Cover for No Agenda Show 1134: Opinion People
May 2nd, 2019 • 2h 52m

1134: Opinion People


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

Hey fellas! I meant to respond to the sorghum query in one
of my previous notes but i decided against it. I'll keep it short. Besides
being your inside man at the content moderation farm, I am also a professional
cook (aka culinary school degree and 10+ years of experience). Ive never used
it in its grain form, however, youre going to punch YOURSELVES in the mouth for
this simple answer... there is such a thing called sorghum SYRUP! Its
definitely bitter and is very similar to molasses but sweeter. The emulsification
Chef Dodd referred to was nothing more than the regular process of emulsifying
oil and vinegar (3:1 oil to vinegar) to make normal vinaigrette. I will take it
upon myself to create a recipe for a vinaigrette including sorghum syrup and
send it to you guys. Exit strategy idea #333... Sorghum Recipe Cookbooks!
Local 1
No Belt Three Roads
Troops don't want another phoney war
Sri Lanka Bombing
you hit the hammer on the head there ... 1:50
India giving sri Lanka the message .. we all understand it
here in Pakistan as even though Lanka has been victim of Indian terrorism thru
Tamilnadu the indian funded sepratist rebels for years ... Srilanka lets india
know they heard the message by immediately making the statement that srilanka
will not play against Pakistan a cricket mach because of concerns of
security as Pakistan is an unsafe country ... lol .... music to Indian ears
great connecting the dots adam
Squire Gates of central Wisconsin
Want into the EU
Religious tensions
China to the rescue!
VIDEO - The terrible fraud of 'transgender medicine' - YouTube
Thu, 02 May 2019 13:47
VIDEO - L.A. terror plot thwarted: Army vet planned 'mass casualties,' FBI says - Los Angeles Times
Thu, 02 May 2019 13:39
A U.S. Army veteran who wanted revenge for attacks on Muslims around the globe was planning to detonate a bomb at a Long Beach rally this past weekend before he was intercepted by law enforcement officials, authorities said Monday.
Mark Steven Domingo, 26, was arrested Friday night after he took delivery of what he thought was an improvised explosive device from an undercover law enforcement officer posing as a bomb-maker, officials said. He was charged with attempting to provide material support to terrorists and, if convicted, could face up to 15 years in prison.
According to a federal affidavit, Domingo considered ''various attacks '-- including targeting Jews, churches and police officers'' before he decided ''to detonate an IED at a rally scheduled to take place in Long Beach this past weekend.''
As part of the plot, Domingo asked his confederate '-- who actually was cooperating with the FBI as part of the investigation '-- to find a bomb-maker, and Domingo last week purchased several hundred nails to be used as shrapnel inside the IED.
He referenced the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing while asking the FBI informant to help him get access to similar pressure-cooker bombs that he hoped would kill and maim dozens, according to a criminal complaint unsealed Monday.
''Domingo said he specifically bought three-inch nails because they would be long enough to penetrate the human body and puncture internal organs,'' the affidavit states.
John C. Demers, the assistant attorney general for the Justice Department's national security division, said Domingo wanted to use improvised explosive devices that ''would make the bombs even more deadly to the victims he targeted.''
By Times staff
Apr 30, 2019 | 8:45 AM
''His arrest today mitigates the threat he posed to others in the Los Angeles community,'' Demers said.
Prosecutors said Domingo sought retribution for the March 15 attacks on New Zealand mosques and was willing to die a martyr.
''There must be retribution,'' he said in an online post, according to the federal criminal complaint.
In a series of posts, Domingo also said he hoped that another event similar to the 2017 slaughter at the Route 91 Harvest festival in Las Vegas might ''kick off civil unrest'' in the U.S.
''Its not about winning the civil war its about weakening America and giving them a taste of the terror they gladly spread all over the world,'' he wrote.
The rally that Domingo targeted had been organized by a group called the United Patriots National Front and was set to take place Sunday in Bluff Park, according to Long Beach Police Chief Robert Luna.
The group, which local activists have described as affiliated with white nationalism, did not show up, Luna said. The park was populated by about 200 counterprotesters on Sunday, but there were no arrests or injuries.
Domingo's ''back-up plan'' was to target a Saturday demonstration against California's so-called sanctuary state law, which took place in Huntington Beach.
Investigators declined to speculate on why Domingo would attack diametrically opposed political groups. Law enforcement officials said they did not warn event organizers for either rally because Domingo was captured on Friday and investigators did not believe he had any co-conspirators.
U.S. Atty. Nicola T. Hanna speaks at a news conference in downtown L.A. announcing the arrest of Mark Steven Domingo. (Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times)
After federal authorities saw Domingo's extremist comments online, an informant made contact with him. During a drive on March 18, Domingo pointed out possible targets, including ''police cars, churches and a National Guard Armory'' to the person he believed to be his co-conspirator, FBI Special Agent Tasha Coolidge said.
The veteran said he didn't plan on getting away: ''Martyrdom, bro.''
Domingo talked about using guns to conduct an attack, but the confidential informant suggested he knew someone who could make explosives.
''That is even better,'' Domingo said, according to court records.
Court records went on to detail an April 3 meeting, during which Domingo proposed killing police officers and military service personnel in Los Angeles. He said he wanted to carry out a large-scale attack possibly involving an explosion on a freeway that would leave ''hundreds and maybe thousands of U.S. citizens injured,'' according to the complaint.
''And then what?'' the informant asked Domingo.
''Then the fun starts,'' Domingo replied.
On April 19, the Army veteran's talk escalated, and he arrived at a meeting with the informant wearing camouflage pants and holding a backpack with an AK-47-style rifle, according to the affidavit. He said he was prepared to commit ''jihad.''
After discussing carrying out a drive-by shooting using the assault rifle, officials said Domingo ended up planning to target the rallies. Worried those events might be canceled, he also considered blowing up the Santa Monica Pier because it would be crowded, documents show.
When the informant told Domingo the Long Beach rally would happen, he proceeded with a plan to plant IEDs there, according to the affidavit. At that point, an undercover investigator joined the supposed plot as a bomb-maker.
On Friday, the informant and undercover investigator gave Domingo what he thought were active bombs, and they drove to Bluff Park to scope out the location for the attack. Domingo said if he survived the bombing, he also planned to attack the Port of Long Beach to disrupt the U.S. economy, records show.
Friday night, after the trio left the park and Domingo carried the supposed IEDs to his car, FBI agents arrested him.
Mark Steven Domingo was arrested Friday after he took delivery of what he thought was a live bomb, authorities said. (FBI)
Southern California has been the scene of several terrorism plots and attacks, including one by a prison-based group that targeted the U.S. government and supporters of Israel.
In 2005, Kevin James founded Jam'iyyat Ul-Islam Is-Saheeh, or JIS, inside a California prison and led a conspiracy to attack Los Angeles International Airport, several Army recruiting centers and the Israeli Consulate in L.A. The group planned to stage attacks on political targets with the proceeds of gas station robberies, investigators said. Authorities said they learned of the potential plot when Torrance police investigating the robberies found lists of targets and other information at one suspect's apartment in South Los Angeles.
Three years before that, a gunman killed two people at the busy LAX ticket counter of El Al Israel Airlines.
And in 2015, Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, entered a holiday gathering for county employees at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino and, using rifles purchased by a friend, killed 14 people and injured 22 others.
Authorities said that Farook and a friend had plotted additional terror attacks targeting students at a nearby community college and drivers on the 91 Freeway.
VIDEO - (1) Reverend Al Sharpton on Twitter: "Talking Trump and his Charlottesville comments on #GoodMorningBritain" / Twitter
Thu, 02 May 2019 13:22
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VIDEO - White Helmets admit staging fake chemical attacks in Syria - YouTube
Thu, 02 May 2019 12:53
VIDEO - Fox News' Chris Wallace Warns of Own Network's Bias: 'Opinion People' on Fox 'May Be Pushing Political Agenda' on Mueller Letter
Thu, 02 May 2019 11:51
Fox News host Chris Wallace on Wednesday warned viewers that some opinion-based coverage of special counsel Robert Mueller's letter to Attorney General William Barr on his own network may be biased and to set the record straight, he went over the ''facts.''
Without naming specifically which hosts he was referring to, Wallace urged viewers to focus on the ''facts'' and to disregard the other Fox News figures downplaying of the significance of Mueller's letter during a Wednesday appearance on Shepard Smith Reporting.
''I know there are some people who don't think this March 27 letter is a big deal,'' Wallace said. ''Some opinion people, some opinion people who appear on this network, who may be pushing a political agenda.''
''But, you know, we have to deal in facts. And the fact is that this letter from the special counsel, and it was one of at least three contacts with the Attorney General between March 25 and March 27, was a clear indication that the [special counsel] was upset, very upset, with the letter that had been sent out by the Attorney General, and wanted it changed, or wanted it at least added to and the Attorney General refused to do so,'' he continued. ''He felt the Attorney General's letter was inaccurate.''
''What he says in the letter is, 'You didn't reflect what we found in the report,' and there were a lot of people'--having read now the full report, or as much as it has not been redacted'--agree that he didn't reveal what was fully in the report,'' the host added.
''Again, those aren't opinions, that's not a political agenda, those are the facts.''
Fox News' Chris Wallace: Some opinion people who appear on this network who might be pushing a political agenda don't think the Mueller letter is a big deal. But we have to deal in facts -- the fact is this letter was a clear indication that Mueller was very upset w/ Barr.
— Lis Power (@LisPower1) May 1, 2019The New York Times and the Washington Post on Tuesday revealed the existence of a letter sent by Mueller to Barr sometime between March 25 and 27, where he detailed his objection with how his Russia report was summarized by the Attorney General.
''The summary letter the Department sent to Congress and released to the public late in the afternoon of March 24 did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance of this office's work and conclusions,'' Mueller wrote to Barr shortly after the latter released his four-page summary of the special counsel's investigation.
''There is now public confusion about critical aspects of the results of our investigation,'' Mueller added. ''This threatens to undermine a central purpose for which the Department appointed the Special Counsel: to assure full public confidence in the outcome of the investigations.''
Wallace's statements on the matter on Wednesday contrasted those made by a Fox & Friends panel earlier that morning, where the hosts defended Barr in the wake of immense backlash to the attorney general's handling of the report.
''They're misinterpreting it,'' Fox News co-host Ainsley Earhardt said, commenting on the letter. ''Yeah, exactly,'' co-host Steve Doocy replied.
After a short discussion, Earhardt concluded that Muller ''had a problem with the media coverage, not the summary.''
VIDEO - Alexandra DeSanctis on Twitter: "Here's Democratic state rep. John Rogers opposing an abortion ban in Alabama: ''It ought to be a woman's choice. . . . Some kids are unwanted. So you kill them now or you kill them later. You bring them into t
Thu, 02 May 2019 11:40
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VIDEO - Ryan Saavedra on Twitter: "Hillary Clinton calls on China to illegally obtain Trump's tax returns and give them to American media DNC Chair Tom Perez has repeatedly called on Republicans in recent days to not use stolen info and here is Hillary
Thu, 02 May 2019 11:38
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VIDEO - Ben Stiller Opening Statement (C-SPAN) - YouTube
Thu, 02 May 2019 11:31
VIDEO - Extinction Rebellion has a message for the world: We've only just begun | Article [AMP] | Reuters
Thu, 02 May 2019 11:15
Wed May 1, 2019 / 4:15 AM EDT
Guy Faulconbridge and Andrew R.C. Marshall
LONDON LONDON (Reuters) - After paralyzing parts of London, the co-founder of environmental group Extinction Rebellion has a message for the world: We've only just begun.
The group disrupted London with 11 days of protests that it cast as the biggest act of civil disobedience in recent British history. Iconic locations were blocked, the Shell building defaced, trains stopped and Goldman Sachs targeted.
The aim: A rebellion against the political, economic and social structure of the modern world in time to avert the worst devastation outlined by scientists studying climate change.
So what's next?
For the next phase of what she describes as "a movement fueled by love", Gail Bradbrook, a co-founder of Extinction Rebellion, told Reuters she wanted to provoke a mass refusal to repay debt that would upend the financial system.
"Economic growth tends to require the taking of resources from the Earth. So something has to change on a debt-based economy," said Bradbrook, sitting in the group's central London headquarters next to a coffin with "Our Future" written on the side.
"That would entail a mass refusal to pay off mortgages and student loans," she said.
"Debt resistance" groups in Britain, the United States and elsewhere argue that refusing to pay debts would spark discussion about alternatives to the global economic system.
Extinction Rebellion wants non-violent civil disobedience to force governments to cut carbon emissions and avert a climate crisis it says will bring starvation and social collapse.
The group is backed by hundreds of researchers and scientists who fear that most people are unaware of the scale of the risks posed by accelerating environmental breakdown.
It is a revolt against the extinction of species including, the group says, our own. It made a "declaration of rebellion" against the British government outside parliament in October.
"I want the system to change so I think you could call that a revolution," said Bradbrook, who graduated top in her year in chemistry at university before doing a molecular biophysics PhD.
With peaceful stunts - such as blocking Oxford Circus and Waterloo Bridge and stopping traffic outside the Bank of England - the group has garnered massive publicity.
Police said 1,130 arrests had been made since the main protests began. A picture of a semi-nude protest in parliament went viral. One activist glued her breasts to the road outside Goldman Sachs European headquarters on Fleet Street.
London police chief Cressida Dick said she had never seen a protest like this during her 36-year career.
Bradbrook said protesters also planned to disrupt other British cities.
Extinction Rebellion's headquarters in London look like a grungy version of a tech start-up. Activists with laptops sit at cluttered desks or on run-down furniture amid bags of clothes, boxes of campaign literature and mock skeletons.
Unfurled across a wall is a banner that reads "NO BREXIT ON A DEAD PLANET".
Beneath the apparent chaos is a well-oiled organization that has inspired copycat actions across Britain and worldwide.
"The big goal - and it sounds crazy - is to save as much life on Earth as possible," Bradbrook said. "So that's not been achieved yet."
The group is inspired by a variety of figures - from Nelson Mandela and India's Vandana Shiva to Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh and Austrian Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl.
Bradbrook, once "a girly swot par excellence", said Extinction Rebellion was also partly inspired by the clarity she gained taking psychedelic substances including iboga and ayahuasca, both powerful hallucinogens, in Costa Rica in 2016.
The experience, she wrote, "rewired" her brain. She returned to the UK, left her husband and, with a handful of others, founded the movement that became Extinction Rebellion.
The group has been criticized as largely middle-class, but Bradbrook's father worked at a coal mine in northern England.
She lives with her two sons in Stroud, a picturesque town in southwest England with a reputation for new-age activities.
"Everyone is into yoni steaming," she said of a therapy favored by actor Gwyneth Paltrow involving squatting over herb-infused water. "I've done it once," she laughed.
Asked about the future, however, Bradbrook was more somber, describing herself as "about as optimistic as a person could be who also understands the science".
"Has it landed with you that your kids probably won't have enough food to eat in a few years' time?" she asked.
She said a climate catastrophe was coming and food security, not civil disobedience, should really be our main priority.
"For every degree of warming you get a one percent collapse in growth. So just do the maths .... We're heading for about four (degrees). That crashes the global economy."
She added, with more hope: "I do have this belief in humanity . . . It's time to stop as a human species and say, 'It's not really working, folks. What else shall we do?'"
(Additional reporting by Matthew Green, Editing by William Maclean)
VIDEO - Paul "The Book Guy" Alves on Twitter: "@adamcurry #CLIP ... graham has grown some huge balls lately. I keep expecting him to start sounding like Morgan Freeman any day now.'..."
Thu, 02 May 2019 03:33
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VIDEO - (4) Naomi Klein on Twitter: "Yesterday I got emotional about why we need to get emotional about climate breakdown." / Twitter
Wed, 01 May 2019 18:34
Log in Sign up Naomi Klein @ NaomiAKlein Yesterday I got emotional about why we need to get emotional about climate breakdown.'... 10:42 AM - 1 May 2019 The Liberty Doctrine 🇺🇸 @ LibertyDoctrine
50m Replying to
@NaomiAKlein #ClimateChangeHoax View conversation · Jackie @ jdgorms2
47m Replying to
@NaomiAKlein View conversation · CivilWesterner #DamRight @ DissidentBeaver
44m Replying to
@NaomiAKlein We need to be emotionally rescued'... View conversation · á´á´á´Êá´'á´…á´‡Ê ÉªÉ´á´ @ patricksavalle
43m Replying to
@NaomiAKlein Oh nooo, you poor thing.Luckily the climate is as it's always been: changing. So don't worry, live your life. It will be allright.
View conversation · ð''ð'šð'žð'¥ð'²ð'§ 🌺 @ TaelynBerner
41m Replying to
@NaomiAKlein But is there really a faith in endless growth "on the left"? 1% may own MSM and our government, but Americans are way ahead of them on climate change. If we had a fair primary in 2016, the national debate would be focused on global warming, not AG Barr.'... View conversation · LaFerny @ Mulachi1
38m Replying to
@NaomiAKlein What temperature should we vote for?
View conversation · Dan O'B @ DanielAJOBrien
37m Replying to
@NaomiAKlein @billmckibben @billmckibben Good divestment bit in the last minute.
View conversation · Margarita @ Blancanieve72
28m Replying to
@NaomiAKlein Thank you for this! Now is not the time to be unemotional. I love this planet that we live on. If you love something, obviously you are emotionally invested and will get emotional. That's how that is supposed to work. ''¤¸
View conversation · Margarita @ Blancanieve72
28m Replying to
@patricksavalle @NaomiAKlein Still some of you around, huh?
View conversation · Polka_or_Die @ Polka_or_Die
14m Replying to
@NaomiAKlein This is so fantastic. Thank you thank you. Spot on and wow!
View conversation · kristof @ dutchangles
6m Replying to
@NaomiAKlein Is it plausible that the flooding in Ottawa this year (and two years ago) is due to climate change?
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VIDEO - rader on Twitter: "amazing. good for brian williams, nicole wallace, & NBC news."
Wed, 01 May 2019 15:50
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VIDEO - Biosludged - The greatest environment crime you've NEVER known
Wed, 01 May 2019 12:09
2018 | 1h 10m
Biosludged uncovers the astonishing science fraud being carried out by the EPA to legalize the mass pollution of America's farm lands, school playgrounds and city parks with heavily contaminated industrial waste and human sewage.
Genres: Documentaries
Director: Mike Adams
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High Definition (720p)Standard Definition (360p)Standard Definition (480p)UpdatesNovember 28, 2018: Full documentary released. Watch it for free!
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VIDEO - F8 2019 keynote in 12 minutes - YouTube
Wed, 01 May 2019 10:38
VIDEO - THE REAL PRESIDENT TRUMP: An Inside View with the Trump Campaign's Photo-journalist Gene Ho - YouTube
Wed, 01 May 2019 03:33
VIDEO - Choosing Journalism over Cheerleading War: An Interview with RT America's Anya Parampil
Wed, 01 May 2019 01:25
W ASHINGTON '-- When Anya Parampil was attending George Washington University and saw her peers trickle into the university's well-entrenched State Department pipeline, she knew that the path most commonly walked by her peers wasn't for her.
Eventually, life led her away from a career in international diplomacy toward one in journalism, but not your average corporate-outlet journalism. Parampil did not want to toe the official line with her reporting; she wanted to use journalism to ''question our ruling class and expose its abuses,'' she told MintPress in an exclusive interview.
She soon found herself working first as intern, then as a reporter and a producer at RT America, a network that often gives voice to under-reported and alternative perspectives on important international and domestic issues, providing '-- as Parampil notes '-- ''a valuable service to Americans who have been deprived of critical history and context on existential issues of war and peace.''
RT America's reputation as an outlet that challenges government and mainstream narratives has resulted in the vilification of RT America by the U.S. corporate press, as those more traditional outlets rarely support the type of reporting that holds the powerful accountable. Indeed, as Parampil told MintPress , ''as soon as I started looking closely at the inner workings of American foreign policy, I was forced to conclude my approach to producing and consuming news would never be welcome in the mainstream press.''
The attacks on RT have been amplified by worsening U.S.-Russian relations and by the U.S. power structure's broader effort to silent alternative and independent media. As a result, Parampil fears that RT America is ''one of the ultimate targets of the campaign to remove dissenting media from platforms like Facebook and Twitter.''
In September, RT America debuted its first original daytime news program, In Question , with Parampil as its host. The program '-- which airs at 12 p.m., 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. ET on RT America's network '-- has sought to cover under-reported stories from within the United States and around the world in areas like politics and international affairs. as well as developments in science and technology. The program's approach fulfills Parampil's ambition to use journalism as a check on the powerful rather than for their exclusive benefit.
Despite having been on the air for only a few months, In Question's coverage has already won it a considerable following, racking up hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube and social media. According to Parampil, who recently spoke to MintPress about her time at RT America and her experience hosting In Question , the show's fast-growing audience is the result of the program's goal of ''challenging power at its source'' as well as its ''heavy focus on international stories that scarcely reach the American public.''
By filling in the gaps in the most important stories in the U.S. and beyond, In Question's team '-- led by Parampil '-- is needed now more than ever.
MintPress News (MPN): You've been working at RT America since 2014. What brought you to the network?
Anya Parampil (AP): In 2014, I was living in DC and studying International Affairs at George Washington University, feeling pretty unsatisfied with my direction in life. I realized the IA school there basically functions as a pipeline to the State Department, and I didn't think a future in service to the empire was right for me.
Watching foreign media, including RT, at the time helped expand my worldview in a way that made me more critical of U.S. foreign policy. I had no clear career path ahead, but I sent resumes out to different non-profits and media organizations, including one to RT. When I went in for an interview and learned it was for a spot on Abby Martin's show, I was in shock because I was a huge fan of ''Breaking the Set'' and looked up to her so much. I started as an intern on ''Breaking the Set'' and never looked back.
MPN: Did you ever consider working in mainstream media? Why, or why not?
AP: Because of my interest in international relations, I considered putting myself on a career trajectory to be involved in diplomatic affairs. But I was forced to take a hard lesson from WikiLeaks' ''Cablegate'' and ''Arab Spring'' releases, which was that for the United States there's no such thing as ''diplomacy,'' at least not in the sense that I understood the term. The U.S. wields power through its military, various soft-power manipulations, and control of the international financial system.
So, I decided that until I live in a country I'd be proud to represent officially, the most important work I could do was to question our ruling class and expose its abuses. As soon as I started looking closely at the inner workings of American foreign policy, I was forced to conclude my approach to producing and consuming news would never be welcome in the mainstream press.
MPN: As I'm sure you're aware, mainstream voices have claimed that American journalists at RT and their reporting are affected by the fact that RT receives funding from the Russian government. Has RT ever tried to interfere with your reporting in any way? What do you say to people who accuse you of being a ''Kremlin puppet'' because you work for RT America?
AP: RT has never done anything other than offer me incredible support, resources, and opportunities to grow as a journalist. So far, I have worked as an intern, producer, reporter, as well as host; anchored live presidential election coverage; and traveled to several countries and occupied territories to produce breaking news and documentaries. Not once have I been told what to say or experienced any serious editorial disputes.
Having said that, it's absurd to assume that any news organization's editorial line is entirely independent from its funding source '-- whether it's owned by a corporation, state, or tech billionaire.
Anya Parampil is shown during filming on the set of RT America's In Question. Photo | In Question
MPN: In general, do you think RT as a network is compromised by its Russian government funding? What biases, if any, do you see RT as having and do you think they are related in any way to its funding?
AP: Let's use the case of Syria, because I am often accused of toeing the Russian line when commenting on or covering the situation there. Yes, the Russian government has a clear interest in preventing the collapse of the Syrian state. But as an American who grew up protesting the Iraq invasion '-- having watched the media lie us into war time and time again, and seeing the catastrophic consequences of regime change in that country '-- I recognize the value of Russia stepping in to prevent that from happening in a country next door. I am not afraid to admit this and I'd feel that way no matter who paid me.
I am proud to work for a major international network that provided one of the only platforms for analysts and journalists to expose the horrors produced by U.S. meddling in Syria. As an American who would like to see her country doing less damage to the world, I believe RT provides a valuable service to Americans who have been deprived of critical history and context on existential issues of war and peace.
MPN: Why does the U.S. media landscape need a show like yours?
AP: Where in U.S. media are reporters able to earn a living wage while challenging the official narratives about countries like Ukraine, Syria, or Venezuela, for example? Just look at the well-funded outlets like Democracy Now! and The Intercept that have marketed themselves as adversarial and ''independent'' while actively and enthusiastically participating in bogus regime-change PR campaigns against virtually every country targeted by U.S. imperialism. If that's what ''progressive'' or ''adversarial'' media in the U.S. has to offer, then no wonder so many who think like me have had to turn to state media, whether it's RT or teleSUR.
Besides the freedom we enjoy to challenge empire, In Question's format allows us to place a heavy focus on international stories that scarcely reach the American public. For example, we recently did headline stories on Saudi Arabia's execution of Tuti Tursilawati, a migrant worker who killed her employer after he tried to rape her. While the mainstream was constantly talking about Khashoggi, which we've also covered quite a bit, you'd never hear about Tursilawati's case on the major networks.
We are trying to fill in gaps and take fresh angles on stories people are talking about. We feature a daily interview with George Galloway, who I think is one of the most incisive and sharp-witted commentators in the business.
Watch | Galloway: Israel Can't Keep Millions Caged Forever
MPN: Some people have compared In Question to Abby Martin's Breaking the Set. What makes your show different from similar shows that have been hosted on RT in the past or the present?
AP: There would be no In Question without Breaking the Set . First, Abby's show made me and countless others realize we weren't alone in this country. Before Breaking the Set , no one with a national presence in U.S. media spoke for the ''Occupy Wall Street Generation,'' at least as I understood it. But once her show ended, there could never be anything like it again.
So while there are some natural similarities in the content and the editorial angles that our shows have taken, In Question is different because it's a straight news show produced from a critical internationalist perspective, while Breaking the Set was a fierce editorial show that was only possible thanks to Abby's unique flair and unmatched dedication.
MPN: What segment (or segments) that have aired on your show are you most proud of and why?
AP: In recent weeks, we've focused heavily on how sanctions levied by the U.S. are slowly pushing the world away from dependence on the U.S. dollar. For example, even the European Union is seeking a way to subvert Iran sanctions recently re-implemented by the Trump administration. I've done several segments with one of In Question's super-smart producers, Kei Pritsker, explaining the history behind the world financial system's reliance on the U.S. dollar and how alternatives to that system are emerging.
These segments included a breakdown of which countries have dumped holdings of U.S. debt in recent months while simultaneously increasing gold reserves. We've aimed to document how the U.S. has been able to maintain international dominance not only through military force, but by fostering international dependence on its currency, and how countries like Russia, China, Iran, and Venezuela are challenging that hegemony out of necessity thanks to Washington's addiction to sanctions.
Watch | Will Iran Sanctions Force World to De-dollarize?
MPN: In Question started just a couple of months ago in September. What impact do you think the program has had in its relatively short time on-air? What do you hope its impact will be going forward?
AP: Our alternative economic segments and explainers are in demand, racking up over 100,000 views at a time. I am hoping that as we move forward, the show becomes a go-to source for people like me who want to keep up on under-reported international news, particularly developments in Eurasia, Africa, and Latin America.
MPN: Independent media is currently under attack on social media and in the U.S. in general. Do you have any thoughts on the so-called social media ''purges,'' and what does this trend say to you about the importance and effectiveness of different media perspectives in the West?
AP: We've covered social media's coordinated censorship campaign extensively on In Question , including in segments with Mintpress' Editor in Chief, Mnar Muhawesh, and RT America correspondent Rachel Blevins, whose Facebook page was purged in the latest crackdown.
Considering [that] RT America (and specifically Breaking the Set ) was accused of fomenting ''radical discontent'' by the Director of National Intelligence in its January 2017 report on ''Russian Activities'' in U.S. elections, I fear we are one of the ultimate targets of the campaign to remove dissenting media from platforms like Facebook and Twitter. RT America is a threat because of the reasons described in the DNI report: we cover issues like third-party politics, the struggle against the ruling class in the U.S., the surveillance state, and police brutality. The fact we frighten the establishment so much reaffirmed the importance of our work: we're challenging power at its source.
MintPress similarly fills a void with its coverage and has already had content censored on Facebook and Instagram. This experience should tell us how crucial it is for those of us in alternative media to support and promote each other, because at the end of the day all we have are the websites and platforms we develop independently from Silicon Valley and their national-security-state overlords.
Top Photo | Anya Parampil poses for a photo on the set of RT's In Question. Photo | In Question
Whitney Webb is a staff writer for MintPress News and a contributor to Ben Swann's Truth in Media. Her work has appeared on Global Research, the Ron Paul Institute and 21st Century Wire, among others. She has also made radio and TV appearances on RT and Sputnik. She currently lives with her family in southern Chile.
VIDEO - Julian Assange: WikiLeaks boss files ESPIONAGE charges against Ecuadorian Embassy | World | News |
Tue, 30 Apr 2019 16:10
Express. Home of the Daily and Sunday Express. JULIAN Assange has filed a criminal complaint in Ecuador, accusing diplomatic staff at the country's London embassy of spying on him before leaking illegally obtained data in order to extort him. PUBLISHED: 13:55, Tue, Apr 30, 2019 | UPDATED: 14:16, Tue, Apr 30, 2019
The WikiLeaks founder was arrested at the Ecuadorian embassy on April 11 after claiming political asylum since he entered the Kensington building in 2012. Following his arrest, the Ecuadorian president said: ''We cannot allow our house, the house that opened its doors, to become a centre for spying. ''This activity violates asylum conditions. Our decision is not arbitrary but is based on international law.''
Ecuador accused Assange of spying on them by obtaining classified files without permission, and released footage of Mr Assange skateboarding in a vest and underpants while holed up in the embassy.
But now, Mr Assange has filed a formal criminal complaint in Ecuador, and blamed diplomats for alleged espionage linked to an alleged extortion case involving three Spanish citizens.
Mr Assange claims former Ecuadorian president President Rafael Correa's government violated the whistleblower's privacy by secretly recording the journalist's daily activities starting from March 2018.
Julian Assange news: the WikiLeaks founder is filing criminal charges against Ecuador embassy staff (Image: GETTY)
The filing says the spying was conducted with the help of Spanish firm Promsecurity, a private contractor which administers electronic surveillance at the Ecuadorian embassy in London.
The complaint has been filed before the National Court in Madrid.
Ecuadorian lawyer Carlos Poveda said the case was a ''very sensitive and complicated'' matter, as it would have resulted in a leak of personal data.
Julian Assange: Lenin Moreno wanted Assange evicted from the embassy (Image: GETTY)
He said the criminal filing against Ecuador included violation of privacy, spreading restricted information, illegal disclosure of database and illegal interception of data.
Mr Poveda said: ''The Ecuadorian government accused Mr. Assange of espionage inside the embassy, and as it turns out, the espionage came from inside the embassy.''
In March of this year, WikiLeaks editor Kristinn Hrafnsson, said three people of Spanish nationality asked the company for £2.5million ('‚¬3m) in order to stop the release of information about Assange.
Mr Poveda added: ''The Ecuadorian government accused Mr Assange of espionage inside the embassy, as it turns out that the espionage came from inside the embassy.
''These events generated extortion in Madrid because the Spanish suspects demanded three million euros for the provision of this information.''
As detailed in the complaint filed on Assange's behalf, one of the alleged threats included a video that would be published on YouTube on April 10 under the title ''Julian Assange confesses in AUDIO that Ecuador has sold him to the US for money.''
A protest is to be held in Berlin on May 2- the first day of his extradition trial in London (Image: REUTERS)
In addition, on April 11, the Times published that the alleged extortionists were trying to sell the material, even referring to possible sexual content.
On May 2, a demonstration will be held in Berlin just a few metres away from the UK and US embassies, claiming the two countries hold the ''freedom of the press'' in their hands.
The protest, held by DiEM25 and Demokratie in Europa will be staged near to the Brandenburg Gate on the first day of Mr Assange's extradition hearing in London.
Additional reporting by Maria Ortega.
Most read in World
VIDEO - John Brennan is about to be indicted for plot against Trump, prepare for violence, says fmr CIA officer Conservative News Today
Tue, 30 Apr 2019 15:38
A former CIA officer is warning that things in America may be about to get ugly. Very ugly.
In a recent interview with the website, former spook Kevin Shipp warned that if John Brennan and others are indicted for an attempted coup against the president of the United States, the violence from Leftists ''is going to increase to the point where it's going to be very, very bad.''
Americans, he said, need to arm themselves, and be ready to defend themselves, and they need to be aware there are going to be ''beatings'' and ''probably shootings'' '' including shooting at police.
Shipp was a high-ranking officer stationed at CIA headquarters at Langley, Virginia, and also at Camp Stanley, an Army weapons depot north of San Antonio, Texas, that has a secret CIA facility.
After leaving the CIA, he wrote two books on the agency: ''In from the Cold: CIA Secrecy and Operations'' and ''From the Company of Shadows,'' in which he exposes the CIA's abuse of the State Secrets Privilege to keep things hidden from the American people.
What Trump has been facing, he said, is definitely a coup.
''This is the most shocking violation of the Constitution and criminal activity in the history, not just of America, but of a western government,'' said Shipp. ''Much of this rises to the level of treason. People need to understand how shocking this is. It was a clear conspiracy.''
He went on:
''There will be arrests and indictments without question'...This was a coup. It was a conspiracy. It was criminal activity. These people need to be indicted, charged and need to be put in prison, and if they're not, then our Constitution is nothing more than a sham.''
At the National Rifle Association convention in Indianapolis on Friday, Trump urged Americans to exercise their Second Amendment rights. Was he trying to send them a message?
Most Americans don't realize, said Shipp, that we're already in a civil war '' a war that has been ''brewing over 60 years'' in this country.
''We have, you want to call it the Dark left. The DNC is fully involved, and all their congressmen and senators,'' he said. ''There is a Marxist movement within the DNC that is in control right now. If you go back and you matched up the progressive goals with Marxist documents, you'll see that they are one and the same.''
The Democratic Party, he said, is attacking ''the three Cs'': the Constitution, which they want to be understood to be a ''living document'' that can be changed with the times; Christianity, which underlines the Constitution; and the Culture '' the founding principles.
They have to do these three things, he said, ''to turn this into a global, Marxist government.''
Of former CIA Director John Brennan's comment last Friday about President Trump's ''sociopathic ramblings,'' he said the truth of the matter is clear.
Fmr. CIA Dir. John Brennan on Pres. Trump's comments on Fox News about the attempted 'coup' by the CIA to overthrow him: "I don't think it's surprising at all that we hear these sociopathic ramblings '... I've testified in front of Congress '... and absolutely I'll do it again."
'-- MSNBC (@MSNBC) April 26, 2019
''John Brennan is saying these crazy things because I think he knows he is going to be indicted for this coup against a candidate and then elected president,'' said Shipp. ''He is the one that took the dossier. He's the one that disseminated it. He's the one that leaked it to the press, calling it intelligence, falsifying intelligence. Those are felonies. He's the one that broke into the Senate on Capitol Hill, into his bosses, the Select Committee, to spy on the torture report. This man has committed several felonies and he knows darn well he has, so he's coming out screaming and yelling, like a Mockingbird, to the press, trying to cover, before this whole thing comes apart at the seams.''
Brennan and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper are feeding information to CNN, MSNBC, said Shipp '' bizarre statements '' because it's ''all they have.''
''They have nothing,'' he said. ''If they had evidence that none of this was true against them, they'd be coming out with it. But they're not. Instead, they're saying, 'I know you are but what am I?' and making accusations that are completely baseless.''
''This rises to the level of treason,'' he said of Brennan's and Clapper's use of their positions to try to take down the president.
''These people, they've got to be charged,'' he said, ''they've got to be indicted, and, in my opinion in the field, they've got to be put in prison for a few decades.''
It seems things might be going in that direction.
Joseph DiGenova, former U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, said on Laura Ingraham's Fox News show last week that evidence of a coup is going to be released soon, and that there are going to be indictments and grand juries.
But the Left, says Shipp, is not going to sit back and take it.
''The danger for 'We the People' is the Dark Left and Dark Left violence,'' he said. ''As these indictments begin to come out, and as the players are called out, the violence on what I call the Dark Left, the violence is going to increase to the point where it's going to be very, very bad. There are going to be beatings and probably shootings, and shooting at police'... There is going to be a lot of violence coming from the Left in the next year or two. This is one of the reasons you need to exercise your Second Amendment rights'...because of what the Left is going to do with these findings and what is going to be the death knell for the Democrat Party and the death knell for taking over our Constitution and culture. They will exponentially bring up their violence, and Americans need to arm themselves and protect themselves against that.''
Shipp's 2012 book, ''From the Company of Shadows''
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VIDEO - Authorities arrest man accused of plotting 'mass casualty' terrorist attack in California - ABC News
Tue, 30 Apr 2019 12:30
The Department of Justice announced Monday the arrest of a former U.S. Army infantryman who is accused of plotting a "mass casualty" terrorist attack at a white nationalist rally in Long Beach, California over the weekend.
Agents arrested the suspect, Mark Steven Domingo of Reseda, California, on Friday evening after an undercover source for the FBI sent the suspect what he believed was a live bomb that he could use to carry out his attack.
Richard Vogel/AP U.S. Attorney Nick Hanna, right, is joined by other law enforcement authorities during a news conference about the arrest of Mark Dombingo, in Los Angeles on Monday, April 29, 2019."This investigation successfully disrupted a very real threat posed by a trained combat soldier who repeatedly stated he wanted to cause the maximum number of casualties," U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California Nick Hanna said in a statement.
The Army confirmed Domingo's service.
"Domingo served as an infantryman in the Army from November 2011 to February 2013, attaining the rank of private," said Lt. Col. Emanuel Ortizcruz, an Army spokesman. "He deployed to Afghanistan from September 2012 to February 2013."
Christopher Bonebrake/U.S. Army PHOTO:Army Pfc. Mark Domingo, takes an Afghan male's fingerprints in the village of Dande Fariqan, Nov. 5, 2012.A 30-page affidavit filed with the criminal complaint against Domingo alleges that his planning to construct a bomb dates back to early March.
Domingo "expressed support for violent jihad," the affidavit alleges, and he had expressed intentions to target Jews, churches and police officers in revenge for attacks against Muslims. Domingo specifically cited the March attack against Muslim worshipers in New Zealand, posting online, "there mustbe retribution."
"Still mad...even more so...since I watched the vid," he said according to court documents.
The documents also indicated that Domingo said he kept an AK-47 in his bed, in light of the attack.
Following those postings, an FBI informant contacted Domingo online and later met with him in person, where he further detailed his planning of potential attacks. He asked the FBI agent "to find a person to construct an IED that he said could cause 50 casualties," according to the indictment.
According to court documents, Domingo purchased 3-inch nails to use as shrapnel in the improvised explosive device that he intended to make.
"Domingo said he specifically bought three inch nails because they would be long enough to penetrate the human body and puncture internal organs," the compliant says.
The indictment cited Domingo saying the United States needs "another vegas," in reference to the October 2017 mass shooting where 58 people were killed by a lone gunman at a country music festival.
Domingo also, according to the affidavit expressed support for the Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
"This is why I like- I like al-Baghdadi, yeah cuz he took the direct stance...victory or martyrdom," he said
Etienne Laurent/EPA via Shutterstock The portrait of alleged terrorist Mark Steven Domingo is displayed during a press conference uncovering details of his arrest on charges of preparing terrorist attacks in the Federal Building in Los Angeles, April 29, 2019.Domingo also pointed out various police cars, churches and a National Guard Armory that were possible target locations, the indictment says.
While Domingo settled on the white nationalist rally in Bluff Park as his preferred target, local media reports indicate that no white nationalists actually attended and the park was instead filled with counter protesters.
In discussing the possible fallout from his planned attack, Domingo cited the Boston Marathon bombings and said that he hoped his attack would parallel the chaos that gripped the city in the days after.
"Remeber the Tsarnaev brothers, the Boston bombers, it stirred up a hornets nest...I we do this, LA is going to be locked down," he said.
If convicted on charges of providing and attempting to provide material support to terrorists, Domingo could face a maximum sentence of 15 years in federal prison.
ABC News' Mike Levine, Alex Stone and Luis Martinez contributed to this report.
VIDEO - Joost Niemoller on Twitter: "De EU zet kinderen in voor propagandafilmpje voor Europese verkiezingen. 'stem voor de toekomst.' Je kan net zo'n emofilmpje filmpje maken met als boodschap: stem het Europees Parlement weg."
Tue, 30 Apr 2019 12:21
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VIDEO - How 'Brady Bunch' Measles Episode Is Fueling Campaigns Against Vaccines : Shots - Health News : NPR
Mon, 29 Apr 2019 15:41
The Brady Bunch, circa 1970, with oldest sister Marcia seated in front. In one episode of the show from 1969, the sisters and brothers all stay home from school with measles. ABC Photo Archives/Getty Images hide caption
toggle caption ABC Photo Archives/Getty Images The Brady Bunch, circa 1970, with oldest sister Marcia seated in front. In one episode of the show from 1969, the sisters and brothers all stay home from school with measles.
ABC Photo Archives/Getty Images As the number of measles cases nationwide rises to levels not seen since before the virus was declared eliminated in 2000, some people who oppose vaccines cite an odd cultural reference as evidence that the concern about measles is overblown: a 1969 episode of The Brady Bunch.
Some former Brady Bunch cast members aren't happy about it.
The episode "Is There a Doctor in the House?" features the whole family sick with measles. First, Peter gets sent home from school. Mother Carol Brady, played by Florence Henderson, describes his symptoms as "a slight temperature, a lot of dots and a great big smile," because he gets to stay home from school for a few days.
Once the rest of the six kids come down with measles, the youngest two Brady siblings fool around, with Bobby trying to color Cindy's measles spots green.
"If you have to get sick, sure can't beat the measles," sister Marcia says, as the older Bradys sit around a Monopoly board on one of the kid's beds. All the kids are thankful they don't have to take any medicine or, worse, get shots, the thought of which causes Jan to groan.
People who are critical of vaccines bring the episode up often. It's used in videos and memes and is cited by activists like Dr. Toni Bark, who testifies against vaccines in courts and at public hearings across the United States. To them, it aptly illustrates what they consider to be the harmlessness of the illness.
"You stayed home like the Brady Bunch show. You stayed home. You didn't go to the doctor," she says. "We never said, 'Oh my God, your kid could die. Oh my God, this is a deadly disease.' It's become that."
Del Bigtree, a TV producer who hosts a YouTube show critical of vaccines and who produced a movie about them, also looks to the episode to show that the current frenzy about the surge in measles cases is misplaced.
"We were all giggling and laughing because the whole family in the Brady Bunch got the measles," he says. "Where is the sitcom that joked about dying from AIDS or joked about dying from cancer?"
Some former cast members are upset the show is being used in 2019 to bolster arguments against vaccines. Maureen McCormick played Marcia as a teen. She found out a few months ago that an anti-vaccination Facebook group was circulating memes of her with measles from that episode, and she was furious, she says.
"I was really concerned with that and wanted to get to the bottom of that, because I was never contacted," she says.
"I think it's really wrong when people use people's images today to promote whatever they want to promote and the person's image they're using they haven't asked or they have no idea where they stand on the issue," she says, adding, "As a mother, my daughter was vaccinated."
McCormick says that she got measles as a child and that it was nothing like the Brady Bunch episode; she got really sick.
"Having the measles was not a fun thing," she says. "I remember it spread through my family."
In 1969, the year that the Brady Bunch episode came out, there were more than 25,000 measles cases and 41 deaths, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It was six years after the vaccine was developed, and the vast majority of people who got sick with measles fully recovered, as they do today.
Elena Conis, an associate professor at the University of California, Berkeley, who specializes in medical history, explained that circumstances in 2019 are vastly different from those in 1969.
"In 1969, we had less control over infectious diseases," she says. "Smallpox was still a reality. There were far more cases of polio. In that context, it made sense to think of measles as a lesser threat."
Public health officials began to try to change the public consciousness about measles once a vaccine was developed, she says.
"They were saying, 'Well, hold on. There's this rate of complications; there's this number of hospitalizations; there's this number of deaths. We really have to shift our thinking about the threat that measles poses.' "
That effort to shift the public's understanding about measles is evident in the 1964 public service announcement, sponsored by the vaccine manufacturer Merck, called "Mission: Measles '-- The Story of a Vaccine."
"Many parents think of measles as just a common nuisance which makes their children feel miserable and keeps them out of school for a while. But physicians today know that measles is more than a nuisance," the announcer says, going on to warn of potential complications, such as bacterial infections, fatal pneumonia and brain inflammation.
The messaging worked, accompanied by federal funding initiatives directed toward childhood immunization. Over the next two decades, measles infections and deaths decreased precipitously as immunization levels went up. By 1984, there was just one death related to measles, historically low at the time and a far cry from the roughly 500 deaths each year attributed to measles before the vaccine was introduced.
Everyone who caught measles in the Brady Bunch episode was fine by the next episode, and most people who catch measles in 2019 will be fine too. But that's not always the case; the virus can cause pneumonia and, in severe cases, brain swelling and deafness.
In the ongoing measles outbreak in New York City, about 29 people have been hospitalized, six of whom needed intensive care, according to the city's health department. Two pregnant women in the city have contracted the virus in recent weeks, which could have severe complications for their babies; and a flight attendant who caught the virus while on a flight from New York City to Tel Aviv, Israel, was in a coma from measles complications, according to NBC.
Lloyd J. Schwartz, son of Brady Bunch creator Sherwood Schwartz, who died in 2011, also took issue with using the show to dissuade vaccination.
"Dad would be sorry, because he believed in vaccination, had all of his kids vaccinated," he says.
VIDEO - Boy, is this weird! Comedian teams with Hillary & Bill to spread propaganda
Mon, 29 Apr 2019 14:43
So-called comedian Jordan Klepper enlists Bill and Hillary Clinton to advise him on what crowdfunding campaigns he should support and gets Hillary to read from the Mueller report in a truly bizarre 'comedy' skit.
Like all of our late-night comedians, he's not funny but he is nasty. And who better to add acrimonious invective than Hillary and Bill!
TRASHING TRUMP UNDER THE GUISE OF HUMORIn a video stunt preceding his new show's debut, Jordan enlisted Bill and Hillary Clinton to advise him on crowdfunding campaigns he should support and has Hillary read a portion of the Mueller report '-- where Trump reportedly said, ''I'm f'--ed.''
In between, they made very nasty and degrading comments about Bill Barr because that is who they are. Speaking of another Bill. Bill Clinton doesn't look normal.
They promoted college education for illegal aliens during the skit. Klepper claims illegal aliens have to learn in secret which sure isn't true.
Hillary read from the Mueller report, explaining it could be one of the efforts Klepper the unfunny could fund.
''The investigation established that the Russian government perceived it would benefit from a Trump presidency,'' she begins reading without emotion, at first. Klepper pushes her to read with more oomph, so she read with her mean voice.
Clinton got to Trump's response when he learned that a special counsel had been appointed, lowering her voice to mockingly impersonate the president.
''The President slumped back in his chair and said, 'Oh my God. This is terrible. This is the end of my Presidency. I'm f*cked,'' she reads.
The left and these idiots always leave out the context to make the President look bad. The president said he was ''f*cked'' because he feared the special counsel would impede his ability to govern. He said:
''Everyone tells me if you get one of these independent counsels it ruins your presidency. It takes years and years and I won't be able to do anything. This is the worst thing that ever happened to me,'' he said, according to the Mueller report.
This skit is painful, bizarre, and unfunny. Klepper's show is for haters only.
VIDEO - Mayor Pete on the Mueller report with Rev. Al, Full Interview, 3/24 - YouTube
Mon, 29 Apr 2019 04:19
VIDEO - How NATO and the U.S. are preparing for any Russian aggression off the coast of Norway - CBS News
Mon, 29 Apr 2019 04:18
NATO, which just marked its 70th anniversary, is widely considered the gold standard of military alliances, binding countries on both sides of the Atlantic in common cause against Russian aggression. But President Trump complains that other members of the alliance don't pay their fair share of what it costs to defend Europe against the intimidation tactics of Vladimir Putin. The president has told aides he doesn't see the point of the alliance and has even mentioned withdrawing from NATO. Despite those misgivings, the U.S. and its NATO allies have been steadily increasing the frequency and size of their military exercises. Last fall, NATO held the largest one yet in Norway, one of the countries President Trump has singled out for failing to spend enough on defense. You might not think of Norway, which has a tiny military, as a vital NATO ally, but we found a country that is on the front lines with Russia and serves as NATO's eyes and ears in the High North.
Norway's F-16s are on 15-minute alert 24/7. Everytime Russian military aircraft are detected these pilots scramble to intercept them.
Videos they bring back show nuclear capable Russian bombers as they fly up and down the Norwegian coast. Most of the encounters are routine.
But sometimes, says Lt. Gen. Rune Jakobsen, Norway's joint force commander, they're anything but.
Lt. Gen. Rune Jakobsen: What we have seen lately is aggressive flying and simulated attacks against Norwegian exercises.
David Martin: Simulated attacks.
Lt. Gen. Rune Jakobsen: Yeah.
David Martin: How do you know it's a simulated attack?
Lt. Gen. Rune Jakobsen: The airman knows what an attack looks like.
David Martin: So, they go to the point at which they would release their weapons?
Lt. Gen. Rune Jakobsen: Exactly.
Jakobsen tracked those "simulated attacks" from his command center buried deep inside a mountain. After the Cold War ended, a nuclear-proof bunker seemed positively old-fashioned, until lately when Russia became more threatening.
Lt. Gen. Rune Jakobsen: This is an illustration of a Russian attack formation, simulated attack that was flown in May 2017 not far north of, of this position.
David Martin: And the red dot is the target?
Lt. Gen. Rune Jakobsen: The red dot is the target.
David Martin: That doesn't look like the act of a friendly country.
Lt. Gen. Rune Jakobsen: No, that's not something you should do to your neighbor.
Norwegian Lt. Gen. Rune JakobsenNorway shares a 120-mile border with its neighbor Russia. It is some of the most remote, rugged and beautiful landscape in all of Europe. Capt. Carina Vinterdal guards the northern sector with 120 soldiers.
Capt. Carina Vinterdal: They're along the border all the time. 24/7 I have people along the border. So I have four observation posts that are manned at all times throughout the whole year.
David Martin: Are your soldiers armed?
Capt. Carina Vinterdal: Yeah.
David Martin: Do they ever had to use their weapons?
Capt. Carina Vinterdal: No, but we have to be prepared.
We went to the most remote of those outposts in the High North of the Norwegian mainland. One unit was just finishing its three weeks on watch and a new one coming in. To get there you have to lug your gear up a long steep staircase part of which is covered over to defend against the Arctic winter.
The observation post is manned year round and once you get to the top you can see why it's worth the trouble. These Norwegian soldiers are able to look deep into Russia and far out to sea, making this a key piece of terrain for the NATO alliance.
That's Russia over there and this is where the border with Norway ends. It's NATO's northern-most flank, and you don't need to be a military expert to know you can never leave your flank exposed. That includes the barents sea out there. Those are the home operating waters of Russia's northern fleet and are kept under constant surveillance by the U.S. and Norway.
This map shows what lies just over the horizon on that thumb of land called the Kola Peninsula. It is the home of Russia's northern fleet, naval bases, airfields and nuclear weapons storage sites which represent that country's single greatest concentration of military power, especially submarines.
Adm. James Foggo: They have a very capable submarine force and we've seen an increase in submarine activity over the last few years that causes me pause.
Adm. James FoggoAdm. James Foggo, the commander of U.S. naval forces in Europe, is particularly concerned about this submarine, the Severodvinsk. Nuclear-powered and armed with land attack cruise missiles with a range greater than 1,000 miles.
Adm. James Foggo: The Severodvinsk is a brand new class of submarine. And, it's very capable and it's very quiet. So, that's the most important thing I think in submarine warfare.
David Martin: When you say quiet, you're saying harder to detect, harder to track.
Adm. James Foggo: Yeah, that's what I'm saying.
David Martin: Does that sub come down into the Atlantic?
Adm. James Foggo: Suffice it to say that the Russians have increased-- their presence in-- all bodies of water around Europe and in the Atlantic.
David Martin: Have you ever lost the Severodvinsk?
Adm. James Foggo: I'd rather not comment on submarine operations-- to that specific level of detail.
Foggo won't comment, but Pentagon officials told "60 Minutes" that last summer the Severodvinsk slipped into the Atlantic Ocean and for weeks evaded all attempts to find it. In peacetime, losing a Russian sub in the Atlantic is embarrassing. In a crisis, it could be a disaster.
Adm. James Foggo: Think about the global infrastructure that rests on the bottom of the ocean.
David Martin: You're talking about the undersea cables.
Adm. James Foggo: That's correct.
Those fiber optic cables carry 99.4 percent of the data exchanged over the internet by the U.S. and its allies and trading partners. Depending on your point of view, they are either the backbone '' or the Achilles' heel '' of the world economy.
David Martin: Have Russian submarines gotten close to those undersea cables?
Adm. James Foggo: I'm not at liberty to talk about any of that.
That's because tracking Russian submarines is a top secret, day-in-day-out game of hide and seek. But the Norwegian military allowed "60 Minutes" aboard one of its maritime patrol planes to see what sub-hunting looks like.
The pilot, copilot and engineer are up front while the crew in the back scans the Norwegian Sea with radar and high powered cameras. Flying at less than 300 feet, they can clearly make out anything on the surface, including passing cargo ships. For what's under the water, they drop patterns of sonobuoys which send out sound waves.
That will bounce off a submerged submarine.
Maj. Leif Otterholm, the plane's tactical coordinator, has been flying these missions since the 1980s.
Maj. Leif Otterholm: It is very important to collect on remote locations.
David Martin: How big an area is it that you have to cover?
Maj. Leif Otterholm: The area of operations for this kind of aircraft is six times larger than the area of land in Norway, so it's quite, quite big.
David Martin: So, how frequently do you encounter the Russians out here?
Maj. Leif Otterholm: We encounter them regularly when we go further east.
Further east lies the headquarters of the northern fleet, and Norwegian patrol planes frequently spot Russian submarines while they're still on the surface.
But the most valuable intelligence is collected by a ship, one you've never heard of. There it is down there in the harbor, the crown jewel of Norway's fleet.
That's Norway's newest spy ship, the Marjata. It's at sea nearly 300 days a year monitoring the northern fleet, but just happened to be in port the day we arrived here in Kirkenes, the town closest to the Russian border. The Marjata flies the Norwegian flag but much of its eavesdropping equipment comes from the U.S.
Its mission is to collect intelligence on the operations of Russia's northern fleet.
Which Lt. Gen. Jakobsen says is arming itself with a new generation of precision guided weapons '' and testing them in the waters off Norway.
David Martin: Are you able to monitor those?
Lt. Gen. Rune Jakobsen: Yeah, because most of their testing of new equipment is done up north of the Kola Peninsula and we are present there, every day with our maritime patrol aircrafts and our vessels at sea.
Norwegian Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen SoreideThat daily haul of intelligence, all of which is directly relayed to the U.S. and NATO, didn't stop President Trump from sending this letter of complaint. Norway, he wrote, is "the only NATO ally sharing a border with Russia that lacks a credible plan to spend two percent of its gross domestic product on defense."
Ine Eriksen Soreide: Well, I think that he-'' he has a fair point in-- in pointing out that we need to step up.
Ine Eriksen Soreide is Norway's foreign minister, the first woman to hold the job.
David Martin: So, these are all your predecessors.
Ine Eriksen Soreide: They are, they are. And they're all men.
David Martin: You're the first woman.
Ine Eriksen Soreide: Yes.
Before that, she was defense minister, in 2014 when all the members of NATO pledged to increase their military spending to two percent of their GDP.
David Martin: Have you met that pledge?
Ine Eriksen Soreide: No, we haven't met it yet, but we are moving in the right direction. And, we are doing a lot of big investments.
The biggest of those investments is the American-made F-35, a stealth fighter designed to evade state-of-the-art air defenses.
Ine Eriksen Soreide at F-35 Ceremony: It will dramatically increase operational capabilities both in High North and beyond.
Norway is buying 52 of them at a cost of $89 million each.
David Martin: It's a very expensive airplane.
Ine Eriksen Soreide: Well and it also functions well and it has capabilities that we need. Our F-16 has served us well, but they are starting to get old.
Those F-16s are going on 40 years old and were never designed to be stealthy. Until they are replaced by the F-35, Lt. Gen. Jakobsen told us, Norway's air force will be no match for Russia's modern air defenses.
Lt. Gen. Rune Jakobsen: Meaning today, if we had a conflict, we would not be able to fly in the northernmost part of Norway.
David Martin: So your air force today couldn't operate in the very High North?
Lt. Gen. Rune Jakobsen: No, not in a serious crisis.
Last fall, NATO practiced what it would do in a serious crisis, bringing in 50,000 troops, 250 aircraft and 65 ships, all under the command of Adm. Foggo.
Adm. James Foggo: This is one of the largest NATO exercises since the Cold War.
Called Trident Juncture, it was a war game designed to repulse an invasion of Norway by an unnamed country whose identity was a mystery to no one.
David Martin: And the message to Russia is?
Adm. James Foggo: The message to Russia or anybody else that may want to challenge the alliance is think twice. You don't want to mess with us.
It was the first time in nearly 30 years the U.S. had sent a carrier strike group '' the USS Harry S. Truman and its escorts above the Arctic Circle. A long way from the Persian Gulf and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
David Martin: Did you feel that NATO just wasn't paying attention to-- to Norway?
Ine Eriksen Soreide: What we saw was that NATO, over many years, had been engaged heavily, for instance, in Afghanistan. And that's a very important mission but we also saw that some of the, I would say, core areas of-- of NATO, the territorial defense maybe had not had the same attention over years.
David Martin: Well, now, you have an American aircraft carrier--
Ine Eriksen Soreide: Yeah.
David Martin: --operating off your coast.
Ine Eriksen Soreide: Yeah I think it is a very good way of showing that we have to practice in peacetime to be able to operate if the crisis occurs.
Norway will never have a military that can take on its much larger and more powerful neighbor.
But the pilots who fly these F-16s call themselves the Guardians of the North. They can't stop the Russians, but they are the first to spot them.
Produced by Mary Walsh. Associate producer, Tadd J. Lascari.
(C) 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.
VIDEO - Breaking: "Kushner Peace Plan Includes 8 "Arab NATO" Nations - YouTube
Mon, 29 Apr 2019 03:56
VIDEO - Smart Teenager ENDS The Abortion Argument With Just One line. - YouTube
Mon, 29 Apr 2019 01:20
VIDEO - Rachel Maddow's Tin-Foil Hysteria Laid Bare In Devastating Twitter Takedown | Zero Hedge
Mon, 29 Apr 2019 01:06
While the MSM peddled tin-foil Trump-Russia collusion conspiracies for more than two years, one pundit in particular stands head-and-shoulders above the rest; MSNBC's Rachel Maddow.
Night after night Maddow told lie after lie - promising her viewers Trump was finally, actually, definitely finished for one reason or another.
Maddow's propaganda rants are too numerous to count - however The Nation's Aaron Mat(C) is currently in the middle of a devastating Twitter takedown highlighting some of the MSNBC anchor's most pathetic attempts to delegitimize the sitting president of the United States - after Maddow tweeted a Washington Post article about YouTube recommending an RT interview with Mat(C).
Enjoy - and perhaps give Mat(C) a follow on Twitter.
1/ If YouTube were to recommend your show, it'd be recommending the leading purveyor of now debunked Trump-Russia conspiracy theories, falsehoods & innuendo of the last 2+ years. Here's a sample:
'-- Aaron Mat(C) (@aaronjmate) April 28, 20193/ There was that time in Jan 2017 when you speculated that Putin may use the pee tape & other kompromat to force Trump into withdrawing US troops near Russia. How did that one turn out?
'-- Aaron Mat(C) (@aaronjmate) April 28, 20195/ Who could forget that time this past winter when you seized on life-threatening cold temperatures to fear-monger that Russia could kill Americans by knocking out their heat?
'-- Aaron Mat(C) (@aaronjmate) April 28, 20197/ How about that time when you speculated -- citing the Steele dossier -- that Cohen billed Trump $50k for "tech services" to pay off Russian hackers? It was actually to pay a US firm (
'-- Aaron Mat(C) (@aaronjmate) April 28, 20199/ How about the time when you speculated that Putin installed Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State?
'-- Aaron Mat(C) (@aaronjmate) April 28, 201911/ Then there was that time when you lamented the suspension of US war games in Korea, and speculated that it was the fault of Putin:
'-- Aaron Mat(C) (@aaronjmate) April 28, 201913/ Based on this sample alone, dare I say that your coverage of Trump-Russia very much amounts to the "deliberate trafficking in unreality"
'-- Aaron Mat(C) (@aaronjmate) April 28, 201915/ How about when you speculated that Maria Butina may have played a role in a secret Russian government plot to funnel money to the NRA in order to influence the 2016 election? How did that one pan out?
'-- Aaron Mat(C) (@aaronjmate) April 28, 201916/ How about when you said in 3/2017 that "if the American presidency right now is the product of collusion between the Russian intelligence services & an American campaign... we need to start preparing for what the consequences are going to be if it proves to be true." Did it?
'-- Aaron Mat(C) (@aaronjmate) April 28, 2019
VIDEO - on Twitter: "WATCH: Former Attorney General Michael Mukasey schools wannabe prosecutor @ChrisCuomo on the Mueller Report, says Cuomo is "misleading a lot of people."" / Twitter
Sun, 28 Apr 2019 22:11
Enter a topic, @name, or fullname
CNN Drops 26% In Prime Time As Fox News Dominates April Cable Ratings
Thu, 02 May 2019 15:33
(Michael A. Schwarz/Bloomberg)
(C) 2014 Bloomberg Finance LPCNN's prime time hosts can only hope it will be better in the new building.
As CNN prepares to move its prime time studios and operations to a glitzy new building at New York City's brand new--and widely reviled--Hudson Yards development, the network saw its prime time lineup drop 26% in April compared to the same month one year ago. CNN's total audience in prime time was well under a million viewers--767,000--while competitors MSNBC and Fox News finished the month far ahead: MSNBC in second place overall with 1.660 million total viewers, and Fox News leading all of cable with a total audience of 2.395 million.
April ranks as CNN's lowest-rated month among total viewers in nearly four years, since October 2015. CNN's Cuomo Primetime, which has been the network's highest-rated hour, drew a total audience of 917,000 viewers in April, the show's worst-ever performance.
Among viewers 25-54, the demographic most coveted by national advertisers, the falloff for CNN was even more stark: down 41 percent. CNN drew 198,000 viewers in the demo, behind MSNBC (255,000) and Fox News (389,000). All three networks saw year-over-year declines in April, with MSNBC down 36% and FNC down 19%.
Among prime time cable news shows, Fox News' Hannity led with a total audience of 3.086 million, followed by FNC's Tucker Carlson Tonight (2.834 million) and MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show (2.630 million). None of CNN's prime time hours finished among the top five shows overall. CNN's top-rated hour, Cuomo Primetime, finished in 26th place.
For Fox, the ratings data released Tuesday by Nielsen put the network into a staggering unbeaten streak as the most-watched cable news network in prime time and total day, at 208 consecutive months.
MSNBC, which has established itself solidly as the second-place rival to Fox News, has now beaten CNN for 27 straight months in prime, and for the first time tying CNN among viewers 25-54 for the total day, the first time MSNBC has posted a #2 finish since June 2014.
The Restoration of Notre-Dame - LewRockwell
Thu, 02 May 2019 13:52
The ‰lys(C)e used the fire of Notre-Dame de Paris to carry out a project that was sleeping in the boxes. It has set new rules, outside tender procedures and respect for heritage not to restore the cathedral, but to transform the Žle de la Cit(C) into Europe's leading tourist' destination on the eve of the Olympic Games of 2024. To avoid judicial constraints, he arbitrarily imposed the hypothesis of a construction incident.
The fire of Notre-Dame Cathedral
When the fire of Notre-Dame began on the evening of April 15, 2019, all the French media and many foreigners turned to the burning cathedral. Many foreign TVs have started their newspaper with this news, but not France 2.
The public channel had planned to devote it to President Macron's announced speech concluding the ''Great National Debate''. The writing, completely sounded by the provocation provoked by this unforeseen drama, consecrated his diary, not without having first regretted that the president postponed his speech sine die; a speech in his eyes much more important.
The coldness of most journalists and the stupidity of the politicians' hot comments suddenly showed the gaping gulf between their mental world and that of the French. For the ruling class, the beauty of Notre-Dame can not make us forget that it is a monument of Christian superstition. On the contrary, for the public, it is the place where the French meet as people to recollect or give thanks to God. Notre-Dame: A History Richard Winston Check Amazon for Pricing.
In terms of communication, there will probably be a before and after this fire: a majority of French was stunned by this disaster, and revolted by the arrogant indifference of his ruling class.
The Island of the City and the tourism industry
Immediately, the President of the Republic, Emmanuel Macron decided not to rebuild Notre Dame, but to realize a difficult project that had been waiting in drawers for two and a half years.
In December 2015, a mission was sponsored by the President of the Republic, Fran§ois Hollande, and the Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo. It lasted a whole year while Emmanuel Macron was Minister of Economy, Industry and Digital.
Many personalities participated, including Audrey Azoulay, then Minister of Culture and now Director of Unesco [1], or the Prefect Patrick Strzoda, then Chief of Staff to the Minister of Interior and today Emmanuel Macron.
It was headed by the President of the National Monuments Center, Philippe B(C)laval, and the architect Dominique Perrault.
Noting that the island of the City is, since its remodeling by Baron Haussmann in the nineteenth century, an administrative complex closed to the public, housing the Sainte-Chapelle and the Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris, the mission proposed to transform it into a ''Island-monument''. The opportunity is provided by the removal of the Palace of Justice, the reorganization of the Prefecture of Police and the hospital of the Hotel Dieu. It will indeed be possible to reorganize everything.
The mission has thus listed 35 coordinated projects, including the creation of underground traffic routes and the canopy of many interior courtyards, to make the island a must-drive for 14 million annual tourists and, possibly, French people.
The report of the mission [2] evokes the incredible commercial value of this project, but does not say a word about the heritage value, particularly spiritual, of Sainte-Chapelle and Notre-Dame that it addresses exclusively as tourist sites, sources potential income.
Unfortunately, this ambitious project could not, according to its authors, be realized quickly not so much because of the absence of financing as heavy administrative habits and enormous legal constraints. Although there are only a few people on the island, the slightest expropriation can last for decades. More surprisingly, the director of the National Monuments Center seemed to regret the prohibition to destroy part of the heritage to enhance another part. Etc.
The mission project B(C)laval / PerraultThe choices of the ‰lys(C)e
In the hours that followed, it was obvious that very large funds would be offered by donors ranging from ordinary citizens to large fortunes. The objective of the ‰lys(C)e was therefore to set up an authority capable of leading both the reconstruction of Notre-Dame and the transformation of the Ile de la Cit(C).
The next day, April 16, during a televised speech, President Macron declared: ''So, yes, we will rebuild Notre-Dame Cathedral even more beautiful, and I want it to be completed within 5 years'' [3]. Let's forget the ''I want'' characteristic not of a Republican elected, but of a business leader. Five years is extremely short, especially considering the century and a half of the construction of the cathedral. However, it is the time necessary for the work to be completed in time for tourists from the 2024 Olympic Games. This was the date planned by the B(C)laval-Perrault mission.
Two days later, on the 17th of April, the Council of Ministers was entirely devoted to the consequences of the fire. Three important decisions were recorded:
' Appoint the former Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces, General Jean-Louis Georgelin, to lead from the Elysee a special representation mission ''to ensure the progress of the procedures and work that will be undertaken >>.
' Have the parliament adopt a bill [4] governing the collection of funds, regularizing the appointment of General Georgelin who has reached the age limit and above all exempting his mission from all tendering procedures, heritage protection laws, and any constraints that may arise.`
' Launch an international architectural competition to rebuild Notre-Dame.
Another decision was made: to stifle any debate on the causes of the fire in order to avoid a judicial inquiry disturbing this beautiful arrangement.
The State lies
Immediately, the new prosecutor of the Republic of Paris, R(C)my Heitz, appointed by personal intervention Emmanuel Macron, ensures that the criminal track is not privileged and that the fire is related to a construction site accident. Notre Dame at 175: A V... Charles Lamb, Elizabet... Best Price: $37.94 Buy New $32.88 (as of 11:50 EDT - Details )
This insurance provokes an outcry from the site's experts, firefighters, craftsmen and architects, for whom no worksite element was able to cause such a fire, at this place and at this speed.
The insistence of the Prosecutor and that of the Prefect of Police, Didier Lallement, to take a stand at a time when no investigator had been able to visit the scene of the fire attests to the development of an official version which does not constrain to long investigations blocking the site. It also feeds the interrogations on the arbitrarily dismissed track, that of an anti-Christian or anti-religious act, especially in the context of the vandalism against the churches (878 profanations in 2017), the voluntary fire of the Saint church -Sulpice on March 17, or even the fire of Al-Marwani mosque on the Al-Aqsa esplanade in Jerusalem.
In addition, knowing that the majority of large fires occur in the context of real estate projects, the hypothesis of a voluntary act to allow the transformation of the Ile de la Cit(C) must be examined. These questions are all legitimate, but in the absence of investigation no definitive answer is.
Certainly, the goal of President Macron is commendable, but his method is very strange. While it is not possible to launch such a project without changing the rules of law, but if the appointment of a senior general officer is a guarantee of effectiveness, it is not a matter of respect for the law.
[1] Audrey Azoulay was elected thanks to France's lobbying, while the tradition is that a country is not both the host of an international institution and its president, and that this post has been promised to an Arab personality. It is as Director that she will publish a communiqu(C) bearing the Unesco application: ''UNESCO communiqu(C) on the fire at Notre-Dame de Paris'', Voltaire Network, 16 April 2019.
[2] Mission ®le de la Cit(C). Le cÅ'ur du cÅ'ur, Philippe B(C)laval et Dominique Perrault, La Documentation fran§aise, 2016.
[3] Discours d'Emmanuel Macron sur la reconstruction de Notre-Dame de Paris >>, par Emmanuel Macron, R(C)seau Voltaire, 16 avril 2019.
[4] Projet de loi pour la restauration et la conservation de la cath(C)drale Notre-Dame de Paris et instituant une souscription nationale cet effet>>, Assembl(C)e nationale, N° 1881, enregistr(C) le 24 avril 2019.
The Best of Thierry Meyssan
2024 Summer Olympics - Wikipedia
Thu, 02 May 2019 13:52
The 2024 Summer Olympics (French: Jeux olympiques d'(C)t(C) de 2024), officially known as the Games of the XXXIII Olympiad (French: Jeux de la XXXIIIe Olympiade), and commonly known as Paris 2024, is a forthcoming international multi-sport event that is scheduled to take place from 26 July to 11 August 2024 in Paris, France.[1]
Having previously hosted the 1900 and 1924 Summer Olympics, Paris will become the second city to host the Olympic Games three times, along with London (1908, 1948, and 2012). The 2024 Games also mark the centennial of the 1924 Games. This will be the sixth overall Olympic Games held in France (including summer and winter Games).
Bidding to host these Games began in 2015 with five candidate cities in contention, but Hamburg, Rome, and Budapest withdrew, leaving Paris and Los Angeles as the two candidates remaining. A proposal to elect the 2024 and 2028 Olympic host cities at the same time was approved by an Extraordinary IOC Session on 11 July 2017 in Lausanne.[2] On 31 July 2017, the IOC made a deal with Los Angeles to host the 2028 Summer Olympics, making Paris the host of the 2024 Summer Olympics.[3] The formal announcement of the hosts for both Olympiads took place at the 131st IOC Session in Lima, Peru, on 13 September 2017.[4]
Bidding process [ edit ] Paris, Hamburg, Budapest, Rome, and Los Angeles were the five candidate cities. However, the process was hit by withdrawals, with political uncertainty and cost cited as deterring bidding cities.[5] Hamburg withdrew its bid on 29 November 2015 after holding a referendum.[6] Rome withdrew its bid on 21 September 2016 citing fiscal difficulties.[7] On 22 February 2017, Budapest withdrew its bid after a petition against the bid collected more signatures than necessary for a referendum.[8][9][10]
Following these withdrawals, the IOC Executive Board met in Lausanne, Switzerland to discuss the 2024 and 2028 bid processes on 9 June 2017.[11] The International Olympic Committee formally proposed electing the 2024 and 2028 Olympic host cities at the same time in 2017, a proposal which was approved by an Extraordinary IOC Session on 11 July 2017 in Lausanne.[2] The IOC set up a process whereby the LA 2024 and Paris 2024 bid committees would meet with the IOC to discuss who would host the 2024 Games, who would host the 2028 Games, and whether it were actually possible to select the host city for both at the same time.[12]
Following the decision to award the 2024 and 2028 Games simultaneously, Paris was understood to be the preferred host for the 2024 Games. On 31 July 2017, the IOC announced Los Angeles as the sole candidate for the 2028 Games, opening Paris up to be confirmed as hosts for the 2024 Games. Both decisions were ratified at the 131st IOC Session on 13 September 2017.[13]
Host city election [ edit ] Paris was elected as the host city on September 13, 2017 at the 131st IOC Session in Lima, Peru. The two French IOC members, Guy Drut and Tony Estanguet were ineligible to vote in this host city election under the rules of the Olympic Charter.
2024 Summer Olympics bidding resultsCityNationVotesParis FranceUnanimousSports [ edit ] In 2007, the IOC established the concept of Olympics including 28 sports: 25 permanent 'core' sports with 3 additional sports selected for each individual Games. On 8 September 2013, IOC added wrestling to the Olympic programme for the 2020 and 2024 Games, representing one of these additional sports.[14]FILA (now known as United World Wrestling) changed freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling weight classes for men and decreased to 6 categories in order to add more weights for women.[15] However, in August 2016, the IOC added five sports to the 2020 Olympics, with plans to separately evaluate the existing 28 sports.[16] No indication was given how this would affect the number of sports in 2024.
In August 2017, it was reported that the Paris organizers held discussions with the IOC and various professional eSport organizations to study the possibility of introducing eSports as a medal-winning sport during the Olympics.[17][18]
On February 21, 2019, the Paris Organizing Committee announced they would propose breakdancing for inclusion in the program to the IOC, along with three of the sports that will debut at the 2020 Games: surfing, climbing and skateboarding.[19]
During the Lima Session, the IOC approved the Rio 2016 sports program for Paris 2024. New sports will be chosen during the 134th IOC Session in 2019 in Lausanne, Switzerland,[20][21] subject to final approval by the IOC Executive Board in December 2020.[22]
The 2024 Summer Olympic programme is scheduled to feature 28 sports encompassing 319 events, though this is likely to change depending on success of the five additional sports added to the Tokyo Olympics. This means there could be up to 33 sports, and any new sports which are added to the Olympic programme. The number of events in each discipline is noted in parentheses.
Venues [ edit ] Most of the Olympic events will be held in and around Paris, including the suburbs of Saint-Denis, Le Bourget, Nanterre, Versailles, and Vaires-sur-Marne which is just outside the city environs. The sailing and surfing events will be held in the remote coastal resorts of Marseille and Biarritz respectively. Football will be hosted in various cities around France.
Grand Paris zone [ edit ] VenueEventsCapacityStatusStade de FranceOpening and closing ceremonies78,338ExistingAthleticsSaint-DenisAquatics (swimming, synchronized swimming)Modern Pentathlon (swimming)15,000TemporaryAquatics (water polo, diving)5,000AdditionalParis La D(C)fense Arena[a]Gymnastics (artistic and trampoline)Handball (finals)15,220ExistingStade Olympique Yves-du-ManoirField hockey (in 2 courts)10,000 and 5,000RenovatedLe Z(C)nithHandball (preliminaries, quarterfinals)Gymnastics (rhythmic)6,293ExistingPalais des Sports Marcel-CerdanBasketball (women's preliminaries)Modern Pentathlon (fencing)4,000ExistingPalais des Sports Maurice ThorezBasketball 3x34,000ExistingLe BourgetShooting3,000TemporaryNotes ^ The local organizing committee uses the non-sponsored name Arena 92, which was the venue's name during its initial planning phase. By the time it opened in 2017, the name had changed to U Arena, also non-sponsored, and then to the current Paris La D(C)fense Arena in 2018 through a sponsorship deal. Paris Centre zone [ edit ] VenueEventsCapacityStatusParc des PrincesFootball61,000ExistingStade Roland Garros(Court Philippe Chatrier with rectrable roof)Tennis (main games and finals) Volleyball (finals)15,000Existing(Court Suzanne Lenglen (with temporary roof)Boxing10,000Tennis (outdoor preliminaries)9,000 (5,000+2,000+8x250)Paris-Bercy ArenaBasketball (men's preliminaries)7,500ExistingWrestlingBasketball15,000JudoStade Jean-BouinRugby20,000ExistingChamp de MarsBeach volleyball12,000TemporaryBadminton6,000SeineMarathon (starting point)13,000(3,000 sitting)TemporaryRacewalking (starting point)Marathon swimmingTriathlon (swimming)Paris expo Porte de VersaillesSport climbing6,000TemporaryTable tennis6,000Champs-‰lys(C)esRoad cycling (finish)10,000TemporarySkateboarding (street)Marathon (finish)Racewalking (finish)Triathlon (cycling and running)Grand PalaisFencing8,000ExistingTaekwondoHalle Georges CarpentierVolleyball (men´s preliminaries)8,000Renovated/ExpandedLes InvalidesArchery6,000TemporaryStade Pierre de CoubertinVolleyball (women´s preliminaries)4,836ExistingD´me de ParisWeightlifting4,600ExistingVersailles zone [ edit ] Outlying venues [ edit ] Non-competitive venues [ edit ] VenueEventsCapacityStatusL'Žle-Saint-DenisOlympic Village17,000AdditionalLe BourgetMedia Village''TemporaryInternational Broadcast CentreMain Press Centre [ edit ] Parc des Princes, 61,338, Paris (4 preliminaries, quarterfinals, finals)Stade V(C)lodrome, 67,394, Marseille, (3 preliminaries, quarterfinals, men's semi-finals)Parc Olympique Lyonnais, 59,186, Lyon, (3 preliminaries, men's quarterfinals, women's semi-finals, men's 3rd place)Stade Pierre-Mauroy, 50,157, Lille, (3 preliminaries, women's quarterfinals, men's semi-finals, women's 3rd place)Stade Matmut Atlantique, 42,115, Bordeaux, (3 preliminaries, quarterfinals, women's semi-final)Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, 41,965, Saint-‰tienne, (8 preliminaries)YellowPark, 40,000, Nantes, (8 preliminaries)Allianz Riviera, 35,624, Nice, (8 preliminaries)Stadium Municipal, 33,150, Toulouse, (8 preliminaries)Participating National Olympic Committees [ edit ] France (Host)Marketing [ edit ] Emblem [ edit ] A call for tenders was launched in October 2018 to create the new Visual identity of Paris 2024, including the logo, the derivative brands, the Olympic torch relay, the graphic Charter for official broadcasters and the programme's dressing cultural accompaniment of the games. The applicants submitted their file on 7 November 2018.[23][24] The emblem will be unveiled sometimes in late Spring or early Summer 2019.[citation needed ]
Mascots [ edit ] To be announced sometimes in early to middle 2021.[citation needed ]
[ edit ] Concerns and controversies [ edit ] Call for hijab ban [ edit ] In February 2019, a French feminist group called on the organisers of the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Paris to ban the hijab and other items of Islamic clothing during the Games, to ensure female Muslim athletes can compete free from religious restrictions. Annie Sugier, a prominent member of the group, highlighted that the Olympic Charter states no kind of "religious propaganda" is permitted in any Olympic sites, venues or other areas.[26] France as a nation has a tradition of restricting public displays of religion. In 2010, the Government passed a law banning full face veils such as the niqab in public, imposing fines to everyone who break the law. The law caused significant controversy and was challenged at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), which upheld the ban in 2014.[27] Despite the ECHR ruling, in October 2018, the United Nations declared the law a violation of human rights that risked confining Muslim women to their homes. [28]
Broadcasting rights [ edit ] ^1 '' Included nations & territories are Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.See also [ edit ] Olympic Games celebrated in France1900 Summer Olympics '' Paris1924 Summer Olympics '' Paris1924 Winter Olympics '' Chamonix1968 Winter Olympics '' Grenoble1992 Winter Olympics '' Albertville2024 Summer Olympics '' ParisSummer Olympic GamesOlympic GamesInternational Olympic CommitteeList of IOC country codesReferences [ edit ] ^ Butler, Nick (7 February 2018). "Paris 2024 to start week earlier than planned after IOC approve date change". . Retrieved 7 February 2018 . ^ a b "IOC Executive Board approve joint awarding plans for 2024 and 2028 Olympics". Inside the Games. 9 June 2017. ^ Wharton, David. "Los Angeles makes deal to host 2028 Summer Olympics". Los Angeles Times . Retrieved 31 July 2017 . ^ "Olympic Games: Paris & LA to host 2024 & 2028 respectively". . Retrieved 16 September 2017 . ^ Butler, Nick. "Exclusive: IOC vow to "further adjust" candidature process after Budapest 2024 withdrawal". Inside the Games . Retrieved 1 August 2017 . ^ "Five world-class cities in strong competition for Olympic Games 2024 '' IOC to contribute USD 1.7 billion to the local organising committee" (Press release). Lausanne, Switzerland: International Olympic Committee. 16 September 2015. Archived from the original on 18 September 2015 . Retrieved 17 September 2015 . ^ Rome 2024 Olympic bid collapses in acrimony Archived 21 September 2016 at the Wayback Machine at BBC News. Retrieved 21 September 2016. ^ "2024 Olympics: Budapest to drop bid to host Games". BBC. 22 February 2017. Archived from the original on 23 February 2017. ^ Mather, Victor (22 February 2017). "Budapest Withdraws Bid to Host 2024 Summer Olympics". The New York Times . Retrieved 23 February 2017 . ^ "Budapest to withdraw bid for 2024 Olympics, leaving L.A. and Paris as only contenders". Los Angeles Times. February 2017. Archived from the original on 23 February 2017 . Retrieved 22 February 2017 . ^ "Meeting of the IOC Executive Board in Lausanne '' Information for the media". 19 May 2017. Archived from the original on 22 June 2017. ^ "Bach Says Paris and LA Mayors Are 'Optimistic' About Agreement After Initial Discussions -". ^ "Paris set to host 2024 Olympics, Los Angeles to be awarded 2028 Games by IOC". ABC News . Retrieved 1 August 2017 . ^ "Wrestling added to Olympic programme for 2020 and 2024 Games". 8 September 2013. Archived from the original on 23 September 2016 . Retrieved 13 February 2014 . ^ "2020 Olympic Games: Shortlisted International Federations Report" (PDF) . International Olympic Committee. August 2013. Archived (PDF) from the original on 23 February 2014 . Retrieved 15 June 2014 . ^ "IOC approves five new sports for Olympic Games Tokyo 2020". 3 August 2016. Archived from the original on 7 October 2016 . Retrieved 21 September 2016 . ^ "Paris Olympic bid committee is open to esports on 2024 Olympic program". Associated Press. 9 August 2017 . Retrieved 9 August 2017 . ^ Morris, Chris. "Video Games May Be a Part of the 2024 Olympics". Fortune. ^ "Olympic Games: Paris organisers propose breakdancing to IOC as a new sport for 2024". 21 February 2019. ^ "No Changes in Core Olympic Sports for Paris 2024". Around the Rings. 15 September 2017. ^ "JO 2024 : les nouveaux sports seront connus en 2019" (in French). L'Equipe. 15 September 2017. ^ "Two phase selection process confirmed for new Paris 2024 sports but esports will not be considered". Inside the Games. 19 July 2018. ^ "Un appel d'offres pour la charte graphique". 30 October 2018. ^ "Paris 2024 va changer de logo". 29 October 2018. ^ ^ "French feminist group call for hijab ban at Paris 2024". 4 February 2019 . Retrieved 5 February 2019 . ^ "French Muslim challenges veil law". 27 November 2013 . Retrieved 5 February 2019 . ^ "France's ban on veils violates human rights, a U.N. committee says". Washington Post . Retrieved 5 February 2019 . ^ a b Connoly, Eoin (17 May 2017). "Wednesday's Daily Deal Round-Up: Olympic partnerships for Discovery and more". SportsPro. . Retrieved 17 May 2017 . ^ "IOC awards 2018''2024 broadcast rights in Asia". International Olympic Committee. 29 July 2015. Archived from the original on 30 July 2015 . Retrieved 29 July 2015 . ^ "IOC reaches agreement for broadcast rights in Brazil with Grupo Globo through to 2032". International Olympic Committee. 10 December 2015. Archived from the original on 13 December 2015 . Retrieved 11 December 2015 . ^ "IOC awards 2022''2024 broadcast rights in Canada to CBC/Radio-Canada". International Olympic Committee. 21 October 2015. Archived from the original on 25 October 2015 . Retrieved 21 October 2015 . ^ "TSN, RDS to broadcast 2022 and 2024 Olympic Games". TSN. 21 October 2015. Archived from the original on 23 October 2015 . Retrieved 21 October 2015 . ^ "IOC awards 2018''2024 broadcast rights in China". International Olympic Committee. 4 December 2014. Archived from the original on 7 December 2014 . Retrieved 4 December 2014 . ^ "IOC awards all TV and multiplatform broadcast rights in Europe to Discovery and Eurosport for 2018''2024 Olympic Games". International Olympic Committee. 29 June 2015. Archived from the original on 1 July 2015 . Retrieved 29 June 2015 . ^ Keslassy, Elsa (23 April 2019). "France Televisions to Sub-License Olympic Games for Beijing 2022 and Paris 2024 From Discovery". Variety. . Retrieved 23 April 2019 . ^ Carp, Sam (1 August 2017). "Report: ARD and ZDF secure long-term Olympic deal". SportsPro. . Retrieved 1 August 2017 . ^ "Hungarian Public Television Agrees Deal To Broadcast Summer And Winter Olympics Until 2024". Hungary today. 20 June 2016. Archived from the original on 21 June 2016 . Retrieved 20 June 2016 . ^ "IOC awards 2018''2024 broadcast rights in Japan". International Olympic Committee. 19 June 2014. Archived from the original on 26 June 2014 . Retrieved 19 June 2014 . ^ King, Matthew (1 December 2017). "IOC Award Am(C)rica M"vil 2018-2024 Broadcast Rights in Latin America". International Olympic Committee. . Retrieved 1 December 2017 . ^ "IOC awards 2018''2024 broadcast rights in Middle East and North Africa". International Olympic Committee. 27 July 2015. Archived from the original on 30 July 2015 . Retrieved 27 July 2015 . ^ a b "IOC awards 2018-2024 broadcast rights in New Zealand and Pacific Island Territories". 23 March 2016. Archived from the original on 26 March 2016 . Retrieved 23 March 2016 . ^ a b "IOC awards SBS broadcast rights for 2018, 2020, 2022 and 2024 Olympic Games". 4 July 2011. Archived from the original on 20 August 2012 . Retrieved 18 August 2011 . ^ a b "IOC Awards 2018-2024 Broadcast Rights in Africa". IOC. 10 July 2017. Archived from the original on 10 July 2017 . Retrieved 10 July 2017 . ^ "Olympics: BBC to broadcast every Games up to and including 2024". BBC Sport. 2 February 2016. Archived from the original on 2 February 2016 . Retrieved 3 February 2016 . ^ "IOC awards Olympic Games broadcast rights to NBCUniversal through to 2032". 7 May 2014. Archived from the original on 8 May 2014 . Retrieved 7 May 2014 . External links [ edit ] Paris 2024Paris 2024 (IOC)
Six Week Cycle - US combat veteran arrested in LA nail bomb plot
Thu, 02 May 2019 13:36
Updated / Tuesday, 30 Apr 2019 06:34
Portrait of alleged terrorist Mark Steven Domingo is displayed during a press conference uncovering details of his arrestA US veteran of the war in Afghanistan who prosecutors say plotted to detonate a nail bomb at a Los Angeles-area white nationalist rally, hoping to cause mass casualties, has been arrested following an FBI online sting operation, federal prosecutors said.
Mark Steven Domingo, 26, a US Army infantry man who served in Afghanistan and later converted to Islam, was taken into custody yesterday after being given what he thought was a live explosive device to use in the attack, federal prosecutors said in a written statement.
"This investigation successfully disrupted a very real threat posed by a trained combat soldier who repeatedly stated he wanted to cause the maximum number of casualties," US Attorney Nick Hanna said in the statement.
Steven Domingo was charged in a federal criminal complaint with providing and attempting to provide material support to terrorists.
Prosecutors say that in online conversations with an undercover FBI source, Mr Domingo expressed support for a violent jihad and expressed willingness to become a martyr.
Mr Domingo told the undercover operative that he planned to detonate an improvised explosive device at a rally scheduled to take place this weekend in the Los Angeles suburb of Long Beach, and asked for help in obtaining a bomb.
In an FBI affidavit filed in the case, Mr Domingo said he specifically purchased three-inch nails because they would be long enough to penetrate the human body and puncture internal organs.
He could face a maximum sentence of 15 years in federal prison if convicted of all of the charges.
The announcement comes two days after a gunman opened fire in a San Diego-area synagogue, killing one person and wounding three others.
A suspect identified as John Earnest, 19, was taken into custody in the shooting.
There was no indication that the two incidents were connected.
Florida "Republicans" Are Apparently OK Supporting Pro-Baby Murder & Corrupt Sheriff - The Washington Standard
Thu, 02 May 2019 13:00
As I continue to investigate the corruption in Lee County Florida, I have moved from the courtroom and corrupt judges and attorneys, which I will be writing more on in the coming days Lord willing, to Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno. Marceno has perpetuated a fraud on the people of Lee County in blatant deception using the public website of the Lee County Sheriff's office to bolster his appearance as man finishing his higher education in criminal justice. Documents have also shown that he never qualified to even be a police officer in the state of Florida and miserably failed his equivalency exams, which he should have never been allowed to take in the first place, twice. Marceno has even begged a former girlfriend, Deanna Williams, whom he impregnated after his unethical pursuit of her when she tried to report a grand theft of $200,000 by her attorney to the Lee County Sheriff's office, to murder their unborn child so that he could pursue his ''career,'' which seems to be nothing short of photo ops and making much of dogs in the area. I thought it a wise thing to point out just how many ''Republicans'' are supporting this ''Republican.''
Let me say before I provide many names of people that support Sheriff Carmine Marceno despite the above documented, not alleged, incidents. If these Republicans were doing what is right and calling out this man's corruption and those in the Lee County judicial system and seeing that justice was administered, there would be few issues down in Lee County, but because these people who call themselves ''the Right,'' don't do that but instead, support and give their time and money to support men like this, they are the problem.
The truth is that if they did the right thing, they would be eliminating the Left. Going along to get along only strengthens the corruption and the tyranny.
The very first right a sheriff has to protect is the right to life, given to us by our Creator and listed first among our rights in the Declaration of Independence. How can such a man uphold that right and then demand that his own child be slaughtered in the womb? He can't.
With that said, I have been informed that a handful of women on the list below, which is an invite to a meet and greet with Sheriff Marceno at the end of the month, were called out following a recent viewing of the movie ''Unplanned'' on April 6, 2018. Following that movie, at a public event, these women were called out as ''hypocrites'' for supporting the film and yet, turning around and supporting a man who impregnated a woman who was not his wife and then encouraging her to murder their unborn child.
The event is scheduled for April 30, 2019, from 11:30 am to 1 pm at The Burroughs Home Pavilion, 2505 First Street, Fort Myers, FL 33901. You can contact them at 239-337-9505. Perhaps some real abortion abolitionists and those who want their government back might want to show up to protest the sheriff and his supporters.
As far as I can tell, no one on this list is vocally speaking out on him at this time. So, I would safely assume that silence is complicity.
However, there are others.
The Washington Standard reached out to Mayor of Sanibel in Lee County Kevin Ruane to see why he supports Carmine for sheriff. Ruane, who ironically is a Republican seeking the office of Lee County Commissioner, did not reply for a request to comment, but it's clear that he puts his support behind Marceno. More on those who have aided and abetted Sheriff Marceno garnering lucrative jobs at the LCSO, including a former FBI agent charged with investigating Marceno and former Sheriff Mike Scott and later corruption between Marceno and Scott.
Obviously, he supports the ''really important'' things that Marceno is doing in the county like this.
Glad to be part of Deputy Dogs at Bell Tower Shops '' great turnout supporting a great cause '' zero tolerance to animal cruelty
Posted by Kevin Ruane on Saturday, April 13, 2019
And give praise to people at fundraisers, including Sheriff Marceno.
Very humbled and honored to be at my third fundraiser and the reception from so many people has been a wonderful experience '' thank you all
Posted by Kevin Ruane on Tuesday, April 2, 2019
But make no mistake, Ruane is supporting a man who calls himself a Republican, deceives the public about his education and his law enforcement history and then gets introduced by Sheriff Marceno.
Ruane also has supporters and I've checked with several residents of Lee County who have confirmed these people are also supporters of Sheriff Marceno.
Let's also remember that though Governor DeSantis has distanced himself from Sheriff Marceno, he has remained silent about his actions, alleged threats against Deanna Williams, his fraud and his apparent felony in impersonating a police officer. FDLE has basically done the same and whitewashed what should be a clear ethics violation which resulted in a woman's criminal complaint being completely dropped.
Let's be clear, this is not being done by the Democrats. They have their own wicked problems of Socialism, Communism, Islam, sodomites, pedophiles and the rest. This is being perpetrated by the party that claims they are Christian and that they are pro-life and want accountability and justice.
It has been said, ''For evil men to accomplish their purpose it is only necessary that good men should do nothing.'' I have a question, if you are good people in Lee County, how can you support this man with a clean conscience?
I've presented evidence of his desire to have his own child murdered through abortion. He has perpetrated a fraud and lied about being on track to finish a bachelor's degree in criminal justice. It appears he has committed a felony in the state of Florida many times over. He has lied on applications to be a sheriff's deputy. He has told people that he was a former New York City Police Officer when he was not.
And yet, people like those above and more, continue to support this man, and you complain about corruption and criminals in government and law enforcement while you support it openly. Hypocrites!
By the way, more documents and more corruption to be exposed until the media in the area start covering the story and stop making excuses.
Previous stories in this series:
Florida: Buying & Selling for Profit The Right to Sue a Rape Victim '' The Deanna Williams StoryJudge Tossed Right To Sue Rape Victim '' Florida Attorneys Still Pursue Her, Threaten ArrestRape Victim Pursued By Attorney, Who Bought Right To Sue Her, Threatened With Arrest Within 24 Hours '' Here's WhyRape Victim Claims Gloria Allred Failed To Honor Agreement '' Now She Faces Threats Of Arrest & Judgments Of Over $1 MillionWhy Did The Florida Judicial System Render A Final Judgment Against A Rape Victim Without Giving Her Time To Defend Herself?What Do Gloria Allred & A Florida Judge Busted In A Prostitution Sting Have In Common?Ousted Oklahoma Judge Turned Florida Attorney Michael Chionopoulos Involved In Possible Malpractice In Depriving Rape Victim Of Hundreds Of Thousands Of Dollars1 Person Now Dead In Case Against Rape Victim '' When Will Governor DeSantis, the Attorney General & Florida Bar Intervene?Did Florida Governor & Sean Hannity Drop Support Of Florida Sheriff Carmine Marceno Because He Abused His Power To Pursue Women For Sex & Wanted His Baby Murdered?Florida State-Controlled Media Provides Cover For FDLE Report On Lee County Sheriff Regarding Threats In Paternity Suit '' Here's What They Didn't ReportExclusive: Why Is Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno Perpetrating This Fraud On The People?Exclusive: The Fraud In Lee County Continues '' Documents Indicate Sheriff Never Met The Requirements To Be A Police Officer
Why Andrew Yang thinks geoengineering could lead to war - Business Insider
Thu, 02 May 2019 12:59
For the first time in recent memory, climate change has muscled its way into the US presidential election conversation, thanks in large part to politicians like New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez making a case for a Green New Deal. But as budding Democratic candidates outline their environmental policy platforms for the 2020 US election, one man stands out with his unique approach.
Read More:Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wonders whether people should have kids in a climate-ravaged world. So does this movement of 'BirthStrikers.'
Andrew Yang, a longshot Democratic candidate campaigning on a platform of universal basic income, Medicare for all, and "human-centered capitalism," believes ramping up clean energy use and curbing carbon emissions isn't enough. He wants the US to take the lead on geoengineering '-- an umbrella term that encompasses a variety of controversial and not-so-controversial techniques to counteract climate change, not just slow it down.
The term evokes fantastical weather-controlling satellites, giant space mirrors that reflect sunlight, and carbon capture technology that floats around in the atmosphere eating planet-warming carbon. Yang believes these technologies, some of which have yet to be tested in the real world, are far from fantasy.
In fact, he thinks they're a necessity if we want to combat our unstoppable march towards a warming planet. He also thinks the US needs to start as soon as possible in order to prevent a future war.
In the movie Geostorm, the world descends into chaos after a terrorist hacks a global network of climate-controlling satellites. Getty Images / SVF2
Yang believes if the US doesn't hop in the conductor's chair of the geoengineering train soon, a country like China will.
"We need be leaders in this and organize a global understanding, pooling knowledge and resources [around geoengineering] and make it so individual countries don't make moves on their own," Yang said. "Look, in 15, 20 years, China's going to start geoengineering and they're unlikely to ask permission."
Yang's ambitious plan includes giant space mirrors, carbon capture, and cloud seeding The term geoengineering refers to the use of technology to modify Earth's atmosphere, and in recent years it has been floated as an option for battling climate change. There are two main types of geoengineering: carbon capture, which '-- as the name suggests '-- removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and solar geoengineering, which involves modifying the sky with particles or clouds that reflect sunlight back into space to cool the planet.
Carbon capture is becoming widely accepted as a safe and potentially effective climate-fighting tool, but solar geoengineering critics argue the risks of experimenting with the delicate chemistry of atmosphere are too high.
Yang is interested in both types of geoengineering.
When volcanoes fill the skies with sulfur, it causes more sunlight to be reflected away from the planet. That's where the idea for solar geoengineering comes from. Antara Foto/Reuters
"The reason I'm talking openly about geoengineering is that it seems highly unlikely that we're going to reverse the trend of emissions," he said, pointing out that the US comprises only 15% of global emissions.
"Even if we became extremely aggressive and forward-thinking in terms of our energy consumption we would still experience the worst effects of climate change if the rest of the world didn't join us."
In addition to carbon capture, he's supportive of other technologies that are ultimately reversible if they doesn't work, like shoring up melting glaciers with dirt to prevent warming ocean water from eroding their bases. A recent article in the journal Nature echoed Yang's support on this, suggesting targeted geoengineering to preserve continental ice sheets deserved serious research and investment.
Yang's website also states that he's interested in cloud seeding, a way to make it rain by dropping silver ions into the atmosphere. This technology has already been tested by the Chinese and United Arab Emirates governments.
If all of Greenland's ice were to melt, it would raise sea levels 23 feet, submerging some coastal cities. Reuters/Andres Arce In an interview with Earther, Yang mentioned his enthusiasm for a giant space mirror that could deflect sunlight back in space '-- a step beyond seeding the atmosphere with particles to reflect more sunlight, a more commonly cited type of solar geoengineering.
He described aspirations of "a satellite with expandable mirrors" that could be launched into the atmosphere, and brought back to Earth if it proves ineffective.
Yang told Earther that the mirror was among his top geoengineering technology choices, because it's reversible if something goes wrong.
That's probably not the the case. One of the reasons that scientists are so concerned about solar geoengineering experiments is that most models predict that by deploying measures in one location, different effects will be seen in other spots around the globe. For example, if the technology gets deployed in the southern hemisphere, there could be more hurricanes in the northern hemisphere.
Even if a failed geoengineering technology returns to Earth, the atmospheric chemistry might be irreversibly altered. We could even end up damaging the ozone layer that protects us from harmful ultraviolet radiation.
Read More: How a last-ditch 'planet-hacking' plan could keep Earth habitable for longer
If the US lets China take the lead in geoengineering, it could trigger war Ultimately, Yang is pushing not just for the US to invest in geoengineering, but for world leaders to unite around it. It's more than just about combating climate change; Yang also wants to ensure countries like China don't get to call the shots decades down the line.
Yang said that if the US lets China start atmospheric modifications first as a rogue geoengineering nation, rather than as part of a global initiative, he expects the worst.
Opponents of geoengineering say it could eventually lead to military use of weather-altering technology. Shutterstock "I believe it could lead to war," he said. "If 15 years from now, China is launching sulfur clouds into the atmosphere [spraying sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere helps form clouds '-- which could artificially cool the Earth], and they float over the ocean and wind up affecting the US, that could be taken really negatively."
Yang said China is the perfect example of a country that could take the geoengineering reins if no one else steps in, noting that in some parts of the country, air pollution and smog can get so thick that people can't see the sun and have to wear masks. "They have the money, resources, and public health stake in the problem."
"This is something we should get ahead of as fast as possible," he added.
Yang isn't the only one who views geoengineering as an avenue for potential conflict.
Alan Robock, an environmental-science professor at Rutgers and geoengineering expert, has also expressed concern that a rogue country could go ahead with an atmospheric-transformation project.
If something went wrong elsewhere '-- perhaps a Category 5 hurricane slamming into a coastal city '-- it would be hard to immediately know whether that disaster was related to geoengineering. A conflict could ultimately could escalate to nuclear war, Robock previously told Business Insider.
Yang thinks other presidential candidates will come around to geoengineering While Yang doesn't see geoengineering as a replacement for phasing out fossil fuels, instituting a carbon tax, and doing all we can to curb emissions (including rejoining the Paris Accords), he thinks it has to be part of the solution. And he believes other presidential candidates will glom onto his viewpoint soon enough.
"Many candidates will join me. People looking will see that climate change trends are getting worst," he said. "And while we can slow the rate that they're getting worse, we won't slow them all together, so we inevitably will start thinking about what more we can do."
Associated Press
While Yang hasn't yet articulated a clear path towards implementation, he said the easiest thing to do is authorize a relatively modest amount of money, like from the National Institutes of Health, to fund research. "You don't need a massive grant to make a huge difference," he said.
He also wants to fund small-scale pilot studies, and invest in real-world implementation of carbon capture and solar geoengineering tech.
But the longshot candidate has a long way to go before his dreams of cloud seeding and giant space mirrors hit the policy docket.
Yang remains optimistic. "I'm the man to beat Trump in 2020," he said. "Because the opposite of Trump is an Asian man who likes math."
Leopoldo L"pez - Wikipedia
Thu, 02 May 2019 12:44
Leopoldo Eduardo L"pez Mendoza (born 29 April 1971) is a Venezuelan politician and former political prisoner.[2] He co-founded the political party Primero Justicia in 2000 with Henrique Capriles Radonski and Julio Borges and was elected mayor of the Chacao Municipality of Caracas in the regional elections held in July 2000. He is the National Coordinator of another political party, Voluntad Popular, a Socialist International affiliated party, which he founded in 2009. L"pez has received multiple awards from NGOs and other organizations for his activism.
Administrative sanctions were imposed on L"pez by Venezuela's Comptroller's Office in 2004,[3][4] disqualifying him from holding public office for six years (beginning in 2008, at the completion of his term as mayor, until 2014), following allegations of nepotism and misappropriation of funds. Opposition groups in Venezuela criticized these charges as fabricated.[5][6][7] L"pez supporters say he was never charged with a crime, tried, or allowed to rebut the allegations; he sued Venezuela and his case was reviewed by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, which issued a unanimous ruling in his favor. That ruling was ignored by Venezuelan officials.[8][9][10]
During the crisis in Venezuela, he called for protests in February 2014.[11] He was arrested on 18 February 2014 and charged with arson and conspiracy; murder and terrorism charges were dropped. Human rights groups expressed concern that the charges were politically motivated.[12][13] His imprisonment in Ramo Verde was controversial; the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights called for the release of those arrested in connection with the protests.[14][15] Opinion polls in late 2014 showed that L"pez had become one of the most popular politicians in Venezuela following his arrest.[16] In September 2015, he was found guilty of public incitement to violence through supposed subliminal messages, being involved with criminal association, and was sentenced to 13 years and 9 months in prison.[17][18] He was later transferred to house arrest on 8 July 2017 after being imprisoned for over three years.[19] On 1 August 2017 he was taken from his home by SEBIN agents and was briefly imprisoned once again in Ramo Verde.[20] Since then, L"pez returned home and remained under house arrest from 5 August 2017 until it was reported that L"pez had been released on 30 April 2019.[21]
Personal life and early career [ edit ] L"pez Mendoza was born on 29 April 1971 in Caracas, into a prominent family; his mother Antonieta Mendoza de L"pez was vice president of corporate affairs at the media conglomerate, Cisneros Group,[22] while his father held an executive editorial position at El Nacional.[23][24] He has two sisters, Diana and Adriana L"pez.[25][26]
L"pez is descended from prominent Venezuelans, including a former president.[27] His mother is the daughter of Eduardo Mendoza Goiticoa, who was Secretary of Agriculture for two years during the R"mulo Betancourt years (1945 to 1948). Through her, L"pez is the great-great-great-grandson of the country's first president, Crist"bal Mendoza. He is also the great-great-grand nephew of Sim"n Bol­var. Bolivar's sister, Juana Bolivar, is L"pez's great-great-great-great-grandmother, making him one of Bol­var's few living relatives.[28] His great-uncle Rafael Ernesto L"pez Ortega was Minister of Education during the presidency of L"pez Contreras. His grandfather Leopoldo L"pez Ortega and great-uncle Rafael Ernesto L"pez Ortega were both doctors, founders of the Centro Medico of San Bernardino in Caracas.[29] L"pez's cousin is Thor Halvorssen, president of the Human Rights Foundation.[30]
L"pez studied at the Colegio Santiago de Le"n de Caracas and graduated from boarding school in the US at the Hun School of Princeton, where he was captain of the crew and swim teams, and vice president of the student council.[31] In 1989, L"pez told the student newspaper at the Hun School, The Mall, that "Being away from home created an awakening of the responsibility I have towards the people of my country. I belong to one percent of the privileged people, and achieving a good education will hopefully enable me to do something to help my country." A fellow student described him as being "very good at getting people psyched" on the swimming and crew teams, and added: "I am sure these qualities will help him lead Venezuela out of the third world some day." The article noted that L"pez, after graduating from Kenyon, hoped to attend graduate school, and then return to his country "where he hopes to go into politics and improve Venezuela".[32]
In 1993, L"pez graduated from Kenyon College[33] where he received degrees in Economics and Sociology. A college friend said in 2014 that during their student days L"pez had founded a student group called Active Students Helping the Earth Survive.[27] He attended Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government where he obtained a Master of Public Policy in 1996.[26]
In 2007, he received an honorary Doctor of Laws Degree from Kenyon.[34]
In May 2007 he married Lilian Tintori.[26][35] They have three children: Manuela Rafaela, born in 2009;[36] Leopoldo Santiago, born in 2013;[37] and Federica Antonieta, born in 2018.[38]
L"pez worked as an analyst and consultant for the chief economist to the Planning Vice-President of Petr"leos de Venezuela S.A. (PDVSA) between 1996 and 1999; he was a professor of Institutional Economy in the Economics Department at Universidad Cat"lica Andr(C)s Bello.[26]
Political life [ edit ] L"pez cofounded the political party Primero Justicia (Justice First) with Julio Borges in 1992.[39][40] He later moved away from Justice First,[39] having a more leftist-leaning political philosophy and created the Voluntad Popular party, a member of Socialist International.[41]
According to The Los Angeles Times, the Venezuelan government seemed to have "a full-out campaign" against L"pez throughout his political career in Venezuela.[42] Described by Kenyon College as "hardworking and unpretentious", with "movie-star good looks and a gentle way with people that has made him extremely popular in Chacao, the most affluent of Caracas's five municipalities", he said, "I was born with a lot of privilege in a country with a lot of inequality."[43]
Mayor of Chacao (2000''2008) [ edit ] L"pez was elected mayor of Chacao Municipality in 2000 with 51% of the vote and re-elected in 2004 with 81%.[29] He was praised by constituents "for revamping the public health system and building new public spaces".[27] His term of office saw the opening of the Juan de Dios Guanche school[44] and the Centro Deportivo Eugenio Mendoza,[45] a sports center. Under L"pez, work began on several major construction projects, including the Palos Grandes plaza, the new seat of the Mercado Libre, a new headquarters for the Andr(C)s Bello Education Unit, and a massive underground parking facility.[46] According to a 2010 article in Businessweek magazine, Lopez tried to reorganize the Chacao police force around a new CompStat policing model, implemented with apparent success in a neighboring city of Catia, Caracas, but says that, although "we could do the police management [and] get accurate measurements" in his district, he lacked the support of the attorney general to implement these reforms.[47]The Atlantic described him as having "earned a reputation among local voters and Venezuelans ... for transparent, effective governance".[37]
As mayor, L"pez won first-prize awards from Transparency International in 2007 and 2008 for running the country's most honest and efficient municipal administration.[48] In 2008, he won third place in the World Mayors contest which nominates the "world's most outstanding mayors".[49] The City Mayors Foundation, which sponsors the contest, wrote that ''It would be easy to caricature him as the scion of the country's wealthy elite, standing in the way of Chvez' social justice crusade. But L"pez' record on activism has shown a commitment to promoting legal equality and his constituents speak passionately about a mayor who has delivered on public services and funding new infrastructure."[29]
During events surrounding the 2002 Venezuelan coup d'(C)tat attempt, NPR said Lopez "orchestrated the public protests against President Hugo Chvez and played a central role in the citizen's arrest of Chavez's interior minister", Ram"n Rodr­guez Chac­n. Lopez later tried to distance himself from that event,[24] maintaining his actions were meant to protect Chac­n from an angry mob.[24][50]
L"pez did not sign the Carmona Decree,[42] drawn up on the day after the 2002 Venezuelan coup attempt.
Political platform [ edit ] L"pez made repeated statements similar to, "We here do not talk about infrastructure, quality of training, staffing of schools; we Venezuelans want to send our children to quality schools, where they can not only learn Spanish or math, but also acquire values and be formed as wholly complete beings."[51]
He called for the creation of grassroots groups, similar to a PTA, in every school to ensure the quality of schools and the education received by children and youth '' "A people's network in every school."[52] L"pez said, "... part of the solution is to have community organization and we can fix the situation of Venezuela only by promoting culture, sport and employment".[53]
Target of violence [ edit ] L"pez was affected by violent confrontations multiple times in his political career, including incidents involving gunfire targeting him.[42] In one attack, L"pez's car was fired upon and was left full of bullet holes.[54] In February 2006, a group of armed individuals stormed a university that L"pez was speaking at and created a hostage situation for about six hours.[42] A month later in March 2006, L"pez's bodyguard who was sitting in L"pez's regular seat was shot several times and was killed.[42] In June 2008, after L"pez returned from a visit to Washington, D.C., he was allegedly detained and assaulted by the state intelligence service;[55] the Venezuelan government disputed this account, stating that a member of the Venezuelan National Guard reported L"pez as being responsible for the aggression and presented a video as evidence.[55]
2008 election controversy [ edit ] In an April 2008 ruling announced by Venezuela's chief prosecutor and then upheld by court decision,[56] L"pez and several hundred other Venezuelans were barred from running in the November 2008 elections, for reasons of alleged corruption.[57] Eighty percent of those barred belonged to the opposition.[58] The Venezuelan government's ruling found that in 1998, L"pez, while working for Petr"leos de Venezuela S.A. (PDVSA) and his mother, who was the company's manager of public affairs, awarded a grant to the Primero Justicia Civil Association, an organization of which L"pez was a member.[59] As the best-known banned politician, L"pez contested the sanction, arguing that the right to hold elected office could only be rescinded in the wake of a civil or criminal trial.[58] He claimed the government banned opposition candidates ahead of the November 2008 regional elections because it knew they could win.[58]
In June 2008, L"pez brought his case to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) in Washington, D.C., challenging the claims by stating that none of those punished had been charged, prosecuted and found guilty through due process of law, in direct violation of treatises signed by the Venezuelan government[60] and the Venezuelan constitution.[61] In July, the Commission agreed to hear his case[62] and noted that the two years that had elapsed since L"pez had filed a motion asking the Court to annul the ban constituted an "undue delay".[63]
The IACHR ruled unanimously that Lopez "should be allowed to run for office".[10] Venezuela's Supreme Court (TSJ) declared the ruling 'unenforceable', stating that the disqualification from holding public office was a legal sanction, not a political one, and that Lopez was still able to register as a candidate for office and participate in elections.[64][5][65] This ruling barred L"pez from running against Chavez for the following election, which polls indicated L"pez would win.[66]
Although L"pez and others accused of corruption were never tried or convicted,[57] the Venezuelan government maintained that the administrative disqualification from holding public office was grounded in Article 289 of the Venezuelan Constitution'--which grants the comptroller general authority to oversee and regulate public offices, investigate irregularities and apply administrative penalties to persons holding those offices'--and Article 105 of the Organic Law of the Office of the Comptroller General of the Republic.[67][68][69][70][71] The Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Tribunal ruled in August 2008 that the sanction against L"pez and others was constitutional.[72]
Following the decision by the Venezuelan government, multiple organizations criticized the government's ruling as a symptom of its judicial system's lack of independence. The Wall Street Journal stated that six of the seven Supreme Court justices were "sympathetic to the president".[57]The Wall Street Journal also noted that the ban "has elicited comparisons to moves by Iran's government preventing opposition politicians from running in elections in that country" and singled L"pez out as "a popular opposition politician who polls say would have a good chance at becoming the mayor of Caracas, one of the most important posts in the country".[57]BBC News called the list of individuals barred from office a "blacklist," noting that there was "little that Mr L"pez and others" could do to participate in the November 2008 elections.[73]
The Economist observed that L"pez was the "main apparent target" of the "decision by the auditor-general to ban hundreds of candidates from standing in the state and municipal elections for alleged corruption, even though none has been convicted by the courts".[74] The Carter Center expressed regret that the Venezuelan Supreme Court did not find it feasible to comply with the IACHR's decision.[75] The Human Rights Watch "described political discrimination as a defining feature of Mr. Chvez's presidency," singling out L"pez and the "measure that disqualifies candidates from running for public office because of legal claims against them".[76] The Organization of American States cited the case against L"pez as one of the "factors that contribute to the weakening of the rule of law and democracy in Venezuela."[77] The Associated Press reported that the use of the charges to disqualify L"pez "is a tactic critics say Chavez uses to put his opponents' political ambitions on indefinite hold".[78]
The next day, L"pez and others protested the ruling in a demonstration, until they were blocked in front of a government building.[79]
L"pez again filed a complaint, this time with the Human Rights Commission of the international Mercosur Parliament, on which Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay are represented, and on which Venezuela has observer status.[80] Two members of the commission traveled to Caracas to investigate,[81] but were unable to come to any conclusion because Venezuelan officials refused to meet with them.[76] Three years after the controversy began, L"pez was cleared of all of the charges of corruption.[82]
Voluntad Popular [ edit ] On 5 December 2009, L"pez launched the political party Voluntad Popular, saying "What we want is to build a new majority from the bottom up - not just through negotiations and agreements between elites. It's a longer road, but for us, it's the only road that gives us possibilities of winning."[83] L"pez described Voluntad Popular as "a social and political, pluralistic and democratic movement" that stood for "the rights of all Venezuelans."[83]
According to WikiLeaks, US diplomatic cables (one titled "The L"pez Problem") revealed criticism of L"pez by members of the opposition.[27][84]
2014 protests in Venezuela [ edit ] The Economist noted in February 2014 that while Henrique Capriles headed the moderate wing of Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD) '' the alliance of Venezuelan opposition parties '' L"pez headed "the more confrontational wing". Both advocated nonviolence, while L"pez, unlike Capriles, "believe[d] that demonstrations can prompt a change of government".[85] On 12 February 2014, L"pez called on Venezuelans to peacefully protest against the Venezuelan government.[11] The same day, Venezuelan prosecutors, after likening L"pez and protesters to "Nazis",[86] issued an arrest warrant for L"pez on charges including instigation of delinquency, public intimidation, arson of a public building, damage to public property, severe injury, "incitement to riot", homicide, and terrorism.[87][88]
The day after the warrant was issued, L"pez addressed Venezuelan President Nicols Maduro via Twitter, saying, "Don't you have the guts to arrest me? Or are you waiting for orders from Havana? I tell you, the truth is on our side."[89] In a late-night nationally televised broadcast on 16 February, according to Reuters, "Maduro told L"pez to hand himself in 'without a show,' and said he had rejected pressure from Washington to drop the case against him." Maduro "said he had ordered three U.S. consular officials to leave the country for conspiring against his government", and declared: "Venezuela doesn't take orders from anyone!"[90]
On 18 February, L"pez turned himself in to the Guardia Nacional (National Guard)[90] in the presence of thousands of cheering supporters, who, like him, wore white as a symbol of nonviolence. He gave a short speech in which he said that he hoped his arrest would awaken Venezuela to the corruption and economic disaster caused by socialist rule. The only alternative to accepting arrest, he said, standing on a statue of Jose Marti, was to "leave the country, and I will never leave Venezuela!"[91][91] Hours after the arrest, Maduro addressed a cheering crowd of supporters in red, saying that he would not tolerate "psychological warfare" by his opponents and that L"pez must be held responsible for his "treasonous acts".[92] L"pez's wife told CNN that night "that L"pez was in good spirits behind bars" and added: "The last thing he told me was don't forget why this is happening, don't forget why he's going to jail. He's asking for the liberation of political prisoners and students and an end to repression and violence."[91][92][93]
On 20 February, Supervisory Judge Ralenis Tovar Guill(C)n issued a pre-trial detention order against L"pez in response to formal charges of conspiracy, incitement to commit crimes, arson, and damage to public property with the charges ordered by public prosecutor Franklin Nieves.[94] L"pez was formally charged at an arraignment that took place inside a military bus parked outside the prison, a process described by Gutierrez as "very unorthodox".[95]
Imprisonment [ edit ] L"pez is serving a 13-year sentence for crimes including instigation of delinquency, arson, damage to public property, "incitement to riot", and terrorism. The charges have been labeled by organizations or legislative bodies outside of Venezuela as politically motivated. Human rights groups around the globe have called for L"pez' release due to the government's negligent handling of the trial.[96] Since out of nearly 700 total hours of court testimonies the defense spoke for less than three, the trial has been called a farce.[citation needed ]
Initial detention [ edit ] Detention order against Leopoldo L"pez
L"pez was denied bail and imprisoned at the Ramo Verde military prison outside of Caracas.[12][97] While in prison, his family visited him every week, only being allowed to stay for a few hours and deliver lunch. They had to undergo strict searches by guards. L"pez grew a beard and began learning how to play the cuatro. L"pez, a devout Catholic, was not allowed to attend mass or have a priest visit but has been allowed to have an hour of exercise outside each day.[98]
In July 2014, his wife stated that his visitation rights had been revoked and that he was subjected to psychological torture including isolation.[99][37] It was also reported that prison guards would throw feces against L"pez's jail cell.[100] Chilean lawyer and secretary of a mission of Socialist International, Jos(C) Antonio Viera-Gallo, stated that in the case of L"pez, Socialist International "confirmed human rights violations against a political leader" giving examples of when L"pez and others trying to communicate with their families, authorities sound loud sirens preventing communication.[101]
On 13 February 2015, armed masked men believed to be military used blowtorches to cut through the bars of Lopez and former mayor Daniel Ceballos' prison cells.[102] In May 2015 L"pez announced he was beginning a hunger strike to protest his detention and the mismanagement of the Maduro government. He has urged other jailed opposition to join, with Daniel Ceballos also participating in the hunger strike.[103][104] Both L"pez and Ceballos ceased the hunger strike after one of their demands, a date set for the 2015 Venezuelan parliamentary elections, were set to take place on 6 December 2015.[105]
Trial [ edit ] L"pez was set to be tried alongside four students, Marco Coello, Christian Holdack, ngel Gonzlez, and Demian Martin. He petitioned the court to release these students, who had been arrested in February. Judge Susana Barreiros ordered the release of all but Christian Holdack.[106] At the beginning of his trial, Lopez's defence was barred from entering the court to present evidence and witnesses.[107] For L"pez's defense, only 1 of 63 witnesses were allowed to be presented in court while over 100 witnesses were allowed to presented for the prosecution.[16] Since L"pez was detained on 18 February 2014, he was held in Ramo Verde Prison while he was tried. L"pez's court dates were on 23 July, 6 August, 13 August and 28 August. At each of those trials, the prosecution presented evidence against L"pez, yet his defense was allegedly not able to present any information or evidence supporting him.[108] After the court session of 28 August, the case was deferred for a third time to 10 September.[109] The 28 August court session was also under the presence of a delegate of the European Union, allegedly due to concerns about the trial's process.[110]
In November 2014, the Venezuelan court rejected the United Nations' request to release L"pez from prison.[111] The United Nations, along with several other organizations and institutions, have criticized the trial due to a lack of due process in the court's handling of the case, as well as a lack of fair hearing for the defense, who had under three hours to defend themselves to the government's 600 hours. The government's use of delays to silence witnesses for the defense, as well as their direct barring of 58 of 60 witnesses, was also condemned.[112][113][114]
On 4 January 2015, in response to US requests to free L"pez, Maduro offered to exchange L"pez "man to man" for Oscar L"pez Rivera, the Puerto Rican independence activist imprisoned in the U.S. The Obama administration commuted L"pez Rivera's sentence, with his release in May 2017.[115]
In March 2015, former socialist Prime Minister of Spain Felipe Gonzlez agreed to take over the defense of L"pez in his trial after his family requested his assistance.[116] In the roughly 700 hours of court testimonies, L"pez's defense was given less than three hours and was not allotted many resources or due process.[117][118]
Sentence [ edit ] If the sentence condemns me you will be more fearful to read it than I will be to hear it, because you know that I'm innocent
'-- L"pez in pre-sentencing speech, 2015[119]
On 10 September 2015, after spending over a year and a half imprisoned in Ramo Verde, L"pez's trial was set to conclude. According to L"pez's lawyers, Judge Susana Barreiros suddenly finished proceedings the preceding week, with L"pez only permitted to use a few witnesses while the prosecution was granted the use of hundreds of witnesses.[119][120]
At the courthouse, about 200 supporters of L"pez gathered while government supporters grouped together with a band singing folk songs supporting a guilty verdict against L"pez.[119][120] The gatherings grew violent after government supporters attacked L"pez supporters and left them with multiple injuries and one death.[105][120] Before the conclusion of the trial, L"pez addressed the courtroom with a three-hour speech.[119] Judge Susana Barreiros found L"pez guilty and gave him the maximum sentence of 13 years, 9 months, 7 days, and 12 hours in Ramo Verde military prison for public incitement of violence; student movement co-defendants received sentences ranging from 4 and 10 years.[119][120] L"pez was then allowed to spend moments with his family before he was sent back to his isolation cell in Ramo Verde.[119] L"pez's supporters then moved to another part of the city to demonstrate while the banging of pots by other Venezuelans could be heard from their homes.[119]
Controversy and international reaction [ edit ] Billboard in Caracas demanding Leopoldo's release.
On 23 October 2015, Franklin Nieves, a prosecutor in L"pez's trial who fled to the United States, stated that the trial was a "farce" and that he was pressured by high officials in the Venezuelan government.[121] Nieves said that Brigadier General Manuel Gregorio Bernal Martinez, then head of SEBIN, was directly ordered by President Maduro to arrest L"pez and others.[121] When Nieves asked for documentation of any crimes, Bernal did not have any but a SEBIN officer created the documents needed to persecute L"pez, with Nieves stating, "They made up those facts in the moment."[121] Nieves also accused Diosdado Cabello, leader of the National Assembly, of directing the L"pez trial as well.[121]Luisa Ortega D­az, the Chief Prosecutor of Venezuela who reportedly asked prosecutors to build evidence against L"pez, denied Nieves' allegations, saying that "If he was pressured, it was undoubtedly by foreign elements."[121]
Human rights groups consider L"pez as "Latin America's most prominent political prisoner".[16] Multiple organizations denounced L"pez's detention and published discussions about it in order to bring attention to his arrest.[82]Human Rights Watch said: "The Venezuelan government has openly embraced the classic tactics of an authoritarian regime, jailing its opponents, muzzling the media, and intimidating civil society."[95] HRW further accused the Maduro government of blaming opposition leaders, including L"pez, for violence. The Human Rights Foundation, founded and run by L"pez's first cousin, Thor Halvorssen Mendoza,[30][122] declared L"pez a prisoner of conscience and joined other international organizations in calling for his immediate release. ''With L"pez's imprisonment and the brutally repressive tactics that police, armed forces, and paramilitary groups are using against his supporters, the Venezuelan state has lost any democratic fa§ade it may have had,'' said HRF chairman Garry Kasparov.[123] Former students from Kenyon College put forth an effort to support L"pez since he was detained and helped create[82] Editorial columns from The New York Times and The Washington Post have also called for his release.[82]
At the 2014 Clinton Global Initiative meeting, U.S. President Barack Obama called for the release of L"pez saying, "We stand in solidarity with those who are detained at this very moment."[124] The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention ruled in 2014 that L"pez was detained arbitrarily and that the Venezuelan government "violated several of their civil, political and constitutional rights" while demanding his immediate release.[13] The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, called for the immediate release of L"pez and all Venezuelans arrested during the 2014 protests.[125] In November 2014, Socialist International agreed with the UN's ruling, calling L"pez's arrest arbitrary.[101] On 19 December 2014, the chief diplomat of the European Union, Federica Mogherini, said that she was "seriously concerned" about "continuous arbitrary arrests" in Venezuela, with the EU resolution noting that Leopoldo Lopez "suffered physical and psychological torture" and also denounced the situations of opposition mayors Daniel Ceballos and Vicencio Scarano.[126]
The Venezuelan government condemned the statements by the United States and the United Nations demanding them to not interfere in Venezuelan affairs.[127] The Venezuelan government replied to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights with a letter directed to him stating that it was "senseless" to release L"pez and claimed that Prince Zeid bin Ra'ad's statements were "undoubtedly part of the international media manipulation that has been denounced by the top leadership of the Bolivarian Government".[128]
In 2016, the Dalai Lama supported L"pez, with human rights attorney Tamara Sujº sharing a picture on Twitter of the Dalai Lama stating that he continued to pray for L"pez.[129]
Amnesty International said, "The charges brought against Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo L"pez smack of a politically motivated attempt to silence dissent in the country." Guadalupe Marengo, Amnesty International Americas Programme Deputy Director, called on Venezuelan authorities to ''either present solid evidence to substantiate the charges against L"pez or release him immediately and unconditionally ... Amnesty International has not seen evidence to substantiate these charges. This is an affront to justice and free assembly.''[130] After L"pez was sentenced to 13 years in prison, Amnesty International declared that, "Leopoldo L"pez is a prisoner of conscience and should be immediately released without conditions".[14]
Post-trial activity [ edit ] Days after L"pez was formally sentenced and imprisoned, he wrote an op-ed for The New York Times titled Even in Jail, I Will Fight for a Free Venezuela in which he describes how he was twice visited by then President of the National Assembly and PSUV official, Diosdado Cabello, shortly after the Venezuelan government called for his arrest with Cabello telling L"pez that he should seek refuge at a foreign embassy; with L"pez saying that he later decided to turn himself in on 18 February 2014. He also called for international attention on the state of Venezuela's economy, corruption and crime, sharing his beliefs on how to help improve Venezuela.[131]
L"pez described his jail cell in Ramo Verde, saying:[131]
I am now in solitary confinement in a 7-by-10-foot cell that has nothing more than a single bed, a toilet and a small shelf for my few changes of clothes. I am not allowed writing materials, and the only book permitted is the Bible. I don't even have a light or candle for when it gets dark outside. While this has all been hard for my family, they understand that great causes require great sacrifices.
On 26 March 2014, The New York Times published an op-ed by L"pez under the headline "Venezuela's Failing State". Writing from prison, L"pez lamented that for the past fifteen years, "the definition of 'intolerable' in this country has declined by degrees until, to our dismay, we found ourselves with one of the highest murder rates in the Western Hemisphere, a 57 percent inflation rate and a scarcity of basic goods unprecedented outside of wartime." This "is matched by an equally oppressive political climate. Since student protests began on Feb. 4, more than 1,500 protesters have been detained, more than 30 have been killed, and more than 50 people have reported that they were tortured while in police custody," thus exposing "the depth of this government's criminalization of dissent".
Addressing his incarceration, L"pez recounted that on 12 February, he had 'urged Venezuelans to exercise their legal rights to protest and free speech '' but to do so peacefully and without violence. Three people were shot and killed that day. An analysis of video by the news organization šltimas Noticias determined that shots were fired from the direction of plainclothes military troops.' Yet after the protest, 'President Nicols Maduro personally ordered my arrest on charges of murder, arson and terrorism ... To this day, no evidence of any kind has been presented."
L"pez called for justice for Maduro's victims, for the disarming of paramilitary groups, for "an investigation into fraud committed through our commission for currency exchange," and for ''real engagement from the international community, particularly in Latin America.'' He charged that while international human- rights organizations had been outspoken in condemning Maduro, many of Venezuela's neighbors had responded to his actions with "shameful silence", as had the Organization of American States, which represents nations in the Western Hemisphere.[132]
House arrest [ edit ] L"pez chanting "
S­ se puede" with supporters following his release to house arrest
According to L"pez's wife, Lilian Tintori, in early June 2017 he rejected an offer from officials of the Venezuelan government, made during the 2017 Venezuelan protests, which would allow him to serve the remainder of his prison term under house arrest.[133] Tintori reported that he said other political prisoners should be released before him and that he "had to be last to leave ... [that it was about] liberty for all of Venezuela".[133] A month later, on 8 July 2017, L"pez left Ramo Verde and was taken home in the company of two Bolivarian officials, Delcy Rodriguez and her brother Jorge Rodriguez, at 3:00am VST.[134][135][136] He was placed under house arrest by Venezuela's Supreme Tribunal of Justice, which cited case "irregularities" and health reasons for L"pez's release; Reuters reports that the Bolivarian government "seems to be calculating that his return home may ease domestic protests".[136]
Following the 2017 Venezuelan Constitutional Assembly election which granted the Bolivarian government much more authority over Venezuela, SEBIN agents arrived at L"pez's home in the early hours of 1 August 2017, and took him back to prison.[20] But on 5 August 2017, Venezuelan authorities again released L"pez to house arrest.[137] Since then, L"pez has remained under house arrest. According to L"pez, SEBIN agents have been taking a picture of him with a copy of the day's newspaper every day since his return to house arrest.[138] In October 2017, the head of a private security team guarding L"pez and his home was arrested; he has not been seen since.[138] On November 17, 2017, SEBIN officials reinforced the surveillance of L"pez´s house, after the former mayor of Caracas, who was in the same situation, fled on the same day to Colombia.[139][140]
Release [ edit ] L"pez was released from house arrest on the morning of 30 April during the 2019 Venezuela uprising, with the assistance of defecting armed forces supportive of Juan Guaid".[141] Later in the day, L"pez and his immediate family entered the Chilean Embassy,[142] but moved to the Spanish Embassy in the early hours of 1 May 2019.[143] According to Roberto Ampuero of the Chilean Foreign Ministry, L"pez and his family moved to the Spanish Embassy after a "personal decision", noting that L"pez and his wife both have Spanish ancestry.[144]
Awards and honors [ edit ] 2007 '' Kenyon College Honoris Causa Doctorate Law.[34]2007, 2008 '' Premio Transparencia Award, to the most transparent city mayor of Venezuela, granted by the Venezuela branch of Transparency International.[48]2008 '' Third place, World Mayor Project, for being a "hands-on mayor as well as a national politician fighting for democratic openness and fairness in Venezuela".[49]2009 '' The Most Innovative People Award for Resiliency from the Future Capitals World Summit.[145][146]2014 '' Harvard University Alumni Achievement Award for the support of democracy and transparency in Venezuela.[147]2014 '' Foreign Policy listed L"pez in its Leading Global Thinkers of 2014 publication.[148]2015 '' National Endowment for Democracy awarded L"pez its Democracy Award in May 2015.[149]2015 '' Cdiz Cortes Ibero-American Freedom Prize was awarded "given the unblemished defense of freedom in your community and minimum requirements of the realization of human rights in the same, which has led them to be subject to public rebuke of their government, including the flagrant situation of imprisonment or the cutting of your minimal civil rights".[150]2015 '' One of Spain ABC's Ten Faces in the World in 2015.[151]2016 '' Courage Award, Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy, shared with Antonio Ledezma, "for inspiring the world with their extraordinary courage in the defense of liberty and universal human rights".[152]2017 '' Florida Medal of Freedom awarded by Governor of Florida, Rick Scott.[153]2018 '' Nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize[154]Publications [ edit ] Leopoldo L"pez, Gustavo Baquero (2017). VENEZUELA ENERG‰TICA: Propuesta para el bienestar y progreso de los venezolanos (La Hoja del Norte) (in Spanish). Cyngular Asesor­a 357, C.A. / Editorial Dahbar. ISBN 978-9804250163. Notes [ edit ] ^ Vinogradoff, Ludmila. "Leopoldo L"pez y los otros dos l­deres emergentes de la oposici"n en Venezuela". ABC (19 March 2014) . Retrieved 10 December 2015 . ^ "Venezuela's Guaido leads military uprising". Associated Press. 30 April 2019 . Retrieved 30 April 2019 . ^ "Leopoldo Lopez launches Venezuela presidential bid". BBC. 24 September 2011 . Retrieved 9 September 2014 . ^ "Application to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in the case of Leopoldo L"pez Mendoza (Caso 12.668) against Venezuela" (PDF) . Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. 14 December 2009 . Retrieved 9 September 2014 . ^ a b (in Spanish) "El TSJ decreta inejecutable el fallo de la Cidh sobre Leopoldo L"pez, pero podr ser candidato". 17 October 2011. Archived from the original on 19 October 2011 . Retrieved 7 June 2017 . ^ "Leopoldo Lopez: Venezuela blueblood, ardent Maduro foe". Yahoo News. 19 February 2014. Archived from the original on 6 March 2014 . Retrieved 23 February 2014 . ^ McDermott, Jeremy (21 November 2008). "Chavez accused of behaving like 'dictator' ahead of elections". The Daily Telegraph. London. ^ Francisco Alonso, Juan (16 September 2011). "Corte Interamericana ordena habilitaci"n de Leopoldo L"pez". El Universal. Archived from the original on 26 August 2014 . Retrieved 7 June 2017 . ^ (in Spanish) "CIDH demanda a Venezuela ante corte por inhabilitaci"n de Leopoldo L"pez". El Universal. 23 December 2009. Archived from the original on 1 October 2012 . Retrieved 7 June 2017 . ^ a b Rueda, Jorge (16 September 2011). "Rights court sides with Chavez opponent". Yahoo. Associated Press . Retrieved 7 June 2017 . ^ a b Crist"bal Nagel, Juan (11 September 2015). "Venezuela's Most Famous Dissident Gets 13 years". Foreign Policy . Retrieved 10 December 2015 . ^ a b Castillo, Mariano and Ed Payne (20 February 2014). "Murder charges against Venezuela opposition leader dropped". CNN . Retrieved 23 February 2014 . ^ a b "ONU insta a la inmediata liberaci"n de Leopoldo L"pez". El Nacional (Caracas). 8 October 2014. Archived from the original on 9 October 2014 . Retrieved 9 October 2014 . ^ a b "Faces of Impunity: Leopoldo L"pez". Amnesty International (Press release) . Retrieved 24 September 2015 . ^ "UN Human Rights Chief urges Venezuela to release arbitrarily detained protestors and politicians". UNOHCHR. 20 October 2014 . Retrieved 14 December 2015 . ^ a b c "Jailed Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez calls for more protests". Fox News. 15 December 2014 . Retrieved 7 June 2017 . ^ Neuman, William and Patricia Torres (25 October 2015). "Venezuelan Prosecutor Says Opposition Leader's Trial Was a Farce". The New York Times . Retrieved 15 December 2015 . ^ Editorial, Board (11 September 2015). "A Venezuelan opposition leader's absurd sentence". The Washington Post. The Washington Post . Retrieved 15 December 2015 . ^ "Venezuela's Leopoldo Lopez being released from prison to house arrest". CNN. 8 July 2017. ^ a b "L­deres pol­ticos reaccionan ante traslado de Ledezma y L"pez a Ramo Verde". La Patilla (in Spanish). 1 August 2017 . Retrieved 1 August 2017 . ^ "Detained activist Leopoldo Lopez says he was freed by military, calls on all Venezuelans to peacefully take to streets". The Washington Post. 30 April 2019 . Retrieved 30 April 2019 . ^ "The Cisneros Group Teams up with the E-Commerce Company, Cuponidad, to Maximize Its Potential in Latin America". BusinessWire. Berkshire Hathaway . Retrieved 9 December 2015 . ^ Lovato, Roberto (27 July 2015). "The Making of Leopoldo L"pez". Foreign Policy . Retrieved 9 December 2015 . ^ a b c Peralta, Eyder (20 February 2013). "5 Things To Know About Venezuela's Protest Leader". NPR . Retrieved 7 June 2017 . ^ "Testimony of Adriana L"pez Vermut Before the House Foreign Affairs Committee Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere: Deplorable Human Rights Violations in Cuba and Venezuela" (PDF) . US Congress. 6 November 2015 . Retrieved 6 June 2017 . ^ a b c d (in Spanish) "Leopoldo L"pez Mendoza". Oficina del Alcalde, Chacao. Archived from the original on 31 December 2007 . Retrieved 9 September 2008 . ^ a b c d Watts, Jonathan (21 February 2014). "Venezuelan opposition leader, Leopoldo L"pez, tells his allies to keep fighting". The Guardian . Retrieved 7 June 2017 . ^ Halvorssen, Thor (14 March 2012). "Hugo Chavez channels the dead". Pittsburgh Post Gazette . Retrieved 10 May 2012 . ^ a b c Stevens, Andrews (4 July 2008). "Kidnapped and shot at, a Venezuelan mayor opposes country's president". City Mayors: Former Mayors . Retrieved 7 June 2017 . ^ a b Llenas, Bryan (25 March 2014). "Cousin Of Venezuelan Opposition Leader Leopoldo Lopez Says He Has Become President Maduro's Biggest Nightmare". Fox News . Retrieved 7 June 2017 . ^ Elizabeth Llorente (2 April 2014). "Former U.S. Classmates Rally For Jailed Venezuelan Opposition Leader Leopoldo Lopez". Fox News . Retrieved 6 June 2017 . ^ "Hun Alumnus Leopoldo L"pez '89 Stands Up for Venezuela; Hun Community Wears White" (Press release). The Hun School of Princeton. 18 February 2014 . Retrieved 6 June 2017 . ^ Curran, Hannah (15 November 2012). "Leo Lopez: Kenyon grad, Venezuelan politician". Kenyon Collegian. Archived from the original on 5 May 2014 . Retrieved 7 June 2017 . ^ a b "Honors day". Kenyon College, Office of the Provost . Retrieved 7 June 2017 . ^ "Leopoldo Lopez' Wife Lilian Tintori". Daily Entertainment News. February 2014 . Retrieved 18 February 2014 . ^ (in Spanish) "Leopoldo L"pez presenta a su hija Manuela por twitter". El Universal. 20 September 2009. Archived from the original on 24 September 2009 . Retrieved 7 June 2017 . ^ a b c Taylor, Jeffrey (27 April 2015). "The accidental face of Venezuela's opposition". The Atlantic . Retrieved 7 June 2017 . ^ (in Spanish) Moleiro, Alonso (23 January 2018). "Lilian Tintori anuncia el nacimiento de Federica, su nueva hija con Leopoldo L"pez". El Pais . Retrieved 9 March 2019 . ^ a b (in Spanish) Mu±oz, Ingrid Nº±ez and Nury Pineda Morn (January '' June 2003). "Nuevos Partidos, Nuevos Liderazgos: Primero Justicia" (PDF) . Cuestiones Pol­ticas (30). IEPDP-Facultad de Ciencias Jur­dicas y Pol­ticas - LUZ: 45''74. ISSN 0798-1406 . Retrieved 19 October 2010 . ^ (in Spanish) "Un Nuevo Tiempo jurament" nueva comisi"n pol­tica". Venevisi"n. 3 March 2007. Archived from the original on 24 July 2011 . Retrieved 7 June 2017 . ^ Hylton, Wil S. (9 March 2018). "Leopoldo L"pez Speaks Out, and Venezuela's Government Cracks Down". The New York Times . Retrieved 16 March 2018 . ^ a b c d e Kraul, Chris (19 July 2006). "A lightning rod for Venezuela's political strife". Los Angeles Times . Retrieved 7 June 2017 . ^ Morris, Ruth. "Lightning Rod For Tumult". Kenyon College Alumni Bulletin . Retrieved 7 June 2017 . ^ (in Spanish) "Chacao repara escuelas durante las vacaciones de Navidad". El Universal. 20 December 2004. Archived from the original on 8 November 2014 . Retrieved 7 June 2017 . ^ (in Spanish) "Alcald­a de Chacao puso en servicio Centro Deportivo Eugenio Mendoza en La Castellana". Globovision. 2 November 2006. Archived from the original on 7 April 2014 . Retrieved 7 June 2017 . ^ (in Spanish) "Chacao abri" las puertas del Mercado ms Moderno de Am(C)rica Latina". Globovision. 30 October 2008. Archived from the original on 7 April 2014 . Retrieved 7 June 2017 . ^ Befriend, Susan (1 April 2010). "Bill Bratton, Globocop". Bloomberg Business Week . Retrieved 7 June 2017 . ^ a b (in Spanish) "Premio Transparencia 2008 para Leopoldo L"pez". noticias24. 6 October 2008. Archived from the original on 1 March 2011 . Retrieved 7 June 2017 . ^ a b vom Hove, Tann (14 October 2008). "Helen Zille, Mayor of Cape Town, wins the 2008 World Mayor Prize". World Mayor . Retrieved 7 June 2017 . ^ Kraul, Chris and Mogollon, Mary (28 February 2013). "Venezuelan opposition leader faces fresh charges". Los Angeles Times. CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link) ^ (in Spanish) "Leopoldo L"pez afirma que deben trabajar duro en las comunidades". 20 August 2009 . Retrieved 19 October 2010 . ^ (in Spanish) "Leopoldo L"pez llam" a crear una red popular por cada escuela". Globovision. 19 September 2009. Archived from the original on 28 September 2011 . Retrieved 7 June 2017 . ^ (in Spanish) "Voluntad Popular cree que problema de inseguridad se puede solucionar". Secretaria General Iberoamerica. 20 August 2010. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016 . Retrieved 7 June 2017 . ^ Glabe, Scott L (22 November 2005). "New Organization Opens Fire on Chavez". The Dartmouth Review. Archived from the original on 20 November 2008 . Retrieved 30 September 2011 . ^ a b "La Fiscal­a investiga a un alcalde opositor por presuntas agresiones contra agentes del aeropuerto". Terra. 28 June 2008. Archived from the original on 23 March 2012 . Retrieved 22 July 2008 . ^ Cancel, Daniel and Steven Bodzin (7 August 2008). "Venezuela Opposition Pleads Decree Case to Trade Bloc (Update3)". . Retrieved 9 September 2008 . ^ a b c d de C"rdoba, Jos(C) and Darcy Crowe (6 August 2008). "In Enacting Decrees, Chvez Makes New Power Grab". Wall Street Journal . Retrieved 8 August 2008 . ^ a b c Ingham, James (27 June 2008). "Testing Times Ahead for Chavez". BBC News . Retrieved 22 July 2008 . ^ "Attorney General has two investigations against Leopoldo L"pez". El Universal. 21 October 2011 . Retrieved 7 August 2014 . ^ "Leading Venezuelan Activist, Leopoldo Lopez, to Testify Before Inter-American Commission on Human Rights". Business Wire. 23 March 2009 . Retrieved 31 May 2009 . ^ "Interview: Leopoldo L"pez on Venezuela's Political Alternative". Americas Society. 6 October 2008 . Retrieved 31 May 2009 . ^ Gunson, Phil. "More anger, protests over Venezuelan decrees". Miami Herald . Retrieved 7 August 2008 . ^ Alonso, Juan Francisco (31 July 2008). "IACHR finds unjustified procedural delay in case of Venezuelan Mayor". El Universal. Archived from the original on 25 May 2011 . Retrieved 7 June 2017 . ^ "Protests in Venezuela: A tale of two prisoners". The Economist. 22 February 2014 . Retrieved 23 February 2014 . ^ "Fallo de la CIDH en caso L"pez es "inejecutable " ". šltimas Noticias. 17 October 2011. Archived from the original on 26 August 2014 . Retrieved 7 June 2017 . ^ "Top court in Venezuela upholds ban on Chavez foe". CNN . Retrieved 25 November 2015 . ^ "Fact Sheet, Myths and Realities of the Disqualifications from Holding Public Office" (PDF) . Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. 17 July 2008 . Retrieved 25 August 2014 . ^ (in Spanish) "Diputado Alemn: En Venezuela no hay nada que prive sobre la Constituci"n". Agencia Venezolana de Noticias. 20 September 2011 . Retrieved 25 August 2014 . ^ "Venezuelan GAO denounces former Mayor Leopoldo L"pez's subterfuge". Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela Press Office . Retrieved 31 May 2009 . ^ (in Spanish) "Contralor­a inhabilit" al alcalde Leopoldo L"pez". El Tiempo. 13 June 2006. Archived from the original on 18 June 2006 . Retrieved 7 June 2017 . ^ (in Spanish) "Contralor­a inhabilita por tres a±os a Leopoldo L"pez para las funciones pºblicas". El Universal. 12 June 2006. Archived from the original on 13 June 2006 . Retrieved 7 June 2017 . ^ (in Spanish) "Declaran constitucionalidad del art­culo 105 de la Ley de Contralor­a". El Universal. 5 August 2008. Archived from the original on 13 July 2009 . Retrieved 7 June 2017 . ^ "Venezuelans protest against ban". BBC News. 7 August 2008 . Retrieved 8 August 2008 . ^ "The autocrat of Caracas". The Economist. 7 August 2008 . Retrieved 7 June 2017 . ^ "Declaration of the Friends of the Inter-American Democratic Charter on the Venezuelan Decision Regarding the Ruling of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights". The Carter Center . Retrieved 22 October 2011 . ^ a b Romero, Simon (18 September 2008). "Report Accuses Chvez of Abusing Rights". The New York Times . Retrieved 2 February 2010 . ^ "Democracy and human rights in Venezuela". Inter-American Court of Human Rights. 30 December 2009 . Retrieved 19 October 2010 . ^ Toothaker, Christopher (26 December 2009). "Venezuelan seeks to revive anti-Chavez movement". Deseret News . Retrieved 7 June 2017 . ^ James, Ian (6 August 2008). "Venezuelans protest Chavez's new socialist push". Associated Press . Retrieved 7 June 2017 . ^ "Mercosur human rights commission arrives in Venezuela". El Universal. 6 August 2008. Archived from the original on 25 May 2011 . Retrieved 7 June 2017 . ^ "V enezuelan politics contaminate Mercosur parliament session". MercoPress. 19 August 2008 . Retrieved 7 June 2017 . ^ a b c d Kurtzman, Lori (22 October 2014). "Political prisoner in Venezuela backed by fellow Kenyon alumni". The Columbus Dispatch . Retrieved 22 October 2014 . ^ a b (in Spanish) "Leopoldo L"pez lanza movimiento Voluntad Popular en Carabobo". El informador. 5 December 2009. Archived from the original on 16 July 2011 . Retrieved 7 June 2017 . ^ "WHAT'S WRONG WITH THE OPPOSITION?". WikiLeaks . Retrieved 9 December 2015 . ^ "A tale of two prisoners". The Economist. 22 February 2014. ^ Miroff, Nick (17 February 2014). "Showdown looms for Venezuela as protest leader Leopoldo L"pez vows new march". Washington Post. ^ Girish Gupta and Peter Wilson (13 February 2014). "Venezuelans in shock over protest deaths". USA Today. ^ "Opositor Leopoldo L"pez con orden de captura por 'terrorismo ' ". El Universo. 14 February 2014 . Retrieved 21 February 2014 . ^ Cawthorne, Andrew and Diego Ore (14 February 2014). "Anti-Maduro protests persist in Venezuela, dozens jailed". Thomson Reuters . Retrieved 7 June 2017 . ^ a b Wallis, Daniel and Eyanir Chinea (16 February 2014). "Venezuela's Lopez says ready for arrest at Tuesday march". Thomson Reuters . Retrieved 7 June 2017 . ^ a b c Romo, Rafael (22 February 2014). "The face of Venezuela's opposition". CNN . Retrieved 7 June 2017 . ^ a b Goodman, Joshua (18 February 2014). "Venezuela opposition leader jailed over protests". Associated Press. San Francisco Chronicle. Archived from the original on 1 March 2014 . Retrieved 7 June 2017 . ^ "Descartan cargos de terrorismo y homicidio contra Leopoldo L"pez". La Jornada. Mexico City. 20 February 2014 . Retrieved 21 February 2014 . ^ "Venezuela HRF Declares Leopoldo Lopez a Prisoner of Conscience and Calls for his Immediate Release". Human Rights Foundation. 21 February 2014. Archived from the original on 1 July 2014. ^ a b "Venezuela: Violence Against Protesters, Journalists". Human Rights Watch. 21 February 2014 . Retrieved 23 February 2014 . ^ "Venezuela: HRF Condemns 13-Year Prison Sentence Against Leopoldo L"pez". Human Rights Foundation. Archived from the original on 16 September 2015 . Retrieved 7 June 2017 . ^ "Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez denied bail". BBC News. 28 March 2014 . Retrieved 22 April 2014 . ^ Gray, Rosie (1 April 2014). "Venezuelan Opposition Leader Languishes In Jail As Protests Continue". Buzzfeed . Retrieved 3 April 2014 . ^ Poleo, Helena (14 July 2014). "Imprisoned opposition leader subjected to psychological torture, wife claims". Local10. Archived from the original on 26 July 2014 . Retrieved 7 June 2017 . ^ Lopez, Linette. "This Woman Is Venezuela's New Public Enemy Number One". Business Insider . Retrieved 5 December 2014 . ^ a b "Socialist International rejects detention of dissenter Leopoldo L"pez". El Universal. 17 November 2014 . Retrieved 14 December 2014 . ^ "Military command destroys cells of Leopoldo Lopez and Daniel Ceballos". El Universal. 13 February 2015. Archived from the original on 14 February 2015 . Retrieved 7 June 2017 . ^ Pazarli, Mustafa. "Jailed Venezuelan opposition leaders start hunger strike". . Retrieved 26 May 2015 . ^ "The jailed opposition leader who might hold the key to Venezuela's future". The Conversation . Retrieved 26 May 2015 . ^ a b "Venezuela opposition leader jailed for nearly 14 years". Al Jazeera. 11 September 2015 . Retrieved 11 September 2015 . ^ "Student Marco Coello released after over 100 days in prison". El Universal. 24 July 2014. Archived from the original on 29 November 2014 . Retrieved 7 June 2017 . ^ Forero, Juan (6 August 2014). "Venezuelan Court Bars Defense for Opposition Leader". Wall Street Journal. ^ (in Spanish) "Venezolanos protestan captahuellas con un cacerolazo". El Nuevo Herald. 29 August 2014 . Retrieved 29 August 2014 . ^ "Diferido por tercera vez juicio de Leopoldo L"pez; nueva cita ser el 10 de septiembre". La Patilla. 28 August 2014 . Retrieved 29 August 2014 . ^ Francisco Alonso, Juan (29 August 2014). "European Union follows up trial against dissenter Leopoldo L"pez". El Universal. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016 . Retrieved 7 June 2017 . ^ Burden, Guido Javier (17 November 2014). "Venezuelan Court Won't Bow to UN Call for Leopoldo L"pez Release". PanAm Post . Retrieved 27 September 2015 . ^ Welsh, Teresa (11 September 2015). "Venezuelan Opposition Leader Gets 13-Year Prison Term". US News. Archived from the original on 12 September 2015 . Retrieved 7 June 2017 . ^ "Venezuela: UN rights chief calls for immediate release of opposition leader, politicians". United Nations News . Retrieved 25 November 2015 . ^ "Venezuelan opposition wants prisoners free, economy revamped after vote". Business Insider. 24 November 2015. ^ Wyss, Jim (18 January 2017). "Clemency for Puerto Rican nationalist raises question about jailed Venezuelan politician". Miami Herald . Retrieved 23 June 2017 . ^ Prados, Luis (23 March 2015). "Felipe Gonzlez defender a l­deres opositores presos en Venezuela". El Pa­s . Retrieved 23 March 2015 . ^ "V enezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez jailed". The Daily Telegraph. 11 September 2015 . Retrieved 26 September 2015 . ^ Miguel Vivanco, Jos(C). "The Shattered Case Against Leopoldo L"pez". Human Rights Watch . Retrieved 15 December 2015 . ^ a b c d e f g Utrera, Yesman; Miroff, Nick (10 September 2015). "Venezuelan opposition leader sentenced to military prison". The Washington Post . Retrieved 7 June 2017 . ^ a b c d Dreier, Hannah (10 September 2015). "Venezuelan opposition leader convicted of inciting violence". Business Insider . Retrieved 7 June 2017 . ^ a b c d e Neuman, William (28 October 2015). "Venezuelan Prosecutor Ties Nicols Maduro to Arrests". The New York Times . Retrieved 29 October 2015 . ^ "Meet the Human Rights Foundation Team". Human Rights Foundation . Retrieved 7 June 2017 . ^ "Human Rights Foundation Declares Leopoldo L"pez a Political Prisoner". PanAm Post. 21 February 2014 . Retrieved 22 October 2014 . ^ "Obama calls for release of Venezuelan dissenter L"pez". El Universal. 23 September 2014. Archived from the original on 28 September 2014 . Retrieved 7 June 2017 . ^ "UN Human Rights Chief urges Venezuela to release arbitrarily detained protestors and politicians". OHCHR. 20 October 2014 . Retrieved 20 October 2014 . ^ "UE "seriamente preocupada" por detenciones arbitrarias en Venezuela". El Universal. 19 December 2014 . Retrieved 6 January 2015 . ^ "Venezuela rechaz" resoluci"n ONU sobre L"pez y pide no inmiscuirse". El Mundo. 10 October 2014 . Retrieved 12 October 2014 . ^ "Gobierno tilda de insensatez que comisionado de la ONU solicite liberaci"n de L"pez". La Patilla. 22 October 2014 . Retrieved 23 October 2014 . ^ "Hasta el Dalai Lama reza por Leopoldo L"pez y Venezuela". La Patilla. 4 November 2016 . Retrieved 4 November 2016 . ^ "Venezuela: Trial of opposition leader an affront to justice and free assembly" (Press release). Amnesty International. 19 February 2014 . Retrieved 6 June 2017 . ^ a b L"pez, Leopoldo (25 September 2015). "Even in Jail, I Will Fight for a Free Venezuela". The New York Times . Retrieved 22 January 2016 . ^ L"pez, Leopoldo (25 March 2014). "Venezuela's Failing State". New York Times . Retrieved 7 June 2017 . ^ a b (in Spanish) "L"pez rechaz" oferta de casa por crcel de r(C)gimen de Maduro". El Tiempo. 5 June 2017 . Retrieved 6 June 2017 . ^ (in Spanish) "T SJ otorg" casa por crcel a Leopoldo L"pez". El Universal. 8 July 2017 . Retrieved 8 July 2017 . ^ Zu±iga, Mariana (8 July 2017). "Venezuelans release opposition leader Leopoldo L"pez from jail". Washington Post . Retrieved 9 July 2017 . ^ a b Or(C), Diego & Girish Gupta (9 July 2017). "Buoyed by Lopez release, Venezuela opposition rallies for 100th day". Reuters . Retrieved 9 July 2017 . ^ CNN, Nicole Chavez (6 August 2017). "Venezuela's Leopoldo Lopez returns to house arrest". CNN . Retrieved 2 May 2019 . ^ a b Hylton, Wil (1 March 2018). "Can Venezuela Be Saved?". New York Times Magazine. ^ HispanTV. "Sebin refuerza vigilancia de la casa de Leopoldo L"pez | HISPANTV". HISPANTV . Retrieved 24 November 2017 . ^ Web, El Nacional (17 November 2017). "Sebin reforz" vigilancia en casa de Leopoldo L"pez". El Nacional (in Spanish) . Retrieved 24 November 2017 . ^ "Venezuela: Juan Guaid" and Leopoldo L"pez appear together with military forces in Caracas". Merco Press. 30 April 2019 . Retrieved 30 April 2019 . ^ ^ "Leopoldo L"pez se refugia en la Embajada de Espa±a" (in Spanish). ABC International. 1 May 2019 . Retrieved 1 May 2019 . ^ "Espa±a confirma que Leopoldo L"pez y familia estn en su embajada en Caracas". La Patilla (in Spanish). 1 May 2019 . Retrieved 1 May 2019 . ^ "Global Innovators Honored at 50-Nation Future Capitals Summit in Abu Dhabi" (Press release). Future Capitals. 14 January 2009 . Retrieved 7 June 2017 . ^ "Spotlight". Future Capitals . Retrieved 18 May 2014 . ^ "Alumni Achievement Award" (Press release). Harvard Kennedy School. 1996 . Retrieved 7 June 2017 . ^ "Leopoldo Lopez". Foreign Policy . Retrieved 22 November 2014 . ^ "National Endowment for Democracy honors Venezuela's political prisoners with 2015 Democracy Award". National Endowment for Democracy. 29 May 2015 . Retrieved 7 June 2017 . Also available from NED here, and here. ^ (in Spanish) "L"pez, Ledezma y Machado galardonados con el Premio Libertad Cortes de Cdiz". El Nacional. 12 June 2015. Archived from the original on 13 June 2015 . Retrieved 7 June 2017 . ^ (in Spanish) Rodr­guez, Pedro (7 June 2017). "Los diez rostros del mundo en 2015". ABC . Retrieved 30 December 2015 . ^ "Jailed Venezuelan opposition leaders Antonio Ledezma & Leopoldo Lopez win 2016 Courage Award from 25 NGOs at Geneva Summit Held at UN". Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy. 24 February 2016 . Retrieved 7 June 2017 . ^ Padgett, Tim (8 May 2017). "Governor Scott Joins Venezuelan Expats In Doral; Says Maduro, 'Thugs' Have To Go". WLRN-TV . Retrieved 10 May 2017 . ^ Bertotelli, J.R. (15 June 2018). "Leopoldo L"pez est nominado al Nobel de la Paz". El Pitazo. External links [ edit ] Official website (in Spanish) New York Times: Leopoldo Lopez interview (February 2018)
Hunter Biden has ended his two-year relationship with deceased brother's widow, Hallie Biden | National Post
Thu, 02 May 2019 12:31
Joe Biden's son Hunter has reportedly split from Hallie Biden, his late brother's widow.
According to a Page Six exclusive, the couple separated amicably, although neither have yet commented on the split. The announcement however does mark the end to an unusual family narrative that began four years ago.
Hallie was first introduced to the public as the wife of Hunter's older brother, Joseph 'Beau' Biden, then-attorney general of Delaware and a major in the National Guard. The couple married in 2002 and share a daughter, Natasha and son, Robert. Robert's middle name is also Hunter.
Capt. Beau Biden kisses his son Hunter, 3, after an official welcome home ceremony for members of the Delaware Army National Guard 261st Signal Brigade, Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2009, in Dover, Del. Rob Carr / ASSOCIATED PRESS The marriage however lasted 13 years, as Beau tragically passed away in 2015, leaving Hallie a widow and the family devastated. Joe Biden cited Beau's death as one of the main reasons he chose not to enter the 2016 presidential race, as the grief left him drained of emotional energy.
In the same year, Hunter Biden also separated from his then-wife Kathleen after 22 years of marriage. Kathleen filed for divorce in December 2016, citing irreconcilable differences for the split. Her complaint alleged that since the separation, Hunter drained the family funds, choosing to spend ''extravagantly on his own interests (including drugs, alcohol, prostitutes, strip clubs and gifts for women with whom he has sexual relations), while leaving the family with no funds to pay legitimate bills.''
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden arrives at Arlington National Cemetery with his wife, Jill Biden (R), son Hunter Biden (L) and daughter-in-law, Kathleen Biden for the burial of U.S. Sen. Edward Kennedy on August 29, 2009. Jim Bourg-Pool/Getty Images Their divorce was finalized in April 2017. The couple also share three children.
Hunter's less-than-stellar reputation has earned little public comment from the Biden family, although previous reports within the media alleges a penchant for drugs and infidelity. In 2014, he was discharged from the Navy Reserve within less than a year's service after he tested positive for cocaine. His email was also found on the list of users holding accounts with the website Ashley Madison, which arranges extra-marital relationships, although he strongly denied the connection.
Hunter and Hallie went public with their relationship in March 2017, while Hunter was still technically married. ''Hallie and I are incredibly lucky to have found the love and support we have for each other in such a difficult time, and that's been obvious to the people who love us most,'' Hunter told Page Six then. ''We've been so lucky to have family and friends who have supported us every step of the way.''
Attorney General Beau Biden (C) celebrates his win with his wife Hallie Biden (R) during a victory party for Democrats on November 2, 2010 in Wilmington, Delaware. Mark Wilson/Getty Images While ex-wife Kathleen did not comment, Joe and Jill Biden stated that the couple had their ''full and complete support'' and never publicly talked about the relationship again.
While strange, it is not explicitly uncommon for a sibling to form a relationship with his brother's widow. In fact, the relationship echoes a primarily ancient Eastern tradition of ''levirate marriages'', in which men marry their deceased brother's widow so as to ensure that the children still get their family inheritance. Hunter and Hallie, however, never married.
Leftist Activists FORCE Mastercard To Vote On Banning The Far Right '' Summit News
Thu, 02 May 2019 12:30
Alabama State Rep. John Rogers went on an unhinged abortion rant yesterday, insisting, ''Some kids are unwanted, so you kill them now or you kill them later.''
The statement was made while lawmakers were debating a bill that would ban most abortions in the state.
''Some kids are unwanted, so you kill them now or you kill them later,'' said Rogers. ''You bring them in the world unwanted, unloved, you send them to the electric chair. So, you kill them now or you kill them later.''
Alabama State Rep. John Rogers (D) on abortion: ''Some kids are unwanted, so you kill them now or you kill them later. You bring them in the world unwanted, unloved, you send them to the electric chair. So, you kill them now or you kill them later''
'-- Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) May 1, 2019
Republican Rep. Bradley Byrne, who is challenging Sen. Doug Jones in 2020 for his Senate seat, expressed his alarm at Rogers' statement.
It's an abomination that Alabama has a Senator in @DougJones who is unabashedly pro-abortion & refuses to stand up to this type of extremism from members of his party in defense of innocent human life.
Alabama deserves a 100% pro-life voice representing us in the US Senate.
'-- Bradley Byrne (@BradleyByrne) May 2, 2019
''It's an abomination that Alabama has a Senator in @DougJones who is unabashedly pro-abortion & refuses to stand up to this type of extremism from members of his party in defense of innocent human life,'' said Byrne, adding, ''Alabama deserves a 100% pro-life voice representing us in the US Senate.''
The Alabama bill would hit abortionists with a minimum 10 year jail sentence while making abortion a Class A felony and attempted abortion a Class C felony.
Although the bill, which bans abortions except in the circumstance of a threat to the mother's life, was passed, it is expected to be struck down in the lower courts, setting the scene for what supporters will be a Supreme Court battle.
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San Francisco Bay: New plan to combat sea level rise '' East Bay Times
Thu, 02 May 2019 12:22
There's only one San Francisco Bay.
But the Bay Area is made up of nine counties and 101 cities, each with its own politics, local rules and shorelines, differences that can make it complicated to figure out how to protect billions of dollars of highways, airports, sewage treatment plants, homes and offices from the rising seas, surging tides and extreme storms climate change is expected to bring in the years ahead.
A new report released Thursday aims to make that gargantuan challenge a little easier.
The ''San Francisco Shoreline Adaptation Atlas'' divides San Francisco Bay's 400 miles of shoreline into 30 zones, and recommends a range of options '-- from building more tidal wetlands to constructing concrete sea walls '-- for each zone, based on local conditions.
The scientists and planners ,who spent two years writing the 250-page document, hope it will serve as a guide for cities, counties and other agencies to work together from a common plan, rather than randomly building projects individually that could make flooding worse for neighboring areas.
''The problem is that the Bay Area is ground zero for sea level rise in California. We're a bathtub. We're a bowl,'' said Warner Chabot, executive director of the San Francisco Estuary Institute, a non-profit scientific research group in Richmond that was a co-author on the report.
''Airports, highways and wastewater treatment plants are located right near the shoreline,'' he said. ''Even if you live in the foothills, if you want to flush your toilet, or if you want to get to work, or school, or the hospital, sea level rise is going to affect you.''
San Francisco Bay's waters already have risen 8 inches since the mid-1800s. A tide gauge at Fort Point, next to the Golden Gate Bridge, has recorded measurements since 1850.
Recent studies by the U.S. Geological Survey, National Academy of Sciences and other scientific organizations estimate that, depending on the amounts of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere in the coming years, the Pacific Ocean on the West coast '-- and in turn, the water in San Francisco Bay '-- will rise up to two feet by 2050 and up to five feet by 2100.
In recent years, during high tides in storms, waves have crashed over the seawall on San Francisco's Embarcadero, flooding roads.
And the pace is accelerating. The 10 hottest years on Earth since 1880 all have occurred since 1998, according to NASA, NOAA and other federal agencies.
Planning has begun in many Bay Area cities. But as with controversies over where to build new housing or transportation projects, passions and gridlock can rise quickly.
Thursday's atlas looks at 27 different options, including building tidal wetlands to absorb wave action, adding new beaches, constructing new levees, changing zoning rules and raising some structures.
''We aren't telling people what to do. We are giving people tools so they can decide what to do,'' said Laura Tam, sustainable development policy director with SPUR, an urban planning think tank that co-wrote the report.
The most vulnerable areas are places built generations ago on wetlands and parts of the bay that were later filled in. They include San Francisco and Oakland airports, Foster City, San Rafael, Corte Madera, East Oakland, San Leandro, Alviso, East Palo Alto and Redwood Shores, experts say.
''In Superstorm Sandy in New York, no one could imagine that New York City would flood, but the flooding went up to the historical shoreline,'' said Julie Beagle, an environmental scientist with the San Francisco Estuary Institute. ''Everything that flooded was built on fill. It will be the same thing here. The bay is basically taking back areas.''
Different places will need different strategies, she noted. Highway 37 in the North Bay, which flooded this spring, may need to be raised up on supports, like the Highway A1A causeway that connects the Florida Keys. Former salt ponds in the South Bay are being converted to tidal marsh, which dulls wave action. Airport runways will need to be built higher, and in some places it will make sense to let the bay waters reclaim undeveloped areas.
Overall, it's cheaper to use natural solutions than to try and wall off huge sections of the shoreline with concrete. And natural solutions preserve birds, fish and other wildlife.
''What are we going to do about it?'' Beagle said. ''How do we organize ourselves to adapt, and not leave our children a bay that is surrounded by concrete walls? These are hard choices, they are really emotional for people. But sea level rise is not going to stop at our city boundaries. We need to find a way to work together.''
In 2012, Superstorm Sandy caused $69 billion in damage on the East Coast. Record storm surges destroyed seaside communities and sent flood waters pouring down the stairs in the New York City subway system, causing blackouts when the water hit electrical equipment. Afterward, former Mayor Michael Bloomberg outlined a $20 billion plan to protect the city.
Around San Francisco Bay, the Bay Conservation and Development Commission, a state agency that regulates construction within 100 feet of the bay shoreline, is working on studies with local communities to address sea-level rise. But the commission hasn't yet made the tough political calls. New rules to limit what can be built where on the shoreline are at least six years away, said Larry Goldzband, executive director of the commission.
''You have cities, counties, scores of special districts that need to work on this plan so it isn't seen as a top-down plan that is the subject of endless litigation,'' he said. ''There has to be a regional agreement.''
The final cost to protect the bay's shoreline will almost certainly cost tens of billions of dollars. And apart from Measure AA, a $12-per home annual parcel tax that voters approved in 2016 to raise $500 million for wetland restoration and flood control projects, no one knows where it will come from.
''We're going to have to go from a stroll to a sprint if we are going to stay ahead of the problem,'' said Chabot. ''Unfortunately in most cases it takes a disaster to accelerate the type of planning that is necessary. Hopefully that won't occur here.''
Agressie in de apotheek: 'Er wordt met pillen gegooid en gedreigd' | De Volkskrant
Thu, 02 May 2019 12:10
Apotheek Carlo Schneider in zijn apotheek aan het Zevenend in Laren. Beeld Raymond Rutting PhotographyBep Mulder (68) pakt haar nieuwe doosjes pillen vorsend aan. De apothekersassistent in Kortenhoef, een dorp in de Gooi- en Vechtstreek, heeft haar zojuist routineus uitgelegd dat ze nu alweer een ander merk krijgt van het diabetesmedicijn dat ze sinds een maand gebruikt. 'Wegens leveringsproblemen. We kunnen die andere niet meer krijgen', zegt de assistent. 'Maar de werkzame stof is exact hetzelfde, hoor. Alleen de hulpstoffen van deze pillen zijn anders.'
'Ik hoop dan maar dat het de goede hulpstofjes zijn', zegt Mulder op een toon die argwaan verraadt. 'Want je kunt er akelige bijwerkingen van krijgen.' Ze is het wel gewend, ze wordt eigenlijk 'om de haverklap op een goedkoper middel overgezet', zegt ze even later. Blij is ze er niet mee. Heb je net een pil waar je het goed op doet, krijg je weer een andere. 'De zorgpremies worden duurder en duurder, maar de pillen moeten goedkoper en goedkoper', vat ze haar ergernissen samen. Achter haar zwelt de rij wachtenden aan.
Mulder ondergaat het allemaal vrij gelaten, maar er zijn genoeg patinten die hun frustraties over niet-leverbare medicijnen botvieren op de apothekersassistent. 'Er worden doosjes pillen terug over de balie gesmeten en er wordt gedreigd', zegt Carlo Schneider, apotheker in het nabijgelegen Laren. Ruim de helft van de veertig apotheken in het Gooi bleef woensdagochtend gesloten nadat Schneider had opgeroepen tot actie, in een poging om aandacht te vragen voor medicijntekorten en de daaruit voortvloeiende irritatie en agressie bij patinten. Ook in andere regio's broeden apothekers op ­actie, volgens de branchevereniging KNMP.
Preferentiebeleid In 2016 bleek al uit een enquªte onder apothekersassistenten dat ongeveer driekwart van hen dagelijks te maken heeft met boze patinten die gefrustreerd zijn over het niet-leverbaar zijn van medicatie. Een van de respondenten geeft als voorbeeld van zo'n reactie: 'Deze goedkope zooi wil ik niet, godverdomme. Als ik na het weekend dood ben, weet jij waardoor.'
Het probleem speelt dus al langer, maar wordt volgens Schneider steeds nijpender, omdat de lijst met niet-leverbare medicijnen elk jaar groeit. In 2018 ging het volgens de KNMP om 776 middelen die tijdelijk of definitief niet beschikbaar waren. 'Kijk wat ik hier heb liggen', zwaait Schneider in zijn kantoor opgewonden met een document. 'Dit is de lijst van mijn leverancier met alle namen van medicijnen die er op dit moment niet zijn. Hoeveel zouden erop staan? Ik denk een stuk of honderd.'
Deels zijn de tekorten te wijten aan het zogenoemde preferentiebeleid van verzekeraars, menen althans de apothekers. Dat beleid houdt in dat verzekeraars per medicijntype een voorkeursmerk mogen aanwijzen '' veelal het goedkoopste. Daardoor is het voor andere fabrikanten niet meer aantrekkelijk om hetzelfde medicijn in Nederland uit te geven en kan een tekort ontstaan. Maar volgens de verzekeraars worden medicijntekorten veroorzaakt doordat fabrikanten hun productie te grootschalig hebben geconcentreerd, bijvoorbeeld in China en India. Als er daar bij de aanlevering van grondstoffen iets misgaat, is er direct een probleem.
AangifteWat de oorzaak ook is, Schneider is het zat met zijn assistenten de hele dag patinten te moeten kalmeren. Hij doet zijn verhaal met (C)(C)n voet op zijn bureau uitgestrekt '' onlangs heeft hij zijn been op drie plekken gebroken, dus hij moet rust houden. Maar verbaal dendert hij door. 'Een keer moet iemand ergens een streep trekken. Het gaat landelijk om tientallen miljoenen doosjeswisselingen per jaar h¨, en dan overdrijf ik niet. Wij zijn hier in de apotheek continu aan het de-escaleren. De overheid en de verzekeraars maken dit beleid, maar hier aan de balie vangen we de klappen.'
Sommige collega's letterlijk: apotheker Michiel Verhulst uit Elsloo zei eind vorig jaar op de Limburgse zender L1 al aangifte te hebben gedaan nadat een klant hem was aangevlogen omdat hij werd overgezet op een ander merk medicijnen. Ook een apotheker in Weesp incasseerde al eens een klap van een woedende patint, weet Schneider.
In het chique Laren gaat zoiets doorgaans minder lijfelijk, maar ook daar wordt geist en gedreigd. Het ergste dat Schneider heeft meegemaakt, was die keer dat iemand zei: 'Als u mij die pillen niet geeft, stuur ik mijn advocaat op u af. Want als er nu iets met mijn zoon gebeurt, bent u aansprakelijk.'
De apotheker begrijpt de frustraties wel. 'Het is ook heel vervelend, steeds maar weer andere doosjes, andere vormen en kleuren pillen. De ene patint maakt het niks uit en telt gewoon zijn hoeveelheid pillen, maar de ander raakt erdoor in de war en vergeet misschien vaker wat. Daardoor komt de medicatieveiligheid in het gedrang.'
OnrustEr zijn patinten die allerlei kwaaltjes koppelen aan hun verandering van medicijnmerk. 'Die voelen ineens hier wat of daar wat' '' Schneider wijst op zijn rug en op zijn been. 'En of dat nu klopt of niet, je creert een heleboel onrust bij mensen. Ook mensen die aan chemotherapie zitten of hiv-positief zijn, dat zijn situaties die potentieel ­levensbedreigend zijn.' Juist dan kunnen gedwongen medicijnveranderingen patinten beangstigen. 'Bij zulke ziektebeelden spelen emoties een belangrijke rol.'
Bij diabetespatint Bep Mulder gaat het er niet in dat medicijnen zo makkelijk inwisselbaar zijn. Zij merkt wel degelijk verschil. 'Vooral bij de cholesterolverlagers. Eerst had ik een middel waar een patent op zat, en dat ging vrij goed. Toen dat patent was vervallen, was het blijkbaar financieel niet meer interessant om te maken, dus kon het niet meer worden geleverd.' Dus kreeg ze een ander middel, maar ja, die bijwerkingen: pijn op de borst, verminderd gezichtsvermogen, een slechter geheugen. 'Het staat ook allemaal in de bijsluiter hoor, twee kantjes met mogelijke bijwerkingen. Als ik die waslijst bekijk, denk ik dat ik binnenkort door die pillen de pijp uit ga.'
Intermediate Vim - Dennis Hotson
Thu, 02 May 2019 12:00
dn.htI'll show you some tips to help move your editing skills from beginner towards intermediate.
Ok, so you know the basics of vim.
You know about insert mode and command mode. You press i to start inserting text, esc to get back to command mode. You even know some advanced things like how to exit vim '-- life is pretty good.
I want to share a few tips to level up your editing skills from beginner to intermediate.
A quick aside'...As a programmer, you spend a lot of time editing and navigating code. So regardless of which editor you use, it's worthwhile to invest time into learning how to get more out of the tools you use every day.
Getting better at using your editor is not only about editing faster, but also about being more effective and accurate. As your skills improve you can be more precise and make fewer mistakes.
This will enable you to be more confident and work closer to your speed of thought. ''¨
Inserting textUsing i to insert text at your cursor location is pretty good, but there are a few alternatives that are worth knowing about.
The two I use all the time are:
I to insert at the start of the line.A to append at the end of the line.I use I a lot for commenting code. Try typing I// and then hit esc to return to command mode.
Oops, you forgot to add a semicolon? No probs, type A; and you've just appended a semicolon to the end of the line.
Tip: Generally after you've inserted some text, you want to return to command mode so that you're ready to enter your next command. I'd recommend pressing esc any time you've finished typing.
Another two that go together:
o to start inserting on a new line below the current one.O to insert above the current line.Tip: The way to remember this is the capital O looks like a helium balloon that floats up. I'm not even kidding, I think about balloons every time I do this. ðŸŽ
Making (and avoiding) mistakesWe all make mistakes sometimes. Undo and redo in vim work mostly as you'd expect, except the keyboard shortcuts aren't what you're used to.
u to undoctrl''r to redoPro tip: I'll often use vim's autocomplete to avoid typos in the first place. Try it out by typing a few characters in insert mode and then press ctrl''n to get completion suggestions. It works by matching words in open files '-- it sounds basic but works better than you'd expect.
Moving aroundSo maybe you've heard how advanced vim folks use h j k l instead of the arrow keys to move around '-- what the eff is that all about?? This is handy if you're a touch typist since your hands are on the home row already.
Tip: If you're always mixing up j and k, the way to remember it is that j kiiind of looks like a down arrow if you squint a bit.
If you're like me and never learned to touch type properly, just use the arrow keys, it's fine, don't worry about it.
You'll find that as your editing skills improve that there are much better ways of moving around a file anyway.
Here are a few movement commands I use a lot:
w and b for moving forward and back a word at a time.fa move (f)orward to the character (a)G move to the end of the file52gg jump to line 52/Hello jump to the next occurrence of the text ''Hello''.IntermissionPhew! You know what? You're doing great. I hope you've learned one or two useful things already, but don't worry if you don't remember everything.
Getting better at anything takes practice. You need to invest time and effort to learn a new skill and this is no different. I'd recommend that you focus on learning one thing at a time. Then later you can take what you've learned and turn it into a habit.
Alright, now we've covered the basics '-- let's continue with some intermediate stuff!
Composing commandsLet's start with a few examples and I'll explain on the way.
Say I want to delete a word. I move my cursor to the start of the word and press dw. It's a bit like saying ''(d)elete (w)ord''.
For this next example I'll start with the text PastaController with the cursor at the start. I can type the command dtC and now it's just Controller '-- wait, what just happened? If you look at that command closely, you can read dtC as ''(d)elete up (t)o character (C)''.
What's going on here is that we're starting to compose commands. Pressing d is how we start deleting, but then we can combine it with the movement command tC.
Tip: Try deleting using some of the other movement commands we learned about earlier.
Changing textOften after deleting text the very next thing you want to do is to insert more text.
Instead of using d to delete, you can use the alternative c to change text. What this means is that after deleting the text, it'll put you straight back into insert mode so you can start typing stuff in immediately.
cw change wordctA change up to the character Act( change up to the character (cc change the entire line '-- Tip: dd deletes the lineText objectsMost of the text we edit every day is semi-structured. Most source code consists of words, quoted strings, html markup, parentheses and brackets of all sorts.
Vim has the concept of ''text objects'', which allows you to take advantage of the structure in your text files to edit very precisely.
ciw change inside wordci( change in parenthesisci{ change in curly braceci< change in < > angle bracketsci" change inside quotes (this leaves the quotes intact)ca" change (a)round quotes '... means quotes get replaced toocat change (a)round (t)ag '... yep, vim understands html tags!'... you get the idea hopefully!
Can you see how we're building commands that read like little sentences?
SummaryVim has different ways of entering insert mode.There are many ways to move around a file efficiently.You can compose ''delete'' and ''change'' operators with a movement command.Vim can take advantage of the structure in text '... this is super powerful!Learning new things takes practice. Invest your time to learn new skills, and then turn what you've learned into a habit.
Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed this article or have any questions or comments, please feel free to let me know!
AcknowledgementsThank you to all my kind and talented friends and colleagues at Culture Amp for their helpful feedback and advice in writing this article. ðŸŠ
'I do not wish to surrender' Julian Assange tells court over US extradition bid ' The Register
Thu, 02 May 2019 11:44
Case will be heard over May and June Lauri Love was among the crowd protesting Assange's extradition at Westminster court. Pic: Gareth Corfield
Julian Asssange unsurprisingly told a judge today that he did not ''wish to surrender myself'' to a US extradition request.
Appearing via video link from HM Prison Belmarsh in south-east London, the day after he was sentenced to 50 weeks' imprisonment for jumping bail, Assange said: ''I do not wish to surrender myself for extradition for doing journalism that has won many, many awards and protected many people.''
''I'll take that as a decline," replied District Judge Michael Snow, presiding.
The crowd protesting Julian Assange's extradition at Westminster Magistrates Court. Pic: Gareth Corfield
Barrister Ben Brandon, for the US government, briefly told the court that the US government had evidence that Assange had been communicating with Chelsea Manning, who had leaked sensitive American government files while serving as a private in the US Army. The US authorities allege these were illegally received by Assange, and thus illegally published to the world.
Charges in the US were unsealed after Assange's dramatic arrest in London a few weeks ago. The extradition case was adjourned for another procedural hearing on 30th May, with a more substantial one listed for 12th June.
Strangely, HM Courts and Tribunals Service decided to hold the hearing in Court 3 at Westminster Magistrates' Court '' one of the smaller courtrooms in the building. Around 20 ticketed members of the press were allowed in for the 10-minute hearing, leaving a large number of Assange supporters shut outside and shouting ''shame on you'' every time the courtroom door was opened.
A large crowd, roughly half-and-half news crews and pro-Assange protesters, gathered outside the court. Yellow vests were evident in the crowd, including one white-haired man wearing a vest with the words ''FREXIT RIC'' on the back in red, white and blue. He appeared to be accompanied by his wife.
Lauri Love Accused hacker Lauri Love also ventured out to support ''my friend'' Julian Assange, joking that he had actually turned up to enjoy the court's ''fantastic instant coffee making facility and my frequent flyer ticket.'' He told The Register that he had known Assange since before the latter's Wikileaks days, while Love and the Australian were part of the same cypherpunk crowd.
Love said he had visited Assange in the embassy a ''few times'' and described the cupboard-dwelling WikiLeaker as ''getting on very well'' with embassy staff, contrary to ''some planted stories in the press.''
Like Assange, Love faced extradition to the US over allegations of computer-enabled crimes, though he successfully fought that off thanks to his enduring health conditions.
He explained that the American prosecutors are not supposed, under UK law, to secure Assange's extradition on one set of charges and then slap a more serious set on him once they have him in their grasp.
''It's called speciality,'' said Love, who now knows a thing or two about extradition law. ''If you request extradition, you're meant to put the charges in the request so they're not changed for something else. It's clear there are sealed indictments much higher than the [current] Computer Fraud and Abuse Act charges, possibly espionage ones.''
Love also described how Assange's ''physical and mental health has deteriorated, naturally,'' from his seven-year spell inside the Ecuadorean Embassy in London. ''While he remains uncertain [about the immediate future], he is clear-minded. Putting a journalist in a high security prison will exacerbate his condition. It should be taken into consideration, especially when he's likely to be in solitary, a form of torture.''
The next hearing in Assange's case is on 30 May. ®
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Maggot sausage and insect ice-cream: Scientists say alternative protein made from BUGS is the future | Daily Mail Online
Thu, 02 May 2019 11:36
Maggot sausage and a scoop of insect ice-cream: Scientists claim alternative protein made from BUGS 'needs to be incorporated' to meals to keep up with global meat demandInsects are the next frontier for a more sustainable human diet say scientists Researchers have tested larvae-based sausage and insect ice creamThe foods could help mitigate the environmental impact of live stock farming Other players with funding are successfully growing meat in a lab setting By James Pero For
Published: 18:53 EDT, 1 May 2019 | Updated: 19:33 EDT, 1 May 2019
To deal with the growing shortfall and adverse impacts of cultivating livestock, scientists are turning to a less utilized form of protein to foot the bill: insects.
Researchers at the University of Queensland are exploring the use of maggots, locusts, and other insects to develop an array of 'specialty' foods.
'An overpopulated world is going to struggle to find enough protein unless people are willing to open their minds, and stomachs, to a much broader notion of food,' University of Queensland Meat Science Professor Dr. Louwrens Hoffman said in a statement.
While maggots are usually a sign that your food has gone back, researchers say they could be the food itself by developing an array of specialty products. Stock image
'Would you eat a commercial sausage made from maggots? What about other insect larvae and even whole insects like locusts?' the researcher adds.
'The biggest potential for sustainable protein production lies with insects and new plant sources.'
Researchers say while they're pretty sure people won't eat foods made exclusively from bugs, they are beginning to try and incorporate insects into certain food products as a protein supplement.
Among those cutting-edge treats are insect ice cream and certain chicken products made from the black soldier fly -- the latter of which could help mitigate the environmental effects of the world's voracious chicken consumption.
Insects are not only abundant but nutritious, which is why some researchers are looking for ways to use them in a variety of food products like ice cream and sausage, seen above
In 2009, the global chicken population was estimated to have grown to 50 billion worldwide.
'Poultry is a massive industry worldwide and the industry is under pressure to find alternative proteins that are more sustainable, ethical and green than the grain crops currently being used,' he said.
According to their research, chicken products that contain up to 15 percent 'larvae meal' don't compromise the the flavor, tenderness, aroma, or nutrients.
A black soldier fly was used to help supplement chicken products. Scientists say 15 percent insect meal is the threshold at which the food still retains its smell, taste, and overall feel
As the human population grows the world has begun to take stock of its most important resources, food among them.
In addition to a potentially waning supply, concern over the consumption of meat has also centered on its ill-effects on the environment.
Cows in particular have caught the attention of climatologists who say that the cattle industry has contributed to climate change through a number of unintended effects.
One, say scientists, is methane gas -- the second most potent greenhouse gas -- that is released through cow's burps and flatulence. One cow can release between 30-50 gallons of methane in one day and there are an estimated 1.3 to 1.5 billion on Earth.
Another cause of concern are the resources that go into taking care of the animals.
To create one pound of beef requires 1,800 gallons of water according to a 2015 report from Stanford University.
Companies have looked to upend the traditional live stock industry by introducing a line of lab-grown products approximating naturally originated meat. File photo
As a result, other companies -- one's that aren't focused on integrating insects -- have begun to develop less environmentally detrimental alternatives to the meat humans know and love.
Among them are companies like Impossible and Just which are developing 'meat' grown in petri dishes using cultured cells.
With millions of dollars in investment, lab-grown products that mimic mimic the real thing could be on shelves as soon as 2021.
In the meantime, however, researchers like Dr. Hoffman say that humans already have a completely viable alternative to animal-borne protein right in front of their eyes -- or in this case, buzzing around their kitchens.
'It's all pretty logical if you think about it, he said in a statement.
HOW IS 'TEST TUBE MEAT' GROWN IN A LABORATORY?'Test tube meat' is a term used to describe meat products grown in a laboratory
'Test tube meat' is a term used to describe meat products grown in a laboratory.
They are made by harvesting stem cells from the muscle tissue of living livestock.
The cells, which have the ability to regenerate, are then cultured in a nutrient soup of sugars and minerals.
These cells are then left to develop inside bioreactor tanks into skeletal muscle that can be harvested in just a few weeks.
Lab-grown beef was first created by Dutch scientists in 2013. A test tube hamburger was served at a restaurant in London to two food critics.
In March 2017, San Francisco firm Memphis Meats successfully grew poultry meat from stem cells for the first time.
In March 2017, San Francisco firm Memphis Meats successfully grew poultry meat from stem cells for the first time. The company also makes lab-grown meatballs (pictured)
Spotify tests placing podcast episodes alongside music recommendations - The Verge
Thu, 02 May 2019 11:36
Spotify is spending millions to become a major player in podcasting, and today we got a look at how it might begin promoting shows: by placing suggested episodes into algorithmically generated playlists. A test seen by The Verge shows several short podcast episodes placed alongside personalized music suggestions in a playlist meant for the drive to work. Spotify doesn't have a widely available podcast recommendation tool or offer curated podcast playlists right now, so this appears to be a look at what's to come.
This year, Spotify plans to spend $500 million on acquisitions related to the podcast industry, and so far, it's bought podcast networks Gimlet Media and Parcast, as well as podcaster-oriented creation and hosting platform Anchor. Not much has changed yet, but the company's hinted at what it plans to do with these entities: it wants to build out ad products, crack podcast discovery, and amass a collection of quality, Spotify-exclusive shows. Today's test might be one of the first public steps in that journey.
The playlist test was served to my colleague here at The Verge, Dan Seifert. It's called Your Daily Drive, and it features curated music that fits his interests. Alongside those songs were short news podcasts, seemingly all in Portuguese, which Dan doesn't speak. The podcasts weren't made by Spotify.
Spotify appears to have a new (?) algorithmic playlist for morning commutes that mixes news podcasts and music, but all the podcasts are in a foreign language?
'-- dan seifert (@dcseifert) May 1, 2019In a comment to The Verge, a Spotify spokesperson said: ''We're always testing new products and experiences, but have no further news to share at this time.''
It seems like Spotify might have been running a test in a Portuguese-speaking country, and maybe accidentally served the shows to Dan, which involved subscribing him to a playlist he'd never previously seen.
An algorithmic playlist that cycles through music and podcast recommendations is a product I'd expect to see Spotify debut. Given the success of its Discover Weekly playlist, a similar feature, but with podcasts included, would make sense and potentially expose more of its 100 million subscribers to the podcasting world.
Opinion | James Comey: How Trump Co-opts Leaders Like Bill Barr - The New York Times
Thu, 02 May 2019 11:05
Accomplished people lacking inner strength can't resist the compromises necessary to survive this president.
By James Comey
Mr. Comey is the former F.B.I. director.
May 1, 2019 Image Credit Credit Sarah Silbiger/The New York Times People have been asking me hard questions. What happened to the leaders in the Trump administration, especially the attorney general, Bill Barr, who I have said was due the benefit of the doubt?
How could Mr. Barr, a bright and accomplished lawyer, start channeling the president in using words like ''no collusion'' and F.B.I. ''spying''? And downplaying acts of obstruction of justice as products of the president's being ''frustrated and angry,'' something he would never say to justify the thousands of crimes prosecuted every day that are the product of frustration and anger?
How could he write and say things about the report by Robert Mueller, the special counsel, that were apparently so misleading that they prompted written protest from the special counsel himself?
How could Mr. Barr go before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday and downplay President Trump's attempt to fire Mr. Mueller before he completed his work?
And how could Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, after the release of Mr. Mueller's report that detailed Mr. Trump's determined efforts to obstruct justice, give a speech quoting the president on the importance of the rule of law? Or on resigning, thank a president who relentlessly attacked both him and the Department of Justice he led for ''the courtesy and humor you often display in our personal conversations''?
What happened to these people?
I don't know for sure. People are complicated, so the answer is most likely complicated. But I have some idea from four months of working close to Mr. Trump and many more months of watching him shape others.
Amoral leaders have a way of revealing the character of those around them. Sometimes what they reveal is inspiring. For example, James Mattis, the former secretary of defense, resigned over principle, a concept so alien to Mr. Trump that it took days for the president to realize what had happened, before he could start lying about the man.
But more often, proximity to an amoral leader reveals something depressing. I think that's at least part of what we've seen with Bill Barr and Rod Rosenstein. Accomplished people lacking inner strength can't resist the compromises necessary to survive Mr. Trump and that adds up to something they will never recover from. It takes character like Mr. Mattis's to avoid the damage, because Mr. Trump eats your soul in small bites.
It starts with your sitting silent while he lies, both in public and private, making you complicit by your silence. In meetings with him, his assertions about what ''everyone thinks'' and what is ''obviously true'' wash over you, unchallenged, as they did at our private dinner on Jan. 27, 2017, because he's the president and he rarely stops talking. As a result, Mr. Trump pulls all of those present into a silent circle of assent.
Speaking rapid-fire with no spot for others to jump into the conversation, Mr. Trump makes everyone a co-conspirator to his preferred set of facts, or delusions. I have felt it '-- this president building with his words a web of alternative reality and busily wrapping it around all of us in the room.
I must have agreed that he had the largest inauguration crowd in history because I didn't challenge that. Everyone must agree that he has been treated very unfairly. The web building never stops.
From the private circle of assent, it moves to public displays of personal fealty at places like cabinet meetings. While the entire world is watching, you do what everyone else around the table does '-- you talk about how amazing the leader is and what an honor it is to be associated with him.
Sure, you notice that Mr. Mattis never actually praises the president, always speaking instead of the honor of representing the men and women of our military. But he's a special case, right? Former Marine general and all. No way the rest of us could get away with that. So you praise, while the world watches, and the web gets tighter.
Next comes Mr. Trump attacking institutions and values you hold dear '-- things you have always said must be protected and which you criticized past leaders for not supporting strongly enough. Yet you are silent. Because, after all, what are you supposed to say? He's the president of the United States.
You feel this happening. It bothers you, at least to some extent. But his outrageous conduct convinces you that you simply must stay, to preserve and protect the people and institutions and values you hold dear. Along with Republican members of Congress, you tell yourself you are too important for this nation to lose, especially now.
You can't say this out loud '-- maybe not even to your family '-- but in a time of emergency, with the nation led by a deeply unethical person, this will be your contribution, your personal sacrifice for America. You are smarter than Donald Trump, and you are playing a long game for your country, so you can pull it off where lesser leaders have failed and gotten fired by tweet.
Of course, to stay, you must be seen as on his team, so you make further compromises. You use his language, praise his leadership, tout his commitment to values.
And then you are lost. He has eaten your soul.
James Comey is the former F.B.I. director and author of ''A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership.''
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Julian Assange: Wikileaks co-founder jailed over bail breach - BBC News
Thu, 02 May 2019 10:43
Image copyright AFP/Getty Image caption Julian Assange pumped his fist at photographers as he arrived at Southwark Crown Court ahead of the hearing Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange has been sentenced to 50 weeks in jail for breaching his bail conditions.
The 47-year-old was found guilty of breaching the Bail Act last month after his arrest at the Ecuadorian Embassy.
He took refuge in the London embassy in 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden over sexual assault allegations, which he has denied.
In a letter read to the court, Assange said he had found himself "struggling with difficult circumstances".
He apologised to those who "consider I've disrespected them", a packed Southwark Crown Court heard.
"I did what I thought at the time was the best or perhaps the only thing that I could have done," he said.
In mitigation, Mark Summers QC said his client was "gripped" by fears of rendition to the US over the years because of his work with whistle-blowing website Wikileaks.
"As threats rained down on him from America, they overshadowed everything," he said.
Sentencing him, Judge Deborah Taylor told Assange it was difficult to envisage a more serious example of the offence.
"By hiding in the embassy you deliberately put yourself out of reach, while remaining in the UK," she said.
She said this had "undoubtedly" affected the progress of the Swedish proceedings.
His continued residence at the embassy and bringing him to justice had cost taxpayers £16m, she added.
"Whilst you may have had fears as to what may happen to you, nonetheless you had a choice, and the course of action you chose was to commit this offence," she concluded.
As Assange was taken down to the cells, he raised a fist in defiance to his supporters in the public gallery behind him.
They raised their fists in solidarity and directed shouts of "shame on you" towards the court.
Speaking outside court, Wikileaks editor-in-chief Kristinn Hrafnsson said the sentence was an "outrage".
The extradition process was now the "big fight" and would be "a question of life and death" for Assange, he said.
"It's also a question of life and death for a major journalist principle," he told reporters.
Assange's letter of apology in fullI apologise unreservedly to those who consider that I have disrespected them by the way I have pursued my case.
This is not what I wanted or intended.
I found myself struggling with terrifying circumstances for which neither I nor those from whom I sought advice could work out any remedy.
I did what I thought at the time was the best and perhaps the only thing that could be done - which I hoped might lead to a legal resolution being reached between Ecuador and Sweden that would protect me from the worst of my fears.
I regret the course that this took; the difficulties were instead compounded and impacted upon very many others.
Whilst the difficulties I now face may have become even greater, nevertheless it is right for me to say this now.
Assange now faces US federal conspiracy charges related to one of the largest leaks of government secrets.
The UK will decide whether to extradite Assange to the US in response to allegations that he conspired with former US intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to download classified databases.
He faces up to five years in a US prison if convicted.
Wikileaks has published thousands of classified documents covering everything from the film industry to national security and war.
At the scene By BBC correspondent Andy Moore, at Southwark Crown Court
As Julian Assange arrived at court from Belmarsh High Security prison, photographers got a picture of him defiantly pumping his fist.
He's still got a beard but it's been trimmed - it's not the white, bushy beard he was wearing when he was hauled out of the Ecuadorean Embassy last month.
There's big international interest, and more than a dozen TV cameras outside.
Journalists had to queue for two hours before the case opened to get a ticket to Court Number One, or to an overflow court where there was a videolink to the live proceedings.
Supporters of Assange are outside court making their voices heard - one has been reading from her notes saying Assange is a political prisoner.
Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media caption Video footage shows Julian Assange being dragged from the Ecuadorian embassyAustralian-born Assange was dramatically arrested by UK police on 11 April after Ecuador abruptly withdrew its asylum.
At a court hearing that same day, he was remanded in custody and called a "narcissist who cannot get beyond his own selfish interest" by district judge Michael Snow.
Days later, Swedish prosecutors said they were considering reopening the investigation into rape and sexual assault allegations against him.
At the time, Assange said he had had entirely consensual sex with two women while on a trip to Stockholm to give a lecture.
Prosecutors dropped the rape investigation in 2017 because they were unable to formally notify him of allegations while he was staying in the embassy.
Two other charges of molestation and unlawful coercion had to be dropped in 2015 because time had run out.
More than 70 UK MPs and peers have signed a letter urging Home Secretary Sajid Javid to ensure Assange faces authorities in Sweden if they want his extradition.
Nick Sandmann, Covington Catholic teen, sues NBC for $275 million - Washington Times
Wed, 01 May 2019 22:13
Attorneys for Nicholas Sandmann filed a $275 million lawsuit Wednesday against NBCUniversal over its coverage of the Kentucky teen, accusing the network of creating a ''false narrative'' driven by its ''anti-Trump agenda.''
The lawsuit, the third filed by the Sandmann attorneys against major media outlets, alleged that NBC targeted the Covington Catholic High School student in its reporting on his Jan. 18 encounter with Native American activist Nathan Phillips at the Lincoln Memorial.
''NBCUniversal created a false narrative by portraying the 'confrontation' as a 'hate crime' committed by Nicholas,'' said the complaint filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky.
The lawsuit alleged that the teen was ''an easy target for NBCUniversal to advance its anti-Trump agenda because he was a 16-year-old white, Catholic student who had attended the Right to Life March that day and was wearing a MAGA cap at the time of the incident which he had purchased earlier in the day as a souvenir.''
Today, @LLinWood and I filed a $275,000,000 lawsuit against NBCUniversal on behalf of Nicholas Sandmann. The facts of the suit show the anti-Trump narrative NBC pushed so hard. Here is a link if you wish to read it:
'-- Todd V. McMurtry (@ToddMcMurtry) May 1, 2019 Sandmann attorneys L. Lin Wood of Atlanta and Todd V. McMurtry of Fort Mitchell, Kentucky, have also sued the Washington Post for $250 million and CNN for $275 million over their coverage of the episode, and have indicated there may be more complaints.
The Post filed last month a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, arguing that the newspaper's coverage of Nicholas was ''not only accurate; it was ultimately favorable to him.''
NBCUniversal did not respond immediately Wednesday to a request for comment.
The latest lawsuit alleged that NBCUniversal, through its news outlets NBC and MSNBC, ''unleashed its vast corporate wealth, influence, and power against Nicholas to falsely attack him despite the fact that at the time, he was a 16-year-old high school student.''
A group of Covington Catholic teens was waiting for buses back to Kentucky when they were approached by Mr. Phillips, who stood in front of the teen singing and beating a drum after the Indigenous Peoples March, held the same day as the March for Life.
Online video snippets that went viral prompted accusations that Nicholas was ''smirking'' and ''taunting'' the Omaha Nation elder, who told news outlets that he was afraid of the boys. Lengthier footage taken at the scene showed that he initiated the contact by entering their cheer circle.
Prior to the encounter, a handful of Black Hebrew Israelites had called the teens racist and homophobic slurs.
Headlines run online by NBCUniversal outlets about the incident included, ''Nathan Phillips, Native American man harassed by high schoolers, tells his story,'' and ''Video of teens taunting man at Indigenous Peoples March sparks outrage,'' the lawsuit said.
A number of individuals and organizations, including the March for Life and the Covington Diocese, have issued apologies after initially condemning the teens.
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Humans have been altering drought patterns since the dawn of the 20th century, study finds - Axios
Wed, 01 May 2019 22:04
Scientists have detected the "fingerprint" of human-caused global warming on drought patterns around the world dating back as long ago as 1900, according to a new study published Wednesday. The research shows how various human influences, from greenhouse gas emissions to pollutants that contribute to smog can influence soil moisture on a global scale.
Why it matters: While global warming has altered temperature and precipitation, and has exacerbated individual droughts in some parts of the world, scientists have been unable to detect a global warming signal in the occurrence or severity of droughts worldwide. This new study, published Wednesday in the journal Nature, attempts to address the detection of a human influence on drought since emissions of planet-warming greenhouse gases began to increase at the start of the Industrial Revolution.
Mazie Hirono - Wikipedia
Wed, 01 May 2019 18:30
Mazie Keiko Hirono ( ; Japanese name: 広野 慶子 , Hirono Keiko; born November 3, 1947) is a Japanese-born American politician serving since 2013 as the junior United States Senator from Hawaii. She is a member of the Democratic Party. Prior to her career in the Senate, Hirono served as a member of the Hawaii House of Representatives from 1981 to 1995 and as Hawaii's ninth lieutenant governor from 1994 to 2002 under Ben Cayetano. The Democratic nominee for Governor of Hawaii in 2002, Hirono was defeated by Republican Linda Lingle. From 2007 to 2013, she served as a member of the United States House of Representatives for Hawaii's 2nd congressional district.
Mazie Hirono
広野 慶子
United States Senatorfrom Hawaii Assumed office January 3, 2013 Preceded by Daniel AkakaMember of the U.S. House of Representatives from Hawaii's 2nd district In office January 3, 2007 '' January 3, 2013 Preceded by Ed Case Succeeded by Tulsi Gabbard9th Lieutenant Governor of Hawaii In office December 2, 1994 '' December 2, 2002GovernorBen Cayetano Preceded by Ben Cayetano Succeeded by Duke AionaMember of theHawaii House of Representatives In office January 3, 1981 '' December 2, 1994 Preceded by Clifford UwaineDavid Hagino Succeeded by Terry YoshinagaConstituency12th district (1981''83)20th district (1983''85)32nd district (1985''93)22nd district (1993''94)Personal detailsBornMazie Keiko Hirono
( 1947-11-03 ) November 3, 1947 (age 71) Koori, Fukushima Prefecture, JapanPolitical partyDemocraticSpouse(s)Leighton Kim Oshima (m. 1987)
EducationUniversity of Hawaii at Manoa (BA)Georgetown University (JD)SignatureWebsite Hirono is the first elected female senator from Hawaii, the first Asian-American woman elected to the Senate, the first U.S. senator born in Japan, and the nation's first Buddhist senator. She considers herself a non-practicing Buddhist[1][2] and is often cited with Hank Johnson as the first Buddhist to serve in the United States Congress.[3] She is the third woman to be elected to Congress from the state of Hawaii (after Patsy Mink and Pat Saiki). In 2012, Hirono was the Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by the retirement of Daniel Akaka. Hirono won the election, defeating Linda Lingle in a rematch landslide victory by 63% to 37%. Hirono was sworn in on January 3, 2013, by Vice President Joe Biden. Hirono was the only person of Asian ancestry serving in the U.S. Senate from 2013 until 2017 when senators Tammy Duckworth and Kamala Harris were sworn in, representing the states of Illinois and California, respectively. Although Brian Schatz joined the Senate a week before she did following the death of Daniel Inouye, making him Hawaii's senior senator, her six years in the House of Representatives makes her the dean, or longest-serving member overall, of Hawaii's congressional delegation.
Early life and education Edit Mazie Hirono was born on November 3, 1947, in Fukushima Prefecture, Japan. Although born in Japan, she was born to a mother who was an American citizen. At the age of 16, her maternal grandfather, Satō Hiroshi, immigrated to Hawaii to work on sugar plantations in Hawaii; Hirono's grandmother, Tari Shinoki, was a picture bride.[4] After finding plantation work difficult, they opened a bathhouse on River Street in Honolulu in 1928 and saved their money. The couple had a daughter, Sato Laura Chie, in 1924 and a son, Akira. In 1939, Tari returned to Japan with their son and daughter; Hiroshi remained behind to run the bathhouse for two more years before rejoining his family in 1941. Though Laura felt out of place in Japan, in 1946, aged 22, she married a veterinarian, Hirono Matabe, and moved with her husband to southern Fukushima. The couple had three children, Roy, Mazie and Wayne; Mazie was the middle child and only surviving daughter.[5]
Hirono's father was a compulsive gambler and alcoholic who would pawn his wife's possessions for gambling money.[5] Treated "like a slave," by her in-laws, Hirono said,[5] in 1951 Laura left her abusive marriage. The deciding moment for her had come after her brother Akira, who had returned to Hawaii after the war, had sent some money for a school uniform for Laura's youngest son Wayne, but her husband had taken it to buy an overcoat.[4] As Laura later recounted, "My brother sent money to buy a school uniform for my son. My husband took the money, went to town and never came back home. It was getting closer to the start of school, so I went to look for him. I found out he had ordered an overcoat for himself with the money. He didn't need an overcoat in the spring. That's when I made up my mind to leave." After telling her in-laws she would be taking her elder son and Hirono to school in her hometown, Laura left the house, never to return. Selling her clothes for the rail fare, she returned to her parents' house. Laura said, "My husband never came around once; my parents were supportive and took all of us in. My mother gave us money. I guess it all boils down to love."
Hirono's grandparents decided to return to Hawaii, but as Japanese citizens without professional backgrounds, they could only immigrate under a quota system; as Laura had citizenship, she decided to return first. As Wayne was only three, Laura left him with her parents and with Mazie and Roy returned to Hawaii in March 1955, sending for Wayne and her parents in 1957.[4]
"She determined that she had to get away, and it wasn't enough to even be living in the same country '-- she wanted to put thousands of miles between them," Hirono said. "That took a lot of courage. I always tell my mom there is nothing I can do, (hard as it is to be in politics, to be in public life, that I think is) harder than what she did."[4][5]
After first living with her uncle Akira, Mazie, Roy and her mother moved into a rooming house on Kewalo Street in Honolulu. "The first place had one room, one table, three chairs and one bed," Laura said. "Mazie and Roy slept on the bed. I slept on the floor with a futon. The landlady was so nice. The rent was $35, but she charged us less because I didn't have a job."[4]Laura found work for Hawaii Hochi as a typesetter and also worked three nights a week for a catering company. Hirono herself worked in the school cafeteria and had a paper route.[6]
Though money was tight and the family was forced to move often, Laura kept them together. Mazie Hirono recalled that she and her brother used to get a dime once or twice a week from their mother. "We both had baseball piggy banks. My older brother spent all his dimes but I saved mine. But one day I came home and the dimes were gone. My mother had to use it to buy food."
Hirono never saw her father again, and he has since died.[7] Laura became a newspaper proofreader in 1961 and retired from the Hawaii Newspaper Agency in 1986; Roy became a Hawaiian Electric supervisor. Wayne drowned in 1978, aged 26. Her grandfather, Hiroshi, died in 1989, and her grandmother Tari died in 2000 at age 99.[4][8]
Raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, Hirono became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1959, the year that Hawaii became a state.[9] Hirono attended KaÊ>>ahumanu Elementary and Koko Head Elementary Schools. She later graduated from Kaimuki High School, which at the time of her attendance had a predominantly Japanese American student body. Upon graduating from high school, Hirono enrolled at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa where, in 1970, she graduated Phi Beta Kappa and received a B.A. degree in psychology.[10] She left Hawaii to attend Georgetown University Law Center, where she obtained her J.D. degree in 1978. Hirono returned to Honolulu where she practiced law.[11]
Hawaii House of Representatives (1981''1994) Edit Elections Edit In 1980, she was elected to Hawaii's 12th House District in a multi-member district with Democratic State Representative David Hagino.[12] Hawaii eliminated MMDs and after redistricting, she ran for Hawaii's 20th House District and won.[13] After redistricting again in 1984, she ran for the newly redrawn Hawaii's 32nd House District and won.[14] In 1992, after redistricting, she ran in the newly redrawn Hawaii's 22nd House District. She was challenged in the Democratic primary and won the three candidate field with 91% of the vote.[15] She won the general election and served only one term in the 22nd district before retiring in 1994 to run for statewide office.[16]
Tenure Edit From 1980 to 1994, Hirono served in the Hawaii House of Representatives, passing more than 120 laws. She was honored by a coalition of leaseholders as Legislator of the Year in 1984.
Committee assignments Edit From 1987 to 1992, she was the Chairman of the Consumer Protection and Commerce Committee.
Lieutenant Governor (1994''2002) Edit Elections Edit 1994 Edit She ran for Lieutenant Governor of Hawaii and won the Democratic primary defeating fellow State Representative Jackie Young 65%''26%.[17] In the general election, she defeated three other candidates: Danny Kaniela Kaleikini (Best Party), State Representative Fred Hemmings (Republican Party), and Jack Morse (Green Party) 37%''31%''29%''4%.[18]
1998 Edit She ran for re-election in 1998. She was challenged in the primary by Nancy L. Cook and defeated her 89%''11%.[19] In the general election, Hirono defeated Republican State Senator Stan Koki 50%''49%, a difference of 5,254 votes.[20]
Tenure Edit In 1994, she joined the ticket of incumbent Lieutenant Governor Benjamin J. Cayetano and was consequently elected to a historic administration led by the first Filipino American governor and first Japanese immigrant lieutenant governor. During her tenure as lieutenant governor, Hirono was also president of the National Commission on Teaching, America's Future, as well as the Hawaii Policy Group. She also spearheaded the first-in-the-nation comprehensive Pre-Plus program, a precursor to universal pre-school education in the United States.
2002 gubernatorial election Edit Hirono originally wanted to run for Mayor of Honolulu in a potential 2002 special election created by the vacancy of incumbent Mayor Jeremy Harris, who was planning to resign in order to run for Governor of Hawaii. However, due to internal controversies, Harris dropped out of the gubernatorial election and remained mayor for another two years. Hirono switched races.
Hirono maneuvered to gain the support of potential Harris voters in her challenge against former State House Majority Leader Ed Case. Through the entire primary campaign season, Hirono and Case polled almost equally. Hirono defeated Case in the September 21 Democratic primary, 41%''40%, a difference of 2,613 votes.[21][22][23]
Only a few weeks later, Republican nominee and Mayor of Maui Linda Lingle defeated Hirono 52%''47%. She became Hawaii's first female governor.[24][25]
U.S. House of Representatives (2007''2013) Edit Congresswoman Hirono during the 110th congress
Elections Edit 2006 Edit On September 23, Hirono ran for Hawaii's 2nd congressional district , being vacated by incumbent U.S. Congressman Ed Case. The Democratic primary was very competitive. There were ten candidates, seven of whom served in the Hawaii Legislature. Hirono's advantage was the fact that she was the only candidate who had held statewide office and as a result had the most name recognition. She also raised more money than any other candidate in the race, mostly because of the endorsement of EMILY's List.[26] Hirono also loaned her campaign $100,000. She won with a plurality of just 22% of the vote. State Senator Colleen Hanabusa ranked second with 21%, and was only 845 votes short of Hirono.[27][28]
In the general election, she defeated Republican State Senator Bob Hogue 61%''39%.[29]
2008 Edit Hirono won re-election to a second term with 76% of the vote.[30] She outperformed presidential candidate Barack Obama, a native of Honolulu, by three points.
2010 Edit Hirono won re-election to a third term with 72% of the vote.[31]
Tenure Edit In 2008, Hirono was named the national preschool advocacy organization Pre-K Now's "Pre-K Champion" for her efforts on behalf of pre-kindergarten legislation.[32]
Hirono co-sponsored and signed the Prevention First Act of 2007. This act was aimed towards increasing public access to contraception, as well as increasing government funding to support the use of contraception.[33] The act places an emphasis on informing and protecting women from unintended pregnancy.[33]On May 4, 2011, Hirono voted against the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, which would have prohibited federal health care program from covering abortion costs, with exceptions being given to life-threatening cases.[33]
In July 2011, Hirono continued to show her support for contraceptives by signing the Access to Birth Control Act, which mandates that pharmacies provide birth control to customers without undue delay.[33] The ABP Act also ensures that customers seeking birth control can obtain without being submitted to unwanted harassment or breaches in patient confidentiality.[33]Emily's List, a Democratic pro-choice action committee, pledged support to Hirono for her history of supporting contraceptive and abortion policies during her term.[33] The endorsement of Emily's List helped Hirono in her 2012 senatorial race, contributing $129,714 to her campaign.[34][35]
Committee assignments Edit Committee on Armed ServicesSubcommittee on PersonnelSubcommittee on Readiness and Management SupportSubcommittee on Seapower (Ranking Member)Committee on the JudiciarySubcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human RightsSubcommittee on Immigration, Refugees and Border SecuritySubcommittee on Oversight, Agency Action, Federal Rights and Federal CourtsSubcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the LawCommittee on Veterans' AffairsCommittee on Energy and Natural ResourcesCaucus memberships Edit Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus[36]Congressional Wildlife Refuge CaucusInternational Conservation CaucusU.S. Senate Edit Elections Edit 2012 Edit On May 19, 2011, Mazie Hirono announced her candidacy for the U.S. Senate seat left open by Senator Daniel Akaka, who was retiring at the end of his term in 2012.[37] She won the Democratic primary election on August 11, 2012.[38] Hirono was endorsed as one of Democracy for America's Dean Dozen. She faced former Governor of Hawaii, Republican Linda Lingle, in the general election on November 6, 2012, and won.[39] She is the first female senator from Hawaii, as well as the first Asian-born immigrant to be elected to the U.S. Senate.[40] She was a part of the first completely non-Christian Congressional delegation from the state, which continued until the election of Mark Takai (an Episcopalian) in 2014 as Representative of Hawaii's 1st Congressional District.[41]
In the 2012 campaign, Hirono was able to raise $5.2 million, with approximately 52% of that amount coming from large corporations, whereas Lingle raised $5.5 million, with 74% of the funding coming from large corporations. Hirono ended up spending $5 million, to come up with a 63% win over her opponent, while Lingle spent $4.8 million.[42]
2018 Edit On November 6, 2018, Senator Hirono won re-election with 71.2% of the vote, easily defeating Republican Ron Curtis.[43]
Tenure Edit On December 12, 2012, the Senate Democratic Steering Committee announced that Hirono would serve on the Senate Judiciary Committee, giving her influence on matters ranging from approving nominations of federal judges to setting criminal-justice policy.
During the Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court nomination hearings in September 2018, Hirono became an outspoken defender of Christine Blasey Ford after Ford publicly accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault, telling men to "shut up and step up. Do the right thing".[44][45][46]
Committee assignments (115th Congress) Edit Committee on Armed ServicesSubcommittee on Readiness and Management SupportSubcommittee on Seapower (Ranking Member)Committee on Energy and Natural Resources[47]Subcommittee on National ParksSubcommittee on Public Lands, Forests, and MiningCommittee on Small Business and EntrepreneurshipCommittee on the JudiciarySubcommittee on Border Security and ImmigrationSubcommittee on Oversight, Agency Action, Federal Rights and Federal CourtsSubcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the LawSubcommittee on the Constitution (Ranking Member)Committee on Veterans' AffairsJoint Select Committee on Budget and Appropriations Process ReformCaucus memberships Edit Congressional NextGen 9-1-1 Caucus[48]Political positions Edit According to On the Issues, Hirono's voting history places her in the "left/liberal" camp.[49]
Abortion Edit Mazie Hirono has a 100% rating from Naral Pro-Choice America.[50] She is also endorsed by EMILY's list for pro-choice women.[51]
Gun control Edit As of 2010, Hirono had an "F" rating from the National Rifle Association due to her consistent voting record in support of gun control.[52]
In 2016, she participated in the Chris Murphy gun control filibuster. Hirono expressed disappointment when the Democrat-proposed Feinstein Amendment (banning the sale of firearms to individuals on the terrorist watchlist) and the Republican-backed background check expansion and alert system (regarding guns being sold to terrorist watchlist suspects) both failed to pass the Senate.[53]
Health care Edit On July 28, 2017, two months after undergoing surgery for stage-four kidney cancer, Senator Hirono spoke on the Senate floor and voted against the so-called "skinny repeal" of the Affordable Care Act.[54] Reporter Kyle Griffin of MSNBC filmed Senator Hirono's speech and posted it on Twitter.[55]
In January 2019, during the 2018''19 United States federal government shutdown, Hirono was one of thirty-four senators to sign a letter to Commissioner of Food and Drugs Scott Gottlieb recognizing the efforts of the FDA to address the effect of the government shutdown on the public health and employees while remaining alarmed "that the continued shutdown will result in increasingly harmful effects on the agency's employees and the safety and security of the nation's food and medical products."[56] Gottlieb said additional staff might be called in as needed.[57]
Housing Edit In April 2019, Hirono was one of forty-one senators to sign a bipartisan letter to the housing subcommittee praising the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development's Section 4 Capacity Building program as authorizing "HUD to partner with national nonprofit community development organizations to provide education, training, and financial support to local community development corporations (CDCs) across the country" and expressing disappointment that President Trump's budget "has slated this program for elimination after decades of successful economic and community development." The senators wrote of their hope that the subcommittee would support continued funding for Section 4 in Fiscal Year 2020.[58]
Telecommunications Edit In April 2019, Hirono was one of seven senators to sponsor the Digital Equity Act of 2019, legislation establishing a $120 million grant program that would fund both the creation and implementation of "comprehensive digital equity plans" in each U.S. state along with providing a $120 million grant program to give support toward projects developed by individuals and groups. The bill also gave the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) the role of evaluating and providing guidance toward digital equity projects.[59]
Electoral history Edit Results certified by the Office of Elections, State of Hawaii:[38]
1992 Democratic Primary race for Hawai'i House of Representatives, District 22Mazie Hirono (D) (inc.), 80.7%Christopher Perreira (D), 4.7%Franklin Sasahara (D), 3.4%1992 race for Hawai'i House of Representatives, District 22Mazie Hirono (D) (inc.), 100.0%1994 Democratic Primary race for Lieutenant GovernorMazie Hirono (D), 59.8%Jackie Young (D), 24.1%Pol Ragasa (D), 3.1%Sterling "Kalena" Ing (D), 2.1%Liko Martin (D), 1.7%Sky Wyttenbach (D), 0.8%2002 Democratic Primary race for GovernorMazie Hirono (D), 41.2%Ed Case (D), 39.8%Andy Anderson (D), 17.9%George Nitta, Jr. (D), 0.4%Art Reyes (D), 0.3%Joe Fernandez (D), 0.3%2002 race for GovernorLinda Lingle (R), 51.1%Mazie Hirono (D), 46.6%Bu La'ia Hill (NL), 0.7%Tracy Ryan (L), 0.4%Jim Brewer (I), 0.3%Daniel Cunningham (F), 0.1%2006 Democratic Primary race for U.S. House of Representatives '' 2nd Congressional DistrictMazie Hirono (D), 21.8%Colleen Hanabusa (D), 21.1%Matt Matsunaga (D), 14.3%Clayton Hee (D), 11.3%Gary Hooser (D), 9.6%Brian Schatz (D), 7.4%Ron Menor (D), 7.2%Nestor Garcia (D), 4.0%Hanalei Aipoalani (D), 2.4%Joe Zuiker (D), 1.0%2006 race for U.S. House of Representatives '' 2nd Congressional DistrictMazie Hirono (D), 59.8%Bob Hogue (R), 38.2%2008 race for U.S. House of Representatives '' 2nd Congressional DistrictMazie Hirono (D) (inc.), 69.8%Roger Evans (R), 18.7%Shaun Stenshol (I), 1.7%Lloyd "Jeff" Mallan (L), 1.6%2010 race for U.S. House of Representatives '' 2nd Congressional DistrictMazie Hirono (D) (inc.), 67.7%John Willoughby (R), 23.7%Pat Brock (L), 1.7%Andrew Vsevolod Von Sonn (I), 0.7%2012 Democratic Primary race for U.S. SenateMazie Hirono (D), 57.7%Ed Case (D), 40.9%Arturo Pacheco "Art" Reyes (D), 0.7%Michael Gillespie (D), 0.5%Antonio Gimbernat (D), 0.2%2012 race for U.S. SenateMazie Hirono (D), 62.4%Linda Lingle (R), 37.6%2018 Democratic Primary race for U.S. SenateMazie Hirono (D) (inc.), 100%2018 race for U.S. SenateMazie Hirono (D), 69.3%Ron Curtis (R), 28.1%Personal life Edit Hirono announced in May 2017 that she had been diagnosed with stage 4 kidney cancer, which had spread to her seventh rib.[60] The cancer was discovered following a chest x-ray in April before some minor eye surgery.[61] Her right kidney was removed surgically on May 17, 2017, with a Cyberknife procedure to treat the rib lesion.[62][60] Hirono returned to the Senate on May 22, 2017, and was easily re-elected to a second term in November 2018.[63]
See also Edit References Edit ^ "Buddhists Get the Vote". Manitoba Buddhist Temple. November 5, 2010 . Retrieved August 12, 2012 . ^ Camire, Dennis (January 5, 2007). "What happened to ... religious tolerance?". Honolulu Advertiser. Gannett Company . Retrieved August 9, 2011 . ^ Jonathan Tilove. "New Congress brings with it religious firsts". Newhouse News Service. Archived from the original on December 19, 2006. ^ a b c d e f Rod Ohira (May 8, 1999). "Lieutenant governor reflects on the 'bookends' of her life". Honolulu Star-Bulletin . Retrieved January 1, 2013 . ^ a b c d Dan Boylan (March 21, 2007). "The Immigrant Congresswoman". Midweek . Retrieved January 1, 2013 . ^ LaFrance, Adrieene (January 12, 2014). "What It's Like To Be The Only Asian-American Woman in the U.S. Senate". Medium . Retrieved January 13, 2014 . ^ "Mazie Hirono: From poverty to quiet power". Honolulu Advertiser. September 4, 2002 . Retrieved September 23, 2012 . ^ "Tari Sato". . Retrieved January 1, 2013 . ^ "Hawaii, Senate '' Mazie Hirono". . Retrieved April 10, 2015 . ^ "Mazie Hirono Biography". A&E Television Networks. August 19, 2015. ^ "Mazie Keiko Hirono". Washington Times . Retrieved July 29, 2017 . ^ "HI State House 12 Race". Our Campaigns. November 4, 1980 . Retrieved June 3, 2012 . ^ "HI State House 20 Race". Our Campaigns. November 2, 1982 . Retrieved June 3, 2012 . ^ "HI State House 32 Race". Our Campaigns. November 6, 1984 . Retrieved June 3, 2012 . ^ "HI State House 22 '' D Primary Race". Our Campaigns. September 19, 1992 . Retrieved June 3, 2012 . ^ "HI State House 22 Race". Our Campaigns. November 3, 1992 . Retrieved June 3, 2012 . ^ "HI Lt. Governor '' D Primary Race". Our Campaigns. September 17, 1994 . Retrieved June 3, 2012 . ^ "HI Lt. Governor Race". Our Campaigns. November 8, 1994 . Retrieved June 3, 2012 . ^ "HI Lt. Governor '' D Primary Race". Our Campaigns. September 19, 1998 . Retrieved June 3, 2012 . ^ "HI Lt. Governor Race". Our Campaigns. November 3, 1998 . Retrieved June 3, 2012 . ^ "HI Governor '' D Primary Race". Our Campaigns. September 21, 2002 . Retrieved June 3, 2012 . ^ Borreca, Richard (September 23, 2002). "The race is on". Honolulu Star-Bulletin . Retrieved June 24, 2010 . ^ State of Hawaii Office of Elections (September 28, 2002). "2002 Primary Election Results (Statewide Summary)" (PDF) . Retrieved June 24, 2010 . ^ "HI Governor Race". Our Campaigns. November 5, 2002 . Retrieved June 3, 2012 . ^ Borreca, Richard (November 6, 2002). " ' Big responsibility ' ". Honolulu Star-Bulletin . Retrieved June 24, 2010 . ^ Giddins, Carrie. "Emily's list announces endorsement of Mazie Hirono for Hawaii's 2nd congressional District". Archived from the original on June 23, 2006 . Retrieved June 14, 2006 . ^ "HI District 2 '' D Primary Race". Our Campaigns. September 23, 2006 . Retrieved June 3, 2012 . ^ Kapochunas, Rachel. "Akaka Survives Challenge from Case in Hawaii Democratic Primary". Archived from the original on October 13, 2007 . Retrieved September 24, 2006 . ^ "HI '' District 02 Race". Our Campaigns. November 7, 2006 . Retrieved June 3, 2012 . ^ "HI '' District 02 Race". Our Campaigns. November 4, 2008 . Retrieved June 3, 2012 . ^ "HI '' District 02 Race". Our Campaigns. November 2, 2010 . Retrieved June 3, 2012 . ^ "Rep. Mazie Hirono". Politico . Retrieved August 14, 2014 . ^ a b c d e f "Mazie Hirono on Abortion". On the Issues . Retrieved November 19, 2012 . ^ "Sen. Mazie K. Hirono: Campaign Finance/Money". The Center for Responsive Politics . Retrieved November 19, 2012 . ^ Strauss, Daniel (June 28, 2011). "EMILY's List backs Rep. Hirono in Hawaii Senate primary". TheHill . Retrieved May 19, 2018 . ^ "Members". Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus . Retrieved May 17, 2018 . ^ DePledge, Derrick (May 20, 2011). "Hirono to run for U.S. Senate". Honolulu Star-Advertiser . Retrieved June 18, 2011 . ^ a b "Election Results". Office of Elections, State of Hawaii . Retrieved December 5, 2010 . ^ "Hirono defeats Lingle in Senate race". Honolulu Star Advertiser. Associated Press. November 6, 2012. Archived from the original on November 13, 2012 . Retrieved November 7, 2012 . ^ Koh, Yoree (November 6, 2012). "Hirono Becomes First U.S. Senator Born in Japan". The Wall Street Journal . Retrieved November 7, 2012 . ^ Sandstrom, Aleksandra (March 21, 2017). "Majority of states have all-Christian congressional delegations". Pew Research Center . Retrieved May 19, 2018 . ^ "Hawaii Senate 2012 Race". OpenSecrets. December 31, 2012 . Retrieved May 19, 2018 . ^ "General Election 2018 Final Summary Report" (PDF) . State of Hawaii. November 13, 2018 . Retrieved November 18, 2018 . ^ Jalonick, Mary Claire (September 21, 2018). "Call for men to 'step up' puts Sen. Hirono in the spotlight". Associated Press. ^ Cummings, William (September 19, 2018). "Sen. Mazie Hirono to men: 'Just shut up and step up ' ". USA Today . Retrieved October 6, 2018 . ^ Sullivan, Kate (September 18, 2018). "Sen. Hirono's message to men: 'Just shut up and step up. Do the right thing. ' ". CNN . Retrieved November 18, 2018 . ^ "Sen. Hirono Secures Important Hawai'i Priorities". Big Island Now. February 12, 2019 . Retrieved March 19, 2019 . ^ "Members". Congressional NextGen 9-1-1 Caucus . Retrieved June 14, 2018 . ^ "Mazie Hirono on the Issues". On the Issues . Retrieved November 18, 2018 . ^ "Mazie Hirono on the Issues". On the Issues . Retrieved November 18, 2018 . ^ "Mazie Hirono on Abortion". . Retrieved January 23, 2019 . ^ "The Voter's Self Defense System". Vote Smart . Retrieved October 4, 2017 . ^ Pignataro, Anthony (June 20, 2016). "Hawaii Senators Mazie Hirono, Brian Schatz react to gun control bill failures '' Maui Time". Maui Time . Retrieved October 4, 2017 . ^ Shapiro, Rebecca (July 28, 2017). "Senator Mazie Hirono Health Care Plea". Huffington Post . Retrieved July 29, 2017 . ^ Griffin, Kyle (July 28, 2017). "Personal, moving speech from Mazie Hirono tonight about her cancer diagnosis. This is worth your time". Twitter . Retrieved July 29, 2017 . ^ "Democratic Senators 'Alarmed' by Shutdown's Potential Impact on Food Safety". January 15, 2019. ^ "FDA May Call Back More Furloughed Staff for Food Safety Checks Amid Shutdown". Forbes. January 20, 2019 . Retrieved February 6, 2019 . ^ "Wyden, Merkley urge more affordable housing funds". April 16, 2019. ^ Birnbaum, Emily (April 17, 2019). "Dems introduce bill to tackle 'digital divide ' ". The Hill. ^ a b Hamedy, Saba (May 16, 2017). "Hawaii Sen. Mazie Hirono diagnosed with kidney cancer" . Retrieved June 3, 2017 . ^ Drewes, Paul (May 17, 2017). "Sudden surgery for Senator Mazie Hirono". KITV . Retrieved June 3, 2017 . ^ "US Senator Mazie Hirono Recovering After Kidney Surgery". U.S. News & World Report. Associated Press. May 17, 2017 . Retrieved June 3, 2017 . ^ "Hirono returns to Senate following kidney surgery with message of thanks". KHON-TV. May 22, 2017 . Retrieved June 3, 2017 . Further reading Edit External links Edit
Guardian breaks even helped by success of supporter strategy | Media | The Guardian
Wed, 01 May 2019 17:56
The Guardian and the Observer have broken even for the first time in recent history aided by record online traffic, reduced costs and increased financial contributions from readers.
Guardian News & Media recorded an £800,000 operating profit for the 2018-19 financial year '' compared with a £57m loss three years previously '' ensuring the business is existing on a sustainable basis following the culmination of a turnaround programme put in place following years of substantial losses.
The company said it had 655,000 regular monthly supporters across both print and digital, with a further 300,000 people making one-off contributions in the last year alone.
The Guardian has taken the decision to keep its journalism outside a paywall, while asking readers to contribute in order to subsidise its reporting into topics such as Cambridge Analytica, the Windrush scandal, and the Paradise Papers.
Total monthly page views increased over the last three years from 790m in January 2016 to 1.35bn in March 2019.
Katharine Viner, the Guardian News & Media editor-in-chief, said: ''In times of extraordinary political and economic upheaval the need for quality, independent reporting and commentary has never been greater. Guardian journalism is flourishing '' holding the powerful to account and exploring new ideas.
''Thanks to the support of our readers and the incredible hard work and talent of Guardian staff, we have reached an important financial milestone. We are now in a sustainable position, and better able to deliver on our purpose by producing outstanding journalism that understands and illuminates our times.''
Total revenues at Guardian News & Media grew 3% to £223m a year, at a time when many rival publishers are experiencing substantial declines, with 55% of the company's income coming from digital activities '' a higher proportion than most other British news outlets.
In April, a prospectus announces a new paper for Manchester. A month later, on 5 May 1821, John Edward Taylor publishes the first Manchester Guardian as a newspaper in the liberal interest.
Charles Prestwich Scott, a liberal thinker with strong principles, becomes editor of the Guardian - a post he holds for 57 years.
CP Scott buys the Guardian, becoming both owner and editor.
CP Scott writes a leading article to mark the centenary of the paper that becomes recognised around the world as the blueprint for independent journalism and includes the line ''Comment is free, but facts are sacred.''
CP Scott retires as editor in favour of his son Ted.
CP Scott's death in January is followed swiftly by that of his younger son; Ted Scott is killed in a tragic boating accident in April. William Percival Crozier is appointed as editor.
Ownership of the Manchester Guardian is transferred to the Scott Trust to protect the paper, its independence and the journalistic principles of CP Scott.
Following WP Crozier's death, Alfred Powell Wadsworth becomes editor.
Alastair Hetherington becomes editor following Wadsworth's death.
On 24 August the newspaper changes its title from the Manchester Guardian to the Guardian, to reflect the growing importance of national and international affairs in the newspaper.
The editor's office and major editorial departments relocate from Manchester to London.
Peter Preston is appointed editor.'‹
The Guardian has a radical redesign, splitting the newspaper into two sections and introducing a new masthead.
Alan Rusbridger becomes editor.
Guardian Unlimited (GU) network of websites is launched.
The mid-sized Berliner format newspaper launched. It is the UK's first full-colour national newspaper.
A new digital operation, Guardian US, is launched in New York as a hub for Guardian readers in the US.
The Guardian launches Australian digital edition, Guardian Australia.
Katharine Viner is appointed Guardian editor-in-chief.
The Guardian and Observer newspapers launch in a new tabloid format and the website and apps are given a redesign.
Photograph: The Guardian
Print advertising '' once the bedrock of all newspaper income - accounts for 8% of the company's total revenue, although the business remains committed to producing a print newspaper and has 110,000 print subscribers across the Guardian, Observer and Guardian Weekly.
The company has also reduced costs by 20% over the last three years, with expenditure before exceptional items in 2018-19 falling to £222m, aided by a reduction in headcount. The company said revenues at Guardian US and Guardian Australia have increased substantially, with both outlets considered to be financially sustainable.
Preliminary figures showing the company broke even on an EBITDA basis (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) were released by the company on Wednesday, with the full accounts to be published later this year.
Guardian News & Media is owned by the wider Guardian Media Group, which in turn is controlled by the not-for-profit Scott Trust, named after the newspaper's former proprietors.
The Scott Trust endowment, built up through the sale of former assets such as AutoTrader, produces an annual return of between £25m and £30m without depleting the main investment, which it allows to be spent by Guardian Media Group to subsidise ongoing operations.
David Pemsel, the Guardian Media Group chief executive, said this target was reached after reducing annual cash outflows at the wider business from £86m a year in 2016 to £29m.
He said: ''Over the last three years we have made a huge amount of progress, and I'm exceptionally proud of how far we've come. Achieving these results is testament to the absolute commitment and ingenuity of everyone within the organisation. We are very grateful for the support of our readers, advertisers and partners who believe in the value of high quality media.
''GMG is now a more reader-funded, more digital, more international business. Although the significant turbulence in the global media sector shows no sign of abating any time soon, we have developed a set of core strengths which will help to ensure the Guardian's ongoing independence and financial sustainability for the long term.''
Fate of Female CEO Imprisoned in Kuwait Hinges on Sunday Hearing |
Wed, 01 May 2019 15:17
The Fate of Marsha Lazareva, a Wharton Business School Graduate, CEO of an investment firm, and a mother currently languishing behind bars in a remote Kuwaiti prison may well depend on what happens at a hearing this Sunday.
Lazareva, a Christian, is serving a 10-year sentence of hard labor for allegedly misappropriating funds, a charge her U.S. attorneys insist is groundless. She shares her prison with six other women, and her health is said to be failing.
Her 5-year-old son, who was born in Pennsylvania, has been told that her mother is on a very long business trip. She has been imprisoned for about a year.
Global investors are keeping a wary eye on the case, given what it could portend regarding the rule of law in Kuwait, and the advisability of investing there. At the time of her arrest, Lazareva was the only non-Kuwaiti woman managing an investment firm in the entire country.
Lazareva's representatives are careful to emphasize that Kuwaiti monarch and Emir Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah has a good reputation in the West as a responsible leader. But they worry he may be unaware of the injustices and improper influence in some elements of the Kuwaiti justice system.
Over Easter weekend, former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi journeyed to Kuwait to meet Lazareva and assist with her case, even meeting with her at Sulaibiya Central Prison.
Speaking to Newsmax in an exclusive interview following her return, Bondi says, ''We had a retired forensic FBI analyst look at the evidence. Marsha did nothing wrong other than be a successful female in the Middle East. The competitor wants to put her out of business, and the way to do that is by creating a crime that is not there.''
Lazareva has posted a mind-boggling bail of over $30 million, yet remains in jail. Her attorneys are hoping the evidence they present on Sunday will at least persuade the Kuwaiti judges hearing the case to let her leave the jail under house arrest.
Her dream-team of U.S. representatives and supporters includes Bondi, former FBI Director Louis Freeh, Neil Bush, the son of the late President George H.W. Bush, Former U.S. Rep. Ed Royce, Jim Nicholson, former U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs, and attorney David Hammond of Crowell & Moring.
In a recent exclusive interview with Newsmax TV, Bush, brother of former President George W. Bush, explained his role in Lavareza's case in the context of his family's historic ties to Kuwait, which U.S. troops liberated from Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein in the 1991 Gulf War.
Bush said his father "to his last day" was proud that Kuwait "remained an honorable and respected member of the international community."
Bush added: "I, as a member of this family, would hate to see a blemish on Kuwait's record. I'd hate to see our U.S.-Kuwaiti relations damaged by this incident."
According to Bush, however, there are forces within the government that are creating this horrible situation."
Last Sunday, Bondi, Royce, and Freeh encountered those forces when he and Hammond traveled to Kuwait to help represent Lazareva at a hearing. Bondi tells Newsmax that during the hearing of an appeal of Lazareva's conviction and 10-year prison sentence, that over a dozen very high-ranking police officials crowded into the courtroom in what she believes was an attempt to intimidate the judge.
Lazareva was surrounded by six armed guards, and her translator initially was forbidden to explain what was transpiring.
"We had Louis Freeh there, we had a retired FBI analyst there prepared to testify," says Bondi. "So what did they do? They stopped the hearing."
According to Bondi, once the four-judge panel realized that the FBI experts were prepared to testify that the documents used in Lazareva's initial conviction were obvious forgeries, and that as the nearly $500 million that had been frozen for fear it would be embezzled had since been released, the conviction was groundless.
The chief judge immediately halted the proceedings and cleared the courtroom. After several hours, the defense team learned the hearing had been cancelled -- perhaps, some speculated, in the hope that witnesses who had traveled thousands of miles to testify would go back home and stay there.
Bondi later learned the primary judge in the case had declared he would recuse himself from the case, for reasons that were never disclosed.
Then a few days later, a new date for the hearing was set: This Sunday, April 28, which is Orthodox Easter Sunday -- and the judge who had withdrawn from the case, it was learned, has unrecused himself and will preside again afterall.
Bondi, who has viisited and helped countries around the world in her role as attorney general, says she has never seen anything remotely like the bizaare turn of events in Lazareva's case.
When Kuwaiti officials were concerned some $496 million might be embezzled, they froze the money in a bank in Dubai. In February, the money was released -- but Lazareva remains behind bars.
Several witnesses who initially testified that Lazareva had broken the law have since recanted, and another was convicted of foregery, Bondi says.
Freeh told "It's awful. The evidence wouldn't stand up [in the U.S. legal system]. We have legal processes that at least give the defendant the opportunity to call a witness or cross-examine a government witness, so they were really denied all of that here."
Bondi says Lazareva's firm holds major U.S. Defense Contracts that others in Kuwaiti society covet. "It's money," she says. "It's billions and billions of dollars. And if they eliminate Marsha, they are basically the only game in town."
She hastens to add: "We believe the Emir is a very good man, and we are confident when this case reaches his level, he will release Marsha."
Freeh and other members of Lazareva's defense team will once again be journeying to Kuwait this weekend to participate in Sunday's hearing -- if they're finally allowed to testify, that is.
In the meantime, Bondi says Lazareva's spirit continues to shine through even as she languishes behind bars and her health declines. "She's a Christian and she knows how difficult it was for us to be away from our families on Easter Sunday, in a foreign country halfway around the world. She was thanking us, telling us that she's not going to give up, and that we have given her faith to keep fighting. And she will continue to fight to get out and be with her family, and to be with her child."
(C) 2019 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
Google workers are holding a sit-in May 1 to protest alleged retaliation - CNET
Wed, 01 May 2019 13:43
Google workers walked out of their offices for a protest Nov. 1.
James Martin/CNET Google workers are staging a sit-in Wednesday to protest alleged retaliation from management toward employee organizers at the company.
The demonstration, which will start at 11 a.m. Wednesday, will be six months to the day of last year's historic walkout , in which 20,000 Google workers left their offices to protest the company's handling of sexual harassment allegations directed at key executives.
"From being told to go on sick leave when you're not sick, to having your reports taken away, we're sick of retaliation," the Google walkout organizers tweeted. "Six months ago, we walked out. This time, we're sitting in."
Google declined to comment on the sit-in, but pointed to a previous statement.
"We prohibit retaliation in the workplace and publicly share our very clear policy," the spokeswoman said. "To make sure that no complaint raised goes unheard at Google, we give employees multiple channels to report concerns, including anonymously, and investigate all allegations of retaliation."
In Silicon Valley, Google workers have become the poster children for protest in the tech industry. In the past, they've rebelled against the company's work in China , military contracts, and treatment of contract workers . The date of the sit-in is also May Day, an international day honoring workers.
The announcement comes after Google employees last week held a town hall meeting focused on the alleged retaliation . Two walkout organizers in particular said they've been unfairly targeted by the company.
One organizer, Meredith Whittaker, who leads Google's Open Research program, said earlier this week that she was asked to choose between Google and her outside work. Whittaker co-founded New York University's AI Now Institute, a research center that examines the societal effects of artificial intelligence. Whittaker said Google asked her to give up that work after the company disbanded its own AI ethics board last month amid controversy over one of its members.
Claire Stapleton, a marketing manager at Google-owned YouTube, said she was told after the walkout she'd be demoted and lose half of her reports. She said she was also told to go on medical leave even though she wasn't sick. Google only walked back her demotion after she hired a lawyer, Stapleton said.
At the meeting, organizers at the company gathered hundreds of stories from workers who said they've faced retaliation from Google for speaking out against workplace misconduct.
On Monday, walkout organizers shared some of those stories. One worker said they reported their tech lead to their manager for sexual harassment, but the manager said the person was "overreacting." "No additional actions were taken," that person said. "They both still work at Google."
After the town hall meeting last week, which was streamed in company offices all over the world, Google employees said there was more action coming. "The support was overwhelming," one employee who attended told CNET. "It looks like the company's misguided gamble to cut off the 'head' of the organizing against harassment, discrimination and unethical decision-making won't work."
Wed, 01 May 2019 04:24
1 Statement of Attorney General William P. Barr Before the Committee on the Judiciary United States Senate May 1, 2019 Good morning, Chairman Graham, Ranking Member Feinstein, and Members of the Committee. Thank you for the opportunity to appear today to discuss the conclusion of the investigation into Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 election by Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller, III, and the confidential report he submitt ed to me, which I recently released to the public after applying necessary redactions . When I appeared before this Committee just a few months ago for my confirmation hearing, Senators asked for two commitments concerning the Special Counsel's investigation: first, that I would allow the Special Counsel to finish his investigation without interference; and second, that I would release his report to Congress and to the American public. I believe that the record speaks for itself. The Special Counsel compl eted his investigation as he saw fit. As I informed Congress on March 22, 2019, at no point did I, or anyone at the Department of Justice, overrule the Special Counsel on any proposed action. In addition, immediately upon receiving his confidential repor t to me, we began working with the Special Counsel to prepare it for public release and, on April 18, 2019, I released a public version subject only to limited redactions that were necessary to comply with the law and to protect important governmental inte rests. Preparation for Public Release As I explained in my letter of April 18, 2019, the redactions in the public report fall into four categories: (1) grand-jury information, the disclosure of which is prohibited by Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 6(e); (2) investigative techniques, which reflect material identified by the intelligence and law enforcement communities as potentially compromising se nsitive sources, methods, or techniques, as well as information that could harm ongoing intelligence or law enforcement activities; (3) information that, if released, could harm ongoing law enforcement matters, including charged cases where court rules and orders bar public disclosure by the parties of case information; and (4) information that would unduly infringe upon the personal privacy and reputational interests of peripheral third parties, which includes deliberation about decisions not to recommend prosecution of such parties . I have also made available to a bipartisan group of leaders in Congress, including Chairman Graham and Ranking Member Feinstein, a minimally redacted version that includes everything other than the grand-jury material, which by law cannot be disclosed . We made every effort to ensure that the redactions were as limited as possible . According to one analysis, just eight percent of the public report was redacted. And my understanding is that less than two percent has been withheld in the minimally redacted version made available to Congressional leaders. While the Deputy Attorney General and I selected the categories of redactions, the redactions themselves were made by Department of Justice attorneys working closely with attor neys from the Special Counsel's Office. Th ese lawyers consulted with the prosecutors handling ongoing matters and with members of the intelligence community who reviewed selected portions of the report to advise on redactions. The Deputy Attorney General and I did not overrule any of the redaction decisions, nor did we request that any additional material be redacted.
2 W e also permitted the Office of the White House Counsel and the President's personal counsel to review the redacted report prior to its release , but neither played any role in the redaction process . Review by the Of fice of White House Counsel allowed them to advise the President on executive privilege , consistent with long -stan ding Executive Branch practice. As I hav e explained, the President made the determination not to withhold any information based on executive privilege. Review by the President's personal counsel was a matter of fairness in light of my decision to make public what would otherwise have been a confidential report, and it was consistent with the practice followed for years under the now -expired Ethics in Government Act . Bottom -Line Conclusions After the Special Counsel submitted the confidential report on March 22, I determined that it was in the pu blic interest for the Department to announce the investigation's bottom -line conclusions '--that is, the determination whether a provable crime has been committed or not . I did so in my March 24 letter. I did not believe that it was in the public interest to release additional portions of the report in piecemeal fashion, leading to public debate over incomplete information. My main focus was the prompt release of a public version of the report so that Congress and the American people could read it for themselves and draw their own conclusions. The Department's principal responsibility in conducting this investigation was to determine whether the conduct reviewed constit uted a crime that the Department could prove beyond a reasonable doubt. As Attorney General, I serve as the chief law -enforcement officer of the United States, and it is my responsibility to ensure that the Department carries out its law -enforcement funct ions appropriately. The Special Counsel's investigation was no exception. The Special Counsel was, after all, a federal prosecutor in the Department of Justice charged with making prosecution or declination decisions . T he role of the federal prosecutor and the purpose of a criminal investigation are well -defined. Federal prosecutors work with grand juries to collect evidence to determine whether a crime has been committed. Once a prosecutor has exhausted his investigation into the facts of a case, he or she faces a binary choice: either to commence or to decline prosecution. T o commence prosecution, the prosecutor must apply the principles of federal prosecution and conclude both that the conduct at issue constitute s a federal offense and that the adm issible evidence would probably be sufficient to obtain and sustain a guilty verdict by an unbiased trier of fact. These principles govern the condu ct of all prosecutions by the Department and are codified in the Justice Manual. The appointment of a Special Counsel and the investigation of the conduct of the President of the United States do not change these rules. To the contrary, they make it all the more important for the Department to follow them. The appointment of a Specia l Counsel calls for particular care since it poses the risk of what Attorney General Robert Jackson called ''the most dangerous power of the prosecutor: that he will pick people that he thinks he should get, rather than pick cases that need to be prosecuted.'' B y definition, a Special Counsel is charged with investigating particular potential crimes, not all potential crimes wherever they may be found. Inclu ding a democratically elected politician as a subject in a criminal investigation likewise calls for special care. As Attorney General Jackson admonished his United States Attorneys , politically sensitive cases demand that federal prosecutors be ''dispassionate and courageous'' in order to '' protect the spirit as well as the letter of our civil liberties.'' The core civil liberty that underpins our American criminal justice system is the presumption of innocence . Every person enjoys this presumption long before the commencement
3 of any investigation or official proceeding. A federal prosecutor's task is to decide whether the admissible evidence is sufficient to overcome that presumption and establish guilt beyond a reasonable doubt . If so, he seek s an indictment; if not, he does not. The Special Counsel's report demonstrates that there are many subsidiary considerations informing that prosecutorial judgment '--including whether particular legal theories would extend to the facts of the case and whether the evidence is sufficient to prove one or another element of a crime. But at the end of the day, the federal prosecutor must decide yes or no. That is what I sought to address in my March 24 letter. Russian Interference The Special Counsel inherited an ongoing investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign, and whether any individuals affiliated with President Trump's campaign colluded in those efforts. In Volume I of the report , the Special Counsel found that several provable crimes were committed by Russian nationals related to two distinct schemes. Firs t, the report details efforts by the Internet Research Agency (IRA) , a Russian company with close ties to the Russian government, to sow social discord among American voters through disinformation and social media operations. Second, the report details efforts by Russian military officials associated with the GRU to hack into computers and steal documents and emails from individuals affiliated with the Democratic Party and the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton for the purpose of eventually publicizi ng those emails. Following a thorough investigation, the Special Counsel brought charges against several Russian nationals and entities in connection with each scheme. The Special Counsel also looked at whether any member or affiliate of the presidential campaign of Donald J. Trump participated in these crimes. With respect to the disinformation scheme, the Special Counsel found no evidence that any Americans '--including anyone associated with the Trump campaign '--conspired or coordinated with the Russian gov ernment or the IRA. Likewise, with respect to hacking, the Special Counsel found no evidence that anyone associated with the Trump campaign, nor any other American, conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its hacking operations . Moreover, the Special Counsel did not find that any Americans committed a crime in connection with the dissemination of the hacked materials in part because a defendant could not be charged for dissemination without proof of his involvement in the underlying hackin g conspiracy. Finally, the Special Counsel investigated a number of ''links'' or ''contacts'' between Trump Campaign officials and individuals connected with the Russian government during the 2016 presidential campaign. The Special Counsel did not find any conspiracy with the Russian government to violate U.S. law involving Russia -linked persons and any persons associated with the Trump campaign . Thus, as to the original question of conspiracy or coordination between the Trump campaign and the Russian gover nment to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, the Special Counsel did not find that any crimes were committed by the campaign or its affiliates. Obstruction of Justice In Volume II of the report, the Special Counsel considered whether certain act ions of the President could amount to obstruction of justice . T he Special Counsel decided not to reach a conclusion, however, about whether the President committed an obstruction offense. I nstead, the
4 report recount s ten episodes and discusses potential legal theories for connecting the President's actions to the elements of an obstruction offense. After carefully reviewing the facts and legal theories outlined in the report, and in consultation with the Office of Le gal Counsel and other Department lawyers, the Deputy Attorney General and I concluded that , under the principles of federal prosecution, the evidence de veloped by the Special Counsel would not be sufficient to charge the President with an obstruction-of-ju stice offense. The Deputy Attorney General and I knew that we had to make this assessment because, as I previously explained, the prosecutorial judgment whether a crime has been established is an integral part of the Department's criminal process. T he Special Counsel regulations provide for the report to remain confidential. G iven the extraordinary public interest in this investigation, however, I determined that it was necessary to make as much of it public as I could and committed the Department to being as transparent as possible . But it would not have been appropriate for me simply to release Volume II of the report without ma king a prosecutorial judgment. The Deputy Attorney General and I therefore conducted a careful review of the report, looking at the facts found and the legal theories set forth by the Special Counsel. Although we disagreed with some of the Special Counsel's legal theories and felt that some of the episodes examined did not amount to obstruction as a matter of law, we accepted the Special Counsel's legal framework for purposes of our analysis and evaluated the evidence as presented by the Special Counsel in reaching our conclusion. W e concluded that the evidence devel oped during the Special Counsel' s investigation is not sufficient to establish that the President committed an obstruction- of-justice offense. * * * The responsibility of the Department of Justice , when it comes to law enforcement, is to determine whether crimes have been committed and to prosecute those crimes under the principles of federal prosecution. With the completion of the Spe cial Counsel's investigation and the resulting prosecutorial decisions, the Department's work on this matter is at its end aside from completing the cases that have been referred to other offices . From here on, the exercise of responding and reacting to t he report is a matter for the American people and the political process . As I am sure you agree, it is vitally important for the Department of Justice to stand apart from th e political process and not to become an adjunct of it.
Planned Parenthood, Black Lives Matter Leaders Partner for 'Women's New Deal' Movement
Wed, 01 May 2019 04:19
The former president of Planned Parenthood and a Black Lives Matter co-founder are joining with the director of a domestic workers' advocacy group to launch a new political action group in advance of the 2020 election.Cecile Richards, the former CEO of abortion chain Planned Parenthood, and Alicia Garza, a co-founder of Black Lives Matter, are partnering with Ai-jen Poo, director of National Domestic Workers Alliance. The women say one of the priorities of their group, dubbed Supermajority, is to create a ''women's New Deal for gender equality.''
I'm so excited to introduce you to @supermajority '†' a new home for women's activism.
Supermajority will be a place to stay informed, take meaningful action, and connect with other women activists'--newcomers and veterans alike. Join us:
'-- Cecile Richards (@CecileRichards) April 29, 2019
According to BuzzFeed News, the organizers plan to teach two million women how to engage in political activism.
The report added:
The group will emphasize the intersection of issues affecting different racial and socioeconomic groups in the US, Richards and Poo told BuzzFeed News Saturday. In collaboration with its separate education division, Supermajority will train women on how to participate in politics and activism in their communities, both online and on the ground.
The progressive leaders said they will travel around the country for a ''listening tour'' to meet with women about priority issues.
Supermajority '-- run by @CecileRichards, @aliciagarza and @aijenpoo '-- will train & mobilize 2 million women over the next year to become organizers and political leaders in their communities. It's going to change the world. Can't WAIT.
'-- Amanda Litman (@amandalitman) April 29, 2019
Amid concerns that Planned Parenthood's new president, Dr. Leana Wen, is moving the abortion vendor away from politics and toward beefing up its diminishing healthcare services, Richards said she invited her former organization to join the new women's effort, and Wen agreed.
''If anything I feel like [Planned Parenthood is] really interested in how we can continue to grow this movement, and I'm really proud of the work they're doing,'' Richards said.
''Alongside the entire Planned Parenthood family, I am thrilled about the launch of Supermajority, which builds upon the work of so many powerful women leaders and women's rights advocates across the country,'' Wen also said, according to the report.
Richards said she and Poo have been planning the women's political action group since even before she stepped down as Planned Parenthood president.
If the news makes you ask yourself, ''What should I be doing right now?'' @Supermajority is a new community of women founded by NDWA's very own directors @aijenpoo and @aliciagarza who will help you discover the answer.
'-- Domestic Workers (@domesticworkers) April 29, 2019
''The two of us got together more than a year ago to start talking about this idea, so it's been germinating for quite a while,'' Richards told BuzzFeed News. ''It just felt like there was this moment where millions more women wanted to organize than even our two organizations could keep up with.''
Poo hopes to work with Time's Up, the organization launched by women in Hollywood after the #MeToo movement took hold in the country.
Garza will highlight the issues important to Black Lives Matter '-- the movement that she and other left-wing leaders created around allegations of police brutality.
It's launch day! Women everywhere are taking action and want to know how to do more. We're ready to win! Join the @Supermajority because one of us can be ignored, two of us can be dismissed, but together, we are unstoppable! #SuperMajority
'-- Alicia Garza (@aliciagarza) April 29, 2019
According to the report, Supermajority will also work closely with Pantsuit Nation, a Facebook group created to support Hillary Clinton's failed 2016 White House bid.
Mueller Objected to Barr's Description of Russia Investigation's Findings on Trump - The New York Times
Wed, 01 May 2019 02:20
Image Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel, leaving Easter services in April. He ended his investigation and delivered his 448-page report to the attorney general in March. Credit Credit Andrew Harnik/Associated Press WASHINGTON '-- Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel, wrote a letter in late March to Attorney General William P. Barr objecting to his early description of the Russia investigation's conclusions that appeared to clear President Trump on possible obstruction of justice, according to the Justice Department and three people with direct knowledge of the communication between the two men.
The letter adds to the growing evidence of a rift between them and is another sign of the anger among the special counsel's investigators about Mr. Barr's characterization of their findings, which allowed Mr. Trump to wrongly claim he had been vindicated.
It was unclear what specific objections Mr. Mueller raised in his letter, though a Justice Department spokeswoman said on Tuesday evening that he ''expressed a frustration over the lack of context'' in Mr. Barr's presentation of his findings on obstruction of justice. Mr. Barr defended his descriptions of the investigation's conclusions in conversations with Mr. Mueller over the days after he sent the letter, according to two people with knowledge of their discussions.
Mr. Barr, who was scheduled to testify on Wednesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee about the investigation, has said publicly that he disagrees with some of the legal reasoning in the Mueller report. Senior Democratic lawmakers have invited Mr. Mueller to testify in the coming weeks but have been unable to secure a date for his testimony.
A central issue in the simmering dispute is how the public's understanding of the Mueller report has been shaped since the special counsel ended his investigation and delivered his 448-page report on March 22 to the attorney general, his boss and longtime friend. The four-page letter that Mr. Barr sent to Congress two days later gave little detail about the special counsel's findings and created the impression that Mr. Mueller's team found no wrongdoing, allowing Mr. Trump to declare he had been exonerated.
But when Mr. Mueller's report was released on April 18, it painted a far more damning picture of the president and showed that Mr. Mueller believed that significant evidence existed that Mr. Trump obstructed justice.
''The special counsel emphasized that nothing in the attorney general's March 24 letter was inaccurate or misleading,'' a Justice Department spokeswoman, Kerri Kupec, said in response to a request for comment made on Tuesday afternoon. A spokesman for the special counsel's office declined to comment.
Over the past month, other signs of friction between the attorney general and the special counsel have emerged over issues like legal theories about constitutional protections afforded to presidents to do their job and how Mr. Mueller's team conducted the investigation.
In congressional testimony in April before the report was released, Mr. Barr demurred when asked whether he believed that the investigation was a ''witch hunt'' '-- Mr. Trump's preferred term. It ''depends on where you're sitting,'' Mr. Barr replied.
''If you are somebody who's being falsely accused of something, you would tend to view the investigation as a witch hunt,'' he said, an apparent reference to the president.
Mr. Barr's testimony stood in contrast to comments he made during his confirmation hearing in January. ''I don't believe Mr. Mueller would be involved in a witch hunt,'' he said then.
A rift between the men appeared to develop in the intervening months as the special counsel wrapped up his inquiry.
The Justice Department received Mr. Mueller's letter four days after Mr. Barr sent his conclusions to Congress. In response, the attorney general and the special counsel spoke on the phone, and Mr. Mueller laid out his concerns about the initial descriptions of the report.
At the time, the Justice Department had begun redacting the report and Mr. Mueller raised the question about whether more of it could be released.
''The attorney general ultimately determined that it would not be productive to release the report in piecemeal fashion,'' Ms. Kupec said. ''The attorney general and the special counsel agreed to get the full report out with necessary redactions as expeditiously as possible.''
Mr. Barr and senior Justice Department officials were frustrated with how Mr. Mueller ended his investigation and drafted his report, according to the three people.
They expressed irritation that Mr. Mueller fell short of his assignment by declining to make a decision about whether Mr. Trump broke the law. That left Mr. Barr to clear Mr. Trump without the special counsel's backing.
But Mr. Mueller did lay out evidence against the president. After explaining that he had declined to make a prosecutorial judgment, citing as a factor a Justice Department view that sitting presidents cannot be indicted, the special counsel detailed more than a dozen attempts by the president to impede the inquiry. He also left open the door for charges after Mr. Trump leaves office.
''If we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the president clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state,'' Mr. Mueller and his investigators wrote. ''Based on the facts and the applicable legal standards, however, we are unable to reach that judgment.''
Image Attorney General William P. Barr testifying before lawmakers in April. ''If you are somebody who's being falsely accused of something, you would tend to view the investigation as a witch hunt,'' he said. Credit Erin Schaff/The New York Times Mr. Mueller's report, the attorney general and the other senior law enforcement officials believed, read like it had been written for consumption by Congress and the public, not like a confidential report to Mr. Barr, as required under the regulations governing the special counsel.
Some of the special counsel's investigators have told associates that they were angry about Mr. Barr's initial characterization of their findings, government officials and others have said, and that their conclusions were more troubling for Mr. Trump than Mr. Barr indicated in his four-page letter. That proved to be the case.
In one instance, Mr. Barr took Mr. Mueller's words out of context to suggest that the president had no motive to obstruct justice. In another instance, he plucked a fragment from a sentence in the Mueller report that made a conclusion seem less damaging for Mr. Trump.
Investigators wrote, ''Although the investigation established that the Russian government perceived it would benefit from a Trump presidency and worked to secure that outcome, and that the campaign expected it would benefit electorally from information stolen and released through Russian efforts, the investigation did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.''
Mr. Barr's letter quoted only the passage that the investigation had found no conspiracy or coordination.
It is not clear whether members of Mr. Mueller's team were angered by these points in particular, or whether Mr. Mueller's letter cited them.
Despite the disagreement about the report, members of Mr. Mueller's team worked alongside senior Justice Department officials to redact sensitive information from the report before it was released.
Hours before the public release of the Mueller report, Mr. Barr said during a news conference that he had ''disagreed with some of the special counsel's legal theories'' about what constitutes presidential obstruction of justice. He also said repeatedly that the special counsel had found ''no collusion'' between the Russian government and the Trump campaign. Mr. Trump often uses the term, but Mr. Mueller's investigators pointed out it had no legal standard and left it out of their judgments.
Instead, investigators wrote that they had not found evidence to prove a criminal conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russians.
Mr. Barr also said during the news conference that some of Mr. Trump's efforts to thwart the investigation needed to be put in ''context.''
''There is substantial evidence to show that the president was frustrated and angered by a sincere belief that the investigation was undermining his presidency, propelled by his political opponents, and fueled by illegal leaks,'' he said.
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Mueller at Odds With Barr's View Of Investigation
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Bill Clinton Making Podcast On Presidency: 'Why Am I Telling You This?'
Wed, 01 May 2019 02:11
April 30, 2019 at 12:03 am PDTBill Clinton may be getting ready to take his words of wisdom to the airwaves with a new podcast, and it's possible he's going to spill all the tea from his time at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
According to documents obtained by The Blast, a trademark application was just filed by the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation in Arkansas for a podcast titled, ''Why Am I Telling You This?''
The filing states the title will be used for, ''Downloadable podcasts in the field of creating global economic opportunity, improving public health, inspiring civic engagement and service and the presidency of William J. Clinton.''
It's unclear if President Clinton plans on hosting the podcast himself, or will just be providing content and occasional quips about his presidency.
GettyThe move is interesting and could explain Bill and Hillary dipping their toes in pop culture recently, like appearing in a YouTube video with political satirist, Jordan Klepper.
As for the name of Bubba's podcast, we can only speculate about the topics he'll cover, but we're guessing it's not going to be about playing the sax.
Jussie Smollett Unlikely to Return to 'Empire' Next Season
News about npr podcast on Twitter
Tue, 30 Apr 2019 18:41
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Measles Outbreak In U.S. Is Linked To Dramatic Surge In Cases Worldwide : Goats and Soda : NPR
Tue, 30 Apr 2019 18:20
A nurse prepares a syringe for a measles vaccination at a pediatric clinic in Kiev, Ukraine. The country had 72,408 measles cases in the year from March 2018 to February 2019 '-- the highest number for any country during that period. Sergei Supinsky/AFP/Getty Images hide caption
toggle caption Sergei Supinsky/AFP/Getty Images A nurse prepares a syringe for a measles vaccination at a pediatric clinic in Kiev, Ukraine. The country had 72,408 measles cases in the year from March 2018 to February 2019 '-- the highest number for any country during that period.
Sergei Supinsky/AFP/Getty Images In the year 2000, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention declared measles "eliminated" from the United States. But with measles continuing to spread and at times flourish in many parts of the globe, the U.S. has been unable to remain immune to the disease.
This year, the U.S. has its highest number of measles cases in 25 years. As of this week, the CDC has recorded 704 cases in 22 states.
The re-emergence of measles is linked to parents who have chosen not to vaccinate their children against this highly contagious disease.
But that's not the full explanation. Dr. James Goodson, a senior measles scientist at the CDC, says the U.S. outbreaks are being driven by a surge in measles globally.
The World Health Organization tallied more than 112,000 measles cases in the first quarter of 2019. This is up more than 300% compared to the same period in 2018. Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of WHO, calls the rise in measles "alarming" and a "global crisis."
Madagascar is grappling with a measles outbreak that's sickened 70,000 people and killed more than a thousand. There are also significant outbreaks in Brazil, India, the Philippines, Ukraine and Venezuela. There have been smaller flare-ups in France, Greece, Israel and Georgia.
"When we see large measles outbreaks in countries that are common destinations for U.S. travelers like we're seeing this year," Goodson says. "that's when we often see the largest number of measles cases in the U.S."
That's because of the nature of the virus. "The only reservoir for the measles virus is people," Goodson says. "So the only way you're going to get measles is if you come in contact with somebody who's infected with measles."
Measles is one of the most highly contagious human diseases known to science. Before a measles vaccine was introduced in the U.S. in the 1960s, the CDC estimates there were 3-to-4 million cases a year in the country.
Epidemiologists say that to stop the spread of the virus, 95% of people need to either be vaccinated or immune to measles because they already had the disease. In the year 2000, WHO launched a campaign to attack measles globally with the ambitious target of getting 90% of all children vaccinated before their first birthday. WHO at that point wasn't even talking about "eradicating" measles; the goal was simply to "control" it.
The campaign has brought the estimated number of measles cases down from nearly a million a year globally in 2000 to just over 100,000 in 2016. But since then the number has increased dramatically.
"Globally we've made great strides with reducing [measles] incidents by 80 percent since the year 2000," Goodson says. "But we do go through these periods where there are resurgences of measles. It happens and it's related to people not being vaccinated."
Goodson says there are three basic scenarios globally in which measles ends up with fertile ground to spread.
Don't see the graphic above? Click here.
The first: countries that don't have the health care infrastructure to consistently carry out immunization campaigns. Depending on the formulation, the vaccine needs to be refrigerated '-- transported and stored at between -58 degrees Fahrenheit and 5 F or between -58 F and 46 F. Either temperature range can be a challenge in tropical countries with spotty electricity. The countries with the lowest vaccination rates also tend to rank as some of the least developed in the world: South Sudan, Chad, Haiti, the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The second scenario feeding the spread of measles is civil strife. This applies to places like Syria and Venezuela that used to have strong immunization programs. Those systems fell apart due to war or social collapse. And Goodson says this doesn't just affect that individual country.
"That outbreak in Venezuela has gone on to spread throughout the region of the Americas infecting countries like Brazil, Chile, Peru," he says. "I could go on and on. Most of the countries in the region have now been affected by that outbreak."
The third scenario fueling outbreaks globally is when parents choose not to have their kids vaccinated even though vaccines are widely available. These people don't trust that the vaccines are safe or think there are too many vaccines or don't trust the health-care system in general.
In 2017 the botched rollout of a dengue vaccine in the Philippines (which turned out to make dengue infections worse in people who'd never had dengue previously) ended up causing vaccination rates to drop for other diseases including measles.
Dr. Robin Nandy, UNICEF's chief of immunization, says in some places like Ukraine several of these scenarios are playing out at the same time.
"Ukraine is a complex situation," Nandy says.
From March 2018 to February 2019, Ukraine recorded 72,408 measles cases, the most of any country in the world.
"They've had trust issues," he says about high levels of skepticism toward vaccines in Ukraine. "Also they've had system breakdowns, vaccine shortages that undermine community confidence toward the health service."
In addition, fighting between the government and pro-Russia separatists has caused some parts of the country to be cut off from others, disrupting lots of government services including vaccine delivery.
In 2016 according to WHO only 42% of kids in Ukraine were vaccinated against measles.
"It is not one cause or one determinant that causes low vaccination rates," Nandy says. "Each country is different. The Philippines and Ukraine are very, very different scenarios and there are very different reasons why kids in these countries are not vaccinated."
Nandy says the measles virus is a "super-spreader." It can linger in the air in a room or an airplane for hours waiting to find a new host. If exposed to the virus, 90% of unvaccinated people will end up infected.
But Nandy emphasizes that there's a super-effective vaccine to combat this super-spreader virus. He says the challenge for global health officials is to understand the complex social, economic and structural reasons that are keeping that vaccine from reaching everyone who needs it.
Chuck and Nancy Cheer Donald Trump's $2 Trillion Infrastructure Plan
Tue, 30 Apr 2019 18:16
President Donald Trump agreed to spend $2 trillion on American infrastructure during a meeting with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.Details of the meeting were disclosed by both Pelosi and Schumer who spoke to reporters after the meeting. Schumer said that the three leaders agreed on the investment price tag of $2 trillion.
''It's about jobs, jobs, jobs,'' Pelosi said, describing the conversation as ''exciting.''
Schumer added that the three leaders planned to meet again in three weeks to discuss how to pay for the dramatic spending bill, as the Senate Majority leader punted it to the White House.
''Where does he propose that we can fund this?'' he asked. ''Because certainly in the Senate, if we don't have him on board it will be very hard to get the Senate to go along.''
Schumer described the plan as a ''big, bold bill'' that would represent a significant investment.
Both Pelosi and Schumer said that the project would include funding for roads, bridges, airports, and broadband internet infrastructure.
''This is a collaborative effort and we hope it will be very bipartisan,'' Pelosi said.
Other members of Congress present for the meeting included House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, House Majority Whip Rep. James Clyburn, as well as Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin.
Pelosi and Schumer added that they did not discuss the ongoing congressional investigations of Trump or impeachment, but they were confident that they could still pursue a deal with the president.
''I believe we can do both at once,'' Schumer said. ''We can come up with good ideas on infrastructure, and we want to hear his ideas on funding, that's going to be the crucial point '... the two are not mutually exclusive.''
Pelosi said the purpose of the meeting was not to criticize the president of the United States.
''I have a rule when I go to a meeting with many members, and that rule is, the purpose of the meeting is not to criticize the president of the United States,'' she said.
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi Killed - Wikipedia
Tue, 30 Apr 2019 15:34
AbÅ Bakr al-Baghdadi ( ; Arabic: أب٠بكر اÙبغدادي 'Ž; born Ibrahim Awad Ibrahim al-Badri,[6][7][8]إبراهيم عÙاد إبراهيم عÙي محمد اÙبدري اÙØ"امراØ...ي 'Ž, 1971) is the leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militant terrorist organisation. ISIL has been designated a terrorist organisation by the United Nations, European Union and many individual states, while al-Baghdadi is considered a Specially Designated Global Terrorist by the United States.[9] In June 2014, he was chosen by the majlis al-shura (consultative council or Shura council), representing the ahl al-hall wal-aqd[10] of the Islamic State as their caliph.[11]
Since 2016, the U.S. State Department has offered a reward of up to $25 million for information or intelligence leading to his capture or death.[11][12]
Names Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is the nom de guerre of an individual who[13] has had various names and epithets attributed to him, including Abu Du'a[9] (Ø£Ø¨Ù Ø¯Ø¹Ø§Ø Ê¾abÅ duÊāʾ),[14]Al-Shabah (the phantom or ghost),[15] and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi al-Husseini al-Hashimi al-Qurashi[14] (أب٠بكر اÙبغدادي اÙØ­Ø"يني اÙهاشمي اÙقرشي , ʾabÅ bakri l-baá¸dādÄ l-ḥusaynÄ l-hāÅimÄ l-quraÅÄ). He is known to his supporters as Amir al-Mu'minin, (Caliph), Caliph Abu Bakr, Caliph al-Baghdadi, or Caliph Ibrahim (خَÙِيفَØ(C)ُ إِبÙ'رَاهِيم ḵalÄfatu ʾibrāhÄm).[6] This is besides his previous epithet, which was Sheikh Baghdadi,[16]
Aliases used by al-Badri include the names Faerlan Ramsey', Abu Duaa and Dr. Ibrahim Awwad Ibrahim Ali al-Badri al-Samarrai (c.f. Samarra).[17] A reporter of the Washington Times states the so-called real name of al-Badri is Ibrahim al-Samarrai[18] The word Duaa in the English language signifies supplications, invocations or prayers.[19]
In regions formerly under ISIL control, various non-Islamic honorifics that recognize his rank used as a formal address recognizing him as a noble and a head of state that might precede or follow his name.[20]
The kunya[21]AbÅ, corresponds to the English, father of.[22] Having at sometime taken the name Abu Bakr, al-Baghdadi is thought to have adopted the name of the first caliph, Abu Bakr. During the times when Muhammad[23] might have suffered from illnesses Abu Bakr was the replacement for leading prayer, according to the Sunni tradition[24] of Islam.[25]
His surname literally means The one from Baghdad and denotes he comes from Baghdad city or Baghdad governorate in Iraq.[26] The birthname of Amir Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is Ibrahim Awad Ibrahim al-Badri (إبراهيم عÙاد إبراهيم اÙبدري ).[27]
Background Early life Al-Baghdadi (born Ibrahim Awwad Ibrahim Ali Muhammad al-Badri al-Samarrai, in Arabic إبراهيم عÙاد إبراهيم عÙي محمد اÙبدري اÙØ"امراØ...ي ) is believed to have been born near Samarra, Iraq, in 1971[28][29] as the third of four sons in the family. Al-Badri al-Samarrai was apparently born as a member of the tribal group known as Al-Bu Badri tribe. This tribe includes a number of sub-tribes, including the Radhawiyyah, Husseiniyyah, Adnaniyyah, and Quraysh.[15] Al-Baghdadi later claimed that he was descended from the Quraysh tribe and therefore from Muhammad, although there was no scientific evidence to back up his claim.
According to a short semi-authorized biography written by Abid Humam al-Athari his grandfather, Haj Ibrahim Ali al-Badri, apparently lived until the age of 94 and witnessed the US occupation of Iraq. His father, Sheikh Awwad, was active in the religious life of the community.[5] Awwad taught the teenaged Baghdadi and got his own start as a teacher, leading children in a neighbourhood chanting the Quran.[5] Both his father and grandfather were said to be farmers. His mother, whose name is not known, was described as a religious loving person and was notable in the al-Badri tribe. One of Baghdadi's uncles served in Saddam's security services, and one of his brothers became an officer in the Iraqi Army.[5] He has another brother, who probably died either during the Iran''Iraq War or the Gulf War while serving in the Iraqi military.[5]
According to an investigation by news outlet Al-Monitor based on an interview with Abu Ahmad, who claimed he has known al-Baghdadi since the 1990s, al-Baghdadi's brothers are named Shamsi, Jomaa and Ahmad.[32] Jomaa is said to be the closest and acts as his bodyguard. Shamsi and al-Baghdadi are said to have argued frequently about al-Baghdadi's decision to join the jihad. Shamsi was detained several times by US and Iraqi forces and suffers serious health problems.[32] Little is known about Ahmad other than he has had money problems.
Education Official education records from Samarra High School revealed that al-Baghdadi had to retake his high school certificate in 1991 and scored 481 out of 600 possible points. A few months later, he was deemed unfit for military service by the Iraqi military due to his nearsightedness. His high-school grades were not good enough for him to study his preferred subject (law, educational science and languages) at the University of Baghdad. Instead, it is believed that he attended the Islamic University of Baghdad, now known as Iraqi University, where he studied Islamic law and, later, the Quran.
In 2014, American and Iraqi intelligence analysts said that al-Baghdadi has a doctorate for Islamic studies in Quranic studies from Saddam University in Baghdad.[34][35] According to a biography that circulated on extremist internet forums in July 2013, he obtained a BA, MA, and PhD in Islamic studies from the Islamic University of Baghdad.[7][28][36][37] Another report says that he earned a doctorate in education from the University of Baghdad.[38]
Character In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, contemporaries of al-Baghdadi describe him in his youth as being shy, unimpressive, a religious scholar, and a man who eschewed violence. For more than a decade, until 2004, he lived in a room attached to a small local mosque in Tobchi, a poor neighbourhood on the western fringes of Baghdad, inhabited by both Shia and Sunni Muslims.[27]
Ahmed al-Dabash, the leader of the Islamic Army of Iraq and a contemporary of al-Baghdadi who fought against the allied invasion in 2003, gave a description of al-Baghdadi that matched that of the Tobchi residents:
I was with Baghdadi at the Islamic University. We studied the same course, but he wasn't a friend. He was quiet, and retiring. He spent time alone ... I used to know all the leaders (of the insurgency) personally. Zarqawi (the former leader of al-Qaeda) was closer than a brother to me ... But I didn't know Baghdadi. He was insignificant. He used to lead prayer in a mosque near my area. No one really noticed him.[27]
"They [the US and Iraqi Governments] know physically who this guy is, but his backstory is just myth", said Patrick Skinner of the Soufan Group, a security consulting firm. "He's managed this secret persona extremely well, and it's enhanced his group's prestige", said Patrick Johnston of the RAND Corporation, adding, "Young people are really attracted to that."[39] Being mostly unrecognized, even in his own organization, Baghdadi was known to be nicknamed at some time about 2015, as "the invisible sheikh".[40]
Islamic cleric Some believe that al-Baghdadi was already an Islamic revolutionary during the rule of Saddam Hussein, but other reports contradict this. He may have been a mosque cleric around the time of the US-led invasion in 2003.[41]
After the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, al-Baghdadi helped found the militant group Jamaat Jaysh Ahl al-Sunnah wa-l-Jamaah (JJASJ), in which he served as head of the sharia committee.[37] Al-Baghdadi and his group joined the Mujahideen Shura Council (MSC) in 2006, in which he served as a member of the MSC's sharia committee. Following the renaming of the MSC as the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI) in 2006, al-Baghdadi became the general supervisor of the ISI's sharia committee and a member of the group's senior consultative council.[37][42]
US internment Al-Baghdadi was arrested by US Forces-Iraq on 2 or 4 February 2004 near Fallujah while visiting the home of his old student friend, Nessayif Numan Nessayif, also on the American wanted list at the time[5] and studied together with al-Baghdadi at the Islamic University. He was detained at the Abu Ghraib and Camp Bucca detention centers under his name Ibrahim Awad Ibrahim al-Badry[34] as a "civilian internee". His detainee card gives his profession as administrative work (secretary). The US Department of Defense said al-Baghdadi was imprisoned at Compound 6, which was a medium security Sunni compound. On 8 December 2004,[5] he was released as a prisoner deemed "low level"[34] after being recommended for release by the Combined Review and Release Board.[37][46][47][48]
A number of newspapers and news channels have instead stated that al-Baghdadi was interned from 2005 to 2009. These reports originate from an interview with the former commander of Camp Bucca, Colonel Kenneth King,[49] and are not substantiated by Department of Defense records.[50][51][52] Al-Baghdadi was imprisoned at Camp Bucca along with other future leaders of ISIL.[53]
As leader of the Islamic State of Iraq The Islamic State of Iraq (ISI), also known as al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), was the Iraqi division of al-Qaeda. Al-Baghdadi was announced as leader of the ISI on 16 May 2010, following the death of his predecessor Abu Omar al-Baghdadi.[54]
As leader of the ISI, al-Baghdadi was responsible for masterminding large-scale operations such as the 28 August 2011 suicide bombing at the Umm al-Qura Mosque in Baghdad, which killed prominent Sunni lawmaker Khalid al-Fahdawi.[12] Between March and April 2011, the ISI claimed 23 attacks south of Baghdad, all allegedly carried out under al-Baghdadi's command.[12]
Following the death of the founder and head of al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden, on 2 May 2011, in Abbottabad, Pakistan, al-Baghdadi released a statement praising bin Laden and threatening violent retaliation for his death.[12] On 5 May 2011, al-Baghdadi claimed responsibility for an attack in Hilla, 100 kilometres (62 mi) south of Baghdad, that killed 24 policemen and wounded 72 others.[12][55]
On 15 August 2011, a wave of ISI suicide attacks beginning in Mosul resulted in 70 deaths.[12] Shortly thereafter, in retaliation for bin Laden's death, the ISI pledged on its website to carry out 100 attacks across Iraq featuring various methods of attack, including raids, suicide attacks, roadside bombs and small arms attacks in all cities and rural areas across the country.[12]
On 22 December 2011, a series of coordinated car bombings and IED (improvised explosive device) attacks struck over a dozen neighborhoods across Baghdad, killing at least 63 people and wounding 180. The assault came just days after the US completed its troop withdrawal from the country.[56] On 26 December, the ISI released a statement on jihadist internet forums claiming credit for the operation, stating that the targets of the Baghdad attack were "accurately surveyed and explored" and that the "operations were distributed between targeting security headquarters, military patrols and gatherings of the filthy ones of the al-Dajjal Army (the Army of the Anti-Christ in Arabic)", referring to the Mahdi Army of Muqtada al-Sadr.[56]
On 2 December 2012, Iraqi officials claimed that they had captured al-Baghdadi in Baghdad, following a two-month tracking operation. Officials claimed that they had also seized a list containing the names and locations of other al-Qaeda operatives.[57][58] However, this claim was rejected by the ISI.[59] In an interview with Al Jazeera on 7 December 2012, Iraq's Acting Interior Minister said that the arrested man was not al-Baghdadi, but rather a sectional commander in charge of an area stretching from the northern outskirts of Baghdad to Taji.[60]
Leader of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) Expansion into Syria and break with al-Qaeda Al-Baghdadi remained leader of the ISI until its formal expansion into Syria in 2013 when, in a statement on 8 April 2013, he announced the formation of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) '' alternatively translated from the Arabic as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).[61]
When announcing the formation of ISIL, al-Baghdadi stated that the Syrian Civil War jihadist faction, Jabhat al-Nusra '' also known as al-Nusra Front '' had been an extension of the ISI in Syria and was now to be merged with ISIL.[61][62] The leader of Jabhat al-Nusra, Abu Mohammad al-Julani, disputed this merging of the two groups and appealed to al-Qaeda emir Ayman al-Zawahiri, who issued a statement that ISIL should be abolished and that al-Baghdadi should confine his group's activities to Iraq.[63] Al-Baghdadi, however, dismissed al-Zawahiri's ruling and took control of a reported 80% of Jabhat al-Nusra's foreign fighters.[64] In January 2014, ISIL expelled Jabhat al-Nusra from the Syrian city of Raqqa, and in the same month clashes between the two in Syria's Deir ez-Zor Governorate killed hundreds of fighters and displaced tens of thousands of civilians.[65] In February 2014, al-Qaeda disavowed any relations with ISIL.[66]
According to several Western sources, al-Baghdadi and ISIL have received private financing from citizens in Saudi Arabia and Qatar and enlisted fighters through recruitment drives in Saudi Arabia in particular.[67][68][69][70]
Declaration of a caliphate On 29 June 2014, ISIL announced the establishment of a worldwide caliphate. Al-Baghdadi was named its caliph, to be known as "Caliph Ibrahim", and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant was renamed the Islamic State (IS).[8][71] There has been much debate, especially across the Muslim world, about the legitimacy of these moves.
The declaration of a caliphate was heavily criticized by Middle Eastern governments, other jihadist groups,[72] and Sunni Muslim theologians and historians. Qatar-based TV broadcaster and theologian Yusuf al-Qaradawi stated: "[The] declaration issued by the Islamic State is void under sharia and has dangerous consequences for the Sunnis in Iraq and for the revolt in Syria", adding that the title of caliph can "only be given by the entire Muslim nation", not by a single group.[73]
As a caliph, al-Baghdadi is required to hold to each dictate of the sunnah, whose precedence is set and recorded in the sahih hadiths. According to tradition, if a caliph fails to meet any of these obligations at any period, he is legally required to abdicate his position and the community has to appoint a new caliph, theoretically selected from throughout the caliphdom as being the most religiously and spiritually pious individual among them.[74] Due to the widespread rejection of his caliphhood, al-Baghdadi's status as caliph has been compared to that of other caliphs whose caliphship has been questioned.[75]
In an audio-taped message, al-Baghdadi announced that ISIL would march on "Rome" '' generally interpreted to mean the West '' in its quest to establish an Islamic State from the Middle East across Europe. He said that he would conquer both Rome and Spain in this endeavor[76][77] and urged Muslims across the world to immigrate to the new Islamic State.[76]
On 8 July 2014, ISIL launched its online magazine Dabiq. The title appeared to have been selected for its eschatological connections with the Islamic version of the End times, or Malahim.[78]
According to a report in October 2014, after suffering serious injuries, al-Baghdadi fled ISIL's capital city Raqqa due to the intense bombing campaign launched by Coalition forces, and sought refuge in the Iraqi city of Mosul, the largest city under ISIL control at the time.[79]
On 5 November 2014, al-Baghdadi sent a message to al-Qaeda Emir Ayman al-Zawahiri requesting him to swear allegiance to him as caliph, in return for a position in the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. The source of this information was a senior Taliban intelligence officer. Al-Zawahiri did not reply, and instead reassured the Taliban of his loyalty to Mullah Omar.[80]
On 7 November 2014, there were unconfirmed reports of al-Baghdadi's death after an airstrike in Mosul,[81] while other reports said that he was only wounded.[82][83]
On 20 January 2015, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that al-Baghdadi had been wounded in an airstrike in Al-Qa'im, an Iraqi border town held by ISIL at that time, and as a result withdrew to Syria.[84]
On 8 February 2015, after Jordan had conducted 56 airstrikes which reportedly killed 7,000 ISIL militants from 5''7 February, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was said to have fled from Raqqa to Mosul out of fear for his life.[85][86] However, after a Peshmerga source informed the US-led Coalition that al-Baghdadi was in Mosul, Coalition warplanes continuously bombed the locations where ISIL leaders were known to meet for 2 hours.[86]
On 14 August 2015, it was reported that he allegedly claimed, as his "wife", American hostage Kayla Mueller and raped her repeatedly.[87] Mueller was later alleged by an ISIL media account to have been killed in an airstrike by anti-ISIL forces in February 2015.[88] However, other reports cite that Mueller was murdered by ISIL.[89]
Sectarianism and theocracy Through his forename, al-Baghdadi is rumored to be styling himself after the first caliph, Abu Bakr, who led the "Rightly Guided" or Rashidun. According to Sunni tradition, Abu Bakr replaced Muhammad as prayer leader when he was suffering from illnesses.[24] Another feature of the original Rashidun was what some historians dub as the first Sunni''Shia discord during the Battle of Siffin. Some publishers have drawn a correlation between those ancient events and modern Salafizing and caliphizing[90] aims under al-Baghdadi's rule.[91][92]
Due to the relatively stationary nature of ISIL control, the elevation of religious clergy who engage in theocratization,[93] and the group's scripture-themed legal system, some analysts declared al-Baghdadi a theocrat and ISIL a theocracy.[94] Other indications of the decline of secularism were the destruction of secular institutions and its replacement with strict sharia law, and the gradual caliphization and Sunnification of regions under the group's control.[95] In July 2015, al-Baghdadi was described by a reporter as exhibiting a kinder and gentler side after he banned videos showing slaughter and execution.[96]
Communications A number of English translations of al-Baghdadi's verbal communications are available here (wikiquote).
First recorded public appearance of 4 July 2014 A video, made during the first Friday prayer service of Ramadan, shows al-Baghdadi speaking on a pulpit in the Arabic language to a congregation at the Great Mosque of al-Nuri in Mosul, northern Iraq. In the video, al-Baghdadi declares himself caliph of the Islamic State and calls on Muslims worldwide to support him.[97] A representative of the Iraqi government denied that the video was of al-Baghdadi, calling it a "farce".[73] However, both the BBC and the Associated Press quoted unnamed Iraqi officials as saying that the man in the video was believed to be al-Baghdadi.[98][99][100]
13 November 2014 ISIL released an audio-taped message, claiming it to be in the voice of al-Baghdadi. In the 17-minute recording, released via social media, al-Baghdadi says that ISIL fighters would never cease fighting "even if only one soldier remains". Al-Baghdadi urges supporters of the Islamic State to "erupt volcanoes of jihad" across the world. He calls for attacks to be mounted in Saudi Arabia, describing Saudi leaders as "the head of the snake," and also says that the US-led military campaign in Syria and Iraq was failing. He declares that ISIL would keep marching forward and would "break the borders" of Jordan and Lebanon as well as "free Palestine".[101]
14 May 2015 ISIL released an audio message which it claimed was from al-Baghdadi. In the recording, al-Baghdadi urges Muslims to immigrate to the Islamic State and join the fight in Iraq and Syria. He also condemns the Saudi involvement in Yemen, and claims that the conflict will lead to the end of the Saudi royal family's rule. He further claims that Islam was never a religion of peace but instead is "the religion of fighting."[102]
26 December 2015 An audio message of approximately 23 minutes duration was released. Al-Baghdadi warns Western nations to not interfere further in their matters and threatens the future establishment of ISIL in Israel. He also celebrates the defeat of "crusaders" and "Jews" in Iraq and Afghanistan.[103]
2 November 2016 An audio message was released. In it, al-Baghdadi discusses the need for ISIL to defend their forces within Mosul and encourages ISIL forces to persecute Shia Muslims and the Alawites. He also states plans to begin fighting in Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and further away, and argues in favour of using martyrdom in Libya to spread support.[104][105]
28 September 2017 A 46-minute audio recording was released through the ISIL-owned media organization Al Furqan in which al-Baghdadi accuses the United States of wilting in the face of Russia and lacking "the will to fight."[106][107] Al-Baghdadi refers to recent events including North Korean threats against Japan and the United States and the recapture of Mosul by U.S. backed Iraqi forces over two months earlier, likely to dispel rumours of his death.[108]
Throughout, al-Baghdadi calls for further attacks in the West and, more specifically, for attacks on Western media, saying: "Oh soldiers of Islam in every location, increase blow after blow, and make the media centers of the infidels, from where they wage their intellectual wars, among the targets."[108]
23 August 2018 An audio message is released, almost a year after his previous communication. Al-Baghdadi calls on his followers to "persevere" despite heavy losses in Iraq and Syria and calls for more attacks around the world. He also comments on recent events, suggesting that the audio message was recorded recently. Many experts believed that it was him as the voice resembled that heard in his other audio messages.[109]
29 April 2019 On 29 April 2019, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was shown in a video released by an Islamic State media group. al-Baghdadi was shown in the video with an assault rifle, mentions recent events such as the 2019 Sri Lankan bombings as well as the Battle of Baghuz Fawqani.[110]
Listed as a global terrorist Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi is designated by the United States Department of State as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist.[9] The U.S. Department of State's Rewards for Justice Program identifies Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as a senior leader of the terrorist organization Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), and as being "responsible for the deaths of thousands of civilians in the Middle East, including the brutal murder of numerous civilian hostages from Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States".[9] Authorities within the United States have also accused al-Baghdadi of kidnapping, enslaving, and repeatedly raping an American, Kayla Mueller, who ISIL later alleged was killed in a Jordanian airstrike but is believed to have been executed by ISIL.[88]
Suspected location Al-Baghdadi is the top target in the war against ISIL. U.S. Intelligence believed that he was based in Raqqa and that he kept a low profile, hiding among the civilian population. Until summer 2017, ISIL was believed to be headquartered in a series of buildings in Raqqa, but the proximity of civilians made targeting the headquarters off limits under U.S. rules of engagement.[111] Photos of a possible public appearance in a Fallujah mosque surfaced in February 2016.[112]
Haider al-Abadi was reported (Ensor, 7 February 2017) to have stated he knew of the location of al-Baghdadi. Colonel John Dorrian, of the Combined Joint Task Force, stated he was aware of al-Baghdadi having chosen to sleep in a suicide vest, should it be that he might find himself facing capture.[113]
In 2018, Iraqi intelligence officials and a number of experts believed that al-Baghdadi was hiding in ISIL's then-de facto capital of Hajin, in ISIL's Middle Euphrates Valley Pocket in Syria. Even though no direct evidence has yet been found that al-Baghdadi himself was present in the city, experts noted that the remaining ISIL leadership was concentrated in Hajin, and that ISIL was persistently launching a strenuous defense.[114] Hajin was captured by the Syrian Democratic Forces on 14 December 2018, but his whereabouts were still unknown.[115]
On 1 February 2019, the chief of the Intelligence Office of Iraq's Interior Ministry, Abu Ali Al-Basri, stated that al-Baghdadi never stays in one place at a time as he continues to sneak back-and-forth across the Iraq-Syria border. ''We have information that he moved from Syria and entered Iraq through Anbar and then Salaheddine,'' Al-Basri said.[116] Additionally, Fadhel Abu Rageef, a Baghdad-based political and security analyst, told Fox News that Baghdadi maneuvers without convoys or any attention-drawing security figures, and is instead only flanked by a couple of trusted loyalists '' and neither he nor his associates have mobile phones or detectable devices. ''We think Baghdadi is in the Syrian desert at-large, wearing modern clothes, no mobiles, a simple car, and just a driver. Anyone around him is dressed in modern clothes,'' Rageef said.[117]
Reports of death, bodily harm, and arrest According to media reports, al-Baghdadi was wounded on 18 March 2015 during a coalition airstrike on the al-Baaj District, in the Nineveh Governorate, near the Syrian border. His wounds were apparently so serious that the top ISIL leaders had a meeting to discuss who would replace him if he died. According to reports, by 22 April al-Baghdadi had not yet recovered enough from his injuries to resume daily control of ISIL.[118] The U.S. Department of Defense said that al-Baghdadi had not been the target of the airstrikes, and "we have no reason to believe it was Baghdadi."[119] On 22 April 2015, Iraqi government sources reported that Abu Ala al-Afri, the self-proclaimed caliph's deputy and a former Iraqi physics teacher, had been installed as the stand-in leader while Baghdadi recuperated from his injuries.[120]
April 2015: The Guardian reported that al-Baghdadi was recovering from the severe injuries which he had received during the airstrike on 18 March 2015, in a part of Mosul. It was also reported that a spinal injury which had left him paralyzed meant that he might never be able to fully resume direct command of ISIL.[121] By 13 May, ISIL fighters had warned they would retaliate for al-Baghdadi's injury, which the Iraqi Defense Ministry believed would be carried out through attacks in Europe.[122]20 July 2015: The New York Times wrote that rumors that al-Baghdadi had been killed or injured earlier in the year had been "dispelled".[123]11 October 2015: the Iraqi air force claimed to have bombed al-Baghdadi's convoy in the western Anbar province close to the Syrian border while he was heading to Al-Karābilah to attend an ISIL meeting, the location of which was also said to be bombed. His fate was not immediately confirmed.[124] There was some subsequent speculation that he may not have been present in the convoy at all.[125]9 June 2016: Iraqi State TV claimed that al-Baghdadi had been wounded in a U.S. airstrike in Northern Iraq. Coalition spokesmen said they could not confirm the reports.[126]14 June 2016: several Middle Eastern media outlets claimed that al-Baghdadi had been killed in a U.S. airstrike in Raqqa on 12 June. Coalition spokesmen said they could not confirm the reports.[127][128]The Independent however, later stated that these reports of Baghdadi's death were based on a digitally altered image claiming to be a media statement from ISIL.[129]3 October 2016: Various media outlets claimed that al-Baghdadi and 3 senior ISIL leaders were poisoned by an assassin but still alive.[130]18 April 2017: some media reported that al-Baghdadi was arrested in Syria. Citing the European Department for Security and Information (DESI), several media outlets reported that al-Baghdadi was apprehended by Syrian and Russian joint forces.[131][132][133] However, the Russian Foreign Ministry told Rudaw they did not have knowledge of the news and were not aware of his arrest.[134]11 June 2017: Syrian state TV claimed al-Baghdadi had been killed in the artillery strike that was backed by the U.S.[135]16 June 2017: Russian media reported that al-Baghdadi might have been killed in a Russian air strike near Raqqa, Syria on 28 May[136][137] along with 30 mid-level ISIL leaders and 300 other fighters. The Russian claims to have killed 330 ISIL fighters including Baghdadi did not match reports from Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently and Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), which found 17 or 18 civilian deaths and possibly 10 ISIL fighter deaths from an airstrike against buses south of Raqqa on May 28.[138] The United States cast doubt on the claim, noting a lack of independent evidence.[139][140]23 June 2017: Russian politician Viktor Ozerov stated that al-Baghdadi's death was almost "100% certain."[141] Iran later claimed to confirm Russia's claim that Al-Baghdadi was killed in an airstrike.[142]29 June 2017: The Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), the Iranian government's official media, published an article quoting a representative for Iranian leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to the Quds Force, stating that al-Baghdadi was "definitely dead". IRNA removed this quotation in an updated version of this article.[143]11 July 2017: Iraqi news agency Al Sumaria stated on its website that ISIL had circulated a brief statement in Tal Afar that Baghdadi was dead.[144] The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights claimed it had "confirmed information" of his death.[145] The U.S. Department of Defense stated it was trying to confirm the new reports of his death.[146] The Kurdish counter-terrorism official Lahur Talabany told Reuters he was "99 percent" sure Baghdadi was alive and hiding in Raqqa.[147] The search was reported to still be ongoing by The Guardian in January 2018.[148]28 July 2017: Drone expert and former intelligence soldier Brett Velicovich, described multiple covert missions[149] in which his special operations team led the hunt for al-Baghdadi immediately after they killed his predecessor, Abu Umar al-Baghdadi in April 2011. One of those missions described an opportunity to capture al-Baghdadi when he was discovered via drone meeting ISIL associates in downtown Baghdad; a mission that was ultimately delayed due to State Department rules of engagement at the time.[150][151] Velicovich was further questioned by Fox News about the reports of al-Baghdadi's death after a Russian government claim to have killed him in Syria, during which Velicovich stated that he didn't believe the claims and if he was dead the U.S. Government would have announced it.[152]23 August 2018: Al-Furqan, an ISIL media outlet, released an audio statement "Glad Tidings to the Steadfast" on the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha (Feast of Sacrifice). That statement was made by the organization's leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, ending speculation about his purported death.[153]29 April 2019: A video emerged of Baghdadi on ISIS's media network Al Furqan praising the perpetrators of the 2019 Sri Lanka Easter bombings.[154]Personal life Family Asma Fawzi Mohammed al-Dulaimi and Israa Rajab Mahal A-Qaisi Reuters, quoting tribal sources in Iraq, reports Baghdadi has three wives, two Iraqis and one Syrian.[155] The Iraqi Interior Ministry has said that al-Baghdadi has two wives, Asma Fawzi Mohammed al-Dulaimi and Israa Rajab Mahal A-Qaisi. However, in 2016 Fox News reported, based on local media, that Saja al-Dulaimi is al-Baghdadi's most powerful wife.[156]
Diane Kruger In April 2015, multiple media reports emerged claiming that Baghdadi had married a German teenager on 31 March.[157] On 28 February 2016, Iraqi media reported that she had left ISIL and had fled Iraq along with two other women. Her name was identified as Diane Kruger.[158]
A report of Israel National News stated Diane Kruger was married during October 2015 somewhere within the province of Ninawa.[159]
Sujidah al-Dulaimi According to many sources, Sujidah al-Dulaimi,[160] in other sources, named instead as Saja,[161] is or was al-Baghdadi's wife. It was reported the couple had allegedly met and fallen in love online.[160] Sujidah al-Dulaimi was arrested in Syria in late 2013 or early 2014, and was released from a Syrian jail in March 2014 as part of a prisoner swap involving 150 women, in exchange for 13 nuns taken captive by al-Qaeda-linked militants. Also released in March were her two sons and her younger brother.[162] The Iraqi Interior Ministry has said, "There is no wife named Saja al-Dulaimi".[156]
Al-Dulaimi's family allegedly all adhere to ISIL's ideology. Her father, Ibrahim Dulaimi, a so-called ISIL emir in Syria, was reportedly killed in September 2013 during an operation against the Syrian Army in Deir Attiyeh. Her sister, Duaa, was allegedly behind a suicide attack that targeted a Kurdish gathering in Erbil.[163] The Iraq Interior Ministry has said that her brother is facing execution in Iraq for a series of bombings in southern Iraq.[161][164] The Iraq government, however, said that al-Dulaimi is the daughter of an active member of al-Qaeda's affiliate in Syria, al-Nusra Front.[165]
In late November 2014, al-Dulaimi was arrested and held for questioning by Lebanese authorities, along with two sons and a young daughter. They were traveling on false documents.[155] The children were held in a care center while al-Dulaimi was interrogated.[165]
The capture was a joint intelligence operation by Lebanon, Syria and Iraq, with the US assisting Iraq. Al-Dulaimi's potential intelligence value is unknown. An unnamed intelligence source told The New York Times that during the Iraq war, when the Americans captured a wife of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq, "We got little out of her, and when we sent her back, Zarqawi killed her."[161] As of December 2014[update], al-Baghdadi's family members were seen by the Lebanese authorities as potential bargaining chips in prisoner exchanges.[166]
In the clearest explanation yet of al-Dulaimi's connection to al-Baghdadi, Lebanese Interior Minister Nohad Machnouk told Lebanon's MTV channel that "Dulaimi is not Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's wife currently. She has been married three times: first to a man from the former Iraqi regime, with whom she had two sons."[165] Other sources identify her first husband as Fallah Ismail Jassem, a member of the Rashideen Army, who was killed in a battle with the Iraqi Army in 2010.[162][167][168] Machnouk continued, "Six years ago she married Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi for three months, and she had a daughter with him. Now, she is married to a Palestinian and she is pregnant with his child." The Minister added, "We conducted DNA tests on her and the daughter, which showed she was the mother of the girl, and that the girl is [Baghdadi's] daughter, based on DNA from Baghdadi from Iraq."[165][169]
Al-Monitor reported a Lebanese security source as saying that al-Dulaimi had been under scrutiny since early 2014. He said that Jabhat al-Nusra "had insisted back in March on including her in the swap that ended the kidnapping of the Maaloula nuns. The negotiators said on their behalf that she was very important, and they were ready to cancel the whole deal for her sake". He added, "It was later revealed by Abu Malik al-Talli, one of al-Nusra's leaders, that she was Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's wife."[170]
On 9 December 2014, al-Dulaimi and her current Palestinian husband, Kamal Khalaf, were formally arrested after the Lebanese Military Court issued warrants and filed charges for belonging to a terrorist group, holding contacts with terrorist organizations, and planning to carry out terrorist acts.[171] In December 2015, the Lebanese government exchanged al-Dulaimi and her daughter for Lebanese soldiers being held by al-Qaeda affiliate al-Nusra Front in a prisoner swap deal.[172]
Children According to a reporter for The Guardian, al-Baghdadi married in Iraq around the year 2000 after finishing his doctorate. The son of this marriage was 11 years old in 2014.[27]
A four- to six-year-old girl who was detained in Lebanon in 2014 with Saja al-Dulaimi is allegedly al-Baghdadi's daughter.[161][165]
Al-Baghdadi's son Hudhayfah al-Badri was killed in action in 2018 during the Syrian Civil War while taking part in an Inghimasi-style attack on the Syrian Army and Russian forces in Homs Governorate.[173]
Extended family After Saja al-Dulaimi's arrest in 2014, a connection was made to her sister, Duaa Amid Ibrahim (aged 24 in 2016), who was arrested with a suicide vest entering Erbil in about 2011. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's sister-in-law remains in a Kurdish jail.[156]
The Head of the Khalidiya Council in Anbar Province reported in February 2016: "Today, Iraqi Air Force conducted an airstrike on the so-called ISIL sharia court in Albu Bali area in Khalidiya Island east of Ramadi. The strike resulted in the death of Abu Ahmed al-Samarrai, the nephew of the ISIL leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, along with eight of his companions, as well as Adel al-Bilawi, the Military Commander of Albu Bali area."[174]
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"ISIS Leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi Sexually Abused American Hostage Kayla Mueller, Officials Say". Washington, D.C.: ABC News . Retrieved 14 August 2015 . The information about al-Baghdadi's extraordinary direct role in the captivity and physical abuse of Kayla Mueller was drawn from, among many sources, the U.S. debriefings of at least two Yazidi teenage girls, ages 16 and 18, held as sex slaves in the Sayyaf compound as well as from the interrogation of Abu Sayyaf's wife Umm Sayyaf, who was captured in the U.S. raid, the officials told ABC News. ^ a b ABC News: "Islamic State Leader Raped American Hostage, US Finds" By Ken Dilanian 14 August 2015 ^ "Kayla Mueller murdered by ISIS, says Yazidi former sex slave". BBC News. ^ James L. Gelvin, The Arab Uprisings: What Everyone Needs to Know, 2015, p. 138. ^ Jay Sekulow, Rise of ISIS: A Threat We Can't Ignore, 2014, p. 38 ^ Larbi Sadiki, Routledge Handbook of the Arab Spring, 2014, p. 153. ^ Buck, Christopher. 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Uber's enormous, vague IPO prospectus is an outrage | Financial Times
Tue, 30 Apr 2019 15:05
Last week, Uber told investors that it hopes to raise $9.5 to $10bn in its upcoming initial public offering at a price that could value the ride-hailing company at more than $90bn.
The 431-page updated prospectus was filled with lawyerly phrases and volumes of information on potential risks, but it left many serious professional investors wondering why a company that loses $3bn annually would be worth that much. The information that financial analysts would need simply wasn't in there.
A solicitation for so much money with so little information is an outrage, and a sign that something of central importance has gone wrong in US public markets in recent years.
It wasn't always like this. The prospectus for Microsoft's landmark 1986 IPO was 52 pages and provided plenty of clarity about Microsoft's business and how to value it.
Compare Uber's IPO to Microsoft's and it's easy to see why fast-growing, innovative companies and their big-money backers prefer to find each other in private deals rather than on stock exchanges.
Despite voluminous ''disclosure'', today's public investor often receives much less concrete information than their private counterparts. Obsolete information systems and regulations have become an obstacle to the very transparency they were designed decades ago to enforce.
Here's a small example: the US government categorises Uber as a ''Prepackaged Software'' company, just like Microsoft. Yet Uber's arch-rival in app-based transport, Lyft, is considered a provider of ''Business Services, not elsewhere classified''.
That means the government's classification system thinks Uber competes with Microsoft, but not Lyft, and none of them are considered ''transportation''.
That's unhelpful. But investors are smart and may not care if Uber sells software or services or comic books if the financials make sense.
And here we hit a wall. When historical financial statements don't show a path to profitability '-- as Uber's absolutely don't '-- investors need either reasonable projections of future profitability, or detailed historical operating metrics so they can make their own forecasts.
Private investors demand and get these numbers from the companies they invest in, but when it comes to the public the answer is: ''Sorry. Disclosure regulations and practices won't have it''.
Analysts would like to do what we do at my company Triton, which seeks to understand companies by identifying their key metrics and using them to build models to forecast their futures. Predicting Uber's future revenue and profits is far from rocket science with the right metrics, but let's have a look.
Uber's ride-sharing marketplace matches passengers to drivers by the millions. How many drivers have there been over time? Undisclosed.
Uber operates a large meal-delivery business in addition to ride-sharing. What was the breakdown between passenger rides and restaurant deliveries? Undisclosed.
Uber claims its future growth depends on driverless cars, freight shipments, and renting scooters and bikes. The key details of these new businesses? Undisclosed.
What's maddening is that we see evidence of relevant metrics embedded like shrapnel throughout the voluminous prose of Uber's filing. It provides the number of drivers for only one period, the number of markets served for another, hints of ride-sharing trip values for others, but the data are not complete or comparable. It is not possible for potential investors to see trends over time and model them, as all of Uber's existing big investors would surely have done.
So why is this a problem for Uber now when it wasn't for Microsoft?
Both companies were 10 years old when they sought an IPO, with similar growth rates (revenues were rising 40 per cent year on year).
However, Microsoft provided 4.5 years of financials in its prospectus showing healthy profits in every year, and a growing operating margin that had expanded to 33 per cent. By contrast Uber lost $3bn in 2018 and its losses appear to be growing.
You didn't need a model to see Microsoft's path to profitability. It had already arrived.
But now that tech companies like Uber seek to become huge before they (maybe) become profitable, IPO investors are in a bind. They have to rely on the prospectus to explain how the company is going to make money, and right now they are flying blind despite the many pages of platitudes and gobbledegook that Uber's underwriters have provided.
Even by the woeful recent standard of high page-counts and numbing words-to-numbers ratios, Uber's prospectus stands out. But hey, if you're trying to raise billions for popular but profitless companies on the most favourable terms, maybe these information restrictions aren't so terrible. ''I'd love to share those numbers but, you know, regulations. What can you do?'' say the company and its underwriters.
Don't take this to mean that Uber's proposition conclusively doesn't make sense '-- smart investors who do have all the data have already put billions into the company. Then again, some of them are cashing out.
Public investors large and small would certainly benefit if they could get their simple and reasonable questions answered before handing over the better part of $10bn. Uber grandly claims ''our mission is to ignite opportunity by setting the world in motion''.
The fuel to set capital in motion '-- in the right directions '-- is more and better information.
The writer is co-founder and chief executive of Triton Research, which provides data and analysis to technology investors
About '-- Linux Show Player 0.5 documentation
Tue, 30 Apr 2019 14:09
Linux Show Player (or LiSP for short) is a free cue player designed forsound-playback in stage productions. The goal of the project is to provide acomplete playback software for musical plays, theater shows and similar.
Features¶Here a list of the main functionality offered by LiSP:
Cart layout (buttons matrix) suited for touchscreensList layout suited for keyboardsLarge media-format support thanks to GStreamerRealtime sound effects: equalization, pitch shift, speed control, compression, '...Peak and ReplayGain normalizationUndo/Redo changesRemote control over network, between two or more sessionsArtNet Timecode (via OLA)MIDI support for cue triggeringMIDI cues (send MIDI messages)Multi-language support (see transifex for a list of supported languages)Project Status¶Currently only GNU/Linux systems are supported.
The application is quite stable, is already been used for multiple performancesby different people, but, due to the heterogeneous nature of the GNU/Linux ecosystem,my suggestion is to test it in a ''working'' environment to detect possible problemswith some configuration.
Traitor Guaido Calls For Military Coup to Topple Guaido - Freedoms Phoenix
Tue, 30 Apr 2019 13:59
Traitor Guaido Calls for Military Coup to Topple Maduro
by Stephen Lendman ( - Home - Stephen Lendman )
On Tuesday, a video of imposter Guaido and others in military attire, along with coup plotter Leopoldo Lopez, violating his house arrest by appearing in public, called for a military coup to topple President Maduro.
Bellowing "(t)he moment is now," Guaido claimed (a likely combination of Venezuelan military deserters, along with US recruited Colombian and other paramilitary thugs) will go to the streets to "protect Venezuela's Constitution" '-- anti-government actions flagrantly flouting it.
Maduro confirmed that a coup attempt is underway, small numbers of militants involved with other anti-government elements.
Venezuelan Information Minister Jorge Rodriguez tweeted the following, translated from Spanish to English, saying:
"We inform the people of Venezuela that we are currently confronting and deactivating a small group of traitorous military personnel who positioned themselves in the Altamira Distributor to promote a coup d'etat against the Constitution and the peace of the Republic."
He called on Venezuela's military and civilians to be on "high alert," authorities acting to thwart the US-orchestrated coup attempt.
Defense Minister Vladimir Lopez denounced what's going on, accusing Guaido of aiming to "fill the country with violence," affirming the loyalty of Venezuela's military to President Maduro, stressing the situation at all military bases is normal, adding:
The army "stands firm in defense of the National Constitution and the legitimate authorities. Military units remain loyal to their commanders" and the republic.
Operating as the Trump regime's designated puppet/usurper in waiting, political nobody Guaido is guilty of sedition and/or treason, a traitor to his country and people for special benefits no doubt received from DLT hardliners, likely including large amounts of cash offshore in his name.
Venezuela's military and vast majority of its ordinary people oppose the Trump regime's aim to end Bolivarian social democracy.
On nationwide TV, head of Venezuela's National Constituent Assembly Diosdado Cabello called on government supporters to turn out en masse at the presidential palace to defend Bolivarian social democracy against the US plot to topple it.
AP News said Maduro's government is "putting down a small coup attempt by military 'traitors' working with right-wing opponents."
Bolivian President Evo Morales tweeted the following:
"We strongly condemn the coup attempt in #Venezuela, by the right wing that is submissive to foreign interests," adding:
"The United States with its interference and promoting coups seeks to provoke violence and death in #Venezuela."
"It does not care about human losses, only its interests. We must be vigilant and united so that the coup plotters never return to our region."
This is a developing story. More on it in a follow-up report as further information becomes available.
A Final Comment
It's unclear if what's going on is a Trump regime plot to have Guaido and his henchmen arrested, giving its hardliners a pretext for possible military intervention.
Developments as they unfold bear close watching. Key is preserving and protecting Bolivarian social democracy.
VISIT MY NEW WEB SITE: ( Home - Stephen Lendman ). Contact at
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
The Apparent Surge in America's Rate of Economic Growth (GDP): The Facts Behind the Hype - Global ResearchGlobal Research - Centre for Research on Globalization
Tue, 30 Apr 2019 13:52
Last week's US GDP for the 1st quarter 2019 preliminary report (2 more revisions coming) registered a surprising 3.2% annual growth rate. It was forecast by all the major US bank research departments and independent macroeconomic forecasters to come in well below 2%. Some banks forecast as low as 1.1%. So why the big difference?
One reason may be the problems with government data collection in the first quarter with the government shutdown that threw data collection into a turmoil. First preliminary issue of GDP stats are typically adjusted significantly in the second revision, coming in future weeks. (The third revision, months later, often is little changed).
There are many problems with GDP accuracy reflecting the real trends and real GDP that many economists have discussed at length elsewhere. My major critique is the redefinition in 2013 that added at least 0.3% (and $500b a year) to GDP totals by simply redefining what constituted investment. Another chronic problem is how the price index, the GDP Deflator as it's called, grossly underestimates inflation and thus the price adjustment to get the 3.2% 'real' GDP figure reported. In this latest report, the Deflator estimated inflation of only 1.9%. If actual inflation were higher, which it is, the 3.2% would be much lower, which it should. There are many other problems with GDP, such as the government including in their calculation totals the 'rent' that 50 million homeowners with mortgages reputedly 'pay to themselves'.
Apart from these definitional issues and data collection problems in the first quarter, underlying the 3.2% are some red flags revealing that the 3.2% is the consequence of temporary factors, like Trump's trade war, which is about to come to an end next month with the conclusion of the US-China trade negotiations. How does the trade war boost GDP temporarily?
Source: US Bureau of Economic Analysis
Two ways at least. First, it pushes corporations to build up inventories artificially to get the cost of materials and semi-finished goods before the tariffs begin to hit. Second, trade disputes initially result in lower imports while negotiations are underway. In the latest US GDP analysis reported last week, lower imports resulted in what's called higher 'net exports' (i.e. the difference between imports and exports). Net exports contribute to GDP. The US economy could be slowing in terms of output and exports, but if imports decline faster it appears that 'net exports' are rising and therefore so too is GDP from trade.
Looking behind the 1st quarter numbers it is clear that the 3.2% is largely due to excessive rising business inventories and rising net exports contributions to GDP.
Net exports contributed 1.03% to the 3.2% and inventories another 0.65% to the 3.2%. That is, over half. Even the Wall St. Journal reported that without these temporary contributions (both will abate in future months sharply), US GDP in the quarter would have been only 1.3%. (And less if adjusted more accurately for inflation and if the 2013 phony redefinitions were also 'backed out').
US GDP in reality probably grew around the 1.1% forecasted by the research departments of the big US banks.
This analysis is supported by the fact that around 75% of the US economy and GDP is due to business investment and household consumption typically. And both consumption and investment are by far the primary sources of GDP. (The rest is from government spending and 'net exports).
Consumer spending (68% of GDP) rose only by 1.2% last quarter and thereby contributed only 0.82% of the 3.2%. That's only one fourth of the 3.2%, when consumption, given its size in the economy, should contribute 68%!
Durable manufactured goods collapsed by -5.3% and autos sales are in freefall. And all this during tax refund season which otherwise boosts spending. (Thus confirming middle class refunds due to Trump tax cuts have been sharply reduced due to Trump's 2018 tax act).
Similarly private business investment contributed only a tepid 0.27% of the 3.2%, well below its average for GDP share.
Business investment is composed of building structures (including housing), private equipment, software and the nebulously defined 'intellectual property', and of course the business inventories previously mentioned. The structures and equipment categories are by far the largest categories of business investment. However, in the first quarter 2019, structures declined by -0.8%, housing by -2.8% and equipment investment rose only a statistically insignificant 0.2%.
This poor contribution of business investment contributing only 2.7% to GDP, when the long term historical average is about 8-10% normally, is all the more interesting given that Trump projected a 30% boost to GDP is his business-investor-multinational corporate heavy 2018 tax cuts were passed. 2.7% is a long way off 30%! The tax cuts for business didn't flow into real investment, in other words. (They went instead into stock buybacks, dividend payments, and mergers and acquisitions of competitors). And they compressed household consumer spending to boot.
Since Trump's tax cuts, there's been virtually no increase in the rate of Gross private domestic investment in the US. It's held steady at around 5% of GDP on average since mid-2017. Within that 5%, housing and business equipment contributions have been falling, while IP (hard to estimate) and inventories have been rising.
In short, both Consumer spending and core business investment contributions to US GDP have been slowing, and that's true within the recent 1st quarter US 3.2% GDP.
In other words, 1st quarter GDP rose due to the short term, and temporary contributions to inventories and net exports''both driven artificially by Trump's trade wars.
The only other major contribution to first quarter GDP is, of course, Trump war spending which rose by 4.1% in 1st quarter GDP. (Conversely, nondefense spending was reduced -5.9% in the first quarter GDP).
Going forward in 2019, no doubt war spending will continue to increase, but business inventories and household consumption will continue to weaken. Meanwhile, business investment on structures, housing, and equipment and household consumption will continue to remain weak at best.
Trump is betting on his 2020 re-election and preventing the next recession now knocking at the US and global economy door. He will keep defense spending growing by hundreds of billions of dollars. He'll hope that concluding his trade wars will give the economy a temporary boost. And he'll up the pressure on the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates before year end.
Summing up, beneath the surface of the US economy the major categories of US GDP''business structures, housing, business equipment, and household consumer spending (especially on durables and autos)''will continue to weaken. Whether war spending, the Fed, and trade deals can offset these more fundamental weakening forces remains to be seen.
Bottom line, therefore, the 3.2% GDP is no harbinger of a growing economy. Quite the contrary. It is artificial and due to temporary forces that are likely about to change. It all depends on further war spending, browbeating the Fed into further submission to lower rates, and what happens with the trade negotiations.
Note to readers: please click the share buttons below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.
Jack is author of the forthcoming book, 'The Scourge of Neoliberalism: US Economic Policy from Reagan to Trump', Clarity Press, Summer 2019, and 'Alexander Hamilton and the Origins of the Fed', Lexington Books, March 2019. He blogs at, tweets at @drjackrasmus, and hosts the weekly radio show, Alternative Visions, on the Progressive Radio Network on Fridays, 2pm eastern time.
Cities Are Tracking Everyone's Cell Phone Signal | From the Trenches World ReportFrom the Trenches World Report
Tue, 30 Apr 2019 13:50
If ever you needed a reason to turn off your cellphone, then maybe this story this will convince you.
The Palm Beach Post recently revealed how the City of Palm Beach, Florida wants to track everyone's cellphones.
''The idea is to analyze where downtown visitors go '-- what shops, what public places, and at what time '-- and how they get there. The city could use it to study traffic flow and gauge the impact of changes it makes to the streetscape, while merchants could use the data to strategize to improve business.''
Big Brother and businesses are frothing at their mouths in anticipation of tracking everyone.
According to Jason Hallstrom, professor in FAU's Department of Computer and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, 'the research is possible because 80 percent of the U.S. population owns network-connected smartphones, whose signal can be tracked with precision.'
Leaving your cellphone on all the time, allows corporations and Big Brother to know your exactly who and where you are.
''Whether you use the device or not, it is constantly chattering,'' sending out a ''hello beacon which says, 'I would like to connect to a network.' Within that message is a unique code, etched in the silicon. It is constantly being broadcast as you walk around with that device,'' Hallstrom said.
A recent Bloomberg investigation, revealed that retailers are using location analytics, hidden in apps to determine where you are and where you sleep.
''They're buying mobile-phone data that can track where and for how long people shop, eat, see movies '-- and where they go before and after. It allows them to determine personal details that paint a picture of who consumers are.''
A NY Times article titled ''Your Apps Know Where You Were Last Night, and They're Not Keeping It Secret'', revealed that tracking our cell phones is a $21 billion dollar industry.
Palm Beach law enforcement has also been secretly using Stingray devices to intercept everyone's phone calls and text messages for years. So it really should not surprise anyone to find out that cities want to do the same.
What is surprising though, is finding out that the Knight Foundation is giving Palm Beach $300,000 to track everyone.
The Knight Foundation which claims to ''believe in freedom of expression and in the values expressed in the First Amendment'', apparently does not think that tracking everyone's cell phones is un-American.
But tracking everyone's cellphone signals, apparently fits right into the Knight Foundation's goal of 'capitalizing on communities.'
Unfortunately, spying on everyone's cell phone signal is not limited to Florida.
Cities like Loveland, Colorado, Seattle, Washington and Mesa, Arizona have been tracking people's cellphones for years. Two years ago, Miami's Department of Public Works considered purchasing WiFi readers and surveillance cameras to capture speeders.
Big Brother's appetite for spying on everyone is now focused on our children.
Sheriff's encourage parents to spy on their kid's social media
The Martin County Sheriff's office has a course designed to encourage parents to spy on their kid's social media.
''We are here tonight to find out what your children are doing online,'' said Corporal Brian Broughton with the Martin County Sheriff's Office.
An article in the South Florida South Sentinel reveals, that Palm Beach law enforcement has been secretly using GeoFeedia to spy on kid's social media accounts for years.
How do we know that law enforcement lies about spying on our cell phones and social media accounts?
Because law enforcement has turned the art of obfuscation into an art form, as attorney Stephanie Lacambra of the EFF Foundation explained.
''There's nothing that prevents law enforcement from lying,'' she said. ''They are protected, they can lie to your face and most people don't know or expect that.''
This story, shows that cities and law enforcement are no longer hiding their desire to spy on everyone and that is frightening.
Top Mueller investigator Andrew Weissman under intense scrutiny
Tue, 30 Apr 2019 13:46
Aaron Bernstein/Reuters Robert Mueller. One of special counsel Robert Mueller's top investigators has come under fire from conservatives.That investigator, Andrew Weissmann, one of the team's most prominent members, sent an email to former acting Attorney General Sally Yates praising her for not defending the Trump administration's travel ban.He also reportedly attended 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's election-night party. The investigator dubbed as special counsel Robert Mueller's "pit bull" by The New York Times has come under fire for perceived bias against President Donald Trump.
That investigator, Andrew Weissmann, was reportedly in attendance at former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's election night party last year at the Jacob K. Javits Center in New York City, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday. The revelation came days after the conservative group, Judicial Watch, published an email he sent to former acting Attorney General Sally Yates praising her for refusing to defend Trump's controversial travel ban in January.
"If it's true that Andrew Weissmann attended Hillary's victory party, this is getting out of hand," tweeted Ari Fleischer, who served as White House press secretary under President George W. Bush.
Weissmann is one of the most prominent investigators on Mueller's team. Considered to be an expert on flipping "defendants into collaborators - with either tactical brilliance or overzealousness, depending on one's perspective," as The Times wrote in October, Weissmann is the investigation's "pounding heart, a bookish, legal pit bull with two Ivy League degrees, a weakness for gin martinis and classical music and a list of past enemies that includes professional killers and white-collar criminals."
The prosecutor made a name for himself in high-profile cases involving New York's mob bosses and at the turn of the century in the Enron scandal. He also oversaw the FBI's predawn raid in July of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort's Virginia home.
"If there's something to find, he'll find it," Katya Jestin, who used to work with Weissmann in the US attorney's office for the Eastern District of New York, told The Times. "If there's nothing there, he's not going to cook something up."
Weissmann comes under fire But following the revelation that one top investigator on Mueller's team, Peter Strzok, had been reassigned from the special counsel's team after he apparently sent anti-Trump text messages during the 2016 election, Republicans began taking aim at Weissmann as the latest example of an investigator biased against the president.
First came the email made public by Judicial Watch, where he wrote told Yates he was "so proud" and "in awe" of her decision not to defend Trump's initial travel ban. That was soon followed up by The Journal's revelation that he was in attendance at Clinton's election-night party.
Jeff Mitchell/Reuters
Andrew Weissmann. In a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Thursday, during which FBI Director Christopher Wray was testifying, Republican Rep. Steve Chabot called "the depths of this anti-Trump bias on" the special counsel's team "absolutely shocking."
Tom Fitton, the president of Judicial Watch, asked, "How much more evidence do we need" that the Mueller team "has been irredeemably compromised by anti-Trump partisans" after his group published Weissmann's email.
"Shut it down," he said.
Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, who has been leading the charge to have the Mueller investigation shut down, told Fox News that Trump was "being persecuted by Hillary Clinton's fan club."
Democrats, however, said these latest attacks against the Mueller investigation, and individual investigators in particular, such as Weissmann, are just a sign of things to come with the probe reaching closer to the president.
Already, Manafort and former national security adviser Michael Flynn, two of the most prominent members of Trump's campaign, have been charged as part of the Russia investigation. Manafort's associate, Rick Gates, was also charged, as was early Trump campaign foreign-policy adviser George Papadopoulos.
Manafort and Gates pleaded not guilty to 12 counts including money laundering and conspiracy against the US, and Flynn pleaded guilty on December 1 to one count of making false statements to investigators about his contacts with Russians. Papadopoulos also pleaded guilty in July to lying to the FBI about his interactions with Russia-linked individuals.
"I predict that these attacks on the FBI will grow louder and more brazen as the special counsel does his work, and the walls close in around the president, and evidence of his obstruction and other misdeeds becomes more apparent," Rep. Jerrold Nadler of New York, recently promoted to ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, said during Thursday's hearing.
SEE ALSO: CNN makes major correction on Trump-Russia bombshell after Washington Post threw timeline into question NOW WATCH: Popular Videos from Insider Inc.
Vodafone Finds Hidden Backdoors In Huawei Network Equipment | Zero Hedge
Tue, 30 Apr 2019 12:29
As Huawei denies Microsoft's allegations that it discovered what appears to be a 'backdoor' built into the Matebook laptop series, Bloomberg on Tuesday reported on complaints from Vodafone, Europe's largest wireless provider, about the discovery of what appear to be 'backdoors' discovered in Huawei equipment embedded in Vodafone's Italian wireless network, potentially going back years.
Though Huawei has tried to cast these complaints, detailed in a series of emails obtained by Bloomberg, as innocuous glitches, but Vodafone's acknowledgement of these concerns appears to support Washington's warnings that Huawei equipment represents an international security risk - though the European Council and most individual states have done little to prevent Huawei equipment from being used in the Continent's 5G wireless networks.
The vulnerabilities identified by Vodafone could grant Huawei access to the 'fixed-line network' in Italy, the system that provides Internet service to millions of homes and businesses, potentially exposing a large swath of the Italian population to spying by the Chinese.
After Vodafone approached Huawei in 2011 with its complaints, the Chinese telecoms giant offered assurances that the issues had been fixed; however, further testing revealed that Huawei had mislead Vodafone. What's more, Vodafone also identified backdoors in its fiber-optic network, potentially exposing Internet traffic in Italy to Chinese spying.
Despite all of this, Vodafone did nothing after discovering backdoors throughout its Italian network and even catching Huawei in a lie when the company said it had fixed the issues, but Vodafone discovered that it hadn't.
These concerns didn't stop Vodafone for increasing its reliance on Huawei's equipment, which underscores why European governments have been so reluctant to heed Washington's warnings: Huawei is simply too important to Europe's telecoms infrastructure. Spurning Huawei would put Europe at risk of falling behind the US and China in the race to build out 5G infrastructure.
Vodafone CEO Nick Read has joined peers in publicly opposing any restrictions on Huawei equipment in Vodafone's 5G networks.
Most European countries are unlikely to crack down on Huawei over these security concerns.
And clearly, the issue didn't sour the Italians on China, since Italy recently became the first G-7 country to join Beijing's "Belt & Road Initiative", which has been derided by critics as a "neocolonialist project."
In addition to the security concerns in the core Italian network, Vodafone also complained about suspected vulnerabilities in routers shipped by the company. But both Huawei and Vodafone cautioned that these could have been the result of an unintentional flaw.
In a statement to Bloomberg, Vodafone said it found vulnerabilities with the routers in Italy in 2011 and worked with Huawei to resolve the issues that year. There was no evidence of any data being compromised, it said. The carrier also identified vulnerabilities with the Huawei-supplied broadband network gateways in Italy in 2012 and said those were resolved the same year. Vodafone also said it found records that showed vulnerabilities in several Huawei products related to optical service nodes. It didn't provide specific dates and said the issues were resolved. It said it couldn't find evidence of historical vulnerabilities in routers or broadband network gateways beyond Italy.
"In the telecoms industry it is not uncommon for vulnerabilities in equipment from suppliers to be identified by operators and other third parties," the company said. "Vodafone takes security extremely seriously and that is why we independently test the equipment we deploy to detect whether any such vulnerabilities exist. If a vulnerability exists, Vodafone works with that supplier to resolve it quickly."
In a statement, Huawei said it was made aware of historical vulnerabilities in 2011 and 2012 and they were addressed at the time.
But some of BBG's other sources warned that backdoors were discovered in networks across Europe, and that Vodafone had sought to play down these discoveries.
However, Vodafone's account of the issue was contested by people involved in the security discussions between the companies.
Vulnerabilities in both the routers and the fixed access network remained beyond 2012 and were also present in Vodafone's businesses in the U.K., Germany, Spain and Portugal, said the people. Vodafone stuck with Huawei because the services were competitively priced, they said.
Emails obtained by BBG also revealed that some Vodafone executives were shocked by Huawei's unwillingness to fix the backdoors, and its decision to lie about the issues being fixed.
"Unfortunately for Huawei the political background means that this event will make life even more difficult for them in trying to prove themselves an honest vendor," Vodafone said in the April 2011 document authored by its chief information security officer at the time, Bryan Littlefair. He noted that Vodafone had made a recent security visit to Shenzhen and said he was surprised Huawei hadn't given the matter a greater priority.
"What is of most concern here is that actions of Huawei in agreeing to remove the code, then trying to hide it, and now refusing to remove it as they need it to remain for 'quality' purposes," Littlefair wrote.
Of course, Huawei has a lot of market share to lose in Europe, and therefore it's incumbent on the firm to keep its customers happy.
But then again, if telecoms companies in Europe continued to use Huawei equipment in such sensitive capacities after this incident, then apparently switching to Ericsson or Nokia technology isn't really an option.
Exploring Canada's Worst Street - YouTube
Tue, 30 Apr 2019 11:53
Don't Let Sexular Culture Leave Women as Also-Rans '' Stephen McAlpine
Tue, 30 Apr 2019 11:51
Sooner or later reality catches up with the intellectual schizophrenia of gender identity politics and beats it to the line.
And sometimes, as in the case of a dispute over prize money for a recent running race at Queensland University of Technology, actually beats it to the line.
As the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reports, the university had to perform its own athletic manoeuvre and do a backflip, over its decision to award prize money to the first three athletes in the 5km event at the QUT Classic last weekend.
The university running club dutifully kept its word, awarding first, second and third to the three athletes who crossed the line in those positions. Three males as it so happened.
The problem arose when the first female across the line, Alexandra Blake, was told that the rules of the race had been made clear, and that the rules around the prize money were indiscriminate.
Race directors told Blake, when she had finished, that the rules had cleared stated first, second and third, with no reference to gender.
First three, that's it. Blake was incensed. So was her dad Mark who took to social media to say this:
''This is a pure disgrace and sexist in the extreme. It's not about the money '-- it's about the simple concept of equality,''
Alexandra herself had this to say:
''I train just as hard as those guys. I come here thinking that if I do well I can get something out of it to support my running and I don't see how I'm any less valued than the men.''
To which I say ''Amen''. ''Go you good thing!'' And to which I also say that all that training '' which for Alexandra was of equal effort and equal intensity to the guys, will ensure that the term ''regardless of gender'' means she will never take away the prize money.
There should be equal prize money for the women in a mixed racing event. Why? because on most sporting fields, and starkly so in athletic running, if all things are equal, men will take all three podium positions every single time.
Every. Single. Time. The world record holder for women in 5000m is Ethiopia's Tirunesh Dibeba's 14:11, a truly great athlete of astonishing ability. Yet a 5000m race held in my home town last year saw a young bloke run 14:07 in a race that was an attempt to get a local runner to go under 14 minutes for the first time in Perth. You've never heard of him and never will.
At the risk of laying that on too thickly, if you saw the Rio Olympics 10, 000m for women, it was an incredible, '' truly incredible -, race by another amazing Ethiopian athlete, Almaz Ayana, Her time? A world record 29:17. Breathtaking.
Yet, once again, a young up and coming male athlete from my city, who has an outside chance of reaching the Olympics in 2024, recently ran a 10 mile race in Japan, in which he ran the last 10 kilometres in 29:48. Once again, you've never heard of him.
Here's where the problem lies. The universities of our fair culture are leading the charge in saying that gender is purely a social construct. The intellectual battle of our day over identity was birthed in the academy, is fostered and championed by the academy, and is funded by the academy.
The intellectual high dive required to assert this foundational plank of our Sexular Age has a 3.2 degree of difficulty, with a half twist and a double pike. But they're managing to convince a large swathe of the population.
But not on the sporting field. You see and hear the anger and frustration in female athletes taking silver and bronze in events where young formerly self-identifying men, have discovered that seventeen or eighteen years of testosterone '' despite the blockers they've recently started taken '' gives them enormous advantage in the sporting arena.
And that is where sport is going if it refuses to stare down such intellectual suicide. It cannot go anywhere else, given the cultural wrecking ball of sexual identity politics at its worst. It's almost as if our culture has lost its collective nerve to call this out. And it has. Try and call that stuff out today and duck for cover. And it's ironic that the issue surfaced in the same setting '' the academy '' that increasingly seeks to deny the obvious link between gender and biology.
If it's not bad enough that women are constantly the victims of testosterone-laden men off the sporting field, women are now becoming victims on the sporting field of testosterone laden men self-identifying as women. There's real anger, but it has to be muted by women, lest the culture warriors who promulgate the Sexular narrative hunt them down.
And of course QUT was left scrambling in the wake of all this.
Hence how the ABC reported the QUT response:
QUT described the decision to the ABC as an ''oversight'' and said its ''intention was to award prize money to the first three runners over the line, regardless of gender''.
''We apologise for this and given QUT's oversight we have restructured the winnings and will now be awarding cash prizes to the top three female and male runners,'' QUT said in a statement.
Maybe they should have checked with the Humanities and Social Science departments before making a statement like that. Because the reality of sport sits at odds with unreality that passes for intellectual rigour.
You have to feel sorry for the university's athletics club. It's going to spend a lot of time looking over its shoulder at the academics who work alongside it, as it navigates this increasingly torturous path. Just when they thought they were doing the right thing with the ''regardless of gender'' rule, they realise that some rules are more equal than others.
I'm not surprised at the ABC's genuine lack of curiosity over this one. They're playing it both ways. It's been a champion of all things identity politics for some time. But when it comes to the bravery of a university club putting the ideology into action, it baulks.
I am surprised, however, at the message coming out from the university's vice chancellor. VC Margaret Sheil has since addressed the media saying it was the first time organisers had offered a cash prize.
''Unfortunately they didn't think through the gender implications of just offering it as a first across the line. As soon as QUT management was made aware of the situation we moved to rectify it.
I applaud the move, but question the reasoning. The university is now, publicly, letting the reality of actual gender difference between men and women be celebrated. As rightly, but hypocritically, it should do.
Why hypocritically? Because a Western university will throw money at a department on its campus that asserts there is no public difference between gender that is not socially constructed, while at the same, covering its butt, by throwing gender-differentiated prize money at a university running race that attempted to implement that belief in the cold hard reality of the sporting world.
Could it possibly be that men and women are deeply, and irrecovably different in many areas and that sport shows this to not only be true, but to be good and true at the same time?
Could it be that sport will be the front-runner, so to speak, in alerting us to the fact that gender is not merely a social construct. Could it be that QUT is putting its money where it increasingly finds it impossible to put its mouth, for fear of bringing fire and brimstone down upon its head?
Which is exactly what happened to tennis great Martina Navratilova, who was scornfully and shamefully treated for calling out the obvious differences between men and women on the sporting field, and saying enough is enough with the social experimentation.
Alexandra Blake is a good, strong runner. The 2019 QUT Classic results are not up yet, but she ran the same event at last year's race. In 2018 she was first female in a time of 18:26. Good enough for ninth place. She ran in the 18-39 age category and she's at the young end of that age. So a good strong run.
My best 5km time in 2018 was at a local Parkrun. At the age of fifty one, coming off a marathon two weeks prior, I ran 18:23. And I came sixth. The winner, who you've never heard of, ran 16:16, and last week at the same Parkrun, he ran 15:41.
None of this is to say how good an old geezer like me is. Nor is it to belittle Alexandra in what was probably a slower time than she's capable of, and who over the next couple of years will probably get a lot faster than I
But it is to say this: sport is a great leveller. It finds you out. It finds out whether you did the training. It finds out how good you are compared to how good you say you are.
And it finds out where real difference lies. It shows the distinction between elite and non-elite, which is why I was in awe of the young woman who ran over a minute faster than me at Parkrun last week. And she made it look easy in the process!
And sports shows the distinction between men and women. Which is why it's going to become an ongoing battlefield for the increasingly hostile gender agenda.
Alexandra's dad, in his Facebook post, is right in one sense. It is about equality. It's about levelling a completely un-level playing field. But not by denying there is deep difference, but by admitting there is, and by celebrating it nonetheless. And I fear that, over time, strong, athletically brilliant women like Alexandra Blake are going to be the also-rans in this war.
Alphabet stock drops after earnings show disappointing Google sales growth - MarketWatch
Tue, 30 Apr 2019 11:11
Alphabet Inc. revenue growth cooled off at the start of 2019, according to an earnings report Monday afternoon that sent shares down in after-hours trading.
Google's parent company came up short of expectations as all of its major sales categories performed slightly worse than projected in the first quarter, and yet another big fine out of Europe dinged the company's earnings. Alphabet GOOGL, +1.47% GOOG, +1.21% reported first-quarter earnings of $6.66 billion, or $9.50 a share, on revenue of $29.48 billion, after removing traffic-acquisition costs; a year ago in the same period, Alphabet posted profit of $13.33 a share on ex-TAC sales of $24.86 billion a year ago.
Alphabet's earnings would have been $11.90 a share were it not for a $1.7 billion fine out of Europe for its online-advertising practices. Analysts on average expected ex-TAC sales of $30.04 billion and earnings of $10.60 a share, according to FactSet, and were largely ignoring the fine in their estimates.
Revenue grew at a rate lower than 20% '-- sales grew 16.7%, 18.6% when factoring in TAC '-- a level Alphabet has managed to hold over the past three years. In 2018, Alphabet sales grew 23.4%, and no single quarter showed year-over-year growth lower than 20%.
Opinion: Tech giants made so much money in 2018 that 2019 is bound to look pretty bad
In Monday's conference call, executives laid much of the blame on currency exchange rates, and said that they do no intend to slow plans to spend freely even as those effects continue. Shares declined further, from a 5% drop to a 7% decline, after Alphabet provided what passes for a forecast from the company, which is basically a bit of chatter about plans for spending.
''Based on the continued strengthening of the U.S. dollar relative to key currencies, we expect to continue to see headwinds to our revenues and operating income again in the second quarter,'' Chief Financial Officer Ruth Porat said in Monday's conference call, before saying that plans to spend on new infrastructure and expanding the workforce were not changing.
Alphabet breaks up its business into three core areas: Google advertising, other Google revenue and ''Other Bets,'' which are the non-Google businesses. Advertising is the most important business, bringing in the bulk of the revenue. In the first quarter, sales in that category totaled $30.72 billion without factoring in TAC, coming up short of analyst expectations of $31.48 billion. The company reported advertising revenue of $27.23 billion a year ago, pushing the sales-growth rate for that business to 15.3%, a deceleration from the fourth quarter's rate of about 20%.
Google's other businesses '-- Play Store, hardware and Google Cloud '-- reported revenue of $5.45 billion, missing expectations of $5.67 billion, while Other Bets claimed revenue of $170 million against expectations of $172 million. Other Bets also reported an operating loss of $868 million, a jump from $571 million a year ago and appreciably worse than the average analyst estimate of $640 million.
Coming this week: Beaten-down health-care companies join Apple and Google in earnings parade
Executives suggested that disappointing sales of Google's Pixel smartphone was the important factor for Google's other revenue.
''Hardware results reflect lower year-on-year sales of Pixel, reflecting in part heavy promotional activity industrywide given some of the recent pressures in the premium smartphone market,'' Porat said Monday.
While Alphabet's venture-capital investing activity is not broken out in financial disclosures, it does have a big effect on earnings. Gains on investments added more than $4 billion in profit in 2018, and 2019 started similarly, with Google reporting $1.08 billion in gains on equity securities. Much of that is thought to be the increase in the value of shares of Lyft Inc. LYFT, +5.85% , which went public earlier this year.
Alphabet's class A shares closed Monday with a 1.5% gain to $1,296.20, putting its market capitalization near $900 billion, then dropped lower than $1,200 in after-hours trading. The stock has gained 25.4% in the past year, as the S&P 500 index SPX, +0.11% has increased 10.1%.
Labor Department ruling calls workers at gig company contractors - SFGate
Tue, 30 Apr 2019 11:04
The Labor Department weighed in Monday on a question whose answer could be worth billions of dollars to gig-economy companies, deciding that one company's workers were contractors, not employees.
The letter provides further evidence that the Trump administration is departing from the approach of its predecessor on a key wage issue.
Gig companies are assuming a more prominent role in the economy, and many are beginning to sell shares to the public. But industry officials estimate that requiring such companies to classify their workers as employees would raise their labor costs by 20% to 30%.
As a result of Monday's action, the company in question will not have to offer workers the federal minimum wage or overtime, or pay a share of Social Security taxes.
''Today, the U.S. Department of Labor offers further insight into the nexus of current labor law and innovations in the job market,'' Keith Sonderling, acting administrator of the division that oversees such issues, said in a statement. It is a long-standing policy for the department not to disclose the names of companies receiving such letters.
Under the Obama administration, the Labor Department issued guidance suggesting that gig workers like drivers for Uber and Lyft were likely to be employees, a stand the department rescinded several months after President Trump took office.
''There are few more contentious issues currently than the status of workers operating on platform-type business models,'' said David Weil, the administrator who issued the guidance under President Barack Obama and is now dean of the Heller School at Brandeis University.
The Labor Department weighed in Monday on a question whose answer could be worth billions of dollars to gig-economy companies as they begin selling shares to the public: Are their workers employees or contractors?
Unlike the broad guidance the Obama administration issued, the action announced Monday took the form of an ''opinion letter'' applying only to the company that sought it. But other businesses in the industry tend to parse such letters closely for insight into the department's approach. And the letters have more practical legal force than departmental guidance for the company in question. They are often referred to as ''get-out-of-jail free cards'' because they mean that the Labor Department will not initiate enforcement proceedings against a company with a favorable letter.
The letter can also provide a powerful defense to the company if workers sue it or initiate arbitration proceedings to resolve allegations of improper classification.
''It is outrageous for the Department of Labor to set policy in such an important area through the device of an opinion letter,'' Weil said. ''The Obama administration discontinued opinion letters precisely because they are capricious tools for settling complicated regulatory questions.''
Based on the description in the opinion letter, the company that sought it does not appear to be Lyft, which went public in March, or Uber, which plans to go public in the coming weeks.
But the letter could nonetheless have important implications for these companies. Uber, in its filing for a public offering, told prospective investors that having to classify drivers as employees would cause it to ''incur significant additional expenses'' and ''require us to fundamentally change our business model, and consequently have an adverse effect on our business and financial condition.''
Lyft has made similar statements.
Sharon Block, a former top official in the Obama Labor Department who is executive director of the Labor and Worklife Program at Harvard Law School, said it was hard to tell from the facts the Labor Department chose to include in its letter whether the workers using the service in question were truly independent contractors. But she said there seemed to be a stronger case to make for contractor status in that case than for Uber.
Still, she speculated that the finding could be procedurally useful for the department if it later sought to deem Uber drivers to be independent contractors.
''This as a strategy makes sense,'' Block said. ''They set the standard in a way that makes it really clear this company gets past it, and in a way that's going to help them in the harder cases.''
The department could subsequently argue, in effect, that Uber's business model largely overlaps with the business model of the company in question, and conclude that its workers are contractors as well.
Uber did not respond to a request for comment, and Lyft said it had no immediate comment.
Noam Scheiber is a New York Times writer.
Woodstock 50 Has Been Cancelled | Billboard
Tue, 30 Apr 2019 10:50
4/29/2019 by Dave Brooks
"We don't believe the production of the festival can be executed as an event worthy of the Woodstock Brand name."Woodstock 50 has been cancelled. Earlier today officials with Dentsu Aegis Network, which is funding the festival, released the following statement to Billboard:
''It's a dream for agencies to work with iconic brands and to be associated with meaningful movements. We have a strong history of producing experiences that bring people together around common interests and causes which is why we chose to be a part of the Woodstock 50th Anniversary Festival. But despite our tremendous investment of time, effort and commitment, we don't believe the production of the festival can be executed as an event worthy of the Woodstock Brand name while also ensuring the health and safety of the artists, partners and attendees."
The statement goes on, "As a result and after careful consideration, Dentsu Aegis Network's Amplifi Live, a partner of Woodstock 50, has decided to cancel the festival. As difficult as it is, we believe this is the most prudent decision for all parties involved.''
Headliners at the three-day event included The Killers, Dead and Co, Imagine Dragons and Jay-Z. Other artists on the bill included Miley Cyrus, The Lumineers, Chance the Rapper, Sturgill Simpson, Halsey and Cage the Elephant, among many others. Organizers also enticed several veteran musicians from the original 1969 Woodstock to perform, including John Fogerty, John Sebastian, David Crosby, Canned Heat and Country Joe McDonald.
Sources say concerns about the capacity of the festival, site readiness and permitting issues led to the cancellation of the commemorative event, which had been scheduled for Aug. 16-18. Last week, a representative for the festival reached out to officials with Live Nation and AEG to inquire about a $20 million investment to save the event, but both companies declined the offer.
The solicitation came just days after missing a deadline to begin selling tickets for the Aug. 16-18 festival. Besides issues with financing and permits, organizers were growing increasingly concerned that the Watkins Glen International speedway would not be able accommodate the 100,000-person festival.
More than $30 million has already been spent on the festival lineup, a source with knowledge of the proposal tells Billboard and most artists have already been paid by Amplify Live, the investment arm of Dentsu Aegis Network, a multinational media and digital marketing firm headquartered in London and a wholly owned by Japanese media firm Dentsu.
Billboard will update this story as more information becomes available.
Isis leader Baghdadi appears in video for first time in five years | World news | The Guardian
Tue, 30 Apr 2019 10:49
The fugitive Islamic State leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, has appeared in a propaganda video for the first time in five years, in which he acknowledges the terrorist group's defeat in the Syrian town of Baghuz.
The appearance is only Baghdadi's second on video, and comes weeks after the remnants of Isis were ousted from their last organised stronghold in the eastern Syrian desert. Looking heavier than when he proclaimed the existence of the now-collapsed caliphate in mid-2014, Baghdadi blames its demise on the ''savagery'' of Christians.
Sitting cross-legged alongside a Kalashnikov rifle, he speaks for no more than 40 seconds, and appears to be limited in his movements. ''Truthfully, the battle of Islam and its people against the cross and its people is a long battle,'' he says. ''The battle of Baghuz is over. But it did show the savagery, brutality and ill intentions of the Christians towards the Muslim community.''
The appearance seemed designed to acknowledge the loss of the remaining pockets of Isis territory and to demonstrate that Baghdadi is still alive. He has released several audio sermons in recent years, the last of which was in August last year, but his long absence from public view had fuelled speculation that Baghdadi remained impaired from wounds or may have been killed.
At the end of the 18-minute video, an audio segment of Baghdadi's voice praises the attackers who carried out the Easter bombings in Sri Lanka, which targeted churches and mosques, and killed at least 250 people. ''This is part of the vengeance that awaits the Crusaders and their henchmen,'' the voice says, linking the strikes to the defeat in Baghuz, and not the white extremist attack on mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch. The Sri Lanka attackers claimed allegiance to Isis, but it remains unclear whether the group inspired, or directly plotted the carnage.
Superimposed on a section of the video was a further reference to the carnage in Colombo. ''Americans and Europeans failed as we congratulate our brothers in Sri Lanka for their allegiance to the caliphate,'' the text says. ''And we advise them to stick to the cause of God and unity and to be a thorn in the chest of the crusaders. We ask God to accept their martyrdom and help the brothers fulfil the journey they started.''
The video also references the fall of the Sudanese dictator Omar al-Bashir, the resignation of Algerian leader Abdulaziz Bouteflika, and Benjamin Netanyahu's re-election in Israel. All three events took place between 9-22 April, indicating that the video was made in that period, and the audio segments added afterwards.
After the video emerged, the US said it would track down and defeat surviving Isis leaders. The US-led coalition will fight across the world to ''ensure an enduring defeat of these terrorists and that any leaders who remain are delivered the justice that they deserve'', a state department spokesman said.
Regional and western intelligence officials believe that Baghdadi's grip on Isis has slipped since late last year, when a series of defeats at the hands of a Kurdish-led ground force, and a US-led air campaign, forced the group's senior leader into their last redoubt, a forsaken corner of Syria on the banks of the Euphrates.
Intelligence officials believe a series of rolling battles started last September between Baghdadi loyalists and another faction determined to oust him. Officials say dissent within the ranks culminated in a gunfight on the night of 7 January, which led Baghdadi to flee Baghuz with his bodyguards. He is believed to have since crossed into Iraq, and it is thought he could be hiding in Anbar province in the west of the country.
Officials suggest that a senior Isis figure, Abu Muhammad al-Husseini al-Hashimi, believed to be a distant cousin of Baghdadi, is instrumental in a move against him. Hashimi recently released a 231-page book calling for an uprising against Baghdadi, and for allegiance to be pledged to a new leader.
The book, titled Keep Back the Hands from Allegiance to al-Baghdadi, emerged just as Isis was losing the last of the territory in Syria. It is thought to be the first open challenge to the Isis leader's authority from within the group's senior ranks.
In it, Hashimi claims Baghdadi is a ruthless ruler who destroyed the legacy of Isis through oppressive and excessively violent behaviour. He urges any remaining members of Isis to revolt against Baghdadi's leadership, marking what some have described as the emergence of a reformist or dissident strain within Isis ''that believes that extremists gained too much influence'' within the organisation.
The criticisms in the book are not universally held among Islamists but there is particular concern about Isis's treatment of Islamic scholars in recent years, and that attacks on them demonstrate that Baghdadi cannot be considered a true caliph.
As Isis crumbled, the group's security arm became ever more ruthless in its efforts to crack down on dissent. Islamic scholars and jurists who were perceived to pose a threat to Isis's claim on theological authority were frequently executed.
The killings led to a schism between middle echelons of the group and some senior officials, who surrendered in Baghuz and have since told their captors of increasing rancour in the caliphate's dying days.
While no longer able to control territory, Isis is believed to be regrouping in towns and villages on both sides of the Syrian border, and planning for a return to the years of insurgency that followed the US invasion of Iraq.
Government - News
Tue, 30 Apr 2019 03:14
''Over two million people have received anonymous migrant cards, and the equivalent of 500 billion forints (1.55 bn euros) has been spent in this manner'', Chief Security Advisor to the Prime Minister Gy¶rgy Bakondi said on Hungarian M1 television's Friday morning current affairs program.
Mr. Bakondi said the migrant cards are unlawful, because European citizens cannot own anonymous banking cards, they cannot be monitored, and no public procurement procedure was launched for their issuing.
''This solution, which 'has not been thought through and is unlawful', and other efforts on the part of the European Union to legalise illegal migration such as the migrant visa and the establishment of legal channels for immigration, represent a security risk with healthcare, economic and cultural consequences for Hungarian and European citizens', he stated.
In the Chief Security Advisor's opinion, they don't want to stop migration, but legalise it. ''Hungary, however, does not agree with this. Hungary's opinion is that the problem must not be brought into Europe, but that instead, assistance must be provided to enable problems to be solved on site'', he added.
Mr. Bakondi also mentioned that the good weather has led to an increase in the number of migrants on the Balkan migration route.
(Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister/MTI)
TSA is testing an airport screening system with privacy issues '-- Quartz
Mon, 29 Apr 2019 15:43
A new system being tested to screen passengers at US airports appears to be exposing more than it should.
Officials at the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the Department of Homeland Security division that keeps the nation's airports safe, have discovered that the technology the equipment uses to render images poses ''privacy risks,'' according to a recent federal contracting document reviewed by Quartz. Its manufacturer is now working on ''enhanced privacy software'' to fix the issue, according to the document, though it doesn't provide further details.
The screening system is an essential part of TSA's ''Future Lane Experience,'' or ''FLEx,'' an initiative designed to speed up screening at airports.
The name of the equipment vendor is redacted in the document, but is identified in a separate government database as ThruVision Inc. of Ashburn, Virginia. The system the TSA purchased, called ''TAC,'' is described by ThruVision as a ''people-screening camera that sees any type of item'--including metal, plastic, ceramic, gel, liquid, powder and paper'--hidden in peoples' clothing at distances of 3 to 10m,'' or about 10 to 32 feet.
TSA and ThruVision did not respond to requests for comment.
Genitalia, breasts, and buttocksThe TSA has had privacy issues with passenger screening in the past. Between 2007 and 2013, it used scanners the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said acted as a ''virtual strip search'' that provided TSA employees with pictures of passengers' genitalia, breasts, and buttocks. The group, along with the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), sued the TSA over their use.
At the time, president Obama said the scanners were needed to help prevent terrorist attacks. However, the devices were removed after public outcry and replaced with less-intrusive machines.
The ''privacy risks'' with the new equipment are likely very similar, experts say. The problem is associated with the ''Graphical User Interface'', which lacks adequate ''privacy filters,'' according to the TSA contract. That tells Jay Stanley, an ACLU policy analyst, that the issue the TSA has identified is related to visual, not data, privacy.
''The higher the resolution of the screen, the worse it is,'' Stanley tells Quartz. ''It could be genitalia, it could be a colostomy bag.''
The system has so far cost $662,840, with the software patch costing $250,000, for a total of $912,840, per the US government's Federal Procurement Data System. ThruVision says on its website the device ''operates at 250GHz for optimal clothing penetration and stand-off distance.''
The TSA appears to have high stakes riding on the equipment, which it calls in the contract a ''key component'' in its efforts to speed up screening. Without the fixes, the agency can't test the equipment in the field. That, in turn, could hamper its ability to deploy ''screening methodologies that are less invasive, more efficient and effective,'' it says.
Technologist and privacy expert Bruce Schneier, who has studied airport security extensively, said the patch wouldn't necessarily make the problems go away.
''There are lots of definitions of 'fix,''' Schneier tells Quartz. ''Some work, some don't.''
A preemptive solutionThe TSA's new screening program fits within a much larger framework of expediting the overall process while making it more efficient and more effective, says aviation lawyer Mark Dombroff, whose practice centers on airport and aircraft security and regulatory and enforcement matters.
He says privacy is an inevitable concern in the TSA's quest to streamline passenger screening, since the technology has become so effective. The TSA is wise to address these problems preemptively, Dombroff adds.
''Now, having said all that, it doesn't mean they still won't get sued,'' says Dombroff. ''It's the nature of aviation today.''
But Stanley, from the ACLU, says the TSA must be more forthright about its plans. Although he closely tracks these issues, this is the first mention he's heard of the FLEx program.
Read the full text of the TSA's FLEx document here:
Really Cool Stuff: Batteries That Last for Decades - Atomic Insights
Mon, 29 Apr 2019 15:06
April 1, 1995 By Rod Adams
Atomic energy provides an amazing source of concentrated power. The potential applications that have been proposed are widely varied. There is room for unlimited innovation and creativity.
Imagine what it would be like to have a battery that could provide power for several decades without recharging. Sounds almost like science fiction.
Fact, in this case, matches fiction.
The Voyager space probes carried devices called radioisotope thermal generators. (RTGs) These devices are simply amazing. They work on a simple principle. With semi conductor type materials, a current can be established by heating one side while cooling the other. The effect is known as the thermoelectric effect.
Nuclear BatteriesAn RTG uses a radioactive material (like plutonium-238) as the heat source. This kind of plutonium spontaneously produces about one kilowatt of heat energy for every two kilograms of mass.
This energy level decreases slowly over time; after ten years the heat production is about 92 percent of the initial value. Even after 87 years, the material produces half as much heat as it did when it started.
The energy is actually released in the form of an alpha particle which can only travel a short distance before it stops. As the alpha particle slows, its motion is converted into heat. The battery material surrounding the plutonium provides adequate shielding. The batteries are so compact that a lightweight case can be built to withstand the stresses of atmosphere reentry without releasing any plutonium.
Nuclear batteries were essential to the success of the long distance space probes. Solar cells would not have provided enough power to operate the required equipment because the sun was too far away. Chemical batteries can provide enough power to run the instruments for a short period of time, but their total energy storage capacity is many times less than that of a nuclear battery.
The instruments and communications gear on the probes that provided such fantastic pictures of Satun and Jupiter would have been just dead weight without some form of power.
Better than the RestNuclear batteries might have other uses. Imagine being able to buy a 10 year battery for a video camera, a laptop computer, or a portable telephone. Imagine how many rechargable NiCad batteries would have to be replaced during 10 years of continuous use.
Space program RTGs were too expensive for such use, but NASA's first microprocessors were also far out of the reach of average human beings. By using the increasing stockpile of heat producing nuclear ''waste'' material, it is possible to dramatically reduce the cost of RTGs.
About Rod Adams Atomic energy expert with small nuclear plant operating and design experience. Financial, strategic, and political analyst. Former submarine Engineer Officer. Founder, Adams Atomic Engines, Inc. Host and producer, The Atomic Show Podcast. Resume available here.
Please subscribe to the Atomic Show RSS feed.
Reader Interactions
AITA for telling my enby friend their pronouns aren't real? : AmItheAsshole
Mon, 29 Apr 2019 15:03
My friend identifies as non-binary and that's super awesome. They go by (or used to go by) they/them pronouns. Today they told me that they're going to start "nounself" pronouns. I was really confused so I googled it and found a tumblr blog about them. Apparently it's using an object as your pronouns. They said that they wanted to start going by "egg/eggs/eggself" pronouns. Look, I don't even mind using ze/zir pronouns or whatever, but I draw the line at using the word egg as a pronoun. I told them that they shouldn't do that and just go by they/them because that seems the most simple. They responded by saying that I was being really hurtful and that pronouns are the most important thing to trans people and that me saying that really upset them. I basically just said "look, I'll address you by your name if you don't want to go by they/them anymore, but i'm not calling you an egg ffs". They left me on read and I'm just wondering if I really need to apologize for it. Personally I just think they're overreacting and will get over it soon, but I don't know? Am I the asshole?
Trump's misleading abortion comments: a doctor explains the facts - Vox
Mon, 29 Apr 2019 14:54
President Trump on Saturday yet again claimed that doctors in America are executing babies.
''The baby is born,'' Trump said at a rally in Green Bay, Wisconsin. ''The mother meets with the doctor. They take care of the baby. They wrap the baby beautifully, and then the doctor and the mother determine whether or not they will execute the baby.''
Trump's inflammatory words are part of a larger movement. At an especially contentious time in the abortion debate, opponents of the procedure have focused their attention on abortions that happen late in pregnancy. In some cases, they're implying that laws allowing later abortions make it legal to kill a baby after birth (they do not).
Such claims began to proliferate in January, after Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam made some confusing comments about an abortion bill in his state. Abortion opponents claimed his comments were an endorsement of infanticide. They argued that babies are sometimes born alive after failed abortions that happen late in pregnancy, and that they are then ''left to die'' or even executed by doctors.
''The governor stated that he would even allow a newborn baby to come out into the world,'' Trump told a crowd in El Paso, Texas, in February, ''and wrap the baby, and make the baby comfortable, and then talk to the mother and talk to the father and then execute the baby.''
Abortion rights advocates and abortion providers have responded to rhetoric like this by saying that the case of a baby born after a failed abortion is so rare as to be essentially unheard of, and that if that did happen, doctors would care for the baby like any other patient. But the debate continues, so I reached out to a doctor who provides abortions for an in-depth explanation of what abortions late in pregnancy actually look like, and how the picture painted by Trump and others compares to reality.
Dr. Kristyn Brandi is a New Jersey OB-GYN with fellowship training in family planning, and a board member of Physicians for Reproductive Health. As a doctor, she delivers babies and cares for pregnant women, and also performs abortions. She told me that because of today's legal requirements for abortion procedures, it's essentially impossible for a baby to be born alive after a failed abortion, and that equating late abortion with infanticide is insulting to patients, many of whom are grieving the end of a much-wanted pregnancy.
Trump and others describe ''late-term abortion'' (which, Brandi explains, is not a medically accurate term) as something that can happen at 40 weeks' gestation, even when a woman is in labor.
In reality, as Brandi told Vox in February, ''patients do not request abortion when they are in labor and doctors do not provide it.'' More than 90 percent of abortions happen within the first trimester of pregnancy. But some patients do get abortions after that, in the second and third trimesters (about 1.4 percent of abortions happen at 21 weeks' gestation or later, according to Planned Parenthood). Brandi explained to me what happens during those procedures, why patients seek them, and what the current political debate about them is missing. Our conversation, via phone and email, has been edited and condensed.
Anna NorthThroughout the last few months, there's been a lot of focus on abortions that happen later in pregnancy. Can you talk a little about why people seek such abortions?
Kristyn BrandiThank you for using the more appropriate terminology. A lot of the people I've been talking to about abortions that happen later in pregnancy use these weird terms like ''late-term abortion.''
Anna NorthCan you explain why the term ''late-term abortion'' is not accurate?
Kristyn BrandiUsually, as medical professionals, we talk about abortion in relation to gestational age, but we don't use terms like ''late'' because it doesn't really apply. And when we talk about late-term pregnancy, we're actually referring to pregnancies that are a week after their due date, so 41 weeks' gestation, which is very different than what we're talking about typically when people say late-term abortion. Which I think really reflects the fact that people that are having these conversations may not have that medical background, and so we're not speaking the same language and it creates confusion for everyone involved.
Anna NorthGiven that, can you talk to me about the reasons that people seek the procedure later in pregnancy?
Kristyn BrandiI should say that when we're talking about these abortions later in pregnancy, this is about 1 percent of all abortion care. The majority of abortions happen in the first trimester. Patients that are seeking care later, often it's related to their health, so either they themselves are diagnosed in pregnancy with some type of medical complication or their fetus was diagnosed with some type of genetic abnormality that makes their quality of life after they deliver really poor. And, unfortunately, we are typically unable to diagnose these things until the second or the third trimester, so it leaves patients to be having these conversations later in their pregnancy.
There's also structural and socioeconomic reasons why people show up later in pregnancy. For example, I'm at a center where I'm the referral center for the state, and so patients that are seeking care elsewhere may get referred to me and I'm often hours away from where they initially sought care. So it takes a while for them to get up to see me, and that includes not just the time it takes to come up here but also making sure they have child care for the children they already have, getting transportation. There's so many different types of barriers that are created for health care in general, but specifically abortion care.
Anna NorthCan you give some examples of situations you've seen where a patient sought an abortion late in pregnancy?
Kristyn BrandiIn recent memory, I had a clinic day where several patients had come to the clinic for abortion later in pregnancy for very different reasons. A person in one room had a fetus with trisomy 13 [a chromosomal disorder that can result in severe intellectual and physical disability], which was not diagnosed until later in pregnancy. In the next room, I had a patient for whom I was the fourth doctor she had seen '-- she kept being referred to other doctors because of her complex medical history and had to save enough for a bus ride for each doctor she saw. The last patient had a history of a near-fatal event in her last pregnancy, and while she didn't personally agree with abortion, she decided it was the best thing for her to prevent the risk of her own death in this pregnancy.
Anna NorthTalk to me all bit more about the structural barriers you mentioned. Can you give some more examples?
Kristyn BrandiAs more and more abortion restrictions come up, it creates a lot of barriers for patients seeking care. For example, there are some laws that say you have to come [for counseling] prior to obtaining an abortion, and that just may not be feasible for a lot of people, particularly if you live three hours, four hours away in a different state from where you're getting care. It just is not something that our patients can manage, and it's not their fault.
There's some new laws that cause clinics that are nearby to close because they just can't meet these standards that are not medically necessary, but that states put on these clinics to restrict care.
Anna NorthWould removing some of those barriers mean fewer abortions later in pregnancy?
Kristyn BrandiI think so. Again, it's not the majority of abortions, but there are many people that are having these barriers. It can actually change a lot of what abortion care looks like if just we improved access to patients being able to get care in a timely way.
Anna North I think a clear picture of what happens during an abortion would be helpful to our readers in making sense of some of the debates right now. I know some abortions are performed with medication, and some are surgical '-- can you describe both types, and talk a little about how the procedure changes at different stages of pregnancy?
Kristyn BrandiA patient can decide on a medication abortion up to 10 weeks, with two different pills, mifepristone and misoprostol. A surgical abortion is often a seven- to 10-minute in-office procedure with vacuum aspiration, administered by a licensed clinician who gently dilates the cervix just enough to protect the cervix, then empties the uterus.
If an abortion is performed at 20 weeks or later, a drug may be injected to stop the fetal heartbeat before the uterus is emptied. How we complete the procedure depends on the wishes of the patient, their own medical circumstances, and our medical judgement. Sometimes we use a combination of instruments and aspiration to empty the uterus, and other times we proceed with an induction of labor just as we would with a stillbirth.
Medically, every pregnancy is different, and every person's health circumstances are unique. There isn't a bright line, so we can't say, ''We always do this.'' We provide the procedure that is best for each patient based on their decision and our medical judgment.
Anna NorthWhat typically happens to fetal remains after an abortion? Does this vary depending on when in pregnancy the abortion occurs?
Kristyn BrandiMedical facilities dispose of bodily tissue, including embryonic and fetal tissue, in a sanitary manner that minimizes exposure to pathogens and risk of infection. Fetal tissue is treated respectfully and handled in a way that protects the privacy of patients. In some instances, patients may request a different disposition of the embryonic or fetal tissue. Such requests are deeply personal and tend to vary based on a patient's cultural or religious traditions.
Anna NorthLet's talk a little bit about what's been in the news the last few months. I was watching the debate in the Senate over [Nebraska] Sen. [Ben] Sasse's bill, and he said, ''We know that some babies, especially late in gestation, survive attempted abortions. We know, too, that some of these babies are left to die.'' That struck me because it didn't jibe with what I've read and heard from providers, which is that it's extremely rare, if not unheard of, for a baby to be born alive after a failed abortion attempt. What would be your response to Sasse's claim?
Kristyn BrandiI also have been hearing a lot of these types of stories, and it also is shocking me as someone that provides this care every day. I think they're trying to use extreme language and sensationalization to make people uncomfortable with talking about care that is just part of medical care. I think there's a lot of confusion about what happens within abortion later in pregnancy and the unique circumstances that involve each individual patient, so it's really hard to understand a lot of the nuances around this conversation when you're just having these two sides that are using talking points to argue with each other.
Anna NorthWhat kinds of nuances do you feel like are being missed here?
Kristyn BrandiI think some of it is just a misunderstanding about what abortion care looks like, and particularly equating it to infanticide, which is really insulting. It's insulting for me as an abortion provider, but I can't imagine how insulting it is for my patients or women that have experienced abortion and they're hearing all these crazy stories. I can't imagine how disheartening it is and how it further perpetuates the stigma around abortion. How could you talk about your own abortion when you hear all these things in the media?
Anna NorthJust to make sure we drill down on some of the claims we've been hearing here, I've even seen an estimate on an anti-abortion website that more than 900 babies survive attempted abortions every year, extrapolating from a 2007 British study. Is this a thing that happens? Do infants survive abortions, and what would happen medically if that did occur?
Kristyn Brandi[In] typical abortion care, this is something that can never happen, and part of it is actually because of politics. There was this [2003] partial-birth abortion ban, which restricted this from happening. If we did what these politicians are claiming we're doing, we're already breaking the law. No one is actually doing that. At least, I should say, no credible doctor or practitioner is doing anything anywhere even close to what they're suggesting.
Anna NorthExplain that a little bit more to me. What is being suggested that can't happen under that law?
Kristyn BrandiUnder that law, something has to be done to the pregnancy to stop it from growing prior to the abortion happening, specifically to avoid the scenario where a potential pregnancy is delivered and could survive outside of the patient. We have to do something to the pregnancy in order to prevent this from happening, so it's already off the table.
But I think a lot of the confusion is that people are conflating abortion care with comfort care. For example, there are some patients that are in a similar scenario where their pregnancy outcome, for whatever reason, either a fetal anomaly or something in their medical situation, did not result in a pregnancy that will survive for very long outside of them. And so some patients elect to undergo something similar to a labor induction, which allows them to deliver what they call their baby and be able to actually spend time with it and be able to offer it comfort care.
Again, thinking about the scenarios that I've seen, it's really terribly heartbreaking scenarios where it's a desired pregnancy that people want to spend last moments with before this baby passes. And to think of the patients that I've seen that have gone through that, where they just want to hold their baby one last time before it passes away, those are the scenarios that these politicians are suggesting that we are performing infanticide on.
It breaks my heart to hear conservative media and politicians using these terms and not holding the hand of patients that are going through this process.
Anna NorthTalk to me a little bit about the emotional aspect of the procedure for patients who are ending up seeking this later in pregnancy, especially if these are patients who had a wanted pregnancy and there's an abnormality.
Kristyn BrandiI think it's very emotional for many patients. Someone has been planning this pregnancy and been preparing and getting their nursery all set up and then, all of a sudden, is faced with this devastating news; it's heartbreaking.
I think to compound that with all of the stigma around abortion '-- I've had many patients come to me and say they never thought they would be in this circumstance, that perhaps they didn't agree initially with abortion care because they just didn't see how it would affect them. Many of them are very happy and relieved to be able to have that care available to them when they needed it the most.
Anna NorthI think those were all the specific questions I had. Is there anything else you want to say on any of this that we didn't touch on?
Kristyn BrandiI think the one thing that is getting a little bit overlooked in this conversation is about how particularly this affects a vulnerable population. Patients that are having abortions later in pregnancy may face additional barriers '-- [they may be] of lower socioeconomic status, minority patients, LGBT patients, undocumented patients, or immigrant patients. They're facing a lot of the brunt of this and it's further perpetuating disparities.
Anna NorthThey are facing the brunt of this because they're more likely to face some of those barriers to care earlier in pregnancy?
Kristyn BrandiRight. Or they may not be able to access prenatal care and they'll get these diagnoses later in pregnancy, and so a lot of later abortion disproportionately affects vulnerable populations. So not only trying to decrease barriers to abortion care but also improving access to prenatal care, improving access to contraception, improving access to any health care or decreasing a lot of the barriers that are faced by vulnerable populations may actually be able to help people get access to the care they need.
Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated the percentage of abortions that take place in the first three months of pregnancy. It is about 92 percent, not about 99 percent.
Beto O'Rourke's climate change plan - The Washington Post
Mon, 29 Apr 2019 14:39
Former congressman Beto O'Rourke speaks at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas. (John Locher/AP) Annie LinskeyNational political reporter focused on the 2020 presidential campaign
April 29 at 9:57 AMFormer congressman Beto O'Rourke (Tex.), in the first major policy plan of his presidential candidacy, proposed Monday slicing carbon emissions to net zero in 30 years, spending $5 trillion to make the country's infrastructure more climate-friendly and having the United States rejoin the Paris climate agreement.
O'Rourke, part of a historically large and diverse field of Democrats running for the White House, frequently talks about the urgency of reversing climate change during his town hall meetings. When asked recently to name his ''north star'' issue, he said, ''If we are to do nothing else but save the planet from us, we'll have been successful.''
It's the first detailed proposal released by O'Rourke, who is known for his inspirational message, eloquence on the stump and feel-good campaign events but has been light on policies and specifics. He plans to tour Yosemite National Park on Monday and visit California's Central Valley to highlight his new initiative.
He's not the only one in the Democratic field focusing on climate change. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is making the issue the focus of his bid, and it's not clear whether O'Rourke's announcement will affect Inslee's candidacy.
O'Rourke's proposal comes as several Democratic presidential hopefuls are seeking to move beyond the initial buzz of their campaigns and offer distinctive policy ideas. Sen. Kamala D. Harris (Calif.), for example, has proposed boosting teacher pay and expanding gun control. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) has made detailed policy plans a centerpiece of her campaign from the outset.
Still, important details about O'Rourke's plan remain unclear. It calls for the ''single largest investment in fighting climate change in history,'' but says only that the initiative would be funded by unspecified ''structural changes to the tax code.''
The plan calls for O'Rourke to use his presidential executive power on his first day in office to quickly enact priorities such as reentering the Paris climate agreement and ''rapidly accelerating'' the proliferation of zero-emission vehicles. He would also ''establish National Parks and Monuments that more fully tell our American story,'' the proposal says.
In addition, the plan would set aside funding for parts of the country that feel the brunt of changing weather patterns.
REPORT: Coachella Attendees Suffer 'Massive' Herpes Outbreak | Daily Wire
Mon, 29 Apr 2019 14:37
The herpes tracking app, "HerpAlert," is reporting a "massive" outbreak of the sexually transmitted disease in California, which they believe to be associated with the Coachella music festival.
Local media reports that HerpAlert, which allows users of the app to self-report potential cases of the virus in return for access to doctors who can give them a full diagnosis and prescribe medications to deal with the virus's side effects, received at least 250 requests for herpes medication per day during the music festival. Most of the requests came from the area of the festival itself and surrounding towns where many festival-goers were staying during the event.
An app spokesperson told a local CBS affiliate that the app typically receives no more than 12 cases per day from the same general area.
"In all, 1,105 herpes cases were reported in the Coachella Valley area and in the nearby cities of Los Angeles and San Diego," the New York Post reported. The number is a record for HerpAlert. The next largest number of claims in Los Angeles occurred the day of and the day after the Academy Awards, back in February. Even then, though, HerpAlert received a grand total of 60 inquiries.
HerpAlert "patients fill out a series of questions about herpes symptoms for HerpAlert and provide a picture of a lesion or scar, which appears on the genitals or around the mouth," the Orange County Register reported. A "physician then reviews the information, makes the diagnosis and can prescribe medication within hours," so most of the cases reported to HerpAlert were breakouts of the virus. The interaction costs users a flat fee of $79.
Individuals "came to the platform for a variety of reasons, including to get medication to treat and prevent flares, in addition to those who came to see if they had a new case of cold sores or herpes," a HerpAlert spokesperson told media.
Physicians in the Los Angeles area told the OC Register that, although the application saw an increase in reports, real life health officials haven't seen a similar spike, and public health agencies in and around the Los Angeles area did not report any increase in herpes diagnoses. But southern California health officials also say the anonymous nature of the application might make herpes carriers more likely to report it to HerpAlert than to local health officials that they have to have face-to-face contact with.
Doctors who spoke to Billboard also suggested that people might be in a hurry to refill prescriptions ahead of the festival, or to take preemptive measures before heading to the event.
"There were many coming to get medication to treat and prevent flares. We see it as people deciding to take proactive care of their health and the health of those they may interact with over the weekend," a physician affiliated with HerpAlert told Billboard. "We do not have a number of diagnosed new cases, as sometimes we cannot determine via their history and photos, so we have to advise they see a provider in person."
And although they haven't seen evidence of an outbreak aside from the reports made to HerpAlert, public health officials tell the OC Register that they believe reports.
Coachella "is a perfect place for the herpes virus to pop up," one official told the paper. The event typically draws around 250,000 over the course of two spring weekends, and attendees are known to hook up (of course), but also routinely share makeup, cigarettes, and drinks. Participants also get more than the typical amount of sun exposure and less than the typical amount of sleep, which can make them more susceptible to contagious illness.
Sky customers moan: Our broadband hubs are bricking it ' The Register
Mon, 29 Apr 2019 14:31
Don't be touching the DNS Sky Broadband has rolled out a firmware update which is bricking users' broadband hubs if they are not set to use the ISP's default choice of domain name server.
Sky customer support has been offering contradictory information to users and offering either a roll-back or a firmware fix but this is expected to up to a week.
The company's own support forums have threads from exasperated users struggling to get their service back. There is frustration at the lack of clear information as well as the lack of testing before the firmware was rolled out.
The Reg was contacted by a Sky subscriber who wants to remain anonymous. They lost internet access on Friday morning and were told it was due to a firmware update which went out overnight on Thursday. Initial promises of a fix within 72 hours were then amended to between three and eight days.
Our reader said:
I was advised that Sky had uploaded a firmware update to my hub overnight which caused issues for anyone who might have set up a third party DNS server on their Sky Hub rather than using the default DNS server. This means that I now had a pretty stroppy brick instead of a useful broadband hub. In fact, it was so bad that I couldn't even log into the Hub itself to fix the problem or factory reset it). What Sky did was to release some very poorly tested code to the public meaning that they have effectively broken my internet service, through no fault of mine.
I rang back this morning to be told that I need to give them between 3 and 8 days to get back with a fix (the extra time is to allow them to investigate further). I guess their "let's just back it out" plan didn't work how they expected'...
Some users on the forum speculated the roll-out relates to the government's 15 July deadline for age restrictions on adult content, but this has not been confirmed by Sky.
We've contacted Sky's press office and will update if we hear back from them. ®
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Trump, once a vaccine skeptic, changes his tune amid measles outbreaks
Mon, 29 Apr 2019 14:29
A s measles outbreaks rage in a number of states across the country, President Trump urged families to vaccinate their children on Friday.
''They have to get the shots. The vaccinations are so important,'' Trump told reporters as he left the White House. ''This is really going around now. They have to get their shots.''
The endorsement of vaccination from a previously vaccine-questioning president comes as a bit of a surprise. Before winning the presidency, Trump several times alleged there was a link between the number of vaccines children get in early infancy and the development of autism.
But since his inauguration, Trump has made no public comment about vaccines at all.
Healthy young child goes to doctor, gets pumped with massive shot of many vaccines, doesn't feel good and changes '' AUTISM. Many such cases!
'-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 28, 2014
With the measles count in the United States hitting its highest point since 1994 this week, public health observers have questioned why this president, unlike predecessors going back to Franklin Delano Roosevelt, hasn't been urging parents to vaccinate their children.
Some raised concerns that Trump's track record on vaccination would undercut the credibility of any pro-vaccination message he delivered. But others noted that his base voters might be swayed if he endorsed vaccines.
''To me, this is one of the best things President Trump has done,'' said Jonathan Zimmerman, a professor of the history of education at the University of Pennsylvania, who called out Trump publicly on his silence in a recent op-ed published in the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Zimmerman called the move ''politically brave,'' noting there is an anti-vaccine faction within his base.
''I hope my fellow liberals will take a break from lambasting the President and congratulate him. Whatever his other wrongs, he was dead right about this,'' Zimmerman said.
On Wednesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that reported measles cases in the country had hit 695, the highest number since before measles was declared in eliminated in the U.S. in 2000. Cases have been reported from 22 states.
The president's comments were welcomed by Dr. Matt Zahn, the chair of the Infectious Diseases Society of America's public health committee, who suggested they could be helpful in winning over parents who worry about the safety of vaccines.
''It's just so important that there's clarity here,'' said Zahn, who is medical director for the communicable diseases program for Orange County Public Health in California. ''You are safer and the public will be healthier when our kids are getting immunized and when our community immunization rates go up.''
Orange County is home to Disneyland, the epicenter of a big measles outbreak in 2015. Working to contain it was an enormous amount of work, Zahn said.
He said there is a fear among public health officials that the ground is now shifting. Where in recent years U.S. measles numbers have been driven by one or two large outbreaks '-- among Amish communities in Ohio in 2014, Disneyland in 2015 '-- this year there are multiple large outbreaks around the country.
''It feels different,'' Zahn said, noting that even counties like his that aren't currently battling a measles outbreak are finding themselves having to chase down contacts who were exposed elsewhere. ''There is an awful lot of spillover to other communities and to other counties.''
''I think for all of public health, we're all a little apprehensive that we're reaching a new normal wherein every community deals with these events or cases or outbreaks on a semi-regular basis,'' he said.
And with a growing number of pockets across the country where vaccination rates are low, the U.S. is likely to find itself having to fight ever larger outbreaks when unvaccinated Americans get infected abroad and return home sick, or when infected tourists bring the virus to the country.
''We certainly have '... communities of significant size in this country where immunization rates are quite low,'' Zahn said. ''So the ground in the United States is more fertile for these outbreaks than it has been in decades past.''
Helen BranswellSenior Writer, Infectious Disease
Helen Branswell covers issues broadly related to infectious diseases, including outbreaks, preparedness, research, and vaccine development.
Diamond Batteries Made of Nuclear Waste Can Generate Power For Thousands of Years
Mon, 29 Apr 2019 13:57
Scientists from the University of Bristol Cabot Institute are hitting two birds with one stone, thanks to their lab-made diamond that can generate electricity and is made from upcycled radioactive waste. In nuclear power plants, radioactive uranium is split in a process called nuclear fission. When the atoms are split, heat is generated, and that heat then vaporizes water into steam that turns electricity-generating turbines. A severe downside of this process is the creation of dangerous radioactive waste, which ultimately deposits in the graphite core that it is housed in. Today, this nuclear contamination is safely stored away until it stops being radioactive'...and with a half-life of 5,730 years, that takes quite a while. The scientists found a way to heat the radioactive graphite to release most of the radioactivity in a gaseous form. The gas is subjected to high temperature and low pressures that turn it into a man-made diamond. When these diamonds are placed near a radioactive field, they generate a small electrical current. The developers enclosed the diamond battery in another non-radioactive diamond to absorb the harmful emissions, which in turn allowed for the generation of even more electricity, making the battery nearly 100 percent efficient. Powering the future The nuclear diamond battery has an incredible lifetime, and will only be half used up by the year 7746. This makes it an ideal power solution for ''situations where it is not feasible to charge or replace conventional batteries,'' said Tom Scott , a materials science professor at Cabot Institute. Flight times of planes, satellites, or spacecraft could increase with such a lasting battery. Medical devices like pacemakers and the artificial pancreas could become more reliable, empowering users to live their lives more fully. The development also presents an incredibly efficient way to treat radioactive waste. Within the past 40 years, the US has amassed 76,430 metric tons (84,250 tons) of this waste. Supplying the Earth with electricity is a daunting task even without a focus on sustainability. Now, it looks like experts are on the right track with this nuclear-powered diamond battery. It's almost like the holy grail of electricity generation, or as Scott puts it, ''no emissions generated and no maintenance required, just direct electricity generation.''
Planetary Defense Conference Exercise - 2019
Mon, 29 Apr 2019 13:55
The 2019 PDC Hypothetical Asteroid Impact ScenarioA hypothetical asteroid impact scenario will be presented at the2019 IAA Planetary Defense Conference (PDC),to be held in College Park, Maryland, USA, April 29 - May 3, 2019.Although this scenario is realistic in many ways,it is completely fictional and does NOT describe an actual potential asteroid impact.The scenario begins as follows:
An asteroid is discovered on March 26, 2019, at magnitude 21.1, and confirmed the following day.It is assigned the designation ''2019 PDC'' by theMinor Planet Center.(To reinforce the fact that this is not a real asteroid, we are using three lettersin the designation, something that would never be done for an actual asteroid.)
Initial calculations indicate that the orbit of 2019 PDC approaches well within 0.05 auof the Earth's orbit.(The unit ''au'' stands for ''astronomical unit'', which is the mean distance of the Earth from theSun, 149,597,870.7 km, or 92,955,807 miles.)Since the initial estimate of the asteroid's absolute (intrinsic) magnitude H is 21.7,it qualifies as a Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (PHA).
The asteroid's orbit is eccentric, extending from a distance of 0.89 au from the Sun at its closest pointto 2.94 au at its farthest point in the middle of the main asteroid belt.Its orbital period is 971 days (2.66 years),and its orbital plane is inclined 18 degrees to the Earth's orbital plane.
The day after 2019 PDC is discovered, JPL's Sentry impact monitoring system,as well as ESA's similar CLOMON system, both identify several future dates when this asteroidcould potentially impact the Earth.Both systems agree that the most likely potential impact occurs on April 29, 2027 - over eight yearsaway - but the probability of that impact is very low, about 1 chance in 50,000. With only two days oftracking this object, no more definitive statement can be made.
When first detected, the asteroid is about 0.38 au (57 million kilometers or 35 million miles)from Earth, approaching our planet at about 14 km/s (8.5 mi/s or 31,000 mph), and slowlygetting brighter. 2019 PDC is observed extensively for a few weeks after discovery, and as theobservational dataset grows, the impact probability for 2027 increases.Three weeks after discovery, when observations pause during full moon, the impact probabilityhas risen to nearly 0.4 percent, or about 1 chance in 250. The asteroid continues to brightensomewhat as it approaches, but it reaches a peak brightness of only 20.3 at the end of April.
Very little is known about the asteroid's physical properties.Based on the apparent visual magnitude, its absolute (intrinsic) magnitude is estimatedto be about H = 21.7 +/- 0.4.Since its albedo (reflectivity) is unknown, however, the asteroid's mean size could be anywherefrom roughly 100 meters to over 300 meters.
2019 PDC approaches the Earth for well over a month after discovery,and it reaches its closest point of about 0.13 au on May 13.Unfortunately, the asteroid is too far away to be detected by radar, and it is not expectedto pass close to the Earth again, until 2027.
Astronomers continue to track the asteroid almost every night,and the impact probability for 2027 continues to rise. As of April 29, 2019, the first dayof the 2019 Planetary Defense Conference, the probability of impact has climbed to about 1%.The rest of the scenario will be played out at the conference.
Here are additional details on what we know about 2019 PDC on the first day of the conference:
The following diagram shows the orbits of 2019 PDC and Earth, along with their positionswhen the asteroid was discovered on March 26, 2019, and the point at which the orbits intersect.The asteroid makes just over 3 orbits of the Sun between discovery and the potential impact. Orbit of Asteroid 2019 PDCThe following diagram zooms in on the intersection point of the orbits of 2019 PDC and the Earth,and shows the current uncertainty in the predicted position of the asteroid when the Earthcrosses through the intersection point on April 29, 2027.The uncertainty region is several times longer than the diameter of the Moon's orbit.As the asteroid is observed over subsequent months in 2019, its orbit will become better defined andthe uncertainty region in 2027 will shrink in size. Position uncertainty of asteroid 2019 PDC on April 29, 2027 (based on observations through April 29, 2019)The asteroid's uncertainty region at the time of the potential impact is much longer thanthe diameter of the Earth, but its width is only about 70 kilometers (45 miles).The intersection of the uncertainty region with the Earth creates a so-called ''risk corridor''across the surface of the Earth.The corridor wraps more than halfway around the globe, spanning from the Hawaii on thewestern end, across the U.S. and Atlantic Ocean, and all the way to central and southern Africaon the eastern end.The red dots on the following two Google Earth images are Monte Carlo points that trace the risk corridor: Risk corridor of 2019 PDC - image 1 Risk corridor of 2019 PDC - image 2A Google Earth kml file for these impact points is available here.
A table of the impact circumstances of impact points along the central axis of this corridor can be foundhere.The columns of this table are as follows:
xi & zeta are the Opik b-plane coordinates of the trajectory, in kilometers
Lat & ELon are the latitude and East longitude of the impact point, in degrees
Vel is the velocity at impact, in km/s
Az & El are the azimuth (measured eastwards from North) and elevation of the incoming velocity vector, in degrees
Time is the UTC time of the impact on the impact date, 2027-Apr-29.
The red dots in the risk corridor are Monte Carlo points, which are all essentially equally likely.While there are gaps between the points shown here, the risk corridor is really a continuum,with the impact probability proportional to the average density of the points.Note that the points become more widely spaced towards the ends of the corridorbecause the asteroid enters at shallower and shallower elevation angles.
The asteroid should remain continuously observable over the remaining months of 2019,although it gets difficult to observe in late May, when it moves as close as 50 deg fromthe Sun. It will also slowly fade as it recedes from the Earth, requiring fairly large(2-meter-class) telescopes to see it. The asteroid continues to fade during late 2019,reaching 23rd magnitude in October, 24th magnitude in November, and 25th magnitude in December.During that time, observers will require very large aperture telescopes such as the 4- and 8-meterclass facilities of CFHT, Keck, Gemini, Subaru, VLT, etc., to track the object.By February 2020, the asteroid will approach 27th magnitude and become essentially unobservablefor almost a year, until late 2020.
A special version of the JPL orbit viewer has been created for this objectand can be accessed here.
The orbit for the central point of the risk corridor for 2019 PDC has been loaded intoJPL's HORIZONS system, and can be accessed via the name ''2019 PDC''.HORIZONS can be accessed with this object preloaded via this web-interfacehere.
For those familiar with the SPICE Toolkit software, an SPK file for this same orbithas been created and is available here:
The SPK file is consistent with and contains additional DE431 planetary ephemeris informationover the time-span 1998-Jan-01 though impact on 2027-Apr-29,permitting retrieval of object state vectors at any arbitrary instant within that timespan.
The orbit for the central point of the risk corridor for 2019 PDC has been loaded into theJPL/Aerospace Corp. NEO Deflection App.This on-line tool allows users to study the velocity change (delta-v) required to deflectthe 2019 PDC trajectory away from the Earth, as a function of deflection time.Specific amounts of impulsive velocity change can be applied at specific times before impactand the resulting deflection in the impact b-plane is shown.The App can also be configured to calculate kinetic impactor spacecraft trajectories, as well asthe spacecraft masses that can be launched onto those trajectories by various launch vehicles.The App calculates the delta-v applied to the asteroid when the kinetic impactor hits it,and determines the Opik b-plane coordinates, xi and zeta, of the deflected trajectory.Using these coordinates, you can roughly determine the impact point of the deflected trajectoryby interpolating in the table of impact circumstances given above.A complete description of the app is available here.
The 2017 PDC trajectory is also loaded into the App along with trajectoriesof many other simulated Earth impactors.
The Technology 202: California synagogue shooting puts fringe site 8chan in spotlight - The Washington Post
Mon, 29 Apr 2019 13:39
Ctrl + N Mourners place a sign at a make-shift memorial across the street from the Chabad of Poway Synagogue (Photo by SANDY HUFFAKER / AFP/Getty Images)
A fringe social network called 8chan is in the spotlight after users on the anonymous message board cheered on the man suspected of attacking a California synagogue on Saturday.
Hours before a 19-year-old man opened fire at the San Diego-area synagogue, killing one and injuring three, an anti-Semitic screed was posted under his name on the website the Anti-Defamation League has compared to ''round-the-clock digital white supremacist rallies.'' 8chan is the same service that the alleged gunman in the New Zealand attacks used to blast his message of hate just weeks ago.
The pair of manifestos that appeared to preview real-world violence is rekindling calls for policymakers to look beyond just household names such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter to curtail the spread of harmful content. Tech experts and civil rights advocates say there's far less awareness of the role extremist enclaves such as 8chan -- which does not appear in Google search results and is blocked by many corporate firewalls -- play in stoking hate and violence online.
''The consequences of such a concentrated echochamber of hate has played out multiple times around the world,'' Oren Segal, the director of the ADL's Center on Extremism, told me. ''At this point, we believe that if certain companies can't take responsibility to regulate themselves, to protect their users, to protect others, then perhaps it's time for policymakers to step in and to regulate them.''
In a tweet over the weekend, 8chan said it took swift action to remove the post connected with the attack. But in the aftermath of the New Zealand attack, experts in online extremism said white supremacists' discussions on the forum appeared similar to online activity typically tied to Islamic militants, my colleagues Drew Harwell and Craig Timberg reported.
Some experts are calling for the website -- which describes itself as the "darkest reaches of the Internet" -- to be monitored like a terrorist recruiting website, so law enforcement would intervene more when chatter becomes violent, my colleagues wrote.
While the House held a hearing on white nationalism last month, experts said there wasn't nearly enough attention paid to these fringe sites.
''These digital hate rallies are leading to violence on the ground,'' Segal told me. ''If we can't try to understand the role of social media in not just encouraging hatred but spreading violence now, when will we be prepared to?''
The message is trickling to the campaign trail. Brianna Wu, a software engineer who is running as a Democrat for a House seat in Massachusetts, told me she is ''angry'' that law enforcement has not done more to rein in 8chan, which has also been connected to the circulation of child pornography and is a place where people are frequently doxxed.
After Wu herself was targeted on the website in 2014 with death threats during the Internet culture war known as Gamergate, she says she says she documented "tons of illegal activity" on 8chan and shared her findings with the FBI. She believes it's possible the recent shootings could have been avoided if law enforcement took greater action, she said, and wants to increase funding for the FBI to investigate online crime if elected to Congress.
''We need to fund a specific task force within the FBI that is very tech literate and tasked to prosecute these types of online crimes,'' she said. More from Wu:
7/ If you want to stop future mass shootings planned on #8chan, the course of action is very simple.Get a warrant, and START PROSECUTING all the blatantly illegal actions taken there. It is a crime to post stolen credit card information. It is a crime to host child pornography.
'-- Brianna Wu (@BriannaWu) April 28, 2019 But it may not just be up to policymakers or law enforcement: There could be a role to play for Big Tech to stop the spread of hateful content even from fringe sites.
Alex Stamos, the former chief security officer at Facebook, tweeted that technology platforms should ban content from services like 8chan and other sites known as hotbeds for white supremacist terrorism. "While they work on improving the quality of moderation using their current standards, I would also propose a much more extreme step: a blockade of the small number of sites responsible for the majority of WST community and recruiting," he tweeted.
While the platforms have their own issues disrupting the on-platform radicalization cycle, they can take a big step by creating a moat that makes it less likely that an individual starts with slightly alt-right videos and ends up cheering on a shooter on a *chan.
'-- Alex Stamos (@alexstamos) April 28, 2019 You are reading The Technology 202 , our guide to the intersection of technology and politics.
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Tesla CEO Elon Musk (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)
BITS: The Securities Exchange Commission and Elon Musk resolved their dispute over the Tesla chief executive's tweets, according to a Friday court filing obtained by my colleague Faiz Siddiqui.
The filing amends a previous deal Musk made with the agency that required the company to more closely monitor Musk's use of social media. The new agreement more specifically outlines which of Musk's tweets need to be reviewed by the company's lawyers.
"The new agreement details nine categories of information that must be screened, such as Tesla's 'financial condition, statements, or results, including earnings or guidance,'" Faiz wrote. "The categories also include such information as possible acquisitions and business deals, as well as production, sales and delivery numbers that include forecast or projected figures. Senior personnel or board changes would also have to be approved, among other nonpublic disclosures."
A judge still has to approve the agreement. The agency is seeking stricter limits on Musk's use of Twitter after they say Musk violated their earlier agreement in February, when he tweeted that Tesla would delvier half a million vehicles this year.
Apple CEO Tim Cook testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
NIBBLES: Apple has removed or restricted at least 11 of the 17 most-downloaded screentime monitoring apps since launching its own competing app last year, Jack Nicas reports in the New York Times.
"In some cases, Apple forced companies to remove features that allowed parents to control their children's devices or that blocked children's access to certain apps and adult content," Nicas reported. "In other cases, it simply pulled the apps from its App Store."
Some of the apps shut down, while others say their future is in jeopardy.
"The screen-time app makers are the latest companies to suddenly find themselves both competing against Apple and at the mercy of the tech titan," Nicas writes. "By controlling the iPhone App Store, where companies find some of their most lucrative customers, Apple has unusual power over the fortunes of other corporations."
The company defended its decision to remove or restrict the apps. Apple spokeswoman Tammy Levine told the New York Times that developers could gain too much access to people's devices through the monitoring apps and that the timing was unrelated from the company's own screentime app launch. Philip W. Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide marketing, said in emails published by MacRumors that Apple ''acted extremely responsibly in this matter, helping to protect our children from technologies that could be used to violate their privacy and security.''
US Attorney General William Barr arrives for a press conference about the release of the Mueller Report at the Department of Justice April 18, 2019, in Washington, DC. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP)BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images
BYTES: When the Mueller report came out, YouTube reccommended RT -- a global media outfit funded by the Russian government -- hundreds of thousands of times, according to my colleagues Drew Harwell and Craig Timberg.
The watchdog AlgoTransparency analyzed reccommendations made by the 1,000 YouTube channels it tracks daily. The group discovered that 236 of those recommended RT's ''On Contact: Russiagate & Mueller Report w/ Aaron Mate'' more than 400,000 times.
"The video interview it recommended, posted by RT's U.S.-focused division RT America, is sharply critical of American press coverage of the Mueller report and calls journalists 'Russiagate conspiracy theorists' and 'gossiping courtiers to the elite,'" my colleagues wrote.
YouTube pushed back on the watchdog's methodology, data and findings.
"The AlgoTransparency tool was created outside of YouTube and does not accurately reflect how YouTube's recommendations work, or how users watch and interact with YouTube,'' YouTube spokesman Farshad Shadloo said. ''We've designed our systems to help ensure that content from more authoritative sources is surfaced prominently in search results and 'watch next' recommendations in certain contexts, including when a viewer is watching news-related content on YouTube.''
Technology news from the private sector:
Bike-sharing start-ups brought prosperity to Wangqingtuo. Now residents are dealing with the mess they left behind.
New York Times
In-depth profile of Facebook's Chris Cox, a gifted and still very young man, who has played a seminal role in molding a now feared and polemicized behemoth.
Yahoo Finance
It's not Lyft or Didi Chuxing or another ride-hailing firm. Instead, Uber sees itself as the Amazon of transportation.
New York Times
In a new book, the former Google chairman pays tribute to his late Silicon Valley mentor .
Wall Street Journal
-- The consumer tech sector directly employed 5.1 million workers and supported an additional 13.1 million jobs in 2017, according to a new report that The Consumer Technology Association provided exclusively to the Technology 202. That's 9.3% of the U.S. workforce in that year.
The study, conducted by Pricewaterhouse Coopers, gives a picture of the industry's economic impact in the United States. Gary Shapiro, president and chief executive of the CTA, say the report's findings show the tech sector "is an essential driver of our nation's economy."
"And the effects go beyond just the products our industry sells '' we drive productivity for virtually every sector of the economy," Shapiro said in a statement.
Noteably, the study also provides some insight into the political ramifications of tech's growth amid growing political backlash against the industry. The study shows the industry has an increasing on-the-ground presence in blue states, such as New York, Massachusetts and California.
Technology news from the public sector:
The tech boom fueling the city's prosperity has also filled it with building sites. Residents welcome the growth but are wary of its hazards after a crane collapse left four dead.
New York Times
The city's Board of Elections posted its voting rolls to its website, allowing anyone to access people's home addresses and party affiliation.
New York Times
Silicon Valley giants are partnering with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in its annual effort to combat the opioid epidemic, a campaign known as National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.
The Hill
Facebook's VP of global affairs and communications, Nick Clegg, today said the social network '-- likely in response to pressure from European officials '-- is ''open'' to changing its rules on election advertising for European Union elections that will take place on May 23.
Twitter on Friday said it has suspended the campaign accounts for two candidates in the European Union that belonged to people who were previously banned from the platform.
The Hill
Tech news generating buzz online:
Powell Jobs's main organization, the Emerson Collective, has also become a quiet force in Silicon Valley for its less obviously altruistic investments. Since 2014, Emerson has backed more than 30 startups, according to research firm PitchBook.
Angwin was fired Monday evening, and most of her staff resigned in solidarity. "I have to brush up on my coup literature," she joked.
Lame Cherry: The Jockey of Nuclear War
Mon, 29 Apr 2019 03:58
As another Lame Cherry exclusive in matter anti matter. TL has noted as of late that the Brothers Durden at ZeroHedge have been hinting the past few weeks about "things" in covering World War II bombs underwater in Germany being disarmed, about Russian nuclear torpedoes off American cities and as of late, reporting on the Islamocommunists of Iran, now in public, stating that someone might just start an event to bring America to war with Iran.Iran without naming names is indicating that Mecca, Tel Aviv may initiate some action in the Middle East, which will draw the United States into a war with Iran.The quotes are quite specific.Iran Warns False Flag "Accident" Could "Lure" Trump Into War 1 Iran's foreign minister on Wednesday warned the United States of unspecified "consequences" if it tried to seal off to Tehran the Strait of Hormuz, the strategic passage into the oil-rich Gulf. — Channel News Asia2 Sharif's words were essentially a provocative declaration that the US military must ask Tehran's "permission" to enter the strait. However, he elsewhere explained that he doesn't believe that President Trump wants war with Iran, but that he could be "lured into one" by his more hawkish advisers.  3 The Iranian foreign minister also interestingly suggested the possibility that American operatives or their allies could try “to plot an accident” to create a broader crisis, in perhaps a continued cryptic reference to tensions in the Persian Gulf over the Strait of Hormuz.Iran though has not helped it's case, which it never does, as in the above it goads the United States to ask permission to pass through Hormuz. One must understand the Persian mindset, in Iran would actually welcome a US attack, because as Dick Cheney noted, Iran only has so many hard targets before you are just bombing sand. In other words, the US would lose by bombing Iran, as once blood was let, the Americans will have lost all leverage, and once again the Europeans, Chinese and Russians would be rebuilding things and trade would begin.That was what was behind Iran goading the Americans last year, in exclusively reported here, in taking credit for 9 11. Iran wants the US to attack, as it will open trade in Eurasia for Iran and allow Iran to draw blood too.There is something more to this though, in the Lame Cherry reported that Sec. of State Mike Pompeo went to Texas for a bizarre closed door meeting with Iranians in America, which he intended to be leaked, which stated the United States would not attack Iran.That violates everything Donald Trump ran on in signaling to a nation the military option was off the table. By the contents of that article, it is concluded that was a deliberate cover by Mike Pompeo, in the United States fully intends to strike Iran, but not a first strike.In the article Pompeo states that Trump would do things different in an uprising, and then mentions that John Bolton and Rudy Guilliani were meeting with MEK, an Iranian listed terror group.All of this points to something is being planned and is operational, as Trump has the replacement regime, is coordinating and has told the world that the US will not strike Iran, which violates Trump Speak. Wednesday, April 24, 2019 Grundlegend mein lieber WatsonAs it is laid out in th article on the Lame Cherry, and now with what the Iranians are wary of, it is concluded that Mike Pompeo was conducting a cover story of US Peace, when the US is preparing for a retaliatory attack on Iran, to install MEK.This then points to Iran stating that in incident is going to be unleashed by Tel Aviv or Mecca to draw the United States into a strike.As Dick Cheney explained, there were only so many hard targets for conventional weapons. That is why the assessment in this is beyond what Iran is speculating on. The only way to bring about the Pompeo results which would produce the final solution on Iran, as Wesley Clark stated that Iran was the last of 7 nations the United States for the global cartel intended to topple for a new Mideast Order. is for a dial a nuclear strike on Iran.As there is not any way the United States can unleash that kind of crossing the red line firepower, without a 9 11 type event, which 9 11 could not even unleash the use of nuclear warheads in Afghanistan to root out al Qaeda, it therefore is a conclusion that the attack Iran is wary of, will not happen in the Mideast. It will not happen on US bases in the Mideast or a carrier group. It will not be conventional. It is concluded by the above daisy chain of events that in order to bring about the outcome which Mike Pompeo would advocate, that it would require some type of glow in the dark event upon the United States proper.This would then provide the United States the cover to use their dial nuke arsenal, which would bring about a cost effective regime change, which would pollute the land long enough that Russians and Chinese would not prefer to glow in the dark.It would effectively provide diplomatic leverage in future negotiations with the Eurasians as the United States had proven their battlefield nuclear arsenal would counter the Eurasian hordes in World War IV.The time line in this is Jared Kushner as there are indications of event date. Kushner has been pushing an Arab NATO to counter Iran. This Harem of 8 though has more purpose as Kushner intends it to use his gang as his Jew mafia enforcement arm for Greater Judea.Problem is though in this that Egypt after speaking with Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, told the Arab 8 and Kushner to bugger off.Breaking: "Kushner Peace Plan Includes 8 "Arab NATO" Nations ... /watch?v=SIdb5M9Pdm8 also Trump's Son-N-Law Jared Kushner reveals Peace Plan will include 8 Arab Nations "Arab NATO" in the Middle East Peace D...Egypt Pulled Out Of U.S. Efforts To Form "Arab NATO" To ... /egypt-pulled-out-of-u-s-efforts-to-form-arab-nato-to-combat-iran-reports/ Egypt pulled out of US and Saudi Arabia's effort to form an anti-Iranian "Arab NATO," Israeli media reported citing anonymous sources familiar with the matter. The country told the US and other participants in the Middle East Security Alliance, or MESA ahead of a meeting on April 7 th in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.The signs though are Kushner. He was supposed to unveil his big Jew Peace, but after meeting with Chancellor Kurz who gave it zero support, the Kushner Peace Plan is now not going to surface until after Ramadan, June 4th. That means the Muslims do not want hordes of hot headed Muslism raging on holy pilgrimage over whatever Kushner is planning to divide the Greater Golan to be annexed by Tel Aviv.Kushner: Middle East peace plan to be unveiled after Ramadan /a42ff021b66f49c68841932bcc767891 NEW YORK (AP) — The White House is planning to release its long-awaited Middle East peace plan in the next few months. White House senior adviser Jared Kushner said Tuesday that it would be unveiled sometime after the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which this year ends on June 4. Kushner, speaking ...Then we have Brexit in late May. Then the EU elections again in June, with strategic appointments following in mid July. A time window is opening in this when connected to Iran.2019 EU Elections | WWF /what_we_do/eu_affairs/elections/ 23-26 May: EU Elections in all 27 Member States 20-21 June: EU Heads of State and Government adopt the Strategic Agenda for 2019-2024 and agree on high-level appointments 15-18 July: Newly elected Members of the European Parliament vote on the future President of the European CommissionEven Trump and Chocolate Cake Xi moved a March summit to sometime in June. All of these major events are being delayed, moved and being enacted around a specific time period.Proposed Trump-Xi summit to end trade war may be pushed back ... /story/proposed-trump-xi-summit-to-end-trade-war-may-be-pushed-back-to-june-report-2019-03-17 A proposed summit between President Donald Trump and China's Xi Jinping to end the trade war may be pushed back to June, the South China Morning News reported Saturday. The proposed meeting to ...I am reminded in this of the Bavarian Seer who spoke of a nuclear attack upon the United States when the trees were blossoming in Europe. The above combined actions all point to an under current having developed all based upon some very colossal diplomatic jockeying. Europe is seating their new Super State Government in this period. Kushner is pressing his version of Anti Persian Peace. Xi is being pushed to bow to the Donald and Egypt has thrown in with Sebastian Kurz and the Europeans over Libya in their future is North Africa, not the nuclear conflict with Iran.The Brother's Durden seem to be hinting from the hedge sources that someone is whispering something. The above links are all public, and when assembled point to a conclusion that there is an event out there, and the major powers are poised to profit off that event.As my brother texted me the other day, "You know Rush Limbaugh said NUFF SAID" on his radio program the other day.With that quote, this Lame Cherry exclusive in matter anti matter ends.  agtG
Kushner: Middle East peace plan to be unveiled after Ramadan
Mon, 29 Apr 2019 03:58
NEW YORK (AP) '-- The White House is planning to release its long-awaited Middle East peace plan in the next few months.
White House senior adviser Jared Kushner said Tuesday that it would be unveiled sometime after the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which this year ends on June 4.
Kushner, speaking at a conference sponsored by Time Magazine, said the plan was originally poised to be released earlier this year but was delayed after elections were called in Israel.
Kushner, who is President Donald Trump's son-in-law, would not discuss any details of the plan, including whether it would endorse a two-state solution for Israel and the Palestinians.
The peace proposal has been in the works for two years and the process has been greeted with skepticism both on Capitol Hill and in global capitals.
Egypt Pulled Out Of U.S. Efforts To Form "Arab NATO" To Combat Iran: Reports
Mon, 29 Apr 2019 03:56
Egypt pulled out of US and Saudi Arabia's effort to form an anti-Iranian ''Arab NATO,'' Israeli media reported citing anonymous sources familiar with the matter.
The country told the US and other participants in the Middle East Security Alliance, or MESA ahead of a meeting on April 7th in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
One of the anonymous sources said Cairo did not send a delegation to the meeting, the latest gathering held to advance the U.S.-led effort to bind Sunni Muslim Arab allies into a security, political and economic pact to counter Shi'ite Iran.
An Arab source also said that this came as a disappointment:
''We all want Egypt to be a part of an Arab NATO,'' said the source, ''especially as it has the largest army of any Arab nation, and because it carries importance.''
The reasons behind the decision, according to the sources, is that Egypt doesn't wish to harm its relations with Iran, as well as it doesn't believe that US President Donald Trump would be elected for a second term. If Trump is gone that jeopardizes the entire ''Arab NATO'' idea since the next POTUS may decide not to follow through.
On April 9th, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi visited the US and met with Donald Trump. Trump said that they spoke of security issues, but the Arab NATO nor Iran were mentioned in the press conference following the meeting.
Both leaders praised the warm relations between the countries, which could presumably be spoiled if the reports of Egypt giving up efforts are true.
In addition to the US and Saudi Arabia, the MESA proposed participants include the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman and Jordan.
Two anonymous sources also told Al Jazeera that the project would be moving forward and that Egypt would be pressured into not revoking its membership. The project was initially proposed by Saudi Arabia in 2017, and was perpetuated by US President Donald Trump.
The aim of the Trump administration with the project is to form a a new security body comprising Sunni Middle Eastern countries that would be geared toward countering Shiite Iran's 'regional adventurism'. Reportedly, MESA member-states would seek deeper cooperation in the realms of missile defense, military training and counter-terrorism, while strengthening broader political and economic ties.
''It would serve as a bulwark against Iranian aggression, terrorism, extremism and will bring stability,'' a spokesperson for the White House's National Security Council asserted in reference to the potential association.
''It's not a new project. However, its implementation is what matters,'' said Qassem Qaseer, a Lebanese political analyst. He confirmed that the US has been working with Arab states for a while now to form such a body, noting that ''the issue remains with the different agendas and political approach of its member of states.''
Qaseer said that the Arab countries don't agree on more than one critical issue, pointing out that the Arab NATO is still an idea with no structure.
''They aim to pressure Iran on the ground by such initiative, although, they need to make it a reality first,'' Qaseer said.
A Saudi political analyst, Sulaiman al-Oqaily, also said that there must be one strategy among the Arab nations that form the alliance, as well as a clear target in order for such an endeavor to succeed.
Al-Oqaily claimed that there must be one united Arab bloc that has agreed that the ''Arab NATO'' would protect the Arab world from all kind of threats and security challenges. ''Its members' motives and determinants have to be the same.''
Al-Oqaily says that the sectarianism with which Iran targets the Middle East is more dangerous than Israel.
''Iran is taking advantage of its culture and religious links to the Arab world to expand there and destroy it. Israel can't violate the Arab society like Iran, but through its intelligence services.''
Between November 10th and 13th, 2018, Egypt hosted the Shield of the Arabs 1 military exercise, with the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain and Jordan.
Egyptian military spokesperson Tamer al-Rifai back then said the exercises were part of Egypt's efforts to enhance military cooperation with other Arab countries but declined to speculate on whether they could evolve into some sort of a military alliance.
Egypt on the other hand, appears to have stable relations with Iran currently.
Iran hailed the reports of Egypt giving up on the efforts. Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi was cited by the IRNA News Agency, praising the possible decision.
He said that it wasn't yet confirmed, and Iran was examining whether it was true, but if it was confirmed it would be ''welcomed.''
''Egypt is an important and powerful country both in the Arab and in the Muslim world that can play a key role in creating peace, stability and security in the West Asia region,'' said Qasemi.
He said that Egypt can exercise realism to help foster unity among Muslim countries and bring them closer together.
Qasemi expressed hope that Egypt, 'as an undeniable power of Arab world', can carry out its historical duty in the most sensitive conditions of the region.
In addition the decision, if it were true, would help foster better relations in the region and assist in fighting terrorism, provide security and sustainable stability, and give a boost to mutual understanding and multilateral cooperation.
Qasemi also expressed Iran's doubt that the Arab NATO endeavor would be successful, arguing that NATO was founded in Western world 'under certain historical and geographical conditions, based on a series of certain values and necessities and even very certain commonalities' which is not likely to be copied in the Arab world.
Egypt's relations with Russia also appear to be on the rise. Russia is a key partner of Iran, especially in Syria.
On March 18th, Russian outlet Kommersant reported that Russia had inked a $2 billion contract for the delivery of 20 fighter jets to Egypt.
The contract was signed at the end of 2018 and delivery of the aircraft, as well as weapons for the planes, will begin as early as 2020-21.
Russia's Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation (FSMTC) said that no contracts for aircraft supply were signed in the second half of 2018. So the report may be false.
Regardless, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on April 9th warned that Egypt would be subject to US sanctions if it did, in fact, purchase the Russian Su-35 fighter jets.
''We have made clear that systems were to be purchased that'... would require sanctions on the regime,'' Pompeo told the Senate Committee on Appropriations. ''We have received assurances from them, they understand that, and I am very hopeful they will decide not to move forward with that acquisition.''
Earlier, on October 17th, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi also signed a strategic cooperation treaty designed to increase trade, military, and other ties between their two nations.
Putin said the talks encompassed ''the whole spectrum of bilateral relations as well as key international and regional problems.''
He added that he and Sisi discussed expanding arms trade and military ties, pointing out that Russian and Egyptian paratroopers were conducting military maneuvers in Egypt.
Iran Warns False Flag "Accident" Could "Lure" Trump Into War | Zero Hedge
Mon, 29 Apr 2019 01:35
Following US declarations that Washington and its allies intend to take Iranian crude exports down to "zero" by cancelling waivers previously granted to eight nations, tensions are now soaring over the Strait of Hormuz, with Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) attempting to lay down the law amid fears the US Navy could move to block Iran's access, given the IRGC's new terror designation.
On Wednesday Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said if the US intends to pass through the Persian Gulf's vital choke point '-- the waterway's narrowest strait routinely patrolled by Iran's military '-- "it must dialogue with those who defend it". Sharif's words were essentially a provocative declaration that the US military must ask Tehran's "permission" to enter the strait. However, he elsewhere explained that he doesn't believe that President Trump wants war with Iran, but that he could be "lured into one" by his more hawkish advisers.
Image via Mehr News AgencyIran's foreign minister on Wednesday warned the United States of unspecified "consequences" if it tried to seal off to Tehran the Strait of Hormuz, the strategic passage into the oil-rich Gulf. '-- Channel News Asia
''I don't think he wants war,'' Zarif said in an interview at the Iranian mission to the UN in New York, according to Reuters. ''But that doesn't exclude him being basically lured into one.''
''Those who have designed the policies that are being pursued do not simply want a negotiated solution. But let me make it clear that Iran is not seeking confrontation, but will not escape defending itself,'' Zarif said further.
The Iranian foreign minister also interestingly suggested the possibility that American operatives or their allies could try ''to plot an accident'' to create a broader crisis, in perhaps a continued cryptic reference to tensions in the Persian Gulf over the Strait of Hormuz.
Earlier Zarif addressed jostling over Persian Gulf access at an Asia Society event in New York, while there attending a UN session, but underscored that Tehran is ''open for dialogue.''
''We believe that Iran will continue to sell its oil. We will continue to find buyers for our oil and we will continue to use the Strait of Hormuz as a safe transit passage for the sale of our oil,'' Zarif said.
"If the United States takes the crazy measure of trying to prevent us from doing that, then it should be prepared for the consequences," the foreign minister warned further.
Zarif's words are alarming, given Iran itself has already threatened multiple times, including very recent declarations, to block the vital oil trade route altogether (through which some one-third of global oil shipping passes), but especially considering the IRGC is now officially designated a "terrorist organization" by the United States.
Thus the White House will no doubt receive any ultimatum related to the IRGC as tantamount to a terrorist group holding the keys allowing passage through a crucial oil shipping line.
Along with tightening sanctions the White House has indicated it will take measures to halt Iranian shipments in international waters wherever its tankers are found. Such bellicose rhetoric has been flying between Washington and Tehran since the Trump administration first pulled out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal last May.
Further addressing the tightening sanctions noose on Wednesday, Zarif said, ''We're allergic to pressure.'' He added, ''Try the language of respect, it won't kill you, believe me.''
UPS eyes U.S. project with Merck & Co for in-home vaccinations
Mon, 29 Apr 2019 01:30
United Parcel Service Inc wants to get beyond U.S. doorsteps with a new push into healthcare.
The world's largest package delivery firm is preparing to test a U.S. service that dispatches nurses to vaccinate adults in their homes, Reuters has learned, as the company and its healthcare clients work to fend off cost pressures and competitive threats from
UPS did not disclose which vaccines it would be using in the project, but drug and vaccine maker Merck & Co told Reuters it is looking at partnering with the company for the initiative.
The project, previously unreported, shows how UPS is targeting a larger slice of the $85 billion outsourced healthcare logistics market. Deutsche Post's DHL Group dominates the market, which is expected to grow to $105 billion by 2021.
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GAME COMPLEX - Sri Lankan ''Easter Worshippers'' -- and Christophobia | Frontpage Mag
Mon, 29 Apr 2019 01:14
On Easter Sunday, as Christians in Sri Lanka united with fellow believers to celebrate the glorious Resurrection of their Lord, they were besieged as terrorists launched a campaign targeting multiple churches and hotels.
As of the time of this writing, at least 321 people have been murdered, with approximately 500 more injured.
Although the majority religion of this country of 21 million people is Buddhism, and while Buddhists have indeed been among the persecutors of the disciples of Jesus, it is the Islamic State (ISIS) that has claimed responsibility for the carnage.
When word of this massacre broke, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton tweeted out sympathy for the ''Easter worshippers,'' the Christian men, women, and children who were murdered and maimed. ''The attacks on tourists and Easter worshippers in Sri Lanka are an attack on humanity,'' the former American president remarked. Clinton said: ''I'm praying for everyone affected by today's horrific attacks on Easter worshippers and travelers in Sri Lanka.''
As the (Jewish) commentator Dennis Prager noted, not only is it the case that neither Obama nor Clinton ''used the word 'Christians';'' that ''they went so far as to make up a new term'--'Easter worshippers''' that had been ''heretofore unknown to any Christian'' proves that Obama and Clinton went out of their way to avoid mentioning ''Christians'' and ''Christianity.''
Prager points out that when a white man in New Zealand shot some 50 Muslims as they prayed in their mosque, Obama and Clinton expressed condolences for Muslims who were harmed while worshipping in their mosque. And when a white non-Jewish man fired upon Jews who were praying in their synagogue in Pennsylvania, Clinton tweeted out reference to the synagogue.
Yet in neither her nor Obama's tweets was there any references to Christians, Christianity, or churches.
Some points:
(1) Though the Obamas and the Clintons of our political universe wouldn't dare admit it, the brute, ugly truth of the matter is that in the real world, as opposed to the alternative reality that the left has created, it is Christians'--not Jews and certainly not Muslims'--who are the most persecuted religious group on the face of the planet.
No other religious group is so much as a close second when it comes to this subject.
(2) This last point wouldn't be worth underscoring if not for the fact that the movers and shakers of our Government-Academic-Media-Entertainment (GAME) Complex are obviously determined to make sure that Americans (and all Westerners) are rendered utterly ignorant of the truth.
Christians the world over are persecuted to an extent and in ways that far exceed anything experienced by the adherents of other faiths, and, tellingly, 80% of the 50 most dangerous countries on Earth for Christians are Islamic-dominated.
This anti-Christian oppression must be exposed for what it is.
(3) Though not every left-leaning American politician and commentator followed Obama and Clinton in referring to the hundreds of casualties of the Sri Lanka terrorist attacks as ''Easter worshippers,'' that the left would prefer not to remind anyone that the victims were targeted because they are Christian goes without saying.
The question, however, is why?
Those who wish to resist Political Correctness will, understandably, doubtless have reservations about adding a new ''phobia'' or ''ism'' to our ever-growing catalogue of forbidden secular transgressions. Yet the term ''Christophobia'' is scarcely a violation of PC orthodoxy, and, in the interest of economy, it serves the purpose of designating this anti-Christian animus, a phenomenon that is as pervasive as it is dangerous.
The animosity toward Christianity manifests itself in a variety of ways. Sometimes, as in Sri Lanka, say, it is murderous. In many countries throughout the Middle East, Africa, and in parts of Asia, it is nothing less than state-sanctioned violence.
However, throughout the West generally and America specifically, the contempt toward Christianity, though systemic, is significantly more subtle. Its chief purveyors are left-leaning politicians, journalists, commentators, academics, and entertainers, and it can be discerned in the by-now all too predictable denunciations of the Christian-based food chain Chick-Filet, say, and the equation of bigotry with rejection of ''same-sex marriage'' and transgenderism.
When pro-abortionist leftists accuse the (overwhelmingly religious) opponents of the killing of the unborn of wanting to deny ''a woman's right to choose'' or of being agents of an oppressive ''patriarchy,'' they give expression to their Christophobia.
And when Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton invent the term ''Easter worshippers'' so as to avoid mentioning that the hundreds of innocent men, women, and children who were slaughtered by Islamic terrorists were Christian, they actually reinforce, even if inadvertently, the very thing'--Christophobia'--that gave rise to the bloodbath.
In other words, and while they would never admit this, and maybe not even admit it to themselves, those who largely control the opinion-shaping institutions in America and the West would prefer not to stress the Christianity of those who are murdered, maimed, and persecuted by Christophobes because they themselves are Christophobes, though of an admittedly more subtle, less brutal variety.
But while the contempt of the Obamas and Clintons of America is not as virulent as that of the terrorists who set their sights on the ''Easter worshippers'' in Sri Lanka, that they do in fact have contempt for practicing Christians can be denied only by liars and those who choose not to see things for what they are.
Photo Credit : UCA News.
Thousands of Immigrant Children Said They Were Sexually Abused in U.S. Detention Centers, Report Says - The New York Times
Sun, 28 Apr 2019 20:36
U.S. | Thousands of Immigrant Children Said They Were Sexually Abused in U.S. Detention Centers, Report Says Image A Justice Department report, released by Representative Ted Deutch, Democrat of Florida, said that there were 4,500 complaints in four years about the sexual harassment and abuse of immigrant children in United States custody. Credit Credit Tom Brenner/The New York Times The federal government received more than 4,500 complaints in four years about the sexual abuse of immigrant children who were being held at government-funded detention facilities, including an increase in complaints while the Trump administration's policy of separating migrant families at the border was in place, the Justice Department revealed this week.
The records, which involve children who had entered the country alone or had been separated from their parents, detailed allegations that adult staff members had harassed and assaulted children, including fondling and kissing minors, watching them as they showered, and raping them. They also included cases of suspected abuse of children by other minors.
From October 2014 to July 2018, the Office of Refugee Resettlement, a part of the Health and Human Services Department that cares for so-called unaccompanied minors, received a total of 4,556 allegations of sexual abuse or sexual harassment, 1,303 of which were referred to the Justice Department. Of those 1,303 cases deemed the most serious, 178 were accusations that adult staff members had sexually assaulted immigrant children, while the rest were allegations of minors assaulting other minors, the report said.
''The safety of minors is our top concern when administering the UAC program,'' Jonathan H. Hayes, the acting director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement, said in a statement, using an abbreviation for unaccompanied children. ''None of the allegations involved O.R.R. federal staff. These allegations were all fully investigated and remedial action was taken where appropriate.''
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The records do not detail the outcome of every complaint, but they indicate that some accusations were determined to be unfounded or lacking enough evidence to prosecute. In one case, a staff member at a Chicago detention facility was accused in April 2015 of fondling and kissing a child and was later charged with a crime. The report did not state whether that person had been found guilty.
The documents, first reported by Axios, were made public by Representative Ted Deutch, Democrat of Florida, the night before a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Tuesday about the Trump administration's policy of family separations at the southern border. That policy, which was put in place last spring, resulted in more than 2,700 children being separated from their parents under President Trump's ''zero tolerance'' policy of prosecuting anyone caught crossing the border illegally, including those with families seeking asylum on humanitarian grounds.
For most of the four years covered by the report, the number of allegations made to the Office of Refugee Resettlement stayed about the same from month to month. But the number of complaints rose after the Trump administration enacted its separation policy. From March 2018 to July 2018, the agency received 859 complaints, the largest number of reports during any five-month span in the previous four years. Of those, 342 allegations were referred to the Justice Department, the report showed.
During the hearing on Tuesday, a discussion of the records sparked a heated exchange between Mr. Deutch and Cmdr. Jonathan White of the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, who last year repeatedly warned a top official in Health and Human Services that the family separation policy could permanently traumatize young children.
As Mr. Deutch read some of the report, Commander White interjected, ''That is false!''
He later apologized, claiming that a ''vast majority of allegations proved to be unfounded.'' He said he was unaware of any accusations against staff members that were found to have merit.
No One Is Coming to Rescue You'--Especially Not a Presidential Candidate - Foundation for Economic Education
Sun, 28 Apr 2019 20:27
We are only a few months into 2019, and already the 2020 presidential election season is well underway. Each week, it seems that more candidates are entering the race, especially in the Democratic field. And as the country cycles through its political flavors of the week, social media has become overrun by passionate posts that read more like stump speeches in support of a given candidate.
Nearly every single person has an opinion about who this country should be supporting. And nearly every single one of them believes that their lives will be significantly better, or worse, based on who occupies the White House. But this gives politicians far too much power.
In order to truly better our lives, we need to rely less on political talking heads and more on ourselves. Only then can we begin to make a bigger difference and change the world.
Politicians Can't Save YouEvery four years, it is the same old song-and-dance as Americans make a pastime of rooting for political candidates in the same way they root for their favorite sports teams. Instead of merely holding the position of a civil servant, modern-day politicians have stepped into a celebrity role in which their brand speaks louder than their actual voting records. Beto O'Rourke and Bernie Sanders, for example, have the ''cool'' factor, which attracts young people willing to drop everything and campaign despite not fully understanding their stances.
These cults of personality are dangerous and they elevate politicians to an undeserved status. The more we place politicians on pedestals and believe that they can personally make our lives better, the more we relinquish our own sense of personal responsibility. And to be perfectly clear, that is the only way we can hope to better our own lives, or anyone else's for that matter.
If anyone has any doubt of this, ask yourself if the health care system in the post-Obama world is really any better than before he came to office?
We've all heard the promises political candidates make when it comes to improving the lives of their constituents: Andrew Yang is going to help the little guy get ahead by providing a universal basic income. Bernie Sanders is going to be the first person in history to make socialism work and create true and lasting equality. And Elizabeth Warren is going to personally save every woman from misogyny by becoming the first female president. These are, of course, no different from the promises we have heard in the past.
Donald Trump was going to save the American middle-class and the businesses sector. Barack Obama was going to save our health care system. And, at the risk of sounding repetitive, Hillary Clinton was going to save us from misogyny and create seamless gender equality by becoming the first female president. But when the ballots have been cast and all is said and done, few people's lives are dramatically impacted based on who sits in the oval office. And most of the problems that existed before the four-year term begins will exist afterward.
If anyone has any doubt of this, ask yourself if the health care system in the post-Obama world is really any better than before he came to office. It goes without saying that the ''if you like your plan you can keep your plan'' promise went out the window as soon as the realities of Obamacare made themselves known. Oh, and insurance policy premiums also skyrocketed.
Likewise, it would be equally false to believe that Trump somehow managed to save our health care by undoing all the damage caused by the Affordable Care Act with the snap of his fingers. And if you do believe this to be true, ask yourself: why were so many people shocked to find they still had to pay the individual mandate penalty on their taxes this year?
A politician cannot save us, not in the policy realm or our personal lives. But as individuals, we have nearly unlimited power to do this for ourselves.
Additionally, no matter how many promises have been made to completely withdraw the troops from Afghanistan over the years, we still hear of American military casualties occurring in regions we should no longer be occupying. Even the recent tax cuts that were supposed to help all of us were not as impactful as we had once thought they would be. While corporate tax rates were slashed'--and this is a good thing'--individuals saw only small decreases when it came to their own tax rates. (And a small percentage saw their taxes go up.)
From a policy front, our lives change very little depending on who is the president. But there is a deeper issue here than one of just policy. In fact, it's almost as if we view politicians as our personal saviors.
In Utah, when Mitt Romney was a 2012 Presidential candidate, many Utahns referred to him as the ''white knight,'' who had come to save our country and our Constitution. While this is the extreme of the cult of personality worship, it highlights the seriousness of the problem. The ''white knight'' reference implies that we need someone to come save us instead of realizing that we are capable of saving ourselves.
A politician cannot save us, not in the policy realm or our personal lives. But as individuals, we have nearly unlimited power to do this for ourselves.
We've Got to Save OurselvesObjectivist and renowned American psychotherapist Nathaniel Branden cautions against waiting on someone else to come rescue you from your problems. In his book The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem, Branden writes:
No one is coming to save me; no one is coming to make life right for me; no one is coming to solve my problems. If I don't do something, nothing is going to get better.
At first glance, this might seem like a bleak statement. But in these words rests the immense personal power we need to transform our lives. No politician can save you, just like no parent or friend can save you. If you really want to fix your life and be a tool for change on a grander scale, you're going to have to learn how to save yourself.
As a young person in my 20s, my life revolved around getting Ron Paul elected. In my humble opinion, I still believe he would have been the best president this country has ever known, but that doesn't negate the fact that in pursuit of getting him elected, I stopped trying to work on myself and improve my own life.
During that 2012 campaign season, I stopped talking to family and friends who disagreed with me, I routinely made excuses as to why I didn't have to be kind to someone who supported another candidate, and I abandoned all self-improvement endeavors in pursuit of getting Dr. Paul elected. At the time, I truly believed a Paul presidency would fix all my problems.
Instead of starting small and fixing whatever I could in my own personal sphere, I looked to someone in Washington to rescue me. I made the mistake of abandoning everything right in front of me. My four-year relationship was on track to escalate to an engagement, but my preoccupation with the campaign resulted in a nasty breakup instead. Additionally, lifelong friendships deteriorated because I couldn't seem to see past our political differences. And when it came to my family, I stopped attending Sunday dinners and holidays because I didn't have time for anything that wasn't centered around my political pursuits. Additionally, my own health was beginning to deteriorate because I couldn't find the time to sleep well or eat properly.
And when the election season was over, and my dreams of a President Paul had not come to fruition, I was left with the harsh realization that my personal life was a complete mess. I had tried so hard to change things in Washington'--something I truly had very little control over'-- that I completely neglected to fix what I could control. I did not realize at the time that I was capable of saving myself.
During an appearance on Joe Rogan's podcast, psychology professor Jordan B. Peterson spoke of the importance of fixing your own life before you try to take on bigger tasks. He said:
'...don't be fixing up the economy, 18-year-olds. You don't know anything about the economy. It's a massive complex machine beyond anyone's understanding and you mess with that your peril. So can you even clean up your own room? No. Well you think about that. You should think about that, because if you can't even clean up your own room, who the hell are you to give advice to the world?
In my quest to elect Dr. Paul, my proverbial room had grown chaotically messy. And instead of doing what I could to fix it, I was out campaigning, attempting to tell other people what to do when I truthfully did not even know how to handle my own life. As Peterson also says,
My sense is that if you want to change the world, you start from yourself and work outward, because you build your competence that way.
Peterson's sentiment actually echoes similar words written by Plato in a passage from The Republic, in which he writes:
But in truth justice was, as it seems, something of this sort; however, not with respect to a man's minding his external business, but with respect to what is within, with respect to what truly concerns him and his own. He doesn't let each part in him mind other people's business or the three classes in the soul meddle with each other, but really sets his own house in good order and rules himself.
During that campaign season, I had ample opportunities to take small steps in rescuing myself, but I never did. Instead, I thought that I could bypass saving myself in pursuit of something greater. But this is not possible. You cannot run without first learning how to walk, and in order to be capable of great change, you have to first fix yourself. This doesn't have to be some grand gesture, you can start small by cleaning your room, or even begin by simply organizing one small corner of your room. Eventually, as Peterson says, you can take on bigger tasks.
'...and then maybe you'll learn enough by doing that so that you can fix up your family a little bit, and then having done that, you'll have enough character so that when you try to operate in the world, at your job, or maybe in the broader social spheres, that you'll be a force for good instead of harm'...
Imagine what you could do if you got your own life in order? This seems like a small step, but maybe by cleaning your room and getting your own life together you could start a business and create jobs for others. Or maybe you could be a more effective activist if you first did all you could to work on yourself before petitioning for larger change.
If you want to live in a world where women have more opportunities, don't elect another woman to office; become the female who is bringing that change to pass in her everyday life. We make the grave mistake of assuming politicians are qualified to save us. But how many political candidates have actually made the effort to ''clean up their own room'' before attempting to save the country? The answer is probably very few.
All You Can Do Is Start With YourselfWe would each do well to remind ourselves that an election season will not make or break us as individuals. Unless you are willing to take the steps needed to clean your room and be your own savior, you cannot expect someone else to do it for you. So instead of arguing back and forth on social media in favor of this or that candidate, do something that will help you change your own life and, thus, better prepare you to make bigger changes.
As Confucius says:
To put the world in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must first put the family in order; to put the family in order; we must first cultivate our personal life; we must first set our hearts right.
No one is coming to help you, so you might as well stop waiting and start fixing your own life today.
Indonesia election: More than 270 election staff die counting votes - BBC News
Sun, 28 Apr 2019 20:26
Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The Indonesian election was one of the world's biggest one-day ballots More than 270 election workers in Indonesia have died, mostly of fatigue-related illnesses caused by long hours of work counting millions of ballot papers by hand, an official says.
Arief Priyo Susanto, spokesman of the General Elections Commission (KPU), said 1,878 other staff had fallen ill.
Some seven million people were helping count and monitor the 17 April vote.
Staff were expected to work through the night in sweltering conditions, which took a hefty physical toll on many.
The elections were the first time the country of 260 million people combined the presidential vote with national and regional parliamentary ballots, in order to save money.
Around 80% of the 193 million eligible voters cast their votes in more than 800,000 polling stations.
But the huge numbers have apparently taken their toll on temporary election staff, who unlike civil servants, do not undergo a medical examination before starting work.
The KPU spokesman said 272 election workers had died from overwork-related illnesses.
Indonesia's election commission plans to compensate surviving families 36 million rupiah (£1,930; $2,500) for every deceased worker - roughly equivalent to one year's pay at minimum wage, according to the Nikkei Asian Review.
Critics say the government was not prudent for combining the elections and creating unrealistic expectations of temporary staff.
Both President Joko Widodo and opposition presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto have declared victory, though quick counts suggested Mr Widodo won the election by around 9-10 percentage points.
The KPU will finish vote counting and announce winners of the presidential and parliamentary elections on 22 May.

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