Cover for No Agenda Show 1141: Nadster
May 26th, 2019 • 2h 49m

1141: Nadster


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.

Milkshake Mania
Nigel Farage 'trapped on bus' surrounded by protesters holding milkshakes | The Independent
Thu, 23 May 2019 21:50
Nigel Farage reportedly got stuck on his Brexit Party campaign bus after people armed with milkshakes surrounded him.
The politician is said to have refused to leave the vehicle just days after he was covered in banana and salted caramel milkshake in Newcastle.
Three young men dressed in black with their hoods up were reportedly spotted in the crowd when the bus arrived in Rochester, Kent, on Wednesday, Kent Live reports.
We'll tell you what's true. You can form your own view.From 15p '‚¬0.18 $0.18 USD 0.27 a day, more exclusives, analysis and extras.
Someone suggested they were carrying milkshakes and Mr Farage was told not to get off the bus, according to the newspaper.
The Brexit Party leader is said to have eventually stepped off the vehicle, but didn't venture far to greet supporters.
leftCreated with Sketch. rightCreated with Sketch.
1/6 Newcastle says "no thanks Farage"Brexit Party leader Nigel farage is led away by security after being hit with a milkshake at a campaign event in Newcastle
2/6 Tommy Robinson covered in a milkshake...While out on the campaign trail for the European Elections in Warrington, a man threw a milkshake in Tommy Robinson's face. Frame 1: Man throws milkshake. Frame 2: Robinson and Co. beat man. Frame 3: Robinson covered in milkshake
3/6 ...the day after being covered with a milkshakeThe day before in Bury, a suspected child threw a milkshake over Robinson before running away
Paul Ryder/Youtube
4/6 Gerrard Batten's imageAmy Thompson from Plymouth greeted the Ukip tour bus by throwing a milkshake over the image of leader Gerrard Batten
McCoys Media/SWNS
5/6 Carl Benjamin milkshakedUkip candidate Carl Benjamin aka Sargon of Akkad was met with a milkshake while campaigning in Totnes, Devon
6/6 AftermathThe remains of the milkshake that struck Carl Benjamin
Cornwall Live/SWNS
1/6 Newcastle says "no thanks Farage"Brexit Party leader Nigel farage is led away by security after being hit with a milkshake at a campaign event in Newcastle
2/6 Tommy Robinson covered in a milkshake...While out on the campaign trail for the European Elections in Warrington, a man threw a milkshake in Tommy Robinson's face. Frame 1: Man throws milkshake. Frame 2: Robinson and Co. beat man. Frame 3: Robinson covered in milkshake
3/6 ...the day after being covered with a milkshakeThe day before in Bury, a suspected child threw a milkshake over Robinson before running away
Paul Ryder/Youtube
4/6 Gerrard Batten's imageAmy Thompson from Plymouth greeted the Ukip tour bus by throwing a milkshake over the image of leader Gerrard Batten
McCoys Media/SWNS
5/6 Carl Benjamin milkshakedUkip candidate Carl Benjamin aka Sargon of Akkad was met with a milkshake while campaigning in Totnes, Devon
6/6 AftermathThe remains of the milkshake that struck Carl Benjamin
Cornwall Live/SWNS
Mr Farage was in Kent visiting Dartford, Gravesend and Rochester ahead of Thursday's EU elections.
The politician's security were leaving nothing to chance after he was doused in a £5.25 Five Guys milkshake in Newcastle on Monday.
He had just given a speech and was walking along a street when a man hurled the drink at him.
Mr Farage could be heard saying to his security ''this is a failure'' and ''how did that happen'' as he was ushered back to his car.
He later tweeted: ''Sadly some remainers have become radicalised, to the extent that normal campaigning is becoming impossible.
''For a civilised democracy to work you need the losers consent, politicians not accepting the referendum result have led us to this.''
Northumbria Police later confirmed a 32-year-old man arrested at the scene had been charged with common assault and criminal damage.
Nigel Farage says normal campaigning is becoming impossible because people have been 'radicalised'
Former English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson and Ukip candidate Carl Benjamin have also been targeted by milkshakes in recent weeks.
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Press Freedom
Assange Indicted Under Espionage Act, Raising First Amendment Issues - The New York Times
Thu, 23 May 2019 20:55
Politics | Assange Indicted Under Espionage Act, Raising First Amendment Issues Image Though Julian Assange is not a conventional journalist, much of what he does at WikiLeaks is difficult to distinguish in a legally meaningful way from what traditional news organizations do. Credit Credit Jack Taylor/Getty Images WASHINGTON '-- Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks leader, has been indicted on 17 new counts of violating the Espionage Act for his role in publishing classified military and diplomatic documents in 2010, the Justice Department announced on Thursday '-- a novel case that raises profound First Amendment issues.
The new charges were part of a superseding indictment obtained by the Trump administration that significantly expanded the legal case against Mr. Assange, who is already fighting extradition proceedings in London based on an earlier hacking-related count brought by federal prosecutors in Northern Virginia.
The secret documents that Mr. Assange published were provided by the former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning, who was convicted at a court-martial trial in 2013 of leaking the records.
''Assange, WikiLeaks affiliates and Manning shared the common objective to subvert lawful restrictions on classified information and to publicly disseminate it,'' the indictment said.
Video Over the years, the WikiLeaks founder has been embraced by everyone from Lady Gaga to Sean Hannity. But he's also made enemies along the way. Our video shows how his anti-secrecy agenda has attracted, and repelled, people across the political spectrum. Credit Credit Andrew Testa for The New York Times [Press freedoms and the case against Julian Assange, explained.]
The Justice Department's decision to pursue Espionage Act charges signals a dramatic escalation under President Trump to crack down on leaks of classified information and aims squarely at First Amendment protections for journalists. Most recently, law enforcement officials charged a former intelligence analyst with giving classified documents to The Intercept, a national security news website.
Legal scholars believe that prosecuting reporters over their work would violate the First Amendment, but the prospect has not yet been tested in court because the government had never charged a journalist under the Espionage Act.
Though he is not a conventional journalist, much of what Mr. Assange does at WikiLeaks is difficult to distinguish in a legally meaningful way from what traditional news organizations like The New York Times do: seek and publish information that officials want to be secret, including classified national security matters, and take steps to protect the confidentiality of sources.
Mr. Assange was secretly indicted in March 2018 in federal court in Alexandria, Va., on a charge of conspiring to commit unlawful computer intrusion. Prosecutors accused Mr. Assange of agreeing to help Ms. Manning crack an encoded portion of a passcode that would have enabled her to log on to a classified military network.
Mr. Assange was arrested in London in April after being dragged out of the Ecuadorean Embassy, where he had resided for years to avoid capture. The United States has asked Britain to extradite Mr. Assange, who is fighting it.
The Obama administration considered charging Mr. Assange under the Espionage Act but never did out of concerns that such a case could chill traditional journalism.
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Espionage Act of 1917 - Wikipedia
Thu, 23 May 2019 20:55
The Espionage Act of 1917 is a United States federal law passed on June 15, 1917, shortly after the U.S. entry into World War I. It has been amended numerous times over the years. It was originally found in Title 50 of the U.S. Code (War) but is now found under Title 18, Crime. Specifically, it is 18 U.S.C. ch. 37 (18 U.S.C. § 792 et seq.)
It was intended to prohibit interference with military operations or recruitment, to prevent insubordination in the military, and to prevent the support of United States enemies during wartime. In 1919, the Supreme Court of the United States unanimously ruled through Schenck v. United States that the act did not violate the freedom of speech of those convicted under its provisions. The constitutionality of the law, its relationship to free speech, and the meaning of its language have been contested in court ever since.
Among those charged with offenses under the Act are German-American socialist congressman and newspaper editor Victor L. Berger, labor leader and five-time Socialist Party of America candidate, Eugene V. Debs, anarchists Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman, former Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society president Joseph Franklin Rutherford, communists Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, Cablegate whistleblower Chelsea Manning, and National Security Agency (NSA) contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden. Rutherford's conviction was overturned on appeal.[1] Although the most controversial sections of the Act, a set of amendments commonly called the Sedition Act of 1918, were repealed on March 3, 1921, the original Espionage Act was left intact.[2]
Enactment [ edit ]
The Espionage Act of 1917 was passed, along with the Trading with the Enemy Act, just after the United States entered World War I in April 1917. It was based on the Defense Secrets Act of 1911, especially the notions of obtaining or delivering information relating to "national defense" to a person who was not "entitled to have it", itself based on an earlier British Official Secrets Act. The Espionage Act law imposed much stiffer penalties than the 1911 law, including the death penalty.[3]
President Woodrow Wilson, in his December 7, 1915 State of the Union address, asked Congress for the legislation:[4]
There are citizens of the United States, I blush to admit, born under other flags but welcomed under our generous naturalization laws to the full freedom and opportunity of America, who have poured the poison of disloyalty into the very arteries of our national life; who have sought to bring the authority and good name of our Government into contempt, to destroy our industries wherever they thought it effective for their vindictive purposes to strike at them, and to debase our politics to the uses of foreign intrigue ...
I urge you to enact such laws at the earliest possible moment and feel that in doing so I am urging you to do nothing less than save the honor and self-respect of the nation. Such creatures of passion, disloyalty, and anarchy must be crushed out. They are not many, but they are infinitely malignant, and the hand of our power should close over them at once. They have formed plots to destroy property, they have entered into conspiracies against the neutrality of the Government, they have sought to pry into every confidential transaction of the Government in order to serve interests alien to our own. It is possible to deal with these things very effectually. I need not suggest the terms in which they may be dealt with.
Congress moved slowly. Even after the U.S. broke diplomatic relations with Germany, when the Senate passed a version on February 20, 1917, the House did not vote before the then-current session of Congress ended. After the declaration of war in April 1917, both houses debated versions of the Wilson administration's drafts that included press censorship.[5] That provision aroused opposition, with critics charging it established a system of "prior restraint" and delegated unlimited power to the president.[6] After weeks of intermittent debate, the Senate removed the censorship provision by a one-vote margin, voting 39 to 38.[7] Wilson still insisted it was needed: "Authority to exercise censorship over the absolutely necessary to the public safety", but signed the Act without the censorship provisions on June 15, 1917,[8] after Congress passed the act on the same day.[9]
Attorney General Thomas Watt Gregory supported passage of the act, but viewed it as a compromise. The President's Congressional rivals were proposing to remove responsibility for monitoring pro-German activity, whether espionage or some form of disloyalty, from the Department of Justice to the War Department and creating a form of courts-martial of doubtful constitutionality. The resulting Act was far more aggressive and restrictive than they wanted, but it silenced citizens opposed to the war.[10] Officials in the Justice Department who had little enthusiasm for the law nevertheless hoped that even without generating many prosecutions it would help quiet public calls for more government action against those thought to be insufficiently patriotic.[11] Wilson was denied language in the Act authorizing power to the executive branch for press censorship, but Congress did include a provision to block distribution of print materials through the Post Office.[3]
It made it a crime:
To convey information with intent to interfere with the operation or success of the armed forces of the United States or to promote the success of its enemies. This was punishable by death or by imprisonment for not more than 30 years or both.
To convey false reports or false statements with intent to interfere with the operation or success of the military or naval forces of the United States or to promote the success of its enemies when the United States is at war, to cause or attempt to cause insubordination, disloyalty, mutiny, refusal of duty, in the military or naval forces of the United States, or to willfully obstruct the recruiting or enlistment service of the United States. This was punishable by a maximum fine of $10,000 or by imprisonment for not more than 20 years or both.
The Act also gave the Postmaster General authority to impound or to refuse to mail publications that he determined to be in violation of its prohibitions.[12]
The Act also forbids the transfer of any naval vessel equipped for combat to any nation engaged in a conflict in which the United States is neutral. Seemingly uncontroversial when the Act was passed, this later became a legal stumbling block for the administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt, when he sought to provide military aid to Great Britain before the United States entered World War II.[13]
Amendments [ edit ]
The law was extended on May 16, 1918, by the Sedition Act of 1918, actually a set of amendments to the Espionage Act, which prohibited many forms of speech, including "any disloyal, profane, scurrilous, or abusive language about the form of government of the United States ... or the flag of the United States, or the uniform of the Army or Navy".[10]
Because the Sedition Act was an informal name, court cases were brought under the name of the Espionage Act, whether the charges were based on the provisions of the Espionage Act or the provisions of the amendments known informally as the Sedition Act.
On March 3, 1921, the Sedition Act amendments were repealed, but many provisions of the Espionage Act remain, codified under U.S.C. Title 18, Part 1, Chapter 37.[14]
In 1933, after signals intelligence expert Herbert Yardley published a popular book about breaking Japanese codes, the Act was amended to prohibit the disclosure of foreign code or anything sent in code.[15] The Act was amended in 1940 to increase the penalties it imposed, and again in 1970.[16]
In the late 1940s, the U.S. Code was re-organized and much of Title 50 (War) was moved to Title 18 (Crime). The McCarran Internal Security Act added 18 U.S.C. § 793(e) in 1950 and 18 U.S.C. § 798 was added the same year.[17]
In 1961, Congressman Richard Poff succeeded after several attempts in removing language that restricted the Act's application to territory "within the jurisdiction of the United States, on the high seas, and within the United States" 18 U.S.C. § 791 . He said the need for the Act to apply everywhere was prompted by Irvin C. Scarbeck, a State Department official who was charged with yielding to blackmail threats in Poland.[18]
Proposed amendments [ edit ]
In 1989, Congressman James Traficant tried to amend 18 U.S.C. § 794 to broaden the application of the death penalty.[19] Senator Arlen Specter proposed a comparable expansion of the use of the death penalty the same year.[20] In 1994, Robert K. Dornan proposed the death penalty for the disclosure of a U.S. agent's identity.[21]
History [ edit ]
World War I [ edit ]
Much of the Act's enforcement was left to the discretion of local United States Attorneys, so enforcement varied widely. For example, Socialist Kate Richards O'Hare gave the same speech in several states, but was convicted and sentenced to a prison term of five years for delivering her speech in North Dakota. Most enforcement activity occurred in the Western states where the Industrial Workers of the World was active.[22] Finally Gregory, a few weeks before the end of the war, instructed the U.S. Attorneys not to act without his approval.
A year after the Act's passage, Eugene V. Debs, Socialist Party presidential candidate in 1904, 1908, and 1912 was arrested and sentenced to 10 years in prison for making a speech that "obstructed recruiting". He ran for president again in 1920 from prison. President Warren G. Harding commuted his sentence in December 1921 when he had served nearly five years.[23]
In United States v. Motion Picture Film (1917), a federal court upheld the government's seizure of a film called The Spirit of '76 on the grounds that its depiction of cruelty on the part of British soldiers during the American Revolution would undermine support for America's wartime ally. The producer, Robert Goldstein, a Jew of German origins, was prosecuted under Title XI of the Act, and received a ten-year sentence plus a fine of $5000. The sentence was commuted on appeal to three years.[24]
Postmaster General Albert S. Burleson and those in his department played critical roles in the enforcement of the Act. He held his position because he was a Democratic party loyalist and close to both the President and the Attorney General. At a time when the Department of Justice numbered its investigators in the dozens, the Post Office had a nationwide network in place. The day after the Act became law, Burleson sent a secret memo to all postmasters ordering them to keep "close watch on ... matter which is calculated to interfere with the success of ... the government in conducting the war".[25] Postmasters in Savannah, Georgia, and Tampa, Florida, refused to mail the Jeffersonian, the mouthpiece of Tom Watson, a southern populist, an opponent of the draft, the war, and minority groups. When Watson sought an injunction against the postmaster, the federal judge who heard the case called his publication "poison" and denied his request. Government censors objected to the headline "Civil Liberty Dead".[26] In New York City, the postmaster refused to mail The Masses, a socialist monthly, citing the publication's "general tenor". The Masses was more successful in the courts, where Judge Learned Hand found the Act was applied so vaguely as to threaten "the tradition of English-speaking freedom". The editors were then prosecuted for obstructing the draft and the publication folded when denied access to the mails again.[27] Eventually, Burleson's energetic enforcement overreached when he targeted supporters of the administration. The President warned him to exercise "the utmost caution" and the dispute proved the end of their political friendship.[28]
In May 1918, sedition charges were laid under the Espionage Act against Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society president "Judge" Joseph Rutherford and seven other Watch Tower directors and officers over statements made in the society's book, The Finished Mystery, published a year earlier. The book had claimed that patriotism was a delusion and murder, so the officers were charged with attempting to cause insubordination, disloyalty, refusal of duty in the armed forces and obstructing the recruitment and enlistment service of the U.S. while it was at war.[29] The book had been banned in Canada since February 1918 for what a Winnipeg newspaper described as "seditious and antiwar statements"[30] and described by Attorney General Gregory as dangerous propaganda.[31] On June 21 seven of the directors, including Rutherford, were sentenced to the maximum 20 years' imprisonment for each of four charges, to be served concurrently. They served nine months in the Atlanta Penitentiary before being released on bail at the order of Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis. In April 1919 an appeal court ruled they had not had the "intemperate and impartial trial of which they were entitled" and reversed their conviction.[32] In May 1920 the government announced that all charges had been dropped.[33]
Red Scare, Palmer Raids, mass arrests, deportations [ edit ]
The house of Attorney General Palmer after being bombed by anarchists in 1919; Palmer was not injured, although his housekeeper was
During the Red Scare of 1918''19, in response to the 1919 anarchist bombings aimed at prominent government officials and businessmen, U.S. Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer, supported by J. Edgar Hoover, then head of the Justice Department's Enemy Aliens Registration Section, prosecuted several hundred foreign-born known and suspected activists in the United States under the Sedition Act of 1918. This extended the Espionage Act to cover a broader range of offenses. After being convicted, persons including Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman were deported to the Soviet Union on a ship the press called the "Soviet Ark".[3][34][35]
A version of Chafee's "Free Speech in War Times", the work that helped change Justice Holmes' mind
Many of the jailed had appealed their convictions based on the U.S. constitutional right to the freedom of speech. The Supreme Court disagreed. The Espionage Act limits on free speech were ruled constitutional in the U.S. Supreme Court case Schenck v. United States (1919).[36] Schenck, an anti-war Socialist, had been convicted of violating the Act when he sent anti-draft pamphlets to men eligible for the draft. Although Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes joined the Court majority in upholding Schenck's conviction in 1919, he also introduced the theory that punishment in such cases must be limited to such political expression that constitutes a "clear and present danger" to the government action at issue. Holmes' opinion is the origin of the notion that speech equivalent to "falsely shouting fire in a crowded theater" is not protected by the First Amendment.
Justice Holmes began to doubt his decision due to criticism from free speech advocates. He also met the Harvard Law professor Zechariah Chafee and discussed his criticism of Schenck.[35][37]
Later in 1919, in Abrams v. United States, the Supreme Court upheld the conviction of a man who distributed circulars in opposition to American intervention in Russia following the Russian Revolution. The concept of bad tendency was used to justify the restriction of speech. The defendant was deported. Justices Holmes and Brandeis, however, dissented, with Holmes arguing that "nobody can suppose that the surreptitious publishing of a silly leaflet by an unknown man, without more, would present any immediate danger that its opinions would hinder the success of the government arms or have any appreciable tendency to do so."[35][38]
In March 1919, President Wilson, at the suggestion of Attorney General Thomas Watt Gregory, pardoned or commuted the sentences of some 200 prisoners convicted under the Espionage Act or the Sedition Act.[39] By early 1921, the Red Scare had faded, Palmer left government, and the Espionage Act fell into relative disuse.
World War II [ edit ]
Prosecutions under the Act were much less numerous during World War II than they had been during World War I. Associate Justice Frank Murphy noted in 1944 in Hartzel v. United States that "For the first time during the course of the present war, we are confronted with a prosecution under the Espionage Act of 1917." Hartzel, a World War I veteran, had distributed anti-war pamphlets to associations and business groups. The court's majority found that his materials, though comprising "vicious and unreasoning attacks on one of our military allies, flagrant appeals to false and sinister racial theories, and gross libels of the President", did not urge mutiny or any of the other specific actions detailed in the Act, and that he had targeted molders of public opinion, not members of the armed forces or potential military recruits. The court overturned his conviction in a 5''4 decision. The four dissenting justices declined to "intrude on the historic function of the jury" and would have upheld the conviction.[40] In Gorin v. United States (early 1941), the Supreme Court ruled on many constitutional questions surrounding the act.[41]
The Act was used in 1942 to deny a mailing permit to Father Charles Coughlin's weekly Social Justice, effectively ending its distribution to subscribers. It was part of Attorney General Francis Biddle's attempt to close down what he called "vermin publications". Coughlin had been criticized for virulently anti-Semitic writings.[42][43][44]
The same year, a June front page story by Stanley Johnston in the Chicago Tribune, headlined "Navy Had Word of Jap Plan to Strike at Sea", implied that the Americans had broken the Japanese codes before the Battle of Midway. The story resulted in the Japanese changing their codebooks and callsign systems. The newspaper publishers were brought before a grand jury for possible indictment, but proceedings were halted because of government reluctance to present a jury with the highly secret information necessary to prosecute the publishers, as well as concern that a trial would attract more attention to the case.[45][46]
In 1945, six associates of Amerasia magazine, a journal of Far Eastern affairs, came under suspicion after publishing articles that bore similarity to Office of Strategic Services reports. The government proposed using the Espionage Act against them but later softened its approach, changing the charges to Embezzlement of Government Property (now 18 U.S.C. § 641 ). A grand jury cleared three of the associates, two associates paid small fines, and charges against the sixth man were dropped. Senator Joseph McCarthy said the failure to aggressively prosecute the defendants was a communist conspiracy. According to Kleht and Radosh, the case helped build his later notoriety.[47]
Mid-20th century Soviet spies [ edit ]
Navy employee Hafis Salich sold Soviet agent Mihail Gorin information regarding Japanese activities in the late 1930s. Gorin v. United States (1941) was cited in many later espionage cases for its discussion of the charge of "vagueness", an argument made against the terminology used in certain portions of the law, such as what constitutes "national defense" information.
Later in the 1940s, several incidents prompted the government to increase its investigations into Soviet espionage. These included the Venona project decryptions, the Elizabeth Bentley case, the atomic spies cases, the First Lightning Soviet nuclear test, and others. Many suspects were surveilled, but never prosecuted. These investigations were dropped, as can be seen in the FBI Silvermaster Files. There were also many successful prosecutions and convictions under the Act.
In August 1950, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were indicted under Title 50, sections 32a and 34, in connection with giving nuclear secrets to the Soviet Union. Anatoli Yakovlev was indicted as well. In 1951, Morton Sobell and David Greenglass were indicted. After a controversial trial in 1951, the Rosenbergs were sentenced to death. They were executed in 1953, making their two sons orphans. The boys were adopted by another family.[48][49][50] In the late 1950s, several members of the Soble spy ring, including Robert Soblen, and Jack and Myra Soble, were prosecuted for espionage. In the mid-1960s, the act was used against James Mintkenbaugh and Robert Lee Johnson, who sold information to the Soviets while working for the U.S. Army in Berlin.[51][52]
1948 code revision [ edit ]
In 1948, some portions of the United States Code were reorganized. Much of Title 50 (War and National Defense) was moved to Title 18 (Crimes and Criminal Procedure). Thus Title 50 Chapter 4, Espionage, (Sections 31''39), became Title 18, 794 and following. As a result, certain older cases, such as the Rosenberg case, are now listed under Title 50, while newer cases are often listed under Title 18.[48][53]
1950 McCarran Internal Security Act [ edit ]
In 1950, during the McCarthy Period, Congress passed the McCarran Internal Security Act over President Harry S. Truman's veto. It modified a large body of law, including espionage law. One addition was 793(e) , which had almost exactly the same language as 793(d) . According to Edgar and Schmidt, the added section potentially removes the "intent" to harm or aid requirement and may make "mere retention" of information a crime no matter what the intent, covering even former government officials writing their memoirs. They also describe McCarran saying that this portion was intended directly to respond to the case of Alger Hiss and the "Pumpkin Papers".[17][54][55]
Judicial review, 1960s and 1970s [ edit ]
Brandenburg [ edit ]
Court decisions of this era changed the standard for enforcing some provisions of the Espionage Act. Though not a case involving charges under the Act, Brandenburg v. Ohio (1969) changed the "clear and present danger" test derived from Schenck to the "imminent lawless action" test, a considerably stricter test of the inflammatory nature of speech.[56]
Pentagon Papers [ edit ]
In June 1971, Daniel Ellsberg and Anthony Russo were charged with a felony under the Espionage Act of 1917, because they lacked legal authority to publish classified documents that came to be known as the Pentagon Papers.[57] The Supreme Court in New York Times Co. v. United States found that the government had not made a successful case for prior restraint of Free Speech, but a majority of the justices ruled that the government could still prosecute the Times and the Post for violating the Espionage Act in publishing the documents. Ellsberg and Russo were not acquitted of violating the Espionage Act, but were freed due to a mistrial based on irregularities in the government's case.[58]
The divided Supreme Court had denied the government's request to restrain the press. In their opinions the justices expressed varying degrees of support for the First Amendment claims of the press against the government's "heavy burden of proof" in establishing that the publisher "has reason to believe" the material published "could be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation".[citation needed ]
The case prompted Harold Edgar and Benno C. Schmidt Jr. to write an article on espionage law in the 1973 Columbia Law Review. Their article was entitled "The Espionage Statutes and Publication of Defense Information". Essentially they found the law to be poorly written and vague, with parts of it probably unconstitutional. Their article became widely cited in books and in future court arguments on Espionage cases.[59]
United States v. Dedeyan in 1978 was the first prosecution under 793(f)(2) (Dedeyan 'failed to report' that information had been disclosed). The courts relied on Gorin v. United States (1941) for precedent. The ruling touched on several constitutional questions including vagueness of the law and whether the information was "related to national defense". The defendant received a 3-year sentence.[60][61]
In 1979''80, Truong Dinh Hung (aka David Truong) and Ronald Louis Humphrey were convicted under 793(a), (c), and (e) as well as several other laws. The ruling discussed several constitutional questions regarding espionage law, "vagueness", the difference between classified information and "national defense information", wiretapping and the Fourth Amendment. It also commented on the notion of bad faith (scienter) being a requirement for conviction even under 793(e); an "honest mistake" was said not to be a violation.[61][62]
1980s [ edit ]
Alfred Zehe, a scientist from East Germany, was arrested in Boston in 1983 after being caught in a government-run sting operation in which he had reviewed classified U.S. government documents in Mexico and East Germany. His attorneys contended without success that the indictment was invalid, arguing that the Espionage Act does not cover the activities of a foreign citizen outside the United States.[63][64] Zehe then pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 8 years in prison. He was released in June 1985 as part of an exchange of four East Europeans held by the U.S. for 25 people held in Poland and East Germany, none of them American.[65]
One of Zehe's defense attorneys claimed his client was prosecuted as part of "the perpetuation of the 'national-security state' by over-classifying documents that there is no reason to keep secret, other than devotion to the cult of secrecy for its own sake".[66]
The media dubbed 1985 "Year of the Spy". U.S. Navy civilian Jonathan Pollard was charged with 18 U.S.C. § 794(c) , for selling classified information to Israel. His 1986 plea bargain did not get him out of a life sentence, after a 'victim impact statement' including a statement by Caspar Weinberger.[67]Larry Wu-Tai Chin, at CIA, was charged with 18 U.S.C. § 794(c) for selling info to China.[68]Ronald Pelton was dinged for 18 U.S.C. § 794(a) , 794(c) , & 798(a) , for selling out to the Soviets, and ruining Operation Ivy Bells.[69]Edward Lee Howard was an ex-Peace Corps and ex-CIA agent charged with 17 U.S.C. § 794(c) for allegedly dealing with the Soviets. The FBI's website says the 1980s was the "decade of the spy", with dozens of arrests.[70]
Seymour Hersh wrote an article entitled "The Traitor" arguing against Pollard's release.[71]
Morison [ edit ]
Samuel Loring Morison was a government security analyst who worked on the side for Jane's, a British military and defense publisher. He was arrested on October 1, 1984,[72] though investigators never demonstrated any intent to provide information to a hostile intelligence service. Morison told investigators that he sent classified satellite photographs to Jane's because the "public should be aware of what was going on on the other side", meaning that the Soviets' new nuclear-powered aircraft carrier would transform the USSR's military capabilities. He said that "if the American people knew what the Soviets were doing, they would increase the defense budget." British intelligence sources thought his motives were patriotic, but American prosecutors emphasized Morison's personal economic gain and complaints about his government job.[73]
The prosecution of Morison was used as part of a wider campaign against leaks of information as a "test case" for applying the Act to cover the disclosure of information to the press. A March 1984 government report had noted that "the unauthorized publication of classified information is a routine daily occurrence in the U.S." but that the applicability of the Espionage Act to such disclosures "is not entirely clear".[74]Time said that the administration, if it failed to convict Morison, would seek additional legislation and described the ongoing conflict: "The Government does need to protect military secrets, the public does need information to judge defense policies, and the line between the two is surpassingly difficult to draw."[74]
On October 17, 1985, Morison was convicted in Federal Court on two counts of espionage and two counts of theft of government property.[74] He was sentenced to two years in prison on December 4, 1985.[75] The Supreme Court declined to hear his appeal in 1988.[76] Morison became "the only [American] government official ever convicted for giving classified information to the press" up to that time.[77] Following Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan's 1998 appeal for a pardon for Morison, President Bill Clinton pardoned him on January 20, 2001, the last day of his presidency,[77] despite the CIA's opposition to the pardon.[76]
The successful prosecution of Morison was used to warn against the publication of leaked information. In May 1986, CIA Director William J. Casey, without citing specific violations of law, threatened to prosecute five news organizations''The Washington Post, The Washington Times, The New York Times, Time and Newsweek.[78]
Soviet spies, late 20th century [ edit ]
Christopher John Boyce of TRW, and his accomplice Andrew Daulton Lee, sold out to the Soviets and went to prison in the 1970s. Their activities were the subject of the movie The Falcon and the Snowman.
In the 1980s, several members of the Walker spy ring were prosecuted and convicted of espionage for the Soviets.
In 1980, David Henry Barnett was the first active CIA officer to be convicted under the act.
In 1994, CIA officer Aldrich Ames was convicted under 18 U.S.C. § 794(c) of spying for the Soviets; Ames had revealed the identities of several U.S. sources in the USSR to the KGB, who were then executed.[79]
FBI agent Earl Edwin Pitts was arrested in 1996 under 18 U.S.C. § 794(a) and 18 U.S.C. § 794(c) of spying for the Soviet Union and later for the Russian Federation.[80][81][82][83]
In 1997, senior CIA officer Harold James Nicholson was convicted of espionage for the Russians.
In 1998, NSA contractor David Sheldon Boone was charged with having handed over a 600-page technical manual to the Soviets c. 1988-1991 ( 18 U.S.C. § 794(a) ).
In 2000, FBI agent Robert Hanssen was convicted under the Act of spying for the Soviets in the 1980s and Russia in the 1990s.
Other spies of the 1990s [ edit ]
*NameAgencyForeign party.[84]Brown, Joseph Garfielformer AirmanSelling info to the PhilippinesCarney, Jeffrey MAir ForceEast GermanyClark, James Michael, Kurt Allen Stand and Therese Marie SquillacotGovt contractorsEast GermanyCharlton, John DouglasLockheedSold info to an undercover FBI agent posing as a foreign agentGregory, Jeffery EugenArmyHungary and CzechoslovakiaGroat, Douglas FrederickCIAOriginal espionage charges dropped to avoid disclosure at trial.Faget, MarianoINSCubaThe Cuban Five (Hernndez, Guerrero, Laba±ino, Gonzlez, and Gonzlez)CubaHamilton, Frederick ChristopherDIAEcuador.Jenott, EricArmycharged with Espionage but acquitted.Jones, GenevaState Departmentpassing classified info to West African journalist Dominic NtubeKim, Robert ChaeguNavySouth KoreaLalas, Steven JohnStateGreeceLee, PeterLANLChina (discussing hohlraums)Lessenthien, KurtNavyRussia1990s critiques [ edit ]
In the 1990s, Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan deplored the "culture of secrecy" made possible by the Espionage Act, noting the tendency of bureaucracies to enlarge their powers by increasing the scope of what is held "secret".[85]
In the late 1990s, Wen Ho Lee of Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) was indicted under the Act. He and other national security professionals later said he was a "scapegoat"[This quote needs a citation ] in the government's quest to determine if information about the W88 nuclear warhead had been transferred to China. Lee had made backup copies at LANL of his nuclear weapons simulations code to protect it in case of a system crash. The code was marked PARD, sensitive but not classified. As part of a plea bargain, he pleaded guilty to one count under the Espionage Act. The judge apologized to him for having believed the government.[citation needed ] Lee later won more than a million dollars in a lawsuit against the government and several newspapers for their mistreatment of him.[86]
21st century [ edit ]
In 2001, retired Army Reserve Colonel George Trofimoff, the most senior U.S. military officer to be indicted under the Act, was convicted of conducting espionage for the Soviets in the 1970s''1990s.[87]
Kenneth Wayne Ford Jr. was indicted under 18 U.S.C. § 793(e) for allegedly having a box of documents in his house after he left NSA employment around 2004. He was sentenced to six years in prison in 2006.[88]
In 2005, Pentagon Iran expert Lawrence Franklin, along with AIPAC lobbyists Rosen and Weissman were indicted under the Act. Franklin pleaded guilty to conspiracy to disclose national defense information to the lobbyists and an Israeli government official.[89] Franklin was sentenced to more than 12 years in prison, but the sentence was later reduced to 10 months of home confinement.[90]
Under the Obama administration, seven Espionage Act prosecutions have been related not to traditional espionage but to either withholding information or communicating with members of the media. Out of a total eleven prosecutions under the Espionage Act against government officials accused of providing classified information to the media, seven have occurred since Obama took office.[91] "Leaks related to national security can put people at risk," the President said at a news conference in 2013. "They can put men and women in uniform that I've sent into the battlefield at risk. I don't think the American people would expect me, as commander in chief, not to be concerned about information that might compromise their missions or might get them killed."[92]
Jeffrey Alexander Sterling, a former CIA agent was indicted under the Act in January 2011 for alleged unauthorized disclosure of national defense information to James Risen, a reporter for The New York Times, in 2003 regarding his book State of War. The indictment described his motive as revenge for the CIA's refusal to allow him to publish his memoirs and its refusal to settle his racial discrimination lawsuit against the Agency. Others have described him as telling Risen about a backfired CIA plot against Iran in the 1990s.[93]
In April 2010, Thomas Andrews Drake, an official with the NSA, was indicted under 18 U.S.C. § 793(e) for alleged willful retention of national defense information. The case arose from investigations into his communications with Siobhan Gorman of The Baltimore Sun and Diane Roark of the House Intelligence Committee as part of his attempt to blow the whistle on several issues, including the NSA's Trailblazer project.[94][95][96][97][98] Considering the prosecution of Drake, investigative journalist Jane Mayer wrote that "Because reporters often retain unauthorized defense documents, Drake's conviction would establish a legal precedent making it possible to prosecute journalists as spies."[99]
Chelsea (Formerly Bradley) Manning, US Army Private First Class convicted in July 2013 on six counts of violating the Espionage Act.
[100]In May 2010, Shamai K. Leibowitz, a translator for the FBI, admitted sharing information with a blogger and pleaded guilty under 18 U.S.C. § 798(a)(3) to one count of disclosure of classified information. As part of a plea bargain, he was sentenced to 20 months in prison.[101][102]
In August 2010, Stephen Jin-Woo Kim, a contractor for the State Department and a specialist in nuclear proliferation, was indicted under 18 U.S.C. § 793(d) for alleged disclosure in June 2009 of national defense information to reporter James Rosen of Fox News Channel, related to North Korea's plans to test a nuclear weapon.[103][104]
In 2010, Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning, the United States Army Private First Class accused of the largest leak of state secrets in U.S. history, was charged under Article 134 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, which incorporates parts of the Espionage Act 18 U.S.C. § 793(e) . At the time, critics worried that the broad language of the Act could make news organizations, and anyone who reported, printed or disseminated information from WikiLeaks, subject to prosecution, although former prosecutors pushed back, citing Supreme Court precedent expanding First Amendment protections.[105] On July 30, 2013, following a judge-only trial by court-martial lasting eight weeks, Army judge Colonel Denise Lind convicted Manning on six counts of violating the Espionage Act, among other infractions.[100] She was sentenced to serve a 35-year sentence at the maximum-security U.S. Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth.[106][107] On January 17, 2017, President Barack Obama commuted Manning's sentence to nearly seven years of confinement dating from her arrest on May 27, 2010.[108][109]
In January 2012, John Kiriakou, former CIA officer and later Democratic staffer on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was charged under the Act with leaking information to journalists about the identity of undercover agents, including one who was allegedly involved in waterboarding interrogations of al-Qaeda logistics chief Abu Zubaydah.[110][111] Kiriakou is alleged to have also disclosed an investigative technique used to capture Zubaydah in Pakistan in 2002.[112]
In June 2013, Edward Snowden was charged under the Espionage Act after releasing documents exposing the NSA's PRISM Surveillance Program. Specifically, he was charged with "unauthorized communication of national defense information" and "willful communication of classified intelligence with an unauthorized person".[113]
In June 2017, Reality Leigh Winner was arrested and charged with "willful retention and transmission of national defense information," a felony under the Espionage Act.[114] Her arrest was announced on June 5 after The Intercept published an article describing Russian attempts to interfere with the 2016 presidential election, based on classified National Security Agency (NSA) documents leaked to them anonymously.[115][116] On June 8, 2017, she pleaded not guilty and was denied bail.[114]
On June 21, 2018, Winner asked the court to allow her to change her plea to guilty[117] and on June 26 she pleaded guilty to one count of felony transmission of national defense information.[118][119] Winner's plea agreement with prosecutors called for her to serve five years and three months in prison followed by three years of supervised release.[120]
On August 23, 2018, at a federal court in Georgia, Winner was sentenced to the agreed-upon length of time for violating the Espionage Act. Prosecutors said her sentence was the longest ever imposed in federal court for an unauthorized release of government information to the media.[121]
Criticism [ edit ]
Numerous people have criticized the use of the Espionage Act against national security leakers. A 2015 study by the PEN American Center found that almost all of the non-government representatives they interviewed, including activists, lawyers, journalists and whistleblowers, "thought the Espionage Act had been used inappropriately in leak cases that have a public interest component." PEN wrote, "experts described it as 'too blunt an instrument,' 'aggressive, broad and suppressive,' a 'tool of intimidation,' 'chilling of free speech,' and a 'poor vehicle for prosecuting leakers and whistleblowers.'"[122]
Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg said, "the current state of whistleblowing prosecutions under the Espionage Act makes a truly fair trial wholly unavailable to an American who has exposed classified wrongdoing," and that "legal scholars have strongly argued that the US Supreme Court '' which has never yet addressed the constitutionality of applying the Espionage Act to leaks to the American public '' should find the use of it overbroad and unconstitutional in the absence of a public interest defense."[123] Professor at American University Washington College of Law and national security law expert Stephen Vladeck has said that the law ''lacks the hallmarks of a carefully and precisely defined statutory restriction on speech.''[122] Trevor Timm, executive director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation, said, ''basically any information the whistleblower or source would want to bring up at trial to show that they are not guilty of violating the Espionage Act the jury would never hear. It's almost a certainty that because the law is so broadly written that they would be convicted no matter what.''[122] Attorney and former whistleblower Jesselyn Radack notes that the law was enacted "35 years before the word 'classification' entered the government's lexicon" and believes that "under the Espionage Act, no prosecution of a non-spy can be fair or just."[124] She added that mounting a legal defense to the Espionage Act is estimated to "cost $1 million to $3 million."[124]
See also [ edit ]
References [ edit ]
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^ Vaughn, Stephen L. (ed.) (2007), Encyclopedia of American Journalism, Routledge, London, ISBN 0415969506, p. 155.
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^ Moynihan, Secrecy. 89
^ Moynihan, Secrecy, 90''92
^ Harold Edgar and Benno C. Schmidt Jr., "The Espionage Statutes and the Publication of Defense Information", Columbia Law Review. v. 73. no. 5, May 1973, 950''951
^ Moynihan, Secrecy, 92''95
^ Moynihan, Secrecy, 96
^ " This Day in History '-- June 15, 1917: U.S. Congress passes Espionage Act". Archived from the original on 2013-03-13 . Retrieved 29 December 2012 .
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^ Geoffrey R. Stone, Perilous Times: Free Speech in Wartime from the Sedition Act of 1798 to the War on Terrorism (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2004), 231''232
^ Ann Hagedorn, Savage Peace: Hope and Fear in America, 1919 (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2007), 29
^ Jean Edward Smith, FDR (New York: Random House, 2007), 467, 755n54
^ Cornell Law School: Title 18, Part 1, Chapter 37, accessed December 4, 2010
^ Moynihan, Secrecy, 97; Herbert Yardley, The American Black Chamber (Bobbs-Merrill, 1931)
^ C. William Michaels, No Greater Threat: America after September 11 and the Rise of a National Security State (Algora Publishing, 2002), 21, available online, accessed December 1, 2010
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^ The New York Times: Michael Wright and Caroline Rand Herron, "Two Years for Morison", December 8, 1985, accessed March 11, 2011
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^ Time: James Kelly, et al., " Press: Shifting the Attack on Leaks", May 19, 1986, accessed March 11, 2011
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^ Moynihan, Daniel (1999). Secrecy: The American Experience. Yale University Press. p. 155. ISBN 978-0-300-08079-7. ; Vaughn, Stephen (July 2007). Encyclopedia of American Journalism. Taylor & Francis, Inc. p. 155. ISBN 978-0-415-96950-5.
^ Wen Ho Lee, My Country Versus Me: The First-Hand Account by the Los Alamos Scientist who was Falsely Accused of being a Spy (Hyperion, 2002), pp. ??
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^ The Washington Post: "Sentence Reduced in PentagonCase", June 12, 2009, accessed March 13, 2011
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^ Scott Shane (April 15, 2010). "Former N.S.A. Official Is Charged in Leaks Case". The New York Times . Retrieved April 17, 2010 . ; "Obama's Justice Department indicts NSA whistleblower". Agence France-Presse. April 15, 2010 . Retrieved Apr 17, 2010 .
^ "Former NSA Senior Executive Charged with Illegally Retaining Classified Information, Obstructing Justice and Making False Statements". Justice News. United States Department of Justice. April 15, 2010 . Retrieved April 17, 2010 .
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^ Ellen Nakashima; Greg Miller; Julie Tate (2010-07-14). "Former NSA executive Thomas A. Drake may pay high price for media leak". The Washington Post . Retrieved 2011-01-11 .
^ United States v. Thomas A Drake. Criminal Indictment of Thomas A Drake, filed April 14, 2010, U.S. District Court, District of Maryland, Northern Division. This is a PDF of the criminal indictment itself, provided via, in an upload from Accessed April 17, 2010.
^ The Secret Sharer, Jane Mayer, The New Yorker, May 23, 2011, retrieved 2011 May 16
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^ Newsweek: Mark Hosenball, "Justice Department Indicts Contractor in Alleged Leak", August 8, 2010, retrieved March 12, 2011; The Washington Post: Charlie Savage, "State Dept. contractor charged in leak to news organization", August 8, 2010, retrieved March 12, 2011
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Further reading [ edit ]
Kohn, Stephen M. American Political Prisoners: Prosecutions under the Espionage and Sedition Acts. Westport, CT: Praeger, 1994.
Murphy, Paul L. World War I and the Origin of Civil Liberties in the United States. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1979.
Peterson, H.C., and Gilbert C. Fite. Opponents of War, 1917-1918. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1957.
Preston, William Jr. Aliens and Dissenters: Federal Suppression of Radicals, 1903-1933 2nd ed. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1994.
Rabban, David M. Free Speech in Its Forgotten Years. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1997.
Scheiber, Harry N. The Wilson Administration and Civil Liberties 1917-1921. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1960.
Thomas, William H. Jr. Unsafe for Democracy: World War I and the U.S. Justice Department's Covert Campaign to Suppress Dissent. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2008.
External links [ edit ]
Strauss, Lon: Social Conflict and Control, Protest and Repression (USA) , in: 1914-1918-online. International Encyclopedia of the First World War.
Brown, Charlene Fletcher: Palmer Raids , in: 1914-1918-online. International Encyclopedia of the First World War.
Thomas, William H.: Bureau of Investigation , in: 1914-1918-online. International Encyclopedia of the First World War.
Secrecy and Security Library, Federation of American Scientists
Excerpt from the original (1917) U.S. Espionage Act
The United States v. Rose Pastor Stokes (1918) [permanent dead link ]
Freedom of Speech, Zechariah Chafee, 1920 (Google Books ebook)
DOJ accuses Assange of violating Espionage Act - POLITICO
Thu, 23 May 2019 23:38
Julian Assange from a police vehicle on his arrival at Westminster Magistrates court on April 11, 2019 in London, England. Among the charges are three counts that Assange violated the Espionage Act, which prohibits the disclosure of national defense information. | Jack Taylor/Getty Images
The Justice Department has hit WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange with Espionage Act charges, escalating a legal fight against the high-profile activist and alarming press freedom activists.
DOJ had previously only indicted Assange on a single count of conspiracy to commit computer intrusion. Thursday's revelation of the additional 18 charges, filed in the Eastern District of Virginia, means Assange could face significantly more prison time if found guilty.
Story Continued Below
The alleged Espionage Act violations relate to Assange's complicity with Chelsea Manning, a former U.S. Army soldier who was convicted in July 2013 of violating the Espionage Act after she shuttled troves of classified government information to WikiLeaks. Officials said Assange solicited the information from and then brazenly published details that put the government's human sources at risk, disregarding explicit warnings from the government.
Traditionally, the Espionage Act has been used against government officials, like Manning, who reveal such classified information, rather than the journalists or foreign nationals who publish the information.
As a result, the use of the Espionage Act against Assange set off alarm bells among press freedom activists on Thursday. While WikiLeaks isn't a conventional news organization, press advocates have long feared that charging Assange for the publication of government secrets could open the door to prosecuting reporters for doing the same.
"Any government use of the Espionage Act to criminalize the receipt and publication of classified information poses a dire threat to journalists seeking to publish such information in the public interest, irrespective of the Justice Department's assertion that Assange is not a journalist," said Bruce Brown, executive director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, in a statement.
Edward Snowden, the former NSA contractor who also touched off a debate about the media's role in publishing secret files when he leaked classified information to reporters in 2013, proclaimed: ''the Department of Justice just declared war '' not on Wikileaks, but on journalism itself.''
John Demers, head of DOJ's national security division, pushed back at that argument on Thursday, insisting Assange is ''not a journalist,'' and alleging that the WikiLeaks founder ''purposely published names he knew to be confidential human sources in warzones.''
It's a debate that Justice Department officials have grappled with for years. The Obama administration previously looked into bringing similar charges against Assange, but decided against it.
''We didn't bring this [Espionage Act] case for a couple of reasons," said Matt Miller, an Obama-era DOJ spokesman. "First, we thought it was a dangerous precedent to prosecute Assange for something that reporters do all the time. We didn't believe Assange was a journalist, but the Espionage Act doesn't make any distinction between journalists and others, so if you can apply it to Assange, there's no real reason you couldn't apply it to [The New York Times]. Second, and it's related, it's not at all clear that charging someone with the publication of classified information could survive court scrutiny.''
Assange's legal case took off in April after Ecuador revoked its seven-year asylum, forcing him out of the embassy in London and paving the way for his extradition to the United States for one of the biggest ever leaks of classified information. Justice Department officials said they could not comment on how this might affect Assange's extradition from the U.K. to the U.S.
Among Thursday's charges are three counts that Assange violated the Espionage Act, which prohibits the disclosure of national defense information. The Justice Department alleged that Assange published select State Department cables that contained the unredacted names of human sources in Iran, China and Syria. He also published Afghan activity reports and Iraq activity reports that endangered local Afghans and Iraqis, prosecutors alleged.
''It was explicitly stated in the State Department cables that the identity of sources was to be protected,'' a Justice Department official told reporters on Thursday. ''Assange was warned by the State Department not to release the names but he did so nevertheless.''
However, the government has not identified any individuals who were directly killed a result of Assange's disclosures. The U.S. counterintelligence official who led the Pentagon's review of the bombshell leaks told a court during Manning's sentencing hearing in 2013 that investigators had not been able to find any such instances.
Still, Zach Terwilliger, the U.S. attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia, stressed that the government was ''not charging Assange for passively obtaining classified information.'' Rather, he is being prosecuted for publishing ''a narrow set of classified documents in which Assange also published the names of innocent people who risked their safety'' to help the United States.
''Assange is not charged simply because he is a publisher,'' Terwilliger told reporters on Thursday.
Prosecutors said Manning had contacted Assange as early as November 2009, responding "to Assange's solicitation of classified information made through the WikiLeaks website." The appeal included a ''Military and Intelligence Most Wanted Leaks'' category that solicited CIA detainee interrogation videos.
Assange also encouraged Manning to transfer him Guantanamo Bay detainee assessment briefs in March 2010, according to chats obtained by the government, as well as Iraq rule of engagement files and 75,000 Afghanistan war-related significant activity reports.
John Brown, the FBI assistant director for national security, said the indictment was ''the result of nearly a decade'' of work.
The original Assange indictment, brought in March 2018 and unsealed in April of this year, charged the WikiLeaks founder with conspiring with Manning to hack a government computer to obtain hundreds of thousands of U.S. military reports about U.S. wars in the Middle East. WikiLeaks later published the leaked information.
Assange faces up to 10 years in prison on each count.
Manning was jailed in March after being held in contempt by a judge in Virginia for refusing to testify before a grand jury about Assange. She is still in prison, and DOJ officials would not comment on her situation on Thursday.
Michael Calderone contributed to this report.
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The Espionage Act and Julian Assange: The US Justice Department Expands Its Case - Global ResearchGlobal Research - Centre for Research on Globalization
Fri, 24 May 2019 13:24
It seemed flimsy from the start, but the US Department of Justice is keen to get their man. What has certainly transpired of late is that Mike Pompeo was being unusually faithful to the truth when director of the CIA: every means would be found to prosecute the case against WikiLeaks and Julian Assange. His assessment of the publishing outfit in 2017 as a ''non-state hostile intelligence service'' finds its way into the latest Justice Department's indictment, which adds a further 18 counts.
The prosecution effort was initially focused on a charge of computer intrusion, with a stress on conspiracy. It was feeble but intentionally narrow, fit for extradition purpose. Now, a few more eggs have been added to the basket in a broader effort to capture the entire field of national security publishing. The Espionage Act of 1917, that ghoulish reminder of police state nervousness, has been brought into play. Drafted to combat spies as the United States made its way into the First World War, the act has become a blunt instrument against journalists and whistleblowers. But Assange, being no US citizen, is essentially being sought out for not abiding by the legislation. The counts range from the first, ''conspiracy to receive national defense information'' (s. 793(g) of the Espionage Act) to ''obtaining national defense information,'' to the disclosures of such information.
The first part is problematic, as prosecutors are arguing that Assange does not have to release the said ''national defence'' information to an unauthorised recipient. In short, as a publisher to the world at large of such material, he can be punished. The second round of charges, drawn from section 793(b) of the Act, makes the prosecution purpose even clearer. The provision, dealing with the copying, taking, making, obtaining, or attempting to do so, material connected with national defence, would suggest the punishment of the source itself. Not so, claim the prosecutors: the publisher or journalist can be caught in its web.
Section 793(c), upon which four counts rest, is intended to capture instances of soliciting the leaks in question or the recipient of that information, one who ''agrees or attempts to receive or obtain it, that it has been or will be obtained, taken, made or disposed of by any person contrary to the provisions of this chapter.''
If there was any doubt about what the indictment does to media organisations who facilitate the means to receive confidential material or leaks, the following should allay it: ''WikiLeaks's website explicitly solicited, otherwise restricted, and until September 2010, 'classified materials'. As the website then-stated, 'WikiLeaks accepts classified, censored, or otherwise restricted material of political, diplomatic or ethical significance.'' From the perspective of prosecutors, ''Assange and WikiLeaks have repeatedly sought, obtained, and disseminated information that the United States classified due to the serious risk that unauthorized disclosure could harm the national security of the United States.''
Seething with venom, the indictment also takes issue with instances where Assange sought to popularise the effort to obtain leaks. Assange ''intended the 'Most Wanted Leaks' list to encourage and cause individuals to illegally obtain and disclose protected information, including classified information, to WikiLeaks contrary to law.''
The standout feature of this angle is that Chelsea Manning, the key source for WikiLeaks as former intelligence analyst for the US Army, is less important than Assange the mesmerising Svengali. It was the WikiLeaks's publisher who convinced Manning to respond to his seductive call, a point the prosecutors insist is proved by search terms plugged into the classified network search engine, Intelink.
The response from the scribbling fraternity, and anybody who might wish to write about national security matters, has been one of bracing alarm, tinged by characteristic apologias. On the latter point, Assange the principle, and Assange the man, have proven confusing to fence sitters and traditional Fourth Estate sell outs.
Sam Vinograd shines in this regard as CNN national security analyst, an important point because such hacks previously served as advisors or agents to political masters. They can be trusted to toe the line. In Vinograd's case, it was as senior advisor in the Obama administration.
Triumphantly, she claims, Assange ''knowingly endangered the lives of journalists, religious leaders, human rights advocates, and political dissidents and did incredible harm to our national security.''
No evidence is supplied for any of these assertions '' the claims in the indictment will do. Obscenely, we are to take at face value that the US Justice Department is doing us, not to mention journalists, a favour. Wither analysis.
The mistake often made is that such previous experience as a national security advisor or some such will enable in-stable media figures to speak openly about topics when the opposite is true. Their goggles remain permanently blurred to the broader implications of punishing media outlets: they, after all, speak power to truth.
Those like John Pilger, one of Assange's more tireless defenders, have been unequivocal and, thus far, accurate.
''The war on Julian Assange is now a war on all,'' he tweeted. ''Eighteen absurd charges including espionage send a burning message to every journalist, every publisher.''
The war on Julian #Assange is now a war on all. Eighteen absurd charges including espionage send a burning message to every journalist, every publisher. The target today is #Assange. Tomorrow it will be you on the New York Times, you on the BBC. Modern fascism is breaking cover.
'-- John Pilger (@johnpilger) May 23, 2019
WikiLeaks's current publisher-in-chief, Kristinn Hrafnsson expressed ''no satisfaction in saying 'I told you so' to those who for 9 years scorned us for warning this moment would come.''
The ACLU has also made the pertinent point that the charges against Assange are easily replicable across the board: do it to Assange and you might give the nod of approval to other states to do the same. They ''are equally dangerous for US journalists who uncover the secrets of other nations. If the US can prosecute a foreign publisher for violating our secrecy laws, there's nothing preventing China, or Russia, from doing the same.'' Fairly precise, that.
Trevor Timm, Freedom of the Press Foundation executive director, did not mince his words.
''Put simply,'' came his statement, ''these unprecedented charges against Julian Assange and WikiLeaks are the most significant and terrifying threat to the First Amendment in the 21st century.''
The silver lining '' for even in this charred landscape of desperation, there is one '' is the overzealous nature of this effort. For one thing, proving espionage requires the necessary mental state, namely the ''intent or reason to believe that the [leaked] information is to be used to the injury of the United States, or to the advantage of any foreign nation.'' It was precisely such grounds that failed to convince Colonel Denise Lind in Manning's trial, who found that the analyst was not ''aiding the enemy'' in supplying material to WikiLeaks.
By larding the charge folder against Assange so heavily, the political intention of the prosecutors is clear. It reeks of overreach, an attempt to get ahead of the queue of Sweden. A sensible reading of any extradition effort now must conclude that Assange is as much a target of political interest as anything else. Not a hacker, nor a figure so personalised as to be reviled, but a symbol of publishing itself, persecuted by the only superpower on the planet. The case, surmises Edward Snowden, ''will decide the future of media.''
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Dr. Binoy Kampmark was a Commonwealth Scholar at Selwyn College, Cambridge. He lectures at RMIT University, Melbourne. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research and Asia-Pacific Research. Email: [email protected]
Naomi Wolf's Book Corrected by Host in BBC Interview
Sun, 26 May 2019 13:36
Photo: Roger Askew/REX/Shutterstock
In the pantheon of nightmares, somewhere between ''falling into an endless pit'' and ''back at high school but naked'' is ''going on national radio and learning, on-air, that the book you wrote and is to be published in two weeks is premised on a misunderstanding.'' Naomi Wolf, unfortunately, is living that nightmare.
When she went on BBC radio on Thursday, Wolf, the author of Vagina and the forthcoming Outrages: Sex, Censorship, and the Criminalization of Love, probably expected to discuss the historical revelations she'd uncovered her book. But during the interview, broadcaster Matthew Sweet read to Wolf the definition of ''death recorded,'' a 19th-century English legal term. ''Death recorded'' means that a convict was pardoned for his crimes rather than given the death sentence.
Wolf thought the term meant execution.
Everyone listen to Naomi Wolf realize on live radio that the historical thesis of the book she's there to promote is based on her misunderstanding a legal term
'-- Edmund Hochreiter (@thymetikon) May 23, 2019There's a shocking silence on-air after Sweet says he doesn't think Wolf is right about the executions Outrages delves into. Sweet looks at the case of Thomas Silver, who, Wolf wrote in her book, ''was actually executed for committing sodomy. The boy was indicted for unnatural offense, guilty, death recorded.'' Silver, as Sweet points out, was not executed.
''What is your understanding of what 'death recorded' means?'' Wolf asked him on-air, mere moments after he had already explained to her how Old Bailey, London's main criminal court up until 1913, defined it. Sweet pulled up his own research '-- news reports and prison records '-- showing the date that Thomas Silver was discharged.
Death recorded, he says, ''was a category that was created in 1823 that allowed judges to abstain from pronouncing a sentence of death on any capital convict whom they considered to be a fit subject for pardon.'' And then the blow: ''I don't think any of the executions you've identified here actually happened.''
Before Sweet delivered the punch, Wolf was audibly ready to speak about the ''several dozen'' similar executions she noted in her book, many of which rely on her completely wrong understanding of the term ''death recorded.'' But there is no historical evidence that shows anyone was ever executed for sodomy during the Victorian era, Sweet said on Twitter. Which means '... much of the premise of Wolf's entire book is just false.
Wolf cited on Twitter historical findings from a peer-reviewed article written by A.D. Harvey, a historian who's been labeled a hoaxer. (He deceived the public into thinking that Charles Dickens and Fyodor Dostoyevsky met once and created several online personas and an entire fake community of academics.)
The book hits U.S. stands on June 18, according to the Amazon listing. A Houghton Mifflin Harcourt spokesperson offered this statement: ''While HMH employs professional editors, copyeditors, and proofreaders for each book project, we rely ultimately on authors for the integrity of their research and fact-checking. Despite this unfortunate error we believe the overall thesis of the book Outrages still holds. We are discussing corrections with the author.''
To her absolute credit, Wolf is taking this on the chin. On Twitter, Wolf and Sweet appear cordial. There's a tweet from Sweet that indicates Wolf is going to look into her research and make necessary corrections. And a thread in which Wolf thanks Sweet for correcting her and promises to review ''all of the sodomy convictions on Twitter in real time so people can see for themselves what the sentences were and what became of each of these people.''
What I thought I would do is pick a short passage from the book (pp. 71-2) and go through it in detail. @naomirwolf is taking a second look at her work, and, I think, with great generosity, has offered to share her findings as she goes. This is pretty decent of her, I think.
'-- Matthew Sweet (@DrMatthewSweet) May 23, 2019Outrages has already been released in the U.K. under Virago Press, a division of Hachette Book Group that publishes feminist works and supports women authors. Virago hasn't returned a request for comment.
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By submitting your email, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Notice and to receive email correspondence from us. Naomi Wolf Learned On-Air That Her Book Is Wrong Promoted links by Taboola 5/25/2019
Trump's wall money scheme hits a wall
A federal judge has temporarily blocked part of President Trump's plan to build a wall along the southern border with money Congress never appropriated for that purpose. '...
Gilliam wrote that the government's position ''that when Congress declines the Executive's request to appropriate funds, the Executive may simply find a way to spend those funds 'without Congress' does not square with fundamental separation of powers principles dating back to the earliest days of our Republic.''
The law the administration invoked to shift funds allows transfers for ''unforeseen'' events. Gilliam said the government's claim that wall construction was ''unforeseen'' ''cannot logically be squared'' with Trump's many demands for funding dating back to early 2018 and even in the campaign. '... About $1 billion has been moved from military pay and pension accounts, transfers that Gilliam ruled against Friday, but no money has been transferred from the emergency military construction fund for which the president declared a state of emergency in February.
life in pixels
Petitions Are Everywhere Because We Don't Know How Else to Do Politics
By Max Read
How are you supposed to fix the government '-- or Game of Thrones?
Harvey Weinstein Nears $44 Million Deal to Resolve Lawsuits: Sources
By Halle Kiefer and Victoria Bekiempis
The tentative agreement would resolve lawsuits from Weinstein accusers, as well as the New York State attorney general.
Does Trump Want to Be Impeached?
By Ed Kilgore
Is the president one step ahead of his opponents?
fake news
When It Comes to Viral Twitter, Trust But Verify
By Madison Malone Kircher
Shane Morris tweeted an insane story about stealing heroin from a member of MS-13. Now he's saying it was all lies.
happy sh*t
7 Actually Good Things That Happened This Week
By Margaret Hartmann
Featuring royal babies frolicking, Barack Obama, and one very chill dog.
high drama
Trump v. Pelosi: Anatomy of a Feud
By Claire Lampen
A timeline of the president's ongoing fight with the Speaker of the House
5/24/2019the national interest
the national interest
Laugh at Trump, Sure '-- But Also Watch What He's Doing
By Jonathan Chait
While his authoritarian fantasies play out in farce before the cameras, behind the scenes he is managing to grasp the levers of power.
Facebook remains very concerned about false information circulating on the platform
Facebook says it will continue to host a video of Nancy Pelosi that has been edited to give the impression that the Democratic House Speaker is drunk or unwell, in the latest incident highlighting its struggle to deal with disinformation.
The viral clip shows Pelosi '' who has publicly angered Donald Trump in recent days '' speaking at an event, but it has been slowed down to give the impression she is slurring her words.
Trump v Pelosi: how a 'stable genius' president met his match Read more
'... Despite the apparently malicious intent of the video's creator, Facebook has said it will only downgrade its visibility in users' newsfeeds and attach a link to a third-party fact checking site pointing out that the clip is misleading. As a result, although it is less likely to be seen by accident, the doctored video will continue to rack up views.
5/24/2019the national interest
the national interest
Trump Staff Dreads Traveling Overseas With Toddler President
By Jonathan Chait
On Trump's Air Force One, the overnight is dark and full of terrors.
lgbtq rights
Trump Continues Drive to Protect Religious-Based Discrimination
By Ed Kilgore
The administration is fighting to repeal health-care protections and adoption rights for LGBTQ people, on behalf of his Christian right backers.
Here's an Actual Nightmare: Naomi Wolf Learning On-Air That Her Book Is Wrong
By Yelena Dzhanova
Somewhere in the pantheon of anxiety dreams near ''showing up to work naked'' is ''learning on-air that your book is totally wrong.''
Thanks, Chip!
Rep. Chip Roy became the man who delayed $19.1 billion in disaster aid to communities throughout the country on Friday.
House leaders had planned to pass a multibillion-dollar disaster assistance measure by unanimous consent, but the Texas Republican objected on the floor.
Roy took issue with passing the measure without a roll call vote. He also complained that the legislation lacks offsets to prevent it from driving up the deficit and that congressional leaders left off billions of dollars in emergency funding President Donald Trump seeks for handling the inflow of immigrants at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Nadler reassures people that he's ok after appearing to pass out at event
House Judiciary Chairman Nadler: ''Appreciate everyone's concern. Was very warm in the room this morning, was obviously dehydrated and felt a bit ill. Glad to receive fluids and am feeling much better. Thank you for your thoughts.''
'--@NBCNews 5/24/2019
Trump just loves the Saudis
Sen. Menendez says the Trump admin has ''formally informed Congress that it is invoking an obscure provision of the Arms Export Control Act to eliminate the statutorily-required Congressional review of the sales of precision-guided munitions to Saudi Arabia, the UAE and others.''
'--@ZcohenCNN 5/24/2019
It actually might be lower than currently
Trump just claimed that if the news media covered him more positively his approval rating would be 70 or 75 percent.
'--@PhilipRucker 5/24/2019
Nadler is reportedly ok now
Scary moment at this press conference now,
@RepJerryNadler appears to be dehydrated, perhaps low sugar as the conference was underway. They are clearing the room so he can get medical assistance. He's conscious, drinking water and has just been fed an orange
'--@GloriaPazmino 5/24/2019
John Bolton gets a win '' or is it a loss, since he probably wanted many more troops?
BREAKING: The Trump administration has notified Congress it plans to send 1,500 troops to the Middle East amid heightened tensions with Iran, U.S. officials say. '--@AP 5/24/2019interesting times
interesting times
Andrew Sullivan: Good-bye, Theresa. Hello, Boris?
By Andrew Sullivan
Why the populist right keeps gaining ground '-- and center keeps losing it '-- in Europe, and around the world.
5/24/2019reproductive rights
reproductive rights
The Legal Fight Over Alabama's Abortion Law Begins
By Ed Kilgore
Other, less drastic abortion laws are more likely to provide Supreme Court conservatives with the pretext to begin unraveling reproductive rights.
sigur r"s
Nancy Pelosi Slowed Down 800 Percent Is Hauntingly Beautiful
By Brian Feldman
What happens when you slow down audio of the House Speaker even more?
IGTV Is Just YouTube Now
By Madison Malone Kircher
Instagram's hub for long-form video never really took off despite Facebook's best efforts.
Conflicting so obviously with Roe V. Wade, the law is likely to be blocked
Planned Parenthood and the Alabama Women's Center on Friday filed suit against the state of Alabama to block the most restrictive abortion law in the nation.
The near-total ban, signed by Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey on May 15, would criminalize abortion in almost all circumstances '-- including cases of rape and incest '-- and punish doctors with up to 99 years in prison. Without any challenges, the law was set to go into effect in as soon as six months.
The lawsuit, filed in United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama, sets off a chain of events that both sides say is likely to lead to a years-long court battle. State lawmakers have said they passed the law specifically to bring the case in front of the U.S. Supreme Court, which they see as having the most antiabortion bench in decades. The bill was designed to challenge the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision by arguing that a fetus is a person and is therefore due full rights.
In keeping with this administration's love of discrimination
A new proposal from the Trump administration would roll back health care protections for transgender people.
The proposed regulation, announced Friday, scraps ObamaCare's definition of ''sex discrimination'' to remove protections for gender identity.
That provision said patients cannot be turned away because they are transgender, nor can they be denied coverage if they need a service that's related to their transgender status.
The announcement follows a series of moves that bolster efforts by religious conservatives to narrowly define gender and gender protections. Earlier this month, the administration finalized rules making it easier for health workers and institutions to deny treatment to people if it would violate their religious or moral beliefs.
Nobody wants to hear from you right now, David
Strong and brave speech by a Prime Minister driven by duty and service'... she should be thanked for her tireless efforts on behalf of the country. Full statement below. '--@David_Cameron 5/24/2019
Our long municipal nightmare is over
A 23-year-old Brooklyn man was arrested in the early hours of Friday morning, suspected of being the serial subway brake puller.
Isaiah Thompson was arrested at home just before 12:30 a.m. Friday after an outside tip.
He faces charges of reckless endangerment and criminal trespass after a rash of incidents dating back months that has disrupted thousands of commuters.
Police believe that on at least three occasions this month alone, Thompson rode the back of various subway trains in Manhattan, got into the operator's car and pulled the emergency brake.
Hannity has an hour-long prime time show, no editorial supervision, and the ear of the president. What could go wrong?
'... Hannity, who consistently dominates the ratings across all cable news outlets, brazenly ignores '... [Fox's news standards]. And news-side employees who spoke to The Daily Beast believe it's because no one at the network is willing to control the ratings-leading host.
A blaring example of that is Hannity's treatment of claims from guests whose dubious ''reporting'' would never pass muster on Fox's hard news shows. The most commonly cited example of this is Trump-boosting Fox News contributor Sara Carter, whose news credibility is so questionable that, as Mediaite reported in March, Fox News executives allegedly told Hannity to stop calling her an ''investigative reporter'' on his show.
''Fox News executives have asked Hannity to stop using this title on the grounds that Carter's reporting is not vetted, and passes none of the network's editorial guidelines,'' the media news site reported. And even without any such dictate, Hannity's hyping of ''reporters'' who don't meet Fox's news standards would be considered troublesome at any mainstream outlet.
Nevertheless, Hannity has persisted.
In fact, according to a review of Fox News transcripts, he has only gotten more defiant since he was reportedly scolded by executives. This year, Hannity has referred to Carter as an ''investigative reporter'' at least 18 times, two-thirds of which came after he was told to stop. In several of those instances, Hannity even slapped a network-wide stamp of approval on Carter, calling her a ''Fox News investigative reporter.''
Any Collusion?
Trump Orders FBI, CIA To "Fully Cooperate" With Barr; Grants "Full And Complete Authority To Declassify" | Zero Hedge
Fri, 24 May 2019 00:52
President Trump on Thursday announced that he has directed the US intelligence community to "quickly and fully cooperate with the Attorney General's investigation into surveillance activities during the 2016 Presidential election," adding that Attorney General William Barr has been given "complete authority to declassify information pertaining to this investigation.
....during the 2016 Presidential election. The Attorney General has also been delegated full and complete authority to declassify information pertaining to this investigation, in accordance with the long-established standards for handling classified information....
'-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 24, 2019In a third tweet, Trump added that "Today's action will help ensure that all Americans learn the truth about the events that occurred."
....Today's action will help ensure that all Americans learn the truth about the events that occurred, and the actions that were taken, during the last Presidential election and will restore confidence in our public institutions.'' @PressSec
'-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 24, 2019Here's the @PressSec statement on the @POTUS memo to the intelligence agency heads.
'-- Steve Herman (@W7VOA) May 24, 2019The pending declassifications were announced on Tuesday night by The Hill's John Solomon and Fox News's Sean Hannity, whose inside sources told them of the wide swath of information about to hit.
Among the documents slated for release, according to their sources, will be the so-called "Bucket Five" - documents which were originally presented to the Gang of Eight in 2016, which included everything the FBI and DOJ used against Trump campaign aide Carter Page - including the FISA surveillance application and its underlying exculpatory intelligence documents which the FISA court may have never seen.
We can only imagine what's going on deep in the bowels of DC right now...
Live look at @Comey rn
'-- Josh Caplan (@joshdcaplan) May 24, 2019
Steve Herman on Twitter: "Here's the @PressSec statement on the @POTUS memo to the intelligence agency heads." / Twitter
Fri, 24 May 2019 00:59
Log in Sign up Steve Herman @ W7VOA
43m Memo issued by
@POTUS directing intelligence agency heads to cooperate with the attorney general's "review of intelligence activities relating to the campaigns in the 2016 Presidential election and certain related matters."
View location · Steve Herman @ W7VOA Replying to @PressSec @POTUS Here's the
@PressSec statement on the
@POTUS memo to the intelligence agency heads. 5:19 PM - 23 May 2019 from Washington, DC
Twitter by: Steve Herman @W7VOA Steve Herman @ W7VOA
38m Replying to
@W7VOA The order allows the attorney general to declassify any information Barr sees fit in reviewing the origins of the
#Russia investigation.
View conversation · kathy weiss @ middlechildtake
36m Replying to
@W7VOA @PressSec @POTUS oh, we get it! CONGRESS can't investigate Trump's alleged crimes...but he can order an expedited investigation by HIS latchkey AG to dig up something on our intelligence agencies.
#shameful View conversation · Eva Polk @ EPolkosnik
35m Replying to
@W7VOA @Beefcake_Cat and
2 others Bring the information and substance and not Headlines- journalism performance of zero !! No wonder People hate the media!
View conversation · 🌊Brenda Scherer🌊 @ LotoBoho
34m Replying to
@W7VOA @PressSec @POTUS If only he would extend the same TRANSPARENCY in the numerous investigations of his misdeeds!
View conversation · MarieSamos1 @ MarieSamos1
33m Replying to
@middlechildtake @W7VOA and
2 others It's people like you that think the bay of pigs had no U.S. involvement.
View conversation · Hammer to Fall @ DelusionalHypo1
18m Replying to
@W7VOA Boom. Media will be working overtime over the holiday to figure out how to spin what's coming
View conversation · Sandy @ CalHN
15m Replying to
@W7VOA @PressSec and
2 others "
@PressSec @realDonaldTrump View conversation · Steverino @ skmsw
12m Replying to
@W7VOA As much of an abuse of power as this is, I am strangely unconcerned about what it may turn up.
View conversation · MarieSamos1 @ MarieSamos1
10m Replying to
@W7VOA Here comes the FISA declas.
View conversation · Dotty Hunt @ dotty_hunt
1m Replying to
@W7VOA @PressSec @POTUS Yes we were hoping today .
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Trump Gives Attorney General Sweeping Power in Review of 2016 Campaign Inquiry - The New York Times
Fri, 24 May 2019 03:15
Image President Trump and Attorney General William P. Barr this week at the White House. The directive gives Mr. Barr immense leverage over the intelligence community and enormous power over what the public learns about the roots of the Russia investigation. Credit Credit Doug Mills/The New York Times President Trump took extraordinary steps on Thursday to give Attorney General William P. Barr sweeping new authorities to conduct a review into how the 2016 Trump campaign's ties to Russia were investigated, significantly escalating the administration's efforts to place those who investigated the campaign under scrutiny.
In a directive, Mr. Trump ordered the C.I.A. and the country's 15 other intelligence agencies to cooperate with the review and granted Mr. Barr the authority to unilaterally declassify their documents. The move '-- which occurred just hours after Mr. Trump again declared that those who led the investigation committed treason '-- gave Mr. Barr immense leverage over the intelligence community and enormous power over what the public learns about the roots of the Russia investigation.
The order is a change for Mr. Trump, who last year dropped a plan to release documents related to the Russia investigation amid concerns from Justice Department officials who said making them public could damage national security. At the time, Mr. Trump was being encouraged by a group of Republican Congress members to declassify the information.
One official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss classified matters, said previously that Mr. Barr wanted to know more about what foreign assets the C.I.A. had in Russia in 2016 and what those informants were telling the agency about how President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia sought to meddle in the 2016 election.
Mr. Barr, who has used the word ''spying'' to describe how the Trump campaign was investigated, has been deeply involved in the department's review of how the intelligence was collected on it. Mr. Barr has told Congress that he personally authorized the review. While he has asked John H. Durham, the United States attorney in Connecticut, to spearhead it, a Justice Department official said that Mr. Barr has personally met with the heads of the intelligence agencies to discuss the review and that the project is a top priority after the rollout of the Mueller investigation.
The C.I.A. on Thursday referred questions to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. A spokesman for the office did not respond to messages seeking comment.
The directive is likely to irk the intelligence community, which has long prized its ability to determine what information about its operations can be released to the public.
Katie Benner, Julian E. Barnes and Charlie Savage contributed reporting.
Trump gives Barr power to declassify intelligence related to Russia probe - The Washington Post
Fri, 24 May 2019 14:42
President Trump confers with Attorney General William P. Barr during a ceremony in Washington earlier this month. (Evan Vucci/AP) Devlin BarrettReporter focusing on national security and law enforcement
Carol D. LeonnigNational investigative reporter focused on the White House and government accountability
Robert CostaNational political reporter covering the White House, Congress and campaigns
Colby ItkowitzCongress, campaigns, health policy, Pennsylvania politics
May 23 at 10:26 PMPresident Trump has granted Attorney General William P. Barr ''full and complete authority'' to declassify government secrets, issuing a memorandum late Thursday that orders U.S. intelligence agencies to cooperate promptly with Barr's audit of the investigation into Russia's election interference in 2016.
The president's move gives Barr broad powers to unveil carefully guarded intelligence secrets about the Russia investigation, which the attorney general requested to allow him to quickly carry out his review, according to the memo.
''Today's action will ensure that all Americans learn the truth about the events that occurred, and the actions that were taken, during the last Presidential election and will restore confidence in our public institutions,'' the White House said in an accompanying statement, which Trump then tweeted.
[Attorney general says he believes 'spying did occur' in probe of Trump campaign associates]
The president has labeled the investigation of his campaign a ''political witch hunt.'' His Republican allies in Congress who have reviewed some of the related files argue that the FBI investigation was opened based on flimsy and questionable evidence of wrongdoing, and that surveillance of campaign advisers to Trump was improper.
''This is candidly part of the president wanting to make sure the American people have the entire story of what went on and what will be construed by most people as improper activity within the FBI. It's also the very first step in rectifying and repairing the damage done by certain people at the FBI,'' said Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), one of the president's biggest defenders on Capitol Hill.
Meadows said he discussed with the president how granting Barr this authority would provide answers about whether the investigation was biased.
Conservative lawmakers, such as Meadows, have insisted to friends in the administration that declassifying these documents will help Trump protect his presidency and further distance himself from any political fallout from the Russia investigation, according to multiple people involved in those discussions.
The move is likely to further anger Democrats who have said that Barr is using his position as the nation's top law enforcement official to aggressively protect the president and attack his critics.
Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.), who as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee leads one of the ongoing congressional investigations of Trump, called the action ''un-American.'' Trump and Barr, Schiff said in a statement Thursday night, are conspiring to ''weaponize law enforcement and classified information against their political enemies.'' '¬
The president is the government's highest authority over whether national secrets remain classified. His order gives Barr significant authority over agencies that typically hold their secrets close and don't declassify them easily. While the memo states Barr should consult with the head of an agency before declassifying its secrets, it also demands that Barr get prompt responses and documents from the intelligence community.
Jeremy Bash, a former chief of staff at the CIA during the Obama administration, warned that, with his directive, Trump was entering ''dangerous territory.''
''Stripping the intelligence leaders of their ability to control information about sources and methods, and handing that power to political actors, could cause human agents to question whether their identity will be protected,'' Bash said.
['There was no attempted coup': FBI's former top lawyer defends Russia probe]
Barr has tapped John H. Durham, the U.S. attorney for the District of Connecticut, to investigate the origins of the Russia probe. Separately, the Justice Department inspector general is examining the handling of various aspects of the case. Barr has said the inspector general's work is expected to be completed in May or June.
Trump's memo highlights how much he has grown to trust Barr.
Barr has said ''spying'' was conducted by the government against the Trump campaign '-- an accusation Trump has leveled repeatedly but that current and former FBI officials have denied.
Barr has been criticized by former FBI director James B. Comey and other former law enforcement officials for using the phrase ''spying'' to discuss how investigators monitored some Trump campaign advisers who had extensive contacts with Russians. His critics argue that Barr is parroting the president's loaded wording, when surveillance was a proper part of a counterintelligence investigation looking at whether Russians were trying to influence Trump's campaign aides.
Should William Barr Recuse Himself From Mueller Report? Legal Experts Say Attorney General's Ties to Russia Are Troubling
Sun, 26 May 2019 04:04
Here they go again.
Attorney General William Barr is already under fire for his March letter to Congress, which reported the results of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation in a way many feel was mostly beneficial to President Donald Trump.
Now, Democrats are taking aim at Barr's recent congressional testimony in which he slipped in his opinion that federal law enforcement officials may have ''spied'' on his boss' successful presidential run.
But if that wasn't enough, some experts argue that Barr's previous work in the private sector could conflict with his continuing supervision of the investigation into Russian tampering in the 2016 election campaign.
Why? A few of Barr's previous employers are connected to key subjects in the probe. And some argue that, even if Barr didn't break any rules, his financial ties to companies linked to aspects of the Russia investigation raise questions about whether he should'--like his predecessor, Jeff Sessions'--recuse himself.
''The legal standard is really clear about these issues. It's not about actual conflict, it's about the appearance of a conflict, about the appearance of bias,'' Jed Shugerman, a professor at Fordham University's School of Law and an expert on judicial and government ethics, tells Newsweek . ''The problem is that we have so many flagrant conflicts that are so obvious, we get distracted from what the legal standard is.''
This much is known: On Barr's public financial disclosure report, he admits to working for a law firm that represented Russia's Alfa Bank and for a company whose co-founders allegedly have long-standing business ties to Russia. What's more, he received dividends from Vector Group, a holding company with deep financial ties to Russia.
These facts didn't get much attention during Barr's confirmation hearing, as Congress was hyperfocused on an unsolicited memo Barr wrote prior to his nomination, which criticized the special counsel's investigation'--and whether he would release an unredacted Mueller report to Congress. Much of the information is public, but it has so far been unreported in relation to Barr.
Still, Barr's potential conflicts could face further scrutiny as Democrats in Congress fight to have the Mueller report released to the public.
By the time you read this, the report may indeed be in the hands of Congress. But legal battles are expected over how much of the document will be redacted to protect grand jury material and other information. And no matter what appears in Barr's color-coded version of the report, his motives will continue to be questioned.
''All of this raises the need for further inquiry from an independent review, not a Department of Justice investigation,'' Michael Frisch, ethics counsel for Georgetown University's law school and an expert in professional ethics, tells Newsweek . Scott Amey, general counsel at the Project for Government Oversight, says that Barr is probably playing within the rules. But that doesn't mean he shouldn't recuse himself.
''He's not doing anything illegal. [But] is it good practice, given that he might have been involved with these entities in private practice? Probably not,'' Amey added.
The Department of Justice did not respond to multiple requests for comment. Nonetheless, here's a pocket guide to Barr's Russian connections.
Vector GroupOn his financial disclosure report, Barr notes that he earned anywhere from $5,001 to $15,000 in dividends from the Vector Group.
The company's president, Howard Lorber, brought Trump to Moscow in the 1990s to seek investment projects there. The trip is widely seen as the first of many attempts to establish a Trump Tower in Moscow.
The problem, says Shugerman, ''is the appearance of bias.''
He added that Donald Trump Jr. ''allegedly called Lorber as he was setting up the Trump Tower meeting with a Russian [lawyer]. Lorber has extensive ties to Russia and was allegedly assisting with Trump Tower Moscow plans. On top of Barr's other choices, which reflect partisan bias, it is bad judgment' have any financial ties to a person so directly entangled with Trump, Don Jr. and the core of events and questions of the Russia investigation.''
Alfa BankBarr's former law firm Kirkland & Ellis LLP, where he was counsel from March 2017 until he was confirmed as attorney general in February 2019, represented Russia's Alfa Bank. (Barr earned more than $1 million at Kirkland.)
Barr also supervises, at Justice, another Kirkland & Ellis alumnus with Alfa ties. Early last year, Trump nominated Kirkland & Ellis partner Brian Benczkowski to the Justice Department's criminal division. In his role with the law firm, Benczkowski had represented Alfa Bank and supervised an investigation into suspicious online communications between the bank and servers belonging to the Trump Organization.
Investigators found no evidence that the Trump Organization had communicated with Alfa. Still, the bank is partially owned by Russian oligarch German Khan, whose son-in-law, the London-based lawyer Alexander van der Zwaan, was indicted by special counsel Robert Mueller for lying to investigators about a report his firm had written for Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort.
Benczkowski was confirmed last July as assistant attorney general for the Justice Department's criminal division.
''In terms of a lawyer's professional codes, it's definitely legally significant if [Barr] is in counsel position,'' Frisch tells Newsweek . ''If he is counsel to the company and he isn't personally working on a matter but the company is, the company's conflicts are imputed to him.''
A branch of Alfa Bank in Minsk, Belarus Viktor Drachev/TASS/Getty
Och-ZiffQuestions have also been raised about whether Och-Ziff Capital Management, a hedge fund where Barr was a board director from 2016 to 2018, may also be too closely connected to the Russia investigation.
The billionaire Ziff brothers, Dirk, Robert and Daniel, provided seed money to hedge fund manager Daniel Och to start the firm in 1992. They retained a small stake in the company after it went public in 2007.
The brothers are also a subject of interest to the Russian government because of their work with billionaire William Browder, a financier who ran afoul of the Kremlin.
Browder, a financier who ran afoul of the Kremlin. Harry Borden/Contour/Getty
Natalia Veselnitskaya'--the Russian lawyer who met with Donald Trump Jr.; Trump's son-in-law and adviser, Jared Kushner; and Manafort in the now infamous June 2016 Trump Tower meeting'--mentioned the Ziff brothers during her meeting as part of the promised ''dirt'' on Hillary Clinton. (Browder tells Newsweek that Veselnitskaya had mentioned the Ziff brothers only because of their association with him. ''It was purely directed at me, and they had the misfortune of being associated with me,'' Browder said.)
Veselnitskaya, the Russian lawyer YURY MARTYANOV/AFP/Getty
Some experts argue that Barr's work for Och-Ziff creates the appearance of a conflict of interest because the Russian government's interest in the brothers was a component of the investigation.
''The fact that Veselnitskaya is in a meeting, that's the Trump Tower meeting, talking about Browder and Browder's associates, there's a question about this meeting and the focus on Browder and the Ziff brothers. That is ground zero of the collusion question,'' Shugerman said.
Deutsche BankYup, them again.
Barr has significant assets, between $100,000 and $250,000, with Deutsche Bank, which was the only bank that would lend to Trump when all other banks viewed him as too hot to handle. The bank has also been implicated in Russian money-laundering scandals. Two congressional committees are now looking into Trump's business ties to Deutsche Bank.
It is unclear if Barr has divested from Vector Group or pulled his assets out of Deutsche Bank since he became attorney general.
The Verdict?So are all these cases grounds for Barr's recusal? Has he crossed ared line?
''It would depend on his personal involvement. Did he profit from this in any way?'' Larry Noble, a democracy and ethics expert and former counsel for the Federal Election Commission, tells Newsweek . ''It's a little bit concerning generally with this administration because everybody seems to have some connection somehow to people involved with Russian investment or Russia at some point.''
Don't, as they say, touch that dial.
Ministry of Truthiness
Nancy Pelosi Goes Straight To Gutter In New Attack On Trump, Suggests Mentally Ill - KAG Daily
Fri, 24 May 2019 00:27
Nancy Pelosi just suggested President Trump is mentally ill. Can you believe how low the left will go?
She then snapped that Trump's family should hold an intervention. What arrogance, especially after her performance yesterday.
She trashed Trump saying, ''It's never been partisan. We don't want it to be partisan now, but I can only think he wasn't up to the task of figuring out the difficult choices how to cover the cost of what the important infrastructure legislation, that we had talked about three weeks before.
So '-- so, but the president, again, stormed out. And I think, first '-- pound the table. Walk out the door.
Next time, have the TV cameras in there when I had my say. That didn't work for him either.
Now this time, another temper tantrum '-- again '-- I pray for the President Of The United States. I wish him and his family, his administration and staff would have an intervention for the good of the country.
From ABC:
A day after President Donald Trump walked out of a meeting with congressional Democrats, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi appeared emboldened by the fracas, capitalizing on the showdown to move past her party's growing divisions regarding the prospect of impeaching the president.
''He pulled a stunt,'' Pelosi, D-Calif., told reporters at a news conference in the Capitol Thursday. ''the president has a bag of tricks and the White House has a bag of tricks that they save for certain occasions. They don't necessarily apply to the occasion, but they're a distraction.''
''We want to follow the facts to get the truth to the American people,'' she said. ''How we deal with [impeachment] is a decision that our caucus makes, and our caucus is very much saying whatever we do, we need to be ready when we do it.''
''We can get the facts to the American people through our investigation. It may take us to a place that is unavoidable in terms of impeachment or not,'' she said. ''But we're not at that place.''
Trump shares edited video of Pelosi appearing to 'stammer' through speeches | TheHill
Fri, 24 May 2019 04:06
President Trump Donald John TrumpFeinstein, Iranian foreign minister had dinner amid tensions: report The Hill's Morning Report - Trump says no legislation until Dems end probes Harris readies a Phase 2 as she seeks to rejuvenate campaign MORE shared an edited video of Speaker Nancy Pelosi Nancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump says no legislation until Dems end probes Threat of impeachment takes oxygen out of 2019 agenda Trump denies 'tantrum' in meeting with Pelosi: 'It is all such a lie!' MORE (D-Calif.) on Thursday, mocking the Democratic leader for various moments during a press conference earlier in the day where Pelosi appeared to misspeak.
Trump tweeted the video with the caption: ''PELOSI STAMMERS THROUGH NEWS CONFERENCE."
The video, which first appeared on Fox Business's "Lou Dobbs Louis (Lou) Carl DobbsPoynter pulls blacklist of 'unreliable' news websites after backlash Trump targets Biden's support from firefighters union in Twitter barrage Fox Business tops CNBC for fifth straight month MORE Tonight," cut together a number of Pelosi's apparent flubs in quick succession, but did not appear to be altered in any other way.
Earlier Thursday, a number of videos shared by conservative accounts went viral'--those clips were falsely edited to make Pelosi appear as if she was slurring her words due to intoxication. The video Trump shared did not appear to have the same alterations.
'-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 24, 2019The video was briefly pinned to top of the president's Twitter feed Thursday evening.
Reporters who reviewed the video including a Washington Post AI reporter said that the video shared by Trump, unlike a similar video that had been viewed more than 1.3 million times on Facebook, did not appear to be edited beyond removing context to Pelosi's remarks and quickly cutting from various mistakes the Speaker made during her press conference.
This video is different from the slowed and distorted "drunk" one, but it serves the same purpose, by attempting to disparage Speaker Pelosi. It's also stripped of context, cut and edited so as to make it hugely disorienting, probably by design
'-- Drew Harwell (@drewharwell) May 24, 2019Trump tweeted a different video of Pelosi on Thursday evening, this one edited to highlight moments in a recent speech where she stumbled or stuttered. It did not appear to have been otherwise manipulated.
'-- Axios (@axios) May 24, 2019His tweet came hours after YouTube removed altered videos of Pelosi following requests for comment from The Hill and other news outlets, though falsely edited videos of the speaker remained on Facebook into Thursday evening.
"YouTube has clear policies that outline what content is not acceptable to post and we remove videos violating these policies when flagged to us. These videos violated our policies and have been removed," a spokesperson for YouTube told The Hill.
The president had also shared other criticism of Pelosi's speech habits throughout the night on Twitter, including a tweet quoting GOP campaign consultant Ed Rollins, who appeared on Dobbs's show, saying Pelosi was unable to "put a subject with a predicate in the same sentence."
''Nancy Pelosi should not be out there doing the kinds of things she is doing. She will diminish herself and her membership. She cannot put a subject with a predicate in the same sentence. What's going on?'' Ed Rollins @GreggJarrett @LouDobbs
'-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 24, 2019Trump's personal attacks aimed at Pelosi come after he abruptly ended a Wednesday meeting at the White House with Democratic leaders on infrastructure after Pelosi accused him of being engaged in a "cover-up." The two have been at odds since Trump threatened yesterday that he'd no longer work with the Democrats on their top legislative priorities if the House does not end its investigations into his finances and conduct.
Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer Charles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerNo agreement on budget caps in sight ahead of Memorial Day recess Ex-White House photographer roasts Trump: 'This is what a cover up looked like' under Obama Pelosi: Trump 'is engaged in a cover-up' MORE (D-N.Y.) blasted Trump's conduct following the Wednesday meeting, accusing the president of stalling action on a $2 trillion infrastructure deal over his refusal to comply with congressional probes into his administration.
Pelosi-Trump Feud: Videos Doctored to Make House Speaker Seem Drunk Flood Social Media
Fri, 24 May 2019 12:23
Videos of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that have been doctored to make her appear drunk and slurring her words have flooded social media amid her growing feud with President Trump, The Washington Post reports. YouTube reportedly removed some of the videos, but they were also shared widely Thursday on Twitter and Facebook, where one video spread by conservative page Politics Watchdog gained nearly 2 million views as of Thursday afternoon. The videos, which spread like wildfire around the same time Trump began mocking Pelosi as ''crazy'' and a ''mess,'' show the House speaker's speech Wednesday at a Center for American Progress event where she said House Democrats believe Trump is ''engaged in a cover-up.'' The footage has been altered, however, to make Pelosi's speech sound slurred and confused, a trick that the Post reports can be done simply by slowing down the speed and changing the pitch. ''There is no question that the video has been slowed to alter Pelosi's voice,'' Hany Farid, a digital-forensics expert at University of California, Berkeley, told the Post. Pelosi's office has declined to comment on the matter.
More Gmail Spying
Hey Mr. Curry, producer Glenn here, congratulations on
your marriage, I wish you and The Keeper the absolute best in life and any
endeavor you two pursue.
So in 2015 I got married, and before I got married, I
spend countless hours looking for a good tux/suit. I went to men’s warehouse
and I guess signed up for email, or my wife signed me up, but I never bought
anything. They’ve emailed me about twice a day since then, and instead of
unsubscribing from their email list, I just lazily put Men’s warehouse into
spam, so every email for the last 4 years from them ALWAYS NO MATTER WHAT, went
into the spam folder, that I would check occasionally. I ended up getting a tux
from a local guy, the same guy I got my prom tux from.
Fast forward to about 2 months ago, when my grandma died.
She was the first family member to pass away since I’ve been like 15, so first
wake/funeral as an independent adult. I googled stuff like: “What to wear to a
“Do I need a suit for a wake” etc... about a day or so
later, AFTER 4 YEARS OF BEING SPAM, I all of a sudden get Men’s Warehouse
emails in my regular email folder. They un-spammed it all on their own, and put
it into my regular folder, to “assist” me in my suit search. I found it to be
very unnerving, and a violation of my assumed privacy, and the only reason I
have this, is because I have major accounts and other stuff linked to this one,
and it would take forever to switch. I have to eventually I know, I know, but I
thought this story kinda jives with the topic on the show. I got my suit from a
Men’s warehouse competitor FYI, and now I’m sure, that their emails will be
back out of spam, since I’ve mentioned the company like 4 times in this email.
Btw, never, once, has any No Agenda email gone to the
spam folder for my gmail account, so idk wtf these other people are doing, or
what other extensions they’re using that make the show emails get sent to spam,
but for me it’s always been 100% on the up and up. Thought you should know.
Anyways, take care and I’m looking forward to Sunday’s show, and again,
-Glenn W
OBAMA NETFLIX - Video Privacy Protection Act - Wikipedia
Sun, 26 May 2019 04:51
The Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA) was a bill passed by the United States Congress in 1988 as Pub.L. 100''618 and signed into law by President Ronald Reagan. It was created to prevent what it refers to as "wrongful disclosure of video tape rental or sale records [or similar audio visual materials, to cover items such as video games and the future DVD format]." Congress passed the VPPA after Robert Bork's video rental history was published during his Supreme Court nomination. It makes any "video tape service provider" that discloses rental information outside the ordinary course of business liable for up to $2500 in actual damages.
Origin of Computer-based VPPA Litigation [ edit ] In 2008, Attorney Joseph H. Malley,(Law Offices of Joseph H. Malley, PC, Dallas Texas), filed a Federal Class Action against Facebook, and thirty-three companies, including Blockbuster, Zappos, and Overstock, due to privacy violations caused by the Facebook Beacon program. This program resulted in users' private information, obtained from third-party affiliate marketing websites, being posted on Facebook without consent. This act was referenced in the Lane v. Facebook, Inc. class action. Based on this act it is generalized to other forms of rental records such as DVDs and Video games etc.
With the emergence of new-age computing technology and devices in the early 2000s came websites, 3rd party advertising and tracking firms began using mechanisms that violated a user's privacy. While computer technology was progressing rapidly, federal and state laws had failed to be proactive, a risk to society of ungoverned technology.As such, litigation for violations was relatively non-existent. A new method to litigate Federal privacy cases was needed to protect the hundreds of millions of people violated by unauthorized tracking user's activities online.This was a formidable task since no law firms had litigated cases involving the computer technology inherent within the exchange of user data between third-party affiliated entities, thus there was no case precedent, no "blueprint" to follow. Earlier cases, such as the double-click "cookie" case in 2001, had relied on using a wiretap statute, the Electronic Communication Privacy Act ("ECPA"). While a plausible allegation, it was a weak allegation since the website user had granted such permissible use within the website's term of service ("TOS").
Attorney Malley, who had developed a litigation strategy in the early 2000s involving another federal privacy law, the Driver Privacy Protection Act ("DPPA"), a law related to the unauthorized access to DMV records and permitted statutory damages for privacy violations, IE., $2500.00 damage award "per person-per violation, (per company)", successfully filing numerous federal class actions against 300''400+ companies, sought a similar strategy, but needed to develop a new theory of liability for added assurance to survive a motion to dismiss. The problem, no case law involving this new-age type of technology. Substantial research was thus required, eventually revealing an "archaic" statute created in 1988: Video Privacy Protection Act ("VPPA"). Arguably unrelated to present technology, VPPA concerned obtaining information from a physical location and involved VHS and Betamax recordings. As such, lawsuits involving online entities that used audio-video would need to plead comparisons between the "old-new" technologies for advertising.
The online advertising industry, in association with analytic companies, had begun using video ads to conduct its ubiquitous tracking, consumer's attention shown to be drawn to such as opposed to written content, In later years, these tracking methods would expand to photos and audio, IE., In 2008, cell phones were re-designed to include a new method of tracking, the use of social apps to collect photos, a process which now permitted a one step "click" process to uploading a photo as opposed to the previous six steps, thus consumers were now more inclined to upload photos in mass. This allowed content to be provided for free and which formed the basis for the tracking, IE., EXIF data. Such acts were captured when Attorney Malley used software applications to log HTTP/HTTPS traffic between a computer's web browser and the Internet, analytic tests using two computers interfaced, producing indisputable evidence of such activities: moreover, detailed reports of any and all parties involved in such nefarious activities, IE., "tracking the trackers". In the continuing research of the Industry's business practises in order to determine its monetization interests, such revealed the incorporation of complex graphics within online ads, and the exchange of data derived from video ads not confined to an internal network, used via a TCP/IP protocol. This unauthorized activity would become the core allegation.
Extensive research and case analysis of Federal and State laws, regulations, and Court Opinions, yielded limited assistance. An adaptation of the law was needed to litigate this new computer technology involving the unauthorized access to online consumer's data. Attorney Malley seized on an archaic law written concerning the technology of the 1980s involving video cassettes, VHS, and Betamax, the Video Privacy Protection Act ("VPPA"), 18 U.S. Code § 2710 - Wrongful disclosure of video tape rental or sale records, (1988), envisioning that the websites, and any affiliated third-parties, which used the audio and/or video within its marketing ads were "video-providers"; moreover, this content, ads and online games, merely a video; moreover, the essential functionality of the illegal transfer, a "wrongful disclosure", (core elements needed to prove-up a VPPA violation). The use of the VPPA law in regard to this new-age computer technology would set precedent, and become the new "blueprint" used in Federal privacy litigation.
The lawsuit alleged the release of the records was a violation of the Video Privacy Protection Act.[1]
In December 2009, once again, Attorney Joseph H. Malley, (Law Offices of Joseph H. Malley, PC., Dallas Texas), representing an anonymous plaintiff, filed a lawsuit against the online DVD rental company Netflix over its release of data sets for the Netflix Prize, alleging that the company's release of the information constituted a violation of the VPPA.[2]
Netflix cited the act in 2011 following the announcement of its global integration with Facebook. The company noted that the VPPA was the sole reason why the new feature was not immediately available in the United States, and it encouraged its customers to contact their representatives in support of legislation that would clarify the language of the law.[3]
In 2012, Netflix changed its privacy rules so that it no longer retains records for people who have left the site. This change was due directly to a lawsuit indicating violation of the act.[4]
In January 2013, President Obama signed into law H.R. 6671 which amended the Video Privacy Protection Act to allow video rental companies to share rental information on social networking sites after obtaining customer permission. Netflix had lobbied for the change.[5] Attorney Joseph H. Malley was contacted by the Chief Counsel, Democrats|Subcommittee on IP at U.S. House of Representatives to provide assistance related to 2012 VPPA Amendment proposal.
A San Francisco federal trial court found the VPPA's subscriber protections apply to users with Hulu accounts, a class action also involving Attorney Joseph H. Malley.[6] In 2015, a federal appeals court in Atlanta found that those protections do not reach the users of a free Android app, even when the app assigns each user a unique identification number and shares user behavior with a third-party data analytics company.[6]
References [ edit ] ^ Vijayan, Jaikumar (2008-04-18), "Blockbuster sued over Facebook Beacon information sharing Archived January 16, 2009, at the Wayback Machine". Computerworld. ^ Singel, Ryan. "Netflix Spilled Your Brokeback Mountain Secret, Lawsuit Claims", Wired Magazine ^ "Help Us Bring Facebook Sharing to Netflix USA". Netflix Blog . Retrieved 2011-09-22 . ^ "Class-action lawsuit settlement forces Netflix privacy changes". Ars Technica. ^ Obama signs Netflix-backed amendment to video privacy law, Steven Musil, Cnet, January 10, 2013, accessed June 18, 2015 ^ a b Recent Cases: Eleventh Circuit Limits the Scope of "Subscriber" for VPPA Protections, 129 Harv. L. Rev. 2011 (2016). 18 U.S.C. § 2710: Wrongful disclosure of video tape rental or sale records"EPIC Video Privacy Protection Act Page". Electronic Privacy Information Center . Retrieved 2005-03-03 .
Text - H.R.6671 - 112th Congress (2011-2012): Video Privacy Protection Act Amendments Act of 2012 | | Library of Congress
Sun, 26 May 2019 04:56
Text: H.R.6671 '-- 112th Congress (2011-2012)All Information (Except Text) There are 5 versions: TXTPDFShown Here: Public Law No: 112-258 (01/10/2013) [112th Congress Public Law 258][From the U.S. Government Printing Office][[Page 126 STAT. 2414]]Public Law 112-258112th Congress                                 An Act To amend section 2710 of title 18, United States Code, to clarify that a  video tape service provider may obtain a consumer's informed, written consent on an ongoing basis and that consent may be obtained through the             Internet. <<NOTE: Jan. 10, 2013 -  [H.R. 6671]>>     Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, <<NOTE: Video Privacy Protection Act Amendments Act of 2012.>> SECTION 1. <<NOTE: 18 USC 1 note.>> SHORT TITLE.    This Act may be cited as the ``Video Privacy Protection Act Amendments Act of 2012''.SEC. 2. VIDEO PRIVACY PROTECTION ACT AMENDMENT.    Section 2710(b)(2) of title 18, United States Code, is amended by striking subparagraph (B) and inserting the following:            ``(B) to any person with the informed, written consent         (including through an electronic means using the Internet) of         the consumer that--                    ``(i) is in a form distinct and separate from any                 form setting forth other legal or financial obligations                 of the consumer;                    ``(ii) at the election of the consumer--                          ``(I) is given at the time the disclosure is                       sought; or                          ``(II) is given in advance for a set period of                       time, not to exceed 2 years or until consent is                       withdrawn by the consumer, whichever is sooner;                       and                    ``(iii) the video tape service provider has provided                 an opportunity, in a clear and conspicuous manner, for                 the consumer to withdraw on a case-by-case basis or to                 withdraw from ongoing disclosures, at the consumer's                 election;''.    Approved January 10, 2013.LEGISLATIVE HISTORY--H.R. 6671:---------------------------------------------------------------------------CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, Vol. 158 (2012):            Dec. 18, considered and passed House.            Dec. 20, considered and passed Senate.                                  <all>
Obama signs Netflix-backed amendment to video privacy law - CNET
Sun, 26 May 2019 04:52
Ready to share your Netflix viewing on Facebook? LG President Obama signed Netflix-backed legislation today that makes it easier for people to share their video-viewing habits online.
With his signature on H.R. 6671, Obama approved an amendment to the 1988 Video Privacy Protection Act that allows video rental companies to obtain customer consent to share information about their viewing preferences on social networks such as Facebook. The law was enacted after a weekly newspaper printed the video rental history of Judge Robert H. Bork during his Supreme Court confirmation hearings.
The House bill is similar to a proposal approved last November by the Senate Judiciary Committee, minus language inserted by Sen. Patrick Leahy that would have required police to obtain search warrants before accessing files stored in the cloud, including e-mail. However, Leahy later withdrew the controversial proposal.
Netflix, which had argued that the 25-year-old law was outdated and due for an overhaul, has said it plans to introduce social features for subscribers this year, although a Netflix representative told CNET that it was too early to discuss specifics. Netflix users outside the United States already have the option to link their accounts with Facebook, allowing them frictionless sharing of their video viewing preferences with other member of their online social network.
Leigh Wheaton, Jill Paul and Trevor Paul vs Apple Inc - Class Action | I Cloud | Ios
Sun, 26 May 2019 04:46
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Sun, 26 May 2019 04:33
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Foreigner charged with using fake passport, thanks to face recognition system
Sun, 26 May 2019 12:25
Immigration police on Friday detained a foreign man for allegedly using a false travel document to travel out of the country at Suvarnabhumi International Airport. The man was using a passport that identified him as Oh Chee Boon, a Malaysian, to check in at the airport on his way to Philippines on Philippine Airlines.
However the airport's biometric system, which featured face recognition, showed that he did not match the system's data storage information. During questioning the man insisted that he was Oh.
However, further investigation showed that the passport was fake and had been used in entering and exiting Thailand via the Thai-Myanmar border several times. Police also confiscated a cash of US$500,000.
Police charged the man with using a fake passport and suspected him of involving in transnational crime.
Construction Safety Technology for Managing People, Equipment & Risk
Sun, 26 May 2019 13:07
We don't need to remind you that construction is a fast-moving, results-oriented industry. With competing priorities and countless moving parts, comprehensive visibility and effective communication across project participants and vast sites remains a challenge. The Spot-r system enables site supervisors and off-site managers to see what is happening across their project portfolio in real-time to optimize resources, mitigate risks, and improve project management.
Complete Workforce VisibilityOne of the biggest inefficiencies in construction today is the inability to immediately see how many workers are on a jobsite - and where they're located - across trades, subs or project locations. Manual headcounts and paper timesheets are a necessity, but they are time-consuming, non-collaborative, and error-prone - particularly on large projects. Spot-r automates worker time and attendance and provides real-time worker location, so you can see which resources are active and how they're interacting whether you're out in the field or in the corporate office.
Improve Site SafetySafety is the core of our Spot-r solution, notifying designated supervisors about fall events or worker-generated alerts as they occur, so they can ensure the necessary and timely medical attention is received. With automated safety notifications, including who, when, where, and distance of fall, Spot-r adds clarity and precision to currently inefficient safety identification, documentation, and responses process.
Manage and Ensure ComplianceRight now, there is no easy way to know who is operating your equipment and whether they are certified to do so. By linking equipment to a specific worker, and facilitating digital worker certification information, Spot-r can push unknown or unauthorized equipment operator notifications, helping to improve compliance and reduce the likelihood of uncertified operator error. This changes the game, overcoming the inherent risks and hazards of the current ''one-key-fits-all'' approach of modern machines.
Built For ConstructionWith experience building technology for challenging environments, Spot-r is an intelligent solution designed to provide value to all levels of a project. Spot-r is the first scalable, non-GPS solution to automatically collect jobsite data without restrictions such WiFi or GPS coverage. With minimal network hardware and rechargeable devices, our clients can harness the power of real-time data without encumbering their workers and support staff.
Minimize Resource DowntimeSpot-r EquipTags mount onto any piece of equipment, such as a scissor lift or skid steer, to tell you how much '' and how often '' each machine is being used. By drilling into utilization data by zone, equipment type, or operator, you can better coordinate your assets and rentals across project sites to minimize downtime and save rental costs. With visibility into how equipment is being utilized on site, you can bring in additional resources to prevent unnecessary wear and tear and combat the increased risks that come from cutting corners to stay on schedule.
Control RisksSpot-r tells you what's occurring at ground level, while providing data-driven insights into how current safety procedures are performing at your jobsites. Knowing about an incident the moment it happens improves response and reduces the risk of compounding injuries or other workers walking into the hazard. The ability to correct risky behavior '' on the ground or behind the wheel '' in real-time can help reduce the frequency and severity of accidents at your jobsites, which can help lower MOD ratings and insurance premiums in the long run.
Leverage Data on Future ProjectsBy failing to automate data collection and reporting, contractors are missing out on a significant opportunity to learn from past projects and take insights and best practices with them on future jobsites. Aggregate Spot-r safety and productivity data can be analyzed by worker, sub or geographic region and integrates with existing construction software, allowing you to get the data you want, when and where you want it. With Spot-r's custom-built reports, which can be easily exported and shared with project stakeholders, managers spend less time compiling data and more time acting on it.
Ready to build smarter? Get an in-depth look at our data dashboard and discuss your specific project needs with an experienced member of our team.
China's Supply of Minerals for iPhones and Missiles Could Be a Risky Trade Weapon - The New York Times
Fri, 24 May 2019 12:08
Image President Xi Jinping of China on Monday visited a factory in Jiangxi Province that makes rare-earth magnets. Credit Credit Xinhua, via Getty Images SHANGHAI '-- President Xi Jinping of China strode this week through a high-ceilinged factory that makes magnets out of rare earths, minerals that are essential to global manufacturing and a sector that his country dominates. His top trade negotiator, Vice Premier Liu He, stood near.
Mr. Xi did not threaten to block supplies of rare earths to the United States. He didn't have to. The veiled threat, broadcast over state-run news media this week as President Trump ratcheted up his trade war against Beijing, was clear.
China's command of the rare-earth market could give Beijing a way to strike back at Mr. Trump as he raises tariffs and deprives Chinese companies of the technology they need to survive. A similar move by China nine years ago, against Japan over a territorial dispute, shocked manufacturers around the world, sent prices soaring and revealed Beijing's control of an essential part of the global supply chain.
This time, however, the impact of any block on rare earths may be far less clear cut. It could undermine China's reputation as a manufacturing hub. Other trading partners, notably Japan and South Korea, could become collateral damage. And in an odd turnabout, China's own needs have made it somewhat dependent on ore from the United States.
While China is determined to resist American pressure, limits on rare earths ''will affect many other countries,'' said Gary Liu, a Shanghai-based economist. ''The global supply chain is so complicated.''
It is far from clear that China will harness rare earths as a weapon. On Wednesday, a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry advised reporters not to read too much into Mr. Xi's visit on Monday to the magnet factory in Jiangxi Province. Hours later, Hu Xijin, the editor of Global Times, a tabloid owned by the Chinese Communist Party, said leaders in Beijing were considering the idea.
''I think Chinese government won't do this immediately,'' Mr. Hu wrote on Twitter, ''but it's seriously evaluating the need to do so.''
Rare earths are not actually rare. But refining them from ore is expensive and polluting.
China has been one of the very few countries willing to tolerate the industry. Though rare-earth mines have opened in the United States, in Australia and elsewhere, China dominates refining and transforming them into valuable metals, magnetic powders and other high-value products.
The minerals wind up in everything from iPhones to wind turbines and missiles. They are used to polish camera lenses and to refine crude oil into gasoline, diesel and jet fuel.
The appetite in the United States for products that include rare earths is enormous. But while the country still imports large quantities of cheap rare-earth catalysts for use in oil refineries, American demand for raw rare-earth metals to be used in factories has almost disappeared. Chinese customs data show that the United States bought only 3.8 percent of China's exports of rare-earth metals last year, far less than Japan, and also less than India, Italy or Spain.
In large part, that is because so much manufacturing has shifted out of the United States. Nearly a decade ago, Beijing began putting heavy pressure on manufacturers of products like electric motor magnets and light-emitting diodes to move factories to China if they wanted reliable access to rare-earth metal supplies. Remaining American industries like automaking and aerospace manufacturing now import entire systems from China, like car starters and aircraft wing flaps.
Beijing could still block exports of Chinese-made motors, magnets and other gear to the United States '-- and industry experts noted that Mr. Xi's visit was to a magnet factory, not to a mine.
''The message was, this is a supply chain and we control your supply chain,'' said Clint Cox, president of the Anchor House, a rare-earths consulting firm in Evanston, Ill.
The dilemma for Beijing lies in whether to jeopardize its central role in global supply chains by halting exports of crucial components to the West. Trade hawks in the Trump administration have been quietly expressing hope that China will do just that. They see such an interruption as the best way to persuade global companies to shift manufacturing permanently out of China to the United States or to American allies, a long-term goal known as decoupling in trade circles.
A Chinese export embargo would have other drawbacks. For example, American oil refineries depend on lanthanum, which is the cheapest and most easily produced of the 17 rare-earth elements, as a catalyst to refine crude oil. But lanthanum is mined in bulk in Australia and in the United States as well as in China.
Oil companies in the United States keep several months of catalysts in stockpiles, said Dudley Kingsnorth, a professor specializing in rare earths at the Western Australian School of Mines in Perth. The United States could import more gasoline and diesel from refineries elsewhere if needed, although at a greater cost.
Thanks to circuitous global supply chains, really blocking American access to rare-earth products could mean cutting off much of the rest of the world as well. Factories in South Korea and Thailand produce large quantities of lanthanum-based catalysts. Three Japanese companies dominate the business of turning rare earths into magnets. The three '-- Hitachi, TDK and the Shin-Etsu Group '-- have built large magnet factories in China but have kept their factories open in Japan as a precaution.
In an odd and little-noticed reversal, China has actually become somewhat dependent on the United States for rare-earth ore. China's manufacturing sector is now so huge that the country has begun importing semi-processed rare-earth ore from a mine in Mountain Pass, in the California desert near the Nevada border.
The mine went bankrupt in 2015 because it could not compete with illegal mines in China that have few environmental controls and low costs.
But its new owners have shipped part of its stockpiles and all of its current ore production to China for processing. In recent months, the mine has accounted for roughly one-tenth of the world's rare-earth mining.
A group of investors led by JHL Capital Group, a Chicago hedge fund, bought the mine out of bankruptcy in July 2017. JHL Capital owns almost 65 percent of the mine, and another American investment group, QVT Financial of New York, owns a little over 25 percent.
Shenghe Resources Holding Company of China owns the remaining shares, but those shares do not carry voting rights, said James H. Litinsky, the founder and controlling shareholder of JHL. Shenghe provides technical and sales advice, but the mine's 200 employees are Americans, he said.
Shenghe's majority shareholder is an institute controlled by China's Ministry of Land and Resources. Shenghe has publicly confirmed its stake in the mine.
Mining the rare earths is only part of the equation. Mr. Litinsky said that he planned to restart the Mountain Pass mine's mothballed chemical separation facilities next year to produce rare-earth oxides, so that semiprocessed ore would no longer have to be shipped to China. That plan is based partly on his assessment that trade frictions will persist and that the United States will seek self-sufficiency.
''This is the very beginning of a multi-decade transformation of the global economy,'' he said. ''The global economy is going to bifurcate into the U.S. bloc and the China bloc.''
When it comes to rare earths, an American bloc would be hard pressed to catch up, despite the reopening of Mountain Pass. China so completely dominates one key stage of the manufacturing process '-- converting the oxides to metals '-- and has so much low-cost overcapacity that companies elsewhere are leery of investing in their own facilities.
''We're a long way off,'' said Mr. Cox of Anchor House. ''We're nowhere.''
Follow Keith Bradsher on Twitter: @KeithBradsher.
Alexandra Stevenson contributed reporting from Beijing. Ailin Tang contributed research.
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Trade Wedge For China: Its Minerals
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Huawei barred from SD Association, so what does it mean for its phones?
Fri, 24 May 2019 13:07
Just when things couldn't get worse for Huawei, SumahoInfo reports that the SD Association currently has the company de-listed on its website.
The SD Association is a non-profit organization that sets the standards for SD and microSD cards. According to the organization's FAQ page, members are involved in the design, development, or manufacturing of products that use the SD standards. Those products also include smartphones and similar devices that support SD and microSD cards.
As such, companies that aren't on the SD Association's list of members can't officially produce and sell devices with SD card support that use the SD standards. According to SumahoInfo, the member page showed Huawei a few weeks ago, but no longer lists the firm this week.
What is Nano Memory and where is it headed?Huawei launched Nano Memory last year, a proprietary memory solution of its own design. It was an intriguing prospect: a newer, smaller memory card for increasingly compact phones. Yet it was hard to get excited '...
In a statement sent to Android Authority, the SD Association confirmed it is complying with the recent order from the U.S. Department of Commerce that put Huawei on the Entity List.
Android Authority also reached out to Huawei for comment and a spokesperson said microSD cards will still work in its phones. Company representatives declined to comment when asked whether future phones would be affected by the move.
The use of SD cards on Huawei smartphone won't be affected. Consumers can continue purchasing and using these products.
The announcement comes at a bad time for Huawei as it struggles with recent restrictions imposed on it by the U.S. government. Huawei has said it's working closely with Google on a potential solution. The company also talked about an Android alternative it is developing, though its status is in question.
NEXT: At least one key tech company says it can still do business with Huawei
Till Trump do they part: Top tech firms cut ties with Huawei following US trade blacklisting '-- RT Business News
Sun, 26 May 2019 03:02
Last week, US President Donald Trump signed an executive order aimed at banning Chinese telecoms like Huawei from selling equipment to the US over an unacceptable risk to national security.
Following the order, the US Department of Commerce announced the blacklisting of Huawei along with 70 of its affiliates. The step prevented US-based corporations from selling or transferring technology to Huawei without a license issued by the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS).
READ MORE: Who's afraid of Huawei? Why Google's 'fatal blow' may actually be a sign of desperation
The harsh step has forced both foreign and US technology giants to halt their business transactions with the Chinese corporation to comply with the president's order. RT looks at the companies that have opted to break up with Huawei.
The American multinational technology company was the first to suspend its licenses and product-sharing agreements with the blacklisted Chinese corporation. Google, focused on internet-related services and products, cut its business deals with Huawei that involve the transfer of hardware and software. Google's steps unavoidably deprives Huawei of access to Android operating system updates with its upcoming smartphones to be shut out of some Google apps.
Also on The art of trade war: Chinese firm bans workers from buying American goods & stateside travel Intel, Qualcomm, Xilinx & Broadcom
The Silicon Valley chip makers froze their supplies to Huawei following the US government's announcement. The companies reportedly have told their employees that no new shipments would be made ''until further notice.''
Lumentum Holdings, which sells components to Huawei, announced plans to halt the deals with the Chinese firm. The company said that it was lowering its quarterly outlook since sales to Huawei totaled 18 percent of overall revenue in the latest quarter.
Japan's Panasonic has joined US firms in stepping away from Huawei in the wake of the ban. The corporation said it would stop supplying some components to the Chinese firm. Later, the company said it was scrutinizing whether its products break US restrictions on trading with Huawei, causing some confusion, as the latest claims contradict the previous ones.
Also on 'Stupid economics': Attack on Huawei tells world to avoid doing business with US - Prof. Wolff Miсrosoft
The US technology company removed Huawei's products from its retail stores as well as Azure Stack, one of its websites offering cloud gear. Miсrosoft may also cut ties with the Chinese corporation in the sphere of consumer electronics and B2B decisions.
The UK telecom group Vodafone announced plans to suspend pre-orders of Huawei 5G handsets due to an alleged security controversy involving the Chinese company. The step came shortly after British mobile network operator and internet service provider EE said it had ''paused'' the launch of Huawei's 5G phones.
Also on 'Shutting down' Huawei '10 times more important' than trade deal with China '' Bannon SoftBank, KDDI and NTT
Japanese major mobile carriers SoftBank and KDDI announced plans to postpone sales of new Huawei smartphones. Another telecommunications company, NTT, said it would stop taking orders for the new Huawei handsets, despite previous pledges to launch a new high-end Huawei model in the summer.
Amazon Japan
The Japanese unit of the US e-commerce titan Amazon suspended direct online sales of Huawei products. The company still allows third-party vendors to sell devices, including smartphones, tablets and PCs produced by the Chinese company.
British chip designer ARM ordered its staff to suspend ''all active contracts, support entitlements, and any pending engagements'' with the Chinese tech firm.
Also on Venezuela plans to develop 4G network with help from Russia & China For more stories on economy & finance visit RT's business section
Trump bypasses Congress to push through arms sales to Saudis, UAE
Sat, 25 May 2019 05:40
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By Dan De Luce
The Trump administration on Friday cited a national security "emergency" allegedly caused by Iran to bypass Congress and rush through arms sales worth billions of dollars to Saudi Arabia and other Middle East allies, in a move that drew condemnation from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.
Citing a rarely used provision of arms control law, the administration informed lawmakers it was declaring a national security emergency, allowing it to go ahead with the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan without congressional approval, according to administration letters sent to senators and obtained by NBC News.
"I have determined that an emergency exists which requires the proposed sale in the national security interest of the United States, and, thus, waives the congressional review requirements," Secretary of State Mike Pompeo wrote in a letter to Sen. James Risch, the Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
The decision affected various arms packages worth roughly $8 billion, including deals for precision-guided bombs and related gear for Saudi Arabia and the UAE, according to the documents and congressional aides.
The two countries are staunch U.S. allies that support President Donald Trump's policies on Iran and have been waging a war since 2015 in support of the Yemeni government against Houthi rebels backed by Tehran.
The move came despite growing bipartisan opposition to any arms sales to Saudi Arabia amid outrage over the killing of Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last year, as well as over Riyadh's air war in Yemen that has caused high numbers of civilian casualties.
A bipartisan majority in Congress has voted to halt U.S. support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen but President Donald Trump vetoed the legislation last month.
A memo accompanied Pompeo's letters justifying the declaration of the emergency due to Iran's actions, including its support for Houthi rebels in Yemen fighting the Saudi-led coalition.
"Iranian malign activity poses a fundamental threat to the stability of the Middle East and to American security at home and abroad," the memo states. "Current threat reporting indicates Iran engages in preparations for further malign activities throughout the Middle East region, including potential targeting of U.S. and allied military forces in the region."
Iran has accused the U.S. of trying to provoke a war and denied any role in recent attacks on ships near the coast of the UAE or on a pipeline in Saudi Arabia.
Pompeo said in a statement that delaying the arms shipments, which included bombs, parts for fighter jets and other hardware, could cause problems for allied aircraft and call into question U.S. reliability in providing equipment.
"The United States is, and must remain, a reliable security partner to our allies and partners around the world," Pompeo said.
But the secretary of state said the decision to bypass Congress was a ''a one-time event'' and that the administration would uphold the long-established process for congressional review of proposed arms sales.
Democrats in Congress said the Trump administration expedited the arms packages because it could not secure a majority of lawmakers to support any proposed sales to the Saudis.
"President Trump is only using this loophole because he knows Congress would disapprove of this sale. There is no new 'emergency' reason to sell bombs to the Saudis to drop in Yemen, and doing so only perpetuates the humanitarian crisis there," Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut said in a statement.
Some Republicans also denounced the White House for circumventing Congress to complete the sale.
''I understand the administration's frustration that key members of Congress held these arms sales for an extended period of time, in some cases for over a year," said Rep. Mike McCaul of Texas, the top Republican on the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee.
"However, the President's decision to use an emergency waiver on these sales is unfortunate and will damage certain future congressional interactions."
Republican Sen. Todd Young of Indiana called on the administration to reconsider the decision.
"I strongly urge the administration to reverse course from bypassing congressional oversight on arms sales to Saudi Arabia," Young said.
"Iran remains the world's largest state sponsor of terror but the current threats that have been briefed to members of Congress do not justify taking this dramatic step. "
Sen. Bob Menendez, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, questioned whether the decision was legal and accused the Trump administration of flouting congressional authority while granting favors to Gulf governments accused of human rights abuses and alleged indiscriminate bombing in Yemen.
"I am disappointed, but not surprised, that the Trump Administration has failed once again to prioritize our long term national security interests or stand up for human rights, and instead is granting favors to authoritarian countries like Saudi Arabia," Menendez said in a statement.
He said "the Trump administration decided to do an end run around the Congress and possibly the law."
Menendez had held up the sale of tens of thousands of precision-guided bombs to Saudi Arabia and the UAE for a year, due to concerns about civilian deaths from Saudi-led airstrikes, the killing of Khashoggi and alleged rights abuses linked to the UAE in the war in Yemen.
Rights advocates and humanitarian groups also condemned the decision.
"The Trump Administration is manufacturing an emergency to push through the sale of deadly weapons to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates," Scott Paul of Oxfam America said. "The real emergency is the 12 million people at risk of famine in Yemen and the largest-ever recorded cholera outbreak continues to spread because of the conflict, but this administration shows little concern for the millions who suffer."
Apart from precision-guided munitions or so-called "smart bombs," the arms sales for Saudi Arabia include mortar bombs, engines and maintenance support for F-15 fighter jets and logistical services for the Saudi air force, according to documents sent to Congress from the administration.
The arms packages for the United Arab Emirates cover precision-guided bombs, equipment for AH-64 helicopters, laser-guided rockets, javelin anti-tank missiles, .50 caliber semi-automatic rifles, Patriot missiles, F-16 fighter jet engine parts and U.S. Marine Corps training of the country's presidential guard. The weapons sale for Jordan involved a transfer of Paveway precision-guided bombs from the Emirates.
Saudi Arabia's embassy in Washington did not respond to a request for comment.
The Trump administration has refrained from public criticism of the Saudi-led coalition's campaign in Yemen and has focused on Iran's support of Houthi rebels in the conflict, accusing Tehran of fueling the war.
But some experts and former officials say the war in Yemen benefits Iran and Al Qaeda-linked militants and that the U.S. needs to use its influence with the Saudis to bring an end to the fighting.
"The longer the civil war in Yemen continues, the more opportunity Tehran will have to undermine the interests of the U.S. and our security partners," said Bradley Bowman of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, a Washington think tank.
"It is in U.S. national security interests to end the civil war in Yemen and address the horrible humanitarian crisis there '-- both of which are pushing the Houthis deeper into the welcoming arms of Tehran."
Menendez and other lawmakers said they would look at a possible legislative response to the Trump administration's decision. Two Democratic congressional aides said senators were discussing legislation that would possibly bar future arms sales to Saudi Arabia without congressional approval.
The White House move could trigger a backlash in Congress that would jeopardize future arms sales, Bowman said.
"An administration end-run around Congress to complete arms sales to Riyadh risks inciting a congressional reaction that will undermine the administration's broader goals related to its conventional arms transfer policy," he said.
Under U.S. arms control law, Congress must be given 30 days to approve U.S. arms sales to foreign countries. However, in a rarely used provision of that law, the president can declare an "emergency," sidestepping Congress and sending the sale through immediately.
In 1984, President Ronald Reagan used the same provision to sell 400 Stinger missiles and 200 launchers to Saudi Arabia in response to its urgent request for help in defending the kingdom against Iran.
Saudi Arabia remains the United States' largest foreign military sales customer with more than $129 billion in approved purchases.
Dan De Luce
Dan De Luce is a reporter for the NBC News Investigative Unit.
Abigail Williams contributed.
An Open Letter to President Donald Trump on U.S. Tensions with Iran
Sun, 26 May 2019 10:50
Editor's Note: This letter was coordinated by the American College of National Security Leaders, a consortium consisting of retired admirals, generals, ambassadors, and senior government executives committed to strengthening America's national security by informing the debate, influencing decision-makers, and educating the public.
Dear Mr. President,
We write to you to express our deep concern with the current escalation with Iran in the Arabian Gulf. The mutual animosity between the United States and Iran, the accelerated deployment of an aircraft carrier strike group and B-52 bombers to the region, and reports of Iranian preparations for attacks on U.S. military and diplomatic facilities are highly concerning and make for a potentially deadly confrontation. A war with Iran, either by choice or miscalculation, would produce dramatic repercussions in an already destabilized Middle East and drag the United States into another armed conflict at immense financial, human, and geopolitical cost.
As national security professionals with extensive careers in the U.S. armed forces and diplomatic service, we have witnessed first-hand how quickly disputes can spiral out of control. The lack of direct communication between U.S. and Iranian political and military leaders during a time of heightened rhetoric only increases the possibility of a miscalculation resulting in unintended military conflict. Washington and Tehran are talking past each other and taking actions the other views as dangerously provocative at best and the beginning of forceful action at worst.
We were heartened by your reported desire to avoid war with Iran in favor of other tools, including common-sense diplomacy. While economic sanctions against Iran have had the beneficial effect of reducing financial support for Hezbollah in Lebanon, these, as well as military threats against Iran have thus far proved ineffective in changing the regime's behavior and have likely reaffirmed the beliefs of Tehran's hardline elements that compromise with the United States is impossible.
As President and Commander-in-Chief, you have considerable power at your disposal to immediately reduce the dangerous levels of regional tension. Crisis de-escalation measures should be established with the Iranian leadership at the senior levels of government as a prelude to exploratory diplomacy on matters of mutual concern. The protection of U.S. national interests in the Middle East and the safety of our friends and allies requires thoughtful statesmanship and aggressive diplomacy rather than unnecessary armed conflict.
Rear Adm. Sandy Adams, U.S. Navy (ret.)Brig. Gen. Clara Adams-Ender, U.S. Army (ret.)Brig. Gen. Ricardo Aponte, U.S. Air Force (ret.)Vice Adm. Donald Arthur, U.S. Navy (ret.)Maj. Gen. Donna Barbisch, U.S. Army (ret.)­Brig. Gen. Roosevelt Barfield, U.S. Army (ret.)Brig. Gen. Donald C. Bulduc, U.S. Army (ret.)Brig. Gen. Stephen A. Cheney, U.S. Marine Corps (ret.)Brig. Gen. Julia Cleckley, U.S. Army (ret.)Ambassador Herman J. Cohen (ret.)Rear Adm. Christopher Cole, U.S. Navy (ret.)Maj. Gen. Peter Cooke, U.S. Army (ret.)Vice Adm. Dirk Debbink, U.S. Navy (ret.)Brig. Gen. James H. Doty Jr, U.S. Army (ret.)Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton, U.S. Army (ret.)Maj. Gen. Mari K Eder, U.S. Army (ret.)Brig. Gen. Robert J. Felderma U.S. Army (ret.)Vice Adm. Michael Franken, U.S. Navy (ret.)Lt. Gen. Walter Gaskin, U.S. Marine Corps (ret.)Brig. Gen. Robert A. Glacel, U.S. Army (ret.)Rear Adm. Stephen Glass, JAGC, U.S. Navy (ret.)Vice Adm. Kevin P. Green, U.S. Navy (ret.)Maj. Gen. Richard S. Haddad, U.S. Air Force (ret.)Maj. Gen. Irv Halter, U.S. Air Force (ret.)Rear Adm. Jan Hamby. U.S. Navy (ret.)Maj. Gen. Bob Harding, U.S. Army (ret.)Rear Adm. Charles Harr, MD, U.S. Navy (ret.)Rear Adm. Len Hering, U.S. Navy (ret.)Brig. Gen. Donald D. Harvel, U.S. Air Force (ret.)Major General Sanford E. Holman, U.S. Army (ret.)Ambassador Richard Holwill, (ret.)Ambassador Vicki Huddleston, (ret.)Ambassador Cameron Hume, (ret.)Brig. Gen. David R. Irvine, U.S. Army (ret.)Lt. Gen. Arlen D. Jameson, U.S. Air Force (ret.)Ambassador Dennis Jett, (ret.)Brig. Gen. John H. Johns, U.S. Army (ret.)Ambassador Patrick Kennedy, (ret.)Lt. Gen. Claudia Kennedy, U.S. Army (ret.)Ambassador Jimmy Kolker, (ret.)Maj. Gen. Dennis Laich, U.S. Army (ret.)Maj. Gen. Steven J. Lepper, U.S. Air Force (ret.)Brig. Gen. Phil Leventis, U.S. Army (ret.)Maj. Gen. Donald Loranger, U.S. Air Force (ret.)Maj. Gen. Randy Manner, U.S. Army (ret.)Ambassador Edward Marks, (ret.)Maj. Gen. Frederick H. Martin, U.S. Air Force (ret.)Brig. Gen. Carlos E. Martinez, U.S. Air Force (ret.)Mr. J. R. McBrien, Senior Executive Service, Treasury (ret.)Lt. Gen. John W. Morgan III, U.S. Army (ret.)Maj. Gen. David Morris, U.S. Army (ret.)Adm. John Nathman, U.S. Navy (ret.)Brig. Gen. J. Scott O'Meara, U.S. Marine Corps (ret.)Rear Adm. David Oliver, U.S. Navy (ret.)Maj. Gen. Eric T. Olson, U.S. Army (ret.)Ambassador Richard G. Olson, (ret.)Lt. Gen. Charles P. Otstott, U.S. Army (ret.)Rear Adm. Glenn Phillips, U.S. Navy (ret.)Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Phillips, U.S. Army (ret.)Maj. Gen. John Phillips, U.S. Air Force (ret.)Maj. Gen. Gale Pollock, U.S. Army (ret.)Ambassador Charles Ray, (ret.)Brig. Gen. Ronald Rokosz, U.S. Army (ret.)Brig. Gen. John M. Schuster, U.S. Army (ret.)Rear Adm. Joe Sestak, U.S. Navy (ret.)Brig. Gen. Paul Smith, U.S. Army (ret.)Rear Adm. Michael E. Smith, U.S. Navy (ret.)Brig. Gen. Francis X. Taylor, U.S. Air Force (ret.)Maj. Gen. F. Andrew Turley, U.S. Air Force (ret.)Ambassador Edward Walker, (ret.)Brig. Gen. George Walls, U.S. Marine Corps (ret.)Brig. Gen. John Watkins, U.S. Army (ret.)Lt. Gen. Willie Williams, U.S. Marine Corps (ret.)Brig. Gen. Dan Woodward, U.S. Air Force (ret.)Brig. Gen. Stephen N. Xenakis, U.S. Army (ret.)Maj. Gen. David T. Zabecki, U.S. Army (ret.)
Rats Feasting on Huge Trash Piles Spark Fears of BUBONIC PLAGUE Outbreak in LA - Sputnik International
Fri, 24 May 2019 02:21
US11:47 23.05.2019Get short URL
Los Angeles has been dealing with an outbreak of typhus since October 2018, but the number of cases has steadily increased in the first months of 2019. Typhus is a disease typically caused by infected fleas that hitch rides on rats and their faeces.
Relentlessly growing piles of garbage have become a major problem for residents in the city of Los Angeles, since the accumulated trash is believed to have already caused an outbreak of flea-borne typhus and is now feared will spark a new epidemic '-- bubonic plague, NBC Los Angeles reported.
READ MORE: PLAGUE Feared on Mongolian Flight: Sick Couple Found Dead in City Plane Departed
The street litter is a big attraction for rats and, naturally, poses a public health risk, infectious disease specialist Dr Jeffrey Klausner told the media outlet.
(C) AP Photo / Ariel Schalit
Therefore, an out-of-control rodent population can spur the outbreak of bubonic plague or salmonella. In addtion, the rats can carry typhus-infected fleas that can transmit the disease to humans through bacteria rubbed into the eyes or cuts on the skin, causing such symptoms as high fevers, headaches, body aches, chills, and rashes.
According to NBC Los Angeles, despite the risk, the city has no plan to take control over the growing rat population raiding the mountains of trash downtown.
In October 2018, after at least nine reported cases of typhus, Los Angeles officials removed some of the piles of garbage, but today it could reportedly take up to three months to clean them up once again. In total, 124 cases of typhus were reported by Los Angeles County last year, per NBC LA.
Opinion | America's Cities Are Unlivable. Blame Wealthy Liberals. - The New York Times
Sat, 25 May 2019 00:04
The demise of a California housing measure shows how progressives abandon progressive values in their own backyards.
May 22, 2019 Image Homeless people sleeping on the pews in a church in San Francisco. Credit Credit Jim Wilson/The New York Times To live in California at this time is to experience every day the cryptic phrase that George W. Bush once used to describe the invasion of Iraq: ''Catastrophic success.'' The economy here is booming, but no one feels especially good about it. When the cost of living is taken into account, billionaire-brimming California ranks as the most poverty-stricken state, with a fifth of the population struggling to get by. Since 2010, migration out of California has surged.
The basic problem is the steady collapse of livability. Across my home state, traffic and transportation is a developing-world nightmare. Child care and education seem impossible for all but the wealthiest. The problems of affordable housing and homelessness have surpassed all superlatives '-- what was a crisis is now an emergency that feels like a dystopian showcase of American inequality.
Just look at San Francisco, Nancy Pelosi's city. One of every 11,600 residents is a billionaire, and the annual household income necessary to buy a median-priced home now tops $320,000. Yet the streets there are a plague of garbage and needles and feces, and every morning brings fresh horror stories from a ''Black Mirror'' hellscape: Homeless veterans are surviving on an economy of trash from billionaires' mansions. Wealthy homeowners are crowdfunding a legal effort arguing that a proposed homeless shelter is an environmental hazard. A public-school teacher suffering from cancer is forced to pay for her own substitute.
Image In March, teachers went on strike for seven days in Oakland, Calif., arguing that their salaries were not keeping up with the region's soaring cost of living. Credit Ben Margot/Associated Press And there is no end in sight to such crushing success. At every level of government, our representatives, nearly all of them Democrats, prove inadequate and unresponsive to the challenges at hand. Witness last week's embarrassment, when California lawmakers used a sketchy parliamentary maneuver to knife Senate Bill 50, an ambitious effort to undo restrictive local zoning rules and increase the supply of housing.
It was another chapter in a dismal saga of Nimbyist urban mismanagement that is crushing American cities. Not-in-my-backyardism is a bipartisan sentiment, but because the largest American cities are populated and run by Democrats '-- many in states under complete Democratic control '-- this sort of nakedly exclusionary urban restrictionism is a particular shame of the left.
There are many threads in the story of America's increasingly unlivable cities. One continuing tragedy is the decimation of local media and the rise of nationalized politics in its place. In America the ''local'' problems plaguing cities are systematically sidelined by the structure of the national media and government, in which the presidency, the Senate and the Supreme Court are all constitutionally tilted in favor of places where no one lives. (There are more than twice as many people in my midsize suburban county, Santa Clara, as there are in the entire state of North Dakota, with its two United States senators.)
That's why, aside from Elizabeth Warren '-- who has a plan for housing, as she has a plan for everything '-- Democrats on the 2020 presidential trail rarely mention their ideas for housing affordability, an issue eating American cities alive. I watched Joe Biden's campaign kick off the other day; the only house he mentioned was the White House.
Then there is the refusal on the part of wealthy progressives to live by the values they profess to support at the national level. Creating dense, economically and socially diverse urban environments ought to be a paramount goal of progressivism. Cities are the standard geographical unit of the global economy. Dense urban areas are quite literally the ''real America'' '-- the cities are where two-thirds of Americans live, and they account for almost all national economic output. Urban areas are the most environmentally friendly way we know of housing lots of people. We can't solve the climate crisis without vastly improving public transportation and increasing urban density. More than that, metropolises are good for the psyche and the soul; density fosters tolerance, diversity, creativity and progress.
Yet where progressives argue for openness and inclusion as a cudgel against President Trump, they abandon it on Nob Hill and in Beverly Hills. This explains the opposition to SB 50, which aimed to address the housing shortage in a very straightforward way: by building more housing. The bill would have erased single-family zoning in populous areas near transit locations. Areas zoned for homes housing a handful of people could have been redeveloped to include duplexes and apartment buildings that housed hundreds.
Image State Senator Scott Wiener, center, introduced a bill, later shelved, that would have allowed higher-density housing in areas close to transit and jobs. Credit Rich Pedroncelli/Associated Press The bill had garnered support from a diverse coalition of business and advocacy groups, and its sponsor, State Senator Scott Wiener, had negotiated a series of compromises with some of its fiercest opponents. Polls showed the measure to be widely popular. For the first time, something extraordinary looked possible: California's wealthy homeowners would abandon their restrictionist attitudes and let us build some new housing.
Nope. Instead, Anthony Portantino, a Democratic state senator whose district includes the posh city of La Ca±ada Flintridge and who heads the appropriations committee, announced that he'd be shelving the bill until next year. In an interview with The Los Angeles Times, he worried that the law would spur lots of people to move near residential bus routes, which he suggested would alter the character of enclaves like his.
And? Why is that so bad?
Reading opposition to SB 50 and other efforts at increasing density, I'm struck by an unsettling thought: What Republicans want to do with I.C.E. and border walls, wealthy progressive Democrats are doing with zoning and Nimbyism. Preserving ''local character,'' maintaining ''local control,'' keeping housing scarce and inaccessible '-- the goals of both sides are really the same: to keep people out.
''We're saying we welcome immigration, we welcome refugees, we welcome outsiders '-- but you've got to have a $2 million entrance fee to live here, otherwise you can use this part of a sidewalk for a tent,'' said Brian Hanlon, president of the pro-density group California Yimby. ''That to me is not being very welcoming. It's not being very neighborly.''
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Farhad Manjoo became an opinion columnist for The Times in 2018. Before that, he wrote the State of the Art column. He is the author of ''True Enough: Learning to Live in a Post-Fact Society.'' @ fmanjoo ' Facebook
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How San Francisco broke America's heart - The Washington Post
Sun, 26 May 2019 03:52
(Ric Carrasquillo/for The Washington Post) SAN FRANCISCO '-- A Tuesday afternoon in the Mission District of America's tech wonderland.
Michael Feno stands outside Lucca Ravioli, his beloved pasta emporium on Valencia, a vestige of old San Francisco, puffing on a cigar while posing for pictures, his customers in tears.
Living in this city's radically shifting landscape, veterinarian Gina Henriksen found comfort by telling herself, ''Thank God, Lucca is still here. If Lucca goes, I'm going to have to leave San Francisco. What do we have left?''
Lucca is no longer here.
After 94 years, doors shuttered on the last day of April. The parking lot sold for $3.5 million. A three-building parcel, including the store, listed for $8.3 million and was purchased by '-- need you inquire? '-- a developer..
A few blocks away, in this neighborhood of shops hawking $2,600 electric bikes and $8 lemonade, Borderlands Cafe '-- a throwback with plants cascading from the ceiling '-- closed the same day after a decade in business.
Owner Alan Beatts couldn't retain staff, even with a $15 minimum hourly wage. Who can live on $15 an hour in this city transformed by innovation?
How can Alba Guerra, co-owner of nearby Sun Rise restaurant, continue to charge $10.95 for the housemade vegan chorizo platter after her rent spiked 62 percent last year to $7,800 a month?
For decades, this coruscating city of hills, bordered by water on three sides, was a beloved haven for reinvention, a refuge for immigrants, bohemians, artists and outcasts. It was the great American romantic city, the Paris of the West.
No longer. In a time of scarce consensus, everyone agrees that something has rotted in San Francisco.
Conservatives have long loathed it as the axis of liberal politics and political correctness, but now progressives are carping, too. They mourn it for what has been lost, a city that long welcomed everyone and has been altered by an earthquake of wealth. It is a place that people disparage constantly, especially residents.
Real estate is the nation's costliest. Listings read like typos, a median $1.6 million for a single-family home and $3,700 monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment.
''This is unregulated capitalism, unbridled capitalism, capitalism run amok. There are no guardrails,'' says Salesforce founder and chairman Marc Benioff, a fourth-generation San Franciscan who in a TV interview branded his city ''a train wreck.''
You no longer leave your heart in San Francisco. The city breaks it.
(Ric Carrasquillo/for The Washington Post)The city is filthy rich in what other regions crave: growth, start-ups, high-paying jobs, educated young people, soaring property values, commercial and residential construction, a vibrant street life, and so much disposable revenue. But San Francisco, a city of 883,305 residents, 100,000 more than two decades ago, is the Patient Zero of issues affecting urban areas. The sole constant is its staggering beauty.
Downtown is a theme park of seismic start-ups '-- Uber, Airbnb, Slack and Lyft, with Twitter in the nearby Tenderloin, every app a skyscraper. The 58-story Millennium Tower is a sinking, tilting luxury condo folly that will take $100 million to right '-- writer Rebecca Solnit dubbed it ''the leaning tower of hubris.''
In the shadow of such wealth, San Francisco grapples with a very visible homeless crisis of 7,500 residents, some shooting up in the parks and defecating on the sidewalks, which a 2018 United Nations report deemed ''a violation of multiple human rights.'' Last year, new Mayor London Breed assigned a five-person crew, dubbed the ''poop patrol,'' to clean streets and alleys of human feces.
[San Francisco, rich and poor, turns to simple street solutions that underscore the city's complexities.]
The small downtown's streets are choked with Google and Apple employee buses, and 45,000 daily Uber and Lyft drivers, some commuting from hours away and unfamiliar with the city. By comparison, there are 25,000 ride-sharing drivers in Philadelphia, a much larger and more populous city.
There's an ongoing battle between the NIMBYs and YIMBYs over development in one of the nation's densest cities. Tech companies here are the beneficiaries of gilded carrots, tax breaks. Longtime residents worry that tech workers are drawn here for the jobs, not the city, and may never become stakeholders in San Francisco's future.
''Our rich are richer. Our homeless are more desperate. Our hipsters are more pretentious,'' says Solnit, who once wrote that ''San Francisco is now a cruel place and a divided one.''
The Bay Area is home to more billionaires per capita than anywhere on Earth, one out of every 11,600 residents, according to Vox. The entire region, as far as two hours away, has been affected by spiraling real estate prices. Venture capitalist John Doerr has claimed that the area's economic growth is ''the greatest legal accumulation of wealth in history.''
And it's only likely to keep growing. Several San Francisco tech companies, such as Slack and Postmates, are scheduled to go public this year '-- Uber did on May 10. This IPO fever could mint thousands more messenger bag-toting millionaires and, denizens fear, more absurd prices.
''The city is losing the very things that people moved to the city for,'' Beatts says. ''People think that the best thing to happen is to get a lot of people to move here. But what happens when you get everything you want?''
(Ric Carrasquillo/for The Washington Post)Tech isn't what everyone talks about in San Francisco. It's money.
Real estate, income inequality, $20 salads, the homeless, adult children unable to move out, non-tech workers unable to move in.
San Francisco has experienced plenty of change through its rich history: the Gold Rush, corruption, earthquakes, fire, reconstruction, strikes, multiple waves of immigration, the rise of gay culture, the Summer of Love, the dot-com bubble and the dot-com bust.
What residents resent now is the shift to one industry, a monoculture.
''What I wanted was this flow of humanity and culture,'' says editor and former nonprofit executive Julie Levak-Madding, who manages the VanishingSF page on Facebook, documenting the ''hyper-gentrifiction'' of her city. ''It's so devastating to a huge amount of the population.''
To many inhabitants, San Francisco has become unrecognizable in a decade, as though it had gone on a cosmetic surgery bender.
''I can't tell you the number of friends who tell me how much they hate San Francisco,'' says former city supervisor Jane Kim. Which is something given that she ran for mayor in the 2018 special election. (Kim came in third.) ''They say it's too homogenous.''
Too homogeneous. Too expensive. Too tech. Too millennial. Too white. Too elite. Too bro.
To take a midday tour downtown is to be enveloped by a jeaned and athleisured army of young workers, mostly white and Asian, and predominantly male. The presence of a boomer or toddler is akin to spotting an endangered species.
San Francisco has less of what makes a city dynamic. It has the lowest percentage of children, 13.4 percent, of any major American city, and is home to about as many dogs as humans under the age of 18.
The city was once a center of black culture, and Breed is its first black woman mayor. But the African American population has withered to 5.5 percent compared to 13.4 percent a half century ago. Director Joe Talbot's ''The Last Black Man in San Francisco,'' a Sundance winner scheduled to open in June, is an elegy to earlier times and a tribute to his long friendship with the film's star and co-writer, Jimmie Fails.
''You're constantly trying to justify why you stay. There's this blanket of anxiety and frustration that lives on top of everything,'' says Talbot, a white fifth-generation San Franciscan. ''You're heartbroken because it's changed so much and so quickly. This nostalgia is baked into everything, of missing what was here.''
The city has become less eccentric, less of a home to artists and musicians, because they can't afford studios or practice spaces '-- if they can find them. How will the city create its next Grateful Dead or generation of beat writers?
''I don't know anyone in San Francisco who is making a full-time living as an artist,'' says Victor Krummenacher of the band Camper Van Beethoven, who left the city in April after 30 years, moving an hour east of Los Angeles. ''Part of being an artist is being an observer of what is going on. In the Bay Area, you're so mired in the congestion and costs.''
San Francisco has also become less welcoming of altruistic professions, as teachers and social workers are priced out of housing.
The Sierra Club, founded in 1892, decamped to Oakland three years ago after its annual rent was projected to increase by almost $1.5 million. ''Nonprofits are fleeing San Francisco. They can no longer afford it, '' says Doug Styles of Huckleberry Youth Programs, founded during the Summer of Love to assist runaway teens. Retaining staff is a challenge. ''We're missing that middle and lower economic group.''
Everyone has a story about what isn't here anymore. The inability to find a hardware store, a shoe repair, a lesbian bar, a drag-queen bar, an independent music club, the commercial casualties of vertiginous rents.
Retail operations have resorted to quasi-nonprofit practices to stay afloat. Beatts's Borderlands Books, specializing in science fiction, mystery, fantasy and horror, remains afloat through $100 annual sponsorships from more than 500 customers, akin to a public television station, and $1.9 million in loans from 50 patrons to purchase a building in the Upper Haight. Restaurant owner Guerra launched a GoFundMe campaign to help defray rental costs. She also had to raise prices, which many small businesses have been forced to do.
Residents worry that such businesses will soon disappear, replaced by twee boutiques of artisanal socks, rain-scented candles and so many succulents. ''All businesses that are part of the memory and tradition and the lives of San Franciscans are going away so fast, replaced by little hipster groovy shops that also feel transient, preserving some fake memory of the city,'' Solnit says.
The city feels less the epicenter of LGBT culture it long was. ''I have seen my people transformed from a criminal subculture to being celebrated, legalized and politically potent,'' says activist Cleve Jones, who moved to the city in 1972 and worked as a student intern for Harvey Milk. ''This came out of the gayborhoods, and now the gayborhoods are going away.'' A resident of the Castro, the city's famed gayborhood that's been transformed by record prosperity, he bemoans the loss of cultural vitality and lack of caring for the less fortunate. ''I don't hear people talking about poetry. I still love my town. I still love my neighborhood, but it is changing very rapidly. It's quite harsh and quite brutal and it frightens me.''
Hyper-gentrification is not specific to San Franciso. Shoe repairs, dry cleaners, gay bars and independent cafes are disappearing elsewhere. With all this wealth, even with the derided tech tax breaks, comes a gusher of revenue for the city and California, the world's fifth-largest economy. While Benioff, among others, has derided fellow tech billionaires for lagging in philanthropy, there's hope that more money will lead to an increase in giving. And the city remains a great generator of innovation that has changed our daily lives.
''Many things were broken. Taxi medallions were expensive, and you couldn't find one. So Uber and Lyft were started because of the broken taxi situation. The hotels were broken. They were too expensive and not enough of them, so Airbnb was founded to fix the broken hotel situation,'' says developer Eric Tao, who is building a hotel, among other projects.
''What I love is still here. That Gold Rush mentality that you can come here and do whatever you want,'' says Tao, a resident of 30 years. ''But this is what happens when unbridled capitalism collides with progressive ideals.''
Benioff, the city's largest employer, says residents are at ''the beginning of our journey in San Francisco of understanding who we've become and where we're going,'' he says. Yet, he acknowledges, ''there are a lot of people who are not willing to do the work. They're here to make money. They're not here for the long haul.''
(Ric Carrasquillo/for The Washington Post)Another afternoon, another tour. Labor lawyer Beth Ross is a two-decade resident of Glen Park, once a middle-class enclave offering jaw-dropping views of the city. It is middle class no more. Ross lives in a condo in a mid-19th century Victorian, on a snug street she's dubbed "Apple Executive Way."
Construction projects abound and, in a city intoxicated by speed, last forever. That one down the block is on Year 4, and Contractor 3. Over here is a smaller job, $350,000, for a garage.
For-sale signs bloom like jasmine, though neighbors suspect many sellers are waiting for more IPO windfalls to flood the market.
Ross, walking with her friend, VanishingSF's Levak-Madding, points to the hillside spread of a tech executive. She gestures to a modest property a few doors up from that one that sold for $2.3 million, the estimated value increasing $1.2 million in four years. The tech mogul owns that, too.
Though it's no longer a house. The executive is transforming it into a basketball court and gym, still under construction.
''This is a place none of us would have moved to. It's Monaco,'' Levak-Madding says. ''It's urban blight by excess.''
(Correction: This story originally attributed Julie Levak-Madding's quote in the last paragraph to Beth Ross.)
There's a trash and rodent nightmare in downtown L.A., with plenty of blame to go around - Los Angeles Times
Sun, 26 May 2019 11:25
The trash trucks arrived early Wednesday afternoon, and members of the cleanup team from the Los Angeles sanitation division came with protective coveralls and white masks.
A mountain of rotting, oozing, stinking trash awaited them, stretching a good 20 yards along a skid row alley. Rats popped their heads out of the debris like they were in a game of Whac-A-Mole, then scampered for cover as a tractor with a scoop lurched toward them.
Two homeless people, who live in tents pitched alongside the trash, watched the proceedings with a look of weary surrender.
I'm sorry if I've ruined your appetite as you scrub the grill for a holiday weekend barbecue, but the scene I've just described is a routine part of life in the downtown section of the nation's second-largest city.
The trash problem is not confined to any one street, but this particular location on the 800 block of Ceres Avenue is surrounded by food distribution companies that sell to shoppers, vendors, stores and restaurants. I counted seven within a block, so you have to wonder '-- given the colonies of football-size rats '-- about the potential contamination of the food supply chain and the spread of disease.
''When the typhus outbreak was first reported in October, that was one place we knew rats were, for sure.''
Estela Lopez, head of the Downtown Industrial Business Improvement District
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''I have had many conversations with the city about that,'' said Estela Lopez, who runs the Downtown Industrial Business Improvement District, or BID. ''When the typhus outbreak was first reported in October, that was one place we knew rats were, for sure.''
Lopez has spent many years on the skid row beat, and she's understandably frustrated by the City Hall response. A lot of city officials and employees work hard and do a great job, she said. But they're not keeping up with the demand, and calls to the 311 service line can take days, weeks and months to get a response.
By Steve Lopez
May 22, 2019 | 10:20 AM
Elena Stern, spokeswoman for the city Department of Public Works, said the backlog on service calls for trash pickup around homeless encampments sits at just under 8,400 currently. On average, the city gets six calls per site.
''If it's a homeless encampment, it's a lengthier process because humans are involved and we have to meet certain protocols,'' she said, including a survey of who's there, an inventory of personal property and notice of a cleanup.
To Lopez, it's a situation that screams for a more urgent response.
''Skid row is the worst it's been from a sanitation perspective and a safety perspective and a humanitarian perspective,'' Lopez said. ''It's easy for me in the cheap seats to say what should or shouldn't be done, but as a native Angeleno I feel that our city looks and feels mismanaged. When you take the oath to become mayor or a City Council member, your job is to run this city. It's to manage this city.''
When KNBC-TV Channel 4's Joel Grover and Amy Corral reported on the Ceres Avenue dump last October, Mayor Eric Garcetti jumped in and the city cleaned it up right away. The same news crew just went back and reported that the heap was as big as before, and it got cleaned up again.
''Skid row is the worst it's been from a sanitation perspective and a safety perspective and a humanitarian perspective.''
Estela Lopez
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Stern said that since October, Ceres Avenue litter has been cleared nine times. The BID staff disputes that, but whatever the correct number of cleanups, the dumpers are winning.
So who's tossing all that trash, turning city streets into landfills?
Without doubt, some homeless people discard junk on the streets where they live, and not always in the trash bins that dot the district by the dozens. But they don't appear to be the biggest polluters. Not even close, and I'll get back to that in a minute.
I spent a few hours one morning on trash patrol with Jesse Ramirez, operations manager for Lopez's maintenance and safety crew. He told me the 17-person team picks up four tons of trash each day, but the recent numbers have been even higher. One two-person crew walks up and down San Pedro all day between 4th and 7th streets.
At 9 a.m. Thursday, we had been out for not quite two hours, and already several pickup trucks had been filled with trash. There had also been six service calls to the BID from merchants '-- four to pick up human waste and two to clear storefronts blocked by encampments.
Joey Joseph, who owns a seafood distribution center on Gladys Avenue near 4th, called to report urine and feces on the sidewalk where vendors pull in to load their vehicles. Joseph told me he also calls police and City Hall, along with the BID, so I asked how often.
''It's every day,'' Joseph said as two of Ramirez's crew picked up the waste, disinfected the area and then power-washed. ''Usually several times a day.''
On Agatha Street near Crocker Street, I watched a homeless dumpster diver half-disappear into a bin, digging for recyclables. As I was watching, and standing with Ramirez and one of his uniformed deputies, a man exited an alley on foot carrying several boxes and other debris and threw the junk down on the sidewalk, right in front of us.
''You can't do that,'' Ramirez protested, ordering the man to pick up the trash and properly dispose of it in a bin.
We followed him back into the alley, where he tossed the junk into a dumpster and then showed Ramirez the tarp he sleeps under. He said the business owners allow him to sleep there in return for dumping all the trash, and they apparently don't care where he disposes of it.
This didn't come as a surprise. Ramirez said the BID has confronted business owners about illegal dumping, but if you don't catch them in the act, and supply photographic evidence to authorities, nothing happens.
A merchant near Ceres told me that once a pile takes shape, the appearance of lawlessness and neglect is a magnet for other dumpers. Trucks pull in and toss construction or landscaping debris onto the pile, and homeless people do their part, too.
Councilman Jose Huizar represents the downtown area, and two of his staffers told me they have requested more resources to knock down illegal dumping. There's definitely a backlog of service calls, they said, and some areas downtown don't get the attention they need because they're not in a BID. The 800 block of Ceres, in fact, is just south of Lopez's BID, and dumpers may be taking advantage of the fact that there are no regular patrols.
When I was at the Ceres Avenue trash pile, I noticed a lot of packing materials, food crates and bins that appeared to be from local businesses. Word on the street, from merchants and homeless people, was that some of the more unscrupulous merchants routinely dump their own trash on the streets or pay homeless people a few bucks to get rid of it for them.
The dumping got worse, one merchant claimed, when the city switched to a new recycling system that gave monopolies to companies in each sector of the city.
''I was paying $80 a month, and my cost went up to $300,'' said the merchant, who said that rather than get gouged, some business owners began illegally dumping.
He also showed me photos he has taken of homeless people pushing trash from nearby produce outlets to the Ceres Avenue alley in shopping carts, and asked me not to use his name because he's been retaliated against for complaining. He then showed me photos of rotten trash dumped in front of his shop, presumably from the people he confronted.
Stern said the recycling fees might be one small factor, but some merchants never participated in the recycling program and have a history of dumping. Stern said 25 illegal dumping citations have been written in the area this year, and the department is bringing in additional patrols, with more video surveillance. The department is also considering monetary rewards for people who report illegal dumping.
Stern said a minor offense gets a $75 fine, but a worse offense can bring a $1,000 fine and six months in jail.
I'd say it's time for City Hall to step up the prosecution and the penalties, and maybe suspend business licenses for repeat offenders. That ought to get the attention of the slobs who keep fouling their own nest.
The morning after Ceres was cleaned up, I went back and saw several crushed tomatillos on the ground. Stern said a much bigger dump had been cleaned up earlier that morning, and the sanitation team was following leads back to a suspected merchant.
Ramirez and I then cruised a street just a few blocks west of there '-- the 800 block of Crocker.
There, we found a wretched mound of trash extending from the sidewalk into the middle of the street. A homeless woman, pushing a broom outside a nearby business, told me the pile had been there about two weeks.
Drivers swerved and pedestrians tiptoed through the trash, all too familiar with such hazards. Just another day in the city.
Out There
How much did the Moon Mission cost? - Quora
Thu, 23 May 2019 23:55
How much did Apollo space program cost?
According to Wikipedia, the entire Apollo program cost $25.4 billion (as reported to Congress in 1973), which is roughly equivalent to $150 billion today (adjusted to 2018 dollars).
Some other estimates can be found on Apollo program - Wikipedia .
One could say that a lot of the Gemini program was aimed at the same goal and could be included. On the other hand, one of the Saturn V rockets built for the Apollo program was used to launch the Skylab space station, and two Saturn V rockets were never flown.
How much did a single mission cost?
You could divide the total cost by 6, for the six missions that landed on the Moon (Apollo 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17) and get $25 billion (2018 dollars) per mission. Had they chosen to continue the program and send more missions, the cost of each additional mission would be much lower than that. Nevertheless, the costs were quite high and they decided to put the resources towards other goals.
Estimating the cost for a single mission is tricky because initially, the Apollo program was managed as a whole. Some estimates were done when they were deciding whether to continue the program. A Saturn V launch was estimated at $185 million ($1.2 billion in 2018 dollars). Note that that's just to build and launch the rocket itself and does not include any payload costs. Another estimate ( SP-4221 The Space Shuttle Decision ) states $375 million ($2.6 billion in 2018 dollars) for a full moon landing mission.
NASA exec leading moon mission quits weeks after appointment | TheHill
Fri, 24 May 2019 13:51
A NASA executive tasked with leading the strategy to return U.S. astronauts to the moon has stepped down just six weeks after his appointment.
Mark Sirangelo was tapped in April as special assistant to NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine James (Jim) Frederick BridenstineNASA exec leading moon mission quits weeks after appointment NASA chief: Budget boost good first step for return to moon This is not the time to abandon NASA's Space Launch System MORE , but he is leaving the agency after NASA's proposal of a new organizational structure to support the lunar campaign was not accepted by Capitol Hill.
Bridenstine announced late Thursday that because NASA is "no longer pursuing the new mission directorate," Sirangelo "has opted to pursue other opportunities."
"We are exploring what organizational changes ... are necessary to ensure we maximize efficiencies and achieve the end state of landing the first woman and next man on the Moon by 2024," Bridenstine said in a statement obtained by The Hill.
"I want to personally thank Mark for his service and his valuable contributions to the agency," Bridenstine added.
Vice President Pence said in March that the administration is committed to landing astronauts on the moon within five years, marking the administration's most concrete timeline to the lunar surface.
President Trump Donald John TrumpNASA exec leading moon mission quits weeks after appointment The Hill's Morning Report '-- After contentious week, Trump heads for Japan Frustration boils over with Senate's 'legislative graveyard' MORE also announced earlier this month that his budget would include an additional $1.6 billion for NASA, saying the U.S. is "going back to the Moon, then Mars."
Also on Thursday, NASA announced a $375 million contract to Maxar Technologies to develop power and propulsion capabilities for the lunar mission.
Updated at 8:43 a.m.
Pig Ebola
Vaccines tested to combat African swine fever - Headlines, features, photo and videos from|china|news|chinanews|ecns|cns
Fri, 24 May 2019 13:38
2019-05-24 14:03:27 Li Yan
Chinese scientists have successfully developed two vaccine candidates for African swine fever virus, the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences announced Friday.
Lab tests have shown the candidates are biologically safe and effective in virus immunization, and their safety and effectiveness indexes are superior to similar research achievements reported in other countries, the academy said. The candidates will be further tested in clinical trials.
The research was led by Harbin Veterinary Research Institute in Harbin, Heilongjiang province, which is affiliated with the academy.
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NH 'measles' case was likely reaction to vaccine, state health officials now believe | Health |
Sun, 26 May 2019 14:37
CONCORD -- The Keene-area child believed to be infected with measles was probably experiencing a reaction from the measles vaccine, and the public is not at risk of a measles outbreak, state health officials said.
Earlier this week, state officials said that the child had visited a church and school in the Keene area and warned that those near the child were at risk of exposure.
It was New Hampshire's only supposed case of measles, and the news piggybacked on outbreaks in New York and California, where health officials blamed parents who did not immunize children against the disease.
But early Thursday afternoon, state officials said additional laboratory test results suggest that the live-attenuated measles-mumps-rubella vaccine was responsible for the child's symptoms.
''Therefore, (the Department of Health and Human Services) is suspending additional public health interventions. There is no contagious measles known to be circulating in the community,'' DHHS said in a release.
About 5 percent of individuals vaccinated with the MMR vaccine develop a fever and rash reaction, health officials said. These reactions happen because the body is responding to the vaccine by making protective virus-fighting antibodies against the harmless vaccine virus.
More serious or extensive reactions that resemble a real (i.e. wild-type) measles virus infection, as was seen in this child, are very rare. The scientific literature has found no confirmed cases of human-to-human transmission of the vaccine strain of the measles virus, the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services said.
Text of S.Res. 165: A resolution recognizing the importance of vaccinations and immunizations in the United States. (Resolution Agreed to by Senate version) -
Fri, 24 May 2019 12:55
Whereas the contributions of Louis Pasteur and Edward Jenner to the discovery of the principles of vaccinology are among the most consequential health findings in human history;
Whereas a vaccine made possible the eradication of smallpox, saving millions of lives;
Whereas, because of the vaccine for polio, a highly infectious disease caused by the poliovirus, the international community'--
(1)has eliminated polio in all but 3 countries; and
(2)has saved an estimated 15,000 Americans from paralysis annually;
Whereas vaccines have dramatically reduced the spread of debilitating and potentially life-threatening diseases, including'--
(4)mumps; and
Whereas vaccines have prevented the spread of infectious and potentially fatal diseases, including'--
(4)hepatitis A;
(5)hepatitis B;
(6)meningococcal disease;
(7)pneumococcal disease;
(9)pertussis (also known as whooping cough); and
Whereas the vaccine-preventable human papillomavirus (also known as HPV) is known to cause certain types of cancer;
Whereas the scientific and medical communities are in overwhelming consensus that vaccines are effective and safe;
Whereas misinformation about vaccine safety and the dissemination of unfounded and debunked theories about the dangers of vaccinations pose a great risk to public health;
Whereas scientifically sound education and outreach campaigns about the importance of vaccination and immunization are fundamental for a well-informed public;
Whereas communities with low vaccination rates compromise, in a particular way, the health and livelihood of'--
(2)young children;
(4)individuals with immunodeficiency disorders; and
(5)individuals with weakened or compromised immune systems, including individuals taking medication that affects the immune system, such as medications to treat cancer;
Whereas substantial research has shown that vaccination is a highly cost-effective form of preventive medicine;
Whereas the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (referred to in this preamble as the CDC) estimates that, between 1994 and 2013, vaccinations saved nearly $295,000,000,000 in direct costs and $1,380,000,000,000 in total societal costs in the United States;
Whereas vaccines in the United States'--
(1)undergo extensive safety and efficacy testing before licensure by the Food and Drug Administration; and
(2)are continually monitored for adverse events;
Whereas there are 4 post-marketing surveillance systems in the United States tracking adverse events after vaccination;
Whereas the CDC estimates that'--
(1)vaccinations will prevent more than 21,000,000 hospitalizations and 732,000 deaths among children born between 1994 and 2013; and
(2)vaccines save the lives of an estimated 2,500,000 children under age 5 each year;
Whereas 1 in 5 children worldwide lack access to common vaccines and, as a result, an estimated 1,500,000 people die each year from vaccine-preventable diseases or complications of vaccine-preventable diseases, such as diarrhea and pneumonia;
Whereas strong investments in biomedical research to improve existing vaccines and develop many more life-saving vaccines are beneficial to all people;
Whereas a robust immunization infrastructure, by preventing and isolating outbreaks of infectious diseases at the source, is essential to the public health and well-being of the people of the United States;
Whereas each State determines the vaccination requirements for the people of that State;
Whereas State vaccination requirements are informed by recommendations approved by the CDC and developed by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices;
Whereas encouraging high vaccination rates and promoting vaccine confidence in the United States protects the people of the United States from contracting and spreading vaccine-preventable diseases;
Whereas the World Health Organization (referred to in this preamble as the WHO) recently identified vaccine hesitancy as a health threat for 2019;
Whereas addressing the many factors that contribute to vaccine hesitancy is crucial to increasing vaccination rates and improving or achieving herd immunity;
Whereas routine and up-to-date vaccination is the most effective method available to prevent the transmission of potentially fatal infectious diseases; and
Whereas the United States has been a leader in promoting vaccinations around the world through'--
(1)the United States Agency for International Development;
(2)the CDC;
(3)Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance;
(4)the Global Polio Eradication Initiative;
(5)the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (commonly known as UNICEF);
(6)the WHO; and
(7)many other multilateral and nongovernmental organizations: Now, therefore, be it
That the Senate'--
(1)commends the international community, global and domestic health organizations, the private sector, school and community leaders, and faith-based organizations for their tireless work and immense contributions to bolstering global and domestic health through vaccination;
(2)affirms that vaccines and immunizations save lives and are essential to maintain'--
(A)the public health; and
(B)the economic and national security of the United States;
(3)recognizes that'--
(A)low vaccination rates or the lack of vaccination can create an environment in which a public health crisis could emerge;
(i)are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (referred to in this resolving clause as the FDA) as safe and effective; and
(ii)meet the gold standard of safety established by the FDA; and
(C)the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises medical providers and parents in the United States that the benefits of currently recommended vaccines greatly outweigh the risks of those vaccines;
(4)encourages a continued commitment to biomedical research'--
(A)to improve vaccines; and
(B)to develop new vaccines against other infectious and fatal diseases; and
(5)urges all people, in consultation with their health care providers, to follow the scientific evidence and consensus of medical experts in favor of timely vaccinations to protect'--
(A)the individual vaccinated; and
(B)the children, family, and community of the individual vaccinated.
Eurosurveillance | Vaccines, trust and European public health
Sun, 26 May 2019 12:37
HomeEurosurveillanceVolume 23,Issue 17, 26/Apr/2018 Article Editorial Open Access
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Rey D , Fressard L , Bocquier A , Gautier A , Peretti-Watel P , Verger P , et al. Vaccine hesitancy in the French population in 2016, and its association with vaccine uptake and perceived vaccine risk''benefit balance. Euro Surveill. 2018 ; 23 ( 17 ): 17-00816 .
Musa S . Life in vaccine science '' a conversation with Stanley Plotkin at the 4th Conference on Vaccines in Dubrovnik, Croatia, September 2017. Euro Surveill. 2018 ; 23 ( 17 ): 18-00147 .
Mentzer D , Oberle D , Keller-Stanislawski B . Adverse events following immunisation with a meningococcal serogroup B vaccine: report from post-marketing surveillance, Germany, 2013 to 2016. Euro Surveill. 2018 ; 23 ( 17 ): 17-00468 .
L(C)vy-Bruhl D , Desenclos J-C , Quelet S , Bourdillon F . Extension of French vaccination mandates: from the recommendation of the Steering Committee of the Citizen Consultation on Vaccination to the law. Euro Surveill. 2018 ; 23 ( 17 ): 18-00048 .
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EU regulatory framework for vaccines | Vaccines Europe (European Vaccine Manufacturers)
Sun, 26 May 2019 12:35
Before a new vaccine is approved for release on the market, a rigorous regulatory procedure to assess quality, efficacy and safety must be undertaken.
1. Marketing authorisationVaccines have to obtain a marketing authorisation before being sold. This marketing authorisation is granted after an evaluation of the risk-benefit ratio of the vaccine based on a dossier which presents the data collected during the product development and clinical trials. The evaluation relates to a number of product properties such as quality, safety and efficacy. Compliance with good practices in the areas of manufacturing and clinical or laboratory testing is also verified by regulatory agencies prior to approval of a marketing authorisation.
Furthermore, during vaccine development, the manufacturer must evaluate the needs of the paediatric population and, if appropriate, propose a paediatric clinical development plan to the European Medicines Agency (EMA). The manufacturer will have to comply with the approved plan. Compliance with the plan approved details will be verified at the time of the submission of the Marketing Authorisation application. Non compliance would result in the refusal of the application.
2. Registration or licensingRegistration or licensing of pharmaceutical products in Europe can be done by different procedures:
Centralised Procedure
The assessment of products by the Centralised Procedure is undertaken by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). A single application is sent to the EMA and evaluated by its Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP). The final decision is made by the European Commission that issues a marketing authorisation valid throughout the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.
This procedure is mandatory for certain products such as medicinal products manufactured using biotechnological processes and can be used for products presenting an EU-wide public health interest such as pandemic vaccines.
Mutual Recognition Procedure (MRP)
This procedure is applicable to the majority of conventional medicinal products. It is a two-stage procedure based on:
the evaluation and approval of a registration dossier by a ''Reference Member State'' andthe recognition of the Reference Member State approval by other European countries, the ''Concerned Member States''.The applicants can choose the reference Member State and the concerned Member States. This procedure results in a collection of national marketing authorisations.
More recently, the European institutions have proposed an alternative to the MRP. It is called the Decentralised Procedure. This is a collaborative procedure led by a Reference Member State. It is essentially aimed to new products and also results in a collection of national licenses.
National Procedures
This pathway is reserved for products that are only licensed in one single country.
3. Quality assessmentOnce a marketing authorisation is obtained, each batch of vaccines must still be assessed for quality before release for use. This is done by both the manufacturer and an official European control laboratory. The activities of these laboratories are coordinated by the European Pharmacopoeia Secretariat within the European Directorate for Quality of Medicines (EDQM). The European Pharmacopoeia Secretariat also has the responsibility for developing legally binding monographs to ensure appropriate quality control and harmonised quality standards across manufacturers and ultimately for the persons getting vaccinated.
National regulatory agencies also control the organisation of vaccine manufacturers and their manufacturing processes by regular inspections.
4. PharmacovigilanceIn addition, all vaccines and pharmaceuticals are monitored after release onto the market for adverse events. This surveillance allows both to refine the safety profile established during the product development and to detect rare events that may not have been apparent during the clinical development. This surveillance function is strengthened at European level with the establishment of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).
5. Additional requirementsFinally, vaccines will have to meet additional requirements after-licensing:
Post-licensure commitments / follow-up measures, e.g. stability studies, further confirmatory safety trials or trials in populations that have not been studied yetVariations to the original marketing authorisation in order to introduce minor, moderate or major changes to the authorised details of the productLicense renewals, which under European legislations have to be submitted five years after approval
The Purge
Facebook: Another three billion fake profiles culled - BBC News
Fri, 24 May 2019 13:46
Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Mark Zuckerberg spent time in France last week, discussing regulation with President Emmanuel Macron Facebook has published its latest "enforcement report", which details how many posts and accounts it took action on between October 2018 and March 2019.
During that six-month period, Facebook removed more than three billion fake accounts - more than ever before.
More than seven million "hate speech" posts were removed, also a record high.
For the first time, Facebook also reported how many deleted posts were appealed, and how many were put back online after review.
In a call with reporters on Thursday, chief executive Mark Zuckerberg hit back against numerous calls to break up Facebook, arguing its size made it possible to defend against the network's problems.
"I don't think that the remedy of breaking up the company is going to address [the problem]," he said.
"The success of the company has allowed us to fund these efforts at a massive level. I think the amount of our budget that goes toward our safety systems... I believe is greater than Twitter's whole revenue this year."
Fake accountsFacebook said the rise in the number of deleted fake accounts was because "bad actors" were using automated methods to create large numbers of them.
But it said it spotted and deleted a majority of them within minutes, before they had any opportunity to "cause harm".
The social network will now also report how many posts were removed for selling "regulated goods" such as drugs and guns.
Image copyright Reuters It said it took action on more than one million posts selling guns in the six-month period covered by the report.
Prevalence For some types of content, such as child sex abuse imagery, violence and terrorist propaganda, the report estimates how often such content was actually seen by people on Facebook.
The report said that out of every 10,000 pieces of content viewed on Facebook:
about 14 views were of nudity25 views were of violence or graphic contentfewer than three views were of child abuse imagery or terrorist propaganda Overall, about 5% of the monthly active users on Facebook were fake accounts.
AppealsFor the first time, the report reveals that between January and March 2019 more than one million appeals were made after posts were deleted for "hate speech".
About 150,000 posts that were found not to have broken the hate speech policy were restored during that period.
Facebook said the report highlighted "areas where we could be more open in order to build more accountability and responsiveness to the people who use our platform".
Crossfit Deletes Facebook and Instagram After User Group Is Deplatformed ''
Sat, 25 May 2019 00:10
Social Media
In the best of all possible worlds, such actions wouldn't be necessary. In the current climate, boycotting social media might spark a return to a robust marketplace of ideas. Nick Gillespie | 5.24.2019 1:20 PM
CrossFit founder Greg Glassman (Reason)
For all the the talk of arbitrary, capricious, or ideologically motivated deplatforming of people, publications, and groups by Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other social media platforms, there's been less discussion about high-profile individuals and companies deleting their accounts in response to what they see as unfair, unethical, or misguided behavior.
That might change now that CrossFit, the immensely popular exercise and nutrition enterprise, has announced that it is permanently pulling its Facebook and Instagram accounts. According to an official statement published yesterday:
Facebook deleted without warning or explanation the Banting7DayMealPlan user group. The group has 1.65 million users who post testimonials and other information regarding the efficacy of a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet. While the site has subsequently been reinstated (also without warning or explanation), Facebook's action should give any serious person reason to pause, especially those of us engaged in activities contrary to prevailing opinion'....
Facebook'...serves as a de facto authority over the public square, arbitrating a worldwide exchange of information as well as overseeing the security of the individuals and communities who entrust their ideas, work, and private data to this platform. This mandates a certain responsibility and assurance of good faith, transparency, and due process.
CrossFit, Inc., as a voluntary user of and contributor to this marketplace, can and must remove itself from this particular manifestation of the public square when it becomes clear that such responsibilities are betrayed or reneged upon to the detriment of our community.
The statement lists eight additional complaints about Facebook (which owns Instagram), These include the platform's willingness to censor certain accounts or pages at the insistence of governments, its "weak intellectual property protections," and its alleged willingness to act "in the service of food and beverage industry interests" by removing "accounts of communities that have identified the corrupted nutritional science responsible for unchecked global chronic disease." Despite CrossFit's strong condemnation'--at one point, the statement declares that by purging dissenting views about low-carb, high-protein diets, "Facebook is complicit in the global chronic disease crisis"'--the company does hold open the possibility of returning if Facebook and Instagram restore "good faith, transparency, and due process."
This is one way that marketplaces'--whether for goods and services or for ideas'--are supposed to work. In the parlance of political economist Albert O. Hirschman, CrossFit is not simply exercising its right of "exit" by leaving Facebook but also its right of "voice" by complaining publicly.
In the best of all worlds, such actions wouldn't be necessary. Instead of taking it upon themselves to police more than true threats and instead of calling for government regulation of expression, Facebook and other social media services would treat their platforms as free-speech zones and focus instead on providing users with tools to personalize their experiences.
But that isn't the world we live in, so CrossFit's public excoriation of Facebook serves an important corrective function. If more high-profile individuals, companies, content creators, and accounts take similar action, it'll be a more libertarian outcome than the government regulation increasingly supported by both liberals and conservatives.
Bonus video: Six years ago, Reason interviewed CrossFit founder Greg Glassman, who talked about being "a rabid libertarian" and a contrarian when it comes to workouts, diets, and more:
Removing Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior From Israel | Facebook Newsroom
Sun, 26 May 2019 12:23
May 16, 2019
By Nathaniel Gleicher, Head of Cybersecurity Policy
Today we removed 265 Facebook and Instagram accounts, Facebook Pages, Groups and events involved in coordinated inauthentic behavior. This activity originated in Israel and focused on Nigeria, Senegal, Togo, Angola, Niger and Tunisia along with some activity in Latin America and Southeast Asia. The people behind this network used fake accounts to run Pages, disseminate their content and artificially increase engagement. They also represented themselves as locals, including local news organizations, and published allegedly leaked information about politicians. The Page administrators and account owners frequently posted about political news, including topics like elections in various countries, candidate views and criticism of political opponents.
Although the individuals behind this network attempted to conceal their identities, our investigation found that some of this activity was linked to an Israeli commercial entity, Archimedes Group. It has repeatedly violated our misrepresentation and other policies, including by engaging in coordinated inauthentic behavior. This organization and all its subsidiaries are now banned from Facebook, and it has been issued a cease and desist letter.
Presence on Facebook and Instagram: 65 Facebook accounts, 161 Pages, 23 Groups, 12 events and four Instagram accounts.Followers: About 2.8 million accounts followed one or more of these Pages, about 5,500 accounts joined at least one of these Groups and around 920 people followed one or more of these Instagram accounts.Advertising: Around $812,000 in spending for ads on Facebook paid for in Brazilian reals, Israeli shekel, and US dollars. The first ad ran in December 2012 and the most recent ad ran in April 2019.Events: Nine events were hosted by these Pages. The first was scheduled for October 2017 and the most recent was scheduled for May 2019. Up to 2,900 people expressed interest in at least one of these events, and a portion of their accounts were previously identified and disabled as fake. We cannot confirm whether any of these events actually occurred.We identified these accounts and Pages through our internal investigations into suspected coordinated inauthentic behavior. We have shared information about our analysis with industry partners and policymakers.
We're constantly working to detect and stop this type of activity because we don't want our services to be used to manipulate people. We're taking down these Pages and accounts based on their behavior, not the content they posted. As in other cases involving coordinated inauthentic behavior, the individuals behind this activity coordinated with one another to mislead others about who they were and what they were doing, and that was the basis for our action.
We are making progress rooting out this abuse, and, as we've said before, it's an ongoing challenge. We're committed to continually improving to stay ahead. That's why we're investing heavily in building better technology, hiring more people and working more closely with law enforcement, security experts and other companies.
Below is a sample of the content posted by some of these Pages:
Caption: Faithful to only himself, Martin Fayulu criticizes and rejects the results of the presidential election, which has unfolded transparently and in an exemplary calmness. It is time for him to admit his defeat to president Tshisekedi who has been elected in a democratic way.
Caption: Mali: Justice Survey on a Mysterious Gold Mine from Airbus to MaliAirbus group is quoted in a judicial investigation for scam on a Malian gold mine in balance sheet deposit, whose shareholders have been ruined. The investment project of the aerospace giant in this mine, LED by a close to Malian power, seemed intended to clear occult funds to facilitate the obtaining of military markets in the country. This is a very embarrassing new business'....
Inauthentic Israeli Facebook Assets Target the World
Sun, 26 May 2019 12:24
Facebook removed hundreds of inauthentic pages and other assets operated by Israeli political marketing firm Archimedes GroupFacebook announced on May 16 that it removed a set of 265 Facebook and Instagram assets, including accounts, pages, groups, and events that engaged in coordinated inauthentic behavior on the platform.
According to the social media company, some of the assets were linked to Israeli political marketing firm Archimedes Group and targeted audiences around the world, with an emphasis on Africa, Latin America, and Southeast Asia. The tactics employed by Archimedes Group, a private company, closely resemble the types of information warfare tactics often used by governments, and the Kremlin in particular. Unlike government-run information campaigns, however, the DFRLab could not identify any ideological theme across the pages removed, indicating that the activities were profit-driven.
Archimedes Group is an Israeli political marketing firm that claims to run ''winning campaigns worldwide,'' indicating both the political and global scope of its activities. The company carries out its operations using its product Archimedes Tarva, which, according to an online description, includes ''mass social media campaign management and automation tools, large scale platform creation, and unlimited online accounts operation.''
Facebook alerted the DFRLab to a subset of the assets a short time before the takedown. An initial investigation found that a many of them were posting political content to boost or attack local politicians. This was accomplished by creating pages supporting or attacking a politician; pretending to be news organizations or fact-checking organizations; and creating pages designed to provide ''leaks'' about a given candidate.
The assets showed signs of inauthenticity: some pretended to be from one country but made blatant mistakes in their posts regarding the actual reality on the ground, while others were managed from outside their target country. Likely because of its algorithm, Facebook also identified pages of the cluster as ''related pages'' when there were no obvious similarities in location or subject matter, suggesting they might be part of the same network.
The network targeted at least 13 countries and were followed by more than 2.8 million users. It is difficult, however, to determine how successful the operation was, since it is hard to know whether the accounts that engaged with these assets were false or authentic. Regardless of the assets' reach, the fact that they were operated by a for-profit company is a troubling sign that highly partisan disinformation is turning into a capital enterprise.
Targeting the 2019 Nigerian ElectionsMany of the pages included in this takedown focused on the February 2019 Nigerian elections that saw Muhammadu Buhari reelected as president of the country.
One of the pages taken down, ''Make Nigeria Worse Again,'' appeared to be a trolling campaign aimed at Atiku Abubakar, former vice president of Nigeria and Buhari's main opponent. The page included a banner image of Abubakar as Darth Vader, the notorious Star Wars villain.
The DFRLab also found a highly similar page, ''Team Atiku For President,'' that aimed at reinforcing support for Abubakar's presidential campaign. It is unclear why the network carried both a pro and counter operation related to Abubakar, but the supportive page was likely designed to identify his supporters in order to target them with anti-Abubakar content later, possibly diverting them to the ''Make Nigeria Worse Again'' page.
Another page, ''Imagine a Nigeria without Buhari,'' aimed to bolster support for Buhari's candidacy. Some of the posts hypothetically eulogized Buhari's presidential tenure as if he had not been reelected, in order to convince voters of his accomplishments.
A video uploaded by a Nigerian page that aimed at garnering support for Buhari's candidacy by eulogizing his presidency, despite the fact that the elections had yet to happen. (Source: Imagine a Nigeria without Buhari/archive)Another faux eulogy post by the same page, this time implying that Abubakar's PDP Party would ''kill Nigeria.'' (Source: Imagine a Nigeria without Buhari/archive)Another group of pages focused on the turbulent local election in Nigeria's Rivers State. The election was held in March, but the announcement of the results was postponed until April because of widespread violence in the region. Several of the removed pages targeted Ezenwo Nyesom Wike, who was running for a second term as governor as a member of the People's Democratic Party (PDP), to which Abubakar also belongs, while others supported his opponent Tonye Cole of the All Progressives Congress (APC) party.
The page ''Rivers Violence Watch'' described itself as ''a platform to report on incidents of violence in Rivers State but nevertheless portrayed a strong anti-Wike and pro-APC bias, suggesting it could have been a part of the same campaign against Wike. Posts from this page had an extremely high share of likes as opposed to comments and shares, one indicator of automated activity.
A post from the account ''Rivers Violence Watch'''Š'--'Šnote the high discrepancy in the number of reactions (in black box at bottom left) to the number of comments and shares (in black box in bottom middle). (Source: Rivers Violence Watch)Fake Fake-Busters, BustedSome of the removed pages posed as disinformation watchdogs, claiming to expose ''fake news'' in the countries they targeted. For example, ''C'est faux'Š'--'Šles fake news du Mali'' (''It's false'Š'--'ŠMali's fake news'') claimed to expose ''false stories that the Mali media present.'' It was created in January 2018 and posted until the end of May that same year.
Most of its posts reported on allegations of ''fake news'' concerning Africa or targeting Africans. Its ''About'' section said that it was founded by students of communication in Mali. Facebook's ''Transparency'' feature, however, confirmed that it was actually run by managers in Senegal and Portugal.
Who's fake now? ''About'' (background) and ''Page transparency'' (foreground) sections of the page ''C'est faux'Š'--'Šles fake news du Mali.'' The ''About'' section begins, ''We are a group of communication students in Mali,'' but the ''Page transparency'' section shows that the page was run from Portugal and Senegal. (Source: C'est faux'Š'--'Šles fake news du Mali)The focus on fake stories therefore appears likely to have been a front, designed to build a reputation for credibility before running information operations. It was not clear why the page stopped posting in 2018.
Another page removed by Facebook, ''Stop la d(C)sinformation et aux mensonges'' (''Stop Disinformation and Lies''), posed as a media watchdog group countering disinformation in Tunisia. Ironically, it focused on calling out what it claimed to be disinformation in Tunisian media, demanding that Tunisians become more vigilant, despite it being an inauthentic disinformation campaign in its own right.
Screenshot shows of the page ''Stop la d(C)sinformation et aux mensonges'' shows that the page was created in March 2019 and quickly amassed over 11,000 followers (left). On the right, a post advises people to be vigilant against propaganda and manipulation. (Source: Stop la d(C)sinformation et aux mensonges)Other pages removed by Facebook claimed to be news outlets. The page Ghana 24, for instance, presented itself as a news site but amplified pro-government stories and news items. Even though the page was about Ghana, it was managed by a user in Israel and another in the United Kingdom.
Many users denounced these so-called ''media organizations'' in their comments and reviews of the pages, stating that they were spreading ''fake news'' and disinformation. While writing a review about ''The Garden City Gazette,'' which also focused on Nigeria's Rivers State, users said the page was ''creating confusion'' and ''selling fake news.'' The comments appeared mostly in February and March, at least two months before the page was taken down by Facebook.
Screenshot shows users reviews for the page ''The Garden City Gazette.'' Two users said the content was false and intended to create confusion. (Source: The Garden City Gazette)''Leaking'' PagesSome pages in the group promised to deliver ''leaked content'' that could potentially be weaponized against a candidate or in support of a cause. The page ''L'Afrique Cach(C)e,'' for example, described itself as organization that specialized in ''publishing censored or highly restrained official documents concerning war, espionage, and corruption in Africa.'' The page, however, mostly published old news articles accompanied by its own analysis.
The About page for ''L'Afrique Cach(C)e,'' which purported to release censored official documents. (Source: L'Afrique Cach(C)e)The page ''Naija Scandals'' (''Nigeria Scandals''), with a page manager in Israel, also described itself as a leak page, promising to share ''all the things they would not want you to know about Naija.'' Nonetheless, by the time it was taken down this page had no posts'Š'--'Šonly profile photos that had garnered three to five likes.
''Naija Scandals,'' a page ostensibly devoted to the ''things they would not want you to know,'' was managed from Israel. (Source: Naija Scandals)Patriots from the Wrong CountrySome of the pages made glaring mistakes that exposed them as likely inauthentic, simply on the grounds of the content.
For example, ''Fier d'ªtre Nig(C)rien'' (''Proud to be from Niger'') struck a highly patriotic tone. Its banner picture featured a mosque, with the caption ''Le Niger, ma fiert(C)'' (''Niger, my pride''); however, a user pointed out that the mosque was in fact the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca, Morocco, which DFRLab confirmed.
Left, ''posts'' section for Fier d'etre Nig(C)rien, showing the banner mosque and the comment (in pink box) from a user that read, ''Are you really proud of Niger'...? If not why publish the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca when our one's there?'' Right, image of mosque from its official website, with colored boxes indicating the architectural matches. (Source: Fier d'etre Nig(C)rien, left;, right)Another page, ''Tunisie Mon amour,'' also featured images of other countries as if they were from Tunisia. The page promoted tourism in the country but used pictures of Morocco and Turkey in its posts.
Location, Location, LocationMany of the pages that focused on individual African countries and claimed to be run by somebody in those countries, were in fact managed from elsewhere. For example, the page ''Ghana 24h'' purported to be a news site from Ghana, but it was managed by accounts in Israel and the United Kingdom.
Screenshot of the ''page transparency'' section for ''Ghana 24h,'' showing the location of its managers as Israel and the United Kingdom. (Source: Ghana 24h)Many of the sites that focused on Mali, meanwhile, were in fact run by six managers in Senegal and one manager in Portugal, suggesting that there was a specific regional team behind them. Almost all of these pages supported Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Ke¯ta, including pages with names that translated as ''IBK, my president'' and ''Mali says 'Yes' to IBK.''
Screenshot of the ''page transparency'' section for Madame Mali, IBK Mon Pr(C)sident, and Le Mali dit Oui IBK, showing the manager locations, with six in Senegal and one in Portugal. (Source: Madame Mali, left; IBK Mon Pr(C)sident, center; Le Mali Dit Oui IBK, right)In a similar vein, the page ''Alg(C)rie-Flash'' (Algeria-Flash) was managed from Tunisia, while ''Togo-Nouvelles'' (Togo-News) was run from Israel and an unknown location.
Screenshot of the ''page transparency'' feature for Togo-Nouvelles and Alg(C)rie Flash, showing the manager locations. (Source: Togo-Nouvelles, left; Alg(C)rie Flash, right)Similarly, two pages dedicated to health issues in Angola named ''Mulheres Saudveis de Angola'' (''Healthy Women of Angola'') and ''Fam­lia Saudvel em Angola'' (''Healthy Family in Angola'') were managed from Israel.
Screenshot of the ''page transparency'' section, with the managers listed as being located in Israel, for ''Mulheres Saudveis de Angola'' and ''Fam­lia Saudvel em Angola.'' (Source: Mulheres Saudveis de Angola, left; Fam­lia Saudvel em Angola, right)Related, but Not That Much
The ''related pages'' section for some of the removed assets suggested the pages were part of the same network. The ''related pages'' section is generated by Facebook's algorithm. While the exact mechanics of the algorithm are not known, it is believed to be based on behavior and relationships of accounts that like, follow, and interact with the pages in question. As Facebook suggested other pages from the removed set as related pages, it indicates that the algorithm recognized a relationship between the accounts.
The most illustrative example of this was the community page ''Amigos da Repºblica'' (''Friends of the Republic''), which was ostensibly from Mozambique. Under its related pages section, Facebook recommended both ''No Mames'' (''No way!''), a page focused on Mexico, and ''DHN,'' which focused on Honduras. The pages are not in the same language, not targeting the same continent, and not about the same topic. The only known relationship between them was that they were all ultimately removed by Facebook in this takedown.
Screenshot of ''Amigos da Repºblica'' related pages pointing toward DHN and No Mames. (Sources: Amigos da Repºblica, left; No Mames, top right; DHN, bottom right)Reach and EffectivenessThe network of pages taken down by Facebook spent around $812,000 in ad spending paid for in Brazilian reals, Israeli shekels, and U.S. dollars, according to Facebook's statement. The spending in different currencies suggest how vast the operation was, encompassing multiple regions around the world.
Ads from Bella Honduras page that promoted tourism to the country. The screenshot shows that the latest ad started running on May 14. (Source: Bella Honduras)The DFRLab analyzed the page with the highest number of followers, ''Peuple du Mali,'' which targeted local politics in Mali, and found that it had very high likes in comparison to comments. When this type of discrepancy is spread across many posts, the engagement should be considered suspicious.
Graph showing likes (in orange) vs. comments (in blue) of the Facebook page ''Peuple du Mali.'' Note the nearly constant low volume of comments and the much higher volume of likes. (Source: @KaranKanishk/DFRLab)It is unclear whether other pages also had inorganic engagement, but Facebook's statement highlights that many of the accounts were considered inauthentic because of inflated and manipulated engagement.
Luiza Bandeira is a Digital Forensic Research Assistant for Latin America at the Digital Forensic Research Lab (@DFRLab).
Andy Carvin is a Senior Research Fellow with @DFRLab.
Kanishk Karan is a Digital Forensic Research Assistant at @DFRLab.
Mohamed Kassab is a Digital Forensic Research Assistant with @DFRLab based in Cairo.
Ayushman Kaul is a Research Assistant, South Asia, for @DFRLab.
Ben Nimmo is Senior Fellow for information Defense at @DFRLab.
Michael Sheldon is a Digital Forensic Research Associate at @DFRLab.
Register for the DFRLab's upcoming 360/OS summit, to be held in London on June 20''21. Join us for two days of interactive sessions and join a growing network of #DigitalSherlocks fighting for facts worldwide!
Build the Wall
Trump Requires Sponsors of Immigrants to Pay for their Social Services '' Dan Bongino
Fri, 24 May 2019 16:12
President Trump has
signed a memorandum enforcing a provision requiring sponsors of legal immigrants to pay back the government for any social services used by the immigrant.
The provision was part of the 1996 Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA) and Welfare Reform laws enacted by then-President Bill Clinton. The law stated that immigrants should ''not depend on public resources to meet their needs.'' However, the provision has not been enforced.
Fox News reports, ''Under the provision, each future sponsor of an immigrant would need to sign an affidavit that would spell out the financial responsibilities for the sponsored immigrant and create a collection mechanism to recover funds from the sponsor. The Department of Health and Human Services is to collect the data of the sponsors and the immigrants, while the Treasury Department would collect the funds.''
A fact sheet released by the White House yesterday claims this move further supports the shift towards merit-based immigration:
Under our current immigration system, two-thirds of immigrants entering the United States do so based on family ties rather than on skill or merit.This follows the President's proposed housing rule that would require verification of the immigration status of anyone who seeks to access housing benefits.A merit-based immigration system would further ensure that immigrants make positive contributions to the United States.
Lauren Southern's Borderless Deleted By YouTube. ENOUGH. - Human Events
Sat, 25 May 2019 19:40
Today, YouTube removed Lauren Southern's new documentary Borderless from its platform, less than 24 hours after Southern made it available to the general public. No explanation was given.
Because no explanation has to be given.
Perhaps we should change that.
The deletion of Southern's film is contemptible, but it's also revealing; it demonstrates exactly why it's time to make platform access a civil right.
Southern's documentary was not a simple project; she and her team worked on the film for months. Moreover, her team was careful to be charitable to opposing views, and the film includes plenty of fair, objective interviews of migrants and refugees.
It didn't matter. YouTube deleted her film anyway.
Southern has over 700,000 subscribers on YouTube. Those subscribers belong to her, not the company. She should be able to count on those subscribers seeing a film that violated none of the YouTube terms of service. Indeed, it's hard to imagine that Southern would have embarked on this project had she not assumed she could show the end product to her audience.
Southern didn't simply rely on her platform to justify all the time and energy spent making Borderless; she relied on YouTube's previous commitments to content neutrality to justify building up her platform in the first place. And yet YouTube is utterly flippant about deleting her content.
When YouTube '' or any other platform '' invites users onto its platform with the promise of creative freedom and watches as they spend thousands of hours producing content and building up the platform, those users should have a property interest in their account. YouTube shouldn't be able to take it away on a whim.
Platform access isn't just necessary to protect meaningful free speech in 2019. It's imperative to protect the property interests of those like Lauren Southern who have justifiably relied on the promises of social media companies.
Your social media accounts should be yours. Not YouTube's. Not Facebook's. Not Twitter's.
YouTube logo disintegrating (Human Events)
YouTube's censorship decisions demonstrate another unique problem that big tech monopolies pose in 2019. If YouTube were focused solely on profit maximization, it would welcome Southern's documentary onto its platform. Moreover, it would shy away from deleting long-form documentary films; such films take months of work to produce, and if YouTube will delete them on a whim, conservative creators won't even bother.
But here's the thing about monopoly power; it gives companies the ability to prioritize things other than their bottom line. YouTube has over 75% of the market for video-sharing services. Its market position is unassailable. And so it can use its monopoly to silence conservatives and squash opposition to open borders, without bearing any serious costs.
Google and YouTube apparently believe that there is only one acceptable view on Europe's migrant crisis. Monopoly power gives these companies the luxury of censoring those who disagree with them, and discouraging others from even talking about the issue.
It doesn't have to be this way.
One of the primary vignettes in Borderless is about misconduct by pro-migration NGOs in Greece. As Southern and her team explain on the movie's website:
''During our undercover investigation into NGOs working in the Greek Islands we have come into possession of recordings of Ariel Ricker, Executive Director of Advocates Abroad admitting to unethical and illegal practices. Advocates Abroad is a large scale NGO providing legal aid to refugees and migrants seeking asylum in Europe.
Their 380 advocates are primarily involved in preparing refugees and migrants for their asylum interviews. The recorded admissions are particularly concerning given the organization's links to a fundraising campaign between University of Cambridge students and 12 British MPs which raised in excess of $60,000 US for the organization.''
The people of Greece vote for their European representatives tomorrow, May 26th. Today, the day before that election, Google's moderators have decided '' in their infinite wisdom '' that Greek citizens should not be able to view a documentary that purports to reveal unethical behavior by NGOs on Greek soil.
It's now a serious question whether YouTube is engaged in outright election meddling with their selective, biased moderation process.
No one should have that power.
Because platform access is a civil right.
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BREAKING NOW: Illinois Judge 'UNSEALS' All Court Docs in Jussie Smollett Criminal Case | Sean Hannity
Fri, 24 May 2019 02:40
A judge in Cook County, Illinois ordered ''Empire'' star Jussie Smollett's criminal files be unsealed; clearing the path towards the release of all materials related to the case before charges were abruptly dropped months ago.
''Cook County judge Steven G. Watkins' decision came months after a dizzying set of events: First, Smollett alleged he'd been the victim of a hate crime; after an extensive investigation, Chicago cops arrested Smollett and accused him of faking the supposed attack; and then, Cook County prosecutors suddenly dropped the charges against Smollett and his case was sealed,'' reports Fox News.
''In January, Smollett made national headlines when he filed a police report alleging two masked men attacked him, put a rope around his neck and poured bleach on him as he was walking home from a fast food eatery. Smollett, who is black and openly gay, said the masked men beat him, made racist and homophobic comments and yelled, 'This is MAGA country' '-- a reference to President Trump's 'Make America Great Again' slogan '-- before fleeing the scene,'' adds the article.
Chicago officials and the city's Police Department fumed after a lone prosecutor decided to drop the case.
The City of Chicago officially filed a lawsuit against 'Empire' star Jussie Smollett weeks ago; seeking to recoup the costs associated with his alleged hate crime hoax that occupied more than 24 police officers over a two-week period.
''The 12-page civil lawsuit , filed in Cook County court, is the latest volley in a legal battle that shows no signs of abating since Smollett reported that masked men beat him up on Jan. 29 in Chicago, shouting slurs and wrapping a rope around his neck,'' reports the Associated Press.
''The lawsuit doesn't specify an amount of money the city is seeking but does indicate it wants over $390,000 plus 'further relief as this Court deems just and equitable.' It also asks that Smollett be ordered to foot any legal bills Chicago incurs in suing him,'' adds the author.
Read the full report at Fox News.
Dr. Mark Steinberg - Emotional Addiction
Sat, 25 May 2019 15:41
Emotional AddictionLiving According to FeelingsIt's likely that the women reading this will react differently than the men. I'm not intentionally trying to be biased, but I obviously do come from a masculine vantage point and thus have a particular viewpoint, colored by my genetics and life experiences. Let's be honest: whether you are black, white, male or female, etc., you have an ''agenda'' that influences your preferences and your perceptions about people and the nature of reality. Just ask a man about childbirth, or ask a woman to pee standing up! Let's be real.
This is not a rant about misogyny. I want to address an issue that far transcends gender. Let's note at the beginning, though, that the issue of emotional addiction tends to affect women in greater numbers than men.
As a psychologist, it's my business (as well as forte) to deal with people's feelings. And feelings'--emotions'--are a vital part of life. Indeed, they are a critical and natural part of brain functioning. As a specialist in neuropsychology, I treat and improve people's brain capacities, including awareness of and control over feelings.
Emotions are very powerful. They are instrumental to our innate survival mechanisms, and they are the basis for our neurological connections with other beings. Emotions allow us to bond, to experience compassion and empathy, and to feel joy and happiness. When emotions are properly modulated and integrated with cognitive functions (specifically reasoning, analysis, planning, and logic), the brain functions flexibly and with expanded capacities for self-care, productivity, prudence, and relationships.
The nature and power of emotions is that they impel us to respond viscerally. The good part is that emotions help us cut to the chase: they make us connect at the deepest and most profound levels of our being. Emotions bypass logic and considerations, as they allow our primitive instincts and guidance systems to respond with elemental force. The bad part is that emotions may inappropriately overwhelm logic and often disable a person from anticipating or dealing with consequences. Emotive inundation or impairment can lead someone by the nose into trouble, avoidance, and disregard of obvious consequences and necessary adaptive learning. This is what happens with emotional addiction.
How Can Emotions Be Addicting?You may wonder how something inside you that's natural can be addicting. Actually, all addictions are inside you'--in your brain and body'--the addiction is a response to intense pleasure (or relief) by repeated use of, response to, or ingestion of some behavior or substance that relieves discomfort, specifically anxiety or pain. In the case of emotions, the response is a reliance upon and absorption in the brain and neurological patterns that produce a flood of feelings'--the release of and/or inhibitions of strong feelings in response to neurotransmitter cell firings and thresholds.
If you rely upon alcohol or opiates, you use these substances to relieve the terrible state of withdrawal. Relief is temporary, the palliation wears off, and you are left in the throes of craving and withdrawal, obsessively seeking another bout of reprieve. As this vicious cycle continues, you become more bound and helpless, often acquiring brain dysfunction and other health problems along the progression. You become ''addicted'' to the substance or action that subdues anxiety, but at great cost and with counterproductive effects.
In the case of emotional addiction, you become ''hooked'' either on feeling a familiar way or in responding in an automatic way to the powerful pull of innate emotions. Emotional addicts pay heavily for their fixes, though not in dollars to a dealer. The cost of emotional addiction is that you live at the mercy of feelings provoked by circumstances (whether initiated by happenstance or foreordained by unconsciously imprinted negatively scripted behavior) and your perceptions of these events. The overpowering feelings transcend other brain responses, and you need to make sensible decisions, rather than react to impulses.
Intuition Versus AddictionThe adage, ''go with your gut feeling,'' can be a wise reminder to pay attention to inner wisdom and inclinations sponsored by deep emotions and attractions that are not easily explained by words or logic. The heart wants what it wants, and it's important to be sensitive and attuned to heartfelt feelings. However intuitive gut feelings may be, it's critical to review and temper those impulses with the benefit of experience, reason, planning, and perhaps input from trusted advisors. Strong feelings can easily overwhelm and cloud judgment. This is especially true and dangerous for those who are emotionally addicted. These individuals are so partial and vulnerable to the throes of strong and persistent emotions that they can impulsively or habitually react to the power of the ebb and flow of their moods instead of the far more efficacious combination of feelings, reason, values, and circumstantial reality, functioning in tandem.
Moreover, emotional addicts support and justify their responses and choices by regarding their emotions as paramount in the hierarchy of values and bases for decisions and actions. The mantra, ''I did what I felt was right,'' must be underpinned and counterbalanced by the temperance of reason, attuned to the justifiable feelings and needs of others, and informed by the accommodation of predictable consequences and the realities of previous choices.
Though the emotional addict is often capable of availing himself/herself of this spectrum of life skills, he or she typically does not utilize these important factors in responding, evaluating, and decision-making. The pattern for the emotional addict is: feel, react, justify.
Unfortunately, this style of excessive reliance upon and essential worship of emotions almost always leads to deleterious consequences.
Living as an emotional addict is like boarding a bus based solely on the advertising on the outside of the bus.
The Proper Role of EmotionsEmotions are vital to our functioning. They are the basis for compassion, empathy, identification, and relational connections. Indeed, they add color, flavor, interest, and motivation to our perceptions of and involvement in the world and other people. Without sentient emotions, life would be flat and our functioning would be severely restricted.
However, many individuals are restricted, overwhelmed, or impaired because their emotional self-regulation is compromised. That is, on both conscious and automatic levels, their nervous systems do not effectively modulate affective (emotional) activity. Thus, they become either overaroused (too worked up and overreactive), living in extended fight-or-flight mode, or underaroused (flat, understimulated, bored, or even numb).
Emotions must be integrated with cognitive control so that feelings can blend with and temper reasoning, logic, planning, and evaluation and adjustment of behavior and ideas. In order for this to happen, each of us must be capable of and must practice the following:
Effective self-regulated nervous system and brain functioningSkills and routines of self-soothingA realistic view of the importance and limitations of emotions as a governing mode of behavior and decision-makingThese points will be explained below. Note that the points in this summary may occur naturally; but for many people'--especially those prone to emotional addiction'--they may require conscious intervention, development, and practice.
Self-regulation is an automatic process that derives from our biological systems. Though it is innate, many people are genetically predisposed to neurodevelopmental problems and disorders that can gradually develop or rapidly overtake them and disrupt functional self-regulation. Though the body can often heal itself, specific interventions, treatments, and lifestyles can restore and greatly improve self-regulation and its associated emotional regulation.
Self-soothing is a broad term that refers to the capacity and practice of calming oneself. You've often heard the expression, ''Take a deep breath.'' This exhortation is based on biological principle that deep, measured, consciously controlled breathing has dramatic effects on the nervous system. Many disciplines (such as Yogic breathing) invoke consciously controlled breathing as a practice to calm the mind and induce peacefulness. There are many ways to self-soothe, from calming exercises (breathing, tapping, meditation, prayer, listening to music, stretching, etc.) to the effects of others on our nervous systems. Stroking a pet is a proven way to lower blood pressure and feel better physically and emotionally. Sometimes even cognitive exercises (reframing, self-talk) can exert a self-soothing effect. Though many therapists advocate cognitive techniques as the main method for emotional control, I've found that they are far less effective than other methods.
The last point'--maintaining a realistic attitude, belief system, and self-appraisal regarding the relative value of emotions in one's system of functioning'--remains fundamental to emotional health and adaptive relations with others. The personal awareness, acceptance, and implementation of this foundation enables the capacity and practice of emotional control in offsetting impulsivity, petulance, the effects of stress, trauma, and crises, and the desperate habit of relieving emotional distress at high cost to oneself and others.
The bottom line is: unless one comes to grips with the deceptive and frequently overwhelming nature of emotions, one is unlikely to take steps to develop emotional control. The intense craving for relief from painful emotions feeds into the tumorous sense of entitlement that causes some people to put emotions first in their lives'--above their own well-being and the needs of others'--just like other deleterious addictions.
Styles of Processing Logic and EmotionsIn order to better understand excessive responses to emotional stimulation, it's helpful to review scientific research about how people process emotions and thoughts. One of the most helpful methods of determining how an individual processes and organizes thoughts and feelings is the Rorschach Inkblot Test. This test has been around for nearly a hundred years. It has been thoroughly researched using data analysis, field-testing, and empirical validation by a variety of researchers and methodologies.
In the hands of an experienced examiner, the Rorschach reveals a person's subconscious processes, behavioral tendencies, thought processes, pathologies, internal coping resources, and even intellectual development. I've administered Rorschach exams for over thirty years.
A person's responses to the inkblots disclose the manner in which he or she deals with emotions and thoughts. The test reveal's the examinee's reality orientation, attitude towards self and others, capacity for control, expectations about interpersonal experiences, attribution of the motivations of others, and the person's style of organizing and reacting to ambiguity and challenges. This can be most helpful in detecting processing habits that predispose one to excessive emotional reactivity.
In Rorschach terms, response patterns constitute processing styles that are ideational and/or affective. Ideational processing refers to cognitive activity'--that is, reasoning, intellectualization, justification, assumption, and conclusion. Affective processing refers to emotional reaction, impulsivity, stimulation, and control of feelings.
Though each of us uses both ideational and affective approaches, over time we develop and resort to a habitual way of responding. This is made manifest during the Rorschach exam. Individuals who respond in a mostly ideational way have an introversive style. They use intellectualization and reason to cope with ambiguity and uncertainty. They organize new and existing experiences by means of thought, rationalization, and justification. Individuals who respond in a mostly affective manner have an extratensive style. They cope with new and existing experiences by means of emotional responding (expressing emotions in the environment and exchanging emotions with others) and by exercising varying levels of control over emotional stimulation.
Some individuals vacillate back and forth between introversive and extratensive styles. These people develop an ambitensive style. Though there are advantages and disadvantages to introversive and extratensive styles, it is better by far to use one of these than to cope in the limbo of an ambitensive style. Ambitensives tend to have much more stress and much less certainty. In a sense, psychological coping style is like handedness. You are basically either right-handed or left-handed as a dominant neurological orientation.
Experience shows that those with an extratensive style are more vulnerable to loss of emotional control; thus, they may be more predisposed to mood issues and more at risk for emotional addiction. Whether or not Rorschach information for a particular person is at hand, the take-away message is that people who have poor capacity for and exercise of emotional control are vulnerable to emotional addiction.
Breaking Emotional AddictionThe idolization of feelings above other coping skills and resources leads to frequently inadequate or unwise behaviors and decisions, faulty self-management and planning, and impaired productivity and relationships.
Emotional addiction surfaces as a condition that itself derails many people from intact functioning and fuller lives. As noted and implied, however, the vulnerability and capitulation to pressing needs for stress relief (as in many types of cravings and self-medicating syndromes) leads to and underpins a variety of other addictions.
Breaking the grip of emotional addictions requires dedicated application of the three points delineated previously (and examined more fully below). Success at keeping emotions in their proper role must start with the acknowledgment and acceptance of the following:
A realistic view of the importance and limitations of emotions as a governing mode of behavior and decision-makingThe person who lives at the beck and call of emotions rides on a rollercoaster of ups and downs, careening according to the sensitivities and feelings of the moment. This manner of experiencing oneself in relation to the world depends upon coping by attending to and assuaging feelings considered as paramount in any situation. As stated earlier, the pattern is: feel, react, justify. In order to begin to break this addictive pattern, this individual must recognize his or her vulnerability to become overwhelmed and to believe that feelings must come first and dictate the course of understanding and actions. This is a difficult step, as it often collides with one's sense of self and habitual modus operandi. Making meaningful changes requires an accurate self-appraisal, usually facilitated by close family confidants and/or professionals.
Over time and with practice and persistent feedback, the emotional addict can emerge from denial, entitlement, and egocentric catering to self-centered impulses. With the intervention and practice of self-regulation and self-soothing methods, this acceptance of a more realistic way of experiencing oneself as more than a jumble of emotional needs becomes easier and more satisfying.
Effective self-regulated nervous system and brain functioningBecoming more self-regulated means gaining stability and more automatic control over one's brain and neurological functioning. Of course, this applies to emotional processing and control, too. One becomes less impulsive and less reactive, even when provoked by disconcerting circumstances. With better self-regulation comes more tempered integration of feelings with thoughts and greater ability to delay gratification and plan responses that will invoke more favorable consequences.
Years of collective experience and millions of sessions have established that EEG neurofeedback (brainwave training) is a bona fide method for improving self-regulation. Training one's brain with this procedure establishes an enduring foundation for emotional and cognitive control. (For more information on this treatment, visit and read Dr. Steinberg's articles and books.)
Skills and routines of self-soothingSelf-soothing is a broad term that refers to the capacity and practice of calming oneself. There are many self-soothing techniques, including rhythmic breathing, self-talk, tapping, and others. The most rapid, efficient, and complete method I've found is the tapping methods that comprise Thought Field Therapy (refer to my book, Living Intact: Challenge and Choice in Tough Times for detailed explanation and self-help guides). Thought Field Therapy techniques can be self-administered for rapid and on-the-spot relief of any negative emotion. This method is invaluable for regaining emotional equilibrium on a regular basis. Practicing the techniques not only provides immediate relief and equanimity, but also imbues confidence, so that the specter of emotional trauma and imbalance becomes offset by self-control, empowerment, and positive expectations (based on repeated successful experience).
The most basic and prevalent negative emotion that upends people is anxiety. This is the bane that shatters inner peace, ruptures health and well-being, and forms the foundation for all addictions.
Thus, emotional addiction is also a habitual maladaptive response to anxiety. However, the emotional addict carries not only the burden of continual anxiety, but also the unnerving and self-absorbed preoccupation with his or her own moods as the utmost value and the intermittent task of paramount importance that must be accommodated ahead of everything else. In breaking the grip and slavery that emotional addiction imposes, one must grow and mature in self-control, temperance, and humility. One's own feelings are indeed important. However, the feelings and needs of others must play a relevant role in one's self-management, compassion, and social responsibility.
Emotional self-regulation is critical for individual health and community caring. As with any addiction, emotional addiction can escalate, thereby denigrating self-control, dignity, and the capacity to consider and sacrifice for others.
There is a theory of addictions that describes and predicts the vulnerability and course of addictive dysfunction as a failure to grow out of childish self-absorption and the corresponding failure to develop the ability to delay gratification. This theory resonates with my own view that meeting the varied and considerable challenges in life requires the continual development of humility, growth in compassion and self-control, and the spiritual maturity to desatellize (separate from the orbit) from personal entitlement and view of oneself as all-important.
'-- Mark Steinberg, Ph.D.
NOAA Warns 5G Spectrum Interference Presents Major Threat to Weather Forecasts | American Institute of Physics
Fri, 24 May 2019 13:17
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration remains at an impasse with the Federal Communications Commission over how to protect weather satellite observations from interference by 5G telecommunications equipment.
At a House Science Committee hearing on May 16, Acting NOAA Administrator Neil Jacobs warned that U.S. weather forecasting capabilities could be severely degraded if FCC proceeds with its current plans for opening up a 24 gigahertz spectrum band it recently auctioned. He said NOAA and NASA have concluded that the out-of-band emissions limits set by FCC are insufficient to prevent interference with weather satellites' ability to detect water vapor. He reported that FCC has disputed this analysis, taking issue with the input parameters NOAA and NASA used when modeling the interference impacts.
Meanwhile, FCC is facing pressure from Congress to address the concerns raised by NOAA, NASA, and other parts of the scientific community. Leaders of several committees have urged FCC to reconsider its approach to opening up the 24 gigahertz band.
Interference could erase decades of progress, Jacobs warnsAt last week's hearing, Science Committee leaders from both parties asked Jacobs to detail the impacts that interference from the 24 gigahertz band could have on weather forecasts.
Jacobs explained that subject matter experts from NOAA, NASA, and FCC have been studying the issue since 2017 but have yet to reach agreement on appropriate emissions limits. Out-of-band emissions are signals that spill over from a particular frequency bandwidth but nonetheless contribute to the quality of the transmission. Jacobs said that NOAA and NASA have concluded the limit advanced by FCC, -20 decibel watts per 200 megahertz, would result in about 77% data loss from passive microwave sounders that weather satellites use to detect water vapor.
Describing the impacts of such a loss, Jacobs continued,
This would degrade the forecast skill by up to 30%. If you look back in time to see when our forecast skill was roughly 30% less than it was today, it's somewhere around 1980. This would result in the reduction of hurricane track forecasts' lead time by roughly two to three days.
A good example of this is a data denial study that the European Center [for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts] did where they withheld the microwave sounder data during the forecast for Superstorm Sandy and the model, which is the most accurate model in the world right now, kept the storm out to sea.
If a data loss of 2% or more were projected, Jacobs said it is ''highly likely'' that NOAA would halt its current multi-billion dollar acquisition program for next-generation polar-orbiting satellites because they could no longer meet their mission requirements. He said NOAA and NASA believe a limit near -50 decibel watts would ''result in roughly zero data loss.'' Because the decibel scale is logarithmic, that limit would permit roughly three orders of magnitude less noise than the FCC level.
Issue remains on Congress' radarAfter undertaking a multi-year public rulemaking process, FCC auctioned the 24 GHz spectrum band in March over the objections of NOAA and NASA, receiving nearly $2 billion in bids.
Just prior to the auction, the leaders of the House Science Committee and the chairs of three appropriations subcommittees called on FCC to delay it due to the agencies' concerns about impacts on earth observation satellites. Responding to the Science Committee letter, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai justified his decision to carry out the auction, writing,
The commission's decisions with respect to spectrum have been and will continue to be based on sound engineering rather than exaggerated and unverified last-minute assertions.
Congressional leaders are continuing to press FCC on the subject. A letter sent earlier this month by Sens. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA), the ranking members of the Senate Finance and Commerce Committees, urges the commission not to award final licenses to the auction winners unless they adopt an emission limit that NOAA and NASA agree to. They also cite an internal Navy report that raises concerns about the impact of spectrum interference on naval operations and proposes a -57 decibel emissions limit.
In the letter, Wyden and Cantwell ask FCC to describe its cost-benefit analyses of the impacts of spectrum interference on activities that rely on weather data. They also request FCC to outline steps it will take if its emissions limit is not accepted by the International Telecommunications Union, which is meeting this fall to consider changes to international standards for spectrum use.
''Leadership in 5G networks and devices is undoubtedly critical to our economic and national security. However, it does not enhance America's place in this global race for 5G leadership to advocate for standards that do not pass scientific scrutiny in international forums,'' they conclude.
FCC Chairman addresses 5G safety concerns in letters to lawmakers - CNET
Sun, 26 May 2019 12:32
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai says lawmakers need not worry about 5G safety concerns.
/ Getty Images FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is trying to quell fears among lawmakers that 5G radios are dangerous to health.
On Thursday, the chairman sent a series of letters to lawmakers in response to inquiries about health concerns related to 5G that been sent to him in the past couple of months.
In each of the letters he said that the FCC places a "high priority on the safety of wireless services and devices." He said the agency's guidelines for RF exposure are derived from guidance from the Environmental Protection Agency, as well as the industry group the IEEE and the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements.
"The FCC relies on the expertise of health and safety agencies and organizations with respect to appropriate levels of RF exposure," he said. "These institutions have extensive experience and knowledge in RF-related issues and have spent a considerable amount of time evaluating published scientific studies that can inform appropriate exposure limits."
The response comes as concerns about the safety of 5G wireless technology has been increasing among lawmakers on Capitol Hill. Three Congressmen in the past two months have sent letters to the agency expressing their concerns about potential negative health effects due to exposure to radio frequencies used in delivering 5G wireless service. Representatives Andy Kim, a Democrat from New Jersey, Thomas Suozzi, a Democrat from New York, and Peter Defazio, a Democrat from Oregon, say their constituents are worried that 5G radios, which are being deployed atop street lights every few blocks in many communities, may have negative effects that are still unknown.
"Small cell towers are being installed in residential neighborhoods in close proximity to houses throughout my district," said Rep. Suozzi in his letter. "I have heard instances of these antennae being installed on light poles directly outside the window of a young child's bedroom. Rightly so, my constituents are worried that should this technology be proven hazardous in the future, the health of their families and value of their properties would be at serious risk."
5G, which refers to the fifth generation of cellular technology, is the next big thing in wireless technology and it's been hailed as the foundation for other big trends like self-driving cars and streaming virtual reality.
Unlike previous generations of wireless, 5G will require up to five times the amount of infrastructure as 3G or 4G deployments. The big promise of 5G -- a massive leap in speed -- requires the use of super high-frequency radio waves, called millimeter-wave spectrum, that are limited by range and obstructions like trees. The result is a network requiring radios on every city block, versus 4G gear that transmits signals over miles.
What this means is that there could be nearly 800,000 of these so-called small cells deployed in the US between 2018 and 2026 to provide 5G, according to a study commissioned by the wireless industry trade group CTIA. In a separate report, CTIA estimates that roughly 323,000 cell sites were in service at the end of 2017.
Rep. Kim said in his letter that the FCC noted that the agency has not updated its regulations regarding radiofrequency RF safety since 1996. He also pointed out that the current RF safety guidelines don't account for the higher frequencies that 5G service uses or the fact that so many more radios are needed to achieve 5G service coverage. He asked the FCC to answer a series of questions about what research has been conducted as it relates to the safety of 5G.
"Despite the close proximity to sensitive areas where these high-band cells will be installed, little research has been conducted to examine 5G safety," he said. He added that the FCC has admitted that its guidelines need to be reassessed with respect to the use of newer wireless technologies.
Rep. Defazio noted that the Government Accountability Office made a similar recommendation in 2012.
"It is unacceptable that six years later the FCC still has not conducted a reassessment of its 1996 guidelines," Defazio said in his letter.
In his letters, Pai noted that the FCC has had an open proceeding to address updating its guidelines since 2013. And he assured the lawmakers the agency is working through the "voluminous" record to see if anything needs to be changed or updated. But he did not address specific concerns brought up in the letters. He also offered to bring congressional staff into the FCC's testing facility in Columbia, Maryland so that they could "see and speak with our engineers and technicians as they operate the RF testing equipment."
Pai's response is consistent with comments he made to the press in April. When asked about the issue during a press conference in April, Pai acknowledged that the nature of 5G "will be very different" than 4G, since it relies on small cells. But he said that the radios operate at much lower power than traditional cell sites. He added that "from that perspective, I am confident that in consultation with the FDA, which is the lead on this issue, that the technology will be safe."
Chairman Response Regarding 5G Deployment Impact on RF Exposure | Federal Communications Commission
Sun, 26 May 2019 12:33
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Full Title: Chairman Pai's Response to Members of Congress Regarding the Potential Impact of 5G Deployment on RF Exposure Document Type(s): Letter Bureau(s): Legislative Affairs Document Dates Released On: May 23, 2019 Issued On: May 23, 2019
Online Extremism Researcher Eoin Lenihan Finds Twitter Ties Linking HuffPost, the Guardian, and the SPLC to Antifa
Fri, 24 May 2019 14:49
Violent protesters identifying as anti-fascist or "Antifa" have harassed various people across the country, demonizing conservatives and particularly those who support President Donald Trump. Activists have bashed people in the head with bike locks, hit their own political allies in the back of the head during protests, and even launched a plot to buy guns from a Mexican cartel to "stage an armed rebellion" at the border, according to an FBI investigation. Despite these attacks and more, journalists with HuffPost, The Guardian, and the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) have maintained connections with Antifa activists, a new report revealed.
The SPLC, which makes its mark by following organizations it accuses of being "hate groups," has taken some flak for refusing to brand Antifa a "hate group." Perhaps this report explains why.
Eoin Lenihan, a former teacher and current analyst focused on online extremism, announced that his team had "mapped the social interactions of 58,254 Antifa affiliated accounts on Twitter based on an initial seed of 16 self-identifying and verifiable Antifa accounts (and Mark Bray who chose not to confirm if he is a member of Antifa but whose book makes a solid case for inclusion)."
We mapped the social interactions of 58,254 Antifa affiliated accounts on Twitter based on an initial seed of 16 self-identifying and verifiable Antifa accounts (and Mark Bray who chose not to confirm if he is a member of Antifa but whose book makes a solid case for inclusion).
'-- Dr. Eoin Lenihan (@EoinLenihan) May 15, 2019 In a long Twitter thread, Lenihan revealed the results of his study, zeroing in on the 1.65 percent of Twitter accounts most closely connected with Antifa, a total of 962 accounts. Each had a minimum of eight connections with known activists.
Here I just want to focus on those Twitter verified accounts that made it into this dataset of the most connected Antifa and Antifa associated accounts on Twitter. Here you can see them highlighted in green.
'-- Dr. Eoin Lenihan (@EoinLenihan) May 15, 2019 After mentioning a few journalists with close Antifa connections and Twitter bios mentioning their anti-fascist affiliation, Lenihan turned to Emily Gorcenski, who "uses Twitter to dox those she deems fascist. Further she created the 'First Vigil' website that processes court documents to share the personal information of suspected members of the far right. In cases where people are found innocent (50%), info is still shared."
Emily Gorcenski uses Twitter to dox those she deems fascist. Further she created the "First Vigil" website that processes court documents to share the personal information of suspected members of the far right. In cases where people are found innocent (50%), info is still shared.
'-- Dr. Eoin Lenihan (@EoinLenihan) May 15, 2019 Then the researcher turned to the journalists who work for HuffPost, The Guardian, and the SPLC.
"Jason Wilson writes for the Guardian. In a recent piece in which he reports on an intelligence report by the ROCIC which states that Antifa are responsible for street violence just as the far right are, he heavily relies on Mark Bray as a primary source to attack the report," Lenihan tweeted. "Mark Bray - also in the top 2% of our dataset - & author of Antifa: The Antifascist Handbook (he donated 50% of profits to the Antifa International Defence Fund) is a recurring Wilson source in his columns. Together they downplay Antifa violence & extremism in The Guardian."
Mark Bray - also in the top 2% of our dataset - & author of Antifa: The Antifascist Handbook (he donated 50% of profits to the Antifa International Defence Fund) is a recurring Wilson source in his columns. Together they downplay Antifa violence & extremism in The Guardian.
'-- Dr. Eoin Lenihan (@EoinLenihan) May 15, 2019 "Christopher Mathias is a senior writer at [HuffPost] who specialises in the Far Right. In a recent piece he wrote about members of Identity Europa he spread the doxes of several alleged members serving in the military," Lenihan continued. When Mathias doxed these alleged Identity Europa servicemembers, "he had no idea of their innocence or guilt and as of his pinned tweet, the matter is still only under investigation."
At the time of writing he had no idea of their innocence or guilt and as of his pinned tweet, the matter is still only under investigation. How he came to dox these individuals before they were afforded any due process is interesting...
'-- Dr. Eoin Lenihan (@EoinLenihan) May 15, 2019 Mathias took the servicemembers' identities from an Antifa news outlet that published leaked discord servers from Identity Europa. The HuffPost writer "lets Antifa doxers do the heavy work, he does the national level doxing."
Lenihan also noted that Mathias outed a "Prominent white supremacist" in HuffPost. That article got the man investigated, but the man was later cleared of wrongdoing and allowed to return to work. "Like the Europa case Mathias doxes first, facts later."
Here he uses HuffPo to out a "Prominent white supremacist" & was instrumental (along with his Antifa network) in getting him investigated. It later turned out the man was cleared of any wrong doing & allowed back to work. Like the Europa case Mathias doxes first, facts later.
'-- Dr. Eoin Lenihan (@EoinLenihan) May 15, 2019 "What happens here is that Mathias harvests info from his Antifa network to cast serious allegations against individuals with potentially career shattering consequences and, through doxing, opens up the real chance of violence and serious harm against them," the researcher reported.
Lenihan condemned white supremacists and fascists, noting that many Identity Europa members "are despicable people and they have been labeled an extremist group by the SPLC." Yet even the SPLC has ties to Antifa...
Among the top two percent of Twitter users with close ties to the extremists is "chief investigative reporter for the SPLC Matthew Hayden."
In the case of Identity Europa, many are despicable people and they have been labeled an extremist group by the @splcenter but again, among out top 2% is chief investigative reporter for the SPLC Matthew Hayden who's connections within Antifa are problematic.
'-- Dr. Eoin Lenihan (@EoinLenihan) May 15, 2019 Many Antifa doxers seem not to believe in redemption. Lenihan drew attention to AntiFlashGordon who "chases [and] continues to harass a target from town to town, job to job."
The biggest issue with AntiFashGordon and with Antifa doxers in general is that they do not believe in redemption. Here Gordon chases continues to harass a target from town to town, job to job. How does this end?
'-- Dr. Eoin Lenihan (@EoinLenihan) May 19, 2019 After publishing these results, Lenihan reported receiving week-long harassment from Antifa.
It is apparent from my discussions in the DMs with Hayden and from the Antifa mob that have been harassing me for a week, that they do not believe in redemption for extremists. I believe they are pursuing an economic & partisan model, not one that is for the social good.
'-- Dr. Eoin Lenihan (@EoinLenihan) May 21, 2019 He also warned Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter, that "there is a massive Antifa problem on your platform."
Another set of researchers brave enough to acknowledge Antifa members as extremists. Not surprising to see the sickening abuse by Antifa accounts having had nearly a week of it myself. @jack, there is a massive Antifa problem on your platform.
'-- Dr. Eoin Lenihan (@EoinLenihan) May 20, 2019 Follow Tyler O'Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.
Show us our taxes
Top Democrat Elijah Cummings Accused of Tax Violation Refuses to Show His Taxes
Sat, 25 May 2019 00:22
What's the old saying? If Democrats didn't have double-standards, they wouldn't have any standards at all, right?
Well, while some people might scoff at that idea, this story pretty much proves just how deep the left's hypocrisy goes.
Take Rep. Elijah Cummings for instance. He's been one of the loudest critics of President Trump, routinely calling for the President's tax returns.
But now that he's been accused of violating tax law, he doesn't think he needs to produce any of his own.
Washington Examiner reported:
Rep. Elijah Cummings denied that corporate donations to his wife's charity posed a conflict of interest with his House Oversight Committee chairmanship and denounced an IRS complaint filed against the organization as ''a fabricated distraction'' on Wednesday.
The National Legal and Policy Center, a government watchdog group, filed an IRS complaint against Cummings' wife Maya Rockeymoore's nonprofit organization on Monday, the Washington Examiner first reported.
The complaint asked the IRS to investigate the overlap between Rockeymoore's nonprofit Center for Global Policy Solutions and her for-profit consulting firm Global Policy Solutions LLC to determine whether the arrangement was used for ''illegal private benefit.''
Rockeymoore's nonprofit group and LLC have mutual clients, donors, and projects and were located at the same address and share a phone number. The National Legal and Policy Center's IRS complaint claims that they ''appear to operate almost as a single entity, allowing for an illegal private benefit for Maya Rockeymoore Cummings and her husband.''
Cummings, 68, a Maryland Democrat, is chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Rockeymoore, 48, is the chairwoman of the Maryland Democratic Party and briefly ran in the state's gubernatorial race last year. The couple married in 2008.
Rockeymoore's nonprofit group received over $6.2 million in grants between 2013 and 2016 from special interest groups and corporations. Several of the nonprofit group's financial backers '-- which included Google, J.P. Morgan, and Prudential '-- have business interests before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Cummings has served as Democratic chairman of the committee since January and previously served as ranking member.
The largest contributor to the nonprofit organization was the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which gave a total of $5.5 million to Rockeymoore's consulting firm and $5.2 million to her nonprofit group. The foundation ceased supporting Rockeymoore's groups in 2017. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation was established by Johnson & Johnson founder Robert Wood Johnson but is not officially affiliated with the pharmaceutical company. The foundation owns 13 million shares of Johnson & Johnson stock worth over $1.7 billion, making it one of the company's largest shareholders.
In recent months, Cummings has been a vocal opponent of Johnson & Johnson, targeting the company as part of the House Oversight Committee's investigation of drug price inflation. Rockeymoore told the Washington Post on Tuesday that she had no relationship with Johnson & Johnson and denied that there was any connection between Cummings' investigation of the company and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation ending its funding to her group.
Common Cause Maryland, a government watchdog group, told the Washington Post that the IRS complaint raised valid legal and ethical questions, and Rockeymoore and Cummings should work to address these issues.
The watchdog group's Executive Director Joanne Antoine told the Post that Rockeymoore ''should take steps to disclose possible conflicts with the Johnson Foundation and to disclose the financial records from the nonprofit in question.''
Green New Deal
DEATH RIDGE-Heat wave: Dangerous record-breaking death ridge to scorch Southeast
Sun, 26 May 2019 14:40
When the temperatures rise near triple digits, make sure you stay safe. USA TODAY
Story HighlightsA few of the records that could be broken date back to the 1800s.The National Weather Service called it "prolonged and dangerous heat wave.""Drink plenty of liquids and wear light, loose-fitting clothing."A blistering, dangerous heat wave, which one expert calls a "death ridge," is poised to scorch the southeastern U.S. over the Memorial Day weekend.
While the central U.S. deals with floods and storms, some all-time record high temperatures for May could be shattered as highs rocket into the upper 90s to low 100s all the way from Alabama to Virginia.
"In what has been a warmer-than-normal May to date across the Southeast, temperatures will take a notable turn upwards through the end of the week and into Memorial Day weekend," AccuWeather meteorologist Max Vido said.
More: Record-like temperatures, dry, sunny conditions to dominate Memorial Day weekend weather
A few of the records that could be broken date back to the 1800s.
"Most high temperature records across the region stand in the 90s, so these cities are expected to consistently challenge records during the heat wave," Vido said.
Show Thumbnails
Show Captions
Last SlideNext SlideIn Charleston, South Carolina, the National Weather Service called it "prolonged and dangerous heat wave."
More: Bomb cyclone, anvil zits and other weird weather terms meteorologist Ryan Maue referred to the heat as a "death ridge" that will bring calm winds and bone-dry conditions, in addition to the extreme heat. (A "ridge" is an area of high atmospheric pressure, one that prevents clouds and rain from forming.)
No cooling showers are expected, either: "The chance for precipitation will remain virtually nil," the weather service in Atlanta said.
Patty Wesel, 8, from Marietta, Georgia, jumps in the spray of a sprinkler on the National Mall in front of the Washington Monument on July 7, 2010. (Photo: Alex Brandon, AP)
The duration of the heat wave could make it "life-threatening," meteorologist Jonathan Erdman said. "Minimize your time outdoors during the hottest times of day, typically from late morning through late afternoon. Drink plenty of liquids and wear light, loose-fitting clothing if you must be outside for longer periods of time," he advised.
Unfortunately, the unusual heat is predicted to continue baking the Southeast well into early June, according to the latest forecast from the Climate Prediction Center.
Extreme heat -- perhaps all-time record highs -- to be challenged this weekend across the Southeast. Weather models have consistently been > 100°F from Tallahassee into southern GA and SC.A "death ridge" is blocking and shutting down storms = calm winds + bone dry. Friday:
'-- Ryan Maue (@RyanMaue) May 21, 2019 More: Meteorologists calling for average rainy season barring major storm system
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Experts: Average rainy season on tap barring storms May 22, 2019, 5:45 p.m.
Balmy and breezy weather developing today May 23, 2019, 7:40 a.m.
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VIDEO - Newshour - Austrian F1 star Niki Lauda dies at 70 - BBC Sounds
Sun, 26 May 2019 14:50
NewshourLegendary Austrian F1 driver, Niki Lauda, is remembered by fellow drivers
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VIDEO - (17) New Day on Twitter: "A manipulated video spreading a false claim that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi slurred her words after meeting with President Trump was removed by YouTube, but one version still up on Facebook has been viewed more than 2.5 m
Sun, 26 May 2019 10:43
A manipulated video spreading a false claim that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi slurred her words after meeting with President Trump was removed by YouTube, but one version still up on Facebook has been viewed more than 2.5 million times,
@donie reports.
VIDEO - Apple's Ex-Retail Chief Angela Ahrendts Brushes Off Criticism - Bloomberg
Sun, 26 May 2019 04:18
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VIDEO - Team Pelosi Accuses Trump Of Posting 'Doctored' Video Of Her Stammering; NBC: There's Just One Problem
Sun, 26 May 2019 04:18
The bitter feud between President Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi continues to escalate, with new nicknames, new accusations and counter-accusations, and, now, a new video posted by the president that Pelosi's team decried as ''doctored'' but that NBC News notes appears to simply be a montage of the speaker's stammering.
Amid Pelosi's accusations that Trump threw a ''temper tantrum'' in a closed-door meeting with Democrats and is engaged in a ''cover-up,'' Trump tweeted a video aired on Fox Business' ''Lou Dobbs Tonight'' that is a 30-second montage of Pelosi stammering repeatedly over the course of a 20-minute news conference Thursday.
'-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 24, 2019
In response, Pelosi's Chief of Staff Drew Hammill accused the president of posting a ''doctored video.'' ''Hours before the posting of this doctored video, @washingtonpost reports that doctored Pelosi videos are multiplying across social media,'' he wrote, referencing a Post report on a different video circulating on social media.
Hours before the posting of this doctored video, @washingtonpost reports that doctored Pelosi videos are multiplying across social media
'-- Drew Hammill (@Drew_Hammill) May 24, 2019
Pelosi's daughter Christine Pelosi also declared the video a ''fake.'' ''Fake video altered for speed- just like you did to Acosta,'' she wrote, a reference to the infamous Acosta video, which Trump critics said was deliberately ''doctored,'' an accusation further analysis debunked. ''Dig deeper '-- you can give the presidency more respect than this.''
Fake video altered for speed- just like you did to Acosta.
Dig deeper '' you can give the presidency more respect than this. #BeBest, @potus!
'-- Christine Pelosi (@sfpelosi) May 24, 2019
But as NBC explains, Team Pelosi's ''doctored'' and ''fake'' descriptions appear to be wrong. While a digitial forensics expert did determine that a different video starring Pelosi was altered to make it appear that she was slurring her words, the video posted by Trump does not appear to have been ''altered for speed,'' as the speaker's daughter alleged.
''Hany Farid, a computer-science professor and digital-forensics expert at University of California, Berkeley, told The Post that there was no doubt that video had been altered,'' NBC News reports. ''But he said he believed the video Trump tweeted Thursday had not been slowed down.''
''Unlike the video referred to in The Washington Post article, I don't believe that this video montage was slowed down. This montage, however, is highly deceptive as it compiles in rapid succession relatively small verbal stumbles in an attempt to portray Speaker Pelosi as stumbling through her press conference,'' Farid told the outlet.
As The Daily Wire noted Thursday, the Trump and Pelosi feud has grown more caustic '--and personal '-- this week, with Trump describing the Democratic leader as a ''mess'' and having ''lost it'' and Pelosi mocking his ''extremely stable genius'' description of himself and condemning him for not acting ''presidential.''
When the ''extremely stable genius'' starts acting more presidential, I'll be happy to work with him on infrastructure, trade and other issues.
'-- Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) May 23, 2019
Trump also coined a new nickname for Pelosi this week. ''The president, who has largely avoided direct personal attacks on the speaker, finally gave her a derogatory nickname '-- calling her 'Crazy Nancy,' after Ms. Pelosi had suggested Mr. Trump's behavior was so erratic it required an 'intervention' from his family and staff,'' The New York Times reported Thursday.
Despite her suggestion that Trump is unfit for office, Speaker Pelosi has been working behind closed doors to hold her colleagues back from pushing forward on impeachment, reportedly warning them that Trump ''wants to be impeached'' so he can be vindicated by the Senate.
VIDEO - The Truth In Theresa May's Tears | Russell Brand - YouTube
Sun, 26 May 2019 04:09
VIDEO - WATCH: Trans Actor Says Abortion Isn't Just A Woman's Right, It's A Trans Man's Right
Sun, 26 May 2019 04:02
In a college commencement speech on Saturday, trans actor Laverne Cox, a man who identifies as a woman, lamented that women who identify as men are not included in the abortion debate.
According to HuffPost, Cox most famous for the role of Sophia Burset on Netflix's ''Orange is the New Black,'' gave a speech at Pitzer College in Claremont, California, where the actor recalled a dispute with a Twitter follower who criticized a tweet that erased ''trans brothers' struggle in this fight'' by regarding abortion only as a woman's right to bodily autonomy.
''Woman's body. Woman's right to choose. End of story,'' was Cox's tweet accused of excluding transgender people.
''I said to myself: 'Can we just have a moment where we keep this simple? There's so much going on in the world right now and it is so complicated,''' Cox said at the commencement speech. '''Can we have a moment for women? For women to be in solidarity with each other? Can I just be in solidarity with my sisters on this issue? Do we have to make it about all of the complicated nuances of the issue?'''
After reflection, Cox realized that perhaps the critic had a point and that the trans man factor should be included in the abortion debate, because, after all, trans men '-- women presenting themselves as men '-- can become pregnant. The actor said that this should be an opportunity to examine the inclusivity of our language on certain issues.
''As I continued to process, I thought, for the first time, 'What if I were a transgender man?' What if I were a transgender man'... and for whatever reason I became pregnant unintentionally? If I were that trans man, I would really want to have language that incorporated and included my experience,'' Cox said. ''When we use language that excludes groups of people on pertinent issues, it can jeopardize their health and well-being. Language that is appropriate and fully inclusive is a matter of life and death for so many people out there.''
Finally, Cox advised the graduates in the audience that they will be faced with many uncomfortable decisions that may exclude other people.
''What this brought up for me is that as you go out into the world, you're going to be faced with a lot of difficult decisions, a lot of things that will make you uncomfortable, that are complicated and nuanced issues. And sometimes you might just want to keep it simple,'' Cox said. ''Can we focus on this part of the issue right now and just leave this out '• leave this group of people out?' And what I would like to remind you of today is that when we are leaving people out, we are not really doing the work to be inclusive.''
WATCH (Start at 53:58):
Multiple Hollywood actors and actresses have come out in recent weeks to push for abortion in the wake of Georgia and Alabama passing restrictive abortion laws. Just this week, Academy Award-winning actress Anne Hathaway joined the fray by denouncing the movement as the work of ''white women.''
''Yes the anti-abortion movement is primarily about controlling women's bodies under the premise (for many, sincere) of saving lives, and yes this law is primarily the work of white men HOWEVER a white woman sponsored the bill and a white woman signed it into law,'' she wrote in an Instagram post. ''As we're resisting, let us also call out the complicity of the white women who made this awful moment possible, and which''make no mistake''WILL lead to the unnecessary and avoidable deaths of women, a disproportionate number of whom will be poor and/or black.''
VIDEO - Borderless (2019) | EMERGENCY BACKUP - YouTube
Sun, 26 May 2019 03:50
VIDEO - CrossFit quits Facebook, Instagram, accuses social media giant of censorship, being 'utopian socialists' | Fox News
Sun, 26 May 2019 03:44
CrossFit, the branded workout regimen, accused Facebook of being ''utopian socialists'' and left the platform after the social network deleted a group dedicated to a diet.
The move to quit both Facebook and Instagram came in the wake of the decision to delete ''without warning or explanation the Banting7DayMealPlan,'' a group that advocated a diet aimed at eating ''food that is as close to its natural state as possible '-- free from processing, additives, preservatives and sugar."
The group suspension was later overturned, but CrossFit issued a lengthy statement announcing the end of their presence on the platform.
''All activity on CrossFit, Inc.'s Facebook and Instagram accounts was suspended as of May 22, 2019, as CrossFit investigates the circumstances pertaining to Facebook's deletion of the Banting7DayMealPlan and other well-known public complaints about the social-media company that may adversely impact the security and privacy of our global CrossFit community,'' the statement read.
The company provided eight ''publicly sourced complaints'' as the reasons for quitting.
''Facebook collects and aggregates user information and shares it with state and federal authorities, as well as security organizations from other countries,'' the first reason read.
''Facebook collaborates with government security agencies on massive citizen surveillance programs such as PRISM,'' CrossFit said in the second reason.
''Facebook censors and removes user accounts based on unknown criteria and at the request of third parties including government and foreign government agencies,'' it continued.
''Facebook collects, aggregates, and sells user information as a matter of business. Its business model allows governments and businesses alike to use its algorithmically conjured advertising categories as sophisticated data-mining and surveillance tools.''
"Facebook's news feeds are censored and crafted to reflect the political leanings of Facebook's utopian socialists while remaining vulnerable to misinformation campaigns designed to stir up violence and prejudice."
'-- CrossFit
The company then added that ''Facebook's news feeds are censored and crafted to reflect the political leanings of Facebook's utopian socialists while remaining vulnerable to misinformation campaigns designed to stir up violence and prejudice.''
The statement noted that CrossFit is a ''voluntary user of and contributor to this marketplace, can and must remove itself from this particular manifestation of the public square when it becomes clear that such responsibilities are betrayed or reneged upon to the detriment of our community.''
''Common decency demands that we do so, as do our convictions regarding fitness, health, and nutrition, which sit at the heart of CrossFit's identity and prescription,'' it added.
VIDEO - Jennifer ðŸ--±ðŸ‡ºðŸ‡¸ðŸ--± on Twitter: "The stress of his political vendetta getting to him? Or upcoming declass ? Nadler had a medical episode at an event w/ Mayor Blasio in NYC. "Jerry, take a drink, you look a little dehydrated, brother. You s
Sun, 26 May 2019 02:32
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VIDEO - Hoboken's E-Scooter Program In Chaos After Just 3 Days, Streets Filled With Riders Breaking Traffic Laws '' CBS New York
Sat, 25 May 2019 15:54
HOBOKEN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) '' Three days in and it's already a disaster in the eyes of many New Jersey residents.
Hoboken's e-scooter rental program kicked off on Monday after the state legalized the use of the electric vehicles.
Although they're popular and eco-friendly, the e-scooters aren't getting a friendly welcome from everyone forced to dodge users not following any traffic laws.
Hoboken residents told CBS2 riders are breaking traffic rules and making the roads even more dangerous.
CBS2 cameras caught people riding on the sidewalk, running red lights, and going the wrong way down one-way streets since the program started less than a week ago.
E-scooter user caught going the wrong way in Hoboken. (Credit: CBS2)
It was such a concern already, police have put out warning signs, warning the two-wheeled terrors to obey the laws.
E-scooter users not wearing helmets in the middle of busy streets in Hoboken. (Credit: CBS2)
''I've seen so many kids out here riding around without helmets, they're weaving in and out'... It's hard enough trying to avoid pedestrians, it's the most preposterous policy I've ever seen,'' one furious driver told CBS2.
The company that operates the scooters has set up information tents to educate riders on safety and traffic laws.
It's unclear what local police will do if scooter users continue to disregard the warning signs.
Hoboken police warning signs for e-scooters users not obeying traffic laws. (Credit: @HobokenPD)
The chaos after just three days is likely to unnerve New York City residents still opposed to electric bikes and scooters in the five boroughs.
MORE: Two Lawmakers Push To Legalize e-Bikes, Scooters In New York
New York is one of the last states that has yet to define and legalize e-bikes and scooters, but if the bill passes, it could bring masses of them to the city.
State Senator Jessica Ramos and Assemblywoman Nily Rozic's bill would allow local municipalities to determine the rules.
The New York City Council banned motorized scooters in 2004, citing safety concerns. Throttle e-bikes are not legal in New York City and carry a $500 fine on those caught using them.
VIDEO - Struggling CNN cuts staff even as it moves to fancy new digs | Fox News Video
Sat, 25 May 2019 15:32
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VIDEO - MSNBC's Nicolle Wallace to Beto O'Rourke: What Can We Do to Better Cover Your Candidacy? (VIDEO)
Sat, 25 May 2019 15:14
MSNBC's Nicolle Wallace to Beto O'Rourke: What Can We Do to Better Cover Your Candidacy? (VIDEO) by Cassandra Fairbanks May 24, 2019 While interviewing Democratic presidential candidate Robert O'Rourke, MSNBC's Nicole Wallace let their mask of impartiality slip as she asked him how the network can better serve him.''Play media critic, what can we do better, those of us trying to cover your candidacies, from very far away from where the first votes will be cast in Iowa and New Hampshire,'' Wallace asked, getting a chuckle out of the failed senate candidate.
Nicolle Wallace to Beto O'Rourke: "What can we do to better cover your candidacy?"
'-- Jeff Cimmino (@jeffcimmino) May 24, 2019
While the media may love O'Rourke, it seems as though their party's base have little interest in his campaign.
According to a report from Forbes, CNN's town hall event with O'Rourke actually dragged their ratings down 30%.
''CNN's ratings delivery was down nearly 30% compared to its average Tuesday night, which over the last few months has typically reached more than one million viewers. O'Rourke even failed to exceed the audience that watched a CNN town hall featuring third-tier candidate John Hickenlooper, which drew 745,000 viewers in March. The lowest-rated town hall so far this cycle was CNN's event with Julian Castro, which reached just 654,000 viewers in April,'' the Forbes report explained.
A recent poll found that only 2% of voters are sold on the Texan. The Monmouth University poll of likely 2020 New Hampshire Democratic primary voters had him in sixth place in the crowded candidate field.
VIDEO - Watch This 'Doctored' Nancy Pelosi and Jerry Nadler Video Before Snopes Refutes It
Sat, 25 May 2019 00:29
Skip to contentWhy is the media downplaying recent videos of Nadler, Pelosi? - May 24, 2019 As you can clearly see, this video was slowed down and zoomed-in in a few segments to better analyze Nancy Pelosi's speaking pattern and Jerry Nadler's health scare, but the mainstream media, of course, will say this video is completely ''fake.''
Remember how the corporate media was recently refuting memes of Joe Biden as ''fake'' even though everybody knew they were clearly meant to poke fun at him and to place emphasis on his creepy behavior towards women.
Also, keep in mind how the mainstream media ran cover for Hillary Clinton's health concerns during the 2016 election, even after the sensational video came out of Clinton collapsing at the 9/11 memorial.
Additional mirror:
Somebody lead an intervention for @SpeakerPelosi and @RepJerryNadler They totally need Brain Force Plus
'-- Rob Dew (@DewsNewz) May 24, 2019
If you'd like to watch an undoctored video of Nancy Pelosi straight from C-SPAN, watch below and decide for yourself whether she's struggling.
VIDEO - Jussie Smollett update: Judge rules to unseal records in 'Empire' actor's case |
Fri, 24 May 2019 16:27
CHICAGO (WLS) -- A judge ordered prosecutors and police to unseal documents in the case of "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett on Thursday.
The records were sealed in March shortly after charges against Smollett were abruptly dropped by prosecutors. Attorneys representing the media, including ABC7, challenged the sealing of the records.
WATCH: Timeline of key moments in Jussie Smollett caseAs a result, nearly 300 pages of court filings were released by the Cook County State's Attorney's office on Thursday.
"This is about transparency and trust in the system and we believe the public has a right to know what the government did here and why," media attorney Natalie Spears said.
READ: Judge's ruling to unseal documentsThe judge said Smollett might have been entitled to privacy and keeping the records sealed if he hadn't given a nationally-televised interview about the incident on "Good Morning America."
WATCH: Jussie Smollett gives emotional interview on 'Good Morning America'"These are not the actions of a person seeking privacy. It was not necessary for him to address this so publicly and to such an extent," Judge Steven Watkins wrote.
WATCH: Jussie Smollett on 'Good Morning America': 'I'm pissed off' The Chicago Fraternal Order of Police has long been critical of how the state's attorney handled the case.
"We at FOP have done our part to make sure that justice and the light of justice has been shown on this case," said Kevin Graham, president of the Fraternal Order of Police.
Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx released a statement saying she supports unsealing the records and that her office plans to release more material related to the investigation next week.
While there is little new in what was released by the state's attorney's office Thursday, Chicago police said they have more than 600 pages of evidence as well as videotape and other physical evidence. They plan to release what they can next week.
RELATED: City sues Jussie Smollett for cost of investigating alleged staged attackThe "Empire" actor faced several charges for allegedly staging a racist and homophobic attack on himself in January.
The TV actor claimed he was the victim of a vicious hate crime in the Streeterville neighborhood on January 29. He said two men physically attacked him while yelling racist and homophobic slurs, threw a chemical liquid on him and looped a rope around his neck.
Two days after the alleged attack, Chicago police released surveillance images of two people they said they considered persons of interest in the attack.
But the investigation turned on Smollett. He was accused of allegedly orchestrating the attack with the Osundairo brothers, who he knew. One brother was an extra on "Empire" and the other was Smollett's personal trainer.
Prosecutors said Smollett paid the brothers to pull off the staged attack.
Smollett had also reported a threatening letter sent to him on the "Empire" set containing a white powder, a week before the alleged attack. The letter is currently in the FBI crime lab for analysis, sources said, and experts believe Smollett could face federal charges for allegedly sending the letter.
All charges against Smollett were dropped in late February in exchange for community service and forfeiture of his $10,000 bond payment.
Smollett has maintained his innocence. The City of Chicago is suing the actor for the costs of the investigation and damage to the city's reputation.
Previous coverage:Judge asked to recuse himself will not; other judge will rule on special prosecutorJudge asked to recuse himself from petition to appoint special prosecutor in 'Empire' actor's caseJussie Smollett: 'Empire' actor's contract extended, no plans for character to returnJussie Smollett News: Osundairo brothers file defamation lawsuit against 'Empire' actor's attorneysKim Foxx receives death threats after Jussie Smollett charges droppedKim Foxx texts show she thought number of Jussie Smollett charges 'excessive'Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx asks for review of how Jussie Smollett case was handled
Jussie Smollett update: City sues 'Empire' actor for cost of investigating alleged staged attackJussie Smollett attorney responds to Chicago's civil suit threatChicago to file civil suit against 'Empire' actor for not paying $130K cost of police investigationIn wake of Jussie Smollett, suburban police chiefs take no confidence stance against State's Attorney Kim FoxxJussie Smollett case leads to protests for, against Cook County State's Attorney Kim FoxxJussie Smollett update: Thousands referred for alternative prosecution by Cook County prosecutors haven't completed processJussie Smollett update: City of Chicago asks Jussie Smollett to pay for $130,000 cost of investigationJussie Smollett update: What's inside the CPD investigative file?Jussie Smollett update: FBI reviewing circumstances of Jussie Smollett's charges being dropped, sources confirmJussie Smollett update: Charges against 'Empire' actor dropped; 'not an exoneration,' prosecutor saysRELATED: Mayor Emanuel calls decision to drop charges against Smollett 'whitewash of justice'RELATED: Charges dropped against 'Empire' actor Jussie SmollettRELATED: Osundairo brother at center of Jussie Smollett case compete in Chicago boxing matchRELATED: Jussie Smollett update: 'Pain and anger' around 'Empire' in recent weeks, Lee Daniels saysRELATED: FOP accuses Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx of interfering in Jussie Smollett investigationRELATED: Jussie Smollett pleads not guilty to disorderly conduct chargesRELATED: Jussie Smollett update: Texts shed light on why State's Attorney Kim Foxx recused herselfRELATED: Jussie Smollett appears in court for hearing; Cameras allowed for Thursday hearing
RELATED: Jussie Smollett update: Brothers 'taken advantage of' by Smollett, attorney saysRELATED: Jussie Smollett indicted on 16 felony counts by grand juryRELATED: Brothers reportedly involved in Jussie Smollett alleged hoax release statement expressing 'regret'RELATED: Jussie Smollett's check to brothers obtained by ABC NewsRELATED: Jussie Smollett's character to be removed from 'Empire', producers sayRELATED: What's next for Jussie Smollett? Possible big police billRELATED: Jussie Smollett alleged hoax may cast doubt on real hate crimes, advocates fearRELATED: Jussie Smollett out on bond after being accused of staging attackRELATED: Jussie Smollett charged with disorderly conduct for filing false police report, prosecutors sayRELATED: Cook Co. State's Attorney Kim Foxx recuses herself from Jussie Smollett investigationRELATED: Brothers told police Smollett was upset threatening letter didn't get enough attention, staged attackRELATED: Activist calls for Smollett's arrest, believes actor lied about attackRELATED: Brothers tell police that Jussie Smollett paid them to stage attack, official saysRELATED: Sources: Police investigating whether Smollett staged attack with help of othersRELATED: Timeline of key moments in alleged attack on Jussie SmollettRELATED: Jussie Smollett breaks silence on Chicago attackRELATED: 'Empire' actor's family releases statement on attack, pictures of possible persons of interest releasedRELATED: Photos show potential persons of interest in 'Empire' actor attack, police sayRELATED: 'Empire' actor Jussie Smollett attacked in Chicago in possible hate crime, police say
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VIDEO - Resignation speech: what Theresa May said and what she meant | Politics | The Guardian
Fri, 24 May 2019 13:59
Back in 2016, we gave the British people a choice. Against all predictions, the British people voted to leave the European Union. I feel as certain today as I did three years ago that in a democracy, if you give people a choice you have a duty to implement what they decide.
This is a familiar line from Theresa May, whose lineage can be traced right back to the ''Brexit means Brexit'' catchphrase of her first few months in office. But she does genuinely believe not only that the result of the Brexit referendum must be implemented '' but that failing to do so is dangerous for Britain's democracy.
I believe it was right to persevere, even when the odds against success seemed high. But it is now clear to me that it is in the best interests of the country for a new prime minister to lead that effort.
This is a sideswipe at the colleagues who have been trying to bring her down for months, and were driven to fresh spasms of fury when she entered talks with Jeremy Corbyn, in a bid to win Labour support for a modified version of her Brexit deal.
Her efforts ultimately failed '' but she's saying she stands by the decision to keep on trying, right up until the end.
It is, and will always remain, a matter of deep regret to me that I have not been able to deliver Brexit.
May knows that whatever she hoped would be her achievements, her three-year tenure in Downing Street is likely to be remembered chiefly for her failure to achieve the central task her government was set by the electorate.
She's signalling here that she knows this failure is a burden she will carry for the rest of her life.
It will be for my successor to seek a way forward that honours the result of the referendum. To succeed, he or she will have to find consensus in parliament where I have not. Such a consensus can only be reached if those on all sides of the debate are willing to compromise.
This is the ''good luck with that, Boris'' passage. May has ultimately been brought down by those in her own party seeking a cleaner break with the European Union, which they believe the obligations contained in the Irish backstop will prevent.
But whoever succeeds her will have to govern with the support of a hung parliament, unless and until they call a general election. So a harder Brexit, let alone no deal, is highly unlikely to command a majority in parliament.
May is pointing out here that whoever is behind the big black door in Downing Street, the structural challenges of delivering Brexit remain '' and they may become more, not less difficult, if her successor is more dogmatic.
Security. Freedom. Opportunity. Those values have guided me throughout my career. But the unique privilege of this office is to use this platform to give a voice to the voiceless, to fight the burning injustices that still scar our society.
This was followed by a list of the achievements May most prizes, and was an attempt to impose some coherence on a premiership defined almost exclusively by Brexit.
But two of the things she mentioned, the public inquiry into the Grenfell Tower disaster, and the race disparity audit, are efforts to investigate why things have gone badly wrong, in a Britain her party has run for almost nine years.
Another, ending the postcode lottery in mental health, appears more of an aspiration than a success.
I will shortly leave the job that it has been the honour of my life to hold '' the second female prime minister but certainly not the last. I do so with no ill-will, but with enormous and enduring gratitude to have had the opportunity to serve the country I love.
This was the moment May's usually steely demeanour collapsed, her voice cracking with emotion as she uttered those last few words.
She may have been more low-key about it than the flamboyant Boris Johnson, but she has long been a deeply ambitious and self-confident politician, who believed she was the right person for Britain's top job '' and now it's over.
Theresa May's voice cracks at end of resignation speech '' video
VIDEO - (6) CNN Politics on Twitter: "White House counselor Kellyanne Conway claims that Speaker Nancy Pelosi treats her like a maid and is not "pro-woman" because Pelosi declined to speak with her about negotiations with the White House
Thu, 23 May 2019 22:08
White House counselor Kellyanne Conway claims that Speaker Nancy Pelosi treats her like a maid and is not "pro-woman" because Pelosi declined to speak with her about negotiations with the White House
VIDEO - Pelosi questions Trump's fitness to stay. He calls her crazy
Thu, 23 May 2019 21:39
WASHINGTON (AP) '-- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi openly questioned President Donald Trump's fitness to remain in office Thursday, suggesting a staff or family ''intervention'' for the good of the nation after his dramatic blow-up at a White House meeting with Democrats. Trump responded by calling her ''crazy.''
''She's a mess,'' Trump told reporters at an afternoon news conference in which he lined up White House staff to testify to his calmness at a meeting with Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer. ''Cryin' Chuck, Crazy Nancy ... I watched Nancy and she was all crazy yesterday,'' he claimed.
As for himself, he declared, ''I'm an extremely stable genius.''
Both the Republican president and Democratic leaders dug in a day after Trump stalked out of the Cabinet Room demanding an end to all congressional probes before he would work with Congress on crumbling U.S. infrastructure and other matters. By Thursday as Congress prepared to recess for the Memorial Day break, both sides were questioning each other's stability, with the president insisting on Twitter that he was calm when he left the White House meeting that was to focus on infrastructure spending after just three minutes.
Pelosi said Trump has established a pattern of unpredictability, and at one point she even joked about the 25th Amendment, the Constitution's provision laying out the procedure for replacing a president.
''I wish that his family or his administration or his staff would have an intervention for the good of the country,'' Pelosi said at her weekly news conference, adding that she prays for him and the nation.
''Maybe he wants to take a leave of absence,'' she said. Asked whether she's concerned about Trump's well-being, she replied, ''I am.''
Pelosi also said the White House is ''crying out'' for the Democrats to launch impeachment hearings '-- the idea being that such a move would help him politically. White House aides believe that if Democrats move to impeach '-- and even if they win approval of articles of impeachment in the House '-- Trump would be acquitted in the GOP-controlled Senate, supporting his assertion that he's a victim of Democratic harassment and helping him toward re-election. But the president denied that he's urging the Democrats on.
''I don't think anybody wants to be impeached,'' Trump said.
However genuine, accusations of infirmity dominated the exchanges on Thursday and raised questions about whether Pelosi and Trump could work together on must-do tasks this year, such as raising the debt limit and funding the government. White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said staff-level work on critical policy and spending continues.
Yet Sanders also said on CNN that it was ''lunacy'' and ''insane'' for Democrats to think everyone could just proceed after Pelosi accused Trump of a ''cover-up'' just before the meeting Wednesday.
''It's very hard to have a meeting where you accuse the president of the United States of a crime and an hour later show up and act as if nothing has happened,'' Sanders told reporters outside the White House.
Hanging over the increasingly personal exchanges is a drumbeat among about two dozen Democrats and one Republican to launch impeachment hearings against Trump based on details in special counsel Robert Mueller's report that Trump repeatedly tried to block the investigation . Pelosi has resisted, preferring a methodical process by which Congress investigates and lays out the facts on the question of obstruction of justice. But she's been clear this week that any such finding could be worthy of a formal indictment by the House '-- that is, impeachment.
Pelosi also is balancing the calls for impeachment with the concerns of members from divided districts who helped flip the House to Democratic control and now face tough re-elections 2020.
Pelosi, the second in line to the presidency, said she thinks Trump's actions Wednesday were part of his skill at distraction. But she also suggested that he's unpredictable.
''Sometimes when we're talking to him he agrees,'' she said, only to change his mind. ''He says he's in charge and he may be.''
During questions, Pelosi also joked with a reporter about the 25th Amendment. ''That's a good idea. I am going to take it up with my caucus. Not that they haven't been thinking about it.''
She has been insulting Trump since the meeting on Wednesday.
''For some reason, maybe it was lack of confidence on his part ... he took a pass, and it just makes me wonder why he did that,'' she told reporters back on Capitol Hill. ''In any event I pray for the president of the United States.''
''Nancy, thank you so much for your prayers, I know you truly mean it!'' Trump tweeted from the White House.
Yet the White House is returning the Democrats' insults.
Repeatedly pressed on why the president seemed unwilling to multitask and work on legislation as other presidents under investigation have, Sanders maintained, ''I think the Democrats have shown that they're not capable of doing anything else.''
In fact, the Democratic-controlled House has passed several bills on issues including firearms background checks, prescription drugs and campaign finance reforms '-- though they were dead on arrival in the GOP-controlled Senate.
Sanders insisted that Trump's walk-out Wednesday wasn't planned before Pelosi's comments and that the White House placard that appeared on Trump's lectern as he denounced Democrats moments later had been printed ''weeks ago.'' Asked why Trump couldn't work with Democrats after Pelosi's comments because he felt insulted, Sanders said, ''The president's feelings weren't hurt. She accused him of a crime. Let that sink in.''
Associated Press Writers Lisa Mascaro, Mary Clare Jalonick, Zeke Miller and Jonathan Lemire contributed to this report.
Follow Kellman and Miller on Twitter at and .

Clips & Documents

All Clips
batali update.mp3
BBC with Syrian Shill from DC on Assad Atrocities.mp3
boeing updates ABC.mp3
CIA inside dope on the alias Jonna Mendez.mp3
CNN DISCTRACTS from actual stammering with cover video Donie O'Sullivan is the expert.mp3
Comey vs Lynch ... who_s lying now over the term 'MATTER'.m4a
DN finds old impeachment clip from Graham.mp3
ebola from the one woman reporter.mp3
Everest disaster and crowds CBS.mp3
exposing pelosi at progressives event.mp3
Hoboken’s E-Scooter Program In Chaos After Just 3 Days, Streets Filled With Riders Breaking Traffic Laws.mp3
Juncker on Stupid Nationalists loving their own country.mp3
looking at old data for global warming.mp3
Martha McCullum explains genesisi of Trump-Pelosi health tete a tete.m4a
Martha McCullum is clueless about immigrant sponsors.m4a
Naomi Wolf’s Book Corrected by Host in BBC Interview.mp3
NeedToImpeach Trump Commercial on MSNB-ActBlue.m4a
nudenik Tomm Coleman on CNN.mp3
pelosi on brezinski show.mp3
Pelosi stammering video TRUMP tweeted out.mp3
pelosit vs trump walk out infrastructure.mp3
Pooper on Pelosi DOCTORED video-1-FB VP Product Policy Monika Bickert-Intro.mp3
Pooper on Pelosi DOCTORED video-2-FB VP Product Policy Monika Bickert-You are in the news business.mp3
scarborough on Trumps mental decline.mp3
sharp as a tack Brezinski ISO.mp3
squeaky brooks.mp3
squeaky judy one.mp3
squeaky judy two.mp3
teresa May bailing out in tears end of talk.mp3
Theresa May tearful last words.mp3
tillerson blabbing DN.mp3
top of the news storms ABC.mp3
Trey Gowdy with MoneyHoney Maria on Papadapolous exsculpatory transcripts.mp3
Trump questions FoxNews motives.mp3
WAPO gets bogus IRS oimmen about tax returnsa DN.mp3
weinstein update ABC.mp3
WikiLeaks founder indicted on Espionage Act charges, raising issue of press freedoms.mp3
With DeBlasio Jerry Nadler falls ill during a New York event.mp3
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