1191: No Sweat

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

2h 56m
November 17th, 2019
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Executive Producers: Sir Onymous of Dog Patch and Lower Slobovia, Sir Tobias of the Wetlands, Sir Justin and Dame Tiffany Fiedler, Nick Craig

Associate Executive Producers: Sir Red Beard, Onno Priester

Cover Artist: Mike Riley


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Green New Deal
German Farmers Block Hamburg in Revolt Against Globalist Environmental Regulations '' Summit News
Fri, 15 Nov 2019 15:12
''A free society cannot allow social media giants to silence the voices of the people''
In a rousing speech before the UN Tuesday, President Trump vowed to protect Americans' free specch in the face of 'assaults' by social media companies.
''We must always be skeptical of those who want conformity and control,'' said the President. ''Even in free nations, we see alarming signs and new challenges to liberty.''
''A small number of social media platforms are acquiring immense power, over what we can see and over what we are allowed to say,'' he continued.
''A permanent political class is openly disdainful, dismissive and defiant of the will of the people. A faceless bureaucracy operates in secret and weakens democratic rule. Media and academic institutions push flat-out assaults on our histories, traditions and values.'' Trump added.
''In the United States, my administration has made clear to social media companies that we will uphold the right of free speech.'' the President vowed.
''A free society cannot allow social media giants to silence the voices of the people. And a free people must never, ever be enlisted in the cause of silencing, coercing, canceling or blacklisting their own neighbors.'' Trump urged, referencing the current trend of 'cancel culture'.
Trump blasts social media companies for censorship: "A free society cannot allow social media giants to silence the voices of the people. A free people must never, ever be enlisted in the cause of silencing, coercing, canceling, or blacklisting their own neighbors" pic.twitter.com/qhWUHbFM1R
'-- Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) September 24, 2019
While previous Presidents have apologized for America in front of the UN, Trump stated that he is proud to ''have the immense privilege'' of representing ''a nation that prizes Liberty, independence, and self government for all.''
The President also hit out at open border activists, declaring that their policies are ''not just,'' but rather are ''cruel and evil''.
"Today, I have a message for those open-border activists who cloak themselves in the rhetoric of social justice: Your policies are not just; your policies are cruel and evil.
You are empowering criminal organizations that prey on innocent men, women, and children." #UNGA pic.twitter.com/8Ucy96er1c
'-- The White House (@WhiteHouse) September 24, 2019
Trump declared that globalism is dead, saying that ''the future does not belong to globalists, the future belongs to patriots, the future belongs to sovereign and independent nations.''
"The future does not belong to globalists.
The future belongs to patriots." #UNGA pic.twitter.com/5qoiasN6wo
'-- The White House (@WhiteHouse) September 24, 2019
''Globalism exerted a religious pull over past leaders causing them to ignore their own national interests, but as far as America is concerned, those days are over,'' he said.
Watch the key highlights below:
Leden PvdA: 80 kilometer per uur op snelweg en Europees vliegverbod
Sun, 17 Nov 2019 09:43
Leden van de Partij van de Arbeid (PvdA) willen nog een stap extra zetten bij de stikstofcrisis. Als het aan hen ligt gaat de maximumsnelheid op snelwegen rondom natuurgebieden naar 80 kilometer per uur en komt er een vliegverbod in Europa.
Het AD meldt dat de motie met de maatregelen om de stikstofcrisis te verhelpen met applaus is aangenomen bij de ledenraad van de partij in Eindhoven. PvdA-lid Gerard Bosman diende de motie in. ''Het kabinet gaat nu niet ver genoeg. In Nederland moet echt veel meer gebeuren om de biodiversiteit, de volksgezondheid en het klimaat te redden.''
Europees vliegverbodNaast de verlaging van de maximumsnelheid moet er dus ook een verbod komen van vluchten binnen Europa volgens de leden. Snelle treinverbindingen moeten het alternatief worden voor de vluchten. Daarnaast willen de leden dat er een vliegtaks komt van minimaal 100 euro per ticket.
De partijtop zegt de inhoud van de motie te steunen, maar wil nog wel in gesprek met de leden. Zo stelde Tweede Kamerlid William Moorlag dat hij eerst wil weten wat het effect van de maatregelen zijn.
LEES OOK: Rob Jetten noemt eigen jongerenpartij 'radicaal' over maximumsnelheid
Door: Thijs Kroezen
Climate change hoax COLLAPSES as new science finds human activity has virtually zero impact on global temperatures '' NaturalNews.com
Sun, 17 Nov 2019 10:11
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25 for 45
Bribery legal definition of bribery
Thu, 14 Nov 2019 17:35
BriberyThe offering, giving, receiving, or soliciting of something of value for the purpose of influencing the action of an official in the discharge of his or her public or legal duties.The expectation of a particular voluntary action in return is what makes the difference between a bribe and a private demonstration of goodwill. To offer or provide payment in order to persuade someone with a responsibility to betray that responsibility is known as seeking Undue Influence over that person's actions. When someone with power seeks payment in exchange for certain actions, that person is said to be peddling influence. Regardless of who initiates the deal, either party to an act of bribery can be found guilty of the crime independently of the other.
A bribe can consist of immediate cash or of personal favors, a promise of later payment, or anything else the recipient views as valuable. When the U.S. military threatened to cancel a Texas relocation company's contracts to move families to and from military bases, the company allegedly gave four representatives in Congress an all-expenses-paid weekend in Las Vegas in January 1989, and $2,500 in speaking fees. The former president of the company was indicted by a federal Grand Jury in 1994 on bribery charges for both gifts.
No written agreement is necessary to prove the crime of bribery, but usually a prosecutor must show corrupt intent. Bribery charges may involve public officials or private individuals. In the world of professional sports, for example, one boxer might offer another a payoff to "throw" (deliberately lose) an important fight. In the corporate arena, a company could bribe employees of a rival company for recruitment services or other actions at odds with their employer's interests. Even when public officials are involved, a bribe does not need to be harmful to the public interest in order to be illegal.
When a public official accepts a bribe, he or she creates a conflict of interest. That is, the official cannot accommodate the interests of another party without compromising the responsibilities of her or his position.
There is not always consensus over what counts as a bribe. For instance, in many states and at the federal level, certain gifts and campaign contributions are not considered bribes and do not draw prosecution unless they can be linked to evidence of undue influence. In this regard, negative public perception of private contributions to elected officials as payola has caused most states to establish legislative ethics committees to review the public-private relationships of house and senate members. Furthermore, both houses of the U.S. Congress passed legislation in 1994 restricting gifts to no more than $20 in value.
The Supreme Court further clarified the law by setting standards for federal bribery statutes in United States v. Sun Diamond Growers, 526 U.S. 398, 119 S.Ct. 1402, 143 L.Ed.2d 576 (1999). This case grew out of the prosecution of Mike Espy, secretary of agriculture in the Clinton administration, for allegedly accepting bribes. After Espy was acquitted of all charges, the Independent Counsel charged Sun Diamond Growers, a trade association for a large agricultural cooperative, with violating a federal gratuities law that prohibits giving gifts to public officials in exchange for favorable government actions.
After Sun Diamond was convicted of the charges it took its case to the Supreme Court. The Court concluded that a person did not violate the law merely by giving a gift to a public official. Prosecutors must show that there was a connection between a specific official act in the past or future and the gift. Justice Antonin Scalia noted that if the government did not have to prove this linkage then a token gift such as the presentation of a sports jersey by a championship team to the president could be regarded as a criminal act.
The Court also noted differences in various federal bribery statutes, which included broad prohibitions. In the present case, the language of the gratuities statute did not reveal a similar intent by Congress; instead, the Court viewed this law as one strand of a complicated web of laws and regulations addressing official behavior.
It is common for both the recipient and the provider of a bribe to be accused, although bribery is not a joint offense'--that is, one person's guilt does not affect the other's. Such was the case when a popular Massachusetts state senator allegedly accepted monthly payments from an investment Broker in exchange for trying to persuade state officials to send state Pension business to the broker. The legislator and the broker were both indicted on misdemeanor charges in early 1995.
U.S. companies that engage in international bribery can become targets of investigation at home. In January 1995, a former sales director of Lockheed Corporation pleaded guilty to violating the federal Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, 15 U.S.C. § 78dd-1 et seq., Allen R. Love told a U.S. district court that he had paid and helped to cover up a bribe to an Egyptian politician for arranging Egypt's 1989 purchase of three Lockheed transport planes.
Congress adopted the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in 1977 to outlaw payments that are intended to win contracts from foreign officials. Ironically, the law's passage was triggered by testimony from a former vice president of the same Lockheed Corporation at a U.S. congressional hearing in 1976. In that case, the company's vice president admitted to bribing the prime minister of Japan with more than $1.9 million in the early 1970s, so that Japan would buy Lockheed's TriStar wide-body jets.
The severity of bribery can reach the felony level, punishable by a fine or imprisonment, or both. However, charges are sometimes reduced in exchange for helping to convict accomplices. For instance, in June 1994, Love pleaded innocent to felony charges of bribery and conspiracy. Later, he pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of "indirectly" conspiring, as part of a plea agreement in which he agreed to testify against the corporation itself, which was also a defendant.
The international sports community was rocked by a bribery scandal involving the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, Utah. Two officials of the Utah committee that secured the games were indicted in 2000 on charges of wire and Mail Fraud, conspiracy, and interstate travel in aid of Racketeering. They were charged with paying an official of the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) to help influence the selection of Salt Lake City by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The USOC official who received the bribes later pleaded guilty to several criminal charges including the accepting of a bribe.
Federal prosecutors contended that the two officials had paid $1 million to influence votes of several IOC members. In addition, they had allegedly diverted some $130,000 of the bid committee's income, and had altered books and created false contracts to conceal their actions. The two officials denied that they had done anything wrong, contending that the payments were intended as grants and scholarships for poor athletes. Following the indictments, ten members of the IOC either resigned or were expelled from the organization, and many reforms were undertaken to prevent bribery. The USOC also authorized an independent review of its practices.
However, the two Utah officials successfully challenged the bribery charges. In July 2001, a federal judge dismissed the bribery charges, finding that a Utah bribery statute could not be applied to the defendants' actions. In December 2001, the judge dismissed the remaining criminal counts.
Further readingsMcChesney, Fred S. 1997. Money for Nothing: Politicians, Rent Extraction, and Political Extortion. Cambridge, Mass.: Univ of Harvard Press.
Noonan, John Thomas. 1984. Bribes. New York: Macmillan.
PBS: Online NewsHour. February 11, 1999. "IOC: Cleaning House." Available online at <www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/sports/jan-june99/olympics_2-11.html> (accessed June 6, 2003).
briberyn. the crime of giving or taking money or some other valuable item in order to influence a public official (any governmental employee) in the performance of his/her duties. Bribery includes paying to get government contracts (cutting the roads commissioner in for a secret percentage of the profit), giving a bottle of liquor to a building inspector to ignore a violation or grant a permit, or selling stock to a Congressman at a cut-rate price. Example: Governor (later Vice President) Spiro T. Agnew received five cents from the concessionaire for each pack of cigarettes sold in the Maryland capitol building. The definition has been expanded to include bribes given to corporate officials to obtain contracts or other advantages which are against company policy.
briberynoun allurement, baiting, blandishment, breach of faith, bribing, cajolement, cajolery, collusion, connivance, corrupt inducement, corrupt payment, corruptibility, corruption, crime, criminality, enticement, illeeal incitation, illegal inducement, improbity, inducement, jobbery, lawbreaking, misdealing, perfidy, pettifoggery, plying, pressure, prodition, seducement, snaring, tantalization, temptation, tempting, unlawful encouragement, venalityAssociated concepts: commercial bribery, obstruction of jussice, official misconduct, public briberyBRIBERY, crim. law. The receiving or offering any undue reward by or to any person whomsoever, whose ordinary profession or business relates to the administration of public justice, in order to influence his behaviour in office, and to incline him to act contrary to his duty and the known rules of honesty and integrity. 3 Inst. 149; 1 Hawk. P. C. 67, s. 2 4 Bl. Com. 139; 1 Russ. Cr. 156. 2. The term bribery extends now further, and includes the offence of giving a bribe to many other officers. The offence of the giver and of the receiver of the bribe has the same name. For the sake of distinction, that of the former, viz : the briber, might be properly denominated active. bribery; while that of the latter, viz : the person bribed, might be called passive bribery. 3. Bribery at elections for members of parliament, has always been a crime at common law, and punishable by indictment or information. It still remains so in England notwithstanding the stat. 24 Geo. H. c. 14 3 Burr. 1340, 1589. To constitute the offence, it is not necessary that the person bribed should, in fact, vote as solicited to do 3 Burr. 1236; or even that he should have a right to vote at all both are entirely immaterial. 3 Bur. 1590-1. 4. An attempt to bribe, though unsuccessful, has been holden to be criminal, and the offender may be indicted. 2 Dall. 384; 4 Burr. 2500 3 Inst. 147; 2 Campb. R. 229; 2 Wash. 88; 1 Virg. Cas. 138; 2 Virg. Cas. 460.
Roger Stone Is Found Guilty in Trial That Revived Trump-Russia Saga - The New York Times
Fri, 15 Nov 2019 15:31
Mr. Stone, a longtime informal adviser to President Trump, obstructed one of Congress's Russia investigations and lied to lawmakers.
Roger J. Stone Jr. was found guilty on Friday of obstructing a congressional inquiry into Russia's 2016 election interference. Credit... Doug Mills/The New York Times Nov. 15, 2019Updated 3:12 p.m. ET
WASHINGTON '-- Roger J. Stone Jr., a former aide and longtime friend of President Trump, was found guilty on Friday of obstructing a congressional investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 election in what prosecutors said was an effort to protect Mr. Trump.
Mr. Stone, 67, was charged with lying to the House Intelligence Committee, trying to block the testimony of another potential witness and concealing reams of evidence from investigators. Prosecutors claimed he tried to thwart the committee's work because the truth would have ''looked terrible'' for both the president and his campaign. He was found guilty of all seven counts he was charged with.
The government built its case over the past week with testimony from a friend of Mr. Stone and two former Trump campaign officials, buttressed by hundreds of exhibits that exposed Mr. Stone's disdain for congressional and criminal investigators. Confronted with his lies under oath by one associate, prosecutors said, Mr. Stone wrote back: ''No one cares.'' They asked the jurors to deliver a verdict proving him wrong.
The evidence showed that in the months leading up to the 2016 election, Mr. Stone strove to obtain emails that Russia had stolen from Democratic computers and funneled to WikiLeaks, which released them at strategic moments timed to damage Hillary Clinton, Mr. Trump's Democratic opponent. Mr. Stone briefed the Trump campaign about whatever he had picked up about WikiLeaks' plans ''every chance he got,'' Jonathan Kravis, a lead prosecutor, said, but denied to congressional investigators that he did so.
The trial revived the saga of Russia's efforts to bolster Mr. Trump's chances of winning the White House at the same time that House impeachment investigators are scrutinizing Mr. Trump's efforts to pressure Ukraine, a foreign ally, for help with his 2020 election.
Unfolding in a courtroom just blocks from the impeachment hearing room on Capitol Hill, the case resurrected a narrative that dogged Mr. Trump's presidency until the two-year investigation by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, ended last spring. Mr. Stone was accused of lying to the same House intelligence panel that is now leading the impeachment inquiry.
The jury of nine women and three men deliberated for about seven hours over two days before convicting Mr. Stone, a 40-year friend of Mr. Trump and well-known political provocateur. Mr. Stone listened impassively to the verdict, eyebrows arched and one hand in his pocket. He and his lawyers, still under a gag order imposed by the judge months ago, left the courthouse without comment.
Within minutes of the verdict, Mr. Trump protested on Twitter that it was unfair. ''So they now convict Roger Stone of lying and want to jail him for many years to come,'' Mr. Trump wrote, though his own administration's Justice Department waged the prosecution.
''Didn't they lie?,'' he added before naming nearly a dozen favorite targets of his ire and suggesting they had lied without punishment, including Hillary Clinton, Mr. Mueller, the former F.B.I. director James B. Comey and Representative Adam B. Schiff, who heads the House Intelligence Committee.
Testimony by Rick Gates, Mr. Trump's deputy campaign chairman, called into question Mr. Trump's answers to queries from Mr. Mueller. Mr. Trump, who agreed to respond to questions only in writing rather than sit for an interview, said he could not recall the specifics of any of 21 conversations he had with Mr. Stone in the six months before the election. Mr. Stone told House investigators that he never discussed his conversations with an intermediary to WikiLeaks with anyone involved in the Trump campaign.
But in one of the trial's most revealing moments, Mr. Gates recounted a July 31, 2016, phone call between Mr. Stone and Mr. Trump, just days after WikiLeaks had released a trove of emails embarrassing the Clinton campaign. As soon as he hung up with Mr. Stone, Mr. Gates testified, Mr. Trump declared that ''more information'' was coming, an apparent reference to future releases from WikiLeaks that would rattle his political rival.
Mr. Stone, 67, joins a notable list of former Trump aides convicted of lying to federal authorities. It includes Mr. Gates; Michael T. Flynn, the former national security adviser; Michael D. Cohen, the president's longtime personal lawyer and fixer, and George Papadopoulos, a former Trump campaign aide. And his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who was also once Mr. Stone's partner in a political consulting firm, was convicted of a string of financial crimes and is serving a seven-and-a-half-year prison term.
The most serious charge against Mr. Stone, witness tampering, carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. The other charges carry a maximum of five years each. But the punishment for a first-time offender like Mr. Stone will almost certainly be much lighter.
Working against Mr. Stone could be his multiple run-ins earlier this year with Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who is overseeing the case and will preside over sentencing, set for Feb. 6. After a series of infractions, including posting a photo of the judge with an image of cross-hairs next to her head on Instagram in February, she banned him from social media.
After the verdict was announced, prosecutors asked Judge Jackson to order Mr. Stone into custody, saying he had violated her gag order by making comments the previous day in a broadcast by Infowars, a far-right website run by Alex Jones. But the judge rejected their motion, saying that in recent months Mr. Stone had complied with her orders and proof of a new infraction was not entirely clear.
In a video posted to Infowars, titled ''Roger's Emergency Message To America,'' Mr. Jones said that Mr. Stone had told him that he expected to be convicted and wanted Mr. Trump to pardon him. ''I appeal to the president to pardon me, because to do so would be an action that would show these corrupt courts that they're not going to get away with persecuting people for their free speech or for the crime of getting the president elected,'' he said Mr. Stone told him.
Mr. Stone's lawyers argued that the prosecution's case was based on speculation and false assumptions about Mr. Stone's motives. They pointed out that Mr. Gates had no knowledge about what was said during the phone call between Mr. Stone and Mr. Trump. Bruce S. Rogow, the lead defense lawyer, told jurors that Mr. Stone had no reason to lie in order to protect the president nearly a year after Mr. Trump had won the election, and that Mr. Stone had simply confined his answers to the strict parameters of the committee's inquiry.
Besides Mr. Gates, the trial featured testimony from another well-known former Trump aide, Stephen K. Bannon, who led Mr. Trump's campaign through its final three months and served as a top White House adviser early in the administration. He and Mr. Gates both testified that Mr. Stone portrayed himself as the campaign's link to WikiLeaks, even though he and his lawyers now assert that was mere braggadocio.
Much of the trial revolved around interactions between Mr. Stone and Randy Credico, a New York radio host and comedian who Mr. Stone identified to congressional investigators as his intermediary with Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks. Prosecutors said that Mr. Stone pressured Mr. Credico not to cooperate with the House committee because his account would have exposed Mr. Stone's lies.
During their tortuous 17-year friendship, Mr. Credico said, Mr. Stone repeatedly played him as a ''patsy,'' including publicly blaming him for his own misdeeds. He said he misidentified him to the committee as his go-between with WikiLeaks in the summer of 2016 despite his repeated pleas to Mr. Stone to tell the truth.
In fact, prosecutors said, in late July of that year, Mr. Stone had dispatched another associate, an author and conspiracy theorist named Jerome Corsi, to ''get to Assange.'' In one of the mysteries of the trial, prosecutors never called Mr. Corsi to testify. Asked why, Mr. Corsi replied in a text message: ''Ask them '-- I don't know.''
Text messages and other evidence suggested that Mr. Stone alternately flattered and threatened Mr. Credico in an effort to ward off his testimony. At one point, he pretended that he had written a letter to the House committee characterizing Mr. Credico as highly talented and successful.
He repeatedly urged Mr. Credico to ''Do a Frank Pentangeli,'' referring to a character in the movie ''The Godfather: Part II'' who gave false testimony during a Senate hearing on organized crime. Borrowing a quote from Richard Nixon to a top aide during the Watergate cover-up, Mr. Stone texted Mr. Credico in late 2017: ''Stonewall it. Plead the fifth. Anything to save the plan.''
If he refused to go along, Mr. Credico testified, Mr. Stone threatened to retaliate against him and Margaret Ratner Kunstler, a lawyer for Mr. Assange and one of Mr. Credico's dearest friends. Prosecutors described Ms. Kunstler as a particularly effective ''pressure point'' with Mr. Credico, an unmarried man with no children and a 34-year history of alcohol abuse.
Mr. Stone ''knew that when the time came he would be able to bend Randy Credico until he broke,'' Mr. Kravis, the prosecutor, told the jurors in his closing arguments. Mr. Credico ultimately asserted his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination and refused to testify to the House committee.
Prosecutors argued that jurors had black-and-white proof that Mr. Stone had lied to the House committee when he said he had no electronic communications with Mr. Credico, describing him as ''not an email guy.'' In fact, they exchanged more than 1,500 emails and text messages between June 2016 and September 2017, including 72 text messages on the day of Mr. Stone's testimony.
Because Mr. Stone misled them, prosecutors said, lawmakers failed to pursue promising leads and arrived at inaccurate conclusions in their final report on Russia's election interference. For instance, they said, the committee never discerned the full scope of contacts between Mr. Stone and the Trump campaign about WikiLeaks.
Soros foundation requests banning of Joe diGenova from Fox News/Fox Business after anti-Semitic rant - The Washington Post
Fri, 15 Nov 2019 18:37
George Soros's Open Society Foundations is requesting action from Fox News/Fox Business after guest commentator Joe diGenova uncorked an anti-Semitic rant against Soros in a discussion on impeachment. On the Fox Business program ''Lou Dobbs Tonight,'' diGenova '-- a frequent guest on Fox News '-- said that Soros controlled a ''very large'' part of the State Department as well as unspecified FBI agents.
''This is McCarthyite,'' wrote Open Society Foundations President Patrick Gaspard in a letter to Fox News chief executive Suzanne Scott. He requested an on-air retraction and the banning of diGenova from Fox air.
The letter alights on a bitter and ugly history. In October 2018, Chris Farrell of Judicial Watch suggested on ''Lou Dobbs Tonight'' that Soros, a Jewish billionaire philanthropist and Democratic donor, was somehow responsible for a large migrant caravan approaching the United States via Mexico. "A lot of these folks also have affiliates or are getting money from the Soros-occupied State Department and that is a great, great concern. We need to start cutting money '-- start cutting money there.'' A Fox Business executive was forced to issue an apologetic statement: ''We condemn the rhetoric by the guest on Lou Dobbs Tonight,'' said Gary Schreier, Fox Business Network's senior vice president of programming. "This episode was a repeat which has now been pulled from all future airings.'' Farrell would no longer appear on Fox Business or Fox News, the network declared.
Months later, another guest on Fox Business '-- Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tex.) '-- smeared Soros, earning a reprimand from host Stuart Varney.
But perhaps the network's most brazen and conspiratorial attack on Soros came Wednesday night, when host Lou Dobbs welcomed diGenova and Victoria Toensing to break down impeachment news. Toensing and diGenova are longtime Washington attorneys who frequent the program of Fox News host Sean Hannity and have done their level best to advance the argument that the real collusion in the 2016 presidential campaign took place between Democrats and Ukrainians against candidate Donald Trump. To further the intrigue, Toensing and diGenova have represented John Solomon, a former employee of the Hill who has written mortally punctured stories on Ukraine, President Trump, the Bidens and so on.
In his discussion with the pair of conservative lawyers, Dobbs mentioned George Kent, one of two government officials to testify in Wednesday's House impeachment hearing. As deputy assistant secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs, Kent is the senior State official overseeing Ukraine policy and has expressed misgivings about Trump's maneuvers with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Dobbs said that Kent had tried to limit an investigation in Ukraine into an anti-corruption group supported by Soros. ''This is a complicated deal here,'' said Dobbs.
With that, diGenova was off:
Well, there's no doubt that George Soros controls a very large part of the career Foreign Service at the United States State Department. He also controls the activities of FBI agents overseas who work for NGOs, work with NGOs. That was very evident in Ukraine. Kent was part of that. He was a very big protector of Soros. '... The truth is George Soros had a daily opportunity to tell the State Department through Victoria Nuland what to do in Ukraine. And he ran it, Soros ran it. He corrupted FBI officials, he corrupted Foreign Service officers. And the bottom line is this: George Soros wants to run Ukraine and he's doing everything he can, to use every lever of the United States government to make that happen '-- for business interests, not for good government.
Where did that come from? When asked to elaborate by the Erik Wemple Blog, diGenova cited the ''work of the award winning journalist, John Solomon,'' his client and the progenitor of flimsy, tendentious pieces that bear the veneer of good old-fashioned investigative journalism. In August, Solomon wrote an article titled ''George Soros's secret 2016 access to State exposes 'big money' hypocrisy of Democrats,'' which cites emails showing that Soros's people had contacted then-Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland about various matters, including the European Union's migration policy. In a phone call, Soros told Nuland that he'd pass along a draft of an essay he was writing on migration for the New York Review of Books.
Solomon sums up: ''Few people in the world could command the attention of one of America's busiest, most influential diplomats for a pre-publication read of a column. Soros apparently was one of those few.'' In a 2016 New York Review of Books essay, Soros advocated ''surge'' funding to deal with the European refugee crisis. ''The refugee crisis poses an existential threat to Europe. It would be irresponsible to allow the EU to disintegrate without utilizing all the resources it has at its disposal,'' wrote Soros.
In concluding his article, Solomon writes: ''Whatever political persuasion you hold, Soros's election-year contacts at State speak volumes about the fact that big-money access to those in power is a bipartisan phenomenon.''
From that premise, apparently, diGenova decided that Soros controlled the State Department, or at least a ''very large'' chunk of it. As Nadine Epstein writes in a short biography, Soros survived the Nazi occupation of Hungary '-- where he was born '-- and bolted to England in 1947, having experienced both Nazi and communist rule. Migration and refugee policy have been animating interests of Soros ever since. His Open Society Foundations has also funded government accountability efforts worldwide and has contributed 17 percent ($289,285) of Ukrainian anti-corruption group AntAC's funding through the end of 2018, according to the Wall Street Journal. In a CNN interview, Trump's personal llawyer Rudy Giuliani, teller of far-fetched Ukrainian tales, said, ''George Soros has a not-for-profit called AntAC.''
Biographical facts and the like, though, are scarcely necessary to diagnose diGenova's outburst for what it is: Stripped-down anti-Semitism. Here's a tweet from Jonathan Greenblatt of the Anti-Defamation League:
In his letter to Scott, Gaspard '-- in addition to requesting a retraction and diGenova's banning '-- also recommended an apology to the State Department and the FBI. ''This is beyond rhetorical ugliness, beyond fiction, beyond ludicrous,'' wrote Gaspard. "It's patently untrue; it is not even possible. This is McCarthyite. On behalf of Mr. Soros, founder and chairman of the Open Society Foundations, which I lead, I ask you what attorney Joseph Welch asked of Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy, in one of the darkest chapters in this country's history: ''At long last, have you left no sense of decency?''
The Erik Wemple Blog has asked Fox News/Fox Business for a comment and has not heard back.
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We haven't had a bona fide 'White House press secretary' for months. How about 'Special Envoy to Fox News'?
Impeachment inquiry against Donald Trump - Wikipedia
Sun, 17 Nov 2019 07:01
Previous efforts for impeachment Efforts to impeach President Trump have been made by various people and groups,[33][34] and talk of impeachment began even before Trump took office.[35] Formal efforts were initiated by Representatives Al Green and Brad Sherman, both Democrats (D), in 2017, the first year of his presidency.[36][37][38] A December 2017 resolution of impeachment failed in the then''Republican-led House by a 58''364 vote margin.[39]
Democrats gained control of the House following the 2018 elections and launched multiple investigations into Trump's actions and finances.[40][41] On January 17, 2019, new accusations involving Trump surfaced, claiming he instructed his long-time lawyer, Michael Cohen, to lie under oath surrounding Trump's involvement with the Russian government to erect a Trump Tower in Moscow.[42] This also sparked requests for an investigation and for the president to "resign or be impeached" should such claims be substantiated.[43]
The Mueller Report, released on April 18, 2019, reached no conclusion as to whether Trump had committed criminal obstruction of justice.[44] Special Counsel Robert Mueller strongly hinted that it was up to Congress to make such a determination. Congressional support for an impeachment inquiry increased as a result.[45] Speaker Nancy Pelosi initially resisted calls for impeachment.[46] In May 2019, she indicated that Trump's continued actions, which she characterized as obstruction of justice and refusal to honor congressional subpoenas, might make an impeachment inquiry necessary.[47][48] An increasing number of House Democrats and a then-Republican, Justin Amash (who later became an independent), were requesting such an inquiry.[49]
As of September 2019[update], the following resolutions had been introduced in the 116th Congress regarding possible impeachment:
H. Res. 13 (alleging interference with the Mueller investigation) introduced on January 3, 2019, by Representative Sherman (D-California)[50]'--immediately referred to the Judiciary Committee and to Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties on February 4, 2019.[51]H. Res. 257 (which would launch an impeachment inquiry with no specific allegations) introduced on March 27, 2019, by Representative Rashida Tlaib (D-Michigan)[52]'--referred to the Rules Committee.[53]H. Res. 396 (which names 19 areas of inquiry) introduced on May 22, 2019, by Representative Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas)[54]'--referred to the Rules Committee.[55]H. Res. 498 (which alleges Trump is unfit for office due to racist comments) introduced on July 17, 2019, by Representative Green (D-Texas)[56]'--a privileged resolution which was blocked from proceeding by a vote of 332''95.[57][58][59]Fewer than 20 Representatives in the House supported impeachment by January 2019, but this number grew after the Mueller Report was released in April and after Mueller testified in July, up to around 140 Representatives before the Trump''Ukraine scandal began.[60]
Trump''Ukraine scandal Whistleblower complaint dated August 12, 2019, regarding a July 25 phone conversation between Trump and Zelensky
Memorandum of the call between Trump and Zelensky released by the White House on September 25, 2019
From May to August 2019, Trump and his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani pressed the Ukrainian government to investigate business activities of Hunter Biden,[61] the son of 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden,[62][63][64][65][66] who had taken a board seat on Ukrainian natural gas company Burisma Holdings.[67][68] Despite the allegations, as of September 2019, there has been no evidence produced of any wrongdoing by the Bidens.[69][70][71][72][73] As early as May 2019, Amos Hochstein, a former diplomat and a member of Naftogaz's supervisory board, alerted the National Security Council (NSC) staff that Rudy Giuliani and Gordon Sondland's pressure tactics, carried out in part by two Florida businessmen and associates of Giuliani, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, were rattling Ukraine president Zelensky.[74]
The whistleblower report centered around one instance of such pressure that had occurred in a July 25 phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, in which Trump mentioned two investigations he wanted to see Ukraine launch.[10][75] One of these would concern allegations that connected the American cybersecurity technology company CrowdStrike to Ukrainian actors supposedly interfering in the 2016 election.[76][77] Trump had been repeatedly told by aides that Ukraine did not interfere in the 2016 election, but refused to accept these assurances.[78] The theory, which originated on 4chan in 2017, has been spread by blogs, social media, and Fox News.[79] The other requested investigation concerned Joe Biden, former U.S. Vice President and a candidate for the 2020 presidential election, and the Ukrainian business dealings of his son Hunter Biden.[10][15][80] At the time of the inquiry, Joe Biden was the leading candidate in Democratic Party primary polling, according to poll aggregators, making him Trump's most likely 2020 election opponent.[81] On July 18, 2019, Trump had placed a hold on military aid to Ukraine[82] while "providing no explanation".[83] Trump lifted the hold September 11.[83]
On September 25, the White House released a non-verbatim memorandum of Trump's conversation with Zelensky following a promise to do so the previous day;[84][85] on the same day, the whistleblower complaint was released to Congress.[86] Trump did not mention the hold in his conversation with Zelensky, but he repeatedly pointed out that the United States has been "very very good" to Ukraine, with which Zelensky agreed. Zelensky then expressed interest in obtaining more U.S. missiles, to which Trump replied "I would like you to do us a favor though" and brought up his request for investigations.[87] The memorandum of the conversation confirmed the allegations by the first whistleblower that Trump had requested investigations into Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden, as well as a conspiracy theory involving a Democratic National Committee server, while repeatedly urging Zelensky to work with Giuliani and Barr on these matters.[22][23]
Democratic candidate for president Elizabeth Warren described this sentence as a "smoking gun" suggesting a quid pro quo.[87] Prominent Democrats, including Senators Robert Menendez and Chris Murphy, suggested that the hold may have been intended to implicitly or explicitly pressure the Ukrainian government to investigate Hunter Biden.[88] Former Ukrainian presidential advisor Serhiy Leshchenko said it was made a "clear fact" that Ukraine's communication with the United States was dependent on discussing a future investigation into the Bidens,[89] while another anonymous Ukrainian lawmaker said Trump attempted to "pressure" and "blackmail" them into accepting a "quid pro quo" agreement based upon cooperation.[90]
Rudy Giuliani and his business associates In 2018, Fruman and Parnas had hired Guiliani as a consultant in their security company, paying him $500,000. In turn, Fruman and Parnas assisted him in his search in Ukraine for damaging information about Trump's political opponents.[91][92] Giuliani sent the two to Ukraine to seek information to undermine the Special Counsel's investigation and damage Biden's presidential campaign.[93]
At the same time, Fruman and Parnas were being paid by Dmytro Firtash, a Ukrainian oligarch, with alleged ties to Russian organized crime and the Kremlin, who is facing federal bribery charges in the U.S. and is fighting extradition from Austria.[92] Firtash also hired Joseph diGenova and Victoria Toensing, a husband and wife team of attorneys with ties to Giuliani and Trump and who frequently appear on Fox News to promote conspiracy theories related to Ukraine.[94][95] DiGenova and Toensing met with Attorney General William Barr and other Justice Department officials in failed attempt to convince the prosecutors to drop the charges against Firtash.[96][97]
Fruman and Parnas were arrested at Washington Dulles International Airport on October 9, 2019, on campaign finance-related charges brought by federal prosecutors in New York City.[98][91]
Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky with Donald Trump in New York City on September 25, 2019
On September 20, Roman Truba, head of the Ukraine State Bureau of Investigations, told The Daily Beast that his agency had not investigated the Biden''Burisma connection and there were no signs of illegality there. Anton Herashchenko, a senior advisor to the Ukraine interior minister, told The Daily Beast that Ukraine will open such an investigation if there is an official request, along with details of why an investigation is needed and what to look for; Trump's requests had come through unofficial representatives such as Giuliani.[99]
Ukrainian foreign minister Vadym Prystaiko told a Ukrainian news outlet on September 21: "I know what the [phone] conversation was about and I think there was no pressure. This conversation was long, friendly, and it touched on many questions, sometimes requiring serious answers."[100] Prystaiko was also quoted as saying: "I want to say that we are an independent state, we have our secrets."[100] On September 22, Senator Murphy said Zelensky told him he had no intention to get involved with an American election.[101]
In an interview released on September 24, Ukrainian diplomat and politician Valentyn Nalyvaichenko told The Daily Beast that Ukrainian authorities would be reopening corruption investigations into multiple individuals and organizations including, potentially, Burisma, Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, TV host Larry King, and former prosecutor Yuriy Lutsenko. King was suspected of having received slush fund payments recorded in the "black ledger" that also named Manafort. Nalyvaichenko accused Lutsenko of having been in communication with associates of Trump "for vindictive purposes".[102]
Trump and Zelensky held a joint press conference at the United Nations the same day the transcript of their phone call was released. Zelensky told reporters: "We had I think good phone call. It was normal. We spoke about many things. So, I think, and you read it, that nobody pushed me."[103][104][105] The next day, Zelensky said President Trump had not pressured anyone nor made any promises, and that the Prosecutor General Ruslan Riaboshapka would investigate all domestic cases without prejudice.[106] On September 30, Zelensky made it clear that he was not going to interfere with the intra-American party confrontation.[107] Subsequently, at an all-day press conference on October 10, Zelensky said that he learned about the blockage of the military aid only after the July 25 phone call. "We didn't speak about this. There was no blackmail."[108][109]
The New York Times reported on October 3 that Sondland, U.S. Ambassador to the European Union, and Kurt Volker, U.S. Special Envoy to Ukraine, had in August drafted a statement for Zelensky to sign that would commit Ukraine to investigate Burisma, the company that Hunter Biden worked for, as well as the conspiracy theory that Ukraine interfered with the 2016 election to benefit Hillary Clinton.[110]
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said on September 13, 2019, that he had issued a subpoena to Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire, as Maguire had failed to release a whistleblower's complaint filed under the Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act on August 12 to the congressional intelligence committees, as was arguably required by the relevant statute. Schiff argued that he had concerns that the complaint might have been withheld from Congress "in an unlawful effort to protect the President and conceal from the Committee information related to his possible 'serious or flagrant' misconduct, abuse of power, or violation of law".[111][112]
On September 22, shortly after the public had become aware of the existence of a whistleblower, Trump acknowledged that he had discussed Joe Biden during a call with Zelensky on July 25. Trump said, "The conversation I had was largely congratulatory, was largely corruption, all of the corruption taking place, was largely the fact that we don't want our people like Vice President Biden and his son creating [sic] to the corruption already in Ukraine."[113] Trump denied that his hold on military aid for Ukraine was linked to the Ukrainian government's refusal to investigate the Hunter Biden controversy, while also saying that withholding aid for this reason would have been ethically acceptable if he had done it.[114] On September 26, 2019, Trump accused the person who provided the whistleblower with information of the call of being a "spy" and guilty of treason, before noting that treason is punishable by death.[115][116][117] As a result of Trump's comments, the whistleblower's lawyers said their client feared for his or her safety.[69]
Two people close to Trump told The New York Times that the behavior in the scandal was "typical" of his "dealings on the phone with world leaders", e.g. engaging in flattery, discussing mutual cooperation, and bringing up a personal favor which then could be delegated.[118] In an interview, Giuliani defended Trump, calling the president's request of the Ukrainian president "perfectly appropriate," while also indicating that he himself may have made a similar request to Ukrainian officials.[119] A second whistleblower, who is also an intelligence official, came forward on October 5 with "first-hand knowledge of allegations" associated with the phone call between Trump and Zelensky, according to the lawyer representing both whistleblowers.[120]
Further revelations President Trump states on October
3, 2019, that "China should start an investigation into the Bidens."
[121]On September 27, 2019, the White House confirmed an allegation by the first whistleblower that a record of the call between Trump and Zelensky was sealed in a highly classified system, as per the advice of National Security Council lawyers.[20][21] This came alongside media reports that the White House had used the most highly classified computer system to store memorandums of conversations with the leaders and officials of countries including Ukraine, Saudi Arabia and Russia. Administration officials had began storing these transcripts into this system after Trump's conversations with Australia's prime minister Malcolm Turnbull and Mexico's president Enrique Pe±a Nieto leaked earlier in 2017.[122] This was seen by critics and the media as a deliberate attempt to hide potentially damaging information.[123] Also on September 27, it was reported that Trump had told Russian officials in 2017 that he was unconcerned about Russian interference in U.S. elections.[124][125]
On October 3, after stating that the United States has "tremendous power" and "many options" in the trade war with China "if they don't do what we want", Trump was asked by a reporter on what he hoped Zelensky would do after his phone call. Trump responded by publicly urging both Ukraine and China to investigate the Bidens.[18][121]
Soon after the release of the Mueller report, Trump began urging an investigation into the origins of the Russia probe, wanting to "investigate the investigators" and possibly discredit the conclusions of the FBI and Mueller.[126] In April 2019, Attorney General Barr announced that he had launched a review of the origins of the FBI's investigation,[127][128] even though the origins of the probe were already being investigated by the Justice Department's inspector general and by U.S. attorney John Huber, who had been appointed to the same task in 2018 by then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions.[129] Barr assigned U.S. Attorney John Durham to lead the probe,[130] and Trump directed the American intelligence community to "promptly provide assistance and information" to Barr, and delegated to him the "full and complete authority" to declassify any related documents.[126][131] Although Durham was nominally in charge of the investigation, Barr himself began contacting foreign governments to ask for information about the origins of the FBI probe. Barr personally traveled to the United Kingdom and Italy to seek information; Italy's parliament is expected to begin its own investigation into Barr's meetings with Italian secret services.[132] At Barr's request, Trump himself phoned the prime minister of Australia, Scott Morrison, to ask for assistance.[133][134]
On the evening of September 24, 2019, Pelosi announced that six committees of the House of Representatives would undertake a formal impeachment inquiry into President Trump. Pelosi accused Trump of betraying his oath of office, U.S. national security, and the integrity of the country's elections.[14][15][16] The six committees charged with the task are the committees on Financial Services, the Judiciary, Intelligence, Foreign Affairs, Oversight and Reform, and Ways and Means.[135]
Maguire, who had delayed the whistleblower complaint from reaching Congress, testified publicly before the House Intelligence Committee on September 26, 2019.[136] Maguire defended his decision not to immediately forward the whistleblower complaint to Congress and explained that he had consulted the White House Counsel and the Office of Legal Counsel at the Justice Department but was unable to determine whether the document was protected by executive privilege. Democrats on the committee questioned his actions, arguing that the law demands that he "shall" forward such complaints to the committee. Maguire countered that the situation was unique since the complaint involves communications of the president. Members of the Intelligence Committee also asked the director why he chose to consult with White House lawyers when he was not required to do so by law, to which he responded that he believed "it would be prudent to have another opinion".[137]
In a private conference call with Democratic lawmakers on September 29, 2019, Pelosi explained how three of these House committees will begin investigating the President's alleged abuse of power. The Intelligence Committee will focus on the contents of the whistleblower complaint and whether the complaint may have been wrongfully hidden from Congress, while the Foreign Affairs Committee will focus on interactions the State Department may have had with the President's personal attorney Giuliani, and the Oversight and Reform Committee will investigate whether White House classification systems were used to secure potentially damaging records of phone calls between the President and leaders of various countries around the world.[138]
Requests for evidence and White House refusal Letter from White House Counsel to the Speaker and committee chairs stating that the Trump administration will not participate in the House's "partisan and unconstitutional" inquiry
On September 27, 2019, a subpoena was issued by the House to obtain documents Secretary of State Mike Pompeo refused to release earlier. Said documents include several interactions between Trump, Giuliani, and Ukrainian government officials. The documents are requested to be filed with the involved committees probing the issue; the failure to do so "shall constitute evidence of obstruction of the House's impeachment inquiry," as stated in a letter written to Pompeo.[139] The subpoena comes after several requests by the House to receive the documents from the Secretary which he did not fulfill. Several members of the House involved with the impeachment inquiry sent him subsequent letters stating that they will be meeting with members of the State Department who may provide further information.[140][141] The following week, a subpoena was also issued to Giuliani for production of documents.[142]
On October 4, 2019, the House Intelligence Committee issued subpoenas both to the White House and to Vice President Mike Pence for documents related to the whistleblower complaint.[143] Among the White House documents requested include audio tapes, transcripts, notes, and other White House documents related to the whistleblower controversy.[144]
On October 8, 2019, the White House announced that it would cease all cooperation with the investigation in a letter from White House Counsel Pat Cipollone to Speaker Pelosi and the three committee chairmen conducting the impeachment investigation.[145] In the letter Cipollone said the investigation "violates the Constitution, the rule of law, and every past precedent"[146] and that "The President cannot allow your constitutionally illegitimate proceedings to distract him and those in the Executive Branch."[147] The letter went on to say "[the investigation's] unprecedented actions have left the President with no choice. In order to fulfill his duties to the American people, the Constitution, the Executive Branch, and all future occupants of the Office of the Presidency, President Trump and his Administration cannot participate in your partisan and unconstitutional inquiry under these circumstances."[148] House Speaker Nancy Pelosi responded to the letter saying "The White House should be warned that continued efforts to hide the truth of the president's abuse of power from the American people will be regarded as further evidence of obstruction."[149]
Giuliani's attorney, Jim A. Sale, sent a letter to the House Intelligence Committee on October 15, 2019, stating that Giuliani will not hand over documents subpoenaed by the committee. Citing attorney''client and executive privilege, the letter characterized the subpoena as "beyond the scope of legitimate inquiry".[150]
Subpoenas for documents Requests and subpoenas to appear NamePositionDeadline dateStatus of complianceJoseph MaguireActing Director of National Intelligence'--Testified on September 26, 2019, before the House Intelligence Committee[158]Steve LinickState Department Inspector General'--Met with Congress on October 2, and shared conspiracy-theory documents Giuliani had previously sent to the FBI[159]Marie YovanovitchFormer United States Ambassador to UkraineOctober 2, 2019Deposed on October 11[160]Kurt VolkerFormer U.S. Special Envoy to UkraineOctober 3, 2019Deposed on October 3; returned for additional questioning on October 16[161]Michael AtkinsonIntelligence Community Inspector General'--Deposed on October 4[159]George KentDeputy Assistant SecretaryOctober 7, 2019Blocked from appearing on October 7;[159] deposed on October 15[162][163]Lev ParnasBusinessman, associate of Rudy GiulianiOctober 11, 2019Arrested on October 9 at Dulles Airport and charged with alleged federal campaign finance-related crimes in New York[91]Igor FrumanBusinessman, associate of Rudy GiulianiOctober 11, 2019Fiona HillFormer White House Russia adviser'--Deposed on October 14[164]Semyon KislinBusinessman, associate of Rudy GiulianiOctober 14, 2019Reached "an understanding" with committees and is cooperating, according to his attorney[165]Michael McKinleySenior adviser to Secretary Pompeo'--Deposed on October 16, 2019[166]Gordon SondlandUnited States Ambassador to the European UnionOctober 16, 2019First subpoenaed to appear by October 10; deposed on October 17[167]Bill TaylorU.S. Charg(C) d'affaires to Ukraine'--Deposed on October 22, 2019[168]Laura CooperDeputy Assistant Secretary of Defense'--Was initially expected to appear on October 18, 2019;[168] deposed on October 23[169][170]Philip T. ReekerActing Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs'--Deposed on October 26, 2019[171]Charles KuppermanFormer Deputy National Security AdvisorOctober 28, 2019Was expected to appear on October 28, 2019; refused, pending court ruling;[172] subpoena withdrawn on November 6[173]Alexander VindmanNational Security Council director for European Affairs'--Deposed on October 29, 2019[174][175][176]Catherine CroftNational Security Council staff'--Deposed on October 30, 2019[177]Kathryn L. WheelbargerActing Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs'--Was expected to appear on October 30, 2019[176]Tim MorrisonNational Security Council Senior Director for Europe and Russia'--Deposed on October 31, 2019[178]John EisenbergDeputy Counsel to the President for National Security Affairs'--Subpoenaed on November 1 for appearance; refused to appear through counsel[179][180]Michael DuffeyAssociate Director for National Security ProgramsNovember 5, 2019Did not appear voluntarily on October 23, 2019; given a subpoena on October 25, 2019[181]Ulrich BrechbuhlCounselor of the State DepartmentNovember 6, 2019Did not appear voluntarily on October 8, 2019; given a subpoena on October 25, 2019[181]Russell VoughtActing Director of the Office of Management and BudgetNovember 6, 2019Did not appear voluntarily on October 25, 2019; given a subpoena that day[181]David HaleUnder Secretary of State for Political Affairs'--Deposed on November 6, 2019[182]Jennifer WilliamsForeign Service Officer'--Deposed on November 7, 2019[183]David HolmesCounselor for Political Affairs, Ukraine'--Scheduled on November 15, 2019[184]Mark SandyOffice of Management and Budget Deputy Assoc. Director for National Security Programs'--Scheduled on November 16, 2019[185]Depositions Initial depositions were taken before the House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs, and Oversight committees, meeting jointly in a secure room, a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility in the basement of the United State Capitol.[186] Only members of the three committees (47 Republicans and 57 Democrats) were permitted to attend. Witnesses were questioned by staff lawyers, and committee members were allowed to ask questions, with equal time being given to Republicans and Democrats. Transcripts were expected to be released and public hearings to be held at some time in the future.[187] Transcripts began to be released in early November, and public hearings were scheduled to begin on November 13.[188]
On the morning of the Cipollone letter on October 8, 2019, Sondland had been scheduled to testify before the House regarding his involvement in the withholding of aid from the Ukraine. However, he was instructed not to attend at the last minute by the State Department upon Trump's command.[189]
Early depositions: October 11''17 Ambassador
Marie Yovanovitch's opening statement to her testimony before three House committees, October 11, 2019
Marie Yovanovitch, the former ambassador to Ukraine, testified on October 11 in defiance to the White House although she remains an employee of the U.S. State Department. Yovanovitch told House committees that she was "incredulous" at having been dismissed in May.[190] She described the State Department as "attacked and hollowed out from within."[190] Yovanovitch testified that she had never met or spoken with Hunter Biden and that Joe Biden had never raised the subject of his son or the Ukrainian gas firm that employed him.[191] During his July 25 phone call with Zelensky, Trump called Yovanovitch "bad news" and mentioned that "[s]he's going to go through some things".[192][193]
A former adviser to the president on Russian affairs, Fiona Hill, testified before congressional investigators on October 14, 2019.[194] She told the House committees that Giuliani circumvented State Department officials and diplomats, and that she had confronted Ambassador Sondland, who was assisting Giuliani in his efforts to pressure Ukraine into beginning investigations that would personally benefit Trump. After a meeting in which Sondland announced that there were "[Ukrainian] investigations that were dropped [and] need to be started up again" and under instruction from John Bolton (the National Security Advisor from April 2018 to September 2019), Hill expressed her and Bolton's concerns about Giuliani's activities to John Eisenberg, an attorney for the National Security Council.[9][195] Hill testified that she, Bolton, Volker, Energy Secretary Rick Perry,[9] and two Ukrainian officials,[195] were at that meeting on July 10, 2019,[196] and that Bolton was furious after the meeting when he told her he was "not part of whatever drug deal Sondland and Mulvaney are cooking up."[197][195] Hill told the committees that Giuliani was running a rogue foreign policy while informing the president's official advisers but leaving them powerless to stop it.[195] When she confronted Sondland, who she believed was involved in affairs outside his position's purview, he claimed that, according to Trump, he was in charge of Ukraine matters.[195]
George Kent, Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs, appeared before the House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight committees on October 15, 2019.[198] Kent is the second current State Department official to defy White House instructions and comply with House subpoenas to testify before the committees.[199] According to Representative Gerry Connolly (D-Virginia), Kent testified that, during a meeting at the White House on May 23 organized by Mulvaney,[200] Sondland, Volker, and Perry, who called themselves the "three amigos",[162][163] had declared that they were now responsible for Ukrainian affairs.[201] Connolly also said that Kent testified that he had been directed to "lay low" and to focus on foreign relations with the five other countries in his purview.[162]
Gordon Sondland's opening statement to his testimony before three House committees, October 17, 2019
A former senior adviser to Secretary Pompeo, Michael McKinley, testified on October 16, 2019, after having resigned from his position the previous week.[202][203] McKinley testified that he had resigned from his position out of frustration with the Trump administration and that the recall of Ambassador Yovanovitch was the "last straw".[204] In his opening remarks, he said "[t]he timing of my resignation was the result of two overriding concerns: the failure, in my view, of the State Department to offer support to Foreign Service employees caught up in the impeachment inquiry on Ukraine and, second, by what appears to be the utilization of our ambassadors overseas to advance a domestic political objective."[204][166] McKinley said he was "disturbed by the implication that foreign governments were being approached to procure negative information on political opponents".[166]
Before appearing in front of three House committees on October 17, 2019, Ambassador Sondland publicly released his opening remarks.[167] He testified that Trump had refused to meet with the Ukrainian president without preconditions and that, in a May 23 meeting, State Department officials were directed to work with Giuliani to address Trump's "concerns" about the Ukrainian government.[205] Sondland claimed he was ignorant of Giuliani's intentions and had no choice but to work with the president's personal attorney. According to The New York Times, this conflicts with previous testimony given during the inquiry in which other State Department officials testified that Sondland was "a willing participant who inserted himself into Ukraine policy even though the country is not in the purview of his posting, and was a key player in [Trump]'s efforts to win a commitment from the new Ukrainian government to investigate his political rivals."[205] The Washington Post also disputes this claim, asserting that it conflicts with the known timeline of events. According to The Washington Post, "In the weeks leading up to that May 23 White House briefing, Giuliani's and even Trump's interest in spotlighting the Bidens' actions in Ukraine were hardly a secret."[206]
Bill Taylor Ambassador
Bill Taylor's opening statement to his testimony before three House committees, October 22, 2019
On October 22, 2019, Bill Taylor, the United States' senior diplomatic official in Ukraine, testified to Congressional investigators. Taylor testified that he had learned in mid-July 2019 that a potential White House meeting between Trump and Zelensky "was conditioned on the investigations of Burisma and alleged Ukrainian interference in the 2016 U.S. elections", and that he later was told, in September 2019, that U.S. military aid to Ukraine was also dependent on such investigations'--including into the Bidens.[4][207][208]
Taylor testified that other than the "regular, formal diplomatic processes" to Ukraine led by himself, there was a "highly irregular", "informal channel of U.S. policy-making" with regard to Ukraine. The informal channel began in May 2019, being "guided" by Rudy Giuliani, and also involving Kurt Volker, Gordon Sondland and Rick Perry. Taylor said that by August 2019 he had realized the informal channel "was running contrary to the goals of longstanding U.S. policy", while the formal channel wanted "a strong U.S.''Ukraine partnership". According to Taylor, the informal channel had "driven" the idea of a White House meeting between the presidents being conditional on the investigations.[209][210]
Taylor noted that for a June 2019 call between himself, Zelensky, Sondland, Volker and Perry, Sondland had said "he did not wish to include most of the regular interagency participants" and that "he wanted to make sure no one was transcribing or monitoring". As for Trump's July 2019 call with Zelensky, Taylor said he did not receive any report regarding the call from the White House even though he was scheduled to meet Zelensky a day later.[209]
Taylor said he heard from National Security Council aide Tim Morrison that, on September 1, Sondland told Zelensky aide Andriy Yermak that the military aid to Ukraine was dependent on Zelensky's pursuit of the Burisma investigation. Taylor cited Sondland's telling him in a call that Trump wanted Zelensky to publicly announce he would order the two investigations, thus placing Zelensky "in a public box". Taylor quoted Sondland stating "everything" including military aid and a Trump''Zelensky meeting was contingent upon that announcement.[209][211]
According to Taylor, he wrote a first-person cable to Secretary Pompeo on the advice from Bolton: "I wrote and transmitted such a cable on August 29, describing the 'folly' I saw in withholding military aid to Ukraine at a time when hostilities were still active in the east and when Russia was watching closely to gauge the level of American support for the Ukrainian government. I told the secretary that I could not and would not defend such a policy." Taylor reported that Pompeo gave no reply to his cable.[209]
Republican protest and legal challenges On October 23, 2019, Laura Cooper, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia,[212] testified in closed session before three Congressional committees.[213] Cooper's testimony, originally scheduled for that morning, was delayed roughly five hours when a group of House Republicans led by Matt Gaetz (R-Florida) stormed the SCIF where impeachment inquiry committee meetings are being held,[214] and refused to leave, at one point ordering pizza.[215] The group protested what they asserted were secret Democratic hearings closed to Republicans,[216] although 48 Republicans who are members of the three committees jointly holding the hearings were entitled to attend the hearings and some had done so. Thirteen of those members participated in the protest.[217] Democrats responded with criticism over the interruption and accused the Republicans of violating the rules governing the SCIF, which prohibit cell phones in the area.[218] After the protest ended, Cooper completed her testimony which lasted approximately 3.5 hours.[219] She was expected to speak about how the process works for transferring military aid to Ukraine.[218] She is believed to have tried to get the aid released.[220] The next day it was revealed that her attorney had received a letter from the Pentagon telling her not to testify, citing an administration-wide policy against cooperating with the probe.[221]
The House Judiciary Committee asked to see secret grand jury information which had been used in compiling the Mueller Report. The Department of Justice refused to turn it over, arguing that secrecy of grand jury material must be preserved and that the impeachment inquiry was invalid. On October 25, 2019, Federal Judge Beryl A. Howell ruled that the inquiry is valid and that the Justice Department must forward the information to the committee within the week.[222] Justice Department attorneys had previously asserted that congressional investigators had "not yet exhausted [their] available discovery tools", arguments Howell said "smack of farce", as the administration had openly said it would stonewall the investigation. Some legal analysts noted that a White House counsel letter to Democratic leaders days earlier stating the administration would not cooperate with the impeachment inquiry'--which was widely derided as more of a political rather than a legal argument[223][224]'--may have backfired by contributing to Howell's rationale for her decision.[225]
Charles Kupperman, Trump's deputy national security advisor from January to September 2019, filed a lawsuit on October 25, 2019, in which he asked a federal judge to rule which conflicting order he should follow: a subpoena from the House or an order from the White House not to appear. His attorney said that as a private citizen Kupperman is not able to choose which directive to obey, adding that "Constitutional disputes between the Legislative and Executive Branches should be adjudicated by the Judicial Branch".[226][172] Hearings on the case were scheduled for December 2019.[227] The subpoena was withdrawn on November 6, but the judge indicated the case will go on.[228]
Alexander Vindman Alexander Vindman's opening statement to his testimony before three House committees, October 29, 2019
On October 29, 2019, the National Security Council's head of European Affairs, Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, testified before the House committees, stating he had overheard Trump's phone conversation with the Ukrainian President.[229][230] He had released his opening statement the day before.[231] Vindman testified: "In Spring of 2019, I became aware of outside influencers promoting a false and alternative narrative of Ukraine inconsistent with the consensus views of the interagency, [which was] harmful to U.S. national security [and also] undermined U.S. government efforts to expand cooperation with Ukraine."[232]
Vindman said that, additionally, he was concerned by two events, both to which he objected to senior officials in real time, and which he reported to the National Security Council's lead attorney. The first event occurred at a July 10 meeting between Ukraine's then Secretary of National Security and Defense Council Oleksandr Danlylyuk, and then U.S. National Security Advisor Bolton, at which Ambassadors Volker and Sondland, and Secretary Perry were in attendance. At the meeting, Sondland asked Ukraine to launch investigations into the Bidens in order to get a meeting with President Trump. Vindman states that Bolton cut the meeting short, and that both he and Fiona Hill told Ambassador Sondland his comments were inappropriate, and that he reported the concerns to the NSC's lead counsel.[233]
The second event occurred on a July 25 phone call between President Trump and Zelensky. Vindman states, "I was concerned by the call. I did not think it was proper to demand that a foreign government investigate a U.S. citizen, and I was worried about the implications for the U.S. government's support of Ukraine. I realized that if Ukraine pursued an investigation into the Bidens and Burisma, it would likely be interpreted as a partisan play which would undoubtedly result in Ukraine losing the bipartisan support it has thus far maintained. This would all undermine U.S. national security." Vindman also reported this event to Eisenberg, the NSC's lead counsel.[234] Vindman also testified that the "rough transcript" of the call released by the White House omitted crucial words and phrases, including Trump asserting recordings of Joe Biden discussing Ukraine corruption exist, which Trump stated in the third set of ellipses in the released transcript. Vindman said he had tried but failed to restore the full transcript.[235] A senior White House official had asserted when the transcript was released that the ellipses "do not indicate missing words or phrases," but rather "a trailing off of a voice or pause."[236] Trump had previously characterized the released transcript as "an exact word-for-word transcript of the conversation".[237]
Vindman also testified that the "rough transcript" of the July 25 phone call omitted President Zelensky stating the name Burisma (the natural gas company on whose board Hunter Biden sat), and substituted it with the phrase "the company that you mentioned in this issue".[238]
October 30''31 On October 30, 2019, Catherine Croft, a State Department Ukraine expert and NSC staff member testified. She noted in her opening statement that she was aware of Giuliani's communication with Volker, though she was not involved with those discussions, that former Republican lawmaker Bob Livingston repeatedly called her to promote the removal of Ambassador Yovanovitch. She added: "On July 18, I participated in a sub-Policy Coordination Committee video conference where an OMB representative reported that the White House Chief of Staff, Mick Mulvaney, had placed an informal hold on security assistance to Ukraine. The only reason given was that the order came at the direction of the President."[177][239][240]
Christopher J. Anderson, a career Foreign Service officer who succeeded Croft as adviser to Volker, was also deposed the same day.[241][242] In his opening statement, Anderson said he and Volker had attempted to satisfy Giuliani while at same time assisting the Ukrainian government to fight corruption and build a relationship with the United States. However, their efforts repeatedly conflicted with Giuliani's.[242] Anderson confirmed that Bolton had concerns with Giuliani's involvement in Ukraine affairs, and that he had written a memo summarizing Bolton's concerns to share with other State Department officials including Kent.[242] Anderson also noted that he and several other State Department officials prepared a statement condemning the Russian military intervention in Ukraine after the 2018 attack on Ukrainian vessels in the Sea of Azov. However, the statement was blocked from publication by the White House.[241]
Tim Morrison, an official on the National Security Council, testified in a closed-door session on October 31. Morrison corroborated previous testimony by William Taylor, saying Taylor had been "accurate" on the "substance" of their conversations, but that there were two differences in the details, the first being a location of a meeting. Regarding the second difference, Morrison testified that in his September 1, 2019, conversation with Sondland, he learned that Sondland had proposed to Ukrainian presidential advisor Andriy Yermak that military aid to Ukraine was "conditioned on a public statement" by the new Ukrainian prosecutor general's reopening an investigation into Burisma. (Taylor's testimony was that Zelensky should make the announcement.)[243][244][245][246] Morrison also discussed the July 2019 Trump''Zelensky call, having listened to the call himself. He told lawmakers he "promptly" brought concerns about the call to White House lawyers because he worried a summary would be leaked with negative consequences, but he said he did not necessarily think anything illegal was discussed.[243][247]
White House officials refuse to be deposed Democrats had hoped to hear from four current White House officials on November 4, including John Eisenberg, deputy counsel to the president for National Security Affairs; Michael Ellis, senior associate counsel to the president; Robert Blair, a top aide to the chief of staff; and Brian McCormack, an official with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Like former deputy national security adviser Charles Kupperman, Blair is waiting for the courts to solve a conflict between the White House prohibition and a Congressional subpoena. The case is scheduled to be decided in December.[248][249]
Michael Duffey, OMB's associate director for National Security Programs, and acting OMB Director Russell Vought, did not appear for scheduled closed-door depositions on November 5 and 6, respectively. Ulrich Brechbuhl, Counselor of the State Department, defied the subpoena for November 6 and traveled to Europe with Pompeo instead.[250] Bolton has said he will not voluntarily testify on November 7, and he is expected to legally challenge a subpoena.[248]
November 6''8 On November 6, David Hale, the undersecretary of State for political affairs, testified for several hours on the subject of the ouster of Yovanovitch.[251] Jennifer Williams, a top aide to Vice President Pence who listened in on the July 25 call, testified on November 7.[252]
November 15''16 On November 15, David Holmes, an official who works at the US embassy in Ukraine was deposed. Holmes is an Aide to Bill Taylor, who just testified to a conversation he and two unnamed aides overheard between Sondland and Trump.[253]On November 16, OMB official Mark Sandy was deposed.[254]
Resolution to begin public hearings and release deposition transcripts Transcript of the deposition of Marie Yovanovitch on October 11, 2019, released on November 4, along with
excerptsTranscript of the interview of Michael McKinley on October 16, 2019, released on November 4, 2019, along with
excerptsTranscript of the interview of Gordon Sondland on October 17, 2019, released on November 5, along with an addendum added the previous day and
excerptsTranscript of the interview of Kurt Volker on October 3, 2019, released on November 5, along with
excerptsTranscript of the deposition of Bill Taylor on October 22, 2019, released on November 6, along with
excerptsTranscript of the interview of George Kent on October 15, 2019, released on November 7, along with
excerptsOn October 29, 2019, Representative Jim McGovern (D-Massachusetts) introduced a resolution (H. Res. 660), referred to House Rules Committee, which set forth the "format of open hearings in the House Intelligence Committee, including staff-led questioning of witnesses, and [authorization for] the public release of deposition transcripts."[255][256] It also proposed the procedures for the transfer of evidence to House Judiciary Committee as it considers articles of impeachment.[255][257] The resolution was debated in Rules Committee the next day and brought to a floor vote on October 31.[258] It was adopted with a vote of 232 to 196, with two Democrats and all Republicans voting against the measure.[259]
On November 4, 2019, two transcripts of the closed-door depositions, those of Ambassadors Yovanovitch and McKinley, were released by the three presiding House committees.[260][261][262] The transcripts revealed that Yovanovitch first learned, from Ukrainian officials in November or December 2018, of a campaign by Giuliani and Lutsenko to remove her from her post.[262] Yovanovitch also testified that the U.S. embassy in Ukraine denied a visa application from the former Ukrainian prosecutor Viktor Shokin "to visit family" in the U.S. Although the application was simply denied because of his corrupt dealings in Ukraine, the ambassador later learned he had lied on his application and that the true purpose of the visit was to meet with Giuliani and "provide information about corruption at the embassy, including my [alleged] corruption", she told the committees. Giuliani lobbied the assistant secretary for consular affairs, conceding the true purpose of Shokin's planned visit to the U.S. The State Department meanwhile remained silent while she faced public attacks in an attempt to recall her to the U.S.[262] Yovanovitch had been told by Sondland that showing support for the U.S. president may help prevent her dismissal but she chose not to heed the advice.[263][262]
McKinley, a former ambassador and later senior adviser to Secretary Pompeo, testified that he had three times advised the Secretary of State to defend Yovanovitch after the July 25 call in which Trump disparaged her became public knowledge. McKinley also said Kent was being pressured by State Department lawyers to remain silent and that Kent feared the State Department was relaying inaccurate information to Congress.[262] McKinley told the committees: "To see the emerging information on the engagement of our missions to procure negative political information for domestic purposes, combined with the failure I saw in the [State Department] to provide support for our professional cadre in a particularly trying time, I think the combination was a pretty good reason to decide enough, that I had no longer a useful role to play".[261]
Transcripts of the depositions of Ambassadors Volker and Sondland were released on November 5, 2019.[264] The transcript of Sondland's deposition on October 17 included an addendum filed by the ambassador on November 4.[265] In the addendum, he said he had "refreshed [his] recollection" having now reviewed the testimonies of Taylor and Morrison which contradicted his original testimony. Sondland had originally claimed that he "never" believed there were any preconditions for the release of military aid to Ukraine and that he "was dismayed when it was held up," but "didn't know why."[266] In his new four-page sworn statement published along with the transcripts, Sondland confirmed that he had told President Zelensky's aid, Yermak, during a meeting on September 1, that the release of aid was predicated on the Ukrainian president committing to an investigation of Burisma.[266][267]
The transcript of Ambassador Taylor's deposition was also released on November 6. During his deposition on October 22, he described the campaign, led by Giuliani, to instigate investigations into the Bidens in Ukraine. Taylor said it was his "clear understanding, security assistance money would not come until the [Ukrainain] president committed to pursue the investigation".[268] The following day saw the release of Kent's testimony transcripts in which he said, "[President Trump] wanted nothing less than President Zelensky to go to a microphone and say investigations, Biden and Clinton".[269]
Following public release of the transcripts, Trump asserted they had been "doctored" by Schiff and encouraged Republicans to "put out their own transcripts!"[270]
On November 6, 2019, Chairman Schiff announced that the first public hearings of the impeachment inquiry would be held on November 13, beginning with Taylor and Kent.[29] The announcement added that Yovanovitch would testify in the second public hearing on November 15.[273] The White House appointed new aides, including Pam Bondi and Tony Sayegh, to work on communications during the inquiry.[274] House Republicans assigned Representative Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) to the House Intelligence Committee to participate in the hearings. Jordan replaced Representative Rick Crawford (R-Arkansas), who stepped down so Jordan could take his place.[275]
Per the House resolution adopted in October 2019, House Republicans can subpoena witnesses only with the concurrence of Democratic committee chairman or with approval of majority members.[276] The House Intelligence Committee ranking member, Representative Devin Nunes (R-California), in a November 9 letter, provided a list of eight witnesses from whom the minority party wished to hear, including Hunter Biden. In Schiff's decline of the request to hear from Biden, he said he would not allow Republicans to use the hearings to conduct "sham investigations".[277] Schiff also rejected Nunes's request to question the anonymous whistleblower, for the individual's safety and because subsequent evidence "not only confirms but far exceeds" the whistleblower's complaint, so "the whistleblower's testimony is therefore redundant and unnecessary".[278]
As public hearings approached, a staff memo to Republican members of the three relevant committees outlined the major themes they should pursue in Trump's defense. This includes focusing on the July 25 call summary which they allege "shows no conditionality or evidence of pressure" and that both Presidents Trump and Zelensky have said there was no pressure. The memo contended that any concerns Zelensky may have had about negative consequences of publicly acknowledging he felt pressure from Trump were unwarranted.[279] The memo also claims that the "Ukrainian government was not aware of a hold on U.S. security assistance" before the July 25 call. It also points out that "President Trump met with President Zelensky and U.S. security assistance flowed to Ukraine in September 2019'--both of which occurred without Ukraine investigating President Trump's political rivals."[280] The release of the Ukraine aid came two days after the House Intelligence Committee was notified of the whistleblower complaint and opened an investigation.[281] It was also two days after three House committees announced an investigation into Giuliani's activities in Ukraine.[282]
November 13: Kent and Taylor With live coverage on television, public hearings began at 10 am EST (15:00 UTC) on November 13, 2019, in which Kent and Taylor testified before House Intelligence Committee.[283] After opening statements from Chairman Schiff and ranking member Representative Nunes, Taylor and Kent read their openings statements. This was followed by questions from the Chairman and the majority counsel Daniel S. Goldman.[284]
According to data from Nielsen, the first day of hearings had 13,098,000 viewers tuning in on various cable and broadcast channels. This number does not count views from PBS, C-SPAN, or streaming sites such as YouTube.[285]
Taylor testified that the day after the Trump''Zelensky phone call, one of his aides, David Holmes, overheard Sondland speaking to Trump via cellphone in a Kyiv restaurant, hearing the president refer to "the investigations".[286] Another diplomat, Suriya Jayanti, also overheard the call. Holmes testified behind closed doors on November 15 that he heard Trump ask, "so, he's gonna do the investigation?" to which Sondland replied, "he's gonna do it", adding Zelensky would do "anything you ask him to". Holmes also testified that Sondland later told him that Trump "did not give a shit about Ukraine" and "only cared about the big stuff ... the big stuff that benefits the president like the Biden investigation that Mr. Giuliani was pushing."[287]
Analysts noted that the Sondland call itself constituted a major security breach, as it could have been intercepted by foreign intelligence services.[288]
November 15: Yovanovitch Marie Yovanovitch's testimony began at 9 am EST (14:00 UTC) and lasted for six hours.[289] She directly contradicted the Republican theory that Ukraine had tried to undermine Trump in the 2016 elections. She said that she had three contacts with Giuliani, not involving the current allegations, and did not know why he chose to attack and discredit her.[290] She said his allegations against her were false and that no one in the State Department believed them. She added that she was "shocked and devastated" when Trump disparaged her and said she was "going to go through some things" during his telephone call with Zelensky.[291]
During her testimony, Trump berated her on Twitter, questioning her competence and saying that the Ukrainian president spoke unfavourably about her.[292] Chairman Schiff informed Yovanovitch during the hearing, to which she said that that the tweet was "very intimidating".[293] Trump's behavior was labelled as witness intimidation.[292] Eric Swalwell, who participated in questioning Yovanovitch during the hearing, said that this could be laid out as a separate article of impeachment for the president, saying that "it's evidence of more obstruction".[294]
White House In the wake of the inquiry, the White House threatened to "shut down" all major legislation as political leverage.[295] Trump and his surrogates engaged in a misinformation campaign to discredit impeachment,[296] with Giuliani taking a lead role.[297] Efforts focused on attacking Joe Biden and his son[72] and attempting to discredit the whistleblower over their motivations and for making the complaint based on hearsay.[298]
On September 30, CNN, citing analysis by Laura Edelson at New York University's Tandon School of Engineering, reported that Trump and his reelection campaign had spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on Facebook advertisements to push for his defense. More than 1,800 ads on Trump's Facebook page that mentioned "impeachment" had run the week prior, and had been viewed between 16''18 million times on Facebook. The analysis indicates the campaign spent between $600,000 and $2 million on the ads, which reportedly attempted to rally and enlist people for the "Official Impeachment Defense Task Force". A further $700,000 is believed to have been spent for ads on Pence's Facebook page, which mirrored the content on Trump's.[299]
The White House officially responded to the impeachment proceedings in a letter from White House Counsel Pat Cipollone to House Speaker Pelosi that it would cease all cooperation with the investigation due to a litany of concerns, including that there had been no vote of the full House, and the secrecy of the proceedings. In the October 8 letter, the White House officially declined to cooperate with what they claimed was an illegitimate effort "to overturn the results of the 2016 election". The eight-page letter said the investigation "violates the Constitution, the rule of law, and every past precedent". House Speaker Nancy Pelosi responded to the letter: "The White House should be warned that continued efforts to hide the truth of the president's abuse of power from the American people will be regarded as further evidence of obstruction."[24][300][189][25][149]
During an October 17 press conference, White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said he "was involved with the process" of the freezing of military aid. Mulvaney gave his account of why Trump decided to hold back military aid to Ukraine. One, Trump felt the other European countries were not doing enough. Two, Trump felt Ukraine was a "corrupt place" which included having "corruption related to the DNC server" with regard to "what happened in 2016". As a result, reporter Jonathan Karl told Mulvaney "what you just described is a quid pro quo. It is: 'Funding will not flow unless the investigation into the Democratic server happens as well'." Mulvaney replied to Karl: "We do that all the time with foreign policy ... Get over it. There's going to be political influence in foreign policy." Later in the press conference, Mulvaney quoted a third reason on why military aid was frozen - they had yet to cooperate with a United States Justice Department investigation into alleged Ukrainian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.[26][301]
After media reports of these comments circulated, Republicans joined Trump's aides and legal counsel in distancing themselves from his remarks.[302][303] Later that same day, Mulvaney issued a statement criticizing the media for their coverage of his comments and denying his earlier remarks, reiterating there was "no quid pro quo" regarding the withheld aid and requests to investigate the Democrats' behavior during the 2016 election.[303][302][304]
Trump Donald Trump Twitter @realDonaldTrump "... If the Democrats are successful in removing the President from office (which they will never be), it will cause a Civil War like fracture in this Nation from which our Country will never heal." Pastor Robert Jeffress, @FoxNews
September 29, 2019[305]
Donald Trump Twitter @realDonaldTrump So some day, if a Democrat becomes President and the Republicans win the House, even by a tiny margin, they can impeach the President, without due process or fairness or any legal rights. All Republicans must remember what they are witnessing here '' a lynching. But we will WIN!
October 22, 2019[306]
Trump took to Twitter, attacking opponents and praising supporters.[307] He suggested that Representative Schiff, chairman of the Intelligence Committee, could be arrested for treason,[308] and that a Second American Civil War would occur if he were removed from office.[309] Trump also falsely described the impeachment inquiry as "a coup, intending to take away the power of [the] people, their vote, [and] their freedoms,"[310] and said the Democrats were "wasting everyone's time and energy on bullshit".[311] He compared the inquiry to lynching on his Twitter account, stating that "All Republicans must remember what they are witnessing here '' a lynching! But we will WIN!"[312]
Trump told supporters at a private event on September 26 that the whistleblower's actions were close to that of a spy, saying, "You know what we used to do in the old days when we were smart? Right? The spies and treason, we used to handle it a little differently than we do now." The remarks were recorded and reported by the Los Angeles Times and interpreted as implying execution.[313][314] On September 30, Trump said "we're trying to find out" who the whistleblower was.[315]
On October 3, Trump told reporters that in addition to Ukraine, China should also investigate the Bidens.[316] Vice President Pence echoed his support later the same day.[317]
On November 6, Donald Trump Jr. tweeted a Breitbart News link purportedly revealing the name of the whistleblower.[318][319]
Whistleblowers and their lawyers Andrew P. Bakaj, the lead attorney representing the whistleblowers, sent a joint letter to Maguire on September 28, made public on September 29, in which they raised concerns about the language used by Trump, amongst other things. In the letter the lawyers state "The events of the past week have heightened our concerns that our client's identity will be disclosed publicly and that, as a result, our client will be put in harm's way." The letter also mentioned the $50,000 "bounty" that two conservative Trump supporters have offered as a reward for information about the whistleblower.[320]
Mark Zaid, co-counsel for the whistleblower, said in a statement in September 2019 that whistleblowers' identities are protected by law and cited testimony by Maguire which drew upon the Whistleblower Protection Act. The statement was released after Trump questioned on Twitter the validity of the whistleblower's statements.[321] Bakaj took to Twitter to issue a warning on September 30 that the whistleblower is entitled to anonymity, is protected by laws and policies, and is not to be retaliated against; to do so would violate federal law.[313] Bakaj argued in an October 25 Washington Post op-ed that the identity of his client is no longer pertinent after further events corroborated his client's account of the matter.[322]
On November 7 Bakaj sent a letter to the White House warning Trump to "cease and desist" calling for the public disclosure of the whistleblower's identity and "engaging in rhetoric and activity that places [the whistleblower] and their family in physical danger." The lawyer said the president would be legally and morally liable if anyone were to be "physically harmed as a result of his, or his surrogates', behavior."[323]
Kupperman v. House of Representatives of the U.S.A. et al. On October 25, 2019, Charles Kupperman, Trump's former deputy national security adviser, filed an advisory lawsuit, asking a D.C. federal judge to rule on whether he is lawfully obliged to comply with a subpoena he received from the House of Representatives. He said he will follow whatever the judge says.[172] He was scheduled to testify on October 28, but did not appear. On October 31, Judge Richard J. Leon scheduled a hearing for December 10.[citation needed ] On November 7 the House joint investigating committees dropped their subpoena of Kupperman, saying they no longer need his testimony and asking that they abide by the ruling in a similar lawsuit pending against Don McGahn.[324] Judge Leon indicated that the suit will go on anyway.[228]
On November 9, former national security advisor John Bolton, who had joined in the Kupperman lawsuit, had his lawyer send a proffer to the committees, saying he could supply much additional pertinent information the committee did not have.[325] White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney also attempted to join in the Kupperman lawsuit.[326] On November 11, Bolton's attorney filed a motion to block Mulvaney from joining the suit, arguing that Mulvaney had effectively waived immunity by acknowledging a quid pro quo in the Ukraine matter during an October 17 press briefing.[327] Kupperman also objected to Mulvaney's participation and the judge said he was inclined not to allow it, whereupon Mulvaney withdrew his request.[328]
Politicians Representative
John Lewis says on September 24, 2019, "The time to begin impeachment proceedings, against this president, has come."
A majority of House members voted in favor of initiation of the impeachment inquiry, including 231 Democrats, and one independent,[28][329] Justin Amash from Michigan,[330] who left the Republican Party on July 4, 2019, in the wake of his protests about holding Trump accountable.[331] Amash became a leading supporter of impeachment after the whistleblower report was released, saying the call script was a "devastating indictment of the president".[332]
Republicans have largely focused their complaints on the inquiry process, particularly on the use of closed-door hearings, which they allege are secret Democratic hearings closed to Republicans.[333] Forty-eight Republicans are members of the three committees jointly holding the hearings and thus are entitled to attend the hearings, and dozens have done so.[334][335] In response to Republican complaints, Chairman Schiff pointed out that past impeachment inquiries began with an investigation by an independent prosecutor appointed by the Justice Department'--the Watergate investigators in the case of Richard Nixon and the Whitewater prosecutors regarding Bill Clinton. "Unlike in past impeachment proceedings in which Congress had the benefit of an investigation conducted in secret by an independent prosecutor, we must conduct the initial investigation ourselves," Schiff said. "This is the case because the Department of Justice under Bill Barr expressly declined to investigate this matter after a criminal referral had been made."[336]
For impeachment inquiry A notable Republican critic of Trump is Senator Mitt Romney of Utah, who called Trump's actions "troubling in the extreme" and "wrong and appalling". Romney said it strained credulity to say Trump's actions were anything other than politically motivated.[337]
Phil Scott, the governor of Vermont,[338] became the first Republican governor to support the impeachment inquiry. Charlie Baker, the Republican governor of Massachusetts, also announced his support.[339] Republican Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan later announced his support for an inquiry, though clarifying he did not yet support impeachment itself.[340]
On October 18, John Kasich, former Ohio governor and a CNN political commentator since January 2019, publicly said President Trump should be impeached. Until this point, he had argued that there was not enough evidence to impeach the President.[341]
Against impeachment inquiry Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) criticized the whistleblower, calling the complaint hearsay and a sham.[342]
On October 3, 2019, House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy called on Pelosi to suspend the inquiry and requested answers to 10 questions before it moved forward.[343] Several Republican politicians, including Representative Jordan and former South Carolina Representative Trey Gowdy, who had been stout defenders of congressional oversight during the Obama Administration and the Investigation into the 2012 Benghazi attack, joined Trump's resistance to the investigation.[344]
On October 23, more than two dozen Republican members of the House'--led by Representative Gaetz and with Trump's prior knowledge and assent'--staged a protest against impeachment proceedings by entering the SCIF where a hearing was about to commence, some carrying cellphones in violation of security protocols.[345][346] The protest caused a five hour stand-off during which the House Sergeant at Arms was summoned to intervene.[347] Days earlier, Gaetz'--who is not a member of any of the three committees'--had entered the hearings and was instructed to leave after a parliamentarian ruling.[348]
On October 24, Senator Graham, chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee proposed a Senate resolution ( S. Res 378 ) condemning the closed door impeachment process[349][350] and urging the House to hold a formal vote to initiate the impeachment inquiry, which by October 28, 50 Republican senators cosponsored.[351][352] As of November 2019, only three Republican Senators, of the 53 in the Senate, Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Mitt Romney of Utah, declined to cosponsor the resolution opposing the impeachment process.[353][354]
Legal professionals and academics Historians and diplomats called the severity of the allegations "unprecedented" in American history.[355] A group of 17 former Watergate special prosecutors published an opinion piece in The Washington Post in which they said the public record contains prima facie evidence that Trump had committed impeachable acts.[356]
Some academics responded to tweets by Trump in which he quoted a longtime evangelical pastor who warned of a "civil war" if Democrats continued the inquiry. On Twitter, Harvard Law School professor John Coates cautioned that the tweet was an independent basis for impeachment as the sitting president was threatening civil war if Congress exercised its constitutionally authorized power.[357] A fellow faculty member of Harvard Law, Laurence Tribe, agreed but cautioned that, due to the typical tone of Trump's tweets, the statement could be interpreted as "typical Trumpian bloviating" that would not be taken seriously or literally.[358]
Academic historian Kevin Kruse took issue with Trump's assertion that the Democrats would be solely responsible if he were removed from office through the impeachment process. Kruse said that for the U.S. Senate to remove Trump from office, 20 Republicans would need to join the 45 Democrats and two Independents, and blaming only the Democrats was both "dangerous" and "dumb".[357]
USA Today ' s Supreme Court correspondent Richard Wolf published an overview of the opinions of various legal experts, including law professors. The University of Texas's Sanford Levinson says "nobody really knows" how to define the "high crimes and misdemeanors" of the Constitution's impeachment clause. According to Georgetown University's Randy Barnett, "The Constitution gets violated all the time. That doesn't make the violation of the Constitution a high crime or misdemeanor." Barnett further states that Trump's accusers "have been alleging impeachable offenses since before [he] took the oath of office". The University of Southern California's Orin Kerr says, "It's about abusing the office, not about violating a technical provision of a particular clause," and "[Trump is] taking care of himself, not taking care of the country."[359]
Deval Patrick Makes a Late Bid in the 2020 Presidential Campaign - The New York Times
Fri, 15 Nov 2019 06:22
Mr. Patrick, the former Massachusetts governor, entered the Democratic primary with less than three months to go before the Iowa caucuses.
Deval Patrick, center, filed to be on the primary ballot in New Hampshire at the State House in Concord on Thursday. Credit... Elizabeth Frantz for The New York Times CONCORD, N.H. '-- There is almost no campaign staff or ground operation. Some volunteers mobilized on one day's notice. The announcement video was not finished until the middle of the night, and an email with instructions for Day 1 was sent to a small inner circle at 2:48 a.m.
It may not have been pretty, but former Gov. Deval Patrick of Massachusetts began a self-acknowledged long-shot bid for the Democratic presidential nomination on Thursday, filing paperwork for the primary here less than three months before the votes will be cast.
''I recognize running for president is a Hail Mary under any circumstances,'' Mr. Patrick told reporters at the New Hampshire state house. ''This is a Hail Mary from two stadiums over.''
Mr. Patrick's entry comes as former New York City mayor Michael R. Bloomberg is also poised to join the field, developments that have jolted the race and highlighted the growing anxiety among some Democrats that the 18-person field is more rich in quantity than quality.
In different ways, Mr. Patrick and Mr. Bloomberg pose a threat to Joseph R. Biden Jr., challenging the former vice president for the moderate path to the nomination. Mr. Biden continues to lead in most national polling, but his status is less clear in early-voting states such as Iowa and New Hampshire, which has inspired restlessness among centrists desperate to thwart the progressive candidacies of Senators Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Bernie Sanders of Vermont.
All factions in the Democratic Party are united in the desire to defeat President Trump, but there remains little consensus on how best to do that. There is even less agreement over the best candidate as none of them have demonstrated broad appeal in a party torn across generational, racial and ideological lines. Ms. Warren and Mr. Sanders have promised policy-driven, transformational movements. Mr. Patrick positioned himself in a more traditional mold, a moderate espousing the rhetoric of unity.
''I think that there is a once-in-a-lifetime appetite to bring solutions big enough for the challenges we face,'' he said, ''but more than that, we must use those solutions to heal.''
Mr. Patrick sought to portray himself as an alternative to the leading candidates from both wings of the party. Of Mr. Biden, he said, ''The instinct that his campaign seems to have, that if we just get rid of the incumbent we can go back to normal '-- that misses the moment.''
Mr. Patrick said Ms. Warren was running the ''best'' and ''most disciplined'' campaign of the 2020 presidential candidates, but he predicted she would struggle to get her agenda enacted if elected '-- and that voters were looking for an alternative.
Staking out more moderate positions, he said he did not support ''Medicare for all,'' but did back a so-called public option; that he was in favor of eliminating or vastly reducing student debt but said that there were ''other strategies than we've heard about'' to do that.
He distanced himself from a wealth tax on the richest Americans, a focal point of Ms. Warren and Mr. Sanders candidacies.
''I don't think that wealth is the problem '-- I think greed is the problem,'' he said, adding that ''taxes should go up on the most prosperous and the most fortunate,'' but ''not as a penalty.''
He also said he thought that Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind., and Senators Kamala Harris of California and Cory Booker of New Jersey had the ''right message'' but had not gained traction with voters. ''I have a record of delivering,'' he said.
Skeptics said their campaigns should be a warning to Mr. Patrick. Ms. Harris and Mr. Booker have not yet broken through to black voters with an Obama-esque message of unity, even after months of campaigning and several nationally televised presidential debates.
Mr. Patrick and former President Barack Obama have been political allies for more than a decade and have remained friendly. In recent weeks, Mr. Obama has told people he thinks highly of Mr. Patrick but that his entry into the race was coming ''very late,'' according to two people who have spoken with the former president. Mr. Obama sees building a strong organization, especially in Iowa, as a kind of compulsory exercise for a serious candidate, these people said.
Discussing the race with Mr. Patrick, the former president covered the same talking points he had in his conversations with other candidates who have sought his counsel, according to a person with knowledge of their interaction: Campaign outside your political base, stay true to your beliefs and keep beating Mr. Trump in front of mind.
''He didn't ask for anybody's blessing,'' said Valerie Jarrett, the former senior adviser to Mr. Obama, referring to Mr. Patrick. Ms. Jarrett, who is friends with Mr. Patrick and publicly urged him to run last year, praised him as an ''outstanding leader'' but stopped short of offering an endorsement '-- taking care to note that he's entering ''an already strong Democratic field.''
Mr. Patrick's entry '-- and his targeting of Mr. Biden '-- will nevertheless surely test allies of Mr. Obama, as both candidates will claim to be an extension of the former president's legacy. Mr. Obama, a person close to him said, has spent more time offering assistance to Mr. Biden and his staff than other campaigns, but that was less as a sign of a preference for Mr. Biden's candidacy than his desire to offer personal support for a man he views with affection.
Still, Mr. Patrick, who considered joining the race last winter before deciding against it, faces daunting challenges. He must hire staff, build a fund-raising operation, meet the polling and donor thresholds necessary to make presidential debates and grow his name recognition in a few short months time.
Mr. Patrick only began changing his mind about running in the last week, according to Democrats familiar with his thinking. At least one person close to him did not know until last weekend when Mr. Patrick had summoned some of his advisers to a meeting.
The former governor began piecing together his own staff, which includes a strategist who worked for Beto O'Rourke's presidential campaign, Abe Rakov, who will be his campaign manager, and Rosy Gonzalez Speers, a former aide, who will serve in a senior capacity. During a conference call with donors and allies Thursday, Mr. Patrick misstated the name of Mr. Rakov, referring to him as ''Gabe,'' according to multiple people familiar with the call.
The bare-bones operation hastily put together his announcement video and in the early morning, just a few hours before the video would go live, Ms. Gonzalez Speers emailed a small group of her fellow Patrick alums.
''I know some of you are fielding a lot of incoming from people who want to help,'' she wrote, before promising that talking points were on the way and asking them to donate to the nascent campaign. ''Any amount helps,'' she wrote.
The electoral map provides some hope for Mr. Patrick. New Hampshire, which holds the first primary, is next door to the state he previously governed; in South Carolina, the fourth voting state, black voters are expected to make up a majority of the primary electorate.
However, Ms. Warren and Mr. Sanders also have New England ties. And as the third black candidate in the race, Mr. Patrick will also have to prove he can cut into Mr. Biden's sizable advantage with black voters, something Mr. Booker and Ms. Harris have not been able to accomplish even after 10 months of campaigning. Conversely, Mr. Patrick begins the race with scant name identification.
''Nobody has a lock on black voters,'' said Gilda Cobb-Hunter, a state lawmaker in South Carolina. ''But you need boots on the ground, some get-out-the-vote operation. So it'll depend on what he actually puts in place.''
Mr. Patrick, 63, served two terms as Massachusetts's first black governor, from 2007 to 2015. He grew up poor on Chicago's South Side, went to Harvard for undergraduate studies and law school and then worked for the N.A.A.C.P. Legal Defense and Educational Fund.
After leaving office in 2015, he joined Bain Capital, the private equity firm co-founded by Mitt Romney, who preceded Mr. Patrick as governor of Massachusetts. Mr. Patrick's association with Bain has started to draw fire from some liberal critics.
Mr. Patrick told The Boston Globe on Wednesday night that he had resigned from the company, effective that day. He defended the company after a question from reporters on Thursday.
''When I was co-chair of the Obama-Biden campaign in 2012, and there were all the attacks on Bain Capital on account of Mitt Romney,'' he said, ''I didn't buy it then, and I don't buy it now.''
Mr. Patrick's gubernatorial record will also likely come under scrutiny. As governor, he lost some progressive support for his repeated willingness to compromise, and he faced criticism that he was slow to respond to the opioid crisis.
His political barriers can also not be overstated. He has missed key filing deadlines in Alabama, Arkansas and Michigan, which could cost him critical delegates even if he catches fire among voters. He would not make next week's debate, and qualifying for the one in December will be difficult.
On Thursday, he formally filed for a spot on the New Hampshire primary ballot '-- one day before the deadline. His campaign announced upcoming stops in California, Nevada, Iowa and South Carolina.
Yet national recognition will be a problem. A touring student who saw Mr. Patrick leave the New Hampshire State House Thursday mistook him for Mr. Booker.
Astead W. Herndon reported from Concord; Jonathan Martin from Bossier City, La.; and Matt Stevens from New York. Glenn Thrush and Reid J. Epstein contributed reporting from Washington.
Elizabeth Warren blasts billionaires in campaign ad calling for wealth tax
Sun, 17 Nov 2019 10:14
Sen. Elizabeth Warren is launching a new attack on the billionaires who have criticized her proposed taxes and policies with a new ad set to air on CNBC this week, according to a campaign aide.
Titled "Elizabeth Warren Stands Up to Billionaires," the ad takes aim at longtime investor Leon Cooperman, former CEO of TD Ameritrade Joe Ricketts, former Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein and Silicon Valley investor Peter Thiel.
The ad will premiere Thursday on CNBC's "Squawk on the Street," which airs at 9 a.m. ET, and Jim Cramer's "Mad Money," which airs at 6 p.m. ET, in all New York and Washington, D.C., markets, the aide added. The ad will be part of a digital buy, as well.
Watch the ad here:
"In my opinion she represents the worst in politicians as she's trying to demonize wealthy people because there are more poor people then wealthy people," Cooperman told CNBC in a later interview. "As far as the accusations of insider trading, I won the case. She's disgraceful. She doesn't know who the f--- she's tweeting. I gave away more in the year than she has in her whole f----ing lifetime," he added.
Warren recently said she would double her previously proposed tax on billionaires as a way to pay for her "Medicare for All" plan.
A spokesman for CNBC declined to comment.
The ad is the latest salvo between Cooperman and Warren. The billionaire investor recently sent an open letter to Warren, in which he claimed her treatment of him was like "a parent chiding an ungrateful child."
She later fired back in a tweet where she defended her wealth tax plan and called for Cooperman to "pitch in more." Cooperman has since said in interviews with CNBC that Warren is "screwing around with the wrong guy" but that he's open to meeting with her.
Other business titans, including J.P. Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon, have taken on Warren for her attacks on the wealthy.
Her war with business leaders has led to her crafting a strong group of supporters that have propelled her in the polls.
After being behind the Democratic front-runner, former Vice President Joe Biden, by at least 30 points in May, she has surged to being only six points from catching up to his lead, according to a Real Clear Politics polling average.
Her criticism has sent shockwaves through the wealthy donor class within the Democratic Party. Wall Street financiers have privately been signaling to party leaders they will either sit out or back President Donald Trump if she were to become the nominee. Some have told Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer they won't back Democrats running for U.S. Senate seats if she picks up the party mantle.
The ad also comes at a time when one billionaire, Tom Steyer, is running for the Democratic nomination and another, former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg, appears to be on the verge of announcing a run for president.
During a forum hosted by Everytown for Gun Safety, a group Bloomberg founded and continues to financially support, the former New York mayor seemed to take a swipe at her anti-corporate policies.
"I just said to Senator Warren on the way out, 'Senator, congratulations, it's a nice talk. But let me just remind you if my company hadn't been successful, we wouldn't be here today, so enough with this stuff,'" he said.
In January, when he was considering a run for president, Bloomberg took a shot at Warren's wealth tax proposal, calling it unconstitutional.
"It's called Venezuela," he said at the time.
Cooperman has said he will back Bloomberg if he runs for president.
OK Boomer
Glitch with Google
Adam has found another
"glitch" in the matrix.
When Adam says
"OK boomer" and pauses, it triggers the Google assistant on my
Android phone as long as the microphone can hear him say it, and it doesn't
have to be loud at all.
It doesn't seem to
work when John says it, and I can't "OK boomer" my own phone
either. However, Adam set it off at least four times in the 1191 podcast
during my drive into work. The spot at 1:11:44 of 1191 is particularly
I'm glad this
happened. I had that "Ok Google" crap turned off once upon a
time, but it was auto-magically turned back on somewhere along the line.
Thank you for your
New OTG Phone
Alcatel Go Flip 3
TMobile and AT&T
Long battery life (Still testing)
App store HTML5 Apps
Wikipedia's co-founder takes on Facebook with ad-free social network
Fri, 15 Nov 2019 15:22
Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales thinks he can create a better social network. Called WT:Social, the network has no financial association with Wikipedia, but operates on a similar business model: donations, not advertising.
WT:Social went live last month and is currently nearing 50,000 users. The company is rolling out access slowly; when I signed up, I was approximately number 28,000 on the waitlist. Alternatively, you can pay 13 bucks a month or 100 a year to get access right away.
In comments to the Financial Times, Wales said ''T he business model of social media companies, of pure advertising, is problematic. It turns out the huge winner is low-quality content.'' You don't say.
WT:Social's interface is rather sparse at the moment, featuring a simple feed comprised of news stories and comments below them. News is a big part of the network; it's a spinoff of Wales' previous project, WikiTribune, which sought to be a global news site comprised of professional journalists and citizen contributors. Both WikiTribune and WT:Social emphasize combatting fake news, highlighting evidence-based coverage over the focus on 'engagement' seen on other networks. Each story posted to the network makes prominent where the article comes from, as well as sources and references.
You can also join various ''SubWikis'' that are essentially like Facebook groups or subreddits, which filter content to stories of a given topic. You can also add hashtags to a post or follow hashtags for more specific interests that might span more than one SubWiki. Posts are currently sorted chronologically, but the site plans to add an upvote system for users to promote quality stories.
Taking on Facebook and Twitter is no easy task: Just ask Google. But Wales appears to have a more focused approach for WT:Social, aiming for meaningful content and hoping to build smaller, niche communities. To this end, Wales doesn't seem too concerned about running on donations; the Financial Times says Wales highlighted the success of Netflix and the New York times as examples that people are willing to pay for meaningful content. I suppose we'll find out if that's true in due time.
on Financial Times
Read next: Facebook let anti-vaxxers run rampant with misinformation ads, because money
Google Exercises More Direct Control Over Search Results Than It Has Admitted, Report Claims - American Renaissance
Sat, 16 Nov 2019 08:12
Posted on November 16, 2019
Lauren Feiner, CNBC, November 15, 2019
Google CEO Sundar Pichai (Credit Image: (C) Imago via ZUMA Press)
Google engineers and contractors work behind the scenes tweaking algorithms that alter search results in ways it has publicly denied in the past, The Wall Street Journal found in an investigation published Friday.
After testing Google's algorithm and conducting over 100 interviews, the Journal reported that Google has intervened in its algorithm to demote spam sites and maintain blacklists as well as make changes to its algorithm that favored the search ranking of a major advertiser, eBay, contrary to its public position.
The report could add fuel to conservatives' claims of bias and censorship by Google based on how it determines what content surfaces in its search engine and on its video platform, YouTube.
Internal conflict over Google's search algorithm rose to the highest levels at the company, according to the report. Co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page disagreed over how to handle spam and hateful content in the early 2000s, with Brin favoring a hands-off approach and Page encouraging more proactive intervention. According to the report, Brin, the son of Jewish immigrants from the Soviet Union, allowed anti-Semitic sites to rank in results when users searched the term ''Jew,'' alongside a disclaimer that results ''are generated completely objectively and are independent of the beliefs and preferences of those who work at Google.''
Page, pushing for a tougher approach to spam, reportedly told a search executive at the time to ''Just do what you need to do,'' according to the report, and that Brin would ''ruin'' the company.
When Breitbart News posted a video of Brin and Google CEO Sundar Pichai in 2018 seeming upset in an address to staffers after President Donald Trump's election, Google staffers flagged on the company's internal message boards that the video appeared on the 12th page of search results for ''leaked Google video Trump,'' making it look intentionally buried, the Journal reported. The leaked video reportedly ranked higher in search results shortly after.
Google also maintained blacklists of spam sites and terms to keep from auto-complete, according to the Journal, although the company maintains that this technology is not used for political outcomes, remaining consistent with an executive's congressional testimony in 2018. Asked if Google had ever blacklisted a ''company, group, individual or outlet '... for political reasons,'' Google vice president of public policy Karan Bhatia said, ''No, ma'am, we do not utilize blacklists or whitelists in our search results to favor political outcomes,'' according to the transcript.
Original Article
Microsoft Advertisement Inc.
Sat, 16 Nov 2019 08:50
NoteTLDR: Advertisement needs to end. It is insane to think that a piece of software, so fundamental to running computers, an operating system is selling user behavior to advertisers.
I remember this logo. Classic sans-serif italics, with an odd artifact between "o" and "s". I remember installing Command & Conquer on Windows 98 (and the bluescreen of death when I was invading the Brotherhood of Nod base). I remember the boot-up sound of Windows XP. The Bliss desktop image is burned into memories of billions of people around the world. I remember neatly organizing desktop icons, I remember defragmentation tasks, I remember Solitaire; I remember the Microsoft that was run by Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer. It wasn't pretty, but in hindsight, I want old Microsoft back. I would have never said those words in 2002 or even in 2012.
I just installed a new copy of Windows. Through some decrapification, I was feeling pretty good. Skip through the usual Cortana bullshit to get through the very first boot, fresh, newly inaugurated desktop screen is waiting for a wallpaper change. There is no Windows equivalent of Little Snitch, but Glasswire as good as it gets on Windows for selectively blocking network traffic.
In about 15 mins, I was astounded by the amount of things Microsoft needs to phone home about.
Launching control panel (Settings)Opening ExplorerCompatibility module when launching a legacy (Windows 7) appOffice SDX helperOffice Click-to-run clientOffice telemetry dashboardUpdate notification pipeline managerSpeech Runtime ExecutableOffice Langauge PreferencesGlasswire firewall blocking Microsoft TelemetryHere is a full list of Windows 10 tracking, telemetry and ads hosts: https://github.com/StevenBlack/hosts/issues/155
CortanaWhy is Cortana needed on a PC? I've never met anyone in person, have heard of anyone on the internet or seen any evidence that Cortana is a useful feature of Windows. The push for installing "AI Assistants" by the big-4 is troublesome. Amazon is practically giving away their puck-sized Alexa devices for the hope of collecting data. Microsoft is pushing hard to get people to use Cortana; if they don't use, at least have the mic on for Cortana to listen and collect data.
Cortana is so tightly integrated into Windows that it is not possible to completely get rid of it unless the user is OK with risking system stability and disabling Windows search altogether. Here is a recent thread on Microsoft forums as well as StackOverflow: https://superuser.com/questions/949569/can-i-completely-disable-cortana-on-windows-10
Cortana is here to make your life easy, to solve your problems, and is pre-installed on every single Windows 10 PC (barring LTSC builds). Even Enterprise versions, I kid you not.
Windows 10 Editions, notice Cortana is forced in every single edition from "Home" to "Enterprise". No one asked for it.The fact of the matter is, Cortana and Microsoft telemetry is an important asset in their advertisement portfolio. After LinkedIn acquisition, Microsoft's focus towards advertisment has moved away from traditional ads on Bing to using rich, highly targetted and accurately tagged datasets from LinkedIn, and horrifyingly, Windows 10.
I predict that Microsoft will offer a basic "Home" version of Windows for free. It will become so lucrative to be able to sell AI-analyzed behaviors such as mouse sensitivity, screentime, amortization of time amongst apps, detailed understanding of user behavior, webcam, speech and voice, tablet usage, location information, system information, etc. I could go on and on. Google has exploited user data in the most lucrative ways, but Microsoft has deeper integration, from Home PCs to SMB to Big corporations - and everything in the middle.
They even proudly announce this on their advertisement page.
Unlock Marketing Superpowers with AISays, the headline with a couple of dudes snooping on animals, taking pictures and analyzing them while on a Safari.
Front page - Microsoft AdvertisementThese stock pictures are creeping me out because they are completely and utterly irrelevant, they're smoke and mirrors to disguise the horrifying message that they're trying to convey.
Benefits of Microsoft's advertisement networkAnd here is the juicy part that disguises Windows 10 telemetry under the name "Microsoft Search Network".
Microsoft Search Network"Microsoft Search Network" definition is vague enough, but notice the exclusivity of "Desktop" advertisement data. Microsoft does not have a mobile platform, however, the fact that they are offering desktop-exclusive data indicates that Bing is a negligible traffic source through Mobile searches.
Microsoft Search Network definitionMicrosoft is also aggregating AOL Inc. advertisement data.
I also found this recent article on the advertisement portal illuminating.
At Microsoft Advertising, we take time to gather and study data and trends to uncover ways to empower marketers everywhere to be more successful. Below, we explore some ways top marketers are rethinking customer profiling to deliver highly personalized, customer-centric experiences.Yes, I presume that if an ad-tech company has access to your PC, it can figure out where, what, how, which, why for anything and everything. The scope and possibilities of Microsoft's ad-tech is so vast, that they felt the need to publish an ebook: https://advertiseonbing-blob.azureedge.net/blob/bingads/media/insight/ebook/2019/10-october/cdj-chapter-2/cdj_mini_ebook_us.pdf
I'll end with the most disgusting thing I can imagine an advertiser can take advantage of, accessibility and disabled individuals:
Microsoft's Accessibility Marketing eBookhttps://advertiseonbing-blob.azureedge.net/blob/bingads/media/library/insight/moder-marketing-is-accessible-marketing/accessibility-marketing.pdf
The whole thing is full of rotten ideas, terrible grammar and poorly written corporate bullshit, here is an excerpt:
The more people you reach the more you can serve, so accessibility is good business. Designing with accessibility in mind goes beyond compliance by providing more effective customer interactions, increased productivity and innovation. We are on a journey to understand the full impact that inclusion has on productivity and innovation, but one thing is clear: designing for inclusion means everyone can do and achieve more.What does the following even mean? On Page 6, they try to explain what all of this means...with more bullshit.
Microsoft's Accessibility Marketing eBookPush vs. Pull Advertisement ModelsI wish to see the world where advertisement is dead, businesses organically match with customers through a "pull" rather than "push" model. I've always enjoyed going to trade-shows and exhibitions where the entire advertisement model is "pull". Customers willingly travel to these trade fairs with a purpose to connect with a potential supplier, get a demonstration of their products and meet with them in person. There is a presumed context for both, the supplier and the customer.
Contrast it with an Instagram ad that keeps selling me noise-canceling headphones after I've already purchased one or trying to sell me Geico Insurance while I am watching a lecture on YouTube. It is the wrong context. Yes, it is more common to bombard the audience with overwhelming number of ads to instill familiarity of the brandname even if the customer is not in the market for purchasing. As consumers become more aware of these tactics, it will be a matter of time when people will seek objective differentiating features of a product or service, as opposed to being tricked. I don't have an academic background in Advertisement, I am sure there are many models of advertisement and the process of pursuing a customer.
The "push" advertisement model has created multi-billion dollar enterprises with ever-growing pervasive invasion into people's lives. It is time for new tech companies to come up with respectful, privacy-centric, accurate matching of suppliers to customers. Advertisement today is about shady tactics, store smells, psychological tricks, dark patterns, attention retainment, micro-transactions, deceptive wording, repetitive exposure; what happened to building great products so that the customers advertise it by word of mouth? What happened to companies that focus on quality, customer service and long-term prospects of building rapport with customers for their life-long loyalty? What happened to honesty and integrity in conducting business?
Advertisement needs to end. It is insane to think that a piece of software, so fundamental to running computers, an operating system is selling user behavior to advertisers. This is only going to get worse with IoT devices, don't get me started on those things.
Privacy is the biggest, one of the most important challenges in technology today. Democracy depends on it. And, Apple has lit this torch.
New 5G flaws can track phone locations and spoof emergency alerts | TechCrunch
Sat, 16 Nov 2019 14:23
5G is faster and more secure than 4G. But new research shows it also has vulnerabilities that could put phone users at risk.
Security researchers at Purdue University and the University of Iowa have found close to a dozen vulnerabilities, which they say can be used to track a victim's real-time location, spoof emergency alerts that can trigger panic or silently disconnect a 5G-connected phone from the network altogether.
5G is said to be more secure than its 4G predecessor, able to withstand exploits used to target users of older cellular network protocols like 2G and 3G like the use of cell site simulators '-- known as ''stingrays.'' But the researchers' findings confirm that weaknesses undermine the newer security and privacy protections in 5G.
Worse, the researchers said some of the new attacks also could be exploited on existing 4G networks.
The researchers expanded on their previous findings to build a new tool, dubbed 5GReasoner, which was used to find 11 new 5G vulnerabilities. By creating a malicious radio base station, an attacker can carry out several attacks against a target's connected phone used for both surveillance and disruption.
In one attack, the researchers said they were able to obtain both old and new temporary network identifiers of a victim's phone, allowing them to discover the paging occasion, which can be used to track the phone's location '-- or even hijack the paging channel to broadcast fake emergency alerts. This could lead to ''artificial chaos,'' the researcher said, similar to when a mistakenly sent emergency alert claimed Hawaii was about to be hit by a ballistic missile amid heightened nuclear tensions between the U.S. and North Korea. (A similar vulnerability was found in the 4G protocol by University of Colorado Boulder researchers in June.)
Another attack could be used to create a ''prolonged'' denial-of-service condition against a target's phone from the cellular network.
In some cases, the flaws could be used to downgrade a cellular connection to a less-secure standard, which makes it possible for law enforcement '-- and capable hackers '-- to launch surveillance attacks against their targets using specialist ''stingray'' equipment.
All of the new attacks can be exploited by anyone with practical knowledge of 4G and 5G networks and a low-cost software-defined radio, said Syed Rafiul Hussain, one of the co-authors of the new paper.
Given the nature of the vulnerabilities, the researchers said they have no plans to release their proof-of-concept exploitation code publicly. However, the researchers did notify the GSM Association (GSMA), a trade body that represents cell networks worldwide, of their findings.
Although the researchers were recognized by GSMA's mobile security ''hall of fame,'' spokesperson Claire Cranton said the vulnerabilities were ''judged as nil or low-impact in practice.'' The GSMA did not say if the vulnerabilities would be fixed '-- or give a timeline for any fixes. But the spokesperson said the researchers' findings ''may lead to clarifications'' to the standard where it's written ambiguously.
Hussain told TechCrunch that while some of the fixes can be easily fixed in the existing design, the remaining vulnerabilities call for ''a reasonable amount of change in the protocol.''
It's the second round of research from the academics released in as many weeks. Last week, the researchers found several security flaws in the baseband protocol of popular Android models '-- including Huawei's Nexus 6P and Samsung's Galaxy S8+ '-- making them vulnerable to snooping attacks on their owners.
Amazon's Ring Doorbells App Leaks Customers' Wi-Fi Username and Password. Report - Global Research
Sun, 17 Nov 2019 06:47
Today, Cyberscoop reported a major security vulnerability in Amazon's Ring doorbell app. Amazon's Ring doorbells, which have already raised significant privacy and civil liberties concerns, have now been shown to be deeply insecure, exposing users Wi-Fi passwords to hackers.
With this Wi-Fi information, hackers can access customers' personal home networks. It only gets scarier from there as hackers could use customer's webcams to spy on them and their children, gain access to their bank accounts, and retrieve personal information necessary for identity theft.
''This is a classic example of how more surveillance does not mean more safety,'' said Evan Greer, Deputy Director of Fight for the Future. ''Amazon has consistently shown reckless disregard for privacy and civil liberties, but this is terrifying on a whole other level. Putting insecure cameras and listening devices around your home puts your family in danger. Congress should immediately investigate the threat posed by Amazon's rapidly spreading, for-profit surveillance dragnet.''
Amazon's surveillance network doesn't only threaten our privacy and civil liberties, but our security as well. Meanwhile, millions of Americans continue to buy Ring products unaware of the dangers the technology and surveillance partnerships with police pose.
With over 550 partnerships across the country and millions of Americans potentially impacted, we need Congress to intervene. More than 10,000 people have already written their lawmakers calling on them to investigate Amazon's surveillance empire and their troubling partnerships with law enforcement.
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If You've Given Your Genetic Code To A DNA Database, US Police May Now Have Access To It | Zero Hedge
Sun, 17 Nov 2019 06:52
Authored by Beth Daley via TheConversation.com,
In the past week, news has spread of a Florida judge's decision to grant a warrant allowing police to search one of the world's largest online DNA databases, for leads in a criminal case.
The warrant reportedly approved the search of open source genealogy database GEDMatch. An estimated 1.3 million users have uploaded their DNA data onto it, without knowing it would be accessible by law enforcement.
A decision of this kind raises concern and sets a new precedent for law enforcement's access to online DNA databases. Should Australian users of online genealogy services be concerned?
Why is this a big deal?GEDmatch lets users upload their raw genetic data, obtained from companies such as Ancestry or 23andMe, to be matched with relatives who have also uploaded their data.
Law enforcement's capacity to use GEDmatch to solve crimes became prominent in April last year, when it was used to solve the Golden State Killer case. After this raised significant public concern around privacy issues, GEDmatch updated its terms and conditions in May.
Under the new terms, law enforcement agencies can only access user data in cases where users have consented to use by law enforcement, with only 185,000 people opting in so far.
The terms of the warrant granted in Florida, however, allowed access to the full database - including individuals who had not opted in. This directly overrides explicit user consent.
GEDmatch reportedly complied with the search warrant within 24 hours of it being granted.
Aussies are also at riskGEDMatch is small fry compared with ancestry database giants Ancestry (more than 15 million individuals) and 23andMe (more than 10 million individuals), both of which have DNA data belonging to Australians.
Australians who wish to have ancestry DNA testing have to use US-based online companies. Thus, many Australians have data in databases such as Ancestry, 23andMe and GEDMatch. The granting of a warrant to search these databases by US courts means those searches could include Australian individuals' data.
Ancestry and 23andMe both have policies saying they don't provide access to their databases without valid court-mandated processes.
Each company produces a transparency report (see here and here) which includes all requests for customer data that have been received and complied with. Currently, that number is low. But it remains to be seen how each would respond to a court-ordered search warrant.
Furthermore, while Australia currently doesn't have it's own genetic database (and no plans have been announced), the federal government's commitment of A$500 million to the Genomics Health Futures Mission indicates a growing interest in the power of genomics for health.
If Australia wants to remain internationally competitive, a national genetics project is a natural next step.
We need DNA privacy legislationIn Australia, courts can approve warrants that intrude into private information, and entities can only protect data to the extent that it's protected by law.
Thus, the privacy policies of companies and organisations that hold genetic data (and other types of private data) usually include a statement saying the data will not be shared without consent ''except as required by law''.
The Australian Information Commissioner can also allow breaches of privacy in the public interest.
It has been more than two decades since Senator Natasha Stott-Despoja proposed the Genetic Privacy and Non-Discrimination Bill.
Although Australia has a patchwork of laws that protect citizens' genetic data to an extent, we still have no specific genetic data protection legislation. A broader legal framework dealing directly with the protection of genetic information is now required.
Australian politicians have previously shown willingness to use genetic information for government purposes. As genetic advances strengthen the promise of personalised medicine, Australian academics continue to call for urgent genetic data protection legislation. This is important to ensure public trust in genetic privacy is maintained.
Ongoing concerns around genetic discrimination, and other ethical concerns, warrant an urgent policy response regarding the protection of genetic data.
What are other countries doing?Globally, several DNA databases have amassed genetic datasets of more than 1 million individuals, including for research purposes and healthcare improvement.
Few databases outside the US have yet to reach the numbers needed to be useful for identification purposes.
However, many countries, particularly in Europe, have started establishing government-funded national databases of gene donor data, including Sweden and Estonia.
The Estonian Biobank is one of the most advanced national DNA databases. It has more than 200,000 donor samples.
With a population of around 1.3 million people, the biobank represents around 15% of the entire country's population. And Estonian legislation currently prohibits the use of donor samples for law enforcement.
In contrast, the UK Biobank, doesn't have specific legislation controlling its operation. It only allows law enforcement agencies access if forced to do so by the courts, leaving open the possibility of access under a court-ordered warrant.
The biobank currently has samples from around 500,000 individuals, but plans to collect at least 1 million more in future.
In Australia, accessing DNA testing is now easier than ever. But those accessing it through US-based companies, or uploading their data to US-based databases, should be aware of the potential uses of their genetic information.
And as we moves into an era of genomic medicine, urgent policy attention is required from the Australian government to ensure public trust in genomics is maintained.
The Purge
YouTube can now delete accounts that aren't "commercially viable" - TechSpot
Fri, 15 Nov 2019 15:07
WTF?! Considering starting a YouTube channel? Maybe you already have one and are trying to add to your subscriber base. If so, here's some potentially worrying news: The video platform says it can now ban users it deems ''no longer commercially viable.'' The strange rule appeared in YouTube's new terms of service, which it emailed to users over the weekend. It appears in the ''Account Suspension & Termination'' section under the ''Terminations by YouTube for Service Changes'' subheader.
The exact wording of the new terms, set to come into effect in the US on December 10, reads: ''YouTube may terminate your access, or your Google account's access to all or part of the Service if YouTube believes, in its sole discretion, that provision of the Service to you is no longer commercially viable.''
The changes to the ToS are supposed to make them ''clearer and easier to understand,'' yet they've had the opposite effect for most people.
YouTube's ability to delete accounts just because they're not profitable enough is obviously worrying a lot of creators. As noted by Gadgets 360, one Twitter user, @RageGoldenEagle, notes that these terms have been in effect in the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland since July 22.
YouTube has new Terms Of Service on December 10th. This basically says that if channels don't make enough money, THEY WILL POSSIBLY TERMINATE THEM!!!Looks like I fought to the very end but now I may be close to losing my livelihood, losing my passion, my audience and my... pic.twitter.com/P74uQe8jpW
'-- Christian Maracle (@MaracleMan) 9 November 2019YouTube claims that it's ''not changing.'' A spokesperson said: ''We're making some changes to our Terms of Service in order to make them easier to read and to ensure they're up to date. We're not changing the way our products work, how we collect or process data, or any of your settings.''
The terms could be a way for YouTube to remove channels that promote hate speech, conspiracy theories, or harmful messages whose content isn't extreme enough to warrant an outright ban, as these are unlikely to be commercially viable. But if this is the case, it needs to be clearly explained.
You can read more about the updated terms and conditions on this lengthy Reddit thread.
Thousands of Facebook internal documents, emails made public in leak - Business Insider
Sun, 17 Nov 2019 09:13
Thousands of pages of internal Facebook documents were published on Wednesday, shedding new light on how the company profited from user data and grappled with rivals.The documents were collected as part of a lawsuit involving Facebook and a developer it took action against, and subsequently leaked.Facebook has fought vigorously against the release of the documents, arguing that they presented an unbalanced picture of the company.Here are the key details you need to know about the unprecedented leak.Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.An explosive trove of nearly 4,000 pages of confidential internal Facebook documents has been made public, shedding unprecedented light on the inner workings of the Silicon Valley social-networking giant.
On Wednesday, the investigative reporter Duncan Campbell released a vast swathe of internal emails, reports, and other sensitive documents from the early 2010s that detail Facebook's internal approach to privacy and how it worked with app developers and handled their access to user data.
The documents were originally compiled as part of a lawsuit that the startup Six4Three brought against Facebook for cutting off its bikini-photo app's access to the developer platform. The documents were supposed to remain under seal '-- but they were leaked.
Some of the documents had already been made public before Wednesday. The British Parliament's Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport Committee published hundreds of pages in a report in December; they were seized from Six4Three's founder, Ted Kramer, when he visited the UK.
And in the months before he put the entire trove of documents into the public domain, Campbell shared them with journalists at NBC News and other outlets, who then published several stories about them. (Campbell said that he was sent the documents in February, the same day that the committee published its final report, and that the sender was anonymous.)
Facebook has fought vigorously against the release of the documents, arguing that they do not paint a balanced picture of its activities. In an emailed statement, a company representative told Business Insider: "These old documents have been taken out of context by someone with an agenda against Facebook, and have been distributed publicly with a total disregard for US law."
Business Insider is combing through the documents and will update this story with our findings.
Here are some of the key revelations from the document dump, including from reports published from earlier leaks:
Facebook wielded its control over user data to hobble rivals like YouTube, Twitter, and Amazon. The company benefited its friends even as it took aggressive action to block rival companies' access '-- while framing its actions as necessary to protect user privacy.Facebook executives quietly planned a data-policy "switcharoo." "Facebook began cutting off access to user data for app developers from 2012 to squash potential rivals while presenting the move to the general public as a boon for user privacy," Reuters reported on Wednesday, citing the leaked documents.Facebook considered charging companies to access user data. Documents made public in late 2018 revealed that from 2012 to 2014, Facebook was contemplating forcing companies to pay to access users' data. (It didn't ultimately follow through with the plan.)Facebook whitelisted certain companies to allow them more extensive access to user data, even after it locked down its developer platform throughout 2014 and 2015. TechCrunch reported in December that it "is not clear that there was any user consent for this, nor how Facebook decided which companies should be whitelisted or not."Facebook planned to spy on the locations of Android users. Citing the documents, Computer Weekly reported in February that "Facebook planned to use its Android app to track the location of its customers and to allow advertisers to send political advertising and invites to dating sites to 'single' people."The leak includes nearly 4,000 pages of internal Facebook documents, nearly 3,000 pages of other exhibits from the case, and hundreds of pages of other pieces of legal documentation.
This story is developing...
Do you work at Facebook, or a company that interacts with it? Got a tip? Contact this reporter via encrypted messaging app Signal at +1 (650) 636-6268 using a non-work phone, email at rprice@businessinsider.com, Telegram or WeChat at robaeprice, or Twitter DM at @robaeprice. (PR pitches by email only, please.)
Read more:Instagram's lax privacy practices let a trusted partner track millions of users' physical locations, secretly save their stories, and flout its rulesMark Zuckerberg's personal security chief accused of sexual harassment and making racist remarks about Priscilla Chan by 2 former staffersFacebook says it 'unintentionally uploaded' 1.5 million people's email contacts without their consentYears of Mark Zuckerberg's old Facebook posts have vanished. The company says it 'mistakenly deleted' them. More: Facebook six4three Tech Data Chevron icon It indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.
Unrest at French universities after student sets himself alight over debts | World news | The Guardian
Sat, 16 Nov 2019 08:16
Union calls for nationwide demonstrations follow Anas K gesture on poverty
Students in Lyon on Monday after the 22-year-old Anas K student set himself on fire.Photograph: Philippe Desmazes/AFP/GettyDemonstrations have taken place across French cities in solidarity with a 22-year-old who set himself alight to highlight student poverty.
Unrest erupted at universities after the undergraduate, named only as Anas K, set himself on fire in the city of Lyon on Friday to highlight his financial difficulties and protest at the education policies of Emmanuel Macron.
The political science student suffered 90% burns and was said to be in a critical condition in hospital.
Student protesters also forced the former French president Fran§ois Hollande to cancel a university conference in Lille.
On Tuesday afternoon, Hollande, who led the French socialist government from 2012-17, had prepared to give his lecture at Lille University entitled Responding to the democratic crisis. A group of about 50 students forced their way into the Lille amphitheatre where they tore up copies of the former leader's book of the same title. Hollande, who was in another room, left without seeing the demonstration.
The protesters brandished a banner, reading ''solidarity and long live socialism'', and chanted ''anti-capitalism'' and ''Hollande assassin''. Several videos posted on Facebook showed students, some with scarves covering their faces, throwing ripped books across the room and jostling with security guards.
On Wednesday Hollande issued a statement saying he understood that ''legitimate'' emotions were running high but regretted that ''feelings turned into violence '... leaving no place for dialogue''. He said the protest had robbed more than 1,000 students of the chance to discuss democracy with him at the event.
Students said the action was a response to Anas K's ''desperate gesture'', which symbolised the financial and future insecurity faced by youngsters in France.
Before dousing himself with petrol and setting himself on fire Anas K posted a Facebook message outlining his financial problems and said he was choosing to set himself alight outside the building that housed the regional student aid centre. It was, he wrote, a ''political target '... representing the education ministry and, therefore, the entire government''.
He wrote: ''This year I am doing the second year of my bachelor's degree for the third time. I have no grant. Even when I had one, I received '‚¬450 a month. How can one live on that? And after our studies how long will we have to work to pay our social charges to have a decent pension?''
He concluded by blaming France's last three presidents and the far-right leader Marine Le Pen for his situation. ''I accuse Macron, Hollande, Sarkozy and the EU of killing me by creating uncertainty for the future of everyone '... my last wish is also that my colleagues continue the fight to put an end once and for all to this.''
Government figures for 2015 showed more than a third of students received some kind of financial help from the state, but in 2017 the National Students Union of France (UNEF) estimated that almost 20% of students were living below the poverty line.
The Lyon branch of the student union Solidaires, of which Anas K was a member, called for nationwide demonstrations in support of him and described his setting fire to himself as a ''deeply political, desperate act'' aimed at a ''fascist and racist system that breaks people''.
Students at Lyon 2 University voted to block their campus. They set up obstacles including rubbish bins across the entrances forcing lectures to be cancelled on Wednesday.
At the higher education ministry building in Paris, several dozen protesters forced open the gates and occupied the courtyard on Tuesday night, calling for the higher education minister, Fr(C)d(C)rique Vidal, to resign. They left when police arrived. The words la precarit(C) tue (hardship kills) were written on the ministry wall. Vidal told journalists: ''Violence has no place in a university.''
Over 20 Subway Stations Closed in Paris in Run-Up to Yellow Vests Anniversary Protests - Sputnik International
Sat, 16 Nov 2019 08:20
Europe11:51 16.11.2019(updated 12:03 16.11.2019) Get short URL
PARIS (Sputnik) - More than 20 subway and express train (RER) stations were shut down in Paris on Saturday morning in the run-up to protests as the yellow vests movement marks its first anniversary this weekend.
"On Saturday, November 16, by order of the police prefecture, starting from 7:00 a.m. [6:00 GMT], some stations/transport hubs are closed to the public in the run-up to numerous demonstrations in public places", public transport company RATP said in a statement.The stations near the Champs-Elysees, a traditional venue for protests, will be closed. Stations near the Eiffel Tower, the Place de la Concorde and the National Assembly will also be shut down, while train service on metro lines 2 and 6 will be completely suspended.
In addition, over 50 bus routes will also be affected; the routes will either be shortened or changed to avoid blocked streets.
(C) AP Photo / Bob Edme
Demonstrators hold upside down portraits of French President Emmanuel Macron during a protest through the streets of Bayonne, France Sunday, Aug. 25, 2019. Critics of French President Emmanuel Macron are marching near the G-7 summit he is hosting to demand he do more to protect French workers and the planet. A melange of activists, some wearing yellow vests, carried portraits of Macron as they marched Sunday through the southwest city of Bayonne. Some held the portraits upside down.
The planned time for the resumption of transport services has not been reported.
The movement plans large-scale weekend protests, including unauthorised gatherings, across France.
The wave of Yellow Vests rallies started in France on 17 November 2018. The protests were initially triggered by the government's intention to increase fuel taxes.
Even though the authorities abandoned their initial plan and introduced a set of measures to improve the socio-economic situation, protesters continue to take to the streets across France every weekend to express their wider discontent with the government's policies.
23 people killed in Bolivia since political crisis began - human rights commission
Sun, 17 Nov 2019 00:08
BUENOS AIRES, November 17. /TASS/. At least 23 people have been killed, 715 more were injured in clashes since the beginning of the political crisis in Bolivia, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights informed on Saturday.
"Since yesterday (Friday - TASS), 9 people have been killed and 122 have been injured in the wake of clashes with police and armed forces. In total, 23 people have been killed since the beginning of the political crisis, 715 have been injured," the commission informed on Twitter.
Situation in BoliviaA presidential election was held in Bolivia on October 20. The country's Supreme Electoral Court declared that incumbent President Evo Morales had won the vote. His main rival, former President Carlos Mesa, said that he did not recognize Morales' victory. After the results of the election had been announced, protests and strikes erupted across the South American country. Morales declared a state of emergency and accused the opposition of attempting to stage a coup.
On November 10, Morales announced his resignation, branding the recent developments as a coup d'·tat. He stepped down following the demands of the country's armed forces, opposition and trade unions. On November 12, Morales arrived in Mexico, accepting an offer of political asylum. Meanwhile, the second vice president of Bolivia's Senate, Jeanine Anez, declared herself interim president. The country's Constitutional Court confirmed the legality of the transfer of power.
The protests in the country continued after Morales' resignation. Earlier, UN High Commissioner for Refugees Michelle Bachelet noted that according to the UN, at least 17 people had been killed in demonstrations, with 14 deaths occurring in the past six days. "While the earlier deaths were mostly the result of violent confrontations between rival protesters, the most recent ones appear to be the result of unnecessary or disproportionate use of force by the police and army," she said, calling on the interim government to adhere to the norms of international norms and guarantee the safety of Bolivian citizens.
Yellow vest protests: More than 100 arrested as violence returns to Paris - BBC News
Sun, 17 Nov 2019 00:12
Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Thousands of people took to the streets of Paris to mark the first anniversary of the yellow vest movement Police in Paris arrested more than 100 people as protests to mark the first anniversary of the anti-government yellow vest movement turned violent.
Yellow vest (gilets jaunes) rallies took place nationwide on Saturday, a year after they first erupted.
Tear gas and water cannon were used by police in Paris, where thousands of protesters thronged the streets.
Rioters unleashed some of the worst violence the city has seen in months.
With many clad in black and wearing masks to hide their faces, rioters in parts of the city burned barricades, vandalised banks, set rubbish bins on fire and hurled cobblestones at police.
By Saturday evening, Paris police said 147 people had been arrested across the capital.
The nationwide protests were intended to send a message to French President Emmanuel Macron, whose government has been accused of ignoring the needs of ordinary citizens.
Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media caption France fuel protests: Who are the people in the yellow vests?The protests first erupted in November last year over fuel price rises, but grew to cover wider grievances, including stagnating wages, living costs and economic inequality.
Mr Macron attempted to quell the protests with promises of tax cuts, higher pensions and reforms, but many still feel he has not done enough.
"We're here even if Macron doesn't like it," demonstrators chanted as they marched through Paris on Saturday.
The spirit of rebellion is still strong At the Place d'Italie today, in south-east Paris, the rioters were out again. They burned barricades, smashed the front of a bank, defaced a World War Two memorial; and they flung stones and rocks at police, who responded with clouds and clouds of tear gas.
There hasn't been a day of violence in Paris like this linked to the yellow vest movement for many months. The rioters may only have been a minority, but the other yellow vests did nothing to stop them. They were there, they said, to show they hadn't gone away.
Police tactics against yellow vest protests are now ruthless and effective. A year on, the yellow vests are not the force they were, but the spirit of rebellion is still strong among many people in France.
Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Protesters set up barricades against French riot police on Place d'Italie Elsewhere in the city, demonstrators and police clashed near the Porte de Champerret, close to the Arc de Triomphe.
"We are a bit disappointed that this has descended into violence," said one protester, who travelled from eastern France to Paris to mark the first anniversary.
There were also skirmished between police and protesters in other cities, including Bordeaux, Nantes and Lyon.
Image copyright Getty Images Image caption French riot police run past a vehicle set alight during yellow vests protests Much of the anger is directed at Mr Macron, who came to power in 2017 vowing to face down protesters and drive through long-postponed economic reforms.
One of Mr Macron's least-popular measures, early in his presidency, was to scrap a special wealth tax.
Yellow vest protesters accuse Mr Macron of protecting the Parisian elite, especially the rich, while neglecting the hardship of citizens in the provinces.
Nigel Farage Kills the Brexit Revolution - Sputnik International
Sat, 16 Nov 2019 07:18
Shooting from the Lip14:20 16.11.2019Get short URL
''Nigel Farage has effectively killed the Brexit revolution, the aim of changing politics for good is over and we have returned to Labour versus the Tories again.''This is former UKIP MEP Steven Woolfe's view of Nigel Farage not contesting 317 seats.
Steven Woolfe is going all out from the beginning of this show as he claims that his former colleague Nigel Farage, ''Has always been a Conservative.''
Going even further when discussing Farage's legacy, ''The game plan for Nigel is his name in history, he doesn't want to be seen as the man who took Brexit away!''
But Steven has Nigel's backers in his sights too saying, ''His backers including Aaron Banks have been screaming that we cannot allow Corbyn in power.'' And that ''It is self-interest because everyone is scared of what would happen to their money with Corbyn in Number 10.''
He also believes that, despite Nigel, saying he has turned down an honour that ''Richard Tice and John Longworth would snap up, in an instance, a chance to get into the House of Lords.''
Steven believes that some form of deal has been sorted with the Conservative party.
Steven also has plenty of time to fire shots at Jeremy Corbyn, the Remain Alliance and other mainstream politicians.
He does believe that Boris will win the election with a small majority but that come January people will realise that nothing has changed.
You don't want to miss this riveting episode of Shooting from the Lip with Jon Gaunt.
Why Labour's 'free broadband' is a terrible idea - spiked
Sun, 17 Nov 2019 06:56
Putting authoritarians in control of the means of communication? Don't even think about it.
I can't have been the only person who experienced a little shiver down the spine at the thought of a Jeremy Corbyn government nationalising broadband.
Corbynistas are notoriously illiberal and censorious. They loathe the tabloid press. They cheered the Leveson showtrial of redtop journalists and editors. They support Section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act, which would cajole all publications to sign up to state-approved regulation '' something we haven't had in this country for 350 years.
And the footsoldiers of the Corbyn movement, that army of woke middle-class agitators and Fisher-Price revolutionaries, are forever engaging in Twitch-hunts against women who question transgenderism, people who are sceptical about climate change, and basically anyone who doesn't 100 per cent agree with their PC ideology.
Entrusting the key means of communication to such people would be insane. Imagine the terms and conditions. Thinking of going online to say something really outrageous like 'People with penises are men' or 'Diane Abbott just said something daft on Question Time'? Think again!
This is the news that one of Labour's big ideas in this election is to provide every home and business in the country with free full-fibre broadband by 2030. This would involve nationalising part of BT '' namely, its digital wing OpenReach. The aim would be to provide a nationwide internet connection owned by the government.
Labour says the plan would cost £20 billion. BT, apparently taken aback by Labour's proposal, says it would cost £100 billion. Boris Johnson says it's a 'crackpot scheme'.
Leaving aside the sums and the viability of the initiative, the bigger questions are why Labour is making this proposal and what likely impact a government-owned internet service would have on the nation and its citizens.
The 'why' is fascinating. This looks a lot like Labour throwing free gifts at people to try to distract our attention from the fact that one of its key promises in this election is to make null and void the votes that millions of people cast in the referendum in 2016.
There is an undeniably patrician streak in this broadband proposal. Labour is effectively saying, 'Never mind that we plan to overthrow those votes from the 2016 referendum and force through a second referendum '' just look at this shiny gift we are offering you!'
It smacks of when bosses of old would offer workers perks and presents if they promised to vote in the 'correct' way. It confirms the extent to which Corbyn's Labour, for all its pretence of radicalism, views the masses more as consumers than as active democrats.
So it presumes we will be happy with a freebie (which won't actually be free, given it will be funded by our own taxes), so much so that we might actually forget that Labour and its bourgeois agitators in the Momentum movement are trouncing the most important vote people have cast for a very long time: the vote for Brexit.
It diminishes citizens to treat them like children who should be content with a few crumbs from the government's table. People want to be treated as serious, active players in society '' and that's something the current patrician, anti-democratic Labour Party cannot offer us.
And then there's the issue of the impact this policy would have. To put it bluntly, putting Corbyn and his crew in charge of the technology that facilitates the sharing of ideas, beliefs and conversations is like asking a wolf to herd your sheep.
Of course, telecommunications in this country have been nationalised in the past. BT was only privatised in 1984. But we live in a very different climate now, one in which we aren't only talking about the government providing the machinery that allows people to natter on the phone, but about a Corbyn-led government aspiring to oversee the connections that facilitate political debate, social sharing, argumentation, and much, much more.
It would be wild to grant control over broadband to a political organisation that has amply demonstrated its hostility to open debate and internet freedom.
This isn't about being anti-nationalisation. It makes sense for certain areas of life to be nationalised, to be elevated out of the arena of the profit motive and injected with a bigger sense of social purpose and mission. Education, health, maybe the railways too.
But broadband? Communications? Nope. Not today. Not when we live under bureaucracies that care very little for freedom of speech. And certainly not under a Labour Party that can't even spell the word liberty.
Brendan O'Neill is editor of spiked and host of the spiked podcast, The Brendan O'Neill Show. Subscribe to the podcast here. And find Brendan on Instagram: @burntoakboy
Picture by: Getty
To enquire about republishing spiked's content, a right to reply or to request a correction, please contact the managing editor, Viv Regan.
'Go back to California': Wave of newcomers fuels backlash in Boise - Los Angeles Times
Sun, 17 Nov 2019 07:09
This city sure knows how to roll up the welcome mat '-- that is, if you happen to move here from California.
Just consider last week's mayoral election. It was the most competitive race in recent memory, a referendum on growth in the rapidly expanding capital of Idaho. And candidate Wayne Richey ran on a very simple platform: Stop the California invasion.
His basic plan to fulfill that campaign promise? ''Trash the place.''
Richey figured that would be the best way to keep deep-pocketed Golden Staters from moving to his leafy hometown. He blames them for pushing home prices and rents up so high that Boiseans can't afford to live here on the meager wages most Idaho jobs pay.
At a candidate forum in late October, he had a terse answer for the question: ''If you were king or queen for the day, what one thing would you do to improve Boise?''
''A $26-billion wall,'' he said, laughing, drawing out each word for maximum emphasis. As in build one. Around Idaho.
California bashing is a cyclical sport with a long history in the heart of Idaho's Treasure Valley. Growth spurts have more than doubled Boise's population since the 1980 census. Four months before federal counters hit the streets here that year, a Washington Post headline crowed, ''To Most Idahoans, A Plague of Locusts Is Californians.''
The Grove Plaza in downtown Boise, Idaho.
(Otto Kitsinger / For The Times)
In this current wave, California concerns have made their way into a heated mayor's race. They have taken up residence on Nextdoor social networks.
And they erupted into a recent tweet storm that swirled around two beloved institutions, Boise State University and football. The electronic uproar caused residents all the way up to Mayor David Bieter to defend their city's welcoming nature and insist that they like Californians, really they do, despite evidence to the contrary.
The Twitter squall started in late September, when former Boise State University football player Tyler Rausa went out to his car one day. There he found a professionally printed card, white with an elegant charcoal gray and gold border. It had a nicely centered, two-line message in all capital letters.
He posted it online with a very short response: ''Hmmmm didn't think I'd ever find this on my car in Boise. #ThankYou.''
Boise State Broncos place kicker Tyler Rausa in 2016.
(David Zalubowski / Associated Press)
Rausa was a talented kicker for the Broncos in the 2015 and 2016 seasons. He scored 219 points for the team then. He is now an NFL free agent. He still lives in Boise. But he kept his California license plates.
The response to his tweet was swift, voluminous and mostly open-hearted. ''I hope they are ashamed of themselves,'' wrote @NitroJen. ''Idaho: The PNW's Mississippi,'' posted @AbsoluteKit, referring to the Pacific Northwest. ''Screw them!'' @someone tweeted. ''You are more than welcome here!''
Then Bieter chimed in. ''@T_Rausa, I hope you take all of the positive comments you received here as the real spirit of Boise and #BoiseKind,'' the mayor wrote. ''We are glad you are here and part of our great community.''
One bit of advice Rausa got during the online fracas was that he should change those California plates '-- and fast. That's been a longtime refrain from friendly Boiseans to their newest neighbors.
The Rev. Bill Roscoe, chief executive of the Boise Rescue Mission Ministries, heard it from his Realtor when he moved to Boise from Redding in 2002. He keeps a sign on his desk that says, ''I am not from Idaho but I got here as fast as I could.''
''If you come here and love it, everything's fine,'' Roscoe said. ''If you come here and fly that California flag in your driveway and have stickers on your car that say, 'Santa Cruz,' there's going to be some hard feelings.''
Patricia Flanigan plays with her 10-month-old Samoyed puppy, Wylie, in Eagle, Idaho.
(Otto Kitsinger / For The Times)
Patricia Flanigan also swapped her California plates for the red-white-and-blue ''Famous Potatoes'' version when she moved from Dana Point in 2015 to the Boise suburb of Eagle. She had retired as dean of online education and learning resources at Saddleback College.
''I took the position that I would come to Idaho and adapt to the community,'' she said. She has a doctorate in education. Earlier in her career, she'd taught English as a Second Language at three Southern California community colleges. She'd also run an ESL program at Lake Tahoe Community College. When she moved, she decided to volunteer with non-English speakers.
She got an appointment with the director of a nearby community college. But the school wasn't interested in her offer of free help. She was told to try the region's refugee center. She sent a resume. And never heard back.
At the college interview, ''I was dressed professionally, looked like a Californian,'' Flanigan said. ''I probably irritated [the director] by my confidence. There was no way she was going to have me volunteer.... She wanted to get rid of me.''
That professional cold shoulder was her introduction to Idaho, the 66-year-old said. Since then, she has founded a website called ''Smart Strategies for Successful Living.'' She has a circle of friends and a house that she loves and owns outright. She has not looked back.
''I'm not here to be a Californian,'' she said. ''I'm here to be a community member and contribute.''
Pedestrians and diners on outdoor patios at Bittercreek Ale House and Diablo & Sons Saloon along 8th Street in Boise, Idaho.
(Otto Kitsinger / For The Times)
So where did all the hostility come from? Sheer numbers, for certain. A January report from the Idaho Department of Labor said the Gem State was tied with Nevada as the fastest growing in the nation. The agency also reported that more Californians were moving here than transplants from any other state.
Boise Regional Realtors countered with its own report that softened the California blow a little. Of the top 11 counties sending new residents to the Boise area, six were from other parts of Idaho, and only three '-- Riverside, San Bernardino and Orange '-- were from California.
Which brings us to the heart of the problem: income inequality.
Anyone moving to Boise from another part of Idaho is still saddled with the same bottom-of-the-barrel minimum wage, an anemic $7.25 an hour. So it's most likely not the Idahoans who are driving up home prices and filling up rental properties, because they can't afford to.
The median home price in Ada County, where Boise is located, has risen 19.3% since February 2018, according to the Idaho Statesman. It is now a whopping (for Idaho) $349,994. Conversely, the vacancy rate for apartments in the price range of the county's lowest-income residents was 0.45% as of Oct. 18, according to HousingIdaho.com.
New home construction in progress in the Harris Ranch/Barber Valley area of Boise, Idaho.
(Otto Kitsinger / For The Times)
Boise needs 1,000 new housing units each year for the next decade, according to officials in this city of 228,000. That's just not happening.
Critics of the way the city has handled the explosive growth have become more vocal in recent years. That discontent has fueled one of the more competitive mayor's races in memory.
Bieter, who is running for his fifth term, faced six competitors, including Richey, the head of the Ada County Highway District Commission, a former mayor who resigned in disgrace and was jailed on corruption charges, and the president of his own City Council.
Bieter declined to comment about growth and the mayor's race. Critics argue that he has embraced development at any cost. Voters gave him a stiff rebuke Tuesday, forcing him into a Dec. 3 runoff against City Council President Lauren McLean.
The most recent Treasure Valley Survey, conducted by the Idaho Policy Institute at Boise State University, does not bode well for anyone who would run this city in coming years. It was conducted in late 2018 and released in June. More than 70% of respondents said the region was growing too fast, compared with only 50% with that view in 2016.
A view of downtown Boise, Idaho.
(Otto Kitsinger / For The Times)
''Over the course of two years,'' the survey reported, ''residents of the Treasure Valley have gone from being divided about whether the pace of growth was too fast or about right, to adopting the belief that it is too fast by a large margin.''
That sentiment was strong at a town hall meeting that McLean held in September as part of her campaign for mayor. On a Wednesday evening in a strip mall library, McLean talked about the need for affordable housing, good-paying jobs and better transit.
Then she opened up the floor for questions and comments. Almost all touched on growth in some fashion, and at least two people in the audience uttered the C-word, California.
''I know that you can't stop growth, but what are we going to do about our quality of life here?'' asked Yvette Zoe, who moved to Boise in 1972. ''My kids, they can't buy a house because they can't afford it right now, and they work. My grandkids, their schools are crowded.''
Newcomers are moving here for a better quality of life, but ''the very thing they're leaving in '-- we know where '-- Seattle, California, Austin,'' they're bringing to Boise, she said. ''What I'd like to see is what can we do for the people that already live here that have been here for a long time.''
Such inequity was what fueled Richey's quixotic campaign; he came in fifth with 2% of the vote. The 59-year-old auto body technician runs yard sales on weekends and drives for Lyft on Friday and Saturday nights, when ''I take drunk people home.''
Octoberfest celebrations on 8th Street in Boise, Idaho.
(Otto Kitsinger/For The Times)
His sister had her own business until the Great Recession, when she lost everything and moved in with him. She just bought a house one city over, the only one she could find for about $230,000, and, he said, it's a piece of you know what. She works in a call center, rents out a room and works craft shows.
''It's really, really hard to swallow,'' he said, ''when somebody sells their house in California for $700,000, comes here, buys any house they want in cash and still has money in the bank.
''Their kids get to go to college,'' he continued. ''They drive nice cars. And they get to enjoy everything we built over the years. We don't get to enjoy it, because we're working 40 hours a week and doing craft shows and doing yard sales.''
One salvo in Richey's battle against newcomers was his property tax proposal, which he called Proposition Zero One Two Three. His basic tenet: The longer you live here, the less you pay. Sixty-year residents would pay no property taxes, while newcomers would shoulder the burden.
''This gives much needed relief to longtime residents and forces new people to pay their share,'' he said on his Facebook page. ''Maybe it just might make them think twice about moving here. It would also discourage out-of-state investors.''
Boise mayoral candidate Wayne Richey.
(Otto Kitsinger / For The Times)
Early one Saturday morning in mid-September, Richey sat in his open garage, waiting for customers to peruse his yard sale. Paintball supplies and a rifle case and burlap sacks and skateboards were spread out on the driveway. A 13-foot-tall plywood moose sporting a ''Wayne Richey for Boise Mayor; Take Back Boise'' sign stood proudly on the front lawn.
Rick Hulbert wandered by a little before 9 a.m. He's a retired chiropractor, lives around the corner and was interested in the gently used unicycle. They chatted about the big game that night, the Boise State Broncos versus the Portland State Vikings. About rising rents. About the good old days when you could ride your bike down the street with a shotgun in hand. And about the campaign.
Both men pegged the same scapegoat for many of the region's ills: Californians.
Richey: ''Are you cool with the 20,000 to 30,000 people moving here every year?''
Hulbert: ''Well, I don't know if you could stop 'em.''
Iran petrol price hike: Protests erupt over surprise rationing - BBC News
Sat, 16 Nov 2019 08:24
Image copyright UGC Image caption Protestors took to the streets in Shiraz Protests have erupted across Iran after the government unexpectedly announced it was rationing petrol and increasing its price. At least two people have been killed.
Prices rose by at least 50% on Friday as subsidies on petrol were reduced.
The authorities say they want to free up money to help the poor.
Iran is already suffering economically due to stiff sanctions imposed by the US after Washington decided to pull out of the 2015 nuclear deal.
One person was killed during protests in the central city of Sirjan. State news agency Irna said there were clashes with police when protesters attacked a fuel storage warehouse and tried to set fire to it.
Several more people were injured.
A protester also died in the city of Behbahan.
Other cities were also affected including the capital, Tehran, Kermanshah, Isfahan, Tabriz, Karadj, Shiraz, Yazd, Boushehr and Sari.
In several cities, dozens of angry motorists blocked roads by turning off car engines or abandoning vehicles in traffic.
Videos posted online purportedly showed motorists in the capital, Tehran, stopping traffic on the Imam Ali Highway and chanting for the police to support them.
Another clip shows what appeared to be a roadblock across the Tehran-Karaj motorway, hit by the season's first heavy snowfall.
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Media caption Feeling the squeeze: Iran sanctions explainedHow do the new regulations work?Under the new measures, each motorist is allowed to buy 60 litres (13 gallons) of petrol a month at 15,000 rials ($0.13; £0.10) a litre. Each additional litre then costs 30,000 rials.
Previously, drivers were allowed up to 250 litres at 10,000 rials per litre, AP reports.
The revenues gained from removing subsidies on petrol will be used for cash payments to low-income households, the government says.
Image copyright UGC Image caption Social media showed tear gas being used against demonstrators in Kermanshah The head of the Iranian Planning and Budget Organisation, Mohammad Baqer Nobakht, said that from this month, 18 million families would get an extra cash allowance as a result of the price increase.
The new measure is expected to bring in 300tn rials per annum, he said on state television.
President Hassan Rouhani said on Saturday that 75% of Iranians were currently "under pressure" and the extra revenues from the petrol price hike would go to them and not the treasury.
How have fresh US sanctions affected Iran?Iran has some of the world's cheapest fuel prices due to heavy subsidies and the fall in value of its currency.
It is also one of the world's largest oil producers, with exports worth billions of dollars each year. But it has limited refining capacity and sanctions have made it difficult to obtain spare parts for oil plants.
Sanctions were reimposed last year after US President Donald Trump abandoned the landmark nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers.
Under the accord, Iran agreed to limit its controversial nuclear activities and allow in international inspectors in return for sanctions relief.
Since the US left the deal, Iran has been gradually stepping up its nuclear activity in breach of the accord, though it has consistently denied wanting to develop nuclear weapons.
The sanctions have led to a sharp downturn in Iran's economy, pushing the value of its currency to record lows, quadrupling its annual inflation rate, driving away foreign investors and triggering protests.
Forex at three-month high
Sun, 17 Nov 2019 00:07
Financial Tribune '' Currency rates in Tehran's market have been rising since last week after more than three months of relative calm.
The US dollar changed hands for about 116,500 rials on Thursday, up 40,000 rials, or 3.5%, compared to prices a week earlier. One euro was sold for 127,500 rials and the pound sterling was worth 150,500 rials.
Rates at the Central Bank of Iran-affiliated moneychangers were slightly lower. The USD was sold for 115,500 rials in bank-based exchange bureaus, according to the data from the Tehran Gold and Jewelry Union website.
The USD on Wednesday briefly touched 117,500 rials, the highest in 90 days. The greenback was traded at or near 113,000 rials for more than 70 days before climbing steadily since last week.
Amazon will challenge Pentagon's award of $10 billion JEDI contract to Microsoft - The Washington Post
Sat, 16 Nov 2019 09:45
Amazon said Thursday that it will protest a Pentagon decision to award Microsoft a massive cloud-computing contract worth up to $10 billion, making clear it will fight hard against what it called ''unmistakable bias'' and ''political influence'' in the Defense Department process.
The protest, filed under seal in federal court on Nov. 8, comes after the Pentagon awarded the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) contract to Microsoft last month '-- a contract that had long been expected to go to Amazon because its Amazon Web Services (AWS) division has a formidable position and deep experience in cloud computing.
The Pentagon's decision, a bitter defeat for Amazon, had been delayed after President Trump ordered Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper to review the contract after he was confirmed in July. Trump has repeatedly criticized Amazon, whose chief executive, Jeff Bezos, owns The Washington Post.
In awarding the contract to Microsoft, the Pentagon said it was making its decision on merits and without regard to political considerations. But in its statement Thursday, Amazon suggested that it believed the Pentagon was improperly influenced by Trump. Federal acquisition laws prohibit politicians, including the president, from influencing contract awards.
[Pentagon awards controversial $10 billion cloud computing deal to Microsoft, spurning Amazon]
''AWS is uniquely experienced and qualified to provide the critical technology the U.S. military needs, and remains committed to supporting the DoD's modernization efforts,'' Amazon spokesman Drew Herdener said in an emailed statement. ''We also believe it's critical for our country that the government and its elected leaders administer procurements objectively and in a manner that is free from political influence. Numerous aspects of the JEDI evaluation process contained clear deficiencies, errors, and unmistakable bias- and it's important that these matters be examined and rectified.''
The charged language in Amazon's response was striking because the tech giant has generally avoided conflict with Trump. But the protest suggests that Amazon wants a court to review the role of politics in the Pentagon's decision-making and scrutinize Esper and Trump's input in the process.
The loss of the JEDI contract was a significant financial disappointment for Amazon, but it also came after the company committed to hiring 25,000 people over 10 years in the Washington area, a significant East Coast expansion that was focused in part on government business.
In an emailed response to Amazon's statement, Defense Department spokeswoman Elissa Smith said, ''We will not speculate on potential litigation.'' Microsoft did not provide comment.
Amazon is the commercial cloud-computing market leader, holding a 48 percent market share, according to market-research firm Gartner. Microsoft is the second largest, with a 15.5 percent share.
Amazon is also the only company to hold the Defense Department's highest-level security certification, called Impact Level 6. Microsoft made strides during the year-long period the award was tied up in litigation, finalizing a number of partnerships that analysts say may have narrowed the gap. Microsoft says it has made enormous progress on Level 6 certification and will be ready by the time JEDI is implemented.
'Once an Amazonian, always an Amazonian': Former Pentagon official's business ties draw scrutiny
Amazon filed its notice to protest under seal with the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. The company will still need to file a formal protest, laying out its arguments in detail.
The JEDI contract, announced in March 2018, is designed to modernize the Pentagon's computing infrastructure in the hands of a commercial tech company. For more than a year, the Pentagon faced harsh criticism that the procurement was written with Amazon in mind.
Tech rival Oracle, which wanted the contract but was eliminated in an earlier phase of the competition, sued the Defense Department and Amazon in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, alleging conflicts of interest on the part of numerous defense officials who had close relationships with Amazon. The procurement was repeatedly delayed while Oracle's claims were investigated.
The procurement took a new turn earlier this summer when Trump asked Esper to reexamine the Pentagon's broader approach to the contract, citing concerns it would go to Amazon, people familiar with the matter told The Post at the time.
The president said on television that he had received ''tremendous complaints'' about the contract from Amazon's competitors, specifically Oracle, IBM and Microsoft. Soon afterward, he retweeted a link to a Fox News segment that referred to the contract as the ''Bezos Bailout.''
Trump has gone after Amazon for a variety of reasons, including coverage in The Post he doesn't like, White House officials have previously told the newspaper. He has often derisively referred to the ''Amazon Washington Post.''
The Post's leaders have said that Bezos, who bought The Post in 2013 in his personal capacity, plays no role in coverage decisions at the newspaper.
Why Trump went after Bezos: Two billionaires across a cultural divide
Retired Navy Cmdr. Guy Snodgrass, who worked as a speechwriter for former defense secretary Jim Mattis, wrote in a recent book that Trump sought to ''screw'' Amazon out of the contract and that Mattis refused to do so. Snodgrass's claims have not been independently verified.
Esper recused himself from the process just weeks before the award, citing his son's employment at one of the initial bidders.
Amazon could have filed its protest with the Government Accountability Office, which some experts had believed was the more likely venue because it could have stopped the contract with Microsoft from going into effect. Filing with the federal court, though, provides Amazon with a somewhat less rigid timetable for which to make its case. The contract will be implemented with Microsoft during litigation unless a judge puts a pause on the process.
Dana Deasy, the Defense Department chief information officer overseeing the source selection team, has argued that the JEDI procurement followed a two-track process in which Esper's review of the procurement's broader approach is completely separate from those who reviewed the bidders' applications. Deasy said in a recent congressional hearing that the members of the source selection team remained anonymous throughout the process and, to his knowledge, were never contacted by the president.
Steven Schooner, a procurement lawyer with George Washington University, called Deasy's testimony on that issue ''fundamentally flawed,'' noting that another senior official makes the decision on whom to award the contract. This official's identity has remained anonymous.
Defense Secretary Mark Esper recuses himself from massive Pentagon contract, citing son's employment
''The source selection evaluation team makes a recommendation,'' Schooner said in an email. ''The source selection official exercises discretion and is empowered NOT to follow the source selection evaluation team's recommendation.''
For Amazon, losing out to Microsoft wasn't just surprising, it was stinging.
At an all-hands meeting Thursday, Amazon Web Services chief executive Andy Jassy suggested to employees that Trump's interference scuttled the bid, according to a report from Federal Times, which viewed a video of the session.
''I think when you have a sitting president who's willing to publicly show his disdain for a company and the leader of a company, it's very difficult for government agencies including the DoD to make an objective decision without fear of reprisal,'' Jassy said, according to the Federal Times report.
Shut Up Slave!
Teacher Says Parents ''Don't Know What's Best'' - Texas Scorecard
Fri, 15 Nov 2019 15:20
The government knows what's in your child's best interest better than you do'--at least, according to a teacher at Willis Independent School District.
Anthony Lane, an English teacher at Willis High School who has vocally defended the school's decision to bring in an adult male entertainer who performs at strip clubs to spend a day with the children, lashed out on Facebook at parents who have complained:
''I believe that raising a child is the responsibility of the community and that parents should not have the final say,'' said Lane. ''Let's be honest, some of you don't know what is best for your kids.''
WISD administration has been enmeshed in controversy ever since Houston drag queen and adult entertainer ''Lynn Adonis'' was invited into the school by the cosmetology department. Adonis exchanged social media contact information with several of the children.
At a recent school board meeting, Principal Stephanie Hodgins defended her decision to allow the adult performer to speak to the kids; Lane also spoke up, supporting the decision to allow the male stripper to spend time with the kids.
In response to the backlash from concerned parents, Lane said on Facebook, ''I have what may be a strange view when it comes to 'parental rights' and education being viewed as a customer service industry,'' said Lane. ''Our society is often very sensitive when it comes to [criticizing] parents, and teachers are often afraid of parents because they are given so much authority.''
Lane continued, ''Parents believe they should be able to storm the school in the name of political and religious beliefs if something happens in the school that they are morally opposed to. They forget that we make a promise to prepare their children to live in a diverse world. We are not required to protect the misguided, bigoted views of their parents.''
Lane has since removed the post. Many parents who have spoken out are now calling for the teacher to be fired.
Parents and taxpayers concerned about the situation may contact their elected members of the school board.
Inept ABC 'searching staff emails' 'pressuring colleagues to turn against each other' as they freak out over the identity of the Amy Robach video leaker -- Society's Child -- Sott.net
Sat, 16 Nov 2019 07:22
An ABC insider has claimed top execs are 'freaking out' as they struggle to ID who admitted in a letter signed Ignotus that they leaked an Amy Robach tape (pictured)
Top executives at ABC are 'freaking out' amid a probe into who leaked a hot mic video where Amy Robach is seen ranting that the network spiked a Jeffrey Epstein story, an insider has claimed.
The source claims ABC has searched emails and news logs in a bid to find the culprit and has been isolating and encouraging staff to turn against each other amid their investigation.
Confusion surrounds a letter published after former ABC News producer Ashley Bianco, 25, was 'wrongly accused' and fired from CBS, in which the author admitted they sent the tape to Project Veritas and was mysteriously signed off 'Ignotus'.
Ignotus means 'unknown' in Latin but is also the name of a wizard that has an invisibility cloak in the Harry Potter franchise.
'Ignotus' means 'unknown' in Latin and the source asked about the letter: 'How many young producers speak Latin these days?'
'They are freaking out over the Harry Potter reference,' the ABC insider told Page Six. 'Does this mean the leaker is a Potter fan, likely one of the younger staff members who work the overnight shift? Or is the leaker citing Latin, which means he or she could be an older member of staff. I mean, how many young producers speak Latin these days?'
Page Six reports the source as saying the company has been 'isolating certain employees and putting them under pressure to turn on their colleagues' regarding the footage from the Good Morning America anchor while she was not on air.Referring to Epstein's underage sex slave who accused the pedophile of lending her out for sex with his friends, including Prince Andrew, 46-year-old Robach is heard saying: 'I've had this interview for years. I've had this interview with Virginia Roberts. We would not put it on the air.'
Robach said ABC didn't let the story go to air because the palace threatened to sue the network and there were concerns Prince William and Kate Middleton would no longer grant ABC any interviews.
There has been a good deal of backlash against ABC ever since the video first emerged, with many people pointing out that none of the network's news programs have mentioned the story.
The insider asked: 'Does this mean the leaker is a Potter fan, likely one of the younger staff members who work the overnight shift?'
On Tuesday, Page Six reported the source also said the investigation into 'Ignotus' reports 'back up to the very highest levels at HR at ABC's parent company Disney'.
Veritas editors confirmed the memo titled 'Why I, alone, released the Amy Robach Epstein tape' was written by the same ABC News insider who gave them the clip 'in light of the actions taken against those wrongfully identified as involved in the leaking'.
The message began in part: 'By Ignotus, To my fellow man: I came forward with this information bearing no motives other than to have this information public.'
The ABC insider added: 'To those wrongly accused: It is terrible that you have been lashed out at by the company. I know some may put the burden of guilt on me, but my conscience is clear.
'The actions of the company towards you are the result of their own and not anyone else. The public outcry, from coast to coast, of all people, creeds, and political affiliations, is clear.
'I have not one doubt that there will always be support for you, and you will have prosperous careers. For neither you, nor I, have done anything wrong.'
The unknown author completed the letter with a note to the network.
'To ABC News: I sit right here with you all in complete shock on how this has been handled. Instead of addressing this head-on like the company has done in the past, it has spun into a mission of seek-and-destroy,' the writer went on.
'Innocent people that have absolutely nothing to do with this are being hunted down as if we are all a sport. I challenge all of you to actually look inwards and remember why this company engages in journalism. We all hold the First Amendment at the foundation of this company, yet forget its history, its purpose, and its reasoning for even coming into existence to begin with. How lost we are... yearning to be found.
'I went to Project Veritas for the sole reason that any other media outlet else would have probably shelved this as well. I thank all of them ... for seeking truth.
'We are all human and mortal, creatures of mistakes and redemption. The road to redemption favors no soul. Sincerely, Ignotus.'
ABC did not immediately respond to DailyMail.com's request for comment.
Prince Andrew says he has no recollection of meeting Epstein accuser - Reuters
Sat, 16 Nov 2019 08:09
LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's Prince Andrew said in comments broadcast on Friday that he had no recollection of ever meeting an American woman who alleges she was forced to have sex with him when she was underage.
FILE PHOTO: Horse Racing - Royal Ascot - Ascot Racecourse, Ascot, Britain - June 20, 2019 Britain's Prince Andrew arrives by horse and carriage on ladies day REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo
Andrew also told BBC television that he had ''let the side down'' by staying with U.S. financier Jeffrey Epstein after Epstein's conviction for paying a teenage girl for sex.
One of Epstein's accusers, Virginia Giuffre, has said she was forced to have sex with Andrew in London, New York and on a private Caribbean island between 1999 and 2002, when she says Epstein kept her as a ''sex slave''.
In an excerpt of an interview given by Andrew to the BBC's Newsnight program, the prince was asked about the accusation by Giuffre that she had sex with him in a house in London.
''I have no recollection of ever meeting this lady, none whatsoever,'' said Andrew, the 59-year-old second son of Queen Elizabeth.
The interview, to be aired in full on Saturday at 2100 GMT, is an attempt to draw a line under a scandal after months of headlines about Andrew's ties to Epstein, who killed himself in August while being held on federal sex-trafficking charges.
In another excerpt Andrew said he stayed at Epstein's home in New York after the financier's conviction because he was ''too honorable''. Epstein had pleaded guilty in 2008 to Florida state prostitution charges.
''It was a convenient place to stay,'' Andrew said. ''But at the time I felt it was the honorable and right thing to do and I admit fully that my judgment was probably colored by my tendency to be too honorable but that's just the way it is.''
Giuffre, who was previously named Virginia Roberts, has said that she first had sex with Andrew when she was 17 and underage.
A picture showing the prince with his arm around Giuffre's waist from 2001 has appeared in British media. Unnamed supporters of Andrew told the Daily Telegraph newspaper in August that the picture had been faked.
Andrew has previously denied any inappropriate relations with Giuffre.
PREVIOUS DENIALS When the allegations were first made, a Buckingham Palace spokesman said it was ''emphatically denied'' that Andrew had any form of sexual contact or relationship with her.
Andrew has previously said he stood by the palace statements. He recently apologized over his friendship with Epstein.
He has also previously acknowledged he made a mistake after a photograph of him with Epstein in New York was published in a British newspaper in December 2010. The former investment banker was then a registered sex offender.
Epstein, 66, died by hanging himself in his Manhattan jail cell on Aug. 10.
Andrew married Sarah Ferguson in 1986 and the couple divorced 10 years later although they remain close friends.
Ferguson sent him a message of support shortly before the interview excerpts were broadcast on Friday.
''It is so rare to meet people that are able to speak from their hearts with honesty+pure real truth, that remain steadfast and strong to their beliefs,'' she said on Twitter.
''Andrew is a true+real gentleman and is stoically steadfast to not only his duty but also his kindness + goodness @TheDukeOfYork.''
Reporting by William Schomberg, Andrew MacAskill and Michael Holden; Editing by Stephen Addison and Frances Kerry
South Park creators accused of transphobia following latest episode | The Independent
Sat, 16 Nov 2019 07:08
South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker have been accused of transphobia after mocking trans athletes in the show's latest episode.
The 23rd season's seventh episode focused on the character Strong Woman, who can be seen entering a Strongwoman Competition alongside a new character named Heather Swanson.
Swanson bears a striking resemblance to late wrestler Randy Savage, who died in 2011 and, when asked why they're competing, she says she only started identifying as a female a few weeks ago in order to compete.
Download the new Indpendent Premium appSharing the full story, not just the headlines
''I'm not here to talk about my transition, I'm here to kick some f***ing ass,'' she says, before winning the competition.
It's revealed at the end of the episode that this character is actually an ex-boyfriend of Strong Woman, who he wants to beat in revenge for a bad break-up.
left Created with Sketch. right Created with Sketch.
1/20 BoschDespite being largely unknown outside of its devoted fanbase, Bosch is in many respects Amazon's flagship drama '' one of its longest-running and most interesting series, built around a rare and much deserved starring role for character actor Titus Welliver. Inspired by Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch novels, it is a grizzled and grimy contemporary noir, with Bosch a gruff LA detective caught up in child murder, sex rings and police brutality.
Amazon Studios
2/20 The BoysGrim, nihilistic and incredibly funny, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg's adults-only superhero thriller was adapted from a cult comic book by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson, and has proven to be one of Amazon's biggest successes. Set within a world dominated by superhero corporations and two rival factions of super-powered beings, it has tackled sex, violence, masculinity and feelings of emotional disillusionment so far.
Amazon Studios
3/20 The ExpanseWorth catching up with before it arrives on Amazon for its fourth season this December, The Expanse, formerly broadcast on SyFy, has found a significant following due to its intergalactic space intrigue and real-world relevance. Set within a fragile intergalactic union between Earth, Mars and the asteroid belt, it features an ensemble cast of compelling character actors that has included Thomas Jane, Steven Strait, Shohreh Aghdashloo and Elizabeth Mitchell.
Amazon Studios
4/20 ForeverA surreal, polarising dark comedy from Fred Armisen and Maya Rudolph, Forever divided audiences throughout its first and only season. But it is unapologetically daring and oddball television regardless of where you stand on it. Armisen and Rudolph are a dull couple who have lived in a form of marital stasis for more than a decade, before both dying tragically. What follows is a series about second chances, renewed feelings of purpose, and the upside of the afterlife.
Amazon Studios
5/20 HomecomingHomecoming is a compelling mystery thriller filled with Hitchcockian visual flourishes and a central performance from Julia Roberts that practically defines star power. From the wild brain of Mr Robot creator Sam Esmail, it stars Roberts as an employee of a mysterious government facility, and is awash with conspiracies, repressed memories and paranoia. A second season, which sees Roberts succeeded in the leading role by none other than funk visionary Janelle Mone, is due in 2020.
Amazon Studios
6/20 Good Girls RevoltDespite being cancelled before it was able to truly flourish, Good Girls Revolt is still a treat. A less refined Mad Men entirely fronted by women, it was inspired by the female rebellion within the corridors of Newsweek Magazine in 1970, with a trio of young researchers deciding the revolution occurring in the streets should be replicated in the workplace, too. of young researchers deciding the revolution occurring in the streets should be replicated in the workplace, too.
Amazon Studios
7/20 Good OmensEverything was thrown into the pot for this Neil Gaiman adaptation, and with good reason. A gleefully messy battle of wits between good and evil, Good Omens cast Michael Sheen and David Tennant respectively as their eccentric physical embodiments '' long-time friends despite their duelling purposes, who must prevent the coming apocalypse. Surrounding them is a cast of cult favourites, from Frances McDormand as God to Jon Hamm as the Archangel Gabriel. duelling purposes, who must prevent the coming apocalypse. Surrounding them was a cast of cult favourites, from Frances McDormand as God to Jon Hamm as the Archangel Gabriel.
Amazon Studios
8/20 I Love DickThis adaptation of Chris Kraus's seminal and polarising 1997 novel was never going to be widely embraced, particularly when it was long argued to be unfilmable anyway. But the resulting series, a short-lived intellectual adventure featuring startling, brilliant work from Kathryn Hahn and Kevin Bacon, is still worth seeking out. Hahn is Chris, an artist and filmmaker shackled to her academic husband and underwhelmed by life; Bacon is Dick, an artist and philosopher who unravels Chris's sexual repression and artistic boundaries. work from Kathryn Hahn and Kevin Bacon, is still worth seeking out. Hahn is Chris, an artist and filmmaker shackled to her academic husband and underwhelmed by life '' Bacon is Dick, an artist and philosopher who unravels Chris's sexual repression and artistic boundaries.
Amazon Studios
9/20 The Man in the High CastleThis alternate-history thriller takes a while to find its feet, despite brilliant source material in Philip K Dick's terrifying 1962 novel of the same name. Don't let that put you off, though. The Man in the High Castle is still propulsive entertainment, driven by narrative conundrums, scenery-stealing villains and a sprawling cast of characters.
Amazon Studios
10/20 The Marvellous Mrs MaiselCurrently the jewel in Amazon's crown, The Marvellous Mrs Maisel has proven to be a bigger hit with awards ceremonies than it has with actual audiences. But it was also never going to be a serious zeitgeist breakout, either, with creator Amy Sherman-Palladino retaining the lightning-fast dialogue of her series Gilmore Girls, and the show driven by the niche specifics of Fifties stand-up comedy. It is very good, though, and in the starring role of an aspiring comedian slowly climbing the ranks, Rachel Brosnahan is a revelation.
Amazon Studios
11/20 Modern LoveModern Love is a gentle, funny throwback to classic Nineties romantic comedies about wealthy New Yorkers plagued with problems of the heart. Inspired by the much-adored New York Times column, it is glossy, tender and endlessly charming, as well as stacked with a A-listers including Anne Hathaway, Tina Fey, Dev Patel and Andy Garcia.
Amazon Studios
12/20 Mozart in the JungleThe epitome of a smart, unassuming comedy, Mozart in the Jungle quietly chugged away in the background before being cancelled after four seasons. It has an intriguingly unique premise (the soapy romantic entanglements of musicians in the New York Symphony) and a dreamy cast that includes Gael Garcia Bernal, Malcolm McDowell, Lola Kirke and Bernadette Peters. It's talky and low-key and very New York '' think Woody Allen without any real-world baggage '' and stays charming for the entirety of its run.
Amazon Studios
13/20 One MississippiAn autobiographical vehicle for comedian Tig Notaro, One Mississippi is today something of a relic, embodying Amazon's early interest in downbeat, female-driven comedies designed for niche audiences. It's quietly brilliant, with Notaro a radio host returning to her hometown and dealing with her mother's death and her own health traumas and feelings of grief.
Amazon Studios
14/20 Red OaksRed Oaks is wonderful as both a silly pastiche of John Hughes movies, and as a heartwarming tale of young adulthood and discovering your passions. Starring Submarine's Craig Roberts as a New Jersey college student working for a country club during the summer, it feels like a deliberate throwback to the coming-of-age tales crafted by Richard Linklater and Cameron Crowe.
Amazon Studios
15/20 The RomanoffsMatthew Weiner's expensive follow-up to Mad Men was a polarising affair, an anthology series that swung haphazardly between enormous highs and middling lows. But it was always captivating, with a consistent sense of urgency and confidence and a cast direct from the gods. Isabelle Huppert, Christina Hendricks, John Slattery, Diane Lane, Aaron Eckhart and Kathryn Hahn were among the names tasked with being tart, neurotic and moneyed.
Amazon Studios
16/20 Sneaky PeteA twisty family drama underpinned by cons and betrayals, Sneaky Pete is in many ways a throwback to the glossy US dramas of the late Nineties and early Noughties '' with small, self-contained stories serenaded by larger story arcs. At its centre is Giovanni Ribisi's'‹ fresh-from-jail con man, whose impersonation of his cellmate and subsequent immersion into the man's estranged family gives the show its pulse. Margo Martindale, that most ubiquitous of great supporting actors, is his ''grandmother'', and unsurprisingly steals the show on a regular basis.
Amazon Studios
17/20 The TickCruelly cancelled in 2001, and then cruelly cancelled again just as it was hitting its stride on Amazon, Ben Edlund's The Tick is a delicious, hyper-real satire adapted from his own cult comic book. The latest version stars British comic Peter Serafinowicz as a superhero sporting an enormous blue muscle-suit and determined to fight crime. Broadcast in easily digestible half-hour chunks, this is a smart, inventive comedy very much worth your time.
Amazon Studios
18/20 Tom Clancy's Jack RyanDoing exactly what it promised on the tin, Amazon's Jack Ryan adaptation delivers action, spectacle and all-American patriotism, with John Krasinski upending all pre-existing expectations in his role as the heroic CIA analyst of the title.
Amazon Studios
19/20 Too Old to Die YoungDespite coming and going with surprisingly little fanfare considering the cult filmmaker responsible for it, Too Old to Die Young was one of the coolest shows of last summer, with Drive's Nicolas Winding Refn presenting another murky slice of surreal, neon-soaked LA noir. Part crime drama and part horror movie, the limited series sees Miles Teller play a grieving cop embroiled in an underworld odyssey. Jena Malone, John Hawkes and William Baldwin are among the freaks and monsters he encountered along the way.
Amazon Studios
20/20 TransparentTransparent has been mired in disappointing controversy since the misconduct allegations levelled at star Jeffrey Tambor, and his subsequent firing from the series. But it still remains one of the most important TV shows of the past decade '' a moving, heartfelt depiction of trans identity that grew stronger and more politically astute as it went on.
Amazon Studios
1/20 BoschDespite being largely unknown outside of its devoted fanbase, Bosch is in many respects Amazon's flagship drama '' one of its longest-running and most interesting series, built around a rare and much deserved starring role for character actor Titus Welliver. Inspired by Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch novels, it is a grizzled and grimy contemporary noir, with Bosch a gruff LA detective caught up in child murder, sex rings and police brutality.
Amazon Studios
2/20 The BoysGrim, nihilistic and incredibly funny, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg's adults-only superhero thriller was adapted from a cult comic book by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson, and has proven to be one of Amazon's biggest successes. Set within a world dominated by superhero corporations and two rival factions of super-powered beings, it has tackled sex, violence, masculinity and feelings of emotional disillusionment so far.
Amazon Studios
3/20 The ExpanseWorth catching up with before it arrives on Amazon for its fourth season this December, The Expanse, formerly broadcast on SyFy, has found a significant following due to its intergalactic space intrigue and real-world relevance. Set within a fragile intergalactic union between Earth, Mars and the asteroid belt, it features an ensemble cast of compelling character actors that has included Thomas Jane, Steven Strait, Shohreh Aghdashloo and Elizabeth Mitchell.
Amazon Studios
4/20 ForeverA surreal, polarising dark comedy from Fred Armisen and Maya Rudolph, Forever divided audiences throughout its first and only season. But it is unapologetically daring and oddball television regardless of where you stand on it. Armisen and Rudolph are a dull couple who have lived in a form of marital stasis for more than a decade, before both dying tragically. What follows is a series about second chances, renewed feelings of purpose, and the upside of the afterlife.
Amazon Studios
5/20 HomecomingHomecoming is a compelling mystery thriller filled with Hitchcockian visual flourishes and a central performance from Julia Roberts that practically defines star power. From the wild brain of Mr Robot creator Sam Esmail, it stars Roberts as an employee of a mysterious government facility, and is awash with conspiracies, repressed memories and paranoia. A second season, which sees Roberts succeeded in the leading role by none other than funk visionary Janelle Mone, is due in 2020.
Amazon Studios
6/20 Good Girls RevoltDespite being cancelled before it was able to truly flourish, Good Girls Revolt is still a treat. A less refined Mad Men entirely fronted by women, it was inspired by the female rebellion within the corridors of Newsweek Magazine in 1970, with a trio of young researchers deciding the revolution occurring in the streets should be replicated in the workplace, too. of young researchers deciding the revolution occurring in the streets should be replicated in the workplace, too.
Amazon Studios
7/20 Good OmensEverything was thrown into the pot for this Neil Gaiman adaptation, and with good reason. A gleefully messy battle of wits between good and evil, Good Omens cast Michael Sheen and David Tennant respectively as their eccentric physical embodiments '' long-time friends despite their duelling purposes, who must prevent the coming apocalypse. Surrounding them is a cast of cult favourites, from Frances McDormand as God to Jon Hamm as the Archangel Gabriel. duelling purposes, who must prevent the coming apocalypse. Surrounding them was a cast of cult favourites, from Frances McDormand as God to Jon Hamm as the Archangel Gabriel.
Amazon Studios
8/20 I Love DickThis adaptation of Chris Kraus's seminal and polarising 1997 novel was never going to be widely embraced, particularly when it was long argued to be unfilmable anyway. But the resulting series, a short-lived intellectual adventure featuring startling, brilliant work from Kathryn Hahn and Kevin Bacon, is still worth seeking out. Hahn is Chris, an artist and filmmaker shackled to her academic husband and underwhelmed by life; Bacon is Dick, an artist and philosopher who unravels Chris's sexual repression and artistic boundaries. work from Kathryn Hahn and Kevin Bacon, is still worth seeking out. Hahn is Chris, an artist and filmmaker shackled to her academic husband and underwhelmed by life '' Bacon is Dick, an artist and philosopher who unravels Chris's sexual repression and artistic boundaries.
Amazon Studios
9/20 The Man in the High CastleThis alternate-history thriller takes a while to find its feet, despite brilliant source material in Philip K Dick's terrifying 1962 novel of the same name. Don't let that put you off, though. The Man in the High Castle is still propulsive entertainment, driven by narrative conundrums, scenery-stealing villains and a sprawling cast of characters.
Amazon Studios
10/20 The Marvellous Mrs MaiselCurrently the jewel in Amazon's crown, The Marvellous Mrs Maisel has proven to be a bigger hit with awards ceremonies than it has with actual audiences. But it was also never going to be a serious zeitgeist breakout, either, with creator Amy Sherman-Palladino retaining the lightning-fast dialogue of her series Gilmore Girls, and the show driven by the niche specifics of Fifties stand-up comedy. It is very good, though, and in the starring role of an aspiring comedian slowly climbing the ranks, Rachel Brosnahan is a revelation.
Amazon Studios
11/20 Modern LoveModern Love is a gentle, funny throwback to classic Nineties romantic comedies about wealthy New Yorkers plagued with problems of the heart. Inspired by the much-adored New York Times column, it is glossy, tender and endlessly charming, as well as stacked with a A-listers including Anne Hathaway, Tina Fey, Dev Patel and Andy Garcia.
Amazon Studios
12/20 Mozart in the JungleThe epitome of a smart, unassuming comedy, Mozart in the Jungle quietly chugged away in the background before being cancelled after four seasons. It has an intriguingly unique premise (the soapy romantic entanglements of musicians in the New York Symphony) and a dreamy cast that includes Gael Garcia Bernal, Malcolm McDowell, Lola Kirke and Bernadette Peters. It's talky and low-key and very New York '' think Woody Allen without any real-world baggage '' and stays charming for the entirety of its run.
Amazon Studios
13/20 One MississippiAn autobiographical vehicle for comedian Tig Notaro, One Mississippi is today something of a relic, embodying Amazon's early interest in downbeat, female-driven comedies designed for niche audiences. It's quietly brilliant, with Notaro a radio host returning to her hometown and dealing with her mother's death and her own health traumas and feelings of grief.
Amazon Studios
14/20 Red OaksRed Oaks is wonderful as both a silly pastiche of John Hughes movies, and as a heartwarming tale of young adulthood and discovering your passions. Starring Submarine's Craig Roberts as a New Jersey college student working for a country club during the summer, it feels like a deliberate throwback to the coming-of-age tales crafted by Richard Linklater and Cameron Crowe.
Amazon Studios
15/20 The RomanoffsMatthew Weiner's expensive follow-up to Mad Men was a polarising affair, an anthology series that swung haphazardly between enormous highs and middling lows. But it was always captivating, with a consistent sense of urgency and confidence and a cast direct from the gods. Isabelle Huppert, Christina Hendricks, John Slattery, Diane Lane, Aaron Eckhart and Kathryn Hahn were among the names tasked with being tart, neurotic and moneyed.
Amazon Studios
16/20 Sneaky PeteA twisty family drama underpinned by cons and betrayals, Sneaky Pete is in many ways a throwback to the glossy US dramas of the late Nineties and early Noughties '' with small, self-contained stories serenaded by larger story arcs. At its centre is Giovanni Ribisi's'‹ fresh-from-jail con man, whose impersonation of his cellmate and subsequent immersion into the man's estranged family gives the show its pulse. Margo Martindale, that most ubiquitous of great supporting actors, is his ''grandmother'', and unsurprisingly steals the show on a regular basis.
Amazon Studios
17/20 The TickCruelly cancelled in 2001, and then cruelly cancelled again just as it was hitting its stride on Amazon, Ben Edlund's The Tick is a delicious, hyper-real satire adapted from his own cult comic book. The latest version stars British comic Peter Serafinowicz as a superhero sporting an enormous blue muscle-suit and determined to fight crime. Broadcast in easily digestible half-hour chunks, this is a smart, inventive comedy very much worth your time.
Amazon Studios
18/20 Tom Clancy's Jack RyanDoing exactly what it promised on the tin, Amazon's Jack Ryan adaptation delivers action, spectacle and all-American patriotism, with John Krasinski upending all pre-existing expectations in his role as the heroic CIA analyst of the title.
Amazon Studios
19/20 Too Old to Die YoungDespite coming and going with surprisingly little fanfare considering the cult filmmaker responsible for it, Too Old to Die Young was one of the coolest shows of last summer, with Drive's Nicolas Winding Refn presenting another murky slice of surreal, neon-soaked LA noir. Part crime drama and part horror movie, the limited series sees Miles Teller play a grieving cop embroiled in an underworld odyssey. Jena Malone, John Hawkes and William Baldwin are among the freaks and monsters he encountered along the way.
Amazon Studios
20/20 TransparentTransparent has been mired in disappointing controversy since the misconduct allegations levelled at star Jeffrey Tambor, and his subsequent firing from the series. But it still remains one of the most important TV shows of the past decade '' a moving, heartfelt depiction of trans identity that grew stronger and more politically astute as it went on.
Amazon Studios
Transgender world track cycling champion Rachel McKinnon criticised the episode on Twitter, calling it ''lazy'' and ''transphobic''.
''I'm not particularly mad about the South Park episode,'' she said. ''Yes it's transphobic. Yes it's lazy. Yes it contributes to harm to trans women and girls. But they're lazy and increasingly irrelevant. F***, Futurama made the same stupid storyline in 2003. Transphobes don't have new jokes.''
She added: ''South Park has been deeply transphobic the *entire time.* This isn't their first explicitly transphobic story line. It won't be their last. Stone and Parker are transphobes. Write them off. Ignore their lazy show.''
In 2018, McKinnon became the first trans athlete to win a track world title at the women's World Masters Track Cycling Championship in California.
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'Kick out Black Pete!' Anti-blackface paranoia comes after Dutch children's festival tradition -- Society's Child -- Sott.net
Sun, 17 Nov 2019 07:19
(C) Reuters / Piroschka van de Wouw A traditional parade in Scheveningen, Netherlands, on November 16, 2019.
A century-old Dutch holiday tradition involving St. Nicholas and his companion - Black Pete - has found itself at the center of yet another anti-racist campaign, all because Pete is a now nothing more than a blackface character!
The Netherlands traditionally celebrates the Arrival of Sinterklaas - or St. Nicholas -with annual street parades in early December. However, it isn't just cheerful, colorfully dressed festival-goers that will be taking to the streets this weekend, as dozens of protests take place across the country against what was once a children's holiday tradition.
It is not that the Dutch suddenly became disgruntled over a Christian saint with a long white beard greeting children ahead of Christmas. It is his companion that has been sparking uproar in some parts of society. Zwarte Piet - or Black Pete - is usually portrayed by people wearing full blackface, red lipstick, curly wigs and dressed in colorful costumes.
Black Pete hasn't always been all that warm and fuzzy. St. Nicholas' companion has come a long way from being a much more menacing character punishing poorly behaved children. He has been associated with Moors and even demons, according to some reports. Some also claim that he is nothing more than the legacy of the Dutch colonial past.
(C) Reuters / Piroschka van de Wouw People protest against the arrival of Saint Nicholas and his assistants called "Zwarte Piet" (Black Pete) in The Hague, Netherlands, on November 16, 2019.
But it isn't his somewhat murky history that is of concern for most anti-racist campaigners and all sorts of social justice warriors, as he has long been depicted as a positive character tasked mainly with amusing children and distributing special festival sweets. It is the sheer fact that the character is associated with blackface that draws the ire of all those who call him a "racist caricature," adding that the tradition is "hurtful" to black people and "damaging" to children.
The "Kick Out Black Pete" movement that has been active in the Netherlands for several years, and has organized protests against the tradition on the sidelines of street parades in about a dozen Dutch cities, including The Hague.
The protesters held banners and placards that read "Racism is not children's holiday" and "Black Pete is racism." Some rallies were attended by hundreds of people, while others saw only a handful of protesters.
Dutch authorities and the media have seemingly also grown uncomfortable with a topic that sparks such controversy these days. Dutch TV has decided to drop characters wearing full blackface in favor of ones with a few dark smudges representing soot from all the chimneys they are supposed to climb down while delivering presents. Some towns and cities, including the Dutch capital of Amsterdam, as well as Apeldoorn, which hosts the nationally televised Arrival of St. Nicholas, also adopted Sooty Petes for their parades.
(C) Reuters / Eva Plevier Saint Nicholas is escorted by his assistants called "Zwarte Piet" (Black Pete) during a traditional parade in Amsterdam, Netherlands, on November 18, 2018.
The Dutch public, however, appears to be in no rush to follow yet another woke trend. The street parades across the Netherlands have certainly seen their fair share of blackface-wearing Petes this weekend. According to a recent opinion poll cited by Reuters, almost 60 percent of Dutch people still want to keep Black Pete as he is - with blackface - while only slightly more than a quarter of them said that the tradition needs to be changed.
Grote ME-macht zorgt dat bussen met tegenstanders zwarte piet na demonstratie Den Bosch uit kunnen - Omroep Brabant
Sun, 17 Nov 2019 09:44
zondag 17 november 2019, 13:24 DEN BOSCH -Een groot peloton ME'ers met honden en paarden heeft er in de binnenstad van Den Bosch voor gezorgd dat de tegenstanders van zwarte piet veilig weg konden komen met bussen. Dat gebeurde bij het Brugplein. Voorstanders van zwarte piet kwamen daarheen om hun opponenten op te wachten.
Op voorhand was al duidelijk dat zowel voor- als tegenstanders van zwarte piet zondag in Den Bosch zouden komen demonstreren. Actiegroep Den Bosch Kan het, anti-zwarte piet, kreeg een afgebakende demonstratieplek toegewezen aan de Buitenhaven. Zij kregen daar steun van Kick Out Zwarte Piet, de landelijke actiegroep.
Zondagochtend kwamen aanhangers van anti-islamorganisatie Pegida, fervent voorstanders van het behoud van de figuur zwarte piet, naar diezelfde plek toe. Zij hadden geen officile aanvraag gedaan voor een demonstratie.
Daarnaast waren leden van de harde kern van FC Den Bosch naar de stad gekomen om verkleed als zwarte piet pepernoten uit te delen.
Enorme politiemachtDe aanwezigheid van groepen die lijnrecht tegenover elkaar staan wat betreft hun mening over zwarte piet, bracht zondagochtend al vroeg een flinke politiemacht op de been.
Tekst gaat verder onder de tweet.
Oproep burgemeesterOp de website van de gemeente Den Bosch, deed burgemeester Jack Mikkers een oproep aan de inwoners van zijn stad. ''Met alle mensen die naar de intocht komen, wil ik er zondag een fijn en veilig kinderfeest van maken. Ouders en kinderen, andere bezoekers en demonstranten. Respecteer elkaar in een andere mening dan jezelf hebt. En houd in de gaten dat we het goede voorbeeld geven aan onze kinderen.''
In een liveblog hield Omroep Brabant je op de hoogte van alle actuele ontwikkelingen in Den Bosch.
Jefferies has a 'black swan' warning for the video game industry
Sun, 17 Nov 2019 10:13
(This story is part of the Weekend Brief edition of the Evening Brief newsletter. To sign up for CNBC's Evening Brief, click here.)
The addictive nature of video games, designed to keep players in the game for as long as possible, may make investors happy, but some are now warning that a regulatory crackdown could be coming for the industry.
In a new research report, Jefferies said that a growing emphasis on the side effects from hours spent gaming '-- fueled by design features that encourage users to stay in the game '-- could lead to increased oversight and headwinds for gaming companies.
"We see addiction and possible related regulatory, litigation or taxation consequences for the video game sector as a 'black swan' '' largely not discussed or discounted," Jefferies analyst Simon Powell said.
But not everyone sees it that way.
Strategic Wealth Partners' president and CEO Mark Tepper said that while regulation could be a headwind for Chinese publishers, United States-based developers are relatively immune. For instance, he said that Activision Blizzard, which he owns, only has 13% exposure to Asia and that most of it is through the game Candy Crush.
When it comes to regulation in the U.S., which some have called for, Cerity Partners' Jim Lebenthal said he isn't worried. The difficulty in defining what exactly "addiction" means, coupled with Congress having "bigger things to tackle," means he continues to own shares of Electronic Arts.
The video game industry has an estimated 2.5 billion active players worldwide, with mobile accounting for nearly 50% of the market. The industry is now worth $150 billion, according to Newzoo, which Jefferies noted makes it larger than the global box office and digital music industries '-- combined.
But video games have not been immune to the sharper eye society is now turning toward the impact of technology on peoples' lives and the behavior some say it encourages, especially in the young.
In 2018, the World Health Organization officially recognized gaming disorder, which it defines as "a pattern of gaming behavior ... characterized by impaired control over gaming, increasing priority given to gaming over other activities to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other interests and daily activities, and continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences."
Jefferies looked at aspects of the industry that could potentially be regulated, such as age and in-game spending, and then analyzed the impact on revenue. Overall, the analysts led by Simon Powell said that the industry is complacent, with an "apparent lack of concern" regarding the potential threat of regulation.
Calls for regulation are still in nascent stages in part because of the highly subjective nature of terms like "addiction" and "harm." And not everyone agrees with the World Health Organization's warning. The Entertainment Software Association in the U.S. and the Association for UK Interactive Entertainment, for example, are two organizations that have opposed the classification. Jefferies was also quick to note that there can certainly be a healthy amount of gaming, and that the addiction issue might lie more with the outliers.
But while investors are well aware of and focused on regulation when it comes to big tech like the "FAANG" names, Jefferies said that the Street isn't applying the same sort of concern to video gaming stocks. "These issues aren't front of mind or priced-in for some stocks '... [we] don't believe that these issues are at all high on investors' list of priorities or concerns for video games stocks."
Video game business modelMobile and web-based gaming has revolutionized the way video games make money. These games are virtually all free to download, so companies rely on in-app purchases and to a lesser extent advertising to generate revenue.
In-game purchases can take on different forms. There are straightforward transactions where players buy something outright, such as ad-free play, and then there are also "loot boxes," which is essentially when players gamble on something without knowing what they will get or the odds of getting it. Both purchases can be completed with dollars or in-app currency.
Jefferies said that this new games-as-a-service business has allowed the video game companies to thrive since the games can absorb large amounts of time and money without the risky hit or miss nature of prior video game launches.
But the overall revenue statistics might not tell the whole story. Gaming companies don't typically reveal how much money the average player spends, which means that if a minority of players are spending the most money, any regulation of these high-dollar players could have an outsized impact.
"In mobile, it's the minority who pay who support the whole industry '' and thus if some of the highest spenders (logically including those addicted and harming themselves mentally or financially) were regulated to limit or remove their spend, the industry as a whole would be severely impacted," the firm said.
The video game companies are known for collecting data on player behavior to tailor each user's experience, Jefferies said, which means that investors could conceivably start asking creators to be more upfront and provide granular metrics on things like revenue per player.
Drawing in usersAs is the case with other forms of entertainment '-- like movies, television, or music '-- where the aim is to keep people watching or listening for the longest amount of time, video game creators want to keep users playing.
The designers have used a combination of psychological and technological elements to maximize players' experience, Jefferies said.
"Persuasive design is the practice of combining a psychology and technology to change people's behavior. It is increasingly employed by video games and social media companies to pull users onto their sites and keep them there for as long as possible '-- as this drives revenue."
The firm said that mobile games are the most at risk since it's difficult to claim that features aren't designed to keep users playing and spending money. Older, single-player games, by contrast, are physically purchased, meaning that the developer collects some revenue on that game regardless of how long is actually spent playing.
One of the reasons investors have piled into video game stocks is that they are seen as high-growth names, so any crackdown that prohibits users from playing freely could lead to a sentiment shift.
"At a high level, an industry generally seen as facing high growth and low risks would be derated if the growth, risks or costs of compliance were seen to be escalating unexpectedly," the firm said.
When it comes to regulatory risk, not all games are created equal. Larger companies could have a better chance at surviving an increase in regulation, the firm said, since they are better positioned to handle things like costs associated with operations and litigation. More tightly regulated industries can also create higher barriers of entry, which can once again act as an advantage for larger companies.
Regulation around the corner?The question of how to regulate the industry is challenging since it comes down to subjective interpretations of "addiction," "excessive," and a host of other terms.
But countries such as China and Korea already have game permitting systems in place. Jefferies said that there are many elements that could potentially be regulated, and that the industry, which has so far enjoyed tax breaks, could start to be taxed like other "addictive" past-times such as smoking, gambling or drinking.
"Regulations could come in multiple forms '-- limiting content, increasing scrutiny of permissions, enforcing (currently very lax) age regulations, limiting play time or spending (especially for children), regulating or banning certain games, mechanics, or features (loot boxes, which closely relate to gambling, have been regulated or banned as such in some markets and this trend is likely to spread)," the firm said.
Powell said that while investors might be aware of the regulatory hurdles in China, for instance, they are not pricing in risk from developed markets.
But Mark Tepper, president and CEO at Strategic Wealth Partners, said that it would be hard to enact similar legislation in the United States.
"The US has never taken steps to the extent China has when it comes to censoring, blocking, and regulating forms of entertainment like TV, movies, social media and video games. This isn't something to worry about when looking at Activision Blizzard, Electronic Arts, Take-Two, etc.," he said to CNBC.
He added that US publishers have minimal exposure to Asia, and also that they are partnering with Asia-based companies as a strategic and lower-risk way to enter foreign markets.
"Some could argue that it [gaming disorder] may limit future penetration into China (largest gaming market), but we still see positive trends from ATVI '-- partnering with Tencent to launch Call of Duty mobile in China gives good initial exposure to the market. And globalization of e-sports and team-based games (primarily Blizzard titles) are helping to connect ATVI to the Chinese gaming market," Tepper said. He owns shares of Activision Blizzard.
What's next from Washington?In July, Senator Josh Hawley introduced the "Social Media Addiction Reduction Technology Act" or "SMART" act, which would ban features on tech platforms that are designed to be addictive, among other things.
On multiple occasions, the Oval Office has raised concerns about video games specifically. In 2018, President Donald Trump hosted a White House roundtable with video game company CEOs and representatives to discuss "the violent video game exposure and the correlation to aggression and desensitization in children" following the mass shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. In August, Trump again spoke of a possible connection between violence in video games and mass shootings.
But thus far there haven't been any huge regulatory pushes. And Cerity Partners' Jim Lebenthal, who owns shares of Electronic Arts, doesn't anticipate any addiction-related legislation getting off the ground in the United States.
"I'm not worried about this at all, for many reasons. First off, Congress has a lot bigger things to tackle than legislating electronic games ... I can't see this making it onto the agenda anytime soon," he said.
And even if addiction-related legislation were to advance, he said that other industries, such as casinos, would have much more to worry about. "Persuasive design is not illegal at all, at least right now. Someone may make it illegal, but there are other industries that have a lot more to lose," he said.
Powell's colleague in the United States, Alex Giaimo, echoed this point, saying that the U.S. government currently has "bigger fish to fry" and that he doesn't see "a near-term scenario in which attention shifts to the Video Game industry."
But the firm also said that government agencies aren't the only ones who might get involved, and that the potential for future lawsuits related to addiction could cost the industry as much as $115 billion.
Ultimately, Jefferies said that investors "should be alert to potential changes on the horizon."
Giaimo covers the U.S.-based publishers for Jefferies. He has a buy rating on Activision Blizzard, and hold ratings on Electronic Arts and Take-Two Interactive.
- CNBC's Michael Bloom contributed reporting.
Vape Wars
Iowa attorney general stands up for e-cigarettes after winning 1998 big tobacco lawsuit
Fri, 15 Nov 2019 14:48
Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller is known for winning the largest settlement against big tobacco in history. Now, Miller is standing up for e-cigarettes. "If smokers were to switch to e-cigarettes they could well save their lives," Miller said. Miller knows his opinion is not common in the anti-tobacco community."That's not surprising," Miller said. "They fought this battle for a long time. They see it as the same battle. I see it as totally different."Iowa has received more than $1 billion from the landmark 1998 settlement against big tobacco Miller helped lead. He sees e-cigarettes as yet another way to move people away from smoking traditional combustible cigarettes."Public Health England tells us, I believe correctly, that e-cigarettes are at least 95% less harmful," Miller said. His office sent a letter to the Trump administration in October warning of unintended consequences if the administration moves forward with plans to ban flavored e-cigarettes, possibly creating a black market. "There's going to be disease and defective products," Miller said. "That's the lesson of the lung disease epidemic."Miller partnered with JUUL Labs during spring 2018 to fight underage use. He even acted in an advisory role with the company, but his office said he is no longer in contact with JUUL Labs."The No. 1 priority for me is to move the age to 21 for both e-cigarettes and combustibles," Miller said. We asked Miller about all the current health advisories related to vaping. He said liquid vitamin E, the ingredient the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention believes is causing lung issues, is only in illegal THC vaping liquids and not the legal e-cigarettes. Miller does not vape. While he thinks vaping is a solution for adult smokers, he does support restrictions on advertising to youth and making it harder for kids to access.
DES MOINES, Iowa '--Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller is known for winning the largest settlement against big tobacco in history. Now, Miller is standing up for e-cigarettes.
"If smokers were to switch to e-cigarettes they could well save their lives," Miller said.
Miller knows his opinion is not common in the anti-tobacco community.
"That's not surprising," Miller said. "They fought this battle for a long time. They see it as the same battle. I see it as totally different."
Iowa has received more than $1 billion from the landmark 1998 settlement against big tobacco Miller helped lead. He sees e-cigarettes as yet another way to move people away from smoking traditional combustible cigarettes.
"Public Health England tells us, I believe correctly, that e-cigarettes are at least 95% less harmful," Miller said.
His office sent a letter to the Trump administration in October warning of unintended consequences if the administration moves forward with plans to ban flavored e-cigarettes, possibly creating a black market.
"There's going to be disease and defective products," Miller said. "That's the lesson of the lung disease epidemic."
Miller partnered with JUUL Labs during spring 2018 to fight underage use. He even acted in an advisory role with the company, but his office said he is no longer in contact with JUUL Labs.
"The No. 1 priority for me is to move the age to 21 for both e-cigarettes and combustibles," Miller said.
We asked Miller about all the current health advisories related to vaping. He said liquid vitamin E, the ingredient the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention believes is causing lung issues, is only in illegal THC vaping liquids and not the legal e-cigarettes.
Miller does not vape. While he thinks vaping is a solution for adult smokers, he does support restrictions on advertising to youth and making it harder for kids to access.
Apple Removing Vaping-Related Apps From App Store Today Amid Public Health Concerns - MacRumors
Sat, 16 Nov 2019 06:44
Apple is
removing all vaping-related apps from the App Store today, according to
Axios, shortly after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
reported 2,172 lung injury cases linked to e-cigarette or vape products.
In a statement issued to
Axios, Apple said it agrees with expert opinions that vaping is a "public health crisis" and a "youth epidemic":
We take great care to curate the App Store as a trusted place for customers, particularly youth, to download apps. We're constantly evaluating apps, and consulting the latest evidence, to determine risks to users' health and well-being. Recently, experts ranging from the CDC to the American Heart Association have attributed a variety of lung injuries and fatalities to e-cigarette and vaping products, going so far as to call the spread of these devices a public health crisis and a youth epidemic. We agree, and we've updated our App Store Review Guidelines to reflect that apps encouraging or facilitating the use of these products are not permitted. As of today, these apps are no longer available to download.Apple had already took a step in this direction in June, when it updated its
App Store Review Guidelines to indicate that apps encouraging consumption of vape products are not permitted on the App Store.
Vaping-related apps already installed on iOS devices will continue to function.
Note: This discussion thread is located in our Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.
War on Guns
Select Committee shuts down livestream after submitter points out shooter could not have been vetted properly '' Corruption Free NZ
Fri, 15 Nov 2019 14:51
The Finance and Expenditure Select Committee is currently hearing oral submissions on the governments second round of firearms law changes, and so far some 95% of the submissions have been against the bill. Such opposition is completely understandable given that the bill cranks up restrictions and punishments on those who try to comply with the law and makes no attempt to disincentivise criminals who use arms.
One of the submitters, Paul, from Aoraki Ammunition Company. Paul presented a Police Mail Order Form to the camera, one that authorized the transfer of 2,320 rounds of ammunition to Brenton Tarrant. Before Paul could get into much detail the Select Committee halted his submission and cut off the live-stream. Apparently you can't give any details that show police incompetence when the product of that incompetence is still working it's way through the court system.
Paul was trying to show that because the expiry of Mr Tarrant's firearms licence was Sep 2027 and given that it was a 10 year licence, the licence was issued in Sep 2017. Paul then started to point out that it was only a matter of 5 weeks between Tarrant arriving in NZ with no friends or family, and having been vetted by the NZ Police as being fit and proper to hold a firearms licence. The chair of the committee shut down the livestream shortly after objections were heard from off-camera.
This is a seriously valid point that has been raised before, yet there seems little appetite among NZ politicians to suspect that the Christchurch attacks were allowed to happen due to Police failings '' it is far better for the agenda of gun control to simply assume that all firearms licence holders in NZ are deranged lunatics like Tarrant in order to justify nationwide bans, seizures, and raids.
Right after the attack, former head of firearms control Joe Green raised serious questions about Police, yet the government has continued to enact tyranny on the good people of New Zealand in the name of ''safety''.
The TLDR; of the situation is:
Tarrant obtained a firearms licence within 5 weeks of arriving in NZ with no friends or family in the country.Police then signed off on Tarrant ordering 2,320 rounds of ammunition.His licence application was made in Waikato when he live in Dunedin, in a bid to increase his chances of obtaining a licence.His personal referees required as part of vetting appear to be people who knew him online and not in person.Tarrant declined to be interviewed by the vetting officer at his home, instead he was interviewed at work.There is doubt if a security check of his home was even conducted.Concerns about Tarrant were reportedly raised with Police prior to the attacks and not followed up.There is no official word, but the lapses that allowed Tarrant to do what he did look to fall not upon the shoulders of the firearms community in NZ, but squarely at the feet of Police. It is doubtful though that the Government and Police will take any notice '' they are too busy vilifying the firearms community in the hope that people don't see the trail of blood that leads to their own front door.
War on Cash
Residents of 259 areas of UK struggle to get hold of their money because ATMs have been closed | Daily Mail Online
Sun, 17 Nov 2019 06:36
Britain's cash deserts: Residents of 259 areas of UK struggle to get hold of their money because ALL the local ATMs have been closedPeople living in 259 postcode areas across UK struggle to get hold of bank notes Which? said ATMs were closing at a rate of 578 a month in first half of this year The Daily Mail has highlighted continuing threat to cash machines around the UKBy Sean Poulter for the Daily Mail
Published: 19:18 EST, 13 November 2019 | Updated: 19:23 EST, 13 November 2019
Hundreds of communities have little or no access to a 'hole in the wall' cash machine, creating hardship for thousands, say researchers.
People living in 259 postcode areas across the UK struggle to get hold of bank notes to carry out simple tasks such as buying a pint of milk or paying a bus fare, they found.
And the situation is set to get worse as Britain sleepwalks towards a cashless society.
Consumer group Which? said ATMs were closing at a rate of 578 a month in the first half of this year. This is creating a 'cash desert', which makes life particularly difficult for the elderly, who prefer to use cash, and small businesses.
Consumer group Which? said ATMs were closing at a rate of 578 a month in the first half of this year (pictured, areas with no cash machine)
Banks are pushing people to switch to plastic cards and smartphone apps, such as Apple Pay, rather than cash because it saves them a fortune in terms of handling, security, counting and transport costs.
They have made it increasingly difficult to access money by closing hundreds of branches, ripping the heart out of town centres and shopping streets. Research by Which? found that 130 postcode districts with a combined population of 115,741 do not have a single cashpoint and 36 of these do not have the safety net of a post office.
A further 129 communities have just one ATM and 84 of these impose a charge, typically around £1 but occasionally £2.
The area with the biggest population that does not have a cash machine is the Peterborough postcode district of PE32, where 15,294 people live.
This and other communities do have access to a post office, but these have restricted opening times whereas an ATM is open around the clock.
Which? has also identified the areas with the highest populations without a cashpoint or post office '' meaning residents could be at risk of being cut off from 'cash infrastructure' entirely. These are led by the Aberdeen postcode of AB13 with a population of 2,725.
Banks are pushing people to switch to plastic cards and smartphone apps, such as Apple Pay (pictured, a 'hole in the wall' machine)
Industry figures show the total number of cash machines has fallen by around 6,700 over the past two years to 61,961. Which? said the main reason for this fall was a cut in the fees paid by banks to third party cash machine operators, which meant many of the ATMs were no longer economically viable.
The consumer group said the Government's Payment Systems Regulator should take control of these cashpoint fees and ensure banks pay a fair figure to operators who run machines in 'cash deserts'.
The Daily Mail has highlighted the continuing threat to cash machines and is campaigning to save rural post offices and the services they offer.
Gareth Shaw, head of money at Which?, said: 'The countless communities across the UK with shockingly low cash-machine provision show that measures intended to guarantee access to cash simply don't work '' and point to mismanagement that is leaving many struggling.'
UK Finance, the collective voice for banking and finance firms, said it is supporting an initiative by LINK, which administers fees supporting the cash machine network, to install new ATMs in communities that flag up a need.
The OPCW and Douma: Chemical Weapons Watchdog Accused of Evidence-Tampering by Its Own Inspectors - CounterPunch.org
Sat, 16 Nov 2019 10:10
Claims that President Bashar al-Assad's forces have used chemical weapons are almost as old as the Syrian civil war itself. They have produced strong reactions, and none more so than in the case of the alleged attack in April last year on the opposition-controlled area of Douma near Damascus in which 43 people are said to have been killed by chlorine gas. The United States, Britain and France responded by launching airstrikes on targets in the Syrian capital.
Were the strikes justified? An inspector from the eight-member team sent to Douma has just come forward with disturbing allegations about the international watchdog, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which was tasked with obtaining and examining evidence.
Involved in collecting samples as well as drafting the OPCW's interim report, he claims his evidence was suppressed and a new report was written by senior managers with assertions that contradicted his findings.
The inspector went public with his allegations at a recent all-day briefing in Brussels for people from several countries working in disarmament, international law, military operations, medicine and intelligence. They included Richard Falk, former UN special rapporteur on Palestine and Major-General John Holmes, a distinguished former commander of Britain's special forces. The session was organised by the Courage Foundation, a New York-based fund which supports whistle-blowers. I attended as an independent reporter.
The whistle-blower gave us his name but prefers to go under the pseudonym Alex out of concern, he says, for his safety.
He is the second member of the Douma Fact-Finding Mission to have alleged that scientific evidence was suppressed. In May this year an unpublished report by Ian Henderson, a South African ballistics expert who was in charge of the mission's engineering sub-team was leaked. The team examined two suspicious cylinders which rebels said were filled with chlorine gas. One cylinder was found on the roof of a damaged building where over two dozen bodies were photographed. The other lay on a bed on the upper floor of a nearby house below a hole in the roof. The inspectors were able to check the scene because Syrian troops drove rebel fighters out of the area a few days after the alleged gas attack.
Assessing the damage to the cylinder casings and to the roofs, the inspectors considered the hypothesis that the cylinders had been dropped from Syrian government helicopters, as the rebels claimed. All but one member of the team concurred with Henderson in concluding that there was a higher probability that the cylinders had been placed manually. Henderson did not go so far as to suggest that opposition activists on the ground had staged the incident, but this inference could be drawn. Nevertheless Henderson's findings were not mentioned in the published OPCW report.
The staging scenario has long been promoted by the Syrian government and its Russian protectors, though without producing evidence. By contrast Henderson and the new whistleblower appear to be completely non-political scientists who worked for the OPCW for many years and would not have been sent to Douma if they had strong political views. They feel dismayed that professional conclusions have been set aside so as to favour the agenda of certain states.
Alex, the new whistleblower, said his aim in going public was not to undermine the OPCW, most of whose investigators are objective scientists, but to persuade the organisation's leadership to allow the Douma team to put forward their findings and answer questions at the week-long annual conference of member states which starts on November 25. ''Most of the Douma team felt the two reports on the incident, the Interim Report and the Final Report, were scientifically impoverished, procedurally irregular and possibly fraudulent'', he said. Behind his call for the Douma inspectors to address the next OPCW conference was the hope that thereby the watchdog would ''demonstrate transparency, impartiality and independence''.
He told me ''Ian and I wanted to have this issue investigated and hopefully resolved internally, rather than exposing the failings of the Organisation in public, so we exhausted every internal avenue possible including submission of all the evidence of irregular behaviour to the Office of Internal Oversight. The request for an internal investigation was refused and every other attempt to raise our concerns was stone walled. Our failed efforts to get management to listen went on over a period of nearly nine months. It was only after we realised the internal route was impossible that we decided to go public''.
Within days of rebel-supplied videos of dead children and adults in the aftermath of the alleged attack in Douma Francois DeLattre, France's representative at the UN Security Council, said the videos and photos showed victims with ''symptoms of a potent nerve agent combined with chlorine gas''.
The Douma fact-finding team quickly discovered this was wrong. Blood and other biological samples taken from alleged victims examined in Turkey (where some had fled after government forces regained control of Douma in mid-April) showed no evidence of nerve agents. Nor was there any in the surrounding buildings or vegetation in Douma. As the Interim Report, published on July 6 2018, put it: ''No organophosphorus nerve agents or their degradation products were detected, either in the environmental samples or in plasma samples from the alleged casualties''.
The next sentence said ''Various chlorinated organic chemicals were found''. The indirect reference to chlorine was reported in many media as proof of the use of lethal gas. According to Alex there were huge internal arguments at the OPCW before the Interim report was released. Chlorinated organic chemicals (COCs) are present in the natural environment so one crucial point in discovering what actually happened at Douma was to measure the amount in the locations where the two cylinders were found and in the other parts of the two buildings and the street outside.
As Alex put it, ''if the finding of these chemicals at the alleged site is to be used as an indicator that chlorine gas was present in the atmosphere, they should at least be shown to be present at levels significantly higher than what is present in the environment already''.
But when the analysis of these key levels came back from the laboratories the results were kept with Sami Barrek, a Tunisian who was the Duma fact-finding mission's leader. Against normal expectations they were not passed on to the inspector who was drafting the OPCW's interim report on Douma.
The inspector did, however, have the analysis from the samples of blood, hair, and other biological data from eleven alleged victims who had gone from Douma to Turkey. In no case did the samples reveal any relevant chemicals. On this basis he wrote in his report that the signs and symptoms of victims were not consistent with poisoning from chlorine. Instead of an attack producing multiple fatalities there had been ''a non chemical-related event'', it said.
The language was low-key, in part, as Alex put it, because of the tension and anxiety involved when evidence doesn't match what it is thought that management wants to hear. But the implications of implying a non-chemical event were dramatic. Like the engineering report, it hinted that the Douma incident may have been staged by opposition activists. Alex described it as ''the elephant in the room which no-one dared mention explicitly''.
When the inspector's report was submitted to senior management, silence ensued. A few weeks later on the eve of the expected publication the inspector who had drafted the report discovered that management was going to issue a redacted version on June 22 2018 without the knowledge of most of the Douma Fact-Finding Mission. Its conclusions contradicted the inspector's version. By then the inspector had learnt that the results of the quantitative analysis of the samples from the allegedly attacked buildings had been delivered to management from the test laboratories but not passed on to the inspectors. He got sight of the results which indicated that the levels of COCs were much lower than what would be expected in environmental samples. They were comparable to and even lower than those given in the World Health Organisation's guidelines on recommended permitted levels of trichlorophenol and other COCs in drinking water. The redacted version of the report made no mention of the findings.
Alex described this omission as ''deliberate and irregular''. ''Had they been included, the public would have seen that the levels of COCs found were no higher than you would expect in any household environment'', he said.
The inspector who drafted the original report was furious when he realised it was to be replaced by a doctored management version. He wrote an email of complaint to the OPCW's director general. The DG was Ahmet Uzumcu, a Turkish diplomat but his chef de cabinet, the man considered to have the most power in the OPCW on day-to-day issues was Bob Fairweather, a British career diplomat. (He has since been succeeded by Sebastien Braha, a diplomat from another anti-Assad government, France). In his email the inspector complained that it was wrong for the new report to describe the levels of COCs as high. He insisted that his original 105-page report be published.
This request was rejected but Sami Barrek, the team leader, was put in charge of replacing the doctored version with what turned out to be a toned-down but still misleading report. During the editing four of the Douma inspectors, including Ian Henderson, the engineering expert, had managed to get Barrek to agree that the low levels of COCs should be mentioned. On the day before the new publication date, July 6, they found that the levels were again being omitted.
On July 4 there was another intervention. Fairweather, the chef de cabinet, invited several members of the drafting team to his office. There they found three US officials who were cursorily introduced without making clear which US agencies they represented. The Americans told them emphatically that the Syrian regime had conducted a gas attack, and that the two cylinders found on the roof and upper floor of the
building contained 170 kilograms of chlorine. The inspectors left Fairweather's office, feeling that the invitation to the Americans to address them was unacceptable pressure and a violation of the OPCW's declared principles of independence and impartiality.
Two days later the interim report was released. That morning, Alex recalled, ''a senior colleague told us: 'First floor [management] says that for the OPCW's credibility we have to have a smoking gun''. Meanwhile, Fairweather asked the inspectors if he could get back the emails of complaint, including any which had been put into the trash folder. They complied.
After Alex's briefing I emailed Fairweather with a request that he explain why he had facilitated the US officials' meeting with the inspectors as well as why he had recalled emails. He did not reply.
The final Douma report which was published in March this year also failed to give any quantitative analysis of the COC samples. But its thrust went much further than the interim report. It stated that the OPCW concluded that the evidence from the Douma investigation provides ''reasonable grounds that the use of a toxic chemical as a weapon took place''.
Alex argued that the concept of ''reasonable grounds'' was undefined. What should have been done in the report, he said, was to set out alternative hypotheses for what had occurred in Douma and then assess the balance of probabilities of the various options and conclude which was the most likely.
This is what was done in Henderson's report on the provenance of the two cylinders.
I asked the OPCW's media office to explain why the COC levels were excluded from the interim and final reports but they did not respond. Asked whether the inspectors would be permitted to address the conference of member states, they also did not respond.
An open letter to every delegate at the forthcoming OPCW conference calling for the inspectors to be heard has been signed by
Jose Bustani, first Director General of the OPCWHans von Sponeck, former UN Humanitarian Coordinator (Iraq)George Carey, former Archbishop of CanterburyScott Ritter, UNSCOM Weapons Inspector 1991-1998.Noam Chomsky, Emeritus Professor, MIT.John Pilger, Journalist and documentary film makerRay McGovern, former CIA analyst and co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)Oliver Stone, Film Director, Producer and Writer.
Jonathan Steele is the former chief foreign correspondent for the Guardian.
Jonathan Steele is the former chief foreign correspondent for the Guardian.
Lyft scooters leaving Atlanta, five other cities in U.S.
Fri, 15 Nov 2019 18:16
Lyft is eliminating its scooter operation in Atlanta, nearly a year after the devices were deployed in the city, a spokesperson confirmed Friday in an emailed statement to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The electric scooters will leave the city Nov. 22. The company launched in Atlanta Dec. 21, just two days after rival Uber began its own scooter service in the city.
''We're grateful to our scooter riders in Atlanta as well as our partners in Atlanta city government,'' read the statement. ''We look forward to continuing to provide riders with other modes of reliable transportation.''
The decision comes amid discussions about Atlanta's regulation of electric scooters. The city is considering reducing the number of scooter companies operating in the city.
City of Atlanta fails to collect $200K in scooter impound fees
The Lyft spokesperson said they're focusing on markets that have the biggest impact. The spokesperson also confirmed the company is eliminating services in five other cities, including Dallas, San Antonio and Nashville.
Twenty employees are expected to be laid off as a result of the decision.
Lyft is the latest micromobility company to leave Atlanta. Uber's electric bikes, JUMP e-bikes, left the city in September.
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Big Pharma
Ouders Thijs H. smeekten GGZ om hulp, maar opname was 'onnodig' | Binnenland | AD.nl
Sat, 16 Nov 2019 06:36
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VIDEO - Elizabeth Warren Stands Up to Billionaires - YouTube
Sun, 17 Nov 2019 10:14
VIDEO - Ocasio-Cortez voices support for Taylor Swift in artist's battle to perform her songs | TheHill
Sun, 17 Nov 2019 10:04
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Alexandria Ocasio-CortezLouisiana governor wins re-election White House backs Stephen Miller amid white nationalist allegations Ocasio-Cortez voices support for Taylor Swift in artist's battle to perform her songs MORE (D-N.Y.) on Friday voiced support for artist Taylor Swift Taylor Alison SwiftOcasio-Cortez voices support for Taylor Swift in artist's battle to perform her songs The Hill's Morning Report - Trump grapples with Turkey controversy Taylor Swift 'obsessed' with politics, says she's cautious about celebrity support backfiring for Democrats MORE on Twitter.
The award-winning singer and songwriter tweeted Thursday about her ongoing battle against record executives Scooter Braun and Scott Borchetta.
Don't know what else to do pic.twitter.com/1uBrXwviTS
'-- Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) November 14, 2019 ADVERTISEMENT
According to Swift's tweet, Braun and Borchetta, who own the rights to Swift's older songs, are prohibiting the 29-year-old from performing those songs live.
The freshman congresswoman took to Twitter to show her support for Swift.
"Private equity groups' predatory practices actively hurt millions of Americans," Ocasio-Cortez tweeted on Friday.
" Their leveraged buyouts have destroyed the lives of retail workers across the country, scrapping 1+ million jobs. Now they're holding @taylorswift13 's own music hostage. They need to be reigned in."
Private equity groups' predatory practices actively hurt millions of Americans.Their leveraged buyouts have destroyed the lives of retail workers across the country, scrapping 1+ million jobs. Now they're holding @taylorswift13's own music hostage.
They need to be reigned in. https://t.co/mSVeH718Hn
'-- Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) November 15, 2019
VIDEO-Roberto Alonso Gonzlez Lezcano on Twitter: "Arnav Kapur, a student at @MIT, can surf the internet with his mind. He silently Googled questions and heard the answers through vibrations transmitted through his skull and into his inner ear. The futur
Sun, 17 Nov 2019 09:27
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VIDEO-Roberto Alonso Gonzlez Lezcano on Twitter: "Arnav Kapur, a student at @MIT, can surf the internet with his mind. He silently Googled questions and heard the answers through vibrations transmitted through his skull and into his inner ear. The futur
Sun, 17 Nov 2019 09:25
Arnav Kapur, a student at
@MIT, can surf the internet with his mind. He silently Googled questions and heard the answers through vibrations transmitted through his skull and into his inner ear.The future user interface (UI) is your mind.
VIDEO - Tear gas fired on 'yellow vest' anniversary | Reuters.com
Sun, 17 Nov 2019 08:39
Reuters, the news and media division of Thomson Reuters, is the world's largest international multimedia news provider reaching more than one billion people every day. Reuters provides trusted business, financial, national, and international news to professionals via Thomson Reuters desktops, the world's media organizations, and directly to consumers at Reuters.com and via Reuters TV. Learn more about Thomson Reuters products:
VIDEO-The Job That Can't Wait | National Grid - YouTube
Sun, 17 Nov 2019 07:24
VIDEO - Extinction Rebellion: Causing Chaos For Climate Awareness w/Gail Bradbrook - YouTube
Sun, 17 Nov 2019 07:05
VIDEO - Internet says N-O to viral remix of the classic alphabet song - ABC News
Sun, 17 Nov 2019 06:59
Every kid -- and adult -- knows that in learning the alphabet song, you must conquer the lettered stumbling blocks of "LMNOP" -- or "elemenopee."
But a new spin on the classic alphabet song to make that five-letter sequence easier for kids to learn is enraging the internet.
"ABC" purists everywhere took to social media to express their displeasure with the remix that slows down the letters and changes the rhythm of the second half of the song.
Writer and comedian Noah Garfinkel posted the song on Twitter last week and said that the new version of the ABC song is "life-ruining." The tweet has over 7.2 million views and almost 100,000 likes.
Other comedians and Twitter users also discussed their thoughts on the platform.
I will not sit idly by, while the media conveniently pivot to more revisionist history! they have removed the "L M N O P" beat, from the ABC SONG. what's next, the twinkle from a star?
'-- Nic Nemeth (@HEELZiggler) October 27, 2019However, some said they were happy with the song because it might help make learning the alphabet a little easier for children.
As an early childhood teacher this is not the first or the last abc song to do this. Because the lmnop part is extremely confusing for children who are learning letters by seeing the letter and hearing its name.also knowing letter sounds is more important than names but yeah https://t.co/tsIzIhLNBP
'-- jacii buzzzðŸ--¥ðŸ' (@BoltTheBee) October 27, 2019The song remix was created by the YouTube account Dream English Kids, which produces children's education songs and music to help non-native speakers learn English.
The video was originally posted on YouTube in 2012 and now has over six million views.
"Good Morning America" has reached out to Dream English Kids for comment.
VIDEO - Have you ever retired a human by mistake? - YouTube
Sun, 17 Nov 2019 06:53
VIDEO - Prince Andrew and Jeffrey Epstein FULL INTERVIEW - BBC Newsnight - YouTube
Sun, 17 Nov 2019 06:46
VIDEO - Prince Andrew denies claims of Epstein accuser in rare interview
Sun, 17 Nov 2019 06:43
"I can absolutely categorically tell you it never happened," Andrew said.
A request for comment was sent to Giuffre's representative. Giuffre recently challenged the British royal to speak out, telling reporters in New York, "He knows exactly what he's done."
"And the answer is nothing," Andrew told the BBC.
Andrew's decision to grant the interview was seen in Britain as a high-stakes gamble in a country where the royals don't normally talk with reporters on subjects beyond their charitable works.
In the wide-ranging interview, Andrew suggested a photograph Giuffre produced of her posing with Andrew could have been doctored, saying he "can't be certain" that it actually shows his hand on the woman's side.
He said he was "at a loss to explain" the image, adding he is not given to public displays of affection. He said it also shows him wearing "travelling clothes", noting he typically wears a suit and tie when he goes out in London, where the photograph purportedly was taken.
Prince Andrew with Virginia Roberts (now Giuffre) at the London townhouse of Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell.
"I'm afraid to say that I don't believe that photograph was taken in the way that has been suggested," he said. "If the original was ever produced, then perhaps we might be able to solve it but I can't."
Confronted with details of Giuffre's claims, Andrew insisted he was home with his children on one of the nights Giuffre claims they had sex, saying it "couldn't have happened". He said he specifically recalled taking his daughter to a party at a Pizza Express that afternoon.
Andrew sought to cast doubt on other parts of Giuffre's account, including her recollection of Andrew sweating on her as they danced in a London nightclub.
Andrew told the BBC he has a "peculiar medical condition, which is that I don't sweat or I didn't sweat at the time" after suffering an "overdose of adrenaline" after being shot at in the Falklands War, the 1982 conflict between Argentina and the United Kingdom.
"It was almost impossible for me to sweat," he said.
Andrew also said he regrets not cutting ties with Epstein after the financier pleaded guilty in 2008 to soliciting a minor for prostitution in Florida under a deal that required him to serve 13 months in jail and register as a sex offender.
He saw Epstein following his release from custody in Florida and stayed at his New York mansion for several days. He said he ended his friendship with Epstein during that visit and did not have further contact with him.
Epstein, who rubbed shoulders with the elite and politically powerful, killed himself this summer while awaiting trial on federal sex-trafficking charges. He had been accused of sexually abusing dozens of women.
Some of Andrew's responses in the interview
- On the allegation he met 17 year-old Virginia Roberts in 2001 and they ate, drank, went to Tramp Nightclub and later had sex.
"It didn't happen."
- On whether a photograph of him with Ms Roberts is real.
"Oh it's definitely me, I mean that's a picture of me, it's not a picture of ... I don't believe it's a picture of me in London because ... when I go out in London, I wear a suit and a tie."
He added: "I am not one to, as it were, hug and public displays of affection are not something that I do. So that's the best explanation I can give you and I'm afraid to say that I don't believe that photograph was taken in the way that has been suggested."
- On whether he remembers dancing at Tramp nightclub.
"I was with the children and I'd taken Beatrice to a Pizza Express in Woking for a party at I suppose, sort of, four or five in the afternoon."
- On the claim that he sweated heavily during an alleged night out with Ms Roberts.
"I didn't sweat at the time because I had suffered what I would describe as an overdose of adrenaline in the Falklands War when I was shot at and I simply ... it was almost impossible for me to sweat."
- On whether he had sex with Ms Roberts or any young woman trafficked by Epstein.
"No and without putting too fine a point on it, if you're a man it is a positive act to have sex with somebody. You have to have to take some sort of positive action and so therefore if you try to forget it's very difficult to try and forget a positive action and I do not remember anything."
- On Epstein being a sex offender.
"Was I right in having him as a friend? At the time, bearing in mind this was some years before he was accused of being a sex offender. I don't think there was anything wrong then, the problem was the fact that once he had been convicted.
"I stayed with him and that's the bit, as it were, I kick myself for on a daily basis because it was not something that was becoming of a member of the royal family and we try and uphold the highest standards and practices and I let the side down, simple as that."
- On why he stayed at the house of a convicted sex offender.
"It was a convenient place to stay. I mean I've gone through this in my mind so many times. At the end of the day, with a benefit of all the hindsight that one can have, it was definitely the wrong thing to do.
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VIDEO - OPUS 191 Unreliable Ambassadors - YouTube
Sun, 17 Nov 2019 06:26
VIDEO - Elizabeth Warren unshackles herself from ''Medicare for all''
Sat, 16 Nov 2019 23:57
Elizabeth Warren has committed herself to a huge, government-run health plan that would eliminate private insurance, even though voters don't like the cost or the tradeoffs. But the presidential contender has now rolled out a ''transition'' to 'Medicare for all' that would be less disruptive and more palatable to voters.
Warren's transition plan would allow anybody over 50 to pay to join Medicare, with free coverage for all kids under 18 and anybody earning less than 200% of the federal poverty level, which is around $51,000 for a family of four. The Democratic senator from Massachusetts hasn't estimated the cost of this expanded coverage, but she said previously she'd pay for Medicare for all with new wealth taxes on families with fortunes of $50 million or more and new business taxes. Businesses, in theory, would end up no worse off because their new taxes would be equal to or less than what they're already spending to provide health care for employees.
The key difference with Warren's new transition plan is she'd leave private insurance in place, which makes it comparable to plans offered by Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg and other more moderate Democrats running for president. She would also strengthen the Affordable Care Act, which borrows from Biden's commitment to improve the plan that went into effect when he was Barack Obama's vice president.
The Biden and Buttigieg campaigns both blasted Warren's pivot to a transition plan, charging her with trying to obscure her desire to dismantle private insurance. The Biden campaign called it ''a full program of flips and twists.'' That's a preview of how Warren's opponents will attack her evolution on health care'--and also a sign they may view the change as a new threat.
Under Warren's transition plan, eligible workers with employer-based coverage could choose the government system instead, though most would have to pay for it. Warren thinks they would, because it would offer a better deal. By her third year in office, Warren says, ''The number of individuals voluntarily remaining in private insurance would likely be quite low.''
That's the point at which she'd make her move toward a full single-payer program that would eliminate private insurance, by proposing legislation that would be able to pass the Senate with a simple majority instead of the supermajority required under filibuster rules. Her bet is that newly available government insurance will have become popular by then, essentially gutting the private market. But that would only happen if people could get affordable care without long waits for services, one of the biggest risks of a government-run system.
Democratic 2020 U.S. presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) speaks at a campaign town hall meeting at the University of New Hampshire in Durham, New Hampshire, U.S., October 30, 2019. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
Warren now acknowledges that drawback, too. She says her transition plan would pay doctors and other caregivers more than Medicare rates, to prevent an exodus of caregivers finding their paychecks slashed under a full government plan. To prevent doctor shortages as millions of additional patients seek care, Warren would push reforms such as providing more money for residencies, letting nurses and physician assistants perform more routine care and creating more incentives for caregivers to serve rural and low-income areas.
The changes in Warren's plan are politically shrewd. Up till now, she's been advocating a plan with a very unpopular side effect: killing private insurance. Alan Abramowitz of the University of Virginia's Center for Politics pointed out recently that Democrats who supported Medicare for all in the 2018 midterms did worse than those who did not. He described Medicare for all as a ''vote loser.''
As Warren has risen in the polls to front-runner status, analysts have wondered whether she'd pivot away from Medicare for all if she won the Democratic nomination. Now we know. She's got Medicare for all to pitch to more liberal Democratic primary voters and a less radical transition plan as a fallback. She can play up one or the other, based on the leanings of her audience. Her odds of winning the Democratic presidential nomination may just have gone up.
VIDEO - (20) BBC Newsnight on Twitter: ""It was definitely the wrong thing to do. But at the time I felt it was the honourable and right thing to do." The Duke of York speaks to #Newsnight about his links to Jeffrey Epstein and his decision to stay with h
Sat, 16 Nov 2019 14:30
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VIDEO - AOC Calls Jewish Trump Adviser Stephen Miller a 'White Nationalist'
Sat, 16 Nov 2019 10:00
Follow Matt on TwitterAlexandria Ocasio-Cortez continues to make false statements in the world of politics.
On Wednesday, she threw out a tweet on Twitter calling one of the President's top advisers Stephen Miller a ''White Nationalist.''
''Stephen Miller must resign. Now. Each day we allow a white nationalist to be in charge of US immigration policy is a day where thousands of children & families lives are in danger. This year alone, under Miller's direction, the US has put almost 70,000 children in custody.'' -Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Stephen Miller must resign. Now.Each day we allow a white nationalist to be in charge of US immigration policy is a day where thousands of children & families lives are in danger.
This year alone, under Miller's direction, the US has put almost 70,000 children in custody. https://t.co/CzvkN7j3mW
'-- Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) November 13, 2019Not realizing he was Jewish, and offering no retraction of course.
Our own Matt Couch was quick to point this out to the freshman Congresswoman from New York.
''You realize he's Jewish right genius???'' Couch stated to AOC.
All of this idiocy stemmed from AOC starting a petition to remove Miller from his position. Here's a newsflash, he works for the President, and the President gets to pick and choose who works for him, not Congress.
On a scale of 1 to 10, how insane is AOC?
VIDEO - Trump releases transcript of April call with Ukraine president
Sat, 16 Nov 2019 09:44
The White House on Friday released a rough transcript of President Donald Trump's first phone call with then-Ukrainian President-elect Volodymyr Zelenskiy, but the text does not confirm the Trump administration's previous summary about the conversation.
The call was made on April 21, three months before their July 25 conversation, which sparked the House impeachment inquiry.
In a previous readout of the call, the White House claimed that Trump had expressed a commitment to work with Ukraine to "implement reforms that strengthen democracy, increase prosperity, and root out corruption." But the description at the time from the White House is not matched by memorandum. Trump also did not underscore the "unwavering support of the United States for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity '-- within its internationally recognized borders," as the White House had claimed.
In the April call, Trump invited Zelenskiy to the White House, according to the four-page memo, which says in a footnote that it is "not a verbatim transcript of a discussion." Zelenskiy had just won the election that day, defeating incumbent Petro Poroshenko by about 75% to 25%.
"I'd like to invite you to the White House. We'll have a lot of things to talk about, but we're with you all the way," Trump said.
Trump also told Zelenskiy, "When I owned Miss Universe, they always had great people. Ukraine was always very well represented." Trump owned the beauty pageant from 1996 to 2015.
The conversation lasted 16 minutes, according to the memo.
The memo about the call was released minutes before the start of Day 2 of the House Intelligence Committee's public hearings into impeachment began. Friday's sole scheduled witness was Marie Yovanovitch, who was appointed by President Barack Obama as U.S. ambassador to Ukraine and was recalled by Trump in May.
Trump lashed out at her on Twitter on Friday as she testified that his words about her in the July 25 phone call with the Ukraine president "sounded like a threat."
Trump himself opted to release the memo about the April call, describing it as "more important" than their second conversation three months later, in which Trump asked Zelenskiy to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter, as well as a conspiracy theory about Ukrainian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
That July 25 call, which was flagged in a whistleblower complaint, spurred the Democratic-led impeachment inquiry into Trump.
Witnesses have testified about the Trump administration's efforts toward Ukraine, including the shadow foreign policy efforts pursued by Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani.
"The President took the unprecedented steps to declassify and release the transcripts of both of his phone calls with President Zelensky so that every American can see he did nothing wrong," White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement.
Trump has claimed that a crucial military aid package to Ukraine had been delayed for months because of concerns about corruption. The delay in aid, which was eventually received by Ukraine in September, is a key piece of the allegation that Trump pressured Zelenskiy to dig up dirt on the Bidens.
The congratulatory phone call adds yet another layer to the record of communications between the White House and the government of Ukraine.
According to U.S. diplomats who have testified to House investigators about the call, it was arranged so that Trump could congratulate the newly elected Zelenskiy on his victory, a fairly standard practice among leaders of allied countries.
Yovanovitch testified behind closed doors last month that she heard the call was largely uneventful. "It was a good call," it was brief, and Trump and Zelenskiy "hit it off," Yovanovitch said she was told.
Read the memorandum of the first call between Trump and Zelenskiy.
This is a developing story, please check back for updates.
VIDEO - Suspected gunman in California high school shooting dies in hospital | Reuters.com
Sat, 16 Nov 2019 08:10
Reuters, the news and media division of Thomson Reuters, is the world's largest international multimedia news provider reaching more than one billion people every day. Reuters provides trusted business, financial, national, and international news to professionals via Thomson Reuters desktops, the world's media organizations, and directly to consumers at Reuters.com and via Reuters TV. Learn more about Thomson Reuters products:
VIDEO - Kellyanne Conway Blows Up at CNN's Wolf Blitzer for Saying 'There Are Issues' With Her Marriage
Sat, 16 Nov 2019 07:10
Once again, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway appeared on CNN for a lengthy and contentious interview, and once again that lengthy and contentious interview was a total shitshow.
This particular time around, however, took an even more heated turn than usual when CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer directly asked about her husband, outspoken Trump critic George Conway.
Blitzer wanted to ask the Trump aide one last question Thursday morning about her husband, who spent the entire day at MSNBC providing on-air analysis and criticizing the GOP's ''incoherent'' defense of the president.
''I just have a final question, a sensitive question, and it's a political question, it's a substantive question,'' Blitzer warily asked. ''I don't want to talk about your marriage. I know that there are issues there.''
Before he could get to the question, Conway immediately pounced on Blitzer's suggestion about her marriage.
''Did you just say there are issues there?'' she exclaimed. ''You don't want to talk about'--why would you say that?!''
Blitzer eventually pointed out that while he personally didn't want to talk about their marriage, he wanted to get Conway's reaction to her husband's criticism. Conway, meanwhile, continued to push back at the very notion that Blitzer was questioning her about her husband.
''So before you play the clip which I haven't seen. Why'--why are you doing that?'' Conway seethed, prompting the CNN anchor to note that her husband is a ''legal scholar'' now famous for his criticisms of the president.
''And the relevance is, and, come on'--wait for it'--drum roll'--and he's married to me?'' Conway shot back, causing Blitzer to add: ''He happens to be married to you.''
The senior Trump adviser felt Blitzer's remarks were ''bizarre'' before she tried to pivot to commentary made by a CNN legal analyst. They would then go back and forth a bit more until Blitzer finally was able to play the clip of her husband saying Trump was ''using the power of the presidency'' to advance his own personal political interests.
Conway, meanwhile, launched into one of her signature rants in which she rapidly threw everything against the wall before taking pointed shots at CNN and Blitzer himself.
''What you just quoted is said every day by other voices, but you wanted to put it in my husband's voice because you think somehow that that will help your ratings or that you're really sticking it to Kellyanne Conway,'' she fumed. ''And let me be very clear. You didn't stick it to Kellyanne Conway. I think you embarrassed yourself and I'm embarrassed for you because this is CNN now?''
''I looked up to you when I was in college and law school, I would turn on CNN to see what Wolf Blitzer had to say about war, famine, disruption abroad,'' Conway continued. ''I really respected you for all those years as someone that would give you the news and now it's what somebody's husband.''
Blitzer would go on and bring up another famous political couple with polar-opposite views, political strategists Mary Matalin and James Carville, pointing out that he'd had multiple sensitive on-air discussions with them about their differences. Conway, for her part, largely brushed off the comparison and plowed forward.
At the end of the interview, after Conway said she was a ''very generous, kind person'' while complaining that CNN has become just a bunch of ''gossip girls,'' Blitzer let her know that she's ''always welcome to come back and join me here.''
''You'll stay in my prayers,'' Conway replied.
VIDEO - Smart Toilets Will Analyze Urine to Know Everything About You | Industrial Equipment News (IEN)
Sat, 16 Nov 2019 07:06
You know what every toilet is missing? A mass spectrometer. Also, sensors prevent hot car deaths and new 3D-printed structures pass the bullet test.
contributors David Mantey , Alex Shanahan
Sensor Saves Babies in Hot CarsUniversity of Waterloo researchers have created a new device that takes a small, cheap sensor and solves a sometimes heartbreaking problem.
More than 50 children have died in hot cars in 2019, and more than 100 dogs and other animals have died from heat-related causes over the last two years.
This new device combines radar with artificial intelligence to detect humans and animals alike, and in testing, it has worked with 100 percent accuracy.
Only three centimeters in diameter, it is designed to detect even the smallest breathing movements from living beings. The component will eventually mount to rear-view mirrors or ceilings.
When a child or animal is left in the car, the system will stop the doors from locking and sound an alarm.
The wireless, disc-shaped sensor was funded in part by a major automotive parts manufacturer that plans to bring it to market by the end of 2020.
Researchers are now trying to use it to monitor drivers for fatigue, distraction, and other impairments. Still, it could also be used by companies like Uber to determine the number of people and their location in the car.
First You Print It, Then You Shoot ItTubulanes are theoretical structures that exhibit extraordinary strength because they are made of crosslinked carbon nanotubes.
Researchers at Rice University's Brown School of Engineering recently 3D printed structures based on tubulanes, and they tested their strength the only way a red-blooded American institution knows how: they shot them.
Tubulanes were first theorized in 1993. While this isn't the exact design, the structures are like really close cousins. The lightweight design is porous but almost as hard as a diamond.
In tests, the structures performed up to 10 times better than a solid block of the same material.
When the researchers shot a projectile at the blocks at 12,974.2 mph, the tubulane-like polymer structures stopped the bullet by the second layer with no significant damage to the structure. Bullets fired at the same speed cracked the entire reference cube.
Tests in a press also showed how the tubulane-like blocks collapse into themselves without cracking.
According to the researchers, the only thing holding back these structures printed in metal, ceramic, or polymer is the size of the 3D printer.
The designs could soon lead to better materials for a host of applications, most notably in oil and gas, as well as the aerospace and automotive industries.
These Toilets Will Know Everything About YouSmart toilets on the market today primarily boast energy savings with more accurate flushes or simple luxuries like a seat warmer or massaging bidet.
Researchers from the University of Wisconsin and Morgridge Institute for Research are working on a smart toilet with knowledge that extends beyond the basin.
The team is working on a proof of concept smart toilet that would analyze your urine to keep tabs on your health.
Metabolites in the urine have known associations with 600 human conditions, everything from diabetes to cancer. Your pee knows everything about your eating habits to exercise as well as the medication you use and even sleep quality.
The team conducted a pilot study on themselves. Professor Joshua Coon and Data Scientist Ian Miller analyzed 110 samples collected over ten days and found that it tracked everything from coffee and alcohol consumption to when they took Tylenol.
The Coon Research Group is now designing a toilet that will incorporate a portable mass spectrometer that can recognize the user and process samples. They say it's "a bit Rube Goldberg-like" but functional, and they plan to install the toilet in their research facility.
Coon believes the "smart toilet" concept could have significant health implications for the global population. If you pair it with efforts from the Gates Foundation to reinvent the toilet, we just might save the world one toilet at the time.
While the proof of concept will likely cost tens of thousands of dollars, the price would probably come down with mass-market adoption. How many people are in the world now? 7.7 billion.
More in Product Development
The World's Deadliest Inventor His take on the assault rifle has been synonymous with revolution and is responsible for more deaths than the atomic bomb.
Dubai Hosts Robotics Contest Dubai hosted the largest-ever international robotics contest this week, challenging young people from 190 countries to find solutions'...
VIDEO - The Hill on Twitter: "AG Bill Barr: "Immediately after President Trump won election, opponents inaugurated what they call 'The Resistance' and they rallied around an explicit strategy of using every tool and maneuver to sabotage the functioning of
Sat, 16 Nov 2019 00:18
Log in Sign up The Hill @ thehill AG Bill Barr: "Immediately after President Trump won election, opponents inaugurated what they call 'The Resistance' and they rallied around an explicit strategy of using every tool and maneuver to sabotage the functioning of the executive branch."
pic.twitter.com/HJJMczuEpd 9:24 PM - 15 Nov 2019 Twitter by: The Hill @thehill #HoLeeChit @ SharePointShawn
51m Replying to
@thehill Can't believe this is our attorney general...
View conversation · Vince Musa @ trainervince4u
48m Replying to
@SharePointShawn @thehill He isn't oursHe seems only interested in one person
View conversation · Brent Burkett @ ITTWAPodcast
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@thehill He is spot on.
View conversation · Mary Jones @ voter6370
49m Replying to
@ITTWAPodcast @thehill A grease spot on the front of a new shirt
View conversation · Shawn Patterson @ shawnmpatterson
39m Replying to
@thehill Why is the Attorney General of the US discussing peoples political views and dislike of a candidate?? Isnt that part of that pesky "freedom of speech" thingy?
View conversation · Arriadna 🗽🍂 @ Arriadna
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@shawnmpatterson @thehill That's why authoritarians do.
View conversation · Richard Frankel @ frankelrichard1
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@thehill Bill Barr: United States Attorney General or Donald Trump's Consigliere?
View conversation · Sharon Wood @ sfwood2012
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@frankelrichard1 @thehill Consigliere
pic.twitter.com/JxtokWlRrf View conversation · ALX 🇺🇸 @ alx
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@thehill @realDonaldTrump 👇ðŸðŸ‘‡ðŸðŸ‘‡ðŸðŸ‘‡ðŸðŸ‘‡ðŸðŸ‘‡ðŸðŸ‘‡ðŸðŸ‘‡ðŸðŸ‘‡ðŸðŸ‘‡ðŸðŸ‘‡ðŸðŸ‘‰ðŸðŸ‘‡ðŸ¾ðŸ‘‡ðŸ¾ðŸ‘‡ðŸ¾ðŸ‘‡ðŸ¾ðŸ‘‡ðŸ¾ðŸ‘‡ðŸ¾ðŸ‘‡ðŸ¾ðŸ‘‡ðŸ¾ðŸ‘‡ðŸ¾ðŸ‘ðŸðŸ‘‰ðŸðŸ‘‰ðŸ¾ðŸ‘‡ðŸ½ðŸ‘‡ðŸ½ðŸ‘‡ðŸ½ðŸ‘‡ðŸ½ðŸ‘‡ðŸ½ðŸ‘‡ðŸ½ðŸ‘‡ðŸ½ðŸ‘🏾ðŸ‘ðŸðŸ‘‰ðŸðŸ‘‰ðŸ¾ðŸ‘‰ðŸ½ðŸ‘‡ðŸ¼ðŸ‘‡ðŸ¼ðŸ‘‡ðŸ¼ðŸ‘‡ðŸ¼ðŸ‘‡ðŸ¼ðŸ‘🏽ðŸ‘🏾ðŸ‘ðŸðŸ‘‰ðŸðŸ‘‰ðŸ¾ðŸ‘‰ðŸ½ðŸ‘‰ðŸ¼ðŸ‘‡ðŸ>>👇ðŸ>>👇ðŸ>>ðŸ‘🏼ðŸ‘🏽ðŸ‘🏾ðŸ‘ðŸðŸ‘‰ðŸðŸ‘‰ðŸ¾ðŸ‘‰ðŸ½Eric CiaramellaðŸ‘🏽ðŸ‘🏾ðŸ‘ðŸðŸ‘‰ðŸðŸ‘‰ðŸ¾ðŸ‘‰ðŸ½ðŸ‘‰ðŸ¼ðŸ‘†ðŸ>>👆ðŸ>>👆ðŸ>>ðŸ‘🏼ðŸ‘🏽ðŸ‘🏾ðŸ‘ðŸðŸ‘‰ðŸðŸ‘‰ðŸ¾ðŸ‘‰ðŸ½ðŸ‘†ðŸ¼ðŸ‘†ðŸ¼ðŸ‘†ðŸ¼ðŸ‘†ðŸ¼ðŸ‘†ðŸ¼ðŸ‘🏽ðŸ‘🏾ðŸ‘ðŸðŸ‘‰ðŸðŸ‘‰ðŸ¾ðŸ‘†ðŸ½ðŸ‘†ðŸ½ðŸ‘†ðŸ½ðŸ‘†ðŸ½ðŸ‘†ðŸ½ðŸ‘†ðŸ½ðŸ‘†ðŸ½ðŸ‘🏾ðŸ‘ðŸðŸ‘‰ðŸðŸ‘†ðŸ¾ðŸ‘†ðŸ¾ðŸ‘†ðŸ¾ðŸ‘†ðŸ¾ðŸ‘†ðŸ¾ðŸ‘†ðŸ¾ðŸ‘†ðŸ¾ðŸ‘†ðŸ¾ðŸ‘†ðŸ¾ðŸ‘ðŸðŸ‘‰ðŸðŸ‘†ðŸðŸ‘†ðŸðŸ‘†ðŸðŸ‘†ðŸðŸ‘†ðŸðŸ‘†ðŸðŸ‘†ðŸðŸ‘†ðŸðŸ‘†ðŸðŸ‘ðŸ
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VIDEO - (1) elijah daniel on Twitter: "white youtubers reacting to their 23&Me DNA test results is my new genre on youtube https://t.co/evH259fzht" / Twitter
Fri, 15 Nov 2019 12:16
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VIDEO - Lou Dobbs guest Joe diGenova says George Soros controls a large part of the State Department and activities of FBI agents | Media Matters for America
Fri, 15 Nov 2019 05:51
Citation From the November 13, 2019, edition of Fox Business' Lou Dobbs Tonight:
JOE DIGENOVA: Well, there's no doubt that George Soros controls a very large part of the career foreign service of the United States State Department. He also controls the activities of FBI agents overseas who work for NGOs -- work with NGOs. That was very evident in Ukraine. And Kent was part of that. He was a very big protector of Soros. His testimony today showed this type -- kind of stern, sort of discomfort with not being included in certain discussions. But the truth is, George Soros had a daily opportunity to tell the State Department through Victoria Nuland what to do in Ukraine. And he ran it, Soros ran it. He corrupted FBI officials, he corrupted foreign service officers. And the bottom line is this: George Soros wants to run Ukraine and he's doing everything he can to use every lever of the United States government to make that happen, for business interests, not for good government business.
VIDEO - (1) Senator Rand Paul on Twitter: "Yesterday I spoke at hearing on the government response to lung illnesses and rising youth e-cigarettes use. They say politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly a
Fri, 15 Nov 2019 05:36
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VIDEO - Senator Mitt Romney on Twitter: "Congress needs to act now to address the vaping epidemic. My legislation: ''--¸Bans non-tobacco vaping flavors ''--¸Requires cartridges to be tamper-proof ''--¸Applies excise tax to e-cigarettes ''--¸Uses the t
Thu, 14 Nov 2019 21:37
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VIDEO - Fuel-theft rings fill South Florida roads with 'moving bombs' - South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Thu, 14 Nov 2019 18:54
These criminals lug huge amounts of stolen gas across South Florida's roadways, hiding hundreds of gallons in modified trucks and SUVs.
Authorities refer to the gas thieves' converted trucks as moving bombs because of the hazard they pose if one were to crash and explode. ''They're out there, they're so common '-- trying to blend with people who go to work every day,'' said Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Alexis Otano. ''God forbid one of these vehicles gets into an accident.''
And officials say the gas theft has been on the rise.
Such fuel pilfering cases are up in Broward County, with 16 people charged so far this year compared with 10 last year. Between 2013 and 2017, only seven were charged. The Florida Highway Patrol's Troop E, which patrols Miami-Dade County, has seen a proliferation, detaining more than 30 vehicles with so-called fuel bladders, or concealed fuel compartments, in the two years since troopers ran across their first modified truck.
In several cases, authorities view trying to bust fuel-theft rings as a cat-and-mouse game. And they say they're dealing with well-organized gangs of inventive diesel thieves. The gas thieves use bogus credit cards to buy the gasoline from stations, then find people willing to buy the fuel at below-market rates.
''It's like the mafia," says Broward Sheriff's Office Detective Ryan Zimber. ''They help each other out.''
It has led to some dramatic encounters on the road for police.
On a cold October night in 2016, two police officers spied 10 pickup drivers acting strange at a North West Miami gas station. Most of the men were pumping fuel '-- but into their truck beds, not into their gas tanks. The officers found that suspicious. They flicked their cop car's lights on and approached the station, causing the pickups to scatter like roaches in the dark.
Four drivers couldn't get away. As officers approached, they saw that one '-- Yuniet Fuentes '-- had a handgun in his pants, and they watched him toss a small Louis Vuitton bag onto the ground.
Fuentes was arrested. Inside the bag officers found 16 gift cards, each encoded with stolen credit card numbers. Yunior Rodriguez Rivero, the driver of another truck, had 64 stolen credit cards on him.
Fuentes is now serving a 2½-year sentence in federal prison for the credit card fraud, and Rivero was sentenced to time served for the same crime.
Several recent cases involving gas theft and fraud also have led to charges in federal court. Representatives of the U.S. Attorney's Office in South Florida identified 10 cases involving credit card fraud and fuel theft in the past two years.
Last Wednesday, Raul Morgan Borrego was sentenced to five years of probation after being caught fueling a bladder truck in April. He had used four stolen credit cards to purchase the diesel. On Monday, court documents indicate that another man, Alexander Arguelles, is expected to plead guilty in Fort Lauderdale federal court in a similar but unrelated case.
Since pulling over his first bladder truck in 2017, Trooper Otano has become an expert in identifying the modified trucks as they trundle down South Florida's roads, laden with stolen diesel fuel.
According to him, the trucks function like ''mobile gas stations,'' their drivers using stolen credit card numbers to siphon off gas for free and then resell it to truckers in depots or to construction companies and tradesmen.
The thieves often steal the credit card numbers from other gas pumps with devices called skimmers, which, once illegally installed, can transmit customers' financial information via text message.
The trade is lucrative. Broward sheriff's detectives estimate that the operator of a bladder truck can gross up to $1,500 a day.
And it's a racket controlled by tightly organized gangs, some of whom may have previously been involved in the drug trade, Otano said. ''They're making so much money doing this, they're moving away from the [marijuana] grow houses because this is less risky,'' Otano explains.
Both the Broward Sheriff's Office and the Florida Highway Patrol report that the rings are getting more sophisticated in their smuggling tactics, foregoing pickup trucks for stealthier SUVs that have had the back seats modified and replaced with fuel tanks.
The Highway Patrol even pulled over a minivan after noticing it rode suspiciously low to the ground, only to discover it had a fuel compartment hidden in the trunk.
One Oakland Park gas station owner worried about the hazard to the public a few years ago when a thief secretly put 255 gallons of gasoline into a modified van. ''It was a moving bomb,'' the owner said. ''God forbid he [the thief] would have gone to I-95 and had an accident.''
Ned Bowman, executive director of the Florida Petroleum Marketer's Association, a trade group that represents gas stations, describes a similar game of cat and mouse played between station owners and fuel thieves looking to skim credit card numbers.
''The skimmers came in a few years ago, so we put [special] tape on the gas dispensers to keep them from installing the skimmers. They bought the tape online, and installed them anyway," Bowman notes, with exasperation.
Because credit card companies and banks will refund fraudulent purchases, the burden of the theft often falls on gas stations.
Court documents show how one Wilton Manors 7-Eleven lost nearly $13,000 to gas thieves between February and March this year alone.
Security experts recommend that fuel customers always choose the gas pump that can be most clearly seen by the station attendant, since that one is less likely to have a skimmer installed in it.
And they caution that commuters should avoid buying gas with debit cards, because skimmers can just as easily transmit secret PINS.
VIDEO - (1) SUSAN S. MOSS🕊🇺🇸 on Twitter: "Oh.... I guess the #MSMMissedItAgain" / Twitter
Thu, 14 Nov 2019 18:20
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VIDEO - 'The Democrats' Hydra': Here are the FACTS about the impeachment inquiry, Soros, Ukraine - Glenn Beck
Thu, 14 Nov 2019 15:12
Editor's Note: You don't want to miss this! To get the whole story, watch this special now. If you like what you see, use promo code GB20OFF to get $20 off a full year of BlazeTV. Help support research like this and get access to more Glenn content with breakdowns issues and complex ideas daily. With a BlazeTV subscription, you're not just paying to watch great pro-free speech, pro-America TV. Your subscription funds the intensive investigations that let BlazeTV tell the stories the liberal media wants to keep in the dark, giving you the unvarnished truth, showing you what the media doesn't want you to see.
"As one falls, two more will take their place."
Democracy does die in darkness and is being strangled in secret, back-door arrangements. In the third part of our special series on the REAL Ukraine scandal, my team's research exposes a much bigger story into what Democrats were doing in Ukraine. Disturbing details and explosive documents reveal how the Obama Deep State allowed the theft of a country and has set the stage for devastating consequences on our democracy today. It's all happening under the nose of the president and, more importantly, without the approval of the American people.
There's a big difference between conspiracy THEORY and conspiracy FACT. A conspiracy THEORY is an attempt to explain or connect the dots on something, but without any hard evidence. Everything in this is backed up with hard evidence. Is it a conspiracy? Absolutely it is, but it's a conspiracy FACT.
Watch the full special here:
As you watch the special, take time to explore the documents below, with all the proof you need to come to your own conclusion about the impeachment inquiry, Soros, and Ukraine.
Here are the factsThe Obama Administration has been working IN TANDEM with George Soros, supporting his NGOs, going all the way back to the months leading up to the Ukrainian Coup in 2014. In 2013, just before the coup, Soros' International Renaissance Foundation was their primary financier, but the U.S. Embassy was also strangely giving them money.
Link: https://antac.org.ua/en/pro-nas/ (Go to finances and mouse over 2013, notice IRS and US Embassy.)
From 2014 through 2017, basically up until Trump became president, the two main sources of funding came from George Soros and the Obama Administration through USAID.
Link: https://antac.org.ua/en/pro-nas/ (Go to finances and mouse over 2014-2017, notice IRS and USAID.)
Now look at 2018. The Trump Administration halted the money from USAID, so look who stepped in to pull the extra weight: Soros doubled down, and then the U.S. Embassy resumed their funding role just as they did BEFORE the 2014 coup.
Link: https://antac.org.ua/en/pro-nas/ (Go to finances and mouse over 2018, notice IRS, Open Society and US Embassy.)
Why is the U.S. Embassy, and by extension the State Department, working with George Soros? What do they have to gain from this relationship? Let me ask you this: have you noticed where all the people that have been called to testify against Donald Trump in the impeachment inquiry have come from? They're ALL career diplomats. They're all privy to what went down in the months leading up to the Ukrainian Coup, and everything that went down from then up until Donald Trump. And this includes, if the rumors are correct, the whistleblower, whom everyone in Washington believes is Eric Ciaramella.
Link: https://www.realclearinvestigations.com/articles/2...
Ciaramella is a CIA analyst, and was on the NSC during the Trump Administration as a Ukraine expert. He was later kicked out of the White House for leaking information and pushing Russia collusion hoaxes. He also worked directly with DNC operative Alexandra Chalupa who was tasked with working alongside the Ukrainian Embassy in the U.S. to dig up dirt on Donald Trump. And if all of this isn't enough to discredit him as a witness, he ALSO worked alongside Joe Biden when he was made the ''point man" in Ukraine. It's becoming all too painfully obvious why Adam Schiff doesn't want anyone talking to this guy.
Why are all these State Department officials, and CIA/NSC staffers so scared of Donald Trump poking around in Ukraine? I wonder ... does it have anything to do with the financing of some of these groups like the Soros funded NGO? I pointed out in my mega chalkboard that Ukrainian prosecutors claimed to have evidence that over SEVEN BILLION had been misappropriated. Is this part of that, because that's kind of important here. And would it also be important, or relevant, if the people currently involved in impeachment were dealing with these funds that were being given to groups like the Soros NGO? That is an answer we can not find, but that is an answer that Donald Trump was asking for on they July 25th phone call ... and it MUT BE ANSWERED in a Senate trial.
Link: https://foia.state.gov/Search/results.aspx?searchT...
This email chain was released via a Freedom of Information Act request. The first email is from the alleged whistleblower sent to all the heavy weights within the State Department that were working on Ukraine. The entire email has been redacted. Whatever Ciaramella specifically said, the State Department doesn't want us to know about, but the final email in the chain reveals the overall context: Obama Administration dollars, going through the U.S. Embassy via USAID.
And the State Department official that replied with this information, was Christopher Anderson. Now why does that name sound familiar?
Link: https://www.npr.org/2019/10/30/774552056/read-chri...
Oh that's right. He was testifying against Donald Trump at the impeachment inquiry twi weeks ago. They're ALL connected ... and the coup is on
But still, this begs the question: what was really going on in Ukraine and WHY?
Being that U.S. funding to Soros backed groups began in 2013, we started looking beyond our initial timeline. We noticed one name pop up again, and again and again. That name is Alec Ross.
Ross was appointed to the State Department as the Senior Advisor on Innovation to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. He first started popping up in Ukraine in late 2011.
This is Ross at the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine on a fact finding mission where he was quote:
Learning about the local status of internet freedom and discussing Secretary Clinton's 21st Century Statecraft agenda.Link: https://usembassykyiv.wordpress.com/tag/alec-ross/
This is Alec Ross addressing the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine in October 2011 (5:03 to 5:23).
Disruptive change. Some might describe this as CHAOS, but ultimately '-- for those willing to exploit it '-- the reward is ... POWER.
For most of us, no matter which side of the aisle you're on, we all pretty much agree that regime change and stoking chaos is NOT what the American people want. But this is EXACTLY what was going on under the Obama Administration, and it was all being done in YOUR name.
Hillary's State Department was bastardizing a plan that actually began a few weeks after Obama was elected in November 2008.
Link: https://2001-2009.state.gov/r/us/2008/112605.htm
It was an initiative called Public Diplomacy 2.0, and it's stated goal was to enable people in other countries to combat violent or extreme ideology. More specifically, Islamic radicalism from Al Qaeda.
Link: https://2001-2009.state.gov/r/us/2008/112310.htm
The State Department invited tech savvy people from all over the world to show them how to network and launch Social Media campaigns to counter radical ideology.
Link: https://2009-2017.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2009/nov/1...
But just a few months later, under the Obama Administration, Clinton changed Public Diplomacy 2.0 to ''Civil Society 2.0." Here's Alec Ross on what Civil Society 2.0 was doing, and how they were actively training groups to mobilize through Social Media.
Let's just call a spade a spade here. Civil Society 2.0 was a training ground for the foot soldiers of what began to be known as ''indigenous, spontaneous uprisings." And if you're curious as to what ''civil society" or ''open society" groups should be advocating, here's Hillary Clinton speaking THIS YEAR on civil society organizations (1:00:52 to 1:01:40).
Was that Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren or was that Hillary Clinton? Civil Society 2.0 came to Ukraine in 2011. Alec Ross' TechCamps commenced shortly after, teaching native activists and NGOs how to mobilize, and carry their online presence to the streets.
I want to show you a video taken within the Ukrainian Parliament in November 2013. This was BEFORE the Ukrainian uprising ousted the former regime (0:20 to 1:07).
It's important to point out that this lawmaker was very pro-Russia, and he was being shouted down because of that. But it's also important to point out that everything he just said, WE KNOW was actually happening.
As we analyzed Ukraine, we started to break down the left's strategy in tearing down an entire country, and molding it in line with their political ideology. The founders of the Fabian Society would be impressed.
It's a four part strategy, and '-- since Ukraine was so successful for them '-- we'll use it as the case study. I want you to know that I'm only using Ukraine as an example, but this is happening all over the world.
Step one: The U.S. State Department - and their proxies like the National Endowment for Democracy and Freedom House - identifies, trains and funds ''Civil Society" groups to mobilize.
This is Civil Society 2.0 and operations like Alec Ross' ''TechCamps."
Link: https://2009-2017.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2012/09/19...
It all began in Ukraine '-- eerily enough '-- on September 11, 2012.
And make no mistake ... these programs are designed for one thing: REVOLUTION. They operate to nurture chaos and collapse regimes. They're not even trying to hide that fact. Check out this quote from Alec Ross:
Some of the things that I spoke about when I came into the department '-- things like leaderless revolution or virtual organizations '-- might have been really edgy or a little off-center. But after Tunisia and Egypt, nobody is questioning the abstraction of leaderless revolutions, and after WikiLeaks, certainly everybody understands the power of virtual, globally distributed organizations.Link: https://mashable.com/2011/08/22/alec-ross-tech-int...
Leaderless revolutions ... kind of sounds familiar doesn't it? ''You can't ban or go after ANTIFA. They're just a leaderless activist group." ''We can't shut down Occupy Wall Street ... there's no leadership."
No administration in their right mind '-- outside of Obama and Hillary '-- would condone something like this. That's why they built it to run separately within already established organizations like the State Department. These policies are being pursued RIGHT NOW, and they could give a flying crap who the president is. Again, from Alec Ross:
Instead of trying to create a new bureau, what we wanted to do was build a long-term institutional capacity. I leave feeling that the work has been fully institutionalized and that the programs will live on.Link: https://foreignpolicy.com/2013/03/14/tech-guru-ale...
A little tip for Alec and Hillary: Hydra from Captain America ... they're the BAD GUYS. Maybe you should stop talking and acting like them.
Is it starting to become clear now why the U.S. Ambassador in Ukraine was telling Ukrainian lawmakers to keep their hands off of Soros NGOs? One fo the satr witnesses for Adam Schiff in the impeachment is the former ukrainian ambassador that trump and the new president of ukraine spoke about in the Jukly 25th call. Multiple sources verify that she told the prosecutor general in uktraine to keep their hands off of the soros ngos, and various others. Is it now a littl emore lcr]ear why should would have said that? Because Soros is working with the State Dpearmtnet. Its not criminal to them'... its the plan. And why a CIA analyst was involved in USAID money going into Ukraine, and now is a whistleblower against a president that was looking into it? Or maybe why the main witnesses in the impeachment are all from the State Department and diplomatic corps? And also how the intelligence community and FBI has seemingly been operating on their own to bring down Trump. It's because, as Alec Ross said, this operation has now been quote, ''institutionalized and will live on.'' This House impeachment trial is why Elliot Ness had to switch jurys. Because Al Capone had paid off the jury, press, judges and was controlling who was testifying.
Step 2: When opportunity emerges, U.S. trained activists go into action.
I'll talk about the Arab Spring more in a bit, but the opportunity in the Middle East and North Africa was a Tunisian fruit vendor setting himself on fire. For Ukraine, it was when the former president decided to side with Russia over the European Union. That's when all the people that Alec Ross and the State Department trained went into action.
Step 3: The State Department, and their proxies, actively support the opposition.
Under Obama, this was actual Administration policy, but now this happens REGARDLESS of the elected administration's policy by the ''INSTITUTIONALIZED" Deep State. This institutionalized policy is what all witnesses were talking about in the impeachment trial. Trump is a threat to the policy they have going, and they will NOT STOP doing this policy no matter what the president says.
As activists, protesters and riots began to overtake the streets in Ukraine, Victoria Nuland '-- the Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs '-- travel to Ukraine 3 separate times. In December 2013, she was even seen handing out cookies to activists in the streets!
Link: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/dec/15/john...
That same month, John McCain showed that Obama's regime change policy was a bipartisan effort when he went to Ukraine to meet with the Ukrainian opposition. But lets not forget, it was the same John McCain that went over to Syria to meet with the terrorists who later became ISIS. When the administration used this very revolutionary system to try and overthrow Assad.
The National Endowment for Democracy, which I just showed you in our little history lesson a few minutes ago, reported that it spent over 3 million of YOUR tax dollars in Ukraine.
Link: https://web.archive.org/web/20140831044648/http://www.ned.org/where-we-work/eurasia/ukraine
Question: Why has this report has been scrubbed from their official website? And when will people learn the internet is forever?
Their funding included more than thirty thousand dollars to George Soros' Open Society Foundation. Again, this begs the question: why was the U.S. Government helping George Soros? What was their ultimate goal here?
The answer to those questions lies in the final stage of this plan.
Step 4: Once regime change has occurred, infiltrate the new government with hand picked ''Civil Society" leaders.
Link: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-26079957
Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland was caught red-handed in a leaked phone conversation, discussing how they were manipulating who would become the next Ukrainian Prime Minister. And '-- surprise surprise '-- their man ended up getting the job.
But even though they'd been publicly outed, manipulating the affairs of a sovereign nation, they didn't stop ... they doubled down.
We already know that the State Department, and the Obama Administration as a whole, were working to protect a George Soros funded NGO called the Anti-Corruption Action Center. Soros and the Obama Admin were specifically using them to target Ukraine's criminal justice system. But their coordination didn't stop there. Newly released emails, obtained by Freedom of Information Act requests, shows near weekly communication between Nuland and Soros.
Link: https://www.scribd.com/document/421081817/SorosNul... (See last line in paragraph on first email at bottom.)
This email chain from June 1st 2016 shows Soros setting up a call with Nuland for one of their scheduled ''updates."
Link: https://www.scribd.com/document/421081036/SorosNul...
This next email chain just one week later, initiated by Soros' organization, details how the State Department and Soros were actively working together on projects relating to Ukraine's criminal justice system.
Do you recognize any of these names? Wait ... is that the whistleblower? Crazy ... it's almost like this guy had his hands into EVERYTHING. The State Department, the NSC, CIA, DNC operatives, Joe Biden, and now George Soros. This is the REAL reason why Adam Schiff and the Democrats are so scared of naming the whistleblower. There's no way they want him testifying in an open forum, and they'll do everything in their power to make sure it doesn't happen.
What I'm about to show you is absolutely insane. This is the final piece that shows you the full extent of how embedded the State Department and George Soros were in the Ukrainian Government. This right here is how they sealed the deal on the theft of an entire country.
Link: https://www.scribd.com/document/421078499/Soros-Uk...
This is a leaked document that was actually written by George Soros personally, entitled: "Comprehensive Strategy For The New Ukraine"
In this paper, Soros identifies the institutions that need to either be set up or targeted.
The National Anti-Corruption Bureau needed to be established.
They got this done right from the beginning. It's also relevant to point out that this relationship bore fruit for the Obama Administration after they pressured the Bureau to investigate Manafort. They later hit a home run when they illegally released information implicating Manafort in the ''Black Ledger," and that kicked the Russia Investigation into overdrive. And why did I say ''illegally" released the information? Because a Ukrainian court convicted the head of the Anti-Corruption Bureau for doing this, and interfering in the U.S. 2016 election.
Isn't it interesting that the establishment of the Bureau was all part of Soros' plan who was coordinating DIRECTLY with the Obama Administration. And it was the head of this very organization that was caught on tape bragging how he worked to discredit Trump on behalf of Hillary Clinton. By the way ... convicted in a court of law for interfering in the U.S. election.
Judiciary Reform, including the appointment of a new High Council of justice.
Rewrite the Constitution.
That's game, set and match. Control those three areas, along with an ally in the Presidency '-- which they had '-- and the country was now THEIRS.
But Soros had a problem. As he notes, the newly elected Parliament (the rada) was slowing down his master plan by having the audacity of insisting on that pesky little thing called ''transparency." But, not to worry, there's more than one way to skin a cat.
(See end of page 3 and 4.)
Soros notes that after a year of preparation, all the pieces were finally in place for quote ''radical reform." His plan called for the creation of the National Reform Council that would bring together the president's administration, the cabinet of ministers, Parliament and '-- get this '-- civil society. Which basically means the government '-- ALL OF IT '-- would be linked directly to HIM.
And this shows the insane hypocrisy of Soros and all these other organizations, supported by the State Department and Obama Administration, that claim to be spreading Democracy. The NSC had the power to completely bypass Parliament. It was designed to fast track ''radical reform" by completely subverting the will of the people. That doesn't sound very Democracy-ish.
(See page 4 paragraph 5.)
Now here's the best part. If you wanna know who REALLY pulls the strings in what had now become the most powerful entity in the ''New Ukraine", all you have to do is read paragraph 5 on page 4.
The sole financer for the National Reform Council was the International Renaissance Foundation. Also known as, the Ukrainian branch of the George Soros Foundation. Oh but never mind, it's ok. Soros points out that a Ukrainian department would later take over the funding for the Reform Council'... so there's that. The ''Project Management Office" would eventually fill Soros' funding role, and lead the charge on implementing reform projects. But where would THEY get their funding?
(See page 4 paragraph 5, particularly ''International Renaissance Foundation" and ''will be one of the main supporters of the PMO.")
Oh ... George Soros.
(See page 6.)
And he was standing by with one billion of his own money to invest in various Ukrainian businesses. Because why settle with just bending a country to your Leftist policies when you can also make billions to boot? Oh, but he wants to make it clear that he's going to reinvest all of that money into his Civil Society programs. Obama was right: sometimes you have enough money. Soros doesn't want more money. If I can quote Alec Ross: he wants more POWER.
It's really hard to grasp the concept that someone could just start revolutions, collapse countries '-- as Soros has. He's considered a criminal in many countries in Asia for what he's done. But this is what he's about. As I reminded you in his own words, this is fun for him.
Ukraine became the crown jewel for the now ''institutionalized" U.S. Deep State and their like minded partners such as George Soros. And we might not have ever truly known the full extent of how bad it has become if not for that July 25th phone call between Trump and Zelesnky. Hydra mobilized, and they revealed themselves. But Ukraine is just the tip of the iceberg.
When Clinton's Civil Society 2.0 first came to Ukraine, consider the state of the world at the time.
The revolutions going on in the Middle East that he's talking about were more commonly known as ... The Arab Spring. At this point in time, November 2011, revolutions had broken out in Tunisia, Oman, Yemen, Egypt, Syria, Libya and Morocco. TWO regimes '-- Egypt and Libya '-- had already fully collapsed.
Now for parts of the Arab Spring, the Obama Administration was much more overt in their participation. Remember this from Hillary Clinton?
Everytime I hear that, I think of the video of the barely alive Gadaffi.
Not a good guy. But can you imagine being responsbile for that and laughing about it? Its almost as if this is ''fun" for those involved. Clinton, the State Department ... who do they answer to? Certainly not you.
Libya still hasn't recovered, and would eventually become the country with the largest ISIS presence outside Syria. Libya and Syria are absolute dumpster fires, and Alec Ross' ''shop" within the State Department were at ground zero right from the beginning.
Link: https://foreignpolicy.com/2013/03/14/tech-guru-ale...
They were training NGOs and rebels in both countries, and actually providing communications technology to enable them to coordinate.
This was going down WHILE the Arab Spring was in full swing, but the meddling began long BEFORE.
Civil Society 2.0 began in November 2009, and it's no coincidence where they chose to kick it off'... North Africa.
And remember what this program is intended for'... what it's designed to nurture: revolution and regime change. As they did in Ukraine, they identify ''Civil Society" groups, train them, fund them and show them how to mobilize.
Just a few months later, the White House initiated secret meetings with officials from the State Department and CIA. The meetings were led by Dennis Ross, the senior advisor on the Middle East; Samantha Power, from the National Security Council; and Gayle Smith, the director for global development.
Link: https://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/17/world/middleeas...
They developed an 18 page classified report which the Obama Administration dubbed Presidential Study Directive 11.
Link: https://fas.org/irp/offdocs/psd/index.html
Now, the Obama Admin issued 11 Study Directives in total, and the vast majority have been declassified. But all we know about PSD 11 is that it had to do with quote: ''political reform in the Middle East and North Africa."
An official with knowledge of the classified report told this to the New York Times:
"Whether it was Yemen or other countries in the region, you saw a set of trends" '-- a big youth population, threadbare education systems, stagnant economies and NEW SOCIAL NETWORK TECHNOLOGIES LIKE FACEBOOK AND TWITTER '-- that was a "real prescription for trouble."Link: https://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/17/world/middleeas...
Could I just ask: Is this why Facebook, Twitter and Google have hired so many democrats specifically form HC's State Department office? Are they an expansion of the SD? You do know that the original seed money for google came form the CIA. What had the gov asked for in return. By the way ... that's a question, not a theory. And not a conspiracy fact as of yet.
Why is this report still classified? I'll just throw this out there ... maybe because there was an office in the State Department that was traveling the world training these ''big youth populations" in revolution and regime change, in the months BEFORE the Arab Spring began?
Civil Society 2.0 arrived in the Middle East and North Africa in November 2009. Presidential Study Directive 11 occurred in August 2010. The Arab Spring kicked off just FOUR MONTHS LATER.
I want to make a personal plea to President Trump. If you want to know how institutionalized Hydra is, and why they're coning after you so hard you might want to declassify directive 11. If you want to see how deep the Ukrainian rabbit whole REALLY goes ... declassify PSD 11. You have the power to do it. I have a feeling that the strategy they used to take over Ukraine is probably described IN DETAIL in PSD 11.
Everything that was happening in Ukraine, was being done during the Arab Spring. Civil Society 2.0 had been on the ground a full year before the Arab Spring kicked off.
Link: https://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/15/world/15aid.html
U.S. dollars then began to flow to the protestors on the streets. They did this through funding from Freedom House and the National Endowment for Democracy.
Remember that State Department meeting in 2008 a few months after Obama was elected? The Egyptian activists that brought down their countries regime ... were at that conference. They were:
Taught to use social networking and mobile technologies to promote democracy.Link: https://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/15/world/15aid.html
This is a leaked State Department diplomatic cable where they confirm the participation of the Egyptian activists at the 2008 meeting in New York.
Link: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaa...
It also reveals that the U.S. Embassy in Egypt was putting pressure on the Egyptian government in support of the street protestors.
And, just as in Ukraine, the Egyptian Regime buckled under the weight of these new tech savvy global community organizers.
All three stages that would later be used in Ukraine, were pulled off to perfection in toppling the regime in Egypt. But what about stage 4?
Infiltrating the criminal justice system was harder in Egypt because the military had an iron grasp on the government. So how did they plan on getting around that? Exactly what George Soros proposed in Ukraine ... just rewrite the Constitution.
Link: https://af.reuters.com/article/topNews/idAFJOE71F0...
This Reuters article, written right after the regime fell, describes who was involved in rewriting Egypt's Constitution. Look who was in charge:
''CIVIL SOCIETY GROUPS had already produced several drafts and a new constitution could be ready in a month."The main group in charge was the Arabic Network for Human Rights. You'll never guess who funds them.
Link: http://www.anhri.net/en/reports/net2004/thank.shtml (Specifically, ''HRINFO gratefully acknowledges the Open Society Institute (OSI) for its financial support.")
And while Soros funded NGOs went to work rewriting the Constitution, he then moved to get his guys into top level positions within the government.
Link: https://www.npr.org/2011/01/31/133307779/could-egy...
Mohammed ElBaradei emerged out of nowhere as the de facto leader of the ''revolution." He's also a trustee of an organization called the International Crisis Group.
Link: https://www.crisisgroup.org/
They're a ThinkTank that claims to be:
Working to prevent wars and shape policies that will build a more peaceful world.They're also founded AND FUNDED by George Soros.
Everything was in place for a Ukraine level theft of a country, but the Egyptian military stepped in and put a stop to it.
What began 10 years ago in North Africa and the Middle East, and then later perfected in Ukraine in 2014 ... still goes on to this very day. We have a new president, a new administration, new lawmakers in Congress ... but Hydra marches on.
But to be fair, you could say that they're only trying to foment revolution in bad countries. Ok, but thats not the case.
A few months after Civil Society 2.0 began in Ukraine, a near identical project popped up in Macedonia.
Link: https://www.usaid.gov/macedonia/fact-sheets/civil-...
In February 2012, the U.S. Government gave George Soros nearly $5 million to carry out a quote ''Civil Society Program." According to the financial disclosure, Soros was involved in training and funding Macedonians on freedom of association, youth policies, citizen initiatives, persuasive argumentation and use of new media. So, in other words, they wanted a Macedonian Spring.
The money flowed through the State Department and was facilitated by U.S. Ambassador to Macedonia Jess Baily. Now, at this point, this isn't surprising coming from the Obama Administration, but after Trump was elected in 2016 an additional $9.5 million was allocated to keep the operation going.
Judicial Watch has done some digging on this, and they've interviewed several Macedonian officials to find out what the State Department and Soros are up to. See if this sounds familiar:
The groups organize youth movements, create influential media outlets and organize violent protests to undermine the institutions and policies implemented by the government. One of the Soros' groups funded the translation and publication of Saul Alinsky's ''Rules for Radicals" into Macedonian.Link: https://www.judicialwatch.org/corruption-chronicle...
I wonder ... what did Hydra have against the Macedonian Government at the time? Could it be because they had one of the more conservative governments in all of Europe? They had the lowest flat tax on the continent, close ties with Israel and were strongly pro-life. They had also recently built a border fence to try and deal with the immigration crisis.
The State Department was attacking this government, through George Soros, with YOUR money.
Link: https://www.scribd.com/document/338904121/Senator-...
It prompted Mike Lee to write an official letter to Ambassador Baily, asking him what the heck was going on. This wasn't the official policy of the U.S. Government, this was someone else's SHADOW policy.
Link: https://www.newsweek.com/crisis-macedonia-protests...
And, as it has happened time and time again since this all began, violence, riots and chaos were the consequences of that shadow policy.
The U.S. Ambassador remained in Macedonia up until a few months ago. There was never any explanation as to why he left. There's no entry on the official embassy website. He just suddenly ... wasn't there anymore. I talked to Mike Lee before this broadcast. He told me that he received what the State Department might classify as answers. But Mike says that his questions were NEVER satisfactorily answered.
''Spontaneous, indigenous popular uprisings" continue to break out TO THIS DAY, and the fingerprints of Civil Society 2.0 and George Soros are all over it. They're following their 4 part plan country by country.
I challenge you '--everywhere the violence is erupting '-- try and find one that isn't related to the programs, groups and people that I've shown you here.
Link: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/20/world/americas/...
Violence in Chile continues to boil over. Chile ... the one country in South America that has actually seen economic growth by adhering to open and free markets, is now spiraling out of control. More than 15 people have died. And you know what sparked all the chaos? It wasn't self immolation like the Arab Spring. No ... ''Civil Society" groups hit the streets in Chile due to a three cent cost in public transportation. THREE PENNIES.
Chile's free market government has been a target of Hydra for a long time.
Link: https://2009-2017.state.gov/statecraft/cs20/index.htm
Civil Society 2.0 began setting up TechCamps in Chile in November 2010. From the press release:
Goals of the program include increasing regional civil society organizations' digital literacy, sharing information, building networks and matchmaking like-minded individuals to organizations.It always reads the same, and regime change and chaos in the streets always follows. And those ''like minded organizations and individuals" included people like this woman (Javiera Lopez).
Link: https://twitter.com/japalola?lang=en
She's one of the lead organizers out in the streets. She's also the National Political Counselor for a far-left Socialist political party called Democratic Revolution. Their top demands, as seen in this tweet, is to force the rewriting of the Chilean Constitution:
Hmm, where have we seen that before? The State Department and Soros, the Hydra that is called Civil Society 2.0.
A year after Civil Society 2.0 began training activists in Chile, Democratic Revolution formed to organize the quote ''activities of the student movement." Today, they're leading the charge in the same way Egyptian activists overthrew the Mubarak regime. But none of it would have been possible without the financing of George Soros and his Open Society Foundation.
Link: https://www.biobiochile.cl/noticias/nacional/chile...
Soros was there from the beginning and continued funding through, AT LEAST, 2015. Now they're poised to overthrow one of the most free market economies in South America.
They're taking down country by country, one at a time. The strategies of progressive leaders in the past of establishing large governing bodies such as the League of Nations or the UN, and bending continents under their ideological boots is largely over. Why start from the top, when you can conquer fragile regimes one by one?
And if you think this is happening purely beyond our own borders ... I've got some REALLY bad news for you. Countries like Ukraine, Macedonia, Egypt, Yemen and even Chile are much easier to heat up, destabilize and then cast into your image. You can place allies in the criminal justice system, and do deals with their leaders to fast track legislation. You can't really do that here.
However, is it a coincidence that leftists are being trained here in the U.S. by Soros groups? That our DOJ, FBI CIA, all of it has been so badly damaged in reputation? That corruption is at a level I've never seen in our country before? And our Constitution is constantly discredited and no one really knows it anymore. How far-fetched is it to believe that in the next 5 years you could get America to call for an ACB '-- some outside force that would rat our corruption? How hard is it to believe that protesters '--leaderless organizations '-- could rise up to create instability and demand that a few changes to be made to our constitution?
Make no mistake, Hydra is active here in the United States. They're skipping the federal government and going state by state, county by county ... city by city. The same tactics they've been employing all over the world have come, and are coming, to main street USA. We are currently in contact with multiple state officials who have been investigating the infiltration of Soros in key positions. It is well organized and well financed and way beyond anything you might have heard before.
You're likely to see a barrage of people on left instantly labeling this entire program a conspiracy THEORY. We're already seeing that in the impeachment proceedings. In her testimony, Fiona Hill said the words conspiracy theory at least twice, and at one point specifically mentions George Soros. But I'll challenge every single one of the naysayers: try and refute any single one of the FACTS I'm about to show you. Just try. I'll bring you on the show and we can talk about, but you better bring facts because I'll be holding all of mine.
And why is it so taboo to call out Soros' involvement in the Ukraine scandal? Why is Soros "the name that shall not be named"? What are they so afraid of? I've been highlighting FOR YEARS how he plays with entire countries. He's already brought several of those countries down.
Crashing economies and bringing countries to their knees is fun for him, but the question has always been: how does he do it, and '-- possibly more important '-- are nation states colluding with him to pull it off?


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All Clips

Bill Barr at Federalist Society regarding sabotage from The Resistance.mp3
Joe DiGenova - George Soros controls a large part of the State Department and activities of FBI agents.mp3
Pieczenik on Maria Yavonavic = CIA hence Pompeo temporary protection.mp3
White House releases memo of Trump’s April call with Ukraine’s Zelenskiy.mp3
Blade Runner - Have you ever retired a human by mistake.mp3
Elizabeth Warren's anti billionaire wealth tax ad.mp3
Hillary wants Trump 'retired'.mp3
Prince Andrew JE -1- He was an extrodinary man with cosmopolutan group of emminence.mp3
Prince Andrew JE -2- Epstein stayed at Windsor - No It's Ghislaine.mp3
Prince Andrew JE -3- Why stay with a convicted sex offender - broke up in the park.mp3
Prince Andrew JE -4- At the end of the day, I'm too honorable.mp3
Prince Andrew JE -5- Never met Virginia Roberts and I CAN'T SWEAT.mp3
At least 200,000 protest in Prague against Czech PM Andrej Babis.mp3
Tear gas fired on 'yellow vest' anniversary.mp3
gun lawsuit CBS.mp3
Hong Kong demands investigations DN.mp3
IMPEACHMENT Big News overheard convo CBS.mp3
IMPEAHMENT report complete CBS.mp3
Iraq update DN.mp3
ISO Wow.mp3
israel update DN.mp3
Jordan versus Taylor Impeach CSPAN.mp3
Kurz show on whistleblower FOX.mp3
report on Venice AJ.mp3
roger stone rundown CBS.mp3
scott Adams Theory TWO.mp3
scott Adams Thoery One.mp3
SHOOTING Comments on drills.mp3
SHOOTING day in Day out lament.mp3
SHOOTING First reports.mp3
SHOOTING kid on the street.mp3
SHOOTING Know nothing sheriff.mp3
UAW strike nissing info PBS.mp3
underreported US Pipeline news AJ.mp3
Walmart reopens Trump dig DN.mp3
warren versus amy funny.mp3
AOC revolution ISO.mp3
cold weather CBS.mp3
Cost of War report lots dead DN.mp3
Dean Foods and decline of milk CBS.mp3
Greta heading home DN.mp3
Greta heading home DN_1.mp3
Amazon's Jack Ryan Venezuela Nationalist President.mp3
BBC dramatizes the Russian Calls to shoot down MH17.mp3
BBC interviews Bellingcat about MH17.mp3
Ocasio-Cortez voices support for Taylor Swift in artist's battle to perform her songs.mp3
NA Jingles - Sir Felix Impor'an' ABCs updated.mp3
NPR Planet Money reporter vocal fry and glottal T.mp3
White 23 year old Youtuber is pissed at her 23andMe DNA results.mp3
Mahr Donna Brazille hopes Roger Stone rots in hell.mp3
NA Jingles - Like a Roger Stone - Jingle.mp3
  • 0:03
    curry 91 this is no agenda Adam Curry
  • 0:24
    and from northern Silicon Valley where
  • 0:27
    no shooting today I'm Jesse Devore
  • 0:30
  • 0:33
    you're breaking news
  • 0:35
    hey no shooting today and that was a
  • 0:39
    weird one up in your neck of the woods
  • 0:43
    seeing as we don't have all the normal
  • 0:45
    information we don't we don't know the
  • 0:49
    shooters name we have no man oh they do
  • 0:52
    have the shooters name that's been
  • 0:54
    reviewed that was yesterday oh oh okay I
  • 0:57
    I just thought the coverage was
  • 0:59
    different maybe he was weird and I'll
  • 1:02
    tell you why I have some clips oh wait
  • 1:04
    before you start I want to tease
  • 1:07
    something I have a review today of
  • 1:11
    possibly the best OTG phone yet geez the
  • 1:17
    phone reviews show you're gonna do an
  • 1:19
  • 1:22
    I'm perplexed that you're accusing I'm
  • 1:25
    perplexed at your response we are
  • 1:27
    helping people with their mental sanity
  • 1:32
    here's like a look they've got a
  • 1:34
    connector at the bottom well you're
  • 1:37
    going to participate like a good doobie
  • 1:39
    because this is very important we have a
  • 1:42
    phone that sighing you it solves your
  • 1:44
    problems shows nothing all right I'm
  • 1:50
    sorry I shouldn't have interrupted your
  • 1:53
    flow my friend that's how it goes
  • 2:02
    all right we reset good G tell me about
  • 2:06
    the shooting okay so there was the
  • 2:09
    shooting so I wake up it's about 9:00
  • 2:13
    and I wake up in this all this reporting
  • 2:16
    going on a live coverage of this chasing
  • 2:19
    around town there's choppers mm-hmm
  • 2:22
    they're going from house to house a
  • 2:23
    bunch of SWAT teams come out and they're
  • 2:26
    surrounding somebody's house they said
  • 2:28
    it might be the kids and then they go
  • 2:29
    surround a neighbor's house you're
  • 2:31
    seeing all this happen you're this is
  • 2:33
    out of your window no no I just saw that
  • 2:36
    oh okay all right good and it's all
  • 2:39
    because I'm not around there I mean this
  • 2:41
    is local coverage but they haven't
  • 2:42
    streaming so I'm watching all of it and
  • 2:44
    this is about 9 o'clock 10 o'clock goes
  • 2:46
    on to about I don't know let 10:30 11:00
  • 2:49
    but meanwhile the incident took place at
  • 2:52
    7:30 hmm before not slightly before
  • 2:56
    school it took place outside you know of
  • 2:58
    the classes and where there's you know
  • 3:00
    gun detectors and things I suppose maybe
  • 3:02
    maybe not but what happened was this kid
  • 3:05
    brought a 45 and had it parent it was a
  • 3:07
    six-shooter no a revolver G it's not
  • 3:11
    automatic and not scary looking we can't
  • 3:14
    ban it what are we gonna do yes that's
  • 3:16
    scary and somebody mentioned he took
  • 3:18
    very careful account so he shoots off
  • 3:21
    five rounds and did five I near by kids
  • 3:23
    and himself in the head now this all
  • 3:28
    happens right at the beginning right so
  • 3:32
    we have five kids shot and a guy who
  • 3:34
    shot himself in the head
  • 3:37
    hours later they're looking for this guy
  • 3:41
    by running around town and I'm me well
  • 3:44
    the reports were all written up and
  • 3:46
    they're on Twitter here's what we know
  • 3:48
    the gunman shot himself right and they
  • 3:51
    five people are in the hospital and and
  • 3:54
    he's in the hospital where he later died
  • 3:56
    and then now there's been dude coverage
  • 3:59
    after that was all Oh where's this
  • 4:01
    manifesto manifesto I know I was so
  • 4:05
    disappointed I want a manifesto it's
  • 4:08
    like whoo now everyone has to have a
  • 4:09
    manifesto I guess it's wait wait isn't
  • 4:12
    this kid wasn't white I think wasn't
  • 4:13
    that the big problem they were looking
  • 4:14
    for his white guy it was kind of not
  • 4:19
    white enough
  • 4:22
    I mean he could pass for white maybe as
  • 4:25
    little Japanese it's hard to say
  • 4:27
    but there's but it mostly kids are said
  • 4:29
    as a mixed race school so it's not a big
  • 4:31
  • 4:31
    so that's bullcrap and there's no
  • 4:33
    evidence of any of that I think it's
  • 4:34
    just drugs but nobody wants to talk
  • 4:35
    about well no that's the first question
  • 4:37
    is was the kid on any type of
  • 4:39
    antidepressants or other psychotropic
  • 4:41
    drugs question number one
  • 4:45
    it was his effort by the way yeah you're
  • 4:53
    right how many cars right now so let's
  • 4:55
    don't forget now we've got all the
  • 4:57
    information the kid shot himself he's
  • 5:00
    there yeah and they're whole it they
  • 5:02
    hold him in to the hospital so why are
  • 5:05
    they running around town so there's
  • 5:07
    something else going on so let's let's
  • 5:09
    start with the shooting first reports
  • 5:14
    and we're actually thinks I'm folding
  • 5:15
    right now we have fire department
  • 5:17
    personnel with bulletproof vests and
  • 5:19
    helmets on
  • 5:20
    that's something I've never actually
  • 5:22
    seen here in Santa Clarita before but
  • 5:25
    they have their bulletproof vests that
  • 5:26
    say LA County Fire Department the back
  • 5:28
    of them fire department you're talking
  • 5:32
    you're talking up rescue personnel are
  • 5:33
    also wearing bulletproof vests and
  • 5:35
    helmets yeah it's very unusual I thought
  • 5:39
    that was actually perfect officer but
  • 5:40
    it's not that person has a trademark
  • 5:42
    yellow radio the fire department
  • 5:44
    personnel typically carries but they're
  • 5:45
    also they're their bestest mark LA
  • 5:48
    County Fire Department but right now I'm
  • 5:50
    looking from the ground and in front of
  • 5:51
    the forum it's a newer building on the
  • 5:53
    campus if they're performing arts center
  • 5:54
    so I'm just the south east of that
  • 5:56
    building and so we're seeing several
  • 5:58
    parents who were able to make their way
  • 6:00
    in here on the grass field just
  • 6:01
    embracing each other moms embracing each
  • 6:04
    other fathers embracing the mom they
  • 6:06
    have their small children here as well
  • 6:08
    but you can imagine you know just the
  • 6:12
    amount of heartbreak these parents are
  • 6:13
    going through and just they don't have
  • 6:15
    really much information to go on
  • 6:17
    and we're getting more units here from
  • 6:20
    other stations as well that are still
  • 6:22
    rushing in so it's been sirens and
  • 6:23
    sirens and sirens all morning when I
  • 6:25
    first heard the call go out of my house
  • 6:27
    I thought maybe you know this sounds
  • 6:29
    like it could be a training exercise and
  • 6:32
    so you heard outside my window I live
  • 6:35
    off of one of the main roads here in
  • 6:36
    Santa Clarita
  • 6:37
    you heard unit after unit after unit
  • 6:39
    after unit
  • 6:40
    different types of sirens CHP sheriff
  • 6:43
    you heard some from some off-duty police
  • 6:46
    officers and because a lot of police
  • 6:47
    officers lived here in Santa Clarita and
  • 6:49
    so you have a lot of those people who
  • 6:51
    are you know in plain clothes have their
  • 6:53
    vests and tactical gear here helping
  • 6:55
    with the uniforms officers and deputies
  • 6:58
    here at the school and so you have a lot
  • 7:01
    of response here in front of the school
  • 7:03
    along the front main driveway here on
  • 7:05
    Centurion way and so more ambulances
  • 7:09
    coming in right now from the American
  • 7:11
    Medical Response I can't tell you how
  • 7:13
    many ambulances have come in since I've
  • 7:15
    been here I've counted at least and 11
  • 7:17
    that rolled through here and then about
  • 7:20
    four or five that have left okay
  • 7:23
    now seeing as this was a long clip I
  • 7:27
    listened intently means that you have
  • 7:30
    something to say with it is it possible
  • 7:32
    that there was a drill and the live
  • 7:36
    event at the same time could we could
  • 7:38
    this be our lucky day well I was
  • 7:42
    thinking about what the hell's going on
  • 7:44
    because this all took place was in five
  • 7:46
    or six minutes he'd emptied this five
  • 7:49
    rounds and put one in his head the news
  • 7:53
    everywhere 16 seconds it was all over
  • 7:55
    it's not even five minutes just to dump
  • 7:57
    yeah and it was all caught on video they
  • 8:01
    had the it was they dad barely cameras
  • 8:04
    and on this whatever area was huh but
  • 8:07
    this is open area it's an open area and
  • 8:09
    so the so this was all done within a
  • 8:14
    minute or two past 7:30 in the morning
  • 8:17
    yes other stuff is going on afterwards
  • 8:19
    and it's like 11 ambulances is funny
  • 8:22
    though they did say 11 ambulances came
  • 8:24
    in and five went out which was five for
  • 8:26
    the five people that were injured mm-hmm
  • 8:27
    or shot yeah which was you know it was
  • 8:30
    kind of
  • 8:31
    and meanwhile this was the sheriff
  • 8:32
    that's giving this report and they got
  • 8:35
    the fire department all gussied up in
  • 8:38
    bulletproof vests and people are running
  • 8:40
    around and every agency this was
  • 8:43
    unbelievable over response to an
  • 8:46
    incident that was just like a she goes
  • 8:50
    on in Oakland daily just the whole thing
  • 8:54
    was baffling the way they were going on