1142: Cornageddon

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

2h 51m
May 30th, 2019
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Executive Producers: Sir James, Baron of Class G Airspace, Sir Francis of SRQ, Earl of SW Florida, Sir JD - Baron of Silicon Valley, Sir Cal of LavenderBlossoms.org

Associate Executive Producers: Sir Thomas, the Unbelieving Knight, Hawk, Lukas Teijema

Cover Artist: Sir Andrew Gardner

Chapters

0:00
Start of Show
Woodstock
1:10
Farmers Share Impact of Floods on Crops Using #NoPlant19
Woodstock
5:58
Canadian Minister of Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna Explains Talking Point Strategy
Woodstock
7:35
Nancy Pelosi Explains The Wrap-Up Smear
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8:26
Hillary Clinton Calls For Facebook to Remove 'Sexist' Edited Video of Nancy Pelosi
Woodstock
11:33
CNBC: 'Facebook As We Knew It... Is Over, Says Recode's Kara Swisher'
Woodstock
16:17
Robert Mueller's Statement on Russia Investigation
Woodstock
44:28
NSA Conducted Illegal Surveillance on American Citizens Between 2012 and 2016
Woodstock
51:55
Joe Biden Discusses His Aneurysm Operations
Woodstock
55:46
Kamala Harris Proposes Preclearance Procedure for Abortion Laws
Woodstock
58:52
Netflix Threatens Boycotting Georgia If Abortion Laws Go Into Effect
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1:00:08
Credits
Woodstock
1:15:19
Producer Note: Powerline Networking
Woodstock
1:21:17
PodfatherGear.com Banned From Amazon Affiliate Program
Woodstock
1:23:39
JCD's Microsoft Spam Call
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1:25:13
Bilderberg Conference 2019
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1:30:22
Stacey Abrams
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1:36:49
Jimmy Kimmel Live: 'Can Young People Read a Clock?'
Woodstock
1:42:32
'Yellow Vests' Facebook Group Frozen on European Election Day
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1:43:28
Bloomberg: 'Amazon Is Poised to Unleash a Long-Feared Purge of Small Suppliers'
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1:46:34
Uber Starts Deactivating Accounts of Drivers With Low Ratings
Woodstock
1:47:52
AC's Sister Fined For Not Improperly Parking Byrd Scooter
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1:48:48
Newark (New Jersey, US) Starts Ticketing Drivers Who Give Money To Panhandlers
Woodstock
1:50:22
JCD's Observation of the Homeless Situation in Austin
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1:52:54
Gab Wants to Fork Mastadon
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1:58:34
DNC Imposes Tougher Rules to Qualify for Debates
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1:59:25
Study Finds Vaping Increases Risks of Heart Attacks
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2:01:31
Donations
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2:10:33
Meetups
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2:12:59
Birthdays & Title Changes
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2:14:52
Michael Rapaport
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2:17:27
Julian Assange is Too Sick To Make Court Appearance
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2:19:05
Malaysia's Minister of Environment Yeo Bee Yin Announces 3,000 Tonnes of Waste Will Be Returned To Foreign Nations
Woodstock
2:20:53
The New York Times: 'Trump Undercuts Bolton on North Korea and Iran'
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2:23:28
Venezuela's Central Bank Releases Economic Figures
Woodstock
2:23:56
Tim Draper on Bitcoin
Woodstock
2:26:18
NPR: 'Guidance Reminder: On Abortion Procedures, Terminology & Rights'
Woodstock
2:28:58
Colorado Family Planning Initiative
Woodstock
2:29:43
German Government Official Advises Jews Not To Wear Kippah Caps Everywhere
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2:32:39
Iran
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2:33:55
Space
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2:42:21
Untitled
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2:43:55
End of Show
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Any Collusion?
Mueller did not write this himself nor rehearse
Emerald Robinson '''¸ on Twitter: "If you're AG Bill Barr and you're in Alaska today, do you allow Bob Mueller to hold a presser at the DOJ? No way. Is it possible Mueller just did it with no authorization on his last day at work? And is that why it was
Thu, 30 May 2019 03:53
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Court rebukes NSA over surveillance of U.S. citizens | McClatchy Washington Bureau
Tue, 28 May 2019 11:17
The National Security Agency campus at Fort Meade, Md. Patrick Semansky AP WASHINGTON U.S. intelligence agencies conducted illegal surveillance on American citizens over a five-year period, a practice that earned them a sharp rebuke from a secret court that called the matter a ''very serious'' constitutional issue.
The criticism is in a lengthy secret ruling that lays bare some of the frictions between the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and U.S. intelligence agencies obligated to obtain the court's approval for surveillance activities.
The ruling, dated April 26 and bearing the label ''top secret,'' was obtained and published Thursday by the news site Circa.
It is rare that such rulings see the light of day, and the lengthy unraveling of issues in the 99-page document opens a window on how the secret federal court oversees surveillance activities and seeks to curtail those that it deems overstep legal authority.
The document, signed by Judge Rosemary M. Collyer, said the court had learned in a notice filed Oct. 26, 2016, that National Security Agency analysts had been conducting prohibited queries of databases ''with much greater frequency than had previously been disclosed to the court.''
It said a judge chastised the NSA's inspector general and Office of Compliance for Operations for an ''institutional 'lack of candor' '' for failing to inform the court. It described the matter as ''a very serious Fourth Amendment issue.''
The Fourth Amendment protects people from unreasonable searches and seizures by the government, and is a constitutional bedrock protection against intrusion.
Parts of the ruling were redacted, including sections that give an indication of the extent of the illegal surveillance, which the NSA told the court in a Jan. 3 notice was partly the fault of ''human error'' and ''system design issues'' rather than intentional illegal searches.
The NSA inspector general's office tallied up the number of prohibited searches conducted in a three-month period in 2015, but the number of analysts who made the searches and the number of queries were blacked out in the ruling.
The NSA gathers communications in ways known as ''upstream'' and ''downstream'' collection. Upstream collection occurs when data are captured as they move through massive data highways '' the internet backbone '' within the United States. Downstream collection occurs as data move outside the country along fiber optic cables and satellite links.
Data captured from both upstream and downstream sources are stored in massive databases, available to be searched when analysts need to, often months or as much as two years after the captures took place.
The prohibited searches the court mentioned involved NSA queries into the upstream databanks, which constitute a fraction of all the data NSA captures around the globe but are more likely to contain the emails and phone calls of people in the United States.
Federal law empowers the NSA and CIA to battle foreign terrorist actions against the United States by collecting the electronic communications of targets believed to be outside the country. While communications of U.S. citizens or residents may get hoovered up in such sweeps, they are considered ''incidental'' and must be ''minimized'' '' removing the identities of Americans '' before broader distribution.
The court filing noted an NSA decision March 30 to narrow collection of ''upstream'' data within the United States. Under that decision, the NSA acknowledged that it had erred in sweeping up the communications of U.S. citizens or residents but said those errors ''were not willful.'' Even so, the NSA said it would no longer collect certain kinds of data known as ''about'' communications, in which a U.S. citizen was merely mentioned.
The NSA announced that change publicly on April 28, two days after the court ruling, saying the agency would limit its sweeps to communications either directly to or from a foreign intelligence target. That change would reduce ''the likelihood that NSA will acquire communications of U.S. persons or others who are not in direct contact with one of the agency's foreign intelligence targets.''
The court document also criticized the FBI's distribution of intelligence data, saying it had disclosed raw surveillance data to sectors of its bureaucracy ''largely staffed by private contractors.''
The ''contractors had access to raw FISA information that went well beyond what was necessary to respond to the FBI's requests,'' it said, adding that the bureau discontinued the practice on April 18, 2016.
Mueller's office shoots down key claim in Michael Wolff's new book 'Siege' | Fox News
Tue, 28 May 2019 18:24
Controversial author Michael Wolff's ''Siege: Trump Under Fire'' is already under fire itself.
Controversial author Michael Wolff's upcoming book, "Siege: Trump Under Fire," reportedly claims that Robert Mueller drew up an obstruction of justice indictment against President Trump '' but a spokesman for Mueller says the claim is wildly inaccurate.
Now "Siege'' already has something in common with its predecessor "Fire and Fury,'' the 2018 best-selling book about the first year of Trump's presidency, which came under fire both for its sourcing and claims.
MICHAEL WOLFF MAY HAVE FAKED TECH ISSUE TO AVOID QUESTION ABOUT TRUMP AFFAIR RUMOR HE STARTED
Wolff's follow-up anti-Trump book is scheduled to hit book stores on June 4 but The Guardian obtained an early copy. "Siege'' claims that Mueller ''drew up a three-count obstruction of justice indictment against Donald Trump before deciding to shelve it,'' according to The Guardian's Edward Helmore.
According to Helmore, Wolff reports that Mueller's office planned to charge the president with ''influencing, obstructing or impeding a pending proceeding,'' ''tampering with a witness, victim or informant'' and ''retaliating against a witness, victim or informant'' but eventually decided to "shelve" it. While The Guardian reporter says he viewed the document, Mueller's office denies that it even exists.
''The documents described do not exist."
'-- Mueller spokesman Peter Carr
''The documents described do not exist," Mueller spokesman Peter Carr told Fox News.
LIBERAL MEDIA FINALLY TURNING ON 'DISGRACEFUL' ANTI-TRUMP AUTHOR MICHAEL WOLFF
Wolff was accused of misrepresenting his levels of access and fabricating events for ''Fire and Fury,'' and it appears "Siege'' will face similar accusations as Mueller's team claims a key document isn't authentic.
The Special Counsel's report did not make a traditional prosecutorial judgment on the obstruction investigation and did not try to determine whether or not the president committed a crime, so documents claiming otherwise are presumably fabrications.
''Questions over the provenance of the documents will only add to controversy and debate around the launch of Wolff's eagerly awaited new book,'' Helmore wrote. ''The document is the most significant aspect of Wolff's new book.''
Wolff's first book ignited a media firestorm as it included negative claims about the president and his family -- namely that some in the administration questioned his mental fitness. At the time, both Trump and White House press secretary Sarah Sanders blasted the book, describing it as a "complete fantasy" and "work of fiction."
"I never spoke to him for book," Trump tweeted in Jan. 2018. "Full of lies, misrepresentations and sources that don't exist."
MICHAEL WOLFF WASN'T WITH TRUMP ON ELECTION NIGHT. THOSE WHO WERE PROVE HIS BOOK WRONG
Sanders said during a 2018 press briefing, ''The book is mistake after mistake after mistake'... I'm not going to waste my time or the country's time going page by page correcting [the book].''
While promoting the first book on HBO's ''Real Time with Bill Maher,'' Wolff said he was ''absolutely sure'' that President Trump was currently having an extramarital affair and teased that his book reveals the mistress if you ''read between the lines.''
Internet sleuths quickly pointed to then-United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley, who was forced to deny the speculation and many media members seemed to turn on the author because of the speculation after initially treating him like an anti-Trump hero. Wolff eventually admitted he didn't know if Trump was having an affair and once appeared to pretend his audio malfunctioned to avoid the topic during an interview.
It will be interesting to see how seriously the mainstream media takes ''Siege'' with all the baggage that now surround claims made by Wolff, who was initially the toast of the industry when promoting ''Fire and Fury.''
Fox News' Sam Dorman contributed to this report.
British ex-spy will not talk to U.S. prosecutor examining Trump probe origins: source - Reuters
Wed, 29 May 2019 14:32
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The former British spy who produced a dossier describing alleged links between Donald Trump and Russia will not cooperate with a prosecutor assigned by U.S. Attorney General William Barr to review how the investigations of Trump and his 2016 election campaign began, a source with knowledge of the situation said.
Christopher Steele, a former Russia expert for the British spy agency MI6, will not answer questions from prosecutor John Durham, named by Barr to examine the origins of the investigations into Trump and his campaign team, said the source close to Steele's London-based private investigation firm, Orbis Business Intelligence.
Trump has given Barr broad authority to declassify intelligence materials related to the investigations. Last week Trump ordered the heads of U.S. spy and law enforcement agencies to cooperate with Durham.
Steele, who had previously collaborated with the FBI on issues such as corruption in the global soccer organization FIFA, was hired in 2016 by Fusion GPS, a Washington-based private investigations firm working for lawyers representing the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign.
Steele produced for Fusion GPS a set of controversial and sometimes salacious reports describing alleged contacts Trump and his team had with Russians before the election.
Trump says Steele's ''fake dossier'' was a key factor behind the investigations and what he claims is a broader ''witch hunt'' against him. He also accuses senior intelligence officials of improperly ''spying'' on his campaign.
According to documents declassified by the Trump administration, the FBI cited Steele's reporting as partial justification for electronic surveillance targeting Carter Page, a one-time Trump campaign advisor with business dealings in Russia.
Democrats accuse Trump of trying to turn attention away from the findings of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, whose report into Russian interference in the 2016 election described numerous links between the Trump campaign and Moscow, and said Trump had repeatedly tried to impede the investigation.
The source close to Steele's company said Steele would not cooperate with Durham's probe but might cooperate with a parallel inquiry by the Justice Department's Inspector General into how U.S. law enforcement agencies handled pre-election investigations into both Trump and Clinton.
Steele also cooperated with Mueller's investigative team, voluntarily submitting to two interviews in September 2017. He also gave written testimony to the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee in August 2018, the source said.
The Justice Department had no immediate comment, and a spokesman for Durham declined to comment.
Reporting By Mark Hosenball; Editing by David Gregorio
Mueller Just Proved His Entire Operation Was A Lawless Political Hit Job
Wed, 29 May 2019 20:45
If there were any doubts about Special Counsel Robert Mueller's political intentions, his unprecedented press conference on Wednesday should put them all to rest. As he made abundantly clear during his doddering reading of a prepared statement that repeatedly contradicted itself, Mueller had no interest in the equal application of the rule of law. He gave the game, and his nakedly political intentions, away repeatedly throughout his statement.
''It is important that the office's written work speak for itself,'' Mueller said, referring to his office's 448-page report. Mueller's report was released to the public by Attorney General William Barr nearly six weeks ago. The entire report, minus limited redactions required by law, has been publicly available, pored through, and dissected. Its contents have been discussed ad nauseum in print and on television. The report has been speaking for itself since April 18, when it was released.
If it's important for the work to speak for itself, then why did Mueller schedule a press conference in which he would speak for it weeks after it was released? The statement, given the venue in which it was provided, is self-refuting.
Let's start with the Mueller team's unique take on the nature of a prosecutor's job. The standard American view of justice, affirmed and enforced by the U.S. Constitution, is that all are presumed innocent absent conviction by a jury of a specific charge of criminal wrongdoing. That is, the natural legal state of an individual in this country is innocence. It is not a state or a nature bestowed by cops or attorneys. Innocence is not granted by unelected bureaucrats or federal prosecutors.
At one point in his remarks, Mueller seemed to agree. Referring to indictments against various Russian individuals and institutions for allegedly hacking American servers during the 2016 election, Mueller said that the indictments ''contain allegations and we are not commenting on the guilt or innocence of any specific defendant.''
''Every defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.''
Had he stopped there, he would have been correct. But then he crafted a brand new standard.
''The order appointing the special counsel authorized us to investigate actions that could obstruct the investigation. We conducted that investigation and kept the office of the acting attorney general apprised of our work,'' Mueller said. ''After that investigation, if we had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so.''
According to Mueller and his team, charged Russians are presumed innocent. An American president, however, is presumed guilty unless and until Mueller's team determines he is innocent. Such a standard is an obscene abomination against the rule of law, one that would never be committed by independent attorneys who place a fidelity to their oaths and impartial enforcement of the law ahead of their political motivations.
The contradictions and double standards didn't stop there, though.
''It would be unfair to potentially accuse somebody of a crime when there can be no court resolution of the actual charge,'' Mueller said, after all but stating that Trump committed a crime for which Mueller never charged him. Just as Mueller's own words and actions at the Wednesday press conference prove that he didn't want his team's report to speak for itself, the report itself proves that Mueller and his team don't believe it's unfair to accuse somebody of something a court cannot resolve.
If they actually believed that, then the 240-page volume II of their report on their obstruction investigation of the president would never have been authored. After all, according to Mueller's own statement, such an operation would be patently unfair. And if it's unfair to air dirty laundry against a target who was never charged, surely it's doubly unfair to do so in writing and on camera during a press conference whose mere existence refutes the very claims of its host.
Mueller revealed himself as little more than a clone of James Comey'--the smarmy, scheming politician who replaced Mueller as the head of the FBI. Recall that it was Comey who assumed for himself powers that did not belong to him by law when he declared at a 2016 press conference no ''reasonable prosecutor'' would charge Hillary Clinton with criminal wrongdoing in her mishandling of classified information and unsanctioned use of a secret, private email server to evade public records laws. Just as Mueller did in his report and Wednesday press conference, Comey followed up his declaration that Hillary would not be charged with statement after statement after statement of all the awful things Hillary Clinton did.
''There is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information,'' Comey said of Clinton. He excoriated her for repeatedly sending and receiving top secret information on her unsecured server which had never been authorized to process classified information. He even said it was possible, due to her ''extreme'' carelessness, that hostile foreign actors had penetrated her system and obtained highly classified information about U.S. national security programs.
Regardless of how you feel about Clinton, Comey's display at that press conference was an embarrassment. He did an extreme disservice to the nation and the rule of law by unilaterally declaring himself the primary arbiter of prosecutorial decisions in the federal government when that authority belongs solely to the Department of Justice. And he did an extreme disservice to Clinton herself by dragging her through the mud in such a manner that clearing her name would be impossible.
In fact, DOJ guidelines expressly prohibit the actions of both Comey and Mueller in naming and shaming individuals who were never formally charged with any wrongdoing.
''As a series of cases makes clear, there is ordinarily 'no legitimate governmental interest served' by the government's public allegation of wrongdoing by an uncharged party, and this is true 'regardless of what criminal charges may . . . b[e] contemplated by the Assistant United States Attorney against the [third-party] for the future,''' states DOJ's formal policy manual on the duties of federal prosecutors and principles of federal prosecutions.
Nationwide bar rules governing all practicing attorneys in the United States also explicitly prohibit Mueller's display during Wednesday's press conference.
''The prosecutor in a criminal case shall '... refrain from making extrajudicial comments that have a substantial likelihood of heightening public condemnation of the accused,'' states Rule 3.8(f) of the American Bar Association's rules of professional conduct.
Multiple federal agents and prosecutors reached out to The Federalist after Mueller's press conference to express dismay at the former FBI director's behavior.
''I'd have been crucified under this rule for a 'not innocent' comment about an uncharged party,'' a former federal prosecutor told The Federalist. ''I literally cannot fathom holding a press conference to say that an uncharged person was not innocent.''
''I wish these former FBI directors would learn their lessons: keep your mouths shut unless you're referring a case for prosecution,'' Jeff Danik, a retired FBI supervisor, said during a phone interview with The Federalist on Wednesday.
Mueller's performance made it clear for all to see that what he ran for the last two years wasn't an independent investigation pursuant to the rule of law so much as an inquisition motivated by political animus. Mueller and his team refused to charge prominent Democrats for crimes he charged against Republicans. Paul Manafort was charged with unregistered lobbying for foreign governments, while Mueller left alone long-time Democrat donor Tony Podesta and former Obama White House Counsel Greg Craig.
George Papadopoulos and Michael Flynn were charged with making false statements to federal investigators, while Clinton campaign cronies Glenn Simpson and Christopher Steele's false statements to Congress and the FBI were ignored. Trump's nonexistent Russian connections were plumbed while a dubious Clinton campaign-funded dossier sourced directly to Russian officials was used as a prosecutorial roadmap rather than rock-solid evidence of actual campaign collusion with the Kremlin.
Mueller claimed his report spoke for itself, then put together a completely unnecessary press conference more than a month after his report's public release, in which he not just spoke for the report, but expounded on the new legal standards he created to govern its conclusions.
These are the actions not of an impartial and independent investigator, but of a scheming political operative. None of this is any surprise to anyone who has followed Mueller's tenure in government. As FBI director, Mueller repeatedly misused and abused the authority granted to him by Congress.
Mueller and Comey utterly bungled the federal investigation into the 2001 Anthrax attacks, resulting in a $5.8 million judgment against the government after the two men falsely accused an innocent man of being behind the attacks.
Even after the court judgment against him, Mueller was defiant.
''I do not apologize for any aspect of the investigation,'' Mueller said afterward. He then doubled down and said it would be wrong to say there were any mistakes in how he handled the investigation.
Then there was Mueller's handling as FBI director of a case in which FBI agents framed innocent men of murders the FBI knew had been committed by their own informants. One of the innocent men died in prison awaiting justice for a crime he never committed.
Then, as special counsel to investigate Russian collusion during the 2016 campaign, Mueller promptly hired partisan Democrats to run his investigation. He tapped as investigators FBI personnel who openly discussed their hatred of Trump and his voters, as well as their plans to keep him out of office.
There's no longer any doubt about who Robert Mueller is or why he conducted himself the way he did. As abominable as his press conference was, we should in many ways be thankful that Mueller so willingly displayed for all to see his disdain for basic rules of prosecutorial conduct, his total lack of self-awareness, and his naked desire to stick it to Trump.
Sean Davis is the co-founder of The Federalist.
Copyright (C) 2019 The Federalist, a wholly independent division of FDRLST Media, All Rights Reserved.
NWO
Confirmed: Secretive Bilderberg Meeting to be held in Switzerland from May 30th - The Local
Tue, 28 May 2019 15:46
The 2019 event would be the second Bilderberg meeting in Switzerland. File photo:
DepositphotosThe 2019 edition of the exclusive Bilderberg Meeting will take place at the Hotel Montreux Palace in the Swiss town of Montreux from Thursday to Sunday.
It will feature Swiss Finance Minister Ueli Maurer, French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire, the head of Germany's Christian Democrats, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, and Cr(C)dit-Suisse CEO Tidjane Thiam among others.
According to Swiss daily Tages Anzeiger, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will also be among the attendees, although he is not on the official guest list on the Bildberg website.
The Swiss paper reports that Pompeo is set to sit down with Ueli Maurer. The two are tipped to discuss the situation in Iran where Switzerland represents US interests.
However, the Swiss Finance Ministry told The Local on Tuesday that no meeting was envisaged between Pompeo and Maurer.
The yearly Bilderberg talk-fest, which dates back to 1954, features a guest list of around 130 people from Europe and North America including everyone from royals to business tycoons and academics.
A highly secretive affair without a fixed agenda, the Bilderberg Meeting is regular fodder for conspiracy theorists who believe its participants act as a secret world government.
However, organisers argue the private nature of the event gives attendees the chance to hold informal discussions about major issues.
Topics up for discussion this year include climate change and sustainability, Brexit, China, Russia, the future of capitalism and the weaponization of social media.
According to the official Bilderberg website, discussions are held under the Chatham House Rule, which means participants can use any information they receive during the meeting but cannot reveal its source.
This year will be the second time the Bilderberg meeting has been held in Switzerland. In 2011, it was held in St Moritz in the country's southeast.
Attendees-Marked Up
Aangirfan: BILDERBERG 2019
Tue, 28 May 2019 20:52
.Bilderberg 2019 meets in the 'gay-friendly' Fairmont Le Montreux Palace. Jared Kushner , senior advisor to Trump, is set to attend the 2019 Bilderberg Meeting in the Swiss town of Montreux.Also attending:Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. official guest list   ...The Fairmont Le Montreux Palace has attracted many 'gay' people, 'bisexual' people and others.1961 – The Russian novelist Vladimir Nabokov takes up residence in the Cygne wing where he lives until his death in 1977.[4] 1978-85 – Freddie Mercury stays several times at the hotel.1981 – The film The magic mountain[6]”, based on a novel of Thomas Mann, is filmed in the hotel 1997 – Michael Jackson stays for two weeks in the Tower Suite.~~~Dame Alun Roberts (@ciabaudo) | Twitter JR (@JamesRusbridger) | Twitter Tony Gosling ✈ (@TonyGosling) · Twitter Brian Gerrish (@briangukc) · Twitter Henry Makow (@HenryMakow) · Twitter ~~~
Stacey Abrams' nonprofit Fair Fight Action's political spending looms as problem - Washington Times
Thu, 30 May 2019 00:22
WASHINGTON '-- In a matter of months, Stacey Abrams has gone from losing the Georgia governor's race to being a heavily recruited Democratic star, urged to run for Senate and mentioned as a possible presidential contender.
It's a dramatic rise often fueled by the promotional spending of Fair Fight Action, a nonprofit she founded to advance voting rights. The organization has paid for advertisements featuring Abrams and some of her travel and organized national watch parties when she delivered the Democratic rebuttal to President Donald Trump's State of the Union.
But spending by Fair Fight Action, which is staffed by former Abrams campaign aides, could prompt questions about whether the nonprofit is inappropriately supporting her political ambitions. Although there is no proof of any illegal activity, some of the organization's expenditures could pose a problem if Abrams follows through with her pledge to run for office again.
''There is nothing wrong with a nonprofit promoting its charismatic founder,'' said Adav Noti, a former Federal Election Commission attorney who now works for the nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center. But, he added, that ''if we later learn that the spending was to lay the groundwork for a campaign, retrospectively that could be a violation.''
Abrams has said that she will decide soon on her political future. Last week, she met with former Vice President Joe Biden, leading to speculation he might pick her as a running mate if he enters the 2020 White House race and wins the Democratic nomination. Her latest moves have also been closely watched by national Republicans, who think she would be a formidable challenger to Republican Sen. David Perdue of Georgia in 2020.
On Wednesday, a GOP-affiliated group called the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust, or FACT, filed a complaint with the Internal Revenue Service. The group points to roughly $100,000 worth of Facebook ads featuring Abrams, an advertisement for a ''Stacey Abrams Fundraiser'' that featured Fair Fight Action's logo, travel for Abrams' post-election ''thank you'' tour of Georgia and a professionally produced ''highlight reel'' of Abrams footage on the group's website.
The complaint argues Fair Fight Action is supporting Abrams' political ambitions, not advocating for voting rights. That's a violation of tax law that forbids political 501(c)(4) nonprofits from providing a ''private benefit'' to a particular person or group, according to a copy of the complaint provided to The Associated Press. The group typically files ethics complaints against Democrats but has also targeted some Republicans, including North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows, a leader of the conservative House Freedom Caucus.
Fair Fight Action CEO Lauren Groh-Wargo, Abrams' former campaign manager, disputed the details of FACT's complaint. She said that while Abrams is the figurehead of the organization, Fair Fight Action's promotional activities have always focused on voting rights issues.
''It's no surprise that right-wing hit groups allied with Donald Trump are launching bogus attacks against Fair Fight,'' she said in an emailed statement. ''They're afraid of Stacey Abrams and even more afraid that all eligible Georgians will exercise their right to vote.''
It's not unusual for politicians to have a nonprofit or be supported by one staffed by their associates. The group Our Revolution backs Bernie Sanders' White House bid, but the Vermont senator does not have a direct role in the group, according to its most recent tax filing. Trump has a nonprofit staffed by allies that is facing a complaint pending before the FEC.
Biden, too, has several 501(c)(3) nonprofits, which are largely barred from engaging in political activity. They have employed longtime aides and are mostly geared toward academia and medical research. Much of his spending on political advertising runs through his political action committee, which is subject to federal donation limits.
For nonprofits like Fair Fight Action, which can raise unlimited sums and engage in political activity, steps are often taken to at least give the appearance of being kept at arm's length from the politician they support. But Abrams serves as the chairwoman of Fair Fight Action's board, giving her a direct hand in the group's management.
If she runs for federal office and it is determined that the group laid the groundwork for her campaign, donation limitations could retroactively apply to Fair Fight Action, legal experts say.
''If she were to maintain the same relationship with this nonprofit and become a candidate, then legal risks do arise,'' said Paul S. Ryan, an attorney for the liberal-leaning government watchdog group Common Cause.
The mission of Fair Fight Action, founded in 2014 as the Voter Access Institute, was to provide ''education to voters on how and where to vote.'' It paid Abrams an annual salary of about $80,000 and was barred under its own corporate bylaws from promoting political candidates, records show.
The group, which does not disclose its donors, raised about $2.5 million from 2014 to 2016, records show. It has not yet filed tax paperwork showing what it raised in 2018, when she was running for governor.
After Abrams lost the governor's race, the nonprofit was overhauled. She became the chairwoman, stepping down as CEO. Groh-Wargo began running the operation. Language forbidding the group from promoting a political candidate was stripped out of its charter, records show. The group also took over the Twitter account used by Abrams' gubernatorial campaign and renamed it Fair Fight Action.
The group's leaders say all its activities focus on highlighting the need to protect voting rights in Georgia. Furthermore, they say, staff members carefully separate voting rights work from more overtly political activities done by newly formed Fair Fight PAC, which does not have to report its fundraising and spending to the FEC until April 15.
Ultimately, it may be tough to tell if any of the spending crosses the line. Only limited information is included in publicly available tax filings. The IRS has also been hesitant to enforce the law, particularly after facing intense blowback for investigating tea party nonprofit groups earlier in the decade.
''There have been a lot of former candidates and officeholders over the years that have been closely associated with (nonprofit) organizations,'' said former FEC chairman Michael Toner, a Republican. ''The devil is in the details in terms of whether the legal line has been crossed.''
Copyright (C) 2019 The Washington Times, LLC.
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BREAKING: Stacey Abrams Under Investigation By State Ethics Commission - Katrina Pierson
Thu, 30 May 2019 11:04
As reported by DailyCaller
The Georgia state ethics commission will subpoena bank records from Stacey Abrams' 2018 gubernatorial campaign and several other groups that raised money to help her candidacy.
David Emadi, a former Douglas County prosecutor who became director of the state ethics commission Monday, announced on Thursday that he will soon subpoena Abrams' gubernatorial campaign, various political action committees and special interest groups that supported her failed campaign, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
''What I can say about the investigation into the Abrams campaign is in the relatively near future, I expect we will be issuing subpoenas for bank and finance records of both Miss Abrams and various PACs and special-interest groups that were affiliated with her campaign,'' Emadi said to reporters on Thursday.
It's not immediately clear what Abrams' camp is being investigated for specifically, and the new director did not give many details on the matter. The ethics commission, known formally as the Georgia Government Transparency & Campaign Finance Commission, is tasked with collecting reports on lobbying expenditures, vendor grift and campaign finance. The Commission is also in charge of issuing penalties for any violations pertaining to these issues.
Abrams' former campaign manager hit back hard against the announcement.
''This is Kemp's corrupt playbook, his long history of launching frivolous investigations with bogus charges against political opponents,'' Lauren Groh-Wargo said Thursday in a series of tweets, claiming Emadi to be a Kemp ally and the investigation a partisan hit job. ''This is a shameful misuse of taxpayer dollars for a political vendetta. We will fight false accusations with every available resource.''
Because there were over a dozen ''independent groups'' in support of Abrams 2018 campaign, most of them funded by out-of-state donors, Emadi said the investigation will take time as the Commission meticulously reviews all of the reports.
OTG
Apple promises privacy, but iPhone apps share your data with trackers, ad companies and research firms - The Washington Post
Tue, 28 May 2019 21:41
Apple says, ''What happens on your iPhone stays on your iPhone.'' Our privacy experiment showed 5,400 hidden app trackers guzzled our data '-- in a single week. While you're sleeping, your iPhone stays busy. (Washington Post Illustration; iStock/The Washington Post) It's 3 a.m. Do you know what your iPhone is doing?
Mine has been alarmingly busy. Even though the screen is off and I'm snoring, apps are beaming out lots of information about me to companies I've never heard of. Your iPhone probably is doing the same '-- and Apple could be doing more to stop it.
On a recent Monday night, a dozen marketing companies, research firms and other personal data guzzlers got reports from my iPhone. At 11:43 p.m., a company called Amplitude learned my phone number, email and exact location. At 3:58 a.m., another called Appboy got a digital fingerprint of my phone. At 6:25 a.m., a tracker called Demdex received a way to identify my phone and sent back a list of other trackers to pair up with.
And all night long, there was some startling behavior by a household name: Yelp. It was receiving a message that included my IP address -'-- once every five minutes.
Our data has a secret life in many of the devices we use every day, from talking Alexa speakers to smart TVs. But we've got a giant blind spot when it comes to the data companies probing our phones.
[Help Desk: Ask our tech columnist a question]
You might assume you can count on Apple to sweat all the privacy details. After all, it touted in a recent ad, ''What happens on your iPhone stays on your iPhone.'' My investigation suggests otherwise.
IPhone apps I discovered tracking me by passing information to third parties '-- just while I was asleep '-- include Microsoft OneDrive, Intuit's Mint, Nike, Spotify, The Washington Post and IBM's the Weather Channel. One app, the crime-alert service Citizen, shared personally identifiable information in violation of its published privacy policy.
And your iPhone doesn't only feed data trackers while you sleep. In a single week, I encountered over 5,400 trackers, mostly in apps, not including the incessant Yelp traffic. According to privacy firm Disconnect, which helped test my iPhone, those unwanted trackers would have spewed out 1.5 gigabytes of data over the span of a month. That's half of an entire basic wireless service plan from AT&T.
''This is your data. Why should it even leave your phone? Why should it be collected by someone when you don't know what they're going to do with it?'' says Patrick Jackson, a former National Security Agency researcher who is chief technology officer for Disconnect. He hooked my iPhone into special software so we could examine the traffic. ''I know the value of data, and I don't want mine in any hands where it doesn't need to be,'' he told me.
In a world of data brokers, Jackson is the data breaker. He developed an app called Privacy Pro that identifies and blocks many trackers. If you're a little bit techie, I recommend trying the free iOS version to glimpse the secret life of your iPhone.
Yes, trackers are a problem on phones running Google's Android, too. Google won't even let Disconnect's tracker-protection software into its Play Store. (Google's rules prohibit apps that might interfere with another app displaying ads.)
Part of Jackson's objection to trackers is that many feed the personal data economy, used to target us for marketing and political messaging. Facebook's fiascos have made us all more aware of how our data can be passed along, stolen and misused '-- but Cambridge Analytica was just the beginning.
Jackson's biggest concern is transparency: If we don't know where our data is going, how can we ever hope to keep it private?
Patrick Jackson, chief technology officer for Disconnect, hooked columnist Geoffrey A. Fowler's iPhone into software so they could examine the personal data flowing out of the phone. (James Pace-Cornsilk/The Washington Post) The app gapApp trackers are like the cookies on websites that slow load times, waste battery life and cause creepy ads to follow you around the Internet. Except in apps, there's little notice trackers are lurking and you can't choose a different browser to block them.
Why do trackers activate in the middle of the night? Some app makers have them call home at times the phone is plugged in, or think they won't interfere with other functions. These late-night encounters happen on the iPhone if you have allowed ''background app refresh,'' which is Apple's default.
With Yelp, the company says the behavior I uncovered wasn't a tracker but rather an ''unintended issue'' that's been acting like a tracker. Yelp thinks my discovery affects 1 percent of its iOS users, particularly those who've made reservations through Apple Maps. At best, it is shoddy software that sent Yelp data it didn't need. At worst, Yelp was amassing a data trove that could be used to map people's travels, even when they weren't using its app.
A more typical example is DoorDash, the food-delivery service. Launch that app, and you're sending data to nine third-party trackers '-- though you'd have no way to know it.
App makers often use trackers because they're shortcuts to research or revenue. They run the gamut from innocuous to insidious. Some are like consultants that app makers pay to analyze what people tap on and look at. Other trackers pay the app makers, squeezing value out of our data to target ads.
[Hands off my data! 15 default privacy settings you should change right now.]
In the case of DoorDash, one tracker called Sift Science gets a fingerprint of your phone (device name, model, ad identifier and memory size) and even accelerometer motion data to help identify fraud. Three more trackers help DoorDash monitor app performance '-- including one called Segment that routes onward data including your delivery address, name, email and cell carrier.
DoorDash's other five trackers, including Facebook and Google Ad Services, help it understand the effectiveness of its marketing. Their presence means Facebook and Google know every time you open DoorDash.
The delivery company tells me it doesn't allow trackers to sell or share our data, which is great. But its privacy policy throws its hands up in the air: ''DoorDash is not responsible for the privacy practices of these entities,'' it says.
All but one of DoorDash's nine trackers made Jackson's naughty list for Disconnect, which also powers the Firefox browser's private browsing mode. To him, any third party that collects and retains our data is suspect unless it also has pro-consumer privacy policies like limiting data retention time and anonymizing data.
Microsoft, Nike and the Weather Channel told me they were using the trackers I uncovered to improve performance. Mint, owned by Intuit, said it uses an Adobe marketing tracker to help figure out how to advertise to Mint users. The Post said its trackers were used to make sure ads work. Spotify pointed me to its privacy policy.
Privacy policies don't necessarily provide protection. Citizen, the app for location-based crime reports, published that it wouldn't share ''your name or other personally identifying information.'' Yet when I ran my test, I found it repeatedly sent my phone number, email and exact GPS coordinates to the tracker Amplitude.
After I contacted Citizen, it updated its app and removed the Amplitude tracker. (Amplitude, for its part, says data it collects for clients is kept private and not sold.)
''We will do a better job of making sure our privacy policy is clear about the specific types of data we share with providers like these,'' Citizen spokesman J. Peter Donald said. ''We do not sell user data. We never have and never will.''
The problem is, the more places personal data flies, the harder it becomes to hold companies accountable for bad behavior '-- including inevitable breaches.
As Jackson kept reminding me: ''This is your data.''
A billboard advertising Apple's iPhone privacy is displayed during CES 2019 in Las Vegas. (David Becker/Getty Images) The letdownWhat disappoints me is that the data free-for-all I discovered is happening on an iPhone. Isn't Apple supposed to be better at privacy?
''At Apple we do a great deal to help users keep their data private,'' the company says in a statement. ''Apple hardware and software are designed to provide advanced security and privacy at every level of the system.''
In some areas, Apple is ahead. Most of Apple's own apps and services take care to either encrypt data or, even better, to not collect it in the first place. Apple offers a privacy setting called ''Limit Ad Tracking'' (sadly off by default) which makes it a little bit harder for companies to track you across apps, by way of a unique identifier for every iPhone.
And with iOS 12, Apple took shots at the data economy by improving the ''intelligent tracking prevention'' in its Safari web browser.
[Alexa has been eavesdropping on you this whole time]
Yet these days, we spend more time in apps. Apple is strict about requiring apps to get permission to access certain parts of the iPhone, including your camera, microphone, location, health information, photos and contacts. (You can check and change those permissions under privacy settings.) But Apple turns more of a blind eye to what apps do with data we provide them or they generate about us '-- witness the sorts of tracking I found by looking under the covers for a few days.
''For the data and services that apps create on their own, our App Store Guidelines require developers to have clearly posted privacy policies and to ask users for permission to collect data before doing so. When we learn that apps have not followed our Guidelines in these areas, we either make apps change their practice or keep those apps from being on the store,'' Apple says.
Yet very few apps I found using third-party trackers disclosed the names of those companies or how they protect my data. And what good is burying this information in privacy policies, anyway? What we need is accountability.
Getting more deeply involved in app data practices is complicated for Apple. Today's technology frequently is built on third-party services, so Apple couldn't simply ban all connections to outside servers. And some companies are so big they don't even need the help of outsiders to track us.
The result shouldn't be to increase Apple's power. ''I would like to make sure they're not stifling innovation,'' says Andr(C)s Arrieta, the director of consumer privacy engineering at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. If Apple becomes the Internet's privacy police, it could shut down rivals.
Jackson suggests Apple could also add controls into iOS like the ones built into Privacy Pro to give everyone more visibility.
Or perhaps Apple could require apps to label when they're using third-party trackers. If I opened the DoorDash app and saw nine tracker notices, it might make me think twice about using it.
Read more tech advice and analysis from Geoffrey A. Fowler:
When tax prep is free, you may be paying with your privacy
Not all iPhones are the same. These cost less and are better for the Earth.
Rock this way: AirPods, Beats and Bose wireless ear buds take the headbang test
Linux Foundation and the Big Surveillance Industry, Media Industry, Microsoft Azure | Techrights
Wed, 29 May 2019 20:18
Posted in GNU/Linux, Marketing, Microsoft, OSDL at 5:12 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz
Summary: The Linux Foundation has become a complex creature with intricate corporate ties and government ties as well (especially the US government); these relationships need to be better understood
IT HAS BEEN a while since we last wrote about the Linux Foundation. We habitually post links to news about it (in our daily links), but we haven't had time to write articles on the subject. Partly because affairs at the European Patent Office (EPO) are heating up again, culminating in a likely strike next month.
''That undoubtedly disputes claims that the PAC exists merely to pay Mr. Torvalds his salary.'' Quite a few things have happened at Zemlin's PAC this past month. First of all, we came to discover that Amanda McPherson no longer works there. She was receiving about as much money (salary at around half a million dollars per year) as Linus Torvalds. For marketing. That undoubtedly disputes claims that the PAC exists merely to pay Mr. Torvalds his salary. More curious, however, is the background of her successor/replacement. It's a former spokesperson of James Clapper, best known for lying and perjury (he is deeply connected to Edward Snowden's employer, Booz Allen Hamilton, and US spying operations at a Federal level too, but to the public he is known as a famous liar because the media focused on it for years). About a week ago the somewhat crypic press release (lacking context) revealed that Huawei connections got the PAC in trouble with the US government, which possibly put direct pressure on the PAC. Here's how this press release started: ''Thank you for your inquiry regarding concerns with a member subject to an Entity List Ruling.[1] While statements in the Executive Order prompting the listing used language granting a broader scope of authority, the Huawei Entity List ruling was specifically scoped to activities and transactions subject to the Export Administration Regulation (EAR).''
Who did the Linux Foundation speak to when it said ''Thank you for your inquiry regarding concerns with a member subject to an Entity List Ruling''?
Did some fellow members complain? The final words: ''If there is a unique situation of concern, we encourage you to reach out directly to legal@linuxfoundation.org.''
Earlier today we wrote about the increasing likelihood of China's adoption of GNU/Linux at a much larger scale. What might the US government do next? It certainly has a lot of control over the PAC and ways to punish/blackmail it (e.g. removal of the non-profit status or revocation of licence to operate).
This post is a bit of a preview or a look behind the scenes; it's the subject of ongoing research into the PAC's strands of work, including the new initiative for ''surveillance capitalism'' in an 'urban' context (companies like Uber and Google, along with ''smart cities'' and ''edge''). We posted many links about this in recent days, weeks and even months (when it was first announced with little additional details). We are also studying the PAC's media ties (connections to external sites), which do exist but are difficult to decipher (especially money flow, if any, not just staff moves that are simpler to detect). More about training partners ought to be known too; it's no secret that the PAC nowadays promotes Microsoft Azure at some capacity.
''There are many interests and various powerful corporations in the mix; it's only rational to attempt to figure out what they want and what they do to their PAC.'' We are still not sure why McPherson left (or was pushed out) and Clapper's former spokesperson became the Linux Foundation's. McPherson seems to be working in academia now; some colleagues of hers (also alumni of the PAC) moved to media companies. There's growing suspicion and some evidence of a connection. The Linux Foundation (LF) links to sites of its alumni and these alumni, in turn, write many articles about Linux Foundation projects and sponsors. ''I'm trying to find out why the push for Yocto,'' one reader told us, ''what push does LF have with members for involvement with these projects no one uses? The recent Forbes article about Clear Linux'... is that paid for too? The push to use LF projects by partners/members, I guess is understandable. Buying magazine space to promote'... seems shady. Need facts.''
We are certainly going to write more about these subjects in weeks or months to come. We also depend on readers' input, however meager, so we welcome feedback if not leaks (the latter is rare). There are many interests and various powerful corporations in the mix; it's only rational to attempt to figure out what they want and what they do to their PAC. Microsoft is only one of several [1, 2], so it would be wrong to focus only on this one company. '–
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ProtonMail voluntarily offers Assistance for Real-Time Surveillance | Steiger Legal
Wed, 29 May 2019 20:28
Email service provider ProtonMail, based in Switzerland, offers assistance for real-time surveillance: Voluntarily!
This insight goes back to public prosecutor Stephan Walder, who heads the Cybercrime Competence Center in the Canton of Zurich in Switzerland:
On 10 May 2019, Walder gave a presentation on the possibilities and limits of criminal prosecution at a continuing education event on the digitization of criminal law and criminal procedure. Walder incidentally mentioned as a positive example that ProtonMail voluntarily offers assistance for real-time surveillance. Public prosecutor Walder had expected that he would have to obtain a federal court decision.
Note: Public prosecutor Walder contacted me, saying he had been misquoted. See the
addendum below for further information.
On Twitter, ProtonMail repeatedly avoided to address the question why real-time surveillance was carried out voluntarily. Instead, ProtonMail stressed that the contents of the communication could not be monitored due to end-to-end encryption.
Advertising by ProtonMail: Trust due to Domicile in Switzerland?ProtonMail aggressively promotes data protection and encryption. The aim is to inspire confidence through the facts that ProtonMail was founded by CERN employees in the Canton of Geneva and that ProtonMail has its domicile in Switzerland.
ProtonMail claims that 'žall user data is protected by strict Swiss privacy laws''. ProtonMail further claims that it is exempt from the Swiss Federal Act on the Surveillance of Post and Telecommunications (SPTA, German: Bundesgesetz betreffend die 'berwachung des Post- und Fernmeldeverkehrs, B'PF) and the Ordinance on the Surveillance of Post and Telecommunications (SPTO, German: Verordnung ¼ber die 'berwachung des Post- und Fernmeldeverkehrs, V'PF).
Both claims are wrong:
The Swiss Federal Act on Data Protection (FADP, German: Bundesgesetz ¼ber den Datenschutz, DSG) is not applicable to pending criminal proceedings and thus to ongoing surveillance measures (art. 2 para. 2 lit. c FADP). In addition, the current data protection laws in Switzerland are not strict but largely a paper tiger and lag behind the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) of the European Union (EU) in almost every respect. The current revision of the GDPR is not making progress.The SPTA explicitly applies to providers of derived communication services (PDCS, German: Anbieterinnen abgeleiteter Kommunikationsdienste, AAKD), i.e., to 'žproviders of services which are based on telecommunications services and enable one-way or multipath communication'' (art. 2 lit. c SPTA). The SPTA was revised on 1 March 2018, in particular with the aim of being able to monitor Internet services such as providers of email, instant messaging and VPN services. The SPTA does not provide for Internet services to be excluded.SPTA: Surveillance Obligations for ProtonMailProtonMail as a Provider of Derived Communication ServicesProtonMail is a provider of derived communication services (PDCS). ProtonMail must therefore 'žtolerate surveillance carried out by the Service or by persons it designates of the data that the person under surveillance transmits or stores using derived communications services''. For this purpose, ProtonMail must without delay 'žgrant access to [its] facilities'' and 'žprovide the information required for the surveillance'' (art. 27 para. 1 SPTA). In addition, ProtonMail must 'žsupply the secondary data of telecommunications available to them relating to the person under surveillance'' (art. 27 para. 2 SPTA).
ProtonMail has no obligation for real-time surveillance.
ProtonMail has to tolerate surveillance measures and has to provide information as well as access for this purpose. Metadata or secondary data that is available must be provided. On the other hand, ProtonMail, as a provider of derived communication services, has in principle no obligation for real-time surveillance. Art. 26 para. 4 SPTA provides such obligation only for providers of telecommunications services such as Swisscom or UPC.
Providers of derived communications services which 'žprovide services of major economic importance or to a large number of users'', however, may be subject in whole or in part to the surveillance obligations for providers of telecommunications services (art. 27 para. 3 SPTA). The Swiss Federal Post and Telecommunications Surveillance Service (PTSS) decrees such more extensive surveillance obligations, in particular if surveillance orders have been assigned to 10 different targets in the last 12 months.
There is currently no evidence that ProtonMail is a provider of derived communications services with more extensive surveillance obligations. ProtonMail would therefore not have to voluntarily provide assistance for real-time surveillance.
ProtonMail as a Provider of Telecommunications Services?ProtonMail argues that it is not a provider of derived communication services, but a telecommunications service provider (TSP) with reduced surveillance obligations (art. 26 para. 6 SPTA). Telecommunications service providers can request reduced surveillance obligations from the PTSS if their annual turnover in Switzerland is less than CHF 100 million and if in the last 12 months less than 10 surveillance orders have been assigned to different targets.
'žThe reinterpretation by the PTSS of the concept of telecommunications services ['...] is ['...] obviously unlawful.''
According to the Swiss Federal Council dispatch on the revised SPTA, it is clear that email service providers are considered PDCSs. However, the PTSS uses a reinterpretation of the definition of 'žtelecommunications service provider'' as shown by its information sheet 'žDistinction between Telecommunications Service Providers (TSP) and Providers of Derived Communications Services (PDCS)''.
In this information sheet, the PTSS claims that email is an over-the-top (OTT) service provided by telecommunications service providers. Simon Schlauri, a fellow Swiss lawyer specialised in telecommunications law and professor at the University of Zurich, finds clear words for this reinterpretation (with emphasis):
'žThis new interpretation clearly contradicts the ['...] intentions of the legislator in issuing the revised SPTA. To subordinate OTT services to the regime for normal telecommunications services would mean to throw over the clear order of competence of the SPTA already with the introduction of the revised law.
Such a reinterpretation of terms would also contradict the decades-old practice of the Swiss Federal Supreme Court to give considerable weight to the historical interpretation at least in the first period after the introduction of a new law. ['...] The reinterpretation by the PTSS of the concept of telecommunications services in the SPTA and the associated arbitrary extension of the obligations of OTT service providers is thus obviously unlawful.''
The Swiss Federal Council supports '' unsurprisingly '' this reinterpretation by the PTSS, as can be seen from its statement on National Councilor Beat Flach's interpellation 19.3267. The statement reads as if it had been written by the PTSS itself. ProtonMail is not explicitly mentioned in the interpellation.
Even as a telecommunications service provider with reduced surveillance obligations, ProtonMail would not have to voluntarily offer assistance for real-time monitoring. At the same time, however, telecommunications service providers must identify their users (identification obligation, art. 22 para. 2 SPTA in conjunction with art. 19 para. 1 SPTO). In addition, there would always be a risk that ProtonMail could be upgraded to a telecommunications service provider with all monitoring obligations, including data retention.
Real-Time Surveillance: Transparency by ProtonMailProtonMail falsely claims to be exempt from the SPTA, wrongly advertises with 'žstrict Swiss privacy laws'' and trivializes the surveillance state in Switzerland. However, ProtonMail is one of the few Internet companies in Switzerland with a transparency report.
ProtonMail trivializes the surveillance state in Switzerland.
In its transparency report, ProtonMail explicitly mentions the possibility of real-time surveillance ('žProtonMail may also be obligated to monitor the IP addresses which are being used to access the ProtonMail accounts which are engaged in criminal activities''). ProtonMail even mentions a current case of real-time surveillance:
'žIn April 2019, at the request of the Swiss judiciary in a case of clear criminal conduct, we enabled IP logging against a specific user account which is engaged in illegal activities which contravene Swiss law. Pursuant to Swiss law, the user in question will also be notified and afforded the opportunity to defend against this in court before the data can be used in criminal proceedings.''
By writing of a 'žcase of clear criminal conduct'' and of 'žillegal activities which contravene Swiss law'', ProtonMail violates the presumption of innocence against the monitored suspects.
Such suspects are of course not informed by ProtonMail about ongoing real-time surveillance measures. They will only subsequently receive notification from the responsible public prosecutor's office (art. 279 para. 1 Swiss Federal Criminal Procedure Code, CrimPC), unless an exception applies (art. 279 para. 2 CrimPC).
ProtonMail claims that the contents of emails are protected by end-to-end encryption. At the same time, ProtonMail confirms that at least metadata or marginal data are delivered ('žMetadata can always be handed over in a criminal investigation'').
'žWe kill people based on metadata.''
Users may believe ProtonMail that the contents of emails cannot be monitored at the present time. ProtonMail, on the other hand, voluntarily offers real-time surveillance of metadata such as IP addresses. Such metadata also includes the sender and recipient as well as the subject of individual emails. Other metadata are the date and time of an email and its length. It is possible to monitor who sent an email to whom, when, with which subject and with which size.
Anyone who believes ProtonMail and consoles himself that the email contents are encrypted underestimates the significance of metadata. In the words of the American National Security Agency (NSA):
'žMetadata absolutely tells you everything about somebody's life. If you have enough metadata, you don't really need content. ['...] We kill people based on metadata.''
The importance of metadata was demonstrated by the revelations of whistleblower Edward Snowden, as journalist Glen Greenwald wrote in his book on global surveillance:
'ž['...] As in Europe, US citizens should be reassured with the statement that the collection of metadata 'šdoes not constitute surveillance' since 'no contents of communication are captured' ['...]. For Greenwald, this statement is 'šdishonest' ['...]. Because: 'šIt obscures the fact that especially the monitoring of metadata represents at least as strong '' and often even stronger '' an invasion of privacy as the interception of content' ['...]. This enables the government to provide citizens with an amazingly comprehensive picture of their way of life, their connections and contacts, their activities and some of the most intimate and private information.''
Surveillance State Switzerland: How much Trust does ProtonMail deserve?If you believe ProtonMail's advertising, the email service is not affected by the surveillance state in Switzerland and benefits from 'žstrict Swiss privacy laws.''
ProtonMail has its domicile in Switzerland and therefore in a surveillance state that is being expanded step by step.
ProtonMail in particular gives the impression of being a suitable service for users looking for a trustworthy email service provider with data protection and encryption. Even the clich(C) of the data bunker in the Alps is not omitted by ProtonMail ('žProtonMail is hosted in a former military command center deep inside the Swiss alps.'') and, of course, the neutrality of Switzerland is mentioned.
The reality looks different. ProtonMail has its domicile in Switzerland and therefore in a surveillance state that is being expanded step by step:
The revised Swiss Federal Act on the Surveillance of Post and Telecommunications (SPTA) is directed in particular against Internet services such as ProtonMail.With the new Swiss Federal Intelligence Service Act (German: Nachrichtendienstgesetz, NDG), the use of ProtonMail is subject to mass surveillance by means of cable surveillance (German: Kabelaufkl¤rung) and many other surveillance measures.Data protection laws in Switzerland are a paper tiger or in principle not applicable to surveillance measures by secret services, police authorities and public prosecutors.Surveillance measures in Switzerland are approved behind forever closed doors by Compulsory Measures Courts (German: Zwangsmassnahmengerichte, ZMG) and there is no effective supervision of the security authorities.ProtonMail is '' as far as is known '' not yet subject to the more extensive surveillance obligations according to the SPTA. Nevertheless, ProtonMail voluntarily offers assistance for real-time surveillance pursuant to art. 26 para. 4 SPTA.
Email contents may not affected by real-time surveillance, but metadata is just as meaningful or even more meaningful. And who guarantees that ProtonMail will not sooner or later enable that email contents can be monitored too, for example when encrypting emails for 'žzero-access encryption'', where ProtonMail necessarily receives all emails in plain text?
Every user of ProtonMail (or ProtonVPN) must decide for himself whether the email service is trustworthy. The difference between advertising and reality at least speaks against too much trust for ProtonMail.
Image: Pixabay / stevepb, public domain-like.
AddendumPublic prosecutor Walder of the Competence Center Cybercrime contacted me, saying he had been misquoted. He claims that had not divulged at the above-mentioned event that ProtonMail voluntarily releases real-time data. He had merely described ProtonMail as a potential provider of derived communication services (PDCS).
I was live-tweeting the event, including the interesting presentation by public prosecutor Walder. The remark that ProtonMail was a (potential) PDCS would have been too trivial to be live-tweeted. The insight on the other hand that ProtonMail voluntarily offers assistance for real-time surveillance, was spectacular and I therefore live-tweeted the statement. In its transparency report, ProtonMail '' as mentioned above '' itself refers to at least one case of real-time surveillance.
Google's Chrome Becomes Web `Gatekeeper' and Rivals Complain - Bloomberg
Thu, 30 May 2019 09:10
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Chrome to limit full ad blocking extensions to enterprise users - 9to5Google
Thu, 30 May 2019 12:40
Back in January, Google announced a proposed change to Chrome's extensions system, called Manifest V3, that would stop current ad blockers from working efficiently. In a response to the overwhelming negative feedback, Google is standing firm on Chrome's ad blocking changes, sharing that current ad blocking capabilities will be restricted to enterprise users.
Manifest V3 comprises a major change to Chrome's extensions system, including a revamp to the permissions system and a fundamental change to the way ad blockers operate. In particular, modern ad blockers, like uBlock Origin and Ghostery, use Chrome's webRequest API to block ads before they're even downloaded.
With the Manifest V3 proposal, Google deprecates the webRequest API's ability to block a particular request before it's loaded. As you would expect, power users and extension developers alike criticized Google's proposal for limiting the user's ability to browse the web as they see fit.
Now, months later, Google has responded to some of the various issues raised by the community, sharing more details on the changes to permissions and more. The most notable aspect of their response, however, is a single sentence buried in the text, clarifying their changes to ad blocking and privacy blocking extensions.
Chrome is deprecating the blocking capabilities of the webRequest API in Manifest V3, not the entire webRequest API (though blocking will still be available to enterprise deployments).
Google is essentially saying that Chrome will still have the capability to block unwanted content, but this will be restricted to only paid, enterprise users of Chrome. This is likely to allow enterprise customers to develop in-house Chrome extensions, not for ad blocking usage.
For the rest of us, Google hasn't budged on their changes to content blockers, meaning that ad blockers will need to switch to a less effective, rules-based system. This system is how blockers like AdBlock Plus currently work.
One of the original concerns of switching to this system was the fact that Chrome currently imposes a limit of 30,000 rules, while popular ad blocking rules lists like EasyList use upwards of 75,000 rules. In the response, Google claims that they're looking to increase this number, depending on performance tests, but couldn't commit to anything specific.
We are planning to raise these values but we won't have updated numbers until we can run performance tests to find a good upper bound that will work across all supported devices.
The lead developer of uBlock Origin, Raymond Hill, has commented on the situation, both to The Register and on uBlock Origin's GitHub, pointing out that allowing ad blockers goes completely against Google's business model.
Google's primary business is incompatible with unimpeded content blocking. Now that Google Chrome product has achieve high market share, the content blocking concerns as stated in its 10K filing are being tackled.
Google themselves have even admitted as such in a recent SEC Form 10-K filing by Alphabet, uncovered by Hill, in which ad blocking extensions are labeled as a ''risk factor'' to Google's revenues.
New and existing technologies could affect our ability to customize ads and/or could block ads online, which would harm our business.
Technologies have been developed to make customizable ads more difficult or to block the display of ads altogether and some providers of online services have integrated technologies that could potentially impair the core functionality of third-party digital advertising. Most of our Google revenues are derived from fees paid to us in connection with the display of ads online. As a result, such technologies and tools could adversely affect our operating results.
With that in mind, the change makes a great deal of sense, when you think of Chrome as a way for Google to better deliver ads to your devices. By allowing in-depth ad blockers to continue to function, they're allowing for a direct, negative impact on their largest revenue stream. Chrome's enterprise users get an exception because they're a separate revenue stream.
9to5Google's TakeFirefox is available on all platforms (including Chrome OS via the Android or Linux app) and, unlike Chrome, supports browser extensions on Android, including uBlock Origin and other privacy extensions. Just remember to unblock sites you wish to support financially.
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Behavioral Ad Targeting Not Paying Off for Publishers, Study Suggests - WSJ
Thu, 30 May 2019 15:21
A new academic study suggests they aren't.
Behavioral advertising, which involves collecting data about readers' online behavior and using it to serve them specially tailored ads, often through bits of code called cookies, has become the dominant force in digital advertising in recent years.
But in one of the first empirical studies of the impacts of behaviorally targeted advertising on online publishers' revenue, researchers at the University of Minnesota, University of California, Irvine, and Carnegie Mellon University suggest publishers only get about 4% more revenue for an ad impression that has a cookie enabled than for one that doesn't. The study tracked millions of ad transactions at a large U.S. media company over the course of one week.
That modest gain for publishers stands in contrast to the vastly larger sums advertisers are willing to pay for behaviorally targeted ads. A 2009 study by Howard Beales, a professor at George Washington University School of Business and a former director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection at the Federal Trade Commission, found advertisers are willing to pay 2.68 times more for a behaviorally targeted ad than one that wasn't.
Much of the premium likely is being eaten up by the so-called ''ad tech tax,'' the middlemen's fees that eat up 60 cents of every dollar spent on programmatic ads, according to marketing intelligence firm Warc.
The online ad ecosystem is complex and opaque, said Alessandro Acquisti, a professor of information technology and public policy at Carnegie Mellon's Heinz College, who conducted the study along with Veronica Marotta and Vibhanshu Abhishek. It is ''hard to understand how much value each participant in the ecosystem is adding to the process, and whether the fees different intermediaries receive are commensurate to their value added,'' he said.
Publishers' inability to benefit much from behavioral targeting could have implications for policy as lawmakers in Washington, D.C., debate the shape of national privacy legislation. The ad industry is pushing for new federal rules, partly to head off the risk of a state-by-state patchwork of privacy laws, following the passage of California's own privacy regulations.
''It is a huge finding in terms of the policy debate,'' said Ashkan Soltani, one of the authors of the California Consumer Privacy Act who formerly served as the chief technologist for the FTC. (Mr. Soltani also served as a technical adviser to The Wall Street Journal's 2012 series on privacy, ''What They Know.'')
''All of these externalities with regard to the ad economy'--the harm to privacy, the expansion of government surveillance, the ability to microtarget and drive divisive content'--were often justified to industry because of this 'huge' value to publishers,'' Mr. Soltani said.
The shift toward behavioral targeting has come along with two other trends: the emergence of the Google- Facebook duopoly, which in 2018 accounted for 58% of U.S. digital ad spending, according to eMarketer Inc.; and the stalling of digital display ad revenue growth for many digital publishers.
A 2015 report by marketing and e-commerce research firm Econsultancy found that 40% of digital publishers' display ad revenue was stagnant or shrinking. Over the past year, many of the largest digital publishers have been forced to cut staff and explore consolidation as growth has stalled.
Michael Zimbalist, the chief strategy and innovation officer at Philadelphia Media Network LLC who previously spent a decade working in digital advertising at New York Times Co. , argues the value of behavioral advertising to publishers was always misrepresented.
''Behavioral targeting has been completely overhyped in its value for publishers from the day it was first invented,'' he said.
Write to Keach Hagey at keach.hagey@wsj.com
Lockport Public Schools Will Be The First In The Country To Use Facial Recognition On June 3
Thu, 30 May 2019 15:22
tech Testing of the Aegis system begins in the Lockport City School District next week. It will track sex offenders, students and staff who have been suspended from school, and credible threats to student safety.
By Davey Alba
Posted on May 29, 2019, at 6:25 p.m. ET
Monkeybusinessimages / Getty ImagesNext week, a school district in western New York will become the first in the United States to pilot a facial recognition system on its students and faculty. On Monday, June 3, the Lockport City School District will light up its Aegis system as part of a pilot project that will make it broadly operational by Sept. 1, 2019. The district has eight schools.
Superintendent Michelle Bradley announced the move on Tuesday, as first reported by The Lockport Union-Sun and Journal. Bradley described the test as an ''initial implementation phase" meant to troubleshoot the system, train district officials on its use, and discuss proper procedures with local law enforcement in the event of an alert triggered by the facial recognition tech.
The Lockport pilot comes amid increased scrutiny of facial recognition's efficacy across the US, including growing civil rights concerns and worries that the tech may serve to further entrench societal biases. Earlier this month, San Francisco banned police from using facial recognition, and similar bills in the US hope to do the same. Amazon has endured persistent pressure '-- including from its own shareholders '-- for its aggressive salesmanship of its facial Rekognition system to law enforcement agencies. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez expressed concern that facial recognition could be used as a form of social control in a congressional hearing on the technology last week.
At the same time, reports and studies of facial recognition's inaccuracies and mistakes '-- especially on women and people of color '-- continue to emerge.
Other schools have considered implementing facial recognition systems, but Lockport will be the first public school district to begin using the tech, the American Civil Liberties Union told BuzzFeed News.
BuzzFeed News has reached out to the Lockport City School District and the maker of the Aegis system for comment.
Do you work for a company developing or using facial recognition or biometric tech? Did you used to? We'd love to hear from you. You can contact BuzzFeed News securely on Signal at +1-646-379-1975 or email us at tips@buzzfeed.com.
Lockport resident Jim Shultz, a vocal critic of the school district's plan to use facial recognition, described the upcoming pilot as ''a dicey move'': ''I think the district is desperate not to begin another school year with their expensive system just sitting there,'' he told BuzzFeed News.
In March 2018, Lockport announced its plans to install a facial recognition security system, which it funded through the New York Smart Schools Bond Act '-- an act meant to help state schools augment their instructional tech. But instead of buying laptops and iPads, Lockport submitted a proposal for a high-tech security system instead, and allocated much of the $4.2 million it was given toward adding dozens of surveillance cameras in the school and installing the facial recognition system Aegis, which is provided by Canada-based SN Technologies. To date, Lockport has spent $1.4 million to get the system up and running.
''Aegis is an early warning system that informs staff of threats including guns or individuals who have been identified as not allowed in our buildings,'' stated an FAQ distributed to the school's parents and obtained by BuzzFeed News. ''Aegis has the ability [to screen] every door and throughout buildings to identify people or guns. Early detection of a threat to our schools allows for a quicker and more effective response.''
''San Francisco banned this tech, and it's this major city closest to all the people who understand this tech the best. Why in the world would we want this to come to New York, and in a place where there are children?''
The district's letter to parents makes the case for facial recognition in light of the specter of recurring school shootings. "Much to our dismay, acts of violence in schools continue to occur in our country," it reads. "Please be assured that the Lockport City School District continues to make school security a priority."
According to the FAQ, Aegis will track individuals who are ''level 2 or 3 sex offenders, students who have been suspended from school, staff who have been suspended and/or are on administrative leave, any persons that have been notified that they may not be present on District property, anyone prohibited from entry to District property by court order '... or anyone believed to pose a threat based on credible information presented to the District.'' The Lockport Journal further reported that the object recognition system will also be able to detect 10 types of guns.
The video footage will be kept for 60 days, after which it will be erased from the server, the FAQ says. And while it adds that the system ''will not generate information on or record the movements of any other district students, staff or visitors,'' previous reporting from BuzzFeed News has shown that in order to effectively flag the faces of "persons of interest," facial recognition systems must also disregard the faces of persons who are not of interest. In other words, it analyzes them, too.
After Lockport's initial announcement, the New York Civil Liberties Union investigated the effort and wrote letters to the New York State Education Department, asking it to intervene and block the project. ''This is opening the floodgates,'' Stefanie Coyle, education counsel for NYCLU, told BuzzFeed News in an interview. ''San Francisco banned this tech, and it's this major city closest to all the people who understand this tech the best. Why in the world would we want this to come to New York, and in a place where there are children?''
Meanwhile, New York State Assembly Member Monica Wallace has introduced a bill that, if passed, would force Lockport to stop the use of facial recognition for a year while the State Education Department further studied the tech.
But the NYCLU's Coyle also pointed out that the New York State Assembly's legislative session is ''almost over'' '-- it comes to a close in June. ''We're running out of time for [this bill] to be passed this session. So if it doesn't pass this session, there's nothing that will stop Lockport from implementing this facial recognition system in the fall.'' '—
The Purge
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''Yellow Vest'' Facebook group with 350,000 members frozen on European election day - World Socialist Web Site
Wed, 29 May 2019 14:11
By Will Morrow 28 May 2019On Sunday, polling day in the European elections, the largest Facebook group associated with the ''yellow vest'' protests in France, with more than 350,000 members, was frozen so that members could not publish or share information in it.
The group, named ''France in anger'--Map of rallies'' (France en col¨re'--Carte des rassemblements), is used by its members to organize locations for ''yellow vest'' demonstrations against the Emmanuel Macron government and to share news articles, political statements and videos of police violence.
At 12:29 p.m. on Sunday, one of the group's administrators posted a notice informing members that ''following automatic changes introduced by Facebook beginning on May 6, 2019, notifications for Yellow Vest groups hardly appear, giving the impression of inactivity of the movement.'' The message provided instructions for members to manually override the changes introduced by Facebook to show notifications for new activity.
The administrators further announced that ''we have been encountering major technical difficulties since this morning,'' without providing further information. ''We are not able to find a durable solution at present. We are therefore taking the delicate decision to put the group on pause. We hope for a resolution of the situation at the end of the evening.'' The freeze lasted until the early hours of yesterday morning.
In a Facebook group, every member can post material to the group's feed, which is visible to every other member. Many group members posted comments in response to the announcement opposing Facebook's act of censorship. Some said they were able to add comments to existing posts, but could not publish or share posts.
''In effect, I made the change as indicated because it seemed that no one was commenting. Long live Facebook's censorship,'' said one. ''I'm sure that Facebook is intentionally disrupting this group,'' said another. ''Impossible to publish and therefore to inform,'' replied a third.
Others pointed to the recent visit paid by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to President Macron on May 10. ''Since Macron's visit with the head of Facebook, I am only receiving a very small number of notifications of the page in my news feed,'' another wrote. ''Dictatorship, and it's not by chance that Macron met the Facebook director. Dictatorship.''
No further information has been published by either the group administrators or Facebook as to the restrictions on its notifications and postings. It is inconceivable, however, that actions by Facebook to restrict information on the ''yellow vest'' group could be made without the direct participation and input of the Macron government.
The Macron government and other major European states have utilized the European Union (EU) elections to intensify their collaboration with Facebook to censor the social media network, under the banner of fighting ''fake news'' and ''polarizing'' content.
This is viewed as a critical feature of the drive to suppress the growth of strikes, demonstrations and other forms of social opposition in the working class, which are increasingly organized online. The ''yellow vest'' protests have been organized almost entirely on Facebook, as has the growing opposition of French teachers, who are organizing demonstrations on Facebook against the Macron government's reactionary ''Blanquer'' education reforms. A video of police tear-gassing protesting teachers in Toulouse last Thursday has been viewed thousands of times, primarily via the ''Red Pens'' Facebook group.
Zuckerberg's meeting with Macron on May 10 reviewed the first half of a year-long collaboration'--the first of its kind with any government in the world'--in which French officials have been invited directly into Facebook's content ''moderation'' offices to analyze the material censored from users' news feeds. Because what shows up in a given user's news feed is determined by Facebook's own algorithms, the company and the state can control the spread of material.
Zuckerberg, who has a personal net worth of US$67.3 billion, later wrote that the purpose of the meeting was to review ''nuanced decisions'' that have to be made as to ''how we should handle content that isn't illegal but might cause harm.'' In other words, it was to discuss the suppression of content that is ''not illegal'''--i.e., legally protected free speech. Of course, as under the tsarist censors of old, what is considered ''harmful'' is determined by the ruling class and its police agencies.
The Macron government's report on its cooperation with Facebook, published to coincide with Zuckerberg's visit, made clear that ''harmful'' content is any material'--including videos of police violence, strikes by workers and demonstrations'--that encourages or gives expression to the opposition among young people and workers to the policies of the political establishment and the unprecedented levels of poverty and hoarding of wealth by the financial oligarchy.
Or, in the words of the report, Facebook's ability to determine what content is displayed on a user's news feed ''plays an essential role'' in the ''capacity of social media networks to prevent or accentuate problems in social cohesion.''
The report laid out the government's strategy of ''making the social media platforms responsible'' for censoring social media. Working directly with the social media giants would ''have the benefit of minimizing the opening for criticisms related to the risk of manipulating information'' by the state, the report explains. In other words, actions would be taken by Facebook, rather than in the name of the government and its intelligence agencies, to avoid challenges to the violation of the population's free speech rights.
Facebook established a censorship headquarters for this year's European elections, which it dubbed its ''war room,'' in Dublin, which the Guardian newspaper visited this month. The newspaper reported on May 5 that until the vote, ''and for several days after, about 40 people will be hunched over screens around the clock, monitoring the shifting pace of online conversation, looking for signs of manipulation, fake news or hate speech.'' They are ''backed up by a global network including threat intelligence experts, data scientists, researchers and engineers.''
The supposed struggle against ''fake news'' is the justification for the unlimited censorship of news information that does not conform to the lies of the government and its propaganda mouthpieces in the corporate media. A central target of the censorship of the technology corporations, including Google, has been the World Socialist Web Site.
The crackdown on social media is part of a far-reaching assault on free speech and democratic rights of the working class and the preparations for dictatorship by a ruling class that feels itself besieged by the growth of working-class struggles.
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Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg to face leadership vote - BBC News
Thu, 30 May 2019 11:31
Image copyright Reuters A vote calling for Mark Zuckerberg to stand down as Facebook's chairman is expected to take place at the company's annual general meeting on Thursday.
Mr Zuckerberg is both Facebook's chief executive and the chairman of its board of directors.
Those calling for him to step down as chairman say this would help him focus on running the company.
Mr Zuckerberg is very unlikely to lose the vote, because he has 60% of the voting power.
However, the percentage of shareholders who vote against him could indicate how much faith they have in his leadership.
Trillium Asset Management owns about $7m (£5.5m) worth of Facebook shares, and works with other businesses that control "hundreds of millions" of dollars worth of the company's shares.
The company is one of those advocating for Mr Zuckerberg to step down.
"He's holding down two full-time jobs in one of the most high-profile companies in the world right now. And if he can focus on being the CEO, and let somebody else focus on being independent board chair, that would be a much better situation," said Jonas Kron, senior vice-president at Trillium.
"He has examples in Larry Page and Alphabet, Bill Gates and Microsoft, of what it can look like for a founder not to be the chairman of the board.
"I realise that it may not be an easy step to take, but it's an important step that would be to his benefit and to his shareholders' benefit."
'Too much power'In May, Facebook's former security chief Alex Stamos called for Mr Zuckerberg to step down as chief executive.
"There's a legit argument that he has too much power," Mr Stamos told the Collision Conference in Canada.
Mr Zuckerberg previously defended his leadership of Facebook.
In April, he said: "When you're building something like Facebook, which is unprecedented in the world, there are things that you're going to mess up.
"What I think people should hold us accountable for is if we are learning from our mistakes."
EuroLand
Right-Wing Parties Surge in European Parliament Elections: 'A New Europe is Born'
Mon, 27 May 2019 13:05
Europeans woke Monday to a new political reality after European Parliament elections ended the domination of the EU's main center-right and center-left parties and revealed a changed political landscape where the far-right, pro-business groups and environmentalists will be forces to be reckoned with.
Turning out in numbers not seen for 20 years, voters took their concerns about immigration and security to the ballot box, making parties led by the likes of Italy's populist Matteo Salvini and France's far-right leader Marine Le Pen among the biggest in the 28-nation bloc's assembly.
''The rules are changing in Europe,'' Salvini, Italy's hard-line interior minister, said at his League party headquarters in Milan early Monday.
''A new Europe is born.''
Voter projections showed the League won 33 percent of the vote, up from just 6 percent at the last European vote in 2014.
TRENDING: Judge Raises Serious Questions About Democrats' Border Wall Lawsuit
The lion's share of Britain's seats went to Nigel Farage's Brexit Party, as citizens punished the governing conservatives and opposition Labour Party for their embarrassing failure to manage the divided country's delayed departure from the EU.
Riding what they called Europe's ''green wave'' backed by Europe-wide rallies urging climate action, environmentalist parties made strong gains, notably in Germany, one of the continent's main forces for EU integration.
The free-market liberals saw their stake in the 751-seat parliament rise to 107 seats, from 68 in 2014.
The picture of a fractured assembly for the next five years was complete as many citizens turned their backs on the center-right European People's Party and the center-left Socialists.
''We are facing a shrinking center of the European Union parliament,'' a subdued EPP lead candidate Manfred Weber said, after just over 50 percent of the EU's more than 400 million voters had turned out over four days in the world's biggest transnational elections. ''From now on, those who want to have a strong European Union have to join forces.''
The Socialist lead candidate, Frans Timmermans, essentially conceded defeat, even though the two groups remain the assembly's biggest by some margin.
''If you lose an election, if you lose seats, you have to be modest,'' the former Dutch foreign minister said. ''We have lost seats and this means that we have to be humble.''
Spanish caretaker Prime Minister Pedro Snchez was a notable exception, as his victorious Socialists looked set to win 20 of the country's 54 seats in the European Parliament.
Although still trickling in, results show that the EPP is set to secure 179 seats, down from 217 five years ago. The Socialists are slated to win 150, down from 187.
RELATED: British PM Theresa May Announces Resignation After Bungling Brexit
The two parties have dominated the parliament with a combined majority since elections were first held in 1979. Senior figures from the EPP hold the top posts in the EU's three main institutions: parliament president, head of the EU's powerful executive commission and European Council president, who chairs summits of European presidents and prime ministers.
While most power in Europe remains in the hands of the 28 member states, the assembly's influence has grown. It has forced member nations to cut down on plastics use and cut carbon dioxide emissions from automobiles ended mobile telephone roaming charges inside the bloc and boosted data privacy regulations.
The parliament also has an important say in international treaties ranging from trade talks to Brexit.
But now new, uncomfortable alliances must be forged. The pro-business liberals, or ALDE, backed by French President Emmanuel Macron '-- whose Republic on the Move party is set to win 23 seats, the same number as Le Pen's National Rally '-- insist that Europe's traditional political certainties are a thing of the past.
''The monopoly of power has been broken,'' said ALDE lead candidate Margrethe Vestager, currently the EU's competition commissioner, describing Sunday's polls as ''a signal for change.''
Party group leaders begin their horse-trading Monday to see what kind of stable alliance can be established and who might secure the EU's top jobs. Their decisions will set the stage for EU leaders, who meet over dinner Tuesday to see where the political pieces lie and discuss potential candidates.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.
Austrian parliament sacks Kurz as video sting crisis rolls on - Reuters
Mon, 27 May 2019 23:44
VIENNA (Reuters) - Austrian conservative Chancellor Sebastian Kurz suffered the biggest setback of his meteoric career on Monday as parliament voted the 32-year-old's government out of office in the wake of a video sting that blew up his coalition with the far right.
The star among Europe's conservatives, known for his hard line on immigration, looked unassailable just two weeks ago.
But then the leader of the far-right Freedom Party (FPO) was caught in a video sting, prompting him to step down and leading Kurz to call off their alliance.
Kurz became the head of a caretaker government just days ago and hoped to use that position as a springboard to re-election, depicting himself as more of a victim of the current crisis than its enabler who brought the FPO into power. But the centre-left opposition said he shared the blame, and the FPO backed it.
''Kurz gambled away his chances and, Mr Chancellor, you bear full responsibility,'' the Social Democrats' (SPO) deputy parliamentary faction head Joerg Leichtfried said in a speech to lawmakers, minutes before his party submitted a motion of no-confidence against Kurz's government.
The first successful no-confidence motion against an Austrian government since the country regained its independence in 1955 was passed when lawmakers from the Social Democrats and FPO stood in support. Together they control a majority of seats in the assembly. Kurz's party holds a third of the seats.
Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen must now nominate a new chancellor to put together a caretaker government able to last until the next election, widely expected to be held in September. While he could in principle choose Kurz again, that is highly unlikely. An elder statesman, like a retired president or senior judge, is the more probable.
Van der Bellen said he would formally relieve the government of its duties at 11:30 a.m. (0930 GMT) on Tuesday but ask ministers to stay on for ''a small number of days'' until a solution for a new provisional government were found. Vice Chancellor Hartwig Loeger would lead until then, he said.
Kurz had replaced outgoing FPO ministers with civil servants, arguing that even though he headed what was essentially a minority government, it represented stability in the wake of the video scandal and ahead of a parliamentary election widely expected to be held in September.
Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz attends a session of the Parliament in Vienna, Austria May 27, 2019. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger INVESTIGATIONS He also pledged a full investigation into any crimes and wrongdoing arising from the footage in which FPO veteran Heinz-Christian Strache appeared to offer to fix government contracts for a woman posing as a Russian oligarch's niece.
Strache says he did nothing illegal. Vienna prosecutors say they are investigating ''in multiple directions'' in relation to the footage although they have declined to elaborate.
Instead of seriously seeking to build bridges with the Social Democrats and other opposition parties, however, Kurz sought to strengthen his hand with a strong showing in Sunday's European election, and he succeeded.
Rather than punish his People's Party for its 17-month alliance with the far right, voters rewarded it with a bigger share of the vote than in the 2017 election that brought Kurz to power. The Social Democrats (SPO), the biggest opposition party, were unable to capitalise on the video scandal and lost ground.
''To topple the entire government a few months before an election is something no one in this country can understand,'' Kurz told lawmakers the day after what he called his party's ''landslide'' victory in the European Parliament vote.
But that did not deter the SPO from bringing its motion of no confidence against Kurz. It argued that if any ministers were going to be replaced with civil servants to rebuild trust after the scandal it should be all ministers including Kurz.
''Your actions have nothing to do with responsibility,'' SPO leader Pamela Rendi-Wagner told lawmakers.
Kurz had prepared his arguments ahead of the vote, saying he would once again seek a show of strength at the ballot box.
Slideshow (7 Images) ''Parliament decided today but at the end of the day, in September, in a democracy the people decide,'' he told a party rally in Vienna after the vote. ''I am looking forward to that.''
The FPO's Herbert Kickl, whom Kurz forced out of his post as interior minister, forecast a different outcome. ''This power grab is disgusting... And voters will decide about that, too, in September,'' he told lawmakers.
Additional reporting by Kirsti Knolle in Vienna and Michael Shields in Zurich; Editing by John Stonestreet and Hugh Lawson
Mossad behind video leak that collapsed Austrian government - German ex-spy chief -- Puppet Masters -- Sott.net
Thu, 30 May 2019 10:33
(C) CC0
Austrian politics has been rocked by "Ibiza-gate" allegations that the country's vice chancellor was discussing the possibility of a foreign citizen investing into a local newspaper in exchange for favourable media coverage.
Rudolf Adam, a former diplomat and deputy head of Germany's Federal Intelligence Service, claims that the scandal that turned Austria's politics upside down was orchestrated by Israeli secret services.
Writing for the political magazine Cicero, Adam argues that the plan to bring down Vice Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache with an explosive video leak was unlikely to have been hatched by the United States, which is currently "fully occupied with Korea, Iran and China".
Nor could be Russia behind the "political assassination", as Adam puts it, given that the now-former vice chancellor had been advocating closer ties with Moscow.
No European service "could and should" do such a thing, Adam maintains, while China and the Arab countries appear to have little interest in Austrian domestic politics.
"All that remains is a state that has the human and technical capacities for such an operation, and a clear motive: Israel," he continues.
Rufold Adam, who has worked in German embassies in Moscow and in London, points out that Jewish communities in Europe are afraid of a rise in anti-Semitic sentiment and Holocaust denial, which could pose an existential threat to the State of Israel.
He claims that Strache embodies "deep-seated anti-Semitism" and a "trivialisation" of Nazi atrocities, so Israel had to react.
"Israel has a survival interest in the EU pursuing an Israel-friendly policy. This line has already been controversial among EU members. A triumph of political parties close to the FPO could initiate a turnaround here and bring the EU as a whole into a more Israel-critical line," he claims.
Ironically enough, Adam himself was accused of anti-Semitism following the publication of his opinion piece.
According to Israeli newspaper Ynetnews, the Conference of European Rabbis (CER), the foremost Rabbinical alliance in Europe, said that the attempt to blame Israel for Strache's downfall is "reminiscent of classic anti-Semitism" and cannot be ignored.
Two German papers reported on 17 May that Heinz-Christian Strache, the head of the nationalist FPO party, and his assistant Johann Gudenus had discussed offering business dealings to a woman, who later turned out to have Latvian citizenship, in exchange for friendly media coverage.
The conversation presumably took place on Ibiza in the summer of 2017.
The woman was reportedly seeking to invest illegal money into Austria's largest newspaper, the Kronen Zeitung. She was said to have discussed tilting its media coverage in favour of the FPO, effectively boosting its electoral chances in the 2017 general election.
Incidentally, the video was held back for almost two years and surfaced nearly a week before the European Parliament elections. Adam believes it is not a coincidence, given the "unprecedented success" of right-wing parties and that Strache was playing a "central role" in this right-wing bloc with his FPO.
Strache, who did not question the authenticity of the tape but called it a "targeted political assassination", was forced to step down as vice-chancellor and FPO leader. Chancellor Sebastian Kurz scrapped his People's Party's coalition with the FPO, forcing the latter to quit the government.
Kurz himself was forced to resign on Monday after a no-confidence vote in parliament, while his government was dismissed.
'Russian oligarch's niece' was student paid to set up Austrian Vice-Chancellor Strache '' paper '-- RT World News
Thu, 30 May 2019 15:22
The 'Russian oligarch's niece' at the center of the corruption scandal that brought down the Austrian government was actually a Bosnian student paid to set up the then-vice-chancellor, an Austrian tabloid claims.
Austria's government collapsed on Monday after a no-confidence motion in parliament ousted Chancellor Sebastian Kurz from power. The scandal began two weeks earlier, however, when German media published a secretly recorded video showing former vice-chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache discussing an illicit deal with a woman purporting to be the niece of a Russian tycoon.
In the video, shot in Ibiza in 2017, the woman plies Strache with alcohol, and according to Austrian tabloid Krone, harder drugs to ''loosen his tongue.'' She then offers to buy a 50 percent stake in the country's Kronen Zeitung newspaper and switch its editorial position in favor of Strache's Freedom Party (FPO). Strache offered the woman business contracts in Austria in exchange for favorable coverage, media reported.
Despite the spy-movie premise, the woman in the starring role was reportedly not the Russian heiress she claimed to be. A report by Kronen, published Monday, claims that she was a Bosnian agricultural science student, and was paid up to 7,000 euros for her acting skills.
Citing investigator Gert Schmidt, the tabloid revealed that the woman spoke four languages, including perfect Russian, and was the kind of blond beauty ''who interests Mr. Strache.'' The paper states that the Ibizan villa the video was shot in was already bugged and had previously been used for ''other covert operations.''
Who set it up?The funders of the sting operation are still unknown, although Schmidt suspects disgruntled liberal politicians who would stop at nothing to keep Strache's FPO and outgoing Chancellor Sebastian Kurz's Austrian People's Party (OVP) out of power, and were willing to pay 600,000 euros for the footage. Strache has called the sting ''a honey trap stage-managed by intelligence agencies,'' but no proof of any agency's involvement exists.
The paper claims that a Vienna-based lawyer, Ramin Mirfakhrai, put Strache in touch with the femme fatale. Mirfakhrai confirmed his involvement, but described the operation as a ''civil society-driven project in which investigative-journalistic approaches were taken.'' Strache, on the other hand, called it a ''targeted political assassination.''
Also on rt.com 'Reminds of Israeli political strategist Tal Silberstein' - Austrian Chancellor on tape scandal Der Spiegel and the S¼ddeutsche Zeitung '' the German papers that revealed the video '' have refused to comment on the tape's origins in order to protect their sources. Both Strache and Kurz have suggested that a shadowy Israeli political consultant, Tal Silberstein, may have orchestrated the setup. Silberstein had previously worked with Austria's left-wing Social Democrats (SPO) in 2017 to discredit Kurz's bid for power, and for the party in 2002. A kind of Israeli Roger Stone character, Silberstein also consulted with Bolivia's Gonzalo Snchez de Lozada in 2002, advising the strongman to ''start negative campaigns'' about his left-wing opponent Evo Morales.
Convenient timingWhile obviously a well-planned attack on Strache, and by extension Kurz, the video surfaced at a convenient time for the European establishment. It is unlikely a coincidence that the team that made the video sat on such scandalous footage for almost two years, especially if the goal was simply to dislodge Kurz and Strache from power.
Released less than two weeks before last weekend's European Parliament elections, the tape was likely a calculated blow against the OVP and FPO's chances in the vote, and against the European right more broadly. Linking the emergent right wing to Moscow could be an effective strategy, what with themes of 'election meddling' and 'Russian interference' bandied around by the media across the continent.
Also on rt.com Austrian VC caught discussing alleged shady deals, and pundits cry 'Russia took over the country' The media bought it, with pundits panicking over the Russian plot to ''destroy the free press'' and sounding the alarm on how the European right is ''secretly on the take from Russia.'' The Kremlin denied any knowledge of the starring woman, and her billionaire 'uncle' came forward to say he had no family links to her and was ''an only child.''
With elections over, the woman's true identity is now a side note. However, if the intent was to discredit the European right, the plan could be considered a failure. Nationalist and right-wing parties delivered a good performance across Europe, helping defeat the combined majority of the European Parliament's center-right EPP and center-left S&D blocs.
In Austria, though Kurz faces an uphill battle to regain power in September's snap election, the OVP surged to victory on Sunday, taking 35 percent of the vote. Even the FPO, rocked by the tape scandal, lost only two percent, taking 17 percent of the vote.
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Strache Video-Was it the Mossad? | Cicero Online
Tue, 28 May 2019 11:03
In –sterreich werden der zweitm¤chtigste Mann der Regierung und sein Intimus in einer sorgf¤ltig eingef¤delten Falle als raffgierige, machtversessene, gewissen- und skrupellose Gauner enttarnt. Ein heimlich aufgenommenes Video vom Sommer 2017 zeigt die beiden mit einem Verhalten, das halb mafi¶s, halb landesverr¤terisch wirkt. Heinz-Christian Strache, bis zum Wochenende noch Vizekanzler, nennt seine uŸerungen selbst 'žkatastrophal und ausgesprochen peinlich'' und spricht von 'žalkoholbedingtem Machogehabe''.
Die Aufregung weltweit ist groŸ. Das Gehabe der beiden ist abstoŸend und d¼rfte ein juristisches Nachspiel haben. Viel interessanter aber ist die Frage: Wer steckt hinter dieser Intrige? Welche Absichten haben die Initiatoren geleitet? Lassen sich daraus R¼ckschl¼sse auf weitere Angriffe auf westliche Demokratien herleiten?
Strache und Gudenus '' eine enge VerbindungZun¤chst ein Blick auf die Protagonisten: Strache hat 2005 J¶rg Haider als zu zentristisch von der Spitze der FP– verdr¤ngt. Sein Kompagnon im Video, Johannes Gudenus, ist seit gemeinsamen Tagen in der Burschenschaft 'žVandalia'' mit Strache eng verbunden und dessen rechte Hand. Strache pflegte enge Beziehungen zu rechtsextremistischen Gruppierungen wie zur Wiking-Jugend und zur deutschen DVU. Er hat 2016 einen Kooperationsvertrag zwischen seiner FP– und der russischen Regierungspartei Einheitliches Russland unterschrieben. Gudenus wurde 2017 von Bundespr¤sident Alexander van der Bellen als Minister abgelehnt. Gudenus hielt stattdessen seither die FP–-Fraktion auf Strache-Linie.
Er ist durch hemds¤rmelige Auftritte und betonte Russlandfreundlichkeit aufgefallen: Er unterst¼tzte im Wahlkampf die rechtsextreme Jobbik-Partei in Ungarn. Er attestierte dem Referendum, das im M¤rz 2014 auf der Krim abgehalten wurde, es sei v¶llig legitim und ohne Druck und Zwang abgelaufen. Die OSZE hatte zuvor eine Wahlbeobachtung abgelehnt, weil zu offensichtlich war, dass dieses Referendum nachtr¤glich eine Scheinlegitimit¤t f¼r einen v¶lkerrechtswidrigen Gewaltakt schaffen sollte. Dass dieses Referendum be¤ngstigende Parallelen zu der Volksabstimmung aufwies, mit der Hitler 76 Jahre zuvor den 'žAnschluss'' –sterreichs zu legitimieren trachtete, st¶rte Gudenus nicht. Gudenus pflegt freundschaftliche Beziehungen zu Tschetscheniens Herrscher Kadyrow. Er ist verheiratet mit einer Serbin und feiert den (illegitimen) serbischen Nationalfeiertag in der (bosnischen Teil-)Republika Srpska. Bereits sein Vater John Gudenus saŸ f¼r die FP– im National- und im Bundesrat. Er machte sich einen Namen als Verharmloser von KZs, Gaskammern und vom Holocaust.
Verhalten grenzt an LandesverratBeide Protagonisten stehen jetzt vor dem abrupten Ende ihrer politischen Karrieren. Strache verlor nicht nur sein Ministeramt, sondern auch den Parteivorsitz. Gudenus legte alle Partei¤mter nieder und gab seinen Parlamentssitz auf.
Es blieb ihnen keine Wahl: Denn zwei sich nationalistisch gebende Politiker haben sich als skrupellose Manipulateure entlarvt, die mit ausl¤ndischen Geldgebern die demokratische Willensbildung ihres Landes zu ihren eigenen parteipolitischen Gunsten beeinflussen wollten. Sie waren bereit, den Geldgebern daf¼r Staatsauftr¤ge mit entsprechenden Profitmargen auf Kosten der Steuerzahler den Geldgebern zuzuschanzen. Das Ganze grenzt an Landesverrat.
Der verh¤ngnisvolle Abend auf IbizaDoch was ist auf Ibiza eigentlich passiert? Was bislang bekannt ist, bleibt d¼rftig. Strache hat in seiner R¼cktrittsrede Folgendes verraten: Schon Monate vor dem Sommer 2017 sei eine Frau, die sich als lettische Staatsb¼rgerin und als Nichte eines Putin nahestehenden russischen Oligarchen ausgab, an Gudenus herangetreten. Sie behauptete, mit ihrer Tochter nach Wien ¼bersiedeln zu wollen, dazu Investitionsm¶glichkeiten in –sterreich zu suchen und eine Jagd pachten zu wollen, die Gudenus besaŸ. Das war kurz nach dem Tod seines Vaters (14. September 2016). 'ber Monate habe sich ein Vertrauensverh¤ltnis entwickelt. Hier liegt die erste Ungereimtheit. Wenn ich ¼ber Monate mit jemandem ¼ber Gesch¤ftsbeziehungen rede, ziehe ich Erkundigungen ¼ber Umfeld und Hintergrund dieser Person ein. Die Dame muss also einen Namen haben. Sie wird auch den Namen ihres vorgeblichen Onkels fallen gelassen haben, denn dessen N¤he zu Putin und dessen Geld scheinen die T¼r¶ffner f¼r die Beziehung gewesen zu sein und das Interesse der –sterreicher geweckt zu haben.
Die Dame hat Strache und Gudenus dann zu einer Besprechung in eine Finca auf Ibiza eingeladen. Wohnzimmer, Terrasse und K¼che des Geb¤udes waren vorher systematisch f¼r eine Abh¶r- und Video¼berwachung vorbereitet worden. Die Ausschnitte dieser Videos kursieren im Internet. Insgesamt waren im Wohnzimmer mindestens zwei Kameras versteckt. Beide lieŸen sich ein wenig bewegen. Bildausschnitt, Fokussierung und Brennweiten werden angepasst. Es muss also ein Kameramann von auŸen die Aufnahmen im Inneren mitverfolgt und gesteuert haben.
Diese Aufnahmen wurden vor mehr als einem Monat einigen deutschen Journalisten angeboten, unter abenteuerlichen Umst¤nden ¼bergeben, eingehend gepr¼ft und vergangene Woche publiziert. An der Echtheit der Aufnahmen besteht kein Zweifel. Selbst die beiden Hauptdarsteller r¤umen ein, dass sie echt sind.
Warum taucht das Video jetzt auf?Doch weshalb macht jemand solche Aufnahmen, h¤lt sie dann fast zwei Jahre zur¼ck und gibt sie erst jetzt an die –ffentlichkeit? Weshalb sind diese Aufnahmen nicht bereits vor den Nationalratswahlen publiziert worden, die am 15. Oktober 2017 (also drei Monate sp¤ter) stattfanden und die FP– und Strache ¼berhaupt erst in die Regierung gebracht haben?
Grund k¶nnten die bevorstehenden Wahlen zum EU-Parlament sein. Hier zeichnet sich ein beispielloser Erfolg rechtsnationaler Parteien und deren europaweiten B¼ndnissen ab. Umfragen sehen diesen Block bei 30 Prozent. Strache hat in diesem Block mit seiner FP– eine zentrale Rolle gespielt. Er hat zwischen den nordischen Rechten (AfD, PVV von Geert Wilders in den Niederlanden, Schwedendemokraten) und den populistisch-nationalistischen Parteien am Mittelmeer und auf dem Balkan (Salvinis Lega in Italien, Orbans Fidesz in Ungarn, Le Pens Rassemblement National in Frankreich, Santiago Abascals Vox in Spanien) vermittelt. Wer diesem sich anbahnenden EU-weiten B¼ndnis rechtsnationaler Kr¤fte entgegen treten wollte, musste jetzt handeln. Das Video ist ein Schuss vor den Bug dieser Bewegung und ein Schuss in Herz der FP–. Dass dieses Video so lange zur¼ckgehalten wurde, deutet darauf hin, dass sich hier jemand mit weiter Voraussicht Kompromate beschaffen wollte. Vermutlich ist dieses Video nicht das einzige belastende Material dieser Art. Seine jetzige Ver¶ffentlichung ist gleichzeitig eine Warnung an alle, die sich in ¤hnlicher Weise exponiert haben k¶nnten. Nat¼rlich wirft so ein Video die Frage auf, ob vielleicht auch das omin¶se Treffen von Donald Trump Jr, Paul Manafort und Jared Kushner mit der r¤tselhaften Natalja Veselnitzkaja in New York am 9. Juni 2016 illegal dokumentiert worden ist und somit als Kompromat zur Erpressung taugt.
Alles deutet auf Geheimdienste hinDie Herstellung dieses Videos deutet darauf hin, dass es sich nicht um die Arbeit von Journalisten handelt, sondern professionelle Geheimdienstler am Werk waren. Die Aktion ist mit groŸem finanziellen und organisatorischen Aufwand vorbereitet und durchgef¼hrt worden. Zun¤chst musste Gudenus 'žangef¼ttert'' werden. Er hat den K¶der sofort geschluckt. Auch Strache scheint in v¶lliger Ahnungslosigkeit in die Falle hineingetappt zu sein. Wenn er sich mit Alkohol und Imponiergehabe zu entschuldigen versucht, zeigt das nur, dass er jegliche Vorsicht, Kontrolle und jeglichen Verdacht beiseite geschoben hat. Und das bei einer Frau, die er angeblich zum ersten und letzten Mal dort gesehen hat. Er muss durch Hinweise aus dem Umfeld vertrauensselig gemacht worden sein.
Die Operation Ibiza war also von langer Hand sorgf¤ltig geplant, mit h¶chster Professionalit¤t vorbereitet '' vermutlich auch einge¼bt '' und dann durchgef¼hrt. Es ist kaum anzunehmen, dass Journalisten oder Redaktionen f¼r eine derartige Operation die Erfahrung und das Geld haben. Vor allem aber kann sich keine Redaktion leisten, bei einer solchen Aktion in flagranti erwischt zu werden. Es ist also wahrscheinlich, dass professionelle Geheimdienstler dahinter stecken, die in der Kunst bewandert sind, sich zu verstellen, Quellen zu k¶dern und dann in Sicherheit zu wiegen, und die Zugang zur notwendigen Technik haben.
Doch wer kann sie beauftragt haben? Es kommen nur staatliche Geheimdienste oder eine Gruppe von ehemaligen Geheimdienstlern in Frage, die sich von einem Privatmann haben anheuern lassen. Die letzere Hypothese ist jedoch extrem unwahrscheinlich. Kein Privatmann kann riskieren, dass eine solche Operation mit seinem Namen verbunden wird, vor allem, wenn sie schief gehen sollte. Zudem wird ein bunt zusammen gew¼rfelter Haufen von ex-geheimdienstlichen 'žLandsknechten'' nicht die notwendige Teamarbeit und den langen Atem aufbringen, der f¼r diese Operation notwendig ist. Es w¤re auch ein Wunder, wenn eine solche privat initiierte Operation im Zeitalter umfassender Terror¼berwachung unentdeckt bliebe.
Welcher Staat k¶nnte dahinter stecken?Kein europ¤ischer Dienst d¼rfte und k¶nnte so etwas durchf¼hren. Die amerikanischen Dienste sind vollauf mit Korea, Iran und China besch¤ftigt. Zudem d¼rften die politischen Sympathien von Pr¤sident Donald Trump eher bei Strache und der FP– als bei ihren Gegnern liegen. Russland? Daf¼r spricht, dass Russland in letzter Zeit immer wieder versucht hat, demokratische Willensbildung in westlichen Staaten zu beeinflussen, und dass russische Sicherheitsdienste sich seit Jahrzehnten auf die Kunst des Kompromats verstehen. Das Kompromat ist sozusagen der Kitt, der die russische politische Elite zusammenh¤lt. Dagegen spricht, dass Strache und Gudenus seit Jahren F¼rsprecher Russlands waren. Strache hat wiederholt und insistent ein Ende der Sanktionen gefordert. Beide verk¶rpern in perfekter Weise die eigenartige Affinit¤t zwischen rechtsnational-autorit¤ren Str¶mungen und dem autorit¤r herrschenden Putin. Beide Politiker waren aus Moskauer Sicht vielleicht Idioten, aber eben h¶chst n¼tzliche Idioten.
China oder Dienste aus der arabischen Welt d¼rften kein Interesse an ¶sterreichischer Innenpolitik haben.
Bleibt nur ein Staat, der die menschlichen und technischen F¤higkeiten zu einer derartigen Operation und ein eindeutiges Motiv hat: Israel. Dort und in den j¼dischen Gemeinden in Europa w¤chst die Angst vor einem anschwellenden Antisemitismus, der den Nationalsozialismus sch¶nf¤rberisch bem¤ntelt und den Holocaust verharmlost, wenn nicht leugnet. Wenn derartige Str¶mungen im Parlament der EU einen institutionellen Rahmen und einen weithin t¶nenden Resonanzboden erhalten, d¼rften diese Gefahren weiter anwachsen. Israel hat ein 'berlebensinteresse daran, dass die EU eine Israel-freundliche Politik verfolgt. Diese Linie war schon bislang unter den EU-Mitgliedern umstritten. Ein Triumph von politischen Parteien, die der FP– nahe stehen, k¶nnte hier einen Umschwung einleiten und die EU insgesamt auf eine eher Israel-kritische Linie bringen. Dies ist zu sehen vor der steigenden Wahrscheinlichkeit eines Konflikts Israels mit dem Iran, der gegenw¤rtig vor allem aus der EU und aus Russland Sympathie erf¤hrt. Eine Spaltung zwischen den USA und der EU ¼ber den Iran h¤tte unweigerlich Auswirkungen auf deren Verh¤ltnis zu Israel.
Was f¼r Israel als Auftraggeber sprichtGetroffen hat es die FP– und zwei ihrer markantesten K¶pfe. Beide verk¶rpern einen Kurs, der tiefsitzenden Antisemitismus mit einer Bagatellisierung nationalsozialistischer Untaten verbindet. Die j¼dische Kultusgemeinde –sterreichs und die Regierung Israels lehnen jegliche Kontakte zur FP– ab. Antisemitische Ausf¤lle und deutliche Sympathien f¼r Hitler und seine v¶lkische Politik sind f¼r die FP– t¤gliches Brot: Es sei nur an das uns¤gliche Rattengedicht von Christian Schilcher aus Braunau oder an die Ungeheuerlichkeiten eines Udo Landbauer erinnert, der Hitler-Bilder verteilte und meinte, auch 'ždie siebte Million sei noch zu schaffen.'' Gudenus hat mehrfach angedeutet, dass Juden und insbesondere George Soros hinter den anschwellenden Migrantenstr¶men stecken k¶nnten. Soros habe 'žmit viel Kapitalmacht versucht, alle m¶glichen Umw¤lzungstendenzen in Osteuropa zu finanzieren.'' Insassen des KZ Mauthausen nannte er 'žLandplage'' und 'žKriminelle''.
Dem Mossad ist eine solche Operation zuzutrauen. In Israel finden sich viele Staatsb¼rger, die Russisch als Muttersprache sprechen und enge Beziehungen zu russischsprachigen Gemeinden in der ehemaligen Sowjetunion unterhalten. Viele russische Oligarchen entstammen j¼dischen Familien und unterhalten enge Beziehungen zu Israel.
Hoffnung auf Aufkl¤rungVielleicht werden Strache und Gudenus noch n¤here Einzelheiten zu dem bizarren Vorgang enth¼llen. Solange allerdings mit Herbert Kickl ihr Parteifreund das Innenministerium kontrolliert, wird der Aufkl¤rungseifer sich in Grenzen halten. Wichtig w¤ren jetzt ein parlamentarischer Untersuchungsausschuss und ein Gerichtsverfahren. Nur so lassen sich die Beteiligten zu Aussagen zwingen. Entscheidend wird sein, ob sich die Identit¤t der omin¶sen Russisch sprechenden Nichte eines Oligarchen aus Lettland und der Name dieses Onkels feststellen l¤sst. Ohne deren Identifizierung d¼rften Aufkl¤rungsbem¼hungen bald an ihre Grenzen stossen.
Nach dem Novichok-Attentat auf Sergej Skripal in Salisbury vom 4. M¤rz 2018 tappte man monatelang im Dunkeln. Dann aber gelang es, zwei Verd¤chtige zu identifizieren. Vielleicht ist hnliches ja auch in diesem Fall m¶glich. Wie viel Video¼berwachung ¶ffentlicher Pl¤tze gibt es auf Ibiza? Gibt es noch Zugriff auf die Namen der Flugreisenden im fraglichen Zeitraum und deren Unterlagen? Wer hat die Finca, wer die Autos angemietet? Welche Dokumente wurden vorgelegt? Wurden diese fotokopiert? Es gibt viele Spuren, denen nachzugehen sich lohnt.
Gegenw¤rtig bleiben jedoch alle 'berlegungen, die ¼ber das, was bislang bekannt ist, hinausgehen, pure Spekulation und sollten als solche mit ¤uŸerster Vorsicht aufgenommen werden '' also auch dieser Beitrag.
British Steel owner Marc Meyohas insists he's not to blame for firm's collapse | This is Money
Tue, 28 May 2019 13:38
Private equity owner of British Steel insists he's not to blame for firm's collapse, as 25,000 jobs are left at riskMarc Meyohas said his firm, Greybull Capital, shouldn't be blamed for the failureGreybull bought British Steel for £1 from Tata in 2016 Meyohas said the collapse was due to factors which are beyond his controlThe firm is now being supported by the Government amid efforts to find a buyer By City & Finance Reporter for the Daily Mail
Published: 16:11 EDT, 26 May 2019 | Updated: 06:16 EDT, 27 May 2019
The private equity owner of British Steel, Marc Meyohas
The private equity owner of British Steel has insisted its collapse was not his fault.
Marc Meyohas said his company, Greybull Capital, should not be blamed for the failure '' which has put 25,000 jobs at risk '' and that he had done everything possible to keep it afloat.
It came as Whitehall sources warned that British Steel will be allowed to go under if a buyer is not found within two weeks.
Greybull bought British Steel for £1 from Tata in 2016, when it was last at risk of failure, and has since extracted £6 million of fees.
But Meyohas said the collapse was due to factors which are beyond his control, such as Brexit uncertainty.
He said he would be willing to face MPs on the Business Select Committee and account for his actions, telling The Mail on Sunday: 'We'll support any inquiries fully and openly. We did everything we could to support British Steel from the minute we got involved in it.'
The firm is now being supported by the Government amid desperate efforts to find a buyer.
British Steel has 4,800 staff, mostly working at its site in Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire. Another 20,000 people work for firms in its supply chain.
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French Senate Passes Bill Demanding Notre Dame be Rebuilt Exactly How It Was Before the Fire '' Summit News
Wed, 29 May 2019 12:46
Art/Architecture As a ''space for thinking and self-reflection''.
A Swedish architecture firm has proposed turning the roof of Notre Dame cathedral in Paris into a giant swimming pool.
Yes, seriously.
In line with the French government's announcement that a modern, contemporary redesign would be preferred, Stockholm-based Ulf Mejergren Architects (UMA) say the roof of the gothic church should become ''a new meditative space with unmatched views over Paris.''
In order to return Notre Dame to ''the city and the people'' (which was already the situation before the fire), the company wants to install ''a large public pool that occupies the whole roof.''
''Our addition is a complementary spatial experience to the building that will match the awe of the great interior; a space for thinking and self-reflection,'' said UMA describing their project.
While the proposal sounds bizarre, it's actually not as bad as some of the other ideas, which include turning the roof of the sacred structure into a giant greenhouse.
vincent callebaut proposes to unite notre dame's nave, roof, and spire with glass canopy https://t.co/xTzL5jv2vw pic.twitter.com/J5dkHfvoY7
'-- designboom (@designboom) May 7, 2019
Another plan involves turning the roof into a banal garden with a mis-shapen penthouse plonked in the middle.
Architecture expert Tom Wilkinson also called for Notre Dame's fallen spire to be replaced with an Islamic minaret as an apology to Algerian Muslims killed by French police.
As we previously reported, the French government has forbidden state-employed architects from giving interviews to the media about the Notre Dame fire, which destroyed the cathedral's spire.
The actual cause of the fire remains a mystery.
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There is a war on free speech. Without your support, my voice will be silenced.
Please sign up for the free newsletter here. Donate to me on SubscribeStar here.
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Art/Architecture Cause of fire remains a mystery.
The French government has reportedly forbidden state-employed architects from giving interviews to the media about the Notre Dame fire.
That's according to Antoine Pasquier, editor in chief of news outlet Famille Chr(C)tienne.
Pasquier tweeted that France's Ministry of Culture has ordered government architects who work for Monuments Historiques, the state body responsible for preserving the architectural heritage of France, not to speak to the press.
Info confirm(C)e par 2 archi des monuments historiques : le minist¨re de la culture leur interdit de r(C)pondre aux interviews sur #Notre-Dame
'-- Antoine Pasquier (@PasquierA) April 19, 2019
As we highlighted yesterday, despite authorities ruling the fire an ''accident,'' the actual cause of the blaze has yet to be determined.
The company responsible for elevators in the cathedral said the power to them was cut by workers leaving the site an hour and a half before the fire started.
Electrical wiring that ran through the roof of the cathedral was also up to standards, according to Notre-Dame spokesman Andre Finot.
A scaffolding firm that worked on the site also said that some its employees defied rules by smoking, but asserted that it was impossible for a cigarette butt to burn old oak beams.
The Paris prosecutor's office announced that it had not ruled out any hypothesis about the origin of the fire and that all possibilities were still being explored.
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Art/Architecture Paris prosecutor's office says all possibilities still being explored.
Despite authorities ruling that the Notre Dame fire was ''accidental,'' it remains a mystery as to what started the blaze that engulfed and nearly destroyed the 850 year old gothic cathedral.
Despite police asserting that an electrical short circuit was the probable cause of the fire, Europe Echaffaudage said that the electricity supply to the two lifts on the site ''was perfectly within specifications and well maintained''.
The company added that workers had cut power to the elevators when they left the site at 5:20pm, an hour and a half before the fire started.
Electrical wiring that ran through the roof of the cathedral was also up to standards.
''Nothing was ever done without the authorisation of the state'...There were no wires dangling, everything was properly installed,'' Notre-Dame spokesman Andre Finot said.
A scaffolding firm that worked on the site said that some its employees did defy rules by smoking, but asserted that it was impossible for a cigarette butt to burn oak beams.
''We condemn it. But the fire started inside the building'... so for company Le Bras this is not a hypothesis, it was not a cigarette butt that set Notre-Dame de Paris on fire,'' Le Bras Fr¨res spokesman Marc Eskenazi said.
The Paris prosecutor's office re-iterated that it had not ruled out any hypothesis about the origin of the fire and that all possibilities were still being explored.
Meanwhile, Notre Dame may be facing an even bigger threat than the fire itself '' modernist architects who plan to rebuild the cathedral to reflect France's new ''diversity''.
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London Bridge Terrorist Was Previously Hired to Investigate ''Suspicious Packages'' '' Summit News
Wed, 29 May 2019 14:10
A rail company in Liverpool, UK said it would remove posters advertising Morrissey's new album after ONE offended idiot complained.
Unlike 99% of musicians, who are terrified of offending left-wing outrage mobs for fear of losing their careers, Morrissey has become increasingly outspoken about mass immigration in recent years.
He also threw his support behind the For Britain party because it is the only one in the UK to oppose the brutal Islamic practice of halal slaughter, where animals are tortured and slowly bled to death.
As we reported yesterday, this led to the oldest record store in the world permanently banning sales of Morrissey records.
Now Merseyrail has announced it will remove Morrissey posters, placed throughout its stations by a third party advertiser, because of a single complaint by a commuter who said he was ''offended'' by Morrissey's views.
''[The things Morrissey has said] offend me and a lot of other people,'' 32-year-old Jack Dotchin told the Echo. ''He's very far right these days, going on about immigrants and being pseudo-racist.''
''It's just strange to think Merseyrail, being a public service for the people, is advertising someone with his views,'' he added.
The world's oldest record store has banned sales of Morrissey records because he dared deviate from leftist dogma by supporting a political party which is critical of the Islamic practice of halal slaughter of animals.https://t.co/ZVJwO8Zs89
'-- Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) 23 May 2019
''Advertising on the Merseyrail network is managed by an external third party, who are currently in the process of removing these posters,'' the company responded.
''Processes are in place for Merseyrail to approve any potentially contentious material prior to it appearing on the network, however due to the nature of this advertisement it did not reach a level of verification.''
The posters are not ''political'' at all '' they merely advertise Morrissey's latest album, which was released today.
Merseyrail also apologized ''for any offense the publication of these posters may have caused''.
Are they going to apologize to me? I'm offended at their pathetic cowardice in rolling over in after a SINGLE complaint.
Morrissey is an icon who isn't afraid to speak his mind in a world of sanctimonious, boring NPC leftist morons.
Our society is being ruled by whiny, self-victimized, virtue signalling crybabies '' and corporations and governments are caving in to their every hysterical demand at the drop of a hat.
Mark Zuckerberg hates it when you share this article on Facebook.
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There is a war on free speech. Without your support, my voice will be silenced.
Please sign up for the free newsletter here. Donate to me on SubscribeStar here.
Support my sponsor '' Turbo Force '' a supercharged boost of clean energy without the comedown.
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Assange
Julian Assange 'too ill' to appear for court hearing, says lawyer - BBC News
Thu, 30 May 2019 10:54
Image copyright Reuters Image caption Julian Assange was jailed earlier this month Julian Assange was too ill to appear at his court hearing in London on Thursday, his lawyer said.
The WikiLeaks founder, 47, is fighting against being extradited to the United States over charges related to leaking US government secrets.
He had been due to appear at his case management hearing via video link from Belmarsh Prison but lawyer Gareth Peirce said he was "not very well".
According to WikiLeaks, Assange has been moved to the medical ward in jail.
A spokesman for the whistleblowing website said it had "grave concerns" about Assange's health.
"During the seven weeks in Belmarsh his health has continued to deteriorate and he has dramatically lost weight," the spokesman said.
"Defence lawyer for Assange, Per Samuelson, said that Julian Assange's health state last Friday was such 'that it was not possible to conduct a normal conversation with him'."
Image copyright PA Image caption Assange's supporters back him in his fight against extradition to the US The five-minute hearing on Thursday at Westminster Magistrates' Court was the second in the Australian's extradition case.
The US Justice Department has charged Assange with receiving and publishing thousands of classified documents linked to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The US wants the UK to extradite him, but Assange has formally refused consent.
On Thursday, chief magistrate Emma Arbuthnot set the next hearing for 12 June and suggested the hearing could take place in Belmarsh, adding: "It may be more convenient for everyone if it's there."
Supporters of Assange queued outside the court building for more than an hour to get into the public gallery.
Outside court, some chanted: "Free Julian Assange."
Assange sought political asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy in London in 2012. He is currently serving a 50-week sentence in Belmarsh Prison in south east London for bail violations.
Earlier this month, Swedish prosecutors reopened their investigation into rape allegations against Assange, which he denies.
Assange Is Reportedly Gravely Ill, And Hardly Anyone's Talking About It | Zero Hedge
Thu, 30 May 2019 09:28
Authored by Caitlin Johnstone via Medium.com,
Julian Assange's Swedish lawyer Per Samuelson has told the press that ''Assange's health situation on Friday was such that it was not possible to conduct a normal conversation with him.''
This jarring revelation has been reported by a small handful of outlets, but only as an aside in relation to Sweden refusing Samuelson's request for a postponement of a scheduled hearing regarding Assange's detention en absentia for a preliminary investigation of rape allegations. The fact that the imprisoned WikiLeaks founder is so ill that he can't converse lucidly is itself far more significant than the postponement refusal, yet headlines mentioning Samuelson's statement focus on the Swedish case, de-emphasizing the startling news from his lawyer.
As of this writing I've been able to find very few news outlets reporting on this at all, the most mainstream being a Reuters article with the very tame headline ''Swedish court rejects delay of Assange hearing over ill-health: lawyer''. The Sydney Morning Herald also covered the story without even mentioning illness in headline, instead going with ''Swedish court rejects effort to delay Assange hearing''. The much smaller alternative media outlet World Socialist Website has been the only outlet I've found so far which reports on Samuelson's statement in anything resembling its proper scale, publishing a good article titled ''Despite Assange's ill-health, Swedish court rejects delay to hearing'' a few hours ago.
This news has been so under-discussed and under-appreciated as of this writing that I didn't find out about it until hours after the story broke, and I'm very plugged in to both alternative media commentary and WikiLeaks-related news. A report that Julian Assange was so sick he could barely speak all the way back on Friday and we still have no news about how he's doing now should be hugely significant for everyone who cares about Assange, press freedom, government transparency or peace activism.
Another part of this story which has gone completely uncovered in all English-language media as of this writing is the news that Assange has actually been transferred to the hospital wing of Belmarsh prison. This was reported by the Swedish outlet Upsala Nya Tidning, a newspaper published in the same district court Assange is scheduled to call in to for his hearing. The report was also based on a statement to the press by Per Samuelson.
The article reports the following, per machine translation:
''Wikileaks founder Julian Assange's Swedish lawyer wants the arrest hearing on Monday in Uppsala to be postponed. According to the lawyer, who has now visited his client in British prison, Assange is admitted to the medical department and was unable to make a call.
...
''Last Friday, Assange's Swedish defender, lawyer Per E Samuelson, visited his client in prison. In a letter to Uppsala District Court, the lawyer says that they met for just under two hours. According to the lawyer, Assange's state of health at the meeting was such that 'a normal conversation with him was not possible'. Julian Assange is said to have been taken to the prison's ward, but there is no more detailed information about his state of health.''
This story was picked up from Upsala Nya Tidning by Danish outlet Politiken, which per machine translation titled its story ''Weakened Assange hospitalized in London prison: 'Impossible to have a normal conversation with him'''. These two news outlets are to my understanding as reputable as any other mainstream western outlet, yet they remain the only publications I've been able to find which are reporting that Assange has been hospitalized. This is absolutely bizarre.
I've emailed Per Samuelson with a request to confirm the news that Assange has been hospitalized. I'll update this article if I hear back.
For Assange's supporters, one of the many frustrating things about his imprisonment has been the way he's been cut off from the usual means which used to be used to inform the public about his well being. It used to be that news reports could be easily confirmed or refuted by people who had consistent access to Assange in some way by sources like the WikiLeaks Twitter account, but the people who operate that account don't have ready access to him anymore. Now we're seeing all sorts of rumors circulating about how Assange is faring in prison, and it gets difficult to sort out fact from fiction. It appears that it would be difficult to find a more reliable source on the state of his health than his own lawyer, however.
He needed urgent assistance after his expulsion from the Embassy. Instead, he was not allowed to receive adequate medical treatment. In the case of Emin Huseynov (1 y @ Swiss Embassy) it took at least a month of treatment to go back to normal. Imagine after 7 years! Brutal. https://t.co/9fxV3Dz4Iw
'-- Renata Avila (@avilarenata) May 28, 2019It has long been an established fact that Assange was in failing health while trapped in the Ecuadorian embassy in London; doctors who visited him published an article with the Guardian in January 2018 titled ''We examined Julian Assange, and he badly needs care'Š'--'Šbut he can't get it''. Renata Avila, an activist and author who has worked with and written about WikiLeaks, tweeted in response to the new revelations, ''He needed urgent assistance after his expulsion from the Embassy. Instead, he was not allowed to receive adequate medical treatment. In the case of Emin Huseynov (1 y @ Swiss Embassy) it took at least a month of treatment to go back to normal. Imagine after 7 years! Brutal.''
We have been watching the slow-motion assassination of Julian Assange. They have been choking him to death by tactical psyops, siege tactics, and wilful neglect as surely as if they placed a noose tied around his neck, not just in Belmarsh Prison but in the embassy as well. The only difference between his execution and someone on death row is the same as the difference between covert and overt warfare, which makes sense because the intelligence, judicial and military agencies who are carrying out his death sentence operate within the same power structure which carries out war. First came the smears (propaganda), then came the siege (sanctions), and they staged their coup (dragged him out of the embassy) and now they've got him in their clutches and they can do what they want behind closed doors. That's how you kill a nation while still looking like a nice guy, and that's how they're killing Assange.
Shout this from the rooftops. Whether this media blackout is self-imposed or perhaps the result of the malicious use of a D-notice, we have to use everything in our power to get this information into the mainstream, and get people asking questions of the press and their local members about what the Dickens is going on in Belmarsh prison right now. Assange's life may depend on it.
* * *
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Did Pam Anderson Try to Assassinate Julian Assange With a Vegan Sandwich? - VICE
Thu, 30 May 2019 14:23
Join us, as we take you into the most convoluted of rabbit holes, ending in a conspiracy theory involving no less than a former Playboy model, the ever-confined founder of WikiLeaks, and a vegan meal from Pret A Manger.
That's right. The release by WikiLeaks of 15,256 emails from and relating to Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman, John Podesta, was not the only, or even the most, newsworthy event associated with the international publishing organization these past few days.
Here it is folks: People are saying Pamela Anderson'--you know, of Baywatch fame'--poisoned, and maybe even killed, Julian Assange with a vegan meal from Pret.
I'm not saying "Julian Assange was just murdered by Pamela Anderson with a poison vegan sandwich". I'm just saying other ppl are saying it.
'-- Our Hidden History (@OurHiddenHistry) October 17, 2016The rumors began to swirl after the actress visited Assange over the weekend at the Ecuadorian embassy in London where he has lived under constant watch since 2012. Soon after her visit'--coincidentally or not'--Assange's Internet link was severed, and a series of cryptic tweets, said to be emergency codes, were issued by his account.
Julian Assange's internet link has been intentionally severed by a state party. We have activated the appropriate contingency plans. '-- WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) October 17, 2016Got that? Cue Stranger Things soundtrack, please.
Here's how it went down. On Saturday, the actress was seen carrying two bags from the UK sandwich chain into the embassy for a planned visit with the Wikileaks founder, who has been living in the embassy for the past four years to avoid a Swedish rape investigation'--Assange denies the allegations and the UN considers him to be "arbitrarily detained". Anderson, who is known to be an outspoken animal rights advocate, reported that she brought Assange "a nice vegan lunch." Then she said, "He said I tortured him with bringing him vegan food." She also told the UK Press Association, "I really believe in him and think he's a good person, and I'm concerned about his health, his family, and I just hope that by some miracle he's set free."
That doesn't sound like someone capable of poisoning-via-vegan-meal, but, hey'--what does someone capable of poisoning-via-vegan-meal sound like, anyway? This gets us thinking: Anderson did somewhat convincingly play a gun-wielding mercenary in the 1996 classic that is Barb Wire'--perhaps Assange playfully called her "babe" to his eternal detriment?
Then, early this morning, WikiLeaks announced by tweet that Julian Assange's internet link has been "intentionally severed by a state party" and that they had "activated the appropriate contingency plans" all while trying to restore the link. Some are claiming that the interruption of Assange's internet service was due to John Kerry's visit to London to meet with the UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson.
pre-commitment 1: John Kerry 4bb96075acadc3d80b5ac872874c3037a386f4f595fe99e687439aabd0219809
'-- WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) October 16, 2016pre-commitment 2: Ecuador eae5c9b064ed649ba468f0800abf8b56ae5cfe355b93b1ce90a1b92a48a9ab72 '-- WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) October 16, 2016pre-commitment 3: UK FCO f33a6de5c627e3270ed3e02f62cd0c857467a780cf6123d2172d80d02a072f74
'-- WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) October 16, 2016Few details about Anderson's meeting with Assange have emerged, although Vivienne Westwood, the British fashion designer, who was originally supposed to visit Assange with Anderson, said of Anderson, "She told me afterwards that they got on very well. Julian was just brilliant." Westwood also added, "Pamela's trying to help people with her new trust and he gave her some ideas on how to do that."
Hmm. Did Anderson go to visit Assange to discuss a trust'... or to clandestinely poison him? The Internet is pretty damn sure she was there to off Assange.
Pam Anderson killed Julian Assange with poison after being blackmailed into it by Hillary Clinton '-- walshy (@theryanwalsh) October 17, 2016Don't trust unconfirmed reports of Assange being alive. The Clinton machine is capable of body doubles. ARREST PAMELA ANDERSON NOW#MAGA '-- MyWhiteNinja (@MyWhiteNinja) October 17, 2016Pamela Anderson brought "healthy" food for Julian Assange on Sunday. If he's dead, I'd have that food tested. https://t.co/UO53SJm1FD '-- Roosh (@rooshv) October 17, 2016Did Pam Anderson poison Assange?
Never trust a vegan lunch! '-- Slash Msley (@Fash_UK) October 16, 2016The moral of the story? No good deed goes unpunished, Pamela Anderson. Next time, stop at Burger King and bring Assange something greasy and meat-filled to eat. Perhaps then, the Internet won't accuse you of murdering the dude.
Or not.
NeoCons
Trump Undercuts Bolton on North Korea and Iran - The New York Times
Wed, 29 May 2019 03:17
Image John R. Bolton, the national security adviser, has never clicked personally with President Trump, according to other advisers to the president. Credit Credit Erin Schaff/The New York Times WASHINGTON '-- President Trump was grousing about John R. Bolton, his national security adviser, at his Florida club not long ago. Guests heard the president complaining about the advice he was getting and wondering if Mr. Bolton was taking him down a path he did not want to go.
For a president who runs hot and cold on nearly all of his advisers, private carping may not mean that much. But in recent days, the disconnect between Mr. Trump and his national security adviser has spilled over into public, sowing confusion around the world about America's foreign policy, particularly on matters of war and peace.
The disparity was on stark display during Mr. Trump's four-day visit to Japan that ended Tuesday after he contradicted Mr. Bolton on high-stakes confrontations with both Iran and North Korea. The president declared that, unlike his national security adviser, he was not seeking regime change in Iran and he asserted that, contrary to what Mr. Bolton had said, recent North Korean missile tests did not violate United Nations resolutions.
In playing dove to Mr. Bolton's hawk, Mr. Trump may be simply keeping adversaries off balance, as some backers maintained. But questions about his relationship with his chief foreign policy coordinator have profound implications for the president as he tries to manage standoffs in Asia, the Middle East and South America without alienating the United States' allies.
''As the trip to Japan reminds us, these breakdowns and interpersonal dramas happen when a lot of other things are going on in the world,'' said John Gans, a former Pentagon official and the author of ''White House Warriors,'' a new history of the National Security Council and its role in military conflict.
Mr. Gans, who is critical of how Mr. Bolton has changed the way policy is decided, said that unlike domestic issues, the business of foreign affairs does not stop because of a political spat. ''That's why all this interpersonal drama after Bolton broke the process is so dangerous,'' he said. ''The question right now is who is filling the gap and how.''
The president's supporters, however, said too much was being made of the differences. Mr. Trump has often surrounded himself with advisers who do not agree and encourages the debate, they said. If the disparate messages keep Iran, North Korea and Venezuela uncertain of how far the United States will go, they added, that can work to Mr. Trump's benefit.
''Bolton is useful for him,'' said Mark Dubowitz, the chief executive of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a group that advocates a tough approach to Iran. ''Bolton is the uber hawk from central casting. The North Koreans hate him. The Iranians hate him. Both regimes have gone after him '-- I think Bolton loves it, and I think the president does, too. It opens up some diplomatic space for him to go back and forth between a very hard-line position and holding talks.''
Mr. Trump chose Mr. Bolton as his third national security adviser last year, selecting a longtime conservative voice who shared the president's penchant for blunt talk and who regularly defended him on Fox News. Mr. Bolton previously served in multiple Republican administrations, most recently as President George W. Bush's ambassador to the United Nations.
With his trademark bushy mustache and sharp tongue, Mr. Bolton, 70, has been a leading national security hawk for years, making a name for himself as a supporter of the Iraq war, a champion of American sovereignty and an unrelenting critic of international organizations and arms control treaties he deems tilted against the United States. After leaving Mr. Bush's administration, he harshly criticized the 43rd president for going soft in negotiations with North Korea.
Mr. Trump picked Mr. Bolton in part as a reaction against the narrative that the current and retired generals in his administration were really running things, and in part to find a polar opposite of Mr. Bolton's predecessor, Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster. It also helped that Mr. Bolton had the support of Sheldon G. Adelson, the casino mogul and Republican financier who has been a key backer of the president.
Unlike General McMaster, Mr. Bolton figured out how to brief Mr. Trump in a more effective way, according to administration officials, but the two have never bonded on a personal level, which is so important in this White House. Mr. Trump is not fond of Mr. Bolton, according to a half-dozen advisers and associates, and he makes no secret of it in private.
And in some fundamental ways, the two diverge sharply over their approach to the world. Mr. Trump came to office vowing to pull out of overseas wars and has made diplomacy with North Korea a signature initiative. Mr. Bolton has been an advocate of military action and an opponent of negotiations with North Korea.
In private, Mr. Trump has made fun of his adviser's militant reputation, suggesting that he was the one restraining Mr. Bolton rather than the other way around. ''If it was up to John, we'd be in four wars now,'' one senior official has recalled the president saying.
At a recent meeting of the Republican Jewish Coalition, Mr. Trump pulled Mr. Adelson aside and asked how he thought Mr. Bolton was doing, according to a person briefed on the conversation. Mr. Adelson said that if Mr. Trump was happy, then he was happy.
But it was not clear if he was happy. When Mr. Trump sours on an adviser, he often conducts informal surveys of people in his circle asking how they think that adviser is doing '-- it is his way of contemplating whether he should make a change. In the case of Mr. Adelson, the president may have also been testing the reaction of Mr. Bolton's backer, wary of offending the Republican megadonor.
One person close to Mr. Trump said the situation resembled the moment when the president turned on Rex W. Tillerson, his first secretary of state, but still took another six months or more to push him out. Others expressed doubt that Mr. Trump would get rid of Mr. Bolton before next year's re-election campaign.
Either way, the fault lines have been drawn more sharply in recent weeks as Mr. Trump resisted sending large numbers of additional American troops to the Middle East to counter reported Iranian threats and played down signs that his diplomatic rapprochement with North Korea was turning hostile.
Mr. Trump has also grown dissatisfied with the results of another of Mr. Bolton's top priorities: the campaign to push out President Nicols Maduro of Venezuela. While Mr. Bolton has helped rally international condemnation of Mr. Maduro, the domestic opposition inside Venezuela has failed to turn the military against him and oust the president.
After Mr. Bolton told reporters that ''there is no doubt'' that North Korean missile launches violated United Nations resolutions, Mr. Trump dismissed the concern.
''North Korea fired off some small weapons, which disturbed some of my people, and others, but not me,'' he wrote on Twitter on Sunday.
At a news conference the next day in Tokyo, Mr. Trump went even further by contending, inaccurately, that the missile launches did not violate United Nations resolutions. ''My people think it could have been a violation, as you know,'' the president said. ''I view it differently. I view it as a man '-- perhaps he wants to get attention, and perhaps not. Who knows? It doesn't matter.''
Later during the same appearance, Mr. Trump suggested that he did not share Mr. Bolton's enthusiasm for trying to overthrow the government in Iran. ''It has a chance to be a great country with the same leadership,'' he said. ''We're not looking for regime change. I just want to make that clear. We're looking for no nuclear weapons.''
Mr. Bolton did not address the matter afterward, and a spokesman declined to comment on Tuesday. Speculation arose when the national security adviser skipped the state dinner, although it was not clear why. But rather than fly home with the president, as an aide worried about his position might do, Mr. Bolton flew directly to the United Arab Emirates for meetings, a sign to his allies of the confidence he has in his relationship with Mr. Trump.
''Ambassador Bolton works for the president, and the president sets the policy,'' said Fred Fleitz, the president of the Center for Security Policy who was Mr. Bolton's chief of staff until last year. ''Bolton has said for years: 'Look, I work for the guy who won the election. He sets the policy.' That's always been his approach under any president he's worked for.''
For his part, Mr. Bolton has privately expressed his own frustration with the president, according to several officials, viewing him as unwilling to push for more transformative changes in the Middle East. At the same time, his allies said he had been misunderstood, cast as favoring military action in Venezuela, for instance, when in fact they say he does not.
But Mr. Bolton is an inveterate disrupter, eagerly upsetting the status quo in furtherance of his policy goals. He has never seemed to worry much about offending others; he does not appear to care much about being liked.
He came into the job last year saying he hoped to emulate the process Brent Scowcroft ran under President George Bush, but he has had his own conflicts with the Pentagon and the State Department.
In reorganizing the national security apparatus, Mr. Bolton eliminated some meetings of the highest-ranking officials known as the principals' committee, or P.C., in favor of what are called ''paper P.C.s,'' meaning documents that are distributed. Cabinet officers rarely complain about fewer meetings, but as one former senior administration official put it, Mr. Trump rarely if ever reads much paper of any sort.
Instead, Mr. Bolton provides briefings on issues for the president, allowing him to control the flow of information. Mr. Bolton and his allies have said he makes a point of ensuring that all points of view on major issues get aired before the president, and he does not try to block other officials from seeing Mr. Trump directly. He has breakfast once a week with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan when everyone is in town.
But he clashed with Mr. Shanahan's predecessor, Jim Mattis. At one point, during a discussion of the cost of maintaining American troops in South Korea, Mr. Mattis forcefully told Mr. Bolton that it was not the national security adviser's job to tell the president what to do, according to an official with direct knowledge of the meeting; it was Mr. Bolton's job to pass on the direct recommendations of the cabinet members.
Much of the bad blood dates to last fall when the National Security Council, at Mr. Bolton's direction, asked the Defense Department for military options to strike Iran if necessary, a request that came after militants aligned with Iran fired three mortars or rockets into an empty lot on the grounds of the United States Embassy in Baghdad.
The request alarmed Mr. Mattis and other top officials. When Mr. Bolton tried to bypass the Pentagon and go straight to the United States Central Command for military options, Mr. Mattis blocked the end run, according to a senior administration official.
Mr. Bolton was frustrated by what he saw as resistance to legitimate requests, allies said. He would be derelict in his duty not to be prepared for any contingency. Lately, Mr. Bolton has been showing up at the Pentagon more frequently to attend so-called small group meetings of top officials, which has rubbed some the wrong way.
There has also been friction between Mr. Bolton's National Security Council and Mr. Pompeo's State Department. While Mr. Bolton argued for canceling all waivers to buy oil from Iran, some at the State Department pushed to retain a couple. Mr. Trump sided with Mr. Bolton.
Likewise, Mr. Bolton wanted to cut off all waivers for countries participating in civil nuclear projects with Tehran, while some State Department officials worried it would aggravate the European allies. In that case, the administration compromised by revoking two waivers and preserving waivers for three sites.
Mr. Dubowitz, whose defense of democracies organization advocates more sanctions on Iran, said Mr. Bolton and Mr. Pompeo were ''two men of common objectives'' committed to the same strategy of maximum pressure but sometimes split over matters of sequencing and scope.
More significant, of course, is the president, who at times seems to be on both sides of the issues that consume the national security team '-- one day threatening to wipe Iran off the map, the next day inviting it for talks. Mr. Bolton's admirers said any national security adviser could find himself at odds with a president who switches back and forth.
The question is whether it is a negotiating strategy or foundational uncertainty. ''Who is Trump?'' Mr. Dubowitz asked. ''He's not a bad cop, he's not a good cop. He's kind of the indecipherable, confused cop. But Bolton is always the bad cop. He doesn't play any other role in this drama.''
Eric Schmitt, Helene Cooper and Edward Wong contributed reporting.
Follow Peter Baker and Maggie Haberman on Twitter: @peterbakernyt and @maggienyt.
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China
Japan Discovered a Rare-Earth Mineral Deposit That Can Supply The World For Centuries
Wed, 29 May 2019 20:27
JEREMY BERKE, BUSINESS INSIDER
30 DEC 2018
Earlier this year, researchers found a deposit of rare-earth minerals off the coast of Japan that could supply the world for centuries, according to a study.
The study, published in the journal Nature in April 2018, says the deposit contains 16 million tons of the valuable metals.
Rare-earth minerals are used in everything from smartphone batteries to electric vehicles. By definition, these minerals contain one or more of 17 metallic rare-earth elements (for those familiar with the periodic table, those are on the second row from the bottom).
These elements are actually plentiful in layers of the Earth's crust, but are typically widely dispersed. Because of that, it is rare to find any substantial amount of the elements clumped together as extractable minerals, according to the USGS.
Currently, there are only a few economically viable areas where they can be mined and they're generally expensive to extract.
China has tightly controlled much of the world's supply of these minerals for decades. That has forced Japan '' a major electronics manufacturer '' to rely on prices dictated by their neighbour.
A new finding that could change the global economy
The recently discovered deposit is enough to "supply these metals on a semi-infinite basis to the world," the study's authors wrote in the paper.
There's enough yttrium to meet the global demand for 780 years, dysprosium for 730 years, europium for 620 years, and terbium for 420 years.
The cache lies off of Minamitori Island, about 1,150 miles (1,850 km) southeast of Tokyo. It's within Japan's exclusive economic zone, so the island nation has the sole rights to the resources there.
"This is a game changer for Japan," Jack Lifton, a founding principal of a market-research firm called Technology Metals Research, told The Wall Street Journal.
"The race to develop these resources is well underway."
Japan started seeking its own rare-earth mineral deposits after China withheld shipments of the substances amid a dispute over islands that both countries claim as their own, Reuters reported in 2014.
Previously, China reduced its export quotas of rare earth minerals in 2010, pushing prices up as much as 10 percent, The Journal reports. China was forced to start exporting more of the minerals again after the dispute was taken up at the World Trade Organisation.
Rare-earth minerals can be formed by volcanic activity, but many of the minerals on our planet were formed initially by supernova explosions before Earth came into existence.
When Earth was formed, the minerals were incorporated into the deepest portions of the planet's mantle, a layer of rock beneath the crust.
As tectonic activity has moved portions of the mantle around, rare earth minerals have found their way closer to the surface.
The process of weathering - in which rocks break down into sediment over millions of years - spread these rare minerals all over the planet.
The only thing holding Japan back from using its newly found deposit to dominate the global market for rare-earth minerals is the challenge involved in extracting them.
The process is expensive, so more research needs to be done to determine the cheapest methods, Yutaro Takaya, the study's lead author, told The Journal.
Rare-earth minerals are likely to remain part the backbone of some the fastest-growing sectors of the global tech economy.
Japan now has the opportunity to control a huge chunk of the global supply, forcing countries that manufacture electronics, like China and the US, to purchase the minerals on Japan's terms.
A version of this article was first published in April 2018.
This article was originally published by Business Insider.
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Undersea cables -- Huawei's ace in the hole - Nikkei Asian Review
Tue, 28 May 2019 22:05
TOKYO -- While the U.S. is pressuring allies to help keep Huawei Technologies out of 5G cellular networks, the Chinese giant is quietly advancing in the global market for one of the most critical components of telecom infrastructure: undersea cables.
Virtually all of the world's data transmissions go through cables on the bottom of the oceans. Communications satellites are also used, but their share of the data amounts to just 1%. The U.S., Europe and Japan look like they have the cable market locked down, but their dominance may not be as secure as it seems.
Huawei put the industry on notice late last year, when it completed a cable between South America and Africa.
Right now, the world's attention is focused on Washington's drive to ban Huawei equipment from fifth-generation infrastructure, which will offer much faster wireless service than the current fourth-generation technology. Japan and Australia have essentially closed ranks with the U.S., and the Donald Trump administration is pressuring Britain, Germany and France to do the same -- reportedly going so far as to threaten to withhold important security information if they refuse.
Huawei, for its part, is showing no signs of backing down. The smartphone maker is gearing up for fresh sales drives in Europe, Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Africa. So the stage is set for a drawn-out fight between the U.S. and China over telecom technology and control of data.
In the fog of this battle, the cable issue has yet to draw much public attention. But security policymakers in the U.S., Japan and Australia are increasingly alarmed.
There are nearly 400 known submarine cables snaking across the world's seabeds. Whenever emails or digital files are sent from one continent to another, the signals pass through these wires. Countries also operate an untold number of secret underwater cables for military purposes.
The leader in the global undersea cable market is SubCom of the U.S. Japan's NEC and Europe's Alcatel-Lucent rank second and third. Taken together, these three companies have laid over 90% of the world's total known cable length.
Huawei is positioned to benefit from the Chinese government's global infrastructure-building drive. (C) Reuters But Huawei, which has been blacklisted by the Trump administration and has become the poster child for the U.S.-China trade war, is chipping away at the West's control of the market.
About a decade ago, Huawei entered the business by setting up a joint venture with British company Global Marine Systems. It expanded its presence by laying short links in regions like Southeast Asia and the Russian Far East. But last September, Huawei surprised industry executives in Japan, the U.S. and Europe by completing a 6,000 km trans-Atlantic cable linking Brazil with Cameroon.
This showed Huawei has acquired advanced capabilities, even though it is still far behind the established players in terms of experience and cable volume.
During the 2015-2020 period, Huawei is expected to complete 20 new cables -- mostly short ones of less than 1,000 km. Even when these are finished, Huawei's market share will be less than 10%. Over the long term, however, the company could emerge as a player to be reckoned with.
Huawei is estimated to be involved in around 30 undersea cable projects at the moment. It also reportedly has a hand in about 60 projects to enhance cable landing stations to boost transmission capacity.
The reality is, even if the U.S. succeeds in shutting out Huawei from 5G networks in major countries, the Chinese company could still thwart American efforts to maintain leadership in handling global data traffic.
Security policymakers in the U.S., Japan and Australia have started working together to address this potential threat.
Steps they are considering include banning Huawei from laying cables connected to one of the three countries, and urging other governments to prevent the company from getting involved in the construction of any major cables. Informed sources, however, see at least three reasons why it will be difficult to block Huawei's progress.
First, in only a decade, Huawei has been able to challenge Western players on distance. In addition to the Brazil-Cameroon cable, the Chinese giant is building links between Pakistan and Kenya and between Djibouti and France.
Second, Huawei already has highly competitive technologies for land-based telecommunications infrastructure. It can capitalize on this know-how to supply submarine repeaters, or devices that restore the waning strength of light signals en route, and transmission equipment at landing stations.
Third, Huawei can benefit from Beijing's policy to promote the construction of digital infrastructure by Chinese companies around the world under its Belt and Road infrastructure investment initiative. It is not known how much support Huawei is receiving from Beijing, but it may have a significant cost advantage versus Japanese, American and European rivals.
How, then, should the world respond to Huawei's push into the cable business?
It is virtually impossible to completely exclude Chinese companies from international infrastructure development, and it would be unwise to try to do so. With data traffic soaring, there is huge demand for new underwater cables in the Asia-Pacific region, and it would be difficult for the big industry powers to meet this demand alone.
Japanese, U.S. and European players, however, need to focus on maintaining their collective control of "core routes" that carry sensitive security information and technology data.
Specifically, on top of Japan, the U.S. and Australia, cables connected to NATO members should be off-limits to Huawei. Governments should take policy action to ensure such projects are restricted to American, Japanese and European contractors.
Another urgent policy challenge is to strengthen the security of landing stations. Experts say it is difficult to intercept information streaming through the optical fibers in undersea cables. But it is possible to eavesdrop on communications passing through landing stations.
Governments should do more to ensure the stations are protected from interceptions and other threats, including terrorist attacks. If a landing station for a key submarine cable were to be destroyed, huge amounts of international business and other vital communications could be immediately lost, with devastating consequences.
Competition over underwater cables is nothing new. After the end of World War I, there was a fierce tussle among the victors over how cables laid by Germany should be divvied up. The players were well-aware that controlling cables was a powerful geopolitical advantage.
In the process, Japan acquired a cable running between Yap Island in the South Pacific and Shanghai, a link that laid a foundation for developing the country's international telecommunications network.
Now, it is the U.S. and China competing for global hegemony, and the ocean floor is shaping up to be a major battleground.
SJWBLMLGBBTQQIAAPK
'Gaming disorder' deemed an official illness by World Health Organization - CNET
Tue, 28 May 2019 00:27
CNET's Roger Cheng demonstrates some of the dangers of smartphone game addiction, like social isolation and poor diet. But is it an official disorder?
Sarah Tew Your Fortnite addiction might just be an official illness.
The World Health Organization on Saturday adopted the latest update to its International Classification of Diseases (ICD), which adds "gaming disorder" to its list of modern diseases.
The organization last June added gaming addiction under its section of potentially harmful technology-related behaviors, including too much use of "the internet, computers, smartphones" and more.
Despite opposition from trade groups, which reportedly pointed to contradictory research on the subject and touted some of the virtues of video games, the latest ICD was officially approved at the 72nd World Health Assembly.
"Gaming disorder" lives under the "disorders due to addictive behavior" section of the ICD. It's described as "a pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behavior, which may be online or offline, manifested by impaired control over gaming, increasing priority given to gaming to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other life interests and daily activities and continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences."
The issue of gaming addiction isn't new: The American Psychiatric Association still has it listed as up for discussion (PDF) in the latest version of its diagnostic bible, the DSM-5. The American Medical Association backed away from "video game addiction" in 2007.
Now playing: Watch this: Facebook, Instagram try to take on digital addiction
1:05
World Health Organisation recognises 'burn-out' as medical condition, Europe News & Top Stories - The Straits Times
Tue, 28 May 2019 00:27
GENEVA (AFP) - The World Health Organisation has for the first time recognised "burn-out" in its International Classification of Diseases (ICD), which is widely used as a benchmark for diagnosis and health insurers.
The decision, reached during the World Health Assembly in Geneva, which wraps up on Tuesday (May 28), could help put to rest decades of debate among experts over how to define burnout, and whether it should be considered a medical condition.
In the latest update of its catalogue of diseases and injuries around the world, WHO defines burn-out as "a syndrome conceptualised as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed".
It said the syndrome was characterised by three dimensions: "1) feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion; 2) increased mental distance from one's job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one's job; and 3) reduced professional efficacy."
"Burn-out refers specifically to phenomena in the occupational context and should not be applied to describe experiences in other areas of life," according to the classification.
The updated ICD list, dubbed ICD-11, was drafted last year following recommendations from health experts around the world, and was approved on Saturday.
"This is the first time" burnout has been included in the classification, WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic told reporters.
The ICD-11, which is to take effect in January 2022, contains several other additions, including classification of "compulsive sexual behaviour" as a mental disorder, although it stops short of lumping the condition together with addictive behaviours.
It does however for the first time recognise video gaming as an addiction, listing it alongside gambling and drugs like cocaine.
The updated list removes transgenderism from its list of mental disorders meanwhile, listing it instead under the chapter on "conditions related to sexual health".
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4chan Troll Campaign Makes the Hashtag a White Supremacist Symbol
Tue, 28 May 2019 14:46
Members of the notorious internet forum 4chan have proposed a new troll campaign aimed at converting the hashtag into a white supremacist symbol.
In a post, on the /pol/ or ''politically incorrect'' message board, an anonymous user calls on his fellow forum frequenters to begin creating propaganda that incorporates the commonly used pound sign.
''We must start using # to represent the swastika on memes and social media,'' the user states.
The far-right campaign, dubbed ''Bash the Hash,'' a play on the anti-fascist term ''Bash the Fash,'' aims to remove the ability of sites like Twitter to use the popular symbol.
''It will be a perfect win-win situation,'' the user adds. ''Either Twitter will have to accept blatant Nazism on its forums or it will effectively have to find a way to get rid of the site's core mechanics.''
Bash the Hash ''will also force corporations to stop putting hashtags on every fucking ad ever,'' according to the campaign leader.
Although the idea was met with mixed reviews, a slew of campaign posters and memes began circulating on Twitter. The posts were purported to originate from sources such as antifa''a far-left collective known for using direct action or violence against far-right groups.
It's time we all learn who to fight and understand which symbols the alt-right uses. #antifa #bashthehash #lovenothate pic.twitter.com/vanolUnKmv
'-- ur_defs (@DefsUr) May 26, 2019
This is a hate symbol of the right!#bashthehash #women #bethechange pic.twitter.com/pNOy8Ufz2w
'-- npc8907349348 (@npc8907349348) May 25, 2019
The hashtag was also equated to the swastika and other Nazi icons. It was even alleged to stand for ''Heil Hitler.''
The other obvious way is by splitting the hashtag into two, producing two letters "H". HH stands for Heil Hitler.In addition, the hashtag features 8 line poking out, and 8 gaps. 88 stands for HH, which stands for Heil Hitler#resist #stopthehate #bashthehash pic.twitter.com/mowRbRS5IJ
'-- Berlin Antifascist (@HHWDiscord) May 25, 2019
Pretty funny to realize that twitter (and basically all of social media) is built around a nazi symbol. #bashthehash pic.twitter.com/hToWsDH1uK
'-- Matthinator (@Matthinator1337) May 25, 2019
One user, claiming to be a Black female, warned ''Black sisters'' to be on the lookout for the ''Nazi dog whistle.''
Stay safe my black sisters. Make them afraid again and stay on top of everything they come up with. WE HEAR EVERY NAZI DOG WHISTLE #bashthehash #resist #StopTheHate pic.twitter.com/fHUVmjP2Md
'-- Shante Jackson (@ShanteJ58036285) May 25, 2019
#bashthehash #honkhonkler pic.twitter.com/Qnu48LojQm
'-- Nivo (@Nivodius) May 25, 2019
The attempted trolling is far from the first to arise from 4chan in the past few years. In 2017, the online board similarly started a fake antifa campaign that called for violence against white women who were supportive of President Donald Trump.
This is the kind of thing the so called "antifascists" promote#PunchWhiteWomen #PunchANazi pic.twitter.com/ZivnU8oG9x
'-- Rabbi Shekelberg (@bergshekelstein) August 24, 2017
In perhaps its most successful campaign, 4chan was seemingly able to convince countless people that the ''OK'' hand gesture was actually a secret white supremacist signal. It became so prominent that the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), one of the country's oldest civil rights organizations, released a statement calling on individuals to consider the context in which the hand gesture is used.
''Has the simple thumb-and-forefinger 'OK' hand gesture become a common white supremacist hand sign?'' the group asked. ''Not quite, but it has become a popular gesture used by people across several segments of the right and far right'--including some actual white supremacists'--who generally use it to trigger reactions, or what they would describe as 'trolling the libs.'''
While 4chan's latest campaign is almost certain to be largely ineffective, the hoax highlights how the battle of ideas is fought in the digital era.
READ MORE:
James Woods briefly suspended from Twitter for posting 4chan hoax4chan hoax about euthanizing pit bulls has animal lovers enraged4chan creates fake Starbucks' 'Dreamer Day' in an attempt to trap undocumented immigrantsHow the QAnon conspiracy tore this relationship apart
Tony Robbins Loses Role With $38B Planning Firm -- Barrons.com - WSJ
Tue, 28 May 2019 21:03
May 28, 2019 1:48 p.m. ET | WSJ Pro Self-help guru Tony Robbins is on the defensive in the wake of recent BuzzFeed reports that nine women accused him of sexual misconduct and that he was filmed using racial slurs in the 1980s.
Robbins is also out of one of his jobs now that Creative Planning, a $38 billion registered investment adviser based in Overland Park, Kan., has severed ties with him, InvestmentNews reports.
The...
Self-help guru Tony Robbins is on the defensive in the wake of recent BuzzFeed reports that nine women accused him of sexual misconduct and that he was filmed using racial slurs in the 1980s.
Robbins is also out of one of his jobs now that Creative Planning, a $38 billion registered investment adviser based in Overland Park, Kan., has severed ties with him, InvestmentNews reports.
The firm's quick decision to eliminate Robbins' position, chief of investor psychology, and remove him from its advisory board following the accusations, has won praise from marketing professionals and advisers.
''There are takeaways and lessons that other RIAs can learn about how to take action when something like this happens to their brand,'' April Rudin, president of financial services marketing firm The Rudin Group, tells the publication. ''There's a woman issue here and there's a brand issue here, and when these things come up it's important to take swift action.''
Robbins officially joined Creative Planning in March 2016 with the goals of training advisers to better manage clients' emotional needs and raising awareness about broader financial literacy efforts.
The firm, which disclosed its decision last week in an updated Form ADV, did not respond to InvestmentNews' request for comment.
A representative for Robbins declined to comment, but the popular life coach and author has posted a video statement saying the facts don't support the BuzzFeed reports.
Write to Ross Snel at Ross.Snel@dowjones.com
Did Steve Mnuchin Help His College Roommate Steal $2 Billion? | Vanity Fair
Thu, 30 May 2019 09:42
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, also known as the resident Trump administration footstool, has not had a great week. On Tuesday, The Washington Post reported that, according to an I.R.S. draft memo, he's in violation of the law by not turning over Trump's tax returns. Several days prior, we learned that his father is brought to literal tears at the thought of him working for Donald Trump. And on Thursday, he found himself in the crosshairs of Senator Elizabeth Warren and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who are demanding he cough up some answers re: allegedly helping his college roommate pocket billions while bankrupting a company that once employed thousands of Americans.
In a letter addressed to Mnuchin'--helpfully accompanied by an explainer video'--the congresswomen write that they are ''deeply concerned by the financial engineering and potentially illegal activity'' that took place at Sears while Mnuchin was a board member, and which led to tens of thousands of jobs being lost. Last month, Mnuchin was named in a lawsuit filed by Sears' holding company accusing its former chairman, hedge-fund manager Eddie Lampert, of a ''multiyear and multifaceted scheme'' to siphon more than $2 billion from the company's coffers to himself, his hedge fund E.S.L. Investments, and other insiders. Mnuchin, along with other former board members, is accused of approving deals that the suit argues ultimately benefited Lampert, whom the secretary roomed with at Yale, worked alongside at Goldman Sachs, and who Lampert named a vice chairman of his fund'--in which Mnuchin was an investor'--from 2002 to 2003. Warren and A.O.C. quote the suit's claim that Lampert, Mnuchin, and the other defendants had zero plan to return the company to profitability after ''cannibalizing [its] core assets,'' that they ''breached their fiduciary duties by engaging in . . . self-dealing,'' and that ''had Defendants not taken these improper and illegal actions, Sears would have had billions of dollars more to pay its third-party creditors today and would not have endured the amount of disruption, expense, and job losses resulting from its recent bankruptcy filing.''
Warren and Ocasio-Cortez'--who describe Mnuchin in their video as ''a walking example of what happens when rich and powerful people put other rich and powerful people into power'''--note that they are concerned the secretary is in a position ''to take actions that benefit Sears' shareholders and owners at the expense of workers and taxpayers.'' They demand to know, among other things, whether Mnuchin was involved in any discussions about Sears' pension plans as a board member of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, the federal agency that oversees private pension plans.
A Treasury spokesperson did not respond to Politico's request for comment. In addition to serving as a board member at Sears, Mnuchin's past professional life included several years as the ''Foreclosure King of California,'' a nickname he'd prefer people not use, but one that's well-earned considering his time at mortgage lender OneWest coincided with kicking 36,000 homeowners out of their houses.
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White House introduces $16 billion farm aid package to offset effects of its dumb trade war
As was the case with the $12 billion package from last year, farmers say they'd prefer Trump just end his trade war:
The move Thursday followed a breakdown in talks earlier this month between Washington and Beijing. Amid expectations that American farmers will be hindered selling crops to China's 1.4 billion-person market, commodity prices, which were already mired in a years-long slump, sank further to their lowest level in more than 10 years.
In response to the U.S. imposing 25 percent tariffs on roughly $250 billion of Chinese imports over the past year, Beijing has imposed tariffs on agricultural products, and state-controlled companies in China largely halted buying U.S. farm goods. The result has been climbing commodity prices for other parts of the world'--Brazil in particular has capitalized by selling soybeans to China'--but plunging prices in the U.S. market. . . . Soybeans are the biggest crop export to China. Before the conflict, the U.S. shipped $10 billion to $12 billion a year of soybeans to China; over the past year, that has fallen to about $2 billion.
In a statement, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said that Trump created the program ''because he knew farmers would bear the brunt of this lack of trade deal with China once again,'' adding that while ''farmers themselves will tell you they'd rather have trade than aid . . . they'll need some support.''
Out There
Limited Hangout: 'Wow, What Is That?' Navy Pilots Report Unexplained Flying Objects
Tue, 28 May 2019 21:20
My best guess is that this Pentagon/CIA/To the Stars operation is a limited hangout, but to what end, I have no idea.
A limited hangout is:
''Spy jargon for a favorite and frequently used gimmick of the clandestine professionals. When their veil of secrecy is shredded and they can no longer rely on a phony cover story to misinform the public, they resort to admitting'--sometimes even volunteering'--some of the truth while still managing to withhold the key and damaging facts in the case. The public, however, is usually so intrigued by the new information that it never thinks to pursue the matter further.''
At some level, there probably exists much more knowledge about the nature of the objects in the videos than we are being told.
We can't know if these objects are related to the government's missing $21 trillion, but if they're not, I wonder: What technology was the military able to obtain with that kind of money?
You see, the missing trillions never comes up in conjunction with the mainstream media's fascination with this Pentagon/CIA driven UFO narrative. However, the two are almost certainly related.
Even assuming that there is no prosaic explanation for what we're seeing, I think there's at least better than even odds that an American is at the controls (possibly by remote) of the craft shown in the videos.
And don't, for one second, take the pilots' bafflement at what they're seeing as indicative of anything. They will be kept as in the dark as you and me when it comes to compartmented technologies.
While I'd like to know what they're showing us, I am far more interested in Why Now? and To What End?
Via: New York Times:
The strange objects, one of them like a spinning top moving against the wind, appeared almost daily from the summer of 2014 to March 2015, high in the skies over the East Coast. Navy pilots reported to their superiors that the objects had no visible engine or infrared exhaust plumes, but that they could reach 30,000 feet and hypersonic speeds.
''These things would be out there all day,'' said Lt. Ryan Graves, an F/A-18 Super Hornet pilot who has been with the Navy for 10 years, and who reported his sightings to the Pentagon and Congress. ''Keeping an aircraft in the air requires a significant amount of energy. With the speeds we observed, 12 hours in the air is 11 hours longer than we'd expect.''
In late 2014, a Super Hornet pilot had a near collision with one of the objects, and an official mishap report was filed. Some of the incidents were videotaped, including one taken by a plane's camera in early 2015 that shows an object zooming over the ocean waves as pilots question what they are watching.
''Wow, what is that, man?'' one exclaims. ''Look at it fly!''
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Van Allen radiation belt - Wikipedia
Tue, 28 May 2019 01:43
Zone of energetic charged particles around the planet earth
This video illustrates changes in the shape and intensity of a cross section of the Van Allen belts.
A cross section of Van Allen radiation belts
A Van Allen radiation belt is a zone of energetic charged particles, most of which originate from the solar wind, that are captured by and held around a planet by that planet's magnetic field. Earth has two such belts and sometimes others may be temporarily created. The discovery of the belts is credited to James Van Allen, and as a result, Earth's belts are known as the Van Allen belts. Earth's two main belts extend from an altitude of about 640 to 58,000 km (400 to 36,040 mi)[1] above the surface in which region radiation levels vary. Most of the particles that form the belts are thought to come from solar wind and other particles by cosmic rays.[2] By trapping the solar wind, the magnetic field deflects those energetic particles and protects the atmosphere from destruction.
The belts are located in the inner region of Earth's magnetosphere. The belts trap energetic electrons and protons. Other nuclei, such as alpha particles, are less prevalent. The belts endanger satellites, which must have their sensitive components protected with adequate shielding if they spend significant time near that zone. In 2013, NASA reported that the Van Allen Probes had discovered a transient, third radiation belt, which was observed for four weeks until it was destroyed by a powerful, interplanetary shock wave from the Sun.[3]
Discovery [ edit ] Kristian Birkeland, Carl St¸rmer, and Nicholas Christofilos had investigated the possibility of trapped charged particles before the Space Age.[4]Explorer 1 and Explorer 3 confirmed the existence of the belt in early 1958 under James Van Allen at the University of Iowa. The trapped radiation was first mapped by Explorer 4, Pioneer 3 and Luna 1.
The term Van Allen belts refers specifically to the radiation belts surrounding Earth; however, similar radiation belts have been discovered around other planets. The Sun does not support long-term radiation belts, as it lacks a stable, global, dipole field. The Earth's atmosphere limits the belts' particles to regions above 200''1,000 km,[5] (124''620 miles) while the belts do not extend past 8 Earth radii RE.[5] The belts are confined to a volume which extends about 65°[5] on either side of the celestial equator.
Research [ edit ] Jupiter's variable radiation belts
The NASA Van Allen Probes mission aims at understanding (to the point of predictability) how populations of relativistic electrons and ions in space form or change in response to changes in solar activity and the solar wind.NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts''funded studies have proposed magnetic scoops to collect antimatter that naturally occurs in the Van Allen belts of Earth, although only about 10 micrograms of antiprotons are estimated to exist in the entire belt.[6]
The Van Allen Probes mission successfully launched on August 30, 2012.[7] The primary mission is scheduled to last two years with expendables expected to last four. NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center manages the Living With a Star program of which the Van Allen Probes is a project, along with Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO). The Applied Physics Laboratory is responsible for the implementation and instrument management for the Van Allen Probes.[8]
Radiation belts exist around other planets and moons in the solar system that have magnetic fields powerful enough to sustain them. To date, most of these radiation belts have been poorly mapped. The Voyager Program (namely Voyager 2) only nominally confirmed the existence of similar belts around Uranus and Neptune.
Inner belt [ edit ] Cutaway drawing of two radiation belts around Earth: the inner belt (red) dominated by protons and the outer one (blue) by electrons. Image Credit: NASA
The inner Van Allen Belt extends typically from an altitude of 0.2 to 2 Earth radii (L values of 1 to 3) or 1,000 km (620 mi) to 6,000 km (3,700 mi) above the Earth.[2][9] In certain cases when solar activity is stronger or in geographical areas such as the South Atlantic Anomaly, the inner boundary may decline to roughly 200 kilometers[10] above the Earth's surface. The inner belt contains high concentrations of electrons in the range of hundreds of keV and energetic protons with energies exceeding 100 MeV, trapped by the strong (relative to the outer belts) magnetic fields in the region.[11]
It is believed that proton energies exceeding 50 MeV in the lower belts at lower altitudes are the result of the beta decay of neutrons created by cosmic ray collisions with nuclei of the upper atmosphere. The source of lower energy protons is believed to be proton diffusion due to changes in the magnetic field during geomagnetic storms.[12]
Due to the slight offset of the belts from Earth's geometric center, the inner Van Allen belt makes its closest approach to the surface at the South Atlantic Anomaly.[13][14]
On March 2014, a pattern resembling 'zebra stripes' was observed in the radiation belts by the Radiation Belt Storm Probes Ion Composition Experiment (RBSPICE) onboard Van Allen Probes. The reason reported was that due to the tilt in Earth's magnetic field axis, the planet's rotation generated an oscillating, weak electric field that permeates through the entire inner radiation belt.[15] It was later demonstrated that the zebra stripes were in fact an imprint of ionospheric winds on radiation belts.[16]
Outer belt [ edit ] Laboratory simulation of the Van Allen belt's influence on the Solar Wind; these aurora-like
Birkeland currents were created by the scientist
Kristian Birkeland in his
terrella, a magnetized anode globe in an evacuated chamber
The outer belt consists mainly of high energy (0.1''10 MeV) electrons trapped by the Earth's magnetosphere. It is more variable than the inner belt as it is more easily influenced by solar activity. It is almost toroidal in shape, beginning at an altitude of three and extending to ten Earth radii (RE) 13,000 to 60,000 kilometres (8,100 to 37,300 mi) above the Earth's surface. Its greatest intensity is usually around 4''5 RE. The outer electron radiation belt is mostly produced by the inward radial diffusion[17][18] and local acceleration[19] due to transfer of energy from whistler-mode plasma waves to radiation belt electrons. Radiation belt electrons are also constantly removed by collisions with Earth's atmosphere,[19] losses to the magnetopause, and their outward radial diffusion. The gyroradii of energetic protons would be large enough to bring them into contact with the Earth's atmosphere. Within this belt, the electrons have a high flux and at the outer edge (close to the magnetopause), where geomagnetic field lines open into the geomagnetic "tail", the flux of energetic electrons can drop to the low interplanetary levels within about 100 km (62 mi), a decrease by a factor of 1,000.
In 2014 it was discovered that the inner edge of the outer belt is characterized by a very sharp transition, below which highly relativistic electrons (> 5MeV) cannot penetrate.[20] The reason for this shield-like behavior is not well understood.
The trapped particle population of the outer belt is varied, containing electrons and various ions. Most of the ions are in the form of energetic protons, but a certain percentage are alpha particles and O+ oxygen ions, similar to those in the ionosphere but are much more energetic. This mixture of ions suggests that ring current particles probably come from more than one source.
The outer belt is larger than the inner belt and its particle population fluctuates widely. Energetic (radiation) particle fluxes can increase and decrease dramatically in response to geomagnetic storms, which are themselves triggered by magnetic field and plasma disturbances produced by the Sun. The increases are due to storm-related injections and acceleration of particles from the tail of the magnetosphere.
On February 28, 2013, a third radiation belt, consisting of high-energy ultrarelativistic charged particles, was reported to be discovered. In a news conference by NASA's Van Allen Probe team, it was stated that this third belt is a product of coronal mass ejection from the Sun. It has been represented as a separate creation which splits the Outer Belt, like a knife, on its outer side, and exists separately as a storage container of particles for a month's time, before merging once again with the Outer Belt.[21]
The unusual stability of this third, transient belt has been explained as due to a 'trapping' by the Earth's magnetic field of ultrarelativistic particles as they are lost from the second, traditional outer belt. While the outer zone, which forms and disappears over a day, is highly variable due to interactions with the atmosphere, the ultrarelativistic particles of the third belt are thought to not scatter into the atmosphere, as they are too energetic to interact with atmospheric waves at low latitudes.[22] This absence of scattering and the trapping allows them to persist for a long time, finally only being destroyed by an unusual event, such as the shock wave from the Sun.
Flux values [ edit ] In the belts, at a given point, the flux of particles of a given energy decreases sharply with energy.
At the magnetic equator, electrons of energies exceeding 500 keV (resp. 5 MeV) have omnidirectional fluxes ranging from 1.2—106 (resp. 3.7—104) up to 9.4—109 (resp. 2—107) particles per square centimeter per second.
The proton belts contain protons with kinetic energies ranging from about 100 keV (which can penetrate 0.6 µm of lead) to over 400 MeV (which can penetrate 143 mm of lead).[23]
Most published flux values for the inner and outer belts may not show the maximum probable flux densities that are possible in the belts. There is a reason for this discrepancy: the flux density and the location of the peak flux is variable (depending primarily on solar activity), and the number of spacecraft with instruments observing the belt in real time has been limited. The Earth has not experienced a solar storm of Carrington event intensity and duration while spacecraft with the proper instruments have been available to observe the event.
Regardless of the differences of the flux levels in the Inner and Outer Van Allen belts, the beta radiation levels would be dangerous to humans if they were exposed for an extended period of time. The Apollo missions minimised hazards for astronauts by sending spacecraft at high speeds through the thinner areas of the upper belts, bypassing inner belts completely.[13][24][25]
Flux values, normal solar conditionsAP8 MIN omnidirectional proton flux '‰¥ 100 keV
AP8 MIN omnidirectional proton flux '‰¥ 1 MeV
AP8 MIN omnidirectional proton flux '‰¥ 400 MeV
Antimatter confinement [ edit ] In 2011, a study confirmed earlier speculation that the Van Allen belt could confine antiparticles. The PAMELA experiment detected levels of antiprotons orders of magnitude higher than are expected from normal particle decays while passing through the South Atlantic Anomaly. This suggests the Van Allen belts confine a significant flux of antiprotons produced by the interaction of the Earth's upper atmosphere with cosmic rays.[26] The energy of the antiprotons has been measured in the range from 60''750 MeV.
Research funded by the NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts concluded that harnessing these antiprotons for spacecraft propulsion would be feasible. Researchers believed that this approach would have advantages over antiproton generation at CERN because collecting the particles in situ eliminates transportation losses and costs. Jupiter and Saturn are also possible sources but the Earth belt is the most productive. Jupiter is less productive than might be expected due to magnetic shielding from cosmic rays of much of its atmosphere.[27]
Implications for space travel [ edit ] Spacecraft travelling beyond low Earth orbit enter the zone of radiation of the Van Allen belts. Beyond the belts, they face additional hazards from cosmic rays and solar particle events. A region between the inner and outer Van Allen belts lies at two to four Earth radii and is sometimes referred to as the "safe zone".[28][29]
Solar cells, integrated circuits, and sensors can be damaged by radiation. Geomagnetic storms occasionally damage electronic components on spacecraft. Miniaturization and digitization of electronics and logic circuits have made satellites more vulnerable to radiation, as the total electric charge in these circuits is now small enough so as to be comparable with the charge of incoming ions. Electronics on satellites must be hardened against radiation to operate reliably. The Hubble Space Telescope, among other satellites, often has its sensors turned off when passing through regions of intense radiation.[30] A satellite shielded by 3 mm of aluminium in an elliptic orbit (200 by 20,000 miles (320 by 32,190 km)) passing the radiation belts will receive about 2,500 rem (25 Sv) per year (for comparison, a full-body dose of 5 Sv is deadly). Almost all radiation will be received while passing the inner belt.[31]
The Apollo missions marked the first event where humans traveled through the Van Allen belts, which was one of several radiation hazards known by mission planners.[32] The astronauts had low exposure in the Van Allen belts due to the short period of time spent flying through them. Apollo flight trajectories bypassed the inner belts completely, passing through the thinner areas of the outer belts.[25][33]
Astronauts' overall exposure was actually dominated by solar particles once outside Earth's magnetic field. The total radiation received by the astronauts varied from mission to mission but was measured to be between 0.16 and 1.14 rads (1.6 and 11.4 mGy), much less than the standard of 5 rem (50 mSv) per year set by the United States Atomic Energy Commission for people who work with radioactivity.[32]
Causes [ edit ] It is generally understood that the inner and outer Van Allen belts result from different processes. The inner belt, consisting mainly of energetic protons, is the product of the decay of so-called "albedo" neutrons which are themselves the result of cosmic ray collisions in the upper atmosphere. The outer belt consists mainly of electrons. They are injected from the geomagnetic tail following geomagnetic storms, and are subsequently energized through wave-particle interactions.
In the inner belt, particles that originate from the Sun are trapped in the Earth's magnetic field. Particles spiral along the magnetic lines of flux as they move "longitudinally" along those lines. As particles move toward the poles, the magnetic field line density increases and their "longitudinal" velocity is slowed and can be reversed, reflecting the particle and causing them to bounce back and forth between the Earth's poles.[34] In addition to the spiral about and motion along the flux lines, the electrons move slowly in an eastward direction, while the ions move westward.
A gap between the inner and outer Van Allen belts, sometimes called safe zone or safe slot, is caused by the Very Low Frequency (VLF) waves which scatter particles in pitch angle which results in the gain of particles to the atmosphere. Solar outbursts can pump particles into the gap but they drain again in a matter of days. The radio waves were originally thought to be generated by turbulence in the radiation belts, but recent work by James L. Green of the Goddard Space Flight Center comparing maps of lightning activity collected by the Microlab 1 spacecraft with data on radio waves in the radiation-belt gap from the IMAGE spacecraft suggests that they are actually generated by lightning within Earth's atmosphere. The radio waves that generate strike the ionosphere at the correct angle to pass through only at high latitudes, where the lower ends of the gap approach the upper atmosphere. These results are still under scientific debate.
Proposed removal [ edit ] High Voltage Orbiting Long Tether, or HiVOLT, is a concept proposed by Russian physicist V. V. Danilov and further refined by Robert P. Hoyt and Robert L. Forward for draining and removing the radiation fields of the Van Allen radiation belts[35] that surround the Earth.[36] A proposed configuration consists of a system of five 100 km long conducting tethers deployed from satellites, and charged to a large voltage. This would cause charged particles that encounter the tethers to have their pitch angle changed; thus, over time, dissolving the inner belts. Hoyt and Forward's company, Tethers Unlimited, performed a preliminary analysis simulation in 2011, and produced a chart depicting a theoretical radiation flux reduction,[37] to less than 1% of current levels within two months for the inner belts that threaten LEO objects.[38]
See also [ edit ] Dipole model of the Earth's magnetic fieldL-shellList of artificial radiation beltsList of plasma (physics) articlesSpace weatherNotes [ edit ] ^ Orbital periods and speeds are calculated using the relations 4ϲR" = T²GM and V²R = GM, where R = radius of orbit in metres, T = orbital period in seconds, V = orbital speed in m/s, G = gravitational constant '‰ 6.673 — 10'' 11 Nm²/kg², M = mass of Earth '‰ 5.98 — 10 24 kg. ^ Approximately 8.6 times (in radius and length) when the moon is nearest (363'‰104 km · 42'‰164 km) to 9.6 times when the moon is farthest (405'‰696 km · 42'‰164 km). References [ edit ] ^ Zell, Holly (February 12, 2015). "Van Allen Probes Spot an Impenetrable Barrier in Space". NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center . Retrieved 2017-06-04 . ^ a b "Van Allen Radiation Belts". HowStuffWorks. Silver Spring, MD: Discovery Communications, Inc. 2009-04-23 . Retrieved 2011-06-05 . ^ Phillips, Tony, ed. (February 28, 2013). "Van Allen Probes Discover a New Radiation Belt". Science@NASA. NASA . Retrieved 2013-04-05 . ^ Stern, David P.; Peredo, Mauricio. "Trapped Radiation '' History". The Exploration of the Earth's Magnetosphere. NASA/GSFC . Retrieved 2009-04-28 . ^ a b c Walt, Martin (2005) [Originally published 1994]. Introduction to Geomagnetically Trapped Radiation. Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-61611-9. LCCN 2006272610. OCLC 63270281. ^ Bickford, James. "Extraction of Antiparticles Concentrated in Planetary Magnetic Fields" (PDF) . NASA/NIAC . Retrieved 2008-05-24 . ^ Zell, Holly, ed. (August 30, 2012). "RBSP Launches Successfully '' Twin Probes are Healthy as Mission Begins". NASA . Retrieved 2012-09-02 . ^ "Construction Begins!". The Van Allen Probes Web Site. The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. January 2010. Archived from the original on 2012-07-24 . Retrieved 2013-09-27 . ^ Ganushkina, N. Yu; Dandouras, I.; Shprits, Y. Y.; Cao, J. (2011). "Locations of boundaries of outer and inner radiation belts as observed by Cluster and Double Star" (PDF) . Journal of Geophysical Research. 116 (A9): n/a. Bibcode:2011JGRA..116.9234G. doi:10.1029/2010JA016376. ^ "Space Environment Standard ECSS-E-ST-10-04C" (PDF) . ESA Requirements and Standards Division. November 15, 2008 . Retrieved 2013-09-27 . ^ Gusev, A. A.; Pugacheva, G. I.; Jayanthi, U. B.; Schuch, N. (2003). "Modeling of Low-altitude Quasi-trapped Proton Fluxes at the Equatorial Inner Magnetosphere". Brazilian Journal of Physics. 33 (4): 775''781. Bibcode:2003BrJPh..33..775G. ^ Tascione, Thomas F. (2004). Introduction to the Space Environment (2nd ed.). Malabar, FL: Krieger Publishing Co. ISBN 978-0-89464-044-5. LCCN 93036569. OCLC 28926928. ^ a b "The Van Allen Belts". NASA/GSFC . Retrieved 2011-05-25 . ^ Underwood, C.; Brock, D.; Williams, P.; Kim, S.; Dil£o, R.; Ribeiro Santos, P.; Brito, M.; Dyer, C.; Sims, A. (December 1994). "Radiation Environment Measurements with the Cosmic Ray Experiments On-Board the KITSAT-1 and PoSAT-1 Micro-Satellites". IEEE Transactions on Nuclear Science. 41 (6): 2353''2360. Bibcode:1994ITNS...41.2353U. doi:10.1109/23.340587. ^ "Twin NASA probes find 'zebra stripes' in Earth's radiation belt". Universe Today. 2014-03-19 . Retrieved 20 March 2014 . ^ Lejosne, S.; Roederer, J.G. (2016). "The "zebra stripes": An effect of F region zonal plasma drifts on the longitudinal distribution of radiation belt particles". Journal of Geophysical Research. 121 (1): 507''518. Bibcode:2016JGRA..121..507L. doi:10.1002/2015JA021925. ^ Elkington, S. R.; Hudson, M. K.; Chan, A. A. (May 2001). "Enhanced Radial Diffusion of Outer Zone Electrons in an Asymmetric Geomagnetic Field". Spring Meeting 2001. Washington, D.C.: American Geophysical Union. Bibcode:2001AGUSM..SM32C04E. ^ Shprits, Y. Y.; Thorne, R. M. (2004). "Time dependent radial diffusion modeling of relativistic electrons with realistic loss rates". Geophysical Research Letters. 31 (8): L08805. Bibcode:2004GeoRL..31.8805S. doi:10.1029/2004GL019591. ^ a b Horne, Richard B.; Thorne, Richard M.; Shprits, Yuri Y.; et al. (2005). "Wave acceleration of electrons in the Van Allen radiation belts". Nature. 437 (7056): 227''230. Bibcode:2005Natur.437..227H. doi:10.1038/nature03939. PMID 16148927. ^ D. N. Baker; A. N. Jaynes; V. C. Hoxie; R. M. Thorne; J. C. Foster; X. Li; J. F. Fennell; J. R. Wygant; S. G. Kanekal; P. J. Erickson; W. Kurth; W. Li; Q. Ma; Q. Schiller; L. Blum; D. M. Malaspina; A. Gerrard & L. J. Lanzerotti (27 November 2014). "An impenetrable barrier to ultrarelativistic electrons in the Van Allen radiation belts". Nature. 515. pp. 531''534. Bibcode:2014Natur.515..531B. doi:10.1038/nature13956. ^ NASA's Van Allen Probes Discover Third Radiation Belt Around Earth on YouTube ^ Shprits, Yuri Y.; Subbotin, Dimitriy; Drozdov, Alexander; et al. (2013). "Unusual stable trapping of the ultrarelativistic electrons in the Van Allen radiation belts". Nature Physics. 9 (9): 699''703. Bibcode:2013NatPh...9..699S. doi:10.1038/nphys2760. ^ Hess, Wilmot N. (1968). The Radiation Belt and Magnetosphere. Waltham, MA: Blaisdell Pub. Co. LCCN 67019536. OCLC 712421. ^ Modisette, Jerry L.; Lopez, Manuel D.; Snyder, Joseph W. (January 20''22, 1969). Radiation Plan for the Apollo Lunar Mission. AIAA 7th Aerospace Sciences Meeting. New York. doi:10.2514/6.1969-19. AIAA Paper No. 69-19. ^ a b "Apollo Rocketed Through the Van Allen Belts". ^ Adriani, O.; Barbarino, G. C.; Bazilevskaya, G. A.; et al. (2011). "The Discovery of Geomagnetically Trapped Cosmic-Ray Antiprotons". The Astrophysical Journal Letters. 737 (2): L29. arXiv:1107.4882 . Bibcode:2011ApJ...737L..29A. doi:10.1088/2041-8205/737/2/L29. ^ James Bickford, Extraction of Antiparticles Concentrated in Plaetary Magnetic Fields, NIAC phase II report, Draper Laboratory, August 2007. ^ "Earth's Radiation Belts with Safe Zone Orbit". NASA/GSFC . Retrieved 2009-04-27 . ^ Weintraub, Rachel A. (December 15, 2004). "Earth's Safe Zone Became Hot Zone During Legendary Solar Storms". NASA/GSFC . Retrieved 2009-04-27 . ^ Weaver, Donna (July 18, 1996). "Hubble Achieves Milestone: 100,000th Exposure" (Press release). Baltimore, MD: Space Telescope Science Institute. STScI-1996-25 . Retrieved 2009-01-25 . ^ Ptak, Andy (1997). "Ask an Astrophysicist". NASA/GSFC . Retrieved 2006-06-11 . ^ a b Bailey, J. Vernon. "Radiation Protection and Instrumentation". Biomedical Results of Apollo . Retrieved 2011-06-13 . ^ Woods, W. David (2008). How Apollo Flew to the Moon. New York: Springer-Verlag. p. 109. ISBN 978-0-387-71675-6. ^ Stern, David P.; Peredo, Mauricio. "The Exploration of the Earth's Magnetosphere". The Exploration of the Earth's Magnetosphere. NASA/GSFC . Retrieved 2013-09-27 . ^ "NASA outreach: RadNews". Archived from the original on 2013-06-13 . Retrieved 2013-09-27 . ^ Mirnov, Vladimir; '§er, Defne; Danilov, Valentin (November 10''15, 1996). "High-Voltage Tethers For Enhanced Particle Scattering In Van Allen Belts". Aps Division of Plasma Physics Meeting Abstracts. 38: 7. Bibcode:1996APS..DPP..7E06M. OCLC 205379064. Abstract #7E.06. ^ "HiVOLT_Results.jpg". Tethers Unlimited . Retrieved 2013-09-27 . Chart depicting radiation flux reduction. ^ "High-Voltage Orbiting Long Tether (HiVOLT): A System for Remediation of the Van Allen Radiation Belts". Tethers Unlimited . Retrieved 2011-06-18 . Additional sources [ edit ] Adams, L.; Daly, E. J.; Harboe-Sorensen, R.; Holmes-Siedle, A. G.; Ward, A. K.; Bull, R. A. (December 1991). "Measurement of SEU and total dose in geostationary orbit under normal and solar flare conditions". IEEE Transactions on Nuclear Science. 38 (6): 1686''1692. Bibcode:1991ITNS...38.1686A. doi:10.1109/23.124163. OCLC 4632198117. Holmes-Siedle, Andrew; Adams, Len (2002). Handbook of Radiation Effects (2nd ed.). Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-850733-8. LCCN 2001053096. OCLC 47930537. Shprits, Yuri Y.; Elkington, Scott R.; Meredith, Nigel P.; Subbotin, Dmitriy A. (November 2008). "Review of modeling of losses and sources of relativistic electrons in the outer radiation belt". Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics. 70 (14). Part I: Radial transport, pp. 1679''1693, doi:10.1016/j.jastp.2008.06.008; Part II: Local acceleration and loss, pp. 1694''1713, doi:10.1016/j.jastp.2008.06.014.External links [ edit ] An explanation of the belts by David P. Stern and Mauricio PeredoBackground: Trapped particle radiation models '' Introduction to the trapped radiation belts by SPENVISSPENVIS '' Space Environment, Effects, and Education System '' Gateway to the SPENVIS orbital dose calculation softwareThe Van Allen Probes Web Site Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory
Operation Fishbowl Explained
Tue, 28 May 2019 01:42
Operation FishbowlPicture Description:Starfish Prime 1.4 megaton high-altitude nuclear test explosionCountry:United StatesTest Site:Johnston Island, Johnston AtollPeriod:1962Number Of Tests:11Test Type:high-altitude rocket (30''80 km), space rocket (> 80 km)Max Yield:1.4MtTNTPrevious Series:Operation DominicNext Series:Operation StoraxOperation Fishbowl was a series of high-altitude nuclear tests in 1962 that were carried out by the United States as a part of the larger Operation Dominic nuclear test program. Flight-test vehicles were designed and manufactured by Avco Corporation.[1]
IntroductionThe Operation Fishbowl nuclear tests were originally planned to be completed during the first half of 1962 with three tests named Bluegill, Starfish and Urraca.[2]
The first test attempt was delayed until June. Planning for Operation Fishbowl, as well as many other nuclear tests in the region, was begun rapidly in response to the sudden Soviet announcement on 30 August 1961 that they were ending a three-year moratorium on nuclear testing.[3] The rapid planning of very complex operations necessitated many changes as the project progressed.
All of the tests were to be launched on missiles from Johnston Island in the Pacific Ocean north of the equator. Johnston Island had already been established as a launch site for United States high-altitude nuclear tests, rather than the other locations in the Pacific Proving Grounds. In 1958, Lewis Strauss, then chairman of the United States Atomic Energy Commission, opposed doing any high-altitude tests at locations that had been used for earlier Pacific nuclear tests. His opposition was motivated by fears that the flash from the nighttime high-altitude detonations might blind civilians who were living on nearby islands. Johnston Island was a remote location, more distant from populated areas than other potential test locations.[4] In order to protect residents of the Hawaiian Islands from flash blindness or permanent retinal injury from the bright nuclear flash, the nuclear missiles of Operation Fishbowl were launched generally toward the southwest of Johnston Island so that the detonations would be farther from Hawaii.
Urraca was to be a test of about 1 megaton yield at very high altitude (above 1000 km.).[5] The proposed Urraca test was always controversial, especially after the damage caused to satellites by the Starfish Prime detonation, as described below. Urraca was finally canceled, and an extensive re-evaluation of the Operation Fishbowl plan was made during an 82-day operations pause after the Bluegill Prime disaster of 25 July 1962, as described below.
A test named Kingfish was added during the early stages of Operation Fishbowl planning. Two low-yield tests, Checkmate and Tightrope, were also added during the project, so the final number of tests in Operation Fishbowl was five.
Research directionsThe United States completed six high-altitude nuclear tests in 1958, but the high-altitude tests of that year raised a number of questions. According to U.S. Government Report ADA955694 on the first successful test of the Fishbowl series, "Previous high-altitude nuclear tests: Teak, Orange, and Yucca, plus the three ARGUS shots were poorly instrumented and hastily executed. Despite thorough studies of the meager data, present models of these bursts are sketchy and tentative. These models are too uncertain to permit extrapolation to other altitudes and yields with any confidence. Thus there is a strong need, not only for better instrumentation, but for further tests covering a range of altitudes and yields."[6]
There were three phenomena in particular that required further investigation:
1. The electromagnetic pulse generated by a high-altitude nuclear explosion appeared to have very significant differences from the electromagnetic pulse generated by nuclear explosions closer to the surface.
2. The auroras associated with high-altitude nuclear explosions, especially the auroras that appeared almost instantaneously far away from the explosion in the opposite hemisphere, were not clearly understood. The nature of the possible radiation belts that were initially generated along the magnetic field lines connecting the areas of the auroral displays were also poorly understood.
3. Areas of blackout of radio communication needed to be understood in much more detail since that information would be critical for military operations during periods of possible nuclear explosions.
The Fishbowl tests were monitored by a large number of surface and aircraft-based stations in the wide area around the planned detonations and also in the region in the southern hemisphere in the Samoan Islands region, which was known in these tests as the southern conjugate region. Johnston Island is in the northern hemisphere, as were all of the planned Operation Fishbowl nuclear detonation locations. It was known from previous high altitude tests, as well as from theoretical work done in the late 1950s, that high-altitude nuclear tests produce a number of unique geophysical phenomena at the opposite end of the magnetic field line of the Earth's magnetic field.
According to the standard reference book on nuclear weapon effects by the United States Department of Defense, "For the high-altitude tests conducted in 1958 and 1962 in the vicinity of Johnston Island, the charged particles entered the atmosphere in the northern hemisphere between Johnston Island and the main Hawaiian Islands, whereas the conjugate region was in the vicinity of the Samoan, Fiji, and Tonga Islands. It is in these areas that auroras were actually observed, in addition to those in the areas of the nuclear explosions."[7]
Beta particles are charged particles (usually with a negative electrical charge) that are released from nuclear explosions. These particles travel in a spiral along the magnetic field lines in the Earth's magnetic field. The nuclear explosions also release heavier debris ions, which also carry an electrical charge, and which also travel in a spiral along the Earth's magnetic field lines.
The Earth's magnetic field lines arc high above the Earth until they reach the magnetic conjugate area in the opposite hemisphere.
According to the DOD nuclear weapon effects reference, "Because the beta particles have high velocities, the beta auroras in the remote (southern) hemisphere appeared within a fraction of a second of those in the hemisphere where the burst had occurred. The debris ions, however, travel more slowly and so the debris aurora in the remote hemisphere, if it is formed, appears at a somewhat later time. The beta auroras are generally most intense at an altitude of 30 to 60 miles, whereas the intensity of the debris auroras is greatest in the 60 to 125 miles range. Remote conjugate beta auroras can occur if the detonation is above 25 miles, whereas debris auroras appear only if the detonation altitude is in excess of some 200 miles."[7]
Some of the charged particles traveling along the Earth's magnetic field lines cause auroras and other geophysical phenomena in the conjugate areas. Other charged particles are reflected back along the magnetic field lines, where they can persist for long periods of time (up to several months or longer), forming artificial radiation belts.[8]
According to the Operation Fishbowl planning document of November 1961, "Since much valuable data can be obtained from time and spectrum resolved photography, this dictates that the test be performed at nighttime when auroral photographic conditions are best." As with all U.S. Pacific high-altitude nuclear tests, all of the Operation Fishbowl tests were completed at night. This is in contrast to the high-altitude nuclear tests of the Soviet Project K nuclear tests, which were done over the populated land region of central Kazakhstan, and therefore had to be done during the daytime to avoid eyeburn damage to the population from the very bright flash of high-altitude nuclear explosions (as discussed in the introduction to this article).
First attemptsAccording to the initial plan of Operation Fishbowl, the nuclear tests were to be Bluegill, Starfish and Urraca, in that order. If a test were to fail, the next attempt of the same test would be of the same name plus the word "prime." If Bluegill failed, the next attempt would be Bluegill Prime, and if Bluegill Prime failed, the next attempt would be Bluegill Double Prime, etc.
BluegillThe first planned test of Operation Fishbowl was on 2 June 1962 when a nuclear warhead was launched from Johnston Island on a Thor missile just after midnight. Although the Thor missile appeared to be on a normal trajectory, the radar tracking system lost track of the missile. Because of the large number of ships and aircraft in the area, there was no way to predict if the missile was on a safe trajectory, so the range safety officers ordered the missile with its warhead to be destroyed. No nuclear detonation occurred and no data were obtained, but subsequent investigation found that the Thor was actually following the proper flight trajectory.[9]
StarfishThe second planned test of Operation Fishbowl was on 19 June 1962. The launch of a Thor missile with a nuclear warhead occurred just before midnight from Johnston Island. The Thor missile flew a normal trajectory for 59 seconds; then the rocket engine suddenly stopped, and the missile began to break apart. The range safety officer ordered the destruction of the missile and the warhead. The missile was between 30,000 and 35,000 feet (between 9.1 and 10.7 km) in altitude when it was destroyed.
Some of the missile parts fell on Johnston Island, and a large amount of missile debris fell into the ocean in the vicinity of the island. Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal and Underwater Demolition Team swimmers recovered approximately 250 pieces of the missile assembly during the next two weeks. Some of the debris was contaminated with plutonium. Nonessential personnel had been evacuated from Johnston Island during the test.
Starfish PrimeSee main article: article and Starfish Prime. On 9 July 1962, at 09:00:09 Coordinated Universal Time, which was nine seconds after 10 p.m. on 8 July, Johnston Island local time, the Starfish Prime test was successfully detonated at an altitude of . The coordinates of the detonation were 16 degrees, 28 minutes North latitude, 169 degrees, 38 minutes West longitude (30 km, or about 18 mi, southwest of Johnston Island).[10] The actual weapon yield was very close to the design yield, which has been described by various sources at different values in the very narrow range of 1.4 to 1.45 megatons (6.0 PJ).
The Thor missile carrying the Starfish Prime warhead actually reached an apogee (maximum height) of about 1100 km (just over 680 miles), and the warhead was detonated on its downward trajectory when it had fallen to the programmed altitude of . The nuclear warhead detonated at 13 minutes and 41 seconds after liftoff of the Thor missile.[11]
Starfish Prime caused an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) which was far larger than expected, so much larger that it drove much of the instrumentation off scale, causing great difficulty in getting accurate measurements. The Starfish Prime electromagnetic pulse also made those effects known to the public by causing electrical damage in Hawaii, about 1445km (898miles) away from the detonation point, knocking out about 300 streetlights, setting off numerous burglar alarms and damaging a telephone company microwave link[10] (the detonation time was nine seconds after 11 p.m. in Hawaii).
A total of 27 small rockets were launched from Johnston Island to obtain experimental data from the shot, with the first of the support rockets being launched 2 hours and 45 minutes before the launch of the Thor missile carrying the nuclear warhead. Most of these smaller instrumentation rockets were launched just after the time of the launch of the main Thor missile carrying the warhead. In addition, a large number of rocket-borne instruments were launched from a firing area at Barking Sands, Kauai, in the Hawaiian Islands.[12]
A very large number of United States military ships and aircraft were operating in support of Starfish Prime in the Johnston Island area and across the nearby North Pacific region. A few military ships and aircraft were also positioned in the southern conjugate region for the test, which was near the Samoan Islands. In addition, an uninvited observation ship from the Soviet Union was stationed near Johnston Island for the test and another Soviet scientific expeditionary ship was located in the southern conjugate region,[13] permanent features of all future oceanic nuclear testing.
After the Starfish Prime detonation, bright auroras were observed in the detonation area as well as in the southern conjugate region on the other side of the equator from the detonation. According to one of the first technical reports, "The visible phenomena due to the burst were widespread and quite intense; a very large area of the Pacific was illuminated by the auroral phenomena, from far south of the south magnetic conjugate area (Tongatapu) through the burst area to far north of the north conjugate area (French Frigate Shoals). ... At twilight after the burst, resonant scattering of light from lithium and other debris was observed at Johnston and French Frigate Shoals for many days confirming the longtime presence of debris in the atmosphere. An interesting side effect was that the Royal New Zealand Air Force was aided in anti-submarine maneuvers by the light from the bomb."[14]
The Starfish Prime radiation belt persisted at high altitude for many months and damaged the United States satellites Traac, Transit 4B, Injun I and Telstar I, as well as the United Kingdom satellite Ariel. It also damaged the Soviet satellite Cosmos V. All of these satellites failed completely within several months of the Starfish detonation.[8] There is also evidence that the Starfish Prime radiation belt may have damaged the satellites Explorer 14, Explorer 15 and Relay 1.[15]Telstar I lasted the longest of the satellites that were clearly damaged by the Starfish Prime radiation, with its complete failure occurring on February 21, 1963.[16]
In 2010, the United States Defense Threat Reduction Agency issued a report that had been written in support of the United States Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse Attack. The report, entitled "Collateral Damage to Satellites from an EMP Attack," discusses in great detail the satellite damage caused by the Starfish Prime artificial radiation belts as well as other historical nuclear events that caused artificial radiation belts and their effects on many satellites that were then in orbit. The same report also projects the effects of one or more present-day high altitude nuclear explosions upon the formation of artificial radiation belts and the probable resulting effects on satellites that were in orbit as of the year 2010.[5]
Bluegill PrimeOn 25 July 1962, a second attempt was made to launch the Bluegill device, but ended in disaster when the Thor suffered a stuck valve preventing the flow of LOX to the combustion chamber. The engine lost thrust and unburned RP-1 spilled down into the hot thrust chamber, igniting and starting a fire around the base of the missile. With the Thor engulfed in flames, the Range Safety Officer sent the destruct command, which split the rocket and ruptured both fuel tanks, completely destroying the missile and badly damaging the launch pad. The warhead charges also exploded asymmetrically and sprayed the area with the moderately radioactive core materials.
Although there was little danger of an accidental nuclear explosion, the destruction of the nuclear warhead on the launch pad caused contamination of the area by alpha-emitting core materials. Burning rocket fuel, flowing through the cable trenches, caused extensive chemical contamination of the trenches and the equipment associated with the cabling in the trenches.
The radioactive contamination on Johnston Island was determined to be a major problem, and it was necessary to decontaminate the entire area before the badly damaged launch pad could be rebuilt.[17]
Operations pauseOperation Fishbowl test operations stopped after the disastrous failure of Bluegill Prime, and most of the personnel not directly involved in the radioactive cleanup and launch pad rebuild on Johnston Island returned to their home stations to await the resumption of tests.
According to the Operation Dominic I report, "The enforced pause allowed DOD to replan the remainder of the Fishbowl series. The Urraca event was canceled to avoid further damage to satellites and three new shots were added."[18] A second launch pad was constructed during the operations pause so that Operation Fishbowl could continue in the event of another serious incident.
Continuation of the Fishbowl seriesAfter a pause of nearly three months, Operation Fishbowl was ready to continue, beginning with another attempt at the Bluegill test.
Bluegill Double PrimeEighty-two days after the failure of Bluegill Prime, about 30 minutes before midnight on the night of 15 October 1962, local Johnston Island time (16 October UTC), another attempt was made at the Bluegill test. The Thor missile malfunctioned and began tumbling out of control about 85 seconds after launch, and the range safety officer ordered the destruction of the missile and its nuclear warhead about 95 seconds after launch.[19]
CheckmateOn 19 October 1962, at about 90 minutes before midnight (local Johnston Island time), an XM-33 Strypi rocket launched a low-yield nuclear warhead which detonated successfully at an altitude of 147km (91miles). It was reported that the yield and burst altitude were very close to those desired, but according to most official documents the exact nuclear yield remains classified. It is reported in the open literature as simply being less than 20 kilotons. One report by the U.S. federal government, however, reported the Checkmate test yield as 10 kilotons.[20]
It was reported that, "Observers on Johnston Island saw a green and blue circular region surrounded by a blood-red ring formed overhead that faded in less than 1 minute. Blue-green streamers and numerous pink striations formed, the latter lasting for 30 minutes. Observers at Samoa saw a white flash, which faded to orange and disappeared in about 1 minute."[19]
Bluegill Triple PrimeThe fourth attempt at the Bluegill test was launched on a Thor missile on 25 October 1962 (Johnston Island time). It resulted in a successful detonation of a submegaton nuclear warhead at about one minute before midnight, local time (the official Coordinated Universal Time was 0959 on 26 October 1962). It was officially reported as being in the submegaton range (meaning more than 200 kilotons but less than one megaton), and most observers of the U.S. nuclear testing programs believe that the nuclear yield was about 400 kilotons.[21] One report by the U.S. federal government reported the test yield as 200 kilotons.[20]
Since all of the Operation Fishbowl tests were planned to occur during the night, the potential for eyeburn, especially for permanent retinal damage, was an important consideration at all levels of planning. Much research went into the potential eyeburn problem. One of the official reports for the project stated that, for the altitudes planned for the Bluegill, Kingfish and Checkmate tests, "the thermal-pulse durations are of the same order of magnitude or shorter than the natural blink period which, for the average person, is about 150 milliseconds. Furthermore, the atmospheric attenuation is normally much less for a given distance than in the case of sea-level or near-sea-level explosions. Consequently, the eye-damage hazard is more severe."[8]
Two cases of retinal damage did occur with military personnel on Johnston Island during the Bluegill Triple Prime test. Neither individual had his protective goggles in place at the instant of the detonation. One official report stated, "In the first case, acuity for central vision was 20/400 initially, but returned to 20/25 by six months. The second victim was less fortunate, as central vision did not improve beyond 20/60. The lesion diameters were 0.35 and 0.50 mm respectively. Both individuals noted immediate visual disturbances, but neither was incapacitated."[8]
There had been concern that eyeburn problems might occur during the earlier Starfish Prime test, since the countdown was rebroadcast by radio stations in Hawaii, and many civilians would be watching the thermonuclear detonation as it occurred,[8] but no such problems in Hawaii were reported.
KingfishThe Kingfish detonation occurred at 0210 (Johnston Island time) on 1 November 1962 and was the fourth successful detonation of the Fishbowl series. It was officially reported only as being a submegaton explosion (meaning in the range of more than 200 kilotons, but less than a megaton), but most independent observers believe that it used the same 400 kiloton warhead as the Bluegill Triple Prime test,[21] although one report by the U.S. federal government reported the test yield as 200 kilotons.[20]
As with the other Fishbowl tests, a number of small rockets with various scientific instrumentation were launched from Johnson Island to monitor the effects of the high-altitude explosion. In the case of the Kingfish test, 29 rockets were launched from Johnston Island in addition to the Thor rocket carrying the nuclear warhead.[22] According to the official report, at the time of the Kingfish detonation, "Johnston Island observers saw a yellow-white, luminous circle with intense purple streamers for the first minute. Some of the streamers displayed what appeared to be a rapid twisting motion at times. A large pale-green patch appeared somewhat south of the burst and grew, becoming the dominant visible feature after 5 minutes. By H+1 the green had become dull gray, but the feature persisted for 3 hours. At Oahu a bright flash was observed and after about 10 seconds a great white ball appeared to rise slowly out of the sea and was visible for about 9 minutes."[22]
After most of the electromagnetic pulse measurements on Starfish Prime had failed because the EMP was so much larger than expected, extra care was taken to obtain accurate EMP measurements on the Bluegill Triple Prime and Kingfish tests. The EMP mechanism that had been hypothesized before Operation Fishbowl had been conclusively disproven by the Starfish Prime test. Prompt gamma ray output measurements on these later tests were also carefully obtained so that a new theory of the mechanism for high-altitude EMP could be developed and confirmed. That new theory about the generation of nuclear EMP was developed by Los Alamos physicist Conrad Longmire in 1963, and it is the high-altitude nuclear EMP theory that is still used today.[23]
As of the beginning of 2011, the EMP waveforms and prompt gamma radiation outputs for Bluegill Triple Prime and Kingfish remain classified. An unclassified report, however, confirms that these measurements were successfully made and that a subsequent theory (which is the one now used) was developed which describes the mechanism by which the high-altitude EMP is generated. That new theory does give results which are consistent with both the Bluegill Triple Prime and Kingfish data.[24] (The report actually using the Bluegill Triple Prime and Kingfish data to confirm the new EMP theory is the still-classified Part 2 of the unclassified report by Conrad Longmire.)[24]
According to a Sandia National Laboratories report, EMP generated during the Operation Fishbowl tests caused "... input circuit troubles in radio receivers during the Starfish and Checkmate bursts; the triggering of surge arresters on an airplane with a trailing-wire antenna during Starfish, Checkmate, and Bluegill; and the Oahu streetlight incident."[10] (The "Oahu streetlight incident" refers to the 300 streetlights in Honolulu extinguished by the Starfish Prime detonation.)
TightropeThe final test of Operation Fishbowl was detonated at 2130 (9:30 p.m. local Johnston Island time) on 3 November 1962 (the time and date was officially recorded as 0730 UTC, 4 November 1962). It was launched on a Nike-Hercules missile, and detonated at a lower altitude than the other Fishbowl tests. Although it was officially one of the Operation Fishbowl tests, it is sometimes not listed among high-altitude nuclear tests because of its lower detonation altitude. The nuclear yield was reported in most official documents only as being less than 20 kilotons. One report by the U.S. federal government reported the Tightrope test yield as 10 kilotons.[20]
"At Johnston Island, there was an intense white flash. Even with high-density goggles, the burst was too bright to view, even for a few seconds. A distinct thermal pulse was also felt on the bare skin. A yellow-orange disc was formed, which transformed itself into a purple doughnut. A glowing purple cloud was faintly visible for a few minutes."[22]
Seven rockets carrying scientific instrumentation were launched from Johnston Island in support of the Tightrope test, which was the final atmospheric test conducted by the United States.
TableUnited States' Fishbowl series tests and detonations-!style="background:#ffdead;"Name [25] !style="background:#efefef;"Date time (UT)!style="background:#ffdead;"Local time zone [26][27] !style="background:#efefef;"Location [28] !style="background:#ffdead;"Elevation + height [29] !style="background:#efefef;"Delivery [30]Purpose [31] !style="background:#efefef;"Device [32] !style="background:#ffdead;"Yield [33] !style="background:#efefef;" class="unsortable"Fallout [34] !style="background:#ffdead;" class="unsortable"References!style="background:#efefef;" class="unsortable"Notes-!Bluegill(aborted)jamt (-11 hrs)Believed in use during Dominic, Fishbowl, HT I.Johnston Island, Johnston Atoll ~N/A +high alt rocket (30''80 km),weapon effectW50First try for Bluegill; RSO had problems before launch, and at 5 minutes tracking was lost. Destroyed at t+15 minutes, before time of intended explosion.-!Starfish(aborted)jamt (-11 hrs)Believed in use during Dominic, Fishbowl, HT I.Johnston Island, Johnston Atoll ~N/A +space rocket (> 80 km),weapon effectW49First try for Starfish; rocket failed at 59 seconds, destroyed by RSO at 65 secs, weapon single point failed without nuclear reaction.-!Starfish Prime 09:00:09jamt (-11 hrs)Believed in use during Dominic, Fishbowl, HT I.Launch from Johnston Island, Johnston Atoll 16.7337°N -169.5253°W, elv: 3m+0mm (10feet+00feetm);Detonation over Johnston Island, Johnston Atoll 16.4684°N -169.6301°WN/A + space rocket (> 80 km),weapon effectW49Fishbowl; high altitude effects test, W-49 warhead/Mk-4 RV on Thor missile. Burst seen in Hawaii, Kwajelein (1600miles away), EMP effects in Oahu. Destroyed several satellites, including Telstar I, with radiation belt.-!Urraca(canceled)(original intended date) jamt (-11 hrs)Believed in use during Dominic, Fishbowl, HT I.Johnston Island, Johnston Atoll ~N/A +space rocket (> 80 km),weapon effectVery high altitude Thor-delivered 1 Mt bomb test cancelled for fear of destroying satellites.-!Bluegill Prime(aborted)jamt (-11 hrs)Believed in use during Dominic, Fishbowl, HT I.Johnston Island, Johnston Atoll ~N/A +high alt rocket (30''80 km),weapon effectW50Second try for Bluegill; a valve in the engine malfunctioned, causing abort launch, and RSO destroyed it in the pad. Complete rebuild of contaminated pad required.-!Bluegill Double Prime(aborted)jamt (-11 hrs)Believed in use during Dominic, Fishbowl, HT I.Johnston Island, Johnston Atoll ~N/A +high alt rocket (30''80 km),weapon effectW50Third try for Bluegill; booster failure at 86 seconds and rocket started tumbling, RSO destroyed rocket at 156 seconds. Some debris rained on Johnston Island.-!Checkmate 08:30:00jamt (-11 hrs)Believed in use during Dominic, Fishbowl, HT I.Launch from Johnston Island, Johnston Atoll 16.7337°N -169.5253°W, elv: 3m+0mm (10feet+00feetm);Detonation over Johnston Island, Johnston Atoll 16.0724°N -169.61°WN/A + space rocket (> 80 km),weapon effectXW50X1, (-Y1 ?)High altitude effects shot, XM-33 Strypi rocket with Recruit booster.-!Bluegill Triple Prime 09:59:48jamt (-11 hrs)Believed in use during Dominic, Fishbowl, HT I.Launch from Johnston Island, Johnston Atoll 16.7337°N -169.5253°W, elv: 3m+0mm (10feet+00feetm);Detonation over Johnston Island, Johnston Atoll 16.4158°N -169.6031°WN/A + high alt rocket (30''80 km),weapon effectW504th attempt. Thor missile launched successfully, similar to Adobe, Aztec, Kingfish. Little EMP recorded. Two military suffered eye injuries.-!Kingfish 12:10:06jamt (-11 hrs)Believed in use during Dominic, Fishbowl, HT I.Launch from Johnston Island, Johnston Atoll 16.7337°N -169.5253°W, elv: 3m+0mm (10feet+00feetm);Detonation over Johnston Island, Johnston Atoll 16.1135°N -169.6822°WN/A + space rocket (> 80 km),weapon effectW50, -Y2 or Y3Thor missile launched, similar to Adobe, Aztec, Bluegill Triple Prime. Viewed all over central Pacific, 3 hours ionospheric interference.-!Tightrope 07:30:00jamt (-11 hrs)Believed in use during Dominic, Fishbowl, HT I.Launch from Johnston Island, Johnston Atoll 16.7337°N -169.5253°W, elv: 3m+0mm (10feet+00feetm);Detonation over Johnston Island, Johnston Atoll 16.7074°N -169.5424°WN/A + high alt rocket (30''80 km),weapon effectW31Air defense warhead on Nike Hercules missile, last U.S. atmospheric test, test of missile defense system, successful. Last true US "atmospheric" test before PTBT.See alsoGeomagnetic stormStarfish PrimeSoviet Project K nuclear testsNuclear electromagnetic pulseElectromagnetismOperation ArgusHardtack TeakOperation DominicHigh-altitude nuclear explosionList of artificial radiation beltsExternal linksLewis, Jeffrey. 2004. The minimum means of reprisal: China's search for security in the nuclear age.Declassified U.S. Nuclear Film 65: Operation Dominic. Johnston Island. (Operation Fishbowl) YouTube videoNotes and Referenceshttps://archive.org/stream/missilesrockets1519unse#page/n985/mode/2up Project Fishbowl: 13 weeks from go-ahead to field deliveryLewis, Jeffrey. 2004. The minimum means of reprisal: China's search for security in the nuclear age.Web site: Operation Dominic. Nuclear Weapon Archive. 2010-01-18.Defense's Nuclear Agency 1947 - 1997. Page 139. Defense Threat Reduction Agency, 2002 https://web.archive.org/web/20090320075426/http://www.dtra.mil/newsservices/publications/pub_includes/docs/DefensesNuclearAgency.pdfConrad, Edward E., et al. "Collateral Damage to Satellites from an EMP Attack" Report DTRA-IR-10-22, Defense Threat Reduction Agency. August 2010 http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=ADA531197&Location=U2&doc=GetTRDoc.pdf (Retrieved 2014-01-20)Defense Atomic Support Agency. Project Officer's Interim Report: STARFISH Prime. Report ADA955694. August 1962 http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=ADA955694&Location=U2&doc=GetTRDoc.pdfGlasstone, Samuel and Dolan, Philip J., The Effects of Nuclear Weapons. Chapter 2, sections 2.144 and 2.145. United States Department of Defense. 1977. http://www.princeton.edu/sgs/publications/articles/effects/effects-2.pdfHoerlin, Herman "United States High-Altitude Test Experiences: A Review Emphasizing the Impact on the Environment" Report LA-6405, Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory. October 1976 https://fas.org/sgp/othergov/doe/lanl/docs1/00322994.pdf Retrieved 2010-01-12Defense Nuclear Agency. Operation Dominic I. 1962. Report DNA 6040F. (First published as an unclassified document on 1 February 1983.) Page 227. Web site: Archived copy. 2014-01-12. yes. https://web.archive.org/web/20120823152154/http://www.dtra.mil/documents/ntpr/historical/T24298.pdf. 2012-08-23.Vittitoe, Charles N., "Did High-Altitude EMP Cause the Hawaiian Streetlight Incident?" Sandia National Laboratories. June 1989. http://www.ece.unm.edu/summa/notes/SDAN/0031.pdfDyal, P., Air Force Weapons Laboratory. Report ADA995428. "Operation Dominic. Fish Bowl Series. Debris Expansion Experiment." 10 December 1965. Page 15. http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=ADA995428&Location=U2&doc=GetTRDoc.pdf Retrieved 2010-07-17United States Department of Defense. Report ADA955411. "A Quick Look at the Technical Results of Starfish Prime." August 1962. http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=ADA955411&Location=U2&doc=GetTRDoc.pdfUnited States Central Intelligence Agency. National Intelligence Estimate. Number 11-2A-63. "The Soviet Atomic Energy Program." page 44.Web site: Archived copy. 2008-04-28. yes. https://web.archive.org/web/20080501184323/http://www.foia.cia.gov/search.asp. 2008-05-01.United States Department of Defense. Report ADA955411. "A Quick Look at the Technical Results of Starfish Prime." August 1962. http://stinet.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=A955411&Location=U2&doc=GetTRDoc.pdfDefense Nuclear Agency. Wenaas, E.P., Jaycor Report RE-78-2044-057. DNA Report ADA191291. "Spacecraft Charging Effects on Satellites Following Starfish Event." http://stinet.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=A191291&Location=U2&doc=GetTRDoc.pdf Retrieved 2009-12-27National Space Science Data Center: Telstar 1 http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/nmc/spacecraftDisplay.do?id=1962-029A Retrieved 2009-12-28Defense Nuclear Agency. Operation Dominic I. 1962. Report DNA 6040F. (First published as an unclassified document on 1 February 1983.) Page 229-241. Web site: Archived copy. 2014-01-12. yes. https://web.archive.org/web/20120823152154/http://www.dtra.mil/documents/ntpr/historical/T24298.pdf. 2012-08-23.Defense Nuclear Agency. Operation Dominic I. 1962. Report DNA 6040F. (First published as an unclassified document on 1 February 1983.) Page 236. Web site: Archived copy. 2014-01-12. yes. https://web.archive.org/web/20120823152154/http://www.dtra.mil/documents/ntpr/historical/T24298.pdf. 2012-08-23.Defense Nuclear Agency. Operation Dominic I. 1962. Report DNA 6040F. (First published as an unclassified document on 1 February 1983.) Page 241. Web site: Archived copy. 2014-01-12. yes. https://web.archive.org/web/20120823152154/http://www.dtra.mil/documents/ntpr/historical/T24298.pdf. 2012-08-23.Allen, R.G., Jr., Project Officer. Report ADA995365. "Operation Dominic: Christmas and Fish Bowl Series. Project Officers Report. Project 4.1" 30 March 1965. Page 17. http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=ADA995365&Location=U2&doc=GetTRDoc.pdfhttp://www.johnstonsarchive.net/nuclear/hane.html Johnston's Archive. High Altitude Nuclear ExplosionsDefense Nuclear Agency. Operation Dominic I 1962. Report DNA 6040F. (First published as an unclassified document on 1 February 1983.) Page 247. Web site: Archived copy. 2014-01-12. yes. https://web.archive.org/web/20120823152154/http://www.dtra.mil/documents/ntpr/historical/T24298.pdf. 2012-08-23.Longmire, Conrad L., "Fifty Odd Years of EMP", NBC Report, Fall/Winter, 2004. pp. 47-51. U.S. Army Nuclear and Chemical Agency http://www.futurescience.com/emp/NBC_Report_Fall_Winter04.pdfLongmire, Conrad L., Theoretical Note 368. "Justification and Verification of High-Altitude EMP Theory, Part 1." Mission Research Corporation/Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. June 1986. Page 3. http://www.ece.unm.edu/summa/notes/TheoreticalPDFs/TN368.pdfThe US, France and Great Britain have code-named their test events, while the USSR and China did not, and therefore have only test numbers (with some exceptions - Soviet peaceful explosions were named). Word translations into English in parentheses unless the name is a proper noun. A dash followed by a number indicates a member of a salvo event. The US also sometimes named the individual explosions in such a salvo test, which results in "name1 - 1(with name2)". If test is canceled or aborted, then the row data like date and location discloses the intended plans, where known.To convert the UT time into standard local, add the number of hours in parentheses to the UT time; for local daylight saving time, add one additional hour. If the result is earlier than 00:00, add 24 hours and subtract 1 from the day; if it is 24:00 or later, subtract 24 hours and add 1 to the day. All historical timezone data are derived from here:Web site: Timezone Historical Database. iana.com. March 8, 2014.Rough place name and a latitude/longitude reference; for rocket-carried tests, the launch location is specified before the detonation location, if known. Some locations are extremely accurate; others (like airdrops and space blasts) may be quite inaccurate. "~" indicates a likely pro-forma rough location, shared with other tests in that same area.Elevation is the ground level at the point directly below the explosion relative to sea level; height is the additional distance added or subtracted by tower, balloon, shaft, tunnel, air drop or other contrivance. For rocket bursts the ground level is "N/A". In some cases it is not clear if the height is absolute or relative to ground, for example, Plumbbob/John. No number or units indicates the value is unknown, while "0" means zero. Sorting on this column is by elevation and height added together.Atmospheric, airdrop, balloon, gun, cruise missile, rocket, surface, tower, and barge are all disallowed by the Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. Sealed shaft and tunnel are underground, and remained useful under the PTBT. Intentional cratering tests are borderline; they occurred under the treaty, were sometimes protested, and generally overlooked if the test was declared to be a peaceful use.Include weapons development, weapon effects, safety test, transport safety test, war, science, joint verification and industrial/peaceful, which may be further broken down.Designations for test items where known, "?" indicates some uncertainty about the preceding value, nicknames for particular devices in quotes. This category of information is often not officially disclosed.Estimated energy yield in tons, kilotons, and megatons. A ton of TNT equivalent is defined as 4.184 gigajoules (1 gigacalorie).Radioactive emission to the atmosphere aside from prompt neutrons, where known. The measured species is only iodine-131 if mentioned, otherwise it is all species. No entry means unknown, probably none if underground and "all" if not; otherwise notation for whether measured on the site only or off the site, where known, and the measured amount of radioactivity released.
Ministry of Truthiness
Scott Pelley Alleges He Lost 'Evening News' Anchor Job for Complaints '' Variety
Mon, 27 May 2019 11:58
Just as CBS News is pushing to turn a corner on a more than a year of internal turmoil, veteran anchor Scott Pelley shone a light back on to its recent past.
The anchor, a veteran of CBS News' ''60 Minutes'' and ''CBS Evening News'' alleged Sunday that he was taken off CBS' evening-news broadcast in 2017 after raising complaints internally about the news division's workplace culture. ''We've been through a dark period of the last several years of incompetent management and sort of a hostile work environment within the news division,'' Pelley said during a segment on the CNN program ''Reliable Sources.'' He added: ''I lost my job at the 'Evening News' because I wouldn't stop complaining to management about the hostile work environment.''
Pelley alleged he took his concerns to senior management at CBS News as well as the chairman of CBS Corp.
''Scott was expressing his own opinion. We disagree,'' CBS News said in a statement. ''CBS News has been working hard to advocate for an inclusive, safe and dignified workplace for everyone at CBS News and Scott has been a supporter of these efforts.''
David Rhodes, former president of CBS News, did not respond immediately to a message seeking comment.
The remarks are the latest to indicate the troubled culture that incubated at CBS Corp. and CBS News over a period of time. Tensions at the unit first came to light after former ''CBS This Morning'' co-anchor Charlie Rose was ousted in the wake of several women claiming he had made unwanted sexual advances on them, predominantly under the aegis of his long-running PBS program, ''Charlie Rose.'' Other allegations were made against the work environment at ''60 Minutes'' as it was run under former executive producer Jeff Fager. Fager has denied claims made against him, and left CBS News last year. CBS Corp. ousted longtime CEO Leslie Moonves last year after a New Yorker article detailed multiple allegations of sexual harassment and unwanted behavior. Moonves has denied the claims.
Pelley, who is slated to be honored by CBS News with a book party celebrating his new memoir, ''Truth Worth Telling,'' on June 12, alleged he visited several top CBS News executives to warn them of a ''hostile work environment'' for women and men. Pelley said on CNN that he went to the ''president of the news division'' '-- Rhodes served as president between 2011 and early 2019 '-- and was told he ought to stop ''agitating'' about the matter. He also alleged he had a substantial conversation with the ''chairman of CBS,'' who would have been Moonves, about his allegations.
Pelley never mentioned any of the former CBS executives he cited by name.
Rhodes told The Daily Beast Sunday, ''That simply never happened,'' and added: ''And if he had those conversations about this with anybody, it wasn't with me.''
People familiar with the internal workings of CBS News have long maintained that Pelley and Rhodes had a strained relationship, evidenced by Pelley's abrupt decamping to ''60 Minutes'' before a successor at ''Evening News'' had been named.
Pelley also said he felt CBS News had made strides under Susan Zirinsky, who took the reins of the news division in March. He said Zirinsky, a presence at CBS News for decades and the first woman to lead the unit, ''has CBS News DNA.'' He also praised CBS CEO Joe Ianniello and Bill Owens, a longtime Pelley colleague recently named the new executive producer at ''60 Minutes.''
''I'm very excited. I know these people,'' Pelley said on ''Reliable Sources. '' I know we're on the right track.''
HBO gave fans a long parting look at the making of ''Game of Thrones'' on Sunday night in a two-hour documentary that focused on the Herculean efforts by the small army craft and technical experts who worked on the mammoth fantasy drama. ''Game of Thrones: The Last Watch'' introduced viewers to the leaders of the [...]
SPOILER ALERT: This article contains spoilers for the entire second seasons of ''Killing Eve'' and ''Barry.'' I was dead certain that ''Killing Eve'' and ''Barry'' '-- two of my favorite television debuts of 2018 '-- should have ended after a single season. Both coincidentally starring unstable assassins, the shows were smart, propulsive, and extremely weird [...]
Just as CBS News is pushing to turn a corner on a more than a year of internal turmoil, veteran anchor Scott Pelley shone a light back on to its recent past. The anchor, a veteran of CBS News' ''60 Minutes'' and ''CBS Evening News'' alleged Sunday that he was taken off CBS' evening-news broadcast in [...]
''AP Bio'' has been canceled at NBC. Series creator Mike O'Brien shared the news with fans on Twitter, writing that ''This has been my favorite project of my life.'' In the single-camera comedy, Glenn Howerton portrayed a disgraced Harvard philosophy scholar who lost out on his dream job and was forced to return to Toledo, [...]
This current ''Jeopardy!'' player has just won over $2 million on the popular game show. Who is James Holzhauer? The 34 year old professional sports gambler from Las Vegas has hit a ''Jeopardy!'' milestone by becoming only the second person in the show's history to win over $2 million in regular season play. Holzhauer won [...]
Before ''The Hot Zone,'' Julianna Margulies admits she would often see stories about diseases such as Ebola in Africa and only ''skim over them.'' After getting to meet those on the front lines of trying to contain and cure infectious diseases, such as Dr. Nancy Jaax, whom Margulies plays in the National Geographic limited series, [...]
In a preview of David Letterman's interview with Kanye West, which begins streaming next Friday, May 31, the musician's wife Kim Kardashian West, tweeted a clip of him sharing a touching memory of his mother, Donda, who died in 2007 after a surgical procedure. While his wife looks on smiling, West answers Letterman's question about [...]
NPR Instructs Reporters Not to Call Unborn Children 'Babies': 'Babies Are Not Babies Until They Are Born' | MRCTV
Mon, 27 May 2019 16:20
In the midst of a national debate on a slew of recently-passed state abortion laws, NPR, America's national taxpayer-funded public radio service, issued a guidance notice to its reporters reminding them what terms the outlet deems acceptable when talking about abortion '' including that they shouldn't ever use the word ''baby'' to describe an unborn child before the moment of birth.
Straight from NPR's ''guidance" (emphasis added):
The term ''unborn'' implies that there is a baby inside a pregnant woman, not a fetus. Babies are not babies until they are born. They're fetuses. Incorrectly calling a fetus a ''baby'' or ''the unborn'' is part of the strategy used by antiabortion groups to shift language/legality/public opinion. Use ''unborn'' only when referring to the title of the bill (and after President Bush signs it, the Unborn Victims of Violence Law). Or qualify the use of ''unborn'' by saying ''what anti-abortion groups call the 'unborn' victims of violence.'' The most neutral language to refer to the death of a fetus during a crime is ''fetal homicide.''
NPR also added that its employees should refrain from using the term ''abortion clinics.''
NPR doesn't use the term ''abortion clinics.'' We say instead, ''medical or health clinics that perform abortions.'' The point is to not to use abortion before the word clinic. The clinics perform other procedures and not just abortions.
Additionally, NPR adds reporters should never use the terms ''partial birth abortion'' or late-term abortion'' to describe the grisly third-trimester procedures in which an unborn baby is injected with poison before being pulled out whole by the abortionist. Instead, NPR mandates using the more clinical term ''intact dilation and extraction.''
When describing whether someone is pro-life or pro-abortion, NPR explains that it's fine to say "anti-abortion," but not "pro-abortion":
On the air, we should use ''abortion rights supporter(s)/advocate(s)'' and ''abortion rights opponent(s)'' or derivations thereof (for example: ''advocates of abortion rights''). It is acceptable to use the phrase ''anti-abortion rights,'' but do not use the term ''pro-abortion rights.''
Despite its clear bias on the abortion issue, NPR is still publicly funded by the government via taxpayers. According to Fortune,the government spends approximately $450 million annually on public broadcasting, including the National Public Radio (NPR) and the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS).
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Time Magazine Columnist's Trump Quote Went Viral '-- Then He Admitted He Made It Up | The Daily Caller
Mon, 27 May 2019 11:56
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\n HomeVideoPoliticsUSWorldEntertainmentSportsBusinessOpinionOutdoorsComedyShopDaily Caller ShopDaily DealerWine ClubSend a Tip4:36 PM 05/26/2019 | PoliticsPeter Hasson | Reporter
Time Magazine columnist Ian Bremmer on Sunday tweeted a quote from President Donald Trump about North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un that quickly went viral '-- but it wasn't real.
''President Trump in Tokyo: 'Kim Jong Un is smarter and would make a better President than Sleepy Joe Biden.''' Bremmer wrote on Twitter.
While Trump did praise the North Korean dictator's insult of former Vice President Joe Biden, the president never said what Bremmer quoted him saying '-- because Bremmer made it up. (RELATED: 9 Times The Media Pushed Misinformation About Brett Kavanaugh)
Bremmer left the false post up for several hours before conceding he made up the quote and deleting the tweet, which he defended as ''plausible.''
UPDATE: @ianbremmer has now admitted that he fabricated this viral Trump quote. And yet it is being shared by journalists and congressmen as if it is real. pic.twitter.com/QgNd9DnN8g
'-- Jerry Dunleavy (@JerryDunleavy) May 26, 2019
''This is objectively a completely ludicrous quote. And yet kinda plausible. Especially on twitter, where people automatically support whatever political position they have. That's the point.'' Bremmer wrote in a since-deleted correction.
Bremmer's tweet went viral among Trump critics before he took it down.
''Don't shrug your shoulders. Don't get used to this insanity,'' wrote CNN contributor Ana Navarro.
''The President of the United States praising a cruel dictator who violates human rights, threatens nuclear attacks, oppresses his people, and kills political opponents, IS NOT FREAKING NORMAL,'' Navarro added.
Her tweet amplifying Bremmer's fake quote was shared thousands of times across Twitter.
Screenshot/Twitter
Navarro was far from alone in falling for the made up quote.
Democratic Calif. Rep. Ted Lieu also spread Bremmer's false tweet. Lieu later wrote that he ''removed the retweet'' after Bremmer admitted the quote was fake.
Left-wing activist group Media Matters' deputy director of rapid response, Andrew Lawrence, also amplified the invented quote.
Lawrence called it ''equally incredible how easily manipulated the president is and also that democrats havent [sic] figured out how to take advantage of this yet,'' pointing to Bremmer's false tweet.
Other critics of the president similarly promoted the false information.
Screenshot/Twitter
Screenshot/Twitter
Screenshot/Twitter
Follow Hasson on Twitter @PeterJHasson
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Tags : donald trump kim jong un twitterSearch
Trending(C) Copyright 2010 - 2018 | The Daily Caller
NYU former polisci prof misquotes Trump. The president is having NONE of it.
Tue, 28 May 2019 21:34
Jon Street Managing Editor @JonStreet Today at 10:41 AM EDT President Donald Trump called out a New York University former political science professor who misquoted him on Twitter.The former professor has since deleted the original tweet and issued a separate tweet containing an apology.President Donald Trump on Monday lambasted a former New York University political science professor who fabricated a quote and attributed it to the commander-in-chief.
NYU initially confirmed to Campus Reform by phone that Bremmer is currently employed by NYU. NYU's website also hosts his faculty bio, which states that Bremmer "is a Global Research Professor at NYU." After the initial publication of this article, an NYU spokeswoman said that Bremmer is not currently employed by NYU and that his affiliation with the school ended in September 2018.
"This is what's going on in the age of Fake News. People think they can say anything and get away with it."
"[Ian Bremmer] now admits that he MADE UP 'a completely ludicrous quote,' attributing it to me. This is what's going on in the age of Fake News. People think they can say anything and get away with it. Really, the libel laws should be changed to hold Fake News Media accountable!" Trump tweeted early Monday morning.
[RELATED: Yale prof: Trump's 'lies' bigger threat than 'fake news']
.@ianbremmer now admits that he MADE UP ''a completely ludicrous quote,'' attributing it to me. This is what's going on in the age of Fake News. People think they can say anything and get away with it. Really, the libel laws should be changed to hold Fake News Media accountable!
'-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 27, 2019The president's response came just hours after Bremmer attributed a false quote to "President Trump in Tokyo."
"Kim Jong Un is smarter and would make a better president than Sleepy Joe Biden," Bremmer falsely claimed the president said.
Trump did, however, tweet the following: "North Korea fired off some small weapons, which disturbed some of my people, and others, but not me. I have confidence that Chairman Kim will keep his promise to me, & also smiled when he called Swampman Joe Biden a low IQ individual, & worse. Perhaps that's sending me a signal?"
Bremmer tried to downplay misquoting the president after receiving some backlash.
[RELATED: 5 most politically biased courses of 2018]
''This is objectively a completely ludicrous quote," Bremmer wrote in a later tweet, according to Fox News. "And yet kinda plausible. Especially on Twitter, where people automatically support whatever political position they have. That's the point."
That tweet, along with the original one, appear to have now been deleted from Bremmer's account.
The only reference to the false quote that is now on Bremmer's timeline contains an apology: "My tweet yesterday about Trump preferring Kim Jong Un to Biden as President was meant in jest. The President correctly quoted me as saying it was a 'completely ludicrous' statement. I should have been clearer. My apologies."
Follow the author of this article on Facebook: @JonStreetDC and Twitter: @JonStreet
NA Tech News
Helft Amerikaanse techies is geestesziek | Computable.nl
Mon, 27 May 2019 14:56
Bij iets meer dan de helft van de Amerikaanse techies is een geestesziekte vastgesteld. Liefst 51 procent heeft ooit een medisch onderzoek ondergaan waarbij dit naar voren komt. Dat is ruim twee keer het gemiddelde in de VS, waar een kleine twintig procent van de volwassen onder een mentale stoornis lijdt.
Dit blijkt uit een onderzoek van de non-profitorganisatie OSMI (Open Sourcing Mental Illness).
Stemmingsstoornissen zoals depressies en bipolaire stoornissen komen bij werkers in de tech-industrie het meest voor. Van de groep met een geestesziekte, heeft 73 procent daar last van. Een andere veelvoorkomende diagnose (61 procent) is een angststoornis. Dat kan bijvoorbeeld een fobie zijn. Ook ADHD (negentien procent), post-traumatische stress (twaalf procent) en een obsessief compulsieve stoornis (acht procent) zijn wijd verbreid.
Dr. Jennifer Akullian, directeur/oprichter van het Growth Coaching Institute (GCI), presenteerde genoemde studie tijdens de conferentie Kubecon/CloudNativeCon in Barcelona. Ongeveer 1.550 mensen deden aan het onderzoek mee. In het algemeen is het slecht gesteld met de geestelijke gezondheid in de tech. Maar een mentaal probleem hoeft niet per se iemands functioneren op het werk te be¯nvloeden. 21 procent zegt altijd gewoon door te kunnen blijven werken, terwijl dit bij zeventien procent zelden het geval is. 47 procent zegt soms minder te kunnen presteren. Vijftien procent ziet vaak negatieve gevolgen op het werk.
StigmaJennifer Akullian (GCI)
Organisatiepsycholoog Akullian probeert het stigma dat in de tech-industrie rust op psychiatrische aandoeningen weg te nemen. Het wordt tijd hier iets aan te doen. Dat mentale problemen in de tech tweenhalf keer zo vaak voorkomen als gemiddeld in Amerika, geeft te denken. Daar komt nog bij dat veel tech-werkers het risico lopen op een burn-out, een geestesgesteldheid die vaak lijkt op een mentale ziekte. Akullian: 'Terwijl velen in de tech met psychische problemen kampen, wordt hier nauwelijks onderzoek naar gedaan. Ook de aandacht hiervoor is volstrekt beneden de maat.'
Op de werkplek rust een taboe op dit onderwerp. Er wordt zelden openlijk over gesproken. En dat terwijl organisaties zich hier veel bewuster van zouden moeten zijn. Want werknemers die zich lekker voelen, zijn productiever. Bovendien is de kans kleiner dat ze van baan wisselen. Het aantal werkdagen dat in de VS verloren gaat door de depressies, bedraagt tweehonderd miljoen per jaar. De kosten hiervan worden geraamd op zeventien 44 miljard dollar, aldus het Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
Tot Akullians klantenkring behoren werknemers van onder meer Facebook, Slack, Github en Apple. Ook helpt ze bedrijven als Heroku, Keen IO, Customer.io en Django.
'A white-collar sweatshop': Google Assistant contractors allege wage theft | Technology | The Guardian
Wed, 29 May 2019 08:21
''Do you believe in magic?'' Google asked attendees of its annual developer conference this May, playing the seminal Lovin' Spoonful tune as an introduction. Throughout the three-day event, company executives repeatedly answered yes while touting new features of the Google Assistant, the company's version of Alexa or Siri, that can indeed feel magical. The tool can book you a rental car, tell you what the weather is like at your mother's house, and even interpret live conversations across 26 languages.
But to some of the Google employees responsible for making the Assistant work, the tagline of the conference '' ''Keep making magic'' '' obscured a more mundane reality: the technical wizardry relies on massive data sets built by subcontracted human workers earning low wages.
''It's smoke and mirrors if anything,'' said a current Google employee who, as with the others quoted in this story, spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the press. ''Artificial intelligence is not that artificial; it's human beings that are doing the work.''
The Google employee works on Pygmalion, the team responsible for producing linguistic data sets that make the Assistant work. And although he is employed directly by Google, most of his Pygmalion coworkers are subcontracted temps who have for years been routinely pressured to work unpaid overtime, according to seven current and former members of the team.
These employees, some of whom spoke to the Guardian because they said efforts to raise concerns internally were ignored, alleged that the unpaid work was a symptom of the workplace culture put in place by the executive who founded Pygmalion. That executive was fired by Google in March following an internal investigation.
But current and former employees also identified Google's broad reliance on approximately 100,000 temps, vendors and contractors (known at Google as TVCs) for large amounts of the company's work as a culprit. Google does not directly employ the workers who collect or create the data required for much of its technology, be they the drivers who capture photos for Google Maps' Street View, the content moderators training YouTube's filters to catch prohibited material, or the scanners flipping pages to upload the contents of libraries into Google Books.
Having these two tiers of workers '' highly paid full-time Googlers and often low-wage and precarious workers contracted through staffing firms '' is ''corrosive'', ''highly problematic'', and ''permissive of exploitation'', the employees said.
''It's like a white-collar sweatshop,'' said one current Google employee. ''If it's not illegal, it's definitely exploitative. It's to the point where I don't use the Google Assistant, because I know how it's made, and I can't support it.''
An 'army' of linguistsThe study of language is at the very heart of current advancements in computing. For decades, people have had to work to learn the language of computers, whether they were trying to program a VCR or writing software. Technology such as the Google Assistant reverses the equation: the computer understands natural human speech, in all its variations.
Take, for example, the straightforward task of asking the Assistant to set a timer to go off in five minutes, a former employee on Pygmalion explained. There are infinite ways that users could phrase that request, such as ''Set a timer for five minutes''; ''Can you ring the buzzer in five minutes?''; or ''Configurar una alarma para cinco minutos.'' The Assistant has to be able to convert the spoken request into text, then interpret the user's intended meaning to produce the desired outcome, all practically instantaneously.
The technology that makes this possible is a form of machine learning. For a machine learning model to ''understand'' a language, it needs vast amounts of text that has been annotated by linguists to teach it the building blocks of human language, from parts of speech to syntactic relationships.
Enter Pygmalion. The team was born in 2014, the brainchild of longtime Google executive Linne Ha, to create the linguistic data sets required for Google's neural networks to learn dozens of languages. The ''painstaking'' nature of the labor required to create this ''handcrafted'' data was featured in a 2016 article about Pygmalion's ''massive team of PhD linguists'' by Wired. (Ha did not respond to a request for comment.)
From the beginning, Google planned to build the team with just a handful of full-time employees while outsourcing the vast majority of the annotation work to an ''army'' of subcontracted linguists around the world, documents reviewed by the Guardian and interviews with staff show.
The appetite for Pygmalion's hand-labeled data, and the size of the team, has only increased over the years. Today, it includes 40 to 50 full-time Googlers and approximately 200 temporary workers contracted through agencies, including Adecco, a global staffing firm. The contract workers include associate linguists, who are tasked with annotation, and project managers, who oversee their work.
All of the contract workers have at least a bachelor's degree in linguistics, though many have master's degrees and some have doctorates. In addition to annotating data, the temp workers write ''grammars'' for the Assistant, complex and technical work that requires considerable expertise and involves Google's code base. Their situation is comparable to adjunct professors on US college campuses: they are highly educated and highly skilled, performing work crucial to the company's mission, and shut out of the benefits and security that come with a tenured position.
''Imagine going from producing PhD level research and pushing forward the state of knowledge in the world to going to an annotation type job, where all you're doing all day is annotating data; it's very click, click, click,'' said a former project manager on Pygmalion. ''Everyone was trying to prove themselves because everyone was trying to work for Google. The competitive edge that happened among colleagues as TVCs was severe.''
'The definition of wage theft'This dynamic created the incentive for temps to perform unpaid workManagers took advantage by making it clear they wouldn't approve overtime for contract workers, while also assigning unrealistic amounts of work, current and former employees said.
The pressure to complete assignments was ''immense'', said one Googler. ''In this mixed stream of messages, I think a lot of people had to make their own calls, and given the pressure, I think people made different calls.''
The Googler described the overall effect as ''gaslighting'', and recalled receiving messages from management such as, ''If the TVCs want to work more, let them work more.'' All seven current and former employees interviewed by the Guardian said they had either experienced or witnessed contract workers performing unpaid overtime.
''To my knowledge, no one ever said, you need to work TVCs above their contracts, but it was set up so that it was the only way to get the expected work done, and if anyone raised concerns they would be openly mocked and belittled,'' said another current Googler.
''The 40-hour thing was just not respected,'' said a former associate linguist. ''It was made clear to us that we were never to log more than 40 hours, but we were never told not to work more than 40 hours.''
''The work that they assign often takes more than 8 hours,'' they added. ''Every week you fill out a timesheet. One person one time did submit overtime, and they were chastised. No punishment, but definitely told not to work overtime.''
A spokeswoman for Google said that it was company policy that temp workers must be paid for all hours worked, even if overtime was not approved in advance.
''Working off the clock is the very definition of wage theft,'' said Beth Ross, a longtime labor and employment attorney. Ross said that both Google and Adecco could face liability for unpaid wages and damages under federal and state law.
'They dangle that carrot'The associate linguist was one of several who said that they took the position at Google in hopes that they could eventually convert to a full-time position. Several members of Pygmalion are former contract workers, including the current head of the team, who took over when Ha, the executive who founded the team, moved on to another project.
''People did [unpaid overtime] because they were dangled the opportunity of becoming a full-time employee, which is against company policy,'' a current Googler said. ''There's a particular leveraging of people's desire to become full time,'' said another.
''When I was hired, I was very explicitly told that there is no ladder,'' a current contract worker said. '''This is not a temp-to-hire position. There is no moving up' '... But the reality on the team is very much one where there is clearly a ladder. A certain percentage of the associate linguists will get project manager. A certain percentage of project managers get converted to full time. We watch it happen, and they dangle that carrot.''
One Googler who successfully converted to a full-time position after working as a temp on Pygmalion said that at times the bargain was even made explicit. In April 2017, they recalled, Ha attended a meeting of outsourced Pygmalion project managers in London and ''explain[ed] that the position was designed for conversion and that we should be proactive in asking for more work in order to achieve this.''
The Google spokeswoman said that it is company policy not to make any commitment about employment or conversion to temps, and that Googlers who manage temps are required to take a mandatory training on this and other policies related to TVCs.
'Why do it?'The disparity in wages and benefits between Google employees and contract workers is stark. Alphabet recently reported median pay of $246,804, and employees enjoy perks such as free meals, on-site yoga classes, free massages and generous benefits.
Amid increasing activism by Googlers and contract workers, Google recently announced improved minimum standards for US-based contract workers, including a minimum of eight paid sick days, ''comprehensive'' health insurance, and a minimum wage of at least $15 an hour by 2020. (A full-time job at that wage pays $31,200 a year; by comparison, Google charges its own employees $38,808 a year to place an infant in its onsite daycare facilities.)
Wages for contract workers on the Pygmalion team are well above the new minimum standard, usually starting around $25 an hour for associate linguists and going up to $35 an hour for project managers. But contractors complain about subpar benefits and other indignities.
The former project manager described Adecco's benefits plan as ''the worst health insurance I have ever had''. A current contract worker earning less than $60,000 annually said they were paying $180 each month in premiums for an individual plan with a $6,000 deductible. For families, the deductible is $12,000, according to documents reviewed by the Guardian. Google declined to comment on Adecco's pay and benefits.
Googlers earn significantly more, and those on individual plans contribute between $0 and $53 for their health insurance and have a much lower deductible ($1,350), according to documents reviewed by the Guardian. Googlers with families pay up to $199 every two weeks, with a $2,700 deductible.
Others complained of a lack of trust and respect. In 2018, Google revoked the ability for contractors on Pygmalion to work while riding Google's WiFi-equipped commuter buses, creating frustration for those who spent three to four hours a day traveling to the company's Mountain View campus and could no longer work and count that time toward their shift. Google said it works to ensure that temps, vendors and contractors do not have over broad access to sensitive internal information for security reasons.
''Why do it?'' a former associate linguist said of working unpaid overtime under these conditions. ''I didn't want to lose the job. Having Google on your resume is important to a career '... Later on, I came to find out that you can't say 'Google' on your resume. You have to say 'Google by Adecco'.''
A weekend assignmentBoth Google and Adecco recently launched investigations into the allegations of unpaid overtime in Pygmalion.
''Our policy is clear that all temporary workers must be paid for any overtime worked,'' said Eileen Naughton, Google's vice president of people operations, in a statement to the Guardian. ''If we find that anyone isn't properly paid, we make sure they are compensated appropriately and take action against any Google employee who violates this policy.''
The current investigation was initiated after the company received a report of a possible policy violation in February 2019, the Google spokeswoman said. The company will provide appropriate compensation if need be and will take action up to and including terminations if policy violations are found, she added.
The spokeswoman also acknowledged that concerns about unpaid overtime were raised to human resources in 2017, but said that the company investigated and did not find any such cases at the time.
''We are committed to ensuring all employees are compensated for all time worked,'' said Mary Beth Waddill, a spokeswoman for Adecco. ''Our longstanding policy is that every employee is required to report time accurately '' even if that time isn't pre-approved '' and they should feel encouraged to do so by their managers. If we learn that this is not the case, we will work with Google to take appropriate action.''
On Friday, 17 May, Adecco sent emails to current and former Pygmalion temps. Recipients were asked whether they reported all the hours they worked, and, if not, to estimate how many hours they worked unpaid. The emails requested a response by Monday, 20 May, though a Google spokeswoman said this week that the deadline has been extended.
A Google employee reacted: ''They're asking people to work on the weekend to recall unbilled overwork. It seems like it's designed to discourage people from responding.''
Indeed, one former contract worker who left the company many months ago said they received the email but did not bother to respond. ''After I left, I didn't keep records of the hours I worked,'' they said. ''Even if I wanted to report overtime now, how could I?''
Do you work in the tech industry? Do you have concerns about workplace issues? Contact the author: julia.wong@theguardian.com or julia.carrie.wong@protonmail.com
Roe v Wade
NPR Instructs Reporters Not to Call Unborn Children 'Babies': 'Babies Are Not Babies Until They Are Born' | MRCTV
Mon, 27 May 2019 16:20
In the midst of a national debate on a slew of recently-passed state abortion laws, NPR, America's national taxpayer-funded public radio service, issued a guidance notice to its reporters reminding them what terms the outlet deems acceptable when talking about abortion '' including that they shouldn't ever use the word ''baby'' to describe an unborn child before the moment of birth.
Straight from NPR's ''guidance" (emphasis added):
The term ''unborn'' implies that there is a baby inside a pregnant woman, not a fetus. Babies are not babies until they are born. They're fetuses. Incorrectly calling a fetus a ''baby'' or ''the unborn'' is part of the strategy used by antiabortion groups to shift language/legality/public opinion. Use ''unborn'' only when referring to the title of the bill (and after President Bush signs it, the Unborn Victims of Violence Law). Or qualify the use of ''unborn'' by saying ''what anti-abortion groups call the 'unborn' victims of violence.'' The most neutral language to refer to the death of a fetus during a crime is ''fetal homicide.''
NPR also added that its employees should refrain from using the term ''abortion clinics.''
NPR doesn't use the term ''abortion clinics.'' We say instead, ''medical or health clinics that perform abortions.'' The point is to not to use abortion before the word clinic. The clinics perform other procedures and not just abortions.
Additionally, NPR adds reporters should never use the terms ''partial birth abortion'' or late-term abortion'' to describe the grisly third-trimester procedures in which an unborn baby is injected with poison before being pulled out whole by the abortionist. Instead, NPR mandates using the more clinical term ''intact dilation and extraction.''
When describing whether someone is pro-life or pro-abortion, NPR explains that it's fine to say "anti-abortion," but not "pro-abortion":
On the air, we should use ''abortion rights supporter(s)/advocate(s)'' and ''abortion rights opponent(s)'' or derivations thereof (for example: ''advocates of abortion rights''). It is acceptable to use the phrase ''anti-abortion rights,'' but do not use the term ''pro-abortion rights.''
Despite its clear bias on the abortion issue, NPR is still publicly funded by the government via taxpayers. According to Fortune,the government spends approximately $450 million annually on public broadcasting, including the National Public Radio (NPR) and the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS).
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Kamala Harris Wants to Require States to Clear Abortion Laws With Justice Dept. - The New York Times
Tue, 28 May 2019 19:29
Politics | Kamala Harris Wants to Require States to Clear Abortion Laws With Justice Dept. Image Senator Kamala Harris of California has sharply criticized laws passed in Alabama, Missouri and other states that severely restrict abortion. Credit Credit Brittany Greeson for The New York Times As numerous states have passed restrictive new abortion laws, Senator Kamala Harris of California on Tuesday is expected to outline a proposal that would require some states and localities with a history of flouting abortion rights to obtain federal approval before such laws can take effect.
Ms. Harris, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for president, will call for what is known as a ''preclearance requirement'' at a town-hall-style event that will air Tuesday night on MSNBC, a senior campaign official said.
The requirement would apply to jurisdictions with a history of violating Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court's landmark decision in 1973 that established the constitutional right to abortion. These jurisdictions would have to clear new abortion laws with the Justice Department before putting them into effect.
Ms. Harris is one of several Democrats in the 2020 race who have sharply criticized laws passed in Alabama, Missouri and other states that severely restrict abortion. She is also one of several Senate co-sponsors of the Women's Health Protection Act, which would prevent any government entity from imposing various restrictions on abortion services.
Though some Democratic presidential candidates have already called on Congress to codify abortion rights, Ms. Harris's campaign says her proposal goes further by shifting the burden to states with a history of skirting Roe; the campaign official cited South Carolina, Iowa and Georgia as examples.
''With reproductive freedom under attack nationwide, we're heartened to see Senator Kamala Harris rolling out a bold plan to defend our fundamental rights,'' said Sasha Bruce, senior vice president at NARAL Pro-Choice America, an advocacy organization.
''Every candidate in this field should know it's not enough to simply call yourself pro-choice,'' Ms. Bruce said. ''All candidates need to back up their words with a concrete plan for action, especially given the tenuous thread by which reproductive freedom hangs.''
The preclearance requirement would work much like the one included in the Voting Rights Act, which was first passed in 1965 to combat voter discrimination. From 1998 to 2013, that law blocked 86 proposed election changes and led to the withdrawal of hundreds more, the Harris campaign official said.
In 2013, the Supreme Court effectively struck down the heart of the Voting Rights Act, ruling the formula that determined which states had to receive preclearance before making changes to voting procedures was unconstitutional.
It was not immediately clear on Tuesday how Ms. Harris planned to establish her proposed preclearance requirement, which would most likely face legal scrutiny if passed legislatively or otherwise enacted.
The Harris campaign official said any change to abortion laws in a covered jurisdiction would remain legally unenforceable until the Justice Department determined that it adhered to the standards laid out in Roe and by the Women's Health Protection Act, which remains stalled in the Republican-controlled Senate.
Ms. Harris's campaign also said a number of guardrails would be put in place to protect the preclearance requirement regardless of a particular administration's view of abortion.
Astead W. Herndon contributed reporting.
Colorado offered free birth control '-- and teen abortions fell by 42 percent - Vox
Tue, 28 May 2019 13:09
Colorado's Department of Public Health and Environment is seeking more funding to continue a privately funded birth control program that has, by several measures, been a startling success.
The program, known as the Colorado Family Planning Initiative, provides intrauterine devices (IUDs) or implants at little to no cost for low-income women at family planning clinics in Colorado. It contributed to a 40 percent drop in Colorado's teen birth rate and a 42 percent drop in the state's teen abortion rate between 2009 and 2013, according to state data reported by the New York Times's Sabrina Tavernise .
Young women served by the family planning clinics also accounted for about three-fourths of the overall decline in Colorado's teen birth rate. And t he infant caseload for Colorado WIC, a nutrition program for low-income women and their babies, fell by 23 percent from 2008 to 2013.
"This initiative has saved Colorado millions of dollars," Gov. John Hickenlooper said in a July 2014 statement. "But more importantly, it has helped thousands of young Colorado women continue their education, pursue their professional goals and postpone pregnancy until they are ready to start a family."
But the program has long drawn criticisms from social conservatives, who argue that it could encourage promiscuity. Since teens don't need to be accompanied by an adult to obtain contraceptives at the facilities, critics also say the initiative undermines parental rights. And some opponents reject the states' numbers altogether. Lawmakers in Colorado's Republican-controlled Senate made similar arguments when they blocked public funding for the program earlier this year.
Colorado's drop in teen births is part of a nationwide decline in the teen birth rate. There are multiple theories for this decline, ranging from greater use of long-acting reversible contraceptives to lead abatement programs.
Still, Colorado's teen birth rate seems to be declining much more quickly than its peers' rates, as this chart from University of Maryland sociologist Philip Cohen shows:
Philip Cohen
Between 2008 and 2012, the state went from the 29th-lowest teen birth rate in the nation to the 19th-lowest. And while one-fifth of women ages 18 to 44 in Colorado now use a long-acting birth control method, about 7 percent of US women in the same age group did from 2011 to 2013, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data.
But the private grant that has sustained the program is starting to run out '-- and state lawmakers don't seem interested in filling the gap with public funds, leaving its future uncertain.
Poppies
Oklahoma Begins First Major Opioid Trial Against Johnson & Johnson
Tue, 28 May 2019 22:09
US News WJ Wire Sue Ogrocki / AP Judge Thad Balkman listens during opening arguments for the state of Oklahoma on Tuesday, May 28, 2019, in Norman, Okla. (Sue Ogrocki / AP)
Johnson & Johnson is on trial with the state of Oklahoma in a lawsuit alleging that the company's painkiller marketing is responsible for the opioid crisis.
The trial started Tuesday in Cleveland County, Oklahoma, with Cleveland County District Judge Thad Balkman presiding, according to a news release from Hunter's office.
Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter alleges that Johnson & Johnson's marketing campaigns downplayed the negative effects of opioids and highlighted the positive effects, according to NPR.
Hunter also alleges that Purdue Pharma LP and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd of Jerusalem are responsible for the same charges '' but both companies have settled with the state of Oklahoma.
Teva announced Sunday that it settled with Oklahoma for $85 million, an amount that will be used for litigation costs and ''to abate the opioid crisis in Oklahoma,'' according to the news release.
TRENDING: Right-Wing Parties Surge in European Parliament Elections: 'A New Europe is Born'
''Today's announcement is a testament to the state's legal team's countless hours and resources preparing for this trial and their dedication and resolve to hold the defendants in this case accountable for the ongoing opioid overdose and addiction epidemic that continues to claim thousands of lives each year,'' Attorney General Hunter said Sunday, according to the release.
''Nearly all Oklahomans have been negatively impacted by this deadly crisis and we look forward to Tuesday, where we will prove our case against Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiaries.''
Teva said in a statement that though the company did reach a settlement, this does not establish any wrongdoing on its part.
''The settlement does not establish any wrongdoing on the part of the company; Teva has not contributed to the abuse of opioids in Oklahoma in any way,'' the company said in a statement.
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''The company has resolved this matter in a way that benefits the people who have suffered from abuse of opioids and to help stop the effects of the opioid crisis.
''Teva continues to keep the long-term stability of the company at the forefront.''
Purdue Pharma also settled for $270 million in March, the news release said.
''We acted responsibly in providing FDA-approved pain medications, and we are ready for trial,'' Johnson & Johnson said in a statement to Reuters on Sunday, noting that it cannot be proved that the company's marketing caused doctors to incorrectly prescribe opioids.
Johnson & Johnson had not responded to a request for comment.
RELATED: Reps. Katherine Clark and Hal Rogers Warn of a 'Worldwide' Opioid Crisis, Blame Purdue Pharma
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2020
2020 VISION? Clintons appear in NY Memorial Day parade as Bill looks pale, frail - The American MirrorThe American Mirror
Tue, 28 May 2019 12:50
For not being a political candidate, Hillary Clinton sure is keeping up a campaign-like schedule.
Bill and Hillary are once again marching in the New Castle-Chappaqua, New York Memorial Day parade, according to Twitter users in attendance.
Tradition continues in Chappaqua at Memorial Day Parade on beautiful day. pic.twitter.com/kbnbChh0Ni
'-- David Weissmann (@djweissmann) May 27, 2019
''Tradition continues in Chappaqua at Memorial Day Parade on beautiful day,'' David Weissmann tweeted, along with pictures of the Clintons.
Bill looks noticeably pale and frail.
Another shows the Clintons walking in the parade with Gov. Andrew Cuomo:
And another:
WCBS reporter Mack Rosenberg tweeted more photos, including one of the Clintons walking down the street:
Memorial Day Parade in Chappaqua. @wcbs880 pic.twitter.com/OKn3JqNSBz
'-- Mack Rosenberg (@MackRosenberg) May 27, 2019
Bill is sporting a blue blazer and white sneakers while Hillary opted for a blue number with light squares:
Some pointed out Hillary interesting wardrobe ''looking like an old grandma in a blue muumuu with black leggings''.
Pictures of Hillary Clinton spotted walking in the Newcastle Memorial Day parade in Chappaqua New York looking like an old grandma in a blue muumuu with black leggings and second image is Bill Clinton and NY Governor Andrew Cuomo pic.twitter.com/YO4nv0C2Sq
'-- Montana 🕊Agent Applebutt (@_Montana_Bound_) May 27, 2019
Goodyear director Michael Morell resigns - News - Akron Beacon Journal - Akron, OH
Thu, 30 May 2019 12:38
Jim Mackinnon Beacon Journal/Ohio.com @JimMackinnonABJWednesday May 29, 2019 at 1:45 PM May 29, 2019 at 8:49 PM
Michael Morell, a director of Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. since 2014, is resigning from the Akron tire maker's board effective May 31 to provide unnamed 2020 presidential candidates with advice on national security issues.
Goodyear made the announcement Wednesday in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Morelll is a retired deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency. He also is a Cuyahoga Falls native.
Morell sat on the Goodyear board's Audit Committee and Committee on Corporate Responsibility and Compliance.
In 2018, Morell also was elected a director of investment firm Fortress Investment Group LLC, whose holdings include NewMedia Investment Group/GateHouse Media, corporate parent of the Akron Beacon Journal.
Goodyear's SEC filing reads: "On May 28, 2019, Michael J. Morell, a director of The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, notified the company that he will resign as a director effective on May 31, 2019 in order to focus on providing the candidates for president in 2020 with advice regarding national security. Mr. Morell has served as a director of the company since January 2014."
Morell took a leave of absence in 2016 from the Goodyear board to work with the Hillary For America campaign.
About that same time, Morell wrote an op-ed piece in the New York Times saying that he had worked alongside Democratic Party nominee Hillary Clinton while she was secretary of state and that he will "do everything I can to ensure that she is elected as our 45th president."
Morell also said he was neither a registered Democrat nor Republican.
He criticized then-Republican candidate Donald Trump, saying the eventual winner had characteristics that suggest "he would be a poor, even dangerous, commander in chief" and that he thought Trump was ''recruited'' by Russian President Vladimir Putin ''as an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation."
Morell has a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Akron and a master's degree in economics from Georgetown University.
He joined the CIA in 1980 and served twice as acting CIA director. He also was deputy director at the National Counterterrorism Center.
Jim Mackinnon covers business. He can be reached at 330-996-3544 or jmackinnon@thebeaconjournal.com. Follow him @JimMackinnonABJ on Twitter or www.facebook.com/JimMackinnonABJ
Syria
US State Dept's $75mn grant will help war-torn Syria'... combat 'Iranian disinformation' '-- RT World News
Thu, 30 May 2019 15:21
After spending years trying to topple Damascus, Washington has now pledged to protect war-scarred Syrians from Iranian ''disinformation.'' The act of altruism is part of a grant aimed at ''advancing US interests'' in the country.
The US State Department wants to give $75 million to an eligible NGO as part of an initiative aimed at strengthening ''credible governance and civil society entities'' in Syria '' at least in the areas controlled by illegitimate, US-backed forces.
The grant will also fund efforts to ''counter extremism and disinformation perpetuated by Iranian forces,'' since that is apparently the major life-and-death issue facing Syrians after seven years of devastating war. Additionally, the grant aims to ''ensure the enduring defeat'' of Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL).
Also on rt.com US attempts to resettle Kurds in Arab areas might trigger breakup of Syria, Lavrov says How the grant will help bring about a peaceful political solution in Syria is also an open question. Washington's long-standing policy has been that President Bashar Assad ''must go'' '' which sounds more like a demand backed by threat of force, and less like a peaceful settlement.
This may all sound like a profound waste of taxpayer dollars, but the grant synopsis makes it very clear that approved applicants will be nobly advancing ''US government policy objectives in Syria.''
While the grant lists stringent requirements for all interested bidders, applicants are not required to obtain permission from Damascus to operate in Syrian territory, cutting out a lot of annoying bureaucratic red tape. Instead, the lucky grant winners will ''strengthen government'' in territories occupied by an estimated 2,000 US troops, as well US-backed Kurdish proxy forces, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
Also on rt.com US coalition killed 1,600 civilians in Raqqa offensive - Amnesty International With thousands killed and millions displaced from the fighting in Syria, one might think the US government could find a better use of $75 million in Syria than ''countering'' a Damascus ally, which, unlike the US, operates in Syria with permission of the country's legitimate government.
However, it would be wrong to suggest that Washington hasn't helped to rebuild the country. In May, USAID announced that electricity was being restored to Raqqa, only two short years after the US military and its allies flattened the city in a deadly aerial assault on the former Islamic State stronghold.
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Vaccine$
Vaccine Package Inserts
Tue, 28 May 2019 03:42
Below are the list of vaccines manufactured in the United States. Every effort has been made to maintain the accuracy of this list. You will notice some vaccines listed more than once. For example, if you look for the MMR vaccine you will see it listed three separate times below. This is because one injection contains the antigens for measles, mumps, and rubella.
For your ease of use, you can use the column headers to quickly and easily sort by vaccine, brand name, or manufacturer. Instantly download each vaccine package insert by clicking on the 'PDF' icon. Notice the search bar on the right side as it will automatically filter the vaccine list as you type.
Click this link to see the vaccine schedule .
Vaccine Information: 2017
Clips
VIDEO - Facebook as we knew it...is over, says Recode's Kara Swisher - YouTube
Thu, 30 May 2019 14:44
VIDEO - (1) MichaelRapaport on Twitter: "@charliekirk11 @DonaldJTrumpJr Congratulations the Trumps are Excellent Criminals. https://t.co/NHQEtScs2G" / Twitter
Thu, 30 May 2019 13:29
Bob Mueller is a prosecutor.A prosecutor's job is to prove guilt.He spent 675 days and 35 million dollars and still could not prove the President guilty of collusion or obstruction.Case closed. Period. End of story.Total exoneration!
VIDEO - Brain Surgeon Told Biden He Had Less Than 50% Chance of 'Being Completely Normal'
Thu, 30 May 2019 12:43
Former Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D.-R.I.) and Vice President Joe Biden at the White House National Conference on Mental Health on June 3, 2013. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
(CNSNews.com) - Speaking at the White House National Conference on Mental Health on Monday, Vice President Joe Biden told a sometimes serious and sometimes jocular story about the two brain surgeries he needed in 1988 to deal with cranial aneurysms.
Biden told the White House audience ''they take a saw and they cut your head off'' and ''they literally had to take the top of my head off.'' He also recounted that as he was being wheeled into surgery he asked the neurosurgeon, ''What are my chances of getting off this table completely normal?'' The surgeon told Biden he had a better chance of living'--and that that chance was in the 35 to 50 percent range.
''The only totally un-chartered portion of the universe is the brain,'' Biden said in his White House speech. ''You know, as we used to say in the Senate, excuse the point of personal privilege here: I had two cranial aneurysms, and they literally had to take the top of my head off. I mean, they take a saw and they cut your head off, and go in to find the artery that is--one was leaking, the other that hadn't, before it burst.
''Those of you who are docs know every profession has their sick jokes,'' said Biden. ''The joke among docs is: How do you know someone's had a cranial aneurysm? On the autopsy table. Only 20 percent of the people have it even get to the table.
''Well, one of the fascinating things is, that the second operation, after the first one, which was a bleed, and they gave me a relatively low chance of surviving,'' said Biden. ''I remember going down, and asking the doc, and, you know, you're counting the ceiling tiles and you're heading into the operating room--a lot of you've been there. I said, 'Doc, what are my chances?' I had two great neurosurgeons. And I'll never forget--I will not mention his name, but he's one of the leading neurosurgeons in the world--he said: 'Senator, for mortality or morbidity?'
''And I'm thinking,'' said Biden. ''No, swear to God, I mean, you know, jeez. Well, I said, 'Let me put it to you this way.' It was a long road to the operating room. I said--this is absolutely a true story--I said: 'What are my chances of getting off this table and being completely normal?' He said: 'Well, your chances of living are a lot better.'
''And I said, 'OK. What are they?' He said, 'Well, they're in the 35 to 50 percent range.' And I thought, well--seriously, I was a born optimist--I said, well, hell, that means 35 out of 100, 50 out of 100 make it. I might as well be the one,'' said Biden.
''I said: 'What's the most likely thing that will happen if I live?' He said, 'Well, the side of the brain that the first aneurysm is on controls your ability to speak.' And I thought: 'Why in the hell didn't they tell me this before the '88 campaign?' It could have saved us all a lot of trouble, you know what I mean?''
VIDEO - Read: Robert Mueller Statement On Resignation, Russia Investigation : NPR
Thu, 30 May 2019 12:19
Special counsel Robert Mueller speaks about the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, at the Justice Department on Wednesday. Mandel Ngan/Getty Images hide caption
toggle caption Mandel Ngan/Getty Images Special counsel Robert Mueller speaks about the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, at the Justice Department on Wednesday.
Mandel Ngan/Getty Images Special counsel Robert Mueller made his first '-- and as he promised, only '-- public remarks about the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and the possible obstruction of that investigation.
Mueller announced his resignation from the Department of Justice and the formal closure of his office and said that he has chosen not to testify before Congress. Mueller summarized his office's findings about Russian interference in the 2016 election and addressed why he did not reach a determination as to whether President Trump committed a crime.
Here are Mueller's remarks in full, as delivered.
Good morning everyone, and thank you for being here.
Two years ago, the acting attorney general asked me to serve as special counsel, and he created the Special Counsel's Office. The appointment order directed the office to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. This included investigating any links or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the Trump campaign.
Now I have not spoken publicly during our investigation. I am speaking out today because our investigation is complete. The attorney general has made the report on our investigation largely public. We are formally closing the Special Counsel's Office, and as well, I'm resigning from the Department of Justice to return to private life.
I'll make a few remarks about the results of our work, but beyond these few remarks, it is important that the office's written work speak for itself.
Let me begin where the appointment order begins, and that is interference in the 2016 presidential election.
As alleged by the grand jury in an indictment, Russian intelligence officers who were part of the Russian military launched a concerted attack on our political system. The indictment alleges that they used sophisticated cyber techniques to hack into computers and networks used by the Clinton campaign. They stole private information and then released that information through fake online identities, and through the organization WikiLeaks. The releases were designed and timed to interfere with our election and to damage a presidential candidate.
And at the same time, as the grand jury alleged in a separate indictment, a private Russian entity engaged in a social media operation where Russian citizens posed as Americans in order to influence an election.
These indictments contain allegations, and we are not commenting on the guilt or the innocence of any specific defendant. Every defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The indictments allege, and the other activities in our report describe, efforts to interfere in our political system. They needed to be investigated and understood, and that is among the reasons why the Department of Justice established our office.
That is also a reason we investigated efforts to obstruct the investigation. The matters we investigated were of paramount importance. It was critical for us to obtain full and accurate information from every person we questioned. When a subject of an investigation obstructs that investigation or lies to investigators, it strikes at the core of the government's effort to find the truth and hold wrongdoers accountable.
Let me say a word about the report. The report has two parts addressing the two main issues we were asked to investigate. The first volume of the report details numerous efforts emanating from Russia to influence the election. This volume includes a discussion of the Trump campaign's response to this activity, as well as our conclusion that there was insufficient evidence to charge a broader conspiracy.
And in the second volume, the report describes the results and analysis of our obstruction of justice investigation involving the president. The order appointing me special counsel authorized us to investigate actions that could obstruct the investigation. We conducted that investigation, and we kept the office of the acting attorney general apprised of the progress of our work. And as set forth in the report, after that investigation if we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime we would have said so.
We did not, however, make a determination as to whether the president did commit a crime. The introduction to the Volume II of our report explains that decision. It explains that under long-standing department policy, a president can not be charged with a federal crime while he is in office. That is unconstitutional. Even if the charge is kept under seal and hidden from public view, that too is prohibited.
The Special Counsel's Office is part of the Department of Justice, and by regulation it was bound by that department policy. Charging the president with a crime was, therefore, not an option we could consider.
The department's written opinion explaining the policy makes several important points that further informed our handling of the obstruction investigation. Those points are summarized in our report, and I will describe two of them for you.
First, the opinion explicitly explicitly permits the investigation of a sitting president because it is important to preserve evidence while memories are fresh and documents available. Among other things, that evidence could be used if there were co-conspirators who could be charged now.
And second, the opinion says that the Constitution requires a process other than the criminal justice system to formally accuse a sitting president of wrongdoing.
And beyond department policy, we were guided by principles of fairness. It would be unfair to potentially '-- it would be unfair to potentially accuse somebody of a crime when there can be no court resolution of the actual charge.
So that was Justice Department policy. Those were the principles under which we operated, and from them, we concluded that we would '-- would not reach a determination one way or the other about whether the president committed a crime. That is the office's '-- that is the office's final position, and we will not comment on any other conclusions or hypotheticals about the president.
We conducted an independent criminal investigation and reported the results to the attorney general as required by department regulations. The attorney general then concluded that it was appropriate to provide our report to Congress and to the American people.
At one point in time, I requested that certain portions of the report be released. The attorney general preferred to make that '-- preferred to make the entire report public all at once, and we appreciate that the attorney general made the report largely public, and I certainly did not question the attorney general's good faith in that decision.
Now, I hope and expect this to be the only time that I will speak to you in this manner. I am making that decision myself. No one has told me whether I can or should testify or speak further about this matter.
There has been discussion about an appearance before Congress. Any testimony from this office would not go beyond our report. It contains our findings and analysis, and the reasons for the decisions we made. We chose those words carefully, and the work speaks for itself. And the report is my testimony. I would not provide information beyond that which is already public in any appearance before Congress.
In addition, access to our underlying underlying work product is being decided in a process that does not involve our office.
So, beyond what I've said here today and what is contained in our written work, I do not believe it is appropriate for me to speak further about the investigation or to comment on the actions of the Justice Department or Congress. And it's for that reason, I will not be taking questions today, as well.
Now before I step away, I want to thank the attorneys, the FBI agents, the analysts, the professional staff who helped us conduct this investigation in a fair and independent manner. These individuals who spent nearly two years with the Special Counsel's Office were of the highest integrity.
And I will close by reiterating the central allegation of our indictments: That there were multiple, systematic efforts to interfere in our election, and that allegation deserves the attention of every American.
Thank you. Thank you for being here today.
VIDEO - Hillary Clinton bashes Facebook for 'sexist trash' video of Nancy Pelosi - TheBlaze
Thu, 30 May 2019 11:33
Former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton excoriated social media platform Facebook for allowing the spread of a doctored video mocking House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)
She made the comments during her commencement address at the Hunter College Commencement ceremony in New York City on Wednesday.
"The big social media platforms know their systems are being manipulated by foreign and domestic actors to sow division, promote extremism and to spread misinformation but they won't get serious about cleaning up their platforms unless consumers demand it," Clinton claimed.
"And we saw why it's so important last week, when Facebook refused to take down a fake video of Nancy Pelosi. It wasn't even a close call, the video is sexist trash," she added.
"And YouTube took it down but Facebook kept it up," Clinton continued. "So let's send a message to Facebook that those who are in Facebook's communities would really like Facebook to pay attention to doctored videos before we are flooded with them over the next months."
Facebook was criticized for allowing the doctored video to continue on their platform even after it was confirmed that it had been slowed down at times to make Pelosi sound inebriated.
Clinton previously spoke out against the video and said that it was proof that the president was "running scared."
Here's the video of Clinton's comments:
VIDEO - Tensions rise between Serbia and Kosovo | Euronews
Thu, 30 May 2019 10:38
Tensions rose between Kosovo and Serbia Tuesday after police in Kosovo confronted and arrested Serbs as part of an anti-smuggling mission in the country's northern region.
The action sparked a swift response from neighbouring Serbia, which does not recognise Kosovo as a state.
Serbia put its forces on alert after the operation, and Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said that Serbia's military was prepared to defend Serbs in Kosovo. The northern municipalities in Kosovo are mainly populated by Serbs who support Belgrade over Pristina.
Kosovo's prime minister, on the other hand, insisted that it was just a police operation.
"I confirm that the operation is about law enforcement and nothing else. I call Serbs in the north to stay calm and respect the law," Kosovo Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj said.
But at least 19 people were arrested, and two UN officials were detained in an operation that saw both police and Serbs wounded.
"The UN mission in Kosovo said that it is concerned by the developments in Northern Kosovo today, including the detention of two UN staff members who were carrying out their duties by the Kosovo police," said Farhan Haq, deputy spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General. Haq said that both UN staff members were transferred to a hospital for "treatment of their injuries."
Cross-border smuggling has increased in the northern Serb-majority municipalities. Kosovo implemented a 100 per cent tariff on goods from Serbia last year after Serbia blocked Kosovo from joining Interpol.
Kosovo's foreign minister Behgjet Pacolli said it would not be the last police operation in Kosovo, according to the AP.
"We are fighting organized crime," Pacolli said.
The Russian foreign ministry was quick to call the event a "provocation." Russia is another country that does not recognise Kosovo's independence.
Kosovo is majority Albanian but was a region of Serbia until declaring its independence in the 1990s. The ensuing violent war killed more than 13,000 people and only ended after a NATO air campaign in 1999.
Kosovo became a self-governed territory under the United Nations and declared its independence once again in 2008. It has been recognised by more than 100 countries.
Read more about the history of Kosovo-Serbia relations here and watch more in the video player above.
VIDEO - Why millennials aren't having sex | National Post
Thu, 30 May 2019 09:45
In this episode of Everything Should Be Better, Tristin Hopper tackles the sex lives of millennials '-- and why they are having less sex than any other generation in human history.
Watch the video above, or read the transcript below.
Why Millennials aren't having sex
The numbers are in, and it's official: The Millennial generation, my generation, are having less sex than any other cohort of homo sapiens that has ever lived. Go all the way back to primordial man, and chances are good you'll find people who are hooking up with greater frequency.
According to research published in the Archives of Sexual Behaviour, Millennials are having less sex with few people than their parents did at the same age. A recent British study found that one in eight 26-year-olds is still a virgin. One third of American men aged 18 to 29 didn't have sex once in all of 2018. And the sexlessness is even seeping into the generation coming after the Millennials: Nearly 60 per cent of modern teenagers are staying virgins until after they graduate, a complete reversal of the 1990s, when a majority of teenagers had had sex by prom night.
So what's happening? We live in one of the most sexually liberated eras ever, and the young, nubile people best able to take advantage of it are just '... playing video games? Well, there's a few reasons for this.
MILLENNNIALS AREN'T GETTING MARRIED
Say what you will about sex after marriage, but getting married does indeed pack you into a house with someone who will probably get bored and have sex with you once in a while. Unless you're able to cultivate a Sex and the City level of promiscuity, you're not going to be able to top the sex frequency of someone who sleeps next to a sexing partner every single night. Millennials are not only waiting way longer to get married, but they're doing it at way lower rates. In the U.S., up to 25 per cent of Millennials are on track to never get married, compared to just 9 per cent of early Baby Boomers.
TOO MANY MILLENNIALS ARE LIVING WITH THEIR PARENTS
It's not a stereotype: A disproportionate number of Millennials are indeed living with their parents. According to U.S. data, 15 per cent of 25 to 35-year-olds are living with their folks, nearly double the rate of early Baby Boomers. It's hard to get your bone on when you're sharing a kitchen with your elderly parents.
DATING APPS
For some, the advent of ''swipe-right'' dating apps have ushered in an avalanche of constant banging. But the vast majority of us aren't all that pretty, so we need to trick people into sleeping with us with other attributes like confidence, money or sense of humour. Unfortunately, none of those things show up in a Tinder photo, so no banging for you. At least, this is the theory of Jean Twenge, who has researched Millennial sex habits. Said Twenge, ''(dating apps) end up putting a lot of importance on physical appearance, and that, I think, is leaving out a large section of the population.''
CONSTANT PORN EVERYWHERE
Now I'm not going to get all Moralist Mindy on you here, but come on: Obviously the constant porn everywhere is having an effect on real-world sex lives. Every Millennial has spent their entire dating lives in a world where bottomless free pornography was just a few clicks away. And yeah, if you're mainlining your eerily specific fetish every day, it might be reducing your motivation to go out and find some real sex, which unlike pornography is often sticky, poorly lit and disappointing.
There's no HARD evidence yet that porn is contributing to celibacy, but consider this fact: Urology clinics around the world are increasingly encountering men in their 20s with erectile dysfunction, with some of them reporting that they can no longer be aroused by anything other than porn.
MILLENNIALS ARE SUPER UPTIGHT
Last reason Millennials aren't having any sex: They're all super uptight. That's right: I said it. While Generation X was making out to Thriller, we're too busy lecturing someone on Twitter about how The Little Mermaid is problematic.
And yeah, being a constantly outraged scold will definitely have an effect on your sex life. Recent survey data from the online dating site OkCupid found that when it comes to finding romantic partners, Millennials are increasingly prioritizing political affiliation over good sex. Among Millennial women, fully 42 per cent considered politics more important than sex, a spike of 50 per cent from only two years before.
So yes, if your generation is willing to forego mind-blowing sex just because your partner voted for the wrong party, you might have a problem.
VIDEO - Elizabeth Warren on Twitter: "Before @StevenMnuchin1 became Treasury Secretary, he was on the board of @Sears, where he helped gut the company and fire thousands of employees. Now, @AOC and I have some tough questions for him.'... https://t.co/N4X8
Thu, 30 May 2019 09:39
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VIDEO - Newark Ticketing Drivers Who Give Money To Panhandlers '' CBS New York
Wed, 29 May 2019 21:20
NEWARK (CBSNewYork) '' You may want to think twice before giving money to panhandlers in
Newark.
Police there will now be ticketing drivers they say are posing safety risks and delaying traffic by stopping to give money.
''People are well-meaning and want to help, but this is a safety issue,'' Public Safety Director Anthony Ambrose said. ''We have panhandlers wading into traffic at busy exit ramps off Route 280 or on McCarter Highway, which jeopardizes their own health. We had a female pedestrian killed on McCarter Highway just a few weeks ago.''
Police have issued 90 summonses in just the last few weeks. That comes with a $50 fine plus court costs.
The city says this is all part of a larger plan to help the homeless.
''When a driver stops and gives a panhandler money, they're basically helping them feed bad habits,'' Ambrose said. ''We want to discourage this, but while offering these panhandlers significant and meaningful help.''
Newark Hope One, a police mobile unit, will also try to keep panhandlers off the streets by offering services to get them help.
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VIDEO - Morgan Ortagus holds State Department briefing - YouTube
Wed, 29 May 2019 20:06
VIDEO - (2) Former President Obama's attack on the press - YouTube
Wed, 29 May 2019 13:50
VIDEO - FULL: Joe Biden participates in AFT Votes Town Hall in Houston, Texas - YouTube
Wed, 29 May 2019 08:06
VIDEO - Johnson & Johnson Opioid Trial To Begin In Oklahoma, Could Set Precedent : NPR
Tue, 28 May 2019 22:08
The first case in a flood of litigation nationwide against opioid drug manufacturers will begin on Tuesday in this courthouse in Norman, Okla. Jackie Fortier/StateImpact Oklahoma hide caption
toggle caption Jackie Fortier/StateImpact Oklahoma The first case in a flood of litigation nationwide against opioid drug manufacturers will begin on Tuesday in this courthouse in Norman, Okla.
Jackie Fortier/StateImpact Oklahoma All eyes will be on Oklahoma this week when the first case in a flood of litigation against an opioid drug manufacturer begins on Tuesday.
Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter's suit alleges Johnson & Johnson, the nation's largest drugmaker, helped ignite a public health crisis that has killed thousands of state residents.
With just two days to go before the trial, one of the remaining defendants, Teva Pharmaceuticals of Jerusalem, announced an $85 million settlement with the state on Sunday. The money will be used for litigation costs and an undisclosed amount will be allocated "to abate the opioid crisis in Oklahoma," according to a press release from Hunter's office.
In its own statement, Teva said the settlement does not establish any wrongdoing on the part of the company, adding Teva, "has not contributed to the abuse of opioids in Oklahoma in any way."
That leaves Johnson & Johnson as the sole defendant.
Court filings accuse the company of overstating the benefits of opioids and understating their risks in marketing campaigns that duped doctors into prescribing the drugs for ailments not approved by regulators.
The bench trial '-- with a judge and no jury '-- is poised to be the first of its kind to play out in court.
We have looked at literally millions of documents, taken hundreds of depositions, and we are even more convinced that these companies are the proximate cause for the epidemic in our state and in our country.
Mike Hunter, Okla. Attorney General
Nora Freeman Engstrom, a professor at Stanford Law school, said lawyers in the other cases and the general public are eager to see what proof Hunter's office offers the court.
"We'll all be seeing what evidence is available, what evidence isn't available and just how convincing that evidence is," she says.
Most states and more than 1,600 local and tribal governments are suing drugmakers and distributors. They are trying to recoup billions of dollars spent on addressing the fallout tied to opioid addiction.
Initially, Hunter's lawsuit included Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin. In March, Purdue Pharma settled with the state for $270 million. Soon after, Hunter dropped all but one of the civil claims, including fraud, against the remaining defendants. Teva settled for $85 million in May, leaving Johnson & Johnson as the only opioid manufacturer willing to go to trial with the state.
Hunter believes the state has a strong case.
"We have looked at literally millions of documents, taken hundreds of depositions, and we are even more convinced that these companies are the proximate cause for the epidemic in our state and in our country," Hunter says.
Precedent-setting case
The companies involved have a broad concern about what their liability might be, says University of Kentucky law professor Richard Ausness.
"This case will set a precedent," he says. "If Oklahoma loses '-- of course they'll appeal if they lose '-- but the defendants may have to reconsider their strategy."
With hundreds of similar cases pending '-- especially a mammoth case pending in Ohio '-- the state's strategy will be closely watched.
"And of course lurking in the background is the multi-state litigation in Cleveland, where there will ultimately be a settlement in all likelihood, but the size of the settlement and the terms of the settlement may be influenced by Oklahoma," says Ausness.
'There's nothing wrong with producing opioids'
But the legal case is complicated. Unlike tobacco, where states won a landmark settlement, Ausness points out that opioids serve a medical purpose.
"There's nothing wrong with producing opioids. It's regulated and approved by the Federal Drug Administration, the sale is overseen by the Drug Enforcement Administration, so there's a great deal of regulation in the production and distribution and sale of opioid products," Ausness explains. "They are useful products so this is not a situation where the product is defective in some way."
There's nothing wrong with producing opioids. ... They are useful products so this is not a situation where the product is defective in some way.
Richard Ausness, University of Kentucky
It's an argument that has found some traction in court. Recently, a North Dakota judge dismissed all of that state's claims against Purdue, a big court win for the company. In a written ruling that the state says it will appeal, Judge James Hill questioned the idea of blaming a company that makes a legal product for opioid-related deaths.
"Purdue cannot control how doctors prescribe its products and it certainly cannot control how individual patients use and respond to its products," the judge wrote, "regardless of any warning or instruction Purdue may give."
Now the Oklahoma case rests entirely on a claim of public nuisance, which refers to actions that harm members of the public, including injury to public health.
"It's sexy," Ausness says. "You know 'public nuisance' makes it sound like the defendants are really bad."
If the state's claim prevails, Big Pharma could have to spend billions of dollars in Oklahoma helping ease the epidemic. "It doesn't diminish the amount of damages we believe we'll be able to justify to the judge," Hunter says, estimating a final payout could run into the "billions of dollars."
Hunter's decision to go it alone and not join with a larger consolidated case could mean a quicker resolution for the state, or no money all, Ausness says.
"Particularly when we're talking about [attorneys general], who are politicians, who want to be able to tell the people, 'Gee, this is what I've done for you.' They are not interested in waiting two or three years [for a settlement], they want it now," he says. "Of course the risk of that is you may lose."
Greg and Judy hold hands at their home in Guthrie, Okla. The couple can't find integrated mental health and opioid addiction treatment for Greg in their area. Jackie Fortier/StateImpact Oklahoma hide caption
toggle caption Jackie Fortier/StateImpact Oklahoma Greg and Judy hold hands at their home in Guthrie, Okla. The couple can't find integrated mental health and opioid addiction treatment for Greg in their area.
Jackie Fortier/StateImpact Oklahoma Looking for treatment
Oklahoma has the second highest uninsured rate in the nation and little money for public health. The state is trying to win money from the drug companies to pay for treatment for people like Greg, who uses drugs and is afraid he'll lose his job if we use his last name.
Greg and his wife Judy say they haven't been able to find the integrated treatment that Greg needs for both his opioid addiction and his bipolar disorder. It's either one or the other.
"They don't give you ... a treatment plan for both," Judy says. "They just say, 'Here, you can talk to this person.' They don't recognize that it's like self-medicating."
The couple live in Guthrie, Okla., about an hour north of the courthouse where the opioid trial will take place. Greg says he's been addicted to opioids for 11 years. People with prescriptions sell him their pills '-- sometimes Greg binges and takes 400 milligrams of morphine at once, a huge dose.
Of the $270 million Purdue settlement, $200 million is earmarked for an addiction research and treatment center in Tulsa, though no details have been released. An undisclosed amount of the $85 million Teva settlement will also go to abating the crisis.
Judy hopes that the treatment center may eventually help Greg.
"I wish he would stop using [opioids], but I love him. I'll always be here," she said.
This story is part of NPR's reporting partnership with StateImpact Oklahoma and Kaiser Health News.
VIDEO - UN Live United Nations Web TV - Preparations for the 2019 Climate Summit - Press Conference (28 May 2019)
Tue, 28 May 2019 21:12
Preparations for the 2019 Climate Summit - Press Conference (28 May 2019)
28 May 2019 - Press Conference by Luis Alfonso de Alba, the Secretary-General's Special Envoy for the 2019 Climate Summit
VIDEO - Rick Dolishny on Twitter: "This deleted video clip is amazing. Thank you for capturing it "if you keep saying something eventually they'll believe it". The truth wants to come out @adamcurry great audio clip for the show from our environment minis
Tue, 28 May 2019 20:14
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VIDEO - Dennis Parker'š¸ on Twitter: "#Bitcoin Is The New Stock Market - @TimDraper'... "
Tue, 28 May 2019 15:42
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VIDEO - Joe DiGenova blows the lid off the real scandal: the Russia hoax was a cover-up effort for Obama's political spying since 2012
Tue, 28 May 2019 14:51
Yesterday, Joe DiGenova made his customary Monday morning guest appearance on WMAL radio's ''Mornings on the Mall'' radio show (WMAL is the premier conservative talk station in DC) and the 15-minute segment is jam-packed with must-listen insights. In addition to his revelations about the true nature of the Russiagate hoax, there is another quiet bombshell he dropped -see the end of this blog for the tantalizing perspective he revealed. You can listen on the YouTube version here.
The basic story is that Admiral Mike Rogers, who was head of the NSA in the spring of 2016, discovered that the NSA's comprehensive database collecting all electronic communications in the United States was being searched by unauthorized FBI ''contractors'' and moved to cut-off that access. He also visited Donald Trump, after which Trump moved his campaign HQ out of Trump Tower. Trump's much-derided claim that his campaign was ''wiretapped'' likely also were the result of gaining this insight from Admiral Rogers
The subsequent launch of Crossfire Hurricane and the effort to obtain FISA warrants were not to initiate spying on the Trump campaign, but rather to provide legal grounding for the spying efforts on political opponents that had been underway for years.
Sundance at Conservative Treehouse picked up on the DiGenova interview and in his inimitable fashion lays out the background story from evidence already on the public record here, complete with many hyperlinks to sources. It is a long and complex post, but some of the key conclusions.
Tens of thousands of searches [of the NSA database] over four years (since 2012), and 85% of them are illegal. The results were extracted for?'.... (snip)
OK, that's the stunning scale; but who was involved?
Private contractors with access to ''raw FISA information that went well beyond what was necessary to respond to FBI's requests''
And as noted, the contractor access was finally halted on April 18th, 2016.
[Coincidentally (or not), the wife of Fusion-GPS founder Glenn Simpson, Mary Jacoby, goes to the White House the next day on April 19th, 2016.]
None of this is conspiracy theory.
All of this is laid out inside this 99-page opinion from FISC Presiding Judge Rosemary Collyer who also noted that none of this FISA abuse was accidental in a footnote on page 87: ''deliberate decisionmaking'': (snip)
Summary of this aspect: The FISA court identified and quantified tens-of-thousands of search queries of the NSA/FBI database using the FISA-702(16)(17) system. The database was repeatedly used by persons with contractor access; who unlawfully searched and extracted the raw results without redacting the information; and shared it with an unknown number of entities.
The outlined process certainly points toward a political spying, surveillance, and file-building operation; and we are not the only one to think that's what this system is being used for. (snip)
There is little doubt the FISA-702(16)(17) database system was used by Obama-era officials, from 2012 through April 2016, as a way to spy on their political opposition. Quite simply there is no other intellectually honest explanation for the scale and volume of database abuse that was taking place. (snip)
Everything after March 9th, 2016, was done to cover up the weaponization of the FISA database. [Explained Here] Spygate, Russia-Gate, the Steele Dossier, and even the 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment (drawn from the dossier and signed by the above) were needed to create a cover-story and protect themselves from discovery of this four year weaponization, political surveillance and unlawful spying. Even the appointment of Robert Mueller as special counsel makes sense; he was FBI Director when this began. (snip)
Political spying 1.0 was actually the weaponization of the IRS. This is where the term ''Secret Research Project'' originated as a description from the Obama team. It involved the U.S. Department of Justice under Eric Holder and the FBI under Robert Mueller. It never made sense why Eric Holder requested over 1 million tax records via CD ROM, until overlaying the timeline of the FISA abuse:
The IRS sent the FBI ''21 disks constituting a 1.1 million page database of information from 501(c)(4) tax exempt organizations, to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.'' The transaction occurred in October 2010 (link)
Why disks? Why send a stack of DISKS to the DOJ and FBI when there's a pre-existing financial crimes unit within the IRS. All of the evidence within this sketchy operation came directly to the surface in early spring 2012.
The IRS scandal was never really about the IRS, it was always about the DOJ asking the IRS for the database of information. That is why it was transparently a conflict when the same DOJ was tasked with investigating the DOJ/IRS scandal. Additionally, Obama sent his chief-of-staff Jack Lew to become Treasury Secretary; effectively placing an ally to oversee/cover-up any issues. As Treasury Secretary Lew did just that. (snip)
Fusion GPS was not hired in April 2016 to research Donald Trump. As shown in the evidence provided by the FISC, the intelligence community was already doing surveillance and spy operations. The Obama administration already knew everything about the Trump campaign, and were monitoring everything by exploiting the FISA database. (snip)
However, after the NSA alerts in/around March 9th, 2016, and particularly after the April 18th shutdown of contractor access, the Obama intelligence community needed Fusion GPS to create a legal albeit ex post facto justification for the pre-existing surveillance and spy operations. Fusion GPS gave them that justification in the Steele Dossier.
That's why the FBI small group, which later transitioned into the Mueller team, are so strongly committed to and defending the formation of the Steele Dossier and its dubious content. The Steele Dossier contains the cover-story and justification for the pre-existing surveillance operation. (snip)
Fusion GPS was not hired to research Trump, the intelligence community was already doing surveillance and spy operations. The intelligence community needed Fusion GPS to give them a plausible justification for already existing surveillance and spy operations.
Fusion-GPS gave them the justification they needed for a FISA warrant with the Steele Dossier. Ultimately that's why the Steele Dossier is so important; without it, the DOJ and FBI are naked with their FISA-702 abuse'....
Joe DiGenova dropped one other bombshell that remains to be explored: that he believes that the NSA database contains the 30,000 emails that Hillary Clinton deleted from her server, and that the two US attorneys tasked with investigating the scandals will access those emails in the course of their investigations. Recall that US Attorney for Utah John Huber is investigating the handling of the dropped prosecution of her violations of national security law with her home brew server and possible crimes related to the Clinton Foundation, including presumably, the Uranium One acquisition of US uranium reserves by Russian interests and the massive donations to the Clinton Foundation.
Hold onto your hats. At last, we are on the verge of getting to the bottom of the weaponization of the nation's top law enforcement and spy agencies to spy on political opponents, and it is far bigger than obtaining bogus FISA Court warrants to spy on Carter Page. Barack Obama's minions have been spying on his political opponents since before his 2012 re-election, and the entire Russiagate hoax was an effort to cover-up that ongoing spying.
As I have stated before, the best sources for understanding the unfolding of the biggest political scandal in American history are DC super-lawyers Joe DiGenova and Victoria Toensing, who have an unmatched track record in explaining the events we see in the media and predicting the forthcoming revelations. I am not in communication with them, but it does appear they have superb sources '' which would not be surprising given their long history as key conservative players at the highest level of the DC legal and political circles.
Yesterday, Joe DiGenova made his customary Monday morning guest appearance on WMAL radio's ''Mornings on the Mall'' radio show (WMAL is the premier conservative talk station in DC) and the 15-minute segment is jam-packed with must-listen insights. In addition to his revelations about the true nature of the Russiagate hoax, there is another quiet bombshell he dropped -see the end of this blog for the tantalizing perspective he revealed. You can listen on the YouTube version here.
The basic story is that Admiral Mike Rogers, who was head of the NSA in the spring of 2016, discovered that the NSA's comprehensive database collecting all electronic communications in the United States was being searched by unauthorized FBI ''contractors'' and moved to cut-off that access. He also visited Donald Trump, after which Trump moved his campaign HQ out of Trump Tower. Trump's much-derided claim that his campaign was ''wiretapped'' likely also were the result of gaining this insight from Admiral Rogers
The subsequent launch of Crossfire Hurricane and the effort to obtain FISA warrants were not to initiate spying on the Trump campaign, but rather to provide legal grounding for the spying efforts on political opponents that had been underway for years.
Sundance at Conservative Treehouse picked up on the DiGenova interview and in his inimitable fashion lays out the background story from evidence already on the public record here, complete with many hyperlinks to sources. It is a long and complex post, but some of the key conclusions.
Tens of thousands of searches [of the NSA database] over four years (since 2012), and 85% of them are illegal. The results were extracted for?'.... (snip)
OK, that's the stunning scale; but who was involved?
Private contractors with access to ''raw FISA information that went well beyond what was necessary to respond to FBI's requests''
And as noted, the contractor access was finally halted on April 18th, 2016.
[Coincidentally (or not), the wife of Fusion-GPS founder Glenn Simpson, Mary Jacoby, goes to the White House the next day on April 19th, 2016.]
None of this is conspiracy theory.
All of this is laid out inside this 99-page opinion from FISC Presiding Judge Rosemary Collyer who also noted that none of this FISA abuse was accidental in a footnote on page 87: ''deliberate decisionmaking'': (snip)
Summary of this aspect: The FISA court identified and quantified tens-of-thousands of search queries of the NSA/FBI database using the FISA-702(16)(17) system. The database was repeatedly used by persons with contractor access; who unlawfully searched and extracted the raw results without redacting the information; and shared it with an unknown number of entities.
The outlined process certainly points toward a political spying, surveillance, and file-building operation; and we are not the only one to think that's what this system is being used for. (snip)
There is little doubt the FISA-702(16)(17) database system was used by Obama-era officials, from 2012 through April 2016, as a way to spy on their political opposition. Quite simply there is no other intellectually honest explanation for the scale and volume of database abuse that was taking place. (snip)
Everything after March 9th, 2016, was done to cover up the weaponization of the FISA database. [Explained Here] Spygate, Russia-Gate, the Steele Dossier, and even the 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment (drawn from the dossier and signed by the above) were needed to create a cover-story and protect themselves from discovery of this four year weaponization, political surveillance and unlawful spying. Even the appointment of Robert Mueller as special counsel makes sense; he was FBI Director when this began. (snip)
Political spying 1.0 was actually the weaponization of the IRS. This is where the term ''Secret Research Project'' originated as a description from the Obama team. It involved the U.S. Department of Justice under Eric Holder and the FBI under Robert Mueller. It never made sense why Eric Holder requested over 1 million tax records via CD ROM, until overlaying the timeline of the FISA abuse:
The IRS sent the FBI ''21 disks constituting a 1.1 million page database of information from 501(c)(4) tax exempt organizations, to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.'' The transaction occurred in October 2010 (link)
Why disks? Why send a stack of DISKS to the DOJ and FBI when there's a pre-existing financial crimes unit within the IRS. All of the evidence within this sketchy operation came directly to the surface in early spring 2012.
The IRS scandal was never really about the IRS, it was always about the DOJ asking the IRS for the database of information. That is why it was transparently a conflict when the same DOJ was tasked with investigating the DOJ/IRS scandal. Additionally, Obama sent his chief-of-staff Jack Lew to become Treasury Secretary; effectively placing an ally to oversee/cover-up any issues. As Treasury Secretary Lew did just that. (snip)
Fusion GPS was not hired in April 2016 to research Donald Trump. As shown in the evidence provided by the FISC, the intelligence community was already doing surveillance and spy operations. The Obama administration already knew everything about the Trump campaign, and were monitoring everything by exploiting the FISA database. (snip)
However, after the NSA alerts in/around March 9th, 2016, and particularly after the April 18th shutdown of contractor access, the Obama intelligence community needed Fusion GPS to create a legal albeit ex post facto justification for the pre-existing surveillance and spy operations. Fusion GPS gave them that justification in the Steele Dossier.
That's why the FBI small group, which later transitioned into the Mueller team, are so strongly committed to and defending the formation of the Steele Dossier and its dubious content. The Steele Dossier contains the cover-story and justification for the pre-existing surveillance operation. (snip)
Fusion GPS was not hired to research Trump, the intelligence community was already doing surveillance and spy operations. The intelligence community needed Fusion GPS to give them a plausible justification for already existing surveillance and spy operations.
Fusion-GPS gave them the justification they needed for a FISA warrant with the Steele Dossier. Ultimately that's why the Steele Dossier is so important; without it, the DOJ and FBI are naked with their FISA-702 abuse'....
Joe DiGenova dropped one other bombshell that remains to be explored: that he believes that the NSA database contains the 30,000 emails that Hillary Clinton deleted from her server, and that the two US attorneys tasked with investigating the scandals will access those emails in the course of their investigations. Recall that US Attorney for Utah John Huber is investigating the handling of the dropped prosecution of her violations of national security law with her home brew server and possible crimes related to the Clinton Foundation, including presumably, the Uranium One acquisition of US uranium reserves by Russian interests and the massive donations to the Clinton Foundation.
VIDEO - Period. Half the population has one. But no one talks about it. - CBS News
Tue, 28 May 2019 14:18
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VIDEO - Brennan may have set his own perjury trap: Napolitano - YouTube
Tue, 28 May 2019 13:25
VIDEO - Joe diGenova Responds to Bill Barr's Explosive Interview - YouTube
Tue, 28 May 2019 12:45
VIDEO!!! - DiGenova on Trump's Order to Declassify 2016 Surveillance Docs - YouTube
Tue, 28 May 2019 11:21
VIDEO - Melissa A. on Twitter: "Fake Media: Trump is a racist White Supremacist Reality:'... "
Tue, 28 May 2019 03:47
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VIDEO - California bill to restrict vaccine exemptions passes Senate | The Sacramento Bee
Tue, 28 May 2019 03:43
Here's the scene at contentious vaccine bill hearing at state Senate
A hearing at the state Capitol on SB 276, which would require public health officials to approve exceptions to vaccination requirements, drew a large crowd outside the Senate hearing room on Wednesday, April 24, 2019. By
A hearing at the state Capitol on SB 276, which would require public health officials to approve exceptions to vaccination requirements, drew a large crowd outside the Senate hearing room on Wednesday, April 24, 2019. By A bill that would crack down on medical exemptions for mandatory vaccines passed the California Senate floor on Wednesday, bringing the state one step closer to gaining control over who gets to pass on vaccinations.
Senate Bill 276 targets ''unscrupulous physicians'' who the proposal's author, state Sen. Richard Pan, said are administering ''fake'' medical exemptions for children who should be vaccinated.
''SB 276 assures students who truly need medical exemptions will receive them and that the schools they attend maintain community immunity to keep them safe,'' Pan, D-Sacramento, said in a written statement. ''Through passage of SB 276, we are taking a preventive approach to keep schools safe for all students by applying a model successfully used in West Virginia, which has not experienced measles in a decade.''
The measure requires the Department of Public Health to create a form that doctors must fill out to grant a medical exemption. State public health officials would determine if the exemption is appropriate.
The exemptions then go into a database overseen by public health officials who can monitor which doctors are routinely giving exemptions and for what reason. If the exemption is denied, doctors would have an opportunity to appeal the decision.
The bill passed a Senate Health committee last month after more than a thousand parents and family members lined up to offer nearly six hours of testimony and protest against the bill. Opponents of the measure say it infringes on the parent-child-doctor relationship and vaccine-skeptics raised concerns over whether immunizations are healthy for children.
Medical professionals who testified during April's committee hearing said vaccinations promote ''herd immunity,'' meaning that when the majority of people get their shots, kids who can't get vaccinated are still protected. They say vaccination levels should reach 95 percent in a community to protect kids who cannot receive vaccines for health reasons.
The bill, which is co-sponsored by the California Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, California and Vaccinate California, is moving through the Legislature during one of the largest measles outbreak in the country. The Department of Public Health confirmed 45 cases in California as of May 15, out of 880 nationwide.
The bill is Pan's second attempt to curb vaccine exemptions in California. A 2015 law eliminated personal beliefs from a list of reasons to not vaccinate a child enrolling in California schools.
Pan earned a 24-10 vote in the Senate, and SB 276 now heads to the Assembly before it has a chance to reach Gov. Gavin Newsom's desk.
''Vaccinating our patients is one of the most important tools pediatricians have to prevent illness and death,'' said Kris Calvin of the American Academy of Pediatrics, California. ''It is the rare physician who does not take this responsibility to heart, but they put all of us, our children and our communities, at risk.''
VIDEO - FRAN'šðŸ'ðŸðŸŒ¾ on Twitter: "WOW President Trump says 3 words that have Democrats scared 👉I've desclassified everything The AG is one of the most respected people, he's going to look at a lot of documents I hope he looks at the UK, Australi
Tue, 28 May 2019 03:32
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VIDEO - "Abolish The Electoral College" - YouTube
Tue, 28 May 2019 00:21
VIDEO - Mental Health in Tech - Dr. Jennifer Akullian, Growth Coaching Institute - YouTube
Mon, 27 May 2019 14:57
VIDEO - Australisch ochtendprogramma besteedt aandacht aan chemtrails. Dit hebben ze ervan gebakken
Mon, 27 May 2019 12:07
in Chemtrails 27 mei 2019 12:50 192 Bekeken
Enkele dagen geleden besteedde het Australische ochtendprogramma Studio 10 aandacht aan het fenomeen chemtrails.
Er werd onder meer gesproken met Dane Wigington en gepensioneerd luchtverkeersleider Ken McLeod.
De media doen natuurlijk hun best om informatie over geo-engineering te verdraaien, daar worden ze voor betaald, reageerde Wigington op zijn website.
Flink ingekortHij merkte op dat het item alles bij elkaar 12 minuten duurde, maar dat er eigenlijk 20 minuten voor was uitgetrokken.
Het werd flink ingekort, zei hij.
''Ik mocht niet reageren op de verzinsels van hun scepticus en zijn onjuiste conclusies over 'contrails' ten tijde van de Tweede Wereldoorlog,'' klonk het.
Groot belangWellicht merkten de bazen van Studio 10 dat de poging om geo-engineering te 'debunken' niet verliep zoals ze hadden gehoopt, zei Wigington.
Hij wees erop dat dit soort operaties niet langer verborgen kunnen worden gehouden en zei dat het van groot belang is om mensen hiervan op de hoogte te brengen.
Bekijk het item hieronder:
[
Geoengineering Watch]
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Lees meer over: Australi chemtrails geo-engineering Tweede Wereldoorlog
Australi chemtrails geo-engineering Tweede Wereldoorlog 2019-05-27
VIDEO - Paul Joseph Watson on Twitter: "France: Macron supporter has a hissy fit on live TV after finding out Le Pen is likely to win EU elections. https://t.co/3Xhta9ZWtU"
Mon, 27 May 2019 11:11
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All Clips

Joe Biden from 2013 recalls anneurism top of head off.mp3
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Mueller Farewell-1-Russians presumed innocent until proven guilty.mp3
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Mueller Farewell-3-Indicctment policy - constitution says impeach.mp3
Mueller Farewell-4-covering for Barr.mp3
Mueller Farewell-5-Self extraction, won't testify.mp3
Trump declassifying everything hoping for UK, Oz and Ukraine as well.mp3
Brennan-Not Guilty until alleged-ISO.mp3
Constitutional analysis of Mueller statements by Jonathan Turley.m4a
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new rules for dem candidates.mp3
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vaping is bad DN.mp3
venezuela update pbs.mp3
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alex jones fema region back song.mp3
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kamala harris ideas regarding pre approval of laws DN.mp3
kimmel on telling time.mp3
latest from Iran pbs.mp3
malaysia kicking back fake recycle crap DN.mp3
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  • 0:00
    yeah you gave the machine just the
  • 0:01
    amount of red meat it needed Adam curry
  • 0:04
    John C. Dvorak this is your award
  • 0:08
    winning in Asian media assasination
  • 0:10
    episode 11 42 this is no agenda
  • 0:14
    transmitting molecules of freedom and
  • 0:17
    broadcasting live from the frontier of
  • 0:19
    Austin Texas Kapil the drone star state
  • 0:21
    in the morning everybody
  • 0:22
    hi I'm Adam curry and from northern
  • 0:24
    Silicon Valley where there's no black
  • 0:27
    holes for sound here I'm John Steed no
  • 0:34
    black holes for what somebody built made
  • 0:37
    a black hole that sucks in sound oh yeah
  • 0:41
    that's called the Fillmore auditorium
  • 0:45
    [Music]
  • 0:48
    that apparently sucks
  • 0:50
    I don't know no no that's a good joke I
  • 0:57
    like a joke hmm
  • 0:59
    suck scenes I could use that in the
  • 1:00
    studio just the paint on the wall on the
  • 1:04
    wall suck it in beautiful couple
  • 1:07
    different ones on the wall if you please
  • 1:09
    to be dead quiet
  • 1:09
    I just saw this morning there's no
  • 1:12
    plastic no plant 19 even following this
  • 1:17
    have you heard of this or I have not
  • 1:20
    heard of it nor followed it obviously
  • 1:22
    well apparently because of the inclement
  • 1:24
    weather we've been having it is too wet
  • 1:27
    and the breadbasket the Corn Belt of
  • 1:30
    America has not been able to plant we're
  • 1:32
    a week behind now and they really only
  • 1:34
    have a couple week window 20 this
  • 1:38
    doesn't make sense with global warming
  • 1:41
    global warming's fault it's the extreme
  • 1:44
    weather yes this this could be pretty
  • 1:49
    bad I mean if we don't have soy and corn
  • 1:54
    China's gonna have a problem there's
  • 1:56
    droughts and other places could this be
  • 1:59
    it
  • 1:59
    could this be the Armageddon it could
  • 2:02
    this be the Armageddon corn mageddon
  • 2:05
    oops gotta write it down I will say
  • 2:10
    we've had some crazy weather
  • 2:13
    you know these these tornadoes which
  • 2:17
    some of them were actually in Texas
  • 2:18
    Oklahoma obviously Ohio Indiana it's and
  • 2:25
    today it's like at last night or this
  • 2:27
    morning 3:30 bomb big thunderclap right
  • 2:30
    over the house straight up in bed like
  • 2:33
    but yeah it was very loud and here's
  • 2:38
    here's the thing that's interesting if
  • 2:39
    you look at some pictures of this
  • 2:40
    devastation tornadoes are tina's um now
  • 2:44
    she's lived through hurricanes in
  • 2:45
    Florida but Indiana although their house
  • 2:48
    was never hit you know she can recall as
  • 2:50
    a girl several times going into the
  • 2:53
    basement or you know sheltering for
  • 2:55
    tornadoes they just show up out of
  • 2:56
    nowhere they just hit in this boom
  • 2:58
    there's no warning is not much you can
  • 2:59
    do about it and it's happening these
  • 3:02
    tornadoes are happening in the place
  • 3:04
    where we will eventually hopefully
  • 3:07
    before 2030 so with the world doesn't
  • 3:09
    die we'll have the most solar panels and
  • 3:13
    windmills so it's a race can we build
  • 3:20
    these solar panels and windmills fast
  • 3:23
    enough to stop the horrible tornadoes
  • 3:25
    which had been there for as long as
  • 3:27
    everyone's ever know okay can we build
  • 3:28
    them fast enough or will they wipe them
  • 3:30
    out and believe me that's generous
  • 3:34
    business to be is that yes that's gonna
  • 3:36
    be painful male when they and there's a
  • 3:39
    couple of pictures up some windmills
  • 3:41
    that got that dime just broke those big
  • 3:44
    colossal ones from a tornado clunk but
  • 3:48
    even worse you know sure people lose
  • 3:50
    power during during tornadoes but it's
  • 3:53
    not like the gas plant typically is out
  • 3:56
    of commission or the coal-fired plant or
  • 3:59
    the nuclear plant but if you're using
  • 4:02
    wind and solar yeah it's gonna be
  • 4:04
    actually out of commission like no
  • 4:06
    commish commish it'll be gone now a just
  • 4:11
    stuff I was thinking about yeah yeah you
  • 4:14
    were thinking about it so what was the
  • 4:17
    West a hashtag about again
  • 4:18
    hashtag no plants 19 as no one's been
  • 4:21
    able to play no plant 19 no one's been
  • 4:24
    able to plant they're talking about once
  • 4:26
    in 100
  • 4:26
    year issue and you know if this wasn't
  • 4:29
    blamed on global climate crisis then we
  • 4:33
    gotta use the right terminology if it
  • 4:35
    wasn't blamed on the climate crisis it
  • 4:37
    would be called a once in a hundred year
  • 4:39
    occurrence I think that's what I'm
  • 4:41
    reading it's just I just noticed there's
  • 4:43
    this morning you say I'm sorry
  • 4:44
    I says bullcrap it is yeah why is all
  • 4:50
    the time oh no what that they can't
  • 4:52
    plant during planting season this is not
  • 4:55
    a new thing new phenomenon I'm sure you
  • 4:57
    can find plenty of records showing it
  • 4:58
    over and over and Gooden University of
  • 5:00
    Nebraska so all I know about the
  • 5:02
    planning they planted here I'm having
  • 5:04
    fresh corn I had some for dinner the
  • 5:06
    other night okay as long as we know that
  • 5:10
    you have fresh corn there's no problem
  • 5:12
    in the Midwest everything's okay people
  • 5:14
    move on I'm just saying it's not like a
  • 5:19
    you know but worldwide phenomenon or
  • 5:21
    anything to get the corn out it is just