1122: Cyclogenesis

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

2h 48m
March 21st, 2019
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Executive Producers: Sir Fenwick Black Knight of the NA Roundtable and Magistrate of Emeryville, Janoah Osborne, Lysander Bogert, Sir Husky Bottoms of The Hardwoods, Sir Perfluous the Octoroon

Associate Executive Producers: Thomas Gilkenson

Cover Artist: Darren O'Neill

Chapters

0:00
Start of Show
Woodstock
1:46
Terrorist Tram Shooting in Utrecht, Netherlands
Woodstock
2:38
Right-Wing Party FvD Wins Dutch Elections
Woodstock
5:45
EU Considers Short Delay on Brexit
Woodstock
14:10
Boeing 737 Max 8
Woodstock
22:29
Producer Note: Terrorism From a Muslim Perspective
Woodstock
25:36
Christchurch Mosque Shootings
Woodstock
28:38
Christchurch Shooting Charged With Murdering Someone Who’s Still Alive
Woodstock
32:08
Armed Offenders Squad Exercise Ongoing During Christchurch Mosque Shootings
Woodstock
34:37
John Podesta Calls New Zealand a Juicy Target for Election Hacking and Disinformation Campaigns
Woodstock
42:55
The Daily Show With Trevor Noah: Trump’s Rhetoric and the Christchurch Shootings
Woodstock
49:36
The Lone Shoe
Woodstock
51:48
Tayla Harris Photo Controversy
Woodstock
53:34
Climate Change on Madam Secretary TV Show
Woodstock
1:01:29
Iowa Floods Due To Levee Breaches
Woodstock
1:05:32
Credits
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1:20:32
Femtech
Woodstock
1:22:33
Youth Climate Strike
Woodstock
1:29:37
PragerU: Students Think Our Planet Is Doomed!
Woodstock
1:33:19
Chuck Todd Receives Walter Cronkite Award for Climate Change Broadcast Without Climate Change Deniers
Woodstock
1:37:18
Ian Plimer Explains The 97% Number
Woodstock
1:40:08
Science Paper: Halving Warming With Idealized Solar Geoengineering Moderates Key Climate Hazards
Woodstock
1:44:49
Dutch Meteorology Institute KNMI Changed the Definition of Heat Waves Before 1950
Woodstock
1:47:18
New Research Finds Drinking Hot Tea Increases the Chance of Getting Cancer
Woodstock
1:51:06
Credit Karma
Woodstock
1:56:24
Presentation Style of Politicians
Woodstock
2:00:30
The Wheel Network: Volvo In-car Cameras and Intervention Against Intoxication Distraction
Woodstock
2:04:48
The Wall Street Journal: How the National Enquirer Got Bezos’ Texts
Woodstock
2:05:16
Trump Hosts Brazilian President Bolsonaro at the White House
Woodstock
2:06:39
Guaido Changed the Venezuela Constitution to Extend His Interim Presidency
Woodstock
2:09:22
Producer Note: The Economic Hitman on Venezuela
Woodstock
2:12:20
Donations
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2:17:34
Birthdays & Title Changes
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2:18:49
Producer Note: Teamsters
Woodstock
2:19:37
Cashless Society
Woodstock
2:20:56
KOMO News: Seattle is Dying
Woodstock
2:21:26
FCC Opens Spectrum Above 95 Gigahertz
Woodstock
2:22:18
Fourth Child Attending California School with Cell Phone Tower on Campus Diagnosed With Cancer
Woodstock
2:24:40
Obama Admits Being Born in Kenya
Woodstock
2:25:49
Amnesty International Accuses US of Causing Civilian Deaths in Somalia
Woodstock
2:27:10
Buzz Aldrin Accused of Denying the Moon Landings
Woodstock
2:29:34
EPA Administrator Wheeler: "Water Issues Are The Largest and Most Immediate Environmental and Public Health Issues"
Woodstock
2:32:29
Thousands of Albanian Protesters Call for Government to Step Down
Woodstock
2:33:38
Court Prepares to Unseal Documents Pertaining to Jeffrey Epstein’s Child Sex Ring
Woodstock
2:35:39
Paul Ryan Joins Board of Fox Corporation
Woodstock
2:36:11
Fox News Pulls Jeanine Pirro's Show After Islamophobic Remarks
Woodstock
2:37:31
Kentucky Teen Sues After Unvaccinated Kids are Banned from Schools
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2:41:44
End of Show
Woodstock
Suggest a new chapter
Dutch Senate Elections
Like the LPF!
Hai Adam,
Gisteren was de dag van de provenciale en waterschaps
verkiezingen en zoals het er nu uitziet is de relatief nieuwe partij Forum voor
Democatie
(FvD) de grote winnaar en tegelijk een van de grootste
partijen voor de Eerste Kamer geworden.
Ze delen veel standpunten met de PVV van Wilders, maar
zijn niet uitgesproken anti-islam waardoor ze als minder radicaal gezien
worden.
Ze zijn Eurosceptisch en hebben aangegeven dat ze het
niet eens zijn met de nieuwe Klimaatwet die automatisch ook een CO2 belasting
zou opleveren.
Nu zien wat ze kunnen gaan bereiken.
Ze worden nu flink vergeleken van toen de partij van Pim
Fortuyn met zijn LPF, omdat de groei en veel standpunten grotendeels hetzelfde
zijn op dit moment.
Maar ook andere tegenstaande partijen zoals GroenLinks,
Partij voor de Dieren (PvdD) en D66 zijn nogsteeds groot en voor de eerste 2
zelfs gegroeid in het aantal zetels voor de Eerste Kamer.
Zege Forum voor Democratie ongekend: 'Dit doet denken aan
intrede LPF'
https://nos.nl/l/2276974
Oh, en we zijn als Nederland omhoog gegaan op de
internationale lijst van landen die het gelukkigst zijn. Nu staan we onder de
scandinavische landen blijkbaar zelfs boven Zwitserland... Hoe kan dit?!
Hopelijk heb je iets aan deze info en zoals altijd: Keep
up the great work and GO PODCASTING!
Groetjes,
Marijke
Ooggetuige Niels (21): 'Hij schoot op die mensen die die vrouw hielpen' | Schietpartij Utrecht | AD.nl
Mon, 18 Mar 2019 15:51
AD maakt gebruik van cookiesJa, ik accepteer cookies
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Extra toezicht van politie bij stations en moskeen | Dordrecht | AD.nl
Tue, 19 Mar 2019 14:03
AD maakt gebruik van cookiesJa, ik accepteer cookies
AD en Krant.nl gebruiken cookies en vergelijkbare technologien ('cookies') onder andere om je een optimale gebruikerservaring te bieden. Ook kunnen we hierdoor het gedrag van bezoekers vastleggen en analyseren en deze informatie toevoegen aan bezoekersprofielen.
Cookies kunnen worden gebruikt om advertenties te tonen en artikelen aan te bevelen op AD die aansluiten op jouw interesses. Ook derden kunnen jouw internetgedrag volgen. Cookies kunnen gebruikt worden om op sites van derden relevante advertenties te tonen. Cookies van derde partijen maken daarnaast mogelijk dat je informatie kunt delen via social media zoals Twitter en Facebook.
AD deelt de informatie die zij verkrijgt middels het gebruik van cookies en vergelijkbare technieken, waaronder ook persoonsgegevens, in een samenwerkingsverband genaamd NLProfiel van Buymedia Nederland met Sanoma en Telegraaf Media Groep om gezamenlijke groepsprofielen op te stellen. Door op 'Ja, ik accepteer cookies' te klikken, ga je akkoord met de verstrekking van jouw (persoons)gegevens aan Sanoma en Telegraaf Media Groep voor de totstandkoming van de gezamenlijke groepsprofielen.
Meer informatie hierover vind je in ons cookie-statement.
Om artikelen op AD te kunnen lezen, dien je de cookies te accepteren door op 'Ja, ik accepteer cookies' te klikken.
De serviceafdeling is te bereiken op telefoonnummer 088 - 0505 050. De servicepagina kun je hier vinden. Klik hier om direct de Krant.ad.nl te lezen.
Christchurch
From Muslim Producer on The "T" Word
Dear Adam and John,
Thought I’d email rather than tweet as I would rather
avoid the possible hassle and backlash of 'SocMed'!
As a brown Muslim person in South East Asia:
I find it mildly amusing John’s struggles with
understanding the NZ accent 😄 - perhaps we are
exposed to many more accents thus adapt more readily.
But on to the matter at hand.
I agree with John and view that terrorism acts are
traditionally rooted in organised/institutional efforts, and that what occurred
in Christchurch does not display such hallmarks. At least not that has been
made known.
A LoneWolf (tm you guys?) act does indeed inflict terror
- but by definition - to call it an act of terrorism is a stretch.
As a brown muslim person, I *do* find it irritating how
any acts of violence by muslims are readily labelled as terrorist acts. In so
doing, and taking the sense of the word above - it implies that Islam as a
religion and Muslims as a community are terrorists. I’ve written to you before
and cited examples (podcasts) of what normal/majority Muslims sound like - and
we are not terrorists. In fact, we despair that these few misguided souls
provide fodder for critics to continue denigrating Muslims and our religion.
I sense an effort of those concerned (ie. MSM) to label
this as ‘terrorism’ almost as a way of ‘getting even’ by calling out a white
man’s action equivalent to those of brown muslims. Perhaps so that they might
continue calling the other terrorist acts too?
In my view though, neither should be perpetuated as in
doing so it gives rise to a sense of anxiety that ‘every violent act is about
terrorism’ - hence that unspoken image of a sinister organisation in the
background plotting ill for people - but that for the most part these are just
abhorrent acts of violence by individuals.
My apologies if this quickly stitched message is a bit
discombobulated!
-Azlan
MALAYSIA
Why Tech Didn't Stop the New Zealand Attack From Going Viral | WIRED
Tue, 19 Mar 2019 11:49
The online spread of a video from a shooting at two mosques in Christchurch Friday shows the limits of social media moderation.
TESSA BURROWS/Getty Images
At least 49 people were murdered Friday at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, in an attack that followed a grim playbook for terrorism in the social media era. The shooter apparently seeded warnings on Twitter and 8chan before livestreaming the rampage on Facebook for 17 gut-wrenching minutes. Almost immediately, people copied and reposted versions of the video across the internet, including on Reddit, Twitter, and YouTube. News organizations as well started airing some of the footage as they reported on the destruction that took place.
By the time Silicon Valley executives woke up Friday morning, tech giants' algorithms and international content moderating armies were already scrambling to contain the damage'--and not very successfully. Many hours after the shooting began, various versions of the video were readily searchable on YouTube using basic keywords, like the shooter's name.
This isn't the first time we've seen this pattern play out: It's been nearly four years since two news reporters were shot and killed on camera in Virginia, with the killer's first-person video spreading on Facebook and Twitter. It's also been almost three years since footage of a mass shooting in Dallas also went viral.
The Christchurch massacre has people wondering why, after all this time, tech companies still haven't figured out a way to stop these videos from spreading. The answer may be a disappointingly simple one: It's a lot harder than it sounds.
For years now, both Facebook and Google have been developing and implementing automated tools that can detect and remove photos, videos, and text that violate their policies. Facebook uses PhotoDNA, a tool developed by Microsoft, to spot known child pornography images and video. Google has developed its own open source version of that tool. These companies also have invested in technology to spot extremist posts, banding together under a group called the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism to share their repositories of known terrorist content. These programs generate digital signatures known as hashes for images and videos known to be problematic to prevent them from being uploaded again. What's more, Facebook and others have machine learning technology that has been trained to spot new troubling content, such as a beheading or a video with an ISIS flag. All of that is in addition to AI tools that detect more prosaic issues, like copyright infringement.
Automated moderation systems are imperfect, but can be effective. At YouTube, for example, the vast majority of all videos are removed through automation and 73 percent of the ones that are automatically flagged are removed before a single person sees them.
But things get substantially trickier when it comes to live videos and videos that are broadcast in the news. The footage of the Christchurch shooting checks both of those boxes.
''They haven't gotten to the point of having effective AI to suppress this kind of content on a proactive basis, even though it's the most cash-rich [...] industry in the world,'' says Dipayan Ghosh, a fellow at Harvard's Kennedy School and a former member of Facebook's privacy and policy team. That's one reason why Facebook as well as YouTube have teams of human moderators reviewing content around the world.
Motherboard has an illuminating piece on how Facebook's content moderators review Live videos that have been flagged by users. According to internal documents obtained by Motherboard, once a video has been flagged, moderators have the ability to ignore it, delete it, check back in on it again in five minutes, or escalate it to specialized review teams. These documents say that moderators are also told to look for warning signs in Live videos, like ''crying, pleading, begging'' and the ''display or sound of guns or other weapons (knives, swords) in any context.''
It's unclear why the Christchurch video was able to play for 17 minutes, or even whether that constitutes a short time frame for Facebook. The company didn't initially respond to WIRED's queries about this or to questions about how Facebook distinguishes between newsworthy content and gratuitous graphic violence.
After this story published, Facebook sent further explanation about how it's handling videos of this shooting. ''Since the attack happened, teams from across Facebook have been working around the clock to respond to reports and block content, proactively identify content which violates our standards and to support first responders and law enforcement," a spokesperson said. "We are adding each video we find to an internal database which enables us to detect and automatically remove copies of the videos when uploaded again. We urge people to report all instances to us so our systems can block the video from being shared again.''
This means that the original video has been hashed, so that other, similar videos can't be shared again. In order to catch videos that have been altered to evade detection'--for instance, videos of the footage playing on a second screen'--Facebook is deploying the same AI it uses to spot blood and gore, as well as audio detection technology. Facebook says when it finds this content coming from links to other platforms, it's sharing the information with those companies.
''Our hearts go out to the victims, their families, and the community affected by this horrendous act," Facebook's spokesperson said in an earlier statement. "New Zealand Police alerted us to a video on Facebook shortly after the livestream commenced and we quickly removed both the shooter's Facebook and Instagram accounts and the video. We're also removing any praise or support for the crime and the shooter or shooters as soon as we're aware. We will continue working directly with New Zealand Police as their response and investigation continues.''
Google's New Zealand spokesperson sent a similar statement in response to WIRED's questions. ''Our hearts go out to the victims of this terrible tragedy. Shocking, violent, and graphic content has no place on our platforms, and is removed as soon as we become aware of it. As with any major tragedy, we will work cooperatively with the authorities.''
The Google representative added, however, that videos of the shooting that have news value will remain up. This puts the company in the tricky position of having to decide which videos are, in fact, newsworthy.
It would be a lot easier for tech companies to take a blunt force approach and ban every clip of the shooting from being posted, perhaps using the fingerprinting technology used to remove child pornography. Some might argue that's an approach worth considering. But in their content moderation policies, both Facebook and YouTube have carved out explicit exceptions for news organizations. The same clip that aims to glorify the shooting on one YouTube account, in other words, might also appear in a news report by a local news affiliate.
YouTube in particular has been criticized in the past for deleting videos of atrocities in Syria relied on by researchers. This leaves tech companies in the difficult position of not only trying to assess news value, but also trying to figure out ways to automate those assessments at scale.
As Google's general counsel Kent Walker wrote in a blog post back in 2017, ''Machines can help identify problematic videos, but human experts still play a role in nuanced decisions about the line between violent propaganda and religious or newsworthy speech.''
Of course, there are signals that these companies can use to determine the provenance and purpose of a video, according to Harvard's Ghosh. ''The timing of the content, the historical measures of what the purveyor of the content has put out in the past, those are the types of signals you have to use when you run into these inevitable situations where you have news organizations and an individual pushing out the same content, but you only want the news organization to do so,'' he says.
Ghosh argues that one reason why tech companies haven't gotten better at this is because they lack any tangible incentives: ''There isn't a stick in the air to force them to have better content moderation schemes.'' Last year, the regulators in the European Commission did float a proposal to fine platforms that allow extremist content to remain online for more than one hour.
Finally, there's the perpetual problem of scale. It's possible that both YouTube and Facebook have grown too big to moderate. Some have suggested that, if these Christchurch videos are popping up faster than YouTube can take them down, then YouTube should stop all video uploads until it has a handle on the problem. But there's no telling what voices might be silenced in that time'--for all their flaws, social platforms can also be valuable sources of information during news events. Besides, the sad truth is if Facebook and YouTube ceased operations every time a heinous post went viral, they might never start up again.
All of this, of course, is precisely the shooter's strategy: to exploit human behavior and technology's inability to keep up with it to cement his awful legacy.
Tom Simonite contributed reporting.
Update 4:12 pm ET 3/15/2019: This story has been updated to include additional detail from Facebook.
More Great WIRED StoriesFreitag's latest bags have a funky new ingredientWhen Facebook goes down, don't blame hackersCan machines tell when patients are about to die?How Google influences the conversation in WashingtonA genetic mutation to hint why birth control can fail👠Looking for the latest gadgets? Check out our latest buying guides and best deals all year roundðŸ'(C) Get even more of our inside scoops with our weekly Backchannel newsletter
Evidence Indicates Link Between North Korean Embassy Break-In And Christchurch Attacks '' Disobedient Media
Tue, 19 Mar 2019 12:27
As the world reels from the tragic terrorist attack against two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, much attention has been given to sensational information about the single named suspect, Brenton Tarrant. However, the hyperfocus on Tarrant distracts from the fact that the Australian national was arrested along with other suspects.
An investigation and analysis by Disobedient Media indicates that Tarrant and the group he worked with likely have professional military connections, are part of the same cell that perpetrated a February 22nd break-in of the North Korean embassy in Spain and potentially have intelligence ties to various agencies that cooperate under the UKUSA Agreement popularly known as Five Eyes (FVEY).
I. Signs Of Professional Military Connections
Despite the characterization of Tarrant in the media, he was no run-of-the-mill white supremacist. Images posted by Tarrant online just before the attack to a Twitter account which had been dormant until March 12 showed that he was in possession of high-capacity magazines and a semi-automatic assault rifle. The weapon and magazines would have been classified as either a ''restricted weapon'' or a ''military-style-semi-automatic'' (MSSA) under New Zealand law. A person who possesses or uses a firearm in New Zealand needs to hold a firearms license issued by police. Licenses normally last for ten years unless revoked. Foreign nationals may apply from overseas for a one year license based on their possession of an existing license in their home country.
Suspicions are inevitably raised over how exactly Tarrant and his alleged co-conspirators managed to stockpile the military-grade weapons and ammunition used in the attack in a country with comparatively strict gun laws. Tarrant, who supposedly began to radicalize starting in 2016 and was allegedly unemployed would have had his radical tendencies discovered with a proper background investigation. Police say that another suspect in the shooting was an individual who acquired the necessary Category A license and began to legally stockpile weapons used in the attack.
Additional reports have also established that Tarrant trained at the Bruce Rifle Club in Dunedin. Although the club's website and YouTube channel have been scrubbed from the internet, an archive shows that it explicitly catered to users and collectors of military rifles.
The Australian also engaged in extensive travel abroad to a number of areas that should have raised red flags with intelligence services. Countries visited by Tarrant included Pakistan, North Korea, Turkey, parts of Africa, Portugal, Spain, France, Afghanistan and Xinjiang, China. The extensive travel and access to military grade firearms should have made detection by law enforcement and intelligence services nearly impossible to avoid.
II. Similarities Between Spain And New Zealand Operations
There are a number of analogous facts shared by the attack on the North Korean embassy in Spain and the terror event in Christchurch which suggest that the same team was involved in both incidents. In both cases the perpetrators showed that they were well versed in ''breach and clear'' tactics against buildings filled with people. In both cases the buildings were cleared efficiently and quickly even though the goal of the North Korean incident was focused on intelligence gathering as opposed to mass murder. Aerial analysis of the North Korean embassy in Spain, the Al Noor Mosque and the Linwood Islamic Centre show that all buildings are of similar size and each would have required the same know-how and training to breach.
In securing a getaway from the North Korean embassy, the attacking team of approximately ten individuals utilized two luxury vehicles. In the Christchurch attack, the suspects used two vehicles for transport in which live explosive devices were found. The similar number of vehicles used in both incidents points to a common number of participants.
III. In Both Attacks, Perpetuators Are Likely Military Cells
The groups involved in both the Spain embassy break-in and the Christchurch terror attacks appear to be military or paramilitary in nature. The March 13, 2019 expos(C) of the embassy break-in by El Pa­s directly cited sources involved with the investigation who stated that the attackers were likely a ''military cell'' with at least two members who were tied to the CIA. Sources such as the New York Post and Washington Post have both run stories attempting to attribute the break-in to a shadowy group of North Korean dissidents. But this explanation is unconvincing since this group would not not have the practical military know-how or muscle required to breach and clear the embassy in such an efficient manner.
Analysis of documentation of the Christchurch terror attack also indicates that the perpetrators were part of a military style cell. Although much has been made of Brenton Tarrant's live-streamed attack, no other individuals were featured in the film. Video footage being distributed online shows two individuals carrying firearms during the attacks. Both are wearing baseball caps. This means that neither can be Tarrant, who was filming himself during the attack and wore a helmet with a mounted camera, not a hat.
Screenshot from video showing two men with baseball caps and assault rifles in Christchurch.Police speculated during the attacks that there were up to three suspects. But footage and photos that have emerged along with early reports of other suspected locations where incidents occurred indicates that the number of attackers was likely larger. One image shows a man with shaven head in military-style camouflage fatigues being detained by New Zealand police as the attack was contained and halted. Another video shows police standing around a suspect lying on the pavement. As the individual videoing the scene passes, officers roll the apparently lifeless man over onto his back, showing his arm flop as he moved. If the suspect had been alive then police would have restrained him with handcuffs before moving him. Authorities have made no announcement about casualties among the attackers.
There were also rumors of other incidents which suggest that the attack might have been larger than is being disclosed. Maori News noted reports that an additional shooting was ongoing at Christchurch Hospital. This went largely unacknowledged by the international media. In the aftermath of the attacks, police in Auckland, New Zealand also responded to a bomb scare at Auckland train station.
These facts all indicate that the Christchurch terror attacks were perpetrated by a larger group that would be similar in size to the one involved with the break-in at the North Korean embassy. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has expressed similar opinions, stating on March 15 that the attack was ''no individual act'' and that he was sending an official delegation to New Zealand to gather further information about the groups behind the attack. Turkish state-owned media source TRT World has cited anonymous officials who claimed that Tarrant entered the country ''to carry out a terror attack and/ or an assassination.'' Tarrant's visits to Turkey occurred on March 17-20, and September 13, 2016. Erdoğan survived a coup attempt that began July 15, 2016.
It is also worth noting that the location of police stations in and around Christchurch shows that there were several just a few blocks away from the Al Noor Mosque and Linwood Islamic Centre. This is about a seven to eight minute drive with normal traffic. But witness statements say that police took over 20 minutes to arrive at the scene (the police response time was actually an even longer 36 minutes). Ambulance services took over half an hour to arrive at the scene despite the fact that hospitals were in even closer proximity to the attack locations than police stations.
The failure of police to deploy with greater haste or intercept the attackers while they moved from their first target to the second raises serious questions about the reasons for inadequate law enforcement reactions. Normally an incident on such a scale would trigger an immediate lockdown of the affected city and a total isolation of the affected area.
If any attackers were not filming themselves, resupplying from their vehicles or firing on innocent civilians while driving in transit as Tarrant did it is likely that they would have been able to effect an escape.
IV. Potential Connection To Organizations Affiliated With FVEY
Many of the countries visited by Tarrant play host to the operations of agencies with connections to FVEY. FVEY members include the US, the UK, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. FVEY also have a number of Tier B nations who participate in ''focused cooperation'' on computer network exploitation, including Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Hungry, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherland, Norway, Poland, Portugal, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey.
Outside of the UKUSA Agreement, FVEY members are known to cooperate with Tier B nations on their own. Great Britain has had a deep relationship with Spain since World War II, when Britain bought off the Spanish to remain neutral and then used the country as an escape route for downed Allied airmen. British agency GCHQ also collaborates independently with counterparts in Germany, France, Spain and Sweden. British-Russian double agent Sergei Skripal was also revealed to have been collaborating with Spanish intelligence officers in the years leading up to his poisoning in 2018.
Brenton Tarrant's travels to Turkey, France, Spain and Portugal raise questions about potential connections to intelligence services who collaborate loosely under the FVEY intelligence sharing agreement. Additionally, his time spent in Pakistan, a country with a long history of deep CIA involvement creates an even stronger possibility that Tarrant might have had ties to military or intelligence organizations.
Since Tarrant had at least one New Zealander acting as an accomplice, it is possible that there may have been other New Zealand nationals associated with his group. Outside of their collaboration through the FVEY framework, New Zealand's Special Air Service has been deployed to Afghanistan where they worked directly under the CIA at a base in Bamiyan province according to claims published in 2011.
If individuals who had a past or present affiliation with New Zealand's intelligence or military services were involved with a military cell that participated in the embassy and Christchurch attacks, it would provide a potential explanation for the extraordinarily slow police response time which caused an increased number of casualties. It would also give context to reports that New Zealand police are refusing to provide footage of Brenton Tarrant's attack to US authorities who are seeking it for training purposes.
V. Conclusion: Tragedy Exploited By Special Interests
Whether or not one believes that the Christchurch terror attacks have more to them than meets the eye, it is undeniable that the tragedy is now being exploited by various parties for personal gain. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has taken the opportunity to promote increased gun control with a total ban on semi-automatic weapons. Ardern formerly worked as a policy advisor to Tony Blair, who has himself been a willing collaborator with British intelligence services. Ardern has not yet commented on the fact that New Zealand security and emergency services caused the death toll to rise substantially higher than needed due to an incredibly slow response time.
In addition to the debate about gun control, pundits have begun to harass President Donald Trump, accusing him of having some kind of ideological connection to Brenton Tarrant due to the suspect's fascist loyalties. These efforts only serve to intensify efforts to derail the ongoing crisis involving the Korean peace process.
With the operational similarities between the the Spanish embassy and Christchurch attacks in mind one cannot help but observe that global attention has been ripped away from potential peace talks between the US and North Korea. The gross showmanship of the Tarrant in broadcasting murders for the world to see was an intentional attempt to capture attention and shift global discussion by committing a heinous act of terror. As the Christchurch attacks unfolded, North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui made an announcement blaming US administration officials for a breakdown in denuclearization talks and threatened to break off negotiations to resume testing. These comments were immediately highlighted by Russian news agency TASS and the international press. Other comments clarifying that personal relations between Mr. Kim and Mr. Trump were still good and their chemistry ''mysteriously wonderful'' were almost totally ignored in coverage of the press conference.
The official facts of the Christchurch terror attacks will likely shift over time in the same way that official narratives fed to the public by federal investigators changed constantly in the aftermath of the 2017 Las Vegas shooting. But the apparent military and intelligence connections of perpetrators in the attack, the discrepancies between the official reports about the size of the group of suspects and footage of the event as it unfolded and the operational similarities to the North Korean embassy incident will continue to erode confidence that the public is being given all the facts.
3/17/2019: This article was updated with new details regarding emerging facts and clarification about police response times. Unfortunately, the New Zealand government has engaged in unprecedented censorship of the event and videos of the incident have all been taken offline.
Australian killed in Yemen: family demands answers on Islamic convert Chris Havard's death in US drone strike - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
Sun, 17 Mar 2019 20:25
The parents of an Australian man killed in a US drone strike in Yemen are calling on the Federal Government to give them a full account of how their son died and what proof they have of his alleged links to Al Qaeda.
Christopher Havard was killed when a car he was travelling in was hit by a missile fired from a US drone last November.
Now documents obtained under Freedom of Information laws by 7.30 show Havard and the joint Australian-New Zealand national killed in the same strike had been on an Australian Federal Police (AFP) watch list because of their links to the banned Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) terror group.
The documents also reveal that the Muslim convert Havard was a suspect in the December 2012 Al Qaeda kidnapping of three Westerners in Yemen.
The three, including Austrian citizen Dominik Neubauer, were released in May last year, after a multi-million-dollar ransom was paid.
The documents reveal that the AFP began investigating Havard's possible involvement in the kidnapping before his death.
Drone wars: The definition dogfight What exactly is a drone? It is a deceptively simple question with a highly contentious answer, writes Mark Corcoran.The documents also reveal what the Australian Government knew, and when, about Havard's life in Yemen.
When news of the drone strike broke in April, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs said: "There was no Australian involvement in, or prior awareness of, the operation."
But the documents obtained by 7.30 show that DFAT sent Foreign Minister Julie Bishop a document about Havard four days before his death on November 19.
Referring to "Australians facing detention overseas on terrorism-related grounds", the Government has obscured much of the document on national security grounds.
However, it does reveal that Havard was assessed by the Government as being "involved" with AQAP.
Another document sent to the Attorney-General's office reveals the AFP had launched Operation Viljandi to investigate Havard's role in the kidnapping of the three Westerners.
The dual Australian-New Zealand national who died alongside Havard in the strike was Daryl Jones, aka Muslim bin John, another Muslim convert who Havard met in Christchurch.
The documents reveal some confusion within government about whether Havard and Jones were involved with AQAP.
In a submission sent to Ms Bishop's office before the drone strike, they say Jones was only "probably" associated with Al Qaeda, and Havard was only "involved" with the group.
But in another document sent to Ms Bishop a fortnight after their deaths, they refer to the pair simply as "AQAP members".
Mystery over death as Government 'changed stories every week'On November 19, 2013, Havard and Jones were driving in Yemen's east with three AQAP members when their car was blasted apart by a drone-fired missile.
Havard's family say the government first told them he had been killed in a Yemeni government air strike on a mosque.
Later, they were told that he was killed in a car.
"It was at least a month after he was killed before we knew," said Neill Dowrick, who became a father figure to Havard during his troubled upbringing in Townsville.
"Chris was collateral damage, and from there the stories just got more and more, they changed the stories every week."
Video 11:41 Watch Dylan Welch's report 7.30 "They said the coroner was going to ring us and tell us how he was killed. We haven't had that. No death certificate. Every time we ask questions they just won't answer. They won't give us any explanation whatsoever," Havard's mother, Bronwyn Dowrick said.
Just how Havard came to be in Yemen in the first place is a story in itself.
His father died when he was two and he grew up an only child in Townsville.
While in his teens, his mother Bronwyn began a relationship with Mr Dowrick.
Mr Dowrick admits Havard got into trouble in his youth, and says when he was 16 he spent time in prison for car theft.
"Because he'd done a small crime and he was in jail with really bad criminals, when he come out he said, 'nup', he never wanted to go back there for any reason," Mr Dowrick said.
From there Chris Havard travelled and worked odd jobs before enrolling to study at James Cook University, where he met some Muslim students.
One day he called his mother to ask if he could convert to Islam.
"He asked us if he could, if it was OK if he could join up, and be Muslim. And we said 'Yes, if that makes you happy, and that's what you really want, yes'," Bronwyn Dowrick said.
Mapping the drone war The New America Foundation maps drone and aircraft strikes carried out by the US in Yemen. (Link redirects to external site). "And from that time he changed his whole life, his outlook on life," added Mr Dowrick.
Havard became a Muslim in a small ceremony in 2008 at Townsville's King Fahd mosque.
According to his parents, he became a new man.
"He give up the drinking, he give up the smoking, everything. Because he believed what was in the Koran," Mr Dowrick said.
"He wouldn't even let you touch it (the Koran) unless you went and washed your hands first. That's how much he believed in it."
Buoyed by his new faith, Havard moved to Christchurch in New Zealand, where he joined the local mosque.
Havard told his parents it was during his time at the Christchurch mosque that he first encountered radical Islam.
"When he moved into the mosque he realised what they were trying to convert people to. That's when he left and went to Dunedin. He didn't agree with what they were teaching," they said.
In 2010, his parents received some startling news.
"All of a sudden he rings up and says, 'Oh, I'm thinking about going to Yemen'," Mr Dowrick recalled.
"He was offered to go to Yemen to teach English."
Havard never told his family who paid for his trip.
"Because he'd picked up the Arabic so well, someone - of course he never mentioned names, that was one thing he never did - he said 'They've offered to pay for my trip to go over there and teach English'," Mr Dowrick said.
Caught in the middle of global war on terrorIn 2011, Havard landed in the Yemeni capital, Sana'a, one of the centres of the US war against Al Qaeda.
Since the late 1990s the group now known as Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, (AQAP), has waged a war against the US.
In response, the US has launched a CIA-run campaign of targeted killings of AQAP members, relying in recent years in particular on unmanned drones armed with tank-busting Hellfire missiles.
In Townsville, the Dowricks never suspected that would have any bearing on their son.
But one day in 2012 Mr Dowrick took an unusual phone call.
"It was from ASIO, and they just told me that they cancelled his passport, and I just passed it on to Chris, that they had cancelled it," he said.
"[Havard had] actually gone to the airport to fly out, then he couldn't. So then he had to stay in Yemen."
Since Havard's death his parents have received death threats and have been harassed on the streets of Townsville.
Photo Neill and Bronwyn Dowrick say they want the truth from the Australian Government. 7.30 "We feel we don't belong. Where do we belong? How do we move on? We've got no closure. We've got no proof of Chris's body or death certificate or how he was actually killed, so how can you move on?" Mr Dowrick said.
The Dowricks are clear on what they actually want from the Australian Government.
"The truth," Ms Dowricks said.
"The straight-out truth. No lies. The straight-out truth," Mr Dorwick adds.
The Dowricks could not raise the money needed to bring their son's body home, and, on a Friday in April, agreed to his burial in Yemen.
"That Friday night I was within this far of hanging myself," Mr Dowrick said.
"Because, you know, everyone rang, and I chucked the phone in the toilet, and it didn't die. But I felt like, because I felt like I'd let Chris down, I felt like hanging myself.
"I didn't because I knew it'd affect Bronwyn more. I had to make a decision, I made it. I don't feel good about making that decision, but I had to make it because the Government was pushing us that much, and I knew they'd win anyway.
"But I'd like one of them to go through the same as what we've been through."
"Every time we ask questions they just won't answer. They won't give us any explanation whatsoever," Ms Dowrick adds.
External Link DFAT document obtained under FOI
The fifth suspect of Christchurch shootings has defected to Israel '' Intellectual Observer
Sun, 17 Mar 2019 20:41
A suspect confronted the court, two other under investigation; reports about another suspect who left for Israel faces the silence of authorities.
The attack to two mosques in Christchurch, a city in eastern New Zealand, has led to the death of 49 people leaving dozens seriously injured. The terrorist, holding a camera on head live-streaming the attack on Facebook, rushed the Al-Noor mosque with a gun and then fled to streets continuing to shoot the passers-by.
The live-stream stopped a few streets away while minutes later another mosque, Linwood mosques, was targeted by another attack. Most casualties, nevertheless, were reported in the first attack.
The local authorities announced that less than an hour after the attack, the main suspect, a 28-year-old Australian, was arrested while three others were also put under investigation. One suspect was released from custody after the end of primary investigations.
It remains unclear if the attackers of the two mosques were the same or there were five attackers involved. One of the terrorists managed to escape the country hours after Friday noon. The fifth attacker has defected to Israel with the help of unknown aides. No official reaction has been made by Tel Aviv or local authorities on the issue yet.
While the main suspect has confronted the court a day after the terrorist attack, the local authorities has made no remark about his partner(s) in the brutal act.
The distance between the two mosques seems to show that the terrorist would have no chance to get to the second mosque if he were alone. Besides, considering the fact that the attack was terroristic in nature, as the New Zealand Prime Minister asserted, the involvement of other individuals, or other countries, seems probable.
Before, After, and During, Censorship at the Center of Christchurch Attack - News From Antiwar.com
Mon, 18 Mar 2019 04:14
As the world struggles to come to terms with last week's terror attack in Christchurch, New Zealand, heavy-handed censorship has made it a struggle to figure out what happened, and why, above and beyond the official narrative. News that shooting was ongoing in two mosques in New Zealand was met with a flurry of curiosity on social media, and just as quickly saw much of that shut down, with wholesale censorship of the topic and any specifics or videos related to it blocked out of hand.
Facebook was almost bragging when they revealed that they'd removed or blocked 1.5 million videos related to the rampage in just the first 24 hours. 80% of the videos, indeed, were blocked at the point of upload, never to be seen by anyone.
Underpinning this was likely an anticipation from social media outlets like Facebook that an ideologically driven attack on mosques would have at least tangential links to social media, and lead to mainstream outlets blaming them for not being even more heavy-handed in censoring objectionable views before the attacks happened.
Their solution, then, was to excessively censor the attack itself, and the aftermath. A substantial manifesto from the main gunmen, and other clearly relevant content on what the attackers were doing, are all but impossible to find on social media, and more traditional media outlets are doing a rather thin attempt at picking up the slack, mostly just echoing what officials say.
While other attacks of historical import took place in different eras with different context, this is one of the first such attacks that has come in the middle of the censorship-happy social media era. Plausibly violent ideologies have mostly been chased off of the main social media outlets, undercutting chances to confront such ideologies directly before the attack. During the attack, social media imposed what was almost a total media blackout, and in the aftermath, tried to vindicate their past censorship by keeping a careful lid on anything too revealing.
This must raise questions about how the modern system is going to be able to handle and process such attacks, and how well the world would've been able to manage, say, 9/11 or the Kennedy assassination, if all video footage of it was just censored at once.
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Media Reporting on New Zealand, but Did You Hear About That OTHER Bigotry-driven Massacre?
Mon, 18 Mar 2019 11:21
''If it bleeds, it leads'' is, say critics, the morbid media standard. But it's more accurate to say that if the right person bleeds, it leads. A good example would be the horrible massacres at two Christchurch, New Zealand, mosques by China-loving, anti-capitalist, self-described ''eco-fascist'' Brenton Harrison Tarrant and the massacres that Time forgot (along with the rest of the media).
Actually, the latter, recent incidents in Nigeria in which Muslim Fulani militants murdered a total of 23 Christians, are just part of a large category of massacres ignored by the mainstream media. But it's not fair to say the media couldn't care less about them.
They care very much about ignoring them.
Because these incidents involve the wrong people killing and the right people killed.
Were I inclined to score cheap political points, I'd take a leaf from the leftists' book and say that the mainstream media just ''don't care when black people are killed.'' Yet while this appears largely true, it's mainly because they don't seem to really care about anyone being killed (hence their support for pre, and now even post-natal infanticide).
To be clear, it does make sense that the Christchurch shooting would receive more coverage than a Nigerian massacre. New Zealand is part of the West and the Anglosphere, as are we, and that the nation is strikingly peaceful with an extremely low murder rate makes the carnage stand out; in contrast, violence is rife in Africa.
But a massacre isn't the issue. As Chronicles reported Friday, according ''to 'Open Doors,' at least 4,305 Christians known by name were murdered by Muslims because of their faith in 2018.''
Yet ''known by name'' may be the key words. According to the Baptist Press, approximately 6,000 Christians were murdered last year alone (as of August 6) in Nigeria ''by jihadist Fulani herdsmen aided by resurging Boko Haram terrorists.''
Moreover, according to figures from organizations Christian Solidarity Worldwide and Christian Association of Nigeria, ''the Fulani jihadists have destroyed more than 500 churches in the Middle Belt's Benue State alone since 2011, and internally displaced about 800,000 people in the state, with 180,000 of them living in camps and others living with relatives or as squatters,'' the site also reports.
Here are just a few examples, provided by Open Doors:
On February 17, 2018 Boko Haram militants attacked a Christian farming village in Borno State. The attack, in which 106 people were killed, specifically targeted male residents of the Christian community.
On April 24, 2018, militant Fulani herdsmen attacked a Catholic church in Benue State during a morning service, killing two priests and 17 parishioners. After the ''shooting rampage,'' the attackers reportedly ''descended on the community and razed over 60 houses, farmland, food barns, after carting away what the people had in their barns.''
On June 23, 2018, 120 Christians were killed by Fulani militants in Plateau State, as they returned from attending a funeral.
Going beyond Africa, Chronicles presents a list of 10 terrorist acts in France, then tallies the victim numbers and writes, ''That makes 261 dead and many more injured, in attacks by Muslims on non-Muslims, in less than four years, in only one country, France (pop. 66 million). With 66 dead a year on average, Frenchmen are exactly ten times more likely to be murdered by a Muslim than a Muslim being killed by a non-Muslim terrorist anywhere in the Western world.''
Furthermore, ''Aid to the Church in Need, in its latest 'Religious Freedom Report,' warned that 300 million Christians, overwhelmingly in the majority-Muslim countries, were subjected to violence, making it 'the most persecuted religion in the world,''' the site also tells us.
In contrast, ''Terrorist attacks against Muslims in the Western world are extremely rare,'' Chronicles writes, adding perspective. ''This morning's carnage in two mosques in New Zealand, with the death toll currently at 50, is the first major event of its kind since the Quebec City mosque shooting '-- over two years ago '-- which killed six persons.''
In fact, a ''Christian living in a majority Muslim country is 143 times more likely to be killed by a Muslim for being a Christian than a Muslim is'...to be killed by a non-Muslim in a Western country for being what he is,'' Chronicles further informs.
Given this, someone na¯ve might think the Christchurch shootings receive disproportionate attention because they're a man-bites-dog story. But the reality is that the media want people to believe it's a dog-bites-man story '-- and that rabid right-wing dogs are everywhere.
The media have not only been portraying the 28-year-old Tarrant, an Australian national, as a ''white supremacist'' (which he appears to be) but also as being of a kind with ''President Trump, his supporters, and conservatives in general,'' as The New American's C. Mitchell Shaw wrote Friday.
This is more journalistic malpractice. Tarrant, who is in custody, penned a 2,644-word manifesto in which he quite literately detailed his passions, which included impugning conservatism, capitalism, and Trump's leadership and policy-making; and expressing affection for China's despotic regime. Explaining his ideological evolution, he wrote, ''When I was young I was a communist, then an anarchist and finally a libertarian before coming to be an eco-fascist.''
But don't bother the media with the facts. In fact, Chronicles writes that the Christchurch affair's consequences are predictable (all quotations are Chronicles'):
' Pseudo-elites the Western world over, in and out of media, will characterize terrorism as a conservative, Christian, white phenomenon stoked by ''racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia, and all other traits of the deplorables; and yes, it will be Trump's fault to boot.''
' Islamic activists embedded in the West, such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations, ''and its fellow-conspirators elsewhere, will clamor for ever more stringent laws criminalizing 'Islamophobia,' effectively defined as any form of meaningful debate of Islam, its scriptural message, historical practice, and current ambitions.''
' ''Such demands will be promptly translated into legislative proposals by the jihadophile liberal class which will proclaim zero tolerance of 'Islamophobia' as defined by CAIR et al. And, of course, they will demand additional Soviet/Nazi style gun laws.''
Ironically, this is precisely what Tarrant wants. He wrote in his manifesto that he perpetrated his act with firearms precisely because of the ''affect it would have on social discourse, the extra media coverage they would provide and the affect it could have on the politics of United states [sic] and thereby the political situation of the world.'' He knew the media would beat the anti-Second Amendment drum; he aimed to catalyze a removal of gun rights, which, he believed, would evoke a strong reaction from the Right '-- and this, he hoped, would spark a civil war.
So given how pseudo-elites have long been complicit in aiding jihadism via media-malpractice acts of omission and commission, one could ask: Is there any terrorist whose bidding they won't do?
Photo of mourner at funeral for slain Christians in Minya, Egypt, Nov. 3, 2018: AP Images
Related article:
Christchurch Shooter Praises Communist China, Condemns Conservatism and Capitalism: Media Call Him a Trump Supporter
Radical Muslims Murder 32 Nigerian Christians, Torch Church in Brutal Attack | CBN News
Mon, 18 Mar 2019 11:20
Radical Muslims murdered more than 30 Christians in Nigeria last week. This is just the latest account of systematic Islamic violence towards Christ-followers in that country.
The Guardian reports that Fulani herdsmen assaulted the Christians around 4 a.m. in Karamar village in the Maro district of Kajuru.
The herdsman reportedly set fire to several houses and a church. The terrorists then sporadically shot at families trying to escape the blaze, killing 32 people.
Local government officials condemned the vicious attack. "The state government has been assured that the security agencies are working assiduously to contain the situation. The government is saddened by these attacks, condemns the perpetrators and urges all residents of the area to support the security agencies in their efforts to protect communities," said Samuel Aruwan, the senior special assistant to the governor.
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) also condemned the deadly assault and urged young Nigerians not to retaliate against the terrorists.
"We have appealed to the youths in the area that there must never be any reprisal. We want to give the security operatives in the state the benefit of the doubt to go after the killers. We don't want any reprisal attack because the circle of violence and killings will continue," Rev. Joseph Hayap added.
TIRED of the Media's Anti-Christian Bias?Click Here to Get the Christian Perspective in Your Inbox for FREE
CBN News reported last year that hundreds of Christians were killed in clashes with the Muslim herdsman.
Last June, Fulani herdsmen, who are mostly Muslim attacked six predominantly Christian villages in Nigeria's Plateau state. Many of those killed were Christians, and they were reportedly hacked to death.
According to the Global Terrorism Index, Fulani herdsmen have killed more than 60,000 people since 2001.
Bosun Emmanuel, secretary of the National Christian Elders Forum and a prominent Nigerian Christian leader, says the Muslim community has done little to protect Christians and believes Christianity will go extinct in Nigeria if no one helps.
"Realistically speaking, Christianity is on the brink of extinction in Nigeria," Emmanuel claimed during a forum. "The ascendancy of Sharia ideology in Nigeria rings the death knell for the Nigerian Church."
READ: How Is Christianity any Different than Other Religions?
"In 2018, we can say in 25 years from now, we are facing the risk of being the last Christians in Nigeria," Emmanuel claimed. "Therefore, Christians should be in the frontline of defending democracy in Nigeria."
Christian persecution watchdog group Open Doors ranks Nigeria high on the "World Watch List," sitting at number 12 just below Syria.
'Hell of a coincidence': Officers who took down alleged Christchurch gunman were at training exercise | Newshub
Mon, 18 Mar 2019 11:19
While there are countless stories of tragedy emerging from Christchurch, there are also many of heroic bravery.
In particular, the two officers who took to the streets hunting the alleged gunman before taking him down on the footpath.
It's unlikely the person who filmed it knew exactly what was happening, but video shows armed police wrestling a man to the ground in broad daylight on the side of the road.
Footage shows police take down man after Christchurch mosque shootingThe world now knows it was the man accused of the Christchurch killings.
The officers who tracked him down are being described as "heroic".
"Those two police officers acted with absolute courage," Police Commissioner Mike Bush told media. "I am so proud of what they've done."
We now know more about exactly what happened in the moments before, including the fact that the officers were at a training day, preparing for an event like Friday's tragedy.
Police Association President Chris Cahill called it a "hell of a coincidence".
"It points out the value of training."
It's reported the officers were training on an unused floor at Princess Margaret Hospital on Friday morning. When the shooting began they were still there, but had firearms and patrol cars parked outside.
They set out to find the gunman immediately, who had already fired on the mosques in Riccarton, and Linwood. Minutes later they saw a suspicious car on Brougham Street and rammed it off the road.
"They've just said 'We've got to take this person out', they've put aside their own risks," Cahill says.
It's reported the officers noticed a cache of weapons in the boot.
Bush says they're "overwhelmed and humbled" by the nation's positive feedback to the video.
"If you ask them, they will tell you they were just doing their job."
A job police say saved more lives from being taken.
Both officers have now been stood down, and one has taken leave but is expected to be back on duty soon.
Newshub.
Russian Intelligence Alarmed As To Why New Zealand Massacre Shooter Visited British Spy Headquarters
Mon, 18 Mar 2019 18:55
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March 15, 2019
Russian Intelligence Alarmed As To Why New ZealandMassacre Shooter Visited British Spy Headquarters
By: Sorcha Faal, and asreported to her Western Subscribers
A rather perfunctory new Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) reportcirculating in the Kremlin todaynoting President Putin's strong condemnation of the horrific New Zealand massacre whose death toll is at least 49 , has appended to it a beyond shocking Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) national security fileon the mass murder shooter behind this massacre BrentonTarrant'--that most critically notes he's an Australian citizen first ''acquired/targeted'' by SVR surveillance in May-2017 while he was visiting Western Europe'--mostspecifically due to his visit to the headquarters of the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS)'--otherwiseknown as MI6'--located at 85 Albert Embankment in Vauxhall, a south western part ofcentral London'--and after leaving,saw Tarrant traveling about 5 kilometers (a little over 3 miles)to Temple--London EC4Y 7BB where heentered Temple Church (builtby the Knights Templaras their English headquarters in 1185) where he met privately with Master of the TempleRobin Griffith-Jones'--the significance of which was unknown until a fewhours ago when Tarrant posted his 73-page manifesto titled ''The GreatReplacement'' wherein he declared '' no group ordered my attack'...I make the decision myself'...thoughI did contact the reborn Knights Templar for a blessing in support of theattack, which was given ''. [Note: Some wordsand/or phrases appearing in quotes in this report are English languageapproximations of Russian words/phrases having no exact counterpart.]
BrentonTarrant declares Knights Templar sanctioned his New Zealand massacre
According to this report, since 2016 when the British spy agency MI6 first openedits London headquarters to school tripsdesigned to increase their recruitment goals , SVR intelligence analysts have acquiredhundreds of potential targets for surveillance'--the vast majority of whom uponleaving MI6 (as for many it's their first timein London), travel to visit numerous of this great European cities historical sites, churches, monuments andbuildings.
Unbeknownst to the SVR at the time BrentonTarrant visited MI6 headquartersand Temple Church in Spring-2017, this report notes, wasthat he had already been ''psychologically damaged'' by a radical Islamic terrorist truck ramming attackthat occurred in Stockholm-Sweden on7 April 2017'--the youngest ofwhose 4 dead victims was agirl-child named EbbaAkerlund'--and whom Tarrantdedicated his New Zealand massacreto by his proclaiming he was doing it in order '' to take revenge for Ebba Akerlund a 12-year-old Swedish girl ''. [Note: Ebba Akerlund was 11-years old]
BrentonTarrant dedicates his New Zealand massacre to Swedish girl-childvictim of radical Islamic terror Ebba Akerlund
To the truest motivations of Brenton Tarrant in conducting this masskilling, however, this report continues, SVRintelligence analysts say at this time is unknowable'--and is due to his ''The GreatReplacement'' manifesto being what is called a '' shitposting ''document'--which is the act of throwing out huge amounts of content for thepurpose of provoking an emotional reaction'--some of whose examples include:
Tarrant vowing to take''revenge'' against Muslim ''invaders'' and writing he was inspired by right-wingterrorist Anders Breivik, who killed 77 people in Norway in 2011.
Tarrant writingthat '' Spyro the dragon 3 taught me ethno-nationalism'... Fortnite trained me to be a killer and to floss on thecorpses of my enemies''.
Tarrant declaringhimself to be a ''eco-fascist'' who advocates ''green nationalism'' and urgespeople to kill ''high profile enemies'''--saying that German Chancellor AngelaMerkel is ''the mother of all things anti-white and anti-germanic, is top of thelist''.
Tarrant trashing''suicidal, nihilistic and degenerate pop icons produced from a dead culture''mentioning Michael Jackson, Madonna, Kurt Cobain, and Freddie Mercury.
Tarrant directly declaringto ''Antifa/Marxists/Communists'' that: ''I do not want to convert you'...I want youin my sights. I want your neck under my boot''.
Tarrant furtherdeclaring ''Thereis no nation in the world that wasn't founded by, or maintained by, the use offorce. Force is power. History is the history of power. Violence is power andviolence is the reality of history. Wake up''.
Most insidiously, though, this reportdetails, Brenton Tarrant threw his ''TheGreat Replacement'' manifesto like an incendiary bomb into the already smolderingpolitical tensions existing in the UnitedStates'--with his first notingthat he had purposefully used guns to conduct the New Zealand massacre in orderto stir discord in America over the Second Amendment's provisionguaranteeing the right to bear arms'--that he followed by asking ''were/are you asupporter of Donald Trump?'''--and his than answering his own question bystating: ''Asa symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose? Sure. As a policy maker and leader? Dear god no ''.
The most devious attack made by Brenton Tarrant in his manifesto,however, this report notes, was aimed squarely at a virtually unknown outsideof the United States young blackwoman named Candace Owens'--whoover the past few years, has emerged as one of the most powerful pro-Trump conservative voices in the US who has been able to peel awaytens-of-thousands of young African-Americansfrom the Democrat Party'--but over thepast month, has been relentlessly slammed by the socialist-led US mainstream media mob outraged over aDecember-2018 comment she madesaying that she didn't have ''anyproblems at all with the word nationalism'''--that quicklyearned her the ''Hitler Label'' from the leftist mob'--and that Tarrant joined by his outrageouslydeclaring in his manifesto about Owens:
''Yes, the personthat has influenced me above all was Candace Owens. Each time she spoke I was stunned by herinsights and her own views helped push me further and further into the beliefof violence over meekness. Though I willhave to disavow some of her beliefs, the extreme actions she calls for are toomuch, even for my tastes.''
In the working SVR hypothesis that ''psychologically damaged'' Brenton Tarrant was, indeed, a MI6 ''patsy operative'' insertedinto New Zealand to conduct thismassacre in order to damage PresidentTrump, this report concludes, rests on the fact that the entire British government lives in daily fearand outright horror of what PresidentTrump is going to do to them for colluding with Hillary Clinton and the Obama Regime tooverthrow him in a coup '--theproof of which Trump already has inhis possession, but is being ruthlessly battled against by MI6 to keep him from releasing '--and who, without a doubt, were pushed into orderingthis New Zealand massacre because afew hours earlier, the ''unofficial'' Trump spokesman, Fox Newshost Sean Hannity, warned all ofthese coup plotters on his nationwide television programme that '' the Day Of Reckoning is about to break wide open! '' '--with at least 49 innocent people being massacred in New Zealandless than three-hours later .
March 15, 2019 (C) EU and US all rights reserved. Permission to use this report in its entirety is granted under thecondition it is linked back to its original source at WhatDoesItMean.Com.Freebase content licensed under CC-BY and GFDL.
[ Note :Many governments and their intelligence services actively campaign against theinformation found in these reports so as not to alarm their citizens about the manybu catastrophic Earth changes and events to come, astance that the Sisters ofSorcha Faal strongly disagree with in believing that it is everyhuman beings right to know the truth. Due to our missions conflicts with that of those governments, theresponses of their 'agents' has been a longstandingmisinformation/misdirection campaign designed to discredit us, and others likeus, that is exampled in numerous places, including HERE .]
[ Note: The WhatDoesItMean.com website was created for and donated to the Sisters ofSorcha Faal in 2003 by a small group of American computer experts led by thelate global technology guru WayneGreen (1922-2013) to counter the propaganda being used by the West topromote their illegal 2003 invasion of Iraq.]
[ Note: The word Kremlin (fortress inside a city) as used in this report refers toRussian citadels, including in Moscow,having cathedrals wherein female Schema monks (Orthodox nuns) reside, many ofwhom are devoted to the mission of the Sisters of Sorcha Faal.]
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Nazi-themed company owner charged with possessing objectionable material | Stuff.co.nz
Tue, 19 Mar 2019 10:22
The owner of a Christchurch insulation company that promotes Nazi themes has been charged with distributing objectionable material.
Stuff understands the Avonside home of company owner Phil Arps was raided by police on Tuesday.
When asked to confirm this, a police spokesman said police executed a search warrant at an Avonside address at 11am.
"A 44-year-old man was charged with distributing objectionable material. He is scheduled to appear at Christchurch District Court tomorrow."
READ MORE: * Christchurch shooting: live updates * The end of our innocence * Nazi-themed company Beneficial Insulation reported to police * Anger at insulation company with white supremacy branding
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Beneficial Insulation owner Phil Arps' has been charged for distribution of objectionable material.
He said the matter was now before the courts so police were unable to comment further.
Calls by Stuff to Arps' phone went unanswered.
Beneficial Insulation, which Arps owns, features a number of Nazi-related themes in its name and branding.
The company's white extremist branding and Arps' racist views, which he promotes online, sparked a public outcry in the wake of the mass shooting in Christchurch that left 50 people dead with another 30 still in hospital.
Stuff has also sighted an angry email from Beneficial Insulation owner Phil Arps sent to a customer which was signed off with a false Adolf Hitler quote and featured right wing extremist views.
Beneficial Insulation's company logo is a sunwheel, or black sun, which was appropriated by Nazis.
SCREENSHOT
Beneficial Insulation vans feature Nazi symbolism.
Beneficial Insulation also charges $14.88 per metre for insulation '' 14.88 is a hate symbol popular with white extremists.
The company's website www.BIIG.co.nz, is an acronym for the company's full name Beneficial Insulation Installs Guaranteed. BIIg was the name of a barracks at Auschwitz concentration camp, operated by Nazi Germany in occupied Poland during World War II and the Holocaust.
The company's staff wear camouflage print uniform.
Over the weekend the Insulation Association removed Beneficial Insulation from its website when it became aware of the company.
Tradesman review website Builderscrack also removed Beneficial Insulation from its website and reported the company to police.
IAIN MCGREGOR/STUFF
Stuff has also sighted an angry email from Phil Arps which was signed off with a false Adolf Hitler quote and featured right wing extremist views.
A Builderscrack spokesman said as soon as it was made aware of Beneficial Insulation on Saturday via Twitter the company's public profile was removed and its account deactivated.
It called police about the company on Monday morning.
Builderscrack was also advising homeowners who had been in contact with Beneficial Insulation of the situation.
"There is no place for this in our society."
Beneficial Insulation's website has been taken down and, after Stuff published a story about the company on Saturday, its Facebook page was removed.
Arps, who was previously made bankrupt in 2001, sent Stuff a series statements on Saturday that did not address questions put to him. He has since stopped responding to further requests for comment.
Global sharpshooters trained in Christchurch as mosque shooting unfolded | Stuff.co.nz
Tue, 19 Mar 2019 10:16
Thanks to a police training course the same day as the Christchurch terrorist attack, specialist staff from overseas, as well as New Zealand's Defence Force, were on hand to help.
Personnel taking part in the course in the city centre were already wearing their gear when the first 111 call was received at 1.41pm on Friday, March 15.
Fifty people were killed and dozens more injured in the massacre, which had been timed to coincide with Jumu'ah, a congregational prayer that has Muslims shoulder-to-shoulder in mosques not long after noon each Friday. Fortunately, it also happened to coincide with a gathering of some of the world's best sharpshooters.
Individuals from the police special tactics group (STG), NZDF, Australian and Hong Kong police, were involved in the response, a New Zealand Police spokesperson said.
READ MORE * Christchurch attacks: How police and citizens responded * Christchurch shooting live coverage * The victims and the end of our innocence
They had "advanced specialist medical first aid training" and were sent to the two scenes '-- the first, Masjid Al Noor on Dean's Avenue, and the second, Linwood Masjid '-- to provide immediate medical assistance.
They carried firearms, given it was thought armed offenders were at large at that time, and provided first aid to a number of victims "in the most difficult of circumstances".
New Zealand Special Air Service (NZSAS) soldiers were photographed at the scene wearing plain clothing and balaclavas, armed with sniper rifles.
One of the SAS's main roles is combating terrorism. That role is activated by the Prime Minister, at the request of the Police Commissioner.
GETTY IMAGES
Police officers carrying automatic rifles guard the area near Al Noor mosque during a visit by Turkey's Vice-President Fuat Oktay and Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on March 18, 2019 in Christchurch.
NZDF referred requests for comment to NZ Police, who said the commissioner didn't ask for assistance on Friday. But soldiers who were attending the training helped, under police direction.
"We are very grateful for the support these defence personnel provided to both police and the public in a horrific situation," the spokesperson said. "Their actions are a testament to the professionalism, skills, and the inter-agency operability of specialist groups in police and defence."
Police Association president Chris Cahill said he couldn't comment on international forces, but said police across the Asia-Pacific region generally have a close relationship.
The timing of the training course would have helped with a rapid response, he said. "You need a bit of luck sometimes."
The first armed officers arrived at Al Noor mosque six minutes after the callout. The armed offenders squad (AOS) arrived within 10 minutes. Cahill described the response as "outstanding".
The gunman was arrested 36 minutes after the call, by two officers, both from small towns outside Christchurch, who rammed the alleged shooter's Subaru Outback and dragged him from the car.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern praised the officers' actions, saying it was "absolutely" the gunman's intention to continue with his attack.
Police Commissioner Mike Bush said he'd received an "absolutely overwhelming positive response" from the public. "It's been heart-warming, the commentary we're getting about our people. We couldn't be more proud of our people."
Scott Bennett, THE NEW ZEALAND SHOOTING: WHAT HAPPENED AND WHY? - James Fetzer
Tue, 19 Mar 2019 12:45
By Scott Bennett, Ph.D. (ABD)Former U.S. Army Psychological Operations Officer and State Department Counterterrorism ContractorOVERVIEWThere may be more to the New Zealand shooting event which just occurred than meets the eye. In fact, there is a very real possibility that it may have been the ''Pearl Harbor'' attack in a long campaign against President Trump, designed ultimately to neutralize the conservative republican base, weaken President Trump, and take-over America in a blitzkrieg of political turmoil. Here's how, theoretically, the plan seems to be unfolding.
FORENSIC ANALYSISNow let me first start out by saying that after thoroughly examining the 17 minute video of the shooter frame-by-frame, and after applying deductive reasoning in the forensic analysis, I am convinced this was a false-flag event for the following reasons:
No bullet holes or shattered wood or glass or clouds of sheet rock or exploding plaster or cement can be observed or heard as the guns are firing into them and the victims. This is possible only when no solid projectile is fired from the muzzle, which means no solid bullets were fired into the walls, doors, windows, or victims bodies'--only the concussion of air'--which means either blanks or paint or gas or other non-solid projectiles were fired from the guns. This means, essentially, nothing solid impacted the victims bodies, therefore no physical damage resulted, which means no living person was lethally wounded or killed by an outside force. It's simple physics, which Newton's law establishes in the theorem: a body at rest stays at rest; a body in motion stays in motion unless acted upon by an outside force. Applied to this situation, we might similarly establish that a living body remains living unless impacted by an outside force that lethally disrupts the body's life processes, such as a bullet destroying arteries and vital organs.No blood splatter from the close-range impact of the high-caliber bullets upon the victims can be observed anywhere on the walls, doors, floors or furniture. Several of the victims are shot at point-blank range as they are crawling or passing by the shooter, yet no visual impact of the bullets can be observed, which would have undoubtedly ''kicked'' or ''thrown'' the victim with tremendous force. Only one victim lying on the ground appears to have a red spray appear next to his head as he is allegedly shot, but this could be explained as a ''paint round'', since no physical impact of the bullet or explosion upon the head is observed.Additionally, no pools of blood can be seen either around the bodies on the floor after being shot, except from one body which strangely appears lying next to the first victim in the doorway, which was not present when the shooter initially entered. So this suggests the body or actor was placed in that position, with blood added afterwards.The victims' physical reactions to being shot, especially at close-range, are not at all typical human reactions, as military and law enforcement experience and data confirm. Typically, the moment a person'--especially a civilian'--is shot, they instantly fall into a state of hysterical physical and emotional shock, delirium, panic, and desperation. Their bodies are flooded with adrenaline, triggering them to violently sprint, run, or crawl away from the source of the muzzle blast and deafening concussion. They do not simply fold up and fall to the ground like a sack of sand, and lie motionless. It is pure subconscious, animalistic instinctual self-preservation. Their body and instincts explode with movement in the first three (3) seconds, and their minds have no ability to stop it. There are also no screams of horror, rage, fear, or agony filling the air, only seemingly muffled moans.Upon leaving the Mosque, the shooter allegedly fires at a woman about 25 feet away at a corner of the yard, and upon walking outside, finds crying, ''Help me, help me'', and lying on her side on the street, her face looking away, and holding her right wrist with her left hand. The shooter aims and fires at her at about 5-7 feet away, blowing a wad of her hair off of her scalp and seemingly causing a red substance to exit her wrist'--which may have been a controlled device activated by the woman's left hand which was holding her right.he presence of music playing in the background during the shooting event is also quite significant. At the beginning of the event, as the shooter is walking around the property, a pipe and drums band is playing an American patriotic tune, suggesting some kind mission equivalent of a ''American Founding Father type revolution.'' Then as the shooter reenters his car to escape, a voice giving a religious sermon begins screaming a bombastic ''fire-and-brimstone'' punishment type intro to a song that plays as the shooter drives away, running over the woman allegedly shot on the ground.Finally, as the shooter is driving down the street, several times he presses his shotgun muzzle against the windshield of his car and fires, but the windshield is not damaged or broken or penetrated by any bullet. Instead a smoky cloud bursts against the window and temporarily fills the cab of the car.He then fires out of the side passenger window at a man, and seemingly shatters the passenger door window. This may have been caused by the muzzle of the shotgun hitting the window of course, and not the result of a projectile being fired through it.The shooter then drives off with music playing in the background, either from his car radio or bluetooth headset, that resembles some kind of hokey Pulp Fiction type soundtrack, as he comments on the shooting thrills and challenges to his Youtube type audience. The video then stops.
Complementary Analysis Jim Fetzer: click hereRATIONALE BEHIND NEW ZEALAND PSYOPI have translated the New Zealand PSYOP campaign into the standard metrics of an advertising campaign, which implements a specific layout of goals, objectives, strategy, tactics'--with each element working to compliment, advance and achieve the ultimate goal of the campaign.
This might explain the agenda of the far left globalist democrat and how the New Zealand operation fits into the bigger picture. It's what I would do if I was a God-hating, sexually schizophrenic, liberty fearing Leftist'--which thankfully I am not.
The leftist campaign may unfold as follows:
THE GOAL: Political takeover of the United States
OBJECTIVE: Neutralize Right-Wing, Conservative Republican Christian base of President Trump
STRATEGY: Brand Right-Wing, Conservative Republican Christians as violent extremists threatening civilized society.
TACTIC: Generate false-flag events where Right-Wing, Conservative Republican Christians are blamed for acts of violent extremism, such as shootings, bombings, staged protests, government building takeovers (i.e., Malheur Refuge, etc.).
TACTIC: Orient Department of Justice and all law enforcement agencies to elevate white, right-wing, conservative republican Christians to top of list of domestic threats and terrorist list, and consequently increase incidents of ''stop, investigate, and arrest'' actions against this group.
TACTIC: Increase red-flag gun confiscation laws by including the justification for this action will include allegations of participation in white, right-wing, conservative republican Christian suspect groups or activities.
TACTIC: Conduct Democrat controlled House Committee hearings on white, right-wing, conservative republican Christians and directly associate President Trump with rhetoric and beliefs and agenda of this white, right-wing, conservative republican Christians terrorist group.
THE WHOWho benefits? Certainly not right-wing, christians-conservative republican white Americans'--or white people in general. Certainly not Trump, as the shrill cries by leftist Democrats calling for blood, punishment, and repentance by him for seemingly speaking rhetoric that conveniently resembles the alleged rhetoric of this kind of shooter'--even though the manifesto allegedly written by the shooter does not claim support for conservatism. Indeed the manifesto seems more likely written by a leftist inarticulately trying to channel or inhabit the language and ideas of conservatives, albeit deceptively.
The winners in this always seem to be the political-police-military industrial complex who get expanded budgets, more powers, less limitations, and more license to control and abuse the civilian population; as well as the media'--which like vampires feed on the fear of their audience through Nielsen ratings. And who controls the media? From what I've seen by many sources and analysts, judging by most ethnic- religious-political identity charts'--and I say this with no phobic prejudice or bigotry in mind'--it is always a Jewish-Israeli establishment of Ivy league leftists. That's just how it is'--good or bad. The next question becomes, ''Why is that?'' Perhaps we can explore that another day. For now, let's stay on the shooting event and evidence of fakery.
Jim Fetzer and Scott Bennett on ''Incendiary Radio'' (17 March 2019)CONCLUSIONThe two years of needless agony the American people were put through during the Watergate hearings are nothing compared to what the media and democrats have intentionally put the American people through in their accusations of treasonous corruption and indeed spying they have made against President Trump.
It is important to understand that this act by the media and democrats was more than acrimonious or even deceptive political debate. It was an act of the most grotesque and violent selfishness and hysterical arrogance and blind self-righteousness manipulation ever to transpire in American politics. It is nothing more than a shabby'--albeit vicious'--attempt at overthrowing America's political system and leadership in a Bolshevik type revolution by implementing the tyranny of the majority to overthrow the American Constitutional Republic into a mob like democracy where numbers of people'--legal and illegal'--in the United States ultimately supplant the electoral college and sovereignty of the individual states. It is an attempt to overthrow the Republic and replace it with a police state socialist democracy, with the ''enlightened'' political-academic-media elite at the top, the thuggish police-military industrial complex in the middle, and everyone else on the bottom.
This cannot be allowed to take place, and indeed civil wars and wars of independence and spiritual revolutions and revivals ignite as a result of these types of conditions and events.
Time will tell how Americans will react to the next stage of this psyop, but I can say boldly, ''as for me and my house, we will serve the truth'''....and the God of all truth, without any fear of man.
Scott Bennett
Green New Deal
Over 1,000 Feared Dead After Cyclone Slams Into Mozambique
Mon, 18 Mar 2019 18:22
JOHANNESBURG '-- More than 1,000 people were feared dead in Mozambique four days after a cyclone slammed into the country, submerging entire villages and leaving bodies floating in the floodwaters, the nation's president said.
''It is a real disaster of great proportions,'' President Filipe Nyusi said.
Cyclone Idai could prove to be the deadliest storm in generations to hit the impoverished southeast African country of 30 million people.
It hit Beira, an Indian Ocean port city of a half-million people, late Thursday and then moved inland to Zimbabwe and Malawi with strong winds and heavy rain. But it took days for the scope of the disaster to come into focus in Mozambique, which has a poor communication and transportation network and a corrupt and inefficient bureaucracy.
Speaking on state Radio Mozambique, Nyusi said that while the official death toll stood at 84, ''It appears that we can register more than 1,000 deaths.''
U.N. agencies and the Red Cross helped rush emergency food and medicine by helicopter to the stricken countries.
Nyusi, who cut short a visit to neighboring Swaziland over the weekend because of the disaster, spoke after flying by helicopter over Beira and the rural Manica and Sofala provinces, where he reported widespread devastation.
''The waters of the Pungue and Buzi rivers overflowed, making whole villages disappear and isolating communities, and bodies are floating,'' Nyusi said.
Emergency officials cautioned that while they expect the death toll to rise significantly, they have no way of knowing if it will reach the president's estimate.
The Red Cross said 90 percent of Beira was damaged or destroyed. The cyclone knocked out electricity, shut down the airport and cut off access to the city by road.
The scale of the damage in Beira is ''massive and horrifying,'' said Jamie LeSueur, who led a Red Cross team that had to assess the damage by helicopter because of the flooded-out roads.
More than 215 people have been killed by the storm in the three countries, including 89 in Zimbabwe, according to official figures. And hundreds more were reported missing.
Mozambique is a long, narrow country with a 2,400-kilometer (1,500-mile) coastline along the Indian Ocean. It is prone to cyclones and tropical storms this time of year.
In 2000, Mozambique was hit by severe flooding caused by weeks of heavy rain, a disaster made much worse when a cyclone hit. Approximately 700 people were killed in what was regarded as the worst flooding in 50 years.
Mozambique won independence from Portugal in 1975 and then was plagued by a long-running civil war that ended in 1992. Its economy is dominated by agriculture, and its exports include prawns, cotton, cashews, sugar, coconuts and tropical hardwood timber.
More recently it has been exporting aluminum and electric power, and deposits of natural gas were discovered in the country's north.
NBC's Chuck Todd Awarded For Excluding 'Deniers' From Hour-Long Climate Change Broadcast | The Daily Caller
Thu, 21 Mar 2019 14:55
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NBC host Chuck Todd received a Walter Cronkite Award for political journalism for an hour-long feature on climate change that excluded ''climate deniers.''
The Norman Lear Center at the USC Annenberg School for Communication gave the award to Todd and his Sunday show ''Meet The Press.'' The hour-long special, titled ''Climate Crisis,'' featured experts and politicians who agree that human activity is driving the earth's climate toward catastrophe. (RELATED: MSNBC's Chuck Todd Kept 'Climate Deniers' Off His Hour-Long Global Warming Special)
''In an extraordinary move for a Sunday show, NBC's Meet the Press moderated by Chuck Todd devoted an entire hour to the reality of climate change, rather than giving airtime to a fake equivalence between science and science deniers,'' the Norman Lear Center said in a statement.
The featured guests discussed and debated actions and government policies that could curb man's influence on climate. The special notably excluded any scientists or politicians who questioned the significance of humanity's influence on the climate.
Judges for the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Television Political Journalism called the program ''urgent and unprecedented'' and a ''breakthrough in issue coverage,'' according to the Norman Lear Center.
WATCH:
Todd's program aired Dec. 30, 2018.
''We're going to take an in-depth look '... at a literally Earth-changing subject that doesn't get talked about this thoroughly '-- on television news, at least '-- climate change,'' Todd said at the special's open.
Todd continued:
''But just as important as what we are going to do this hour is what we're not going to do. We're not going to debate climate change, the existence of it. The earth is getting hotter. And human activity is a major cause, period. We're not going to give time to climate deniers. The science is settled, even if political opinion is not. And we're not going to confuse weather with climate. A heat wave is no more evidence that climate change exists than a blizzard means that it doesn't, unless the blizzard hits Miami.''
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Het raadsel van de verdwenen hittegolven; Rico Brouwer en Marcel Crok - YouTube
Tue, 19 Mar 2019 15:29
Persbericht: Historische hittegolven ten onrechte geschrapt door het KNMI - De Staat van het Klimaat
Tue, 19 Mar 2019 15:31
Het KNMI heeft drie jaar geleden ten onrechte een groot deel van de historische hittegolven (in de periode 1901-1951) uit de boeken geschrapt. Dat concludeert een team van vier onafhankelijke onderzoekers vandaag in het rapport Het Raadsel van de Verdwenen Hittegolven. De onderzoekers noemen de extreme temperatuurcorrecties van 1,9°C die het KNMI toepaste op warme tot zeer warme dagen (28 graden Celsius of hoger) ''onverdedigbaar''.
De vier onderzoekers (Rob de Vos, Frans Dijkstra, Jan Ruis en Marcel Crok) presenteren hun bevindingen vanmiddag (7 maart) om 14:00 uur in Amsterdam tijdens de derde Ontgroeningsdag van Stichting de Groene Rekenkamer (https://ontgroeningsdag.nl/).
Aanleiding voor het onderzoek was de hete zomer van 2018 toen er twee officile hittegolven plaatsvonden. Een hittegolf treedt op als het in De Bilt vijf dagen minimaal 25°C is waarvan drie dagen minimaal 30°C. Het KNMI stelde in de media dat hittegolven nu veel vaker voorkomen dan een eeuw geleden. Die claim gaat echter pas op na de temperatuurcorrecties (in jargon homogenisatie genoemd) die het KNMI in 2016 doorvoerde. V""r de correcties vonden er 23 hittegolven plaats in de periode 1901-1951 tegenover 19 hittegolven in de aanzienlijk langere periode 1951-2018 en kwamen hittegolven dus juist vroeger vaker voor. Door de temperatuurcorrecties van het KNMI verdwenen er echter 16 van de 23 'oude' hittegolven en werd de verdeling dus 7 hittegolven in de periode 1901-1951 tegenover 19 in de periode sinds 1951.
Aanleiding voor de temperatuurcorrecties waren de verandering van de meethut in De Bilt in 1950 en de verplaatsing van de meethut met 300 meter op het terrein van het KNMI in 1951. Het KNMI stelde dat het de dagelijkse temperatuurmetingen in de periode 1901-1951 nooit voor die veranderingen had gecorrigeerd en dat dat wel nodig was. Het KNMI corrigeerde de oude metingen in De Bilt met een statistische methode (percentile matching method) en door De Bilt voor en na de overgang van meethut/locatiewisseling te vergelijken met station Eelde.
De vier onderzoekers hebben niet alleen geprobeerd om de gehanteerde methode te reproduceren maar ook gekeken of er wel voldoende aanleiding was om de oude metingen te homogeniseren. Hieronder volgen een aantal bevindingen:
1) De temperatuur in De Bilt ging tussen 1949 en 1956 behoorlijk naar beneden. Deze dip werd door het KNMI gezien als een van de belangrijkste redenen om de homogenisatie uit te voeren. Maar een analyse van stations in de wijde omgeving (Nederland maar ook Duitsland) laat zien dat diezelfde afkoeling ook daar plaatsvond. Het KNMI heeft dit zelf niet laten zien.
2) Normaal gesproken doen onderzoekers een tijdlang parallelmetingen met de oude en de nieuwe meethut. Het KNMI stelt dat dat in De Bilt helaas niet gebeurd is, maar oude documenten (en zelfs een foto) wijzen uit dat dat wel gebeurd is. De onderzoekers hebben de parallelmetingen opgevraagd bij het KNMI maar niet gekregen. Deze oude metingen dienen wat betreft de onderzoekers zo snel mogelijk openbaar gemaakt te worden.
3) In de periode 2003-2005 heeft het KNMI parallelmetingen uitgevoerd op verschillende locaties op het terrein in De Bilt, waaronder de oude meetlocatie. Die metingen lijken de grote correcties van de maximumtemperaturen tot 1,9°C dan ook niet te rechtvaardigen.
4) Er is een statistische reden die de homogenisatie in De Bilt verdacht maakt. Het percentage tropische dagen (dagen warmer dan 30°C) in de periode v""r de wijziging (1906-1951) ten opzichte van erna (1951-2016) zakt in De Bilt veel verder dan bij de overige vier hoofdstations in Nederland (De Kooy, Beek, Eelde en Vlissingen). Na homogenisatie bedraagt dat percentage bij de overige vier hoofdstations tussen de 35 en 39% terwijl het in De Bilt zakt naar 26%. Deze verschillen zijn niet genoemd door het KNMI.
5) De Bilt is gecorrigeerd aan de hand van station Eelde dat 150 km ten noordoosten van het KNMI ligt. Eerder bij de Centraal Nederlandse Temperatuurreeks werd gesteld door het KNMI dat Eelde daarvoor niet geschikt was. Waarom nu juist alleen Eelde geschikt was is onvoldoende gemotiveerd door het KNMI. Een nadeel van Eelde is dat metingen daar pas in 1946 begonnen. Daardoor konden slechts vier jaar aan data v""r de breuk (1946-1949) gebruikt worden en die werden vergeleken met vier jaar na de breuk (1952-1955). Uit het onderzoek blijkt dat de methode gevoelig is voor de lengte van de periode.
6) Het is de onderzoekers niet gelukt om op basis van de procedure zoals beschreven door het KNMI de homogenisatie volledig te reproduceren. Met name jaren met warme zomers worden door het KNMI sterk naar beneden bijgesteld. Bijvoorbeeld voor 1947 '' een jaar met oorspronkelijk vier hittegolven '' komt het KNMI tot veel lagere maximumtemperaturen dan de onderzoekers in hun reconstructie.
7) Het KNMI heeft door de homogenisatie het aantal tropische dagen en hittegolven v""r 1951 sterk verminderd: van 164 tropische dagen naar 76, en van 23 naar 7 hittegolven. De onderzoekers komen bij hun reconstructie (met dus dezelfde methode als het KNMI) echter tot 122 tropische dagen en 13 hittegolven. Dit betekent niet dat dit aantal als 'het juiste' beschouwd moet worden. De conclusie is wel dat de homogenisatie van het KNMI heeft geresulteerd in een sterke overcorrectie van de temperatuur op warme dagen.
8) Het feit dat schijnbaar arbitraire keuzen in de methodiek (percentielberekening, middeling, lengte van de vergelijkingsperiode) veel invloed hebben op de uitkomsten van de homogenisatie, laat zien dat deze methode niet geschikt is om dagwaarden te corrigeren met de pretentie van een nauwkeurigheid van 0,1 graad.
9) De onderzoekers hebben tenslotte onderzocht hoe gevoelig de homogenisatie van De Bilt is voor de keuze van het vergelijkingsstation. Dat effect blijkt groot te zijn. Met Beek als vergelijkingsstation vinden zij voor De Bilt minder grote correcties voor de maximumtemperaturen en meer tropische dagen. Met Aachen als vergelijkingsstation vinden ze voor De Bilt geen correctie voor de maximumtemperaturen en veel meer tropische dagen. Met geen enkel representatief vergelijkingsstation noch het door de onderzoekers geselecteerde Duits-Nederlandse ensemble vinden zij zo weinig tropische dagen in De Bilt als het KNMI aan de hand van Eelde. De onderzoekers concluderen dan ook dat de methode van KNMI afhankelijk is van arbitraire keuzen en daarom niet geschikt is om de klimatologische geschiedenis ingrijpend aan te passen.
10) De onderzoekers raden aan om de homogenisatie ongedaan te maken en met een breder opgezet team (waaronder ook wetenschappers van buiten het KNMI) een nieuwe start te maken. Het KNMI zou zich voorlopig moeten onthouden van claims over een vermeende toegenomen trend in hittegolven in Nederland.
Het rapport is hier te downloaden.
Pigeons With Tiny Backpacks Are Gathering Climate Data Now
Sun, 17 Mar 2019 20:30
Photo: Rick ThomasSteadfast pigeon defenders have something new to crow about: The oft-maligned birds may be scientists' latest tool in combating air pollution and tracking climate change.
Researchers at the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom have developed a tiny set of sensors that can be strapped onto the backs of pigeons. Rick Thomas, the research fellow who leads the project, uses the birds to collect data on urban microclimates'--the block-by-block variations in temperature, humidity, and winds that affect living conditions in major cities.
''A lot of people say, 'Well why don't you just use a drone?''' said Thomas. But drones, of course, have caused their fair share of trouble in the UK recently. ''You can't fly drones up there. But birds'--they fly everywhere.''
Fortunately for the scientists, no wild goose chase needed to track down their birds. The project works with local volunteers who raise homing pigeons, a variety of the common pigeon that was selectively bred for its ability to find its way home.
Photo: Rick ThomasWhen the birds return to their lofts, the sensors are retrieved and the data downloaded. Each bird's backpack collects temperature, humidity, and ambient light information, as well as GPS location and air pressure.
When designing the sensors, the team followed strict guidelines to make sure they didn't ruffle any metaphorical feathers. The entire package is less than 3 percent of the pigeon's body weight, as is standard when fitting wild animals with scientific equipment. Thomas's wife, Cat Thomas, designed and sewed the harnesses that hold the sensors on the birds, iterating many times before settling on the design that was best for the pigeons.
''If [the pigeon owners] are not happy with any aspect of putting the sensors on their back, then they don't have to fly their birds,'' said Thomas. ''The welfare of the birds is utterly paramount.''
To date, the five birds involved in the project have logged a combined 41 flights and covered almost 1,000 kilometers. An expansion of the project to other cities would require more pigeon owners to volunteer their birds for duty'--and more funds.
Photo: Rick Thomas''[Pigeon keeping] is not as popular as it once was, which is a bit of a shame,'' said Thomas.
Each sensor package runs about $250, making it a low-cost solution to acquiring data in hard-to-reach places. While Thomas is still working out calibration issues with some of the sensors, he is confident in the temperature measurements'--the aspect of the project he was trying hardest to perfect.
The data gathered by the pigeons can help researchers predict how air pollution travels around cities, which in turn can inform decisions about where to build key infrastructure like hospitals and schools. Identifying hotspots can also help public officials make policies for climate change adaptation as our cities continue to warm. Further sensor development, such as gas sensors, could give scientists and policy makers alike direct snapshots of pollutants in the air.
Ultimately, Thomas hopes to develop a sensor that is energetically self-sustaining, allowing him to equip wild birds. The addition of solar panels may prove to be too much weight for a small pigeon to carry, so he's thinking instead about strapping them onto gulls. Outfitting wild birds would also require the ability to transmit data, but Thomas has an answer for that too'--utilizing the open Wi-Fi networks in places you're likely to find such birds flocking.
So if you see a fashionable feathered friend flapping around the next time you visit the UK, don't be frightened. It's just doing its job.
Giuliana Viglione is a freelance science journalist based in Southern California. She likes pre-industrial levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide and dislikes inequity in STEM. Follow her on Twitter or see more of her work.
Dutch Climate 'Experts' Can't be Bothered to Explain Fake Data | PSI Intl
Wed, 20 Mar 2019 15:01
Published on March 20, 2019
Written by Rico Brouwer
Dutch science journalist exposes national government 'experts' rigging climate data to make modern climate appear warmer than the past.
''Heat waves are now much more common than a century ago.'' That claim made the Dutch 8 o'clock News in the warm summer of 2018, as elsewhere in Europe.
Yes, all well and good, thought Dutch science journalist Marcel Crok, but that story only applies after KNMI in 2016 drastically correcting old temperature measurements.
Crok decided it was time to find out exactly how the KNMI came to those corrections, with three men (Frans Dijkstra, Jan Ruis and Rob de Vos) joining the team and eight months later they have published their findings in a voluminous report with the Tintin-sounding title: The Riddle of the Lost Heat Waves' (source: caf(C) Weltschmerz).
n 2016, the KNMI corrected temperature measurement data from the period 1901-1951, after the measurement setup in the Bilt was changed in 1951. De Bilt is an extra important measurement setup because the Dutch heat waves are determined on the basis of this. And that is again important in the climate debate because that data is used by KNMI and third parties for statements about climate changes.
We have taken major policy measures precisely for climate change. We're on top of it. On the day on which this interview took place, the planning office announced that the climate target in CO2 reduction with the current cabinet plans is unlikely to be achieved and subsequently Rutte said he would come forward with proposals for new policy. The media rightly reports on it extensively, but Crok's report has not received any attention.
Strange? Maybe not. The climate debate is so polarized between climate alarmists and deniers that a discussion about substantiation is no longer desirable for many people. I do not want to ''deny'' but here is with retroactive work on existing substantiation.
In the introduction to the report, the writers give a suggestion how we can deal with this in a scientific way by quoting the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences (KNAW) who on January 15, 2018 suggested that repeating experiments should become common .
It is what the writers of this report have tried to do and what Marcel Crok came to tell in this interview: the working method of the KNMI was critically reviewed and found to be insufficient.
Monday evening I contacted the KNMI to ask what they thought of the report? Spokesperson Cees Molenaars told me that Crok's report is not taken seriously and that it would be too much effort for Crok to serve him in the reply.
I don't want to ''bother'', but without dialogue there is no (climate) debate and without controllability there is no science. The KNMI reports to the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management. Perhaps someone can ask the minister what they think about this?
Marcel Crok: in 2004 questioned the ''hockey stick graph'' that forms the basis of the Kyoto protocol, which was agreed in 1997 to emit fewer greenhouse gases worldwide. He received a journalistic incentive prize for that work. Since then, he has been closely following climate and policy developments. He published the book ''the state of the climate'' in 2010 and made the website climategate.nl, after the climate conference in Copenhagen in 2009.
More at potkaars.nl/blog
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2020
Dick Morris: Beto's Family Felony
Mon, 18 Mar 2019 15:41
Fifteen times between May 5, 2005, and October 6, 2006, an unidentified customer walked into Charlotte's Furniture Store in El Paso, Texas '-- an establishment owned by Beto O'Rourke's mother, sitting on a site partially owned by Beto himself '-- to buy furniture.
He must have needed a great many sofas and chairs. On each visit to the store, he spent between $22,000 and $50,000 in cash.
Over the year and a half, this unidentified customer dropped a cool $630,745 in cash shopping for furniture.
Then Beto's mom divided the cash into separate piles of less than $10,000 each and recorded them as deposits.
Why $10,000? To avoid having to report the suspicious transactions to the IRS.
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She was arrested, indicted, and, on May 11, 2010, convicted of ''structuring transactions to avoid reporting requirements.'' U.S. District Judge Kathleen Cardone fined Mrs. O'Rourke $250,000.
Startlingly, neither the prosecutors nor the judge made her disclose the name of her customer, despite the obvious and natural implication that his (or her) cash stemmed from ill-gotten gains.
Beto lived under the protection of his father, Pat O'Rourke, the local political boss of El Paso County, Texas. Pat's life was controversial.
In February 1983, sheriff's deputies installing a two-way radio in his car ''discovered a tied condom containing an off-white powder they believed to be either cocaine or heroin. The sheriff's captain ordered the substance destroyed'' and hushed it up.
The incident came to light several months later, in October 1983, when the captain was indicted by a grand jury on charges of official misconduct and tampering with evidence. The captain lamely said he believed the drugs had been planted by one of O'Rourke's political enemies.
In yet another instance of covering up for his son, Beto faced only the basic DUI charges for an incident involving so much more. Aged 26 '-- on the night of his birthday '-- O'Rourke was speeding on a Texas Interstate long after midnight (exceeding the 75 mph limit) when he struck a truck, crossed the large grassy median strip and came to a stop. He tried to leave the scene of the accident, according to a police report, but a passing motorist made him stay. Police said he ''was unable to be understood due to slurred speech, had glossy eyes, and smelled of alcohol.'' His blood alcohol was measured at 0.134.
But he was not charged with leaving the scene nor with a more serious vehicular felony.
Instead, the charges were dismissed after O'Rourke completed a court-approved diversion program. The Washington Post noted that Beto's father ''had been El Paso Country judge from 1982 to 1986 and was running for the position again'' at the time of the 1998 incident.
Pop's intervention may have saved Beto once before. In 1995, at age 22, he was arrested on the campus of the University of Texas El Paso campus for ''attempted forcible entry'' of the University ''Physical Plant'' and had to spend the night in jail.
RELATED: Democrats Are the Kings of Manufactured Emergencies
There is no evidence of Dad intervening in either arrest but connect the dots.
With this family history, particularly his father's brush with the discovery of cocaine in his car, it is odd that the O'Rourkes did not have to reveal the name of her disclosure-averse furniture customer. Now that Beto is running for president '-- and his mother is still living '-- it would seem appropriate to press them for information about the tax-evader they assisted in the commission of a felony.
It is obviously relevant to know if the customer was involved in narcotics or organized crime. Her son is, after all, running for president.
The views expressed in this opinion article are those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by the owners of this website.
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.
PedoBear
Update: Court Prepares To Unseal Documents Pertaining To Jeffrey Epstein's Child Sex Ring '' Collective Evolution
Mon, 18 Mar 2019 18:48
The Facts:The National Order of Biologists made a '‚¬10,000 donation to a group that questions the safety of vaccines. The Infanrix Hexa vaccine was the first one tested, and results showed no trance of antigens and a high level of contamination.
Reflect On:Why is this not big news? Why does the vaccine not contain any of the antigens it's supposed to guard against? This test shows clear and large causes for concern, so why does it not make mainstream headlines?
Facebook, which seems to have become a government-run agency claiming to help fight the war on 'fake news,' has pledged to delete and flag content that spreads misinformation. This is great, and should be done, but the only problem is that content around the internet is being taken down, flagged, and deemed as a 'conspiracy theory' when it is well-supported, factual, and backed by peer-reviewed science.
I just wrote an article about the recent measles outbreak in Washington State for example, and how that state is pushing hard for all school-aged children to receive a mandatory MMR vaccination. These outbreaks are constantly being blamed on unvaccinated children, but the mainstream never points people towards the actual statistics showing that Washington State, like many other states, have not experienced a drop in MMR vaccination coverage. Instead, MMR vaccine coverage is very high.
Furthermore, they don't mention that there's been a long history of measles outbreaks in highly vaccinated and fully vaccinated populations (see article linked below for examples and sources), and they don't mention the deaths, disabilities, and adverse reactions that've occurred as a result of the MMR vaccine either. Why don't they mention that the death rate from measles in Washington State was just 1.4/10,000 (source in article below) before the introduction of the vaccine? You can read more about that and access multiple studies and testimonies on this subject in the article linked below:
Biochemical Engineer Drops Bombshell Facts About Measles & The MMR Vaccine In Washington
Information and science are constantly emerging regarding vaccinations, but we never hear about any of it from mainstream media. I also recently published an article of Robert F. Kennedy explaining how big pharmaceutical companies are the biggest lobbyists, even more than big oil, and how they've completely compromised both the Democrats and the Republicans.
They've captured them (our regulatory agencies) and turned them into sock puppets. They've compromised the press'... and they destroy the publications that publish real science '' Robert F. Kennedy
So, what's some of the latest information regarding vaccine safety?
An article published in Nature, International Journal of Science titled ''Italian scientists protest funding for vaccine-safety investigation'' outlines how The National Order of Biologists made a '‚¬10,000 donation to a group that questions the safety of vaccines.
The groups name is Corvelva, and they received the donation on the 26th of October of 2018. The group believes that the research it conducts is necessary because ''previous studies it has funded, which have not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal, indicate that some vaccines contain impurities, or lack the active ingredients they claim to contain.''
Nature points out that ''Some scientists in Italy are up in arms over a donation from the organization that oversees the nation's professional biology qualification to an advocacy group that opposes the country's policy of mandatory childhood vaccination.''
This part is confusing: Why would any group or any scientist oppose more safety studies regarding vaccinations? Wouldn't professionals on both sides of the coin be in support of as much vaccine safety testing as possible?
ONB president Vincenzo D'Anna told Nature in an e-mail interview that there is a need for truly independent vaccine research because, in his opinion, work conducted in public laboratories and at universities is usually influenced or funded by companies that produce vaccines.
''The goal is to contribute to complete the biological and chemical analyses on vaccines,'' he said in the interview, part of which the ONB has published in its Bulletin.
Again, Nature points out that many scientists dismiss the need for more vaccine safety testing and that they are upset. That being said, it's a comforting thought that ONB disagrees and that they are supporting this type of thing. Clearly, many professionals within that organization don't believe that vaccines go through rigorous safety testing, as is claimed by many. Again, what harm could be done by further testing?
What Did They Find?The first vaccine that was tested was the Infanrix Hexa vaccine. It's a six-in-one vaccine that's manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) that's supposed to contain the following antigens: tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis toxoids; inactivated poliomyelitis viral strains 1-2-3; and hepatitis B surface antigen.
Corvelva discovered that none of these antigens were actually in the vaccine, which means it had zero antibodies to the intended antigens to be created. This was a huge shock, and in addition to that they also found the following:
Traces of 65 chemical cross-contaminants from other manufacturing lines:
chemical toxins;unrecognizable macromolecules;various free bacterial peptides that are potential allergens and are capable of inducing autoimmune reactions.According to Corvelva,
Tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis toxoids, D antigens of Poliomyelitis 1-2-3, hepatitis B proteins obtained with genetic engineering and Haemophylus polysaccharides chemically linked to tetanus toxoid as carrier. Toxoids are created by treatments with formaldehyde and glutaraldehyde that should remove toxicity keeping intact their ability to stimulate protective antibodies against original toxins.
We were expecting to find the three toxoids and the other antigens not modified by treatment with formaldehyde and glutaraldehyde, to separate the antigens from each other and to be digestible by the enzyme specific for proteins (trypsin). We have found instead a real polymer, insoluble and indigestible, that we supposed to be the set of antigens chemically bound together (has to be defined if this is present as an aggregate of the individual antigens or a single macromolecule), on which we can find in literature partial information regarding the single antigens.
This macromolecule could not be recognized in any way by the protein databases, and in fact it turned out to be a solid compound of an unknown chemical structure.
Proteins solubility and their digestion (i.e. the capacity to divide them into small peptide fragments) are two typical proteins characteristics that not only makes it possible to study them through some specific analysis methods but are also fundamental for the interaction with the immune system to create protective antibodies, because if the protein structure is heavily altered from the original one, the new antibodies result completely different from those that are able to attack the original antibodies causing illnesses.
Since this polymer we have encountered, derived from the antigenic mix, is not only different for its spatial conformation but it's chemically different, so we can state that we are not facing antigens similar to the original ones but in the form of a compound with an unknown and unpredictable toxicity and efficacy. (source)
The fact that the vaccine antigens were not detected is seriously concerning, and so is the fact that, of the 65 signs of chemical contaminants, only 35% are known. This was only the first phase of this safety testing, as a second analytical study with standard controls will be released.
7 chemical toxins were also identified, and the group states that these toxins have a structure that could probably be partially derived from the formaldehyde, glutaraldehyde and cyanogen bromide reactions with other chemical contaminants in the vaccine.
We'd like to point out that the toxicity of many of these toxins have been confirmed and published in Pubchem or Toxnet and this poses important safety problems, issues and concerns.
From the protein and peptide fraction study, various free peptides of bacterial origin have been obtained probably coming from the bacterial culture cells used for the antigen extraction. Literature reports bacterial peptides as potential allergens 5 and also as capable of inducing autoimmune reactions 6 and these too put a safety issue that needs to be further clarified with the regulatory bodies.
Coming back to the two basic principles that have been our topic on this analysis path, we reaffirm what we have said in the recent interview on the scientific journal Nature: we are inquiring the vaccines efficacy and safety and we can't quite understand how it is possible to claim that this vaccine is even able to generate the 6 protective antibodies '' reason why it is designed for '' and furthermore to understand how this cluster made of 6 neurotoxic antigens bound together can be claimed as not toxic for newborns.
Infanrix Hexa hexavalent, as for the method we have commissioned, casts major doubts on both its effectiveness and on its safety'...
One thing is for sure: we will not stop to proceed.
Download: CORVELVA-Study-on-the-chemical-composition-profile-of-Infanrix-Hexa.pdf
More Vaccine Controversy From ItalyIn the 90s, Dr. Antonietta Gatti discovered the relationship between micro- and nano-particles as well as a great number of pathologies: cardiovascular diseases, many forms of cancer, multiple neurological diseases, and autoimmune diseases. She's taken part in many international research projects, including the pathologies induced by depleted uranium, waste incineration, food polluted with inorganic particles, and more.
Currently, she is the coordinator of the Italian Institute of Technology's Project of Nanoecotoxicology, called INESE.
She is also a selected expert of the FAO/WHO for the safety in nanotechnological food, a Member of the NANOTOX Cluster of the European Commission, the author of the book ''Nanopathology: the health impact of nanoparticles,'' on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Biomaterials Applications, and a Member of the CPCM of the Italian Ministry of Defense.
Furthermore, her and her husband Dr. Stefano Montanari founded a laboratory called Nano-diagnostics for the evaluation of the pathological tissues of patients. It's presently at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy.
Recently, the Italian police raided their home, and the police took all digital assets that were owned by the the two nanopathologists including their laptops, computers, and flash-drives; basically years of work and research.
James Grundvig via the World Mercury Project describes what happened quite well:
''Because Gatti and Montanari had taken their research of nanodust and nanoparticles, from in-vivo (performed in a living organism) and in-vitro (performed in a test tube) to what unseen contamination might reside in vaccines in 2016, they came under the microscope of the United States, European, and Italian authorities. They had touched the third rail of medicine. They had crossed the no-go zone with the purported crime being scientific research and discovery. By finding nano-contamination in random vaccines, Gatti and Montanari revealed, for the first time, what no one knew: Vaccines had more than aluminum salts adjuvants, Polysorbate-80, and other inorganic chemicals in them, they also harbored stainless steel, tungsten, copper, and other metals and rare elements that don't belong in shots given to fetuses, pregnant women, newborns, babies and toddlers developing their lungs, immune and nervous systems.''
The scientists published their work in January of 2017, titled, New Quality'Control Investigations on Vaccines: Micro' and Nanocontamination. If science wasn't plagued by corruption, an investigation would have started, healthcare agencies would be involved, and vaccine safety policies would have come under intense scrutiny, but that never happened.
You can read more about this story and access an interview with the scientists here.
The TakeawayThere are numerous vaccine safety issues. The bioaccumulation of various vaccine ingredients, for example, are one. Ingredients like aluminum have been added to vaccines for more than 100 years under the assumption that they are safe. It's only within the last couple years that scientists decided to look to see where these ingredients go after being injected. They found that aluminum, when injected, doesn't exit the body, it actually travels to distant organs and the brain. You can access those studies and read more about that here. You can also watch a short video from Dr. Christopher Shaw from the University of British Colombia explaining the difference between injectable aluminum and the aluminum our body takes in from food. Here is another related study you can read that goes into further detail.
The main point I'm trying to make is that no parent should ever be made to feel guilty for not vaccinating their children. Vaccines are clearly not as safe as they're marketed to be, and it's important that we ask ourselves why this type of information goes virtually unacknowledged by the masses.
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Mystery parties seek secrecy in Jeffrey Epstein-related suit - POLITICO
Thu, 21 Mar 2019 04:08
Last month, a federal judge in Florida ruled that federal prosecutors broke the law a decade ago by failing to consult with and misleading victims of Jeffrey Epstein before making a deal that waived any federal charges in exchange for him pleading guilty to two state felony prostitution charges. | Rick Friedman/Corbis via Getty Images
Legal
The two said they could face embarrassment if the court makes public records from the suit, which accused a longtime Epstein friend of engaging in sex trafficking.
Two mystery litigants citing privacy concerns are making a last-ditch bid to keep secret some details in a lawsuit stemming from wealthy financier Jeffrey Epstein's history of paying underage girls for sex.
Just prior to a court-imposed deadline Tuesday, two anonymous individuals surfaced to object to the unsealing of a key lower-court ruling in the case, as well as various submissions by the parties.
Story Continued Below
Both people filed their complaints in the New York-based 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, which is overseeing the case. The two people said they could face unwarranted speculation and embarrassment if the court makes public records from the suit, in which Virginia Giuffre, an alleged Epstein victim, accused longtime Epstein friend Ghislaine Maxwell of engaging in sex trafficking by facilitating his sexual encounters with teenage girls. Maxwell has denied the charges.
''Wholesale unsealing of the Summary Judgment Materials will almost certainly disclose unadjudicated allegations against third persons '-- allegations that may be the product of false statements or, perhaps, simply mistake, confusion, or failing memories of events alleged to have occurred over a decade and half ago,'' former federal prosecutor Nick Lewin wrote in an amicus brief filed Tuesday.
Lewin's brief doesn't provide any details about his client '-- identified in the brief by the pseudonym ''John Doe'' '-- beyond saying he ''potentially'' is mentioned in the underlying court filings and opinion. Lewin, who's based in Manhattan, declined to comment.
''If the identities of non-parties are not adequately protected, the release of the Summary Judgment Materials in this case would likely cause severe and irreparable harm to a wide variety of non-parties, including those implicated in the conduct and those potentially victimized by it,'' the brief says.
The other anonymous brief came from Washington-based attorney Kerrie Campbell, who handles gender equality cases and is affiliated with the Time's Up movement to combat sexual harassment. Campbell requested that the brief submitted on behalf of a ''J. Doe'' be put under seal, but said in legal papers that the client is ''objecting to public disclosure of specific content pertaining to Doe to protect compelling personal privacy interests.''
Campbell did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.
Giuffre and Maxwell settled the lawsuit for an undisclosed sum in 2017 after U.S. District Court Judge Robert Sweet turned down Maxwell's bid to head off a trial. In the lead-up to that ruling, Sweet accepted almost all filings in the case under seal, without specific orders justifying the secrecy.
Three different parties asked Sweet to unseal records in the case: Harvard law professor and former Epstein lawyer Alan Dershowitz '-- a prominent Trump defender '-- filmmaker and far-right social media personality Mike Cernovich and the Miami Herald.
Dershowitz said he wanted several records released to disprove and discredit allegations two women have made that they had sex with Dershowitz at Epstein's direction. Dershowitz has categorically denied the allegations.
Cernovich said the far-ranging secrecy in the case undermined efforts to expose sexual trafficking by American elites.
The Miami Herald sought to open all records in the suit as part of a series on Epstein it was preparing and ultimately published last year.
Sweet turned down all the requests, prompting an appeals to the 2nd Circuit. A three-judge panel there heard arguments on the issue earlier this month and indicated last week that it plans to soon release Sweet's opinion and related filings. The judges asked any parties in the appeals with specific objections to notify the court by Tuesday.
Maxwell indicated in papers filed by her lawyers Tuesday that she continues to oppose any unsealing. Her attorneys said that if the appeals court believes some unsealing is required, the matter should be returned to Sweet for action, since he is most familiar with the case.
Giuffre is supporting immediate unsealing of some materials in the case and a broader unsealing of all records, but said in a filing Tuesday that some personal information should be held back like names of minors, social security numbers, dates of birth and phone numbers.
''The truth is that Ms. Maxwell and Mr. Epstein sexually trafficked [Giuffre] to their well-connected friends, both in this country and elsewhere,'' Giuffre attorneys Paul Cassell and Sigrid McCawley wrote. Unfortunately, critical documents and transcripts proving the truth of Ms. Giuffre's allegations remain sealed in the vault of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. It is time for the truth to come out.''
Last month, a federal judge in Florida ruled that federal prosecutors broke the law a decade ago by failing to consult with and misleading victims of Epstein before making a deal that waived any federal charges in exchange for him pleading guilty to two state felony prostitution charges. He ultimately served 13 months of a 19-month sentence, much of it working from his office during the day.
The ruling has been a major headache for Labor Secretary Alex Acosta, who was U.S. Attorney in Miami at the time and approved the plea deal. A Justice Department ethics watchdog has launched an investigation into the episode. Acosta has denied any wrongdoing and has said the deal was a reasonable move by his office in light of the available evidence and other considerations.
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Bezos Balls
How the National Enquirer Got Bezos' Texts: It Paid $200,000 to His Lover's Brother - WSJ
Tue, 19 Mar 2019 03:32
Amazon.com Inc. founder Jeff Bezos and his allies have publicly speculated about how the National Enquirer acquired racy texts he sent to his girlfriend, including at one point hinting Saudi Arabia or the White House may have been involved.
The reality is simpler: Michael Sanchez, the brother of Mr. Bezos' lover, sold the billionaire's secrets for $200,000 to the Enquirer's publisher, said people familiar with the matter.
The inside story of the deal between American Media LLC and Mr. Sanchez, brother of Lauren Sanchez, answers many of the central questions in a high-profile fight between the nation's best-known tabloid and the world's richest man, including how the Enquirer obtained Bezos texts and photos, for how much and why the spat became so bitter and public.
Mr. Sanchez said he didn't want to ''dignify'' the Journal's reporting on the contract he struck. He described the reporting on the contract as ''old rumors'' from anonymous sources. Mr. Sanchez denied sending ''the many penis selfies'' but declined to comment on whether he provided photos of Mr. Bezos to the Enquirer.
A spokesman for Jeff Bezos declined to comment. Lauren Sanchez didn't respond to requests for comment sent through an employee at her company and an Amazon spokesman.
The deal caused arguments at American Media before the Enquirer published its January story about the affair, these people said. A blowup in a restaurant between American Media Chief Executive David Pecker and his general counsel for media led the lawyer to leave the publisher immediately.
The Enquirer approached the Amazon chief for comment on Jan. 7, according to people familiar with the matter. Two days later, Mr. Bezos tweeted that he and his wife MacKenzie were splitting up after 25 years.
The Enquirer's next print edition wasn't scheduled for publication for several days, and its editors rushed the Bezos story online that night and into print with a headline: ''BEZOS' DIVORCE! THE CHEATING PHOTOS THAT ENDED HIS MARRIAGE.''
The full details of the deal and the resulting drama inside the tabloid publisher haven't been previously reported. In February, the Daily Beast reported Mr. Sanchez had leaked the Bezos texts to the Enquirer. Mr. Pecker declined to be interviewed.
Inside dramaMr. Sanchez, a talent agent who has managed television pundits and reality-show judges, has long been a source for the Enquirer and its top editor, Dylan Howard, the people familiar with the matter said. He has supported President Trump on Twitter and has ties to conservative activists.
Mr. Sanchez began conversations last fall with the tabloid about his sister's relationship with Mr. Bezos, the people said. The Enquirer by then had already been investigating whether Mr. Bezos and Ms. Sanchez were having an affair, people familiar with the matter said.
Ms. Sanchez, a former television reporter who started an aerial film-production company, was introduced to Mr. Bezos by her husband, Hollywood talent-agent executive Patrick Whitesell. Mr. Whitesell is executive chairman at talent agency William Morris Endeavor Entertainment, whose CEO, Ari Emanuel, is close with Mr. Pecker.
Mr. Bezos and Ms. Sanchez worked together on some projects and began a relationship last year, a person familiar with the matter has said. She and her husband are separated.
As the tabloid publisher began negotiations to buy the materials from Mr. Sanchez in October, Mr. Pecker expressed reservations about publishing a story, the people familiar with the matter said. He was concerned Mr. Bezos would sue, forcing debt-laden American Media to expend resources to defend itself for a story executives believed was unlikely to sell well on newsstands. While breaking a story about Mr. Bezos' affair would burnish the Enquirer's reputation for breaking news, its readers are historically more interested in showbiz celebrity scandals.
Mr. Pecker was told by one of his advisers that publishing the story might make it appear he was doing so on behalf of Mr. Trump, who has criticized Mr. Bezos in connection with the Washington Post's coverage of his administration, one of the people said.
Messrs. Pecker and Trump have known each other for more than 20 years. Federal prosecutors in New York alleged Mr. Pecker in August 2015 told Mr. Trump he would use his publications to aid Mr. Trump's nascent presidential campaign.
American Media has been in the spotlight since it admitted to making a hush payment on behalf of Mr. Trump. The publisher last year reached a nonprosecution agreement with the U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan, admitting it paid $150,000 in 2016 to a former Playboy model to suppress her story of an affair with Mr. Trump a decade earlier, using a tactic known as ''catch and kill.'' Mr. Trump has denied the affair.
Mr. Trump has said he had no knowledge of the Enquirer's investigation of Mr. Bezos.
The pursuit of the Bezos story came in a period of financial strain for the company. Efforts to refinance over $400 million in debt in the early fall were jeopardized when an underwriter backed out in the wake of America Media's legal entanglement in the hush-money case, said a person familiar with the company's finances. The outcome of the crucial refinancing remained uncertain as Mr. Pecker weighed whether to proceed with the explosive story.
During past refinancings, Mr. Pecker had barred American Media publications from acquiring controversial content or stories that could have imperiled the reshuffling of American Media's debt, said someone familiar with internal discussions at the publisher.
Despite his qualms, Mr. Pecker approved the $200,000 deal with Mr. Sanchez that had been negotiated by American Media's chief content officer, Mr. Howard; its general counsel for media, Cameron Stracher; and others, said people familiar with contract. The amount'--higher than the company typically pays sources'--reflected the significance American Media placed on Mr. Sanchez's information.
Upfront paymentIn most cases, the company's source agreements require it to pay for information upon publication. If a story is never published, American Media doesn't have to pay. By contrast, the contract with Mr. Sanchez stipulated he was to be paid upfront, regardless of whether any story was published, the people familiar with the contract said.
In light of the recently concluded government investigation, Mr. Stracher, the general counsel, inserted an unusual provision into the Oct. 26 contract with Mr. Sanchez to make it clear the deal wasn't a ''catch and kill,'' those people said.
If American Media didn't publish anything within about a month's time, Mr. Sanchez could sell the information to another outlet and keep the money, they said. The provision stemmed from concern by American Media employees that Mr. Pecker would buy the story and suppress it because of his relationship with Mr. Emanuel, whose partner is married to Ms. Sanchez, said some of those people.
Mr. Pecker's relationship with Mr. Emanuel had no bearing on the publisher's decision-making, said people close to Mr. Pecker. A spokesman for Mr. Emanuel said the talent agent had no discussions with Mr. Pecker about the Bezos story before it was published.
As early as October, the Enquirer was trailing Mr. Bezos and Ms. Sanchez to restaurants and hotels and photographing them together, the publication reported. Mr. Sanchez signed the contract with American Media that month, after a few weeks of negotiations, according to one person familiar with the deal.
On Nov. 7, Messrs. Stracher and Pecker went to lunch at Cipriani Wall Street, a restaurant near American Media's offices, people familiar with the matter said. Mr. Stracher, a media-law specialist who had worked for the company for 11 years, had been interested in expanding his role at American Media and believed going into the lunch Mr. Pecker was going to offer him a promotion, said people familiar with the matter.
As they began their meal, Mr. Pecker launched into a discussion of the Sanchez contract. Raising his voice and cursing, Mr. Pecker told Mr. Stracher he had been unaware Mr. Sanchez had been paid upfront, said people familiar with the encounter. Mr. Pecker said the company didn't pay sources upfront and demanded to know why Mr. Stracher hadn't shown him the contract, they said.
Mr. Stracher replied American Media did pay upfront, albeit infrequently, and he routinely dealt with Mr. Howard on contracts. Mr. Pecker told Mr. Stracher if he was unhappy, he could quit.
Mr. Stracher, taking Mr. Pecker up on the suggestion, walked out of the restaurant. By the time he returned to American Media's offices, less than a 10-minute walk, his keycard had been deactivated, the people familiar with the matter said.
The Wall Street Journal couldn't determine whether anyone at American Media briefed Mr. Pecker on the contract's specifics before it completed the deal with Mr. Sanchez. People close to Mr. Pecker said he wasn't aware the payment was made upfront and felt as if he was being forced to run the story.
American Media paid Mr. Sanchez about a week after the lunch, said people familiar with the deal. By January, after a review of the Enquirer's reporting by an outside law firm, Mr. Pecker tentatively approved publication of the story, some of these people said. American Media's refinancing was finally settled on Jan. 3.
The Enquirer's 11-page spread on Mr. Bezos' affair featured pictures of Mr. Bezos and Ms. Sanchez together, and quotes from his sexually charged text messages. Mr. Bezos' security consultant, Gavin de Becker, investigated how American Media had obtained his electronic communications, including whether he had been hacked, and whether its reporting was politically motivated.
Amid reports on alleged links between the Enquirer story and Mr. Pecker's actions on behalf of Mr. Trump during the 2016 election, American Media's financial backers at Chatham Asset Management'--who had been unhappy about the Bezos coverage'--conveyed their displeasure and pressured Mr. Pecker to resolve the matter, said people familiar with the communications. Mr. Pecker pressured his staff to do the same.
Mr. Trump fueled the idea the Enquirer had a political agenda, tweeting Jan. 13: ''So sorry to hear the news about Jeff Bozo being taken down by a competitor whose reporting, I understand, is far more accurate than the reporting in his lobbyist newspaper, the Amazon Washington Post.''
In early February, an American Media employee informed Mr. Bezos' camp Mr. Pecker was ''apoplectic'' about Mr. Bezos' investigation, he later recalled in a blog post. Mr. Bezos' representatives soon received what they viewed as a verbal threat from AMI: The Enquirer would publish more text messages and pictures if he didn't stop his investigation, Mr. Bezos wrote.
That was followed by an email to Mr. de Becker's lawyer from Mr. Howard, telling Mr. Bezos in graphic terms of the unpublished material he said the Enquirer held. An American Media lawyer, Jon Fine, emailed proposing a confidential settlement. If Mr. Bezos made a statement he had no evidence politics played a role in the Enquirer story and stopped suggesting it had, the tabloid would withhold the rest of Mr. Bezos' communications and images, Mr. Fine wrote, according to Mr. Bezos' blog post. American Media declined to make Mr. Fine available to comment.
In a post on online-publishing platform Medium titled ''No thank you, Mr. Pecker,'' Mr. Bezos rejected the offer and published the communications sent by American Media, including Mr. Howard's descriptions of his erotic pictures, stirring a new debate over whether the Enquirer tried to blackmail him.
Mr. Bezos in the blog post also raised Mr. Pecker's past use of the tabloid to aid Mr. Trump and the executive's unsuccessful wooing of Saudi investors for an investment in 2017, further fueling the idea the tabloid had engaged in a political attack.
''If in my position I can't stand up to this kind of extortion, how many people can?'' Mr. Bezos wrote.
American Media's internal investigation, by an outside law firm, is continuing.
'--Lukas I. Alpert contributed to this article.
Write to Michael Rothfeld at michael.rothfeld@wsj.com, Joe Palazzolo at joe.palazzolo@wsj.com and Alexandra Berzon at alexandra.berzon@wsj.com
5G
FCC opens 95GHz to 3THz spectrum for '6G, 7G, or whatever' is next | VentureBeat
Tue, 19 Mar 2019 12:52
Commercial 5G networks are barely operational in the United States right now, but that hasn't stopped engineers from thinking ahead to 6G '-- and the U.S. government wants to facilitate their experiments over the next decade. After a unanimous vote, the FCC is opening ''terahertz wave'' spectrum for experimental purposes, creating legal ways for companies to test and sell post-5G wireless equipment.
The FCC's Spectrum Horizons First Report and Order deals specifically with the 95 gigahertz (GHz) to 3 terahertz (THz) range '-- a collection of frequencies that aren't currently being used in consumer devices, and have wide bandwidth with vast potential for data streaming. In addition to issuing 10-year licenses to experiment in that range, the FCC will offer a full 21.2GHz of spectrum for testing of unlicensed devices.
Collectively, that 95GHz to 3THz spectrum extends a little beyond the 300GHz to 3THz range defined as ''tremendously high frequency.'' At the lower end of the FCC's range, 95GHz to 300GHz signals are technically still millimeter waves, as they're at or over 1 millimeter in wavelength. But 300GHz to 3THz signals are are at or under 1 millimeter in wavelength, and for that reason called ''submillimeter waves.''
Even by comparison with the 24GHz to 28GHz millimeter wave spectrum that's currently being auctioned off by the FCC, the terahertz spectrum is considered bleeding-edge enough to be nearly science fiction. FCC Commissioner Michael O'Rielly said the nascence of terahertz technology made the vote felt ''like designating zoning laws for the moon,'' and noted his hesitance to ''create a class of incumbents, who then have to be moved or protected in the future when this spectrum becomes of greater interest for 6G, 7G, or whatever the next-next-generation wonder technology may be.''
But other commissioners, including Jessica Rosenworcel, were largely optimistic on the plans for the spectrum. ''There is something undeniably cool about putting these stratospheric frequencies to use and converting their propagation challenges into opportunity,'' she said. ''This rulemaking gets that effort underway, so it has my support.''
The ''propagation challenges'' she references are non-trivial. Like millimeter waves, submillimeter waves face issues such as limited transmitting distances and an inability to penetrate buildings. However, NYU Wireless Professor Ted Rappaport (via FierceWireless) said that the higher-frequency signals will perform better with directional antennas, and claimed that with the new spectrum,
you can start having data rates that approach the bandwidth needed to provide wireless cognition, where the computations of the human brain at those data rates could actually be sent on the fly over wireless. As such, you could have drones or robotics receive in real time the kind of perception and cognition that the human brain could do.
Actual applications of the technology are yet to be demonstrated, and in most cases even imagined. But the dreaming of what's to come after 5G has already begun. Keysight made a sizable donation to NYU last October to spur 6G development. Later this month, scientists and engineers will gather in Oulu, Finland for a 6G Wireless Summit, in hopes of further defining what the standard could look like '-- when it comes together in or around the year 2030. Thanks to the FCC's vote, it looks like the United States is ready to welcome the next generation of wireless experiments with open arms.
Big Pharma
Four Thieves Vinegar EPI-PENCIL OPEN SOURCE
Mon, 18 Mar 2019 04:07
Introducing the EpiPencilDr. Mix...l S. Laufer - Sep 19, 2016WHEREAS The pharmaceutical industry continues to put profits above human life, andWHEREAS Autoinjectors and epinephrine are technology which belongs to the world, and
WHEREAS EpiPens save lives every day, but only for those who can afford them, and
SINCE The Four Thieves Vinegar Collective is dedicated to providing access to everyone
WE HAVE developed the EpiPencil, an epinephrine autoinjector which can be built entirely using off-the-shelf parts, for just over $30 US.
Sources for the three items you require are linked below, followed by a video which details how to assemble them.
Stay healthy,
'--The Four Thieves Vinegar Collective
EpiPencil video on archive.org EpiPencil Update Video on archive.orgInstruction packet:
https://fourthievesvinegar.org/files/EpiPencil.zipAutoinject 2 non-fixed needle device #AJ1311:
https://www.adwdiabetes.com/product/owen-mumford-autoject-2-non-fixed-needle_7753.htm1mL luer slip syringe (10-pack):
https://www.amazon.com/BD-SYRINGE-Leur-Lock-Pack/dp/B01BLV8V3Y/ref=sr_1_1?s=industrial&ie=UTF8&qid=1533156095&sr=1-1&keywords=1ml+luer+lock+syringe1" 22G Luer Lock Hypodermic Needle (10-pack):
https://www.healthykin.com//p-5048-bd-precisionglide-single-use-hypodermic-needles.aspx?gclid=CJ7v-dG2lM8CFUeBfgodMKYBxw
737 max
Boeing 737 Max: Pilot Saved Lion Air Jet Day Before Crash - Bloomberg
Wed, 20 Mar 2019 11:39
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SPLC Co-Founder Morris Dees Fired, Outside Audit Ordered | Trending
Thu, 21 Mar 2019 00:59
On Wednesday, the far-left smear factory Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) fired its co-founder and former chief litigator, Morris Dees.
"Effective yesterday, Morris Dees' employment at the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) was terminated," SPLC president Richard Cohen told The Montgomery Advertiser in a statement on Thursday. "As a civil rights organization, the SPLC is committed to ensuring that the conduct of our staff reflects the mission of the organization and the values we hope to instill in the world. When one of our own fails to meet those standards, no matter his or her role in the organization, we take it seriously and must take appropriate action."
Dees, 82, co-founded the SPLC in 1971. The organization gained a reputation for taking the Ku Klux Klan to court and then it started labeling and tracking "hate groups." In recent decades, it started listing conservative and Christian organizations along with the KKK, and last year it settled a defamation lawsuit for $3.375 million.
Dees's departure is not the only big news Cohen broke on Thursday, however.
"Today we announced a number of immediate, concrete next steps we're taking, including bringing in an outside organization to conduct a comprehensive assessment of our internal climate and workplace practices, to ensure that our talented staff is working in the environment that they deserve '' one in which all voices are heard and all staff members are respected," Cohen said in the statement.
"The SPLC is deeply committed to having a workplace that reflects the values it espouses '' truth, justice, equity and inclusion, and we believe the steps we have taken today reaffirm that commitment," he concluded.
In 1994, the Montgomery Advertiser took a deep dive into the organization's activities, uncovering some evidence of discrimination against black employees.
Last December, a Baltimore lawyer filed a lawsuit taking aim at the SPLC's tax-exempt status. His suit is moving toward the discovery period, and SPLC's decision to clean house may have resulted from this litigation, first reported by PJ Media.
Last year, court documents revealed that Dees once tried to use a sex toy on his step-daughter. His firing may be related to that.
Sexual misconduct seems the likely reason for his ouster. According to Biography.com, Dees has had five wives:
During his senior year of high school, Dees married Beverly Crum. The couple had two sons together before divorcing in the late 1960s. Dees next married Maureene Buck, a former employee. Dees and Buck had one daughter together. After they divorced, Dees married his third wife, Mary Farmer, the director of an abortion clinic. Following the end of his marriage to Farmer, he wed Elizabeth Breen. Dees's fifth wife is Susan Star.According to Big League Politics, he may have had an affair with an employee, but the rumor on that has not been confirmed.
This story is breaking and will be updated with more information.
Follow Tyler O'Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.
https://pjmedia.com/trending/splc-co-founder-morris-dees-fired-outside-audit-ordered/
FAKE HATE: 'Yellow Sticky Substance' On Mayor's Car Was Pollen, Not 'Hate' Vandalism
Tue, 19 Mar 2019 11:15
Lamar Mayor Darnell Byrd-McPherson thought she was the victim of a "hate crime" last month after finding her car one morning covered with a "yellow sticky substance."
In a statement she sent to WPDE in early February, a defiant McPherson said, "Love conquers hate and my husband and I refuse to be intimidated by those who perpetrated this act of vandalism which I classify as an act of hatred."
She said that during the 70s "crosses were burned in the yard of our home when my Mother was involved with the civil rights movement."
As WPDE reported, "Byrd-McPherson referenced how bills are being introduced to address hate crimes in the South Carolina General Assembly. She added hate crimes are on the rise in the state."
Police investigated the incident and determined it was just pollen.
From Newsweek:
½We found it to be pollen,½ [Darlington County Sheriff½s Office Lieutenant Robby Kilgo] explained in an interview with Newsweek. ½There was no reason for us to collect a sample.½
The report that was taken included details of an examination by two sheriff's officials (a sergeant and a deputy) "immediately came to the conclusion that the substance had a yellowish tint to it and that it's a type of powder similar to pollen."
Though the possibility was raised that the car½s mysterious coating could have been pollen and not the result of foul play, McPherson remained convinced someone was behind it.
"It's something," she said. "Something that's sticky that's stuck to my car and took two different solutions to get it off."
Kilgo explained that once the mayor was intent that she had been attacked, the local agency referred the matter to the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division or SLED.
½Due the suspicion from her of it being a hate crime, we couldn½t say no,½ he said.
What a great way to spend police resources.If they ever track down the racist tree (or flower) behind this hate crime they should be sure to throw the book at it!
Follow InformationLiberation on Twitter, Facebook, Gab and Minds.
At the End of White Male History '' Jacobite
Tue, 19 Mar 2019 11:23
In 1998, two Canadian psychologists, Michael Chandler and Christopher Lalonde, published an unusual paper on the psychology of suicide. Examining the widely varying suicide rates among 196 Indian tribes in British Columbia, which vary by a factor of a thousand between tribes, Chandler and Lalonde propose that an awareness of what they call ''self-continuity'' was protective against suicide. They summarize their theoretical framework as follows:
The central theoretical idea developed here is that, because it is constitutive of what it means to have or be a self to somehow count oneself as continuous in time, anyone whose identity is undermined by radical personal and cultural change is put at special risk to suicide for the reason that they lose those future commitments that are necessary to guarantee appropriate care and concern for their own well-being.
They then suggest that this individual sense of continuity in time is enmeshed in belonging to a culture that precedes us as individuals and reaches into the future.
Like other potential sources of continuity and discontinuity, cultures too appear to be double-edged swords. At least when they tended to outlive the people who populated them, cultures offered a more ''mythic'' time-frame that could be relied on to lend a certain age to things. Even now, when cultures seemingly wink in and out of existence, they still appear to sometimes work in the service of self-continuity by holding our noses to a grindstone of social responsibilities and cultural promises during our own moments of developmental transition. At least this is possible when they are working well.
Examining the 196 tribes of British Columbia, they construct an index of cultural continuity that includes some measures of self-government (like running their own police, fire departments and schools), successfully making legal claims of ownership over traditional lands, as well as the presence of cultural centers or facilities on tribal lands. Combined, these measures are strongly predictive of lowered levels of suicide at a tribal level, which Chandler and Lalonde take as supportive of their theoretical framework.
Like many cross-cultural comparative studies, Chandler and Lalonde's 1998 paper (which they have expanded upon in several follow-ups also examining First Nations suicide rates) suffers from whole Nations of potential omitted variable bias. But as a theoretical framework for thinking and speaking more productively about the psychology of self-destruction and suicide, the ideas of self and cultural continuity are revelatory.
Sixty-three percent of the rapidly rising total number of suicides in the US in 2017 were white, non-Hispanic males, who only make up 30 percent of the nation's population. 2017 also saw over 72,000 fatal drug overdoses, a rate over 16 times higher than in the 1970s (when drugs were already considered an epidemic) and a significantly heightened number of deaths due to alcoholism, both of which are also concentrated among white males, comparable only to American Indian men in their combined likelihood of drug, alcohol, or suicide deaths.
Reaching back to Chandler and Lalonde, one wonders whether white men, like American and Canadian Indians before them, find themselves lacking in both self-continuity and cultural continuity. In the words of Michel Houllebecq, speaking broadly of Western decline to the Paris Review a few years ago, ''The disappearance of patrimonial transmission means that an old guy today is just a useless ruin. The thing we value most of all is youth, which means that life automatically becomes depressing, because life consists, on the whole, of getting old.''
An honest appraisal of most contemporary media would suggest that a campaign of discrediting white males and their history appears to be the mission statement of many news and opinion outfits, while other media and online settings respond with a counter-narrative focused on nurturing and amplifying racial and sexual resentment. It would be easy, and probably partially correct, to argue that the interplay of these two master stories, between guilt and rage, leads to the kind of breakdown in individual and cultural continuity that leads to spiraling self-destruction among many men and vindictive and nihilistic violence among a few. But there are probably more structural explanations.
A friend who predicted Trump's electoral success early on had a simple explanation: people are bored. This was also, he argued, why people were overdosing on opioids and drinking themselves to death and killing themselves in rapidly increasing numbers, an analysis he punctuated by successfully drinking himself to death in the couple years afterwards. Being aware of statistics does not stop you from becoming one.
Politics is the OxyContin of the chattering classes and those who mockingly quote tweet them. This is not to say, of course, that the drug crisis is simply motivated by the same excess of free time and directionless cultural drift as ''time for some game theory'' conspiracy theories. The easy availability of black tar heroin, and then fentanyl; the marketing and over-prescription of pharmaceutical opioids; massive public and private insurance fraud; porous borders and poorly monitored ports surely all have played more material and direct roles.
But if despair can be quantified, not only in suicides and overdoses and men drinking from the bottle in cars parked on the side of the road, but in simultaneously collapsing birthrates and marriage rates, surely it can also be characterized in gestalt terms, as a spirit of the age that is surprisingly indifferent to high employment and stable wages. We are hypnotized by the unfolding of the news, even when it is fundamentally free of events of lasting significance, because we feel ourselves like water molecules in a pot that is starting to boil. We are at a phase transition that will toss some of us into the air before others but that, given time, could well come for us all.
Trump's election was, according to some, the End of the End of History, just as 9/11 was to be before it. In both cases, though, the apparent weakness of our political system and national security state belies how the world order becomes even more integrated after these supposed cataclysms than they were before. The End of History continues on its happy course, leaving Rust Belt men dropping fentanyl and fat neoliberal economists praising the wonders of socialism in its wake. Whether or not a southern border wall ever gets built, in most ways 2019 seems like 2016, only much more so. The constant popping of yesterday's news, as evanescent as soap bubbles, obscures much larger structural changes in how we live and what use the society and economy has for us.
The fundamental change of our time is the End of the Bourgeois Era and the end of the monogamous heterosexual family as the key unit of economic organization. But this seemingly cultural and political, (ostensibly feminist) metamorphosis of the family has macroeconomic and technological forces behind it. The industrial revolution and its aftermath occurred in large part because men could sell their labor in competitive market economies and use that sale to support increasing standards of living for their families. The post-medieval economy allowed for an explosion of production in large part because European and then global markets were never demand-constrained. Increasingly fluid financial markets meant that what was produced could be sold. What has changed in recent decades is that the mobility and automation of productive processes, combined with a glut of the supply of financial capital, results in a macroeconomic production function that is demand-constrained rather than supply constrained. This is no country for old men, but even the young are valuable more as consumers than producers.
A central theme of Krugman, Bernanke and sundry's analysis of the financial crisis, was that negative real interest rates, and the global glut of savings showed the economy was below capacity and that only artificially stimulated demand could allow for full employment. Trump's policies and their macroeconomic success are a confirmation of Keynesian economists' predictions, not their repudiation. Apparently irresponsible fiscal policy and tax cuts have allowed for much greater increases in employment than was predicted two years ago. But just as Bernanke's multi-trillion dollar asset purchases of immaculately materialized money during the financial crisis seemed to have stabilized the financial system, at the cost of making obvious the absurdity that holds it all together. A government that funds its ample operations largely through debt rather than revenue suggests something very strange is going on.
What seems evident, but is perhaps empirically unprovable is that these global economic imbalances also produce tensions that manifest themselves culturally, in political pressures to increase demand without increasing supply commensurately. It is a fact universally acknowledged that, cool wine aunts with infinite travel budgets aside, savings rates for monogamous families are much higher than savings rates for single adults, and the social and economic processes that produce stable families or continuity through history and over time may be badly suited for an era when, as George W. Bush said after 9/11, our highest civic duty is to go shopping. Water flows downhill, and our political and economic system, designed to maximize global material and financial throughput by any means necessarily, finds multiple solutions to its needs.
The global economy, already a super AI, would happily turn us all into paper clips, as long as afterwards we kept buying in bulk. This is the nature of the despair of living at the end of history. We find ourselves extraneous to the future on its way to coming about. Even as a rapidly adaptive set of cybernetic technologies monopolize our attention with ever-greater efficacy, our individual contribution to those technologies and the economy they structure is ever more attenuated, and our individual connection to any individual or cultural past and future appears ever more elusive.
This new society, given enough time, might likely select for those most resistant to this despair, to those who see value for themselves irrespective of the value of their labor and a path to the future regardless of the fog before us. That vision could be illusory or a matter of faith, and given enough time our present demographic trends appear to be favoring deep religiosity and conservatism at the level of genetic selection even while immediate cultural trends are towards millenarian secularism and self-actualized selfishness. It is the Amish and Mormons and Ultra-Orthodox Jews whose stubborn traditionalism appears to be winning the future, at least in terms of numbers. In the meantime, it seems the rest of us will keep watching, with rapt absorption, as various kinds of nothing happen in the news.
Jeremy Larson is a public policy researcher in the United States.
Yellow Vests
French Unions and Students Call for General Strike | News and current affairs from Germany and around the world | DW | 20.03.2006
Tue, 19 Mar 2019 14:25
French unions and student bodies called on Monday for a general strike and protest marches on March 28 to pressure the government to withdraw a job law they say will create insecurity for a generation of young workers.
"All the unions are calling to make March 28 a day of demonstrations, strikes and work stoppages," said Rene Valadon, secretary of the Force Ouvriere union, after a meeting of France's main unions, student and high school groups.
Another union leader, Gerard Aschieri of the Federation of United Unions, told Reuters that public and private workers would go "hand in hand" during the day of action.
Villepin stood by his contested youth jobs plan Monday, as an ultimatum for its withdrawal passed with no hint of concession and unions promised a new day of nationwide protests next week.
"Laws of the Republic, voted democratically by parliament, must be respected," Villepin said in a letter sent to members of his centre-right Union for a Popular Movement (UMP).
He held meetings with students and employers on Monday to discuss their concerns and promote the law.
Support from president
The prime minister won support from his close ally President Jacques Chirac, to whom opponents of the CPE appealed earlier to use his influence to have the contract abandoned.
Chirac said that "it is essential to take steps for youth employment, and the CPE is a sign of this determination on the part of the government and parliament. Questions and doubts are being expressed and that is wholly legitimate ... but they must not lead us to do nothing."
French Prime Minister Villepin, foreground, at the start of a meeting with students and unemployed people
Conceived by Villepin as a tool for bringing down France's high levels of youth unemployment, which is as high as 50 percent in areas hit by riots late last year, the CPE was adopted by parliament earlier this month as part of a wider equal opportunities bill and is now waiting to be written into the statute books.
Broad alliance
But the measure has sparked a powerful opposition alliance of unions, students and left-wing parties, who say it is a charter for exploitation by employers and a breach of hard-won social rights.
Three days of nationwide demonstrations over the last two weeks have drawn hundreds of thousands onto the streets in protests that on Saturday ended in several hours of running battles in Paris between police and a small minority of rioters.
Most of the country's 85 universities remained partially or totally shut down by student strikes on Monday, and for the first time more than 300 secondary schools across the country were also affected.
Students at the elite Science-Po political science school voted to go on strike to protest against the CPE.
Protesters clashing with police in Rennes, western France
In addition to next week's day of national protest, student organisations have urged supporters to stage protests Tuesday and Thursday of this week.
"There is no risk of things tailing off, because we have sizeable reserves among the secondary school and university students. We can step up the mobilisation. We have got such a dynamic behind us we are bound to make the government give way," said Bruno Julliard of the UNEF students' union.
Crisis for Villepin
Opposition to the law has provoked a crisis for Villepin, which could harm his chances of running for president in 2007 and damage the UMP party. Opinion polls show his popularity has slumped in recent weeks and a poll on Monday showed that 60 percent of French voters are against the law.
Large rallies can make or break governments in France. Protests in 1995 badly undermined the then conservative Prime Minister Alain Juppe, who lost snap elections two years later.
Critics within his own ruling UMP party have dubbed the CPE Comment Perdre une Election -- How To Lose an Election.
Coma
In a sign of worsening tensions, hospital officials confirmed that a trade unionist is in a coma after being hurt in clashes with police at the end of a mass rally in Paris on Saturday.
The 39-year-old man was hospitalised after being injured in the face during clashes between police and protesters at the Place de la Nation in eastern Paris, police said in a statement.
He was in serious condition, it added.
The Paris prosecutor's office has opened a preliminary investigation, the statement said.
Date20.03.2006AuthorDW staff (jam)Related SubjectsFrance, Palace of Versailles, Corsica , Beaujolais, French presidential election 2017KeywordsFrance,Villepin,strikes,union,unions,student,jobs,unemployment,riots French unions and students have called for a general strike and protest marches on March 28.PrintPrint this pagePermalinkhttps://p.dw.com/p/88Zr
France to deploy troops to maintain security during planned weekend protests '' Macron '-- RT Newsline
Thu, 21 Mar 2019 11:43
Published time: 20 Mar, 2019 16:51 Edited time: 20 Mar, 2019 16:56
Soldiers will be deployed across France to help maintain security during this weekend's planned Yellow Vest protests, President Emmanuel Macron has said. The military will secure government buildings and other sites to allow police forces to focus on maintaining public order, the president said, according to comments reported on Wednesday by government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux. About 7,000 soldiers, most armed with automatic weapons, are already deployed across the country in what the military calls Operation Sentinel, which was created to protect sensitive sites following deadly attacks in 2015, AP reported. On Monday, the French government announced new security measures and a ban on Yellow Vest protests along the Champs-Elysees Avenue in Paris and in two other cities, following riots on Saturday.
Migrants
Trump orders alien biometric IDs, dump 466,000 Obama green cards
Mon, 18 Mar 2019 15:43
Republican President George H.W. Bush joined Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy to pass the Immigration Act of 1990 that expanded U.S. foreign worker visas, implemented family-chain-migration, and launched the H-1B ''specialty occupations" visa program.
The so-called ''Einstein Visas'' program was designed to allow employers having difficulty hiring enough skilled U.S. college graduates, to temporarily sponsor ''green card'' work visas for up to 85,000 foreign college graduates. But Silicon Valley tech giants used low-cost H-1B foreigners to dump higher-paid American employees. When H-1B temporary workers' visas expire, many fail to return home and just keep working.
Senator Barack Obama campaigned for president in 2008 in opposition to offshoring U.S. jobs and displacing U.S. tech workers with temporary H-1B visas. Obama trumpeted that if elected president, ''I will stop giving tax breaks to companies that ship jobs overseas, and I will start giving them to companies that create good jobs right here in America.''
But in his first six years as president, the H-1B program swelled to 460,000 non-immigrant foreign graduates taking U.S. jobs, plus another 107,000 foreign workers taking American tech jobs under an H-1B unlimited hiring exemption for US universities.
Just 16 days after Democrats lost nine Senate and 13 House seats in the 2014 elections, President Obama issued his 'Immigration Executive Order' that gave green card work permits at least 136,393 H-1B dependent spouses and children and authorized 330,000 Curricular Practical Training work visas to foreign graduates of U.S. colleges.
'Save Jobs USA,'' an organization of U.S. information technology workers who lost jobs to H-1B workers, filed a class-action lawsuit against the Obama administration's Department of Homeland Security in early 2015 to stop the alien work permit expansion.
After the Justice Department won a federal court precedent-setting ruling in September 2016 that the U.S. workers could not demonstrate any ''direct injuries,'' the Obama administration set in motion convoluted nine-step rule making process to permanently ingrain the liberalization for issuing foreign worker visas.
But Trump's Justice Department joined the Save Jobs USA plaintiffs and won a decisive Court of Appeals reversal last June 2018 stating DHS had no authority to grant H-1B dependent green cards and immigration rules must consider worker job impacts.
The Immigration Service on March 8 issued biometric identification rules requiring all temporary foreign workers and their dependents to pay $85 and complete a biometric smartcard ID that includes fingerprint, facial photograph, any unique physical traits, signature, and DNA tests for certain countries by the end of 2019.
All alien biometric templets will be made available online for immigration agencies to identify and authenticate the legal status of all temporary H-1B foreign worker participants and to aid law enforcement in combating widespread identity fraud.
President Trump is engaged in a two-track effort through the supporting American workers 'Save Jobs USA' lawsuit and completing the nine onerous federal administrative steps necessary to purge Obama's Immigration Executive by December 2019.
President Trump ordered biometric ID cards for all non-immigrant work visas and is moving to dump Obama's Executive Order expanding H-1B green cards by 466,000.
Donald Trump's first initiatives as president was issuing the "Buy American and Hire American'' in April 2017 that instructed the U.S. Immigration Service to drastically restructure the job-destroying H-1B ''temporary foreign worker'' program.
Republican President George H.W. Bush joined Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy to pass the Immigration Act of 1990 that expanded U.S. foreign worker visas, implemented family-chain-migration, and launched the H-1B ''specialty occupations" visa program.
The so-called ''Einstein Visas'' program was designed to allow employers having difficulty hiring enough skilled U.S. college graduates, to temporarily sponsor ''green card'' work visas for up to 85,000 foreign college graduates. But Silicon Valley tech giants used low-cost H-1B foreigners to dump higher-paid American employees. When H-1B temporary workers' visas expire, many fail to return home and just keep working.
Senator Barack Obama campaigned for president in 2008 in opposition to offshoring U.S. jobs and displacing U.S. tech workers with temporary H-1B visas. Obama trumpeted that if elected president, ''I will stop giving tax breaks to companies that ship jobs overseas, and I will start giving them to companies that create good jobs right here in America.''
But in his first six years as president, the H-1B program swelled to 460,000 non-immigrant foreign graduates taking U.S. jobs, plus another 107,000 foreign workers taking American tech jobs under an H-1B unlimited hiring exemption for US universities.
Just 16 days after Democrats lost nine Senate and 13 House seats in the 2014 elections, President Obama issued his 'Immigration Executive Order' that gave green card work permits at least 136,393 H-1B dependent spouses and children and authorized 330,000 Curricular Practical Training work visas to foreign graduates of U.S. colleges.
'Save Jobs USA,'' an organization of U.S. information technology workers who lost jobs to H-1B workers, filed a class-action lawsuit against the Obama administration's Department of Homeland Security in early 2015 to stop the alien work permit expansion.
After the Justice Department won a federal court precedent-setting ruling in September 2016 that the U.S. workers could not demonstrate any ''direct injuries,'' the Obama administration set in motion convoluted nine-step rule making process to permanently ingrain the liberalization for issuing foreign worker visas.
But Trump's Justice Department joined the Save Jobs USA plaintiffs and won a decisive Court of Appeals reversal last June 2018 stating DHS had no authority to grant H-1B dependent green cards and immigration rules must consider worker job impacts.
The Immigration Service on March 8 issued biometric identification rules requiring all temporary foreign workers and their dependents to pay $85 and complete a biometric smartcard ID that includes fingerprint, facial photograph, any unique physical traits, signature, and DNA tests for certain countries by the end of 2019.
All alien biometric templets will be made available online for immigration agencies to identify and authenticate the legal status of all temporary H-1B foreign worker participants and to aid law enforcement in combating widespread identity fraud.
President Trump is engaged in a two-track effort through the supporting American workers 'Save Jobs USA' lawsuit and completing the nine onerous federal administrative steps necessary to purge Obama's Immigration Executive by December 2019.
Haiti
Haiti's government collapses | Caribbean News Service
Tue, 19 Mar 2019 10:28
Six months after he was sworn into office, the government of Prime Minister Jean-Henry C(C)ant was forced out of office Monday after the Lower Chamber of Deputies voted overwhelming to remove it from office.
The move came as Prime Minister C(C)ant had gone to the Senate for a meeting only to find 13 Senators present.
The Senate, citing the recent arrest of five armed Americans last month and their subsequent release with the help of the State Department, had summoned both C(C)ant and his justice minister to its chamber on Monday.
Senate President Carl Murat Cantave tweeted that due to the lack of a quorum, the prime minister's session is being rescheduled for Wednesday
However, in the Lower Chamber of Deputies, where 104 Deputies, were present, they voted by a wide margin to censure the Prime Minister.
The agenda of the session was adopted by 88 deputies, 12 against and 4 abstentions and without the prime minister present, the Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies announced the continuation of the interpellation.
''The results of the session will be communicated to him,'' said Deputy Gary Bodeau.
In the vote to remove the government, 93 law makers voted in favour of the motion, six against and three abstained.
A letter will be sent to the President Jovenel Moise regarding the appointment of a a new prime minister.
''The Government of Jean Henry C(C)ant received a motion of censure from the Chamber of Deputies with 93 votes in favour, 6 against and 3 abstentions,'' the Chamber of Deputies announced just after midday on Monday.
''It was illegal. It was unconstitutional,'' said Deputy Sinal Betrand, who was among the six who voted against the government's censure.
Political observers said that in the absence of a quorum in the Senate on Monday morning, Prime Minister C(C)ant could not benefit from a six month stay by way of a vote of confidence.
C(C)ant later told the Miami Herald newspaper ''the decision is illegal and was outside of the constitution, It is unacceptable.''
He said that the justice system needs to shed light.
. The Senate is trying to fight C(C)ant's ouster.
C(C)ant and his 21-member cabinet will remain in office as caretakers until a new prime minister is named by President Mo¯se.
Under Haitian law, a caretaker prime minister and government can only oversee the country's day-to-day affairs, and cannot enter into any new contracts.
C(C)ant, a lawyer had replaced Jack Guy Lafontant, as prime minister following a series of street demonstrations over fuel increases.
But in recent weeks, President Moise has been under pressure from opposition parties to step down over his handling of domestic affairs as well as the use of funds under the PetroCaribe an oil alliance of many Caribbean states with Venezuela to purchase oil on conditions of preferential payment.
Moise has already indicated that he does not intend to step down in favour of armed gangs and drug traffickers, acknowledging that the ''the crisis we are going through is very serious''.
Last month, CARICOM leaders at their inter-sessional summit in St. Kitts-Nevis ''expressed deep concern about the situation prevailing in Haiti during the past three weeks characterized by violent protests jeopardizing the political, economic and social stability of the country'.
''Heads of Government call upon all stakeholders to prioritise dialogue as a means to address peacefully and meaningfully all relevant issues and to create the conditions for lasting political stability essential to the sustainable economic and social development of Haiti.''
Donate At Caribbean News Service, we do not charge for our content and we want to keep it that way. We are seeking support from individuals and organisations so we can continue our work & develop CNS further.
The Purge
Nunes Complaint - 3.18.19 | Defamation | Harassment
Wed, 20 Mar 2019 14:20
2
I. INTRODUCTION
1. Twitter is an information content provider.
Twitter creates and develops
content,
in whole or i n part, through a combinati on of means: (a) by explicit censor ship
1
See Title 47 U.S.C. § 230(f)(3)
. The word
responsible
ordinarily has a normative connotation.
See
The Oxford English Dictionary 742 (2
nd
ed. 1998) (stating one definition of
responsible
as ''Morally accountable for one's actions.''). As one authority puts it: ''[W]hen we s ay, 'Every man is
responsible
for his own actions,' we do not think definitely of any authority, law, or tribunal before which he must answer, but rather of the general law of right, the moral constitution of the universe....'' James C. Fernald, Funk & Wagnalls Standard Handbook of Synonyms, Antonyms, and Prepositions 366 (1947). Synonyms for
responsibility
in this context are
blame, fault, guilt,
and
culpability. See
Oxford American Writer's Thesaurus 747 (2
nd
ed. 2008). Accordingly, to be ''responsible'' for the development of offensive content, such as defamation, one must be more than a neutral conduit for that content. One is not ''responsible'' for the development of offensive content if one's conduct was neutral with respect to the offensiveness of the content (as w ould be the case with the ty pical Internet bulletin board). We would not ordinarily say that one who builds a highway is ''responsible'' for the use of that highway by a fleeing bank robber, even though the culprit's escape was facilitated by the availability of the highway. Twitter is ''responsible'' for the development of offensive content on its platform because it in some way specifically encourages development of what is offensive about the content.
FTC v. Accusearch, Inc.
, 570 F.3d 1187, 1198-1199 (10
th
Cir. 2009) (citing
Fair Housing of Council of San Fernando Valley v. Roommates.com, L LC
, 521 F.3d 1157, 1168 (9
th
Cir. 2008) (''a website helps to develop unlawful content '...if it contributes materially to the alleged illegality of the conduct.'').
2
The word
develop
derives from the Old French
desveloper,
which means, in essence, to unwrap. Webster's Third New International Dictionary 618 (2002) (explaining that
developer
is composed of the word
veloper,
meaning ''to wrap up,'' and the negative prefix
des
). The dictionary definitions for
develop
correspondingly revolve around the act of drawing something out, making it ''visible,'' ''active,'' or ''usable.''
Id.
Thus, a photograph is developed by chemical processes exposing a latent image.
See id.
Land is developed by harnessing its untapped potential for building or for extracting resources.
See id.
Likewise, when confidential inf ormation is exposed to public view that information is ''developed.''
See id.
(one definition of
develop
is ''to make actually available or usable (something previously only potentially available or usable)'').
FTC v. Accusearch, Inc.
, 570 F.3d 1187, 1198 (10
th
Cir. 2009).
3
Rep. Nunez Sues Twitter and Several Users for $250 Million for Defamation
Wed, 20 Mar 2019 14:20
Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), former chair of the House Intelligence Committee, filed a defamation and negligence suit against Twitter and several Twitter users, claiming damages of at least $250 million.
If accepted by the Virginia court, the suit could open a deluge of others to follow, as it argues that Twitter has escalated its content policing to a point where it should be treated as a publisher liable for user-submitted content.
The suit further alleges insulting words and civil conspiracy'--violations under Virginia law.
'Smear' JobNunes, now a ranking member of the Intelligence Committee, alleges that several Twitter users, including @LizMair, @DevinNunesMom, and @DevinCow, conspired with unknown donors and members of the Democratic Party to run a smear campaign on him throughout 2018, during his reelection year, and during the height of his investigation on the Justice Department and the FBI for alleged violations in spying on Trump campaign associates, an affair that has become known as Spygate.
The Twitter accounts inundated Nunes with insults and false accusations of crimes and ethical violations, including treason and bribery, as well as insinuations he frequented prostitutes and abused cocaine, the suit lays out (pdf).
The suit alleges one of the conspirators was Liz Mair, a former Republican campaign communication strategist who runs communications and opposition research outfit Mair Strategies.
''What do I do for these clients? Anonymously smear their opposition on the Internet,'' the suit cited from her LinkedIn account.
Mair came out against Donald Trump's presidential bid in 2015, and founded a Political Action Committee to oppose the future president. Nunes, on the other hand, has been an ally to Trump.
Some of the insults and accusations came directly from Mair's twitter account. Her nonprofit ''Swamp Accountability Project'' spent more than $36,000 in the 2018 election cycle targeting Nunes.
Mair said her ''formal response'' to the suit is ''forthcoming,'' in a March 19 statement posted on Twitter.
''I have a very different view on the applicable law (including the First Amendment) than Rep. Nunes,'' she said. ''Beyond that, I am disinclined to discuss the details of the lawsuit itself, since I am a defendant in it.''
Twitter 'Materially Contributing'The suit alleges that Twitter didn't act as a mere platform, but ''created and developed the content at issue in this case by transforming false accusations of criminal conduct, imputed wrongdoing, dishonesty and lack of integrity into a publicly available commodity used by unscrupulous political operatives and their donor/clients as a weapon.''
The suit asserts that the behavior of the Twitter accounts was reported to the company, but Twitter ''let it happen'' because it has a ''political agenda.'' By ''refusing to self-regulate,'' the company was ''selectively amplifying the message of defamers '... and materially contributing to the libelousness of the hundreds of posts at issue in this action.''
Twitter has long been accused of political bias against conservatives.
In July 2018, multiple media reported that four prominent Republican congressmen had their Twitter accounts scrapped from the platform's search suggestion function.
Twitter claimed the issue was caused by an error that affected tens of thousands of accounts. Yet, it appears that among Congress members, the issue only affected Republicans and especially those heavily involved in the Spygate investigation'--Matt Gaetz, Jim Jordan, Mark Meadows, and Devin Nunes.
As it happened, Mair's nonprofit also spent $18,500 targeting Jordan in 2018.
Nunes accused Twitter of shadow-banning'--hiding a user's content from other users without informing them.
''The shadow-banning was intentional,'' the suit states. ''It was calculated to interfere with and influence the federal election and interfere with Nunes' ongoing investigation.''
Twitter as a PublisherOnline platforms enjoy broad protection from liability for user-generated content. Yet the suit asserts that Twitter is arranging, sorting, and policing content to a point where it acts as a publisher.
''Twitter uses its platform, including proprietary algorithms, selectively to convey its corporate/institutional viewpoint, its position on issues and candidates for office,'' the suit states.
The company's political leanings were examined by radio host Joe Rogan and journalist and commentator Tim Pool in their March 5 interview with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Vijaya Gadde, Twitter's global lead for legal, policy, and trust and safety.
Dorsey acknowledged that the company's workforce has a liberal bias, but maintained that it doesn't affect how the company manages content.
Pool pointed out though, that Twitter's content policy, such as its ''hate speech'' rules and prohibition of ''misgendering,'' inherently reflect left-leaning worldview.
''I would be willing to bet that a conservative running a social network would not have a hate speech policy,'' Pool commented.
A Twitter engineer, Pranay Singh, previously told undercover reporters from the Project Veritas that most algorithms designed to identify automated ''bot'' accounts were actually centered around conservative topics.
''You look for Trump, or America, or any of, like, 5,000 keywords to describe a redneck,'' he said.
A Twitter spokesperson declined to comment.
Nunes told Fox News' Sean Hannity that the suit was ''the first of many.''
''When they're regulating us '... and then they're proliferating out things that they agree with with the algorithms that they develop, they need to come clean'--they are not a 'public square,' they are content developers,'' he said.
Nunes will face ''an uphill battle'' with the suit, said Virginia attorney Lee Berlik, who has expertise on internet defamation.
''First of all, as a public figure, he will be held to a higher standard in terms of proving his defamation claim. Unlike private persons, who only need to prove that a defamatory statement was made negligently, public officials and public figures need to prove a false statement was made with knowledge of its falsity, or at least reckless indifference,'' he said via email. ''Virginia courts tend to allow the public a lot of leeway in the exercise of their right to criticize public figures, which is why you don't see a lot of politicians bringing defamation actions.''
Follow Petr on Twitter: @petrsvab
OTG
Nevada Considers Technology to Scan Cellphones After Crashes
Tue, 19 Mar 2019 10:51
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Zipcar Disruption - Schneier on Security
Thu, 21 Mar 2019 13:35
Zipcar DisruptionThis isn't a security story, but it easily could have been. Last Saturday, Zipcar had a system outage: "an outage experienced by a third party telecommunications vendor disrupted connections between the company's vehicles and its reservation software."
That didn't just mean people couldn't get cars they reserved. Sometimes is meant they couldn't get the cars they were already driving to work:
Andrew Jones of Roxbury was stuck on hold with customer service for at least a half-hour while he and his wife waited inside a Zipcar that would not turn back on after they stopped to fill it up with gas.
"We were just waiting and waiting for the call back," he said.
Customers in other states, including New York, California, and Oregon, reported a similar problem. One user who tweeted about issues with a Zipcar vehicle listed his location as Toronto.
Some, like Jones, stayed with the inoperative cars. Others, including Tina Penman in Portland, Ore., and Heather Reid in Cambridge, abandoned their Zipcar. Penman took an Uber home, while Reid walked from the grocery store back to her apartment.
This is a reliability issue that turns into a safety issue. Systems that touch the direct physical world like this need better fail-safe defaults.
Tags: cars, Internet of Things
Posted on March 20, 2019 at 12:38 PM ' 3 Comments
Photo of Bruce Schneier by Per Ervland.
Schneier on Security is a personal website. Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of IBM Resilient.
Tajikistan
U.S. Embassy in Dushanbe advises all Americans in Tajikistan to be especially vigilant during the upcoming Navruz holiday - AKIpress News Agency
Tue, 19 Mar 2019 13:40
AKIPRESS.COM - The U.S. Embassy in Dushanbe advises all Americans in Tajikistan to be especially vigilant during the upcoming Navruz holiday. Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) leaders are known to recruit and inspire individuals to conduct spontaneous attacks on anyone who does not adhere to their extreme ideology. Due to previous ISIS-related activity in Tajikistan and historic methods used by ISIS globally, the U.S. Embassy therefore recommends the following actions:
The Embassy advised to avoid large crowds, keep a low profile, consult with security providers at their location, review their personal security plans and carry a fully charged communication device, notify a trusted person of your travel and movement plans, be aware of their surroundings and local security developments.
The festive event on occasion of Navruz will take place on the central square of Dushanbe on March 21 for the first time in the history of Tajikistan.
Pipelines
Above water tie-in for TurkStream completed | World Pipelines
Thu, 21 Mar 2019 15:05
Published by Elizabeth Corner , Editor World Pipelines, Wednesday, 20 March 2019 09:21
The final weld that connects the offshore and the nearshore sections of TurkStream was completed, marking the finalisation of the entire pipeline system in the Black Sea.
The procedure, known technically as 'above water tie-in', involved retrieving the nearshore pipeline and offshore pipeline from the seabed, lifting them above water and welding them together. The total weight that had to be lifted for the operation was approximately 409 t. After a thorough inspection of the weld, the pipe was carefully lowered to the seabed at a depth of 32 m. This operation was carried out on both lines in Russian waters in January and February this year, and near the Turkish coast in March.
The pipelaying in deep waters was carried out by Pioneering Spirit, the world's biggest construction vessel, while the shallow-water pipelaying was conducted by Lorelay. With the completion of the above water tie-in procedure, a physical connection between the landfall facility near the Russian city of Anapa and the receiving terminal near Kiyikoy in Turkish Thrace is realised.
Russkaya Compressor Station, which will provide the necessary pressure for the gas to traverse through the Black Sea, and the Anapa landfall facility of the TurkStream pipeline system are already complete and on stand-by.
With the completion of the Receiving Terminal in Kiyikoy later this year, TurkStream will be ready to commence operations. Natural gas flow through TurkStream is planned to start by the end of 2019.
TurkStream is the project for a gas pipeline stretching across the Black Sea from Russia to Turkey and further to Turkey's border with neighbouring countries. The first line of the gas pipeline is intended for the Turkish consumers, while the second line is designated for the Southern and South-Eastern Europe. Each line will have the throughput capacity of 15.75 billion m3/y of gas. South Stream Transport B.V. is responsible for the construction of the gas pipeline's offshore section.
Read the article online at: https://www.worldpipelines.com/project-news/20032019/above-water-tie-in-for-turkstream-completed/
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Clips
VIDEO - Trump's Rhetoric and the Christchurch Shootings - Between the Scenes | The Daily Show - YouTube
Thu, 21 Mar 2019 15:03
VIDEO - Trump's Rhetoric and the Christchurch Shootings - Between the Scenes | The Daily Show - YouTube
Thu, 21 Mar 2019 15:03
VIDEO - Australian football star says she felt 'sexually abused' after photo of her sparks vile comments | Daily Mail Online
Thu, 21 Mar 2019 14:17
A female Australian football star said she felt 'sexually abused' over vile Twitter trolls' comments on a photo of her in full stretch during a game.
The image of AFL Women's star, Tayla Harris, kicking a football in a full stretch position was controversially removed from Twitter after it received a deluge of offensive comments by online trolls.
The picture of Ms Harris, who plays for Melbourne-based Carlton Blues, saw so many sexually explicit comments that broadcaster 7AFL removed its post.
An official statement from the network's Twitter account replaced the image with a message explaining why it was deleted.
But that decision sparked further outcry as the site was accused of giving in to online trolls.
AFL stars and leading female sportswomen saw the removal reviewed and the photo was uploaded again, but now Harris says she is concerned that the trolls who made the comments might target her in the flesh.
An image (above) of Tayla Harris was uploaded to twitter by 7AFL and attracted offensive comments
Ms Harris appeared on breakfast radio on Wednesday morning and slammed the comments as 'sexual abuse'.
'The original purpose in publishing the image was to celebrate the power, athleticism and skills on show in Calrton's thrilling win over the Western Bulldogs,' the 7AFL message read.
'The image attracted a number of comments, some of which were inappropriate and offensive. As a consequence we have removed the image and the comments.'
Fans immediately questioned why the image needed to be taken down and eventually 7AFL posted it again.
'It's with the misogynistic behaviour by the supporters in the comments. Try blocking these accounts from your social media. Take a stand.' one user said.
Sporting stars rallied behind the AFL Women's star and begun re-tweeting the image of Tayla Harris which was deleted
Anna Meares criticised 7AFL for their decision to delete the image because of the negativity
'I'm feeling empowered this morning. I think because of the reaction that's come, it's been a bit of a whirlwind,' Harris told RSN Radio's Breakfast Club.
'It is really amazing that the AFL community got around me,' the star said, while admitting the issue is now about what authorities can do to stop social media trolling ever being accepted.
'It's not about me now, it's about a much bigger picture,' she said.
'Some of the comments were sexual abuse, what I would consider sexual abuse on social media.
'These people need to be called out by the AFL, but something needs to go further. It's something maybe Victoria Police should have to look at.'
Following Wednesday's press conference, the AFL has reportedly vowed to put an end to vile trolling and has called for tighter controls to combat online abuse.
'These people are behind screens now but no one's saying they aren't going to show up at the footy at the weekend,' Harris said on Wednesday.
'I genuinely consider that they might show up at the footy. If they're thinking this way and able to write it down, what are they going to do when I'm on sideline meeting some kids - that's what I'm going to have to think about now.
'As much it shouldn't be the case at all, that's the reality of it.'
AFL stars and athletes criticised 7AFL for making the decision to remove the image.
AFL Women's star Tayla Harris (pictured) says she is in fear for her safety after vile and abusive comments were posted online to a photo of her kicking a ball during a match
Harris (pictured right) addressed her concerns for her safety at a press conference on Wednesday
Footballer Darcy Vesico posted: 'Deleting this post is giving into trolls. Also you're eliminating all the positive conversation. Also you're removing more content around women in sport.'
'How this incredible image of Tayla Harris by Michael Willson was seen as negative and drew trolls to comment and that 7AFL took it down as a result...ASTOUNDS ME,' Australian cyclist Anna Meares said.
An apology was made by 7AFL who said that 'removing the photo sent the wrong message'.
'Many of the comments made on the post were reprehensible & we'll work harder to ban trolls from our pages.
'Our intention was to highlight @taylaharriss incredible athleticism & we'll continue to celebrate women's footy.'
The image was re-uploaded and 7AFL issued an apology stating 'removing the photo sent the wrong message'
Fans immediately questioned why the image needed to be taken down and blamed trolls
Harris didn't comment on the removal of the photo, but slammed the Twitter trolls.
'Here's a pic of me at work... think about this before your derogatory comments, animals,' she tweeted.
AFL integrity unit investigators have reportedly joined forces with channel 7 to try and identify the perpetrators and potentially ban them from future games.
AFL chief executive Gillon Maclachlan was pleased by the public reaction against the comments, and said community vigilance was the best guard against such offensive commentary.
'She's a star AFL player, there's unacceptable commentary and people are holding those comments to account and I think that's really pleasing,' Maclachlan said.
'These things happen and people do their best to monitor them, but in the end self-regulation and accountability is what needs to happen here and that is what's happening.'
VIDEO - problems with Boeing 737 next generation with structural dangers reported SBS'‹ dateline Australia - YouTube
Thu, 21 Mar 2019 13:39
VIDEO - Christchurch mosque shootings: New Zealand to ban military style weapons - BBC News
Thu, 21 Mar 2019 11:31
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Media caption New Zealand's PM said she hoped the ban would be in place by 11 AprilNew Zealand will ban all types of semi-automatic weapons and assault rifles following the Christchurch attacks, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has said.
The announcement comes less than a week after 50 people were killed at two mosques, allegedly by a lone gunman.
Ms Ardern said she expected new legislation to be in place by 11 April, saying: "Our history changed forever. Now, our laws will too."
All of the dead have now been formally identified, police have confirmed.
Australian Brenton Tarrant, a self-proclaimed white supremacist, has been charged with one murder and was expected to face further charges.
However, police said on Thursday that the person he was formally accused of killing had been wrongly declared dead.
They said they had apologised to the woman and her family, and that the charge sheet would be updated when the suspect appeared in court on 5 April.
What will change and how soon?"Six days after this attack, we are announcing a ban on all military style semi-automatics (MSSA) and assault rifles in New Zealand," Ms Ardern said in a news conference.
"Related parts used to convert these guns into MSSAs are also being banned, along with all high-capacity magazines."
An amnesty has been imposed so the owners of affected weapons can hand them in, and a buy-back scheme will follow.
Ms Ardern said the buy-back could cost up to NZ$200m ($138m; £104m), but "that is the price that we must pay to ensure the safety of our communities".
Graham Eva
Our actions, on behalf of all New Zealanders, are directed at making sure this never happens again.
The prime minister has called the Christchurch attacker a terrorist and said she will not utter his name.
The gunman, armed with semi-automatic rifles including an AR-15, is believed to have modified his weapons with high-capacity magazines - the part of the gun which stores ammunition - so they could hold more bullets.
As of Thursday, several weapons have been reclassified as military style semi-automatic firearms, making them harder to buy.
"For many people, you will now be in unlawful possession of your firearm," Police Commissioner Mike Bush said.
What are semi-automatic weapons and assault rifles?Semi-automatic weapons, also known as self-loading firearms, fire one bullet per trigger pull with no reloading requiredThey differ from fully automatic weapons, which continuously fire rounds as long as the trigger is pressed An assault weapon can switch between semi-automatic or fully automatic modesSemi-automatic weapons are typically pistols, rifles and shotguns, including the AR-15 rifleAR-15 rifles can discharge between 45 and 60 rounds per minuteSources: Violence Policy Center and assaultweapon.info
How will the law be changed?Ms Ardern said the legislation would be introduced when parliament sits in the first week of April.
There would be a "short, sharp select committee process" for feedback on technical aspects of the law, she said, and changes to the Arms Act should be passed within the session.
Once the amnesty period ends, anyone in possession of a banned weapon would face a fine of up to NZ$4,000 and three years in jail.
As with Australia's gun reforms in 1996, exemptions will be made for farmers who need weapons for pest control and animal welfare.
Analysis: An overwhelming drive for change By Phil Mercer in Christchurch
Image copyright AFP New Zealand has tried - and failed - to reform its gun laws several times in the past two decades, but the momentum for change is now overwhelming. Owners will be forced to surrender proscribed firearms and will be compensated, but those who resist could be prosecuted.
A major hurdle for the authorities is that no-one knows how many assault rifles and military-style semi-automatic weapons are out there. New Zealand's Police Association has said there also needs to be a register of all guns and their owners.
That could happen in the next round of amendments promised by the prime minister, which will focus on licensing and registration. She has broad public support following the atrocities in Christchurch.
Earlier, MPs in the capital, Wellington, were handed a petition with more than 65,000 signatures demanding tougher laws. Some gun owners aren't happy, insisting that vetting procedures were already strict enough. They are, though, swimming against the tide.
What has the reaction been?Survivor Kawthar Abulaban, 54, who was at the Al-Noor mosque, welcomed the move: "It's a good thing, why would we need to have guns like this in our houses?" she told AFP.
The leader of New Zealand's opposition National Party, Simon Bridges, backed the changes and said it was "imperative in the national interest [that] we keep New Zealanders safe."
The move drew strong responses in the US, where campaigners against gun violence frequently clash with the pro-gun lobby.
Democratic Senator Bernie Sanders called for America to follow New Zealand's lead, tweeting: "This is what real action to stop gun violence looks like."
In response, National Rifle Association (NRA) spokeswoman Dana Loesch cited the Second Amendment of the US constitution, which gives Americans the right to carry guns.
"The US isn't NZ," she tweeted. "While they do not have an inalienable right to bear arms and to self defense, we do."
Victims of the Christchurch shootingsFifty people lost their lives in the shootings at two mosques in the city.
VIDEO - Gun licensing procedures not followed for Christchurch mosques attack accused - ex arms control officer | 1 NEWS NOW | TVNZ
Thu, 21 Mar 2019 11:26
A former head of gun licensing claims the man charged with the Christchurch mosque shootings wasn't interviewed in his home and his references came from online chatroom acquaintances.
Guns and gun ownership have dominated discussion since 50 people were killed and another 50 injured at two Christchurch mosques last Friday - one of the big questions being, "How did this happen?"
One ex-cop and arms control officer, Joe Green, says he's got a source alleging gun licensing procedures weren't properly followed.
"I would sooner not disclose exactly who that person is, but who I think is a highly reliable informant," Mr Green told 1 NEWS,
The informant's damning information claims the alleged gunman's application wasn't lodged in Dunedin where he lived, but filed in Waikato.
The source also says no relatives were interviewed and that authorities instead talked to two referees the accused allegedly met in a chatroom, and there are now doubts over whether a home visit and security inspection took place.
"Visiting a person's house enables you see what their lifestyle is like. You might see a little bit of the stuff they get up to," Mr Green said.
This afternoon, Police Commissioner Mike Bush said the vetting process behind how the alleged gunman got a license is under major review.
"That's a very important phase of our investigation. We're working through everything we know about the person who is charged with this horrendous offence," he said.
But almost a week after the attack, Mr Bush couldn't answer key questions, including whether the Dunedin-based suspect applied in Waikato.
"We'll be working through every one of those suggestions so that when we answer you we can definitively, having known all the facts," he said.
Mr Bush couldn't say whether the accused used online acquaintances as referees.
"We'll be working through that as a phase of the inquiry. When I have all the answers, definitively, I will share them."
Nor could the Police Commissioner say whether a face-to-face interview was done.
"That's part of what we're working through."
Mr Green said: "You're looking for a needle in a haystack with firearms licensing. You're looking for that one person in a thousand who's going to go bad."
Pressure is mounting on police now for answers - and soon.
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A former head of gun licencing claims the man wasn't interviewed in his home and used chatroom acquaintances as references. Source: 1 NEWS
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VIDEO - EU hits Google with '‚¬1.49bn fine for 'blocking rival search engines' | Euronews
Wed, 20 Mar 2019 20:31
The European Union's competition regulators have slapped Google with a '‚¬1.49 billion fine for allegedly blocking rival online search advertisers.
The search giant "abused its market dominance by imposing restrictive clauses in contracts with third-party websites," said Margrethe Vestager, who announced the penalty at a press conference in Brussels on Wednesday.
"Google has cemented its dominance in online search adverts and shielded itself from competitive pressure by imposing anti-competitive contractual restrictions on third-party websites", Vestager, EU commissioner for competition, said.
Through these abusive practices, she added, Google "denied consumers choice, innovative products and fair prices".
This fine is the third handed down to Google by the EU in two years.
In 2018, the EU competition enforcer imposed a record '‚¬4.34 billion fine on Google for using its popular Android mobile operating system to block rivals.
This followed a '‚¬2.42 billion euro penalty in 2017 for hindering rivals of shopping comparison websites.
Euronews has asked Google to respond to the announcement.
VIDEO - Good Morning Britain on Twitter: "A journalist has been accused of a hate crime, after she misgendered a trans person on Twitter. Hate crimes have a maximum two-year prison sentence. But with knife crimes soaring across the UK, should police be in
Wed, 20 Mar 2019 18:38
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VIDEO - Mosque in Christchurch shootings tied to radical Islamic terrorists - YouTube
Wed, 20 Mar 2019 18:14
VIDEO - Volvo will use cameras to fight drunk and distracted driving
Wed, 20 Mar 2019 18:12
The cameras and sensors will watch out for factors such as drivers closing their eyes for a long time, looking away from the road for long periods, very slow reaction times, weaving across lanes too much and no steering input over extended periods of time. Volvo plans to start installing sensors and cameras in all of its cars starting in the early 2020s, and it will reveal more details later. Starting from model year 2021, all Volvo cars will also have a top speed of 180kph (112mph) to stop excessive speeding.
With those cameras and sensors, however, come inevitable concerns about surveillance and whether drivers will be comfortable with being explicitly monitored while they're behind the wheel. Volvo is aware of those worries though. It "wants to start a conversation about whether car makers have the right or maybe even the obligation to install technology in cars that changes their drivers' behavior," it said in a press release.
VIDEO - Brexit: EU says short delay is possible if MPs back deal - BBC News
Wed, 20 Mar 2019 17:56
Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media caption Donald Tusk: Extension possible but conditional on positive Brexit voteThe EU will only agree to a short delay to Brexit if MPs approve the current withdrawal agreement next week, Theresa May has been told.
EU Council President Donald Tusk said an extension, requested by the prime minister on Wednesday, was possible.
Mrs May has written to Mr Tusk requesting a Brexit delay to 30 June, saying she needed more time to get her withdrawal deal passed by MPs.
The UK is due to leave the EU next Friday, on 29 March.
Mr Tusk said he believed all 27 other EU members, who must sign off on the extension, would agree but it depended on a "positive" vote in the House of Commons.
The length of any extension was open for discussion, he told reporters in Brussels.
While a delay until 30 June "had its merits", he also suggested there were "political and legal" questions about delaying Brexit beyond 23 May - when European elections will be held.
While the current withdrawal agreement could not be changed, he suggested additional legal assurances the EU gave Mrs May in Strasbourg last week could be formalised to help get the backing of MPs.
Mr Tusk spoke to Mrs May before his statement.
Meanwhile, an emergency debate is under way in Parliament, with Labour pressing for further detail about the PM's intentions and demanding that any delay is long enough to allow MPs to "break the impasse and find a way forward".
The prime minister is due to meet MPs from opposition parties later to discuss her letter.
May attacks MPs' Brexit 'indulgence' Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media caption PM: 'Not prepared' to delay Brexit beyond 30 JuneAt a highly charged Prime Minister's Questions earlier, Mrs May said MPs had "indulged themselves on Europe for too long" and voters "deserved better".
She said she had rejected calls for a longer delay to Brexit because she wanted to avoid the UK taking part in European elections in May, which she said would be an "unacceptable" three years after voting to leave the EU.
"It would be a failure to deliver on the referendum decision this House said it would deliver," she told the Commons.
But she added: "As prime minister I could not consider a further delay beyond 30 June."
This was seen by some as an indication that Mrs May would resign rather than seek a further delay.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn accused her of leading the UK into "crisis, chaos and division".
"We are still legally due to leave the European Union in nine days' time," he told Mrs May at PMQs.
"Months of running down the clock and a concerted campaign of blackmail, bullying and bribery has failed to convince the House or the country that her deal is anything but a damaging national failure and should be rejected."
He urged the prime minister to meet him later on Wednesday to discuss a "compromise to get through this crisis", a plea ignored by the PM.
The Labour leader will travel to Brussels on Thursday to meet the EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier. He is also expected to hold talks with several EU 27 leaders.
PM's request to EUIn her letter to Mr Tusk, the prime minister says she had wanted to hold a Commons vote on her withdrawal agreement this week but had been prevented from doing so by Commons Speaker John Bercow.
But she adds: "It remains my intention to bring the deal back to the House."
If the motion is passed, more time will be needed for Parliament to ratify the deal, she says. There is no mention in the letter of a longer delay, as some had been expecting.
Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media caption Is the UK in a crisis over leaving the EU?Mrs May, who has been meeting groups of cabinet ministers on Wednesday afternoon, told MPs that an extension beyond 30 June would not "take no-deal off the table" if an agreement had still not been reached.
She has repeatedly insisted the UK would leave the EU on 29 March and she told MPs it had always been her preferred option, but with a withdrawal deal to ensure it was an "orderly" exit.
But she was forced to seek a delay after MPs twice rejected the withdrawal deal she has agreed with the EU by massive margins and voted to reject a no-deal Brexit.
Her plan to hold a third vote on the deal this week were blocked by the Speaker, John Bercow, who said it would break longstanding conventions preventing MPs from being repeatedly asked the same question.
What we knowThe UK is still by law due to leave the EU on 29 March - with or without a dealTheresa May has written to European Council President Donald Tusk asking for a three month extension to the leave date, taking it to 30 JuneThe PM says this will give her enough time to win over MPs to support her deal in Parliament and get legislation throughMrs May has rejected calls for a longer delay, saying she wants to avoid the UK having to take part in this year's European Parliament electionsBut a document from the European Commission, seen by the BBC, says if the UK stays in the EU beyond 23 May, it will have to hold elections MPs are holding an emergency debate in the Commons over the length of any delayThe 1922 Committee of Tory backbenchers is due to meet this eveningThe prime minister will travel to Brussels on Thursday for a summit with the other 27 EU leaders May faces critics at PMQs Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media caption Conservative MP to May: "History will judge you at this moment".MPs from across the political spectrum lined up to attack Mrs May over her announcement at prime minister's questions.
The SNP's Pete Wishart, who wants another EU referendum, accused her of "caving in to Brexiteers".
He urged her to "develop a backbone and stand up to those who would take this nation to disaster".
Yvette Cooper - one of a string of Labour MPs to call for "indicative votes" on different alternatives to Mrs May's Brexit deal - accused the PM of harming the national interest, adding: "I beg this prime minister to think again."
Mrs May said Commons votes had already been held on different Brexit options and the "one positive thing" that had been agreed was to rule out a no-deal departure on 29 March.
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Conservative Brexiteer Peter Bone warned Mrs May she will be "betraying" the public if she continues to seek to delay Brexit.
"If you continue to apply for an extension to Article 50 you will be betraying the British people. If you don't, you will be honouring their instruction.
"Prime minister, it is entirely down to you. History will judge you at this moment. Prime minister, which is it to be?"
Mrs May replied: "I am saying that I think we should look again at being able to leave with a negotiated deal, but in order to do that we need time for this Parliament to ratify a deal, and in order to do that we need an extension until 30 June."
VIDEO - Kellyanne Conway Implores Everyone To Read Accused Killer's White Supremacy Manifesto | HuffPost
Wed, 20 Mar 2019 15:25
The White House has overreached in trying to put distance between President Donald Trump and the suspected New Zealand mosque shooter's white supremacist manifesto, which mentions the president by name.
On ''Fox & Friends'' Monday morning, Trump counselor Kellyanne Conway invited all Americans to read the entirety of the 74-page manifesto, which is a winding and bigoted piece of propaganda whose stated goal is to indoctrinate its readers and dog-whistle fellow extremists.
Conway was apparently trying to prove that the man accused of killing at least 50 people in the name of white nationalism didn't claim any allegiance to Trump. Instead, she pointed Fox & Friends' 1.4 million daily viewers toward a piece of racist propaganda and then defended the killer as ''not a Nazi.''
''Everybody scoured it, searched for Donald Trump's name, and there it is one time, but [the shooter] also said he aligns closely with the ideology of China. He's not a Nazi. I think he referred to himself as an eco-naturalist or an eco-fascist,'' she said, as Media Matters' Bobby Lewis first reported. ''People should read it in its entirety.''
Kellyanne Conway says "people should read the entire" New Zealand shooter's manifesto, so they understand Trump did not inspire the attack. pic.twitter.com/YDsFTTtBuG
'-- Bobby Lewis (@revrrlewis) March 18, 2019Many mainstream news organizations opted to forgo publishing the manifesto in its entirety not because it bears some truth about Trump's history with racism and white supremacists but because there is no news value in giving a platform to such rhetoric. Outlets that published it were panned.
In any case, the manifesto doesn't offer the insight about Trump that Conway is implying; rather, it hails the president and other conservative leaders and talking heads as protectors of white supremacy. Trump's influence on and tacit endorsement of white supremacist views has been reported on for years, and it's telling that the president might need an accused mass shooter's words to exonerate him.
Conway's appeal '-- and a call to read the suspected killer's manifesto '-- was offered to a potential audience of millions. Fox & Friends has been the No. 1 cable news broadcast in its time slot for 207 months, according to TV Newser.
Clarification: Language has been amended to clarify that Fox & Friends is first in its time slot among cable news broadcasts, not all news broadcasts.
VIDEO - Alan Krueger, Obama adviser, takes own life at 58 - YouTube
Wed, 20 Mar 2019 15:20
VIDEO - Sky News Australia on Twitter: "Ian Plimer: We've had a Green movement tell us that there is climate change due to human activity.. not one scientist has ever shown that carbon dioxide by humans drives global warming or climate change. MORE: htt
Wed, 20 Mar 2019 14:43
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VIDEO - DOJ reached agreement with Clinton lawyers to block FBI access to Clinton Foundation emails, Strzok says | Fox News
Wed, 20 Mar 2019 14:20
The Justice Department "negotiated" an agreement with Hillary Clinton's legal team that ensured the FBI did not have access to emails on her private servers relating to the Clinton Foundation, former FBI special agent Peter Strzok testified during a closed-door appearance before the House Judiciary Committee last summer, according to a newly released transcript.
Republicans late last year renewed their efforts to probe the Clinton Foundation, after tax documents showed a plunge in its incoming donations after Clinton's 2016 presidential election. The numbers fueled longstanding allegations of possible ''pay-to-play'' transactions at the organization, amid a Justice Department probe covering foundation issues.
Under questioning from Judiciary Committee General Counsel Zachary Somers, Strzok acknowledged that Clinton's private personal email servers contained a mixture of emails related to the Clinton Foundation, her work as secretary of state and other matters.
"Were you given access to [Clinton Foundation-related] emails as part of the investigation?" Somers asked
CLINTON FOUNDATION WHISTLEBLOWERS HAVE COME FORWARD. WHAT ARE THEY SAYING?
"We were not. We did not have access," Strzok responded. "My recollection is that the access to those emails were based on consent that was negotiated between the Department of Justice attorneys and counsel for Clinton."
Peter Strzok arrives at a closed-door interview before the House Judiciary Committee in June. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images) (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Although the FBI eventually took possession of the servers, Strzok continued, the possession was "based upon the negotiation of Department of Justice attorneys for consent."
"A significant filter team" was employed at the FBI, Strzok said, to "work through the various terms of the various consent agreements." Limitations imposed on agents' searches included date ranges, and names of domains and people, Strzok said, among other categories.
The agreement was reached, Strzok said, because ''according to the attorneys, we lacked probable cause to get a search warrant for those servers and projected that either it would take a very long time and/or it would be impossible to get to the point where we could obtain probable cause to get a warrant.''
STRZOK'S PHONE FROM DAYS ON MUELLER PROBE TOTALLY WIPED; FBI SAYS SYSTEM-WIDE SOFTWARE FAILURE RESULTED IN OTHER MISSING TEXTS
Strzok did not elaborate on whether prosecutors made any effort to secure a search warrant, which could have delineated precisely what agents could and could not search.
But Strzok later said that agents had access to the "entire universe" of information on the servers when using search terms to probe their contents. He also told Somers that "we had it voluntarily," although it was unclear if he meant all emails on the servers -- including ones related to the Clinton Foundation.
Former Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz, who chaired the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee until 2017 and is now a Fox News contributor, said the arrangement signaled that agents wanted willful blindness.
"They had no interest in pursuing the truth."
'-- Former Oversight committee chair Rep. Jason Chaffetz
"What's bizarre about this, is in any other situation, there's no possible way they would allow the potential perpetrator to self-select what the FBI gets to see," Chaffetz said, noting that the FBI was aware that the servers contained classified information in unclassified settings. "The FBI should be the one to sort through those emails -- not the Clinton attorneys."
The DOJ's goal, Chaffetz said, was to "make sure they hear no evil, see no evil -- they had no interest in pursuing the truth."
Chaffetz added that the DOJ's behavior, including its award of immunity to top Clinton aides early on in the investigation, signaled a clear double standard: "They didn't go make a deal with anyone in Trump's orbit. They seized it. They used guns and agents -- and just went in there and took it."
"The Clinton Foundation isn't supposed to be communicating with the State Department anyway," Chaffetz continued. "The foundation -- with her name on it -- is not supposed to be communicating with the senior officials at the State Department."
The Clinton Foundation did not respond to Fox News' request for comment.
Republican-led concerns that the DOJ, under the Obama administration, was too cozy with the Clinton team during the 2016 presidential campaign have grown louder in recent days. Earlier this week, Fox News exclusively reviewed an internal chart prepared by federal investigators working on the so-called "Midyear Exam" probe into Clinton's emails. The chart contained the words "NOTE: DOJ not willing to charge this" next to a key statute on the mishandling of classified information.
The notation appeared to contradict former FBI Director James Comey's repeated claims that his team made its decision that Clinton should not face criminal charges independently.
But Strzok, in his closed-door interview, denied that the DOJ exercised undue influence over the FBI, and insisted that lawyers at the DOJ were involved in an advisory capacity working with agents.
Fox News also confirmed the chart served as a critical tip that provided the basis for Texas Republican Rep. John Ratcliffe's explosive questioning of former FBI lawyer Lisa Page last year, in which Page agreed with Ratcliffe's characterization that the DOJ had told the FBI that "you're not going to charge gross negligence."
A transcript of Page's remarks was published Tuesday as part of a major document release by the ranking Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, Georgia Rep. Doug Collins.
Separately in the closed-door session, Strzok defended his affair with Page, repeatedly denying that the relationship presented a security risk when challenged by GOP aides.
Former FBI director James Comey speaks during the Canada 2020 Conference in Ottawa on Tuesday, June 5, 2018. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press via AP)
Strzok, who was fired from the bureau after months of scrutiny regarding anti-Trump text messages between him and Page, confirmed he was involved in an extramarital affair when asked about it during his interview before the committee on June 27, 2018. But Strzok was also asked by Art Baker, the GOP investigative counsel for the committee, whether that affair could have made him "vulnerable to potential recruitment" by "hostile intelligence service[s]."
''Yeah, I don't think I would characterize it that way,'' Strzok said. ''I think it is not so much any particular action as it is the way that action might be used to coerce or otherwise get somebody to do something. I can tell you that in no way would that extramarital affair have any power in coercing me to do anything other than obeying the law and doing honest, competent investigation."
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Fox News' Brooke Singman and Catherine Herridge contributed to this report.
VIDEO - Uproar Continues Over Pro-Right Remarks By U.S. Ambassador To Germany : NPR
Wed, 20 Mar 2019 12:24
U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell gets in his car after an accreditation ceremony for new ambassadors in Berlin on May 8. Odd Andersen/AFP/Getty Images hide caption
toggle caption Odd Andersen/AFP/Getty Images U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell gets in his car after an accreditation ceremony for new ambassadors in Berlin on May 8.
Odd Andersen/AFP/Getty Images Updated at 4 p.m. ET
Richard Grenell has been the U.S. ambassador to Germany for barely a month, but already politicians on both sides of the Atlantic are demanding he be recalled.
The uproar is over Grenell's recent comments on Twitter and the right-wing Breitbart news site in support of Europe's conservative politicians who he said are making gains against the political establishment. German and U.S. politicians charge that the remarks could amount to meddling in Germany's political affairs.
But some current and former State Department officials say Grenell didn't violate any rules.
"Ambassadors have a right to express their opinion. They're representatives of the White House, whether it's this administration or other administrations," U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a news conference in Washington on Tuesday. "We hear them voicing their opinions and they're sometimes opinions people may or may not like."
John Kornblum, a former U.S. ambassador to Berlin during the Clinton administration, agreed. Contrary to what Grenell's critics claim, he says, there isn't a diplomatic handbook ambassadors go by.
"People are saying, 'Oh, he's breaking all of the rules of diplomacy,' " Kornblum told NPR. "Well, there essentially aren't any rules of diplomacy. What there are is a government or an ambassador's judgement as to what works and what doesn't work."
During a routine visit to Germany's Foreign Ministry on Wednesday, Grenell was asked to clarify remarks he made in an interview published over the weekend by Breitbart.
The right-wing news site quoted Grenell saying: "I absolutely want to empower other conservatives throughout Europe, other leaders. I think there is a groundswell of conservative policies that are taking hold."
He added, "The election of Donald Trump has empowered individuals and people to say that they can't just allow the political class to determine before an election takes place, who's going to win and who should run."
The U.S. ambassador also gushed over Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, calling him a "rock star." Kurz '-- who is critical of German Chancellor Angela Merkel '-- heads a right-wing government he formed with the Freedom Party of Austria, which has Nazi roots.
Under criticism, Grenell tweeted: "The idea that I'd endorse candidates/parties is ridiculous. I stand by my comments that we are experiencing an awakening from the silent majority - those who reject the elites & their bubble. Led by Trump."
Absurd. I condemn those comments completely. Don't put words in my mouth. The idea that I'd endorse candidates/parties is ridiculous. I stand by my comments that we are experiencing an awakening from the silent majority - those who reject the elites & their bubble. Led by Trump. https://t.co/DjSX4SL3bf
'-- Richard Grenell (@RichardGrenell) June 4, 2018But his decision to invite Kurz to dine at the U.S. Embassy next week during the Austrian leader's visit to Germany, as reported on Monday by German magazine Der Spiegel, irked many Germans, who wonder why the American ambassador assigned to Berlin was making overtures to a leader from another country. The U.S. Embassy described the planned meeting as a "common initiative" but declined further comment.
According to the German Foreign Ministry, State Secretary Andreas Michaelis told Grenell the fact Germans were upset over his comments showed the "high value that the German population attached to relations with the United States." The ministry added the American diplomat was "unhappy about the reactions his interview had triggered."
"In particular, he did not want to be perceived as the partisan of right-wing forces in Germany," the ministry statement said, adding Grenell "also wanted to create the conditions for a close and trusting cooperation with German partners."
That may be wishful thinking, given the impression many Germans have of the new American ambassador to Berlin, a post left vacant for nearly 16 months because of delays in the White House appointing and the Senate confirming staff.
Already on Grenell's first day, the 51-year-old diplomat who is a cancer survivor, former Fox commentator and served as spokesman of the U.S. mission to the United Nations under George W. Bush, managed to ruffle German feathers by tweeting that German companies should stop doing business with Iran following the U.S. pullout from the Iran nuclear deal.
And so a reporter on public broadcaster ARD recently quipped while showing footage of Grenell: "Is he smiling or baring his teeth?"
The U.S. Embassy declined to comment about the German reaction and Grenell has declined repeated NPR requests for interviews.
During a May 31 interview with KCRW Berlin, Grenell described himself as a "consistent conservative."
"A consistent conservative is probably an inconsistent defined political person," Grenell said. "So I'm very comfortable with my positions. I don't feel that I'm inconsistent, but from a purely partisan political criteria, I'm very inconsistent."
Some national politicians chose different monikers for him.
"It's somewhat like the colony's new master has arrived to take up his post," Sahra Wagenknecht, a German lawmaker whose left-wing group includes members of a party that succeeded East Germany's ruling Communists, said in an interview with public broadcaster ZDF.
"No government can allow itself to be treated like that," added Wagenknecht, one of several German politicians who have publicly said they want Grenell gone.
Some Congress members in Washington criticized Grenell too.
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, a Democrat from New Hampshire, said in a written statement on Monday: "If Ambassador Grenell is unwilling to refrain from political statements, he should be recalled immediately. The United States does not accept foreign meddling in our elections, and we shouldn't have an ambassador attempting to intrude in another country's political affairs."
On Thursday, Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., called for a State Department investigation into the issue.
When I raised concerns to Grenell about politicizing this post, he personally assured me that once he became Ambassador he would stay out of politics. This interview is awful - Ambassadors aren't supposed to "empower" any political party overseas. https://t.co/i8oOhqEk5k
'-- Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) June 3, 2018But German legislator Omid Nouripour, who heads the foreign policy committee in parliament for the Green party, told NPR that Grenell should be given another chance.
"I don't think that the U.S. ambassador of Germany should be expelled," he said. "But it's obvious that the way he's speaking these days is not the language we're used to from diplomats. And I hope this is because he's new in his job and I hope he learned from the mistakes he did."
Nouripour added he recently extended Grenell an invitation to meet with him and his left-leaning pro-environment parliamentary group. The German lawmaker said: "I will try to [get] my own impression of him by inviting him for a meal with a non '-- non-establishment, non-conservative."
Former Ambassador Kornblum added that Grenell is hardly the first American diplomat to stir up trouble in Germany. He too was embroiled in controversy 19 years ago while establishing the new U.S. Embassy in Berlin. His insistence that German authorities change some of the roads around the site to enhance security sparked a backlash, he said.
Kornblum added Germans are even more sensitive nowadays.
"Europe is in the midst of a social-political upheaval which is very similar to that which is taking place in the United States, probably for more or less the same reasons," he explained.
"If an American ambassador who represents a disruptive president, who is proud to say he's a disruptive president, comes and says: 'I sense here that there are these trends in Europe' ... then some people are going to be upset and that is their perfect right."
VIDEO - The Uncertainty Has Settled (Full film) - YouTube
Wed, 20 Mar 2019 12:05
VIDEO - Houston fire at chemical plant to burn for days, Texas officials say
Wed, 20 Mar 2019 02:28
Juan A. Lozano, AP Published 5:50 a.m. ET March 19, 2019 | Updated 10:26 a.m. ET March 19, 2019
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Officials say a large fire at petrochemicals terminal near Houston will likely burn for another two days. (March 18) AP
HOUSTON '' A large fire at a Houston-area petrochemicals terminal will likely burn for another two days, authorities said Monday, noting that air quality around the facility was testing within normal guidelines.
The fire erupted Sunday at Intercontinental Terminals Company in Deer Park, about 15 miles southeast of Houston. Firefighters were working to control the blaze, and the company said the risk of explosion remained ''minimal.''
ITC has said all employees have been accounted for and no injuries have been reported. A huge plume of smoke could be seen for miles, including from the Galveston Ferry, about 35 miles (55 kilometers) southeast of the blaze. Officials estimated the plume rose 3,000 feet (914 meters) to 4,000 feet (1,219 meters) into the air.
The company said the fire spread to seven storage tanks holding components of gasoline and also used in nail polish remover, glues and paint thinner. ITC initially said the fire had spread to eight tanks, but company official David Wascome scaled back the number Monday, saying one of the tanks was empty.
Monday afternoon, ITC spokeswoman Alice Richardson said fire crews had made progress battling the blaze as three of the tanks were now only intermittently on fire.
A report done by the Center for Toxicology and Environmental Health, a local environmental consultant hired by ITC, shows the air quality around the facility was below levels that would represent a health concern, Richardson said. Data for the company's report was collected from multiple locations in Deer Park and in surrounding communities from Sunday through Monday morning.
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Last SlideNext SlideHarris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said Monday the county is monitoring air quality and reviewing data from the state.
''The latest information available doesn't show levels beyond a threshold that would make this dangerous,'' she said.
Hidalgo, the highest elected official in the county, said if conditions change, residents would be alerted about any potential health hazards.
A shelter-in-place order was issued Sunday for Deer Park, which has about 34,000 residents.
The order was lifted early Monday after air-quality tests showed no unsafe levels of chemicals, according to the city.
But city and county officials warned that smoke from the fire could cause skin and eye irritation, and respiratory issues. Schools in the area were closed Monday as a precaution. Deer Park and the school district in neighboring La Porte planned to resume classes on Tuesday.
Debra Wilson photographs a plume of smoke from a petrochemical fire at Intercontinental Terminals Company in Deer Park out of her sunroof on Monday. The fire has been burning since Sunday afternoon. (Photo: Elizabeth Conley, AP)
Fire crews used foam to protect storage tanks that have not caught on fire
''We are controlling the fire and keeping it off the rest of the tanks,'' said Ray Russell with Channel Industries Mutual Aid, an organization that coordinates rescue and emergency capabilities of the local petrochemical industry.
Russell estimated the fire would burn for another two days. He said firefighters were now in a defensive mode.
Harris County Fire Marshal Laurie Christensen said investigators from her office are on the scene of the fire and are still determining a cause of the blaze.
The fire was the second in as many days at a Houston-area petrochemical facility. A fire at an ExxonMobil plant in nearby Baytown that broke out Saturday has been contained.
John Mone, AP writer in La Porte, contributed to this report.
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VIDEO - KOMO News Special Seattle is Dying KOMO - YouTube
Wed, 20 Mar 2019 01:04
VIDEO - Students Strike in THOUSANDS of Cities Worldwide Over Climate Change - YouTube
Tue, 19 Mar 2019 17:56
VIDEO - Students Strike in THOUSANDS of Cities Worldwide Over Climate Change - YouTube
Tue, 19 Mar 2019 17:53
VIDEO - Students Strike in THOUSANDS of Cities Worldwide Over Climate Change - YouTube
Tue, 19 Mar 2019 17:52
VIDEO - Students Strike in THOUSANDS of Cities Worldwide Over Climate Change - YouTube
Tue, 19 Mar 2019 17:51
VIDEO - 2020 NZ election a 'juicy target' for major hack - John Podesta
Tue, 19 Mar 2019 16:29
The victim of the world's most notorious political hack is warning New Zealand's election next year is at serious risk of a major cyber-attack by Russia and China.
In an exclusive television interview, Hillary Clinton's former presidential campaign manager, John Podesta, told Newshub that New Zealand is a big juicy target - and that hacked information could be weaponised as fake news.
Having run the White House as chief of staff to President Bill Clinton, and acting as counsellor to President Barack Obama, Mr Podesta is of the most powerful people in US democratic politics.
He was also the campaign manager of presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton - although that didn't go well.
During the campaign, tens of thousands of Mr Podesta's emails were hacked by the Russia government.
The hack and release on WikiLeaks was believed to be a major factor in Ms Clinton's loss to current president Donald Trump.
"Vladimir Putin must be sitting in the Kremlin saying this is the best return on investment I ever got - I've got a pliant president of the United States," Mr Podesta says.
New Zealand's top spies warned Parliament last month that our election is also vulnerable to attack, and Mr Podesta agrees.
"I'd say very worried," he told Newshub. "I don't see why they couldn't do it. And there are other state actors as well."
At the top of that list is China.
"There are other actors in the region including China that may have a high degree of interest in being able to penetrate what the private conversations of people in NZ politics and NZ Government are looking at," Mr Podesta says.
(C) Image: Newshub + Getty; Video: Newshub Ms Clinton's campaign manager says we should be "very worried" by Russia and China. New Zealand is a member of the Five Eyes spy network, a powerful intelligence club made up of the US, UK, Canada, Australia and us.
He says we're a "juicier target", and should guard against hacked information being weaponised as fake news.
"What's new is this weaponisation - the use of social media to spread discord, lies, dissatisfaction - that's I think what you've got to look out for," he says.
Mr Podesta played a starring role in one of the great conspiracy theories of the election - his hacked emails included an exchange about a Washington DC pizza joint called Comet Ping Pong.
"[The rumours were] that HC and I were running a child porn ring, which had no basis in anything, but a guy showed up with a gun and ended up shooting up a pizza parlour," he says.
This is a cautionary tale from someone who understands too well the influence and damage hacking and fake news can do.
New Zealand is not exempt - and Newshub understands it's something the Prime Minister is seriously concerned about.
Mr Podesta is in New Zealand for a Global Progressives event.
VIDEO - Brampton man loses family in New Zealand mosque attack
Tue, 19 Mar 2019 14:14
Brampton man loses family in New Zealand mosque attack - Video - CityNews TorontoBrampton man loses family in New Zealand mosque attack
A Brampton man has learned that members of his extended family are among the victims in the New Zealand mosque attack. Ginella Massa reports.
Mar 18, 2019, 11:20 PM
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VIDEO - Roger Daltrey snaps at journalist over question on Brexit and the music industry: 'As if we didn't tour Europe before the f***ing EU' | The Independent
Tue, 19 Mar 2019 10:30
Roger Daltrey had a strong reaction to a question about whether he believes Brexit will have a negative impact on the music industry.
The Who frontman was speaking with Sky News when he was asked for his view on the EU.
Daltrey, who has previously voiced his support for Brexit, looked unhappy with the question and responded: "No, what's it got to do with the rock business?"
We'll tell you what's true. You can form your own view.From 15p '‚¬0.18 $0.18 USD 0.27 a day, more exclusives, analysis and extras.
"How are you going to tour in Europe?" the journalist asked.
"Oh dear," Daltrey said. "As if we didn't tour Europe before the f***ing EU. Oh, give it up!"
leftCreated with Sketch. rightCreated with Sketch.
1/18 Rina Mushonga '' In a GalaxyIt's not uncommon for an artist to be influenced by the place they grew up in. Yet few are likely to have as much inspiration to draw on as India-born, Zimbabwe-raised and now Peckham-based artist Rina Mushonga.The singer-songwriter's nomadic personality is reflected in the vast scale of reference points on her new record, In a Galaxy. It's technically a follow-up to 2014's The Wild, the Wilderness, but the newfound boldness on this new work is startling.Since that first record, Mushonga has begun to incorporate themes of empowerment into her work. On ''AtalantA'', she showcases her muscular vocals, which are capable of switching between an airy lilt to a deep, emotional moan, as she sings lyrics inspired by the Greek hunter goddess who refused to marry. In a Galaxy is a record that takes you far beyond the borders of the world you're familiar with, and into something altogether more colourful. (Roisin O'Connor)
2/18 Deerhunter '' Why Hasn't Everything Already Disappeared?On Deerhunter's eighth album, frontman Bradford Cox takes on the role of war poet, documenting the things he observes with a cool matter-of-factness, and heart-wrenching detail. Death is everywhere on Why Hasn't Everything Already Disappeared?, as much as others may refuse to see it.Already Disappeared is not an easy album. It's often bleak and experimental: Cox's vocals burst through like distorted, burbling fragments of static, or appear muffled amid the instrumentation. This is a new side of Deerhunter that gives the listener much to contemplate. (Roisin O'Connor)
3/18 Sharon Van Etten '' Remind Me TomorrowAfter a period of tumult, Sharon Van Etten's fifth album is a reinvention. But beneath its hazy synths and electronics are songs of endurance and inner peace, of settling after a flurry of activity. On Remind Me Tomorrow, written during her recent pregnancy and the birth of her first child, Van Etten dims her spotlight on toxicity and instead casts a warm glow behind the record's psychic overview. The anxiety and pride of impending parenthood converge on ''Seventeen'', a paean to the invincibility and melancholy of adolescence. Addressing a younger version of herself, the 37-year-old sings of the carefree young and their mistrust of those defeated by time. After years making peace with drift and uncertainty, she's never sounded more sure of anything. (Jazz Monroe)
Ryan Pfluger
4/18 Bring Me the Horizon '' AmoBMTH frontman Oli Sykes wants to assert the fragility of the boundary between love and hate. Amo is a way of exploring that, even down to the title itself.Closer ''I Don't Know What to Say'' is cinematic in its symphonic drama '' perhaps inspired by their 2016 shows at the Royal Albert Hall that featured a full orchestra and choir '' and becomes the album's most moving song. Over urgent, darting violin notes and soft strumming on an acoustic guitar, Sykes sings about the loss of a close friend, building to a hair-raising climax where he screams out the song's title one last time. Amo won't satisfy all of BMTH's fans, but it's certainly accomplished, catchy and eclectic enough to bring in some new ones. (Roisin O'Connor)
5/18 Nina Nesbitt '' The Sun Will Come Up, the Seasons Will ChangeNesbitt is back with her second LP, switching to a brand of soul and R&B-fused pop that feels bang on time, and suits her far better. The Sun Will Come Up, the Seasons Will Change has slick, polished production from Fraser T Smith (Adele), Lostboy (Anne-Marie), Jordan Riley (Zara Larsson), and Nesbitt herself.Several tracks tap into a Nineties R&B sound that UK women, from Mabel to Ella Mai, are excelling at right now. Assertive tracks ''Loyal to Me'' and ''Love Letter'' nod to TLC's ''No Scrubs'' and Destiny's Child's ''Survivor'', but there is vulnerability, too, in the acoustic guitar-led neo-soul of ''Somebody Special'', and the tender heartbreak on ''Is it Really Me You're Missing''. (Roisin O'Connor)
Press image
6/18 Better Oblivion Community CenterThis self-titled record, a loose but beautifully crafted collection of folk-rock songs, explores the kinds of anxieties intrinsic to the modern age '' the longing to be at once noticed and invisible; the paralysing effects of limitless information, and the desire to do good versus the desire to be seen doing good.As if to hammer home their parity, they even largely sing in unison '' which might have had a plodding effect if the pair's voices weren't so distinct: Bridgers sings with a hazy assurance, Oberst with an emotive tremor. And when Bridgers' melody does sporadically glide above Oberst's, it is all the more potent for it. (Alexandra Pollard)
7/18 Ariana Grande '' Thank U, NextThe album is packed with personal confessions for the fans '' ''Arianators'' '' to pick over. It lacks a centrepiece to match the arresting depth and space of Sweetener's ''God Is A Woman'', but Grande handles its shifting moods and cast of producers (including pop machines Max Martin and Tommy Brown) with engaging class and momentum. One minute you're skanking along to the party brass of ''Bloodline''; the next floating into the semi-detached, heartbreak of ''Ghostin''', which appears to address Grande's guilt at being with Davidson while pining for Miller. She sings of the late rapper as a ''wingless angel'' with featherlight high notes that will drop the sternest jaw. (Helen Brown)
Getty
8/18 James Blake '' Assume FormThe perma-brilliant James Blake has flooded his fourth album '' Assume Form '' with euphoric sepia soul and loved-up doo-wop. His trademark intelligence, honesty and pin-drop production remain intact. But the detached chorister vocals of a decade in which he battled depression have thawed to reveal a millennial Sam Cooke crooning: ''Can't believe the way we flow, way we flow, way we flow...''The warm splashes of piano that washed over that song break through the anxious rattle of dance beats on the album's eponymous opener, the singer so regularly reviewed as ''vaporous'' promises to ''leave the ether, assume form'' and ''be touchable, be reachable''. His own sharpest critic, he winks at the journalists who've called him glacial as he drops from remote, icy falsetto into a richly grained, deeper tone to ask: ''Doesn't it seem much warmer?'' (Helen Brown)
Getty
9/18 AJ Tracey '' AJ TraceyWhile he recognises his roots and includes plenty of nods to grime, AJ Tracey's magpie's eye for a good melody or hook extends far beyond that. With the help of stellar producers like Cadenza (Kiko Bun), Swifta Beater (Kano, Giggs), and Nyge (Section Boyz, Yxng Bane), Tracey incorporates electronic music, rock, garage and even country on his most cohesive work to date.The variety and scale of ambition on this album is breathtaking. Fans will be surprised to discover Tracey sings almost as much as he raps, in pleasingly gruff tones. Each track is a standout, none more so than ''Ladbroke Grove'', a hat-tip to classic garage in which Tracey switches up his flow to emulate a Nineties MC. It's a thrilling work. (Roisin O'Connor)
Ashley Verse
10/18 Sleaford Mods '' Eton AliveThe album title of the year gives us an image of Brexit Britain trashed by Old Etonians David Cameron, Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees-Mogg, but the fifth studio work from the punk duo has more than social commentary to offer. There's some of that, as vocalist Jason Williamson skewers documentary-makers who take advantage of the poor in ''Kebab Spider'' '' ''the skint get used in loo roll shoes'' '' but elsewhere this is a record that expands the idea of what Sleaford Mods could be.Andrew Fearn's beats are no longer just the backdrop, they're threatening to take over this album. Surprising influences creep in, from Eighties R&B to the Human League, and on ''When You Come Up To Me'', Williamson not only sings but there's a melancholy tone breaking through the anger. ''I don't want to flip the page/ Of my negative script,'' he intones on the final track, but there's just a hint that he does. (Chris Harvey)
11/18 Julia Jacklin '' Crushing''Do you still have that photograph?/ Would you use it to hurt me?'' asks Australian indie rocker Julia Jacklin, against the menacing throb of ''Body''. The tension is stormy: imagine a mid-period Fleetwood Mac song, covered by Cat Power. It's a masterclass in narrative songwriting.Those who fell for Jacklin's 2016 excellent debut, Don't Let the Kids Win, will find a continuity of alternative attitude and vintage influences.But there's a deeper sense of personal connection to anchor Jacklin's lyrical and melodic smarts. That snare drum keeps a relentless, nerve-snapping pulse throughout, with Jacklin sounding more confident in her contradictions: at once yearning to comfort a lover she's dumped and then, on ''Head Alone'', declaring: ''I don't wanna be touched all the time/ I raised my body up to be mine.'' Ah. Shucks. Grunge-rinsed, feminist-flipped, upcycled Fifties guitar an' all: Crushing is a triumph. (Helen Brown)
Getty
12/18 Little Simz '' GREY AreaWith praise from Kendrick Lamar, five EPs released by the time she was 21, tours with Lauryn Hill, collaborations with Gorillaz and two critically praised albums '' including 2017's excellent concept album Stillness in Wonderland '' fans and critics alike wondered what else Little Simz could do to find the kind of mainstream success enjoyed by so many of her male peers.Yet you'd be hard pushed to find a moment over the past few years where Simz has commented on this issue herself. Instead, she's been busy honing her craft for Grey Area, which sees her land on a new, bolder sound assisted by her childhood friend '' the producer Inflo [Michael Kiwanuka's Love & Hate] '' for a record that incorporates her dextrous flow and superb wordplay with an eclectic range of influences. The album takes in everything from jazz, funk and soul to punk and heavy rock, plus three carefully chosen features.(Roisin O'Connor)
Jen Ewbank
13/18 Solange '' When I Get HomeSolange Knowles has never been coy about the intent behind her music. Beautiful arrangements and seamless production notwithstanding, you get the sense, each time she drop a project, that it serves a distinct, zeitgeist-shifting purpose.This time, with When I Get Home, Solange has effectively given us permission to rest. Echoing similar movements seen in recent years, such as Fannie Sosa and niv Acosta's ''Black Power Naps'' exhibition '' which speaks to and hopes to remedy the socio-economic problem of higher rates of sleep deprivation among black people '' the album has a calming, blissed-out quality, with its layers of sound and enveloping harmonies.And where better to dream than from the comfort of your own digs? Whether it's in the physical structure of a property that's shaped you over the years, or in the familiar sounds of the music and culture that your people have crafted, there seems to be a call to return to what is familiar. (Kuba Shand-Baptiste)
Max Hirschberger
14/18 Foals '' Everything Not Saved Will be Lost (Part 1)FoalsMerging their asymmetrical early math pop with the deep space atmospherics of Total Life Forever and Holy Fire, plus added innovations '' ambient rainforest throbs on ''Moonlight'', deadpan EDM on ''In Degrees'', Afro-glitch Radiohead on ''Caf(C) D'Athens'' '' they've created an inspired album of scorched earth new music that, in all likelihood, will only really be challenged for album of the year by Part 2. (Mark Beaumont)
Alex Knowles
15/18 Sigrid '' Sucker PunchAt her best, Sigrid throws out precision-tooled high notes like icicle javelins into vast, blue Scandi-produced skies. Then she growls like an Icelandic volcano preparing to disrupt western civilisation until we sort ourselves out.l enjoyed the muted, Afro-tinged authenticity of ''Level Up'' and the conscious, pasty-girl reggae of ''Business Dinners'' (on which she refuses to be an industry angel) and I loved the Robyn-esque rush of ''Basic'' (which sees her yearning to shed love's complications).Sigrid has a raw energy and emotional briskness that can make you feel like you're doing aerobics in neon leg warmers atop a pristine mountain. (Helen Brown)
Francesca Allen
16/18 Dave '' PsychodramaTracks are at once astute and deeply personal in how they capture vignettes of everyday life and spin them into important lessons. ''Black'', the most recent single from the record, considers what that word means to different people around the world, as well as to Dave. ''Voices'' has him singing over an old-school garage beat, fighting off personal demons.''I could be the rapper with a message like you're hoping, but what's the point in me being the best if no one knows it?'' he challenges on ''Psycho'', which flips scattershot between beats and moods as though the track itself is schizophrenic. Dave spends Psychodrama addressing issues caused by the generations who came before him. By the end of the album, he sounds like a figurehead for the hopeful future.
Press image
17/18 Karen O and Danger Mouse '' Lux PrimaLux Prima was born just over a decade ago from a drunken phone call from Karen O to Danger Mouse '' real name Brian Joseph Burton '' during which the pair vowed they would work on something together. It wasn't until after O had given birth to her son, though, that recording finally began, and there is a beatific sense of contentment on songs like ''Drown'', with its Kamasi Washington-like choirs and stately horns.Danger Mouse is known for genre-hopping collaborations with artists such as Beck, the Black Keys and CeeLo Green, and he applies that approach here, too: the album is an impressive mix of blissed-out synths, psych-rock guitars and trippy hip-hop beats.Lux Prima is an accomplished record '' proof that two wildly different minds can work seamlessly together. Maybe drunk-dialling isn't always such a bad idea. (Roisin O'Connor)
Eliot Lee Hazel
18/18 The Cinematic Orchestra '' To BelieveThis is an ambitious creation, meticulously crafted and assembled. For a start, the range of guest performers is a cornucopia of contemporary soul and hip-hop collaborators: vocalists Moses Sumney, Roots Manuva, Heidi Vogel, Grey Reverend and Tawiah; strings player Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, and keyboardist Dennis Hamm '' both of whom have worked with Flying Lotus and Thundercat.Ma Fleur was emotive and piano-led, its themes of mortality and the passage of life captured so evocatively in the Patrick Watson collaboration ''To Build a Home'' '' which went on to soundtrack every TV show from Grey's Anatomy to Orange is the New Black. To Believe, however, feels more expansive in reach. (Elisa Bray)
B+
1/18 Rina Mushonga '' In a GalaxyIt's not uncommon for an artist to be influenced by the place they grew up in. Yet few are likely to have as much inspiration to draw on as India-born, Zimbabwe-raised and now Peckham-based artist Rina Mushonga.The singer-songwriter's nomadic personality is reflected in the vast scale of reference points on her new record, In a Galaxy. It's technically a follow-up to 2014's The Wild, the Wilderness, but the newfound boldness on this new work is startling.Since that first record, Mushonga has begun to incorporate themes of empowerment into her work. On ''AtalantA'', she showcases her muscular vocals, which are capable of switching between an airy lilt to a deep, emotional moan, as she sings lyrics inspired by the Greek hunter goddess who refused to marry. In a Galaxy is a record that takes you far beyond the borders of the world you're familiar with, and into something altogether more colourful. (Roisin O'Connor)
2/18 Deerhunter '' Why Hasn't Everything Already Disappeared?On Deerhunter's eighth album, frontman Bradford Cox takes on the role of war poet, documenting the things he observes with a cool matter-of-factness, and heart-wrenching detail. Death is everywhere on Why Hasn't Everything Already Disappeared?, as much as others may refuse to see it.Already Disappeared is not an easy album. It's often bleak and experimental: Cox's vocals burst through like distorted, burbling fragments of static, or appear muffled amid the instrumentation. This is a new side of Deerhunter that gives the listener much to contemplate. (Roisin O'Connor)
3/18 Sharon Van Etten '' Remind Me TomorrowAfter a period of tumult, Sharon Van Etten's fifth album is a reinvention. But beneath its hazy synths and electronics are songs of endurance and inner peace, of settling after a flurry of activity. On Remind Me Tomorrow, written during her recent pregnancy and the birth of her first child, Van Etten dims her spotlight on toxicity and instead casts a warm glow behind the record's psychic overview. The anxiety and pride of impending parenthood converge on ''Seventeen'', a paean to the invincibility and melancholy of adolescence. Addressing a younger version of herself, the 37-year-old sings of the carefree young and their mistrust of those defeated by time. After years making peace with drift and uncertainty, she's never sounded more sure of anything. (Jazz Monroe)
Ryan Pfluger
4/18 Bring Me the Horizon '' AmoBMTH frontman Oli Sykes wants to assert the fragility of the boundary between love and hate. Amo is a way of exploring that, even down to the title itself.Closer ''I Don't Know What to Say'' is cinematic in its symphonic drama '' perhaps inspired by their 2016 shows at the Royal Albert Hall that featured a full orchestra and choir '' and becomes the album's most moving song. Over urgent, darting violin notes and soft strumming on an acoustic guitar, Sykes sings about the loss of a close friend, building to a hair-raising climax where he screams out the song's title one last time. Amo won't satisfy all of BMTH's fans, but it's certainly accomplished, catchy and eclectic enough to bring in some new ones. (Roisin O'Connor)
5/18 Nina Nesbitt '' The Sun Will Come Up, the Seasons Will ChangeNesbitt is back with her second LP, switching to a brand of soul and R&B-fused pop that feels bang on time, and suits her far better. The Sun Will Come Up, the Seasons Will Change has slick, polished production from Fraser T Smith (Adele), Lostboy (Anne-Marie), Jordan Riley (Zara Larsson), and Nesbitt herself.Several tracks tap into a Nineties R&B sound that UK women, from Mabel to Ella Mai, are excelling at right now. Assertive tracks ''Loyal to Me'' and ''Love Letter'' nod to TLC's ''No Scrubs'' and Destiny's Child's ''Survivor'', but there is vulnerability, too, in the acoustic guitar-led neo-soul of ''Somebody Special'', and the tender heartbreak on ''Is it Really Me You're Missing''. (Roisin O'Connor)
Press image
6/18 Better Oblivion Community CenterThis self-titled record, a loose but beautifully crafted collection of folk-rock songs, explores the kinds of anxieties intrinsic to the modern age '' the longing to be at once noticed and invisible; the paralysing effects of limitless information, and the desire to do good versus the desire to be seen doing good.As if to hammer home their parity, they even largely sing in unison '' which might have had a plodding effect if the pair's voices weren't so distinct: Bridgers sings with a hazy assurance, Oberst with an emotive tremor. And when Bridgers' melody does sporadically glide above Oberst's, it is all the more potent for it. (Alexandra Pollard)
7/18 Ariana Grande '' Thank U, NextThe album is packed with personal confessions for the fans '' ''Arianators'' '' to pick over. It lacks a centrepiece to match the arresting depth and space of Sweetener's ''God Is A Woman'', but Grande handles its shifting moods and cast of producers (including pop machines Max Martin and Tommy Brown) with engaging class and momentum. One minute you're skanking along to the party brass of ''Bloodline''; the next floating into the semi-detached, heartbreak of ''Ghostin''', which appears to address Grande's guilt at being with Davidson while pining for Miller. She sings of the late rapper as a ''wingless angel'' with featherlight high notes that will drop the sternest jaw. (Helen Brown)
Getty
8/18 James Blake '' Assume FormThe perma-brilliant James Blake has flooded his fourth album '' Assume Form '' with euphoric sepia soul and loved-up doo-wop. His trademark intelligence, honesty and pin-drop production remain intact. But the detached chorister vocals of a decade in which he battled depression have thawed to reveal a millennial Sam Cooke crooning: ''Can't believe the way we flow, way we flow, way we flow...''The warm splashes of piano that washed over that song break through the anxious rattle of dance beats on the album's eponymous opener, the singer so regularly reviewed as ''vaporous'' promises to ''leave the ether, assume form'' and ''be touchable, be reachable''. His own sharpest critic, he winks at the journalists who've called him glacial as he drops from remote, icy falsetto into a richly grained, deeper tone to ask: ''Doesn't it seem much warmer?'' (Helen Brown)
Getty
9/18 AJ Tracey '' AJ TraceyWhile he recognises his roots and includes plenty of nods to grime, AJ Tracey's magpie's eye for a good melody or hook extends far beyond that. With the help of stellar producers like Cadenza (Kiko Bun), Swifta Beater (Kano, Giggs), and Nyge (Section Boyz, Yxng Bane), Tracey incorporates electronic music, rock, garage and even country on his most cohesive work to date.The variety and scale of ambition on this album is breathtaking. Fans will be surprised to discover Tracey sings almost as much as he raps, in pleasingly gruff tones. Each track is a standout, none more so than ''Ladbroke Grove'', a hat-tip to classic garage in which Tracey switches up his flow to emulate a Nineties MC. It's a thrilling work. (Roisin O'Connor)
Ashley Verse
10/18 Sleaford Mods '' Eton AliveThe album title of the year gives us an image of Brexit Britain trashed by Old Etonians David Cameron, Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees-Mogg, but the fifth studio work from the punk duo has more than social commentary to offer. There's some of that, as vocalist Jason Williamson skewers documentary-makers who take advantage of the poor in ''Kebab Spider'' '' ''the skint get used in loo roll shoes'' '' but elsewhere this is a record that expands the idea of what Sleaford Mods could be.Andrew Fearn's beats are no longer just the backdrop, they're threatening to take over this album. Surprising influences creep in, from Eighties R&B to the Human League, and on ''When You Come Up To Me'', Williamson not only sings but there's a melancholy tone breaking through the anger. ''I don't want to flip the page/ Of my negative script,'' he intones on the final track, but there's just a hint that he does. (Chris Harvey)
11/18 Julia Jacklin '' Crushing''Do you still have that photograph?/ Would you use it to hurt me?'' asks Australian indie rocker Julia Jacklin, against the menacing throb of ''Body''. The tension is stormy: imagine a mid-period Fleetwood Mac song, covered by Cat Power. It's a masterclass in narrative songwriting.Those who fell for Jacklin's 2016 excellent debut, Don't Let the Kids Win, will find a continuity of alternative attitude and vintage influences.But there's a deeper sense of personal connection to anchor Jacklin's lyrical and melodic smarts. That snare drum keeps a relentless, nerve-snapping pulse throughout, with Jacklin sounding more confident in her contradictions: at once yearning to comfort a lover she's dumped and then, on ''Head Alone'', declaring: ''I don't wanna be touched all the time/ I raised my body up to be mine.'' Ah. Shucks. Grunge-rinsed, feminist-flipped, upcycled Fifties guitar an' all: Crushing is a triumph. (Helen Brown)
Getty
12/18 Little Simz '' GREY AreaWith praise from Kendrick Lamar, five EPs released by the time she was 21, tours with Lauryn Hill, collaborations with Gorillaz and two critically praised albums '' including 2017's excellent concept album Stillness in Wonderland '' fans and critics alike wondered what else Little Simz could do to find the kind of mainstream success enjoyed by so many of her male peers.Yet you'd be hard pushed to find a moment over the past few years where Simz has commented on this issue herself. Instead, she's been busy honing her craft for Grey Area, which sees her land on a new, bolder sound assisted by her childhood friend '' the producer Inflo [Michael Kiwanuka's Love & Hate] '' for a record that incorporates her dextrous flow and superb wordplay with an eclectic range of influences. The album takes in everything from jazz, funk and soul to punk and heavy rock, plus three carefully chosen features.(Roisin O'Connor)
Jen Ewbank
13/18 Solange '' When I Get HomeSolange Knowles has never been coy about the intent behind her music. Beautiful arrangements and seamless production notwithstanding, you get the sense, each time she drop a project, that it serves a distinct, zeitgeist-shifting purpose.This time, with When I Get Home, Solange has effectively given us permission to rest. Echoing similar movements seen in recent years, such as Fannie Sosa and niv Acosta's ''Black Power Naps'' exhibition '' which speaks to and hopes to remedy the socio-economic problem of higher rates of sleep deprivation among black people '' the album has a calming, blissed-out quality, with its layers of sound and enveloping harmonies.And where better to dream than from the comfort of your own digs? Whether it's in the physical structure of a property that's shaped you over the years, or in the familiar sounds of the music and culture that your people have crafted, there seems to be a call to return to what is familiar. (Kuba Shand-Baptiste)
Max Hirschberger
14/18 Foals '' Everything Not Saved Will be Lost (Part 1)FoalsMerging their asymmetrical early math pop with the deep space atmospherics of Total Life Forever and Holy Fire, plus added innovations '' ambient rainforest throbs on ''Moonlight'', deadpan EDM on ''In Degrees'', Afro-glitch Radiohead on ''Caf(C) D'Athens'' '' they've created an inspired album of scorched earth new music that, in all likelihood, will only really be challenged for album of the year by Part 2. (Mark Beaumont)
Alex Knowles
15/18 Sigrid '' Sucker PunchAt her best, Sigrid throws out precision-tooled high notes like icicle javelins into vast, blue Scandi-produced skies. Then she growls like an Icelandic volcano preparing to disrupt western civilisation until we sort ourselves out.l enjoyed the muted, Afro-tinged authenticity of ''Level Up'' and the conscious, pasty-girl reggae of ''Business Dinners'' (on which she refuses to be an industry angel) and I loved the Robyn-esque rush of ''Basic'' (which sees her yearning to shed love's complications).Sigrid has a raw energy and emotional briskness that can make you feel like you're doing aerobics in neon leg warmers atop a pristine mountain. (Helen Brown)
Francesca Allen
16/18 Dave '' PsychodramaTracks are at once astute and deeply personal in how they capture vignettes of everyday life and spin them into important lessons. ''Black'', the most recent single from the record, considers what that word means to different people around the world, as well as to Dave. ''Voices'' has him singing over an old-school garage beat, fighting off personal demons.''I could be the rapper with a message like you're hoping, but what's the point in me being the best if no one knows it?'' he challenges on ''Psycho'', which flips scattershot between beats and moods as though the track itself is schizophrenic. Dave spends Psychodrama addressing issues caused by the generations who came before him. By the end of the album, he sounds like a figurehead for the hopeful future.
Press image
17/18 Karen O and Danger Mouse '' Lux PrimaLux Prima was born just over a decade ago from a drunken phone call from Karen O to Danger Mouse '' real name Brian Joseph Burton '' during which the pair vowed they would work on something together. It wasn't until after O had given birth to her son, though, that recording finally began, and there is a beatific sense of contentment on songs like ''Drown'', with its Kamasi Washington-like choirs and stately horns.Danger Mouse is known for genre-hopping collaborations with artists such as Beck, the Black Keys and CeeLo Green, and he applies that approach here, too: the album is an impressive mix of blissed-out synths, psych-rock guitars and trippy hip-hop beats.Lux Prima is an accomplished record '' proof that two wildly different minds can work seamlessly together. Maybe drunk-dialling isn't always such a bad idea. (Roisin O'Connor)
Eliot Lee Hazel
18/18 The Cinematic Orchestra '' To BelieveThis is an ambitious creation, meticulously crafted and assembled. For a start, the range of guest performers is a cornucopia of contemporary soul and hip-hop collaborators: vocalists Moses Sumney, Roots Manuva, Heidi Vogel, Grey Reverend and Tawiah; strings player Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, and keyboardist Dennis Hamm '' both of whom have worked with Flying Lotus and Thundercat.Ma Fleur was emotive and piano-led, its themes of mortality and the passage of life captured so evocatively in the Patrick Watson collaboration ''To Build a Home'' '' which went on to soundtrack every TV show from Grey's Anatomy to Orange is the New Black. To Believe, however, feels more expansive in reach. (Elisa Bray)
B+
After walking off camera for a moment Daltrey returned and said: "If you want to be signed up to be ruled by a f***ing mafia, you do it. Like being governed by Fifa."
In an interview with The Telegraph last year Daltrey claimed many people failed to distinguish that he was "anti-Brussels, not anti-Europe".
"That's why I'm so angry about it," he said. "I want someone at least answerable to me that I can say: 'F*** off, you're useless!"
While Daltrey may be confident about the impact (or lack of) that Brexit will have on the music industry, a number of prominent industry figures have been airing their concerns over the past year.
In December 2018, artists including Annie Lennox, Paloma Faith, Pink Floyd's Nick Mason, Nadine Shah, Billy Bragg and Blur's Dave Rowntree, plus music companies including Kilimanjaro Live and Beggars Group, and industry bodies like AIM, the Musicians Union and the Music Producers Guild, all signed a letter seeking more concessions against Brexit's potential impact on the industry.
The letter was drafted by the pro-Europe group Music4EU, and stated: "Brexit represents a significant threat to the UK's music industry. Leaving the EU customs union, single market, VAT area and regulatory framework (in whole or part) could devastate our global market leadership, and damage our freedom to trade, tour and to promote our artists and works."
It continued: "The music industry contributes £4.5bn to the UK economy, and our world-beating artists helped to create exports of over £2.5bn, which is growing fast in a global digital music business. Live music is at the heart of every artist's business and contributed around £1bn to the UK economy, and freedom of movement is core to an artist's ability to tour and promote their art."
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VIDEO - Gun City's David Tipple: Firearms aren't the villain | Stuff.co.nz
Tue, 19 Mar 2019 10:18
An arms dealer with a multi-million dollar turnover, a gun-rights agitator and a family man. Just who is David Tipple?
In 1990, a mass murderer ordered ammunition through the post from a shop called Gun City.
In 2019, a terrorist ordered four guns and ammunition from the same store.
But David Tipple, an arms dealer who has been selling to the residents of Christchurch and wider New Zealand since 1978, does not lie awake at night worrying what the guns he sells are used for.
"It's like being a car dealer, you know there are going to be deaths with cars. What do you sell that doesn't carry the risk of that?" Tipple told Stuff in 2015, after being asked about selling the ammunition later used in the Aramoana massacre.
"I don't see firearms as the villain ... I see the psychology as the villain."
READ MORE * Gun City refuses to answer gun debate questions * Why do the public even need semi-automatic rifles '' the loopholes that could change * New Zealand's battle over semi-automatics * Police "cascade of failure" in controlling guns in New Zealand
Four years later, at a press conference on Monday, Tipple acknowledged the "despicable actions" of the Australian man accused of callously taking the lives of 50 Muslim worshippers at two Christchurch mosques on Friday 15 March.
And yes, the accused had bought guns and ammunition from his store, but Tipple said those guns were not used in the shooting.
"'‹What we are doing is legal and the majority of people have put in place the Government that set those laws and we are abiding by those laws, which enables us as citizens to peacefully enjoy legitimate activity," he said.
This has long been Tipple's mantra: guns aren't the problem, people are.
ALDEN WILLIAMS/STUFF
Gun City owner David Tipple, left, reads fronts a media conference where he revealed his company sold four weapons online to the man accused of mass murder in Christchurch.
It's a case the arms dealer and father-of-six has fought solidly both in the public and through the legal system.
Today, had there been no terror attack, Tipple's prosecution against police for their alleged tightening of policy around the importing of semi-automatic weapons would have been heard in court.
Given Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's pledge to change gun laws, Tipple's lawyer Nicholas Taylor confirmed he had asked for an adjournment.
During a 40-year career in gun sales, Tipple has always positioned himself as an ethical gun dealer who is providing a legal service to satisfy costumer demand. To those on either side of the gun debate, he's a champion or an obstructor.
Stuff tried to contact Tipple for this story, but was told he was not speaking to media.
Last year, Tipple argued training children to use firearms responsibly is a public service. "What is the result of someone having better knowledge of firearms? Do they turn into mass murders or do they turn into better members of society? Isn't that a better question to ask?"
(In 2011, he told the Sunday Star-Times he would take children aged four and up duck shooting but would not let them handle a gun until they were eight.)
Gun City claims to be the world's largest gun store '' which, considering the heightened visibility of guns and ownership in places such as the United States, seems a bold claim. But based on the sheer number of guns '' this is not simply an outdoor store '' Tipple has always stood by his tagline.
It's also lucrative, with a reported turnover of more than $20 million annually.
STUFF
Gun City boss David Tipple confirms that the alleged Christchurch mosque killer bought weapons from his business.
COUNTRY BOY MADE GOOD
Around 250,000 New Zealanders hold gun licences, and police estimate there are around 1.5 million guns in circulation. About 7000 have the type of licence '' E-category '' needed to buy a military-style semi-automatic (MSSA) weapon.
But semi-automatic guns like the AR15 and AK47 can be bought on an A-category licence, and easily modified with higher capacity magazines to become MSSAs.
These are numbers most of us would never have considered before Friday's terrorist attack. But as the largest gun retailer in the country, Tipple has been importing a sizeable number of these guns and parts since 1978.
Tipple, whose brother and father were keen game shooters, opened the first Gun City in Christchurch's Manchester St when he was 23 years old, for an outlay of $2000. He is now in his early 60s.
Its current megastore iteration is in suburban Papanui, with the empire expanding to seven stores employing 100 people nationwide. His aim as a child was to become a millionaire by the age of 30. Asked once it he'd achieved this, he answered: "Probably. I never really added it up."
AARON WOOD/STUFF
How gun licensing works in New Zealand - and how PM Jacinda Ardern may look to change things.
In 2015, Tipple told Stuff his business turned over $20 million annually. His most common customer: a man aged between 18 and 30. The most popular gun for shooting ducks: a semi-automatic, at around $2000.
Tipple has six adult children, most of whom have been involved in the business. His daughter Chloe is a professional skeet shooter, finishing 13th at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janiero and 7th at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. She began shooting at age eight.
His wife, Betsy, also has a gun dealer licence.
This came in handy when, in 2002, Tipple was prosecuted in the United States for attempting to bring 29 hunting rifles and guns in cardboard boxes through Los Angeles airport without the right paperwork. He also had 340 rounds of live ammunition.
Six months after 9/11, US officials were unhappy with this cache and he was jailed for 21 months.
It's not the first time he's been on the wrong side of the law; his list of driving convictions date back to 1980, and include a high speed North Island car chase in 2008 that reportedly went for 16 kilometres before police road spikes put an end to it.
SUPPLIED
Tipple, right, and the inventor of the AK47, Mikhail Kalashnikov, in 2008.
A LIGHTNING ROD FOR GUN RIGHTS
While he's appeared in the dock as a defendant, Tipple has also prosecuted '' or threatened court action '' in several cases, mostly around challenging police and customs interpretation of gun laws.
Firearms lawyer Taylor is prosecuting Tipple's current case, which argues against the way police are enforcing the law around semi-automatic imports. Tipple says police have begun refusing import licences for AR-15 semi-automatic weapons and parts, which goes against the Arms Act. (Police deny a change in policy.)
In 2015, Tipple threatened to bring his own prosecution against journalist Heather du-Plessis Allan after she bought a mail-order 22. caliber sporting rifle online from Gun City without a licence, for a story. She was trying to illustrate how easy it was to get hold of one by forging the form required. Police investigated du-Plessis Allan but decided not to press charges.
Tipple was disappointed. "Legitimate gun owners need to be protected from media stunts like that," he said. "At the end of that, police decide not to prosecute '' it's sad."
Those on both sides of the gun debate say as the country's biggest retailer, and one who is not afraid of legal action, Tipple's impact on current legislation is undeniable.
JOHN KIRK-ANDERSON/STUFF
"I don't see firearms as the villain ... I see the psychology as the villain," says Tipple.
"It is a factor that the gun dealers have a significant monetary investment in keeping the gun laws unchanged in New Zealand," Police Association president Chris Cahill says.
"It's a multi-million dollar industry for them, and they work closely with some members of the gun community to make sure there's resistance to any change at all. As soon as police look to bring a common-sense approach to a class of weapons, they're challenged in court."
Others, like pro-gun activist Mike Loder, say Tipple is just doing his job as a responsible gun dealer. Singling him out for criticism is completely unfair, Loder says.
"What I've admired about him is how he's always been so safety conscious. He's always struck me as a responsible operator. Not only is it unfair, I think it's cruel to single out Tipple as someone responsible for this.
"I'd be looking at police vetting laws before I'd be looking at who is selling the gun legally. He's just a lone guy, selling a legal product."
He echoed a sentiment also expressed by Tipple; that discussing gun laws was exactly what the terrorist wanted.
"We have to remember that this psychopath killed 50 people. His intention was for us to have this conversation, and we are pandering to this filthy terrorist."
RUN INS WITH THE LAW
* 1992 '' Tipple fired a gun over the heads of skinheads who were tampering with his car. In the same year he was acquitted of shooting and wounding three would-be burglars who were trying to steal motorcycles from his farm shed.
* 1999 '' sued the police for defamation over comments made when his firearms dealing licence was revoked. A Christchurch District Court judge found that police made mistakes and gave him his licence back along with $25,000 costs. A settlement was reached in the defamation case eight years later.
* 2002 '' arrested and imprisoned for 21 months in the United States for failing to declare weapons after attempting to bring 29 hunting guns and rifles into New Zealand in cardboard boxes.
* 2008 '' lost his driving licence for eight months after a high speed North Island car chase that reportedly went for 16 kilometres before police road spikes put an end to it.
* 2014 '' won a case against Customs in the High Court after the border agency seized 45 blank firing pistols imported from Italy. Tipple's lawyers argued they were imitation firearms.
* 2016 '' is pulled over doing 177 kmh near the Lindis Pass and the officer calls for backup because Tipple is "so confrontational." The judge disqualified him from driving and mentioned previous convictions for driving at dangerous speed in 1982, dangerous driving in 1980, dangerous driving and failing to stop for police in 1989, and reckless driving and failing to stop for police in 2008.
An earlier version of this story may have suggested to some readers that the gun used in the attacks on two Christchurch mosques had been bought from Gun City. Tipple has stated that this is not correct.
VIDEO - Kellyanne Conway: people should read New Zealand mosque shooter's manifesto - Vox
Mon, 18 Mar 2019 18:35
The man who allegedly killed 50 people last week at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, described President Donald Trump as ''a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose.'' But White House counselor Kellyanne Conway wants people to study the shooter's manifesto for themselves before drawing conclusions '-- even if that means exposing themselves to white supremacist ideology.
''Unlike like most mass shootings, this man came with pre-receipts, if you will,'' Conway said during a Monday morning interview on Fox & Friends. ''He put out a 70-page manifesto, and I guess everybody scoured it, searched for Donald Trump's name, and there it is, one time. But he also said he aligns closely with the ideology of China. He said he's not a conservative, he's not a Nazi, I think he referred to himself as an eco-naturalist or an eco-fascist. But people should read the entire '-- in its entirety.''
Kellyanne Conway says "people should read the entire" New Zealand shooter's manifesto, so they understand Trump did not inspire the attack. pic.twitter.com/YDsFTTtBuG
'-- Bobby Lewis (@revrrlewis) March 18, 2019Conway's recommendation to read the shooter's manifesto is highly irresponsible. In an article written for Vox following the Parkland school shooting last year, mass shootings expert Jaclyn Schildkraut explained why publicizing the identities and motivations of perpetrators of mass shootings in turn motivates future shooters:
The copycat effect is real. A 2015 study suggests that a mass shooting increases the likelihood of an additional mass shooting in the two-week period following the incident.
A more recent study was less supportive of the thesis of short-term contagion but still cautioned that the media coverage of these attacks might well lead to copycat events over a longer period.
An ABC News investigation in 2014 found that in the 14 years after Columbine, at least 17 school shooters '-- and 36 other students who threatened rampages that were averted '--directly cited the Columbine shooting or its perpetrators as partial motivation for the attack. In short, making perpetrators famous has consequences.
Schildkraut's view is widely accepted. The Columbia Journalism Review has cited similar concerns about ''contagion'' to make a case that publicizing mass shooters' identities and motives ''can be perilous for the public, so much so that publishing profiles of shooting suspects and perpetrators should be considered a dangerous proposition.''
Some right-wing outlets have reached the same conclusion. Daily Wire founder Ben Shapiro announced last year that his publication ''will no longer be publishing any names or photographs of mass shooters'' because ''[i]t has become increasingly clear in recent years that the value of public knowledge regarding specific names and photographs of mass shooters is significantly outweighed by the possibility of encouraging more mass shootings.''
Wittingly or not, in her comments on Fox News, Conway prioritized trying to defend her boss over avoiding exposing viewers of the network (which is currently mired in controversy surrounding host Jeanine Pirro's recent Islamophobic comments) to more offensive content about immigrants and Muslims '-- the exact thing the alleged shooter would like people to do.
Trump's response to the New Zealand shooting hasn't been much betterTrump has also struggled to distance himself from the New Zealand shooter. For instance, during a White House event on Friday in which he denounced the violence, Trump trafficked in white nationalist tropes.
In his manifesto, the alleged New Zealand mosque shooter used the language of ''invasion'' to talk about immigrants. Trump did the same thing during a White House event held just hours after the shooting occurred. (He said he hadn't read the manifesto at the time.)
TRUMP echoes white supremacist rhetoric: "Congress' vote to deny the crisis on the southern border is a vote against reality...People hate the word 'invasion,' but that's what it is. It's an invasion of drugs, criminals, & people...in some cases, they are killers." pic.twitter.com/nupFMpmHQZ
'-- Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 15, 2019To be clear, Trump did not use this language to justify killing Muslims, Jews, immigrants, or anyone else. In fact, he said the New Zealand attack was ''horrible'' and has expressed his condolences in more ways than one, including directly to the country's prime minister.
But then on Sunday, Trump posted a string of tweets attacking Fox News's move to suspend Pirro for her Islamophobic comments as an example of the network ''working soooo hard on being politically correct.''
''The losers all want what you have, don't give it to them. Be strong & prosper, be weak & die!'' Trump added, in comments that also echoed white nationalist tropes.
During an appearance on Fox News Sunday, acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, echoing some of what Conway said on Fox & Friends, argued that it's just as unfair to link Trump to the shooting as it would be to ''look at his sort of his eco-terrorist passages in that manifesto and align him with [House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi or Ms. [Alexandria] Ocasio-Cortez.''
But Pelosi and Ocasio-Cortez have never fomented hatred against climate change deniers. Trump, on the other hand, has spent years stoking fears about Muslims.
Shortly after Monday's Fox & Friends went off the air, Trump took to Twitter to denounce efforts to link him to the Islamophobic violence in New Zealand.
The Fake News Media is working overtime to blame me for the horrible attack in New Zealand. They will have to work very hard to prove that one. So Ridiculous!
'-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 18, 2019But during the White House event on Friday, Trump wouldn't even acknowledge white nationalism as a rising global threat that needs to be taken seriously, instead downplaying it as ''a small group of people that have very, very serious problems.''
Compare those comments with the Muslim ban he proposed after a Muslim carried out an act of mass violence while he was on the campaign trail.
The news moves fast. To stay updated, follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter, and read more of Vox's policy and politics coverage.
VIDEO - Third Brexit vote must be different - Speaker - BBC News
Mon, 18 Mar 2019 18:10
Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media caption Speaker John Bercow rejects further Brexit votes without changes to motionJohn Bercow has ruled out another vote on the government's previously rejected Brexit agreement if the motion remains "substantially the same".
He told MPs parliamentary conventions dating back to 1604 meant they could not be asked to vote on precisely the same subject twice in the same session.
MPs rejected Theresa May's Brexit deal with the EU by 149 votes last week.
Mr Bercow's ruling came as the government considers a third attempt to get the deal through Parliament.
He said the second vote on the prime minister's deal last week was "in order" but any further votes must pass the "test" he had set out in order to be allowed.
The BBC's Laura Kuenssberg said the Speaker's intervention could have a "massive" impact on the Brexit process - with 11 days to go before the UK is scheduled to leave the EU on 29 March.
Mrs May had previously committed to holding a new vote on her withdrawal agreement in the coming days, but ministers have said this will not happen unless they are "confident" of victory.
The prime minister's official spokesman said Mr Bercow "did not warn us of the contents of the statement or indeed the fact that he was making one".
What has the Speaker ruled?Mr Bercow made his ruling in response to what he said were concerns from MPs across Parliament that the government intended to "bring the same deal back to the House ad infinitum" and ask them to "repeatedly pronounce on fundamentally the same proposition".
Last week's second vote on the deal had not fallen foul of parliamentary conventions, he made clear.
This was because the government had secured "legal changes" to its existing agreement with the EU, set out in three new documents, and therefore what MPs had been asked to consider was different from the agreement rejected by 230 votes in January.
But quoting Erskine May, the parliamentary rulebook, he said "what the government cannot legitimately do is resubmit to the House the same proposition - or substantially the same proposition - as that of last week, which was rejected by 149 votes".
This convention, he added, was "necessary to ensure the sensible use of the House's time and the proper respect for the decisions it takes".
Pressed on what future votes would be allowed, Mr Bercow said would make an "honest assessment" when the time came and the ruling should be not be regarded as final.
But he suggested there would have to be a "demonstrable" change in what MPs were being asked to vote on - "not different in terms of wording but different in terms of substance".
What's been the reaction?Ministers and MPs supportive of Mrs May's deal expressed anger at the timing of Mr Bercow's intervention.
Conservative MP James Gray, who plans to vote for the deal after rejecting it twice, said he was "absolutely furious"; while fellow Tory Greg Hands suggested Mr Bercow was the only person in the country who was "accountable to nobody".
Solicitor General Robert Buckland warned there was now a "constitutional crisis" and suggested the onus was on the EU to come up with "new solutions" to enable MPs to vote on the deal again.
"The Speaker has made his name by being interventionist," he said.
"Frankly we could have done without this but it is something we are going to have to deal with."
He suggested "there were ways around this" - including potentially cutting short the current session of Parliament to an end, a move which would lead to calls for a general election.
Brexit: what do we know?As the law stands, the UK will leave the EU on 29 March - with or without a dealFor this date to change, the EU would have to agree to an extension to Article 50 - the legal mechanism that sees the UK leaving on 29 March - or the UK government would have to revoke it, stopping the Brexit processLast week, MPs voted in favour of an extension - either for up to three months to pass legislation if the PM's deal got approval from the House or for longer if her deal was rejected - but it was not legally bindingTheresa May was expected to bring her deal back to the Commons for a third time in the coming daysNow, Speaker John Bercow has said the deal cannot be brought back for another vote if it remained "substantially the same"There's an EU leaders summit on Thursday and Friday this week Opponents of the PM's Brexit deal welcomed the Speaker's ruling.
Conservative former cabinet minister Owen Paterson said it was a "game-changer" and would "concentrate minds" ahead of a EU summit on Thursday - at which EU leaders will consider whether to grant the UK an extension to the Brexit process.
He said the prime minister should make it very clear to her European counterparts that the "law of the land" stated the UK would leave, with or without a deal, on 29 March.
Sir Bill Cash, chairman of the European Scrutiny Committee, said it seemed to make an "enormous amount of sense" given that the Brexit deal has been defeated twice and there would need to be a "substantial difference" to allow a third vote.
But the SNP's Westminster leader Ian Blackford suggested there was now a "constitutional crisis" and he suggested the prime minister should "immediately" call a meeting of opposition leaders.
VIDEO - Dan Rather: Trump 'Has the Strongest, the Most Powerful Platform for Propaganda That Humans Have Ever Had' | Breitbart
Mon, 18 Mar 2019 04:10
Sunday on CNN's ''Reliable Sources,'' former ''CBS Evening News'' anchor Dan Rather discussed President Donald Trump's ability to use all types of media in promoting his administration's message.
Rather called it the ''most powerful platform for propaganda'' in human history.
''[L]ook, we have to deal with reality,'' Rather said. ''This is a whole new age. And the president has the strongest, the most powerful platform for propaganda that humans have ever had. No president has ever had this kind of reach, the combination of television, radio, the internet, social media, tweets.''
Rather went on to take a shot at Trump for being ''anti-science'' and decried Trump's ''unrelenting'' use of social media.''With all respect, I don't think his age, 72, is an excuse for not keeping up,'' Rather added. ''He's basically anti-science. When you talk about what he says about climate change, that's in a wider context of actually this administration led by the president is downgrading science at the very time we need to be leaping forward, keeping up with science. They're cutting research and that sort of thing.''
''But, you know, with Twitter, much of the time, not all the time, much of the time, I sense the public has a sense that they're facing a manure spreader in a windstorm,'' he continued. ''It just keeps coming and coming and coming at you. It's ridiculous, but it's unrelenting. And he understands the value of that. But for the rest of us, and for the public at large, it's time to take a deep breath, say to yourself, stay steady. Keep in mind that this is a tremendous tool for propaganda. See it in that context and do the best we can.''(h/t RCP Video)
Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor
VIDEO - FBI director James Comey arrives in Queenstown for 'Government conference' - NZ Herald
Sun, 17 Mar 2019 20:27
FBI director James Comey has arrived in Queenstown for a 'top-secret' spy conference.
Comey, wearing sunglasses, a light blue shirt and chino pants, arrived on an FBI chartered Gulfstream Aerospace.
Comey was last in New Zealand in March 2016, when he met with Minister for the Government Communications and Security Bureau and Security Intelligence Service Chris Finlayson and Police Commissioner Mike Bush.
Before Comey's arrival, a CIA jet touched down on the tarmac at Queenstown Airport.
And, just like a scene out of an action flick, two security personnel stood guard as a number of men and women in suits exited the plane before being quickly ushered along the tarmac into waiting vehicles.
A quick Google search of the registration number on the white, Gulfstream Aerospace's tail revealed United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) owns the jet.
The Gulfstream has joined a second private jet at the airport, acting as added confirmation that the "Government conference" set to play out at luxury Millbrook Resort in Arrowtown in the coming week, is a meeting of spying network Five Eyes - the global alliance of the US, the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
A fleet of undercover police cars and a security vehicle drove onto the tarmac ahead of the jet arriving.
CIA director Mike Pompeo is among members from 15 agencies believed to be attending the conference and may well have been among those onboard the plane, which jetted in via Wellington.
Police and security have been scattered across the grounds of Millbrook Resort this weekend, keeping a close eye on the comings and goings.
Millbrook Resort manager Ross McLean confirmed on Saturday that a "Government conference" was taking place at the venue but denied to provide any specific details.
"Millbrook is who we are because we do not disclose any information about any guests whether VIPs or just any couple," McLean said.
McLean said important visitors typically enjoyed the fact that the resort was quite a "relaxed area", unlike the "hustle and bustle of Queenstown".
The Herald believes the conference will take place for a week starting on Monday.
A number of police officers roamed the resort grounds on Saturday morning, while security stood at a temporarily blocked internal road that runs down the side of the reception area.
Marked and undercover police cars were spotted at various locations around the property.
A spokeswoman for the Department of Internal Affairs told the Weekend Herald that they were not involved in the visit, which was just as much of a mystery to them as the public.
The spokeswoman said if the highly secretive visit involved a head of state or ex-head of state, the department would typically be involved with organising vehicles and security with police.
Prime Minister Bill English's office this week confirmed there would be not one, but a number of VIP visitors.
A group of about 18 police officers and security guards dresses in casual attire were spotted outside the reception area at Millbrook yesterday afternoon and locals reported seeing snipers and bodyguards in Arrowtown earlier in the week.
It is not known which government ministers are attending the Queenstown conference, however Minister for the Government Communications and Security Bureau (GCSB) and Security Intelligence Service (SIS) Chris Finlayson's is expected to make an appearance.
STORIES
Brenton Tarrant could avoid terror charges as murder could be easier to prove, legal experts say | Daily Mail Online
Thu, 21 Mar 2019 15:13
Accused Christchurch mosque shooter Brenton Tarrant could avoid terror charges amid fears the trial will allow him to 'espouse' his ideological views.
The suspected gunman was charged with one count of murder over the weekend, but authorities are now weighing up all options including charges under the Terrorism Suppression Act.
Legal experts, however, have warned that a trial on terrorism charges will pose more of a challenge for prosecutors, while also having unintended consequences for the families of the victims.
They would have to prove Tarrant intended to kill and terrorise a community based on political and ideological reason - as opposed to just murder.
Tarrant could now face multiple murder charges, according to experts.
Brenton Tarrant (pictured) has been charged with one initial count of murder over the mass shootings that killed 50 people in the southern city of Christchurch and faces life in prison
Tarrant was arrested on the sidewalk by two training police officers on Friday after he allegedly shot and killed 50 Muslim worshipers
'In my view, the elements are all made out, but to minimise the impact on victims, straight murder is easier to prove,' former Crown prosecutor Ross Burns told Stuff.
'And there's less scope [for the accused] to use a platform to espouse his ideological reasons.'
'You've got 50 people killed and probably ten times that number directly affected so it will be a long trial and will be unduly traumatic for everyone,' he added.
Burns previously led New Zealand's Operation 8 case, the only known case to use the Terrorism Suppression Act 2002 during the 2007 police raids trial.
The charges were later abandoned after it was ruled that evidence under that legislation could not be used and four people were convicted on firearm charges.
If tried under terror charges, Burns said Tarrant could use the trial as platform to tout his extremist views.
In his 74-page manifesto, Tarrant allegedly revealed his Neo-Nazi ideology and hatred for Muslims.
'If he's denied a platform, he's failed in his objective,' Burns said.
Alexander Gillespie, a law professor at Waikato University in New Zealand, said it's possible Tarrant will face multiple murder charges, 9news reported.
'There's a lot of debate on whether he should be charged under terrorism legislation or whether he should be charged under the Crimes Act for the simple act of murder - in many ways it's academic debate,' he said.
In New Zealand, being found guilty of murder usually comes with a minimum of ten years in jail before possible parole.
Legal experts have said the 28-year-old Australian's alleged crimes were so extreme they could warrant the heaviest sentence imposed by a judge in the South Pacific nation since the abolition of the death penalty in 1961.
A Muslim man kneels facing the Masjid Al Noor mosque surrounded by flowers and tributes to the victims
Young women weep as they hold each other for comfort during a students vigil near Al Noor mosque on Monday
Nearly three days since the horrific terror attack in Christchurch which left 50 worshippers dead, new details about the innocent victims are emerging
'He may be sentenced to imprisonment without parole. There is a very significant possibility,' criminal lawyer Simon Cullen told AFP, adding that such a sentence would be 'unprecedented'.
'This would seem to be... the type of situation that may well attract consideration of that type of sentence.'
The longest-ever murder sentence imposed in New Zealand was in 2001, when a judge sentenced William Bell to life imprisonment with a 30-year minimum term for a triple murder.
University of Auckland criminal procedure expert Bill Hodge said despite Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern labelling the massacre an act of terrorism, prosecutors may shy away from terror charges.
The Terrorism Suppression Act was only introduced in 2002, after the US 9/11 attacks and is untested in the courts.
'We haven't used our terrorism laws previously and the laws are designed to inhibit or prosecute those involved with groups and financing and publications and the like,' Hodge told AFP.
A woman is seen paying her respects to victims by floral tributes laid outside the mosque
'I'll kill as many invaders as I can': Christchurch 'copycat' threatens to murder Muslim worshippers at an Australian mosque
Kylie Stevens for Daily Mail Australia
A Christchurch 'copycat' has made a chilling post on social media threatening to kill worshippers at a mosque in regional Victoria.
Victoria Police has confirmed they are investigating a report of 'concerning' social media posts detailing plans to carry out a mass shooting at the Islamic Society of Geelong mosque.
The threats were made on Sunday, just hours after hundreds of worshippers and community members flocked to the mosque to pay their respects to the 50 people killed in New Zealand's Christchurch terrorist attack on Friday.
Imam Shaykh Mohammad Ramzan (second right) welcomed thousands at the Geelong mosque on Sunday, including federal Labor frontbencher Richard Marles (second left) and Labor federal member Libby Coker (right)
The anonymous post was directed at Geelong.
'Yes I am a copy cat I will be visiting the mosque and kill as many invaders as I can in the time I get I will then shoot myself in front of police,' the post stated.
Police attended the mosque on Sunday night and conducted checks. The area was deemed safe before before the mosque was closed for the evening shortly after 6.30pm.
An anonymous post directed at the mosque threatened to 'kill as many invaders as I can'
'Local police have reached out to leaders from within the mosque community and will also ensure an increased police presence in and around the area,' a Victoria Police spokeswoman told Daily Mail Australia.
'It is concerning that at times we see members of the community think they are entitled to use intimidation and or violence to express their views and are intolerant of communities.'
'As the investigation is ongoing it wouldn't be appropriate to comment further at this stage.'
The mosque represents more than 8,000 Muslim families in Geelong, according to its website.
'Our vision is to build a better community for all Australians through the empowerment of Muslim,' it states.
Victoria Police are investigating social media threats towards the Geelong mosque (pictured)
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UC Berkeley joins schools in college admissions scandal
Thu, 21 Mar 2019 15:08
Add the University of California at Berkeley to the list of elite colleges embroiled in the sweeping college admissions scandal after a former Canadian football player allegedly paid someone $200,000 to take the SATs for his sons, one of whom got into the school.
David Sidoo, who played for the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds and later the Canadian Football League, was busted March 8 on charges related to the scam, ABC affiliate KGO-TV reported.
His younger son, Jordan, attended UC Berkeley, according to the report.
Jordan Sidoo is listed on the roster for the 2015 rowing team at the school. His Linkedin page indicates that he graduated from the university last year, studied history and was on the varsity rowing team from 2014 to 2016.
He is currently pursuing his MBA at Southern New Hampshire University, which offers online degrees, according to the page.Sidoo's older son, Dylan, enrolled at Chapman University in Orange County.
Sidoo allegedly paid someone $200,000 to take the SAT for his sons in 2011 and 2012, according to court documents obtained by the station.
Sidoo is among 33 parents who have been charged with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud in the massive scam that has ensnared Stanford, Yale, Georgetown, Wake Forest and the University of Texas.
In a statement issued to KGO-TV, University of California president Janet Napolitano said she was ''deeply troubled and disappointed'' to learn that the widespread scam had reached his university.
''The allegations associated with UC, if proven true, are a disservice to the hardworking and accomplished students and alumni who have earned their place at the university and continue to make us proud,'' Napolitano said.
''Illegal, inappropriate and unethical means to gain admission, at the expense of deserving applicants, is antithetical to every aspect of our mission and values,'' she added.
''As a public institution '-- one of the most highly regarded in the world '-- we are dedicated to ensuring a level playing field for every applicant.''
Napolitano said the school would ''take swift and appropriate disciplinary actions to address misconduct once we have all the facts.''
Lori Loughlin's daughter Olivia Jade blames her parents for ruining her career | Daily Mail Online
Thu, 21 Mar 2019 15:05
Lori Loughlin's daughter Olivia Jade is reportedly furious with her parents after the Full House actress and her husband were charged in the college bribery scandal.
Sources say Olivia, 19, had begged her parents to let her focus on her career as a YouTube vlogger and Instagram influencer, but they pushed her to go to school.
Now, after being dropped by major brands including Sephora and TRESemme, Olivia believes 'they have ruined everything'.
Olivia has been well-known in the world of YouTube and beauty blogging for years. But last week she saw her name in national headlines for all the wrong reasons.
Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli were arrested for allegedly paying a $500,000 bribe to get Olivia and her older sister Isabella, 20, into USC.
Lori Loughlin's daughter Olivia Jade is reportedly furious with her parents after the Full House actress and her husband were charged in the college bribery scandal
Sources say Olivia, 19, (pictured with sister Isabella) had begged her parents to let her focus on her career as a YouTube vlogger and Instagram influencer, but they pushed her to go to school
'Bella and Olivia are suffering in their own ways from the fallout of their parents' decisions,' a source told Entertainment Tonight this week.
While Bella was 'far more invested in college and would have love to have completed USC', Olivia is devastated over the damage that has been done to her brand.
'[Olivia] is really angry with her parents because she told them she did not want to go to college and she was pushed,' the source added.
'She has been passionate about her career and wanted to work and was doing well, but that wasn't enough. Her parents said she would have to juggle college and her career.'
'Now she's devastated because everything she built imploded before her eyes. She feels they ruined everything.'
The source said that Olivia is so embarrassed by the scandal that she 'doesn't even want to go out'.
Olivia was well-known in the world of YouTube and beauty blogging. But last week she saw her name in the headlines for all the wrong reasons after her parents were charged
While Bella was 'far more invested in college and would have love to have completed USC', Olivia is devastated over the damage that has been done to her brand. The girls are pictured here in December
'Bella and Olivia have a very tight-knit group of friends who have been there to support them,' they continued. 'They've needed that support because they're being attacked at every turn.'
Since the scandal came to light, a number of Olivia's past YouTube videos have resurfaced.
In one video filmed on her last day of high school, Olivia admitted that she rarely attended classes.
'I'm, like, excited to go prank my, like, do the school prank, but I'm also literally never at school that I think my class doesn't even '-- and maybe they forget I go there!' the teen said, before claiming she was 'just kidding!'
Olivia also previously came under fire for admitting in her vlogs that she didn't really care about college 'but wanted to experience game days and partying'.
And, in a podcast interview, Olivia revealed that she hadn't initially wanted to go to college but that her parents 'really wanted me to go'.
Olivia has since lost lucrative partnership deals with both Seophora and TRESemme
A source said that Olivia is 'devastated because everything she built imploded before her eyes'. She blames her parents for ruining 'everything'
Court documents released last week also alleged that Olivia hadn't even written her own college applications.
Loughlin and Gianulli emailed William Rick Singer, the mastermind behind the college bribery scandal, about Olivia and Isabella's college prospects in 2016.
They allegedly paid $500,000 total in bribes to have their daughters admitted to USC as crew recruits with the help of Singer and USC senior associate athletic director Dr Donna Heinel.
Isabella received her admission letter the following March. The same exact process was then repeated with Olivia, documents claim.
Problems arose however when Olivia's guidance counselor became curious as to how she managed to receive admission based on her involvement in crew when she didn't even row.
At the same time, Loughlin complained that her daughter was having difficulty filling out her other college applications, prompting Singer to ask an employee to take care of the task.
Loughlin's husband Giannulli (left) was released on bond on Tuesday as was Desperate Housewives star Felicity Huffman (right), who has also been implicated in the scandal
This was done so as not to draw attention to the fact that it was already confirmed Olivia had received conditional admission to USC.
On November 2017, Singer emailed Loughlin and Giannulli with an email bearing the subject line 'CONGRATULATIONS'. Attached was Olivia's conditional acceptance letter to USC.
'This is wonderful news,' Loughlin responded, adding a high-five emoji.
It was revealed last week that both Olivia and Isabella have since decided to withdraw from the university.
Sources told TMZ that the girls were afraid they would be 'viciously bullied' if they returned to the Los Angeles school.
The couple emailed Singer in 2016 about their daughters college prospects, stating that they wanted to do the necessary work to see that the girls got into USC as opposed to ASU
This same exact process was then repeated with their younger daughter, Olivia Jade
Loughlin complained that her daughter was having difficulty filling out her other college applications, prompting Singer to ask an employee to take care of that task
Loughlin and Giannulli are reportedly in full support of the girls' decision to withdraw. They have no immediate plans to try and enroll in another school.
The fallout has been swift for Loughlin as well.
Both she and Giannulli had to each post $1million bond and put their Bel Air home up as collateral after they were charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud last week.
Loughlin was then dropped from the final season of Fuller House, where she had reprised her role as Aunt Becky, as well as from the Hallmark Channel.
The former Full House star had been among the channel's so-called 'Christmas Queens', starring in a slew of Hallmark's popular holiday movies.
Loughlin also starred in the ongoing Garage Sale Mystery films, as well as the Hallmark Channel's original series When Calls The Heart.
UCLA student who 'had never competitive played soccer' named on elite team as parents charged | Daily Mail Online
Thu, 21 Mar 2019 14:33
Lauren Isackson, pictured on the UCLA 2017 women's soccer roster, had reportedly never played competitive soccer before being named on the elite team
A student who had reportedly never played competitive soccer was named on UCLA's elite team alongside members of the U.S. and Canadian national side after her parents allegedly transferred Facebook shares worth $250,000 to get her into the school.
Lauren Isackson was given jersey No. 41 in 2017 on a team of all star players and required to stay on the side for at least one year, an indictment says.
But she made no appearances and played zero minutes during the season after her side included five U.S. youth national players and a member of the Canadian national team, Kennedy Faulknor. Her side finished second to national champions Stanford in the 2017 season.
Prosecutors say her parents, Davina, 55, and Bruce, 61, the president of a real estate development firm, spent more than $600,000 to get Lauren and her sister into UCLA and USC with fake athletic credentials.
The California couple are said to have handed over 2,000 Facebook shares - worth around $251,249 - and donations to college admissions scandal mastermind Rick Singer.
While her teammates at UCLA were playing for their state or national teams Lauren's roster lists her as team captain for Woodside Soccer Club from 2012-16.
Prosecutors say she did not even play competitive soccer - for a team or in a league - before joining UCLA.
Lauren Isackson was given jersey No. 41 in 2017 on a team of all star players
Davina Isackson with daughters Lauren and Audrey Isackson. Prosecutors say Davina and Bruce Isackson, 61, spent more than $600,000 to get their daughters into UCLA and USC with fake athletic credentials
The California couple, pictured with their children, are said to have handed over 2,000 Facebook shares and donations to college admissions scandal mastermind Rick Singer
A spokesman for UCLA told The Los Angeles Times all teams at the school 'include student-athletes with varying levels of athletic achievements'.
They added: 'Some team members are on the roster for the purposes of preparing the team for competition, and may not play in games.'
Jorge Salcedo, UCLA's men's soccer coach, is said to have been placed on leave in light of the allegations. He has been indicted on charges of conspiracy to commit racketeering.
A profile of Isackson on The Key Athletics Club, one of Singer's websites, says: 'Lauren Isackson is a standout high school senior at Woodside Priory Catholic School in Portola Valley, California.
'Whether on the track or on the field, Lauren is known for her speed. She is captain of her local club soccer team, and a solid middle-distance runner for Priory.'
An affidavit shows Davina thanked Singer 'from the bottom of my heart and soul for your persistence, creativity and commitment towards helping [our daughter]'.
A month later the 2,150 shares of Facebook stock worth about $251,249 were allegedly sent to the Key Worldwide Foundation, the nonprofit used by Singer. The money was said to be helping 'disadvantaged youth'.
Their second daughter, an equestrian, was reportedly listed as a rowing recruit. Following her test in 2017 they are accused of transferring a further $101,272 to Singer's foundation, the affidavit says.
Federal prosecutors say more stocks - valued at nearly $250,000 - were then allegedly sent to Singer's foundation.
The couple, who live in Hillsborough, are said to have planned to help their third child into college before the alleged scheme crumbled.
Davina, 55, appeared at Moakley Federal Courthouse where she was told to not discuss the case with her family unless an attorney is present
Isackson was released on $1 million bond and ordered to surrender her passport. She refused to speak to reporters as she left court
Singer is alleged to have called the couple to make the arrangements while his phone was wiretapped by the FBI.
Court documents say they spoke of their concerns about the alleged scheme becoming public.
According to the affidavit Bruce Isackson was concerned about the alleged payments becoming 'a front page story'.
Court documents show he said: 'You know, I am so paranoid about this [expletive] thing you were talking about on the phone.
'I mean, I can't imagine they'd go to the trouble of tapping my phone '-- but would they tap someone like your phones?
'The embarrassment to everyone in the communities. Oh my God, it would just be '-- Yeah. Ugh.'
According to court documents, Bruce told Singer: 'I think we'll definitely pay cash this time', with regards to their son's admission to college.
Davina, 55, appeared at Moakley Federal Courthouse where she was told to not discuss the case with her family unless an attorney is present. She was released on $1 million bond and ordered to surrender her passport.
Judge Jennifer C. Boal warned her there is to be 'no discussion of the substance of the case with family members outside of counsel'.
She did not enter a plea and refused to speak with reporters as she walked out of court flanked by her attorneys.
Both are charged with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and face up to 20 years in federal prison.
Bruce is due to appear in court in Boston next week.
An attorney for the Isacksons declined to comment to The Los Angeles Times.
Actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin have both been charged over the scheme
William 'Rick' Singer leaves Boston Federal Court after being charged with racketeering conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy, conspiracy to defraud the United States, and obstruction of justice earlier this month
Rick Singer, 58, pleaded guilty in Boston federal court to running the largest college admissions fraud scam in U.S. history through his small college preparation company in Newport Beach.
Over the course of seven years, Singer is estimated to have taken a whopping $25million from wealthy parents to get their kids into elite schools by cheating and bribery.
Some 50 people including prominent executives, Hollywood actors and college coaches have been charged for roles in the scheme which saw phony test-takers secure clients' children spots at elite universities including Yale, Georgetown and Stanford.
Hollywood actress Lori Loughlin was dropped by the company that owns the Hallmark cable channel and LVMH's Sephora beauty chain ended a sponsorship deal with her daughter, Olivia, as a result of the charge. Loughlin's husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, has also been charged.
Desperate Housewives actor Felicity Huffman was also charged in the scheme. The 56-year-old Desperate Housewives actress deleted her social media accounts on Friday, and pulled down her parenting website, What The Flicka.
Woodstock 50 Lineup Includes The Killers, Jay-Z, Miley Cyrus
Thu, 21 Mar 2019 14:32
Image: GettyI've been wondering what Woodstock's 50th anniversary festival might look like since news broke in December that one was in the works for this summer. On Tuesday, organizers finally announced the lineup, and it is... not what I expected.
Indeed, Woodstock 50'--planned for August 16, 17, and 18 in Watkins Glen, New York location'--seems less invested in spreading the message of peace and love and more invested in cramming every single major musical act and Imagine Dragons onto one poster. Miley is playing? And also Maggie Rogers? And Chance the Rapper? And Halsey? And Jay-Z? And Santana? Santana's coming back to Woodstock?
Hm.
As a festival on the whole, I don't have any problem with this lineup, and I just saw that Janelle Mone and Boygenius are on the roster for Sunday, so now I must set an alert for ticket sales. The 1999's Woodstock had Korn and Dave Matthews Band (in addition to quite a few reported incidents of sexual assault), so this is a major upgrade.
But it does seem more like a standard corporate Coachella-type situation than the original Woodstock's intended Summer of Love free-for-all, which probably captures the spirit of 2019 just right. Can't wait to see the merch! $50 Woodstock 50 commemorative S'well bottles, anyone?
It's also noteworthy that this is but one of two Woodstock concerts planned for this summer'--there will also be an anniversary celebration at Woodstock's original site in Bethel Woods, New York sometime in August, though no lineup or specific date has been announced yet.
New Zealand Police Listed Wrong Person as Killed in Mosque Shooting - The New York Times
Thu, 21 Mar 2019 14:10
Asia Pacific | New Zealand Police Listed Wrong Person as Killed in Mosque Shooting Image A police officer near Al Noor Mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, on Tuesday. Credit Credit Adam Dean for The New York Times CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand '-- The suspected gunman in last week's attack on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, was charged with murder for the death of one victim '-- but the police announced on Thursday that that supposed victim was in fact alive.
A police spokesman said that the charge sheet would be corrected, with a new name, and legal experts said the mistake would not impede prosecution in the mass shooting that left 50 people dead.
''In our system there is a provision to amend the charge at any time, and the issue is whether the amendment is in the interest of justice,'' said Jonathan Eaton, a lawyer and former prosecutor specializing in criminal law. ''I will imagine there will be a fairly hasty effort to amend that charging document.''
The names of the person incorrectly included on the charge sheet '-- and the one being added '-- are both subject to a suppression order by Judge Paul Kellar.
Judge Kellar ruled on Saturday during the first court appearance of the suspect, Brenton H. Tarrant, that the person he was said to have killed should temporarily not be publicly identified to avoid causing harm to the person's family.
The police said they had apologized to the person they named in error, but they did not respond to requests for further details.
The mistake was uncovered when reporters noticed a discrepancy between the police's official list of names, which was released on Thursday, and the names identified by victims and other sources. Radio New Zealand, which first reported the police's mistake, counted 51 names when the police insisted that there were 50.
Mr. Eaton said it was embarrassing but perhaps understandable for a police force overwhelmed by a crime like nothing it had ever seen.
''When you're dealing with something for which there is no established response, which you've never experienced before, then things are going to be thrown up that you're going to have to learn from,'' he said. ''There are mistakes made and learnings for sure.''
New Paid Apple News Service Said to Feature Wall Street Journal - The New York Times
Thu, 21 Mar 2019 13:52
Technology | New Paid Apple News Service Said to Feature Wall Street Journal Image The Wall Street Journal plans to join a new subscription news service run by Apple, even as some other major publishers balked at the terms, two people familiar with the plans said. Credit Credit Waring Abbott/Getty Images SAN FRANCISCO '-- The Wall Street Journal plans to join a new paid subscription news service run by Apple, according to two people familiar with the plans, as other publishers chafe at the terms that the Silicon Valley company is demanding of its partners.
Other major publishers, including The New York Times and The Washington Post, have opted out of joining the subscription service, said the people, who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the plans.
Apple and The Wall Street Journal plan to announce the deal Monday at a media event at Apple's headquarters in Cupertino, Calif. The event is intended to draw attention to the company's bet on news and entertainment, including a streaming service that will put Apple in direct competition with Netflix, Amazon and HBO.
The service, described by some as a ''Netflix for news,'' will offer access to a new paid tier of the Apple News app. Through that tier, readers will be able to consume articles from hundreds of participating magazines and news outlets. The app's free tier will still let people read a smattering of select articles from a wide variety of publishers.
To persuade publishers to join the paid service, Apple executives have said the scale of Apple News, which is installed on every iPhone sold to consumers, could introduce millions of new customers to their content.
But the most recent terms that Apple is offering to publishers ask for a cut of roughly half of the subscription revenue involved in the service, the people said. Apple has also asked publishers to give unlimited access to all their content, which has caused concern among potential partners, they said. A subscription is expected to cost $10 a month.
The deal's terms have caused some publishers to recoil, as a 50 percent cut is higher than the 30 percent that Apple usually takes from apps and subscriptions sold through its App Store. Publishers are also concerned that they won't have access to important data about the consumers '-- credit cards, email addresses and other subscriber information '-- as part of the deal.
Representatives from Apple, The Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post declined to comment. Some deal terms were previously reported by Recode and The Wall Street Journal.
As sales of Apple's marquee product, the iPhone, start to slow, the company is expanding into different software-based businesses, which typically have higher profit margins and do not rely on supply chains and manufacturing.
Publishers have also been seeking to expand beyond their core subscriber bases, finding new audiences across nontraditional platforms and striking deals with tech companies. Apple has teamed up with news organizations on its Apple News product for years, offering select content to consumers for free.
But publishers have grown wary of some partnerships in recent years, as past relationships with companies like Facebook, Medium and others have soured. In the past, Facebook has inked deals with publishers to fund or support new initiatives, only to quickly change plans and yank support from one year to the next.
Follow Mike Isaac on Twitter: @MikeIsaac.
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Kale is now one of the most pesticide-contaminated vegetables
Thu, 21 Mar 2019 13:43
Shawna Lemay | Moment Open | Getty Images
Often touted for being highly nutritious, kale has joined the list of 11 other fruits and vegetables known to be "dirty," according to an analysis by the Environmental Working Group.
The watchdog group publishes its "Dirty Dozen" list annually, in which it ranks the 12 produce items that contain the highest amount of pesticide residues. The group analyzes data from the Department of Agriculture's regular produce testing to determine the list.
Ranked alongside kale on the list are strawberries, spinach, nectarines, apples, grapes, peaches, cherries, pears, tomatoes, celery and potatoes.
The last time kale was included in the USDA's produce tests was 2009 and it ranked eighth on the Dirty Dozen list.
"We were surprised kale had so many pesticides on it, but the test results were unequivocal," said EWG Toxicologist Alexis Temkin in a release.
More than 92 percent of kale had residue from at least two pesticides after washing and peeling the appropriate vegetables, according to the report. Some had up to 18. Almost 60 percent of the kale samples showed residual Dacthal, a pesticide that is known as a possible human carcinogen.
Pesticides help protect crops against insects, weeds and infections, but research has shown a correlation between chemicals and health complications.
The group releases its "Clean Fifteen" list as well, highlighting the 15 produce items with the least amount of pesticide residue detected. It includes avocados, sweet corn, pineapples, frozen sweet peas, onions, papayas, eggplants, asparagus, kiwis, cabbages, cauliflower, cantaloupes, broccoli, mushrooms and honeydew melons.
Consumers should buy organic produce whenever possible to avoid pesticides, according to the report. But that shouldn't deter people who can't afford it from eating these items.
"The health benefits of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables outweigh the risks of pesticide exposure," EWG Research Analyst Carla Burns said in a release.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez booted from Justice Democrats board
Thu, 21 Mar 2019 13:29
March 20, 2019 | 1:55pm | Updated March 20, 2019 | 5:30pm
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her chief of staff have been removed from the board of the Justice Democrats PAC, according to a report.
The Democrat from New York and Saikat Chakrabarti, who was her campaign chairman, were de-listed last Friday, the Daily Caller reported on Monday, citing documents from the Washington, DC, Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs.
The action was taken because the two never told the Federal Election Commission that they controlled the PAC while it was simultaneously supporting her primary campaign, the report said.
The two joined the board in December 2017 and continued to hold ''legal control over the entity'' leading up to her June 2018 Democratic primary win over incumbent Rep. Joe Crowley, the report said.
Ocasio-Cortez was removed from the board the same month but was listed as an ''entity governor'' until March 14, the Daily Caller reported, citing corporate filings.
But Corbin Trent, the congresswoman's spokesman, said she left the PAC as soon as she beat Crowley.
''She left the board, I think it was the day after the primary. They just filed the paperwork in D.C. (this month) So there was a change there,'' he said.
He also said Ocasio-Cortez sent an email to the Justice Democrats' lawyer announcing her resignation.
''We all resigned because we thought it was the right thing to do, not because it was the law,'' Trent told The Post.
120 people killed, 140 homes destroyed by Nigeria Fulani since February | The Christian Post
Thu, 21 Mar 2019 12:09
By
Samuel Smith
, CP Reporter
| Friday, March 15, 2019 People react as a truck carries the coffins of people killed by the Fulani herdsmen, in Makurdi, Nigeria January 11, 2018. | (Photo: REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde)At least 120 people have been killed by alleged Fulani militant attacks since February in the Kaduna state of Nigeria with the latest attacks on Monday resulting in the deaths of over 50 and the destruction of more than 140 homes.
The governor of Kaduna state, Nasir El-Rufai, imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew this week in the troubled Kajuru Local Government Area as thousands have been displaced from their homes by violence caused by militant Fulani herdsmen.
The curfew comes as there have been a string of recent attacks against communities within the predominantly Christian Adara chiefdom of southern Kaduna.
On Monday, 52 people were killed, dozens injured and around 143 homes were destroyed in attacks on the villages of Inkirimi, Dogonnoma and Ungwan Gora in the Maro district of the Kajuru Local Government Area, according to Christian Solidarity Worldwide.
The Monday attack followed an attack on Sunday in the Ungwan Barde village in Kajuru in which 17 people were killed and dozens of homes were burned.
In late February, there was another attack in Maro that resulted in the deaths of about 38 Christians and saw homes and a church burned. On Feb. 10, 10 people were killed in an attack in Ungwan Barde as six others were killed in isolated attacks the day before.
CSW, a United Nations-recognized NGO that advocates for persecuted Christians worldwide, reports that victims in the attacks on Monday included women and children. Survivors told the nonprofit that the attackers were separated into three groups. One group shot and killed people, the second set fire to buildings, and a third ran after people fleeing the scene.
According to CSW, one victim of the attack who suffered a deep cut delivered a stillborn baby shortly after.
''We are deeply disturbed by the resurgence of militia attacks in southern Kaduna, and extend our deepest condolences to the Adara people,'' CSW Chief Executive Mervyn Thomas said in a statement.
CSW believes that the recent violence could have been incited by Kaduna Governor el Rufai's claims on the eve of Nigeria's presidential elections that 66, mostly Fulani, people were killed in Kajuru.
The claim was refuted by the Nigerian Emergency Management Agency. The Kaduna State Chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria accused the governor of delivering false information.
Nonetheless, Rufai didn't back down from the claim and later raised the death toll to 133 killed, according to CSW. Rufai also ordered the arrest of nine Adara elders and village chiefs.
The Adara community is still reeling from the death of Adara chiefdom leader Raphael Maiwada Galadima, a Catholic man who was abducted and killed last October.
In December 2018, the Kaduna government divided the Adara chiefdom into two emirates.
''We echo the appeal for the immediate and unconditional release of the Adara elders, who have been detained arbitrarily. In the interests of justice and equity, we call for the restoration of the Adara Chiefdom,'' Thomas said. ''[We] urge all who are in positions of authority to refrain from making unsubstantiated accusations capable of inciting violence and damaging fragile community relations even further.''
Nigeria ranks as the 12th worst country in the world when it comes to Christian persecution, according to Open Doors USA's 2019 World Watch List.
In 2018 alone, thousands of Christians were killed by militant Fulani herdsmen, leaving some to say that genocide is occurring in the Middle Belt of Nigeria.
Kaduna state is not alone in suffering from Fulani violence as other states in the Middle Belt have faced it too.
On March 4, Fulani militants in the Benue state reportedly attacked three villages, killing 23 people with bullets and machetes, according to International Christian Concern.
CSW is calling on the Nigerian federal government to address the spike in violence in a ''decisive and unbiased manner.''
''The relentless death and destruction is a sad indictment of the continuing failure by both levels of government to fulfill the primary mandate of protecting all its citizens impartially,'' Thomas argued.
Follow Samuel Smith on Twitter: @IamSamSmith
or Facebook: SamuelSmithCP
Inclusive Merchandise Training - OB Vendor Version.pptx - Google Drive
Thu, 21 Mar 2019 11:45
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Real Collusion: Ukraine Launches Criminal Investigation Into Pro-Hillary Election Meddling | Zero Hedge
Thu, 21 Mar 2019 11:40
Ukraine's Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko has launched an investigation into the head of the Ukrainian National Anti-Corruption Bureau for allegedly attempting to help Hillary Clinton defeat Donald Trump during the 2016 US election by releasing damaging information about a "black ledger" of illegal business dealings by former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.
The Hill's John Solomon, Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko"Today we will launch a criminal investigation about this and we will give legal assessment of this information," Lutsenko said last week, according to The Hill.
Lutsenko is probing a claim from a member of the Ukrainian parliament that the director of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU), Artem Sytnyk, attempted to the benefit of the 2016 U.S. presidential election on behalf of Hillary Clinton.
A State Department spokesman told Hill.TV that officials aware of news reports regarding Sytnyk. -The Hill
"According to the member of parliament of Ukraine, he got the court decision that the NABU official conducted an illegal intrusion into the American election campaign," said Lutsenko, speaking with The Hill's John Solomon about the anti-corruption bureau chief, Artem Sytnyk.
"It means that we think Mr. Sytnyk, the NABU director, officially talked about criminal investigation with Mr. [Paul] Manafort, and at the same time, Mr. Sytnyk stressed that in such a way, he wanted to assist the campaign of Ms. Clinton," Lutsenko continued.
Solomon asked Lutsenko about reports that a member of Ukraine's parliament obtained a tape of the current head of the NABU saying that he was attempting to help Clinton win the 2016 presidential election, as well as connections that helped release the black-ledger files that exposed Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort's wrongdoing in Ukraine.
"This member of parliament even attached the audio tape where several men, one of which had a voice similar to the voice of Mr. Sytnyk, discussed the matter." -The Hill
What The Hill doesn't mention is that Sytnyk released Manafort's Black Book with Ukrainian lawmaker Serhiy Leshchenko - discussed in great length by former Breitbart investigator Lee Stranahan, who has been closely monitoring this case.
Serhiy Leshchenko[T]he main spokesman for these accusations was Serhiy Leshchenko, a Ukrainian politician and journalist who works closely with both top Hillary Clinton donors George Soros and Victor Pinchuk, as well as to the US Embassy in Kyiv.
...
James Comey should be asked about this source that Leshchenko would not identify. Was the source someone connected to US government, either the State Department or the Department of Justice?
The New York Times should also explain why they didn't mention that Leshchenko had direct connections to two of Hillary Clinton biggest financial backers. Victor Pinchuk, the largest donor to the Clinton Foundation at a staggering $8.6 million also happened to have paid for Leshchenko's expenses to go to international conferences. George Soros, whose also founded the International Renaissance Foundationthat worked closely with Hillary Clinton's State Department in Ukraine, also contributed at least $8 million to Hillary affiliated super PACs in the 2016 campaign cycle. -Lee Stranahan via Medium
Meanwhile, according to former Fusion GPS contractor Nellie Ohr, Leshchenko was a source for opposition research firm Fusion GPS, which commissioned the infamous Trump-Russia dossier.
Nellie Ohr, a former contractor for the Washington, D.C.-based Fusion GPS, testified on Oct. 19 that Serhiy Leshchenko, a former investigative journalist turned Ukrainian lawmaker, was a source for Fusion GPS during the 2016 campaign.
''I recall '... they were mentioning someone named Serhiy Leshchenko, a Ukrainian,'' Ohr said when asked who Fusion GPS's sources were, according to portions of Ohr's testimony confirmed by The Daily Caller News Foundation. -Daily Caller
Also absent from The Hill report is the fact that Leshchenko was convicted in December by a Kiev court of interfering in the 2016 US election.
A Kyiv court said that a Ukrainian lawmaker and a top anticorruption official's decision in 2016 to publish documents linked to President Donald Trump's then-campaign chairman amounted to interference in the U.S. presidential election.
The December 11 finding came in response to a complaint filed by another Ukrainian lawmaker, who alleged that Serhiy Leshchenko and Artem Sytnyk illegally released the documents in August 2016, showing payments by a Ukrainian political party to Trump's then-campaign chairman, Paul Manafort.
The documents, excerpts from a secret ledger of payments by the Party of Regions, led to Manafort being fired by Trump's election campaign.
The Kyiv court said that the documents published by Leshchenko and Sytnyk were part of an ongoing pretrial investigation in Ukraine into the operations of the pro-Russian Party of Regions. The party's head had been President Viktor Yanukovych until he fled the country amid mass protests two years earlier.
-RadioFreeEurope/Radio Liberty (funded by the US govt.).
So while Lutsenko - Solomon's guest and Ukrainian Prosecutor is currently going after Artem Sytnyk, it should be noted that Leshchenko was already found to have meddled in the 2016 US election.
Watch:
Meanwhile, you can also check out Stranahan's take on Leshchenko being left out of the loop.
#LieGate ALERT for #MAGA learn wut @FoxNews Dan Bongino @JSolomonReports @SaraACarter are HIDING from you. https://t.co/H9BdCRSRdD
'-- ð'>>ð'šŽð'šŽ ð'š‚ð'š'ð'š›ð'šŠð'š—ð'šŠð'š‘ð'šŠð'š— '" (@stranahan) March 20, 2019
What Is "The Owl of Minerva"? | Reference.com
Thu, 21 Mar 2019 11:24
The term, ''The owl of Minerva'' is part of a metaphor for philosophy that originated in the book,''The Philosophy of Right'' by G.W.F. Hegel. It refers to the Roman goddess of wisdom, Minerva, who was the equivalent of the Greek goddess Athena. Minerva is traditionally depicted with her sacred owl, symbolizing her connection to wisdom.
In the preface to the book, Hegel stated: "The owl of Minerva spreads its wings only with the falling of the dusk,'' meaning that philosophy comes to understand a historical condition just as it passes away. Minerva was the Roman goddess of wisdom and music, poetry, medicine, commerce, weaving, crafts and magic.
New Zealand Police Listed Wrong Person as Killed in Mosque Shooting - The New York Times
Thu, 21 Mar 2019 11:10
Asia Pacific | New Zealand Police Listed Wrong Person as Killed in Mosque Shooting Image A police officer near Al Noor Mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, on Tuesday. Credit Credit Adam Dean for The New York Times CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand '-- The suspected gunman in last week's attack on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, was charged with murder for the death of one victim '-- but the police announced on Thursday that that supposed victim was in fact alive.
A police spokesman said that the charge sheet would be corrected, with a new name, and legal experts said the mistake would not impede prosecution in the mass shooting that left 50 people dead.
''In our system there is a provision to amend the charge at any time, and the issue is whether the amendment is in the interest of justice,'' said Jonathan Eaton, a lawyer and former prosecutor specializing in criminal law. ''I will imagine there will be a fairly hasty effort to amend that charging document.''
The names of the person incorrectly included on the charge sheet '-- and the one being added '-- are both subject to a suppression order by Judge Paul Kellar.
Judge Kellar ruled on Saturday during the first court appearance of the suspect, Brenton H. Tarrant, that the person he was said to have killed should temporarily not be publicly identified to avoid causing harm to the person's family.
The police said they had apologized to the person they named in error, but they did not respond to requests for further details.
The mistake was uncovered when reporters noticed a discrepancy between the police's official list of names, which was released on Thursday, and the names identified by victims and other sources. Radio New Zealand, which first reported the police's mistake, counted 51 names when the police insisted that there were 50.
Mr. Eaton said it was embarrassing but perhaps understandable for a police force overwhelmed by a crime like nothing it had ever seen.
''When you're dealing with something for which there is no established response, which you've never experienced before, then things are going to be thrown up that you're going to have to learn from,'' he said. ''There are mistakes made and learnings for sure.''
Dutch populist vote surge costs PM Rutte senate majority - BBC News
Thu, 21 Mar 2019 11:00
Image copyright EPA Image caption Thierry Baudet is a critic of the EU and of the Netherlands' immigration policies The governing centre-right coalition in the Netherlands has lost its senate majority after a populist party surged in provincial elections.
The anti-immigration Forum for Democracy is set to win most votes and have as many seats in the upper house as Prime Minister Mark Rutte's party.
The election came two days after a suspected terror attack in Utrecht.
Addressing supporters, party leader Thierry Baudet bitterly criticised Mr Rutte's immigration policies.
"Successive Rutte governments have left our borders wide open, letting in hundreds of thousands of people with cultures completely different to ours," he told the cheering crowd.
Mr Baudet, who was criticised for continuing to campaign after Monday's shooting on a tram, said Dutch people were being "destroyed by the people who are supposed to be protecting us".
Analysts say he may team up with the anti-Islam Freedom Party, led by far-right politician Geert Wilders.
With about 94% of the vote counted, Forum for Democracy is believed to have won the most votes. Forum for Democracy had no seats in the current 75-seat upper house. It is now set to have 12.
Mr Rutte will now need the support of other parties beyond his own coalition to pass legislation. The 38 seats previously held by his coalition will now fall to 31.
Mr Rutte told his supporters they were "going to have to get to work".
"We have to talk with other parties so we can continue to lead this country well," he said.
While most politicians halted their campaigns in the immediate aftermath of Monday's attack on a tram in Utrecht, Mr Baudet continued and blamed it on the government's immigration policies.
Three people were killed and three others seriously wounded and the chief suspect, Turkish born Gokmen Tanis, remains in custody.
On Wednesday, prosecutors said a letter found in the gunman's getaway car was among the reasons why a terrorist motive was being considered.
No connection has so far been found between Mr Tanis and the victims of the attack.
5 things you should know about Gina Fiandaca - The Boston Globe
Thu, 21 Mar 2019 04:22
The city of Boston is planning major changes for its transportation department, including increased parking fines, the creation of a transit team to coordinate with the MBTA, and new investments in biking, walking, and bus infrastructure. The goal is to improve the overall transportation system, and find some solutions to one of the city's most perplexing problems: its ever-worsening traffic. Much of the expansion will be overseen by Boston Transportation Commissioner Gina Fiandaca. She spent two decades in the city's parking department before being appointed commissioner by Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh in 2015. Fiandaca, whose sister is WBZ-TV reporter Cheryl Fiandaca, says Boston is facing plenty of transportation challenges, but she sees an ''opportunity'' to solve them.
1. When she meets new people around Boston, her job title tends to get them talking.
''It's a great conversation starter, I can tell you that. It's all very personal and most folks have a very personal story to tell you about their parking experience or their travel experience in the city. People are very, very engaged in transportation.''
2. She's hesitant to talk much about possible policy changes being pushed by transit advocates. New bus lanes on city streets? ''We're definitely taking a look at where the high demand is.'' More changes to parking meters, after testing higher prices in the Seaport and Back Bay? The city will be ''releasing a report.'' How about charging for residential parking permits, an idea gaining traction in the city council? ''We'll be taking a look at parking policies.'' But she speaks more definitively about the idea of tolling cars coming into the city '-- she's not quite on board with it.
''We need to address some of the deficiencies in our transportation network first.''
3. She drives some days and rides the Blue Line others, but her preferred transportation method is moving by foot, quickly, for miles at a time. She's planning to run in the Boston Marathon on Monday, which would be her 16th Boston run, and her 41st marathon overall. She's also run a handful of ultra-marathons, which span 50 miles.
''I probably put more miles on my sneakers than I do my car. It's the first thing I do when I go somewhere else. It's a great way to see any city. A lot of times folks say they'll like a sign at a crosswalk or another roadway enhancement. So sometimes I'll put on my running shoes and go check out the location.''
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4. City parking officials try to show some leniency to drivers who get tickets, depending on the circumstances.
''On the parking side of the house, there have been some really interesting pleas from folks to have parking tickets dismissed. They can be quite creative. In one case, an individual wrote into us that he got a parking ticket while he was delivering soup for his sick girlfriend. He went into great detail about how he stopped the car, ran up to give her the soup, came back down, ran to get her flowers. It was such a touching story. I'm not sure how it all worked out.''
5. Fiandaca has never used a space saver to reserve a spot for her car on the street after a snowstorm. But her reason for not putting lawn chairs or other objects by the curb is practical rather than philosophical.
''I have a driveway.''
Adam Vaccaro can be reached at adam.vaccaro@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @adamtvaccaro.
Boston's transportation head to depart for job in Austin - The Boston Globe
Thu, 21 Mar 2019 04:16
Gina N. Fiandaca, the city's head of transportation since 2015 and a lifelong resident of East Boston, is leaving Mayor Martin J. Walsh's administration for a post in Austin, Texas.
Fiandaca will serve as Austin's assistant city manager overseeing mobility, that city announced Tuesday.
The city of Austin described the mobility department '-- with a focus on ''where we want to go, when we want to get there, safely and cost-effectively'' '-- as a key part of the city's master plan initiative. Fiandaca had been part of the Boston 2030 planning project.
Austin City Manager Spencer Cronk said in a statement that Fiandaca is part of a new team that will be ''instrumental in helping us meet our goals in the areas of safety and mobility . . . they will be leading multi-talented teams working to tackle some of the top challenges facing Austin.''
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Her last day with the Walsh administration is April 19, and she is slated to start in Austin on May 6 with a salary of $235,019, according to the Austin American-Statesman. Fiandaca made $145,000 in Boston in 2018, according to city records.
Walsh said in a statement that Fiandaca ''has been an incredible steward in ensuring safe, efficient and equitable access on Boston's street system for all users of our roads. She has led the charge in bringing smart technology and innovative solutions to address our transportation challenges, while outlining a new vision for mobility through Go Boston 2030.''
''I wish her the best in her new role, and extend my sincerest gratitude to her for all she has been able to help us accomplish on behalf of our residents,'' the mayor said.
As commissioner of the Boston Transportation Department, a Cabinet-level position, Fiandaca ran a department of more than 400 people who oversaw the city's 850 miles of roadway. She also served as chair of the Boston Air Pollution Control Commission and was a member of the Boston Public Improvement Commission and the Boston Emergency Management Agency.
She received a bachelor's degree from Suffolk University and an MBA from Boston University.
Fiandaca is one of a few Cabinet-level executives to leave the administration in Walsh's second four-year term.
The city's former director of operations, Joseph Rull, left early in Walsh's tenure, and his former chief of staff, Daniel Koh, left for an unsuccessful run for Congress last year. Felix G. Arroyo, the former chief of health and human services, was fired amid allegations of sexual harassment in 2017. And Austin Blackmon, the former environmental chief, left last year for a job in the private sector in the San Francisco area.
With Fiandaca's departure, Walsh's office said that the mayor will review the structure of the transportation department, which falls under Chief of Streets Chris Osgood, who oversees public works as well as transportation.
Milton J. Valencia can be reached at milton.valencia@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @miltonvalencia.
National Popular Vote Interstate Compact - Wikipedia
Thu, 21 Mar 2019 04:08
The project has been supported by editorials in newspapers, including The New York Times,[12] the Chicago Sun-Times, the Los Angeles Times,[17]The Boston Globe,[18] and the Minneapolis Star Tribune,[19] arguing that the existing system discourages voter turnout and leaves emphasis on only a few states and a few issues, while a popular election would equalize voting power. Others have argued against it, including the Honolulu Star-Bulletin.[20] An article by Pete du Pont, a former Governor of Delaware, in the opinion section of The Wall Street Journal[21] has called the project an urban power grab that would shift politics entirely to urban issues in high population states and allow lower caliber candidates to run. A collection of readings pro and con has been assembled by the League of Women Voters.[22]
Some of the major points of debate are detailed below:
Campaign focus Edit Advertising and visits by major-party candidates during final stretch of 2004 presidential campaign (Sept. 26 '' Nov. 2, 2004)[23]Spending on advertising per capita: < $0.50 $0.50 '' 1.00 $1.00 '' 2.00 $2.00 '' 4.00 > $4.00Campaign visits per 1 million residents: No visits 0 '' 1.0 1.0 '' 3.0 3.0 '' 9.0 > 9.0 Under the current system, campaign focus '' in terms of spending, visits, and attention paid to regional or state issues '' is largely limited to the few swing states whose electoral outcomes are competitive, with politically "solid" states mostly ignored by the campaigns. The adjacent maps illustrate the amount spent on advertising and the number of visits to each state, relative to population, by the two major-party candidates in the last stretch of the 2004 presidential campaign. Supporters of the compact contend that a national popular vote would encourage candidates to campaign with equal effort for votes in competitive and non-competitive states alike.[24] Critics of the compact argue that candidates would have less incentive to focus on states with smaller populations or fewer urban areas, and would thus be less motivated to address rural issues.[21][25]
Close elections and election fraud Edit Opponents of the compact have raised concerns about election fraud. In his article, du Pont argues that in 2000, "Mr. Gore's 540,000-vote margin amounted to 3.1 votes in each of the country's 175,000 precincts. 'Finding' three votes per precinct in urban areas is not a difficult thing...". However, National Popular Vote has argued that the large pool of 122 million votes spread across the country would make a close or fraudulent outcome much less likely than under the current system, in which the national winner may be determined by an extremely small vote margin in any one of the fifty-one statewide tallies.[21][25]
The NPVIC does not include any provision for a nationwide recount in the event that the vote tally is in dispute. While each state has established rules governing recounts in the event of a close or disputed statewide tally,[26] it is possible for the national vote to be close without there being a close result in any one state. Proponents of the compact argue that the need for a recount would be less likely under a national popular vote than under the current electoral system.[27]
State power relative to population Edit State population per electoral vote in the 2012 presidential election
There is some debate over whether the Electoral College favors small- or large-population states. Those who argue that the College favors low-population states point out that such states have proportionally more electoral votes relative to their populations. This is because each state's electoral votes are equal to the sum of its seats in both houses of Congress: the proportional allocation of House seats has been distorted by the fixed size of the House since 1929 and the requirement that each state have at least one representative, and Senate seats are not proportional to population at all.[20][28]
In the most populous state, California, this results in an electoral clout 16% smaller than a purely proportional allocation would produce, whereas the least-populous states, with three electors, hold a voting power 143% greater than they would under purely proportional allocation. The NPVIC would give equal weight to each voter's ballot, regardless of what state they live in. Others, however, believe that since most states award electoral votes on a winner-takes-all system, the potential of populous states to shift greater numbers of electoral votes gives them more actual clout than would otherwise be expected.[29][30][31]
Suggested partisan advantage Edit Some supporters and opponents of the NPVIC have based their position at least in part on a perceived partisan advantage of the compact. Former Delaware Governor Pete du Pont, a Republican, has argued that the compact would be an "urban power grab" and benefit Democrats.[21] However, Saul Anuzis former chairman of the Michigan Republican Party wrote that Republicans "need" the compact, citing what he believes to be the center-right nature of the American electorate.[32]New Yorker essayist Hendrik Hertzberg maintains that the compact would benefit neither party, noting that historically both Republicans and Democrats have been successful in winning the popular vote in presidential elections.[33] In the last five presidential elections, simulations of close results with the electoral vote system have favored Democrats in three (2004, 2008, 2012)[34] and favored Republicans in two (2000, 2016).[note 1] In those same five presidential elections, Democrats won the popular vote in four.[35]
Negation of state-level majorities Edit Two governors who have vetoed NPVIC legislation, Arnold Schwarzenegger of California and Linda Lingle of Hawaii, both in 2007, objected to the compact on the grounds that it could require their states' electoral votes to be awarded to a candidate who did not win a majority in their state. (Both states have since enacted laws joining the compact.) Supporters of the compact counter that under a national popular vote system, state-level majorities are irrelevant; in any state, votes cast contribute to the nationwide tally, which determines the winner. The preferences of individual voters are thus paramount, while state-level majorities are an obsolete intermediary measure.[36][37][38]
Legality Edit Supporters believe the compact is legal under Article II of the U.S. Constitution, which establishes the plenary power of the states to appoint their electors in any manner they see fit: "Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress". Proponents of this position include law professor Jamie Raskin (now U.S. Congressman for Maryland's 8th congressional district), who, as a state legislator, co-sponsored the first NPVIC bill to be signed into law, and law professors Akhil Reed Amar and Vikram Amar, who were the compact's original proponents.[39]
A 2008 assessment by law school student David Gringer suggested that the NPVIC could potentially violate the Voting Rights Act of 1965, but the U.S. Department of Justice in 2012 precleared California's entry into the compact under Section 5 of the Act, concluding that the compact had no adverse impact on California's racial minority voters.[40][41] FairVote's Rob Richie says that the NPVIC "treats all voters equally".[42]
Gringer also assailed the NPVIC as "an end-run around the constitutional amendment process". Raskin has responded: "the term 'end run' has no known constitutional or legal meaning. More to the point, to the extent that we follow its meaning in real usage, the 'end run' is a perfectly lawful play."[43] Raskin argues that the adoption of the term "end run" by the compact's opponents is a tacit acknowledgment of the plan's legality.
Congressional approval Edit Ian Drake, an assistant professor of political science and another critic of the compact, has argued that the Constitution both requires and prohibits congressional approval of the compact. In Drake's view, only a constitutional amendment could make the compact valid.[44] Authors Michael Brody,[3] Jennifer Hendricks[45] and Bradley Turflinger[46] have examined the compact and concluded that the NPVIC, if successfully enacted, would pass constitutional muster. Brody has put forth a unique theory that the legality of the NPVIC could potentially hinge on the notion that faithless electors are not necessarily obligated to vote for the candidate to whom they are pledged.[3]
It is possible that Congress would have to approve the NPVIC before it could go into effect. Article I, Section 10 of the U.S. Constitution states that: "No State shall, without the Consent of Congress ... enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power." However, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in Virginia v. Tennessee, 148 U.S. 503 (1893), and in several more recent cases, that such consent is not necessary except where a compact encroaches on federal supremacy.[47]Every Vote Equal argues that the compact could never encroach upon federal power since the Constitution explicitly gives the power of casting electoral votes to the states, not the federal government. Derek Muller argues that the NPVIC would nonetheless affect the federal system in such a way that it would require congressional approval,[48] while Ian Drake argues that Congress is actually prohibited under the Constitution from granting approval to the NPVIC.[44] NPVIC supporters dispute this conclusion and state they plan to seek congressional approval if the compact is approved by a sufficient number of states.[49]
Proposals to abolish the Electoral College by amendment Edit Several proposals to abolish the Electoral College by constitutional amendment have been introduced in Congress over the decades. These efforts have, however, been hampered by the fact that a two-thirds vote in both the House and Senate are required to send an amendment to the states, where ratification by three-fourths of the State legislatures or by conventions in three fourths of the states is required for it to become operative.
Bayh''Celler Amendment Edit The amendment which came closest to success was the Bayh''Celler proposal during the 91st Congress (January 1969 '' January 1971). Introduced by Representative Emanuel Celler of New York as House Joint Resolution 681, it would have replaced the Electoral College with a simpler plurality system based on the national popular vote. Under this system, the pair of candidates who had received the highest number of votes would win the presidency and vice presidency respectively, providing they won at least 40% of the national popular vote. If no pair received 40% of the popular vote, a runoff election would be held, in which the choice of president and vice president would be made from the two pairs of persons who had received the highest numbers of votes in the first election. The word "pair" was defined as "two persons who shall have consented to the joining of their names as candidates for the offices of President and Vice President".[50] Celler's proposed constitutional amendment passed in the House of Representatives by a 338''70 vote in 1969, but was filibustered in the Senate, where it died.
Every Vote Counts Amendment Edit A joint resolution to amend the Constitution, providing for the popular election of the president and vice president under a new electoral system was introduced in 2005 by Representative Gene Green of Texas. In 2009, at the start of the 111th Congress, Green introduced H.J.Res. 9, commonly known as the Every Vote Counts Amendment. Two other joint resolutions were proposed in the 111th Congress to amend the Constitution to establish a national popular vote for the president and vice-president. Sponsored by Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. of Illinois, H.J.Res. 36 would require a majority vote for president. Sponsored by Senator Bill Nelson of Florida, S.J.Res. 4 would leave the method of election to an Act of Congress. Each of these measures died in committee.
Academic plan Edit In 2001, Northwestern University law professor Robert Bennett suggested a plan in an academic publication to implement a National Popular Vote through a mechanism that would embrace state legislatures' power to appoint electors, rather than resist that power.[51] By coordinating, states constituting a majority of the Electoral College could effectively implement a popular vote.
Law professors (and brothers) Akhil Reed Amar and Vikram Amar defended the constitutionality of such a plan.[52] They proposed that a group of states, through legislation, form a compact wherein they agree to give all of their electoral votes to the national popular vote winner, regardless of the balance of votes in their own state. These state laws would only be triggered once the compact included enough states to control a majority of the electoral college (270 votes), thus guaranteeing that the national popular vote winner would also win the electoral college.
The academic plan uses two constitutional features:
Presidential Electors Clause, Article 2, section 1, clause 2, which gives each state the power to determine the manner in which its electors are selected.Compact Clause, Article I, section 10, clause 3, under which it creates an enforceable compact.The Amar brothers noted that such a plan could be enacted by the passage of laws in as few as eleven states and would probably not require congressional approval, though this is not certain (see Debate above).
Organization and advocacy Edit In 2006, John Koza, a computer science professor at Stanford, was the lead author of Every Vote Equal, a book that makes a detailed case for his plan for an interstate compact to establish National Popular Vote.[53] (Koza had previously had exposure to interstate compacts from his work with state lottery commissions after inventing the scratch-off lottery ticket.)[53] That year, Koza, Barry Fadem and others formed National Popular Vote, a non-profit group to promote the legislation. The group has a transpartisan advisory committee including former US Senators Jake Garn, Birch Bayh, and David Durenberger, and former Representatives John Anderson, John Buchanan, and Tom Campbell.[54]
By the time of the group's opening news conference in February 2006, the proposed interstate compact had been introduced in the Illinois legislature.[55] With backing from National Popular Vote, the NPVIC legislation was introduced in five additional state legislatures in the 2006 session.[56][57][58] It passed in the Colorado Senate[59] and in both houses of the California legislature before being vetoed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.[60][61]
Adoption Edit In 2007, NPVIC legislation was introduced in 42 states. It was passed by at least one legislative chamber in Arkansas,[62]California,[36]Colorado,[63]Illinois,[64]New Jersey,[65]North Carolina,[66]Maryland, and Hawaii.[67] Maryland became the first state to join the compact when Governor Martin O'Malley signed it into law on April 10, 2007.[68]
NPVIC legislation has been introduced in all 50 states.[1] As of March 2019[update], the NPVIC has been adopted by twelve states and the District of Columbia. Together, they have 181 electoral votes, which is 7001336000000000000' 33.6% of the Electoral College and 7001670000000000000' 67.0% of the 270 votes needed to give the compact legal force.
The compact has also been passed by both houses in New Mexico and Delaware and is currently pending their Governor's signature.
States where only one chamber has passed the legislation are Arizona, Arkansas, Maine, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Oregon. Bills seeking to repeal the compact in Maryland, New Jersey, and Washington have failed.
TotalElectoralVotes ofAdoptiveStates
'06
'07
'08
'09
'10
'11
'12
'13
'14
'15
'16
'17
'18
MD
NJ
IL
HI
WA
MA
DC
VT
CA
RI
NY
CT
CO
'† 181 ( 7001670000000000000' 67% of 270)
Firstlegislativeintroduction
Reapportionmentbased on2010 Census
History of state enactment of the NPVIC as of March 2019
[update]Jurisdictions enacting law to join the National Popular Vote Interstate CompactNo.JurisdictionDate adoptedMethod of adoptionCurrentElectoralvotes (EV)1MarylandApr 10, 2007 Signed by Gov. Martin O'Malley[68]102New JerseyJan 13, 2008 Signed by Gov. Jon Corzine[69]143IllinoisApr 7, 2008 Signed by Gov. Rod Blagojevich[64]204HawaiiMay 1, 2008 Legislature overrode veto of Gov. Linda Lingle[70]45WashingtonApr 28, 2009 Signed by Gov. Christine Gregoire[71]126MassachusettsAug 4, 2010 Signed by Gov. Deval Patrick[72]117D.C.Dec 7, 2010 Signed by Mayor Adrian Fenty[73][note 2]38VermontApr 22, 2011 Signed by Gov. Peter Shumlin[74]39CaliforniaAug 8, 2011 Signed by Gov. Jerry Brown[75]5510Rhode IslandJul 12, 2013 Signed by Gov. Lincoln Chafee[76]411New YorkApr 15, 2014 Signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo[77]2912ConnecticutMay 24, 2018 Signed by Gov. Dannel Malloy[78]713ColoradoMarch 15, 2019 Signed by Gov. Jared Polis[79]9Total181Percentage of the 270 EVs needed 7001670000000000000' 67.0%For a detailed history of bills to adopt the compact, see
§ Bills.
Initiatives and referendums Edit In Maine, an initiative to join the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact began collecting signatures on April 17, 2016. It failed to collect enough signatures to appear on the ballot.[80][81] In Arizona, a similar initiative began collecting signatures on December 19, 2016, but failed to collect the required 150,642 signatures by July 5, 2018.[82][83] In Missouri, an initiative did not collect the required number of signatures before the deadline of May 6, 2018.[84][85]
Prospects Edit Psephologist Nate Silver noted in 2014 that all jurisdictions that had adopted the compact thus far were blue states, and that there were not enough electoral votes from the remaining blue states to achieve the required majority. He concluded that, as swing states are unlikely to support a compact that reduces their influence, the compact cannot succeed without adoption by some red states as well.
On March 15, 2019, Colorado became the first "purple" state to join the compact, though no Republican legislators supported its bill.[87]
European Commission - PRESS RELEASES - Press release - Statement by Commissioner Vestager on Commission decision to fine Google '‚¬ 1.49 billion for abusive practices in online advertising
Wed, 20 Mar 2019 20:25
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The Commission's 3rd decision against Google
Today, the Commission has decided to fine Google 1.49 billion euros, for breaking the EU antitrust rules. Google has engaged in illegal practices in search advertising brokering to cement its dominant market position.
This is the third antitrust fine that we've imposed on Google. In June 2017, we fined Google for its illegal behaviour in comparison shopping services. And in July 2018, we fined Google for its illegal behaviour relating to the Android mobile operating system and mobile apps and services.
I'd like to address what Google has been doing to comply with those two earlier decisions. But before I do that, let me start by explaining the decision we took today.
What is Google AdSense?
As you know, when you type a query into Google's search engine, you not only get the results, but also ads based on the words you typed in. In fact, that sort of advertising is by far Google's main source of revenue.
Google sells advertising on its own search page. Google also has a business of brokering advertising space on other websites that also include a search box like newspapers, or blogs, or travel sites. This allows the owners of those websites to make money in much the same way Google does on its own site - by selling space next to search results.
These other websites rely on an advertising broker. And Google is by far the biggest of those brokers, with its platform ''AdSense for Search''.
This market is important because it could serve as an entry point for competitors, including other search providers and online advertising platforms. By gaining a foothold in online advertising brokerage, they could grow their business and try to challenge Google in the general search advertising market.
Google is dominant when it comes to online advertising brokerage market, with market shares in Europe of above 70% since 2006. And there are high barriers to entry, which make it hard for new competitors to come in.
Despite that, competition should be possible in this market. Different websites can choose different brokers - and the same website could use more than one broker, to provide different ads. Indeed, our investigation showed that many websites had an interest to use more than one broker.
Today's decision is about how Google abused its dominance to stop websites using brokers other than the AdSense platform.
What did the Google Adsense investigation find?
For the most important websites - which Google calls ''Direct Partners'' - Google provides brokerage services through tailored agreements. Our investigation looked at more than 200 of these agreements. They contained at least one of three types of restrictions that harmed competition. These different types of restrictions often overlapped in time.
The first type is an exclusivity provision, which Google began including in its contracts from 2006. It meant that the most commercially important Direct Partners were prevented from sourcing search ads from Google's rivals, on any of their websites.
The second type is called ''Premium Placement''. Google began including it in its contracts from 2009 to replace over time the existing explicit exclusivity provisions.
These clauses didn't completely stop Direct Partners sourcing ads from Google's rivals. But they meant that Direct Partners had to take a minimum number of search ads from Google, and put them on the most visible - and most profitable - part of the page. So the best webpage space - where users were most likely to click - was still reserved for Google.
The third type of restriction even allowed Google to control how websites displayed the search ads of Google's rivals. Under this clause, website owners had to get written approval from Google before changing the way they displayed the search ads of Google's rivals '' right down to the size, colour and even font of those ads.
As in many digital markets, search advertising is a market with strong network effects. So the more users you have, the more valuable your service becomes to each of them. That means that to compete effectively, you need to build scale.
These restrictive clauses lead to a vicious circle. Google's rivals were unable to grow and compete. As a result, owners of websites had limited options for selling advertising space on these websites and were forced to rely solely on Google. And, as a result of that, Google benefited from network effects and became even stronger.
There was no reason for Google to include these restrictive clauses in its contracts, except to keep its rivals out of the market.
This is why we've concluded that, between 2006 and 2016, Google's behaviour was illegal under EU antitrust rules. It prevented its rivals from having the chance to innovate and compete on the merits. Advertisers and website owners had less choice and likely faced higher prices, that would be passed on to consumers.
Consequences of the Google AdSense decision
The fine of 1.49 billion euros reflects the serious and sustained nature of Google's infringement. And anyone who has suffered damage because of Google's behaviour can also claim compensation from Google in national courts.
Google removed these illegal restrictions from its contracts in 2016, around the time we issued our Statement of Objections. At a minimum, our decision requires Google to put a stop to those restrictions - or any others restriction with equivalent effects, and not to reinstate them.
Update on other Google cases
Let me now go back for a moment to the Google Shopping and Google Android decisions and address the information we have about the changes Google has made to the way it does business.
Google Shopping
I'll start with Google Shopping case. Back in June 2017, when we took our decision, Google systematically put its own comparison shopping service at the top of the first page of search results, in the ''shopping unit''. No competing comparison shopping service was able to appear in a shopping unit. They were on average demoted to page 4 of the search results.
Our decision requires Google to treat rival comparison shopping services the same way that it treats its own. And it's up to Google to find an effective way to do that.
Google has chosen to open up its ''shopping unit'', which was previously reserved exclusively for Google's own service. Since September 2017, rival comparison shopping services have been able to bid for space in the shopping unit.
It has taken time for the mechanism to show results.
The data we shared in June last year found that around 30% of shopping units included at least one of Google's competitors. The latest data shows that this 30% has now increased to 75% of shopping units that include at least one of Google's rivals.
Our June 2018 data also found that only above 6% of clicks in the Google shopping unit went to competitors. Now this 6% has also increased. Around 40% of clicks on product results now go to competitors to Google.
These numbers reflect the situation after Google made changes earlier this year to address criticism that previous numbers were inflated by competitors that did not really compete in comparison shopping services. These changes now require all participating services to have a sufficient range of offers, and a set of core comparison functions.
Google also just announced a feature that will let users choose whether the shopping unit shows links to comparison shopping sites or directly to those sites where your find the merchants and products, as it used to do.
With this new feature, users will be able to switch or toggle between the current window that shows links going directly to merchants, and a window that will show links going to competitors' sites. This means that users should be able to choose what kind of results they want to see.
All these are positive developments. Obviously, we'll keep monitoring the market.
Google Jobs/Local
Shopping is just one part of the specialised search services. Google also offers services of this kind when it comes to jobs and local search. The decision we took in June 2017 gives us a framework to look also at other services, exactly like jobs or local search.
What we've found is that those different specialised services have some things in common - but they also have important differences. So we need to look individually at each of those services. We have noted that Google is rolling out certain changes to its products in these areas, and this is something that we will look at closely.
Google Android
I'd now like to turn to our Google Android decision of July 2018. . This case was about three types of restrictions that Google imposed on mobile device manufacturers and network operators that used Android:
First, Google de facto required manufacturers to pre-install the Google search and browser apps.Second, Google paid manufacturers of phones and network operators to make sure that only the Google search app was pre-installed.Third, Google obstructed the development of competing mobile operating systems.These restrictions all aimed to ensure that search traffic on mobile devices was directed to Google Search, cementing Google's position in the market.
The Decision means that Google can no longer oblige device manufacturers to take Google's search and browser products if they take the Google Play Store. It also means that rival search and browser providers can strike exclusive deals with device manufacturers to pre-install their products instead of Google's products.
While this creates commercial opportunities that did not exist before, there were concerns that this was not sufficient to restore competition.
Google has now announced that it intends to provide a choice screen for Android users in Europe, for Android phones that are already in the market and also for new Android phones where Google is pre-installed. This should let consumers choose which search and browser provider they want on their Android phone.
We've seen in the past that a choice screen can be an effective way to promote user choice. In the Google Android case, it has the potential to give users a real choice about what search provider and browser they want on Android devices. This would also allow Google's rivals to be chosen upfront by users in cases where Google has been pre-installed on a phone.
It is welcome that Google is stepping up its efforts in connection with the Google Android decision. And we will be watching closely to see how the choice screen mechanism evolves.
Conclusion
Platforms like Google play a vital role in digital markets. Businesses and consumers depend on platforms to get the best out of digitisation. So the illegal behaviour in these cases is very serious.
We're thinking very carefully about the future of competition because everything becomes digitised.
Last year, I appointed three special advisers to look at the challenges that competition policy faces, as digital technology changes every industry we know. And I'm looking forward to receiving their report very soon.
In our reflections for the future as well as our enforcement work our aim will, of course, remain the same: To make sure that markets work well, so European consumers have choice, innovative products and fair prices.
Why are mainstream media outlets trying to censor video footage of New Zealand massacre? - DC Dirty Laundry
Wed, 20 Mar 2019 20:13
(Natural News) There's a raging battle going on to scrub all video footage of the New Zealand mass shooting from the web, and leading the charge are the usual social media suspects: Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and the like. But why, exactly, don't these platforms want people to see the actual evidence of what supposedly occurred down under at the two Muslim mosques where 49 worshipers are said to have been murdered in cold blood?
It would seem as though mainstream media outlets want the public to simply believe some written narrative without being allowed to actually see and interpret, with their own eyes, the event itself as it allegedly took place '' the apparent intent being to control what the public believes, regardless of whether or not it's true.
According to CNN Business, as relayed by Zero Hedge, Big Tech is currently engaged in a ''struggle to deal with (the) New Zealand shooting video.'' What this language actually means is that the major media platforms really don't want people to see the video in question, and are actively trying to suppress the truth about what really took place behind all the media propaganda.
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Trending: New Zealand mosque shootings: the John Podesta connection
'''Deal with' is code for 'censor on demand by governments and activist organizations who oppose public access to information that hasn't first been thoroughly vetted for conformity to their preferred narrative,''' explains Zero Hedge.
''I suspect that many of us who did (I viewed what appeared to be a partial copy before YouTube deleted it) would rather we could un-see it '... But whether or not we watch it should be up to us, not those governments and activists. Social media companies should enable our choices, not suppress our choices at the censors' every whim.''
WARNING: GRAPHIC FOOTAGE IN THIS VIDEO:
New Zealand video footage appears video game-like '' is this what the censors are trying to conceal from the public?In the above video footage, which we were able to archive on Brighteon servers to prevent it from being scrubbed, you'll notice that the first-person shooter angle more closely resembles a video game, as opposed to a real-life shooting. In one scene, you can even see bodies of the victims piled up before the shooter even fires his weapon.
Perhaps this is the reason why the mainstream media is trying to censor the footage '' because it blows some major holes in the official narrative. And the official narrative, as many people are now realizing, is being used once again to target free speech, in this case people who might try to criticize mass Islamic migration in to white countries like New Zealand and Australia.
''In Australia / New Zealand the social mob lynchings of anybody who previously spoke about concerns over Islam / mass migration has begun,'' wrote one Zero Hedgecommenter about this very issue. ''There is an outpouring of hate right now against anyone who raise[s] a problem with mass migration at all. That view is now radioactive, toxic and cannot be held in public.''
''Nobody can now critici[z]e Islam in any way in Australia / N.Z. because this horrific attack has given true victim status to Muslims. Anyone who critici[z]es Islam in any way in Australia / N.Z. now will have eggs thrown at them, will lose their job, their friends, be isolated because this attack has publicly confirmed to everyone that Muslims are the victims of terrible prejudice in the West.''
In other words, what we appear to once again have on our hands is a calculated false flag attack (i.e. real violence, but a false narrative) with the intent of ratcheting up police state control over what people say and do.
''So now you see that violence was never the solution to the actual problems in fact it has made them worse. Now we will really be crushed with the full force of the authoritarian state, and the outsourced mob vengeance.''
For more news about mainstream media censorship of the truth, be sure to check out Banned.news.
Sources for this article include:
ZeroHedge.com
NaturalNews.com
PM of Israel on Twitter: "Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is currently meeting in Jerusalem with President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. 🇮🇱🇨🇾🇬🇷🇺🇸'... http
Wed, 20 Mar 2019 18:35
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Netherlands: Friend Claims Utrecht Jihadi ''Very Religious'' - 3 Other Muslims Arrested In Connection to Massacre - Freedom Outpost
Wed, 20 Mar 2019 18:28
This article says that two others have been arrested, and a third person has been arrested as well. So this does seem to be a coordinated jihad plot.
In a note, Tanis said he was doing it in the name of Allah.
Will the Islamophobia never end?
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Trending: Former Top Obama/Clinton Adviser Alan Krueger Found Dead - Apparent "Suicide"
''Brazen Shooting Traumatizes Dutch City, Three Days After Christchurch Killings,'' by Milan Schreuer and Richard P(C)rez-Pe±a, New York Times, March 18, 2019 (thanks to The Religion of Peace):
UTRECHT, Netherlands '-- Gunshots shattered the tram ride in a heavily Muslim neighborhood of this old Dutch city. The prime minister called it possible terrorism. SWAT teams rushed in, residents were ordered indoors, and all mosques closed as the police sought a killer in a country that had been spared large-scale terrorist attacks'....
The suspect was later identified by the police as Gokmen Tanis, 37, an immigrant from the central Turkish town of Yozgat. Mr. Tanis had been arrested before and is facing a rape charge, according to the Dutch national broadcaster and people who know him'....
''He's very religious,'' but also ''a real guy of the streets, aggressive as well,'' Alptekin Akdogan, who said he knew Mr. Tanis, told The New York Times. He said he and Mr. Tanis had grown up in the Kanaleneiland neighborhood.
Zabit Elmaci, 39, said he used to work with Mr. Tanis, washing dishes in a restaurant called Abrikoos. He described Mr. Tanis as ''always in trouble.''
''I don't remember him as a religious person, but about two years ago he started acting weird, so I gradually stopped seeing him,'' Mr. Elmaci said'....
Whether others were involved in the shooting remained unclear, although the police said they had made two additional arrests by Monday evening. Some witnesses said they had seen more than one assailant on the tram'....
The authorities ordered the evacuation of all mosques in Utrecht, and security was increased at mosques elsewhere in the Netherlands'....
Utrecht, about 25 miles from Amsterdam, has been a center of Dutch culture and commerce for a millennium'....More than 30 percent of the city's population is foreign-born, according to the Dutch census.
Article posted with permission from Robert Spencer
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Bill Gates: AI is like ''nuclear weapons and nuclear energy'' in danger and promise - Vox
Wed, 20 Mar 2019 18:26
On Monday, Stanford unveiled its new Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence. Bill Gates was the keynote speaker, and he spoke in more depth than he has in the last several years about both his fears for AI and his hopes for it.
''The world hasn't had that many technologies that are both promising and dangerous'' the way AI is, he said, according to the Stanford Daily. ''We had nuclear weapons and nuclear energy, and so far so good.''
The comparison of AI '-- which today is mostly employed to show you ads, write stories, play games, and generate photographs '-- to nuclear weapons might seem overwrought to some. But many experts agree with Gates that it's warranted. There is a substantial risk that we'll design powerful AI systems that have unintended behavior '-- and if they're deployed carelessly, those experts think we might drive our own species extinct.
Despite those risks, researchers are enthusiastically proceeding with exploration of AI system capabilities, with several significant breakthroughs in just the last few months. Why's that? There are probably lots of incentives '-- profit, fame, internal competition '-- but one motivation is certainly the belief that AI has the potential to have enormous benefits commensurate with its enormous risks. Gates spoke to those aspirations, too.
So far, he said, as far as ways AI has benefitted society so far, ''I won't say there are that many.'' But he sees potential '-- especially in the areas that he's dedicated his post-Microsoft life to: health care, education, and global poverty.
He thinks AI can be used to identify promising drugs and speed up the drug-development process, transforming global health. In fact, he argues that AI is already doing that. ''If you give kids in some countries an antibiotic once a year that costs two cents called azithromycin, it saves a hundred thousand lives,'' Gates said. ''I do not believe without machine learning techniques we [would have ever been] able to take the dimensionality of this problem to find the solution.''
He's hopeful that AI can also transform the field of education, by making it easier for students to have personalized instructor time from AI assistant teachers. He's hopeful there are insights about education that AI will help us uncover, too. ''With everything we have learned about education, you could still say that the best teacher ever had lived 100 years ago,'' Gates said. ''You could not say that about doctors.'' He thinks AI might change that.
The potential benefits mean that no one is going to stop working toward more advanced AI systems. The potential risks mean that it's essential this be done carefully and responsibly, with a lot of thought put into international coordination, inter-organizational coordination, and policies aimed at ensuring AI is deployed safely and benefits all of humanity.
That fits well with the mission of Stanford's new Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence, which aims to bring multidisciplinary expertise to bear on the challenges that AI poses. ''It was obvious that not only would AI be foundational to the future '-- its development was suddenly, drastically accelerating,'' co-directors Fei Fei Li and John Etchemendy wrote in an announcement about the new department. ''We must study and forecast AI's Human impact, and guide its development in light of that impact.''
Stanford University and Gates are in interestingly similar positions here. Both drove the field of computing forwards to where it stands today '-- Stanford with countless top researchers contributing to the development of AI, and Gates as a driver of personal computing at Microsoft. Both are now taking a look at what they've wrought '-- with some pride, but also some apprehension.
Both are now pivoting toward ensuring that technological progress does good rather than harm '-- nuclear energy, not nuclear weapons. As AI progress speeds along, it's a more urgent priority than ever.
Sign up for the Future Perfect newsletter. Twice a week, you'll get a roundup of ideas and solutions for tackling our biggest challenges: improving public health, decreasing human and animal suffering, easing catastrophic risks, and '-- to put it simply '-- getting better at doing good.
The Christchurch shooting helped turn my mosque from a place of worship into a place of fear - Vox
Wed, 20 Mar 2019 18:07
While you're still horrified by the mosque shooting, I'm going to share something very personal. Because that feeling you have right now, where even a small, kindhearted country like New Zealand isn't safe, won't last. That fear is how many Muslims feel every time we set foot in a mosque.
Islamophobia isn't as isolated as many want to believe. Violence against religious minorities happens everywhere '-- just look at the shootings at the Oak Creek, Wisconsin, Sikh temple and the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh '-- and it's getting worse. And while Jews and Muslims combined only account for 3 percent of the American population, 79 percent of all religiously motivated hate crimes are perpetrated against Jews and Muslims. It's happening not just in rural areas, but in big cities where people assume diversity means everyone is safe. It's not safe '-- and I've actually had as many terrifying experiences in a large city as I have in the rural South.
I used to attend a mosque in a big city in California. It was a beautiful place where I felt completely at peace. Outside this place of worship, I experienced hate: I was spat on, shoved out of line at a grocery store, called a ''towelhead,'' and was even run off the road. But when I was in the mosque, I was safe. I took my young niece every week '-- she couldn't wait to wear her hijab for Friday services, community, and a meal many of us would share together.
Then the hate started to seep in. It started small at first. There were hateful words muttered as people passed me on my way to the mosque. I brushed it off. Then one day, someone duct-taped firecrackers to several cars in our parking lot while we all prayed. Luckily, the cars didn't explode, but it changed everything for me. Our safe space was now surrounded by security guards who kept watch while we prayed.
I stopped wearing hijab and started parking really far from the mosque. I walked alone down the winding streets, only stopping to cover my head just before I entered because I was so scared. I couldn't listen to the imam without watching the door and wondering if today was going to be the day that someone would attack us while we prayed.
With every attack, I feel myself withdrawingI later moved to rural Texas, and soon after, the shootings and the fires started. Mosques were burned to the ground, and the hatred became too much to ignore. The latest administration brought with it racists emboldened by President Trump. Even professionals who once kept their views to themselves feel free to spread their hate, including teachers. One day, our middle child came home distraught. The world cultures teacher had told the class that all Muslims were terrorists, no exceptions. The teacher got a slap on the wrist, though she freely admitted to her words. I was heartbroken.
We moved our daughter to a different school. But my heart still skips a beat when she comes out of the building and quickly takes off and hides her scarf because I don't allow her to wear hijab outside of the mosque. I wonder: If she wore it at recess, would that make her a target? The answers devastate me to my core.
It took me a while to build up the nerve to attend jumah prayer, where Muslims gather on Fridays to perform the midday prayer, after we moved to Texas. The mosque here is beautiful, and the people are friendly. But every time I set foot inside, my anxiety skyrockets and I feel like I'm going to die. It feels like nowhere is safe. We are targets, especially women who cover their heads.
With every tragedy, including the Christchurch attacks, I find myself withdrawing more. I find myself hesitating before I step across the threshold, my hands trembling as I take a deep breath to calm myself before I enter the mosque. As with any religion, worshipping together brings so much peace. But it feels more and more like a place of fear and violence.
This attack is a symptom of normalized IslamophobiaWe can't fool ourselves into thinking this is just some deranged loner in his parents' basement. When Islamophobia is normalized, this could be anyone. And while there has been a definite surge in hate over the past three years, George W. Bush's post-9/11 administration is also guilty of anti-Muslim abuses. From the no-fly list to sanctioning the torture of Muslim prisoners at Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib, that past administration stoked the fires of hate, and the current administration is fanning the flames. Throw in the negative portrayal of Muslims in pop culture and it's no wonder we Muslims don't feel safe in our mosques.
There are several studies that find a significant rise in hate crimes against religious minorities. Mosques and synagogues have taken to hiring security in an effort to prevent attacks like the Christchurch shooting. Armed guards should have no place outside a house of worship.
Everyone deserves a place to worship in peace. That we have allowed dangerous groups to turn them into spaces of fear is cruel and not who we are as Americans.
Vianna Goodwin is the pen name of a freelance writer and mother of four living in rural Texas. A Muslim and an activist against discrimination of all kinds, she uses her voice to champion the rights of all marginalized people.
First Person is Vox's home for compelling, provocative narrative essays. Do you have a story to share? Read our submission guidelines, and pitch us at firstperson@vox.com.
More Than One Reality Exists (in Quantum Physics)
Wed, 20 Mar 2019 17:59
Can two versions of reality exist at the same time? Physicists say they can '-- at the quantum level, that is.
Researchers recently conducted experiments to answer a decades-old theoretical physics question about dueling realities. This tricky thought experiment proposed that two individuals observing the same photon could arrive at different conclusions about that photon's state '-- and yet both of their observations would be correct.
For the first time, scientists have replicated conditions described in the thought experiment. Their results, published Feb. 13 in the preprint journal arXiv, confirmed that even when observers described different states in the same photon, the two conflicting realities could both be true. [The Biggest Unsolved Mysteries in Physics]
"You can verify both of them," study co-author Martin Ringbauer, a postdoctoral researcher with the Department of Experimental Physics at the University of Innsbr¼ck in Austria, told Live Science.
Wigner's friendThis perplexing idea was the brainchild of Eugene Wigner, winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1963. In 1961, Wigner had introduced a thought experiment that became known as "Wigner's friend." It begins with a photon '-- a particle of light. When an observer in an isolated laboratory measures the photon, they find that the particle's polarization '-- the axis on which it spins '-- is either vertical or horizontal.
However, before the photon is measured, the photon displays both polarizations at once, as dictated by the laws of quantum mechanics; it exists in a "superposition" of two possible states.
Once the person in the lab measures the photon, the particle assumes a fixed polarization. But for someone outside that closed laboratory who doesn't know the result of the measurements, the unmeasured photon is still in a state of superposition.
That outsider's observation '-- their reality '-- therefore diverges from the reality of the person in the lab who measured the photon. Yet, neither of those conflicting observations is thought to be wrong, according to quantum mechanics.
Altered statesFor decades, Wigner's mind-bending proposal was just an interesting thought experiment. But in recent years, important advances in physics finally enabled experts to put Wigner's proposal to the test, Ringbauer said.
"Theoretical advances were needed to formulate the problem in a way that is testable. Then, the experimental side needed developments on the control of quantum systems to implement something like that," he explained.
Ringbauer and his colleagues tested Wigner's original idea with an even more rigorous experiment which doubled the scenario. They designated two "laboratories" where the experiments would take place and introduced two pairs of entangled photons, meaning that their fates were linked, so that knowing the state of one automatically tells you the state of the other. (The photons in the setup were real. Four "people" in the scenario '-- "Alice," "Bob" and a "friend" of each '-- were not real, but instead represented observers of the experiment).
The two friends of Alice and Bob, who were located "inside" each of the labs, each measured one photon in an entangled pair. This broke the entanglement and collapsed the superposition, meaning that the photon they measured existed in a definite state of polarization. They recorded the results in quantum memory '-- copied in the polarization of the second photon.
Alice and Bob, who were "outside" the closed laboratories, were then presented with two choices for conducting their own observations. They could measure their friends' results that were stored in quantum memory, and thereby arrive at the same conclusions about the polarized photons.
But they could also conduct their own experiment between the entangled photons. In this experiment, known as an interference experiment, if the photons act as waves and still exist in a superposition of states, then Alice and Bob would see a characteristic pattern of light and dark fringes, where the peaks and valleys of the light waves add up or cancel each other out. If the particles have "chosen" their state, you'd see a different pattern than if they hadn't. Wigner had previously proposed that this would reveal that the photons were still in an entangled state.
The authors of the new study found that even in their doubled scenario, the results described by Wigner held. Alice and Bob could arrive at conclusions about the photons that were correct and provable and that yet still differed from the observations of their friends '-- which were also correct and provable, according to the study.
Quantum mechanics describes how the world works at a scale so small that the normal rules of physics no longer apply; over many decades, experts who study the field have offered numerous interpretations of what that means, Ringbauer said.
However, if measurements themselves aren't absolutes '-- as these new findings suggest '-- that challenges the very meaning of quantum mechanics.
"It seems that, in contrast to classical physics, measurement results cannot be considered absolute truth but must be understood relative to the observer who performed the measurement," Ringbauer said.
"The stories we tell about quantum mechanics have to adapt to that," he said.
18 Times Quantum Particles Blew Our MindsWhat's That? Your Physics Questions AnsweredTwisted Physics: 7 Mind-Blowing FindingsOriginally published on Live Science.
Italian driver hijacks and torches school bus full of children - BBC News
Wed, 20 Mar 2019 17:55
Image copyright EPA Image caption The bus crashed into three other vehicles before the driver eventually got out A bus carrying 51 schoolchildren has allegedly been hijacked by its driver and set alight near Milan in Italy.
"No one will survive," the driver was quoted as saying by Italian police.
However the children, some of them tied up, were rescued through smashed windows at the back of the bus and no-one was badly hurt. Fourteen people suffered smoke inhalation.
The driver, a 47-year-old Italian citizen originally from Senegal, was arrested.
"It was a miracle, it could have been a massacre," Milan chief prosecutor Francesco Greco was quoted as saying.
A teacher who had been on board the bus said the suspect was known to be angry about Italy's migrant policy. Some reports said the man had shouted "stop the deaths in the Mediterranean".
How the drama startedThe driver had been taking two classes of teenagers and their adult escort from a school in Vailati di Crema to a gym but took a different route on a provincial highway apparently heading for Milan's Linate airport, local reports said.
The ordeal then unfolded over the next 40 minutes.
Witnesses said that when he began addressing the passengers with a knife, a boy phoned a parent, who alerted the police.
It took some time before police tried to intercept the bus. The vehicle rammed into police cars before slowing down.
Italian reports said the driver had sprinkled petrol around the bus but police were able to smash the rear windows and let the passengers off before it burst into flames.
Milan prosecutors said they were investigating all possible motives including terrorism.
Italy's right-wing interior minister, Matteo Salvini, reacted with outrage that a man with a record of driving while under the influence of alcohol could have been allowed to drive a coach full of children.
Illegal Immigrant Arrested After Having Sex with Cow, Say Police
Wed, 20 Mar 2019 17:51
Authorities say they arrested a Mexican national illegally in the country who was spotting having sex with a cow in rural Starr County, Texas.U.S. Border Patrol agents observed a man who appeared to be having sex with a cow near the Hidalgo County line, the Starr County Sheriff's Office revealed. The story was first reported by the local newspaper El Tejano, noting that when deputies arrived at the scene, Border Patrol agents provided additional information and the location where the suspect was reportedly seen with the cow.
At the scene, deputies interviewed 28-year-old Jose Nino, a Mexican national who was in the country illegally. Sheriff's deputies arrested Nino and took him to the Starr County jail. Nino went before Starr County Justice of the Peace Ramiro Guillen, who formally charged him with one count of bestiality, a state jail felony, and set his bond at $1,500 personal recognizance. Deputies then turned Nino over to U.S. Border Patrol.
Ildefonso Ortiz is an award-winning journalist with Breitbart Texas. He co-founded the Cartel Chronicles project with Brandon Darby and Stephen K. Bannon. You can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook . He can be contacted at Iortiz@breitbart.com .
Brandon Darby is the managing director and editor-in-chief of Breitbart Texas. He co-founded the Cartel Chronicles project with Ildefonso Ortiz and Stephen K. Bannon. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook . He can be contacted at bdarby@breitbart.com .
Was The Facebook Outage A Cyber-Attack?
Wed, 20 Mar 2019 17:46
Facebook and Instagram users were unable to access the service yesterday. London, UK - 02 06 2019: Apple iPhone 6s screen with social media icons applications Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp, WeChat, Telegram, Skype, Youtube, Snapchat etc.Getty
Yesterday, at about 11am EST, a hashtag started trending on Twitter: #Facebookdown. The social media site and its sister, Instagram, were suffering an outage. Some users weren't able to log in to their accounts at all while others were experiencing limited functionality.
It was the worst disruption to the platform since 2008 when Facebook user numbers were 150 million - compared with 2.3bn monthly users currently on the social network.
During and after the outage, speculation was rife about a cyber-attack. After all, the social network has had a bad year that has seen it be a victim of several successful hacks and data leaks.
Much of the speculation centres around whether Facebook could have been the victim of a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack, where a website is taken offline because an attacker is flooding it with traffic. Facebook strongly denies this.
What we know so far
Facebook has responded. A spokesperson told me: "We're aware that some people are currently having trouble accessing the Facebook family of apps. We're focused on working to resolve the issue as soon as possible, but can confirm the issue is not related to a DDoS attack."
If it wasn't a DDoS attack, what else could it be? Suggestions range from a simple misconfiguration error, to a planned cyber-attack by a malicious actor.
The case for
Only time will tell the real reason for the outage, but experts don't dismiss the idea that a malicious actor could be at fault. ''Despite initial reports that the issues at Facebook and Instagram have been caused by an overloaded data server, there is still every possibility that these outages could be the result of malicious actors,'' says Dr Max Eiza, lecturer in computing at the University of Central Lancashire.
Dr Eiza points out that it has previously ''taken weeks'' for tech giants to own up to the fact that system outages have been the result of DoS attacks (something which Facebook strongly denies). However, says Dr Eiza, until a full investigation has been conducted, it's impossible to rule this out.
And even if this issue is the result of internal failures, Dr Eiza warns that there is still a chance that malicious actors could have seized this downtime to get hold of data. ''There's every possibility that the data of Facebook and Instagram users could be at risk.''
Edward Whittingham - a former police officer and qualified solicitor, who is now the MD of The Defence Works - is yet to be convinced by Facebook's denial. ''Facebook have flat out denied that their outage could be caused by a distributed denial of service attack but I'm yet to be convinced '' especially given their very vague explanations,'' he says.
Indeed, Whittingham says the outage ''has all of the hallmarks of a DDoS attack'', given that the sole purpose of these types of attacks is to bring down entire websites.
However, he also points out that Facebook should be well guarded against these types of attacks. ''They will use such incredibly huge volumes of bandwidth it's perhaps difficult to see how they couldn't absorb even a monumental DDoS attack."
He also questions what else could be lurking behind the scenes. ''I suspect that this could well be an internal issue but, in the absence of any other evidence, who's to say this internal issue wasn't caused by some sort of attack '' whether it be phishing, social engineering or otherwise. After all, Facebook would make for a pretty big target if someone were to be successful.''
So, who would want to attack Facebook? If it was a cyber-attack, there are a number of potential threat actors who could be responsible, Dr Guy Bunker, CTO at Clearswift says, including nation-states or a group sponsored by a nation-state. ''There has been a lot of media attention on Facebook (and others) over their influence in politics with voting. Taking down the Facebook network shows just who is in control '' and in this case, it isn't Facebook. However, there is no (current) sign that this was a cyber-attack,'' he points out.
Christopher Moses, director intelligence and investigations at Blackstone Consultancy says the chance that it suffered a massive DDoS ''is remote but not impossible''.
He adds: ''Unfortunately, it is far too early to say, so conspiracy theorists can stand down for the moment and I suspect that Facebook's PR machine is kicking into overdrive to minimise the affect of the outage.''
The case against
It's not a surprise that speculation is rampant about a security issue, given Facebook's previous track record. But Tim Mackey, senior technical evangelist at Synopsys suspects the real reason ''will be more mundane''.
Among the reasons for the outage, he suggests: ''Perhaps a misconfiguration of some software, perhaps a hardware issue, or maybe simply a software update gone wrong are far more likely causes.''
Dr Bunker says the outage it is far more likely to be a mistake by someone - an administrator for example- inside the organization. ''Someone made a configuration change which ended up having a knock-on effect, which in turn took down the systems.''
Alternatively, he suggests it could have also been a reaction to something seen, such as someone attempting to breach the network '' ''where the decision was that it was better to take the network down to resolve the issue rather than have a potential breach''.
He explains: ''These days networks are sufficiently complex that segregation is so difficult - particularly large cloud applications - that it becomes easier to shut everything down than run the risk of something 'getting in' and infecting the entire network.''
The outage will likely end up being an issue with either internal IT infrastructure or a network supplier's connectivity, says Naaman Hart, cloud services security architect at Digital Guardian. He also questions why a service ''as large and public as Facebook'' isn't fault tolerant. ''If every other service in the region were down, fair enough, but this looks like it just impacts Facebook and its child entities.''
To conclude
Of course, it's impossible to answer the question definitively. But what's always important in cases such as these is transparency. Facebook has been shady in the past with multiple accusations that it is abusing user data. It's therefore important that it does update users with the reason for the outage, with specifics, as soon as it has completed its investigation.
''I do hope that Facebook follows radical transparency and details the real cause of this outage,'' says Mackey. ''Doing so would go a long way in communicating that privacy can continue to be trusted on their platform. It would also provide other organizations with information they can use to avoid a similar situation and improve our collective security online.''
Updated 14 March 14:36 EST. A Facebook spokesperson says: ''Yesterday, we made a server configuration change that triggered a cascading series of issues. As a result, many people had difficulty accessing our apps and services. We have resolved the issues, and our systems have been recovering over the last few hours. We are very sorry for the inconvenience and we appreciate everyone's patience.''
'Troubleshooting on the fly': Riding in the cab with a BART operator '-- Berkeleyside
Wed, 20 Mar 2019 16:59
When Bay Area Rapid Transit was dreamt up in the 1950s and 60s, the train system was initially expected to be fully automated. But even now, in the age of driverless vehicles, the hundreds of train cars that shuttle passengers between the 48 BART stations are still guided by human operators.
There is a high level of automation, however. Trains mostly move by themselves, and the doors automatically open when they arrive at a station. But operators switch into manual mode when issues arise, choose when to close the doors once all limbs, sweatshirt sleeves and shopping bags are safely inside, and summon emergency responders when necessary.
After eight years on the job, operator Damian Lacey says he assumes his position will be obsolete sometime in the near future, but for now he believes he acts as an important ''failsafe.''
Monday was Transit Driver Appreciation Day, and BART opened operator cabs to members of the media. Berkeleyside reporter Natalie Orenstein and videographer Chris Polydoroff took a ride around the system, joining Lacey and BART spokeswoman Alicia Trost on the stretch between Lake Merritt and Daly City.
In between making station announcements '-- and stopping the train when a young person carrying a skateboard ventured scarily close to the edge of the platform '-- Lacey shared what he likes about his job and what's challenging.
On what he does exactlyMost people think we're just sitting up here pushing a button. We're constantly monitoring the trackway. We see things, we report stuff that we see, we're constantly getting intercom calls from passengers. We do a lot of troubleshooting on the fly. I'm always observing the platform.
The train is run in automatic mode, so they start and stop by themselves. Every now and again we do have to operate manually. Any time there's an emergency in the car, we have to get involved and notify Central. They're not every day, but they do happen pretty frequently. We don't render aid, but if someone has a seizure, if someone faints, if someone's bleeding, they're going to ask me to go back and check on the person, and make a determination whether they need medical help.
We work hard, we try to accommodate passengers and get them to where they need to go on time. We don't always do that, but we do try our best.
Damian Lacey has been a BART operator for eight years. He previously worked for the U.S. Postal Service. Photo: Chris PolydoroffOn his favorite partHonestly, it's working by myself [laughs]. There's a certain level of freedom not having a boss breathing down your neck in the office over from you. It's nice '-- my boss is a voice on the radio!
It's also nice to help someone, and get them to where they need to go. When someone thanks me at the end of the ride, that's always nice too. We don't get that all that often, maybe once a month.
On safety and securityBART, by and large, I would say is safe. I feel safe coming to work. I think the biggest public safety issue we have going right now is cellphone thefts. They're going to wait till the doors are closing to snatch your phone and run off. Then the train's already leaving.
I see a lot more drug use. That's grown worse than in the past. People shooting up on trains, smoking on trains. I'd like to see all operators eventually be certified in CPR, just because we do have quite a bit of drug use. If someone were to OD on the train'...
If I see it, I'm going to say something to them. Unfortunately this operator badge is not a [police] badge.
Damian Lacey monitors the track as he guides a train toward Daly City. Photo: Chris PolydoroffOn his most harrowing experienceComing into Civic Center once, I noticed someone laying down in the trackway. It was at least four car-lengths away from me, so I wasn't near actually hitting them. I'm just glad I saw them, they were actually pretty hard to see. I was able to stop in time.
They got up and crawled out of the trackway. I reported it to Central, I repositioned, and we rode manual very slowly. It definitely threw me for a loop. I didn't make contact with the person, but it was still pretty shocking. Central even asked if I felt okay to operate to the end of the line. You feel that kind of pit-in-the-stomach feeling, but I was okay to operate and that's all that mattered.
That's not every day '-- it was once in my eight years.
On full automationThey'd have to make huge technological changes. Things do go wrong. If there's a bad track circuit, the train's dead in the water. It's just going to sit there, and you don't want to be stuck in the middle of nowhere. I have to believe that in the future, the technology will be there, but BART's a huge system. Running along freeways, there are intrusions in the track system. That's happened in the past, where cars from the freeway end up in the trackway.
On the new trainsI'm certified to operate the new trains '-- about 80% of operators are. It's essentially the same job, but they have different names for things. The codes are different. On the new fleet, we can now tell which car is the problem car '-- the annunciator has two screens now. Whereas with the legacy fleet, it's only when something happens in your lead car. You have to physically go back and find them.
On The Big OneIf that happens, about all we can do is stop the train.
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Professionals Speaking Over Expertise on EMF Exposure Undermines Universities, Medicine, All Jurisdictions Creating Catastrophic Liability Regardless of Intent | Thermoguy | Thermographic Thermal Infrared (IR) Imaging Expert
Wed, 20 Mar 2019 15:39
The mass deployment of smart meters, Wi-Fi, cell phones, tablets, blanketing the planet from the surface of the planet and from space has catastrophic consequences and liability. There are very real reasons we wire the world. Billions of lost economy in construction wiring computer stations. It is safe and very fast where Wi-Fi in a classroom as an example requires putting children, teachers, parents, support staff, buildings inside the wireless electrical circuit. These EMFs are not supposed to hit or interact with any of the above.To have global exposure codes admit critical science was missing on a very complex topic created bigger problems. Industries were created selling products on how to live in the microwave. Due the the electrical mechanisms not being qualified, people were considered sensitive or microwave sickness when in reality it is subtle electrocution for biology.
Trying to explain or qualify credentials pertaining to EMF exposure has been ongoing. The unfortunate domino effect is 8 years of electromagnetic radiation that didn't have to happen. Political and special interests took precedence over the public they were elected to represent. The technical reality is these EMFs have been absorbed, oscillate, vibrated or reflected billions of times per measurable second, 86,400 times per day for 2920 days.
Elected representatives are elected to represent and administer the government. That includes codes, standards, education, medicine, police, fire, military and all services. Education is specific to training and certifying sciences as well as other professionals. Those professionals do their jobs without any compromises or there are consequences and liability.
It WAS specifically causation, biological plausibility, mechanism of interaction and action that were admitted to be missing in global exposure codes. That is why the Auditor General of Canada and Environment Commissioner sent us all the petitions on EMFs. PhD's reporting is specific to the the health effects which is a mechanism of action, NOT the mechanisms of interaction CAUSING the mechanisms of action.
You can't causally represent EMFs, it requires a qualified electrical interpretation by electrical professionals that work in that area of electricity. There are many different types of electrical expertise. Red Seal Interprovincial Journeyman mean credentials recognized across Canada for the utilization of ALL electricity. If electricity is used anywhere, we are the experts.
The causal evidence linking EMFs to adverse health effects and more was found and reported September 14, 2010. It went to all levels of Canadian Governments including Prime Minister Harper. October 26, 2010, expert witness was provided to Canadian Parliaments Standing Committee on Health at their request.
The same causal and biological plausibility linking EMFs to adverse health was qualified for lecture in accredited medical education. January 7&8, 2011 the causal evidence linking EMFs to adverse health effects was lectured for education credits required for ongoing medical licensing. That was applicable to health professionals in North America for ongoing medical licensing.
Dr. Magda Havas was invited to submit a lecture at that highest accredited level. Her Environmental Petition to the Environment Commissioner showed the horrific damage caused by a cordless phone. Health Canada talked around her questions and she couldn't qualify the power density differences. Dr. Havas was a no show and never heard from her again. That explains her getting retained endorsing filters or as as an ''expert'' when she is over her head on the electrical interpretation.
The World Health Organization reported RF EMFs as ''possibly'' carcinogenic May, 2011. Had PM Harper done his job and informed the W.H.O., EMFs would be a group 1 carcinogen. http://thermoguy.com/wp-content/uploads/WHO-on-Cell-Phone-Cancer-pr208_E-1.pdf
It wasn't know that citizen groups and their networks has mass emailed telling them to ignore Professor Bennett. According to them, a professor had to represent a theory, get a PhD, get their doctorate and teach a course at a university. Bennett being a professor for accredited medical education programs applicable across North America for health professionals may be because electricity isn't a theory, neither is engineering, radiation or medicine.
Citizen groups and others private messaged others dismissing Bennett's input without challenge. Bachelor of Art student C. Martin was relentless without understanding there are no art students superseding science departments. CST in British Columbia collected donations for a lawsuit and retained a lawyer for the legal action. The lawyer was offered the causal evidence to stop smart meters, he had been told to ignore Bennett because they didn't like him. Their lawyer left the BCUC hearings during Bennett's cross examination of FortisBC's experts getting them to admit the causal evidence. CST medical expert witnesses were effectively dismissed by the BCUC and CST class action lawsuit failed because of causal evidence missing. CST hired PhDs who qualified couldn't qualify electrical interactions.
March 13, 2019 Joel Moskowitz did a presentation for UC Berkeley. The mechanisms of interaction linking RF EMFs to adverse health effects was not mentioned for reasons Mr. Moskowitz can explain. He was privy to all Bennett's postings as were others.
California had wildfires last year that devastated areas and ecosystems. Utilities were blamed for starting the fires when that isn't the reality. Here is a parallel to the Camp fires and others that happened August, 2003 in British Columbia, Canada. None of the people had to die in California or the damage. This isn't a reflection of the first responders, fighting those fire blind cost them live.
Wildfires were out of control with terrain and smoke affecting fighting the fires. Every offer to assist with the fire giving unobstructed sight through smoke was turned away. August 21, 2003 the fire was going to interface with Kelowna BC where 1000s were waiting for evacuation orders. All staring off into the smoke with no idea of the hell coming. Action had to be taken and was by flagging down patrolling police showing them the fire was there. That initiated the evacuation of 15,000 and the next day another 15,000. Here is one image of what was seen through smoke.
After being directed by police to volunteer at the fire hall, this collage of images were taken.
This email was sent to Joel Moskowitz and UC Berkley responding to the great presentation done that excluded the causal evidence needed to stop smart meter roll outs, Wi-Fi and the radiation of the planet. It has been 5 days and no response from Joel or UC Berkeley.Here is the email and the response.
''Cell Phones, Cell Towers, and Wireless Safety'' (UC Berkeley Presentation)Ed FriedmanMar 13, 2019, 8:47 PM (5 days ago)to EdGood presentation
From: Joel MOSKOWITZ [mailto:jmm@berkeley.edu] Sent: Wednesday, March 13, 2019 3:58 PMTo: CHE-EMFSubject: ''Cell Phones, Cell Towers, and Wireless Safety'' (UC Berkeley Presentation)
''Cell Phones, Cell Towers, and Wireless Safety'' (UC Berkeley Presentation)
Electromagnetic Radiation Safety
March 13, 2019
On February 27, 2019, Joel Moskowitz, Ph.D., delivered the keynote presentation, ''Cell Phones, Cell Towers & Wireless Safety'' for the ''Balancing Technology'' series offered by University Health Services (UHS) at the University of California, Berkeley. The presentation provides a nontechnical overview of wireless radiation research and policy developments including 5G.
Dr. Moskowitz, director of the UC Berkeley Center for Family and Community Health, has been translating and disseminating the research on wireless radiation health effects since 2009. His Electromagnetic Radiation Safety website initiated in 2013 has had more than two million page views by visitors from over 200 countries.
The presentation was filmed by UHS and by CNBC. The event was co-sponsored by the UC Berkeley School of Public Health
The video, slides, and safety tips can be viewed at the following link:
http://bit.ly/UCBoverview or https://www.saferemr.com/2019/03/cellphones-cell-towers-wireless.html
Joel M. Moskowitz, Ph.D., DirectorCenter for Family and Community HealthSchool of Public HealthUniversity of California, BerkeleyElectromagnetic Radiation Safety
Website: https://www.saferemr.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SaferEMRTwitter: @berkeleyprc
Curtis Bennett <info@thermoguy.com>Mar 14, 2019, 1:25 PM (4 days ago)to jmm, telltang, EdSubject: Professor Curtis Bennett Here On Presentations Leaving Out Critical Causation Evidence Linking EMFs to Adverse Health
Hello Joel,
I can't imagine what got lost in translation that you would ignore me in my qualified electrical/engineering/radiation/medical capacity. You had access to everything posted on Facebook by our team including accredited medical education applicable to EVERY health professional in your state and country. That includes being applicable to your university. I am not singular nor am I selling anything, it was our team that found/reported and lectured the missing causal evidence missing in exposure codes from the beginning. I provided expert witness pertaining to causation and biological plausibility for Canadian Parliaments Standing Committee on Health at their request.
I am chief of an international science advisory board with 14,000 members that put on Continuing Medical Education programs applicable to the millions of health professionals in North America. After testifying for parliament, I contacted health education admin in regards to an accredited medical education program pertaining to the causal evidence for medical professionals. Once you mention the accreditation to health professionals, there is no higher standard and it would be immediately recognized by your university or others. Her is a letter by health education admin, please contact them and have candid conversations. http://thermoguy.com/wp-content/uploads/Revised-Ltr-re-EM-and-IHF.pdfHealth admin asked me to suggest a professional to submit a presentation for lecture and I suggested Dr. Magda Havas. She is a professor teaching biology at Trent University in Canada and the accredited program validated what she was reporting on health effects. Health admin contacted Havas and called me saying she wanted to see my credentials. I said share them andHavas was a no show for that causal evidence. I didn't know Havas was selling or promoting filters or technologies as well as herself as an expert. A professor teaching biology isn't supposed to overwhelmed by a plastic head or a potato representing biology.
I have heard and seen emails where CST and others sent out emails telling their networks to ignore me. Josh Del Sol referred to me as a mad dog. Liz Barris, Kevin Mottus, Anura Lawson and others in California were given the causal evidence. I heard they interpreted me to soften the approach. Olga Sheean was given the causal evidence and I spent significant time at no cost for her presentation. Her presentation left out 100% of what was given to her and zero reference to causal evidence. That denied her audience and governing bodies the causal evidence they were looking for. I had Bachelor of Art graduates questioning how I could be a professor without a PhD or doctorate degree and which university the program was recognized in? I explained that electricity, radiation, engineering and medical education isn't a theory. I gave them the same letter letter above to contact health admin and no response. Dafna Tachover is a lawyer and should understand the basics of causal evidence. Her website we are the evidence is representing the mechanisms of action but not the mechanisms of interaction.
All of your hard work, Barrie Trower, Olle David Carpenter, Goldsworthy, Martin Paul, Milham, etc ignored. While all of you were reporting the mechanisms of action, the mechanisms of interaction have to be qualified. That requires a qualified electrical interpretation first, How are they hit, why do some feel it, symptoms across the board. The fact the language using thermal and non thermal is even used is garbage. It is all thermal above Absolute Zero(-273 deg C or -496 deg F). Our team has a 40 year radiation background troubleshooting at atomic and molecular levels for every industry, government and their insurers. We have imaged EMF interaction creating a catastrophic problem at 60 Hz. Thermal Radiation is the natural vibrations and frequencies of ALL matter above Absolute Zero.
Did you represent to Berkeley Health Department medical diagnosis has changed with EMF exposure putting every doctor in the US in a malpractice lawsuit? Did you represent all buildings are no longer compliant with Building Code or nuclear failure within your borders? Did you share the reality EVERY science has changed and their Degree no longer applicable? Do you have any engineering departments and architecture? Did you represent not one of those people in California had to die in those fires and EMFs contributing? The mudslides washing babies away and the hell going on? We trained fire departments 27 years ago to see through smoke, thermal gradients can be seen. Did you represent our qualifying for RFK Jr's article on nerves of young people electrically short circuiting killing them dead? Are the dead children just sensitive where Josh del sol can recommend a Building Biologist to teach you how to live in the microwave? Did you represent Boeing engineers using potatoes for Wi-Fi safety on airplanes? http://thermoguy.com/boeing-engineers-using-potatoes-for-wi-fi-safety-on-airlines-isnt-reassuring-creates-unrealized-consequences/ Does that biologically represent people?
Did you represent all buildings in California with smart meters are no longer compliant with code and the installation is illegal and an immediate fire hazard as well? That includes the university as well as infrastructure. The Specific Absorption Rate test name is an admission of harm. There is no acceptable absorption or dosage of electromagnetic radiation.How long can you put a baby in a microwave for?
I have a quadruple science background and NEVER speak over expertise specific to liability. Boeing engineers are smart, radiating people on aircraft including crew has liability. We were given the criteria to reverse smart meter programs, we have to PROVE PUCs made an error. Now the PUCs, utilities, FCC and industry have to qualify a potato and plastic head as science. First response professionals have a duty, I am not trying to hurt feelings, this is to save lives and avoid liability.
I have to forward this to your health department or be liable. Don't stop the important work but you have other applicable departments that can help you.
Sincerely,
Professor Curtis Bennett
Chief, International Science Advisory Board for IHF(14,000 members) Adjunct Professor for Accredited Medical Education For CME Credits Thermal Radiation Consultant for 38 Years Interprovincial Journeyman Electrician(Red Seal)Building Construction Engineering Technologist www.thermoguy.com curtis@thermoguy.com Ph: 604-239-2694
Daily cannabis and skunk users run higher psychosis risk | Reuters
Wed, 20 Mar 2019 14:20
LONDON, (Reuters) - People who use cannabis every day run a significantly higher risk of developing the serious mental illness psychosis, especially if they use more potent forms of the drug, such as skunk, scientists said.
FILE PHOTO: A box of cannabis cigarette is seen in a coffee shop in Amsterdam October 6, 2011. REUTERS/Toussaint Kluiters
Presenting results of a large international study conducted in one in site Brazil and across 11 sites in Europe '' including in Amsterdam, London and Paris '' the researchers found that people who used cannabis daily were three times more likely to have an episode of psychosis than people who had never used it.
Potent cannabis types with more than 10 percent of the psychoactive ingredient THC were linked to a five times greater risk.
Skunk contains more THC, or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, than regular cannabis, and THC can induce psychotic symptoms such as hallucinations, delusions and paranoia. The study found the link between cannabis and psychosis was strongest in London and Amsterdam, where high potency skunk is commonly available.
Researchers said the study - published in The Lancet Psychiatry journal - is the first to show the impact of cannabis use on population rates of psychosis, and should highlight the potential public health impact of changes to drugs laws.
Many countries - including most recently Canada - have legalized or decriminalized cannabis use, leading to some concerns about increased use and its potential harm.
''As the legal status of cannabis changes in many countries and states, and as we consider the medicinal properties of some types of cannabis, it is of vital public health importance that we also consider the potential adverse effects,'' said Marta di Forti, who co-led the work at King's College London's Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience (IoPPN).
She said an estimated one in five new cases of psychosis across the sites studied could be linked to daily cannabis use, and more than one in 10 linked to use of high-potency cannabis.
This would mean that if high potency cannabis were no longer available, the incidence of psychosis in Amsterdam, for example, would be expected to drop to 18.8 from 37.9 per 100,000 people a year, and in London to 31.9 from 45.7 per 100,000 people a year.
Robin Murray, a professor at the IoPPN who also worked on the study, said it should be noted by all policymakers and any potential cannabis users. ''Fifteen years ago, nobody thought that cannabis thought increased the risk of psychosis,'' he said. ''But now the evidence is pretty clear.''
Reporting by Kate Kelland; Editing by Alison Williams
Ford Explorer Owners Say Their SUVs Are Making Them Sick
Wed, 20 Mar 2019 13:31
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Why the Electoral College will be Banished
Wed, 20 Mar 2019 13:15
Why the Electoral College Will Be Banished
By John C. Dvorak
O ver time national elections in the USA have evolved into serving two distinct functions. The first is obvious, it's to re-elect representatives. The other, less obvious, is to finance mass media with infusions of advertising dollars. The second, less apparent function, is why campaign finance reform will never get very far. And I also believe it's why the Electoral College will be eliminated in the years ahead.
When people of either party talk about leveling the playing field with campaign finance reform one party always blames the other when it fails to be implemented. I blame the media. The history of campaign finance reform has one interesting anomaly: both political parties at one time or another support it but have never compromised on implementation. Every time someone comes close to it there is always circumvention. Clinton's "soft money" scandal comes to mind as well as the growth of odd PACS and exempt organizations. If everyone wants reform why does this circumvention always happen?
Just look to the media to see how it happens. It's the media that highlights infractions and circumventions to skew reform and panic both sides into spending more money on these campaigns in new and creative ways. Where does all that money go? To the media. The media, not the candidates are the beneficiaries of campaign spending. Why would they want to see this gravy train stop?
It's the newest threat to this income flow that has the media concerned. The newest campaign strategies more carefully target key states for the bulk of the Presidential campaign spending - the big money. Some states, such as California and other states, whose voter outcome is a foregone conclusion, got very little national campaign spending dollars. The big networks also got stiffed during the last election as all the real money went to states such as Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida where there were a lot of electoral votes and which were on the fence.
What was interesting to me, being in California and Washington during the election was how people from the swing states were telling tales about tough-hitting advertising and the overall deluge of advertising. We out West, meanwhile, thought things were quite mild and there was very little activity.
Since local media in Ohio, swimming in advertising dollars, isn't about to split the booty with California media outlets this trend towards targeted campaigning has got to stop and stop fast. The only way to stop it is to eliminate the Electoral College and go to a national popular vote. The fact that Bush lost the popular vote (by one account) to Gore in 2000 was the leverage the media needed to begin a belated campaign to discredit the Electoral College. Added to this was the media created "red states" and "blue states" concept, something that nobody ever heard of prior to the Bush campaigns. The media has even managed to place the terminology into the popular lexicon as commentators now regularly refer to red states and blue states reinforcing the concept.
This dichotomy between the two types of states along with constant usage of the terms "divisive" and "divisiveness" by the media (and now the politicians themselves) promotes the notion that we are splitting apart along political lines in ways that we've never witnessed before. This is hardly true as any history professor will attest. But it's true enough to require some sort of political reform to supposedly make the country whole again, right? That reform will eventually come around to the dissolution of the 'old-fashion" and "unnecessary" Electoral College. I'm already convinced that it's pointless and I'm cynical about this action. So it's toast.
Once the Electoral College is gone then Presidential campaign spending will once again be normalized across the nation and flow back into the network and national mass media. And that means these elections are going to be even more expensive and all that new money goes right to the media companies. And that's what it's really all about.
--end
Kiwis encouraged to wear headscarves on Friday to show support to Muslim community | 1 NEWS NOW | TVNZ
Wed, 20 Mar 2019 12:18
Several groups have invited New Zealanders to wear headscarves to show support to the grieving Muslim community on Friday, one week on from the devastating attack on two Christchurch mosques.
A number of events have been planned by separate groups.
The Islamic Women's Council have told the organiser of the Scarves in Solidarity event, Raewyn Rasch, that it is an "amazing idea".
Ms Rasch said the event is open to everyone in New Zealand and is a "symbolic gesture".
Headscarf for Harmony is another event planned for Friday, inviting Kiwis to wear a headscarf or head covering at "work, school or play".
Another event, called Wear a Headscarf Friday, is aimed at women in the Christchurch region and had been supported by the New Zealand Muslim Association. Thousands have expressed interest in the events on Facebook.
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The Prime Minister announced a two-minute silence will take place this Friday, along with a Call to Prayer. Source: 1 NEWS
The show of solidarity comes as Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has called for two minutes of silence on Friday and mosques around Auckland have pledged to open their doors to people of all faiths that evening.
Muslim Association president Ikhlaq Kashari said they want to encourage an atmosphere of inclusivity and openness, and an opportunity to heal as a community, Radio New Zealand reported.
Christchurch shooting: Brenton Tarrant has achieved exactly what he wanted - chaos
Wed, 20 Mar 2019 12:16
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In less than two weeks Erdogan's country will go to nationwide municipal elections that are seen as a referendum on his national rule. His Islamist AK party is in trouble in the two cities that matter most: Istanbul and the capital, Ankara.
Thus, when Erdogan went to Canakkale to commemorate the Battle of the Dardanelles that saw the fleets of Britain and France defeated in 1915, leading to the disastrous Gallipoli campaign, he grasped at the recent tragedy in New Zealand as only the most cynical and desperate political leader could think of doing.
Erdogan decided to use the horror of an Australian citizen slaughtering Muslims in New Zealand to present himself as a tough leader defending Islam against those who once invaded Turkey.
You could barely imagine a more contemptuous use of a pre-election platform.
''Your grandparents came here... and they returned in caskets,'' he warned, as if somehow the single gunman in Christchurch could represent two nations bent on a new war in Turkey. ''Have no doubt we will send you back like your grandfathers.''
His history was absurd: Australians and New Zealanders did not go to Gallipoli to wage war on Islam - Turkey had signed a pact to fight for Germany, and those from Australia and NZ were sent to the ill-judged expedition against Germany's allies by British leaders.
Furthermore, Australians and New Zealanders did not return in caskets. Apart from the single exception of General William Bridges - the only Anzac body to be returned - they were buried where they died, on the Gallipoli Peninsula.
History, however, does not matter to President Erdogan as much as whipping up a pre-election frenzy.
Erdogan's speech naturally outraged Australians and New Zealanders.
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And Scott Morrison, a Prime Minister with a difficult election less than two months away, chose to take Erdogan's stinking bait and run with it.
It was, of course, reasonable and expected that the Australian leader call in the Turkish ambassador to ''please explain''.
But then to declare publicly and loudly he did not accept the ambassador's ''excuses'', and to demand that Erdogan withdraw his remarks, and then to escalate the matter by announcing that in terms of Australia's response "all options were on the table" carried more than a hint of the election trail. All options?
Erdogan had set out to divide for his own political purposes, and had succeeded.
Morrison, of course, had his own difficulties.
He has been furiously defending himself against the revival of a report from 2011 that accused him of trying to persuade his shadow cabinet colleagues to campaign on public concerns about "Muslim immigration" and the "inability" of Muslim migrants to integrate.
Chaos achieved. Escalating.
Tony Wright is the associate editor and special writer for The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald.
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Exclusive: Cockpit voice recorder of doomed Lion Air jet depicts pilots' frantic search for fix - sources | Article [AMP] | Reuters
Wed, 20 Mar 2019 12:15
Wed Mar 20, 2019 / 3:01 AM EDT
Cindy Silviana, Jamie Freed and Tim Hepher
JAKARTA/SINGAPORE/PARIS (Reuters) - The pilots of a doomed Lion Air Boeing 737 MAX scoured a handbook as they struggled to understand why the jet was lurching downwards, but ran out of time before it hit the water, three people with knowledge of the cockpit voice recorder contents said.
The investigation into the crash, which killed all 189 people on board in October, has taken on new relevance as the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and other regulators grounded the model last week after a second deadly accident in Ethiopia.
Investigators examining the Indonesian crash are considering how a computer ordered the plane to dive in response to data from a faulty sensor and whether the pilots had enough training to respond appropriately to the emergency, among other factors.
It is the first time the voice recorder contents from the Lion Air flight have been made public. The three sources discussed them on condition of anonymity.
Reuters did not have access to the recording or transcript.
A Lion Air spokesman said all data and information had been given to investigators and declined to comment further.
The captain was at the controls of Lion Air flight JT610 when the nearly new jet took off from Jakarta, and the first officer was handling the radio, according to a preliminary report issued in November.
Just two minutes into the flight, the first officer reported a "flight control problem" to air traffic control and said the pilots intended to maintain an altitude of 5,000 feet, the November report said.
The first officer did not specify the problem, but one source said airspeed was mentioned on the cockpit voice recording, and a second source said an indicator showed a problem on the captain's display but not the first officer's.
The captain asked the first officer to check the quick reference handbook, which contains checklists for abnormal events, the first source said.
For the next nine minutes, the jet warned pilots it was in a stall and pushed the nose down in response, the report showed. A stall is when the airflow over a plane's wings is too weak to generate lift and keep it flying.
The captain fought to climb, but the computer, still incorrectly sensing a stall, continued to push the nose down using the plane's trim system. Normally, trim adjusts an aircraft's control surfaces to ensure it flies straight and level.
"They didn't seem to know the trim was moving down," the third source said. "They thought only about airspeed and altitude. That was the only thing they talked about."
Boeing Co declined to comment on Wednesday because the investigation was ongoing.
The manufacturer has said there is a documented procedure to handle the situation. A different crew on the same plane the evening before encountered the same problem but solved it after running through three checklists, according to the November report.
But they did not pass on all of the information about the problems they encountered to the next crew, the report said.
The pilots of JT610 remained calm for most of the flight, the three sources said. Near the end, the captain asked the first officer to fly while he checked the manual for a solution.
About one minute before the plane disappeared from radar, the captain asked air traffic control to clear other traffic below 3,000 feet and requested an altitude of "five thou", or 5,000 feet, which was approved, the preliminary report said.
As the 31-year-old captain tried in vain to find the right procedure in the handbook, the 41-year-old first officer was unable to control the plane, two of the sources said.
The flight data recorder shows the final control column inputs from the first officer were weaker than the ones made earlier by the captain.
"It is like a test where there are 100 questions and when the time is up you have only answered 75," the third source said. "So you panic. It is a time-out condition."
The plane then hit the water, killing all 189 people on board.
French air accident investigation agency BEA said on Tuesday the flight data recorder in the Ethiopian crash that killed 157 people showed "clear similarities" to the Lion Air disaster. Since the Lion Air crash, Boeing has been pursuing a software upgrade to change how much authority is given to the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, or MCAS, a new anti-stall system developed for the 737 MAX.
The cause of the Lion Air crash has not been determined, but the preliminary report mentioned the Boeing system, a faulty, recently replaced sensor and the airline's maintenance and training.
On the same aircraft the evening before the crash, a captain at Lion Air's full-service sister carrier, Batik Air, was riding along in the cockpit and solved the similar flight control problems, two of the sources said. His presence on that flight, first reported by Bloomberg, was not disclosed in the preliminary report.
The report also did not include data from the cockpit voice recorder, which was not recovered from the ocean floor until January.
Soerjanto Tjahjono, head of Indonesian investigation agency KNKT, said last week the report could be released in July or August as authorities attempted to speed up the inquiry in the wake of the Ethiopian crash.
On Wednesday, he declined to comment on the cockpit voice recorder contents, saying they had not been made public.
(Reporting by Cindy Silviana in Jakarta, Jamie Freed in Singapore and Tim Hepher in Paris; writing by Jamie Freed; Editing by Gerry Doyle)
Neil deGrasse Tyson investigation: Fox, NatGeo aren't sharing details - Vox
Wed, 20 Mar 2019 12:12
Astrophysicist and popular TV personality Neil deGrasse Tyson was accused last year of sexual misconduct by four women. Fox and National Geographic, the networks that hosted his shows StarTalk and Cosmos, launched an investigation.
Now that investigation has concluded, and the networks announced late last week that Tyson will be returning to TV. But Fox and National Geographic haven't released any details of the investigations, leaving the women who came forward to wonder how the networks decided Tyson could come back.
Tyson, who is the director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History in Manhattan, has denied some of the allegations; in other cases, he corroborated some details of women's accounts but said he intended nothing sexual. However, Ashley Watson, who says Tyson made unwanted advances to her when she was his assistant on Cosmos, told Vox she finds it ''quite incredible'' that the networks ''can wipe their hands and say 'he's cleared!' without any presentation of evidence to support that ruling.''
Tyson is one of several men accused of sexual misconduct to make comebacks in recent months '-- Louis C.K., for instance, has returned to comedy, and John Lasseter has been hired to lead animation at the production company Skydance. He's also one of several who have been the subjects of internal investigations by TV networks or other companies. But for Watson and other women who were interviewed by investigators for Fox and National Geographic, the investigation raises a host of questions. And their experience is a reminder that while such investigations are sometimes put forth as a way to resolve sexual misconduct allegations, they don't always feel like a resolution for everyone.
Fox and National Geographic investigated the allegations against TysonThe first person to come forward with allegations against Tyson was musician Tchiya Amet, who says that Tyson raped her when they were graduate students at the University of Texas Austin in 1984. She wrote a blog post about the experience in 2014, but her allegation did not get widespread attention until last year, when two more women came forward with accusations of their own, which were first reported by David McAfee at the religion website Patheos.
Katelyn Allers, an associate professor of physics and astronomy at Bucknell University, says that Tyson made her uncomfortable at a party at the American Museum of Natural History, touching her and trying to look under her dress at her tattoo. Watson, meanwhile, says that Tyson invited her to his apartment for wine and cheese, then played romantic music and made suggestive comments, including saying he wanted to hug her, but if he did, he'd ''just want more.''
After the allegations by Allers and Watson became public, Azeen Ghorayshi of BuzzFeed News reported on an allegation by a fourth woman, not identified by name. The woman said that Tyson had made sexual jokes and propositioned her at a 2010 party for museum employees, which she was attending with her then-boyfriend.
In a Facebook post responding to the allegations by the first three women, Tyson said he had dated Amet but that the rape she described did not happen; he corroborated some details of Allers's and Watson's accounts but said he had not intended his behavior to be sexual. He has not publicly responded to the allegation by the fourth woman and has not responded to Vox's request for comment.
After the allegations began to gain media attention last November, Fox and National Geographic, which have hosted Tyson's shows since 2014, announced they would investigate. Watson says she spoke, separately, with a representative from Fox and one from National Geographic. Amet says the same.
In the Fox investigation, Watson spoke with a network official ''for about an hour and retold the same story I had told the reporters,'' she told Vox in an email. ''She had emailed me afterwards saying she might have follow up questions but never contacted me again.'' In the case of National Geographic, Watson spoke with a private investigator for about two hours, she said.
Amet said that the National Geographic investigator asked a lot of questions about her experiences in college and graduate school that didn't involve Tyson.
''I didn't come off looking very good because of decisions that I made or things that happened to me,'' Amet said.
''I think they were trying to break me,'' she added. The investigator ''was asking more and more difficult questions.''
Fox and National Geographic declined to comment on the investigation for this story.
Without transparency, the women who spoke out are left wondering what the investigators foundLast week, the networks issued a statement: ''The investigation is complete, and we are moving forward with both StarTalk and Cosmos.''
''StarTalk will return to the air with the remaining 13 episodes in April on National Geographic, and both Fox and National Geographic are committed to finding an air date for Cosmos,'' the statement continued. ''There will be no further comment.''
The statement left the women involved wondering what the investigators had actually found. Allers confirmed to Vox that she spoke with investigators for Fox and National Geographic, but said, ''I can't really comment on conclusions of the investigation, because I don't know what the investigation concluded or if any further actions are being taken.''
Asked if she had heard anything from the networks about the results of the investigation, Watson said, ''Not a peep.''
For the women involved, the networks' decision to put Tyson back on the air isn't necessarily surprising. ''He makes them a lot of money,'' Amet said.
''Obviously there's millions of dollars at stake,'' Watson told Vox, ''so it makes sense that they're going to do everything in their power to protect that investment, but I really felt for Tchiya when I heard the news.''
Another investigation into Tyson, by the American Museum of Natural History, is ongoing, a spokesperson for the museum told Vox. Amet said she has been interviewed as part of that investigation. Watson said she declined an interview because the request came in late January, months after she had spoken with Fox and National Geographic investigators. ''I felt their request came too late for me to delve back into it when I was very much trying to move on with my life,'' she said.
The investigations are some of the many that have been launched in the #MeToo era, as companies try to respond to allegations against some of their most powerful employees. This week, Warner Bros. announced that its chair and CEO, Kevin Tsujihara, would step down amid an investigation into allegations about a relationship with an actress, CNN reported. Last year, an NBCUniversal investigation found ''insufficient evidence'' to support the allegation that host Ryan Seacrest had assaulted and harassed a former stylist.
''Sadly, NBC did not interview 10 of the witnesses I provided, including my therapist and my boyfriend at the time,'' the stylist, Suzie Hardy, wrote at the Hollywood Reporter. ''After closing the books on its 'inconclusive' investigation, NBC refused to provide me with any of its findings or even the HR reports from my 2012 claims.''
Such investigations are sometimes put forth as a way for employers to fairly adjudicate sexual misconduct claims. But even as these investigations gain more attention in the #MeToo era, they vary widely in how they are conducted and how much information is ever released to the public and the people involved. The experiences of Amet, Watson, and Allers are a reminder that the process isn't always transparent, and it can leave those who came forward with allegations feeling that their concerns weren't fully addressed.
Amet would like to see a different outcome from the museum investigation. ''I don't feel good having that type of person around the public,'' she said.
But in the meantime, she is beginning to move on with her life after a story she's been telling for years finally got nationwide attention. ''I definitely feel different now that my story is out,'' she said. ''I was afraid of him finding out for some reason, so a huge fear of mine is no longer there, and I'm just now starting to feel like myself again.''
Why Did Elizabeth Holmes Use a Fake, Deep Voice?
Wed, 20 Mar 2019 12:01
Elizabeth Holmes. Photo: Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images
There are many fascinating, upsetting details in the story of Elizabeth Holmes, but my favorite is her voice. Holmes, the ousted Theranos founder who was indicted last year on federal fraud charges for hawking an essentially imaginary product to multi-millionaire investors, pharmacies, and hospitals, speaks in a deep baritone that, as it turns out, is fake. Former co-workers of Holmes told The Dropout, a new podcast about Theranos's downfall, that Holmes occasionally ''fell out of character'' and exposed her real, higher voice '-- particularly after drinking.
In the new Theranos HBO documentary, ''The Inventor,'' Holmes' baritone is on full, strange display. There is a moment in which the camera person filming Holmes for an earlier interview segment asks her what her favorite Star Wars sound is (?), and she says Yoda. The cameraman then asks her to do Yoda's voice, and for a moment, I held my breath. She pauses, and then, in the same deep mumble, recites: ''Do or do not, there is no try.''
If you hunt around online, you can sometimes find YouTube videos in which Holmes can be heard using that real voice before catching herself and deepening it, but these videos have a tendency to be taken down after a day or two. This, of course, only makes me more interested. Holmes is obviously guilty of many more serious crimes, but faking one's voice is just weird, and embarrassing, in much the same way that bad toupees are: they place one's bodily insecurities center stage. Plus, now she'll have to do this voice for the rest of her life (?), and it's all I can think about. The internet's reaction to the podcast, and to Bad Blood, John Carreyrou's book about Theranos, suggests I'm not alone.
Personally, the episode has brought me back to an equally thrilling (if smaller) faked-voice scandal, in which a former co-worker of mine, after speaking in a straightforward East Coast accent for more than a year, suddenly developed an accent she labeled British, but which sounded more Australian. Nobody knew what to do, except gossip profusely. I still wonder about that co-worker, and I expect I will for the rest of my life. Ditto Elizabeth. So in order to better understand people like them (voice-fakers), I talked to Jillian O'Connor, an assistant professor of psychology at Concordia University who studies voices' influence on others' perceptions.
Perhaps the most important thing to remember, O'Connor tells me, is that people generally do the things they do because they believe the benefits greatly outweigh the costs. In other words: Holmes (and my co-worker, supposedly) had her reasons, even if they don't make sense to the rest of us. Namely: she thought it would achieve the desired effect of making her seem like a Silicon Valley visionary, says O'Connor. ''This whole [Holmes] situation, the image manipulation, dressing like Steve Jobs, trying to sound a particular way '-- it sounds like an awful lot went into facade,'' she says. Given the many millions of dollars invested in Holmes' non-functioning blood box, her effort was '... worth it, at least for a time. O'Connor says the research backs the effort behind Holmes's baritone, too: ''Some of the research we've worked on shows that when men and women deliberately lower their voices, it's actually successful,'' she says. ''They do sound more dominant. They do sound more likely to be someone who's in a position of power.'' This belief, of course, is rooted in sexism, and the idea that men (and especially hyper-masculine men) are more fit to lead than women, and certainly not feminine ones. There are seemingly fewer scenarios in which a higher voice is beneficial, though women with higher voices are perceived as more fertile, feminine, and diminutive than their lower-voiced peers, which may partly explain the babygirl whisper Paris Hilton perfected on The Simple Life.
As for the accent fakers, research also confirms that Americans, at least, perceive people speaking with a British accent as smarter and higher in social status, says O'Connor. (The research on British-Australian accents developed suddenly isn't there yet, sadly.) In both cases, the faked voice exploits very real cultural biases, working to enhance our impressions of their speakers. It might be a particularly weird technique, but the need being expressed here is very basically human, says O'Connor. ''People generally like to be liked, and [things like voice] are salient differences that stick out, and have positive associations,'' she says. ''We're more likely to try and highlight those aspects, and apparently, in some cases, maybe even create them.'' What we're not so fond of, however, is witnessing the change take place, as in the case of Meghan Markle. I think this goes back to my toupee analogy: the facade is one thing, but to be caught in the act of creating it renders it inauthentic, and if there's one thing we can't stand, it's perceived inauthenticity. To those of us who knew the Holmeses and Markles of the world before their new voices, they likely seem nuts, but consider all the people they met after: might they not take that voice at face-value, appreciating it for its pitch or particular accent?
While it's tempting to think we're all excellent at separating a faked voice from a real one, O'Connor says that's only half true. ''We might be really good at picking up on the people who are bad at faking their voice,'' she says, ''but not at the ones that seem to be more expert.'' For instance: compare Ren(C)e Zellweger, God bless her, in Bridget Jones's Diary to Christian Bale in, I don't know, anything. (He's Welsh! You forgot again, didn't you.) I'd like to think I'd have suspected Elizabeth Holmes right away, but I've only become aware of her voice after learning it was faked, so I'll never know for sure. And I can say from experience that knowing a voice is fake doesn't make it any less mystifying.
Perhaps what most perplexes us about the faked voice, then, is the effort relative to the effect. ''Imagine the effort, the training, the strain and the concentration that would take, day in and day out, just to control your voice while going about your everyday life,'' says O'Connor. Imagine fearing that you'd slip into your real voice after two and half wines, or in your sleep. Does Elizabeth Holmes use her baritone when she speaks to her boyfriend, or does he get the real deal? I simply cannot relax until I find out.
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Thread by @Calliethulhu: "What fresh hell is this? whew So... 'Lite' does fuck all, it's just a monthly tip jar service. 'Pro' is what Patreon is now, but you've got ['...]"
Wed, 20 Mar 2019 11:43
12,399 views
What fresh hell is this?
whew
So... 'Lite' does fuck all, it's just a monthly tip jar service. 'Pro' is what Patreon is now, but you've got to sacrifice 3% more of your revenue (unless you're a 'founder') in exchange for 'creator-led workshops' and 'priority customer support' (🤮)
And then 'Premium' is for huge creators who wanna sell merch and lose even more revenue. OK lol
This isn't as bad as I'd feared but it's still some grade-A bullshit in action. Needlessly bloating a platform with features no-one wants in order to justify stripping more revenue from creators. It's a shitty trend and this sacrifices the simplicity that made Patreon good
Literally yes. If you want to use Patreon at any point in the future you should get set up as a creator now, to make sure your account has founder status and you can keep more of your revenue whenever you actually start creating
https://twitter.com/JunpeiHyde/status/1108054993012248576 That Pro tier is actually such a joke. They're taking 3% more from new creators in exchange for... literally nothing. 'Creator-led workshops'? Nobody wants that. Literally no-one wants your shitty webinars. 'Priority customer support'? What does that even mean?
'Priority customer support' presumably means that anyone using Lite gets completely fucked over if there's a problem. But most people will be on Pro anyway. So everyone gets 'priority' support? Lol
Absolutely cannot get over the extent to which
NO-ONE
ASKED
FOR
THIS
Wait oof they really tried to bury the story here. New payment processing rates for non-founders. As far as I can tell, these are dramatically worse than the current rates (please correct me if I'm wrong?)
On a $1 pledge, you're paying 5% + 10c. That's 15c. That's a 15% take for the payment processors. What the actual fuck
If you're a new creator then you get the 8% rate on Pro too. So on your $1 pledges, you'll be losing 23%. 23%. That's huge
Compare that to now, where it's 5% to Patreon, and roughly another 5% on payment processing depending on the specifics of your pledges (plus payout fees). $1 would tend to incur higher payment processing anyway, but still, this seems... really bad
There's no way to be specific about how your take-home percentage as a creator would change because right now payment processing fees aren't consistent, but these numbers seem worrying to me, as does the fact they've tried to bury the change in an FAQ of a much larger change
I also find this level of vagueness and equivocation about a crucial question a little concerning
Like it's fine if there isn't a straightforward answer but you ought to be able to tell us more than that....
Overall, personally? I'm very glad to be shielded from all this mess, as a 'founder creator'. But I'm worried that they will try and coerce founders into opting-in to the new rates and tiers, which they could easily do by e.g. not supporting founder payment processing properly
lol
I can say with absolute confidence that I was never asked to do a survery, was never invited to a meetup or roundtable, never asked to participate in a focus group, and certainly never approached for a 1:1 conversation. And I haven't heard of anyone else who was
PRETTY SURE WE WOULD HAVE HEARD SOMETHING IF THIS HAD BEEN HAPPENING HUH?
I know I'm just a dirty smut-peddler but Patreon happily takes 5% of my earnings each month, and if they're doing that then it seems like they should, yknow, care
Btw as much as this sucks, if you support people on Patreon I would ask you NOT to commit to some kind of boycott or en-masse pledge cancelling as a protest. I don't want that to happen, to me or anyone. Creators need your support, now more than ever ><
And to reiterate, since this thread is getting shared a lot, the biggest takeaway should be MAKE YOUR CREATOR PAGE NOW, if you think you might ever want one. There's no cost, and having access to founder rates can only be to your advantage
It makes me mad as hell that what always made Patreon good was that it's a simple, lightweight service to help creators and supporters connect. That's all. And now that's getting ruined, because shareholders wanted to take 3% more away from the creators
'Cause tbh I really believe that everything else is a smokescreen for that. No-one has asked for these other features or changes, ever, and at the end of the day we know that Patreon is beholden to venture capitalists, and all they care about is money
Napkin maths on new processing fees:
I have 92 patrons at the $5 tier, and 14 at the $1 tier. Last month, when I had a few less patrons, I paid $21.21 in processing fees according to Patreon. That's 4.25% of my total revenue from patrons
Under the new charges, 2.9% +30c on 92 $5 pledges = $40.94. 5% + 10c on 14 $1 pledges = $2.10. In total, that makes for processing fees of $43.04. Double what I currently pay
Only approximate numbers because I'm rounding all my patrons to $1 or $5 pledges. Still, a huge rise...
This should be the real story, imo, now that I've looked at the numbers. Not the new tiers. The new processing fees. This is a huge rise for new creators, without clear justification, with the details buried in an expandable FAQ at the bottom of the page. Unacceptable
Btw there's also no way that all that extra money is all going to payment processors. I don't believe that. I've been paying processing fees at cost for months and it's half of what Patreon now wants to charge people. That does not add up. Patreon is gonna be pocketing that cash
Anyway uh
Muting this thread now, but if you feel like supporting me, well, my Patreon page is what I got, ironically. I write kinky, trans-friendly erotica! If that sounds like something you might be interested in...
patreon.com/Kallie
Christchurch mosque attacks: Masterton woman arrested for Facebook post after mosque shooting - NZ Herald
Wed, 20 Mar 2019 11:21
A Wairarapa woman was arrested on suspicion of inciting racial disharmony after a hateful message was posted to her Facebook page in response to the Christchurch shootings.
The offence falls under the Human Rights Act and carries a maximum penalty of three months' imprisonment or a $7000 fine.
Police say a decision is still to be made about whether the woman will be charged and put before the court, or face an alternative resolution.
The Times-Age believes the woman is a parent to a child at a Masterton primary school, and parents complained to the principal and the police.
Senior Sergeant Jennifer Hansen said the Facebook post "upset a number of people because it referred to the events in Christchurch".
She said the post was brought down relatively quickly, but not before "a number of people had already seen it and raised concerns".
The woman is believed to be in her late 20s.
A charge of inciting racial disharmony can be laid against a person who "publishes or distributes written matter which is threatening, abusive, or insulting" to other people, on the grounds of colour, race, ethnicity or national origins.
On Monday, an 18-year-old accused of sharing a live-stream of the Christchurch mosque mass shooting was refused bail.
The teen faces two charges: one of sharing the gunman's live-stream and a second for posting a photograph of one of the mosque's attacked with the message "target acquired" along with other chat messages "inciting extreme violence".
The 18-year-old appeared in Christchurch District Court today and was granted name suppression. However, his request for bail was refused by Judge Stephen O'Driscoll.
Police have said the teen - who cannot yet be named - was not involved in the shootings on Friday.
He is due back in court next month.
The charge relating to distributing an objectionable publication is dated March 15, the day of the mosque shootings, court documents show.
Trump to meet 5 Caribbean leaders on Friday | Caribbean News Service
Wed, 20 Mar 2019 11:18
U.S. President Donald Trump will meet at his Florida resort on Friday with the leaders of the Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica and Saint Lucia to discuss Chinese ''predatory economic practices'' and the Venezuela situation, the White House said in a statement on Tuesday.
Trump and the Caribbean leaders will also discuss security cooperation and the potential opportunities for energy investment, the White House said.
''The President looks forward to working with countries in the region to strengthen our security cooperation and counter China's predatory economic practices,'' the White House statement said.
Washington has warned countries in the region about accepting Chinese investment. In October, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters in Mexico City that ''when China comes calling it's not always to the good of your citizens.''
''When they show up with deals that seem to be too good to be true it's often the case that they, in fact, are,'' Pompeo said.
On Venezuela, the United States has recognized opposition leader Juan Guaido as the country's interim president.
Guaido invoked the constitution to assume the interim presidency in January, saying President Nicolas Maduro's re-election was not legitimate. Most Western countries have backed Guaido as head of state.
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Christchurch mosque shootings: Philip Neville Arps in custody for allegedly sharing footage of shooting - NZ Herald
Wed, 20 Mar 2019 11:17
A Christchurch businessman has appeared in court on charges of distributing footage of one of the mosque shootings.
MORE:' Kiwis lose jobs for sharing massacre video at work' Up to 14 years' jail for video sharers as Commissioner asks Facebook to give police names
Philip Neville Arps, 44, had his application for bail declined when he appeared in the Christchurch District Court today.
He was remanded in custody until his next appearance on April 15.
Arps, who runs an insulation business, faced two charges of distributing the livestream "of the multiple murder victims at the Deans Ave Mosque".
The alleged offending occurred on March 16, the day after the shootings at two Christchurch mosques, in which 50 people died.
The charges have a maximum penalty of 14 years in prison.
In court, Arps was handcuffed and dressed in blue T-shirt, track pants and socks. His arms were heavily tattooed.
He is the director of a company which is under scrutiny for having a Nazi sign as its logo - the same symbol featured in a manifesto by the alleged shooter.
The company, Beneficial Insulation, has a sun wheel as its company logo. It is a symbol employed in a post-Third Reich context by neo-Nazis and some occult subcultures.
Judge Stephen O'Driscoll granted a police request to clear the public gallery for the hearing.
The courtroom was heavily guarded by security.
Mosque attacks: Christchurch gunsmith warned police about white supremacists last year | RNZ News
Wed, 20 Mar 2019 04:10
Navigation for News CategoriesA gunsmith living and working in Canterbury says he told police less than six months ago they needed to look at the rise of white supremacists with guns in Christchurch.
Police officers search the area near the Masjid Al Noor mosque, site of one of the mass shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, Saturday, March 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Mark Baker) Photo: AP
But police said an officer who spoke at public forums last year could not recall a person specifically raising these concerns.
Hamish Bruce helps put together gun show events, battle re-enactments and provides armoury for films.
Mr Bruce said at a meeting in October last year to discuss the Arms Act, he told superintendent Mike McIlraith he was seeing more people with extremist views attending gun events and legally gaining firearms licences.
He said they had started to attend re-enactments he was involved with.
"I did warn him specifically that there were real neo-Nazis out there and they had gained access to all manner of firearms... I'm talking about machine guns, pistols, submachine guns, the whole gamut of what's available to restricted collectors."
Mr Bruce said police needed to know.
"I'd noticed that some of the associates of these groups, I felt, were particularly unsavoury.
"Years ago I was quite politically active in Christchurch, in the late 80s and early 90s, with the skinhead scene - we were anti that - and I knew some of them at that time and I was seeing these faces come back again and so I knew what these people's history had been in the past and it set my alarm bells ringing.
"I thought at least he can get his intelligence people to at least have a squiz at it."
Mr Bruce said they had talked about setting up a meeting to discuss it further.
"He said he would look into it and he did say he wanted to talk about it further but unfortunately we never got the chance."
In a statement police said Mike McIlraith spoke at 12 public forums in six locations around New Zealand in October 2018.
"All the forums were well attended, including Christchurch which had more than 100 people. Questions, observations and commentary were free-flowing and quickly moved back and forth between a range of firearms-related topics.
"Acting Superintendent McIlraith states he cannot recall an individual specifically raising concerns of this nature in the mix of all the forums he presented at.
"Police strongly encourage the person who contacted Radio New Zealand to contact Canterbury Police and provide any information they may have relating to their concerns."
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MORE STRANGENESS(?) ABOUT ETHIOPIAN FLIGHT 302
Tue, 19 Mar 2019 18:15
Something seems terribly wrong with the story of Ethiopian flight 302. I blogged about this last week, after having a few emails from various people suggesting that perhaps the MCAS artificial intelligence system on the craft was either deficient, or perhaps had even been hacked. Thus far, the consensus on the story seems to be that this system is opaque and not intuitive, and that there are deficiencies in the pilot's manual.
What concerns me however are the strangeness of airline accidents lately. The disappearance of Malaysia Air flight 370 continues to daunt any explanation (and search), and was followed by the apparent downing of Malaysia air flight 17 over the Ukraine. Then came the crash of Lyon Air flight 610 in Indonesia, the first of the Boeing 737-Max 8's to crash, followed now by Ethiopian Air's flight 302. As most readers here are probably aware, the aircraft has now been grounded, and reportedly Boeing is working on a "fix" to its MCAS system, which is supposed to automatically adjust the trim of the aircraft due to unusually forward-mounted engines on its wings... or... something like that.
But there's two articles that make me wonder if we're getting the full story. I'm not a pilot, of course, and I know nothing about flying (other than that I don't like it and won't do it), however these two articles, taken together, give me pause and make me wonder if there is something more going on than meets the eye. This is one of those "you tell me stories," because to my amateur's eye, something is quite amiss. The first article was sent by Mr. E.G., and the graphs alone make one rather sick to the stomach, imagining what those poor people on that doomed flight were experiencing:
"Something Was Extraordinarily Wrong": Doomed Boeing Swung Up And Down Hundreds Of Feet
If one looks at the graphs of the vertical speed of the Lyon flight and the Ethiopian Air flight, they are quite similar in that the speed increases and decreases seem all out of whack. But what's interesting is that we're not being shown the data for the last half of Ethtiopian flight 302's short flight into disaster. The flight appears to have been on some kind of roller coaster ride:
According to officials with Ethiopian Airlines, the crew of flight 302 told air traffic control they they were experiencing "flight control" problems just a few minutes before contact was lost. Pilot Yared Getachew - who had more than 8,000 hours of flying experience, reported the initial "flight control" problem in a calm voice within one minute of departure.
According to the radar, the aircraft was flying far below the minimum safe altitude recommended during takeoff. Within two minutes, the plane had climbed to a safer altitude, and the pilot reported that he wanted to remain on a straight course to 14,000 feet.
The plane then proceeded to rapidly climb and fall by hundreds of feet while flying unusually fast, according to the Times. Air traffic controllers "started wondering out loud what the flight was doing."
The plane's trajectory was so erratic that two other Ethiopian flights - 613 and 629, where ordered to remain at higher altitudes.
While the controllers were instructing the other planes to keep their distance, a panicked Captain Getachew interrupted just three minutes into their flight and requested to turn back as the plane accelerated to even higher speeds well beyond the plane's safety limits.
So far, so bad. As the story goes, all of this information seems to support the "problems-in-the-AI-MCAS" system hypothesis. But then there's this tidbit of information:
A minute later, it disappeared from the radar while flying over a restricted military zone.
Ordinarily this bit of information wouldn't make me think twice. But then one turns to the second article, shared by Mr. S.D.:
Army captain killed in Ethiopia plane crash
In this article, there is reference to a statement by an eyewitness, who shortly before the actual crash saw something very strange:
The Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft went down in clear weather just minutes after takeoff. It ''rotated two times in the air'' with smoke coming from the back before crashing, said witness Tamrat Abera. (Emphasis added)
What's interesting here is the implication that this witness may have seen something very strange during that portion of the flight about which we otherwise seem to have a curious lack of information. What this witness describes is itself something very odd: the aircraft apparently rotated two times... the problem here is what this language actually means: did the aircraft do loops in the air like a looping rollercoaster? That's rather difficult to believe if indeed the witness saw this just before the crash. Or did it do a spiraling corkscrew? or was it in a spiraling nosedive? Or worse, was the fuselage being twisted back and forth along its central axis in some sort of torsion effect? Ordinarily I'd opt for "spiraling nosedive", but the language is ambiguous enough to allow for other, more disturbing possibilities.
Then there's the matter of the smoke "coming from the back," meaning, perhaps, from the back of the fuselage, which would again be rather odd since the engines are mounted on the wings; so it sounds as if something else might have been on fire other than the engines. Thus, if there's smoke coming from the fuselage, what might be burning? Hydraulics from the control systems for flaps and so on? If so, then that means there might be another culprit than the MCAS system, and it is obvious that one could not rule out foul play. In any case, all this "rotating" and "smoking" is taking place while the aircraft "disappears from the radar while flying over a restricted military zone", making me wonder if the strange behavior described by the witness might be the result of some technology being employed against the aircraft, or if indeed a bomb or some other method of destruction had been placed on it. Who knows?
I certainly do not know, but it seems to me that something smells here, and it has my suspicion meter in the orange-to-red zone. My guess is that this witness, cited in the second article, may have an important key, if not the key to it. And accordingly my guess is we'll hear very little - if anything at all - from that witness by way of clarifying those strange remarks in the future. I could be wrong, I hope I'm wrong. But in the meantime, we're in the presence of a mystery, and I want very much to hear more detail from that witness, as I do from recovered black boxes.
See you on the flip side...
About Latest PostsAbout Joseph P. FarrellJoseph P. Farrell has a doctorate in patristics from the University of Oxford, and pursues research in physics, alternative history and science, and "strange stuff". His book The Giza DeathStar, for which the Giza Community is named, was published in the spring of 2002, and was his first venture into "alternative history and science".
TIDBIT: MISSING PAGES OF EINSTEIN'S UNIFIED FIELD THEORY FOUND - March 19, 2019 MORE STRANGENESS(?) ABOUT ETHIOPIAN FLIGHT 302 - March 19, 2019 A STRANGE ADMISSION FROM NASA? - March 18, 2019 MEMBERS: AFRICAN-EUROPEAN TIME ZONE VIDCHAT MARCH 15 2019 - March 15, 2019 OF GOLD AND WARGAMES: TWO SEEMINGLY UNRELATED ARTICLES - March 15, 2019 NEWS AND VIEWS FROM THE NEFARIUM MARCH 14 2019 - March 14, 2019 THE OPACITY OF AI AND THOSE BOEING PLANE CRASHES - March 14, 2019 TIDBIT: AND SPEAKING OF 5G'... - March 13, 2019 SHOCKING PEOPLE INTO COMPLIANCE AND CONFORMITY - March 13, 2019 HACKING DNA SYNTHESIZERS'... WITH SOUND - March 12, 2019
Former DNC chair Donna Brazile to join Fox News - POLITICO
Tue, 19 Mar 2019 17:33
Former DNC chair Donna Brazile's move comes as some in the Democratic Party have accused Fox News of functioning as state-run television for President Donald Trump. | Kamil Krzaczynski/Getty Images
Former interim DNC Chairwoman Donna Brazile is joining Fox News as a commentator, the network said on Monday.
The longtime Democratic operative will offer commentary on both Fox News and Fox Business, and her move comes as some in the Democratic Party have accused the channel of functioning as state-run television for President Donald Trump, especially after an article in the New Yorker outlined how intertwined the network is with Trump's White House.
Story Continued Below
Brazile in a statement said she was ''delighted'' to join the network and said she was eager to represent Democrats for Fox News viewers, who she argued don't ''hear enough from Democrats.''
She acknowledged that she might catch heat from members of her party for the move, saying that ''my response is that, if we've learned anything from the 2016 election, it is that we can't have a country where we don't talk to those who disagree with our political views.''
Prior to serving as the head of the Democratic National Committee briefly during the 2016 election, Brazile had been a longtime commentator on networks like ABC and CNN. The latter severed ties with Brazile just weeks before the election after WikiLeaks published emails in which she tipped off members of Hillary Clinton's campaign about questions at a debate and town hall during the Democratic primary.
A source with knowledge of internal workings at Fox News nodded at those accusations, saying Monday that Brazile will not have anything to do with the debate or town hall process at the network. The network, however, will not be hosting any Democratic primary debates after the DNC announced that Fox News was not a suitable host following the publication of the New Yorker article.
Brazile's contributorship begins immediately, with her first appearance coming Monday afternoon on Dana Perino's ''Daily Briefing.''
Though Fox News consistently tops ratings lists over rivals CNN and MSNBC, it has also come under scrutiny for controversial behavior by former top executives and hosts at the network.
The network cleared house in 2016 when then-CEO Roger Ailes was accused of sexual harassment, and Bill O'Reilly, then one of the channel's biggest stars, was similarly removed after news broke that the network had settled multiple sexual harassment claims on his behalf.
More recently, two of the network's most popular hosts have attracted scrutiny for controversial remarks. Tucker Carlson came under fire last week after liberal media watchdog Media Matters posted audio of him making disparaging comments about women and talking about child rape.
And Judge Jeanine Pirro's weekend show was pulled this past Saturday, a step that drew fierce criticism from the president, after a rebuke from the network over Islamophobic remarks she made about freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.).
Brazile made no mention of those controversies in her announcement that she would join the network, nor in an op-ed posted on Fox News' website in which she acknowledged that she'd made ''more than my fair share'' of mistakes. Instead, she touted an emphasis on civility and welcomed her ideological opposites on the network challenging her beliefs.
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Internetbankieren nekt tramschutter Utrecht | Binnenland | Telegraaf.nl
Tue, 19 Mar 2019 17:06
De mobiele telefoon waarmee de opmerkelijke transactie werd uitgevoerd kon worden uitgepeild en zo kwam de recherche gistermiddag achter de verblijfplaats van T.. Hier werd hij aan het begin van de avond door een arrestatieteam overmeesterd. Dit hebben bronnen dicht bij het onderzoek bevestigd.
Oud telefoonnummerDe recherche kon gisteren '' nadat eerst de identiteit van de aanslagpleger werd vastgesteld '' in eerste instantie alleen een oud telefoonnummer van T. achterhalen. Dat nummer leidde niet tot bruikbare gegevens over zijn verblijfplaats. Ook naspeuringen bij vrienden en familie hadden geen enkel resultaat. Intussen nam de dreiging op meer aanslagen door T. toe.
Vanwege deze enorme risico's besloot de politie ook live de bankgegevens van de verdachte te monitoren. Dit is een in politiekringen zeer uitzonderlijke stap.
Kort na de aanslag bleek T. via een onbekende mobiele telefoon te hebben ingelogd op zijn bankaccount en geld te hebben overgemaakt. De transactie kon direct worden gekoppeld aan het nummer van een mobiele telefoon, dat toen dankzij een spoedmachtiging van een rechter-commissaris via speciale apparatuur kon worden uitgepeild.
De telefoon bleek eigendom van een bekende van T. Het digitale spoor leidde naar het adres waar T. verbleef. Even na zes uur gisteravond deed een team van de Dienst Speciale Interventies een inval en arresteerde T.
Inmiddels is ook meer duidelijk waarom politie en openbaar ministerie vanaf de aanslag tot op heden ernstig rekening houden met een terroristisch motief en andere motieven minder waarschijnlijk achten. In een in de vluchtauto teruggevonden briefje beschrijft T. niet alleen in naam van Allah te hebben gehandeld maar groet hij ook zijn 'moslimbroeders.'
SalafistischDat gegeven gecombineerd met de banden die de broer en vader van T. hebben met Salafistische moslimbewegingen, doen politie en openbaar ministerie nog steeds vasthouden aan een terreuraanslag. Een conflict in de relationele sfeer, zoals eerwraak , is veel onwaarschijnlijker aangezien er geen enkele relatie is vastgesteld tussen de verdachte en de slachtoffers.
Dagelijks tijdens de lunch het laatste nieuws in je inbox?Ongeldig e-mailadres. Vul nogmaals in aub.
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John Podesta Was in New Zealand 5 Days Ago; Warned of 'Major' Cyber-Attack '' Worlds Truth
Tue, 19 Mar 2019 16:29
Former Clinton campaign manager, John Podesta, paid a visit to New Zealand four days before the deadly mass shooting to warn of an imminent ''major'' cyber-attack.
In an interview with Newshub, the political hack warned that New Zealand is a ''big juicy target'' for a cyber-attack by Russia or China.
Msn.com reports: Having run the White House as chief of staff to President Bill Clinton, and acting as counsellor to President Barack Obama, Mr Podesta is of the most powerful people in US democratic politics.
He was also the campaign manager of presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton '' although that didn't go well.
During the campaign, tens of thousands of Mr Podesta's emails were hacked by the Russia government.
The hack and release on WikiLeaks was believed to be a major factor in Ms Clinton's loss to current president Donald Trump.
''Vladimir Putin must be sitting in the Kremlin saying this is the best return on investment I ever got '' I've got a pliant president of the United States,'' Mr Podesta says.
New Zealand's top spies warned Parliament last month that our election is also vulnerable to attack, and Mr Podesta agrees.
''I'd say very worried,'' he told Newshub. ''I don't see why they couldn't do it. And there are other state actors as well.''
At the top of that list is China.
''There are other actors in the region including China that may have a high degree of interest in being able to penetrate what the private conversations of people in NZ politics and NZ Government are looking at,'' Mr Podesta says.
New Zealand is a member of the Five Eyes spy network, a powerful intelligence club made up of the US, UK, Canada, Australia and us.
He says we're a ''juicier target'', and should guard against hacked information being weaponised as fake news.
''What's new is this weaponisation '' the use of social media to spread discord, lies, dissatisfaction '' that's I think what you've got to look out for,'' he says.
Mr Podesta played a starring role in one of the great conspiracy theories of the election '' his hacked emails included an exchange about a Washington DC pizza joint called Comet Ping Pong.
''[The rumours were] that HC and I were running a child porn ring, which had no basis in anything, but a guy showed up with a gun and ended up shooting up a pizza parlour,'' he says.
This is a cautionary tale from someone who understands too well the influence and damage hacking and fake news can do.
New Zealand is not exempt '' and Newshub understands it's something the Prime Minister is seriously concerned about.
iPhone Card Deck Lets You Play With An iPhone Even Without An iPhone
Tue, 19 Mar 2019 16:04
What do you do when your iPhone's battery runs out and you really, really want to play a game of Solitaire? You buy a deck of iPhone Playing Cards, that's what.
Even though they said iPhone gaming is the next big thing, I'm pretty sure market analysts never meant anything like this. Created by novelty connoisseurs Meninos, the 52-piece deck offers a full set of Anglo-American playing cards, clad in the iPhone's unmistakable design. Both the rear and the face are fashioned to look exactly like Apple's groundbreaking smartphone, complete with fading colors to mimic the handset's glossy finish.
The cards are made from 100% washable PVC plastic, with a common print on the back and the labels on opposite corners of the face. Graphic is inserted on what's supposed to be the ''phone's'' display panel. Card dimensions are 5.7 x 8.9 cm, which should be smaller than a real iPhone. From afar, each piece looks like the once-rumored iPhone Mini or one of those Chinese rip-offs with names like HiPhone and such.
They're selling the iPhone Playing Cards for $25 per set, a ridiculously steep price for a deck of cards. Gotta love them Apple tax '' even rip-off products are getting priced to the hilt!
[Meninos via Technabob]

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