last year to offer Google Assistant on a similar dumb phone. Given the form factor, KaiOS notes that ''having an intelligent voice assistant on an affordable mobile phone is truly revolutionary as it helps overcome some of the limitations a keypad brings.''
Founded in 2017, 30 million phones run KaiOS today. HMD Global is a notable manufacturer with the Nokia 8110 ''banana phone'' powered by it, along with devices from TCL and Micromax. Carrier partners include Reliance Jio, Sprint, AT&T, and T-Mobile.
Check out 9to5Google on YouTube for more news:
Kids in Cages
Border Paramedic: I Was Part of 'Human Rights Violations' - Uncle Sam's Misguided Children
Tue, 26 Jun 2018 12:34
Border Paramedic: I Was Part of 'Human Rights Violations' Posted June 25, 2018Border Paramedic: I Was Part of 'Human Rights Violations' 2018-06-25 2018-06-25 Uncle Sam's Misguided Children 200px 200px
Matthew Lee Whitt is a border paramedic who works for Flight for Life in Texas. He has a public post that explains the ''separation of children at the border'' with heart. He deals with it every day.
His post reads (we have added a couple of pictures):
So I am going to break a self rule about not posting in regards to work and politics. Well, I am actually going to stand by my rule because what I am really doing is coming to the defense of the US Border Patrol and Customs, Texas DPS, and MYSELF since we were all part of the separation of children from their parents on the border.
Yes. You read that correctly. I was a part of the ''human rights violations'' taking place on the border. Through the course of my career I have spent, off and on, 15 years working as a medic on the border. I've worked everywhere in Texas from Brewster and Presidio Counties, Eagle Pass, Del Rio, and Laredo. I know several Texas EMS paramedics that are deployed by the state and federal government to these ''camps'' running from El Paso to Houston currently.
Rarely do I ever speak or write about what I see as a paramedic. Most of the time I never say anything to my wife Natalee or my family and I never comment, post, or talk about the graphic stuff I have seen in my career to people other than my colleagues. That is going to change with this post so if you think you might have a problem with graphic details please stop reading.
I flew for Air Evac which has more border bases than any other air medical services in Texas. I was based out of South Texas and often covered shifts that were within viewing distance of the Mexican border. I love the Mexican people, their culture, and their customs. I married a woman from San Antonio who is of Mexican decent. My sons are half Hispanic. My heart is often broken seeing their plight as they take the ardent journey north for a better life.
There is another side to some of the immigrants that most people don't witness. Most of the children that started coming across the border 3 or 4 years ago were alone or with smugglers that worked double duty with the cartels. The adults that were with them often lied and said they were the parents which was not true. Even the children that were with their parents or parent were often times in dangerous situations.
These children were separated back then and are still separated to this day. It is heartbreaking to see such events unfold and nobody, from the Border Patrol, Texas Law Enforcement or Texas EMS professionals were happy to be tasked with such work. We did not abuse any children. Instead, we cared for them. We fed them and gave them water, clothes, medical care and comfort.
All of these kids were sick or ill. It might be something as simple as dehydration but often times it was more than that. Much more'...'.....
Such as the 10 year old girl that I flew who had been raped no less than 10 times on her journey. Her private parts torn by the continued trauma inflicted each night of her stay in the dessert. Her screams and cries of mistrust still haunt me to this day when I think about it.
Then there was a little boy who was only 5 years old covered in scabies, flees, and abscesses with a broken jaw from being hit by a smuggler for crying.
There were many kids that were so malnourished and dehydrated that they could not hold any solid food down and were delirious from sun exposure. Most of these kids had never slept under a roof their entire lives. They certainly never slept in a bed as they often slept on the ground with animals in their home countries.At the centers where these children were housed they cried aloud. Why wouldn't they? Most had been on a journey that no human should ever go through. Most have never been able to trust a single soul their entire lives, even their parents. They were afraid of the future.
But what these professionals did at the centers was phenomenal work. They fed these kids. They immunized these kids. They LOVE these kids. They have counselors on hand to help with these children. Some of these kids are put into the foster care system which, while not the greatest it could be, is almost certainly better than where they came from and the abuse they have suffered at the hand of cutthroats and drug cartels.
The people that are actually working this crisis are good people. In fact, they are better than most people. They put their lives on hold to help children that they don't even know while spending months at a time without seeing their own families. These people probably save more lives than anyone else in the US right now.
So I encourage you all to look at all sides of this situation. There are no winners but please don't take up an opinion that comes from a media source that only has one agenda in mind: to discredit the current president.
Personally I could care less what you think of President Trump but where I draw the line is when we start taking down innocent people and painting them as villains in an effort to destroy someone else. These GOOD POEPLE [sic] working on this crisis have done so for the past 15 years without one word from anyone else until just recently.
Ask yourself why?
God Bless you all.
Feautred photo: Matthew Lee Whitt profile picture from Facebook
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Ex-CIA Interrogator Trains ICE Agents in 'Counterterrorism' as They Terrorize Immigrants
Tue, 26 Jun 2018 14:06
BEN NORTON: It's The Real News, I'm Ben Norton. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is notorious for its abuse of immigrants. ICE has also been further empowered under the Trump administration to carry out even more abuses. We've heard of horror stories in the past year of ICE pulling undocumented immigrants out of hospitals, detaining parents when they drop their kids off at school and even tearing apart families who have lived here for decades. Also, there are reports that thousands of immigrants detained by ICE have been forced into labor, while at the same time, a new report reveals that ICE actually pays a private security firm run by a former top CIA interrogator to train ICE agents in intelligence and so-called counterterrorism.
The CIA, it goes without saying, is also notorious for its use of torture, as the massive six-thousand-page Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA torture revealed. Well, joining us to discuss this is the reporter who revealed this. We're joined by Ken Klippenstein, who is an investigative reporter who contributes to The Young Turks and The Daily Beast. His most recent story is in The Young Turks and it's titled, Veteran CIA Interrogator Training ICE Officers. Thanks for joining us.
KEN KLIPPENSTEIN: Hey Ben, thanks for having me.
BEN NORTON: So, can you talk a bit about the story? It's pretty shocking. I mean, we've seen a slew of abuses that ICE has carried out in the past decade since it was created after 9/11. But this is even more shocking, that ICE is working with a former CIA interrogator.
KEN KLIPPENSTEIN: Yeah, I was pretty shocked myself. I mean, I've been covering national security stuff for a while and I feel like I have lost a lot of the capacity to be surprised, but this is certainly one story that has done that to me. And the reason for that was- so, not just as this top CIA interrogator, he was the head of the polygraphing division at the CIA for over ten years I think, and he was at the agencies for decades. Not just that, he was the personal bodyguard for a former CIA director. So, this is not some low-level functionary in the agency by any means. This person runs the firm that was contracted to train ICE in ''counterterror intelligence collection.''.
And so, the question that comes to my mind is, why does ICE, you know, supposed to handle immigration stuff, why are they doing counterterror? So, I interviewed, as you can see in a story, I interviewed a former ICE agent, who I should point out is not some left-wing person by any means, and he told me that this is extraordinarily unusual. If you look at the contract, it's not just for ICE, it's for what's called Enforcement and Removal officers. And their job, according to this ICE agent, is literally just to grab somebody, put him in detention and then later the courts handle it. They're not supposed to handle investigations. They're not supposed interrogate people. So, this ICE agent was really surprised, as was I of course, that there had this really top flight former CIA officer in a firm that supposedly has more CIA interrogators than any other firm if you believe the advertising of the company.
Why are they training these low-level ERO officers, who are essentially kind of like cops? You know, they're just not supposed to conduct these sorts of things. And according to the ICE agent I spoke with, ICE doesn't even have the authority to conduct counterterror investigations. That's supposed to be run through the FBI, specifically the Joint Terror Task Force. So, for all of those reasons, this raised a number of red flags to me. And one more thing I should point out is that the contract was awarded to them, a no bid contract. Literally, I think it was three days after the Trump administration internally authorized their policy of separating families. So, it's a number of concerning, I think, developments.
BEN NORTON: Yeah, let's talk more about that. What's interesting is that we've seen this kind of confluence in the post 9/11 era in which ICE was created. ICE falls under the jurisdiction of the DHS Department, Homeland Security, which was created by the George W. Bush administration after 9/11. And what's interesting is that ICE- the perception is that ICE is primarily targeting immigrants from South and Central America, largely Latino immigrants, and is terrorizing immigrants here in the United States. And what's also interesting is at the same time, that the so-called war on terror, the impression is that this is really a war on extremist Islamist groups.
There are many other terrorist groups, including right-wing white supremacist terrorist groups that are not targeted by the War on Terror. But what's interesting is with this kind of rhetoric, with former CIA agents, former top CIA interrogators training ICE officials in counterterrorism, there is this kind of attempt to combine both the War on Terror with this war on immigrants from Central and South America. I'm wondering if you could just speak to how this story that you revealed reflects this.
KEN KLIPPENSTEIN: Well, the man that runs the company that was contracted to train these ICE agents in intelligence collection, he himself has extensive counterterror experience. Of course, he's CIA, so the details about that are sort of vague. But what you can see is that he's had experience all over the world including the Middle East. And my question is, why do we need to bring that home? Why do we need to bring that to the United States? I mean it's a completely separate question if- what sort of tactics we should be adopting overseas. But I talked to this ICE agent, he says there's no counter- there's essentially no counterterror threat south of the border. He doesn't see why they need to be handling this. We have other agencies that deal with counterterror things and frankly have much better training.
So, it's troubling for a number of those reasons. And another thing I should point out is if they want to train- let's assume that it's okay to train Enforcement Removal in investigations and intelligence collection. Why not have a police department do it? Why not have just an ordinary law enforcement agency do it? Why pursue this counterterror attack? I'm sure you're familiar with the expression, ''when you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail.'' You know, that was something former counterintelligence people told me. If we're training them in these methods, are they going to start seeing terror where perhaps there isn't any?
BEN NORTON: Yeah, and then the story that you revealed is about Barry McManus, this is the former CIA interrogator. He was in the agency for twenty years, he retired in 2003. And then in 2006, you report he created the firm Global Traveler Security. And what's interesting about this story is it also I think reflects this new- it's certainly not new, but this move toward, by the government, toward privatization, towards outsourcing and contract work.
In your reporting, you frequently report on these no-bid contracts that the government signs with different private firms, and many of these firms are run by former government officials. So, there's a kind of revolving door where former government officials, they spend decades building up all of these sources inside the government and then they leave, and they profit off of that and they make way more money in the private sector than they did in the public sector. Really quickly here, I'm wondering if you could just comment on how this story and some of your other reports kind of reflect this corporate/public revolving door.
KEN KLIPPENSTEIN: Well, let me tell you- I'll tell you a story. I was talking to a former Blackwater officer, or you know private security contractor for Blackwater. And what he told- I said, ''So why are they privatizing everything? The government can do much more efficiently at lower cost, when you run it in-house there's better communication, etc, etc.'' He told me, he says, ''Well if you're a private company, how much transparency do you think there is?'' So, I kind of think about it and think, well, as a reporter it's very hard to find anything out about private institutions. You can't file a Freedom of Information Act request. They're not subject to a lot of the same presumption of openness that government, whatever you may think of government, in fact is.
And he told me that's exactly why. They want to keep it off the books. There's far less transparency, there's less you can see. I can only speculate as to why they picked this particular training organization, but whatever the case may be, that's certainly one aspect of it, is there's very little I can find out other than just talking to sources, what this company is up to. And indeed, when I spoke to McManus, he sort of demurred on a number of questions I had about what the company does. He said that you can't divulge this kind of thing. So, it was difficult to get visibility into what sorts of things they're engaged in. And I wonder if that's the point.
BEN NORTON: Well, we'll have to end out conversation there. We were joined by Ken Klippenstein, who is an investigative journalist and he is a contributing reporter to The Young Turks and The Daily Beast. We were discussing his recent report at The Young Turks titled, Veteran CIA Interrogator Training ICE Officers. Thanks for joining us, Ken.
KEN KLIPPENSTEIN: Hey, thanks so much Ben.
BEN NORTON: For The Real News, I'm Ben Norton.
"Zero-Tolerance" Immigration Policy Is Big Money for Contractors, Nonprofits
Tue, 26 Jun 2018 15:08
President Trump's ''zero-tolerance'' immigration policy under the direction of Attorney General Jeff Sessions is big business for US companies '-- from private prison and tech firms to defense and security contractors '-- as well as nonprofits.
Under bipartisan pressure, Trump signed an executive order Wednesday ending the administration's controversial child-separation policy. But Trump's ''zero-tolerance'' policy, in which individuals who enter the US illegally are prosecuted, will continue.
All this comes as the country grapples with harrowing images of babies stripped from their mothers' arms and children playing soccer on the grounds of abandoned Walmart stores along the Southwest border.
Trump defended his policy in a campaign speech Wednesday in Minnesota. That came a day after the raid of an Ohio meat plant in which Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents arrested 146 employees accused of being in the country illegally. It was the largest workforce raid in recent history, according to the agency.
ICE, which enforces the administration's immigration policy, has allocated billions in federal contracts to private companies for software, consulting and manpower. Overall, the federal government has spent $4 billion since October 2016 '-- the start of 2017 fiscal year '-- on contracts and grants to counter illegal immigration.
OpenSecrets analyzed the money going to these often high-profile, publicly traded companies as well as their political spending and lobbying, along with the nonprofits commissioned to care for minors.
Private Prisons and Security Trump's hardline approach to illegal immigration is a boon for private prisons and security companies.
In 2016, the Department of Justice under the Obama administration began phasing out for-profit prisons for federal inmates following a DOJ report that found poor management practices at one private facility contributed to an inmate riot that killed a prison guard in 2012 .
The Trump administration, however, has embraced them '-- particularly as a solution for the high cost of detaining people who crossed the border illegally.
The 2012 inmate riot occurred inside a prison owned and operated by CoreCivic , formerly Corrections Corporation of America. Since 2017, CoreCivic has received $225 million in ICE funding to manage immigrant detention facilities, according to data .
A subsidiary of the Tennessee-based company donated $250,000 toward Trump's inaugural festivities last year.
Another $250,000 Trump inaugural donor '-- GEO Group '-- is the country's largest for-profit prison operator and a multimillion-dollar beneficiary of the administration's aggressive immigration policy.
The Florida-based company and its subsidiaries, which also gave $225,000 to a pro-Trump super PAC during the 2016 presidential election, have been paid $560 million over the last two fiscal years for contracts they hold with ICE.
GEO Group and its subsidiaries oversee a number of ICE detention facilities and have aggressively lobbied to secure contracts and influence the nation's immigration policy. In 2017, the company spent $1.7 million on lobbying, the highest amount on record for a private prison contractor.
Aside from lobbying, the company has a prolific political action committee and a number of big-donor employees. So far in 2018, the company's PAC and employees have contributed $727,000 to candidates '-- a total that is on track to continue the upward contribution trend.
The top three recipients are Texas House members '-- Republicans John Culberson and John Carter and Democrat Henry Cuellar, each having received at least $31,000 dollars .
While GEO certainly profits off keeping immigrants detained, they also make money once they're released. A large share of ICE's payments to GEO last year went to BI Inc., a subsidiary that provides ankle bracelets and monitoring services to track those awaiting trial for immigration violations.
BI first received an ICE contract in 2008 and was paid $10 million that year. Payments have grown steadily since then, topping out at $115 million in the 2017 fiscal year. 2018 totals are on track to surpass that.
MVM Inc., a Virginia-based private security contractor, has earned $115 million since 2017 through immigration-related ICE contracts. The company provided ''security guards and patrol services'' for $53.7 million, according to the contract description.
In 2017, the company was sued for workplace discrimination and had a lucrative CIA contract canceled for failing to provide enough security guards.
The company does not appear in lobbying disclosures. Company founder Dario Marquez Jr. is an active political donor, however. Since 1990, Marquez has given $212,321, including donations to Virginia Democrats Tim Kaine ($51,340) and Gerry Connolly ($29,100).
Tech Firms ICE also contracts with technology and software companies, including Silicon Valley firms and defense contractors, for tools to help track, arrest and monitor those suspected of violating immigration laws.
Palantir Technologies , a data analytics firm, has never reported a profit since its founding in 2003. The company has come to rely on lucrative, long-lasting contracts with government agencies, including ICE, seeking to make use of its tools.
Since 2014, Palantir has received just under $100 million in ICE funding for both case management software and a customized data analytics tool called FALCON-SA, which helps ICE track and arrest individuals suspected of being in the country illegally.
Palantir's largest contract '-- $53 million to provide software services '-- was awarded in 2014 during the height of the Central American refugee crisis and is ongoing through 2019. The company's most recent ICE contract was $250,000 for the purchase of another software program called Gotham.
The bulk of Palantir's political spending can be attributed to Peter Thiel, the group's founder, who contributed about $1.3 million in 2016 to groups supporting Trump's election and $100,000 to the president's inauguration.
Thiel's support for the president during the campaign ultimately landed him a spot on Trump's transition team.
Palantir is also heavily invested in the D.C. influence culture through its lobbying activities, which peaked last year at $1.4 million . The majority of the money was directed toward securing government contracts. Thiel and Palantir's lobbying appears to have paid dividends beyond the contracts awarded by ICE.
The company also won an $876 million defense contract this year.
Microsoft , another tech giant fulfilling contracts for ICE, has recently encountered backlash from employees over its relationship with the controversial agency. In an open letter first published by The New York Times , more than 100 employees argued that the contracting work was a ''clear abdication of ethical responsibilities.''
Other major ICE contractors include big names in defense contracting.
Booz Allen Hamilton has been a perennial ICE contractor, having received contracts to support the Law Enforcement Systems and Analysis division, which is the main data analysis office ensuring the agency's detainee processing and enforcement systems are working efficiently.
In June 2017, Booz Allen announced it was under federal investigation related to how it billed the government for its services. The contractor and its subsidiaries received $63 million in federal funding from ICE over the last two fiscal years.
Other major defense contractors receiving ICE contracts include CSRA LLC and Northrop Grumman who were paid $34 million and $397,000 respectively in the last two years.
ORR also paid General Dynamics , which acquired CSRA in April, $4 million for casework related services last year.
Child Services Federal data suggest migrant children have been sent to nonprofit residential centers stretching from Seattle to New York and Chicago to Miami.
Since 2017, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has paid out $1.2 billion to nonprofit organizations that care for minors. None have benefited more from Trump's now-rescinded child-separation policy than Southwest Key Programs, Inc.
The Austin, Texas-based nonprofit was paid $596 million in the last two fiscal years to house immigrant children, including those seized from parents at the border.
The facilities operated by Southwest include Casa Padre, a federal detention center in Brownsville, Texas, housing over 1,400 children '-- some of whom were among those separated from parents, according to media reports . The facility is a converted Walmart.
The contracts were awarded through HHS' Office of Refugee Resettlement, which is responsible for custody of the children.
The more than half a billion in grant funding comes one year after Southwest Key laid off nearly 1,000 workers due to a drop in illegal border crossings.
The nonprofit employed over 4,500 workers and reported revenue of about $243 million in its 2016 Fiscal Year, according to its most recent tax returns .
Of the $243 million, roughly 66 percent '-- or $159 million '-- went toward salaries, including $3.1 million to nine executives in base salaries and bonuses. The nonprofit was almost entirely tax-funded, with $240 million coming from government grants, according to the filing.
BCFS Health and Human Services, a multinational network of nonprofits based in San Antonio, has received $121 million this year in HHS grants to shelter unaccompanied children. The grants and services include:
$36.8 million for 461 beds in the Texas border-area towns of Harlingen, La Feria and Raymondville. $19.3 million for 359 beds in San Antonio, Chavaneaux and Baytown, Texas $3.9 million for 18 ''male beds'' in California The nonprofit conglomerate also received a $10 million grant for 1,152 ''home study cases'' and 4,000 ''post release cases,'' according to the HHS descriptions.
Cayuga Centers, a New York-based nonprofit, was awarded $39 million for ''transitional foster care submission.''
Facilities for the detained children included Cayuga Centers in Harlem, which New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday was housing 239 unaccompanied minors, including children as young as 9 months old, The New York Times reported .
Other nonprofits with 2018 grant funding to care for unaccompanied minors include:
Heartland Human Care Services, of Chicago: $40.2 million for ''shelter'' and ''post release and home study services'' Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, of Baltimore: $19.8 million for ''shelter and fingerprinting services'' as well as ''long term foster care'' Florence Crittenton Services, of Fullerton: $4.2 million for ''residential shelter'' in California Pioneer Human Services, of Seattle: $2.8 million for 23 beds in the Seattle/Tacoma area It's unclear if and when the thousands of displaced children will be reunited with parents.
This piece was reprinted by Truthout with permission or license. It may not be reproduced in any form without permission or license from the source.
What constitutional rights do undocumented immigrants have? | PBS NewsHour
Tue, 26 Jun 2018 15:47
On Sunday, President Donald Trump tweeted that undocumented immigrants should be immediately returned ''from where they came'' with ''no Judges or Court Cases.''
This, along with the administration's ''zero-tolerance'' immigration policy and the recent spike in family separations at the border '-- a practice President Donald Trump ended through executive order '-- has called attention to the legal rights of immigrants under U.S. law.
What rights do undocumented immigrants have to a court hearing, to an attorney or to free speech? What rights do their children have to education?
How those rights play out in practice is more complex.
To answer those questions, we must start with a more basic question''does the U.S. Constitution apply to undocumented immigrants?
''Yes, without question,'' said Cristina Rodriguez, a professor at Yale Law School. ''Most of the provisions of the Constitution apply on the basis of personhood and jurisdiction in the United States.''
Many parts of the Constitution use the term ''people'' or ''person'' rather than ''citizen.'' Rodriguez said those laws apply to everyone physically on U.S. soil, whether or not they are a citizen.
As a result, many of the basic rights, such as the freedom of religion and speech, the right to due process and equal protection under the law apply to citizens and noncitizens. How those rights play out in practice is more complex.
Right to due processWhat the law says: The Fifth Amendment states that ''no person '... shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.''
The issue of due process is at the heart of many immigration cases, including Reno v. Flores, the 1993 Supreme Court case that has returned to the spotlight with the surge in family separations. The case led to an agreement requiring the government to release children to their parents, a relative or a licensed program within 20 days.
In the ruling, Justice Antonin Scalia wrote ''it is well established that the Fifth Amendment entitles aliens to due process of law in deportation proceedings.''
How it works in practice: Immigrants have the right to due process. But in reality, says, Andrew Arthur, a resident fellow in law and policy at the conservative Center for Immigration Studies, ''courts of law run the gamut.''
In some cases, immigrants are not granted a hearing at all. When asked about the president's tweet, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders pointed to the process of ''expedited removal,'' which was created by the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996.
''Just because you don't see a judge doesn't mean you aren't receiving due process,'' Sanders said.
Under the expedited removal process, immigrants who have been in the country illegally for less than two years and are apprehended within 100 miles of the border can be deported almost immediately without going through a court hearing.
The exception is asylum seekers, who must be granted a hearing.
Those who are not processed through expedited removal have the right to due process in an immigration court, where the main goal is to decide whether a person has a legal claim to remain in the U.S.
''In immigration court, you have very few rights,'' said John Gihon, an immigration attorney who spent six years as a prosecutor for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement before moving into private practice.
Gihon says the bar for what constitutes evidence is lax in immigration court. Documents do not have to be authenticated, and hearsay, a statement made by someone outside of the court, as opposed to on the witness stand, counts as admissible evidence. Hearsay is not allowed in most U.S. courts.
''In the majority of cases, it's a lock solid 100 percent guaranteed conviction because there is little defense, and most would confess they crossed the border illegally,'' Gihon said.
The right to legal counselWhat the law says: The Sixth Amendment states that ''In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall'...have the assistance of counsel for his defense.''
The Supreme Court ruled in the 1963 case Gideon v Wainwright that if a person is too poor to hire an attorney, the government must appoint one.
How it works in practice: Because most deportation proceedings are civil rather than criminal cases, the right to legal counsel often doesn't apply.
The Trump administration's zero-tolerance policy now requires most illegal border crossings to be tried as criminal cases, the exception being parents who cross the border illegally with children. After public outcry about separating families, the head of Customs and Border Protection said Monday the agency has stopped referring parents for prosecution. Other immigrants will still be charged with a crime.
Under the law, anyone facing a criminal charge has the right to counsel. However, the government is only required to provide counsel if the person is accused of a felony. Crossing the border illegally is a misdemeanor.
In recent weeks, people have donated millions of dollars to nonprofit groups to pay for immigrants' legal fees.
The Trump administration's decision to criminally charge immigrants has overwhelmed the courts, as demonstrated last month by a leaked photo of a trial in Pecos, Texas.
The image shows dozens of men in orange jumpsuits being tried en masse. In such proceedings, reports the Intercept, which originally published the photo, trials can last only minutes per defendant.
The right to be with your familyWhat the law says: Critics of family separation have pointed to the legal right to ''family integrity.'' This right is not spelled out in the Constitution but was established through court rulings in the early 20th century, Rodriguez said.
''People have a right to be with and commune with their family. It's a very basic principle,'' she said.
The government can split up families in extraordinary circumstances, such as in the case of child abuse, but it cannot do so without going through a legal process.
How it works in practice: Before Trump signed the executive order Wednesday, the administration had divided families as a matter of course, without considering the individual cases. The ACLU sued, arguing the policy was unconstitutional.
The court has not issued a final ruling, and the president's executive order could change the case. But a judge did rule earlier this month that the case could proceed, saying immigrants have a right to ''familial association'' under the Constitution.
Right to vote or hold officeWhat the law says: The Constitution does not prohibit anyone from voting. Instead, it spells out who cannot be denied the right to vote. The 14th Amendment says men who are U.S. citizens and over the age of 21 must be allowed to vote, unless they have committed a crime. The 15th Amendment prohibits anyone from denying the right to vote based on skin color and the 19th Amendment prohibits denying the right to vote based on sex (aka being a woman).
It wasn't until 1926 that all states passed laws barring noncitizens from voting. Congress passed a law 70 years later prohibiting illegal immigrants from voting ''for the office of President, Vice President, Presidential elector, Member of the Senate, Member of the House of Representatives, Delegate from the District of Columbia, or Resident Commissioner.''
How it works in practice: If you are not a U.S. citizen, voting in a federal election could land you in prison for up to three years or lead to deportation. States can impose their own, sometimes harsher, penalties for breaking the law.
However, because elections are largely a local affair, some states allow local governments to decide whether noncitizens can vote in local elections.
In fact, noncitizens in Chicago have been allowed to vote for school board since 1989. New Yorkers who were not citizens were given the same right from 1969 until 2003, when local school boards were abolished there. Now San Francisco and Maryland are also giving noncitizens the right to vote in some local elections.
The right to educationWhat the law says: There is no ''right to education'' in the Constitution but two other sections do come into play when considering whether undocumented migrant children should have access to education.
First, in the case Plyler v. Doe, the Supreme Court ruled that if children who are citizens have access to a free, public education, so should undocumented immigrant children. That is because the 14th Amendment says the government cannot ''deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.''
What it means in practice: The court case means undocumented children cannot be prohibited from enrolling in a public school.
But what if a child is being detained and, therefore, does not have access to a public school. That is where, once again, the Flores settlement comes into play.
The settlement requires that facilities where children are kept must meet minimum requirements for providing health care, education, recreation and other child care services.
Right against unreasonable search and seizureWhat the law says: The Fourth Amendment establishes the right ''against unreasonable searches and seizures.''
What it means in practice: While this law would generally apply to both citizens and noncitizens, there is a key caveat known as the ''border search exception.''
This exception dates back to the very first Congress, which passed a law allowing searchers at the border as a means to collecting duties.
As a result, courts have long upheld that searches at the border are not considered ''unreasonable'' for the very fact that they occur at the border.
The question courts have grappled with since is what constitutes the border. Searches at airports and other ports of entry for example are often considered legal. The Justice Department has also established a 100-mile wide ''extended border'' where Border Patrol agents can conduct searches if they meet certain criteria.
Soccer Balls, Sanctimony and A Billion Dollar Group Called ''Baptist Child and Family Services'''... | The Last Refuge
Tue, 26 Jun 2018 15:19
A few days ago we posted some details, and a large dose of opinion, about the latest misguided efforts of Glenn Beck's ''Bold and Sanctimonious Tour'' '' and a strange thing happened'.... few, if any, thought our critical outline was controversial.It would appear the Patriotic U.S. Sleeping Giant is awake, at least on this issue:
Is it really ''charity'' when the federal government is using the IRS to collect the ''offering''?What follows below is a little more depth on the issue of ''Faith Based'' organizations and those receiving federal grants to facilitate illegal immigration.
We have received numerous requests to turn the eye of research into exactly what these organizations are. Specifically, one group that is continually in the media stories when they describe ''faith-based'' organizations and subsequent assistance to illegal aliens, or unaccompanied alien children, Baptist Child and Family Services or BCFS.
''Faith Based Organizations''. Has a nice charitable ring to it, no? At least on the surface it's a great sounding catch phrase. Such descriptivism gives the reader or listener the impression of ''charity'' in some form. At the very least, as Mr. Teddy Bears and Soccer Balls -Glenn Beck- has recently been espousing, they would seem quite, well, ''charitable''.
Alas, not so fast.
Allow us to introduce to you Mr. Kevin Dinnin.
He's the paid President and CEO of Baptist Child and Family Services Emergency Management Division (BCFS-EMD). We found him by backtracking the name of the principal officer posted on their 2012 tax filings.
Paid at an annual salary of $477,799+ I might add.
Not a bad gig for himself and rest of the BCFS-EMD leadership and staff who pulled in, and paid $33,000,000 in wages for 2012.
Yes, that is THIRTY THREE MILLION. In payroll.
You see, BCFS is two entities. You have BCFS and BCFS-EMD.
BCFS Health and Human Services' Emergency Management Division (BCFS EMD) is a non-profit partner of federal, state and local government and private industry. Our organization specializes in emergency management, incident management, disaster response, public health and medical emergency response, mass care, medical sheltering and planning for vulnerable populations. (link)
Call me crazy but I thought that's what FEMA was for'..... oh well, I digress.
Now, at this point I'd usually link to a bunch of internal publicly available information about BCFS-EMD so you could cruise around and dig in for your own analytical curiosity. However, a strange thing happened while assembling this research; the site closed down many of the page functions during my assembly'..... presto: '' ACCESS DENIED '' !
I'll have to leave it up to you why they did this. But I can assure you the change in sunlight protocol occurred between the hours of noon on Wednesday 7/16/14 and 11:30pm that same day. How do I know? Because for the past two days I've been mining data on this organization '' and the ''Access Denied'' only occurred after I had already been assembling the cast of characters and tracking down their tax filings.
For some reason over the past 48 hours ''sunlight'' has become antithetical to BCFS-EMD, or at least their ''Leadership''. [maybe, just maybe, they're updating? /sarc ] I digress, again'.....
Baptist Child and Family Services, along with Baptist Child and Family Services-Emergency Management Division, are the recipients of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS), grant money. How much money you might ask?
Well, lets just say a single grant this month was for $190,707,505.00
THAT's a single grant.
One grant for:
One Hundred Ninety Million, Seven Hundred Seven Thousand, Five Hundred Five Dollars. $190,707,505.00And there's more than a few MORE:
And yes as you scroll to the bottom you'll note that we are only half-way through the year and this entity has received over a QUARTER BILLION dollars. OK, now you're beginning to get the picture.
Taxpayer dollars.
I'm thinking BCFS can afford a few soccer balls, no?
So what in the world can a ''faith based charity group'' be spending all of that taxpayer money on ?'.... and how big is this ''charity'' if the federal government portion therein is funding it to the tune of THAT MUCH money ?
Well, apparently, other than ''Federal Grant Work'', not much.
In 2012 they pulled in $67,325,953.00 and $63,321,669 of taxpayer funds through DHS and HHS grants/contracts. That's around 94% of their entire operational ''charity revenue'' from taxpayers.
''Baptist Child and Family Services'' eh?
''Faith Based''? Um, where's the church ?
Now that CEO Mr. Kevin Dinnin has tripled his ''charities'' business with the federal government I'm pretty sure he's making more than the $477,799.00 he was making in 2012.
Consider this Press Release:
BCFS, a global health and human services organization headquartered in Texas, today announced the expansion of its International Children's Services program to serve unaccompanied foreign youth throughout the country. The new offices, located in New York, NY; Miami, FL; Houston, TX; Dallas, TX; Sacramento-area, CA; and Los Angeles-area, CA, will serve as regional hubs for BCFS' new family support and evaluation programs.
BCFS will lead these programs as part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services '' Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) strategic plan to provide safe and stable homes for international youth who are granted permission to stay with family or sponsors already living in the country.
''We are excited to expand our successful International Children's Services program nationwide. Under the care and leadership of our new national and regional directors, countless children and families will receive the support they need to start their new lives off right,'' said Asennet Segura, BCFS Executive Director '' Residential Services Division. ''As BCFS works toward meeting this mission, we look forward to forging new friendships and partnerships throughout these new regions.''
With this expansion, BCFS has named four new directors: (continue reading)
The Press Release goes on to note the hiring of: '... Celeste Garcia, National Program Director (based in San Antonio), '... Alexandra Peralta, Regional Director '' Eastern U.S. (based in Miami), '... Kelsey Lebrun Keswani, Regional Director '' Western U.S. (based in Los Angeles-area), and'... Michelle Fuentes, Regional Director '' Central U.S. (based in Houston-area), along with a brief summary of their skill set.
Those rail cars might as well be loaded with gold.
Link to BCFS HERELink to BCFS Press Release HERE Link to BCFS-EMD HERELink to BCFS 2012 Tax Form 990 HERELink to Federal HHS Grant HEREFinal thoughts: It is important to remember this information is only for one of the ''faith-based organizations'' you have heard about recently. There are many others who are in the same operational business model as Baptist Child and Family Services. For the sake of this outline we stopped with what appears to be the newest and the one everyone was inquiring about.
However, given the scope of the expenditures, you might be interested to know that, again according to tax filing records, the United States Catholic Bishops also received $69.5 million in HHS grants for 2012 (LINK). Yes, that's $69,500,000+ in grants. And yes, that's about 98% of the total charity revenue for the organization. And yes, that's for the exact same type of activity.
Federal Charity courtesy of the U.S. Taxpayer. Is it really ''charity'' when the federal government is using the IRS to collect the ''offering'' ?
Hey Glenn, about those soccer balls'.....
One Media Outlet Catching On To Massive Governmental Non-Profits Housing The Unaccompanied Alien Minors '' ''Southwest Key'' Under Review | The Last Refuge
Tue, 26 Jun 2018 15:11
A Texas Media outlet has just caught on to something we discovered and have shared with you. Previously we identified the BIG THREE large non-profit corporations getting massive grants from DHS and HHS. These were the ''faith based groups'' President Obama met in Dallas 7/9/14.
They are, listed smallest to largest:
#3 Bronze '' U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and/or, U.S. Catholic Charities $70,000,000+#2 Silver '' Southwest Key Programs Inc $122,000,000+#1 Gold '' Baptist Child and Family Services Emergency Management Division (BCFS-EMD) $270,000,000+Today we focus on one. ''Southwest Key Programs Inc'' '' KEYE TV in Austin Texas has just discovered the ruse and the tentacles of how these ''private corporations'', ie. ''non profit groups'', think ACORN, actually tie to their community and hide under the cover of funding from DHS/HHS Grants. We found this specific Private Company nets 98.76% of earnings from government grants [2012 IRS form 990 pg 14].
When KEYE TV reporters go asking questions they discover the secrecy of HHS. To quote Bruce Willis: ..'' welcome to the party pal ''..
KEYE TV '' TEXAS '' More than $100 million of federal grant money this year has gone to an Austin based company that runs unaccompanied minor shelters across the country.
Its website says Southwest Key Programs is the largest provider of services to unaccompanied children in the United States. Their headquarters is in Austin, Texas.
A brief online description details the children they help, how they're accepted and a short write up of the types of services provided.
A map provided by Southwest Key officials outlines their different locations and programs across the county. But if you have questions about the money it receives from the federal government for unaccompanied children officials with the non-profit aren't talking.
While their corporate address is listed as right here in Austin when you try to ask about their child immigrant shelters you get directed to a federal agency '-- the Office of Refugee Resettlement, which is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
But they're not talking either.
In an email back to KEYE TV, government officials say they do not identify regular/permanent unaccompanied alien children program shelters for the safety and security of minors and staff at the facilities.
They did acknowledge more than $120 million in grant money had been awarded to the Austin based non-profit far this fiscal year. (read more with video report)
As part of our ongoing Treehouse research '' We've been looking into this organization for over a week.
They are led by Dr. Juan Sanchez, President and CEO '' 2012 salary $338,770
With a total company payroll around $65,000,000 on 2012 taxpayer revenue of $85,000,000 (98.76% taxpayer funded)
''Dr. Sanchez is proud to have built one of the most diverse nonprofits in the country, where 93 percent of Southwest Key's 2,000 employees, including most top managers and board members, are people of color''.
We have much more on Southwest Key. Here are their 2014 HHS Grants for ''Unaccompanied Alien Children'' $122,285,100:
(Source HHS TAGGS Tracking System)
2012 Financials: Total Revenue: $ 85,808,470 Total Expenses: $ 81,759,658 2013 Financials: Total Revenue: $124,256,408 Total Expenses: $120,901,477 And Here is their 2012 IRS Form 990 Filings:
Southwest Key Inc. Annual Report and Financials HERE If you dig in to the IRS 990 forms (embedded above) you'll see a lot of, well, ''generous'' wage and benefit perks. Golf, florists, cafe's, third party mortgages, $$$ Spouses on the payroll, etc. But, it's for the *children* right? I digress.Previously:
Using information within the TAGGS system for Health and Human Services we are able to identify the recipients for Grants specifically designated for ''Unaccompanied Alien Children'', or UAC's. With that data, a few more search tools, some time and a little more research, we are able to identify the locations of facilities throughout the country where the HHS grants are being directed and the UAC's are being transferred/housed. There are essentially two broad types: Residence Care, and Transitional to Foster Care Services.
From the FY 2014 HHS Grants we can identify the communities where direct HHS UAC funds have been sent. We can identify the specific facility, or the organization supporting the foster care placement. If you live in, or close to, one of the listed cities below, the UAC's transfers are already in your community.
It should be noted that where possible we have tried to find out the number of children within the agency unit. For some it was easy, some were listed on the grants, for others it was not possible. Some are housed in Juvenile detention camps; some are in hospitals with specifically designated beds and dorms. A large percentage are/were in transitional housing during placement to foster families, and some appear to have gone directly to foster families as the transition to their permanent family takes place.
We have also included the exact amount of the HHS grant for two reasons. Number one, so that you can see how much this is costing you, the taxpayer. However, there is a more valuable secondary reason. We have identified (through extensive research) that each UAC, each individual, is estimated/evaluated at a HHS cost level of around $40,000 per grant (give or take). So if you see a grant for $2,325,000 you can divide by $40k and find out that's about 58 (people) UAC's in that facility or process for the quarter (3 month period), or time they are being transitioned/processed in that facility or organization.
2014 Meza Arizona '' 1 Facility '' New Leaf Inc. Dorothy Mitchell [Residence Facility for UAC] Address: 868 E. UNIVERSITY DRIVE MESA, AZ 85203 HHS Grant $387,936
2014 Irvington, New York '' 1 Facility '' Abbott House Residential Services [Residential facility for UAC ''Unaccompanied Alien Children''] ABBOTT HOUSE 100 N BROADWAY IRVINGTON, NY 105331254 HHS Grant $ 2,983,200
2014 Windsor Mill, Maryland '' 1 Facility '' BOARD OF CHILD CARE OF THE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH, INC [Residential Emergency Housing and Care for UAC's] Address: 3300 Gaither Road BALTIMORE, MD 21244 HHS Grant $2,387,200
2014 Miami, Florida '' 2 (possibly 3) facilities each housing 60 children '' CATHOLIC CHARITIES OF THE ARCHDIOCESE OF MIAMI INC Address: 9401 BISCAYNE BLVD MIAMI SHORES, FL 33138-2970 Most recent HHS Grant(s) $1,675,094 and $748,740
2014 Houston, Texas '' 2 facilities '' St. Michael's Homes for Children [Residential Housing via CATHOLIC CHARITIES OF THE DIOCESE OF GALVESTON-HOUSTON] '' Address: 1111 LOVETT BOULEVARD HOUSTON, TX 77006 Most recent HHS Grant(s) $2,792,549 and $1,396,274
2014 Galveston, Texas '' 2 facilities '' Galveston Multicultural Institute/The Children's Center [Residential Housing CHILDREN'S CENTER, INC] Address: 2127 AVENUE M GALVESTON, TX 77550 HHS Grants $4,826,682
2014 Valhalla, New York '' 1 Facility '' Cardinal McCloskey School & Home for Children [Long Term Housing while awaiting Foster Care Program for UAC's] '' Address: 115 Stevens Avenue VALHALLA, NY 105951252 HHS Grants $1,477,330
2014 New York, New York '' 1 Facility '' Catholic Guardian Services [Looks like a placement service not a facility] Address: 1011 First Avenue NEW YORK, NY 10022 HHS Grants $2,663,492
2014 Clearwater, Florida '' 1 Facility '' GULF COAST JEWISH FAMILY SERVICES, INC [foster care placement service] Address: 14041 ICOT BLVD CLEARWATER, FL 33760 HHS Grant $958,424
2014 Auburn, New York '' 1 Foster Facility '' Cayuga Home for Children DBA Cayuga Centers [In-Home Foster Care Services for Unaccompanied Alien Children] Address: 101 Hamilton Ave AUBURN, NY 13021 HHS Grants $8,376,471
2014 Elizabeth, New Jersey '' 1 Foster Facility '' County of Union New Jersey Department of Human Services [Foster Placement not a facility] address: 10 Elizabethtown Plaza ELIZABETH, NJ 07207 HHS Grants $825,576
2014 La Verne, California '' 1 Facility '' David & Margaret Youth and Family Services '' [Basic Emergency Shelter Services for Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) Program] 1350 THIRD STREET LA VERNE, CA 91750 HHS Grant $3,750,000
2014 Redmond, Washington '' 1 Facility '' FRIENDS OF YOUTH [Transitional Living Facility] Address: 16225 NE 87TH A-6 REDMOND, WA 98052-3536 HHS Grant $1,730,955
2014 Fullerton, California '' 1 Facility '' Florence Crittenton Services of Orange County [Placement Service] Address: 801 E. Chapman Ave., Ste. 230FULLERTON, CA 92831-3847 HHS Grant $8,172,157
2014 Chicago, Illinois '' 1 Facility '' HEARTLAND HUMAN CARE SERVICES, INC [Staffed Shelter Facility] Address: 208 SOUTH LASALLE STREET CHICAGO, IL 606041156 HHS Grant $20,809,351
2014 Opa Locka, Florida '' 1 Facility '' (Miami Dade) His House Inc. [Residential and Long Term Shelter Facility] Address: 20000 NW 47th Avenue MIAMI, FL 33055 HHS Grant $6,514,232
2014 Los Fresnos, Texas '' 5 or 6 Facilities '' Driscoll Shelter Care Program, Hidalgo Foster Care Specialized Program, Harlingen Foster Care Program, Brownsville Foster Care Program, Emergency Shelter Care Program, INTERNATIONAL EDUCATIONAL SERVICES, INC. Address: P.O. BOX 112 LOS FRESNOS, TX 78566-0112 HHS Grant $55,024,914
2014 Alexandria, Virginia '' 1 facility '' Juvenile Detention Commission for Northern Virginia [23 Beds -various security levels- Assigned for UAC's] Address: 200 S. Whiting Street ALEXANDRIA, VA 22304 HHS Grant $1,992,900
2014 Schnecksville, Pennsylvania '' 1 facility '' KidsPeace National Centers, Inc. [Staffed Shelter Facility] Address: 4085 Independence Drive SCHNECKSVILLE, PA 18078 HHS Grant $6,909,809
2014 Baltimore, Maryland '' 1 facility '' LUTHERAN IMMIGRATION & REFUGEE SERVICE [Foster Care Placement] Address: 700 LIGHT ST BALTIMORE, MD 21230-3850 HHS Grant $14,957,523
2014 Austin. Texas '' 2 facilities '' LUTHERAN SOCIAL SERVICES OF THE SOUTH,INC. [Emergency Shelter and Transitional foster Care] Address: POST OFFICE BOX 49589 AUSTIN, TX 78765 HHS Grant $8,389,270
2014 Mahopac, New York '' 1 facility '' Lincoln Hall [Temporary ''Reunification'' Shelter] Address: 145 Lincolndale Road LINCOLNDALE, NY 10541 $12,067,942
2014 New York, New York '' 1 facility '' Lutheran Family & Community Services [Residential and Foster Care] Address: 308 West 46th Street NEW YORK, NY 10036 HHS Grant $1,858,700
2014 Syosset, New York '' 1 facility '' Mercy First [Residential Care] Address: 525 Convent Road SYOSSET, NY 11791 HHS Grant $3,773,763
2014 Portland, Oregon '' 1 facility '' Morrison Child & Family Services [Residential Care] Address: 9911 SE MT SCOTT BLVD PORTLAND, OR 97266 HHS Grant $3,694,729
2014 Daytona Beach, FL '' 1 facility '' Neighbor to Family [Residential and Transitional Foster Care] Address: 955 Orange Avenue, Ste M DAYTONA BEACH, FL 32114 HHS Grant $2,727,525
2014 Seattle, Washington '' 1 facility '' Pioneer Human Services [Foster placement] Address: 7440 W. Marginal Way, So. SEATTLE, WA 98108-4141 HHS Grant $2,075,820
2014 Jupiter, Florida '' 1 facility '' Sandy Pines Hospital [Residential Care] Address: 11301 SE Tequesta Terrace TEQUESTA, FL 33469 HHS Grant $1,384,703
2014 San Antonio, Texas '' 1 facility '' Seton Home [Residential Housing for Pregnant and Parenting UAC and their Children] Address: 1115 Mission Road SAN ANTONIO, TX 78210 HHS Grant $2,717,801
2014 Staunton, Virginia '' 1 facility '' Shenandoah Valley Juvenile Detention Home [Residential ORR/DCS Secure and Staff Secure] Address: 300 Technology Drive STAUNTON, VA 24401 HHS Grant $3,282,893
2014 Manvel, Texas '' 1 facility '' Shiloh Treatment Center, Inc. [Emergency Medical Housing, Treatment and Transition Facility] Address: 3926 Bahler Avenue MANVEL, TX 77578 HHS Grant $5,103,561
2014 San Antonio, Texas '' 1 facility '' St. Peter St. Joseph Children`s Home [Transitional residential Housing] Address: 919 Mission RoadSAN ANTONIO, TX 78210 HHS Grant $7,086,020
2014 Dobbs Ferry, New York '' 1 facility '' THE CHILDREN`S VILLAGE INC. [Domicile Care Facility '' Longer Term UAC's] Address: WETMORE HALL, 3RD FLOORDOBBS FERRY, NY 10522 HHS Grant $12,525,435
2014 Phoenix, Arizona '' 1 facility '' TUMBLEWEED CENTER FOR YOUTH DEVELOPMENT INC [Residential Shelter and Long Term Foster UAC Care] Address: 1419 NORTH 3RD ST, SUITE 102 PHOENIX, AZ 85004-1639 HHS Grant $1,557,966
2014 Kingston, New York '' 1 facility '' The Children`s Home of Kingston [Residential Shelter and Long Term UAC Housing] Address: 26 Grove StKINGSTON, NY 12401 HHS Grant $999,200
2014 Poughkeepsie, New York '' 1 facility '' The Children`s Home of Poughkeepsie, Inc. [Residential Shelter and Long Term UAC Housing] Address: 10 Children`s Way POUGHKEEPSIE, NY 12601 HHS Grant $775,361
2014 Woodland, California '' 1 facility '' YOLO COUNTY DEPT OF PROBATION [criminal detention center '' Secured UAC Housing] Address: 2780 E. Gibson Road WOODLAND, CA 95776 HHS Grant $1,682,520
2014 Seattle, Washington '' 1 facility '' YOUTH CARE [Youth Homeless Shelter '' ''House of Friends Program'' Long Term UAC Housing] Address: 2500 NE 54TH ST, SUITE 100 SEATTLE, WA 98105 HHS Grant $1,182,183
2014 Bristow, Virginia '' 1 facility '' Youth For Tomorrow [Residential Shelter UAC Program ] Address: 11835 Hazel Circle Drive BRISTOW, VA 20136 HHS Grant $8,314,702
~ The Three Corp Entities Below Are Receiving Grants and Using Sub Contractors ~ BRONZE MEMBER '... 2014 Washington DC '' numerous facilities '' Corporate office Facility for U.S. CONFERENCE OF CATHOLIC BISHOPS [Working similar to BCFS structure throughout the U.S. No specific residence use available '' ''Safe Passages Program''] Corp Address: 3211 4TH ST, NE WASHINGTON, DC 20017-1106 HHS Grant $6,761,412
SILVER MEMBER '... 2014 Austin, Texas '' *Numerous Facilities* SOUTHWEST KEY PROGRAMS, INC. [This is a large entity like BCFS '' Emergency Shelter(?)] Address: 3000 I-H 35, SUITE 410 AUSTIN, TX 78704 HHS Grant $26,822,183 and $95,462,917
GOLD MEMBER '... 2014 San Antonio Texas '' numerous facilities '' Baptist Child & Family Services '' HHS and BCFS EMD (Emergency Management Division) Corporate office Address: 909 NE Loop 410 SAN ANTONIO, TX 78209 HHS Grant $280,156,954 !!
[BCFS-EMD is the single largest facilitator of UAC transition throughout the U.S. '' specific housing locales unknown] However, we do know as a result of the $190 million grant BCFS received just before the 7/9/14 Dallas meeting with President Obama they plan massive expansion. (Press Release )
BCFS now operates regional offices in San Antonio, Miami, Los Angeles-area and Houston-area. We have outlined the massive construct behind BCFS HERE and HERE including their 2012 tax documents and the detail of the Dallas visit with the Obama administration. BCFS-EMD is bigger than ACORN was.
The facilities, organizations and entities above all received HHS grants to care for UAC's. However, some of those organizations may have further sub contracted the actual housing (example BCFS). Because HHS is not directly paying the sub contractor (grant funds) the sub will not appear on the TAGGS system. Consequently some of the facilities actually housing the UAC's will not have been listed '' only the entities being given $$ directly from HHS. Some of the facilities above might be included in this map which has been assembled based on ''ground reports'' and ''media reports'' of UAC transfers. However, many of the facilities listed above will not be on this map. Many of the recipients for the HHS grants -government dependent non profits- have quietly put the UAC's into their community facility, or foster program. Subsequently the community might not even be aware of it. So both the interactive MAP and the above list should be referenced if you are researching your community:
CLICK HERE TO GO INTERACTIVEThe methodology to update your own research is time consuming but possible with a few bits of information.
The internal HHS coding for Federal Grants related to Unaccompanied Alien Children is #93676. The types of grants (there are thousands) are numerically listed in the HHS TAGGS tracking system.
There is a search function which you can use to identify UAC Grants by Zip code, Date, Award or Recipient. The most useful tool for starters is the Award Search knowing 93676 is the code for UAC Grants (it's 2/3rds of the way down the drop menu).
You can use a reverse Zip Code Search Engine (like this one) If you are unsure of a location of a facility. Once you have identified the facility you check their ''profit status''. If they are an NPO (non profit organization) you can look up their tax records in the state of their filing. That will give you details on the type of facility they are and their business context. You can also find out their organizational structure and their other business interests etc.
You can also see their other governmental business and what additional funding they receive from the tax payers. With this information you can get almost everything you need to pick up the phone and ask specific questions.
Here is an example of a non profit using BCFS Tax Filings for 2012:
From the looks of things, this is not going to stop any time soon'...
Don't forget the timeline of the BORDER CRISIS '' CLICK HERE
Even the Washington Post is CATCHING ON !
Bourbon storage facility collapses in Kentucky, sending barrels crashing to ground '' True PunditTrue Pundit
Mon, 25 Jun 2018 02:21
BusinessBourbon storage facility collapses in Kentucky, sending barrels crashing to groundA portion of a warehouse housing thousands of barrels of bourbon collapsed in Kentucky on Friday, sending roughly half of those barrels crashing to the ground.
Bardstown Fire Chief Bill Mattingly said the storage facility at the Barton 1792 Distillery collapsed ''length-wise'' on Friday morning, and left the other half leaning and in danger of buckling, Kentucky Standard reported.
BREAKING: Crews on scene at a building collapse at @Barton1792. Bardstown Fire Chief says they got the call around 11a. Bourbon barrels are stacked up in the mess.
'-- Emily Maher (@WLKYEmily) June 22, 2018
MORE: Bardstown, Kentucky fire chief believes the #bourbon from a warehouse collapse @Barton1792 is running into a nearby creek; awaiting EPA arrival.
'-- Paul Miles (@PaulMiles840) June 22, 2018
He also estimated that around 10,000 of the barrels held within '-- Mattingly estimated 20,000 in total '-- were destroyed as a result. But Joe Prewitt, the director of Nelson County Emergency Management, told the Lexington Herald Leader that the storage building, or rickhouse, held only around 9,000 barrels total.
A representative for Barton Brands confirmed that no one was injured in the collapse, the only casualties being the whiskey.
''Right now we're trying to determine why it collapsed,'' said Mattingly, and added that the forecasted storms heading to the area may pose fire concerns. '' READ MORE
Help Support True Pundit's Independent Voice by Contributing Today! Fox News
Harley-Davidson, Unable To Sell Millennials Motorcycles, Pivots To Bicycles
Tue, 26 Jun 2018 01:54
Good morning! Welcome to The Morning Shift, your roundup of the auto news you crave, all in one place every weekday morning. Here are the important stories that are your air, that you need to know to live.
1st Gear: At Least They Know How To Wrench On TheseHarley-Davidson has been struggling for years trying to reach the youth market beyond its bored dentist clientele base. And by ''struggling,'' I mean ''continuously tripping over its own shoelaces, like when it bought up Buell only to kill it.''
In any case, the company's pushes for nostalgia haven't been working, so the company decided it's time for something different: even older nostalgia. H-D is going back to bicycles of its past, as the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports:
Harley-Davidson Inc. is unveiling a new bike, but it's powered by pedals, not a rumbling V-Twin engine.
The olive-green cruiser is a tribute to a bicycle sold by Harley in 1917. It's the first of 10 hand-built bicycles the Harley-Davidson Museum will offer for sale this summer for approximately $4,200 each.
Harley was in the bicycle business for a short time, from 1917 through 1922, with a line of about six models each year.
The bicycles were intended to introduce young riders to the Harley-Davidson brand and were styled to look like the company's motorcycles.>>
Heritage Bicycles will be making the machines and the only change to the design is that the frame is now larger. Well, I guess your average Harley buyer isn't as spry as they were in the days of the flu pandemic.
2nd Gear: We're In The Golden Age Of Horsepower And Have Environmental Regulations To ThankWe've been saying for years that the EPA is the biggest unsung hero of automotive performance.
Regulations that have demanded cleaner emissions and better fuel economy have been answered by automakers with more efficient engines. More efficient means more powerful. Quite a bit more powerful, as Bloomberg noted in an article earlier this week:
Sometime in the next year or so, the U.S. auto industry will cross a once-unimaginable threshold: Average horsepower for the entire fleet will reach 300. (At the moment, it is tuned up to 296.)
It is an absurd number'--the stuff of drag-racing dreams. It's also, almost entirely, a happy accident. The engineers tuning up the industry's average sedans and dad-jeans SUVs have spent the past decade trying to lower emissions; speed was an unintended byproduct.>>
Bloomberg reached out to Ivan Drury of Edmunds and got two choice quotes:
''We're in the golden age of horsepower,'' said Ivan Drury, senior manager of data strategy at Edmunds. ''The only thing I'm nostalgic about'--that I know is going to die'--is the manual transmission.''
''You can get the best of both worlds,'' Drury said. ''If you really want it, the power is there.''>>
This is, of course, only half true. The Bloomberg piece notes how carmakers in the U.S. are focusing on downsizing. That means replacing big engines with smaller ones and making up for the loss of power with turbochargers. This, of course, works better in theory (and in the lab environments of emissions tests) and less so in the real world.
Still! Big power. Can't complain about that.
3rd Gear: Volvo Inaugurates $1.1 Billion South Carolina PlantThere's a new Volvo S60 sedan debuting today and where will this beacon of Swedish design be built? Nowhere else but that bastion of modernism and Scandinavian simplicity: South Carolina. Because nothing says minimalist design quite like Cracker Barrel.
In any case, this is a $1.1 billion new plant for the auto industry of the South, set to make the S60 sedan alone at the moment. That output is slightly surprising, as Automotive News reports:
The new plant can produce 150,000 cars a year at full capacity. Volvo will add output of the next-generation XC90 premium large SUV at the factory in 2021.
Starting the new factory with a sedan instead of an SUV was a surprise to IHS Markit Principal Analyst Tim Urquhart, especially since premium rivals Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz all produce crossovers in North America.
''Premium sedans are still 'a thing' in the U.S. market so there is a rationale in terms 'build where you sell','' Urquhart said in an email.>>
4th Gear: Audi CEO Dieselgate Arrest: Looks Like It's The Coverup, Not The CrimeAudi boss Rupert Stadler was arrested the other day and the reason for it seems to be less about what he did and more about what he hoped others wouldn't find out about, as Bloomberg reports in an article today ''Audi's Stadler Said to Have Pushed for Putting Witness on Leave.'' Here's the key part:
Audi's suspended Chief Executive Officer Rupert Stadler was arrested this week because prosecutors suspect he tried to put an employee on leave who was providing evidence in the diesel-cheating investigation, a person familiar with the situation said.
Stadler was named a suspect last week because he allegedly prevented Audi's internal diesel task force from interviewing the engineers involved in writing the illegal software, the person said, declining to be named because the information isn't public. Prosecutors raided his house and tapped his phone.>>
As ever, looks like it's the coverup, not the crime. Stay smart, execs.
5th Gear: John Deere Is Starting A Legal Fight Over Automated Farm EquipmentIf you haven't been keeping an eye on it, the world of farm equipment is absolutely fascinating. John Deere was at the center of the debate over whether or not you own the software in the things you buy when farmers were turning to overseas hackers to get control over their equipment.
Now John Deere is in the news again, suing a rival over tech involved in automated farming, which Bloomberg describes as a future $240 billion industry in a comprehensive report today:
Deere & Co., the world's biggest tractor maker, is suing rival AGCO Corp.over gadgets like seed meters and hoppers that attach to planting machines. Such devices are integral to a projected $240 billion market for so-called precision agriculture, which harnesses big data to automate operations and boost productivity.>>
What makes this case interesting is that there are swirling allegations that not everything is as earnest as it might seem, centering on John Deere trying, at one point, to buy up the rival that it's now suing:
''Deere is now suing AGCO over the Precision Planting technology that AGCO acquired that, in the first place, John Deere wanted to acquire,'' said Dennis Buckmaster, a professor of agricultural and biological engineering at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. ''There must be sufficient difference in the technology, or else Deere wouldn't have wanted to acquire it in the first place.''>>
John Deere, meanwhile, says that the two things are totally unrelated, while AGCO is arguing the opposite. In any case, watch this space, as the future of automation and tech is being plotted in the fields outside your town.
Reverse: First They Get Goons To Beat You Up, Then They Sign Your ContractNeutral: Will Performance Cars Ever Change Away From Big Power?So, with average fleet horsepower coming up on 300, it seems like now would be the time that sports car companies would pivot away from big power figures and towards lightweight design and handling.
But we've been hearing that expectation for the better part of a decade now, and still performance cars are more powerful than ever. Lotus is still a tiny player in the world sports car scene.
If nothing has really changed, will it ever? Or am I totally misreading things? What's your take?
Iran Plans to Create a Secondary Forex Market
Tue, 26 Jun 2018 01:59
By June 25, 2018, 5:37 AM EDT
An employee arranges US dollar notes in the store display of a foreign currency trader in Tehran
Photographer: Ali Mohammadi/Bloomberg
Iran plans to establish a secondary market for foreign exchange to help get around a dollar shortage that has hurt trade and is likely to worsen as U.S. sanctions resume.
The secondary market will allow exporters of non-oil commodities to sell their foreign currency earnings to importers of consumer products, the state-run IRNA news agency quoted Iranian Central Bank Governor Valiollah Seif as saying.
The introduction of a secondary foreign exchange market is the latest in a series of steps Iran has taken to reduce the impact of renewed sanctions on its economy.
Even before Donald Trump announced in May that the U.S. would be leaving the nuclear accord, Iran's central bank imposed tight restrictions on foreign currency transactions in an effort to shut down a flourishing black market and halt a slump in the value of the rial against the dollar.
The Islamic Republic has also sought to wean its economy off the dollar by doing more trade in the euro and other currencies, though traders and analysts say that will not be enough to mitigate the impact of sanctions on its economy.
Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal. LEARN MORE
Pro-Trump Conspiracy-Monger ''QAnon'' Calls for Regime Change in Iran
Tue, 26 Jun 2018 12:40
W ASHINGTON '' As Henry Kissinger predicted soon after the 2016 election, Donald Trump's ''transition from being a campaigner to being a national strategist'' has been seamless . Much like the change Barack Obama underwent in 2008, where ''anti-establishment'' campaign rhetoric and promises became a thing of the past and a ''status quo'' neoliberal/neoconservative agenda was adopted in its place, Trump's transition has led to a resurgence of power and influence among Washington's most notorious neoconservatives and a continuation of many of the policies that he had once railed against.
Trump's decision to assume the mantle of George W. Bush should have angered his base, as his promises to ''drain the swamp'' of the nation's capital ring ever-hollow amid the ascension of the worst of Washington's cesspool to powerful positions in the Trump administration. However, such anger among Trump's base has failed to materialize en masse. Instead, the anger has largely been diverted and redirected, thanks to an internet phenomenon known simply as '' QAnon .''
QAnon began last October when an anonymous account began posting in the internet forum 4chan '' and later the related forum 8chan '-- and claimed to be a well-positioned source in the Trump administration with ''Q'' level security clearance. Notably, Q emerged just as war with North Korea seemed imminent, coming just as Trump met with military leaders and warned that it was ''the calm before the storm.'' Q's first posts were in direct reference to that statement, placed under a thread titled ''Calm before the Storm,'' and the mysterious figure's subsequent posts are collectively known as ''the Storm.'' Qanon has been promoted by prominent figures on the Trump-supporting right like Sean Hannity , Roseanne Barr and Alex Jones , among others.
Since the phenomenon began, the posts of the anonymous ''Q'' have engaged in the construction of a parallel reality '-- one where Robert Mueller is actually investigating Hillary and Bill Clinton; several other high-profile, corrupt Democrats will soon be shipped off to Guantanamo Bay; swamp monster John Bolton is actually '' cleaning up '' Washington; and Julian Assange of WikiLeaks has been '' rescued '' from the Ecuadorian embassy in London.
The reality constructed by QAnon has ultimately unfolded much like a fictitious spy novel, one that details a ''secret'' counter-coup by the Trump administration against the so-called ''Deep State'' that Trump '' in reality '-- has dutifully served ever since winning the 2016 election. Despite QAnon's having been proven wrong repeatedly, its following remains large and the phenomenon itself remains influential.
Robert Martin, a documentary filmmaker whose series ''A Very Heavy Agenda'' delves into the nefarious political influence of the neoconservatives, told MintPress that QAnon is the ''perfect wish-fulfillment conspiracy snowball'' aimed at conservatives, adding that it has worked to ''rehabilitate some of the most tarnished and scary neocons to all of a sudden be heroic figures.'' Among the figures who have been promoted by QAnon as heroes resisting the ''deep state'' include Blackwater founder Erik Prince, Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and former Mayor of New York City turned Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani.
In fact, Martin asserted that QAnon appears to be an evolution of a proposal once put forth by Cass Sunstein, a close confidant of Barack Obama, who had urged the government infiltration of anti-government and anti-establishment groups and, as Salon noted at the time , would manipulate such groups in order to increase citizens' faith in government officials and undermine the credibility of ''conspiracists.''
Martin asserted that QAnon has manifested as a means of ''purposeful disinformation made to distract or control conspiracy movements,'' going so far as to call for ''military control'' to stop the ''deep state'' all while being promoted by influential news organizations among Trump supporters at the behest of the White House.
Indeed, the White House specifically asked Alex Jones to have his Infowar s Washington bureau chief, Jerome Corsi, report extensively on QAnon postings and interpret them for the Infowars audience. Since late last April, both Jones and Corsi have claimed that the Q account was ''seized'' by the ''deep state'' and is no longer credible. The times being what they are, however, QAnon still attracts tens of thousands of followers, many of whom have rejected Infowars in favor of QAnon posts.
Pushing regime change in Iran However, this past Tuesday, QAnon took a step in a new direction. Instead of past QAnon posts, which have sought to portray Trump's actions that are clearly in support of the establishment as ''anti-establishment,'' these posts sought to cultivate support for something that has yet to take place but has loomed on the horizon for months. On Tuesday, QAnon called for regime change in Iran.
Just after midnight, the Q account posted ''Free Iran!!! Fight Fight Fight Regime change. People have the power. We stand with you.'' The post was not Q's first reference to Iran, building off previous Q posts that warned simply that Iran was ''next.'' Those posts first emerged just as Iran hawk Bolton was set to join the Trump administration. However, Tuesday's post was notable for its explicit call for regime change in the Islamic Republic, just weeks after covert U.S.-brokered regime change in Iran had become official U.S. policy .
!!NEW Q DROPS!! 06/19/18 00:55!! 🇮🇷Free Iran Edition!!🇮🇷Q says, Free Iran!!Fight!Fight!Fight!Regime change coming!People have the power!We stand with you!!#QAnon #IranFeedomFighters #FightFightFight @realDonaldTrump
'-- RunningTheRace (@2runtherace) June 19, 2018
QAnon is not 'just making people think' QAnon is also: '' telling us to trust every action of the current president'' telling us that PNAC neocon John Bolton is 'cleaning house' '' telling us that Michael Flynn who co-wrote a book with PNAC neocon Michael Ledeen is a hero
'-- Robbie Martin (@FluorescentGrey) May 31, 2018
Given the influence of QAnon, this shift is particularly concerning. One of the reasons it is concerning is that it is based on disinformation often circulated by proponents of war with Iran. Qanon posts assert, for example, that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), or the Iran nuclear deal, was not about nuclear disarmament or preventing a military conflict, but instead a greedy money-motivated plot planned by the Clintons and carried out by Obama. The money given to Iran after the deal by the Obama administration is used as evidence for this assertion, even though that money was the sum of Iranian assets that the U.S. had seized years prior when it imposed sanctions on Iran, something Bolton himself helped to accomplish while serving the George W. Bush administration.
Another related lie recently propagated by QAnon is that Bolton is fighting the ''deep state'' '-- by helping ''clean'' the White House and rid it of ''disloyal'' staff that are obstructing Trump's mythical fight to free the country from the yoke of its shadow government '-- urging Trump supporters to '' follow Bolton .'' Since then, some Q enthusiasts have even taken Bolton's frequent readjustment of his large glasses as a '' sign '' that he is part of the supposed counter-coup.
#QAnon posted last night JOHN BOLTON is cleaning out of WH all Deep State loyal to HRC + Obama (ultimate targets of treason investigations) to STOP LEAKS. Q assures us WH will be safe for @realDonaldTrump IMPORTANT to plan revealed in KILLING THE DEEP STATE '' counterattack begins
'-- Jerome Corsi (@jerome_corsi) April 3, 2018
John Bolton cleaning house. #Q #QAnon #MAGA #TheStormIsHere #TheGreatAwakening
'-- Drain the Swamp#QAnon🇺🇸🇺🇸 (@ItsAngryBob) April 10, 2018
As MintPress has reported at length , there is perhaps no figure in the Trump administration who embodies the ''swamp'' more than staunch neoconservative Bolton, who is well-known for distorting intelligence and information in his pursuit of regime change and the destruction of ''rogue'' states. Bolton's top target for regime change is Iran, which he recently promised would see its government fall before the year was over. Bolton openly supports and has received tens of thousands of dollars from the Iranian terror group Mujahedeen Khalq (MEK), which has next to no domestic support in Iran. Most concerning of all perhaps is that Bolton's current regime-change policy calls for military action to effect regime change if all else fails, a policy that could well lead to another disastrous war that will make the 2003 invasion of Iraq seem insignificant by comparison.
Regime change in Iran is diametrically opposed to the ''Make America Great Again'' mantra that espoused ending foreign entanglements abroad in order to improve the country's domestic situation. A war in Iran would not only waste vast amounts of American taxpayer money, it would do nothing to help the situation of the average American worker, instead enriching the weapons manufacturers '' including those in which Trump personally owns stock . However, QAnon's increasingly insidious influence is linking the myth of a heroic counter-coup with the myth that regime change in Iran is what the ''people'' want and is good for the Iranian people and the world.
Martin asserted that the recent QAnon posts seem to be aimed at preparing Trump's base for a war they would normally not accept. He told MintPress :
QAnon appears to be slowly grooming millions of people on the internet who had normally been skeptical of pro-government narratives in the past to 'trust the plan' '-- aka trust everything Donald Trump is doing including hiring dangerous neocons who want to overthrow the government of Iran.''
Given QAnon's foray into fostering support for regime change abroad, the recognition of the phenomenon as a psyop that preys on the wishes and emotions that Trump as a candidate cultivated in his supporters seems inevitable, particularly as it has begun claiming that all concerns over a looming war should be ignored. Instead, Q urges followers to ''trust the plan.''
Allowing long-standing neo-conservative policies and posturing for war to masquerade as an uprising against the ''deep state'' and ''a draining of the swamp,'' QAnon has turned reality on its head by manipulating a desire among many Americans for an end to Washington corruption. It is arguably a modern psyop like no other.
''Trust the plan'': Getting folks to support policies they hate It may seem odd that an anonymous account with claims of top security clearance '' but no evidence to support that claim '' has convinced thousands of Trump supporters to continue to back the president and even praise him for neocon-inspired policies, U.S.-backed regime change among them, that they would have reviled not long ago. This narrative twisting, however, is hardly unprecedented.
Under Obama, many of those on the left, who had placed their hopes for reform on the charismatic senator promising ''change,'' willfully ignored Obama's continuation and expansion of Bush-era policies such as torture , the prosecution of whistleblowers , drone strikes and imperial wars abroad. Those who rejected the reality of Obama's policy instead asserted that the only way to ensure that the long-promised ''change'' could manifest was if more corporate-funded, establishment Democrats were elected.
For many of those supporters, Obama himself was never to blame for '' as Cornel West famously asserted '' being a ''Rockefeller Republican in blackface.'' Even now, many on the left have placed Obama on an even higher pedestal '-- as Trump seems, superficially, to be his polar opposite, despite expanding many of Obama's worst policies . As was the case with many on the left under Obama, it is now easier for MAGA enthusiasts to assert '' with Q as ''proof'' '-- that Trump is still the candidate of 2016 instead of admitting that they have been had.
The same ignorance as benighted the Obama-rationalizing left can now be seen among Trump's supporters, with calls to elect even more Republicans to Congress, despite their current majority in both houses, as the way to manifest Trump's ''populist'' manifesto he touted as a candidate.
Elect more Republicans in November and we will pass the finest, fairest and most comprehensive Immigration Bills anywhere in the world. Right now we have the dumbest and the worst. Dems are doing nothing but Obstructing. Remember their motto, RESIST! Ours is PRODUCE!
'-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 22, 2018
Thanks to QAnon, Trump will continue to remain blameless in the minds and hearts of many of his supporters, as those who blindly follow the ''Gospel of Q'' will continue to ''trust the plan'' no matter what Trump does, even if it results in a devastating war with Iran that kills millions of innocent people.
''Trust the plan'' is the sequel to ''Hope and change.''
Top Photo | A QAnon meme posted on the 8chan forum.
Whitney Webb is a staff writer for MintPress News and a contributor to Ben Swann's Truth in Media. Her work has appeared on Global Research, the Ron Paul Institute and 21st Century Wire, among others. She has also made radio and TV appearances on RT and Sputnik. She currently lives with her family in southern Chile.
Any Collusion?
How an Affair Between a Reporter and a Security Aide Has Rattled Washington Media - The New York Times
Tue, 26 Jun 2018 00:15
The Hart Senate Office Building, home of the Senate Intelligence Committee. Credit Aaron P. Bernstein/Reuters The pearl bracelet arrived in May 2014, in the spring of Ali Watkins's senior year in college, a graduation gift from a man many years her senior. It was the sort of bauble that might imply something more deeply felt than friendship '-- but then again, might not.
Ms. Watkins, then a 22-year-old intern in the Washington bureau of McClatchy Newspapers, was not entirely surprised. She had met James Wolfe, a 50-something senior aide to the Senate Intelligence Committee, while hunting for scoops on Capitol Hill. He had become a helpful source, but there were times when he seemed interested in other pursuits '-- like when he presented her with a Valentine's Day card.
On that occasion, Ms. Watkins explained to Mr. Wolfe that their relationship was strictly professional. The bracelet suggested that her message had not gotten through. She asked an editor for advice, and was told that as long as the gift was not exorbitant '-- no stock in a company, the editor joshed '-- it was fine.
Ms. Watkins kept the bracelet.
The story of what happened next '-- of a three-year affair that unfolded between a young reporter and a government official with access to top-secret information '-- is now part of a federal investigation that has rattled the world of Washington journalists and the sources they rely on.
Mr. Wolfe, 57, was arrested on June 7 and charged with lying to investigators about his contacts with Ms. Watkins and three other journalists. Ms. Watkins, a Washington-based reporter for The New York Times, had her email and phone records seized by federal prosecutors.
Now 26, Ms. Watkins was hired by The Times to cover federal law enforcement in December, about four months after she has said her relationship with Mr. Wolfe ended. Times officials are currently examining her work history and what influence the relationship may have had on her reporting. The Times is also reviewing her decision, on advice of her personal lawyer, not to immediately tell her editors about a letter she received in February informing her that her records had been seized.
The seizure of Ms. Watkins's records was alarming to First Amendment advocates. With no allegation that classified information was disclosed, they said such a rare and aggressive tactic was unjustified and could undermine journalists' ability to report on government misconduct.
''The most important issue here remains the seizure of a journalist's personal communications, which we condemn and believe all Americans should be deeply concerned about,'' said Eileen Murphy, a spokeswoman for The Times.
Strikingly, the case against Mr. Wolfe brings together several of President Trump's preoccupations: leaks, which he has railed about since taking office; Washington's permanent bureaucracy, which he derides as the ''deep state''; the news media, Mr. Trump's favorite target; and the investigation into his campaign's ties to Russia. The president told reporters that the F.B.I. had arrested ''a very important leaker,'' prompting Mr. Wolfe's lawyers to protest that their client was charged with lying, not leaking, and that he has pleaded not guilty.
This account is based on interviews with about three dozen friends and colleagues of Ms. Watkins and Mr. Wolfe, many of whom asked for anonymity to speak candidly about sensitive matters. Ms. Watkins declined to speak on the record, but she has shared many details of her experiences with others who spoke with The Times. Mr. Wolfe's lawyers declined to comment in detail, saying: ''Mr. Wolfe is fighting the charges against him in court, not in the newspaper.''
The revelation of Ms. Watkins's affair with Mr. Wolfe stunned many journalists who had watched her ascent from college-age intern to rising star in the sensitive field of national security reporting. Their relationship played out in the insular world of Washington, where young, ambitious journalists compete for scoops while navigating relationships with powerful, often older, sources.
Avoiding conflicts of interest is a basic tenet of journalism, and intimate involvement with a source is considered verboten. In her short career, Ms. Watkins disclosed her relationship with Mr. Wolfe to her employers in varying degrees of detail '-- sometimes citing Mr. Wolfe's name and position, and sometimes not '-- while asserting that she had not used him as a source during their relationship.
If the romance with Mr. Wolfe raised any red flags, they were not enough to prevent several news organizations from hiring Ms. Watkins, or to persuade her editors to move her off the intelligence beat. Since meeting Mr. Wolfe in 2013, Ms. Watkins reported on the Senate Intelligence Committee for Politico, BuzzFeed News, The Huffington Post and McClatchy, where her reporting was part of a submission that was a Pulitzer Prize finalist.
Last fall, after Ms. Watkins and Mr. Wolfe had broken up and while she was still reporting on the intelligence committee for Politico, she briefly dated another staff member at the committee, friends said. That relationship, which has not been previously reported, ended when the two decided not to pursue something more serious.
A Relationship, With RulesMr. Wolfe had a sensitive job: head of security at the Senate Intelligence Committee, where he oversaw the handling and distribution of highly classified materials delivered by agencies like the C.I.A. and the F.B.I. It was a high-ranking role that Mr. Wolfe had occupied since before Ms. Watkins was born.
Ms. Watkins told friends that she did not start dating Mr. Wolfe until after she left McClatchy in the fall of 2014, and that when the relationship began, she imposed ground rules: She would tell Mr. Wolfe, ''You are not my source,'' and occasionally interrupt him if he started discussing his government work.
Image James Wolfe, a senior aide to the Senate Intelligence Committee, left, and the journalist Ali Watkins, second from right, led several friends on a tour of the Capitol in early 2017. Credit Kara Carson But sometimes, she admitted, it got complicated: She would make a mental note of tidbits he mentioned offhand, or gossip with him about Capitol Hill, or throw out a fact and gauge his reply.
The relationship has prompted concern in many newsrooms that Ms. Watkins's conduct has made journalists, and particularly women, vulnerable to unfounded accusations of exchanging sex for information. And it has complicated what would otherwise be a straightforward argument for press advocates protesting the seizure of Ms. Watkins's emails and phone records.
''It is already clear that Watkins' highly unethical conduct presents a problem for press defenders,'' Michael Goodwin, a New York Post columnist, wrote this month, echoing other right-wing commentators who have criticized Ms. Watkins. ''Hers is not the hill they should volunteer to die on.''
Mr. Wolfe, who is married but whose wife now lives in Connecticut, retired quietly in December, shortly after investigators questioned him about possible leaks.
Colleagues of Ms. Watkins describe her as a reporter of unusual talent, who cultivated a wide variety of sources throughout the federal government.
''People all across Washington are in all sorts of various relationships,'' Ryan Grim, Ms. Watkins's former editor at The Huffington Post, said in an interview. ''You manage it, you put up walls, but you can't pretend that you're not human. Ali is a great reporter and I trust her judgment.''
''What I see is the Trump administration seizing a reporter's records and tricking the press into writing about her sex life,'' added Mr. Grim, who is now the Washington bureau chief of The Intercept. ''It's appalling what the Trump administration is doing and I don't think you should enable it.''
Relishing the ClandestineThe gray-haired father of two stood out amid the young crowd who gathered for barbecues in Ms. Watkins's backyard in the Adams Morgan neighborhood of Washington. She introduced him as Jim, her boyfriend.
The son of a Kentucky construction worker, James Anthony Wolfe had spent three decades in charge of security for the Senate Intelligence Committee, which he joined during Ronald Reagan's administration, after a four-year stint in the Army. He slowly earned the trust of Democratic and Republican officials alike '-- sometimes sitting in on briefings so sensitive that most aides were asked to leave the room.
Mr. Wolfe relished the clandestine nature of his work '-- using ''jimwolfe007'' as his personal email address '-- and he projected an affable charm. Colleagues said they were dumbfounded by the government's accusations against him '-- particularly since it was Mr. Wolfe's job to arrange meetings with the F.B.I. when other staff members were suspected of leaking.
But one colleague said there was an element of the indictment that was less surprising: that Mr. Wolfe had been having an affair.
When he met Ms. Watkins in the fall of 2013, Mr. Wolfe was married to his second wife, Jane Rhodes Wolfe, a former F.B.I. agent.
Ms. Watkins was in her senior year at Temple University. She grew up in a small eastern Pennsylvania town and apprenticed at local papers before landing a coveted internship at the Washington bureau of McClatchy. In recent years, she has zipped around Washington on a motorcycle, taken boxing lessons and doted on her Husky, Kellan, whom she outfitted with a Putin chew toy.
Ms. Watkins began staking out the committee's biweekly closed-door business meetings. ''She was often the only reporter there as many veteran journalists saw little value in spending hours outside the committee's high-security offices,'' her McClatchy editor, James Asher, would later write in a nominating letter to the Pulitzer judging panel.
Her reporting led to a series in 2014 that revealed the C.I.A. was spying on the Intelligence Committee, which was compiling a critical report on the agency's use of torture. It earned her a full-time slot at McClatchy after graduation.
It also brought her closer to Mr. Wolfe, who would later text her saying how ''proud'' he was of her work on the series. In October 2014, after Ms. Watkins had jumped from McClatchy to The Huffington Post, Mr. Wolfe took her to a rooftop bar to celebrate her 23rd birthday; before the night was over, they kissed.
Image Ms. Watkins is identified as ''Reporter #2'' in the indictment of Mr. Wolfe on charges he lied to investigators about his contacts with reporters.Mr. Wolfe's private life was already complicated.
In 2004, amid a bitter divorce, he was accused of assault by his first wife, Leslie Adair Wolfe, who sought a protective order and claimed her husband had ''threatened me verbally, pushed, shoved, strangled, spit in face'' and pulled her down the hallway by her hair, according to court records.
The charges were later dropped by prosecutors, as were other charges that Ms. Wolfe made in 2009 that her former husband had broken into her house, records show. If any serious charges had been successfully prosecuted, Mr. Wolfe might have lost his security clearance.
His lawyers, Benjamin Klubes and Preston Burton, said that Mr. Wolfe ''has consistently denied that he ever physically abused his first wife.''
Scoops and DisclosuresMs. Watkins told people she was aware of Mr. Wolfe's messy divorce, but assumed the abuse allegations were unfounded. Instead, she was concerned how a romantic entanglement might affect her journalism.
Relationships between reporters and sources are an art, not a science: In Washington, meals and late nights out with sources are part of a journalist's job description. But becoming romantically involved is widely viewed as a conflict, opening a journalist to accusations of bias.
Ms. Watkins initially sought advice from a Huffington Post editor, Amanda Terkel, who warned her that critics can use personal relationships against journalists. Editors there decided they were comfortable with her continuing to cover intelligence because Ms. Watkins said she was not using Mr. Wolfe as a source.
Other journalists at the site had managed their own relationships with partners in government: one editor, Sam Stein, was married to a member of the Barack Obama administration, a fact he disclosed in stories.
Ms. Watkins ''cared about her craft,'' said Mr. Stein, one of her editors at Huffington Post. ''She really cared about breaking a good story, a story that had meat on it.''
Her clips caught the attention of BuzzFeed News, which hired her in late 2015. Covering intelligence, including the Senate committee, Ms. Watkins scored a scoop that other news organizations scrambled to match: a former Trump campaign adviser, Carter Page, had met with a Russian spy in 2013.
People at BuzzFeed say they had a general sense of her personal life: During a job interview, Ms. Watkins told Miriam Elder, an editor, that she was dating a man who did intelligence work on Capitol Hill. She said he was not a source, but did not volunteer Mr. Wolfe's name or title, and the discussion went no further. (Ms. Elder declined to comment, but did not dispute the account.)
Ben Smith, BuzzFeed's editor in chief, said he believed Ms. Watkins when she said that Mr. Wolfe was not a source. Mr. Smith, in an email, did not condone dating a source, but he expressed a less draconian view about reporters who date within the industry they cover. ''Reporters and editors aren't some kind of priesthood,'' he wrote, adding that editors ''make these genuinely complex calls on a case-by-case basis.''
Ms. Watkins made another move in May 2017, to Politico, while she and Mr. Wolfe were still together. She has told friends that when she was hired, she informed a Politico editor, Paul Volpe, that she was dating a man in the intelligence community, though she again did not volunteer Mr. Wolfe's name or his position. A spokesman for Politico, Brad Dayspring, said only that she ''did not disclose the personal nature of her relationship early on in her tenure.''
All sides, however, agree that Ms. Watkins first identified Mr. Wolfe by name to her editors after an unsettling episode that left Ms. Watkins frightened and her managers confused. It was the first concrete indication that her involvement with Mr. Wolfe might have serious consequences.
A Bizarre TaleOn the morning of June 2, 2017, a shaken Ms. Watkins approached her Politico editors with a bizarre tale.
The day before, she explained, she had received an anonymous email from a man who claimed to work for the government and wanted to meet. Over drinks at a Dupont Circle bar, the man quizzed Ms. Watkins about her sources on a story about Russian espionage. He then stunned her by reciting the itinerary of her recent vacation to Spain, including stops at Heathrow Airport and the Canary Islands.
He also knew with whom she had traveled: Mr. Wolfe.
The man said he had temporarily relocated to Washington to work on leak investigations, and asked Ms. Watkins to help him identify government officials who were leaking to the press. ''It would turn your world upside down'' if this turned up in The Washington Post, the man said to Ms. Watkins, who told her editors she believed he was threatening to expose her personal relationship.
Image Mr. Wolfe, with his lawyer, Benjamin Klubes, outside federal court in Washington, after he appeared before a federal judge on charges he lied to investigators about his contacts with Ms. Watkins and three other journalists. Credit Alex Wong/Getty Images Ms. Watkins later went back to the bar and obtained a receipt with the man's name on it: Jeffrey A. Rambo, a Customs and Border Protection agent stationed in California.
Two former Justice Department officials said there was a surge last year in government personnel assigned to hunt for leaks '-- a priority of the Trump White House '-- but a current official said there is no evidence that Mr. Rambo was ever detailed to the F.B.I.
Mr. Rambo, reached by phone, declined to comment. A Border Protection spokesman said the matter has been referred to the agency's Office of Professional Responsibility.
Inside Politico, there was curiosity over why a border patrol agent appeared to be targeting one of its reporters. But editors were also surprised to learn that the man Ms. Watkins had been dating was a powerful official on a committee that she covered.
If Politico editors had reservations about Ms. Watkins's relationship with Mr. Wolfe, they were not reflected in her assignments: over the following six months, she continued to write about the work of the Senate Intelligence Committee, including a closed-door session with Corey Lewandowski and a meeting with John Podesta.
By August, Ms. Watkins told friends that she and Mr. Wolfe had broken up. He had been spooked by her meeting with Mr. Rambo, and was refusing to disclose their relationship to his own employers in the Senate.
In the fall, Ms. Watkins started dating a different staff member from the committee. She told others that she had informed a Politico editor who did not object. But Mr. Dayspring, the Politico spokesman, said: ''Politico editors were not made aware of this relationship.''
About the same time, Mr. Wolfe, too, appeared to be moving on. He gave another young female reporter covering the Intelligence Committee some valuable information, according to a person with direct knowledge of the interaction. Then he sent her a series of personal nighttime texts, including one at 10 p.m. asking her what she was up to. She deflected his inquiries and never got another tip from him, the person said.
Ms. Watkins told some friends that she wanted off the beat, but that her editors were eager for scoops about the Trump-Russia investigation. (In a statement, Politico said Ms. Watkins's work was ''managed accordingly'' after her disclosure about Mr. Wolfe.)
On Twitter, she wrote about the joys of reporting on the committee.
''The CIA once told me I have 'an emotional dependence' on covering'' it, Ms. Watkins wrote as she prepared to join The Times last December, adding: ''I thought they were wrong until I have to leave (they were a *little* right.) I've loved getting to know this weird hallway.''
A Visit From the F.B.I.In December, before she started work at The Times, Ms. Watkins told the paper's national security editor, Amy Fiscus, about her previous relationships with staff members of the Senate committee, and about her encounter with Mr. Rambo. Ms. Fiscus relayed the information to the paper's Washington bureau chief, Elisabeth Bumiller.
Ms. Fiscus and Ms. Bumiller said in interviews that they did not feel her past relationships should be a barrier to hiring her, because Ms. Watkins said that Mr. Wolfe had not been a source during their relationship, and because she would not be covering the Senate Intelligence Committee. They did not go back to ask Ms. Watkins's previous employers about how she handled her involvement with Mr. Wolfe, and Ms. Bumiller did not inform other top newsroom leaders of the relationship. Ms. Watkins was also interviewed by several other senior editors before being hired.
On Dec. 14, days before her start date, Ms. Watkins was approached by two F.B.I. agents with questions about Mr. Wolfe, a conversation she immediately reported to her editors in the Times Washington bureau. In February, however, Ms. Watkins received a letter that she did not tell her editors about: a notice from the Justice Department, informing her that investigators had seized some of her email and phone records.
Obtaining a reporter's private communications is so unusual that it is often reported as news, and media organizations generally protest such actions. But on the advice of her lawyer, Ms. Watkins kept the information to herself. She did not tell The Times until nearly four months later, when a story by her colleagues about Mr. Wolfe's arrest was imminent; in a statement at the time, Ms. Murphy, the Times spokeswoman, said the paper ''obviously would have preferred to know.''
The Times declined to comment on its internal review. Since Mr. Wolfe's arrest, the accuracy of Ms. Watkins's articles for The Times and other publications has not been challenged. In recent days, she has been out of the office on a preplanned vacation.
On Feb. 15, two days after the Justice Department sent the letter notifying her that it had seized her records, Ms. Watkins sent an email to her colleagues in the Washington bureau. She had brought in chocolates for sharing '-- ''from an old source who somehow thought it wouldn't be creepy to bring them to a dinner, stupidly and unintentionally scheduled on valentine's day,'' she wrote.
According to a person familiar with the source, the dinner companion was not Mr. Wolfe, but a different Washington national security veteran.
''Sigh,'' Ms. Watkins wrote at the end of her note about the chocolates. ''Eat them!''
Correction:An earlier version of this article contained incorrect attribution for a statement by President Trump that James A. Wolfe was ''a very important leaker.'' The president made the statement to reporters, not in a tweet.
Elizabeth Olson and Sydney Ember contributed reporting. Research was contributed by Claire Ballentine, Kitty Bennett, and Alain Delaqu(C)ri¨re.
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DOJ watchdog report sheds light on love lives of 2 more anti-Trump FBI employees (and their emoticons) | Fox News
Wed, 27 Jun 2018 11:43
The Justice Department watchdog's bombshell report on the FBI's actions in the Hillary Clinton email investigation shed light on anti-Trump texts from two other FBI employees, beyond bureau lovebirds Peter Strzok and Lisa Page.
All four worked under the leadership of former FBI Director James Comey, looking into Clinton's use of a private server for government business while she was secretary of state during the Obama administration.
Aside from the frequent texting between Strzok, an FBI agent, and Page, a bureau lawyer assigned to the Office of General Counsel, two others labeled "Agent 1" and ''Agent 5" on Comey's team were in a personal relationship that predated Operation Midyear, the FBI name for the investigation.
According to the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) report, on page 411, Agents 1 and 5 also were consumed with texting -- even using "sick face" emoticons when sharing their disgust for then-candidate Donald Trump and his supporters. The report noted that Agent 1 and Agent 5 married each other after the 2016 election. In addition, the OIG report noted, "Neither Agent 1 nor Agent 5 was assigned to the FBI's Russia investigation or the special counsel investigation."
Fox News can confirm the identity of Agent 5: Sally Anne Moyer. Her husband is Agent 1. He was one of the two FBI agents who interviewed Hillary Clinton at FBI headquarters on July 2, 2016.
Moyer is an attorney who was assigned to work for Trisha Anderson in the FBI's Office of Deputy General Counsel. The married agents still work for the bureau.
The FBI did not immediately respond to Fox News' request for comment.
During last week's House hearing with DOJ Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz, Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., questioned Horowitz. The congressman brought up one exchange suggesting the FBI gave "false information" to the IG about Agent 5, whom he identified as Sally Moyer, saying she was not working in counterintelligence.
Moyer and Agent 1, whose name has not yet been officially confirmed, were not shy about using emoticons on their FBI-issued devices. Their text messages exploded on Oct. 28 after the FBI reopened the email investigation, announcing that State Department emails had been found on former Rep. Anthony Weiner's laptop, just days before the hotly contested U.S. presidential election. The IG report noted the "sick face" emoticon usage in their exchange.
Oct. 28, 2016:
13:46:48, Agent 5: "jesus christ'... Trump: Glad FBI is fixing 'horrible mistake' on clinton emails'... for f---'s sake."
13:47:27, Agent 5: "the f---'s sake part was me, the rest was Trump."
13:49:07, Agent 1: "Not sure if Trump or the fifth floor is worse'..."
13:49:22, Agent 5: "I'm so sick of both'..."
13:50:25, Agent 5: "+o( TRUMP"207
13:50:30, Agent 5: "+o( Fifth floor"
13:50:34, Agent 5: "+o( FBI"
13:50:44, Agent 5: "+o( Average American public"
The OIG report also notes that one day after Comey's July 5, 2016, announcement declaring Clinton had been "extremely reckless" but not "grossly negligent" in her email practices, Agent 1 was bragging about his participation in Clinton's interview at FBI headquarters.
On July 6, Agent 1 texted yet another FBI employee: "...I'm done interviewing the President -- then type the 302. 18 hour day...."
FBI Employee: "you interviewed the president?"
Agent 1: "You know -- HRC" (Hillary Rodham Clinton)
Agent 1: "future pres" ... "Trump can't win" ... "demographics dont line up."... "America has changed"
As stated in the OIG report, Agent 1's responsibilities during the Clinton server investigation included conducting witness interviews.
Moyer's duties were described in the OIG report: "As a member of the filter team, Agent 5 was responsible for identifying privileged communications among the materials obtained by the FBI to ensure that they were not reviewed by the investigative team."
Both Agent 1 and Moyer explained how they believed text messages were a "private" outlet, not retained by the FBI. The OIG report said these and other text messages between Strzok and Page ''were never private'' because they were exchanged on ''government system and devices.''
The OIG report stated, "Both Agent 1 and Agent 5 apologized for their use of instant messaging in this manner and told us that they were embarrassed."
"We asked Agent 5 how she would respond to someone who read these messages and concluded the opinions expressed in them impacted the Midyear investigation. Agent 5 stated: 'Well, I can see someone who doesn't know us at all saying the same, wondering, I guess, if [our political beliefs] could have impacted [the Midyear investigation]. I can tell you in no way did my political or what I understand of [Agent 1], no political anything is going to interfere with us doing our job as professionals. I can see me going into these rants.'"
Fox News' Catherine Herridge contributed to this report.
Defiant Flynn Tells Mueller to Hit the Highway; Special Counsel Fuming that "Hostile" Witness Won't Rat on Trump '' True PunditTrue Pundit
Wed, 27 Jun 2018 12:11
Featured Politics SecurityDefiant Flynn Tells Mueller to Hit the Highway; Special Counsel Fuming that ''Hostile'' Witness Won't Rat on TrumpU.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller has reached his wit's end with Gen. Michael Flynn, a coveted ex-Trump administration official Mueller was confident he could flip to rat out his former boss and White House associates.
Mueller indicted Flynn on a single charge of lying to the FBI in Dec. 2016 and Flynn plead out, promising to work with Mueller per his plea agreement.
But Flynn won't crack, sources said, and rat out Trump.
And Mueller is steaming, according to federal insiders familiar with the friction-packed relationship between the two parties.
''Flynn remains loyal to Trump,'' one case insider said. ''Mueller overplayed his hand because Flynn has not cooperated and will not cooperate. He still supports Trump. Nothing Mueller has tried, including threats, has changed that.''
Mueller previously threatened Flynn's son with prosecution if Flynn didn't plead out and agree to cooperate with the probe.
''Somewhere during this whole process, Flynn decided he was not going to work with Mueller's team,'' one insider said. ''Mueller is left with a hostile witness who he has charged but can't get to cooperate.''
Flynn didn't cut a deal with Mueller because he was necessarily guilty of lying to the FBI, or any crimes, according to sources close to the retired general.
Flynn was muscled and coerced into a plea deal, several sources said.
Flynn plead guilty after Mueller threatened Flynn's family, including his son Michael Jr. According to sources close to Flynn family, Mueller threatened Flynn on multiple occasions that if he did not plead guilty to lying to the FBI, Mueller would investigate other Flynn family members.
Including his son. And rack up thousands more dollars in legal fees.
''I didn't do anything illegal so this notion that one of the thing the Special Counsel could do to get my father to accept a plea deal was threaten me has always been odd,'' Michael Flynn Jr. told True Pundit.
Odd but true nonetheless.
A close family associate said Mueller and his team even threatened Flynn Jr. during a meeting with Gen. Flynn in the same room. Mueller's apparent goal with the threats was to cause additional stress in the Flynn family as well as hike Flynn's legal fees which were already bankrupting the family, sources said.
Looks like ABC News' Brian Ross and his mainstream media pals simply got it wrong. Again.
For months, the media has been trumpeting Flynn Sr. as a star witness for Mueller and cited delays in Flynn's sentencing as proof Flynn was cooperating with Mueller and providing intel against the Trump administration.
Flynn is scheduled in court this Friday for sentencing.
Unless the court delays it. Again.
Gen. Flynn could not be reached for comment.
After his plea deal was announced, Flynn released a statement on Dec. 1, 2017 that in part read:
''My guilty plea and agreement to cooperate with the Special Counsel's office reflect a decision I made in the best interests of my family and our country.''
Also, based on recent court documents in Flynn's case there appears to be a possibility that a judge could vacate his guilty plea and Flynn could walk away a free man.
And also free to talk.
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Florida Democrat Arrested For Threatening to Murder Republican Congressman's Children - Big League Politics
Mon, 25 Jun 2018 21:10
Big League National Security Published
6 hours ago
Jun 25, 2018
A Florida man was arrested on Tuesday after he reportedly threatened to kill Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL) and his three minor children.
Police say Laurence Key of Stuart, Florida, called Congressman Mast's DC office out of anger regarding President Donald Trump's immigration policy, and told the office intern, ''If you are going to separate kids at the border, I'm going to kill his kids.''
Along with making death threats against the Congressman and his children, documents filed in the US District Court reveal that Key placed 478 phone calls to Mast's office.
According to the Federal Complaint that was filed, while being questioned by an FBI investigator, Key said, ''Mast should be separated from his kids'' for supporting Trump's immigration policy.
Trending: Meet The Restaurant Owners Who Kicked Out Sarah Sanders
The complaint also notes that on Monday , Key placed calls to Florida Senators Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson.
A quick look at Key's social media reveals that he is a registered Democrat who is very politically active in Florida. Key is a regular volunteer for the Democratic Party of Martin County and has also volunteered with Planned Parenthood.
However, this isn't the first time a Democrat has used violence to lash out against Republicans. One year ago, James Hodgkinson, a left-wing activist and Bernie Sanders supporter brought a gun to the Congressional Baseball Game practice and shot Congressman Steve Scalise, seriously injuring him.
On Wednesday , actor and Democrat Peter Fonda reacted to President Trump's immigration policy by tweeting that he'd like to see Barron Trump ripped from the First Lady's arms and thrown in a cage with pedophiles.
Key has been charged with communication of a threat to kidnap or injure a person. Congressman Mast has one daughter and two sons, all of who are under 10 years old.
Congressman Mast's office declined to comment, emphasizing that the matter is still an active investigation.
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Big League National Security Published
3 days ago
Jun 22, 2018
Several law enforcement bodies are searching for a Schuylkill County, PA man who is described as a ''clear and present danger'' by authorities.
''Law officers said they're taking this very seriously because of his past harassing and threatening other leaders and police officers,'' according to an NBC affiliate in New York. ''At this moment, police are searching the nearby woods in McAdoo, [PA].''
Shawn Christy, a 26-year-old, threatened to kill President Donald J. Trump, and this is not the first time he has threatened a prominent politician. His father called the Secret Service after Christy told him that he wanted to shoot Trump.
''The marshal service feels that Shawn Christy is a clear and present danger and that's why we've deployed all of our resources up here in McAdoo in an attempt to locate and apprehend Christy,'' said Robert Clark of the U.S. Marshall Fugitive Task Force.
Christy spent time in federal prison after threatening former Alaska Governor and then-Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin in 2012.
Charges have been filed against Christy for his most recent social media threats to kill Trump and law enforcement officers. He also has multiple outstanding state warrants.
''I don't know at the moment,'' Christy's father said. ''He's somewhere out in these woods. He's a bush crafter so I don't know where he is exactly is. I wouldn't find him as a threat right now at all. He's just angry.''
Big League National Security Published
5 days ago
Jun 20, 2018
Last week, the Department of Justice released a statement detailing the arrests of an thousands of pedophiles in a nationwide sweep that lasted for three months.
''The Department of Justice today announced the arrest of more than 2,300 suspected online child sex offenders during a three-month, nationwide, operation conducted by Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task forces,'' the release says. ''The task forces identified 195 offenders who either produced child pornography or committed child sexual abuse, and 383 children who suffered recent, ongoing, or historical sexual abuse or production of child pornography.''
Despite the massively successful operation, press coverage has been noticeably thin. A search for the generic term ''pedophile'' on the websites for CNN, NBC, and CBS turns up a grand total of zero results on the story, despite the fact that it has been nearly a week since DOJ's announcement.
''The 61 ICAC task forces, located in all 50 states and comprised of more than 4,500 federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies, led the coordinated operation known as ''Broken Heart'' during the months of March, April, and May 2018,'' the release says. ''During the course of the operation, the task forces investigated more than 25,200 complaints of technology-facilitated crimes against children and delivered more than 3,700 presentations on Internet safety to over 390,000 youth and adults.''
Why would the mainstream press be reluctant to report on such a resounding achievement?
''No child should ever have to endure sexual abuse,'' Attorney General Jeff Sessions said. ''And yet, in recent years, certain forms of modern technology have facilitated the spread of child pornography and created greater incentives for its production. We at the Department of Justice are determined to strike back against these repugnant crimes.''
Big League National Security Published
7 days ago
Jun 18, 2018
Homeland Security secretary Kirstjen Nielsen revealed Monday that 10,000 of the 12,000 children detained at the border came to the border without parents with him, smacking down the mainstream media narrative that the Trump administration is tearing many families apart out of callous disregard for illegal immigrants.
The illegal immigrant child-detention program that was criticized during the Obama administration is a policy that President Donald Trump is trying to end, pressuring Democrats to get on board with an immigration bill that funds his Wall and creates merit-based immigration among other policy planks.
People were impressed:
When Kirstjen Nielsen said 10,000 of the 12,000 children held in custody were sent to the border WITHOUT their parents the W.H press reporters jaws dropped.
The media got schooled today LIVE on TV.
'-- Kambree Kawahine Koa (@KamVTV) June 18, 2018
Reporter: How is this not child abuse?
Nielsen: We give them meals, an education, medical care, television.
'-- POLITICO (@politico) June 18, 2018
It is also important to note that Border Patrol separates children from adults if they suspect the children are not actually related to the adults. Why? Because human trafficking is a persistent problem and cartels and other smugglers try to use kids to get more people across the border '-- or they try to sell the kids into human slavery.
We reported:
San Diego's chief Border Patrol agent Rodney Scott said Monday that the Border Patrol separates children from the adults they are with if there are concerns that the kids are being human-trafficked.Scott revealed that oftentimes traffickers ''recycle'' children in order to get illegal alien grown-ups over the Southern border into the United States.
''OOPS! A media outlet slipped & printed the truth today!,'' Ann Coulter declared, showing people that the media is not being forthright and truthful when reporting on the supposed border separation program.
Tom Arnold Crosses the Line, Vows to Publicly Harrass Barron and Melania
Wed, 27 Jun 2018 11:33
Tom Arnold has had an odd week, even by the standards of Tom Arnold. Roseanne's former husband has been thrust back into the spotlight by the rather untoward actions of his ex, and he seems determined to outdo her in the crazy department, all without the dirty tint of racism.
First came Arnold's statement that he was going to be teaming up with Michael Cohen to take down President Donald Trump after tweeting a picture with the Trump lawyer at a New York hotel. ''This dude has all the tapes '-- this dude has everything,'' Arnold told NBC News, seeming to imply Cohen would be appearing on his new show, ''The Hunt for the Trump Tapes.''
''I say to Michael, 'Guess what? We're taking Trump down together, and he's so tired he's like, 'OK,' and his wife is like, 'OK, f*** Trump.'''
Cohen's reaction was, um, slightly different.
Appreciate @TomArnold kind words about me as a great father, husband and friend. This was a chance, public encounter in the hotel lobby where he asked for a selfie. Not spending the weekend together, did not discuss being on his show nor did we discuss @POTUS. #done #ridiculous
'-- Michael Cohen (@MichaelCohen212) June 23, 2018
TRENDING: Former Astronaut and American Legend Buzz Aldrin Files Disturbing Lawsuit Against Children
So apparently that didn't work. What to do next? Quietly go back to producing this bizarre-sounding television show and forget his dalliance with Cohen ever happened? Or threaten to show up at Barron Trump's school to stalk him and Melania when the first lady drops him off, all to protest Trump's immigration policy?
Given that this is Tom Arnold, I think you can guess which option he chose:
Way past sad & all in for these kids with @JuddApatow @FoxNews already hates me. On a plane to NY. Next is protesting Baron's private school as well as James & Lachlan Murdoch's kids. This is what I can do to end the abuse of these children. We're going to make you uncomfortable
'-- Tom Arnold (@TomArnold) June 19, 2018
Responding to a tweet by Hollywood kinda-funnyman Judd Apatow in which the writer/director became the latest star to glibly refer to separating children from parents who stand accused of immigration crimes as somehow akin to Nazi Germany, Arnold said he would go to New York City to stalk Barron and Melania.
Do you think Tom Arnold's actions should warrant a visit from the Secret Service?''Way past sad & all in for these kids with @JuddApatow @FoxNews already hates me. On a plane to NY. Next is protesting Baron's private school as well as James & Lachlan Murdoch's kids. This is what I can do to end the abuse of these children. We're going to make you uncomfortable,'' Arnold wrote.
Stalking, by the way, is generally considered a crime and stalking members of the first family is the kind of crime that can get you referred to the Secret Service '-- which, the Media Resource Center reports, plenty of people did. Did this prompt Arnold to stop? Of course not.
Dude, we can protest at The White House too. Also Melania takes him to school. We want to have a word with her. If we see babies tomorrow we're going to Kushners kids school. Don Jr's kids are already working at Hooters so we'll protest there for lunch.
'-- Tom Arnold (@TomArnold) June 20, 2018
''Dude, we can protest at The White House too,'' Arnold wrote. ''Also Melania takes him to school. We want to have a word with her. If we see babies tomorrow we're going to Kushners kids school. Don Jr's kids are already working at Hooters so we'll protest there for lunch.''
I'm not quite sure what Hooters Tom Arnold has been lunching at, but given that Don Jr.'s oldest is 11, that's yet another reason to report him to the authorities.
In all fairness, these do not sound like the thoughts of someone in compos mentis, which makes it hard for me to summon outrage so much as genuine concern. Apparently, Mr. Arnold is surrounded by enablers who aren't willing to tell him that this isn't, well, normal. In fact, one might even call this behavior illegal, not to mention sadistic and sick.
I'm no expert, but I get the feeling Mr. Arnold could use an intervention of some sort. He could be getting one from the Secret Service.
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Space Force
Pentagon hacker McKinnon reinvents himself as SEO guru ' The Register
Tue, 26 Jun 2018 12:43
Former hacker and US extradition target Gary McKinnon has found a new career as a search engine optimisation expert.
McKinnon - who successfully fought a 10-year campaign against extradition to the US over charges he hacked into Pentagon systems - has launched Small SEO, which specialises in making sure small businesses appear prominently in search results. The 48-year-old Scot is selling his services for £40 a hour.
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is a multi-pronged process by which a website appears more prominently in Google and other search engine results when surfers search for a topic relevant to a firm's business.
Home Secretary Theresa May withdrew an extradition order against the 48-year-old Brit on medical and human rights grounds in October 2012. Psychiatrists warned there was a risk that McKinnon, who suffers from Asperger's Syndrome and depression, would commit suicide rather than accept the grim prospect of extradition and subsequent trial in the US.
US prosecutors wanted to put McKinnon on trial for accessing US military and NASA computers between 2001 and early 2002.
McKinnon was first arrested in March 2002 by officers from the UK's since disbanded Hi-Tech Crime Unit. US extradition proceedings only began in 2005. McKinnon's family and his many supporters fought a fierce and ultimately successful campaign against extradition. Supporters insisted McKinnon ought to be tried in the UK, if anywhere.
The British hacker readily admitted breaking into the Pentagon systems to look for evidence of a "UFO coverup" and related topics. US authorities claimed his actions had caused $800K in damages, describing his actions as the "biggest military computer hack of all time", a claim that always looked wide of the mark. McKinnon supporters consistently contested the supposed damage assessment.
Even after the threat of US extradition was lifted, the possibility of a UK prosecution remained for several months until it was rejected in December 2012. The decision cleared the way for McKinnon to begin working with computers again. However, a US extradition warrant for McKinnon remains in force, preventing his travel outside the UK, the BBC reports.
The Free Gary campaign website contains a promo for McKinnon's new services. McKinnon explains there: "My aim is to provide high-quality SEO to small businesses and individuals. All of my clients have so far reached the first page of Google search results for their primary keywords."
He goes on to promise an ethic and economical service. "I guarantee that I stick to the guidelines set by the major search engines. I don't use techniques that result in your website falling out of favour, and this ensures your long-term, high-quality ranking on Google, Bing and Yahoo,"
Existing clients include law firm Kaim Todner (McKinnon's solicitors during his extradition fight), tutoring service outfit GMAT Tutor London and The Hair Safari, a hair salon in Oxfordshire.
El Reg approached McKinnon's family for comment on how he is coping after his long fight against extradition as well as his new career. We've yet to hear back and this may be related to an exclusive deal with the Daily Mail. McKinnon also declined to speak to the BBC.
The Daily Mail was a prominent (though late) backer of the Free Gary campaign. It published extracts of a book by McKinnon's mum, Janis Sharp, entitled Saving Gary McKinnon: A Mother's Story last year. ®
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Us Pows In North Korea | Defector says he saw U.S. POWs in North Korea Fresh, detailed report stirs new interest in missing soldiers - tribunedigital-baltimoresun
Tue, 26 Jun 2018 18:29
September 08, 1996 | By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE
SEOUL, South Korea -- One of the most elusive and maddening mysteries swirling about East Asia concerns the occasional "sightings" of American prisoners of war still supposedly held by North Korea, more than four decades after the end of the Korean War.
Now the mystery is becoming even more elusive and maddening. A defector from North Korea claims to have repeatedly visited a top secret prison camp housing elderly white and black men who, the camp guards told him, were American prisoners of the Korean War.
The latest account is simply one more in a murky and inconclusive mosaic, and many experts are extremely skeptical that North Korea could have -- or would have wanted to have -- kept American prisoners for so long.
But the new descriptions are by far the most detailed to have emerged, and there is a growing sense in the intelligence community that the notion of surviving American prisoners, however outlandish it sounds at first, is a serious possibility.
The new testimony comes from Oh Young Nam, a 33-year-old former police official who escaped to China last October and then went to South Korea.
Oh was the son of a bodyguard to the country's late "Great Leader," Kim Il Sung. He graduated from the elite police academy and joined the secret police.
In an interview last week, Oh said that from 1982 to 1993 he repeatedly visited a camp housing the Americans, in a sealed-off area just north of Pyongyang. He said he had never seen more than 20 or 30 Americans at one time, but that there were others in their dormitories and so the total number was probably higher.
Once he and a group of other police officers stopped their car and gave a half-dozen cans of beer to a group of the Americans, who said "thank you" in Korean but did not engage in conversation.
He said he had police friends working in the camp and that they told him the Americans had learned Korean and spoke with a good accent.
Oh said that the Americans, though painfully thin, were relatively well treated. He said they lived in a one-story compound around a central meeting area and that a tennis court was nearby -- although it lacked a net and was overgrown in the years he saw it.
North Korea officials had even found Korean wives for the prisoners, Oh said.
The reports of American POWs were first published last week by Asia Times, a Bangkok-based daily whose reporter spoke with Oh. During the interview last week, Oh said that he had not realized that his conversation with that reporter would be published in a newspaper, and he tried to avoid talking about American prisoners.
"I'll talk about anything else in North Korea, but right now I can't tell you about the American prisoners," he said. "Some time later it may be possible."
Asked if American officials had ordered him not to discuss what he had seen, he refused to say, but he squirmed a lot.
The obstacle was apparently not South Korean officials, for Oh is now being looked after by the South Korean security service, and it could have easily rejected the interview on one ground or another.
Still, Oh gave some details of what he had seen, and he added that he had spoken to American intelligence officials in April and had shown them the prisoner-of-war camp in pictures -- presumably satellite photos.
J. Alan Liotta, deputy director of the Defense Department office responsible for prisoners of war, would not comment on specifics but said that accounts of Americans in North Korea were being carefully checked.
"We are continuing to investigate several reports to corroborate information suggesting there may still be American prisoners from the Korean War being held in North Korea," Liotta said by telephone from Washington.
"To date, we have no first-hand reports."
Liotta said "first-hand" meant that the person interviewed had not only seen Westerners but had talked to them to confirm that they were American POWs and that they wanted to go home.
Senior administration officials, who are trying to reduce tensions with North Korea and entice it out of its isolation, have played down the possibility that American POWs might still be held captive.
But in June an internal Defense Department report was leaked by Rep. Robert K. Dornan, a California Republican, and it caused an uproar by suggesting that a small group of POWs might still be held by North Korea.
"When you talk to working-level intel people, I think it's taken as a given that there are POWs there," said a military intelligence specialist in Washington.
Some 8,100 Americans are missing from the Korean War, and it had been widely assumed that all had died either during the war or soon after it ended in 1953.
A Pentagon official who asked not to be identified said that about a dozen reports of surviving POWs had emerged over the decades and that as a result a more intensive study was begun about a year ago.
That study uncovered several more people claiming to have information on the Americans, the official said.
There is always a danger that defectors may be seeking publicity or U.S. passports, or that they are pushing a line devised by their South Korean guardians.
But an American intelligence expert on North Korea said that South Korea had never pressed an opinion on the POW question, one way or the other.
"This is the first report that I've seen of an alleged first-hand recent sighting of that nature," the expert said.
He added that North Korea could have held on to some prisoners after the war as a bargaining chip, and then after years passed felt it could no longer acknowledge their existence.
North Korea has vigorously denied the assertions, saying in an official statement in June that the accusation "has seriously gotten on our nerves."
The statement added that if the United States pursues the issue, North Korea might revoke its permission for joint excavations to search for bodies of American fliers killed during the war.
Pub Date: 9/08/96
POWs and UFOs
Tue, 26 Jun 2018 18:23
Introduction One of the heroes of the MIA cult is the late retired Army Lieutenant Colonel PhilipCorso. Corso surfaced from time to time in Congressional hearings and other venuesclaiming that he had been a special staff officer for Eisenhower and, in that capacity, hebriefed Ike on intelligence reporting that proved that US POWs from Korea were being takento the USSR. I will not go into the details here -- anyone who wishes can search theweb for his name and find many MIA sites that celebrate Corso's stories.
Corso's claims regarding POWs taken to the USSR are nonsense. The fewintelligence reports that he cites were preliminary reports that, under scrutiny, turn outnot to be related to US POWs being moved from Korea to the USSR.
Instead of Corso's tales about US POWs, I would like to focus on his stories aboutUFOs. That's right -- UFOs. You know -- space aliens, flying saucers, "ETcall home," and similar crap. After reviewing Corso and his relationship withlittle green men, I believe that you will be better able to judge his claims regarding USPOWs.
Roswell Before going any further, you need to know that the UFO cultists put a lot ofcredibility into a tale that a UFO crashed in the New Mexico desert in 1947. Itmakes my head hurt to think about this foolishness; if you want to know more, search theWWW for "Roswell." Get ready for multiple doses of weirdness when you do.The fact is that something really did crash there. Instead of a cruise liner ofMartians, however, it was a piece of a secret Air Force project that launched balloonsinto the high atmosphere to pick up evidence of Soviet nuclear testing.
Enter Corso My favorite bit of Corso-ology deals with his book The Day After Roswell,published in 1996. A brief review of the book would go something like this: Corso claims that he headed the Pentagon's foreign technology desk in the early sixties,served on President Dwight D. Eisenhower's National Security Council and was a member ofthe Warren Commission, set up to investigate the assassination of President John .F.Kennedy.
With those credentials in hand, Corso blows the lid off of the Roswellcontroversy. This is what Corso claims: Anextraterrestrial craft crashed in Roswell, bodies were recovered, one was mortally woundedbut still alive, only to die soon after. Corso, backed by documents and detail, claimsthat the technology we gleaned from the crash led to the development of -- get this -- thelaser, fiber optics, silicon chips, kevlar, and particle beam weaponry -- and that's justthe beginning.
From the Book Itself The following is a quote from the dust jacket of Corso's book.
With unprecedented detail, Corso divulges how he spearheaded the Army's reverse-engineering project that "seeded" alien technology at American companies such as IBM, Hughes Aircraft, Bell Labs, and Dow Coming-without their knowledge. He describes the devices found aboard the Roswell craft, and how they were the precursors for today's integrated circuit chips, fiber optics, losers, and super-tenacity fibers. He also discusses the role alien technology played in shaping geopolitical policy and events: how it helped the United States surpass the Russians in space; spurred elaborate Army initiatives such as SDI, Horizon and HARP; and ultimately brought about the end of the Cold War.
This book also reveals the fact that Corso had gone well around the bend. His POWrevelations are as credible as his Roswell tales. Corso died in July 1998. His mind had checked out long before.
A Close Look Let's take a close look at Corso's claims as put forth in The Day After Roswell.
Senator Thurmond Discovers the Truth Please note that the book cited here and thus the page references, are from the editionof the book without the now withdrawn foreword by Senator Strom Thurmond. Thurmond originally wrote a foreword for the book, praising Corso, a fellow SouthCarolinian. When Thurmond's staff told him about the wacky stuff in the book, hewithdrew his foreword. That should begin to tell you something.
So, On With the Book In the first place, Corso never comes out and states the exact location of the"crash site." He claims not to be very clear on such details eventhough he claims this event was the single biggest event in human history (pp 5 ff). This after he says that he had over two years(!) to study the files.
Corso and Wisner Corso claims that in early 1961 he got the job of exploiting alien technology atthe Foreign Technology desk of the Army's Research and Development section. (pp 50,63-64,177). His military records indicate that he arrived at ArmyResearch and Development HQ in the Pentagon on May 5, 1961. Corso states thata few days before this he was told by his boss, General Trudeau, that he was beingfollowed by CIA personnel (pp 37, 44, 87, 107, 174, 185). This apparentlyupset Corso so much that he stormed into the office of CIA Director of Covert Operations. He identifies this person as Frank Weisner. (By the way the man's name is"Wisner" not "Weisner.") His office, Corso said, was in Langley, Virginia. He told Wisner that if he found anyone tailing him, he (Corso) wouldblow them away with a gun he would be carrying from then on.
Later, in 1961, Corso claims that Wisner was found dead by hanging in a London hotelroom (p 87). The problem with all of this is that Wisner had been hospitalized andreplaced as the top CIA covert operator three years earlier inAugust of 1958. He was replaced by, first, Richard Helms and later, permanently, byRichard Bissell on January 1, 1959. His title was CIA Chief of Clandestine Services.Bissell is famous as the head of the U-2 project and the Corona spy satellite project. Hewas also the architect of the Bay of Pigs fiasco. (New York Times front pages -April 21 and May 3, 1961). Surely Corso should have known all this because he(Corso) claims to have taken over the Corona project in 1961 (pp131-136).
Back to Wisner for a moment. Wisner was not even in the US in 1961 when Corso claims tohave had confrontations with him -- Wisner had been sent overseas in the less demandingpost of Station Chief in London. He was recalled from there in the spring of 1962,having served there from 1959. He resigned from the CIA in August of 1962. Corso could not have driven to his office in 1961 and slipped so easilythrough CIA security to confront him. Wisner had no office. And Corso couldnot have had this confrontation in May of 1961 in Langley, Virginia for the simple reasonthat the facility in Langley did not even open until September of 1961. Worst ofall, Wisner died on October 29, 1965 - a suicide victim by his own shotgun at his farm inGalena, Maryland, not by hanging in a London hotel room as Corso claimed.
Moon bases to defend against alien attack!!! Corso states that he had a personal meeting with Robert Kennedy in May of 1962 (pp 2,37, 156, 191, 206, 255) and shortly after this meeting JFK announced the Apollo project toland men on the moon by the end of the decade. This happened, according to Corso,after he explained to RFK all about Project Horizon - a plan to keep aliens at bayfrom bases on the moon. (I am not making up any of this -- read the book.) The problem here is that JFK announced Apollo on May 21, 1961. But thenmaybe Corso had discovered time travel.
Corona Let's take a quick look at Corso's claims about Project Corona. No one whoactually worked on that could possibly screw things up as bad as Corso. He didn'teven know that Corona was a CIA project. He proposes a ridiculous plot involvingsome agency hiding spy satellite payloads on another agency's satellites. Thiswas needed, he says, because NASA had assumed control of "all satellitelaunchings," including the military's from 1958 until the 70's. (pp 126, 128-129,138, 144-147, 155-157). This claim alone reveals Corso's total ignorance of suchmatters. NASA has never had control over military payloads . Ever hear of satellite launchings from Vandenburg AFB? NASA has no control overthat, or any other, military facility.
Wait!! There's more!!! In order to shorten this just a bit suffice it to say that Corso also reveals himselfas the hero of the Cuban Missile Crisis (pp253-258), Reagan's SDI (pp 4-5, 78, 115,243, 249-250, etc.), Korean POW revelations (pp 2, 37-38, 87), the exposure ofKGB agents inside the CIA (pp 2, 37, 139, 141, 189), and the JFK assassination (pp 2, 87,206, 208). There was a rumor prior to Corso's death in July 1998 that he was workingon a book about the JFK assassination to be called The Day After Dallas. What a shame that the world missed his revelations in that regard.
Finally, It Really Gets Weird Lastly, Corso is also the hero of the "war" we fought against aliens. It was he who negotiated a treaty that allowed ustime to reverse engineer the weapons we needed (from the Roswell stuff, of course) to winthat war (pp 268 ff). That's right -- Corso claims that we foughtand won a war against space aliens. Don't ask for details about the unknown war thatwe fought against the aliens -- just believe it and understand that we are really lucky tohave had Corso around all these years!!!!
I submit that Corso is the definition of "dingbat."
The end Well, that's it. Corso, Hendon, Sejna,Mark Smith, "Bo" Gritz,"Chip" Beck, Jerry Mooney -- to name just afew -- why does the MIA issue attract these dingbats and mental midgets?
US moves 100 coffins to N. Korean border for war remains | Charlotte Observer
Tue, 26 Jun 2018 18:23
The U.S. military said it moved 100 wooden coffins to the inter-Korean border to prepare for North Korea's returning of the remains of American soldiers who have been missing since the 1950-53 Korean War.
U.S. Forces Korea spokesman Col. Chad Carroll also said Saturday that 158 metal transfer cases were sent to a U.S. air base near Seoul, South Korea's capital, and would be used to send the remains home.
North Korea agreed to return U.S. war remains during the June 12 summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump. While the U.S. military preparations suggest that the repatriation of war remains could be imminent, it remains unclear when and how it would occur.
Earlier Saturday, Carroll denied a report by South Korea's Yonhap news agency that U.S. military vehicles carrying more than 200 caskets were planning to cross into North Korea on Saturday. He said plans for the repatriation were "still preliminary."
U.S. Forces Korea said in a statement later in the day that 100 wooden "temporary transit cases" built in Seoul were sent to the Joint Security Area at the border as part of preparations to "receive and transport remains in a dignified manner when we get the call to do so."
From 1996 to 2005, joint U.S.-North Korea military search teams conducted 33 recovery operations that collected 229 sets of American remains.
But efforts to recover and return other remains have stalled for more than a decade because of the North's nuclear weapons development and U.S. claims that the safety of recovery teams it sent during the administration of former President George W. Bush was not sufficiently guaranteed.
U.S. officials have said earlier that the remains are believed to be some or all of the more than 200 that the North Koreans have had for some time. But the precise number and the identities '-- including whether they are U.S. or allied service members '-- won't be known until the remains are tested.
The transfer of remains is usually done in a somber, formal ceremony, and that is what officials said was being planned.
Richard Downes, executive director of the Coalition of Families of Korean & Cold War POW/MIAs, said last week that he had been told the North may have the remains of more than 200 American service members that were likely recovered from land during farming or construction and could be easily returned. But he said the vast majority have yet to be located and retrieved from various cemeteries and battlefields across the countryside.
More than 36,000 U.S. troops died in the conflict, including those listed as missing in action. Close to 7,700 U.S. troops remain unaccounted for from the Korean War, and about 5,300 of those were lost in North Korea.
The last time North Korea turned over remains was in 2007, when Bill Richardson, a former U.N. ambassador and New Mexico governor, secured the return of six sets.
According to Chuck Prichard, spokesman for the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, once the remains are turned over, they would be sent to one of two Defense Department facilities '-- Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Hawaii and Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska '-- for tests to determine identification.
Philip J. Corso - Wikipedia
Tue, 26 Jun 2018 18:11
Philip James Corso (May 22, 1915 '' July 16, 1998) was an American Army officer.
He served in the United States Army from February 23, 1942, to March 1, 1963,[1] and earned the rank of lieutenant colonel.
Corso published The Day After Roswell, about how he was involved in the research of extraterrestrial technology recovered from the 1947 Roswell UFO Incident. On July 23, 1997, he was a guest on the popular late night radio show, Coast to Coast AM with Art Bell where he spoke live about his Roswell story. This interview was rebroadcast by Coast to Coast AM on July 3, 2010.
Biography Edit Military career Edit After joining the Army in 1942, Corso served in Army Intelligence in Europe, becoming chief of the US Counter Intelligence Corps in Rome. In 1945, Corso arranged for the safe passage of 10,000 Jewish World War II refugees out of Rome to the British Mandate of Palestine. He was the personal emissary to Giovanni Battista Montini at the Vatican, later Pope Paul VI, during the period when the "Nazi Rat Lines" were most active.
During the Korean War (1950''1953), Corso performed intelligence duties under General Douglas MacArthur as Chief of the Special Projects branch of the Intelligence Division, Far East Command. One of his primary duties was to keep track of enemy prisoner of war (POW) camps in North Korea.[2] Corso was in charge of investigating the estimated number of U.S. and other United Nations POWs held at each camp and their treatment.
At later hearings[when? ] of the Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs, Corso provided first hand testimony, that many hundreds of American POW's were abandoned at these camps.[3][4] At those hearings, Senator John McCain (R-AZ) dismissed the undocumented and uncorroborated allegations made by Corso as being extremely difficult to believe. McCain implied that Corso was guilty of fabricating the truth and essentially terminated the testimony being given by Corso immediately after a severe verbal reprimand on live television. McCain stated that his personal relationship with Eisenhower led him to believe that Eisenhower was just not capable of allowing known American POWs to remain incarcerated after the termination of the Korean War.[citation needed ]
Corso was on the staff of President Eisenhower's National Security Council for four years (1953''1957).
In 1961, he became Chief of the Pentagon's Foreign Technology desk in Army Research and Development, working under Lt. Gen. Arthur Trudeau.
The Day After Roswell Edit In his book The Day After Roswell (co-author William J. Birnes) claims he stewarded extraterrestrial artifacts recovered from a crash near Roswell, New Mexico, in 1947.
Corso says a covert government group was assembled under the leadership of Adm. Roscoe H. Hillenkoetter, the first director of Central Intelligence (see Majestic 12). Among its tasks was to collect all information on off-planet technology. The US administration simultaneously discounted the existence of flying saucers in the eyes of the public, Corso says.
According to Corso, the reverse engineering of these artifacts indirectly led to the development of accelerated particle beam devices, fiber optics, lasers, integrated circuit chips and Kevlar material.
In the book, Corso claims the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), or "Star Wars", was meant to achieve the destructive capacity of electronic guidance systems in incoming enemy warheads, as well as the disabling of enemy spacecraft, including those of extraterrestrial origin.
Death Edit Corso died of a "massive heart attack" on July 16th, 1998.[5][6]
Gallery Edit Personal Edit Files Edit His service number on his id card was 01047930 as shown on TV.
See also Edit References Edit External links Edit
Buzz Aldrin Is Suing His Family for 'Elder Exploitation'
Tue, 26 Jun 2018 16:00
Buzz Aldrin at the 15th annual Global Green Pre-Oscar Gala on Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018.Photo: Richard Shotwell/Invision/APFormer astronaut Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the Moon, has filed a lawsuit against two of his children and a former business manager in an effort to retain control over his finances, business affairs, and legacy.
Buzz Aldrin, 88, filed the Florida lawsuit on June 7, the details of which are now available online, courtesy of Ars Technica. The suit is directed against two of his three children, Andrew and Janice Aldrin, and his former business manager, Christina Korp. Aldrin is trying to retain control of Buzz Aldrin Enterprises and his not-for-profit ShareSpace Foundation, after his children and Korp asked the state of Florida in May to appoint them as legal co-guardians, claiming that Aldrin is in ''cognitive decline'' and experiencing bouts of paranoia and confusion. The former astronaut and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom alleges that the family is engaging in elder exploitation by co-opting his legacy and making a grab at his money and property.
''Dr. Aldrin considers it unfortunate and discouraging that he has been forced into this situation,'' explained his lawyer, Robert W. Bauer, at NASA Watch. ''However, Dr. Aldrin knows this is necessary to protect his future and his vision for America's Space Program.''
The suit claims that Andrew and Korp have assumed control and access to Aldrin's ''personal credit cards, bank accounts, trust money, space memorabilia, space artifacts, social media accounts, and all elements of the Buzz Aldrin brand,'' and that the duo has effectively taken control of Aldrin's ''publicity, contacts, and clientele for their own self-dealing and enrichment.'' The suit alleges that Andrew and Korp have established ''a de facto guardianship over Plaintiff,'' while accusing Janice of conspiracy and breach of fiduciary duty (i.e. an obligation to act in the best interest of another party).
The elder Aldrin says Andrew and Korp have transferred nearly a half million dollars over the past two years from his savings account to his private company and foundation for their own purposes, and that they've been slandering him for years by claiming he has dementia from Alzheimer's. This tactic, the lawsuit alleges, allowed the pair to gain access over his personal relationships, business contacts, and other assets. The suit claims that Andrew and Janice have forbidden Aldrin from getting married for a fourth time, and that they've ''specifically and deliberately...undermined, bullied, and defamed'' all of his personal romantic relationships. The suit seeks to remove Andy as the controlling trustee of his estate, and to restore Aldrin's access to his space memorabilia, and other assets.
The court documents also accuse Andrew of exploiting the elderly. Aldrin ''is a vulnerable adult, as defined by Florida statutes...due to Plaintiff's advanced age of 88 years,'' the suit alleges, adding that Andrew has ''knowingly and through deception or intimidation'' deprived him of his finances, property, and knowledge of his business affairs.
In response, Andy and Janice Aldrin released this statement:
We are deeply disappointed and saddened by the unjustified lawsuit that has been brought against us individually and against the Foundation that we have built together as a family to carry on Dad's legacy for generations to come. When we established the current structure several years ago, it was done so at Buzz's request and with his full support. If nothing else, our family is resilient and our ability to work together to solve problems and accomplish great things is strong. We love and respect our father very much and remain hopeful that we can rise above this situation and recover the strong relationship that built this foundation in the first place.
We will not be commenting further on the lawsuit and ask your understanding and respect for our family privacy at this extremely difficult time.
As The Wall Street Journal reports, a professor at UCLA Medical School conducted a psychological evaluation of Aldrin in April and concluded that he's ''cognitively intact and retains all forms of decisional capacity.'' That said, the family has requested that Aldrin undergo a competency exam because they say he's associating with new people who appear to be manipulating him. Aldrin's lawyer says a competency exam by three mental health specialists appointed by the court is scheduled for later this week.
Sadly, it's not uncommon for families to clash like this, and then have to seek legal counsel. Next year marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing. It's a shame to think that the Aldrin family, instead of celebrating that anniversary together, might be mired in court proceedings against one another.
[Ars Technica, NASA Watch, Wall Street Journal]
Moon-walker Buzz Aldrin in legal court battle with children and ex-manager
Tue, 26 Jun 2018 15:54
(INTELLIHUB) '-- Eighty-eight-year-old astronaut Buzz Aldrin, who's reportedly the second man to walk on the surface of the moon and return back to Earth alive, is currently engaged in a legal battle with his two children Andrew and Janice, and his former manager Christina Korp who the former moon-walker alleges have slandered his name and misused funds which the astronaut earned during his stellar and legendary career at NASA.
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The former NASA employee told Good Morning America on Tuesday that the court battle is ''the saddest thing that had ever happened'' to him and said that ''it didn't need to come to this.''
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Both Andrew, 60, and Janice, 51, filed a petition last month with a Bravard County circuit court in an effort to gain control of their father's finances and other business affairs after alleging the space traveler suffers from confusion and paranoia brought on by dementia.
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However, in June, Aldrin pulled no punches and struck back by filing a lawsuit of his own against his two children and his former manager Christina Korp who Aldrin alleges misused his funds.
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''So we just had to not lie over and go to sleep. We had to take a position. It's really incomprehensible that they would do this,'' Aldrin told Good Morning America. ''I was hoping that whatever the differences are could be worked out, but it appears as though it wasn't moving in that direction.''
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Aldrin and his lawyer seem confident in the suit and appear to be holding their ground.
SpaceX successfully launches the X-37B, the Pentagon's secretive autonomous space drone - The Washington Post
Wed, 27 Jun 2018 03:27
This post has been updated.
In the Pentagon's vast arsenal there is little quite like it: a super-secret space drone that looks like a miniature version of the space shuttle, but orbits the Earth for months, even years, at a time. Doing what? The Air Force won't say.
On the tarmac, the X-37B, as it is called, looks tiny, standing not much taller than a person. Its wingspan measures less than 15 feet, and it weighs in at just 11,000 pounds. But over the course of six flights, it has proved to be a rugged little robotic spacecraft, spending a total of nearly six years probing the hard environment of the high frontier.
On Thursday, after a successful morning launch at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the X-37B headed yet again to the vital real estate known as low Earth orbit, home to the International Space Station and all sorts of military and commercial satellites. The mission is slated to last 270 days, but the Air Force warned in a statement that ''the actual duration depends on test objectives, on-orbit vehicle performance and conditions at the landing facility.''
In other words, there's no telling how long the thing will be up there.
[The inside story of how billionaires are racing to take you to outer space.]
There's also no telling what the spaceplane will be doing.
On a fact sheet, the Air Force says that, ''the primary objectives of the X-37B are twofold: reusable spacecraft technologies for America's future in space and operating experiments which can be returned to, and examined, on Earth.''
On this flight, the Air Force will say only that the mission is to carry small satellites, ''demonstrate greater opportunities for rapid space access and on-orbit testing of emerging space technologies.'' The service also said it would test experimental electronics in a weightless environment.
But at a time when space is becoming a contested environment, having an orbiting spaceplane with the potential to keep a lookout on weather or the enemy or satellites, all while testing new technologies, could be highly beneficial.
The mission is also significant because it marked the first time SpaceX has been chosen to launch for the Air Force '-- a coup for the California firm started in 2002 by tech entrepreneur Elon Musk.
The launch took place as the Pentagon sounds the alarm about the importance of defending the ultimate high ground should war break out in space. More recently, the House has even pushed for the creation of a separate "Space Corps" within the Air Force designed to focus exclusively on the beyond.
The provision, included in the House's version of the defense spending bill, comes amid concerns that Russia and China are quickly eroding the advantage that the United States has held in orbit for years.
''Space has become so critical to the way we fight and win wars, it can no longer be subordinate,'' Rep. Mike D. Rogers, a Republican from Alabama who serves on the House Armed Services Committee, said at an event this week at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. The Space Corps would focus on ''space domination,'' he said, with a dedicated leadership and resources that would allow it to move more nimbly than the Pentagon bureaucracy.
''The Air Force is about as fast a herd of turtles as far as space is concerned,'' he said. ''What Russia and China are doing is startling.''
While most agree that space is an increasingly important military domain, support in the Senate for a new separate military branch is far from assured. And many in the upper reaches of the Pentagon also oppose it.
The X-37B was launched on top of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. SpaceX also successfully landed the first stage on a landing pad on the Cape--a bit of rocket artistry that Musk and others have said could help dramatically lower the cost of space travel. By now the feat is becoming routine for the company, which plans to reuse its boosters instead of throwing them away after each launch, as had been the traditional practice.
Musk's space company had been fighting to enter the national security launch market for years.
For nearly a decade, the United Launch Alliance, the joint venture between Lockheed Martin and Boeing, had a monopoly on Pentagon launches. SpaceX filed suit against the Air Force for the right to compete. In 2015, the parties settled and SpaceX was ultimately allowed to compete against ULA, opening up a potentially lucrative source of revenue. Since then, SpaceX has won two of three contested launch contracts.
[SpaceX set to win Pentagon mission after United Launch Alliance pulls out of competition.]
While the launch of the X-37B was not competed '-- ULA President Tory Bruno has said that his company was not given the option to bid '-- it marks SpaceX's first military mission after years of launching payloads for NASA and commercial satellites. All four of the X-37B's previous launches were aboard ULA's Atlas V rocket.
The Pentagon said it was grateful to have two companies with the ability to launch, introducing competition, and lower prices.
''The benefit we're seeing now is competition,'' Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson said during a June Senate hearing. ''There are some very exciting things happening in commercial space that bring the opportunity for assured access to space at a very competitive price.''
Further reading:
SpaceX wants to fly two private citizens around the moon by late 2018.
SPAceX makes history by launching a 'flight proven' rocket.
The US Military's Secretive X-37B Space Plane: 6 Surprising Facts
Wed, 27 Jun 2018 03:26 Tech By Mike Wall, Senior Writer | May 7, 2017 12:50pm ET
Photo Credit: NASA Marshall Space Flight Center
Introduction The U.S. Air Force's X-37B space plane has been zipping around Earth since May 2015 while it performs a number of hush-hush activities.The current mission is the fourth for the robotic X-37B, which is also known as the Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV). The other three OTV flights launched in April 2010, March 2011 and December 2012.Here are a few surprising facts about the military space plane.
It's tiny It's tiny The X-37B looks a lot like NASA's iconic space shuttle, but the two types of vehicles don't resemble each other in size. The X-37B is just 29 feet (8.8 meters) long, with a wingspan of 15 feet (4.6 m). The now-retired space shuttle orbiters, by contrast, were 122 feet (37 m) long, and measured more than 78 feet (24 m) from wingtip to wingtip.Two X-37Bs could fit inside the shuttle's cavernous payload bay. Indeed, the X-37B's designers originally envisioned the shuttle carrying the smaller space plane to orbit but ultimately decided that launching the X-37B atop a rocket would be more economical. The X-37B currently rides to orbit aboard United Launch Alliance's Atlas V rocket. Like the space shuttle, the X-37B lands on a runway, plane-style, but does everything autonomously (in contrast to the piloted shuttle, which usually carried a crew of seven astronauts).
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Its missions are classified Photo Credit: United Launch Alliance/Boeing
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Its missions are classified Although the Air Force has disclosed some of the payloads that have flown to orbit on the X-37B, most of the space plane's onboard gear is classified, as are the details of its orbital activities. This secrecy has led to some speculation that the vehicle is some sort of space weapon, perhaps one designed to take out or capture satellites. However, the Air Force has always denied this notion, insisting that the X-37B is just testing out technologies for future spacecraft, and carrying various experiments up to space and back. Some of these technologies being tested may be sensors and other equipment for future spy satellites, outside experts have said.
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It has NASA roots It has NASA roots The X-37 program started in 1999 with NASA, which initially planned to develop two separate vehicles: an Approach and Landing Test Vehicle (ALTV), and an Orbital Vehicle (OV). But NASA transferred X-37 development to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in 2004, at which point it became a classified program.In 2006, the Air Force announced it would develop its own X-37 vehicle, which it dubbed the X-37B, or OTV. The design of the space plane was based heavily on the original OV, which was never built. (DARPA did construct and test the ALTV, however.)Boeing has been the primary contractor for the X-37B program dating back to its inception in 1999. To date, the company has apparently built two X-37B space planes for the Air Force. (Two different vehicles have flown the program's four space missions.)
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The missions are incredibly long Photo Credit: United Launch Alliance
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Author Bio Mike Wall, Senior WriterMichael was a science writer for the Idaho National Laboratory and has been an intern at, The Salinas Californian newspaper, and the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. He has also worked as a herpetologist and wildlife biologist. He has a Ph.D. in evolutionary biology from the University of Sydney, Australia, a bachelor's degree from the University of Arizona, and a graduate certificate in science writing from the University of California, Santa Cruz. To find out what his latest project is, you can follow Mike on Google+.
Mike Wall, Senior Writer on
Boeing X-37 - Wikipedia
Wed, 27 Jun 2018 03:25
Origins Edit In 1999, NASA selected Boeing Integrated Defense Systems to design and develop an orbital vehicle, built by the California branch of Boeing's Phantom Works. Over a four-year period, a total of $192 million was spent on the project, with NASA contributing $109 million, the U.S. Air Force $16 million, and Boeing $67 million. In late 2002, a new $301-million contract was awarded to Boeing as part of NASA's Space Launch Initiative framework.[5]
1999 artist's rendering of the X-37 spacecraft
The X-37's aerodynamic design was derived from the larger Space Shuttle orbiter, hence the X-37 has a similar lift-to-drag ratio, and a lower cross range at higher altitudes and Mach numbers compared to DARPA's Hypersonic Technology Vehicle.[6] An early requirement for the spacecraft called for a delta-v of 7,000 mph (3.1 km/s) to change its orbit.[7] An early goal for the program was for the X-37 to rendezvous with satellites and perform repairs.[8] The X-37 was originally designed to be carried into orbit in the Space Shuttle's cargo bay, but underwent redesign for launch on a Delta IV or comparable rocket after it was determined that a shuttle flight would be uneconomical.
The X-37 was transferred from NASA to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) on 13 September 2004.[10] Thereafter, the program became a classified project. DARPA promoted the X-37 as part of the independent space policy that the United States Department of Defense has pursued since the 1986 Challenger disaster.
Glide testing Edit The vehicle that was used as an atmospheric drop test glider had no propulsion system. Instead of an operational vehicle's payload bay doors, it had an enclosed and reinforced upper fuselage structure to allow it to be mated with a mothership. In September 2004, DARPA announced that for its initial atmospheric drop tests the X-37 would be launched from the Scaled Composites White Knight, a high-altitude research aircraft.[11]
On 21 June 2005, the X-37A completed a captive-carry flight underneath the White Knight from Mojave Spaceport in Mojave, California.[12][13] Through the second half of 2005, the X-37A underwent structural upgrades, including the reinforcement of its nose wheel supports. Further captive-carry flight tests and the first drop test were initially expected to occur in mid-February 2006. The X-37's public debut was scheduled for its first free flight on 10 March 2006, but was canceled due to an Arctic storm.[14] The next flight attempt, on 15 March 2006, was canceled due to high winds.[14]
On 24 March 2006, the X-37 flew again, but a datalink failure prevented a free flight, and the vehicle returned to the ground still attached to its White Knight carrier aircraft. On 7 April 2006, the X-37 made its first free glide flight. During landing, the vehicle overran the runway and sustained minor damage.[15] Following the vehicle's extended downtime for repairs, the program moved from Mojave to Air Force Plant 42 (KPMD) in Palmdale, California for the remainder of the flight test program. White Knight continued to be based at Mojave, though it was ferried to Plant 42 when test flights were scheduled. Five additional flights were performed,[N 1] two of which resulted in X-37 releases with successful landings. These two free flights occurred on 18 August 2006 and 26 September 2006.[16]
X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle Edit On 17 November 2006, the U.S. Air Force announced that it would develop its own variant from NASA's X-37A. The Air Force version was designated the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV). The OTV program was built on earlier industry and government efforts by DARPA, NASA, and the Air Force under the leadership of the U.S. Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office in partnership with NASA and the Air Force Research Laboratory. Boeing was the prime contractor for the OTV program.[7][17][18] The X-37B was designed to remain in orbit for up to 270 days at a time.[19] The Secretary of the Air Force stated that the OTV program would focus on "risk reduction, experimentation, and operational concept development for reusable space vehicle technologies, in support of long-term developmental space objectives".[17]
The X-37B was originally scheduled for launch in the payload bay of the Space Shuttle, but following the 2003 Columbia disaster, it was transferred to a Delta II 7920. The X-37B was subsequently transferred to a shrouded configuration on the Atlas V rocket, following concerns over the unshrouded spacecraft's aerodynamic properties during launch.[20] Following their missions, X-37B spacecraft primarily land on a runway at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, with Edwards Air Force Base as a secondary site.[21] In 2010, manufacturing work began on the second X-37B, OTV-2,[22] which conducted its maiden launch in March 2011.[23]
On 8 October 2014, NASA confirmed that X-37B vehicles would be housed at Kennedy Space Center in Orbiter Processing Facilities (OPF) 1 and 2, hangars previously occupied by the Space Shuttle. Boeing had said the space planes would use OPF-1 in January 2014, and the Air Force had previously said it was considering consolidating X-37B operations, housed at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, nearer to their launch site at Cape Canaveral. NASA also stated that the program had completed tests to determine whether the X-37B, one-fourth the size of the Space Shuttle, could land on the former Shuttle runways.[24] NASA furthermore stated that renovations of the two hangars would be completed by the end of 2014; the main doors of OPF-1 were marked with the message "Home of the X-37B" by this point.[24]
Most of the activities of the X-37B project are secret. The official U.S. Air Force statement is that the project is "an experimental test program to demonstrate technologies for a reliable, reusable, unmanned space test platform for the U.S. Air Force".[4] The primary objectives of the X-37B are twofold: reusable spacecraft technology, and operating experiments which can be returned to Earth.[4] The Air Force states that this includes testing avionics, flight systems, guidance and navigation, thermal protection, insulation, propulsion, and re-entry systems.[25]
Speculation regarding purpose Edit In May 2010, Tom Burghardt wrote for Space Daily that the X-37B could be used as a spy satellite or to deliver weapons from space. The Pentagon subsequently denied claims that the X-37B's test missions supported the development of space-based weapons.[26]
In January 2012, allegations were made that the X-37B was being used to spy on China's Tiangong-1 space station module.[27] Former U.S. Air Force orbital analyst Brian Weeden later refuted this claim, emphasizing that the different orbits of the two spacecraft precluded any practical surveillance fly-bys.[28]
In October 2014, The Guardian reported the claims of security experts that the X-37B was being used "to test reconnaissance and spy sensors, particularly how they hold up against radiation and other hazards of orbit".[29]
In November 2016, the International Business Times stated that the U.S. government was testing a version of the EmDrive electromagnetic microwave thruster on the fourth flight of the X-37B.[30] In 2009, an EmDrive technology transfer contract with Boeing was undertaken via a State Department TAA and a UK export licence, approved by the UK MOD.[31][32] Boeing has since stated that it is no longer pursuing this area of research.[33] The U.S. Air Force has stated that the X-37B is testing a Hall-effect thruster system for Aerojet Rocketdyne.[34]
Processing Edit Processing for the X-37 is done inside Bays 1 and 2 of the Orbiter Processing Facility (OPF) at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, where the vehicle is loaded with its top-secret payload. The X-37 is then placed inside a fairing along with its stage adapter and loaded on a KAMAG transporter for delivery to the launch site, be it Cape Canaveral SLC-37, SLC-41, or Kennedy Space Center LC-39A.[citation needed ]
Landing is done at one of three sites across the country: the Shuttle Landing Facility at Kennedy Space Center, Vandenberg Air Force Base, or Edwards Air Force Base. To return to Kennedy Space Center, the X-37 is placed into a payload canister and loaded into a Boeing C-17 cargo plane. Once at Kennedy, the X-37 is unloaded and towed to the OPF, where it is prepared for its next flight, similar to the Space Shuttle.
The X-37 Orbital Test Vehicle is a reusable robotic spaceplane. It is an approximately 120%-scale derivative of the Boeing X-40,[5][21] measuring over 29 feet (8.8 m) in length, and features two angled tail fins.[4] The X-37 launches atop an Atlas V version 501[4][18] or a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.[36] The spaceplane is designed to operate in a speed range of up to Mach 25 on its reentry.[37][38]
The technologies demonstrated in the X-37 include an improved thermal protection system, enhanced avionics, an autonomous guidance system and an advanced airframe. The spaceplane's thermal protection system is built upon previous generations of atmospheric reentry spacecraft,[39] incorporating silica ceramic tiles.[40] The X-37's avionics suite was used by Boeing to develop its CST-100 crewed spacecraft.[41] The development of the X-37 was to "aid in the design and development of NASA's Orbital Space Plane, designed to provide a crew rescue and crew transport capability to and from the International Space Station", according to a NASA fact sheet.[42]
The X-37 for NASA was to be powered by one Aerojet AR2-3 engine using storable propellants, providing thrust of 6,600 pounds-force (29.4 kN).[43] The human-rated AR2-3 engine had been used on the dual-power NF-104A astronaut training vehicle and was given a new flight certification for use on the X-37 with hydrogen peroxide/JP-8 propellants.[44] This was reportedly changed to a hypergolic nitrogen-tetroxide/hydrazine propulsion system.[20][45]
The X-37 lands automatically upon returning from orbit and is the second reusable spacecraft to have such a capability, after the Soviet Buran shuttle.[46] The X-37 is the smallest and lightest orbital spaceplane flown to date; it has a launch mass of around 11,000 pounds (5,000 kg) and is approximately one quarter of the size of the Space Shuttle orbiter.[47] In 2013, Guinness World Records recognised the X-37 as the world's smallest orbital spaceplane.[48]
On 13 April 2015, the Space Foundation awarded the X-37 team with the 2015 Space Achievement Award "for significantly advancing the state of the art for reusable spacecraft and on-orbit operations, with the design, development, test and orbital operation of the X-37B space flight vehicle over three missions totaling 1,367 days in space".[49]
As of May 2017[update], the two operational X-37Bs have completed four orbital missions, spending a combined 2,086 days in space.
FlightLaunch dateMission[50]DurationNotesOTV-122 April 2010 23:52 UTCUSA-212224 days and 9 hoursFirst American autonomous orbital runway landingFirst X-37B flightOTV-25 March 2011 22:46 UTCUSA-226468 days and 14 hoursFirst flight of second X-37BOTV-311 December 2012 18:03 UTCUSA-240674 days and 22 hoursSecond flight of first X-37BOTV-420 May 2015 15:05 UTCUSA-261717 days and 20 hoursSecond flight of second X-37BFirst landing on the Shuttle Landing Facility at Kennedy Space CenterOTV-57 September 2017 14:00 UTCUSA-277Elapsed: 292 days and 4 hoursFirst launch on SpaceX's Falcon 9 vehicleOTV-1 Edit OTV-1 sits on the runway after landing at Vandenberg AFB at the close of its USA-212 mission on 3 December 2010.
OTV-1, the first X-37B, launched on its first mission '' USA-212 '' on an Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, on 22 April 2010 at 23:52 UTC. The spacecraft was placed into low Earth orbit for testing.[18] While the U.S. Air Force revealed few orbital details of the mission, amateur astronomers claimed to have identified the spacecraft in orbit and shared their findings. A worldwide network of amateur astronomers reported that, on 22 May 2010, the spacecraft was in an inclination of 39.99 degrees, circling the Earth once every 90 minutes on an orbit 249 by 262 miles (401 by 422 km).[51][52] OTV-1 reputedly passed over the same given spot on Earth every four days, and operated at an altitude of 255 miles (410 km), which is typical for military surveillance satellites.[53] Such an orbit is also common among civilian LEO satellites, and the spaceplane's altitude was the same as that of the ISS and most other crewed spacecraft.
The U.S. Air Force announced on 30 November 2010 that OTV-1 would return for a landing during the 3''6 December timeframe.[54][55] As scheduled, OTV-1 de-orbited, reentered Earth's atmosphere, and landed successfully at Vandenberg AFB on 3 December 2010, at 09:16 UTC,[56][57][58] conducting America's first autonomous orbital landing onto a runway; the first spacecraft to perform such a feat was the Soviet Buran shuttle in 1988. In all, OTV-1 spent 224 days and 9 hours in space.[18][56] OTV-1 suffered a tire blowout during landing and sustained minor damage to its underside.[22]
OTV-2 Edit OTV-2, the second X-37B, launched on its inaugural mission, designated USA-226,[59] aboard an Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral on 5 March 2011 at 22:46 UTC.[60] The mission was classified and described by the U.S. military as an effort to test new space technologies.[61] On 29 November 2011, the U.S. Air Force announced that it would extend the mission of USA-226 beyond the 270-day baseline design duration.[62] In April 2012, General William L. Shelton of the Air Force Space Command declared the ongoing mission a "spectacular success".[63]
On 30 May 2012, the Air Force stated that OTV-2 would complete its mission and land at Vandenberg AFB in June 2012.[64][65] The spacecraft landed autonomously on 16 June 2012, having spent 468 days and 14 hours in space.[60][1][66]
OTV-3 Edit OTV-3, the second mission for the first X-37B and the third X-37B mission overall, was originally scheduled to launch on 25 October 2012,[67] but was postponed because of an engine issue with the Atlas V launch vehicle.[68] The X-37B was successfully launched from Cape Canaveral on 11 December 2012 at 18:03 UTC.[47][69][70] The launch was designated USA-240.[71][72] The OTV-3 mission ended with a landing at Vandenberg AFB on 17 October 2014 at 16:24 UTC, after a total time in orbit of 674 days and 22 hours.[69][2][73][74]
OTV-4 Edit OTV-4 stationary at the Shuttle Landing Facility
The Air Force launched a fourth X-37B mission, designated OTV-4 and codenamed AFSPC-5, aboard an Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on 20 May 2015 at 15:05 UTC.[75] The launch was designated USA-261 and is the second flight of the second X-37B vehicle.[20] The mission was to test Aerojet Rocketdyne's XR-5A Hall-effect thruster in support of the Advanced Extremely High Frequency communications satellite program,[34][76] and conduct a NASA investigation for testing various materials in space[20][49][77] for at least 200 days.[20] The vehicle spent a record-breaking 717 days and 20 hours in orbit before landing at Kennedy Space Center's Shuttle Landing Facility on 7 May 2017 shortly before 12:00 UTC.[3][78]
OTV-5 Edit The fifth X-37B mission was launched on 7 September 2017 at 14:00 UTC[79][80] atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39A; the Falcon first stage returned to land at SpaceX's Landing Zone 1 at KSC[79] and was quickly returned to its processing facility before the imminent arrival of Hurricane Irma.[81] This launch was designated as USA-277.[50]
The spacecraft was inserted at a higher orbital inclination than previous missions to further expand the X-37B's orbital envelope.[82] While the complete payload for OTV-5 is unknown, the Air Force announced that one experiment flying is the Advanced Structurally Embedded Thermal Spreader II (ASETS-II), which measures the performance of an oscillating heat pipe.[83] A number of small satellites also shared the ride.[82]
OTV-6 Edit The sixth X-37B mission, OTV-6, is planned to fly on an Atlas V 501 rocket in 2019.[50]
Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway - Wikipedia
Thu, 28 Jun 2018 15:17
The Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway (LOP-G) is a planned lunar-orbit space station, that will have a power and propulsion system, a small habitat for the crew, a docking capability, an airlock, and logistics modules.
The development is led by the International Space Station partners: ESA, NASA, Roscosmos, JAXA and CSA for construction in the 2020s.[1][2][3] Formerly known as the Deep Space Gateway, the station was renamed in NASA's proposal for the 2019 United States federal budget.[4][5]
The station would be used as a staging point for lunar exploration and as a staging station for the proposed Deep Space Transport, which is a concept of a reusable vehicle that uses electric and chemical propulsion and would be specifically designed for crewed missions to destinations such as Mars.[1][6] If funded, the Gateway will be developed, serviced, and utilized in collaboration with commercial and international partners for use as a staging ground for robotic and crewed lunar surface missions and for travel to Mars.
Overview [ edit ] Originally, NASA had intended to build the Gateway as part of the now cancelled Asteroid Redirect Mission.[7][8] An informal joint statement on cooperation between NASA and Roscosmos was announced on 27 September 2017.[3] Traveling to and from cislunar space (lunar orbit) will help gain the knowledge and experience necessary to venture beyond the Moon and into deep space. The LOP-G would be initially placed in a near-rectilinear halo orbit (NRHO) around the Moon.[9] The Gateway could also support in-situ resource utilization (ISRU) development and testing from lunar and asteroid resources.[10] The Gateway would offer the opportunity for gradual buildup of capability providing for an incremental buildup of capabilities for more complex missions over time.[11] If funded, its various components are to be launched on a commercial launch vehicle and on the Space Launch System as Orion co-manifested payloads on the flights EM-3 through EM-8.[9] According to Roscosmos, they may also use Proton-M and Angara-A5M heavy launchers to fly payloads or crew.[3]
The Power and Propulsion Element (PPE) for the LOP-G will have a mass of 8-9 t and be capable of generating 50 kW[8] of solar electric power for its ion thrusters system for maneuverability, which can be supported by chemical propulsion.[12]
Patrick Troutman serves as the lead for strategic assessments for the Deep Space Transport and the Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway.[13]
Studies [ edit ] On 1 November 2017, NASA commissioned 5 studies lasting four months into affordable ways to develop the Power and Propulsion Element (PPE), hopefully leveraging private companies' plans. These studies had a combined budget of $2.4 million. The companies performing the PPE studies are Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Orbital ATK, Sierra Nevada and Space Systems/Loral.[14][8] These awards are in addition of the ongoing set of NextSTEP-2 awards made in 2016 to study development and make ground prototypes of habitat modules that could be used on the Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway as well as other commercial applications,[6] so the LOP-G is likely to incorporate components developed under NextSTEP as well.[8][15]
Components [ edit ] The early concept for the LOP-G is still evolving, and includes at least the following component modules:[16]
The Power and Propulsion Element (PPE) will be used to generate electricity for the space station and its solar electric propulsion. It is targeting launch on a commercial vehicle in 2022.[17][18]The Cislunar Habitation Module can be used for a maximum 21 days habitation.[19] It features a docking port for the Orion spacecraft. This module will be sent on the Exploration Mission 3 (EM3).[12]The Gateway Logistics Module will be used for experiments and logistics on board the space station. The equipment includes a robotic arm, which will be built by the Canadian Space Agency.[20] It will be sent during Exploration Mission 4 (EM4).[12]The Gateway Airlock Module will be used for performing extravehicular activities outside the space station and will be the berth for the Deep Space Transport. It will be sent on the Exploration Mission 5 (EM5)[12] unless pre-empted by a Russian made airlock module carried by the EM3.[21]Proposed timeline [ edit ] YearVehicle assembly objectiveMission nameLaunch vehicleHuman/robotic elements2022Start of the Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway assembly by launching the Power and Propulsion Element (PPE)[22]TBDCommercial launch vehicle[23]Uncrewed2024Deep Space Habitat module launch and mating to PPE in cislunar space[24]EM-3Space Launch System, Block 1BCrewed2025Habitat and logistics resupply[25]EM-4Space Launch System, Block 1BCrewed2026Orion capsule (crew 4) delivers the airlock module to the GatewayEM-5Space Launch System, Block 1BCrewed2027Deep Space Transport (DST) to the Lunar Gateway[26]EM-6Space Launch System, Block 1BUncrewed2027DST checkout mission[26]EM-7Space Launch System, Block 1BCrewed2028DST Cargo logistics and refuelling[26]EM-8Space Launch System, Block 1BUncrewed2029DST one year cruise test (shakedown cruise) in cislunar space[26]EM-9Space Launch SystemCrewed2030Cargo DST logistics and refuelling mission[26]EM-10Space Launch SystemUncrewed2033DST cruise for injection into Mars orbit[26]EM-11Space Launch SystemCrewedCriticisms [ edit ] The Deep Space Gateway has received numerous criticisms from several space professionals for lacking a proper scientific goal. Former NASA Astronaut Terry Virts, who was a pilot of STS-130 aboard Space Shuttle Endeavour and Commander of the International Space Station on Expedition 43 wrote in an Op-ed on Ars Technica that the Deep Space Gateway would "shackle human exploration, not enable it". Terry stated that there is no concrete space human spaceflight goal with the Deep Space Gateway and that he cannot envision a new technology that would be developed or validated by building another modular space station. Terry further criticized NASA for abandoning its safety dictum of separating the crew from the cargo which was put in place following the Space Shuttle Columbia accident in 2003.[27]
Mars Society founder Robert Zubrin, who has been one of the staunches advocates for a human mission to Mars, went even further and called the Deep Space Gateway "NASA's worst plan yet" in an article on the National Review. Robert went on to say "We do not need a lunar-orbiting station to go to the Moon. We do not need such a station to go to Mars. We do not need it to go to near-Earth asteroids. We do not need it to go anywhere. Nor can we accomplish anything in such a station that we cannot do in the Earth-orbiting International Space Station" and that "there is nothing at all in lunar orbit: nothing to use, nothing to explore, nothing to do". Robert also stated that "If the goal is to build a Moon base, it should be built on the surface of the Moon. That is where the science is, that is where the shielding material is, and that is where the resources to make propellant and other useful things are to be found."[28]
Retired aerospace engineer Gerald Black stated that the "LOP-G is useless for supporting human return to the lunar surface and a lunar base." He added that it is not even planned to be used as a rocket fuel depot and that stopping at LOP-G on the way to or from the Moon would serve no useful purpose and it would actually waste rocket fuel.[29]
See also [ edit ] Commercial Resupply ServicesDeep Space TransportExploration Gateway PlatformInternational Space StationLunar Orbital Station, a proposed Russian space stationMars Base CampNext Space Technologies for Exploration PartnershipsOrbital Piloted Assembly and Experiment ComplexReferences [ edit ] ^ a b Kathryn Hambleton. "Deep Space Gateway to Open Opportunities for Distant Destinations". NASA . Retrieved April 5, 2017 . ^ " " РОÐКОÐÐ'ОР- NASA. ÐОÐ'Ð'ЕÐÐÐ'ÐЕ ÐÐÐЛЕÐ--ОÐ'АÐ'ÐЯ Ð--АЛЬÐ'ЕÐ'О КОÐÐ'ОÐА (ROSCOSMOS - NASA. JOINT RESEARCH OF FAR COSMOS) " " . Retrieved September 29, 2017 . ^ a b c Weitering, Hanneke (27 September 2017). "NASA and Russia Partner Up for Crewed Deep-Space Missions". . Retrieved 2017-11-05 . ^ Davis, Jason (February 26, 2018). "Some snark (and details!) about NASA's proposed lunar space station". The Planetary Society. Archived from the original on February 26, 2018 . Retrieved February 26, 2018 . ^ Yuhas, Alan (2018-02-12). "Trump's Nasa budget: flying 'Jetson cars' and a return to the moon". the Guardian . Retrieved 2018-02-25 . ^ a b Robyn Gatens, Jason Crusan. "Cislunar Habitation & Environmental Control & Life Support System" (PDF) . NASA . Retrieved March 31, 2017 . ^ NASA Seeks Information on Developing Deep Space Gateway Module. Jeff Foust, Space. 29 July 2017. ^ a b c d NASA issues study contracts for Deep Space Gateway element. Jeff Foust, Space News. 3 November 2017. ^ a b Godwin, Curt (April 1, 2017). "NASA's human spaceflight plans come into focus with announcement of Deep Space Gateway". Spaceflight Insider . Retrieved 2017-04-02 . ^ Research Possibilities Beyond Deep Space Gateway. David Smitherman, Debra Needham, Ruthan Lewis. NASA. February 28, 2018. ^ Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate - Architecture Status. (PDF) Jim Free. NASA. 28 March 2017. ^ a b c d Chris Gebhardt. "NASA finally sets goals, missions for SLS '' eyes multi-step plan to Mars". NASA Spaceflight . Retrieved April 9, 2017 . ^ NASA Langley Talk to Highlight Sending Humans to the Deep Space Gateway. April 25, 2018. ^ Jimi Russell. "NASA Selects Studies for Gateway Power and Propulsion Element". NASA.GOV . Retrieved November 2, 2017 . ^ Erin Mahoney. "NextSTEP Partners Develop Ground Prototypes to Expand our Knowledge of Deep Space Habitats". NASA.GOV. NASA . Retrieved November 6, 2017 . ^ Cursan, Jason (March 27, 2018). "Future Human Exploration Planning:Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway and Science Workshop Findings" (PDF) . Retrieved April 13, 2018 . ^ "NASA FY 2019 Budget Overview" (PDF) . Quote: "Supports launch of the Power and PropulsionElement on a commercial launch vehicle as the first component of the LOP - Gateway, (page 14) ^ NASA considers acquiring more than one gateway propulsion module. Joe Faust, Space News. 30 March 2018. ^ NASA evaluates EM-2 launch options for Deep Space Gateway PPE. Philip Sloss, NASA Spaceflight. December 4, 2017. ^ "Canadian Space Agency to build robotic arms for lunar space station". Global News . Retrieved 2017-09-29 . ^ ^ Daines, Gary (December 1, 2016). "Crew Will Mark Important Step on Journey to Mars". . Retrieved 2 January 2018 . ^ "NASA FY 2019 Budget Overview" (PDF) . Quote: "Supports launch of the Power and PropulsionElement on a commercial launch vehicle as the first component of the LOP - Gateway, (page 14) ^ Foust, Jeff (10 March 2017). "NASA moving ahead with plans for cislunar human outpost". SpaceNews. Pocket Ventures, LLC. Archived from the original on 11 March 2017 . Retrieved 11 March 2017 . ^ Gebhardt, Chris (April 6, 2017). "NASA finally sets goals, missions for SLS '' eyes multi-step plan to Mars". . Retrieved August 21, 2017 . ^ a b c d e f Finally, some details about how NASA actually plans to get to Mars. Eric Berger, ARS Technica. 28 March 2017. ^ "Op-ed: The Deep Space Gateway would shackle human exploration, not enable it". Ars Technica . Retrieved May 20, 2018 . ^ "NASA's Worst Plan Yet". National Review . Retrieved May 20, 2018 . ^ The Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway: an unneeded and costly diversion. Gerald Black, The Space Review. 14 May 2018. External links [ edit ] Deep Space Gateway to Open Opportunities for Distant Destinations - NASA Journey to MarsFirst human outpost near the Moon - RussianSpaceWeb page about the Lunar Orbital Platform-GatewayHistory of the Gateway planning
NASA spends $1 billion for a launch tower that leans, may only be used once | Ars Technica
Thu, 28 Jun 2018 15:17
Leaning tower of ... '-- Vice President Mike Pence may visit the launch tower today. Eric Berger - Feb 20, 2018 2:20 pm UTC
Enlarge / The space agency's mobile launch tower is leaning slightly to the north.
On Tuesday and Wednesday Vice President Mike Pence will travel to Kennedy Space Center in Florida to tour facilities there and participate in the second meeting of the National Space Council. It is not clear how much of the launch facilities he will see during his visit to Florida, where NASA is spending billions of dollars to build ground systems for the launch of the Space Launch System rocket.
There is one component of the revamped facilities that NASA may be reluctant to show Pence, who in effect oversees all national spaceflight activities as the head of the space council. This is the "mobile launcher" structure, which supports the testing and servicing of the massive SLS rocket, as well as moving it to the launch pad and providing a platform from which it will launch.
According to a new report in, the expensive tower is "leaning" and "bending." For now, NASA says, the lean is not sufficient enough to require corrective action, but it is developing contingency plans in case the lean angle becomes steeper.
These defects raise concerns about the longevity of the launch tower and increase the likelihood that NASA will seek additional funding to build a second one. In fact, it is entirely possible that the launch tower may serve only for the maiden flight of the SLS rocket in 2020 and then be cast aside. This would represent a significant waste of resources by the space agency.
A very costly towerConstruction on the structure began nine years ago when NASA needed a mobile launcher for a different rocket, the Ares I vehicle. According to NASA's inspector general, Paul Martin, the agency spent $234 million to originally build the launch tower. However, after the government's Ares I and V rockets were canceled due to delays and cost overruns in 2010, NASA was left without much of a use for the large structure, which consists of a two-story base, a 355-foot-tall tower, and facility ground support systems.
In 2011, after Congress directed NASA to build a new large rocket, the SLS, the agency began studying its options to launch the booster. These trade studies found that modifying the existing mobile launcher would cost $54 million, modifying the Space Shuttle Mobile Launcher Platforms would cost $93 million, and constructing a new mobile launch platform would cost $122 million. Ultimately, the agency opted for the lowest-cost option'--modifying the Ares mobile launcher'--but unfortunately those preliminary cost estimates turned out to be wildly optimistic.
A long-exposure view of the mobile launcher at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
A rendering of the SLS rocket attached to the mobile launcher.
A view from below the mobile launcher shows a crane positioning the bracket for the Orion Service Module Umbilical.
A sense of scale: In view, in the background at far left, is the Vehicle Assembly Building and the mobile launcher.
During a training exercise, a NASA UH-1 "Huey" helicopter flies past the Mobile Launcher.
OK, maybe the journey to the Moon begins here.
A view of the mobile launcher taken from a deck on the north side of the nearby Vehicle Assembly Building on May 30, 2017.
The mobile launcher is to the back, left of the iconic Vertical Assembly Building.
Another one for scale: The Vehicle Assembly Building and mobile launcher are engulfed in fog.
The Orion Service Module Umbilical is lifted for installation on the mobile launcher tower.
Instead of costing just $54 million, the US Government Accountability Office found that NASA spent $281.8 million revamping the mobile launcher from fiscal years 2012 to 2015, but still the work was not done. The recently released White House budget for fiscal year 2019 reveals that NASA anticipates spending an additional $396.2 million on the mobile launcher from 2015 through the maiden launch of the SLS, probably in 2020.
Therefore, from the tower's inception in 2009, NASA will have spent $912 million on the mobile launcher it may use for just a single launch of the SLS rocket. Moreover, the agency will have required eight years to modify a launch tower it built in two years.
Further modificationsAside from the leaning issue, there's another problem with the mobile launcher and future flights of the SLS rocket. NASA intends to upgrade SLS's upper stage between the first flight and second flight, to give the rocket more oomph in sending larger payloads deeper into the Solar System. This larger and longer upper stage, known as the "Exploration Upper Stage," will necessitate significant changes to the mobile launcher.
The agency estimates it will take 33 months to accomplish this work, and this will contribute to the nearly three-year delay expected between the first and second flights of SLS. Some safety officials have warned that such a gap creates readiness concerns because of lost experience and a lack of continuity. At a cost of approximately $300 million, NASA's Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel has recommended building a second mobile launcher.
NASA has not formally embraced this option, but officials within the agency, especially at Kennedy Space Center, are lobbying for the new infrastructure. It's not clear how Pence feels'--or if he has even been made aware of the leaning issue with the existing mobile launcher. However, the White House's budget for fiscal year 2019 includes no funding for building a second mobile launcher at this time.
Latest Ars Video > The Greatest Leap, Episode 3: Triumph In honor of the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the Apollo Program, Ars Technica brings you an in depth look at the Apollo missions through the eyes of the participants.
The Greatest Leap, Episode 3: Triumph
The Greatest Leap, Episode 3: TriumphIn honor of the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the Apollo Program, Ars Technica brings you an in depth look at the Apollo missions through the eyes of the participants.
Mid Terms
28-Year-Old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Might Just Be the Future of the Democratic Party
Wed, 27 Jun 2018 12:18
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has already made history with her campaign to challenge Democratic Rep. Joe Crowley for his seat in Congress: The 28-year-old Bronx-born woman is the first person to face off against Crowley in a primary election in 14 years. She has shocked skeptics by even getting on the ballot for the June 26 primary election, which will determine the Democratic nominee for New York's 14th Congressional District. The contest heated up last week when The New York Times editorial board called out Crowley for skipping two debates with Ocasio-Cortez. Crowley's seat, representing part of Queens and the Bronx, the board wrote, ''is not his entitlement. He'd better hope that voters don't react to his snubs by sending someone else to do the job.'' Which is exactly what might happen tomorrow, if Ocasio-Cortez'--who just nine months ago was running her campaign while still working as a server in a restaurant'--wins the nomination.
Ocasio-Cortez is part of a number of young women of color who are challenging establishment incumbents in the Democratic Party. A third-generation New Yorker whose family has roots in Puerto Rico, Ocasio-Cortez looks a lot more like the constituents in the very diverse 14th District than Crowley, a 56-year-old white man. The optics of the race, then, also reflect a battle for the future of party leadership: Who is better equipped to represent the largely working-class and non-white Americans in the 14th, and in places like it all over the country?
But Ocasio-Cortez's challenge goes far beyond surface level; Ocasio-Cortez is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, a leftist organization that has helped buoy the campaigns of dozens of outsider candidates running on very progressive platforms in places where Democrats like Crowley are used to winning'--handily. Some of Ocasio-Cortez's positions include fighting for Medicare for All and a federal jobs guarantee, abolishing ICE, and insisting on much more severe policing of luxury real estate development (part of the reason she has refused corporate donations). Her push on economic justice has exposed ways that Crowley, as a powerful Democrat who sits on the House Committee on Ways and Means, pays lip service to the post''Donald Trump resistance while maintaining largely centrist politics. Newcomers like Ocasio-Cortez and Cynthia Nixon, who is hoping to unseat Governor Andrew Cuomo (Nixon and Ocasio-Cortez have endorsed each other), have already helped spur a leftward shift in some of the stances of their opponents.
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Ocasio-Cortez spoke to Vogue on the phone last week before heading to a child detention center in Tornillo, Texas. Trump's family separation policy has been a flash point not just along partisan lines, but also between Democrats: those who denounce ICE's action but refuse to call for its dismantling, like Crowley, and those who believe it should not exist. It's an issue that has also created a debate around ''civility,'' as pundits squabble over whether or not Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, for example, should have been heckled out of a Mexican restaurant last week. As the people's millennial challenger, Ocasio-Cortez weighed in on what needs to change in New York, in elections, and in how we talk about holding those in power accountable. does being born and raised in New York mean to you and your family? How has it changed?
My aunt and my uncle were just talking last Christmas about how they literally heard Malcolm X evangelizing on street corners. That is the institutional memory of my family and multigenerational New York families. It's actually kind of a rarity, and the reason it's a rarity is because of the changes that the city has gone through. This city is becoming too inaccessible and too unaffordable for normal people to live in anymore. My family is three generations deep in the Bronx, and my own mother can't afford to live in the same city, in the same state as me anymore, because it's gotten too expensive. How I was born I think is really exemplary of that.
I was born to a dad who was born in the South Bronx while the Bronx was burning, while landlords were committing arson to their own buildings. He grew up as a kid with five people in a one-bedroom apartment, and my mom was born in poverty in Puerto Rico. But they met out there, they got married, came back, and had me, and as 20-somethings they were able to take out a small loan and get an apartment in the Bronx, and have me. And the idea of that, for two working-class 20-somethings, it's almost unimaginable in New York City anymore. New York 14 is one of those last working-class congressional districts in New York City. These communities are very rapidly seeing the cost of living go up: In the last three years or so, the median price of a two-bedroom apartment in New York 14 has gone up 80 percent. Our incomes certainly aren't going up 80 percent to compensate for that, and what that is doing is a wave of aggressive economic displacement of the communities that have always been here. If this wasn't even economic, if it was any other force, if due to climate change, or due to any other kind of a social force that would cause like that amount of displacement that quickly, we would call it a crisis. And that, I think, is the core of a lot of what we're talking about: Who is New York changing for? A lot of people, especially in our community, are feeling like it's changing to be a temporary playground rather than a place for people to actually raise families and transform their own economic opportunities and their own lives.
What drew you to Democratic Socialists of America? What about socialism appeals to you?
It was a lot more about action than about words or descriptions or -isms, because for me, it wasn't just like I read a book one day and said, ''Oh, okay, I'm a Democratic Socialist now.'' I'm an organizer, I'm an educator, I'm an activist, and what I found was that every time I saw myself showing up for something that was important to my community, when I was one of the many people who showed up in Union Square for the 100-day vigil after Hurricane Maria, DSA was there. Every time I was joining my brothers and sisters in the Movement for Black Lives, DSA was there. When I saw these actions, it was like, Okay, this is clearly an extension of our own community. And the thing about DSA is that it's a very large tent organization. When we talk about the word socialism, I think what it really means is just democratic participation in our economic dignity, and our economic, social, and racial dignity. It is about direct representation and people actually having power and stake over their economic and social wellness, at the end of the day. To me, what socialism means is to guarantee a basic level of dignity. It's asserting the value of saying that the America we want and the America that we are proud of is one in which all children can access a dignified education. It's one in which no person is too poor to have the medicines they need to live. It's to say that no individual's civil rights are to be violated. And it's also to say that we need to really examine the historical inequities that have created much of the inequalities'--both in terms of economics and social and racial justice'--because they are intertwined. This idea of, like, race or class is a false choice. Even if you wanted to separate those two things, you can't separate the two, they are intrinsically and inextricably tied. There is no other force, there is no other party, there is no other real ideology out there right now that is asserting the minimum elements necessary to lead a dignified American life.
Donald Trump has made it easy for politicians to be part of the ''resistance'' without really doing much . . .
One of the biggest dangers of this administration is the erosion of norms, which is pretty typical for authoritarian regimes. This is one of the problems when it comes to immigration. My opponent has literally called ICE ''fascist'', yet he refuses to take the stance of abolishing it, which, to me, is morally incomprehensible. Words mean something, and the moment you have identified something as fascist, that with it carries a moral responsibility to abolish it. That's what I'm talking about when we say that norms have been eroded: that we literally have elected officials arguing to basically retain fascist agencies. And that's on the left. When I talk about the abolishment of ICE, it is not a fringe position. [ICE] was established in 2003 in a suite of legislation that almost everybody recognizes as a mistake. People recognize the Patriot Act as a mistake. They regret voting for the AUMF [Authorization to Use Military Force], they regret the Iraq War, and DHS [the Department of Homeland Security], and ICE were right in there with all of that legislation. Our campaign has been really effective in refining and providing a very clear moral and economic voice for what must and should be done. And it's very unapologetic.
How do we actually get bolder candidates elected?
The biggest thing is that right now voters need to start taking an elevated level of responsibility over our elections. Because if you look at my district, for example, we have about 3 percent primary turnout. I spent the first nine months of my campaign operating out of a paper grocery bag while I worked in restaurants. That's how I spent May of 2017 until February of this year. And there was this kind of self-fulfilling or self-defeating cycle for nine whole months where people were saying, ''I'd really love to support you,'' but people were waiting until somebody else donated to my campaign. What we need to realize, especially when we're talking about women of color, people of color, working class, poor candidates, you make them viable by choosing to support someone who you agree with. I got lucky. There are a lot of other candidates like me out there: 2016 was disheartening for a lot of people, but the problem, again, is early cynicism. Our first reaction should be: How can I help you? And the only reason I am here today is because a very small critical mass of people was willing to take a risk.
There's a lot of talk of ''civility'' right now.
I do know that because of who I am, there are characteristics that people would be predisposed to think about me. It's easier to label someone like me as emotional, or explosive, or whatever. But what I think is powerful is the fact that [my campaign uses] such unapologetic language while remaining composed. People in my opponent's camp have accused me of running a negative campaign. I find it very interesting that we have now interpreted holding people accountable as negative. I never called him a name; I have never insulted him. But because I talk about the fact that he takes money from immigrant detention center profiteers, because I talk about the fact that he has been under ethics investigations within his role'--both in Congress and as the chairman of the Democratic Caucus'--because I'm holding him accountable for what he's done, that accountability is being interpreted as negative. Because he's a Democrat, and also because he is powerful, and we're somehow not allowed or not supposed to talk about the misguided actions of people who are in power. Our democracy is designed for that to happen. Our democracy is designed to speak truth to power. Our democracy is designed for elections to be these kinds of conversations and referendums on our leadership.
This interview has been condensed and edited.
Supreme Court Upholds Trump's Travel Ban - The New York Times
Tue, 26 Jun 2018 15:00
Protesters gathered outside the Supreme Court in June of last year over the president's disputed travel ban. Credit Al Drago for The New York Times WASHINGTON '-- President Trump acted lawfully in imposing limits on travel from several predominantly Muslim nations, the Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday.
The vote was 5 to 4, with the court's conservatives in the majority.
The court's decision, a major statement on presidential power, marked the conclusion of a long-running dispute over Mr. Trump's authority to make good on his campaign promises to secure the nation's borders.
Just a week after he took office, Mr. Trump issued his first travel ban, causing chaos at the nation's airports and starting a cascade of lawsuits and appeals. The first ban, drafted in haste, was promptly blocked by courts around the nation.
A second version, issued two months later, fared little better, although the Supreme Court allowed part of it go into effect last June when it agreed to hear the Trump administration's appeals from court decisions blocking it. But the Supreme Court dismissed those appeals in October after the second ban expired.
In January, the Supreme Court agreed to hear a challenge to Mr. Trump's third and most considered entry ban, issued as a presidential proclamation in September. It initially restricted travel from eight nations, six of them predominantly Muslim '-- Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Chad, Venezuela and North Korea. Chad was later removed from the list.
The restrictions varied in their details, but, for the most part, citizens of the countries were forbidden from emigrating to the United States and many of them are barred from working, studying or vacationing here. In December, the Supreme Court allowed the ban to go into effect while legal challenges moved forward.
Hawaii, several individuals and a Muslim group challenged the latest ban's limits on travel from the predominantly Muslim nations; they did not object to the portions concerning North Korea and Venezuela. They said the latest ban, like the earlier ones, was tainted by religious animus and not adequately justified by national security concerns.
The challengers prevailed before a Federal District Court there and before a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in San Francisco.
The appeals court ruled that Mr. Trump had exceeded the authority Congress had given him over immigration and had violated a part of the immigration laws barring discrimination in the issuance of visas. In a separate decision that was not directly before the justices, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, in Richmond, Va., blocked the ban on a different ground, saying it violated the Constitution's prohibition of religious discrimination.
Follow Adam Liptak on Twitter: @adamliptak.
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Dutch Parliament approves limited ban on burqa, niqab - Religion News Service
Wed, 27 Jun 2018 14:24
THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) '-- The Netherlands has approved a limited ban on ''face-covering clothing'' in public places, including Islamic veils and robes such as the burqa and niqab but not the hijab, which covers only the hair. Firebrand far-right politician Geert Wilders had pushed for the ban for over a decade.
Parliament's upper chamber made the final approval in a vote Tuesday (June 26).
Wilders' Freedom Party claimed the development as a major victory, while Sen. Marjolein Faber-Van de Klashorst called it ''a historical day because this is the first step to de-Islamize the Netherlands.''
''This is the first step and the next step is to close all the mosques in the Netherlands,'' she said, building on Wilders' anti-Islam rhetoric.
The Dutch law is described by the government as ''religion-neutral'' and does not go as far as more extensive bans in neighboring countries such as France and Belgium. It applies on public transport and in education institutions, health institutions such as hospitals, and government buildings.
Successive Dutch governments have sought to ban niqabs, which cover most of the face but still show the eyes, and burqas, which cover the face and body '-- even though studies suggest that only a few hundred women in the Netherlands wear the garments. The ban also covers ski masks and full-face helmets.
The government said people still have full freedom on how to dress, except when it is necessary to have full facial contact '-- for instance in education and health-related situations.
The ban does not apply to public streets, although police can ask an individual to remove face-covering clothing for identification.
''This is actually virtually a complete ban because the only spaces that are still available for women (who wear face-covering clothing) are the street and the private sector,'' said Annelies Moors, professor of anthropology and sociology at the University of Amsterdam. ''And, of course, the private sector can also have their house rules, they could also possibly legislate against their presence. So this leaves women very little space.''
''It is completely disproportionate and the only effect will be that many of these women will stay at home even more,'' said Green Party Sen. Ruard Ganzevoort. ''They will not have an opportunity to go to school. They will not have an opportunity to go to learn to swim, and all those things.''
Italiaanse vicepremier: ga maar naar Nederland met je migrantenschip | NOS
Wed, 27 Jun 2018 15:27
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De Italiaanse vicepremier Salvini heeft hulporganisaties opnieuw gewaarschuwd dat migrantenschepen niet mogen aanleggen in Italiaanse havens. Volgens Salvini moeten schepen maar naar het land gaan wiens vlag ze voeren, "bijvoorbeeld Nederland".
In een sessie op Facebook Live haalde Salvini eerder vandaag opnieuw hard uit naar hulporganisaties, dit keer vanwege een schip van de Duitse hulporganisatie Mission Lifeline. Volgens Salvini heeft die organisatie vanochtend, met een schip dat vaart onder Nederlandse vlag, 224 migranten uit de Libische wateren gehaald. "Ook al wisten ze dat de Libische kustwacht onderweg was."
Salvini zegt dat de hulporganisatie er dan ook niet op hoeft te rekenen dat het schip kan aanmeren in een Italiaanse haven. "Als het Nederlandse schepen zijn en ze hebben de Nederlandse vlag, neem dan je hele vracht mensen naar Nederland, Gibraltar, het Verenigd Koninkrijk, Spanje of Frankrijk. Wat je maar wil. Neem de lange route maar", zei de minister. De Italiaanse minister van Transport deed afgelopen weekend al een soortgelijke oproep.
Geen Nederlands schipVolgens het ministerie van Justitie en Veiligheid is het schip niet in Nederland geregistreerd. Het schip vaart wel met een Nederlandse vlag, maar staat niet ingeschreven in het Kadaster. Waar het schip dan wel geregistreerd staat, is niet bekend.
Aanstaande zondag wordt er een Europese minitop gehouden over de migratieproblemen. Itali wilde eerst wegblijven, maar de Duitse bondskanselier Merkel heeft de Italiaanse premier Conte overgehaald toch naar Brussel te komen.
Macron Kalergi Plan COnfirmation
Wed, 27 Jun 2018 14:49
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Macron Openly Endorses the Kalergi Plan: 200 Million Africans to Mass Migrate to Europe Within 30 Years
Wed, 27 Jun 2018 14:48
'Bombshell' population growth in Africa means Europe is entering an ''unprecedented'' age of mass migration, Emmanuel Macron has said, asserting that the two continents' destinies are ''bound''.
''The migratory phenomenon we are facing will be historic,'' declared the French president in a television appearance Sunday night, when he announced that ''great poverty'', ''climate change'', and ''geopolitical conflicts'' will see Africans flooding into Europe ''for many years to come''.
To back up his point, Macron pointed to ''bombshell'' population gr0wth across the third world continent, which he added has been ''tremendously well described'' by French-American journalist and professor Stephen Smith in a recent book.
''[Africans] are mostly turning to Europe because the continent [of Europe] is not an island, because of our location, and because Europe has its destiny bound with Africa,'' stated the vehemently pro-EU French figure during a two-hour long interview.
Smith, the Africa expert to whom Macron referred during his appearance on BFMTV, estimates that the number of Africans living in Europe will grow from nine million to between 150 million and 200 million within the next 30 years.
In The Rush to Europe, the Duke University professor describes a massive, unprecedented population transfer still in its infancy, which he explains will '-- ''paradoxically'' '-- be triggered largely as a result 0f Western aid money financing would-be migrants' journeys from Africa.
Asserting he set out to provide a ''dispassionate'' expert view on how Africa's demographic explosion will affect Europe, Smith in his book has outlined a number of different scenarios he believes could emerge from the situation.
''The most optimistic'' of these '-- according to Le Figaro '-- is ''Eurafrica'', which would see mass migration create a 'welcoming', multicultural Europe, which ''would fully embrace being a 'mixed-race land of immigration and interbreeding'''.
This scenario would see the end of welfare states in Europe however, Smith said, pointing to the incompatibility of large-scale immigration and generous social programmes.
Another possible scenario, 'Fortress Europe', is one which involves ''a battle generally considered unwinnable, or even shameful'' but which Smith points to as the case which strongly ''has its reasons and its chances to succeed'', noting the effectiveness of EU deals with Libya and Turkey in stopping the influx.
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Anti-child abuse advocate arrested for trying to have sex with kids | Daily Mail Online
Thu, 28 Jun 2018 11:40
The head of a charity that campaigns against sexual violence has been arrested in New York for child pornography and allegedly trying to meet with children as young as two for sex.
Joel Davis, 22, is accused of trying to set up sexual encounters between himself and young children, as well as soliciting an undercover FBI agent to send sexually explicit videos of minors.
The New Yorker was arrested on Tuesday on child sex abuse and child pornography charges.
Davis is the chairman of the International Campaign to Stop Rape and Gender Violence in Conflict - an organization devoted to ending sexual violence.
Charges: Joel Davis, 22, is accused of trying to set up sexual encounters between himself and young children, as well as soliciting an undercover FBI agent to send sexually explicit videos of minors
Joel Davis is the chairman of the International Campaign to Stop Rape and Gender Violence in Conflict. He attended a Human Rights Campaign gala in New York in February 2017. He does not work for the gay rights charity
Prosecutors say despite his involvement in the organization, Davis exchanged text messages with undercover agents over the course of several weeks earlier this month.
Davis allegedly told the agents that he was sexually interested in children of all ages. He is accused of sending the agents sexually explicit photographs of infants and toddlers, including some of the children engaged in sex acts with adults.
The 22-year-old allegedly arranged to meet the nine-year-old daughter of one of the undercover agents and with the purported two-year-old daughter of the officer's girlfriend.
He allegedly went into detail in the text messages about what sexual activities he intended to engage in with the children.
Prosecutors say Davis repeatedly asked the undercover agent to take naked and sexually explicit pictures and videos of the children and to send them to him.
Following his arrest, Davis allegedly admitted to officers that he had abused a 13-year-old boy in the past and that he kept child porn images on his phone.
He's with her: Davis posted this picture after Hillary Clinton's election defeat, suggesting he had campaigned for the 2016 loser
Davis is the chairman of the International Campaign to Stop Rape and Gender Violence in Conflict - an organization devoted to ending sexual violence
'Having started an organization that pushed for the end of sexual violence, Davis displayed the highest degree of hypocrisy by his alleged attempts to sexually exploit multiple minors,' FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William F. Sweeney Jr. said.
'As if this wasn't repulsive enough, Davis allegedly possessed and distributed utterly explicit images of innocent infants and toddlers being sexually abused by adults.'
Davis faced Manhattan federal court on Tuesday charged with enticement of a minor to engage in sexual activity, attempted sexual exploitation of a minor, possession of child pornography and receipt and distribution of child pornography.
According to his LinkedIn profile, Davis has attended Oxford University, Columbia University and The Juilliard School.
US Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman described Davis' alleged actions as 'unfathomable' and 'sickening'.
'Davis started an organization devoted to stopping sexual violence, while allegedly engaged in the duplicitous behavior of sharing explicit images of infants engaged in sexual activity,' he said.
'Davis also allegedly solicited an undercover officer - whom he thought to be a willing participant '' to send sexually explicit videos of his nine-year-old daughter, and even to set up a sexual encounter between himself and a two-year-old.
'The conduct alleged against Joel Davis is as unfathomable as it is sickening, and as this case demonstrates, law enforcement will keep its watchful eye on the darkest corners of the internet to bring predators to justice.'
FBI: Clinton Campaign Official Arrested On Child Rape Charges; Feds Cashing in on Weiner Laptop Intel? '' True PunditTrue Pundit
Thu, 28 Jun 2018 11:38
Politics SecurityFBI: Clinton Campaign Official Arrested On Child Rape Charges; Feds Cashing in on Weiner Laptop Intel?The head of a charity that campaigns against sexual violence has been arrested in New York for child pornography and allegedly trying to meet with children as young as two for sex.
Joel Davis, 22, is accused of trying to set up sexual encounters between himself and young children, as well as soliciting an undercover FBI agent to send sexually explicit videos of minors.
The New Yorker was arrested on Tuesday on child sex abuse and child pornography charges.
Davis is the chairman of the International Campaign to Stop Rape and Gender Violence in Conflict '' an organization devoted to ending sexual violence.
Davis also reportedly worked for Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign.
Davis allegedly told the agents that he was sexually interested in children of all ages. He is accused of sending the agents sexually explicit photographs of infants and toddlers, including some of the children engaged in sex acts with adults.
The 22-year-old allegedly arranged to meet the nine-year-old daughter of one of the undercover agents and with the purported two-year-old daughter of the officer's girlfriend.
He allegedly went into detail in the text messages about what sexual activities he intended to engage in with the children.
Prosecutors say Davis repeatedly asked the undercover agent to take naked and sexually explicit pictures and videos of the children and to send them to him.
Following his arrest, Davis allegedly admitted to officers that he had abused a 13-year-old boy in the past and that he kept child porn images on his phone.
'Having started an organization that pushed for the end of sexual violence, Davis displayed the highest degree of hypocrisy by his alleged attempts to sexually exploit multiple minors,' FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William F. Sweeney Jr. said.
'As if this wasn't repulsive enough, Davis allegedly possessed and distributed utterly explicit images of innocent infants and toddlers being sexually abused by adults.'
Davis faced Manhattan federal court on Tuesday charged with enticement of a minor to engage in sexual activity, attempted sexual exploitation of a minor, possession of child pornography and receipt and distribution of child pornography.
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Ministry of Truthiness
Panorama-pand met raketwerper beschoten | Binnenland |
Thu, 28 Jun 2018 14:45
De redactie van Panorama zit in bedrijfspand One20, in het gebied rond bedrijventerrein Sloterdijk, waar ook andere bladen van uitgever Pijper Media zitten gevestigd, zoals Nieuwe Revu, Playboy en Marie Claire. Gisteren publiceerde Panorama een groot verhaal over de Mocro-maffia. De politie kan niet zeggen of dat iets met de aanval te maken heeft.
De schutter nam het gebouw rond 23.00 uur onder vuur. Daarna vonden agenten het antitankwapen en een gesneuvelde ruit. Later die nacht hebben arrestatieteams de verdachte aangehouden.
'We moeten doorgaan'Bij de aanval raakte niemand gewond. De politie doet nog onderzoek naar het incident en de motieven van de daders. Panorama heeft inmiddels gereageerd op de beschieting. 'žDe redactie is blij dat er een verdachte is aangehouden. Wij zijn erg benieuwd wat deze verdachte te melden heeft'', zo luidt een statement.
Een van de chefs zegt tegen De Telegraaf dat het 'speculeren' is of de aanslag verband houdt met het verhaal over de Mocro-maffia. ,,Dat weten we gewoon niet.''
'žHet enige wat wij van Panorama, en natuurlijk alle collega's van de andere bladen bij Pijper Media, nu kunnen doen, is zo goed als mogelijk doorgaan met ons werk'', zo besluit het weekblad.
Het antitankwapen dat later werd gevonden door de politie.
''¸ Olim Bajmat
Ook Nieuwe Revu-hoofdredacteur Jonathan Ursem stelt dat de journalisten weer aan het werk zijn. 'žDe schade binnen valt mee'', vertelt hij telefonisch. 'žVrijdag hebben we altijd een deadline. Het klinkt gek, maar we zitten weer 'gewoon' te werken, alsof er niets aan de hand is.''
Welk bedrijf precies het doelwit is geweest, kan door de politie nog niet met zekerheid worden gezegd. In het pand aan de Teleportboulevard zitten ook andere bedrijven. De politie wil nog niets kwijt over de identiteit van de verdachte, en weet nog niets over het motief.
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Politie: verdachte aanslag Panorama-gebouw is lid motorbende | Binnenland |
Thu, 28 Jun 2018 14:45
22 jun. 2018 in BINNENLAND
AMSTERDAM - De verdachte die in de nacht van donderdag op vrijdag is aangehouden voor de aanslag op van het pand in Amsterdam waar onder meer de redactie van Panorama is gevestigd, is lid van een motorbende. Het gaat om een 41-jarige man uit Woerden.
1 / 2
''¸ ANP
Dat meldt de politie. De 41-jarige man is de president van de Chapter Silencio, afdeling Woerden, van de Caloh Wagoh MC Main Triad. De website van die motorbende is inmiddels onbereikbaar.
Het motto van de 'non-profit-organisatie' is, zo schrijven ze op hun Facebook-pagina: 'The price off freedom is high.' Over de motorclub is relatief weinig bekend, behalve een rechtszaak tegen de Nijmeegse chapter rond wapenhandel.
''¸ ANP
Donderdagavond werd het bedrijfspand 'One20' bij Amsterdam Sloterdijk beschoten met een antitankwapen. In het pand zitten de bladen van uitgever Pijper Media gevestigd, met onder meer Nieuwe Revu, Playboy, Marie Claire en misdaadtijdschrift Panorama.
''¸ ANP
De schutter nam het gebouw rond 23.00 uur onder vuur. Daarna vonden agenten het antitankwapen en een gesneuvelde ruit. Later die nacht heeft een arrestatieteam de 41-jarige Woerdenaar aangehouden.
Journalistenvereniging NVJ spreekt van een 'een volgende stap in de aanvallen op de media'. 'žHet OM moet doorpakken. Journalisten in het misdaadmetier moeten ook hun werk kunnen doen. En als die wereld dat beantwoordt met antitankwapens, dan moet daar een scherp antwoord op komen'', vertelde algemeen secretaris Thomas Bruning tegen deze krant. 'žDit moet fors afgestraft worden.''
De hoofdredacteur van Panorama zei dat er geen signalen waren. 'žEr waren geen waarschuwingen of iets dergelijks waardoor we iets konden verwachten'', aldus Peter van de Kraats. 'žWe gaan gewoon door met ons werk. Maar we zullen wel nog beter overleggen over de verhalen die we publiceren.''
''¸ ANP
Bij de aanslag sneuvelde tevens een ruit bij toerismeschool Tio voor hbo/mbo. Omstanders reageerden vrijdag in de buurt van de geraakte gebouwen geschokt. De politie gaat verder met het onderzoek.
Dagelijks tijdens de lunch het laatste nieuws in je inbox?Ongeldig e-mailadres. Vul nogmaals in aub.
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22 jun. 2018 in BINNENLAND
Dagelijks tijdens de lunch het laatste nieuws in je inbox?Ongeldig e-mailadres. Vul nogmaals in aub.
Uitschrijven kan met 1 klik
world cup standings - Google Search
Wed, 27 Jun 2018 03:09
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Battery cars
Teslas may produce as much CO2 as gasoline powered cars '-- RT Business News
Tue, 26 Jun 2018 14:45
Touted by some as the planet's greenest vehicles, electric Teslas may be as bad for the environment as traditional petrol and diesel cars, the latest research reveals.
According to researchers at the UK-based climate data provider Engaged Tracking, the production of Tesla cars, as well as fossil fuel-powered plants used for generating electricity to charge the vehicles produce nearly the same amount of emissions that conventional engines do.
Read more
Engaged Tracking analysts used a different approach to studies that usually produce favorable results for electric vehicles. They explored the total emissions generated during the construction process of a Tesla Model S instead of counting how much CO2 is produced by the vehicle during its lifecycle. The astonishing results show that a Tesla is not cleaner to run than any other petrol car in Britain.
''The annual emissions of a UK car is 1.5 tons of carbon dioxide, based on an average of 7,800 miles a year,'' the research firm's chief analyst Jonathan Harris told The Sunday Times. ''Both the Tesla Model S vehicles we analyzed have the same emissions as an ordinary petrol car of 1.5 tons of CO2 per year.''
The researcher also compared Tesla Model S to the BMW i3, which is smaller and produces an annual emission equivalent of 1.3 tons of CO2, making it 15 per cent more efficient than the Tesla Model S.
According to Tesla, the comparison between the Model S and an average car was not fair, because the Tesla was much larger. The company said that the BMW i3 should be compared to its smaller car - the Model 3, while Model S should compete with such a vehicle as the Mercedes S-Class S500. Tesla claims Mercedes produces nearly 300 percent more emissions than its Model S.
''It makes no sense to compare Model S to the average annual emissions figure for cars in the UK, because that average includes a lot of smaller models that are dissimilar to Model S,'' the company said as quoted by the media. '''Any fair analysis shows that electric vehicles like Model S and Model 3 generate far less CO2 per mile than any comparable gas-powered car.''
For more stories on economy & finance visit RT's business section
Tesla Battery Ignited Twice After Fatal Florida Wreck, U.S. Investigators Say - WSJ
Wed, 27 Jun 2018 04:32
June 26, 2018 7:13 p.m. ETThe battery in a Tesla Inc. Model S car involved in a fatal crash in Florida last month reignited twice after firefighters extinguished the initial blaze that consumed the vehicle on impact, according to a preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board.
The report, released Tuesday, is part of the federal agency's examination of the fire in the electric car's lithium-ion battery and the emergency response to it. According to the report, the Tesla vehicle was traveling at 116 miles an hour seconds before it...
The battery in a Tesla Inc. Model S car involved in a fatal crash in Florida last month reignited twice after firefighters extinguished the initial blaze that consumed the vehicle on impact, according to a preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board.
The report, released Tuesday, is part of the federal agency's examination of the fire in the electric car's lithium-ion battery and the emergency response to it. According to the report, the Tesla vehicle was traveling at 116 miles an hour seconds before it lost control near a sharp turn where the speed limit was 30 mph and the advised speed was speed was 25 mph. Roadside warning signs include a flashing beacon.
The NTSB is examining several crashes involving Tesla vehicles, including a fatal crash in March near San Francisco that prompted questions about the safety of the company's Autopilot driver-assistance system. The NTSB's preliminary report on that incident, which was released this month, said that Autopilot had prompted the driver to grab the steering wheel more than 15 minutes before the collision, but apparently not in the moments before the crash.
The NTSB said when it initiated the investigation into the Florida crash that it didn't expect to look at Autopilot because it didn't seem that the system had been engaged.
The agency has been looking at how battery fires in electric vehicles can be particularly challenging to emergency responders because they tend to reignite.
In the Florida crash, occurred May 8 in Fort Lauderdale, the driver and front-seat passenger were killed after the Tesla sedan veered off the roadway and into a concrete wall, bursting into flames, local police said. A third passenger was ejected from the car and taken to the hospital.
A Tesla representative declined to comment Tuesday. The company had said that it was working with local authorities and noted that high-speed collisions can result in fire ''regardless of the type of car.''
The NTSB, which isn't the auto-industry regulator but has significant influence over transportation safety, has yet to determine a likely cause of the crash.
According to witnesses, the driver crossed into the left lane to pass another vehicle and lost control as he tried to move back into the right lane.
The car struck a wall in front of a house twice before stopping and bursting into flames, according to the accident report.
'--Tim Higgins contributed to this article.
Write to Maria Armental at
Prestigious Laura Ingalls Wilder Award Renamed Over Racial Insensitivity - The New York Times
Wed, 27 Jun 2018 22:42
The author Laura Ingalls Wilder, at 17. Credit Bettmann, via Getty Images The American Library Association is dropping Laura Ingalls Wilder's name from a prestigious children's literature award in order to distance the honor from what it described as culturally insensitive portrayals in her books.
The decision was made out of a desire to reconcile the award with the organization's values of ''inclusiveness, integrity and respect,'' representatives of the association said in a statement on Monday. The award is given out by its children's division.
''Wilder's books are a product of her life experiences and perspective as a settler in America's 1800s,'' the association's president, Jim Neal, and the president of the children's division, Nina Lindsay, said in the statement. ''Her works reflect dated cultural attitudes toward Indigenous people and people of color that contradict modern acceptance, celebration, and understanding of diverse communities.''
Ms. Wilder's books, particularly the ''Little House'' series based on her childhood in a settler family, have remained popular since they were first published in the 1930s and 1940s. A hit television show based on the series, ''Little House on the Prairie,'' helped to reignite interest and usher in a new generation of fans in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
The name change was a result of months of consideration and was approved over the weekend by the board of the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the library association. The honor, formerly the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, is now named the Children's Literature Legacy Award.
The award, distributed to just 23 people over more than six decades, recognizes authors and illustrators whose books have created a lasting contribution to children's literature.
Wilder herself received the first award in 1954, three years before her death in 1957. It was initially distributed every five years, but its frequency has steadily increased. Since 2016, it has been given annually.
Other winners include the authors Beverly Cleary; Theodor S. Geisel, also known as Dr. Seuss; and E. B. White. This year's winner, announced in February, was Jacqueline Woodson, the author of ''Brown Girl Dreaming'' and other books.
Despite their popularity, Ms. Wilder's books contain jarringly prejudicial portrayals of Native Americans and African Americans.
In the 1935 book ''Little House on the Prairie,'' for example, multiple characters espoused versions of the view that ''the only good Indian was a dead Indian.'' In one scene, a character describes Native Americans as ''wild animals'' undeserving of the land they lived on.
''Little Town on the Prairie,'' published in 1941, included a description of a minstrel show with ''five black-faced men in raggedy-taggedy uniforms'' alongside a jolting illustration of the scene.
''There's this subtle but very clear fear generated throughout the books,'' said Debbie Reese, a scholar whose writing and research focus on portrayals of American Indians in children's literature.
Dr. Reese, who belongs to the Nambe Pueblo tribe in New Mexico, said that the books could be used to educate high school or college students, but were inappropriate for young children.
''People are trying to use them and say, 'Well, we can explain them,' and I say: 'O.K., you're trying to explain racism to white people. Good for those white kids,''' she said. ''But what about the Native and the black kids in the classroom who have to bear with the moment when they're being denigrated for the benefit of the white kids?''
The American Library Association said that the name change was aimed only at aligning the award with its values, not at limiting access to Wilder's books.
''Updating the award's name should not be construed as censorship, as we are not demanding that anyone stop reading Wilder's books, talking about them, or making them available to children,'' Mr. Neal and Ms. Lindsay said in the statement. ''We hope adults think critically about Wilder's books and the discussions that can take place around them.''
In recommending that the organization move away from using Wilder's name for the award, a task force for the children's division noted last month that the books had been both ''deeply meaningful'' to some readers and ''deeply painful'' to others.
''Both of these things are true,'' it said in a written recommendation, adding that such a move would not demand ''that anyone change their personal relationship with or feelings about Wilder's books.''
The task force also said that the books, and Wilder herself, were products of her era and reflected the mostly mainstream perspective of a white woman at the time.
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Agenda 2030
CO2 shortage: Tesco-owned Booker restricts beer sales - BBC News
Wed, 27 Jun 2018 02:24
Image copyright Getty Images Food wholesaler Booker is rationing beer and cider because of a shortage of CO2 used in carbonated drinks.
The Tesco-owned retailer, which is used by bars, restaurants and traders, is capping customers to 10 cases of beer, and five of cider or soft drinks.
It is more evidence that a scarcity of CO2 is hurting the food and drink sectors, and comes after Heineken and Coca-Cola faced disruption.
Scotland's biggest abattoir has halted operations because of the gas shortage.
Quality Pork Limited (QPL), at Brechin, which puts 6,000 pigs a week through its production line, stopped operations on Tuesday afternoon because it ran out of CO2 used to stun the animals before slaughter.
QPL plans to send about 1,000 pigs to another plant near Manchester this week, but operators say other abattoirs also face a carbon dioxide shortage.
Factory closureBooker said in a statement: "Due to the international shortage of CO2, we are experiencing some supply issues on soft drinks and beer.
"We are currently working hard with our suppliers to minimise the impact for our customers and cannot comment further at this stage."
CO2 producers in the UK and mainland Europe have scaled back operations for maintenance, causing a shortage of the gas, whose many uses include improving the shelf life of packaged food and creating dry ice to keep products cool during transport.
Heineken said its John Smith's Extra Smooth and Amstel brands had been hit, while Coca-Cola Great Britain said production had been interrupted until fresh CO2 supplies arrived.
"We are currently responding to an industry-wide issue that is impacting the supply of CO2 in the UK. Our focus is on limiting the effect this may have on the availability of our products," Coca-Cola said.
Small UK bottling firms have also been hit. In the West Midlands, Holden's, which has 80 customers, shut down last Friday until further notice. "I'm left with people sitting around doing nothing," said operations director Mark Hammond.
Supermarket Morrisons said some frozen products had been affected by the shortage, and it aimed to resume selling its full online range "as soon as possible".
PrioritiesThe food and drink industry hopes that supplies will begin returning to normal in early July, although trade bodies have complained about a lack of communication from CO2 suppliers.
Andy McGowan, chief executive of Scottish Pig Producers, a co-operative that runs the Brechin abattoir in collaboration with QPL, said he did not know when they would get a fresh CO2 delivery from their supplier.
"That's the frustrating thing - they're not telling us anything. We're pretty dismayed. The top priority is animal welfare - we will not have ourselves in a situation where the welfare is suffering," he said.
Poultry slaughterhouses have already called for priority supplies of dwindling CO2 stocks, saying the current shortage could have a "potentially huge effect" on British food production.
But that call for the food industry to be given priority has raised fears among drinks firms and smaller businesses that they will be at the back of the queue when gas supplies start to return to normal.
Fentanyl-Laced Flyers Placed on Texas Police Windshields -- One Deputy Exposed
Wed, 27 Jun 2018 11:47
A sergeant in the Harris County Sheriff's Office in Houston was treated for exposure to fentanyl after he touched a flyer left on the windshield of his car.Officials with the Harris County Sheriff's Office said someone placed flyers on the windshields of patrol cars parked outside the sheriff's office recruiting center in downtown Houston, the Houston Chronicle reported.
Flyer left on windshield of Harris County Sheriff's Office sergeant tested positive for the presence of fentanyl. (Photo: Harris County Sheriff's Office)
A sheriff's office sergeant was treated for exposure to the drug which can be fatal, even in small doses, officials stated. The flyers tested positive for the presence of fentanyl.
Investigators are asking anyone who may have seen someone distributing the flyers or who may have seen them elsewhere to contact police immediately.
Officials did not release the name of the sergeant or the sergeant's condition.
This is a developing story and more information will be provided when it becomes available.
Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas. He is a founding member of the Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX, GAB, and Facebook.
War on Weed
Marijuana drug wins FDA approval'--a first that may change federal regulations '' Ars Technica
Tue, 26 Jun 2018 12:35
Enlarge / A marijuana leaf.
Marijuana now has an accepted medical use.
The US Food and Drug Administration announced today, Monday June 25, the approval of the country's first marijuana-based prescription medication. The drug is called Epidiolex and is a plant-derived oral solution of cannabidiol (CBD)'--a chemical component of marijuana that does not cause intoxication or a euphoric ''high.'' The FDA approved it for use in patients aged two and older who suffer from rare and severe forms of epilepsies known as Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome, which can develop early in childhood. Epidiolex's approval also marks the first time the FDA has approved a drug to treat Dravet syndrome.
With the historic approval, the London-based company behind the drug, GW Pharmaceuticals plc, is expecting another consequential decision in the coming weeks: getting the US Drug Enforcement Administration to reclassify CBD. The move could open the doors to other marijuana-derived medications as well as ease heavy restrictions on marijuana-related research.
Currently, CBD'--as with other marijuana components'--is classified as a Schedule I drug by the DEA. Schedule I drugs include heroin and LSD as well as marijuana. They're defined as substances with high abuse potential and ''no currently accepted medical use.'' As such, Schedule I drugs are strictly regulated, and use of them'--including medical use'--is against federal law. GW won't be able to market Epidiolex until the DEA reclassifies CBD.
But the agency is expected to do just that. The FDA noted in its announcement today that it informs and advises the DEA about scheduled substances. In April, an expert advisory panel for the FDA voted unanimously to recommend Epidiolex's approval and determined that ''CBD has a negligible abuse potential.''
The DEA did not immediately respond to Ars' request for comment. But GW said it expects that the DEA will reschedule CBD within 90 days.
In a statement, GW CEO Justin Gover said:
Today's approval of Epidiolex is a historic milestone, offering patients and their families the first and only FDA-approved CBD medicine to treat two severe, childhood-onset epilepsies... These patients deserve and will soon have access to a cannabinoid medicine that has been thoroughly studied in clinical trials, manufactured to assure quality and consistency, and available by prescription under a physician's care.
Patients, parents of children suffering from severe epilepsy, and some researchers have long suspected CBD's potential to treat the devastating seizure disorders. In some cases, patients have moved to states that have legalized medical marijuana in order to have access to the drug. But CBD products available in retail stores can have unreliable concentrations or poor quality controls. A study at the end of last year found that nearly 70 percent of CBD products sold online were mislabeled.
''Controlled clinical trials testing the safety and efficacy of a drug, along with careful review through the FDA's drug approval process, is the most appropriate way to bring marijuana-derived treatments to patients,'' FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, said in a statement today.
He went on:
We'll continue to support rigorous scientific research on the potential medical uses of marijuana-derived products and work with product developers who are interested in bringing patients safe and effective, high-quality products. But, at the same time, we are prepared to take action when we see the illegal marketing of CBD-containing products with serious, unproven medical claims. Marketing unapproved products, with uncertain dosages and formulations, can keep patients from accessing appropriate, recognized therapies to treat serious and even fatal diseases.
Today's approval ''serves as a reminder that advancing sound development programs that properly evaluate active ingredients contained in marijuana can lead to important medical therapies. And the FDA is committed to this kind of careful scientific research and drug development,'' Gottlieb concluded.
In making the determination to approve Epidiolex, the FDA reviewed data from three high-quality clinical trials showing CBD reduced seizure frequency over placebo in more than 500 patients with one of the two intractable and debilitating forms of epilepsy.
The FDA noted that the most common side effects from Epidiolex were sleepiness, sedation and lethargy, elevated liver enzymes, decreased appetite, diarrhea, rash, fatigue, malaise and weakness, insomnia, sleep disorder and poor quality sleep, and infections.
VIDEO - Inside the bizarre world of the real life 'vampire king and queen' who have fangs, drink blood and are polyamorous (but hate Twilight)
Thu, 28 Jun 2018 15:31
THEY love drinking blood, hate sunshine - and are very kinky.
Meet the young married couple who by night transform into the ''vampire king and queen of Austin, Texas'', where they are the appointed leaders of a group of 60 self-professed vampires.
John Chapple for Sun Online
Daley and Logan South are the king and queen of the Vampire Court of AustinEvery month the Vampire Court of Austin meets at their private members club - a fetish venue about 15 minutes from central Austin where they hold an official court meeting before relaxing with a drink or a little BDSM on their sex floor.
Married couple Logan and Daley South founded the court around six years ago to provide a ''safe haven'' for all the city's ''awakened vampires'' and ''otherkin'' which includes ''werewolves, fairies and people who identify with animal spirits''.
They advise members - who include security guards, property managers, ex-military and actors - on how to drink blood safely and shield themselves from ''psychic attacks''.
These psychic attacks are launched by so-called ''Energy Vampires'' who feed off people's positive energy in order to boost their own.
It is said you can tell if you're suffering an attack by the way you feel when you're around them - sometimes a sudden nausea or stomach ache or stabbing pains around the back, chest and shoulders.
But these aren't just a group of role players - the members of the court truly believe that if they do not feed - or they spend too long in the sun - they will become ill or even die.
And Austin's vampires are not alone - one census estimated there were 50,000 ''vampires'' in the US at last count.
John Chapple for Sun Online
Logan is also a "fang smith" and makes realistic fangs for the groupJohn Chapple for Sun Online
Daley "awoke" as a vampire 15 years agoThere are three main types of vampire, Queen Daley explains, identified by their main source of feeding - either blood, sex or ''energy''.
Daley, 30, told Sun Online: ''You've got vampires who feed from blood - sanguine vampires - you've got vampires that feed directly from energy - psychic vampires - and you've also got vampires who feed sexually, not just from sex acts, but from the energy of arousal.
''You've also got vampires who feed from all three.
''I awakened as a sanguinary blood feeder 15 years ago but over the years I've learned to feed from other methods as well.
''So now I only really need to feed from blood about once a month and the rest of the time I feed from ambient energy in the room or from a crowd or from a donor I feel sexual energy from.
"If you stop feeding for extended period of time, you're probably going to get sick.
"I actually know someone who had a heart condition and she stopped feeding for an extended period of time and they told her she was going to die.
"She started feeding again and her heart condition disappeared."
John Chapple for Sun Online
Brian Ryder, 50, says he has known he was a "vampire" all his lifeJohn Chapple for Sun Online
Many of the court members wear fangs and brightly coloured contact lensesHusband Logan says the court's preferred method of blood drinking is to use a lancet to prick the donor's finger - not to "cut or slice'' people.
''A lancet is a simple tool typically used by diabetics,'' he explained. ''You pull the end, you place it on the finger, you press a button and it creates a tiny little pinprick just right on the end of the finger, creating just enough blood flow for any vampire to get exactly what they need.
''I mean, sometimes you might have to do it two, three times, but it's very simple, very contained and it heals up within a day.
''There's not a lot of exposure or risk. You don't want to go cutting into people with knives or anything unless you were a doctor'...I wouldn't go cutting into to places where you can have veins and arteries that could be opened and then have someone bleed out just because you thought you were going to make a tiny nick in an area that you shouldn't have.
''And I've heard horror stories of people doing that kind of thing. And I think it's very important that we, that we educate people on how to do that very safely. There's no reason to go cut and slice and when you could just have a tiny little pinprick on the fingertip.''
John Chapple for Sun Online
Logan with his wife Daley (right) and girlfriend Ilona (left)John Chapple for Sun Online
Daley and Logan have an open and polyamorous relationshipJohn Chapple for Sun Online
Ilona is also Logan's submissiveLogan and Daley live on a ranch in Austin with their three wolf dogs, horses, goats - and Logan's girlfriend, a fellow vampire called Ilona Lucille Westerna, who is also his blood donor.
The couple has always had an open relationship - with Daley having her own partners too - saying they broke down ''any notions of jealousy early on''.
Logan describes his wife as his ''twin flame'' and his girlfriend as his ''soul mate''.
''From the moment that we got together we decided to have an open relationship and then shortly after that we decided to have a polyamorous relationship, which meant that not only could we play with other partners, but we could also love other people and that would be perfectly fine,'' he said.
''We decided to break down any potential notions of jealousy early on and realise that the most important thing was that both of us were happy, both of us were fulfilled and we realised that we could be more fulfilled by having other people in our lives, both sexually and in a relationship.
''Primarily the fulfilment was found from in my particular case having my girlfriend Ilona and the beauty that she brought into my life has definitely kind of filled my heart.''
John Chapple for Sun Online
Group members took part in an "energy shielding" workshopSo what is a typical day like for a polyamorous Texan vampire king?
Logan says he wakes up at about 6pm - just as the sun is about to set.
"I'll eat breakfast and then I'll go out and I'll check on my horses, goats and my wolves.
"Then I'll do all the different things that I have to do for my business. I mostly work online or in a physical nightclub location or my fetish club vamp here.
"If it's a weekend or an event night, I'll go out usually in a black tailored three piece suit and then I'll go out and I'll have a good time and I'll make sure all my friends are having a good time.
"If there's no event I'll go off with Daley and we'll go to lunch, watch some movie or I'll go off with a Ilona and we'll play some video games. We're big comic book nerds and big video game nerds.
"Occasionally we'll go out on our own on a night when we're feeling a little frisky - maybe we'll go find some "prey" as it were - whether that's just some cute young thing, male or female - any which way.
"We like travelling a lot - we go to Denver, we got to New Orleans, LA, Hawaii, Romania.
"To be honest my day is probably just like anybody else's except for sometimes I might be having a little more fun than them."
John Chapple for Sun Online
Andrea Tolan, 32, says she is a "psychic vampire"John Chapple for Sun Online
Emily Walker , 30, is the queen of a similar vampire court in Columbus, GeorgiaSun Online was granted exclusive access to June's meeting where a group of around 20 to 30 vampires - many wearing specially made fangs and brightly coloured contact lenses - gathered to greet the king and queen.
Once inside the group took part in an ''energy shielding workshop'' where they learned how to protect themselves from ''psychic attacks''.
They then cheered as one member, Tempest was named as the new ''sheriff'' of the Vampire Court of Austin vowing to put ''her own needs second to those of the court''.
The court then talked about their upcoming charity and community work - of which the court is very proud - including blood drives, feeding the homeless and taking part in the upcoming Pride parade.
''We do a lot of community outreach for the Austin community,'' Daley explained.
''A lot of that is to not only help the community, but it also removes the negative stigma that often surrounds vampire organisations, if they see a bunch of vampires out helping with children's hospitals, blood drives, things like that, then it gives people a more open mind as to what, who we are and what we're doing.''
John Chapple for Sun Online
Mikayla Avery, 34, has been a "vampire" for around 10 yearsJohn Chapple for Sun Online
Anastacia Vicars, 24, is a photographer and apprentice "fang smith"Daley says there are lots of misconceptions about the vampire community - which she is keen to dispel.
She says people cannot be ''turned'' into a vampire, they do have a reflection, many can eat garlic - but most are very sensitive to sunlight and prefer to be nocturnal.
''I would say the biggest misconception that we come into contact with a lot is the idea of turning,'' she said.
''You cannot be turned into a vampire. You are born a vampire and awakened later in life. It's not something that you can just turn someone else into.
''As far as garlic, I've heard a lot of different theories. I personally love garlic I think it's great, it's good for you, it's healthy but I know a lot of vampires who have dietary issues and garlic upsets their stomach.
''Whether or not that's related to them being a vampire, I wouldn't be able to say, but I have seen it quite a lot. It seems to be a half and half deal.
''Vampirism is not evil. It's not a religion. It's not something that you worship or, you know, decide to follow that path it's just who you are.
John Chapple for Sun Online
Logan and Daley are the king and queen of the court and they also have a sheriffJohn Chapple for Sun Online
Brian with fellow court member ex-service man Shadow Scott, 41, and actor Prince Day, 31''You can obviously pick whatever religion you want, but it's not an evil is not an evil thing. It's not, you know, we're not going to walk into a church and burst into flame.
''A lot of us are Christian, lot of us are Catholic. There's all sorts of faiths.
''Thank God we can see ourselves in a mirror because I don't know how I would've gotten ready today - that would have been terrible.
''We don't burst into flame the sunlight, but it can make us very ill, very nauseous. A lot of people will actually spike a fever, tremors pass out, headaches, things like that are very common.
''A lot of us are very nocturnal because of that'... for those of us that have daytime jobs, that can be kind of difficult and often times those vampires have to feed more more often or from a more intense energy sources to keep themselves healthy.
''A lot of us have increased immune systems and increased healing abilities. I can heal a tattoo in five days where the normal healing time is two weeks, but we're not going to live forever.
''I may live longer than the average person, assuming I don't get hit by a car, you know, as far as that goes, the only immortality that we believe in is what you leave behind.''
GONE GIRL Brit girl, 5, 'abducted by woman from Thomas Cook kids club in Turkey'
TRAGIC YOUNG FATHER Dad, 21, hanged himself after being banned from seeing his son
WATER CRISIS Brits told to shower in just 4 MINUTES as Met Office warns of driest ever June
HOLIDAY MELTDOWN How Europe could be hit with 38C heatwaves, summer storms & wildfires
END WITH A BANG Heatwave to end this weekend as THUNDERSTORMS return in time for Wimbledon
SCHOOL STAB PLEA Boy, 16, admits knifing girl, 15, as she queued to buy school dinner
But Logan's love for all things vampire doesn't stretch to popular teen vampire movie Twilight.
''I would say I detest Twilight on a cellular level," he said. "I absolutely abhor it I think it is a disgusting film that glorifies an abusive stalker and does not in any way attribute itself to anything the vampires are - either in reality - or in folklore and legend.
''It is kind of a farcical version of vampires that I don't appreciate.''
VIDEO - I'd go to the moon, but we don't have that technology anymore - NASA Astronaut Don Pettit - YouTube
Thu, 28 Jun 2018 15:15
VIDEO - War In Space - The Next Battlefield - CNN - YouTube
Thu, 28 Jun 2018 15:00
VIDEO - Hungarian foreign minister challenged on migration policy - BBC Newsnight - YouTube
Thu, 28 Jun 2018 14:48
VIDEO - We Don't Need No Immigration - (Brick in the Wall) - Secret Agent Paul - YouTube
Thu, 28 Jun 2018 14:40
VIDEO - This woman flew across the world just for a game of tag | Your Morning - YouTube
Thu, 28 Jun 2018 14:37
VIDEO - Clinton: Trump Presidency A Consequence of 'White supremacist' Putin's Authoritarianism - YouTube
Thu, 28 Jun 2018 14:27
VIDEO - Rob Reiner: What We're Doing To Immigrants In U.S. Is Inhuman | AM Joy | MSNBC - YouTube
Thu, 28 Jun 2018 14:11
VIDEO - Montage: Media Turning Trump Voters into Public Enemy No. 1 :: Grabien News
Thu, 28 Jun 2018 13:56
Montage: Media Turning Trump Voters into Public Enemy No. 1
'If you vote for Trump, then you, the voter, you, not Donald Trump, are standing at the border, like Nazis'
When President Trump tweeted ''The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @NBCNews, @ABC, @CBS, @CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People!'' the media quickly went ballistic. Wolf Blitzer, speaking on behalf of CNN, replied: ''A lot of his supporters believe that we are the enemy of the American people, and that is really an awful situation. We are not the enemy of the American people. We love the American people.''
The media loves the American people?
The media may love some Americans, but certainly not Trump voters. How else to explain the increasing frequency with which Republicans, and Trump voters specifically, are described on air as racist, Nazis, and undeserving of common courtesy (such as eating a dinner without being harassed)?
During the most recent controversy over family separation at the border, CNN and MSNBC have become a platform such hyperbolic attacks. And while these criticisms often come from guests on these programs, an anchor has yet to step in to try and temper the rhetoric.
MSNBC's Donny Deutsch said Trump supporters are the "bad guy" in America and are akin to Nazis.
"If we are working towards November, we can no longer say Trump's the bad guy," Deutsch said during a recent appearance on Morning Joe. "If you vote for Trump, you're the bad guy. If you vote for Trump, you are ripping children from parents' arms."
He continued: "If you vote for Trump, then you, the voter, you, not Donald Trump, are standing at the border, like Nazis going, 'You here, you here.' I think we now have to flip it and it's a given, the evilness of Donald Trump. But if you vote, you can no longer separate yourself. You can't say, 'Well, he's okay, but ...' And I think that gymnastics and that jiu-jitsu has to happen.''
When news hit that some elderly Americans inadvertently shared a Facebook meme originally created in Russia, CNN tracked down one such senior citizen and harangued her on national TV. CNN likewise threatened to "dox" or publish the address, of another Trump supporter who had created a meme mocking CNN.
"All" Trump supporters are racist, CNN contributor Michaela Angela Davis, recently said: "Tens of millions of people voted for him after he showed his cards for years." When the anchor, John Berman, asked her to clarify if she's calling all Trump voters racist, she replied, "Yes, yes." Labeling almost half the country bigoted did not earn her a rebuke from the hosts or other panelist.
Filmmaker and frequent MSNBC guest Michael Moore went further, likening Trump voters to accomplices to rape. "If you hold down the woman while the rapist is raping her, and you didn't rape her '-- are you a rapist?"
"Anybody who enables, anybody who votes for and supports a racist is a racist," Moore added. "You are culpable, white America, I'm sorry."
Frequent MSNBC guest and Hollywood filmmaker Rob Reiner said "those people who are supporting" America's immigration policy are "racist '-- PERIOD!"
The frequent media invocations of "racism" and "Nazi" to describe conservatives and Republicans is leading some to worry that the media is needlessly stoking division in America, perhaps risking increased episodes of harassment and violence.
When the Virginia restaurant, The Red Hen, on Saturday kicked out Sarah Huckabee Sanders and her family due to her affiliation with the Trump Administration, some in the media defended the provocative act. CNN's Symone Sanders, for example, endorsed the Red Hen's actions and said people "calling for civility need to check their privilege."
"I believe movements and people talking and speaking up for things, whether we're talking about the civil rights movement, whatever else," Sanders continued, "those movements should be nonviolent but not nonconfrontational."
MSNBC contributor Zerlina Maxwell likewise endorsed refusing service to conservatives.
"These policies that this administration is putting forth are intentionally cruel," she said Monday. "They are racist. It is our job as citizens to speak out against that. Now, does that mean that we are going to be violent? No. But does that mean that Sarah Sanders can have a nice quiet dinner with her family when she is taking our tax dollars to implement this policy? I don't think so.''RELATED:
'-- Obeidallah: Red Hen Kicking out Sanders an Example of 'Going High' When Trump Goes Low
'-- 'Morning Joe' Mocks Trump over His Dislike of Mosquitoes with Montage: 'He's Scared to Death of Mosquitoes'
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'-- Maxine Waters Endorses Sarah Sanders Incident: 'There's Going To Be Ongoing Protests'
VIDEO - The Courage to Change | Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez - YouTube
Thu, 28 Jun 2018 13:27
VIDEO - Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: Twitter fights with Trump don't move the nation forward | TheHill
Thu, 28 Jun 2018 12:39
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the political newcomer who vanquished a top-ranking House Democrat in a New York primary, said Wednesday that "getting into Twitter fights" with President Trump Donald John TrumpDem Senator: Trump's next Supreme Court nominee would overturn Roe v. Wade Trump: My supporters should be called the 'super elite' Trump: Heitkamp will be 'told' to vote against any nominee to replace Kennedy MORE will ultimately fail to move the country forward.
In an interview on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," Ocasio-Cortez said she wants to focus her campaign on rebutting the president's policies rather than picking personal fights with him.
"What we need to do is lay out a plan and a vision that people can believe in, and getting into Twitter fights with the president is not exactly, I think, where we're going to find progress as a nation," she said.
Ocasio-Cortez defeated Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.), the chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, in a primary on Tuesday night. Crowley's loss marked the most significant upset for a Democratic incumbent in more than a decade.
Crowley, who was considered a possible successor to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi Nancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiCrowley stunner sets off new scramble among House Dems Progressives' wins highlight divide in Democratic Party Overnight Defense: VA pick breezes through confirmation hearing | House votes to move on defense bill negotiations | Senate bill would set 'stringent' oversight on North Korea talks MORE (D-Calif.), had not faced a primary challenger since 2004.
But Ocasio-Cortez, a 28-year-old former organizer for Sen. Bernie Sanders Bernard (Bernie) SandersOvernight Health Care: Anti-abortion groups see chance to overturn Roe v. Wade with Kennedy retirement | HHS watchdog to probe detention center conditions | VA pick vows to oppose privatization Crowley stunner sets off new scramble among House Dems Progressives' wins highlight divide in Democratic Party MORE 's (I-Vt.) 2016 presidential campaign, focused her campaign on a call for generational change in Washington. Ultimately, she emerged with more than 57 percent of the vote on Tuesday.
Ocasio-Cortez has said that Democrats should not be afraid to take on the Trump administration. But she also said on Wednesday that those criticisms should be based more on policy than personal conflicts.
VIDEO - Democrats Melt Down Over Supreme Court Vacancy | Zero Hedge
Thu, 28 Jun 2018 12:31
For a CIA "General", you really suck at investigating! I never lost my job, I have not been without a job in over 35 years.
If you were really CIA, you would know that!
I could go on, but it's obvious your just making it up, you have no inside information. At best, your a troll searching Google, nothing more.
"we're in a multidimensional killing field, we're important to control. I can show you every where they went they killed the humans off. They're the most sophisticated killing species in the history of mankind. If someone exposes them, they will counter, they have every aspect of the human brain wired and under control.....
....So why aren't they eating us now, they're eating us by destroying us to prepare us for harvest to their god, a snake. This species is conditioned to kill us, from 100,000's of years of killing us. They evolved between the end of the reptile era and the human era, they were first, and they ate us."
Is this the group you starved millions for, A Snake God? Is this who you pray for a nuclear war to, a snake?
You say these Snake people are, "the most sophisticated killing species in the history of mankind."
And you say you are, the most deadly, the most lethal weapon ever devised in the history of mankind.
Are you talking about yourself, are you a worshiper of this Snake god?
"To be totally accurate and in your face, I am a CIA killing machine. A programmed weapon. If you know what MK ULTRA means, then you would be able to understand a little."
"Once I caused the death of over 3 million people. They starved to death."
"I am not an experiment, I am an operational model."
You've admitted yourself your a loser who was brain washed by the CIA for decades. It took you 40 years to realize killing for the CIA was evil, that you were working for Satan?
You make unsubstantiated claims about me, with NOTHING to back it up.
I've never been a tool of the MIC, like you.
I've never killed for the Neocon and Zionists. like you.
I've never STARVED MILLIONS OF PEOPLE, for Satan, like you boast.
"I have a CIA modified brain for mind warfare and was trained in a technology, that I didn't want to say because it's CIA proprietary technology."
"I'm a CIA mind warfare soldier, my program code name is MK ULTRA. Not one of the self proclaimed MK ULTRA can take a polygraph on the issue of even being an MK ULTRA never mind sophisticated mind warfare operations, I can. period."
"I am an MK ULTRA mind warfare weapon, I was designed by Central Intelligence from 1963 to 1969, I am the most deadly, the most lethal weapon ever devised in the history of mankind. I proved it too many times all over the world."
"I am good at what I do. I am a CIA soldier trained by the CIA WHEN I WAS A CHILD."
"I'm a CIA general by the way."
"I was a USAF Electronic Warfare Staff Sergeant. My rank runs the show in the Air Force."
"From my first day of written instruction....
"You are the highest ranking officer of the United States. You out rank all presidents, all directors of Central Intelligence and all generals. You are to prevent a fifth column take over of the United States. In the event of a fifth column take over you are to destroy the United States."
....I had to memorize this and about five to seven pages each week."
"One can not be an MK ULTRA child if one has one supposed event and call it CIA, IT TOOK SIX YEARS TO TRAIN ME. From 6 to 12 years old, elementary school."
"to use a child for such a program was justified in their minds. They treated me with great honor, and respect, I was not abused in anyway. They even made me a CIA general when I was 8 years old."
You kneel before your master, a Snake, and pray for the death of millions, then you call me sick? LMAO!
Your a sick sick man!
VIDEO - YouTube - Mitch McConnell on NUCLEAR Option - You'll Regret This
Thu, 28 Jun 2018 12:22
VIDEO - Illegal Immigrant Song, by The Cigar Wrappers - YouTube
Thu, 28 Jun 2018 12:08
VIDEO - Reality Winner, former NSA contractor accused of leaking documents, pleads guilty | Fox News
Thu, 28 Jun 2018 12:03
Reality Winner, the former National Security Agency contractor accused of leaking classified information to journalists, pleaded guilty Tuesday as part of a deal with prosecutors.
Winner, 26, pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful retention and dissemination of national defense information.
Her plea agreement, signed June 19, says she's facing a possible sentence of 63 months in jail and three years of supervised release. No date has been set yet for a sentencing hearing.
Winner was arrested in June 2017 for allegedly feeding a classified report with information on Russia's involvement in the 2016 presidential election to a news outlet.
''I misused my clearance to print out the report'...I did so of my own free will,'' Winner said during Tuesday's court hearing.
Winner was charged, under the Espionage Act, with removing classified material from a government facility and leaking it. According to court documents, Winner snuck the document out of a secure NSA facility by folding it and putting it in her pantyhose.
During Tuesday's hearing, the judge asked Winner questions about her mental state. Winner disclosed she is taking antidepressant Zoloft and battling an eating disorder as well as depression.
She has been held at the Lincoln County Jail near Augusta, Ga.
Court documents also said Winner complained to her bosses that Fox News was playing in her office '' suggesting Al Jazeera would have been a more appropriate choice.
"I've filed formal complaints about them having Fox News on,'' she told FBI agents. '''... Uh, at least, for God's sake put Al Jazeera on, or a slideshow with people's pets. I've tried everything to get that changed."
She was working as a contractor with a Top Secret security clearance with Pluribus International Corporation at a federal facility in Georgia when, according to the Justice Department, she printed out a sheet of paper with classified information.
While the DOJ didn't specify which outlet reported the secret information, Winner's charges were announced just as The Intercept published details of a NSA report on Russian hacking efforts.
The report seemingly contained information detailing how Russian hackers got into a U.S. voting software supplier and sent so-called "spear-phishing" emails to more than 100 local election officials ahead of the 2016 election.
Fox News' Terace Garnier and Nicole Darrah and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
VIDEO - Harris Co. Sheriff's sergeant recovering after touching Fentanyl-tainted flyers |
Thu, 28 Jun 2018 12:03
Wednesday, June 27, 2018 07:15AM
HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) --
A Harris County Sheriff's deputy is recovering after being exposed to a Fentanyl-laced flyer. These flyers were found on several patrol vehicles outside the station on Lockwood.
"She picked it up and didn't think anything of it, but as she drove to her destination she began feeling a little bit lightheaded and having a few other symptoms," said Sheriff Ed Gonzalez.
So who distributed these flyers, and why?
It appears the origin of the flyers came from, a website that delves into conspiracy theories and claims that the government is targeting and controlling individuals psychologically through microwave beams.
One link on the website even allows anyone to download the same exact flyer that was found all over the deputy vehicles.
URGENT: Flyers placed on the windshields of some #HCSO vehicles this afternoon at 601 Lockwood have tested positive for the opiod Fentanyl. One sergeant who touched a flyer is receiving medical treatment. Call authorities if you see these flyers and DO NOT TOUCH. #hounews #lesm
'-- HCSOTexas (@HCSOTexas) June 26, 2018
The tough part for investigators is that it could have been anyone who printed and passed out these flyers. The only clues on the flyers themselves may be fingerprints.
"Someone could have died. The fact it is now being used against officers is a game-changer," said Harris Co. Pct. 1 Constable Alan Rosen.
Constable Rosen and several other local law enforcement agencies are trying to stay on top of the game by arming officers with Narcan, an emergency treatment used for opioid overdoses.
"We want to arm our officers with Narcan so it can be there in the event that they get accidentally exposed. This is just part of what an officer has to encounter these days," added Rosen.
The encounter with Fentanyl can be deadly even if found on a flyer and absorbed through the skin.
"They can soak it. There's a lot of different ways, but mainly soaking it and this is purposely -- obviously purposely -- done with the intent to harm police officers. So it really is hitting us in our own backyard. I can tell you this case will be vigorously investigated and we will hopefully catch the people that did this. I mean, this is a very serious matter," said Rosen.
Follow Chauncy Glover on Facebook and Twitter.
(Copyright (C)2018 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.)
VIDEO - The Agenda | TVO on Twitter: ""What was needed was a bloodless civil war to clean up the Washington sleaze factory." '-- @ConradMBlack explains why he thinks Donald Trump is exactly the president that the United States needs right now. Tonight on
Thu, 28 Jun 2018 11:50
Log in Sign up The Agenda | TVO @ TheAgenda "What was needed was a bloodless civil war to clean up the Washington sleaze factory." '--
@ConradMBlack explains why he thinks Donald Trump is exactly the president that the United States needs right now. Tonight on The Agenda, at 8/11pm. 8:49 AM - 26 Jun 2018 Twitter by: The Agenda | TVO @TheAgenda Brian F. Kelcey @ stateofthecity
Jun 26 Replying to
@TheAgenda why
View conversation · Don Cooper @ don_cooper
Jun 26 Replying to
@TheAgenda @ConradMBlack Isn't this guy part of the sleaze?
View conversation · Not Down With OPC @ mlse
Jun 26 Replying to
@TheAgenda @ConradMBlack Why would you give that dirtbag a platform?
View conversation · Andy Chalk @ AndyChalk
Jun 26 Replying to
@TheAgenda This is not going to age well, guys.
View conversation · Lime in the coconut '®¸ðŸŒðŸ‡¨ðŸ‡... 🚴''¸ @ UrsaMajorADAM
Jun 26 Replying to
@TheAgenda @ConradMBlack WHY! WHY! Isn't the WaPo enough for this hateful creature? We're not watching this.
View conversation · Mrs. Kathy McBride @ KathyPMcBride
Jun 26 Replying to
@TheAgenda @ConradMBlack Won't watch or listen to anything this criminal has to say. So disappointing that you would give him a voice.
View conversation · Junk Mail @ MailJunky
Jun 26 Replying to
@mlse @TheAgenda @ConradMBlack Did he say anything that wasn't correct, at least in it most part... ?
View conversation · Junk Mail @ MailJunky
Jun 26 Replying to
@don_cooper @TheAgenda @ConradMBlack Did he say anything that wasn't true, or at least mostly true...?
View conversation · Not Down With OPC @ mlse
Jun 26 Replying to
@MailJunky @TheAgenda @ConradMBlack lol
View conversation · William Gairdner @ williamgairdner
Jun 26 Replying to
@TheAgenda @ConradMBlack @ConradMBlack is a classical liberal with a fiscally conservative edge, and a reputed historian of great eloquence in a country with very few public intellectuals of note. He has paid the price for his missteps, so let us praise him on his merits.
View conversation · Jim O'Leary @ jim_oleary
Jun 26 Replying to
@TheAgenda @ConradMBlack seriously, is Conrad ok?
View conversation · HRM @ hrm_1973
Jun 26 Replying to
@TheAgenda @ConradMBlack Oh lord The Agenda viewers are going to get a dose of truth tonight.
#RedPill View conversation · HRM @ hrm_1973
Jun 26 Replying to
@mlse @MailJunky and
2 others Pretty much everything he said was 100 per cent right.
View conversation · HRM @ hrm_1973
Jun 26 Replying to
@ShariFreeWill @TheAgenda @ConradMBlack Yes Shari boycott everything you don't agree with. Very mature.
View conversation · Not Down With OPC @ mlse
Jun 26 Replying to
@hrm_1973 @MailJunky and
2 others Oh I didn't realize he went on there and trashed Donald Trump, the GOP, and their white supremacist-loving sycophants. My bad.
View conversation · HRM @ hrm_1973
Jun 26 Replying to
@mlse @MailJunky and
2 others Guess you will have to watch and see tonight.
View conversation · Ryan Wright 🇧🇪'š½¸ðŸ‡§ðŸ‡ª @ ryanwright
Jun 26 Replying to
@TheAgenda @ConradMBlack Why give the criminal begging for a pardon a platform?
View conversation · Joe Atikian @ joe_atikian
Jun 26 Replying to
@TheAgenda @ConradMBlack Carrying document boxes out the back door (on video). Nice vocabulary though.
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VIDEO - Schumer Demands Congress Use 'Biden Rule' in Choosing Kennedy Replacement | Fox News Insider
Thu, 28 Jun 2018 11:44
Dem Senate leader lobbies against pro-life pick.Your browser doesn't support HTML5 video
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) warned President Trump and Republicans against nominating a Supreme Court justice to replace Anthony Kennedy prior to the 2018 election, and demanded they reject any nominee who would seek to overturn Roe v. Wade.
"[R]eproductive rights for women and countless other protections for middle-class Americans are at stake," Schumer said.
.@SenSchumer: "Our Republican colleagues in the Senate should follow the rule they set in 2016: not to consider a Supreme Court justice in an election year."
'-- Fox News (@FoxNews) June 27, 2018
He demanded that the Senate's top Republican, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, abide by the so-called Biden Rule when deciding to commence proceedings to confirm a Supreme Court pick.
In 1992, then-Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.) gave a speech calling for Congress to delay any prospective Supreme Court pick until after then-President George Bush's ultimately unsuccessful reelection bid. There was no vacancy on the bench at the time, but Biden drew references to the "rancor" over Justice Clarence Thomas' nomination.
Wallace: Replacing Justice Kennedy Will Be 'Biggest Moment of the Trump Presidency'
Judge Nap: The Key Issue After Justice Kennedy's Retirement Will Be Abortion
Article continues below McConnell cited the Biden Rule when deciding not to consider President Obama's nominee, Merrick Garland, before the 2016 election. Justice Neil Gorsuch was later nominated by President Trump.
In his speech Wednesday, Schumer asked whether Trump and Republicans will nominate someone who will "preserve protections for people with preexisting [health] conditions" or a justice who will "put health insurance companies over patients and... the federal government between a woman and her doctor."
"The Senate should reject on a bipartisan basis any justice who would overturn Roe v. Wade," he said, adding that the justice should not come from Trump's previous list of 25 potential justices the president compiled with the help of the Federalist Society during the search for late Justice Antonin Scalia's replacement.
Two brothers on Trump's list have been considered strong possibilities: Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah.) and his elder sibling, Utah Supreme Court Justice Thomas Rex Lee.
Fox News correspondent John Roberts said there are a few other names on the list that stick out as favorites, including District of Columbia Appeals Court Judge Brett Kavanaugh.
If Trump was to choose a woman, Roberts said, he might go with Seventh Circuit Court Judge Amy Coney Barrett of Indiana.
The apparent runner-up in the nomination of Gorsuch, Third Circuit Court Judge Thomas Hardiman of Pennsylvania, remains on the list of potential Kennedy replacements as well.
'They Don't Want Borders at All': Malkin Reacts After Victory by NY Socialist Who Wants to Abolish ICE
Bill Clinton: 'I Have a Lot of Respect' for How Sarah Sanders Handled 'Red Hen' Incident
VIDEO - NY Advocate for Child Sex Abuse Survivors Arrested, Accused of Child Sex Abuse | NBC New York
Thu, 28 Jun 2018 11:42
By Jonathan DienstPublished at 8:58 PM EDT on Jun 26, 2018 | Updated at 12:05 AM EDT on Jun 27, 2018 NEWSLETTERS Receive the latest local updates in your inboxA New York man who helps run a group to raise awareness about sex abuse of children was himself arrested on child sex abuse charges. (Published Wednesday, June 27, 2018)
What to KnowA New York man who helps run a group to raise awareness about sex abuse of children is himself accused of child sex abuseFederal prosecutors say Joel Davis had child porn, and he tried to get access to children as young as 2 years old for sexDavis' social media pages say he was involved in with an organization called Youth To End Sexual Violence and other advocacy groupsA New York man who helps run a group to raise awareness about sex abuse of children was himself arrested Tuesday on child sex abuse charges.
Federal prosecutors said Joel Davis was caught in possession of explicit child sex images and that he had attempted to get access to children as young as 2 years old for sex.
The FBI said Davis exchanged texts with an undercover agent saying he wanted to have sex with a 9-year-old and 2-year-old. The criminal complaint alleged Davis boasted of having sexually abused children in the past including a 9-month-old boy, a 6-year-old girl and a 7-year-old-boy.
Davis allegedly told the undercover that if he could meet the man's 8-year-old daughter, he would perform oral sex on her. Davis also allegedly sent explicit photos of young children to the undercover.
Sarah Kolodny / NBC 4 New York
"Joel Davis started an organization devoted to stopping sexual violence, while allegedly engaged in the duplicitous behavior of sharing explicit images of infants," said U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman. "The conduct alleged against Joel Davis is as unfathomable as it is sickening."
A lawyer or family representative for Davis could not be reached for comment.
Davis' LinkedIn and Facebook pages state he was involved in with an organization called Youth To End Sexual Violence and other advocacy groups. Social media pages also state he attended numerous schools, including Columbia University. A university spokesman did not return emails seeking confirmation of his enrollment.
A story done by a TV news station in his native Florida aired Davis' claim that he had been nominated for a Nobel prize for his advocacy work in 2015. An initial search of the Nobel online archives of nominations did not show a record of such a nomination.
After his arrest, officials said Davis admitted to sexually abusing a 13-year-old boy in the past and keeping child porn images on his phone. He allegedly said he likes to exchange images of infants and toddlers with others.
He appeared in federal court on the charges late Tuesday and was ordered held without bail, a U.S. attorney spokesman said.
VIDEO - Jennifer Briney on Twitter: "Wouldn't mind seeing her as a regular character on @cspan"
Thu, 28 Jun 2018 11:32
Is it because she gave her acceptance speech in a bar!? ðŸŠ
VIDEO - YouTube
Thu, 28 Jun 2018 11:14
VIDEO - YouTube - This Concrete Dome Holds A Leaking Toxic Timebomb
Wed, 27 Jun 2018 21:35
VIDEO - VRAYLAR TV Commercial, 'Unstoppable' -
Wed, 27 Jun 2018 15:49
Ad ID: 1692105 60s 2018 ( Active )
Products: VRAYLAR
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About VRAYLAR TV Commercial, 'Unstoppable'Bipolar 1 Disorder can sometimes make you feel unstoppable, but it can also leave you on shaky ground. This woman may be on a roll in her office, but she is also feeling like she's at the top of an unstable pyramid of playing cards. VRAYLAR is used to help reduce manic symptoms associated with Bipolar 1 Disorder. Because she is treated with VRAYLAR, it appears that this woman is able to enjoy more time with her children and feel more at ease.
None have been identified for this spot
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VIDEO - BBC Daily Politics and Sunday Politics on Twitter: ""You sound like an apologist for Assad?" @Jo_Coburn "I just believe in facts" Seymour Hersh #bbcdp'... "
Wed, 27 Jun 2018 14:41
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VIDEO - [VIDEO] Colbert, Jimmy Fallon and Conan Join Forces for Trump Chat | TVLine
Wed, 27 Jun 2018 11:38
How are the hosts of late night TV responding to President Trump's vicious attacks? By teaming up'... and whimpering a bit.
In this jointly produced cold open that will kick off both tonight's Late Show (CBS, 11:35/10:35c) and Tonight Show (NBC, 11:35 pm ET), Stephen Colbert is putting the finishing touches on his monologue when he gets a video-chat call from rival Jimmy Fallon. (They greet each other with: ''Hey, lowlife!'' ''Hey, lost soul!'') When Colbert asks Fallon what he's up to, Fallon admits he's ''mostly whimpering,'' and Colbert sternly reminds him to ''be a man.''
Neither of them watched the rally where Trump attacked them, and when Fallon says Trump called them ''no-talent, lowlife, lost souls,'' Colbert objects: ''That's not right'... that's Conan!'' With that, he dials in TBS host Conan O'Brien, who seems blissfully unaware that Trump is even in the White House: ''The real estate guy who sells steaks? He's President?!'' He warns his fellow late night hosts to just ''give him time'' and to ''be civil'''... before offering to shave his chest hair for them.
Before Colbert and Fallon sign off, they agree to meet for lunch'... at the Red Hen restaurant, of course.
Press PLAY above to watch the landmark late night summit, and then hit the comments and share your reactions.
VIDEO - YouTube
Tue, 26 Jun 2018 18:01
VIDEO - Obama aides were warned of brewing border crisis - The Washington Post
Tue, 26 Jun 2018 15:17
Nearly a year before President Obama declared a humanitarian crisis on the border, a team of experts arrived at the Fort Brown patrol station in Brownsville, Tex., and discovered a makeshift transportation depot for a deluge of foreign children.
Thirty Border Patrol agents were assigned in August 2013 to drive the children to off-site showers, wash their clothes and make them sandwiches. As soon as those children were placed in temporary shelters, more arrived. An average of 66 were apprehended each day on the border and more than 24,000 cycled through Texas patrol stations in 2013. In a 41-page report to the Department of Homeland Security, the team from the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) raised alarms about the federal government's capacity to manage a situation that was expected to grow worse.
The researchers' observations were among the warning signs conveyed to the Obama administration over the past two years as a surge of Central American minors has crossed into south Texas illegally. More than 57,000 have entered the United States this year, swamping federal resources and catching the government unprepared.
The administration did too little to heed those warnings, according to interviews with former government officials, outside experts and immigrant advocates, leading to an inadequate response that contributed to this summer's escalating crisis.
Federal officials viewed the situation as a ''local problem,'' said Victor Manjarrez Jr., a former Border Patrol station chief who led the UTEP study. The research, conducted last year, was funded by the Department of Homeland Security and published in March. A broader crisis was ''not on anyone's radar,'' Manjarrez added, even though ''it was pretty clear this number of kids was going to be the new baseline.''
Dangerous journeys taken by unaccompanied childrenCecilia Mu±oz, Obama's domestic policy adviser, said the administration and key agencies had made adjustments over time to deal with the influx of children but then responded with urgency once federal officials realized in May that the numbers would far exceed internal projections of 60,000 minors crossing the border in 2014.
Revised Border Patrol estimates now suggest the number could reach 90,000 by the end of September.
Last month, Obama ordered an emergency response overseen by the National Security Council and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and he asked Congress to approve $3.7 billion in emergency funds.
''What happened this year was .'‰.'‰. off-the-charts different,'' Mu±oz said. ''It was not the same pattern. We assumed a significant increase, but this was not the same kind of trend line.
''This trend was more like a hockey stick, going up and up and up,'' Mu±oz added. ''Nobody could have predicted the scale of the increase we saw this year. The minute we saw it, we responded in an aggressive way.''
But top officials at the White House and the State Department had been warned repeatedly of the potential for a further explosion in the number of migrant children since the crisis began escalating two years ago, according to former federal officials and others familiar with internal discussions. The White House was directly involved in efforts in early 2012 to care for the children when it helped negotiate a temporary shelter at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio.
''There were warning signs, operational folks raising red flags to high levels in terms of this being a potential issue,'' said one former senior federal law enforcement official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to talk candidly about internal operations.
President Obama urges immigration reform, calling what's happening at the border a "humanitarian crisis." ( Washington Post)
The former official said the agencies primarily in charge of border security, Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, were ''ringing alarm bells'' within the administration.
Meanwhile, top officials focused much of their attention on political battles, such as Obama's 2012 reelection campaign and the push to win congressional support for a broad immigration overhaul, that would have been made more difficult with the addition of a high-profile border crisis.
''I don't think they ignored this on purpose, but they didn't know what to do,'' said Michelle Bran(C), director of migrant rights at the Women's Refugee Commission, which published a 2012 report highlighting the influx of minors. ''For whatever reason, there was hesi­ta­tion to address the root causes. I think the administration was dealing with it at a minimal scale, putting a Band-Aid on something they should have been thinking about holistically.''
Until recently, the number of Central American children crossing into the United States illegally was below 5,000 a year and was not considered a major problem among the many issues federal agents were dealing with at the Mexican border.
In 2009-2010, law enforcement agencies cracked down on criminal cartels in the traditional border hot spots near Tucson. By 2012, the Border Patrol and U.S. intelligence agencies began noticing a shift of activity to the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, one they had anticipated.
They also found that even as overall illegal immigration to the United States slowed, the number of adults and families entering illegally from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras began to grow rapidly. Many were fleeing increasing violence and impoverished conditions in their home countries, according to U.S. officials and human rights groups.
The number of Central American minors '-- who are afforded greater protections under a 2008 U.S. anti-trafficking law '-- making the trip without their parents was a subset of the larger phenomenon, officials said. ''It was more than it had been, but it wasn't something that would cause you to sort of drop everything and say we're in a crisis,'' said a person familiar with internal deliberations.
Expressions of alarm
In Texas and in Central America, officials viewed the situation with greater alarm. In April 2012, the first ladies of Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala voiced their concerns at a conference in Washington on unaccompanied minors. ''The statistics are worrisome,'' said Guatemala's Rosa Mar­a Leal de P(C)rez.
A week later, Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) wrote a blistering letter to Obama, citing a 90 percent increase over the previous year in the number unaccompanied minors arriving from Central America. If the president failed ''to take immediate action to return these minors to their countries of origin and prevent and discourage others from coming here, the federal government is perpetuating the problem,'' Perry wrote. ''Every day of delay risks more lives. Every child allowed to remain encourages hundreds more to attempt the journey.''
Inside the Obama administration, officials at the Department of Homeland Security were focusing most of their efforts on adults. Janet Napolitano, then secretary of homeland security, implored her counterparts in Mexico to increase border security to reduce the flow. U.S. immigration and border patrol officials created new processing centers, according to current officials and others familiar with the issue.
The agency responsible for the children's well-being was the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Before the Homeland Security Department was created in 2002, the now-defunct Immigration and Naturalization Service had overseen the handling of minors caught at the border.
But under an agreement brokered after immigration rights groups pushed to transfer the responsibility to a non-law-enforcement agency, the 2002 law gave the job to HHS, starting the following year.
Furthermore, the 2008 anti-trafficking law required Homeland Security to turn over unaccompanied minors from Central America to HHS within 72 hours. That agency would attempt to place the children with family members in the United States '-- or in temporary shelters '-- until they were summoned to appear before an immigration judge.
Numerous people familiar with the operations said HHS struggled to fulfill its role as the number of children began to rise in 2012. The agency rushed to set up temporary shelters at YMCAs, churches and other community centers.
In April 2012, a plan to house 200 children at unused dormitories at Lackland Air Force Base drew denunciations from immigrant rights groups.
HHS officials defended their performance in 2012 and as the crisis has escalated in recent months. Kenneth Wolfe, a spokesman for HHS's Administration for Children and Families, said the agency has responded by expanding shelter capacity and reducing the amount of time children spend in HHS-funded shelters before being matched with families or sponsors while their cases are pending. ''We have made progress in both areas, though significant work remains,'' Wolfe said.
By the time the team from UTEP arrived at Fort Brown to examine the problem in the summer of 2013, the churn of the young immigrants had far outpaced the government's capacity.
In its report, the UTEP team wrote that border agents were interested in setting up a ''welcome center'' overseen by HHS that would serve as a clearinghouse for the minors, freeing patrol agents to monitor the border.
The number of minors arriving illegally from Central America shot from 3,933 in 2011 to 20,805 in 2013. HHS had secured 5,000 beds across the country '-- twice as many as the previous year '-- but that wasn't enough. Immigration courts were backlogged. Border Patrol stations were overrun. Federal officials estimated that the total number of minors would soar to 60,000 in 2014.
And no one knew what to do with them all.
Political considerations
On Capitol Hill, lawmakers began hearing reports of the chaos from nongovernmental organizations and churches with operations in Central America. And they began efforts, in consultation with the administration, to increase federal funding to combat the crisis.
In 2011, HHS's Office of Refugee Resettlement had a budget of $149 million to shelter and care for the foreign children. By 2013, it had grown to $376 million, and the Obama administration requested $495 million in its fiscal 2014 budget proposal.
Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.) said Democrats recognized the urgency but feared that if they raised too much of a public outcry, it would create political blowback for the Obama administration's push to pass a comprehensive immigration overhaul.
House Republicans had refused to move forward on a broader overhaul bill, which would include giving millions of illegal immigrants a chance to gain legal status, arguing that Obama had failed to secure the border. They pointed to the administration's decision in 2011 to order federal agents to employ ''prosecutorial discretion'' while enforcing deportation laws, focusing on the most violent criminals.
That was followed in 2012 by Obama's announcement during his reelection campaign that the administration would defer the deportations of certain immigrants brought to the country illegally as children before June 2007.
Democrats worried that the escalating border crisis would help Republicans make a case that the administration's policies had failed, Roybal-Allard said.
''That was always a concern of mine: How to address the issue in a way that did not detract from the need for comprehensive immigration reform,'' she said.
A person involved in the planning said that inside the White House, national security staffers were concerned about the growing influx of children but that the influential team of domestic policy advisers was far more focused on the legislative push.
''Was the White House told there were huge flows of Central Americans coming? Of course they were told. A lot of times,'' said the person, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations. ''Was there a general lack of interest and a focus on the legislation? Yes, that's where the focus was.''
Mu±oz said the administration's proposal to overhaul the immigration system would have gone a long way toward alleviating the border crisis and preventing future problems.
Among advocacy groups, the strain on the federal system became an increasing focus. In November 2013, a contingent of officials from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops took a week-long trip to Mexico and Central America to discuss the crisis with local officials and U.S. diplomats in the region.
''The embassies did pay attention to us, and I think they also expressed interest in the issue,'' said Bishop Mark Seitz of El Paso, who led the Catholic delegation. But, he added, ''there are so many issues in these failing states, it's hard to pick one. So it's hard to assess, except with the light of hindsight, whether they should have known at that time this had become such a large exodus.''
Upon their return, the bishops briefed State Department officials and produced a 16-page report of their findings and recommendations, which was sent to Mu±oz via e-mail in January.
By the time Congress approved an omnibus budget in January, the line-item for the refu­gee office had increased significantly from Obama's initial request of $495 million to $868 million '-- based on the larger projections of minors. In February, then-HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius approved an additional $44 million transfer, bringing the office's budget to $912 million for the year.
On Jan. 28, Obama delivered his State of the Union address, highlighting his push for a comprehensive immigration bill and pressing Republicans to join the effort. Three days later, Chris Crane, president of the union that represents Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers, was asked about the president's plan during an appearance on Fox News.
''At this moment, we have a humanitarian crisis on our southern border,'' Crane told host Mike Huckabee. ''Most problematic, most troubling and alarming, is the number of children coming across our border all by themselves . .'‰.'‰. It's so out of control that just one office is averaging over 2,000 of these unaccompanied children each and every month.''
Mu±oz said the government was prepared to handle up to 60,000 children in 2014 given the increases to the budget. The crisis point, she said, came only during another massive spike in the spring.
The number of unaccompanied minors had been averaging just under 4,500 a month at the beginning of the year, then jumped to more than 7,000 a month in March and April before exploding to more than 10,000 a month in May and June, administration officials said.
Consequences nationwide
On a Mother's Day trip to the McAllen, Tex., Border Patrol station, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, who took office in December, saw the desperation for himself. A young girl tearfully told him she had come to the United States in an attempt to be reunited with her father.
Interviews by Border Patrol agents with the young immigrants and their families revealed a perception among them that the United States had relaxed its policies and would grant them ''permisos'' to remain in the country. U.S. officials said the permisos are actually formal notices to appear at immigration hearings that are issued to the minors when they are placed with relatives to await court dates.
Many of the minors also told border agents that they believed the cutoff date for permisos was June 2014, which federal officials said could explain the dramatic surge in the spring, which they said has since tapered off.
In McAllen, Sister Norma Pimentel, director of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley, received an urgent telephone call June 10 from operators of the local bus station. An avalanche of migrants was arriving, she was told, and many were exhausted and ill. The sister set up a shelter that same day at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church.
The consequences were spreading beyond Texas, as the refu­gee office began shipping the youths to shelters across the country. Government buses full of families and children began arriving in Tucson in May, said Dan Wilson, a volunteer with Casa Mariposa, a migrant aid organization.
Wilson said migrants told aid workers that human smuggling cartels had cut their rates to spur business, driving demand for the trips north atop buses and on trains.
In Washington, Johnson briefed Obama, who authorized an integrated government response. By then, the inadequacy of the government's previous efforts was becoming apparent.
Mark Greenberg, HHS's acting assistant secretary in charge of the unaccompanied minors program, told senators this month that the growing influx had ''greatly exceeded the number of available places for children in HHS's shelters, negatively impacting our ability to timely accept custody of these children'' from Homeland Security.
Wolfe, the HHS spokesman, said that as of Thursday, the backlog of children waiting to be placed in the agency's care had been cleared.
The president's emergency proposal would devote $1.8 billion for HHS to house the children and families and $1.6 billion for the departments of Homeland Security and Justice to speed immigration hearings and deportations. An additional $300 million would be slotted for the State Department to help repatriate the minors and warn Central American families not to send them north.
Republicans have balked at the proposal, saying they are not willing to give Obama more money without changes to the 2008 anti-trafficking law to make it easier to deport the minors.
Obama, meanwhile, has ended his push for comprehensive immigration legislation in Congress, announcing that he intends to use his executive authority to amend the nation's border laws.
But the crisis in Texas has complicated that political calculation, with Republicans contending that Obama's weak enforcement helped create the crisis in the first place.
VIDEO - Immigration protesters target Stephen Miller's home | TheHill
Tue, 26 Jun 2018 14:50
A crowd protesting the Trump administration's immigration policies gathered outside the downtown Washington, D.C. apartment of White House adviser Stephen Miller on Monday night, USA Today reported.
About 20 people marched to Miller's apartment, handing out ''wanted'' flyers with his face and ''missing persons'' flyers for the undocumented immigrant children separated from their parents at the border.
The protestors also chanted ''immigrants are welcome here'' outside Miller's apartment.
They are handing out these flyers to Stephen Miller's neighbors at the luxe CityCenterDC
'-- Rachel Sadon (@Rachel_Sadon) June 25, 2018"Say it loud, say it clear: immigrants are welcome here," shouts a group of about a dozen people outside Stephen Miller's apartment building
'-- Rachel Sadon (@Rachel_Sadon) June 25, 2018Miller, who is considered to be among the most hard-line advocates for stricter immigration laws in the White House, was at President Trump Donald John TrumpCohen's lawyers argue 12,000 items protected by attorney-client privilege: reports Former migrant detention facility worker leaks footage from inside facility to MSNBC Trump misidentifies Appalachian Trail as 'Tallahassee Trail' while mocking Sanford MORE 's rally in South Carolina and was not home at the time.
The New York Times reported earlier this month that Miller had pushed for the policy separating immigrant families at the border. Trump signed an executive order last week to end the policy after facing overwhelming criticism.
Rep. Mike Coffman Michael (Mike) Howard CoffmanTrump, midterm pressures complicate immigration fight Races to watch in Tuesday's primaries GOP lawmaker calls on Trump to fire Stephen Miller MORE (R-Co.) last week called for Miller to be fired over the family separation policy.
This isn't the first time Miller has been publicly targeted over the family separation policy: A protestor last week called him a ''fascist'' at a Mexican restaurant in D.C.
Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen also faced protestors at a different Mexican restaurant in D.C. before ultimately leaving the establishment.
VIDEO - Jim Acosta gets trolled by old granny at Trump rally! - YouTube
Tue, 26 Jun 2018 14:14
VIDEO - YouTube - Richard Dolan Show May 14, 2018. Interview with Catherine Austin Fitts
Tue, 26 Jun 2018 13:24
VIDEO - Mark Warner reportedly jokes about revealing info on Russia probe at fundraiser | Fox News
Tue, 26 Jun 2018 01:51
Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., on Friday reportedly joked about the Russia investigation at a high-dollar retreat on Martha's Vineyard and told Democratic donors to ''buckle up.''
Warner reportedly joked to donors that he might reveal sensitive information known only to him and Special Counsel Robert Mueller who's investigating the Trump campaign's alleged collusion with Russia.
''If you get me one more glass of wine, I'll tell you stuff only Bob Mueller and I know. If you think you've seen wild stuff so far, buckle up. It's going to be a wild couple of months."
- Virginia Sen. Mark Warner
''If you get me one more glass of wine, I'll tell you stuff only Bob Mueller and I know. If you think you've seen wild stuff so far, buckle up. It's going to be a wild couple of months,'' he reportedly said, which was understood as a joke.
Warner, the ranking member on the Senate Intelligence Committee, was at a dinner for over 100 guests as part of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee's (DSCC) annual Majority Trust retreat, Politico reported.
Warner's office did not immediately respond to an email from Fox News.
The retreat is often attended by top Democratic senators where they have an opportunity to schmooze with top donors and lobbyists of the Washington, D.C.
The retreats often have a price tag for the attendees. In 2009, the attendees had to fork out over $30,000 for the event, according to the Sunlight Foundation, a non-profit advocating for transparency which published the invitation.
The latest target of Mueller's probe into alleged collusion with Russia was former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort who was sent to jail earlier this month after a federal judge revoked his $10 million bail amid witness tampering charges brought by the special counsel.
Manafort was sent to jail while he awaits trial. He pleaded not guilty. Mueller accused Manafort of obstructing justice in the investigation into Russian meddling and potential collusion with Trump campaign associates back in 2016.
Fox News' Brooke Singman contributed to this report.
VIDEO - Evan Rosenfeld on Twitter: "CNN: @Acosta: "While we have had people come up to us and be nice. I had an elderly woman just a short while's come up to me'--she came up to me & said that we at CNN should get the f*** out of this auditorium... Sh
Tue, 26 Jun 2018 00:01
Log in Sign up Evan Rosenfeld @ Evan_Rosenfeld CNN: 3:21 PM - 25 Jun 2018 Twitter by: Evan Rosenfeld @Evan_Rosenfeld Sandi Bachom @ sandibachom
2h Replying to
@Evan_Rosenfeld @Acosta those are the kind of people who turned in the Jews to the Nazis.
View conversation · Buzzard Skedeebeck @ BuzzSkedeebeck
1h Replying to
@Evan_Rosenfeld @Acosta .Exactly like those tolerant Democrats did to Kirstjen Nielsen, Sarah Sanders, Pam Bondi, Steve Scalise, right
View conversation · HippieChick @ MKlave
1h Replying to
@Evan_Rosenfeld @jasonash_ @Acosta Something 4 the grandkids scrapbook.
View conversation · Burn The Witch!! @ WachsPoetic
1h Replying to
@BuzzSkedeebeck @Evan_Rosenfeld @Acosta Acosta hasn't ripped any babies from their momma's arms so no, not exactly like that.
View conversation · Buzzard Skedeebeck @ BuzzSkedeebeck
1h Replying to
@WachsPoetic @Evan_Rosenfeld @Acosta .Yup, and you outta see the recipe I have for the babies we rip from them mommas. I really like me some Mexican! Yummy!But you see, they came here... to me. Those tolerant Dems initiated their confrontation. See the difference?
View conversation · Burn The Witch!! @ WachsPoetic
1h Replying to
@BuzzSkedeebeck @Evan_Rosenfeld @Acosta Did you mean ought to?
View conversation · Burn The Witch!! @ WachsPoetic
1h Replying to
@BuzzSkedeebeck @Evan_Rosenfeld @Acosta See the difference?
View conversation · Burn The Witch!! @ WachsPoetic
1h Replying to
@BuzzSkedeebeck @Evan_Rosenfeld @Acosta If you going to come at me, do it with decent grammar.
View conversation · Burn The Witch!! @ WachsPoetic
1h Replying to
@BuzzSkedeebeck @Evan_Rosenfeld @Acosta Wow, you tried it twice and still got it wrong. Scoot, little man.
View conversation · Buzzard Skedeebeck @ BuzzSkedeebeck
1h Replying to
@WachsPoetic @Evan_Rosenfeld @Acosta .I "wanna" do it my way. You "want to" do it your way. Divershitty!
View conversation · Geoff Perry @ geoff_perry
1h Replying to
@WachsPoetic @BuzzSkedeebeck and
2 others What do you think abortions do? Jimmy supports those,
View conversation · Burn The Witch!! @ WachsPoetic
1h Replying to
@BuzzSkedeebeck @Evan_Rosenfeld @Acosta Buzzzzzz, not the incorrect grammar I was referencing. A Trumpologist wouldn't be expected to know that.
View conversation · Burn The Witch!! @ WachsPoetic
59m Replying to
@geoff_perry @BuzzSkedeebeck and
2 others I know that abortions do not, in fact, rip babies from mother's arms.
#FactCheck #impossible View conversation · Buzzard Skedeebeck @ BuzzSkedeebeck
58m Replying to
@WachsPoetic @Evan_Rosenfeld @Acosta .Scuk my ccok, you srory sult! Is taht gmaamrr pepror euognh for you, bctih?
View conversation · Burn The Witch!! @ WachsPoetic
58m Replying to
@BuzzSkedeebeck @Evan_Rosenfeld @Acosta yeah, it's enough to report you for harassment.
View conversation · Geoff Perry @ geoff_perry
58m Replying to
@WachsPoetic @BuzzSkedeebeck and
2 others Metaphorically speaking, yes they do.
View conversation · Joe Palmer 🇺🇸 '' @ JoeSPalmer
56m Replying to
@Evan_Rosenfeld @Acosta HAHAHAHAHA!**takes deep breath**HAHAHAHAHA!An old woman broke Acosta. 🤣🤣
View conversation · Burn The Witch!! @ WachsPoetic
55m Replying to
@geoff_perry @BuzzSkedeebeck and
2 others Metaphorically speaking is not the same as actually ripping babies from their mother's arms like Trumpenfurher is doing.
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VIDEO - Chelsea Manning leaking support in uphill Senate race against Cardin | Fox News
Mon, 25 Jun 2018 21:23
Famed leaker Chelsea Manning attracted national news coverage in announcing plans earlier this year to challenge longtime Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin from the left in the Democratic primary.
But despite all the media attention and excitement from liberal activists, the former Army intelligence analyst previously known as Bradley Manning -- who was convicted of leaking classified documents before transitioning to a woman and later winning a commutation from then-President Barack Obama -- has struggled to make a significant mark on the race.
The Baltimore Sun, the largest newspaper in Maryland, reported last week that it's not clear if Manning is even campaigning anymore ahead of Tuesday's vote. The paper said Manning's campaign hasn't responded to requests for comment ''for weeks.''
Manning's campaign did not return a request for comment Monday from Fox News, either.
According to Federal Election Commission records, Manning has reported raising a paltry $76,355 from campaign donors.
And on Twitter, Manning seems resigned to losing, tweeting in recent weeks ''we can't expect any change thru the upcoming elections - the primaries are rigged'' and ''voting won't change anything.'' (Manning's Twitter description doesn't even reference the Senate campaign.)
But Manning's fading campaign follows an alarming episode in May where she posted a pair of tweets hinting that the candidate was contemplating suicide, including a photo of feet standing on the ledge of a high-rise building.
"I'm sorry - I tried - I'm sorry I let you all down," Manning wrote in one of the now-deleted tweets. "I'm not really cut out for this world - I tried adapting to this world out here but I failed you.''
Shortly after the tweets, Manning's Twitter handle reported that she was safe and on the phone with friends. ''Thanks everyone for your concern and please give her some space,'' the tweet read.
Manning, then known as Bradley Manning, was arrested in 2010 and convicted in 2013 of leaking a trove of sensitive documents to WikiLeaks. Manning's sentence was controversially commuted by Obama in 2017 after Manning had served seven years of a 35-year sentence.
Maryland Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin, 74, was first elected to Congress in 1987 and is seen to be in a commanding position to not only win the primary but also re-election. (AP)
Since leaving prison, Manning has become known for provocative tweets and liberal policy positions, often accompanied with a series of emojis and the hashtag #WeGotThis. Manning once tweeted out the message ''f--- the police'' on Law Enforcement Appreciation Day, along with the hashtag #DisarmThePolice.
Manning has also referred to Immigration and Customs Enforcement as ''literally the new gestapo,'' and has called for the elimination of the agency that enforces immigration laws.
Cardin, 74, was first elected to Congress in 1987 and is seen to be in a commanding position to not only win the primary but also re-election. The crowded Democratic gubernatorial primary in Maryland to take on GOP Gov. Larry Hogan is viewed as the more competitive contest on Tuesday.
Other races are being held across the country on Tuesday including in New York, Colorado, Maryland, Oklahoma, Utah, Mississippi and South Carolina.
Closely watched contests include former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney's GOP primary campaign for Senate in Utah, as well as South Carolina's gubernatorial runoff between incumbent Gov. Henry McMaster and businessman John Warren, with President Trump stumping for McMaster Monday evening.
Fox News' Adam Shaw and Lukas Mikelionis contributed to this report.
VIDEO - YouTube - Wilcox in Space Force
Mon, 25 Jun 2018 13:12
VIDEO - Season finale of Anthony Bourdain's 'Parts Unknown' airs, while new details of his death emerge -
Mon, 25 Jun 2018 12:27
June 25th, 2018
On Sunday, two weeks after the tragic death of Anthony Bourdain, CNN aired a town hall about suicide as well as the season finale of Bourdain's show, "Parts Unknown." Meanwhile, French authorities revealed that no narcotics were in Bourdain's body when he died, though a significant amount of alcohol was. NBC's Stephanie Gosk reports. If you or someone you know is struggling, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
VIDEO - YouTube - 30 years of failed climate predictions
Mon, 25 Jun 2018 11:59
VIDEO - Confronting the Consequences of Obama's Foreign Policy
Mon, 25 Jun 2018 11:24
Barack Obama was one of the most polarizing presidents of the modern era. To the right, he was a weak, feckless leader who led from behind and went on apology tours while failing to crack down on radical Islamic terrorism and ''illegal immigrants.'' To his critics on the left, he was the deporter in chief, the drone president, bombing villages in Pakistan, assassinating Americans without trial in Yemen, arming rebels in Syria, launching a military intervention in Libya without congressional approval. While Obama did embrace the U.S. empire '-- killing civilians and selling weapons to awful regimes '-- he also pulled some of the biggest diplomatic breakthroughs of our time, negotiating the Iran nuclear deal, getting the U.S. to sign on to the Paris climate accord, and reopening ties with Cuba. With Trump now in office, is it time to recognize that Obama wasn't as bad as we thought, or did Obama's excesses, whether in the Middle East or at the Mexico border, lead the way to Trump's? Ben Rhodes, who was Obama's foreign policy speechwriter and later rose to become his deputy national security adviser, joins Mehdi Hasan to discuss Obama's legacy and whether it has seeped into the Trump administration.
Ben Rhodes: You know, we did what we could to prohibit torture, including working to legislate that change. For Barack Obama, who is coming into office, the disruption of taking on a prosecution of U.S. officials would've been a consuming thing for him to do.
[Musical interlude.]
Mehdi Hasan: Welcome to Deconstructed. I'm Mehdi Hasan.
Barack Obama was one of the most polarizing presidents of the modern era, and his foreign policy was particularly polarizing. To liberals the world over, he was like Neo from the Matrix, he was The One; the messiah who came to fix the world order after the chaos and the crimes that came before him, who reclaimed America from the Bush machine. Obama even won a Nobel Peace Prize in his first year in office, some would say, simply for not being George W. Bush.
President Barack Obama: Clear eyed, we can understand there will be war and still strive for peace. We can do that, for that is the story of human progress.
MH: To his right-wing critics, though, Obama was a weak, feckless leader, who led from behind, and went on apology tours, while failing to crack down on radical Islamic terrorism or quote-unquote illegal immigrants.
President Donald J. Trump: Thousands of Americans would be alive today if not for open border policies of Obama and Clinton.
Sean Hannity: Well, the appeaser-in-chief, he gave Iran $150 billion. Here's Obama surrendering to the radical mullahs.
MH: But to his critics on the left, he was the drone president, bombing villages in Pakistan, assassinating Americans without trial in Yemen, arming rebels in Syria, launching a military intervention in Libya without Congressional approval. He was also to them, of course, the Deporter-in-Chief. His immigration crackdowns, in many ways, opened the doors to today's horror show at the border under Donald Trump.
Jorge Ramos: President Obama deported 2.5 million immigrants, he destroyed thousands of families. No other president has done something like that.
MH: Now, you might not be surprised to hear that I happen to think the right-wing critique of Obama's foreign policy is a lot of BS, but I also happen to think that the left-wing critique of him can sometimes be a little simplistic. Because there's the Obama who, yes, embraced U.S. Empire, killed a lot of civilians and sold weapons to some awful regimes, as every U.S. president does. But there's also the Obama who pulled off the biggest diplomatic breakthrough of our time, the Iran nuclear deal; who managed to get the U.S. to sign up to the Paris Climate Accords; who re-opened ties with Cuba '-- all in the face of blind, Republican opposition.
So my question today is: With Donald Trump now in office, is it time to recognize Obama maybe wasn't as bad as we all thought '-- you know, everything's relative in life '-- or is it, in fact time, for liberals to have a proper reckoning with Obama's foreign policy legacy, to recognize that Obama's excesses, whether in the Middle East or at the Mexico border, led the way to Trump's?
[Musical interlude.]
MH: My guest today was at President Obama's side every step of the way over the course of those two terms in office. Ben Rhodes joined the Obama election campaign in 2007 as a foreign-policy speechwriter, when he was just 29, and rose to become a deputy national-security adviser at the White House, who was so intellectually and ideologically close to his boss that he was often described as having a mind-meld with Obama.
Ben, who currently works at the Obama Foundation, has written a new book, ''The World as It Is: A Memoir of the Obama White House.'' And earlier this week I interviewed him about Obama's rather contentious foreign policy record. I began by asking him about the Iran nuclear deal that he helped negotiate and whether it was frustrating for him to see Donald Trump tearing up that deal while going off to Singapore to hug and embrace Kim Jong Un and getting nothing comparable to the Iran deal in return.
[Musical interlude.]
Ben Rhodes: Well, I have to say, it could make you crazy, if you thought about it. I mean, as I detail in the book, it actually took really seven years to get all the way to the Iran deal, because it years of sanctions, followed by years of pain-staking diplomacy, followed by a Herculean effort to ensure that Congress didn't blow up the deal, to put in place, as you said, really the most stringent inspections and verification regime that had ever been negotiated in a deal like that.
And then, Trump, who, near as I could tell, could not even tell you what was in the Iran deal '-- he just like to say how bad it was '-- goes to Singapore, gets a several-hundred word statement that has just a reaffirmation from North Korea of the same promise they've broken in the past to denuclearize: no inspections, no verification, no timeline. And he gives away a bunch of stuff, including military exercises with South Korea, and then declares himself the hero and is awarding himself the Nobel Prize. So, there's kind of no end to the hypocrisy in addition to the recklessness.
MH: Do you believe now, that given what Trump has done with the nuclear deal, given the likes of John Bolton working down the corridor from him, that we're now on a path to war with Iran?
BR: Well, I certainly think it's far more likely. You know, there's an element of the dog catching the car, in that they've been railing against the Iran deal for years, but it's not clear to me that they know what to do now that Trump has scrapped it.
What I fear is going to happen, Mehdi, is that there will be an unraveling of the deal. The Iranians as they don't receive the benefits that they thought they would get from the deal, because the United States isn't in it, start testing the boundaries, start perhaps restarting elements of the nuclear program. There's all kinds of flash points in that region where we could find ourselves quickly on the road to conflict.
MH: I remember, Ben, when I last interviewed you for my Al Jazeera TV show ''Up Front'' back in the fall of 2015, back in the White House, I grilled you quite hard '--
BR: Yes!
MH: '-- on Syria policy, on drone strikes and various other issues on foreign policy which I hope we have time to get back into today, later today, with the benefit of hindsight.
But just one thing that stood out to me was not something you said on air, but after the interview was over, we were chatting, and I don't know if you remember this, and you said to me, and I quote, ''You'll miss us when we're gone.''
BR: Yeah!
MH: And you were referring, at that time, to the prospect of a hawkish Hillary Clinton succeeding Barack Obama '-- that was the assumption, of course, from all of us. Of course it turned out to be even more hawkish, more belligerent '-- Donald Trump, a man who shouldn't be allowed near an air rifle, let alone a nuclear weapon.
BR: Yep.
MH: So, look, I'll be honest. Let me put my cards on the table. I was very critical of Barack Obama for much of his presidency, on foreign policy.
BR: Yes you were. Yeah.
MH: But right now, 2018, a year and a half into Trump, I do miss Obama. You were right! I do miss him. Or at least, let me qualify '--
BR: I wish that wasn't the case, Mehdi. For the greater good, I wish '--
MH: I wish it wasn't the case as well. But let me qualify: I miss the Obama of the Iran deal, I miss the Obama of the Cuba reopening, I miss the Obama of the Paris climate change agreement, that Obama.
BR: Yes.
MH: Let's turn to the stuff I don't miss about Obama, if you don't mind. Gina Haspel was recently confirmed, very controversially, as Trump's director of the CIA, despite having been in charge of a CIA black site at which torture was allegedly carried out, and despite destroying taped evidence of that torture. The vast majority of Senate Democrats voted against here; you said on Twitter that her nomination turned into a referendum on a dark chapter of our history that should be over. But it's not over, Ben, because your administration, your president, Barack Obama, refused to prosecute CIA torturers, decided to look forward not back when you came to office in 2009.
Given Gina Haspel is director of the CIA today, as a direct result of that decision by your administration, do you have any regrets about how you handled that situation and how you handled the torturers?
BR: I do have some regrets, which I'll get to in a second. I hope the book shows kind of the complexity of the presidency. You know, he's sitting there, he's looking at over the abyss of the Great Depression and the disruption of taking on a prosecution of U.S. officials, sorting out who is in that bucket and who isn't, would have been a consuming thing for him to do and really something that could have broken apart essentially, you know, the connective tissue of the president to his own agencies.
You know, we did what we could to prohibit torture, including working to to legislate that change. And, you know, you have in Donald Trump a president who takes a very different view; to me, that shows that elections have consequences.
MH: But he's able to take that view, Ben, because you didn't prosecute the people who did it. Or just fire them all '--
BR: I don't think so, Mehdi '--
MH: '-- Gina Haspel stayed on at the CIA, on your watch. It's not like you fired her.
BR: The thing, Mehdi, is like, even if we had fired her and prosecuted people, Donald Trump would have still been elected president and could still take those positions, right? So, in democracies '--
MH: Maybe he'd be more reluctant if people were behind bars.
BR: Eh, I don't think so.
MH: Let me put this to you. OK, let me put this to you, Ben. You didn't prosecute the torturers, you didn't prosecute the bankers, you failed to stop Israel from building illegal settlements and you hired a bunch of people who supported the Iraq War to run your foreign policy. Even if you don't agree with them, do you understand at least '-- do you understand at least '-- why so many on the left think you guys were so timid? You missed so many opportunities to really make a proper break with the past in 2009 and 2010 and beyond.
BR: I understand that. I do think that in those early years we took a more cautious and conventional approach to foreign policy. Again, I do think some of that was guided by the fact that the economic situation we found was so overwhelming that President Obama felt like he had to start there, and that it was going to be hard for him in that first year to dedicate the type of focus to some of these foreign policy issues that he got to later in his administration, as he's essentially trying to prevent the global economy from collapsing.
MH: Here's what I don't get, Ben. Barack Obama clearly wasn't a fan, personally, of Benjamin Netanyahu or of the Saudi royal family and you've been very critical of Israel and Saudi since leaving office, and even a little bit while in office.
BR: Yeah.
MH: And yet, when you look objectively at the record of your administration, you guys were ludicrously pro-Israeli and pro-Saudi, when push came to shove, when Netanyahu was bombing Gaza, you resupplied them with ammunition in the middle of the bombing campaign. When Saudi started bombing Yemen in 2015, you helped them do it with fuel, with arms, with intel, with diplomatic protection at the U.N.; today Yemen is the world's worst humanitarian crisis '-- that started on your watch, not Donald Trump's.
BR: Well, take both of those.
On Israel, look, I mean there is a baseline of support that the United States is always going to provide to Israel. And on Iran, I'd say Mehdi, we have the scars '-- and I personally have the scars '-- to prove that we weren't afraid to take a position contrary to Prime Minister Netanyahu and Iran.
MH: Definitely on Iran, you took on the Israelis. But Gaza? When 500 kids were killed in the summer of 2014? I don't remember you having any scars on your back then.
BR: Well, where I feel like we got caught in between, and I tell this story, several examples of it, in the book, was on the peace process with the Palestinians where I did feel like we fell into a trap several times where we were doing just enough to cause a rift with Prime Minister Netanyahu, but not enough to advance the ball. And, you know, we didn't put forward a peace plan at the beginning of the administration; I think, in retrospect, that would have been a good thing to do. We kind of spent a lot of time in a peace process in 2011 and '12 and '13 that was clearly going nowhere, in part because you didn't have any political will from the Israeli government.
All that said, I don't know that there was some lever we could have pulled to impose a peace. Ultimately '--
MH: But you could have stopped in the summer of '-- eventually you did stop them in the summer of 2014. You could've done it earlier, and you didn't have to give them ammo in the middle of that war, as they bombed Palestinian hospitals, schools, ambulances.
BR: Well we '-- we spent a lot of time trying to bring about ceasefires and to end those conflicts. I think this is an issue, Mehdi, when I think back on it, where you know we were pursuing a certain approach of trying to restrain them but trying to work with them, thinking that working with them could allow us to better shape what they were doing in Yemen and get this into a political process. And it's the kind of thing that, you know, if we did know that Donald Trump was going to be president and there wouldn't be some continuity in that approach that, you know, I think in retrospect we should have been more restrictive in supporting what they were doing in Yemen. So that's an example of a case where the dramatic shift in the orientation of the Trump administration makes me look back differently.
You know, if there had been some continuity with a Clinton administration, I think you would have seen continued efforts to promote a political resolution and perhaps to restrain the Saudi efforts.
MH: Do you regret the fact that Obama offered Saudi Arabia, according to one study, more than $115 billion in weapons and military training, more than any other U.S. administration in history? Do you regret that?
BR: You know, I think that our approach, you know which was very visible for everybody to see, especially in the last two or three years, was to go to the Saudis and the other GCC countries and try to get them to reorient some of their approach to their defense away from even the big-ticket hardware that they like to purchase, away from the kind of air campaign that you saw in Yemen, and say to them, ''Look, if you have concerns about certain threats from Iran and ISIS that are asymmetric,'' right, like interdicting weapons shipments, like cyber-security, like missile defense, ''you should focus your defense procurement on those capabilities.''
So, look they are partners the United States. We do have shared threats with terrorist groups and, in some cases, Iranian actions in the region. So I don't regret that, you know, we were trying I think to get them to pursue a different approach to how they thought about their security then what we're seeing in Yemen. What I can tell you also, Mehdi, is that like all the things that we've seen happen, the escalation in the war in Yemen, the blockade on Qatar, the strange episode with the Lebanese prime minister, you know we spent a lot of effort to try to restrain those types of '-- you know, the origins of those actions we could see in our administration and we worked hard diplomatically to prevent this from happening.
I think we're seeing under Trump what happens when, essentially, there's no constraints whatsoever.
MH: Hillary Clinton famously criticized you and your boss for not having a grand organizing principle for foreign policy. She said, '''Don't do stupid shit' is not an organizing principle.''
Now, personally, I happen to be with you and your boss on this. I happen to think ''don't do stupid shit is a pretty good rule of thumb for U.S. foreign policy. So, given that, let's talk about what you think the stupidest shit was that you were administration did. Was it Libya, which Obama publicly called his worst mistake and privately called a shitshow? Or was it Syria, as you seem to suggest in your book, in an extract from your book that got a lot of attention in the Atlantic Magazine recently?
BR: [Sighs.] Well actually, you know, first of all, I think it is a good rule of thumb. And it's not the be-all, end-all; that's the foundation, right, that you start from? And then you try, on top of that, you have Iran, Cuba, Paris where we're doing things affirmatively.
It's interesting, Mehdi, when I look back on it '-- it's something you and I used to talk about: I wish we had done more to, frankly, bring to an end the war in Afghanistan and obviously some of the associated counterterrorism efforts.
MH: That's a very good point.
BR: Put it this way: The broad direction of the United States being in a kind of an open-ended, permanent state of war, I wish we had done more to change that.
Now, obviously in Iraq and Syria, you know, ISIS did demand a military action. But in Afghanistan, you know, we're 15 years in, I don't think people can articulate why we're still there. People can warn about all kinds of scenarios if we leave, but all of those scenarios are taking place with us there. And I think it raises the question of whether or not America is getting ourselves into wars without any clear idea of what we're trying to achieve or how they will end.
MH: But Ben, wouldn't it have helped, and people talk about your mind-meld with Obama, when you speak, you're often reflecting some of Obama's views, and I encourage people to read the book if they want to get inside of Obama, and not just your views, before Obama's own memoir comes out. But what I don't get '-- I hear you saying this and I'm kind of nodding in agreement, and I used to nod when I'd see you being interviewed in the White House '-- wouldn't have helped to end this open-ended military posture of the U.S. if Obama had not filled his administration with card-carrying hawks from the get-go? Hillary Clinton, Rahm Emanuel, Leon Panetta, Susan Rice, the list goes on '-- all very bright people, but all people who quite like the idea of America being involved in lots of conflicts.
BR: Well, you know, I describe in the book the Afghan review in 2009, I think was a more important event than, you know, people probably I think now in that, you know, that was a pretty extraordinary process where essentially they came to him with one option, to surge in an open-ended way, 40,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan with no timeline to bring them down. And despite months of meetings, you know, I detail whatever Obama did to try to refine the objectives, the recommendation was the same. And what he ended up doing was imposing a timeline on the surge. But, in fact, you know, just the fact of the surge itself would make it very hard for us to, by the end of administration, fully extricate ourselves from Afghanistan.
And I do think that there was a mindset that drove that process that was out of step with what President Obama was looking for. And the interesting thing is that going forward he was much more vigilant in working to try to constrain that type of open-ended escalation and the options that came to him, and, of course, he got charged with micromanaging the military relentlessly.
MH: But Ben, here's what I don't get, if you're saying this about Afghanistan and prolonged conflict, all of which I don't disagree with what you're saying. How do you, then, explain Syria? Because you've been criticized a lot. I've been listening to your interviews on the book tour; you talk about in the book about how you were criticized for not doing enough on Syria. I remember being an event in D.C. a couple years ago where Syrian opposition members were berating you for not doing enough at an event, and you often were the public face who came out and defended Obama. I want to come to the other direction and say: Did you intervene too much in Syria? Because the CIA spent hundreds of millions of dollars funding and arming anti-Assad rebels, a lot of those arms, as you know, ended up in the hands of jihadist groups, some even in the hands of ISIS. Your critics would say you exacerbated that proxy war in Syria; you prolonged the conflict in Syria; you ended up bolstering jihadists.
BR: Well, what I try to do in the book is, you know, essentially raise '-- all the second guessing on Syria tends to be not what you expressed, Mehdi, but the notion that we should've taken military action.
MH: Yes.
BR: What I do in the book is I try to look back at 2011 and 2012, was there a diplomatic window that we missed or that we, in some ways, escalated its closure by pivoting to the call for Assad to go '-- which obviously I believe should happen, I believe Assad has been a terrible leader for Syria and has brutalized his people '-- but, you know, was there a diplomatic initiative that could have been taken to try to avert or at least minimize the extent of the civil war. Because, you know, what ended up happening essentially there is, you know, we were probably too optimistic that, you know, after Mubarak went and Ben Ali and eventually Saleh and Gaddafi, that you would have a situation where Assad would go. And, you know, not factoring in enough the assistance he was going to get from Russia and Iran, combined with his own nihilism, and how that could lead him to survive. So I do look back at that potentially missed diplomatic opportunity.
On the support of the opposition, you know, I don't know that I would give us that much agency. There are a lot of people putting arms into Syria, funding all sorts of '--
MH: Oh, come on, but you were coordinating a lot of their arms. You know, the U.S. was heavily involved in that war with the Saudis and the Qataris and the Turks.
BR: Well, I was going to say: Turkey, Qatar, Saudi.
MH: You were in there as well.
BR: Yeah, but, the fact of the matter is that once it kind of devolved into kind of a sectarian-based civil war with different sides fighting for their perceived survival, I think we, the ability to bring that type of situation to close, and part of what I wrestled with in the book is the limits of our ability to pull a lever and make killing like that stop once it's underway.
So that's why I still look to that initial opening window. I also describe, there was a slight absurdity in the fact that we were debating options to provide military support to the opposition at the same time that we were deciding to designate al-Nusra, a big chunk of that opposition, as a terrorist organization. So there was kind of a schizophrenia that's inherent in a lot of U.S. foreign policy that came to a head in Syria.
MH: That's a very good word, especially to describe Syria policy. We're almost out of time. I just want to do, I do want to ask you this: You mentioned earlier, if we'd known Trump was coming next, we maybe would have modified our policy on Saudi or on Yemen or whatever. And I think that would apply to a lot of areas, if you'd known Trump was coming next.
What do you say to those of your critics who say you left behind this expanded, secretive, unaccountable executive branch, an entire architecture of NSA surveillance, assassination programs, drone programs, not to mention the precedent of launching wars without congressional approval, like Libya? You left that behind for Donald Trump to inherit, to use, to abuse; you basically left behind a loaded gun for Donald Trump to start firing.
BR: Yeah, but the problem with that, Mehdi, is that Congress was never, ever going to take any ownership of that stuff. We tried desperately just to get an AUMF, an authorization to use force, on ISIS. If we had a Congress that we possibly could have worked with, we certainly would have, you know, tried to amend the existing AUMF, which dates back to post-9/11.
MH: I'm not defending Congress, but, you know, Congress didn't force you to bring in new innovations like executing an American citizen via drone strike, which no previous president had done, which now Donald Trump has the power to do.
BR: Yeah, but I think people should understand, though, that Congress provides the architecture of all these authorities. You know, they date back to post-9/11, they date back to the Bush administration: the Patriot Act, the Authorization [for] Use [of] Military Force. So essentially, even if we had, you know, terminated a lot of the things.
MH: But it was expanded on your watch, Ben. It's not about terminating, not terminating. Obama expanded it. I get why, I understand the reasoning, we don't have time to get into it, you know. You didn't want to invade and occupy countries, this was a lighter military foot, I get all of that. But the point is it was expanded on his watch, and now you have Donald Trump with all those powers. Surely that must scare the crap out of you.
BR: Well, certainly, Donald Trump with any kind of power scares me. But it was expanded and contracted. I mean, we had contracted it by the end.
But I do think, you know, the challenges in our foreign policy, again, some of the things that you're uncomfortable with and some of your listeners, I'm sure, you know one person, even the president of the United States can't alter that direction. Again, like, you know, the congressional incentives '-- we couldn't close Gitmo, I mean, despite our efforts. There's literally nothing we could do because Congress wouldn't let us do it. So some of these things '-- the authorities given to a president, to wage war, to use tools like drones, to conduct surveillance '-- those authorities we're going to be there no matter what Barack Obama did because that's the orientation of Congress. And, ultimately, you know, changing the direction of American foreign policy, even if you think we could have done more, to truly address some of those issues, you know, there's going to have to be a shift in how Congress approaches them.
MH: Ben Rhodes, thanks for taking time out and coming on the show to talk about Obama's record. I appreciate you coming in, taking some of these more critical questions. Good luck with the book tour.
BR: Thanks, Mehdi.
[Musical interlude]
MH: That was Ben Rhodes, former top Obama adviser and author of the new book, ''The World as It Is: A Memoir of the Obama White House.''
And that's our show! Deconstructed will be back next week for the last show of the season before our summer break '-- much earned '--and we'll be keeping a close eye on the U.S. Supreme Court, which is expected to deliver its ruling on Donald Trump's Muslim Ban any day now.
Deconstructed is a production of First Look Media and The Intercept, and is distributed by Panoply.
Our producer is Zach Young. Dina Sayedahmed is our production assistant. Leital Molad is our executive producer. Our theme music was composed by Bart Warshaw. Betsy Reed is The Intercept's editor in chief.
I'm Mehdi Hasan. You can follow me on Twitter @mehdirhasan. If you haven't already, please do subscribe to the show so you can hear it every week. Go to to subscribe from your podcast platform of choice '-- and if you're an Android user, Google has just released a new podcast app. You can hear Deconstructed on there as well.
If you're subscribed already, please do leave us a rating or review '-- it helps people find the show. And if you want to give us feedback, email us at
Thanks so much! See you next week.
VIDEO - Ryan Saavedra 🇺🇸 on Twitter: "Maxine Waters calls for attacks on Trump administration: "If you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd and you push back
Mon, 25 Jun 2018 02:32
Log in Sign up Ryan Saavedra 🇺🇸 @ RealSaavedra Maxine Waters calls for attacks on Trump administration: "If you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd and you push back on them, and you tell them they're not welcome anymore, anywhere." 1:24 PM - 24 Jun 2018 Twitter by: Ryan Saavedra 🇺🇸 @RealSaavedra Leigh @ TraderJill77
6h Replying to
@RealSaavedra Let me get this straight... An elected official is promoting harassment? Huh, I guess the laws don't apply if you're a Liberal. Did they ever?
View conversation · Real Johhnie Doe 🛠@ RealJohhnieDoe
6h Replying to
@RealSaavedra @RealKyleMorris I can play that game too. Trump supporters are generally armed and will not have a problem standing our ground and drawing our own crowds. Lets do this
View conversation · Omar Navarro for Congress Campaign @ PressGop
6h Replying to
@RealSaavedra @RealOmarNavarro Support
@realOmarNavarro to defeat Maxine Waters.Election Day 🇺🇸 Nov. 6, 2018
View conversation · #Draintheswamp Petunia @ tltyson
6h Replying to
@RealSaavedra @SecretService She is inciting violence and hate against the administration...she needs a visit from
View conversation · '…Kim Belicious'… @ KimsRustyWheels
6h Replying to
@RealSaavedra @justjanedoee She's advocating terrorism and violence. This lady needs to be locked up.
View conversation · Madhopper @ Madhopper59
6h Replying to
@tltyson @RealSaavedra and
2 others @realDonaldTrump This needs to stop NOW. Threatening President Trump or any member of his Administration is a crime. Ms. Waters needs a visit and a muzzle.
View conversation · Steven VB @ vbislands
6h Replying to
@RealJohhnieDoe @RealSaavedra @RealKyleMorris Don't play Maxine Waters game, what we do is to show up in the voting booth let them play the bully game we play the voting game.
View conversation · Marco ðŸðŸ>>ðŸ‘🇺🇸 @ mmarco102
6h Replying to
@Madhopper59 @tltyson and
4 others Indeed Maxine is insighting a riot in that tweet.
@FBI @SecretService View conversation · Frank Espinoza @ Frankhe1
6h Replying to
@RealSaavedra Poor Maxine. Alzheimer's causes this type of reaction in some people. She needs to be sent to Hospice before she hurts someone or herself. I feel sorry for her stage 4 affliction. May God have mercy on her demented soul/mind/demeanor. View conversation · Susan Horsley @ susan_suememaw7
5h Replying to
@vbislands @RealJohhnieDoe and
2 others Everyone of us better turn out more than the same old same old. It's time to do what was done in 2016. State wide elections are not difficult. They are by the majority/popular vote wins. THAT MEANS TURN OUT COME HAIL OR HIGH WATERS. GET THEIR AND VOTE.
View conversation · Craig M. Small, CFA. @ craigmsmall23
5h Replying to
@RealSaavedra @DonDraperClone I don't support 75% of what Trump does but saying we should be divided & pushed away because diff political beliefs is dangerous.We need to include those of diff races or religions, but not political beliefs? Instead of signs saying ''Whites only'' will we see ''democrats only''?
View conversation · Steven VB @ vbislands
5h Replying to
@susan_suememaw7 @RealJohhnieDoe and
2 others I predicted Trump was going to beat Hillary I'm predicting we are going to maintain the house a the senate with super majority. Let Maxine Waters bully us we go out and vote.
View conversation · S.S. @ NYCBandit33
5h Replying to
@RealSaavedra @RepMaxineWaters Isn't there some law or congressional code of conduct against inciting mobs or unrest?
@RepMaxineWaters is a bully in the 1st degree.
View conversation · Robin Nees @ RobinNees
5h Replying to
@NYCBandit33 @RealSaavedra @RepMaxineWaters I think it qualifies as sedition.
View conversation · Debbie Aldrich🇺🇸 @ DebbieAAldrich
5h Replying to
@RealSaavedra @RealKyleMorris and
10 others That is inciting violence against our government!!!
@POTUS @Jim_Jordan @RepDeSantis @RepMarkMeadows @JessieJaneDuff @JudgeJeanine @SaraCarterDC @seanhannity@RepMaxineWaters acting subversively calling for going after Trump admin., could end badly
@FBI do your job.
View conversation · Coach Deno' @ DenocD
5h Replying to
@RealSaavedra'... View conversation · S.S. @ NYCBandit33
5h Replying to
@RobinNees @RealSaavedra @RepMaxineWaters That's the word I was looking for!ðŸ
View conversation · Latrice Y Castillo @ mochamomma75
5h Replying to
@craigmsmall23 @RealSaavedra @DonDraperClone Apparently, you haven't realized Trump has already set that precedent. From the beginning everything is the Democrats fault. He's even said Democrats don't love our country and are against the military. He's separated us from the every beginning
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Italy's Salvini Puts Roadblocks in Migrants' Way While Reaching Out to Fellow European Populists - WSJ
Thu, 28 Jun 2018 14:41
ROME'--Matteo Salvini, having established himself as Italy's leading populist firebrand, is now making political waves in Europe.
The leader of the anti-immigration League party and interior minister is blocking migrant-laden boats from landing in Italy, challenging European Union rules on asylum, and adding to the pressure on Germany's beleaguered chancellor, Angela Merkel.
Mr. Salvini, 45 years old, is emerging as a key player in a network of European nationalist politicians who want a tougher immigration crackdown. His growing clout in Rome, and Italy's role as a gateway to Europe for migration from Africa, are making him a dangerous adversary for Ms. Merkel as she struggles to work out a common EU approach on migration.
Immigration policy is the central battleground in Europe's deepening political divide. A centrist, pro-European Union establishment is seeking to reassure voters that cooperative measures can curb migration flows while spreading the burden of taking in refugees fairly. Antiestablishment political insurgents, particularly on the far-right, are denouncing EU efforts as a failure and seeking to sweep away longtime incumbents such as Ms. Merkel.
European populists have been in close contact to develop common positions. Some politicians in Italy, Austria and Germany have called for an ''axis of the willing'' to combat illegal immigration.
''Italy has stopped bowing its head and obeying,'' Mr. Salvini said this month after blocking a ship bearing asylum seekers from landing. He has long accused Italy's centrist politicians of doing what Germany and EU authorities wanted, including by continuing to take in asylum seekers from Africa, who are often brought across the Mediterranean on rescue ships after taking to sea in rickety boats.
His rhetoric has shocked many Italians, drawing accusations of xenophobia. On June 18, he called for counting and registering the Roma minority, while deporting some. ''Unfortunately we will have to keep the Italian Roma,'' he told a local television station.
Since 2011, more than 750,000 refugees and other migrants have reached Italy after being rescued in the Mediterranean. EU law holds that asylum-seekers are entitled to apply for international protection once they reach the mainland.
The number of arrivals has fallen sharply in the past year as Libya, with Italian encouragement, has cracked down on movement through its territory. Only about 16,500 people have landed in Italy this year. However, the potency of the migration debate continues to grow in Italian politics.
When EU leaders try to find answers to Europe's migration problems at a Brussels summit on Thursday, Italy will be represented by Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte. But Mr. Salvini and his League are the real power behind the new government in Rome, overshadowing their more moderate partners, the 5 Star Movement.
The League's popularity continues to grow, reaching around 28% in the latest opinion polls, compared with 17% in March elections.
Mr. Salvini's provocative style carries strong echoes of U.S. President Donald Trump, from his prolific social-media posts to his ''Italians First'' campaign slogan.
His first major foray into European politics came last week, when he said Italy wouldn't agree take back migrants from Germany to help relieve pressure on Ms. Merkel. ''The Italian government is willing to help only Italians,'' he said.
Ms. Merkel has been facing intense pressure from Bavarian conservatives in her ruling coalition who want to close Germany's borders to asylum seekers already registered in another EU country.
The German leader, who defends open borders within Europe, is pushing for voluntary arrangements under which asylum seekers would be sent back to countries such as Italy where they first landed in Europe. The rift in Ms. Merkel's government over the issue is so deep as Berlin is rife with speculation the chancellor could fall.
Mr. Salvini, however, is demanding that the rest of Europe take more migrants off Italy's hands'--rather than sending some back. ''Instead of being willing to take, we are willing to give,'' he said.
''The destiny of Merkel hangs partly on how much Italy is willing to concede,'' said Federico Santi, an analyst at political risk consultancy Eurasia Group. ''The problem is greater for Germany than for Italy. Salvini is gaining, while Merkel sees her position under threat.''
The deepening dispute over how to distribute migrants within the EU is leading European governments to focus on blocking off migration routes within Africa'--one thing on which Mr. Salvini and Ms. Merkel agree.
On Monday, Mr. Salvini visited Libyan leaders and promised more Italian vessels and training for the Libyan coast guard. Italy wants Libya to patrol its coast and stop migrant-laden boats from heading to Europe. Mr. Salvini also called for EU-financed migrant-processing centers in African countries to Libya's south.
''The priority for Italy is to protect [Europe's] external borders. We must solve the problem at its roots,'' he said.
Write to Giovanni Legorano at
Former Equifax software development manager charged with insider trading: US prosecutors
Thu, 28 Jun 2018 14:36
Another former Equifax executive is facing insider trading charges.
On Thursday, prosecutors said they charged a former software development manager with insider trading, nearly four months after the former chief information officer of one of Equifax's business units faced similar charges. The subject of the most recent charges, Sudhakar Reddy Bonthu, is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday.
The U.S. Attorney in Atlanta said in a notice about the arraignment that the insider trading related to a massive data breach last July that Equifax disclosed to the public in September. The Securities and Exchange Commission filed separate civil charges on Thursday.
Bonthu, 44, was fired in March after refusing to cooperate with an internal investigation into whether he had violated the company's insider trading policy. The SEC says Bonthu worked on creating a website for consumers who were affected by the breach. He had been told the work was for a client but surmised it was for Equifax itself, and in the days before the breach became public he placed a bet in the options market that Equifax shares would fall.
His profit was $75,000, the SEC said. Bonthu has agreed to return the money plus interest and to a permanent injunction to settle the SEC charges.
In a statement, Equifax said, ''Upon learning about the sales of Equifax shares by Mr. Bonthu, we immediately launched a review of his trading activity and separated him from our company after he declined to cooperate with our inquiry. We are fully cooperating with the SEC and the Department of Justice, and will continue to do so. We take corporate governance and compliance very seriously, and will not tolerate violations of our policies.''
After the data breach was revealed, questions about executives selling shares in the company last summer emerged. Four top executives sold nearly $2 million of stock just days after the breach was discovered internally but weeks before the public was informed. A special committee of the board found that the sales by these executives were not improper and that they didn't know about the breach at the time of the sales.
But another executive, Jun Ying, was indicted in March of insider trading and charged by the U.S. Attorney and the SEC. Prosecutors say he used inside knowledge and sold the equivalent of $950,000 of stock before the breach was made public and Equifax shares dropped 14 percent.
Richard Best, the director of the SEC's Atlanta bureau, said in a statement Thursday, "Corporate insiders simply cannot abuse their access to sensitive information and illegally enrich themselves.''
The SEC said the investigation is continuing.
Erdogan win sets up prolonged stand-off with US
Thu, 28 Jun 2018 14:35
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and US President Donald Trump, in New York in September 2017 (AFP Photo/Brendan Smialowski)
Washington (AFP) - Washington's chilly reaction to Recep Tayyip Erdogan's election victory and consolidation of his presidential powers reflect expectations that no thaw in US-Turkish ties is imminent.
Erdogan's position as Turkey's leader remains strong, but his parliamentary majority now depends not just on his own AKP party but also on the nationalist MHP -- no friend to America.
So in the medium term, despite opposition gains, he will have little room to compromise on the long list of issues that have hurt ties with NATO and with US President Donald Trump's administration.
And in particular, Erdogan is now even less likely to bend on his key beef with Washington: Turkey's determined opposition to the Pentagon's continued support for Kurdish militia inside Syria.
"The fact that he had to enter a formal coalition with ultranationalists is very important," said Asli Aydintasbas, political columnist and a fellow of the European Council on Foreign Relations.
"That dependency is going to be a difficult thing to manage at times," she added, in a call with US-based journalists.
Soner Cagaptay, head of the Turkish Research Program at The Washington Institute, was also pessimistic about US-Turkish ties.
"If you thought Turkey's foreign policy already had little room to maneuver on issues of Kurdish nationalism, you're going to be surprised how that room is going to narrow down," he said.
Warning that Erdogan's tough stance has "near universal support" at home, he said: "Turkey is going to voice its opposition to US support for the YPG more frequently and more forcefully."
As part of its strategy to defeat the jihadist Islamic State group in Syria and northern Iraq, the US-led anti-IS coalition has co-opted the Kurdish YPG militia into the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
Turkey's government -- and a large majority of Turkish voters -- see the YPG as little more than an offshoot of the "terrorist" PKK, with which Ankara has been at war for decades.
Turkish troops and allied Syrian Arab rebels have stormed one YPG enclave in northern Syria and now Ankara and Washington are in talks to defuse a stand-off around the town of Manbij.
Kemal Kirisci of the Brookings Institution noted that opposition calls for better relations with the European Union had not impressed voters as much as Erdogan's "anti-Western narrative."
- 'Hostage diplomacy' -
Nevertheless, he wrote, Turkey's main challenges in its region and in Syria especially will come from Russia and Iran, suggesting Ankara may have to mend fences with its traditional allies.
But Syria is only one of a raft of issues complicating US-Turkish relations.
Under Erdogan, after a July 2016 coup attempt, dozens of Western citizens were arrested and many charged with terrorism offenses, in what some in Washington do not hesitate to call "hostage diplomacy."
The case of Andrew Brunson, a Christian pastor who had been in Turkey for more than two decades has become a cause celebre and Trump's administration has repeatedly demanded that he be freed.
Turkey, conversely, has demanded that the United States send home 77-year-old Fethullah Gulen, the exiled Islamic preacher and leader of a global movement who now lives in Pennsylvania.
Erdogan accuses Gulen of being behind the failed coup and some of the corruption allegations that had dogged his rule, but US authorities have requested evidence to back the extradition bid.
Yet another bone of contention concerns arms sales.
Despite being a leading NATO ally, Turkey has entered into an understanding to buy Russia's advanced S-400 air defense system, in defiance of US sanctions on Moscow.
The State Department has protested and US lawmakers have suggested the deal could endanger a sale of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter to Turkey.
Still more issues cloud ties -- such as the behavior of Erdogan's bodyguards, who have twice brawled with peaceful demonstrators in Washington -- but things work out better behind the scenes.
- 'Prickly nationalists' -
US officials speaking on condition of anonymity say that when Erdogan is not playing up to his anti-American base work can be accomplished.
But they note that, while former secretary of state Rex Tillerson and national security adviser H.R. McMaster built a rapport with Ankara, their successors Mike Pompeo and John Bolton have yet to do so.
Colonel Rich Outzen, a US army and State Department policy advisor, said he hadn't expected the election to make ties any easier, given the Turkish electorate's 45 to 50 percent block of "prickly nationalists."
Speaking in a personal capacity at a think tank event, he admitted that none of the outstanding disputes are "made any easier" by the result.
But he said talks on resolving Turkey's concerns about Manbij and the border, while a "difficult process", had left him "reasonably upbeat."
BREAKING: California judge tosses global warming lawsuit against oil companies | Watts Up With That?
Thu, 28 Jun 2018 14:34
Judge Alsup just a few moments ago issued his Opinion and Order shutting down this ridiculous litigation against B.P., Chevron, and others.
He made it easy on himself by asserting several times that it is established, and ''both sides'' agree, that Global Warming is real, serious, and anthropogenic.
But that, he said, is irrelevant because the California government entities' Nuisance theory is legally just plain crazy.
See the ruling:
California v. B.P. '-- Judge Alsup's Opinion Dismissing the Case 6-25-18 (PDF)
Here's some excerpts:
The issue is not over science. All parties agree that fossil fuels have led to global warming and ocean rise and will continue to do so, and that eventually the navigable waters of the United States will intrude upon Oakland and San Francisco. The issue is a legal one '-- whether these producers of fossil fuels should pay for anticipated harm that will eventually flow from a rise in sea level.
The sole claim for relief is for ''public nuisance,'' a claim governed by federal common law. The specific nuisance is global-warming induced sea level rise. Plaintiffs' theory, to repeat, is that defendants' sale of fossil fuels leads to their eventual combustion, which leads to more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which leads to more global warming and consequent ocean rise.
The scope of plaintiffs' theory is breathtaking. It would reach the sale of fossil fuels anywhere in the world, including all past and otherwise lawful sales, where the seller knew that the combustion of fossil fuels contributed to the phenomenon of global warming. While these actions are brought against the first, second, fourth, sixth and ninth largest producers of fossil fuels, anyone who supplied fossil fuels with knowledge of the problem would be liable. At one point, counsel seemed to limit liability to those who had promoted allegedly phony science to deny climate change. But at oral argument, plaintiffs' counsel clarified that any such promotion remained merely a ''plus factor.'' Their theory rests on the sweeping proposition that otherwise lawful and everyday sales of fossil fuels, combined with an awareness that greenhouse gasemissions lead to increased global temperatures, constitute a public nuisance.6
A public nuisance under federal common law, both sides agree, is an ''unreasonable interference with a right common to the general public,'' as set forth in the Restatement (Second) of Torts § 821B(1) (1979). Putting aside momentarily the important issue of displacement, a successful public nuisance claim therefore requires proof that a defendant's activity unreasonably interferes with the use or enjoyment of a public right and thereby causes the public-at-large substantial and widespread harm. Native Vill. of Kivalina v. ExxonMobil Corp., 696 F.3d 849, 855 (9th Cir. 2012) (citing Missouri v. Illinois, 200 U.S. 496, 521 (1906)).
No plaintiff has ever succeeded in bringing a nuisance claim based on global warming. But courts that have addressed such claims, as well as the parties here, have turned to the Restatement to analyze whether the common law tort of nuisance can be applied in this context.7 Section 821B of the Restatement sets forth three tests for whether an interference with a public right is unreasonable:
(a) Whether the conduct involves a significant interference with the public health, the public safety, the public peace, the public comfort or the public convenience, or(b) whether the conduct is proscribed by a statute, ordinance or administrative regulation, or(c) whether the conduct is of a continuing nature or has produced a permanent or long-lasting effect, and, as the actor knows or has reason to know, has a significant effect upon the public right.
To be held liable for a public nuisance, a defendant's interference with a public right can either be intentional, or unintentional and otherwise actionable under principles controlling liability for negligence, recklessness, or abnormally dangerous activities.
Here, plaintiffs seek to impose liability on five companies for their production and sale of fossil fuels worldwide. These claims '-- through which plaintiffs request billions of dollars to abate the localized effects of an inherently global phenomenon '-- undoubtedly implicate the interests of countless governments, both foreign and domestic. The challenged conduct is, as far as the complaints allege, lawful in every nation. And, as the United States aptly notes, manyforeign governments actively support the very activities targeted by plaintiffs' claims (USA Amicus Br. at 18). Nevertheless, plaintiffs would have a single judge or jury in California impose an abatement fund as a result of such overseas behavior. Because this relief would effectively allow plaintiffs to govern conduct and control energy policy on foreign soil, we must exercise great caution.
With respect to balancing the social utility against the gravity of the anticipated harm, it is true that carbon dioxide released from fossil fuels has caused (and will continue to cause) global warming. But against that negative, we must weigh this positive: our industrial revolution and the development of our modern world has literally been fueled by oil and coal. Without those fuels, virtually all of our monumental progress would have been impossible. All of us have benefitted. Having reaped the benefit of that historic progress, would it really be fair to now ignore our own responsibility in the use of fossil fuels and place the blame for global warming on those who supplied what we demanded? Is it really fair, in light of those benefits, to say that the sale of fossil fuels was unreasonable? This order recognizes but does not resolve these questions, for there is a more direct resolution from the Supreme Court and our court of appeals, next considered.
This order fully accepts the vast scientific consensus that the combustion of fossil fuels has materially increased atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, which in turn has increased the median temperature of the planet and accelerated sea level rise. But questions of how to appropriately balance these worldwide negatives against the worldwide positives of the energy itself, and of how to allocate the pluses and minuses among the nations of the world, demand the expertise of our environmental agencies, our diplomats, our Executive, and at least the Senate. Nuisance suits in various United States judicial districts regarding conduct worldwide are far less likely to solve the problem and, indeed, could interfere with reaching a worldwide consensus.
CONCLUSIONIt may seem peculiar that an earlier order refused to remand this action to state court on the ground that plaintiffs' claims were necessarily governed by federal law, while the current order concludes that federal common law should not be extended to provide relief. There is, however, no inconsistency. It remains proper for the scope of plaintiffs' claims to be decided under federal law, given the international reach of the alleged wrong and given that the instrumentality of the alleged harm is the navigable waters of the United States. Although the scope of plaintiffs' claims is determined by federal law, there are sound reasons why regulation of the worldwide problem of global warming should be determined by our political branches, not by our judiciary.
In sum, this order accepts the science behind global warming. So do both sides. The dangers raised in the complaints are very real. But those dangers are worldwide. Their causes are worldwide. The benefits of fossil fuels are worldwide. The problem deserves a solution on a more vast scale than can be supplied by a district judge or jury in a public nuisance case. While it remains true that our federal courts have authority to fashion common law remedies for claims based on global warming, courts must also respect and defer to the other co-equal branches of government when the problem at hand clearly deserves a solution best addressed by those branches. The Court will stay its hand in favor of solutions by the legislative and executive branches. For the reasons stated, defendants' motion to dismiss is GRANTED.
h/t to Charles the Moderator and James Braden
Oklahoma Becomes 30th State To Legalize Medical Marijuana | The Daily Caller
Thu, 28 Jun 2018 14:33
Oklahomans voted to legalize medical marijuana throughout the state Tuesday night, creating some of the least restrictive laws for the drug in a staunchly red state.
State Question 788 passed around 10:30 p.m. EST with 56.7 percent of the vote and 89 percent of precincts reporting, according to The New York Times. (RELATED: Gallup: American Support For Legal Marijuana At All-Time High)
The new law allows doctors to prescribe marijuana to anyone over the age of 18. Growing, selling and using marijuana is now legal, as long as it is done for medical purposes, according to Business Insider.
Groups opposed to the legislation spent close to $1 million campaigning against the initiative. Pot opponents faced an uphill battle, though, as polling showed a large margin of support for the proposed law in the lead-up to the vote.
Oklahoma is the 30th state to legalize marijuana for medical purposes, BI reported.
Oklahoma reclassified all drug possession crimes as misdemeanors in 2016, reducing the punishment for offenders caught with the illegal substance. Law enforcement opposed State Question 788 and a further relaxing of state drug laws, but they could not sway the vote, according to Fortune.
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Romney Wins Utah Senate Primary In A Landslide | The Daily Caller
Thu, 28 Jun 2018 14:33
3:53 AM 06/27/2018Robert Donachie | Capitol Hill and Health Care Reporter
Former Massachusetts governor and failed Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney defeated his primary challenger Tuesday evening in a landslide, setting him up for an all-but-assured victory in Utah's general November midterm election.
Romney received over 72 percent of the vote against GOP Rep. Mike Kennedy, a physician who has resided in Utah since 2013. The final vote was called with over 89 percent of precincts reporting as of 11:43 p.m. Tuesday, with Romney receiving 72.9 percent of the vote compared to Kennedy's 27.1 percent.
Romney had the election on lock leading into Tuesday's primary. He consistently held an over-40 percent advantage over the field '-- Republican and Democrat '-- throughout the campaign.
Democratic candidate Jenny Wilson won the Democratic nomination in late April.
Both Republican candidates were vying to replace Sen. Orrin Hatch '-- the longest-serving Republican senator in the history of the upper chamber. Hatch hat-tipped his retirement with the statement that he would fully endorse Romney if he decided to throw his name into the race. (RELATED: Hatch Announces His Retirement)
Romney out-fundraised the field by a large margin. The former governor raked in over $3.6 million in donations and had nearly $2 million on hand heading into Tuesday's vote. The next highest fundraising candidate was Wilson, who brought in just over $540,000. Kennedy amassed roughly $486,000.
The election wasn't necessarily on lock, despite holding a steady advantage in the polls, having a much larger campaign purse and Hatch's endorsement. What seemed like an easy road to success for Romney was clouded after the former governor lost to Kennedy in two rounds of voting at the Utah Republican Convention in April.
Both candidates are Mormons, which is almost necessary in the state considered to be the heart of the Mormon faith. While Kennedy is a Mormon, Romney is considered something of a legend within the Utah Mormon community, which likely gave him a boon with voters.
Romney's 2012 president run also raised his name recognition significantly within the state.
The former governor received criticism from his opponent that he is a ''carpet-bagger,'' meaning he quickly moved to the state only so that he could run for Senate. Kennedy also hit Romney for his anti-Trump rhetoric, which Romney largely dodged, claiming the president's policies have been successful beyond what he originally predicted.
Utah has not elected a Democratic senator since 1977, electing a solid streak of Republican senators, like Hatch and Mike Lee.
Utah is an interesting state when it comes to Republican politics. On the one hand, it has arguably the most establishment Republican senator next to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell with Hatch and its other senator is, like Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, a notable anti-establishment Republican.
Romney currently leads Wilson with around a 40 percentage point advantage.
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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 Tags : mitt romney senate republicans utah
Godwin Suspends Godwin's Law - Slog - The Stranger
Thu, 28 Jun 2018 14:13
Godwin's Law:
American attorney and author Mike Godwin coined his eponymous law on Usenet in 1990. Godwin's law (or Godwin's rule of Hitler analogies) is an internet adage asserting that "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Hitler approaches 1"; that is, if an online discussion (regardless of topic or scope) goes on long enough, sooner or later someone will compare someone or something to Adolf Hitler or his deeds. Promulgated by the American attorney and author Mike Godwin in 1990.... [There] is a tradition in many newsgroups and other Internet discussion forums that, when a Hitler comparison is made, the thread is finished and whoever made the comparison loses whatever debate is in progress.
By all means, compare these shitheads to Nazis. Again and again. I'm with you.'-- Mike Godwin (@sfmnemonic) August 14, 2017
GOP Congressman Says He Received More Death Threats In 2017 Than Every Other Year Combined | The Daily Caller
Thu, 28 Jun 2018 13:52
12:10 AM 06/27/2018Peter Hasson | Reporter
Republican Arizona Rep. David Schweikert says he received more death threats in 2017 than every other year he's been in office combined.
''My fear is this is the playbook of a lot of our brothers and sisters on the left '-- they're going to get fringier and fringier, louder and louder, angrier and angrier, and as you and I know, we sometimes have some folks in our society who aren't completely healthy,'' Schweikert said while appearing on ''Plaidcast,'' a podcast hosted by Republican Rep. Sean Duffy of Wisconsin.
''And we had more death threats last year, in my office, even one towards my little girl, than we've ever had in all the other years combined and my fear is that this rage that is being generated for political turnout is actually really becoming unhealthy for our political society,'' Schweikert continued.
The Arizona congressman has served in Congress since 2011.
''It's incredibly troubling, because I've had threats against my family and my children as well '-- horrible things said,'' Duffy agreed. ''We know what happened to [House Majority Whip] Steve Scalise last year and our baseball team and with that, I don't think the left recognizes that this isn't the way the system was set up.''
''We're supposed to debate, we're supposed to argue, and we can be passionate, but then we go vote and we have elections and after we have winners we kind of step back and let them govern,'' Duffy said. (RELATED: New Normal: Trump Allies Face Harassment, Protests Anywhere They Show Their Faces)
''There's an absolute attempt to dehumanize anyone who disagrees, and particularly the rage is off the charts right now because our philosophy is actually working,'' Schweikert said, adding that he believes the success of the economy is forcing Democrats to dehumanize Republicans for political purposes.
''If you can't win by facts and the arguments and the proof is just outside these doors, then you have to dehumanize those of us who are on the more conservative side,'' he said.
Schweikert's comments come just about a year after a left-wing Bernie Sanders supporter attempted a mass assassination of Republican congressmen in June 2017.
Democratic California Rep. Maxine Waters sparked controversy on Saturday when she encouraged liberal mobs to harass members of President Donald Trump's administration at restaurants, gas stations and even at home. (RELATED: Maxine Waters Paying Daughter Over $100K In Campaign Funds)
''Already you have members of your cabinet that are being booed out of restaurants,'' We have protesters taking up at their house who are saying, 'No peace, no sleep. No peace, no sleep,''' Waters said, pledging to ''win this battle.''
''If you see anybody from that cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd,'' the congresswoman added. ''And you push back on them. Tell them they're not welcome any more, anywhere!''
Democratic leaders in Congress have attempted to distance themselves from Waters's comments.
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Tags : david schweikert donald trump maxine waters sean duffy
High court OKs Trump's travel ban, rejects Muslim bias claim
Thu, 28 Jun 2018 13:49
WASHINGTON (AP) '-- A sharply divided Supreme Court upheld President Donald Trump's ban on travel from several mostly Muslim countries Tuesday, the conservative majority taking his side in a major ruling supporting his presidential power. A dissenting liberal justice said the court was making a historic mistake by refusing to recognize the ban discriminates against Muslims.
The 5-4 decision was a big victory for Trump in the court's first substantive ruling on one of his administration's policies. It also was the latest demonstration of a newly invigorated conservative majority and a bitter defeat for the court's liberals.
The ruling came on an issue that has been central for Trump, from his campaign outbursts against "radical Islamic terrorism" through his presidency. He tweeted a quick reaction '-- "Wow!" '-- and then celebrated at greater length before TV cameras.
Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the majority opinion for the five conservative justices, including Trump nominee Neil Gorsuch, who got his seat only after Republicans blocked President Barack Obama's nominee for the last 10 months of Obama's term.
AP Reporter Mark Sherman breaks down Tuesday's Supreme Court decision to uphold the Trump administration's travel ban. The vote was 5-4. (June 26)
Roberts wrote that the travel ban was well within U.S. presidents' considerable authority over immigration and responsibility for keeping the nation safe. He rejected the challengers' claim of anti-Muslim bias that rested in large part on Trump's own tweets and statements over the past three years.
But Roberts was careful not to endorse either Trump's statements about immigration in general or Muslims in particular, including his campaign call for "a complete and total shutdown of Muslims entering the United States."
"We express no view on the soundness of the policy," Roberts wrote.
The travel ban has been fully in place since December, when the justices put the brakes on lower court rulings that had ruled the policy out of bounds and blocked part of it from being enforced. It applies even to people with close relatives in the United States and other strong connections to the country.
In a dissent she summarized aloud in court, Justice Sonia Sotomayor said, "History will not look kindly on the court's misguided decision today, nor should it." Justices Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan also dissented.
Sotomayor wrote that based on the evidence in the case "a reasonable observer would conclude that the Proclamation was motivated by anti-Muslim animus." She said her colleagues in the majority arrived at the opposite result by "ignoring the facts, misconstruing our legal precedent and turning a blind eye to the pain and suffering the Proclamation inflicts upon countless families and individuals, many of whom are United States citizens."
She likened the case to the discredited Korematsu V. U.S. decision that upheld the detention of Japanese-Americans during World War II. Roberts responded in his opinion that "Korematsu has nothing to do with this case" and "was gravely wrong the day it was decided."
The travel ban was among the court's biggest cases this term and the latest in a string of 5-4 decisions in which the conservative side of the court, bolstered by the addition of Gorsuch last year, prevailed. He was chosen by Trump after Republicans in the Senate refused to grant a hearing to federal appeals Judge Merrick Garland who was nominated by Obama in March 2016.
Soon after the ruling, the campaign of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who orchestrated the strategy to keep the high court seat away from Obama, tweeted a photo of McConnell and Gorsuch.
The Trump policy applies to travelers from five countries with overwhelmingly Muslim populations '-- Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen. It also affects two non-Muslim countries, blocking travelers from North Korea and some Venezuelan government officials and their families. A sixth majority Muslim country, Chad, was removed from the list in April after improving "its identity-management and information sharing practices," Trump said in a proclamation.
The administration had pointed to the Chad decision to show that the restrictions were premised only on national security concerns.
The challengers, though, argued that the court could not just ignore all that had happened, beginning with Trump's campaign tweets to prevent the entry of Muslims into the United States.
Trump had proposed a broad, all-encompassing Muslim ban during the presidential campaign in 2015, drawing swift rebukes from Republicans as well as Democrats. And within a week of taking office, the first travel ban was announced with little notice, sparking chaos at airports and protests across the nation.
While the ban has changed shape since then, it has remained a key part of Trump's "America First" vision, with the president contending that the restriction, taken in tandem with his promised wall at the southern border, would make the Unites States safer from potentially hostile foreigners.
On Tuesday, he hailed the ruling as "a moment of profound vindication" following "months of hysterical commentary from the media and Democratic politicians who refuse to do what it takes to secure our border and our country."
Strongly disagreeing, Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota said, "This decision will someday serve as a marker of shame." Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress, and Sen. Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, who was born in Japan, both compared the ban and the ruling to the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II.
Critics of Trump's ban had urged the justices to affirm the decisions in lower courts that generally concluded that the changes made to the travel policy did not erase the ban's legal problems. Trump had also imposed a temporary ban on refugees along with earlier versions of the travel ban, but he did not reimpose a refugee ban when the last one expired in the fall.
The current travel ban dates from last September and it followed what the administration has called a thorough review by several federal agencies, although no such review has been shared with courts or the public.
Federal trial judges in Hawaii and Maryland had blocked the travel ban from taking effect, finding that the new version looked too much like its predecessors. Those rulings that were largely upheld by federal appeals courts in Richmond, Virginia, and San Francisco.
But the Supreme Court came to a different conclusion Tuesday. The policy has "a legitimate grounding in national security concerns," and it has several moderating features, including a waiver program that would allow some people from the affected countries to enter the U.S., Roberts said. Through April, the administration has granted waivers to less than 2 percent of visa applicants '-- 579 out of 33,176 '-- since the ban took effect. An additional 1,147 got visas through other means such as diplomatic or pre-existing refugee status.
Roberts wrote that presidents have frequently used their power to talk to the nation "to espouse the principles of religious freedom and tolerance on which this Nation was founded." But he added that presidents and the country have not always lived up "to those inspiring words."
The challengers to the ban asserted that Trump's statements crossed a constitutional line, Roberts said.
"But the issue before us is not whether to denounce the statements. It is instead the significance of those statements in reviewing a Presidential directive, neutral on its face, addressing a matter within the core of executive responsibility," he said
Associated Press writers Ashraf Khalil and Jonathan Lemire contributed to this report.
Amazon's new accessories turn your Fire tablet into a portable Echo
Thu, 28 Jun 2018 13:39
Todd Haselton
The Fire HD in "Show mode."
Amazon just introduced new software and accessories that will turn your Fire tablet into a portable Echo.
The company on Thursday unveiled a new case and stand for the Fire HD 8 and Fire HD 10 tablet so those devices will act almost just like the Amazon Echo Show, a larger gadget that has a touch display.
You can call up recipes in the kitchen, see song lyrics for music that you're playing, place video calls to friends, start movies and more, all without touching the tablet and with a visual interface that was previously available only on the Echo Show and Echo Spot.
If you're unfamiliar, this is what the Amazon Echo Show looks like:
Todd Haselton | CNBC
When the tablet isn't being used '-- and if Show mode is active or if it's placed in Amazon's new stand '-- the tablet will show the time, headlines and have a wallpaper background.
The new function will be made available for free through a software update that will roll out on Monday, called "Show mode." Once installed, it can be activated by pulling down on the notification shade on either tablet. It will be much more useful to people who also buy the special stand and case, which props up the tablet and allows it to charge.
Todd Haselton
The Fire HD 10 on Amazon's new stand.
I asked Amazon whether these upgrades might make consumers less likely to buy the Echo Show or Echo Spot. Kevin Keith, Amazon's general manager of devices, said Amazon sees this as a complementary experience and expects the Show function on tablets to encourage users to carry them into different rooms of their home.
I already own several Echo and Fire TV devices throughout my house, so it's not a function I really see myself using unless I'm somewhere else, like a hotel room. However, for people who have never purchased an Echo, it may be a good way for Amazon to get the technology into their hands.
The new stands and covers go on sale in July. The package includes the stand and cover and will cost $34.99 for the Fire HD 8 and $49.99 for the Fire HD 10.
Facebook Patent Imagines Triggering Your Phone's Mic When a Hidden Signal Plays on TV
Thu, 28 Jun 2018 13:37
Image: Gizmodo/Sony/FacebookYou may have seen the ads that Facebook has been running on TV in a full-court press to apologize for abusing users privacy. They're embarrassing. And, it turns out, they may be a sign of things to come. Based on a recently published patent application, Facebook could one day use ads on television to further violate your privacy once you've forgotten about all those other times.
First spotted by Metro, the patent is titled ''broadcast content view analysis based on ambient audio recording.'' (PDF) It describes a system in which an ''ambient audio fingerprint or signature'' that's inaudible to the human ear could be embedded in broadcast content like a TV ad. When a hypothetical user is watching this ad, the audio fingerprint could trigger their smartphone or another device to turn on its microphone, begin recording audio and transmit data about it to Facebook.
Diagram of soundwave containing signal, triggering device, and recording ambient audio.Image: USPTOEverything in the patent is written in legalese and is a bit vague about what happens to the audio data. One example scenario imagines that various ambient audio would be eliminated and the content playing on the broadcast would be identified. Data would be collected about the user's proximity to the audio. Then, the identifying information, time, and identity of the Facebook user would be sent to the social media company for further processing.
In addition to all the data users voluntarily give up, and the incidental data it collects through techniques like browser fingerprinting, Facebook would use this audio information to figure out which ads are most effective. For example, if a user walked away from the TV or changed the channel as soon as the ad began to play, it might consider the ad ineffective or on a subject the user doesn't find interesting. If the user stays where they are and the audio is loud and clear, Facebook could compare that seeming effective ad with your other data to make better suggestions for its advertising clients.
An example of a broadcasting device communicating with the network and identifying various users in a household.Image: USPTOYes, this is creepy as hell and feels like someone trying to make a patent for a peephole on a nondescript painting. Surely Facebook wouldn't start doing this with all of the heat they're taking from lawmakers and its steady drip of bad publicity since the Cambridge Analytica scandal, would they? We've asked Facebook if they have any plans to implement this patent in the event that it's approved but didn't receive an immediate reply. Based on the fact that Facebook has been apologizing on and off for more than a decade, and its entire business model relies on knowing more about you than its competitors, we're going to predict that it will definitely do this if it sees the opportunity.
Though this patent was published on June 16, it was filed in December of 2016. There's a small amount of comfort in knowing that Facebook isn't actively seeking approval for this at exactly the worst possible time. The social network has only recently convinced concerned people that it isn't already recording their conversations through its mobile app.
It's less comforting to know that hundreds of apps already listen out for audio beacons embedded in marketing broadcasts. Maybe Facebook's patent will infringe on the ones that already exist and it'll never get approval. But unfortunately, this dystopian future is already a small part of our present.
[US Patent and Trademark Office (PDF) via Metro]
News outlets join forces to track down children separated from their parents by the U.S. | Poynter
Thu, 28 Jun 2018 13:26
The newsrooms are in the U.S., Mexico, Guatemala and El Salvador.
Frustrated at the Trump administration's limited information about thousands of migrant children separated from their parents, a group of news organizations are joining forces to help track down the kids.
BuzzFeed News, ProPublica, The Intercept and Univision announced Wednesday that they are partnering to gather vital information about the children in immigration detention facilities and shelters. Joining the effort: a leading Mexican news site, Animal Pol­tico, the Guatemalan site Plaza Pºblica, and El Faro, from El Salvador.
The outlets will be asking readers for tips and information '-- including through secure channels '-- about what's happening on the ground at the border, in shelters, in facilities and in courtrooms.
The outlets got together to crowdsource this information because actual information on the children "was hard to come by" and state agencies weren't getting federal help, says Jessica Garrison, a senior BuzzFeed News investigative editor.
"We're inviting people to use the online tool, which ProPublica designed, or to reach out to us through our tips line or secure messaging, to help us tell the stories of people who are affected by this policy and to hold accountable those who oversee it," says Ariel Kaminer, also a senior investigations editor at BuzzFeed News.
The ProPublica tool identifies facilities where children may be held. The news outlets are asking anyone who has direct knowledge about a family that has been separated or a facility where children are being held to tell them what they know.
BuzzFeed News is asking for readers to send any tips and information through secure methods or over email at depending on preference comfortability and sensitivity of material. Here are the ways the outlet solicits secure and anonymous tips:
The consortium will not be releasing the names of children and other sensitive information.
Here are the ProPublica call-outs in English and in Spanish.
Detail of the ProPublica mapping project in Spanish. Used with permission.
Other news organizations such as the Texas Tribune and The Washington Post have sought community help in information such as tracking down shelters housing the children, and a group of researchers is using library science to work on the same issue.
UPDATE: El Faro from El Salvador is also a partner on the crowdsourcing effort.
David Beard twitterlogo @dabeard David Beard is a contributing editor to Poynter and writes the Morning MediaWire.
Revealed: rebranded D-Notice committee issued two notices over Skripal affair
Thu, 28 Jun 2018 12:50
Spinwatch can reveal that the Skripal affair has resulted in the issuing of not one but two 'D-N otices' to the British media, which are marked private and confidential. We can also disclose the contents of both notices, which have been obtained from a reliable source.
That two notices were issued has been confirmed by the 'D-Notice' Committee. The Committee, which is jointly staffed by government officials and mainstream media representatives has recently changed its name to the 'Defence and Security Media Advisory (DSMA) Committee'. The use of the word 'advisory' is no doubt a bid to discourage the public from thinking that this is a censorship committee. However, the DSMA-Notices (as they are now officially called) are one of the miracles of British state censorship. They are a mechanism whereby the British state simply 'advises' the mainstream media what not to publish, in 'notices' with no legal force. The media then voluntarily comply.
Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned in Salisbury and discovered collapsed on a park bench in the late afternoon of Sunday 4 March. Less than three days later on 7 March, the first and - until now undisclosed - notice was issued.
The notice stated that the 'issue surrounding the identify [sic] of a former MI6 informer Sergei Skripal is already widely available in the public domain. However, the identifies [sic] of intelligence agency personnel associated with Sergei Skripal are not yet widely available in the public domain'.
The notice goes on to refer to standing notice 5 on the intelligence services:
The provisions of DSMA Notice 05 therefore apply to these identities. DSMA Notice 05 inter alia advises editors against the:
'inadvertent disclosure of Sensitive Personnel Information (SPI) that reveals the identity, location or contact details of personnel (and their family members) who have security, intelligence and/or counter-terrorist backgrounds, including members of the UK Security and Intelligence Agencies, MOD and Specials Forces.'
On the evening of 6 March a Russian opposition news outlet Meduza, styling itself 'Russia's free press in exile', published a long piece on Skripal in English. Citing a variety of online sources including in Russian, some from over a decade old, identifying Pablo Miller as the MI6 agent inside the Estonian embassy who had recruited Sergei Skripal. By the next afternoon the notice was issued to the mainstream media. Perhaps the misspellings in the DSMA notice -'identify' and 'identifies' instead, presumably, of 'identity' and 'identities' - was due to haste in getting it out?
This was followed that evening by a report in the Daily Telegraph published online at 10.24pm. The Telegraph was the first mainstream outlet to discuss - in discreet and decorous terminology - the connection between Skripal and a 'security consultant' who is 'understood to have known him for some time' and 'is also based in Salisbury'. It noted that the paper was 'declining to identify' the consultant, and we can only suspect that this was not unconnected to the notice issued earlier that day. The Telegraph reported that the 'consultant' worked at the same company (Orbis Business Intelligence) that compiled the controversial dossier on Donald Trump and Russia '' paid for by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Convention. The consultant was, as we now know, Pablo Miller, who had 'known' Skripal in the specific sense that he was his MI6 handler. Some, such as Guardian journalist Luke Harding, have suggested that Miller never worked for Orbis, but this seems to be false.
The second D-Notice was issued on 14 March. This appears to be the notice referred to in a tweet by Alex Thomson of Channel Four News. This notice reiterated the warning about intelligence service personnel.
One of the reactions from the Russian authorities in response to the measures that the UK authorities have recently announced, may include the publication or broadcast of Sensitive Personal Information (SPI).
Any publication or broadcast of SPI could identify personnel (and their family members) who work in sensitive positions.
The notice helps to encourage the climate of anti-Russian hysteria implying that investigative reporting on this matter that might discuss British intelligence is in effect Russian propaganda. This is a nice illustration of David Leigh's phrase from nearly 40 years ago: 'the obverse of the secrecy coin is always propaganda'.
It is a standing rebuke to the notion that journalism should question power, that 15 senior media people should agree to sit on this censorship committee. As well as the BBC, ITV, ITN and Murdoch's Sky News, representing broadcasters, there are a variety of representatives from the broadsheet and tabloid press, regional and Scottish newspapers and magazines and publishing - including two News UK and Harper Collins, (both owned by Murdoch) as well as Trinity Mirror, the Daily Mail and the Guardian. On the government side of the committee are the chair from the MoD and four intelligence connected representatives from the MoD (Dominic Wilson, Director General Security Policy), Foreign Office (Lewis Neal, Director for National Security), Home Office (Graeme Biggar, unspecified post in the OSCT) and Cabinet Office (Paddy McGuinness, Deputy National Security Adviser for Security, Intelligence, and Resilience).
The DSMA committee likes to cultivate the impression that it is a rather uninteresting committee that is, as a former vice chair of the committee (a journalist) put it, 'is emphatically not censorship'... but voluntary, responsible media restraint'. Then working at Sky News, that vice chair, Simon Bucks, is now CEO at the Services Sound and Vision Corporation, the broadcasting service which says it is 'championing the Armed Forces'. Bucks also wrote that the DSMA committee is 'the most mythologised and misunderstood institution in British media... ''Slapping a D-notice'' on something the establishment wanted suppressed has been the stuff of thrillers, spy stories and conspiracy theories for more than a century'.
This is a typical deception used regularly by defenders of the British system of censorship. DSMA notices are indeed 'slapped' on the media to this day, as the two notices revealed here show.
The DSMA notices can be found here:
DSMA notice 7 March 2018 DSMA notice 14 March 2018For further information on the DSMA Notice Committee see Powerbase: Defence and Security Media Advisory (DSMA) Notice System.
* This story was updated on 9 May to correct the time of publication of theTelegraph piece on 7 March and note the Russian coverage of the Skripal case the day before.
The Death of the Grown-Up | Diana West > Home - Big Dots. Do They Connect?
Thu, 28 Jun 2018 12:48
Now at The American Spectator
Just came across an intriguing theory about Sergei Skripal, the former Soviet/Russian military intelligence agent who spied for Britain, and, along with his daughter Yulia, was nearly killed this spring by a dose of the nerve agent Novichok in the town of Salisbury, England, where they live.
In a March 21 interview on the John Batchelor Show, Gregory R. Copley, editor and publisher of Defense and Foreign Affairs, posited that Sergei Skripal is the unnamed Russian intelligence source in the Steele dossier.
Copley further explained (or tried to explain) to Batchelor (who kept cutting him off): "The people who wished to see Skripal become quiet were people in Washington, the Democratic National Committee, the Clinton campaign, and people around Christopher Steele himself. I'm not saying necessarily that MI6 or the British government had a witting hand in it, but there are too many people who had an axe to grind to make sure that Skripal did not --"
Did not ... did not what? Batchelor steps on the end of Copley's sentence to interject a question about whether the Novichok attack on the Skripals could have been a "gangland" hit.
What Copley surely meant to say was -- to make sure Skripal did not "talk."
Copley had already explained that in Skripal's UK "retirement," he did plenty of freelance work, providing researchers for a price with that perfect shot of authentic, but also custom-made, "Russian intelligence."
Copley: "He would write whatever people wanted. He would say, `What are you trying to achieve, let me help you,' and he would do that. And he was apparently prepared to, if you like, to fold under pressure and admit that he had done that, and admit that what he had written about Trump in that dossier was pure fiction, written simply to provide his client with --"
With ...?
Batchelor steps on Copley again, this time to put in a question about legality. "... there's nothing illegal about this, correct, Gregory?
Copley: "Not necessarily, until you get to the part where this was not just providing intelligence services to the Clinton campaign; it was providing a document for use in political warfare operations to influence an election. There, he was basically fabricating material purporting for it to be intelligence --"
Batchelor steps on him again! He asks something about whether MI6 knew Steele was working with Skripal -- a question that just might have been able to wait three more seconds.
Even so, Copley's assessment, which he said he had based on "conversations we've had with people familiar with" Skripal, came through loud and clear: In Skripal's pseudo-country-gentleman retirement, the ex-GRU-MI6 double agent was selling custom-made "Russian intelligence"; he had fabricated "material" that went into the Steele dossier; and he was prepared to say so. By Copley's logic, this meant that Skripal's enemies were also Trump's enemies: "people in Washington, the Democratic National Committee, the Clinton campaign, and people around Christopher Steele himself," along with their MI6 and British government allies.
Is this correct? I have no idea. It's quite fascinating, however, as is the British government reaction to certain aspects of it, as seen below.
Copley: "Bear in mind that large elements of the British intelligence community had assumed that Hillary Clinton was going to win the election; they had assumed that it was safe to work with the Obama administration during the eight years to help surveil US nationals, using GCHQ, the British electronic surveillance agency, to surveil US internal phone calls. The NSA is not allowed to do it, so they asked GCHQ to do it -- "
Batchelor cuts in. "Right. Right. That's standard, that's standard isn't Gregory? That was in place during the first Cold War."
Copley: "It was, but it got a little fast and loose during the Obama adminstration when there was an increased level of surveillance of US citizens and telephone calls coming out of the US. Bear in mind we've seen alot of those reports being used against the Trump people by, saying that their calls were sureveilled and [unintelligible] evidence for the FBI -- " Yup, enter interviewer.
Since the spring, the Skirpal poisoning has just sort of been sitting there, like so much Putin-bait, without any discernible context amid many unanswered questions and few, extremely non-satisfactory answers. After listening to the Copley interview, I began to understand part of the reason, at least, that there has been so little light shed on this gruesome incident.
After the poisoning, it turns out that the British government issued two related "D-notices" on the story -- a big, fat chill on British press coverage. What seems to have been uppermost in these censorship "requests" was to ensure that the British press protected the MI-6 connection to Sergei, which is interesting all by itself. Such protection would seem to include the name of the retired MI-6 agent who recruited Skripal, first discussed here. As has been reported outside of Britain, that retired MI6 agent's name is Pablo Miller. It has also been reported that Miller now works with another retired MI-6 agent. His name is Christopher Steele.
Some pretty big dots. Do they connect?
Politely, the Telegraph nonetheless reported on March 7 on a security consultant, presumably Miller, and his connections to Skripal and Steele both.
The Telegraph:
A security consultant [Pablo Miller] who has worked for the company that compiled the controversial dossier on Donald Trump was close to the Russian double agent poisoned last weekend, it has been claimed.
The consultant, who [sic] The Telegraph is declining to identify, lived close to Col Skripal and is understood to have known him for some time.
The Telegraph understands that Col Skripal moved to Salisbury in 2010 in a spy swap and became close to a security consultant employed by Christopher Steele, who compiled the Trump dossier.
The British security consultant, according to a LinkedIn social network account that was removed from the internet in the past few days, is also based in Salisbury.
On the same LinkedIn account, the man listed consultancy work with Orbis Business Intelligence, according to reports.
"The man" lives in Salisbury; he's close to Skripal; he works with Steele. Did this breaking news start a stampede? Hardly. British press reaction was, in the main, to get out there and tamp the Telegraph story down.
BBC security correspondent Gordon Corera took to Twitter:
No link Chris Steele to Sergei Skripal:sources close to Orbis intelligence - ex MI6 officer Chris Steele's company which did Trump 'dossier' - tell me no links whatsoever to Russian targeted with nerve agent. No sign of operational activity so far leaves revenge as likely motive
The Guardian's Luke Harding also tweeted to warn all off the story:
The @Telegraph story claiming a link between Sergei #Skripal and Christopher Steele's company Orbis is wrong, I understand. Skripal had nothing to do with Trump dossier. Nor did unnamed "security consultant" ever work for Orbis
Maybe that depends on what the meaning of "work" is. Still, isn't this group-finger-wagging a little weird?
The Financial Times, too, joined in the general hush-hushing:
Sources have also dismissed reports of a link between Mr Skripal and private intelligence groups, including Orbis, the company jointly run by Christopher Steele, the former MI6 spy who compiled the infamous Trump-Russia dossier.
The following may have something to do with the general freeze-out: According to's report on the Skripal story D-notices, representatives from the Guardian and the BBC sit on what is known as the "Defence and Security Media Advisory (DSMA) Committee," the officially creepy government-media group that oversees British media censorship.
Whatever it is, it has largely worked. With some notable exceptions, Skripal's connections to Steele --and thus to the dossier and thus to Trump-Russia and the rest -- have remained a non-story, a one-off.
Here's another journalistic outlier. Also on March 7, the Independent reported on a British Channel 4 interview with Valery Morozov, described as a "former Kremlin official" and "an associate of Mr Skripal after he too was exiled to the UK."
Mozorov made the sensational claim that Sergei Skripal had been in regular contact with the Russian Embassy in London.
He also claimed Mr Skripal was keeping ''dangerous'' company, which is why he later chose to distance himself.
''Every month [he was] going to the embassy to meet military intelligence officers'', Mr Morozov told Channel 4 News.
''For me being political refugee it is either certain danger or, frankly speaking, I thought that this concept is not very good for me. It can be bring some questions from British officials.''
Now, that's quite interesting. If Skripal had been in regular contact with Russian military intelligence in London, and was also the "Russian intelligence source" for the Steele dossier, then we have this lovely line connecting many things. But is it true? "The Russian embassy said it was not aware of any meetings," the Independent reported, not that that means a thing.
The story continues.
Mr Morozov also said he was sure that Russian President Vladimir Putin had nothing to do with the alleged poisoning.
''Putin can't be behind this. I know how the Kremlin works, I worked there. Who is Skripal? He is nothing for Putin. Putin doesn't think about him'', he said.
''There is nobody in Kremlin talking about former intelligence officer who is nobody. There is no reason for this. It is more dangerous for them for such things to happen.''
He's nobody, but he meeting with military intelligence officers? He's a fabricator behind the Steele dossier, but he traveled around Europe offering "briefings on Russia to foreign intelligence operatives"? It's all very perplexing. More digging, more reporting, more revelation -- a nice, new defector, maybe -- are required.
If only somewhere had a free press.
U.S. oil prices settle at highest since 2014 as crude supplies notch biggest weekly drop of the year - MarketWatch
Thu, 28 Jun 2018 12:42
Markets/commodities reporter
Oil prices rallied Wednesday, with the U.S. benchmark settling at its highest since 2014 as domestic crude supplies notched their biggest weekly drop of the year so far.
Traders also showed concerns over U.S. threats to sanction countries that don't stop importing oil from Iran by Nov. 4.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, August West Texas Intermediate crude CLQ8, -0.41% tacked on $2.23, or 3.2%, to settle at $72.76 a barrel. That was the highest finish since Nov. 26, 2014. August Brent crude LCOQ8, +0.10% the global benchmark, settled $1.31, or 1.7%, at $77.62 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe, for the highest finish since May.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported Wednesday that crude supplies declined by 9.9 million barrels for the week ended June 22'--the largest weekly decline so far this year. Analysts surveyed by S&P Global Platts had forecast a fall of 2.3 million barrels, while the American Petroleum Institute on Tuesday reported a drop of 9.2 million barrels.
''Record crude exports and record refinery runs have combined to yield the biggest draw to crude stocks so far this year,'' said Matt Smith, director of commodity research at ClipperData. ''Even crude production holding at a record level has been unable to offset strong domestic and international demand.'' The EIA pegged last week's total domestic crude output at 10.9 million barrels a day, unchanged from the previous week.
Gasoline stockpiles rose by 1.2 million barrels for the week, while distillate stockpiles were unchanged for the week, according to the EIA. The S&P Global Platts survey forecast supply increases of 160,000 barrels for gasoline, and 500,000 barrels for distillate stocks.
On Nymex Wednesday, July gasoline RBN8, -0.14% rose 2.8% at $2.134 a gallon and July heating oil RBN8, -0.14% ended at $2.177 a gallon, up 2.3%.
July natural gas NGN18, +1.40% rose 1.9% to $2.996 per million British thermal units. The contract expired at the end of the trading session.
''We would have seen gasoline prices go up much further today if it were not for gasoline imports that approached 1 million barrels per day,'' said Tom Kloza, global head of energy analysis at Oil Price Information Service. ''Expect the rest of peak driving season to be very much touch-and-go for prices and indeed even supply.''
Read: OPEC dashes hopes for much lower U.S. gasoline prices this summer
The oil-price gains came after Brent and WTI closed up Tuesday by more than 2% and nearly 4%, respectively, following threats by the U.S. to sanction countries that don't cut their imports of Iranian crude to ''zero'' by Nov. 4.
Tuesday's announcement by the U.S. State Department ''may well have been designed to ramp up the pressure on the Iranian regime, but it is also likely to exert further upward pressure on U.S. prices,'' said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK.
President Donald Trump last month pulled the U.S. out of a 2015 international agreement to curb Iran's nuclear program, setting the stage for the reimposition of economic sanctions on the Islamic Republic that were already expected to hinder its oil exports.
Iran currently exports around 2.4 million barrels a day of crude. Analysts had estimated that anywhere between 400,000 to a 1 million barrels could be at risk once sanctions are fully reinstated in six months.
A ''total stop [of Iranian exports] is unlikely to happen but the more aggressive tone [from the U.S.] suggests there may be a much bigger reduction in Iranian flows than the market has so far priced in,'' analysts at consultancy JBC Energy wrote in a note Wednesday.
The comments out of the U.S. on Tuesday came as Saudi Arabia'--the world's largest exporter of crude'--said it would raise its own production from 10.8 million barrels a day this month to 11 million barrels a day in July. The move was meant to help ''counter the impact'' of sanctions on Iran, according to Tamas Varga, an analyst at brokerage PVM Oil Associates Ltd.
This past weekend, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russia agreed to begin ramping up production next month by up to 1 million barrels a day, after more than a year of holding back output. The decision comes amid steadily rising oil prices, geopolitical risks to supply'--including in Iran'--and shrinking global inventories.
This bill would force schools to report trans and gender nonconforming kids
Thu, 28 Jun 2018 12:27
Zay Crawford felt trapped in a boy's body at a young age. With puberty fast approaching, she got an implant that suppressed the puberty process. This is the story of one family's journey to acceptance and understanding of their 12 year-old daughter. The Enquirer/Meg Vogel
Buy Photo State Rep. Tom Brinkman, R-Mt. Lookout, spoke at a news conference earlier this year in the wake of a juvenile court judge's decision in the case of a Cincinnati-area transgender teen. (Photo: Enquirer/Kevin Grasha) Buy Photo
Teachers would be required to "out" transgender kids to their parents under a new GOP bill introduced in the house.
House Bill 658 requires any government agent (which includes teachers) immediately report to all parents or guardians if a child "demonstrates a desire to be treated in a manner opposite the child's biological sex" or exhibits symptoms of gender dysphoria, which is when someone identifies with a gender other than the one they were assigned at birth.
Under the proposed law, it would also be a fourth-degree felony for aschool or any "government entity" to provide gender dysphoria treatment without consent from each parent or guardian. Treatment includes "educational materials, classes, or programs, and medical, psychological, social, or other professional treatment, therapy, counseling, or other services."
The Ohio Education Association, a teachers' union that represents more than 124,000 Ohio teachers, opposes the bill, OEA President Becky Higgins said in a statement.
''[HB 658] is contrary to OEA's belief that all persons, regardless of gender orientation, should be afforded equal opportunity and guaranteed a safe and inclusive environment within the public education system," Higgins said.
The bill would also prohibit courts from making custody decisions based on a parent's refusal to let a child undergo gender-based medical treatment.
Rep. Tom Brinkman, a Mount Lookout Republican, introduced the bill in May. His legislation was inspired by a case in Cincinnati in which a Hamilton County Juvenile Court granted custody of a transgender teen to his grandparents. This custody arrangement allowed the teen to pursue hormone therapy, which his parents opposed.
In testimony to the Community and Family Advancement Committee, Brinkman said "parents have a fundamental right to decide what is best for their children." The bill is co-sponsored by Rep. Paul Zeltwanger, a Mason Republican.
The bill specifies that parents retain the right to determine what's in the best interest of their child regarding treatment including:
The child's diagnosis of gender dysphoria, which is a conflict between the gender someone was assigned and the gender they identify asThe child's exhibition of gender dysphoria symptoms, like the way they dress or actWhether the child should participate in classes or programs, with or without accompanying educational materials, related to sex and genderAny counseling, therapy, or treatment provided to the child regarding the child's gender dysphoria.In the Cincinnati case, the teen emailed a crisis hotline and said one of his parents had told him to kill himself and refused to let him get therapy "unless it was Christian-based," according to the complaint.
Brinkman said a child's struggles with mental health surround gender dysphoria should be "a consideration that parents make," but should not be reason for parents to lose their right to decide what's best for the child.
Equality Ohio, a LGBT rights group, released a statement condemning the bill and calling it an "unnecessary and discriminatory bill" that targets transgender youth.
The group criticized the requirement of school staff to notify parents when children want to be treated in a manner of the opposite sex, saying that "state policing of behavior opens a can of worms."
"Who is the judge of which gender is allowed to do what? If Jane signs up for shop class, will her parents receive a government letter? If Jordan doesn't want to play football, do his parents get a letter? What if Alex wants to attend a meeting of the student LGBTQ group''''does the school email that to Alex's parents?"
A recent study showed that 64 percent of LGBT youth faced negative comments made by their families about being LGBT.
Brinkman said the crux of the bill is to strengthen parental rights and avoid what he called an "overreach" by the Hamilton County judge who granted custody to the teen's grandparents based on their refusal to support trans care.
"Parents have rights over their children until age 18, they're responsible for them," Brinkman said. "We should not be taking those responsibilities away from parents."
The bill has had its first committee hearing, but has not yet come to a vote on the House floor.
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Netflix Under Investigation for Streaming Disturbing Child Pornography Scenes | Trending
Thu, 28 Jun 2018 11:46
An Argentinian movie that Netflix offers called Desire is upsetting subscribers because of what looks like illegal content. Viewers on Facebook have shared a clip of the movie and are calling it outright child porn. In the opening scene, two little girls who look to be about seven and nine are playing "horse" on pillows. The older girl begins to obviously masturbate as the younger child watches. The camera even takes this scene into a closeup of the child's face in slow motion, moving up and down and panting like a porn star. The scene is graphic and includes an orgasm. The film is directed by Diego Kaplan.
PJ Media reported it to the FBI and the Department of Justice, along with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which has launched an investigation.
Here is a link to the movie's IMBD listing. And here's the promotional photo:
The clip is making its way around Facebook, but anyone sharing it should be aware that it is a crime to circulate child porn, even if you are trying to get help for the child. Any further distribution revictimizes the child, and because of that, PJM will not share the video or photos from the movie that show the victims' faces. The only thing the public can do is report it to the authorities.
According to the Department of Justice, child porn is clearly defined.
Section 2256 of Title 18, United States Code, defines child pornography as any visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct involving a minor (someone under 18 years of age). Visual depictions include photographs, videos, digital or computer generated images indistinguishable from an actual minor, and images created, adapted, or modified, but appear to depict an identifiable, actual minor. Undeveloped film, undeveloped videotape, and electronically stored data that can be converted into a visual image of child pornography are also deemed illegal visual depictions under federal law.Notably, the legal definition of sexually explicit conduct does not require that an image depict a child engaging in sexual activity. A picture of a naked child may constitute illegal child pornography if it is sufficiently sexually suggestive. Additionally, the age of consent for sexual activity in a given state is irrelevant; any depiction of a minor under 18 years of age engaging in sexually explicit conduct is illegal.
On this definition alone Netflix is in violation of distributing child pornography because the child in question is very clearly engaging in the sexual act of masturbation and this exceeds the minimum requirement of merely being suggestive. Netflix should be in serious trouble over this. The law further states that the law "prohibits the production, distribution, reception, and possession of an image of child pornography using or affecting any means or facility of interstate or foreign commerce."
Netflix is now distributing child porn for profit. This is not surprising to anyone who read my expose on Netflix's original series, Big Mouth, which is nothing but a cartoon that grooms kids for child abuse. It is a hideous and outrageous piece of garbage that includes talking genitalia of children, children telling jokes about blow jobs, and constant, unending masturbation. The obvious next step for Netflix is real-life children engaging in sexual activity. The question must be asked. How low can the entertainment industry go? And what kind of parents took money for their child to be used in this way?
Fintan O'Toole: Trial runs for fascism are in full flow
Thu, 28 Jun 2018 11:36
To grasp what is going on in the world right now, we need to reflect on two things. One is that we are in a phase of trial runs. The other is that what is being trialled is fascism '' a word that should be used carefully but not shirked when it is so clearly on the horizon. Forget ''post-fascist'' '' what we are living with is pre-fascism.
It is easy to dismiss Donald Trump as an ignoramus, not least because he is. But he has an acute understanding of one thing: test marketing. He created himself in the gossip pages of the New York tabloids, where celebrity is manufactured by planting outrageous stories that you can later confirm or deny depending on how they go down. And he recreated himself in reality TV where the storylines can be adjusted according to the ratings. Put something out there, pull it back, adjust, go again.
Fascism doesn't arise suddenly in an existing democracy. It is not easy to get people to give up their ideas of freedom and civility. You have to do trial runs that, if they are done well, serve two purposes. They get people used to something they may initially recoil from; and they allow you to refine and calibrate. This is what is happening now and we would be fools not to see it.
One of the basic tools of fascism is the rigging of elections '' we've seen that trialled in the election of Trump, in the Brexit referendum and (less successfully) in the French presidential elections. Another is the generation of tribal identities, the division of society into mutually exclusive polarities. Fascism does not need a majority '' it typically comes to power with about 40 per cent support and then uses control and intimidation to consolidate that power. So it doesn't matter if most people hate you, as long as your 40 per cent is fanatically committed. That's been tested out too. And fascism of course needs a propaganda machine so effective that it creates for its followers a universe of ''alternative facts'' impervious to unwanted realities. Again, the testing for this is very far advanced.
Moral boundariesBut when you've done all this, there is a crucial next step, usually the trickiest of all. You have to undermine moral boundaries, inure people to the acceptance of acts of extreme cruelty. Like hounds, people have to be blooded. They have to be given the taste for savagery. Fascism does this by building up the sense of threat from a despised out-group. This allows the members of that group to be dehumanised. Once that has been achieved, you can gradually up the ante, working through the stages from breaking windows to extermination.
People have to be given the taste for savagery. Fascism does this by building up the sense of threat from a despised out-group It is this next step that is being test-marketed now. It is being done in Italy by the far-right leader and minister for the interior Matteo Salvini. How would it go down if we turn away boatloads of refugees? Let's do a screening of the rough-cut of registering all the Roma and see what buttons the audience will press. And it has been trialled by Trump: let's see how my fans feel about crying babies in cages. I wonder how it will go down with Rupert Murdoch.
Children and workers at a tent encampment recently built in Tornillo, Texas: the blooding process has begun within the democratic world. Photograph: Joe RaedleTo see, as most commentary has done, the deliberate traumatisation of migrant children as a ''mistake'' by Trump is culpable naivety. It is a trial run '' and the trial has been a huge success. Trump's claim last week that immigrants ''infest'' the US is a test-marketing of whether his fans are ready for the next step-up in language, which is of course ''vermin''. And the generation of images of toddlers being dragged from their parents is a test of whether those words can be turned into sounds and pictures. It was always an experiment '' it ended (but only in part) because the results were in.
'Devious' infantsAnd the results are quite satisfactory. There is good news on two fronts. First, Rupert Murdoch is happy with it '' his Fox News mouthpieces outdid themselves in barbaric crassness: making animal noises at the mention of a Down syndrome child, describing crying children as actors. They went the whole swinish hog: even the brown babies are liars. Those sobs of anguish are typical of the manipulative behaviour of the strangers coming to infest us '' should we not fear a race whose very infants can be so devious? Second, the hardcore fans loved it: 58 per cent of Republicans are in favour of this brutality. Trump's overall approval ratings are up to 42.5 per cent.
Fox News mouthpieces outdid themselves in barbaric crassness: making animal noises at the mention of a Down syndrome child, describing crying children as actors This is greatly encouraging for the pre-fascist agenda. The blooding process has begun within the democratic world. The muscles that the propaganda machines need for defending the indefensible are being toned up. Millions and millions of Europeans and Americans are learning to think the unthinkable. So what if those black people drown in the sea? So what if those brown toddlers are scarred for life? They have already, in their minds, crossed the boundaries of morality. They are, like Macbeth, ''yet but young in deed''. But the tests will be refined, the results analysed, the methods perfected, the messages sharpened. And then the deeds can follow.
Blacks face longer wait times on Uber, Lyft than other races '' worse for taxis, study says
Thu, 28 Jun 2018 11:34
Marco della Cava | USA TODAY | 1:08 pm EDT June 27, 2018
African-Americans waiting on taxis in Los Angeles are likely to face longer wait times and have a greater chance of being canceled on than whites, Asians and Hispanics, according to a new study out Wednesday from UCLA.
They also faced longer wait times and more cancellations with Lyft and Uber, though far less so than with taxis, according to "Ridehail Revolution: Ridehail Travel and Equity in Los Angeles," a doctoral dissertation by Anne Brown of UCLA's Institute for Transportation Studies.
Taxi drivers in L.A. were 73 percent more likely to cancel on black riders than whites, and one-quarter of blacks were never sent a cab, according to the research, which had 18 UCLA students of different ethnicities hail 1,704 trips between October and December 2017. Black riders also waited 52 percent longer than whites for taxis.
The study lands amid a national conversation about how African-Americans face bias in everyday interactions, from waiting at a Starbucks to hosting a picnic, and as gig economy companies confront ways their platforms enable users '' from drivers to Airbnb hosts '' to persist in discriminatory practices that violate their policies.
In 7 percent of the trips taken by the students, Lyft drivers cancelled on black riders, compared with 5 percent of Asians/Hispanics and 3 percent of whites. Uber drivers (who see only a name once the trip is accepted) canceled on black riders 6 percent of the time, Asians/Hispanics 3 percent and whites 2 percent.
In contrast, taxis canceled rides on blacks 26 percent of the time, Asians/Hispanics 20 percent and whites 14 percent.
"From an equality point of view, there's some way to go before the gap between riders is truly erased, but it's far narrower with ride-hailing, and with some policy changes, (Uber and Lyft) could erase the racial gap between riders entirely," Brown told USA TODAY. "Taxis don't have great accountability."
More: Bigoted customers make life hell for minority workers, but here's how to fight back
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Two years ago, a study showed riders with African-American sounding names had their UberX trips canceled at twice the rate of those with white-sounding names.
Uber and Lyft drivers have the opportunity to cancel on rides for a range of reasons, although they are discouraged from doing so.
Bias based on the passenger's name or photo could play out in the first few moments of a rider hailing a car. A driver can cancel as soon as the rider's first name '' and in the case of Lyft, also their photo '' popped up after the driver accepts the ride request. That ride would then roll over to the next car in the immediate area, extending the customer's wait time.
The two ride-hailing companies long have defended their policies of revealing rider names on safety and convenience grounds, while lawmakers such as then-senator Al Franken have pressed the companies to be more aggressive about monitoring drivers for discrimination.
Both Lyft and Uber have policies that prohibit driver or rider discrimination based on race, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation, gender or age.
After the 2016 study was released, Lyft announced that it would begin tracking driver behavior more carefully, but in a statement to USA TODAY did not indicate if it had made specific strides in the area. Lyft provided Brown with data about neighborhood ride penetration for the study.
Uber said it was working with the 2016 study's authors to better understand the results in order to reduce incidents of discrimination, adding that the service "has improved access to transportation in historically underserved communities and reduced the potential for discrimination," Uber spokesman Andrew Hasbun told USA TODAY. "While there's more work to do, we are committed to serving all communities around the world.''
Lyft's Joseph Okpaku, vice president of policy, echoed that sentiment.
"This (study), and similar research, is important for all parties involved in the transportation industry," Okpaku told USA TODAY. "We are proud of the advancements Lyft has made in expanding access to transportation for passengers from all walks of life, and particularly from historically underserved communities."
Taxis kept blacks waiting longer
Brown's study shows that black riders waited about a minute longer for Uber and Lyft than other races. The gap was wider for taxis, which had a mean total wait time of 30 minutes for blacks, 24 minutes for Asians/Hispanics and 20 minutes for whites.
In 1 in 4 instances, when her black students requested a taxi one never arrived. She also said that a few times black male students were asked to pay cash up front for their taxi rides.
"The fact that any of this (bias) exists in L.A. means it likely exists everywhere else," Brown said. "When you're looking at a 1 in 4 chance that your taxi might not even arrive, how can you count on that to get to work or for child care?"
Bias among drivers could be a thing of the past if robot taxis come to pass, with a growing number of companies working to enable self-driving cars for ride-hailing fleets.
But tech experts say the concern there, as with any human-built tech, is whether the biases of the technology's engineers can creep into the finished product.
Follow USA TODAY tech and culture writer Marco della Cava on Twitter.
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Thu, 28 Jun 2018 11:15
What Happened?On Saturday, June 23, 2018, Ticketmaster UK identified malicious software on a customer support product hosted by Inbenta Technologies, an external third-party supplier to Ticketmaster.
As soon as we discovered the malicious software, we disabled the Inbenta product across all Ticketmaster websites.
Less than 5% of our global customer base has been affected by this incident. Customers in North America have not been affected.
As a result of Inbenta's product running on Ticketmaster International websites, some of our customers' personal or payment information may have been accessed by an unknown third-party.
We have contacted customers who may have been affected by the security incident. UK customers who purchased, or attempted to purchase, tickets between February and June 23, 2018 may be affected as well as international customers who purchased, or attempted to purchase, tickets between September 2017 and June 23, 2018.
If you have not received an email, we do not believe you have been affected by this security incident based on our investigations.
Forensic teams and security experts are working around the clock to understand how the data was compromised.
We are working with relevant authorities, as well as credit card companies and banks.
What we are doingTicketmaster has established this website to answer your questions about the Inbenta incident. You can also contact us via
As a precautionary measure, all notified customers will need to reset their passwords when they next log into their accounts
We recommend that you monitor your account statements for evidence of fraud or identity theft. If you are concerned or notice any suspicious activity on your account, you should contact your bank(s) and any credit card companies.
FAQsHow do I reset my password?When you next log into your account, go to log in as normal and click the Forgotten Password link.
Which countries have been affected?Based on our investigation, we understand that only certain UK customers who purchased or attempted to purchase tickets may have been affected by the incident. As a precaution we are also notifying all Ticketmaster International customers outside the UK that they will need to reset their passwords when they next log into their accounts. Customers in North America are not affected.
How did this happen?On Saturday, June 23, 2018, Ticketmaster UK identified that malicious software on a customer support product hosted by Inbenta Technologies, an external third-party supplier to Ticketmaster, was exporting UK customers' data to an unknown third-party.As soon as we discovered the malicious software, we disabled the Inbenta product across all Ticketmaster websites.
As a result of Inbenta's product running on Ticketmaster International websites, some of our customers' personal or payment information may have been accessed by an unknown third-party. Forensic teams and security experts are working around the clock to understand how the data was compromised.
What details have been compromised? Information which may have been compromised includes: name, address, email address, telephone number, payment details and Ticketmaster login details.
Which websites are affected?Inbenta's product was running on Ticketmaster International, Ticketmaster UK, GETMEIN! and TicketWeb websites. We are contacting all potentially affected customers. Customers in North America are not affected.
How will I know if I have been affected?We recommend that you monitor your account statements for evidence of fraud or identity theft. If you are concerned or notice any suspicious activity on your account, you should contact your bank(s) and any credit card companies.
As a precautionary measure, all notified customers will need to reset their passwords when they next log into their accounts.
Mission Lifeline - Seenotrettung
Thu, 28 Jun 2018 03:13
October 2015. Temperatures had plummeted to freezing and thousands
of people were¬‚eeing their homelands from war and terror along
the so-called 'Balkan Route'. The media surged with images of human beings
freezing to death, starving and wading through mud, allwith hopes of reaching
a better place. Our small group of like minded individuals in Dresden, Germany,
agreed we could no longer stand by and do nothing. So we formed an
aid convoy called the 'Dresden-Balkan-Konvoi'.
A call for contributions went out to the people of Dresden and support came pouring
in as residents recognized the dire situation their fellow human beings were in.
On 12 November 2015, our small convoy of volunteers and three transporters with
trailers began the journey to Pre.evo in Syria. Upon arrival, we met with an
international team of volunteers to help support and care for the thousands of
refugees awaiting registration. The generosity of Dresden was abundant enough
to not only enable this convoy but several others after.
The Dresden-Balkan-Konvoi carried this momentum forward and in December,
we focused our activities on Greece. Starting out at the 'Registration Camp' in
Idomeni which was shortly thereafter dissolved. Our volunteers shifted to the
next 'hot spot' inGreece, the island Chios. Here, we helped with what is called
'shoring'. This means ¬nding boats that have landed and providing the often
hypothermic new arrivals with warm dry clothing and hot tea. Our group was
also able to provide support to several camps on the island.
Eventually the Balkan Route closed and people had to ¬nd another way to get
from Turkey to Greece. A new 'route' developed over the Mediterranean. Again
the media was ¬‚ooded with images of people drowning and boats sinking as
humanity disappeared into the depths.
A handful of rescue vessels had been deployed in the area but with little
support human losses and disappearances persisted. At this point, we, the
volunteers at the Dresden-Balkan-Konvoi, decided to broaden our focus.
A new group would concentrate efforts on search and rescue in the sea,
while the other would continue to support the camps in Greece.
From this extension of our focus, MissionLifeline e.V. was born in April 2016.
The goal ofthis new group has been to organize and prepare a search and rescue
ship for the Mediterranean. Shortly after creation, Mission Lifeline
began the search, not only in German cities like Hamburg, Sassnitz and Rotterdam,
but across the entire European market, for the perfect search and rescue ship to
ful¬l our duty of saving lives.The perfect ship would have enough space for hundreds
of people, run economically, be sea worthy, affordable and ready for immediated eployment.
After a persistent but fruitless search, a fellow NGO offered to sell their ship to us.
With only a few minor repairs, the 'new' search and rescue ship was complete and
ready-to-go. And as of September 2017, we have been in the Mediterranean ful¬lling
our mission!
Additionally, we have given presentations about our mission at various events throughout
Germany to raise awareness about the situation in the Mediterranean. Including:
David-Schmidt-Prize (Dresden), Herz statt Hetze (Dresden), 50th Anniversary of the
Technischen Sammlungen (Dresden) and the Zug der Liebe demonstration (Berlin)..
10 Overturned Supreme Court Cases | HowStuffWorks
Thu, 28 Jun 2018 03:10
The U.S. Supreme Court is the highest court in the nation. Its decisions set precedents that all other courts then follow, and no lower court can ever supersede a Supreme Court decision. In fact, not even Congress or the president can change, reject or ignore a Supreme Court decision.
American law operates under the doctrine of stare decisis, which means that prior decisions should be maintained -- even if the current court would otherwise rule differently -- and that lower courts must abide by the prior decisions of higher courts. The idea is based on a belief that government needs to be relatively stable and predictable.
This means that overturning a Supreme Court decision is very difficult. There are two ways it can happen:
States can amend the Constitution itself. This requires approval by three-quarters of the state legislatures -- no easy feat. However, it has happened several times. The Supreme Court can overrule itself. This happens when a different case involving the same constitutional issues as an earlier case is reviewed by the court and seen in a new light, typically because of changing social and political situations. The longer the amount of time between the cases, the more likely this is to occur (partly due to stare decisis). It isn't easy to do, but we've compiled a list of 10 Supreme Court cases that were later overturned. Many of them left a permanent mark on American history.
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Meet Anton Krasovsky, the Gay Man Running for Mayor of Moscow
Wed, 27 Jun 2018 18:53
MOSCOW'--Anton Krasovsky's mouth is full of swear words. He is angry with pretty much every liar and propagandist in Moscow, the city he loves and wants to change.
At times it seems that his courage would disappear the moment he stops cursing. And courage is what he needs most right now, as Krasovsky is the only openly gay person in the country of Russia'--with a population of more than 140 million'--who dares to compete in the Kremlin-controlled election process.
The majority of Russian politicians and bureaucrats agree that LGBTQ people are abnormal. Just the idea of being one single warrior in the political field soaked in hate and thriving homophobia would scare many away from the arena.
Last month, speaking on independent radio station Echo of Moscow, Krasovsky revealed the news: in September he would run for mayoral election in Moscow, if the authorities allow him to. (He is registered as a candidate but to actually take part in the election he will have to collect signatures of 110 municipal deputies before July 3.)
''I almost pissed my pants when I decided to run for Moscow mayor,'' Krasovsky admitted to The Daily Beast in a recent sit-down interview in one of Moscow's hip coffee shops, Coffeemania. Here, in Moscow's old town Kitai Gorod, many recognized Krasovsky's face.
Five years ago, in June, 2013, 436 Russian MPs voted in favor of a new bill to ban ''propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations'' among minors. The bill forbade both individuals and media groups to distribute literature or any other materials about gay rights. Many LGBTQ families fled the country in fear of the state taking their children away from them.
Since then, President Putin has been criticized for not doing enough to help the gay men killed and persecuted in a vicious crackdown in Chechnya. The noted British LGBT activist Peter Tatchell protested precisely this at the beginning of the World Cup, where the homophobia and anti-LGBT politics of Russia has again come under the international spotlight.
About why he mounted the protest, Tatchell told The Daily Beast at the time, ''It's tremendously important that President Putin doesn't score an unchallenged public relations coup with the World Cup. He needs to be called out over the persecution of LGBT+ people, his suppression of the civil rights of Russian citizens, and his war crimes in Syria.''
The Daily Beast asked Krasovsky why he had gone into politics, when many Russian gay men and women were fleeing the country. ''Because everything sucks here,'' Krasovsky said. He was convinced that, even if the Kremlin did not allow his participation in the election, the experience would be useful for his political career.
In the past few years Krasovsky has managed election campaigns for two opposition candidates, billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov's and a pop socialite Ksenia Sobchak.
The idea of riding a black car or shaking hands with President Putin's friends sounded rather humorous to the new candidate Krasovsky, a former Russian Vogue magazine correspondent.
''Somebody like Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov would not shake my hand; but if he wants to shake a hand of gay, I will shake his hand back.''
In Russia officials are not shy about their homophobic views. There is a sign on the door to the office of MP Vitaly Milonov, at State Duma, the lower house of Russian parliament: ''Banned entry for Sodomites.'' Milonov is one of masterminds behind the anti-gay ''propaganda'' bill'--in 2016 he claimed that gay people ''rape kids.''
For years, Russia's small community of LGBTQ activists have endured harassment from violent nationalists and police. Most Russian gay people have given up the struggle for their rights'--they either plan to escape or prefer to live quietly in their small circles.
When many of his friends immigrated, Krasovsky preferred to stay in Russia, although with his long experience of working as a magazine writer and a TV presenter he might be able to find a good place for himself in New York or any European capital.
There have been worse times in his life, he said, which left him among very few survivors. ''I think about 90 percent of my friends from Moscow bohemia circles have killed themselves by alcohol and drugs and the rest have built themselves into the current state system. It is a miracle that I did not drink myself to death,'' he admitted to The Daily Beast.
This is not the first time Krasovsky has shown his courage in Russia.
During his coming out on the Internet Kontr TV in 2013 Krasovsky said: ''I am gay but I am just as human as Putin.''
Last year, in an interview published on Facebook, Krasovsky admitted that he had been living with HIV since 2011. As a volunteer and activist, Krasovsky and his friends have been pushing authorities for taking measures, legalizing methadone treatment, for fighting HIV/AIDS epidemic in Russia.
Although the Kremlin has sanctioned homophobia throughout the country, Krasovsky insists that ordinary people do not hate LGBTQ people.
''It is an illusion that Russia is a homophobic country by its nature,'' Krasovsky insisted to The Daily Beast. He sounded irritated, when he spoke about stereotypes created by media. ''My homosexuality has never helped me but it has never been in the way of my career goals. If people are constantly told that queers are bastards, and to beat them because all they want is to walk in the streets naked, some go and do beat up LGBT people.''
During the past month Krasovsky has been holding daily public meetings with his electorate in different districts of Moscow.
''People do not care if you are homosexual or not, nor is anybody interested in your HIV or any other health problems; people want to talk with me about the city demolishing houses in their district, of communal services failing, and of some illegal construction sites or schools closing down in their neighborhood.''
When Krasovsky was young his family lived in tiny rooms and communal apartments for most of his childhood. He was born on the outskirts of Moscow in the provincial town of Podolsk (which has a population of 302,831) where Krasovsky went to school.
He continued his studies in Ukraine, in the town of Rivne, where his engineer father worked at Rivne Nuclear Power Plant. ''When I turned 14, I moved to Moscow and discovered the life of underground bohemia'--many of my friends were using cocaine at the time.''
During the Perestroika years in the late 1980es Krasovsky belonged to counterculture circles of Soviet hipsters, calling themselves ''Stilyagi.'' ''We were all listening to Elvis Presley, went to Viktor Tsoi's concerts. I dressed up in second hand clothes from Teshinsky market. I had some hellish white jacket at some point. Look, I was never rich, I never had enough money to buy expensive clothes.''
Krasovsky's friends met on Thursdays at an underground club called Moloko. Krasovsky studied Maxim Gorky Literature Institute, the training ground for Russian poets. His company of hip looking youth mingled with a queen of Soviet and post-Soviet rock and roll, Zhanna Aguzarova.
If, as he says, some of Krasovsky's friends ruined themselves by drugs, others turned into Vladimir Putin fans. Krasovsky path was different. ''I am still happy that changes came to my country; my family had never experienced any dramatic financial losses, we were never hungry during the period that some describe as the 'bloody liberal regime''--any changes are always good.''
Running for Moscow mayor, Krasovsky sees his role, as a candidate, to fight for equality for all. ''Of all politicians I prefer Obama, I am social democrat by my political views, I want to take part in the election to show the current political elite how to fight for human rights and freedom.''
Justice Anthony Kennedy Retires, Paving Way for Donald Trump to Reshape Supreme Court
Wed, 27 Jun 2018 18:53
On Wednesday, Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement from the U.S. Supreme Court. Kennedy served on the court for 30 years, and sat on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for 13 years before that. He is 81 years old. His retirement gives President Donald Trump an opportunity to name a second justice, shifting the court to the right for a generation.
A lifelong Republican, Kennedy has frequently played the role of swing vote, sitting in between the court's liberal and conservative blocs. He cast votes against campaign finance reform, the Affordable Care Act, and the Voting Rights Act, frequently siding with the conservative justices on issues of workers' rights and government regulations. Yet he famously sided with the liberals on several landmark abortion rights cases, preserving Roe v. Wade despite his personal opposition to abortion. And, perhaps most famously, he authored all four of the court's landmark opinions on gay rights, including Obergefell v. Hodges, protecting same-sex couples' right to marry.
Kennedy's absence will mark a sea change in American jurisprudence. Without him, the Supreme Court may well rule that women have no constitutional right to abortion access. Courts may chip away at same-sex marriage or overturn it altogether. Voting rights plaintiffs will have little hope of winning their battles against voter suppression. Victims of race and sex discrimination will face much rougher sledding at the court.
This retirement sets up a huge battle in the Senate, where Republicans hold a slim majority. Trump is nearly certain to pick a doctrinaire conservative approved by the Federalist Society, the group that has selected most of his lower-court appointees. Democrats abolished the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees during the fight over Justice Neil Gorsuch, so they cannot blockade Trump's pick. It seems inevitable that Trump will eventually get his candidate on the court. Once there, he or she will have an opportunity to overrule myriad liberal precedents and reshape constitutional law for decades.
Not OK Google: Massive outage turns smart home kit utterly dumb ' The Register
Wed, 27 Jun 2018 18:52
Google's entire Home infrastructure has suffered a serious outage, with millions of customers on Wednesday morning complaining that their smart devices have stopped working.
At the time of writing, the service is still down, and appears to have been knackered for at least the past 10 hours.
Users in Google's home state of California started complaining that their Google Home, Mini, and Chromecast devices were not working around midnight Pacific Time on Tuesday, and the issue appeared in every country in which the Google Home devices are sold.
But it was only when the United States started waking up on Wednesday morning '' the US has the vast majority of Google Home devices '' that the reports started flooding in, pointing to an outage of the entire system.
Google has confirmed its systems are down, but has so far provided no other information, saying only that it is investigating the issue.
A graph showing two things: an outage and a concentration of devices in the US ... Source:
It is possible that the outage is related to a similar, unusual outage at Slack earlier today. So far, though, the most likely cause is a software update that Google published around the same time as the first complaints of downtime came in, an update that added the Spanish language to its devices.
Are your IoT gizmos, music boxes, smart home kit vulnerable to DNS rebinding attacks? Here's how to check READ MORE Netizens have been reporting that even after a reboot the devices don't work, suggesting either that the entire Home infrastructure has fallen over '' which seems incredibly unlikely given that fact that it is Google we're talking about and it has massive worldwide network redundancy to fall back on '' or the devices themselves have gone awry following an update.
We will update this article as and when Google provides any more information. In the meantime everyone is just going to have to shelve their voice-controlled Google assistants '' and find out the time by looking at their watch, or check their calendar on their phone or laptop, or turn up the thermostat using the ancient but reliable technology known as fingers. ®
Inside Facebook and Twitter's secret meetings with Trump aides and conservative leaders who say tech is biased - The Washington Post
Wed, 27 Jun 2018 16:29
Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey. (Richard Drew/AP)Twitter and Facebook are scrambling to assuage conservative leaders who have sounded alarms '-- and sought to rile voters '-- with accusations that the country's tech giants are censoring right-leaning posts, tweets and news.
From secret dinners with conservative media elite to private meetings with the Republican National Committee, the new outreach reflects tech giants' delicate task: satisfying a party in power while defending online platforms against attacks that threaten to undermine the public's trust in the Web.
The complaints have come from the upper echelons of the GOP, including top aides to President Trump, arguably the world's most prominent Twitter user. The chief executives of Facebook and Twitter, meanwhile, have both admitted in recent months that Silicon Valley's ranks are dominated by liberals, which has only fed accusations of bias from the right.
''It's no secret that we are largely left leaning, and we all have biases,'' Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey wrote in a note to staff on June 7. ''That includes me, our board, and our company.''
To address the allegations, Dorsey has tried to break bread '-- quite literally '-- with his company's critics.
The Twitter executive convened a rare private dinner with Republican leaders and conservative commentators in Washington last week at Cafe Milano, a familiar Georgetown haunt for city power brokers, according to four people who participated in the dinner but requested anonymity because it was off the record. The gathering came weeks after Dorsey provoked conservatives' ire by tweeting a story suggesting voters should elect Democrats in November '' and after he made his first official visit to Congress.
Among those attending the June 19 dinner were Mercedes Schlapp, a top communications adviser for President Trump; Grover Norquist, the leader of Americans for Tax Reform; television host Greta Van Susteren; and Guy Benson, a Fox News commentator, according to the people in the room.
Dorsey hoped to use the dinner as a way to build ''trust'' among conservatives who have long chastised the company, three of the people said. He defended Twitter against accusations that it targeted right-leaning users unfairly but still admitted that the company has room for improvement, according to the attendees.
In response, the Twitter executive heard an earful from conservatives gathered at the table, who scoffed at the fact that Dorsey runs a platform that's supposed to be neutral even though he's tweeted about issues like immigration, gay rights and national politics. They also told Dorsey that the tech industry's efforts to improve diversity '-- after years of criticism for maintaining a largely white, male workforce '-- should focus on hiring engineers with more diverse political viewpoints as well, according to those who dined with him in D.C.
A spokesman for Twitter declined to comment on the dinner.
For Dorsey and his peers, the conservative clamor could be more than a public-relations nuisance. It could result in calls for new regulation from Republicans in positions of power and feed doubts in the minds of Web users as to whether their social feeds are subject to secret political engineering '-- a charge of censorship that tech giants strongly deny.
''When you put these platforms in the context of all the other sources of information available for news '... at no other time in history, no other platforms have enabled such huge diversity of voices,'' said Michael Beckerman, the president of the Internet Association, which represents companies like Facebook, Google and Twitter in regulatory battles.
Conservatives long have bristled about the the politics of Silicon Valley, where many tech executives and engineers supported President Barack Obama, then rallied behind Hillary Clinton's bid for the White House in 2016. But criticism from the right crescendoed in May, when Brad Parscale, the campaign manager for Trump's 2020 reelection, joined Ronna McDaniel, the chairwoman of the RNC, and publicly reprimanded the tech industry. The duo slapped Twitter for having ''hidden'' conservative content ''from conservative users' followers.'' They also took aim at Facebook, alleging it ''has blocked content from conservative journalists.''
For years, conservatives have alleged Twitter and Facebook secretly limit the reach of their content'Š'--'Ševen though Republicans are some of their most popular users. Twitter, for example, stoked Republicans' ire last year when it briefly blocked a congresswoman from advertising about abortion. Facebook's labeling of two pro-Trump video bloggers, Diamond and Silk, as ''unsafe'' resulted in a Capitol Hill hearing where the duo aired numerous falsehoods. And Google stared down its own controversy: A conservative-leaning engineer, James Damore, penned a memo criticizing the company's diversity policies, resulting in his firing. In response, he and others filed a lawsuit claiming conservative bias at the company.
Amid the attacks, Dorsey this summer began extending an olive branch to some of Twitter's leading critics. The entreaty appeared to divide employees: Some at Twitter welcomed Dorsey's outreach while others privately groused about their boss reaching out to Republicans who had ties to Trump, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.
Along with the gathering in D.C., Dorsey also hosted a dinner in New York City with local conservative media leaders, two attendees confirmed. Dorsey has consulted with Fox News host Sean Hannity, a public ally of Trump. And the Twitter executive has made two trips to assuage Republicans on Capitol Hill over the last two months, including a sitdown last week with GOP Sen. Ted Cruz, who has publicly blasted the tech industry for anti-conservative bias. Cruz's office did not respond to a request for comment.
Some of the conservative media commentators and political pundits specifically urged Dorsey during their meetings to take a closer look at Moments, a feature that tracks trending national stories and issues. At both the New York and D.C. dinners, conservative participants said they felt that Twitter Moments often paints right-leaning people and issues in a negative light, or excludes them entirely, according to four sources who spoke on condition of anonymity. Dorsey said he would look into the issue, the people said, but did not announce specific changes.
Complicating matters is that executives in the upper-most ranks of Facebook, Google and Twitter are some of the most outspoken corporate foes of Trump. That's led to suspicions among conservatives that tech companies' efforts to clean up their platforms, by banning hate speech and vetting some content for misinformation, are actually targeting them.
Earlier this month, Facebook dispatched company leaders to the RNC to address complaints of bias levied by party leaders and the Trump campaign. A month after chief executive Mark Zuckerberg acknowledged in a Capitol Hill hearing that Silicon Valley is an ''extremely left-leaning place'' '-- even as he stressed Facebook applies its policies evenly '-- Facebook commissioned a full review of its business practices to determine if there's any conservative bias in how it treats employees or the way it handles content that appears on its News Feed. That team, led by former GOP senator Jon Kyl, has contacted conservative organizations like the Heritage Foundation for early feedback, according to a person familiar with the review but not authorized to discuss it.
Kyl declined to comment. Facebook also declined to comment on the review. In a statement, the company said users' feeds are a reflection of the pages and people they follow, adding it does not ''suppress content on the basis of political viewpoint or prevent people from seeing what matters most to them because doing so would be directly contrary to Facebook's mission and our business objectives.''
Privately, tech leaders believe the timing of Republicans' allegations is no coincidence, coming a few months before the 2018 election. It could serve to GOP voters in a contest where the composition of Congress is at stake.
Much as Trump has taken aim at news media, some of his allies have focused their attention on tech platforms that are the conduits for political reporting and opinion. That includes Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California, a beneficiary of donations from Google and Facebook's political-action committees. In fact, McCarthy's reelection campaign has run roughly 20 ads over the past month on Facebook about anti-conservative bias, according to the social giant's transparency hub. Clicking on McCarthy's ad led to a petition, then a request to donate.
''It's time to stand up and let online platforms such as Google and Facebook know that we will not be silenced so easily,'' McCarthy wrote on the site.
Fan Bingbing Controversy Sparks Official Chinese Rules on Stars' Pay '' Variety
Wed, 27 Jun 2018 16:27
Chinese authorities have issued rules on actors' pay for film productions in China, in a tax-evasion clampdown widely seen as a direct response to the recent controversy over actress Fan Bingbing and her alleged use of ''yin-yang contracts'' to hide income.
According to the official Xinhua news agency, a notice jointly issued Wednesday by various top government agencies '' including the propaganda department, the Communist Party's central committee, the culture ministry, the tax authority, and the state radio, TV and film bureau '' states that performers' pay must not exceed 40% of a production's total cost. Pay to the leading cast members must be capped at 70% of total payments to cast.
The percentages, which are the same as those in guidelines issued by the China Alliance of Radio Film and Television last year, apply not only to film productions but also television and audiovisual programs available on the Internet.
In addition to payments, the authorities also call for tighter scrutiny of celebrities' participation in variety and reality shows to ensure that the payments are reasonable. Popular reality shows such as ''Where Are We Going, Dad?'', which features celebrity father-and-son teams, have been reportedly paying exorbitant fees to talent.
''Strict monitoring of payments and contracts for film, television and online productions is a must. We must also step up our forces in fighting tax evasion and unhealthy competitions,'' the official notice said.
It also criticized excessive bidding wars for talent.
Earlier this month, the State Authority of Taxation announced an industry-wide tax probe after Fan, one of China's biggest stars, allegedly signed two different contracts '' one declared, one secret '' to hide a massive payment. Photos of the alleged contracts were leaked on social media by TV anchor Cui Yongyuan. Fan has denied the allegations.
Chinese authorities have issued rules on actors' pay for film productions in China, in a tax-evasion clampdown widely seen as a direct response to the recent controversy over actress Fan Bingbing and her alleged use of ''yin-yang contracts'' to hide income. According to the official Xinhua news agency, a notice jointly issued Wednesday by various top government ['...]
Chinese authorities have issued rules on actors' pay for film productions in China, in a tax-evasion clampdown widely seen as a direct response to the recent controversy over actress Fan Bingbing and her alleged use of ''yin-yang contracts'' to hide income. According to the official Xinhua news agency, a notice jointly issued Wednesday by various top government ['...]
Chinese authorities have issued rules on actors' pay for film productions in China, in a tax-evasion clampdown widely seen as a direct response to the recent controversy over actress Fan Bingbing and her alleged use of ''yin-yang contracts'' to hide income. According to the official Xinhua news agency, a notice jointly issued Wednesday by various top government ['...]
Chinese authorities have issued rules on actors' pay for film productions in China, in a tax-evasion clampdown widely seen as a direct response to the recent controversy over actress Fan Bingbing and her alleged use of ''yin-yang contracts'' to hide income. According to the official Xinhua news agency, a notice jointly issued Wednesday by various top government ['...]
Chinese authorities have issued rules on actors' pay for film productions in China, in a tax-evasion clampdown widely seen as a direct response to the recent controversy over actress Fan Bingbing and her alleged use of ''yin-yang contracts'' to hide income. According to the official Xinhua news agency, a notice jointly issued Wednesday by various top government ['...]
Chinese authorities have issued rules on actors' pay for film productions in China, in a tax-evasion clampdown widely seen as a direct response to the recent controversy over actress Fan Bingbing and her alleged use of ''yin-yang contracts'' to hide income. According to the official Xinhua news agency, a notice jointly issued Wednesday by various top government ['...]
Chinese authorities have issued rules on actors' pay for film productions in China, in a tax-evasion clampdown widely seen as a direct response to the recent controversy over actress Fan Bingbing and her alleged use of ''yin-yang contracts'' to hide income. According to the official Xinhua news agency, a notice jointly issued Wednesday by various top government ['...]
Army Is Spending Half a Billion to Train Soldiers to Fight Underground |
Wed, 27 Jun 2018 14:39
U.S. Army leaders say the next war will be fought in mega-cities, but the service has embarked on an ambitious effort to prepare most of its combat brigades to fight, not inside, but beneath them.
Late last year, the Army launched an accelerated effort that funnels some $572 million into training and equipping 26 of its 31 active combat brigades to fight in large-scale subterranean facilities that exist beneath dense urban areas around the world.
For this new type of warfare, infantry units will need to know how to effectively navigate, communicate, breach heavy obstacles and attack enemy forces in underground mazes ranging from confined corridors to tunnels as wide as residential streets. Soldiers will need new equipment and training to operate in conditions such as complete darkness, bad air and lack of cover from enemy fire in areas that challenge standard Army communications equipment.
Senior leaders have mentioned small parts of the effort in public speeches, but Army officials at Fort Benning, Georgia's Maneuver Center of Excellence -- the organization leading the subterranean effort -- have been reluctant to discuss the scale of the endeavor.
"We did recognize, in a megacity that has underground facilities -- sewers and subways and some of the things we would encounter ... we have to look at ourselves and say 'ok, how does our current set of equipment and our tactics stack up?'" Col. Townley Hedrick, commandant of the Infantry School at the Army's Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Benning, Georgia, told in an interview. "What are the aspects of megacities that we have paid the least attention to lately, and every megacity has got sewers and subways and stuff that you can encounter, so let's brush it up a little bit."
Left unmentioned were the recent studies the Army has undertaken to shore up this effort. The Army completed a four-month review last year of its outdated approach to underground combat, and published a new training manual dedicated to this environment.
"This training circular is published to provide urgently needed guidance to plan and execute training for units operating in subterranean environments, according to TC 3-20.50 "Small Unit Training in Subterranean Environments," published in November 2017. "Though prepared through an 'urgent' development process, it is authorized for immediate implementation."
A New Priority
The Army has always been aware that it might have to clear and secure underground facilities such as sewers and subway systems beneath densely-populated cities. In the past, tactics and procedures were covered in manuals on urban combat such as FM 90-10-1, "An Infantryman's Guide to Combat in Built-up Areas," dated 1993.
Before the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, the mission for taking large, underground military complexes was given to tier-one special operations units such as Army Delta Force and the Navy's SEAL Team 6, as well as the Army's 75th Ranger Regiment.
But the Pentagon's new focus on preparing to fight peer militaries such as North Korea, Russia and China changed all that.
An assessment last year estimates that there are about 10,000 large-scale underground military facilities around the world that are intended to serve as subterranean cities, an Army source, who is not cleared to talk to the press, told
The Army's Asymmetric Warfare Group -- an outfit often tasked with looking ahead to identify future threats -- told U.S. military leaders that special operations forces will not be able to deal with the subterranean problem alone and that large numbers of conventional forces must be trained and equipped to fight underground, the source said.
The endeavor became an urgent priority because more than 4,800 of these underground facilities are located in North Korea, the source said.
Relations now seem to be warming between Washington and Pyongyang after the recent meeting between U.S. President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. But in addition to its underground nuclear missile facilities, North Korea has the capability to move thousands of troops through deep tunnels beneath the border into South Korea, according to the Army's new subterranean manual.
"North Korea could accommodate the transfer of 30,000 heavily armed troops per hour," the manual states. "North Korea had planned to construct five southern exits and the tunnel was designed for both conventional warfare and guerrilla infiltration. Among other things, North Korea built a regimental airbase into a granite mountain."
For its part, Russia inherited a vast underground facilities program from the Soviet Union, designed to ensure the survival of government leadership and military command and control in wartime, the manual states. Underground bunkers, tunnels, secret subway lines, and other facilities still beneath Moscow, other major Russian cities, and the sites of major military commands.
More recently, U.S. and coalition forces operating in Iraq and Syria have had to deal with fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria operating in tunnel systems.
Learning to Fight Underground
To prepare combat units, the Army has activated mobile teams to train the leadership of 26 brigade combat teams on how prepare units for underground warfare and plan and execute large-scale combat operations in the subterranean environment.
So far, the effort has trained five BCTs based at Fort Wainwright, Alaska; Schofield Barracks, Hawaii; Camp Casey, Korea; and Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. Army trainers have a January deadline to finish training 21 more BCTs located at bases including Fort Bragg, North Carolina; Fort Campbell, Kentucky; Fort Drum, New York; Fort Bliss and Fort Hood, Texas, and Fort Richardson, Alaska, the source said.
The 3rd BCT, 4th Infantry Division at Fort Carson, Colorado is next in line for the training.
Army officials confirmed to that there is an approved plan to dedicate $572 million to the effort. That works out to $22 million for each BCT, according to an Army spokeswoman who did not want to be named for this article. The Army did not say where the money is coming from or when it will be given to units.
Army leaders launched the subterranean effort last fall, tasking the AWG with developing a training program. The unit spent October-January at Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia, developing the tactics, techniques and procedures, or TTPs, units will need to fight in this environment.
"Everything that you can do above ground, you can do below ground; there are just tactics and techniques that are particular," the source said, adding that tactics used in a subterranean space are much like those used in clearing buildings.
"The principles are exactly the same, but now do it without light, now do it in a confined space ... now try to breach a door using a thermal cutting torch when you don't have air."
Three training teams focus on heavy breaching, TTPs and planning and a third to train the brigade leadership on intelligence priorities and how to prepare for brigade-size operations in subterranean facilities.
"The whole brigade will be learning the operation," the source said.
Army combat units train in mock-up towns known as military operations in urban terrain, or MOUT, sites. These training centers often have sewers to deal with rain water, but are too small to use for realistic training, the source said.
The Defense Department has a half-dozen locations that feature subterranean networks. They're located at Fort Hood, Texas; Fort Story, Virginia; Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri; Camp Atterbury-Muscatatuck Urban Training Center, Indiana; Tunnel Warfare Center, China Lake, California and Yuma Proving Grounds, Arizona, according to the new subterranean training manual.
Rather sending infrastructure to these locations, units will build specially designed, modular subterranean trainers, created by the AWG in 2014. The completed maze-like structure is fashioned from 15 to 20 shipping containers, or conexes, and sits above ground.
Gen. Stephen Townsend, commander of Army Training and Doctrine Command, talked about these new training structures at the Association of the United States Army's LANPAC 2018 symposium in Hawaii.
"I was just at the Asymmetric Warfare Group recently; they had built a model subterranean training center that now the Army is in the process of exporting to the combat training centers and home stations," Townsend said.
"I was thinking to myself before I went and saw it, 'how are we going to be able to afford to build all these underground training facilities?' Well, they took me into one that wasn't underground at all. It actually looked like you went underground at the entrance, but the facility was actually built above ground.But you couldn't tell that once you went inside of it."
Shipping containers are commonplace around the Army, so units won't have to buy special materials to build the trainers, Hedrick said.
"Every post has old, empty conexes ... and those are easily used to simulate working underground," Hedrick said.
Specialized Equipment
Training is only part of the subterranean operations effort. A good portion of the $22 million going to each BCT will be needed buy special equipment so combat units can operate safety underground.
"You can't go more than one floor deep underground without losing comms with everybody who is up on the surface," Townsend said. "Our capabilities need some work."
The Army is looking at the handheld MPU-5 smart radio, made by Persistent Systems LLC, which features a new technology and relies on a "mobile ad hoc network" that will allow units to talk to each other and to the surface as well.
"It sends out a signal that combines with the one next to it, and the one next to it ... it just keeps getting bigger and bigger and bigger," the source said.
Off the shelf, MPU-5s coast approximately $10,000 each.
Toxic air, or a drop in oxygen, are other challenges soldiers will be likely to face operating deep underground. The Army is evaluating off-the-shelf self-contained breathing equipment for units to purchase.
"Protective masks without a self-contained breathing apparatus provide no protection against the absence of oxygen," the subterranean manual states. "Having breathing apparatus equipment available is the primary protection element against the absence of oxygen, in the presence of hazardous gases, or in the event of a cave-in."
Soldiers can find themselves exposed to smoke, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, methane natural gas underground, according to the manual.
Breathing gear is expensive; some apparatus cost as much as $13,000 apiece, the source said.
Underground tunnels and facilities are often lighted, but when the lights go out, soldiers will be in total darkness. The Army announced in February that it has money in its fiscal 2019 budget to buy dual-tubed, binocular-style night vision goggles to give soldiers greater depth perception than offered by the current single-tubed Enhanced Night Vision Goggles and AN/PVS 14s.
The Enhanced Night Vision Goggle B uses a traditional infrared image intensifier similar to the PVS-14 along with a thermal camera. The system fuses the IR with the thermal capability into one display. The Army is considering equipping units trained in subterranean ops with ENVG Bs, the source said.
Units will also need special, hand-carried ballistic shields, at least two per squad, since tunnels provide little to no cover from enemy fire.
Weapon suppressors are useful to cut down on noise that's significantly amplified in confined spaces, the manual states.
Some of the heavy equipment such as torches and large power saws needed for breaching are available in brigade engineer units, Hedrick said.
"We definitely did put some effort into trying to identify a list of normal equipment that may not work and what equipment that we might have to look at procuring," Hedrick said.
Jason Dempsey, an adjunct senior fellow at the Center for new American Security, was skeptical about the scale of the program.
Dempsey, a former Army infantry officer with two tours in Afghanistan and one in Iraq, told that such training "wasn't relevant" to fights in Iraq and Afghanistan.
He questions spending such a large amount of money training and equipping so many of the Army's combat brigades in a type of combat that they might never need.
"I can totally understand taking every brigade in Korea, Alaska, some of the Hawaii units -- any units on tap for first response for something going on in Korea," said Dempsey, who served in the combat units such as the 75th Ranger Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division and the 10th Mountain Division.
"Conceptually I don't knock it. The only reason I would question it is if it comes with a giant bill and new buys of a bunch of specialized gear. ... It's a whole new business line for folks whose business tapered off after Afghanistan."
-- Matthew Cox can be reached at
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Wed, 27 Jun 2018 14:04
A real Linux distribution on the phone Creating a sustainable mobile OSIt is 2018. Pick an average PC from 2008 and install a minimal Linux based operating system. You will be able to do basic computing tasks (eg. surfing the web, reading e-mails, listening to music, chatting) just like on an expensive modern PC. You will even get security updates, so your old computer is protected, just like a new one.
On the current mobile landscape you get none of that. Even expensive phones only have few years of support. As time progresses, your phone becomes slower and slower, and the newest features will not work on it anymore. But postmarketOS builds upon a real Linux distribution, which has no reason to drop support for old devices at all and (assuming that you choose the right software) keeps the resource usage at a constant minimum instead of increasing it with every release. There's no reason to restrict features (such as full disk encryption) to newer devices either. We want to be able to use our devices until they break!
Package and run anything you want postmarketOS is developed in the spirit of regular Linux distributions, so there's no problem in having multiple phone interfaces and let the user choose. We have KDE's Plasma Mobile, LuneOS UI, Hildon, MATE, XFCE4 and i3wm packaged so far.
Furthermore postmarketOS will not impose arbitrary restrictions on you. Use the apps from any ecosystem you want (even desktop software). With Alpine's simple package format, you do not need more than a bit of Linux knowledge to package your favorite programs (assuming that they run on Linux already).
Evaluating options for security holes in firmware Mobile phones have dedicated chips for the cellular modem and wifi functionality. These chips only run with firmware files, which are little proprietary operating systems, that run alongside of your regular OS (such as Android or postmarketOS). In most cases they even have full access to the device's RAM, GPS and/or microphone.
As with all proprietary software, we can not look at the source code to look for security bugs and backdoors, and we can not update it when such security bugs become public. We are at the mercy of the device manufacturers to get updates, and they refuse to do so after the support of the device runs out.
Nowadays, practically every phone that is a few years old has such an issue - no matter which OS or ROM you install. Exploits are available in public, so everyone with enough IT knowledge (or money to get IT experts) can turn these older phones into surveillance devices.
We are well aware of the situation and exploring our options. On a side note, we are also interested in using the mainline kernel (instead of some outdated Android fork), so we can at least have a safer userspace.
Read more on our blog.
How to Help an Adult Child Move Out of the House - The Atlantic
Wed, 27 Jun 2018 14:02
Dear Anonymous,
A universal paradox of being a parent is that in trying to help our children, we often make things harder on both ourselves and them. Of course, it's hard to see our kids suffer, and your tendency might even be to let things slide so as not to further upset your son. But you're going to have to remember that not only is your son an adult, so are you. Neither of you is helpless.
Which is to say: In order to help him feel better, you'll both need to change.
For starters, your son seems to think that he isn't able to function as an adult, and without intending to, you've been reinforcing that belief (even if you don't share it) by tiptoeing around him as if he's fragile, allowing him to mistreat you, supporting him financially with no expectations, and not directly addressing important topics like his future goals and, most important, his evident pain.
I'm going to call that pain depression, because depression, particularly in men (and children), often presents as anger. In fact, depression more generally has been described as ''anger turned inward,'' and though you're the target of your son's outbursts, I imagine that his self-directed anger'--his critical inner voice'--is even harsher than what he hurls your way. It sounds as though his childhood came with some loss, and while he appeared okay on the outside, it could be that he didn't know what he was feeling, or kept it inside, or went numb'--at least until college. Many teens struggle with this transition, but the newfound freedom and lack of structure in college can be particularly challenging for someone with ADHD (layered on top of an underlying depression). Sometimes people with ADHD confuse their struggles with a lack of ability rather than a lack of appropriate support, and that profound misunderstanding'--essentially, a distorted self-concept'--can create a downward spiral.
Here's what can help turn this around. Most of us need both structure and purpose in our days in order to feel good about ourselves. Feeling good about ourselves, in turn, creates a virtuous cycle: When we feel good about ourselves, we're motivated to treat ourselves and other well, which in turn helps us to form meaningful relationships, engage in work we enjoy, and feel valuable in the world (which in turn, makes us feel good about ourselves '... and round and round it goes). This is especially true with both ADHD and depression.
To convert your son's vicious cycle into a virtuous one, he's going to need some support in the form of a metaphorical aquarium: A fishbowl is too constraining and an ocean is too vast, but an aquarium provides a balance of freedom and structure. You'll need to leave some choices up to him'--within certain manageable parameters.
Since it's your house, only you can decide what's ''out of the question'' for these parameters. If he's so explosive that he can't have a calm conversation, you can start by writing him a loving letter, letting him know how much you care about him and telling him how sorry you are to see him suffer. Explain that you want to help him feel better not only because you love him, but because you believe fully in his talents and abilities and potential to create a fulfilling life despite how hard the past several years have been. Then tell him that you've come to realize that you may be part of the problem, by not respecting him as adult and treating him as one, and that you'd like to start by clarifying your expectations if he chooses to live with you. Those expectations might include:
''I'm here if you want to talk, and I also know how much easier it is to talk to someone in a space of your own. I'm concerned about you, and imagine you might be feeling lost, so I'd like you to go talk to a therapist of your choice. If you feel I'm part of the problem'--as I imagine I am'--and would like me to participate in family therapy with you so that I can understand your perspective better, I'd be happy to do that too.'' Then give him a link to Psychology Today where he can search for providers in your area.''I'm not sure why you stopped taking Ritalin. I read that sometimes it can make people feel wired, or tired, or it stops working and the dosage or type of medication needs adjusting. But I also read that people with ADHD are some of the most successful and creative in the world, and that with the right support, you can really thrive. I'd like you to go see someone who understands ADHD so you can get some recommendations that might make things a lot easier for you.'' Then give him links to a few well-regarded ADHD specialists in your area, along with a link to some good books on the positive aspects of ADHD, like this one.''I like that you took initiative by getting the dog-walking job. At the same time, I know how talented you are as a photographer, and because the dog-walking job won't pay your bills or lead to something you're passionate about, I'd like you to starting researching how you might find a job in an area that interests you. I realize that you don't want a traditional office job, and with your skill set, I imagine there are many opportunities in non-office environments that you'll enjoy.'' Then give him some links to, say, photographer-assistant jobs, or entry-level graphics jobs. Also include links to career counselors in your area (as well as the career-counseling center at the college from which he graduated), along with email addresses of people you know who work in fields he's interested in'--and float the idea that he might get in touch with alumni from his college who are doing the kind of work he wants to do.''It breaks my heart to argue so much with someone I love so deeply. I know that you're a loving, kind person, and while I understand that you're having a rough time, you're going to have to find a more productive way of expressing that.'' Then you lay out your terms. Maybe it's that if he continues to yell at you, you'll give him a month's notice to find other living arrangements along with six months' rent to give him time to find a job that supports that rent.
Gamasutra: Vlad Chetrusca's Blog - Thousands of indie android devs on the brink of extinction after Play store changes visibility algorithm rules
Wed, 27 Jun 2018 14:00
The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra's community. The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company. The purpose of this blog post is to drive awareness about an unprecedented change in the play store visibility algorithm.
Starting with Thursday, June 21st, hundreds of small, independent Android game developers started observing a decrease in new daily installs across their games published on the Play store. At first, it looked like a normal fluctuation, that happens now and then. By Monday morning, most of them lost from 80% to 90% of new organic traffic. They are now all in the same boat, that is about to sink.
Here's what devs are saying:
peanutbutterlabs "We have the same story. Overall accounts was at more than 80k downloads per day. Now it's below 5k and still getting worse day by day. I If this stays we'll all have to let go of our teams and shutdown our companies!"
Butterbean21 "We too, have been doing apps for almost 10 years now, and spoke to another developer who has been doing apps since around 2010, and we have NEVER in the history of google play, or any appstore, seen a significant drop like this. This is not a normal downtrend in organic installs - this is a significant drop, by over 80% in many of our top performing apps, and a very scary scenario."
Jenzo83 "This is definitely no normal fluctuation. We've been in the store for 4 years now. And we've never seen drops of 80-90% on all games at the same time. Not even close to what is happening now!"
snoutup "I'm here to get emotional support. Looks like I got it easy with "only" 70% drop in downloads, but ad-revenue from Google Play releases was my main source of income, so things are not looking good now."
llliorrr "We have more than 30 apps and it happened(80% drop) to 28 of them and we didn't update most of them. The rest 2 almost doubled themselves. something happens to google play."
Whether this is a glitch in the Play store visibility algorithm or a change made on purpose by Google is yet to be seen.
Google has not made any public announcement on this issue, nor has given a clear answer to any of us through their support department.
For all the fellow developers that are facing the same issue:- A developer group has been established on Discord at: There is a thread over Unity forums about this issue, as well:
A founding member of the U.S. Digital Service on the challenge of fixing government tech.
Wed, 27 Jun 2018 13:54
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Clips & Documents

All Clips
after the signing 24 day fast ha.mp3
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez campaign video.mp3
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez-Twitter fights with Trump don't move the nation forward-hmmmmm.mp3
Austin Vampires.mp3
bipolar ad.mp3
bipolar WTF ISO.mp3
Child scam and avanati New York.mp3
china buyout NBiz report 400-2.mp3
Chris Matthews - Dem party is ready for a revolt - ruh roh.mp3
CNN 2016 Doc on War in Space.mp3
Hillary at Oxford on Trump Authoritarianism.mp3
Hungarian foreign minister challenged on migration policy - BBC Newsnight.mp3
I'd go to the moon, but we don't have that technology anymore - NASA Astronaut Don Pettit.mp3
Illegal Immigrant Song, by The Cigar Wrappers.mp3
Jackson Lee announces kennedy retiring on Dem conf call- oh my god.mp3
justice kennedy FOUR dignity.mp3
justice kennedy ONE what.mp3
justice kennedy three trump comment.mp3
justice kenney TWO timing.mp3
Maria and China One.mp3
Maria and China TWO.mp3
migrant wrap CBS play early.mp3
migrant wrap CBS play early2.mp3
Neera Tanden on Chris Matthews-Panapoly.mp3
Ocasio-Cortez victory speech finger wagging.mp3
pot on sale california.mp3
Red Hen Napa.mp3
Republican Arizona Rep. David Schweikert says he received more death threats in 2017.mp3
Rob and Michelle Reiner-1-in El Paso with Joy Reid-There is no crisis here-Racism.mp3
Rob and Michelle Reiner-2-in El Paso with Joy Reid-Michelle-Raqcism-Ivanka - JEWS.mp3
Rob and Michelle Reiner-3-in El Paso with Joy Reid-Michelle-Its inhuman.mp3
Rob and Michelle Reiner-4-in El Paso with Joy Reid-Michelle-Godwins Law Suspended.mp3
Rob and Michelle Reiner-5-in El Paso with Joy Reid-Michelle-Does Hollywood help-F Trump no good-ruh roh.mp3
Rob and Michelle Reiner-6-in El Paso with Joy Reid-Michelle-Democracy is holding courts and fox news-Michelle shuts him up.mp3
Roe Reversal Reproductive Rights Rip Off -ISO.mp3
Ron Klein on Matthews- Roe Reversal Reproductive Rights Rip Off.mp3
union dues cal alum story.mp3
Weird weird voicemail regarding Justice Kennedy-from Anonynmous.mp3
yellowstone on cbs.mp3
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