1182: Coupon Clipping

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

2h 58m
October 17th, 2019
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Executive Producers: Sir Jacob, Guardian of the Limburg Coast, Dame Corrie, Lady of Ten Boom

Associate Executive Producers: Dillon Thies, OZ of the windy plains

Cover Artist: Darren O'Neil


Start of Show
Europe and UK Agree on Brexit Deal
US Representative Elijah Cummings Dies at At 68
Project Veritas Exposes Bias of CNN
Fourth Democratic 2020 Presidential Debates
Europe On Fire
Cardi B, Tip Harris and Chance the Rapper on Elections
Democracy Now!: 'Mexican Senate Slated to Vote on Bill to Legalize Marijuana'
Democracy Now!: 'Man Launches Hunger Strike Amid Mohawk, Canada Land Dispute with Real Estate Developers'
Obama Endorses Trudeau for Re-Election on Twitter
Amy Goodman Mispronounces Pete Buttigieg as "Poop Buttigieg"
Producer Note: Transgenders
Artists From Austin
LeBron James Calls NBA Executive Tweeting About Hong Kong "Not Educated"
British Police Chief Posts Video to Raise Awareness for Misgendering
Google Rejects uBlock Origin Update from Chrome Web Store
Google Executive Rick Osterloh Admits Telling His Guests Google is Listening Before Entering His House
Apple Sends Safari Users' IP Addresses to China's Tencent
Adam's New OTG Phone
Brooks & Shields on Trump Firing Ambassador to Ukraine
NBC's Today Hosts Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb Respond to Sexual Allegations Against Former Colleague Matt Lauer
MSNBC Host Chris Hayes Calls Out NBC for Killing Harvey Weinstein Story
Birthdays, Meetups & Title Changes
Trump Featured in Parody on Kingsman Movie
No Agenda's Value for Value Network
US Senator Richard Blumenthal Announces Bill That Makes Threatening Journalists a Federal Crime
Texas Governor Greg Abbott on Austin's Homelessness Crisis
Austin Unveils New Revision of Land Development Code
Extinction Rebellion
End of Show
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What's in Boris Johnson's Brexit deal with the European Union? | Euronews
Thu, 17 Oct 2019 07:38
"Where there is a will, there is a deal!" Boris Johnson and Jean-Claude Juncker both took to Twitter to announce that a Brexit deal has been struck between the EU and the UK as they gathered in Brussels for a crucial European Council summit.
Johnson was quick to call it "a new deal that takes back control" and urged the British parliament to approve it soon "so we can move on to other priorities like the cost of living, the NHS, violent crime and our environment".
He may be speaking too soon, though, as Northern Ireland's unionist party, DUP, whose votes are important for the deal to be approved in parliament, has rejected the proposed agreement "as things stand".
But what's in this deal?Many elements of the deal remain unchanged from the one Boris Johnson's predecessor, Theresa May, agreed with Brussels in November 2018.
The main differences are to be found on issues concerning Ireland.
The deal that May agreed envisaged '-- in the event talks on a future trade deal failed to avoid a hard border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland '-- the introduction of a backstop or fall-back position.
That would see the UK remain in the EU's customs union and Northern Ireland follow some of the bloc's single market rules.
But Johnson's wing of the Conservative Party opposed the backstop on the grounds it could keep the UK in the EU for years to come.
This latest deal sees Northern Ireland leave the EU's customs union and single market.
It will remain in the UK's customs territory and follow EU procedures for goods arriving into the country.
There will be no customs checks on the island of Ireland - they will be done in ports.
For goods crossing from Great Britain to Northern Ireland, that are deemed to be staying there, no EU tariff will apply.
No EU tariffs would be paid on personal goods carried by travellers across the Irish frontier and for a second category of exempted goods that can only be for immediate consumption rather than subsequent processing.
The Northern Irish assembly will have to give consent after Brexit for the region's continued alignment with the EU regulatory regime.
Four years after Brexit, the assembly will have to decide by simple majority of those taking part in the vote whether to apply it. If the vote is positive, the system is extended for another four years.
If another vote then is positive with cross-community support, the system is extended by another eight years until another vote.
If consent is not granted, there is a two-year cooling off period during which sides need to find a new solution to prevent the return of a hard border on the island of Ireland.
If the regional assembly does not sit or vote, the system continues as the default position.
Unlike the "backstop" solution in the original deal, rejected by the British parliament, this system would not be replaced by a new free-trade deal between Britain and the EU.
That marks a big concession from the EU side.
Previously agreed settlement on citizens' rights after Brexit and Britain's divorce bill stay as they were.
The transition period should last until the end of 2020, Barnier said, but it could be extended to last another one or two years if an agreement is reached.
You can read the full text of the deal (64 pages) here.
+++ Brexit: EU and UK agree on deal '-- live updates +++ | News | DW | 17.10.2019
Thu, 17 Oct 2019 05:58
Negotiators from the European Union and the UK have reached an agreement on a Brexit deal, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has said. Follow the latest developments live.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced deal was done The agreement still has to be ratified by member states and the respective parliaments Northern Ireland's DUP says it remains opposed to the outline deal All updates in Universal Coordinated Time (UTC)
10:25 Britain's main opposition party is "unhappy" with the new Brexit deal, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said in Brussels.
10:14 Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said: "Very encouraging news that there is an agreement, now we have to study the details.
9:50 The pound has surged following news of the provisional deal on Brexit. The currency, which has been volatile over the past week on conflicting reports of progress, jumped to $1.2934 ('‚¬1.16) from $1.2805 earlier in the morning.
9:35 Johnson has praised the deal between Britain and the EU, saying they have agreed on a "great" new Brexit deal and urging lawmakers to approve it on the weekend.
"Now parliament should get Brexit done on Saturday so we can move on to other priorities like the cost of living, the NHS, violent crime and our environment."
9:34 "Where there is a will, there is a #deal '-- we have one! It's a fair and balanced agreement for the EU and the UK and it is testament to our commitment to find solutions," Juncker wrote on twitter.
8:35 Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) of Northern Ireland has said it cannot back the terms of the current deal on the table.
"As things stand, we could not support what is being suggested on customs and consent issues and there is a lack of clarity on VAT," the party leadership said in a statement posted on Twitter.
7:30 German Chancellor Angela Merkel addressed the German Bundestag and said that an "agreement is still possible," which is, "why we need to continue to do everything to bring the negotiations to a successful end."
law/rt (AP, Reuters, AFP, dpa)
Google rejects uBlock Origin from Chrome Web Store
Thu, 17 Oct 2019 10:10
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It's not official yet, but the day seems to be drawing ever nearer: the popular ad-blocking extension uBlock Origin may not be available for the desktop version of Google's Chrome browser for very much longer.
A new developer version of this open-source, cross-browser and cross-platform extension has been rejected by Google's Chrome Web Store (CWS), developer Raymond Hill announced in an issue he opened on GitHub.
source: Raymond Hill/GitHub
And since developer versions eventually become stable versions, while Hill doesn't seem to plan on re-submitting the build '' this crisis, while not immediate for Chrome users, looks to be just around the corner.
The email Hill received from Google said the extension did not comply with the rule that it must have ''a single purpose that is clear to users.''
But the developer made it clear he would not submit the version once again '' because, for one, he maintains that uBlock Origin doesn't ''bundle unrelated functionality.'' And for another, as Hill points out, ''my experience with the CWS in the past is that we will never know why it was labeled 'REJECTED', they never disclose the exact 'why'.''
It's important to think of this in the context of Google's upcoming new version of its extensions APIs, Manifest V3, that will fundamentally degrade the ability of extensions to block, modify, or redirect unwanted traffic. Developers unwilling to follow these changes are expected to abandon their projects for Chrome.
Google's reasoning behind Manifest V3 clear: now that it dominates several key online markets, including the browser market, the company feels comfortable in ousting adblockers to let advertising fully spread its wings. Cold comfort, of course, for those users who are relying on adblocking to navigate the web.
This has been a controversial and upsetting development in the works for a while now, set to leave Chrome users exposed to intrusive advertising, invading tracking, and visual clutter. It should be said, however, that uBlock Origin is not the only available adblocker '' although with Manifest V3, all of them will have their core purpose and functionality undermined on Google's browser.
At the same time, Chrome is not the only browser out there, and uBlock Origin, that became popular as an open-source, resources-friendly, and reliable extension, will continue to be available in a number of others.
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Google chief: I'd disclose smart speakers before guests enter my home - BBC News
Thu, 17 Oct 2019 06:00
Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Google's range of camera and microphone-fitted devices include the Nest Hub Max It's an admission that appears to have caught Google's devices chief by surprise.
After being challenged as to whether homeowners should tell guests smart devices - such as a Google Nest speaker or Amazon Echo display - are in use before they enter the building, he concludes that the answer is indeed yes.
"Gosh, I haven't thought about this before in quite this way," Rick Osterloh begins.
"It's quite important for all these technologies to think about all users... we have to consider all stakeholders that might be in proximity."
And then he commits.
"Does the owner of a home need to disclose to a guest? I would and do when someone enters into my home, and it's probably something that the products themselves should try to indicate."
To be fair to Google, it hasn't completely ignored matters of 21st Century privacy etiquette until now.
As Mr Osterloh points out, its Nest cameras shine an LED light when they are in record mode, which cannot be overridden.
But the idea of having to run around a home unplugging or at least restricting the capabilities of all its voice- and camera-equipped kit if a visitor objects is quite the ask.
The concession came at the end of one-on-one interview given to BBC News to mark the launch of Google's Pixel 4 smartphones, a new Nest smart speaker and other products.
Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Mr Osterloh first worked at Google when he headed its Motorola division, until it was sold in 2014 - he returned to the technology giant in 2016 The conversation below has been edited for clarity and brevity.
The new Pixel phones have two cameras on their rear for the first time. But is there a risk consumers say: "The new iPhone and Galaxy S10 have three and some others have four. I'm just going to go with the ones that have more because two doesn't sound that great"?
Users are very sophisticated now about their phone purchases.
They study them. They'll read the reviews. You're going to live with them for two, three or four years.
A lot of people remember from just a couple of years ago, where all the OEMs [original equipment manufacturers] were touting things such as: "We have eight cores in our device, so it's super-fast."
And then they realised the actual practical mechanics of that were almost none of them was used and it was actually just sort of a marketing specification.
Image copyright Google Image caption Google hopes to once again offer the best low-light photography of any smartphone So, my view is in this market, people don't fall for simple numbers anymore. They look for user experiences and Pixel certainly has a brand that's known for having an absolutely terrific camera experience.
The Pixel phone is one of most leaked smartphones. You even tweeted details about its built-in radar in advance. Others go to great lengths to try to keep details of their devices under wraps until launch day. Presumably you don't think that matters?
We definitely wanted to take a bit of a different approach in how we launch and reveal elements of the products. Several months ago, we started to disclose a little bit about how the product looked and some of the core technologies. We wanted to make sure people started to get excited about it and understood a little bit about it.
Of course, there are other leaks we really would prefer did not happen. And unfortunately that shows a little bit of our adolescence in that we have to make sure we're reducing the amount of unintentional information disclosed.
At some level, we're at least happy people care and desire this information. But we do want to try to reduce leaks in the future.
There's been controversy over facial-recognition tests carried out on the phone's behalf. To make sure it worked better with dark skin tones, there's been reports a contractor targeted homeless people offering them $5 (£4) but didn't properly explain what was going on. Can you address that?
Image copyright Google Image caption Google promoted the Pixel 4's ability to use face unlock with dark skin tones, in a teaser video It was very important for us to make sure the face unlock system works for all different kinds of people, genders, races, et cetera.
And as a consequence, we wanted to make sure we were able to get a large number of data points that allowed us to perfect this model in a fair way. So, we went out and did a lot of research in this area.
It's come to our attention there may be some methods that were not approved, not how we would do business. So, we're investigating that. We would never find that acceptable. And so we've suspended any data collection until this is straightened out.
Just to be clear about what you think is unacceptable. Was it the targeting of homeless people? Was it not explaining exactly what people were testing? Or what?
All of those allegations would be different than what we would find acceptable.
But do you still plan to retain the data collected in this way for 18 months?
I don't know that we've discussed the length of time that we're holding data. But there have been no changes to the programme with respect to data retention.
[Note: The Verge reported being briefed about the 18-month limit in July].
But some people are going to think if the data wasn't collected with proper consent, surely you should delete it and start again.
This is all under investigation. So, I just want to be clear we do not know the full facts of what has happened.
But if the investigation concludes people didn't know what they were consenting to, are you going to delete?
The best approach here would be to discuss it once we've actually looked into the facts and understood what has happened.
There's a lot of concern about facial recognition. You're selling camera-enabled devices that sit in people's living rooms, bedrooms, and on their front doors that use the technology. Do you accept reports about what happened with the Pixel tests help undermine confidence in Google and other big technology companies' use of facial recognition data?
Image copyright Google Image caption The Pixel 4 is the first in the series to have two cameras on the rear There's a distinction between what's being used to train a model for face unlock and facial recognition. There are specific use cases for these different technologies and it's very important to examine each one and determine if they're being used in a way appropriate for local laws and regulations.
It is definitely important around the world for what is societally acceptable to be clearly defined in collaboration between tech companies and governments. We want to take a very cautious and thoughtful approach to these technologies.
They are very important to debate and discuss and then together we have to clarify exactly what to do.
When Amazon recently unveiled its rival Ring smart cameras many expected them to add facial recognition but it decided not to. Do you think we need politicians to act quickly to set standards because there's a growing crisis of confidence?
It would be great for regulation to be clarified quickly.
The approach we're taking is to try to keep all of this information on devices as much as possible and always keep it private and secure and encrypted.
There's certainly a key responsibility to make sure the user's information is protected.
But everyone would benefit from clarity of standards and regulation. It is a challenging space to navigate. And it's very important it's thoughtfully navigated.
Apple Safari browser sends some user IP addresses to Chinese conglomerate Tencent by default
Sun, 13 Oct 2019 22:12
During the last week, the reality that US companies often bend the knee to China has been thrown into the spotlight. Apple, one of the biggest US tech companies, has appeased China by hiding the Taiwan flag emoji and ignoring US lawmakers when choosing to ban a Hong Kong protest safety app. Now it's been discovered that Apple, which often positions itself as a champion of privacy and human rights, is sending some IP addresses from users of its Safari browser on iOS to Chinese conglomerate Tencent '' a company with close ties to the Chinese Communist Party.
Apple admits that it sends some user IP addresses to Tencent in the ''About Safari & Privacy'' section of its Safari settings which can be accessed on an iOS device by opening the Settings app and then selecting ''Safari > About Privacy & Security.'' Under the title ''Fraudulent Website Warning,'' Apple says:
''Before visiting a website, Safari may send information calculated from the website address to Google Safe Browsing and Tencent Safe Browsing to check if the website is fraudulent. These safe browsing providers may also log your IP address.''
The ''Fraudulent Website Warning'' setting is toggled on by default which means that unless iPhone or iPad users dive two levels deep into their settings and toggle it off, their IP addresses may be logged by Tencent or Google when they use the Safari browser. However, doing this makes browsing sessions less secure and leaves users vulnerable to accessing fraudulent websites.
It's unclear when Apple started allowing Tencent and Google to log some user IP addresses but one Twitter user reported seeing this change to Safari as early as the iOS 12.2 beta in February 2019.
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In iOS 12.2 beta 2 Safari now uses Tencent Safe Browsing in addition to Google Safe Browsing. pic.twitter.com/92pZKBmwWs
'-- Stijn (@StijnDV) February 4, 2019
Safari is the default browser on iOS devices and according to recent statistics, it's the most popular mobile internet browser in the US with a market share of over 50%.
Even if people install a third-party browser on their iOS device, viewing web pages inside apps still opens them in an integrated form of Safari called Safari View Controller instead of the third-party browser. Tapping links inside apps also opens them in Safari rather than a third-party browser. These behaviors that force people back into Safari make it difficult for people to avoid the Safari browser completely when using an iPhone or iPad.
Tencent works closely with the Chinese Communist Party. It facilitates government censorship in China through its multi-functional utility app WeChat. The company also released a game pro-Chinese Communist Party game called Clap for Xi Jinping: An Awesome Speech in 2017 which, as the title suggests, encourages users to virtually clap for the Chinese president Xi Jinping. In addition to this, Tencent is reportedly collaborating with the Chinese Communist Party to develop ''patriotic'' video games.
Given the recent examples of the US tech companies Blizzard and Apple taking punitive actions against apps and video game players, seemingly in an effort to appease China, the revelation that Apple may send user IP addresses to Chinese conglomerate Tencent is worrying.
When you add in the rising tensions in Hong Kong, where China is being blamed for the increasingly violent police tactics that are being used against Hong Kong's pro-democracy protestors, this revelation is even more concerning.
IP addresses can reveal user locations and be used to profile users across devices. If Tencent logs the IP address of an iPhone or iPad user through its Safe Browsing service, this information could potentially be used to identify the owner of the device by searching for instances of the IP address across Tencent's other services.
Apple claims at the top of its privacy page, ''At Apple, we believe privacy is a fundamental human right.''
Last month, Apple ignored China's involvement and human rights violations when responding to one of the largest reported iPhone hacks to date. And earlier this year, it censored Chinese language podcasts in China and removed a Chinese artist's song from Apple Music at the request of the Chinese government.
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documentation/usage_guide.md at master · AndroidHardeningArchive/documentation · GitHub
Mon, 14 Oct 2019 23:33
CopperheadOS is a Linux-based mobile operating system with a focus on privacy and security. Itbuilds on the latest stable release of the Android Open Source Project (8.1.0) which is Androidwithout any Google apps and services.
This usage guide documents the user experience of the OS with a focus on how it compares to theAndroid operating system. Most security features are kept unintrusive without a user-facingimpact. See the technical overview fordocumentation on the security features rather than only changes to the user experience.
CopperheadOS can run Android apps unless they have a hard dependency on Google services. It shipswith the F-Droid app store to provide access to thousands of open source apps but it can also runmany apps from the Amazon Appstore and Google Play Store.
Since it doesn't include Google apps and services, CopperheadOS isn't limited by the requirementsimposed by Google for an operating system to be considered Android compatible. It disregards theconstraints required to actually be Android while still retaining the ability to run nearly allreal world Android apps not tied to Google. Android devices aren't permitted to ship many of thefeatures documented below like the Network permission toggle.
Permission modelApps run in an application sandbox with access to little more than their internal data andinterfaces explicitly exported to them from the base system and other apps. Most of theircapabilities need to be granted by the permission system. Permissions are divided into normalpermissions like the ability to set an alarm or start at boot and dangerous permissions that needto be explicitly granted by users.
CopperheadOS and stock Android use the same runtime permission model for apps targeting the modernAndroid platform. Dangerous permission groups (camera, contacts, microphone, etc.) are disabled bydefault and apps need to request them from the user as needed with the expectation that theyattempt to handle not getting the permissions. The dangerous permission groups can also be toggledvia Settings -> Apps & notifications -> App info -> App name -> Permissions and modern apps can beexpected to handle this and request the permissions again as needed. Dangerous permission groupscan also be audited / toggled by group instead of by app using Settings -> Apps & notifications ->App permissions.
For apps targeting old versions of the Android platform, stock Android grants all requesteddangerous permissions at install time. The dangerous permission groups can still be toggled offvia Settings -> Apps & notifications -> App info -> App name -> Permissions and provide empty datawhere possible rather than failing for compatibility. By contrast, CopperheadOS presents the userwith a menu where they can review and disable dangerous permission groups before the app is ableto run. The substantial difference is that stock Android doesn't give the user a chance to toggleoff permissions before the app is able to run. Installing it and toggling them off before manuallylaunching the app is not adequate as it's possible for it to be started before that.
Note that Android makes it possible for apps to get by without permissions in most cases. An appcan have the user pick a contact, take a picture, store / open a file in a storage provider, etc.without any permissions required. Be skeptical about the justification given by app developers fortheir permission usage. For example, many claim to need to read the phone state (Phone permissiongroup) to detect an active phone call but it's almost always a false justification as they couldbe using the standard audio focus mechanism.
Network permissionUnlike stock Android, CopperheadOS treats full network access as a user-facing permission with atoggle. For compatibility, it's enabled by default for apps targeting the modern Android platformunlike other runtime permissions.
There are many known cases of apps exporting interfaces to other apps for making limited networkrequests, so this toggle will become more useful when further isolation options are available. Forexample, web browsers almost all expose an interface allowing other apps to open URLs and choosenot to require either the INTERNET permission or explicit user consent before making the request.
Sensors permissionUnlike stock Android, CopperheadOS treats sensor access as a user-facing permission with a toggle.For compatibility, it's enabled by default for apps targeting the modern Android platform unlikeother runtime permissions. Stock Android only treats heartbeat sensor access as dangerous.
Unlike the Network toggle, apps aren't marked with an existing low-level permission when they makeuse of sensor access. CopperheadOS adds a new permission and treats all apps as requesting it sothere's a sensor permission toggle for every app.
Sensor access has been shown to provide the capability to perform locationtracking, inputlogging and crude audio recordingthat's still capable of recognizingspeechdespite the 200 Hz sampling limit enforced by the OS.
Background accessCopperheadOS adds special permissions for controlling access to data in the background in Settings-> Security -> Apps with background access.
This feature will become more strict in the future. It's an early implementation aimed at fleshingout the full set of functionality and working towards disabling access by default.
The powerful 'draw over other apps' special permission can be used to remain in the foreground. Itneeds to be explicitly granted by users in a more manual way than the usual dangerous permissionrequest dialog and a persistent notification is displayed while it's being used. It also can't beused to draw over the system ui to hide the persistent notification. It's outside of the scope ofthis feature as it's quite dangerous already and should only be granted to an app in exceptionalcircumstances just like accessibility services and device administrators.
ClipboardCopperheadOS disables access to the clipboard by apps in the background by default. This can beenabled per-app via Settings -> Security & location -> Apps with background access -> Accessclipboard in the background. For example, you may need to whitelist a clipboard manager.
Audio recordingInitiating audio recording in the background can be disabled per-app via Settings -> Security &location -> Apps with background access -> Record audio in the background. It isn't yet disabledby default but will be in the future.
For now, apps can still initiate audio recording in the foreground and continue in the backgroundeven with background audio recording disabled. The feature will eventually be improved to killapps with an open recording stream when they're sent to the background.
SensorsSensors access in the background can be disabled per-app via Settings -> Security & location ->Apps with background access -> Access sensors in the background. It isn't yet disabled by defaultbut will be in the future.
LocationLocation access in the background can be disabled per-app via Settings -> Security & location ->Apps with background access -> Access location in the background. It isn't yet disabled by defaultbut will be in the future.
Serial numberCopperheadOS requires that apps have the Phone permission group (read phone state) to access theserial number just like the IMEI on stock Android. Android is moving towards this but doesn't yetenforce it even for apps targeting Android Oreo.
Display over other appsUnlike stock Android, CopperheadOS doesn't permit any automatic grants of the special "Displayover other apps" permission. It needs to be very explicitly granted by users.
StorageApps have their own private storage directories and can share files with other apps using contentproviders. Apps can act as storage providers to provide structured requests to retrieve and storedata including for the shared storage directory. Direct scoped access can also be requested forthe shared storage directory (since 7.0). Unfortunately, many apps require the storage permissionsfor direct, full access to shared storage so it's unwise to store sensitive data there.
In the future, CopperheadOS will offer the ability to isolate shared storage rather than togglingaccess. Isolated shared storage will provide an app with a dedicated shared storage directoryaccessible only to themselves and the built-in file manager. Ideally, apps would already use theavailable tools to provide this kind of functionality on their own.
File managementThe built-in file manager for shared storage is recommended. It's available as the Files app onthe home screen and is also accessible via Settings -> Storage -> Files. Shared storage can beshown by enabling by "Show internal storage" in the app menu. It has proper integration withstorage providers (apps providing storage to other apps, with explicit user control) and externalstorage. It will also be the only app able to access isolated shared storage directories of otherapps once that feature is implemented.
LocationThe location icon is displayed in the status bar when an app is monitoring the device's location.
Settings -> Security & Location -> Location provides a global toggle to disable location detectionalong with a list of apps that have made recent location requests.
User profilesUser profiles offer isolated workspaces within the operating system.
Fully opening the notification tray will show an avatar for the main user profile. Touching itopens the menu for creating and switching between profiles. Further configuration is available via'More settings' which is a shortcut to Settings -> Users & accounts -> Users.
The special Guest profile is meant to be used as a scratch space with a quick shortcut in thenotification tray for deleting everything in the profile. It also offers the option to clear itwhen switching to it.
Apps cannot communicate or share data across user profiles. On Pixel phones, each user profile hasseparate disk encryption keys for all user data rather than there being a shared boot password. Aprofile also cannot record audio while another profile is active. By default, only the Owneraccount has access to phone calls and SMS. It can be enabled for other accounts via the usersettings menu on the owner account.
In addition to the baseline functionality, CopperheadOS exposes option to disallow audio recordingand to disallow installing apps in the user configuration menu for the owner account.
Force always on Tor / VPNIn Settings -> Network & Internet -> VPN, the gear icon next to installed VPN apps like Orbot(Tor) can be used to set one as an "Always-on VPN" to make it start automatically. However, it'salso necessary to toggle on "Block connections without VPN" to disallow connections being made ifthe VPN dies. This will be enabled by default for an "Always-on VPN" on CopperheadOS in the nearfuture.
Native debuggingSupport for native debugging features can be disabled by toggling off Settings -> Security &Location -> Enable native code debugging. It's left enabled by default like stock in order togenerate useful logs and crash dump information from crashes tied to bugs in native code.Disabling it will make the information generated by the 'Take bug report' feature nearly uselessfor crashes caused by native code but it will still produce useful information for uncaught Javaexceptions. There are currently no known app compatibility issues caused by disabling this, but itisn't compatible with some nasty tricks used by obfuscated apps to make themselves harder toinspect.
USB peripheralsCopperheadOS defaults to ignoring connected USB peripherals if the screen is locked. This can becontrolled in Settings -> Security & Location -> USB accessories. The options are:
Disallow new USB peripheralsAllow new USB peripherals when unlocked (default)Allow new USB peripherals (like stock Android)This option has no impact on the device acting as a USB peripheral itself when connected to acomputer. However, Android already defaults to charge only mode and requires explicit opt-in tothe device exposing itself as an MTP, PTP or MIDI device.
Camera on lockscreenCopperheadOS adds a toggle at Settings -> Security & Location -> Camera on lockscreen for reducinglockscreen attack surface by disallowing camera usage. It disables both the camera launch icon inthe lower right corner of the lockscreen and camera launch gestures while locked.
Quick Settings restrictionsCopperheadOS restricts usage of sensitive Quick Settings tiles while the screen is securely locked.
The following Quick Settings tiles have an unlocking requirement in stock Android:
CastLocationCopperheadOS extends this requirement to more tiles:
BluetoothNFC (not present as a tile in stock)Airplane modeWi-FiAuto-rotateData SaverHotspotCellular dataBatterySome tiles still have no unlocking requirement:
FlashlightNight LightInvert colorsDo not disturbWorkThe 'Flashlight' tile is quite useful from the lockscreen and adds minimal attack surface.
'Night Light' and 'Invert colors' are comparable to the brightness slider. They add minimal attacksurface and are easy to notice and toggle off. Similarly, 'Do not disturb' (DND) is comparable tothe volume rocker which works while locked and both are quite useful functionality to have there.The volume rocker already allows setting the 'Alarms only' DND mode too.
Android for Work isn't currently in scope for CopperheadOS hardening and the Work tile isn'tavailable when it's not in use, so it has been left as is. Android for Work isn't aimed atbusinesses deploying dedicated work devices but rather Bring Your Own Device (BYOD).
Wi-FiScanningMAC randomization is always enabled for Wi-Fi scanning. The Nexus 5X and Pixel phones have fairlyunique firmware support for scanning MAC randomization going above and beyond the usualimplementation.On most other devices, there are identifiers exposed by Wi-Fi scanning beyond the MAC address suchas the packet sequence number and assorted identifying information in the probe requests.
Wi-Fi scanning is never performed when Wi-Fi is disabled without explicitly enabling it in Settings-> Security & Location -> Location -> Scanning, unlike stock Android. The same thing applies toBluetooth.
Avoid using hidden APs (i.e. APs not broadcasting their SSID) since known hidden SSIDs end upbeing broadcast to find them again. SSIDs are not broadcast for standard non-hidden APs.
Privacy when associated with an Access Point (AP)The DHCP client uses the anonymity profile rather than sending a hostname so it doesn't compromisethe privacy offered by MAC randomization.
Unlike stock Android, CopperheadOS also provides MAC randomization when associated with an AP.This is currently exclusive to Pixel phones and can be toggled off in Settings -> Network &Internet -> Wi-Fi -> Wi-Fi preferences -> Randomize MAC address which will restore the hardwareMAC address when Wi-Fi is toggled off and on again.
LTE only modeIf you have a reliable LTE connection from your carrier, you can reduce attack surface bydisabling 2G / 3G connectivity in Settings -> Network & Internet -> Mobile network -> Preferrednetwork type. Traditional voice calls will only work in the LTE only mode if you have either anLTE connection and VoLTE (Voice over LTE) support or a Wi-Fi connection and VoWi-Fi (Voice overWi-Fi) support. VoLTE / VoWi-Fi on Pixel phones is expected to work on all carriers where it'ssupported on stock (T-Mobile, Rogers, Fido, etc.) other than Verizon. VoLTE / VoWi-Fi compatibilityis substantially worse on Nexus devices for now.
This feature is not intended to improve the confidentiality of traditional calls and texts, butmay somewhat raise the bar for some forms of interception. It's not a substitute for end-to-endencrypted calls / texts or even transport layer encryption. LTE does provide basic networkauthentication / encryption but it's for the network itself. The intention of the LTE only featureis only hardening against remote exploitation by disabling an enormous amount of legacy code.
Network connection information / statisticsCopperheadOS prevents third party apps from obtaining detailed network information without anypermissions as they can on stock Android. The Net Monitor app is built into CopperheadOS and has aspecial exception from this rule. Network information can also be accessed via the Android DebugBridge shell. Third party apps can only access information that's made explicitly available viadocumented interfaces with permission controls and there's essentially no access to it right nowas valid use cases for it by third party apps not covered by Net Monitor haven't been presented.The only known examples of using the information in good faith haven't been correct, such as theattempts to implement a user-facing firewall via a VPN service rather than properly integrated viathe existing OS firewall infrastructure so that it actually works properly.
Default connections made by CopperheadOSNet Monitor can be used to monitor connections by the OS in addition to those done by apps. TheDownloadManager service will do HTTP / HTTPS downloads on behalf of third party apps and thoseshouldn't be confused with downloads triggered by the OS itself.
CopperheadOS makes connections to the outside world to test connectivity, detect captive portalsand download updates. No data varying per user / installation is sent in these connections. Therearen't analytics / telemetry in CopperheadOS.
The expected connections by CopperheadOS (including all base system apps) are the following:
The CopperheadOS Updater app fetches update metadata from https://SERVER/DEVICE-CHANNEL everyhour when connected to a permitted network for updates. The Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P uselegacy.copperhead.co ( and Pixel phones use release.copperhead.co( These are currently hosted on OVH like the Copperhead site.F-Droid performs update checks for enabled repositories. By default, the standard F-Droidrepository and Copperhead repository are enabled. The Copperhead repository is hosted atfdroid.copperhead.co ( on OVH.As with other devices with a Qualcomm baseband (which provides GPS), GPSalmanac updates from Qualcomm are downloadedfrom https://xtrapath1.izatcloud.net/xtra3grc.bin, https://xtrapath2.izatcloud.net/xtra3grc.bin orhttps://xtrapath3.izatcloud.net/xtra3grc.bin. CopperheadOS has modified all references to theseservers to use HTTPS rather than a mix of HTTP and HTTPS.Connectivity checks designed to mimic a web browser user agent are performed by using HTTP andHTTPS to fetch standard URLs generating an HTTP 204 status code. This is used to detect wheninternet connectivity is lost on a network, which triggers fallback to other available networksif possible. These checks are designed to detect and handle captive portals which substitutethe expected empty 204 response with their own web page. These need use a very common domain andURL in order to bypass whitelisting systems only permitting access to common domains / URLs so adomain like copperhead.co would be inadequate. CopperheadOS leaves these set to the standard fourURLs to blend into the crowd of billions of other Android devices with and without Google MobileServices performing the same empty GET requests:HTTPS: https://www.google.com/generate\_204HTTP: http://connectivitycheck.gstatic.com/generate\_204HTTP fallback: http://www.google.com/gen\_204HTTP other fallback: http://play.googleapis.com/generate\_204DNS connectivity and functionality testsDNS resolution for other connectionsThe connectivity checks are performed by both the OS itself and the hardened Chromium browser.
DNSUnlike stock Android, CopperheadOS uses Cloudflare's DNS servers for network connectivity testsand the default fallback when the network doesn't provide DNS servers. This decision is based onCloudflare providing a stellar privacypolicycompared to the decent one for GooglePublic DNS. Cloudflare DNS supports DNS-over-HTTPS and DNS-over-TLS so it will be possible to useit with Android's upcoming DNS-over-TLS support.
In practice, the default fallback is rarely used. DNS servers provided by the local network arepreferred for both mobile data and Wi-Fi, since it avoids trusting an additional party with theinformation. The local network and ISP can still obtain all of the information when using analternate DNS server. Hiding the information from them requires using a VPN to move the same trustto the VPN provider which is hopefully more worthy of that trust than the ISP. Even when usingDNS-over-HTTPS or DNS-over-TLS, tracking IP addresses leaks nearly as much information and evenHTTPS connections leak the hostname (unlike the path) so very little is truly being hidden bythose technologies.
Android 9.0 is adding support for overriding the default DNS servers with a DNS-over-TLS serverchosen by the user. However, as noted above this won't be able to hide much information from thelocal network and ISP. It has some value but is limited, particularly before there's some form ofencrypted SNI extension for TLS 1.3 to avoid leaking exact hostnames for HTTPS rather than onlyhaving imprecise reverse DNS lookups.
It's possible for apps implementing the VPN service feature to provide alternative DNS servers andit can be done without intercepting and routing network traffic like a real VPN. Some apps usethis to implement features like domain-based content filtering.
Authentication / encryptionUsing a strong passphrase is recommended. CopperheadOS extends the arbitrary default maximumpassphrase length from 16 characters to 64 characters.
Pattern unlock is strongly discouraged and may be turned into a hidden option in the future.
Fingerprint unlock acts as an extremely convenient secondary unlock mechanism. However, it opensup weaknesses compared to knowledge-based authentication. It's not usable after a reboot for thefirst unlock or after 48 hours and it doesn't reduce authentication or encryption security inthose cases. It has the important redeeming quality of making a strong passphrase as the mainunlock mechanism very convenient and the placement of the scanner can make it even more convenientthan swipe to unlock or even the no unlock mechanism option (i.e. power button only).
The long-term plan for CopperheadOS is to build upon fingerprint unlock by adding support forsetting an optional knowledge-based 2ndfactor. Once that's implemented, the onlyrecommended authentication setups will be the following, from strongest to weakest:
Strong passphraseStrong passphrase with fingerprint + PIN (or weaker passphrase) as a secondary unlock mechanismStrong passphrase with fingerprint as a secondary unlock mechanismUntil it's implemented, using a PIN or a weak passphrase instead of the second option can makesense. It's much weaker in the case where fingerprint unlock isn't available, i.e. after a rebootor the 48 hour timeout.
CopperheadOS supports randomizing the PIN entry layout via a toggle in Settings -> Security &Location -> Passwords -> Scramble PIN layout, which is disabled by default. This will apply tothe planned 2nd factor fingerprint unlock mechanism in addition to using a PIN as the main unlockmethod, which will be discouraged once there's a better option available.
Fingerprint unlock attemptsCopperheadOS disables fingerprint unlock after 5 failed attempts, unlike stock Android whichallows 20 attempts with 30 second delays after each 5 failed attempts.
You can use this to disable the fingerprint scanner by intentionally making invalid unlockingattempts. The device will vibrate on invalid unlocking attempts and will stop vibrating oncefingerprint unlock has been disabled.
Keyboard personalized suggestionsThe keyboard has the option of maintaining an internal database to improve suggestions based onpast input. It's entirely local and inaccessible to any other apps like all internal app data, butCopperheadOS disables it by default to avoid gathering persistent statistics about user input thatmay be valuable to an attacker that has compromised the device. It can be enabled again inSettings -> Languages & input -> Virtual keyboard -> CopperheadOS Keyboard -> Text correction ->Personalized suggestions, which is also accessible by holding the comma key on the keyboard andpressing CopperheadOS Keyboard Settings.
F-Droid repositoryThe CopperheadOS F-Droid repository is included in the default set. For reference:
Repository URL: https://fdroid.copperhead.co/repoRepository fingerprint: F0D4EB1193AD82FEB224BD1174B6FBD89A39D8ED988C9FFF2ADD0DCD1C4E271BIt's only intended to be useful to CopperheadOS users. Nothing from there is guaranteed to workelsewhere and issues on other operating systems should not be reported.
App recommendationsBuilt-in user-facing appsCopperheadOS includes most of the standard Android Open Source Project (AOSP) apps.
The following apps are actively developed as part of AOSP and receive both bug fixes and newfeatures. Using these apps rather than third party ones is highly recommended:
CalculatorClockContactsFilesLauncherPhoneSettingsThe following apps are no longer actively developed as part of AOSP and only receive importantsecurity fixes. These apps will keep working indefinitely since Android is backwards compatiblebut they won't receive new features or overhauls. These are candidates for replacement down theroad, but the replacements need to be a good fit for CopperheadOS:
CameraEmailGalleryMusicSearch (launcher icon is removed in CopperheadOS, but it's included for compatibility)Some of the AOSP apps have been replaced in CopperheadOS:
Calendar -> Etar (maintained derivative of the backend-agnostic AOSP Calendar app, can be usedwith any service exposing a calendar backend via an app)Browser -> Chromium (hardened browser developed by CopperheadOS based on Chromium, see thesection on browsing)Messaging -> Silence (replaced to provide end-to-end SMS encryption)CopperheadOS also includes some additional built-in apps. These apps are included to providefunctionality missing in AOSP compared to stock Android or in the case of Net Monitor because itcan't work if it's not integrated with the OS due to CopperheadOS privacyenhancements.
F-Droid: app repositories and updatesOffline Calendar: local calendar storage backend as an alternative to cloud-based backendsNet Monitor: monitoring network connectionsPDF Viewer: hardened PDF viewer developed alongside CopperheadOSRed shiftOn Pixels, use Settings -> Display -> Night Light instead of a third party app requiring a grantof the special "Display over other apps" permission.
MessagingRecommended messaging app preference list:
Conversations + OMEMOSignal to communicate with Signal users and for encrypted callsSilence encrypted SMS to communicate with Android users without data connectionsOther apps with end-to-end encryption if you can't convince contacts to installone of the above (Wire, WhatsApp, etc.)Apps with transport encryption without end-to-end encryptionUnencrypted SMS or apps without transport encryptionConversationsThe recommended messaging client is Conversations. It's an XMPP client interoperable with otherXMPP clients and servers. It supports end-to-end encryption via robust cryptography (OMEMO) basedon the Signal protocol along with OTR and PGP for backwards compatibility with lesser clients.It's one of very few apps with efficient push messaging without needing Google Cloud Messaging(GCM). It also supports end-to-end encrypted group chat.
Conversations has an official XMPP server with all of the necessary extensions for fullfunctionality. It costs 8 EUR / year after the 6 month free trial. Using the official server tosupport the project is recommended, but there are otheroptions without a subscription fee. We don'tcurrently have a recommendation about which ones to prefer, beyond sticking to those with supportfor every XEP other than XEP-0357 (which is for GCM, rather than the standard push mechanism).
SignalSignal has full support for all features on CopperheadOS including voice and video calls but itisn't optimized for low impact on battery life like Conversations. Copperhead used to have a forkcalled Noise removing the hard dependency on Google Play Services, which then became a rebrandedbuild until full backups were supported to migrate away from it.
The official website releases of Signal can be installed from theirsite but this requires temporarily enabling installing apps fromyour browser (it still requires consent each time). Signal will check for updates to itself andnotify about them but it can't support the option of automatic upgrades. The upgrades need to beinstalled by hand and require enabling app installs from Signal (it still requires consent eachtime).
SilenceCopperheadOS replaces the AOSP Messaging app with Silence to provide support for encrypted SMS. Itisn't really recommended to prefer it over data-based encrypted messaging apps, but rather to makeuse of it for communicating with contacts without data connections, or for all messaging if youdon't have a data connection yourself. It makes sense to leave it as the default SMS app even ifyou're using an app like Noise able to act as the default SMS client.
WhatsAppWhatsApp works on CopperheadOS, but it isn't currently available in a convenient way. The best wayto use it is probably installing the Amazon Appstore as an apk and then installing it from there,so that you have updates for it along with the Appstore which will update itself.
We might consider trying to convince Facebook to either host an F-Droid repository or permitredistribution of it.
YouTubeUse the NewPipe app from F-Droid if you want more functionality than the mobile site.
MapsSimple, fast and highly usableThe all around best option for basic map and navigation functionality ismaps.me but it has some privacy and security issues.
The com.github.axet.maps fork is available in the standard F-Droid repository with the ads,binaries, etc. stripped out.
The official maps.me apk is available on their site and the Play Storeversion works perfectly well on CopperheadOS too.
The main issue with it is that there's no way to have it use internal app storage instead of usingshared storage for internal app data like settings and map downloads. The data is exposed to otherapps with storage access and could be tampered with or simply watched for location information. Itmight be something that the fork would be willing to address. Feel free to encourage both projectsto take a more secure approach or at least offer it as an option.
Functionality richOsmAnd (OpenStreetMap Automated Navigation Directions) can be installed from F-Droid and providesmap viewing and mobile navigation. It has the killer feature of optional support for downloadingthe OpenStreetMap database for chosen regions. In addition to the obvious advantage of not havinga dependency on an internet connection, offline mapping offers more privacy. It's recommended touse the offline mode if you have enough storage space to spare. Note that it's important toconfigure OsmAnd to use the internal storage directory: go into the menu, then Settings, Generalsettings, select the "Data storage folder" option, select the edit button and set it to the"Internal application memory" option.
Note that OsmAnd sends the semi-persistent ANDROID_ID to their server on connections. ANDROID_IDwill become less identifying in future CopperheadOS releases by default and further user controlwill be offered, but it reflects poorly on OsmAnd.
Google mapsIf you really need Google Maps, you can use their web application. It's not as nice as the mobileapp but the core functionality other than turn-by-turn navigation is there.
UberUse https://m.uber.com/ instead of the Android app. Open it with Chromiumand select 'Add to Home screen' from the menu. Unlike most sites, the Uber web app is set up toact as a standalone app when added to the home screen rather than the launcher only acting as abookmark and opening a Chromium tab. The map isn't enabled by default since the web app is aimedat the niche of users with low bandwidth but it can be enabled.
ChromecastVLC supports casting to Chromecast devices, so support within the OS provided by Play Servicesisn't required.
Installing apps from the Play StoreThe Yalp Store app on F-Droid can be used to install apps from the Play Store. Before using it toinstall an app, press the menu button, press Settings and enable the toggle for 'Download tointernal storage' to make sure Yalp doesn't download apps to shared storage where other apps withstorage access could potentially tamper with them before installation. Yalp will still demand theStorage permission even though it isn't required though.
It's not clear how Google feels about the Yalp Store app so we don't recommend using your ownaccount credentials unless it's a throwaway account. Stick to the Yalp Store credentials. If youneed apps that you've purchased, consider using F-Droid's support for swapping apps betweendevices to get them from a trusted device with the Play Store. Note that many paid apps use DRMwhich won't work without Play Services.
Many apps from the Play Store use Google Play Services, but lots of those will still work fine onCopperheadOS. Some functionality like push notifications may not be available if the apps don'timplement fallbacks for systems without Play Services included in the OS.
Be careful when installing apps from the Play Store and granting permissions to them since overallthey're a lot less trustworthy than the apps in the F-Droid repositories enabled by default onCopperheadOS. There are apps in F-Droid with serious privacy and security issues but there aren'tany known cases of malicious apps and they tend to be a lot more respectful of privacy with mostof the major deviations from that marked in the F-Droid entries for those apps.
Verified bootCopperheadOS only supports devices with verified boot support. The hardware verifies authenticityand integrity of firmware and the core operating system on every boot. The core operating systemverifies the entire rest of the operating system, providing full verified boot for the OS. Everyinstallation is guaranteed to be bit-for-bit identical at a storage level, otherwise it wouldn'twork. Updating the OS updates it to a pristine installation of a new release.
A fresh installation or an incremental update shipping only changes to blocks provide exactly thesame result. If any block fails to verify, the OS has error correction data to attempt to fix theissue before verifying the fixed block again. If the corruption cannot be fixed, an error will bedisplayed and it will reboot.
An attacker that has successfully gained root access via an exploit chain cannot simply modifyany of the OS partitions. They would need to have an exploit for the verified boot process toexploit it as it reads their altered data which is an extremely high bar. This greatly raises thebar for privileged persistence. An attacker is forced to persist as an unprivileged third partyapp, requiring exploitation of the OS via an unpatched vulnerability to gain back control. Factoryresets wipe userdata, guaranteeing that an attacker loses persistence unless they have a verifiedboot bypass. OS updates have a high chance of breaking any attempt to exploit the OS again too.
On the Pixel 2 and later, rollback protection is provided for the OS. This prevents an attackerwith root access from downgrading the OS to a previous version of the OS as a way to roll it backto a version where they have working exploits for verified boot, etc. The Pixel 2 and later alsoprovide substantially better enforcement of the CopperheadOS public key.
Verified boot is primarily about preventing attacker persistence, but it also greatly raises thecost of tampering with a device based on physical access. This is especially true for the Pixel 2.
For more technical details, see the documentation on verified boot.
The Purge
World Leaders on Twitter: principles & approach
Tue, 15 Oct 2019 16:40
There continues to be meaningful public conversation about how we think about Tweets from world leaders on our service. We welcome the conversation and want to share more context on our principles and process for reviewing reported Tweets from these accounts.
When it comes to the actions of world leaders on Twitter, we recognize that this is largely new ground and unprecedented. We understand the desire for our decisions to be ''yes/no'' binaries, but it's not that simple. The actions we take and policies we develop will set precedent around online speech and we owe it to the people we serve to be deliberate and considered in what we do.
Our mission is to provide a forum that enables people to be informed and to engage their leaders directly. We also have a responsibility to the people who use Twitter to better explain why we make the decisions we make, which we will do here.
Our approach
Everything we do starts with an understanding of our purpose and of the service we provide: a place where people can participate in public conversation and get informed about the world around them. We assess reported Tweets from world leaders against the Twitter Rules, which are designed to ensure people can participate in the public conversation freely and safely. We focus on the language of reported Tweets and do not attempt to determine all potential interpretations of the content or its intent. Presently, direct interactions with fellow public figures, comments on political issues of the day, or foreign policy saber-rattling on economic or military issues are generally not in violation of the Twitter Rules. However, if a Tweet from a world leader does violate the Twitter Rules but there is a clear public interest value to keeping the Tweet on the service, we may place it behind a notice that provides context about the violation and allows people to click through should they wish to see the content. We announced this in June. Enforcement scenarios
We want to make it clear today that the accounts of world leaders are not above our policies entirely. The below areas will result in enforcement action for any account on our service (without consideration of the potential public interest value in allowing the Tweet to remain visible behind a notice):
Promotion of terrorism; Clear and direct threats of violence against an individual (context matters: as noted above, direct interactions with fellow public figures and/or commentary on political and foreign policy issues would likely not result in enforcement); Posting private information, such as a home address or non-public personal phone number; Posting or sharing intimate photos or videos of someone that were produced or distributed without their consent; Engaging in behaviors relating to child sexual exploitation; and Encouraging or promoting self-harm. In other cases involving a world leader, we will err on the side of leaving the content up if there is a clear public interest in doing so.
With critical elections and shifting political dynamics around the world, we recognize that we're operating in an increasingly complex and polarized political culture. These are constantly evolving challenges and we'll keep our policies and approach under advisement, particularly as we learn more about the relationship between Tweets from world leaders and the potential for offline harm.
This post seeks to provide clear insight into how we address content from world leaders on Twitter today, and will serve as our statement on the decisions we make, rather than our teams providing feedback on individual Tweets and decisions. We've also updated our dedicated Help Center page to provide a significantly more detailed breakdown of how we make decisions regarding the use of the public interest notice.
Our goal is to enforce our rules judiciously and impartially. In doing so, we aim to provide direct insight into our enforcement decision-making, to serve public conversation, and protect the public's right to hear from their leaders and to hold them to account.
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Democrats donated more than $700 million in 2019 through ActBlue, officials say - The Washington Post
Thu, 17 Oct 2019 06:05
Democratic donors giving money in small amounts online have generated more than $700 million this year to candidates and left-leaning organizations, signaling a banner election cycle ahead for small-dollar fundraising on the left.
The Democratic donation platform ActBlue drew more money in the third quarter of 2019 than in any previous quarter, pulling nearly $300 million from the beginning of July through September, according to figures provided by ActBlue to The Washington Post.
ActBlue donations are on track to exceed $1 billion in 2019 alone, officials said. For comparison, the total amount raised through ActBlue in the 2017-2018 cycle was $1.7 billion.
The surge in donations made online in small increments points to the enthusiasm among Democratic voters as the 2020 presidential election ramps up. The average donation in 2019 was $30.50, they said. In the third quarter, there were 1 million new unique donors on the platform, officials said.
The small-dollar fundraising boom has reshaped the donor base of both parties in recent years.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and President Trump successfully raised money from lower-dollar donors in the 2016 campaign, helping generate a reliable source of campaign funds for candidates who cultivate a loyal following.
In the 2018 elections, ActBlue helped drive the Democrats' small-dollar boom that drove a record amount of money to House Democrats, who regained the chamber's majority.
More than 11,000 Democratic candidates and organizations are using ActBlue as of third quarter 2019, nearly double the number from this point in the previous election cycle, officials said. These committees and groups range from 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls to state legislative candidates and nonprofits advocating for liberal causes.
''We're really excited about what we're seeing here. It's only going to accelerate as we get closer and closer to 2020,'' said Erin Hill, ActBlue's executive director.
How small-dollar donors are reshaping the Democratic primary
Earlier this year, Republicans launched WinRed, a platform modeled after ActBlue and designed to capi­tal­ize on Trump's historic small-dollar fundraising to help down-ballot candidates and enhance the party's data operation.
Officials said WinRed generated $30 million in the third quarter, which was its first full quarter. The majority of House and Senate campaign committees and state parties have signed onto the new platform, they said. It is unclear how many have begun raising money using the new platform.
WinRed processed more than $13.7 million in donations from more than 276,000 contributors in the six days since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced the impeachment inquiry last month, officials said.
Hundreds of thousands of dollars flowed to House GOP ''nominee funds,'' officials said, referring to the fundraising vehicles to raise money for Republican challengers to vulnerable Democrats who support the impeachment inquiry.
''Turning major news events into big time fundraising numbers is a key goal of WinRed '-- and we had a super-charged example of that last week after Nancy Pelosi announced an impeachment inquiry against President Trump,'' WinRed president Gerrit Lansing wrote in a memo released in early October.
GOP launches new fundraising platform to capi­tal­ize on Republican small-dollar donor base
Democratic online donors are increasingly giving money using their mobile phones, and the majority of donors giving through ActBlue in 2019 made their contributions that way. Users can save their credit card information and give money with one click on their phone.
More than half of the donations made on ActBlue in 2019 were made using mobile devices, marking the first year that the majority of donations on the platform were made on mobile, officials said.
The single biggest hour for mobile donations came the night of the Sept. 12 Democratic debate, when 82 percent of donors giving through ActBlue gave using their mobile phones, officials said.
''We have been trying to make it very easy for small-dollar donors to give and meet them where they are, and increasingly, they are on mobile devices,'' Hill said.
Donations made through ActBlue and WinRed will be revealed Jan. 31, 2020, in public reports filed with the Federal Election Commission.
The CNN Debate Was an Insult to LGBTQ+ People
Wed, 16 Oct 2019 16:34
Not one question about LGBTQ+ rights, but we did get to talk about Ellen again.
October 16 2019 10:40 AM EDT
Just in case you weren't already totally sick of talking about Ellen Degeneres, CNN was ready and waiting to put that final nail in your sanity coffin.
If you've been living under a very peaceful rock, Degeneres was criticized for yukking it up with the former President George W. Bush at a recent Dallas Cowboys game earlier this month and defended the interaction by saying that the two are ''friends.'' '' In fact, I'm friends with a lot of people who don't share the same beliefs that I have,'' she said in a monologue on her show. She's a vegan, she added, but that doesn't stop her from hanging out with people who wear fur.
''Just because I don't agree with someone on everything doesn't mean that I'm not going to be friends with them,'' she continued. ''When I say, 'Be kind to one another,' I don't only mean the people that think the same way that you do. I mean be kind to everyone.''
But as this website has already pointed out, the issue isn't that the two have different opinions. It's that Bush nearly bankrupted the American economy in 2008 by pushing rampant deregulation, went vacationing during Hurricane Katrina, got the United States into a series of wars that cost $5.9 trillion, and lied about whether former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction. His administration also tortured lots and lots of people and continually defended it.
After weeks of controversy, moderator Anderson Cooper covertly came out as #TeamEllen on Tuesday night by closing out the fourth round in a seemingly endless series of Democratic primary debates by framing her friendship with an accused war criminal as an act of bipartisan bravery.
''[W]e'd like you to tell us about a friendship that you've had that would surprise us and what impacts it's had on you and your beliefs,'' he told the presidential candidates, prompting a stream of cutesy anecdotes.
The fact that Anderson Cooper '-- a gay man '-- was able to ask this question without immediately bursting into flames is frankly remarkable, but perhaps he was wearing an invisible HAZMAT suit under his jacket. In addition to helping devastate the American economy for nearly a decade, Bush's administration unilaterally pushed policies targeting the LGBTQ+ community, such as a federal marriage amendment that would have banned same-sex unions across the country.
Bush himself referred to the Massachusetts Supreme Court's 2004 marriage equality ruling as ''deeply troubling,'' claiming that ''activist judges... have begun redefining marriage by court order.'' The former president also opposed LGBTQ+ inclusive hate crime laws, fought gay inclusion in the Boy Scouts, and said he wasn't sure if homosexuality is a choice.
Suffice it to say that you told me a decade ago that someday we would be arguing about the sanctity of Bush calling the safety and dignity of LGBTQ+ people ''special rights,'' I would have laughed in your face, yet 2019 feels increasingly removed from the very concept of laughter. That's the one with the smiling, right?
What's so galling about Cooper caping for homophobes and the lesbian talk show hosts who love them is that his network couldn't be bothered to ask a single question about LGBTQ+ issues throughout the entire debate, even during the same week that a federal judge struck down protections for transgender patients under the Affordable Care Act. On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Reed O'Connor ruled that it's unconstitutional to ask doctors to treat trans people in accordance with their gender identity.
Medicare for All was a popular topic throughout the evening, with Pete Buttigieg seeking to distinguish his more moderate plan by attacking Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, so wouldn't it have made sense to ask candidates how they will ensure coverage for 1.4 million transgender Americans who now face being turned away by hospitals and doctors simply because of who they are? One would think, but apparently thinking doesn't get ratings.
Tuesday also marked the fourth consecutive presidential debate in which the topic of LGBTQ+ rights has yet to be raised, even as the federal government pushes the Supreme Court to rule that it should be legal to fire queer and transgender workers simply because of who they are.
While CNN might feel it has sufficiently addressed the question of LGBTQ+ rights by holding a four-hour Town Hall event on the subject just days before, it garnered a fraction of the audience of a generalized debate. Around 1.1 million people tuned into to watch the historic forum, while the ABC debate in September took in 14 million viewers. This was a chance to press the candidates on LGBTQ+ issues with all of America watching, and the network blew it.
But hey, at least we all got a chance to hear a bunch of people tell heartwarming stories about John McCain '-- another Republican who opposed same-sex marriages, supported Proposition 8, fought against hate crime laws that protect LGBTQ+ people, and voted against LGBTQ+ nondiscrimination protections.
Laughter was fun, wasn't it? I miss it so.
RELATED | These Candidates Still Haven't Released LGBTQ+ Rights Plans
Trend Watch: Dem Candidates Call to 'Codify' Roe v. Wade - 5/16/2019 | Merriam-Webster
Wed, 16 Oct 2019 10:52
Lookups for codify spiked on May 16-17, 2019, after several Democratic presidential candidates expressed their intent to protect Roe v. Wade. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand made news with her announcement about abortion rights in the context of the recent law banning abortions passed in Alabama:
First, as president, I will codify Roe v. Wade. I will make it clear beyond a shadow of a doubt that women in this country have a guaranteed right to an abortion.
Senator Cory Booker also affirmed that he would "protect the rights afforded by Roe, codify those protections in federal law."
Another candidate, Senator Elizabeth Warren, also released her reproductive rights policy proposal:
New: @ewarren has released a multi-part abortion rights platform in the wake of AL, GA, MO and other state restriction laws. It includes a framework for how to codify Roe (which Booker and Gillibrand called for earlier this week), + more. https://t.co/LJp9jnLJym
'-- Elana Schor (@eschor) May 17, 2019Codify literally means "to reduce to a code," with code referring to "a systematic statement of a body of law."
Another way of expressing this meaning is "to put (laws or rules) together as a code or system."
Codify shows the influence of such words as classify, and both of these terms date from the late 1700s when thinkers during the Enlightenment were busy putting ideas about knowledge, philosophy, and laws into order. It was during this period that the first truly modern dictionaries and encyclopedias were written.
Code itself derives from Middle French, from the Latin terms caudex, codex meaning "trunk of a tree" or "document formed originally from wooden tablets."
NH Poll Suggests Michelle Obama Would Be State's Front-Runner If She Entered the Race | News Thud
Wed, 16 Oct 2019 09:55
Per MSNBC, in July Activist filmmaker Michael Moore says that only a revolution will defeat President Trump, and the one candidate he thinks could ''crush'' him would be Michelle Obama.
[embedded content]
While Michelle Obama has since indicated there is zero chance she'll run, a new New Hampshire poll indicates if she was in the race, she'd top Warren and Biden in the state.
FoxNews reports former first lady Michelle Obama repeatedly has stated there's ''zero chance'' she would run for president in 2020 '-- but a new poll in New Hampshire, the state holding the first primary in the race for the White House, suggested that if Obama changed her mind, she would enter the race as the front-runner.
The Boston Herald-Franklin Pierce University survey, released on Monday, indicated a three-way tie for the top spot in New Hampshire '-- with Sen. Elizabeth Warren at 25 percent support, former Vice President Joe Biden at 24 percent, and Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont at 22 percent.
But, if Obama hypothetically jumped into the race, the poll suggested she would grab 26 percent support of likely Democratic primary voters in the Granite State, with Warren and Biden at 20 percent and Sanders at 15 percent.
The former first lady has resisted a flood of calls for her to declare her candidacy.
''There are so many ways to improve this country and build a better world, and I keep doing plenty of them, from working with young people to helping families lead healthier lives. But sitting behind the desk in the Oval Office will never be one of them. It's just not for me,'' she told Amtrak's magazine The National this past August.
The Boston Herald-Franklin Pierce University poll was conducted Oct. 9-13, with 422 likely Democratic primary voters in New Hampshire questioned by live telephone operators. The survey's margin of error was plus or minus 4.8 percentage points.
This article was written by the staff of TheConservativeOpinion.com
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Democratic presidential debate question about Ellen sparks outrage | Fox News
Wed, 16 Oct 2019 08:11
CNN anchors Erin Burnett and Anderson Cooper, and Marc Lacey, New York Times national editor, during a Democratic presidential primary debate at Otterbein University, Oct. 15, 2019, in Westerville, Ohio. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
A question about Ellen DeGeneres and former President George W. Bush's friendship drew the ire of Democratic presidential candidates and viewers alike following Tuesday night's debate hosted by CNN and The New York Times.
After the three-hour televised event, viewers and some Democratic hopefuls slammed debate moderator Anderson Cooper's final question of the evening, which did not focus on what many thought could have been more important issues, like climate change.
''Last week, Ellen DeGeneres was criticized after she and former President George W. Bush were seen laughing together at a football game. Ellen defended their friendship, saying, 'We're all different and I think that we've forgotten that that's OK, that we're all different,''' Cooper said to the 12 candidates onstage.
''So in that spirit, we'd like you to tell us about a friendship that you've had that would surprise us and what impacts it's had on you and your beliefs.''
Many quickly took to social media to call out and even outright mock the debate question.
''When you're eight hours into the debate and Anderson Cooper asks a question about Ellen,'' tweeted Trevor Noah's ''The Daily Show.''
''Hey, let's do 20 closing minutes on that Ellen/Bush meme thing. Immigration and climate change can wait until the next debate if the world is still here,'' another user tweeted.
Presidential candidates Julian Castro and Sen. Kamala Harris also called out the question, suggesting there were more poignant topics to address on the Democratic presidential primary's biggest night so far.
''Three hours and no questions tonight about climate, housing, or immigration. Climate change is an existential threat. America has a housing crisis. Children are still in cages at our border,'' Castro tweeted. ''But you know, Ellen. #DemocraticDebate.''
Harris had a similar response, tweeting, ''Three hours. Not one question about the climate crisis. Not one question about LGBTQ+ rights. Not one question about immigration. These issues are too important to ignore. #DemDebate.''
Coupon Clipping, the Old-Fashioned Way - The New York Times
Wed, 16 Oct 2019 06:36
MOST bonds these days are never touched by human hands. They are typically bought online and plunked into brokerage accounts, where they are registered and tracked digitally. Interest is automatically calculated, paid and reported to the tax authorities.
Then there are bearer bonds, the old-fashioned kind that my 92-year-old cousin Lou owns. Like silver dollars made with real silver and stock tickers that spit out prices on strips of paper, these bonds are relics of an earlier age. They are impressive-looking documents, printed on fancy, perforated colored paper.
In some ways, bearer bonds are like cash: the holder is the owner and the bonds need not be registered, a feature that makes them highly appealing to tax evaders and to criminals looking to steal them from their holders. Worry about theft explains why Lou did not want his last name or photograph used for this article. (Bearer bonds even worked their way into a Hollywood script. In the first "Die Hard" movie, the villains tried to steal hundreds of millions of dollars worth of them.)
Many holders leave their bearer bonds for safekeeping with their brokers, who every six months clip the coupons that are attached to the certificates and collect the interest payments. They also keep track of bonds that are called or retired.
Lou, though, keeps his bonds locked in a safe at a bank and clips the coupons himself. A feisty native New Yorker, he ran a small business in Manhattan, and he still likes to handle his own finances. "I had a broker, but I got so many phone calls, letters and distractions that I was happy to pay $50 to transfer the account," he said.
But as Lou has discovered, bearer bonds aren't long for this world.
The bonds are the victim of tighter tax laws and the growing digitalization of the financial industry, which increasingly shuns paper pushing. Since 1982, when lawmakers passed the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act partly to foil tax evaders, few bearer bonds have been issued in the United States. (They remain popular overseas, however.)
As a result, American bearer bonds will all but disappear when the remaining 30- and 50-year issues come due. "By 2013, most bearer bonds will go the way of the dinosaur," said John Colangelo, a managing director at the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation, a settlement company that holds bonds on behalf of many financial institutions.
The D.T.C. has a dozen or so employees working full time to clip coupons, redeem them and transfer the proceeds to the brokers, who credit their customers' accounts. That's a far cry from the situation in 1991, when the company handled 21 million bearer bonds, or 42 million coupons a year, and employed 600 people to get the work done. Since no new bonds are being issued, the number of bonds in the D.T.C. vault has fallen to about 700,000. (Most bonds have a face value of $5,000, so that is about $3.5 billion worth of securities, not including interest.)
While the company has a well-honed system for dealing with bearer bonds, investors like Lou are having a harder and harder time handling them on their own. He has several bearer bonds issued decades ago by New York City agencies, including the New York City Housing Authority and the Battery Park City Authority.
In the mid-1980's, he bought a bunch of them at a discount -- about 50 to 60 cents on the dollar, because their coupon rates of 5 to 9 percent were considered low at the time. The bonds turned out to be a smart buy. Interest rates have generally fallen over the last 20 years, and because he lives in New York, he has not had to pay federal, state and local taxes on the municipal bonds.
"I wish I had bought more of these bonds, because when interest rates dropped, I was doing better," Lou said.
Over the years, the agencies have called many of Lou's bonds, in order to avoid paying relatively high interest rates. He has held onto as many of the securities as he can, but there are fewer and fewer places to redeem their coupons. Until late in the 1980's, Lou took them to his local bank and deposited them, along with his checks and cash. Nowadays, there are not enough bearer bonds around for banks to justify the expense of handling them.
A pensioner, Lou does not want to spend the money to send the coupons by registered mail to a paying agent -- typically the bank or broker that handled the original issue -- in order to collect his interest. Besides, like many other people of his generation, he prefers to do things the old fashioned way: face to face. Or, as Mr. Colangelo put it, taking care of your own bearer bonds is "a throwback: you feel like you're engaged in handling your own assets."
Lou is still in good shape, so he takes the subway to the financial district twice a year to find a teller who will take his coupons. That has become something of a quest. Many banks that handled the bonds have merged out of business. Some of the acquiring banks continue to accept coupons in person, but others have shut their windows and forced customers to send their coupons to a processing center.
In December, I accompanied Lou on one of his bearer-bond jaunts. To redeem the coupons from his Battery Park City Authority bonds, we found the "J. P. Morgan Chase Bank Investor Services Receiving Window," which was behind an out-of-the-way door on the ground floor of 4 New York Plaza.
Lou put his coupons, which look like raffle tickets, into a special see-through envelope and wrote his name and Social Security number on the outside. The teller spent five minutes checking a computer before handing him a receipt for a check that would be sent to him in about 10 days.
That interest payment didn't arrive. He later received a note saying the bond had been called six months earlier. Lou had missed the advertisement in The Wall Street Journal announcing it, so, while he got his $5,000 principal back, he missed the chance to collect the last $215 interest payment.
WE didn't have much more luck around the corner, at Deutsche Bank. There, a teller told us that Lou must now send his five coupons -- worth $125 each -- to its processing center in Tennessee. I called Nashville to find out more. An operator said that Lou could send the coupons in an ordinary envelope with a signed W-9 tax form.
A lot of people are angry about the change. "We've been getting a lot of calls on this where people have gone to the old window and found it's not there anymore," she said of the New York location. It was small comfort to Lou, who ended up paying $10.32 in postage. On the ride uptown, we pondered technology, efficiency and how bonds issued by New York City agencies could no longer be redeemed in person in New York City.
"It seems to me," Lou said, "that the coupons and the bonds are a contract, and if they are going to void part of the contract and make you send them in, they should reimburse you for the expense."
It may be the way of the world, but that doesn't mean he has to like it. "It doesn't seem right," he said, "that I'm paying more and getting less service."
Continue reading the main story
ABC News Broadcasts Fake Syria Bombing Video
Mon, 14 Oct 2019 12:21
ABC News aired a video on Sunday that host Tom Llamas said depicted a Turkish attack in northern Syria against Kurdish civilians. Turkey is indeed pushing into Syria and slaughtering Kurds along the way, but the video ABC News played last night is from a military gun demonstration in Kentucky that was published to YouTube in 2017.
''This video, right here, appearing to show Turkey's military bombing Kurd civilians in a Syrian border town,'' Llamas said on the October 13 broadcast as the video played.
But the explosions in the video are identical to explosions seen in a video titled, '' Knob Creek night shoot 2017 .'' Knob Creek Gun Range, in the town of West Point, Kentucky, hosts a biannual event called the '' Military Gun Shoot & Military Gun Show '' where weapons are fired at night. Members of the public can come and see the show for a fee in April and October.
Side-by-side, it's clear that the videos are the same:
ABC News broadcast on Sunday, supposedly showing Turkish bombing of Kurd civilians (left) Video from a 2017 military guns demonstration in Kentucky, pulled from YouTube (right)Gif: ABC News/YouTubeBoth anchor Tom Llamas and foreign correspondent Ian Panell can be heard using language to make it clear that ABC News didn't shoot the video and instead acquired it from an outside source.
''This video, obtained by ABC News, appears to show the fury of the Turkish attack on the border town of Tal Abyad two nights ago,'' Panell said during the Sunday broadcast.
It's unclear if the video may have been slightly manipulated before it was handed to ABC News. But the unedited video from Kentucky shows people holding up their phones to capture the destruction, while the video broadcast by ABC News appears to have colors that are less saturated than the original.
''We've taken down video that aired on 'World News Tonight Sunday' and 'Good Morning America' this morning that appeared to be from the Syrian border immediately after questions were raised about its accuracy. ABC News regrets the error,'' an ABC News spokesperson told Gizmodo via email.
Video of the broadcast was previously available on YouTube but was set to private after Gizmodo reached out to ABC News producers. Gizmodo downloaded a copy of the video before it was removed and has uploaded short clips of both videos so people can see for themselves .
The video's authenticity was first questioned by far-right social media users like Wojciech Pawelczyk , who described himself as a ''video researcher'' and ''Trump supporter,'' as well as the pro-Trump blog NOQ Report .
This ABC News broadcast is obviously bad news for people who value accuracy in journalism and it's sure to provide even more ammunition to pro-Trump supporters who insist that mainstream news outlets are deliberately trying to deceive people. Most news outlets, believe it or not, are trying to tell the truth and know that they'll pay dearly if they lose the trust of their readers and viewers.
To be clear, there's no question that Turkish forces are currently slaughtering the Kurds, as countless journalists and civilians on the ground can attest. But this particular video is fake and it's a shame that it was broadcast.
House Vote 560 - Opposes Withdrawal of U.S. Forces in Syria | Represent | ProPublica
Thu, 17 Oct 2019 08:14
Bill: H.J.RES.77 - Opposing the decision to end certain United States efforts to prevent Turkish military operations... Description: Opposing the decision to end certain United States efforts to prevent Turkish military operations against Syrian Kurdish forces in Northeast Syria Result: Passed by a margin of 75 votes (2/3rds majority needed to pass) Date: October 16, 2019 at 2:44 p.m. EDT (vote source) R D Total Yes 129 225 354 225
No 60 0 60 60
Other* 8 10 19 10
*Includes members who did not vote or voted "present"
Complete Roll Call Explanation available
Mistaken vote
Yes Votes (354) Member Party Dist. Alma Adams D NC-12 Robert B. Aderholt R AL-4 Pete Aguilar D CA-31 Colin Allred D TX-32 Mark Amodei R NV-2 Kelly Armstrong R ND-1 Jodey Arrington R TX-19 Cynthia Axne D IA-3 Don Bacon R NE-2 Troy Balderson R OH-12 Jim Banks R IN-3 Andy Barr R KY-6 Nanette Barragn D CA-44 Karen Bass D CA-37 Joyce Beatty D OH-3 Ami Bera D CA-7 Donald Beyer D VA-8 Gus Bilirakis R FL-12 Sanford D. Bishop Jr. D GA-2 Rob Bishop R UT-1 Earl Blumenauer D OR-3 Lisa Blunt Rochester D DE-1 Suzanne Bonamici D OR-1 Mike Bost R IL-12 Brendan Boyle D PA-2 Kevin Brady R TX-8 Anthony Brindisi D NY-22 Susan Brooks R IN-5 Anthony Brown D MD-4 Julia Brownley D CA-26 Vern Buchanan R FL-16 Ken Buck R CO-4 Larry Bucshon R IN-8 Cheri Bustos D IL-17 G. K. Butterfield D NC-1 Ken Calvert R CA-42 Salud Carbajal D CA-24 Tony Crdenas D CA-29 Andr(C) Carson D IN-7 Buddy Carter R GA-1 Matt Cartwright D PA-8 Ed Case D HI-1 Sean Casten D IL-6 Kathy Castor D FL-14 Joaqu­n Castro D TX-20 Steven J. Chabot R OH-1 Liz Cheney R WY-1 Judy Chu D CA-27 David Cicilline D RI-1 Gilbert Cisneros D CA-39 Katherine Clark D MA-5 Yvette D. Clarke D NY-9 William Lacy Clay D MO-1 Emanuel Cleaver II D MO-5 Ben Cline R VA-6 Michael Cloud R TX-27 James E. Clyburn D SC-6 Steve Cohen D TN-9 Tom Cole R OK-4 Doug Collins R GA-9 K. Michael Conaway R TX-11 Gerald E. Connolly D VA-11 Paul Cook R CA-8 Jim Cooper D TN-5 J. Luis Correa D CA-46 Jim Costa D CA-16 Joe Courtney D CT-2 TJ Cox D CA-21 Angie Craig D MN-2 Rick Crawford R AR-1 Dan Crenshaw R TX-2 Charlie Crist D FL-13 Jason Crow D CO-6 Henry Cuellar D TX-28 Joe Cunningham D SC-1 John Curtis R UT-3 Sharice Davids D KS-3 Susan A. Davis D CA-53 Danny K. Davis D IL-7 Rodney Davis R IL-13 Madeleine Dean D PA-4 Peter A. DeFazio D OR-4 Diana DeGette D CO-1 Rosa DeLauro D CT-3 Suzan K. DelBene D WA-1 Antonio Delgado D NY-19 Val Demings D FL-10 Mark DeSaulnier D CA-11 Ted Deutch D FL-22 Mario Diaz-Balart R FL-25 Debbie Dingell D MI-12 Lloyd Doggett D TX-35 Mike Doyle D PA-18 Tom Emmer R MN-6 Eliot L. Engel D NY-16 Veronica Escobar D TX-16 Anna G. Eshoo D CA-18 Adriano Espaillat D NY-13 Dwight Evans D PA-3 A. Drew Ferguson R GA-3 Abby Finkenauer D IA-1 Brian Fitzpatrick R PA-1 Lizzie Fletcher D TX-7 Bill Flores R TX-17 Jeff Fortenberry R NE-1 Bill Foster D IL-11 Virginia Foxx R NC-5 Lois Frankel D FL-21 Marcia L. Fudge D OH-11 Mike Gallagher R WI-8 Ruben Gallego D AZ-7 John Garamendi D CA-3 Jesºs Garc­a D IL-4 Sylvia Garcia D TX-29 Greg Gianforte R MT-1 Jared Golden D ME-2 Jimmy Gomez D CA-34 Anthony Gonzalez R OH-16 Vicente Gonzalez D TX-15 Josh Gottheimer D NJ-5 Kay Granger R TX-12 Garret Graves R LA-6 Sam Graves R MO-6 Mark Green R TN-7 Al Green D TX-9 Morgan Griffith R VA-9 Raºl M. Grijalva D AZ-3 Glenn Grothman R WI-6 Brett Guthrie R KY-2 Debra Haaland D NM-1 Jim Hagedorn R MN-1 Josh Harder D CA-10 Vicky Hartzler R MO-4 Alcee L. Hastings D FL-20 Jahana Hayes D CT-5 Denny Heck D WA-10 Kevin Hern R OK-1 Jaime Herrera Beutler R WA-3 Clay Higgins R LA-3 Brian Higgins D NY-26 French Hill R AR-2 Katie Hill D CA-25 Jim Himes D CT-4 George Holding R NC-2 Kendra Horn D OK-5 Steven Horsford D NV-4 Chrissy Houlahan D PA-6 Steny H. Hoyer D MD-5 Richard Hudson R NC-8 Jared Huffman D CA-2 Bill Huizenga R MI-2 Will Hurd R TX-23 Sheila Jackson Lee D TX-18 Pramila Jayapal D WA-7 Hakeem Jeffries D NY-8 Hank Johnson D GA-4 Mike Johnson R LA-4 Bill Johnson R OH-6 Dusty Johnson R SD-1 Eddie Bernice Johnson D TX-30 Dave Joyce R OH-14 Marcy Kaptur D OH-9 John Katko R NY-24 Bill Keating D MA-9 Fred Keller R PA-12 Robin Kelly D IL-2 Mike Kelly R PA-16 Joseph P. Kennedy III D MA-4 Ro Khanna D CA-17 Dan Kildee D MI-5 Derek Kilmer D WA-6 Andy Kim D NJ-3 Ron Kind D WI-3 Peter T. King R NY-2 Adam Kinzinger R IL-16 Ann Kirkpatrick D AZ-2 Raja Krishnamoorthi D IL-8 Ann McLane Kuster D NH-2 David Kustoff R TN-8 Darin M. LaHood R IL-18 Doug LaMalfa R CA-1 Conor Lamb D PA-17 Doug Lamborn R CO-5 Jim Langevin D RI-2 Rick Larsen D WA-2 John B. Larson D CT-1 Robert E. Latta R OH-5 Brenda Lawrence D MI-14 Barbara Lee D CA-13 Susie Lee D NV-3 Mike Levin D CA-49 Andy Levin D MI-9 John Lewis D GA-5 Ted Lieu D CA-33 Daniel Lipinski D IL-3 Dave Loebsack D IA-2 Zoe Lofgren D CA-19 Alan Lowenthal D CA-47 Nita M. Lowey D NY-17 Frank D. Lucas R OK-3 Ben Ray Lujn D NM-3 Elaine Luria D VA-2 Stephen F. Lynch D MA-8 Tom Malinowski D NJ-7 Carolyn B. Maloney D NY-12 Sean Patrick Maloney D NY-18 Kenny Marchant R TX-24 Doris Matsui D CA-6 Ben McAdams D UT-4 Lucy McBath D GA-6 Kevin McCarthy R CA-23 Michael McCaul R TX-10 Betty McCollum D MN-4 Jim McGovern D MA-2 Patrick T. McHenry R NC-10 David McKinley R WV-1 Jerry McNerney D CA-9 Gregory W. Meeks D NY-5 Grace Meng D NY-6 Paul Mitchell R MI-10 John Moolenaar R MI-4 Gwen Moore D WI-4 Joe Morelle D NY-25 Seth Moulton D MA-6 Debbie Mucarsel-Powell D FL-26 Stephanie Murphy D FL-7 Jerrold Nadler D NY-10 Grace F. Napolitano D CA-32 Richard E. Neal D MA-1 Joe Neguse D CO-2 Dan Newhouse R WA-4 Donald W. Norcross D NJ-1 Devin Nunes R CA-22 Tom O'Halleran D AZ-1 Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez D NY-14 Pete Olson R TX-22 Frank Pallone D NJ-6 Gary Palmer R AL-6 Jimmy Panetta D CA-20 Chris Pappas D NH-1 Bill Pascrell Jr. D NJ-9 Donald M. Payne Jr. D NJ-10 Ed Perlmutter D CO-7 Scott Perry R PA-10 Scott Peters D CA-52 Dean Phillips D MN-3 Chellie Pingree D ME-1 Mark Pocan D WI-2 Katie Porter D CA-45 Ayanna Pressley D MA-7 David E. Price D NC-4 Mike Quigley D IL-5 Jamie Raskin D MD-8 John Ratcliffe R TX-4 Guy Reschenthaler R PA-14 Kathleen Rice D NY-4 Cedric Richmond D LA-2 Denver Riggleman R VA-5 Martha Roby R AL-2 Cathy McMorris Rodgers R WA-5 Phil Roe R TN-1 Mike D. Rogers R AL-3 Harold Rogers R KY-5 Max Rose D NY-11 Harley Rouda D CA-48 David Rouzer R NC-7 Lucille Roybal-Allard D CA-40 Raul Ruiz D CA-36 C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger D MD-2 Linda T. Snchez D CA-38 John Sarbanes D MD-3 Steve Scalise R LA-1 Mary Gay Scanlon D PA-5 Jan Schakowsky D IL-9 Adam B. Schiff D CA-28 Brad Schneider D IL-10 Kurt Schrader D OR-5 Kim Schrier D WA-8 David Schweikert R AZ-6 Robert C. Scott D VA-3 Austin Scott R GA-8 David Scott D GA-13 F. James Sensenbrenner R WI-5 Jos(C) E. Serrano D NY-15 Terri Sewell D AL-7 Donna Shalala D FL-27 Brad Sherman D CA-30 Mikie Sherrill D NJ-11 John Shimkus R IL-15 Mike Simpson R ID-2 Albio Sires D NJ-8 Elissa Slotkin D MI-8 Adrian Smith R NE-3 Christopher H. Smith R NJ-4 Adam Smith D WA-9 Lloyd Smucker R PA-11 Darren Soto D FL-9 Abigail Spanberger D VA-7 Ross Spano R FL-15 Greg Stanton D AZ-9 Pete Stauber R MN-8 Elise Stefanik R NY-21 Bryan Steil R WI-1 Haley Stevens D MI-11 Chris Stewart R UT-2 Steve Stivers R OH-15 Thomas Suozzi D NY-3 Eric Swalwell D CA-15 Mark Takano D CA-41 Van Taylor R TX-3 Mike Thompson D CA-5 Bennie Thompson D MS-2 Glenn Thompson R PA-15 William M. Thornberry R TX-13 William Timmons R SC-4 Scott Tipton R CO-3 Dina Titus D NV-1 Rashida Tlaib D MI-13 Paul Tonko D NY-20 Norma Torres D CA-35 Xochitl Torres Small D NM-2 Lori Trahan D MA-3 David Trone D MD-6 Michael R. Turner R OH-10 Lauren Underwood D IL-14 Fred Upton R MI-6 Jefferson Van Drew D NJ-2 Juan Vargas D CA-51 Marc Veasey D TX-33 Filemon Vela D TX-34 Nydia M. Velzquez D NY-7 Peter J. Visclosky D IN-1 Ann Wagner R MO-2 Greg Walden R OR-2 Mark Walker R NC-6 Jackie Walorski R IN-2 Michael Waltz R FL-6 Debbie Wasserman Schultz D FL-23 Maxine Waters D CA-43 Bonnie Watson Coleman D NJ-12 Peter Welch D VT-1 Brad Wenstrup R OH-2 Bruce Westerman R AR-4 Jennifer Wexton D VA-10 Susan Wild D PA-7 Frederica Wilson D FL-24 Joe Wilson R SC-2 Robert J. Wittman R VA-1 Steve Womack R AR-3 Rob Woodall R GA-7 Ron Wright R TX-6 John Yarmuth D KY-3 Don Young R AK-1 Lee Zeldin R NY-1 No Votes (60) Member Party Dist. Ralph Abraham R LA-5 Rick Allen R GA-12 Brian Babin R TX-36 James Baird R IN-4 Jack Bergman R MI-1 Andy Biggs R AZ-5 Mo Brooks R AL-5 Tim Burchett R TN-2 Michael C. Burgess R TX-26 Bradley Byrne R AL-1 John Carter R TX-31 James Comer R KY-1 Warren Davidson R OH-8 Scott DesJarlais R TN-4 Jeffrey Duncan R SC-3 Neal Dunn R FL-2 Ron Estes R KS-4 Chuck Fleischmann R TN-3 Russ Fulcher R ID-1 Matt Gaetz R FL-1 Louie Gohmert R TX-1 Lance Gooden R TX-5 Paul Gosar R AZ-4 Tom Graves R GA-14 Michael Guest R MS-3 Andy Harris R MD-1 Trey Hollingsworth R IN-9 Duncan D. Hunter R CA-50 Jim Jordan R OH-4 John Joyce R PA-13 Trent Kelly R MS-1 Steve King R IA-4 Debbie Lesko R AZ-8 Billy Long R MO-7 Barry Loudermilk R GA-11 Blaine Luetkemeyer R MO-3 Roger Marshall R KS-1 Thomas Massie R KY-4 Brian Mast R FL-18 Tom McClintock R CA-4 Mark Meadows R NC-11 Daniel Meuser R PA-9 Carol Miller R WV-3 Alex Mooney R WV-2 Markwayne Mullin R OK-2 Greg Murphy R NC-3 Ralph Norman R SC-5 Steven Palazzo R MS-4 Greg Pence R IN-6 Bill Posey R FL-8 Tom Reed R NY-23 Tom Rice R SC-7 John Rose R TN-6 John Rutherford R FL-4 Jason Smith R MO-8 Greg Steube R FL-17 Tim Walberg R MI-7 Steven Watkins R KS-2 Randy Weber R TX-14 Roger Williams R TX-25 Did Not Vote (15) Member Party Dist. Dan Bishop R NC-9 Ted Budd R NC-13 Elijah E. Cummings D MD-7 Tulsi Gabbard D HI-2 Al Lawson D FL-5 A. Donald McEachin D VA-4 Ilhan Omar D MN-5 Nancy Pelosi D CA-12 Collin C. Peterson D MN-7 Francis Rooney R FL-19 Bobby L. Rush D IL-1 Tim Ryan D OH-13 Jackie Speier D CA-14 Daniel Webster R FL-11 Ted Yoho R FL-3 * By tradition, the Speaker of the House votes at his or her discretion. In cases where the Speaker does not vote, that absence is not counted in the "Not Voting" totals displayed here, but Represent adds the Speaker's name to the list of people who did not vote.
Present (4) Member Party Dist. Justin Amash I MI-3 Bob Gibbs R OH-7 Jody Hice R GA-10 Chip Roy R TX-21
How Trump Betrayed the General Who Defeated ISIS | The New Yorker
Thu, 17 Oct 2019 06:52
General Mazloum Kobani Abdi led the campaign against ISIS in Syria, forging a partnership between scrappy local militias and (C)lite U.S. forces. Then Trump withdrew the American troops.
Photograph by Delil Souleiman / AFP / GettyThe Islamic State has finally fizzled. Its caliphate, daringly declared from the pulpit of the Great Mosque of al-Nuri, in Iraq, in 2014, had been the size of Britain, ruled eight million people, lured recruits from eighty countries, and threatened to redraw the map of the Middle East. It ended, in the Syrian farming hamlet of Baghouz, as little more than a junk yard about the size of Central Park, filled with burnt-out vehicles and dilapidated tents. Tens of thousands of ISIS loyalists, both fighters and their families, opted to surrender'--and face life in crammed prisons and dreary detention camps'--rather than become martyrs in ISIS's promised paradise.
The dangers are far from over. ISIS has sleeper agents. ''There are thousands,'' General Mazloum Kobani Abdi, the reclusive politician turned commander who led the campaign against ISIS in Syria, told me, when I travelled through the former caliphate last month. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the Islamic State's ''caliph'' and the world's most wanted man, has evaded capture. ISIS also still has affiliates active from Nigeria to Afghanistan, from Egypt to the Philippines. ''Frankly, our job has just started,'' Mazloum warned. ''We are finishing the great battle, then we will fight a different kind of war.''
The drive to flush ISIS out of Syrian territory was described as ''the most successful unconventional military campaign in history'' by the Middle East Institute last month. More than a dozen American diplomats and military officials involved in Syria told me the same thing. The campaign was distinct from the counterpart operation in neighboring Iraq, where the United States co¶rdinated with a friendly government, retrained its conventional Army, provided sophisticated weaponry, established a headquarters for a coalition of seventy-four countries, and had legal status granted by parliament.
The campaign in Syria liberated roughly the same amount of territory. But it relied on an unlikely partnership between (C)lite U.S. Special Forces teams and a scrappy local militia led by Mazloum, a middle-aged Kurdish rebel whose face has been weathered by years of conflict and five stints in Syrian prisons. They all operated in defiance of the Syrian government and its Russian, Iranian, and Hezbollah allies deployed nearby. Their mission was shrouded in secrecy. American troops wore no identifying insignias, ranks, or names on their uniforms. The Syrian fighters knew only the first names of the Americans, including the commander. Yet they established an unusual level of trust. The U.S.-led international coalition provided air cover, but it depended on the Syrian Democratic Forces, or S.D.F., to protect their troops on the ground.
Together, they seized twenty thousand square miles in northern Syria, a dusty region of crops, pastures, and oil fields that reminded me of Oklahoma. When I drove around Raqqa, the former ISIS capital, little girls with ponytails and pastel backpacks were headed to school'--after years of being banned from education or even from leaving home. Women, their faces uncovered, strolled to the street markets rising amid the rubble, much of it created by U.S. air strikes. Small groups of men sat curbside, sipping their morning tea and smoking, another practice that was banned under ISIS. At several shops, workers were pounding twisted construction rods'--giant metal tumbleweeds pulled from bombed-out buildings'--to flatten them, for use in reconstruction. Spring lambs, small and pristine white, nibbled along the roadsides.
In Washington and other Western capitals, the territorial defeat of ISIS, which for years was considered the greatest threat to global security, will almost certainly be studied as a model for future counterterrorism operations. ''The S.D.F. is the best unconventional partner force we've ever had, anywhere,'' Brett McGurk, the former lead co¶rdinator of the campaign against ISIS, who is now a fellow at Stanford, told me. ''The S.D.F. in effect conquered one-third of Syria, once the heart of the ISIS caliphate, with very low costs for the United States.'' Mazloum, who is on Turkey's most-wanted list, evolved into one of the most important U.S. allies in the Middle East.
The collaboration'--which deepened over three phases'--is an epic with twists, tragedies, and, ultimately, betrayal at an enormous cost to America's allies in Syria. Eleven thousand Kurdish fighters have died since 2014. The Americans have lost eight.
Fighters from the Syrian Democratic Forces staged a parade to celebrate the fall of ISIS in the Deir Ezzor province, which is home to Syria's most valuable oil fields.
Photograph by Delil Souleiman / AFP / GettyThe alliance was seeded in August, 2014, a month after ISIS declared its caliphate and a week after a lightning ISIS offensive began in Iraq. Marauding ISIS fighters murdered thousands of Yazidi men and abducted truckloads of women. Tens of thousands of fleeing Yazidis, a mostly Kurdish-speaking minority summarily declared apostates by ISIS, were stranded on the arid peaks of Mount Sinjar without food, water, or a way out. Fearing genocide, President Obama authorized the first major U.S. intervention against the Islamic State'--air strikes on ISIS positions in Iraq, and air drops of humanitarian goods to the Yazidis. However much Obama wanted to avoid another Middle East war, the United States had just taken on ISIS. The question was what to do next.
The crisis on Mount Sinjar eased after Kurdish fighters'--including Mazloum's militia'--created an escape route for the Yazidis into Syria. Pentagon officials took note. The United States had struggled to identify or create a credible rebel force in Syria. Mazloum had a standing militia that proved it could fight, even with only vintage weapons. Between 2011 and 2013, without foreign support, it had pushed Syrian government forces out of northern Kurdish towns during the Arab Spring and fought off an Al Qaeda franchise that moved on Kurdish turf. A senior U.S. military official looked for an introduction. The United States was not the only country interested in the Kurdish general, U.S. officials told me. On the morning of August 18th, Mazloum met Qassem Suleimani, the head of Iran's Quds Force, the most (C)lite unit in the Revolutionary Guard. The Iranians had rushed in'--faster than the Americans did'--to help the Iraqis hold off the ISIS juggernaut. Hours after meeting the Iranian commander, Mazloum rendezvoused with the American official in Suleimaniya, a Kurdish city in northern Iraq.
Mazloum came with complications, however. His original militia was the People's Protection Units, or Y.P.G.; it was Kurdish. Its political arm sought autonomy in Syria. Many of its members, including Mazloum, had trained with a militant Turkish movement'--the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or P.K.K.'--which was waging an insurgency to win autonomy in Turkey. The P.K.K. was on the U.S. and Turkish lists of terrorist organizations. Its leader, Abdullah –calan, had lived in the Kurdish region of Syria for two decades before he was imprisoned, in 1999, in Turkey. –calan was a personal friend of Mazloum's; they were once photographed swimming together in the Euphrates River. ''For a period of time, I served in P.K.K. ranks,'' Mazloum told me. ''–calan was working here, and the people here had loyalty to him. But the Y.P.G. is not a terrorist organization. Always the Turks like to paint everything in Syria like it's the P.K.K., but this is not true.'' Yet Mazloum has relatives who are still with the P.K.K. Huge posters of –calan adorned every Y.P.G. and S.D.F. base I visited.
The American overture to Mazloum had both conditions and limits, senior U.S. officials told me. The U.S.-backed coalition could provide strategic advice but no major arms, because of the Y.P.G.'s history. If the Kurds took territory from ISIS, they had to include other ethnic or religious groups, notably Arabs and Christians, in setting up governance and security. The Kurdish militia had to accept that its region would remain part of Syria'--and not try to break away into an independent Kurdish state. And they had to vow not to attack Turkish interests. If any of those terms were violated, the U.S. would walk away. Mazloum opted for an alliance with the Americans. ''At the time, ISIS was getting stronger every day,'' he told me. ''We were at capacity just stemming the tide and protecting our area. The United States intervening in this fight changed the balance of power between us and ISIS.''
The makeshift alliance was tested a few weeks later, when ISIS invaded Kobani, a strategic town built as a whistle stop on the Berlin-Baghdad railway. Kobani is Mazloum's home town. He incorporated it into the nom de guerre by which he is known. (His real name is Ferhat Abdi Şahin.) ISIS seized sixty per cent of the city, forcing most of its forty thousand residents to flee across the border to Turkey. In October, 2014, I watched from a nearby hill in Turkey as ISIS pounded Kobani with thundering artillery. ISIS's black-and-white flag billowed on the horizon.
Kobani proved to be a turning point for Washington. The Obama Administration expanded its intervention, from Iraq into Syria, with air strikes on ISIS forces in Kobani. Among the targets was Mazloum's home. ISIS had seized it as an operations center. Mazloum approved the U.S. decision to destroy it, a senior U.S. official told me. The marriage of American air power and a tough local militia on the ground'--dubbed the ''hammer and anvil'' strategy'--succeeded. After a gruelling five-month battle, ISIS experienced its first defeat. In January, 2015, Mazloum's militia hoisted its yellow banner atop Kobani's highest hill; fighters, both male and female, danced by firelight amid the city's bombed-out ruins. Kobani, where more than thirteen hundred Kurds perished, still ranks as the longest, deadliest, and most vicious battle with the Islamic State. It later became a base used by U.S. Special Forces and a small team of U.S. diplomats.
The partnership deepened in the second phase. In April, 2015, the U.S. approached Mazloum about leading the war against ISIS beyond Syria's Kurdish regions. The Obama Administration was on the verge of abandoning a separate Pentagon program to train fifteen thousand Syrians in Turkey and Jordan. Five hundred million dollars had been allocated for the program; ultimately, fifty million dollars were spent, and it produced only a handful of trained soldiers. ''I wasn't happy with the early efforts,'' Secretary of Defense Ash Carter admitted at a news conference in Washington at the time. ''So we have devised a number of different approaches.'' They relied heavily on Mazloum's militia.
The Kurdish general was initially hesitant about fighting in Syria's Arab heartland, U.S. officials told me. Kurds and Arabs have a troubled history. Thousands of Sunnis from conservative local Arab tribes had joined ISIS. To liberate those areas, Mazloum told his U.S. counterparts, he needed to recruit Arab tribal sheikhs to support him and form an Arab wing of his militia. A purely Kurdish militia wouldn't be welcome, he warned. In turn, Mazloum wanted the U.S. to train the Arab fighters and provide them with weapons that he did not have'--and that his own fighters could not receive because of the Y.P.G.'s controversial status. The U.S. agreed. The Y.P.G. merged with new Arab, Turkmen, and Assyrian wings into the new Syrian Democratic Forces. In October, 2015, the first U.S. team was deployed in Syria to train and advise them.
The final frontline in the fight against ISIS was Baghouz, a farming hamlet near the Iraqi border.
Photograph by Delil souleiman / AFP / GettyIn a grinding campaign that often involved house-to-house fighting and claimed the lives of thousands of S.D.F. members, the group slowly seized territory'--Tal Abyad, al-Hawl, the Tishreen Dam, al-Shaddadi, and Manbij'--that cut off land routes for foreign fighters and supplies coming through Turkey. Thousands of U.S. and coalition air strikes demolished ISIS offices, barracks, convoys, checkpoints, and arms depots. They picked off ISIS leaders, including Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, the social-media mastermind of ISIS, and Jihadi John, the executioner with a British accent who beheaded, on video, the Americans journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, three Western aid workers, and two Japanese reporters. The Obama Administration also quietly deployed hundreds of additional U.S. Special Forces to Syria. Mazloum, who had kept a low profile after multiple assassination attempts against him, began hosting top Pentagon brass and congressional delegations, including Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, who travelled to liberated corners of Syria.
As S.D.F. capabilities expanded, the U.S. asked Mazloum to take on the biggest challenge yet: liberating Raqqa, the ISIS capital, a city with a quarter of a million residents. Implicit in the U.S. request was an awareness that the fighting was likely to be long, intense, and costly in human life. A senior U.S. official who worked with Mazloum remembered the conversation. ''Whatever we laid out to him, what we wanted the campaign to be, he looked at me and said, 'I trust your judgment. We would probably, for other reasons, do this a little bit differently. I understand your logic, and I agree.' '' Mazloum noted, however, that he would need more sophisticated arms for urban warfare. This time, he said, the Kurdish Y.P.G. fighters in the S.D.F. would have to receive U.S. arms, as well.
During the 2016 Presidential campaign, Donald Trump had repeatedly blasted the Obama Administration for not doing enough to defeat ISIS. He vowed to do more'--much more. ''I would bomb the shit out of them,'' he said at one rally. ''I'd just bomb those suckers. I'd blow up the pipes, I'd blow up the refineries, I'd blow up every single inch'--there would be nothing left.'' In May, 2017, four months after taking office, Trump approved arms shipments'--machine guns, mortars, anti-tank weapons, armored cars, and engineering equipment'--to the Kurds. The battle for Raqqa accelerated in June. The S.D.F. seized the ISIS capital in October. More than six hundred and fifty S.D.F. fighters'--Kurds, Arabs, Turkmen, and Syriac Christians'--were killed in Raqqa.
An S.D.F. fighter walks through the rubble of Raqqa, Syria, in October, 2017. More than six hundred and fifty S.D.F. fighters were killed in the battle for the city.
Photograph by Lorenzo Meloni / MagnumThe joint campaign faced sporadic challenges'--menacing warnings from the Syrian government, the deployment of Russian mercenaries nearby, and constant criticism from Turkey. In November, 2017, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan called Trump, who was in Florida, preparing for a round of golf with Tiger Woods, to complain about U.S. arms flowing to Kurds in the S.D.F., which Erdoğan considered a terrorist group. Surprising his aides, Trump promised to stop the shipments. Former U.S. officials familiar with the call told me that the President did not fully grasp the details, players, or regional politics of his own decision to arm the Kurds'--or that it was the decision that enabled the Kurdish-led S.D.F. to liberate Raqqa. U.S. officials had to convince Trump that the weapons were essential because the war with ISIS was not over, a former Pentagon official told me The U.S. arms shipments to the Kurds continued.
The campaign against ISIS was nearly derailed again when Turkish-backed fighters invaded Afrin, one of three Kurdish cantons in northern Syria, in January, 2018. The offensive followed news that the U.S. planned to create a border force of several thousand'--half from the S.D.F. and half new recruits'--to better secure the Syrian borders with Turkey and Iraq. Tens of thousands of foreign fighters had passed through Turkish territory to join the caliphate. The U.S.-backed border force was designed to deal with a problem that Erdoğan had not addressed. Erdoğan countered that the U.S. was ''creating a terror army'' and vowed to ''suffocate'' it.
The Turkish-backed invasion forced Mazloum to pull S.D.F. troops away from the front line with ISIS, to defend Afrin'--this time without U.S. air power to support them. Washington disapproved of Ankara's offensive, but Turkey was a NATO ally. The S.D.F. was no match for Turkey's tanks, artillery, and warplanes. After two months, Mazloum's militia retreated. Relations soured with the United States; the offensive against ISIS stalled. U.S. intelligence predicted that Mazloum might even end the partnership. ''We're on the two-yard line,'' a senior U.S. Special Forces commander told NBC News. ''We could literally fall into the end zone. We're that close to total victory, to wiping out the ISIS caliphate in Syria. We're that close, and now it's coming apart.''
The S.D.F. was also scrambling to administer and secure the region'--roughly a third of Syria'--that it had liberated. Towns were war-ravaged. Basic services were destroyed. Many residents had fled. In Arab areas, the S.D.F. turned to tribal sheikhs to help form new city councils. ''The S.D.F. did not just clear territory. They held it,'' McGurk, the former lead co¶rdinator of the campaign, told me. ''They recruited locals to govern and established a permissive security environment. That's what allowed us to be in Syria with a very light U.S. footprint.''
Mazloum's militia, which included a large female force, returned to the ISIS battlefront last fall. The final hurdle was to clear Deir Ezzor province, which is home to Syria's most valuable oil fields. In December, the S.D.F. captured Hajin and began mapping out the next two months of operations with U.S. Special Forces. Their focus was on eliminating the stubborn Islamic State pockets near the Iraqi border and stabilizing liberated areas to prevent an ISIS resurgence. ''We have obviously learned a lot of lessons in the past, so we know that once the physical space is defeated we can't just pick up and leave,'' McGurk told reporters on December 11th. ''We're prepared to make sure that we do all we can to ensure this is enduring.'' U.S. goals, he added, ''will take some time.''
Six days later, Mazloum was summoned by General Joseph Votel, the head of U.S. operations in the Middle East, for a video conference. The timing, at midnight in Syria, was unexpected. So was the message. ''I was the first one to hear the words,'' Salar Malla, Mazloum's aide-de-camp and translator, told me. ''Before you translate anything, you have to absorb it. I spoke the words, but I didn't believe them.''
General Votel informed Mazloum that he had received a letter from the White House two hours earlier, ordering the immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria. Votel did not know the details, he told Mazloum, but he had wanted the Kurd to hear it from him rather than from the media. ''It was a surprise,'' Mazloum told me, at his forward operating base. ''We didn't believe that in the middle of the battle, when we're fighting against ISIS, when we're fighting against all the others, that our partners would abandon us. To be honest, the painful point for us was that America is a great country. How could a great country behave like that and abandon its allies in the middle of the fight? And, from that time on, how are people going to trust in the Americans or partner with them in any fight in the future?''
Trump had made the decision unilaterally, U.S. officials told me. There had been no interagency review, no conferring with military brass, no discussions with the dozens of other countries in the U.S.-led coalition. Many were as surprised as Mazloum was. The pivot had been another telephone conversation with President Erdoğan. The Turkish leader asked why the U.S. needed two thousand troops in Syria if the caliphate was collapsing. Two days later, Trump tweeted, ''We have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump Presidency.'' The problem was that ISIS had not yet collapsed. It still had tens of thousands of fighters, families, and fans in pockets of the Euphrates River Valley.
In Washington, the backlash to Trump's abrupt decision was immediate. Defense Secretary James Mattis pleaded with the President to change his mind; when he didn't, Mattis resigned. So did McGurk. Even Trump's Republican allies expressed outrage. Lindsey Graham called the decision a ''stain on the honor of the United States.'' A bipartisan group of senators appealed to the White House. ''If you decide to follow through with your decision to pull our troops out of Syria, any remnants of ISIS in Syria will surely renew and embolden their efforts in the region,'' they wrote.
In a rare public statement, Mazloum also appealed to Trump, asking him to keep at least half of the two thousand troops in place until all of the Islamic State's territory was liberated. ''We would like to have air cover, air support and a force on the ground to coordinate with us,'' Kobani told reporters travelling with an American military delegation. ''American forces must remain beside us.'' Trump had once pledged to protect the S.D.F., Mazloum said. ''I want him to live up to his word.'' In a separate conversation, he admitted to me, ''We're worried about being alone again.''
Mazloum did not waver, however. ''Immediately, we started thinking of the phase after the American presence in Syria, and how we're going to distribute our forces and depend on our own capacity to preserve those gains,'' he told me. ''At the end of the day, this is an internal American decision, and we cannot intervene in it. So we started thinking about how we're going to be able to fight and do policy without them.''
A senior U.S. official who had worked closely with Mazloum reflected, ''Never once did he not live up to exactly what he said he was going to do.'' The S.D.F. fought on as the United States quietly began pulling out troops and equipment. The final front line was Baghouz, the farming hamlet near the Iraqi border. It was a long slog, with repeated pauses to allow civilians, including the families of ISIS fighters, to leave. ''We don't want the images from our last battle to be bloody,'' Mazloum told me. ''We're not ISIS.''
When Baghouz finally fell, on March 23rd, Mazloum hosted a small liberation ceremony at his base. ''It was a great day that we celebrated with all our friends and allies,'' he messaged me on WhatsApp. ''We are proud about what we did, that victory is not just for Kurds. It is for all humanity.'' Mazloum invited his American counterparts to attend. In front of the stars and stripes, a band of young Syrians dressed in red-and-gold uniforms played the American national anthem.
VideoA Bitter Eden for Syrian Refugees
Lebanese farms provide subsistence living for refugees but no route home.
MBNA Paid Biden's Son As Biden Backed Bill - CBS News
Tue, 15 Oct 2019 09:33
A son of Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden was paid an undisclosed amount of money as a consultant by MBNA, the largest employer in Delaware, during the years the senator supported legislation that was promoted by the credit card industry and opposed by consumer groups.
Barack Obama 's presidential campaign said Biden helped forge a bipartisan compromise on the measure, which is now law and makes it harder for consumers to obtain bankruptcy protection in the courts.
MBNA's consulting payments to Hunter Biden, first reported by The New York Times, followed his departure in 2001 from the company, where he had been an executive.
Obama opposed the bankruptcy law, enacted in 2005, while Biden supported it.
David Wade, a spokesman for the Obama campaign, said that "after working in the Clinton administration in the Department of Commerce on Internet privacy and online commerce issues, Hunter consulted for five years as an expert on these very same issues at a time of enormous expansion in online banking."
At the time Hunter Biden was receiving consulting payments from MBNA, he also was a Washington lobbyist at a firm he had co-founded.
"He was not a lobbyist for MBNA, and his work had absolutely nothing to do with the bankruptcy bill. Zero. Nothing," said Wade.
Resurrecting Biden's role in the bankruptcy legislation could undercut one of the Obama campaign's lines of attack: That his Republican opponent, John McCain, is insensitive to the financial woes of middle-class Americans.
Consumer and civil rights groups and unions, as well as Democratic opponents, had argued that the bankruptcy legislation was unfair to low-income working people, single mothers, minorities and the elderly, and would remove a safety net for those who have lost their jobs or face mounting medical bills.
The financial services industry made the case that bankruptcy frequently is a refuge of gamblers, impulsive shoppers, divorced or separated fathers avoiding child support, and multimillionaires who buy mansions in states with liberal exemptions to shelter assets from creditors.
When the Senate Judiciary Committee approved the bill early in 2005, Biden, Dianne Feinstein of California and Herb Kohl of Wisconsin were the only Democrats to vote with the Republican majority. Biden also voted for the bill on final passage in the Senate, while Obama voted against it.
MBNA employees have poured more than $200,000 into Biden's Senate campaigns over the past two decades, making donors working for the credit card company the senator's largest source of campaign money.
On the bankruptcy bill, the senator "took plenty of knocks from the largest employer in his state because he demanded changes," said Wade, the Obama campaign spokesman. "Sen. Biden improved the bill for low-income workers, women, and children. There were times when he believed amendments on both sides would have blown up a bipartisan compromise backed by three quarters of the Senate. At those moments, Sen. Biden had to make the tough calls and he voted to pass a bill."
In a separate matter in which Hunter Biden's lobbying activities were referenced, he and Biden's brother Jim have been sued for allegedly defrauding an ex-business partner.
In the lawsuit filed last year in state court in New York, Anthony Lotito says that he got a call from Jim Biden in early 2006 saying that Sen. Biden was concerned with the impact that Hunter's lobbying activities might have on the senator's expected campaign for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination.
According to the lawsuit, Jim Biden said his brother had asked him to seek Lotito's assistance in finding employment for Hunter in a non-lobbying capacity.
The lawsuit says that Lotito later was cut out of a business arrangement with Jim and Hunter Biden to purchase a Wall Street hedge fund.
Nicholas Gravante, a lawyer for the Bidens, said that Lotito's claim that Sen. Biden told his brother that he was concerned about his son's lobbying activities is completely baseless.
"There is absolutely no connection between Joe Biden and this lawsuit. The case is without merit and it will be dismissed," said Gravante, a partner at the firm of Boies, Schiller & Flexner.
Allie Jade exlplains Tarns Women of Color Killings
I was laying in bed
listening to the show when the transgender topic came up with the candidates. I
started listening closer... , then I was mention!! I sat up quickly and scared
the crap out of my wife next to me lol.
Ok now for some details
into what you asked.
Transgender people tend
to get pulled towards prostitution and other sex work. Black trans people tend
to go more in that direction and tend to be in rougher areas. Then on top of
that when in relationships the people that trans people end up with or around
can be bad news sometimes. Making a lot of deaths and danger being domestic
gone bad or community violence ie someone regretting sex with a trans person or
some other form of regret or anger. The cherry on the cake is the black
community itself the DL blacks don't care of gay people and don't like trans
either. But kind of a joke, is a large percentage of black guys that LOVE to
fuck trans chicks. I run in the online and (use to in person) circles where
there is always a large amount of black guys chasing trans girls. BUT would
NEVER admit it or want to be confronted about it. Which can lead to the higher
deaths because of conflicts.
Me, I am a lower middle
class just getting by american white trans. I live in a safe area, I have a
longtime career and I pass as a woman, I don,t get into the SJW, trans
advocates life as I see that as dangerous. Also I have said it to you guys
before "TRANSGENDER IS NOT A GENDER. its a medical term indicating your
transitioning to the opposite gender" With trans people being fully out
and open can also lead to these high murder rates, hell of course this isnt
even counting suicide.
Note for john, I do not agree with anyone under 18 being transitioned. People
underestimate the power of hormones affects on the mind and body. After puberty
then the proper transition time line should be visited
Air Canada to stop announcing 'ladies and gentlemen' in recognition of gender fluidity
Tue, 15 Oct 2019 07:55
| October 13, 2019 05:40 PM
E mployees aboard Air Canada flights will no longer greet guests by referring to them as "ladies and gentlemen" or "mesdames et messieurs," which has been typical protocol for years, in an effort to be conscious of gender fluidity.
Flight attendants and other staff will not use the language in boarding announcements, and the company instead plans to replace the standard greetings with neutral words, such as "everybody" or "tout le monde."
"We will be amending our onboard announcements to modernize them and remove specific references to gender," a media spokesperson for the company said, also noting that Air Canada was named one of Canada's Best Diversity Employers for 2019. "We work hard to make sure all employees feel like valued members of the Air Canada family, while ensuring our customers are comfortable and respected when they choose to travel with us."
Canada has taken steps to recognize and protect its citizens who don't identify as either male or female or identify as "non-binary." In the country, gender identity and expression are protected under criminal code, and crimes motivated by such characteristics could constitute hate crimes. It is also illegal in Canada to discriminate against someone based on their gender identity.
Protests erupt as Spain convicts leading Catalan separatists
Wed, 16 Oct 2019 08:04
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) '-- Riot police engaged in a running battle with angry protesters outside Barcelona's airport Monday after Spain's Supreme Court convicted 12 separatist leaders of illegally promoting the wealthy Catalonia region's independence and sentenced nine of them to prison.
Officers fired foam bullets and used batons against thousands of protesters who converged on the airport after the verdict was announced in Madrid. Protesters fought back by throwing objects, spraying dark clouds with fire extinguishers, and breaking windows during clashes that lasted into the night.
Regional emergency service SEM said 75 people were treated for injuries at Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat Airport. Spain's airport operator, AENA, said at least 108 flights were canceled.
Police also clashed with angry crowds late Monday night in downtown Barcelona. They used batons, and sounds similar to the firing projectiles were heard.
Nine of the 12 Catalan politicians and activists were found guilty of sedition and given prison sentences of nine to 13 years. Four of them were additionally convicted of misuse of public funds.
The other three were fined for disobedience. The court barred all of them from holding public office.
All 12 were acquitted on the more serious charge of rebellion, which implied the use of violence, brought by state prosecutors and lawyers for the far-right Spanish party Vox. Vox leader Santaigo Abascal criticized the verdict as too light.
Spain's caretaker prime minister, Pedro Snchez, said the outcome of the four-month trial proved the 2017 secession attempt had become ''a shipwreck.'' Snchez urged people to ''set aside extremist positions'' and ''embark on a new phase'' for Catalonia.
He said he hoped the prison sentences would mark a turning point in the long standoff between national authorities and separatist lawmakers in Barcelona, the Catalonia region's capital.
Tempers flared after the Supreme Court issued its decision in Madrid, with secessionists taking to the streets, halting some trains by placing burning tires and wood on tracks, and blocking roads as well as the airport entrance.
After he was sentenced to 13 years imprisonment, former regional vice president Oriol Junqueras declared that achieving independence for Catalonia was ''today closer than ever before.''
But the Catalan separatist movement is going through its most difficult period in years. With a general election scheduled for Nov. 10, its most charismatic leaders are behind bars or abroad after fleeing to avoid prosecution.
The convicted Catalan leaders - most of whom were kept in custody on grounds of a flight risk for nearly two years before the verdict - have grown into powerful symbols for the separatists.
Former regional president Carles Puigdemont, who fled to Belgium in October 2017 with several others when they were summoned to appear in court, said the upcoming general election is an opportunity to show ''a massive response of rejection'' for the court's verdict and the ''dignity and firmness'' of the Catalan independence movements.
Puigdemont spoke in Brussels hours after a Spanish Supreme Court judge issued an international warrant for his arrest.
Andrew Dowling, an expert on contemporary Spanish politics at Cardiff University in Wales, said the sentences are ''going to make a bad situation worse.''
''It's going to create a terrible wound in Catalan society until these people are released,'' he said by telephone.
Catalan identity is a passionate issue in the northeastern region bordering France, but elsewhere it has failed to capture the public imagination and, crucially, lacked international support.
At the center of the prosecutors' case was an Oct. 1, 2017 independence referendum that the Catalan government held even though the country's highest court had prohibited the vote.
The ''yes'' side won, but because it was an illegal ballot most voters didn't turn out and the vote count was considered of dubious value. The Catalan Parliament, however, unilaterally declared independence three weeks later, triggering Spain's worst political crisis in decades.
The Spanish government stepped in and fired the Catalan regional government, with prosecutors later bringing charges.
Catalonia has authority to run its own prisons, unlike the rest of Spain's regions. That means regional authorities can allow inmates to spend the night in prison Monday-Thursday and have the rest of the time at home. Such a step for those convicted Monday is open to legal challenges, however.
''Today, they have violated all their rights. It is horrible that Europe doesn't act,'' 60-year-old civil servant Beni Saball said at a Barcelona street protest, referring to those convicted.
But retired 73-year-old bank clerk Jordi Casares said he wasn't surprised by the verdict.
''It is fair because they went outside the law,'' he said, walking out of his home on a Barcelona street. ''I hope that after a few days of tumult by the separatists the situation can improve.''
Spain's caretaker foreign minister Josep Borrell, soon due to become the European Union's top diplomat, urged an effort at political and social healing because the independence effort is doomed.
''There is no single constitution of Europe that provides the possibility of creating unilaterally the independence of a part of the territory,'' he told The Associated Press.
In their ruling, the seven Supreme Court judges wrote that what the Catalan leaders presented as a legitimate exercise of the right to vote was in fact ''bait'' to mobilize citizens and place pressure on the Spanish government to grant a referendum on independence.
The trial featured more than 500 witnesses, including former Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, and 50 nationally televised hearings.
Defense lawyers argued that the leaders of the secessionist movement were carrying out the will of roughly half of the 7.5 million residents of Catalonia who, opinion polls indicate, would like the region to be a separate country.
The other half of Catalans who oppose independence say the secession question has monopolized local politics and caused friction between families and friends.
Giles reported from Madrid. Associated Press writers Aritz Parra in Madrid, Renata Brito in Barcelona, and Barry Hatton in Lisbon contributed to this report.
A previous version of this story was corrected to show that the 60-year-old protester's first name is Beni, not Deni.
Burning barricades & rubber bullets: Pro-independence Catalans clash with police in Barcelona (PHOTOS, VIDEOS) '-- RT World News
Wed, 16 Oct 2019 08:03
Catalan protesters are facing off against riot police in Barcelona for the second day following the jailing of 9 prominent pro-independence officials by Spain's supreme court over their roles in the region's failed secession bid.
Sporadic clashes ensued on Tuesday evening after protesters gathered at Barcelona's central Carrer de Mallorca street, where a Spanish government building is located.
Footage from the city centre shows large groups of protesters attacking police vans as repeated loud explosions are heard in the background and fires can be seen raging on the streets.
Riot police charged protesters who threw flares, bottles and attempted to ram down barricades surrounding government buildings.
At least four people who were in the vicinity of the government building have been detained, according to local police.
The Supreme Court declared on Monday that the jailed politicians were involved in "undeniable" acts of violence during Catalonia's attempt to gain independence from Madrid in 2017. Former Catalan premier Carlos Puigdemont, who led the movement for independence, tweeted from exile in Belgium, calling the verdict an "atrocity." Spain, on its part, renewed its bid to get hands on the politician and issued a new European arrest warrant for Puigdemont himself.
Also on rt.com 37 injured, 100+ flights cancelled as police clash with Catalan pro-independence protesters at Barcelona airport (VIDEOS) With the prison sentences for Catalan leaders providing new impetus for the movement, pro-independence figures have promised to continue their push for a new referendum.
One protester lost his eye in clashes between the activists and police at Barcelona airport on Monday night as tensions erupted over the court ruling.
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THE FARMERS ARE WEINNING - VIDEO - GeenStijl: GSTV. Boeren naar Den Haag, politiek zet leger in
Tue, 15 Oct 2019 14:54
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Nieuwsbericht 16 oktober - Farmers Defence Force
Tue, 15 Oct 2019 22:45
Hallo Lieve Boeren, Boerinnen, Burgers, Sympathisanten, Bedrijven en iedereen die ik ben vergeten,
Ik kan namens de organisatie spreken, en zeggen dat we enorm trots zijn op ALLE MENSEN die ons ongelooflijk steunen in voor deze onzekere tijd. Wij als organisatie en als boeren,vissers, enz. voelen ons hier enorm door gesterkt!!!! Aanstaande woensdag gaat een historische dag worden, en ik hoop ook van harte dat het niet de boeken in gaat als een dag waar er van alles mis ging'.... Dus ik roep een ieder op'... HOU HET NETJES!!!
En let ook een beetje op elkaar, en dat bedoel ik zeker niet negatief, maar we steunen elkaar hier ook. Schouder aan Schouder, boeren burgers vissers bouwvakkers wij dragen deze dagen SAMEN.
Ons Programma ziet er als volgt uit:We beginnen onze reis in Bilthoven op het sportpark aan de Biltse Rading en daar is voldoende gelegenheid om de trekkers te parkeren. Er staat daar een podium en er zijn een 5-tal geweldige sprekers die het bestuur van het RIVM eens stevig zullen toespreken, want wat daar gebeurd'...
Nadat hier de laatste spreker is vertrokken gaan we naar Den Haag waar we het programma gaan voortzetten op De Koekamp . Dit is bij de Laan van Gorbatchov en de Bezuidenhoutseweg en Benoordenhoutseweg kunnen we voldoende parkeren met onze tractoren, deze het liefst zonder aanhanger o.i.d.! De politie helpt met aanwijzen van parkeergelegenheid, en volg deze svp ook op, voor een vlotte afhandeling. Met de politie hebben we een goede verstandhouding, dit willen we graag zo houden, ze denken veel met ons mee.
Om 15.00 begint ons programma daar met een groot aantal sprekers die onze sector een warm hart toedragen. Zie ook het programma van sprekers op de Farmers Defence Force Facebookpagina en de website.
Na dit programma zullen een aantal mensen huiswaarts gaan, maar ook een aantal zullen blijven, we hebben een aantal kilo.s hamburgers, shoarma en snert broodjes klaar hebben staan al dan niet gratis'...
En s'avonds is er een dj aanwezig en dat programma loopt tot 22uur. Drank is niet toegestaan en dat is voor iedereen zijn eigen verantwoording. Maar denk eraan dat je niet met drank op achter het stuur huiswaarts gaat!! Slapen is officieel niet toegestaan op De Koekamp dus regel zelf een slaapplek..
Donderdag is er ter hoogte van de Hofvijver een lopend ontbijt geregeld, als je hebt mag je een bordje en bestek meenemen'....als je dat niet hebt krijg je een servetje of papieren bordje van ons.. Dit ontbijt start om 9 uur en iedereen is daarbij uitgenodigd.. want boeren zorgen voor eten.!!
En hopelijk hebben we daarna eindelijk bericht van de politiek dat ze hun plannen gaan wijzigen ten opzichte van onze mooie sectoren anders zijn we genoodzaakt hardere acties te gaan neerzetten, want het kan niet zo zijn dat alle problemen maar steeds op ons bordje komen'...
We hopen jullie allemaal morgen te zien, en we gaan er 2 mooie dagen van maken, maar wel met een hele duidelijke boodschap naar de politiek!!
Team Farmers Defence Force
p.s. heb je nog oud papier in de schuur liggen'...wij hebben er nog wel een passende bestemming voor'...neem maar mee'...
Boeren woensdag niet welkom op Binnenhof; Defensie zet straten in Den Haag af
Tue, 15 Oct 2019 22:41
HEERENVEEN '' Demonstrerende boeren zijn woensdag niet welkom op het Binnenhof in Den Haag en dat weten ze ook. Dat zei minister Grapperhaus dinsdag.
De gemeente Den Haag laat weten dat Defensie zal helpen met het afzetten van wegen in de stad.
Boeren hebben aangekondigd dat ze in het hart van de Haagse politiek willen laten zien hoe boos ze zijn over de stikstofmaatregelen van het kabinet. Ze mogen demonstreren, maar het is niet de bedoeling dat dat op het Binnenhof gebeurt, zo zegt minister Grapperhaus. Als ze te ver gaan, zal de ME volgens hem klaarstaan.
De gemeente is bang dat de boeren met hun trekkers in het winkelgebied bij het Binnenhof terecht komen. Om dat te voorkomen, wil de politie die straten afzetten. Daarvoor is contact opgenomen met Defensie, omdat ''de politie zelf niet beschikt over dit zware materieel en daarom is contact gezocht met Defensie. Zij beschikken namelijk over de zware verplaatsbare vrachtwagens die nodig zijn als flexibele robuuste wegafzetting''.
Vertrek vanuit Heerenveen
De Friese boeren verzamelen 's nachts tussen 3 en 4 uur op het parkeerterrein van IJsstadion Thialf in Heerenveen. Ze vertrekken rond 4 uur in de ochtend richting Den Haag.
Dit betekent dat er midden in de nacht meer reuring dan gewoonlijk is rondom Thialf en de aanrijdroutes. De verwachting is dat de acties rustig zullen verlopen; de boeren willen de inwoners niet tot last zijn. Er worden enkele honderden boeren verwacht.
Met de Friese actievoerders is ook afgesproken dat zij voor eventuele toekomstige acties op zoek gaan naar een alternatieve locatie om te verzamelen met tractoren.
Riot's 7 new games are a declaration of war against Blizzard | PC Gamer
Thu, 17 Oct 2019 07:28
HomeFeaturesMOBALeague Of Legends(Image credit: Riot Games)
For the past decade Riot Games has been a company trapped in a bubble. Despite having millions of players worldwide, if you don't actively play League of Legends you probably don't care all that much about Riot. But over the course of a single hour last night during its tenth anniversary livestream, Riot announced eight new projects including a long-rumored League of Legends fighting game, a management sim, a tactical multiplayer FPS, a card game, and mobile versions for both League of Legends and Teamfight Tactics. Some of these games are years away, but Riot's big birthday party felt like the opening beach assault against its biggest competitor: Blizzard.
The past year has seen an unprecedented erosion of the goodwill and trust that players had in what was once PC gaming's most iconic developer.
In the last 12 months, Blizzard has bounced ungracefully from one controversy to another. It started at Blizzcon 2018, when the developer known for its close-knit community massively misjudged the expectations of its audience by capping a lukewarm show with the announcement of a Diablo mobile game'--an unpleasant surprise to fans who had been hoping Blizzard had some big secret reveal (even though Blizzard said weeks earlier that wasn't the case). At the time, players were already pissed off with World of Warcraft's latest expansion because it felt like a step back over the previous one. But the issue was exacerbated by sarcastic comments from developers like "don't you guys have phones?" and reports that some of Blizzard's top talent were working on mobile games.
A month later, Blizzard unceremoniously killed an entire esports scene when it cancelled plans for Heroes of the Storm's Global Championship season. Overnight, an entire community of casters and pro players were out of the job and forced to migrate to other games. Two months after that, Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick boasted of "record results in 2018" while simultaneously announcing that Blizzard was laying off 800 people.
Things were mercifully silent through the summer of 2019, with World of Warcraft Classic's enormously popular launch being the high point. But then, just weeks before Blizzcon 2019, Blizzard created an international incident by banning and revoking the winnings of a pro Hearthstone player who called for Hong Kong's liberation from China during a post-match interview. Instead of facing the ensuing backlash directly, Blizzard then released a tepid response on a Friday evening, quietly reducing the punishment for the player and the two Taiwanese casters present during the interview but doing little to assuage concerns over what motivated the decision in the first place.
The past year has seen an unprecedented erosion of the goodwill and trust that players had in what was once PC gaming's most iconic developer. Blizzard founders are retiring, Activision's marketing and cost-sensitive influence is reportedly growing, and now people fear that Blizzard is increasingly beholden to the whims of the Chinese government and the gaming market that government authoritatively controls. To say it's been a disastrous year for Blizzard is putting it mildly, and Riot is clearly looking to capitalize.
Target acquired Every game Riot has announced
(Image credit: Riot Games)
On October 15, Riot revealed a eight new projects including a fighting game, tactical FPS, card game, and even an animated TV series based on League of Legends. It's a lot to keep track of, so here's a handy breakdown of everything you might've missed.
Next year the League of Legends card game, Legends of Runeterra, will release and directly compete with Hearthstone. And Riot is also working on a competitive multiplayer FPS that sounds an awful lot like Counter-Strike meets Overwatch and an action RPG which may take after Diablo. But these games are more than mere competition'--they feel like direct responses to the major criticisms people have leveled at Blizzard games and their associated genres.
The Legends of Runeterra announcement, for example, focused partly on the expensive microtransactions that make card games like Hearthstone so frustrating to play. Instead of gambling on randomized booster packs to fill out your collection, Legends of Runeterra will have a system where you can buy cards directly for either premium or in-game currency earned through playing. Likewise, a large portion of their tactical FPS announcement focused on how Riot would be tackling long-standing FPS issues like server tickrate, peeker's advantage, and cheating.
The way that Riot is building an expanded universe based on League of Legends is straight out of Blizzard's playbook. Though Heroes of the Storm was the first to actually mix Blizzard characters and settings, crossover events and in-game cosmetics make Blizzard games feel like one ecosystem. Warcraft, Starcraft, Diablo, and Overwatch have always felt like different faces of the same die'--games inextricably linked by "Blizzard polish" and unifying values that makes events like Blizzcon possible.
There's a heritage there that Riot cannot compete with, but it does have some major advantages: All of its games (aside from the upcoming FPS) share the same characters and universe. With League of Legends boasting 8 million peak concurrent players worldwide, there's enormous potential in finding new ways to explore those 140 champions that players already feel so invested in. At the very least you can expect loads of cross-promotional events and cosmetics.
If you're not a League of Legends player, that idea might seem laughable. Who cares about the backstory of some MOBA character? But if you pay attention to dedicated fans, you'll notice an acute awareness of these narratives'--the fictional rivalries and odd bits of trivia that flavor these champions'--that Riot has steadily expanded into a sweeping universe of short fiction found on its own website dedicated to LoL's mythology.
Like Blizzard, Riot has a panache for vibrant worldbuilding and colorful characters, and its Arcane TV series is a chance to leverage that into something more evocative than bits of lore trivia drip-fed through loading screens. Riot clearly wants to be the Marvel of games and, unlike Blizzard, can reap the benefits of having a singular world and character roster that unifies all of its projects.
Half of the announcements Riot made last night were for mobile games and no one seemed to care.
The other advantage Riot has is that it's often just as guilty of the same supposed sins that have vilified Blizzard but rarely ever incriminated. While Blizzard is burning at the stake for protecting its business interests in China, Riot has been 100 percent owned by the largest Chinese tech corporation, Tencent, for years without sparking any kind of concerted outrage. In the immediate aftermath of Blizzard's Hong Kong controversy, Riot also warned pro players not to mention politics'--but that didn't result in being called out on Twitter by US lawmakers.
It's even funny to consider that, despite being a PC-only developer until now, half of the announcements Riot made last night were for mobile games and no one seemed to care. During the announcement of Teamfight Tactics' mobile version, product manager Jessica Nam even quipped, "it turns out that you guys actually do have phones." She mocked Blizzard for announcing a mobile game while announcing a mobile game .
Blizzard's fans already feel misunderstood and disenfranchised, so when it protects its business in China or chases mobile gaming trends, it validates the feeling that something about Blizzard is changing'--and not for the better.
But even in the aftermath of ugly controversies like reports of institutional sexism, it's moments like Riot's livestream that indicate Riot's relationship with its players is still in good shape and that people are optimistic about the next ten years of League of Legends. Riot has found a way to make money in multiple markets and not make any particular one feel less important than the other (for now, at least). That's a luxury that Blizzard just doesn't have and, with people looking to protest Blizzcon next month, probably won't have any time soon'--if ever again.
Though it could be years before Riot's Blizzard-killers are actually released'--not to mention whether they're even good'--it's clear that the fellow California-based studio is no longer content with quietly operating the world's most popular game anymore. Riot feels like it's evolving into something much bigger, and as Blizzard's spot as PC gaming's most-beloved developer begins to slip, I smell a usurper.
Steven enjoys nothing more than a long grind, which is precisely why his specialty is on investigative feature reporting on China's PC games scene, weird stories that upset his parents, and MMOs. He's Canadian but can't ice skate. Embarrassing.
LeBron James Faces Backlash Unseen Since 'The Decision' - The New York Times
Tue, 15 Oct 2019 23:03
The issues of China and protests in Hong Kong are far different from N.B.A. free agency. But nine years later, James, himself, has also changed.
Image Protesters hold photographs of LeBron James in Hong Kong on Tuesday. Credit Credit Anthony Wallace/Agence France-Presse '-- Getty Images It has been almost a decade since the last time LeBron James faced widespread backlash.
Fans in Cleveland burned his jersey. They threw rocks at a billboard with his face on it. James was maligned as a narcissist by Dan Gilbert, the owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers, in a letter that was widely mocked.
And all James did then was announce on national television that he was going to a different team.
That was in 2010, when James, after seven seasons in Cleveland, said during a special on ESPN titled ''The Decision'' that he was taking his talents to Miami, to play for the Heat.
The backlash for that was far different from what James, now a member of the Los Angeles Lakers, faces after saying that Daryl Morey, the general manager of the Houston Rockets, ''wasn't educated on the situation at hand'' when he posted and then deleted an image on Twitter supporting pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong. It caused an international row with the authoritarian Chinese government, and now threatens the partnership between the N.B.A. and one of its most important international markets. Several Chinese companies cut ties with the Rockets.
James further incensed his critics when he added: ''Yes, we do all have freedom of speech. But at times there are ramifications for the negative that can happen when you're not thinking about others and you're thinking about yourself.''
He was denounced immediately, particularly across social media. It was an unusual position for one of the most popular athletes in the world. Multiple lawmakers, including Rick Scott and Josh Hawley '-- two Republican senators '-- criticized James for seemingly blaming Morey for the Chinese government's actions. Even a fellow player, Enes Kanter, a center for the Boston Celtics known to be politically outspoken, posted tweets that appeared to be directed toward James without naming him. One said: ''FREEDOM IS NOT FREE.''
James, one of the greatest players in N.B.A. history, tried to clarify his comments with posts on Twitter, saying that Morey did not consider the ''ramifications of the tweet'' and that ''my team and this league just went through a difficult week.''
It didn't help.
In Hong Kong, protesters burned James jerseys, shot baskets at a hoop with his face on the backboard, and turned images of him into memes '-- including a depiction showing him embracing Chinese cash.
The breadth of the criticism was unusual. On a section of Reddit for Lakers fans, hundreds, if not thousands, of comments offered scathing words for James. One post read, ''Regardless of what Lebron's real intention behind his words on Morey, he definitely messed up.'' Several accused James of cowardice.
Speaking at practice on Tuesday, James said he was aware of some negative reaction toward him but did not feel a need to connect with every global geopolitical issue.
''I think when the issue comes up, if you feel passionate about it or you feel like it's something you want to talk about, then so be it,'' James said. ''I also don't think that every issue should be everybody's problem.''
The scope of the backlash, compared with ''The Decision,'' is different for several reasons. One issue holds global importance, and involves a nexus of politics, sports and business. The other played out mostly among basketball fans, though it changed the way that star N.B.A. athletes viewed their own leverage in free agency.
Nine years after ''The Decision,'' there are other cultural forces at play: Social media use is much more ubiquitous. And more than that, James is different, in part because of that backlash from nine years ago. He's a more powerful athlete, a global superstar with three N.B.A. championships and a settled legacy. His business empire has expanded past basketball and into entertainment, with his name helming dozens of television and film projects. James went from a great player to a business titan, who made activism on certain social issues a part of his empire. All of that has combined to build him into a figure with arguably unparalleled influence in the history of the league.
But in some ways, James's history with activism has been as enigmatic as it has been common. Fans who accused James of cowardice also charged him with hypocrisy. James has carefully cultivated an image of willingness to engage with political issues throughout his career, including stands on police shootings and a high-profile endorsement for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign in 2016. Last month, Gov. Gavin Newsom, Democrat of California, appeared on James's HBO show, ''The Shop,'' to sign a bill that would allow athletes to seek endorsements and other deals, another bit of careful brand cultivation for James.
On the premiere of ''The Shop'' in 2018, James didn't eschew a comparison to one of his idols, the boxer Muhammad Ali, a famed social justice crusader. In fact, James suggested he didn't care about backlash and that his popularity had declined when he started speaking out on various issues.
''He knew that it wasn't about him,'' James said, referring to Ali, adding that Ali knew that he would receive backlash and might go to jail.
James has previously been criticized for initially keeping silent about certain issues, such the 2014 shooting in Ohio of a 12-year-old African-American boy, Tamir Rice, by police.
Early in his career, James received blowback for declining to sign a letter circulated by his teammate Ira Newble criticizing the Chinese government for its support of the Sudanese government in relation to the armed conflict in Darfur, in which hundreds of thousands of civilians were killed.
But the next year, in 2008, James spoke out about Darfur on ESPN: ''At the end of the day we're talking about human rights. And people should understand that human rights and people's lives are in jeopardy. We're not talking about contracts here. We're not talking about money. We're talking about people's lives being lost and that means a lot more to me than some money or a contract.''
And yet, the potential harm to James's business interests caused by Morey's Twitter post cannot reasonably be separated from his criticism of the general manager. He said he had been to China more than a dozen times in his career '-- usually with the league or one of his corporate sponsors like Nike, which counts China as its third largest market.
James also has more to lose in China than just sales from shoes or other basketball-related merchandise: His entertainment projects, like ''Space Jam 2,'' may be distributed in China, a significant market for Hollywood production studios like Warner Bros. and similarly for James's brand itself.
However, James may have helped the N.B.A. On the Chinese mainland, his comments have been met with enthusiasm. That the most famous basketball player in the world has, by some interpretations, lent support to the Chinese government's position over that of an American basketball executive will not hurt in maintaining relationships '-- and profits '-- for basketballers in China.
After all, the Chinese buy sneakers, too.
Sopan Deb is a culture reporter, writing about the intersection of politics and culture, among other topics. He covered Donald J. Trump's presidential campaign for CBS News, and his work has appeared on NBC, Al Jazeera America and elsewhere. @ sopandeb
Vietnam Pulls DreamWorks' ''Abominable'' Over South China Sea Map '' Variety
Mon, 14 Oct 2019 18:57
October 14, 2019 5:24AM PT Vietnam has banned DreamWorks Animation's new co-produced feature ''Abominable'' from its cinemas due to a scene involving a map that depicts China's contested territorial claims in the South China Sea. The move comes as U.S. entertainment firms such as the NBA, Disney and gaming firm Activision Blizzard are under intense fire from U.S. fans, activists and politicians for giving in to Chinese censorship demands.
The map in the animated film shows the ''nine-dash line,'' a U-shaped boundary unilaterally declared by Beijing that carves out resource-rich maritime regions for itself. Vietnam, Taiwan, the Philippines, Brunei and Malaysia all make contesting and overlapping claims.
China and Vietnam have long been at odds over the claims, but tensions have been at a particular high since July, when Beijing sent a vessel to conduct an energy survey in Vietnam-controlled waters.
''We will revoke [the movie's license],'' Vietnam's deputy minister of culture, sports and tourism Ta Quang Dong was quoted as saying by a local newspaper. His bureau is responsible for the licensing and censoring of foreign films.
The film is a Sino-U.S. co-production between DreamWorks Animation and the Shanghai-based Pearl Studio. Pearl is now a fully Chinese-owned rebrand of the former Oriental DreamWorks joint venture, which was founded in 2012 to great fanfare as a landmark collaboration between Hollywood and China.
Pearl Studio had not replied to Variety's request for comment at the time of publication.
In July 2016, an independent arbitration tribunal established under the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) published a clear and binding ruling on China's claims regarding the Philippines in the South China Sea. The tribunal said that the nine-dash line claims were mostly incompatible with UNCLOS, and explained that building artificial islands in the sea does not give China territorial claims in the area. China's response was to call the ruling ''a waste of paper.''
Last week, ESPN also faced criticism for using a map that appeared to endorse China's claims to both the self-governed island of Taiwan and the same disputed South China Sea regions. China has never disavowed the possibility of using force to bring Taiwan to heel, and views the democratic island as a renegade province.
ESPN was already under fire last week. Reports said that its news director had circulated an internal memo forbidding discussion of politics related to the ongoing Hong Kong pro-democracy protests, in the wake of a self-censorship controversy related to the issue that has engulfed the NBA and its China operations.
Disney '-- which has huge financial interests in the China market, particularly since the opening of its Shanghai Disneyland park in 2017 '-- owns 80% of ESPN.
AMC Entertainment will introduce an online video store in the United States on Tuesday. Adam Aron, AMC's president and chief executive, said that the AMC Theaters On Demand will offer about 2,000 films for sale or rent after their theatrical runs '-- much like Amazon or iTunes. Disney, Warner Bros., Universal, Sony and Paramount have [...]
Marvel fans are eagerly waiting to see Natalie Portman back as Jane Foster and become the female Thor in ''Thor: Love and Thunder,'' and many are wondering how closely the film will adapt the comic book storyline that includes Jane's battle with breast cancer. Speaking to Variety's Marc Malkin at the ''Jojo Rabbit'' press junket on [...]
After the epic battle scene in ''Avengers: Endgame'' depicted the female superheroes uniting to protect Spider-Man from Thanos, Marvel fans started wondering if they'll ever see the women unite for a standalone movie. ''Captain Marvel'' star Brie Larson generated even more buzz when she told Variety that she and other female co-stars have approached Marvel [...]
Annapurna Pictures president of film Ivana Lombardi is moving across town to Netflix, after almost a year in her role at Megan Ellison's company. As of Nov. 6, Lombardi will serve as director of independent films at the streamer. She will report directly to Lisa Nishimura, Netflix's vice president of independent film and documentary features. [...]
''Big Little Lies'' star Zoe Kravitz has been tapped to play Catwoman, the antiheroine and sometime love interest of the Caped Crusader, in Matt Reeves' upcoming ''The Batman.'' Kravitz will star opposite Robert Pattinson as Batman. Pre-production on the Warner Bros.-DC Comics pic is expected to start this summer. No official start date has been [...]
''Utopia'' and ''Little Women'' actress Hadley Robinson has been tapped to star in Amy Poehler's next directorial effort ''Moxie.'' Lauren Tsai is also on board to co-star in the Netflix movie. ''Moxie'' follows a teenage girl (Robinson) from a small town who is inspired by her mother's Riot Girl past and starts a feminist revolution [...]
Samara Weaving will join Henry Golding in the ''G.I. Joe'' spinoff, ''Snake Eyes.'' Haruka Abe, Ursula Corbero, Iko Uwais and Andrew Koji have also boarded the Paramount, Skydance and AllSpark movie. ''The Captain'' director Robert Schwentke is helming and Brian Goldner is producing. Evan Spiliotopoulos, who wrote ''Beauty and the Beast'' and ''The Huntsman: Winter's [...]
(22) ChuckModi on Twitter: "If you hold #LeBronJames to higher standard on global politics than: 1'--Democratic Prez Candidates 2'--NBA Owners 3'--Adam Silver OR if you talk China but silent about: 1'--Ferguson & BMore Uprisings 2'--U.S. Police gettin
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IRS Followed Bitcoin Transactions, Resulting In Takedown Of The Largest Child Exploitation Site On The Web
Wed, 16 Oct 2019 23:01
The largest dark web child pornography site in the world has been taken down. That was the word today from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia, the Justice Department's Criminal Division, the IRS Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), together with the National Crime Agency of the United Kingdom and Republic of Korea at a joint press conference announcing arrests and forfeitures.
According to the IRS-CI, agents became aware of Welcome to Video, the largest child sexual exploitation market by volume of content, because of their work on previous dark web marketplaces. The dark web, also referred to as ''Darknet,'' refers to content that you don't typically access through regular internet browsing activities.
IRS-CI was able to trace bitcoin transactions on the site to people all over the world who were uploading and downloading this material, as well as find the location of the site administrator. By analyzing the blockchain and de-anonymizing bitcoin transactions, the agency was able to identify hundreds of predators around the world '' even though those users thought that they could remain anonymous.
As a result of the investigations, Jong Woo Son, 23, a South Korean national, was indicted by a federal grand jury in the District of Columbia for operating the site. Son has also been charged and convicted in South Korea and is currently in custody in South Korea. The operation resulted in the seizure of approximately 7.5 terabytes of child pornography videos, the largest of its kind: that's more than 10,000 CDs full of imagery that are no longer in the hands of child pornographers. The images, which are being analyzed by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), contained over 250,000 unique videos; 45% of the videos contain images that have not been previously known to exist.
According to the indictment, on March 5, 2018, agents from the IRS-CI, HSI, National Crime Agency in the United Kingdom, and Korean National Police in South Korea arrested Son and seized the server that he used to operate a Darknet market which advertised child sexual exploitation videos. The site, Welcome To Video, offered these videos for sale using the cryptocurrency bitcoin: the site boasted over one million downloads of child exploitation videos by users.
The website is among the first of its kind to monetize child exploitation videos using bitcoin. Here's how it worked: each user received a unique bitcoin address when the user created an account on the website. Those accounts could be used to pay to download the videos. An analysis of the server revealed that the website had more than one million bitcoin addresses, signifying that the website had the capacity for at least one million users.
The data from the seized server was shared with law enforcement agencies around the world. This has resulted in leads sent to 38 countries. In addition to Son, 337 site users residing in 23 states (Alabama, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Washington State) and Washington, D.C. ,as well as the United Kingdom, South Korea, Germany, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the Czech Republic, Canada, Ireland, Spain, Brazil and Australia have been arrested and charged. Two users of the Darknet market committed suicide after the execution of search warrants.
The complaint alleges that law enforcement was able to trace payments of bitcoin to the Darknet site by following the flow of funds on the blockchain. The virtual currency accounts identified in the complaint were allegedly used by 24 individuals in five countries to fund the website and promote the exploitation of children. An unsealed forfeiture complaint seeks to recover these funds as part of efforts to assist victims of the crime.
In addition to arrests and seizures, the operation is also responsible for the rescue of at least 23 minor victims residing in the United States, Spain and the United Kingdom, who were being actively abused by the users of the site.
''Children around the world are safer because of the actions taken by U.S. and foreign law enforcement to prosecute this case and recover funds for victims,'' said U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu. ''We will continue to pursue such criminals on and off the Darknet in the United States and abroad, to ensure they receive the punishment their terrible crimes deserve.''
''Through the sophisticated tracing of bitcoin transactions, IRS-CI special agents were able to determine the location of the Darknet server, identify the administrator of the website and ultimately track down the website server's physical location in South Korea,'' said IRS-CI Chief Don Fort. ''This large-scale criminal enterprise that endangered the safety of children around the world is no more.''
Chief Fort noted that some might call it an odd pairing for the IRS to work on this type of investigation. But, he explained ''our unique and singular focus in following the money made this a logical next step after playing key roles in dismantling Silk Road, BTC-E, Mt Gox and other crimes perpetrated in the shadows of the dark web.''
He further explained, ''Our agency's ability to analyze the blockchain and de-anonymize bitcoin transactions allowed for the identification of hundreds of predators around the world.''
Whether the funds are fiat or virtual, Chief Fort said, ''IRS-CI's expertise is in tracing money all around the world.'' Today, IRS-CI is the only federal agency that devotes 100% of resources to investigating financial crimes. IRS-CI is also the only agency with jurisdiction over federal tax crimes. (For more about IRS-CI, click here.)
Chief Fort had an additional message for criminals around the world. ''You used to hide by laundering your money through shell companies around the country, but we traced you. You took your money offshore and hid around the world, but we found you. You went on the dark web thinking that your actions were anonymous, but they weren't, and we again found you. You now deal in crypto-currency, again thinking this will make you anonymous, but our agents have once again proved that there is nowhere you can hide.'' He added, ''We will not stop in our pursuit.''
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Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website. Years ago, I found myself sitting in law school in Moot Court wearing an oversized itchy blue suit. It was a horrible experience. In a desperate attempt to avoid anything'... Read More
Years ago, I found myself sitting in law school in Moot Court wearing an oversized itchy blue suit. It was a horrible experience. In a desperate attempt to avoid anything like that in the future, I enrolled in a tax course. I loved it. I signed up for another. Before I knew it, in addition to my JD, I earned an LL.M Taxation. While at law school, I interned at the estates attorney division of the IRS. At IRS, I participated in the review and audit of federal estate tax returns. At one such audit, opposing counsel read my report, looked at his file and said, "Gentlemen, she's exactly right." I nearly fainted. It was a short jump from there to practicing, teaching, writing and breathing tax. Just like that, Taxgirl® was born. Read Less
Matt Lauer had an affair with a 'well-respected' NBC star
Wed, 16 Oct 2019 08:43
October 15, 2019 | 9:28pm
Disgraced ''Today'' anchor Matt Lauer allegedly had an affair with a famed and well-respected broadcaster, Page Six is exclusively told, representing a ''clear imbalance of power.''
The woman signed a nondisclosure agreement when she left NBC.
We have agreed not to name the broadcaster at her request, but a TV source said: ''Matt had influence over everyone's career '-- one word and your career would be sunk. I know there was a clear imbalance of power in this woman's relationship with Matt.''
In his new book, ''Catch and Kill,'' Ronan Farrow also claims Lauer repeatedly harassed a fellow on-air NBC personality, who was allegedly forced to sign a strict NDA when she left the network in 2012. It's not clear if it's the same woman we've learned about.
Farrow reports that the unnamed former NBC broadcaster claimed Lauer and another NBC exec propositioned her and made lewd comments about her during broadcasts. She said, ''I was like meat on a hook '... I would walk into work with a knot in my stomach. I would come home and cry.''
She alleged that when she turned the men down, she was ''punished'' and got fewer assignments, adding: ''My career took a sharp nosedive.'' Although she didn't make a formal report to HR, she did tell colleagues. When she left, NBC forced her to sign a nondisclosure agreement that waived her right to sue and banned her from making disparaging comments about the network, the book states.
Lauer has strenuously denied any wrongdoing. His lawyers had no comment. Despite Farrow's reporting, NBC stated that Brooke Nevils' allegation of rape against Lauer, made in 2017, was the first time execs had heard of any wrongdoing.
NBC News president Noah Oppenheim said in a staff memo Monday that no records had been found of inappropriate messages from Lauer to the woman Farrow mentioned, and said she signed a standard NDA.
25 for 45
Fraud Continues '' Nancy Pelosi Promises House Impeachment Subpoenas Will Not Have Legal Penalties '' House Will Not Authorize Impeachment Inquiry'... | The Last Refuge
Thu, 17 Oct 2019 07:18
According to Capitol Hill members, via Politico, House Democrat leadership has taken a climate assessment of democrat House members and Speaker Pelosi announced they will not hold a House impeachment authorization vote. As a direct and specific consequence all committee subpoenas do not carry a penalty for non-compliance.
A judicial penalty can only be created if the House votes to authorize an impeachment inquiry. Absent a vote, the Legislative Branch has not established compulsion authority (aka judicial enforcement authority), as they attempt to work through their quasi-constitutional ''impeachment inquiry'' process.
Instead of subpoenas, Adam Schiff (House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence); Chairman Elijah E. Cummings (Committee on White House Oversight; and Chairman Eliot L. Engel (House Committee on Foreign Affairs) can only send out request letters. The compliance is discretionary based on the ideology of the recipient.
It is likely, highly likely, Nancy Pelosi does not have the votes to proceed with a full House impeachment authorization; so Pelosi, Schiff, Engel and Cummings have to rely on the duplicity of the media to help them hide their scheme. So far the media is complying.
(Via Politico) Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democratic leaders will hold off on a full House vote authorizing an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, according to multiple lawmakers and aides.
['...] Trump, White House official and Republicans on Capitol Hill have seized on the absence of such an vote as an unacceptable break with House precedent and have vowed to resist what they describe as an illegitimate probe.
['...] Pelosi and other top Democrats could not come to an agreement among themselves during discussions on Monday over whether to move forward with the vote, which would have been a dramatic escalation of their impeachment battle with Trump.
House Democratic leaders quietly reached out to the most vulnerable members of their caucus to gauge whether they would support a formal vote to authorize an impeachment inquiry against Trump, according to multiple Democratic aides.
House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn's (D-S.C.) office lead the outreach effort, and the issue was discussed at a closed-door leadership meeting.
['...] The idea has been met with anxiety among some of the battleground Democrats, who fear it could distract from the agenda, according to multiple aides. (read more)
Speaker Pelosi & Lawfare's impeachment scheme can only succeed with a compliant media protecting it. So far the media has been entirely compliant in not explaining the fraudulent basis for the construct. If the media would ask questions the fraud would collapse.
Adam Schiff has to hide his hearings because the foundation of the impeachment fraud is to create a public impression. There is no structural impeachment process or guideline being followed. The committee leadership are using the closed door hearings to leak information to the media to create the needed narrative.
A legislative ''letter'' or demand request needs to carry judicial enforcement authority ''A PENALTY'' in order to be a ''subpoena''.
There is no penalty that can be associated with these demands because the Legislative Branch has not established compulsion authority (aka judicial enforcement authority), as they attempt to work through their non-constitutional ''impeachment inquiry'' process.
It has long been well established by SCOTUS that Congress has lawful (judicial authority) subpoena powers pursuant to its implied responsibility of legislative oversight. However, that only applies to the powers enumerated in A1§8. Neither foreign policy (Ukraine) nor impeachment have any nexus to A1§8. The customary Legislative Branch subpoena power is limited to their legislative purpose.
There is an elevated level of subpoena, made power possible by SCOTUS precedent, that carries inherent penalties for non-compliance, and is specifically allowed for impeachment investigations. That level of elevated House authority requires a full House authorization vote.
In this current example the Legislative Branch is expressing their ''impeachment authority'' as part of the Legislative Branch purpose. So that raises the issue of an entirely different type of subpoena:'... A demand from congress that penetrates the constitutional separation of powers; and further penetrates the legal authority of Executive Branch executive privilege.
It was separately established by SCOTUS during the Nixon impeachment investigation that *IF* the full House votes to have the Judiciary Committee commence an impeachment investigation, then the Judiciary Committee has subpoena power that can overcome executive privilege claims.
There has been NO VOTE to create that level of subpoena power.
As a consequence, the House has not created a process to penetrate the constitutionally inherent separation of powers, and/or, the legally recognized firewall known as 'executive privilege'. The House must vote to authorize the committee impeachment investigation, and through that process the committee gains judicial enforcement authority. This creates the penalty for non-compliance with an impeachment subpoena.
A demand letter only becomes a ''subpoena'', technically meaning: 'a request for the production of documents with a penalty for non-compliance', when the committee has judicial enforcement authority. That process establishes an enforcement penalty.
The current demand letters cannot carry a penalty because the demands do not contain judicial enforcement authority'.... because the impeachment investigation was not authorized by the chamber.
The reason judicial enforcement authority is constitutionally required is because creating Judicial enforcement authority, creating the penalty for non-compliance, gives the Executive Branch a process to appeal any legislative demand via the Judicial Branch (federal courts).
Absent a penalty for non-compliance, which factually makes a subpoena a 'subpoena', the Executive Branch has no process to engage an appellate review by federal courts. This is the purposeful trick within the Pelosi/Lawfare road-map.
Pelosi and Lawfare's plans are designed for public consumption; she/they are creating the illusion of something that doesn't exist. The purpose of all this fraudulent impeachment activity is to create support for an actual impeachment process.
Because the current Lawfare/Pelosi roadmap intends to work around judicial enforcement authority, the impeachment process is destined by design to end up running head-first into a constitutional problem; specifically separation of power and executive privilege. That predictable constitutional issue will end up with arguments to The Supreme Court.
THAT appears to be why Democrats and left-wing activists have been working for months to de-legitimize the Supreme Court. They always intended to run into this problem. They planned for it.
The Lawfare impeachment road-map is designed to conflict with the constitution. It is a necessary -and unavoidable- feature of their impeachment plan, not a flaw.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her Lawfare allies can change House rules (they did). Pelosi and Lawfare can also change House impeachment rules (they did). Pelosi/Lawfare can change committee rules (they did); and in doing so they can remove House republicans from the entire process'... Which They Did. However, what Lawfare and Pelosi cannot change is The U.S. Constitution, which they are destined to collide with.
Speaker Pelosi's 'Lawfare House rules' and/or 'Lawfare impeachment rules' cannot supersede the constitutional separation of powers.
Nancy Pelosi cannot decree an ''official impeachment inquiry'', and as a consequence nullify a constitutional firewall between the Legislative Branch and Executive Branch.
🚨 BREAKING '†' I just asked the Democrat Majority a simple yes or no question: Has the House been authorized to conduct an impeachment inquiry into @realDonaldTrump?
They refused to even answer the question. The Dems literally cut my mic.
This process is a total sham. pic.twitter.com/GdCpoZ1iom
'-- Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) October 15, 2019
Our Documents - Transcript of President George Washington's First Inaugural Speech (1789)
Thu, 17 Oct 2019 06:58
Fellow-Citizens of the Senate and of the House of Representatives:
Among the vicissitudes incident to life no event could have filled me with greater anxieties than that of which the notification was transmitted by your order, and received on the 14th day of the present month. On the one hand, I was summoned by my Country, whose voice I can never hear but with veneration and love, from a retreat which I had chosen with the fondest predilection, and, in my flattering hopes, with an immutable decision, as the asylum of my declining years--a retreat which was rendered every day more necessary as well as more dear to me by the addition of habit to inclination, and of frequent interruptions in my health to the gradual waste committed on it by time. On the other hand, the magnitude and difficulty of the trust to which the voice of my country called me, being sufficient to awaken in the wisest and most experienced of her citizens a distrustful scrutiny into his qualifications, could not but overwhelm with despondence one who (inheriting inferior endowments from nature and unpracticed in the duties of civil administration) ought to be peculiarly conscious of his own deficiencies. In this conflict of emotions all I dare aver is that it has been my faithful study to collect my duty from a just appreciation of every circumstance by which it might be affected. All I dare hope is that if, in executing this task, I have been too much swayed by a grateful remembrance of former instances, or by an affectionate sensibility to this transcendent proof of the confidence of my fellow-citizens, and have thence too little consulted my incapacity as well as disinclination for the weighty and untried cares before me, my error will be palliated by the motives which mislead me, and its consequences be judged by my country with some share of the partiality in which they originated.
Such being the impressions under which I have, in obedience to the public summons, repaired to the present station, it would be peculiarly improper to omit in this first official act my fervent supplications to that Almighty Being who rules over the universe, who presides in the councils of nations, and whose providential aids can supply every human defect, that His benediction may consecrate to the liberties and happiness of the people of the United States a Government instituted by themselves for these essential purposes, and may enable every instrument employed in its administration to execute with success the functions allotted to his charge. In tendering this homage to the Great Author of every public and private good, I assure myself that it expresses your sentiments not less than my own, nor those of my fellow- citizens at large less than either. No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the Invisible Hand which conducts the affairs of men more than those of the United States. Every step by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency; and in the important revolution just accomplished in the system of their united government the tranquil deliberations and voluntary consent of so many distinct communities from which the event has resulted can not be compared with the means by which most governments have been established without some return of pious gratitude, along with an humble anticipation of the future blessings which the past seem to presage. These reflections, arising out of the present crisis, have forced themselves too strongly on my mind to be suppressed. You will join with me, I trust, in thinking that there are none under the influence of which the proceedings of a new and free government can more auspiciously commence.
By the article establishing the executive department it is made the duty of the President "to recommend to your consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient." The circumstances under which I now meet you will acquit me from entering into that subject further than to refer to the great constitutional charter under which you are assembled, and which, in defining your powers, designates the objects to which your attention is to be given. It will be more consistent with those circumstances, and far more congenial with the feelings which actuate me, to substitute, in place of a recommendation of particular measures, the tribute that is due to the talents, the rectitude, and the patriotism which adorn the characters selected to devise and adopt them. In these honorable qualifications I behold the surest pledges that as on one side no local prejudices or attachments, no separate views nor party animosities, will misdirect the comprehensive and equal eye which ought to watch over this great assemblage of communities and interests, so, on another, that the foundation of our national policy will be laid in the pure and immutable principles of private morality, and the preeminence of free government be exemplified by all the attributes which can win the affections of its citizens and command the respect of the world. I dwell on this prospect with every satisfaction which an ardent love for my country can inspire, since there is no truth more thoroughly established than that there exists in the economy and course of nature an indissoluble union between virtue and happiness; between duty and advantage; between the genuine maxims of an honest and magnanimous policy and the solid rewards of public prosperity and felicity; since we ought to be no less persuaded that the propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained; and since the preservation of the sacred fire of liberty and the destiny of the republican model of government are justly considered, perhaps, as deeply, as finally, staked on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people.
Besides the ordinary objects submitted to your care, it will remain with your judgment to decide how far an exercise of the occasional power delegated by the fifth article of the Constitution is rendered expedient at the present juncture by the nature of objections which have been urged against the system, or by the degree of inquietude which has given birth to them. Instead of undertaking particular recommendations on this subject, in which I could be guided by no lights derived from official opportunities, I shall again give way to my entire confidence in your discernment and pursuit of the public good; for I assure myself that whilst you carefully avoid every alteration which might endanger the benefits of an united and effective government, or which ought to await the future lessons of experience, a reverence for the characteristic rights of freemen and a regard for the public harmony will sufficiently influence your deliberations on the question how far the former can be impregnably fortified or the latter be safely and advantageously promoted.
To the foregoing observations I have one to add, which will be most properly addressed to the House of Representatives. It concerns myself, and will therefore be as brief as possible. When I was first honored with a call into the service of my country, then on the eve of an arduous struggle for its liberties, the light in which I contemplated my duty required that I should renounce every pecuniary compensation. From this resolution I have in no instance departed; and being still under the impressions which produced it, I must decline as inapplicable to myself any share in the personal emoluments which may be indispensably included in a permanent provision for the executive department, and must accordingly pray that the pecuniary estimates for the station in which I am placed may during my continuance in it be limited to such actual expenditures as the public good may be thought to require.
Having thus imparted to you my sentiments as they have been awakened by the occasion which brings us together, I shall take my present leave; but not without resorting once more to the benign Parent of the Human Race in humble supplication that, since He has been pleased to favor the American people with opportunities for deliberating in perfect tranquillity, and dispositions for deciding with unparalleled unanimity on a form of government for the security of their union and the advancement of their happiness, so His divine blessing may be equally conspicuous in the enlarged views, the temperate consultations, and the wise measures on which the success of this Government must depend.
Transcription courtesy of the Avalon Project at Yale Law School.
Special note regarding document transcripts
Trump Teen Rape Allegation Resurfaces, Ronan Farrow Claims National Enquirer Tried to Protect Him in New Book
Thu, 17 Oct 2019 06:47
Amid behind-the-scenes details of his explosive reporting on Harvey Weinstein's alleged sexual misconduct, Ronan Farrow's new book Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators claims that American Media Inc. (AMI), the former publisher of the National Enquirer, tried to help Donald Trump bury allegations he raped a teenager in 1994.
Farrow claims in the book that AMI CEO David Pecker was in close contact with Trump when the rape allegations were made public in a 2016 lawsuit, and that then-National Enquirer editor Dylan Howard assured Trump's personal lawyer at the time, Michael Cohen, "that they would track down the woman with the rape allegation and see what they could do about her." An AMI spokesperson told Newsweek Tuesday that Farrow's claims are "completely untrue."
AMI has been accused in the past of purchasing potentially damaging stories about Trump in order to keep them from becoming public'--a practice known in the industry as "catch and kill." Last December, AMI admitted that in 2016 it made a $150,000 payment "in concert" with Trump's election campaign to former Playboy model Karen McDougal, who allegedly had an affair with Trump a decade earlier. The publisher made the pact with McDougal "in order to ensure that the woman did not publicize damaging allegations about the candidate before the 2016 presidential election," the U.S. Attorney's Office said.
At the crux of the lawsuit filed against Trump in the lead-up to the 2016 presidential election were claims that Trump raped a woman when she was 13 years old in 1994. At the time, Trump's lawyer Alan Garten responded to the lawsuit saying that the allegations are "categorically untrue."
US President Donald Trump leaves after signing an executive order regarding Medicare at Sharon L. Morse Performing Arts Center October 3, 2019, in The Villages, Florida. Brendan Smialowski/GettyThe anonymous plaintiff'--identified only as "Katie Johnson" in an initial legal filing that was dismissed in California, and "Jane Doe" in two subsequent legal filings in New York'--said that she was raped by Trump during a party hosted by the now-deceased pedophile Jeffrey Epstein at his New York City apartment. In the third and final lawsuit, Doe alleged she had numerous sexual encounters with Trump and Epstein at the latter's parties and said she was also raped by Epstein, as BuzzFeed News reported at the time.
Among the lurid details of the lawsuit, Jane Doe alleged Trump tied her to a bed, "forcibly raped" her and threatened her and her family with physical harm, if not death, if she told anyone about the assault. "I understood that Mr. Trump and Mr. Epstein knew that I was 13 years old," Jane Doe wrote in an affidavit.
Farrow alleges that after the suit was filed in September 2016, Enquirer editor Howard and Trump lawyer Cohen were in contact frequently. (Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison last December on charges including campaign finance violations for his part in hush payments to McDougal and adult film star Stormy Daniels.)
"There was no opportunity to buy this story," Farrow writes, claiming that AMI chief Pecker'--a longtime friend of Trump's'--only found out about the lawsuit after it was filed.
Still, Farrow says, Howard, now chief content officer at AMI, tried to use his influence to convince Lisa Bloom, a power attorney who agreed to represent Jane Doe, to drop her client.
In November 2016, just days before the presidential election, Bloom suddenly announced a press conference with Jane Doe had been canceled, saying Doe had become frightened after receiving death threats. Two days later, Doe's lead attorney, Thomas Meager, filed to dismiss the case. Jane Doe has not been heard from since.
Speaking to Newsweek Tuesday, Bloom said that while the Enquirer editor "did tell me he thought Jane Doe lacked credibility ... that wasn't the reason she asked her other attorney to drop her case."
"After we received numerous death threats and my law firm's website and emails were hacked, she did not want to go forward," Bloom added.
Bloom also said that she did not enter any agreements with AMI on Doe's behalf. "I represented Ms. Doe for free and there was never any discussion of money or settlement as I strongly believed her allegations should be made public given that Donald Trump was running for president at that time."
Paul Tweed, an attorney for Howard, told Newsweek: "We have advised Mr. Howard to make no further comment regarding the book at this stage, while all his legal remedies in appropriate jurisdictions are being considered."
An AMI spokesperson said: "Mr. Farrow's narrative is driven by unsubstantiated allegations from questionable sources and while these stories may be dramatic, they are completely untrue."
Oh Elon!
Elon Musk testifies he's financially illiquid, court filing says - Los Angeles Times
Thu, 17 Oct 2019 09:51
Insurance giant American International Group Inc. may get wrapped up in a defamation case involving billionaire Elon Musk, who has told lawyers representing the British cave diver suing him that he's financially illiquid, according to a legal filing.
An attorney for Vernon Unsworth, who sued for defamation last year after Musk attacked him on Twitter, pressed the Tesla Inc. CEO's lawyer last month for information on all insurance policies applicable to claims made in the suit. An exhibit filed Monday shows the two attorneys sparring over information regarding Musk's ties with AIG.
''Given Musk's sworn testimony that he is financially illiquid, Mr. Unsworth is entitled to know whether AIG has accepted coverage of the claims, denied coverage of the claims, or has reserved its rights to contest coverage of the claims,'' Unsworth's attorney wrote on Sept. 20. Musk's lawyer wrote back the same day that AIG had reserved rights, without elaborating.
AIG declined to comment on the filing.
''Mr. Musk's insurance carrier was notified of the money-grab,'' Alex Spiro, the Musk's lawyer, said in an emailed statement. ''It is a non-event.''
Unsworth's attorney, Lin Wood, declined to comment beyond the filing.
Although Musk, 48, has a $23.6-billion personal fortune that ranks him No. 38 on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, he's relatively cash poor. Much of his wealth is from his stake in rocket company Space Exploration Technologies Corp., and he has said he has no plans to sell any shares. He owns about $8.8 billion of Tesla stock.
A trial of the defamation case is scheduled to begin Dec. 3 in Los Angeles.
Any Collusion?
Barack Obama on Twitter: "I was proud to work with Justin Trudeau as President. He's a hard-working, effective leader who takes on big issues like climate change. The world needs his progressive leadership now, and I hope our neighbors to the north suppor
Thu, 17 Oct 2019 09:40
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Insider Trading
''There Is Definite Hanky-Panky Going On'': The Fantastically Profitable Mystery of the Trump Chaos Trades | Vanity Fair
Thu, 17 Oct 2019 09:35
In the last 10 minutes of trading at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange on Friday, September 13, someone got very lucky. That's when he or she, or a group of people, sold short 120,000 ''S&P e-minis'''--electronically traded futures contracts linked to the Standard & Poor's 500 stock index'--when the index was trading around 3010. The time was 3:50 p.m. in New York; it was nearing midnight in Tehran. A few hours later, drones attacked a large swath of Saudi Arabia's oil infrastructure, choking off production in the country and sending oil prices soaring. By the time the CME next opened, for pretrading on Sunday night, the S&P index had fallen 30 points, giving that very fortunate trader, or traders, a quick $180 million profit.
It was not an isolated occurrence. Three days earlier, in the last 10 minutes of trading, someone bought 82,000 S&P e-minis when the index was trading at 2969. That was nearly 4 a.m. on September 11 in Beijing, where a few hours later, the Chinese government announced that it would lift tariffs on a range of American-made products. As has been the typical reaction in the U.S. stock markets as the trade war with China chugs on without any perceptible logic, when the news about a potential resolution of it seems positive, stock markets go up, and when the news about the trade war appears negative, they go down.
The news was viewed positively. The S&P index moved swiftly on September 11 to 2996, up nearly 30 points. That same day, President Donald Trump said he would postpone tariffs on some Chinese goods, and the S&P index moved to 3016, or up 47 points since the fortunate person bought the 82,000 e-minis just before the market closed on September 10. Since a one-point movement, up or down, in an e-mini contract is worth $50, a 47-point movement up in a day was worth $2,350 per contract. If you were the lucky one who bought the 82,000 e-mini contracts, well, then you were sitting on a one-day profit of roughly $190 million.
A week earlier, three minutes before the CME closed on September 3, someone bought 55,000 e-mini contracts, with the index at about 2906. At around 9 p.m. in New York'--9 a.m. in Hong Kong'--the market started moving and kept rallying for the next six hours or so, reaching 2936. Around 2 p.m. in Hong Kong'--2 a.m. in New York'--Carrie Lam, the Hong Kong leader, announced that she would be withdrawing the controversial extradition bill that had been roiling the city in protest for months. Whoever bought those e-mini contracts a few hours earlier made a killing: a cool $82.5 million profit.
But these wins were peanuts compared to the money made by a trader, or group of traders, who bought 420,000 September e-minis in the last 30 minutes of trading on June 28. That was some 40% of the day's trading volume in September e-minis'--making it a trade that could not easily be ignored. By then, President Trump was already in Osaka, Japan'--14 hours ahead of Chicago'--and on his way to a roughly hour-long meeting with China's President Xi Jinping as part of the G20 summit. On Saturday in Osaka, after the market had closed in Chicago, Trump emerged from his meeting with Xi and announced that the intermittent trade talks were ''back on track.'' The following week was a good one in the stock market, thanks to the Trump announcement. On Thursday, June 27, the S&P 500 index stood at about 2915; a week or so later, it was just below 3000, a gain of 84 points, or $4,200 per e-mini contract. Whoever bought the 420,000 e-minis on June 28 had made a handsome profit of nearly $1.8 billion.
Traders in the Chicago pits have been watching these kinds of wagers with an increasing mixture of shock and awe since the start of the Trump presidency. They are used to rapid fluctuations in the S&P 500 index; volatility is common, of course. But the precision and timing of these trades, and the vast amount of money being made as a result of them, make the traders wonder if all this is on the level. Are the people behind these trades incredibly lucky, or do they have access to information that other people don't have about, say, Trump's or Beijing's latest thinking on the trade war or any other of a number of ways that Trump is able to move the markets through his tweeting or slips of the tongue? Essentially, do they have inside information?
Theoretically, market regulators are supposed to be keeping an eye on big trades such as these, to try to figure out whether they are just happy coincidences or whether there is something more nefarious afoot. And they say they do. But calls to the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, where the trades takes place, the Securities and Exchange Commission, which regulates the equity markets, and to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which regulates futures contracts, such as e-minis, were answered in different ways. Christopher Carofine, at the SEC, declined to comment. The CFTC did not respond to my inquiries, while a spokeswoman for the CME says the trades in question did not originate from a single source and they were of no concern.
There is no way for another trader, let alone an outsider such as me, to know who is making these trades. But regulators know or can find out. One longtime CME trader who has been watching with disgust says he's never seen anything quite like these trades, not at least since al-Qaida cashed in before initiating the September 11 attacks. ''There is definite hanky-panky going on, to the world's financial markets' detriment,'' he says. ''This is abysmal.''
In the case of Trump, market manipulation also yields political dividends. Perhaps the most obvious example dates to late August, when Trump, desperate to reignite trade talks with China, boasted during the G7 summit that his counterparts in Beijing had come back to the table. ''We've gotten two calls'--very, very good calls,'' he told reporters. ''They mean business.'' The market rose more than 900 points over the next few days. But a spokesperson for the Chinese foreign ministry said he was not aware of any such calls. An editor at the Global Times, the state-controlled newspaper, tweeted that he knew of no calls made in the days leading up to the G7 meeting and that ''China won't cave to US pressure.'' Two U.S government officials later told CNN that Trump misspoke and ''conflated'' comments from China's Vice Premier Liu He with direct communication from the Chinese. According to CNN, the officials said Trump was ''eager to project optimism that might boost markets.''
Indeed, this single Trump lie briefly inflated domestic markets by hundreds of billions of dollars. ''What this describes is, quite literally, market manipulation that constitutes criminal violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934,'' commented George Conway, the conservative attorney and Trump critic.
Whether Conway is right or wrong is a matter of legal opinion, but given how fishy and coincidental the trading in e-minis seems to be these days, the SEC or CFTC would be doing a great service (and their job) for the American people by investigating who is behind these lucrative trades, and what they knew before they placed them. At the moment, what we're getting from them is an indifferent shrug.
Federal regulators might start here: In the last 10 minutes of trading on Friday, August 23, as the markets were roiling in the face of more bad trade news, someone bought 386,000 September e-minis. Three days later, Trump lied about getting a call from China to restart the trade talks, and the S&P 500 index shot up nearly 80 points. The potential profit on the trade was more than $1.5 billion.
CodeNEXT Redevelopment In (and Out) of Neighborhood Transition Zones
Wed, 16 Oct 2019 22:50
CodeN EXT R ed evelo pm en t In ( a n d O ut) o fNeig hborh ood T ra n sit io n Z ones[B oxe d q uote s a re fr o m th e '' C it y C ou ncil's D ir e ctio n in R esp onse to C it y M an ager's M arc h 1 5,2019 M em o r e : L and D eve lo pm ent C ode R evis io n P olic y G uid ance '' u nle ss o th erw is e n ote d.]1. '‹What are Transition Zones or Transition Areas? Transition Zones are neighborhood areas adjoining designated corridors that the City is going to upzone to authorize the construction of ''missing middle housing.'' ''Map new Missing Middle housing in transition areas adjacent to activity centers, activity corridors, or the transit priority network''. p. 10 2. '‹Which streets are designated as activity corridors or part of the transit priority network? There is a long list of designated activity corridors (yellow on the map linked below) and transit priority roads (black on the linked map) including all or portions of roads such as Lamar Blvd, Burnet Rd, Guadalupe St., Airport Blvd, E. 38 '‹th'‹ St., Exposition Blvd, W. 35 '‹thSt., Cameron Rd., MLK Blvd, Enfield Rd, Oltorf Ave., South First St., Runberg Lane, Thaxton Rd, Lake Austin Blvd, Parmer Ln., Duval St., South Pleasant Valley Road, William Cannon, W. 45 '‹th'‹ St., Rosewood Ave. and Westover Rd. See the map-link below for the location of all roads and centers. http://austin.maps.arcgis.com/apps/View/index.html?appid=3b83b4c6184343ed99eb42f22cf093c1
3. '‹ What is missing middle housing? ''The term ''missing middle'' generally refers to the variety of building types that fall between detached, single-family homes, and large apartment buildings. As shown below, in Figure C-1, duplexes, multiplexes (i.e., small-scale multifamily uses), townhomes, cottage courts, and accessory dwelling units (''ADUs'') are all examples of missing middle housing'': (Source: Cronk 3/15/19 memo to council) 4. '‹What level of missing middle zoning is the City going to apply to individual lots in a neighborhood transition zone? ''Four units within a house scale should be the '‹least '‹ intense zone within a transition area, subject to staff's consideration of what is appropriate.'' (emphasis added) p. 13 5. '‹How far do transition areas extend into neighborhoods? ''i. Generally, the transition area should be two (2) to (5) lots deep beyond the corridor lot. ii. The depth and scale of any transition area should be set considering context sensitive factors and planning principles such as those set out in the direction for Question 4.'' p. 10
In most cases, ''(2) to (5) lots'' could mean ½ to 2 ½ blocks depending on the orientation of the adjoining residential blocks to the corridor. When the blocks are parallel to the corridor, 5 lots can extend two and one-half blocks into the neighborhood. Transition Zone '' 2 ½ blocks (5 lots beyond corridor lots) When the blocks are perpendicular to the corridor, five lots could extend about one-half of a block off of the corridor. CORRIDOR Corrid or fr o ntin g lo tsTra nsit io n Z one - 5lo ts b eyo nd c o rrid o rlo ts
The (2) to (5) lot depth, however, is a ''general'' rule. The Mayor (and Council majority) refused to cap it at five lots. Alter: I have some questions for you. So, could you please clarify your intention by ingav [using] the language that the transition zone should generally by two to five lots deep, was meant to cap the zone at no me [no more] than five lots. City Council Regular Meeting Session Transcript '' 04/25/2019 at pp. 142-143. '...'... Alter: So it doesn't cap it at five. Mayor Adler: I'm sorry, what? [Alter] Er a (sic) so it doesn't cap it at five. Mayor Adler: Except for a rare situation, that's correct. Alter: So can we cap it five and have staff provide circumstances to us where they might want to exceed that and call those out for us, and then we could make decision? Mayor Adler: I think that I'm comfortable with language that says generally the area should be two to five lots deep. City Council Regular Meeting Session Transcript '' 04/25/2019 at pp. 142-143. 6. '‹Before the City upzones homes in transition areas, will citizens have the customary zoning notice, process and hearing with the statutory right to object through a valid petition? The City says ''no.'' Brent Lloyd, development officer, dsd. '...So we will be bringing you back an entirely new zoning map. And to mayor pro tem Garza's point, it will not require mailed notice like a rezone does, when we're aingpt (sic) and law has advised revi psly,(sic) publicly, that when we're adopting a whole new code and a new map, that can be done through published notice. City Council Regular Meeting Session Transcript '' 04/25/2019 pp. 140-141. Tovo: Before we move on to the additional section, I had a question that I posed '... And I did give our city attorney a heads up about it. I've been asked -- and I think we all got asked this question during the code next conversation as
well, whether property owners would have valid petition rights once the council takes action on the map and land development code. [Response]: Council, they would not. City Council Special Called Meeting Transcript '' 05/02/2019 p. 148 7. '‹What is the effect on the single family homes and lots that have been upzoned? The homes become non-conforming uses and there will be restrictions on what can be done with the home and the land. ''To the greatest extent possible, include code restrictions that provide properties zoned for multi-family will develop with multi-family and not single-family structures. At the same time, however, make allowances for existing single- family structures that become non-conforming to be maintained, remodeled, and potentially expanded, so long as they are not demolished or substantially rebuilt. Staff should provide options for minimum unit yield based on the zone. (emphasis added) p. 7 Code revisions to provide additional housing capacity should include: '... Measures to dis-incentivize the demolition and replacement of an existing housing unit(s) with a single, larger housing unit. p. 7 Provide options to revise McMansion ordinance that provide for ability to add a room or limited remodel but constrain ability to demolish existing home and replace with another larger single family home.'' p. 9 From the Council discussion on the issue: ''Harper-Madison: So if you were -- what you're saying, if if you were to demolish the house or substantially rebuild it and you were in a zone that's been upzoned, the only thing can do, as opposed to rebuilding your single-family home, is do multifamily. Kitchen: Yes, that's what it says. I mean, H[ow] else are we going to get to our transition zone mapping? [Brent Lloyd, Department Officer with final responsibility for text]: '...So once you demolish that with -- that property and you want to rebuild, it would have to
be multifamily.'' City Council Special Called Meeting Transcript '' 05/02/2019 p. 65 8. '‹How is parking handled in a transition zone '' will multi-family and commercial projects have to provide parking? The Council instructed Staff to eliminate off-street parking requirements except in extraordinary circumstances. And, this applies not just in the transition zones but in the first ¼ mile from a corridor. ''Minimum parking requirements should be generally eliminated in areas that are within the ¼ mile of activity centers, activity corridors, and transit priority network, except that some parking requirements may be maintained for areas where elimination of parking requirements would be particularly disruptive (conditions to be proposed by staff).'' p. 14 9. '‹Is increased density in neighborhoods limited to transition zones? Apparently not. ''Staff will consider mapping missing middle areas in high opportunity areas not impacted by environmental concerns in order to help achieve goals related to housing throughout the city. p. 13 ''High opportunity areas'' are those that provide access to economic and social opportunities. Here is the map: http s://w ww .a ustin te xa s.g o v/e dim s/d ocu m ent.c fm ?id = 318779An email from the Mayor seems to confirm that density in neighborhoods is not limited to transition zones. From: '‹Mayor Steve Adler Subject: An update from Mayor Adler on the future land development code in Austin Date: '‹May 20, 2019 at 5:11:40 PM CDT'...'... What about in neighborhoods? Will there be new development entitlements given there?
Yes. In addition to more allowances for ADUs (see above), there will be more opportunity for Missing Middle housing (like duplexes, triplexes and quads) that are built in the same form and scale as a single-family home. There will also be Transition Areas located between the commercial uses on corridors and centers and the adjoining neighborhoods. 10. '‹Is the City contemplating even more housing density '‹beyond '‹ what CodeNEXT will allow? Yes. Staff to provide options for timelines and methods for implementation of the new code and map and to achieve additional housing capacity and affordable housing goals beyond those contained in the new code and map.'' p. 3 Furthermore, after homes in transition areas are rezoned to multi-family, there is nothing precluding a developer (and then another) from purchasing the sixth (seventh, eight, etc.) lot from the corridor or other homes on the block or across the street or back fence and requesting multi-family zoning using the CodeNEXT zoning as a precedent. 11. '‹What is the overall housing goal for the City and where does the City plan to put that housing in addition to corridors, centers, and transition zones? The CodeNEXT housing goal for the City is to create the capacity for 405,000 new housing units by rezoning individual lots. ''The new code and map should allow for housing capacity equivalent to at least '‹ three '‹ times the Austin Strategic Housing Blueprint (ASHB) goal of 135,000 new housing units.'' p. 5 The Council instructed Staff to map a great majority of this new housing capacity (lots upzoned to permit greater density) within ½ mile of corridors and centers. As noted, Staff was told to consider, as well, high opportunity areas. 75% of new housing capacity should be within ½ mile of transit priority networks as identified by the Austin Strategic Mobility Plan and Imagine Austin
activity centers and corridors. Staff should update the growth maps for Imagine Austin including both corridors and centers. p. 9 ''Staff will consider mapping missing middle areas in high opportunity areas not impacted by environmental concerns in order to help achieve goals related to housing throughout the city. p.13 12. '‹Are there other concerns with the Council direction to Staff? Yes. There are concerns that the direction Council has given to Staff will actually work against affordable housing, and could risk displacement of homeowners and renters through redevelopment and higher property taxes. There are concerns that redevelopment maximizing the impervious cover entitlement could exacerbate flooding and drainage problems and potentially reduce the tree canopy in some areas. There are also concerns with the relaxation and in some cases the elimination, of compatibility standards, especially as they apply to commercial development, with the encroachment of incompatible commercial uses, and with the potential elimination of some protective conditional overlays that cushioned the impact of higher intensity zoning. An examination of these concerns (and it is not an exhaustive list) is an important discussion outside the scope of this article.
A bill to provide a path to end homelessness in the United States, and for other purposes. (S. 2613) - GovTrack.us
Thu, 17 Oct 2019 07:35
History Oct 16, 2019
Bills and resolutions are referred to committees which debate the bill before possibly sending it on to the whole chamber.
If this bill has further action, the following steps may occur next:'--
Passed Committee
Passed Senate
Passed House
Signed by the President
S. 2613 is a bill in the United States Congress.A bill must be passed by both the House and Senate in identical form and then be signed by the President to become law.
How to cite this information.We recommend the following MLA -formatted citation when using the information you see here in academic work:
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A bill to provide a path to end homelessness in the United States, and for other purposes, S. 2613, 116th Cong. (2019).
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Photo Gallery: How the City Council's ''Transition Zones'' Could Change Austin Forever - Community Not Commodity
Wed, 16 Oct 2019 22:32
CodeNEXT is dead and gone, right?
Wrong. City officials withdrew the reviled plan last August, but the real estate speculators who supported it are still trying to get their hands on the land underneath Austin's single-family homes.
Now it looks like they have a plan to make it happen.
In early May, our city council released a set of land-redevelopment guidelines that look an awful lot like the next CodeNEXT. They call for the creation of ''transition'' zones in neighborhoods across our community, areas where the following will take place:
Single-family lots will be forcibly rezoned to accommodate structures as high as 65 feetLand values and taxes will rise sharply, and home sales are likely to result in demolitionsMost new construction must be multi-family rental, condominiums, or mixed use (commercial and residential)Here's what that might look like:
Is your family's home in a transition zone? If you live anywhere near a major street or bus line, then the answer is probably yes. Click here to learn more.
If you're concerned for the future of your family and home, contact Mayor Steve Adler and your city council member today. (Check this map if you aren't sure which council member represents you.) Ask them to explain why they are doing this to you and your neighbors!
Mayor Steve Adler:steve.adler@austintexas.gov | 512-978-2100
Natasha Harper-Madison (District 1):natasha.madison@austintexas.gov | 512-978-2101
Delia Garza (District 2):delia.garza@austintexas.gov | 512-978-2102
Sabino Renteria (District 3):sabino.renteria@austintexas.gov | 512-978-2103
Greg Casar (District 4):gregorio.casar@austintexas.gov | 512-978-2104
Ann Kitchen (District 5):ann.kitchen@austintexas.gov | 512-978-2105
Jimmy Flannigan (District 6):jimmy.flannigan@austintexas.gov | 512-978-2106
Leslie Pool (District 7):leslie.pool@austintexas.gov | 512-978-2107
Paige Ellis (District 8):paige.ellis@austintexas.gov | 512-978-2108
Kathie Tovo (District 9):kathie.tovo@austintexas.gov | 512-978-2109
Alison Alter (District 10):alison.alter@austintexas.gov | 512-978-2110
Oct 10: meeting re Land Development Code '' mtg video and more | Northwood '' a north Austin, Texas neighborhood
Wed, 16 Oct 2019 22:30
Meeting results / take action!Watch a recording of the meeting, which included viewing the Zoned Out documentary. Review the slides shown in the meeting (and some not shown, including on parking adjustments).
Ed English hosted the meeting. Speakers included
Michael Curry, Attorney and Barbara McArthur, scientist; both of whom have studied CodeNext and the current LDC in detailJim Duncan, has 60 years of planning experience including as former directory of Austin's Planning Department, as director and consultant in other cities, and the former head of the American Planning GroupFred Lewis, attorney and activist, member of Community Not CommodityThe meeting raised some very concerning issues, including some '' such as the insights on the effect on property taxes '' which are not common knowledge. This rewrite affects all of Austin; this meeting focused on the impact of neighborhoods around Parmer Lane.
Mr. Duncan stated that ''what's in the 1366 page document is scary'...if this document is adopted, Austin will be the only major city in the US that does not have a zoning district that specifically allows detached single family homes'... Not one neighborhood '' it's not in the code, so it's not permitted.'' Another speaker noted even outside the transition zones which are close to corridors such as Parmer Lane, current single family lots will allow duplexes to be built. And if a house is at least 30 years old, 3 residential units can be built. (Parking was not discussed; it is mentioned in Zoned Out).
Other speakers noted that several years ago property taxes began to value the land more than the structure (house) on the land. If this version of the LDC passes, the speakers expect property taxes to increase '' the value of the land will increase because additional structures can be built.
Planning Commission member Carmen Llanes Pulido was unable to attend the meeting but emailed Ed English; he read this part of her email:
''Your voice does make a difference. Right now, we have some numbers, some projections, some plans. We have numbers of units allowed and places on a map. We don't have people's stories, your lived experience, the real life happenings, insight and knowledge that make true community planning. The planning commission does not have the history of your neighborhoods, and doesn't often know who is living there, who stands to be displaced, how transit works, how urban heat islands are affecting people, where localized flooding is getting worse, etc. This qualitative data is CRITICAL to good community planning.
''To make this code the least destructive to our communities, possible, we will need to hear from everyone. New faces have to come out. It's okay if you don't have the jargon in your back pocket. Speak from your lived experience and tell them what you want to see and what you don't want to see.
''This hasn't happened, yet! It's not over, and your honest voices, your true concerns, and your open, authentic questions to council and commissioners ARE making a difference.'' (end).
Take actionattend the Oct. 26 Planning Commission meeting at City Hall
Tell the Planning Commission, City Council and Mayor what you think about this proposed LDC. Home page for the LDC, austintexas.gov/ldc
www.austintexas.gov/contact-us has phone numbers, individual email addresses and the mailing address (consider sending postcards)
www.austintexas.gov/email/all-council-members email all CC members and the Mayor at once
contact the Planning Commission www.austintexas.gov/planningcommission (links to member roster page)
sign up for email updates at communitynotcommodity.com/
Meeting time/dateWhat/When: meeting Thursday Oct 10 6:30 PM '' 8:30 PMWhere: United Christian Church, 3500 West Parmer Lane, Austin, TX 78727
Topic: The City of Austin is on the verge of rewriting the Land Development Code. This Code will shape how Austin grows in so many ways over the next 30 '' 50 years. This rewrite will have a profound impact on virtually every neighborhood citywide. There have been many questions asked, concerns raised and a general sense of confusion over just how this affects our area. We hope to shed some light on the specifics as we know them, screen the video Zoned Out http://www.zonedoutfilm.com/watch-the-film.html and take as many questions from area residents as time allows.
Please RSVP on the NextDoor event if possible; this helps the organizers plan
To learn more about this rewrite, see this blog post
Austin homeless: Council expected to revise ordinance Oct. 17 | kvue.com
Wed, 16 Oct 2019 08:17
HOMELESS In June, the city council voted to change city policy and allow people experiencing homelessness to sit, lie and camp on public street.
AUSTIN, Texas '-- The Austin City Council is expected to revise its controversial homeless ordinance this week.
In June, the city council voted to change city policy and allow people experiencing homelessness to sit, lie and camp on public street.
Now, some members want to ban camping on sidewalks, traffic medians, sloped underpasses and areas around emergency shelters. Some members also want police to use non-criminal enforcement measures and involve social service providers when handling homeless people whenever possible.
"I really hope that the council takes action on Thursday with respect to the ordinances because it's really important that our community turn its attention away from the ordinances and to the only thing that will actually solve this challenge, and that's getting people who are experiencing homelessness into homes," Mayor Steve Adler said Monday.
The city council is expected to discuss and vote on the changes at their city council meeting at City Hall on Thursday, Oct. 17.
A draft ordinance that could replace the city's current code can be viewed here.
The proposal was posted over the weekend by Councilmember Ann Kitchen. It's co-sponsored by Kathie Tovo, Alison Alter and Leslie Pool.
It includes specifics, like where camping, sitting and lying will be prohibited: Sidewalks, certain streets, medians and highway underpasses.
"It provides greater clarity on what the existing law is," Adler said.
Late Sunday, council member Paige Ellis released a statement demanding the city manager's office provide a plan to address homelessness by Tuesday's scheduled council work session. She noted the plan was expected by Aug. 30, "yet to date we have not seen a plan."
When council voted to change the ordinances in June, Adler and other leaders said the city manager's office would come back with recommendations on where to ban camping.
On Aug. 30, a memo from the city manager's office offered guidance to the council on where camping, sitting and lying should potentially be banned but didn't provide specific areas or streets.
On Oct. 4, the city manager's office provided another memo to council indicating it would use the Ending Homelessness Coalition (ECHO) plan "as the City's guiding document for addressing homelessness."
But Adler said the ECHO plan doesn't go far enough and he still has expectations of the city manager's office.
"We also need the overall plan," Adler said. "The council asked the manager to put that plan together by the action we took in June. We have yet to see that overall kind of master plan that establishes priorities and who's doing what by what times and what the goals are against which we measure success."
Adler said the ECHO plan is a list of what needs to be done, but not priorities. He expects city manager Spencer Cronk and his staff will present more to the council at Tuesday's work session.
Since the ordinances changed, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has penned two public letters to Austin Mayor Steve Adler, demanding that the city reverse the homeless ordinance.
"After my prior letter, you publicly assured Austin Police Chief Manley that if the police needed anything, 'just tell us what it is and we will do what we can to facilitate.' Among other things, the Chief has suggested a reinstatement of the camping ban. I agree," Abbott wrote in his second letter.
On Wednesday, KVUE is taking an in-depth look at the impact of homelessness on the City of Austin. It's all part of KVUE's year-long project, "Our Homeless: Struggle on the Streets." KVUE will have extensive coverage all day long starting at 4:30 a.m.
VIDEO: Neighbor worried about 'homeless village' in South Austin
Austin draft homelessness proposal
Wed, 16 Oct 2019 08:17
Page 1 of 11 ORDINANCE NO. AN ORDINANCE REPEALING AND REPLACING CITY CODE SECTION 9-4-11 RELATING TO CAMPING IN PUBLIC AREA PROHIBITED, AND CITY CODE SECTION 9-4-14 RELATING TO OBSTRUCTION IN THE DOWNTOWN AUSTIN COMMUNITY COURT AREA PROHIBITED; AND CREATING OFFENSES. BE IT ORDAINED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF AUSTIN: PART 1. FINDINGS: (A) Council finds that this ordinance is needed to clarify and further define the prohibitions on camping, obstruction, and sitting and lying in public and other specified areas. (B) Council finds that the prohibitions and law enforcement procedures enacted by this ordinance do not make it a crime to be a person experiencing homelessness in the City, but prohibit specific risky and potentially injurious behaviors in specific areas. (C) Council finds that the City Manager's August 2019 memorandum dated challenges the Council to provide additional clarity with regards to the June 20, 2019 changes Council made to City Code Sections 9-4-11 (Camping in Public Area Prohibited) and 9-4-14 (Obstruction in the Downtown Austin Community Court Area Prohibited). PART 2. City Code Section 9-4-11 (Camping in Public Area Prohibited) is repealed and replaced to read as follows: 9-4-11(1) DEFINITIONS: (A) In this section: (1) CAMP means the use of a public area for living accommodation purposes including: (a) storing personal belongings; (b) making a camp fire; (c) using a tent or shelter or other structure for a living accommodation; (d) carrying on cooking activities; or
Page 2 of 11 (e) digging or earth breaking activities. (2) HOMELESS SHELTER means a supervised publicly or privately operated facility that is designed to provide temporary living accommodations for individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate residence while providing them with social service and other assistance to find a home and that is designated by the city as a shelter. (3) PARK means a parcel of land dedicated and used as parkland, or city-owned land used for a park or recreational purpose that is under the administrative control of the Parks and Recreation Department. (4) PUBLIC AREA means an outdoor area accessible to the public including a street, highway, park, parking lot, alleyway, pedestrian way, and the common areas of a school, hospital, apartment building, office building, transport facility, or business. 9-4-11(2) FINDINGS: (A) Council finds that the city has a compelling interest in: (1) Protecting the health and safety of all residents and visitors, including people who are experiencing homelessness; (2) Ensuring the free movement of pedestrians and vehicles without undue obstruction or delay, or exposure to dangerous vehicular traffic, that may be caused by people camping in areas where there is high pedestrian or vehicular traffic; (3) Protecting the environment, water quality and public health, and mitigating fire risk in sensitive, flood-prone, or high fire risk areas that may be negatively affected by people camping; (4) Ensuring that parks and other public spaces are, to the greatest extent possible, protected and available for equal access and use by all. (B) Council finds that camping in public areas can, in the areas and circumstances identified in this section: (1) threaten public health and safety, including the health and safety of those camping; (2) create substantial risks to the environment;
Page 3 of 11 (3) block or obstruct the safe access of pedestrians and vehicles to buildings and public infrastructure. (C) Council finds that unwanted camping in the areas identified in Subsection (D) of City Code Section 9-4-11(3) (Camping in Public Area Prohibited) may be prohibited by other applicable law or by other applicable property or building use rules. Nonetheless, Council finds that the risks posed by unwanted camping are great enough to ensure that camping is prohibited in those areas. 9-4-11(3) OFFENSES; EXCEPTIONS; AND AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE (A) Except as provided in Subsection (F), a person commits an offense if the person camps in a public area that is not designated as a camping area by the city and the person is: (1) materially endangering the health or safety of another person or of themselves; or (2) intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly rendering impassable, or impeding, the reasonable use of a public area making usage of such area unreasonably inconvenient or hazardous. (B) Except as provided by Subsection (F), a person commits an offense if the person camps in an area that is not designated as a camping area by the city and the person is: (1) on or inside a culvert or storm drain; (2) in the bed or on the bank of a creek or river and within 5 feet of the top of the bank of a creek or river; (3) on any part of an accessibility ramp for persons with disabilities; (4) on land that the city has designated as having a high fire risk; (5) on a sidewalk; (6) on the following high pedestrian and vehicular traffic roadways, including any sidewalks as referenced in (5) above or right-of-way: a. Guadalupe Street between Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. and 26th Street;
Page 4 of 11 b. 24th Street between N Lamar Blvd and Guadalupe Street c. Congress Avenue between Oltorf Street and 11th Street; d. 2nd Street between Trinity Street and West Avenue; e. 5th Street between IH-35 and Lamar Blvd; f. 6th Street between IH-35 and Lamar Blvd; (7) In areas established around shelters as follows: a. Within the area of the Austin Resource Center for Homeless (ARCH) bordered by East 4th Street (South), Brushy Street (East), East 11th Street (North), and Brazos Street (West), excluding any area under IH-35; b. At the time that the South Austin Housing Center homeless shelter becomes operational, within the area bordered by the western boundary of Manchaca Road, the eastern boundary of South 1st Street, the northern boundary of Lightsey Road, and the southern boundaries of Redd Street and West St. Elmo; (8) on a traffic island, median strip, median island, intersection island or other similar area that separates opposing traffic flows with either a painted area or a raised curb; (9) on the sloped area under a highway and at the top of a retaining wall or alongside a highway overpass; (C) A person commits an offense if the person camps in a manner that: (1) damages, alters, or modifies public infrastructure, including benches, retaining walls, or planters; (2) obstructs access to or egress from the entrance or exit of any building by camping within six feet of the entrance or exit, as measured from the door jamb; or (3) obstructs normal use of and access to public infrastructure, including benches or parking pay stations. (D) Except as provided by Subsection (F), a person commits an offense if the person camps in an area that is not designated as a camping area by the city and the person is in an area which are prohibited under other law or rule, including: (1) in a park;
Page 5 of 11 (2) on land designated by the city for conservation, preservation, or water protection including nature preserves, the Balcones Canyonland Preserves, and Austin Water Wildlands; (3) on flood buy-out lands that the city has acquired as high flood risk areas; (4) in the right-of-way of a railroad or light rail track or crossing; (5) in a city library or on the grounds of a city library; (6) on private property without the permission of the owner or a person with apparent authority to act for the owner; (7) in or on transit stops, shelters, platforms, or stations; or (8) in a designated and marked special use zone, including construction zones, commercial service zones, passenger loading zones, customer service zones, and valet zones. (E) A person is camping if the person engages in any of the activities listed in Subsection (A)(1) of City Code Section 9-4-11(1) (Camping in Public Area Prohibited) if it reasonably appears, based on the totality of the circumstances, that the person conducting the activity is using a public area for living accommodation purposes, regardless of the person's intent or engagement in other activities. (F) This section does not apply to camping or cooking in a park that complies with park regulations. (G) It is an affirmative defense to prosecution that a person owns the property or has secured the permission of the property owner to camp in a public area. 9-4-11(4) Enforcement and Engagement Process Unless a law enforcement officer determines that there is an imminent health or safety threat, a law enforcement officer may only issue a citation for a violation of this section if, prior to issuing the citation, the law enforcement officer: (A) notified the person that the conduct violates this section;
Page 6 of 11 (B) provides the person with a reasonable opportunity to comply with the prohibition, but the person does not comply; and (C) contacts, whenever reasonable, a member of a Homeless Outreach Street Team (HOST), case worker, community health paramedic, or other city designee who shall have the opportunity to offer to transport a person who continues to camp in violation of City Code Section 9-4-11(3) (Camping in Public Area Prohibited) to a location at which camping, is not prohibited and, as reasonably possible, at which case management and housing services can be received; or (D) determines, in instances where it is not reasonable for a law enforcement to contact a member of a Homeless Outreach Street Team (HOST), case worker, community health paramedic, or other city designee as required by this section, that the person has previously been notified by a law enforcement officer that the person's conduct at that same address or location violates this section. PART 3. The caption and City Code Section 9-4-14 (Obstruction in the Downtown Austin Community Court Area Prohibited) are repealed and replaced to read as follows: § 9-4-14 OBSTRUCTION IN THE DOWNTOWN AUSTIN COMMUNITY COURT AREA AND SITTING OR LYING IN OTHER SPECIFIED AREAS PROHIBITED 9-4-14(1) DEFINITIONS: In this section: (A) DISABILITY means having a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities. (1) PHYSICAL OR MENTAL IMPAIRMENT means any physiological disorder or condition, cosmetic disfigurement, or anatomical loss affecting one or more of the following body systems: neurological; musculoskeletal; special sense organs; respiratory, including speech organs; cardiovascular; reproductive, digestive; genitourinary; hemic and lymphatic; skin; and endocrine; or any mental or psychological disorder, such as mental retardation, organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness, and specific learning disabilities.
Page 7 of 11 (2) MAJOR LIFE ACTIVITIES means functions such as caring for one's self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, learning, breathing, and working. (B) HOMELESS SHELTER means a supervised publicly or privately operated facility that is designed to provide temporary living accommodations for individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate residence while providing them with social service and other assistance to find a home and that is designated by the city as a shelter. 9-4-14(2) FINDINGS: (A) The council finds that the city has a compelling interest in: (1) encouraging and preserving a vital, pedestrian-friendly urban core; (2) promoting tourism and business in the central business district; (3) preserving the quality of urban life; and (4) encouraging businesses and neighborhoods in the central city where walking is a realistic alternative to vehicles that use fossil fuels. (B) The council finds that in areas with high pedestrian traffic and a high incidence of petty crime related to public disorder, individuals obstructing, sitting, or lying in the pedestrian right-of-way: (1) are disruptive to residents, businesses, and customers; (2) discourage, block, or inhibit the free passage of pedestrians; and (3) contribute to the loss of access to and enjoyment of public places. 9-4-14(3) OFFENSES; EXCEPTIONS; AND AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE: (A) A person commits an offense if the person is: (1) obstructing the right-of-way between the roadway and the abutting property line or structure, or on an object placed in that area, and the person is:
Page 8 of 11 (i) materially endangering the health or safety of another person or of themselves; or (ii) intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly rendering impassable or impeding the reasonable use of a public area making usage of such area unreasonably inconvenient or hazardous; (2) obstructing a sidewalk, trail, or shared-use path; or (3) obstructing access to or egress from the entrance or exit of any building by sitting or lying down within six feet of the entrance or exit, as measured from the door jamb; and (4) the person is located in the following area, including the streets and pedestrian rights-of-way that bound the area, but not including the campus of the University of Texas: (i) beginning at the intersection of 29th Street (West) and Lamar Boulevard (North); (ii) south on Lamar Boulevard (North) to the north shore of Lady Bird Lake; (iii) east along the north shore of Lady Bird Lake to the point directly south of the curve at the intersection of Jesse E. Segovia Street and Robert Martinez, Jr. Street; (iv) north to the curve at the intersection of Jesse E. Segovia Street and Robert Martinez, Jr. Street; (v) west along Jesse E. Segovia Street to the intersection of Chicon Street; (vi) north on Chicon Street to the intersection of Seventh Street (East); (vii) west on Seventh Street (East) to the IH-35 East Frontage Road; (viii) north on the IH-35 East Frontage Road to the intersection of Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard; (ix) west on Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard to the intersection of Guadalupe Street; (x) north on Guadalupe Street to the intersection of 29th Street (West); and (xi) northwest on 29th Street (West) to the intersection of Lamar Boulevard (North), the place of beginning.
Page 9 of 11 (B) A person commits an offense if the person sits or lies down in the following areas: (1) in the right-of-way of a railroad or light rail track or crossing; (2) in a designated and marked special use zone, including, construction zones, commercial service zones, passenger loading zones, customer service zones, and valet zones; (3) on any part of an accessibility ramp, located in a public place, for persons with disabilities, or in any manner that would restrict the movement of persons with disabilities in a public place; (C) A person commits an offense if the person sits or lies down in the following areas: (1) Within the area of the Austin Resource Center for Homeless (ARCH) bordered by East 4th Street (South), Brushy Street (East), East 11th Street (North), and Brazos Street (West), excluding any area under IH-35; or (2) At the time that the South Austin Housing Center homeless shelter becomes operational, within the area bordered by the western boundary of Manchaca Road, the eastern boundary of South 1st Street, the northern boundary of Lightsey Road, and the southern boundaries of Redd Street and West St. Elmo. (D) This section does not apply to a person who: (1) is obstructing the right-of-way, or sitting or lying, because of a medical emergency; (2) operates or patronizes a commercial establishment that conducts business on the sidewalk under Title 14 (Streets and Use of Public Property) of the Code; (3) participates in or views a parade, festival, performance, rally, demonstration, or similar event; (4) sits on a chair or bench that is supplied by a public agency or by the abutting private property owner; (5) sits within a bus stop zone while waiting for public or private transportation; or (6) is waiting in a line for goods, services, or a public event.
Page 10 of 11 (E) It is an affirmative defense to prosecution if a person is obstructing the right-of-way, or sitting or lying, as the result of a physical manifestation of a disability, even if the manifestation of the disability is not visually observable. 9-4-14(4) Enforcement and Engagement Process Unless a law enforcement officer determines that there is an imminent health or safety threat, a law enforcement officer may only issue a citation for a violation of this section if, prior to issuing the citation, the law enforcement officer: (A) notifies the person that the conduct violates this section; (B) provides the person with a reasonable opportunity to comply with the prohibition, but the person does not comply; and (C) contacts, whenever reasonable, a member of a Homeless Outreach Street Team (HOST), case worker, community health paramedic, or other city designee who shall have the opportunity to offer to transport a person who continues to obstruct, sit, or lie in violation of City Code Section 9-4-14(3) (Obstruction in the Downtown Austin Community Court Area and Sitting or Lying in Other Specified Areas Prohibited) to a location at which such obstructing, sitting, or lying is not prohibited and, as reasonably possible, at which case management and housing services can be received; or (D) determines, in instances where it is not reasonable for a law enforcement officer to contact a member of a Homeless Outreach Street Team (HOST), case worker, community health paramedic, or other city designee as required by this section, that the person has previously been notified by a law enforcement officer that the person's conduct at that same address or location violates this section. PART 4 Instruction to City Manager (A) The City Manager shall provide to Council a quarterly report for the first year after passage of this ordinance detailing how often an accused offender under City Code Section 9-4-11(3) (Camping in Public Area Prohibited) and City Code Section 9-4-14(3) (Obstruction in the Downtown Community Court Area and Sitting or Lying in Other Specified Areas Prohibited) is and is not diverted from criminal sanction through the Enforcement and Engagement process created in City Code Sections 9-4-
Page 11 of 11 11(4) (Camping in Public Area Prohibited) and 9-4-14(4) (Obstruction in the Downtown Community Court Area and Sitting or Lying in Other Specified Areas Prohibited). (B) At such time that the City designates additional homeless shelters, the City Manager shall propose amendments to establishing boundaries to prohibit camping, sitting or lying within approximately one-quarter mile to one-half mile of the shelter as the City Manager determines is necessary to protect public health and safety. (C) At such time that the Austin Transportation Department identifies additional high pedestrian and vehicular traffic roadways where camping creates a public safety risk, the City Manager shall propose amendments to Subsection (B)(6) of City Code Section 9-4-11(3) (Camping in Public Area Prohibited) to add these roadways. PART 5. This ordinance takes effect 15 days after passage of the ordinance. PASSED AND APPROVED § § , 2019 § _______________________________ Steve Adler Mayor APPROVED: ____________________ ATTEST: ________________________ Anne L. Morgan Jannette S. Goodall City Attorney City Clerk
Downtown Austin Homeless Encampment To Be Demolished | Downtown Austin, TX Patch
Mon, 14 Oct 2019 16:15
AUSTIN, TX '-- Amid growing pressure from the governor for Austin to toughen its rules related to people living on the streets, police are scheduled to inform homeless members of a downtown encampment their makeshift community will be demolished by next week, Patch has learned.
Members of law enforcement, city officials and advocates for the homeless have quietly been meeting in the past few days at the Austin Resource Center for the Homeless (ARCH) building on 500 E. 7th St. to develop strategies on dealing with the growing homeless problem, a well-placed source told Patch.
To that end, those living in tents across the ARCH '-- which serves as the first point of entry into the social service system '-- will be displaced from the makeshift shantytown of sorts that has popped up since the city council relaxed the rules related to the homeless. "Most of them are not our clients," a source working at the ARCH building said. "Some are people who don't use our shelter but hang out."
Tents set up on Neches Street between 7th and 8th streets will be collapsed ahead of police enforcement action scheduled for next Monday, according to the source. Before next week's planned police enforcement, social workers will begin informing residents living in tents along the corridor of plans to demolish the makeshift community and their subsequent displacement.
A trash bin will be delivered to the site, and people will be given the chance to voluntarily dispose of items, the source said. Police, though, will eventually ensure everything gets removed.
A row of tents is lined up along Neches Street between 7th and 8th streets since the city relaxed its rules on such makeshift housing. Photo by Tony Cantº/Patch staffPatch reached out to the Austin Police Department for comment, but officials did not immediately respond.
According to information provided to Patch, police Chief Brian Manley was not among those at a meeting with 15 top-ranking department officials last Monday. On Friday morning, ARCH hosted a three-hour meeting with virtually every community organization dealing with the homeless '-- Front Steps, Caritas, CommUnityCare and others '-- with some 60 people in attendance at the ARCH cafeteria, Patch was told.
Also in attendance for the latter meeting was Congressman Chip Roy, a Republican lawmaker representing the state's 21st congressional district. The district encompasses a wide swath of territory, from the area north of San Antonio to a significant portion of Austin. Some speculated Roy might have been there as a surrogate for Gov. Greg Abbott '-- who in the last few days has intensified his demands that Austin rethink its decision to relax rules on the homeless.
The rules were relaxed in an effort to decriminalize homelessness '-- police long had issued tickets for sitting or lying on sidewalks or setting up tents. Now homeless people are allowed on sidewalks as long as they're not obstructing pedestrians' paths, though city crews recently have narrowed sidewalks close to the ARCH to deter homeless people from using them to sit or lie down. The loosened rules also allow for homeless people to set up camp, although a ban on doing so in parks and other recreation areas is still in effect.
Related stories:
Abbott Vows State Intervention To Upend Austin Homeless RulesGovernor Demands Austin Toughen Rules On HomelessAustin Police Chief Details Homeless CrackdownAustin Mayor, Governor Clash On Homeless IssueReport Sheds Light On Austin's 'Criminalization' Of The HomelessAustin Seeks To Tackle Homelessness IssueUT-Austin Police Oppose City Steps To Decriminalize HomelessnessThe governor has been a vocal critic of the Austin City Council's decision to relax the rules, threatening to use state intervention if necessary to enforce stricter rules. In his second letter to Austin Mayor Steve Adler last week, Abbott demanded Austin rescind the new rules and implement the tougher previous standards.
"Today I sent a letter to @MayorAdler about the growing crisis arising from the Austin homeless policy," Abbott wrote on Twitter. "Feces & used needles are piling up & residents are endangered. If not fixed by Nov. 1, I'll use State authority to protect Texans' health & safety."
Today I sent a letter to @MayorAdler about the growing crisis arising from the Austin Homeless policy. Feces & used needles are piling up & residents are endangered. If not fixed by Nov.1, I'll use State authority to protect Texans' health & safety.#txlege pic.twitter.com/KmvEtMW81T'-- Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) October 2, 2019Tent community members often fall prey to predatory tactics
Before the new rules, the homeless were often hit with fines for violating the old rule. But the fines are unlikely to ever get paid, council members reasoned, and only add stress to an already taxed, vulnerable population.
Yet according to the well-placed source, council's good intentions have had unintended consequences that are vividly illustrated along Neches Street '-- something of a ground zero for homelessness in Austin. As one approaches the area, the stench of urine is almost overpowering. Even before the new rules went into effect, homeless people often gathered outside the ARCH '-- many of them not even clients of the agency. Now the artery is dotted with tents serving as makeshift housing.
Some members of the sprung-up community use drugs '-- some smoking crack, but others using the dangerous synthetic drug K2. The drug is cheap '-- $2 a hit '-- an amount easily acquired through panhandling. While K2 is billed as mimicking the effects of marijuana, some users are overcome by its potency, and can end up in the emergency room as a result. Sometimes, those taking K2 find all their belongings have been stolen by the time they come to, a homeless advocate told Patch.
The K2 scourge is not new, but the tent community has yielded a steady source of clientele for those selling it, Patch learned. Evidence of prostitution also has been detected, the source said.
In search of a 'compassionate solution'
Given these grim facts of homeless life on the streets, homeless advocates are pushing the marginalized into securing housing, urging people to avail themselves of ample resources to accomplish the goal. A variety of amenities designed help the homeless is offered at the ARCH building '-- shower facilities, meals, clothing, health care and more. When demolition of the encampment is concluded next week, nighttime shelter will be provided for up to 130 men at the site as a temporary option, the source told Patch.
Homeless people invariably gather outside of the ARCH building at 500 E. 7th St. Photo by Tony Cantº/Patch staff.The "Housing First" initiative is a relatively recent innovation in human service programs and social policy regarding treatment of people who are homeless, viewed as an alternative to a system of emergency shelter and/or transitional housing.
Social workers interacting with with the homeless community continually remind people of this goal with each encounter via buttons worn on their shirts emblazoned with the question: "What's your housing plan?"
In addition to helping them find housing, advocates look to address any of their clients' psychological or substance abuse issues.
Many of the chronically homeless suffer from mental illness, but it's difficult to stick to a medication regimen when living on the streets. Housing promotes stability, which enhances chances afflicted people will stick with their medication, advocates say.
Not every homeless person gravitates to the spontaneous gatherings outside the ARCH or is drawn to the camaraderie, as this individual illustrated one week west of the community's focal point. Photo by Tony Cantº/Patch staff."Out on the street, it's hard to be compliant with psychological medications," the ARCH worker told Patch. "They can't get a job or save money for housing."
The imminent demolition of the tent community might seem extreme, the source suggested, but it will mark the first measurable step toward a "compassionate solution" to the scourge of homelessness in Austin.
"The key is to help them find permanent housing," Patch was told. "But it's also to support the community in not becoming besieged with health problems."
Green New Deal
The Elite Machine Behind Greta Thunberg - The Vigilant Citizen
Wed, 16 Oct 2019 12:59
In the matter of a few months, Greta Thunberg went from a lone girl protesting in front of the Swedish parliament to an international phenomenon. Although mass media is making it seem as if this meteoric rise to prominence happened organically, this is simply not true.
Behind Greta is a major machine, one that is controlled by major international actors and backed by major funds. This PR machine has allowed Greta to make the covers of magazines, become the subject of thousands of news articles while being photographed with world leaders and giving speeches at elite organizations such as the United Nations.
Although Greta might very well be genuinely concerned with the fate of the planet, her message is carefully crafted by those who control her to generate a specific response from the youth. In short, Greta is the face of a major marketing scheme '' a tightly coordinated international effort to sell global warming through a specific lens: Fear, panic, and urgency.
Before going further, I need to point out that I am neither a ''climate denier'' nor a ''climate activist''. That is not my field of expertise. I never analyzed any data regarding climate change and its correlation with human activity. I am far from qualified from speaking about this issue so I won't.
My field of expertise is mass media and its relation to power. In the ''Read This First'' article of this site, I explained (using quotes from the field of Communications such as Edward Bernays) how mass media is used to shape and mold opinions. The rise of Greta to international prominence is a clear-cut case of ''agenda-setting'' which is defined as follows:
Agenda-setting is the creation of public awareness and concern of salient issues by the news media. As well, agenda-setting describes the way that media attempts to influence viewers, and establish a hierarchy of news prevalence. Two basic assumptions underlie most researches on agenda-setting:
the press and the media do not reflect reality; they filter and shape it;media concentration on a few issues and subjects leads the public to perceive those issues as more important than other issues.A classic representation of the agenda-setting theory.
Most media outlets are owned by a handful of mega-corporations, making it very easy for the elite to saturate the world with a specific message. And the meteoric rise of Greta is a result of this kind of media saturation. In fact, her entire movement is undeniable proof of the extreme reach and power of mass media in the world today which is able to create massive movements out of nothing.
Mass media programming is particularly effective on those who did not develop an acute sense of critical thinking '' notably young people. And the Greta phenomenon was custom-made to cater to this very specific demographic.
Here's a look at the rise of Greta.
A young Greta posing with her famous parents for a magazine. Notice the one-eye sign made by both children.
Greta Thunberg's father is actor Svante Thunberg, whose father is actor and director Olof Thunberg. Her mother is the famous opera singer Malena Ernman who became a celebrity at the Eurovision Song Contest in 2009. In 2010, Ernman was named Hovs¥ngerska (translated to ''court singer'') by Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden.
Ernman on the cover of Vi magazine. The quote under her face says: ''We all sell our souls to the devil''. Can't make this up.
In 2017, Ernman won the WWF ''Environmental Hero'' award for her ''involvement in the climate issue for the past several years''. About a year later, Ernman's 16-year-old daughter is seen protesting in front of the Swedish parliament. The perfect storm begins.
Greta photographed during her first climate strike.
On August 20th, 2018, Greta Thunberg sat in front of the Swedish Parliament with a sign saying ''School strike for the climate''. Four days later, the book Scenes From the Heart was published by her mother.
The cover Scenes From the Heart.
Written as a ''family autobiography'', the book discusses various issues such as Greta's Asperger's syndrome, which Ernman describes as a ''superpower''. In one bizarre passage, Ernman states that Greta can actually see carbon dioxide emanating from vehicles and buildings.
The perfect timing between Greta's strike and the book release was not a coincidence. And Greta's strike certainly did not go unnoticed.
On the very same day of the first strike, a picture of Greta was published on the Facebook page of We Don't Have Time, a ''social network for climate change''. The page is managed by Ingmar Rentzhog '' a specialist in financial marketing.
Rentzhog at a climate strike.
Rentzhog is also a chairman of the Global Utmaning Board, a think tank that ''promotes sustainable development within social, economic and environmental dimensions''. The Global Utmaning Board was founded by the Swedish politician and economist Kristina Persson, who is the daughter of the billionaire politician and entrepreneur Sven O. Persson.
Backed by this machine, Greta's story garnered intense and immediate media attention in Sweden and, soon after, around the world. After a few months of weekly strikes, Greta took a year off from school to focus solely on climate change and began a tour of European cities.
During these events, a woman was often spotted ''advising'' Greta: Luisa-Marie Neubauer.
Luisa-Marie Neubauer with Greta.
Neubauer is a member of ONE Campaign, an organization managed by Bill Gates and Bono, which is heavily funded by George Soros' Open Society Foundation.
On the Associated Press' ''fact-checking'' site, an article with the bizarre title Climate activist Greta Thunberg does not have 'handler' asserts that Luisa-Marie Neubauer does not serve as Greta's ''handler''. It nevertheless admits that Neubauer is linked with this powerful Soros-funded group.
According to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation website, ''One originated in conversations between Bill Gates and Bono in the early 2000s about the need to better inform Americans about extreme poverty around the world.'' The One Campaign has ties to Soros, founder and chairman of Open Society Foundations, which works to build democracies.
Brooke Havlik, a communications officer with Open Society Foundations, told the AP that the organization has given $10 million to the One Campaign since 2011.'' AP, Climate activist Greta Thunberg does not have a 'handler'
Through these powerful connections, Greta skyrocketed on the world stage. She gave speeches at Ted X talks, the European Parliament, the United Nations and she was even nominated for a Nobel Prize. She also met world leaders and celebrities across the world, including the Pope.
Greta with the Pope.
Of course, mass media went into overdrive to turn Greta into a larger-than-life icon as she graced magazine covers around the world.
Greta on the cover of i-D magazine. Notice the one-eye sign.
Another picture of Greta. An unseen hand casts a shadow over one of her eyes. Very symbolic.
From a lone girl protesting in front of the Swedish parliament, Greta turned into a figure of heroism and martyrdom.
A banner turning Greta into a religious figure.
After touring Europe, Greta embarked on a boat and sailed to America where she was hailed as a hero, spawning massive school strikes wherever she went.
Through mass media, Greta became an important factor in local and international politics and made global warming a top priority in the Western world.
But what is exactly the role of Greta in the grand scheme of things?
Although many are ready to deny this fact with great vigor (because it goes against their agenda), Greta is merely a pawn. She is controlled by powerful people and big money to promote a specific agenda. The agenda is not merely about climate change '' it is about climate change through a very specific angle.
Her role was perfectly defined by Greta herself during a speech at the (very elite) World Economic Forum:
''Adults keep saying we owe it to the young people, to give them hope. But I don't want your hope. I don't want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I feel every day.''
Panic and fear: Two words that lead to hasty and irrational responses based on negative emotions. And this fear and panic is being thoroughly ingrained into the youth, creating a generation that is convinced that the world is burning.
A young school girl protesting: Greta's target audience.
Greta is the face of a massive push across mass media and the education system to convince children that their ''house in on fire''. Since children absorb the information that is given to them without any kind of questioning, this push has created a new worrying phenomenon: Eco-anxiety.
An i-D magazine headline about eco-anxiety.
Instead of enjoying their childhood, children are growing up with a sense of dread and impending doom. Researchers are already linking environmental concerns with cases of anxiety, depression and even suicide. Greta herself communicated this feeling during her speech at the U.N.:
''How dare you. You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words.''
Although Greta might be genuinely concerned about climate change, those behind her have a much darker agenda: To create a generation of children riddled with anxiety and depression, giving the elite carte blanche for drastic measures, ranging from tax hikes to the loss of personal freedoms. And let's not forget the main goal of it all (which is also the main goal of the elite organizations behind Greta): The creation of a single world government, ruled by the world elite '... to combat climate change, of course.
Any person who dares to take a critical look at the Greta phenomenon is immediately faced with the same backlash: ''How dare you bully an autistic girl?'' and ''You're a climate denier''. As seen above, this article was not about Greta herself, her looks or her mental health. It was about those behind her, the powerful machine that provided her the platform to become a media darling.
Furthermore, this article was not about ''denying'' climate change or any other environmental issues. It is about how this issue is ''sold'' through a specific lens, one that is based on fear, panic, and urgency. Like any other important issue, pollution needs to be addressed in a rational matter, starting with the core sources of the problem. In the U.S., the sectors of transportation, industry and electric power account for over 80% of greenhouse gas emissions. In other words, elite-owned corporations are the main polluters in the world today. They are the ones emitting tons upon tons of carbon dioxide in the air while dumping tons upon tons of toxic waste in water streams. Instead of tackling these industries head-on, the elite parades around an autistic girl, films world leaders clapping at her speeches and encourages children to be afraid.
Why? Because what they are truly looking for is control and submission. And the best way to obtain control and submission is by creating a fearful and panicky population that begs for governments to fix its problems.
P.S. If you appreciated this article, please consider showing your support through a small monthly donation on Patreon. If you prefer, you can also make a one-time donation here. Thank you.
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Californians Learning That Solar Panels Don't Work in Blackouts - Bloomberg
Tue, 15 Oct 2019 23:09
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Beware bankers' Extinction Rebellion | Citizens Electoral Council
Sun, 13 Oct 2019 15:17
Extinction Rebellion (XR) boasts it is a grassroots international movement with 650 groups in 45 countries following its foundation in October 2018. In truth, its own records confirm it's a project directed and funded by the City of London-centred financial oligarchy through interests such as the George Soros-sponsored Tides Foundation. XR cofounder Dr Gail Bradbrook, a confessed user and advocate of psychedelic drugs, will be speaking at the 16-18 August ''Fifth International Conference on Psychedelic Consciousness'' in London. Advertised as the largest psychedelic research conference in Europe, it's scheduled on the exact 50th anniversary of the Woodstock Festival. This operation will attempt to lure youth in a drug-induced trance into civil disobedience modelled on the methods of ''colour revolution'' author Gene Sharp, whom XR openly endorses, and overturn society as we know it.
Gail Bradbrook, co-founder XR.XR claims it's open and transparent with respect to its funding, with the ''majority coming from crowdfunding''. This is ostensibly true, albeit the confidentiality of crowdsourced donations makes its benefactors impossible to identify. But in any case, XR's own records confirm funding from some significant institutional donors. Furka Holdings, a little-known Swiss asset management company owned by Bank of Georgia director Alasdair Breach, contributed a handsome £50,000. From 1998 to 2002, Breach was an economist at Goldman Sachs, based in Moscow. The Rockefeller Brothers Fund-sponsored European Climate Foundation chipped in £20,000; the Soros-sponsored Tides foundation, £7,455; and Greenpeace, £10,000. Aside from an anonymous £137,000 PayPal donation, XR's single largest contribution was £121,140 from the Children's Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF), an outfit co-founded by British billionaire Sir Christopher Hohn, which has contributed more than US$25 million to the Clinton Foundation.
Climate action or 'colour revolution'XR devotees, such as the children protesting at climate rallies, think they're saving the world from an environmental catastrophe. But in its own words, ''XR does not take a position on solutions to the ecological crisis''. Instead, it's clear that its true agenda is to destroy modern industrial progress at any cost. And although it preaches ''nonviolence'', XR openly admits to property damage such as smashing windows, which it calls an ''escalation strategy'' that ''is necessary to create the drama to focus attention on an issue''. It claims property damage is okay since ''no person is hurt''. Try telling that to the people suffering the results of such rage.
But the veneer of non-violence is thin. In a February 2019 video ''XR Talks Non-Violent Direct Action'', XR cofounder Roger Hallam explains: ''The whole NGO thing is great but it doesn't work. And the whole violence thing is great, but it doesn't work. So what we've got is this thing that combines the best of both worlds. It's nice, in so much as it's non-violent, but it's super disruptive, like violence.'' (Emphasis added.)
Hallam explains the playbook of British ''colour revolution'' agent Gene Sharp. An Oxford-trained theorist, Sharp (who died in January 2018, aged 90) was involved in all of the various ''colour revolutions'' the Anglo-Americans have backed in Eastern Europe to expand NATO and encircle Russia. In 1983 Sharp founded the Albert Einstein Institution (AEI), which has received funding from National Endowment for Democracy and the Ford Foundation among other establishment foundations.
Psychedelic drug cult Pyschadelic convention posterBradbrook openly states she co-founded XR following a drug-induced experience. She explained on the Emerge website: ''Supported by my experience on psychedelics, what's made a difference for me with Extinction Rebellion is the ability and willingness to face the grief and the trauma of these times. '... Grief is an essential part of this process because there's something about grieving that opens the space for love, which opens the space for courage'-- and courage will be essential in this struggle against climate change.''
At the Fifth International Conference on Psychedelic Consciousness in London, besides Bradbrook the speakers include Amanda Feilding, Countess of Wemyss and March, the founder and director of the Beckley Foundation who convened numerous ''pivotal'' seminars at the House of Lords to promote the legalisation of all drugs. Feilding, who used LSD in the 1960s as ''a psychovitamin'', is known for drilling a hole in her own head to expose the dura mater (the membrane surrounding the brain), a technique known as trepanning, in order to reach a ''higher state of consciousness''. Other speakers include David Nutt, the Edmond J. Safra chair in Neuropsychopharmacology at Imperial College London. Nutt, together with Feilding and the Beckley Foundation, carried out experiments in the effects of LSD on the brain in 2015, which was expanded to research on ''LSD and creativity and problem solving''. Nutt argues that horseback riding is more dangerous than consuming ''ecstasy'', or MDMA, a dangerous methamphetamine.
These are the networks infamously exposed in the book Dope, Inc.: Britain's Opium War Against the World, known as the book that drove Henry Kissinger crazy. Safra and his Republic National Bank were implicated in a Swiss-centred drug money-laundering network run out of the Zurichbased Shakarchi Trading Co. US investigators linked Shakarchi to a heroin-smuggling ring that enjoyed the cooperation of the Bulgarian secret police and state-owned export-import agency, Globus (formerly called Kintex). Billionaire socialite Lily Safra, Edmond's widow, is a member of WWF's elite ''1,001 Club'' of mega-rich donors, as was her late husband.
Australian Alert Service 14 August 2019
'--With EIR News Service
Page last updated on 08 October 2019
The Guardian: Google is Financing Climate Deniers
Sun, 13 Oct 2019 22:27
Guest essay by Eric Worrall
According to The Guardian, Google is financing climate skeptic organizations like the Competitive Enterprise Institute, in direct contradiction to their stated public position on climate change.
Revealed: Google made large contributions to climate change deniers
Stephanie Kirchgaessnerin WashingtonFri 11 Oct 2019 17.00 AEDT
Firm's public calls for climate action contrast with backing for conservative thinktanksThe obscure law that explains why Google backs climate deniers
Google has made ''substantial'' contributions to some of the most notorious climate deniers in Washington despite its insistence that it supports political action on the climate crisis.
The list includes the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), a conservative policy group that was instrumental in convincing the Trump administration to abandon the Paris agreement and has criticised the White House for not dismantling more environmental rules.
Google has defended its contributions, saying that its ''collaboration'' with organisations such as CEI '' does not mean we endorse the organisations' entire agenda ''.It donates to such groups, people close to the company say, to try to influence conservative lawmakers, and '' most importantly '' to help finance the deregulatory agenda the groups espouse.
A spokesperson for Google said it sponsored organisations from across the political spectrum that advocate for ''strong technology policies'' .
''We're hardly alone among companies that contribute to organisations while strongly disagreeing with them on climate policy,'' the spokesperson said. Amazon has, like Google, also sponsored a CEI gala, according to a programme for the event reported in the New York Times.
Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/oct/11/google-contributions-climate-change-deniersThe Guardian published another story on the same day which suggests Google is worried about maintaining their Section 230 legal immunity, the law which protects Google and other large internet providers from being sued if a user publishes something defamatory on a Google website.
Why are Google and friends so worried about their legal position, that they would fund right wing libertarian climate skeptics?
In my opinion tech giants have good reasons to worry. Leading Democrats like Elizabeth Warren have been talking up plans to hammer big tech companies with anti-trust laws.
Elizabeth Warren is not the only left wing figure attacking tech companies. The recent New York Times article which compared allowing free speech to allowing carbon pollution also blamed big tech companies for allowing the rise of populists. The NYT suggested ''remedy'' was the creation of a government funded rival to Facebook, and implementation of legal changes to increase private tech giant's exposure to legal liability for content published using their services, to give the new government social media organization an overwhelming competitive advantage.
At first glance this overt Democrat hostility towards tech giants whose CEOs went above and beyond to support Hillary Clinton might seem inexplicable.
But there seems to be a widespread belief that tech giants did not do enough to stop Russia allegedly meddling in the 2016 election. The revelation that Google is supporting groups which are broadly opposed to the Democrat agenda will do nothing to heal this rift.
It is not just the left who have been turning up the heat on Google. Conservatives and climate skeptics have criticised Google for their alleged efforts to play favourites, promoting the very people who have now turned on them.
Google have very few friends right now, a mess of their own making. One of the few organizations which is standing up for Google's right to exist is the right wing libertarian Competitive Enterprise Institute.
Vape Wars
Philip Morris International price-drop leaves retailers at disadvantage - betterRetailing
Tue, 15 Oct 2019 08:39
PMI, which launched the heated tobacco device into independent retail two years ago, reduced the RRP of Iqos' Heets cartridges from £8 to £5 this month.
However, independent retailers told betterRetailing they were not informed by PMI about the changes.
East London retailer Kay Patel said: ''We used to be inundated with calls, but PMI has gone dead.
''I purchased stock before the price change and can't drop the price. I either take a hit of £3, or keep charging £8 and say goodbye to my customers.''
Nisa, Bestway and Booker currently list the Heets at a £5 RRP, and Nisa claims the 9% margin has been maintained.
Philip Morris International cuts rural rep visits to focus on city retailers
The change comes as the government this month introduced a heated tobacco tax at the same rate as rolling tobacco.
Hertford retailer Hitesh Patel said: ''The support has gone to big companies like Sainsbury's. We found out about the price change from a customer.
''We can't sell it at this price because we'll make less than £1 a pack.''
Retailers must also arrange for a customer to meet a PMI rep in-store to sell an Iqos device.
''Independent retailers did all the donkey-work for PMI when it first launched in the UK,'' said Hitesh Patel.
''A PMI rep used to come in each week, but we can't sell the units because the support has completely disappeared.''
Philip Morris International hit with advert ban
A PMI spokeswoman said: ''Independent retailers are a critical part of our business and we rely on their active support.
''We recently announced that the roll-out of Iqos would focus on a number of major cities.
''As a result, this may have reduced the frequency of contact in certain areas.
''Any retailer who feels they need extra support should discuss it with their local area manager.''
Jeffrey Epstein's inner circle Ghislaine Maxwell and Jean-Luc Brunel traced to Brazil | US News | Sky News
Tue, 15 Oct 2019 14:49
Jeffrey Epstein's death has not silenced his victims.
The prosecution of the disgraced billionaire might be over, but global investigations into his inner circle of alleged enablers are only just beginning.
Among the names most mentioned are Ghislaine Maxwell and Jean-Luc Brunel.
Ghislaine Maxwell's friendship with Epstein goes back years, she was reportedly his girlfriend at one point. It's also claimed she played a significant part in the recruitment of girls and young women.
Jean-Luc Brunel ran successful French model agencies with high profile names on his books. It's alleged he also procured women for Epstein.
The pair haven't been seen since Epstein killed himself on 10 August, while facing trial for sex trafficking.
They've gone to ground, but Sky News understands they've recently been in the Brazilian riviera.
Information gathered by a former US police officer, who was not paid or commissioned by Sky News, shows that Brunel's phone was traced to the Infinity Blue Resort and Spa in Santa Catarina. It is an upmarket holiday area popular with wealthy tourists.
At the same time, Ghislaine Maxwell's phone was also connected to a network in Santa Catarina state.
Sky News visited the hotel but by the time we arrived there was no sign of either Brunel or Maxwell.
Image: Epstein took his own life while at the Metropolitan Correctional CentreGhislaine Maxwell was last seen in Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts, in mid-August.
Brunel's lawyer denies he is on the run, insisting he is willing to cooperate with investigations.
Yet there has been no sign of him since 5 July when he was pictured partying at the exclusive members-only Paris Country Club. He was a guest at the club's Soiree Blanche where tables cost over £1000. This was his last public appearance.
Similarly, Ghislaine Maxwell hasn't been seen for weeks.
She shut down her ocean protection TerraMar Project in the US on 12 July, just six days after Epstein's arrest.
Image: Ghislaine Maxwell began the process of closing her company shortly after Epstein's death. Pic: Companies HouseSky News has learnt she has also formally started proceedings to shut the UK arm of the project too.
Companies House records show she signed off the closure on 13 August, three days after Epstein was found dead in his cell.
Maxwell and Brunel both enjoyed a lavish, luxury lifestyle, hanging out with huge names in politics, business and entertainment.
Since the death of Epstein questions have been asked about their role in his trafficking and abuse of young girls.
Ghislaine Maxwell, daughter of disgraced newspaper tycoon, Robert Maxwell, has been named in a number of papers filed in the US.
Among them a case brought by Virginia Roberts, now known as Virginia Roberts Giuffre.
She claimed Maxwell had recruited her as an underage teenager, to have sex with Jeffrey Epstein.
Image: Ghislaine Maxwell has been named in a number of papers filed in the USHer case also mentioned Prince Andrew. She says she had sex with him on three separate occasions when she was seventeen years old.
A now infamous photo of Prince Andrew with his arm around her waist, shows Ghislaine Maxwell also in the shot. The image reportedly taken at Maxwell's central London mews house.
A statement from Buckingham Palace strenuously denied "any form of sexual contact or relationship with Virginia Roberts".
Image: Prince Andrew and a 17-year-old Virginia Roberts at Ghislaine Maxwell's house in London in March 2001. Pic: Rex/ShutterstockThere has been much scrutiny of the Duke of York's friendship with Jeffrey Epstein. Epstein and Maxwell were among the guests at a large royal birthday party at Windsor Castle. They were also invited to Sandringham, the Queen's country retreat.
The Prince and Epstein were photographed holidaying together in Thailand, on board a private yacht surrounded by young women.
Even after Epstein was convicted of procuring a minor for prostitution and put on the sex offenders register, Prince Andrew continued seeing him.
They were photographed in 2010 walking in New York's Central Park. And video recently emerged from the same time, of Prince Andrew looking out from the door of Epstein's Manhattan mansion.
Image: Prince Andrew has denied any wrongdoing. Pic: SWNSIn a statement Prince Andrew said: "I have said previously that it was a mistake and an error to see him after his release in 2010 and I can only reiterate my regret that I was mistaken to think that what I thought I knew of him was evidently not the real person, given what we now know.
"This is a difficult time for everyone involved and I am at a loss to be able to understand or explain Mr Epstein's lifestyle. I deplore the exploitation of any human being and would not condone, participate in, or encourage any such behaviour."
The FBI is investigating claims from Epstein's alleged victims, which might include his links to Prince Andrew.
There are private cases underway too. Ghislaine Maxwell is named in a well-documented case brought by Jennifer Araoz.
Victoria Giuffre: 'He knows exactly what he's done' Ms Araoz claims Epstein frequently masturbated in front of her and raped her. She's suing Epstein's estate and others including Ghislaine Maxwell.
She claims Maxwell was complicit in Epstein's sex-trafficking. Lawyers acting for Ms Araoz say they've not yet been able to serve her with legal papers because they cannot find her.
They've hired private investigators to try to find her, but so far her location remains unknown.
Other women have made similar claims against Ghislaine Maxwell, alleging she recruited them and facilitated encounters with Epstein.
Meanwhile in Paris, preliminary investigations are also underway into Epstein and his associates, relating to the rape and sexual assault of women and girls aged under fifteen.
Prosecutors in France are trying to find out whether claims of sex-trafficking took place on French soil.
As part of the investigations, one of the model agencies which was founded by Jean-Luc Brunel was recently searched.
Virginia Roberts Giuffre claims Brunel offered girls modelling jobs in the US, but was actually recruiting them for Epstein.
Brunel, who has been accused of sexual assault in the past, has strongly denied any wrongdoing in his work as a model agent.
His lawyer says he would help any investigation but hasn't yet been contacted.
The search for Jean-Luc Brunel and Ghislaine Maxwell is far from over.
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Thu, 17 Oct 2019 09:47
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Thu, 17 Oct 2019 06:24
VIDEO - British Chief of Police Warns ''Misgendering'' People is a Form of ''Abuse''
Thu, 17 Oct 2019 05:55
Skip to contentAmidst soaring violent crime and stabbings across the country.A chief of police in Britain chose to recognize ''international pronouns day'' by putting out a video warning people that misgendering transgender people was a form of ''abuse.''
''Today is international pronouns day,'' said Detective Chief Constable Julie Cooke in a video posted to Twitter. ''Which is a day particularly important to people who identify as transgender or gender nonconforming.''
''Being misgendered can have a huge impact on somebody and their personal well being, it also can be used as a form of abuse for somebody and that just isn't right,'' she added.
Today marks #pronounsday '' seeking to make sharing, educating and respecting personal pronouns commonplace. @pronounsday pic.twitter.com/pe9x9GWTJj
'-- Julie Cooke (@DCCJulieCooke) October 16, 2019
''Today is about raising awareness, getting people to have conversations, and understanding why it is so important to understand the pronouns that somebody wishes to be used for them,'' concluded Cooke.
The warning is no idle threat. Numerous people in the United Kingdom have been arrested for alleged ''transphobia.''
Earlier this year, a 38-year-old woman was arrested in front of her own children and locked up for 7 hours after referring to a transgender woman as a man online.
A man was also interrogated for 30 minutes by police for liking a limerick on Twitter (he didn't even write it) that made fun of transgender people.
A Christian doctor in the UK was also fired from his government job earlier this summer after he refused to refer to a 6 foot bearded man as ''Madam.''
But who cares? It's not as if the United Kingdom is currently experiencing record violent crime rates, with violent crime in England and Wales having risen by 19% in a year, is it?
No, it's much more important to go after Twitter users who hurt someone's feelings by referring to them as their biological gender.
Follow on Twitter: Follow @PrisonPlanet
My voice is being silenced by free speech-hating Silicon Valley behemoths who want me disappeared forever. It is CRUCIAL that you support me.
Please sign up for the free newsletter here. Donate to me on SubscribeStar here.
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VIDEO - REPORT: LeBron James Questioned Adam Silver Over Lack Of Punishment For Daryl Morey's China Tweet | The Daily Caller
Thu, 17 Oct 2019 05:39
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VIDEO - Pelosi Bullet and Orange Bracelet | C-SPAN.org
Wed, 16 Oct 2019 23:09
October 15, 2019 | Clip Of Speaker Pelosi News Conference on Impeachment Inquiry This clip, title, and description were not created by C-SPAN. User-Created ClipOctober 16, 2019 2019-10-15T19:02:38-04:00 https://images.c-span.org/Files/7fb/20191015190250002_hd.jpg Pelosi Bullet and Orange BraceletPelosi Bullet and Orange Bracelet
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Transcript typeSearch this transcript*This transcript was compiled from uncorrected Closed Captioning.
Hosting OrganizationU.S. Capitol | House Radio and Television GalleryU.S. Capitol | House Radio and Television Gallery More information about Pelosi Bullet and Orange Bracelet
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User Created Clips from This Video October 15, 2019 Speaker Pelosi and Representative Schiff on Impeachment Inquiry2 minutes1,577 views October 15, 2019 Pelosi Bullet and Orange Bracelet26 seconds434 views October 15, 2019 Schiff 10.16 Press Conference15 minutes5 views
VIDEO - UK minister: PM will abide by pledge to write Brexit delay letter - Reuters
Wed, 16 Oct 2019 11:53
LONDON (Reuters) - British Brexit Minister Stephen Barclay said the government would comply with assurances given to a Scottish court that Prime Minister Boris Johnson would write a letter to the EU requesting a Brexit delay if a deal is not reached by Oct. 19.
Britain and the EU are locked in negotiations to try and seal a Brexit divorce deal this week, but talks have hit a standstill, EU sources said earlier.
The British parliament passed a law last month which would require Johnson to request a three-month delay if parliament has not approved an exit agreement by the end of Saturday. Johnson has said both that he will obey the law and that he will not request a delay.
Earlier this month the government's top legal officer in Scotland gave assurances that Johnson would fully comply with the so-called Benn Act and write the letter asking for an extension and, if the EU offered one, he would accept it.
Asked repeatedly by the opposition Labour lawmaker behind that legislation, Hilary Benn, whether Johnson would write the letter, Barclay avoided repeating those exact words but said the government would abide its pledge to the court.
''I can confirm, as the prime minister has repeatedly set out, that firstly the government will comply with the law and secondly will comply with the undertakings given to the court in respect of the law,'' Barclay told a committee of lawmakers.
Barclay also said Britain had submitted the draft text of a new political declaration - one part of a Brexit deal with the EU sets out the direction of a long term relationship with the bloc.
Reporting by Elizabeth Piper, Kylie MacLellan and William James, editing by Estelle Shirbon
VIDEO - Sooz Halloween Kempner on Twitter: "Haha Mark Francois having an absolute shocker on Brexflix right now. https://t.co/3WJ4wL8Hhn" / Twitter
Wed, 16 Oct 2019 11:52
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VIDEO - CNN on Twitter: "The impeachment inquiry, there's only one place for it all. https://t.co/XGceMznItW https://t.co/LLaWlsPTVV" / Twitter
Wed, 16 Oct 2019 11:47
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VIDEO - Austin City Council members say it's time to act on homelessness | KXAN.com
Wed, 16 Oct 2019 08:05
AUSTIN (KXAN) '-- On Tuesday, members of the Austin City Council released a letter saying that it's time for the council to take action on homelessness in the city.
According to the letter, Council members Kathie Tovo, Ann Kitchen, Alison Alter and Leslie Pool are proposing an ordinance clarifying that homeless camping will not be allowed in unsafe areas that pose risks to public health and safety.
In June, Austin City Council ruled to allow people experiencing homelessness to camp, sit and panhandle in public places '-- and the change has proven to be increasingly divisive among Austinites and local and state leaders.
MORE: Is Austin's homeless problem really that bad?
Those ''unsafe'' areas will include sidewalks, right-of-way along streets with high pedestrian or car traffic, traffic medians, sloped underpasses and areas around emergency shelters.
Camping in culverts, creeks, river beds and high fire-risk areas also pose health and safety risks.
''Our community is asking for clarity on these ordinances,'' Alter wrote. ''With these proposals, we have an opportunity to reinforce guidance from the city manager and the police department that addresses public health and safety concerns and takes concrete steps to help our homeless neighbors. Our goal is to keep everyone safe and healthy, whether they are housed or not.''
MORE: APD Chief Brian Manley requests old homelessness ordinances be put back in place
The ordinance directs law enforcement to use non-criminal enforcement measures and involve social service providers, whenever possible. This strategy works with Tovo's proposed resolution (item #30) endorsing an Encampment Response Strategy, a plan for connecting people experiencing homelessness in high-priority encampments to housing.
The proposal comes after months of controversy over Austin's homelessness regulations, which some '-- including Texas Gov. Greg Abbott '-- have said has become a crisis.
Earlier this month, Abbott sent a letter to Austin Mayor Steve Adler, threatening to intervene via state agencies to fix ''the growing homelessness crisis.'' In the letter, the Governor states:
''Further inaction by you [Adler] and the Austin City Council will leave me no choice other than to use the tools available to the State of Texas to ensure that people are protected from health and safety concerns caused by the Austin homeless policies.''
In an exclusive interview with KXAN's Phil Prazan, Abbott explained that his threat was not a bluff, and that continuing as Austin has poses a threat to public health and safety.
In the letter, Council member Pool says, in part: ''Austin has always been a compassionate and welcoming city, and my hope is that we can reach agreement across the dais that restores our civic equilibrium.''
VIDEO -FINANCIALLY - Corporate Subservience to China Exposes the Hypocrisy of Woke Capitalism - Quillette
Tue, 15 Oct 2019 22:57
China's suppression of political dissent within its borders is old news. But more recently, the Chinese government has managed to project its power across the world'--and even into the heart of an iconic American business sector: professional basketball.
Daryl Morey Tweet
The saga began when Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey'--a well-known figure within the National Basketball Association (NBA)'--Tweeted support for ongoing pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong. The Chinese consulate in Houston signaled its displeasure, with a statement indicating that it had ''lodged representations and expressed strong dissatisfaction with the Houston Rockets, and urged the latter to correct the error and take immediate concrete measures to eliminate the adverse impact.''
Morey seemed to receive the message. He hastily deleted his Tweet. But the NBA'--which is the most popular sports league in China'--paid a price anyway. A series of NBA events in China were abruptly canceled, and a number of firms suspended co-operation with the Rockets.
Two days following Morey's Tweet, the NBA released an official statement distancing itself from the Rockets GM, lamenting that Morey's pro-democracy statement has ''deeply offended many of our friends and fans in China, which is regrettable.'' The league insisted that it has ''great respect for the history and culture of China.'' Putting aside the fact that Morey hadn't criticized China's ''history and culture,'' the statement seemed bewildering: How did it come to be that a multi-billion-dollar American sports league was apologizing to the Communist Party of China?
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver soon shifted into damage control mode, this time in the opposite direction, and insisted that the ''NBA will not put itself into a position of regulating what players, employees and team owners will say or will not say on these issues.'' Yet many of the NBA's stars have been reluctant to back up Morey, who now has gone silent on the issue. Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr, a frequent and unrelenting critic of U.S. President Donald Trump, certainly didn't seem too bothered by Chinese human-rights abuses when asked about them at a press event. ''It has not come up in terms of people asking me about it, people discussing it, no,'' he said.
Kerr shifted into cultural relativism: ''Nor has our record of human rights abuses up either. You know, things that our country needs to look at and resolve, that hasn't come up ether. So none of us are perfect. And we all have different issues that we have to get to.'' He then went on to mention American mass shootings'--as if the actions of criminals could be compared with those of a government.
LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers, one of the best NBA players in league history and a big-hearted philanthropist, also has no problem criticizing Trump. But when asked about Morey's Tweet, he accused his colleague of being ignorant, and adopted the language of social-justice activists who claim that even fairly banal political speech can cause harm. ''I don't want to get into a word or sentence feud with Daryl, with Daryl Morey, but I believe he wasn't educated on the situation at hand, and spoke,'' James proclaimed. ''And so many people could have been harmed, not only financially but physically, emotionally, spiritually. So just be careful what we tweet, what we say, and what we do, even though yes, we do have freedom of speech, but there can be a lot of negative that comes with that, too.''
Lakers' LeBron James on NBA's China controversy: ''I don't want to get into a '... feud with Daryl Morey but I believe he wasn't educated on the situation at hand and he spoke.'' pic.twitter.com/KKrMNU0dKR
'-- Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) October 15, 2019
(On Monday, James even seemed to present himself as the victim, Tweeting, ''my team and this league just went through a difficult week. I think people need to understand what a tweet or statement can do to others. And I believe nobody stopped and considered what would happen. Could have waited a week to send it.'')
My team and this league just went through a difficult week. I think people need to understand what a tweet or statement can do to others. And I believe nobody stopped and considered what would happen. Could have waited a week to send it.
'-- LeBron James (@KingJames) October 15, 2019
But while the NBA has attracted enormous attention for kowtowing to Beijing, it isn't alone. Activision Blizzard, the digital studio that has produced such popular videogames as Overwatch, Call of Duty and Starcraft, punished a player who, during a livestream, expressed support for Hong Kong's anti-Beijing protests. The company brags about its approach to diversity and inclusion'--but these values apparently do not extend to the Hong Kong teens being tear-gassed, or to the Uighur Muslims being imprisoned in Xinjiang province.
One Blizzard employee told Vice News that people in the company feels trapped: ''We're damned if we don't take a stand'--we'll have lost a lot of support from fans outside of China. We're damned if we do'--you can't keep the lights on when we lose income from China and [other companies] swoop in to take our place'...Even if I did leave [for another employer], where would I go that's not beholden to access or income from China today or tomorrow?''
That's presumably the thinking behind Nike's decision to remove merchandise featuring the Houston Rockets from stores in major Chinese cities. Yet this is the same company that recently built its brand around former National Football League quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who famously failed to find work after taking a knee during the national anthem as a means to protest police brutality.
''Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything,'' Kaepernick intoned in Nike commercials released in 2018. It turns out the company itself isn't quite ready to sacrifice its Chinese business interests'--let alone ''everything.''
Indeed, it may soon be more difficult to find a major firm that isn't censoring itself in some way to maintain business ties with China. At Mashable, Natasha Pinon has compiled a list of companies that have self-censored in response to Chinese pressure. They include Audi, which ''used a China map at a press conference that excluded Taiwan, South Tibet, and parts of the Xinjiang region; then apologized for their 'incorrect geographical map'''; Disney/ESPN (''An internal memo distributed to ESPN employees prohibits reference to Chinese politics when alluding to a supportive tweet for Hong Kong protesters''); and Mercedes-Benz (''posted an Instagram photo accompanied by a quote from the Dalai Lama, then deleted the post, and offered a public apology to the Chinese people'').
At one level, it makes a certain kind of sense that some of America's wokest companies are bending over backwards to avoid offending a dictatorship: America's supply chain is deeply interwoven with China's industrial back office, and it's a massive growth market that presents western executives with hundreds of millions of new customers. But we are also asked to pretend that our corporate overlords have a moral compass, and that their much-vaunted mission statements and corporate social-responsibility pledges are meaningful.
Take the example of Delta, the world's second biggest airline. The Atlanta-based company has for years benefited from a lucrative jet-fuel subsidy provided by the state of Georgia, but lost access to those funds in 2015 after its leadership lobbied against a ''religious freedom'' bill that many feared would empower conservative Georgian businesses to discriminate against gays and lesbians. Republican lawmakers were so offended by Delta's stand that they ended the subsidy.
In 2018, lawmakers considered reviving the $40-million-a-year program. But Delta once again stepped into the culture wars, ending a discounted-fare contract for members of the National Rifle Association, a pro-gun-rights group. This act of virtue-signalling probably got Delta more than a few customers: Its Tweet announcing the policy change earned more than 470,000 likes. Yet Delta really wasn't giving up very much: It apparently had sold only 13 tickets under the NRA contract.
The company made this announcement during a heated Republican gubernatorial primary, causing all of the candidates to come out against the subsidy, which died in the legislature, while Democrats in Georgia and elsewhere vigorously proclaimed that they'd be happy to subsidize Delta. Ultimately, the Republican Governor quietly restored the jet fuel subsidy, ensuring that Delta was able to have its cake and eat it, too.
Georgia's taxpayers lost and Delta won, because the fight was never really about selling a few tickets to the NRA or religious freedom. It was always about money. And so it's no surprise that this same company, which talked so tough to a state government, meekly apologized to China for listing Taiwan as an independent country on its website: Delta officials knew that their lobbyists didn't have as much entr(C)e in Beijing as they did in Atlanta.
China's ability to make America's biggest companies dance to its tune exposes woke capitalism as the sanctimonious scam that it is. Corporations don't have intersectional ethics. They have bottom lines. In some cases, the two overlap'--as when Delta bashed the NRA for brownie points. But often times, they don't'--as when Delta aroused Beijing's ire over Taiwan. And remember that Nike, the same company that wants to save the world from police brutality, made its fortune in large part by peddling overpriced sneakers as status symbols for poor black teenagers.
In Hong Kong, Xianjang, Syria and elsewhere, protestors are risking everything to speak out against dictatorial regimes. The least we Westerners can do is express solidarity with them. While we cannot force corporations to join us, we can take stock of their cowardice. And when these same companies come back at us in a few months with some earnest new ad campaign built around a fashionable domestic social-justice cause, we should call them out on their bald-faced hypocrisy.
Zaid Jilani, a journalist, is currently on fellowship, studying political and social polarization at UC Berkeley's Greater Good Science Center. Follow him on Twitter at @ZaidJilani.
Feature image: LeBron James, of the Los Angeles Lakers, can be seen on the promotional tour ''More than an athlete.'' Berlin, Germany. 02nd Sep, 2018.
VIDEO - Curtis Houck on Twitter: "Here's the video of Andrew Yang taking a swipe at Bing which you have to admit is pretty funny #DemDebate https://t.co/ruGc8eXvyK" / Twitter
Tue, 15 Oct 2019 22:52
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VIDEO - Sara Gonzales on Twitter: "Joe Biden CALLS OUT the rich for...clipping coupons...in the stock market...?? ðŸ¤-- https://t.co/1R7nzE68Sa" / Twitter
Tue, 15 Oct 2019 22:51
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VIDEO - RNC Research on Twitter: "Joe Biden references people ''clipping coupons in the stock market'' https://t.co/lXFFyWsl6h" / Twitter
Tue, 15 Oct 2019 22:47
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VIDEO - Chloe Salsameda on Twitter: "Sander: I'm healthy, I'm feeling great, but I would like to respond to that question. Booker: Senator Sanders is in favor of medical marijuana, I want to make that clear. Sanders: I'm not on it tonight. #DemDebat
Tue, 15 Oct 2019 22:46
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VIDEO - PodcastOne: Cardi B & Chance the Rapper- "Rhythm + Flow"
Tue, 15 Oct 2019 17:14
Tip, Cardi B, & Chance the Rapper talk about their new Netflix reality competition show Rhythm + Flow. The judges chop it up about what they've learned about each other from their time filming the show and they're future book deal plans. Also they're talking politics. Tip discusses Cardi's love of history and her interview with Senator Bernie Sanders. Plus Tip, Cardi, and Chance share their vision for the country if they were elected President.
VIDEO - Liberal Rappers Sound The Alarm: Trump Going To Win Again In 2020
Tue, 15 Oct 2019 17:14
Cardi B and Chance The Rapper warn most enthusiasm coming from Trump's baseRappers Cardi B and Chance The Rapper warned that President Trump will probably win the 2020 election.
Appearing in rapper Tip ''T.I.'' Harris' latest ''expediTIously'' podcast to promote their upcoming Netflix special Rhythm + Flow, Cardi B and Chance The Rapper predicted that Trump is going to win a second term because Democrats aren't generating enthusiasm.
(Click the image & start at 31:20 to hear the relevant portion)
''You all can quote me on this a couple of years down the line,'' Chance the Rapper said. ''I think Trump is going to win again at the next election because he's got the biggest base.''
''He does. I believe it,'' agreed Cardi B, a vocal supporter socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).
''I really hate to say it, but sometimes I do believe that Trump will be winning,'' she continued.
''Just because due to the fact that every single time I don't see nobody saying they love a Democratic candidate. There's no candidate that people are saying like we love, we want them to win.''
When asked by Harris why voters apparently don't vote for the ''best ideas,'' in which he means socialism, free healthcare, and the Green New Deal, Cardi B, without a hint of irony, replied: ''Some people don't give a f'-- about the best ideas. They really vote with feelings.''
The stripper-turned-rapper Cardi B then launched into a nonsensical rambling about how Trump somehow wants to take away the American people's healthcare and ''get rid of Mexicans.''
''Every single time he [Trump] always talk about how he want to take away Medicare and shit like that,'' she said. ''A poor white man that's getting Medicare is not even caring that he's saying that, he just cares that he hates Mexicans and he want to get rid of them.''
''I don't care if Donald Trump take away the thing that I need, I just hate Mexicans and I want them gone,'' she added, referring to Trump supporters.
''So I'm going to keep on voting for them. A lot of people vote with feelings in America and a lot of their feelings is racism and religion.''
Sure Cardi.
Trump's support has NOTHING at all to do with record high median household income, record stock market gains, record unemployment across most demographics, more sensible trade policies, securing of the southern border, support for the military, veterans, and law enforcement, or defending the Constitution.
Just out: MEDIAN HOUSEHOLD INCOME IS AT THE HIGHEST POINT EVER, EVER, EVER! How about saying it this way, IN THE HISTORY OF OUR COUNTRY! Also, MORE PEOPLE WORKING TODAY IN THE USA THAN AT ANY TIME IN HISTORY! Tough numbers for the Radical Left Democrats to beat! Impeach the Pres.
'-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 15, 2019
THIS is why Democrats will lose in 2020. Not because of ''racism and religion.''
Twitter: Follow @WhiteIsTheFury
Gab: https://gab.com/WhiteIsTheFury
Minds: https://www.minds.com/whiteisthefury
Alex Jones confronts rapper/Actor T.I. on his podcast expediTIously
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VIDEO - (10) chris evans on Twitter: ".@Bakari_Sellers: "There is no question that Tulsi Gabbard is a puppet for the Russian government." https://t.co/a5qtVjFu2i" / Twitter
Tue, 15 Oct 2019 17:08
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VIDEO - WITHOUT EVIDENCE - Trump attacks CNN's Jeff Zucker on Twitter | TheHill
Tue, 15 Oct 2019 14:46
President Trump Donald John TrumpBusiness school deans call for lifting country-specific visa caps Bolton told ex-Trump aide to call White House lawyers about Ukraine pressure campaign: report Federal prosecutors in New York examining Giuliani business dealings with Ukraine: report MORE attacked CNN President Jeff Zucker on Twitter after the news network was targeted by conservative activist group Project Veritas.
"Now that we have found out that @CNN is a virtual fraud, rumor has it that Jeff Zucker will be resigining momentarily?" Trump tweeted without providing evidence.
Now that we have found out that @CNN is a virtual fraud, rumor has it that Jeff Zucker will be resigining momentarily?
'-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 15, 2019Project Veritas is claiming in a video this week that Zucker has a bias against Trump. Past claims made by the group have been discredited.
The Hill has reached out to CNN for comment on Trump's tweet and Project Veritas's claims.
Trump frequently goes after CNN, calling the network "fake news," and the administration last year temporarily revoked the press pass of the network's Jim Acosta James (Jim) AcostaFox rejects Biden request to not run Trump campaign ad CNN refuses to run Biden-Ukraine ad by Trump campaign Trump fumes amid impeachment furor MORE during a high-profile spat.
VIDEO - (1) Brownsville Station-Smokin in the Boys room - YouTube
Tue, 15 Oct 2019 14:26
VIDEO - (2) Next-Generation Artemis Spacesuits / Twitter
Tue, 15 Oct 2019 14:15
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VIDEO - The Political Class - YouTube
Tue, 15 Oct 2019 14:05
VIDEO - they see me trolling on Twitter: "@TRHLofficial @Timcast @THErealDVORAK and @adamcurry on the #NoAgendaShow frequently mention that this is all leading to a licensed journalist and protected class. media deconstruction Podcasts such as NoAgenda ar
Tue, 15 Oct 2019 12:26
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VIDEO - EP.799: Gaddafi's Ex-Spokesperson: We Have Been Proven Right 8 Years after the Libyan Civil War! - YouTube
Tue, 15 Oct 2019 09:57
VIDEO - (1) Wojciech Pawelczyk 🇵🇱🇺🇸 on Twitter: "Hunter Biden: "Did I make a mistake based upon some ethical lapse? Absolutely not" https://t.co/kgg48ybU9L" / Twitter
Tue, 15 Oct 2019 08:59
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VIDEO - LeBron James Says Executive Was 'Misinformed' in China Tweet - The New York Times
Tue, 15 Oct 2019 08:11
Pro Basketball | LeBron James Says Executive Was 'Misinformed' in China Tweet The Lakers star said he believed Daryl Morey's choice to post about protests in Hong Kong could have endangered traveling players.
Image Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James made his first comments about the N.B.A.'s conflict with China on Monday. Credit Credit Color China Photo, via Associated Press Published Oct. 14, 2019Updated Oct. 15, 2019, 8:22 a.m. ET
LOS ANGELES '-- LeBron James on Monday night sharply criticized Daryl Morey, the general manager of the Houston Rockets, for his recent tweet in support of Hong Kong's pro-democracy protesters. The tweet set off a furor for the N.B.A. last week while James and the Los Angeles Lakers were in China.
''I believe he wasn't educated on the situation at hand, and he spoke,'' James said, referring to Morey. ''So many people could have been harmed, not only financially, but physically, emotionally, spiritually.''
James was making his first public comments since the team's trip to China, where the Lakers played a pair of preseason games against the Brooklyn Nets. But Morey's tweet '-- a picture with the slogan, ''Fight for freedom, stand for Hong Kong,'' which he later deleted '-- shaped the backdrop for the entire trip.
The fallout was swift, as Chinese companies pulled their sponsorships and enacted a media boycott of the N.B.A., which included canceling the local broadcasts of both games between the Lakers and the Nets. The N.B.A. has spent decades cultivating the Chinese market, but suddenly felt the full force of a geopolitical storm '-- all seemingly caused by a single tweet.
At a news conference last week, N.B.A. Commissioner Adam Silver defended Morey's right to publicize his views, saying, ''We will protect our employees' freedom of speech.'' And while the league acknowledged the offense the tweet had caused, it stopped short of apologizing to the Chinese government.
On Monday, James waded back into the maelstrom by holding a seven-minute news conference before the Lakers played the Golden State Warriors in a preseason game at Staples Center. He said that Morey had caused a lot of problems for the players while they were in China '-- and went so far as to suggest that he could have endangered them.
''Yes, we do all have freedom of speech,'' James said. ''But at times there are ramifications for the negative that can happen when you're not thinking about others and you're thinking about yourself.''
Asked why he felt Morey had been ill-informed on the subject, James said: ''That's just my belief. I don't know. That's my belief. That's all I can say. I believe he was misinformed or not really educated on the situation. And if he was, then so be it.''
James, like many star players in the N.B.A., has large business interests in China through sponsors like Nike. He declined to offer his views of the political situation in China, saying he did not know enough about it to offer an informed opinion.
''For me personally, I've always been welcomed with open arms,'' he said. ''I've been to China probably over 15 to 20 times, and the main reason I've always wanted to go back to China is because of the game of basketball. The game of basketball has brought people together in so many different facets, in so many different countries '-- people you would never, ever expect.''
Almost as quickly as his news conference was finished, James was the subject of widespread backlash on social media. Senator Rick Scott, Republican of Florida, was among those who weighed in on Twitter: ''It's sad to see him join the chorus kowtowing to Communist China & putting profits over human rights for #HongKong.''
About an hour after his news conference, James began some damage control of his own on Twitter.
''Let me clear up the confusion,'' he wrote in one of his posts, referring to his take on Morey's tweet. ''I do not believe there was any consideration for the consequences and ramifications of the tweet. I'm not discussing the substance. Others can talk about that.''
On Tuesday in Hong Kong, about 100 basketball fans stood on a court in the Wan Chai neighborhood, thanking Daryl Morey for his support at an event they called ''Stand with Morey.''
Nikio Yuen, 24, who was wearing a Celtics Enes Kanter jersey, said he was ''very disappointed'' in James. ''I thought he supported democracy and freedom,'' he said. ''When it comes to freedom of speech that affects the business of the league, he doesn't support it.''
William Mok, 36, drew a comparison to James' domestic activism. ''Please remember, all N.B.A. players, what you said before,'' he said. ''Black lives matter. Hong Kong lives also matter.''
Daniel Victor contributed reporting from Hong Kong.
A version of this article appears in print on
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with the headline:
James Wades Into Uproar Over China
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VIDEO - (2) PART 1: CNN Insider Blows Whistle on Network President Jeff Zucker's Personal Vendetta Against POTUS - YouTube
Mon, 14 Oct 2019 16:26
VIDEO - (3) Rising Up! How Things Change: The Duty to Disobey - YouTube
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VIDEO - (3) Red Pill News - CA Blackout & Fires A Military OP? - YouTube
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VIDEO - (3) In 2023, California will ban sales and manufacturing of fur products - YouTube
Mon, 14 Oct 2019 07:24


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  • 0:00
    let's unbox it this is no agenda
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    everybody I'm Adam curry and from
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    northern Silicon Valley where he's
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    proven himself to be a lizard by telling
  • 0:31
    people to eat bugs
  • 0:32
    that's the Pope I'm Chauncey Devorah now
  • 0:38
    we have two things to start with
  • 0:42
    well actually we have a whole slew of
  • 0:43
    things to start with I have a list
  • 0:45
    Cummins died yes that Capote wants us to
  • 0:49
    eat bugs Felicity Hoffman's all is his
  • 0:51
    this is gonna be cut and we have a deal
  • 0:55
    if you have a deal
  • 0:56
    if you ever have a deal oh by the way
  • 0:58
    Jordan Peterson movie came out too much
  • 1:00
    controversy and the guy who wrote the
  • 1:04
    book about Sandy Hook being a hoax got
  • 1:06
    sued and lost and so I go to CNN to
  • 1:10
    check these stories out and of course
  • 1:11
    what do I get there
  • 1:12
    Giuliani and we have a deal man we have
  • 1:17
    a deal
  • 1:18
    it was I thought I saw the same
  • 1:21
    announcement apparently yeah well let's
  • 1:23
    listen to it for the benefit of
  • 1:26
    everybody do we have a deal that was no
  • 1:31
    need for any kind of pollination and
  • 1:34
    this is a fair a balanced agreement it
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    is testament to our commitment to
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    funding institutions he provides
  • 1:42
    certainty where budget creates
  • 1:45
  • 1:46
    I love Yonkers now also kind of doing
  • 1:50
    this Anglicism this brexit
  • 1:52
    yes younger black so when I had was the
  • 1:55
    other guy that negotiator no no this is
  • 1:57
    the this is Boris and Juncker together
  • 2:00
    if you put how the rights of our
  • 2:02
    citizens and people text peace and
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    stability on the island that violence
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    there will be no the border on the
  • 2:09
    island of Ireland and the single market
  • 2:12
    will be protected the deal is about
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    peace and peace to continue my
  • 2:24
    conversations with Boris we start the
  • 2:29
    negotiation on the future relations
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    immediately after deal will have been
  • 2:35
  • 2:35
    we'll start our debates on the first of
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    November without the interruption and of
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    course it is for both our Parliament's
  • 2:45
    to have the final say it's not only
  • 2:49
    Westminster having to approve the deal
  • 2:52
    the deal being in fact the treaty it's
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    also up to the European Parliament to do
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    the same so thank you
  • 3:00
    Louis I have two axes we have so as it
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    turns out after all it was just about
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    the the backstop deal apparently or I
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    think as I heard you and gore say the
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    island of Ireland okay here is Boris
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    Johnson's little statement Thank You
  • 3:23
    Jacques Road in KY particular tribute
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    you John quote and also of course to
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    Michel Barnier and all your team Michel
  • 3:32
    in the negotiating team in the in the
  • 3:34
    Commission and I do think that this deal
  • 3:38
    represents a very good deal both for the
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    EU and for the UK and it's a reasonable
  • 3:44
    fair outcome and reflects the large
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    amount of work that's being rather taken
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    by by both sides and I agree very much
  • 3:55
    John Claude with what you said about
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    protecting the peace process in the
  • 4:00
    island of Ireland and in Northern
  • 4:03
    Ireland and of course for us in the UK
  • 4:06
    it means that we can deliver a real
  • 4:09
    brexit that achieves our objectives and
  • 4:13
    it means that the UK leaves whole and
  • 4:16
    entire on October the 31st and it at
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    first and it means that Northern Ireland
  • 4:22
    and every other part of the UK can take
  • 4:25
    part not just in free trade deals
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    offering our tariffs exporting our goods
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    around the world but it also means that
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    we can take together as a single a
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    United Kingdom decisions about our
  • 4:40
    future about our laws our borders our
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    money and how we want to run the UK well
  • 4:47
    well well so they still all have to vote
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    on it the UK Parliament and the EU
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    Parliament and we shall see if that is
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    actually happens what was kind of fun it
  • 4:59
    this was the end of the press briefing
  • 5:01
    and so Boris ended it but apparently
  • 5:04
    King as jean-claude still had something
  • 5:06
    to say listen to this elitist douchebag
  • 5:09
    and we look forward to working with you
  • 5:11
    in building that partnership in the
  • 5:14
    weeks and months to come thank you all
  • 5:16
    very much
  • 5:23
    he addresses the press and they called
  • 5:26
    Trump a moron about have a good brother
  • 5:50
    has hit the last word well I should
  • 5:52
    listen job was Bernie ASA when I
  • 5:55
    yeah he's the EU negotiator that I
  • 5:57
    listen to to describe what it was and
  • 6:00
    this it seems acceptable except for the
  • 6:04
    fine print that they don't discuss who
  • 6:06
    knows what else is in there yeah we have
  • 6:09
    no idea what's in there of course not
  • 6:11
    and it doesn't matter because what UK
  • 6:13
    Parliament I'm sure will just delay it
  • 6:16
    oh no this is no good it's a already
  • 6:18
    have no job this is worse than Mays deal
  • 6:21
    yeah that's that's probably right this
  • 6:24
    probably it's probably true worse than
  • 6:26
    Mays deal exactly what you're gonna hear
  • 6:29
    somehow it's worse what I always find so
  • 6:32
    interesting in this age of him democracy
  • 6:36
    and you know how everything has to be