1152: Veergayin

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

3h 5m
July 4th, 2019
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Executive Producers: Sir Heerco Groenewegen, Wesley Young, Sir Andrew of the Hickory Flat, protector of Small Horses, Mark Malin, Sir Vincent, Grilling Man of Greenbrier Woods Baron of the Alabama Gulf Coast to the Florida panhandle.

Associate Executive Producers: Steve, Keith Gibson

Cover Artist: Mike Reiley

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1:23
Nike Pulls Shoes Featuring American Betsy Ross Flag After Complaints From Colin Kaepernick
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33:45
Gab Relaunches Social Media Platform as Mastodon Node
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36:03
EU Leaders Reach Agreement on New Leadership Positions
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40:54
Brexit Party's Member of the European Parliament Ann Widdecombe's Maiden Speech
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44:35
Electric Cars in the European Union Are Now Required to Make a Fake Engine Sound
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45:34
Christine Lagarde
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46:34
Brexit Party's Members of the European Parliament Turn Their Back During the European Anthem
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48:52
The Netherlands and United States Reach FIFA Women's World Cup Finale
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54:19
US Democratic Presidential Candidate Kamala Harris Walks Back Promise of Healthcare for Undocumented Immigrants
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56:26
Weaponized Ignorance
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57:14
Donald Trump Jr. Shares Tweet Questioning Kamala Harris’ Race
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AC's Wedding Video & Pictures
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Need To Impeach: 'Mueller Report Auditions'
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1:41:41
Judicial Watch: 'New Clinton Email Scandal Testimony!'
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1:46:50
PBS NewsHour: 'New York City Students Are Fighting For School Integration'
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Trump Admits US Shot Down Drone in Iran During Tucker Carlson Interview
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4th of July Military Parade
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US Representative Frederica Wilson Wants to 'Shut Down' Citizens Who Mock Congress
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Birthdays, Meetups & Title Changes
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FBI Preventing 4th of July ISIS Attacks in 2015
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The Impossible Burger
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Kaepernick And Betsy Ross
From Moe
Goes back to berkeley harry edwards
photo of kapernick on bench as a malcontent
before he wasn't even seen as a black quarterback
he is clueless
never spoke out about trevon or others
He has never spoken in public really
Technology outgrew Sharpton and jesse jackson
This is Sharpton 2.0
Colin Kaepernick did not stand during the National Anthem [picture] - Niners Nation
Tue, 02 Jul 2019 21:26
Fooch's note: Mike Garafolo tweeted that Kaepernick has been doing this all preseason.
Colin Kaepernick has not just been completely focused on the competition for a starting role with the San Francisco 49ers. He recently has been very vocal on social media about the social injustices that have been sweeping the headlines all over the country. Possibly as a statement in conjunction with what he has been expressing, the QB did not stand during the National Anthem preceding the third preseason game. Instead, he quietly sat in front of the Gatorade coolers by himself, seemingly without anyone noticing.
I was in the press box during the game and tweeted out a picture of the sidelines during the game in comedic reference to the show Hard Knocks. Little did I know that the same photo provided proof that the Kaepernick was indeed seated during the the singing of the Star Spangled Banner.
Jennifer Lee Chan The 49ers released this statement to ProFootballTalk, who broke the story, following the game:
The national anthem is and always will be a special part of the pre-game ceremony. It is an opportunity to honor our country and reflect on the great liberties we are afforded as its citizens. In respecting such American principles as freedom of religion and freedom of expression, we recognize the right of an individual to choose to participate, or not, in our celebration of the national anthem.
Until Kaepernick or his representation makes a statement, we cannot be sure of the true reason for him not standing for the National Anthem. What we do know is that the NFL is a conservative organization down to its patriotic logo and it's an organization that is heavily intertwined with the military. In a league where image is very important, it is doubtful that this will go away anytime soon.
Colin Kaepernick Sits During National Anthem Before Packers vs. 49ers | Bleacher Report | Latest News, Videos and Highlights
Tue, 02 Jul 2019 20:43
Michael B. Thomas/Getty ImagesSan Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick made his preseason debut on Aug. 26 against the Green Bay Packers, but that turned out to be the second-biggest story for the 28-year-old.
NFLFemale.com's Jennifer Lee Chan captured a photo of Kaepernick sitting during the national anthem before the game kicked off, and Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee provided a zoomed-in image from Chan's picture:
Matt Barrows @mattbarrowsZoom-in of @jenniferleechan photo during national anthem that shows Colin Kaepernick sitting on the bench. #49ers https://t.co/c6F10yIIRE
Chargers fans loudly booed Kaepernick on Thursday when he entered Qualcomm Stadium for the 49ers' final preseason game, which also happened to be Military Appreciation Night, per Cam Inman of the Bay Area News Group.
Kaepernick sat during the anthem prior to Thursday's game as well, and was joined by 49ers safety Eric Reid who took a knee beside him, per Matt Maiocco of CSN Bay Area. Reid said after the game that it was Kaepernick's idea to take a knee to be more respectful, per Ebenezer Samuel of the New York Daily News.
Tim Kawakami of the Mercury News noted Kaepernick later applauded a tribute to the military on the stadium videoboard. Matt Maiocco of CSN added Kaepernick also stood for "God Bless America" and applauded the singing of Petty Officer 1st Class Steven Powell.
Kaepernick commented on Thursday night's decision and his plans for charity, per Inman:
Cam Inman @CamInmanColin Kaepernick, on plans to donate $1 million to communities & how today's kneel-protest emerged https://t.co/NMsp2gqZM7
On Aug. 27, NFL Media's Steve Wyche relayed Kaepernick's explanation for not standing:
I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder. ...
This is not something that I am going to run by anybody. I am not looking for approval. I have to stand up for people that are oppressed. ... If they take football away, my endorsements from me, I know that I stood up for what is right.
On Aug. 28, Kaepernick said he is not taking this stand for himself, per Maiocco. Inman provided a series of videos capturing Kaepernick's interview in the locker room:
Cam Inman @CamInman#49ers Colin Kaepernick video Part 1 https://t.co/WEPwqBucsh
Cam Inman @CamInman#49ers Colin Kaepernick video Part 2 https://t.co/zQxexPLKba
Cam Inman @CamInman#49ers Colin Kaepernick video Part 3 https://t.co/HG22md3oDW
Cam Inman @CamInman#49ers Colin Kaepernick video Part 4 https://t.co/jCoAQzl38N
Cam Inman @CamInmanColin Kaepernick video Part 5 https://t.co/N7FAf0Fsj2
Mike Rosenberg of the Seattle Times provided more from Kaepernick:
Mike Rosenberg @ByRosenbergKaepernick had guns drawn on him by cops for being one of the only black guys in his town https://t.co/6OvUspKsui https://t.co/RTARYdYBum
The 49ers issued a statement about Kaepernick's choice not to partake in the pregame ceremony, via Wyche:
The national anthem is and always will be a special part of the pre-game ceremony. It is an opportunity to honor our country and reflect on the great liberties we are afforded as its citizens. In respecting such American principles as freedom of religion and freedom of expression, we recognize the right of an individual to choose [to] participate, or not, in our celebration of the national anthem.
On Aug. 30, Jason Cole of Bleacher Report reported the 49ers are worried about Kaepernick potentially being a distraction and divisive force in the locker room:
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Right Arrow IconThe NFL released a statement in response to the controversy on Aug. 27, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network: "Players are encouraged but not required to stand during the playing of the national anthem."
On Aug. 29, the San Francisco Police Officers Association wrote a letter to the NFL asking for an apology, per Marianne Favro and Brendan Weber of NBC Bay Area:
"Not only does he show an incredible lack of knowledge regarding our profession and 'officer involved' shootings, but also shows a naivety and total lack of sensitivity toward police officers," SFPOA President Martin Halloran wrote in the letter. "Ironically it is those officers who on numerous occasions have protected Mr. Kaepernick."
"It takes a strong individual to stand up like that," 49ers receiver Torrey Smith said, per Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle. "That's a right that we have."
Kaepernick has been using social media'--notably retweets'--to express anger and frustration with racial injustices.
Per Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, Kaepernick on Aug. 25 retweeted an image of the American and Confederate flags with this caption: "The fact that you really believe that there is difference in these flags means that your [sic] ignoring history."
The post has since been deleted.
Kaepernick was 2-of-6 passing for 14 yards and added 18 yards on four carries in a 21-10 loss to the Packers. Niners head coach Chip Kelly has not said whether Kaepernick or Blaine Gabbert will be the team's starting quarterback for its regular-season opener against the Los Angeles Rams on Sept. 12.
Harry Edwards, a giant of sports activism, still has people shook
Tue, 02 Jul 2019 16:29
A t the first full practice of the San Francisco 49ers' training camp in Santa Clara, California, this summer, Harry Edwards stood alone, surveying the football field from behind dark sunglasses. For more than three decades, he's helped evaluate team players and culture. But over the past half-century in American sports, he has starred in a great many other roles as well.
Even among professional big men, he catches the eye. He is 6 feet, 8 inches tall, bearded, bald and historically black. That's not merely about the curated head-to-toe midnight of his T-shirt, slacks and skullcap, the deep, dark brownness of his skin, or the ever-present shades that keep you guessing at all the trouble he's seen. It's about his obsidian intellect. It's about the way he gestures and riffs when he speaks, like a jazz virtuoso, but not the smooth kind. More like that brother on sax who is about to chop you in the throat with his solo.
A player walks over to greet him. ''Hey, man, you over here in the VIP section. I thought it was too, you know, exclusive,'' jokes All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman, a man with his own reputation for bringing the boom.
Fifty years ago, Edwards was the lead organizer behind the Olympic Project for Human Rights (OPHR), which led American sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos to raise black-gloved Black Power salutes atop the Olympic medal stand in Mexico City '-- the most widely recognized protest in sports history.
Now, athlete activism is having another extended moment in the American conversation. NFL players are kneeling, basketball players wear ''I Can't Breathe'' shirts and championship teams reject visits to the White House. It's a moment of new cultural and economic influence, and Edwards helped usher all of that into existence. And he's still here, counseling Colin Kaepernick and consulting for the 49ers and the Golden State Warriors.
He has lived long enough for some of his most radical positions '-- stances that put him in the crosshairs of the FBI, that got many of his contemporaries killed or silenced '-- are taken now as articles of faith. But the clock is ticking, and he still needs to teach, to criticize, to cement the history of a movement and his legacy in it. At 75, the lion in winter knows what time it is.
Former San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Jerry Rice, left, and former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis, center, talk with Dr. Harry Edwards at Candlestick Park before an NFL football game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Atlanta Falcons in San Francisco, Dec. 23, 2013.
AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez
Edwards recalls meeting Martin Luther King Jr. when the civil rights leader supported the Olympic Project for Human Rights. ''I stood up to shake his hand, and he said, 'Wow, no wonder these white folks are afraid of you. Man, you're huge!' ''
He is viscerally imposing physically. But Edwards also has had an outsize influence over the history, culture and understanding of the role of sports in society. And those two things are not unrelated. If you draw a line between the Smith and Carlos protest in 1968 and former 49er Kaepernick taking a knee in 2016 to protest police brutality and racial injustice, Edwards looms large, in dark glasses, at nearly every point along the way.
As a visiting professor at San Jose State University, where he had been a student track star and captain of the basketball team, he helped spearhead a protest against black athlete discrimination that led to the cancellation of the school's opening football game in 1967. That activism evolved into the Olympic Project for Human Rights, with Edwards as its chief organizer and public face, urging blacks to boycott the 1968 Summer Olympics. That led to that iconic image of Smith and Carlos, who were part of the famed ''Speed City'' at San Jose State.Edwards invented a field of study, the sociology of sports, and provided the foundation for all its assertions, chief among them: that sports is a recapitulation of the power relationships in society and you can't have a non-racist sports-industrial complex within the context of a racist society, ''any more than you can have a chicken lay a duck egg,'' he says.Beginning in the mid-1980s, he began consulting on issues of diversity for the NFL, NBA and Major League Baseball. He arranged seminars on finances and social interactions and essentially invented the modern system of player counseling and support. He and former 49ers coach Bill Walsh began the NFL's Minority Coaches Internship and Outreach Program that produced head coaches Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Marvin Lewis of the Cincinnati Bengals and Hue Jackson of the Cleveland Browns.In the wake of Al Campanis' assertions that blacks lacked ''some of the necessities'' to be baseball managers in 1987, Major League Baseball commissioner Peter Ueberroth hired Edwards to develop training and development opportunities for women and minorities.And he consulted with the Golden State Warriors and the NBA, specializing in personnel issues and counseling.''He was like the dominant figure in the room,'' says Warriors head coach Steve Kerr, who invited Edwards to talk to the team last year, ''and it's not easy to stand out in a room full of world-class athletes.''
If you're going to spend decades fighting, ''no way could you survive without that kind of confidence and presence,'' Kerr says. ''He's got opinions and he is sharp, sharp, and he's gonna let you know it.''
Anybody who studies the student movement of the 1960s has ''got to come through Harry Edwards in two ways: as a student, who revolutionized the university, and as a teacher, who went back,'' says Eugene Redmond, emeritus professor of English at Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville. Redmond knew Edwards growing up in East St. Louis, Illinois, and calls him ''a major factor, a major element in driving black power, black art, black studies and the sociology of sports, which everyone knows means black people.''
The Mexico City Olympics protest and the media Read now Lonnie Bunch, founding director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, calls Edwards' 1969 book, The Revolt of the Black Athlete ''a clarion call.'' Edwards ''helped me believe what was possible.''
Bunch had been a high school and college athlete and admired sports stars. Edwards ''basically reminded us that in essence they were cattle'... that they didn't have the control over their own destinies. And so he felt that, like so many people, that in order to change a country, let's change the area I know best first. And for him, it was athletics.
''I think that in some ways, he is the best of what came out of the 1960s,'' Bunch says. ''A sense of clear notions about what is wrong, in this case, in terms of athletics. But he then used that sort of clarity and candidly passion to help stimulate protests but also to then evolve that passion and work in the system to change the NFL, for example.''
Harry Edwards, lecturer at San Jose State University who called for a boycott of the Olympic Games in Mexico City by African-American athletes, talks with two athletes at the university.
Ted Streshinsky/CORBIS/Getty Images
Edwards' father, also named Harry Edwards, was a tall man and powerfully built, and he always wanted his son to play professional football. Now the son has four Super Bowl rings from the 49ers, Edwards likes to point out. ''I just had to get a Ph.D. in sociology from Cornell to get them,'' he says.
The elder Edwards, an ex-con and a laborer, was smart but unschooled. He worked two jobs to support a wife and eight kids in the Southend neighborhood of East St. Louis aptly named The Bottoms. For a time, they were a lower working-class family with higher aspirations. Then his mother left, and his father left the kids mostly alone in a house without indoor plumbing that they called ''The Fort'' because their backs were always against the wall. He and his siblings slipped into what he called ''the underfooting,'' children who went hungry and had to assume responsibility for their own survival.
When Edwards was 12, his mother returned for her children. Edwards was the only one who opted to stay with his father, because ''I didn't know where she was going and I was playing football so I could take a shower every day at the school,'' he later wrote of the decision. He only saw her once more, years later.
In 1960, after Edwards graduated from high school, a family friend bought him a train ticket west, where he enrolled in Fresno City College and started studying until the library closed '-- it was the beginning of an obsessive library habit that made his eyes sensitive to light. He transferred on a track and field scholarship to San Jose State University, where he set a school record in discus and qualified for the Olympic trials. He was also captain of the basketball team. But the discriminatory treatment of black athletes left him alienated and angry. He quit the track team before the Olympic trials.
He was on draft boards for the San Diego Chargers and Minnesota Vikings, and the NBA's Los Angeles Lakers expressed interest too. Instead, he decided to go to Cornell to get a master's degree and, eventually, a doctorate. His father thought he was throwing away a black man's best chance, the chance he never got, and three years passed before he spoke to his son again.
While he was at Cornell, Edwards attended weekend meetings organized by Malcolm X in New York City and devoured works by black writers. One night he heard loud cheering from the lobby of his dorm, and when he went to investigate he found his white schoolmates celebrating Malcolm X's murder.
He returned to San Jose State to teach after finishing his master's degree. He and some friends began protesting the financial and housing discrimination faced by black athletes. Edwards was coming to understand the ways sports could be leveraged for political gain. He was surveilled by the FBI. He began getting death threats.
In 1970, after protests demanding more minority faculty and students, the University of California, Berkeley hired him. But despite the school's reputation as a cradle of the counterculture, Edwards' first years there were contentious.
Although he published widely and taught oversubscribed classes for years, Edwards was denied tenure in 1977. Media coverage and campus protests over the decision drew national and even international attention. ''I am going to turn the lights out at the University of California at Berkeley. I am going to be the last to leave,'' he told The New York Times. The decision was reversed that summer, and Edwards remained at Berkeley for nearly another 25 years.
And he remained battle ready. Before Kaepernick decided to take a knee to protest racial injustice and police brutality in 2016, he and Edwards had ongoing conversations. Edwards says he didn't advise him about what to do, ''which would be inappropriate and ill-advised.''
''These athletes are quite capable of thinking on their own and coming to their own conclusions,'' he said. Instead, he detailed ''the spectrum of options as well as the spectrum of outcomes.''
''I told him the death threats are going to come in,'' says Edwards. That people would say it's affecting his game, his career, their enjoyment of the sport. And that there was only so much he could respond to. ''Because they're not going to understand that there are some things that are more precious than money. They're not going to understand that there are some things that are more precious than your career. They're not going to understand that there are some things that are more precious than life itself.''
Harry Edwards, lecturer at San Jose State University who called for a boycott of the Olympic Games in Mexico City by African-American athletes, talking on the telephone in his office.
Ted Streshinsky/CORBIS/Getty Images
Years ago, Edwards and his friend Arthur Ashe, the activist and tennis champion, would appear on panels together '-- maybe about NCAA eligibility requirements, or hiring black coaches. Ashe would volunteer to take the more militant position. And people would applaud him.
Edwards would give a more moderate analysis, peppered with a joke. But, he says, ''If you're 6-8 and 275, 280 pounds with an Ivy League Ph.D., angry, articulate, committed and so forth, a lot of folks get scared, and not all of them are white.
''I've always had that advantage when I'm dealing with people,'' Edwards says. ''They assume that this is just another big, dumb, black jock who can't think, and there's nothing I came to enjoy more than dueling with intellectually unprepared, unarmed and unaware people because eventually they wind up crafting the very arguments that I use to strangle them with.''
At 75, he can still play Harry Scary. In late June, he was at the College Sports Information Directors of America conference outside Washington, D.C., where he was inducted in the organization's Hall of Fame.
On the first day, he hijacked his panel on unconscious bias, thundering, ''Don't tell me about it being unconscious. '... There is a total structure of social, physiological and cultural scaffolding that allows individual bias and prejudice to find affirmation in discriminatory actions. That's not unconscious. It's deliberate. It's by design. It's exactly and precisely what it was drawn up to be!''
At the awards ceremony, he took the stage in his signature all black, including the sunglasses and a Nehru jacket. He predicted that the NFL would soon be all black and that white athletes were going to have to find their voices and take a stand against racism.
''Every time he's been speaking since he's been here, he's shaken everything up,'' said Kenisha Rhone, chairwoman of the Black College Sports Information Directors of America. She studied sociology as an undergrad and called meeting him a ''total fan moment.''
When one young man ventured that perhaps Edwards should, perhaps, soften his position and tone to better reach people he'd made uncomfortable, Edwards cut him off.
''They are never going to be comfortable'' with change, with addressing racism or women's equality, he said. ''But I found out early on it's not necessary for them to be comfortable. It's necessary for them to deal with the issues. And if they're not going to deal with the issues, whether you ease it up on them or whether they have to face it, their response is going to be the same: 'That's too harsh.' 'I don't want to go that far.' 'What do you mean?' So let's get that out of the way,'' he said. ''My thing is to get them out of their comfort zone because their comfort zone is with their foot on my neck. Their comfort zone is with women chained to the damn stove and the bed.
''So don't tell me nothing about being upset and uncomfortable, brother.''
That bent to call it all out, to see and say the truth, has roots in Edwards' childhood, where he recalls how his father changed the way he talked whenever he was around white people. ''He would diminish himself, and one day I even asked him, 'Why do you talk to them people like that?' He said, 'Because I've got kids to feed.' '' Edwards understood the situation, he says, ''but that was the beginning of me making up my mind, I don't care what the price is, there are some things I'm simply not going to do. There are some things I'm simply not going to put up with, and when I find them I'm going to challenge them in every arena I'm in. I don't care whether it's the streets, the school, sports, wherever. I'm going to challenge this madness because otherwise, why am I here?''
Harry Edwards, faculty member of San Jose State College in California, demanded at a Washington news conference, Oct. 24, 1968 an investigation of the U.S. Olympic Committee. Also present from left are: H. Rap Brown, John Carloa, Harry Edwards, Stokely Carmichael.
AP Photo
Sandra Boze Edwards says when her father, a musician and teacher, first met Edwards in the summer of 1969, he had a single request: '' 'Harry,' he said, 'I understand what you're trying to do. I respect it. I ask you one thing: Do not get my daughter killed.' ''
After they got married in August 1970, Boze was also clear with Edwards '-- with all his high-profile lectures, protests and activism '-- that he had to protect the family and keep them out of the headlines.
Edwards kept his promises to them both. He had seen how racism had ground out his parents' dignity and hopes for the future. That early hardship made him fierce about family. It was one more piece of his activism: In a racist society, raising sane, righteous black children is a revolutionary act. The two have been married for 48 years and have three adult children: a psychiatrist, a lawyer and a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) teacher.
Boze Edwards, 70, a former teacher, assistant principal, assistant superintendent and adjunct professor who became a court-appointed advocate for children in foster care, was one of three children raised in a politically aware middle-class family in Los Angeles. She arrived at San Jose State in 1967, and a friend introduced her to ''Big Harry,'' who'd just come back from Cornell and was teaching classes. That fall, when word spread that football players were being housed in a highway motel because they couldn't stay on campus, Edwards began organizing, ''and I was just ready,'' Boze Edwards says.
''One of the things that will always stand out till the day I die was watching TV in that little studio apartment in San Jose with Harry '-- and Tommie and John raising their firsts,'' Boze Edwards says. Edwards had been warned he'd be in danger if he attended the Mexico City Games. He and Boze Edwards didn't know if or how the protest was going to come together. ''And then to see that was just so beautiful.''
In this Oct. 16, 1968 photo, extending gloved hands skyward in a Black power salute as a form of racial protest, U.S. athletes Tommie Smith, center, and John Carlos stare downward during the playing of national anthem after Smith received the gold and Carlos the bronze for the 200 meter run at the Summer Olympic Games in Mexico City.
AP Photo
Edwards had seen violence and death in The Bottoms of East St. Louis and spent the '60s watching people he knew and believed in slain: King, Malcolm X, Bobby Kennedy. He was a Black Panther. He was followed by the FBI, which listed him on its Agitator Index used to track people considered to be a national security threat. (He obtained his 3,000-sheet file through the Freedom of Information Act.) He thought it likely his number would come up.
Then he had a family and thought, ''You know, I've actually got to survive because it's not just me. I've got all these people depending on me.''
Boze Edwards, a two-time cancer survivor, says she and Edwards align politically and are temperamental opposites in a way that makes them sync. Sitting in a restaurant in Fremont, California, where the Edwardses have lived in the same house for five decades, she is, like her husband, looking back and looking forward. ''Maybe because I had my career and he had his career and we were able to maintain our separate identities without getting hung up,'' Boze Edwards says. ''I'm sure I'm his softer side.'' But she had a distinguished career, which included doing human resources in a large school district, so ''I'm known to hold my ground.'' And Edwards, she says, has the ability to come back around after he's thought about things and admit if he's wrong.
There's no special key, Boze Edwards says. ''The difference is those who stay together, stay together, and those who don't, don't. Everyone has the same issues,'' says Boze Edwards.
Edwards recalls that after Boze Edwards had breast cancer and a mastectomy, she told him, ''I guess I'm not the girl that you married. And I said, 'Well, lady, first of all, I'm a leg and a'' man myself.' '' The nurse put him out because they were laughing so hard she was afraid Boze Edwards would damage her stitches.
Edwards, too, feels the ravages of time. He's unsentimental about it. It's part of the deal on this planet, Edwards says, so you'd better get over it and get on with it.
''Everybody that we know in our age group is battling something, and if they tell you they're not, they're lying,'' he says. He knows people younger than him with walkers or battling dementia.
''Every hit that I ever took in sports done come back and hit me again. It's to the point that if something falls on the floor, if I go down to pick it up, I've gotta stay down there and say is there anything else I want to pick up while I'm down here, because I'm not gonna get down here again today.''
The lion in winter understands the season he's in.
Dr. Harry Edwards on the campus of his alma mater, San Jose State University. The controversial raised fist medal stand protest by SJSU alumni Tommie Smith and John Carlos was designed to bring worldwide attention to racism and inequity in the U.S. Three decades later, San Jose State recognized this important moment with a 24-foot sculpture on campus.
Brian L Frank for The Undefeated
It's a breezy day at San Jose State University, and Edwards and a university official are scouting the site for an elaborate commemorative bench to honor the work of the women involved in the Olympic Project for Human Rights. It's next to the 23-foot statue of Smith and Carlos rising up in the center of campus, big like the moment it memorialized. It was erected in 2005, after the times had come around and the sprinters' nonviolent protest had been recontextualized (same as with Muhammad Ali) as righteous.
The bench will sit south of the statue, next to the lecture hall where Edwards taught and organized 50 years ago. The Smith/Carlos statue features the sprinters wearing their OPHR pins as they raise their fists. The bench will also feature an inscription from Edwards.
The lead-up to the 50th anniversary of Mexico City has been full of awards, honors and commemorations. The campus is hosting a 130-item exhibition of memorabilia, including books autographed to Edwards, like the one signed to his wife by James Baldwin or ''For Harry, Marty,'' from Martin Luther King Jr. And the photo of him standing next to Malcolm X. They appear the same size, but only, Edwards points out, because Malcolm X, who was nearly 6 feet, 4 inches tall, stood on a step above Edwards. There's the newspaper article about a photo of Smith and Carlos smuggled onto Robben Island, heartening Nelson Mandela. Edwards added a paragraph of text in beautiful handwriting with his own thoughts about Mandela's reaction.
The San Jose State Institute for the Study of Sport, Society and Social Change launched last year and will house the FBI files, books, posters, jackets, buttons, letters and primary documents of Edwards' decades of activism. It will feature research and programming on the significance of the movement and, Edwards hopes, be an incubator for the kind of change that he has always worked for.
''In another 10 years I will likely be on the other side of the lawn, and we have to push the struggle,'' Edwards says. If you put a face to it, at some point that face is gone, but the need for struggle endures. ''There are no final victories,'' says Edwards.
''Walking with him, you have to slow him down,'' says Earl A. Smith Sr., team pastor for the 49ers and the Golden State Warriors, who has known Edwards for decades. ''He can no longer keep the pace of what he used to do, but he wants to keep the pace. He thinks that's his relevance, but his relevance has already been established. '... He transcended a whole lot, but sometimes when you move so fast, you don't take time to really grasp what you're driven by.''
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There comes a point in the conversation at San Jose State when the location of the bench is decided, the inscription is finalized and there is no more thought work to be done about how the memorial will be interpreted. ''I guess you'll be needing a check from me,'' Edwards says. He is funding the $25,000 project himself because that way he doesn't have to wait on anybody to give him anything. A lesson he learned in East St. Louis, where they say only the strong survive.
He is already planning lectures on the coming battles, perhaps on female athletes and threats to reproductive rights, perhaps more about football players and President Donald Trump. But they will look forward, even as he's commemorating the past.
The lion in winter still has reasons to fight.
Lonnae O'Neal is a senior writer at The Undefeated. She's an author, a former columnist, has a rack of kids and she writes bird by bird.
Harry Edwards: Kaepernick ''a man suddenly becoming aware his house is on fire'' '' ProFootballTalk
Tue, 02 Jul 2019 21:36
Getty Images
One of the people Colin Kaepernick talked to before (and after) his decision to sit through the national anthem was noted sociologist and activist Dr. Harry Edwards.
Edwards, who has served as a consultant to the 49ers for more than 30 years, said in the San Francisco Chronicle that he wholeheartedly supported Kaepernick's decision to become a national lightning rod.
''Colin Kaepernick absolutely has a constitutional right to express his opinion on the politics of diversity in America,'' Edwards wrote. ''He is courageous, well-informed and steadfast in his position. He is evolving through an awakening and (perhaps) really understanding for the first time (given his background) the true depth and scope of the history of anti-black racial hatred and injustice in America.
''And because it appears to have come to him through self-education as a jarring awareness and stark reality, his response seems more akin to that of a man suddenly becoming aware his house is on fire than the result of a deliberately crafted articulation of a considered political position.''
Edwards has served as a mentor to Kaepernick for some time, and Kaepernick said Sunday that he had discussed issues of race with Edwards many times over the years.
But the professor emeritus of sociology at the University of California, Berkeley saved his harshest criticisms for players such as Victor Cruz and Alex Boone, who have taken Kaepernick to task for his method. He specifically asked where they stood on the deaths of Eric Gardner and Philando Castile, black men who were killed by police in areas that just happen to be close to where the Giants and Vikings practice and play, along with a laundry list of other concerns.
''I would be very interested in their records of protest about these circumstances, because they are so dedicated to ''honoring our soldiers'' that they would heap caustic criticism upon Kaepernick for sitting during the national anthem,'' Edwards wrote. ''If they have no such record of vehement protest no less critical than what they have waged against Kaep '-- well, perhaps then it's time for them to sit down.
''Talk is cheap, especially when it is expediently wrapped in patriotism and the flag.''
Edwards has long been a proponent for the rights and responsibilities of black athletes, going back to his days at San Jose State, when he worked with Olympic sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos before their famous protest at the 1968 Olympics. And while the 49ers football operation might be wavering on Kaepernick as a quarterback, he clearly has the full backing of Edwards as an activist.
Nike Nixes 'Betsy Ross Flag' Sneaker After Colin Kaepernick Intervenes - WSJ
Tue, 02 Jul 2019 03:41
Nike Inc. is yanking a U.S.A.-themed sneaker featuring an early American flag after NFL star-turned-activist Colin Kaepernick told the company it shouldn't sell a shoe with a symbol that he and others consider offensive, according to people familiar with the matter.
The sneaker giant created the Air Max 1 USA in celebration of the July Fourth holiday, and it was slated to go on sale this week. The heel of the shoe featured a U.S. flag with 13 white stars in a circle, a design created during the American Revolution and commonly referred to as the Betsy Ross flag.
After shipping the shoes to retailers, Nike asked for them to be returned without explaining why, the people said. The shoes aren't available on Nike's own apps and websites.
''Nike has chosen not to release the Air Max 1 Quick Strike Fourth of July as it featured the old version of the American flag,'' a Nike spokeswoman said.
After images of the shoe were posted online, Mr. Kaepernick, a Nike endorser, reached out to company officials saying that he and others felt the Betsy Ross flag is an offensive symbol because of its connection to an era of slavery, the people said. Some users on social media responded to posts about the shoe with similar concerns. Mr. Kaepernick declined to comment.
The design was created in the 1770s to represent the 13 original colonies, though there were many early versions of the America flag, according to the Smithsonian. In the 1790s, stars and bars were added to reflect the addition of Vermont and Kentucky as states. U.S. flag designs continued to change as states were admitted to the union until the 50th star, for Hawaii, was added in 1960.
In 2016, the superintendent of a Michigan school district apologized after students waved the Betsy Ross flag at a high-school football game, saying that for some it is a symbol of white supremacy and nationalism, according to Mlive.com, a local news outlet. While the flag's use isn't widespread, the local chapter of the NAACP said at the time that it has been appropriated by some extremist groups opposed to America's increasing diversity.
Mr. Kaepernick, 31 years old, last played in the National Football League in 2016, the season he began kneeling on the field during the national anthem to call attention to social injustices and racial inequality. The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback has gone unsigned since and, along with former teammate Eric Reid, in February settled collusion grievances that alleged the league and its teams conspired to keep them unsigned because of their outspoken political views. The settlement was for less than $10 million, The Wall Street Journal previously reported.
Last year, Nike made Mr. Kaepernick the face of an advertising campaign while he was still engaged in that dispute with the league'--a risky move given Nike's role as one of the NFL's biggest partners. The campaign generated a backlash among some consumers, who began torching Nike shoes and cutting its swoosh logo out of gear. The protests were countered by expressions of support for Nike.
Since the ad was released, Nike has posted higher sales, boosted by strong demand in both the U.S. and China. In the fourth quarter, sales rose 4% to $10.18 billion. Its share price has climbed more than 15% so far this year.
At least some of the USA-themed shoes have already made their way to sneaker enthusiasts. Versions of the Air Max 1 USA were changing hands on sneaker-reselling site StockX for as much as $500 on Monday, according to the site. After this Journal article was published, the price fluctuated, with one pair fetching as much $2,000 and another as little as $140.
Write to Khadeeja Safdar at khadeeja.safdar@wsj.com and Andrew Beaton at andrew.beaton@wsj.com
WSJ: Kaepernick's Lawyer Involved In Avenatti/Nike Extortion Case - InsideHook
Tue, 02 Jul 2019 16:59
Mark Geragos attempted to set up a meeting between the company and Avenatti. Attorney Mark Geragos in 2014. (Photo byKevork DjansezianGetty Images)
Though he hasn't been charged in Michael Avenatti's alleged plot to extort Nike for more than $20 million, Colin Kaepernick's lawyer Mark Geragos has emerged as a key figure in the case, The Wall Street Journal reports.
According to The WSJ, Geragos tried to set up a meeting between the company and Avenatti, best known as the attorney for porn star Stormy Daniels.
Prosecutors allege Avenatti and Geragos, who helped broker a very successful deal between Kaepernick and Nike last year, attempted to arrange a deal where they would be paid at least $15 million to $25 million to conduct an ''internal investigation.''
In the absence of such a deal, Avenatti threatened to reveal evidence Nike had authorized secret payments to high-school basketball players prior to this year's NCAA tournament.
''Mr. Avenatti and Mr. Geragos wanted an answer immediately, according to the complaint,'' The WSJ reports. ''After a lawyer for Nike left a voice message for Mr. Geragos later in the day asking for more time, Mr. Geragos agreed to give them two more days. What they didn't know was that Nike representatives contacted the U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan regarding the demands.''
In a series of tweets on Tuesday, Avenatti said he was ''anxious for people to see what really happened'' and for the public to ''learn the truth about Nike's crime & coverup.''
Avenatti has been charged with extortion and conspiracy.
Read the full story at The Wall Street Journal
Lawyer who has represented Jussie Smollett, Colin Kaepernick named co-conspirator in Avenatti charges - TheBlaze
Tue, 02 Jul 2019 16:57
A high-profile criminal defense lawyer who has represented celebrities like Jussie Smollett and Colin Kaepernick was named as a co-conspirator in the extortion charges against Michael Avenatti, according to The Wall Street Journal.
What charges? Avenatti was charged with attempting to extort more than $20 million from Nike. In a separate case, Avenatti was also charged with wire fraud and bank fraud for allegedly embezzling money from a client to cover his own debts.
Avenatti is accused of telling Nike that he and an unnamed co-conspirator (reportedly Mark Geragos) would release damaging information about Nike if the company didn't pay them millions.
From WSJ:
Mr. Avenatti said that if his demands weren't met, "I'll go take ten billion dollars off your client's market cap. '... I'm not f'--ing around."How did this happen? Avenatti and Geragos allegedly met with Nike lawyers on March 19, and made the extortion threat during that meeting. The criminal complaint says Avenatti and Geragos asked for millions of dollars for themselves and $1.5 million to an alleged client of Avenatti's.
More about Geragos: Geragos represented "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett, who was charged with 16 felony counts for allegedly inventing a hoax hate crime by people he claimed were Trump supporters and lying to police about it.
In another of Geragos' high-profile recent cases, the attorney represented former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick in his grievance against the NFL. Kaepernick, who recently settled with the league, had claimed the NFL owners and commissioner colluded to blackball him in retaliation for Kaepernick's protests during the national anthem.
Geragos was briefly Michael Jackson's attorney in the late pop singer's 2003 molestation case, which has resurfaced into public discussion due to the release of the "Leaving Neverland" documentary.
Geragos served as a legal analyst for CNN, although the network said Monday that he is no longer a contributor.
How Colin Kaepernick's Lawyer Dealt With Nike and Became Entangled in Extortion Charges - WSJ
Tue, 02 Jul 2019 22:13
A year ago, celebrity attorney Mark Geragos was involved in quiet negotiations with Nike Inc. to create a blockbuster ad campaign for his client Colin Kaepernick, the controversial football star and political activist.
But on March 15, federal prosecutors allege, Mr. Geragos tried to arrange a discreet meeting of a different kind between Nike and another controversial client. Speaking on the phone with an outside attorney for Nike, prosecutors say, he sought to arrange a meeting between the company and Michael Avenatti, best known as an attorney for adult-film actress Stormy Daniels.
Mr. Geragos emerged Monday as a key figure in extortion charges federal prosecutors brought against Mr. Avenatti. Although Mr. Geragos'--identified only as an anonymous co-conspirator'--was not charged in the complaint unsealed Monday, prosecutors have detailed an alleged scheme in which he worked with Mr. Avenatti in an attempt to extort more than $20 million from Nike.
In the plot alleged by prosecutors, Mr. Avenatti threatened to publicly reveal evidence that Nike had authorized secret payments to high-school basketball players unless he and Mr. Geragos were paid at least $15 million to $25 million to conduct an ''internal investigation.'' Mr. Avenatti was charged with extortion and conspiracy.
A lawyer for Mr. Geragos didn't have an immediate comment. In a series of tweets Tuesday, Mr. Avenatti outlined his allegations against Nike. ''A lot of people at Nike will have to account for their criminal conduct,'' he wrote.
Mr. Geragos's alleged involvement with Mr. Avenatti in the scheme to extort Nike is most surprising because of the successful partnership he helped broker between Mr. Kaepernick and the footwear giant'--and his effusive praise of the company over the past year.
Mr. Kaepernick was already a Nike client when his career was engulfed in controversy in 2016 over his leadership of social-justice protests by NFL players during the national anthem. Unable to find work for two seasons, he also disappeared from Nike's advertisements.
But Mr. Geragos helped arrange a new deal between the company and Mr. Kaepernick, and Nike featured him in a controversial and high-profile campaign that rolled out last September. The ''Dream Crazy'' campaign was built around the line: ''Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.''
''Kudos to @Nike who realized @Kaepernick7 is an All American icon,'' Mr. Geragos tweeted at the time.
As recently as February, Mr. Geragos praised Nike on CNN for understanding that Mr. Kaepernick ''speaks to what's best of America.'' He added: ''Nike understood this and should be commended for it.''
A CNN spokeswoman said Monday that Mr. Geragos, who appeared on the network as a legal analyst, is no longer a contributor to the network.
Described in the federal complaint as being ''known for representation of celebrity and public figure clients,'' Mr. Geragos has for years been one of the most-high profile lawyers in Hollywood.
His clients have included the late pop star Michael Jackson, who was charged with molestation. More recently, he has represented Jussie Smollett, the actor who Chicago police said faked a hate crime. When Mr. Avenatti was arrested last November on suspicion of domestic violence, he hired Mr. Geragos. Prosecutors did not charge Mr. Avenatti in the matter.
Mr. Geragos has been especially busy lately. In February, he settled Mr. Kaepernick's grievance against the National Football League, which alleged the league and its teams colluded to keep him unsigned because of his outspoken political views. The grievances of Mr. Kaepernick and Eric Reid, Mr. Kaepernick's former teammate who was also represented by Mr. Geragos and his firm, were settled for less than $10 million, The Wall Street Journal previously reported.
And through his work for Mr. Kaepernick, Mr. Geragos already had close interactions with Nike.
Mr. Kaepernick emerged in 2012 as one of the game's biggest stars when he led the 49ers to the Super Bowl and had long been represented by Nike. But by last fall he had been effectively shelved. Mr. Kaepernick had become a free agent after the 2016 season, and Nike hadn't been featuring him in its advertising or making gear with his name on it.
Around the beginning of 2018, Mr. Kaepernick and his team, including Mr. Geragos, began discussions with Nike executives about changing that, a person familiar with the deal said. Mr. Geragos and Mr. Kaepernick's representatives told Nike executives in New York they wanted Nike to feature him again'--a risky proposition for the apparel giant. Nike is an NFL partner, and the league was still engaged in its high-profile grievance with Mr. Kaepernick.
As the discussions between Mr. Geragos and the rest of Mr. Kaepernick's team with Nike continued, other apparel companies such as Puma SE and Adidas AG expressed interest in using Mr. Kaepernick, the person said; Mr. Kaepernick's Nike deal was set to expire in 2019. The negotiations between the two sides led to a rich new deal for Mr. Kaepernick and the high-profile campaign that made its debut in September.
In the wake of the deal, Mr. Geragos boasted about the success of the company's viral advertisement featuring Mr. Kaepernick and how much it was helping Nike. ''For those who judge success by the stock market going up, apparently Nike is on fire,'' he tweeted in September.
But six months later, Mr. Geragos allegedly entered a very different type of negotiation with Nike. After that initial phone call with the lawyers for Nike, prosecutors allege that the parties met on March 19 at Mr. Geragos's office in New York, where Mr. Avenatti said he would hold a news conference to reveal payments from Nike employees to the families of top high-school basketball players'--unless Nike paid Mr. Avenatti's client, a high-school basketball coach, and hired him and Mr. Geragos to conduct an internal investigation.
Mr. Avenatti and Mr. Geragos wanted an answer immediately, according to the complaint. After a lawyer for Nike left a voice message for Mr. Geragos later in the day asking for more time, Mr. Geragos agreed to give them two more days. What they didn't know was that Nike representatives contacted the U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan regarding the demands.
'--Khadeeja Safdar contributed to this article.
Write to Andrew Beaton at andrew.beaton@wsj.com
Mark Geragos, reportedly Michael Avenatti's unindicted coconspirator, built a long career on celebrity clients - The Washington Post
Tue, 02 Jul 2019 22:10
CNN cut ties with Mark Geragos just hours after the celebrity attorney was named as a co-conspirator in a case accusing lawyer Michael Avenatti of trying to extort Nike. (Richard Vogel/AP)It was November 2003. Mark Geragos was earning a worldwide rep for defending the most reviled man in America inside a courtroom in Modesto, Calif., when his beeper started screaming.
The business at hand was serious enough without digital distractions.
That April, the murdered remains of a missing 27-year-old pregnant woman named Laci Peterson splashed ashore on San Francisco Bay. Police charged the victim's husband, Scott Peterson, a philandering fertilizer salesman who authorities said killed his wife and unborn son. Most legal experts and TV pundits said the evidence stacked against Peterson made an acquittal a long shot '-- an opinion echoed by Geragos on cable TV, until the mustachioed and media-savvy Los Angeles attorney decided to represent him.
But as he was in court with Peterson, his pager kept going off. The calls were to alert the attorney that another client, pop star Michael Jackson, had just been served search warrants at his Neverland Ranch. Two days later, Geragos walked Jackson into a police station in Santa Barbara, Calif., where he was charged with child molestation.
Geragos was suddenly thrust front and center in the country's two most high-profile criminal cases. And his beeper did not shut up. Over a 24-hour period that week, his pager buzzed 700 times, Geragos told the New York Times.
''At one point, I thought of throwing it in the ocean,'' the attorney explained to the Times. ''To some degree it is embarrassing. I suppose because I don't think any of this is about me. It is about the client. Hopefully it passes and passes quickly.''
Geragos, however, never slipped back below the radar.
Over the past two decades, he's become the go-to attorney for the rich and famous. His client list evokes a tabloid rundown of celebrity mug shots: actor Robert Downey Jr.; actress Winona Ryder; rapper Nate Dogg; presidential sibling Roger Clinton; pop star Chris Brown. Just in the last year, Geragos secured a settlement for Colin Kaepernick in his lawsuit against the NFL and also stepped in to defend ''Empire'' actor Jussie Smollett against charges he faked a hate crime. The Rolodex of big-name clients, combined with regular cable news appearances, have made Geragos one of the most recognized figures in American law.
''If I'm going to represent somebody, I think at the very least they deserve someone who can find the good in them,'' Geragos told the Los Angeles Times in 2003. ''I don't think most people are evil. I think sometimes people are demonized unfairly.''
But Geragos is now in his own surprising legal jam.
On Monday, federal authorities arrested attorney Michael Avenatti, the former lawyer for adult-film actress Stormy Daniels. As The Washington Post reported, one indictment against the attorney accuses Avenatti of trying to extort millions of dollars from Nike. Citing sources close to the investigation, The Post reported Geragos is the unnamed ''co-conspirator'' alleged to have worked the scheme with Avenatti. Following the news, CNN announced it was dropping Geragos as an on-air contributor.
Avenatti has denied the charges. Geragos, who has not been charged, did not respond to an email for comment.
But the link between Avenatti and Geragos goes beyond Monday's allegations. Both are on-camera naturals fueled by an underdog ethos. And Geragos first landed in the national spotlight in the 1990s by walking into a political firestorm that led right to the White House '-- circumstances not unlike those that catapulted Avenatti into national recognition over the last year.
Law was in Geragos's blood. His family were members of Los Angeles's close Armenian American community. His father worked as a district attorney before entering private practice.
''My father was sworn in as a D.A. in January 1957, the same month I was conceived,'' Geragos told Super Lawyers in 2009. As a kid, Geragos would sit in courtrooms and watch as his father's cases unfold, an experience that fixed his own trajectory toward the courthouse.
''You could get paid for shooting your mouth off and not much else,'' he told Super Lawyers.
Geragos studied anthropology and sociology at Haverford College, then after graduation entered Loyola Law School in Los Angeles. While studying law, he worked up a side business as a rock concert promoter in Pasadena, booking shows for acts such as the Ramones, the Pretenders, and the Go-Go's, according to Super Lawyers. In 1983, he began working at his father's firm.
''He was always a very public kind of person,'' Stanley A. Goldman, a friend and former law professor, told the New York Times in 2003. ''[H]e claims he rarely showed up for class because he was organizing rock concerts. I like Mark Geragos. A lot of people don't. He can be extremely pushy.''
Geragos's first splash into mainstream news came more than a decade later, when he began representing a woman at the center of a presidential scandal then dominating national headlines.
Susan McDougal was a former business partner of President Bill Clinton on the failed Whitewater real estate deal. When McDougal refused to testify before a grand jury called by independent counsel Kenneth W. Starr, she was sentenced to 18 months in prison for civil contempt beginning in 1996.
Upon release, McDougal was charged again for criminal contempt and obstruction of justice. At the suggestion of his father, Geragos stepped in to her defense. As he explained to the New York Times, Geragos took the case pro bono, explaining to McDougal that because of his Armenian background, he ''had a special appreciation for victims of government oppression.''
When McDougal went to trial in Little Rock in 1999, the cornerstone of Geragos's case was that his client had been railroaded in retaliation for not cooperating in Starr's ''vendetta'' against the Clintons. The proceedings started less than a month after Clinton was acquitted at his impeachment trial in the Senate.
''I fully intend to put Kenneth W. Starr on trial,'' Geragos told reporters at the start of the case, The Post reported at the time.
The attorney made more headlines by grilling Starr deputy W. Hickman Ewing Jr. on the witness stand. Under Geragos's questioning, Ewing admitted he had drafted an indictment against Hillary Clinton during the Starr investigation.
''I didn't like that she was evasive,'' Ewing testified, according to Super Lawyers.
''Sort of like you right now?,'' Geragos snapped back.
The jury acquitted McDougal on the obstruction of justice charge and deadlocked on the criminal contempt charge. Geragos was defiant on the steps of the courthouse. ''They don't have the guts to retry it,'' he said, the Los Angeles Times reported in 2003. He eventually worked to get McDougal a full pardon in the last hours of Clinton's presidency.
As Avenatti's representation of Daniels in her lawsuit against President Trump over an alleged affair punched the attorney's ticket into cable news green rooms, Geragos's work for McDougal elevated his career to a new level.
''I always tease him about my case launching him into the limelight,'' McDougal told the New York Times in 2003. ''He was just absolutely perfect.''
Unlike Avenatti, Geragos spun the attention into a busy practice '-- too busy, some critics said. In 2003, when he was shuttling up and down California defending both Jackson and Peterson, the pop star eventually replaced him. He continued leading Peterson's defense, but lost the case; the husband was sentenced to death row.
But those setbacks have not kept his phone from buzzing whenever a high-profile personality is in trouble '-- including Avenatti. According to the Hollywood Reporter, when Avenatti was arrested over an alleged domestic violence situation last November, he consulted with Geragos about the charges. (Prosecutors declined to file any charges related to the incident.)
But if the recent indictment is correct, the two attorneys' relationship continued last week, when Avenatti and Geragos allegedly approached Nike, threatening to expose employees for funneling payments to top high school basketball players and their families.
The indictment alleges the attorneys demanded the company to hire them both to conduct an internal investigation into the issue for $15 million to $25 million. Should the case move forward, both attorneys will likely seek representation cut from the same mold '-- a vociferous, TV-ready advocate.
''I do take seriously the idea that you're not supposed to turn down a case just because of its notoriety,''Geragos once told the Los Angeles Times.
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A Timeline of Colin Kaepernick vs. the N.F.L. - The New York Times
Tue, 02 Jul 2019 21:26
Key moments in Kaepernick's protests during the national anthem and the league's response.
Image Colin Kaepernick kneeling during the national anthem on Sept. 1, 2016. Credit Credit Chris Carlson/Associated Press When Colin Kaepernick sat during the national anthem at an N.F.L. preseason game in 2016, it began a controversy that would involve dozens of players and owners, athletes in other sports and politicians, including the president of the United States.
His gesture has led to two and a half years of protests, formal grievances and vigorous denunciations. With a settlement announced Friday in Kaepernick's grievance case against the N.F.L., one chapter in the saga has come to an end.
A timeline:
Aug. 26, 2016 Kaepernick, a quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, remains seated during the national anthem for a home preseason game.
''I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,'' he tells NFL Media.
Kaepernick had been outspoken about issues like protests by white supremacists and police shootings of unarmed black men.
''If they take football away, my endorsements from me, I know that I stood up for what is right,'' he says.
The league initially responds by saying, ''Players are encouraged but not required to stand during the playing of the national anthem.''
Kaepernick's act draws praise and criticism. Drew Brees, the quarterback of the New Orleans Saints, tells ESPN: ''He can speak out about a very important issue. But there's plenty of other ways that you can do that in a peaceful manner that doesn't involve being disrespectful to the American flag.''
Sept. 1, 2016Kaepernick kneels for the anthem in a preseason game in San Diego, instead of sitting, and is joined by a teammate, Eric Reid. He also announces he will donate $1 million to charitable organizations.
''Once again, I'm not anti-American,'' Kaepernick says. ''I love America. I love people. That's why I'm doing this. I want to help make America better.''
Kaepernick is booed throughout the game by the home Chargers fans.
Sept. 5, 2016President Barack Obama defends Kaepernick, saying, ''I think he cares about some real, legitimate issues that have to be talked about.''
Two days later, Roger Goodell, the commissioner of the N.F.L., is more equivocal. Referring to Kaepernick, he tells The Associated Press, ''I don't necessarily agree with what he's doing.''
''I support our players when they want to see change in society, and we don't live in a perfect society,'' he adds. ''On the other hand, we believe very strongly in patriotism in the N.F.L. I personally believe very strongly in that.''
Image Megan Rapinoe, the national team soccer player, knelt during the national anthem before a game between the United States and the Netherlands on Sept. 18, 2016. Credit Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images Image Members of the Miami Dolphins knelt during the anthem before a game against the New England Patriots in 2016. Credit Maddie Meyer/Getty Images Sept. 11, 2016In Week 1 of the regular season, several more players kneel or raise a fist during the anthem. Four days later, Megan Rapinoe of the United States women's national soccer team also kneels during the anthem. The entire Indiana Fever team of the W.N.B.A. kneels as well, as do other athletes around the country, including, over the next month, some high school players.
Jan. 1, 2017 Kaepernick protests throughout the N.F.L. season. He winds up starting 11 games, and the 49ers finish 2-14. Though the team is bad, Kaepernick's adjusted yards per pass figure is a respectable 7.2. He has not played since.
March 2017Kaepernick opts out of his contract, hoping for a better situation. But no offers come, though very average quarterbacks like Mark Sanchez, Mike Glennon, Josh McCown and E.J. Manuel find jobs.
Many suggest Kaepernick is being blackballed.
Aug. 9, 2017The preseason begins with Kaepernick still unsigned. Anthem protests continue, in part prompted by deadly violence in Charlottesville, Va. ''The national anthem is a special moment to me,'' Goodell says. ''It's a point of pride. That is a really important moment. But we also have to understand the other side that people do have rights and we want to respect those.''
Sept. 24, 2017Anthem protests reach their peak after President Trump says those players who do not stand for the anthem should be fired. Many players skip the national anthem altogether. Dozens of others kneel or lock arms on the sideline, joined, in some cases, by team owners.
Protests continue through the season, and Trump continues to fault the league for not disciplining players.
Oct. 15, 2017Kaepernick, still unsigned, files a grievance against the N.F.L., accusing all 32 teams of colluding to keep him out of the league.
April 25, 2018N.F.L. owners, players and league executives meet to discuss the protests. An audio recording obtained by The New York Times reveals that players are aggrieved that Kaepernick has not found a job. Owners are intent on finding a way to avoid Trump's continued criticism and say that large numbers of fans and sponsors have become angry about the protests.
May 2, 2018Reid, one of the players at the N.F.L. meeting, files a grievance against the N.F.L., saying the league has blackballed him. He is joined by the players' union. (Reid is signed by Carolina in late September and plays in 13 games.)
May 23, 2018N.F.L. owners rule that players can no longer kneel during the national anthem without leaving themselves open to punishment. But the league also says athletes can stay in the locker room while it is being performed.
Trump says that he is pleased with the N.F.L.'s new policy, but that he does not think the players should be staying in the locker room in protest. If a player is not standing for the national anthem, Trump says, ''maybe you shouldn't be in the country.''
In July, the union files a grievance over the policy.
Aug. 9, 2018A handful of players protests as the preseason begins, drawing more condemnation from Trump.
Aug. 30, 2018Kaepernick achieves an important win in his grievance against the N.F.L. An arbitrator, Stephen B. Burbank, says lawyers for Kaepernick had unearthed enough information for the case to proceed to a full hearing.
Sept. 3, 2018Kaepernick becomes the face and voice of Nike's latest ''Just Do It'' campaign. Like so much else involving him over the previous two years, it draws praise and condemnation.
Image People walked by a Nike advertisement featuring Colin Kaepernick in New York in September. Credit Mark Lennihan/Associated Press Feb. 3, 2019During the Super Bowl, Kaepernick posts on his social media accounts images of athletes and celebrities wearing #imwithkap jerseys supporting his cause.
Feb. 15, 2019The N.F.L. reaches settlements with Kaepernick and Reid in their grievance cases. Terms of the settlements are not disclosed, and the players and the league reach a confidentiality agreement.
Victor Mather is a general assignment sports reporter and editor.
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Does America's first flag symbolize 'exclusion and hate,' as this Mich. school superintendent said? - The Washington Post
Tue, 02 Jul 2019 17:13
Students at Forest Hills, Mich. high School. (Courtesy Matthew Patulski)A Michigan school superintendent's apology has set off another debate about a flag.
This time it's not the Confederate flag, though, but the original ''Betsy Ross'' flag. Forget for the moment the near certainty that Betsy Ross did not make it. People still call it that.
And you know it when you see it, the one with 13 stars on a blue background and 13 red and white stripes.
Digitally created image of a waving flag. This image is part of a series. (iStock)It was approved by the Continental Congress in 1777: ''Resolved: that the flag of the United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.''
Its origin is not so much the issue in Michigan, however.
The issue, in part, is whether, because it's been adopted by some white supremacist groups or because it was flown during the era of slavery, it is so offensive ''to some'' as Forest Hills School District School Superintendent Dan Behm put it, as to be a symbol of ''exclusion and hate'' that has no place at a high school football game.
The controversy got rolling last weekend when predominantly white Forest Hills High School played a game on the home field of predominantly black Ottawa High School in Grand Rapids.
Some Forest Hills students were parading around not only with the first flag but with a Trump banner, in addition to chanting ''Go green'' and ''Go white,'' which are the school colors.
The combination offended, among others, Matthew Patulski, a white parent of two students enrolled in Grand Rapids public schools '-- the Trump banner because Donald Trump is ''a candidate known for his tacit support of racist ideologies,'' as Patulski wrote in an open letter on his Facebook page, and the ''Betsy Ross flag'' because it's ''a piece of history co-opted by white supremacists who see it as a symbol of a time in our nation's history when slavery was legal.''
Patulski, whose photo of the students has been widely circulated, wrote:
After the game, a '... mother who is an immigrant from Chile, whose son attends school with my older son, asked me to do 'something' with my photo so I am contacting you to share these concerns from our parent community. I was compelled to honor her request by the expression on her face '-- the look in her eyes '-- it was startling to me, a white man in his early 50s. In that moment I witnessed the fear and anxiety of what a person of color must feel every time in the presence of such behavior.
At first, Forest Hills's Behm told MLive that the Forest Hills students were participating in a ''red, white and blue'' theme night. ''The theme for each game changes, but students have generally had the 'red, white and blue' theme each year around the Sept. 11 anniversary,'' MLive reported.
By Tuesday, however, Behm was apologizing in an open letter:
Injecting partisan politics into a community football game and into a commemoration of the events of September 11th is inappropriate. Parading our current United States flag in a manner that is inconsistent with proper etiquette is disrespectful to all who have served our nation. And, to wave a historical version of our flag, that to some symbolizes exclusion and hate, injects hostility and confusion to an event where no one intended to do so. To our gracious hosts '-- the students, families, staff, and community of Grand Rapids Ottawa Hills High School and Grand Rapids Public Schools '-- and to the student-athletes, coaches, officials, and supporters of both teams, we are truly sorry.
Nobody, he said, is being punished for the incident.
Behm's apology has elicited praise in some quarters but been slammed in others, as the comments section at MLive illustrates:
''This whole PC thing has gotten way out of hand,'' said one commenter. ''Why is it acceptable to proudly wear a Black Lives Matter T shirt, and not our country's flag?''
''Nothing is wrong,'' said another. ''These boys are patriots. The picture, which has gone viral nationally, shows them grinning with immense pride while they display widely respected symbols of historical significance in our great country.''
''The Forest Hills Superintendent should simply retract his apology and stand up for the students and community he represents,'' said one. ''All students across the country have the right to free speech. Kids aren't allowed to hold a flag? '... whats next will the school band not be allowed the play the national anthem? Can't hold a Trump sign?'.... whats next.''
Others suggested that if they had been holding a Hillary Clinton banner, everything would have been different.
On the other side, Grand Rapids school s uperintendent Teresa Weatherall Neal ''thanked Behm for his leadership, his letter and apology,'' MLive reported.
''I cannot deny the hurt, disrespect, and outrage that I and so many others in this community felt about these actions that took place in our backyard, in our home at Houseman Field. '... This type of behavior should not and will not be tolerated in our stadium or schools '-- nor should it in any across our state and nation.''
Briana Urena-Ravelo, a Grand Rapids resident and Black Lives Matter activist, explained to TV 8 in Michigan, why she thought the flag was offensive: ''What were the conditions for people of color when that flag was created? I was property. Other people were getting their land stolen,'' she said. ''It's all very obvious,'' she said.
The incident in Michigan appears to be a complicated matter of context, the combination of the flag, the predominantly white school, the Trump sign, all at a predominantly black school at a time of broader racial tension.
But symbols are often all about context. An American flag flown next to a swastika conveys one thing; the same flag on the grave of a veteran another; and on the Fourth of July, with the fireworks and family, yet something else.
Symbols are a language and it is the combination of symbols that conveys the message.
Beyond that, it raises the question of whether America's first flag, along with the Confederate flag, is destined to become another point of controversy in the country, increasing the divisions that already exist.
For the general public, that would be a change.
The Betsy Ross flag is depicted on the Department of Veterans Affairs official shield.
It's routinely hauled out for Flag Day.
Army Pvt. Anthony Page rolls up a Betsy Ross flag, one of the U.S. flags on display during a Flag Day and U.S. Army birthday celebration at Fort Bliss, Tex. on June 14, 2007. (Victor Calzada/El Paso Times/AP)And for other occasions.
U.S. Fed Cup members from left, Martina Navratilova, Lisa Raymond, Meghann Shaughnessy, Alexandra Stevenson and Fed Cup Captain Billie Jean King accept a flag at the Advanta Championships on Oct. 30, 2003, in Villanova, Pa. (Miles Kennedy/AP)And yes, it's also been deployed from time to time by supporters of Donald Trump and by the Patriot movement which contains some factions who espouse white nationalist and white supremacist views.
A float made by the ''Augusta County for Trump'' group depicts Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump riding a horse and carrying a Betsy Ross flag and the U.S. Constitution for the Buena Vista, Va., Labor Day Parade on Sept. 5. (Heather Rousseau/Roanoke Times via AP)Forest Hills Schools parent Patricia Gerondale, whose son brought the Trump flag to the game, said the visiting students never intended any harm or intimidation. MLive reported. ''It wasn't done to put anyone down or cause any negative feeling,'' she said, and carried ''no message behind it.''
But it's apparent that for some, that's not the case '-- which, in turn, raises the question as to whether a white supremacist group, or any extremist group, by adopting a historic symbol or icon, renders it guilty by association and effectively unusable by everyone else.
More from Morning Mix
What Is Nike's Mission? | Nike Help
Tue, 02 Jul 2019 16:21
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Opinion | Nike Told Me to Dream Crazy, Until I Wanted a Baby - The New York Times
Tue, 02 Jul 2019 16:18
Opinion | Nike Told Me to Dream Crazy, Until I Wanted a Baby Being a mother and a champion was a crazy dream. It didn't have to be.
By Alysia Monta±o
Video by Max Cantor and Taige Jensen
Written and Produced by Lindsay Crouse
Alysia Monta±o is an Olympic runner and three-time U.S. national champion.
May 12, 2019 Video Olympic runner Alysia Monta±o had accomplished all her dreams but one: being a mom. When she finally went for it, she faced her biggest challenge yet '-- her sponsors. Credit Credit Ezra Shaw/Getty Images In the above video, the United States national champion Alysia Monta±o turns Nike's ad rhetoric against her former sponsor: If companies want to stand by the inspirational slogans they tout, they must ensure sponsored female athletes receive maternity leave.
Update: Following this report, the outdoor company Burton announced that it changed all female athletic contracts to include language that protects women during and after pregnancy.
Many athletic apparel companies, including Nike, claim to elevate female athletes. A commercial released in February received widespread acclaim for spotlighting women at all stages of their careers, from childhood to motherhood. On Mother's Day this year, Nike released a video promoting gender equality.
But that's just advertising.
The economics of sports like track and field are different than those of professional sports like basketball or soccer. In track, athletes aren't paid a salary by a league. Instead, their income comes almost exclusively from sponsorship deals inked with apparel companies like Nike and Asics.
The best of the best can supplement that income with prize money from winning races outright. But the majority of athletes '-- who are often the breadwinners for their families '-- sign exclusive five- or six-figure deals that keep them bound to a single company.
For the vast majority of athletes, their sport is a way to earn a decent living by doing what they love and excel at. They don't get rich.
Sports take a heavy toll on the human body, and sponsors accommodate this with time off for injuries. But rarely do they offer enough time off to have a child.
The four Nike executives who negotiate contracts for track and field athletes are all men.
''Getting pregnant is the kiss of death for a female athlete,'' said Phoebe Wright, who was a runner sponsored by Nike from 2010 through 2016. ''There's no way I'd tell Nike if I were pregnant.''
More than a dozen track athletes, agents and others familiar with the business describe a multi-billion-dollar industry that praises women for having families in public '-- but doesn't guarantee them a salary during pregnancy and early maternity.
For the Olympian Kara Goucher, the most difficult part of motherhood wasn't resuming training just a week after childbirth in 2010. It wasn't even when her doctor told her she must choose: run 120 miles each week or breast-feed her son. Her body couldn't do both.
The toughest moment was when Ms. Goucher learned that Nike would stop paying her until she started racing again. But she was already pregnant. So, she scheduled a half-marathon three months after she had her son, Colt. Then her son got dangerously ill. Ms. Goucher had to choose again: be with her son or prepare for the race that she hoped would restart her pay.
She kept training. ''I felt like I had to leave him in the hospital, just to get out there and run, instead of being with him like a normal mom would,'' Ms. Goucher said, crying at the memory. ''I'll never forgive myself for that.''
Nike acknowledged in a statement that some of its sponsored athletes have had their sponsorship payments reduced because of pregnancies. But the company says it changed its approach in 2018 so that athletes are no longer penalized. Nike declined to say if it wrote those changes into its contracts.
According to a 2019 Nike track and field contract shared with The Times, Nike can still reduce an athlete's pay ''for any reason'' if the athlete doesn't meet a specific performance threshold, for example a top five world ranking. There are no exceptions for childbirth, pregnancy or maternity.
Most people who spoke to The Times requested anonymity because they feared retribution, or had signed nondisclosure agreements, which may help explain why these arrangements have persisted.
[The topics new parents are talking about. Evidence-based guidance. Personal stories that matter. Visit NYT Parenting for everything you need to raise thriving babies and kids.]
Many American laws protect the rights of pregnant employees '-- they can't be fired, for instance. But, since professional athletes are more like independent contractors, those protections don't apply.
When Alysia Monta±o ran in the 2014 United States Championships while eight months pregnant, she was celebrated as ''the pregnant runner.'' Privately, she had to fight with her sponsor to keep her paycheck.
Sponsors do sometimes pay new mothers '-- Serena Williams is branded as a famous example. But those who do get paid often have to beg for the money.
Ms. Goucher made more than a dozen unpaid appearances on behalf of Nike during her high-risk pregnancy. She had to wait more than four months to disclose that she was pregnant, so that Nike could announce it in The Times for Mother's Day.
These kinds of pressures can lead to health complications. Ms. Goucher, for instance, has suffered from chronic hip injuries ever since she raced the Boston Marathon seven months after childbirth.
''It took such a toll on me mentally and physically, for myself and for my child,'' said Ms. Goucher. ''Returning to competition so quickly was a bad choice for me. And looking back and knowing that I wasn't the kind of mother that I want to be '-- it's gut wrenching.''
New mothers don't just deal with their sponsors. Top athletes receive health insurance from The United States Olympic Committee and U.S.A. Track & Field. But that insurance can vanish if women don't place in the top tier of the nation's most competitive races. Ms. Goucher and Ms. Monta±o both lost their health insurance because they were unable to compete at that level while having their children.
''Some people think women are racing pregnant for themselves,'' said Ms. Wright. ''It sometimes is, but it's also because there's a baby to feed.''
2020
Did the Fed Already Decide the 2020 US Election?
Tue, 02 Jul 2019 03:53
As of beginning July 2019 prospects look positive for a re-election of Donald Trump as President in November 2020. Headline stock market and GDP figures all look positive'...at the present. The huge unanswered question is whether that can be sustained until the fateful elections. We see signs already that spell potential trouble for the Republicans.
A major problem for the Trump prospects to win a second term in November 2020 is the fact that since 1913 no American President, nor the Congress, control the decisions of the central bank, the legendary Federal Reserve or Fed. What few are aware of is the fact that the Fed is not a government agency. This is despite the fact the President nominates persons to serve as directors. The reality is that the Fed is privately owned largely by the international banks and financial groups that control global money flows. They determine in complex ways the control of US money creation, the heart of the economy.
In December 1913 a cabal of Wall Street Republican international bankers led by J.P. Morgan, John D Rockefeller, Paul Warburg and cronies pulled off the fateful coup d'etat that saw ''Democrat'' Woodrow Wilson sign away the money power of the government to the bankers. Since then, the Fed has determined the course of the nation's economy independent of the interests of the national economy or the citizens.
The President of the New York Fed, Benjamin Strong, as head of the most powerful of the 12 reserve banks, literally determined the fate of the US and Europe until his death in 1928. His interest rate policies were directly responsible for creating the 1920s stock market bubble and the October 1929 Wall Street Great Crash. That in turn led to the 1931 global banking crisis and the Great Depression. It was the Fed under Allan Greenspan that was responsible for the creation of the securitization USA housing bubble and also for its deliberate destruction into the ''Great Recession'' of 2007-2008, a key factor in the 2008 Obama win. This Fed is the real power over economic good times or bad.
It can be demonstrated that every recession or boom, every so-called business cycle since 1914 has been determined by the Fed. When Donald Trump became President he selected several directors of the Fed Board of Governors, including Chairman Jerome Powell beginning February 2018, apparently believing Powell would continue an easy money regimen.
When Powell and the Fed continued the Janet Yellen interest rate increases and withdrawal from Quantitative Easing by selling off the assets it bought after the 2008 financial crisis, the effects were initially overshadowed by the Trump tax law and other factors that spurred both the stock market, the dollar and the economy. By late 2018, however, it began to become clear that the Fed was on course to create a collapse of the post-2008 asset bubble in stocks and real estate, prompting unprecedented criticism from Donald Trump of Jerome Powell, his choice for Fed chairman.
By December 2018, almost a year into Powell's term, financial markets appeared in freefall, the stock markets down by 30% in six weeks, junk bond markets freezing and oil prices down by 40%. At that point on the urging of a group of influential business people, Trump began to attack Powell for trying to create a new recession.
By March 2019 Powell announced the Fed would likely not raise Fed Funds rates as had been planned further in 2019, holding it at 2.375%, suspending plans to do three or four added rate hikes in 2019. Markets were euphoric.
But by then Fed prior actions had set into motion deep shifts in the economy which are now becoming undeniable. Monetary actions tend to have a lag effect of six to nine months in the real economy. The aggressive Fed tightening through the end of 2018 is just beginning to show damage in the real economy. This is beginning to concern the White House. Here are some preliminary indicators that all is not peachy.
Trucking and Agriculture
According to the Bank of America's Trucking Diffusion Index for the week of June 21, the national truck freight outlook hit the lowest level since October, 2016, just before the US elections. More alarming, the indicator is down 29% year-on-year, the largest decline since the index started. The current US outlook for freight demand is at a five-year low. Reports are that the construction sector is struggling due to weather issues in key markets.
What this suggests is that the volume of goods being shipped by truck through the US economy is showing a not healthy trend. How long this goes on is at this point not clear. It is an indicator of real problems.
If we add to this the developing crisis in US agriculture, the picture becomes darker not only for trucking but for the overall economy. Record rainfall across the Midwest farmbelt has so far had a devastating impact on crop prospects well into the key summer growing season.
The US Department of Agriculture cut its estimate of the corn harvest, a rare event, in June. Farmers say the government is downplaying the crisis. In addition lack of Congressional action on the Mexico and Canada trade agreements and the Chinese restrictions on US soybean exports are combining to create one of the worst US farm crises in recent years. The US Farm Bureau Federation, a major lobby, has stated that a third emergency farmer bailout would be necessary if export markets for US farm products are not soon reopened. The Farm Bureau states that the combination of disruption of key export markets together with low spot prices, high inventory levels, a slowing economic outlook, and damaging weather across the Midwest, ''could culminate into a full-blown farm crisis on par to the 1980s.''
These are not the only signs of storm clouds in the US economy. Sales of existing homes have declined on a Year-on-Year basis for 15 straight months. Rising interest rates are a major deterrent for home buying. Further, the monthly Philadelphia fed survey of Business Outlook expectations, which monitors expected company new orders, sales, employment and other indicators of business activity, registered a sharp drop from 16.6 in May to only 0.3 in June.
This all does not yet indicate a full recession in the overall economy. However it shows how vulnerable the fragile recovery from the 2008 debacle still is. In this situation the Powell Fed is not at all playing a constructive role.
Powell proclaims Fed Independence
On June 25, Fed Chairman Powell gave a speech to the New York Council on Foreign Relations, the original think-tank of the Wall Street bankers created in the wake of World War I parallel to the British Chatham House. In his remarks Powell stressed the Fed's independence from political pressures: ''The Fed is insulated from short-term political pressures '-- what is often referred to as our 'independence,'' Powell said. ''Congress chose to insulate the Fed this way because it had seen the damage that often arises when policy bends to short-term political interests. Central banks in major democracies around the world have similar independence.'' It was a declaration of independence from Trump.
The reality, as Donald Trump noted repeatedly in public speeches in March and April, despite the Fed statement about interest rate pause in March, the Fed has not stopped tightening. It is via the little-noticed policy called Quantitative Tightening, the moves by the Fed to tighten money liquidity in the banking system and economy by forcing major banks to buy back some of the almost $4 trillion in corporate bonds and other assets the Fed bought to bail out the major banks and financial giants after the September 2008 Lehman Bros. crisis.
In early 2018 as it was simultaneously raising Fed Funds interest rates, the Fed delivered a double-whammy effect on market interest rates by ''selling'' some $50 billion a month of its assets from the unprecedented Quantitative Easing (QE) experiment of 2008. QE was a de facto policy of Fed money printing by buying select bonds and other securities, including mortgages, from primary security dealer banks, giving them huge liquidity in return. QT is the attempt to put the QE liquidity Genie back in the bottle by reversing the process, a highly dangerous experiment, one by no means urgent.
As the impact of Fed QT actions began to cause alarm, in February 2019 the Fed agreed to reduce the tightening, but only from $50 to $40 billion a month until now. That comes to almost half-a-trillion dollars less liquidity in the economy annually, not small. If a recession now unfolds over the next 16 months until the November, 2020 elections, it will once again by the ''gods of money'' at the Fed and their banker backers who caused it. If Trump then loses the 2020 re-election it will owe more to the Fed than to his bizarre Democrat opponents.
F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine ''New Eastern Outlook.''
EuroLand
European Parliament opens amid protest and discord - BBC News
Tue, 02 Jul 2019 11:17
Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media caption Brexit Party MEPs turned their backs as Ode to Joy was performedThe European Parliament has re-opened in Strasbourg with an anti-EU protest by the UK's Brexit Party and a demonstration by Catalan nationalists whose MEPs are barred.
The first session after Europe-wide elections in May began as EU leaders went into a third day of talks on who should fill the bloc's top jobs.
Several leaders said they were optimistic of a breakthrough.
Italy and eastern states rejected an earlier compromise deal.
What happened at the Parliament?Outside parliament, hundreds of Catalan protesters protested that three separatist figures were unable to take their seats, as inside the chamber fellow MEPs placed three photos of the missing members on their desks.
Image copyright AFP Image caption Protesters waved pictures of ex-Catalan president Carles Puigdemont, now in exile in Brussels Ex-Catalan president Carles Puigdemont and colleague Toni Comin were barred from taking their seats because they fled to Brussels after a banned referendum on independence went ahead and did not attend a swearing-in ceremony in Madrid as required. Another separatist leader, Oriol Junqueras is on trial in Spain and in detention.
Irish Sinn F(C)in MEP Matt Carthy warned that the parliament's credibility would be undermined if it did not stand up for the voters of Catalonia.
As outgoing speaker Antonio Tajani convened the new session, MEPs rose for the EU's anthem, Beethoven's Ode to Joy. But not everyone stood, and anti-EU MEPs from the UK's Brexit Party turned their backs on the rendition accompanied by a saxophone quartet.
"Rising to your feet is a matter of respect," said Mr Tajani. "It does not mean that you necessarily share the views of the European Union. Even when you listen to the anthem of another country you rise to your feet."
Their action came after party leader Nigel Farage promised a spirit of "cheerful defiance".
Pro-EU Liberal Democrats staged their own stunt, wearing "Stop Brexit" T-shirts.
Image copyright AFP Image caption Among the new intake was Italy's former prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, 82 Will there be a summit deal?EU leaders reconvened in Brussels for their third consecutive day after a reported compromise deal that would have seen Dutch Labour leader Frans Timmermans head the Commission with centre-right Bulgarian Kristalina Georgieva taking the other key job of European Council president.
That deal fell apart when the four Visegrad states of Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia blocked the plan, with the backing of Italy. Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis said Mr Timmermans was "unacceptable" and a "total catastrophe".
The initiative had been proposed by outgoing Council President Donald Tusk, who was seen heading for the talks with his mobile phone to his ear. It soon emerged that the talks had been delayed by two hours until 13:00 (11:00 GMT) as individual talks continued.
As Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte entered the Commission building, he said there had been lots of phone calls and text messages overnight and on Tuesday morning.
"I hope a majority will eventually be found for someone, in combination with how the other jobs will be filled," he told reporters.
While Italy's Giuseppe Conte said he would be very happy with a woman as Commission president, German's Angela Merkel said everyone would "have to shift a little".
EU-Swiss share trading row: What does it mean? - BBC News
Tue, 02 Jul 2019 11:57
Image copyright Getty Images The European Union and Switzerland have imposed new restrictions that affect each other's financial firms.
It is a striking deterioration in what has long been a close economic relationship.
What are the new restrictions?
Investment firms in the EU are no longer allowed to trade on the Swiss stock exchange. The arrangement, known as "equivalence", which previously allowed them to do that lapsed at the end of June and the European Commission has decided not to renew it, for now at least.
In response to the EU's move, Switzerland has banned the trading of Swiss shares on EU markets.
Why did the EU take this action?
This is part of a wider issue between the two sides.
Switzerland's economic relations with the EU are governed by about 120 separate bilateral agreements. These give Swiss businesses access to most of the EU's single market.
Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The EU is frustrated by Switzerland's slow progress on a new framework agreement But the EU wants to update and simplify the arrangement with a new framework agreement. The European Parliament has described the current situation as "complex, sometimes incoherent and not easy to sustain".
They have a draft of a new agreement, but the Swiss side first went for public consultation and have more recently asked for clarification.
The EU has become frustrated by the delay and has allowed the equivalence arrangement for Swiss stock markets to expire.
What are Switzerland's reservations?
The Swiss government has concerns that the agreement might lead to EU citizens receiving more welfare benefits.
They also fear that it might limit government subsidies to businesses and make it harder to protect Swiss wages - which are high - from low wage competition.
Image copyright swissmem Image caption Swiss wages are typically high compared to many EU countries But there is also a wider political context.
The right wing Swiss People's Party - which received the most votes in the last four elections - is hostile to the European Union and to the free movement of workers that goes with Switzerland's relationship with its much larger neighbour. And there is an election later this year.
What exactly is equivalence?
In some areas of financial regulation the European Commission can decide that other countries have equivalent standards to the EU.
In relation to stock markets, the requirements include a high level of investor protection and preventing insider trading.
The significance of an equivalence decision is that the EU investment firms can then trade on the exchanges of the country concerned.
Similar decisions were made at the end of 2017 for the United States, Australia and Hong Kong, along with Switzerland. The Switzerland decision had a time limit of a year. It was then extended for six months but has now expired.
Does this have any implications for Brexit?
It might do.
Finance is a very important sector of the British economy and access to customers in the EU is valuable. It is also useful for EU investment firms to be able to trade on the London Stock Exchange.
Many firms hope that equivalence will enable them to continue to deal with the EU after the UK is no longer a member.
This is much wider than the specific issue about stock markets that the EU and Switzerland have acted on.
Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The Commission is clearly prepared to use equivalence in a negotiation The European Commission has made equivalence decisions on insurance, credit rating and auditing among other areas.
What the Switzerland row shows is that the EU, and the Commission in particular, are prepared to use equivalence in a negotiation. If they feel it can be useful in applying pressure to the negotiating partner, they are apparently willing to use it.
And of course Britain is likely to be on the other side of the table at some stage in the not too distant future, with some important businesses that could be hurt by an adverse decision on equivalence.
Build The Wall
AOC screamed at Border Patrol agents in 'threatening manner' during tour: Witnesses
Tue, 02 Jul 2019 11:45
| July 01, 2019 04:04 PM
| Updated Jul 01, 2019, 05:58 PM
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., screamed at federal law enforcement agents ''in a threatening manner'' during a visit to a Border Patrol facility in El Paso, Texas, and refused to tour the facility, according to two people who witnessed the incident.
A group of 14 House Democrats, including Ocasio-Cortez, and their aides kicked off their visit to the region at about 11 a.m. MST Monday at the El Paso Station on Hondo Pass Drive.
The group was standing inside the station near an area where migrants are held when Ocasio-Cortez left them to sit inside a nearby holding area with a family as the other lawmakers and aides were briefed on station operations.
''She comes out screaming at our agents, right at the beginning [of the tour] '... Crying and screaming and yelling,'' said one witness who said he was stunned by the outburst in front of approximately 40 people.
''The agents, they wanted to respond, but they held back because she's a congressional delegate. But when you have someone yelling at you in a threatening manner '... '' the same person said. ''They were like, 'Hey, you need to kinda step back.'''
A second official said she went in and out of the cell during the group's briefing nearby and returned to the group several times to share information she had learned from detainees, including that one person had drunk from a toilet.
The congresswoman told the group she would not go with the 13 other House Democrats on the tour of the facility and stayed with the family.
A second official said that while she was around agents, Ocasio-Cortez commented at another point about an unofficial Border Patrol Facebook page that was exposed earlier Monday for offensive content about those in custody and lawmakers, including the congresswoman.
''Something under her breath, 'Oh, all these guys in here are gonna f--k me.' The agents are standing there behind the computers. One of the agents laughed at something he was saying to another agent, and she got irate and flipped out,'' the second Border Patrol official said. ''Now they're under investigation for it. She took it as they were laughing at her and screams at them and says, 'What's so funny?'''
CBP did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the internal affairs matter. The Border Patrol official said managers were in the process of taking statements from agents.
The Washington Examiner submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to CBP for video of the events.
The congresswoman, who led a charge in 2018 to abolish Immigration and Customs Enforcement, recounted the scene differently in a social media post afterward and did not mention yelling at agents.
''After I forced myself into a cell w/ women&began speaking to them, one of them described their treatment at the hands of officers as ''psychological warfare'' - waking them at odd hours for no reason, calling them wh*res, etc. Tell me what about that is due to a 'lack of funding?''' she wrote on Twitter.
Now I'm on my way to Clint, where the Trump admin was denying children toothpaste and soap.This has been horrifying so far. It is hard to understate the enormity of the problem. We're talking systemic cruelty w/ a dehumanizing culture that treats them like animals.
'-- Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) July 1, 2019 ''Now I've seen the inside of these facilities. It's not just the kids. It's everyone. People drinking out of toilets, officers laughing in front of members Congress. I brought it up to their superiors. They said 'officers are under stress & act out sometimes.' No accountability,'' she tweeted. ''Just left the 1st CBP facility. I see why CBP officers were being so physically &sexually threatening towards me. Officers were keeping women in cells w/ no water & had told them to drink out of the toilets. This was them on their GOOD behavior in front of members of Congress.''
The agent on scene said the congresswoman misrepresented why a person in custody had drunk from a toilet.
''So this is what happened with the migrant and drinking water from toilet: she wanted water, didn't know how to use the faucet in the cell, and drank from the toilet. She never told AOC that we made her drink from the toilet. AOC, of course, changed it '... This was when she [the migrant] was apprehended and brought into the facility,'' according to the agent. A Border Patrol official familiar with the sector's media and congressional visits said the city's congresswoman, Veronica Escobar, has been through stations ''15 times'' but did not respond in the same way as her colleague on Monday. Later in the visit, the first official said Escobar "yelled" at El Paso Chief Patrol Agent Aaron Hull about its care of detainees.
''We've never hidden anything from her,'' the official said.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Claims Border Migrants Forced to Drink From Toilets'... | The Last Refuge
Tue, 02 Jul 2019 11:42
It would appear that congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, in a thirst for media exposure, has officially decided to remove any remaining semblance of credibility.
After a series of political stunts intended to generate a far-left narrative for open borders, the loon from New York has officially gone bananas:
In addition to migrants having to drink from toilets, Ms. Cortez claims she was threatened to be raped by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials conducting a tour for a congressional delegation. However, according to Homeland Security journalist Anna Giaritelli none of this happened.
Factually, as reported, AOC began screaming during a U.S. Customs and Border Protection briefing and refused to tour the facilities. Even AOC's most staunch supporters are having a difficult time defending their moonbat lightbringer on this one.
(WASHINGTON) New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez screamed at federal law enforcement agents ''in a threatening manner'' during a visit to a U.S. Border Patrol facility in El Paso, Texas, and refused to tour the facility, according to two people who witnessed the incident.
A group of 14 House Democrats, including Ocasio-Cortez, and their aides kicked off their visit to the region around 11 a.m. MT Monday at the El Paso Station on Hondo Pass Drive. The group was standing inside the station near an area where migrants are held when Ocasio-Cortez left them to sit inside a nearby holding area with a family as the other lawmakers and aides were briefed on station operations.
''She comes out screaming at our agents, right at the beginning [of the tour] '... Crying and screaming and yelling,'' said one witness who said he was stunned by the outburst in front of approximately 40 people. (more)
13 other House Democrats as well as their aides were in the room. I'm told only Rep. Ocasio-Cortez reacted in this manner. https://t.co/XdH5Fpru0z
'-- Anna Giaritelli (@Anna_Giaritelli) July 1, 2019
ADA
Domino's seeks Supreme Court review of web accessibility ruling | Overlawyered
Tue, 02 Jul 2019 12:36
For years now regulated parties (which means much of the country) have been waiting urgently for an answer to the question of whether and to what extent the Americans with Disabilities Act requires websites to be made accessible to blind, deaf, and other disabled users. (Coverage of this issue here dates back two decades.) Now the Supreme Court will be asked to review a much-watched case against Domino's Pizza (earlier) which resulted in a plaintiff's win before the Ninth Circuit. Four other appeals court rulings have addressed the issue. Will this be the case that finally reaches the high court?
[Frank Cruz-Alvarez and Talia Zucker, Washington Legal Foundation Kristina Launey and Minh Vu/Seyfarth Shaw, January and March posts; J. Gregory Grisham, Federalist Society; Nicole Porter where SCOTUS may be headed on disability issues]
Filed under: Supreme Court, web accessibility
Google Health Care
UChicago data sharing
Background in this:
https://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-google-university-chicago-partnership-0518-biz-20170517-story.html
Adam-
Under HIPAA a clinic/clinician is allowed only certain
instances where they can share Private Health Information (PHI) or Identifiable
information (PII). Research specifically to disease and treatments (not novel
IT solutions) has an exemption, but also a very rigorous permission process
stemming back to laws on Human Research.
We in the health information sharing side have lived and
died on the treatment portion of HIPAA. Information shared has been for the
purposes of exchanging the specific patient health information
for that patient,either around a scheduled event (appointment) or in an
emergency. Where Dr Red and I have worked, we have the added protections of
these being Federal institutions covered under insurance, employment, and
disability laws, and other exemptions that come from Federal bureaucracies.
The conundrum here is that the "using patient record to
identify patterns in preventive health", the model which ACA or Obamacare
was sold upon, does not fit the privacy laws we have on the books. Google
and UChicago could have done the massive amount of work to exempt in electronic
medical records for entire patient categories to do this research, but it
appears they didn't. Also, in the patient research I have been exposed
to, research data collection and sharing is typically extremely specific at
qualifying patient data sets, meaning a request for pseudo-scientific holistic
predictive medicine benefits gleamed from data analysis of health records
probably would not pass the scrutiny of human research oversight panels. Not
saying it wouldn't, but you have to show evidence that your theory has merit
before your get permissions to stand up such a study. Belief is not merit
enough.
Not need for credit, but if you do, please use pseudonyms
(CrashEMT).
Shut Up Slave!
TSA PreCheck sign-up: Coming to a festival or Red Sox game near you
Sun, 30 Jun 2019 20:38
CLOSE
Renewing your licenses or getting a new "Real ID" can be confusing. A breakdown of a few of the things you'll need to know. USA TODAY
CHICAGO '' The neon green fanny pack strapped around Annabel Hess' skinny jeans carried all the essentials for a music festival: credit card, driver's license, phone, Chapstick.
And her passport.
The 25-year-old concert-goer wasn't headed out of the country after Miranda Lambert closed the first night of the annual Country LakeShake festival. She brought it to sign up for TSA PreCheck, the government's expedited airport security program.
Hess, a regular traveler, had been meaning to sign up so she no longer has to beg other passengers to cut the security line when she's running late for her flight. Her roommate has had PreCheck since college and saw the festival's pitch about enrolling on-site and getting a fast pass through festival security as a bonus.
"This was an easy opportunity,'' Hess said. "So here I am.''
She signed up inside the green and purple Identogo RV outside the festival gates in about 10 minutes and headed for the fast-pass line to get into the festival.
Annabel Hess got to go through the TSA PreCheck line line at Country LakeShake in Chicago because she signed up on the spot for TSA PreCheck. (Photo: Dawn Gilbertson, USA TODAY)
Identogo by Idemia, which handles TSA PreCheck enrollment under a government contract, has been trying to boost PreCheck enrollment by offering sign-ups at nontraditional locations. Most people sign up at an airport or a universal enrollment center run by Idemia. In addition to music festivals, Identogo has expanded enrollment to office supply retailer Staples and sporting events including, beginning this year, Boston Red Sox games at Fenway Park.
"What we're trying to do is make it more convenient for people to enroll,'' said Charles Carroll, senior vice president at Idemia. "Take away all the friction points.''
PreCheck sign-ups began at festivals a few years ago in a partnership with concert promoter LiveNation and have been ramped up this year, with LiveNation and at other events, he said. The RV was parked at the BottleRock Napa Valley musical festival in northern California in late May and spent the first weekend in June at CMA Fest in Nashville, Tennessee.
Angie Hamblen, senior manager of marketing and event promotions for Idemia, oversees the PreCheck RV at events around the country. She said the mobile enrollment centers fielded a lot of questions about what PreCheck is in the first few years, but now people are familiar with it.
"Now it's, 'How do I do this? How do I sign up?'''
Annabel Hess, right, signed up for PreCheck at an RV outside the gates of the Country LakeShake music festival in Chicago in late June at the urging of her roommate Catie Hjerpe, left. (Photo: Dawn Gilbertson, USA TODAY)
In a one-hour span at the LakeShake festival, 10 concert-goers filed into the RV to sign up, including a mother and her two daughters and the wife of a frequent flyer who already had PreCheck.
The festival sign-up lineup continues in mid-July with the Forecastle music festival in Louisville, Kentucky. This fall, concert-goers will be able to sign up for PreCheck at Moon River Festival in Chattanooga, Tennessee; Music Midtown in Atlanta and Voodoo Music + Arts Experience in New Orleans.
Carroll said the nontraditional venues tend to draw more vacation travelers to PreCheck, compared with frequent business travelers at airport locations. Festivals also help to draw in millennials, such as Hess and Kate Hansell, a 28-year-old Chicago resident who also enrolled at LakeShake.
Rising country star Maren Morris performed on the first night of Country LakeShake in Chicago on June 21. (Photo: Dawn Gilbertson, USA TODAY)
Hansell, who has attended the three-day festival ever since it debuted five years ago, travels a few times a year and was tired of being stuck in the standard TSA line at the airport.
"People I travel with all seem to have it, and they seem to get through faster than me,'' she said.
Hansell completed the online application for PreCheck earlier this year, but the closest enrollment center to her office had closed. Members have to visit a center for a background check and fingerprinting.
When she heard about sign-ups at LakeShake ' '' the festival promotes the program heavily as part of Identogo's sponsorship ' '' she decided to bring her passport and sign up.
She was approved a week later and used the PreCheck lane at O'Hare International Airport on Friday.
Where can I find a mobile enrollment center for TSA PreCheck?Identogo has a schedule of the mobile enrollment RV stops on its website. Information about enrolling at Red Sox games is also online. Rather visit a Staples? Identogo has a list of stores currently offering the service.
The TSA PreCheck mobile enrollment RV, operated by IdentoGo, stopped at Country LakeShake, a country music festival in Chicago in late June. (Photo: Dawn Gilbertson, USA TODAY)
Do I need to do anything beforehand?You can make an appointment and fill out the PreCheck application online, but neither is required.
What do I need to bring to the enrollment center?Proof of citizenship, such as a U.S. passport or a birth certificate, a driver's license and a credit card to pay the $85 enrollment fee. The PreCheck membership is for five years.
Love TSA PreCheck and Global Entry? Don't let your membership expire
The TSA PreCheck mobile enrollment RV, operated by IdentoGo, stopped at Country LakeShake, a country music festival in Chicago in late June. (Photo: Dawn Gilbertson, USA TODAY)
Is it more expensive to sign up at a festival or sporting event?No.
Interested in TSA PreCheck? It might soon be cheaper and easier to sign up
I already have TSA PreCheck, can I use the fast pass lane at participating music festivals, Red Sox games and other events?Yes, but you'll need to bring your known traveler number (KTN) with you to receive a bracelet.
Grab your change! TSA travelers left nearly $1 million behind at checkpoints
TSA PreCheck members and those who signed up on site got a wristband to use the TSA fast pass line at Country LakeShake, an annual music festival in Chicago. (Photo: Dawn Gilbertson, USA TODAY)
Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/flights/2019/06/27/tsa-precheck-sign-up-music-festivals-red-boston-red-sox/1550027001/
Christchurch mosque shootings: Boy, 16, admits possessing footage - NZ Herald
Tue, 02 Jul 2019 03:35
By RNZ
The youngest person to be charged with distributing video of the Christchurch mosque shootings has admitted to a lesser charge of possessing the film.
The 16-year-old, who was arrested in March, cannot be named due to his age.
He denied a charge of distributing objectionable material and was held in custody for two months.
He was released on bail a month ago under strict conditions, including not accessing the internet and not going within 500 metres of the Al Noor or Linwood Ave mosques.
The substantive hearing was set down for today at the Christchurch Youth Court.
But just before it started, the 16-year-old's lawyer, Anselm Williams, told the judge he was pleading guilty, with the agreement of the police, to a lesser charge of possessing the video.
He was remanded on continued bail to appear on 30 July for a Family Group Conference.
Ottomania
A Wounded Erdogan Could Be Even More Dangerous - Antiwar.com Original
Tue, 02 Jul 2019 11:22
For the second time in a row, Turkish voters have rebuked President Recep Tayyir Erdogan's handpicked candidate for the mayoralty of Istanbul, Turkey's largest and wealthiest city. The secular Republican People's Party (CHP) candidate, Ekrem Imamoglu, swamped Erdogan's Justice and Development Party (AKP) candidate Binali Yildirim in an election that many see as a report card on the president's over 16 years in power.
So what does the outcome of the election mean for the future of Turkey, and in particular, its powerful president? For starters, an internal political realignment '' but also maybe a dangerous foreign policy misadventure.
The AKP Stumbles
Erdogan and his party have been weakened politically and financially by the loss of Istanbul, even though the president did his best to steer clear of the campaign over the past several weeks. Since it was Erdogan that pressured the Supreme Election Council into annulling the results of the original March 31 vote, which the CHP also won, he owns the outcome whether he likes it or not.
His opponents in the AKP are already smelling blood. Former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, whom Erdogan sidelined in 2016, has begun criticizing the president's inner circle, including Berat Albayrak, his son-in-law and current finance minister. There are rumors that Davutoglu and former deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan are considering forming a new party on the right.
Up until the March election that saw the AKP and its extreme nationalist alliance partner, the National Movement Party (MHP), lose control of most the major cities in the country, Erdogan had shown an almost instinctive grasp of what the majority of Turks wanted. But this time out the AKP seemed tone deaf. While Erdogan campaigned on the issue of terrorism, polls showed most Turks were more concerned with the disastrous state of the economy, rising inflation, and growing joblessness.
The ''terrorist threat'' strategy '' shorthand for demonizing Turkey's Kurdish minority '' not only alienated conservative Kurds who once reliably voted for the AKP, but forced the opposition into a united front. Parties ranging from the leftist Kurdish People's Democratic Party and the Communist Party, to more conservative parties like the Good Party, withdrew their candidates from the Istanbul's mayor's race and lined up behind the CHP's Imamoglu.
The AKP '' long an electoral steamroller '' ran a clumsy and ill-coordinated campaign. While Yildirim tried to move to the center, Erdogan's inner circle opted for a hard right program, even accusing Imamoglu of being a Greek (and closet Christian) because he hails from the Black Sea area of Trabzon that was a Greek center centuries ago. The charge backfired badly, and an area that in the past was overwhelmingly supportive of the AKP shifted to backing a native son. Some 2.5 million former residents of the Black Sea region live in Istanbul, and it was clear which way they voted.
Erdogan at Bay
So what does the election outcome mean for Turkish politics? Well, for one, when the center and left unite they can beat Erdogan. But it also looks like there is going to be realignment on the right.
In the March election, the extreme right MHP picked up some disgruntled AKP voters, and many AKP voters apparently stayed home, upset at the corruption and the anti-terrorist strategy of their party. It feels a lot like 2002, when the AKP came out of the political margins and vaulted over the right-wing Motherland and True Path parties to begin its 17 years of domination. How far all this goes and what the final outcome will be is not clear, but Erdogan has been weakened, and his opponents in the AKP are already sharpening their knives.
An Erdogan at bay, however, can be dangerous. When the AKP lost its majority in the 2015 general election, Erdogan reversed his attempt to peacefully resolve tensions with the Kurds and, instead, launched a war on Kurdish cities in the country's southeast. While the war helped him to win back his majority in an election six months later, it alienated the Kurds and laid the groundwork for the AKP's losses in the March 2019 election and the Istanbul's mayor's race.
The fear is that Erdogan will look for a crisis that will resonate with Turkish nationalism, a strategy he has used in the past.
He tried to rally Turks behind overthrowing the government of Bashar al-Assad in Syria, but the war was never popular. Most Turks are not happy with the 3.7 million Syrian refugees currently camped in their country, nor with what increasingly appears to be a quagmire for the Turkish Army in Northern and Eastern Syria.
In general, Turkey's foreign policy is in shambles.
Erdogan is trying to repair fences with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, because he desperately needs the investment that Gulf monarchs can bring to Turkey. But the price for that is a break with Iran and ending his support for the Muslim Brotherhood. While the Turkish president might be willing to dump the Brotherhood, Erdogan feels he needs Iran in his ongoing confrontation with the Kurds in Syria, and, at least at this point, he is unwilling to join Saudi Arabia's jihad against Tehran.
In spite of the Turkish president's efforts to normalize ties with Riyadh, Saudi Arabia recently issued a formal warning to Saudi real estate investors and tourists that Turkey is'' inhospitable.'' Saudi tourism is down 30 percent, and Turkish exports to Saudi Arabia are also down.
Erdogan is also wrangling with the U.S. and NATO over Ankara's purchase of the Russian S-400 anti-aircraft system, a disagreement that threatens further damage to the Turkish economy through U.S.-imposed sanctions. There is even a demand by some Americans to expel Turkey from NATO, echoed by similar calls from the Turkish extreme right.
Talk of leaving NATO, however, is mostly Sturm und Drang. There is no Alliance procedure to expel a member, and current tensions with Moscow means NATO needs Turkey's southern border with Russia, especially its control of the Black Sea's outlet to the Mediterranean.
Crisis in Cyprus '' And Greece
But a confrontation over Cyprus '' and therefore with NATO member Greece '' is by no means out of the question. This past May, Turkey announced that it was sending a ship to explore for natural gas in the sea off Cyprus, waters that are clearly within the island's economic exploitation zone.
''History suggests that leaders who are losing their grip on power have incentives to organize a show of strength and unite their base behind an imminent foreign threat,'' writes Greek investigative reporter Yiannis Baboulias in Foreign Policy. ''Erdogan has every reason to create hostilities with Greece '' Turkey's traditional adversary and Cyprus's ally '' to distract from his problems at home.''
Turkey has just finished large-scale naval exercises '' codename ''Sea Wolf'' '' in the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean and, according to Baboulias, Turkish warplanes have been violating Greek airspace.
Cyprus, along with Israel and Egypt, has been trying to develop Cypriot offshore gas resources for almost a decade, but Turkey has routinely stymied their efforts. The European Union (EU) supports the right of Cyprus to develop the fields, and the EU's foreign policy head, Federica Mogherini, called on Turkey to ''respect the sovereign rights of Cyprus to its exclusive economic zone and refrain from such illegal actions.'' While Mogherini pledged ''full solidarity'' with Cyprus, it is hard to see what the big trade organization could do in the event of a crisis.
Any friction with Cyprus is friction with Greece, and there is a distinct possibility that two NATO members could find themselves in a face off. Erdogan likes to create tensions and then negotiate from strength, a penchant he shares with US President Donald Trump. While it seems unlikely that it will come to that, in this case Turkish domestic considerations could play a role.
A dustup with Ankara's traditional enemy, Greece, would put Erdogan's opponents in the AKP on the defensive and divert Turks' attention from the deepening economic crisis at home. It might also allow Erdogan to use the excuse of a foreign policy crisis to strengthen his already considerable executive powers and to divert to funds from cities the AKP no longer controls to the military.
Budget cuts could stymie efforts by the CHP and left parties to improve conditions in the cities and to pump badly needed funds into education. The AKP used Istanbul's budget as a piggy bank for programs that benefited members of Erdogan's family or generated kickbacks for the party from construction firms and private contractors.
Erdogan has already warned his opponents that they ''won't even be able to pay the salaries of their employees.'' The man may be down, but he is hardly beaten. There are turbulent times ahead for Turkey.
Foreign Policy In Focus columnist Conn Hallinan can be read at www.dispatchesfromtheedgeblog.wordpress.com and www.middleempireseries.wordpress.com.
War on Cash
Wat heeft het kabinet tegen cash geld? | De Volkskrant
Tue, 02 Jul 2019 12:27
1)Waarom verbiedt het kabinet grote cash betalingen?Wie een mooi bankstel of sieraad wil kopen, moet bij bedragen vanaf 3.000 euro voortaan pinnen. Vanaf 2021 wil het kabinet zulke grote contante betalingen verbieden. Die maatregel komt in plaats van de huidige meldplicht voor aankopen vanaf 10 duizend euro. 'Doordat de regels voor contante betalingen in Nederland soepeler zijn dan in een aantal omringende landen, is het voor criminelen nu makkelijker om in Nederland via contant geld wit te wassen', schrijft het kabinet in zijn nieuwe 'Plan van aanpak witwassen'. Het blijkt in de praktijk vooral om Belgi te gaan. Dat kent al een cashverbod voor aankopen vanaf drie mille. Duitsland, Groot-Brittanni, Denemarken en Luxemburg hebben daarentegen geen plafond.
2)Wie gaan de nadelen ondervinden van dit verbod?Maandagochtend nog deed de fiscale opsporingsdienst Fiod invallen bij vier autohandelaren. Zij zouden tweedehands leasewagens hebben verkocht aan buitenlandse partijen voor grote sommen contant geld. Vermoed wordt dat daarbij sprake is geweest van fraude en witwassen. Behalve autodealers hebben bijvoorbeeld ook juweliers, bouwmarkten, onderhoudsbedrijven, kunsthandelaren en chiquere kledingwinkels regelmatig te maken met klanten die grote aankopen contant afrekenen. Dat hoeven zeker niet altijd criminelen te zijn. Detailhandel Nederland, dat de belangen van winkeliers behartigt, noemt het verbod dan ook 'een stap te ver'. 'Dit gebeurt zonder dat goed is onderzocht of hiermee de problematiek van witwassen echt effectief wordt tegengegaan', laat de brancheorganisatie weten in een reactie. Zij vreest voor inkomstenderving. Zo betalen juist toeristen vaak cash. 'Grote kans dat zij de aankoop dan achterwege laten.'
De Bovag is iets positiever. 'Wij zijn niet tegen het ontmoedigen van cash', zegt woordvoerder Paul de Waal van de organisatie die onder meer autohandelaren vertegenwoordigt. Al moet het volgens hem wel werkbaar blijven. 'Veel mensen verkopen bijvoorbeeld hun oude caravan via Marktplaats. Met de contante opbrengst gaan ze dan naar de caravandealer om een nieuwe te kopen. Daar moet je niet tussen gaan zitten.'
3)Gaat deze maatregel echt helpen in de strijd tegen witwassen?Het cashplafond maakt deel uit van een lange lijst oudere en nieuwe maatregelen die het kabinet nu presenteert. Zo mogen banken samen zwarte lijsten opstellen met verdachte klanten. Nu kan het nog voorkomen dat een drugshandelaar die bij de Rabobank geweigerd wordt, bij ING of ABN Amro gewoon opnieuw een rekening aanvraagt. Ook komt er meer toezicht op bedrijfjes die zich bezighouden met cryptomunten, zoals Bitcoin.
Om korte metten te maken met het zwarte geld is desondanks meer nodig. Nederland doorvoerland beperkt zich niet tot de Rotterdamse haven of Schiphol. Onderzoekers schatten dat hier jaarlijks zo'n 16 miljard euro wordt witgewassen, vooral drugs- en fraudegeld. Daarmee staat Nederland in de mondiale top 10 van aantrekkelijkste witwaslanden. Aan de ambities van het kabinet zal het in elk geval niet liggen. 'Wij willen internationaal tot de koplopers op de aanpak van witwassen behoren', schrijven de ministers Wopke Hoekstra en Ferdinand Grapperhaus in een brief aan de Tweede Kamer.
4)Wat heeft het kabinet tegen cash geld?'Criminaliteit vormt een schaduweconomie die nog steeds grotendeels op contant geld is gebaseerd', heet het in het kabinetsplan. Of het nou om witwassen, belastingontduiking of roofovervallen gaat: zonder cash krijgen criminelen het een stuk moeilijker. Kenneth Rogoff, econoom en auteur The Curse of Cash, spreekt van een 'smerig geheim'. Het overgrote deel van ons contante geld is foetsie. Overheden en centrale banken hebben geen idee waar het is. Tel daarbij op dat het vooral om grote biljetten gaat, en je kunt wel raden wat hiermee gebeurt. Vandaar dat minister Hoekstra eerder dit jaar in Washington zelfs zinspeelde op een cashverbod vanaf 1.000 euro. Vandaar ook dat het kabinet ook een nieuwe aanval inzet op het paarse briefje van 500 euro. Als het aan Rutte III ligt, verdwijnt dit 'criminelenbiljet' helemaal.
5)Maken we ons niet te afhankelijk van digitaal geld? Ja, vinden de critici die spreken van een 'war on cash'. Minder dan vier op de tien transacties wordt nog contant voldaan, blijkt uit cijfers van de Betaalvereniging. Tegelijkertijd prijzen mensen met een krappe beurs het overzicht dat contant geld biedt. Wie 30 euro op zak heeft voor de boodschappen, kan eenmaal in de supermarkt nooit zijn budget overschrijden. Nog een voordeel: contant geld is minder gevoelig voor storingen. Het belang daarvan bleek afgelopen maand nog eens toen Nederland kampte met een grote pinstoring. Het meer principile argument is dat een verbod op contant, anoniem geld ons n"g afhankelijker maakt van banken of overheden met minder goede bedoelingen. Niet voor niets noemde een Britse financieel activist de cashloze samenleving 'een eufemisme voor een 'vraag-je-bank-toestemming-om-te-betalen' samenleving'.
Lees meer over de strijd tegen witwassenHet geduld is op met banken die hun witwastoezicht verwaarlozen, zoals ING deed. Bij Rabobank speuren inmiddels duizend gespecialiseerde medewerkers naar crimineel geld '' en nog blijkt het extreem lastig. 'Wij zoeken continu naar die speld in de hooiberg.'
Criminelen zijn dol op contant geld. Maar veel gewone Nederlanders ook. De cashloze wereld: veiliger, gemakkelijker, beter? Of is contant zo gek nog niet? De voor- en nadelen op een rij.
Dominican Republic Hoax
Dominican Republic tourism deaths might be lower than average.
Mon, 01 Jul 2019 10:34
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VIDEO - U2: Joshua Tree 30th Anniversary [FULL INTERVIEW] | Beats 1 | Apple Music - YouTube
Thu, 04 Jul 2019 14:08
VIDEO - Hispanic pastors tour border facility lambasted by AOC and say they are 'shocked by misinformation' | Fox News
Thu, 04 Jul 2019 12:24
Rev. Samuel Rodriguez was "full of indignation" when he saw the reports and heard from politicians about the deplorable and inhumane conditions for illegal immigrants at an El Paso County, Texas migrant detention center. But what he saw at the same facility toured by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y. with a group of pastors was "drastically different."
The president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, the world's largest Hispanic Christian organization, and senior pastor of New Seasons Christian Worship Center in Sacramento shared his firsthand experience touring a migrant detention center during a press briefing Monday.
AOC ALLEGEDLY SCREAMS AT FEDS DURING TEXAS VISIT, CLAIMS DETAINEES FORCED TO DRINK OUT OF TOILETS
''I read the reports, saw the news clips. I just wanted to see what was actually happening in order to better enable our efforts to find a fair and a just solution to our broken immigration system," Rodriguez, who has advised President Trump and both Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush on immigration reform, noted. ''To my surprise, I saw something drastically different from the stories I've been hearing in our national discourse. Even as a veteran of immigration advocacy in the U.S., I was shocked at the misinformation of the crisis at the border."
The group of pastors saw a very different picture described by Ocasio-Cortez and other politicians and media outlets.
TEXAS CITY TAKES DOWN CHURCH'S 'JESUS WELCOMES YOU TO HAWKINS' SIGN OVERNIGHT
''We found no soiled diapers, no deplorable conditions and no lack of basic necessities,'' Rodriguez remarked, adding he specifically asked border agents if they staged the facility in response to the negative press. ''They unequivocally denied it '-- we were witnessing the identical conditions the attorneys saw when they toured the facility days earlier."
In fact, some told him the sources from whom the negative coverage originated ''never toured the areas of the facility that we toured'' and speculated they might have had political motivations.
WORSHIP LEADER PENNED THESE LYRICS FOR NORTH KOREA IN EXACT SPOT TRUMP WALKED ON
The pastors left encouraged by the commitment and dedication of America's Border Patrol and immigration officers, ''many of which are Latinos, by the way.'' He said one emotional Border Patrol agent turned to him and said, referring to the vilification: ''Pastor Sam, what they're saying about us is completely false. We care about these kids and have a passion for our calling.''
Pastor Carlos Moran, NHCLC board member and immigrant, said, ''we, as evangelical leaders that serve in different segments, are very committed to helping children regardless of their status and we commend those officers that are trying their very best to serve and fulfill their duty at the border. However, we do call on our political leaders to set aside their personal agendas and begin focusing on resolving this immigration crisis.''
CATHOLIC BISHOPS GET BLOWBACK FOR STATEMENT ON TRUMP'S DEPORTATION THREAT
Rodriguez points blame for that broken immigration system at consecutive White House administrations and especially both Democrats and Republicans in the U.S. Congress and implored each to ''address the system they created.''
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''What's heart-wrenching is that we have both Republicans and Democrats alike in Congress, who can't come together for the purpose of doing the right thing and finding a solution to our immigration crisis,'' he said. ''Please, President Trump, please White House, work with the Republicans and the Democrats [and] please, please, please, please, Nancy Pelosi, Kevin McCarthy, Mitch McConnell, Chuck Schumer, please come together to solve this crisis, immediately.''
VIDEO - EU top job: Von der Leyen meets with Juncker in Brussels as campaign blitz continues | Euronews
Thu, 04 Jul 2019 12:04
Italian Socialist David-Maria Sassoli elected to replace Antonio Tajani as EU Parliament president
German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen nominated as Commission president
Von der Leyen's nomination will go to the European Parliament for approval
Neither Spitzenkandidat, Dutch socialist Frans Timmermans nor German MEP Manfred Weber, was nominated for the top post, which may be met with resistance from parliament
Gender, east-west balance were important considerations in three-day long marathon talks
The surprise nominee picked to lead the EU's executive arm, German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen, has met with outgoing Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in Brussels.
A Commission spokesperson on Thursday said Juncker fully backs his potential successor, adding that the two met as "true Europeans who have known each other for years".
But first: EU parliament support neededVon der Leyen's visit to the EU capital comes a day after her campaign blitz began for the top job in Strasbourg, where the close Merkel ally said she hopes members of the European Parliament will approve her for the role of Commission president, adding that she feels "overwhelmed" and "very honoured" to have been nominated.
German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen attends a news conference in Strasbourg. - REUTERS/Vincent Kessler Donald Tusk, the outgoing chief of the EU Council consisting of the EU28 that nominated von der Leyen, joined the campaign trail in Strasbourg on Thursday, urging the Parliament to approve the German defence minister.
"For the first time, we achieved perfect gender balance in the top positions. Europe is not only talking about women, it is choosing women," Tusk told EU lawmakers.
"I hope it will inspire the European Parliament in its decisions."
The woo offensive has been met with resistance from many EU lawmakers blasting the nomination as undemocratic and serving the political needs of the heads of states who nominated von der Leyen.
The European Council, which is made up of all EU28 leaders, nominated von der Leyen on the third straight day of gruelling talks. She is set to be joined by fellow nominees Charles Michel as European Council president, Josep Borrell Fontelles as EU foreign policy chief, and Christine Lagarde to lead the European Central Bank.
Von der Leyen's appointment '-- if confirmed '-- would ensure the top post stays within the European People's Party, the centre-right political group that received the most votes in May's European elections. But it remains to be seen if the European Parliament would embrace a politician who is not a Spitzenkandidat.
Managing Director of IMF Christine Lagarde (centre) poses during a family photo of the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting in Fukuoka, Japan June 9, 2019. - REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon What happens next?The European Parliament must approve the nomination of von der Leyen by an absolute majority, which is half of the existing MEPs plus one. The vote is slated to take place on 16 July.
If von der Leyen does not get the majority backing as needed, then it's back to the drawing board. EU28 leaders within the European Council will then need to propose another candidate within a month's time.
Spitzenkandiat process to be testedThe sense of urgency to nominate the EU's chief executive on the third day of negotiations at the Council stemmed from the new European Parliament taking their seats for the first time in Strasbourg and voting for its president. While the president is elected by incoming MEPs, the post is nonetheless part of backdoor horsetrading deals for the Commission's top jobs.
Italian David-Maria Sassoli's successful election as Parliament president oN Wednesday is seen as a win for Socialists '-- though not the victory the centre-left group sought in getting their lead candidate Frans Timmermans in the Commission presidency.
Following Sassoli's election, the MEP said in a press conference: "I want to make clear I'm not the Council's man. I'm Parliament's man."
"The European Parliament made an autonomous and independent choice."
READ MORE | How are the EU's top jobs filled and when? | Euronews explains
Von der Leyen's nomination will test parliament's will to stand by the Spitzenkandidat process, which is non-legally binding arrangement that sees the lead candidate of the largest political group with the mandate to lead the Commission presidency. The now-former European Parliament President Antonio Tajani has continually called for the Spitzenkandidat process to be respected by the EU Council ' '-- but many EU leaders, including Emmanuel Macron, have been critical of it.
The Council's previous compromise on Sunday had been to name EPP Spitzenkandidat Manfred Weber as the European Parliament president and to give the Commission job to the Socialists' lead candidate Frans Timmermans, who France and Spain strongly support.
Commission president nominee Ursula von der Leyen talks with Manfred Weber, who was Spitzenkandidat for European People's Party, in Strasbourg on July 3, 2019. - REUTERS/Vincent Kessler Timmermans, however, remained unpalatable to eastern EU states such as Hungary and Poland, due to his role in the bloc's rule of law probes against their nationalist governments.
Czech Prime Minister Andrej BabiÅ said on Tuesday in Brussels, "The [Visegrad Four], we are very simple. We want somebody on the presidency of the commission who doesn't have a negative view about our region."
"Mr. Timmermans is not acceptable for us."
READ MORE | European Parliament elections 2019: Who is Frans Timmermans? And what does he stand for?
But the idea of von der Leyen in the top job may prove too much for socialists, especially within Germany.
Merkel herself was forced to abstain in the Council vote that nominated von der Leyen due to opposition from the Social Democrats (SPD), who are part of the government coalition.
Former European Parliament President Martin Schulz, a German socialist politician, blasted the defence minister on Twitter, saying: "A victory by Orban & Co. They have prevented Timmermans, who stands for the rule of law .... the Spitzenkandidat process is dead.''
''Von der Leyen is the weakest minister here. That seems to be enough to become head of the Commission."
Who is von der Leyen?Once thought to be a potential successor to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, von der Leyen became the country's first woman defence minister in December 2013 and has held the post since despite controversies in her political career.
She entered politics later in life, at the age of 43, but became familiar with the life of a diplomat at a young age. Her father, Ernst Albrecht, was the minister-president of Lower Saxony and the former director-general of the European Commission, among other posts, and von der Leyen herself was born in Brussels.
The 60-year-old defence minister, a close ally of Merkel, became a member of the CDU in 1990 and held various local political positions within the Hanover region between 2001-2004. Von der Leyen, a medical doctor and researcher by training, was then elected to Lower Saxony's state parliament in 2003 and became a cabinet member as the minister for social affairs, women, family affairs and health.
Her political ambitions hastened in 2005 when Merkel appointed her federal minister of family affairs, senior citizens, women and youth. In 2009, von der Leyen was elected to the Bundestag, or German federal parliament, and was tapped as the federal minister of labor and social affairs until 2013, when she became defence minister.
Reviews have been mixed about Von der Leyen's tenure as defence minister '-- and lately it's been more critical following scandals. In December last year, German opposition parties launched a parliamentary investigation into von der Leyen's role in a spending scandal involving her ministry and the allocation of multi-million euro contracts to outside consultants.
Von der Leyen in November said of the nepotism scandal: ''There were violations of the provisions guarding the awarding of contracts.''
"The involvement of external parties did not always proceed correctly. That should not be allowed to happen," she said.
Von der Leyen was in 2015 accused '-- and later cleared'-- of cheating on her PhD thesis despite instances of plagiarism. "We're talking about mistakes, not about purposeful wrongdoing," the university president said when the investigation was concluded in 2016.
Her nomination as Commission president comes at a time when her influence in domestic politics wanes. At the end of 2018, when five deputy spots were up for grabs under the CDU party's new leader Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, von der Leyen received the fewest number of votes among her colleagues.
EU Parliament's new presidentEuropean lawmakers on Wednesday elected their Italian colleague MEP David-Maria Sassoli with the centre-left Socialists and Democrats group as president of the European Parliament.
Newly-elected European Parliament President David-Maria Sassoli delivers a speech after being elected in Strasbourg. - REUTERS/Vincent Kessler Sassoli, a TV journalist turned MEP, secured the absolute majority needed from lawmakers with 345 votes after the second round of ballot casting. The 63-year-old replaces fellow Italian Antonio Tajani to lead the parliament for a half term totalling 2.5 years. The subsequent 2.5 years are expected to go to an MEP within the centre-right European People's Party.
Following Sassoli's successful election, he said to Parliament: "In these months, too many people have fuelled divisions and conflicts that we thought were a sad reminder of our history. Instead, the citizens have shown that they still believe in this extraordinary path, the only one capable of providing answers to the global challenges before us."
He also touched on scepticism within the EU, saying: "We must have the strength to relaunch our integration process, changing our Union so to be able to respond more strongly to the needs of our citizens and give real answers to their concerns, to their increasingly widespread sense of loss.''
The new European Parliament president added that his priorities include youth unemployment, migration, climate change, "digital revolution", the "new world balance".
"Today is the first day of a new parliament," he said while addressing reporters. "What we've shown is that people believe in democracy, believe in the European Union."
Want more news?
VIDEO - VIDEO : Dutch defending sends the Oranje through to World Cup Final after 1-0 win over Sweden | Euronews
Thu, 04 Jul 2019 11:56
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VIDEO - Parliament vs Council: How did the spitzenkandidat process get derailed? | Euronews
Thu, 04 Jul 2019 11:55
Over the last few months, Euronews has reported on a lengthy process where the European Parliament put forward candidates for the top jobs in the EU's administration..
We brought you an explainer video on how the Spitzenkandidat process worked - but over the last 24 hours that picture has altered irrevocably, and the short answer is that the process doesn't work at all.
Euronews' political editor Darren McCaffrey sets this up as a battle for supremacy between the European Parliament and the European Council.
"The European Parliament is trying to exert its legitimacy as the only directly elected element of the EU institutions, that it should be able to put forward its candidates," McCaffrey said.
But what transpired effectively saw that none of those candidates made it to any of the 4 top jobs.
And now many feel democracy is being undermined. The hastily agreed package has created a great deal of consternation not solely due to the hijacking of the parliamentary process, but also because of the individual personalities nominated.
In Ursula von der Leyen, the nomination for the EC presidency, you have someone who has never been a national leader, moreover she has no domestic support as Chancellor Merkel's candidate is Manfred Weber.
Christine Lagarde - lined up for the European Central Bank chief - has been embroiled in scandals at home and suffered a lack of popularity due to austerity packages she implemented as head of the International Monetary Fund.
Josep Borell - nominated to replace Federica Mogherini as EU foreign affairs chief - has dropped his fair share of diplomatic clangers and is foreign minister of Spain who don't recognise Kosovo.
Moreover, the nominees all come from positions in western Europe which is hardly representative of the whole bloc.
Anna Donath, a liberal Hungarian MEP from the Renew Europe group wrote on Facebook that the European Parliament's democratic mandate is bigger than any European institution including the European Council. "But the European Council decided on the EU institutions leaders behind closed doors, instead of the European Parliament, excluding the democratically elected representative body."
She went on to say: "As a result of the bargaining of several days the European head of states nominated people that we don't know anything about their European vision or their main priorities. Today the head of states expect the European Parliament to accept this without a word."
Watch Darren's analysis in the player above
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VIDEO - Hodgetwins on Twitter: "Nike pulls 'Betsy Ross flag' sneakers after Colin Kaepernick is offended! #WalkAwayFromNike #collusion'... "
Thu, 04 Jul 2019 11:21
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VIDEO - Drawings by children who were held in border facilities show them in cages - CBS News
Thu, 04 Jul 2019 10:58
The incoming president of the American Academy of Pediatrics toured two Customs and Border Protection (CBP) facilities last week and told CBS News the detention centers are no place for children. Dr. Sara Goza received pictures from a social worker that were drawn by children recently released from CBP custody, showing them in cages.
"When they opened the door, the first thing that ... hit us was a smell. It was the smell of sweat, urine and feces," Goza said. "And I heard crinkling to my left and I looked over there and it was a sea of silver '... there were young children, boys in there. Unaccompanied boys in there."
Goza described a room full of silent children "and they had no expression on their faces, there was no laughing, there was no joking, no talking." She said all she could hear was the rustle of those silver Mylar blankets.
"I describe them almost like dog cages with people in each of them," she said. "And the silence was just hard to watch, hard to see."
Democrats on Capitol Hill want to hear from top immigration officials about an explosive new report from the Homeland Security Department's inspector general, claiming conditions at Border Patrol facilities are so bad, one manager called them a "ticking time bomb." The unannounced inspections were made to five facilities.
Some children lacked access to showers, hot meals or changes of clothes. Thirty one percent of kids were held longer than the 72 hours allowed '' with some being held more than two weeks. At one facility, according to the report, some adults were held in standing room only conditions for a week.
The findings follow a recent visit where Democrats including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Julin Castro toured facilities in Texas and claimed to have seen "horrifying" conditions.
(C) 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.
VIDEO - David Rutz on Twitter: "Michael Eric Dyson compares Betsy Ross Flag to a swastika or burning cross during MSNBC hit. https://t.co/q0RAY4dqtW'... "
Thu, 04 Jul 2019 10:55
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VIDEO - Michael Heaver MEP on Twitter: "Ann Widdecombe gives them both barrels in the EU Parliament. ''We're off!'' https://t.co/uxRwZrBetd"
Thu, 04 Jul 2019 10:51
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VIDEO - Julin Castro applauds Nike's move pulling the Betsy Ross flag shoes '' twitchy.com
Wed, 03 Jul 2019 15:49
Dems are really going to do this? Wow.
First, it was Gov. Gavin Newsom cheering on Nike for pulling the Besty Ross flag shoes, and now it's 2020 hopeful Julin Castro saying ''I was glad to see it'' and ''they understand the significance there'':
Regarding @Nike 's decision to stop the sale of shoes featuring the Betsy Ross flag @JulianCastro tells @CBSNews "I was glad to see that." and adds "And my hope is that they didn't just do it to do it. They understand the significance there."
'-- Tim Perry (@tperry518) July 3, 2019
Watch:
.@JulianCastro tells CBSN he was "glad to see" Nike pull Betsy Ross flag sneakers from retailers https://t.co/zee28SIaIi pic.twitter.com/uw9rUzRMvf
'-- CBS News (@CBSNews) July 3, 2019
***
Related:
Gov. Gavin Newsom says Nike did the right thing pulling those flag shoes, pitches company to come to California https://t.co/w9RBdVbetp
'-- Twitchy Team (@TwitchyTeam) July 3, 2019
Let's hope he got a RECEIPT! Ted Cruz uses THE TRUTH to OWN Nike for yanking 'Betsy Ross' sneaker and all we can say is #AMERICA https://t.co/whl633EI2f
'-- Twitchy Team (@TwitchyTeam) July 2, 2019
VIDEO - What Ben Ferencz, the last Nuremberg prosecutor alive, wants the world to know - 60 Minutes - CBS News
Wed, 03 Jul 2019 13:18
It is not often you get the chance to meet a man who holds a place in history like Ben Ferencz. He's 99 years old, barely five feet tall, and he served as prosecutor of what's been called the biggest murder trial ever. The courtroom was Nuremberg; the crime, genocide; and the defendants, a group of German SS officers accused of committing the largest number of Nazi killings outside the concentration camps. More than a million men, women and children shot in their own towns and villages in cold blood.
As we first reported two years ago, Ferencz is the last Nuremberg prosecutor alive today. But he isn't content just being a part of 20th century history -- he believes he has something important to offer the world right now.
"If it's naive to want peace instead of war, let 'em make sure they say I'm naive. Because I want peace instead of war." Lesley Stahl: You know, you-- have seen the ugliest side of humanity.
Benjamin Ferencz: Yes.
Lesley Stahl: You've really seen evil. And look at you. You're the sunniest man I've ever met. The most optimistic.
27-year-old Ben Ferencz became the chief prosecutor of 22 Einsatzgruppen commanders at Nuremberg. Benjamin Ferencz: You oughta get some more friends.
Watching Ben Ferencz during his daily swim, his gym workout and his morning push-up regimen is to realize he isn't just the sunniest man we've ever met -- he may also be the fittest. And that's just the beginning.
Ben Ferencz CBS News This is Ferencz making his opening statement in the Nuremberg courtroom 71 years ago.
Ben Ferencz in court: The charges we have brought accuse the defendants of having committed crimes against humanity.
The Nuremberg trials after World War II were historic -- the first international war crimes tribunals ever held. Hitler's top lieutenants were prosecuted first. Then a series of subsequent trials were mounted against other Nazi leaders, including 22 SS officers responsible for killing more than a million people -- not in concentration camps -- but in towns and villages across Eastern Europe. They would never have been brought to justice were it not for Ben Ferencz.
Lesley Stahl: You look so young.
Benjamin Ferencz: I was so young. I was 27 years old.
Lesley Stahl: Had you prosecuted trials before?
Benjamin Ferencz: Never in my life. I don't'--
Lesley Stahl: Come on.
Benjamin Ferencz: --recall if I'd ever been in a courtroom actually.
Ferencz had immigrated to the U.S. as a baby, the son of poor Jewish parents from a small town in Romania. He grew up in a tough New York City neighborhood where his father found work as a janitor.
Ben Ferencz, 1946.Benjamin Ferencz: When I was taken to school at the age of seven, I couldn't speak English-- spoke Yiddish at home. And I was very small. And so they wouldn't let me in.
Lesley Stahl: So you didn't speak English 'til you were eight?
Benjamin Ferencz: That's correct.
Lesley Stahl: Could you read?
Benjamin Ferencz: No, on the contrary. The silent movies always had writing on it. And I would ask my father, "Wazukas," in Yiddish, "What does it say? What does it say?" He couldn't read it, either.
But Ferencz learned quickly. He became the first in his family to go to college, then got a scholarship to Harvard Law School. But during his first semester, the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, and he, like many classmates, raced to enlist. He wanted to be a pilot, but the Army Air Corps wouldn't take him.
Benjamin Ferencz: They said, "No, you're too short. Your legs won't reach the pedals." The Marines, they just looked at me and said, "Forget it, kid."
So he finished at Harvard then enlisted as a private in the Army. Part of an artillery battalion, he landed on the beach at Normandy and fought in the Battle of the Bulge. Toward the end of the war, because of his legal training, he was transferred to a brand new unit in General Patton's Third Army, created to investigate war crimes. As U.S. forces liberated concentration camps, his job was to rush in and gather evidence. Ferencz told us he is still haunted by the things he saw. And the stories he heard in those camps.
Benjamin Ferencz: A father who, his son told me the story. The father had died just as we were entering the camp. And the father had routinely saved a piece of his bread for his son, and he kept it under his arm at'... He kept it under his arm at night so the other inmates wouldn't steal it, you know. So you see these human stories which are not -- they're not real. They're not real. But they were real.
Ferencz came home, married his childhood sweetheart and vowed never to set foot in Germany again. But that didn't last long. General Telford Taylor, in charge of the Nuremberg trials, asked him to direct a team of researchers in Berlin, one of whom found a cache of top-secret documents in the ruins of the German foreign ministry.
Benjamin Ferencz: He gave me a bunch of binders, four binders. And these were daily reports from the Eastern Front-- which unit entered which town, how many people they killed. It was classified, so many Jews, so many gypsies, so many others--
Ferencz had stumbled upon reports sent back to headquarters by secret SS units called Einsatzgruppen, or action groups. Their job had been to follow the German army as it invaded the Soviet Union in 1941, and kill Communists, Gypsies and especially Jews.
Screenshot from film showing the Einsatzgruppen at work.Benjamin Ferencz: They were 3,000 SS officers trained for the purpose, and directed to kill without pity or remorse, every single Jewish man, woman, and child they could lay their hands on.
Lesley Stahl: So they went right in after the troops?
Benjamin Ferencz: That was their assignment, come in behind the troop, round up the Jews, kill 'em all.
Only one piece of film is known to exist of the Einsatzgruppen at work. It isn't easy viewing'...
Benjamin Ferencz: Well, this is typical operation. Well, see here, this-- they rounded 'em up. They all have already tags on 'em. And they're chasing them.
Lesley Stahl: They're making them run to their own death?
Benjamin Ferencz: Yes. Yes. There's the rabbi coming along there. Just put 'em in the ditch. Shoot 'em there. You know, kick 'em in.
Lesley Stahl: Oh, my God. Oh, my God.
This footage came to light years later. At the time, Ferencz just had the documents, and he started adding up the numbers.
Benjamin Ferencz: When I reached over a million people murdered that way, over a million people, that's more people than you've ever seen in your life, I took a sample. I got on the next plane, flew from Berlin down to Nuremberg, and I said to Taylor, "General, we've gotta put on a new trial."
Ben Ferencz entered into evidence the defendants' own reports of what they'd done. But the trials were already underway, and prosecution staff was stretched thin. Taylor told Ferencz adding another trial was impossible.
Benjamin Ferencz: And I start screaming. I said, "Look. I've got here mass murder, mass murder on an unparalleled scale." And he said, "Can you do this in addition to your other work?" And I said, "Sure." He said, "OK. So you do it."
And that's how 27-year-old Ben Ferencz became the chief prosecutor of 22 Einsatzgruppen commanders at trial number 9 at Nuremberg.
Judge: How do you plead to this indictment, guilty or not guilty?
Defendant: Nicht schuldig.
Benjamin Ferencz: Standard routine, nicht schuldig. Not guilty.
Judge: Guilty or not guilty?
Defendant: Nicht schuldig.
Lesley Stahl: They all say not guilty.
Benjamin Ferencz: Same thing, not guilty.
Otto OhlendorfBut Ferencz knew they were guilty and could prove it. Without calling a single witness, he entered into evidence the defendants' own reports of what they'd done. Exhibit 111: "In the last 10 weeks, we have liquidated around 55,000 Jews." Exhibit 179, from Kiev in 1941: "The city's Jews were ordered to present themselves'... about 34,000 reported, including women and children. After they had been made to give up their clothing and valuables, all of them were killed, which took several days." Exhibit 84, from Einsatzgruppen D in March of 1942: Total number executed so far: 91,678. Einsatzgruppen D was the unit of Ferencz's lead defendant Otto Ohlendorf. He didn't deny the killings -- he had the gall to claim they were done in self-defense.
Benjamin Ferencz: He was not ashamed of that. He was proud of that. He was carrying out his government's instructions.
Lesley Stahl: How did you not hit him?
Benjamin Ferencz: There was only one time I wanted to-- really. One of these-- my defendants said-- He gets up, and he says, "[GERMAN]," which is, "What? The Jews were shot? I hear it here for the first time." Boy, I felt if I'd had a bayonet I woulda jumped over the thing, and put a bayonet right through one ear, and let it come out the other. You know? You know?
Lesley Stahl: Yeah.
Benjamin Ferencz: That son of a bitch.
Lesley Stahl: And you had his name down on a piece of'--
Benjamin Ferencz: And I've got-- I've got his reports of how many he killed. You know? Innocent lamb.
Lesley Stahl: Did you look at the defendants' faces?
60 Minutes correspondent Lesley Stahl and Nuremberg prosecutor Ben Ferencz CBS News Benjamin Ferencz: Defendants' face were blank, all the time. Defendants-- absolutely blank. They could-- like, they're waiting for a bus.
Lesley Stahl: What was going on inside of you?
Benjamin Ferencz: Of me?
Lesley Stahl: Yeah.
Benjamin Ferencz: I'm still churning.
Lesley Stahl: To this minute?
Benjamin Ferencz: I'm still churning.
All 22 defendants were found guilty, and four of them, including Ohlendorf, were hanged. Ferencz says his goal from the beginning was to affirm the rule of law and deter similar crimes from ever being committed again.
Lesley Stahl: Did you meet a lot of people who perpetrated war crimes who would otherwise in your opinion have been just a normal, upstanding citizen?
"War makes murderers out of otherwise decent people. All wars, and all decent people." Benjamin Ferencz: Of course, is my answer. These men would never have been murderers had it not been for the war. These were people who could quote Goethe, who loved Wagner, who were polite--
Lesley Stahl: What turns a man into a savage beast like that?
Benjamin Ferencz: He's not a savage. He's an intelligent, patriotic human being.
Lesley Stahl: He's a savage when he does the murder though.
Benjamin Ferencz: No. He's a patriotic human being acting in the interest of his country, in his mind.
Lesley Stahl: You don't think they turn into savages even for the act?
Benjamin Ferencz: Do you think the man who dropped the nuclear bomb on Hiroshima was a savage? Now I will tell you something very profound, which I have learned after many years. War makes murderers out of otherwise decent people. All wars, and all decent people.
So Ferencz has spent the rest of his life trying to deter war and war crimes by establishing an international court '' like Nuremburg. He scored a victory when the international criminal court in The Hague was created in 1998. He delivered the closing argument in the court's first case.
"If they tell me they want war instead of peace, I don't say they're naive, I say they're stupid." Lesley Stahl: Now, you've been at this for 50 years, if not more. We've had genocide since then.
Benjamin Ferencz: Yes.
Lesley Stahl: In Cambodia'--
Benjamin Ferencz: Going on right this minute, yes.
Lesley Stahl: Going on right this minute in Sudan.
Benjamin Ferencz: Yes.
Lesley Stahl: We've had Rwanda, we've had Bosnia. You're not getting very far.
Benjamin Ferencz: Well, don't say that. People get discouraged. They should remember, from me, it takes courage not to be discouraged.
Lesley Stahl: Did anybody ever say that you're naive?
Benjamin Ferencz: Of course. Some people say I'm crazy.
Lesley Stahl: Are you naive here?
Benjamin Ferencz: Well, if it's naive to want peace instead of war, let 'em make sure they say I'm naive. Because I want peace instead of war. If they tell me they want war instead of peace, I don't say they're naive, I say they're stupid. Stupid to an incredible degree to send young people out to kill other young people they don't even know, who never did anybody any harm, never harmed them. That is the current system. I am naive? That's insane.
Ferencz is legendary in the world of international law, and he's still at it. He never stops pushing his message and he's donating his life savings to a Genocide Prevention Initiative at the Holocaust Museum. He says he's grateful for the life he's lived in this country, and it's his turn to give back.
Lesley Stahl: You are such an idealist.
Benjamin Ferencz: I don't think I'm an idealist. I'm a realist. And I see the progress. The progress has been remarkable. Look at the emancipation of woman in my lifetime. You're sitting here as a female. Look what's happened to the same-sex marriages. To tell somebody a man can become a woman, a woman can become a man, and a man can marry a man, they would have said, "You're crazy." But it's a reality today. So the world is changing. And you shouldn't-- you know-- be despairing because it's never happened before. Nothing new ever happened before.
Lesley Stahl: Ben'--
Benjamin Ferencz: We're on a roll.
Lesley Stahl: I can't'--
Benjamin Ferencz: We're marching forward.
Lesley Stahl: Ben? I'm sitting here listening to you. And you're very wise. And you're full of energy and passion. And I can't believe you're 97 years old.
Benjamin Ferencz: Well, I'm still a young man.
Lesley Stahl: Clearly, clearly.
Benjamin Ferencz: And I'm still in there fighting. And you know what keeps me going? I know I'm right.
Produced by Shari Finkelstein and Nieves Zuberb¼hler.
(C) 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.
VIDEO - Joy Reid: Trump's July Fourth Celebration is Meant as a Threat to Americans - YouTube
Wed, 03 Jul 2019 12:27
VIDEO - Facebook, YouTube Overrun With Bogus Cancer-Treatment Claims - WSJ
Wed, 03 Jul 2019 12:24
>> Facebook Inc. and YouTube are being flooded with scientifically dubious and potentially harmful information about alternative cancer treatments, which sometimes gets viewed millions of times, a Wall Street Journal examination found.
Now, the companies say they are taking steps to curb such accounts. Facebook last month changed its News Feed algorithms to reduce promotion of posts promising miracle cures or flogging health services, a move that will reduce the number of times they pop up in user feeds, the company says. Some of the affected posts involve a supplement salesman who promotes baking-soda injections as part of cancer treatment.
''Misleading health content is particularly bad for our community,'' Facebook said in a blog post announcing the moves.
Alphabet Inc.'s YouTube has been cutting off advertising for bogus cancer-treatment channels, a spokesman said. It is working with medical doctors to identify content promoting unproven claims and medical conspiracy theories and has tweaked its algorithms to reduce the number of times these dubious videos are presented to users.
Facebook and YouTube detailed their recent actions on cancer-related content after the Journal presented them with its findings. Widespread misinformation sometimes appeared alongside ads, videos or pages for proven treatments, the Journal found.
Medical snake oil is an age-old problem, but the internet has dramatically extended the reach of bad actors peddling fixes for complex conditions that don't always have cures. The amount of misinformation is so extensive'--and publishing on tech platforms so easy'--that it can be hard to weed out. Patients come to appointments armed with information they have found online, some of it inaccurate, doctors say. Purveyors of misinformation inflate results from early laboratory studies for remedies that haven't been tested in humans, for instance.
''The granule of truth behind some of these can be very persuasive and can be manipulated by people who are trying to sell,'' said Fumiko Chino, a Duke Cancer Institute oncologist. Patients aren't relying on a single source; there are a multitude of sites and social-media accounts promoting misinformation, she and other doctors said.
The two tech giants' efforts are part of a broader move by Silicon Valley to police health-related content on platforms, and it is becoming as thorny an issue for the industry as its efforts to tackle hate speech, which has sparked complaints about censorship and political bias.
YouTube, which has guidelines that don't allow videos that can result in immediate harm, considers medical misinformation especially concerning, a spokesman said. Videos conveying inaccurate medical information are among the 8.3 million videos the company says it has removed during the first three months of this year for violating its policies. The YouTube spokesman said that while the company's systems aren't perfect, YouTube's results for searches for cancer information have improved.
Earlier this year, Facebook said it would crack down on false criticism of vaccines spread by skeptics, an effort that the company has acknowledged has a long way to go. YouTube also changed its algorithms to play down results for antivaccination content. And Pinterest has stopped surfacing vaccination-related search results because most cautioned against vaccines.
Public-health authorities blame such unwarranted skepticism for lower vaccination rates that have contributed to recent measles outbreaks.
A Journal investigation found misinformation about cancer treatment widely available on social-media sites. The Journal spoke to dozens of oncologists, patients, lawyers, privacy experts and company representatives, and quantified the reach of several social-media accounts that promoted scientifically unvalidated cancer therapies.
As of Monday, YouTube videos viewed millions of times were among the postings advocating the use of a cell-killing, or necrotizing, ointment called black salve to treat skin cancer. Use of the ointment can inadvertently burn or kill healthy skin, and doesn't remove cancerous growths beneath the skin, as is claimed in some videos, said David Gorski, a professor of surgery at Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit who edits the blog Science-Based Medicine. The wounds could also lead to infection.
According to Dr. Gorski, misinformation about cancer on the internet is as much of a public-health issue as antivaccine misinformation. ''It's hard to argue which one is the worst,'' he said.
Often the videos and social-media postings are connected with online businesses seeking to generate sales of books, supplements and unproven products.
A Facebook page with more than 60,000 likes promotes baking-soda injections and juicing regimens to treat cancer sold by a supplement salesman named Robert O. Young. Mr. Young was convicted in a San Diego County court in 2016 for practicing medicine without a license.
Gina Darvas, the San Diego deputy district attorney who prosecuted him, said that Mr. Young used the internet'--in particular YouTube and Facebook'--to earn as much as $5 million a year before his conviction.
Mr. Young has multiple Facebook pages currently. He has a personal page and he and his affiliate run others dedicated to selling products and services, internationally and domestically. The pages contain posts with embedded videos and links to YouTube.
Weeks after getting out of jail in November 2017, Mr. Young was back on Facebook. His main page gets frequent updates with posts selling his discredited cancer and dietary theories, plus services and products. Videos on an account featuring Mr. Young have earned more than 900,000 views, according to an analysis by social-media intelligence firm Storyful, which is owned by News Corp., the Journal's parent company.
Mr. Young didn't respond to Facebook and email messages seeking comment, or a message left via one of his product distributors seeking comment for this article.
A study published in the journal JAMA Oncology last year found patients who chose alternative treatments over scientifically validated cancer therapies like surgery, chemotherapy or radiation had a higher risk of death.
In July 2012, a cancer patient named Naima Houder Mohamed flew from the U.K. to Mr. Young's Southern California ranch after seeing his videos on YouTube. She had received a regimen of baking-soda injections and low-acid foods, according to her brother, a family friend and San Diego prosecutors. Ms. Houder Mohamed died of metastatic breast carcinoma in November 2012, according to prosecutors and her family.
The 12 weeks of treatments at Mr. Young's San Diego ranch cost about $70,000, according to her brother, Rachid Houder Mohamed. He said he was forced to sell his transportation business to get the family out of debt.
Mr. Houder Mohamed said that he was disappointed that Facebook and YouTube continue to host Mr. Young's content. ''He robbed us of 12 weeks of the last segment of my sister's life,'' he said in an interview. ''Facebook should be fined for allowing this to go as long as it has.''
Facebook didn't immediately respond to email messages seeking comment on Mr. Houder Mohamed's criticism.
Purveyors of medical misinformation sometimes buy ads to promote their wares. The more popular ones on YouTube can serve ads with their videos and generate income. Ads for well-known brands, including pharmaceutical companies and auto makers, preceded videos for a channel named Chris Beat Cancer before the Journal asked about the channel and YouTube took away the advertising.
The channel, which has 125,000 subscribers, plays down the benefits of preventive screenings like mammograms, and promotes non-validated tests, including thermography. Thermography is a noninvasive imaging tool that shows heat and blood flow near the surface of the skin. It is often billed online as a safer, more effective alternative to mammograms, though the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned in February that thermography alone wasn't an effective way to screen for breast cancer.
The account, managed by cancer survivor Chris Wark, also promotes alternative cancer treatments, like diet. In his videos, Mr. Wark says to viewers he isn't ''anti-chemo,'' but that he supports patients having access to information that can help them make their own decisions.
Mr. Wark didn't respond to requests for comment about social-media posting policies.
Write to Daniela Hernandez at daniela.hernandez@wsj.com and Robert McMillan at Robert.Mcmillan@wsj.com
VIDEO - Weaponized Ignorance - Race and The Race For President in 2020 | WHUR 96.3 FM
Wed, 03 Jul 2019 12:07
Harold Fisher'ƒ|'ƒJuly 2, 2019 at 8:22 pm in Podcasts, The Daily Drum Insight Segment Democratic presidential contender Kamala Harris last week spoke about race in America. She brought the issue into the living rooms of Americans who wanted to hear from the candidates during the Democratic presidential debates last week. She also took Vice President Joe Biden to task about working segregationist senators on Capitol Hill. We dive deeper into the issue of race and presidential campaign politics.http://whur.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/THE-DAILY-DRUM-7.2.19-RACE-AND-THE-PRESIDENTIAL-RACE.mp3Dr. Greg Carr, Chair, Afro-American Studies, Howard University
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VIDEO - The Hillary Clinton cover-up at the Department of State is finally collapsing. Judicial Watch's Chris Farrell with Sebastian Gorka on AMERICA First - America First with Sebastian Gorka
Wed, 03 Jul 2019 04:31
The Hillary Clinton cover-up at the Department of State is finally collapsing. Judicial Watch's Chris Farrell with Sebastian Gorka on AMERICA First
AMERICA First is the newest nationally-syndicated radio show in the United States, part of the Salem Radio Network. The host, Sebastian Gorka PhD., served most recently as Deputy Assistant for Strategy to the President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, and is author of the New York Times bestselling book ''Defeating Jihad.'' His latest book is ''Why We Fight: Defeating America's Enemies '' With No Apologies.'' You can follow him on Twitter @SebGorka, on Facebook, and on Instagram @sebastian_gorka. AMERICA First is available on the iTunes podcast app, streams live at www.sebgorka.com, and is on YouTube. You can contact him here.
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VIDEO - Making Sense with Sam Harris #161 - Rise & Fall (with Jared Diamond) - YouTube
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VIDEO - Nate Boyer on suggesting Colin Kaepernick kneel instead of sit during anthem | First Take | ESPN - YouTube
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VIDEO - ESPN host slams Kaepernick for not voting - YouTube
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VIDEO - Negan on Twitter: "@adamcurry @THErealDVORAK you can get a clip out of this! Its hilarious!'... "
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VIDEO - Nunes demands information on Mifsud from government agencies - YouTube
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VIDEO - Nigel Farage on Twitter: "Heard some say that Brexit MEPs were ''disrespectful'' today. I'll tell you what is disrespectful '-- taking the ancient nation states of Europe and turning it into one country with its own anthem and flag, without ev
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VIDEO - Mr. Joseph (Yossi) Cohen, Director of the Mossad - YouTube
Tue, 02 Jul 2019 13:39
VIDEO - NowThis on Twitter: "'What we saw today was unconscionable.' '-- @AOC spoke out against migrant detention camps after witnessing them firsthand'... https://t.co/S6MvEziffe"
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VIDEO - Electric cars: New vehicles to emit noise to aid safety - BBC News
Tue, 02 Jul 2019 12:39
Image copyright Reuters New electric vehicles will have to feature a noise-emitting device, under an EU rule coming into force on Monday.
It follows concerns that low-emission cars and vans are too quiet, putting pedestrians at risk because they cannot be heard as they approach.
All new types of four-wheel electric vehicle must be fitted with the device, which sounds like a traditional engine.
A car's acoustic vehicle alert system (Avas) must sound when reversing or travelling below 12mph (19km/h).
The EU says the cars are most likely to be near pedestrians when they are backing up or driving slowly, although drivers will have the power to deactivate the devices if they think it is necessary.
The charity Guide Dogs - which had complained it was difficult to hear low-emission cars approaching - welcomed the change, but said electric vehicles should make a sound at all speeds.
Roads minister Michael Ellis said the government wanted "the benefits of green transport to be felt by everyone" and understood the concerns of the visually impaired.
"This new requirement will give pedestrians added confidence when crossing the road," he added.
From 2021 all new electric cars must have an Avas, not just new models.
The government has announced plans to ban new petrol and diesel cars and vans being sold by 2040.
Alternatively-fuelled vehicles made up 6.6% of the new car market in May, compared with 5.6% during the same month in 2018.
VIDEO - YouTube Removes as ''Hate Speech'' David Draiman Interview Video Ripping Roger Waters and BDS | Israellycool
Tue, 02 Jul 2019 12:25
Earlier this morning, I posted Disturbed singer David Draiman's glorious ripping of Roger Waters and the BDS movement. I included audio of the interview, which I had uploaded to YouTube.
In case you noticed the video is not working for you, there's a reason for that: YouTube removed it.
This is how YouTube defines ''hate speech'':
Hate speech is not allowed on YouTube. We remove content promoting violence or hatred against individuals or groups based on any of the following attributes:
'' Age'' Caste'' Disability'' Ethnicity'' Gender Identity'' Nationality'' Race'' Immigration Status'' Religion'' Sex/Gender'' Sexual Orientation'' Victims of a major violent event and their kin'' Veteran Status
Nothing David said in the interview falls under this.
In the meantime, there are countless antisemites and racists on YouTube engaging in actual hate speech on a regular basis, free of consequences. Heck, this includes Roger Waters and the BDS movement, about whom David was speaking!
I have appealed YouTube's decision and hope to be able to post a positive update in the very near future.
Please help ensure Israellycool can keep going, by donating one time or monthly
VIDEO - Rand Paul "One Of The Typical Things You Find About Socialism Is People Wind Up Eating Their Pets" - YouTube
Tue, 02 Jul 2019 12:12
VIDEO - VIDEO: Pelosi Speaking Before AIPAC Says Father Was A Shabbos Goy'
Tue, 02 Jul 2019 12:12
Source: VIN News
This is not a Deep Fake, she however is very fake
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VIDEO - Representative Ratcliffe: ''Horowitz Investigative Work is Complete'''... | The Last Refuge
Tue, 02 Jul 2019 11:47
An interesting discussion between Representative John Ratcliffe, former congressman Trey Gowdy and Fox News Host Jason Chaffetz surrounding: the pending Inspector General Report into FISA abuse; the upcoming Mueller testimony; and the activity of U.S. Attorney John Durham.
Within the interview Ratcliffe notes he has recently spoken to Inspector General Horowitz about the timing of his upcoming report where Ratcliffe says the ''investigative work is complete''. WATCH :
.
If previous reports of Christopher Steele being willing to speak to U.S. authorities about his dossier work in 2016 are accurate; and if Horowitz has completed his investigative work; then it's likely Horowitz has already interviewed Steele.
The IG FISA investigation began in May of 2018, approximately 14 months ago. The assembly of the investigative details into a draft report should be expected to take about four to six weeks depending on the OIG referencer team and the scale of the summary documentation assembled.
However, a concerning aspect to Ratcliffe's comments surrounds the 20% of the report stated to be ''classified''. I am very suspicious of this statement.
One of the hopeful objectives projected upon President Trump granting AG Bill Barr the authority to declassify information, was the possibility this would allow AG Barr to remove the classification concerns within the IG report. If 20% is indeed classified, those projected hopes are considerably diminished and we should modify expectations accordingly.
One of the most consistent tools used by the DOJ and FBI to bury their institutional corruption has been the use of classification to hide damaging material. While the information from Ratcliffe is obviously limited it sounds like the DOJ and FBI will have an opportunity to continue hiding information.
Once a draft report is prepared, cited and referenced, the draft will then undergo an administrative review '' that's the troublesome phase. The administrative review is where the prior IG reports seemed to be shaped to protect the interests of the institutions under Rod Rosenstein, Robert Mueller and Christopher Wray.
The administratively approved draft report is then re-checked by the referencer to insure the notations of fact are accurately cited. Then the draft report is usually sent to the principals outlined in the report, and they are given approximately two weeks to provide feedback.
The principals must sign non-disclosure agreements prior to being allowed to review the draft. However, the public will likely know when this part is happening because while the principals cannot divulge the details the identified participants will make public comments about the report, and publicly begin to position their defenses.
If the principals provide feedback or counter opinion as to the substance of the report content the IG may allow those points to be included in the final report. Usually if the IG adds counter-points in the report the IG will also note material as to why those counterpoints may or may not hold merit.
The draft, the principal responses, the counter-points and all of the reference material is then assembled into a final report that is submitted to the DOJ Attorney General; and in this case, likely the FBI Director. The AG will then make the report public.
Depending on the scale of the investigation and all of the participating departments a rough estimate for final public report would be eight weeks +/- from the conclusion of the investigative phase.
Roughly four weeks for draft assembly and referencer check; two to four weeks for administrative review; another two weeks for principal review/feedback; another week or so for IG counter-points and additional reference citations; and then AG review of final report before release.
If Ratcliffe is accurate; and considering we don't know when the investigative phase actually concluded; the most likely public release date (just an estimate based on historical IG reporting) would be the end of August or early September.
Here's the list of material possible for declassification. This was the original list as outlined in 2018:
All versions of the Carter Page FISA applications (DOJ) (FBI) (ODNI).All of the Bruce Ohr 302's filled out by the FBI. (FBI) (ODNI)All of Bruce Ohr's emails (FBI) (DOJ) (CIA) (ODNI). All supportive documents and material provided by Bruce Ohr to the FBI. (FBI)All relevant documents pertaining to the supportive material within the FISA application. (FBI) (DOJ-NSD ) (DoS) (CIA) (DNI) (NSA) (ODNI);All intelligence documents that were presented to the Gang of Eight in 2016 that pertain to the FISA application used against U.S. person Carter Page; including all intelligence documents that may not have been presented to the FISA Court. (CIA) (FBI) (DOJ) (ODNI) (DoS) (NSA) Presumably this would include the recently revealed State Dept Kavalac email; and the FBI transcripts from wiretaps of George Papadopoulos (also listed in Carter Page FISA). [AKA 'Bucket Five']All unredacted text messages and email content between Lisa Page and Peter Strzok on all devices. (FBI) (DOJ) (DOJ-NSD) (ODNI)The originating CIA ''EC'' or two-page electronic communication from former CIA Director John Brennan to FBI Director James Comey that started Operation Crossfire Hurricane in July 2016. (CIA) (FBI) (ODNI)Additionally, since the 2018 list was developed, more information has surfaced about underlying material. This added to the possibility of documents for declassification:
'... President Trump can prove the July 31st, 2016, Crossfire Hurricane counterintelligence operation originated from a scheme within the intelligence apparatus by exposing the preceding CIA operation that created the originating ''Electronic Communication'' memo. Declassify that two-page ''EC'' document that Brennan gave to Comey. [The trail is found within the Weissmann report and the use of Alexander Downer '' SEE HERE]
'... Release and declassify all of the Comey memos that document the investigative steps taken by the FBI as an outcome of the operation coordinated by CIA Director John Brennan in early 2016. [The trail was memorialized by James Comey '' SEE HERE]
'... Reveal the November 2015 through April 2016 FISA-702 search query abuse by declassifying the April 2017 court opinion written by FISC Presiding Judge Rosemary Collyer. Show the FBI contractors behind the 85% fraudulent search queries. [Crowdstrike? Fusion-GPS? Nellie Ohr? Daniel Richman?] This was a weaponized surveillance and domestic political spying operation. [The trail was laid down in specific detail by Judge Collyer '' SEE HERE]
'... Subpoena former DOJ-NSD (National Security Division) head John Carlin, or haul him in front of a grand jury, and get his testimony about why he hid the abuse from the FISA court in October 2016; why the DOJ-NSD rushed the Carter Page application to beat NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers to the FISA court; and why Carlin quit immediately thereafter.
'... Prove the Carter Page FISA application (October 2016) was fraudulent and based on deceptions to the FISA Court. Declassify the entire document, and release the transcripts of those who signed the application(s); and/or depose those who have not yet testified. The creation of the Steele Dossier was the cover-up operation. [SEE HERE]
'... Release all of the Lisa Page and Peter Strzok text messages without redactions. Let sunlight pour in on the actual conversation(s) that were taking place when Crossfire Hurricane (July '16) and the FISA Application (Oct '16) were taking place. The current redactions were made by the people who weaponized the intelligence system for political surveillance and spy operation. This is why Page and Strzok texts are redacted!
'... Release all of Bruce Ohr 302's, FBI notes from interviews and debriefing sessions, and other relevant documents associated with the interviews of Bruce Ohr and his internal communications. Including exculpatory evidence that Bruce Ohr may have shared with FBI Agent Joseph Pientka. [And get a deposition from this Pientka fella] Bruce Ohr is the courier, carrying information from those outside to those on the inside.
'... Release the August 2nd, 2017, two-page scope memo provided by DAG Rod Rosenstein to special counsel Robert Mueller to advance the fraudulent Trump investigation, and initiate the more purposeful obstruction of justice investigation. Also Release the October 20th, 2017, second scope memo recently discovered. The Scope Memos are keys to unlocking the underlying spy/surveillance cover-up. [SEE HERE and SEE HERE]
It would appear the Rosenstein scope memos, Kavalec memo about contact with Chris Steele, original FISA application of Carter Page and transcript of Papadopoulos conversation with Halper etc, could be released without impeding John Durham.
Worth noting there is likely no grand jury currently seated to review material. If there was a grand jury seated Durham would be conducting an investigation, and not a ''review''. Additionally, if Durham was conducting an 'investigation' he would be a material witness to the evidence he is discovering. It's doubtful AG Barr would want Durham to be a witness; he'd likely prefer him to be a prosecuting attorney (just a guess).
The Inspector General report on FISA abuse was reportedly delayed due to the angle of interviewing Christopher Steele. Given the nature of this aspect; and considering the process for a report assembly after investigation all the way to release (a minimum of a month or more); it is highly unlikely we will see the IG report until August or September 2019'... which triggers suspicions of the proverbial DC can-kicking process.
It is interesting how Special Counsel Robert Mueller could efficiently move from investigations to indictments, to court cases and pleadings, through to jury trials and convictions within a year'.... Yet the full weight of the DOJ can't complete an investigation of corrupt internal behavior in multiple years.
Perhaps the inefficiency is an institutional feature, not a flaw. Or perhaps we will all be pleasantly surprised.
VIDEO - Mueller auditions - YouTube
Tue, 02 Jul 2019 11:11
VIDEO - Exclusive Interview: Trump sits down with Tucker Carlson in Japan - YouTube
Tue, 02 Jul 2019 03:40
VIDEO - 'Brown Steve Bannon': Stop what you're doing and watch Fareed Zakaria dismantle the Dem position on asylum seekers in 3 minutes and 57 seconds '' twitchy.com
Mon, 01 Jul 2019 17:05
Oh, man! CNN's Fareed Zakaria totally dismantled the Dem position on asylum seekers during the opening monologue of his show on Sunday.
Highlights:
''It pains me to say this, but [President Trump] is right that the United States faces a crisis with its asylum system''''The average immigration case has been pending for more than 700 days''''The rules surrounding asylum are vague, lax and being gamed''''Some applicants for asylum have suspiciously similar stories using identical phrases''''Many simply use the system to enter the U.S. and melt into the shadows''''Asylum is meant to be granted to a very small number of people in extreme circumstances, not as a substitute for the process of immigration itself.''WATCH:
"Democrats might hope that the out of control situation at the southern border undermines Trump's image'... as a tough guy who can tackle immigration. But they should be careful '' it could actually work to the President's advantage." '' @FareedZakariahttps://t.co/yxItyYqe5o pic.twitter.com/YxjAEWupiK
'-- CNN (@CNN) June 30, 2019
He's a ''brown Steve Bannon''? LOLOLOLOL:
After seeing Fareed's segment going after asylum seekers today, I'm going to have to disagree strongly. Thought I was watching brown Steve Bannon for a minute, disgusting.
'-- MrFeedback (@noiserawker) June 30, 2019
More from his WaPost op-ed:
Democrats have spent most of their efforts on immigration assailing the Trump administration for its heartlessness'--but that does not address the roots of this genuine crisis.
My latest column:https://t.co/EOoyunOHyy
'-- Fareed Zakaria (@FareedZakaria) June 28, 2019
And boom:
These looser criteria, coupled with the reality that it is a safe way to enter the United States, have made the asylum system easy to abuse. Applications from Hondurans, Guatemalans and Salvadorans have surged even though the murder rate in their countries has been cut in half. More broadly, hundreds of millions of people around the world who live in poor, unstable regions where threats of violence abound could apply for asylum. Do they all have the legal right to enter the United States through a back door, bypassing the normal immigration process?
The Trump administration's approach has been mostly trying to toughen up the criteria, hire more judges and push Mexico to keep applicants from entering the United States. Some toughening is essential. For example, the loophole that allows applicants to work while their claim is pending has simply created perverse incentives.
But a much larger fix is needed. The criteria for asylum need to be rewritten and substantially tightened. The number of courts and officials dealing with asylum must be massively expanded. (According to former immigration official David Martin, today's crisis has its roots in the budgetary cuts of the mid-Obama years, which starved the government of resources to process asylum applicants quickly.) People should not be able to use asylum claims as a way to work in the United States. There needs to be much greater cooperation with the home countries of these applicants rather than insults, threats and aid freezes. No one fix will do it, but we need the kind of sensible bipartisan legislation that has resolved past immigration crises.
Over to you, Dems.
***
VIDEO - Kamala Harris on claims of low blow shot at Biden's record: "Just speaking truth" - YouTube
Mon, 01 Jul 2019 13:28
VIDEO - RFK Jr: Truth about my father's killing still kept secret - YouTube
Mon, 01 Jul 2019 03:28
VIDEO - WATCH: DNC Chair Tom Perez Defends Giving Health Care To Illegal Aliens
Sun, 30 Jun 2019 20:32
Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez appeared on "Fox News Sunday." During the discussion with Chris Wallace, the issue of providing health care to illegal aliens came up.
"Every person on that stage '' all 10 of them '' said that they would provide health insurance coverage for people in this country illegally, either under Obamacare or Medicare For All, whichever they supported," Wallace said. "No talk about preexisting conditions, you gotta be working in this country. No talk about you gotta be paying in taxes. The basic point was that you're in this country legally or illegally, you get health insurance coverage."
Naturally, Perez defended Democrats' position.
"And it's an insurance program, so you've got to pay into it. As you know, immigrants, including undocumented immigrants, pay billions of dollars in taxes and that's the reality," Perez explained. "What Democrats also said, Chris, which is far different than Republicans, is that if you have a preexisting condition you should be able to keep your coverage. Democrats believe health care should be available. Affordable, quality health care should be available to everyone. And, thanks to Obama, thanks to LBJ, Medicare and Medicaid, we're 90 percent of the way there."
DNC Chair Tom Perez backs government health care benefits for illegal immigrantshttps://t.co/RgAD52JGDY pic.twitter.com/mNKZLF7EPv
'-- RNC Research (@RNCResearch) June 30, 2019Democrats wonder why people are flocking to our southern border in droves. Democrats wonder what could possibly be so terrible in Central America that caravans full of people are arriving in the United States. It's not because all of them are asylum seekers who fear for their lives. Yes, there are some very legitimate cases. Most, however, are not seeking asylum. They're coming to America because they know that once they get into the United States they have access to social welfare programs. Need food? There's food stamps and WIC. Need housing? HUD will get you taken care of. Can't afford health insurance? The government's got you covered with Medicaid.
As Democrats talk about expanding even more social programs for illegal aliens, don't be surprised if Border Patrol's apprehensions along the southern border continue to break record levels. Democrats are literally encouraging the rest of the world to come to America, where we can take care of them from the moment they arrive.
STORIES
Asylum in the United States - Wikipedia
Thu, 04 Jul 2019 14:29
Annual Refugee Admissions to the United States by Fiscal Year, 1975 to mid-2018
Annual Asylum Grants in the United States by Fiscal Year, 1990-2016
The United States recognizes the right of asylum for individuals as specified by international and federal law.[1] A specified number of legally defined refugees who either apply for asylum from inside the U.S. or apply for refugee status from outside the U.S., are admitted annually. Refugees compose about one-tenth of the total annual immigration to the United States, though some large refugee populations are very prominent. Since World War II, more refugees have found homes in the U.S. than any other nation[citation needed ] and more than two million refugees have arrived in the U.S. since 1980. In the years 2005 through 2007, the number of asylum seekers accepted into the U.S. was about 40,000 per year. This compared with about 30,000 per year in the UK and 25,000 in Canada. The U.S. accounted for about 10% of all asylum-seeker acceptances in the OECD countries in 1998-2007.[2] The United States is by far the most populous OECD country and receives fewer than the average number of refugees per capita: In 2010-14 (before the massive migrant surge in Europe in 2015) it ranked 28 of 43 industrialized countries reviewed by UNHCR.[3]
Asylum has two basic requirements. First, an asylum applicant must establish that he or she fears persecution in their home country.[4] Second, the applicant must prove that he or she would be persecuted on account of one of five protected grounds: race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or particular social group.[5]
Character of refugee inflows and resettlement [ edit ] During the Cold War, and up until the mid-1990s, the majority of refugees resettled in the U.S. were people from the former-Soviet Union and Southeast Asia.[citation needed ] The most conspicuous of the latter were the refugees from Vietnam following the Vietnam War, sometimes known as "boat people". Following the end of the Cold War, the largest resettled European group were refugees from the Balkans, primarily Serbs, from Bosnia and Croatia.[citation needed ] In the 1990s/2000s, the proportion of Africans rose in the annual resettled population, as many fled various ongoing conflicts.[citation needed ]
Large metropolitan areas have been the destination of most resettlements, with 72% of all resettlements between 1983 and 2004 going to 30 locations.[citation needed ] The historical gateways for resettled refugees have been California (specifically Los Angeles, Orange County, San Jose, and Sacramento), the Mid-Atlantic region (New York in particular), the Midwest (specifically Chicago, St. Louis, Minneapolis-St. Paul), and Northeast (Providence, Rhode Island).[citation needed ] In the last decades of the twentieth century, Washington, D.C.; Seattle, Washington; Portland, Oregon; and Atlanta, Georgia provided new gateways for resettled refugees. Particular cities are also identified with some national groups: metropolitan Los Angeles received almost half of the resettled refugees from Iran, 20% of Iraqi refugees went to Detroit, and nearly one-third of refugees from the former Soviet Union were resettled in New York.[citation needed ]
Between 2004 and 2007, nearly 4,000 Venezuelans claimed political asylum in the United States and almost 50% of them were granted. In contrast, in 1996, only 328 Venezuelans claimed asylum, and a mere 20% of them were granted.[6] According to USA Today, the number of asylums being granted to Venezuelan claimants has risen from 393 in 2009 to 969 in 2012.[7] Other references agree with the high number of political asylum claimants from Venezuela, confirming that between 2000 and 2010, the United States has granted them with 4,500 political asylums.[8]
Criticism [ edit ] Despite this, concerns have been raised with the U.S. asylum and refugee determination processes. A recent empirical analysis by three legal scholars described the U.S. asylum process as a game of refugee roulette; that is to say that the outcome of asylum determinations depends in large part on the personality of the particular adjudicator to whom an application is randomly assigned, rather than on the merits of the case. The very low numbers of Iraqi refugees accepted between 2003 and 2007 exemplifies concerns about the United States' refugee processes. The Foreign Policy Association reported that "Perhaps the most perplexing component of the Iraq refugee crisis... has been the inability for the U.S. to absorb more Iraqis following the 2003 invasion of the country. Up until 2008, the U.S. has granted less than 800 Iraqis refugee status, just 133 in 2007. By contrast, the U.S. granted asylum to more than 100,000 Vietnamese refugees during the Vietnam War." [9]
Relevant law and procedures [ edit ] "The Immigration and Nationality Act ('INA') authorizes the Attorney General to grant asylum if an alien is unable or unwilling to return to their country of origin because she has suffered past persecution or has a well-founded fear of future persecution on account of 'race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.'"[1]
The United States is obliged to recognize valid claims for asylum under the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol. As defined by these agreements, a refugee is a person who is outside their country of nationality (or place of habitual residence if stateless) who, owing to a fear of persecution on account of a protected ground, is unable or unwilling to avail himself of the protection of the state. Protected grounds include race, nationality, religion, political opinion and membership of a particular social group. The signatories to these agreements are further obliged not to return or "refoul" refugees to the place where they would face persecution.
This commitment was codified and expanded with the passing of the Refugee Act of 1980 by the United States Congress. Besides reiterating the definitions of the 1951 Convention and its Protocol, the Refugee Act provided for the establishment of an Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to help refugees begin their lives in the U.S. The structure and procedures evolved and by 2004, federal handling of refugee affairs was led by the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM) of the U.S. Department of State, working with the ORR at HHS. Asylum claims are mainly the responsibility of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
Refugee quotas [ edit ] Each year, the President of the United States sends a proposal to the Congress for the maximum number of refugees to be admitted into the country for the upcoming fiscal year, as specified under section 207(e) (1)-(7) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. This number, known as the "refugee ceiling", is the target of annual lobbying by both refugee advocates seeking to raise it and anti-immigration groups seeking to lower it. However, once proposed, the ceiling is normally accepted without substantial Congressional debate. The September 11, 2001 attacks resulted in a substantial disruption to the processing of resettlement claims with actual admissions falling to about 26,000 in fiscal year 2002. Claims were doublechecked for any suspicious activity and procedures were put in place to detect any possible terrorist infiltration, though some advocates noted that, given the ease with which foreigners can otherwise legally enter the U.S., entry as a refugee is comparatively unlikely. The actual number of admitted refugees rose in subsequent years with refugee ceiling for 2006 at 70,000. Critics note these levels are still among the lowest in 30 years.
Recent actual, projected and proposed refugee admissionsYearAfrica%East Asia%Europe%Latin Americaand Caribbean%Near East andSouth Asia%UnallocatedreserveTotalFY 2012 actual arrivals[10]10,60818.2114,36624.671,1291.942,0783.5730,05751.61-58,238FY 2013 ceiling[10]12,00017,0002,0005,00031,0003,00070,000FY 2013 actual arrivals[11]15,98022.8516,53723.655800.834,4396.3532,38946.32-69,925FY 2014 ceiling[11]15,00014,0001,0005,00033,0002,00070,000FY 2014 actual arrivals[12]17,47624.9714,78421.129591.374,3186.1732,45046.36-69,987FY 2015 ceiling[12]17,00013,0001,0004,00033,0002,00070,000FY 2015 actual arrivals[13]22,47232.1318,46926.412,3633.382,0502.9324,57935.14-69,933FY 2016 ceiling[13]25,00013,0004,0003,00034,0006,00085,000FY 2016 actual arrivals[14]31,62537.2112,51814.733,9574.651,3401.5735,55541.83-84,995FY 2017 ceiling[15]35,00012,0004,0005,00040,00014,000110,000FY 2017 actual arrivals[16]20,23237.665,1739.635,2059.691,6883.1421,41839.87-53,716FY 2018 ceiling[17]19,0005,0002,0001,50017,500-45,000FY 2018 actual arrivals[18]10,45946.503,66816.313,61216.069554.253,79716.88-22,491FY 2019 ceiling[19]11,0004,0003,0003,0009,000-30,000*FY 2019 actual arrivals[20]8,39558.232,45817.052,11114.643502.431,1027.64-14,416FY 2019, actual arrivals up to April 26, 2019.A total of 73,293 persons were admitted to the United States as refugees during 2010. The leading countries of nationality for refugee admissions were Iraq (24.6%), Burma (22.8%), Bhutan (16.9%), Somalia (6.7%), Cuba (6.6%), Iran (4.8%), DR Congo (4.3%), Eritrea (3.5%), Vietnam (1.2%) and Ethiopia (0.9%).
Application for resettlement by refugees abroad [ edit ] The majority of applications for resettlement to the United States are made to U.S. embassies in foreign countries and are reviewed by employees of the State Department. In these cases, refugee status has normally already been reviewed by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and recognized by the host country. For these refugees, the U.S. has stated its preferred order of solutions are: (1) repatriation of refugees to their country of origin, (2) integration of the refugees into their country of asylum and, last, (3) resettlement to a third country, such as the U.S., when the first two options are not viable.[citation needed ]
The United States prioritizes valid applications for resettlement into three levels.[citation needed ]
Priority One [ edit ] persons facing compelling security concerns in countries of first asylum; persons in need of legal protection because of the danger of refoulement; those in danger due to threats of armed attack in an area where they are located; or persons who have experienced recent persecution because of their political, religious, or human rights activities (prisoners of conscience); women-at-risk; victims of torture or violence, physically or mentally disabled persons; persons in urgent need of medical treatment not available in the first asylum country; and persons for whom other durable solutions are not feasible and whose status in the place of asylum does not present a satisfactory long-term solution. '' UNHCR Resettlement Handbook[citation needed ]Priority Two [ edit ] is composed of groups designated by the U.S. government as being of special concern. These are often identified by an act proposed by a Congressional representative. Priority Two groups proposed for 2008 included:[21]
"Jews, Evangelical Christians, and Ukrainian Catholic and Orthodox religious activists in the former Soviet Union, with close family in the United States" (This is the amendment which was proposed by Senator Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J. and originally enacted November 21, 1989.[22])from Cuba: "human rights activists, members of persecuted religious minorities, former political prisoners, forced-labor conscripts (1965-68), persons deprived of their professional credentials or subjected to other disproportionately harsh or discriminatory treatment resulting from their perceived or actual political or religious beliefs or activities, and persons who have experienced or fear harm because of their relationship '' family or social '' to someone who falls under one of the preceding categories"[citation needed ]from Vietnam: "the remaining active cases eligible under the former Orderly Departure Program (ODP) and Resettlement Opportunity for Vietnamese Returnees (ROVR) programs"; individuals who, through no fault of their own, were unable to access the ODP program before its cutoff date; and Amerasian citizens, who are counted as refugee admissions[citation needed ]individuals who have fled Burma and who are registered in nine refugee camps along the Thai/Burma border and who are identified by UNHCR as in need of resettlement[citation needed ]UNHCR-identified Burundian refugees who originally fled Burundi in 1972 and who have no possibility either to settle permanently in Tanzania or return to Burundi[citation needed ]Bhutanese refugees in Nepal registered by UNHCR in the recent census and identified as in need of resettlementIranian members of certain religious minorities[citation needed ]Sudanese Darfurians living in a refugee camp in Anbar Governorate in Iraq would be eligible for processing if a suitable location can be identified[citation needed ]Priority Three [ edit ] is reserved for cases of family reunification, in which a refugee abroad is brought to the United States to be reunited with a close family member who also has refugee status. A list of nationalities eligible for Priority Three consideration is developed annually. The proposed countries for FY2008 were Afghanistan, Burma, Burundi, Colombia, Congo (Brazzaville), Cuba, Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Eritrea, Ethiopia, Haiti, Iran, Iraq, Rwanda, Somalia, Sudan and Uzbekistan.[21]
Individual application [ edit ] This article
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( November 2008 )The minority of applications that are made by individuals who have already entered the U.S. are judged on whether they meet the U.S. definition of "refugee" and on various other statutory criteria (including a number of bars that would prevent an otherwise-eligible refugee from receiving protection). There are two ways to apply for asylum while in the United States:
If an asylum seeker has been placed in removal proceedings before an immigration judge with the Executive Office for Immigration Review, which is a part of the Department of Justice, the individual may apply for asylum with the Immigration Judge.If an asylum seeker is inside the United States and has not been placed in removal proceedings, he or she may file an application with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), regardless of their legal status in the United States. However, if the asylum seeker is not in valid immigration status and USCIS does not grant the asylum application, USCIS may place the applicant in removal proceedings, in that case a judge will consider the application anew. The immigration judge may also consider the applicant for relief that the asylum office has no jurisdiction to grant, such as withholding of removal and protection under the Convention Against Torture. Since the effective date of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act passed in 1996, an applicant must apply for asylum within one year[23] of entry or be barred from doing so unless the applicant can establish changed circumstances that are material to their eligibility for asylum or exceptional circumstances related to the delay.Immigrants who were picked up after entering the country between entry points can be released by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on payment of a bond, and an immigration judge may lower or waive the bond. In contrast, refugees who asked for asylum at an official point of entry before entering the U.S. cannot be released on bond. Instead, ICE officials have full discretion to decide whether they can be released.[24]
If an applicant is eligible for asylum, they have a procedural right to have the Attorney General make a discretionary determination as to whether the applicant should be admitted into the United States as an asylee. An applicant is also entitled to mandatory "withholding of removal" (or restriction on removal) if the applicant can prove that her life or freedom would be threatened upon return to her country of origin. The dispute in asylum cases litigated before the Executive Office for Immigration Review and, subsequently, the federal courts centers on whether the immigration courts properly rejected the applicant's claim that she is eligible for asylum or other relief.
The applicant has the burden of proving that he (or she) is eligible for asylum. To satisfy this burden, an applicant must show that she has a well-founded fear of persecution in her home country on account of either race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group.[25] The applicant can demonstrate her well-founded fear by demonstrating that she has a subjective fear (or apprehension) of future persecution in her home country that is objectively reasonable. An applicant's claim for asylum is stronger where she can show past persecution, in which case she will receive a presumption that she has a well-founded fear of persecution in her home country. The government can rebut this presumption by demonstrating either that the applicant can relocate to another area within her home country in order to avoid persecution, or that conditions in the applicant's home country have changed such that the applicant's fear of persecution there is no longer objectively reasonable. Technically, an asylum applicant who has suffered past persecution meets the statutory criteria to receive a grant of asylum even if the applicant does not fear future persecution. In practice, adjudicators will typically deny asylum status in the exercise of discretion in such cases, except where the past persecution was so severe as to warrant a humanitarian grant of asylum, or where the applicant would face other serious harm if returned to their country of origin. In addition, applicants who, according to the US Government, participated in the persecution of others are not eligible for asylum.[26]
A person may face persecution in their home country because of race, nationality, religion, ethnicity, or social group, and yet not be eligible for asylum because of certain bars defined by law. The most frequent bar is the one-year filing deadline. If an application is not submitted within one year following the applicant's arrival in the United States, the applicant is barred from obtaining asylum unless certain exceptions apply. However, the applicant can be eligible for other forms of relief such as Withholding of Removal, which is a less favorable type of relief than asylum because it does not lead to a Green Card or citizenship. The deadline for submitting the application is not the only restriction that bars one from obtaining asylum. If an applicant persecuted others, committed a serious crime, or represents a risk to U.S. security, he or she will be barred from receiving asylum as well.[27]
After 2001, asylum officers and immigration judges became less likely to grant asylum to applicants, presumably because of the attacks on 11 September.[28]In 1986 an Immigration Judge agreed not to send Fidel Armando-Alfanso back to Cuba, based on his membership in a particular social group (gay people) who were persecuted and feared further persecution by the government of Cuba.[29] The Board of Immigration Appeals upheld the decision in 1990, and in 1994, then-Attorney General Janet Reno ordered this decision to be a legal precedent binding on Immigration Judges and the Asylum Office, and established sexual orientation as a grounds for asylum.[29][30] However, in 2002 the Board of Immigration Appeals ''suggested in an ambiguous and internally inconsistent decision that the 'protected characteristic' and 'social visibility' tests may represent dual requirements in all social group cases.''[31][32] The requirement for social visibility means that the government of a country from which the person seeking asylum is fleeing must recognize their social group, and that LGBT people who hide their sexual orientation, for example out of fear of persecution, may not be eligible for asylum under this mandate.[32]
In 1996 Fauziya Kasinga, a 19-year-old woman from the Tchamba-Kunsuntu people of Togo, became the first person to be granted asylum in the United States to escape female genital mutilation. In August 2014, the Board of Immigration Appeals, the United States's highest immigration court, found for the first time that women who are victims of severe domestic violence in their home countries can be eligible for asylum in the United States.[33] However, that ruling was in the case of a woman from Guatemala and was anticipated to only apply to women from there.[33] On June 11, 2018, Attorney General Jeff Sessions reversed that precedent and announced that victims of domestic abuse or gang violence will no longer qualify for asylum.[34]
INS v. Cardoza-Fonseca precedent [ edit ] The term "well-founded fear" has no precise definition in asylum law. In INS v. Cardoza-Fonseca, 480 U.S. 421 (1987), the Supreme Court avoided attaching a consistent definition to the term, preferring instead to allow the meaning to evolve through case-by-case determinations. However, in Cardoza-Fonseca, the Court did establish that a "well-founded" fear is something less than a "clear probability" that the applicant will suffer persecution. Three years earlier, in INS v. Stevic, 467 U.S. 407 (1984), the Court held that the clear probability standard applies in proceedings seeking withholding of deportation (now officially referred to as 'withholding of removal' or 'restriction on removal'), because in such cases the Attorney General must allow the applicant to remain in the United States. With respect to asylum, because Congress employed different language in the asylum statute and incorporated the refugee definition from the international Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, the Court in Cardoza-Fonseca reasoned that the standard for showing a well-founded fear of persecution must necessarily be lower.
An applicant initially presents his claim to an asylum officer, who may either grant asylum or refer the application to an Immigration Judge. If the asylum officer refers the application and the applicant is not legally authorized to remain in the United States, the applicant is placed in removal proceedings. After a hearing, an immigration judge determines whether the applicant is eligible for asylum. The immigration judge's decision is subject to review on two, and possibly three, levels. First, the immigration judge's decision can be appealed to the Board of Immigration Appeals. In 2002, in order to eliminate the backlog of appeals from immigration judges, the Attorney General streamlined review procedures at the Board of Immigration Appeals. One member of the Board can affirm a decision of an immigration judge without oral argument; traditional review by three-judge panels is restricted to limited categories for which "searching appellate review" is appropriate. If the BIA affirms the decision of the immigration court, then the next level of review is a petition for review in the United States court of appeals for the circuit in which the immigration judge sits. The court of appeals reviews the case to determine if "substantial evidence" supports the immigration judge's (or the BIA's) decision. As the Supreme Court held in INS v. Ventura, 537 U.S. 12 (2002), if the federal appeals court determines that substantial evidence does not support the immigration judge's decision, it must remand the case to the BIA for further proceedings instead of deciding the unresolved legal issue in the first instance. Finally, an applicant aggrieved by a decision of the federal appeals court can petition the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case by a discretionary writ of certiorari. But the Supreme Court has no duty to review an immigration case, and so many applicants for asylum forego this final step.
Notwithstanding his statutory eligibility, an applicant for asylum will be deemed ineligible if:
the applicant participated in persecuting any other person on account of that other person's race, religion, national origin, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion;the applicant constitutes a danger to the community because he has been convicted in the United States of a particularly serious crime;the applicant has committed a serious non-political crime outside the United States prior to arrival;the applicant constitutes a danger to the security of the United States;the applicant is inadmissible on terrorism-related grounds;the applicant has been firmly resettled in another country prior to arriving in the United States; orthe applicant has been convicted of an aggravated felony as defined more broadly in the immigration context.Conversely, even if an applicant is eligible for asylum, the Attorney General may decline to extend that protection to the applicant. (The Attorney General does not have this discretion if the applicant has also been granted withholding of deportation.) Frequently the Attorney General will decline to extend an applicant the protection of asylum if he has abused or circumvented the legal procedures for entering the United States and making an asylum claim.
Work permit and permanent residence status [ edit ] An in-country applicant for asylum is eligible for a work permit (employment authorization) only if their application for asylum has been pending for more than 150 days without decision by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) or the Executive Office for Immigration Review. If an asylum seeker is recognized as a refugee, he or she may apply for lawful permanent residence status (a green card) one year after being granted asylum. Asylum seekers generally do not receive economic support. This, combined with a period where the asylum seeker is ineligible for a work permit is unique among developed countries and has been condemned from some organisations, including Human Rights Watch.[35]
Up until 2004, recipients of asylee status faced a wait of approximately fourteen years to receive permanent resident status after receiving their initial status, because of an annual cap of 10,000 green cards for this class of individuals. However, in May 2005, under the terms of a proposed settlement of a class-action lawsuit, Ngwanyia v. Gonzales, brought on behalf of asylees against CIS, the government agreed to make available an additional 31,000 green cards for asylees during the period ending on September 30, 2007. This is in addition to the 10,000 green cards allocated for each year until then and was meant to speed up the green card waiting time considerably for asylees. However, the issue was rendered somewhat moot by the enactment of the REAL ID Act of 2005 (Division B of United States Public Law 109-13 (H.R. 1268)), which eliminated the cap on annual asylee green cards. Currently, an asylee who has continuously resided in the US for more than one year in that status has an immediately available visa number.
On April 29, 2019, President Trump ordered new restrictions on asylum seekers at the Mexican border '-- including application fees and work permit restraints '-- and directed that cases in the already clogged immigration courts be settled within 180 days.[36]
Unaccompanied Refugee Minors Program [ edit ] An Unaccompanied Refugee Minor (URM) is any person who has not attained 18 years of age who entered the United States unaccompanied by and not destined to: (a) a parent, (b) a close non-parental adult relative who is willing and able to care for said minor, or (c) an adult with a clear and court-verifiable claim to custody of the minor; and who has no parent(s) in the United States.[37] These minors are eligible for entry into the URM program. Trafficking victims who have been certified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the United States Department of Homeland Security, and/or the United States Department of State are also eligible for benefits and services under this program to the same extent as refugees.
The URM program is coordinated by the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), a branch of the United States Administration for Children and Families. The mission of the URM program is to help people in need ''develop appropriate skills to enter adulthood and to achieve social self-sufficiency.'' To do this, URM provides refugee minors with the same social services available to U.S.-born children, including, but not limited to, housing, food, clothing, medical care, educational support, counseling, and support for social integration.[38]
History of the URM Program
URM was established in 1980 as a result of the legislative branch's enactment of the Refugee Act that same year.[39] Initially, it was developed to ''address the needs of thousands of children in Southeast Asia'' who were displaced due to civil unrest and economic problems resulting from the aftermath of the Vietnam War, which had ended only five years earlier.[38] Coordinating with the United Nations and ''utilizing an executive order to raise immigration quotas, President Carter doubled the number of Southeast Asian refugees allowed into the United States each month.''[40] The URM was established, in part, to deal with the influx of refugee children.
URM was established in 1980, but the emergence of refugee minors as an issue in the United States ''dates back to at least WWII.''[39] Since that time, oppressive regimes and U.S. military involvement have consistently ''contributed to both the creation of a notable supply of unaccompanied refugee children eligible to relocate to the United States, as well as a growth in public pressure on the federal government to provide assistance to these children."[39]
Since 1980, the demographic makeup of children within URM has shifted from being largely Southeast Asian to being much more diverse. Between 1999 and 2005, children from 36 different countries were inducted into the program.[39] Over half of the children who entered the program within this same time period came from Sudan, and less than 10% came from Southeast Asia.[39]
Perhaps the most commonly known group to enter the United States through the URM program was known as the ''Lost Boys'' of Sudan. Their story was made into a documentary by Megan Mylan and Jon Shenk. The film, Lost Boys of Sudan, follows two Sudanese refugees on their journey from Africa to America. It won an Independent Spirit Award and earned two national Emmy nominations.[41]
Functionality
In terms of functionality, the URM program is considered a state-administered program. The U.S. federal government provides funds to certain states that administer the URM program, typically through a state refugee coordinator's office. The state refugee coordinator provides financial and programmatic oversight to the URM programs in their state. The state refugee coordinator ensures that unaccompanied minors in URM programs receive the same benefits and services as other children in out-of-home care in the state. The state refugee coordinator also oversees the needs of unaccompanied minors with many other stakeholders.[42]
ORR contracts with two faith-based agencies to manage the URM program in the United States; Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS)[43] and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). These agencies identify eligible children in need of URM services; determine appropriate placements for children among their national networks of affiliated agencies; and conduct training, research and technical assistance on URM services. They also provide the social services such as: indirect financial support for housing, food, clothing, medical care and other necessities; intensive case management by social workers; independent living skills training; educational supports; English language training; career/college counseling and training; mental health services; assistance adjusting immigration status; cultural activities; recreational opportunities; support for social integration; and cultural and religious preservation.[44]
The URM services provided through these contracts are not available in all areas of the United States. The 14 states that participate in the URM program include: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, North Dakota, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington and the nation's capital, Washington D.C.[44]
Adoption of URM Children
Although they are in the United States without the protection of their family, URM-designated children are not generally eligible for adoption. This is due in part to the Hague Convention on the Protection and Co-Operation in Respect of Inter-Country Adoption, otherwise known as the Hague Convention. Created in 1993, the Hague Convention established international standards for inter-country adoption.[45] In order to protect against the abduction, sale or trafficking of children, these standards protect the rights of the biological parents of all children. Children in the URM program have become separated from their biological parents and the ability to find and gain parental release of URM children is often extremely difficult. Most children, therefore, are not adopted. They are served primarily through the foster care system of the participating states. Most will be in the custody of the state (typically living with a foster family) until they become adults. Reunification with the child's family is encouraged whenever possible.
U.S. government support after arrival [ edit ] As soon as people seeking asylum in the United States are accepted as refugees they are eligible for public assistance just like any other person, including cash welfare, food assistance, and health coverage. Many refugees depend on public benefits, but over time may become self-sufficient.[46]
Availability of public assistance programs can vary depending on which states within the United States refugees are allocated to resettle in. For example, health policies differ from state to state, and as of 2017, only 33 states expanded Medicaid programs under the Affordable Care Act.[47] In 2016, The American Journal of Public Health reported that only 60% of refugees are assigned to resettlement locations with expanding Medicaid programs, meaning that more than 1 in 3 refugees may have limited healthcare access.[48]
In 2015, the world saw the greatest displacement of people since World War II with 65.3 million people having to flee their homes.[49] In fiscal year 2016, the Department of State's Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration under the Migration and Refugee Assistance Act (MRA) requested that $442.7 million be allocated to refugee admission programs that relocate refugees into communities across the country.[50] President Obama made a "Call to Action" for the private sector to make a commitment to help refugees by providing opportunities for jobs and accommodating refugee accessibility needs.[51]
Child separation [ edit ] The recent U.S. Government policy known as "Zero-tolerance" was implemented in April 2018.[52] In response, a number of scientific organizations released statements on the negative impact of child separation, a form of childhood trauma, on child development, including the American Psychiatric Association,[53] the American Psychological Association,[54] the American Academy of Pediatrics,[55] the American Medical Association,[56] and the Society for Research in Child Development.[57]
Efforts are underway to minimize the impact of child separation. For instance, the National Child Traumatic Stress Network released a resource guide and held a webinar related to traumatic separation and refugee and immigrant trauma.
LGBTQ asylum seekers [ edit ] Historically, homosexuality was considered a deviant behavior in the US, and the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 barred homosexual individuals from entering the United States due to concerns about their psychological health.[58] One of the first successful LGBT asylum pleas to be granted refugee status in the United States due to sexual orientation was a Cuban national whose case was first presented in 1989.[59] The case was affirmed by the Board of Immigration Appeals and the barring of LGBT and queer individuals into the United States was repealed in 1990. The case, known as Matter of Acosta (1985), set the standard of what qualified as a "particular social group." This new definition of "social group" expanded to explicitly include homosexuality and the LGBT population. It considers homosexuality and gender identity a "common characteristic of the group either cannot change or should not be required to change because it is fundamental to their individual identities or consciences."[60] This allows political asylum to some LGBT individuals who face potential criminal penalties due to homosexuality and sodomy being illegal in the home country who are unable to seek protection from the state.[61][62] The definition was intended to be open-ended in order to fit with the changing understanding of sexuality. According to Fatma Marouf, the definition established in Acosta was influential internationally, appealing to "the fundamental norms of human rights."[63]
Experts disagree on the role of sexuality in the asylum process. Stefan Volger argues that the definition of social group tends to be relatively flexible, and describes sexuality akin to religion'--one might change religions but characteristics of religion are protected traits that can't be forced.[60][63] However, Susan Berger argues that while homosexuality and other sexual minorities might be protected under the law, the burden of proving that they are an LGBT member demonstrates a greater immutable view of the expected LGBT performance.[64] The importance of visibility is stressed throughout the asylum process, as sexuality is an internal characteristic. It is not visibly represented in the outside appearance.[63]
When considering how sexuality is viewed, research utilize asylum claim decisions and individual cases to understand what is considered characteristic of being a member of the LGBT community. In migration studies, there was an implicit assumption that immigrants are heterosexual and LGBT people are citizens.[65]
One theory that took route within the queer migrations studies was Jasbir Puar's idea of homonationalism. According to Paur, following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack, the movement against terrorists also resulted in a reinforcement of the binary "us vs. them" against some members of the LGBT community. The social landscape was termed "homonormative nationalism" or homonationalism.[66]
According to Amanda M. G"mez, sexual orientation identity is formed and performed in the asylum process.[67] Unlike race or gender, in sexual orientation asylum claims, applicants have to prove their sexuality to convince asylum officials that they are truly part of their social group.[67] Rachel Lewis and Nancy Naples argue that LGBT people may not seem credible if they do not fit Western stereotypes of what LGBT people look like[68]. The expectation is that lesbians will present in masculine ways, while gay men will present in feminine ways.[68] Eithne Luibh(C)id recognizes this presentation issue as connecting to the mainstream narrative that same-sex attraction comes from a problem of women being trapped in the men's body and vice-versa.[69] Dress, mannerisms, and style of speech, as well as not having had public romantic relationships with the opposite sex, may be perceived by the immigration judge as not reflective of the applicants' sexual orientation.[69] Scholars and legal experts have long argued that asylum law has created legal definitions for homosexuality that are essentialist and damaging for our understanding of queerness.[67]
Obstacles asylum seekers face [ edit ] Gender [ edit ] Female asylum seekers may encounter issues when seeking asylum in the United States due to what some see as a structural preference for male narrative forms in the requirements for acceptance.[64] Researchers, such as Amy Shuman and Carol Bohmer, argue that the asylum process produces gendered cultural silences, particular in hearings where the majority of narrative construction takes place.[70] Cultural silences refers to things that women refrain from sharing, due to shame, humiliation, and other deterrents.[70] These deterrents can make achieving asylum more difficult as it can keep relevant information from being shared with the asylum judge.[70]
Susan Berger argues that the relationship between gender and sexuality leads to arbitrary case decisions, as there are no clear guidelines for when the private problems becomes an international problem. Berger uses case specific examples of asylum applications where gender and sexuality both act as an immutable characteristic. She argues that because male persecutors of lesbian and heterosexual female applicants tend to be family members, their harm occurs in the private domain and is therefore excluded from asylum consideration. Male applicants, on the other hand, are more likely to experience targeted, public persecution that relates better to the traditional idea of a homosexual asylum seeker. Male applicants are encouraged to perform gay stereotypes to strengthen their asylum application on the basis of sexual orientation, while lesbian women face the same difficulties as their heterosexual partners to perform the homosexual narrative.[64] Joe Rollins found that gay male applicants were more likely to be granted refugee status if they included rape in their narratives, while gay Asian immigrants were less likely to be granted refugee status over all, even with the inclusion of rape.[71] This, he claimed, was due to Asian men being subconsciously feminized.[71]
These experiences are articulated during the hearing process where the responsibility to prove membership is on the applicant.[64][70][60] During the hearing process, applicants are encouraged to demonstrate persecution for gender or sexuality and place the source as their own culture. Shuman and Bohmer argue that in sexual minorities, it is not enough to demonstrate only violence, asylum applicants have to align themselves against a restrictive culture. The narratives are forced to fit into categories shaped by western culture or be found to be fraudulent.[70]
According to Shuman and Bohmer, due to women's social position in most countries, lesbians are more likely to stay in the closet, which often means that they do not have the public visibility element that the asylum process requires for credibility.[70] This leads to Lewis and Naples' critique to the fact that asylum officials often assume that since women do not live such public lives as men do, that they would be safe from abuse or persecution, in comparison to gay men who are often part of the public sphere.[68] This argument violates the basic concept that one's sexual orientation is a fundamental right and that family and the private sphere are often the first spaces where lesbians experience violence and discrimination.[68] Because lesbians live such hidden lives, they tend to lack police reports, hospital records, and letters of support from witnesses, which decreases their chances of being considered credible and raises the stakes of effectively telling their stories in front of asylum officials.[68]
Mexican Transgender Asylum Seeker [ edit ] LGBT individuals have a higher risk for mental health problems when compared to cis-gender counterparts and many transgender individuals face socioeconomic difficulties in addition to being an asylum seeker. In a study conducted by Mary Gowin, E. Laurette Taylor, Jamie Dunnington, Ghadah Alshuwaiyer, and Marshall K. Cheney of Mexican Transgender Asylum Seekers, they found 5 major stressors among the participants including assault (verbal, physical and sexual), "unstable environments, fear for safety and security, hiding undocumented status, and economic insecurity."[72] They also found that all of the asylum seekers who participated reported at least one health issue that could be attributed to the stressors. They accessed little or no use of health or social services, attributed to barriers to access, such as fear of the government, language barriers and transportation.[72] They are also more likely to report lower levels of education due to few opportunities after entering the United States. Many of the asylum seeker participants entered the United States as undocumented immigrants. Obstacles to legal services included fear and knowledge that there were legal resources to gaining asylum.[72]
Human Rights Activism [ edit ] Human Rights and LGBT advocates have worked to create many improvements to the LGBT Asylum Seekers coming into the United States.[73] A 2015 report issued by the LGBT Freedom and Asylum network identifies best practices for supporting LGBT asylum seekers in the US.[74] The US State Department has also issued a factsheet on protecting LGBT refugees.[75]
Film [ edit ] The 2000 documentary film Well-Founded Fear, from filmmakers Shari Robertson and Michael Camerini marked the first time that a film crew was privy to the private proceedings at the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS), where individual asylum officers ponder the often life-or-death fate of the majority of immigrants seeking asylum. The film analyzes the US asylum application process by following several asylum applicants and asylum officers.
See also [ edit ] Right of asylumExileRefugee ActImmigration to the United StatesNegusie v. Holder (2009)United States Citizenship and Immigration ServicesWell-Founded FearGeorgetown University Law Center, Center for Applied Legal StudiesSanctuary cityBoika v. Holder (2013)Refugee childrenLutheran Immigration and Refugee ServiceSame-sex immigration policy in the United StatesSources [ edit ] David Weissbrodt and Laura Danielson, Immigration Law and Procedure, 5th ed., West Group Publishing, 2005, ISBN 0-314-15416-7Notes and references [ edit ] ^ a b Matter of A-B-, 27 I&N Dec. 316, 317-18 (A.G. 2018); 8 U.S.C. § 1158 ("Asylum"). ^ Spreadsheet: Inflows of asylum seekers into selected OECD countries. Associated migration report: OECD International Migration Outlook 2009. ^ UNHCR (2015). Asylum Trends 2014: Levels and Trends in Industrialized Countries, p. 20. Retrieved 27 May 2016. ^ Scott Rempell, Defining Persecution, http://ssrn.com/abstract=1941006 ^ "8 USC 1101(a)(42)(A)". Legal Information Institute. Cornell University . Retrieved 25 November 2018 . ^ http://www.discipleshomemissions.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/DW-WWW-2009-RIMStudy.pdf ^ "Venezuelan middle class seeks refuge in Miami". ^ "Thousands of Venezuelans Have Gotten Political Asylum in the U.S." 24 June 2011. ^ "Global Views: Iraq's refugees, by R. Nolan, Foreign Policy Association Features, Resource Library, June 12, 2007. ^ a b US Department of State "Proposed refugee admissions for fiscal year 2014" ^ a b US Department of State "Proposed refugee admissions for fiscal year 2015" ^ a b US Department of State "Proposed refugee admissions for fiscal year 2016" ^ a b US Department of State "Proposed refugee admissions for fiscal year 2017" ^ US Department of State "Arrivals by Region 2016_09_30 Archived 2015-11-06 at the Wayback Machine" ^ "Presidential Determination - Refugee Admissions for Fiscal Year 2017" ^ Admissions Reports | Arrivals by region | 2017 ^ "Proposed Refugee Admissions for Fiscal Year 2018" ^ Admissions Reports | Arrivals by region | 2018 ^ "Proposed Refugee Admissions for Fiscal Year 2019" ^ Admissions & Arrivals | Arrivals by Region ^ a b Report to the Congress Submitted on Behalf of The President of The United States to the Committees on the Judiciary United States Senate and United States House of Representatives in Fulfillment of the Requirements of Section 207(E) (1)-(7) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, Released by the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration of the United States Department of State, p. 8 ^ Perry, Jeffrey (June 6, 2013). "The Lautenberg Amendment". CounterPunch Magazine . Retrieved March 9, 2017 . ^ Schaefer, Kimberley. "Applying for Asylum in the United States". kschaeferlaw.com/. Kimberley Schaefer . Retrieved 6 August 2012 . ^ Satija, Neena (2018-07-05). "The Trump administration is not keeping its promises to asylum seekers who come to ports of entry". The Texas Tribune . Retrieved 2018-07-07 . ^ Chang, Ailsa (September 28, 2018). "Thousands Could Be Deported As Government Targets Asylum Mills' Clients". NPR (All Things Considered). NPR. ^ Schaefer, Kimberley. "Asylum in the United States". kschaeferlaw.com/immigration-overview/asylum. Kimberley Schaefer . Retrieved 6 August 2012 . ^ Kutidze, Givi. "Green Card Through Asylum". us-counsel.com/green-cards/green-card-asylum. Givi Kutidze . Retrieved 20 November 2016 . ^ Farris, Christopher J. and Rottman, Andy J. ''The Path to Asylum in the US and the Determinants for Who Gets In and Why.'' International Migration Review, Volume 43, Issue 1, Pages 3-34. First Published March 2, 2009. ^ a b "Asylum Based on Sexual Orientation and Fear of Persecution". Archived from the original on 24 February 2015 . Retrieved 3 December 2014 . ^ "How Will Ugandan Gay Refugees Be Received By U.S.?". NPR.org. 24 February 2014 . Retrieved 3 December 2014 . ^ Marouf, Fatma E. (2008) "The Emerging Importance of "Social Visibility" in Defining a Particular Social Group and Its Potential Impact on Asylum Claims Related to Sexual Orientation and Gender". Scholarly Works. Paper 419, pg. 48 ^ a b "Social visibility, asylum law, and LGBT asylum seekers". Twin Cities Daily Planet . Retrieved 3 December 2014 . ^ a b Preston, Julia (29 August 2014). "In First for Court, Woman Is Ruled Eligible for Asylum in U.S. on Basis of Domestic Abuse". The New York Times. p. A12 . Retrieved 15 June 2018 . ^ Benner, Katie; Dickerson, Caitlin (11 June 2018). "Sessions Says Domestic and Gang Violence Are Not Grounds for Asylum". The New York Times. p. A1 . Retrieved 15 June 2018 . ^ Human Rights Watch (12 November 2013). US: Catch-22 for Asylum Seekers. Retrieved 27 May 2016. ^ Kanno-Youngs, Zolan; Dickerson, Caitlin (2019-04-29). "Asylum Seekers Face New Restraints Under Latest Trump Orders". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331 . Retrieved 2019-04-30 . ^ Congressional Research Service Report to Congress, Unaccompanied Refugee Minors, Policyarchive.org pg. 7 ^ a b "About Unaccompanied Refugee Minors". Department of Health and Human Services. [permanent dead link ] ^ a b c d e "Unaccompanied Refugee Minors" (PDF) . Congressional Research Service. ^ "The Vietnam War and Its Impact - Refugees and 'boat people ' ". Encyclopedia of the New American Nation. ^ "Lost Boys of Sudan :: About The Film" . Retrieved 3 December 2014 . ^ "The United States Unaccompanied Refugee Minor Program" (PDF) . United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. ^ "LIRS '' Stand for Welcome with Migrants and Refugees". Archived from the original on 11 May 2012 . Retrieved 3 December 2014 . ^ a b "Unaccompanied Refugee Minors" . Retrieved 3 December 2014 . ^ Department of State, Office of Children's Issues: Intercountry Adoption Overview Adoption.state.gov Archived 2010-11-03 at the Wayback Machine ^ "Ten Facts About U.S. Refugee Resettlement". migrationpolicy.org. 2015-10-21 . Retrieved 2016-11-17 . ^ "A 50-State Look at Medicaid Expansion". Families USA. 2013-12-16 . Retrieved 2018-04-17 . ^ Agrawal, Pooja; Venkatesh, Arjun Krishna (2016). "Refugee Resettlement Patterns and State-Level Health Care Insurance Access in the United States". American Journal of Public Health. 106 (4): 662''3. doi:10.2105/ajph.2015.303017. PMC 4816078 . PMID 26890186. ^ "Global Refugee Crisis". Partnership for Refugees . Retrieved 2016-11-17 . ^ Congressional Presentation Document Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) FY 2016 [PDF] - U.S. Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration ^ "Private Sector Call to Action on Refugees". state.gov . Retrieved 2016-11-17 . ^ "Memorandum for Federal Prosecutors Along the Southwest Border, Zero-Tolerance for Offenses Under 8 U.S.C. § 1325(a)". ^ "APA Statement Opposing Separation of Children from Parents at the Border". psychiatry.org . Retrieved 2018-07-27 . ^ "Statement of APA President Regarding the Traumatic Effects of Separating Immigrant Families". apa.org . Retrieved 2018-07-27 . ^ "AAP Statement on Executive Order on Family Separation". aap.org . Retrieved 2018-07-27 . ^ "Doctors oppose policy that splits kids from caregivers at border". AMA Wire. 2018-06-13 . Retrieved 2018-07-27 . ^ "The Science is Clear: Separating Families has Long-term Damaging Psychological and Health Consequences for Children, Families, and Communities". Society for Research in Child Development . Retrieved 2018-07-27 . ^ Shannon, Minter (1993). "Sodomy and Public Morality Offenses under U.S. Immigration Law: Penalizing Lesbian and Gay Identity". Cornell International Law Journal. 26 (3). ISSN 0010-8812. ^ "Social visibility, asylum law, and LGBT asylum seekers". Twin Cities Daily Planet. October 7, 2013. ^ a b c Vogler, Stefan (2016). "Legally Queer: The Construction of Sexuality in LGBQ Asylum Claims". Law & Society Review. 50 (4): 856''889. ^ Kerr, Jacob (June 19, 2015). "LGBT Asylum Seekers Not Getting Enough Relief In U.S., Report Finds". Huffington Post. ^ Taracena, Maria In(C)s (May 27, 2014). "LGBT Global Persecution Leads to Asylum Seekers in Southern AZ". Arizona Public Media, NPR. ^ a b c Marouf, Fatma (2008). "The Emerging Importance of "Social Visibility" in Defining a "Particular Social Group" and Its Potential Impact on Asylum Claims Related to Sexual Orientation and Gender". Yale Law & Policy Review. 27 (1): 47''106. ^ a b c d Berger, Susan A (2009). "Production and Reproduction of Gender and Sexuality in Legal Discourses of Asylum in the United States". Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society. 34 (3): 659''85. doi:10.1086/593380. ^ Lewis, Rachel A; Naples, Nancy A (2014). "Introduction: Queer migration, asylum, and displacement". Sexualities. 17 (8): 911''8. doi:10.1177/1363460714552251. ^ Puar, Jasbir K (2007). Terrorist Assemblages. doi:10.1215/9780822390442. ISBN 978-0-8223-9044-2. [page needed ] ^ a b c G"mez, Amanda (2017). "Tremendo Show: Performing and Producing Queerness in Asylum Claims Based on Sexual Orientation". LGBTQ Policy Journal. 7: 1''8. ^ a b c d e Lewis, Rachel A; Naples, Nancy A (2014-12-01). "Introduction: Queer migration, asylum, and displacement". Sexualities. 17 (8): 911''918. doi:10.1177/1363460714552251. ISSN 1363-4607. ^ a b Entry Denied. ^ a b c d e f Shuman, Amy; Bohmer, Carol (2014). "Gender and cultural silences in the political asylum process". Sexualities. 17 (8): 939''57. doi:10.1177/1363460714552262. ^ a b Rollins, Joe (2009). "Embargoed Sexuality: Rape and the Gender of Citizenship in American Immigration Law". Politics & Gender. 5 (4): 519''544. ^ a b c Gowin, Mary; Taylor, E. Laurette; Dunnington, Jamie; Alshuwaiyer, Ghadah; Cheney, Marshall K (2017). "Needs of a Silent Minority: Mexican Transgender Asylum Seekers". Health Promotion Practice. 18 (3): 332''340. doi:10.1177/1524839917692750. PMID 28187690. ^ Mertus, Julie (2007). "The Rejection of Human Rights Framings: The Case of LGBT Advocacy in the US". Human Rights Quarterly. 29 (4): 1036''64. doi:10.1353/hrq.2007.0045. JSTOR 20072835. ^ "Best Practice Guide: Supporting LGBT Asylum Seekers in the United States" (PDF) . LGBT Freedom and Asylum Network. ^ US Department of State LGBT Human Rights Fact Sheet, US Department of State, accessed May 14, 2016 External links [ edit ] U.S. Citizenship and Immigration ServicesBureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration of the U.S. Department of StateWell-Founded Fear Official siteWell-Founded Fear at POVEligibility for Refugee Assistance and Services through the Office of Refugee Resettlement, United States Department of Health and Human ServicesRefugee Act of 1980, text hosted by the Office of Refugee Resettlement, United States Department of Health and Human ServicesMichael J. McBride, The evolution of US immigration and refugee policy: public opinion, domestic politics and UNHCR, New Issues in Refugee Research, May 1999Audrey Singer and Jill Wilson, From 'There' to 'Here': Refugee Resettlement in Metropolitan America, Brookings Institution, September 2006PARDS.ORG Political Asylum Research and Documentation ServiceApplying for Asylum, resources from Immigration EqualityLGBTI Claim Resources from The UN Refugee AgencyLegal Services for LGBTQ Immigrants (NIJC)Resources for Attorneys Representing Asylum Seekers (NIJC)
Grubhub made over 30K sites disguised as restaurant homepages
Thu, 04 Jul 2019 14:07
Grubhub has created thousands of Web sites that masquerade as the sites of restaurants '-- a practice that can jack up prices for hungry customers, The Post has learned.
The online food-ordering giant, which also owns Seamless and Menupages, has scooped up more than 34,000 URLs since 2010 with names that are similar to restaurants' own Web addresses, according to a database obtained by The Post.
In some cases, Grubhub creates a version of an existing restaurant site by changing a dot-com to a dot-net.
In all cases reviewed by The Post, Grubhub's copycat sites use the restaurants' logos '-- even as they direct customers to its Grubhub and Seamless sites.
While the duplicate Web sites typically have the same menu as the restaurants do, the prices can be higher than the prices customers would have paid if they had ordered from these restaurants directly, the data shows.
For example, all of the signature salads on Chicago Salad House's Web site, www.chicagosaladhouse.com, cost $10. But on Grubhub's dummy site, www.saladhousechicago.com, many of the same salads cost $11 or $11.25.
The Seamless Web site for 354 Steakhouse in Cliffside Park, NJ, charges $7.95 for onion soup, or $1 more than the restaurant itself charges, while the 26-ounce porterhouse for one costs $43.95 via Seamless '-- or $2 more than the restaurant's actual price. 345 Steakhouse confirmed its lower prices when contacted by The Post.
''There's certainly ethical questions,'' Andrew Rigie, executive director of the New York City Hospitality Alliance, told The Post. ''Even if there is language in the contract, I suspect many restaurateurs don't understand what it means: That they are losing control of their business.''
Grubhub said in a statement that it only created domain names for restaurants ''as a service'' to them '-- a practice it has since stopped. ''It has always been our practice to transfer the domain to the restaurant as soon as they request it,'' the company said.
Ahmet Bugdayci, the owner of Abracadabra Magic Food in Williamsburg, said he asked Grubhub for domain name Abracadabrabrooklyn.com '-- which he discovered the delivery service giant had taken when he was trying to build his own site roughly five years ago '-- only to give up because the process was too complicated.
''In the beginning, we asked. It's not easy,'' Bugdayci said. ''This is what they do, you can't do anything. We want to talk, but it seems like a long process. We are a very small business.''
In a Google search for Abracadabra Brooklyn, Grubhub's doppelganger page '-- along with the official Seamless and Menupages sites '-- appears before Abracadabra's actual Web site.
A database created by a private investigator and researcher shows 34,504 Web sites registered with copycat Grubhub URLs since 2010, according to a copy of the document obtained by The Post.
A separate database created by the same researcher showed that more than 9,158 of the copycat URLs are still active. Some of the restaurants whose Web sites appeared on the list have their own proprietary online ordering system, like Chicago Salad House, the researcher noted.
The wannabe sites appear legitimate until a customer scrolls to the very bottom, down past a menu and about 10 of the latest reviews. There it mentions a Grubhub Holdings copyright.
The sites even include Grubhub-registered phone numbers (different from a restaurant's own real phone number) that record the calls and charge restaurants a commission, according to sites viewed by The Post.
Complaints about the sites first surfaced at a New York City Council hearing last week, in which Grubhub executives denied any knowledge of alleged ''cybersquatting.''
''I've never seen any evidence of cybersquatting or copying of restaurants to take their business,'' Sami Naim, Grubhub's director of public policy, said at the hearing. ''None whatsoever.''
Grubhub in a statement said it ''has never cybersquatted,'' which it defined according to a nonprofit internet think tank as a ''generally bad faith registration of another person's trademark in a domain name.''
The revelations come after The Post first exposed that the delivery company was registering thousands of dummy phone numbers for restaurants in order to take commissions on phone calls.
U. of C. Medicine, Google hope to use patterns in patient records to predict health - Chicago Tribune
Thu, 04 Jul 2019 13:33
Doctor Gary Steinberg, center, and Nisha Kumar, left, talk with patients at the University of Chicago Medicine's Duchossois Center for Advanced Medicine. U. of C. and Google are teaming up to research ways to use machine learning to predict medical events. (Vincent D. Johnson / Chicago Tribune)
As a patient, your electronic medical record contains a wealth of information about you: vital signs, notes from physicians and medications.
Doctors use that information to track your medical history and keep tabs on you in the hospital '-- but what if they could also use it to predict your future health?
It's an idea inching closer to reality.
On Wednesday, Google announced it's teaming up with University of Chicago Medicine to research ways to use machine learning to predict medical events '-- such as whether someone will be hospitalized, how long that hospitalization will last and whether a patient's health is deteriorating. Google has formed similar partnerships with Stanford Medicine and the University of California at San Francisco.
Google and university researchers will try to discover patterns in patients' medical records but the records used in the research will be stripped of personally identifiable information to protect patient privacy.
"There's so much health care data, especially with electronic health records being adopted over the last 10 years," said Katherine Chou, who's leading the project for Google Research. "The potential for using that data for predictions, people haven't really figured out how to harness it."
University of Chicago Medicine has spent years working on ways to use data to predict health events. Researchers developed an algorithm called eCART that uses patient data to predict cardiac arrest, and if a patient is high-risk, nurses will perform extra checks on the patient. University of Chicago already uses eCART on its adult patients.
Dr. Michael Howell, the medical center's chief quality officer, said he's confident eCART has helped reduce instances of cardiac arrest, but he said researchers are still collecting data on its effectiveness.
The partnership with Google will help expand on such work, said Dr. Samuel Volchenboum, director of the Center for Research Informatics at University of Chicago Medicine.
Chou said Google team members met the University of Chicago's Howell at a Harvard Univeristy medical training program, and Google saw how its ability to organize data and make it accessible could apply in health care.
It's too early to tell whether Google could potentially develop a product or service using the technology, Google spokesman Jason Freidenfelds said in an email. At this point, Google is focused on demonstrating that the approach can improve patient care, he said.
Chicago company Quant HC has already commercialized eCART, selling it to hospitals, including Amita Health Alexian Brothers Medical Center, said Dr. Dana Edelson, who helped develop eCART at the University of Chicago and is now CEO of Quant.
"If you do more preventative care, then you have a win-win situation," Chou said.
Business Medical Research Drugs and Medicines University of Chicago Medicine Most Read
UChicago and Google Sued in Federal Class Action Suit for Data Sharing
Thu, 04 Jul 2019 13:31
A former patient at the University of Chicago Medical Center is suing UChicago, the medical center, and Google, accusing them of violating the privacy rights of patients at UChicago Medicine through the sharing of patient records containing identifiable information.
The class action lawsuit, filed by Matt Dinerstein in the Northern District of Illinois on Wednesday, claims that UChicago violated federal law protecting patient privacy in its partnership with Google to share records of patients from 2009 to 2016. It also claims that Google will be able to use the patient data to develop highly lucrative health-care technologies.
The suit charges that the University breached contracts between UChicago and its patients by allegedly falsely claiming to patients that it would be protecting their medical records. It also charges UChicago for violating an Illinois law dictating that companies cannot engage in deceptive practices with clients.
UChicago spokesperson Jeremy Manier said in a statement e-mailed to The Maroon, ''The claims in this lawsuit are without merit. The University of Chicago Medical Center has complied with the laws and regulations applicable to patient privacy.''
''The Medical Center entered into a research partnership with Google as part of the Medical Center's continuing efforts to improve the lives of its patients,'' the statement continues. ''That research partnership was appropriate and legal and the claims asserted in this case are baseless and a disservice to the Medical Center's fundamental mission of improving the lives of its patients. The University and the Medical Center will vigorously defend this action in court.''
A Google spokesperson said in a statement e-mailed to The Maroon, ''We believe our healthcare research could help save lives in the future, which is why we take privacy seriously and follow all relevant rules and regulations in our handling of health data.''
UChicago announced in 2017 that it would begin sharing electronic medical records with Google in a partnership to develop machine-learning techniques that could improve the quality of health services. At the time, UChicago said that Google would ensure that ''patient data is kept private and secure,'' and would be ''strictly following HIPAA privacy rule.''
HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, is a federal law mandating that shared patient information must be ''de-identified'''--stripped of any identifying information such as addresses and photos'--to protect patients' privacy.
The complaint accuses UChicago of making insufficient efforts to scrub patient-identifying data before handing over documents.
Though UChicago and Google claim to have de-identified patients, UChicago's inclusion of timestamps indicating when patients checked in and out of the medical center makes the records identifiable and thereby violate HIPAA, the suit alleges. It cites an article published last year by Google and researchers from collaborating universities that says, ''All EHRs [medical records] were de-identified, except that dates of service were maintained in the UCM [UChicago Medicine] dataset.''
Google's potential capability to ''re-identify'' patients with its advanced data mining technologies indicates that ''these records were not sufficiently anonymized and put the patients' privacy at grave risk,'' the complaint claims. It notes Google's possession of geolocation information that can ''pinpoint and match exactly when certain people entered and exited the University's hospital.''
UChicago is not the only university to share health records with Google; other universities with similar partnerships include Stanford University and the University of California, San Francisco, according to the article published by Google and collaborating researchers. Wednesday's lawsuit rests on the fact that UChicago's records, as obtained by Google, include timestamps of patient records.
The suit also argues that Google's acquisition of a British startup called DeepMind in 2014 has allowed Google to possess robust machine-learning technologies that would allow Google to connect medical records to Google users' data.
DeepMind and Google obtained health records from the British Royal Free Hospital in 2015. The project was accused by a British watchdog organization for not complying with data protection law, the suit claims.
Hal Turner Radio Show - REPORT: AMERICAN SUBMARINE TORPEDOED AND SUNK OFF ALASKA COAST
Thu, 04 Jul 2019 13:29
An American submarine operating off the coast of Alaska was REPORTEDLY torpedoed and SUNK during a firefight with a Russian submarine, after the American sub allegedly intercepted the Russian sub in American waters.
The Russian submarine allegedly sustained heavy damage in the fight, with upwards of 14 crew killed, but it made it back to its base in Russia.
I have calls into the Pentagon and to my Intel Sources seeking to confirm (or deny) this information.
No word on US casualties.
Emergency meetings have been taking place at the White House this afternoon, with Vice President Pence being called back to the White House and having to cancel his scheduled trip to New Hampshire.
As Pence was being called back, word broke in Russian media that Russian President Vladimir Putin cancelled a public event he had long scheduled, and diverted immediately for a meeting with his Defense Minister.
At that meeting, both Putin and the Defense Minister SUMMONED the General Secretary of the Russian Armed Forces to the meeting.
While that was taking place, the European Union headquarters in Brussels Belgium called an Emergency meeting of the EU National Security Council and, separately, the British Government called a COBRA meeting for its government.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
UPDATE 5:45 PM EDT --
Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered the country's defense chief to travel to a northern naval base to conduct a probe after a fire on a deep-sea research submersible killed 14 crew members.
(Hal Turner Remark: A fire huh? Hmmmmm. Caused by what? A firefight with a US Submarine, perhaps?)Putin on July 2 called the incident a ''terrific loss'' and told Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu to ''personally hear reports'' and direct the Investigative Committee to ''definitely establish the causes behind this tragedy."
Putin's meeting with Shoigu came after the Defense Ministry said earlier in the day that 14 sailors were killed when a fire broke out on July 1 aboard a submersible carrying out research work in Russian territorial waters.
(Hal Turner Remark: "In Russian territorial waters???" Why the need to say THAT? Something's fishy already with the public statements from Russia. And US/EU/UK governments do not have "emergency meetings" over a "fire" inside a Russian submarine. Nope. I don't buy this one bit. This sounds like a cover story to me. Still digging via my intel contacts.)
RECAP --
Here is how events unfolded earlier today, leading up to this story: Click HERE (More updates to follow, below)
UPDATE 7:00 PM EDT --
Despite my inquiries to the Pentagon, Lt. Col. Carla Gleason has failed to respond for several hours. No confirmation. No Denial.
PLEASE NOTE: This will be a story on the Hal Turner Radio Show, LIVE from New York City on Wednesday, July 3, 2019 beginning at 9:00 PM eastern US time (New York City Time) [GMT-0400].
You can tune-in on Global High Frequency stations WBCQ on 7.490 and 5.130 (AM), both 50,000 watt stations, as well as on WRMI on 9.455 (AM) which is a 100,000 watt station. You can also tune-in on regular AM radio via KYAH 540-AM "Utah's Talk Authority." The show is also simulcast LIVE right here on the net at HalTurnerRadioShow.com using the LISTEN LIVE links in the menu bars above. Additional updates to this story will appear below. This show and web site is reader/Listener supported. Donations are needed and appreciated. Donate via Paypal using the yellow DONATE button in the right column above. To access the COVERT INTELLIGENCE, derived from Hal Turner's intelligence agency contacts developed from his years with the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) where he was "fully operational National Security" who was also granted "Extra-territorial authority" to operate outside the United States, become a subscriber for $1 a week billed quarterly ($13) HERE
UPDATE 7:36 PM EDT --
I will give this Intel to you exactly how I just got it. Make of it what you will:
"An unnatural mobilization at US and Western military bases in the Persian Gulf and in the Gulf states"
UPDATE 7:45 PM EDT --
Gold Bullion spiked up by $40 per ounce in the final hours of trading today. The money people are running to Gold for safety.
UPDATE 1:55 AM EDT (WEDNESDAY)--
It is worth noting that a few U.S. wars have started because of a sunken ship.1. The sinking of the Battleship Maine in Cuba for the Spanish-American war.2. Sinking of the Lusitania by a German U-Boat and we go into World War I.
3. The sinking of a whole bunch of ships at a Naval Base named Pearl Harbor and World War II starts.
4. A naval battle in the South China Sea Gulf of Tonkin starts the Viet-Nam war.
5. I guess we could also include the American Revolution due to the Boston Tea Party where Colonial Masons robbed and burned British Ships -AND-
The Civil War starts with an attack on Fort Sumter which is located in Charleston Harbor was essentially a naval battle
-AND-I guess the War of 1812 deserves an honorable mention because the Star Spangled Banner was written during a naval bombardment of Fort McHenry.
While Russian Television (RT) has put out a story claiming the research submarine suffered a fire causing the deaths of 14 crew, the article (HERE) again claims the sub was "in Russian Territorial waters."
Strangely, FOX NEWS has also published a weird story on what the United States specific actions would be in case of a Russian NUCLEAR ATTACK upon America (HERE). The timing of this particular story is . . . interesting . . . to say the least.
UPDATE 12:00 NOON WEDNESDAY --
Kremlin says details of a fire that killed 14 crew on a deep-water submersible will not be made public because they include classified information
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Netflix Tax: NBN suggest potential price hike for customers using streaming services, news update
Thu, 04 Jul 2019 13:27
The National Broadband Network has suggested a potential price hike for customers who watch Netflix, Stan and other bandwidth-sapping streaming services.
NBN Co put the proposal to its top 50 retail service providers (RSP) in a consultation paper released two weeks ago, asking companies if they would support and enforce higher rates.
''Would your organisation support the development of a price response whereby charging of streaming video could be differentiated from the charging of other traffic/services? Would your organisation be likely to productise such a mechanism if developed by NBN?'' the question read.
You could soon be paying a whole lot more to watch Netflix. (Netflix) NBN general manager of commercial Ken Walliss stressed the corporation was not working towards any pre-defined outcomes, adding process is not about levying additional charges on customers.
''We're interested in engaging in a constructive dialogue with Retail Service Providers (RSPs) and the industry about any challenges and opportunities they may face,'' he told nine.com.au.
''Video streaming is an important part of using broadband for many customers and a significant proportion of overall internet traffic and future traffic growth, and one of the particular areas where we are seeking feedback.
''We are focused on seeking specific comments from RSPs in this area. At this stage, we are seeking input from industry on whether they believe it is an area that requires attention and, if so, we are open to possible ideas they may wish to suggest.''
NBN said the question posed to RSPs was one or more than 50 that were aimed ensuring the network is able to ''meet the needs of Australians today as well as delivering capacity upgrades to meet growing data demands into the future''.
The NBN said the proposal was not about working toward pre-defined outcomes (AAP) ''[This] includes the provision of additional capacity within the network to accommodate the rise of streaming services,'' he said.
''The next stage of the consultation will include draft proposals from NBN after considering industry feedback, and we will then re-engage with the industry and consult further on in detail before finalising and announcing outcomes in November 2019.''
Data from market research company Roy Morgan revealed over 11.2 million Australians had Netflix subscriptions as of February 2019, which means more than half the country could be hit with excess charges if RSPs agree to the proposal.
It's unclear if RSPs will support the idea as such a move would take away the control service providers currently have for the prioritisation and shaping of traffic '' it would also be a allow NBN to make more money out of the video data by charging a premium for it.
Telstra refused to comment on the proposal.
Optus and TPG have also been contacted by Nine.com.au.
(C) Nine Digital Pty Ltd 2019
Jeffrey Epstein: Court Orders Release of Sealed Docs About Alleged Sex Ring
Thu, 04 Jul 2019 13:15
","type":"PDF","width":700,"height":906,"content":"https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/6181306-Court-Order-Unseal.html","version":"1.0","cache_age":300,"provider_url":"https://www.documentcloud.org","responseType":"rich","provider_name":"DocumentCloud"}]],"markups":[["a",["href","https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/6181306-Court-Order-Unseal.html"]],["a",["href","https://www.thedailybeast.com/jeffrey-epstein-alan-dershowitz-and-pals-accused-of-sex-trafficking-ring"]],["em"],["a",["href","https://www.thedailybeast.com/two-mystery-parties-are-pushing-to-keep-jeffrey-epstein-court-docs-secret-report"]],["a",["href","https://www.thedailybeast.com/jeffrey-epstein-feds-want-to-uphold-billionaire-pedophiles-shady-sex-abuse-plea-deal"]],["a",["href","https://www.thedailybeast.com/alexander-acosta-trumps-labor-secretary-broke-the-law-in-jeffrey-epstein-case-judge"]],["a",["href","https://www.thedailybeast.com/feds-are-asking-jeffrey-epsteins-victims-about-sex-trafficking-crimes"]],["a",["href","https://www.thedailybeast.com/epstein-accuser-sues-alan-dershowitz-over-alleged-sex-ring"]],["a",["href","https://www.thedailybeast.com/how-did-trump-and-clinton-pal-jeffrey-epstein-escape-metoo"]],["a",["href","https://pagesix.com/2017/05/24/woman-who-says-she-was-jeffrey-epsteins-sex-slave-settles-suit/"]]],"version":"0.3.0","sections":[[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"A federal appeals court has ordered the release of "],[0,[0],1,"sealed court records"],[0,[],0," pertaining to billionaire Jeffrey Epstein's alleged sex ring'--spelling a victory for the victims, whose lawyers said the documents will prove "],[0,[1],1,"Epstein trafficked underage girls"],[0,[],0," to his famous friends."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"On Wednesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled certain records in a defamation lawsuit filed by accuser Virginia Roberts Giuffre against Epstein's alleged madam, British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, should be made public record. "]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"In its opinion, the panel vacated a Manhattan federal judge's decision to keep the records secret and ordered the summary judgment record in the 2017 case to be unsealed'--with minimal redactions'--after it issues a mandate closing the case. The court also remanded the case to the district court for a review of the remaining sealed materials."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"The court stated that ''upon reviewing the summary judgment materials in connection with this appeal, we find that there is no countervailing privacy interest sufficient to justify their continued sealing.'' "]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"A timeline for when the summary judgment record would be unsealed isn't immediately clear. "]]],[10,0],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"''We applaud the Second Circuit's decision to unseal the materials in the Guiffre v. Maxwell case,'' said Sigrid McCawley, a lawyer for Giuffre, in a statement. ''This ruling is a watershed moment that helps victims of sexual abuse. It unequivocally stands for the proposition that information cannot be hidden in court filings and that the public has the right to know about the abuse of victims.''"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[1],1,"As The Daily Beast reported"],[0,[],0,", the "],[0,[2],1,"Miami Herald"],[0,[],0," had asked a federal judge to release all sealed or redacted documents in Giuffre's case, which was filed in the Southern District of New York. "]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"Epstein's lawyer and friend, Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, and right-wing podcaster Michael Cernovich also asked the court to unseal specific records. (Dershowitz argues the release of such documents will reveal Giuffre fabricated allegations that she was coerced into having sex with him.) "]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"In March,"],[0,[],0," "],[0,[3],1,"two mystery parties filed court papers"],[0,[],0," "],[0,[],0,"supporting Maxwell's efforts to keep the records sealed. Those individuals were identified only as ''J. Doe'' and ''John Doe.'' An attorney for John Doe wrote that ''wholesale unsealing of the Summary Judgment Materials will almost certainly disclose unadjudicated allegations against third persons'--allegations that may be the product of false statements or, perhaps, simply mistake, confusion, or failing memories of events alleged to have occurred over a decade and half ago.''"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"The panel's order comes amid other Epstein-related court battles."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"Federal prosecutors "],[0,[4],1,"want a judge to uphold"],[0,[],0," Epstein's controversial 2007 plea agreement, which allowed him to plead guilty to state charges for his alleged abuse of dozens of underage girls in Palm Beach, Florida. "]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"Earlier this year, the judge ruled Epstein's deal violated federal law because it was "],[0,[5],1,"kept secret from the victims"],[0,[],0,", who never knew of the negotiations between the U.S. Attorney's Office and Epstein's legal team."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"The victims have "],[0,[6],1,"asked the court to rescind the immunity provisions"],[0,[],0," of Epstein's non-prosecution agreement, which protected him and his alleged co-conspirators from facing federal charges and decades behind bars. In court filings, they said they want the 66-year-old Epstein to face federal prosecution for his alleged sex-trafficking crimes."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"Meanwhile, in April, "],[0,[7],1,"Giuffre filed a defamation complaint"],[0,[],0," against Dershowitz. As part of that case, a new accuser named Maria Farmer came forward to say Epstein and Maxwell sexually assaulted her, and her underage sister, on different occasions in the 1990s."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"For years, Giuffre has claimed that Epstein "],[0,[8],1,"forced her to become his ''sex slave''"],[0,[],0," and loaned her out to his famous and powerful friends, including Dershowitz and Prince Andrew. (Both men have vehemently denied the accusations.)"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"She claims she was 15 and working a summer job at Mar-a-Lago when Maxwell recruited her to become a masseuse for Epstein. After Giuffre's claims made international headlines, Maxwell issued statements calling the accusations ''obvious lies.''"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"In September 2015, Giuffre sued Maxwell for defamation in New York federal court, and a total of 167 documents in the case were filed under seal. Maxwell's motion for summary judgment was filed in January 2017. "]]],[10,1],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"Two months later, the district court denied Maxwell's motion and issued a heavily redacted 76-page opinion, the appeals court noted in Wednesday's opinion. "]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"The case was "],[0,[9],1,"settled on the eve of trial"],[0,[],0," in May 2017."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"In its opinion on Wednesday, the appellate court included a footnote that hinted at what information might be removed from the ''minimally redacted'' summary judgment record."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"''Upon issuance of our mandate, a minimally redacted version of the summary judgment record will be made accessible on the Court of Appeals docket,'' the judges stated. ''We have implemented minimal redactions to protect personally identifying information such as personal phone numbers, contact lists, birth dates, and social security numbers. We have also redacted the names of alleged minor victims of sexual abuse from deposition testimony and police reports, as well as deposition responses concerning intimate matters where the questions were likely only permitted'--and the responses only compelled'--because of a strong expectation of continued confidentiality.''"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"The appeals court's order said the lower court's decision that ''privacy interests outweigh the presumption of public access'' when it comes to the case's thousands of sealed pages ''amounts to an abuse of discretion.''"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"''In light of the District Court's failure to conduct an individualized review of the sealed materials, it is necessary to do so now. We believe the District Court is best situated to conduct this review,'' the opinion stated."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"The judges concluded with ''a cautionary note'' both to the media and the public about the records they ordered unsealed."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"''Materials submitted by parties to a court should be understood for what they are. They do not reflect the court's own findings. Rather, they are prepared by parties seeking to advance their own interests in an adversarial process,'' the panel stated. ''Although affidavits and depositions are offered 'under penalty of perjury,' it is in fact exceedingly rare for anyone to be prosecuted for perjury in a civil proceeding.''"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"They lauded the press's ''vital role in ensuring the public right of access'' but said ''the media does the public a profound disservice when it reports on parties' allegations uncritically.''"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"''We therefore urge the media to exercise restraint in covering potentially defamatory allegations, and we caution the public to read such accounts with discernment,'' the judges concluded."]]],[10,2]]},"hero":{"image":{"id":"388191","crops":{"1_1":{"x":62.5,"y":-1.7763568394002505e-13,"width":1687.9999999999998,"height":1687.9999999999998},"16_9":{"x":0,"y":225,"width":2400,"height":1350},"original":{"x":0,"y":0,"width":3000,"height":1688}},"title":"","credit":"Photo Illustration by The Daily 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Netflix says its originals will kick their smoking habit
Thu, 04 Jul 2019 13:09
"Netflix strongly supports artistic expression," a Netflix spokesman said. "We also recognize that smoking is harmful and when portrayed positively on screen can adversely influence young people." As part of its clampdown, Netflix will also reveal details about smoking in its ratings.
The move follows a report from anti-smoking group Truth Initiative, which states season 2 of Stranger Things had 262 depictions of smoking, up from 182 in the first season. To date, smoking has featured in every episode, the watchdog said. The report, coincidentally or not, dropped a few days before Stranger Things season 3 starts streaming.
Truth Initiative claimed there was an uptick in smoking instances in recent seasons of some other Netflix originals that are popular among folks aged 15-24. Between seasons 2 and 3 of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, depictions of smoking rose to 292 from nine. They jumped from 45 to 233 between seasons 4 and 5 of Orange is the New Black, the group claimed.
It also said 12 of the 13 overall most popular TV shows among that age group prominently feature smoking. Those include Amazon Prime Video's The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and Hulu's Gap Year. Truth Initiative ranked the most popular shows among 15 to 24-year-olds based on 750 survey responses from people in that age group.
In this article:
av, e-cigarette, ecigarettes, entertainment, gap year, gapyear, netflix, orange is the new black, orangeisthenewblack, smoking, stranger things, strangerthings, the marvelous mrs maisel, themarvelousmrsmaisel, TL19SMOK, unbreakable kimmy schmidt, unbreakablekimmyschmidt All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Masana Izawa: The 'poop soil master' is dumping it outdoors | The Japan Times
Thu, 04 Jul 2019 13:04
Name: Masana IzawaAge: 69Nationality: JapaneseOccupation: Fundoshi (Poop soil master)Likes: Turning conversation topics to poop-related stuffDislikes: Authority, power, obsequiousness
1. What exactly is your occupation? ''Fundoshi'' usually means ''loincloth,'' but I use different kanji in a wordplay for it to mean ''poop soil master.'' I'm an activist trying to change people's way of thinking, using the symbolism of poop.
I was a fungi photographer when I started, but I'm now a professional fundoshi. I even write that on my tax papers.
2. What led you to such an unusual career? As a conservationist in the 1970s, I was fascinated by fungi and how they create fertile soil by feeding on dead leaves and animals, and dung. Then, in 1973, I came across a citizens' group protesting the construction of a night soil disposal plant in its neighborhood, and it got me thinking: Why aren't people taking responsibility for their own waste? Do people even know or care about how their waste gets processed after they flush it down the toilet? And is our feces really waste?
After some thought, I decided to start defecating outdoors to be a part of nature's cycle '-- I dig a hole in the ground and cover it up afterward.
3. But there's more to your 45 years of daily outdoor-defecating than just conservation isn't there? Definitely. I call it fundoshisō (a combination of ''fundo'' and ''shisō,'' meaning thought). Outdoor-defecating is a symbolic introduction to bigger issues. Humans are so egocentric, they can't see that ''worthless and dirty'' poop is a treat for other living creatures.
4. Can you explain the fundoshisō philosophy? It's a fundamental idea: ''To eat is to take life, but it's also our right. To poop is a responsibility we need to be aware of. To poop outdoors is a way of giving back life.'' The world could be a better place if humans did away with their arrogance. I want people to think outside the box and question their stereotypes.
5. But what about hygiene? Hygiene is to keep humans healthy. But a human-centered standpoint has led to obsession with sterilization and bacteria-killing.
6. Does living in Ibaraki Prefecture make outdoor-voiding easier than, say, in Tokyo? It's tricker in Tokyo for sure, but I've found inconspicuous spots over the years. There are a few good spots '-- though I once had a close encounter with a homeless man while in the act.
7. You've done this around 15,000 times, now '-- you never use a lavatory? I've ''toilet-pooped'' 14 times this century. Certain situations call for toilets.
8. Your 2017 book ''Happa Noguso wo Hajimeyo'' (''Let's Start Outdoor-Defecating With Leaves'') includes an extensive list of foliage suitable for wiping your bottom. Which would you most recommend? Paulownia, crimson glory vine, silver poplar, lamb's ear, silverleaf sunflower, to name a few. There are so many soft, absorbent leaves out there.
9. What's wrong with toilet paper? I switched to leaves after discovering that some paper I'd buried months before hadn't decomposed in the soil.
10. Have more people become interested in your lifework? I believe so. After 13 years as a professional fundoshi, I was approached for an interview to be in a journal published by the Shin Buddhism Otani-ha group.
11. Are you religious? No, but fundoshisō and Buddhism seem to go well together. After all, the exhilaration felt through gedatsu (deliverance and liberation) and evacuating the bowel are the same.
12. You don't have a mobile phone or the internet at home, why? I want to cherish my senses and use my body, and be prepared for when true survival skills are required. Overreliance on electricity is hampering.
13. Doesn't that make life inconvenient? Convenience comes with sacrifices. Knowing what's enough is important. My outdoor-defecating is a precious act, like praying, and the time and energy that goes into it is never wasted.
14. Are you ever discouraged by criticism? I'm not seeking to gain recognition, and criticism helps me develop my argument further, so no.
15. Have you always been so defiant? As a junior high school student, I hated listening to adults talk about their corrupt society like nothing was wrong. I knew I didn't want to be like them.
16. Who do you have immense respect for? The late mycologist Rokuya Imazeki (1904-94). He dictated my life by introducing me to the world of fungi and opening the doors to a new career.
17. What luxury would you take to a deserted island? Honey candy, because the aftereffects of my tongue cancer treatment make it hard for me to salivate.
18. What is your latest interest? Exploring the idea of a happy death.
19. How do you spend your days off? I have no concept of a day off. You could say I have every day off to spend as I wish.
20. What does this world need more of? Symbiosis with nature and change toward a more circular economy.
Can I buy a phone that doesn't use anything from Google or Apple? | Technology | The Guardian
Thu, 04 Jul 2019 12:59
I have concerns about the likes of Google and Apple slurping up as much info as they can about me from my phone. I've tried looking online for alternatives and found mentions of things like /e/, Lineage, Sailfish OS etc, but they assume a level of tech knowledge far above what I have as a layman. So, are there any phones that are 100% free from Google and Apple software and hardware? How easy are such phones to obtain? Steve
Very easy. You can pick up a Nokia 105 (2017 edition) for about £15 or a dual-sim Nokia 106 (2018 edition) for about £16. These are only 2G phones but they have built-in FM radios, they can send texts, they are great for making phone calls and they are not based on Google or Apple technologies. A 3G or 4G phone would cost a bit more '...
Of course, you may also want to do smartphone-type things such as email and web browsing. In that case, buy a GPD Pocket 2, GPD MicroPC, One Mix Yoga, One Mix 1S, One Mix 2S or similar just-about-pocketable computer running Microsoft Windows 10 on a 7in screen. (GeekBuying stocks several models and is taking reservations on the One Mix 1S.) Mini-laptops may look expensive but they are cheaper than high-end smartphones.
This answers your question but it is obviously not the solution you are looking for '...
The problem is that most people '' including me '' want to use Googly things on their phones. Gmail is the dominant email service, YouTube is the dominant short video provider, Google Search and Google Maps are very useful and Google Chrome is the most widely used web browser. There may be viable and sometimes preferable alternatives but you have to make an effort to use them. Most people don't want to make the effort.
Indeed, it looks as though the next generation of candy-bar phones will also include Google. Nokia's latest 4G feature-phone, the Nokia 8110 ''banana phone'', runs the KaiOS operating system, in which Google has invested $22 million. The Alcatel Go Flip 2, JioPhone and Orange Sanza are alternative KaiOS phones available in North America, India and Africa respectively. (Kai is named from the Chinese word for open, not the undead protagonist in the Lexx science fiction series.)
KaiOS includes WhatsApp '' its main selling point '' plus a web browser, Facebook, YouTube, Google Maps and Google Assistant. It's claimed to be the second most popular operating system in India and could manage that in Africa. Some KaiOS phones cost less than $20.
KaiOS started as a fork of B2G (Boot to Gecko), which was an open source continuation of Firefox OS, which Mozilla stopped developing at the end of 2015. Gonk, the operating system underneath Gecko (which is Firefox's web-rendering engine) is a small Linux kernel derived from Google's AOSP, the Android Open Source Project.
In other words, the OS most likely to become a global alternative to Apple's iOS and Google Android isn't '' and isn't likely to be '' 100% free from Google software. Even if it is not KaiOS, any future OS might use parts of AOSP because it is easier than developing everything from scratch. It could also pre-package access to some Google properties, even if they are just web apps, because most people want to use them.
A string of failures '...The fact that we have, essentially, a duopoly in the smartphone business is not for want of trying. Microsoft entered the market with a version of Windows running on ARM-based smartphones and it even made Windows available free on small-screen devices. The people who owned Windows phones seemed to love them and in 24 countries it overtook Apple's iPhone in market share. However, the lack of apps was a major stumbling block and Microsoft abandoned its challenge, having lost billions of dollars in the attempt.
You can still buy Windows phones but most date from 2015-16 and will soon be out of support. I didn't recommend buying them when they came out so I really wouldn't recommend one now.
Canonical also had a go at the smartphone market with its Linux-based Ubuntu Touch. It failed. In this case, the development was taken over by the UBports Community, which developed a port for the OnePlus One smartphone in 2015. There are now a few others but I don't expect Ubuntu Touch phones to appear in your local high street.
South Korea's two smartphone manufacturers, Samsung and LG, would also love to have an independent operating system but success is unlikely. Samsung tried with Tizen, which was supported by the Linux Foundation. The Samsung Z series was launched in India and didn't do well enough but Tizen is used in Samsung Gear smartwatches. LG could have a go with Palm's Linux-based webOS, which it acquired from HP in 2013. WebOS first appeared on Palm Pre smartphones in 2009 but LG has mainly used it in smart TV sets.
Sailfish started with another failed Linux project, Nokia and Intel's MeeGo. The latest version uses a graphical shell from Jolla, the Finnish company that appears to be its major backer. Sailfish can be ported to more alternative smartphones than Ubuntu Touch but I can't see any current phones with Sailfish pre-installed. The same is true for both /e/ (formerly Eelo), which is a sort of de-Googled Android, and LineageOS, which is a reborn CyanogenMod.
You main hope is Purism's forthcoming Librem 5, which seems to be exactly what you want. Whether it can buck the trend remains to be seen.
In general, the problem with Linux on smartphones looks much like its problem on PCs. Many and various groups enjoy developing new versions of the operating system, which are all more or less doomed from birth. None of them have the skills, the interests or the money to create viable platforms that include the hardware, apps, services, packaging, marketing, advertising, distribution and support on the sort of scale needed to sustain a real product. Without those, they are unlikely to attract much interest beyond hobbyists and enthusiasts.
Future success?Things may change thanks mainly to the current American president. Trump sent China and the rest of the world a wakeup call by trying to exclude Huawei '' the world's second-largest smartphone manufacturer and the leader in 5G '' from using American technology. Huawei was already developing its own Android app-compatible operating system, currently known as Hongmen OS, as an alternative. The potential loss of up to $30bn in sales per year suggests there will be no shortage of money or manpower for its future development.
Indeed, China has a powerful incentive to replace all the American technology it uses with home-grown alternatives. This may take decades but in the long run, it will hurt Google, Intel, Qualcomm and numerous other US companies. The genie is out of the bottle and the Americans will never be able to put it back.
Hongmen, aka Ark OS, may not have a lot of appeal in Europe but it could do well in Asian countries that already do more trade with China than with the US.
Meanwhile, the EU's latest antitrust case against Google should allow phone manufacturers to offer alternative browsers and search engines. It should also enable Android smartphone suppliers to sell phones with alternative versions of Android in Europe, which Google did not allow them to do before. A major player such as Samsung or Huawei could therefore test the market with a Google-free Android phone. In which case, you can vote with your wallet.
Remember the apps!Whatever happens with Apple and Google, people buy smartphones to run apps and most apps appear to be compromising your privacy. In 2017 a study from the University of California at Berkeley found that around 70% of apps shared your data with third-party services (PDF).
A recent Washington Post story based on Disconnect.me technology found trackers were rife in the journalist's iPhone apps. Google, of course, banned Disconnect Mobile from its Play store way back in 2014. In a blogpost, the company wrote: ''Google refuses to explain their decision, other than to say that our app won't be allowed if it interferes with any ads; even ads that contain malware and steal your identity.''
The app economy, like the web economy, is ultimately based on surveillance. That isn't likely to change unless the EU does something about it. And so far, despite the GDPR and three antitrust cases against Google, the EU has left smartphone tracking revenues unharmed.
Have you got a question? Email it to Ask.Jack@theguardian.com
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China cracks down on podcasts and audio apps | ZDNet
Thu, 04 Jul 2019 12:59
China has kicked off another round of its online content purge by removing dozens of podcast and audio apps.
The move to remove the audio-related content is backed by China's policy to regulate and remove any online video and text information that is considered "harmful" to society.
As many as 26 podcast and audio apps have been removed or closed by the relevant authorities, the Cyberspace Administration of China announced on its WeChat account last week.
Affected apps include popular audio apps Lizhi FM and Ximalaya FM, in addition to popular music app NetEase Music. Searches on Apple's App Store and Android app markets in China showed that these apps are no longer unavailable.
These affected podcast and audio apps have disseminated "historical nihilism" and "obscene and pornographic information" on their platforms, the regulator said in the statement, and has severely damaged the internet ecology and badly impacted on the healthy growth of young people.
See also: China proposes video game crackdown to protect children's eyesight
Despite the crackdown on podcasts and audio apps, the Cyberspace Administration of China still encourages mainstream media and netizens to produce audio that is "excellent content that people are in favour of" to create a network audio space with positive energy, it said.
Since last year, China's cyber watchdog has shut down thousands of mobile apps for distributing pornographic material and stealing private information to "protect the youth".
In April 2018, four Chinese news apps, whose combined active users exceeded 400 million, were suspended from being downloaded on a number of Android app stores in China following a crackdown by the country's media watchdog. It followed the shut down of 128,000 websites in China that contained obscene and other "harmful" information in 2017, according to the official Xinhua news agency, after the country's first ever cybersecurity law officially came into effect on 1 June 2017.
In November last year, popular messaging app WeChat, whose active daily user base exceeded 1 billion all over the world, pledged to clean up undesirable content on its platform to maintain a "healthy" reading environment as required by the government.
Meanwhile, research firm Newzoo expects the US to overtake China as the world's biggest gaming market this year as China's nine-month ban on approving new games in 2018 continues to send chills throughout the entire market.
Related CoverageApple: iPhone info requests from Chinese government have exploded
Apple releases information about government requests for user data in the second half of 2018.
Reports say China is installing surveillance apps on some visitors' phones
The Guardian has reported the app extracts emails, text messages, contacts, and handset information.
US to overtake China to become world's top gaming market in 2019: Newzoo
China, currently the world's largest gaming market, is forecast to lag behind the US this year in the face of the country freezing game approvals for nine months in 2018.
Telegram says 'whopper' DDoS attack launched mostly from China
The company's CEO has confirmed the timing coincided with the Hong Kong extradition law protests organised on his platform.
China is the biggest obstacle to US AI advancement, half of CEOs say (TechRepublic)
A lack of talent and employee trust are some of the largest barriers to artificial intelligence adoption in US businesses, according to an EY report.
Who is newly elected European Parliament president David-Maria Sassoli? | Euronews
Thu, 04 Jul 2019 11:52
Italian socialist David-Maria Sassoli was elected to replace European parliament President Antonio Tajani, another Italian politician, on Wednesday.
Sassoli received 345 votes in the second round of voting, winning ahead of right-wing Czech MEP Jan Zahradil, Green German candidate Ska Keller, and far-left Spanish candidate Sira Rego.
Sassoli will lead the post for two and a half years after which it will go to Europe's main centre-right party, the EPP.
Who is David-Maria Sassoli?Born in Florence in 1956, the former journalist started his career with small Italian newspapers eventually working with the French editorial staff of Italian national newspaper Il Giorno.
He began working at Italy's national public broadcaster Rai in 1992 and would serve as deputy director and presenter of the organisation's flagship program TG1.
He left journalism for politics in 2009 at the age of 52 with Italy's Democratic Party, a centre-left political party formed in 2007. The EU high representative for foreign affairs, Federica Mogherini, is a member of the same Italian political party.
Sassoli became the president of the Democratic party delegation to the European Parliament in 2009.
In 2013, he ran in Italian municipal elections to be Mayor of Rome but came second in the election to Ignazio Marino who was mayor of the Italian capital from 2013 to 2015.
EuropeAfter he was elected president of European Parliament, Sassoli insisted that ''I'm not the council's man, I'm the parliament's man''.
He said the EU needed to ''reduce the distance'' between the institutions and citizens of Europe.
In his acceptance speech on Wednesday, Sassoli talked about the European project as one of peace and democracy. He said European citizens showed that they still believed in the project and talked about being proud of European diversity.
He repeated Emmanuel Macron's aphorism on climate change, stating that there is no planet B.
Sassoli becomes president of the EU parliament after previously serving as the parliament's Vice President responsible for Mediterranean budget and policy.
He is a member of the Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament and according to VoteWatch has voted 98% in line with his political party.
Trump/Pelosi Deportation Deadline Looming Without Congressional Action'... | The Last Refuge
Thu, 04 Jul 2019 11:37
On June 22nd, 2019, President Trump agreed to postpone any deportation enforcement after a call with Speaker Nancy Pelosi:
Two weeks from June 22nd, would be July 8th, 2019 .
However, a review of Nancy Pelosi's congressional calendar reflects Pelosi's House has been out of session since June 28th, and does not return until July 9th.
This schedule and deadline is exactly why House Democrats are pulling border stunts and urgently pushing media narratives in the headlines. Pelosi had no intention of fixing the legislative issues; instead, she used the time-delay to create maximum political position for herself, democrats in congress and their media allies.
(Calendar Link)
'.....So it does not come as a surprise to see this series of tweets today from President Trump:
WHITE HOUSE '' Yesterday, a single, unelected district judge in Seattle issued an injunction that prevents the government from ensuring the detention of those aliens who cross the border unlawfully until the completion of their immigration court proceedings.
The decision ignores an express statutory prohibition on granting class-wide injunctive relief against enforcement of the immigration laws and also holds unconstitutional a statute passed by bipartisan majorities in Congress during the Clinton administration that specifically prohibits the release of certain immigrants on bond.
The district court's injunction is at war with the rule of law. The decision only incentivizes smugglers and traffickers, which will lead to the further overwhelming of our immigration system by illegal aliens.
No single district judge has legitimate authority to impose his or her open borders views on the country. We must restore our democracy and ensure Americans have the voice to which they are entitled under our Constitution. (link)
Red light district overhaul in Amsterdam | The Canberra Times
Thu, 04 Jul 2019 11:28
news, world
Amsterdam's first female mayor has launched plans to overhaul the city's red light district and its window displays, in a bid to protect sex workers from gawping tourists. In what would be the most radical revamp of the sex trade there since the Dutch legalised prostitution nearly two decades ago, Femke Halsema suggested stopping the practice of sex workers standing in window-fronted rooms, among other options. Changes were needed because of social shifts, she told Reuters, including the rise of human trafficking and an increase in the number of tourists visiting the district and using their phones to take and post pictures of the women. "We're forced by circumstances because Amsterdam changes," Halsema said in an interview before the launch. "I think a lot of the women who work there feel humiliated, laughed at and that's one of the reasons we are thinking about changing," she added. The plans included four main scenarios: ending street window displays, closing down city centre brothels and moving them elsewhere, reducing the number of city centre brothels and stepping up the licensing of window workers. The scenarios, drawn up in a report titled "The Future of Window Prostitution in Amsterdam", also included a broader proposal for an "erotic city zone" that would have a clear entrance gate, similar to a system used in Hamburg, she added. Those options will be presented to residents and businesses at town hall meetings this month before one chosen and put to a vote in the city council later this year, Halsema said. Past efforts to control the red light district have faced opposition from sex workers and businesses involved in the lucrative trade. The mayor said there were no plans to outlaw prostitution outright. "We legalised prostitution because we thought and still think that legal prostitution give a woman a chance to be autonomous, independent. Criminalising prostitution has been done in the United States, I think, makes women extra vulnerable." The changes had three main aims, she said, to protect women from degrading work conditions, to cut crime and to revive the 500-year-old neighbourhood which, along with Amsterdam's canals, is part of a UNESCO world heritage site. One sex worker and member of PROUD, a union defending the prostitutes' interests, told Reuters the women there were facing increasingly disrespectful behaviour. "The tourists don't know how to behave themselves in this area," said the women who declined to give her name. Australian Associated Press
https://nnimgt-a.akamaihd.net/transform/v1/crop/frm/silverstone-feed-data/525073e7-5040-428a-902d-559710a840b9.jpg/r0_74_800_526_w1200_h678_fmax.jpg
Amsterdam's first female mayor has launched plans to overhaul the city's red light district and its window displays, in a bid to protect sex workers from gawping tourists.
In what would be the most radical revamp of the sex trade there since the Dutch legalised prostitution nearly two decades ago, Femke Halsema suggested stopping the practice of sex workers standing in window-fronted rooms, among other options.
Changes were needed because of social shifts, she told Reuters, including the rise of human trafficking and an increase in the number of tourists visiting the district and using their phones to take and post pictures of the women.
"We're forced by circumstances because Amsterdam changes," Halsema said in an interview before the launch.
"I think a lot of the women who work there feel humiliated, laughed at and that's one of the reasons we are thinking about changing," she added.
The plans included four main scenarios: ending street window displays, closing down city centre brothels and moving them elsewhere, reducing the number of city centre brothels and stepping up the licensing of window workers.
The scenarios, drawn up in a report titled "The Future of Window Prostitution in Amsterdam", also included a broader proposal for an "erotic city zone" that would have a clear entrance gate, similar to a system used in Hamburg, she added.
Those options will be presented to residents and businesses at town hall meetings this month before one chosen and put to a vote in the city council later this year, Halsema said.
Past efforts to control the red light district have faced opposition from sex workers and businesses involved in the lucrative trade.
The mayor said there were no plans to outlaw prostitution outright.
"We legalised prostitution because we thought and still think that legal prostitution give a woman a chance to be autonomous, independent. Criminalising prostitution has been done in the United States, I think, makes women extra vulnerable."
The changes had three main aims, she said, to protect women from degrading work conditions, to cut crime and to revive the 500-year-old neighbourhood which, along with Amsterdam's canals, is part of a UNESCO world heritage site.
One sex worker and member of PROUD, a union defending the prostitutes' interests, told Reuters the women there were facing increasingly disrespectful behaviour.
"The tourists don't know how to behave themselves in this area," said the women who declined to give her name.
Australian Associated Press
Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp photo glitch fixed - BBC News
Thu, 04 Jul 2019 11:12
Image copyright Getty Images Facebook say glitches affecting its platforms have now been resolved.
Users across the world had been unable to upload or view photos, videos and other files.
The problems had affected its Facebook, Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp apps.
"The issue has... been resolved and we should be back at 100% for everyone," it tweeted. It added that an unspecified issue had been accidentally "triggered" during "routine maintenance".
Facebook has more than 2.3 billion monthly active users and Instagram has one billion.
In some cases, users were shown grey boxes annotated with text explaining what the firm's image analysis software had suggested to be the contents of the original photos.
Image copyright Facebook Rival platform Twitter also had issues, with some users not able to send direct messages or receive notifications for a time.
The company apologised for the inconvenience, tweeting at about 23:00 BST: "We're almost at 100% resolved. There may be some residual effects for a small group of people, but overall your DMs should be working properly now. We appreciate your patience!"
In March, Facebook and Instagram suffered their longest period of disruption ever. Problems also struck both apps as well as WhatsApp in April.
The latest problems followed earlier disruption on Tuesday when Cloudlflare - a company that provides internet security to website operators - suffered a fault of its own that caused thousands of websites to display "502 errors" when visited. The US firm has since published a blog blaming a flawed software deployment.
"Our testing processes were insufficient in this case and we are reviewing and making changes to our testing and deployment process to avoid incidents like this in the future," it said.
Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp And Twitter Users Report Major Problems | Zero Hedge
Thu, 04 Jul 2019 11:10
Update: Now Twitter users are reporting issues with Direct Message (DM) delivery and notifications.
We're currently having some issues with DM delivery and notifications. We're working on a fix and will follow up as soon as we have an update for you. Apologies for the inconvenience.
'-- Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) July 3, 2019***
Users of Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp reported technical difficulties on Wednesday, ranging from photos that won't load to full outages. Reports began rolling in around 8:45 a.m. EST, when thousands of Instagram users said they were having problems.
On Instagram '' just like those other apps '' the issues appear to be limited only to a specific part of the site. Users report that their feed might load, but that it is not possible to post anything new into it.
Doing so brings up an error message indicating that "Photo Can't Be Posted", according to users experiencing the problems. -Independent
The Facebook issues are hitting the Northeastern US and Europe particularly hard.
@facebook I'm sure you know already - let us know when you're back up and running! pic.twitter.com/HQZG5D8QJc
'-- George Hemmati (@georgehemmati) July 3, 2019 According to users on Downdetector, one user reported: "images not loading in Newsfeed, groups, profile pics, or thumbnails. Happening in three different browsers on Windows (Chrome, FF, Edge), and in two different browsers (Chrome and Samsung Native Browser) and the FB app on android. The news feed has been touchy since yesterday but this is getting worse."
IMF's Christine Lagarde Wins EU Support to Lead European Central Bank - WSJ
Thu, 04 Jul 2019 11:05
BRUSSELS'--International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde is likely to become the first woman to run the European Central Bank, putting an experienced crisis fighter in charge and paving the way for a continuation of easy-money policies.
Ms. Lagarde also would be the institution's first president without a pedigree in central banking. That has raised doubts about whether she would command the same credibility in financial markets as current chief Mario Draghi, who emerged as a dominant figure in the global economy during his nearly eight years at the ECB.
Her nomination comes as central bankers face challenges on a number of fronts. Inflation has weakened below target in many developed economies including the eurozone, while trade conflicts have crimped economic growth. But central bank rates are already super low or'--in the case of Europe and Japan'--negative, which spurs lending by reducing borrowing costs and making it unattractive to hold deposits..
Meanwhile, some central bankers are in the crosshairs of politicians. President Trump has routinely bashed Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell for raising interest rates. And last month, he set his sights on Mr. Draghi, complaining that the ECB's rate-cut signals were devaluing the euro. Days later, he praised the ECB president.
The ECB operates under tremendous scrutiny in Europe because the 19-member eurozone doesn't have a common finance ministry, making the bank the region's dominant voice on economic and monetary affairs.
''Ms. Lagarde is likely to take an expansive approach to both conventional and unconventional monetary policies that could support growth in the eurozone,'' said Eswar Prasad, a former IMF economist who is now a professor at Cornell University.
Ms. Lagarde, 63 years old, a former French finance minister, would be effective building consensus, he said, ''but whether she can provide the sort of visionary and creative technocratic leadership that Draghi brought to the job remains to be seen.''
Mr. Draghi's term ends on Oct. 31 and cannot be renewed. The selection of Ms. Lagarde emerged after three days of talks among member states on a slate of top jobs in the European Union. ''Christine Lagarde will, with her international background and standing as current managing director of the International Monetary Fund, be a perfect president of the European Central Bank,'' European Council President Donald Tusk said Tuesday at a news conference at the end of the negotiations.
Formal approval of Ms. Lagarde's nomination, which requires a series of procedural moves, is likely to take place in the coming months.
On Twitter, Ms. Lagarde wrote that she was ''honored to have been nominated'' and that she was temporarily relinquishing her responsibilities as IMF chief.
EU leaders nominated German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen on Tuesday to become the first woman to be president of the European Commission, the bloc's executive arm, succeeding Jean-Claude Juncker.
Ms. Lagarde became in 2011 the first woman to head the Washington-based IMF. She played an instrumental role in securing bailouts for ailing economies in Europe, especially Greece, following the 2008 financial crisis. Previously, she worked as an antitrust lawyer, becoming a partner and then the first female chairman of the Chicago-based law firm Baker McKenzie.
The choice of Ms. Lagarde will be a surprise to many. Although there have been no formal candidates for the ECB presidency, speculation in recent months has centered around German central bank head Jens Weidmann, French ECB members Beno®t Coeur(C) and Fran§ois Villeroy de Galhau and former Finnish central banker Erkki Liikanen.
Ms. Lagarde's experience at the IMF gives her the star power'--she has been on the cover of Time and featured in Vogue'--along with the political savvy needed to deal with pressure from European governments for more stimulus.
But she lacks the monetary-policy experience of the other candidates as the central bank is weighing additional stimulus that could have some adverse side effects. The ECB's first three presidents'--Wim Duisenberg, Jean-Claude Trichet and Mr. Draghi'--had all headed their national central banks before taking the helm of the ECB.
At the height of Europe's debt crisis in 2012, Mr. Draghi's pledge to do ''whatever it takes'' calmed financial markets and is credited with keeping the euro together. The comment came in a speech, not after an ECB policy meeting where colleagues would have weighed in on the statement.
''Under ordinary times, managing monetary policy is not very difficult,'' said Stefan Gerlach, a former deputy governor of Ireland's central bank. ''The problem is when something completely unexpected happens, where there's no points of reference. Her advisers will tend to disagree.''
Supporters said managing an IMF staff that includes hundreds of PhD economists, and having regular interactions with central bankers, more than offsets Ms. Lagarde's lack of a formal economics or central-banking background.
Her candidacy could face hurdles.
In 2016, a French court found her guilty of committing negligence in 2008 when she was finance minister in the cabinet of former President Nicolas Sarkozy. The judge didn't hand down a punishment, saying the ruling took into context the role Ms. Lagarde played in crafting France's response to the global financial crisis. The IMF backed her, as did the French government.
ECB officials have recently flagged the possibility of interest-rate cuts to raise inflation toward the bank's target of just under 2%, but with the ECB's deposit rate already at minus 0.4%, such a move could damage banks that must pay to park funds with the central bank.
Restarting bond purchases could prove controversial in Germany, where many blame the ECB's low interest-rate policies for wiping out the return on popular fixed-income saving products and for pushing up property prices as well as residential rents. The ECB is already sitting on '‚¬2.5 trillion ($2.8 trillion) in eurozone bonds after years of purchases.
Meanwhile, the three key architects of the ECB's stimulus policies on bond programs, rate cuts and cheap, long-term loans to banks have left the bank or will soon. In addition to Mr. Draghi, Mr. Coeur(C)'s term expires at the end of the year, and former chief economist Peter Praet's term ended a few weeks ago. That could trouble financial markets, especially since the ECB's vice president, Luis de Guindos, is a former Spanish economy minister who also didn't have central banking experience when he joined the ECB last year.
If the ECB does move forward with fresh easing steps, they likely would occur before the next president arrives in November, removing the pressure that Ms Lagarde might have faced to craft unorthodox moves from the get-go.
Leaders of the EU's 28 countries also nominated Spain's foreign minister Josep Borrell to become the bloc's foreign-policy representative. Prime Minister Charles Michel of Belgium was elected president of the European Council, the grouping of national leaders who together steer the EU's activities.
'--Emre Peker, Joshua Zumbrun and Tom Fairless contributed to this article.
Write to Valentina Pop at valentina.pop@wsj.com and Brian Blackstone at brian.blackstone@wsj.com
Hottest June ever recorded in Earth's history was last month - Business Insider
Thu, 04 Jul 2019 11:04
Europe's record-breaking heat wave last week, it turns out, was the emphatic conclusion to the hottest June ever recorded.
The Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S), a satellite agency that keeps tabs on Europe's weather for the European Union, reported that the global average temperature for June was the highest on record for that month.
Average temperatures for most of France, Germany, and northern Spain during the heat wave were up to 18 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius) above normal. Temperatures in France exceeded 114 degrees Fahrenheit (45 degrees Celsius) on Friday.
"We knew June was hot in Europe, but this study shows that temperature records haven't just been broken. They have been obliterated," Hannah Cloke, a researcher at the University of Reading, told The Independent.
Read more: 'Today is the hottest day in the history of France': Europe's hellish heat wave is caused by a high-pressure weather system unlike any ever seen before
The agency's findings caught the attention of climate-change scientists and public figures alike.
"European satellite agency concludes that June was the hottest month ever recorded on earth, our planet," the author Bill McKibben tweeted.
New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez retweeted McKibben's message, adding, "Unless we act drastically now, it's only going to get worse. What will that mean for our food, water, shelter, safety? We need a #GreenNewDeal. Now."
Linking heat waves to climate change A new study by researchers at the World Weather Attribution organization concluded that climate change made last week's heat wave at least five times more likely.
"Every heat wave occurring in Europe today is made more likely and more intense by human-induced climate change," the scientists wrote.
AP Photo/Julie Jacobson
Experts from the European satellite agency agreed with that analysis.
"Our data shows that the temperatures over the southwestern region of Europe during the last week of June were unusually high," Jean-Noel Thepaut, the head of C3S, said in a press release. "Although this was exceptional, we are likely to see more of these events in the future due to climate change."
In July 2018, Europe experienced a similar heat wave, with temperatures above 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32.2 degrees Celsius) as far north as the Arctic Circle. A 2018 analysis reported that climate change made heat waves like that one five times more likely.
France's previous national temperature record was set 16 years ago, on August 12, 2003, when 15,000 people across the country died in a severe summer heat wave. A study found that climate change made that 2003 heat wave twice as likely. Overall, according to France's national weather agency, the number of heat waves in the country has doubled in the past 34 years and is expected to double again by 2050.
Boys cool off under a water fountain on a hot summer evening in New Delhi. Reuters/Anindito Mukherjee
"This increase in heat extremes is just as predicted by climate science as a consequence of global warming caused by the increasing greenhouse gases from burning coal, oil and gas," Stefan Rahmstorf of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research told The Associated Press.
These Nonprofits and Businesses Are Making Millions From Detaining Immigrant Children '' Sludge
Thu, 04 Jul 2019 11:01
A new report from the Inspector General of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) warns of ''dangerous overcrowding'' and ''prolonged detention'' at several Customs and Border Protection (CBP) migrant processing facilities. Photos in the report show cells and pens packed with immigrants detained in unsanitary conditions. Lawyers and members of Congress who were able to enter the detention centers recount seeing immigrants without access to showers, wearing soiled clothing, being fed old, frozen food, and even some whom a CBP officer told to drink out of a toilet bowl.
DHS said in its own report that it is intentionally creating squalid detention conditions to act as a deterrent for prospective migrants. Others say that cruelty is the point.
When migrant children manage to survive days and sometimes weeks in CBP holding cells, their nightmares are far from over. CBP hands processed children over to the Department of Health and Human Services, which either places them with relatives in the U.S. or sends them to one of many privately operated child shelters. In 2018, the Trump administration instituted new, strict qualification requirements for adults seeking to sponsor immigrant kids, causing the shelters to burst at the seams. After months of public pressure, the administration returned to the previous rules for sponsorship, but many shelters are still too crowded.
A Sludge review of contract data as of June 30 has found that the federal government has spent nearly $3.8 billion on ongoing grants and on contracts initiated since Donald Trump became president related to ''unaccompanied alien children'' (UACs), or undocumented immigrant kids who crossed into the U.S. alone or were separated from adults'--family or otherwise'--after entering the country.
The majority of the grants for UACs came from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which houses the Office of Refugee Resettlement, the division that manages the UAC program. Much of the grant money went to nonprofit shelter organizations, while some contracts from HHS and from the DHS's Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) paid for-profit businesses for transportation, health care, tent construction, and other services.
The biggest recipients of government funding include top nonprofit shelter companies such as Texas-based Southwest Key Programs ($1.5 billion) and the New York-based Cayuga Home for Children ($114 million), as well as for-profit businesses such as security firm MVM ($213 million) and shelter operator Comprehensive Health Services ($292 million), a subsidiary of the company that counts former Trump DHS Sec. John Kelly as a board member.
Use the map below to view UAC contractors and where they're headquartered. Hover over the marks and contractors' names will appear after a momentary delay.
Allegations of AbuseIn recent years, young immigrant detainees have made thousands of sexual abuse allegations against other detainees and UAC shelter workers. U.S. senators noted that many of the complaints weren't properly investigated, leading them to demand that the HHS inspector general open an investigation.
Southwest Key Programs, by far the biggest UAC vendor with nearly $1.5 billion worth of ongoing grants to detain children, was forced to close an Arizona shelter last year because staffers were accused of physically abusing three kids, and it had to close two more after the company failed to provide proof that its employees met background check requirements. Also in 2018, Southwest Key staffers were charged with sexually assaulting immigrant children.
[Related: Who Is Making Money From CBP in Your State?]
And that's not all of Southwest Key's problems. A New York Times report suggested that former president and CEO Juan Sanchez and other executives were stockpiling government money and self-dealing, causing the Department of Justice to investigate. In March 2019, amidst increasing scrutiny, including over the nearly $1.5 million in total compensation he received during the 2017 fiscal year'--far more than any other nonprofit shelter executive on the government's payroll'--Sanchez resigned.
The South Florida-based Homestead Temporary Shelter for Unaccompanied Children, the largest UAC shelter in the country, is run by Comprehensive Health Services and has been home to several child sexual abuse allegations. As of May 30, Homestead, which operates on federal property and is not licensed by the state of Florida, was detaining 2,240 children.
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The shelter is reportedly extremely crowded and noisy, and detainees rarely, if ever, get to leave the shelter for a change of environment. Presidential candidates visited the overcrowded shelter last week when they were in Florida for the first round of debates. Former HUD Sec. Julian Castro said he and other candidates were denied access to the Homestead facility.
''It makes you wonder what in the hell are they hiding,'' Castro said. ''Is it the overcrowding, is it the sexual abuse, is it the emotional damage that has been done to these children, many of whom are here for weeks and weeks and some of them for several months?''
Comprehensive Health Services charges $750 per detainee per day, far more than a hotel and commercial meals would cost. The company operates three other shelters, all in Texas, and has $292 million worth of ongoing government contracts. One of the people likely profiting from this $1 million-per-day shelter is Trump's former DHS secretary and chief of staff, John Kelly, who joined the board of Comprehensive Health Services' parent company, Caliburn International, in May after exiting the White House.
In 2017, Comprehensive Health Services paid a $3.8-million fine to settle allegations of ''double-charging and mischarging'' the government for its services.
The company that constructed the tents housing thousands of children is American Canyon Solutions, which does business as Brookstone Emergency Services and is based in Murietta, California. The for-profit company has $31.3 million in ongoing UAC contracts.
Another for-profit company, Ashburn, Virginia-based MVM, has $213 million worth of ongoing federal contracts to fly immigrant children from the border to detention facilities. It, too, has faced a number of disturbing allegations, including racial and religious discrimination and workplace sexual harrassment. Before transporting migrants, MVM provided security for CIA and NSA facilities in Iraq.
Here are the 61 vendors making money from UAC operations.
Shelter Executives Get Big Taxpayer-Funded SalariesSouthwest Key's Sanchez earned the most money from detaining immigrant children, but several top executives of other shelter contractors also took home large salaries, bonuses, and benefits. Of the 20 entities to receive the most money for UAC operations via ongoing grants and contracts initiated under Trump, 10 gave their top executives more than $300,000 in annual compensation, according to the most recent publicly available tax documents.
On top of their salaries, some executives got large bonuses. Kurt Senske, CEO of Austin, Texas-based Lutheran Social Services of the South, took home $426,008 in total compensation during the 2017 fiscal year, including a $115,000 bonus. Lutheran Social Services of the South runs UAC shelters and provides foster care services in Corpus Christi and El Paso, Texas. Evelyn Diaz, president and CEO of Chicago-based Heartland Human Care Services, which operates shelters and provides post-release and home study services, earned $362,445, including a $30,000 bonus.
Related:Who Is Making Money from ICE in Your State?GEO Group Donated to the Trump-Tied Turning Point USA, Then Got Rave ReviewICE Foundation Directors Run Companies with ICE ContractsWe are 100% ad-free and independent. Can you make a small donation to support our investigative journalism?
Cory Booker escorts 5 migrants across US border to thwart Trump admin policies - TheBlaze
Thu, 04 Jul 2019 10:56
Presidential candidate Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) escorted 5 migrants seeking refugee status across the border in order to thwart immigration enforcement policies of the Trump administration.
Sabrina Singh, the national press secretary for the Booker campaign, announced the effort on her social media account Wednesday.
"Today @CoryBooker crossed the U.S. border from Juarez to El Paso," she tweeted, "to help escort 5 asylum-seekers and try to prevent them from being sent back to Mexico."
Booker said to reporters that he believed their asylum claims were legitimate based on their fears of sexual violence, and the violence they had already experienced.
"Out of concern for the asylum-seekers safety, we did not make this event public until now," tweeted Singh.
"Cory was able to observe the crossing, interactions with federal immigration authorities, and see the disastrous impact of President Trump's cruel immigration policy," she added.
Booker accused President Donald Trump of taking a "broken situation" and making it "much much worse."
A Quinnipiac poll published Tuesday of the Democratic presidential candidates showed Booker languishing in a tie for fifth place with 3 percent.
Here's Booker speaking Spanish at the debate: Democratic Debates: Cory Booker Speaks Spanish, Says He'll Change ICE Policies | NBC New Yorkwww.youtube.com
Facebook's image outage reveals how the company's AI tags your photos - The Verge
Thu, 04 Jul 2019 02:05
Everyone knows the bit in The Matrix when Neo achieves digital messiah status and suddenly sees ''reality'' for what it really is: lines of trailing green code.
Well, thanks to an outage currently affecting Facebook, users of the social network have been given a similar peek behind the digital curtain, with many images on the site now replaced with the tags they've been assigned by the company's machine vision systems.
So if you browse through your uploaded photos, instead of seeing holiday snaps or pictures of food and friends, you'll be shown text saying things like ''image may contain: people smiling, people dancing, wedding and indoor'' or just ''image may contain: cat.''
In short: this is how your life looks to a computer. This is how Facebook's AI is judging you. Do you feel ashamed before the all-seeing digital eye?!
Oh yeah! I forgot Facebook uses machine learning to tag our photos with what it sees in the picture.To be fair, "one person, beard" is pretty much a spot-on description of me. pic.twitter.com/fCpydUxtpz
'-- Zack Whittaker (@zackwhittaker) July 3, 2019The same image tags are showing up on Instagram, and as well as detailing general scene and object descriptions, they also suggest who is in a photo based on Facebook's facial recognition. (The company has been doing this for photos you're not tagged in since 2017.)
Facebook has been using machine learning to ''read'' images in this way since at least April 2016, and the project is a big part of the company's accessibility efforts. Such tags are used to describe photos and videos to users with sight impairments.
There's a lot of personal data contained in your photos that AI can extract
What's not clear is whether Facebook also uses this information to target ads. There's a lot of data about users' lives that they might otherwise shield from Facebook contained in these images: whether you've got a pet, what your hobbies are, where you like going on holiday, or if you're really into vintage cars, or swords, or whatever.
Back in 2017, one programmer was motivated by these questions to make a Chrome extension that revealed these tags. As they wrote at the time: ''I think a lot of internet users don't realize the amount of information that is now routinely extracted from photographs.''
Some of the tags are less incredible. ''It's chilling how smart AI systems have become.'' '-- Russell Judging by the reactions on Twitter to this outage, this is certainly new information to a lot of people. We've reached out to Facebook to confirm whether they use this data for ad targeting and will update this story accordingly.
Regardless of how this information is being used, though, it's a fascinating peek behind the scenes at one of the world's biggest data gathering operations. It also shows to what degree the visual world has become machine readable.
Improvements in deep learning in recent years have truly revolutionized the world of machine vision, and visual content online is often as legible to machines as text. But once something is legible, of course, it becomes easy to store, analyze, and extract data from. It's only when the system breaks down, like today, that we realize it's happening at all.
Judicial Watch Sues CIA for Inspector General's Report on Mena, Arkansas, Airport Drug, Arms Smuggling Allegations - Judicial Watch
Wed, 03 Jul 2019 15:53
(Washington, DC) '-- Judicial Watch announced today it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the CIA seeking the CIA Inspector General's November 1996 report related to a drug-running, arms smuggling and intelligence operation involving Mena Intermountain Municipal Airport in Arkansas.
The airfield in Mena was alleged to have been used in the 1980s by the CIA during the Reagan administration to smuggle arms to rebels in Nicaragua. A central figure in the operation was Barry Seal, a pilot and drug smuggler for Pablo Escobar's Medellin cartel who became an undercover agent and informant for the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).
In November 1996, then-CIA Inspector General Frederick Hitz absolved the CIA of involvement in the operation.
Hitz at the time said that ''no evidence has been found to indicate that the CIA or anyone acting on its behalf participated in, or otherwise had knowledge of, any illegal or improper activities in Mena, Arkansas or the area north of Mena known as Nella, Arkansas.''
Judicial Watch sued the CIA in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia after the agency failed to respond to a June 29, 2018, FOIA request (Judicial Watch v. Central Intelligence Agency (No. 1:19-cv-00672)). Judicial Watch seeks:
The CIA Inspector General's report issued in November 1996 relating to a drug-running, money laundering and intelligence gathering operation involving an airport in Mena, Arkansas.
Judicial Watch chief investigative reporter Micah Morrison has written extensively on the activities surrounding the Mena airport. In an October 18, 1994, editorial feature for The Wall Street Journal titled ''The Mena Coverup'' Morrison wrote: ''What do Bill Clinton and Oliver North have in common, along with the Arkansas State Police and the Central Intelligence Agency? All probably wish they had never heard of Mena.''
Morrison noted that Seal, who by 1984 was a DEA informant, ''flew at least one sting operation to Nicaragua for the CIA.'' Seal was murdered in 1986 by Colombian hitmen in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
''The CIA has for over 20 years stonewalled the release of information now sought by Judicial Watch on the Mena Airport controversy,'' stated Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.
###
Never Trumpers have a decision to make - The Washington Post
Wed, 03 Jul 2019 13:37
Joe Biden, left, Bernie Sanders and Kamala D. Harris make points simultaneously during Thursday night's Democratic primary debate in Miami. (Wilfredo Lee/AP) Never-Trump Republicans and independents may be shocked to hear this, but the Democratic Party is likely to nominate a Democrat for president. That means they're not going to nominate someone who thinks exactly like a Never-Trump Republican.
Break out the smelling salts. I think several refugees from the GOP, pontificating on Twitter and the nation's leading op-ed pages, just fainted dead away.
I, for one, have pretty much had it with the chorus of center-right voices braying that the Democrats are heading for certain doom '-- and the nation for four more years of President Trump '-- if the party picks a nominee who actually embraces the party's ideals. Elections are choices. These Never Trumpers will have to make one.
Anyone who watched last week's two-night candidates' debate should be confident that the eventual Democratic nominee is virtually certain to support universal health care, comprehensive and compassionate immigration reform, reasonable gun control, measures to address climate change and bold steps to address income inequality. No, this is not a Republican agenda. Outcasts from the GOP will have to decide whether to accept it, in the interest of ending our long national nightmare, or reject it and stick with a president who kowtows to Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un.
But don't blame Democrats for supposedly driving moderate voters into the arms of Trump. For one thing, if Never-Trump Republicans were such brilliant political analysts, they'd never have lost control of their party to Trump in the first place.
For another, polls show that the Democratic agenda has broad public support. Yes, Trump is going to yell ''socialism.'' But Democrats could nominate the ghost of Ronald Reagan and Trump would still try his best to paint the apparition red. That's his only play, whether the nominee is comfy-slipper Joe Biden, firebrand Bernie Sanders or any of the others in between.
It should surprise no one that the rhetoric in the debate was aimed at the Democratic base because, duh, that's who decides the outcome of Democratic primaries. Nor should anyone be surprised when the eventual nominee tacks toward the center for the general election. Every winning presidential candidate I can think of has done that '-- with the exception of Trump.
Which brings me to another reason those demanding a super-cautious, mealy-mouthed Democratic nominee should spend some time in silent reflection. I believe Trump's improbable election was possible because the nation is undergoing a political realignment in which the traditional left-to-right spectrum is being shifted in ways not yet fully understood. I don't claim to have accurately charted the new landscape, but I seriously doubt that aiming for the center point of the old, obsolete spectrum will get you anywhere.
It is true that the Democrats who won House seats in Trump-leaning districts last fall emphasized some elements of the party's program and de-emphasized others. I assume they'll do the same thing when they seek reelection in 2020. But it is also true that Hillary Clinton would be president today if the Democratic base had turned out in bigger numbers in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. And, for the record, she did win the popular tally by nearly 3 million votes.
It should be taken as a given than Trump's hardcore base will show up to vote for the incumbent who has called himself ''your favorite President, me!'' The Democratic base had better be at least equally motivated to cast its ballots '-- especially in blue bastions such as Milwaukee, Detroit and Philadelphia. Which means the party had better give those Democrats something, and someone, to vote for.
I hope the ancien r(C)gime Republicans '-- or, I guess, former Republicans '-- are serious when they talk about what a danger Trump is, both foreign and domestic, and how urgent it is to get him out of the White House. Do they think it would really be such an awful thing for more people to get health care? For migrant children to be treated like children, not taken from their families and caged in squalor? For universal background checks for gun purchases, supported by something like four-fifths of Americans, to be made law? For the United States to rejoin the Paris climate accord and stop artificially boosting the coal industry? For some effort to be made to address levels of inequality that would make Gilded Age titans blush?
That's what the Democratic nominee is going to stand for, because that's what loyal Democratic voters stand for. The party should welcome refugee Never Trumpers with open arms. But they can't be Never Democrats, too.
Read more from Eugene Robinson's archive, follow him on Twitter or subscribe to his updates on Facebook. You can also join him Tuesdays at 1 p.m. for a live Q&A.
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Facebook's New Content Moderation Tools Put Posts in Context | WIRED
Wed, 03 Jul 2019 12:18
Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg testifying before a combined Senate Judiciary and Commerce committee hearing last April.
Alex Wong/Getty Images
Facebook has begun pilot tests of new content moderation tools and policies after an external audit raised numerous issues with the company's current approach to tackling hate speech. In a report published by Facebook on Sunday, auditors criticized Facebook's intense focus on ''achieving consistency in review decisions,'' which they said ''translates to a blunter set of policies that are less able to account for nuance'' and cripples moderators' ability to properly police hate speech on the platform. The policy prohibiting white nationalism is worded so narrowly that it doesn't apply to all posts that espouse white nationalist views, only those that use the specific term, the report says. Its criticism of the policy that led Facebook to give a number of high profile extremists the boot earlier this year is similar: It is simultaneously overly broad and oddly specific, making enforcement difficult.
Unlike previous criticisms of Facebook's content moderation strategy (of which there are many), this one is notable as it effectively comes from inside the house. The report published Sunday was conducted by external auditors appointed by Facebook and the company says that more than 90 civil rights organizations contributed. And its breadth and specificity suggests that the auditors had seemingly unparalleled access to the inner workings of parts of the company that are often shielded from public view.
Facebook agreed to conduct the civil rights audit last May in response to allegations that it discriminates against minority groups. (At the same time, Facebook announced a ''conservative bias advising partnership'' to address concerns of censorship.) The report published Sunday details the company's advertising targeting practices, elections and census plans, and a civil rights accountability structure in addition to its approach to content moderation and enforcement.
For example, the report paints a detailed picture of how certain key aspects of Facebook's content moderation flow actually work. Take a post that might get flagged as hate speech. Maybe it says something that attacks and dehumanizes a group of people, like that all women are cockroaches and must be eradicated from the Earth. This ostensibly violates Facebook's hate speech rules when viewed in a vacuum, but the auditors found that Facebook's internal review system deprived content moderators of the context necessary to understand posts in the same way as users. A caption, for example, might clearly indicate the user is sharing the image to criticize or call out the offensive content rather than promote it.
Referring to these false positives that erroneously get removed, the audit concluded that ''Facebook's investigation revealed that its content review system does not always place sufficient emphasis on captions and context. Specifically, the tool that content reviewers use to review posts sometimes does not display captions immediately adjacent to the post'--making it more likely that important context is overlooked.''
The audit noted that ''more explicitly prompting reviewers to consider whether the user was condemning or discussing hate speech, rather than espousing it, may reduce errors.'' (Hate speech, in Facebook's book, is characterized as a pointed attack on a person or group based on ''protected characteristics,'' like race, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, or nationality, among many others.)
Facebook is now testing a new content moderation workflow that prioritizes this context-first approach to the review process. Whereas previously moderators made a decision about whether or not to remove a post and then answered a series of questions as to why, the pilot program for its US hate speech enforcement team reverses the order of that process: When assessing whether a post has broken the rules, reviewers are asked a series of questions first, then prompted to make a decision.
That works, notes the audit. And if it continues to improve moderators' accuracy, Facebook says the change will affect all hate speech reviews. Facebook is also updating its moderator training materials to clarify that the mere presence of hate speech isn't grounds for a post's removal if it is being condemned.
The audit also notes that Facebook is currently testing out a new program that allows moderators to ''specialize'' in hate speech'--meaning they would no longer review possible violations of any other policy'--in the hopes of improving reviewers' expertise in the subject. However, as the report itself notes, that could worsen conditions for the company's already traumatized moderators.
Will the new procedures work? Perhaps on some levels, but it may well not be enough to stop the torrent of toxic sludge Facebook users are prone to spew.
More Great WIRED StoriesA device to detect ''aggression'' in schools often misfiresDisney's new Lion King is the VR-fueled future of cinemaGoogle Photos hacks to tame your picture overloadIt's time to switch to a privacy browserYouTube's ''shitty robot'' queen made a Tesla pickup truckðŸ'± Torn between the latest phones? Never fear'--check out our iPhone buying guide and favorite Android phonesðŸ'(C) Hungry for even more deep dives on your next favorite topic? Sign up for the Backchannel newsletter
The Disturbing Art Mark Parker enjoys collecting. It is no surprise he prefers Globalism. '-- Steemit
Wed, 03 Jul 2019 11:57
It is no surprise Nike is a supporter of a Globalist Agenda and an attacker on the rights of American Patriot Citizens.Mark Parker likes artists who are known to be lowbrow that arose in the 1970's in Los Angels, CA.This painter Parker collects from does Lowrow art. I give a description later.The quickest way to grasp his predilections is with one of his pieces of art like this
Here is just One of his many idols of which he collects This style of artwork.
Called Aurora oil canvas
As if the name of this was in Amsterdam Enjoy. . .Why would someone paint this?
Mark Ryden as stated on his site. . .Large-eyed waifs and larger-eyed snow yaks. Abraham Lincoln's severed head resting on a child's bed. Jimi Hendrix standing Christ-like on a giant steak. These strange and surreal images populate Mark Ryden's paintings. Critics consider the 48-year-old painter a member of the so-called Lowbrow movement, an underground, populist, and pop-culture-infused art scene with its origins in 1970s Southern California.
Meat is a recurring theme for Ryden,a child clutches a handful of balloons that aren't balloons at all but hunks of red meat, a girl poses in a formal dress made of meat, a butcher with bunny ears slices ham with a handsaw.
Mark Ryden spent two years on the Memory Lane diorama in "The Gay 90's: Westhaughty, well-dressed dolls; and Abe Lincoln's head painted pink and put on a baby's naked body.the craft invites you to accept the content without necessarily questioning it.I believe elitists will say we're not superior as they are and that's why We Don't Get it.What I do get is there is a Sickness Here!
Take this for instance. . ."The truth is, I have no idea what bedrocks Ryden's work," says Seattle Stranger critic Jen Graves, "What's with the parade of big-eyed white girls with blood running out of their eyes or milk shooting out of a nipple and feeding a toy elephant? Ryden's a hell of a painter, but what's he about?''
Looks like he's about this
Combining species as the fallen did in order to tamper with God's creation. May be called art, but check out the chimeras.
And why the baby with the skeletons? What significance? Is Artistic license Always the Justification to do as you please?
Notice the pillars and eye at the top.
Full video found here
Ryden states, "I became very fascinated by an idea of Eckhart Tolle, who says nothing has happened in the past; it happened in the "now." Nothing will ever happen in the future; it will happen in the "now."
Really? Because that verse is found in Ecclesiastes 1:9 in the Bible and preceded Eckhart Tolle, but we all know those associated with the fallen are Well Aware of the what the Bible says!The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.
A layout in Artension 2013Notice the viewpoint
Notice what appears to be a young unclothed girl with a rabbit and the monkey pope with the fish opening hat. Interesting tells.
Now notice this same painting flipped. . .mirror image in BSC and it appeared this way in Le Monde
Ryder states,"I think the more an artist tries to have complete control of their work, the more lifeless the work will be. I feel an artist has to give themselves over to "other forces" to get some real numinous power in their work. "
Perhaps that would explain the creepy feeling I get when I look at this!
This in a book called Pinxit by Mark Ryder and Amanda Erlanson
This is what is in the description on Amazon. Why is this okay, yet people who protect children are being called out?
"Ryden's vocabulary ranges from cryptic to cute, treading a fine line between nostalgic clich(C) and disturbing archetype. Seduced by his infinitely detailed and meticulously glazed surfaces, the viewer is confronted with the juxtaposition of the childhood innocence and the mysterious recesses of the soul. A subtle disquiet inhabits his paintings; the work is achingly beautiful as it hints at darker psychic stuff beneath the surface of cultural kitsch. In Ryden's world cherubic girls rub elbows with strange and mysterious figures."
When asked about his belief in God Ryden states,"There are many gods. Some are feminine and some are masculine. Problems in perception arise when people personify the gods and think too literally about them. It is better to think of the gods as archetypes or energies, or even simply ''qualities''. I think of the Universe as a dance of these gods."
No shocker there after looking at his mockery of God's creation and clearly no desire to protect God's most innocent of His creation made in His own image.
In a Mark Ryden book called The Tree Show
Notice the eye symbology again, the pentagons. . .6 total.
Just One of the lowbrow artists whose art, Mark Parker, CEO of Nike collects.
To clarify, not saying he necessarily possesses all of Ryden's pieces. Just showing the who Parker is a fan of, and what the artist likes to portray.
What are your thoughts about this artist work which Mark Parker enjoys? Do you think it is odd? Does it point towards something many elitists are trying to normalize? Please let me know in your thoughts below. Godspeed!
Sources;
https://sobadsogood.com/2015/10/05/the-unreal-office-of-nike-ceo-mark-parker/
https://www.markryden.com/press/archive/tendencias_jan_2016/layout.html
Super-Fast New Gas Turbines Make Green Energy More Viable - Bloomberg
Wed, 03 Jul 2019 04:23
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Nike Nixes 'Betsy Ross Flag' Sneaker After Colin Kaepernick Intervenes - WSJ
Wed, 03 Jul 2019 03:57
Nike Inc. is yanking a U.S.A.-themed sneaker featuring an early American flag after NFL star-turned-activist Colin Kaepernick told the company it shouldn't sell a shoe with a symbol that he and others consider offensive, according to people familiar with the matter.
The sneaker giant created the Air Max 1 USA in celebration of the July Fourth holiday, and it was slated to go on sale this week. The heel of the shoe featured a U.S. flag with 13 white stars in a circle, a design created during the American Revolution and commonly referred to as the Betsy Ross flag.
[Related: Arizona governor pulls state aid for Nike plant over controversy]
After shipping the shoes to retailers, Nike asked for them to be returned without explaining why, the people said. The shoes aren't available on Nike's own apps and websites.
''Nike has chosen not to release the Air Max 1 Quick Strike Fourth of July as it featured the old version of the American flag,'' a Nike spokeswoman said.
After images of the shoe were posted online, Mr. Kaepernick, a Nike endorser, reached out to company officials saying that he and others felt the Betsy Ross flag is an offensive symbol because of its connection to an era of slavery, the people said. Some users on social media responded to posts about the shoe with similar concerns. Mr. Kaepernick declined to comment.
The design was created in the 1770s to represent the 13 original colonies, though there were many early versions of the America flag, according to the Smithsonian. In the 1790s, stars and bars were added to reflect the addition of Vermont and Kentucky as states. U.S. flag designs continued to change as states were admitted to the union until the 50th star, for Hawaii, was added in 1960.
In 2016, the superintendent of a Michigan school district apologized after students waved the Betsy Ross flag at a high-school football game, saying that for some it is a symbol of white supremacy and nationalism, according to Mlive.com, a local news outlet. While the flag's use isn't widespread, the local chapter of the NAACP said at the time that it has been appropriated by some extremist groups opposed to America's increasing diversity.
Mr. Kaepernick, 31 years old, last played in the National Football League in 2016, the season he began kneeling on the field during the national anthem to call attention to social injustices and racial inequality. The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback has gone unsigned since and, along with former teammate Eric Reid, in February settled collusion grievances that alleged the league and its teams conspired to keep them unsigned because of their outspoken political views. The settlement was for less than $10 million, The Wall Street Journal previously reported.
Last year, Nike made Mr. Kaepernick the face of an advertising campaign while he was still engaged in that dispute with the league'--a risky move given Nike's role as one of the NFL's biggest partners. The campaign generated a backlash among some consumers, who began torching Nike shoes and cutting its swoosh logo out of gear. The protests were countered by expressions of support for Nike.
Since the ad was released, Nike has posted higher sales, boosted by strong demand in both the U.S. and China. In the fourth quarter, sales rose 4% to $10.18 billion. Its share price has climbed more than 15% so far this year.
At least some of the USA-themed shoes have already made their way to sneaker enthusiasts. Versions of the Air Max 1 USA were changing hands on sneaker-reselling site StockX for as much as $500 on Monday, according to the site. After this Journal article was published, the price fluctuated, with one pair fetching as much $2,000 and another as little as $140.
Write to Khadeeja Safdar at khadeeja.safdar@wsj.com and Andrew Beaton at andrew.beaton@wsj.com
Urgent consultations in Washington, Moscow on reported US-Russian submarines in firefight - DEBKAfile
Wed, 03 Jul 2019 03:41
First reports reaching DEBKAfile's military sources say that a US submarine intercepted a Russian nuclear sub in American waters opposite Alaska. The Russian sub escorting the nuclear submarine responded with a Balkan 2000 torpedo and scuttled the US vessel. Urgent consultations in both the White House and the Kremlin were taking place on Tuesday night. US Vice President Mike Pence called off an appearance in New Hampshire after being recalled to Washington for a conference called by President Donald Trump without explanation.
Russian President Vladimir Putin cancelled an engagement and headed for the Kremlin to confer with Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and military chiefs, after learning that 14 submariners died in a fire that broke out on a nuclear-powered ''experimental submarine in Russian waters.'' This account carried in Russian media varies in most respects from the first reports reaching this site and may refer to a separate incident. They report between 14 and 17 members of an AS-12 nuclear powered submarine died of poisonous fumes caused by a fire aboard the vessel. The submarine was described as experimental and unarmed but often used in spy missions. It is unclear how many of the 25 crew survived. Local media suggest four or five are receiving treatment in Severomorsk's military hospital for poisoning and concussion injuries. Another news account said the majority of the officers died in or on their way to hospital. These reports do not cite the cause of the fire.
DardanKS DMD 🇽🇰 on Twitter: "Alex Morgan celebrated her birthday goal with a sip of tea '•¸ #ENGUSA'... "
Tue, 02 Jul 2019 22:08
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TRUMP CURSE STRIKES AGAIN: Anti-Trump USA Soccer Star Rides the Bench For World Cup Showdown vs England '' True Pundit
Tue, 02 Jul 2019 21:56
The Trump Curse strikes again.
Anti-Trump US Women's Soccer Team star Rapinoe was not warming up before today's match against England and likewise was not listed among the team's starters.
Megan Rapinoe had both goals if the previous match against France. That was after she bashed President Trump, the White House and also has a history of kneeling during the US national anthem.
Why is she riding the pine? Is she injured? No one is saying.
We would suggest the Trump Curse again has struck.
Rapinoe didn't participate in the warm-up, which would suggest that she's unlikely to play at all in this game. Seems odd that US Soccer wouldn't specify if she has an injury'--it did so for Ertz/Sauerbrunn earlier in the WC'--and would only say it isn't for disciplinary reasons.
'-- Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) July 2, 2019
Rapinoe not even warming up with the rest of the #USA '' just on the sidelines for now.(See attached elite photography effort) #ENGUSA pic.twitter.com/cBbUgGg91u
'-- Anna Harrington (@AnnaHarrington) July 2, 2019
Ray Lewis: Ravens shunned Kaepernick due to 'racist' tweet from girlfriend | Sport | The Guardian
Tue, 02 Jul 2019 21:37
Former Baltimore star says Django Unchained tweet angered team ownerMany believe quarterback is out of league due to protest over racial injustice Colin Kaepernick (centre) kneels during the national anthem before a game last season.Photograph: Marcio Jose Sanchez/APThe latest reason for Colin Kaepernick's absence from the NFL is apparently not down to his throwing accuracy, his wage demands or his protest against injustice in the United States. Instead, Ray Lewis claims a ''racist'' tweet sent by his girlfriend Nessa Diab stopped the Baltimore Ravens from signing the quarterback.
Kaepernick attracted huge amount of publicity last season when he refused to stand for the national anthem '' which many say has led to his failure to find a new team. The Ravens were said to have been close to signing Kaepernick, but Lewis, the team's most famous former player, said Diab's tweet ended that conversation.
''We were going to close the deal to sign him,'' Lewis told Showtime's Inside the NFL on Tuesday night. ''[Ravens owner] Steve Bisciotti said: 'I want to hear Colin Kaepernick speak to let me know that he wants to play football.' And it never happened because that picture comes up the next day.''
NESSA (@nessnitty)🎯 @raylewis pic.twitter.com/N9k7nDgmDh
August 3, 2017The tweet, from 2 August, compared Lewis and Biscotti to Samuel L Jackson and Leonardo DiCaprio's characters in Django Unchained. In the film, Jackson plays a loyal slave to DiCaprio's racist plantation owner. Diab's tweet was addressed to Lewis and has not been deleted. It was retweeted more than 4,000 times.
Diab, a radio and TV host, is said to have influenced Kaepernick's stance on social issues. ESPN's Dianna Russini said John Harbaugh, the Ravens head coach, and general manager Ozzy Newsome were keen on recruiting Kaepernick as a backup to their starting quarterback Joe Flacco, but Bisciotti has blocked the move.
Lewis said: ''[Diab] goes out and put out this racist gesture and doesn't know we are in the back office about to try to get this guy signed. Steve Bisciotti has said it himself: 'How can you crucify Ray Lewis when Ray Lewis is the one calling for Colin Kaepernick?'''
Kaepernick said he will stand for the anthem this season if he is picked up by a team. He has received support from his fellow quarterbacks: both Aaron Rodgers and Cam Newton believe Kaepernick should be back in the NFL. Rodgers believes the absence is because of his fellow quarterback's protest.
Smart Hottie Alert! Colin Kaepernick Covers GQ Magazine | E! News
Tue, 02 Jul 2019 20:41
Ben Watts / GQ
You may have noticed him in the 2013 ESPN body issue (I mean, how could you not?), but get ready, because Colin Kaepernick's next photo op is here.
The NFL quarterback is the newest gentleman to grace the cover of GQ, but as the magazine points out in its September issue, there's definitely more than meets the eye to the star rookie.
His stories as the high school player who received no Division 1 school offers and "the backup who took his team to the Super Bowl" are widely known, but his humble beginnings are not.
Ben Watts / GQ
The 49er was adopted by Teresa and Rick Kaepernick, "sweethearts since they were 14-year-olds growing up in rural Wisconsin" (how cute!).
Biological and racial differences did not waive the love the Kaepernicks felt for their son.
"Colin knew from the beginning that he was different'...we'd just say, 'You've got such beautiful brown skin! We're jealous!" Rick said. "We never wanted him to feel that he was white or that he should be. Only to be who he needed to be."
"In eighth grade, [Colin] was a big Allen Iverson fan and wanted cornrows," he fondly recalled, adding, "We had to go all the way to Modesto to find a guy who did that."
Aw!
Ben Watts / GQ
Amy Curd, his high school precalculus teacher, remembers him as an eager learner who graduated high school with a 4.1 GPA'--studly and smart.
"Colin was obsessed with problem solving, with figuring out how things worked," she recalled. "He always sat in the front of the class'...it was never about the grades'--he was in class to learn."
And he guessed from an early age that he would one day make it to the big leagues. How adorable is this letter he wrote to himself in the fourth grade?
"I hope I go to a good college in football, then go to the pros and play on the niners or the packers even if they aren't good in seven years."
Spot on.
Three in four MPs 'probably have poor mental health' | Society | The Guardian
Tue, 02 Jul 2019 20:31
Three out of four MPs probably or definitely suffer from poor mental health, the first study of psychological wellbeing among parliamentarians at Westminster has found.
Members of the House of Commons are much more likely than either the general population or people in other high-level jobs to be troubled by distress, depression and similar conditions, according to the research.
Analysis of information given by 146 MPs who filled in a questionnaire about their mental wellbeing showed that 62 (42%) had ''less than optimal mental ill health'' while another 49 (34%) had ''probable mental ill health''. Just 35 (24%) had ''no evidence of probable mental ill health''.
''These results paint a worrying picture of MPs' mental health,'' said Dr Dan Poulter, the lead co-author of the study, and himself a Conservative MP and practising NHS psychiatrist.
''Being an MP can be quite a lonely occupation. The work itself is inherently stressful. MPs are potentially at greater risk of developing mental health problems because of the nature of their work and because they work in a high-stress environment where there are many brickbats and not many bouquets,'' said Poulter, who was a health minister from 2012-15 in the coalition government.
''There is also the long hours '' MPs can work up to 60-hour weeks at Westminster and in their constituencies '' and the fact that, by spending most of the week away from home, that puts a strain on relationships and they don't have a supportive family environment to go home to at the end of the day.''
Compared with four other types of employees, including the total population, corporate managers, all managers and high-earners, MPs have higher levels of feelings of worthlessness, unhappiness and depression. For example, 34% of MPs have a common mental disorder, double the 17% among those in high-income groups.
MPs ''had lower levels of concentration, were losing sleep because of worry, were feeling less useful, were less capable of making decisions and were feeling under constant strain'' compared with those in the four comparator groups, the study says.
Similarly, ''a higher weighted proportion of MPs could not overcome difficulties, were less able to enjoy normal day-to-day activities, were less able to face up to their problems, reported losing confidence in themselves or feeling unhappy and depressed, and considered themselves to be a worthless person''.
The whipping system is another source of psychological upset for MPs, as is abuse, harassment and bullying, according to the findings, which are published in the journal BMJ Open. The ''partisan, and occasionally confrontational and aggressive environment at Westminster'' can also damage MPs' wellbeing, Poulter added.
However, having a second job outside parliament does not increase their stress levels, it appears.
The study is the first time that members of any of the UK's four parliaments or assemblies, or any parliament internationally, have given detailed insights into their mental health.
Poulter said it was worrying that 52% of MPs with a mental health problem said they would not discuss it with a party whip, 48% would not talk about it with a fellow MP, and 55% did not know how to get mental health support at parliament.
The parliamentary health and wellbeing service was set up at Westminster to help MPs and their staff with physical and mental health problems. But some reports suggest that it is not well used. Most MPs still do not know it exists, the study found.
The authors admit the results may have been skewed by the small percentage (22.4%) of MPs who filled in a questionnaire in December 2016 upon which the findings are based. But they also say that enduring ''stigma and self-stigma'' about mental ill health at Westminster and beyond may have discouraged MPs from taking part.
Claire Murdoch, NHS England's national director for mental health, said: ''This should act as a stark reminder that no one is immune from mental ill-health. It doesn't discriminate and can happen to anyone at any time, disrupting life for hundreds of thousands of people.''
Joseph Mifsud, the Maltese professor who figured in the inception of the Russia probe, comes under new scrutiny - The Washington Post
Tue, 02 Jul 2019 20:28
Joseph Mifsud participates in an Organization of American States meeting in Washington on Nov. 12, 2014. (Juan Manuel Herrera/OAS)Shortly after Joseph Mifsud's efforts to help connect a Trump adviser with the Kremlin were detailed in court filings, an Italian reporter found him at a university in Rome, where he was serving as a visiting professor.
''I never got any money from the Russians: my conscience is clear,'' Mifsud told La Repubblica. ''I am not a secret agent.''
Then Mifsud disappeared.
The Maltese-born academic has not surfaced publicly since that October 2017 interview, days after Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about details of their interactions. Among them, Papadopoulos told investigators, was an April 2016 meeting in which Mifsud alerted him that the Russians had ''dirt'' on Hillary Clinton in the form of ''thousands of emails.''
The conversation between Mifsud and Papadopoulos, eventually relayed by an Australian diplomat to U.S. government officials, was cited by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III as the event that set in motion the FBI probe into ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.
With Attorney General William P. Barr's review of the counterintelligence investigation underway, the origins of the inquiry itself are now in the spotlight '-- and with them, the role of Mifsud, a little-known figure.
In Mifsud's absence, a number of President Trump's allies and advisers have been floating a provocative theory: that the Maltese professor was a Western intelligence plant.
Seizing on the vacuum of information about him, they have promoted the idea that he was working for the FBI, CIA or possibly British or Italian intelligence, citing exaggerated and at times distorted details about his life.
Trump attorney Rudolph Giuliani told Fox News in April that Mifsud was a ''counterintelligence operative, either Maltese or Italian,'' who took part in what sounded to him like a ''counterintelligence trap'' against Papadopoulos.
Spokeswomen for the FBI, Justice Department and CIA declined to comment, as did a spokesman for Italy's Security Intelligence Department.
Such a notion runs counter to the description of Mifsud in the Mueller report, which states Mifsud ''had connections to Russia'' and ''maintained various Russian contacts,'' including a former employee of the Internet Research Agency, the Russian organization that carried out a social media disinformation campaign in 2016.
Former FBI director James B. Comey, in an opinion column for The Washington Post in May, described Mifsud bluntly as ''a Russian agent.''
Mifsud did not respond to requests for comment made through Stephan Roh, a Swiss lawyer who says he represents the professor. Roh said suggestions that the professor had ties to Russian intelligence are ''defamatory accusations.''
George Papadopoulos, former campaign adviser for President Trump, walks out of federal court in Washington on Sept. 7, 2018. (Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg News)Mueller's report is silent on whether Mifsud's interactions with Papadopoulos were part of the Russian government's efforts to interfere in the presidential campaign and boost Trump.
Officials familiar with U.S. intelligence reports told The Post that Mifsud had been identified by intelligence agencies as a potential Russian agent before he met Papadopoulos, an assessment drawn from reporting collected over several years.
An examination of Mifsud's activities also shows that he began forging ties in Russia years earlier '-- and that he was working to expand his network in that country around the same time he met Papadopoulos in 2016, including by trying to broker new academic deals with a powerful Russian state university.
Mifsud visited Moscow just weeks before the U.S. presidential election to mark the signing of the deal, according to Russian media reports at the time. In a previously unreported episode, he welcomed a Kremlin-linked academic to speak at Rome's Link Campus University in December 2016, shortly after Trump's election.
A video of the event shows Mifsud announcing that he hoped the visit by Alexey Klishin, who teaches at an elite institute run by Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and has done legal work for the Kremlin, would not be a ''one-off thing.''
''Friendship is very important,'' Mifsud said.
The idea that Mifsud was working for the West has been pushed by Roh, who wrote a book called ''The Faking of Russia-Gate: The Papadopoulos Case.''
In an email to The Post, Roh said Mifsud was a ''Western intelligence element to be protected,'' saying that is why the professor felt the need to hide for the past two years.
He said Mifsud has been living ''mainly in Rome but moving in Europe.'' He also claimed, without providing evidence, that Mifsud cooperated with Mueller in 2018 and was interviewed by ''U.S. investigators'' this year.
Stephan Roh, left, participates in an event with Joseph Mifsud (not pictured) at the Valdai Discussion Club in Moscow on April 19, 2016. (Pavel A. Cheremisin/Valdai Discussion Club)Asked to specify the Western intelligence agency for whom Mifsud worked and in what capacity, Roh said only that ''this will be a matter of the upcoming declassification,'' an apparent reference to the review ordered by Barr. Roh, who has business connections in Russia of his own, did not respond to follow-up questions.
Once a fringe idea, the theory that Mifsud was a Western operative has now been adopted and amplified by mainstream voices in Trump's world and received significant airtime on Fox News's prime-time shows.
''When you look into Mifsud closer, you realize he's connected with all kinds of intelligence agencies, including our own FBI,'' Rep. Devin Nunes (Calif.), the ranking Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, told Fox in May. ''If he is in fact a Russian agent, this would be one of the biggest intelligence scandals for the United States and our allies.''
Nunes declined to comment further.
Giuliani told The Post that ''Mifsud is a mystery to be explored,'' adding that the Papadopoulos episode ''looks like a rogue counterintel operation.''
Papadopoulos, too, has adopted the theory, tweeting recently that Mifsud was ''an Italian intelligence asset who the CIA weaponized'' against him to drop ''fake Russia'' information into his lap as part of a broader plot.
''He is the enigma of the entire Mueller probe,'' Papadopoulos said in an interview, insisting he wants the truth to come out about Mifsud, regardless of what it entails. But, he added, ''whatever remnant of my reputation that I have left, I would bet it all that he was a Western intelligence operative.''
Multiple former intelligence officials in the United States and the United Kingdom said that theory does not make sense.
John Sipher, a former CIA officer who once ran the agency's Russia operations, called the idea that Mifsud was a CIA asset who set up Papadopoulos ''nonsense,'' noting that the CIA is not allowed to target Americans.
Steve Hall, who retired in 2015 after 30 years running and managing Russian operations for the CIA, said that in counterintelligence, ''you can almost never rule anything out completely.''
But he added that Mifsud's known activities closely parallel long-standing Russian techniques of targeting academic institutions to spot possible recruits and gather information, making it more likely that Mifsud was working with the Russians than a Western intelligence agency.
''Oftentimes, you can cut through a lot of BS by saying, what makes the most sense here?'' he said.
A global networker
Born in Malta and educated in Italy and Northern Ireland, Mifsud cycled through European academic institutions, traveling to conferences, networking and pitching partnerships between schools in various cities, according to people who encountered him at the time.
Multilingual, urbane and well traveled, Mifsud was an inveterate networker and name-dropper, according to people who met him. They said he floated ambitious dreams of creating international academic institutions that would share professors and students.
Mifsud has said that he spent several years as a diplomat for the Maltese government. Based on that credential, Mifsud in 2010 was named director of the London Academy of Diplomacy, a small graduate school catering to embassy officials living in the U.K.
The program provided Mifsud with access to London's diplomatic set, including the Russian Embassy, where photographs posted online show he met with the ambassador in 2014.
''He was in­cred­ibly well connected with various people in embassies and that world in London,'' said Douglas Brodie, who was then a dean at the University of Stirling in Scotland, which partnered with Mifsud's school to ensure Mifsud's students could receive British degrees.
Brodie, who said he liked Mifsud and found him good company, said the Maltese professor appeared to be a genuine academic '-- though one with little interest in the administrative details of the school. ''He was far more interested in trying to bring in highflying guest speakers and much more interested in working the embassy drink circuit than the nuts-and-bolts stuff,'' Brodie said, adding: ''He loved all of that.''
Joseph Mifsud participates in an Organization of American States meeting in Washington on Nov. 12, 2014. (Juan Manuel Herrera/OAS)Mifsud would later claim that in this time, he became a ''member'' of the Clinton Foundation. A person familiar with the foundation said the organization has received just two donations from people named ''Joseph Mifsud'' '-- a series of small donations from a Michigan man totaling $30 between 2000 and 2002 and one for $50 from a London resident in 2015.
Beginning at least around 2010, Mifsud made multiple trips to Russia, attending conferences and academic conferences, according to Russian media accounts and university news releases.
In 2012, Mifsud's London Academy of Diplomacy formed a partnership to exchange students and conduct joint research with Lomonosov Moscow State University's Faculty of Global Processes, which an official advertised in a promotional video as a steppingstone for graduates to work ''in the Russian government, the presidential administration, federal ministries and agencies, the special services.''
[Professor at center of Russia disclosures claimed to have met with Putin]
About once a year between 2013 and 2017, Mifsud attended events at the university, where he delivered lectures and appeared in university photos.
''He was famous to us within the sphere of diplomats and those working on diplomacy,'' said Yury Sayamov, a professor at the school who said he met Mifsud after he delivered a lecture on diplomacy in Moscow in 2015, adding: ''Many people in academia know him '-- in Russia and in other countries.''
Mifsud's former assistant, Natalia ­Kutepova-Jamom, told The Post in 2017 that Mifsud accelerated his efforts to build high-level contacts in Russia around 2014, claiming at one point to have secured a brief meeting with Russian President Vladi­mir Putin.
A Kremlin spokesman denied that Mifsud and Putin met.
[Professor at center of Russia disclosures claimed to have met with Putin]
In emails to The Post sent in August 2017, Mifsud wrote that his Russia ''contacts and interest [were] academic.'' He said he was a visiting professor at Moscow State University but said it was ''an unpaid honorary position, similar to those I have with other institutions and think tanks globally.''
''I am an academic, I do not even speak Russian,'' he wrote. He told The Post then that he had ''absolutely no contact with the Russian Government.''
When interviewed by the Italian reporter in Rome two months later, he offered a different account. He told La Repubblica that he had discussed the possibility that the election would result in a change to U.S.-Russian relations with various people in Europe and Moscow, including Russian government figures.
Offer of Russian connections
Papadopoulos and Mifsud met in the spring of 2016 as Trump was rising in the polls.
At the time, Papadopoulos, a young energy consultant from Chicago, was working for a start-up think tank called the London Center for International Law Practice and had just been drafted to be an unpaid foreign policy adviser for the Trump campaign.
On the day after he agreed to join the campaign, Papadopoulos said his boss at the London think tank offered to introduce him to ''a very important person'' who would be ''very useful'' in his new position.
This VIP, Papadopoulos wrote in his book ''Deep State Target,'' was Mifsud.
Papadopoulos said he was told by Nagi Idris, the director of the London Center for International Law Practice, that a London attorney affiliated with the think tank named Arvinder Sambei would be setting up a meeting for Papadopoulos and Mifsud at an upcoming conference to be held at Link Campus University in Rome, a private university that was formerly affiliated with the University of Malta.
Sambei is a former government prosecutor in the United Kingdom who had for a time served as a liaison with the U.S. Justice Department on American extradition requests.
Trump allies have seized on her connection to the think tank where Papadopoulos worked as evidence that Mifsud was working with the British government.
But in an interview, Sambei said she played no role in Papadopoulos's introduction to Mifsud. She said that by the time she became affiliated with the London think tank, she was in private practice and had had no affiliation with the British government for 11 years. She did not attend the meeting in Italy and said her only brief encounter with Papadopoulos came in the coffee break room, shortly before he left London.
''It's baffling to me where this is coming from,'' Sambei said. ''I don't even know George. I've never even been formally introduced to him.''
In an interview, Papadopoulos maintained that he was told Sambei arranged his introduction to Mifsud.
Idris did not respond to requests for comment.
Simona Mangiante and her husband, George Papadopoulos, arrive in the Hart Senate Office Building in March. Mangiante was scheduled to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee in a closed hearing. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)That March, Papadopoulos said he traveled to Rome with Idris, who introduced him to Mifsud. Over dinner at a restaurant near the Trevi Fountain, Papadopoulos wrote that Mifsud dropped a ''lure,'' bringing up Russia and promising to be Papadopoulos's ''middleman around the world.''
'''‰'I'm going to introduce you to everyone and set up a meeting between Trump and Putin,''‰'' Mifsud told him, according to Papadopoulos's book.
According to the Mueller report, Mifsud contacted Papadopoulos after both men returned to London, beginning a courtship that would lead to the opening of the Russia investigation.
Mifsud introduced Papadopoulos to a Russian graduate student who Papadopoulos believed was Putin's niece, according to Mueller's report. Before disappearing, Mifsud said the woman was a Russian graduate student and denied telling Papadopoulos she had Putin links.
Mifsud also connected Papadopoulos to a Russian think tank director with ties to the Russian Foreign Ministry and promised to help set up a meeting with the Russian ambassador, according to the special counsel's report.
Papadopoulos has said that, at the time, he hoped that Mifsud would provide introductions he could use to ingratiate himself with Trump campaign officials, who he believed were looking for ways to better American relations with Russia.
Stephan Roh, Igor Tomberg, Joseph Mifsud and Ivan Timofeev participate in an event at the Valdai Discussion Club in Moscow on April 19, 2016. (Pavel A. Cheremisin/Valdai Discussion Club)The conversation that kicked off the Russia investigation occurred on April 26, 2016 '-- the day after Mifsud returned to London from a trip to speak at the Russian government-linked Valdai Discussion Club meeting in Moscow, according to Mueller's report.
On his return, Mifsud met Papadopoulos at the Andaz Hotel in London, and over breakfast, told him that he had just met with high-level Russian government officials, Papadopoulos later told investigators.
The Russians, Mifsud said, had ''dirt'' on Clinton in the form of ''thousands of emails,'' according to the Mueller report.
Mifsud has denied ever telling Papadopoulos that the Russians had Clinton emails.
In a lengthy response to written questions from The Post, Roh suggested that Papadopoulos was ''directed and used'' by the FBI '-- perhaps unwittingly '-- to get in contact with Russians in a failed effort to locate emails that Clinton had deleted from her private server. Mifsud, he wrote, was ''operating on behalf of Western intelligence agencies when they met'' and Papadopoulos's interaction with him ''was surveilled.''
Roh provided a power-of-attorney letter that appeared to be signed by Mifsud in May 2018 to show that he is authorized to speak on the professor's behalf, but he did not provide any evidence of recent contact with the professor.
The Swiss attorney has his own Russian ties. In addition to his law practice, he leads an investment firm and a consulting business with Moscow offices, according to their websites. Photos show he appeared with Mifsud at the Valdai panel discussion in Moscow in 2016.
Last year, Roh changed the name of a company he registered in London to ''The No Vichok Ltd.,'' an apparent reference to the poisoning of a former Russian spy in the United Kingdom with the nerve agent Novichok. British authorities have presented significant evidence that the attack was undertaken by Russian intelligence officers, and senior U.S. intelligence officials have concurred with that assessment.
Roh told BuzzFeed, which first reported the registration, that the company would conduct research about the attack, which he suggested was in fact a plot by Western intelligence. He did not respond to a question from The Post about the company. He said he had ''no business interests in Russia'' and noted he is not licensed to practice law there.
A university in the spotlight
The Rome university where Papadopoulos met Mifsud has been cited repeatedly by Trump supporters as evidence that Mifsud was working for Western intelligence.
In his book, Papadopoulos calls Link Campus University ''Spook University'' and claims it is ''a training school for Western-allied spies, including CIA, FBI, and MI6,'' the British Secret Intelligence Service.
He and others have seized on a 2004 CIA-sponsored conference that was loosely affiliated with Link.
The unclassified event, titled ''New Frontiers of Intelligence Analysis,'' was attended by analysts from more than 30 countries, according to people with knowledge of the gathering and conference materials reviewed by The Post, some of which were published online.
The CIA's Sherman Kent School for Intelligence Analysis organized the conference with the Gino Germani Institute, an Italian social sciences and strategic studies think tank, which was affiliated at the time with Link. But the university didn't plan the content, and the conference wasn't held on its campus.
The speakers included historians and government officials, including some who were widely quoted in the press at the time about a variety of security topics. Post columnist David Ignatius was invited and wrote about the panels and speakers.
In an interview, Link President Vincenzo Scotti scoffed at the notion that the school is a front for the CIA or other intelligence services. ''People say such stupid things,'' said Scotti, an Italian politician who served as minister of interior affairs for two years in the early 1990s. ''We have no relationships with the CIA.''
Founded in 1999 as a branch of the University of Malta, the campus went private in 2011.
Roberto Di Nunzio, a businessman who previously taught at Link, said it was one of the first private universities in Italy to offer a master's degree program about intelligence and security. But he said the goal from the start was to cater to private industry and not government intelligence services, which have their own training schools.
Scotti played down Mifsud's connections with the Roman university. He said Mifsud began visiting when Link was affiliated with the University of Malta in 2000 and would attend events and seminars there periodically over the subsequent years. Mifsud formally served as a visiting professor for just one semester, in 2017, he said.
But a former employee of the school who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe internal matters said Mifsud played a key role at the school in developing academic partnerships between Link and universities in other countries, including Russia.
During the same months in 2016 when Mifsud was wooing Papadopoulos, Link was negotiating a new deal to exchange students and professors and host joint events with Moscow State University '-- the same Russian state school that Mifsud was visiting annually.
In a 2017 article about the arrangement in a Russian international affairs journal, Sayamov, the Russian professor, wrote that Mifsud had been the first to suggest the idea. Roh too told The Post that Mifsud was ''instrumental in negotiating and building that partnership like he was instrumental in negotiating and building partnerships with other universities.''
Mifsud can be seen in a video of the Oct. 8, 2016, signing ceremony for the deal, which aired on Russian television.
Scotti, however, disputed the characterization of Mifsud as a key player in the partnership with the Russian university.
''He played no role in the arrangement '-- no principal role,'' Scotti told The Post. The idea that Mifsud brokered the agreement, he said, is ''categorically'' false.
As the deal with the Russian university was being negotiated, Link officials vetoed proposals by faculty members to co-sponsor conferences that would highlight the security challenges Russia posed to Europe, according to the former employee.
''They said, we can't do this, because we're in negotiations with the Russians and they're suspicious of us, because they think we're linked to the Americans and we have to reassure them that we're not,'' said the former employee.
Scotti denied that academic events that could offend Russia were torpedoed, noting that Link hosted a conference on cybersecurity in January 2015. ''The allegations against Link University are fake news, since [the university] was actually issuing a warning against Russian misinformation,'' he said.
The former employee said Link merely provided a hall for the conference and did not organize the event, which was not focused solely on Russia and predated Link's negotiations in Moscow.
Di Nunzio said similar events after 2015 omitted references to Russian disinformation. He added that at Link, ''there were people who felt unnerved'' about the agreement with the Russian university, adding that it ''did indeed raise some eyebrows.''
Roh said the university severed ties with Mifsud after his conversation with Papadopoulos about Clinton's emails was made public in court filings.
''I can't afford to have the university embroiled in shady situations,'' Scotti said. ''As long as I have no reason to suspect anyone of a problem, they will have the utmost freedom to pursue their work. But as soon as I see a sign of a problem, that's it. The relationship ends.''
A visit to Rome
About two months after Link brokered its partnership with Moscow State University, a top Russian academic from a different university paid a visit to Rome.
Klishin held a formal role as a professor and a department head at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, an elite campus with decades of history training future diplomats. The school is run by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, whose current chief, Sergei Lavrov, is a graduate.
Klishin, who did not respond to requests for comment, was also a former member of the upper house of the Russian parliament and had performed legal work for the Kremlin, according to his official biography.
During Klishin's visit to the Link campus, Mifsud told a group assembled around a large conference table that he hoped it would be one of ''many, many more,'' according to a video of the event.
Klishin began his remarks by ''personally'' thanking Mifsud and Roh, who was also in attendance.
Scotti said that the event was arranged by Mifsud and that he had no reason to question Klishin, who had spoken at universities around the world, including in the United States. ''I can't tell you anything about that individual's activities, as he was, and still remains, totally foreign to me,'' he said.
By February 2017, Mifsud was in the United States, where he spoke on a panel held at the visitor's center of the U.S. Capitol at a meeting hosted by the nonprofit group Global Ties U.S., which helps organize foreign exchange programs in the United States.
His invitation from the group, which receives State Department funding for some of its programs, has been cited by Trump allies as evidence that Mifsud was trusted by the U.S. government.
However, in a statement, the organization said the event at which Mifsud spoke was privately funded and not affiliated with the State Department. Mifsud was invited to provide a ''European perspective'' about the future of public diplomacy, the group said.
While he was in Washington, the FBI approached Mifsud in the lobby of his hotel and questioned him about his interactions with Papadopoulos, prosecutors have said. Mueller wrote in his report that the Maltese professor made various inaccurate statements but that lies Papadopoulos had told the FBI about his interactions with Mifsud when he was interviewed 12 days earlier ''undermined investigators' ability to challenge Mifsud.''
Mifsud was allowed to leave the country. Mueller's report does not say whether U.S. investigators ever located him again.
Papadopoulos said he is more eager than anyone for the Maltese professor to be found.
''Some of the other strange characters in my story have gone public,'' he said. ''Mifsud is the only one who has not come up for air '-- and I don't know why.''
Anton Troianovski and Amie Ferris-Rotman in Moscow; Stefano Pitrelli and Chico Harlan in Rome; and Matt Zapotosky, Carol D. Leonnig and Alice Crites in Washington contributed to this report.
MSNBC Does Not Merely Permit Fabrications Against Democratic Party Critics. It Encourages and Rewards Them.
Tue, 02 Jul 2019 20:26
During the 2016 primary and general election campaigns, various MSNBC hosts were openly campaigning for Hillary Clinton. One of the network's programs featured Malcolm Nance (pictured above), whose background is quite sketchy but is presented by the cable network (and now by NBC News) as an ''intelligence expert'' and former intelligence officer for the U.S. Navy.
On August 20, 2016, weekend host Joy Reid asked Nance about the supposed ''affinity'' for Russia harbored by Jill Stein supporters. In response, Nance told MSNBC viewers: ''Jill Stein has a show on Russia Today.'' You can still watch the video of this claim here on MSNBC's own website or see it here:
Whatever your views might be about Stein and her third-party candidacy, there is no disputing the fact that Nance's statement was a falsehood, a fabrication, a lie. Stein did not have a show on RT, nor did she ever host a show on RT. What Nance said was made up out of whole cloth '-- fabricated '-- in order to encourage MSNBC viewers to believe that Stein, one of the candidates running against Clinton, was a paid agent of the Kremlin and employee of RT.
Reid allowed Nance's lie to stand. Perhaps she did not realize at the time that it was a lie. But subsequently, a campaign was launched to urge MSNBC to correct the lie it broadcast, based on the assumption that MSNBC '-- which is part of NBC News '-- was a normal news outlet that functions in accordance with basic journalistic principles and would, of course, correct a false statement once that was brought to its attention.
The media watchdog group FAIR repeatedly documented the lie told by Nance and urged MSNBC to issue a correction. The Intercept wrote about this falsehood on several occasions and also noted that MSNBC was refusing to issue a correction of what everyone knows is a false '-- but an obviously quite significant '-- claim. Multiple tweets were directed at NBC News, MSNBC, Nance, and Reid asking them to correct the fabrication to their viewers:
Former intelligence officer who also said Putin was going to invade Ukraine in October and thought Jill Stein had a show on RT https://t.co/EEjYlXqALv
'-- Adam H. Johnson (@adamjohnsonNYC) January 5, 2017
Periodic reminder that MSNBC, during the campaign, falsely told its viewers Jill Stein had a show on RT & refuses to correct/acknowledge it. https://t.co/m5YHg5ybzE
'-- Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) March 26, 2017
To date '-- almost two years later '-- neither NBC News nor MSNBC, nor a single journalist who works for either one of those media outlets has corrected this significant falsehood, despite obviously knowing that it was broadcast to their viewers. In other words, NBC News and MSNBC know that they told viewers something that was materially false, and yet refuse to correct it. Please, defenders of this network: Tell me what that says about its integrity, about its real function, about whether it is a real news outlet.
Worse, not only was Nance never sanctioned in any way for the lie he told, but he was rewarded: He has since gone from ''MSNBC contributor'' to ''MSNBC intelligence analyst,'' and is far more pervasive on the network, and its hosts have spent the month aggressively promoting his new book on how Vladimir Putin is destroying U.S. democracy.
On MSNBC, lies are not corrected; they are rewarded, provided the lies are designed to smear the reputations of Democratic Party critics. Is this not definitive and conclusive proof of that: that this is not a news outlet but a political arm of the Democratic Party? What else could possibly explain, let alone justify, behavior like this? I'm asking that earnestly.
I bring this up again now not because I think MSNBC will ever correct its lie '-- it has made clear that lies designed to destroy the reputations of Democratic Party critics are perfectly permissible '-- but because a very similar event happened on Friday night involving the same MSNBC analyst.
This week, I traveled to Moscow to meet with Edward Snowden, as well as to participate in a cybersecurity conference, on a panel regarding ''fake news'' that included Alexei Venediktov, famous in Russia as a fierce critic of the Putin government in his position as editor-in-chief of Ekcho Moskvy radio station, along with Giovanni Zagni, head of an Italian website dedicated to checking politicians' statements who is working with Facebook to determine ''fake news.'' (The Intercept paid for my travel and I was paid no fee for the trip).
The panel was moderated by RT Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan and also included Sergey Nalobin, acting deputy director of the Information and Press Department of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Given the presence of harsh Putin critics on the panel, the discussion included severe criticisms of both the U.S. and Russian governments, their propensity to lie, and their desire to control the internet.
After Nalobin claimed that Russia was the victim of disinformation and ''fake news'' campaigns, I responded by pointing out that while this was true, Russia is also the perpetrator of such campaigns, and that in general, the history of the Cold War has continued through today: whereby the U.S. and Russia both use the same tactics against one another while claiming to be the victim:
After the event, there were camera crews from numerous media outlets wanting to interview some of the panel participants. I spoke to all of them. One of them was RT, which published the full transcript of the three-minute interview, as well as selected video clips. The primary point I made that received the most attention '-- namely, that it has become regarded as suspicious, and even treasonous, merely to visit Russia, and that I accepted the invitation to attend in part to combat that toxic, dangerous, and xenophobic perception '-- is the statement of mine that RT highlighted on social media.
Obviously, anyone is free to criticize people who decide to visit Russia. Anyone is free to denounce those who speak with RT (such as Stephen Hawking, whose RT interview can be seen here, though I'd love to hear from those holding such views why it's permissible to speak to think tanks such as Brookings and Center for American Progress, which are funded by Gulf state tyrannies). And, needless to say, anyone is free to attack or dispute any statements or views that I, or anyone else, express as part of such discussions.
Nance did none of that. What he did, instead, is exactly what he did on MSNBC to Jill Stein in August 2016: In two tweets, he outright lied about me on purpose, telling his 420,000 Twitter followers that I am ''an agent of Moscow'' and ''deep in the Kremlin pocket.'' He further lied by stating that I ''helped Snowden defect'' and that I ''reports into [my] masters in Moscow.''
?? READ: Glen Greenwald shows his true colors as an agent of Trump & Moscow. now we know why he helped Snowden defect, covers for Wikileaks attack on Democracy & shills for Fox News. He's deep in the Kremlin pocket. https://t.co/GXW07PmXFo
'-- Malcolm Nance (@MalcolmNance) July 7, 2018
None of Nance's statements here is opinion. These claims '-- especially that I am an ''agent of Moscow'' and ''deep in the Kremlin pocket'' '-- are intended to be factual statements: that I work for, and am paid by, Russia and the Kremlin, and that I aided Snowden in ''defecting'' to Moscow. They are all outright lies. There is no other way to describe them.
Thus far, his tweet has been retweeted by close to 5,000 people. After I noted that they were lies, Nance reaffirmed them and said how proud he was to have broadcast them.
This is because Nance knows that he is free to lie this way with impunity. That's because he works for an organization '-- MSNBC '-- that masquerades as a news outlet but actively encourages its employees to lie this way about anyone who criticizes the Democratic Party.
He will be celebrated inside MSNBC, not sanctioned or even told to rescind his lie, because '-- just as happened with the lie he told about Jill Stein '-- the person he chose to falsely accuse of being a paid agent of Russia is someone that the MSNBC audience of Democratic partisans hates, and lying is thus permitted and encouraged, just the way it is in any partisan organization. The network is derided as ''MSDNC'' for a reason.
Obviously, Nance is simply adhering to the post-World War II tactic of the U.S. military and intelligence community from which he emerged: For decades, they accuse any journalists they dislike, or dissidents of any kind, of being covert agents of Moscow.
You would think that any real journalists inside NBC News might be bothered enough by this classically McCarthyite tactic '-- accusing a journalist of being an agent of Russia without a shred of evidence '-- to denounce it, but you would be quite wrong. Just look at how identical the script is used by Nance to the actual words Joseph McCarthy spoke at one of his notorious hearings:
That's because NBC News and MSNBC have essentially merged with the CIA and intelligence community and thus, use their tactics. The network is filled with former generals and CIA officials who are part of the community that pioneered these smear tactics of accusing journalists and critics they dislike of being traitors, spies, and Kremlin loyalists. Indeed, Nance sometimes appears on MSNBC along with former CIA Director John Brennan, who MSNBC also hired as an ''analyst.'' This is who they are.
It's also what the Democratic Party is: This is their go-to tactic. After my colleague Lee Fang reported on the numerous corporate interests for which Howard Dean secretly shills in exchange for large payments '-- everything from pharmaceutical companies to Iranian regime-change cults such as MEK '-- this was the response from Dean (who, needless to say, also frequently appears on MSNBC):
Anyone who criticizes the Democratic Party or its leaders is instantly accused of being a Kremlin agent despite the lack of any evidence. And the organization that leads that smear campaign is the one that calls itself a news outlet (and this is all independent of the fact that another one of its hosts recently lied about having her blog hacked and claimed she reported it to the FBI '-- a claim everyone in journalism knows is a lie '-- and not only was never sanctioned for it by was praised for doing that by MSNBC's star host).
Needless to say, MSNBC is not the only cable outlet that acts as an arm of a political party and encourages its on-air personalities to lie and smear critics of that party. I have spent years documenting lies told by certain Fox News employees and denounced the willingness of some of their hosts to do exactly that while on Fox News itself.
But you can't be a credible critic of lies '-- whether told by other cable outlets or politicians '-- if you not only permit but clearly encourage and reward your own on-air personalities when they do the same. And in the case of MSNBC, they not only do this, but they practice one of the most historically destructive versions of it: fabricated allegations that their critics, including journalists, are treasonous agents of a foreign power.
Italy sacks Intel chiefs over Mifsud - Brennan Russia Hoax fiasco
Tue, 02 Jul 2019 20:25
ROME, ITALY: The Prime Minister of Italy has fired two of the countries most powerful intelligence chiefs in a major shake-up. It was directly attributed to their participation with John Brennan and the CIA in using Joseph Mifsud to set up George Papadopoulos as a pretext for launching the great Russia Hoax of 2016.
''Russian agent'' Jospeh Mifsud is actually an American AssetThe use of Italian intelligence agencies to spy on members of the Trump campaign have roiled the internal workings of the Italian government at the highest levels. Simply put, Joseph Mifsud, who is represented in the Mueller report on page one as a ''Russian agent'', is actually a senior Italian intelligence asset.
He works with British intelligence, the CIA and the FBI. Mifsud trains intelligence agents at a center for advanced intel studies in the hills above Rome. He is living there now. His rent is paid for by the institute.
This is the mysterious ''Russian agent'' that is at the very center of the ''official'' explanation of the origins of the Mueller probe.
Durham investigation: President Trump can't be indicted but Obama can be
John Brennan, Peter Strzok, and Robert Mueller insisted Mifsud was a Russian agent. He was supposed to have told the hapless Papadopoulos the Russians had Hillary's 33000 deleted emails.
But how could Mifsud be a Russian agent when he was an Italian asset training American, British, and Italian intelligence agents in their tradecraft. He was working closely with the CIA and FBI. He is seen with FBI agents and senior intelligence officials at numerous functions.
Some ''Russian agent''. It was all a lie. (Nunes: FBI Has ''Something To Hide'' On Joseph Mifsud, He's Not A Russian Asset Brennan sets up and frames Papadopoulos with Misfud)
It underscores the horrific reality of so much of what happened to Donald Trump during the rolling coup d'etat against his presidency. This was part of a greater conspiracy against the candidate, the President, the Constitution, the American people, the rule of law, and the truth.
Mifsud was sent in by Brennan to set up Papadopoulos. He was an American asset from Italian intelligence spying on the campaign of the Obama political opposition. He was doing so in a foreign country to circumvent U.S. law.
Explicitly working with John Brennan and the CIA, Mifsud was a man with a long history with the FBI and American intelligence. With James Clapper and Jim Comey. Yet he is the central ''Russian agent'' at the heart of the conspiracy theory of the Russia hoax foisted on the American public.
FISA Court exposes Obama's abuse of NSA to spy on AmericansJoseph Mifsud's meeting with George Papadopoulos was all on tape. Like all operations where an informant is infiltrated against a target, they are wearing a wire. It was recorded.
There were government witnesses, incognito, observing the meeting. There is probably a video. It is absolutely certain that there is a government recording and the verbatim word for word record of exactly what Mifsud said to Papadopoulos, and what he replied back.
All part of a greater conspiracyThe coming revelations of foreign governments and their intelligence agencies being used to spy on Barack Obama's political opponents is going to soon go from a trickle to a cascade. It is part and parcel of the systematic illegal use of NSA programs by the Obama White House to spy on prominent Americans, as ruled by the Presiding Judge of the FISA Court, Rosemary Collyer.
Robert Mueller pulls a Comey by desecrating the rule of law
The Italian government is increasingly embarrassed at how their agencies were used to facilitate Brennan and the Russia hoax. It is probably the tip of the iceberg of the illicit cooperation between the agencies. The longtime professionals in charge were discredited and compromised and summarily dismissed.
The issue of interfering so egregiously in such a deviously underhanded way to impair the electoral process and laws of the United States was now a matter of national honor. How could Italy have been used by Brennan in this fashion? What else had occurred?
How could the intel chiefs have gone along with it?
Alexander Downer frames George PapadopoulosDoes the Australian government have an explanation for the participation of their senior diplomat Alexander Downer in the second leg of the framing of George Papadopoulos?
Where Downer supposedly spent a drunken evening with our favorite patsy. Where Papadopoulos supposedly confessed to his encounter with ''Russian agent'' handler Joseph Mifsud.
George Papadopoulos and Alexander Downer
That evening Downer was so alarmed, by James Comey's account, that he rushed to tell his counterparts in the CIA and FBI. The official version is that Downer was immediately suspicious of Papadopoulos.
And shocked by his ''collusion'' with the ''Russian agent'' and American asset Joseph Mifsud.
Obama Clinton Coup Attempt: Decimating the ''peaceful transition of power''
Except, here again, Downer was sent in by Brennan. It was all a setup. (CIA Crimes: How John Brennan Weaponized the CIA and FBI, and Conspired with Russia and Harry Reid to Frame Trump)
And like the other meeting with Mifsud, Downer was wearing a wire. There is a tape recording and a transcript of the meeting with Alexander Downer.
It is reported that the transcript, rather than implicating Papadopoulos, actually exonerate him.
Because if Mifsud was an American asset, and Downer was an American asset, then the whole operation was a setup. Intentionally staged on foreign soil. Using MI-6 and other wings of British intelligence to systematically monitor Trump associates in England.
To track their movements. Surveil the meeting with Downer.
To spy on the Trump campaign.
Stefan Halper sets a trap with the help of British IntelligenceThe trifecta is Clinton associate and CIA asset Stefan Halper, who met with Papadopoulos twice. He was accompanied at one of those meetings by an alarming piece of bait on his arm in the form of a female FBI undercover agent using an assumed name.
Here again, Halper, a longtime CIA and State Department associate, a distinguished scholar, was sent in to trap Papadopoulos into incriminating himself.
Arvinder Sambei, center, set up the first meeting between Joseph Mifsud, left, and George Papadopoulos, right. Courtesy https://chaletbooks.com/chaletreports/?p=1362
The woman was there to do whatever it took to nail her target.She is a confirmed FBI informant.
Both the woman and Halper were wired. There is a recording and a verbatim transcript of both of Halper's meeting with Papadopolous.
Doesn't it strike you as odd that for more than two years the government has been asserting that these events occurred spontaneously? That the Mifsud meeting was alarming and dangerous. Evidence of a conspiracy with Russia.
Mueller '' Weissmann: Destroying Trump with the fruit of the Poisonous TreeThe Downer meeting was meant to create the illusion the Trump campaign was colluding with Russians, and the Halper meetings were meant to add a professional patina to the previous interactions to lend them credence.
Yet all four interactions were completely scripted. Surveilled, planned and executed as part of the Russia Hoax. Operation Crossfire Hurricane, the FBI code name that was a mockery of Trump's use of the Rolling Stones music at his rallies, was more like the early stages of the coup.
The framing of the President.
The Mifsud, Downer, Halper allegations became the invented pretext for the counterintelligence investigation launched against Donald Trump by Peter Strzok. This on the same day Hillary Clinton was fraudulently exonerated. On that same day that Stefan Halper was entrapping George Papadopoulos for the second time.
Obama '' Using foreign governments and the NSA to spy on AmericansThe shocking reality is that this was a genuine coup d'etat against the Constitution and the citizens of the United States. Against all Americans. Planned in the Oval Office of the Obama White House. Executed by John Brennan, James Clapper and James Comey. Weaponizing the CIA, DNI, FBI, DOJ and foreign intelligence agencies to fraudulently target and destroy Donald Trump.
Using foreign governments as explicit co-conspirators to interfere in the American election. The Italians, the British. the Australians, and the Ukrainians. Again and again. Systematically.
That it was used against a citizen and opposition candidate is both reprehensible and illegal. To think that it was done at all is unconscionable. That it was used against a President is treason.
The Clinton Brennan Russia Hoax: The damage done to AmericaThe intersection of all this activity shows it was the Clinton campaign and Obama White House, over and over again, that was working with foreign governments to impact our elections.
And that doesn't even include the Steele dossier of Kremlin and Ukrainian disinformation. Or the subsequent coup attempt and criminal events that have questioned the very foundation of a free Republic.
The Ukrainians provided questionable documents and dirt on Paul Manafort and Donald Trump that was conveyed to both the DNC and the FBI by the American Ambassador herself. Ukranian politicians hoping to curry favor were reportedly sources for good portions of the Steele Dossier.
It was a systematic use of foreign and American intelligence agencies to spy on and try to frame the Presidential candidate of the political opposition. The Republican nominee for President.
The shredded credibility of the coup plottersIn the Mueller Weissmann report they say on page one that Joseph Mifsud is a Russian agent. They know that is a lie. That destroys the credibility of the entire Mueller inquisition all by itself.
They claimed that Ukrainian Konstantin Kilimnik was a Russian agent when he is actually a known asset of the American State Department. The Mueller-Weissmann inquisition report altered transcripts to smear White House attorney John Dowd. They did the same to Michael Flynn.
Trump is a Crime Victim: Time to indict the Coup plottersThe FISA application against Carter Page, among its many illegal foundations, failed to mention that Page was an FBI informant against Russian agents for over 4 years. What it all shows is that the entire Russia hoax was a fraud from the beginning. A sham.
An illegal series of operations aiming to desecrate the American political system.
There must be a reckoning. From its very inception, the Mueller-Weissman report have all been part of one corrupt wholesale ongoing continuum. The biggest scandal and abuse in American political history.
The actions of the Italian government are one more indication of the stunning nature of the coming unseemly revelations from the Durham investigation revealing the full range of crimes of the Obama White House. At least Italy seems to finally have found a conscience.
L.J. KeithLJ Keith is a non-partisan commentator taking aim at all aspects of governmental domestic and foreign policy and the American socio-political landscape with an eye toward examining the functional realities of the modern age, how they can be understood, and what context to view the changing face of life in America and its place in the world at large.
Internet wobble caused by Cloudflare glitch - BBC News
Tue, 02 Jul 2019 15:53
Image copyright Getty Images Internet users faced problems accessing many websites for about an hour because of a problem with Cloudflare.
The company provides internet security and other services meant to help online businesses operate smoothly.
Many members of the public had reported seeing "502 errors" displayed in their browsers when they tried to visit its clients.
The service has more than 16 million customers ranging from the chat service Discord to the dating site OKCupid.
Cloudflare said the problem had now been resolved although some of its analytics tools were still facing disruption.
Among the casualties was Downdetector, a popular site used to monitor disruption.
CoinDesk - a news site specialising in cryptocurrencies - was also one of those affected. It said that it had received bad data from its providers as a consequence, which resulted in it misreporting prices.
"Calm down everyone, Bitcoin is not $26," it tweeted before adding that it had now resolved the issue.
The plane-tracking service Flightradar24, social media statistics service Social Blade and vineyard monitoring system Vinelytics were among others to confirm they had been affected.
Network errorA 502 error code signifies that an internet server has received a invalid response from another server it is trying to contact.
There has been speculation that San Francisco-based Cloudflare had suffered a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack - in which it had been flooded with traffic.
But its chief executive has said the cause has yet to be determined.
The Register reported that the firm also experienced issues last week.
Arizona to withdraw Nike financial incentives after it pulls 'Betsy Ross' sneakers
Tue, 02 Jul 2019 14:40
Arizona Governor Doug Ducey talks to reporters after meeting with President Donald Trump at the White House April 03, 2019 in Washington, DC.
Chip Somodevilla | Getty Images
Arizona Governor Doug Ducey said on Tuesday in a Tweet he will order the state's commerce authority to withdraw all financial incentive dollars for the shoe company to locate in the state after Nike said it's dropping its Betsy Ross American flag sneakers.
Nike has been planning to build a manufacturing plant on metro Phoenix's west side, which was expected to bring 500 jobs to the area, The Arizona Republic reported on Monday. The city had agreed to waive up to nearly $1 million in fees and reimburse up to $1 million for the jobs it will create, the paper reported.
On Monday night, Nike said it was pulling the sneakers, which featured an early American flag designed by Betsy Ross in celebration of the July Fourth holiday. The decision followed a complaint from former NFL football player Colin Kaepernick, who pointed to the flag's use during a period slavery, The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday. There also have been reports of the flag's use by extremist groups, according to the paper.
"It is a shameful retreat for the company. American businesses should be proud of our country's history, not abandoning it," wrote Ducey on Twitter.
"Nike has made its decision, and now we're making ours. I've ordered the Arizona Commerce Authority to withdraw all financial incentive dollars under their discretion that the State was providing for the company to locate here."
Ducey, a Republican who was formerly the CEO of Cold Stone Creamery, has been Arizona's governor since 2015.
In his role, he oversees the Arizona Commerce Authority, an organization founded in 2010 to bring and maintain corporate operations in the state. The agency has come under fire from some politicians for its inability to measure its success.
"I was never a fan '... and that was one of my problems to begin with: How are we going to quantify whether this agency is successful?" said Senate President Andy Biggs, (R-Gilbert) in 2015, according to the Arizona Republic. As governor, Ducey has scaled back its funds, the paper reported.
Kaepernick has been a polarizing figure in sports after he decided not to stand for the national anthem during a 2016 NFL preseason football game, in a protest against racial injustice. His actions have been widely defended as an exercise of his freedom of speech.
Kaepernick has not played in the league since that 2016 season after the San Francisco 49ers failed to resign the former quarterback. He then filed collusion grievances against the league, which have since been settled.
Last year, Nike featured Kaepernick as part of its 30th anniversary of its iconic "Just Do It" campaign.
Nike did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Arnott's ad: Biscuit company cops it over fat-shaming ad from 2005
Tue, 02 Jul 2019 13:42
A biscuit advertisement printed 13 years ago has come back to haunt Arnott's after it appeared online this week and caused a fury.
The advertisement for the fruit-filled biscuit Snack Right Fruit Slice, takes up an entire page of a magazine that someone dug up, photographed, and posted on Facebook.
The advertisement '-- which is understood to have run in a New Idea magazine in New Zealand in 2005 '-- features two pairs of pale pink underwear, hanging from a clothesline, one small and one slightly larger.
The larger pair of frilly undies is captioned, ''SNACK WRONG'', while the smaller sized undies are captioned, ''SNACK RIGHT''.
Beneath the two pairs is a packet of Snack Right Fruit Slice with the slogan: ''The healthier biscuit made with delicious fruit.''
The post on the Nope Sisters Facebook page slammed the food giant for ''size shaming marketing'' and said the company was attempting to humiliate women of different sizes into purchasing their product.
''This size shaming marketing for Arnott's Biscuits Limited in a mag is ABSOLUTELY WRONG,'' the post read. ''How dare they try to sell high sugar biscuits in this disgraceful way.''
The post also accused Arnott's of targeting women who wear ''pink frilly undies as well, just to really ensure a MASSIVE marketing FAIL''.
''When will they get it? That any size is right for you, as long as you are healthy and happy.''
Nope Sisters called on people to boycott Arnott's and not eat its products ''ever again''.
But some attempted to keep a level head, reminding people the advertisement was more than a decade old and that dredging up old mistakes wasn't productive.
''I don't believe in body shaming '... but I also don't believe in company shaming like this, especially on something 13-years-old. That's quite rough,'' one woman said.
''It's as if companies can't start somewhere, and evolve.''
Another commenter said there were ''worse things in life than an ad saying snacking on healthier biscuits equates to smaller undies''.
An Arnott's spokeswoman told news.com.au the old campaign was only run in New Zealand but its contents were ''in poor taste and does not reflect Arnott's brand values''.
''While this advertisement was printed in 2005, it should not have run in the first place and we apologise for any offence cause,'' the spokeswoman said.
''Arnott's is committed to conducting business in a manner that is respectful and inclusive of everyone.''
The company also tweeted its statement in response to criticism online.
The company's response did little to quell the outrage to the Nope Sister's post, which attracted hundreds of likes and comments.
Many described the old advertisement as ''tone deaf'' and ''grim on so many levels''.
One woman said she was ''in a rage'' when she saw the advertisement.
''I don't think it matters if this ad is 5 or 10 years old, the fact they did it and thought it was OK is terrible,'' she wrote.
Nope Sisters Clothing Facebook page and founder Brittany Cosgrove told The New Zealand Herald she was disgusted when she saw the ad but was relieved it was from 2005.
''I am pretty stoked that it's not from this year. I mean it just goes to show the marketing that was going on in 2005 and how much we've changed, hopefully,'' she told the publication.
Continue the conversation @Rhi_lani or email rhian.deutrom@news.com.au

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  • 0:00
    oh yeah right on bobaloo adam curry
  • 0:07
    johnson media assassination episode 1152
  • 0:11
    this is no agenda got flags on my feet
  • 0:28
    I'm John Siever
  • 0:29
    [Music]
  • 0:32
    you better not be you better not be
  • 0:35
    wearing them you racist yes racist happy
  • 0:45
    Independence Day John everybody out
  • 0:49
    there may be safe yes and our works
  • 0:53
    legal areas where it always always get
  • 0:55
    their fingers blown off and thank you to
  • 0:57
    all of the human resources of the United
  • 0:59
    States who are keeping our country
  • 1:01
    running today because not everything
  • 1:04
    closes I'm talking about my beautiful
  • 1:06
    wife the keeper working today at the
  • 1:08
    Ronald McDonald House yeah someone's if
  • 1:11
    you can't just close the facility kick
  • 1:14
    the kids out I've suggested this very
  • 1:17
    thing but that didn't go over too well
  • 1:19
    is not yeah yeah well where to start do
  • 1:26
    you want to dive right into Nike or do
  • 1:28
    you want to research myself we both oh
  • 1:35
    my goodness we did some research well
  • 1:37
    this should be fun well let's start with
  • 1:39
    the bullshit story from CBS is Nike ESU
  • 1:43
    bullshit story Nike was set to sell a
  • 1:47
    new sneaker that featured a 13 star
  • 1:49
    American flag just in time for the 4th
  • 1:51
    of July but the company suddenly pulled
  • 1:53
    them out of stores if Nike was trying to
  • 1:55
    avoid a controversy though it did not
  • 1:57
    work here's Meg Oliver Nike set off a
  • 2:01
    firestorm after pulling their shoes
  • 2:03
    emblazoned with the Betsy Ross flag an
  • 2:06
    early version of the American flag with
  • 2:08
    13 stars and stripes
  • 2:10
    used in the 1700s before slavery
  • 2:13
    was abolished when you look at that
  • 2:15
    early version of the American flag what
  • 2:17
    does it symbolize well I see I see 13 I
  • 2:22
    see the colonies and that leads directly
  • 2:24
    to slavery in some cases the Betsy Ross
  • 2:27
    flag has been co-opted by white
  • 2:29
    supremacist groups like the KKK
  • 2:31
    conservatives lashed out against Nike
  • 2:33
    Republican senator Ted Cruz of Texas
  • 2:36
    wrote it's a good thing Nike only wants
  • 2:39
    to sell sneakers to people who hate the
  • 2:41
    American flag
  • 2:42
    Arizona's Republican governor Doug Ducey
  • 2:45
    withdrew all financial incentives the
  • 2:47
    state promised Nike to invest in a one
  • 2:50
    hundred eighty five million dollar
  • 2:51
    factory in Arizona and former Republican
  • 2:54
    presidential candidate Herman Cain
  • 2:56
    tweeted nothing can happen in America
  • 2:58
    anymore if Colin Kaepernick doesn't like
  • 3:01
    it believe in something even if it means
  • 3:05
    sacrificing everything for NFL star
  • 3:08
    Colin Kaepernick is the face of Nikes
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    just do a campaign he reportedly
  • 3:13
    complained and I heed the flag is an
  • 3:15
    offensive symbol of slavery this is a
  • 3:18
    great teaching moment and it brings us
  • 3:22
    in contact with a history that most of
  • 3:25
    us that most Americans do not want to
  • 3:27
    deal with in a statement Nike doesn't
  • 3:29
    mention Kaepernick but says they made
  • 3:31
    the decision to halt distribution based
  • 3:33
    on concerns that it could
  • 3:35
    unintentionally offend and detract from
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    the nation's patriotic holiday thank you
  • 3:40
    for bringing us both sides oh that's
  • 3:41
    interesting
  • 3:42
    that's interesting so I saw that cause
  • 3:46
    it might come in handy thanks for both
  • 3:48
    sides at the end he said that yeah hold
  • 3:50
    on thank you for bringing us both sides
  • 3:54
    oh wait there's something I don't
  • 3:58
    understand did she just say that when
  • 4:01
    Nike released the news they didn't
  • 4:02
    mention Kaepernick yeah want to deal
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    with in a statement Nike doesn't mention
  • 4:10
    Kaepernick but says they made the
  • 4:11
    decision to halt distribution based on
  • 4:14
    concerns that it could unintentionally
  • 4:16
    offend and detract from the nation's
  • 4:18
    patriotic now didn't they at some point