1166: Tacorista

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

3h 4m
August 22nd, 2019
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Executive Producers: Viscount Chris Eisbach, The Suburban Mennonite, Sir Dwayne Melancon, Grand Duke of the PNW, Sir Roy ten Have, Viscount Craig Cuttner, Brian Martin, Carol Ann Chase, Michael Conti, Mike Pauplis, Robert Sharp

Associate Executive Producers: Baroness Whack-a-Mole, Sir David Fugazzotto, Sir Brian Ferguson, Baron of Costa Mesa, Paul Dorton, Cesar Baptista

Cover Artist: Mike Riley


Start of Show
CBS Austin: 'City of Austin Poised to Reverse Course on Homeless Camping, Issue New Restrictions'
San Francisco Rebrands Criminals as Justice-Involved Persons
Jeffrey Epstein's Connection to Bill Gates
Jeffrey Epstein's Connection to MIT Media Lab
Jeffrey Epstein's Connection to UK's Prince Andrew
Dutch Former Model Thysia Huisman Recalls Seeing Jeffrey Epstein When Raped
Kerry Kennedy
Nord Stream 2 Pipeline Reportedly Delayed by Denmark
Producer Note: Denmark/Greenland
Nuclear Explosion in Russia
Trump Tweets Out Study on Google Shifting Voters in 2016 Elections
Joe diGenova
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio Audio Issues at Iowa Campaign Event
Elizabeth Warren Apologizes at Native American Forum
2020 Democratic Presidential Candidate Andrew Yang on H3H3 Podcast on Debate Corruption
Producer Note: Unreasonable Conversation Event
Jordan Peterson Deepfake
Trump Announces Re-Opening of Mental Institutions
Prozac Drug
Angela Rye to Patrick Griffin on CNN: "You Chose to Use the Word Hijacking"
Channel 4's 'Train Your Baby Like a Dog' TV Show
PragerU's Lawsuit Against YouTube
Brian Amerige on The Rubin Report: "Advertisers Don't Want to be Associated With Things That Could Become Controversial"
Gillette Shifts Advertising Focus to Local Heroes
Tacos, The End of Podcasting
Birthdays & Title Changes
NBC's News Coverage of Trump
End of Show
Suggest a new chapter
Robert Epstein / Algos
Trump Highlights Research Showing Google Shifted Millions of Votes to Clinton in 2016
Tue, 20 Aug 2019 16:06
President Donald Trump drew attention to research that shows the sway Google holds over election results, after a former engineer for the company came forward with a pile of internal documents that suggest political interference.
''Wow, Report Just Out! Google manipulated from 2.6 million to 16 million votes for Hillary Clinton in 2016 Election!'' Trump wrote on Aug. 19. ''This was put out by a Clinton supporter, not a Trump Supporter! Google should be sued. My victory was even bigger than thought!''
Wow, Report Just Out! Google manipulated from 2.6 million to 16 million votes for Hillary Clinton in 2016 Election! This was put out by a Clinton supporter, not a Trump Supporter! Google should be sued. My victory was even bigger than thought! @JudicialWatch
'-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 19, 2019
Trump was most likely referring to the work of Robert Epstein, a research psychologist at the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology in California, who's studied for years about how much influence Google has on its users' political views and voting.
In a Feb. 18, 2016, essay, Epstein said that Google had ''the power to drive between 2.6 million and 10.4 million votes to Clinton on Election Day, with no one knowing that this is occurring and without leaving a paper trail.''
Based on his monitoring of Google search results on Election Day 2016 and in the weeks prior, Epstein determined that there was indeed a pro-Clinton bias in the results and that 2.6 million votes were shifted. He said he personally supported Clinton in the race.
A Google executive told Congress in July that the company's products are designed and operated to be politically neutral.
CriticismWhile Google previously criticized Epstein's research as ''flawed,'' Epstein responded by saying Google failed to rebut his arguments in substance. He's been told that Google has spread messaging to the effect that his study was based on 21 undecided voters.
''That is not true,'' he told The Epoch Times.
The study was based on more than 13,000 searches preserved from 95 field agents in 24 states. Of those, 21 agents identified themselves as undecided voters, but that was irrelevant to the results, since the search terms prepared for the study were determined by an independent group of raters as neutral, he said. Political preferences of the agents thus had no effect on what they typed into Google. Furthermore, the results proved significant in statistical analysis, indicating that the number of agents didn't undermine them.
''The probability that we got our results based on chance alone was less than one in a thousand,'' Epstein said.
The study built on experiments with ''tens of thousands of participants in five national elections in four countries,'' he said, that showed Google's power to sway undecided voters by giving more or less prominence to search results favorable to different candidates.
Epstein said he didn't know why Trump referred to 16 million in his tweet.
''I've never said that.''
He said the broad range of his estimate'--2.6 million to 10.4 million votes shifted to Clinton'--was due to there being ways for Google to ''increase the magnitude of the effects'' it had on voters by, for instance, targeting certain voters or by voters exposing themselves to the biased results multiple times.
Trump's tweet also included a reference to the Twitter account of Judicial Watch, a right-leaning government watchdog.
''We interpret President Trump's tweet as encouragement that Judicial Watch investigate this issue as part of our Election Integrity Project,'' Judicial Watch spokeswoman Jill Farrell told The Epoch Times via email.
Leaked DocumentsEpstein's research has been recently highlighted because of his congressional testimony on July 16. In recent days, he's offered comments and analysis on the nearly 1,000 pages of internal documents released on Aug. 14 by former Google software engineer Zachary Vorhies.
In an Aug. 14 interview with Breitbart Radio, Epstein claimed that Google executives have committed perjury by telling Congress the company doesn't ''rerank'' search results and doesn't have blacklists.
Epstein pointed out that the trove of leaked documents includes two blacklists. One of the lists, marked as ''manual'''--meaning made by humans'--contains a number of fringe political websites, of which most appear to lean right. It also includes some mainstream conservative-leaning websites such as dailycaller.com, and news watchdog newsbusters.org.
The blacklist indicates the sites are blocked from the feed that shows up below the search bar in the Google mobile app.
The list marks many of the sites as having a ''high user block rate.'' It's not clear why these sites would need to be blacklisted manually if a high block rate alone automatically placed them on the list.
Epstein also noted that one of the leaked documents describes how to create a ''twiddler'''--a program that tweaks search results by, for example, pushing certain results up and others down, based on criteria specified by the programmer.
''They literally rerank search results to meet their ever-changing needs, and some of those needs are political needs,'' Epstein said.
The documents that Vorhies provided, together with his explanations and hidden camera recordings by Project Veritas of other Google employees, indicate that the company has created a concept of ''algorithmic fairness,'' through which it infuses the political preferences of its mostly left-leaning workforce into its products.
Several studies have shown that the Google News product is biased to the left.
Epstein warned that in 2020, if companies such as Google and Facebook all support the same candidate, they will be able to shift 15 million votes'--a margin surpassed by only a handful of presidents.
Update: The article has been updated with information from an interview with Robert Epstein, with further information about President Donald Trump's tweet, and with a response from Judicial Watch.
Follow Petr on Twitter: @petrsvab
Robert Epstein thread
Thu, 22 Aug 2019 03:58
EPSTEIN TWEETSTORM, AUGUST 20, 2019#1Tweet storm starting now - getting interrupted from time to time by calls from reporters... I've been caught in the middle of an exchange of tweets between 2 media titans, @HillaryClinton & @realDonaldTrump. #Trump's tweet was slightly wrong. #Hillary's tweet was shameful. pic.twitter.com/TcBigRcs8v
'-- Dr. Robert Epstein (@DrREpstein) August 20, 2019 #2#Trump tweet, point #1: I've never said that #Google deliberately "manipulated" the 2016 election, but I measured substantial pro-#Hillary bias in #Google's search results by preserving & analyzing 13,207 election-related searches & the 98,044 web pages linked to those searches.
'-- Dr. Robert Epstein (@DrREpstein) August 20, 2019 #3#Trump tweet, point #2: The level of pro-#Hillary bias I found in #Google's search results - absent on #Bing & #Yahoo - was enough to convince between 2.6 & 10.4 million undecided voters to vote for Hillary. .@realDonaldTrump said 16 million; that's wrong.
'-- Dr. Robert Epstein (@DrREpstein) August 20, 2019 #4#Trump tweet, point #3: It doesn't matter whether the bias in #Google search results was deliberate or not. Once it appeared - which it did at least 6 months before the election - it began shifting opinions & votes without people's knowledge & without leaving a paper trail.
'-- Dr. Robert Epstein (@DrREpstein) August 20, 2019 #5If you want the full story about my 2016 election monitoring project, read my essay, "Taming Big Tech: The Case for Monitoring," published last year: https://t.co/1eyxrUuFeB
'-- Dr. Robert Epstein (@DrREpstein) August 20, 2019 #6Now, switching to .@HillaryClinton: This is going to hurt me to write, because I & my whole extended family have been strong supporters of the Clintons for decades. I have a framed, signed letter from #Bill on the wall near my desk. But #Hillary should be ashamed of herself. pic.twitter.com/FKyLiKonyw
'-- Dr. Robert Epstein (@DrREpstein) August 20, 2019 #7#Hillary has long depended on #Google for both money & votes. Her largest donor in 2016 was Alphabet/Google. Her Chief Technology Officer during the campaign was Stephanie Hannon, a former Google exec. And then there's #EricSchmidt, longtime head of Google - the guy in the pic: pic.twitter.com/dSV8wOPwAH
'-- Dr. Robert Epstein (@DrREpstein) August 20, 2019 #8A leaked email showed that in 2014 #Google's #EricSchmidt offered to run #Hillary's tech campaign (see pic). In 2015, Schmidt in fact funded The Groundwork, a highly secretive tech company, the sole purpose of which was to put Clinton into office. https://t.co/rXMNH9bLYV pic.twitter.com/MRjGpCJcvr
'-- Dr. Robert Epstein (@DrREpstein) August 20, 2019 #9About 96% of 2016 campaign donations from #Google employees went to #Hillary. And #ElanKriegel, Hillary's Chief Analytics Officer, credits his 2012 tech team, informally supervised by #EricSchmidt, for half of Obama's win margin: nearly 2.5 million votes. https://t.co/vEaufq3M11 pic.twitter.com/tSI05RS3uu
'-- Dr. Robert Epstein (@DrREpstein) August 20, 2019 #10#Hillary: If my work has been "debunked," why was it included in a volume just published by #Oxford U.? Why have I been invited to speak about it at prestigious venues worldwide: #Stanford U., #Yale Law School (where both you & Bill went), even our #Senate (where you served)? pic.twitter.com/rmMeB1oJn3
'-- Dr. Robert Epstein (@DrREpstein) August 20, 2019 #11#Hillary: I know you're in #Google's pocket, but for the sake of our #democracy, I urge you listen to my recent Congressional testimony (https://t.co/cMYQ5pnjki) & to scan the 58 essays & conference papers I list at the end of my written testimony: https://t.co/AN3RtdYp65 pic.twitter.com/Tz2vfCJGof
'-- Dr. Robert Epstein (@DrREpstein) August 20, 2019 #12#Hillary: If you examine my work carefully, you will find that it adheres to the very highest standards of scientific integrity. You will also conclude, I believe, that #Google poses a serious threat to the free-&-fair election & to human autonomy. See https://t.co/T2coTfZt5m
'-- Dr. Robert Epstein (@DrREpstein) August 20, 2019 #13#Hillary: #Google poses 3 serious threats to humanity: 1) an obscene level of #surveillance across 200+ platforms, 2) the power to determine what content 2+ billion can or can NOT see (#censorship) (https://t.co/THZqV4u0ov) & 3) invisible #manipulation on a massive scale.
'-- Dr. Robert Epstein (@DrREpstein) August 20, 2019 #14#Hillary: Is that what you want your legacy to be? Whistleblowers & leaks from #Google have confirmed that the company blacklists, re-ranks & uses "ephemeral experiences" (which I study) to control people worldwide. Do you approve? https://t.co/xZEV7PqyHu
'-- Dr. Robert Epstein (@DrREpstein) August 20, 2019 #15#Hillary: If Big Tech cos. support the same candidate in 2020, they can shift 15M votes her way without people knowing how the shift occurred. If you had a choice between preserving #democracy & putting your candidate in office, which would you choose? https://t.co/gHbvbjd6tS
'-- Dr. Robert Epstein (@DrREpstein) August 20, 2019 #16#Hillary: Among other tools, they can use "ephemeral experiences"-a term from a #Google email that leaked to @WSJ in 2018-to shift votes without leaving a paper trail. Ephemeral experiences like those search results I found that were biased in your favor. https://t.co/73CWSocIu4
'-- Dr. Robert Epstein (@DrREpstein) August 20, 2019 #17#Hillary: If I haven't yet convinced you that the tweet you sent about me yesterday was unjustified & deeply flawed, please read these recent comments on my work by #ChuckNorris. He might be a lowly #conservative, but he still kicks butt. https://t.co/EfBt3TkRY7 pic.twitter.com/lDijqO0qOn
'-- Dr. Robert Epstein (@DrREpstein) August 20, 2019 #18Finally, #Hillary: I have always admired you as a self-sacrificing person who is trying to improve people's lives, and I have tried to emulate you in these ways - as best I can. I also know you've sometimes been punished for your good deeds. I can relate. With admiration, /re pic.twitter.com/Ep1c4wqsH9
'-- Dr. Robert Epstein (@DrREpstein) August 20, 2019
Fact-Checking Trump's Claim That Google 'Manipulated' Millions of Votes for Clinton - The New York Times
Thu, 22 Aug 2019 14:58
Politics | Fact-Checking Trump's Claim That Google 'Manipulated' Millions of Votes for Clinton Fact Check
After making baseless claims of voter fraud, the president has turned to a new way of explaining his loss of the popular vote in 2016.
What President Trump Said
Wow, Report Just Out! Google manipulated from 2.6 million to 16 million votes for Hillary Clinton in 2016 Election! This was put out by a Clinton supporter, not a Trump Supporter! Google should be sued. My victory was even bigger than thought! @JudicialWatch
'-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 19, 2019This lacks evidence. Mr. Trump lost the popular vote by almost 2.9 million in the 2016 election and has long attributed this loss to baseless claims of voter fraud. Now Mr. Trump suggests that he would have lost the popular vote by a much smaller margin, or even won it, were it not for Google's machinations.
He appears to be referring to a disputed estimate given by Robert Epstein, a psychologist and former editor in chief at Psychology Today who says he supported and voted for Hillary Clinton.
In a 2017 white paper, Mr. Epstein examined how Google Search might have influenced undecided voters in the 2016 election by providing more positive results for one candidate than the other. He estimated that the search results may have swayed ''at least 2.6 million votes to Clinton.'' When he testified to Congress this summer, Mr. Epstein added that the estimate was a ''rock bottom minimum'' and that up to 10.4 million votes could have been shifted to Mrs. Clinton.
In an interview, Mr. Epstein took issue with Mr. Trump's characterization of his work.
''I've never said Google manipulated the 2016 elections,'' he said. ''The range of numbers he listed in the tweet is also incorrect.''
Panagiotis Metaxas, a computer science professor at Wellesley College, emphasized that the white paper showed a possibility '-- ''what such an influence could have been if Google was manipulating its electoral search results'' '-- not a conclusive fact.
''I and other researchers who have been auditing search results for years know that this did not happen,'' Mr. Metaxas said. ''I think that, in his congressional hearing, Dr. Epstein is misrepresenting the situation.''
He noted that Google does ''sanitize'' its search results, prioritizing more trusted sources while devaluing low-quality information sources. (Here's a more detailed explanation of how Google Search works.)
The white paper also came with huge caveats. First, it was not peer-reviewed or rigorously evaluated by other researchers.
It was based on the daily online searches of just 95 participants, 21 of whom were self-described undecided voters '-- a small sample size to extrapolate to millions of voters, experts said. (Mr. Epstein says that the statistical significance of his findings was high.)
Their election-related search results were then given to another group of people who evaluated whether the results were biased toward Mr. Trump or Mrs. Clinton, and concluded that most favored Mrs. Clinton. Searches conducted on other websites like Yahoo and Bing did not display the same bias, according to the paper.
Then, Mr. Epstein applied his previous research demonstrating that biased search results could shift voting preferences by 20 percent or more to reach his baseline estimate of 2.6 million people affected.
But it takes ''a leap of faith'' to connect Mr. Epstein's experimental results to actual election outcomes, said Nicholas Diakopoulos, an assistant professor in communication studies at Northwestern University. (Mr. Diakopoulos's own research does show that Google Search results favor Democrats.)
''There's a substantial shift in context, and a difference in asking someone in an experiment about likely voting behavior and how they might actually act during an election,'' Mr. Diakopoulos said.
A more meticulous scientific analysis measuring the impact of Google Search on election outcomes could, for example, take into account voter history or other sources of election information.
Given the difficulties in disaggregating the impact of Google and the paper's lack of methodological detail, Mr. Diakopoulos said, ''I am skeptical of the validity of the estimates.''
Curious about the accuracy of a claim? Email factcheck@nytimes.com.
Linda Qiu is a fact-check reporter, based in Washington. She came to The Times in 2017 from the fact-checking service PolitiFact. @ ylindaqiu
Hillary Clinton responds to Trump tweet about Google vote manipulation
Thu, 22 Aug 2019 14:51
President Trump questioned the financial side of the New York Times and said the paper will endorse him in 2020 just to keep their business going. Buzz60, Buzz60
WASHINGTON '' Former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton responded on Monday to President Donald Trump's claim that Google had "manipulated from 2.6 million to 16 million votes" for her in the 2016 election by noting that the study Trump appeared to be referring to was "debunked."
Clinton said on Twitter the study was actually "based on 21 undecided voters." She added, "For context that's about half the number of people associated with your campaign who have been indicted."
She had been referring to Trump's post earlier Monday about alleged voter fraud in the 2016 election. Trump had said on Twitter that because of Google's misdeeds, "Google must be sued" and added that his electoral victory should have been larger.
PolitiFact, a nonpartisan fact-checking website, rated Trump's claim "false." The site noted that Trump appeared to be referring to a 2017 research paper by psychologists Robert Epstein and Ronald Robertson. The paper had claimed that users' search results were biased in favor of Clinton, which could have possibly shifted votes to her.
The paper's methodology and findings have been questioned by other academics. who said the paper had failed to adequately explain its methodology or even define what "bias" was.
More: Donald Trump touts voter ID laws as an issue in the 2020 election. Here's why.
More: FEC chair Ellen Weintraub on Trump claims: 'No evidence of rampant voter fraud in 2016'
The debunked study you're referring to was based on 21 undecided voters. For context that's about half the number of people associated with your campaign who have been indicted. https://t.co/0zHnWvGjSv
'-- Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) August 19, 2019When reached by the outlet, Epstein said Trump mischaracterized his work.
"I have never said that Google deliberately manipulated the 2016 election," he told PolitiFact.
Epstein and Robertson had hedged their findings in their paper, too.
"We don't know what caused these patterns of bias," wrote Epstein and his co-author in the paper.
Trump has frequently vented about his loss in the popular vote to Clinton. Trump won the electoral vote but lost the popular vote to Clinton by several million votes, and Trump has claimed that millions of Americans voted illegally for Clinton.
The president has not provided evidence for these claims.
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Greenland/ Denmark
ITM Adam
A short BOTG-report from Denmark, in the wake of the
media-storm regarding President Trump’s idea of bying Greenland.
Please feel free to read this with your Dutch accent in
mind, since I still am dutch, byt have lives in Denmark for 26 years.
Danmark’s Prime Minister has called the idea “absurd”. A
term wich did not suited President Trump.
But absurd it is indeed:
1. For the danish government cannot sell any part of
Greenland without the approval of the Greenlanders. This is determined by
UN-rules, passed after WW2. So why ask Denmark. He should have made an offer to
Greenland directly and let them negotiate with the danish government.
2. The Danes are very sensitive about every square meter
of what left of the realm of Denmark. They lost the southern part of Sweden in
1660, Norway in 1814, and the northern part of Germany in 1864 (which they
didn’t manage to get back after WW1). On top of that they sold St. John, St.
Jan and St.
Croix in the Caribbean in 1917 to the USA for 25 mil.
3. Danmark may be small and relatively insignificant in
greater scheme of things, but they’re not stupid. There is great potential in
Geenland and they will never just sell because of a short term perspective.
The political leader of Greenland, Kim Nielsen, probably
had the best response, saying he could be interested in buying the USA:
“It was the Vikings Leif the Happy who discovered America
and his father Eric the Red who discovered Greenland and stayed here. Therefore
it is only logical that we get the USA back again.” He has not yet decided on
the price, but expects it to be quite low, taking the deficit of the USA into
account. And if Trump will be pat of the deal, the offer will of course be
Thanks for a great show!
Venlig hilsen
Wouter Slooten
Exclusive: Denmark's Nord Stream 2 route request could cause eight-month delay, cost 660 million euros - operator - Reuters
Mon, 19 Aug 2019 14:05
COPENHAGEN/MOSCOW (Reuters) - A Russian-led gas pipeline project across the Baltic Sea to Europe could be delayed by up to eight months and cost an extra 660 million euros ($740 million) due to hurdles in securing the necessary permits from Denmark, the pipeline operator has said.
FILE PHOTO: The logo of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project is seen on a pipe cap near the town of Kingisepp, Leningrad region, Russia June 5, 2019. REUTERS/Anton Vaganov/File Photo
The 1,230-km (765-mile) Nord Stream 2 pipeline, now under construction, has come under fire from the United States and several eastern European, Nordic and Baltic countries, which say the conduit will increase Europe's reliance on Russian gas.
The timeline of the project, led by state-owned Gazprom (GAZP.MM ), is key for the future of the gas transit contract between Moscow and Kiev, as Ukraine is Russia's main gas route for exports to Europe.
The transit contract, a large source of budget revenue for Ukraine, expires at the end of this year. Nord Stream 2, according to its initial schedule, should have been ready by then.
Gazprom has completed more than 70% of Nord Stream 2 but since April 2017 has had pending applications with Danish authorities to lay between 147 and 175 km via Danish waters.
Nord Stream 2, aimed at doubling the annual capacity of the existing Nord Stream pipeline by adding 55 billion cubic meters, is to run via the waters of Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Germany. It has approvals from all countries whose waters it crosses apart from Denmark.
The Russian-led company submitted two route applications with the Danish authorities, of which the first was proposed more than two years ago. In March, the Danish Energy Agency requested an environmental assessment of a third route option.
Nord Stream 2 labeled the third route request ''a deliberate attempt to delay the project's completion''.
Nord Stream 2, in a complaint to the Danish authorities in April, said costs related to the new request for a third route had already totaled more than 100 million euros.
According to the letter, obtained by Reuters, the request for a third route could result in a delay of up to eight months and further costs of 560 million euros. The initial budget was 9.5 billion euros.
''Delaying the project will result in a significant financial loss for Nord Stream 2,'' the letter said, asking the Danish Energy Board of Appeal to nix the energy agency's request.
Nord Stream 2 said in the letter that it had ''repeatedly asked for a status update ... without receiving any response''.
Aside from Gazprom, half of the funding for Nord Stream 2 is being provided by Germany's Uniper (UN01.DE ) and BASF's (BASFn.DE ) Wintershall unit, Anglo-Dutch company Shell (RDSa.L ), Austria's OMV (OMVV.VI ) and France's Engie (ENGIE.PA ).
Reuters obtained the document from the Danish Energy Board of Appeal under laws on freedom of information.
The Danish Energy Agency confirmed that Nord Stream 2 had appealed its decision. The agency said it has made its reasons for requesting a third route application clear to the appeal board but declined to elaborate.
NO MORE VETO Nord Stream 2 told Reuters it had informed the Danish Energy Agency about the potential impact of delays on costs and the project schedule, but declined to confirm the figures contained in the letter.
''A delay of several months will lead to additional costs of several hundred million euros but we cannot fully quantify because the final impacts depend on the timing of the permit decision of the responsible authorities,'' it said.
In June, Nord Stream 2 withdrew its initial 2017 application for a route through Danish territorial waters south of the Baltic island of Bornholm.
Denmark could have vetoed the initial route. The country passed a law in 2017 that would allow it to ban the pipeline from passing through its territorial waters on security grounds.
However, no veto can be applied for the two remaining route options as they would steer the pipeline through Denmark's exclusive economic zone, not its territorial waters.
According to Reuters calculations based on Nord Stream 2 data and the speed of construction, Gazprom's pipe-layers will reach the Danish exclusive economic zone between three and five months from now.
Nord Stream 2 said in May the project may be launched in 2020 rather than the end of 2019 due to delays in obtaining permits from Denmark.
Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said last month that Moscow had offered Kiev a short-term gas transit deal to substitute the current 10-year contract after it ends this year.
Additional reporting by Stine Jacobsen in Copenhagen and Vladimir Soldatkin in Moscow; writing by Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen and Katya Golubkova; editing by Dale Hudson
Nord Stream 2: Why Denmark Wants to Derail the Project - Sputnik International
Thu, 22 Aug 2019 04:11
With Denmark reportedly preparing a bill that could stop the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which will deliver Russian gas to a number of European nations, experts give their thoughts on what stands behind Copenhagen's decision.
Local media reported on Saturday that the Danish government is dealing with a bill that proposes requiring the country's Foreign Ministry to be the first to assess requests for permission to build pipelines, which could lead to the rejection of the request to construct the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.
According to the newspaper Politiken, the Danish parliament will discuss the bill in October.
(C) Sputnik / Grigoriy Sisoev
Speaking to
RT, Vladimir Dzhabarov, first deputy chairman of the Russian Upper House's International Affairs Committee, suggested that the Danish government could be promoting the bill due to pressure from the US administration.
"I think that Denmark is not to blame. Here you can see the hand of Washington, which is doing its best to derail the construction of Nord Stream 2," Dzhabarov said, referring to the White House's previous efforts to exert pressure through Poland.
He added that Washington is unlikely to succeed because "there is no alternative to North Stream 2." According to him, the construction of the pipeline meets the interests of "right-minded countries."
"The Norwegian gas is running low in the North Sea, which is also the case with British blue fuel. As for the American liquefied gas, it is much more expensive. So sooner or later, the right-minded countries will act according to their interests rather than those of the United States," Dzabarov said.
Konstantin Simonov, head of the National Energy Security Fund, for his part said in an interview with RT that at the moment there is no legal basis for scrapping the Nord Stream 2 project.
"The only argument against the construction of the Nord Stream 2" is a banal policy: we will not let them build a pipe, because we believe that Russia is a dangerous country. This approach destroys European law as such," Simonov said.
He recalled that "Europeans have always been proud of the fact that "law supersedes political interests."
"And suddenly, for political reasons, Denmark want to change its legislation in order to stop the project, which by the way has already been launched," he said.
"I do not rule out that Denmark will pass such a law. In this regard, similar juggling with justice will not lead to anything good," Simonov warned. He stressed that if necessary, Russia should uphold its rights in court, in the face of the United States "exerting colossal pressure on Denmark."
"It's no secret that the US demands that Denmark stop this project. In this regard, Denmark and Sweden were initially the weakest links.Nevertheless, I think that Russia needs to clearly show the legal basis of its [possible] lawsuit and its impeccability in terms of European legislation and international law," he said.
He described Denmark's actions as "an attempt to act in contradiction to the fundamental norms of European law."
Simonov was echoed by Alexey Pushkov, a member of the Russian Upper House's Defense and Security Committee, who earlier tweeted that that Denmark is hesitating about the Nord Stream 2 construction because of US pressure amid the new package of anti-Russia sanctions.
"The plot against Nord Stream 2: now Denmark is involved in it. Its government has 'become alarmed' only after the US sanctions. The source of pressure is obvious," Pushkov wrote on Twitter.
Denmark received the request for the expansion of the existing Nord Stream pipeline in April. At the moment, such demands are studied by the Danish Energy Agency at an administrative level, but a new law would allow the Foreign Ministry to reject or accept a project based on whether it is a threat to the country's interests and security.
Nord Stream 2, a joint venture between Russia's Gazprom, France's Engie, Austria's OMV AG, Royal Dutch Shell and Germany's Uniper, envisages the construction of a pipeline with an annual capacity of 55 billion cubic meters (1.9 trillion cubic feet) of natural gas.
The pipeline is slated to be laid along the existing Nord Stream pipeline route from the Russian coast through the Baltic Sea and on to a hub in Germany. The pipeline will go through territorial or special economic zones of several countries, including Denmark, Finland, Germany, Russia and Sweden.
(C) Sputnik / Grigory Sisoev
The new package of anti-Russia sanctions signed by US President Donald Trump in early August contains, among other things, measures that target Russia's energy projects, including those implemented in Europe like the Nord Stream 2.
According to many experts and several senior European officials, the new restrictions are aimed at squeezing Russian natural gas out of the European market and promoting US LNG supplies instead.
In August, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel and Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern slammed the new US sanctions, stressing that the construction of the Nord Stream 2 meets the interests of the European Union.
Greenland row is Trump positioning for Arctic battle: expert
Thu, 22 Aug 2019 04:02
/ Live news Date created : 22/08/2019 - 01:27
Copenhagen (AFP)
The diplomatic row that has erupted between Washington and Copenhagen over Greenland is just one part of a broader strategic battle being waged over control of the Arctic, according to one expert.
US President Donald Trump has cancelled a trip to Denmark and launched a war of words with his Danish counterpart, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, after she rejected his idea of the US buying Greenland as "absurd".
Mikaa Mered, professor of polar geopolitics at Paris' ILERI institute of international relations said Trump's unsolicited advances on the autonomous territory were a way to indicate US interest in the resource-rich Arctic -- and to distract from domestic issues.
- Is the US sending a message? -
Mered said Trump's offer to buy Greenland was a signal to Arctic nations and China, which has shown interest in the region, which is crucial for the control of new shipping routes opening up as ice sheets melt because of global warming.
"When it comes to the Russians, (Trump's) logic is to say: 'You won't always be the main power in the Arctic even if you are the chair of the Arctic Council in 2021'.
"And when it comes to the Chinese, the idea is... 'We won't let you get a foothold in Greenland'," Mered said.
He said the US has already increased its presence by re-establishing a consulate in Greenland's capital Nuuk, and helping to finance new airports, education and social programmes.
"The end goal is not to acquire Greenland per se but at least some new territory, some new pieces of land," he said.
Washington could be angling to buy the Gronnedal naval base in southern Greenland, "which the Danes ultimately decided not to sell in late 2017 because the only interested buyers were Chinese" he added.
- What role does Europe play? -
"It's possible that this whole hullabaloo is a political, media and economic test balloon designed to see how strongly Europeans feel about Greenland," Mered said, predicting the row could drag on.
"He will continue to use the case of Greenland, especially since Denmark is a fairly servile ally that won't turn its back on the US because of this."
- What does Trump stand to gain? -
Mered said the issue allows Trump to "make strides in the Arctic and at home".
"Looking at the presidential election, he has everything to gain by carrying on: he gets the Democrats out of the news at a critical time with the start of campaigning for the primaries and he himself is kicking off a bunch of rallies.
"(In the US), nobody knows where Greenland is, how it's run... There are so many things going on, he can continue to drag this out for several weeks."
(C) 2019 AFP
Hollywood / Lear Foundation
New players
Hi Adam & John,
In the morning.
(Please keep me anonymous.)
I had to share an event that happened this spring and will
be an annual event.
They call themselves a social impact agency.
"Organizations such as Color of Change, Define
American and Harness, which have been offering story consulting and script
integration services to Hollywood for years, are participating in the event and
will be available during interactive sessions for writers who want to workshop
specific storylines or characters they're working on. Propper says that all
participants will be provided with a resource guide with contact information
for these groups, so that they can develop deeper relationships with them on an
ongoing basis."
It is an extravaganza of mind programming and insider
training with the top producers, directors and actors messaging and coercing
the new recruits to learn the new narratives for all genres of entertainment.
Think Lear foundation. I don't think this would pop up on your radar if nobody
sent it to you. You might be able to deconstruct it in a novel way.
Thank you for your work on No Agenda. Your show keeps me
Hollywood is no fun anymore. It's just virtue signalling and
the CNN agenda at every job.
I am struggling hard as a middle aged white guy in the
entertainment industry and trying to escape this whole scene before they put me
out to pasture completely. This gathering makes my skin crawl and is a clear
virtue signalling attack on everyone but the triple disgruntled status people.
I would contribute again today but am in a bad place
financially right now. I will catch up with my knighthood as soon as I am able.
This is my contribution for now.
God speed.
Our Team - Define America
Thu, 22 Aug 2019 11:14
At Define American, we're building an America that belongs to any person who calls this country home. With thousands of supporters across the country, we are building a country that embraces and welcomes all people, giving them an opportunity to practice citizenship regardless of the circumstances of their birth. For us, citizenship is not the possession of papers, or lack thereof; it is belonging to a community that loves, and having the opportunity to realize families' dreams. And this citizenship cannot be defined by one's bloodline and or the soil within our borders because it is created every day through the work, ideals, and values and participation of all who seek the American experience.
If you share that vision, we want you to join our team, which has been recognized by Fast Company as one of the most innovate companies in the Film and TV space.
Executive Director, Louisville, KYA descendant of nine generations from Appalachia, Ryan M. Eller is the Executive Director of Define American, the nations leading media and culture organization using the power of story to transcend politics and shift the conversation around immigrants, identity, and citizenship. Eller holds a B.S. in Political Science from Appalachian State University, a Masters Degree in Divinity from Wake Forest University, and a Masters Degree in Public Administration from Penn State University. Prior to joining Define American, he was the U.S. Campaigns Director at Change.org. For four years prior to that, he was the Executive Director of CHANGE in North Carolina'--the largest broad-based community organizing group in the southern United States. He has extensive experience in the campaign arena as well, having managed political campaigns at both the local and federal level.
Director of Strategic Growth, Los Angeles, CAResponsible for leading Define American's capital growth strategy. Prior to Define American, Jacky served as the Director of Individual Giving at the Center for Youth Wellness in San Francisco. She was formerly the Director of Development for Esperanza Community Housing Corporation where she raised funds to support comprehensive community development and anti-displacement efforts in South Los Angeles. As Grants Manager at the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, she helped to lift working conditions for the nation's 5 million restaurant workers. Jacky holds a firm commitment to upholding a social justice framework in all of her endeavors.
Managing Director, Creative Initiatives, Los Angeles, CAResponsible for expanding Define American's impact in television, film and entertainment. Elizabeth comes to Define American from a fifteen-year career in media. As a showrunner and executive producer, she oversaw non-scripted projects for networks such as VH1, OWN, Lifetime Television and Syfy. Elizabeth holds a B.A. in Communications from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Masters Degree in Social Entrepreneurship from Pepperdine University. She is a storyteller at heart and passionate about harnessing the power of media to create positive global and domestic social change.
Organizing Director, Wallingford, CTKhadija Gurnah is the Organizing Director for Define American. Previously, Khadija worked on immigration advocacy at MomsRising. She has worked alongside various governmental departments, on a wide range of projects, including bullying prevention, cultural sensitivity, religious accommodations for youth in the juvenile justice system, and bolstering enrollment for Muslims in the Affordable Care Act. She is a recipient of the White House's Champion of Change Award, and of the EMAC Special Award in Health Disparities from her alma mater, the Yale School of Public Health.
Communications Director, Washington, D.C.Kristian Ramos is the Communications Director for Define American who proudly hails from the Southwest. Kristian has work experience in both the House and Senate working most recently for Media Matters For America. Prior to that he worked for the Mayor of Washington DC, he was the communications director for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and began his communications career in the United States Senate for then Majority Leader Harry Reid in the Democratic Communications Center. Kristian began his career working for the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the largest Latino civil rights and advocacy groups in the country. He has a Masters Degree in Governmental Affairs from Johns Hopkins University. He wishes the District of Columbia had better Mexican food.
Communications Manager, Boise, ID Responsible for pitching media, holding media accountable, and helping demonstrate the power of storytelling to shift public perception. Nathaniel has almost 20 years experience as a journalist, editor and author. He's written for daily and weekly newspapers in Idaho and California, reported from abroad, and co-authored the book Amor and Exile: True Stories of Love Across America's Borders (2013). Nathaniel has a B.A. in Africana Studies from Cornell University and an M.A. in Data Journalism from Boise State University. He's based in Boise, Idaho.
Video & Graphics Editor, Los Angeles, CAResponsible for editing videos by the production team. Born in Connecticut but raised on the Central Coast of California, William Johnston-Carter graduated from Chapman University with a BFA in Film Production and a BS in Physics. While at Chapman he was a member of the selective Filmmaker-in-Residence mentor program with Academy Award winning producer Cathy Schulman (Crash, The Illusionist). After college, William interned for the documentary filmmaker Robert Kenner (Food Inc., War Letters, Two Days in October) before spending two years with AmeriCorps where he served as Media Production Coordinator for the nonprofit organization Impact America. In 2017, he southbound through-hiked the Appalachian Trail, 2,189 miles from Maine to Georgia, and took way too many photos to prove it.
Events Manager, Washington, D.C.Responsible for managing and executing events for the organization. So Yeon has over 15 years of experience in outreach, program development and management and community organizing, particularly in Asian American communities. She was formerly the Events and Fundraising Manager at National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development, where she organized the annual conference and helped to build individual giving efforts. So Yeon holds a Master of Public Administration from New York University's Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service and a B.A. in International Studies from American University.
Entertainment Media Manager, Los Angeles, CAResponsible for media outreach and communications strategy for Define American. In addition to working in the U.S. House of Representatives, Noelle has held positions at top lifestyle & entertainment companies like BET Networks, Inc. and Baltz & Company. She now couples her political experience with her knowledge of the media landscape to provide energized and engaging media strategies and inspire people to ask thoughtful questions. Noelle is also the co-founder of Women II Watch, a quarterly event series and social platform that unities rising female leaders across various industries.
Digital Strategist, Los Angeles, CAResponsible for digital communications and audience engagement strategies for Define American. Sarah has over fifteen years of experience crafting cross-platform media campaigns for The Walt Disney Company, Nintendo, Cigna, PBS, and Discovery Channel. She has also been at the forefront of launching large-scale netroots movements in conjunction with arts-based nonprofits including American Promise, Question Bridge: Black Males, and Land of Opportunity. Sarah holds a B.A. in English from Wittenberg University, a master's in Professional Writing from the University of Southern California, and is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Health Promotion and Policy at the University of Massachusetts Amherst with a focus on Global Migration and Community Building in the Digital Age.
Video Producer, Los Angeles, CAResponsible for creating video content at Define American. In her previous work, she was Associate Producer at #EmergingUS, the production arm of Define American and a production assistant at the Los Angeles Times. In addition to video production, she has worked in entertainment media and music at SpinMedia, VIBE and REVOLT TV. Monica is passionate about telling stories that reflect the true diversity of our country. She holds a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Oregon.
Manager of Strategic Growth, Palo Alto, CAAna is responsible for supporting Define American's capital growth strategy, primarily through foundation partnerships. Previously, Ana was the Grants Associate at Fresh Lifelines for Youth in the San Francisco Bay Area. She also served as the Princeton in Latin America Fellow at Cojolya Association of Maya Women Weavers in Guatemala where Ana worked to increase revenue to support preserving the art of the back-strap loom and economically empowering indigenous Tz'utujil women. Ana has B.A. in Political Science and French from Columbia University. As an immigrant, Ana is proud to support Define American's efforts to uplift positive and true narratives of immigrants in the United States.
Executive Assistant, Louisville, KYAfter working in the corporate world for tech and e-commerce companies, Sonya worked for University Advancement at the University of Louisville. Taking on the task of social media coordinator for the Denny Crum Scholarship Fund at University of Louisville gave her the opportunity to meet with students from all walks of life and learn true dedication and a great work ethic from an NCAA Hall of Fame coach up close and personal. With her organization abilities and slight case of OCD, herding cats is her forte.
TV & Film Development Manager, New York, NYResponsible for managing TV and film development for Define American. Previously, DJ worked as the manager of development at 11th Street Productions. He was also a production coordinator at MTV. He received his B.S. in broadcast journalism from the HBCU Morgan State University and earned his M.A. in media arts from The New School. He has a passion for film and storytelling, especially stories concerning identity, adversity, and the black and brown experience.
National Campus Coordinator, Lincoln, NebraskaResponsible for coordinating Define American Chapters. Valeria holds a B.A. in Spanish and Political Science from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she was the founder of the Define American Chapter @ UNL, which was named 2016 Chapter of the Year. During her time at UNL, Valeria established the Dr. Juan Franco Legacy Scholarship to help undocumented and DACAmented students. She interned with Nebraska Appleseed for four years, serving as the Women Empowered to Lead program coordinator and field organizer for the Immigrants and Communities program.
Executive Video Producer, Los Angeles, CAResponsible for oversight of Define American's video content production. In her previous work, she was an Assistant Editor at MeetingHouse Productions and Tommie Copper Productions, a Senior Production Assistant at Zero Point Zero Productions, a Coordinating Producer at Hot Air Productions and a Senior Associate Producer & Casting lead for the Emmy-Nominated MTV special ''White People.'' Shauna has been leading production at #EmergingUS, the production arm of Define American, for the past two years. She holds of Bachelors of Arts from Oberlin College. As a storyteller, she's dedicated to exploring the complexity of our American identity.
Programs and Partnerships Coordinator Los Angeles, CAResponsible for overseeing the new Undocumented Artist Fellowship and the Ambassadors program. Bethany is passionate about the global power of art and storytelling to foster empathy and connect people from different backgrounds. She has worked building collaborations with various organizations including Sundance Institute and the USC Pacific Asia Museum to support storytellers and artists in their creative endeavors while also cultivating engaging conversations and interactions between artists and audiences. Bethany grew up in five different countries and has made Los Angeles home for the last 15 years.
Operations Manager, Mountain View, CAResponsible for assisting Jose Antonio Vargas and the Define American team. Jon graduated from UCLA, line produced Define American's film Documented, and previously managed operations for HyperShop. He probably should've majored in computer science.
Patricia Hyland, ChairMaria Gabriela ''Gaby'' Pacheco, SecretarySuzette Brooks Masters, TreasurerPeter Perl, Board MemberMonona Yin, Board MemberMichelle O'Grady, Board MemberJose Antonio Vargas, Founder (Ex Officio)
Cristela AlonzoKelli BuchananBich Ngoc CaoLara DrasinDiana EspitiaHenry FurhmannElise HaasNicco MeleIan NelsonMony Ruiz-VelascoJerome ReyesLateefah SimonChris WeitzDamian WoetzelJanet Yang
Study: Immigrant TV Characters Portrayed as Criminals and Less Educated | Hollywood Reporter
Thu, 22 Aug 2019 11:11
TV6:15 AM PDT 10/17/2018 by Rebecca Sun
Define American and The Hollywood Reporter partnered with The Norman Lear Center for a new study on TV portrayals of immigrants.It's been said many times that television is in a unique position to shape the perceptions of the people it portrays. With increased nationalism among political leaders and media personalities stirring up more suspicion than ever on immigrant populations, TV characters and storylines have been given heightened relevance and resonance.
"Historically, the way that media has portrayed marginalized communities has had a direct impact on how those communities were treated in wider society, from voting rights to criminalization of their mere presence in spaces," says Noelle S. Lindsay Stewart, entertainment media manager for the nonprofit Define American. "With immigrants, everything seems to fall into two categories: the criminal hustling the system, or the high-achieving, pristinely perfect 'good' immigrant. That doesn't allow for the complexity or humanity that real people have. We believe that by humanizing people on television, you cause audiences to be emotionally invested in characters, and then take that emotional investment and project them onto the people in their lives."
To that end, Define American, the media and cultural organization founded by Pulitzer-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas, has partnered with USC Annenberg's Norman Lear Center and The Hollywood Reporter for a new study that compares immigrants on scripted television and in real life.
Looking at 143 sample episodes from 47 series airing in 2017 and 2018, Immigration Nation: Exploring Immigrant Portrayals on Television found that immigrant characters are portrayed as less educated and more prone to criminality than they are in reality. Although the report cites recent studies by the CATO Institute and the Marshall Project as saying that the immigrant crime rate is lower than that of native-born Americans, more than a third (34 percent) of immigrants on TV are associated with crime, and 11 percent of immigrant characters are depicted as formerly or currently incarcerated or headed to jail, whereas in reality less than 1 percent of foreign-born people have been incarcerated at the state or federal level (excluding immigration-related offenses).
Immigrant storylines also tend to be about legal status, or the lack thereof: 41 percent of immigrant characters on TV are undocumented, whereas the Department of Homeland Security reported in 2018 that just under a quarter of U.S. immigrants are such. Nearly half (49 percent) of American immigrants are naturalized, but only 23 percent of foreign-born characters on television are depicted as citizens. The term "deportation" occurred in just over one-fifth (21 percent) of the episode sampling, followed by "ICE" (19 percent) and "undocumented" (16 percent).
"A lot of the criminal or legal issues are played up for drama and timeliness in our current news climate," Stewart explains, "but we hope and want to see writers and showrunners move past [immigrant representation as] a news item or checking a box, and instead to create characters that are well-developed, deep and are more than their legal status."
Immigrant characters are also less educated on television than they are in reality. Only 7 and 3 percent of them were shown to have received bachelor's and master's or PhD degrees, respectively, compared with 17 and 13 percent of the actual U.S. immigrant population. The vast majority (77 percent) of TV immigrants also tend to speak English with an accent.
Nearly 40 percent of TV immigrants are Latinx, which is just under their real-world U.S. share of 45 percent. White (24 percent on TV versus 18 percent in reality) and Middle Eastern (11 percent versus 4 percent) immigrants are overrepresented, while Asian (16 versus 26 percent) and black (8 versus 9 percent) are underrepresented. Elsewhere, the Immigration Nation study reported that immigrant characters are subject to similar patterns of gender, sexuality and disability representation as characters at large. The female-to-male ratio of immigrants on TV is 40-60, but lesbian, gay or bisexual immigrants are better represented '-- 5.2 percent on television, compared with an estimated 4.5 percent of U.S. adults. However, there were no transgender immigrant characters in the sampling. Just 2 percent of immigrant characters had a mental or physical disability, as opposed to 4 percent of the real-life national population.
Define American consults with showrunners, writers and executives to help ensure that immigration-related storylines and characters are portrayed accurately and responsibly. In 2017 it consulted on more than 23 TV and film projects, including NBC's Superstore, Hulu's East Los High, and earlier this year consulted on an episode of ABC's Grey's Anatomy about a surgical intern who is a DACA recipient. The organization also released Immigrants and Immigration: A Guide for Entertainment Professionals last year. Another ideal solution is to hire immigrants in the writers' room, says Jane the Virgin scribe Rafael Agustin, who penned a guest column on the subject for THR.
"The take-home lessons are to not be afraid to do the work and the research that it takes, whether that is hiring more writers with diverse perspectives or reaching out to consultants like Define American or the Muslim Public Affairs Council," Stewart says. "We tend to write what we know, so if you are creating a character, learn from people who have actually lived those experiences."
Thu, 22 Aug 2019 11:10
Ai-jen Poo is the Director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance and the Co-Director of Caring Across Generations. She is an award-winning organizer, author, and social innovator, and a leading voice in leading voice in future of work and family care solutions. Ai-jen is a 2014 MacArthur ''genius'' Fellow, TIME 100 alumna and recently featured speaker at TEDWomen. She has been an influential voice in the #MeToo movement and joined Times Up at the 2018 Golden Globes. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, TIME and CNN.com. She is author of The Age of Dignity: Preparing for the Elder Boom in a Changing America. Follow her at @aijenpoo.
Ali Noorani is the Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum, a non-partisan advocacy organization working with faith, law enforcement and business leaders to promote the value of immigrants and immigration. Growing up in California as the son of Pakistani immigrants, Ali quickly learned how to forge alliances among people of wide-ranging backgrounds, a skill that has served him extraordinarily well as one of the nation's most innovative coalition builders.
Before joining the Forum in 2008, Ali was executive director of the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition, and he has served in leadership roles within public health and environmental organizations.
Ali is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, holds a Master's in Public Health from Boston University and is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley. Ali lives in Washington, D.C. and is the author of ''There Goes the Neighborhood: How Communities Overcome Prejudice and Meet the Challenge of American Immigration,'' (Prometheus, April 2017) and host of ''Only in America'' podcast.
America Ferrera is an award-winning actress and producer known for her breakthrough role as ''Betty Suarez'' on ABC's hit comedy, Ugly Betty. For her performance, Ferrera was recognized with a Golden Globe®, Emmy® and Screen Actors Guild Award®, as well as ALMA and Imagen Awards.
She currently produces and stars in the NBC workplace comedy, Superstore, which is currently in its fourth season. Additionally, Ferrera recently released her first book landing on the New York Times best-seller list, American Like Me, a vibrant and varied collection of first-person accounts from prominent figures about the experience of growing up between cultures in America.
A longtime activist, Ferrera also co-founded HARNESS, with her husband Ryan Piers Williams and Wilmer Valderrama, in 2016. HARNESS is a community of artists, influencers and grassroots leaders that provides education and engagement opportunities to amplify the work of organizations and individuals working on behalf of social justice.
In July 2016, Ferrera spoke at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on behalf of women's rights and immigration in support of Hillary Clinton. She was a chair for the Artists' Committee for the Women's March on Washington and spoke at the historic Women's March the day after the 2017 Presidential Inauguration.
In 2006, Ferrera founded her own television and film production company, Take Fountain.
Contributing Editor at New York magazine, blogger, and author Andrew Sullivan is a popular source of provocative, astute political and social commentary. The Washington Post called him ''a media pioneer,'' and The New York Times said, ''Andrew Sullivan might deserve to be remembered as the most influential political writer of his generation.''
In his early twenties, Andy was a typical student, midway through earning a Sports Science degree. When life took a series of sudden turns, he made the radical decision to give it all up and set off to Asia to become a Buddhist monk.
Over the next decade, Andy studied as a lay-person and novice monk in the traditions of South East Asia, and then took full ordination in the Kagyu Lineage of Tibet. This life-affirming journey led to another when Andy returned to the UK with just one goal in mind: to demystify meditation and make it accessible to all. After several years in private practice, Andy had a chance meeting with cofounder Rich Pierson. Together they created a vision for bringing meditation to people everywhere. Headspace launched in 2010 as an events company, and the Headspace app soon followed.
Now reaching a community of more than 42 million members in 190 countries through this platform, Andy, Rich and the dedicated team at Headspace are delivering on their mission to improve happiness and health around the world. Andy lives in Santa Monica, California, with his wife and two children.
Follow Andy on Twitter: @andypuddicombe
A University of California, Berkeley sociologist, Arlie Russell Hochschild is the author of nine books, most recently, Strangers in Their Own Land: anger and mourning on the American Right, a New York Times best seller and finalist for the National Book Award. Her work appears in sixteen languages.
A highly regarded, nationally and internationally recognized activist, advocate, community organizer and social justice advocate and professional.
Bamby most recent employer was Children's Hospital Los Angeles. She spent eight dedicated years as the Health Education and HIV Prevention Services Coordinator at the nation's largest and most experienced clinical program providing multidisciplinary healthcare and services to trans youth.
Baratunde Thurston is a futurist comedian, writer, and cultural critic who helped re-launch The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, co-founded Cultivated Wit and the About Race podcast, and wrote the New York Times bestseller How To Be Black. Baratunde is is a highly sought-after public speaker, television personality, and thought leader who has been part of noteworthy institutions such as Fast Company, TED, the MIT Media Lab, The Onion, and the gentrification of Brooklyn, New York. He currently resides in Los Angeles.
Bassem Youssef, dubbed the Jon Stewart of the Arab World, was the host of popular TV show Al-Bernameg - which was the first of its kind political satire show in the Middle East region. Originally an online 5-minute show, Al-Bernameg became the most watched show in the history of Egyptian TV with an average of 40 million viewers every week, in addition to over 2 million subscribers on YouTube and 1.2 billion views on his own channel and other channels.
Betty Reid Soskin is the oldest park ranger with National Park Service and the author of Sign My Name to Freedom: A Memoir of a Pioneering Life. Betty was instrumental in the establishment of the Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historical Park in Richmond, California. She was later hired to work at the Rosie the Riveter Park, where she works today.
Cecilia Mu±oz is Vice President for Public Interest Technology and Local Initiatives at New America in Washington, D.C. She was President Obama's Domestic Policy Director after a 20 year career at the National Council of La Raza (now UNIDOS US), the nation's largest Hispanic policy and advocacy organization.
As a native New Yorker and lifetime public school student, Coco, now a senior in high school, was shocked by the pervasive segregation and inequity in NYC. Since late 2016, Coco has worked at IntegrateNYC to advocate for policy that frames integration holistically and uplifts student voices.
DeRay McKesson is a civil rights activist focused on issues of innovation, equity, and justice. A leading voice in the Black Lives Matter movement and co-founder of JoinCampaignZero.org, MappingPoliceViolence.org, OurStates.org, and ResistanceManual.org, DeRay also hosts of critically acclaimed podcast Pod Save the People and is the author of ''On the Other Side of Freedom: A Case for Hope''.
Desmond Meade is a formerly homeless returning citizen who is the current Executive Director of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition (FRRC) and a Law school graduate. As President of the FRRC, Desmond lead the successful ''Amendment 4'' campaign which established voting rights for over 1.4 million Floridians with a prior felony conviction.
Brittney Cooper is an award-winning author, teacher, and public speaker who believes Black feminism can change the world for the better. She is an Associate Professor of Women's and Gender Studies and Africana Studies at Rutgers University and the is co-founder of the popular Crunk Feminist Collective blog. Her recent critically-acclaimed work, Eloquent Rage: A Black Woman Discovers her Superpowers (St. Martin's Press), was an Emma Watson "Our Shared Shelf" Selection for November/December 2018 and named a Best Book of 2018 by The New York Public Library, Mashable, The Atlantic, Bustle, The Root, NPR, and Fast Company. She has been a contributing writer for Cosmopolitan.com and columnist for Salon.com. Her cultural commentary has been featured on MSNBC's All In With Chris Hayes, The Beat with Ari Melber, Melissa Harris-Perry, the New York Times, New York Magazine, Marie Claire, The Cut, the Washington Post, NPR, PBS, Al Jazeera's Third Rail, Ebony.com, Essence.com, TheRoot.com, TED.com, and has been named four times to The Root 100. She is also co-editor of The Crunk Feminist Collection (The Feminist Press) and the author of Beyond Respectability: The Intellectual Thought of Race Women (University of Illinois Press).
Dr. Burke Harris is an award-winning physician, researcher and advocate dedicated to changing the way our society responds to one of the most serious, expensive and widespread public health crises of our time: childhood trauma. She was appointed as California's first-ever Surgeon General by Governor Gavin Newsom in January 2019. Her career has been dedicated to serving vulnerable communities and combating the root causes of health disparities. She is the Founder of the Center for Youth Wellness, an organization leading the effort to advance pediatric medicine, raise public awareness, and transform the way society responds to children exposed to Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and toxic stress. Dr. Burke Harris' TED Talk, ''How Childhood Trauma Affects Health Across the Lifetime'' has been viewed almost 5 million times. Her book ''The Deepest Well: Healing the Long-Term Effects of Childhood Adversity'' was called ''indispensable'' by The New York Times. She is the recipient of the Arnold P. Gold Foundation Humanism in Medicine Award presented by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Heinz Award for the Human Condition.
A national expert on the relationship between hate violence and preserving democratic institutions, governance, and inclusive societies, Eric brings nearly 30 years of expertise in community organizing and philanthropy to his role as Western States Center's Executive Director. Since his civil rights career began in the late 1980s, Eric has worked with community groups, philanthropy, government and business leaders, and human rights advocates throughout the country to expose and counter white nationalist hate groups, protect vulnerable communities, and make our democracy more inclusive. From 2014 '' 2017, Eric served as the Program Officer for Civil Rights at Ford Foundation. Eric has been quoted and cited extensively by national media and is the author of multiple written works including ''Skin in the Game: How Antisemitism Animates White Nationalism.'' Eric is a recipient of a 2016 Peabody-Facebook Futures Media Award and was one of eight leaders, in countries ranging from the US to Senegal, to receive a New Executives Fellowship from the Open Society Foundations in June 2018.
Geena Davis is one of Hollywood's most respected actors and received the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Muriel Pritchett in The Accidental Tourist and 2006 Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series for her portrayal of the first female President of the United States in Commander in Chief. Davis is the Founder and Chair of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media. She founded the Bentonville Film Festival in 2015 to champion women and diversity in media. Geena is the Executive Producer of the documentary This Changes Everything.
Heather Rae produced such films as Academy Award nominated Frozen River, Netflix Originals Tallulah and Dude. She recently entered a producing deal with Amazon Studios, and as a speaker and social critic Rae works from her settler and indigenous roots to deepen the dialogue of reconciliation and responsibility in the Americas.
Jess Morales Rocketto is the Political Director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA) and Executive Director of Care in Action, where she spearheads political advocacy campaigns on economic justice, immigration reform, sexual harassment, and the future of work for the 2.5 million domestic workers in this country.
Critically acclaimed, multi-award winning, platinum-selling singer-songwriter John Legend has garnered ten Grammy Awards, an Academy Award, an Emmy Award, a Tony Award, and a Golden Globe, among others. He is a producer, activist, and the founder of FREEAMERICA.
Joy Buolamwini is a poet of code who uses art and research to illuminate the social implications of artificial intelligence. She founded the Algorithmic Justice League to fight the coded gaze - harmful bias in artificial intelligence. At the MIT Media Lab, she pioneered techniques that are now leading to increased transparency in the use of facial analysis technology globally.
Kent Mendoza was born in Mexico, but migrated to the United States at the age of six with his mom. He grew up in Pico Union District, a densely populated, low-income and immigrant community in Los Angeles County where at an early age was exposed to the realities of gangs, drugs and violence. Lacking fundamental resources as an immigrant and a father figure, he was quickly influenced by his local gang and at the age of 14, joined the gang. Kent was incarcerated and served time in probation camp, but at the age 17 was trialed as an adult and faced a prison life sentence. During his incarceration, he met Scott Budnick, the person who gave him hope and the confidence in changing his life around. Although he faced an adult sentence, he was instead sent to the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) for 7 years. Kent served a total of 5 years and during his last year of incarceration he spend time reading books, educating himself, and most importantly; preparing himself for his release. He was honorably discharged from DJJ and avoided deportation.
Upon release, Kent had a fundamental understanding of the harm he had caused and was now extremely motivated and committed to live a different lifestyle. He began volunteering at the ARC, speaking to bring awareness to the change that is possible for at risk youth and working directly with the formerly incarcerated. His participation and willingness to be of service opened new opportunities for him. In 2014, Kent began working at the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce. He exceled within the Chamber from an intern to a full staff member, thus he proved that his second chance was real. While working at the Chamber on smart justice issues, he successfully completed the 2015 Commission Training Program offered by Wally Marks Leadership Institute from the Liberty Hill Foundation. He was awarded a certificate of acknowledgement by Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis and Sheila Kuehl. Kent has also been to the White House and has published an article through the Huffington Post.
Emmy, SAG and Golden Globe nominated actor, director, producer and activist Kerry Washington has received high acclaim for her work in film, television, and theater. Fresh off her Broadway run in American Son, Washington is currently developing several projects through her production company, Simpson Street.
Krista Vernoff is the showrunner of ABC's ''Grey's Anatomy.'' An Emmy nominated writer who has worked in television for two decades, Vernoff's credits include Shameless, Law & Order, and Wonderfalls.
Last year, she wrote a series of think pieces in The Hollywood Reporter, emerging as a major voice in the #metoo movement.
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Ms. Jarrett was the longest serving Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama. She oversaw the Offices of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs and Chaired the White House Council on Women and Girls. Ms. Jarrett worked throughout her tenure at the White House to mobilize elected officials, business and community leaders, and diverse groups of advocates. She led the Obama Administration's efforts to expand and strengthen access to the middle class, and boost American businesses and our economy. She championed the creation of equality and opportunity for all Americans, and economically and politically empowering women in the United States and around the world. She oversaw the Administration's advocacy for workplace policies that empower working families, including equal pay, raising the minimum wage, paid leave, paid sick days, workplace flexibility, and affordable childcare, and led the campaigns to reform our criminal justice system, end sexual assault, and reduce gun violence.
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Randy Freer, CEO, Hulu
Mark Gordon, President & Chief Content Officer,
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Cindy Holland, Vice-President of Original Series, Netflix
Mike Jackson & Ty Stiklorius, Partners, Get Lifted
Chris McCarthy, President, MTV, VH1, CMT, Logo
Bill McGoldrick, President, Scripted Content, NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment
Christina Miller, President, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim and Boomerang
Scott Mills, President, BET
Courteney Monroe, CEO, National Geographic Global Networks
Mark Pedowitz, President, The CW Television Network
Tina Perry, President, OWN
Kevin Reilly, President of TBS & TNT, Chief Creative Officer for Turner Entertainment
Peter Roth, President & Chief Content Officer, Warner Bros. Television Group
Jennifer Salke, Head of Amazon Studios
Tanya Saracho, Creative/Executive Producer STARZ' Vida
David Stapf, President, CBS Television Studios
Dana Walden, Chairwoman and CEO, Fox Television Group
Ex-Bill Gates adviser 'shocked' to be named one of Jeffrey Epstein's executors
Wed, 21 Aug 2019 15:37
August 20, 2019 | 8:08am | Updated August 20, 2019 | 10:15am
Jeffrey Epstein named Bill Gates' former science adviser as one of three executors of his $578 million estate '-- though the man said he was ''shocked'' to learn of the news.
Jeffrey Epstein Patrick McMullan via Getty ImageBoris Nikolic, a biotech venture capitalist, distanced himself from his inclusion in Epstein's will, filed Monday in St. Thomas.
''I was not consulted in these matters and I have no intent to fulfill these duties, whatsoever,'' Nikolic told Bloomberg in a statement.
Nikolic is listed as a ''successor executor'' of Epstein's estate should the executors, longtime Epstein employees Darren Indyke and Richard Kahn, be unable to fulfill their roles.
The extent of Epstein and Nikolic's relationship isn't clear, but a source told Bloomberg that Nikolic funded more than a dozen gene-editing businesses after splitting from Gates in 2014 and controlled a $42 million stake in one gene company, Editas Medicine Inc.
Nikolic, 49, was excited about financial advice that Epstein, a former hedge-fund manager who was obsessed with genetic research, shared with private bankers ahead of Editas' public offering, the source told Bloomberg. Nikolic was part of a broad network that overlapped with Epstein, Nikolic's spokeswoman said.
A rep for Gates said Epstein didn't provide any services to the billionaire philanthropist.
Bill Gates REFUSES to reveal why he flew on Lolita Express with Jeffrey Epstein after prison release
Thu, 22 Aug 2019 11:59
Bill Gates and his spokespeople refuse to explain why he flew from Teterboro Airport in New Jersey to Palm Beach on March 1, 2013 with Jeffrey Epstein Epstein told people in the past that he was a financial adviser to Gates, who was still the chairman of Microsoft at the timeA rep for Gates' humanitarian foundation denied that Epstein ever worked for billionaire founder of Microsoft, but would not comment on the 2013 flightGates' spokesperson also stated that there were no financial or charitable ties between the two men Epstein had just been released from prison four years prior after pleading guilty to two counts of soliciting a minor under the age of 18 for sex Bill Gates is hoping to ride out the storm, one week after it was revealed he had hitched a ride on Jeffrey Epstein's plane.
The billionaire was the chairman of Microsoft at the time he traveled with Epstein on the Lolita Express in 2013, four years after the pedophile served time for soliciting a minor under the age of 18 for sex.
Flight records reveal that Gates flew with Epstein from Teterboro Airport in New Jersey to Palm Beach on March 1, 2013, one of the few flights that year where pilot Larry Viskoski recorded the name of a passenger.
A representative for Gates has not responded to requests for comment, beyond claiming that the once-richest man in the world never had any financial or charitable ties to Epstein.
The pairing is an odd one given the work Melinda Gates and the couple's foundation does for young women around the world.
And it is known that the two had spent time together previously, most notably at the annual Edge Dinner, which each year welcomes billionaires from around the world to come together and discuss advancements they are working in on the worlds of math, science and technology.
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Bill GatesJeffrey EpsteinFlight records: Epstein, who was found dead in his jail cell, had told people in the past that he was a financial adviser to Gates (flight data above)In fact, the 2013 dinner took place just two nights before they flew to Florida, though neither of the men are pictured attending that year's event.
Epstein did claim he worked as a financial adviser to Gates for some time, but that claim was later shot down by the Microsoft founder's representative.
The two men do however both own property in southern Florida, where Epstein had two homes including a $12 million Palm Beach mansion and Gates owns a five-property compound in Wellington that he purchased for a total of $40 million.
In a biography that was published on the website for Edge, but later deleted, it is noted that Epstein 'founded the Jeffrey Epstein VI Foundation in 2000 to fund and support cutting edge science around the world.'
He is also said to be 'one of the largest supporters of individual scientists, including theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking and Nobel Laureates Gerard 't Hooft, David Gross and Frank Wilczek.'
In an alarming addition, the biography then states that Epstein has taken 'an active role in supporting education across the United States as well as philanthropy in the US Virgin Islands, where the foundation is based.'
He traveled to the 2002 dinner with guests including architect David Rockwell, author Michael Wolff, journalist Richard Cook, and literary agent John Brockman - who was also the editor of the Edge website.
Gates was not the only famous name to hop aboard Epstein's plane either, with the serial pedophile also welcoming famed newsman Walter Cronkite, architect Peter Marino and a passenger identified as John Roberts.
Roberts flew with Epstein on at least two occasions according to flight records, from March 22, 2010 and February 10, 2011.
In 2010 the plane with Roberts traveled from Palm Beach to Oakland, and the following year from Palm Beach to Teterboro.
This in addition to the already noted famous guests such as Bill Clinton, Naomi Campbell, Kevin Spacey, Chris Tucker and Prince Andrew.
Two of Jeffrey Epstein's 'sex slaves' claim that they engaged in sexual acts with Prince Andrew - one of whom was underage at the time.
Virginia Roberts, whose defamation case against Epstein's alleged madame Ghislaine Maxwell is the source of these unsealed documents, provides a photo of herself with Prince Andrew and Maxwell at the latter's London home in one court filing.
She was 17 at the time the photo was taken of the three.
The documents were released earlier this month, just moments after the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upheld the decision to make public over 2,000 pages of court filings that had previously been under seal.
Those documents reveal in great detail the three-year period in which Roberts claims she was Epstein and Maxwell's 'sex slave.'
'One of the individuals Ms. Giuffre was trafficked to was Prince Andrew '' trafficking that took place in Defendant's own townhouse in London,' states the filing, which was in response to a Motion to Dismiss from Maxwell's attorneys.
'There exist flight logs evidencing Ms. Giuffre flying to London alongside Defendant and Epstein on Epstein's private plane, and a photo of Ms. Giuffre, Defendant, and the Prince, without Defendant ever offering a legal reasonable explanation for that photo being taken, or for traveling with a 17 year old girl overseas.'
The other female, Johanna Sjoberg, alleged that Prince Andrew groped her and Roberts in 2001 while the group was at Epstein's townhouse, in a deposition that was released with the unsealed court documents.
Sjoberg, who was 21 at the time, claims there were multiple eyewitnesses to the incident.
'I just remember someone suggesting a photo, and they told us to go get on the couch. And so Andrew and Virginia sat on the couch, and they put the puppet, the puppet on her lap,' said Sjoberg in a deposition.
'And so then I sat on Andrew's lap, and I believe on my own volition, and they took the puppet's hands and put it on Virginia's breast, and so Andrew put his on mine.'
Roberts' attorneys meanwhile used the photo of the teenager with Prince Andrew and Maxwell to point out that the defendant in that case never explained how they came to be alone in her London townhouse with a teenager from Florida.
'Defendant never offered an explanation regarding Ms. Giuffre's photographs of her, Defendant, and Epstein. She never offered a legal explanation for why Prince Andrew was photographed with his hand around Ms. Giuffre's bare waist while she was a minor child, while posing with Defendant, inside Defendant's house in London, reads the filing submitted by Roberts' attorneys.
'This particular photograph corroborates Ms. Giuffre's claims, and there is no other reasonable explanation why an American child should be in the company of adults not her kin, in the London house owned by the girlfriend of a now convicted sex offender.'
Prince Andrew has always denied any wrongdoing and in a 2015 court application, a judge threw out Robert's allegations that she had sex with Prince Andrew and ordered them to be struck from the record as being 'immaterial and impertinent.'
Buckingham Palace also issued on the record statements in January 2015, stating: 'Any suggestion of impropriety with underage minors is categorically untrue.'
That statement went on to note: 'It is emphatically denied that the Duke of York had any form of sexual contact or relationship with Virginia Roberts. The allegations made are false and without any foundation.'
Roberts also revealed two men who did not engage in any sexual acts with Epstein's victims in her own deposition that was unsealed on Friday - Bill Clinton and Donald Trump.
Roberts said in a 2016 deposition that Trump 'didn't partake in any sex with us ... and never flirted with me'.
She also stated that despite Epstein talking about how the two were friends, she did not recall ever seeing him at the Palm Beach mansion.
Robert did however confirm that 'Donald Trump was also a good friend of Jeffrey's.'
A lawyer for Maxwell then asked: 'What is the basis for your statement that Donald Trump is a good friend of Jeffrey's'
Roberts responded: 'Jeffrey told me that Donald Trump is a good friend of his.'
She then followed up by asking if Roberts had ever seen the two together, at which point she stated that she had never seen the two men interact during her time with Epstein.
Trump had been Roberts' boss prior to the three years that she was allegedly trafficked by Epstein around the globe.
She has stated in court papers and multiple interviews that Maxwell recruited her while she was working at Mar-a-Lago.
Other famous friends that Roberts said she had met included Heidi Klum and Naomi Campbell, in addition to Al Gore.
That deposition also detailed the 'sexual training' that Roberts allegedly received from Epstein and Maxwell, which lasted somewhere between four and six months.
After that was complete, Epstein began to traffic Roberts to his friends, she said.
Roberts has spoken publicly about her time with Epstein on a few occasions, and stated that by 18 she was deemed to old for the pedophile.
A short while later she managed to escape, after allegedly being sent to Thailand for her 19th birthday to take a massage course - and told she would be taking back an underage girl.
Roberts was allegedly to interview the minor with the goal of taking her back to the United States, but that all changed when she met her now-husband.
She never returned and the two went off to start a new life in Australia, where they are now raising their three children.
She has since devoted her time to combating sex trafficking and the sexual abuse of minors.
At MIT, more fallout from the university's ties to Jeffrey Epstein - The Boston Globe
Thu, 22 Aug 2019 03:43
He also posted a fuller explanation on the Medium website.
Zuckerman was among the chief organizers of the Media Lab's annual Disobedience Award, which recognizes risk-takers and rabble-rousers and last year honored #MeToo activists.
In a note to the past award winners, Zuckerman said he was ''heartbroken'' about his decision.
''I am ashamed of my institution today and starting the hard work of figuring out how to leave the Lab while taking care of my students and staff,'' Zuckerman wrote in a note that was obtained by The Boston Globe. ''I no longer feel I can continue working on issues of social justice under the banner of the Media Lab.''
Zuckerman said that Joi Ito, the Media Lab's director, failed to be transparent about Epstein's funding of the lab and the money that Ito took from Epstein for his personal investments in tech startups.
Zuckerman declined to discuss his decision to leave but confirmed he sent the message to previous winners of the Disobedience Award.
''I felt obligated as one of the organizers of the prize to express my dismay over Joi's revelations and explain some of the actions I am taking as a result of those revelations,'' Zuckerman said in an e-mail on Tuesday.
Last week, Ito apologized publicly for the lab's ties to Epstein. In an open letter, Ito acknowledged for the first time that he had invited Epstein to the Media Lab, traveled to the financier's homes, and accepted money from him for both the research center and for Ito's own investments.
Ito said he met Epstein in 2013, five years after Epstein had pleaded guilty to soliciting a minor for prostitution and served a year in jail.
In his apology, Ito said he would raise the equivalent to what Epstein gave the Media Lab and donate it to nonprofits that work with survivors of trafficking. He also promised to return the money Epstein invested in his funds.
Ito was one of several academics in recent weeks to try to distance himself from Epstein.
Over decades, Epstein nurtured a reputation as a ''science philanthropist'' and surrounded himself with biologists, mathematicians, physicists, and artificial intelligence researchers, including icons at MIT and Harvard University.
Epstein feted them on his private island and in his lavish homes and funded their research.
Epstein was found dead earlier this month in his jail cell at a federal detention facility in Manhattan, where he was being held on charges of sex trafficking of minors.
Neither MIT nor Ito have been specific about how much money Epstein donated.
According to publicly available documents, Epstein's foundation and nonprofit gave MIT at least $200,000.
Epstein's contributions to the Media Lab were controversial dating back to 2015. At that time, allegations had surfaced that Epstein forced an underage girl to have sex with Britain's Prince Andrew, and several organizations said they would stop taking his money. Epstein had bragged in press releases and on his website about providing funding to MIT, including for a Media Lab venture that taught toddlers programming. However, MIT at the time said that Epstein was ''completely incorrect'' about his financing of the children's technology, according to Reuters.
MIT officials have not disclosed what projects Epstein's donations funded.
Still, Epstein remained an esteemed donor at the Media Lab.
In 2017, the Media Lab made Epstein and other select donors ''orbs'' to thank them for their contributions. The orbs were similar to the trophies presented a few months earlier to the winners of the Disobedience Award '-- basically a giant version of a child's marble.
An MIT official said the gift to Epstein ''was not a Disobedience Award or a replica,'' but declined to explain the differences.
That year marked the inaugural celebration of the Disobedience Award, and the Media Lab honored the scientists who drew attention to lead-contaminated water in Flint, Mich.
The Media Lab's Epstein ties and Zuckerman's resignation have been dismaying, said Sherry Marts, one of last year's prize winners, who works with academic trade groups and nonprofits to combat bullying and harassment.
Marts said she is struggling to understand how Ito hung out with Epstein, yet at the same time helped start an award that most recently honored female activists trying to combat harassment and abuse.
''It's kind of creepy,'' Marts said. ''I'm still wrestling with it.''
Mona Eltahawy, an Arab activist and feminist author who was a featured speaker at last year's Disobedience Award, said Ito should resign.
Many people justified taking money from Epstein because they never saw him behaving badly, Eltahawy said.
But Epstein used those donations to polish his reputation and build his stature, and it came at the expense of young girls, she said.
''Everyone must be held accountable,'' Eltahawy said.
In his note, Zuckerman said he believes Ito is trying to make amends. Zuckerman said he and Ito exchanged several e-mails last week.
In one, Ito ''told me, 'I allowed myself to be exactly THAT MAN who ignores the signs of the predators who don't show that side of themselves to their colleagues,' '' Zuckerman said.
Deirdre Fernandescan be reached at deirdre.fernandes@globe.com.
My apology regarding Jeffrey Epstein '-- MIT Media Lab
Thu, 22 Aug 2019 03:37
I'm sure that most, if not all of you, have seen recent news stories about Jeffrey Epstein, and I owe it to you to address my prior affiliation with him.
I met Epstein in 2013 at a conference through a trusted business friend and, in my fundraising efforts for MIT Media Lab, I invited him to the Lab and visited several of his residences. I want you to know that in all of my interactions with Epstein, I was never involved in, never heard him talk about, and never saw any evidence of the horrific acts that he was accused of.
That said, I take full responsibility for my error in judgment. I am deeply sorry to the survivors, to the Media Lab, and to the MIT community for bringing such a person into our network.
Regrettably, over the years, the Lab has received money through some of the foundations that he controlled. I knew about these gifts and these funds were received with my permission. I also allowed him to invest in several of my funds which invest in tech startup companies outside of MIT.
I vow to raise an amount equivalent to the donations the Media Lab received from Epstein and will direct those funds to non-profits that focus on supporting survivors of trafficking. I will also return the money that Epstein has invested in my investment funds.
Again, I apologize to you, my friends and colleagues, and most importantly to the survivors.
If you have questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to me directly.
- Joi
MIT Media Lab head apologizes for ties to Jeffrey Epstein
Thu, 22 Aug 2019 03:36
The director of the MIT Media, Lab Joi Ito, has apologized for accepting funding from the financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
In a statement published on the MIT Media Lab website last week, Ito said he had taken donation and investment money from Epstein, who was found dead in his cell in Manhattan after being charged for sex trafficking, both for the MIT Media Lab and for several of his own investment funds, which support tech startups. ''I am deeply sorry to the survivors, to the Media Lab, and to the MIT community for bringing such a person into our network,'' Ito wrote.
He disclosed that he met Epstein in 2013 through who he described as a ''trusted business friend'' and spent time with the alleged sex trafficker at several of his residences. Ito denies any knowledge of Epstein's abuse of underage girls, for which he was investigated starting in 2005. Epstein eventually pleaded guilty to state charges of soliciting an underage person for prostitution in 2008, but the charges were confined to Florida, and Epstein served 13 months in county jail. Epstein was arrested in July 2019 after New York federal prosecutors alleged that he had paid young girls for sex in Manhattan and in Palm Beach from at least 2002 through 2005, paying them more to bring other girls into the sex ring.
Epstein also has ties to other scientific institutions. Harvard accepted a $6.5 million donation, and Epstein also funded the open-source software project OpenCog. Even after his 2008 conviction, several prominent scientists have defended their association with him.
Ito says he plans to return the money Epstein invested in his venture funds and raise an additional amount equal to what Epstein donated to the Media Lab (he did not disclose how much) and donate that money to nonprofits that help survivors of sex trafficking. You can read the full statement here.
Jeffrey Epstein signed will just two days before suicide
Mon, 19 Aug 2019 20:56
Jeffrey Epstein's will has been filed in the US Virgin Islands, and it shows that he signed it Aug. 8 '-- two days before he hanged himself in his Manhattan jail cell, according to court papers exclusively obtained by The Post on Monday.
The multimillionaire convicted pedophile was worth $577,672,654, or about $18 million more than he previously stated in court papers while futilely trying to land bail on federal sex-trafficking charges, the new documents show.
The former hedge-fund manager put all of his holdings in a trust, called The 1953 Trust in court papers, after the year he was born.
''It's pretty boiler-plate '-- it's what we call a 'pour-over will,' which means everything pours over to a trust,'' a city estate lawyer told The Post. ''It's done that way for privacy reasons.
''What is more unusual is the date, the fact that all of this was done just days before he died,'' said the source, who asked to remain anonymous.
''He probably knew he was going to take his own life'' or may have thought ''he could have been murdered in jail.
''He could have thought, 'I need to get my ducks in a row.' ''
The 21-page filing includes a copy of Epstein's death certificate from Aug. 15, five days after his suicide '-- and lists ''Immediate Cause: Pending Further Study.''
The city Medical Examiner's Office has since ruled that Epstein killed himself, although that hasn't stopped conspiracy theorists from speculating he was murdered to keep him quiet about his powerful pals' suspected sexual deviancies.
The 66-year-old bachelor's will was filed with court officials in St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands.
''He probably proceeded in the Virgin Islands to be more private because that is not where people would look,'' the legal expert said. In New York, ''There is always a risk that it would be leaked.''
Epstein owned two isles in the Virgin Islands worth a total of more than $86 million.
One of the secluded Caribbean isles, Little St. James Island, was dubbed ''Pedophile Island'' by locals who said they witnessed a parade what looked like barely legal girls there.
There are no details on the trust's beneficiaries. The court papers note that Epstein's only potential heir was his brother, Mark Epstein. But the will adds that Mark only had a claim to his brother's extensive holdings if Jeffrey hadn't left behind the document.
Jeffrey Epstein had been sued by a multitude of sex accusers before his death, and the lawsuits are still piling on.
The new legal documents note, ''Petitioners are investigating potential debts and claims of the Estate and at this time they are unknown.''
Cash: $56,547,773Fixed income: $14,304,679Equities: $112,679,138Hedge funds and private equity: $194,986,301Properties including: 9 E. 71st St., Manhattan, worth $55,931,000; 49 Zorro Ranch Road, Stanley, NM, $17,246,208; 358 El Brillo Way, Palm Beach, Fla., $12,380,209; 22 Avenue Foch, Paris, France, $8,672,823; Great St. James Island in the Virgin Islands, $22,498,600, and Little St. James Island, also there, $63,874,223.But the new papers also include a line for ''aviation assets, automobiles and boats,'' a collection worth $18,551,700.
As for Epstein's famous, eccentric, sex-drenched art collection '-- ''fine arts, antiques, collectibles, valuables,'' according to the papers '-- that still needs to be appraised.
While the will is new, it is not clear whether it superseded another.
Its executors are two longtime Epstein employees: lawyer Darren Indyke and businessman Richard Kahn. A third man, Boris Nikolic, is listed as an alternate. The executors will receive $250,000 apiece for their work on the estate, in addition to ''reasonable'' expenses related to the job, the papers say.
The men were unable to be reached by phone Monday.
Woman at Jeffrey Epstein's lair 'is former Australian PM Paul Keating's daughter' | Daily Mail Online
Thu, 22 Aug 2019 14:46
A mystery brunette seen with Prince Andrew in a bombshell video shot at Jeffrey Epstein's New York mansion in December 2010 is Katherine Keating, the daughter of former Australian prime minister Paul Keating, her friends have told DailyMail.com.
Keating, now 37, is the woman pictured leaving the Manhattan townhouse and being waved at by Prince Andrew nine years ago.
A second photograph obtained by DailyMail.com showed her just minutes after leaving the apartment, standing on the corner of E71st Street and 5th Avenue.
Her father Paul Keating's secretary told DailyMail.com he was 'aware of what the enquiry was about, but he would not be making a comment'.
The video, first published by the Mail on Sunday, has plunged Prince Andrew into fresh controversy over his relationship with the pedophile, who took his own life earlier this month.
The video was taken in December 2010, less than 24 hours before an infamous photograph of the two men strolling in Central Park, and two months after Katherine Keating had left Sydney to move to New York to be closer to her then partner Andre Balazs.
Balazs, a hotelier and socialite, was an associate of Jeffrey Epstein. Balazs' name was found in Epstein's 'black book.'
However, the likely presence of Keating in the video adds more intrigue, raising questions over what was happening in the townhouse that day.
Keating was one of two brunette young women seen coming or going; so too was a young blonde girl who left with Epstein himself.
There is no suggestion Keating was aware of or involved in any of Mr Epstein's criminal activities. She had been contacted multiple times for comment by DailyMail.com without responding.
Key moment: At 4.40pm on December 6, 2010, an attractive brunette emerges from Epstein's house, pauses for a moment and turns around to the door. She is believed to be Katherine Keating, then 29, the daughter of a former Australian prime minister
Carefree: The video showed Prince Andrew waving goodbye to a woman believed to be Katherine Keating, apparently unconcerned that he might be seen at the home of a convicted pedophile
Round the corner: Katherine Keating was photographed minutes after leaving the pedophile's lair, standing on the corner of 5th Avenue and E71st Street, in a photograph newly obtained by DailyMail.com. She was carrying an Yves Saint Laurent Downtown tote, currently on sale at $1,085
Friends: Katherine Keating (circled) and Ghislaine Maxwell (second right) partied at a Dom Perignon-sponsored event in Maxwell's home in 2013, launching a social network called Ideapod. It is now a publishing and education platform. They were pictured with (second left) then Icelandic prime minister 'lafur Ragnar Gr­msson, his wife Dorritt Moussaieff and her daughter Sharon
Couple: At the time the footage was taken at Epstein's pedophile lair, Katherine Keating was the girlfriend of hotelier Andre Balazs (center). Her sister Alex (left) joined them at a party for the Australians in New York Fashion Foundation
Socialite: Katherine Keating partied in February 2014 with Princess Eugenie (second right), Prince Andrew's daughter, and (from left) Sting's eldest daughter Mickey Sumner and Misha Nonoo, the British-Iraqi fashion designer who is partly credited with introducing Prince Harry to her friend Megan Markle
Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle with fashion designer Misha Nonoo, who reportedly arranged Meghan's blind date with Prince Harry
At the time the photographs were taken, Epstein was already a convicted child sex offender, which would make him unusual company for Keating, whose father was the centre-left Australian prime minister from 1991 to 1996. Katherine Keating also once worked with the outspoken feminist journalist Gloria Steinem.
Epstein '' who took his own life earlier this month '' was on a child sex offender register, yet one observer told The Mail on Sunday that several of the women leaving and entering the home while Andrew was apparently inside 'looked very young indeed'.
The Duke has vehemently denied claims by Epstein's alleged 'sex slave' Virginia Roberts that she had sex with the Prince on three occasions, the first when she was 17 and once at the US millionaire's now-notorious 40-room mansion at 9 East 71st Street in Manhattan, the setting of these pictures.
Her allegations, submitted to a court in 2014, were later thrown out by a judge who ordered them to be struck from the record as 'immaterial and impertinent'.
Since Epstein's suicide last weekend - as he faced further child sex trafficking charges - Buckingham Palace has repeated its denial of wrongdoing by the Prince.
'Any suggestion of impropriety with underage minors is categorically untrue. It is emphatically denied that the Duke of York had any form of sexual contact or relationship with Virginia Roberts,' it said.
Keating was not said to be part of Epstein's circle until now. The source who disclosed the video to the Mail on Sunday described her as 'very pretty,' and said that the Prince said a few words to her.
'If I hadn't known it was Prince Andrew, I would have thought he owned the place. He looked so comfortable and relaxed as he stood there at the door,' the source said.
'He didn't appear to have a concern in the world as he smiled and waved goodbye to the girl.
Katherine (left) is pictured with her father Paul and sister Caroline at the opening of a musical about the former prime minister in 2006
Keating moved to New York in 2010 to be with her then-boyfriend, hotelier Andre Balazs (left), who was 24 years her senior. Balazs was seen next to Ghislaine Maxwell (right) on a number of occasions at social events in New York, including this art exhibition opening in March, 2008
'It was only as the girl walked off that he glanced around the door frame, almost as if to check no one was watching.'
Keating is a former political consultant to her father's Labor Party who moved to New York in 2010 to be with her then-boyfriend, hotelier Andre Balazs, 24 years her senior.
But she has established herself as a New York socialite, Davos attendee and fashionable environmental campaigner since then, and described herself as a 'philanthropist.'
She featured on the cover of The Australian's magazine The Deal in 2017 as 'Katherine the bold,' and boasted about choosing 'philanthropy' over politics.
The Australian now works as head of 'sustainability' for Maverick, a talent agency which represents Sir Paul McCartney and U2, among others.
Previously, however, she presented a series of interviews called One On One which were published by HuffingtonPost.com and which saw her interview Ghislaine Maxwell.
The video interview has now been removed from the Huffington Post - although was still viewable on video-sharing websites - while others from the series were still online.
They included interviews with former UK prime minister Tony Blair - a friend of her father - and Russell Simmons, the hip hop mogul who has faced sexual assault allegations but who helped fund the series.
Keating, who was 29 when the video was shot, had recently moved to the U.S. to join Balazs, whose previous girlfriends include Uma Thurman and Chelsea Handler.
The two have now split; they were said to have met when she was vacationing in New York in 2009.
Intriguingly, the day after she was apparently videoed leaving Epstein's property, the New York Daily News revealed her relationship with Balazs and told how they had spent time together at the Art Basel art fair in Miami.
First family: Katherine Keating (second left) was a teenager when her father Paul (second right) was Australian prime minister from 1991 to 1996. She has one brother Patrick (left) and two sisters, Caroline and Alexandra (right). Her parents separated in 1998 after 23 years of marriage and divorced a decade later
Inside the 'madam's' lair: As well as apparently spending time in 2010 at Epstein's home, Katherine Keating partied in 2013 at Ghislaine Maxwell's E65th St Manhattan townhouse with Mark Bakacs (pictured with Keating), the founder of Ideapod, the social network the party was celebrating. His connection to Maxwell is unknown
Balazs, 62, is the CEO of Andr(C) Balazs Properties, which owns Los Angeles' Chateau Marmont Hotel and London celebrity hotspot The Chiltern Firehouse.
He also appears in Epstein's infamous little black book, which surfaced during court proceedings in 2015 and contains a list of names of up to 100 victims, as well as a sprinkling of famous associates.
Keating later went on to date photographer Francesco Carrozzini, 36, the aristocratic son of the late Italian Vogue editor-in-chief Franca Sozzani.
He was a co-executive producer of her video series and is now now married to Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour's daughter Bea Shaffer, 32.
Keating is now believed to be single but when the two collaborated, they worked together on the interview with Maxwell.
It saw her describe the accused procurer of underage girls for a the pedophile as 'a philanthropist' and discuss her work on The TerraMar Project '' an eco-initiative aimed at protecting the ocean, which was hastily shuttered after Epstein was hit with new charges in July.
In it, Maxwell urged readers to sign a pledge to become 'ocean citizens' and railed about the sea becoming 'the world's dumping ground'.
The One On One series was part of WorldPost, which was set up by Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington and another Epstein associate, Nicolas Berggruen, a billionaire American-German businessman, whose name also appears in the financier's little black book.
Berggruen, 58, is the founder of the Berggruen Institute. Keating continues to be described as a 'New Leader' on the 21st Century Council.
According to its website, the Institute was 'established in 2010 to develop foundational ideas about how to reshape political and social institutions in the face of global change.'
The interview was not Keating's first known encounter with Maxwell either; in September 2013, the pair were both photographed attending a party for the launch of New York based social media platform IdeaPod at Ghislaine's E65th street Manhattan home.
Although Keating now lives in Los Angeles, California, during her time in New York she got to know designer Mischa Nonoo, who is a friend of Meghan Markle, and was photographed with her at a party at The Whitney Museum of American Art in April 2015.
Keating currently holds a voluntary role as the vice-chair of the Whitney Museum's Performance Committee.
In 2017 Keating became the publisher of VICE Impact, a channel of the website Vice.com which is now largely shuttered but which pushed calls for green policies.
More friends: Keating was seen in 2015 with Misha Nonoo, the desginer who is a close friend of Meghan Markle, and with Tiffany & Co. design director Francesca Amfitheatrof, at an event for the Whitney Museum, where Keating sits on an advisory board
She was given a brief to raise awareness of 'global social issues' such as climate change and women's empowerment, and wrote several articles on those themes.
Speaking in a February 2018 interview with The Last Magazine about her role at Vice, she said her biggest hope was to persuade people to get out and vote and do more to champion social causes.
She said: 'Having grown up in politics, personally I have always been in love with the political process and being engaged in politics.
'I never understood why people never made that connection of really valuing their vote.
'That's the thing that people should care about. This is not about forcing the things that I care about upon our audience. It's giving them the capabilities to be more active and engaged citizens.'
However she left after shortly after that interview to join the talent agency Maverick as head of sustainability, where she continues to hold other roles.
She currently sits on the 'Ambassador Council' at International Crisis Group, a non-profit founded by financier George Soros that describes itself as an 'independent, non-profit, non-governmental organization committed to preventing and resolving deadly conflict.'
The group's CEO from 2000 to 2009 was her father's foreign minister, Gareth Evans.
She also sat on the advisory committee of the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100 event, which brought a mix of artists, influencers and politicians to South Africa in December 2018 to celebrate Mandela's legacy and raise awareness of social issues.
Her father was hardly a close friend of the royal family. He pushed for Australia to ditch Queen Elizabeth as head of state and become a republic - and in 1992 committed a protocol breach by putting his arm round the Queen at a reception.
The gaffe earned him the nickname 'The Lizard of Oz' in British tabloid newspapers.
Thread by @tracybeanz: "THREAD: Here is the Eric Garner/FBI/NYPD/Epstein story in a quick summary 1. Before the election, the NYPD was investigating Anthony Weiner ['...]"
Tue, 20 Aug 2019 13:56
THREAD: Here is the Eric Garner/FBI/NYPD/Epstein story in a quick summary
1. Before the election, the NYPD was investigating Anthony Weiner for his sexting with an underage girl. They got a search warrant for his computer.
2. While they were exploring his computer, they found the folder labeled "Insurance Policy" When they looked at what was in that folder they were horrified. The NYPD reports it to the FBI. The FBI sends it up the chain to McCabe. He SITS ON IT. This happens in or around 10/2016
3. Erik Prince goes on Breitbart radio in November of 2016. In his interview he states that what they found on the laptop is horrific, and that there are other indictments that are ready in the case- he states democrat politicians are implicated, there is (cont)
4. (cont) money laundering, and information about BOTH Bill and Hillary Clinton travelling to Epstein Island. He states that the officers at the NYPD and in the FBI were getting angry nothing was being done and were ready to go public because they felt there wouldn't be justice.
5. There were reports that what was found on the laptops made officers cry. During the interview, Prince says that the DOJ threatened that if they leak what was found, the DOJ would indict the officers in the Garner case for murder.
6. McCabe recuses himself from the MYE. Comey reopens the investigation because of the Weiner laptop. Fast forward now to April of 2018. While IG Horowitz is investigating the Mid Year Exam, he also begins a spin off investigation into Andrew McCabe, because McCabe leaked (cont)
7. to the WSJ. McCabe was referred for criminal charges from this OIG investigation. When the report comes out, in it is a section where McCabe states that he was on a conference call with AG Lynch and the NY Field office of the FBI-- about LEAKING.
8. They state that they were admonishing them for leaking in the Eric Garner case and also accuse them of leaking the info McCabe was guilty of leaking to the WSJ, but none of that makes sense. A, they didn't know the info that was leaked to the WSJ and B.
9. I don't think they were leaking ABOUT the Eric Garner case, it is clear at this point they were being THREATENED about the Garner case BECAUSE of the laptop and what they were planning to do in letting the public know about the contents of it.
10. To add more credibility to the threats, Loretta Lynch swapped out the team investing this case from the DOJ right as this call was happening. There are news reports that this is likely done to put pressure on the DOJ to FIND a crime. The SI GJ failed to indict in the case.
11. Now we have corroboration of the Prince interview from the IG of the DOJ. Striking information. It gets better. On 7/6/19, in what appears to be a rehash of the old Palm Beach case. (STAY WITH ME) The DOJ STILL HAS the case of Pantaleo-the same case that Lynch swapped (cont)
12. out the investigative team for two years earlier. William Barr announces on 7/15/19, TEN DAYS after Epstein is arrested, and ONE DAY before the statute of limitations expires, that he will NOT be placing charges on Pantaleo in the case of Eric Garner. No criminal charges.
13. Today, the NYPD fires Officer. They tell him, and 13 minutes later announce it in a press conference. This happens a month after the DOJ declines prosecution. What point am I making?
14. I am speculating that all of this is not an accident. I am thinking as I put these pieces together that there is a chance that the DOJ acted on Epstein in part relying on the Weiner laptop. There are many reasons for this, but people get angry when I get too in the weeds.
15. Let's just say, given this story, I do not think it is a coincidence that the DOJ waited until 10 days after Epsteins arrest and the day before Statute of Limitations to expire to announce the officer would not be criminally charged, nor do I think it is a coincidence (cont)
16. what Horowitz told us about "Crimes against children", nor do I think it is coincidence that Bill and Hillary are mentioned by Prince in going to Epstein island, nor do I think it is a coincidence that Horowitz corroborated Prince account about Lynch and the Garner case.
17. Shall I continue? You let me know. I hope this is more understandable for all of you and I apologize for getting too far into the weeds. I just would rather SHOW YOU the evidence straight and narrow than have you just trust me.
For context: in the MYE report there is a section about how the potential for leaking influences the FBI and Comey's decision to send the letter to Congress stating they are reopening the Clinton email investigation. The section explains how high level staff at the FBI (cont)
felt that if they didn't open it back up, NYO would leak the fact that they had found the information.
More: Agents working the case don't understand why the Weiner laptop emails would be so significant, why they were handled in this manner, and why Comey would choose to alert Congress. They are puzzled. In the context of the story we are talking about in this thread (cont)
it may make sense if upper level FBI are briefed on actual content and are worried about leaks. Other agents may not have been aware of those details:
Here Lynch talks about the possibility of leaks should Comey not notify Congress - she's speaking about what was conveyed to her. I'm waiting for the part where they talk about the phone call with NY office before McCabe recuses:
Lynch and Comey have a meeting about leaks from the NY office and about the agents there and their feelings about Clinton
At this point it would be irresponsible of me not to point out that clearly there was a leak issue in the NY field office. The call with McCabe and Lynch before his recusal and admonishment for leaks doesn't seem to appear - yet - is there the possibility that they (cont)
The call from Lynch to the Field office is very important and seems to be blatantly avoided in this report (so far) even though it was mentioned in McCabes leak report and occurs on 10/26. There is obvious misdirection occurring.
From the OIG report into McCabe leaking to Barrett of the WSJ- the report that resulted in his termination. Pay careful attention here.
Nederlands ex-model: 'In mijn herinnering heb ik ook Epstein in het appartement gezien'
Tue, 20 Aug 2019 13:28
Op haar achttiende werd het Nederlandse model Thysia Huisman ontdekt door Jean-Luc Brunel, een grote naam in de Parijse modewereld. Hij zou van haar een superster maken. Het liep heel anders. 'žIk denk dat ik ook Epstein daar zag.''
Thysia Huisman, een voormalig Nederlands model, zegt op haar achttiende verkracht te zijn door een Fransman die een belangrijke schakel lijkt in het seksnetwerk van de Amerikaanse multimiljonair Jeffrey Epstein. De veronderstelde dader, Jean-Luc Brunel, zou een belangrijke 'leverancier' van jonge meisjes geweest zijn.
De verkrachting vond volgens Huisman, nu 46, plaats in 1991 nadat ze gedrogeerd was. Brunel was een grote naam in de Parijse modewereld. Huisman hield het verhaal jarenlang voor zich ...
Jean-Luc Brunel gave Jeffrey Epstein three poor 12-year-old triplets from France as birthday present | Daily Mail Online
Tue, 20 Aug 2019 13:26
Jeffrey Epstein once had three 12-year-old girls flown in from France for him to abuse as a birthday present, according to unsealed court documents
Jeffrey Epstein once had three 12-year-old girls flown in from France for him to abuse as a sadistic birthday present, unsealed court documents have alleged.
The fresh allegations were made by Epstein accuser Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who claims she was recruited to be a 'sex slave' by the millionaire financier and his girlfriend Ghislane Maxwell when she was 15 in 1999.
Giuffre made the allegations in a civil suit filed by the Miami US attorney's office in 2015. It sought to overturn the sweetheart plea bargain Epstein received in 2008, under which he served just 13 months in prison after pleading guilty to having sex with a minor.
She said that the French girls, believed to be sisters, were a gift from Epstein's longtime acquaintance and frequent guest Jean-Luc Brunel.
'Jeffrey bragged after he met them that they were 12-year-olds and flown over from France because they're really poor over there, and their parents needed the money or whatever the case is and they were absolutely free to stay and flew out,' Giuffre said.
She said she saw the three girls with her own eyes and that Epstein had repeatedly described to her how the girls had massaged him and performed oral sex on him. They were flown back to France the next day.
The fresh allegations were made by Epstein accuser Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who claims she was recruited to be a 'sex slave' by the millionaire financier and his girlfriend Ghislane Maxwell when she was 15 in 1999. Giuffre, 35, is seen holding a photo of her 16-year-old self
The lawsuit filed by the Miami US attorney's office in 2015 claims that the French girls were a gift from Epstein's longtime acquaintance and frequent guest Jean-Luc Brunel (pictured)
'He was so excited about the entire event, replayed over and over again over the next course of weeks how cute they were and how you could tell they were really young,' she said.
'He went on to tell me how Brunel bought them in Paris from their parents, offering them the usual sums of money, visas, and modeling career prospects.
'Laughing the whole way through, Jeffrey thought it was absolutely brilliant how easily money seduced all walks of life, nothing or no one that couldn't be bought.'
Another civil suit also involving Giuffre alleges that Brunel and Epstein recruited young girls from South America and Eastern Europe to have sex with him.
Epstein invested $1million to help launch Brunel's Miami-based modeling firm MC2, in return for a 'supply of girls on tap', the suit claims.
Brunel allegedly acquired illegitimate visas for underage girls from foreign countries and Epstein housed them at his brother's apartment in Manhattan.
'Jeffrey and Brunel would charge them for rent, forcing them to work for them selling their bodies for money, nude pictures, and even pornography,' Giuffre said in the suit.
'These were what seemed like really nice people with not so nice intentions setting an impression of how the dignified wealth play and behind closed doors they had as much civilized manners as a barbaric chimpanzee in heat.
'Giving a girl a step up in finances by teaching them their only worth is what lay between their legs, us girls all were the same in the end, regardless of what country we come from, what language we spoke or our cultural differences, we were all being used for one thing alone, our youthful looks and beautiful bodies.'
Epstein was arrested last month on federal charges of orchestrating a sex trafficking ring and abusing dozens of underage girls, whom he paid hundreds of dollars in cash for massages.
He was found dead of an apparent suicide in his Manhattan jail cell on August 10 after having pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Epstein's death came 24 hours after more than 2,000 pages of documents detailing the lurid allegations of his sexual abuse of underage girls were unsealed.
The documents pertained to a since-settled lawsuit that Giuffre had filed against Maxwell in 2015.
The 35-year-old is one of Epstein's most high-profile accusers, claiming that she was forced to have sex with Britain's Prince Andrew three times when she was 17 and went by Virginia Roberts.
A photo of Andrew grinning with his arm around Roberts' bare midriff when she was a teenager, with Ghislaine behind them both, has become the defining image of the scandal.
The royal has repeatedly denied Giuffre's allegations, which have been struck from the record by a US judge.
Maxwell, the daughter of disgraced tycoon Robert Maxwell, has also denied that she acted as a 'madam' for Epstein and has described Giuffre's claims as 'malicious lies'.
Giuffre currently lives in Australia with her husband and three children.
Giuffre is one of Epstein's most high-profile accusers, claiming that she was forced to have sex with Britain's Prince Andrew three times when she was 17 and went by Virginia Roberts. A photo of Andrew grinning with his arm around Roberts' bare midriff when she was a teenager, with Ghislaine behind them both, has become the defining image of the scandal (pictured)
Giuffre's bombshell allegations were detailed in a 2015 lawsuit against one of Epstein's alleged accomplices, longtime girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell, who is pictured with him in 2005
Brunel is among the many associates of Epstein who are facing renewed scrutiny from US investigators in the wake of his death.
Three former MC2 models told The Guardian they were sexually assaulted by Brunel in and nearby Paris throughout the 1980s and 1990s.
Allegations of misconduct against the French model scout, 72, date back decades. He has never faced any legal action but is now back in the headlines as attention turns to friends of the deceased millionaire sex offender.
In 2015, Brunel denied involvement 'directly or indirectly' in Epstein's crimes, telling the Guardian: 'I strongly deny having committed any illicit act or any wrongdoing in the course of my work as a scouter or model agencies manager.'
MC2 also denied any connection to Epstein's crimes and previously said Brunel no longer actively worked with the firm, despite the scout saying he still owned it in a 2015 legal case, which remains open.
Brunel firmly established himself as one of the fashion industry's top players in the 1980s while working as a scout for Karin Models in Paris.
He claims to have launched the careers of some of the era's most popular models, including Jerry Hall, Angie Everhart and Christy Turlington.
Famed for his lively parties, it was at one such evening in September 1991 that Thysia Huisman, then aged 18, began feeling lightheaded after being given a drink by Brunel.
The Dutch model, who was staying at Brunel's apartment near the Karin headquarters, claims the scout took her to his bedroom and raped her.
A second former model, now 55, from America, spoke anonymously to the Guardian to allege that Brunel assaulted her outside Paris after scouting her in 1984.
She recalled being alone with him on a night out after he falsely told her they were going to meet other people.
She said he aggressively groped her before she was able to climb out a window and away from him.
A third model, Courtney Soerensen of Stoneboro, Pennsylvania, met Brunel in Paris when she was 19 in 1988.
She alleged that Brunel subjected her to several incidents of unwanted touching, hounded her for sex and ruined her career when she rejected him.
DailyMail.com has reached out to Brunel's attorney Joe Titone for comment on the allegations against him.
Virginia Roberts Giuffre is pictured above at a museum in New Mexico in 2001 in a photo snapped by Epstein)
Virginia Roberts Giuffre is perhaps the most high-profile of Epstein's alleged victims.
She claims she is a former sex slave of Epstein and says the millionaire asked her to be a surrogate when she was just 18, around the same time he said she was too old for his sexual perversions.
Her allegations were made public when her since-settled lawsuit against Epstein's former girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell was included among the more than 2,000 pages of documents made public by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
In a deposition included in the newly released papers, Giuffre said that her father, who worked at Mar-a-Lago as a maintenance manager, got her a job there in summer 2000 as a locker room attendant at the club's spa when she was 16.
She said she was reading a book on massage therapy one day when she was approached by Maxwell, who noticed the book and told her she knew someone seeking a traveling masseuse. When Giuffre said she had no experience or credentials, she recalled Maxwell said: 'We can train you. We can get you educated.'
The court records contain graphic allegations against Epstein, portraying him as a sex slave-driver with an insatiable appetite for underage girls.
'My whole life revolved around just pleasing these men and keeping Ghislaine and Jeffrey happy,' Giuffre said. 'Their whole entire lives revolved around sex.'
Giuffre said Maxwell instructed her to take off her clothes and give oral sex to Epstein the first time she met him after bringing her to Epstein's Florida home near Mar-a-Lago with the expectation she would be trained as a masseuse.
Prosecutors have not accused Maxwell of any wrongdoing. They say they continue to investigate.
In her own deposition, Maxwell called the claims another one of Giuffre's 'many fictitious lies and stories to make this a salacious event to get interest and press. It's absolute rubbish.'
Giuffre managed to escape, after being sent to Thailand for her 19th birthday to take a massage course. She now lives with her husband and children in Australia.
Jennifer Araoz (pictured left as a teenager, and right in 2019) claims she was a victim of Jeffrey Epstein
Jeffrey Epstein was hit with a lawsuit from Jennifer Araoz on July 23 of this year.
Araoz, now 32, claims she was 15-years-old when she met Epstein after a 'recruiter' targeted her outside of her Manhattan high school and lured her to the millionaire's house, located several blocks away.
For the next year, Epstein allegedly manipulated Araoz into giving him massages that ended with him masturbating while he showered her with gifts and cash.
The illicit contact ended after Epstein 'forcibly raped' her, according to Araoz.
Araoz claims she dropped out of school to avoid Epstein and her life quickly deteriorated. She is seeking damages for her emotional injuries.
Johanna Sjoberg is pictured in 2007
One of the women who alleges she was 'lured' to Jeffrey Epstein's New York City mansion says the multimillionaire sex offender told her he needed to have 'three orgasms a day.'
'It was biological, like eating,' Epstein is alleged to have told Johanna Sjoberg.
Sjoberg's testimony was revealed after a federal appeals court on Friday unsealed about 2,000 pages of documents related to Epstein, the financier facing charges of sex trafficking involving dozens of underage girls.
The documents were released by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan, as part of a defamation lawsuit by Virginia Giuffre, one of Epstein's accusers, against Ghislaine Maxwell, a longtime friend of Epstein.
Sjoberg gave statements in a deposition as part of a lawsuit brought against Maxwell by Virginia Roberts Giuffre.
She said that she was recruited by Maxwell in 2001, when she was a student at Palm Beach Atlantic College.
Sjoberg was under the impression she was being hired as a personal assistant, but she soon realized her job was to provide 'sexual massages' to Epstein.
According to The New York Times, Sjoberg was 'punished' when Epstein failed to orgasm as a result of one of her massages.
Giuffre alleges that Maxwell recruited her when she was 16 years old to be Epstein's 'sex slave.'
The lawsuit was settled in 2017 while the terms were kept confidential.
Jena-Lisa Jones (left) stated on Saturday: 'God will have his judgement now'. Michelle Licata (right) said: 'I just wanted him to be held accountable for his actions'
Jena-Lisa Jones claims she was just 14 years old when she was allegedly molested by Epstein in Florida.
The purported incident, which occurred in the mid-2000s, left Jones feeling traumatized.
'You beat yourself up mentally and physically,' the now-30 year old previously told The Miami-Herald.
Jones has become one of the first women to speak out following news of Epstein's death.
'God will have his judgement now,' she told NBC.
Alleged victim Courtney Wild (left) is pictured with her lawyer. She claims she was just 14 years old when she met Epstein
Last year, Courtney Wild told The Miami Herald that she first met Jeffrey Epstein in 2002, when she 14-years-old and still wearing braces.
She alleges that she helped recruit underage girls for the financier for seven years, alleging that he preferred those who were 'white and easy to manipulate'.
'By the time I was 16, I had probably brought him 70 to 80 girls who were all 14 and 15 years old... He wanted as many girls as I could get him. It was never enough,' she told the paper.
Wild was wracked with guilt following her association with Epstein and her life fell apart.
She served three years in prison on drugs charges and was only released in November of last year.
Michelle Licata (left) and Annie Farmer (right) say they were both victims of Jeffrey Epstein
Michelle Licata claims she was a 16-year-old virgin living in Florida when she was recruited by a high-school friend to give 'massages' to Epstein.
Soon after arriving at the millionaire's Florida mansion, she says she felt uncomfortable and he allegedly began calling her 'beautiful and sexy and gorgeous'.
She described an encounter with Epstein to The Miami Herald in excruciating detail last year.
Believing she was going to give the financier an innocent massage, she was left traumatized when he began masturbating in front of her.
'He kept trying to put his fingers inside me and told me to pinch his nipples. He was mostly saying 'just do that, harder, harder and do this...
'He ruined my life and a lot of girls' lives,' Licata told the paper last year.
Meanwhile, Annie Farmer said she was 16 when she met Epstein in New York.
'He was inappropriate with me,' she told reporters earlier this month, although she did not disclose further details.
She was one of Epstein's alleged victims who appeared in court on July 15 urging a judge to keep the millionaire behind bars, rather than release him on bail.
Court documents also revealed that a 15-year-old Swedish girl was allegedly confined to Epstein's private island (pictured) and kept there as a sex slave
Court documents also revealed that a 15-year-old Swedish girl was allegedly confined to Epstein's private island and kept there as a sex slave.
The horrific allegations were made by a butler who worked for hedge fund millionaire Glenn Dubin and his wife, Eva Andersson-Dubin.
During a 2016 deposition which was revealed publicly for the first time on Friday, the butler, Rinaldo Rizzo, tearfully described seeing a 15-year-old girl in his boss's kitchen in 2005.
Rizzo testified in his deposition that the girl was brought to the home by Maxwell and Epstein, who were visiting the Dubins.
Andersson-Dubin, a former Miss Sweden, once dated Epstein.
The butler said that the girl reminded him of other girls he saw at Epstein's home.
Rizzo said the girl sat in a stool next to a kitchen counter in the Dubins' home. She was 'distraught and shaking...literally quivering' as she described her treatment at the hands of Epstein's alleged madam, and her assistant, Sarah Kellen, in the US Virgin Islands.
He claims he told her that they had demanded sex from her and taken away her passport and threatened her when she refused.
Rizzo testified in a deposition which was part of Giuffre's defamation lawsuit brought against Maxwell.
Giuffre also accused Glenn Dubin of participating in the sex-trafficking ring, according to court documents.
The Dubins have denied these allegations, with a spokesperson for the couple telling DailyMail.com: 'Glenn and Eva Dubin are outraged by the allegations against them in the unsealed court records and categorically reject them.'
La Danse Mossad: Robert Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein, by Jennifer Matsui | STRAIGHT LINE LOGIC
Tue, 20 Aug 2019 12:53
There are issues concerning Jeffrey Epstein's life that are far more important than how he died. From Jennifer Matsui at counterpunch.org:
Photograph Source: Dutch National Archive '' CC0
Media tycoon and former Labour MP Robert Maxwell (father of Ghislaine Maxwell, Jeffrey Epstein's partner in crime) was given a state funeral in Jerusalem after *accidentally* falling off his yacht '' the unluckily named ''Lady Ghislaine''. Later it was revealed Maxwell Sr was a Mossad asset who used his vast network of connections and publishing platforms to run editorial interference over his purchased assets to influence enemies and friends alike, ensuring their fealty to the foreign government that had enlisted him for its espionage work.
His tabloid empire was the piss-colored propaganda organ of the interests he served, overseeing its rapid growth and tentacled reach across the globe. More ominously, he was behind the spy agency's successful attempt to install a trapdoor in software intended for government use, allowing the Israelis a direct pipeline into a vast network of computers installed with undectable malware.
At the time of his death, the disgraced magnate was under investigation for raiding his companies' pension funds to cover the losses incurred from his multiple and reckless takeovers, and finance a luxury lifestyle he enjoyed sharing with high profile pals like Henry Kissinger and Barbara Walters. Curiously, many of these fossilized specimens from Robert Maxwell's roster of friends from the Reagan era would circle around Epstein, most notably Donald Trump whose Mar-a-Lago resort would later become a recruiting center for employer Epstein's underage ''massage therapists''.
Fast forward a couple of decades since the days a casino mogul was gobbling down canap(C)s with the old guard denizens of the 'swamp'. Notice a similar, if not identical MO in both Maxwell and Epstein's role in procuring technology for the Israelis, who in turn sold it with undisclosed add-ons, providing an open window into its users' databases.
Like his predecessor, Epstein had a financial stake in a startup (headed by former Israeli Defense Minister and later Prime Minister Ehud Barak) connected to Israel's defense industry that provides infrastructure for emergency services as a call handling platform. Considering the company's connection to military intelligence, it wouldn't be a stretch to speculate on some of this software's other 'special' features. A variation of the early technology that Maxwell was able to procure for his Israeli bosses was later sold to the Saudis, who leveraged its sophisticated tracking features to assassinate Jamal Khashoggi.
Epstein, like Maxwell, was laying the groundwork for Israeli espionage activities through his interests in companies with a political agenda concealed in products intended for international export. If true, the playboy philanthropist feted and flattered his high profile friends to ensnare them as complicit partners in what amounts to the legal definition of treason. Epstein's covert activities have undiminished real world consequences for anyone on Israel's international radar, especially those challenging the status quo policies in place that prioritize ''The Jewish State's'' political and financial objectives over actual justice and global stability.
If you have ever asked yourself why Israel's war crimes and settlement expansion go unchallenged by US lawmakers, consider the career destroying consequences contained within those dossiers compiled by the braintrust behind Epstein's 'suicide'. ''We'll trade you one US Embassy in Jerusalem for 10 minutes of hidden camera footage of you . . . let's say 'enjoying' a rolled up Forbes magazine''.
Were the surveillance apparatuses installed throughout Epstein's properties merely a voyeur's tools, or did he use them to leverage the moral failings of his former friends for purposes that might have risked exposure of more than the nether regions of wealthy pedo-punters? Considering his connections to Israeli defense industries and his own Achilles penis that required, by his own admission, ''three orgasms a day'', the answer points to an unslakable addiction that dovetailed conveniently with his state-sponsored sex crimes.
Did Epstein make the same mistake of Maxwell (who had asked for nearly half a billion dollar in ''loans'' from his Israeli backers to relieve him of his mounting debts) believing the dirt he had in his possession would prove radioactive if released? By this time, the corpulent tycoon was nicknamed the 'Bouncing Czech' a reference in most part to his worsening money woes. The implication of this request, if turned down, was the exposure of Israel's state secrets. Epstein could have also attempted to collateralize the cache of damning evidence still in his possession to secure his his freedom with the same fatal consequences.
Both Maxwell and Epstein somehow evaded the electronics that linked them to the outside world at the time of their deaths, even though the latter had reportedly made an attempt on his own life while in custody. Both men, facing ruination and serious prison time gave their executioners an alibi: They had nothing to left to live for. The establishment media is already trotting out ancient, ding-a-ling conspiracy theories from obscure right wing sources (attributed to Russia, of course) to highlight the absurdity and futility of questioning the official story of Epstein's death. Verdict: Nothing to see here.
By now, it's a given that the parasitic and preferred daughter of the deceased tycoon, made the fateful introduction between her new boyfriend and the Israeli operatives seeking an entry level plutocrat to carry out their blackmail operations after the untimely death of his predecessor. An impoverished socialite has to survive in pricey Manhattan somehow, and that somehow was re-establishing the shady connections to the espionage underworld that had recruited Maxwell Sr.
Ghislaine's later role as Epstein's Chief Procurement Officer (or pimp for short) gives more credence to the rumors that she is more than just a debased, barnacle-like appendage to a billionaire, desperate to please her platonic partner by ''organizing his social life'', but a fully cognizant co-conspirator in an operation aimed at strengthening Israel's hand in all matters pertaining to its national security interests, or more accurately, its overseas criminal enterprises.
The recent raid on Epstein's Manhattan apartment was not the result of a so-called Justice Department righting the egregious wrong it committed by letting Epstein off with a slap on the wrist after his initial conviction that allowed him to serve his sentence largely outside the minimum-security facility with an open door policy for its billionaire guest. More likely, the reversal of Epstein's ''sweetheart'' deal was a joint operation between the oligarch cabal informally known as the Mega-Group, and the state security apparatuses that do their bidding.
It's seems likely that this sudden pivot towards justice from a Justice Department initially spooked into inaction by the spook in his custody, was motivated by the need to remove the most damning bits among Epstein's vast trove of physical evidence against the pervy punters who visited his island getaway for unintended photo ops with underage girls.
Perhaps his own abuse of these minors was a perk he felt entitled to, and one that would be overlooked in the service of ''national security''. It's hard for most people to differentiate between the government he actually worked for and the ruling establishment on his home turf.
It's possible that Epstein felt his serial transgressions were merely par for the plutocracy and justified in the service of a higher calling.
The 'Israel First' philanthropist shared an unyielding ideological justification for his own criminality as Robert Maxwell, whom the British Home Office had considered recruiting for its own intelligence gathering in the mid 1960's. Having determined that the well-connected, multilingual, rising star politician was strictly ''Zionist'', the spy agency withdrew his candidacy.
Epstein's real crimes had little to do with raping children, despite the overturned plea deal that came about when a federal judge ruled that prosecutors had violated the victims rights by by concealing the agreement from them. The one time teflon-coated ''member of intelligence'' who was ''above the pay grade'' of a powerful District Attorney (now a now scandal-tainted former Labor Secretary) was ultimately (and lethally) penalized for not destroying the contents of his secret-laden safes, leaving his handlers still vulnerable to their explosive contents.
Had the doomed financier divested himself of the toxic assets still in his possession, he might still be roaming the earth today, scouring it for new specimens to populate his underage petting zoo. As a result of the Justice Department's decision to reverse the non-prosecution deal meant to bury the most incendiary facts of the case, lower-rung punters like former governor Bill Richardson and Senator George Mitchell are being publicly named for their part in the sordid scandal. Someone has to take the fall. (Rule number one of PR crisis management: Crucify the insignificant and let them hang out to dry until the public tires of watching the slow motion spectacle of their undoing.) Meanwhile, documented and/or photographic evidence against more powerful players like Bill Clinton and Donald Trump will have already been destroyed in the pursuit of selective justice.
The fallout of Epstein's spectacular downfall predictably miss the mark as scandals involving the rich and powerful tend to do. Much of the controversy will dissolve into a Cheetoh dust maelstrom of disinformation, disseminated on Reddit and 4Chan by incel info-warriors before shooting up a shopping mall or playground.
Subsequent reporting of the case will overlook decades of the elite-driven state craft that elevated corrupt and ruthless entities like Epstein and Trump, both ring-kissing acolytes in their youth of influential mob fixer/politcal power broker Roy Cohn '' himself a serial sexual predator who similarly caught the fancy of fellow deviants Joe McCarthy and J. Edgar Hoover. Follow the money trail from Tel Aviv and you'll discover an ancestral link between the corpse of Epstein and his ghostly godfathers waiting with his rewards in hell.
Along with the other disgraced and expendable patsies left in the wake of this ongoing scandal is Alan Dershowitz, Epstein's octogenarian chief legal counsel and 'wing man' aboard the Lolita Express. The now unemployable cable news pundit will live out the remainder of his pointless life under a cloud of suspicion. Despite all the damning testimony against him, the statutory rape allegations never quite stick, but follow him around like a sneaky fart, forcing a distance between himself and the rest of humanity that will last until he is engulfed by the sulfurous fumes of his own making.
The former Harvard law professor's lifelong service to Israel will go unrewarded '' not as a result of victim testimony placing him at multiple crime scenes, but in consideration of his own inept self-defense strategy: ''I'm a scurvy rat aboard a sinking ship eating its own tail to stay alive. Pity me''! Dershowitz at this point will be lucky if he can achieve the same pay grade and social status of Lindsay Lohan. Ditto for Prince Andrew who can at least be relied on to expire slowly of gout in his time-out corner at Windsor Castle.
The moral of this story could be ''Lie down with dogs and never wake up agan with a prison-issued sheet around your neck''. A variation of the old ''Lie down with dogs and and wake up as fish food''.
Gerald B. Lefcourt - Wikipedia
Tue, 20 Aug 2019 12:35
Gerald B. Lefcourt
NationalityAmericanOccupationAttorney Spouse(s) Robin Lewis LefcourtChildren3Gerald B. Lefcourt is a criminal defense lawyer with a reputation for taking on unpopular and high-profile clients, including a co-defendant of Michael Milken[citation needed ], financier and registered sex offender Jeffrey Epstein,[1] the Black Panthers, activist/author Abbie Hoffman, hotelier Harry Helmsley, former Speaker of the New York State Assembly Mel Miller, and actors Russell Crowe[2] and Tracy Morgan. He was a featured personality in the 2006 documentary Giuliani Time. His victories have included a full acquittal of rap mogul and Murder, Inc. Records founder Irv Gotti on federal money laundering charges. Lefcourt was an attorney of "aider and abettor" non-KMPG employee David Amir Makov,[3] in the 2008 federal KPMG tax shelter fraud prosecution, believed to be the largest tax fraud case ever brought in the history of the United States.[citation needed ][4]
In 2007, while criminal defense lawyers were finalizing Jeffrey Epstein's plea deal, Epstein donated $250,000 to the Washington-based Foundation for Criminal Justice where Gerald Lefcourt, was a board member in 2007, public filings show.[5]
Biography [ edit ] Lefcourt graduated Brooklyn Law School, class of 1967, and heads a four-lawyer firm in New York City that specializes in criminal defense.[6] Considered one of the nation's best trial lawyers and a leading spokesman of the defense bar, he is past President of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the New York Criminal Bar Association, and a founder of the New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. Lefcourt is also a lecturer and panelist and has authored publications on legal subjects including asset forfeiture, legal ethics, wire-tapping, plea bargaining, subpoenas to lawyers, and representation of grand jury witnesses.
He was named as among the finest NY trial attorneys by the New York Law Journal's 1983 "Who's Who in Criminal Defense Bar", and received the New York State Bar's Outstanding Practitioner Award in 1985 and 1993, and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers' highest honor, the Robert C. Heeney Memorial Award, in 1993. In 1997 he was presented the Thurgood Marshall Lifetime Achievement Award by The New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
Personal life [ edit ] Lefcourt is married to Robin Lewis Lefcourt. Mr. Lefcourt has a son, Jeffrey Lefcourt,[7] and two daughters, Karen Lefcourt-Taylor and Alison Lefcourt.
References [ edit ] ^ Jeffrey Epstein's Sick Story Played Out for Years in Plain Sight, Vanity Fair, Vicky Ward, March 2003. Retrieved July 10, 2019. ^ Wilson, Michael; Jacobs, Andrew (June 6, 2005). "Russell Crowe Charged With Assault in Tiff With Hotel Clerk". The New York Times . Retrieved September 2, 2010 . ^ U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York v. Jeffrey Stein, et al, Wall Street Journal, June 27, 2006. Retrieved July 12, 2019. ^ Browning, Lynnley (2008-12-17). "3 Convicted in KPMG Tax Shelter Case". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331 . Retrieved 2019-08-04 . ^ Vincent, Isabel (2019-08-04). "Jeffrey Epstein lavished cash on lawyers' charities after sweetheart plea deal". New York Post . Retrieved 2019-08-04 . ^ Gilpin, Kenneth N. (January 12, 1993). "Plea Deal For Trader Unravels". The New York Times . Retrieved September 2, 2010 . ^ "Heather Hitchcock, Jeffrey Lefcourt". The New York Times. August 6, 2006. External links [ edit ] Official website
'Dictator' Kerry Kennedy is ruining family legacy
Tue, 20 Aug 2019 09:09
She claims to be a great advocate for human rights '-- but former employees tell The Post that behind closed doors, Kerry Kennedy is a monster who's driving her father's legacy into the ground.
''For someone who's a human-rights lawyer, I don't think I've ever met someone who cares so little for the people who work for her,'' says an employee who resigned from the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights. ''She treats them so badly, belittling and embarrassing them in front of others. Everyone who works there is brilliant, but there is very high turnover.''
In the past year, sources say, at least nine employees have quit.
Several ex-employees also tell The Post that Kennedy, who serves as president of the center, has grown increasingly erratic. ''She's unhinged,'' says this same employee. ''Bitter. She can't follow up and can be very vague. Sometimes she would get frustrated but couldn't convey where her frustration was coming from.''
''Her priorities can change on a whim and her mood,'' says another, who held a high-ranking position for 3¹/'‚‚ years. ''It made me feel like a crazy person. I'd heard stories that Kerry was a loose cannon, but her crazy behavior ramped up in the beginning of 2015.''
Andrew Cuomo and Kerry Kennedy in 2002. AP Kennedy, 56, is the seventh child of Robert F. Kennedy and the ex-wife of Gov. Cuomo. As head of the RFK Center, a nonprofit with the vague stated goal of ''rais[ing] awareness of the most important '-- and sometimes overlooked '-- human-rights challenges,'' Kennedy presents herself as a standard-bearer and champion of the world's most abused citizens.
These ex-employees say Kennedy herself behaves like the dictator of a banana republic, sending some to perform menial personal tasks rather than respond to desperate e-mails from the world's most dangerous hot spots.
''In general, she treats everyone as the person who would go get her coffee,'' says another former executive. ''Her attitude is, 'You're here to do what I want you to do.' RFK surrounded himself with people who would say no and push back against him. She surrounds herself with people who won't challenge her and who say yes no matter what.''
These employees could never figure out what the foundation's goals were.
''It is the most dysfunctional and disheartening organization,'' says a former policy worker who left recently. ''Especially given Kerry's image, and the public image of the organization. They don't even care about the dignity of their own employees.''
'She has truly become unhinged, and people don't know what to do.'
- A source tied to the RFK Center for Justice & Human Rights
This employee says he went to his supervisor '-- a close friend of Kennedy's '-- with a written complaint about lack of leadership. This employee had been tasked with human-rights work in numerous nations with no help.''
''I tried to raise concerns, and he said, 'I'm not gonna do that.' He literally threw my prepared paper on the floor and went back to sending e-mails or whatever. It was the most disrespected I'd ever been in my entire career.''
Multiple sources '-- all of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity '-- say Kennedy uses foundation funds to pay for lavish expenses and the foundation itself as an excuse to party with celebs around the globe. The foundation's most recent tax filings show she paid herself $357,340 in 2014. That same year, she took out a $2.4 million line of credit for the center, which has offices in DC and on Manhattan's Madison Avenue.
In November 2015, she sold her house in the Westchester town of Bedford for $920,000. There is no public record of her having purchased another residence.
''She has truly become unhinged, and people are frozen and don't know what to do,'' says a source who e-mailed The Post. ''Her staff fear her, as she has a wicked temper and is quite entitled and belligerent '-- but now they fear for her, as she has become difficult to follow .'‰.'‰. She has become bitter, mean and angry '-- and now, clearly, publicly depressed.''
Kennedy did not return repeated requests for comment.
The past few years have been difficult for Kennedy. Her best friend and sister-in-law, Mary Richardson Kennedy, hanged herself in her barn in May 2012. Mary was battling her estranged husband, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., over his serial cheating and public affair with actress Cheryl Hines. Mary and RFK Jr. were also engaged in a custody battle over their four kids, and after Mary's suicide, Kerry '-- who had abandoned her to side with her brother '-- wrote a piece for The Huffington Post.
It was called ''Ode to My Best Friend,'' and in it, Kerry wrote, ''Like millions of Americans, Mary suffered from depression .'‰.'‰. Mary fought back the demons who were trying to invade the Paradise of her very being.''
The 2012 suicide of Mary Richardson Kennedy amid her crumbling marriage to RFK Jr. was an emotional blow for her sister-in-law and best friend, Kerry Kennedy. Getty ImagesIn 2013, Kerry told The Daily Beast that ''Mary's was a classic mental illness,'' infuriating the Richardson family. One relative told the site that the Kennedy propaganda machine had been spreading ''vindictive lies, proof of the unbelievable emotional and psychological abuse that Mary endured in the last years of her life, and now, in death.''
Two months after Mary's suicide, Kerry was arrested for driving while impaired. She had smashed into a tractor-trailer on I-684 and fled. She claimed to have taken only an Ambien and, on the witness stand, told the court of her human-rights work. She was so anxious about an imminent aid trip to Uganda, she testified, that she mixed up her meds.
The jury took an hour to acquit. Kennedy then went on the ''Today'' show to complain about her treatment by the criminal-justice system. ''[It's] a terrible policy .'‰.'‰. pursuing every case of driving under the influence,'' she said.
In 2014, say multiple former employees, Kennedy hit up wealthy donors to bail out the RFK Center, which still suffers from Kerry's spending sprees.
Proximity to wealth and fame is Kennedy's priority, with human rights nowhere on the radar.
- A source close to the Kennedys
''On a trip to France, we stayed in the same hotel John Kerry was staying at '-- a $500-a-night hotel,'' says a former center executive. ''They always fly business class. Or Kerry will book a plane ticket and change her mind at the last minute, and you'll have to buy a totally new ticket.''
The purpose of the three-day Paris trip, says the exec, was to screen a movie with actor Javier Bardem.
''There's always random celebrities around,'' says the exec. ''The organization most heavily benefits the family. Her South Africa trip'' '-- this past June '-- ''was ostensibly to 'honor the legacy of her father and the ending of apartheid.' She gave a speech. Those all end up being travel parties for her family.''
This source says Kennedy took one of her teenage daughters to build houses in Mexico because the girl wanted to write a piece for Teen Vogue '-- which never ran. ''We don't build houses,'' says the former exec. ''That's not our mission. Why? Habitat for Humanity exists. We're a bunch of lawyers and policy people.''
Kerry's actual role is unclear. ''She's RFK's daughter '-- that's largely what she brings to the table,'' says this source. ''I don't think she's very talented. I don't think she's very bright.''
''I can't recall seeing her read a newspaper or a magazine,'' says another ex-employee. ''She spends all day on the phone. She writes a lot of thank-you notes to people who've donated money. She's constantly trying to get celebrities and throwing celebrity gala events. I asked the question while I was there: 'Who are we helping?' I don't know.''
This source also says Kennedy ''always stays in really nice hotels '-- four star. Car services. Sometimes she would stay in really rich people's homes.'' Proximity to wealth and fame, says this source, is Kennedy's priority, with human rights nowhere on the radar.
''It's just her lack of compassion,'' says this source. ''I just feel like people who are bright and with it have compassion and empathy .'‰.'‰. It was a very tense environment. I just said, 'Life is too short '-- I'm not going to keep living like this.''‰''
Kennedy has spent the past few weeks traveling, and her Twitter feed indicates she attended something called the Ischia Global Film & Music Festival in Italy on July 10, after speaking in Paris on July 9.
''Me speaking today at the Free Iran 2016 conference in Paris,'' she tweeted. ''So many really interesting people! #freeiran.''
Kerry Kennedy acquitted of drugged driving
Tue, 20 Aug 2019 08:56
Erik Shilling , The (Westchester County, N.Y.) Journal News Published 10:27 a.m. ET Feb. 28, 2014 | Updated 3:44 p.m. ET Feb. 28, 2014
Kerry Kennedy, daughter of Senator Robert F. Kennedy, was found not guilty of drugged driving. Kennedy was arrested in 2012 after she was found driving under the influence of a sleeping pill. Her attorney said the prosecution was "ill-advised."
She mistakenly took a sleeping pill on July 13, 2012, thinking it was her thyroid medicine, and tried to go to the gym.
Kerry Kennedy arrives Feb. 28, 2014, at the Westchester County Courthouse before being acquitted in her drugged-driving case. (Photo: Tania Savayan, The (Westchester County, N.Y.) Journal News)
Story HighlightsKennedy drove about 5 miles down a busy expressway in suburban New YorkShe sped, swerved, hit a tractor-trailer, popped a tire and ended up driving on a bare rimInitially, she said she thought she had a seizure; blood tests showed she had taken a sleeping pillWHITE PLAINS, N.Y. '-- After less than an hour of deliberation and four days of arguments, experts and evidence, a six-person jury returned a verdict Friday of not guilty in the drugged-driving trial of Kerry Kennedy.
The 54-year-old daughter of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy was charged with a single count of driving while ability impaired by drugs, stemming from a July 13, 2012, incident in which she drove for miles down Interstate 684 while under the influence of Ambien, a fast-acting sleeping pill.
DAY 4: Deliberations continue Friday for KennedyDAY 3: Kennedy denies deliberately taking Ambien
The four-man, two-woman panel began discussing the case late Thursday after lawyers for Kennedy made their closing arguments. After asking to have some testimony read to them, they went home and returned Friday morning. If convicted, Kennedy could have faced loss of her driving privileges and up to a year in jail.
"I want to say thank you to the jury for returning this verdict and for all their work over the last few days," Kennedy said outside the courtroom before thanking her lawyers and family, in particular "my mother, Ethel Kennedy."
For the first time since the trial began, Ethel Kennedy, 85, did not use a wheelchair as she left the courthouse, walking two blocks with assistance from Kerry Kennedy and one of Ethel Kennedy's granddaughters to a restaurant where the family has gone each day of the trial for lunch.
Jurors declined to speak to the dozens of reporters and photographers who had gathered here since the start of the trial Monday and were escorted quietly from the courthouse by another exit.
At the heart of the case was whether the ex-wife of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and niece of President John F. Kennedy knowingly continued to drive after realizing she took the pill, which she said was of similar color and shape to her thyroid medicine.
The Bedford, N.Y., resident fought the misdemeanor charges every step of the way, at first saying she must have had a seizure.
''The jury heard all of the evidence in this case, and we respect their verdict.''
Lucian Chalfen, Westchester County District Attorney's Office
The initial case was moved from North Castle Town Court to Westchester County Superior Court here because of what her lawyers argued would be a high-profile trial of a member of a prominent Democratic political family.
DAY 2: Prosecution rests in drugged-driving caseDAY 1: Kerry Kennedy's trial opens
Both sides largely agreed that she drove her Lexus SUV about 5 miles down Interstate 684 in this New York suburb after she said she accidentally took a 10-milligram dose of zolpidem, the generic name for Ambien. Along the way she sped, swerved dangerously, hit a tractor-trailer, popped a tire, and for some portion of the trip drove on a bare rim before coming to a stop on New York 22 in Armonk, N.Y. She had been headed to a gym.
Kerry Kennedy grew up the seventh of 11 children of Robert F. and Ethel Kennedy and became an author and human rights activist as an adult. She married Cuomo in 1990, and they divorced in 2005 while Cuomo was state attorney general.
The prosecution played up on her privileged background, telling the jury in closing arguments that to be fair she should be held accountable for her actions as others are.
With her acquittal she now joins another exclusive club: The tiny percentage of defendants found not guilty of misdemeanor charges in the county's courts. In 2012, the latest year available, only 21 people '-- 0.2% of all cases '-- were fully acquitted, according to the state Division of Criminal Justice Services.
STORY: Major stage for a minor caseSTORY: Ambien found in Kennedy's blood
Kerry Kennedy had the option of a bench trial in front of Judge Robert Neary but instead opted for a jury trial. William Aronwald, one of Kerry Kennedy's lawyers, said his client wanted a jury trial to raise the bar for prosecutors, who had to persuade the panel of her guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
The Westchester County District Attorney's Office prosecutes 2,500 impaired-driving cases annually, and "this case was treated no differently from any of the others," Lucian Chalfen, a spokesman for the office, said in a statement.
"The jury heard all of the evidence in this case, and we respect their verdict," Chalfen said.
STORY: Kennedy claims seizure led to accidentRELATED: Douglas Kennedy sues nurses, hospital
Kerry Kennedy's lawyers said the office never should have pressed charges in the first place.
"Kerry Kennedy has the resources" to defend herself, Aronwald said. "What about the person who doesn't?"
Aronwald said prosecutors told the defense that they could not dismiss the case because doing so would create the impression that Kerry Kennedy was getting special treatment.
In November 2012, her brother, Douglas Kennedy, went on trial here on child-endangerment charges after a scuffle with nurses as he tried to remove his newborn from a hospital maternity ward. He, too, was acquitted.
Kennedy not guilty. And that's a wrap.
'-- Erik Shilling (@erikshilling) February 28, 2014Read or Share this story: http://usat.ly/1bRTFQf
NASTY BUSINESS: A Himmmm Blind Item Story - Himmmm - Medium
Tue, 20 Aug 2019 08:51
(NOTE: The FULL STORY, all 3 parts. Everything in this story is ''alleged'', and based on our own sources. Things we have been told are fact. However, we cannot verify the 100% accuracy of these and some of them were translated to us through both Russian and Spanish interpreters, which leaves room for error. However, we believe it and leave it to you to make up your own minds. Thank you for all of your comments; passion for justice; and kind words).
She has already spent over a week trying to arrange the meeting, but was having a very hard time. Now? She is frantic. Apparently she was drawing more attention than even she could have anticipated. Because with everything going on, she never imagined that even Russian oligarchs would find her ''too hot to handle''. After all, their relationships went back decades. Billions of dollars changing hands, and secrets that could change history of more than one nation.
''She'' is a woman we will refer to as ''MARI''. The best way to describe Mari is as a middle-aged foreign-born woman raised in a life of privilege, wealth, global luxury '-- and a legacy of criminal immorality that warps the mind just to fathom it all. Her own father had been a scandalous man in every way that would be the center of a million stories of his own. The things she witnessed and even suffered growing up would be enough to drive anyone insane. Unfortunately, she decided to carry that torch herself. She has perpetuated that hell on her own.
She became the partner, co-conspirator, and confidant of a man who has grown to be one of the most disgusting, perverted, rapist animals of our current era. (We'll just call him MONSTER). His crimes and reach have been well documented for many years. And through it all, Mari has been right there. In fact Mari has been of equal responsibility in that monster's crimes. She has been his procurer, his partner, and when the mood hit her '-- even a willing participant. She is no victim.
But most of all, Mari has been in charge of the cover ups, lawsuits, and protection of both Monster and herself. Most of all, Mari has found herself trying to use the information (the proof) she has, as a bargaining chip to save herself, even against the most powerful people in the world.
When many questioned how the Monster was able to facilitate relations with so many powerful people, they rarely saw Mari in the shadows. It was usually her ''hands'' at work, using contacts and relations of her family. Her dad's old business friends (and enemies) and many of his government friends '-- they all knew her charming social style. They also knew of her bent to the wild side, and her ''anything goes'' attitude; along with the discretion it required.
Many people had forgotten (or maybe didn't know) of Mari's family and their relations with foreign leaders. Especially third-world dictators. Mari was actually the missing link in a bizarre nexus of people who otherwise may never cross paths. From Hollywood celebrities, to global corrupt military leaders, to technology businessmen '-- Mari knew so many of them. Her father had paved the way, so it was easy for her to follow.
This is why, when the sexually criminal actions of Mari and Monster, began to be a ''thing'' among the rich and powerful '-- they needed more privacy. So it was Mari who found a very secluded island for their activities. This place and its many crimes have been documented many times (including by our pals at CDAN and in the mainstream press). But what is not as well known is this other foreign locale; nearly a country almost to themselves.
It was within a country ruled by a nearly-insane dictator, under the guise of Socialism. That dictator has now died, but his prot(C)g(C) has carried on. This nation was also ground zero for a constant flow of vulnerable victims from dirt-poor families that could be easily ''erased'' if the need be. Best of all for their plans '-- it was within close jet distance from their private island; and in the same hemisphere as the USA.
No need to make refuel stops, so less paper trails. It provided no shortage of cover stories, including ''humanitarian work'' and ''environmental work''. All within an easily-bribed corrupt government happy to provide protection. Funny thing, that for a socialist country? They sure enjoyed the millions they got paid, under the table, to protect the criminals.
The criminals were Monster, Mari, and their guests.
This included not just the billionaires and politicians and celebs, but the top leaders of this country. It is very easy to connect the dots between this country; a legendary political family from America; and a super-tough lawyer (or two) who are the weak links in the cover up for Mari and the Monster's actions. It was part of the lawyers' spin plans back when the Monster was first accused. Little did they know that many years later, those same news quotes and even Youtube videos, would rear their heads to point the way to lead people to connect the dots. So obvious is it, that Mari has contacted the lawyers and told them to warn the political family of their exposure. But those same lawyers aren't happy to take her calls now either.
Nor is the Hollywood A-Lister with a history of friendship with banana-Republic rulers. That A-Lister was a guest of Mari, as a tag-along with a member of that political family. The A-Lister, for all of his own nasty history, enjoyed the party favors at the foreign hideaway; but he drew the line at partaking in sexual activities. (Which says a lot with that guy's history).
In fact, the A-Lister (who is either an actor or director, or maybe even both), was disgusted by what he was offered by his hosts; and the few things he saw himself. So he partook of partying/drugs, but not the underage sex crimes. According to the A-Lister, he is very scared about the people he did see there and what it could mean if it all came out. Not just as a witness for legal reasons, but scared for his life. Not his career '-- as this is a guy who revels in controversy. He is literally afraid for his own life. Maybe he should've been more scared'...not for himself but for those poor victims'...back when he was partying on site with them all.
So now we come in back where we began.
The Monster is dead, and regardless of how, who, and whatever '-- he is actually dead. Cheating justice for all the victims. But there are many, many, many loose ends left out ''there''. After this untimely, yet very predictable, demise of her Monster crony; Mari is now frantically trying to secure a meeting with a Russian oligarch she knows well. A man who has spent millions and many years trying to whitewash his reputation and hide his own past. Trying to keep himself far away from scandal and appear as just another billionaire global businessman. The last thing this guy probably wants is to be affiliated with Mari, or mentioned in the same story. But he has no choice really.
Mari has proof of many of his old dealings, going back all the way to her own father's era. Her father (a monster himself), had helped the oligarch in the late 80's-early 90's. Her father who was murdered, despite findings of ''suicide''. Her same father whose murder was alleged to be ordered by Russian oligarchs for his waste of tens of millions of their money he was supposed to be laundering. In fact, this Russian oligarch and Mari have many similar friends '-- in politics; Hollywood; and in sitting government positions today.
The Russian also knows that Mari is clever enough to be sure that if she meets an untimely demise? Much of that proof will certainly be made public. That would be a disaster for the Russian, and many of the most powerful people in politics (both sides of the aisle); global business, and entertainment/media. None of them want that.
Some have speculated that Mari's father never actually died, by suicide nor by murder '-- and that some of his former associates in foreign government security services had helped arrange his disappearance. It is with that in mind that Mari has contacted this Russian lately. According to the Russian oligarch, there is no way she can make it out of her current situation in one piece. The best she can hope for is to arrange a ''suicide'' or ''murder'' of her own that will allow her to slip off the map undetected. She still has tens of millions of Monster's money along with her own to help her vanish.
Because if she can't do it? Many others will make sure she does die, for real.
Those who can be brought down by what Mari can reveal '-- they want time to stop her fail-safe backup leaks, BEFORE they leak (in case of her demise). Meanwhile, Mari must certainly want to rapidly wrap up her future plans before she's locked up and cannot. According to the Russian oligarch, he's avoided this as long as possible. He has to decide what to do. So he has reached out to London and Washington to help him decide.
But even he is afraid of the answer.
Besides ''Mari'', there is another lady, whom we will call ''Princess'', because she'd be raised to be one all of her life. Since her birth in America, she had always been the living epitome of privilege, advantage, and every benefit that comes from being a white, wealthy, powerful, entitled member of an elite family in America. Of course to the outside world she lived by the code of PR spin and image control that ruled her family for generations. Her ''Noblisse Oblige'' was a trait they all shared '-- as they gave so much of their time, money, and energy to help the poor little unfortunate people of the world (in their minds anyway).
Princess was a vision of entitlement in all its glory.
Like her many in her family, Princess had a brush or two with the law. Not as bad as many in her family '-- with drugs, alcohol, obstructing justice, manslaughter, rapes, and even outright murder. Her family set the bar for thinking they were above the law. After all, they made the laws.
Princess took her elite life even one step higher by marrying into another political family. This was supposed to create an unstoppable political dynasty, but it just didn't work out. Yet '-- what did work out '-- was this couple's social and political connections. Their life of deals, friends, and gatherings.
Whether it was for fundraising; political causes; charity; environmental work; or just vacations. Princess and her hubby were very active on the same scene as so many others in their class and level. Pictures and mentions in the New York Social pages. Features in The Hamptons magazine. Small features in Vanity Fair '-- they ran with the crowd and were part of that scene.
Thus it is no surprise that when Princess found herself in a legal jam, she would turn to a lawyer referred to her by others in their ''scene''. Probably any attorney in the US would've taken her case pro bono '-- just for the marquee value of getting a client off with that kind of pedigree. But Princess also needed an attorney who could be a ''fixer'' too, and handle PR spin and strategy. After all, image was everything to her.
The lawyer Princess turned to was a skilled attack dog. He knew all the ins and outs of white collar criminal defense; and had a rep of repping some big names. He was a heavy hitter. Best of all, he had relations with all the tabloid media and the mainstream media (national and in city markets).
He also had political connections at state and local levels, and knew that being a member of ''the club'' always allowed back room deals to be worked out. After all, Princess and her type were not ''regular people''. So (they thought) they deserved ''special'' justice, unencumbered by the burdens of things like pesky rules, laws, and details.
Princess was only being charged with a small crime, by comparison to even those of her relatives, and any John Doe anywhere in America could expect a first offender consideration. A DUI was practically a birthright in her family. And yes, okay '-- maybe there was a tiny accident. But gee whiz, nobody was hurt!
Her ''victim'' would probably be happy with a private settlement and her getting a warning anyway. Those cops are so, so ''mean'' anyway. Why did they have to pick on her? She told others it was certainly due to her name. Or political enemies. Those police could've just let her go, like so many other cops had done before. But these wouldn't. They had the nerve'...the NERVE! To charge her.
She fucked up by taking her PR guru's advice and issued a statement. She admitted her sins, but said the cops had it wrong. She wasn't drunk or high, just had taken a sleeping pill and forgot about it. EVERYBODY does THAT, she said. But not everybody hits a truck. And not everybody argues with cops and does the ''do you know who I am'' routine. She did. So her first statements to the press were just mea culpa; admitting she was wrong, and trying to downplay severity, while saying she learned her lesson.
Her hot shot attorney did NOT like that. He told her the first rule of entitled elites when charged with crimes: ''deny-deny-deny''. It's up to the prosecutors to prove it. So in court, she recanted. Her lawyer brought in his own PR team and went to work greasing palms of reporters and editors. Calling in favors. This lawyer even ''backgrounded'' the cops who arrested her. His investigators went dumpster-diving through the cops' home trash. They also did it to the VICTIM too.
The lawyer was building a case against the victim, trying to paint him out as being an opportunist who (magically) must have known who that woman was! Maybe HE was drinking? Did he have a history of drugs? He was a truck driver, so he certainly had a bad record of tickets! The lawyer was sure he could warp them into some type of enemy; paint them as prejudiced; and turn the tables to put THEM on trial if need be. He would make the cops and the victim the real enemy here. After all, this lawyer had done it plenty of times before.
Suddenly, Princess was issuing new media statements claiming she did nothing wrong. She could hardly remember the details, but knew she was innocent. Those evil cops and even the evil man she ran into '-- THEY were in the wrong (she said)!
All the while, the Princess spun her PR team into full action mode to highlight all of her good deeds and underscore her importance to society. Even dragging up the tragedy that befell her family. And as sure as you're born '-- the tabloids and media never bothered to press the facts or question anything. Total kneepads time. The lawyer was earning his money.
When the day came, the Princess was let go with a slap on the wrist. No, a wrist slap would've been worse. She got off with a touch of the hand and a strongly-worded letter. The lawyer basked in his glory, and Princess (and her family) made sure he was the fair-haired lawyer for all their pals and relatives anytime they needed one. The lawyer was set.
You may ask why all this matters? What does any of this have to do with the Monster, or ''Mari'' (his female partner in crime), or any of that? Because of where it leads and what it shows to us, years before Monster's and Mari's crimes came to light. It also points us to the bread crumbs that a blind man could follow down this trail of broken lives, debauchery, and disgusting perversions that are only now exploding into daylight.
If you recall ''Mari'' '-- the foreign-born partner of Monster, you know that she is scared for her life. She has now turned to a Russian oligarch (and former associate of her father) to help her ''disappear''. She's scared of the law coming for her; she's scared of her former party guests sending someone to kill her; she's scared of multiple governments who could kill her; and she's even (NOW) scared of the victims (and their lawyers) whose lives she so gleefully destroyed. Mari is no victim, and deserves zero empathy.
Mari has evidence. Proof. Receipts. She has hard proof of many of the political, wealthy, and powerful ''friends'' whom she and Monster brought to their island playground for many years. Most of all she has proof of what went on at their other home in a Latin American country.
A country whose ruling dictator (and his prot(C)g(C)) happily took bribes to look the other way as drugs, rapes, and crimes went on '-- many involving young, poor, local boys and girls. None of whom had a voice to fight back or stand up. When ''wranglers'' would round up these boys and girls for things like ''casting parties'', ''pageants'', or just part-time jobs '-- the parents (if any existed) and social services officials were paid off. They were told it was ''just a little part time work so take the ridiculous amounts of cash, and shut up''.
If they didn't? Well'...they had already heard stories of ''THAT place''.
But a strange thing began to happen that upset the parties at the foreign compound/estate. First, their pal '-- the dictator '-- passed away. Followed by much upheaval in the country. It would be a while until the prot(C)g(C) dictator came in to settle things down (somewhat). Then, some reporters and investigators began asking questions. Nothing specific, just noticing things '-- and people, visiting. The cover stories of humanitarian work and environmental work were very thin. But bribes helped them cover up a lot. And when nosy people began ''disappearing'' there? That helped them too.
So around the time the Monster began facing legal trouble in America, his foreign place was locked down. It would be quite a while until Mari could return without attention.
When she did, however, she noticed that the security guards had abandoned the estate. It was unprotected, and had been broken into. Worse for her, she soon discovered a LOT of missing items. Not just valuables, but an ENTIRE SAFE. Removed from a permanent location built into the house. Someone had removed the entire unit. In it were things that Monster and Mari had counted on for protection, blackmail, or to help preserve themselves if they ever got pinched. Mari could not even tell Monster for a long while. But she knew it could spell the end for them, and many others.
As for who took it? Nobody knows for sure. Some think the prot(C)g(C) dictator did. Others think some American political people had it done. OR maybe just a very nervous billionaire or even an actor. Anyone could've hired a team to snatch it away.
Monster faced a massive nightmare when he was caught in legal charges from his crimes many years ago. So he had Mari turn to find the best legal team to protect them and make a mess of the entire case. It would not be enough to win, they had to win and be cleared. So Mari went to a lady she knew from her social circle of pals, who had that powerful political hubby. Mari turned to Princess for legal advice. After all, this was ''obviously'' a set up to damage Monster and his pals (so Mari said).
Princess recommended her lawyer from her DUI scrape. Because not only did he specialize in victory, he would make sure the accusers and law went down in flames. The lawyer? Thought it was a slam dunk. It was such a political hot potato (with Monster's many pals) that it would be easy to paint it with that brush. Monster didn't give a shit about any political party or affiliation. He gave loads of money and recruited friends from both parties. Just like in business. And now was the time to make such a foggy mess that it would color the entire case against Monster.
The lawyer did just that. He set up the local/state officials investigating Monster, and made it to where their political careers were the center of the case. He pitted them against each other '-- the police Chief vs. the State's Attorney. And they took the bait by using it as a political hammer to bash each other. When the case was kicked up to the federal level? The lawyer did the same thing. Because federal prosecutors are appointed by elected officials. So are federal judges. And the lawyer knew how to play them all.
Worst of all, the lawyer knew the best strategy was to put the victims on trial. Accuse the accusers. Background and investigate the witnesses. Embarrass, defame, and destroy the lives of the victims '-- and they'll be impeached in court. Whip the media in line to back it all up and march to the lawyer's tune.
Just like the lawyer had done for Princess in her little case years before. But now? The stakes were huge.
Not only did the lawyer direct the legal case and the PR machine '-- he even recommended bringing in Monster's personal friend. A guy who had been a longtime lawyer and pal of Monster and Mari for years. He too had been a guest of Monster & Mari many times. He had a stellar reputation as a defender of justice. His PR profile was huge and righteous. Nobody would ever think he'd be on the wrong side of the angels, or the law. So Monster and Mari together brought in the lawyer and the legal friend together to run this case from top down. And they wouldn't be disappointed, at least in the short term.
Meanwhile, many miles away from the safety of their Florida enclave '-- some very ''important'' people were getting very nervous about the attention brought to Monster and his legal woes. They were paying very close attention. Because if Monster or Mari ''talked'' or tried to cut a deal to save themselves? It would have unfathomable ripple effects.
So while Monster was being charged in the USA for crimes'...there was a meeting in England. Where several people were talking quietly to each other. And watching how this case played out. They had a lot to lose.
They weren't the types of people to ever lose.
The man on the phone wants nothing to do with any of this. It is rare that a Russian oligarch should be (relatively) innocent (in this case), ofANYTHING. But the fact stands that this guy actually is innocent of having anything to do with any of the crimes and goings-on with Mari, Monster, or any of them. Oddly enough, though guilty of many things himself '-- he's never been accused of even being involved in prostitution. After all, as he says, ''This is Russia. If I wanted underage kids? I wouldn't have to go play over there to do it. I'm a family man with kids of my own. That stuff is disgusting to me.''
But many of the visitors and participants in Monster & Mari's crimes weren't there just for the perverted abuses. Some came to ''party'' (drugs); while others came to hob-nob with the other wealthy and powerful elite. Imagine it as a twisted sort of Rotary Club or Ladies' Garden Club for ultra-rich elites. Many deals were made there and many partnerships formed.
But the common bonds were always Monster and Mari.
Mari is the one dragging the Russian into this. She's turned to him mainly because of his vast network of ''underground'' contacts. Also, she knows of his old business deals with her own father '-- and feels she can trust him. Those were old illegal deals involving hundreds of millions of dollars and money laundering. Mari has never asked the Russian if he had a hand in her dad's demise '-- or if her Dad really did die. She's more interested in saving herself. The first thing she asked for was to set her up with a trusted (and very competent) plastic surgeon. The Russian knew what this meant, and knew what she has in mind.
If it was just Mari asking, he could avoid her. But it isn't. Another series of contacts began to bug the oligarch a few months ago. These weren't as easy to ignore or stall. Because these contacts came from a very special intermediary. The kind you simply don't refuse. This middle-man reaching out to the Russian was a representative of the ruling family of a nation. They can be very persuasive.
The ruling family has a big, big problem. They've had more than their share in the past '-- but this one could be far worse. Not just a scandal that exposes a sex offender in the family. But it could lead to exposing a chain of events and contacts that they'd give up half their kingdom to protect. It's not some shadowy conspiracy with international banking houses or cartels or insane theories. No, it's quite black and white and very real. It could lead to exposure of the family's (and the government's) very ''special'' relationship with another country.
That other country has a legendary intelligence/security service. Since that country has been at war virtually non-stop for all it's existence? It has honed intelligence craft to a perfect art. That intelligence service and this family are tied together far deeper and stronger than anyone will ever publicly admit. Sure, they're public allies. But by exposing the true depth of the kinship would open up a Pandora's Box and put many past incidents, accidents, and outright murders under a microscope that nobody wants. It's a chain reaction that can never be brought to light in modern media.
Mari's own father was part of the extended family of that country's intelligence service; and his own country's. It was a relationship used to great effect for many years, and many times. It was one of the reasons her father was able to avoid being ruined and imprisoned many times. Thus, as a result '-- her father also was close to the ruling family. But Mari was much, much closer in a ''biblical'' way.
She had sexual relations with a very important man in that family. He's not as important as his brother but very important. We'll call him the ''SIDE RULER''. His past indiscretions in sex and business have been hard for the family to cover up. He publicly dated porn stars, and gleefully procured prostitutes -even while married. As such, he's been a nightmare for his country's security services. The ruling family has had many occasions to lock down the media and cover up various offenses of their family members. But this time would not be so easy; since it didn't even occur on their home turf.
When the ''Side Ruler'' began to party with Mari and Monster, it wasn't only the sex '-- but the business deals. Ruler has always tried to hustle a buck, and to party with all these billionaires was irresistible. So while sexually abusing teen girls, he was also putting together very rewarding business deals. All structured through proxies and shell companies. For the other elites, it was a grand chance to hob-nob with a member of the ruling family. Though he was ''cash poor'' his family still held massive holdings and massive influence around the world.
Mari had been having trysts with him for years. She and Ruler were known to party with others, male and female and it never drew much attention until Mari and Monster's actions began to draw heat. In the words of one member of the ruling family who knows all about it '-- the act of trying to erase the Ruler's links to Mari & Monster: ''is like trying to get the toothpaste back in the tube.''
So a member of the Ruler's security services was appointed to try and bury or handle the entire situation for Side Ruler. This guy '-- this go-between/middle man '-- knew instantly that Mari was the weak link. She had much to lose, and could be compromised. So they focused on her, and getting her in line. While doing surveillance on her, they discovered Mari's reaching out to the Russian oligarch.
The Russian was friends with the ruling family too, for other reasons. Mostly diplomatic or to secure his visas and finances in that country. He ''donated'' nearly a billion dollars of his fortune to various fronts that always swung back to the ruling family. So when the middle man contacted the Russian for a ''favor'', he knew that he could be in deep shit; out in the cold; if he were to not oblige.
Since he's on very thin ice with other Western nations already? He said he'd do what he can to help the family. So he's allowed the intelligence service to hear every word he and Mari discuss. No matter how painful it can be for him '-- he knows the ruling family will protect him, and re-pay the favor. At least he hopes they will and will keep him out of Mari's shit-storm. The last thing he needs is legal system attention.
Back when Monster and Mari first began to come under the spotlight for their crimes, they turned to a ''dream team'' of the best attorneys they could find. This was lead by a lawyer (Lawyer 2 mentioned previously) who had done more than just be friends with Monster and Mari '-- he was a participant. This guy had repped Monster, who was his pal, for years. His image and legal community standing was beyond reproach and as a fighter for justice.
Mari had another friend (also mentioned earlier) who was an elite, wealthy, powerful lady we called ''Princess''. Her family was political royalty and not just powerful but maybe the most powerful in the halls of lawmaking and justice. Princess had a carefully crafted image of good deeds and noble causes she gave herself to. As did her then-husband, another political legacy himself. So Princess knew how the game was played, and how the wheels were greased.
Princess found herself in trouble a few years back. When she did '-- she turned to a bulldog attorney who fixed not just her legal problems, but her spin control. His main strategy was to attack the victims and undermine the cops and prosecutors. In fact this wasn't the first time Princess had to rely on that (or any) legal bulldog to get her out of trouble.
A couple of years before her public arrest for DUI, the Princess had another accident. That one was a single-car accident with no victim and it all ''went away'' before any charges were filed. Why? Her attorney in that case was a trusted legal scholar who knew the local prosecutor in the area of the wreck. A few calls, a few laughs, and it was gone. No victim, no harm, no foul. That legal scholar is the same one we call ''Lawyer 2''.
Several years before THAT wreck, however, Princess got herself in an even earlier jam. (Her first of the three we've mentioned '-- you'd think she would've learned). She had another wreck, while she was very intoxicated. She was married at that time, and her hubby's name carried as much weight as her own in their home state. But Princess had rear-ended a car while wasted.
The car she hit belonged to a teenager who was poor and had a record of arrests. That was the FIRST TIME the Princess found out about the legal bulldog. He was called in by her (and her hubby's) friend '-- the legal scholar (aka Lawyer 2). The bulldog attorney attacked and threatened the poor teenage kid into submission. By the time they were done with the kid and the kid's family? They merely accepted an agreement to cover the repairs to the kid's car. There was never even a police report or any trace of it in the legal system. Both the bulldog and the legal scholar made sure.
So when Princess ended up in two more jams (her next DUI wreck; then her more public DUI wreck) she naturally turned to her attack dog lawyer, assisted by the legal scholar lawyer. And so it was that when Mari asked her politically-connected, powerful friend, Princess, for ideas on how she and Monster could save their asses? Naturally Princess referred the same attorneys.
Their track records of ''attacking the victim'' and using investigators to ''background'' the accusers, detectives, and prosecutors was legendary. Those that could not be bought off, or who were not friends willing to trade favors '-- were threatened, attacked, or scared off. Both of these lawyers would create such chaos; cross-suits; and then spin so much politically-motivated bullshit that it would cloud the entire civil and criminal landscape around Monster and Mari.
This was what made these attorneys so feared.
They even got the District Attorney in the jurisdiction in New York to go to bat for Monster to make his punishment EASIER. So brazenly, that even the judge hearing the case admonished the A.D.A. for arguing FOR the Monster! (The very man the ADA was supposed to be prosecuting). But oddly enough, nobody seems to be looking into the political ties of that D.A. to Monster and Mari either. Maybe someday, somebody will. (Follow the money as they say).
Meanwhile, out in Hollywood, a certain A-Lister is leaving for a long vacation. He's the same A-Lister who found himself a guest at one of Monster and Mari's parties in that foreign country. It figures since he was friends with the dictator of that country. But the A-Lister (who is either a director or actor or even maybe a little of both), never took part in the sexual abuse. He was more interested in the drugs and networking. He also was interested in his habit of documenting his travels.
The A-lister had, in fact, quite a collection of his home videos. Some of these are historical and others are very private. He always planned to keep them ''sealed'' until after his death, then have a filmmaker assemble them once unsealed. Back when he visited the estate to party with Mari and Monster, he took his small camera and recorded the festivities. Until it was suggested to him that he stop immediately. But he had already recorded many of the elite, famous, and powerful guests and some of their partying.
What he recorded was not so much anything of a criminal nature, but was actual proof of people who were there '-- and who they were with. It is proof that contradicts statements of VERY powerful people who deny being at Monster & Mari's ''parties'' (or only knowing them briefly years ago). It would be enough to support many of the charges by showing visual proof of who was with who.
In short, it may not be a smoking gun, but it's a helluva loaded one.
The A-Lister knew he had the video, and tore his home and office apart trying to find it. Only then did he realize it was gone. That was the only missing video he had ever ''lost''. He was dumbstruck at the thought of it being misplaced, until he wondered if it could be connected to a burglary a few years ago at his home. A lot was ransacked, a few worthless items taken, and it was written off as delinquents.
Cops never found anyone who did it. No prints. But they ignored valuables, electronics, and other things. He wondered if this single video (from his immaculately-numbered and documented collection of videos), was taken. Perhaps it was the purpose of the entire burglary? It's never taken much for the A-Lister to get paranoid anyway. But even paranoids have enemies.
This A-Lister is packing his bags, because he doesn't want to find out who took it or why. He '-- just like Mari and others '-- just wants the entire memory gone. He says that only a few knew he was taping, and those who did were mostly too drunk or high to recall. But Mari surely knows. She's the one who asked him to stop the recording at the party. So now the A-lister is going on vacation to avoid subpoenas, gossip, rumors'...or worse. His career and life may not be at the heights it once was, but he still wants to live it and keep working too. ''Hard to do that from a grave or a cell'', he says.
Everyone is now looking at Mari to see what will happen next.
If there was real justice, everything that Monster and Mari have or ever had would be sold off and liquidated and compensation given to the victims. At least 70 documented victims, and countless others never known to the outside world. Mari would spend the rest of her life in jail. But she would be forced to talk and tell everything about EVERYBODY. Then they would pay for their crimes accordingly. The victims would be given voices, and be believed.
But that won't happen. They covers-ups have begun; the denials; and the attacks on the victims. The clouded landscape is providing so much smoke that the guilty could even slip away unnoticed. Yet, even if some justice happens, it would be a start.
But even now, people are running scared; cutting deals; destroying evidence; bribing officials; and threatening witnesses. Even now, plans are being made to silence some people forever. With all that is at stake in a truly global nightmare like this one? You can bet the full truth will not come out. Even after many of the powerful are dead '-- their legacies will be protected. The blame will ALL be put on those dead or dying soon.
Convenient for the living criminals '-- with no loose ends.
Mari can run, and she can even hide '-- but somebody, somewhere, sometime will catch up with her. Ironic that she may find an ending so similar to her own father. But I know this: that if the Russian is forced to help her in her escape plans? Others will know. Because he will not sit back and let her evade justice forever. Even that ruling family will take some type of action to tie up that loose end.
Since we don't yet know what the Russian will do; and Mari hasn't made her request besides ''seeing the doctor''? Then we still don't know how it all plays out. Even the authorities have yet to pounce. She may have surgery to alter her face/body and go on the lam. She may fake her own suicide or murder. She may actually kill herself or be killed by others. She may even be arrested and caught before she runs. Because if others know what she's planning '-- better believe the cops/security services also know. Whether they act on it (or are allowed to act on it) may be a different story.
I know that many people believe in conspiracy theories; and still many more would not believe the truth '-- no matter how seemingly far-fetched '-- even with proof in front of them. Just remember that old saying: ''Conspiracy isn't a theory '-- it's a crime''. Please keep in mind that a lot of the chaos around these cases and this nightmare has been created for just this exact purpose. The criminals know how fractured the US (and the world) is now politically and socially'...and they use that to blind and distort the horrific truths.
These lawyers hired by Mari (and Monster earlier) create and push the narrative so people get distracted. They shift the blame to shadowy groups or titans of politics and wealth who are (rightly or wrongly) ''evil personified''. This is what they want to happen, because it makes ''small'' the acts of the violators. Worst of all, it minimizes the damage done to those who suffered.
I hope -and respectfully ask- that you will please remember that no matter which side of what political debate you may be on '-- this is NOT a case about politics. It is a case about a series of CRIMES. The real core of this entire nightmare comes down to a large group of underage, young girls and boys who were lured and forced into being victims. Some manipulated; others damaged beyond repair. Innocence lost; and lives destroyed.
And all for what?
So some powerful, elite, rich, twisted jackasses could get their kicks?
So that some sick, twisted, greedy shit-heels could get leverage over others?
Nobody involved in the crimes of this nightmare is without some degree of guilt. All we can do is to hope that surely some degree of justice will come. Perhaps it will, for the guilty are still out there '-- still available to be held to account for their actions. The only true justice is that they be turned over to an impartial, unbiased justice system and forced to tell all. Otherwise, somebody, somewhere will hold them accountable for their crimes; their damages; their perversions of justice for this most disgusting ''nasty business''.
Either in this life, or the next.
For the sake of the victims? Let's hope it is soon.
(THE END. This and all works produced by Himmmm and the name and brand are (C)2018''2019 The Himmmm Inc. & HIMMMM Ltd. UK. and are protected intellectual property of Himmmmisphere Global Media Group and may not be reproduced without permission. All rights Reserved. For more information see the only Official Social Media page at twitter.com/TheHimmmm or email to Himmmm at protonmail dot com).
Operation UNDERWORLD: The Secret Alliance Between the Navy and the Mafia in WWII | Infamous New York
Tue, 20 Aug 2019 14:07
Operation UNDERWORLD: The Secret Alliance Between the Navy and the Mafia in WWIIApril 25, 2014 by Infamous New York
Project Underworld: The Incredible alliance between the Navy and the Mafia during the Second World War.
Location: Fulton Fish Market and the Meyer Hotel, 119 South Street
Status: Landmarked
Closed lipped and insular, the longshoremen of the Fulton Fish Market proved impossible to infiltrate, but the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) knew there was no other option. By 1942, Nazi submarines pushed the Allies to the breaking point, sinking 650,000 tons of cargo a month. Observers spotted U-boat wolf packs roving up and down the cost of Long Island. Then on February 9, the troop transport Normandie spontaneously combusted on the West Side of Manhattan.
Nazi Spies in New York
To ONI, it was obvious. Nazi agents had infiltrated the Port of New York, and only the mob had the power to hunt them down. Here at the Fulton Fish Market, the United States Navy orchestrated one of the most unusual alliances of WWII that remained a secret until 1977, when author Rodney Campbell uncovered the classified Herland's Investigative Report, a 101-page summary of the Navy's involvement in Operation UNDERWORLD.
Tsar of the Fish Market
The task of penetrating the Fish Market fell to Commander Charles Radcliffe Haffenden, the swashbuckling leader of ONI's investigative unit. With the help of the head of the New York Rackets Bureau, Murray Gurfien, Haffenden contacted the fishy tsar of the Fulton Fish Market, Joseph ''Socks'' Lanza, a hulking 250 lb mafia bulldozer in the Luciano Crime Family whose resume included arrests for burglary, extortion and homicide( https://infamousnewyork.com/2013/08/26/socks-lanza-the-seafood-king-strikes-again/ ).
Up in The Old Hotel
From his headquarters in the Meyer Hotel above the infamous Longshoreman bar, the Paris Caf(C), Socks' clammy grip on the United Seafood Workers Union stretched from Florida to Maine.
The NY DA's office arranged a secret meeting with Socks where Gurfein pleaded:
''Many of our ships are being sunk along the Atlantic coast. We suspect German U-boats are being refueled and getting fresh supplies off our coast'...You can find out how and where the submarines are being refueled.''
Socks jumped at the chance to aid the Navy, but the DA's office wiretapped Lanza's phones at the Meyer hotel to ensure his loyalty. Their bugs would record conversations detailing Navy inspired mayhem that included assaults, break-ins, and possible murders.
Socks Lanza managed the mob's end of Project UNDERWORLD from his office at the Meyer Hotel on South Street.
Agent Lanza
The next morning Lanza called his long time associate Benjamin Espy, a former bootlegger who served time in Lewisburg Penitentiary. Together Lanza and Espy demanded that ship suppliers report unusual purchases of fuel to them. Next, the two gangsters moved onto the fishing vessels and set up a network of fishermen to keep an eye out for submarines. The fish racket boss' success startled Haffenden. Sensing the Mafia's influential grip, the commander requested union books to place agents on long-range fishing vessels. Socks responded by providing his personal books used for no show payoff jobs, and Haffenden's agents sailed aboard mackerel fleets bound for Maine, Florida and Newfoundland under the protective wing of the Mafia.
Socks Lanza, tsar of the Fulton Fish Market.
Branching Out
Commander Haffenden wanted more. He wanted access to the West Side piers controlled by the Irish Mob's Joseph Ryan and his enforcer Johnny Cockeye Dunn, as well as the Brooklyn waterfront, controlled by Albert Anastasia. Joe Socks balked at the prospects of facing Anastasia's explosive temper and legendary trigger finger. Furthermore, Lanza lacked the influence to cross the ethnic divide into Irish controlled Hell's Kitchen.
According to Socks Lanza, there was only one man capable of:
''Snapping the whip in the entire underworld.''
That man was New York's imprisoned emperor of vice, Lucky Luciano.
Posted in Five Families, Fulton Fish Market, Irish Mob, Lucky Luciano, Mafia, South Street Seaport | Tagged 119 South Street, Benjamin Espy, Charles Haffenden, Cockeye Dunn, Commander Haffenden, Fulton Fish Market, Irish Mob, Joe Socks, Joseph Lanza, Joseph Ryan, Luciano Crime Family, Lucky Luciano, Mafia, Meyer Hotel, Mob, Murry Gurfein, Nazis, Normandie, Office of Naval Intelligence, ONI, Paris Caf(C), Second World War, Socks Lanza, Submarines, U-Boats, United Seafood Workers Union, WWII | 2 Comments
Operation Underworld - Wikipedia
Tue, 20 Aug 2019 14:07
Operation Underworld was the United States government's code name for the cooperation of Italian and Jewish organized crime figures from 1942 to 1945 to counter Axis spies and saboteurs along the U.S. northeastern seaboard ports, avoid wartime labor union strikes, and limit theft by black-marketeers of vital war supplies and equipment.
Suspicion about Mafia sabotage in the fire and sinking of the
Normandie (renamed the
Lafayette for war service), led to Operation Underworld
In the first three months after the Attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, the U.S. lost 120 merchant ships to German U-boats and surface raiders in the Battle of the Atlantic and in February 1942 the ocean liner SS Normandie '' a captured French ship that was being refitted as a troop ship in New York harbor '' was allegedly sabotaged and sunk by arson in the Port of New York. The Mafia boss Albert Anastasia claimed responsibility for the sabotage.[1] Although the United States government claimed the loss of the Normandie was accident, many Americans were skeptical and thought the destruction was planned by the Nazis. Several Axis spies and saboteurs were arrested and hanged for their crimes but no evidence was ever produced linking Axis spies to the loss of the Normandie. After the war, Axis records claimed no sabotage operation had existed and no evidence has ever been produced on the Allied side to indicate there had been underworld sabotage.[2] The Normandie had a very efficient fire protection system but it was conveniently disconnected during the conversion. With sparks from a welding torch, Clement Derrick ignited a stack of life vests filled with flammable kapok, the fire quickly spread and eventually so much water was used to put the fire out that the ship became too heavy. Nobody knows if Clement Derrick had been paid by the underworld to burn the ship. The ship's designer Vladimir Yourkevitch arrived at the burning ship to offer his expertise and was barred by harbor police, his idea was to enter the vessel and open the sea-cocks which would flood the lower decks and make the ship stabilize, then water could be pumped into burning areas without the risk of capsize. [3] The suggestion was rejected by the commander of the 3rd Naval District, Rear Admiral Adolphus Andrews.
Nevertheless, fears about possible sabotage or disruption of the waterfront led Commander Charles R. Haffenden of the U.S. Navy Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) Third Naval District in New York to set up a special security unit. He sought the help of Joseph Lanza, who ran the Fulton Fish Market, to get intelligence about the New York waterfront, control the labor unions, and identify possible refueling and resupply operations for German submarines with the help of the fishing industry along the Atlantic Coast. To cover Lanza's activities, he was suggested to approach Charles Luciano who was an important boss of the five New York Mafia crime families. Luciano agreed to cooperate with authorities in hopes of consideration for early release from prison.[4]
Luciano was in Dannemora at the time, serving a 30 to 50-year sentence for running a prostitution ring. For his cooperation he was moved to a more convenient and comfortable open prison in Great Meadows in May 1942.[5] Luciano's influence in stopping sabotage remains unclear, but authorities did note that strikes on the docks stopped after Luciano's attorney Moses Polakoff contacted underworld figures with influence over the longshoremen and their unions.[6] In 1946 Luciano's sentence was commuted '' after serving 9½ years '' and he was deported to his native Italy.[7]
References [ edit ] ^ Newark, Mafia Allies, pp. 83-98 ^ Campbell, The Luciano Project, p. 29 ^ Ardman 1985, p. 147, 184''85, 205, 218, 238, 325''26 ^ Newark, Mafia Allies, pp. 99-111 ^ Newark, Mafia Allies, p. 103 ^ Campbell, The Luciano Project, pp. 111-127 ^ Campbell, The Luciano Project, pp. 233 ff. Campbell, Rodney (1977). The Luciano Project: The Secret Wartime Collaboration of the Mafia and the U.S. Navy, New York: McGraw-Hill, ISBN 0-07-009674-0Newark, Tim (2007). Mafia Allies. The True Story of America's Secret Alliance with the Mob in World War II, Saint Paul (MN): Zenith Press ISBN 0-7603-2457-3 (Review)
Jeffrey Epstein news: Financier's New Mexico ranch still hasn't been raided by federal agents - CBS News
Thu, 22 Aug 2019 03:34
Santa Fe, New Mexico '-- Days after disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein apparently hanged himself in jail, agents raided his private resort in the Virgin Islands. As of Wednesday evening, they haven't checked out his sprawling Zorro Ranch in New Mexico.
According to multiple alleged victims, it played a key role in the convicted pedophile's alleged sexual abuse dating back to at least the mid-90's.
Epstein accuser Virginia Roberts Giuffre has said she was trafficked to the ranch as an underage sex slave, sharing photos of herself on the property taken when she was about 17. An accuser, identified as "Priscilla Doe" claimed in a new lawsuit Tuesday that Epstein coerced her to engage in sex acts there between 2007 and 2010.
CBS News obtained exclusive photos of Epstein's "Zorro Ranch" CBS News It's those alleged crimes that prompted State Land Commissioner Stephanie Garcia Richard to do something unusual for a land administrator: turn over more than 400 pages of records to state prosecutors probing those alleged crimes.
"I know that there are nominal cows that were run on this ranch. But no, it's not your typical ranching operation in New Mexico," she said. "I certainly think there was a veil of secrecy. Access to state land was very secure and prohibited almost."
It was there that Epstein allegedly said he ''hoped to seed the human race with his DNA by impregnating women." The ranch is the only Epstein property in the U.S. that has not yet been raided by federal agents. In the meantime, the state attorney general's office said it will turn over any evidence to the Southern District of New York, which, despite Epstein's death, is continuing the investigation into his possible co-conspirators.
Lawsuit claims Epstein arranged for sex while on work release (C) 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Austin Leaders Backpedal Like Crazy After Only 50 Days of Liberal Homeless Policy Leads to Disaster
Thu, 22 Aug 2019 11:08
It didn't even take 60 days. On July 1, the notoriously liberal city of Austin, Texas, began allowing the homeless to sit, lie down and camp in public spaces.
Now, 50 days later, Austin Mayor Steve Adler and city council members Kathie Tovo and Ann Kitchen are trying to undo the damage and hoping a six-page proposal will deal with the homeless openly camping in public.
One of the proposal's goals, the mayor claimed, is to protect public safety, according to WOAI-TV.
Since July 1, locals have seen more homeless camps pop up, which, in turn, are creating risks to public health and safety, WOAI reported.
''I've lived in Austin my whole life and my beautiful city is a mess, and I hate it,'' local Kim Vonsermuellen said.
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The new proposal would bring some restrictions back like limiting homeless bivouacking and loitering near roadways, sidewalks, schools and childcare facilities, waterways, and areas with lots of pedestrians, among other locations.
In addition to bringing back some location limitations, the proposal also limits the size of tents and structures the homeless use for shelter and the volume of their belongings.
Austin is far from the only leftist municipality in the U.S. being inundated with homelessness. Los Angeles and San Francisco are arguably facing crisis situations as homeless camps act as incubators for diseases that go on to threaten public health.
Forbes reported in June that medieval diseases are making a return, only this time they're not starting in Europe. Instead, they're starting in what was once America's own promised land '-- California.
Flea and feces born diseases are spreading. Typhus, TB, hepatitis and typhoid are all on the upswing in LA. San Francisco, meanwhile, appears to be covered in feces (at least if you believe this map from nonprofit, nonpartisan watchdog group Open the Books).
California, on the whole, is home to 30 percent of all homeless individuals in the U.S. and just shy of half of all ''sheltered individuals.'' That gives the notoriously liberal state a homelessness rate about two and a half times the national rate.
To add a little more perspective, Louisiana, with a population of roughly 4.5 million, is arguably the poorest state in the Union. Louisiana also has roughly 450 chronically homeless individuals according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development. California has roughly 40 million citizens, 33,000 of whom are chronically homeless.
In California, roughly 1 in every 1,200 people is chronically homeless. In Louisiana, roughly 1 in every 8,900 are chronically homeless.
Looked at another way, if Louisiana had the same population size as California, it would have 4,000 chronically homeless compared to California's roughly 33,000.
RELATED: Greg Abbott Calls Out Liberal Austin for 'Hypocritical' LA-Style Homeless Solution
So what explains that giant gulf? Why does one of the poorest states in the U.S. absolutely trounce one of the richest when it comes to homelessness?
First, smaller communities, like the ones found in higher proportions in more rural states, tend to look after their own better. It's harder to fall through the cracks when everyone knows you '-- or at least knows your cousin. Individuals, families and even law enforcement can step in and provide support.
Second, churches and local charities make a difference. I come from a town of about 25,000 in the Deep South. It is poor and a high proportion of its citizens are under-educated. Yet there was only one homeless man townspeople regularly saw. Why? Because there was a Christian mission that helped dozens of others who would have been homeless but for the mission's intervention.
Third, and this will sound harsh, homelessness is still stigmatized instead of being normalized. For the individual, the idea of not being able to provide for himself is incredible motivation.
I grew up working in construction. I knew some very poor men, but I never knew any of them to be homeless. Drink or drugs beset almost all of them, but they worked. And for the town itself, the idea of an overflowing homeless population was embarrassing.
Giant cities that boast tech startups, industrial behemoths, avant-garde art scenes and real estate for the ultra-rich have lots to brag about. Small, middle-class towns have only their main streets and decent citizenry to take pride in. The cost of tolerating homelessness is much higher in those smaller municipalities.
Finally, in smaller cities, public focus isn't necessarily on changing the world '-- it's on helping locals. I can't recall any charity events back home raising funds to save the rain forests, stop GMO corn in Africa or decrease carbon footprints. I remember charity events to help support the local mission and the local hospital.
Leftism uses identity politics to create political castes, and castes worry about themselves, not others. Conservatism, on the other hand, encourages individuality that, ironically, supports community better because conservatives believe in directly helping others, working to create stable families and communities, and holding each other accountable.
Liberal bastions like California (and to a lesser extent Austin) might be nice to visit, but your chances of avoiding grinding poverty are a heck of a lot better away from those leftist cultures and closer to traditional, conservative American culture.
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.
Bussed out: how America moves thousands of homeless people around the country | US news | The Guardian
Thu, 22 Aug 2019 11:24
CreditsGuardian staff Alastair Gee (homelessness editor), Julia Carrie Wong (reporter), Paul Lewis (editor), Adithya Sambamurthy (video editor), Charlotte Simmonds (copy editor)
Data analysis and visualizationNadieh Bremer
Data visualization and web developmentShirley Wu
Reporters Carla Green, Erin McCormick, Winston Ross, Thacher Schmid, Luis Trelles, Amanda Waldroupe, Joanna Walters
Videographers Daniel Hollis, Sara Lafleur-Vetter, Michael Landsberg
Photographer Logan Newell
MethodologyReporting on this project began in mid-2016. To determine which American cities have homeless bus programs, we contacted homelessness, housing or police departments in the 25 largest cities in the country. We also searched for references to bus programs in news archives from the early 1980s onwards. After producing a shortlist, we submitted several dozen public records requests to cities in order to obtain their data. Most of the cities supplied spreadsheets documenting the destinations and dates for individual journeys, some provided the names of travelers and three gave their phone numbers.
To interview people who had taken bus tickets, we called the hundreds of numbers we received, and for the 700 names for which we did not have numbers, we searched for contact details on the Nexis database and sent messages on social media. In addition, reporters in New York, Los Angeles, Portland, Key West and San Juan spent several days visiting shelters and homeless encampments.
In order to accompany a homeless person embarking on a bus journey, we requested introductions from city programs. Owing to reticence from officials, however, two San Francisco-based reporters stationed themselves outside the city's Homeward Bound office several days a week over a period of a month in order to meet and chat with ticket applicants. Two reporters also rode along with the Reno police department to meet travelers.
In total these efforts yielded more than 35 narrative accounts of journeys, and we were also able to travel with two homeless people on buses. Complementing these were numerous interviews with program managers and homelessness experts across the US.
Data preparation and analysisThe spreadsheets received from the 16 cities and counties required extensive cleaning and categorizing, and the US Cities Database was used to map each bus ticket to a destination based on census data. Although the vast majority of data points had an exact match, when no match was found an algorithm was applied to weed out typing errors. We confirmed each of these suggestions manually. If the destination name was still unclear and an internet search did not produce results, we deleted the row from the dataset.
Altogether we collated information on 34,000 individuals taking journeys. These were further analyzed to understand trends in age, gender, race, and destinations, as well as changes over time, depending on which variables were available. A large portion of the data comes from either New York or San Francisco, and we bore this in mind when deriving insights from the set. We also noted idiosyncrasies in some programs, for instance in the small scheme in Humboldt County, California, where staff said tickets are in the main given to homeless people but others in need also receive them.
Data visualizationsUS map We analyzed 21,000 journeys taken on the US mainland in 2011-16. To produce per-capita homelessness rates, we used 2016 state homeless population estimates released by the Department of Housing and Urban Development and 2016 state population data from the US Census Bureau.
Flights from New York Using Google Maps APIs (through the ggmap package in R) we attached a geolocation to all of the non-US trips from the New York dataset. We grouped travelers by country and, using the average geolocation of destinations within each country, we calculated the distances from New York.
Difference in mean income of origin and destination cities For the mean incomes in the US cities in our dataset, we scraped the US Census Factfinder, cross-referencing with the US Cities Database to ensure the income data was matched to the correct city.
San Francisco's bus program Data from our set was correlated with homeless-count numbers reported to the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This is intended to give a sense of the bus program's impact but is only a partial picture, because we do not possess data from every US bus program and many homeless San Franciscans did not arrive by bus: they were originally housed there or came by different means.
'A Total Failure': Homeless Crisis In Progressive Cities Reaches Fever Pitch | Zero Hedge
Thu, 22 Aug 2019 11:19
As ZH readers are no doubt aware, America's most 'progressive' cities have become ground-zero for a what has become an all-out homelessness crisis, leaving these once-beautiful cities a bastion of human suffering which rival some third-world nations.
This summer, Fox News' Barnini Chakraborty embarked on an ambitious project to chronicle the crisis in four West Coast cities; Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Portland, Oregon.
"In each city, we saw a lack of safety, sanitation and civility," writes Chakraborty. "Residents, the homeless and advocates say they've lost faith in their elected officials' ability to solve the issue. Most of the cities have thrown hundreds of millions of dollars at the problem only to watch it get worse."
In May, new data revealed that homelessness in San Francisco had jumped 17% since 2017, and would have risen by 30% if the city had used past definitions.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's definition of homelessness includes people who are living on the streets, in cars or in shelters. San Francisco's own definition widens the category to people without a permanent address who are in prison, rehab or hospitalized. If the city used the same measurement it had in years past, the numbers would show an increase from 7,400 to 9,784 -- or 30 percent in 2019. -Fox News
On Monday and Tuesday, Chakraborti published her findings on Los Angeles, and San Francisco, which notably points out the disparity between progressives driving around in supercars while homeless residents - many of whom are addicted to drugs or have mental problems which prevent them from working, languish on shit-covered streets.
"It's the stale stench of liquor and human waste that hits you first, Chakraborti writes of Los Angeles. "Then it's visual -- row after row of dirty tarp tents crammed together on the sidewalk next to piles of rotting trash and broken appliances. There are half-dressed, drugged-out shells of people wandering aimlessly in the middle of the street. Some curse at cars. Others just stare. There are fights, prostitution and rodent burrows. This is the fabled Skid Row in Los Angeles and it's a disaster."
Failed liberal policies coupled with decades of neglect and mismanagement have turned an old problem into a modern-day nightmare. Some fear the City of Angels is at the point of no return and are angry at elected officials who talk a big game but rarely deliver.
"I don't want to see them on camera anymore," Marquesha Babers, who lived on Skid Row as a teenager, told Fox News. "I don't want them to write any more articles about how much they care or how much they're trying to change things. I want to see them do it." -Fox News
Meanwhile, on any given day in San Francisco "you can see souped-up Lamborghinis and blinged-out trophy wives in one part of the city, then walk over a few blocks and see piles of human feces, puddles of urine and vomit caked on the sidewalks. The misery of homelessness, mental illness and drug addiction hits deep in San Francisco and has turned parts of a beautiful city into a public toilet," according to the report.
As the problem grows, residents are finding themselves at a crossroads. The compassion for those struggling is constantly being challenged by a fear for their own safety and quality of life. It never had to get this bad, say critics, who are appalled that it's getting worse every day. -Fox News
"I won't visit my son who lives out there again," Amelia Cartwright told Fox News. "It's disgusting. I went there a few months ago for the first time and this guy who looked homeless and really beat up spit on me. Can you imagine? He spit on me!"
A cleaning woman who works in downtown San Francisco told Fox News that a homeless woman makes a daily appearance to curse at her and spit on the window.
What's more, mentally ill people harassing residents has taken a dangerous turn.
Last week, Austin Vincent, a homeless man, was caught on camera attacking a 26-year-old woman outside her condo complex. As he threw Paneez Kosarian on the ground, he allegedly talked about saving her from robots and offered to kill another woman nearby so he could earn her trust.
Vincent was arrested and pleaded not guilty to a false imprisonment charge and two counts of battery and attempted robbery. Instead of being thrown in jail, Superior Court Judge Christine Van Aken released Vincent over the objections of the district attorney's office. Her decision caused a huge backlash in the community and was slammed by Mayor London Breed and other city officials. The judge eventually ordered Vincent to wear an ankle monitor.
On Monday, Vincent was arrested again for an alleged assault that occurred in February. The police said he was armed with a knife and approached a woman and her friends as they waited for a ride. Vincent allegedly threatened to kill the woman and lunged at the group. -Fox News
"The goal was to be more helpful to society, helpful to the homeless issue, helpful to the police department and the court system. But as we saw, it's a total failure at this point," said former mayoral candidate, Richie Greenberg, who added "The intention was to help, of course, but what it really wound up doing is that it made San Francisco more attractive to those who are both homeless and those who are drug addicts to move here. We are now finding that homelessness is increasing. Drug addiction is increasing and the number of people here -- the numbers are increasing, as well."
LAST LINE - San Francisco homeless stats soar: city blames big business, residents blame officials | Fox News
Thu, 22 Aug 2019 12:21
In the summer of 2019, Fox News embarked on an ambitious project to chronicle the toll progressive policies have had on the homeless crisis in four West Coast cities: Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Portland, Ore. In each city, we saw a lack of safety, sanitation and civility. Residents, the homeless and advocates say they've lost faith in their elected officials' ability to solve the issue. Most of the cities have thrown hundreds of millions of dollars at the problem only to watch it get worse. This is what we saw in San Francisco.
San Francisco is a city of extremes.
It has more billionaires per capita than anywhere else in the world, but it also has a homeless problem so severe that it rivals some third-world nations. On any given day you can see souped-up Lamborghinis and blinged-out trophy wives in one part of the city, then walk over a few blocks and see piles of human feces, puddles of urine and vomit caked on the sidewalks. The misery of homelessness, mental illness and drug addiction hits deep in San Francisco and has turned parts of a beautiful city into a public toilet.
As the problem grows, residents are finding themselves at a crossroads. The compassion for those struggling is constantly being challenged by a fear for their own safety and quality of life. It never had to get this bad, say critics, who are appalled that it's getting worse every day.
San Francisco Mayor London Breed says it's inhumane to let addicts languish on the streets, but homeless advocates say the measure to force mentally ill drug addicts into housing and treatment for up to a year is extreme and a violation of civil rights. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
"I won't visit my son who lives out there again," Amelia Cartwright told Fox News. "It's disgusting. I went there a few months ago for the first time and this guy who looked homeless and really beat up spit on me. Can you imagine? He spit on me!"
While it might be a shock to the system for some, residents say such interactions are common.
One cleaning woman who works downtown told Fox News a homeless woman comes by every day, curses at her and spits on the window.
Lately, the cases of citizens being harassed by mentally ill street people has taken a dangerous turn.
Last week, Austin Vincent, a homeless man, was caught on camera attacking a 26-year-old woman outside her condo complex. As he threw Paneez Kosarian on the ground, he allegedly talked about saving her from robots and offered to kill another woman nearby so he could earn her trust.
Vincent was arrested and pleaded not guilty to a false imprisonment charge and two counts of battery and attempted robbery. Instead of being thrown in jail, Superior Court Judge Christine Van Aken released Vincent over the objections of the district attorney's office. Her decision caused a huge backlash in the community and was slammed by Mayor London Breed and other city officials. The judge eventually ordered Vincent to wear an ankle monitor.
On Monday, Vincent was arrested again for an alleged assault that occurred in February. The police said he was armed with a knife and approached a woman and her friends as they waited for a ride. Vincent allegedly threatened to kill the woman and lunged at the group.
The controversy over Vincent's initial release is just the latest example prompting people in the City by the Bay to say they don't feel safe on the streets. Outraged residents Fox News spoke to in late June said they're tired of waiting for their elected officials to come up with a plan and complain no one ever seems to be on the same page.
What's equally frustrating is that the city still manages to blow through hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars each year to address the crisis and blames everyone but themselves when the homeless count rises.
"It's not as though we don't see the problem," a former Apple employee told Fox News. "There's no way to escape it."
"It's not as though we don't see the problem. There's no way to escape it."
'-- Former Apple employee
In May, city officials braced themselves when a preliminary homeless count was released. They expected the numbers to rise and they were right. Initial data showed that it had jumped 17 percent from 2017. The double-digit growth was bad enough but then it got a whole lot worse.
When the final report was released a couple of months later, it showed the street count increase would have been 30 percent if the city had stuck to the same definition of homelessness as they had in the past. This year, San Francisco opted to use the federal definition instead of the one they wrote themselves.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's definition of homelessness includes people who are living on the streets, in cars or in shelters. San Francisco's own definition widens the category to people without a permanent address who are in prison, rehab or hospitalized. If the city used the same measurement it had in years past, the numbers would show an increase from 7,400 to 9,784 -- or 30 percent in 2019.
A person pushes a cart past parked RVs along a street in San Francisco on June 27, 2019. A federally mandated count of homeless in San Francisco increased 17 percent in two years, driven in part by a surge of people living in RVs and other vehicles. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
City spokesman Jeff Cretan explained the change by saying San Francisco is "looking at the HUD numbers because it helps us work in collaboration with other places like Los Angeles or our neighboring counties."
Some homeless advocates weren't on board with that logic and accused the city of manipulating the findings to make it seem as though more progress had been made when, in fact, the numbers showed the opposite.
The city has also blamed the rise in homelessness on big tech companies that have moved to the area, including Twitter, Salesforce, NVIDIA and Eventbrite. They say the businesses have brought high-paying jobs with them, which has caused housing prices to soar and pushed people who can't afford to keep up financially out of the area or onto the streets.
Jose, a Bay Area Rapid Transit worker who has been living in San Francisco for more than 20 years, told Fox News he fears he too could be homeless one day.
"What's happening is that they are building too many condominiums and kicking the people out," he said. "I'm lucky they haven't kicked me out yet."
According to a 2018 report from HUD, a family of four living in San Francisco making $117,422 a year qualifies as "low income." For singles, a salary of $82,000 or less puts them in the bracket. In comparison, "low income" for a family of four in New York is $83,450 per year.
In his 2019 report on housing affordability in the San Francisco Bay Area, Compass economist Patrick Carlisle said "affordability percentages remain low by historical standards, and the Bay Area typically has among the lowest in the nation."
According to data from the California Association of Realtors, only 17 percent of households can afford to buy a median-priced home. In San Francisco, that's $1.7 million.
"It's impossible to buy a home here," resident Doug Stall told Fox News. "You've got these ridiculous housing prices, crime and these people crapping on the streets. Why would anyone want to stay?"
But to say the city hasn't tried to address the problem would be wrong. It has. The problem is that it has backfired spectacularly.
One of the biggest statewide blunders is Proposition 47.
Supported by the California Democratic Party and championed by the American Civil Liberties Union, the referendum was passed by a wide margin in 2014. The idea behind it was to reduce certain non-violent felonies to misdemeanors in order to free up resources for cops and prosecutors to go after serious, violent offenders. This included downgrading fraud, forgery, shoplifting and grand theft as long as the total value of the stolen property was less than $950.
It also included illegal drugs.
"The goal was to be more helpful to society, helpful to the homeless issue, helpful to the police department and the court system. But as we saw, it's a total failure at this point," Richie Greenberg, a former mayoral candidate, told Fox News.
He added: "The intention was to help, of course, but what it really wound up doing is that it made San Francisco more attractive to those who are both homeless and those who are drug addicts to move here. We are now finding that homelessness is increasing. Drug addiction is increasing and the number of people here -- the numbers are increasing, as well."
A man stands outside his tent on Division Street in San Francisco. (AP)
The city has also been pro-active in building "navigation centers." Billed as a new type of homeless shelter, the centers provide homeless San Franciscans room and board while case managers work to find jobs, sign them up for public benefits and make sure they receive health care services. Unlike traditional shelters where people with partners, pets and possessions are not allowed in, they are welcome in the navigation centers. While good in theory, some warn that there are hidden dangers involved in the navigation centers.
Susan Dyer Reynolds, editor-in-chief of the independent community newspaper Marina Times, says the centers "are not sober facilities, and people steal and break into cars to feed their habits."
In June, San Francisco's Board of Supervisors voted 10-1 to back a pilot program that would allow the city to force people suffering from serious mental illness and drug addiction into treatment. That didn't sit well with liberals who argued that it would be a deprivation of civil liberties.
A few frustrated residents say it might be time to cut and run.
"The city is running out of strategies," Anna Suarez told Fox. "I'm moving to Austin."
Ideas for action on the City's highest priority '' Mayor Steve Adler
Thu, 22 Aug 2019 14:00
As Mayor and City Council members, we have been listening to the peopleof Austin, our city staff, and the many stakeholders who work withpeople experiencing homelessness in our community. We're certain ourcolleagues join us in committing to a continued community conversation onhomelessness leading to further Council action in September that would include,but not be limited to, the kinds of ideasdescribed in this document. We post this onto the public Council Message Boardbecause the entire Council joined in setting homelessness as our City's highestpriority and all of us will continue working together on this issue. This document is intended to present ideas foraction and we welcome discussion on these and other ideas.
Proposed principles and goalsProposed community agreement and directionOur community needs multiple housing typesand services for individuals experiencing homelessnessWeknow what worksNewprograms, expansions, and increased housing capacity on the horizonPossibleplaces from among which to increase restrictions on camping, sitting,and lyingOrdinance standards, interpretations, and applicationsRules regarding camping where it occurs as webuild out more housing and servicesRules for parksNon-policing tools to encouragepeople to go to better and saferplacesLet's find aconstructive way to move forward to end homelessness.
Mayor Adler, Council Member Tovo, Council MemberKitchen
We are concerned with both peopleexperiencing homelessness and public places.We don't want camping in publicplaces. We want to help and treat well ourneighbors experiencing homelessness.Providing housing is the only real wayboth to help people and to avoid camping. The more housing and beds we provide,the more places where we can limit camping.PROPOSEDCOMMUNITY AGREEMENT AND DIRECTION
To prevent camping,sitting, and lying in certain locations, we need to provide better and saferplaces for people experiencing homelessness to be. As we provide more housing(w/services), we can more effectively and ethically list more places for peopleto not camp, beyond the current restrictions. This is the agreement andpromise we make with ourselves,the social compact we establish in our community. We should begin building thatlist now at the same time we are taking immediate steps to build housingcapacity.
This pastJune, the City Council did three things: one, we removed some of the campingban while leaving some restrictions in place; two, we asked the City Managerand the community to consider more carefully tailored restrictions than thosethat previously existed; and three, we took immediate steps to increase housingcapacity.
Byunanimously approving Resolution No. 184 last June, the City Council asked theCity Manager to ''propose reasonable time and place opportunities andlimitations on camping, sitting and lying.''
Prohibiting camping, sitting, and lying, without providingpeople with a place to go, is a failed strategy. Moving people experiencing homelessness away fromone public place only moves them to another public place. Ticketing or arresting people, or threateningto do so, merely for being homeless and having no good option for where else togo, is inhumane and counterproductive.
Nor is camping a solution to homelessness. We do not want any of our neighbors,especially our most vulnerable, to have to live with the public safety andhealth risks of life on the streets.
We can and must do better for those experiencinghomelessness, for our public spaces, and for our community as a whole.
The ''Action Plan to End Homelessness,'' developed by housingproviders with ECHO and endorsed by the City Council in 2018, identifies themodels and programs that are working here locally that we must scale tocity-wide levels if we want to end homelessness in our city. Over the lastseveral years, the City Council has supported achieving effective zero veteran homelessness,the Homelessness Outreach Street Team, a redesign to a housing-focused model atthe ARCH, and other initiatives, and has allocated more money to housing andsocial service providers working to end homelessness. The City's new full-timeHomeless Strategy Officer (anexecutive level position) will start the first week of September. It is intended that also in September, theCity Council will vote on action items related to homelessness as well as acity budget that includes multiple investments in housing and services.
We want community input. Ending homelessness in Austin willrequire partnerships among local governments, non-profit housing and service providers,faith communities, philanthropists, neighborhoods, and others. Austin isfortunate to have so many in the community who are doing great work to addressand prevent homelessness, and they need our support and the resources tosustain and expand their operations.
None of us can do this alone; we must work together. We can do it and we must.
The types of housing we need to provide include but are notlimited to the following.
Rapid Re-Housing, helping someonequickly secure housing often with a voucher or rent support, is sometimes thebest answer for an individual or family who needs a home but not frequent orextensive mental or physical health or social services. Many peopleexperiencing homelessness are the victims of the ''perfect storm'' and havesuddenly lost their partner, their job, their family, and their home and findthemselves on the streets. If they can quickly receive help to secure housing,many will be able to return to self-sufficiency within a few months to a year. Permanent Supportive Housing, long-term housing coupled with supportive services is oftenthe ultimate answer to effectively end homelessness for many people. This requires significant capitalexpenditures as well as the cost for services. Shelters provide different types of immediate and emergency housingand provide a safer and healthier place for people to be while obtaining othersupport they might need (e.g., medical, mental health, substance use resources,job, etc.) to obtain permanent housing and to help stabilize their lives.Individualsliving in shelters should have a housing-exit strategy or a plan to get intopermanent supportive housing. People should be moved through, not moved toshelters. Sheltersare designed and operated specifically to avoid neighborhood disruption as theyare located throughout the city and use practices such as:Limitationon number of bedsProhibitionon drop-in servicesProhibitionon providing services for people not living at the locationResidentsadmitted by referral onlyProhibitionon camping, sitting, and lying outsideAddedpublic safety and public health attentionRegularMayor and Council on-site visits with neighborsDay Services Centers offer drop-inservices. Individualsdo not stay long at such a facility, only during the day.Individualsare assessed, their needs identified, and they are then connected to financialaid; social, mental and physical health services; housing referrals; and other servicessuch as showers, bathrooms, and storage.We know what works
Austin has organizationsand programs achieving great results. All of these initiatives andorganizations, and others, could reach more people and achieve greater resultswith more resources and support to reach more people, establish additionallocations, and provide more homes. Among our successes:
Effectively Ended Veteran Homelessness. Austin is one of a limited number ofcities that has been able to achieve ''effective zero'' veteran homelessness(meaning we can provide permanent housing for vets within 60 days and servicesalmost immediately).Community partners like the AustinApartment Association, the Ending Community Homelessness Coalition (ECHO),Salvation Army, Caritas, Community First, and others focused on finding andproviding housing, and this was key.Innovative solutions, such as the philanthropistand business created and funded ''risk fund'' to mitigate the perception offinancial risk for participating landlords have proven very important. Community partners and localgovernments funded rental vouchers and assistance to help increase the numberof available homes.Cut Youth Homelessness in Half. We've cut in half the number ofchildren and youth living on our streets in a LifeWorks initiative using targetedfederal funding for homes and services. The goal is to house the other childrenand youth this next year. Kept People Housed. Caritas uses individualizedinterventions and reports that 97% of individuals enrolled in its permanentsupportive housing program remained stable one year after placement. Created Community. Community First Village has beenable to provide more than 200 people with housing and community.There are new programs, expansions and housing capacity on the horizon
There is newcapacity about to open and more in the planning stages. These efforts needadditional support. The following are some of the initiatives creating new housingcapacity.
The Salvation Army's new RathgeberFamily Center will provide more than 200 shelter beds and transitional housingfor families with children and will create increased shelter capacity of morethan 50 beds for individuals Downtown. The City and the Downtown AustinAlliance are contributing to this effort. The Salvation Army is continuing tofundraise and needs additional money to operate the Rathgeber Family Center atfull capacity. Caritas, Salvation Army, CommunityFirst, Foundation Communities and others have announced plans to add hundredsof new beds, permanent homes and capacity, but need further community support.An innovative ''Pay for Success''program is about to begin a 5-year effort to sustain housing for up to 250individuals who are among the most frequent users of our emergency medicalservices, emergency rooms, jails, and who have the greatest interaction withlaw enforcement. (This is a collaboration between Travis County and the City ofAustin, Central Health, Community Care Collaborative, Episcopal HealthFoundation, Ascension-Seton, St. David's Foundation and Seton Health Care).The City has begun moving toward establishingshelters and permanent supportive housing in all ten council districts in amanner that avoids neighborhood disruption. Terrace at Oak Springs, a 50-unitHousing First project, will open soon, serving individuals who have experiencedchronic homelessness and who have one or more barriers to maintaining housing,such as a mental health diagnosis and/or chronic alcohol or substance use. Thisproject is a collaboration of the City of Austin, Austin-Travis County IntegralCare, and the Housing Authority of the City of Austin.The 2018 Affordable Housing Bondpassed by the voters has begun to create many permanent supportive housingunits throughout the city.The City Manager's proposed budget fornext year contains historic levels of financial support for housing for thoseexperiencing homelessness.We shouldcontinue to learn from successful models in other cities and to pursueadditional opportunities to house and serve individuals experiencinghomelessness through options such as the following:
Purchase of hotels or apartmentbuildings to be converted to this useApartment buildings willing to acceptnew tenantsBoarding houses, tiny, and/or modularhomesPlaces for respite and recuperativecare for medically fragile patients Expanded housing options for thosewith mental health issues and substance use disordersOpportunities to ensure housing for individualswith disabilitiesHousing that accommodates pets,partners, and possessionsPOSSIBLEPLACES FROM AMONG WHICH TO INCREASE RESTRICTIONS ON CAMPING, SITTING, AND LYING
As we providemore housing, we should now begin creating a list of public spaces wherecamping, sitting, and lying may possibly not be allowed now and in the future.These spaces could include the areas listed below.
This is the agreement and promise we make withourselves, the social compact we establish in our community.Weshould not tell people they can't be in certain public places if we're not ableto tell them where, alternatively, there's a viable place for them to be.Restrictingcamping, sitting, and lying in certain public places will merely serve to movethose individuals to other public places if there are not better places forthem to be.Weshould immediately consider placing restrictions from among areas such as thoseset out below because they are not the most safe, humane, or best places forpeople to be, or because they pose public safety risks or public health hazards. Over time, as more housing is providedfor more people, the restricted areas within such categories would be able togrow in number and size. Vehicular trafficAdjacentto roadways or mediansAdjacentto or on transit, bus or rail facilitiesSidewalks, paths, and trailsAllowingsafe, unobstructed passage for people and wheelchairs, bikes, strollers, etc.Schools/child care facilitiesCreeks, rivers, floodplain, flood ways, high firerisk areasAreas with high pedestrian activity Specificallynaming some streets (e.g. Congress Avenue, Second Street, Sixth Street, SouthCongress, or the Drag, etc.)Entrancesto buildings, residences, or businessesShelters, bridge homes, navigation centersARCHCamping is currently prohibited in thefollowing areas. As we know, enforcementis difficult. Arresting and ticketing doesn't work and is counterproductive. Insignificant part, however, enforcement is hampered by our failure to providealternate better and safer places for people to be. The best and most direct way to provide foreffective enforcement of ordinances concerning the following areas is for us toprovide more housing.Publicparks PrivatepropertyCity librariesCity recreation centersCeremonial Buildings (Governor Mansion, City Hall, Capitol)Other city facilities with a curfewBus stopsCamping in ways that present a publicsafety riskCamping in ways that present a publichealth hazardCamping in a place that does not allowfor reasonable use of public propertyAreas restricted from camping in suchcategories should be based on appropriate, objective standards.Such standards could relate tocriteria like proximity, traffic volume, vehicular speed, a safety or healthstandard, appropriate passageway width, pedestrian count, or other standards.Thestandard can adjust over time as more housing is provided.Neighborhood EffortsIn addition to the continuing efforts of all thepartners to address homelessness citywide, including areas with the highestconcentration of individuals experiencing homelessness, like Downtown, weshould consider adopting a practice that allows a neighborhood or anorganization to ask the City to restrict camping in a certain place if theneighborhood or organization assists the City or service provider to providethose camping there with a better, safer, and more desirable place somewhereelse in that area.ORDINANCESTANDARDS, INTERPRETATIONS, APPLICATIONS
Betterenforcement and clarification of the existing and future ordinances may benecessary to achieve appropriate enforcement. The Council should consider better defining:
safety risk, health hazard, andblocking/impeding of public propertyindicia of terms such as ''aggressive confrontation''and ''threatening''the proof necessary to establish a violationRULESREGARDING CAMPING WHERE IT OCCURS AS WE BUILD OUT MORE HOUSING AND SERVICES.
As weincrease housing and services, we should consider rules for camping that couldinclude limitations on size of tents/structures and the volume of belongings;providing tools (such as purple bags) for and required participation in ensuringcleanliness of grounds and avoidance of litter; appropriate places to provideshowers and water, personal storagelockers; and processes to ensure people can keep their belongings secure.
Reaffirmparks rules that prohibit camping and post clear information for the publicExpand worksprogram for people experiencing homelessness to work on parks clean-upsIncreaseparks maintenance funding with targeted focus on areas with high concentrationsof people experiencing homelessnessIncrease thenumber of park waste receptacles and the availability of purple bags for individualsexperiencing homelessnessNON-POLICING TOOLS TO ENCOURAGE PEOPLE TO GO TO BETTERAND SAFER PLACES
Incentives for individuals to choosebetter and safer placesFacilities (bathrooms, showers,laundry, storage lockers) Safe, clean, well maintainedProvide basic needs Some allowing anyone in need to access(low barrier, pursuing housing first policies)Provide spaces for pets, couples, smallaligned groups from the streets or campsEconomic support and a pathway tohousingFacilitatorsNon-Public Safety Officers, in somesituations and with some people, may be seen as less official and lessthreatening facilitators helping individuals move to better, safer placesLay workers triaging and facilitatingthe movement of peopleHOST team members (other than APD), DAAAmbassadors, Community Health Paramedics (EMS), Community First Ambassadors (peoplewho have previously experienced homelessness) Social workers, Mental Health workersriding with public safety officersHelping people needing assistance to getto:Sobering CenterMental Health assistanceShelter/bridge home/navigation centerCommunityCourt
The Purge
AI Designed To Censor Social Media Finds Minorities To Be Most Racist
Thu, 22 Aug 2019 03:24
Researchers from the University of Cornell discovered that artificial intelligence systems designed to identify offensive ''hate speech'' flag comments purportedly made by minorities ''at substantially higher rates'' than remarks made by whites.
Several universities maintain artificial intelligence systems designed to monitor social media websites and report users who post ''hate speech.'' In a study published in May, researchers at Cornell discovered that systems ''flag'' tweets that likely come from black social media users more often, according to Campus Reform.
The study's authors found that, according to the AI systems' definition of abusive speech, ''tweets written in African-American English are abusive at substantially higher rates.''
The study also revealed that ''black-aligned tweets'' are ''sexist at almost twice the rate of white-aligned tweets.''
The research team averred that the unexpected findings could be explained by ''systematic racial bias'' displayed by the human beings who assisted in spotting offensive content.
''The results show evidence of systematic racial bias in all datasets, as classifiers trained on them tend to predict that tweets written in African-American English are abusive at substantially higher rates,'' reads the study's abstract. ''If these abusive language detection systems are used in the field they will, therefore, have a disproportionate negative impact on African-American social media users.''
MORE: Leaked FBI Report Shows Left-Wingers Are a Bigger Threat Than White Supremacists
One of the study's authors said that ''internal biases'' may be to blame for why ''we may see language written in what linguists consider African American English and be more likely to think that it's something that is offensive.''
Other Anti-Racist Censorship Technologies ExistAutomated technology for identifying hate speech is not new, nor are universities the only parties developing it. Two years ago, Google unveiled its own system called ''Perspective,'' designed to rate phrases and sentences based on how ''toxic'' they might be.
Shortly after the release of Perspective, YouTube user Tormental made a video of the program at work, alleging inconsistencies in implementation.
MORE: Dem Presidential Candidate Vows to Fingerprint Gun Owners to Fight 'Rising' White Nationalism
According to Tormental, the system rated prejudicial comments against minorities as more ''toxic'' than equivalent statements against white people.
Google's system showed a similar discrepancy for bigoted comments directed at women versus men.
Post navigation
Five Amazon executives made donations to the head of the House antitrust probe before hearing | Daily Mail Online
Mon, 19 Aug 2019 13:47
Five Amazon executives gave individual campaign contributions to the Congressman who led the House antitrust investigation into their company just two months before their hearing in July, it has been revealed.
In July House Democrat Rep. David Cicilline of Rhode Island led a hearing where lawmakers grilled executives from Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google on their business and anti-competition practices.
Just two months prior in late May, five senior Amazon executives - CEO of worldwide consumer Jeff Wilke, CFO Brian Olsavsky, general counsel David Zapolsky, SVP of worldwide operations Dave Clark and SVP of North America consumer Doug Herrington - made individual contributions to Cicilline's campaign, according to CNBC.
All five made the maximum $2,800 contribution, except for Olsavsky who donated $1,500.
Five Amazon senior executives made individual campaign contributions to House Democrat Rep. David Cicilline of Rhode Island (above) two months before he spearheaded the antitrust probe into the company along with fellow tech giants Google, Facebook and Apple in July
The executives that made the donations prior to the probe include Jeff Wilke, chief executive officer of worldwide consumer of Amazon.com Inc (top left), Dave Clark, Amazon's senior vice president of worldwide operations (top right), David Zapolsky, General Counsel at Amazon (bottom left) and Brian Olsavsky, SVP & CFO of Finance (bottom right)
SVP of North America consumer Doug Herrington also made the $2,800 contribution
Cicilline became the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee's Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law Subcommittee in January when Democrats regained control of the House.
In contrast, no executive from the other companies probed in the House antitrust investigation - Apple, Facebook or Google - made individual contributions to Cicilline's campaign, according to filings.
Only one Amazon executive has donated to Cicillini in the past - Vice President of Public Policy Brian Huseman who contributed $250 in 2012.
The last-minute donations shed light the play of politics and businesses behind the scenes and perhaps, Amazon's nerves over the regulatory probe.
The antitrust probe investigated the massive scope and reach of these tech businesses to make sure the companies are competing fairly.
Regulators having been scrutinizing these tech giants, including Amazon's expanding market, more in recent months.
In the July hearing Amazon was grilled on its size, expansion, and anti-competitive practices where the company was accused of using data from independent retailers who sell on the marketplace website to its own advantage.
'[The donation] suggests a greater sense of pressure or threat of regulation from Congress, especially given the growing bipartisan attention being directed to this issue,' Alexander Hertel-Fernandez, a political science professor at Columbia University said to CNBC.
Amazon has not responded to DailyMail.com's comment request on the donations.
In the July 16 antitrust hearing Amazon's associate general counsel for competition Nate Sutton (center) took the stand to answer questions on the business and anti-competitive practices. He stands next to representatives from Facebook and Apple
Amazon's associate general for competition Nate Sutton pictured answering questions during the July 16 antitrust hearing. Just two months earlier five Amazon executives made donations to the probe's leader Cicilline
However, Cicilline's representative said that the day the subcommittee launched the antitrust probe, the chairman enforced a policy to refuse campaign contributions from companies and executives that may be involved or investigated.
Those donations, which were made over a three-week period starting in late May, were made prior to the antitrust probe announcement and before the July hearing was scheduled.
Aside from trying to curry Cicilline's favor in the hearing, Amazon executives may have had other incentives in writing out their checks.
Cicilline promoted legislation that Amazon backed such as the Equality Act, which prohibits employers from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or medical condition, and raising the federal minimum wage.
While the donations aren't expected to change a lawmaker's mind on an issue, they could lead to getting quality face-time with the lawmaker at political events, meaning they could lobby for looser government regulation on businesses in person.
In May and June eight different Amazon executives also made donations to Mark Warner, a Democratic senator of Virginia (above) - where Amazon's second headquarters is located, according to public filings
Either way, Cicilline didn't appear to be swayed by the Amazon donations and in a statement following the hearing said he wasn't happy with the company's testimony, citing 'purposeful evasion'.
'I was deeply troubled by the evasive, incomplete, or misleading answers received to basic questions directed to these companies by members of the subcommittee,' he said.
But these five executives aren't the only Amazon business leaders to donate to political causes. In May and June eight different Amazon executives made donations to Mark Warner, a Democratic senator of Virginia - where Amazon's second headquarters is located, according to public filings.
The relationship between campaign donations and lawmaker policy has been long scrutinized in politics.
Donald Trump, for example, faced heat when he was sworn in as president and quickly signed an executive order supporting the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline project while oil companies were his big campaign contributors.
Facebook, Twitter say China ran disinformation against Hong Kong protesters
Tue, 20 Aug 2019 13:59
Twitter and Facebook have suspended numerous accounts that they say are tied to a Chinese disinformation campaign against pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong.
Twitter said Monday it suspended 936 accounts likely related to the activity. The company said the disinformation campaign was designed to "sow political discord in Hong Kong, including undermining the legitimacy and political protest movement on the ground."
Over the weekend, approximately 1.7 million anti-government protesters gathered in Hong Kong to rally peacefully against the Chinese government, which assumed rule of the former British colony in 1997. Protests erupted in June following a now-suspended bill that would allow criminal suspects in Hong Kong to be extradited to mainland China.
"Based on our intensive investigations, we have reliable evidence to support that this is a coordinated state-backed operation," the company said in a blog post. "Specifically, we have identified large clusters of accounts behaving in a coordinated manner to amplify messages related to the Hong Kong protests."
Following Twitter's announcement, Facebook said in a blog post that it was acting on a tip from Twitter. Both companies face increased pressure to crack down on fake accounts and false content on their platforms in the aftermath of the 2016 presidential election, during which foreign actors used the sites to sow division around social issues.
Twitter's latest move comes after social media site Pinboard warned days earlier that China was using Twitter to distribute posts from state media discrediting the protests.
Twitter is blocked in China, but many of the accounts it discovered were using virtual private networks, which encrypt and anonymize web traffic. The accounts it suspended represent the "most active" portion of the broader spam campaign, which it estimates to include about 200,000 accounts.
As a result of the announcement, Twitter said it would no longer accept advertising from state-controlled news media entities.
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 5: (L-R) Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg and Twitter chief executive officer Jack Dorsey are sworn-in for a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing concerning foreign influence operations' use of social media platforms, on Capitol Hill, September 5, 2018 in Washington, DC.
Drew Angerer | Getty Images News | Getty Images
The company didn't call out any specific news outlets in the post, but said it was including any entities that are "either financially or editorially controlled by the state." The organizations are still able to use the platform for communication, just not for advertisements.
Twitter clarified that the updated policy doesn't apply to taxpayer-funded entities, such as independent public broadcasters.
Facebook removed seven pages, three groups and five accounts in what it calls coordinated inauthentic behavior targeting Hong Kong. About 15,500 accounts followed one or more of the now-deactivated pages, while roughly 2,200 accounts joined at least one of the groups, Facebook said.
"We're taking down these Pages, Groups and accounts based on their behavior, not the content they posted," Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook's head of cybersecurity policy, said in the post. "As with all of these takedowns, the people behind this activity coordinated with one another and used fake accounts to misrepresent themselves, and that was the basis for our action."
Individuals involved in the campaign used fake accounts, some of which had been already spotted and disabled by Facebook's automated systems, to manage pages posing as news sites, post in groups, share content and direct users to sites off of Facebook, the company said.
Twitter shares rose 2.8% on Monday to $41.70, while Facebook rose 1.3% to $186.17.
WATCH: Twitter permanently suspends Alex Jones and Infowars accounts
Mass Shooters
Man threatens mass shooting: 'a good 100 kills would be nice'
Mon, 19 Aug 2019 11:49
August 18, 2019 | 11:00pm | Updated August 19, 2019 | 7:39am
A Florida man who recently lost his job and got dumped by his girlfriend threatened to carry out a mass shooting over the weekend '-- telling his ex that ''a good 100 kills would be nice,'' according to cops.
''I wanna open fire on a large crowd of people from over 3 miles away,'' said Tristan Scott Wix, 25, in an alleged text message to his ex.
''I'd wanna break a world record for longest confirmed kill ever,'' the young man added, according to police. ''I need a spotter.''
Wix, a resident of Daytona Beach, was arrested Friday in Volusia County and charged with making threats to commit a mass shooting. The local sheriff's office revealed his text messages in a press release.
''A school is a weak target,'' Wix allegedly said. ''Id be more likely to open fire on a large crowd of people'...I already have a location (laughing cry face emoji) is that bad?''
At one point, cops said he flat-out acknowledged that he could be arrested for his words.
''Ah well even if you told someone, me saying I wanna do it and think about it is not the same as actually doing it lol,'' wrote Wix. ''Was kinda hoping someone would come into my life worth not doing it for, for the sake of all those people (laughing cry face emoji). I'm not crazy I just wanna die and I wanna have fun doing it, but I'm the most patient person in the world.''
Wix's ex showed the messages to deputies and he was later tracked to a local Winn-Dixie, where he was taken into custody without incident.
Wix initially told detectives he didn't own any firearms ''but is fascinated with mass shootings.''
''When you look at this kid's background, he is the profile of a shooter,'' Volusia County Sheriff Michael Chitwood told CNN. ''He lost his job, he lost his girlfriend, he's depressed, he's got the ammunition and he wants to become known for being the most prolific killer in American history.''
Despite his claims, authorities reportedly recovered a .22 caliber hunting rifle and 400 rounds of ammunition at Wix's apartment while executing a search warrant. He was being held Sunday without bond.
Wix's arrest comes just weeks after the deadly mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas. A number of people have threatened to carry out similar rampages '-- with ''copycats'' popping up throughout the United States.
FBI officials recently told a congressional hearing that the bureau was reportedly investigating nearly 850 people as possible domestic terrorists. A Reuters/Ipsos poll released earlier this month found that nearly half of Americans believe the chances of another mass shooting happening in the next three months was ''highly likely.''
At least 28 people have been arrested over threats to commit mass attacks since the El Paso and Dayton shootings - CNN
Thu, 22 Aug 2019 11:30
By Steve Almasy, Dave Alsup and Madeline Holcombe, CNN
Updated 7:03 AM EDT, Thu August 22, 2019
(CNN) When authorities arrived Friday to arrest a 15-year-old in Florida after threats to commit a school shooting showed up on a video game platform, he told them he was joking, they said.
"I Dalton Barnhart vow to bring my fathers m15 to school and kill 7 people at a minimum," the boy wrote using a fake name, according to a Volusia County Sheriff's Office report.
The teen is one of more than two dozen people who have been arrested over threats to commit mass shootings since 31 people were killed in one weekend this month in shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.
The raft of cases follows a directive by the FBI director immediately after the two early August massacres for agency offices nationwide to conduct a new threat assessment in an effort to thwart more mass attacks.
The FBI was concerned that US-based domestic violent extremists could become inspired by the attacks to "engage in similar acts of violence," the agency said in a statement.
Indeed, it was a tip to the FBI that sent sheriff's deputies to the home of the Florida teen, the sheriff's report states. CNN is not naming him because he is a minor.
A woman who said the boy is her son told authorities that kids say things like that all the time and her child should not be treated like a terrorist, body-camera footage from the arrest shows.
Joke or not, such comments are a felony in Florida, the sheriff's department wrote on its Facebook page.
"After the mass violence we've seen in Florida and across the country, law enforcement officers have a responsibility to investigate and charge those who choose to make these types of threatening statements," the post states.
Here are the known threats with publicized arrests that law enforcement agencies have investigated since the Dayton and El Paso shootings:
August 4: A man from the Tampa area called a Walmart and told an employee he would shoot up the store, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office said in a statement. The man faces a false threat charge.
August 7: Police in Weslaco, Texas, arrested a 13-year-old boy. The boy will face a charge of terroristic threat for making a social media post that prompted a Walmart to be evacuated, police said on Facebook. The boy's mother brought him to the station.
August 8: A man is accused of walking into a Walmart in Missouri equipped with body armor, a handgun and a rifle less than a week after a gunman killed 22 people in a Texas Walmart says it was a "social experiment" and not intended to cause panic. The 20-year-old was charged with making a terrorist threat.
August 9: A 23-year-old Las Vegas man is charged with possessing destructive devices after authorities found bomb-making materials at his home. The FBI says he was planning to attack a synagogue and a gay bar.
August 9: A 26-year-old Winter Park, Florida, man was arrested after investigators say he posted a threat on Facebook that he was about to have his gun returned and people should stay away from Walmart.
August 10: Officers responded to a threat a man posted on social media, the Harlingen, Texas, Police Department said in a statement. A man was arrested at his home on charges of making a terroristic threat.
August 11: A Palm Beach County, Florida, mother is accused of threatening to carry out a shooting at an elementary school because her children were being moved there, according to CNN affiliate WFTS. The 28-year-old woman is charged with sending a written threat to commit bodily injury.
August 11: A Mississippi teen is accused of making threats in the Lamar County School District, the agency says on Facebook.
August 12: Authorities charged an 18-year-old Ohio man who the FBI says threatened to assault federal law enforcement officers and showed support for mass shootings in a post online. Court documents say that the teen had a stockpile of weapons and ammunition.
August 12: A 25-year-old Jefferson County, West Virginia, man was arrested on charges of making terroristic threats online to kill people, according to CNN affiliate WDVM.
August 13: Albert Lea Police arrested and charged a 15-year-old Minnesota girl for threatening a school shooting on social media.
August 13: A man was arrested in Phoenix after police say he threatened to blow up an Army recruitment center, according to CNN affiliate KTVK.
August 15: A tip from a citizen led Connecticut authorities and the FBI to investigate and arrest a man who they said expressed an interest in committing a mass shooting on Facebook and had weapons and tactical gear, the FBI and Norwalk Police Department said.
August 15: A 15-year-old girl was arrested in Fresno, California, for posting a photo of a Walmart gun case with rifles displayed and the caption, "Don't come to school tomorrow," the city's police chief said. "The teen's very bright future is now stained by this," he said, adding she was booked with making terrorist threats.
August 16: A 15-year-old boy was taken into police custody in Volusia County, Florida, after investigators say he threatened to commit a school shooting in comments on a video game chat platform.
August 16: Two Mississippi juveniles were arrested in connection with threatening messages to two Tupelo schools, placing a school in partial lockdown, according to CNN affiliate WTVA.
August 16: A Florida man was arrested and charged with threatening to commit a mass shooting after his ex-girlfriend alerted authorities to a series of ominous text messages he sent her.
August 16: A 14-year-old in Arizona was arrested by Tempe Police after online threats were made against a school, according to CNN affiliate KNXV.
August 16: A Chicago man, 19, was arrested after police say he threatened to kill people at a women's reproductive health clinic on iFunny, a social media platform where users can post memes, federal prosecutors said Monday.
August 16: A 35-year-old Clarksburg, Maryland, resident was arrested in Seattle after being charged with threatening to kill people and calling for the "extermination" of Hispanics, according to a statement released by the US attorney for the Southern District of Florida.
August 17: New Middletown Police arrested a self-described white nationalist who they say threatened to shoot an Ohio Jewish community center.
August 18: A man was arrested in Reed City, Michigan, after authorities said he posted online videos making threats toward Ferris State University and other locations, according to CNN affiliate WXMI.
August 18: Claremore, Oklahoma, police arrested an 18-year-old who they say made social media threats against police officer families, according to a Facebook post from the Claremore Police Department.
August 19: A 38-year-old truck driver was arrested after making "credible threats to conduct a mass shooting and suicide" planned for Thursday, an FBI special agent said in a sworn affidavit filed in the Southern District of Alabama.
August 19: Maui Police arrested an 18-year-old man after a social media post claimed he intended to "shoot up a school," according to CNN affiliate KITV.
August 19: A 37-year-old Rapid City, South Dakota, man was arrested and charged with threatening to blow up state and federal government agencies, Pennington County Sheriff's Office said in a post on Facebook.
August 21: A hotel cook was arrested for allegedly planning a mass shooting of his coworkers and guests at a Marriott property in Long Beach, California, the city's police chief said.
CNN's Stella Chan contributed to this report.
ASSAULT HANDGUN - 'Slave Owner's Manual,' Weapons Arsenal Found In NJ Home: Feds | Morristown, NJ Patch
Thu, 22 Aug 2019 12:13
police & fire Police found numbers types of weapons, drugs, and "an instruction manual for owning a slave," federal prosecutors said. By Katie Kausch , Patch Staff Aug 20, 2019 3:18 pm ET | Updated Aug 20, 2019 3:46 pm ET Police found numbers types of weapons, drugs, and "an instruction manual for owning a slave," federal prosecutors said. (NJSP)LAFAYETTE, NJ '-- A Sussex County man was found with an arsenal of weapons and ammunition, and white supremacist and racist propaganda during a July traffic stop, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito said on Tuesday.
Joseph Rubino, 57, of Lafayette Township, faces a number of charges following the July 24 traffic stop. After New Jersey State Police found weapons and ammunition inside the car, police searched his home and found even more, Carpenito said.
Some of the weapons they found include rifles, silencers, grenade throwers, and numerous types of guns, Carpenito said. In addition to the weapons, police say they found meth, marijuana and vape cartridges. (You can find a full list, provided by federal officials, below.)
"Rubino was also in possession of a box containing clothing and bumper stickers with 'SS Bolts,' which are common white supremacist and neo-Nazi symbols, as well as a document entitled'N****r Owner's Manual,' containing racist material and purporting to be an instruction manual for owning a slave," Carpentio said.
Rubino has been charged with possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, possession of firearms in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime, and possession of firearms by a convicted felon. He will appear in federal court in Newark at a later date, Carpenito said.
Carpentio said aw enforcement found the following in Rubino's car and house:
Intratec Arms Model TEC-DC9 semi-automatic assault handgunCobray Arms Mac-11 9mm semi-automatic assault pistol with a high-capacity magazineKeltec CMR30 .22 caliber semi-automatic rifle loaded with 16 .22 caliber hollow-point cartridgesHigh Standard Derringer .22 caliber double-barrel handgunPolymer 80 9mm semi-automatic handgunIthaca M-66 20-gauge single shotgunRemington Model 700 .223 caliber bold action rifle with scopeThompson Center .50 caliber muzzle-loading rifle with scopeRemington Model 870 Wingmaster 12-gauge pump shotgunNew England Firearms 20-gauge single shot shotgunRemington Model 760 .300 Savage pump rifleGlenfield Mod 60 .22 LR caliber semi-automatic rifleTwo sawed-off double-barrel shotgun barrelsSeveral high-capacity magazinesNumerous silencersAn assault rifle scopeA grenade launcherA ballistics vestNumerous additional ammunition of various calibers. Read more local news from Morristown
Pence Asks Beijing To Honor British-Sino Treaty Before Any Trade Deal
Tue, 20 Aug 2019 15:29
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence warned Beijing that any violent crackdown in Hong Kong on protesters would harm the Sino-U.S. trade talks, reiterating a remark made by the U.S. President Donald Trump a day earlier.
''For the United States to make a deal with China, Beijing needs to honor its commitments'--beginning with the commitment China made in 1984 to respect the integrity of Hong Kong's laws through the Sino-British joint declaration,'' Pence stated in a speech given at the Detroit Economic Club on Aug. 19.
The 1984 bilateral treaty was drafted to stipulate how Hong Kong's sovereignty would be transferred from Britain to China in 1997, whereby both sides agreed to retain the territory's autonomy and freedoms not afforded in the mainland, under the ''one country, two systems'' model for 50 years.
''As the president said yesterday, it will be much harder for us to make a deal if something violent happens in Hong Kong. And I want to assure you, our administration will continue to urge Beijing to act in a humanitarian manner and urge China and the demonstrators in Hong Kong to resolve their differences peacefully,'' Pence added.
Trump made the warning to Beijing on Aug. 19, when he said that any violence similar to Tiananmen Square would make it hard for the United States to agree to any trade deal.
..deferral to December. It actually helps China more than us, but will be reciprocated. Millions of jobs are being lost in China to other non-Tariffed countries. Thousands of companies are leaving. Of course China wants to make a deal. Let them work humanely with Hong Kong first!
'-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 14, 2019
The mass protests in Hong Kong began on June 9, when over one million people took to the streets in protest against a government bill that was widely feared would undermine the city's judicial independence, allowing anyone in Hong Kong to be extradited to China for trial in their weak and corrupt judicial system.
Although the bill was suspended in mid-June, protesters continued their rallies and marches en masse, saying that they would not accept anything short of the bill's full withdrawal.
They also demanded an independent investigation into the police's rough treatment of protesters and universal suffrage, among other demands.
The possibility of a violent Chinese crackdown has heightened in recent weeks as armed Chinese police were photographed in Shenzhen, bordering Hong Kong, holding three different drills this month.
Aside from the deployment of armed forces, Beijing used the same rhetoric that had been used to describe the 1989 protests, calling the Hong Kong protests ''turmoil.''
This ''fueled rumors that another crackdown was being planned,'' wrote U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho (R-Fla.), in his recent an opinion article published in The Hill.
Yoho said that public resentment in Hong Kong was more than just against the bill; it was also anger against Beijing's continuation of a ''high-intensity political pressure campaign to subdue dissent within Hong Kong.''
''CCP's [Chinese Communist Party] true intent is the complete autocratic control of Hong Kong. Not after 2047, but as soon as possible,'' Yoho wrote.
He added: ''I urge China not to make the same mistake they did 30 years ago in Tiananmen Square by bringing violence and murder into this struggle [in Hong Kong]. The choice is up to China and the Chinese proxy, Carrie Lam. They and they alone can resolve this simply by removing the extradition law.''
Follow Frank on Twitter: @HwaiDer
Hong Kong Protests: China Uses Twitter And Facebook To Share Disinformation : NPR
Thu, 22 Aug 2019 14:41
Protesters gather in Hong Kong's Victoria Park on Sunday. Kin Cheung/AP hide caption
toggle caption Kin Cheung/AP Protesters gather in Hong Kong's Victoria Park on Sunday.
Kin Cheung/AP Earlier this month, Chinese state media launched a domestic blitz depicting the Hong Kong protests as riots funded by the CIA. China-linked social media accounts then flooded Twitter and Facebook with thousands of pro-Beijing posts and targeted advertisements.
Social media companies are now pushing back.
Twitter said this week it had suspended nearly 1,000 accounts it believes are tied to Chinese state actors and that it would no longer accept advertising from state-funded media. Facebook announced shortly after that it was removing seven pages, five Facebook accounts and three groups after Twitter tipped the platform off to the use of "a number of deceptive tactics, including the use of fake accounts."
According to data released by Twitter, almost all of the suspended accounts were disguised as personal or corporate accounts of marketing firms, international relations experts or bitcoin enthusiasts. Others posed as Hong Kong media outlets and wrote in traditional Chinese characters, the script used in Hong Kong and Taiwan.
Some suspended accounts even appeared to masquerade as the work of Chinese dissidents. One such account, @valentinovchar4, posted "born in 1970, experienced June Fourth, now living in China," a reference to the bloody crackdown against protesters in China's Tiananmen Square on June 4, 1989. Another suspended user, @qujianming1, registered in the Bronx and wrote this bio: "a vagabond punished for free speech. I believe that one day the light will come."
Documents show that Chinese government agencies have been paying to acquire more social media followers. A tender posted Aug. 16 by Chinese state-run outlet China News offers RMB1,250,000 ($177,000) to acquire more Twitter followers. Another government tender posted Monday RMB750,000 ($108,300) to acquire more Facebook and Twitter followers to support the China ASEAN exposition being held in September.
"Chinese media like [state broadcaster] CGTN or China Daily cannot independently recreate the China narrative on social media," King-wa Fu, an associate professor at the University of Hong Kong's Journalism and Media Studies Center, told NPR. "That's why they need to make use of these means to create social media traffic and to try to create a way to counter the pro-Hong Kong narrative on the social media."
On Tuesday, thousands of anti-Hong Kong posts were still being generated by what appeared to be Twitter bots '' accounts created in July or August with only a handful of followers '-- and feeds dominated by similarly formatted slogans and propaganda videos. Many of them sport the hashtag #supportmulan, a reference to the Disney live-action remake of Mulan that Hong Kong protesters say they will boycott after its lead actor announced she supported Hong Kong police.
China's powerful propaganda channels have readily adapted to the profusion of digital platforms used by its citizens. It routinely censors Chinese social media and chat apps to scrub dissenting opinions or references to sensitive political subjects. A 2016 Harvard study estimated that around half a billion Chinese social media posts a year are created by government-paid commentators.
Over the past decade, China has also globalized its propaganda efforts. China Daily, an English-language state-run broadsheet, regularly runs full-page inserts in mainstream American newspapers such as The Washington Post and The New York Times. Major Communist Party-run outlets now sponsor pro-Beijing content in hundreds of outlets catering to overseas Chinese and hold fully funded annual summits for Chinese-language journalists based outside of China.
Twitter and Facebook's identification of at least 1,000 Chinese state-linked accounts this week show how these disinformation efforts have expanded to international social media platforms. Influencing perceptions of audiences both inside and outside of China is now a government priority. A critical component of these perception management campaigns is the estimated 60 million ethnic Chinese people who live outside of China and whom Beijing views as pliable audiences.
"It's no secret that the PRC government routinely coordinates fake social media activity on Chinese social media platforms, but this would be confirmation that it's now doing the same thing in English and other languages, with the likely goal of eroding other countries' support for pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong," says Matt Schrader, an analyst at the German Marshall Fund of the United States who studies Chinese influence operations.
Taiwan already has felt the brunt of Chinese disinformation campaigns. Its government has proposed several new regulations that would limit mainland-backed social media platforms from operating in Taiwan. It also investigated pro-Beijing outlets in response to evidence that China sponsored extensive disinformation campaigns on Facebook, WhatsApp and the social media app Line in an attempt to sway public opinion before the 2016 Taiwanese elections.
Facebook and Twitter have come under fire from U.S. regulators who say the social media platforms were used by Russian disinformation campaigns to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election. American lawmakers have previously warned that Chinese state actors have begun to emulate Russian influence operations.
Chinese disinformation efforts use a combination of targeted, paid advertisement and bot accounts to promote Chinese state media content and disseminate a more benign image of Beijing's policies, according to a March report from Recorded Future, a Boston-based cybersecurity firm.
Amy Cheng contributed reporting from Beijing.
'The scale of the problem is enormous': Apple flexes strong anti-tracking stance - Digiday
Wed, 21 Aug 2019 15:20
Apple is on the anti-tracking warpath again. The company has further tightened its anti-tracking policies in order to prevent ad tech vendors from using loopholes in its existing user privacy policy to track users across the web.
In the short term, publishers anticipate revenue decline and uncertainty over product investment. However, publisher executives don't believe the drop will be as severe as the initial ITP updates, after which some publishers saw CPMs on the open exchange drop by 40%, according to ad tech sources.
''It's pointed at third-party tracking and ad tech junk, and that plays better for publisher-owned data,'' said a publishing executive speaking on condition of anonymity. ''The specific call-out that 'Like' buttons, federated comments or other social widget buttons may stop working looks like an obvious hammer blow to Facebook and others, who federate and collate data that is harmful when played back against publishers.''
Along with this latest update on Aug. 16., Apple listed 11 unintended consequences that would arise due to it wiping out tracking techniques, many of which have made media consultants nervous. As well as ''Like'' buttons, Apple lists federated login using a third-party login provider and single sign-on to multiple websites controlled by the same organization as potentially being affected. These are two techniques that multiple media organizations within alliances deploy so users can log in once to access numerous sites. This allows media organizations to share data with each other to offer ad buyers an alternative ad platform with competitive scale to Facebook and Google. The impact on media alliances that require users to log in once for multiple sites is going to be painful.
''The list of unintended impacts make it clear that the overall industry approach of whack-a-mole is unsustainable,'' said Alessandro De Zanche, founder of media consultancy ADZ Strategies. ''Single sign-on and federated logins could affect media alliances that are genuinely trying to implement a more powerful future vision for the business. This is a huge issue, I can't see it being any benefit to the industry; it's just a further sign of back and forth.''
Ad tech vendors popularizing workarounds and circumventions to Apple's anti-tracking ITP had already prompted the company to update its policy in February and again in April this year, forcing an anti-tracking arms race.
Approximately 37% of users in the U.K. in June came to publisher sites via Safari browsers and 5% from Mozilla Firefox, according to data from data-management platform Permutive. Firefox has its own anti-tracking policy, which Apple nods to, and Google has pledged to crack down on cross-site tracking and fingerprinting. Publishing sources are keeping a watchful eye as to whether Google can commit with the same conviction to its privacy pledge.
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Since the ITP 2.0 update last summer, publishers have sold open marketplace inventory for Google Chrome audiences, rather than Safari, which they instead now sell direct to agencies. For instance, some publishers have found that by setting up private marketplaces for their Safari audiences directly with agencies, they have managed to recoup some of the revenue they lost with the initial ITP update, according to Joe Root, co-founder at Permutive.
Another temporary fix for advertisers has been to try and find these audiences in the app ecosystem. Advertisers can still track users across the app ecosystem with Apple's identification for advertising. But Apple's no-nonsense stance toward privacy on the open web means industry sources question how long Apple will keep identification for advertising alive.
''It's not until Apple kills IDFA that the buy side will see the scale of the problem and will force the relationship with publishers,'' said Root.
Apple's anti-tracking moves have implications for the whole ad tech ecosystem. Apple intends to treat ad tech vendors, as well as tech giants such as Facebook and Google, like malware if they continue to use cookies for cross-site targeting purposes. It stands to reason those hardest hit will be third-party data providers, DSPs, and in the long term Facebook and Google, which won't be able to retarget on Apple devices, leading to large holes in their ad businesses, said Root.
''Publishers, Facebook and Google are all aware of the scale of the problem and talking actively about it,'' he said. ''The rest of the industry is trying to obscure it. The scale of the problem is enormous.''
For instance, ITP 2.0, released in August 2018, helped prompt Nordic publisher Schibsted '-- which provides login and identity services to a range of its digital newspapers in Norway and Sweden '-- to rebuild its login and identity system so that users' logged-in sessions are based on first-party rather than third-party cookies.
''Apple's ITP 2.0 update had a big effect on how we need to operate to secure a stable and reliable login and identity solution,'' said Ida Kristine Norddal, product manager, identity, at Schibsted. ''It has not impacted the revenues directly, as we have rebuilt our solution accordingly. But there are, of course, costs associated with rebuilding the solution.''
For now, there are still a lot of unknowns about exactly how much of a problem the unintended consequences will cause publishers.
''If it starts hurting user experience because it prevents us from persistently identifying session-to-session users, then that's obviously bad for the user and bad for us,'' added the first anonymous publishing executive. ''But that's equally bad for everyone.''
Mercedes Caught Spying On Drivers With Tracking Devices, Sending Info To Bailiffs | Zero Hedge
Thu, 22 Aug 2019 11:47
Mercedes has admitted to spying on drivers with covert tracking devices.
The company says are only activated in "extreme circumstances," such as when finance customers have defaulted on payments - however the car company has also admitted to sharing data with third-party bailiffs and recovery firms for the purposes of repossession, according to The Sun. It is unclear whether Mercedes only drops the dime on their European customers or if it's a worldwide phenomenon.
Former UK Cabinet minister David Davis has called for an investigation, saying "This is not the first time big business has behaved like Big Brother '-- but it's rare to be quite as deceitful as this."
Ex-Cabinet minister David Davis called out Mercedes for 'behaving like Big Brother'Credit: Reuters"I have to question whether it is even legal to pass on information to other people such as bailiffs," he said, adding "I would think the relevant minister ought to look very closely at the legality of this procedure."
The revelation has caught the attention of human rights organization Liberty, which says Mercedes' actions were a disturping part of the "creeping growth of surveillance."
Legal experts also raised concerns. Stefano Ruis, civil law partner at Hickman & Rose solicitors, said: ''This appears to be another worrying development in the way companies handle what should be private, personal data.
''Modern technology means our ability to keep personal information private is under threat like never before.
''Organisations that handle personal data need to be completely upfront about what they are doing. That Mercedes appear not to have been so in this case is concerning. Its customers may start to worry about what other personal information the company may be gathering, then passing on.'' -The Sun
BMW, Jaguar and Land Rover have all stated that they do not similarly track their customers' vehicles.
Mercedes, which dominates the UK car leasing market (80% are on finance plans), have buried concent to the secret trackers in their lengthy terms and conditions, avoiding tracking drivers illegally under EU data protection laws. According to the report, the secret sensor technology is not related to their anti-theft Tracker devices or the online Mercedes Me service sold as an add-on by dealers.
"If Mercedes wishes to install this privacy-surrendering tech in their cars, that's fine. But surely they have a duty to explicitly tell their customers beforehand '-- and not hide it away in their terms and conditions," said MP Andrew Bridgen.
"It's a shocking revelation and definitely gives a creepy uneasy feeling knowing somebody, somewhere can track me down at the touch of a button," adds Karl Edwards, 30, from Portsmouth - who was shocked after learning about a tracking device on his C200 AMG.
Mercedes has responded, saying "When a customer chooses to finance the purchase of their car this way they sign a contract and agree to the location sensors in the car being activated in the event that they default or breach their agreement. This clause in the finance contract is in bold print, just above the customer's signature."
"Locating the car is part of the repossession process and is not permanently tracking customers," the company added. "It is only activated in exceptional circumstances where the customer has breached their finance agreement and repeatedly failed to reply to requests to contact us."
No word on whether they can be remotely hacked and driven into palm trees.
Any Collusion?
Indicted Company in Junk Russian Bot Case Slams Mueller AGAIN in Court Filing -- Spent ONLY $3,000 in Online Ads That Mueller Claims Disrupted Election!
Thu, 22 Aug 2019 11:47
Indicted Company in Junk Russian Bot Case Slams Mueller AGAIN in Court Filing '-- Spent ONLY $3,000 in Online Ads That Mueller Claims Disrupted Election! by Cristina Laila August 20, 2019Robert Mueller
Concord Management and Consulting Company, the indicted Russian firm caught up in Mueller's junk bot case lashed out at the former special counsel in a court filing on Monday.
Mueller previously indicted Concord Management and Consulting Co in order to justify his witch hunt and salary and wasn't expecting them to actually show up in court to fight.
Concord Management and Consulting LLC said in a motion Monday that it spent just $2,930 on campaign ads plus $1,800 for payroll during the 2016 election and Mueller's accusation of 'meddling' are 'at best misleading and at worst demonstrably false.'
The motion challenges the US government's allegations that the firm somehow disrupted the American election process, arguing that their online ads for August of 2016 mentioned in Mueller's indictment cost a whopping $7.58 '-- yes, that's correct, $7 dollars and some change.
Mueller's indictment accuses Concord of funding the IRA (Internet Research Agency) and subsequently charged the firm for failing to file with the FEC (Federal Election Commission).
''The allegation in the Indictment claiming that IRA spent thousands of dollars each month to purchase advertisements is at best misleading and at worst demonstrably false because the discovery indicates that many of the advertisements took place after the 2016 presidential election or did not involve any clearly identifiable candidate,'' Concord's Eric Dubelier argued in a Monday filing in U.S. District Court, reported the Washington Times.
In its filing, Concord cited cost figures based on evidence from U.S. prosecutors. The indictment listed ads that were required to be reported in campaign finance reports to the FEC.
The filing's main argument has to do with the identities of defendants. It claims the government refuses to say which company employees violated FEC laws. Only one Concord employee is listed: its head, Yevgeny Prigozhin, a food service mogul close to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
''This means that the responsible conspirator would have had to know that of the millions of rubles equating to hundreds of thousands of dollars of Concord's money allegedly spent by IRA, at worst approximately $2,900 were spent for advertisements and $1,800 were spent for rallies that the FEC could possibly conclude were independent expenditures for express advocacy,'' Mr. Dubelier said in a 24-page motion.
Mr. Dubelier took from the indictment the cited internet ads that could be subject to an FEC filing requirement. Two ads in early April 2016 cost about $60. Three online ads in May totaled about $230. An ad in August cost $7.58.
The indictment said the Internet Research Agency purchased ads on Facebook and Instagram to promote rallies. The cost, says Mr. Dubelier: $1,677.
There's more'...Mueller's indictment stated that Concord and it's chief Yevgeny Prigozhin, a caterer, launched Project Lakhta in order to wage an information war in ''various countries, including the United States.''
So naturally, Mueller once again charged Concord with defrauding the US by failing to file as a foreign agent (FARA).
Concord's lawyers argued that the firm has no presence in the United States to even work on behalf of a foreign agent.
''If the Court does not require the government to identify which defendant(s) were required to register under FARA (and on behalf of whom) or file under FECA it will be impossible for Concord to prepare for trial; and moreover, the Court will not know until sometime during trial whether or not the indictment should be dismissed as a matter of law,'' Dubelier argued.
Mueller really got himself into trouble with this indictment and many believe his bizarre May presser was actually an opportunity for him to do some damage control on order from Judge Dabney Friedrich.
Just one day after Judge Friedrich threatened to hold Mueller and his goons in contempt for smearing Concord Management with lies, Mueller comes out in a bizarre presser and said the Russian firms he indicted were ''private'' entities and ''presumed innocent.''
Mueller was questioned about his presser and order by Judge Friedrich by Republican Rep. McClintock of California during the July hearing and Mueller likely perjured himself when he denied there was any connection between his presser and the junk bot case.
The trial for the junk bot case is supposed to be scheduled for Spring of 2020.
Green New Deal
Petitioning Against Climate Alarmism Goes Global | Newsmax.com
Wed, 21 Aug 2019 13:06
A petition being submitted by hundreds of independent climate scientists and professionals from numerous countries to heads of the European Council, Commission and Parliament declares "There is No Climate Emergency."
Briefly summarized, the request for consideration conveys five urgent messages:
Climate change is real and has been occurring with nature-driven cold and warm cycles for as long as the planet has existed.There should be no surprise that the Earth has been warming through natural causes since the last Little Ice Age ended around 1870. Actual temperature increases, however, are far less than predicted by theoretical climate models.There is no real evidence that anthropogenic (human-caused) CO2 emissions are a major or dangerous warming influence. They instead offer great benefits to agriculture, forestry and photosynthesis that is the basis for life.There is also no scientific evidence that increasing CO2 levels are causing more natural disasters. However, CO2-reduction measures do have devastating impacts on wildlife (e.g. wind turbines), land use (e.g. forest clearance), and vital energy systems.Energy policies must be based on scientific and economic realities '-- not upon a harmful and unrealistic "2050-carbon-neutral policy" driven by unfounded climate alarm.The petition concludes by recommending the recognition of clear difference in policies addressing the Earth's environment through good stewardship versus Earth's climate, the latter of which "is largely caused by a complex combination of natural phenomena we cannot control."
This recent petition to EU leaders signed by approximately 100 Italian scientists from many prominent organizations urges recognition of the same basic realities.
The Italian petition calls attention to the fact that the planet has previously been warmer than the present period, despite lower atmospheric CO2 concentrations. Warming periods have been repeated about every thousand years, including "the well-known Medieval Warm Period, the Hot Roman Period, and generally warm periods during the Optimal Holocene period."
Most recent climate warming observed since 1850 followed the Little Ice Age '' the coldest period of the last 10,000 years. "Since then, solar activity, following its [previous cooling-influence] millennial cycle, has increased by heating the Earth's surface."
The notification advises that climate, "the most complex system on our planet," needs to be addressed with scientific methods that are ''adequate and consistent with its level of complexity."
This system "is not sufficiently understood. And while CO2 is indisputably a greenhouse gas, ''according to [UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] IPCC itself, the climate sensitivity to its increase in the atmosphere is still extremely uncertain."
The petition states that "In any case, many recent studies based on experimental data estimate that the climate sensitivity to CO2 is considerably lower than estimated by the IPCC models." Accordingly, all evidence suggests that such models "overestimate the anthropic [human] contribution and underestimate the natural climatic variability, especially that induced by the sun, the moon, and ocean oscillations."
Likewise, alarmist media claims that extreme weather events, such as hurricanes and cyclones, are increasing in frequency are entirely inaccurate and typically far more directly tied to natural ocean oscillation cycles.
Again, the Italian signatories from numerous universities and research organizations take strong issue against "deplorable propaganda" claiming that carbon dioxide is a pollutant rather than a molecule that is indispensable to life on our planet.
Accordingly, given "the crucial importance that fossil fuels have for the energy supply of humanity," the petitioners urge that the EU should not adopt economically burdensome and unwarranted CO2 reduction policies under ''the illusory pretense of governing the climate."
The petitioners also emphasize that while credible facts must be based upon scientific methods, not determined by numbers of supporting theorists, there is no alleged ''consensus'' among specialist in many and varied climate disciplines suggesting that human-influenced climate change presents an imminent danger. They point out that many thousands of scientists have previously expressed dissent with alarmist ant- fossil energy conjecture.
More than 31,000 American scientists from diverse climate-related disciplines signed a Global Warming Petition Project rejecting limits on greenhouse gas emissions attached to the 1977 Kyoto Protocol and similar proposals. The list of signatories included 9,021 Ph.D.s, 6,961 at the master's level, 2,240 medical doctors, and 12,850 carrying a bachelor of science or equivalent academic degree.
A 12-page petition attachment was introduced with a cover letter issued by Fredrick Seitz, a past president of the National Academy of Sciences and former president of Rockefeller University. It read, in part:
"This treaty is, in our opinion, based upon flawed ideas. Research data on climate change do not show that human use of hydrocarbons is harmful. To the contrary, there is good evidence that increased atmospheric carbon dioxide is environmentally helpful."
The letter added, "The proposed agreement would have very negative effects upon the technology of nations around the world, especially those that are currently attempting to lift from poverty and provide opportunities to over 4 billion people in technologically undeveloped countries."
Gratefully, an American Congress at that time listened to that sage advice and unanimously agreed. We can only fervently hope that more current legislators will continue to be equally wise.
Larry Bell is an endowed professor of space architecture at the University of Houston where he founded the Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture (SICSA) and the graduate program in space architecture. He is the author of several books, including "Reinventing Ourselves: How Technology is Rapidly and Radically Transforming Humanity" (2019), "Thinking Whole: Rejecting Half-Witted Left & Right Brain Limitations" (2018), "Reflections on Oceans and Puddles: One Hundred Reasons to be Enthusiastic, Grateful and Hopeful'' (2017), "Cosmic Musings: Contemplating Life Beyond Self" (2016), and "Scared Witless: Prophets and Profits of Climate Doom" (2015). He is currently working on a new book with Buzz Aldrin, "Beyond Footprints and Flagpoles." To read more of his reports '-- Click Here Now.
(C) 2019 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
Global warming threatens to release nuclear waste from Cold War base in Greenland
Wed, 21 Aug 2019 16:43
Scientists are warning the Greenland's melting ice could release buried nuclear waste from a shuttered Cold War missile base Credit: AP N uclear waste buried underneath the ice in Greenland in a Cold War-era bunker is at risk of being exposed, scientists fear, due to global warming.
Radioactive coolant, thousands of gallons of sewage and diesel fuel, and tons of PCBs '' a chemical coolant, banned in 1979 - were abandoned at the US Camp Century base when it was decommissioned in 1967.
The Americans left the base nearly fully intact, under the assumption that it would be buried forever under accumulated snowfall.
T he base was officially used as a scientific centre, designed to carry out experiments such as drilling into the ice core. But it also served as a top-secret nuclear missile testing site, under a programme named Project Iceworm, which was to see if launch sites could be built close enough for missiles to reach the Soviet Union.
When it was mothballed, the nuclear waste was buried in a series of tunnels 50 feet underground. Snow has since fallen on top.
But a new, peer-reviewed study published on Thursday in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union, warns that the ice is melting faster than snow is falling on top, to replenish it. And climate change could see the material released into the oceans by the end of the century.
''Two generations ago, people were interring waste in different areas of the world,'' said Liam Colgan, a climate scientist at York University in Toronto, Canada, and lead author of the study. ''And now climate change is modifying those sites.
''When it reached end of life, the army just closed the doors on it and left everything in place,'' he told The Toronto Star.
''They did take out the nuclear reaction vessel, but they left everything else in place. Buildings, trucks, supplies, waste, all of it. They thought it would snow forever.''
H e said that the ice sheet that sits on Greenland is now melting at a rate of 8,000 tons per second.
M ike MacFerrin, a study co-author, and researcher at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, said that the waste would then seep into the ocean, threatening the ecosystems of the fish and animals that the people who live in the communities there depend on.
Resolving the matter also presents a political challenge.
The US built the base, with permission from Denmark '' although they did not approve the missile testing. Greenland is now a self-governing territory.
''Nato allies really need to demonstrate that they have good closure plans to deal with their legacies of abandoned bases,'' said Mr Colgan.
''We're adding further motivation for more comprehensive discussion of what to do with these abandoned bases in Greenland.''
Ex-Ms. Nevada says she was stripped of her title because she supports Trump | TheHill
Thu, 22 Aug 2019 03:32
Ms. Nevada 2019 winner Katie Williams was stripped of her title ahead of the national Ms. America competition on Saturday and claims she was booted from the pageant because she supports President Trump Donald John Trump Former US ambassador: 'Denmark is not a big fan of Donald Trump and his politics' Senate Democrats push for arms control language in defense policy bill Detroit county sheriff endorses Booker for president MORE .
Williams, 29, who was crowned in April, said in a Facebook video that her disqualification was effective as of Sunday.
"I just don't understand how you can censor someone with conservative values when I'm not even really saying anything that's bad," Williams said in the Monday video. ''If I had more liberal views, less conservative views, [then] this wouldn't be an issue.''
Ms. America Pageant wrote in a statement that Williams is ''distorting the facts'' regarding her disqualification, adding that their competition is a ''No Politics pageant.'' It added that officials gave Williams a deadline to edit her pages, but that she refused, proving she is ''no longer capable of representing this pageant as Ms. Nevada.''
''ALL the pageant asked of Ms. Williams, in writing, is to keep separate social media accounts,'' the organization wrote. "She has her Personal Facebook page to voice her political views. However, the Ms. Nevada Facebook Page should be devoid of political content."
Williams, a vocal Trump supporter, claimed she did create a second Facebook account for Ms. Nevada, adding that a pageant official ''continued to screenshot my page '-- my personal page '-- and email me about how she was disappointed and she didn't agree with it and that I needed to speak with her on the phone.''
Ms. America CEO Susan Jeske told NBC News that while Williams did make a separate page for her pageant material, her personal Facebook had political and pageant content, which also made it a ''pageant page'' that put her in breach of the rules.
Williams's profile picture on her personal Facebook page shows her wearing a red Trump 2020 hat, and several posts to her profile are of a political nature. On Saturday, she posted a screenshot of a tweet she wrote that called antifa a ''Terrorist Organization'' and its supporters ''Anti-American.''
Earlier this month, she wrote in a post that birth control ''isn't a right'': ''Men buy condoms, women can buy birth control."
The news follows Miss Michigan 2019 winner Kathy Zhu, an open Trump supporter, being stripped of her title last month for what the Miss World America organization deemed ''offensive, insensitive and inappropriate'' social media posts.
Ms. America Pageant is a separate pageant organization from Miss World America.
Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman and Margot Robbie in teaser for Fox News drama 'Bombshell' '' AwardsWatch
Thu, 22 Aug 2019 11:37
The first teaser for the newly titled Bombshell has arrived.
The film stars Charlize Theron as Megyn Kelly, Nicole Kidman as Gretchen Carlson and Margot Robbie as Kayla Pospisil who decide to take on Fox News boss Roger Ailes and the toxic male culture he presided over at the network.
Adding to this already star and awards-packed cast are Alanna Ubach as ''Judge'' Jeanine Pirro, Connie Britton, Kate McKinnon, Stephen Root, Academy Award winner Allison Janney and Academy Award nominee John Lithgow as Ailes.
Bombshell (formerly, but not officially, known as Fair and Balanced) is written by Charles Randolph and directed by Jay Roach (Trumbo, Game Change) and set for release on December 20 from Lionsgate. The film began production at Annapurna but was dropped just days before production was about to begin and was one of a few projects sold off by the struggling studio.
Here is your first look.
Continue Reading
San Francisco board rebrands 'convicted felon' as 'justice-involved person,' sanitizes other crime lingo | Fox News
Thu, 22 Aug 2019 13:16
Published August 22, 2019
Last Update 5 hrs ago
Crime-ridden San Francisco has introduced new sanitized language for criminals, getting rid of words such as ''offender'' and ''addict'' while changing ''convicted felon'' to ''justice-involved person.''
The Board of Supervisors adopted the changes last month even as the city reels from one of the highest crime rates in the country and staggering inequality exemplified by pervasive homelessness alongside Silicon Valley wealth.
The local officials say the new language will help change people's views about those who commit crimes.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, from now on a convicted felon or an offender released from custody will be known as a ''formerly incarcerated person,'' or a ''justice-involved'' person or just a ''returning resident.''
A juvenile ''delinquent'' will now be called a ''young person with justice system involvement,'' or a ''young person impacted by the juvenile justice system.''
And drug addicts or substance abusers, meanwhile, will become ''a person with a history of substance use.''
''We don't want people to be forever labeled for the worst things that they have done,'' Supervisor Matt Haney told the newspaper. ''We want them ultimately to become contributing citizens, and referring to them as felons is like a scarlet letter that they can never get away from.''
''We don't want people to be forever labeled for the worst things that they have done. We want them ultimately to become contributing citizens, and referring to them as felons is like a scarlet letter that they can never get away from.''
'-- Supervisor Matt Haney
The sanitized language, though unlikely to do much to address the crime problem, may result in some convoluted descriptions of crimes in the future.
The newspaper noted an individual whose car has been broken into could well be known to police as ''a person who has come in contact with a returning resident who was involved with the justice system and who is currently under supervision with a history of substance use.''
The board's approved new language is non-binding, with the district attorney endorsing the measure. Mayor London Breed hasn't yet endorsed the new language.
San Francisco board rebrands 'convicted felon' as 'justice-involved person,' sanitizes other crime lingo | Fox News
Thu, 22 Aug 2019 15:03
Crime-ridden San Francisco has introduced new sanitized language for criminals, getting rid of words such as ''offender'' and ''addict'' while changing ''convicted felon'' to ''justice-involved person.''
The Board of Supervisors adopted the changes last month even as the city reels from one of the highest crime rates in the country and staggering inequality exemplified by pervasive homelessness alongside Silicon Valley wealth.
The local officials say the new language will help change people's views about those who commit crimes.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, from now on a convicted felon or an offender released from custody will be known as a ''formerly incarcerated person,'' or a ''justice-involved'' person or just a ''returning resident.''
A juvenile ''delinquent'' will now be called a ''young person with justice system involvement,'' or a ''young person impacted by the juvenile justice system.''
And drug addicts or substance abusers, meanwhile, will become ''a person with a history of substance use.''
''We don't want people to be forever labeled for the worst things that they have done,'' Supervisor Matt Haney told the newspaper. ''We want them ultimately to become contributing citizens, and referring to them as felons is like a scarlet letter that they can never get away from.''
''We don't want people to be forever labeled for the worst things that they have done. We want them ultimately to become contributing citizens, and referring to them as felons is like a scarlet letter that they can never get away from.''
'-- Supervisor Matt Haney
The sanitized language, though unlikely to do much to address the crime problem, may result in some convoluted descriptions of crimes in the future.
The newspaper noted an individual whose car has been broken into could well be known to police as ''a person who has come in contact with a returning resident who was involved with the justice system and who is currently under supervision with a history of substance use.''
The board's approved new language is non-binding, with the district attorney endorsing the measure. Mayor London Breed hasn't yet endorsed the new language.
Planned Parenthood leaves Title X over abortion 'gag rule' - Los Angeles Times
Tue, 20 Aug 2019 03:39
Planned Parenthood said Monday it will withdraw from the federal Title X program that helps low-income people access contraception rather than comply with what it calls a new Trump administration ''gag rule'' that prohibits it from providing abortion referrals to those patients.
The announcement comes amid a protracted legal battle with the White House over changes to the nearly 50-year-old Title X program, which annually provides $286 million to healthcare providers to fund family planning services such as birth control. The administration required grantees to explain by Monday how they would comply with the new rule.
All seven Planned Parenthood facilities that are direct grantees in the program and hundreds of ''sub'' grantees that received funding through a third party will withdraw from Title X, said Alexis McGill Johnson, acting president and chief executive of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Nationwide, Planned Parenthood currently serves 1.5 million low-income people under the program.
The Trump administration has ''forced Planned Parenthood grantees out of Title X,'' McGill Johnson said. ''We at Planned Parenthood will refuse to cower to the Trump-Pence administration.''
McGill Johnson said that Planned Parenthood's doors will remain open and that it will continue to provide contraception services, relying on ''emergency'' funding from other sources in the case of Title X patients. But she indicated it would be a strain for the group. ''Using essentially fundraising for charity '-- what should be a state responsibility, a federal responsibility '-- [...is] like holding an umbrella during a tsunami,'' she said.
Several states have pledged to try to come up with new funding to replace the federal dollars. The impact is likely to vary state by state. In some parts of the country, Planned Parenthood is the only Title X grantee, and in some regions, the state acts as a grantee, with several subgrantees, including Planned Parenthood facilities and other healthcare providers.
The decision by Planned Parenthood '-- which gets about $60 million in funding and is the program's largest grantee '-- is the latest in a years-long battle between abortion-rights supporters and Republicans, who have advocated the elimination all federal funding for abortion providers and the ''defunding'' of Planned Parenthood.
If Planned Parenthood's decision to exit the Title X program holds amid the ongoing legal battle, it would mark one of the antiabortion movement's most prominent recent victories.
The Trump administration's new policy affects all 4,000 of the country's Title X-funded facilities.
Essential Access Health, which administers the Title X program in California, has filed suit against the policy, but indicated Monday that it will comply with the new regulations.
The group submitted a plan to the Department of Health and Human Services to keep the state's extensive Title X network in place ''while continuing the fight to halt implementation of the regulations in court,'' according to Julie Rabinovitz, president and chief executive.
Essential Access Health declined to reveal details of the plan.
But since the group's network includes several Planned Parenthood facilities, those facilities will suspend participation in Title X.
Planned Parenthood plays an outsize role in the Title X program, treating 41% of its patients in the country.
Planned Parenthood last week asked the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for an injunction to block the policy while it and other healthcare organizations appealed the court's earlier decision to allow the administration's new policy to move forward. The group warned in a letter last week that without emergency action by the court, it would ''now have no option but to withdraw from the Title X program.''
The court has agreed to revisit the issue at oral arguments the week of Sept. 23, raising the possibility that Planned Parenthood may yet win an injunction to delay the rule pending the court fight.
The policy does not prevent healthcare providers from mentioning abortion, but it prevents them from making a referral or telling patients where they could get one. Planned Parenthood and the American Medical Assn., which is also suing the administration over the policy, call it a ''gag rule'' because it interferes in a doctor's relationship with the patient and his or her ability to provide the care they think is best.
The Trump administration argues that its policy would ensure that taxpayers are not indirectly funding abortions, a top priority of antiabortion groups. The Title X program already prohibits participants from using any of the money to fund abortions.
In a letter to the 9th Circuit last week, Justice Department lawyer Jaynie Lilley said, ''Nothing in the rule will lead to the 'expulsion from the Title X program' of Planned Parenthood or any other grantee.''
''As relevant here, the rule merely requires grantees to refrain from providing referrals for abortions,'' Lilley wrote. ''If the seven Planned Parenthood direct grantees insist on providing abortion referrals even within a federally funded program, and feel so strongly that they would withdraw from the program and the public they serve, that is their own choice, not a consequence of the rule.''
The Trump administration said Monday that any Title X grantee who participated in the program this year did so with full knowledge of the conditions that went along with it and suggested that Planned Parenthood is abandoning its obligation to patients.
''Some grantees are now blaming the government for their own actions '-- having chosen to accept the grant while failing to comply with the regulations that accompany it '-- and they are abandoning their obligations to serve their patients under the program,'' said Mia Heck, director of external affairs at Health and Human Services' Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health.
Judges under Obama
Dear Adam,
I'm a knight as well as a recent graduate with a degree in
political science, a Republican and early Trump supporter. I was listening to
the last episode (1166) and you briefly discussed Trump's claim to have
appointed more judges than any one in history. I just wanted to address the
reason why. The reason why there were so many judges has a little to do with
Obama but way more to do with Mitch McConnell and the nuclear option which was
invoked by Harry Reid years earlier. Basically since the Dems invoked the
nuclear option for judges in 2013 Mitch McConnell decided that he was going to
jam up Obama's court appointments for the last year of his presidency. Thus
when Trump entered office he had a supreme court pick and a bunch of lower
court appointments as well.
Dogs are People Too
The dog is one of the world's most destructive mammals. Brazil proves it. - Anchorage Daily News
Thu, 22 Aug 2019 11:41
Nation/WorldGovernment researcher Katyucha Silva has discovered dozens of dogs hunting wild prey in Tijuca National Park outside Rio de Janeiro. She is shown July 19, 2019. (Washington Post photo by Terrence McCoy)
RIO DE JANEIRO - High above this Brazilian city, in a jungle blanketing a mountain, the turtles were out and the scene was hopeful.
Scientists were reintroducing 15 mud-caked tortoises to this urban forest where they had once been plentiful. Children were running around. People were oohing and aahing. A stern-looking security guard briefly appeared to smile.
But not government biologist Katyucha Silva. She was thinking about dogs.
What would they do to these turtles? What were they doing to Brazil?
It's a question more researchers are beginning to ask in a country where there are more dogs than children - and where dogs are quickly becoming the most destructive predator. They're invading nature preserves and national parks. They're forming packs, some 15 dogs strong, and are hunting wild prey. They've muscled out native predators such as foxes and big cats in nature preserves, outnumbering pumas 25 to 1 and ocelots 85 to 1.
Every year, they become still more plentiful, spreading diseases, disrupting natural environments, goosing scientists who set up elaborate camera systems to photograph wild animals, only to come away with pictures of curious canines.
"It's a difficult thing for people to hear," said Isadora Lessa, a Rio de Janeiro biologist who wrote her doctoral dissertation on domestic dogs causing environmental mayhem. "They love dogs too much."
How the dog became one of the world's most harmful invasive mammalian predators is as much a global story as a Brazilian one. Over the last century, as the human population exploded, so did the dog population, growing to an estimated 1 billion.
That has been great for people - and even better for dogs - but less so for nature, according to a growing body of academic research implicating canines, particularly the free-roaming ones, in environmental destruction.
"The global impacts of domestic dogs on wildlife are grossly underestimated," researchers concluded in a 2017 study published in the journal Biological Conservation. The researchers, based in Australia, convicted dogs in the extinction of 11 species and declared them the third-most-damaging mammal, behind only cats and rodents.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature maintains a list of animals whose numbers dogs are culling. There are 191, and more than half are classified as either endangered or vulnerable. They range from lowly iguanas to the famed Tasmanian devil, from doves to monkeys, a diversity of animals with nothing in common beyond the fact that dogs enjoy killing them. In New Zealand, the organization reported, a single German shepherd once did in as many as 500 kiwis - and that was the conservative estimate.
"Unfortunately, we have a big problem," said Piero Genovesi, chair of the agency's invasive species unit. "There is a growing number of dogs."
People all over the world are - begrudgingly - beginning to take note.
In Chile, stray dogs were the top concern among city dwellers surveyed this year, topping deteriorating sidewalks and theft. In New Zealand, some communities moved last year to restrict the movement of dogs in a gambit to save little blue penguins. In India, farmers are complaining about stray dogs killing their livestock, just as other predators once had.
And in Brazil, atop a mountain outside of Rio de Janeiro, 15 tortoises were nestling into the forest floor, oblivious to the danger of the forest's leading predator.
Katyucha Silva, not shown, a government researcher, watches the reintroduction of one of the tortoises she fears could become the prey of predator dogs. in Tijuca National Park outside Rio de Janeiro. Photographed July 19, 2019. (Washington Post photo by Terrence McCoy)
Brazil is home to an estimated 52 million dogs, according to the most recent government statistics - more than anywhere in Latin America - but their lives vary widely. In a nation defined by inequality, where the rich fly in helicopters overthe poor in the favelas below, the dog has become one more way of understanding the divide.
In wealthy cities, the dog is everywhere, strolling through fancy shopping malls, sitting in the laps of restaurant patrons, even riding paddle boards out on the surf. Some people wheel their dogs around in little strollers.
"The dog brings to Brazilians some things that Brazilians appreciate in themselves," said Alexandre Rossi, a television personality more commonly known as Dr. Pet. "To be friendly, to want to socialize with everyone . . . and be there and be close to your family. These are perceived as very good Brazilian qualities."
On the streets of trendy Ipanema one recent afternoon, few people could believe that a dog - or at least their dog - could be much of predator.
"The dog is a friend!" sputtered Philipe Soares, the furball Bobby at his feet. "No, I've never thought of him that way."
"Difficult to imagine," said Carlos Alberto Vicente, peering down at his own pooch.
"In her case," said Flavio Vilela, a shirtless man striding through a park with a small mutt named Nicoli, "they'd hunt her."
The problem, researchers say, isn't these dogs, who lead the coddled lives of European or American pets.
The problem is the dogs in poorer and more rural communities, where the life of the dog is more frequently the life of hunger. They prowl the streets day and night with neither a collar nor an owner, looking for food wherever it can be found - in trash heaps, alongside roads, and in forests and fields, where they form packs to hunt and kill.
"It's a very complex problem," said Silva, the government biologist.
Ana Maria Paschoal, a researcher at the Federal University of Minas Gerais, remembers when she first started thinking about the dog differently. She was out in the Atlantic Forest in Southeast Brazil around a decade ago when she noticed there were an awful lot of them.
She wondered: How many dogs are using the protected areas? Are these feral or domestic dogs? Is their presence changing the occurrence of wild species?
So she set up cameras across 2,400 acres of forest to find out. What she discovered, published in 2012 in the scientific journal Mammalia, stunned her. The dog wasn't just the most-recorded carnivore; it was the most-recorded animal of the 17 mammals the cameras captured.
"The presence of the domestic dog is a threat," Paschoal and her co-authors concluded.
The research, subsequently confirmed in a larger survey, laid the groundwork for a growing field of study here. One researcher linked Brazil's dogs to the spread of diseases. Another accused the dogs in the National Park of Brasilia, where they hunted in massive packs, of scaring off natural predators. It was found that the closer humans lived to a nature preserve, the more likely dogs had penetrated it.
But perhaps most striking? The dogs were neither feral nor domestic, but somewhere in between.
"All the dogs we detected had an 'owner' or a person that the animal has a bond with," Paschoal said. "The species population increases following human populations, exacerbating their potential impact on wildlife."
It was something Fernando Fernandez, an ecology professor at the University of Rio de Janeiro, learned the hard way. For the last decade, he has been reintroducing native animals to the Tijuca forest, one of the world's largest urban woodlands, which spills across Rio de Janeiro's mountains.
First came the agouti, a squirrel-like rodent. Then followed a problem: "Dogs."
They started killing the agouti, and not for food. It was just for fun.
Fernandez and Silva wanted to learn more. They set up cameras and discovered dozens of dogs in the forest. They estimated more than 100 dogs were in the park - not residents so much as frequent visitors, tracking in from nearby favelas.
"These are people who are very poor," said Silva, who has six dogs at home. "They don't have money to build walls . . . When the owners leave for work, the dog leaves, too, and only returns when the owner comes back to the house from work."
The owners often have no idea what their dogs are up to. Even if they were told, Rob Young said, they almost certainly wouldn't believe it.
Young, chairman of wildlife conservation at the University of Salford in Britain, witnessed the psychology at work after seeing dogs kill flightless birds in the state of Minas Gerais.
"We'd do interviews with the farmers: 'Have you seen these dogs?'
"And they'd say, 'Yeah, but my dogs aren't the problem; it's my neighbor's dogs.'
"Every farmer would say the same thing."
These factors - inability to see aggression in dogs, intractable inequality, the rapid expansion of humanity - left Silva feeling apprehensive as she watched the tortoises being reintroduced into the Tijuca forest.
In the long term, she didn't know how the problem of dogs laying waste to the world's environments would realistically improve.
And in the short term: Could dogs kill these tortoises, just as they'd dispatched a few agouti?
''Yes,'' she said. ''They could.''
The EU's latest assault on internet freedom, Soon online speech will be regulated by Brussels
Mon, 19 Aug 2019 14:47
As things stand, what you can and cannot say on the internet is largely a matter for national law, decided by national parliaments. This means that every nation in Europe currently has different laws and practices.
But the EU has quietly been moving to change this. Take last year's Copyright Directive, which more or less demands the introduction of automated content filters on social-media platforms. And last month, it became clear that an impatient Brussels wants to turbocharge this process by bringing internet regulation to the EU level, where it can pull the necessary strings.
The EU Digital Services Act sounds innocent on the surface. It is ostensibly aimed (in Euro-speak) at enhancing the so-called Digital Single Market by harmonising national laws and removing competitive barriers. Member states have not yet been consulted or made aware of any specific proposals in the Act. But thanks to the leak of an internal briefing to the Digital Single Market steering group, obtained German digital freedom activists Netzpolitik, we can see what Brussels has planned.
One of the EU's key concerns, as the briefing makes clear, is the lack of EU-wide rules and regulations covering what people can see and say online. The fight against online hate speech, for example, is said to be 'expensive and inefficient across the Single Market'. There are also no EU-wide rules on online advertising, nor does the EU have oversight of online services as a whole.
The prescription? EU regulation of the internet. EU law should cover the 'entire stack of digital services', from internet service providers (ISPs) and social media to search engines and cloud services. 'Uniform rules for the removal of illegal content such as illegal hate speech' need to be made binding across the EU, says the briefing. Online advertising, including political advertising, should come under EU control, too. And there must be a 'dedicated regulatory structure to ensure oversight and enforcement of the rules'
Currently, EU law has explicit safeguards against 'general monitoring obligations' '' meaning member states are prohibited from asking ISPs and social-media platforms to automatically filter and monitor content for undesirable material. In a beautiful piece of
EU doublespeak, this state of affairs should continue, but 'specific provisions governing algorithms for automated filtering technologies '' where these are used '' should be considered, to provide the necessary transparency and accountability'. Put another way, automatic filtering should continue to be banned, but filtering of an automatic nature should be both required and extended. Clear?
These proposals are worrying for several reasons. For one thing, you can't have rules for the compulsory removal of illegal hate speech unless you have rules defining hate speech. At present, there is healthy political argument about what hate speech is, how to balance free speech and offence, and indeed if there should be any prohibition on hate speech at all. Yet the logic of the EU proposal is to take this vital debate out of the national democratic process entirely, and instead entrust it to unelected EU technocrats.
Platforms will be issued with take-down notices for hosting hate speech. The EU also plans to regulate what it calls 'harmful content'. It suggests that, due to the ever changing nature of 'harms', EU-approved codes of conduct for ISPs might be more appropriate. While it is too early to predict the strictness of the codes or the heavy-handedness of the regulator, ominously, the briefing cites the UK's extremely censorious Online Harms White Paper and France's fake-news law with apparent approval.
Then there are the calls for EU-wide rules about political advertising. Although this is supposedly aimed at 'micro-targeted disinformation campaigns', this should not deceive anyone. Essentially, this is a demand for overall EU oversight over political speech. The omens aren't hard to spot. Highlighting EU corruption or waste, backing Brexit or supporting a populist politician could easily be labelled as 'misinformation'.
There is no doubt that new rules and regulations will have a chilling effect on online speech. ISPs, social-media sites and other platforms have businesses to run. Few will want to risk intervention from regulators. Still fewer will chose to defend the free-speech rights of individual users when an EU regulatory body, armed with possibly draconian sanctions, makes a takedown request. Companies will find it far simpler and safer to take down any material that is likely to draw complaints.
The Digital Services Act will allow the EU to set the acceptable parameters of 'free speech' online. ISPs and European websites will fall over themselves to avoid publishing anything that makes Brussels uncomfortable. Internet freedom is in serious danger.
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'Political Islam' seeks secession from France: Macron
Wed, 21 Aug 2019 16:29
French President Emmanuel Macron vowed Thursday to resist 'political Islam', which he said is a threat and seeks succession from the republic.
Macron made the remarks during a press conference at the Elysee Palace to unveil his policy response to the Yellow Vest protests following a three-month-long national debate.
"Political Islam wants to secede from our republic," he said, asking the government to be ''intractable'' against it.
''We are talking about people who, in the name of a religion, pursue a political project,'' he said.
He said the control of funds from abroad to some organizations should also be strengthened.
Macron also noted that France's 1905 law on secularism has been effective and should continue to be implemented.
''We must not hide ourselves when we talk about secularism. We do not really talk about secularism. We talk about the communitarianism that has settled in certain neighborhoods of the republic,'' he said, referring to Muslim communities in France.
Since last November, thousands of protesters wearing bright yellow vests -- dubbed the Yellow Vests -- have gathered in major French cities to protest Macron's controversial fuel tax hikes and the deteriorating economic situation.
Under pressure, Macron announced a rise in the minimum wage and scuttled the tax hikes.
The protests grew into a broader movement aimed at tackling income inequality and are calling for giving citizens a stronger voice in government decision-making.
At least 11 people died in the protests, around 8,400 were detained and over 2,000 were injured, and subsequently nearly 1,800 got prison sentences.
*Writing by Jeyhun Aliyev
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In Economic Warning Signals, Trump Sees Signs of a Conspiracy - The New York Times
Mon, 19 Aug 2019 11:23
White House Memo
Image President Trump's claims provide a ready target to help him deflect blame if the economy does tip into recession. Credit Credit Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times President Trump, confronting perhaps the most ominous economic signs of his time in office, has unleashed what is by now a familiar response: lashing out at what he believes is a conspiracy of forces arrayed against him.
He has insisted that his own handpicked Federal Reserve chair, Jerome H. Powell, is intentionally acting against him. He has said other countries, including allies, are working to hurt American economic interests. And he has accused the news media of trying to create a recession.
''The Fake News Media is doing everything they can to crash the economy because they think that will be bad for me and my re-election,'' Mr. Trump tweeted last week. ''The problem they have is that the economy is way too strong and we will soon be winning big on Trade, and everyone knows that, including China!''
Mr. Trump has repeated the claims in private discussions with aides and allies, insisting that his critics are trying to take away what he sees as his calling card for re-election. Mr. Trump has been agitated in discussions of the economy, and by the news media's reporting of warnings of a possible recession. He has said forces that do not want him to win have been overstating the damage his trade war has caused, according to people who have spoken with him. And several aides agree with him that the news media is overplaying the economic fears, adding to his feeling of being justified, people close to the president said.
The claims provide a ready target to help Mr. Trump deflect blame if the economy does tip into recession. But whether they could truly insulate the president on what could be a significant issue of the 2020 election after he has so conspicuously wrapped himself in the good economic news of the past two years remains an open question, and he and his advisers have sought to tamp down concerns that a downturn is on the way.
''Our economy is the best in the world, by far,'' Mr. Trump tweeted on Sunday. ''Lowest unemployment ever within almost all categories. Poised for big growth after trade deals are completed.''
''I don't see a recession,'' he told reporters later on Sunday before leaving his private golf club in Bedminster, N.J., for Washington. But he added that if the economy slowed down, ''it would be because I have to take on China and some other countries,'' singling out the European Union as among those treating the United States ''very badly.''
The president's broadsides follow a long pattern of conspiratorial thinking. He has claimed, without evidence, that undocumented immigrants cast millions of ballots, costing him the popular vote in the 2016 election. During the campaign, he predicted that the system might prove to be ''rigged'' if he did not win. He conjured up a ''deep state'' conspiracy within the government to thwart his election and, more recently, his agenda. And he has said reporters are trying to harm him with pictures of empty seats at his rallies.
The attacks come as the economy has begun flashing some warning signs, despite unemployment near historic lows and relatively high marks by voters on Mr. Trump's economic stewardship. Global growth has been slowing. Last week, stock markets plunged as the yield on the 10-year Treasury note briefly fell below that of the two-year Treasury note, an unusual situation known as an inversion of the yield curve that is considered one of the most reliable leading indicators of recession in the United States.
And signs of damage from Mr. Trump's trade war with China have been mounting.
In some conversations, the president has been preoccupied with the trade war, as well as with how to handle the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, according to the people who have spoken with him. ''I'd love to see it worked out in a humane fashion,'' Mr. Trump told reporters on Sunday, referring to potential retaliation against the demonstrators by China. ''It does put pressure on the trade deal,'' he added.
Mr. Trump also indicated that the Chinese tech giant Huawei, which his administration sees as a national security threat, might not receive an extension of a reprieve that allows American companies to supply it with certain goods despite a ban on such trade.
''Huawei is a company we may not do business with at all,'' the president said, casting doubt on reports that the reprieve, which is set to expire on Monday, would be extended.
On Sunday, his advisers battled any notion that the trade war could be harming the economy. Peter Navarro, a top trade adviser who has urged the president on in his trade war, dismissed a study from researchers at Harvard, the University of Chicago, the International Monetary Fund and the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston that showed that the cost of Mr. Trump's tariffs had ''fallen largely on the U.S.,'' not on China and other countries, as the administration has asserted.
''There's no evidence whatsoever that American consumers are bearing any of this,'' Mr. Navarro said on CNN's ''State of the Union,'' insisting, despite abundant data to the contrary, that ''they're not hurting anybody here.''
While maintaining that any turmoil in the economy is overstated, Mr. Navarro and Larry Kudlow, the White House economic adviser, also said the Federal Reserve had slowed economic growth, mirroring Mr. Trump's criticisms.
Mr. Kudlow, appearing on ''Fox News Sunday,'' said that the state of the economy under the Trump administration ''is kind of a miracle, because we face severe monetary restraint from the Fed.''
Mr. Navarro, appearing on CBS's ''Face the Nation,'' blamed the Fed for raising interest rates ''too far, too fast,'' adding that ''they have cost us a full point'' of growth in gross domestic product.
Mr. Trump has also struck an increasingly strident economic tone.
''You have no choice but to vote for me because your 401(k), everything is going to be down the tubes'' if Democrats win, he told a crowd at a campaign rally in Manchester, N.H., last week. ''Whether you love me or hate me, you've got to vote for me.''
The rally was one a few departures from a relatively low-profile period during a nearly two-week trip to his club in Bedminster, where he typically spends part of August. He also took official trips to El Paso, Tex., and Dayton, Ohio, after the gun massacres there, and he went to Pennsylvania ostensibly to talk about energy sources, but instead delivered remarks indistinguishable from those at one of his rallies.
But the dyspeptic diatribes came in spurts, and the president whipsawed between frustration and freewheeling meetings and golf outings, including one on Saturday with the president of the P.G.A. and the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, according to two people familiar with his playing partners. Still, Mr. Trump was frustrated by the news media's coverage of his rally in New Hampshire. He repeatedly complained about misleading pictures of empty seats, or that attendance at the arena had beat Elton John's record crowd there, but no one was covering it.
Long-serving aides say that Mr. Trump understands that presidents face harder re-election battles in a bad economy, and he has made the issue central to his presidency.
But even as he returns to Washington facing new pressures, Mr. Trump did not seem to anticipate a quick resolution to the trade war. ''The tariffs have cost nothing, in my opinion, or certainly very little,'' in terms of pain to American consumers and businesses, Mr. Trump insisted, adding that ''China is eating the tariffs.''
''China would like to make a deal,'' he said. ''I'm not ready.''
Chris Cameron contributed reporting.
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Disney whistleblower told SEC the company inflated revenue for years - MarketWatch
Mon, 19 Aug 2019 20:14
A former Walt Disney Co. accountant says she has filed a series of whistleblower tips with the Securities and Exchange Commission alleging the company has materially overstated revenue for years.
Sandra Kuba, formerly a senior financial analyst in Disney's DIS, +0.04% revenue-operations department who worked for the company for 18 years, alleges that employees working in the parks-and-resorts business segment systematically overstated revenue by billions of dollars by exploiting weaknesses in the company's accounting software.
Kuba said she has met with officials from the SEC on several occasions to discuss the allegations.
A spokeswoman for the SEC declined to comment.
A Disney spokesperson said the company had reviewed the whistleblower's claims and found that they were ''utterly without merit.''
Kuba's whistleblower filings, which have been reviewed by MarketWatch, outline several ways employees allegedly boosted revenue, including recording fictitious revenue for complimentary golf rounds or for free guest promotions. Another alleged action Kuba described in her SEC filing involved recording revenue for $500 gift cards at their face value even when guests paid a discounted rate of $395.
Kuba has also alleged that employees sometimes recorded revenue twice for gift cards, both when guests bought the gift card and when it was used at a resort. Sometimes, revenue was recorded even though a gift card was given to a guest for free following a customer complaint, for instance, according to the whistleblower's allegations.
Kuba's filing alleges that flaws in the accounting software made the manipulation difficult to trace, though the consequences could be significant. In just one financial year, 2008-09, Disney's annual revenue could have been overstated by as much as $6 billion, Kuba's whistleblower filing alleges. The parks-and-resorts business segment reported total revenue of $10.6 billion in 2009, according to its annual report filed with the SEC.
Kuba told MarketWatch she first reported the alleged revenue-recognition issues to management in 2013. She said that no one responded to her at that time. She said that she escalated her concerns to a more senior executive in 2016 and that Disney's corporate audit group contacted her once in November 2016 but never followed up.
Kuba said she brought her concerns to the SEC in August 2017. She was fired from Disney about a month later.
In October 2017, Kuba filed a whistleblower-retaliation complaint with the Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Disney's response to the department's whistleblower office investigator's inquiry said that Kuba's employment was terminated because ''she displayed a pattern of workplace complaints against co-workers without a reasonable basis for doing so, in a manner that was inappropriate, disruptive and in bad faith.''
Kuba has made two additional whistleblower filings since leaving the firm, including one this past June. The most recent tip alleges some Disney employees reclassified guest revenue from high-sales-tax items such as hotel rooms to lower-taxed items such as food and beverages with the purpose of significantly reducing sales tax liabilities in Florida, California and Hawaii. MarketWatch has reviewed the three filings and supporting documentation that was sent to the SEC.
The Disney spokesperson said: ''The claims presented to us by this former employee '-- who was terminated for cause in 2017 '-- have been thoroughly reviewed by the company and found to be utterly without merit; in fact, in 2018 she withdrew the claim she had filed challenging her termination. We're not going to dignify her unsubstantiated assertions with further comment.''
Kuba said she has withdrawn her claim challenging her termination but reserves the right to resubmit it and continues to dispute Disney's decision to fire her.
The whistleblower said she has talked with officials from the SEC by phone and met with them in person on more than one occasion, including as recently as last week, to discuss the allegations in her filings. The SEC has also requested additional documentation related to the allegations, based on correspondence reviewed by MarketWatch.
The pattern of interaction with the SEC suggests the regulator is taking the allegations seriously, said Jordan A. Thomas, a former attorney in the SEC's enforcement division and chairman of Labaton Sucharow's whistleblower-representation practice. As Thomas told MarketWatch: ''The SEC receives more than 25,000 tips, complaints and referrals each year, and the vast majority do not make it this far. The fact that the SEC has asked for more information more than once and conducted interviews suggests an inquiry is underway.''
Report: Disney Whistleblower Claims Parks Revenue Was Overstated By Billions
Tue, 20 Aug 2019 13:31
A former financial analyst at the Walt Disney Co. is claiming the company regularly overstating its amusement parks revenue by billions of dollars, according to a new report.Marketwatch reports that Sandra Kuba, who was a senior financial analyst in Disney's revenue-operations department, alleges that employees working in the parks-and-resorts business segment systematically overstated revenue by billions of dollars by exploiting weaknesses in the company's accounting software.
Kuba, who worked for Disney for 18 years said she has met with officials from the Securities and Exchange Commission on several occasions to discuss the allegations, according to Marketwatch. She said she brought her concerns to the SEC in August 2017 and was fired from Disney about a month later.
A Disney spokesperson told Marketwatch that the company has reviewed the whistleblower's claims and found that they were ''utterly without merit.''
Disney's parks-and-resorts business consists of its amusement parks around the world, including the Disney World resort in Orlando and Disneyland in Anaheim.
MarketWatch said it has reviewed the whistleblower's filings, which outline several ways employees allegedly boosted revenue, including recording fictitious revenue for complimentary golf rounds or for free guest promotions.
Another alleged act involved recording revenue for $500 gift cards at their face value even when guests paid a discounted rate of $395.
The whistleblower filing alleges that in just one financial year, from 2008 to 2009, Disney's annual revenue could have been overstated by as much as $6 billion, according to the report.
Since leaving Disney, Kuba has reportedly made two additional whistleblower filings. The most recent tip alleges that some Disney employees reclassified guest revenue from high-sales-tax items such as hotel rooms to lower-taxed items, such as food and beverages, in order to reduce sales tax liabilities in Florida, California, and Hawaii.
Marketwatch said Kuba filed a whistleblower-retaliation complaint with the Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration in October 2017. Disney replied that Kuba's employment was terminated because ''she displayed a pattern of workplace complaints against co-workers without a reasonable basis for doing so, in a manner that was inappropriate, disruptive and in bad faith.''
While the SEC receives several thousand tips a year, the vast majority of which amount to nothing, one former SEC attorney said that the government appears to be taking the complaint against Disney seriously.
''The fact that the SEC has asked for more information more than once and conducted interviews suggests an inquiry is underway,'' Jordan A. Thomas, a former attorney in the SEC's enforcement division, told Marketwatch.
Follow David Ng on Twitter @HeyItsDavidNg. Have a tip? Contact me at dng@breitbart.com
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With Mississippi Sting, ICE Sends Message to Big Employers of Illegal Workers
Tue, 20 Aug 2019 15:24
Details of the hiring practices of seven meat-processing plants in central Mississippi started coming to light as court documents were unsealed on Aug. 8.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents seized the business records during a sweep that hit all seven plants simultaneously and resulted in the arrest of 680 workers, suspected to be illegally employed.
Six of the seven plants were ''willfully and unlawfully'' hiring people who didn't have legal authority to work in the United States, according to the court documents.
Almost the full staff of two chicken-processing plants were illegal aliens, according to a confidential informant who worked with ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents.
The two companies'--P H Foods Inc. and A & B Inc.'--owned by the same Chinese man, hired about 300 illegal immigrants from Guatemala and Mexico, the informant told agents.
The informant said most of the illegal aliens used their real names and made-up Social Security numbers. Others used falsified documents or the stolen identities of U.S. citizens, according to court documents.
A Guatemalan national interviewed by HSI agents said he had worked at A & B Inc. for about six years and was only required to give his name when he got the job. He said he was paid $900 by check every two weeks.
Some workers were wearing electronic monitoring bracelets for previous immigration violations.
Another illegal alien, Daniel Morales-Cabrera, told agents he had worked for P H Food Inc. for about five years under the name Samual Rivera, using a fake California identification card that he bought for $150.
According to ICE, worksite investigations often involve egregious violations by employers such as human smuggling, document fraud, money laundering, or worker exploitation, such as using threats or coercion, and substandard wages or working conditions.
Mike Hurst, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Mississippi, said although he can't divulge many details about the ongoing investigation, he's looking to prosecute anyone who has violated federal criminal law.
''To those who take advantage of illegal aliens, to those who use illegal aliens for a competitive advantage or to make a quick buck'--we have something to say to you: 'If we find that you have violated federal criminal law, we're coming after you,''' Hurst said at a press conference on Aug. 7.
'Huge Case'Former ICE Chief Tom Homan said the Mississippi operation is a ''huge case.''
''This is a continuation of the effort to hold employers accountable to the law as written by Congress in 1986. This law's been around a long time,'' Homan told The Epoch Times on Aug 8. ''This is about trying to remove a magnet that draws a lot of illegal immigration in this country.''
When Congress enacted the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, it gave amnesty to 2.7 million illegal immigrants on the proviso that employers be mandated to verify that new hires are eligible to work in the United States.
Most illegal immigrants come to the United States for economic reasons, according to Yuma Sector Border Patrol Chief Anthony Porvaznik.
''In Border Patrol custody in Yuma, we really have a very small percentage of people that actually claim asylum or credible fear in our custody'--it's less than 10 percent,'' Porvaznik said on April 17.
''Over 90 percent are really here for economic reasons or to unite with someone they know already in the United States.''
A group of illegal aliens is apprehended by Border Patrol after crossing from Mexico into Yuma, Ariz., on April 12, 2019. (Charlotte Cuthbertson/The Epoch Times)Deterring illegal employment is ''the single best way'' to try to control illegal immigration, said Jessica Vaughan, director of policy studies for the Center for Immigration Studies.
''What we know from the past is when there have been these high-profile, large operations, then we do see a significant number of people'--who are living here illegally'--decide to go home on their own rather than wait to be arrested,'' Vaughan said. ''So this is important on so many levels. It's the best kind of bang-for-buck enforcement that ICE can do.''
Vaughan said such large-scale hiring of illegal workers usually means the employers are complicit.
''It usually means that this was their business model. That they were deliberately bypassing the American workers who were available in order to cut their costs and increase their profits,'' she said.
''There are presumably quite a few people in rural Mississippi who would qualify for these jobs and who need them to support their families.''
A Center for Immigration Studies report on Aug. 8 found that Mississippi has the lowest labor-force participation rate of any state.
Onlookers watch as immigration officials carry out an operation at a Koch Foods meat processing plant in Morton, Miss., on Aug. 7, 2019. (Rogelio V. Solis/AP Photo)A job fair held for a Koch Foods processing plant in Morton, Mississippi, which lost 243 suspected illegal workers on Aug. 7, attracted dozens of locals.
Eddie Nicholson Jr. of Louisville was among the Aug. 12 applicants at a state employment service office in Forest, Mississippi. ''They hire anybody,'' he told The Associated Press.
The 25-year-old has worked in chicken plants before and was considering a return, but wanted to see if wages had gone up. Plants in recent years have typically paid $11 to $12 an hour, according to labor statistics, but Nicholson said he wants $15 an hour.
''Our studies have shown that following these kinds of operations, typically the employers, if they want to stay in business, will have to increase wages and improve working conditions and offer these jobs to other local workers in the area,'' Vaughan said. ''So, this could be a real help to the economy in these areas.''
A massive ICE operation in December 2006 that included six meat processing plants operated by Swift & Co. resulted in close to 1,300 arrests of illegal immigrant workers. The plants'--based in Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Texas, Colorado, and Utah'--took four months to resume full production, according to Jerry Kammer, senior research fellow for the Center for Immigration Studies, in congressional testimony on Nov. 18, 2009.
''To replenish its depleted ranks, Swift launched a campaign to recruit American citizens, green card holders, and refugees. It raised wages, provided bonuses to new workers, and paid relocation expenses,'' Kammer said.
In that case, several hundred illegal workers were charged with identity theft against U.S. citizens by using fraudulently acquired Social Security numbers, along with immigration charges. No charges were brought against corporate officials.
ICE conducts a worksite enforcement operation in Canton, Miss., on Aug. 7, 2019. (ICE)Illegal Immigrant WorkersNo true number exists for how many illegal immigrant workers are in the United States, but an estimate from the Pew Research Center suggests 8.1 million were working or looking for work in 2012. That's 1 in 20 U.S. workers, according to Jeffrey Passel, senior demographer for Pew.
''Because unauthorized immigrants tend to have less education than people born in the U.S. or legal immigrants, they are more likely to hold low-skilled jobs and less likely to be in white-collar occupations,'' Passel said in a Senate hearing on March 26, 2015.
''They are especially likely to hold certain low-skilled jobs in construction and service categories. For example, unauthorized immigrants are about one-third of drywall installers (34 percent) and farm laborers (30 percent). They represent about one-quarter of roofers (27 percent), maids (25 percent), painters (24 percent), masons (22 percent), and carpet and floor installers (22 percent).''
Data obtained from the Social Security Administration revealed 39 million instances in which names and Social Security numbers on W-2 forms didn't match corresponding Social Security records, according to a report by the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) published on Sept. 11, 2018.
The IRLI points to illegal immigrants as the main culprits.
The IRLI said the cases occurred between 2012 and 2016, after then-President Barack Obama stopped the practice of sending ''no match'' letters to employers, in cases where the name and number don't match up on W-2 forms. Obama stopped the no-match letters eight days after he implemented the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals amnesty in 2012.
ICE conducts worksite enforcement operations in Mississippi on Aug. 7, 2019. (ICE)Worksite EnforcementIn 2017, as head of ICE, Homan announced that the agency aimed to quadruple its worksite enforcement and that illegal workers should be arrested during worksite operations.
Illegal alien workers were largely off-limits during the Obama era, when arrests plummeted from more than 1,600 individuals in fiscal year 2009 to 106 in fiscal 2016.
''The problem with that is when ICE agents are not allowed to even talk to the workers, much less arrest them, it makes it much harder for them to build a case against the employers'--because it's the workers who know what was going on,'' Vaughan said.
There are few cases of employers being penalized for hiring unauthorized workers, as it's more difficult to prove they did so knowingly'--many can simply blame it on unknowingly receiving false documentation.
Employers must fill out an I-9 form within three days of a new hire and file it away. The I-9 requires employees to present proof that they can legally work in the United States, such as a U.S. passport or work authorization card. If the employee has neither of those things, they must produce a Social Security number or birth certificate, as well as a driver's license or voter registration card.
A recent case demonstrates that employers do end up on the hook in some cases. In July, the former owner of a Tennessee meatpacking plant was sentenced to 18 months in prison and three years supervised release. James Brantley pleaded guilty in April to tax evasion, wire fraud, and employing illegal immigrants.
And in September 2017, a Pennsylvania-based company was fined a record $95 million for hiring and rehiring employees who company executives knew to be ineligible to work in the United States.
The company, Asplundh Tree Expert Co., a tree-trimming and brush-clearance company for power and gas lines, is also one of the largest privately held companies in the country, according to ICE.
Company supervisors knowingly accepted illegitimate documents, such as green cards, Social Security cards, and driver's licenses, as evidence of authorized status or employment in the United States, according to a statement by the District Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
ICE conducts I-9 audits on businesses to help root out illegal hiring. From fiscal 2017 to fiscal 2018, the agency increased its I-9 audits by 340 percent, according to Greg Nevano, HSI's assistant director of investigative programs.
He said ICE also increased its worksite criminal arrests by 460 percent from fiscal 2017 to fiscal 2018, while administrative arrests increased by 757 percent.
A ''pattern or practice'' of intentionally hiring unauthorized aliens is a violation of Title 8 U.S. code, Section 1324a, and maximum penalties include fines of up to $3,000 for each unauthorized alien and up to six months in prison.
In addition, employers can be charged with a felony for intentionally making false statements on an I-9 form. Tax evasion and various other crimes around worker exploitation are also potential charges.
E-VerifyPresident Donald Trump's immigration priorities laid out on Oct. 8, 2017, supported mandatory use of E-verify, which is a free system for businesses to check if potential employees are legally allowed to work in the United States. It provides an automated link to the Social Security Administration database and Homeland Security immigration records.
Currently the program is voluntary, but some states, including Mississippi, have made it mandatory.
A quick search on the E-verify website shows that P H Foods Inc. and A & B Inc. are not signed up; however, the other three companies included in the recent ICE operation are signed up: Koch Foods, Pearl River Foods, and Peco Foods.
The White House expressed that hiring legal workers is a priority for the administration in its April 2017 executive order ''Buy American and Hire American.''
''In order to create higher wages and employment rates for workers in the United States, and to protect their economic interests, it shall be the policy of the executive branch to rigorously enforce and administer the laws governing entry into the United States of workers from abroad,'' the executive order states.
Trump himself has been accused of having illegal workers on his properties, including housekeepers, maintenance workers, and landscapers.
A New York Times article in December 2018 featured illegal immigrant housekeeper Victorina Morales, who said she crossed the border in 1999 and used false Social Security and permanent resident cards to obtain work.
Illegal Workers in MississippiActing ICE Director Matthew Albence said each of the 680 people's cases in Mississippi will be handled individually, depending on their circumstances.
''Some of those individuals, we're looking to prosecute criminally. Some of these individuals are here illegally, have already gone through the immigration court process, have been ordered removed by an immigration judge, and have failed to comply with that removal order. Those individuals, we'll look to swiftly remove,'' Albence said at a press conference on Aug 7.
''On the other individuals, who are yet to go through the immigration process '... we will process them, we will place them in front of an immigration judge, where they will make their case as to whether or not they have a lawful right to remain in the country. The judge ultimately makes the decision as to whether or not these individuals can stay.''
Former acting ICE Director Tom Homan testifies at a House hearing in front of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, in Washington on July 12, 2019. (Charlotte Cuthbertson/The Epoch Times)Homan criticized the rhetoric by media and politicians following the arrests of the illegal workers, especially in relation to the videos of crying children, whose parents had been arrested.
''Everybody wants to make this about politics, and about race, and it's just ridiculous. These laws have been on the books for years,'' Homan said.
''Immigration enforcement has always been controversial. It's always been emotional. Because you're talking about arresting people that come to the country for a better life. I get it. However, we have to enforce the law.''
Homan said the politicians who complained can change the law if they don't agree with it.
''You're the legislator. ICE is the executive branch'--they're just enforcing the laws that were enacted by Congress,'' he said.
''If the message we want to send to the rest of the world is: 'You can come here and violate our laws, do anything you want, because if you have a child, we're never going to arrest you because we don't want a sad scene.' If that's the message we're going to send to the rest of the world, you're never going to solve your border crisis; you're never going to solve illegal immigration.''
Follow Charlotte on Twitter: @charlottecuthbo
Trump's 'Invasion' Was a Corporate Recruitment Drive - The Atlantic
Tue, 20 Aug 2019 15:53
What Trump has called an ''invasion'' was actually a corporate recruitment drive.
Aug 16, 2019 Author of Fast Food Nation
Rogelio V. Solis / Associated PressThe immigration raid last week at seven poultry plants in rural Mississippi was a perfect symbol of the Trump administration's racism, lies, hypocrisy, and contempt for the poor. It was also a case study in how an industry with a long history of defying the law has managed to shift the blame and punishment onto workers.
Planned for more than a year, the raid involved at least 600 agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, helicopters, and a staging area at a local National Guard base. The agents carried handguns, wore black body armor, and led 680 immigrant workers'--almost all Latino, many of them women'--to waiting buses with their hands zip-tied behind their backs. One worker, an American citizen, was shot with a Taser for resisting arrest. Children gathered outside the poultry plants crying as their parents were taken away and sent to private prisons; other kids sat in classrooms and at day-care centers, unaware that their families were being torn apart. It was the first week of school.
''The timing was unfortunate,'' Kevin McAleenan, the acting head of the Department of Homeland Security, later acknowledged. Twenty-two people had been killed a few days earlier in El Paso, Texas, where a gunman had targeted Mexican customers at a Walmart out of a desire to halt ''the Hispanic invasion of Texas.'' President Donald Trump expressed no regret and applauded the Mississippi raid, arguing that it would deter undocumented immigrants from taking American jobs. ''I just hope to keep it up,'' he said.
Despite the fact that the poultry workers were merely arrested, not yet found guilty, Mike Morgan, the acting commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, dismissed concerns about an 11-year-old girl photographed sobbing outside one of the plants. ''I understand the girl's upset, and I get that, but her father committed a crime,'' Morgan told CNN. He also denied that ''raids'' had occurred, calling them ''targeted law-enforcement operations.'' His comments reinforced the big lie at the heart of Trump's presidency: that undocumented immigrants are threatening and scary parasites who can be kept away with a wall. ''The Mexican government is forcing their most unwanted people into the United States,'' Trump said while running for office. ''They are in many cases criminals, drug dealers, rapists, etc.''
As The Washington Post and others have noted, immigrants to the United States are less likely to commit crimes than native-born Americans. Far from being a drain on the American economy, immigrants have become an essential component of it. According to a recent study by the Center for a Livable Future at Johns Hopkins University, ''The industrial produce and animal production and processing systems in the U.S. would collapse without the immigrant and migratory workforce.'' The handful of multinational companies that dominate our food system are hardly being forced to employ immigrant workers. These firms have for many years embraced the opportunity to exploit them for profit.
Read: How Trump radicalized ICE
More than a century ago, when Upton Sinclair wrote The Jungle, the workers in American meatpacking plants were recent immigrants, largely from eastern Europe. Sinclair eloquently depicted the routine mistreatment of these poor workers. They were employed for long hours at low wages, exposed to dangerous working conditions, sexually abused, injured on the job, and fired after getting hurt. In the novel, the slaughterhouses of Chicago serve as a metaphor for the ruthless greed of America in the age of the robber barons, of a society ruled by the law of the jungle. During the following decades, the lives of meatpacking workers greatly improved, thanks to the growing strength of labor unions. And by the early 1970s, a job at a meatpacking plant offered stable employment, high wages, good benefits, and the promise of a middle-class life.
Read: ICE raids reopen old wounds for families in this small town
When I visited meatpacking communities in Colorado, Nebraska, Texas, and Washington State almost 20 years ago, those gains had been lost. As I described in my book Fast Food Nation, published in 2001, the largest companies in the beef industry had recruited immigrants in Mexico, brought them to the meatpacking communities of the American West and Midwest, and used them during the Ronald Reagan era to break unions. Wages were soon cut by as much as 50 percent. Line speeds were increased, government oversight was reduced, and injured workers were once again forced to remain on the job or get fired. In The Chain, published in 2014, Ted Genoways wrote about similar changes in the pork industry. And in 2016's Scratching Out a Living, Angela Stuesse wrote about the transformation of the poultry industry in the rural South, with a prescient focus on the abuse of Latino workers in Mississippi.
All three books reached the same conclusion: What Trump has described as an immigrant ''invasion'' was actually a corporate recruitment drive for poor, vulnerable, undocumented, often desperate workers.
One of the poultry plants that Stuesse explored, in the small town of Morton, Mississippi, was raided last week. B. C. Rogers, the company that owned the plant in 1994, launched a hiring drive that year called ''The Hispanic Project.'' Its goal was to replace African American workers, who were seeking a union, with immigrant workers who'd be more pliant. It placed ads in Miami newspapers, arranged transportation for immigrants, and charged them for housing in dilapidated trailers. Within four years, it had brought roughly 5,000 mainly Latino workers to Morton and another meatpacking town in Mississippi, enlarging their population by more than 50 percent. The poultry industry expanded throughout the rural South during the 1990s, drawn by the warm climate and the absence of labor unions. Tens of thousands of immigrant workers soon arrived to cut meat. Charlotte S. Alexander, an associate professor at the Georgia State College of Law put it succinctly: ''In the poultry industry, location is a labor practice.''
The immigrant workers arrested in Mississippi the other day were earning about $12.50 an hour. Adjusted for inflation, during the late 1970s, the wages of meatpacking workers in Iowa and Colorado were about $50 an hour.
If you believe the numbers compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the injury rate among meatpacking workers has greatly declined in recent years. I don't believe them. During the George W. Bush administration, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) decided that cumulative trauma injuries no longer had to be recorded separately by meatpacking firms. As a result, from 2001 to 2003, the total number of injuries miraculously dropped by one-third. A few years ago, the U.S. Government Accountability Office admitted that meat and poultry workers ''may underreport injuries and illnesses because they fear losing their jobs, and employers may underreport because of concerns about potential costs.'' One study suggested that two-thirds of the injuries in American meatpacking plants are never officially recorded.
Read: How Latinos are saving Iowa
Even if you accept the accuracy of the official statistics, meatpacking remains an unusually dangerous and unpleasant occupation, with an injury rate much higher than that of other manufacturing jobs. Poultry workers stand close to one another with sharp knives, repeating the same motion again and again more than 15,000 times in a single shift, slicing birds as they pass on conveyor belts every two seconds. A 2013 investigation by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health found that 42 percent of the workers at a poultry plant in South Carolina were suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome. The work is bloody, difficult, and full of potential harms. Lacerations are commonplace, and the high prevalence of fecal bacteria in poultry plants increases the risk that wounds will become infected. A study of poultry workers in Maryland and Virginia found that they were 32 times more likely than other residents of the area to be carriers of antibiotic-resistant E. coli. Poultry workers suffer from respiratory ailments, chemical burns, fractures, concussions, eye damage, sprains, strains, concussions, and exposure to toxic fumes. Reporting on the industry for The New Yorker, Michael Grabell counted more than 750 amputations from 2010 to 2017.
Last year, two employees of Peco Foods, which operates one of the plants raided in Mississippi, survived amputations during separate accidents at the same facility in Arkansas'--and yet OSHA never visited the plant to look for safety problems after the accidents. Deborah Berkowitz, a former OSHA official who now handles worker-safety issues for the National Employment Law Project, told me that the Trump administration's close ties to the meatpacking industry are making the work even more dangerous. OSHA's enforcement activity has declined since Trump took office, and the agency now has the fewest inspectors since it was created in 1971.
The emotional toll of working in a poultry plant can be worse than some of the physical ailments. Koch Foods, the current owner of the plant in Morton, settled a case in 2018 with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Although the company admitted neither guilt nor wrongdoing, it paid $3.75 million to workers at the Morton plant who claimed to have been sexually harassed and punished for refusing to comply. The case brings to mind passages from The Jungle, with female employees allegedly grabbed and groped by supervisors, offered money for sex, promised better jobs in return for bribes, and demoted to humiliating jobs as retribution. Owned by Joseph Grendys, a Chicago multibillionaire, Koch Foods was also cited by the Department of Agriculture for discriminating against African American poultry farmers. According to an investigation by ProPublica this summer, 173 poultry farmers have contracts with Koch Foods in Mississippi, and none of them is black.
In addition to ignoring the poultry industry's abuse of immigrant workers, the Trump administration has eliminated regulations that protect poultry farmers from being treated unfairly. It has exempted factory farms from Environmental Protection Agency rules governing the release of air pollution. It is permitting the increase of line speeds at poultry and pork slaughterhouses, making worker injuries more likely and jeopardizing food safety.
Read: When ICE raids homes
Mike Hurst, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Mississippi, helped coordinate the immigration raid and joined ICE agents on the scene. He is the leading Justice Department official in America's poorest state, one with a history of racist brutality and some of the lowest rates of undocumented immigration in the country. (Perhaps 0.7 percent of the population of Mississippi is currently undocumented.) ''The execution of federal search warrants today was simply about enforcing the rule of law in our state and throughout our great country,'' Hurst claimed in a press release. He later defended the raid during an appearance on Tucker Carlson's Fox News show. ''This administration, this president, is all about law and order,'' he said. And he said it with a straight face. No top executive of a major meatpacking company has been arrested for violating immigration, worker-safety, food-safety, antitrust, or environmental laws. The adjectives shameful and disgraceful don't approach the reality of what is now taking place.
Over the years, I've spent time with countless farmworkers and meatpacking workers who entered the United States without proper documentation. Almost all of them were hardworking and deeply religious. They had taken enormous risks and suffered great hardships on behalf of their families. Today workers like them are the bedrock of our food system. And they are now being scapegoated, hunted down, and terrorized at the direction of a president who inherited about $400 million from his father, watches television all day, and employs undocumented immigrants at his golf resorts.
The day after the immigration raid in Mississippi, the United Nations issued a report suggesting that everyone should eat less meat to reduce the impact of climate change. That's a good recommendation. An even better one would be: Don't buy anything produced by America's large industrial meatpacking companies. Every dollar that you give them now is blood money, literally and figuratively.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.
Eric Schlosser is the author of
Fast Food Nation and co-producer of the documentary
Food, Inc.
Trump officials unveil rule allowing indefinite migrant family detentions | TheHill
Wed, 21 Aug 2019 14:34
The Trump administration on Wednesday said it would unveil a new rule that will allow migrant families to be held indefinitely, ending a procedure known as the "Flores Agreement" that had required children to be held no longer than 20 days.
The decision is a momentous change in detainee policy that the administration has sought to make to provide a disincentive for people crossing the border.
''This rule allows the federal government to enforce immigration laws as passed by Congress,'' acting DHS secretary Kevin McAleenan said in a statement.
Under the terms of the 1997 consent decree which eventually led to the 20-day limit in Flores, the regulation must be approved by the judge in the original case, Judge Dolly M. Gee of United States District Court for the Central District of California.
Gee denied the administration's request last year to extend family detentions after in 2015 ruling that officials could not hold children in unlicensed facilities longer than 20 days.Trump officials have sought to address Gee's concerns with indefinite detention by creating a federal government licensing regime which includes public audits of facilities conducted by a third party.
Under the new system, immigrant families could be held for the duration of their court proceedings, which officials claim can be resolved within three months.
The Trump administration has frequently blamed the Flores Agreement for the spike in family border crossings over the last few years, claiming the promise of eventual release creates an incentive to enter the country illegally.
The new rule would establish new standards for conditions in detention centers while simultaneously removing the 20-day maximum detention limit which has existed for decades.
"Large numbers of alien families are entering illegally across the southern border, hoping that they will be released into the interior rather than detained during their removal proceedings," the two agencies that created the rule, the Department of Homeland Security and Department of Health and Human Services, said in a statement.
"Promulgating this rule and seeking termination of the FSA [the Flores Agreement] are important steps towards an immigration system that is humane and operates consistently with the intent of Congress.
The rule will be published in the Federal Register on Friday and will be effective 60 days later '-- if it is approved by the courts.
VIDEO - Jeffrey Toobin Takes Down Trump's Google Conspiracy Theory
Thu, 22 Aug 2019 14:52
During a panel on The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin blasted President Donald Trump for Tweeting out an unfounded conspiracy theory that the 2016 election was unfairly skewed against him: ''In a day of whackadoodle claims, this is the most whackadoodle of all.''
Earlier in the day, Trump falsely claimed on Twitter that Google somehow manipulated between 2.6 and 16 million votes in favor of Hillary Clinton, based solely on Congressional testimony from a month ago by one psychologist about the impact of the search engine giant's results. Data experts have fact-checked and debunked this claim and Clinton also mocked the phony, unscientific nature of the study.
Prompted to assess this false claim among several others made by Trump, Toobin pulled no punches.
''In a day of whackadoodle claims this is the most whackadoodle of all because there is not even any claim that Google manipulated votes,'' Toobin pointed out. ''They didn't go in there and change votes. No one claims that except Donald Trump. The idea is that searches were ranked in certain ways that helped Democrats rather than Republicans. This, too, has been long discredited, but it's all part of this incredible nervousness about his political standing. I was wrong about 2016. I don't know if he's going to win or lose in 2020. But today's spate of craziness tells us he's really worried about losing. That is the real message. Not any of the substance.''
Fellow panelist Sabrina Siddiqui also noted that Trump's latest claim is not the first time he has tried to come with an excuse to cover up the fact that he lost the 2016 popular vote, and it comes amid a spate of polls showing him losing to several of prospective 2020 Democratic presidential nominees.
''It is no coincidence that he picked out this 2.6 million number from the range that was provided in this unsubstantiated conspiracy theory because that is close to the margin by when Hillary Clinton won the popular vote,'' she noted. ''We've seen him repeatedly lash out when he is anxious about his own political standing and this is coming at a time when he's very concerned and amid reports of impossible economic downturn and that is the one area where he has actually received higher marks from the American public in terms of issues. So that is something that he has to be concerned about.''
Watch the video above, via CNN.
Have a tip we should know? tips@mediaite.com
VIDEO - Merkel challenges Johnson to find backstop solution in 30 days '' video | Politics | The Guardian
Thu, 22 Aug 2019 12:50
The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, has challenged Boris Johnson to come up with a solution to avoid a no-deal Brexit in the next 30 days in a press conference after her first face-to-face meeting with her UK counterpart. Johnson replied that he was glad to hear Merkel setting such a 'blistering timetable'
UK politics - liveMerkel gives Johnson 30 days to find solution to avoid no-deal Brexit
VIDEO - Listen | Wisconsin Public Radio
Thu, 22 Aug 2019 12:00
Thursday, August 22, 2019, 10:00pm
VIDEO - Gillette backflips on 'toxic masculinity' with new firefighter ad
Thu, 22 Aug 2019 11:07
August 22, 2019 1:38pm
Gillette says it is 'shifting the spotlight from social issues to local Australian heroes' after a controversial ad about 'toxic masculinity' caused customer backlash.
Razor brand Gillette says it is ''shifting the spotlight from social issues to local heroes'' after an ad delving into ''toxic masculinity'' caused a customer backlash.The new ad, which launched last week, stars Australian firefighter and personal trainer Ben Ziekenheiner. ''I've been a firefighter for 19 years,'' Mr Ziekenheiner says in the ad.
''People sometimes ask if it's scary. It can be, but like anyone who has a job to do, you prepare '-- not just in terms of your equipment but also mentally and physically.''
The ad spruiks the brand's SkinGuard range, highlighting the issue of sensitive skin for men who shave every day '-- including firefighters, who are required to be clean-shaven as it enables a proper seal for their breathing mask.
''We have a very clear strategy when it comes to how we authentically connect with our consumers,'' said Manu Airan, associate brand director for Gillette Australia and New Zealand.
''We will continue to talk about what is important to Gillette and that is representing men at their best and helping men do their best. That is not changing. We will continue to do that and demonstrate it in different ways.''
Parent company P&G last month took a nearly $12 billion ($US8 billion) writedown in the value of the 118-year-old shaving business it purchased in 2005 for $84 billion ($US57 billion).
While the company blamed the writedown primarily on a strengthening US dollar, it said the non-cash impairment charge was also due to increased competition and a shrinking market for razors as men shave less frequently.
Mr Airan said while shaving frequency had been reducing, ''for us it's an opportunity''. ''Despite shaving frequency decreasing our sales have increased (thanks to) the innovation we are bringing to consumers' unmet needs,'' he said.
Conservative critics were quick to connect the writedown to the brand's recent push into progressive social issues, which rival Schick has pointedly mocked with a series of lighthearted ads taglined ''The Man I Am''.
Advertising is increasingly the battleground of the culture wars, with big brands like Target, Nike and Starbucks copping backlash, and praise, for taking sides in divisive social and political issues like race, gender and sexuality.
But by alienating roughly 50 per cent of potential customers, many brands end up taking a hit to their bottom line '-- ''Get woke, go broke.''
In January, Gillette sparked an online firestorm and boycott threats with an ad about the #MeToo movement challenging men to ''shave their toxic masculinity''. The ad, which depicted various scenes of men bullying and catcalling women, asked, ''Is this the best a man can get? Is it?''
The ''We Believe'' ad was labelled by some in the media as an ''attack on men'', but others praised the brand for starting a ''conversation''. In May, Gillette followed up with an ad featuring a father teaching his transgender son how to shave for the first time.
While the ''First Shave'' ad was generally well received, it was widely seen as Gillette doubling down on its push into social issues. In response to one Facebook comment, the company said, ''We believe brands play a role in influencing culture and have a responsibility to use their voice for good.''
Pressed on whether Gillette would continue to talk about divisive issues like toxic masculinity, Mr Airan repeated, ''We will continue to represent men at their best. This is our purpose and has been our purpose consistently for 118 years and that is not changing.''
Gillette ad backlash: "An attack on all men"
VIDEO - The 1975 - The 1975 - YouTube
Thu, 22 Aug 2019 11:02
VIDEO - Something's wrong with Washington '-- The Chuck ToddCast: Meet the Press '-- Overcast
Thu, 22 Aug 2019 10:53
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VIDEO - (25) Lou Dobbs on Twitter: "#AmericaFirst- Joe diGenova: The FBI under Obama became so politically corrupt & bankrupt, it couldn't run an investigation. Christopher Wray needs to clean house & restore the world's premiere law enforceme
Thu, 22 Aug 2019 03:58
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VIDEO - TRAILER | Train Your Baby Like a Dog | Tuesday 20th August 8pm - YouTube
Wed, 21 Aug 2019 20:43
VIDEO - Can BIG TECH Be Stopped? | Dave Rubin, Yaron Brook, Brian Amerige, Greg Salmieri | Rubin Report - YouTube
Wed, 21 Aug 2019 19:22
VIDEO - Bill Nye takes on climate change deniers
Wed, 21 Aug 2019 18:26
Famed scientist and educator Bill Nye is an outspoken advocate for climate change action. Through elections and scientific innovation, The Science Guy sees a world where climate denialism dies out. Aug. 16, 2019
VIDEO - Liberal CNN panelist blows up after Lowry notes anti-Semitism of Miftah - YouTube
Wed, 21 Aug 2019 14:53
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VIDEO - Cesar Chavez Used The Term "Wetbacks" and "Illegals" to Describe Migrant Workers from Mexico - YouTube
Wed, 21 Aug 2019 13:49
VIDEO - Grand on Twitter: "Trump says he is considering reopening the mental institutions. @Bin_Hamin @bWoStevie @StevePieczenik @adamcurry @THErealDVORAK @PrisonPlanet https://t.co/RvjVx5R8xO" / Twitter
Wed, 21 Aug 2019 13:08
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VIDEO - Trump calls for the reopening of mental institutions Video - ABC News
Tue, 20 Aug 2019 18:16
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Transcript for Trump calls for the reopening of mental institutions
We're going to be focusing very strongly that mental health as he is a case about. Part of the problem is we used to have mental institutions in this at this yesterday we had a mental institution. Will you take a sick go like this guy who's sick guy. So many sides. And you bring them to a mental health institutions those institutions a largely closed. Because communities. Didn't want him. Communities and want to spend the money for them. So you don't have any intermediate ground can't put him in jail has yet done anything yet but you know he's going to edges up. So we're going to be talking seriously about opening mental health institutions. In some cases reopened I can tell you a New York. The governors in New York in a very very bad thing when they closed. Our mental institution some idea yet these people living on the streets. And I can say that in many cases throughout the country every dangers they should be there. So we're going to be talking about mental institutions. And when you have some. Person like this you can bring him into a mental institution. And they can see what they can do what we gotta get him out of our communities.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.
{"duration":"1:15","description":"President Trump reiterated his desire to reopen mental institutions as part of the solution to preventing mass shootings, saying there was no place to take a \"sicko\" like the Parkland shooter.","mediaType":"default","section":"ABCNews/Politics","id":"53282744","title":"Trump calls for the reopening of mental institutions","url":"/Politics/video/trump-calls-reopening-mental-institutions-53282744"}
VIDEO - CNN Debates Are 100% Rigged - Andrew Yang - YouTube
Tue, 20 Aug 2019 17:01
VIDEO - Ex-FBI agent on who will go down once IG report is out - YouTube
Tue, 20 Aug 2019 16:08
VIDEO - DiGenova Discusses the Upcoming IG Report on Russia Probe - YouTube
Tue, 20 Aug 2019 16:05
VIDEO - CNN commentator to Republican guest: 'White men who think like you' are the 'greatest terrorist threat' in US | Fox News
Tue, 20 Aug 2019 15:11
Liberal CNN commentator Angela Rye had a fiery exchange with a Republican strategist during a panel discussion Monday night, telling him that "white men who think like you" are the "greatest terrorist threat in this country."
The conversation began when GOP campaign veteran Patrick Griffin argued that President Trump should "play the lottery" since Reps. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., and Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., brought new attention to their relationship with Israel.
However, Rye appeared to take offense after Griffin claimed that the "Squad" has "hijacked" the Democratic Party from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.
''It's so interesting that you use the term '-- the only two Muslim women in Congress, the term you chose to use, sir, is 'hijacking,''' Rye said.
"It has nothing to do with whether they're Muslim or not," Griffin responded. "Nothing to do with that... They've hijacked from their own principles."
''That's a real interesting word choice, and you understand why,'' Rye talked over the panelist. ''You can talk over me all you want to but the bottom line is the greatest terrorist threat in this country is white men, white men who think like you. That is the greatest terrorist threat in this country.''
Griffin dismissed her remarks as "silly rhetoric."
"No, it's not!" Rye shot back. "You know what's silly? The fact that you're on here knowing how dangerous times are right now defending this nonsense."
VIDEO - Ben Domenech on Tlaib, Omar comments about Israel | Fox News Video
Tue, 20 Aug 2019 15:11
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VIDEO - Operation Underworld - Counterintelligence - LibGuides at Naval War College
Tue, 20 Aug 2019 15:03
Operation Underworld Operation Underworld was the United States government's code name for the cooperation of Italian and Jewish organized crime figures from 1942 to 1945 to counter Axis spies and saboteurs along the U.S. northeastern seaboard ports, avoid wartime labor union strikes, and limit theft by black-marketeers of vital war supplies and equipment.
(From: https://www.history.com/news/what-was-operation-underworld)
VIDEO - Whitney Webb -- Spies and Secrets: The Real Jeffrey Epstein? - YouTube
Tue, 20 Aug 2019 14:45
VIDEO - PragerU v. YouTube - YouTube
Mon, 19 Aug 2019 20:04
VIDEO - Trump warns China against 'another Tiananmen Square,' says Tim Cook made 'compelling' tariff case | Fox News
Mon, 19 Aug 2019 13:45
President Trump told reporters on Sunday that Apple CEO Tim Cook privately made a "very compelling argument" that the administration's tariffs on Chinese-assembled goods have made an unfair impact on the California-based tech giant, because its chief rival, Samsung, has conducted most of its manufacturing in South Korea and did not have to pay the levy.
The president also issued a stern warning to China, saying there might not be an end to the trade war if the government resorts to "violence" to crush demonstrators in Hong Kong.
Trump announced last week he would delay major new tariffs on China for three months, and his latest comments hinted that more concessions may be forthcoming. The new ten-percent tariffs had been slated to go into effect Sept. 1, and would have affected Apple's signature iPhones and iPads.
In May, Trump increased tariffs on roughly $200 billion in Chinese goods from 10 percent to 25 percent, but later nixed steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada and Mexico. In June, China hiked its retaliatory tariffs against the U.S. by more than 15 percent.
"I had a very good meeting with Tim Cook," Trump said at an airport in New Jersey, on his way back to the White House. "I have a lot of respect for Tim Cook, and Tim was talking to me about tariffs. And, one of the things, and he made a good case, is that Samsung is their number-one competitor, and Samsung is not paying tariffs because they're based in South Korea."
Trump continued: "It's tough for Apple to pay tariffs if they're competing with a very good company that's not. I said, 'How good a competitor?' He said they're a very good competitor. ... I thought he made a very compelling argument, so I'm thinking about it."
Cook and Trump have met several times in the past year. Earlier in the day, Trump had sounded a note of optimism on China, tweeting, "We are doing very well with China, and talking!"
The Trump administration and some prominent Democrats have long said China engages in unfair trade practices, including the theft of U.S. intellectual property. The office of the U.S. Trade Representative, Robert Lighthizer, has said state-sanctioned Chinese IP theft could cost U.S. companies between $225 billion and $600 billion annually.
At the airport, the president took a tougher stance than he did on social media. He warned that a trade deal would not be possible if the Chinese government used force to crack down on demonstrators in Hong Kong, who largely have been protesting against an extradition bill proposed by Hong Kong's government that would permit certain extraditions to mainland China.
''I think it'd be very hard to deal if they do violence, I mean, if it's another Tiananmen Square,'' Trump said. ''I think it's a very hard thing to do if there's violence.''
The president also rebuffed weekend reports that the U.S. was open to doing business with the Chinese telecom giant Huawei. The U.S. had placed the company an export blacklist in June citing national security concerns amid worries that it's worked with Chinese spy networks.
Reuters and The Wall Street Journal reported that the White House was planning to announce on Monday a 90-day extension to a license allowing Huawei to provide service for U.S. customers. The temporary extension would be intended to allow the company to fulfill orders placed prior to the blacklist taking effect.
''I don't want to do business at all because it is a national security threat,'' Trump told reporters. ''We'll see what happens. I'm making a decision tomorrow."
Those remarks echoed Trump's comments at the White House last week.
A demonstrator holding up a sign reading "Back away slowly" to encourage other demonstrators to leave, near the Chinese Liaison Office in Hong Kong on Sunday. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)
''We are not going to do business with Huawei," Trump said at the time. "And, I really made the decision. It's much simpler not doing any business with Huawei. ... That doesn't mean we won't agree to something if and when we make a trade deal."
But, the president's messaging has not always been consistent on the matter. In June, after meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Trump had suggested that "we will keep selling" to Huawei, prompting administration officials to walk back the suggestion.
Throughout, Apple has focused its political capital on preserving its profit margins. In June, the company wrote to Lighthizer, the U.S. trade representative, to urge the administration not to pursue tariffs against China.
"The proposed tariff list covers all of Apple's major products, including iPhone, iPad, Mac, AirPods, and AppleTV, as well as the parts and batteries used to repair products in the United States," Apple said.
"U.S. tariffs on Apple's products would result in a reduction of Apple's U.S. economic contribution," the company continued. "U.S. tariffs would also weigh on Apple's global competitiveness. The Chinese producers we compete with in global markets do not have a significant presence in the U.S. market, and so would not be impacted by U.S. tariffs."
Apple did not immediately respond to Fox News' request for comment late Sunday. In a public-facing news release Thursday, ahead of Cook's dinner with Trump, Apple highlighted its growing investments in the U.S. economy.
"A significant amount of the jobs Apple supports in the US are found in the booming app economy, which is currently responsible for 1.9 million American jobs '-- an increase of 325,000 in the last two and a half years," Apple wrote in the release.
The company noted that it directly "employs 90,000 employees in all 50 states, putting the company on track to create 20,000 new jobs across the US by 2023."
For his part, Trump seemed receptive to the overtures even before his latest face-to-face with Apple's CEO.
''Having dinner tonight with Tim Cook of Apple. They will be spending vast sums of money in the U.S. Great!'' Trump tweeted on Friday night from Bedminster, New Jersey, where the two also dined last August.
VIDEO - Corey Lewandowski on the Clinton-Epstein connection | Fox News Video
Mon, 19 Aug 2019 13:43
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VIDEO - YouTube is Almost ASKING for a Class Action Lawsuit! Viva Frei Vlawg - YouTube
Mon, 19 Aug 2019 12:48
VIDEO - Bill de Blasio has hilarious audio malfunction on the campaign trail - YouTube
Thu, 22 Aug 2019 15:07


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All Clips

Bill de Blasio has hilarious audio malfunction on the campaign trail.mp3
Bill Deblasio is actually Ben Shapiro.mp3
CNN Debates Are 100% Rigged - Andrew Yang on H3 podcast.mp3
Warren apologizes to Native Americans - I am sorry for harm I have caused.mp3
The Lou and Joe Show - FBI needs to clean house & restore the world’s premiere law enforcement agency.mp3
NPR - 30 Years Of Prozac.mp3
NPR-30 years of prozac ISO.mp3
Boris Johnson and Angela Maerkel 30 days for a deal WTF.mp3
TRAILER Ch4 UK Train Your Baby Like a Dog.mp3
Bill Gates and his advisors connected to Epstein and his money.mp3
Trump 2015 Epstein - Island lotta problems.mp3
ms nevada kicked out.mp3
NAZI high schools NBC.mp3
new rul regarding immigration detention.mp3
people busted for threats left and right NBC.mp3
prius story.mp3
real ID NBC.mp3
revisionist history part Two advertising.mp3
revoking medals of honor DN.mp3
Russian nuke blows up NBC.mp3
six week cycle not long beach hotel.mp3
trump rampong attacks DN.mp3
tuesday trump rundown NBC.mp3
water scam underway DN.mp3
wednesday trump rundown.mp3
whipsaw one NBC.mp3
whipsaw two.mp3
amazon burning DN.mp3
e cigarettes expose NBC.mp3
greenlaand 2 DN WTF.mp3
greenland DN.mp3
interesting audio cuomo and the racist woman and guy cnn.mp3
italy tribulations DN.mp3
Trump calls for the reopening of mental institutions.mp3
CNN's Toobin Takes Down Trump's Conspiracy Theory About Google Manipulating Votes.mp3
Angela Rye says to Cuomo guest GOP-er Patrick Griffin - Hijacked is a bad word - White Men are the problem.mp3
Gillette - We will continue to represent men at their best - Gillette’s backflip after toxic masculinity backlash - Focus on Local Heroes.mp3
Too many old white guys running corporate America- FBN Varney Show.m4a
Dave RUbin with Panel including Brian Amerige [frmr Facebook] - Deplatforming is about Advertisers.mp3
PragerU v. YouTube.mp3
City of Austin poised to reverse course on homeless camping issue new restrictions.mp3
  • 0:00
    this is no good hmm it's not supposed to
  • 0:39
    be balmy there that's probably just a
  • 0:41
    cloud of steaming poop it could be and
  • 0:45
    will you please stop tweeting that we do
  • 0:50
    you keep tweeting send people tend the
  • 0:52
    homeless to Austin I'm doing them a
  • 0:54
  • 0:56
    Austin is opening its arms why are you
  • 1:02
    such a grumpy Gus he's opening its arms
  • 1:06
    to them to the poor homeless and they
  • 1:08
    you know and they welcome I'm sorry
  • 1:10
    right I'm just trying to get the word
  • 1:12
    out oh you do not want you're homeless
  • 1:14
    and by the way that you come here and
  • 1:17
    you'll bake on the street you hey
  • 1:22
    there's a glimmer of hope in Austin you
  • 1:26
    know a slight glimmer of hope you know
  • 1:30
    if you live in Texas and you're anywhere
  • 1:32
    but Austin someone says hey what are you
  • 1:34
    from and you say I'm from Texas they say
  • 1:36
    yeah we're in Texas you say Austin the
  • 1:39
    same that's not Texas it's exactly what
  • 1:44
    they say but I think the liberal Austin
  • 1:51
    local government mayor and the City
  • 1:56
    Council I think that they're just not as
  • 1:59
    when we say liberal they're not like
  • 2:01
    California liberals that they understand
  • 2:04
    and maybe not yet maybe it's not even
  • 2:06
    them maybe it's the people of Austin
  • 2:08
    they're revolting against what's going
  • 2:10
    on here is you recall several weeks ago
  • 2:13
    the council voted unanimously I believe
  • 2:17
    to remove all city ordinances of camping
  • 2:21
    where you except for of course in front
  • 2:23
    of City Hall or the Capitol building but
  • 2:25
    you can pretty much camp anywhere else
  • 2:27
    not in a sending city park but anywhere
  • 2:31
    else you want to on the median on the
  • 2:33
    right side of the road you can do
  • 2:34
    whatever you want you can Panhandle in
  • 2:36
    front of bus bus stop school school
  • 2:39
    grounds anywhere you want and that was a
  • 2:42
    man freedom actually that was 50 days
  • 2:46
    ago as longer than I thought
  • 2:49
    but now things have changed two months
  • 2:52
    after voting to allow sitting lying and
  • 2:54
    camping in public places city leaders
  • 2:57
    are tweaking the rules no one wants
  • 2:59
    anybody camping anywhere in our city
  • 3:02
    today Mayor Steve Adler and council
  • 3:04
    members sent out a six page proposal
  • 3:06
    aimed to solve problems of people
  • 3:08
    experiencing homelessness in the city
  • 3:10
    I've lived in Austin my whole life and
  • 3:13
    my beautiful city is a mess man thermal
  • 3:18
    and is one that's funny you say that I
  • 3:21
    heard this the second time I played it
  • 3:23
    and does sound like her doesn't it but
  • 3:25
    no it's not my whole life and my
  • 3:28
    beautiful city is a mess
  • 3:31
    ken bouncer Mullen is one of hundreds of
  • 3:34
    outspoken Austinites asking council to
  • 3:36
    change the sit like camp ordinance
  • 3:38
    she says it's caused a public safety
  • 3:40
    risk and health hazard where is it that
  • 3:43
    that people should should not be camping
  • 3:45
    and sitting in line in the report mayor
  • 3:47
    Adler answers those questions proposing
  • 3:50
    increased restrictions on people who
  • 3:51
    camp adjacent to roadways or medians on
  • 3:54
    sidewalks near creeks or in front of the
  • 3:56
    arch he also suggests a renewed focus on
  • 3:59
    creating new housing options but says
  • 4:01
    the changes won't be possible without
  • 4:03
    community input and support are we
  • 4:06
    really ready to do what it takes to
  • 4:09
    actually solve this problem this guy
  • 4:11
    gets my goat you know all he ever says
  • 4:15
    are we all ready to solve the problem do
  • 4:18
    we do can we come together
  • 4:20
    fuck you Adler go do something
  • 4:24
    oh this guy is so annoying can we all
  • 4:28
    come to get you're supposed to lead
  • 4:30
    dipshit it won't be possible without
  • 4:32
    community input and support are we
  • 4:34
    really ready to do what it takes to
  • 4:37
    actually solve this problem rather than
  • 4:40
    just chasing it around the city and
  • 4:42
    hiding it in the next couple weeks it E
  • 4:45
    Council is expecting more concrete
  • 4:47
    proposals on changing this ordinance
  • 4:49
    also tomorrow morning at 10 o'clock
  • 4:51
    there will be a public town hall right
  • 4:53
    here at the Austin Convention Center it
  • 4:56
    is open to the public it's your chance
  • 4:58
    to ask a city leaders questions directly
  • 5:01
    about this homelessness issue try look
  • 5:04
    at this six page proposal in that
  • 5:06
    clueless outline proposed principle
  • 5:13
    enjoy what is this you play in the
  • 5:15
    background but what are you hearing I'm
  • 5:17
    not hearing anything oh must be on my
  • 5:19
    machine do we need to stop tape are you
  • 5:26
    okay I'm good I thought it was you're
  • 5:29
    just playing a little bad for some