1192: Balderdash!

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

2h 55m
November 21st, 2019
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25 for 45 / Ukraine
U.S. Obscures Foreign Aid To Ukraine, But Here's Where Some Goes | HuffPost
Thu, 21 Nov 2019 09:23
WASHINGTON -- As the United States readies $1 billion in loan guarantees to the new government in Ukraine, along with even more aid for reforming elections and cleaning up corruption, one thing is clear: The public is unlikely to know where that money is going for some time, if ever.
Since 1992, the U.S. has sent $3 billion to $5 billion in aid to Ukraine, with only cursory public disclosure. The U.S. State Department operates an online database, ForeignAssistance.gov, but names of foreign recipients are often left out, and entire sections are blank. Furthermore, the disclosure often comes long after the money has been distributed.
"It is incredibly hard to find this kind of information," Nicole Valentinuzzi, communications manager for Publish What You Fund, an international organization promoting transparency for foreign aid.
The main channels of U.S. aid are the State Department; the U.S. Agency for International Department; the National Endowment for Democracy, a nonprofit entity funded through direct appropriations from Congress; and the Millennium Challenge Corporation. Other agencies may provide further funding.
The spending by U.S. government agencies often flows through for-profit companies, including PACT, Democracy International, and Chemonics International. The path of this money creates another layer obscuring the final source of U.S. foreign aid, as the companies distribute money to non-governmental organizations in Ukraine, or to other countries.
"Where's the U.S. money going?" asked Publish What You Fund U.S. representative Sally Paxton. "If it goes to Chemonics, then who does it go to? And how do you hold the NGOs, whether they're in the Ukraine or in the U.S., accountable if none of this chain of spending is ever reported?"
USAID referred Ukraine aid questions to the State Department, which didn't respond. National Endowment for Democracy did not return a call.
While it is near impossible to track U.S. foreign aid as it goes out the door, some recent information is available, if piecemeal.
A Huffington Post review of disclosures covering U.S. payments to Ukrainian government and NGOs found that large portions of aid have funded programs against the proliferation of nuclear materials, small arms, narcotics trafficking, human trafficking and money laundering. U.S. aid also has funded information about HIV/AIDS and family planning, and has helped clean and contain the nuclear disaster site at Chernobyl.
USAID contributed $200 million to the final decommissioning of the Chernobyl nuclear plant. The Department of Energy spent more than $50 million in 2010 in support of closing and containing the nuclear disaster site, according to ForeignAssistance.gov.
U.S. foreign aid also has funded groups promoting civic engagement, the rule of law, investigative journalism and oversight of elections. The Obama administration has proposed that some future aid to the new Ukrainian government will fall under this category.
"The United States will provide technical assistance to train election observers, help bring electoral processes in line with international standards, and promote robust participation by civil society organizations and a free and independent media," saysa White House white sheet on Ukrainian aid released on Tuesday.
The USAID Country Development Strategy 2012-2016 for Ukraine explains that the agency provides extensive funding to support the Ukrainian Parliament (Verkhovna Rada) and "is also the largest donor in providing support to political parties and election observation." USAID coordinates its efforts with private foundations and aid agencies in Canada, the U.K., the European Union and Germany, the document says.
A portion of prior "democracy program" funding has gone through the Consortium for Elections and Political Process Strengthening, a USAID program with other National Endowment for Democracy-affiliated groups: the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, the International Republican Institute and the International Foundation for Electoral Systems. In 2010, the reported disbursement for CEPPS in Ukraine was nearly $5 million.
The program's efforts are described on the USAID website as providing "training for political party activists and locally elected officials to improve communication with civic groups and citizens, and the development of NGO-led advocacy campaigns on electoral and political process issues."
A significant portion of democracy program funding has come from the National Endowment for Democracy and its affiliated groups. The government-funded nonprofit discloses grant recipients on its website. (Publish What You Fund warned that this list may be incomplete and may not meet international foreign aid reporting standards the group promotes.)
From 2007 through 2012, the National Endowment for Democracy spent $16.8 million to stimulate civic activity and fund election watchdogs and non-state run reporting outlets in Ukraine. (NED will post 2013 grant recipients within the next week.) These funds have gone to organizations that played a role in the 2004 Orange Revolution and have since continued to monitor elections, investigate government corruption and educate youth about democratic government.
Ukrainian recipient organizations of U.S. democracy aid included election monitors Civic Network OPORA, an offshoot of the pro-Orange Revolution Pora Party (at least $411,370), and the Committee of Voters of Ukraine, which has branches across the country to monitor local elections, conduct polls and provide an organizing space for young Ukrainians ($788,072). The youth chapter of the nationalist People's Movement of Ukraine party, All-Ukrainian Youth Civic Organization or "Young Rukh," received nearly $200,000 to train youth activists and monitor corruption at Ukrainian universities. Other funding has gone to the Democratic Initiatives Foundation for election exit polling and surveys ($363,404).
In addition, the National Endowment for Democracy has spent more than $1.1 million to support independent journalism and media watchdogs in Ukraine. These include the Independent Association of Broadcasters, the Independent Center of Political Researchers and Journalists, the Institute for Mass Information, the Donetsk Press Club and Telekritika, among others.
USAID has advocated and funded Ukraine transparency programs and laws, including the nation's 2011 freedom of information law and the creation of the Ukrainian Electronic Disclosure System, a public database of financial reports modeled on the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's EDGAR system.
In 2011, the U.S. signed an agreement to abide by the foreign aid disclosure standards set forth by the International Aid Transparency Initiative. The agreement promises that the U.S. will abide by full disclosure standards by the end of 2015.
"The U.S. is making small movements," Publish What You Fund's Valentinuzzi said. "We're happy about that, but there is still no one stop shop [for finding foreign aid information]."
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MPs demand Zelensky, Trump investigate suspicion of U.S.-Ukraine corruption involving $7.4 bln
Wed, 20 Nov 2019 15:07
KYIV. Nov 20 (Interfax-Ukraine) '' Ukrainian members of parliament have demanded the presidents of Ukraine and the United States, Volodymyr Zelensky and Donald Trump, investigate suspicions of the legalization of $7.4 billion by the "family" of ex-President Viktor Yanukovych through the American investment fund Franklin Templeton Investments, which they said has ties to the U.S. Democratic Party.
At a press conference at the Interfax-Ukraine agency on Wednesday, MP Andriy Derkach announced that deputies have received new materials from investigative journalists about international corruption and the participation of Ukrainian officials in it.
"Last week, November 14, the Prosecutor General's Office (PGO), unnoticed by the media, announced a new suspicion to the notorious owner of Burisma, ex-Ecology Minister Zlochevsky. According to the suspicion, the Yanukovych family is suspected, in particular, with legalizing (laundering) of criminally obtained income through Franklin Templeton Investments, an investment fund carrying out purchases of external government loan bonds totaling $7.4 billion," Derkach said.
With reference to the investigation, he emphasized: it was money criminally obtained by the "family" of Yanukovych and invested in the purchase of Ukrainian debt in 2013-2014.
For his part, MP Oleksandr Dubinsky from the Servant of the People faction said that according to investigators, "the Yanukovych 'family' illegally obtained $7.4 billion and laundered the funds through an investment fund close to some representatives of the U.S. Democratic Party in the form of external government loan bonds."
Meanwhile, Derkach said that several facts indicate Franklin Templeton Investments' relationship with the U.S. Democratic Party.
"The son of Templeton's founder, John Templeton Jr., was one of President Obama's major campaign donors. Another fund-related character is Thomas Donilon. Managing Director of BlackRock Investment Institute, shareholder Franklin Templeton Investments, which has the largest share in the fund. It is noteworthy that he previously was Obama's national security advisor," Derkach said.
The MP said that the presidents of Ukraine and the United States should combine the efforts of the two countries to establish facts of corruption and money laundering with the participation of citizens of both countries.
"President Zelensky must pick up the phone, dial Trump, ask for help and cooperation in the fight against corruption and fly to Washington. The issue of combating international corruption in Ukraine with the participation of citizens, businessmen and U.S. officials should become a key during the meeting of the two presidents," he said.
Derkach said as a result of the meeting, it is necessary to build interaction between the Ukrainian investigating authorities and the U.S. Department of Justice to obtain information about the organizers of the bond issue, clients and beneficiaries of investment funds for each purchase, interrogate fund officials, etc.
As reported, on October 9, 2019, Derkach published official correspondence between NABU and the U.S. Embassy, according to which the first deputy of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU), Gizo Uglava, through his assistant Polina Chyzh, for a long time provided the U.S. Embassy with information that negatively affected the course of events in Ukraine and the United States.
Derkach said Chyzh received instructions from the representative of the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine Hanna Emelyanova to provide information on the case involving Zlochevsky.
Derkach also announced the amount of money transferred to representatives of the Burisma Group, including Hunter Biden. According to documents, in general, in favor of Hunter Biden, Alexander Kwasniewski, Alan Apter and Devon Archer, Burisma paid about $16.5 million.
According to Derkach, ex-Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin repeatedly appealed to the NABU Director Artem Sytnyk in the framework of criminal proceedings for Burisma, but constantly received formal responses. The activities of Shokin, according to the MP, irritated then U.S. Vice President Joe Biden during his fifth visit to Kyiv in two years. The visit on December 7-8, 2015, was devoted to solving the issue of Shokin's resignation for the affairs of Zlochevsky and Burisma, he said.
"The subject of pressure was the $1 billion credit guarantee that the United States should have provided to Ukraine: Biden himself acknowledged the pressure in his speech to the U.S. Foreign Relations Council in January 2018," Derkach said.
The Plundering Of Ukraine By Corrupt American Democrats | Raw Conservative Opinions
Wed, 20 Nov 2019 18:07
Authored by Israel Shamir via The Unz Review,m
Top Dems are involved in the plundering of the Ukraine: new names, mind-boggling accounts. The mysterious 'whistleblower' whose report had unleashed the impeachment is named in the exclusive interview given to the Unz Review by a prominent Ukrainian politician, an ex-Member of Parliament of four terms, a candidate for Ukraine's presidency, Oleg Tsarev.
Mr. Tsarev with Israel Shamir in Crimea
Mr Tsarev, a tall, agile and graceful man, a good speaker and a prolific writer, had been a leading and popular Ukrainian politician before the 2014 putsch; he stayed in the Ukraine after President Yanukovych's flight; ran for the Presidency against Mr Poroshenko, and eventually had to go to exile due to multiple threats to his life. During the failed attempt to secede, he was elected the speaker of the Parliament of Novorossia (South-Eastern Ukraine). I spoke to him in Crimea, where he lives in the pleasant seaside town of Yalta. Tsarev still has many supporters in the Ukraine, and is a leader of the opposition to the Kiev regime.
Oleg, you followed Biden story from its very inception. Biden is not the only Dem politician involved in the Ukrainian corruption schemes, is he?Indeed, John Kerry, the Secretary of State in Obama's administration, was his partner-in-crime. But Joe Biden was number one. During the Obama presidency, Biden was the US proconsul for Ukraine, and he was involved in many corruption schemes. He authorised transfer of three billion dollars of the US taxpayers' money to the post-coup government of the Ukraine; the money was stolen, and Biden took a big share of the spoils.
It is a story of ripping the US taxpayer and the Ukrainian customer off for the benefit of a few corruptioners, American and Ukrainian. And it is a story of Kiev regime and its dependence on the US and IMF. The Ukraine has a few midsize deposits of natural gas, sufficient for domestic household consumption. The cost of its production was quite low; and the Ukrainians got used to pay pennies for their gas. Actually, it was so cheap to produce that the Ukraine could provide all its households with free gas for heating and cooking, just like Libya did. Despite low consumer price, the gas companies (like Burisma) had very high profits and very little expenditure.
After the 2014 coup, IMF demanded to raise the price of gas for the domestic consumer to European levels, and the new president Petro Poroshenko obliged them. The prices went sky-high. The Ukrainians were forced to pay many times more for their cooking and heating; and huge profits went to coffers of the gas companies. Instead of raising taxes or lowering prices, President Poroshenko demanded the gas companies to pay him or subsidise his projects. He said that he arranged the price hike; it means he should be considered a partner.
Burisma Gas company had to pay extortion money to the president Poroshenko. Eventually its founder and owner Mr Nicolai Zlochevsky decided to invite some important Westerners into the company's board of directors hoping it would moderate Poroshenko's appetites. He had brought in Biden's son Hunter, John Kerry, Polish ex-President Kwasniewski; but it didn't help him.
Poroshenko became furious that the fattened calf may escape him, and asked the Attorney General Shokin to investigate Burisma trusting some irregularities would emerge. AG Shokin immediately discovered that Burisma had paid these 'stars' between 50 and 150 thousand dollar per month each just for being on the list of directors. This is illegal by the Ukrainian tax code; it can't be recognised as legitimate expenditure.
At that time Biden the father entered the fray. He called Poroshenko and gave him six hours to close the case against his son. Otherwise, one billion dollars of the US taxpayers' funds won't pass to the Ukrainian corruptioners. Zlochevsky, the Burisma owner, paid Biden well for this conversation: he received between three and ten million dollars, according to different sources.
AG Shokin said he can't close the case within six hours; Poroshenko sacked him and installed Mr Lutsenko in his stead. Lutsenko was willing to dismiss the case of Burisma, but he also could not do it in a day, or even in a week. Biden, as we know, could not keep his trap shut: by talking about the pressure he put on Poroshenko, he incriminated himself. Meanwhile Mr Shokin gave evidence that Biden put pressure on Poroshenko to fire him, and now it was confirmed. The evidence was given to the US lawyers in connection with another case, Firtash case.
What is Firtash Case?The Democrats wanted to get another Ukrainian oligarch, Mr Firtash, to the US and make him to confess that he illegally supported Trump's campaign for the sake of Russia. Firtash had been arrested in Vienna, Austria; there he fought extradition to the US. His lawyers claimed it is purely political case, and they used Mr Shokin's deposition to substantiate their claim. For this reason, the evidence supplied by Shokin is not easily reversible, even if Shokin were willing, and he is not. He also stated under oath that the Democrats pressurised him to help and extradite Firtash to the US, though he had no standing in this purely American issue. It seems that Mrs Clinton believes that Firtash's funds helped Trump to win elections, an extremely unlikely thing [says Mr Tsarev].
Talking about Burisma and Biden; what is this billion dollars of aid that Biden could give or withhold?It is USAID money, the main channel of the US aid for ''support of democracy''. First billion dollars of USAID came to the Ukraine in 2014. This was authorised by Joe Biden, while for Ukraine, the papers were signed by Mr Turchinov, the ''acting President''. The Ukrainian constitution does not know of such a position, and Turchinov, ''the acting President'' had no right to sign neither a legal nor financial document. Thus, all the documents that were signed by him, in fact, had no legal force. However, Biden countersigned the papers signed by Turchynov and allocated money for Ukraine. And the money was stolen '' by the Democrats and their Ukrainian counterparts.
Two years ago, (that is already under President Trump) the United States began to investigate the allocation of 3 billion dollars; it was allocated in 2014, in 2015, in 2016; one billion dollars per year. The investigation showed that the documents were falsified, the money was transferred to Ukraine, and stolen. The investigators tracked each payment, discovered where the money went, where it was spent and how it was stolen.
As a result, in October 2018, the U.S. Department of Justice opened a criminal case for ''Abuse of power and embezzlement of American taxpayers' money''. Among the accused there are two consecutive Finance Ministers of the Ukraine, Mrs Natalie Ann Jaresko who served 2014-2016 and Mr Alexander Daniluk who served 2016-2018, and three US banks. The investigation caused the USAID to cease issuing grants since August 2019. As Trump said, now the US does not give away money and does not impose democracy.
The money was allocated with the flagrant violation of American law. There was no risk assessment, no audit reports. Normally the USAID, when allocating cash, always prepares a substantial package of documents. But the billions were given to Ukraine completely without documents. The criminal case on the embezzlement of USAID funds had been signed personally by the US Attorney General, so these issues are very much alive.
Sam Kislin was involved in this investigation. He is a good friend and associate of Giuliani, Trump's lawyer and an ex-mayor of New York. Kislin is well known in Kiev, and I have many friends who are Sam's friends [said Tsarev]. I learned of his progress, because some of my friends were detained in the United States, or interrogated in Ukraine. They briefed me about this. It appears that Burisma is just the tip of the scandal, the tip of the iceberg. If Trump will carry on, and use what was already initiated and investigated, the whole headquarters of the Democratic party will come down. They will not be able to hold elections. I have no right to name names, but believe me, leading functionaries of the Democratic party are involved.
Poroshenko was aware of that; he gave orders to declare Sam Kislin persona non grata. Once the old man (he is over 80) flew into Kiev airport and he was not allowed to come in; he spent the night in detention and was flown back to the US next day. Poroshenko had been totally allied with Clinton camp.
And President Zelensky? Is he free from Clintonite Democrats' influence?If he were, there would not be the scandal of Trump phone call. How the Democrats learned of this call and its alleged content? The official version says there was a CIA man, a whistle-blower, who reported to the Democrats. What the version does not clarify, where this whistle-blower was located during the call. I tell you, he was located in Kiev, and he was present at the conversation, at the Ukrainian President Zelensky's side. This man was (perhaps) a CIA asset, but he also was a close associate of George Soros, and a Ukrainian high-ranking official.
His name is Mr Alexander Daniluk.
He is also the man the investigation of Sam Kislin and of the DoJ had led to, the Finance Minister of Ukraine at the time, the man who was responsible for the embezzlement of three billion US taxpayer's best dollars. The DoJ issued an order for his arrest. Naturally he is devoted to Biden personally, and to the Dems in general. I would not trust his version of the phone call at all.
Daniluk was supposed to accompany President Zelensky on his visit to Washington; but he was informed that there is an order for his arrest. He remained in Kiev. And soon afterwards, the hell of the alleged leaked phone call broke out. Zelensky administration investigated and concluded that the leak was done by Mr Alexander Daniluk, who is known for his close relations with George Soros and with Mr Biden. Alexander Daniluk had been fired. (However, he did not admit his guilt and said the leak was done by his sworn enemy, the head of president's administration office, Mr Andrey Bogdan, who allegedly framed Daniluk.)
This is not the only case of US-connected corruption in Ukraine. There is Amos J. Hochstein, a protege of former VP Joe Biden, who has served in the Barack Obama administration as the Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Resources. He still hangs on the Ukraine. Together with an American citizen Andrew Favorov, the Deputy Director of Naftogas he organised very expensive ''reverse gas import'' into Ukraine. In this scheme, the Russian gas is bought by Europeans and afterwards sold to Ukraine with a wonderful margin. In reality, gas comes from Russia directly, but payments go via Hochstein. It is much more costly than to buy directly from Russia; Ukrainian people pay, while the margin is collected by Hochstein and Favorov. Now they plan to import liquefied gas from the United States, at even higher price. Again, the price will be paid by the Ukrainians, while profits will go to Hochstein and Favorov.
In all these scams, there are people of Clinton and spooks who are fully integrated in the Democratic Party. A former head of CIA, Robert James Woolsey, now sits on the Board of Directors of Velta, producing Ukrainian titanium. Woolsey is a neocon, a member of the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), pro-Israel think-tank, and a man who relentlessly pushed for Iraq war. A typical Democrat spook, now he gets profits from Ukrainian ore deposits.
One of the best Ukrainian corruption stories is connected with Audrius Butkevicius, the former Minister of Defence (1996 to 2000) and a Member of the Seimas (Parliament) of post-Soviet Lithuania. Mr AB is supposedly working for MI6, and now is a member of the notorious Institute for Statecraft, a UK deep state propaganda outfit involved in disinformation operations, subversion of the democratic process and promoting Russophobia and the idea of a new cold war. In 1991 he commanded snipers that shoot Lithuanian protesters. The kills were ascribed to the Soviet armed forces, and the last Soviet President Mr Gorbachev ordered speedy withdrawal of his troops from Lithuania. Mr AB became the Minister of Defence of his independent nation. In 1997 the Honourable Minister of Defence ''had requested 300,000 USD from a senior executive of a troubled oil company for his assistance in obtaining the discontinuance of criminal proceedings concerning the company's vast debts'', in the language of the court judgement. He was arrested on receipt of the bribe, had been sentenced to five years of jail, but a man with such qualifications was not left to rot in a prison.
In 2005 he commanded the snipers who killed protesters in Kyrgyzstan, in Georgia he repeated the feat in 2003 during the Rose Revolution. In 2014 he did it again in Kiev, where his snipers killed around a hundred men, protesters and police. He was brought to Kiev by Mr Turchinov, who called himself the ''acting President'' and who countersigned Joe Biden's billion dollars' grant.
In October 2018 the name of Mr AB came up again. Military warehouses of Chernigov had caught fire; allegedly thousands of shells stored for fighting the separatists had been destroyed by fire. And it was not the first fire of this kind: the previous one, equally huge, torched Ukrainian army warehouses in Vinnitsa in 2017. Altogether, there were 12 huge army arsenal fires for the last few years. Just for 2018, the damage was over $2 billion.
When Chief Military Prosecutor of Ukraine Anatoly Matios investigated the fires, he discovered that 80% of weapons and shells in the warehouses were missing. They weren't destroyed by fire, they weren't there in the first place. Instead of being used to kill the Russian-speaking Ukrainians of Donetsk, the hardware had been shipped from the port of Nikolaev to Syria, to the Islamic rebels and to ISIS. And the man who organised this enormous operation was our Mr AB, the old fighter for democracy on behalf of MI6, acting in cahoots with the Minister of Defence Poltorak and Mr Turchinov, the friend of Mr Biden. (They say Mr Matios was given $10 million for his silence).
The loss was of Ukrainian people, and of US taxpayers, while the beneficiaries were the Deep State, which is probably just another name for the deadly mix of spooks, media and politicians.
via zerohedge
Thread by @HNIJohnMiller: "1) So. Everyone. I had a bit of a realization on my end, and double checked and gathered some facts to make sure I knew WTF I was talking ab ['...]"
Wed, 20 Nov 2019 16:45
12,399 views
1) So. Everyone. I had a bit of a realization on my end, and double checked and gathered some facts to make sure I knew WTF I was talking about.I think I know why the State Department is trying so goddamn hard to get rid of Trump.
2) First, this letter from the Trump OMB from I believe July asking for an accounting from the State Department and US AID for 13 programs, including (under the foreign military aid program, third from the bottom) the Ukraine military aid.
3) IE, they're asking what specifically the cash was used for. IiiiinterestingðŸ¤--ALLEGEDLY, it was the Ukraine aid that got them up in arms, but in reality, it was a LOT of aid money that the Trump administration was looking for. That's 10s of billions of dollars there.
4) Now, let's look at transcript of the July Zelensky call.
whitehouse.gov/wp-content/upl'...I realized something interesting that MAYYYYY have been missed.
5) Z-Money: "I would kindly ask you if you have any additional information... it would be very helpful for the investigation to make sure that we administer justice in our country with regard to the Ambassador to the US from Ukraine as far as I recall her name was Ivanovich."
7) But the US ambassador to Ukraine was... Yovanovitch.....So. Remember the OMB asking wtf happened to the money given to the state department and US AID, including programs that went to Ukraine?The Zelensky call happened July 25th. The OMB letter fell after that.
8) AND UKRAINE APPARENTLY IS INVESTIGATING YOVANOVITCH. ðŸ¬Which EVERYONE MUST HAVE FUCKING MISSED.Hmm... I wonder... what would Ukraine be investigating an American ambassador for...Possibly trying to figure out wtf happened to the aid money Ukraine was supposed to recieve?
9) And HOW WOULD THE UNITED STATES HELP IN SUCH AN INVESTIGATION?Possibly by, idk, asking the State Department WHAT THE FUCK HAPPENED TO THE MONEY UKRAINE WAS SUPPOSED TO RECEIVE?
10) Now, what if, and STICK WITH ME HERE....State Department officials aren't just helping money get skimmed from Ukraine aid.What if its being skimmed from aid money being sent worldwide.THAT'S what the State Department is DESPERATELY trying to keep from being discovered.
11) THAT'S why the State Department is suddenly up in arms about Trump.He just fired a shot across the bow at their money.IT WAS NEVER ABOUT THE UKRAINE AID.IT WAS ABOUT ALL THE AID.
12) The United States is the world's biggest arms dealer.The US State Department is the world's biggest money laundering machine.All the aid being sent worldwide, skimmed, kickbacks being paid, payoffs sent to top political families on both sides of the aisle.
13) Romney. McCain. Kerry. Biden. CLINTON.One candidate was going to keep the gravy train flowing, one candidate was not. The one who wasn't won.
14) The lobbyist cartels, and they are cartels, the Manaforts and Podestas of the US, they are the back channel go-betweens to arrange aid money, the State Department is the money laundering vehicle, Burisma and the Clinton Foundation and such are where the political kickbacks go
15) Trump, Zelensky, they started pulling at the Ukraine string, trying to figure out what the State Department money earmarked for Ukraine was really being spent on, and two months later you have a 'whistleblower' screaming it was all about the military aid.IT WAS ALL THE AID.
16) THAT'S why none of this testimony actually reveals anything criminal, THAT'S why no one has a single fucking sentence from Trump mentioning the military aid, THAT'S why its all these executive branch agencies staffed full of Dems up in arms.IT WAS ALL THE GRAVY ON THE TRAIN
17) THAT'S why the context Yovanovitch was mentioned in got memory holed so far, that's what Schiff was trying so extra hard to control the questioning around her. She was the quite literal bag-man, the one who delivered the aid money to the Ukrainian oligarchs stealing it!
18) Ukraine found out, Trump stripped her of her ambassador position and didn't give her another, and now Ukraine's been investigating her, something NO MSM WILL TELL YOU.
But I will.
B/c at the Conservative Underground News of Twitter... shit... I had something for this... /e
Where is Natalie Jaresko now-the American former Min. of Finance of Ukraine?
Wed, 20 Nov 2019 18:10
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Where is Natalie Jaresko now-the American former Min. of Finance of Ukraine? Financial Oversight& Management Board for Puerto Rico website ^ | 11-1-2019 | Financial Oversight&Mngmt. Board for Puerto RicoPosted on 11/01/2019 11:16:22 AM PDT by John S Mosby
Executive Director Natalie A. Jaresko
was designated Executive Director of the Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico on March 2017. She has a distinguished international career in public service and the private industry, with over 25 years of successful management experience in strategy and negotiation development and implementation of public policy and business objectives, especially during crisis periods.
As Minister of Finance of Ukraine (2014-16) she served at one of the most critical times in Ukraine's history, when the country was affected by a deep recession, foreign occupation, and war on part of its territory. During her tenure she led the successful negotiation and implementation of the largest IMF program in the institution's history, as well as a complex sovereign and sovereign guaranteed debt restructuring.
Prior to this ministerial position, she spent two decades investing in small and medium-sized business in the region, as co-founder and CEO of Horizon Capital, a fund manager with over $600 million under management, and as President and CEO of the Western NIS Enterprise Fund, creating a platform for private equity investment in the region.
She began her career in public service serving in the U.S. State Department in Washington, D.C. from 1989-92, and as Chief of the Economic Section of the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine from 1992-95, where she was responsible for building a new economic relationship between the United States and newly-independent Ukraine.
Ms. Jaresko is a Certified Public Accountant. She received her Master's Degree in Public Policy from the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government, and her Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting from DePaul University in Illinois.
(Excerpt) Read more at oversightboard.pr.gov ...
TOPICS: Foreign Affairs ; Government ; News/Current Events KEYWORDS: democrats ; ericciaramella ; natalieajaresko ; nataliejaresko ; puertorico ; redistribution ; ukraine ; victorianuland Ukraine's economy collapsed during this obama installed American born Ukrainian, apptd. Finance Minister of Ukraine for 2 years-- and Ukraine bestowed 2 years of Ukrainian citizenship to do this, for an American. Yeah, the Russians invaded-- that had something to do with it-- but our US contacts were kicking money back to "interested parties" and draining the country's coffers, in the guise of a "IMF" debt loan.
Louie Gohmert asked direct questions of this woman-- about Eric Ciaramella and Victoria Nuland. She claimed no knowledge-- when she had to have known the money changing hands through Burisma, as Burisma was part of the Debt Loan Guarantee the IMF required. Burisma having Hunter Biden for "expertise" atfunneling money to his da da.
The Debt Loan to Ukraine was handled through IMF and "private investors" of the Franklin Templeton firm--- who took a 20% haircut on the completely defaulted money investment they made (wonder if the IMF, our money, paid them the other 80% and thus... zero real risk loss).
Here is Gohmert questioning her- supposedly "out of the blue". He is onto something. And this woman was approved for Puerto Rico (the dems met there remember, Sen. Menendez et al--the next money funnel location-- Puerto Rico-- at least as corrupt as Ukraine).
Gohmert questions this former Finance Minister of the Ukraine, an American:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y1LV4TPMWq4
To: John S Mosby
Sometimes I wonder if Ukraine is our 51st state. There seems to be an awful lot of cross-pollination. Much more than I would have expected.
2posted on
11/01/2019 11:18:21 AM PDT by
ClearCase_guy(If White Privilege is real, why did Elizabeth Warren lie about being an Indian?)
To: John S Mosby
Where is Natalie Jaresko ?
She is being protected by the Dem House Impeachment Committee.
She is likely the master mind of the kick back schemes to Dems from both Ukraine and Puerto Rico. All that aid money, ripping right back to the USA into private accounts. Haiti was the first one.
3posted on
11/01/2019 11:22:40 AM PDT by
Candor7((Obama Fascism)http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2009/05/barack_obam_the_quintessentia_1.html)
To: John S Mosby
Keep in mind'-- the security aid money (that is for weapons against the Russians) for the newly independent Ukraine was NEVER sent by obamaumao and his minions. But the IMF loan was made, with private investors, etc. Part of that ''flexibility'' obamaumao spoke with medvedev about to tell Putin. So, how is it that moron dhimmis call Trump, Putin's stooge? Answer: always accusing of what they themselves DID!
Milking the IMF money loaned to Poroshenko's corrupt government (a pro russian against whom the dignity revolution occurred, and from which Zelinsky was elected'-- against all this corruption). Poroshenko hot footed it back to his Russian buddies, btw.
Will say that this Jaresko woman's dad survived the Holodomor (or that is in his bio) whose kulak parents were starved to death by NKVD Soviet Stalin agents. Motivated by what to fund the obvious Russian stooge- Poroshenko, though?
Here is some more digging- a twitter feed of great interest including emails with Ciaramella's name among many others'--in JUNE OF 2016 (an important part of the ''collusion hoax'' and FISA spying on Trump campaign timeline'-- all arranged by hitlery through these same Ukrainian go betweens'-- and of course, Crowdstrike). Scroll through the Brennan's Orange Jumpsuit twitter feed'-- damned interesting stuff and damning for the entire basis of the FEAR of dems as the FISA investigation zeroes in on them and... the Ukraine, the dossier, Glen Simpson Fusion GPS... the works. This was the money washed through this corrupt Russian stooge govt. that funded anti-Trump efforts during the 2016 campaign. The Podestas-'-- they skated'-- at least tony seems to have.
Brennans Orange Jumpsuit:https://twitter.com/15poundstogo/status/1182481078159851520/photo/1
4posted on
11/01/2019 11:29:21 AM PDT by
John S Mosby(Sic Semper Tyrannis)
To: John S Mosby
5posted on
11/01/2019 11:40:43 AM PDT by
John S Mosby(Sic Semper Tyrannis)
Is she hot? Or has the liberalness consumed her so she now resembles a female version of Soros Palpatine?
6posted on
11/01/2019 11:41:29 AM PDT by
dsrtsage(Complexity is merely simplicity lacking imagination)
To: John S Mosby
7posted on
11/01/2019 11:42:41 AM PDT by
John S Mosby(Sic Semper Tyrannis)
To: ClearCase_guy
Funny you should mention-'-- 51st state. PR being completely bankrupt... they send this woman there?......
She has two twitter accounts, one for her Ukraine connex'-- danged interesting. The other for her new job as exec director of Puerto Rico' Financial Oversight&Management Bureau.
She has a photo posted of her with the USDA's State Director for Puerto Rico's Rural Development, the former Puerto Rico Statehood's Studen Association President (kid you not!). Demanding Statehood for a Territory that is so corrupt and bankrupt before Hurricane Maria hit (and we have already rebuilt their entire electrical grid... yow!)- to create another democrat enclave... like Hawaii.
1). Ukraine: https://twitter.com/n_jaresko
2) Puerto Rico with the USDA rural development guy: https://twitter.com/njaresko
8posted on
11/01/2019 11:52:50 AM PDT by
John S Mosby(Sic Semper Tyrannis)
To: John S Mosby
9posted on
11/01/2019 11:55:53 AM PDT by
polymuser(It's discouraging to think how many people are shocked by honesty and how few by deceit. Noel Coward)
To: John S Mosby
Poroshenko was never a pro-russian government. The dignity revolution occurred against the previous Yanukovych government, which was pro-russian.
10posted on
11/01/2019 2:18:32 PM PDT by
tlozoTo: John S Mosby
11posted on
11/01/2019 2:43:08 PM PDT by
lizma2To: tlozo
oops, mixed him up with the other clown, who was hated. Turns out poroshenko financed the Maiden Square revolt'-- fair amount of money and was shot at. His businesses so wrapped up with the oligarch (for marketing alone of his candy/confections) think he may have been lumped in with the russkies. People there sure know who is whom (better than US observers).
12posted on
11/01/2019 6:26:07 PM PDT by
John S Mosby(Sic Semper Tyrannis)
To: dsrtsage
Her recent twitter photos of her with various Puerto Rican ''luminaries'' and apparat'-- does not look at all like her twitter page photos (like 20 years earlier photo). She may have been ''hot'' who knows'-- but one thing she learned from her survivor dad, was how not to be poor. She's made a wad from govt. largesse and ''investment''.
13posted on
11/01/2019 6:29:20 PM PDT by
John S Mosby(Sic Semper Tyrannis)
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Natalie Jaresko - Wikipedia
Wed, 20 Nov 2019 18:09
Natalie Ann Jaresko (Ukrainian: Ð'атаÐ>>ія Енн ЯÑесько ; born 24 April 1965) is an American-born Ukrainian investment banker who served as Ukraine's Minister of Finance from December 2014 until April 2016.[1] In 20 March 2017, she was appointed as Executive Director of the Financial Oversight & Management Board for Puerto Rico.
Early and personal life Edit Jaresko was born on 24 April 1965 in Elmhurst, Illinois,[2] the daughter of Mary (Maria), n(C)e Budziak, and John (Ivan) Jaresko, both Ukrainian immigrants to the United States.[3][4][5] Her father was born in Poltava Oblast during the Holodomor, during which her kulak great-grandparents, Feofan and Natalia Brazhnyk, starved to death.[4][6]
Jaresko was raised with two siblings, Katherine and John,[3] in Wood Dale, Illinois.[4] Although her family spoke mainly English, she attended Ukrainian school on Saturdays and the Ukrainian Orthodox church on Sundays.[5] She is bilingual in English and Ukrainian. Residing in Ukrainian Village, Chicago,[7] she studied accounting at DePaul University, earning a B.Sc. degree in 1987.[8] She received a master's degree in public policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government in 1989.[4]
In 2011, she and her husband, Ihor Figlus, divorced. She has two daughters who live in Ukraine.[4][5]
Citizenship Edit Jaresko lived in Ukraine from 1992 to 2000, and returned in 2004.[9][10] She received Ukrainian citizenship on 2 December 2014, the day of her appointment as Minister of Finance of Ukraine.[11][12] She remains a U.S. citizen.[13] Although the U.S. does not prohibit dual citizenship, Ukrainian law states that she would have to renounce her non-Ukrainian citizenship(s) within two years.[14]
Career Edit Jaresko held several economics-related positions at the US Department of State in Washington, D.C., and eventually coordinated activities of the State Department, the Departments of Commerce, Treasury, the United States Trade Representative, and Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) in their economic relations with the Soviet Union and its successors.[15] As part of her work she interacted with the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Later from 1992 to 1995, she was the first Chief of the Economic Section of the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine, responsible for strengthening economic cooperation between the two countries.[9] She has been a governor of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.[15] In 2003 she was awarded the Ukrainian Order of Princess Olga for her contributions to the Ukrainian economy.[16][17]
Jaresko also held several key positions in the private business sector. In February 2001 she became President and Chief Executive Officer of Western NIS Enterprise Fund (WNISEF), which had been disbursing United States Agency for International Development (USAID) funds to small and medium-sized businesses in Ukraine and Moldova since 1995.[18][19]
In 2006, she co-founded Horizon Capital, where she served as a Managing Partner and Chief Executive Officer, which took over the management of WNISEF.[18] In those positions she established and strengthened economic ties with Ukraine and Moldova.[16][17] Horizon Capital managed two funds, the Emerging Europe Growth Fund aimed at institutional and individual investors in the west, and the USAID funded Western NIS Enterprise Fund which preceded Horizon Capital.[19] After the divorce of Jaresko and Ihor Figlus, who was a limited partner in Horizon Capital, Horizon Capital litigated to maintain the confidentiality of its internal financial arrangements.[20] When Jaresko left Horizon Capital in December 2014, it had about $600 million of Ukrainian investments under management.[4]
Between 2005 and 2010 Jaresko was a member of President Viktor Yushchenko's Foreign Investors Advisory Council and the Advisory Board of the Ukrainian Center for Promotion of Foreign Investment under the auspices of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine.[16][17]
Ukrainian Minister of Finance Edit This section
needs expansion.
You can help by adding to it. ( October 2016 )Nine months after the 2014 Ukrainian revolution, Jaresko was approached by headhunters for the new Ukrainian government, and within days offered the post of Minister of Finance.[21]
Early in Jaresko's term she made an outline agreement for a $40 billion four-year loan from the International Monetary Fund and Western countries.[18][22]
In August 2015 Jaresko was instrumental to restructuring Ukraine's debts, including a partial write-off with a 20% haircut on Ukraine's $18 billion privately-held government debt.[23]
On 24 March 2016, shortly before she left office, she argued that the economy had to be depoliticized and Ukraine needed a technocratic government,[24] and that she was willing to lead such a technocratic government.[25] The Ukraine Today and Financial Times had reported speculation that Jaresko could become Ukraine's new Prime Minister, which was also suggested by former United States Ambassador to Ukraine Steven Pifer and President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko.[26][27][28] The Ukrainian Weekly reported that Jaresko had started forming a provisional technocratic Cabinet of Ministers the previous month.[29]
Jaresko was rejected as a prime ministerial candidate by the governing coalition.[30] When speaker of the Ukrainian parliament, Volodymyr Groysman, was elected as Ukraine's new Prime Minister on 14 April 2016, he did not retain Jaresko in his new Cabinet.[30]
After she left office, Jaresko said she believed the Ukraine macroeconomic situation had stabilized,[31] and that Ukraine needed a further $25 billion of investment beyond the agreed IMF loans to "win over the hearts and minds of Ukrainian society" as the "immediate effects [of reform] on the population have been painful."[32]
Later career Edit In May 2016, Jaresko became chair of the Board of Trustees of the Aspen Institute unit in Kiev, a U.S. headquartered educational and policy studies NGO.[33][34]
In 20 March 2017, Jaresko became the executive director of the Financial Oversight Board of Puerto Rico,[35] as part of the PROMESA bill.[36] It has been reported in the media that Jaresko will make $625,000 a year, and her traveling, moving and security costs will be covered as part of her work.[37]
Other activities Edit References Edit ^ New Cabinet formed in Ukraine, UNIAN (14 April 2016) ^ "ЯÑесько Ð'атаÐ>>ія Іванівна" [Nataliya Ivanivna Yaresko: Biography] (in Ukrainian). lustration.co.ua. Archived from the original on 9 December 2014 . Retrieved 31 December 2014 . ^ a b "John Jaresko: Obituary". Chicago Tribune. 30 July 2001. ^ a b c d e f Forrest, Brett (5 March 2015). "The American Woman Who Stands Between Putin and Ukraine". Bloomberg. ^ a b c Bergen, Kathy (10 April 2015). "Chicago child of immigrants takes on 'near-impossible' task in Ukraine". Chicago Tribune. ^ Jaresko, John (18 September 2005). "See No Evil: The End of Ukrainian Famine Denial". ukrainiangenocide.org. ^ Ellingsworth, James (8 July 2015). "Ukraine's finance chief Jaresko". Yahoo News. Associated Press. Archived from the original on 8 July 2015. ^ Hayda, Julian (25 January 2015). "DePaul alumna Natalie Jaresko serves as Ukraine finance minister". The DePaulia. Archived from the original on 20 March 2015. ^ a b "Foreign-born ministers in Ukraine's new cabinet". BBC News. 5 December 2014. ^ Bigg, Claire (3 December 2014). "Who Are Ukraine's New Foreign-Born Ministers?". RFERL. ^ "Poroshenko orders to grant citizenship to Jaresko, Kvitashvili and Abromavicius". Interfax-Ukraine. 2 December 2014. ^ "Foreign technocrats given Ukrainian citizenship before cabinet vote". Reuters. 2 December 2014. ^ Willershausen, Florian (2015.09.24) "Minister: Ukraine Making Comeback," Chicago Tribune, p. 16. ^ "Ðтаття 9. ПÑийняття до Ð"Ñомадянства УкÑаїни - ПÑо Ð"Ñомадянство УкÑаїни". urist-ua.net. ^ a b "Natalie A. Jaresko CPA". Bloomberg . Retrieved 31 October 2016 . ^ a b c "Natalie A. Jaresko CPA: Executive Profile & Biography - Bloomberg". www.bloomberg.com. ^ a b c Natalie A. Jaresko. wnisefk.com ^ a b c James Ellingworth (1 March 2015). "Meet the woman overhauling Ukraine's economy - and born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago". Business Insider. Associated Press . Retrieved 27 October 2016 . ^ a b Natalie A. Jaresko (interview) (3 July 2007). "Ukraine's Bright Horizon". LEADERS . Retrieved 2 November 2016 . ^ Robert Parry (18 February 2015). "Ukraine Finance Minister's American 'Values ' ". Consortium News . Retrieved 2 November 2016 . ^ Tim Judah (11 October 2016). "How One Woman Tried to Save Ukraine From Economic Collapse". Time . Retrieved 27 October 2016 . ^ "IMF signs off $17.5bn loan for Ukraine in second attempt to stave off bankruptcy". The Guardian. Reuters. 11 March 2015 . Retrieved 27 October 2016 . ^ Maxim Eristavi (28 August 2015). "The woman who's trying to save Ukraine". Politico . Retrieved 27 October 2016 . ^ Natalie Jaresko (24 March 2016). "Ukraine's economy needs to be depoliticized now". Kyiv Post . Retrieved 27 October 2016 . ^ Daryna Krasnolutska, Volodymyr Verbyany (22 March 2016). "Ukraine's Jaresko Says She'd Be Willing to Head New Cabinet". Bloomberg . Retrieved 27 October 2016 . ^ "Natalie Jaresko could become Ukraine's new PM by the end of the week - former U.S. diplomat". Ukraine Today. 8 March 2016 . Retrieved 27 October 2016 . ^ Neil Buckley, Roman Olearchyk (8 March 2016). "Ukraine's US-born finance minister in talks on top post". Financial Times . Retrieved 31 October 2016 . ^ Daryna Krasnolutska, Kateryna Choursina (14 March 2016). "Ukrainian President Sees Jaresko as Potential New Premier". Bloomberg . Retrieved 27 October 2016 . ^ Zenon Zawada (4 March 2016). "Jaresko emerges as top candidate for prime minister". The Ukrainian Weekly . Retrieved 27 October 2016 . ^ a b "Ukraine elects new Prime Minister". Daily Telegraph. Associated Press. 14 April 2016 . Retrieved 27 October 2016 . The Supreme Rada on Thursday voted 257-50 in favor of Volodymyr Groysman, a compromise choice nominated by President Petro Poroshenko after his apparent first choice, U.S.-born Finance Minister Natalie Jaresko, was rejected by the governing coalition. ^ "Ex-minister Jaresko: Ukraine back home now, in Europe". Ukrinform. 21 April 2016 . Retrieved 27 October 2016 . ^ Melinda Haring (12 October 2016). "Natalie Jaresko Says $25 Billion More Needed to Make Ukraine's Reforms Irreversible". Atlantic Council . Retrieved 27 October 2016 . ^ "Ukraine's former Finance Minister has a new job". Ukraine Today. 28 May 2016 . Retrieved 31 October 2016 . ^ "Board of Trustees". Aspen Institute Kyiv . Retrieved 31 October 2016 . ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 6 June 2017 . Retrieved 28 March 2017 . CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) ^ Duffy, Sean P. (13 June 2016). "Text - H.R.5278 - 114th Congress (2015-2016): PROMESA". www.congress.gov. ^ Soto, Eric De Le"n (28 March 2017). "Las "letras chiquitas" en el contrato de Jaresko". NOTICEL. ^ Transatlantic, bi-partisan Commission launched to prevent election meddling Transatlantic Commission on Election Integrity (TCEI), press release of 11 May 2018. ^ a b Natalie Jaresko Aspen Institute.
The Venezuela-Bolivarian Global Money Laundering Empire | Center for Strategic and International Studies
Wed, 20 Nov 2019 17:57
Featuring
Douglas Farah
President, IBI Consultants; Senior Visiting Fellow, National Defense University,
Celina Realuyo
Professor of Practice, William J. Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies, National Defense University
Jos(C) Crdenas
Former Acting Assistant Secretary, Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean, USAID; Director, Vision Americas
Caryn Hollis
Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Counternarcotics and Global Threats
Countries are right to ban USAID '-- Quartz
Wed, 20 Nov 2019 17:48
What is USAID good for? Revelations that the agency'--which stands for the US Agency for International Development and offers humanitarian assistance around the world'--funneled money to Cuba to start a social media program bent on spreading political content and eventually overthrowing Fidel Castro sent shockwaves across the world. This ''digital Bay of Pigs'' is just the latest installment in the never-ending series of revelations that have compromised America's desired image as a good and just hegemon. In truth, this is simply business as usual for USAID and the swathe of related philanthropic foundations and aid donors that have been used as vehicles for US foreign policy.
Rather than gasping in surprise at USAID's covert exploits, it is important to take a step back from the media brouhaha surrounding the organization and look at the bigger picture. Indeed, on closer scrutiny, several patterns emerge underneath the business of giving money away for supposedly high-minded causes. Saving the world and alleviating world poverty is just one such motive. Power in the form of promoting a Western-backed design on what is right is another one. USAID for one makes no secret of this mission, stating on its website that its purpose is to ''further America's interest while improving lives in the developing world.''
This is just part of the picture. In fact, under the generic title of philanthropic organizations, one can find a plethora of governmental agencies, foundations, charities, friendship societies, and NGOs. In the US, many are financed by both sides of the political divide and are powered to achieve political goals. Indeed, ever since the 1960s, when conservative foundations began giving grants to key institutions, philanthropic organizations have been closely connected to the public policy cycle
How to keep friendsEven before the Citizens United Supreme Court decision, strategic grant making has been used extensively to notch progress toward both internal and external political goals. For the better part of the Cold War, the US has maintained geopolitical influence in the world by financing friendly regimes and pushing for like-minded reforms. Egypt for instance has swallowed some $71 billion of aid since 1946. Pakistan was propped up to the tune of $67 billion.
After Kennedy created USAID in 1961, the agency has been the proving ground of US foreign assistance objectives, used to project US soft power on a global scale. In a landmark Harvard paper from 2006, it was proven that countries rotating onto the UN Security Council received on average 59% more aid. As soon as their term ended, aid would fall to historic lows. In a related study from 1999, T.Y.Wang from Illinois State University found that UN voting patterns on vital issues to American interests were successfully swayed through the practice of aid giving, rewarding compliance and punishing political defiance.
To maintain its position in the world, the US has to dole out wads of cash to political regimes around the world. More revelations about the way USAID operates were brought to light in the form of a multimillion-dollar ''incentive fund'''disbursed to foreign governments to push through reforms deemed by Washington as being priorities. The US government gave $15 million directly to Afghan officials in exchange for passing a law on violence against women. Another $15 million was given last year for implementing budget changes.
How to make enemiesSuch moral decrepitude has come under fire from multiple countries that have hardened their stance towards aid organizations in general. In a show of force, Russia passed a law forcing foreign NGOs to register as ''foreign agents.'' Afterwards, it ordered USAID out of Russia over allegations of undermining the government. It may have seemed as yet another example of Russian authoritarianism, but Business Insider reported the leaking of 60 MB of emails between US agencies and opposition groups in Russia, showing that the US was paying these opposition groups and backing anti-Putin protests in Moscow.
Russia was not the only country to expel USAID from its territory. From places like Eritrea, all the way to Ecuador, Venezuela, Cuba and Bolivia, the American agency either had its offices closed by the respective governments or is in the process of shutting down. These countries have expressed fears over USAID's destabilizing influence. In a now famous case, a Cuban-based American contractor Alan Gross was sentenced to 15 years in prison for ''acts against the integrity of the state.'' He had been covertly outfitting the Jewish community with telecommunications equipment illegal in Cuba.
From friendly aid to friendly fireWhat does all this mean? Simply put, political power is no longer projected using the mechanisms of yore, but has found new vehicles in the form of foreign aid. Though foreign leaders who decry the political motivations of ''humanitarian'' NGOs come across as paranoid, a cursory glance at history suggests otherwise.
It is woeful that laudable goals like ''promoting democracy'' or ''strengthening civil society'' are used by the United States to push for regime change according to their interests. Using the misfortune of less developed countries as a cover to advance specific foreign policy agendas compromises the credibility and legitimacy of all foreign aid. Regardless of content, Washington's dabbling in the internal affairs of other countries with such intensity is morally wrong and has endlessly backfired.
In a world of inconsequential ''red lines'' and ''costs,'' Washington is on the verge of losing its most precious asset: its soft power. When political posturing is not involved, aid agencies help and provide the critical difference between life and death for countless people across the developing world. It should have stayed like that.
What is USAID? - BORGEN
Wed, 20 Nov 2019 17:39
SEATTLE'--The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is often brought up in spending bills for foreign aid and in policy reports analyzing government foreign assistance programs. However, these sources do not tell us any details. What is USAID, what is its purpose, who is in charge of USAID and what are its responsibilities as an organization? This article will detail the history of USAID, its importance in The United States government and USAID's responsibilities in 2019.
Founding and BackgroundIn the fall of 1961, Congress passed The Foreign Assistance Act. This act formally separated military and non-military aid; before the Act was passed, political and military spending was not differentiated from development spending. The Act also mandated the creation of an agency responsible for managing the new category of economic and development aid. Shortly after The Foreign Assistance Act was passed, President John F. Kennedy created USAID by executive order.
The creation of USAID unified several existing programs and operations. This included the Food for Peace Program, loans from The Development Loan Fund and economic assistance from The International Cooperation Agency. By unifying these operations, USAID provided a new focus on aiding other countries.
USAID is the primary aid organization funded by The United States. To put this into perspective, USAID received more than $6 billion for foreign aid spending in 2018. The next agency that received the most money for foreign aid was The Department of Defense, which took in $550 million for foreign aid.
Authority and ResponsibilitiesUSAID is not a completely interdependent agency; it largely follows the policy directions of the President, the State Department and the National Security Council. Although USAID is responsible for some military aid, the bulk of that responsibility falls on The Department of Defense. USAID is concerned primarily with humanitarian and development aid.
Since its formation, USAID's scope of humanitarian aid has expanded. The organization's assistance now includes global health, gender equality, water and sanitation and education along with many other categories. It also works in several regions across the globe including Asia, the Middle East and Africa.
The Promoting Gender Equality in National Priority Programs Project (PROMOTE) program in Afghanistan stands as an example of USAID's work. This program aims to increase female participation in the workforce by offering women internships to build up their resumes and networks. PROMOTE will also help the economic development of Afghanistan by creating a larger workforce. According to USAID in 2017, 239 women who participated in the program received internships in the government, and 118 graduates found jobs.
Plans for 2019USAID and The State Department currently stand to receive $39.3 billion from the President's budget in 2019. USAID is responsible for managing $16.8 billion of these dollars '' just below half of all the money allocated to foreign aid. The organization hopes to accomplish several objectives in 2019, including providing leadership in response to national disasters and human crises, improving global health by stopping the spread of disease and promoting transparency for what USAID does and how it spends its allocated money.
To summarize, what is USAID? USAID is the primary executor of foreign aid spending from The United States. The organization oversees billions of dollars every year with the goal of helping developing nations economically, socially and politically. USAID does this through the creation of government programs that focus on humanitarian and development aid to provide help to those who need it most.
'' Drew Garbe
Photo: Flickr
BREAKING: Ukraine Widens Criminal Investigation Into Biden-Connected Burisma, Report Says | The Daily Wire
Wed, 20 Nov 2019 16:58
Ukrainian Prosecutor General Ruslan Ryaboshapka announced on Wednesday that the country was expanding its criminal investigation into Ukrainian gas company Burisma, which is at the center of House Democrats' attempt to impeach President Donald Trump.
''After he took office in late August, Ryaboshapka launched a wide-ranging audit of criminal cases to see whether they had been conducted properly,'' Reuters reported. ''Thirteen of them relate to Burisma founder Mykola Zlochevsky, Ryaboshapka told reporters at a briefing on Wednesday.''
''Ryaboshapka's predecessors oversaw a series of investigations into Zlochevsky, a multimillionaire former minister of ecology and natural resources,'' Reuters continued. ''The allegations concern tax violations, money-laundering and licences given to Burisma during the period where Zlochevsky was a minister.''
Kostiantyn Kulyk, a Ukrainian prosecutor that has investigated Burisma, allegedly suspected in a leaked document that Zlochevsky committed a series of offenses, ''including using his official position to embezzle 800 million hryvnias ($33 million) of money belonging to the central bank.''
Ryaboshapka said the Ukraine government suspected Zlochevsky was involved in the ''theft of government funds on an especially large scale.''
This is a breaking news story, refresh the page for updates.
Victoria Nuland, already linked to 'Spygate', hatched plan for Biden to force firing of top Ukrainian prosecutor -- Puppet Masters -- Sott.net
Sun, 17 Nov 2019 16:43
(C) Alex Wong/Getty Images Former Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland (L), and Michael Daniel (R), former White House cybersecurity coordinator and special assistant to President Obama, testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on June 20, 2018.
A senior State Department official involved in events connected to the surveillance of the Trump 2016 presidential campaign was directly involved in concocting a plan to have Vice President Joe Biden force the firing of the top prosecutor in Ukraine, by threatening to withhold $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees, according to the impeachment inquiry testimony of George Kent, a senior State Department official.
State Department Assistant Secretary Victoria Nuland worked with U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt in late 2015 to create a plan to force the firing of Ukrainian Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin, according to Kent. Nuland was also among a network of Obama administration officials involved in the distribution and recirculation of the infamous Steele dossier, the document used by the FBI to secure a maximally intrusive spy warrant to surveil a Trump-campaign associate.
"My understanding is that the conversations that were near-daily between Ambassador Pyatt and Toria Nuland regarding what to do on the way forward then included pitching the office of the Vice President to push President Poroshenko to remove Shokin," Kent told lawmakers on Oct. 15.
Biden ultimately carried out Nuland's plan during a visit to Ukraine in December 2015 and has since bragged, on at least two occasions, about forcing Shokin's firing by threatening to cut off the loan guarantees. At the time Biden exerted pressure on Ukraine, Shokin was investigating Burisma, the Ukrainian gas giant that was paying Biden's son Hunter Biden to serve on its board of directors. The Ukrainian president asked for Shokin's resignation two months after Biden's overture. The Ukrainian Parliament approved the resignation on March 29, 2016.
Nuland's involvement in the controversy about the Bidens' dealings in Ukraine may raise new questions about the motivations of the officials involved in the circulation of the Steele dossier, the document which for three years fueled the debunked narrative that then-candidate Donald Trump colluded with Russia in 2016 to influence the 2016 presidential election. Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer, compiled the dossier by paying second- and thirdhand sources with ties to the Kremlin. The Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee ultimately funded Steele's work.
Nuland told CBS that she received a copy of the Steele dossier in July 2016 and forwarded it to the FBI. She has argued that she did right to forward the dossier to the bureau, but in doing so became one of many Obama administration officials who helped, wittingly or unwittingly, to launder Steele's allegations by adding credibility to the unverified document in acting as a highly-placed conduit.
"He [Steele] passed two to four pages of short points of what he was finding, and our immediate reaction to that was, 'This is not in our purview,'" Nuland told CBS. "'This needs to go to the FBI, if there is any concern here that one candidate or the election as a whole might be influenced by the Russian federation. That's something for the FBI to investigate.'"
Between Sept. 26, 2016, and Dec. 10, 2016, Nuland received Russia-related information from Steele via State Department official Jonathan Winer, according to documents released as part of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by conservative watchdog Judicial Watch. During these three months, the FBI obtained the secret court warrant to surveil Trump campaign associate Carter Page. The Steele dossier served as the core of the evidence used in the Obama administration's application for the warrant.
In December 2016, Nuland received a briefing about the Steele dossier from David Kramer, a longtime associate of late Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), according to Kramer's deposition (pdf). McCain specifically directed Kramer to brief Nuland about the dossier. The extent of Kramer's outreach lay bare a coordinated plan to widely disseminate the dossier among highly placed officials, lawmakers, and the media. In addition to briefing Nuland, Kramer briefed 17 members of the media, Senior Director for Russian Affairs at the National Security Council Celeste Wallander, Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), and House Speaker Paul Ryan's chief of staff, Jonathan Burks.
Nuland's ties to Steele aren't limited to 2016. Starting as early as June 2014, she received, via Winer, dozens of Steele's reports on Russia and Ukraine, according to
documents obtained by Judicial Watch. Notably, she forwarded three of Steele's reports to Pyatt in November 2015, around the time the pair were planning to force Shokin's firing.
According to his testimony, Kent was already aware that Hunter Biden was on Burisma's board at the time Nuland and Pyatt planned to oust Shokin. Kent learned of Biden's involvement in the company in early 2015 and became concerned about the appearance of a conflict of interest. In February 2015, Kent raised the issue with Joe Biden's office.
"The message that I recall hearing back was that the vice president's son Beau was dying of cancer and that there was no further bandwidth to deal with family related issues at that time," Kent told lawmakers on Oct. 15.
Kent learned of Hunter Biden's position with Burisma shortly after Kent pressed an official at the Ukrainian prosecutor general's office about the sudden closing in late December 2014 of an investigation of Burisma owner Mykola Zlochevsky. Kent learned that an official at the office received a $7 million bribe in May 2014 to shutter the probe. Hunter Biden had joined Burisma's board in April 2014.
Kent clarified he didn't witness any wrongdoing by U.S. officials.
"Let me be clear, however: I did not witness any effort by any U.S. official to shield Burisma from scrutiny. In fact, I and other U.S. officials consistently advocated re-instituting a scuttled investigation of Zlochevsky, Burisma's founder, as well as holding the corrupt prosecutors who closed the case to account," Kent said in his second testimony in the impeachment inquiry on Nov. 14.
The impeachment inquiry centers on Trump's request for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to work with U.S. prosecutors to investigate the Bidens. Democrats allege that the request was motivated by personal political interests. Republicans argue that Trump had valid concerns about whether the Bidens' apparent conflict of interest was only an issue of perception. Notably, the vice president's office was notified by Kent about the perception of a conflict of interest but didn't take any action to remedy the concern.
Hunter Biden stepped down from the board of Burisma in April. Follow Ivan on Twitter: @ivanpentchoukov
Franklin Templeton Investments - Wikipedia
Wed, 20 Nov 2019 15:04
Franklin Resources Inc. is an American holding company that, together with its subsidiaries, is referred to as Franklin Templeton Investments; it is a global investment firm founded in New York City in 1947 as Franklin Distributors, Inc. It is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol BEN, in honor of Benjamin Franklin, for whom the company is named, and who was admired by founder Rupert Johnson, Sr. In 1973 the company's headquarters moved from New York to San Mateo, California. As of March 2017, Franklin Templeton Investments had US$740 billion in assets under management (AUM) on behalf of private, professional and institutional investors.[2][3]
History [ edit ] The company was founded in 1947 in New York by Rupert H. Johnson, Sr., who ran a successful retail brokerage firm from an office on Wall Street.[4] He named the company for American polymath Benjamin Franklin because Franklin espoused frugality and prudence when it came to saving and investing.[5] The company's first line of mutual funds, Franklin Custodian Funds, was a series of conservatively managed equity and bond funds designed to appeal to most investors.
After Rupert Sr. retired, his son, Charles B. Johnson (Charlie), took over as president and chief executive officer in 1957 at age 24. At that time the funds had total assets under management of US$2.5 million.[6] Rupert Johnson, Jr., Charlie's brother, joined the company in 1965.[7]
Franklin went public in 1971.[8] In 1973, the company acquired Winfield & Company, a San Mateo, California-based investment firm, and moved Franklin's offices from New York to California. The combined organization had close to US$250 million in assets under management and approximately 60 employees. In 1979, Franklin Money Fund began a growth surge that made it Franklin's first billion-dollar fund and launched the company's significant asset growth in the 1980s.
Starting in 1980, the company's total assets under management doubled (or nearly doubled) every year for the next six years. The company's stock began trading on the New York Stock Exchange in 1986. In the same year, the company opened its first office outside North America in Taiwan. In 1988, Franklin acquired L.F. Rothschild Fund Management Company. Assets under management for Franklin grew from just over US$2 billion in 1982 to more than US$40 billion in 1989 (the crash of 1987 had little impact on Franklin's income and bond funds).
In October 1992, Franklin acquired Templeton, Galbraith & Hansberger Ltd. for a reported cost of $913 million, leading to the common name Franklin Templeton. Mutual fund pioneer Sir John Templeton was the owner of Templeton, Galbraith & Hansberger Ltd together with his son Dr. John Templeton and John Galbraith who together owned 70% of the firm.[9]
In November 1996, Heine Securities Corporation, known for the Mutual Series of funds, merged into the Franklin Templeton complex. In October 2000, Franklin acquired Bissett Funds to increase its Canadian presence, and Bissett remains a key brand from Franklin in the Canadian market. The Fiduciary Trust Company was acquired by Franklin Templeton in April 2001.[10]
Fiduciary Trust Company International, a member of the Franklin family, maintained an office of over 650 employees in Two World Trade Center at the time of the September 11 attacks in 2001.[11] 87 employees died in the collapse.[12][13] Ann Tatlock, the CEO of Fiduciary Trust Co. International was at Offutt Air Force Base in Omaha for a charity event hosted by Warren Buffett.[14][15]
The firm specializes in conservatively managed mutual funds. It offers products under the Franklin, Templeton, Mutual Series and Fiduciary brand names. Like other large investment companies, the firm offers a wide variety of funds but is traditionally best known for bond funds under the Franklin brand, international funds under the Templeton brand, and value funds under the Mutual Series brand.
In April 2007, Franklin Resources was 445th in the Fortune 500, and 7th overall among securities companies.[16] The same month, USA Today listed BEN stock as the top stock pick for the last 25 years based on returns, claiming it is up 64,224% since 1982.[17] As of July 31, 2008, Franklin Resources, Inc. managed over $570 billion in total assets worldwide.[18] In February 2009, Barron's Magazine called Franklin Templeton "King of the Decade" among fund families over the ten-year period ending in 2008.[19]
The company sponsored a tennis tournament, the Franklin Templeton Classic.
In 2013, Charlie Johnson retired as chairman and his son Greg Johnson became chairman of the board, CEO and president.[20]
In 2019, Thomas Gahan was named head of alternatives following the firm's 2018 acquisition of Benefit Street Partners, an alternative credit investment group.[21][22]
Mutual funds [ edit ] Franklin Templeton has over 200 different open-ended mutual funds and 7 closed-end funds in the fund family. Included in these are 36 state and federal tax free income funds, an area of investment pioneered by Franklin.
Prominent funds in the fund family include the Templeton Growth Fund, Inc. (opened 1954, $29.5bn assets[when? ]), the Mutual Shares fund (opened 1949, $7.9bn assets), and the Mutual Discovery Fund (opened 1992, $7.6bn assets) and the Templeton Growth (Euro) Fund A (acc) ($6.1bn assets).
The Franklin Income Fund (FKINX, assets $77.94bn[23] is a mutual fund in Morningstar's "conservative allocation" category and "large/value" style box. The fund was created in 1948 and has paid uninterrupted dividends for 60 years. The Franklin Income Fund is constructed primarily of dividend-paying stocks and bonds (2%).
Regulatory issues [ edit ] In 2004, Franklin Templeton paid fines to the State of California, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to settle issues regarding questionable practices including market timing. The plan for distribution of settlement monies of $50 million[24] was completed in September 2006, and all distributions have been completed as of December 2008.[25]
A settlement was also completed with the Ontario Securities Commission concerning Bissett Funds in September 2005.[25]
See also [ edit ] References [ edit ] ^ a b c d e f "FRANKLIN RESOURCES INC 2018 Annual Report Form (10-K)" (XBRL) . U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. November 13, 2018. ^ "Franklin Resources, Inc. Announces Month-End Assets Under Management". news.franklinresources.com. April 10, 2017. Archived from the original on June 21, 2017 . Retrieved July 24, 2017 . ^ "Franklin Resources, Inc. Form 10-Q Quarterly Report United States Security and Exchange Commission" (PDF) . April 28, 2017. p. 23 . Retrieved July 24, 2017 . ^ Eric John Abrahamson and Grant Alger, Persistence and Perspective: Franklin Templeton Investments: The First Sixty Years (San Mateo: Franklin Resources, Inc., 2007, xvii ^ Knapp, Gwen (29 September 2012). "Charles Johnson, top Giants owner, keeps low profile". San Francisco Gate . Retrieved 28 April 2016 . ^ Ravani, Sarah (19 October 2018). "SF Giants owner gave $1K to PAC behind racist ad targeting black voters". San Francisco Chronicle . Retrieved 14 February 2019 . ^ Forbes: The World's Billionaires: "Rupert Johnson Jr." April 2015 ^ Alden, William (30 September 2013). "Mutual Fund Billionaire Gives $250 Million to Yale". DealBook . Retrieved 10 February 2019 . ^ "Franklin to acquire Templeton mutual fund"Business Times (August 3, 1992) Archived March 14, 2016, at the Wayback Machine ^ Eric John Abrahamson and Grant Alger, Persistence and Perspective: Franklin Templeton Investments: The First Sixty Years (San Mateo: Franklin Resources, Inc., 2007) ^ Franklin Templeton Archived July 11, 2011, at the Wayback Machine Update on employees and operations. September 13, 2001 ^ Franklin Templeton Archived November 25, 2004, at the Wayback Machine Quarterly earnings press release. October 25, 2001. ^ "A Look at Former World Trade Center Tenants". WSJ. Dow Jones & Company. Jan 18, 2002 . Retrieved August 20, 2012 . ^ Leuty, Ron (February 3, 2002). "Franklin unit rebuilds after 9/11 tragedy". San Francisco Business Times . Retrieved August 20, 2012 . ^ James M. Clash & Rob Wherry (Oct 15, 2001). "Shattered, Not Broken". Forbes . Retrieved August 20, 2012 . ^ CNN Money Fortune 500 snapshot, April 2007. ^ USA Today If Only I Had Bought, April 16, 2007. ^ Franklin Templeton Press release. August 11, 2008. ^ Barron's. The Best Families in a Bruising Year by Tom Sullivan. February 2, 2009. ^ Alden, William (30 September 2013). "Mutual Fund Billionaire Gives $250 Million to Yale". DealBook . Retrieved 10 February 2019 . ^ Williamson, Christine (31 January 2019). "Franklin Templeton appoints Benefit Street Partners founder to alternatives post". Pensions & Investments . Retrieved 10 February 2019 . ^ Wigglesworth, Robin (25 October 2018). "Franklin Templeton acquires BSP in alternative investment push". FT.com . Retrieved 10 February 2019 . ^ https://www.franklintempleton.com/investor/products/mutual-funds/overview/109/franklin-income-fund/FKINX ^ "Settlement Summary". Franklin Fair Fund Settlement. Archived from the original on December 8, 2012 . Retrieved August 20, 2012 . ^ a b Franklin Templeton Archived 2007-05-09 at the Wayback Machine Industry Issues. Retrieved April 18, 2007. External links [ edit ] Official website Business data for Franklin Templeton Investments: Fiduciary Trust memorial page for employees who died in 9-11Founding of theUnited StatesInventions,other eventsWritingsLegacyRelatedFamily
Biden, partners receive $16.5 mln in payments stolen from Ukraine '' MP Derkach
Wed, 20 Nov 2019 15:13
KYIV. Nov 20 (Interfax-Ukraine) '' Some $16.5 million received by Hunter Biden, the son of former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, as payment from Burisma was stolen from Ukrainian citizens, member of parliament Andriy Derkach has said.
Derkach said at a press conference at the Kyiv-based Interfax-Ukraine news agency that on November 14 the Prosecutor General's Office (PGO) announced a new suspicion to the owner of Burisma, former Ecology Minister Mykola Zlochevsky.
"The PGO document once again confirms the data I had previously published on Burisma and international corruption. According to Zlochevsky's suspicion notice, Biden and partners received their $16.5 million for their services to Burisma. Biden received funds not due to the successful activity of Burisma or for brilliant business decisions or recommendations. This is the money of Ukrainian citizens. The funds were obtained by criminal means. That's what they say in the PGO," Derkach said.
Derkach said the new suspicion notice to Zlochevsky was received by him from investigative journalists.
"According to the investigation, Zlochevsky was directly involved in the withdrawal of funds by the Yanukovych "family" (the Yanukovych criminal organization, according to the notice). They laundered the funds of Yanukovych through three companies in Latvia," Derkach said.
As reported, on October 9 Derkach made public official correspondence between the National Anti-corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) and the U.S. Embassy, according to which First Deputy NABU Director Gizo Uglava through his assistant Polina Chizh provided the U.S. Embassy with information that affected the course of events in Ukraine and the United States.
According to him, Chizh received an order from U.S. Embassy employee Hanna Yemelyanova to provide information on the case of Ex-Ecology Minister and Burisma Group owner Mykola Zlochevsky.
Zlochevsky revealed the amount of money that was transferred to the representatives of Burisma Group, including Hunter Biden. According to the documents, about $16.5 million was transferred in favor of Hunter Biden, Aleksander Kwasniewski, Alan Apter, and Devon Archer.
According to Derkach, Ex-Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin repeatedly contacted NABU Director Artem Sytnyk in the framework of criminal proceedings involving Burisma, but constantly received formal replies. The activities of Shokin, according to Derkach, irritated Joe Biden during his fifth visit to Kyiv in two years on December 7-8, 2015. The visit was devoted to the issue of removing Shokin as Prosecutor General and the affairs of Zlochevsky and Burisma.
"The instrument issued for pressure was the $1 billion credit guarantee that the United States should have provided to Ukraine: Biden himself acknowledged the pressure in his speech to the U.S. Foreign Relations Council in January 2018," Derkach said.
On November 11, Derkach said on his video blog that Head of the Specialized Anti-corruption Prosecutor's Office (SAPO) Nazar Kholodnytsky launched an investigation into his allegations that the NABU had provided information to the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine. He also noted that from May 2014 until October 2015, Burisma transferred $4.817 million to Rosemont, and the latter transferred $871,000 to Hunter Biden.
2020
Reid Wilson on Twitter: "DNC drops its October FEC report in middle of the debate: $8.7m on hand, $7m in debt. https://t.co/VUUBeNl9cP" / Twitter
Thu, 21 Nov 2019 07:26
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Deep fakes
ISIS 'preparing clip of al-Baghdadi ALIVE' using deepfake propaganda - Daily Star
Sun, 17 Nov 2019 18:52
ISIS is on the brink of recruiting support by using deepfake technology of ex-leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi still alive, an expert has warned.
US President Donald Trump recently announced al-Baghdadi had been wiped out in a major blow to the evil terror group.
But video verification expert Shamir Allibhai believes deepfake material of the dead leader could be used to recruit new soldiers.
Mr Allibai says this would whip up support by making potential recruits doubt Trump's intelligence and paint him as a liar in their eyes.
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was wiped out in a US strike (Image: via REUTERS) Read MoreRelated ArticlesAbu Bakr al-Baghdadi's wife pictured after revealing inner workings of ISISRead MoreRelated ArticlesISIS to bring al-Baghdadi 'back from dead' using deepfake tech to fool USThe CEO of video verification company, Amber, told Daily Star Online: "An important goal may be to try and rally the ISIS supporters and 'show' that the US is lying.
"For the US to kill an ISIS leader is deflating but having it seem like that leader is still alive with video 'evidence' (that appears real and believable) could counteract that, if not give the group's supporters a morale boost.
"The tech to create fake video continues to get better, easier, and cheaper and different groups will use it to create propaganda that teases or sows doubt in their enemy and/or rallies their supporters."
Mr Allibhai believes deepfakes that are unrecognisable are "already here" and warned they could wreak havoc on the 2020 US Presidential election.
Trump said al-Baghdadi was killed in a military strike (Image: via REUTERS) Read MoreRelated ArticlesAbu Bakr al-Baghdadi's sister captured along with slain ISIS leader's familyDeepfakes have also been used to depict high-profile celebrities in fabricated porn videos, which have been viewed by huge audiences online.
But the technology could have potentially fatal consequences if used for war propaganda.
Mr Allibhai previously told us: "They (ISIS) can bring him 'back from the dead' using deepfake video tech.
"They may want to try and fool the US such as to try and deceive the intelligence community or sow doubt amongst the American public.
Deepfake technology has rapidly advanced in recent years (Image: Getty Images) Read MoreRelated ArticlesTerror videos 'should be treated like child abuse images', says attack coroner"The US intel community could have doubt and be tricked if the video looks real, they don't have video verification tech, and they don't have conclusive physical evidence that proves the person in question was killed.
"The ramifications if video authentication and deepfake detection tech is not used is that society will fragment and people will believe, in a world where video can't be trusted, whatever they want to believe based on their existing biases.
"If you don't like or trust Trump, you may give credence to an internet video that purports and depicts ISIS' leader to still be alive."
OTG
O&O ShutUp10 -Free antispy tool for Windows 10
Mon, 18 Nov 2019 17:53
O&O ShutUp10 means you have full control over which comfort functions under Windows 10 you wish to use, and you decide when the passing on of your data goes too far. Using a very simple interface, you decide how Windows 10 should respect your privacy by deciding which unwanted functions should be deactivated.
O&O ShutUp10 is entirely free and does not have to be installed '' it can be simply run directly and immediately on your PC. And it will not install or download retrospectively unwanted or unnecessary software, like so many other programs do these days!
More control over your operating system Adapt your security settingsProtect your privacyControl location servicesControl Windows UpdatesDo not pass on your user data and diagnosticsFurther informationPortable Version '' no installation requiredFree of charge for private users,companies and educational institutionsOperating System: Microsoft® Windows 10Supports all Windows 10 versions up to 1903Windows 10 wants to give users the easiest possible daily experience and in doing so very rarely forces you to actually read and confirm a security notice. Unfortunately, this simplified approach from Microsoft means much more data is passed onto them than many users would like.
Microsoft uses most data to display personalized information to you that is aimed at making your computer life easier. As an example, Windows 10 can remind you to set off to the airport 30 minutes earlier due to traffic en route. In order to deliver this information to you, however, Windows 10 has to access your calendar entries, your mails (i.e. the airline confirmation email), your location and it has to have access to the internet to get traffic news.
Some services protocol your entire keyboard entries, share your WLAN access data with your facebook contacts or connect your computer without asking permission to a public '' and potentially unprotected '' network. While this means that you and your contacts do not have to grapple with complicated WLAN passwords, it also poses a significant security risk.
Decide for yourself how important your ''comfort'' is when weighed up with your privacy and how to protect it. O&O ShutUp10 presents you with all important settings in one location '' you need no previous IT knowledge and there is no need to manually change the Windows 10 system settings.
O&O ShutUp10 is entirely free and does not have to be installed '' it can be simply run directly and immediately on your PC. And it will not install or download retrospectively unwanted or unnecessary software, like so many other programs do these days!
O&O ShutUp10: Free antispy tool for Windows 10
How to not use Google search - Shahinism
Mon, 18 Nov 2019 22:07
PreludeIt's almost about 6 months since the last time I used Google search as my mainsearch engine. This idea of using an alternative search engine was bugging mefor a long time. Almost seven years to be exact. I remember the first time Iheard about some reasons to reconsider my main search engine was from this Tedvideo:
However, I couldn't leave Google for a long period of time. As a softwaredeveloper and even as a normal internet user, I rely heavily on my search engineto find quality content related to subjects I need to know about. This meansthat I not only need to find content related to the search query I put into thesearch box but given the size of the internet, I also need the returned resultssorted to the best relative order.
As Eli Pariser claims in his Ted talk, bubbling the results may not be necessaryto give me the most relative results (actually as I experienced in the lastcouple of months, it's really not). But there are other factors like being up todate, content quality and such are very effective factors which Google searchsuccessfully benefits from. The page ranking algorithms on Google aresophisticated enough to scale to the size of the current internet universe.
But the evil Google we know these days, is not much reliable company when itcomes to privacy and the size of its monopoly and power (considering allmarketing trackers provided by Google which are the standards of the web, justtry to imagine where it can't follow you and collect data about your choices),pushes users to dig deeper to find a suitable alternative for it. Here are theoptions I've tried so far:
DuckDuckGoWell, DuckDuckGo is probably the first option every one interested in search enginesalternative to Google search will end up to. DuckDuckGo is presenting itself asa privacy-focused search engine and provides some cool utilities to make it aworthy option as the user's main search engine. If you haven't tried it before,I suggest to give it a try for a while (at least a week) and don't just trust myfollowing words.
There are some really great features which will make it more bearable as the main search engine:
The instant answers: These are great and especially helpful to programmers. Take a look at this page for some examples.Bangs: Well, some people may like these. It's helpful if you want to use target site's search engine (like IMDB search) to get results of your query instead of the search engine itself. I personally use the search engine itself to query such terms or use a tool like Surfraw to achieve the same result.I personally, never could completely switch to DDG. Here are some of the reasonswhich pushed me back to Google:
The result set was too noisy: It happens all the time with all the searchengines. There are some terms which happen to be noisy (like the termserverless which is a term for a computing technique and a framework at thesame time) and makes searching for related results a bit harder thannormal. With DDG it would usually take me more tries and refactor in searchcriteria to find the proper answer. It may have caused by my thinking model onthe search terms I used to express what I really want. DDG has improved overtime and it provides much much better results these days.It's not as open source as it should be: Well there are some open source partsfor DDG. But the main engine is not one of them. DDG claims that it's nottracking its users, but there is no proof of that other than the company'swords. Of course, they provide some utilities to hide you from most of theuser recognition solutions (eg. the onion routed URL), but still, the usershould trust their word for it.It's a US-based company: Well this may sound like a cliche since I'm an Iranresident at the time of this writing, but my concerns here is not rooted inthe Iranian government's propaganda. There are some real concerns that weshould worry about which are listed here on the privacy tools website.It's not accessible in Iran: Yes, no surprise here. Our government believesthe Google should be the only search engine we should have access to and nomatter how much we try, they won't open direct access to other searchengines. I personally tried multiple times emailing them about it (there is anemail address to report mistakenly filtered websites), but as we used to,there was no response to it.Not very friendly with Persian content: Not much to say here. The results are usually the least related ones and hugely old.Startpage.comStartpage was the first alternative I could get used to using it instantly. Atleast it proved that I'm not too addicted to the Google search's interfaceðŸ‚. The reason is here:
It's not a search engine: Well basically we should consider it a meta-searchengine which means that it collects the results from other search engines. Andthat other search engine is Google! So instead of searching directly throughGoogle, I'm using a third party to retrieve my results, so hopefully, Googlewon't figure out who asked the question.So I have the quality results of Google without being tracked: Almost trueexcept that I'm out of my Google bubble, so I see the most relative contentwithout Google manipulating them to my interest which has proven to me to beuseless almost always so far.The anonymous view: This one is even better. I can open search results in aproxy view and hoping that Google marketing tools active on target site won'tget the chance of following me. Of course, there is still the fingerprintingoption available, but there are some solutions to overcome those as well.It's based on the Netherlands: So we can hope for less creepy surveillance decisions.It's Persian friendly: Which of course is not a surprise since Google supports Persian pages greatly.The family filter is on by default: So you don't end up with NSFW pictures on the screen for an unrelated query ðŸ‚.But these are not enough:It's not open source eitherIt's not accessible in Iran as well: Hooray 🎉. So how I use it? Well thefirst thing we should learn as soon as we start to develop our career relatedto ICT in Iran, is how to set up a VPN and use it. To be honest, I startedlearning Linux and programming mostly because I was trying to find out a wayto not be blocked by internet filtering mechanism in Iran ðŸ‰.SearXThis one probably will be my ultimate option. An opensource,self-hosted/distributed meta-search engine which other than Google supports alot of other engines available out there. Take a look at the Engines tab in thispage and see it for yourself. Why do I like it? Here are the main reasons:
It's open source.It's possible to self-host it or use one of the free instances available out there.I don't need to trust third-party companies with my data.It's easy to set up or find an instance that is not blocked in Iran.It's a meta-search engine: I believe it's the more correct way of solving the Google issue. Creating a full blown search engine from scratch requires a lot of resources which Google has spend over time.So why I don't use it (yet)? Mostly because of this issue. Google is the worstevil we have. With all those resources in hand, it blocks requests (to prevenDDOS attacks) from IP ranges (happens a lot with VPSs from DigitalOcean) whichrequires users to solve their stupid captcha (usually multiple times in a row).
Final WordsThis is my experience so far. I'll be glad to hear yours. Ping me on Twitter by@shahinism and share and share your ideas.
KaiOS Feature Phone Business Model And Why It Matters So Much - FourWeekMBA
Tue, 19 Nov 2019 09:55
KaiOS is a mobile operating system built on the ashes of the discontinued Mozilla OS. Indeed, KaiOS has developed a robust standalone mobile operating system that turns feature phones (so-called ''dumb phones'') into smartphones-like phones.
As feature phones powered by KaiOS have access to mobile apps, connectivity and voice search. KaiOS feature phone business model wants to bring connectivity and the digital revolution to those developing countries (like India and Africa) that have missed out on the smartphone wave due to too high costs of those devices.
Besides, KaiOS might be well suited for the IoT revolution!
Background story A few years back the Mozilla Community created B2G OS (Boot to Gecko), a standalone operating system. That project was discontinued but being created by Mozilla; all its code was open source. From that open source code starts the story of KaiOS.
In 2016 A San Diego-based startup, KaiOS started its take over of the mobile operating system market (in particular India) with a ''fork.'' In GitHub (a software development platform) a fork is the copy of a repository ( a digital directory where you can access a project and all its versions).
Thus, a discontinued project (Mozilla's B2G OS) became the foundation for KaiOS. Today KaiOS has become the operating system of former ''dumb phones'' (so-called feature phones) that this mobile operating system transforms into smartphones!
Indeed, KaiOS gained a 15% market share in India in a very short period according to DeviceAtlas . A primary reason for Its popularity was the success of the ''Jio phone'' which came prepackaged with KaiOS.
Fast forward 2018, Google invested 22 million dollars in KaiOS and for a few good reasons. But before we get to that, let's look at KaiOS and what makes it so unique.
Related: How Does Google Make Money? It's Not Just Advertising!
A glance at the feature phone market A feature phone is usually defined as a phone that lacks the capabilities of a smartphone. In short, that is the phone we knew before smartphones became the norm:
Source: indianexpress.com
While those feature phones might well be defined as ''dumb phones'' they are not such '' potentially '' anymore. Indeed, what makes KaiOS such an interesting project is that with its mobile operating system can transform a dumb phone into a smartphone.
We don't see these phones anymore in developed countries (except for Nokia's Banana Phone). However, the feature phone market is a big one in India and Africa. According to counterpointresearch.com in India, the smartphone market remained flat in 2018 compared to 2017, while the feature phone market grew quite fast.
This makes the feature phone market quite interesting, but there is even more to it in KaiOS case. Let's first look at this mobile operating system.
KaiOS in a nutshell As pointed out on KaiOS blog:
At Kai, our goal is to bridge the divide between the billions of people in emerging markets who still don't have basic internet access, as well as those in more established markets that do. As a result, we will make internet access available to all, regardless of whether people are uncomfortable with advanced technology, don't own a smartphone, or can't afford one.
That's where and why KaiOS started from. KaiOS, therefore, has the objective of allowing people that can't afford a smartphone to have the same basic features, which will give people using feature phones apps that are also available on smartphones, and even access to voice search.
As pointed out by the KaiOS team, its operating system, while based on Mozilla discontinued project it ''has been developed into something much more robust and expanded than the original Firefox OS. Think of us as distant cousins, not siblings nor children.''
The critical ingredient of KaiOS is that it brings ''support of 4G/LTE, GPS, and Wi-Fi, as well as HTML5-based apps and longer battery life, to non-touch devices.''
In other words, KaiOS has an optimized user interface which even though brings smart features to ''dumb phones'' it does that by requiring little battery, memory than another operating system while bringing to those feature phones social media, navigation, and other apps similar to a real smartphone!
Where does the name KaiOS come from? As reported on KaiOS website, ''Kai'' originates from the Chinese word for open: å¼ (kāi).'' Thus, the ''open operating system'' in the sense of giving final access to billions of people to the digital revolution.
In short, KaiOS brings connectivity to phones that otherwise would have been cut out this revolution. Therefore, more and more people in emerging and developing countries will finally have that access.
According to gs.statcounter.com KaiOS has become the third mobile operating system worldwide:
Its success can be primarily attributed to the success of the JioPhone, a feature phone which sold pretty well in India. This partnership was further sealed when in 2018, Reliance Retail , the consumer goods arm of Reliance Industries bought 16% of KaiOS .
As reported on indianexpress.com:
Highlighting the fact that JioPhone is already a meaningful contributor Reliance Jio's growth, a recent survey estimates that total JioPhones sold so far could be close to around 40 million. A survey by Credit Suisse on the Indian Telecom Sector said as suggested by recent media reports, JioPhone had 36 per cent share of the feature phone market for January-March quarter of 2018 on an expanded market base.
The Jio Phone partnership has proved quite successful for several reasons, and the primary reason is given by the fact that KaiOS makes available in Jio Phones apps and features available on smartphones. Another compelling reason is voice search!
KaiOS and voice search An interesting aspect of dumb phones powered by KaiOS is the ability to easily activate the Google Assistant and its voice search capabilities:
Women are changing their genders on Instagram to MALE to avoid censorship | Daily Mail Online
Wed, 20 Nov 2019 14:35
Women are changing their gender on Instagram to male in an attempt to avoid sexist censorship, following claims the social media platform polices those who list themselves as men less than it does women.
Instagram users who are benefiting most from altering their gender to male include female pole dancers, fitness instructors, and sex workers, the HuffPost reports, with many insisting that a new algorithm released by the app in April to police its content has an unfair bias against women.
The Facebook-owned platform's new algorithm can hide any 'inappropriate content' '-- both videos and pictures '-- from the public Explore and hashtag pages automatically and without explanation.
Bias: Pole dancers and instructors have accused Instagram of censoring their content. Michelle (pictured), a pole dancer, changed her gender to male on Instagram
Experiment: Michelle found her content engagement increased when her profile was labelled as a male. This inspired @everybodyvisible to encourage it's followers to change their gender
Movement: Other pole dancers have shared the bias on their own pages, encouraging people to pay attention to shadowbanning on the social media platform
Shadowbanning is a term coined and used for multiple platforms on the internet to help block spam and other sensitive content automatically instead of requiring manual censorship.
For Instagram specifically, the platform uses shadowbanning to prevent bots, block spammers, and protect younger users against material the platform deems 'too sensitive' for them to view.
This automatic algorithm is necessary for a platform with more than 1 billion users, but it also faces claims it is flawed with what exactly it bans automatically with no explanation.
A woman named Michelle, who is an Australian pole dancer, personally noticed a change to how her content was viewed on Instagram following the April algorithm change, HuffPost reports.
In October, she decided to change her gender from female to male to see if her content was 'shadowbanned' less after seeing a severe decline in who engaged with her content. She then saw an increase in views and likes on her pictures and videos within three days of changing her gender on the platform.
'It's ridiculous that we have to resort to trying this kind of thing,' Michelle told the publication, explaining how pole dancers specifically use Instagram to share training videos and grow their businesses.
Instagram page @everybodyvisible, an activism page dedicated to the pole dancing community, also shared with its followers how gender swapping on Instagram could help improve female user's content engagement.
'Is it bizarrely less "inappropriate" for a "male" owned account to post "borderline" content of women and femme-presenting bodies than the actual owner of the body THEMSELVES?' The page questioned.
Other bias: An instructor named Elizabeth (pictured) shared with her followers in June the hashtags banned relating to pole dancing
Know the difference: The @everybodyvisible account also informed its followers about the banned hashtags related to the pole dancing community
The page then implored its followers to test out the hack and see if they, too, experienced an increase in engagement by posting the same content under the guise of being a male-owned account.
Multiple commenters shared online with the community how they also experienced an increase in engagement once they made the gender switch.
'Changed mine a week ago and engagement has definitely gone up, gained lots of followers quite quickly even though I haven't really posted in a while,' a pole dancer named Alice revealed on Instagram. 'Lots of my old videos seem to suddenly be showing in the explore page. This is so ridiculous and makes me so sad.'
Another commenter wrote: 'I feel like my engagement has picked up and bit but my posts are still being blocked from tags I use.'
Other women also experienced an increase in an engagement the first few days upon changing their genders, but there were some who saw no increase or still had issues with blocked tags.
Not only are there accusations of Instagram being bias against women and other marginalized communities, but users have also accused the platform of blocking specific hashtags targeted towards pole dancing.
An instructor named Elizabeth shared with her followers in June the hashtags banned relating to pole dancing.
'There seems to have been a massive ''cleanse'' on Instagram and pole dancers have been deemed dirty and inappropriate...or as Instagram puts it we don't ''meet Instagram's community guidelines,"' she wrote at the time.
'There has been lots of talk about shadownbans lately but this purge of hashtags is hard to mistake as being targeted towards pole dancers. If you use a banned hashtag your posts will not show up in your intended feeds.'
Informative: The page explained to followers how they could know if they were getting shadowbanned by the platform based on the hashtags they use
Elizabeth also explained the continual use of banned hashtags could result in someone's account being shadowbanned from Instagram, again preventing the users from coming up on the public Explore page.
The banned hashtags at the time included #poledancing, #poledancer, #unitedbypole, #poledancenation, and #polesportorg, Elizabeth told followers.
Instagram first denied it targeted the sport when banning hashtags but later apologized for the action after a petition went viral against the platform, HuffPost reported.
DailyMail.com contacted Instagram for a comment about the gender bias accusations and banned hashtags.
'We want to make sure the content we recommend to people on Instagram is safe and appropriate for everyone,' a spokesperson for Facebook said in a statement. 'Ensuring women feel heard is an essential part of that effort. Gender information from profiles has no impact on content we filter from hashtags or the Explore page.'
The statement also stated the algorithm used by Instagram does not consider gender in the 'gender entry field' when filtering its content from the platform.
How to run Linux desktop environment with Linux subsystem for Windows 10 '' DeployWindows
Tue, 19 Nov 2019 12:52
You have probably heard of Windows Subsystem for Linux or WSL, this is a feature that you can enable in Windows 10 to natively run Linux command, and application on your Windows machine without running in a separate virtual machine.
Microsoft made a couple of Linux distributions available to name a few
Kali LinuxDebian GNU/LinuxopenSUSE Leap 42and more, just search for Linux in the Microsoft public Store
I choose to install openSUSE, and wanted to see if it was possible to run a desktop environment as well.
There is a free and open-source desktop environment for Linux and Unix called Xfce, if you heard of GNOME it is similar to this (but Xfce is not GNOME fork)
How do you get all this going then? Well first enable Windows Subsystem for Linux
Choose to install you favorite Linux distribution from Microsoft Store, my choice this time is ubuntu, but I have tested the same with Kali Linux.
What for the installation and launch the Linux prompt, search for ubuntu in the start menu.
First make sure to update your Linux installation, with these commands
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
Now time to install wget to download Xfce, may not be needed on some distributions
sudo apt-get install wget
Now time to download and install Xfce, goodies (optional), and start the service
sudo apt-get install xfce4
sudo apt-get install xfce4-goodies
sudo apt-get install xrdp
sudo sed -i 's/port=3389/port=3390/g' /etc/xrdp/xrdp.ini
sudo service xrdp start
If you are running For Kali Linux, these are the commands
wget https://kali.sh/xfce4.sh
chmod +x xfce4.sh
sudo ./xfce4.sh
sudo /etc/init.d/xrdp start
OK done! How do you connect to the Linux desktop? Run Remote Desktop Connection, mstsc.exe
Enter the Computer: 127.0.0.1:8890, press Connect
What is your best tips with Linux on Windows 10? Share it in the comments, and Have fun!
Internet Society sells .org to private equity firm - Finance - Cloud - Networking - iTnews
Thu, 21 Nov 2019 10:21
In a surprise move, the Internet Society said it has sold the Public Interest Registry (PIR) that manages the .org domain name space to private equity firm Ethos Capital, sparking registration price-rise concerns.
ISOC won the bidding to run .org in 2002 from the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and the contract was renewed in June this year.
Orginally .org was aimed at a non-commercial organisations and charities, although anyone can register a domain in the name space now.
Google for example uses a .org domain for its not-for profit efforts.
PIR was set up by ISOC to manage the name space, which is one of the internet's original top-level domains along with .com, .net, .edu, .gov and .mil. The first .org domain was registered in 1985.
Few details of the deal between ISOC and Ethos Capital were published, including how much PIR sold for.
According to figures published by PIR, there are 10.3 million .org registrants currently, each paying a capped US$9.95 a year.
However, ICANN in July this year removed the cap on .org domain registration charges, despite opposition to the move.
PIR's latest annual report shows steadily rising revenue over the past five years, with the registry bringin in US$93 million in 2018, resulting in an operating income of US$45.9 million.
Over the same period of time, PIR has contributed between US$30 million to US$70 million approximately per year to ISOC's coffers.
In December 2017, PIR used a cash surplus to fund an additional one-off contribution to ISOC of US$43 million.
Afilias is paid US$18 million a year by PIR to run the registration business backend for .org.
As part of the deal, PIR will consider moving away from being a not-for-profit to become a B or benefit corporation, a new type of United States business entity that allows for other missions than turning a profit.
Ethos Capital was set up this year by Erik Brooks who oversaw private equity firm Abry Partners acquisition of domain name registrar Donuts last year, along with former ICANN chief executive Fadi Chehad(C) who in May appears to have registered ethoscapital.org.
The chief executive of PIR, Jonathon Nevett, co-founded Donuts, and left his role at the domain registrar in October 2018.
Former president of ICANN's Global Domains Division, Akram Atallah, was appointed chief executive at Donuts after Abry Partners acquisition of the registrar.
Working with Brooks at Ethos Capital as the equity firm's chief purpose officer is former ICANN senior vice president Nora Abusitta-Ouri.
After .org moved to the standard ICANN registry agreement in May with registraion cost caps removed, PIR was at pains to point out that it had the option of raising prices by ten per cent a year.
PIR said it had not done so the past three years, and sought to assure registrants that it would not hike prices unreasonably.
Brooks said that Ethos Capital will continue PIR's goal of making .org accessible and reasonably priced, and would never hike costs dramatically.
Vint Cerf, former chairman of the ICANN board and the founding president ISOC said PIR had exercised its stewardship to the benefit of registrants, and the Internet Society's mission.
"I am looking forward to supporting Ethos Capital and PIR in any way I can as they continue to expand the utility of the .org top-level domain in creative and socially responsible ways,'' Cerf said in a statement.
iTnews has sought comment from ISOC and PIR on the sale.
How to Install the Lightweight LXDE Desktop on Ubuntu
Thu, 21 Nov 2019 09:35
LXDE is a lightweight desktop alternative to Unity, GNOME and KDE. It's ideal for old computers or anyone looking for a fast, lightweight system. It's even lighter than Xubuntu's XFCE.
LXDE contains the basic features for a stripped-down, yet approachable, desktop environment. It doesn't have a lot of shiny graphical effects or unnecessary features that get in your way.
InstallationRun the following command to install both Lubuntu's customized LXDE and vanilla LXDE on Ubuntu:
sudo apt-get install lubuntu-desktop
Use this command instead to install only vanilla LXDE:
sudo apt-get install lxde
You can also give LXDE a spin by downloading a Lubuntu live CD. Lubuntu is a Ubuntu derivative that has LXDE installed by default.
Starting LXDELog out after installing either package and select either the Lubuntu or LXDE session from the login screen.
Each environment differs only in its default settings. They come with different themes, wallpapers and panel layouts. For example, the Chromium browser is the default on Lubuntu, while Mozilla Firefox is the default on vanilla XFCE. Of course, you can use any browser you like with either.
Here's what Lubuntu's customized version looks like:
t
And here's the vanilla LXDE environment:
There's also a Lubuntu-netbook environment, which uses LXDE's LxLauncher. It replaces the desktop with an applciation launcher designed for netbooks.
A TourAt the bottom left corner, you'll find the typical menu button, launcher area, and a workspace switcher. At the right side, you'll find the typical notification area, clock and a logout button.
LXDE uses the PCManFM file manager, a lightweight replacement for the Nautilus file manager found in GNOME.
The ''Customize Look and Feel'' utility, found under Preferences in the menu, allows you to customize LXDE's theme and appearance settings.
You can also right-click the desktop and select ''Desktop Preferences'' to customize your desktop wallpaper and appearance settings.
Right-click LXDE's panel and and select ''Panel Settings'' to customize it. From the Panel Preferences window, you can change its location on the scren, size, and appearance. You can also toggle panel applets and reorder them to your liking.
There's also a basic Task Manager, found under System Tools in the menu. It displays total CPU and memory usage and a list of processes. Right-click a process to kill it or change its priority level.
Click the logout button at the bottom-right corner of the screen when you're done.
If you're looking for a desktop environment that's more forward-looking without abandoning traditional desktop conventions, try Cinnamon.
Uber to let passengers record rides in effort to curb crime in Latin America - Reuters
Thu, 21 Nov 2019 06:09
FILE PHOTO: An Uber driver holds his cell phone showing the queue to pick up passengers departing Guarulhos International Airport in Sao Paulo, Brazil, February 13, 2017. REUTERS/Nacho Doce
SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Uber (UBER.N ) said on Wednesday that it will allow passengers and drivers to record audio of their trips in Brazil and Mexico using a new feature in the app, as the ride-hailing company copes with recurring safety concerns during its trips.
Uber has come under significant scrutiny over passenger safety in markets such as the United States and India but it has acknowledged particular problems in Latin America, where passengers and drivers have been robbed and assaulted and some even murdered.
Uber said the audio recording feature will debut in Latin America's two biggest markets but that it may eventually be rolled out elsewhere in the region and possibly beyond.
While the company has not shared numbers, it has said in financial statements since its IPO that there are ''numerous and increasing reports'' of passengers or drivers in Latin America being ''victimized by violent crime, such as armed robbery, violent assault, and rape, while taking or providing a trip on our platform.''
By way of heading off privacy concern issues, Uber said that the recordings will be encrypted and will not be played back in the app. Instead, they can be sent to the company so that an employee can review they if someone alleges misconduct or crime during the ride.
Uber will also share the recordings with law enforcement upon request.
The recordings function only begins if either driver or passenger goes on the app and starts it.
Uber did not provide a timeline for the release of the function, but said it would launch soon in both Brazil and Mexico, testing it in a handful of cities at first.
''What we know is that as the economic issues in Latin America gets worse, the tendency is for crime to also get worse,'' said Claudia Woods, who leads Uber in Brazil, in an interview.
Reporting by Marcelo Rochabrun, Editing by Rosalba O'Brien
5 Ways a Hidden Camera Can Land You In Prison '' HomeRestored
Thu, 21 Nov 2019 06:27
Hidden cameras are everywhere. They're in homes, businesses, cars and purses, catching burglars and terrible babysitters but they're also dangerous to the owner and unwilling participants of the video that have been created by these devices.
Here are 5 ways these hidden cameras can land you in jail
Hidden Home Recordings
Many of us are familiar with the hidden camera in a Teddy bear or miniature security cameras built in clocks and radios. Home domain protects you when it comes to video tapping and recording inside your home or the perimeter for security reasons even if the cameras are seen or hidden but there are two ways you can get in trouble for the recordings. Transmitting or giving the video to a third party for any reason other than law enforcement or to a license investigator investigating a crime is prohibited under most statues. 2nd, adding the recorded video to YouTube or other Internet outlets for others to see without all the parties involved consenting is a federal offense and can land you in federal prison for up to 6 months with a considerable fine, not including civil lawsuits that can come up.
Hidden Business Recordings
The laws of 13 states expressly prohibit the unauthorized installation or use of cameras in private places within businesses and schools. In Alabama, Arkansas, California, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, South Dakota and Utah, installation or use of any device for photographing, observing or overhearing events or sounds in a private place without the permission of the people photographed or observed is against the law. A private place is one where a person may reasonably expect to be safe from unauthorized surveillance.
In most cases, dressing rooms, break rooms, bathrooms and locker rooms are prohibited under law to have a sound or video recording device present unless.
Overturned May 2012 Recording Police Officers During an Arrest
On First Amendment grounds, a federal appeals court in May blocked enforcement of an Illinois law that makes it a felony to take video '' with sound '-- of police officers on the job.
The U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals sided with the American Civil Liberties Union in challenging the Illinois eavesdropping law. Up until recently, you could be fined up to $2,500 and serve up to 2 years in jail but there is still a fine line in the ruling. The ruling lists several kinds of conversations someone might be having with a police officer on the street, that the person would not want recorded and put out on the internet or the evening news.
Privacy is a social value,'' Posner, the circuit court judge wrote. ''And so, of course, is public safety.'' He suggests both are endangered by the majority's ruling.
''A fine line separates ''mere'' recording of a police-citizen encounter (whether friendly or hostile) from obstructing police operations by distracting the officers and upsetting the citizens they are speaking with.''
In other words, it's still a murky subject.
Video and Sound Recording a Two Way Conversation
Of the 50 states, 38, as well as the District of Columbia, allow you to record a conversation to which you are a party without informing the other parties you are doing so. Federal wiretap statutes also permit this so-called one-party-consent recording of telephone conversations in most circumstances. Twelve states forbid the recording of private conversations without the consent of all parties. Those states are California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Washington.
Bringing a Hidden Camera With You
In 2008, former University of Illinois and USA Olympic gymnastics coach was under investigation involving a video camera that was found hidden in a University of Illinois locker room.
Alabama, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, South Dakota and Utah also prohibit trespassing on private property to conduct surveillance of people there. In most of these states, unauthorized installation or use of a hidden camera, or trespassing to install or use one, is a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine. In Maine, the privacy violation is a felony. In Michigan, unauthorized installation or use of a hidden camera is a felony, punishable by a $2,000 fine and up to two years in prison.
Do Ring Doorbell Cameras Violate Wiretapping Laws? (PC 632) - Southern California Defense Blog
Thu, 21 Nov 2019 06:25
Companies like Ring make doorbells that allow video and audio to be recorded when motion is detected near your front door. It is now easier than ever to install security cameras in different rooms of your house to keep an eye on your pets or property while you are away. This technology may help you catch a thief, but could it also result in you facing criminal charges?
California is a two-way consent state, meaning both parties need to agree to a video or audio recording. So, do these cameras violate wiretapping laws because the other party is unaware he or she is being recorded?
Ring Doorbell Cameras and the Expectation of Privacy Doorbell cameras and similar devices are subject to guidelines regarding a person's ''reasonable expectation of privacy.'' In a public place, such as a store, a street or the front yard of a home, people do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy.
The front door area of a home where a Ring doorbell camera records video is not a place where most people expect privacy. Thus, you will not likely face criminal charges for using a Ring doorbell.
There is a reasonable expectation of privacy in a bedroom or bathroom of a home, so you should refrain from placing security cameras in these areas. However, you may be pleased to know that when burglars enter your home, they have no reasonable expectation of privacy.
Audio, however, is a different matter.
Do Ring Doorbells Violate Wiretapping Laws? (PC 632) Wiretapping laws under California Penal Code Section 632 require that you receive consent from a person to record his or her voice. The law also states that it is illegal to record a ''confidential communication,'' which is any communication meant to be heard only by the parties involved.
If you are using a Ring doorbell camera, the simplest way to avoid facing wiretapping charges under PC 632 is to turn off audio recording. If you don't want to do that, it may be a good idea to notify friends, family and mail carriers that their voice may be recorded when they are near your front door.
Though it is illegal under California wiretapping laws to record another person without his or her knowledge and consent, most people use doorbell cameras for security purposes. Unless you are deliberately using a recording for exploitive or commercial purposes, you face little risk of facing charges for violating wiretapping laws through your everyday use of a doorbell camera.
Contact the Criminal Defense Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich Today If you or someone you love has been accused of violating California wiretapping laws, it is important that you speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. At Wallin & Klarich, our skilled and knowledgeable criminal defense attorneys have more than 35 years of experience successfully defending clients against wiretapping charges. Let us help you now.
With offices in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Victorville, West Covina, Torrance, Los Angeles and San Diego, you can find an experienced Wallin & Klarich criminal defense attorney available near you no matter where you work or live.
Call our law firm today at (888) 280-6839 for a free phone consultation. We will get through this together.
Does installing a doorbell service that automatically records anyone who approaches the front door of your house, including audio, violate any wiretapping laws?
Thu, 21 Nov 2019 06:24
Question Details: The ring doorbell from ring.com automatically records anyone who approaches the front door of the house, including audio. It also allows a conversation with anyone who rings the doorbell which is recorded in the cloud with the video. This would be so that we could tell the delivery person to leave the package or drop it off with a neighbor. I was reading some other articles and became worried that the audio portion of the recording might be illegal but I am not certain.Is this legal? Is there any way to protect myself, say by posting one of those 'you are being recorded' signs somewhere?
Recording audio would be illegal--it is legally the same as illegal wiretapping and could subject you to criminal liability (that is, being jailed). Your state is a "two-party consent" state, which really should be called an "all-party consent" state. That is, recording any conversation in your state is illegal unless *every* person in the conversation consents or agrees to be recorded. Therefore, recording someone without their consent is against the law.
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Such an audio recording would be illegal. This is true regardless of whether you live in a "1 party" or "all party" consent state, since the person being recorded will have not given their permission for to have their voice audio recorded.
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Your World Burning
Iranians Take to the Streets Again to Protest Gasoline Price Hike
Sun, 17 Nov 2019 21:01
DUBAI'--Riot police and security forces clashed with demonstrators in Tehran and dozens of cities across Iran on Saturday, Iran ian news agencies and social media said, as protests against a rise in gasoline prices turned towards Ayatollah Khomeini's regime.
The reports said demonstrators chanted anti-regime slogans around the country, a day after the government increased the price of regular gasoline to 15,000 rials ($0.13) a liter from 10,000 rials and rationed it.
State television said police clashed with what it called rioters in some cities and fired teargas to disperse them.
One person was killed and several were wounded in the city of Sirjan in Kerman province on Friday, the ISNA news agency quoted a local official as saying on Saturday.
''People attacked a fuel storage warehouse in Sirjan and tried to set fire to it,'' the state news agency IRNA said.
Iran ian Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli told state TV that security forces ''have so far shown restraint'' but will act to restore calm if the demonstrators ''damaged public properties.''
Videos posted on social media from inside Iran showed protesters setting fire to buildings and clashing with riot police. In other videos protesters blocked roads and set fires in the streets in Tehran and some other cities. Some chanted slogans against top officials.
The videos and other images on social media could not be verified by Reuters.
People protest against increased gas price, on a highway in Tehran, Iran, on Nov. 16, 2019. (Nazanin Tabatabaee/West Asia News Agency via REUTERS)''People are very angry here in Shiraz (city). I heard gunshots. Hundreds of people are in the streets. They burned a police car this morning,'' a witness, who asked not to be named, told Reuters by telephone.
Protests spread to least 40 cities and towns on Saturday, Iran ian media said. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo supported the demonstrators, writing on Twitter, ''As I said to the people of Iran almost a year and a half ago: The United States is with you.''
Videos on social media showed riot police firing teargas and using clubs to disperse protesters in several cities. A video shared on Twitter showed protesters setting fire to a bank.
State-run TV accused ''hostile media'' of trying to exaggerate the size of demonstrations by ''using fake news and videos on social media.''
General Prosecutor Mohammad Jafar Montazeri told state TV that demonstrators who blocked roads and clashed with security forces ''certainly have roots outside the country,'' making a veiled reference to the United States.
Meanwhile, the White House issued a statement condemning ''the lethal use of force and severe communications restrictions used against demonstrators.''
''Tehran has fanatically pursued nuclear weapons and missile programs, and supported terrorism, turning a proud nation into another cautionary tale of what happens when a ruling class abandons its people and embarks on a crusade for personal power and riches,'' White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said, according to the press release.
Further Squeeze on Living CostsProtesters were seeing slower internet speeds and limited access, social media reports said, an apparent effort by the authorities to limit communication between demonstrators.
Many people in oil-producing Iran see cheap gasoline as a national right and the price hike sparked worries about a further squeeze on living costs, despite assurances from the Iran ian authorities that the revenue raised would be used to help needy families.
People's struggle to make ends meet has worsened since last year, when the United States pulled out of Iran 's 2015 nuclear deal with six powers and reimposed sanctions on the country.
Combined with rising inflation, growing unemployment, a slump in the rial and state corruption, Washington's policy of ''maximum pressure'' has further crippled the economy.
Iran 's clerical rulers are anxious to prevent any repeat of unrest in late 2017, when people staged protests in 80 cities and towns over poor living standards, some calling on Shi'ite Muslim clerical leaders to step down. Iran ian officials said 22 people died in those protests.
Lawmakers will debate the price hike decision on Sunday, Iran ian media reported. They said some were preparing a motion aimed at forcing a revision of the decision.
Iran ians mainly rely on cars or taxis for access around cities and towns. The government said the cost of using taxis and public transport will not change, according to media reports.
The gasoline price increase is expected to raise around $2.55 billion a year for additional subsidies for 18 million families, or about 60 million Iran ians on lower incomes, the government said.
By Parisa Hafezi. With additional reporting by Epoch Times staff.
Bougainville: Will it become the world's next country? - BBC News
Thu, 21 Nov 2019 10:11
Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Women in tribal colours attend a Bougainville reconciliation ceremony in November An island group that's part of Papua New Guinea is about to vote on independence. And, if the poll goes as expected, Bougainville could become the world's next country.
The islands' history includes colonial exploitation, attempts at independence, a nine-year war and a gradual peace process.
On Saturday, a new chapter will be written, when 207,000 people begin voting on whether they want greater autonomy or independence.
Observers expect up to three-quarters to opt for independence - but the poll will just be a first step.
Why independence?The islands were named after an 18th Century French explorer and became part of a German colony, German New Guinea, at the end of the 19th Century.
During World War One, Australia took control and remained in charge until 1975 (with a brief period of Japanese control during World War Two).
While under colonial control, Bougainville - current population 300,000 - was always an outpost.
The Germans' first administrative centre was not established until 1905 - 21 years after their rule began.
And, according to referendum literature, "some parts of mountainous central and northern Bougainville had little contact with either churches or the colonial regime until after World War Two".
Getty
Bougainville timeline 1975 province of newly independent PNG
1988 separatist war with PNG breaks out
1997 international mediation ends war
2000 peace agreement sets 2020 deadline for independence poll
2019 Bougainville independence referendum
BBCWhen Papua New Guinea was granted independence in 1975, Bougainville became a province, even though there was little enthusiasm for it.
In fact, there was even a declaration of independence shortly before PNG was formed - an attempt to create the "Republic of the North Solomons". However it was ignored by both Australia and PNG.
The declaration was the manifestation of a Bougainville identity which developed during the 20th Century. Initially a response to plantation colonialism, it developed thanks to perceived racism and economic exploitation.
The primary marker of that identity was dark skin colour - most Bougainvilleans have darker skin than most, though not all, people from elsewhere in PNG.
After the failed independence declaration, discontent simmered and in 1988 a nine-year separatist war began.
Estimates of the number of people killed range from 4,000 to 20,000 - between 3 and 13% of the islands' population at the start of the war.
The fighting came to an end in 1997 with help from international mediators. The result was the Bougainville Peace Agreement (BPA), the creation in 2005 of the Autonomous Bougainville Government, and the promise of a non-binding referendum on independence.
Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The Bougainville war ended in 1997 after international mediation So what options are there?On the ballot, people will have two options: greater autonomy or independence.
The expectation is that the province will vote in favour of independence - but it's not a given, so there are three possible outcomes:
People vote for more autonomy, turning down the independence option. In that case, Bougainville would stay part of PNG and details would be worked outPeople vote for independence and PNG accepts the vote. The province would then transition to become a sovereign countryPeople vote for independence but PNG does not accept the outcome or tries to delay any further steps. This might lead to a new crisis and fresh conflictVoting will be held between 23 November and 7 December and results are expected later in December.
The Referendum Commission is headed by former Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern, who helped to negotiate 1998 Good Friday Agreement as part of the Northern Ireland peace process.
"There is a palpable pride that the eyes of the world are watching," Mr Ahern wrote this week. "I believe the process will be a credible one, free of the fear and intimidation once wrought by weapons of war."
Image copyright BOUGAINVILLE REFERENDUM COMMISSION Image caption A poster encouraging Bougainvilleans to register to vote What does Papua New Guinea say?The central government has previously withheld funding for the referendum process, and its preference is for the region to remain within the country.
In October, new Prime Minister James Marape reiterated that the vote was non-binding, and that the result would be "deliberated upon" by the governments of PNG and Bougainville.
So why does PNG want Bougainville to stay?
For one, Bougainville is rich in natural resources. While the war brought much of the copper and gold mining operations to a halt, the province used to be one of PNG's richest before the war.
The other worry is that it might set a precedent. If Bougainville gets independence, other PNG provinces (there are more than 20) could also up their demands for greater autonomy - or possibly secession.
Is Bougainville ready for independence? The new country - should it happen - would be small, with a land mass of less than 10,000 square kilometres (slightly larger than Cyprus, and slightly smaller than Lebanon).
Likewise, its population would be one of the world's smallest - slightly smaller than Pacific neighbour Vanuatu, and slightly bigger than Barbados.
But according to research by Australia's Lowy Institute, Bougainville achieving self-reliance would at best be years away.
Image copyright AFP The country is rich in natural resources - especially copper, which has been extracted on a large scale since the 1960s under Australian administration.
But mining operations have been crippled by the war - and the distribution of revenue was one of the factors behind the conflict.
One estimate cited by the Lowy Institute says Bougainville would only have 56% of the revenue needed to be self-reliant.
What are other countries doing?Australia, the closest wealthy country, is Bougainville's biggest donor and was involved in the mediation that ended the fighting.
It says it will accept "any settlement negotiated", but most Bougainvilleans believe that Australia opposes independence.
From further afield, the US and China are also watching the developments closely.
China is thought to already have sent a delegation to look at investing in Bougainville, including a new port. Beijing has recently increased its efforts to boost ties with island nations in the Pacific, establishing diplomatic ties with the Solomon Islands and Kiribati.
Meanwhile, the US - along with Australia, New Zealand, and Japan - have provided funds to help with the referendum.
Ministry of Truthiness
Outlets Scramble To Retract After Realizing UN Report Cites Record Child Detention Under Obama Instead Of Trump | The Daily Caller
Thu, 21 Nov 2019 10:19
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Patriots Only
MediaLEXIE HARRISON-CRIPPS/AFP via Getty Images
Comments November 19, 2019 5:37 PM ET Multiple outlets deleted entire stories Tuesday after reporting out a false number of children currently in migrant-related U.S. custody. The number is actually from 2015, when former President Barack Obama was in office. Some of the outlets issued corrections and updated the articles, while others such as Reuters and AFP deleted the article in its entirety and declined to post a new one. Multiple outlets deleted entire stories Tuesday after falsely reporting the number of children in migrant-related U.S. custody.
Outlets including Reuters, Agence France-Presse (AFP), NPR and Aljazeera jumped on a report from the United Nations, writing Monday that the country has the world's highest rate of detained children. The outlets reported that there are currently more than 100,000 children in immigration-related custody, which violates international law.
A day later, Reuters and AFP deleted their stories after the U.N. clarified the numbers were from 2015, when former President Barack Obama was in office. AFP did not immediately respond to a request for comment on why it no longer felt the numbers were newsworthy after being informed they were from 2015.
''Reuters decided to withdraw its story after the United Nations issued a statement on November 19 saying the number of children in detention was not current but was for the year 2015,'' a Reuters spokesperson told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
The page where the article was featured has a retraction on Reuters. The outlet declined to comment on why the story was no longer deemed newsworthy. (RELATED: Nearly 80,000 Illegal Aliens Carried An Arrest Record Before Winning DACA Approval, Government Data Show)
''A Nov. 18 story headlined 'U.S. has world's highest rate of children in detention -U.N. study' is withdrawn. The United Nations issued a statement on Nov. 19 saying the number was not current but was for the year 2015. No replacement story will be issued,'' it reads.
AFP also retracted its entire story, tweeting Tuesday that the author of the report clarified the numbers.
AFP is withdrawing this story.
The author of the report has clarified that his figures do not represent the number of children currently in migration-related US detention, but the total number of children in migration-related US detention in 2015.
We will delete the story. https://t.co/p30UjEWl7u
'-- AFP news agency (@AFP) November 19, 2019
NPR retracted its entire story at 6:53 p.m. Eastern time, issuing a notice that it would be posting another story with ''more complete information.''
''We have temporarily withdrawn this story because the study's author has acknowledged a significant error in the data. We will post a revised article with more complete information as soon as possible,'' NPR's page reads.
Aljazeera updated its article, which is now headlined ''UN expert corrects claims on children in US migration.'' The article notes that the data is from the Obama administration, but a large portion of it is still dedicated to scrutinizing illegal immigration under Trump.
''Following the publication of this article, the outside expert quoted corrected a figure he cited claiming that more than 100,000 children were currently being held in migrant detention in the US,'' Aljazeera's correction reads. ''On Tuesday, he told news agencies the figure was from 2015, the latest his team could find. This article has been updated under a new headline to reflect his corrected statement.''
NPR and Aljazeera did not immediately responded to a request for comment from the DCNF.
''The expert also says the Trump administration's family separation policy is 'absolutely prohibited' by the Convention on the Rights of the Child,'' the article reads, even though the numbers were from the Obama administration.
The report's author is Manfred Nowak, a human rights lawyer, who appears to have bungled the report as well.
''Nowak said his team estimates that the U.S. is still holding more than 100,000 children in migration-related detention,'' the NPR article reads.
The Associated Press also deleted its article, but wrote a substitute story where it highlighted the figure that was incorrectly cited by Nowak.
''But on Tuesday, he [Nowak] told The AP that figure was drawn from a U.N. refugee agency report citing data from 2015, the latest figure his team could find,'' the new AP article reads. ''That was before U.S. President Donald Trump, whose policies on migration have drawn criticism, was elected.''
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OK Boomer
The Phrase 'OK, Boomer' Has Now Created an All-Out Generational War | Inc.com
Tue, 19 Nov 2019 07:29
I've never received so many emails in one day.
I wrote about how much Millennials dislike the Boomer generation once, and it touched a nerve on both sides. They erupted and voiced their opinions by the hundreds, and for good reason. Millennials didn't like how I suggested they should "make themselves indispensable" and Boomers didn't like that I called them annoying and dismissive.
Now there's a whole new reason to point fingers.
The phrase 'OK, Boomer' has set off a firestorm. Recently, an AARP representative used a similar phrase during an interview, which was supposedly related to spending for ads and how generational conflicts over money are nothing new. Here's what she said:
"Okay, millennials, but we're the people that actually have the money."
As is usually the case, social media does not like to deal with minutia and the subtleties of language. While the comment during the interview might have been about ad spending, Gen Z and Millennials did not take it that way, suggesting that perhaps older generations are even more out of touch than they ever dreamed.
Young adults do have insurmountable student loan debt and are having trouble finding good jobs. Yet they took out those loans because they knew it was the best way to find a good job. They are stuck in a loop that isn't their fault.
And the older generations? They don't like being dismissed by a catchphrase. I've noticed that the Gen X generation has been folded into the Boomer generation lately, which is also a bit troubling. Anyone who is in their 40s or 50s doesn't seem to have a voice.
What's happening here is a generational war, and there are no winners.
First, let me say this. I don't think the answer is to use a catchphrase and dismiss the older generation. Saying 'OK, Boomer' is an act of desperation, and it works as a way to steer the conversation in some ways. Young adults are mad and fed up.
Using the phrase 'OK, Millennials' is also not going to help. I know quite a few young adults and they have generational anxiety about how much they are hated. There's a board game about them. They killed golf. If you are around 22 up to 35, you have already become accustomed to frequent jabs about how you are hard to work with, complain a lot about your college debt, can't find a job, and like avocado toast. The last thing you need is to have older generations twisting a phrase around and using it against you.
So when does it stop? I have one idea.
It will stop when we refrain from reducing generations to catchphrases. It will end when we start communicating normal words that everyone understands. It will end when all generations decide that there are hardships and pressure on all sides, for every person in every age group. Younger folks have debt, middle-age folks have debt, older generations have the pressure to save up enough for retirement and are dealing with dismissive attitudes. I can't decide if there is more pressure to find a job when you have debt or to end your job when you are not in the best health.
Both seem like worst-case scenarios to me. The answer comes when we admit we are all struggling to figure out how to work out basic life problems.
We won't ever resolve them.
We won't resolve the age conflict, either.
What we can resolve is the communication and the dialogue between age groups.
That's when everyone wins.
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.
Epstein
Prince Andrew: Woking's Pizza Express flooded with fake reviews following BBC interview | indy100
Mon, 18 Nov 2019 17:41
In one of the strangest moments of a year filled with strange moments, the Woking branch of Pizza Express has become an unlikely viral star thanks to Prince Andrew.
During the second part of his BBC Newsnight interview about his alleged association with the convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, the prince used the pizza restaurant as an alibi.
He said that he was actually at the restaurant on the day Virginia Giuffre claimed she was forced to have intercourse with the royal, who he says he has 'no recollection of ever meeting.'
Speaking to Newsnight host, Emily Maitlis, he said:
On that particular day, that we now understand is the date which is the 10th of March, I was at home. 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.
Going to Pizza Express in Woking is an unusual thing for me to do, a very unusual thing for me to do. I've never been'... I've only been to Woking a couple of times and I remember it weirdly distinctly.
This truly bizarre admission from Prince Andrew inspired a lot of reactions on Twitter but it was over on the various review apps where people were having the most fun.
Within minutes of Andrew mentioning Pizza Express in Woking, reviews started to flood in for that particular restaurant, all of which were obvious jokes aimed to mock his highness.
Examples included:
Pizza Express Woking is like no other pizza express! It's a memory which will never disappear once you visit the Woking branch. It's amazing the lasting effect a pizza can have on you!
Another added:
If you're in need of an alibi, this is the restaurant for you.
The good folks on Twitter soon picked up on this phenomenon too and here are some of the best reviews.
Amazingly the Pizza Express Twitter account also got in on the action, posting a joke tweet about clearly in reference to Prince Andrew specifically name dropping them.
HT Metro
More: Student poses as Trump supporter and casually drops Jeffrey Epstein suicide conspiracy theory on live TV
The prince's pizza party
Tue, 19 Nov 2019 09:09
Prince Andrew's televised interview has been widely seen as an unmitigated disaster, but the prince nevertheless considered it to have been a complete success:The Duke of York attempted to 'set the record straight' by speaking about the sex allegations against him during a sit-down with Maitlis at Buckingham Palace. He completely refuted any wrongdoing in the interview but he was widely condemned for showing a lack of remorse over his friendship with Epstein. Despite many calling his performance a 'PR disaster', the prince is thought to have spoken to the Queen at a church service on Sunday, describing the interview as a 'great success'.How to rectify the two positions? I suspect both perspectives are correct. While it was obviously a PR disaster, Prince Andrew doesn't give a damn about what the public thinks. It appears that what the prince was doing was akin to Kevin Spacey's weird, but successful warning that if he was abandoned to be held accountable for his crimes, he would spill everything about everyone else.I very much doubt it is a strange coincidence that Prince Andrew said he was at a children's pizza party rather than at a club he was known to frequent. My interpretation of this weirdly specific detail is that he was warning his fellow evildoers that if they don't get him out of his present predicament, he'll tell the legal authorities in the UK and in the USA everything about their crimes against children.Labels: conspiracy, UK
Prince Andrew mentor scheme loses Standard Chartered partnership | Prince Andrew | The Guardian
Tue, 19 Nov 2019 09:59
Show caption Prince Andrew and his mother attend a Pitch@Palace event at St James's Palace in London. Photograph: WPA Pool/Getty Images
Prince AndrewBank is latest firm to end support of initiative after royal's BBC Epstein interview
Tue 19 Nov 2019 07.50 EST
Standard Chartered has become the latest corporate partner to withdraw from Prince Andrew's business mentoring initiative as pressure continues to build on both sides of the Atlantic over his ties to the child sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
The move by the banking multinational comes after KPMG ended its £100,000-a-year sponsorship and the Pitch@Palace website removed a page listing its corporate sponsors.
''I can confirm that we will not be renewing our sponsorship of Pitch@Palace when it expires at the end of year,'' said a Standard Chartered spokesperson.
The insurance broker Aon said it had asked for its logo to be removed from the Pitch@Palace site, where it had been described as a ''global partner''.
In the US a woman who claims Epstein committed a ''vicious, prolonged sexual assault'' against her when she was 15, has called for Prince Andrew to come forward with information about the financier who was found dead in a jail cell in August while being held on child sex trafficking charges.
Amid other fallout from the prince's interview with the BBC at the weekend, the University of Huddersfield has said it will consult its student body over the prince's position as chancellor after a panel voted unanimously to lobby for the duke's resignation from the post.
The Huddersfield Students' Union panel approved a motion calling for Andrew's removal from his ceremonial post at the university that read: ''We as students at the University of Huddersfield and members of Huddersfield Students' Union should not be represented by a man with ties to organised child sexual exploitation and assault.
''We need to put survivors of sexual assault above royal connections and show students, alumni and prospective students that this institution cares about their wellbeing, irrespective of the status of the alleged perpetrator,'' it continued.
A spokesperson for the university told the Guardian on Tuesday: ''We are aware of the students' union meeting last night and the motion it passed regarding the chancellor. We listen to our students' views and concerns and we will now be consulting with them over the coming weeks.''
Tristan Smith, the third-year student at Huddersfield who tabled the motion in October, said a large jury of students selected at random had unanimously voted to lobby for Andrew's resignation.
''Not a single person from the uni approached me and disagreed with my concerns,'' Smith said. ''[Prince Andrew] should have the moral integrity to condemn what Epstein has done, and he hasn't. There is not enough accountability. These are values my academic institution should hold, so I would hope the university would listen to the students.''
The duke, 59, has faced a growing backlash since he defended his friendship with Epstein in a TV interview with the BBC presenter Emily Maitlis on Saturday night.
The former Labour MP Chuka Umunna, now a candidate for the Liberal Democrats, called Prince Andrew ''a complete disgrace'' on ITV's Good Morning Britain on Tuesday.
''I cannot believe the interview that happened,'' Umunna said. ''I do not understand why public figures, particularly politicians, have been pulling their punches on this.''
Umunna said he thought the duke had let down the institution of the monarchy and had shown a ''breathtaking'' lack of self-awareness.
The justice secretary, Robert Buckland, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Tuesday it was not appropriate for him to comment, while the shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, told Sky News: ''I think he [Prince Andrew] should cooperate with all the authorities and make sure justice is served.''
The former Downing Street director of communications Alastair Campbell appeared to defend the duke on the Today programme on Tuesday, and said he thought the royal's BBC interview had been ''a mistake''.
He said the duke's ''manner was really wrong'' and ''he didn't really have answers to some of the very, very difficult questions''.
''There is a danger of a, what has been a kind of low-running frenzy for some time, becoming a bit of a crisis for him,'' he said. ''Now, as it happens, I think the interview was a mistake, I don't think it was as bad as it is now being defined.''
On Monday, it emerged that the accountancy firm KPMG was not renewing its sponsorship of the duke's entrepreneurial scheme Pitch@Palace. Other companies supporting the scheme said they were reviewing their involvement.
The Outward Bound Trust, of which the duke is patron, said it would hold a board meeting in the next few days to discuss issues raised by the prince's interview.
The prince denied having had any sexual contact with his accuser, Virginia Giuffre (formerly Roberts), at the London nightclub Tramp in 2001, and said his alibi was a visit to a Woking branch of Pizza Express with his then 12-year-old daughter, Beatrice, as well as a medical condition that made it ''almost impossible'' for him to sweat.
The woman who came forward on Monday to claim Epstein had sexually assaulted her is one of about a dozen women suing the late financier's estate for alleged sexual abuses.
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Trump's Health
Progressives joke and speculate about Trump's health after an unscheduled hospital visit - TheBlaze
Sun, 17 Nov 2019 21:04
President Donald Trump made an unannounced visit Saturday afternoon to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.
The White House said the visit was for a "quick exam and labs" to kick-off the initial phase of his annual physical exam in anticipation of a "very busy 2020," according to CNN. Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham told Fox News' Jeanine Pirro on Saturday evening that the president is as "healthy as can be.""He has more energy than anybody in the White House. That man works from 6 a.m. until very, very late at night," Grisham added.
Progressives peddle conspiracy theoriesAssurances from the White House did little to quash rumors and speculation about the 73-year-old president's health and joke about possible ailments.
Vox journalist Aaron Rupar tweeted that "Trump's trip to the hospital was 'routine' in the same way his call with the Ukrainian president was 'perfect.'" Meanwhile, progressive website DailyKos published a post early Sunday morning titled "Trump and his 'chest discomfort' go to Walter Reed" with screenshots of unsubstantiated internet rumors about the president's health.
Former Hillary Clinton campaign staffer Charlotte Clymer joked the "chest pain" rumors were "absurd" since "Trump doesn't have a heart," she tweeted.
Feminist author Amy Siskind used the occasion to attack Trump and urge journalists to investigate his hospital visit, as it could push the GOP to abandon the president. "I hope our media is digging into the truth behind this. We all know that dictators are only able to maintain power from strength. The moment Republicans smell weakness, they will turn on Trump like hyenas," she said on Twitter.
Progressive political pundit Bill Palmer joked that Trump's visit to Walter Reed was the start of a bad day that could culminate with the president "going to prison."
Another former Clinton aide, Claude Taylor, speculated on Twitter that the president was being treated for a "panic attack."
Here's a working theory on yesterday's no notice visit to Walter Reed. They needed cardiac labs to rule out heart attack. Per pool report Trump left WH with shirt open with no police escourt for motorcade-like it was pulled together quickly. Theory: he had a panic attackBack to his usual self on TwitterWhatever may have prompted the president's visit to Walter Reed Hospital on Saturday, Trump was apparently back to his usual self by Sunday.
The commander in chief addressed his unannounced trip and spent much of the day tweeting. "Visited great family of a young man under major surgery at the amazing Walter Reed Medical Center, said the president. "Also began phase one of my yearly physical. Everything very good (great!). Will complete next year."
President Trump then spent much of the morning praising allies, like Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) and former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, as well as taking shots at foes, including the New York Times' Paul Krugman and former Republican Matthew Dowd.
EXCLUSIVE '' President Trump makes unscheduled stop at military hospital to undergo battery of tests for possible deliberate poisoning of food with ''time delayed'' chemical agent; food tester gravely ill '' White House connected source '' NaturalNew
Mon, 18 Nov 2019 17:41
(Natural News) (Exclusive Natural News report via Alex Jones at InfoWars.com) '' The President's unscheduled stop at the Walter Reed military hospital on Saturday involved a battery of tests to determine whether the President was exposed to a chemical agent that is suspected of being introduced into his food, says a White House connected source who shared detailed with Alex Jones of InfoWars.com.
''Medical staff at Walter Reed did not get a staff-wide notice about a presidential visit to the medical center in Bethesda, Maryland, ahead of Trump's arrival, according to that source,'' reports Fox59.com. ''Typically, Walter Reed's medical staff would get a general notice about a ''VIP'' visit to the medical center ahead of a presidential visit, notifying them of certain closures at the facility. That did not happen this time, indicating the visit was a non-routine visit and scheduled last minute.''
This action was initiated by the sudden onset of symptoms experienced by the President's food tester, who was reported stricken with such severe symptoms that urgent medical tests were conducted on that that person while the President was diverted to Walter Reed for a priority medical examination involving a battery of chemical tests.
''The President's motorcade drove to the medical center unannounced, with reporters under direction not to report his movement until they arrived Saturday at Walter Reed.,'' reports Fox59. ''A separate source familiar with the situation described Trump's visit as 'abnormal,' but added that Trump, 73, appeared to be in good health late Friday.''
Get more news like this without being censored: Get the Natural News app for your mobile devices. Enjoy uncensored news, lab test results, videos, podcasts and more. Bypass all the unfair censorship by Google, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. Get your daily news and videos directly from the source! Download here.
Fox59 confirms that Trump needed tests which were not available at the White House clinic facility, saying, ''Several experts familiar with White House medical procedures said that Trump can get routine labwork done at the White House's on-site clinic, indicating Trump needed tests that can't be done there.''
According to the White House connected source who spoke directly with Alex Jones, chemical testing confirmed the presence of a molecular byproduct of a potential toxin, although it is important to note that molecular byproducts can come from many different sources and it's not always possible to determine the molecular structure of the original molecule from which the byproduct was derived.
The President is reportedly fine and did not experience the same symptoms that are reported to have overcome the food tester.
We currently do not know the condition of the food tester. No additional details have been made public about which tests were conducted on the President and what chemical byproduct was found.
Alex Jones told Natural News that he believes this incident may have been a deep state attack using an exotic chemical poison with a delayed activation signature. He underscored, ''the importance of people understanding that we are in the climate of civil war, and this kind of attempted poisoning is par for the course, historically speaking, when they want to take out a leader'' and make it appear to be death by natural causes.
InfoWars had previously reported that Roger Stone survived an attempted poisoning, and that deep state operatives who had infiltrated the White House were poisoning the President's water in an effort to impair his cognitive function and energy.
In 2018, a U.S. Secret Service agent traveling with President Trump in Scotland died from a stroke, USA Today reported. ''A Secret Service agent traveling as part of President Donald Trump's security detail died Tuesday in Scotland after suffering a severe stroke'... The agent, a 19-year veteran of the agency, suffered the stroke on Sunday and was treated in Scotland.''
InfoWars' Millie Weaver reported today that this U.S. Secret Service agent who died from a stroke in Scotland was also a food tester for the President. He was reportedly in good health before his sudden death.
''This is how power behind the throne always tries to take people out very quietly so that they don't become martyrs,'' explained Alex Jones during his InfoWars broadcast. ''It is common knowledge there have been multiple attempts on the President's life.''
In a recent speech at The Federalist Society, Bill Barr warned that the lawless Left is resorting to a troubling array of tactics in their effort to try to destroy President Trump and overthrow the Republic. From 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 and his administration.
Now resistance is the language used to describe insurgency against rule imposed by an occupying military power. It obviously connotes that the government is not legitimate. This is a very dangerous and, indeed, incendiary notation to import into the politics of a democratic republic.
They essentially see themselves engaged in a war to cripple, by any means necessary, a duly elected government.
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
'-- The Hill (@thehill) November 16, 2019
To carry out chemical poisoning operations, deep state operatives have access to a vast array of chemical poisons with a wide variety of biochemical mechanisms. The fact that Democrats' attempted impeachment of President Trump is rapidly collapsing '-- combined with the extremely disappointing lineup of Democrat candidates for the 2020 election '-- may have motivated anti-Trump deep state operatives to escalate their war to the level of carrying out an attempted assassination, Jones explained to Natural News earlier today.
It is becoming increasingly apparent to all Americans that the Democrats and the deep state work in concert, and that they abide by no laws, ethics or morality. There is nothing they won't do, it seems, to destroy the President and seize power, even if it means carrying out a chemical assassination of the President. The entire impeachment fiasco, as a matter of fact, is the deep state's attempt to overturn the will of the American voters and install their own leader who will protect the deep state rather than exposing it.
''You don't want to assassinate Trump because it turns him into a martyr,'' Alex Jones explained about the deep state's methods. ''So you kill him slowly or drug him with chemicals to make him act loopy so that you can remove him via the 25th Amendment.''
This episode follows President Trump's recent activation of United States Marines reserve units as part of an urgent deployment that specifically named an ''emergency within the United States'' and ordered units to be ready to activate in response to ''threats in the Homeland'' that ''will come with little or no warning.'' The actual language from the order (emphasis added):
In accordance with (IAW) REF A, this MARADMIN provides guidance for the activation of Reserve Component (RC) Marines under §12304a, Title 10, U.S. Code, following a request for Federal assistance in response to a major disaster or emergency within the United States. Requests for Federal assistance will come with little warning. As required, the Marine Corps must rapidly mobilize RC units and personnel IAW this MARADMIN in order to respond to threats in the Homeland.
According to multiple independent media reports, the U.S. Marines remain loyal to the President even as other branches of the United States military appear to have been at least partially infiltrated by anti-Trump operatives willing to commit treason to overthrow our constitutional republic. Former President Barack Obama fired hundreds of pro-Constitution military leaders while installing hundreds of obedient globalist-leaning military ''bureaucrats'' into positions of influence within the Pentagon and various branches of the military.
Prominent left-wing influencers are now preparing America for the elimination of President Trump by calling for peace, ahead of their own left-wing plot to murder the President. Over just the last few days, left-leaning TV personality Bill Maher, who has for years spread malicious smears against conservatives, Christians and Trump supporters, suddenly claimed he was fearful of the possibility of a civil war, saying we all now need to ''learn to live with each other.'' Similarly, former President Barack Obama is now warning Leftists that they've gone too extreme, with their positions now being rejected by an increasing number of American voters.
These coordinated public statements are, of course, part of the radical Left's attempts to control the narrative before they initiate a kinetic civil war themselves, likely by unleashing Antifa brownshirts onto the streets after assassinating the President to remove him from power.
A very large spontaneous uprising of pro-Trump patriots is likely to occur if the President is killed or otherwise removed from power. Millions of Americans have nearly reached the breaking point in terms of frustration with the lawless deep state, and those Americans seem ready and willing to defend their republic from the enemies of America who are operating from within.
All Americans must prepare for more attempts to assassinate President Trump or forcibly remove him from power. The coordinated conspiracy to overthrow the United States of America and criminalize conservatives has now spread across Big Tech, the left-wing media, elements of the Pentagon and the judiciary. Civil war seems imminent, and there appear to be no boundaries or limits to the desperation of the deep state.
Donald Trump's Mysterious Hospital Visit
Tue, 19 Nov 2019 13:08
Pick one: Donald Trump was rushed to the hospital to visit a sick child because he is such a caring person... Or Donald Trump is the only president in history to break their physical examinations into two parts'... Or Donald Trump and the White House staff is lying.
Only one of those makes sense.
Trump is famous for eschewing presidential protocol, for instance, winning the popular vote; hiring competent people; and not soliciting America's sworn enemies to undermine American democracy. But previously, he had adhered to the tradition of announcing the presidential physical and placing it on his public schedule.
But on Saturday, something strange happened.
Even though a letter from a quack physician reportedly called him the ''healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency,'' on Saturday, a presidential motorcade took Trump to Walter Reed National Military Hospital for an unannounced ''screening,'' according to NBC . Unlike his two previous exams, this ''surprise'' exam wasn't on his public schedule and no one'--even the staff at the hospital'--seemed to know about it.
Furthermore, the medical visit came only nine months after Trump's last examination. Accompanied by the presidential physician and a weird yellow envelope attached to his curiously bulging coat, the colostomy bag of presidents insisted that he was visiting a sick child and undertaking an unprecedented two-part exam.
CNN reports:
His two previous physical exams in office were announced ahead of time by the White House and noted on his daily public schedule, but a source with knowledge of the matter told CNN Saturday that the President's unannounced trip to the medical center was not even on the President's internal schedule as of Saturday morning.
The President's motorcade drove to the medical center unannounced, with reporters under direction not to report his movement until they arrived Saturday at Walter Reed. Trump typically takes the Marine One helicopter to Walter Reed, but on Saturday's clear-skied day, the President opted for the motorcade.
Aside from intelligence briefings that usually include'--and this is not a joke'-- colors and stories , Trump's calendar was cleared all day Saturday, Sunday and Monday .
While speculating on medical issues is an ill-advised practice, The Root has spoken with several medical professionals who offered a number of diagnoses, including:
Mitch McConnellitis: An infection caused by the Senate Majority Leader's head being stuck up Trump's ass.Copping Tunnel Syndrome: A common condition caused by repeatedly grabbing women by the '... let's just call it ''copping a feel.''Lie-abetes: Most people don't know that excessive bullshitting can damage the bullshituitary gland, which secretes the hormone that causes pathological lying.Gonorrhea: I mean, he does like to have unprotected sex with porn stars.Russian Influence-za: An STD caused by fellating a Russian dictator. There are only two known cures. An experimental drug called ''Kremlinsulin'' and a more traditional medical procedure called ''impeaching the motherfucker.'' A wypipodectomy: A non-invasive procedure that removes the ''racist bone'' Trump insists that he doesn't have. While the impromptu medical visit reportedly took two hours, sources say that 45 minutes was spent in the hospital waiting room as the president read knock-knock jokes and staged a valiant but unsuccessful attempt at connecting the dots in the latest issue of Highlights magazine.
SJW
Zwarte Piet: Black Pete is 'Dutch racism in full display'
Mon, 18 Nov 2019 17:32
Amsterdam - The late-November arrival of Sinterklaas in the Netherlands heralds three weeks of holiday festivities.
And, for the eighth year running, it is also accompanied by protests against Zwarte Piet, or Black Pete, Sinterklaas' helper, who many see as a racist stereotype.
More:Blackface: The ugliness of racism in Arab mediaCanada's Trudeau admits to racist 'brownface' makeup
A holiday tradition of blackfaceWhile Sinterklaas, portrayed as an elderly white man, arrives by ship and rides a white horse through parades across the Netherlands, hundreds of adults and children dress up as his helper, Zwarte Piet, wearing blackface, painted large red lips and black curly wigs, and some with large golden earrings.
This year, Sinterklaas' arrival on November 17 was greeted by protests against Black Pete in 18 cities across the Netherlands. Around 40 people were arrested, primarily counterprotesters supporting Zwarte Piet, who attacked anti-racist demonstrators with eggs and bananas, and in some places, Hitler salutes.
In Eindhoven and Rotterdam, the counterprotests in support of Black Pete were particularly intense, with reports that extreme right-wing supporters had dressed up as Zwarte Piet, and handed out candy and right-wing political party stickers to children.
We were threatened by these people, very aggressively. They even did the Hitler sign, and in some places white power signs. It was a like a weekend of Dutch racism in full display Jerry Afriyie, anti-racism campaigner
Jerry Afriyie, along with Quinsy Gario, was one of the two founders of the Zwarte Piet is Racisme campaign in 2011.
He said: "There were bananas thrown at us. There were eggs thrown at us. We were called all types of racists slurs. We were threatened by these people, very aggressively. They even did the Hitler sign, and in some places white power signs. It was a like a weekend of Dutch racism in full display, and people saw it.
"A lot of people were shocked, but you know who was not shocked? Black people are not shocked. We have been saying it."
Afriyie arrived in the Netherlands from Ghana when he was 10.
"They would call me Zwarte Piet, or you are dirty just like Zwarte Piet. You are only good to be Zwarte Piet."
Until then, he thought the Sinterklaas festivities were just about fun and collecting sweets.
"I was a child and not politically aware, but I realized we played this dress up with this character who is dumb, who is silly, who doesn't know much, who needs someone to lead the way, who keeps messing up, who is looking very ugly, and then realising that I am the butt of the joke, I was 12 years old when I realised it.
"So, I was like hold on, this thing that I thought was fun seems to be that I am the star of this play without knowing it, and definitely not the role I want to have. On the bus, people would throw those candies they make for Sinterklaas season, they would throw it at you making monkey sounds."
He tried to engage both students and teachers in a dialogue, but as he puts it, the country just looked away.
Every year, adults and children dress up as Zwarte Piet [Micah Garen/Al Jazeera]Many people in the Netherlands support Black Pete, and a majority of the country seems resistant to changing the tradition.
In a controversial statement in 2014 that has gone viral, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said: "Black Pete is black and I can not change that because his name is Black Pete."
"It is not green Pete, or brown Pete, it is Black Pete '... I can only say that my friends in the Dutch Antilles they are very happy when they have Sinterklaas because they don't have to paint their faces, and when I am playing Black Pete I am for days trying to get the stuff off my face."
The exact origins of Black Pete are mired in myth and controversy. Dutch people have a slightly different origin story depending on when and where they grew up - in the big cities of the industrial west or in rural parts of the rest of the country.
Black Pete is Saint Nicholas' assistant. Some recent participants smudged colour rather than wearing full blackface [Eva Plevier/Reuters]The basic story of Sint-Nikolaas, or Sinterklaas, in the Netherlands is that he comes from Spain, arriving by steamship, with a black helper, who, when his sack of toys was empty, would fill his bag with children who had been bad and return to Spain.
Most would agree that it was a schoolteacher from Amsterdam, Jan Schenkman, who first introduced the character of Zwarte Piet in an illustrated book, Sint Nikolaas en zijn Knecht, in 1850.
It was a time when the Netherlands was still deeply engaged in the slave trade. The Netherlands didn't abolish slavery in its territories until 1863.
Historian Lise Koning has written about the link between Zwarte Piet and the blackface minstrel shows created in America in the 1800s that were known throughout Europe.
Protests against the tradition say the character is a racist portrayal of black people [Eva Plevier/Reuters]Others connect Zwarte Piet to traditional narratives from the Middle Ages in which Saint Nicholas was paired with a dark helper who represented a tamed devil or evil character.
Whatever the exact origins, it is clear that the character of Zwarte Piet is a tradition and history that many Dutch have yet to come to terms with.
Wil Eikelboom, a human rights lawyer in Amsterdam who represents many in the anti-Black Pete movement, says he grew up with a "Chimney Piet" myth, "who was black because he came through the chimney and was a harmless helper. It was embarrassingly late when I realised that if he came through the chimney you don't have thick red lips or black curly hair, this is probably a stereotype of a black man, and this had to be pointed out to me by protesters."
"To accept that a part of your childhood memory is in hindsight a racist thing is very difficult for a lot of people."
A typical refrain from those who don't want change is that the festival is "for the children", but Afriyie sees it differently.
He lives in a black community, Amsterdam Southeast, and was raised there.
"I was trying to do my part to put some pride into these young black girls and boys, be proud of who you are, because we have seen many examples of children coming home and jumping in the shower trying to wash their skin off because the children at school are teasing them that they are ugly, that they are dirty.
"One girl recently was asking why can other kids get clean but I can't? Why is my dirtiness permanent? And she was referring to her skin."
People are free to do Shabbat, Ramadan, pray three times a day but a Dutch person is not free to celebrate Black Pete? It's an outrage. Jonathan, hospitality entrepreneur
The Black Pete narrative has already changed in Amsterdam in recent years.
Now, it is common to see white people with dark smudges of makeup, in place of the previous Piets in blackface.
But not far outside of Amsterdam, it is not difficult to find people celebrating as Zwarte Piet wearing blackface.
Just 20 minutes north of Amsterdam lies the small idyllic tourist centre of Zaandam, with windmills and chocolate factories.
This year Zaandam hosted the main Sinterklaas arrival parade on November 17, televised live by the Dutch broadcaster, NTR.
Even though the broadcaster said in October there would be no Zwarte Piet characters in blackface, Zwarte Piets were there by the busload, 150 in total, escorted by dozens of police officers. No protesters were allowed near the event.
In a traditional Dutch bar, Jonathan, a hospitality entrepreneur sits watching a football match. He's reluctant to comment at first, but eventually says that he believes the Black Pete debate is ridiculous.
"If there is one country where people don't discriminate, it's the Netherlands. Why do all Dutch traditions have to be ruined? People are free to do Shabbat, Ramadan, pray three times a day but a Dutch person is not free to celebrate Black Pete? It's an outrage. In all honesty, I think it's a political game. It's a distraction from the things that really matter."
"Black Pete is not about Black Pete," says Lambrecht Wessels, a conflict analyst.
He sees the growing battle over Sinterklaas' helper as a proxy for much larger issues in the country, mainly rapidly changing demographics, economic insecurity and a lack of a proper migration policy, all of which have fuelled a recent rise of nationalist politics in the Netherlands.
"People's fears are expressed through Black Pete. When these other issues are addressed, then people will be more ready to change Black Pete to sooted Pete, or chimney Pete."
While some feel that those changes are still not enough, Afriyie is optimistic about the progress being made.
He spends much of his time talking to schools about race and Zwarte Piet.
"A lot of schools have changed Zwarte Piet. Utrecht has changed, this year Rotterdam says they will do like Amsterdam next year. When we started there was this big Goliath, now we see the big group is getting smaller and the small group is getting larger."
As the debate continues, one thing is clear: when Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet leave the Netherlands on December 6, the controversy of Black Pete will remain, awaiting their arrival next year.
WikiLeaks
Julian Assange: Sweden drops rape investigation - BBC News
Tue, 19 Nov 2019 09:39
Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media caption Who is Julian Assange?Prosecutors in Sweden have dropped an investigation into a rape allegation made against Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange in 2010.
Assange, who denies the accusation, has avoided extradition to Sweden for seven years after seeking refuge at the Ecuadorean embassy in London in 2012.
The 48-year-old Australian was evicted in April and sentenced to 50 weeks in jail for breaching his bail conditions.
He is currently being held at Belmarsh prison in London.
The Swedish investigation had been shelved in 2017 but was re-opened earlier this year following his eviction from the embassy.
Separately, the US is seeking Assange's extradition from the UK over his alleged role in the release of classified military and diplomatic material by Wikileaks in 2010.
What did the prosecutors say?Deputy Director of Public Prosecution Eva-Marie Persson took the decision to "discontinue the investigation regarding Julian Assange", the Swedish Prosecution Authority said.
"The reason for this decision is that the evidence has weakened considerably due to the long period of time that has elapsed since the events in question," it added.
Image copyright EPA Image caption Eva-Marie Persson said the decision had been taken after interviews with seven witnesses Ms Persson said: "I would like to emphasise that the injured party has submitted a credible and reliable version of events.
"Her statements have been coherent, extensive and detailed; however, my overall assessment is that the evidential situation has been weakened to such an extent that that there is no longer any reason to continue the investigation."
Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media caption Julian Assange being dragged from the Ecuadorean embassy in LondonSeparately, the prosecutors held a news briefing in the Swedish capital Stockholm, saying that the decision to drop the inquiry had been taken after interviews with seven witnesses in the case.
What was the Swedish investigation about?Assange was accused of rape by a woman and sexual assault by another one following a Wikileaks conference in Stockholm in 2010. He has always denied the allegations, saying the sex was consensual.
He also faced investigations for molestation and unlawful coercion, but these cases were dropped in 2015 because time had run out.
What has the reaction been?There was no immediate comment from Assange but Wikileaks welcomed the Swedish move to drop the investigation.
Wikileaks editor-in-chief Kristinn Hrafnsson said: "Let us now focus on the threat Mr Assange has been warning about for years: the belligerent prosecution of the United States and the threat it poses to the First Amendment."
What charges does Assange face in the US?Australian-born Assange faces a charge of conspiracy to commit computer intrusion in the US.
He is accused of participating in one of the largest ever leaks of government secrets, which could result in a prison term of up to five years.
In June, the then UK Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, formally approved an extradition request from the US.
5G / GPS
Intelsat stock drops as FCC will auction satellite spectrum for 5G
Thu, 21 Nov 2019 10:21
Ajit Pai
Brad Quick | CNBC
The Federal Communications Commission announced on Monday that it will publicly auction off a valuable telecommunications asset, in a move investors viewed as a blow to U.S. satellite communications provider Intelsat.
Shares of Intelsat dropped 40% in heavy trading volume after FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said in a tweet that his agency "must free up significant spectrum" for 5G telecommunications. The FCC told CNBC that it expects an auction to happen "before the end of 2020."
"I've concluded that the best way to advance these principles is through a public auction of 280 megahertz of the C-band," Pai said. "I'm confident they'll quickly conduct a public auction that will give everyone a fair chance to compete."
C-band spectrum is a key telecommunications wavelength the FCC regulates. Four satellite operators, including Intelsat, provide C-band services in the U.S. to about 120 million households. The FCC wants to repurpose the C-band spectrum for 5G and an auction is expected to raise tens of billions of dollars. But a public auction would see the proceeds go to the government, an option the satellite operators '' organized as the C-Band Alliance '' have opposed.
"The fundamental issue here is that there's the ideal and there's the practical. Everyone recognizes the best use of this spectrum is for 5G services '' but what is the most economical and timely way to do that?" Chris Quilty, president of satellite financial services firm Quilty Analytics, told CNBC. Quilty formerly led Raymond James' coverage of sattellite communications and the broader space industry for 20 years.
The C-Band Alliance has been pushing for a private auction. The group on Friday gave a proposal to the FCC where the satellite operators would keep some of the proceeds while paying taxes on the sale, as well as contributing at least $8 billion to the U.S. Treasury and possible helping fund a rural 5G network.
"The private auction would generate billions in proceeds for Intelsat and the other C-band operators," Quilty said. "The potential C-band proceeds gave Intelsat a path for deleveraging, which has otherwise escaped the company for the past 10 years."
Intelsat had a market value of about $1.8 billion before trading began on Monday. Even before the latest drop, Intelsat's stock had declined more than 10% on three consecutive trading days as the tide shifted against the C-Band Alliance. The FCC's announcement of a public auction means the satellite companies may not recoup the value of their C-Band investments, such as the expensive satellites.
"What we'll likely see happen, which is the worst case scenario, is that the satellite operators have every incentive to drag their heels and take this to the courts, because they're no longer being compensated for this spectrum," Quilty said. "People are assuming they're still going to get something but they're not going to get the $8 billion to $10 billion windfall they were expecting."
Ghost ships, crop circles, and soft gold: A GPS mystery in Shanghai - MIT Technology Review
Thu, 21 Nov 2019 06:37
On a sultry summer night in July 2019, the MV Manukai was arriving at the port of Shanghai, near the mouth of the Huangpu River. This busy tributary of the Yangtze winds through the city and includes the Bund, a historic waterfront area and tourist hot spot. Shanghai would be the American container ship's last stop in China before making its long homeward journey to Long Beach, California.
As the crew carefully maneuvered the 700-foot ship through the world's busiest port, its captain watched his navigation screens closely. By international law, all but the smallest commercial ships have to install automatic identification system (AIS) transponders. Every few seconds, these devices broadcast their identity, position, course, and speed and display AIS data from other ships in the area, helping to keep crowded waterways safe. The position data for those transponders comes from GPS satellites.
Soar.Earth
According to the Manukai's screens, another ship was steaming up the same channel at about seven knots (eight miles per hour). Suddenly, the other ship disappeared from the AIS display. A few minutes later, the screen showed the other ship back at the dock. Then it was in the channel and moving again, then back at the dock, then gone once more.
Eventually, mystified, the captain picked up his binoculars and scanned the dockside. The other ship had been stationary at the dock the entire time.
When it came time for the Manukai to head for its own berth, the bridge began echoing to multiple alarms. Both of the ship's GPS units'--it carried two for redundancy'--had lost their signals, and its AIS transponder had failed. Even a last-ditch emergency distress system that also relied on GPS could not get a fix.
Now, new research and previously unseen data show that the Manukai, and thousands of other vessels in Shanghai over the last year, are falling victim to a mysterious new weapon that is able to spoof GPS systems in a way never seen before.
Ron Eggleton / Marinetraffic.com
Nobody knows who is behind this spoofing, or what its ultimate purpose might be. These ships could be unwilling test subjects for a sophisticated electronic warfare system, or collateral damage in a conflict between environmental criminals and the Chinese state that has already claimed dozens of ships and lives. But one thing is for certain: there is an invisible electronic war over the future of navigation in Shanghai, and GPS is losing.
The mystery deepens
Although the Manukai eventually docked safely, its captain was concerned enough to file a report later that day with the US Coast Guard's Navigation Center, which collects reports of GPS outages worldwide.
''All [antenna] connections are secured and dry,'' he wrote. ''There have been no other issues with these units. [I] suspect GPS signal jamming is occurring at this berth.''
In fact, something far more dangerous was happening, and the Manukai's captain was unaware of it. Although the American ship's GPS signals initially seemed to have just been jammed, both it and its neighbor had also been spoofed'--their true position and speed replaced by false coordinates broadcast from the ground. This is serious, as 50% of all casualties at sea are linked to navigational mistakes that cause collisions or groundings.
When mariners simply lose a GPS signal, they can fall back on paper charts, radar, and visual navigation. But if a ship's GPS signal is spoofed, its captain'--and any nearby vessels tracking it via AIS'-- will be told that the ship is somewhere else entirely. Nor did the attacks stop once the Manukai was safely at its dock. Several times that day, its AIS system reported that it was over three miles distant.
Wikimedia Commons
Half a world away from Shanghai, a tip landed on the Washington, DC, desk of a researcher at the Center for Advanced Defense Studies (C4ADS), a nonprofit that analyzes global conflict and security issues. The new tip, from a shipping industry source, suggested that somebody was spoofing GPS signals in Shanghai.
This was the first time that C4ADS had heard of widespread maritime spoofing not obviously linked to the Russians. A few months earlier, the organization had published a report that detailed how Russia used GPS jamming in the Crimea, the Black Sea, Syria, Norway, and Finland. It also contained evidence that a Russian mobile electronic warfare team had been disrupting GPS signals during President Putin's public appearances.
After receiving the tip, C4ADS looked at the AIS data, which it purchased from a startup that records AIS broadcasts around the world. Analysts noticed that the attacks had actually started the previous summer, increasing as the months rolled on. The most intense interference was recorded on the very day in July that the Manukai's captain reported difficulties, when a total of nearly 300 vessels had their locations spoofed. While the disruption was affecting ships right across Shanghai, most of those spoofed were vessels navigating the Huangpu River.
And this was very different from the hacking seen in Russian waters, where vessels were all spoofed to a single point. The Shanghai data showed ships jumping every few minutes to different locations on rings on the eastern bank of the Huangpu. On a visualization of the data spanning days and weeks, the ships appeared to congregate in large circles.
The C4ADS researchers had never seen circular patterns like this before. Perhaps bugs or malware in the ships' AIS or GPS systems were causing the effect? To rule that out, they sought data from another form of transportation completely: cycling.
China has about as many bicycles as the rest of the world combined, with nearly 10 million in Shanghai alone. Some of the city's cyclists use smartphone fitness apps to track their rides. One in particular, Strava, shares a global heat map of anonymized activities from the previous two years. Zooming in to Shanghai, C4ADS analysts could see the same mysterious riverside circles glowing on Strava's heat map. The spoofing attacks were affecting all GPS devices, not just those on ships.
It was time to seek some outside help. C4ADS shared its findings with Todd Humphreys, director of the Radionavigation Laboratory at the University of Texas at Austin and a leading authority on GPS hacking. Humphreys examined the data, but the closer he looked, the more confused he became. ''To be able to spoof multiple ships simultaneously into a circle is extraordinary technology. It looks like magic,'' he said.
In September, Humphreys showed a visualization of the data at the world's largest conference of satellite navigation technology, ION GNSS+ in Florida. ''People were slack-jawed when I showed them this pattern of spoofing,'' he said. ''They started to call it crop circles.''
A dangerous escalation?
To understand why the experts are baffled, consider how GPS works. The US Air Force maintains a constellation of at least 24 Global Positioning System satellites orbiting the Earth; there are currently 31. Each satellite broadcasts several complicated codes generated from its position and the current time, as measured by a super-accurate atomic clock on board. Each clock is precisely synchronized with those on the other 30 satellites.
Wikimedia Commons
A GPS receiver detecting signals from one satellite can only calculate roughly how far it is from that satellite. Add signals from a second satellite and it can narrow down its location considerably. A third satellite allows it to locate itself at a given latitude and longitude, and a fourth establishes its elevation and the precise time. Signals from more satellites increase the accuracy.
While GPS satellites broadcast several different signals intended for both military and civilian use, AIS relies on just one of them. These signals are rather weak and can easily be drowned out'--jammed'--by even a modest transmitter at ground level. They can also be spoofed by signals that mimic real GPS satellites but encode false time and position data.
In spoofing, every receiver within range usually receives the same fake signals, and thus believes itself to be in the same location. While this is more serious than simply jamming the GPS signals, an alert captain would certainly notice if all the ships on the navigation screen suddenly jumped to the same place at the same time.
The Shanghai ''crop circles,'' which somehow spoof each vessel to a different false location, are something new. ''I'm still puzzled by this,'' says Humphreys. ''I can't get it to work out in the math. It's an interesting mystery.'' It's also a mystery that raises the possibility of potentially deadly accidents.
''Captains and pilots have become very dependent on GPS, because it has been historically very reliable,'' says Humphreys. ''If it claims to be working, they rely on it and don't double-check it all that much.''
On June 5 this year, the Run 5678, a river cargo ship, tried to overtake a smaller craft on the Huangpu, about five miles south of the Bund. The Run avoided the small ship but plowed right into the New Glory (Chinese name: Tong Yang Jingrui), a freighter heading north.
Sina.com
The New Glory then lost control and veered into the riverbank, scattering pedestrians out for an evening stroll. A small stretch of the bank collapsed, but luckily, no one was hurt.
While it's not certain if it happened on this particular occasion, AIS data indicate that the New Glory was spoofed in Shanghai at least five times in the six months leading up to the collision, including less than two weeks before. The data also show half a dozen attacks on other vessels in the city that same day.
Even Shanghai's river police, the Huangpu Maritime Safety Administration (MSA), has been subjected to spoofing attacks on an almost daily basis. The data show that one of its patrol boats was spoofed at least 394 times in nine months.
Soft gold
One possibility is that the crop circles are an escalation in a simmering electronic war in Shanghai that has put thousands of sailors, passengers, and even the river itself at risk. For years, the MSA has been tracking and seizing ships that, while not jamming or spoofing GPS signals, have been hacking the AIS transponders that help keep Shanghai's rivers and ports safe. These ships have been cloning the AIS identities of other ships in order to slip in and out of the harbor unmolested by authorities.
The reason they're doing this has to do with the cargo the New Glory was carrying when it ran aground: plain, everyday sand.
Chinese builders call it ''soft gold.'' Sand dredged from Yangtze River, which has the ideal consistency and composition for cement, helped fuel Shanghai's construction boom in the 1980s and 1990s. By the turn of the millennium, reckless sand extraction had undermined bridges, trashed ecosystems, and caused long stretches of the riverbank to collapse. In 2000, Chinese authorities banned sand mining on the Yangtze completely.
The trade continued illicitly, however, expanding to include the illegal dredging of sand and gravel from the Yangtze estuary and the open seas near Shanghai. By day, such ships look innocuous. By night, they lower pipes to the riverbed to suck up thousands of tons of sand in a single session. A full hold can be worth over $85,000. So far in 2019, police along the Yangtze River have seized 305 sand-mining vessels and over 100 million cubic feet of sand'--enough to fill over a thousand Olympic swimming pools.
The Shanghai MSA says illegal sand and gravel ships caused 23 wrecks along the Yangtze river in 2018, accounting for over half of all major accidents and killing 53 people.
Strava
Under the cover of darkness, AIS can be a useful tool for a sand thief. Ships that are not equipped or licensed for sea travel, for example, have been known to clone the AIS systems of seafaring boats to avoid detection.
Nor are sand thieves the only users of hacked AIS technology. In June this year, an oil tanker with a cloned AIS system rammed an MSA patrol boat in Shanghai while trying to evade capture. Police believe that it had been smuggling oil. ''Ships like this type are usually driven by illegal interests,'' said an MSA official. ''Once discovered, they will fight against law enforcement and attempt to escape, posing a great threat to the water navigation environment. We will not tolerate such ghost ships.''
The question now is, are these previous AIS hacks connected to Shanghai's new GPS circles in some way? An effective spoofing system could be worth millions to sand thieves. By spoofing their own ships, they could glide invisibly into port. Or by spoofing others and creating chaos, smugglers would give themselves a better chance of slipping through unnoticed. It could be that the ability to generate spoofed circles is an escalation in technological know-how by the sand thieves.
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Of course, it could be just a coincidence that the spoofed circles are occurring at a hot spot for AIS cloning. Another possibility is that the Chinese state itself is testing out a new electronic weapon, perhaps for eventual use in disputed regions of the South China Sea.
While the data do not identify the culprits, they do contain some clues. The center of the spoofing circles on the Huangpu is a factory owned by Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical Company, a large chemical manufacturer. But it is not clear whether the activity is associated with the facility or it's just the location where the ships are being spoofed to.
''I don't think it's some rogue actor,'' says Humphreys. ''It may be connected with some experimental capability that [the Chinese authorities] are trying to test. But I'm genuinely puzzled how this is being done.''
Correction: The date in the first line has been corrected.
MIC
Trump Clears Three Service Members in War Crimes Cases - The New York Times
Thu, 21 Nov 2019 09:09
The moves signaled that as commander in chief, Mr. Trump intends to use his power as the ultimate arbiter of military justice.
Maj. Mathew Golsteyn had been scheduled to go on trial for premeditated murder charges before President Trump pardoned him on Friday. Credit... Andrew Craft/The Fayetteville Observer, via Associated Press President Trump cleared three members of the armed services on Friday who have been accused or convicted of war crimes, overruling military leaders who had sought to punish them. All three have been championed by conservative lawmakers and commentators, who have portrayed them as war heroes unfairly prosecuted for actions taken in the heat and confusion of battle.
In a statement released by the White House late Friday, Mr. Trump announced that he was ordering the full pardon of Clint Lorance, a former Army lieutenant, from the military prison at Fort Leavenworth, where he is serving a 19-year sentence for the murder of two civilians.
He ordered the full pardon of Maj. Mathew L. Golsteyn, an Army Special Forces officer who was facing murder charges for killing an unarmed Afghan he believed was a Taliban bomb maker.
And he reversed the demotion of Chief Petty Officer Edward Gallagher, a Navy SEAL who was acquitted of murder charges but convicted of a lesser offense in a high-profile war crimes case over the summer.
''The President, as Commander-in-Chief, is ultimately responsible for ensuring that the law is enforced and when appropriate, that mercy is granted,'' the White House statement said. ''As the President has stated, 'when our soldiers have to fight for our country, I want to give them the confidence to fight.'''
The moves signaled that as commander in chief, Mr. Trump intends to use his power as the ultimate arbiter of military justice in ways unlike any other president in modern times.
Top military leaders have pushed back hard against clearing the three men. Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy have argued that such a move would undermine the military code of justice, and would serve as a bad example to other troops in the field, administration officials said.
Mr. Trump's actions were first reported by The Washington Post. They were previewed last week on the Fox News show ''Fox & Friends'' by one of the hosts, Pete Hegseth, who said he had spoken to the president and described him as having ''fidelity to the war fighter.''
''The president looks at it through that lens, a simple one, and important one,'' Mr. Hegseth said, adding, ''The benefit of the doubt should go to the guys pulling the trigger.''
A Navy official said SEAL leaders first learned of the plans from the Fox News broadcast, and since then have lobbied against clearing Chief Gallagher.
The three men have been portrayed in conservative media outlets and social media posts as dedicated warriors battling enemies who wear no uniforms and follow no laws of war, only to be unfairly second-guessed by military lawyers and commanders far from the scene of battle.
Mr. Trump echoed their frustration on Twitter in October, saying about Major Golsteyn, ''We train our boys to be killing machines, then prosecute them when they kill!''
Experts were unable to name any other recent case of a member of the American armed forces receiving a presidential pardon for a violent crime committed in uniform, except for one granted by Mr. Trump in May. And it was strikingly unusual, they said, to clear a soldier of murder charges before the case is tried.
''I'm not sure it's ever been done,'' said Gary Solis, a retired military judge who served as an armor officer in Vietnam.
Referring to the only soldier convicted in the gruesome My Lai Massacre of civilians during the Vietnam War, Mr. Solis said: ''People think Nixon pardoned Lieutenant Calley, but he didn't. Calley was paroled.''
Presidents all the way back to George Washington have granted pardons to tens of thousands of American troops, but nearly all were young men who deserted or who evaded a draft, and received clemency after the fighting ended.
While the new pardons are a stark departure from tradition, they are in line with Mr. Trump's many statements during his campaign and in office, arguing that to beat unconventional enemies like the Taliban and ISIS, the American military should loosen the reins on how troops behave in conflict zones.
''You have to play the game the way they are playing the game,'' he told NBC News in 2016.
The specific circumstances of the three men's cases defy easy characterization. In one, a decorated captain admitted to a killing in a job interview. In the other two, platoon leaders' illegal actions were reported not by superior officers or Pentagon lawyers, but by their own platoons.
Troops who testified in those two cases, against Lieutenant Lorance and Chief Gallagher, voiced disappointment and disbelief over Mr. Trump's plans for clemency before they were announced.
''The tragedy of pardoning Lorance isn't that he will be released from prison '-- I've found room for compassion there,'' said Patrick Swanson, a former Army captain who was Lieutenant Lorance's company commander in Afghanistan. ''The tragedy is that people will hail him as a hero, and he is not a hero. He ordered those murders. He lied about them.''
Mr. Lorance was a rookie Army lieutenant who had been in command of a platoon in Afghanistan for two days in July 2012 when he ordered his troops to fire on unarmed villagers who posed no threat, killing two men. He then called in false reports over the radio to cover up what had happened. He was immediately turned in by his own men.
Mr. Lorance, whose story is the subject of a new documentary series, was convicted of second-degree murder by a court-martial in 2013, and he has been in prison since then, serving his sentence at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas.
Major Golsteyn was charged in 2018 with premeditated murder over a killing that took place in 2010, when he was a captain in the Army Special Forces leading a team during Operation Moshtarak, one of the biggest combat operations of the war in Afghanistan. He admitted in a job interview with the C.I.A. the following year that, during the battle, he had killed a suspected bomb maker who had been captured and released, saying he had done so to protect civilians and his own men.
An initial Army investigation resulted in a reprimand but no charges. However, after Major Golsteyn publicly admitted the killing during a 2016 interview on Fox News, the Army reopened the case and charged him with premeditated murder.
Chief Gallagher was charged by the Navy in 2018 with shooting civilians in Iraq, killing a captive enemy fighter with a hunting knife, and threatening to kill fellow SEALs if they reported him, among other crimes. The charges stemmed from a 2017 deployment in Iraq when he was a chief petty officer leading a SEAL platoon.
After a tumultuous trial, he was acquitted by a military jury in July of all charges except one minor count: bringing discredit on the armed forces, by posing for a photo with the corpse of the captive he was accused of killing.
Though Chief Gallagher could have been demoted to the lowest rank in the service as a result, the top admiral in the Navy decided in October to demote him by just one step, to petty officer first class.
Mr. Trump had already intervened in the Gallagher case, ordering him moved to less restrictive confinement to await trial, and has posted supportive messages on Twitter. The Gallagher family has repeatedly urged the president in social media posts to step in again.
''Given his service to our Nation, a promotion back to the rank and pay grade of Chief Petty Officer is justified,'' the White House statement said.
The Navy had been planning additional punishment for Chief Gallagher. Timothy Parlatore, one of Chief Gallagher's lawyers, said the chief was told to appear before SEAL commanders on Nov. 1 at Naval Base Coronado near San Diego so they could remove his Trident pin, signifying that they were officially kicking him out of the SEAL teams. Navy leaders also planned to take away the Tridents of three officers who knew of the platoon's allegations against Chief Gallagher but did not report them.
But Chief Gallagher waited all day at the base while commanders sought approval for the action from top Navy officials and the White House, which never came, according to a Navy official briefed on the meeting. Plans to punish all four of the SEALs are now on hold, the official said.
Mr. Parlatore welcomed the president's intervention.
''It shows leadership,'' he said, because SEAL commanders had become ''so blinded by their unhealthy fixation on Eddie Gallagher, and it was time for an adult in the room to stand up and say, 'Enough.'''
The White House initially made preparations to issue more pardons on Memorial Day but held off after encountering fierce resistance from military leaders and prominent veterans. Among them was a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey, who wrote on Twitter: ''Absent evidence of innocence or injustice the wholesale pardon of US servicemembers accused of war crimes signals our troops and allies that we don't take the Law of Armed Conflict seriously. Bad message. Bad precedent. Abdication of moral responsibility. Risk to us.''
The men cleared by the president offered thanks Friday. On his Instagram account, Chief Gallagher, who a year ago had been facing the prospect of life in prison, thanked his family and thousands of supporters, and praised the president.
''I truly believe that we are blessed as a Nation to have a Commander-in-Chief that stands up for our warfighters, and cares about how they and their families are treated,'' he wrote. ''Our military is the best in the world, and with steadfast and supportive leadership; like we have in this president, our fighting force will only get stronger.''
Helene Cooper contributed reporting.
Green New Deal
Report: Media Organizations Colluded to Boost Coverage of Greta Thunberg, UN Climate Conference - Accuracy in Media
Tue, 19 Nov 2019 18:49
It was a reporting project so steeped in advocacy that even the Washington Post and New York Times backed away.
But others, including Huffington Post, BuzzFeed News, CBS and Bloomberg did contribute, usually without informing readers of the advocacy nature of the project. And now, journalism outlets elsewhere are beginning to question how media that professes to cover climate change in a balanced and factual way could have participated in a grassroots effort to boost Greta Thunberg and the United Nations' recent climate conference.
That's the news from ''Exclusive: Inside the Media Conspiracy To Hype Greta Thunberg And the UN Climate Conference'' by Chris White, tech reporter for the Daily Caller.
More than 200 media outlets and journalists ''partnered together with activists to coordinate and hype climate change news before the 2019 UN climate summit,'' White wrote. BuzzFeed and HuffPo never did disclose to readers their connections to the advocacy group, and others did so only on an irregular basis, White wrote .
''But others, such as the Washington Post and the New York Times, declined to participate in a project they reportedly feared appeared activist in nature.''
White wrote that, in addition to BuzzFeed and HuffPost, the Daily Beast, the Center for Public Integrity, a leftist-funded investigative reporting outfit that works with newspapers, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, Slate, Vanity Fair and The Weather Channel, among others, took part in the project but did not disclose they were coordinating with an activist group that had an easily discernible leftist slant on environmental news.
The project, called Covering Climate Now, asked partners to ''devote a week to climate-related news, starting in September.''
Columbia Journalism Review organized the coordination effort in conjunction with Mark Hertsgaard, environmental correspondent for The Nation , a venerable liberal publication who believes ''news outlets don't cover climate change as urgently as he thinks they should,'' White wrote.
A post on the Columbia Journalism Review site from May 22 said ''We believe that every news organization in America, and many around the world, can play a part. Sometimes that will mean committing your newsroom to important and high-impact stories. Other times it will mean sharing your content, engaging your community, or adding a few lines of climate information to stories that wouldn't otherwise have them.''
Much of the coverage focused on Thunberg , the 16-year-old Swedish climate activist who traveled to the United States on a racing yacht and spoke at the climate conference.
Neither the coordinated media blitz, nor Thunberg's appearance swayed the UN diplomats. No promises were made, and a wish list submitted by environmentalists to the European Union '' which included adopting a goal to be carbon-free by 2050 '' was largely ignored ''out of fear that such ambitions would tank its member states' struggling economies,'' White wrote .
In a story posted to the Columbia Journalism Review site explaining the project, Hertsgaard and Kyle Pope, editor of the Columbia Journalism Review, wrote that, in the 30 years since Bill McKibben warned us of the threat of man-made climate change, ''the response from most quarters of the media, especially in the US, has been either silence or, worse, getting the story wrong. '... Spun by the fossil-fuel industry and vexed by their own business problems, media outlets often leaned on a false balance between the views of genuine scientists and those of paid corporate mouthpieces. The media's minimization of the looming disaster is one of our great journalistic failures.''
Its list of ''partners'' includes Agence France-Presse, Bloomberg and Getty Images among wire services, the Christian Scientist, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, National Catholic Reporter, New Jersey Star-Ledger, The Oklahoman, San Francisco Chronicle and Seattle Times among its newspapers, and Rolling Stone, Scientific American, Talking Points Memo, Vox and Vanity Fair among its websites.
Brian McNicollBrian McNicoll is Editor of Accuracy in Media. He is a former newspaper editor, think tank writer and Capitol Hill staffer, is a conservative writer and editor in Reston, Va.
Child Abuse
Seclusion and isolation rooms misused in Illinois schools - Chicago Tribune
Tue, 19 Nov 2019 19:01
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The spaces have gentle names: The reflection room. The cool-down room. The calming room. The quiet room.
But shut inside them, in public schools across the state, children as young as 5 wail for their parents, scream in anger and beg to be let out.
The students, most of them with disabilities, scratch the windows or tear at the padded walls. They throw their bodies against locked doors. They wet their pants. Some children spend hours inside these rooms, missing class time. Through it all, adults stay outside the door, writing down what happens.
In Illinois, it's legal for school employees to seclude students in a separate space '-- to put them in ''isolated timeout'' '-- if the students pose a safety threat to themselves or others. Yet every school day, workers isolate children for reasons that violate the law, an investigation by the Chicago Tribune and ProPublica Illinois has found.
Children were sent to isolation after refusing to do classwork, for swearing, for spilling milk, for throwing Legos. School employees use isolated timeout for convenience, out of frustration or as punishment, sometimes referring to it as ''serving time.''
From kindergarten through third grade at Middlefork School in Danville, Isaiah Knipe was regularly placed in the school's timeout room, where he often banged his head on walls made of plywood and concrete. (Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune) Eli, 7, shown with his mother, spent more than 27 hours of first grade in the ''reflection rooms" at The Center in East Moline. (Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune)Image p2p slug: ct-seclusion-eli-1
Dalton Patz, 11, was repeatedly secluded at The Center, which is part of the Black Hawk Area Special Education District. Isolated timeouts did not improve his behavior, according to his mother, Amber. (Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune)Image p2p slug: ct-seclusion-dalton-patz-1
For this investigation, ProPublica Illinois and the Tribune obtained and analyzed thousands of detailed records that state law requires schools to create whenever they use seclusion. The resulting database documents more than 20,000 incidents from the 2017-18 school year and through early December 2018.
Of those, about 12,000 included enough detail to determine what prompted the timeout. In more than a third of these incidents, school workers documented no safety reason for the seclusion.
State education officials are unaware of these repeated violations because they do not monitor schools' use of the practice. Parents, meanwhile, often are told little about what happens to their children.
The Tribune/ProPublica Illinois investigation, which also included more than 120 interviews with parents, children and school officials, provides the first in-depth examination of this practice in Illinois.
Because school employees observing the students often keep a moment-by-moment log, the records examined by reporters offer a rare view of what happens to children inside these rooms '-- often in their own words.
11:58 a.m., Jan. 11, 2018
Fresh Start Treatment and Learning Center, Effingham
''Please someone respond to me. '... I'm sorry I ripped the paper. I overreacted. Please just let me out. Is anyone out there?''Without doubt, many of the children being secluded are challenging. Records show school employees struggling to deal with disruptive, even violent behavior, such as hitting, kicking and biting. Workers say that they have to use seclusion to keep everyone in the classroom safe and that the practice can help children learn how to calm themselves.
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Sign upBut disability advocates, special-education experts and administrators in school systems that have banned seclusion argue that the practice has no therapeutic or educational value, that it can traumatize children '-- and that there are better alternatives.
No federal law regulates the use of seclusion, and Congress has debated off and on for years whether that should change. Last fall, a bill was introduced that would prohibit seclusion in public schools that receive federal funding. A U.S. House committee held a hearing on the issue in January, but there's been no movement since.
Nineteen states prohibit secluding children in locked rooms; four of them ban any type of seclusion. But Illinois continues to rely on the practice. The last time the U.S. Department of Education calculated state-level seclusion totals, in 2013-14, Illinois ranked No. 1.
2:09 p.m., Dec. 11, 2017
Elementary school, Mattoon
''Please, please, please open the door. Please, I'll be good. Open the door and I'll be quiet.''Although state law requires schools to file a detailed report each time they use seclusion, no one is required to read these accounts.
Several school district officials said they had not reviewed seclusion reports from their schools until reporters requested them. The Illinois State Board of Education does not collect any data on schools' use of isolated timeout and has not updated guidelines since issuing them 20 years ago.
''Having a law that allows schools to do something that is so traumatic and dangerous to students without having some sort of meaningful oversight and monitoring is really, really troubling,'' said Zena Naiditch, founder and leader of Equip for Equality, a disabilities watchdog group that helped write Illinois' rules in 1999.
Informed of the investigation's findings, the Illinois State Board of Education said it would issue guidance clarifying that seclusion should be used only in emergencies. Officials acknowledged they don't monitor the use of isolated timeout and said they would need legislative action to do so.
Dec. 17, 2018
Central School, Springfield
''I'd rather die. You're torturing me.''This investigation, based on records from more than 100 districts, found seclusion was used in schools across every part of the state and by a range of employees, from teachers and aides to social workers and security personnel.
Some districts declined to provide records or gave incomplete information. Others wouldn't answer even basic questions, saying the law did not require them to. Of more than 20 districts reporters asked to visit, only three said yes.
''Is this something that we're ashamed of? It's not our finest,'' said Christan Schrader, director of the Black Hawk Area Special Education District in East Moline, which documented about 850 seclusions in the time period examined.
Schrader said she thinks her staff generally uses seclusion appropriately but acknowledged room for improvement. She met with reporters at the district's administration building but wouldn't let them see the seclusion rooms in the school across the parking lot.
''Nobody wants to talk about those things because it doesn't reflect well,'' she said.
'I'm crying alone'About 20 minutes after he was put in one of his school's Quiet Rooms '-- a 5-foot-square space made of plywood and cinder block '-- 9-year-old Jace Gill wet his pants.
An aide, watching from the doorway, wrote that down in a log, noting it was 10:53 a.m. on Feb. 1, 2018.
School aides had already taken away Jace's shoes and both of his shirts. Jace then stripped off his wet pants, wiped them in the urine on the floor and sat down in the corner.
''I'm naked!'' Jace yelled at 10:56 a.m.
Staff did not respond, the log shows, except to close the door ''for privacy.''
By 11 a.m., Jace had also defecated and was smearing feces on the wall. No adults intervened, according to the log. They watched and took notes.
''Dancing in feces. Doing the twist,'' staff wrote at 11:14 a.m., noting that the boy then started pacing back and forth.
''I need more clothes,'' he called out.
''We know,'' an aide answered.
Jace banged on the walls and tried to pry open the door. He sat against the wall, crying for his mom.
11:42 a.m.: ''Let me out of here. I'm crying alone.''
Photos of Jace Gill are displayed in his family's living room. "He had issues, but they weren't his fault," said his mother, Kylee Beaven. ''He couldn't control it." (Jodi S. Cohen/ProPublica Illinois)Image p2p slug: ct-jace-gill-2
The incident began that morning when Jace ripped up a math worksheet and went into the hallway, trying to leave school.
Jace was diagnosed with autism when he was 3 and began having epileptic seizures at 5. In first grade, officials at his local school referred him to the Kansas Treatment and Learning Center, a public school in east-central Illinois for children with emotional and behavioral disabilities.
Jace's mother, Kylee Beaven, had heard about the Quiet Rooms at Kansas and had strong reservations about the concept, even before she took a school tour and stepped inside one. She recalls being told he would never be shut inside alone.
''I remember standing there and thinking, like, if I was a kid, how would I feel if I was in this room by myself?'' she said.
In the years Jace spent at the Kansas TLC, he was placed in the Quiet Rooms again and again '-- at least 28 times in the 2017-18 school year.
Once, he was shut in after he pushed a book off his desk, said ''I hate reading,'' raised his fist and tried to leave the classroom. Another day, he refused to get out of his grandmother's car at school drop-off, so a staff member took him straight to a Quiet Room.
After he went into a Quiet Room on Feb. 1, a staff member took notes every one or two minutes. The handwritten incident report stretches nine pages on lined paper.
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The log of Jace Gill's isolated timeout on Feb. 1, 2018, documented hours spent in his school's Quiet Rooms, with entries every one or two minutes. (Eastern Illinois Area Special Education)Jace spent more than 80 minutes in the room before someone stepped inside to hand him a change of clothes, wipes to clean his feet and some lunch. A mental-health crisis worker arrived to talk to him, but he wouldn't answer her questions.
He was not released until his grandmother '-- his ''Gammy'' '-- came to pick him up at 2:07 p.m.
Jace's mother remembers this incident, in part because she was surprised to learn that he had defecated in the room. Hadn't she been told he wouldn't be alone? When reporters showed her the lengthy report, she read and reread it for at least 20 minutes, tears falling onto the pages.
''I didn't know it was like this. I didn't know they wrote this all down,'' Beaven said. ''None of it should have happened.''
In the nearly 50,000 pages of reports reporters reviewed about Illinois students in seclusion, school workers often keep watch over children who are clearly in distress. They dutifully document kids urinating and spitting in fear or anger and then being ordered to wipe the walls clean and mop the floors.
Kansas Treatment and Learning Center is operated by Eastern Illinois Area Special Education, a regional special-education district that documented nearly 1,100 isolated timeouts in 15 months. (Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune)Image p2p slug: ct-kansas-tlc-building
Kansas TLC is operated by the Eastern Illinois Area Special Education district, which serves students from eight counties and is based in Charleston. Illinois has about 70 regional special-education districts that teach students who can't be accommodated in their home districts.
Eastern Illinois officials ultimately released roughly 10,000 pages of records chronicling nearly 1,100 isolated timeouts. Analysis of those records shows more than half of seclusions there were prompted by something other than a safety issue.
When students at any of the three schools have been disrespectful or disruptive, they are required to take a ''head down'' '-- to lower their heads and remain silent for a set number of minutes. If they refuse, they often are sent to a Quiet Room '-- sometimes for hours '-- until they comply.
Zayvion Johnson, 15, remembers how it felt. He used to go to the Kansas school, too, and spent time in the same rooms as Jace.
''They told us it was there to help us, but it just made everybody mad,'' said Zayvion, now a sophomore at Charleston High School who plays running back and middle linebacker on the football team. ''The Quiet Room, it irritates people. ... You're isolated from everybody else. You can't talk to anybody else.''
Zayvion Johnson, now a sophomore at Charleston High School, spent time in the Quiet Rooms at Kansas Treatment and Learning Center in middle school. (Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune)The Eastern Illinois district's executive director, Tony Reeley, said he had not grasped how often seclusion was being used in his schools until he read some of the documents requested by reporters.
''Looking at a stack of 8,000 pages at one time really did kind of hit home,'' Reeley said when he met with reporters in the spring. He has not responded to recent requests for comment, including about specific incidents.
Numbers don't add up
Schools report seclusions to the federal government, but the data is significantly flawed.
Read moreReeley and assistant director Jeremy Doughty said they were surprised and concerned about how frequently staff used seclusion rooms after students were disobedient but not physically aggressive.
''When we read it, it reads punitive,'' Doughty said.
''We have to do something to address this,'' said Reeley.
In October 2018, Jace died at home in rural Paris of a seizure in his sleep. He had not returned to Kansas TLC that fall; his family had decided to home-school him, in part to keep him out of the Quiet Rooms.
In the family's living room, Jace's mom shared photos of him at a Wiggles concert, in a Spider-Man costume, sitting on Santa's lap. A favorite image features the family wearing ''Team Jace'' T-shirts at an autism walk; Jace's shirt reads ''I'm Jace.''
''He loved his dad and loved me and he loved his Gammy,'' his mother said. ''He had issues, but they weren't his fault. He couldn't control it.''
A boy in a plywood boxThe plywood box in the middle of Ted Meckley's special-education classroom was 3 feet wide, 3 feet deep and 7 feet tall. The schools around Pontiac had been using boxes to seclude students for years, and Ted, a nonverbal 16-year-old with developmental disabilities, was routinely shut inside.
Your records, your story
Schools are required to document the details of each isolated timeout incident. To obtain records of your child's seclusions at school, ask the school records clerk, in writing, for all records related to ''isolated timeout'' incidents involving your student. You can also request behavioral reports and logs, disciplinary records and any video recordings.Click below to tell reporters about seclusion practices at your child's school.
Send emailIn 1989, Ted's mother, Judith, started speaking out. Newspapers published stories, people got upset, and the boxes were removed.
Judith Meckley joined a state task force to examine the use of seclusion. After a brief ban on the practice, the state Board of Education issued guidance and then, a few years later, rules that carried the weight of state law.
The Illinois rules accepted the need for seclusion, a practice already used in psychiatric hospitals and other institutional settings.
After Congress enacted a 1975 law guaranteeing a free public education to children with disabilities, the colleges and universities that trained teachers sought guidance from behavioral psychologists on how to manage these potentially challenging students.
At the time, some researchers favored using cattle prods and electric shock to discourage unwanted behavior. Another method was to move the misbehaving patient into an environment with fewer stimuli '-- someplace calmer.
''It gave a psychological justification for seclusion,'' said Scot Danforth, a professor at Chapman University in California who studies the education of children with disabilities and believes seclusion is ineffective.
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A 1989 story in The Pantagraph, based in Bloomington, included a drawing of a wooden timeout box used in the Pontiac public schools. (Pantagraph, pantagraph.com)Illinois' rules, now 20 years old, require that school employees constantly monitor the child and that they be able to see inside the room. Locks on the doors must be active, meaning they have to be continuously held in place. That's so a child can't be trapped during a fire or other emergency.
But the rules also cemented the use of seclusion in Illinois' public schools.
''Essentially the regulations legitimized practices that place students at risk of serious harm and trauma,'' said Naiditch, of Equip for Equality.
The Illinois law also lists reasons children can be physically restrained, a practice sometimes used in conjunction with seclusion. But the law is less precise about seclusion than about restraint, leaving room for misinterpretation by school officials.
''It makes it even more dangerous because schools are widely using it as punishment,'' Naiditch said after reading some of the incident reports obtained by ProPublica Illinois and the Tribune.
School administrators who use seclusion say they need it to deal with students whose behavior is challenging, disruptive and, at times, dangerous.
''If (students are) committed to hurting someone, that room is a way to keep them safe,'' said Alicia Corrigan, director of student services for Community Consolidated School District 15, which operates a therapeutic day program in Rolling Meadows for 40 students with disabilities.
Students there were secluded about 330 times in the time period reporters examined.
But ''that's the smallest part of our day,'' Corrigan said. ''That is not what we do all day.''
The Belleville Area Special Services Cooperative, near St. Louis, has two timeout rooms. Scratch marks are visible in the blue padding inside and on the windows in the heavy, locking doors.
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The Belleville Area Special Services Cooperative, near St. Louis, allowed a photographer to visit two timeout rooms at Pathways school. The padded rooms have fluorescent lights and observation windows, which students have scratched. (Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune)
''Does it actually teach them anything or develop a skill? Absolutely not,'' said Jeff Daugherty, who heads the cooperative. He allowed journalists to tour the Pathways school and see timeout rooms. ''It's never pleasant. I do believe it's a necessary tool for our line of work with our students.''
The U.S. Department of Education warned in 2012 that secluding students can be dangerous and said that there is no evidence it's effective in reducing problematic behaviors.
A few school districts in Illinois prohibit seclusion, including Chicago Public Schools, which banned it 11 years ago. But these districts often send students with disabilities to schools that do use it, such as those operated by most of Illinois' special-education districts.
Danforth said seclusion goes unexamined because it largely affects students with disabilities.
To put children in timeout rooms, ''you really have to believe that you're dealing with people who are deeply defective. And that's what the staff members tell each other. '... You can do it because of who you're doing it to.''
Ted Meckley, whose experiences in Pontiac's timeout box as a teenager helped change the practice of seclusion, is now 45 and living in a group home. When a reporter told his mother that seclusion still is widely used, she gasped.
''No!'' Meckley said. ''My goodness. That is the most discouraging thing. I spent six years of my life fighting on this very issue. It's so discouraging to think that, 25 years later, here we are. No progress.''
In fact, reporters identified several schools that have added more seclusion rooms in the past year or so. North Shore School District 112 converted two coat closets to isolation rooms. The McLean district in Normal opened two rooms in an elementary school.
And at Dirksen Elementary School in Schaumburg, two new 6-by-6 rooms are in use. They're called ''resolution rooms.''
The revolving doorBy 8:35 a.m. on Dec. 19, 2017, all five of the timeout ''booths'' at Bridges Learning Center near Centralia were already full. School had been in session for five minutes.
Each booth is about 6 by 8 feet, with a steel door. That day, one held a boy who had hung on a basketball rim and swore at staff when they told him to stop. In another, a boy who had used ''raised voice tones.''
Two boys were being held because they hadn't finished classwork. Inside the fifth room was a boy who had tried to ''provoke'' other students when he got off a bus. Staff told him he'd be back again ''to serve 15 minutes every morning due to his irrational behavior.''
None of those reasons for seclusion is permitted under Illinois law.
Yet, over the course of that one day, the rooms stayed busy, with two turning over like tables in a restaurant, emptying and refilling four times. The other three were occupied for longer periods, as long as five hours for the boy who hung off the basketball rim. In all, Bridges staff isolated students 20 times.
Seclusion is supposed to be rare, a last resort. But at Bridges, part of the Kaskaskia Special Education District in southern Illinois, and at many other schools, it is often the default response.
Bridges used seclusion 1,288 times in the 15 months of school that reporters examined. The school has about 65 students.
According to the Tribune/ProPublica Illinois analysis of Bridges records, 72% of the seclusions were not prompted by a safety issue, as the law requires.
''There were kids there every day,'' said Brandon Skibinski, who worked as a paraprofessional at Bridges for part of the 2018-19 school year. ''I didn't think that was the best practice. I don't know what the best practices are, though.''
Cassie Clark, who heads the Kaskaskia Special Education District, did not respond to requests for comment about the district's practices.
Stuck in seclusionIn Illinois, seclusion is meant to be used for safety purposes, not to punish students. Isolated timeouts also must end no more than 30 minutes after a student's unsafe behavior stops. But records show some schools did not release children until they apologized or performed a task; others referred to childen "serving time."
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A girl at Bridges Learning Center near Centralia was secluded for not following directions and for cursing at staff. Workers noted that she would be let out only after she followed instructions to stay quiet. (Kaskaskia Special Education District) Hover/tap to zoom
Employees with the Tri-County Special Education district set criteria for a student to leave seclusion: pick up paper she had ripped and stand in the middle of the room. She refused and was kept in the room until her bus arrived. The next day, she was made to stay in the room again for more than two hours until she met the criteria. (Tri-County Special Education) Hover/tap to zoom
At Central School in Springfield, employees logged the "time served" by a boy who was secluded because he had left his workspace and was "knocking over property." The log states that the boy said "open the door" 108 times. (Sangamon Area Special Education District)In nearly 6,000 of the incidents reporters analyzed from schools across the state, students were secluded only because they were disruptive, disrespectful, not following directions, not participating in class or a combination of those reasons.
''That is clearly not good practice,'' said Kevin Rubenstein, president of the Illinois Alliance of Administrators of Special Education, which represents 1,200 public and private special-education administrators in the state. ''To the extent there is bad practice going on across the state, we need to fix that.''
The Kaskaskia district's revolving-door use of the timeout booths stands out, but some other districts seclude children nearly as frequently.
The Special Education District of Lake County used isolated timeout about 1,200 times over the 15-month period reporters examined. Northern Suburban Special Education District in Highland Park put children in seclusion more than 900 times.
Some traditional school districts also relied on seclusion. For example, Valley View School District 365U in Romeoville and Schaumburg District 54 each secluded students more than 160 times in the time period examined. Wilmette District 39 put students in isolated timeout 361 times in 2017-18 alone.
Illinois' seclusion rules are more permissive than federal guidelines, which say seclusion should be used only in cases of ''imminent danger of serious physical harm.'' In Illinois, children can be secluded for physical safety concerns regardless of the threat level.
The state law also doesn't encourage staff to try other interventions first. And while federal officials suggest that seclusion should end as soon as the problematic behavior stops, Illinois law allows a child to be secluded for up to 30 minutes more.
Even with these looser rules, the ProPublica Illinois/Tribune investigation found that Illinois schools regularly flout and misinterpret state law.
Some schools use seclusion '-- or the threat of it '-- as punishment. At the Braun Educational Center in south suburban Oak Forest, a classroom door features a sign saying: ''If you walk to the door or open it you WILL earn'' a visit to the ''isolation and reflection'' space. The school's director said the sign is not a threat but a visual reminder that leaving is a violation of school rules.
Others won't release children from seclusion until they apologize or sit against a wall or put their heads down. The Tri-County Special Education district in Carbondale routinely made children write sentences as a condition of release, records show. Students there often were kept in isolation long after the safety threat was over, sometimes even starting their next school day in a timeout room. Tri-County Director Jan Pearcy told reporters those practices ended this year.
Seclusion rooms: Four examplesSome Illinois schools provided images of their timeout rooms in response to public-records requests. The red buttons are commonly used to engage magnetic locks; to protect a child from being trapped, the buttons must be held down for the locks to work. Staffers also must be able to see inside the room.
Dewey School, Anna; Tri-County Special Education district.Image p2p slug: ct-foia-seclusion-room-dewey-school
Jonesboro Elementary, Jonesboro; Tri-County Special Education district.Image p2p slug: ct-foia-seclusion-room-jonesboro
Addams Junior High, Schaumburg; Schaumburg School District 54.Image p2p slug: ct-foia-seclusion-room-jane-addams-schaumburg
Ward School, DuQuoin; Tri-County Special Education district.Image p2p slug: ct-foia-seclusion-room-ward-school-duquoin
Administrators in some districts have decided that putting a child in a room is not an isolated timeout if there is no door or the door is left open '-- even though the student is being blocked from leaving. State law does not say an isolated timeout requires a closed door.
''We only consider something isolated timeout if a student is in the room with the door shut and magnet (lock) held,'' said Kristin Dunker, who heads the Vermilion Association for Special Education in Danville. ''I understand this isn't going to look good for us.''
At Bridges, records show how staff violated the state's rules. Schools aren't supposed to put students in seclusion for talking back or swearing, but Bridges did repeatedly. Workers also shut many students in booths for hours after the child's challenging behavior ended.
One boy argued with Bridges workers as they tried to force him into isolation in March 2018 for being uncooperative. ''I don't want to go in a booth,'' he said. ''You'll lock me in there all day.''
He was kept in the booth for nearly five hours.
Laura Myers saw Bridges' timeout booths during school meetings and told administrators they should never be used on her 6-year-old son, Gabriel. A tiny, giggly boy with bright red hair, Gabriel has autism and is nonverbal, though he can sign a few words, including ''blue,'' ''green'' and ''truck.''
''There's a metal bench, the lock and key, the whole nine,'' Myers said. ''The sad part is there are parents there who don't know it's wrong and don't know how their children are being treated.''
She was assured Gabriel would not be secluded. But she started to worry when he came home signing ''timeout.'' Now, she's fighting for a different school placement.
Gabriel, 6, has autism. His mother is trying to ensure that his school, Bridges Learning Center, does not put him in any of its five timeout ''booths.'' (Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune) Bridges Learning Center is part of the Kaskaskia Special Education District, based in Centralia. Records from the school document 1,288 seclusion incidents in 15 months. (Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune)Image p2p slug: ct-kaskaskia-special-education-district
Gabriel, who does not speak but can sign a few words, hugs his mother, Laura Myers, before bedtime in their Centralia home. (Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune)Image p2p slug: ct-gabriel-berry-1
Harm to childrenDarla Knipe could hear it when she walked toward the timeout room in her son's school: a thudding sound, over and over.
She turned to a school aide and asked: '''What is that noise?'''
It was her 7-year-old son, Isaiah. The first grader was banging his head against the concrete and plywood walls of the timeout room at Middlefork School in Danville. Knipe was shocked. He didn't do that at home, she said.
Documents from Isaiah's school, part of the Vermilion Association for Special Education, show that he was put in the timeout room regularly beginning in kindergarten. He started banging his head in first grade and continued through third, doing it nearly every time he was secluded.
Isaiah Knipe, now 10, greets his mother, Darla, after coming home from Middlefork School in Danville at the end of the last school year. (Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune)Image p2p slug: ct-isaiah-knipe-1
Isaiah, who now attends a private school, plays with his younger brother in their Danville home. (Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune)Image p2p slug: ct-isaiah-knipe-2
Darla Knipe says she didn't know Middlefork School kept detailed records on Isaiah's isolated timeouts until reporters showed her some examples. ''I never got anything like this,'' she said. (Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune)Image p2p slug: ct-darla-knipe
''Isaiah states he has headache and ringing in his ears,'' according to a report from Dec. 8, 2017. ''Nurse filling out concussion form.''
Then, a month later: ''Nurse is concerned he has been head banging several times, even slower to answer than usual, he was dizzy when he stood up, almost fell over.''
Sitting in his home last spring, Isaiah, now 10, looked down when asked why he hits his head.
''I tell the teachers why,'' he said. ''The timeout room '... I don't like it.''
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A document from Middlefork School in Danville describes Isaiah Knipe banging his head repeatedly in a timeout room. Employees asked him to use a pillow "if he wishes to bang his head." (Vermilion Area Special Education)Records and interviews show how seclusion can harm children. Students ripped their fingernails or bruised their knuckles hitting the door. Their hands swelled and bled from beating the walls. In some cases, children were hurt so badly that ambulances were called.
Several parents said their children became afraid of school. Some said their children didn't want to sleep alone. Other families said the rooms were so distressing that their children would not talk about them.
Angie Martin said her 9-year-old son now sees himself as such a bad child that he believes he belongs in seclusion. In less than three weeks at the start of this school year, he spent 731 minutes '-- more than 12 hours '-- in isolated timeout, records show.
''My concern is the damage that has been done, socially, emotionally and physically,'' said Martin, whose son went to school in the Lincoln-Way Area Special Education district program in Chicago's southwest suburbs. He now attends a private school.
The Tribune/ProPublica Illinois analysis found that the median duration of a seclusion was 22 minutes; in at least 1,300 cases the student spent more than an hour in isolated timeout.
One incident lasted 10 hours, with the student kept inside from breakfast into the evening.
Ross Greene, a clinical child psychologist and author of the book ''The Explosive Child,'' said repeated seclusion fuels a harmful cycle. Children who are frustrated and falling behind academically are taken out of the classroom, which makes them more frustrated and puts them even further behind.
''You end up with an alienated, disenfranchised kid who is being over-punished and lacks faith in adults,'' Greene said.
Amber Patz, whose 11-year-old son Dalton was repeatedly secluded at The Center, an elementary school in East Moline for children with disabilities, said spending so much time in isolation put him behind academically and did not help him regulate his behavior.
''Putting you in this little room while you get red-faced does not work for him,'' she said. ''You have to think outside the box, but instead we are literally putting them in a box.''
Amber Patz visits the public library in Cordova with her son Dalton. ''Putting you in this little room while you get red-faced does not work for him,'' she said. (Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune)Image p2p slug: ct-dalton-patz-1
In this picture, Dalton draws how he feels in a classroom at The Center in East Moline, left, and then in one of the school's "reflection rooms."Image p2p slug: ct-dalton-patz-drawing
Parents often do not know the details of what happens in seclusion. Though state law requires schools to notify families in writing within 24 hours each day a child is secluded, that doesn't always happen.
While some notices describe the incident, others are form letters with just a checked box to indicate that a child was secluded. The law requires only that parents be notified of the date of the incident, whether restraint or seclusion was used, and the name and phone number of someone to call for more information.
Some parents said they got such abbreviated notices they didn't know what seclusion meant or how long their child had been in a room. Others said staff used euphemistic language to describe seclusion, making it hard to understand what really happened.
Crystal Lake school employees have suggested to Kayla Siegmeier that her son, Carson, who has autism, might benefit from time in a ''Blue Room,'' she said.
''It turns out the Blue Room is a locked, padded room,'' she said.
She read Illinois' isolated timeout law and got a doctor's note last year that prevented the school from secluding Carson, now a second grader. ''Hard stop,'' she said she told the school.
Crystal Lake school officials acknowledged they could be more transparent with parents and said they use the rooms only in emergencies.
Carson Siegmeier, a second grade student with autism, plays with family cat Snowball. His mother obtained a doctor's note to prevent him from being put in isolated timeout. (Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune)In Danville, Darla Knipe knew that her son Isaiah was frequently in seclusion, but she didn't know the school kept detailed incident reports each time it happened until reporters showed them to her.
''I never got anything like this,'' Knipe said.
When she requested the reports from the district, she said, officials told her she could have asked for them any time. ''Why would I ask for an incident report I didn't know about to begin with?'' she said.
The district gave her 212 reports, and she didn't tackle the huge pile of paper right away. Then one night she woke up at 2 a.m. and stayed up for hours reading them. She learned what set Isaiah off and how he reacted.
''If we had talked after three, five, six of these, was there something I should have been doing?'' she wondered.
She said she would have shared the reports with doctors who were working to diagnose the cause of his behavioral challenges. ''I think about how different that boy could have been.''
Dunker, the district director, said that although parents don't get minute-by-minute reports, they are notified by phone and then in writing after a seclusion. ''I feel like that is just fine in terms of what a parent needs,'' she said.
A better wayThere are school districts in Illinois '-- and all across the country '-- where seclusion isn't the response to defiant or even aggressive behavior. In fact, it's never an option.
Jim Nelson, who took over the North DuPage Special Education Cooperative in July 2016, said he put in a maintenance request on his first day to take the door off the seclusion room at Lincoln Academy, a therapeutic day school for students with emotional and behavioral difficulties.
The year before, the school in suburban Roselle, which has an enrollment of about 30, had placed students in the room 181 times, federal data shows. The space now has a lava lamp, fuzzy pillows, a beanbag and puzzles, and students go there on their own when they need a break, Nelson said.
He said he thinks all schools could get rid of seclusion and still be able to educate students. Since ending the practice, the North DuPage district has not seen an increase in the number of students transferred to more restrictive schools, he said.
''We have outbursts every day,'' Nelson said, but ''you are now trying to figure out what is the root of this outburst: Is it a home issue, a bus issue, a peer issue, a relationship issue, environment or fluorescent lights? We have to problem solve.''
Through the eyes of a childVery few Illinois public schools allowed reporters or photographers to view the spaces they use for isolated timeout. So reporters who met with the families of secluded students invited children to draw their impressions of the rooms.
Kansas Treatment and Learning CenterImage p2p slug: ct-austin-kelly-drawing
Middlefork School in DanvilleImage p2p slug: ct-middlefork-school-drawing
Middlefork School, by Isaiah KnipeImage p2p slug: ct-isaiah-knipe-drawing
Interior of quiet room, Kansas TLCImage p2p slug: ct-kansas-tlc-drawing-1
Administrators at schools that have closed their rooms say the cultural shift takes a lot of effort and training.
Eliminating seclusion generally requires two steps: first, embracing the philosophy that isolating children is unacceptable; second, teaching staff members how to identify and address the causes of challenging behavior before it reaches a crisis point.
Zac Barry, who teaches a system based at Cornell University called Therapeutic Crisis Intervention, said staff often get into a power struggle when students don't obey, even over trivial matters.
''Don't argue with them,'' Barry said at a recent training session in Peoria for people who work with children. ''If they don't want to sit down, don't try to make them sit down!''
Among other strategies, TCI teaches that it's more effective to back away from an upset student, giving him space, than to move in closer. Teachers are trained how to stand in a nonthreatening way.
In Naperville School District 203, the rooms formerly used for isolated timeout are now sensory areas stocked with weighted stuffed animals and sound-blocking headphones.
Christine Igoe, who oversees special education in the 16,000-student district, said eliminating seclusion helps teachers and other staffers build relationships with students. Without seclusion as an option, she said, students and staff are less likely to be on high alert and anxious that situations will escalate.
''When you change your lens from 'the student is making a choice' to 'the student is lacking a skill,' everything changes,'' Igoe said.
How do you feel?The Kansas Treatment and Learning Center is among the schools that require secluded students to participate in a debriefing with staff members. Sometimes students cannot leave until they complete a "think sheet" describing how they feel and how they will behave better next time.
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A 7-year-old girl who was secluded after she "threw a fit" indicated she was feeling sad, angry and frightened. (Eastern Illinois Area Special Education) Hover/tap to zoom
A student spent about 40 minutes in seclusion after she refused to sit at a desk. She wrote sentences promising to obey next time. (Eastern Illinois Area Special Education)Kim Sanders, executive vice president of the Grafton behavioral health network in Virginia, which includes private therapeutic day schools, said schools there overhauled their approach after employees were injured in confrontations with students so frequently that the district lost its workers' compensation insurance.
''Our outcomes were not great,'' she said. ''It was horrible for our staff morale.''
Since then, Grafton has developed a behavior model called Ukeru that it now sells to other schools. It's based on the idea that staff should attempt to comfort, not control, children. When a child becomes violent, the system suggests staff use cushioned shields to protect themselves.
''If seclusion or restraint worked,'' Sanders said, ''wouldn't you have to do it once or twice and you'd never have to do it again? It's not working.''
Little kids, locked awayIllinois schools secluded an 8-year-old boy who got upset when he couldn't ride the green bike during recess, a first grade boy who didn't want to stop playing tag and a third grader who didn't get the prize he wanted.
Even preschool children spent time in isolated timeout, records show.
The majority of incident reports reviewed for this investigation did not specify the grade of the child. But ProPublica Illinois and the Tribune identified more than 1,700 incidents when the student being secluded was in fifth grade or younger. Hundreds of seclusions involved kids in preschool, kindergarten or first grade.
One 7-year-old boy named Eli spent 1,652 minutes '-- 27½ hours '-- in the ''reflection rooms'' as a first grader at a school called The Center in East Moline, school records show.
Still learning to say some of his letters, Eli calls the spaces the ''flection'' rooms. When his mom, Elisha, gently corrects him, he snuggles into her side. ''It's hard to really say,'' he explained.
Eli, 7, was secluded more than a dozen times in kindergarten and nearly 50 times in first grade while attending The Center in East Moline, records show. (Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune)Eli was referred to The Center, which offers a program for children with behavioral and emotional disabilities, when he was in kindergarten. Records show he sometimes had trouble coping with the frustrations of elementary school '-- not unlike many other Illinois children who were secluded after outbursts common for their age.
When staff told him he couldn't play with toys, he started to tip desks and chairs. Because he didn't want to come inside from recess, he began ''flopping,'' refused to walk and was ''being unsafe.'' He ''could not continue to play nice'' with blocks and started to hit and tried to run out of class. Sometimes, he would kick staff or throw objects around the room.
According to records from the school district and his family, Eli was secluded more than a dozen times in kindergarten, beginning when he was 5. In first grade, it happened 49 times. His longest timeout was 115 minutes.
''There is no reason my child should be in a timeout room for two hours,'' said his mother, who asked that the family's last name not be published.
Elisha pulled her son out of The Center at the end of last school year after noticing bruises on his arm and a fingernail indentation that broke the skin. Records show Eli was physically restrained by three staff members and put in isolated timeout that day. He now attends a private school.
Hover/tap to zoom
Eli was given ice after he injured his finger while trying to leave a seclusion room at The Center, an elementary school in East Moline. (Provided by family)Schrader, director of the Black Hawk Area Special Education District, which operates The Center in northwestern Illinois, said staff at the school use the seclusion room ''on a case-by-case basis, incident by incident'' to help students learn strategies to calm themselves. She declined to comment on Eli's case or that of any specific child.
''We use it more as a way to help the student learn to deescalate themselves and constant supervision to maintain their safety,'' she said.
When a reporter asked Eli whether the calm down rooms helped him calm down, he shook his head no.
How did he feel when in the room?
''Mad,'' he said quietly.
Eli's mother pulled him out of The Center after noticing bruises on his arm. (Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune)Image p2p slug: ct-eli-from-blackhawk-1
Movie dayThe seclusion rooms inside Braun Educational Center in Oak Forest look like so many others across Illinois: blue padding along the walls, a small window where staff can look in. The red button outside that locks the door. A mirror in the upper corner to give a fuller view.
In one room, three long tear marks were visible in the padding of the door '-- left there, the principal said, by a student with autism.
About 150 elementary through high school students with disabilities attend programs at Braun, which is operated by the Southwest Cook County Cooperative Association for Special Education. Gineen O'Neil, the co-op's executive director, described many as troubled and challenging; some are homeless, abuse drugs, get pregnant or struggle with mental illness, she said. Some, she said, ''run the streets'' at night.
''People have to realize they get educated somewhere, and this is where it is,'' O'Neil said.
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Sign up Over 1½ school years, staffers isolated students nearly 500 times. O'Neil said students are not secluded as punishment.
But the Tribune/ProPublica Illinois analysis found that in 46% of seclusions at Braun, staff documented no safety reason that preceded the isolation. O'Neil said some of these incidents could have involved a safety issue despite the lack of documentation, but she also described the findings as ''disturbing'' and ordered a review of practices.
''You are making 1,000 judgment calls a day, you know what I mean?'' O'Neil said. ''You don't always call them right.''
On a recent Friday afternoon, it was quiet in the halls. Most of the children had gathered to watch a movie and eat popcorn. They had earned the reward for good behavior.
But one boy didn't qualify '-- and he was mad. The principal, Kristine Jones, said that after the rest of his class left for the movie, he shouted: ''This place sucks. I'm leaving.''
He didn't actually leave. But the boy was a ''runner'' when upset, Jones said, and they wanted to ''pre-correct'' his behavior.
So they took him to an isolation room.
Over one and a half school years, workers at Braun Educational Center in Oak Forest isolated students nearly 500 times, records show. About 150 students with disabilities attend programs at Braun. (Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune)Image p2p slug: Ct-southwest-cook-county-special-ed-coop
Our methods
How reporters conducted their first-of-its-kind analysis.
Read moreJennifer Smith Richards has been a reporter at the Chicago Tribune since 2015. Jennifer has a specialty in data analysis and previously covered schools and education for more than a decade at newspapers in Huntington, West Virginia; Utica, New York; Savannah, Georgia, and Columbus, Ohio. Her work has touched on everything from sexual abuse in schools to police accountability to school choice. Contact Jennifer by email and on Twitter.
Jodi S. Cohen is a reporter for ProPublica Illinois, where she has revealed misconduct in a psychiatric research study at the University of Illinois at Chicago, exposed a college financial aid scam and uncovered flaws in the Chicago Police Department's disciplinary system. Previously, Jodi worked at the Chicago Tribune for 14 years, where she covered higher education and helped expose a secret admissions system at the University of Illinois, among other investigations. Contact Jodi by email and on Twitter.
Lakeidra Chavis is the reporting fellow for ProPublica Illinois. Previously, Lakeidra was a producer for WBEZ's News Desk (Chicago Public Media), where she reported an in-depth piece on how Chicago's black communities have been impacted by the opioid crisis. Contact Lakeidra by email and on Twitter.
Additional data analysis by Haru Coryne and data reporting by Kaarin Tisue, Nicole Stock, Brenda Medina and David Eads; additional research by Doris Burke; visual presentation by Agnes Chang, Jonathon Berlin, Chad Yoder, Vignesh Ramachandran, Sisi Wei, Jemal R. Brinson and Andrew Johnston.
Vape Wars
Trump reverses course on flavored vape ban, leaving it unclear whether the government will act - The Washington Post
Sun, 17 Nov 2019 21:15
One last thing was needed: Trump's sign-off. But on Nov. 4, the night before a planned morning news conference, the president balked. Briefed on a flight to a Lexington, Ky., campaign rally, he refused to sign the one-page ''decision memo,'' saying he didn't want to move forward with a ban he had once backed, primarily at his wife's and daughter's urging, because he feared it would lead to job losses, said a Trump adviser who spoke on the condition of anonymity to reveal internal deliberations.
As he had done so many times before, Trump reversed course '-- this time on a plan to address a major public health problem because of worries that apoplectic vape shop owners and their customers might hurt his reelection prospects, said White House and campaign officials. He also believed job losses tied to the ban would cost him as he sought to trumpet economic growth. It was the latest example of the chaotic way policy is made '-- and sometimes unmade '-- in a White House where the ultimate decider often switches gears after making a controversial vow, whether on combating gun violence, pulling troops from Syria or promising to deliver an Obamacare replacement plan.
Officials said the blowback to Trump's vow to ban most flavored e-cigarettes had rattled him. In an aggressive social media campaign '-- #IVapeIVote '-- advocates claimed the ban would shut down thousands of shops, eliminating jobs and sending vapers back to cigarettes. The president saw protesters at events and read critical articles. His campaign manager, Brad Parscale, privately warned the ban could hurt him in battleground states, said a person who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations. Trump was now upset with Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, who had taken the lead in rolling out the plan, said three officials familiar with the discussions.
''He didn't know much about the issue and was just doing it for Melania and Ivanka,'' said a senior administration official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to share the discussions.
In recent months, the president's wife and daughter, who had become increasingly alarmed about youth vaping, were pressing him to take action.
An HHS spokeswoman declined to comment on the vaping deliberations.
Whether or when the administration will unveil a new policy to combat underage vaping is now unclear. ''President Trump and this administration are committed to responsibly protecting the health of children,'' said White House spokesman Judd Deere. ''At this time, we are in an ongoing rulemaking process, and I will not speculate on the final outcome.''
Late last week, more than a dozen White House officials met to try to find a way forward. ''Will be meeting with representatives of the Vaping industry, together with medical professionals and individual state representatives, to come up with an acceptable solution to the Vaping and E-cigarette dilemma,'' Trump tweeted last week. ''Children's health & safety, together with jobs, will be a focus!''
Given Trump's record of zigzags, some officials cautioned the president could reverse course again. Or he might back some ban on flavored e-cigarettes that exempts vape shops. Others said the White House might pursue a different tack altogether by endorsing legislation that would raise the minimum federal age for buying tobacco products to 21 from 18, or take other steps to try to prevent teens from getting access to the products.
Some bet the anti-vaping effort is dead, though, especially because the administration could argue the youth vaping problem has been greatly eased by Juul Labs' recent decision to stop selling its popular mint-flavored nicotine pods.
''It's going to go the way of guns,'' predicted one adviser, referring to Trump's abandonment of efforts to combat gun violence after insisting he would take action after last summer's mass shootings.
At least for now, vaping proponents are relieved. ''It's a great feeling in two months to go from thinking that prohibition was inevitable to actually proving that your issue has resonance with voters to such an extent that the president of the United States takes notice,'' said Greg Conley, president of the American Vaping Association, a pro-vaping advocacy group.
Anti-tobacco groups expressed frustration that a comprehensive e-cigarette flavor ban may be slipping away. ''It appears that politics, not public health, is driving the decisions,'' said Robin Koval, chief executive and president of Truth Initiative.
The administration's intense focus on e-cigarettes began more than a year ago when then-Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb sounded the alarm about ''an epidemic'' of youth vaping that was hooking a new generation on nicotine, a problem he blamed largely on Juul, the industry leader. Late last year, the company suspended sales of many of its flavored products in brick-and-mortar stores and later stopped the sales online.
In March, just before stepping down, Gottlieb proposed restricting sales of most flavored e-cigarettes to adult-only stores, or ones with adult-only sections and heightened age verification. But the proposals were never finalized and by late summer, officials began getting new data that showed a second sharp increase in teen vaping. FDA and HHS officials decided an outright ban would be easier to enforce and more effective.
Vaping shot into public view this summer when at least three dozen people, many of them young, began dying from a mysterious vaping-related lung disease. Federal officials would pinpoint the most likely culprit as vitamin E acetate in vaping products with illicit THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. But because standard e-cigarettes couldn't be totally ruled out, momentum grew for an aggressive attack on vapes.
On Sept. 11, several officials presented their plan to ban all nontobacco e-cigarettes to Trump, who was in an expansive mood following a Republican victory in a special election for a North Carolina congressional seat. Trump announced the ban that same day, winning the praise of health groups and the ire of the vaping industry. ''People think it's an easy solution to cigarettes, but it's turned out that it has its own difficulties,'' he said then.
Two days later, though, in a sign of his discomfort, Trump tweeted that he liked ''the Vaping alternative to Cigarettes'' but wanted to keep children from using them. Aides said that was the first signal they saw that he could reverse course.
Over the next several weeks, the FDA worked to finalize the ban, which would order most flavored vape products off the market and allow them back only if manufacturers got agency authorization. Meanwhile, opposition continued to mount. Trump campaign manager Parscale shared internal polling done in late October that showed vapers could abandon the president if he followed through on the prohibition, according to a person familiar with the effort.
Conservative groups, including the influential Americans for Tax Reform led by Grover Norquist, pressed the vape shops' case on Twitter and in op-eds.
On Halloween, aides met with Trump again. By then, they had decided to exempt menthol from the ban because new federal data showed the flavor wasn't popular among young people and they wanted to keep menthol vapes on the market as long as menthol e-cigarettes are legal. A final briefing for Trump was planned for the following Monday, during Trump's trip to Kentucky to campaign for Republican Gov. Matt Bevin.
On that Monday, the Office of Management and Budget cleared the vaping policy and began canceling meetings it had scheduled with interest groups to discuss the plan. The move angered vaping and conservative organizations and signaled an announcement could be imminent.
But the announcement never came. Confusion deepened in the days following when presidential adviser Kellyanne Conway appeared to suggest that vape shops weren't subject to FDA regulation, and Joe Grogan, the head of the Domestic Policy Council, told reporters it was ''a huge waste of time'' for the agency to regulate tobacco products and wondered if there was a better place to do so. Internally, aides said there was no longer a united front.
On Nov. 9, Trump's helicopter, taking him to the Alabama-LSU football game, flew over hundreds of vaping enthusiasts organizing to protest the flavor ban gathered on the Ellipse.
Emboldened vaping advocates said if the industry beats back a federal flavor ban, it must continue to flex its muscle to address proliferating state and local prohibitions, as well as a court-ordered deadline of May 2020 when manufacturers must file applications with the FDA to continue selling e-cigarettes. Firms that don't file could be forced off the market.
''We need to reignite the issue and make the administration and the reelection team aware that the magnitude of the threat in May 2020 is just as huge and industry-crushing as the flavor ban is today,'' said Conley of the vaping association.
Anti-tobacco groups aren't backing down either. ''If the federal government doesn't take strong action, it's clear now the states will,'' said Matthew Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. ''There's a crisis that needs to be addressed.''
Yasmeen Abutaleb and Michael Scherer contributed to this report.
Trump campaign urges White House to soften proposed flavored vape ban
Trump moves to ban flavored e-cigarettes
In the 'Juul room': E-cigarettes spawn a form of teen addiction that worries doctors, parents and schoolsE
Trump to meet with vaping industry on vaping, e-cigarettes
Thu, 21 Nov 2019 10:20
WASHINGTON, Nov 11 (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday he will be meeting with vaping industry officials as well as medical and political officials to discuss vaping and e-cigarettes.
"Will be meeting with representatives of the Vaping industry, together with medical professionals and individual state representatives, to come up with an acceptable solution to the Vaping and E-cigarette dilemma. Childrens health & safety, together with jobs, will be a focus!" he said on Twitter.
Trump did not give a time for the meeting.
(Reporting by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)
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Thu, 21 Nov 2019 07:23
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VIDEO-Uber reportedly wants to audio record your trips to keep riders safe
Thu, 21 Nov 2019 06:21
Uber reportedly wants to start audio recording rides in the U.S. "soon."
The ride-sharing giant is poised to start beta testing a new security feature in parts of Latin America in December, the Washington Post reports. In the U.S., the company has to contend with state-by-state recording laws first, which makes the rollout timeline unclear.
An internal memo viewed by The Post said Uber plans to pilot the feature in the U.S. before long. "We hope to be able to make this available nationally,'' the email said.
The tool could allow the company to better protect riders amid high-profile assault scandals and mounting safety concerns, though it would raise another set of questions concerning privacy.
Uber wasn't immediately available for comment.
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It's a vibe! Apple Music's new Replay feature will show your most-played music of 2019
The feature, which has yet to be publicly named, would allow riders to opt-in for an added layer of security during trips, according to The Post. Riders and drivers can't playback the audio.
''The encrypted audio file is sent to Uber's customer support agents, who will use it to better understand an incident and take the appropriate action," The Post said, citing an internal email from an Uber executive.
The move is the latest in a string of features meant to protect riders and drivers.
In September, Uber rolled out a feature called Ride Check, that flags unusual events like long stops or car crashes. Uber has also integrated an in-app emergency button and other improvements to double down on safety.
Follow Dalvin Brown on Twitter: @Dalvin_Brown.
VIDEO-VIDEO: Pelosi's Son's Ex-Girlfriend Claims Forced Abortion, Abuse, Weaponizing CPS, Massive Fraud - National File
Thu, 21 Nov 2019 06:13
The former girlfriend of Nancy Pelosi's son, Paul Pelosi Jr., is suing him over alleged fraud regarding her property, and spoke exclusively to National File about the nature of their relationship.Karena Feng, a Taiwan-born woman living in San Francisco, alleges that Paul Pelosi Jr. was ''abusive'' to her, that he forced her to have an abortion by threatening her life, that he conducted foreign business while claiming to be a representative of Nancy Pelosi, and that he engineered Child Protective Services' seizure of Feng's four children. Feng supports her claims with text messages and documents presented in this article below.
WATCH OUR INTERVIEW WITH KARENA FENG
Feng cites the Adoption and Safe Families Act, signed in 1997 by President Bill Clinton, as a driver of financial incentives for CPS to remove children from their families. The law provides Social Security money to states for overseeing adoptions out of foster care and sets a deadline to strip parents of all parental rights when a child has been in foster care for 15 of the last 22 months.
The property in question in Feng's lawsuit, on the corner of 24th and Utah Street one block from San Francisco General Hospital formerly housed her father's China House Clinic, an acupuncture and healing clinic. It now houses a decrepit low-rent motel that is reportedly filled with drugs and prostitution.
Feng said that Pelosi Jr. coordinated the transfer of the title for her property to an entity called ''Feng 24th, LLC,'' which uses her family's name but has no association to her family. Feng asserts that she never signed any document authorizing a sale.
Feng's lawsuit against Pelosi Jr. and others can be read here: 19-cv-xxxx-xxx Feng V. Pelosi, et al._v2
Feng said that Pelosi Jr., who routinely travels to foreign countries on business trips, represents himself on the phone as the ''Office of Nancy Pelosi'' in his business dealings. Feng said that Nancy Pelosi spent hours virtually every day at her father's clinic in 2006-2007.
Feng said that Pelosi Jr. forced her to have an abortion by threatening her life. Pelosi Jr. threatened to report Feng to Child Protective Services during a fight over their property dispute, according to text messages. Child Protective Services (CPS) is known as Family and Children's Services in San Francisco and Department of Family and Children's Service in Santa Clara County, where Feng's children were originally seized.
CPS took Ms. Feng's four children, ages 13 and under, the first three born through artificial insemination and the last through a biological father that was not Pelosi, away from her when she was in the hospital having her most recent baby, and placed them in a foster care situation that Feng says is abusive. The original anonymous call to CPS against Feng was based on the claim that Feng was mentally ill because she imagined a false relationship with Pelosi Jr., according to court documents.
We have obtained many photographs, text messages and documents proving Feng's years-long relationship with Pelosi Jr., including the fact that Feng's children called Pelosi Jr. ''daddy.''
Feng said that the FBI contacted her about Pelosi Jr.'s whereabouts, and that Pelosi Jr. is now cagey about his whereabouts and communicates via the Signal app.
National File recently reported on Pelosi Jr. and his mother's promotion of the company NRGLab, where he was an executive. NRGLab did energy business in Ukraine. NRGLab's benefactor stated that Pelosi Jr. was not directly involved in the company's Ukraine deal.
National File has allowed Karena Feng to tell her story in her own words.
Pelosi Jr. commanded massive power in San Francisco when he entered Ms. Feng's life by showing up to her clinic, which shared office space with Feng's father Edward Feng's China House Clinic at the 24th and Utah Street property. Feng's father was a traditional holistic Chinese doctor who trained acupuncturists to get their licenses.''The first time I met Paul Pelosi, Jr., his hair was to his shoulders and his presentation looked like Jesus. Back in 1998, he came into my holistic Naturopathic clinic with an album asking me to consider him for remodeling or construction work. He continued coming every day disregarding my refusal of remodeling services. He would demand all patrons of my clinic to leave, and they would just leave, and then he would sit down, fold his legs over on the top of my counter, and start making conversation. One time he bought two Snapples and a small tray of sushi from Walgreen's across the street, and he said, 'Apple (my middle name) have some Snapple, see, they made this for you.' As I am blunt with yes or no closed-end responses, he would just stare at me, and I would ask him to leave. He kept coming like this for two months every day, then I closed the clinic since there was no meaning to having the service there when Paul is having everyone leave,'' Feng stated.
Feng shut down her side of the clinic, but her father continued practicing at that location. Feng started going back to the clinic on a daily basis in 2006 to be near her father while she was pregnant. Pelosi Jr. shortly thereafter started showing up to the clinic again every day around 2:30 p.m.
''I returned to that location in 2006, because I wanted my dad to take care of me while I was pregnant, and the very next day, Paul came into his clinic. This time with clean-cut hair. Yet, Paul was doing the same thing with my dad's clinic, that is, telling everyone to leave. My dad ignored his behavior over the years and continued to work hard while taking care of me.''
Nancy Pelosi began spending virtually every day at the clinic beginning in 2006''Nancy Pelosi called out of the blue on my cell phone and said, 'I'm Nancy Pelosi, and I want to make an appointment.' Before she came into my dad's clinic, a bunch of security came in and checked everywhere. Then Nancy Pelosi came in with a big smile, and sat down. Nancy Pelosi said 'I had to come here because my son and my husband come here every day, so I want to know the reason why they're coming.' Nancy Pelosi turned her head looking straight at me as she finished saying that. Then she came every day, from opening to closing time of my dad's clinic while security waits outside. Sometimes, they would block off the street, and that extended to over a year. Nancy Pelosi would spend the entire afternoon in our bathroom with the fan on making ongoing calls yelling on the phone, and other days she would sit in the waiting area all day and make all-day calls. Nancy Pelosi stopped coming to my dad's clinic after (executive board member of Golden State Warriors' ownership group) [Craig Johnson's wife] found out Nancy Pelosi's coming every day, and started coming to my dad's clinic every day to yell at Nancy Pelosi over some agenda issues affecting her husband's business. Another patron named Andrew told us that Nancy Pelosi tried to avoid that and did not come back after the scolding from [Craig Johnson's wife]. We all thought it was weird how Nancy Pelosi would have news all over about her patronizing one Union Street Beauty Salon for her hair, yet no one ever talked about Nancy Pelosi patronizing my dad's clinic every single day, all day, for over a year, before and during her first term as House Speaker. Sometimes we would wonder how she runs her job as House Speaker every day just being at our place making calls all day,'' Feng stated.
Edward Feng was arrested in 2011 at the age of 81 for introducing misbranded drugs into interstate commerce, following an FDA sting focused on his sale of traditional Chinese healing tablets for common colds. The main witness in the case claimed that Edward Feng's tablets caused her an earache and hand-swelling (which Edward Feng denied was caused by the tablets) and claimed that her son, a cancer patient, suffered foot pain from Edward Feng's foot acupuncture treatment. Karena Feng said that she witnessed Paul Pelosi Jr. speaking to the witness in the case shortly before the arrest.
''She never stepped into our clinic. She was just outside. Right before my dad got arrested, I saw her speaking outside of the clinic with Paul for hours'' while her son got treated, Karena Feng said of the witness in the case.
Although the charges against Edward Feng were dismissed without an indictment, the publicized arrest took a toll on him emotionally and his health declined.
''After my dad suddenly died, Paul showed up in the San Francisco General Hospital every day, while I overheard one female doctor in the ICU telling the staff to not wake my dad up and let him die. She specifically said, 'don't wake him up,''' Karena Feng stated.
In 2015, Paul Pelosi Jr. demanded that Feng abort her baby, because he was not the father, even threatening Feng's life. After Feng's abortion, Pelosi Jr.'s own attempt to impregnate Feng by ''appointment'' was not successful.''After my dad passed away, Paul insisted I abort my five months pregnancy or else he would take my life. I had three older children at the time I must take care of. So after ongoing daily threats from Paul Pelosi, Jr., I had no choice but to abort my precious child just to stay alive for my living children. Paul Pelosi, Jr. suddenly scolded me saying, 'don't you realize all these years, all that I've done for you is because I love you?' I said I don't believe it, you always bring different women and Nicole Bullock always tells me you're her boyfriend. How can I believe you would love me and expect me to love someone who already loves someone else? Paul suddenly showed me his texts with Nicole Bullock, showing how Nicole was complaining about her boyfriend Andrew's 'clammy palms.' Paul said the whole point of bringing other women was 'a front so if you turn me down, I won't get that embarrassed. The person that I ever loved is only you, and I want our relationship to be private.'''
''After that, Paul Pelosi, Jr. would regularly go on trips out of town, out of country. He would call me every day, and see me as soon as he returns.''
''Paul Pelosi, Jr. said he wanted me to have his child and no one else's. Paul Pelosi, Jr. had been mad at me for having three children already. This time, he caught me while being pregnant, so he felt he must stop my pregnancy before I have another child that does not belong to him. I tried to tell his mother about what Paul Pelosi, Jr. forced me to do,'' Feng stated, noting that she eventually gave up.
Feng had an abortion in May 2015. The next month, Pelosi Jr. unsuccessfully tried to impregnate Feng by ''appointment.''
''I only slept with him like once but I was on the same bed with him many nights '... He has a medical issue of erectile disorder,'' Feng said.
''My dad really did not like him, so I wasn't going to consider marrying him. After my dad died, (Paul) was very bossy and started talking threats all the time, and it was not bearable. He was pretty abusive, he would always try to threaten me with my kids,'' Feng said.
In May 2016, Pelosi Jr. threatened to use Child Protective Services to take Feng's children away, according to this text message presented below:On October 5, 2018, an anonymous call was made to Child Protective Services against Karena Feng. The call was made the same day that Feng filed a real estate or investment fraud complaint with the San Francisco district attorney's office, obtained by National File against Pelosi Jr. and others. A petition submitted by Santa Clara CPS social worker Brian Hawkinson in December 2018 described the original call. The anonymous caller described details about Feng's relationship with Pelosi Jr. that Feng never told anyone.''The CPS petition said the anonymous caller said things about me that only Paul Pelosi, Jr. knew. For example, he wanted me to keep our relationship private, so at the time, I didn't tell anyone. But, the caller knew about 'having baby with Paul,' whichever way the anonymous caller worded it, blaming everything on me. That reveals that it's either Paul Pelosi, Jr. that called or someone he instructed to call. Because no one around me knew why I needed to get an abortion, and only Paul knew. On top of that, Paul Pelosi, Jr. texted me to threaten taking the children by protective services,'' Feng stated.
Here is the relevant passage from the social worker's petition:
''On 10/5/18, a referral was made due to concerns that the children were homeschooled, lacked socialization skills and the mother had untreated mental health concerns. It was reported that the mother was psychic and that she believed that the child, Lilian was also psychic. The children and the mother have lived in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Canada and believed that Paul Pelosi (Nancy Pelosi's son) wanted her to have his child because she has good genes. It was reported that in the countries that they lived in, that the mother believed that Paul Pelosi and his staff were stalking her,'' stated the social worker's petition, which noted, ''The referral was taken for information only as there was no indication of risk to the children because the mother was meeting their basic needs.''
When Karena Feng had her baby Rosie at a California medical center in 2018, the baby was almost immediately taken away from her and Feng was placed in a mental institution. By the time the institution released her, Santa Clara CPS had taken all four of her children and placed them into the system. Feng said that she was never mentally ill and always kept her composure when speaking with officials. The case was later transferred to San Francisco. Feng confronted Pelosi Jr., accusing him of being responsible for the CPS case, which Pelosi Jr. refused to confirm.Paul Pelosi Jr. agreed to write a letter on Feng's behalf, which Feng handed to the court. In the January 2019 letter obtained by National File, Pelosi Jr. identified himself as a ''close friend to the entire Feng family'' since ''August 2006,'' and stated, ''I have never witnessed any event or incident that would cause me to worry about Karena Feng or the children.''
''The whole court became silent '... They said it was a sensitive matter because a sensitive name was mentioned. Brian Hawkinson was asking the attorney, is this genuine? Their attorney said she probably made it up herself. After that, Brian met up with Paul directly and confirmed it,'' Feng said. But Pelosi Jr.'s letter failed to help Feng get her kids back.
Pelosi Jr. became concerned that the FBI was after him. The last time Feng saw Pelosi Jr. was on February 14, 2019. He is currently guarded about his whereabouts.''The last time I saw Paul Pelosi, Jr. he was spending the week with me at my apartment in San Mateo, California. After I came out of CPS court, he waited for me in the car and drove back to San Francisco's Harrison Street Chevron gas station where he told me to get into the driver's seat, and that he has to leave the country and wait for the FBI to cool down before he returns. Because the FBI was contacting me to ask questions about Paul Pelosi Jr., he said he does not want to be near me, in case the FBI knew where I would be able to find him. The last time I've received a call from him was on June 4, 2019 from a Signal App that he joined,'' Feng stated.
Feng's children are still in foster care, and Feng's experience with Child Protective Services has been horrific''Amy Yim is the San Francisco social worker who's perpetrated my children from getting reunified successfully. Amy Yim arranged a conspirator PhD psychiatrist named Amy Watt to take a 730 Evaluation which my CPS attorney, Vincent Davis at the time, insisted I get. One wonders if your attorney is taking care of your best interest, but with a CPS attorney like Vincent Davis, he exploited me. The 730 Evaluator, Dr. Amy Watt was part of Amy Yim's team. Amy Watt would ask me whether I feel depressed, for example, and I would say 'No.' The very next question would be, 'when you feel depressed, would you eat more or less?' And, if you answer you would eat more, you're admitting to being depressed; if you ate less, you would be depressed, and there are no other choice of answers. Then the result is whatever they say you are. And that could be anything, so that anyone who takes the test will come out with a mental illness. Amy Yim does not allow me to go to any psychiatrist or doctor of my choice, and Amy Yim requires I only see the doctor of her choice AFTER Amy Yim instructs that conspirator Doctor what to write in the diagnosis. And, Amy Yim only works with CPS lawyers representing me, if that lawyer is willing to help the CPS as a team member in getting the family split into foster care,'' Feng stated.
''My children were treated the same. Yesterday morning, Amy Yim went to their school with a surprise appearance continuing the harassment in the form of a psychiatric assessment of each child during school time. They are not allowed to drink anything but tap water, and eat whatever the foster home allows, and if the foster home is lazy in preparing food, they would regularly feed my children dog food. My children are being tortured, disrespected, and trashed in the foster home. The foster home does not allow my son to cut his hair, nor allow me to take care of my children's needs. Nail trimming, hair cutting, and breastfeeding are all not allowed. My children are not allowed to have toys that I bring them, nor snacks without Amy Yim's approval. Any other social worker or supervisor approval is not allowed, only Amy Yim, because she said so. Right now, Amy Yim insists on giving my barely 10 years old daughter general whole body anesthesia for dental treatment that other dentists already declared not necessary. Amy Yim insists on putting my daughter's life in danger,'' Feng stated.
Feng is allowed visitations with her children. She calculated that she sees her children an average of 6 hours every 27 days. Sometimes her children are not brought to her visitations.''I'm always there on time, every time,'' Feng said.
Pelosi Jr. has identified himself as the point of contact for the 24th and Utah Street property, which is anticipating a foreclosure salePelosi Jr. has recently claimed to be the point of contact on the decrepit motel, formerly Edward Feng's China House Clinic, located on the corner of 24th and Utah Street, according to a report from Mission Local News, which reported: ''That's because, per multiple city sources, Paul Pelosi has been dropping by the offices of the Department of Building Inspection, and established himself as the city's point person for this troubled hotel.''
Mission Local reported in a follow up on the real estate dispute: ''In 2016, an outfit called West Edge Halo, Inc., of which Georgina Rodriguez Ramirez is the CEO, sued Feng, claiming she backed out of a deal to sell 1312 Utah. Pelosi is the listing agent in a contract included as an exhibit.
The selling agent was Bill Garlock, a real estate investor with an eye-opening background of his own. More on him in a moment. The suit against Feng was settled. In 2017, the ownership of the building shifted from Feng RE, Inc. '-- of which she was the sole shareholder '-- to Feng 24th, LLC. And, while Feng's name is still affixed to the LLC, it's not clear she is. The manager of Feng 24th, LLC is Gina Rodriguez, aka Georgina Rodriguez Ramirez.''
A video report by Munchies (1:20 Mark) featured a man stating that the single room occupancy motel is ''where you get all the f**king crackheads, prostitutes, hookers, junkies. You get it all right here.''
A lawyer named Kevin Martin, who previously represented Karena Feng, contacted National File prior to the publication of this report to dispute Feng's lawsuit on the real estate issue, Martin gave National File permission to quote his remarks.
''The building's got a tortured history. I was Karena's lawyer. She came to me two and a half years ago when she was in a lawsuit, this group filed a lawsuit. They had entered into a contract for purchase of the building. We entered into mediation,'' Martin said. ''After the mediation was done, and I was out of it, she was on this bent about it being all one big fraud, so it's been an interesting year and a half. I don't know where she went astray. She had her kids taken from her by CPS because of emotional problems and some hallucinations et cetera.''
''I don't know Paul Pelosi, I've never met him, my understanding in the litigation is, he was her broker and realtor. They did contact him during the mediation and he confirmed there was a contract. He was identified as a realtor. It went through title and escrow,'' Martin said.
''I have a power of attorney for her. I have a signed escrow,'' Martin said.
The escrow agreement for the property, obtained by National File, shows that Ms. Feng's company Feng Re sold the property to an LLC called Feng 24th The escrow was signed by Kevin Martin, who identifies himself as ''Attorney for Feng Re Inc and Karena Apple Feng.''
Karena Feng said that she never heard of Feng 24th '-- an LLC that has no relationship to her family. She said that the LLC is named ''Feng 24th'' to convince the tenants in the building that they are still paying rent to Ms. Feng, without alerting them that they are paying rent to a different owner. Karena Feng claimed that a corporate resolution granting Kevin Martin power of attorney over her was based on her forged signature. Martin, on the other hand, asserts that he definitely had power of attorney over Feng.
A California Secretary of State Articles of Corporation for ''Feng 24th, LLC'' lists a ''Gina Rodriguez'' of Fremont, California as the company's agent for service of process.
Feng said that since she found out about the title transfer, Kevin Martin has wired her close to $200,000 in randomly sized payments and requested her silence about the situation.
Feng's lawsuit against Paul Pelosi Jr. and others seeks to stop an imminent foreclosure sale on the property, seeks the title to be handed back to her company Feng Re, and seeks monetary damages.
Feng asserts that she has proved that she did not hallucinate about knowing Paul Pelosi Jr.
''I really wish I never had to associate with Paul Pelosi Jr. and I find nothing but trouble with him, let alone 'hallucination' allegations against me to justify illegally taking my children,'' Karena Feng said.
VIDEO-ALL Andrew Yang's HIGHLIGHTS & CLIPS | November Democratic Debate - YouTube
Thu, 21 Nov 2019 06:07
VIDEO-NPR33 - YouTube
Wed, 20 Nov 2019 18:35
VIDEO-Trump War Room (Text TRUMP to 88022) on Twitter: "CASE CLOSED'–¶¸Ambassador Sondland corrects CNN's fake news in real time! Q: "If your answer is yes, then [Adam Schiff] is wrong and the headline on CNN is wrong. No one on this planet told you tha
Wed, 20 Nov 2019 16:59
CASE CLOSED'–¶¸Ambassador Sondland corrects CNN's fake news in real time!Q: "If your answer is yes, then [Adam Schiff] is wrong and the headline on CNN is wrong. No one on this planet told you that President Trump was tying aid to investigations, yes or no?"SONDLAND: "Yes."
pic.twitter.com/VBvRMSh2to
VIDEO-'It's Really Refreshing And Relaxing': College Students Say Ditching Their Smartphones For A Week Changed Their Lives '' CBS New York
Wed, 20 Nov 2019 06:24
November 14, 2019 at 5:35 pmGARDEN CITY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) '' They survived!
Nearly two dozen Adelphi University students made it a full week without their cell phones!
As CBS2 first told you last week, it was part of a college course intended to break the powerful addiction of smartphones.
MORE: 'Life Unplugged': College Professor Making Students Give Up Smartphones For A Week To Test Addiction
CBS2's Carolyn Gusoff went back on Thursday as students were reunited with their beloved mobile devices.
It's old school in Jacob Dannenberg's dorm room '' with an alarm clock to wake him.
Handwritten notes remind him an actual wristwatch to keep track of time.
No it wasn't 1999, it was an Adelphi University course called ''Life Unplugged.'' where students did the unthinkable one week ago '' handed over their smartphones.
Adelphi University Prof. Donna Freitas and her class. (Credit: CBS2)
''I'm freaking out, I could probably cry right now,'' one student said.
It was a bold experiment to recognize today's compulsive relationships with ever present devices.
Seven days later, ''who's excited they're getting their phones back today?'' Professor Donna Freitas asked.
Gone were the nerves and the shakes.
''Everything is perfect right now. I'm having a lot better relationships'... it's a stress free environment no pressure about social media,'' Jacob Dannenberg said.
''I think it's really refreshing and relaxing'... I was able to fall asleep a lot easier,'' student Adrianna Cigliano.
They managed to find their way, even without GPS for a week.
''I just had to take the same route everywhere,'' one student joked.
They were also more productive.
''Doing homework was 100 percent easier. I got it done faster, I was in the zone,'' Cigliano said.
Prof. Freitas says it's important for everyone to assess their addiction.
''Are the conveniences worth it because the drawback are pretty significant,'' Freitas said.
''The fact that no one can focus, that my students can't sleep'... They feel bad about themselves because of social media, the list goes on and on.''
The sweet reunions went sour quickly as endless notifications piled up.
''Oh my God this is so bad!'... I just want to shut it off now!'' the Adelphi class said.
Students say they're not quite breaking up with their phones, but promise the relationship will change.
''I want to keep that balance and figure out the healthy relationship that we deserve to have with our phones,'' Cigliano added.
''My screen time is definitely going to go down and I'm going start to appreciate my surroundings more because usually I'm looking at my screen all the time,'' Ashley Castillero said.
Students told CBS2 they look forward to living more in the moment, with their heads up more often, notifications off, and the ''do not disturb'' on.
Students were allowed to use a desktop computer or laptop during the experiment. They also made emergency communication plans with family.
Comments (16)
VIDEO-Animated No Agenda - Stone vs Brazile - YouTube
Wed, 20 Nov 2019 06:10
VIDEO-Studio 10 on Twitter: "HOT TOPIC: Privacy concerns over @Google @fitbit acquisition after the @acccgovau warns consumers of health data security. Time to go OTG? #Studio10 https://t.co/qpdBdh3Rjb" / Twitter
Wed, 20 Nov 2019 05:46
Saw that coming years ago... there is a reason I don't and never had one (nor entered any competitions to win one at work etc)..
#Privacy #PrivacyDirect
VIDEO-How Do You Know if Someone Wants to Have Sex with You? | Planned Parenthood Video - YouTube
Tue, 19 Nov 2019 21:39
VIDEO-"Mr. Volker, You Just Took Away Their Entire Case!" - Watch Ambassador Volker Destroy Schiff's Show Trials in LESS THAN ONE MINUTE (VIDEO)
Tue, 19 Nov 2019 19:34
''Mr. Volker, You Just Took Away Their Entire Case!'' '' Watch Ambassador Volker Destroy Schiff's Show Trials in LESS THAN ONE MINUTE (VIDEO) by Jim Hoft November 19, 2019
This should end it all.Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH) ruined the Democrat Party's sham impeachment show trial on Tuesday afternoon.
During his committee time Rep. Turner asked Ambassador Volker a series of questions.
Rep. Turner: You had a meeting with the President of the United States and you believe the policy issues he raised were valid, correct?
Ambassador Volker: Yes.
Rep. Turner: Did the President of the United States ever say to you that he was not going to allow aid from the United States to go to the Ukraine unless there were investigations into Burisma, the Bidens or the 2016 elections?
Ambassador Volker: No he did not.
Rep. Turner: Did the Ukrainians ever tell you that they understood that they would not get a meeting with the President of the United States, a phone call with the President of the United States or military aide or foreign aid from the United States unless they undertook investigations of Burisma, the Bidens or the 2016 elections?
Ambassador Volker: No they did not.
Rep. Turner: Pretty much Ambassador Volker you just took away their entire case!
That should end this entire sham investigation.
Kurt Volker destroyed Democrats' entire impeachment sham! pic.twitter.com/i9j3Ncxp1P
'-- Trump War Room (Text TRUMP to 88022) (@TrumpWarRoom) November 19, 2019
VIDEO-House Republicans on Twitter: "Rep. Turner To Ambassador Volker: You Just Took Apart Democrats' Entire Case https://t.co/Mg4Z1lkh5c" / Twitter
Tue, 19 Nov 2019 19:29
cire @ e1watcher
51m trump keeps belittling these Ridiculous Republicans who are only building a stronger strategy against him, Mr. Giuliani was under the direction of the president and using the state department as a front for this criminal enterprise
View conversation ·
VIDEO-Steve Scalise on Twitter: "🚨🚨 Schiff just shut down Ranking Member @DevinNunes to advise one of his star witnesses on how to answer a question about the whistleblower. But Schiff likes to claim he doesn't know who the whistleblower is... So th
Tue, 19 Nov 2019 19:28
Log in Sign up Steve Scalise @ SteveScalise 🚨🚨 Schiff just shut down Ranking Member
@DevinNunes to advise one of his star witnesses on how to answer a question about the whistleblower.But Schiff likes to claim he doesn't know who the whistleblower is... So then how would he know Nunes is asking about the whistleblower?
pic.twitter.com/QT06yMcRC7 8:10 AM - 19 Nov 2019 Twitter by: Steve Scalise @SteveScalise Me @ Happy3131Bee
9h Replying to
@SteveScalise @DevinNunes Steve they both now who the whistleblower is!! And they lie they say they don't. How can Schiff jump in and say with a straight face we have to protect the whistleblower?? That clearly shows that they both know!!! Republicans need to Go for blood!!
View conversation · Angie @ mrsp00dle
7h Replying to
@Happy3131Bee @SteveScalise @DevinNunes Absolutely!
View conversation · Michael Green @ MichaelGreen77
9h Replying to
@SteveScalise @DevinNunes C'mon, Steve! You guys have to get this crazy person out of the big chair. Prayers.
View conversation · Melanie Lochbrunner @ mloch10_melanie
9h Replying to
@MichaelGreen77 @SteveScalise @DevinNunes AGREED!
View conversation · Debra Kipp @ dkipp1353
9h Replying to
@SteveScalise @GOPLeader and
2 others Exactly. Why is
@GOP allowing this charade to go on? Why aren't you bringing the hammer down on the very obvious lying, grift and propaganda? There is no work getting done for taxpayers.
View conversation · Nunya @ Nunya01708256
7h Replying to
@dkipp1353 @SteveScalise and
3 others The GOP can only wait for the partisan vote to be made. At that point when it hits the Senate , they then take control in the only portion of this farce that actually means anything. Ultimately the GOP still holds the final hammer
View conversation · Lee Daniel @ Lefty0855
9h Replying to
@SteveScalise @DevinNunes This is not an investigation into the ''Whistleblower ''.
View conversation · Optimist @ Optimis15735140
7h Replying to
@Lefty0855 @SteveScalise @DevinNunes They don't get that.
View conversation · Vickie Couch @ VickieCouch22
9h Replying to
@SteveScalise @GOPLeader and
2 others @RepAdamSchiff is lying and you all know it and all of us Deplorables know it. Can you Senators not file charges against him that he has lied to Congress?? He has lied to every one of you!!
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VIDEO-Meth. We're on it. South Dakota Meth Prevention Full Commercial 2019 - YouTube
Tue, 19 Nov 2019 19:06
VIDEO-Trump's hospital visit: The White House shifts description of medical exam - CNNPolitics
Tue, 19 Nov 2019 18:48
Pence aide describes call between Trump and Zelensky
Lt. Col. Vindman: 'I will be fine for telling the truth'
Avlon: Satire against public figures is constitutional
Tillerson takes swipe at Trump over Ukraine dealings
Poll: Buttigieg struggling to gain black voter support
Trump made 45 false claims about impeachment and Ukraine
Supreme Court halts subpoena for Trump financial documents
Pompeo: This is a complex political problem
Trump speaks to press for first time since hospital visit
Carl Bernstein shares how GOP secretly voiced their concerns
Volker 'surprised' by additional conversations about Ukrainian President
Witness: I was concerned after Sondland conversations
Republicans question loyalty of Purple Heart recipient
Tapper caught off guard by White House statement after hearing
Vindman: Without hesitation, I knew I had to report this
Pence aide describes call between Trump and Zelensky
Lt. Col. Vindman: 'I will be fine for telling the truth'
Avlon: Satire against public figures is constitutional
Tillerson takes swipe at Trump over Ukraine dealings
Poll: Buttigieg struggling to gain black voter support
Trump made 45 false claims about impeachment and Ukraine
Supreme Court halts subpoena for Trump financial documents
Pompeo: This is a complex political problem
Trump speaks to press for first time since hospital visit
Carl Bernstein shares how GOP secretly voiced their concerns
Volker 'surprised' by additional conversations about Ukrainian President
Witness: I was concerned after Sondland conversations
Republicans question loyalty of Purple Heart recipient
Tapper caught off guard by White House statement after hearing
Vindman: Without hesitation, I knew I had to report this
Washington (CNN) '-- The White House has offered shifting descriptions of President Donald Trump's medical exam in the days since he made an unscheduled Saturday visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.Trump and White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham initially billed Trump's visit as the first part of the President's annual physical. But two days later, the President's doctor described the hospital visit as an "interim checkup," a term physicians told CNN implies a separate visit that is not part of an annual physical.
In a bid to quell concerns and speculation surrounding the visit,
the White House released a memo from Dr. Sean Conley, the President's physician, describing the visit as "a routine, planned interim checkup as part of the regular, primary preventative care he receives throughout the year."
Despite speculation otherwise, he said Trump "has not had any chest pain, nor was he evaluated or treated for any urgent or acute issues."
The immediate effect of Conley's memo was to bolster the White House's claims that Trump was not being treated for an urgent medical issue. But the memo also revealed a shift in the White House's explanations for the purpose of Trump's visit to Walter Reed.
VIDEO-"Music Is Frequency Programming" 440HZ - YouTube
Tue, 19 Nov 2019 10:29
VIDEO-I Used A Flip Phone for 30 Days - YouTube
Tue, 19 Nov 2019 10:09
VIDEO-South Dakota Meth Prevention and Awareness Campaign
Tue, 19 Nov 2019 10:01
South Dakota has a problem. There isn't a single solution because meth is widespread. But we can approach it from different angles, so it doesn't take over counties, towns, neighborhoods. Let's work together. Meth. We're on it.
I need helpResources are just a phone call or click away. Available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Always free and confidential.
Get HelpI want to helpResources for those who want to help, practice prevention or volunteer for causes to aid those struggling with meth addiction.
How to HelpSouth Dakota takes a stand against methWe are committed to tackling this problem from all sides. The state is providing increased resources and support for those who are in need, as well as those who want to advocate for meth's demise in their communities.
Governor Kristi Noem has supported funding for treatment facilities and school-based prevention programs.
With the help of all South Dakotans, we can ensure the bright futures of our communities are realized.
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VIDEO-Sparks fly as Fergie storms out of interview | 60 Minutes Australia - YouTube
Tue, 19 Nov 2019 08:52
VIDEO - (1) Paul ''TᕼE ᗷOOK GᑌY'' on Twitter: "@RealSaavedra @adamcurry #CLIP" / Twitter
Tue, 19 Nov 2019 07:55
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VIDEO - (24) The danger of AI is weirder than you think | Janelle Shane - YouTube
Mon, 18 Nov 2019 18:05
VIDEO-DeWereldDraaitDoor on Twitter: "LuckyTV - Prince Andrew can't have sex. #DWDD https://t.co/RckNng2vqx" / Twitter
Mon, 18 Nov 2019 17:30
Wtf is dat voor drakerig bandje met praatmuziek 🬠doe niet
VIDEO-Jay-Z Slams Colin Kaepernick For Turning Football Workout Into 'Publicity Stunt' - Reports - Sputnik International
Sun, 17 Nov 2019 21:09
US01:50 18.11.2019Get short URL
American footballer Colin Kaepernick has made a name for himself in recent years with his public protests through kneeling during the US national anthem, which is played before football games. Kaepernick was subsequently dropped from the 49ers in 2016.
Musician and businessman Jay-Z has expressed his distaste for Colin Kaepernick and the way he aired his workout on Saturday, with anonymous sources telling TMZ that he said Kaepernick "turned a legitimate workout into a publicity stunt".
Sources, who are reportedly close to Jay-Z, told TMZ that he does not approve of the manner of the workout, as he feels that the NFL was legitimately attempting to offer Colin an opportunity to make a comeback.
'‹Colin decided not to attend the National Football League (NFL) workout on Saturday, deciding to conduct his own instead.
Colin conducted his workout at a nearby high school, receiving mixed reviews. Some say that are impressed with the controversial sportsman's conduct.
Here are some highlights from the Colin Kaepernick workout!Only negative was the first pass but that was a clear drop from the Receiver..... outside of that, he looked good! pic.twitter.com/iy6U6FkIIw
'-- Abdul Memon (@abdulamemon) November 16, 2019Others, however, claim he looked "average at best".
Average at best under no pressure.
'-- Mark Michigan (@MarkMichigan3) November 17, 2019Kaepernick has claimed that he had demanded transparency and that the NFL would not permit him to host any media during the workout.
VIDEO-Bannon Wanted Eric Ciaramella Kicked Off National Security Council Amid Concerns Over Leaks | Zero Hedge
Sun, 17 Nov 2019 21:01
Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon said in a Friday interview that in 2017, he was involved in an effort to remove alleged whistleblower Eric Ciaramella from the National Security Council over concerns about leaks.
"When I was in the White House there was a number of people in the National Security Council '-- the named individual eventually got let go, I believe because people were suspicious, not me, but other people around him were suspicious about his leaking, and that's why he was let go," Bannon told VICE in an interview which published Friday.
Bannon served in the White House until August 2017, while Ciaramella - who became former National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster's personal aide in June 2017, was called out as a leaker by journalist Mike Cernovich that same month.
The whistleblower, who is reported to be a CIA analyst, filed a complaint on Aug. 12 accusing President Donald Trump of abusing his office in his dealings with Ukraine.
Bannon said he does not believe that the whistleblower needs to be identified publicly, but he did confirm his involvement in efforts to remove an individual now rumored to be the whistleblower from the NSC.
''I don't think the individual naming of the whistleblower is important, although there was a story in The Washington Times '... that tied me to the efforts to get, at least, the gentleman who was named out of the National Security Council,'' said Bannon, who left the White House on Aug. 18, 2017.
''Is that true?'' a VICE reporter asked Bannon.
''The individual that was named, absolutely true,'' he replied. -Daily Caller
Watch:
VIDEO-'It's Really Refreshing And Relaxing': College Students Say Ditching Their Smartphones For A Week Changed Their Lives '' CBS New York
Sun, 17 Nov 2019 20:28
November 14, 2019 at 5:35 pm
GARDEN CITY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) '' They survived!
Nearly two dozen Adelphi University students made it a full week without their cell phones!
As CBS2 first told you last week, it was part of a college course intended to break the powerful addiction of smartphones.
MORE: 'Life Unplugged': College Professor Making Students Give Up Smartphones For A Week To Test Addiction
CBS2's Carolyn Gusoff went back on Thursday as students were reunited with their beloved mobile devices.
It's old school in Jacob Dannenberg's dorm room '' with an alarm clock to wake him.
Handwritten notes remind him an actual wristwatch to keep track of time.
No it wasn't 1999, it was an Adelphi University course called ''Life Unplugged.'' where students did the unthinkable one week ago '' handed over their smartphones.
Adelphi University Prof. Donna Freitas and her class. (Credit: CBS2)
''I'm freaking out, I could probably cry right now,'' one student said.
It was a bold experiment to recognize today's compulsive relationships with ever present devices.
Seven days later, ''who's excited they're getting their phones back today?'' Professor Donna Freitas asked.
Gone were the nerves and the shakes.
''Everything is perfect right now. I'm having a lot better relationships'... it's a stress free environment no pressure about social media,'' Jacob Dannenberg said.
''I think it's really refreshing and relaxing'... I was able to fall asleep a lot easier,'' student Adrianna Cigliano.
They managed to find their way, even without GPS for a week.
''I just had to take the same route everywhere,'' one student joked.
They were also more productive.
''Doing homework was 100 percent easier. I got it done faster, I was in the zone,'' Cigliano said.
Prof. Freitas says it's important for everyone to assess their addiction.
''Are the conveniences worth it because the drawback are pretty significant,'' Freitas said.
''The face that no one can focus, that my students can't sleep'... They feel bad about themselves because of social media, the list goes on and on.''
The sweet reunions went sour quickly as endless notifications piled up.
''Oh my God this is so bad!'... I just want to shut it off now!'' the Adelphi class said.
Students say they're not quite breaking up with their phones, but promise the relationship will change.
''I want to keep that balance and figure out the healthy relationship that we deserve to have with our phones,'' Cigliano added.
''My screen time is definitely going to go down and I'm going start to appreciate my surroundings more because usually I'm looking at my screen all the time,'' Ashley Castillero said.
Students told CBS2 they look forward to living more in the moment, with their heads up more often, notifications off, and the ''do not disturb'' on.
Students were allowed to use a desktop computer or laptop during the experiment. They also made emergency communication plans with family.
VIDEO-Stelter Introduces Dan Rather as Panelist After Saying 'Truth Still Matters' - YouTube
Sun, 17 Nov 2019 15:42
VIDEO-Scalise: Trump's Military Pardons Are Boosting Troop 'Morale' - YouTube
Sun, 17 Nov 2019 15:40
VIDEO-Katie Hopkins forced to sell £1m home and now rents after humiliating libel case - Mirror Online
Sun, 17 Nov 2019 15:34
Katie Hopkins was forced to sell off her £1million Devon home and now rents after a humiliating court case wiped out her finances.
The far-right activist, whose extreme and distasteful views saw her sacked from two lucrative newspaper columns and her LBC radio show, had to flog her family home to pay off a £500,000 legal bill after the writer Jack Monroe sued her for libel and won.
Speaking to The Sunday Times, racist Hopkins whinged that speaking her mind lost her her career - having compared migrants crossing the Mediterranean in dinghies to "cockroaches" and claiming she'd use gunships to prevent people from landing on European shores.
Read MoreRelated ArticlesInside Katie Hopkins five-bedroom £1million mansion put up for sale after losing High Court libel caseKatie Hopkins had to sell off her family home after losing her libel case (Image: Twitter) Inside the five-bedroom mansion she was forced to sell for £950,000 (Image: Rightmove)"I live in a rented, modern, four-bedroom detached house with my husband Mark and our three children, aged 15, 14 and 10," she said.
"It's tucked out of the way for security reasons - our last home was rigged up to the local police station and had panic alarms fitted because of threats I received to my life.
"I was forced to sell it for £950,000 in early 2018 to pay off a legal bill in excess of £500,000."
While she didn't apologise for the circumstances leading up to the 2017 legal case - she'd falsely accused anti-poverty campaigner Jack Monroe of vandalising a war memorial - Hopkins did express regret that she hadn't acted sooner to settle the case out of court.
Read MoreRelated ArticlesKatie Hopkins made laughing stock as she tries to insult Meghan Markle's glowShe admitted her biggest business mistake was not settling the case for £5,000, as Jack Monroe had asked (Image: Twitter) Her old home featured a grand piano and a lot of colour (Image: Rightmove) Bright pink carpets were the order of the day for Hopkins' old family home (Image: Rightmove)Asked what her worst business decision had been, she said: "Arguably, not settling the legal case brought against me.
"I could have settled by giving £5,000 to a migrant charity but chose not to, and the ensuing court action and legal bills forced me to apply for an individual voluntary arrangement ."
And she claimed she learned nothing from being on The Apprentice in 2007, adding: "I 100% did not. However, I did learn that at the start of a recruitment process it's best to keep your mouth shut, listen and learn where you fit in - and only then have your say."
Hopkins found herself under fire in September when Little Mix's Jesy Nelson cited her fat-shaming tweet as the point at which her depression spiralled out of control, leading to a suicide attempt.
Read MoreRelated ArticlesKatie Hopkins fires back after Chris Hughes calls her a 'b****' over Jesy Nelson docHopkins claims she lost her career over speaking her mind (Image: PA) Anti-poverty campaigner Jack Monroe won her libel case against Hopkins (Image: PA)In the BBC documentary Odd One Out, Jesy recalled how she came off stage after an X Factor performance in 2013 to read a tweet from Hopkins that read: "Packet Mix have still got a chubber in their ranks. Less Little Mix. More Pick n Mix."
Jesy revealed she'd not eaten for a week before her X Factor return in 2013 and was horrified when she saw what Hopkins said after the performance.
The Little Mix star said: "All I remember feeling at that time is what's the f**king point.
"I've starved myself for a week and I'm still getting called fat. I could be the skinniest girl in the world and this is never going to go away.
Read MoreRelated ArticlesThis Morning's most iconic interviews: From slurring Kerry Katona to Kim Woodburn's outburstHopkins came under fire for fat-shaming Jesy Nelson and slating Meghan Markle (Image: Channel 9/PA)"That is the pinnacle point for me when I got severely depressed and it just spiralled out of control."
Hopkins was also widely mocked more recently when she tried to slate the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle , on Australia's Channel 9 documentary 60 Minutes.
The former Celebrity Big Brother loser said of Meghan: "There she is in her one-shoulder dress, being glowing. Because all she does is glow.
"Abdicate. Off you go.
"She wears bad clothes, when did we ask for that?"
But viewers fell about laughing at the short clip, with one tweeting back: "All this from a divorcee, who shags married men in fields, looks like she got dressed in the dark, is on the brink of bankruptcy and a nasty bitch on Twitter to boot #MeghanMarkle #KatieHopkins."
VIDEO - (24) Andrew Yang: I'd Tell Vladimir Putin 'I'm Sorry I Beat Your Guy' | MSNBC - YouTube
Thu, 21 Nov 2019 09:36
VIDEO - Dr. David Scheiner: Trump May Have Neurological Problems
Thu, 21 Nov 2019 09:26
Dr. David Scheiner expressed concern over President Donald Trump's health, and skepticism surrounding his unannounced visit to Walter Reade Hospital last weekend. The White House has described the visit as routine, which Scheiner dismissed as ''absolute balderdash'' during a Monday evening interview with Outfront anchor Erin Burnett.
Scheiner has some expertise in White House medical protocol as the Chicago-based medical doctor served as primary physician to President Barack Obama during his two terms. While Scheiner didn't believe that Trump's weekend hospital ''check-up'' was an ''emergency,'' he did suggest that it was an urgent matter.
''Maybe he had chest pain,'' he Dr. suggested, adding ''Maybe he had some neurologic '-- I think he is someone who has some neurological issues which no one has ever really addressed.''
Later in the interview, he went into some detail explaining his diagnosis, which seems to come entirely from watching President Trump on television.
''He is having trouble word-finding when he said united shush instead of the United States. These are words, he can't find them,'' Schneider noted. ''This is happening over and over again. Comedians joke about it. It's not a joking matter. I think there's a neurological issue that's not being addressed. If he had an MRI of his head over there, I would be very pleased. I think he needs it.''
Watch above via CNN.
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]
VIDEO - Little Mix Fans Express Concern For Jesy Nelson As She Remains Silent During... - Capital
Thu, 21 Nov 2019 09:15
19 November 2019, 16:09 | Updated: 20 November 2019, 12:43
Jesy Nelson sparked concern among some Little Mix fans as the girls promoted their new Christmas single.
Little Mix have a Christmas single coming soon, so to announce the news they shared a video on their social channels to tell fans 'One I've Been Missing' will drop on Friday.
Perrie Edwards, Leigh-Anne Pinnock, Jade Thirlwall and Jesy Nelson can be seen in the vid wearing red and black outfits from one of their tour performances, with Perrie and Leigh-Anne wrapped in red tinsel.
WATCH: Simon Cowell Explains The Controversy Between His Show And Little Mix's Show
As Leigh-Anne tells fans their next hit is coming soon, the girls whoop and cheer in excitement but bandmate Jesy remains silent throughout the clip.
Jesy Nelson wasn't her typical spritely self in Little Mix's Christmas announcement clip. Picture: Little Mix/Instagram Standing awkwardly with her hands held in front of her, Jesy looks around the room before smiling at the camera, while Perrie whips tinsel around her shoulders and Jade enthusiastically nods and puts her hands up.
While fans were thrilled about the news of a Christmas song, many noticed Jesy wasn't as spritely as she usually is.
''Jesy, you okay?'' Questioned one person on Instagram, as another said on Twitter: ''Jesy looks so uncomfortable and upset I hope she's okay.''
''Yeah I clocked that straight away. Hope she's doing ok!,'' agreed one fan, as someone else wrote: ''This is exactly what I was thinking watching this.''
However, some were quick to point out she's most likely tired, as the girls are in the midst of their LM5 tour.
Jesy opened up about her mental health battles earlier this year, saying in her Odd One Out documentary cruel comments from trolls severely took a toll on her self-confidence and she has battled with her self image for years.
The reaction to the documentary was incredible and Jesy was flooded with support from fans and fellow celebrities.
Little Mix uploaded a sneak peek of their Christmas song on social media, and the festive tune begins with Christmassy bells.
In the clip, the girls sit with their arms around each other in front of a fire, behind a front door adorned with a green and red wreath.
Fans are super excited to have a festive tune from the Little Mix ladies, with many saying they're already planning to stream it as they decorate their Christmas trees.
> Grab Our App For All The Latest Little Mix News!
STORIES
Dan Reeder on Twitter: "@adamcurry damn your "OK BOOMER" triggering my phone's assistant every time... quit it! :D" / Twitter
Thu, 21 Nov 2019 07:12
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Companies that fail to tackle climate change will be delisted from the London Stock Exchange'... '' GOVERNMENT SLAVES
Thu, 21 Nov 2019 06:19
Companies that fail to act on the climate change they cause will be axed from the stock exchange, under radical Labour plans.
John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, pledged his government would ensure firms are ''pulling their weight'' to tackle the ''existential threat'' to the planet.
And he warned: ''For those companies not taking adequate steps under Labour they will be delisted from the London Stock Exchange.''
Vowing to ''rewrite the rules'' of the economy to benefit workers, Mr McDonnell also insisted curbing the climate crisis would be ''Labour's overriding priority'' if it wins the general election.
The Corporate Governance Code would be beefed up to ''set out a minimum standard for listing related to evidencing the action being taken to tackle climate change''.
''If we are meet the climate change target to keep global warming to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels, we need to ensure that companies are pulling their weight alongside government,'' he told an event in London.
And, claiming some support from the corporate world, he added: ''Business bodies are calling for companies to improve climate related financial reporting and for all companies to bring forward decarbonisation plans.''
Earlier, the Green Party lashed out at Labour for dropping plans to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2030, as a shadow cabinet minister revealed on Monday.
It said the decision proved only the Greens are willing to wage ''a war'' on climate change, with a £100bn pledge to end emissions by that date.
CONTINUE @ INDEPENDENT
"It's Kind Of Despicable": Chicago Is Rigging Red Light Cameras To Rack Up Millions In Fines | Zero Hedge
Thu, 21 Nov 2019 06:18
It appears as though someone figured out that red light cameras could rack up tons more in fines if the number of times a light changes to red increases. This has led to nefariously shorter green lights in certain areas of Chicago.
Intersections where drivers are issued hundreds of thousands of dollars in tickets have been unfairly racked up, according to ABC's investigative reporting team. The team timed traffic lights at intersections where cameras were present and found that drivers had less time to legally get through intersections in directions where cameras where watching.
In once case, yellow and green lights were only 20 seconds - combined.
The city - which has been in a perpetual state of financial peril thanks to horrifying mismanagement of its pension liabilities - took in $35 million from the city's 300 red light cameras so far in 2019.
Kevin O'Malley, managing deputy commissioner of the Chicago Department of Transportation, said: "We believe it improves traffic safety which in the end saves injuries and saves lives."
But on a tip from a group opposing the cameras, the ABC team decided to conduct their own investigation. Mark Wallace of Citizens to Abolish Red Light Cameras (CARLC) said: "The question is why is a green light shorter where the red light camera is at the very same intersection."
Wallace continued: "That's really significant and you can just generate a lot more violations by having a shorter green on a red light."
The green lights are shorter at intersections where there are cameras. "It seems like they're definitely trying to get people out here," one driver said.
City records indicate that one light - at 87th and Lafayette in Chatham - generated more than $1 million this year. In the two directions with cameras, the green lights are 20 seconds and 29 seconds. The direction without a camera timed at 1 minute and 9 seconds - a major difference of up to 49 seconds longer.
O'Malley says the timing is "based on traffic flow" and not on the cameras. He says 20 seconds is enough time to keep traffic moving: "It should be enough time, for the traffic flow that is there at the time."
He says that lights have different times based on traffic patterns and that intersections chosen for cameras are due to their "history of known traffic crashes".
O'Malley continued, explaining why cameras were only installed in directions where the green lights were shorter: "These three intersections you've pointed out are off the Dan Ryan, and they happen to be parallel to the Dan Ryan, and one of the directions is on a bridge that goes over the expressway, and we don't install cameras on bridges because of the constructability. It's more difficult, as well as the a little shake, so the enforcement is a little more difficult."
The investigators also examined an intersection at 79th and State in Burbank, which made almost $800,000 this year alone. The directions that the cameras are facing have green lights that are as short as 22 seconds. The direction without the camera timed at 46 seconds.
The city's most lucrative camera is at Cicero and I-55. In 2019 it has racked up $1,850,000, or about $6,778 a day, $282 dollars an hour, $4.71 a minute, or 8 cents a second.
Timothy Galarnyk, a traffic safety expert with Construction Risk Management, Inc. who reviewed all three intersections the I-Team examined and is familiar with national standards for traffic light control devices, said: "It's actually, it's kind of despicable."
He concluded: "That's a trap. The green should be the same length, but if there's no camera they give you more time, if there's a camera they give you half the amount of time, which means they're going to catch you running that light. They're going to catch you at their trap."
Pandering Biden Makes False Claim He ''Got Started Out" at a Historically Black College
Wed, 20 Nov 2019 22:44
Does Joe Biden realize he's lying, or does he believe the things he says? It's hard to tell because he just keeps on spitting out lie after lie without flinching.
Here he is in Florence, South Carolina boasting that he got started at an ''HBCU'' aka Historically Black Colleges and Universities. The problem is that this is not true. Biden attended the Archmere Academy in Claymont, Delaware and attended the University of Delaware.
Watch the video below and see for yourself if he's pandering:
Joe Biden has a long and sordid past with his inability to tell the truth, but here he is with a young audience, and he's blatantly lying to everyone in the room. Does he not realize that everything is recorded in 2019'...everything.
Trending: Adam Schiff Panics After Witness Changes Testimony'...Second Witness Refuses To Play Along With Democrat Impeachment Game [Video]
Or does he just not care?
Benny called out Biden on Twitter:
Delaware State is an HBCU, the only problem is, Biden went to the University of Delaware, a completely different school. pic.twitter.com/qBSvwJhoRK
'-- Benny (@bennyjohnson) October 26, 2019
Remember ''Corn Pop''?
Ernst Stavro Blofeld posted this hilarious addition to the Corn Pop story on YouTube:
And meanwhile, Joe Biden continued with his story about Corn Pop: ''After I took down Corn Pop and his fellow bad boys, Honeycomb, Apple Jack, and that dimwit, Special K, Corn Pop and I developed a mutual respect for each other and we became good friends. In fact, I briefly dated his sister, Sugar Smack, but that was before she began writing bad Chex and turning Trix.
So, late one night Corn Pop and I walked downtown to grab sandwiches at Subway. It was about 2 a.m. and along the way, we ran into Jussie Smollet, who smelled of bleach and had a rope around his neck, but we didn't think anything of it. Then, out of nowhere, Cesar Sayoc's white van covered in Trump stickers, which strangely didn't have a scratch on it, pulled up and Nick Sandmann and his Covington Catholic crew, all wearing red MAGA caps, jumped out, and they began staring us down.
I tell you, I was never so scared in my Life. It was scarier than finding yourself in a dark alley with Count Chocula and Franken Berry. Corn Pop was so scared that he dropped a load of Cocoa Puffs in his pants. I was about to whip out my cell phone and call for military backup since I had Captain Crunch and General Mills on speed-dial, but at that moment I said to myself, 'I'm a Biden, man, and I'm not going to be intimidated and bullied.' So I grabbed a drum from Nathan Phillips and walked over and beat it in Nick's face while chanting the war cry of Elizabeth Warren's tribe. Man, that was something!
I look back on that night and thank my Lucky Charms that I'm alive today to tell you about it. No joke! Cerealously, that's the truth, on my name as a Biden.''
TrumpLandslide2020!
DNA test shows Hunter Biden is father of Arkansas woman's baby
Wed, 20 Nov 2019 18:50
Hunter BidenDNA testing has established, ''with scientific certainty,'' that Hunter Biden is the father of an Arkansas baby, according to a motion filed Wednesday in Independence County on behalf of the child's mother, Lunden Alexis Roberts.
Biden, son of former vice president Joe Biden, ''is not expected to challenge the results of the DNA test or the testing process,'' the filing states.
An attorney for Hunter Biden, former Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
[DOCUMENT: Motion to seal >> arkansasonline.com/1120seal/]
A hearing in the case was previously scheduled for Dec. 2 in Batesville.
The baby's ''paternal grandfather, Joe Biden, is seeking the nomination of the Democratic Party for President of the United States of America,'' the mother notes. ''He is considered by some to be the person most likely to win his party's nomination and challenge President Trump on the ballot in 2020.''
The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette posted a story early this afternoon about the DNA test-related court filing. Soon after, the Trump campaign tweeted out a link to the article, adding three words of its own: "Congratulations, Joe Biden!"
Hunter Biden, who initially denied having sexual relations with Roberts, eventually agreed to take a DNA test, according to documents filed by Roberts' attorney, Clint Lancaster.
[DOCUMENT: Motion for attorney's fees and costs >> arkansasonline.com/1120fees/]
Read Thursday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.
This story was originally published at 2:30 p.m.
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(17) The Sneaky Plan to Subvert the Electoral College for the Next Election - YouTube
Wed, 20 Nov 2019 15:29
Upcoming Updates to the Google Ads Data Protection Terms
Wed, 20 Nov 2019 15:21
Google will be updating the following, effective 1 January 2020:
These updates include the addition of new CCPA service provider addenda (linked below) to the above terms. The current versions of the above terms will be updated on 1 January 2020 with the versions set out on this page.
Service Provider TermsGoogle Ads Controller-Controller Data Protection Terms Google and the counterparty agreeing to these terms (''Customer'') have entered into an agreement for the provision of the Controller Services (as amended from time to time, the ''Agreement'').
These Google Ads Controller-Controller Data Protection Terms (including the appendix, ''Controller Terms'') are entered into by Google and Customer and supplement the Agreement. These Controller Terms will be effective, and replace any previously applicable terms relating to their subject matter, from the Terms Effective Date.
If you are accepting these Controller Terms on behalf of Customer, you warrant that: (a) you have full legal authority to bind Customer to these Controller Terms; (b) you have read and understand these Controller Terms; and (c) you agree, on behalf of Customer, to these Controller Terms. If you do not have the legal authority to bind Customer, please do not accept these Controller Terms.
1. Introduction These Controller Terms reflect the parties' agreement on the processing of certain data in connection with the European Data Protection Legislation and certain Non-European Data Protection Legislation.
2. Definitions and Interpretation 2.1 In these Controller Terms:
''Additional Terms for Non-European Data Protection Legislation'' means the additional terms referred to in Appendix 1, which reflect the parties' agreement on the terms governing the processing of certain data in connection with certain Non-European Data Protection Legislation.
''Affiliate'' means an entity that directly or indirectly controls, is controlled by, or is under common control with, a party.
''Controller Data Subject'' means a data subject to whom Controller Personal Data relates.
''Controller Personal Data'' means any personal data that is processed by a party under the Agreement in connection with its provision or use (as applicable) of the Controller Services.
''Controller Services'' means the applicable services listed at privacy.google.com/businesses/adsservices.
''EU GDPR'' means Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 April 2016 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Directive 95/46/EC.
''European Data Protection Legislation'' means, as applicable: (a) the GDPR; and/or (b) the Federal Data Protection Act of 19 June 1992 (Switzerland).
''GDPR'' means, as applicable: (a) the EU GDPR; and/or (b) the UK GDPR.
''Google'' means the Google Entity that is party to the Agreement.
''Google Entity'' means Google LLC (formerly known as Google Inc.), Google Ireland Limited or any other Affiliate of Google LLC.
''Non-European Data Protection Legislation'' means data protection or privacy laws in force outside the European Economic Area, Switzerland and the UK.
''Privacy Shield'' means the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield legal framework, the Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield legal framework, and any equivalent legal framework that may apply between the UK and the United States.
''Terms Effective Date'' means, as applicable:
(a) 25 May 2018, if Customer clicked to accept or the parties otherwise agreed to these Controller Terms before or on such date; or
(b) the date on which Customer clicked to accept or the parties otherwise agreed to these Controller Terms, if such date is after 25 May 2018.
''UK GDPR'' means the EU GDPR as amended and incorporated into UK law under the UK European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018, if in force.
2.2 The terms ''controller'', ''data subject'', ''personal data'', ''processing'' and ''processor'' as used in these Controller Terms have the meanings given in the GDPR.
2.3 The words ''include'' and ''including'' mean ''including but not limited to''. Any examples in these Controller Terms are illustrative and not the sole examples of a particular concept.
2.4 Any reference to a legal framework, statute or other legislative enactment is a reference to it as amended or re-enacted from time to time.
2.5 If these Controller Terms are translated into any other language, and there is a discrepancy between the English text and the translated text, the English text will govern.
3. Application of these Controller Terms 3.1 Application of European Data Protection Legislation. Sections 4 (Roles and Restrictions on Processing) to 6 (Privacy Shield Onward Transfer Provisions) (inclusive) will only apply to the extent that the European Data Protection Legislation applies to the processing of Controller Personal Data.
3.2 Application to Controller Services. These Controller Terms will only apply to the Controller Services for which the parties agreed to these Controller Terms (for example: (a) the Controller Services for which Customer clicked to accept these Controller Terms; or (b) if the Agreement incorporates these Controller Terms by reference, the Controller Services that are the subject of the Agreement).
3.3 Incorporation of Additional Terms for Non-European Data Protection Legislation. The Additional Terms for Non-European Data Protection Legislation supplement these Controller Terms.
4. Roles and Restrictions on Processing 4.1 Independent Controllers. Each party:
(a) is an independent controller of Controller Personal Data under the European Data Protection Legislation;
(b) will individually determine the purposes and means of its processing of Controller Personal Data; and
(c) will comply with the obligations applicable to it under the European Data Protection Legislation with respect to the processing of Controller Personal Data.
4.2 Restrictions on Processing. Section 4.1 (Independent Controllers) will not affect any restrictions on either party's rights to use or otherwise process Controller Personal Data under the Agreement.
5. Data Transfers 5.1 Transfers of Data. Either party may transfer Controller Personal Data to third countries if it complies with the provisions on the transfer of personal data to third countries in the European Data Protection Legislation.
5.2 Google's Privacy Shield Certification. As at the date Customer clicked to accept or the parties otherwise agreed to these Controller Terms, the parent company of the Google group, Google LLC, is certified under Privacy Shield. This Section 5.2 (Google's Privacy Shield Certification) constitutes notice in writing from Google to Customer for the purpose of Section 6.1(c).
6. Privacy Shield Onward Transfer Provisions 6.1 Application of Section 6. Sections 6.2 (Use of Data Provider Personal Data) and 6.3 (Protection of Data Provider Personal Data) will only apply to the extent that:
(a) a party (the ''Data Recipient'') processes Controller Personal Data that is made available by the other party (the ''Data Provider'') in connection with the Agreement (such Controller Personal Data, ''Data Provider Personal Data'');
(b) the Data Provider or its Affiliate is certified under Privacy Shield; and
(c) the Data Provider notifies the Data Recipient of such Privacy Shield certification in writing.
6.2 Use of Data Provider Personal Data.
(a) Pursuant to the onward transfer principle under Privacy Shield, the Data Recipient will only use Data Provider Personal Data in a manner consistent with the consent provided by the relevant Controller Data Subjects.
(b) To the extent the Data Provider fails to obtain consent from the relevant Controller Data Subjects as required under the Agreement, the Data Recipient will not be in breach of Section 6.2(a) if it uses Data Provider Personal Data consistent with the required consent.
6.3 Protection of Data Provider Personal Data.
(a) The Data Recipient will provide a level of protection for Data Provider Personal Data that is at least equivalent to that required under Privacy Shield.
(b) If the Data Recipient determines that it cannot comply with Section 6.3(a), it will: (i) notify the Data Provider in writing; and (ii) either cease processing the Data Provider Personal Data or take reasonable and appropriate steps to remedy such non-compliance.
7. Liability If the Agreement is governed by the laws of:
(a) a state of the United States of America, then, notwithstanding anything else in the Agreement, the total liability of either party towards the other party under or in connection with these Controller Terms will be limited to the maximum monetary or payment-based amount at which that party's liability is capped under the Agreement (for clarity, any exclusion of indemnification claims from the Agreement's limitation of liability will not apply to indemnification claims under the Agreement relating to the European Data Protection Legislation or the Non-European Data Protection Legislation); or
(b) a jurisdiction that is not a state of the United States of America, then the liability of the parties under or in connection with these Controller Terms will be subject to the exclusions and limitations of liability in the Agreement.
8. Priority 8.1 Effect of these Controller Terms. If there is any conflict or inconsistency between the terms of the Additional Terms for Non-European Data Protection Legislation, the remainder of these Controller Terms and/or the remainder of the Agreement then, subject to Sections 4.2 (Restrictions on Processing) and 8.2 (Processor Terms), the following order of precedence will apply: (a) the Additional Terms for Non-European Data Protection Legislation; (b) the remainder of these Controller Terms; and (c) the remainder of the Agreement. Subject to the amendments in these Controller Terms, the Agreement remains in full force and effect.
8.2 Processor Terms. These Controller Terms will not affect any separate terms between Google and Customer reflecting a controller-processor relationship for a service other than the Controller Services.
9. Changes to these Controller Terms 9.1 Changes to Controller Services in Scope. Google may only change the list of potential Controller Services at privacy.google.com/businesses/adsservices:
(a) to reflect a change to the name of a service;
(b) to add a new service; or
(c) to remove a service where either: (i) all contracts for the provision of that service are terminated; or (ii) Google has Customer's consent.
9.2 Changes to Controller Terms. Google may change these Controller Terms if the change:
(a) is as described in Section 9.1 (Changes to Controller Services in Scope);
(b) is required to comply with applicable law, applicable regulation, a court order or guidance issued by a governmental regulator or agency; or
(c) does not: (i) seek to alter the categorisation of the parties as independent controllers of Controller Personal Data under the European Data Protection Legislation; (ii) expand the scope of, or remove any restrictions on, either party's rights to use or otherwise process (x) in the case of the Additional Terms for Non-European Data Protection Legislation, the data in scope of the Additional Terms for Non-European Data Protection Legislation or (y) in the case of the remainder of these Controller Terms, Controller Personal Data; or (iii) have a material adverse impact on Customer, as reasonably determined by Google.
9.3 Notification of Changes. If Google intends to change these Controller Terms under Section 9.2(b) and such change will have a material adverse impact on Customer, as reasonably determined by Google, then Google will use commercially reasonable efforts to inform Customer at least 30 days (or such shorter period as may be required to comply with applicable law, applicable regulation, a court order or guidance issued by a governmental regulator or agency) before the change will take effect. If Customer objects to any such change, Customer may terminate the Agreement by giving written notice to Google within 90 days of being informed by Google of the change.
Appendix 1: Additional Terms for Non-European Data Protection Legislation The following Additional Terms for Non-European Data Protection Legislation supplement these Controller Terms:
Google Ads Controller-Controller Data Protection Terms, Version 1.3
1 January 2020
Google Ads Data Processing Terms Google and the counterparty agreeing to these terms (''Customer'') have entered into an agreement for the provision of the Processor Services (as amended from time to time, the ''Agreement'').
These Google Ads Data Processing Terms (including the appendices, ''Data Processing Terms'') are entered into by Google and Customer and supplement the Agreement. These Data Processing Terms will be effective, and replace any previously applicable terms relating to their subject matter (including any data processing amendment or data processing addendum relating to the Processor Services), from the Terms Effective Date.
If you are accepting these Data Processing Terms on behalf of Customer, you warrant that: (a) you have full legal authority to bind Customer to these Data Processing Terms; (b) you have read and understand these Data Processing Terms; and (c) you agree, on behalf of Customer, to these Data Processing Terms. If you do not have the legal authority to bind Customer, please do not accept these Data Processing Terms.
1. Introduction These Data Processing Terms reflect the parties' agreement on the terms governing the processing of certain data in connection with the European Data Protection Legislation and certain Non-European Data Protection Legislation.
2. Definitions and Interpretation 2.1 In these Data Processing Terms:
''Additional Product'' means a product, service or application provided by Google or a third party that: (a) is not part of the Processor Services; and (b) is accessible for use within the user interface of the Processor Services or is otherwise integrated with the Processor Services.
''Additional Terms for Non-European Data Protection Legislation'' means the additional terms referred to in Appendix 3, which reflect the parties' agreement on the terms governing the processing of certain data in connection with certain Non-European Data Protection Legislation.
''Affiliate'' means an entity that directly or indirectly controls, is controlled by, or is under common control with, a party.
''Customer Personal Data'' means personal data that is processed by Google on behalf of Customer in Google's provision of the Processor Services.
''Data Incident'' means a breach of Google's security leading to the accidental or unlawful destruction, loss, alteration, unauthorised disclosure of, or access to, Customer Personal Data on systems managed by or otherwise controlled by Google. ''Data Incidents'' will not include unsuccessful attempts or activities that do not compromise the security of Customer Personal Data, including unsuccessful log-in attempts, pings, port scans, denial of service attacks, and other network attacks on firewalls or networked systems.
''Data Subject Tool'' means a tool (if any) made available by a Google Entity to data subjects that enables Google to respond directly and in a standardised manner to certain requests from data subjects in relation to Customer Personal Data (for example, online advertising settings or an opt-out browser plugin).
''EEA'' means the European Economic Area.
''EU GDPR'' means Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 April 2016 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Directive 95/46/EC.
''European Data Protection Legislation'' means, as applicable: (a) the GDPR; and/or (b) the Federal Data Protection Act of 19 June 1992 (Switzerland).
''European or National Laws'' means, as applicable: (a) EU or EU Member State law (if the EU GDPR applies to the processing of Customer Personal Data); and/or (b) the law of the UK or a part of the UK (if the UK GDPR applies to the processing of Customer Personal Data).
''GDPR'' means, as applicable: (a) the EU GDPR; and/or (b) the UK GDPR.
''Google'' means the Google Entity that is party to the Agreement.
''Google Affiliate Subprocessors'' has the meaning given in Section 11.1 (Consent to Subprocessor Engagement).
''Google Entity'' means Google LLC (formerly known as Google Inc.), Google Ireland Limited or any other Affiliate of Google LLC.
''ISO 27001 Certification'' means ISO/IEC 27001:2013 certification or a comparable certification for the Processor Services.
''Non-European Data Protection Legislation'' means data protection or privacy laws in force outside the EEA, Switzerland and the UK.
''Notification Email Address'' means the email address (if any) designated by Customer, via the user interface of the Processor Services or such other means provided by Google, to receive certain notifications from Google relating to these Data Processing Terms.
''Privacy Shield'' means the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield legal framework, the Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield legal framework, and any equivalent legal framework that may apply between the UK and the United States.
''Processor Services'' means the applicable services listed at privacy.google.com/businesses/adsservices.
''Security Documentation'' means the certificate issued for the ISO 27001 Certification and any other security certifications or documentation that Google may make available in respect of the Processor Services.
''Security Measures'' has the meaning given in Section 7.1.1 (Google's Security Measures).
''Subprocessors'' means third parties authorised under these Data Processing Terms to have logical access to and process Customer Personal Data in order to provide parts of the Processor Services and any related technical support.
''Supervisory Authority'' means, as applicable: (a) a ''supervisory authority'' as defined in the EU GDPR; and/or (b) the ''Commissioner'' as defined in the UK GDPR.
''Term'' means the period from the Terms Effective Date until the end of Google's provision of the Processor Services under the Agreement.
''Terms Effective Date'' means, as applicable:
(a) 25 May 2018, if Customer clicked to accept or the parties otherwise agreed to these Data Processing Terms before or on such date; or
(b) the date on which Customer clicked to accept or the parties otherwise agreed to these Data Processing Terms, if such date is after 25 May 2018.
''Third Party Subprocessors'' has the meaning given in Section 11.1 (Consent to Subprocessor Engagement).
''UK GDPR'' means the EU GDPR as amended and incorporated into UK law under the UK European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018, if in force.
2.2 The terms ''controller'', ''data subject'', ''personal data'', ''processing'' and ''processor'' as used in these Data Processing Terms have the meanings given in the GDPR.
2.3 The words ''include'' and ''including'' mean ''including but not limited to''. Any examples in these Data Processing Terms are illustrative and not the sole examples of a particular concept.
2.4 Any reference to a legal framework, statute or other legislative enactment is a reference to it as amended or re-enacted from time to time.
2.5 If these Data Processing Terms are translated into any other language, and there is a discrepancy between the English text and the translated text, the English text will govern.
3. Duration of these Data Processing Terms These Data Processing Terms will take effect on the Terms Effective Date and, notwithstanding expiry of the Term, remain in effect until, and automatically expire upon, deletion of all Customer Personal Data by Google as described in these Data Processing Terms.
4. Application of these Data Processing Terms 4.1 Application of European Data Protection Legislation. Sections 5 (Processing of Data) to 12 (Contacting Google; Processing Records) (inclusive) will only apply to the extent that the European Data Protection Legislation applies to the processing of Customer Personal Data, including if:
(a) the processing is in the context of the activities of an establishment of Customer in the EEA or the UK; and/or
(b) Customer Personal Data is personal data relating to data subjects who are in the EEA or the UK and the processing relates to the offering to them of goods or services or the monitoring of their behaviour in the EEA or the UK.
4.2 Application to Processor Services. These Data Processing Terms will only apply to the Processor Services for which the parties agreed to these Data Processing Terms (for example: (a) the Processor Services for which Customer clicked to accept these Data Processing Terms; or (b) if the Agreement incorporates these Data Processing Terms by reference, the Processor Services that are the subject of the Agreement).
4.3 Incorporation of Additional Terms for Non-European Data Protection Legislation. The Additional Terms for Non-European Data Protection Legislation supplement these Data Processing Terms.
5. Processing of Data 5.1 Roles and Regulatory Compliance; Authorisation.
5.1.1 Processor and Controller Responsibilities. The parties acknowledge and agree that:
(a) Appendix 1 describes the subject matter and details of the processing of Customer Personal Data;
(b) Google is a processor of Customer Personal Data under the European Data Protection Legislation;
(c) Customer is a controller or processor, as applicable, of Customer Personal Data under the European Data Protection Legislation; and
(d) each party will comply with the obligations applicable to it under the European Data Protection Legislation with respect to the processing of Customer Personal Data.
5.1.2 Authorisation by Third Party Controller. If Customer is a processor, Customer warrants to Google that Customer's instructions and actions with respect to Customer Personal Data, including its appointment of Google as another processor, have been authorised by the relevant controller.
5.2 Customer's Instructions. By entering into these Data Processing Terms, Customer instructs Google to process Customer Personal Data only in accordance with applicable law: (a) to provide the Processor Services and any related technical support; (b) as further specified via Customer's use of the Processor Services (including in the settings and other functionality of the Processor Services) and any related technical support; (c) as documented in the form of the Agreement, including these Data Processing Terms; and (d) as further documented in any other written instructions given by Customer and acknowledged by Google as constituting instructions for purposes of these Data Processing Terms.
5.3 Google's Compliance with Instructions. Google will comply with the instructions described in Section 5.2 (Customer's Instructions) (including with regard to data transfers) unless European or National Laws to which Google is subject require other processing of Customer Personal Data by Google, in which case Google will inform Customer (unless any such law prohibits Google from doing so on important grounds of public interest).
5.4 Additional Products. If Customer uses any Additional Product, the Processor Services may allow that Additional Product to access Customer Personal Data as required for the interoperation of the Additional Product with the Processor Services. For clarity, these Data Processing Terms do not apply to the processing of personal data in connection with the provision of any Additional Product used by Customer, including personal data transmitted to or from that Additional Product.
6. Data Deletion 6.1 Deletion During Term.
6.1.1 Processor Services With Deletion Functionality. During the Term, if:
(a) the functionality of the Processor Services includes the option for Customer to delete Customer Personal Data;
(b) Customer uses the Processor Services to delete certain Customer Personal Data; and
(c) the deleted Customer Personal Data cannot be recovered by Customer (for example, from the ''trash''),
then Google will delete such Customer Personal Data from its systems as soon as reasonably practicable and within a maximum period of 180 days, unless European or National Laws require storage.
6.1.2 Processor Services Without Deletion Functionality. During the Term, if the functionality of the Processor Services does not include the option for Customer to delete Customer Personal Data, then Google will comply with:
(a) any reasonable request from Customer to facilitate such deletion, insofar as this is possible taking into account the nature and functionality of the Processor Services and unless European or National Laws require storage; and
(b) the data retention practices described at policies.google.com/technologies/ads.
Google may charge a fee (based on Google's reasonable costs) for any data deletion under Section 6.1.2(a). Google will provide Customer with further details of any applicable fee, and the basis of its calculation, in advance of any such data deletion.
6.2 Deletion on Term Expiry. On expiry of the Term, Customer instructs Google to delete all Customer Personal Data (including existing copies) from Google's systems in accordance with applicable law. Google will comply with this instruction as soon as reasonably practicable and within a maximum period of 180 days, unless European or National Laws require storage.
7. Data Security 7.1 Google's Security Measures and Assistance.
7.1.1 Google's Security Measures. Google will implement and maintain technical and organisational measures to protect Customer Personal Data against accidental or unlawful destruction, loss, alteration, unauthorised disclosure or access as described in Appendix 2 (the ''Security Measures''). As described in Appendix 2, the Security Measures include measures: (a) to encrypt personal data; (b) to help ensure the ongoing confidentiality, integrity, availability and resilience of Google's systems and services; (c) to help restore timely access to personal data following an incident; and (d) for regular testing of effectiveness. Google may update or modify the Security Measures from time to time, provided that such updates and modifications do not result in the degradation of the overall security of the Processor Services.
7.1.2 Security Compliance by Google Staff. Google will take appropriate steps to ensure compliance with the Security Measures by its employees, contractors and Subprocessors to the extent applicable to their scope of performance, including ensuring that all persons authorised to process Customer Personal Data have committed themselves to confidentiality or are under an appropriate statutory obligation of confidentiality.
7.1.3 Google's Security Assistance. Customer agrees that Google will (taking into account the nature of the processing of Customer Personal Data and the information available to Google) assist Customer in ensuring compliance with any obligations of Customer in respect of security of personal data and personal data breaches, including (if applicable) Customer's obligations pursuant to Articles 32 to 34 (inclusive) of the GDPR, by:
(a) implementing and maintaining the Security Measures in accordance with Section 7.1.1 (Google's Security Measures);
(b) complying with the terms of Section 7.2 (Data Incidents); and
(c) providing Customer with the Security Documentation in accordance with Section 7.5.1 (Reviews of Security Documentation) and the information contained in these Data Processing Terms.
7.2 Data Incidents.
7.2.1 Incident Notification. If Google becomes aware of a Data Incident, Google will: (a) notify Customer of the Data Incident promptly and without undue delay; and (b) promptly take reasonable steps to minimise harm and secure Customer Personal Data.
7.2.2 Details of Data Incident. Notifications made under Section 7.2.1 (Incident Notification) will describe, to the extent possible, details of the Data Incident, including steps taken to mitigate the potential risks and steps Google recommends Customer take to address the Data Incident.
7.2.3 Delivery of Notification. Google will deliver its notification of any Data Incident to the Notification Email Address or, at Google's discretion (including if Customer has not provided a Notification Email Address), by other direct communication (for example, by phone call or an in-person meeting). Customer is solely responsible for providing the Notification Email Address and ensuring that the Notification Email Address is current and valid.
7.2.4 Third Party Notifications. Customer is solely responsible for complying with incident notification laws applicable to Customer and fulfilling any third party notification obligations related to any Data Incident.
7.2.5 No Acknowledgement of Fault by Google. Google's notification of or response to a Data Incident under this Section 7.2 (Data Incidents) will not be construed as an acknowledgement by Google of any fault or liability with respect to the Data Incident.
7.3 Customer's Security Responsibilities and Assessment.
7.3.1 Customer's Security Responsibilities. Customer agrees that, without prejudice to Google's obligations under Sections 7.1 (Google's Security Measures and Assistance) and 7.2 (Data Incidents):
(a) Customer is solely responsible for its use of the Processor Services, including:
(i) making appropriate use of the Processor Services to ensure a level of security appropriate to the risk in respect of Customer Personal Data; and
(ii) securing the account authentication credentials, systems and devices Customer uses to access the Processor Services; and
(b) Google has no obligation to protect Customer Personal Data that Customer elects to store or transfer outside of Google's and its Subprocessors' systems.
7.3.2 Customer's Security Assessment. Customer acknowledges and agrees that (taking into account the state of the art, the costs of implementation and the nature, scope, context and purposes of the processing of Customer Personal Data as well as the risks to individuals) the Security Measures implemented and maintained by Google as set out in Section 7.1.1 (Google's Security Measures) provide a level of security appropriate to the risk in respect of Customer Personal Data.
7.4 Security Certification. To evaluate and help ensure the continued effectiveness of the Security Measures, Google will maintain the ISO 27001 Certification.
7.5 Reviews and Audits of Compliance.
7.5.1 Reviews of Security Documentation. To demonstrate compliance by Google with its obligations under these Data Processing Terms, Google will make the Security Documentation available for review by Customer.
7.5.2 Customer's Audit Rights.
(a) Google will allow Customer or a third party auditor appointed by Customer to conduct audits (including inspections) to verify Google's compliance with its obligations under these Data Processing Terms in accordance with Section 7.5.3 (Additional Business Terms for Audits). Google will contribute to such audits as described in Section 7.4 (Security Certification) and this Section 7.5 (Reviews and Audits of Compliance).
(b) Customer may also conduct an audit to verify Google's compliance with its obligations under these Data Processing Terms by reviewing the certificate issued for the ISO 27001 Certification (which reflects the outcome of an audit conducted by a third party auditor).
7.5.3 Additional Business Terms for Audits.
(a) Customer will send any request for an audit under Section 7.5.2(a) to Google as described in Section 12.1 (Contacting Google).
(b) Following receipt by Google of a request under Section 7.5.3(a), Google and Customer will discuss and agree in advance on the reasonable start date, scope and duration of, and security and confidentiality controls applicable to, any audit under Section 7.5.2(a).
(c) Google may charge a fee (based on Google's reasonable costs) for any audit under Section 7.5.2(a). Google will provide Customer with further details of any applicable fee, and the basis of its calculation, in advance of any such audit. Customer will be responsible for any fees charged by any third party auditor appointed by Customer to execute any such audit.
(d) Google may object to any third party auditor appointed by Customer to conduct any audit under Section 7.5.2(a) if the auditor is, in Google's reasonable opinion, not suitably qualified or independent, a competitor of Google or otherwise manifestly unsuitable. Any such objection by Google will require Customer to appoint another auditor or conduct the audit itself.
(e) Nothing in these Data Processing Terms will require Google either to disclose to Customer or its third party auditor, or to allow Customer or its third party auditor to access:
(i) any data of any other customer of a Google Entity;
(ii) any Google Entity's internal accounting or financial information;
(iii) any trade secret of a Google Entity;
(iv) any information that, in Google's reasonable opinion, could: (A) compromise the security of any Google Entity's systems or premises; or (B) cause any Google Entity to breach its obligations under the European Data Protection Legislation or its security and/or privacy obligations to Customer or any third party; or
(v) any information that Customer or its third party auditor seeks to access for any reason other than the good faith fulfilment of Customer's obligations under the European Data Protection Legislation.
8. Impact Assessments and Consultations Customer agrees that Google will (taking into account the nature of the processing and the information available to Google) assist Customer in ensuring compliance with any obligations of Customer in respect of data protection impact assessments and prior consultation, including (if applicable) Customer's obligations pursuant to Articles 35 and 36 of the GDPR, by:
(a) providing the Security Documentation in accordance with Section 7.5.1 (Reviews of Security Documentation);
(b) providing the information contained in these Data Processing Terms; and
(c) providing or otherwise making available, in accordance with Google's standard practices, other materials concerning the nature of the Processor Services and the processing of Customer Personal Data (for example, help centre materials).
9. Data Subject Rights 9.1 Responses to Data Subject Requests. If Google receives a request from a data subject in relation to Customer Personal Data, Google will:
(a) if the request is made via a Data Subject Tool, respond directly to the data subject's request in accordance with the standard functionality of that Data Subject Tool; or
(b) if the request is not made via a Data Subject Tool, advise the data subject to submit his/her request to Customer, and Customer will be responsible for responding to such request.
9.2 Google's Data Subject Request Assistance. Customer agrees that Google will (taking into account the nature of the processing of Customer Personal Data and, if applicable, Article 11 of the GDPR) assist Customer in fulfilling any obligation of Customer to respond to requests by data subjects, including (if applicable) Customer's obligation to respond to requests for exercising the data subject's rights laid down in Chapter III of the GDPR, by:
(a) providing the functionality of the Processor Services;
(b) complying with the commitments set out in Section 9.1 (Responses to Data Subject Requests); and
(c) if applicable to the Processor Services, making available Data Subject Tools.
10. Data Transfers 10.1 Data Storage and Processing Facilities. Customer agrees that Google may, subject to Section 10.2 (Transfers of Data), store and process Customer Personal Data in the United States of America and any other country in which Google or any of its Subprocessors maintains facilities.
10.2 Transfers of Data. Google will ensure that:
(a) the parent company of the Google group, Google LLC, remains self-certified under Privacy Shield; and
(b) the scope of Google LLC's Privacy Shield certification includes Customer Personal Data.
10.3 Data Centre Information. Information about the locations of Google data centres is available at www.google.com/about/datacenters/inside/locations/index.html.
11. Subprocessors 11.1 Consent to Subprocessor Engagement. Customer specifically authorises the engagement of Google's Affiliates as Subprocessors (''Google Affiliate Subprocessors''). In addition, Customer generally authorises the engagement of any other third parties as Subprocessors (''Third Party Subprocessors'').
11.2 Information about Subprocessors. Information about Subprocessors is available at privacy.google.com/businesses/subprocessors.
11.3 Requirements for Subprocessor Engagement. When engaging any Subprocessor, Google will:
(a) ensure via a written contract that:
(i) the Subprocessor only accesses and uses Customer Personal Data to the extent required to perform the obligations subcontracted to it, and does so in accordance with the Agreement (including these Data Processing Terms) and Privacy Shield; and
(ii) if the GDPR applies to the processing of Customer Personal Data, the data protection obligations set out in Article 28(3) of the GDPR are imposed on the Subprocessor; and
(b) remain fully liable for all obligations subcontracted to, and all acts and omissions of, the Subprocessor.
11.4 Opportunity to Object to Subprocessor Changes.
(a) When any new Third Party Subprocessor is engaged during the Term, Google will, at least 30 days before the new Third Party Subprocessor processes any Customer Personal Data, inform Customer of the engagement (including the name and location of the relevant subprocessor and the activities it will perform) by sending an email to the Notification Email Address.
(b) Customer may object to any new Third Party Subprocessor by terminating the Agreement immediately upon written notice to Google, on condition that Customer provides such notice within 90 days of being informed of the engagement of the new Third Party Subprocessor as described in Section 11.4(a). This termination right is Customer's sole and exclusive remedy if Customer objects to any new Third Party Subprocessor.
12. Contacting Google; Processing Records 12.1 Contacting Google. Customer may contact Google in relation to the exercise of its rights under these Data Processing Terms via the methods described at privacy.google.com/businesses/processorsupport or via such other means as may be provided by Google from time to time.
12.2 Google's Processing Records. Customer acknowledges that Google is required under the GDPR to: (a) collect and maintain records of certain information, including the name and contact details of each processor and/or controller on behalf of which Google is acting and (if applicable) of such processor's or controller's local representative and data protection officer; and (b) make such information available to any Supervisory Authority. Accordingly, Customer will, where requested and as applicable to Customer, provide such information to Google via the user interface of the Processor Services or via such other means as may be provided by Google, and will use such user interface or other means to ensure that all information provided is kept accurate and up-to-date.
13. Liability If the Agreement is governed by the laws of:
(a) a state of the United States of America, then, notwithstanding anything else in the Agreement, the total liability of either party towards the other party under or in connection with these Data Processing Terms will be limited to the maximum monetary or payment-based amount at which that party's liability is capped under the Agreement (for clarity, any exclusion of indemnification claims from the Agreement's limitation of liability will not apply to indemnification claims under the Agreement relating to the European Data Protection Legislation or the Non-European Data Protection Legislation); or
(b) a jurisdiction that is not a state of the United States of America, then the liability of the parties under or in connection with these Data Processing Terms will be subject to the exclusions and limitations of liability in the Agreement.
14. Effect of these Data Processing Terms If there is any conflict or inconsistency between the terms of the Additional Terms for Non-European Data Protection Legislation, the remainder of these Data Processing Terms and/or the remainder of the Agreement, then the following order of precedence will apply: (a) the Additional Terms for Non-European Data Protection Legislation; (b) the remainder of these Data Processing Terms; and (c) the remainder of the Agreement. Subject to the amendments in these Data Processing Terms, the Agreement remains in full force and effect.
15. Changes to these Data Processing Terms 15.1 Changes to URLs. From time to time, Google may change any URL referenced in these Data Processing Terms and the content at any such URL. Google may only change the list of potential Processor Services at privacy.google.com/businesses/adsservices:
(a) to reflect a change to the name of a service;
(b) to add a new service; or
(c) to remove a service where either: (i) all contracts for the provision of that service are terminated; or (ii) Google has Customer's consent.
15.2 Changes to Data Processing Terms. Google may change these Data Processing Terms if the change:
(a) is expressly permitted by these Data Processing Terms, including as described in Section 15.1 (Changes to URLs);
(b) reflects a change in the name or form of a legal entity;
(c) is required to comply with applicable law, applicable regulation, a court order or guidance issued by a governmental regulator or agency; or
(d) does not: (i) result in a degradation of the overall security of the Processor Services; (ii) expand the scope of, or remove any restrictions on, (x) in the case of the Additional Terms for Non-European Data Protection Legislation, Google's rights to use or otherwise process the data in scope of the Additional Terms for Non-European Data Protection Legislation or (y) in the case of the remainder of these Data Processing Terms, Google's processing of Customer Personal Data, as described in Section 5.3 (Google's Compliance with Instructions); and (iii) otherwise have a material adverse impact on Customer's rights under these Data Processing Terms, as reasonably determined by Google.
15.3 Notification of Changes. If Google intends to change these Data Processing Terms under Section 15.2(c) or (d), Google will inform Customer at least 30 days (or such shorter period as may be required to comply with applicable law, applicable regulation, a court order or guidance issued by a governmental regulator or agency) before the change will take effect by either: (a) sending an email to the Notification Email Address; or (b) alerting Customer via the user interface for the Processor Services. If Customer objects to any such change, Customer may terminate the Agreement by giving written notice to Google within 90 days of being informed by Google of the change.
Appendix 1: Subject Matter and Details of the Data Processing Subject Matter Google's provision of the Processor Services and any related technical support to Customer.
Duration of the Processing The Term plus the period from expiry of the Term until deletion of all Customer Personal Data by Google in accordance with these Data Processing Terms.
Nature and Purpose of the Processing Google will process (including, as applicable to the Processor Services and the instructions described in Section 5.2 (Customer's Instructions), collecting, recording, organising, structuring, storing, altering, retrieving, using, disclosing, combining, erasing and destroying) Customer Personal Data for the purpose of providing the Processor Services and any related technical support to Customer in accordance with these Data Processing Terms.
Types of Personal Data Customer Personal Data may include the types of personal data described at privacy.google.com/businesses/adsservices.
Categories of Data Subjects Customer Personal Data will concern the following categories of data subjects:
data subjects about whom Google collects personal data in its provision of the Processor Services; and/or data subjects about whom personal data is transferred to Google in connection with the Processor Services by, at the direction of, or on behalf of Customer. Depending on the nature of the Processor Services, these data subjects may include individuals: (a) to whom online advertising has been, or will be, directed; (b) who have visited specific websites or applications in respect of which Google provides the Processor Services; and/or (c) who are customers or users of Customer's products or services.
Appendix 2: Security Measures As from the Terms Effective Date, Google will implement and maintain the Security Measures set out in this Appendix 2. Google may update or modify such Security Measures from time to time, provided that such updates and modifications do not result in the degradation of the overall security of the Processor Services.
1. Data Centre & Network Security (a) Data Centres.
Infrastructure. Google maintains geographically distributed data centres. Google stores all production data in physically secure data centres.
Redundancy. Infrastructure systems have been designed to eliminate single points of failure and minimise the impact of anticipated environmental risks. Dual circuits, switches, networks or other necessary devices help provide this redundancy. The Processor Services are designed to allow Google to perform certain types of preventative and corrective maintenance without interruption. All environmental equipment and facilities have documented preventative maintenance procedures that detail the process for and frequency of performance in accordance with the manufacturer's or internal specifications. Preventative and corrective maintenance of the data centre equipment is scheduled through a standard process according to documented procedures.
Power. The data centre electrical power systems are designed to be redundant and maintainable without impact to continuous operations, 24 hours a day, and 7 days a week. In most cases, a primary as well as an alternate power source, each with equal capacity, is provided for critical infrastructure components in the data centre. Backup power is provided by various mechanisms such as uninterruptible power supply (UPS) batteries, which supply consistently reliable power protection during utility brownouts, blackouts, over voltage, under voltage, and out-of-tolerance frequency conditions. If utility power is interrupted, backup power is designed to provide transitory power to the data centre, at full capacity, for up to 10 minutes until the diesel generator systems take over. The diesel generators are capable of automatically starting up within seconds to provide enough emergency electrical power to run the data centre at full capacity typically for a period of days.
Server Operating Systems. Google servers use hardened operating systems which are customised for the unique server needs of the business. Data is stored using proprietary algorithms to augment data security and redundancy. Google employs a code review process to increase the security of the code used to provide the Processor Services and enhance the security products in production environments.
Businesses Continuity. Google replicates data over multiple systems to help to protect against accidental destruction or loss. Google has designed and regularly plans and tests its business continuity planning/disaster recovery programs.
(b) Networks & Transmission.
Data Transmission. Data centres are typically connected via high-speed private links to provide secure and fast data transfer between data centres. This is designed to prevent data from being read, copied, altered or removed without authorisation during electronic transfer or transport or while being recorded onto data storage media. Google transfers data via Internet standard protocols.
External Attack Surface. Google employs multiple layers of network devices and intrusion detection to protect its external attack surface. Google considers potential attack vectors and incorporates appropriate purpose built technologies into external facing systems.
Intrusion Detection. Intrusion detection is intended to provide insight into ongoing attack activities and provide adequate information to respond to incidents. Google's intrusion detection involves:
1. Tightly controlling the size and make-up of Google's attack surface through preventative measures;
2. Employing intelligent detection controls at data entry points; and
3. Employing technologies that automatically remedy certain dangerous situations.
Incident Response. Google monitors a variety of communication channels for security incidents, and Google's security personnel will react promptly to known incidents.
Encryption Technologies. Google makes HTTPS encryption (also referred to as SSL or TLS connection) available. Google servers support ephemeral elliptic curve Diffie Hellman cryptographic key exchange signed with RSA and ECDSA. These perfect forward secrecy (PFS) methods help protect traffic and minimise the impact of a compromised key, or a cryptographic breakthrough.
2. Access and Site Controls (a) Site Controls.
On-site Data Centre Security Operation. Google's data centres maintain an on-site security operation responsible for all physical data centre security functions 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The on-site security operation personnel monitor Closed Circuit TV (''CCTV'') cameras and all alarm systems. On-site security operation personnel perform internal and external patrols of the data centre regularly.
Data Centre Access Procedures. Google maintains formal access procedures for allowing physical access to the data centres. The data centres are housed in facilities that require electronic card key access, with alarms that are linked to the on-site security operation. All entrants to the data centre are required to identify themselves as well as show proof of identity to on-site security operations. Only authorised employees, contractors and visitors are allowed entry to the data centres. Only authorised employees and contractors are permitted to request electronic card key access to these facilities. Data centre electronic card key access requests must be made in advance and in writing, and require the approval of the requestor's manager and the data centre director. All other entrants requiring temporary data centre access must: (i) obtain approval in advance from the data centre managers for the specific data centre and internal areas they wish to visit; (ii) sign in at on-site security operations; and (iii) reference an approved data centre access record identifying the individual as approved.
On-site Data Centre Security Devices. Google's data centres employ an electronic card key and biometric access control system that is linked to a system alarm. The access control system monitors and records each individual's electronic card key and when they access perimeter doors, shipping and receiving, and other critical areas. Unauthorised activity and failed access attempts are logged by the access control system and investigated, as appropriate. Authorised access throughout the business operations and data centres is restricted based on zones and the individual's job responsibilities. The fire doors at the data centres are alarmed. CCTV cameras are in operation both inside and outside the data centres. The positioning of the cameras has been designed to cover strategic areas including, among others, the perimeter, doors to the data centre building, and shipping/receiving. On-site security operations personnel manage the CCTV monitoring, recording and control equipment. Secure cables throughout the data centres connect the CCTV equipment. Cameras record on-site via digital video recorders 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The surveillance records are retained for at least 7 days based on activity.
(b) Access Control.
Infrastructure Security Personnel. Google has, and maintains, a security policy for its personnel, and requires security training as part of the training package for its personnel. Google's infrastructure security personnel are responsible for the ongoing monitoring of Google's security infrastructure, the review of the Processor Services, and responding to security incidents.
Access Control and Privilege Management. Customer's administrators and users must authenticate themselves via a central authentication system or via a single sign on system in order to use the Processor Services.
Internal Data Access Processes and Policies '' Access Policy. Google's internal data access processes and policies are designed to prevent unauthorised persons and/or systems from gaining access to systems used to process personal data. Google aims to design its systems to: (i) only allow authorised persons to access data they are authorised to access; and (ii) ensure that personal data cannot be read, copied, altered or removed without authorisation during processing, use and after recording. The systems are designed to detect any inappropriate access. Google employs a centralised access management system to control personnel access to production servers, and only provides access to a limited number of authorised personnel. LDAP, Kerberos and a proprietary system utilising SSH certificates are designed to provide Google with secure and flexible access mechanisms. These mechanisms are designed to grant only approved access rights to site hosts, logs, data and configuration information. Google requires the use of unique user IDs, strong passwords, two factor authentication and carefully monitored access lists to minimise the potential for unauthorised account use. The granting or modification of access rights is based on: the authorised personnel's job responsibilities; job duty requirements necessary to perform authorised tasks; and a need to know basis. The granting or modification of access rights must also be in accordance with Google's internal data access policies and training. Approvals are managed by workflow tools that maintain audit records of all changes. Access to systems is logged to create an audit trail for accountability. Where passwords are employed for authentication (e.g. login to workstations), password policies that follow at least industry standard practices are implemented. These standards include restrictions on password reuse and sufficient password strength.
3. Data (a) Data Storage, Isolation & Authentication.
Google stores data in a multi-tenant environment on Google-owned servers. Data, the Processor Services database and file system architecture are replicated between multiple geographically dispersed data centres. Google logically isolates each customer's data. A central authentication system is used across all Processor Services to increase uniform security of data.
(b)
Decommissioned Disks and Disk Destruction Guidelines.
Certain disks containing data may experience performance issues, errors or hardware failure that lead them to be decommissioned (''Decommissioned Disk''). Every Decommissioned Disk is subject to a series of data destruction processes (the ''Data Destruction Guidelines'') before leaving Google's premises either for reuse or destruction. Decommissioned Disks are erased in a multi-step process and verified complete by at least two independent validators. The erase results are logged by the Decommissioned Disk's serial number for tracking. Finally, the erased Decommissioned Disk is released to inventory for reuse and redeployment. If, due to hardware failure, the Decommissioned Disk cannot be erased, it is securely stored until it can be destroyed. Each facility is audited regularly to monitor compliance with the Data Destruction Guidelines.
4. Personnel Security Google personnel are required to conduct themselves in a manner consistent with the company's guidelines regarding confidentiality, business ethics, appropriate usage, and professional standards. Google conducts reasonably appropriate backgrounds checks to the extent legally permissible and in accordance with applicable local labor law and statutory regulations.
Personnel are required to execute a confidentiality agreement and must acknowledge receipt of, and compliance with, Google's confidentiality and privacy policies. Personnel are provided with security training. Personnel handling Customer Personal Data are required to complete additional requirements appropriate to their role. Google's personnel will not process Customer Personal Data without authorisation.
5. Subprocessor Security Before onboarding Subprocessors, Google conducts an audit of the security and privacy practices of Subprocessors to ensure Subprocessors provide a level of security and privacy appropriate to their access to data and the scope of the services they are engaged to provide. Once Google has assessed the risks presented by the Subprocessor then, subject always to the requirements set out in Section 11.3 (Requirements for Subprocessor Engagement), the Subprocessor is required to enter into appropriate security, confidentiality and privacy contract terms.
Appendix 3: Additional Terms for Non-European Data Protection LegislationThe following Additional Terms for Non-European Data Protection Legislation supplement these Data Processing Terms:
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House panel approves bill legalizing marijuana at the federal level
Wed, 20 Nov 2019 14:50
Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA), speaks as House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler(R) D-NY, Representative Pramila Jayapal (2ndR) D-WA, and Representative Steve Cohen (D-TN) look on during a news conference, on Capitol Hill to highlight the MORE Act (Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act) legislation in Washington, DC on November 19, 2019.
Olivier Douliery | AFP | Getty Images
The House Judiciary Committee approved a bill Wednesday that legalizes marijuana on the federal level, removing it from Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances Act.
The legislation, which passed 24 to 10, has a high chance of approval in the full House where Democrats control the chamber with 234 seats. It's likely to face a tougher battle in the Republican-controlled Senate, where Majority Leader Mitch McConnell opposes marijuana legalization.
The legislation allows states to enact their own policies and gives them incentives to clear criminal records of people with low-level marijuana offenses. It also includes a 5% tax on cannabis products that would provide job training and legal assistance to those hit hardest by the war on drugs.
According to the American Civil Liberties Union, marijuana arrests account for more than half of all drug arrests in the United States. U.S. lawmakers on Wednesday repeatedly cited the disproportionate impact drug laws have had on communities of color, saying that decriminalizing marijuana helps alleviate some of that imbalance.
"The criminalization of marijuana has been a mistake," Chairman Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., said during the markup of the bill. "The racial disparity in marijuana enforcement laws only compounded this mistake with serious consequences, particularly for minority communities."
Some Republican members expressed concerns that the bill went too far and that it was unlikely to be taken up in the Senate.
"I don't think a majority of the Republicans will support this bill," Rep. Ken Buck of Colorado said Wednesday. "It is even less likely that the Senate would take it up. Therefore, I would just suggest that we deal with other bills that we can get a much larger bipartisan support from."
In response, Nadler said that House Democrats can "negotiate" with the Senate, acknowledging Republicans won't take the bill "as is."
"I don't think it's a good idea ... to say, 'the Senate won't take this bill,'" he said. "When the House passes a bill, it's part of a continuing process. It's not the end of a process."
The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, also known as NORML, has called the legislation the "biggest marijuana news of the year."
A majority of Americans support the legalization of marijuana, according to the Pew Research Center. The bill has more than 50 co-sponsors, according to Congress.gov. Backers of a Senate version of the legislation include, presidential contender Sen. Kamala Harris.
Only 11 states in the U.S. and the District of Columbia have legalized cannabis for recreational use. Medical marijuana, prescribed by physicians, is legal in 33 states and Washington, D.C.
The committee approval comes two months after the House passed legislation that would protect banks that serve marijuana businesses in states where the substance is legal.
Ukrainian Indictment Claims $7.4 Billion Obama-Linked Laundering, Puts Biden Group Take At $16.5 Million | Zero Hedge
Wed, 20 Nov 2019 14:42
An indictment drawn up by Ukraine's Office of the Prosecutor General against Burisma owner Nikolai Zlochevsky claims that Hunter Biden and his partners received $16.5 million for their 'services' - according to Ukrainian MP Alexander Dubinsky of the ruling Servant of the People Party.
Dubinsky made the claim in a Wednesday press conference, citing materials from an investigation into Zlochevsky and Burisma.
"Zlochevsky was charged with this new accusation by the Office of the Prosecutor General but the press ignored it," said the MP. "It was issued on November 14."
"The son of Vice-President Joe Biden was receiving payment for his services, with money raised through criminal means and money laundering," he then said, adding "Biden received money that did not come from the company's successful operation but rather from money stolen from citizens."
According to Dubinsky, Hunter Biden's income from Burisma is a "link that reveals how money is siphoned [from Ukraine]," and how Biden is just one link in the chain of Zlochevsky's money laundering operation which included politicians from the previous Yanukovich administration who continued their schemes under his successor, President Pyotr Poroshenko.
"We will reveal the information about the financial pyramid scheme that was created in Ukraine and developed by everyone beginning with Yanukovich and later by Poroshenko. This system is still working under the guidance of the current managerial board of the National Bank, ensuring that money flows in the interest of people who stole millions of dollars, took it offshore and bought Ukrainian public bonds turning them into the Ukrainian sovereign debt," said Dubinsky, adding that "in both cases of Yanukovich and Poroshenko, Ms. Gontareva and companies she controls were investing the stolen funds."
Franklin Templeton named
According to Interfax-Ukraine, MP Andriy Derkach announced at the same press conference that deputies have received new materials from investigative journalists alleging that the 'family' of ex-President Yanukovych funneled $7.4 billion through American investment firm Franklin Templeton Investments, which they claim have connections to the US Democratic party."
"Last week, November 14, the Prosecutor General's Office (PGO), unnoticed by the media, announced a new suspicion to the notorious owner of Burisma, ex-Ecology Minister Zlochevsky. According to the suspicion, the Yanukovych family is suspected, in particular, with legalizing (laundering) of criminally obtained income through Franklin Templeton Investments, an investment fund carrying out purchases of external government loan bonds totaling $7.4 billion," said Derkach, adding that the money was criminally obtained and invested in the purchase of Ukrainian debt in 2013 - 2014.
"The son of Templeton's founder, John Templeton Jr., was one of President Obama's major campaign donors. Another fund-related character is Thomas Donilon. Managing Director of BlackRock Investment Institute, shareholder Franklin Templeton Investments, which has the largest share in the fund. It is noteworthy that he previously was Obama's national security advisor," Derkach added.
Derkach then demanded "President Zelensky must pick up the phone, dial Trump, ask for help and cooperation in the fight against corruption and fly to Washington. The issue of combating international corruption in Ukraine with the participation of citizens, businessmen and U.S. officials should become a key during the meeting of the two presidents."
Ukraine is corrupt pass it onhttps://t.co/uUJxHT4F9F
'-- Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) November 20, 2019
(1) Tiffany FitzHenry on Twitter: "Prince Andrew Issues Statement: -He is stepping down from all public duties for the foreseeable future. -Regrets his ''ill-judged association with Jeffrey Epstein.'' -Will cooperate with law enforcement. https://t.co/v
Wed, 20 Nov 2019 14:40
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Largest coal plant in the West shuts down, dealing financial losses to Native American tribes
Wed, 20 Nov 2019 06:28
Shondiin Silversmith and Ryan Randazzo | Arizona Republic | 6:44 pm EST November 18, 2019
PHOENIX '' The Navajo Generating Station coal-fired power plant burned the last of its coal Monday, marking the end of the plant's 45-year run, Salt River Project, an Arizona utility company, announced.
The plant was the largest coal plant in the West, and its closure will affect the entire region.
The mine supplying the plant closed in August after sending the final shipment of coal to the plant via an electric railroad that stretched 78 miles between the two locations.
Since then, the plant had burned down its coal stockpile, which covered more area than a Walmart superstore and parking lot.
The last bit of usable coal burned Monday and the power plant, which could produce 2,250 megawatts of power at full capacity, sent its last electrons down the transmission lines to Phoenix, Tucson and Las Vegas at about 12:09 p.m.
SRP General Manager/CEO Mike Hummel said closing the plant was a difficult but necessary decision based on economics, with natural-gas prices and renewables such as solar becoming much more cost competitive.
''NGS will always be remembered as a coal-fired workhorse whose employees made it one of the safest and most reliable power plants in the nation,'' Hummel said in an announcement of the closure.
''After more than 40 years of generating electricity for millions across the West, NGS and its employees are one reason why this region, the state of Arizona and the Phoenix metropolitan area has been able to grow and thrive.''
Now begins the work of decommissioning the power plant, which is expected to take years.
Two years ago, Salt River Project, Arizona Public Service Co., Tucson Electric Power and NV Energy voted to close the plant. The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power already had sold its interest in the plant to SRP.
The decision to close came after years of the utilities fighting to keep the plant running economically while remaining in compliance with air-quality regulations.
But after a deal was struck with the Environmental Protection Agency to keep the plant open at two-thirds capacity, economics prompted the closure vote.
The utilities co-own the plant with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, which, along with the Navajo and Hopi tribes, tried unsuccessfully to keep the power plant and Kayenta Mine running.
But the financials didn't work out for another buyer, with more than $100 million in maintenance required to keep the plant running and no anticipated buyer for the electricity.
The Bureau of Reclamation's share of the plant's power was used to pump water on the Central Arizona Project canal from the Colorado River to Phoenix and Tucson. But CAP officials said they would save money procuring power elsewhere.
The coal facilities employed 750 people before operations began to wind down two years ago, and nearly all of the workers were Native Americans.
Most of the miners were laid off, though some will work on reclaiming the land.
Most plant workers already transferred to new jobs at Salt River Project.
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Tribes face financial losses
The closure also marks the beginning of a new era for the Navajo and Hopi tribes, which both will have to plug significant holes in their budgets without the royalties from the mine.
Hopi Chairman Timothy Nuvangyaoma said dealing with the fallout of the closures is a challenge he's accepted and will deal with throughout his term.
"It's hard work, but we're Hopi and we've always been survivors, so we'll survive,'' he said. ''We share the same concern as the Navajo Nation. It's definitely an impact, but as far as Hopi goes, we're working hard at trying to mitigate this because our community members matter.''
The biggest challenge the Hopi Tribe faces with the closures is revenue. Nuvangyaoma estimates that 80% to 85% of the Hopi Tribe's general fund budget will be affected with the closure, which equals a $12 million or more revenue loss.
''We have to take a hard look at what we're doing right now in order to make sure that services still remain as a priority to our community members,'' he said.
The Hopi Tribe is considering a variety of options, such as mineral and land development or tribal gaming.
Navajo leaders tapped into government reserves to make up for the loss of the mine in its latest budget.
But leaders said the tribe must try to replace its coal revenue with new ventures, possibly tied to renewable energy or tourism.
Leaders estimated a $30 million to $50 million decline in coal revenues for 2020, and Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez said they took that responsibility "head on."
''It's the beginning of a new era for the Navajo Nation and the state of Arizona '-- the start of new opportunities," Nez said in a statement on Monday. "We recognize that NGS provided many benefits for the workers and their families. We thank all of the workers and their families for their service and contributions over the years."
"Times are changing and energy development is changing '-- the demand for coal-based energy is no longer at its peak not only in our region but across the country," he added. "As Din(C) people, we have always been resilient in times of change, and that's what we are doing by pursuing renewable energy options. We are looking to become the leader in renewable energy throughout the Southwest and Indian Country.''
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Follow Ryan Randazzo on Twitter @UtilityReporter.
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Google is putting an algorithmic audio news feed on its Assistant - The Verge
Wed, 20 Nov 2019 05:57
Google is rolling out a new service for Google Assistant that it's calling ''Your News Update.'' It takes the idea of an algorithmically determined news feed '-- the kind you get from Facebook or on Google's news feed '-- and turns it into an audio stream. To play it, you simply ask a Google smart speaker or Assistant on your phone to ''listen to the news.''
Google uses the information it has learned about you over the years alongside your location to custom-build a series of short news updates from partners from which it has licensed audio. It hopes to foster an ecosystem it's calling ''the audio web,'' according to Liz Gannes, Google's product manager of audio news. These aren't podcasts so much as news bites, similar to the hourly news updates that can be heard on the radio.
Your News Update replaces the current way of getting news updates from Assistant, which consists of a straightforward list of news sources. With that system, you have to choose which sources you want and what order they're played in.
Before, you would have had to ask for the news and hear the hourly update from NPR, then The Daily from The New York Times, then CNN (or whichever news sources you chose). Now, you will hear individual, topic-specific news bites from Google's news partners. And instead of it cycling hourly or daily, it will play based on those topics.
Google says that once Your News Update goes live, users will be able to choose between either the new system or the original one.
Google has licensed audio from a variety of news sources, including ABC, Cheddar, The Associated Press, CNN, Fox News Radio, PBS, Reuters, WYNC, and a bunch of local radio stations. It can then identify the content of those outlets' news stories by reading specific metadata they create for their stories and by using its computers to listen to the stories themselves. Google has paid its partners to work with the company to create their stories in this format.
Google Audio in hand, Google can then arrange it in a news feed for you, just as it arranges a news feed on the web. For each story, the outlet that produced it is read out before it begins. It starts with a top national or international story or two, moves on to local stories, then it tends to play stories that are more likely to be relevant to your interests. (For me, that meant stories about the Minnesota Vikings and tech.) After a while, the stories shift formats from short one- to two-minute updates into longer, more podcast-like stories.
If that sounds a lot like what you get from the NPR One app, that's because it is. But Google is pulling from a larger pool of sources, and NPR isn't one of them. That's one reason why I won't be using Google's new system.
A news feed on the web is fine; in linear audio, it's annoying
But the main problem I have with this kind of news feed is that while an algorithmic list of stories makes sense on a screen, it's incredibly annoying when it's a linear stream of audio. On a screen, you can scan through quickly and read headlines and sources, picking and choosing what you prefer. On an audio feed, you have to constantly bark ''Hey Google, skip'' if you get a story that isn't a good match.
I also have concerns that, as with news feeds on the web, this new audio news feed will reinforce filter bubbles. Gannes says that ''the goal of this actually is filter bubble bursting, in a way, because it's not hearing all the news from one provider.'' I did hear from news sources I'd never have actively sought out in the past.
Google's long-term vision is admirable. It's hoping to foster a vibrant ecosystem of openly available audio news on the web so you can have audio stories begin to be as discoverable as text stories are. But there's a significant chicken-and-egg problem: until there are more sources that work with Assistant and it can learn enough about users to provide the right stories, it can't match the experience of just picking your preferred news provider and turning it on.
In theory, if you skip enough stories or sources, Google's algorithm will learn your preferences. You can also brave the Google Assistant's arcane and impenetrable settings system to find the preferences for Your News Update and prioritize or mute different news sources.
Maybe if enough users do that, Google might be able to kickstart a virtuous cycle of supply and demand for audio stories (and hopefully, in the process, a better way to monetize all of this will emerge). As much as I may like that vision, the last thing I want to do before I've had my morning coffee is participate in an early version of it that feels more like a beta test than a news broadcast.
Netherlands Headed For Unprecedented Crisis: Millions Of Retirees Face Pensions Cuts Thanks To The ECB | Zero Hedge
Tue, 19 Nov 2019 22:07
When one thinks of pensions crisis, the state of Illinois - with its woefully underfunded retirement system which issues bonds just to fund its existing pension benefits - usually comes to mind. Which is why it is surprising that the first state that may suffer substantial pension cuts is one that actually has one of the world's best-funded, and most generous, pension systems.
According to the FT, millions of Dutch pensioners are facing material cuts to their retirement income for the first time next year as the Dutch government scrambles to avert a crisis to the country's '‚¬1.6 trillion pension system. And while a last minute intervention by the government may avoid significant cuts to pensions next year - and a revolt by trade unions - if only temporarily, the world finds itself transfixed by the problems facing the Dutch retirement system as it provides an early indication of a wider global pensions funding shortfall, not to mention potential mass unrest once retirees across some of the world's wealthiest nations suddenly finds themselves with facing haircuts to what they previously believed were unalterable retirement incomes.
At the core of the Dutch cash crunch is the ECB's negative interest rate policy, which has sent bond yields to record negative territory across the eurozone, and crippled returns analysis while pushing up the funding requirements of Dutch pension funds.
Ahead of a parliamentary debate on Thursday on this hot topic issue, the Dutch minister for social affairs and employment, Wouter Koolmees, will write to lawmakers to outline his response to the pension industry's problems, the FT reported.
In order to offset the ECB's NIRP policy, Shaktie Rambaran Mishre, chair of the Dutch pension federation which represents 197 pension funds and their members, said that contributions might have to rise by up to 30% over the next few years, an outcome which will lead to outrage among existing working-age employees who will suffer a surge in the pension costs. Absent a dramatic increase in benefits contributions, "as things stand, around 2 million people are facing cuts from next year,'' she added.
Predictably, trade unions have already held protests and strikes this year over the potential cuts to pensions and have threatened more action if the government does not step in. ''We expect some relief next week and if not we will mobilise,'' said Tuur Elzinga, lead pensions negotiator at FNV, the biggest Dutch union.
Protesters marching in The Hague in June hold a banner that reads 'A good pension is matter of decency' The Netherlands - one of the Eurozone's richest nations - is hardly alone in this predicament, as the ongoing debate reflects broad concerns about the impact of low interest rates among the Eurozone and Japan, as ageing populations and longer life expectancy have put pension systems across the world under great strain. A report last week from the Group of Thirty, a club for current and former policymakers, warned of a $15.8tn shortfall in funding to support the ageing populations of the world's 20 biggest countries.
And if there is one way to guarantee riots among the world's richest nations, it is to inform pensioners that their benefits are suddenly being "haircut."
In some ways, the Netherlands has one of Europe's most generous retirement systems: at its core, it represents a basic pay-as-you-go state pension as well as employer-run pension scheme which together provide workers with about 80% of their average lifetime wages when they retire. The US and UK have similar systems, but Dutch pension funds are more generous and must use a lower risk-free rate to value their liabilities, forcing them to hold more assets.
Unfortunately, the lower Dutch risk-free rate is not low enough, and as a result about 70 employer-run pension funds with 12.1m members had funding ratios below the statutory minimum at the end of September, according to the Dutch central bank. And here lies the rub: if funds have ratios below the legal minimum for five consecutive years or have no prospect of recovering to a more healthy level, they must cut their payouts. Interest rates have rebounded slightly in recent weeks, but many funds are still facing cuts.
In other words, in making a select handful of European stockholders rich courtesy of NIRP and QE, Mario Draghi is threatening the pensions of hundreds of millions of retired European workers.
So what, if any, is the solution?
Last week, Rabobank reported that the Minister of Social Affairs is supposedly willing to prevent a large part of the pension benefit cuts of 2020, as the government is reportedly willing to lower the minimum coverage ratio from 100% to 90% for one year. This temporary measure can be seen as a pause button, which buys time for:
Pension funds to hopefully recover over the next year. For pension funds, a rise in their risk-free rate term structure which is used to discount their liabilities (EUR 6m swap rates) would be most helpfulContinuing to work out the details of the Pension Reforms announced in June 2019. Unions, employer representatives and the opposition parties were against pension cuts because this would undermine the goals set out in the Pension Reforms.Cutting pensions is a very sensitive and unpopular measure especially for politicians because the government has the ability to change the rules by changing the law. This is especially hard in times where there is no economic downturn, because it makes it more difficult to explain and justify the cuts. One can only imagine what will happen to Dutch pensions during the next Eurozone recession, when the ECB will be forced to cut rates even more negative in the process threatening even more pension haircuts.
While this pause would, in theory, prompt some pension funds to reduce their matching portfolio or hedge ratio in anticipation of pension cuts, not many pension funds already acted on the threat of these cuts according to Rabobank. Therefore, this temporary measure will have a limited effect on the investment behaviour of pension funds because:
Pension funds are typically big and are long term investors, meaning they take time to react to certain eventsMost pension funds have a fixed risk budget. This risk budget is maximised by regulation and is fixed at the moment the coverage ratio drops below the required coverage ratio. This means if a pension fund would want to increase its risk toward for example equity, it often has to reduce risk somewhere else in the portfolioPossible pension cuts are based on the policy coverage ratio which is the 12th month average of the coverage ratio. This further reduces the incentive for a temporary risk-on or risk-off strategy.What's next? On 21 November 2019 the official plans will be discussed in parliament, although Rabobank does not expect any additional changes that would affect investment behavior of pension funds. However, as the Dutch bank admits, "there are some challenging times ahead in the pension reform discussions" and it expects possible big changes this time next year. Chief among them: the risk free rate term structure that is used to discount the liabilities will likely change in every possible reform scenario, although it is unclear how much lower it can drop.
As the FT notes, a group of 10 academics wrote to parliament recently calling on the Dutch government not to raise the risk-free rate, arguing this would be at the expense of younger workers as ''the assets pot will be a little bit more empty each year''. Others, however, think the government will intervene. ''I expect that politically the cuts will not happen,'' said Lex Hoogduin a professor at the University of Groningen and a former board member of the Dutch central bank, who did not sign the letter.
''But this is just kicking the can down the road as eventually they won't be able to afford the payouts that people expect,'' said Mr Hoogduin. And the people have Mario Draghi - and now Christine Lagarde - to thank for it.
Juul took a page from Big Tobacco to revolutionize vaping - Los Angeles Times
Tue, 19 Nov 2019 21:42
A person uses a Juul vape pen.
(Getty Images)
By Emily Baumgaertner Staff Writer
By the time Juul's co-creator stood before a tech audience in April 2016, ads for the e-cigarette aimed to distance the product from a toxic past: ''Our company has its roots in Silicon Valley, not in fields of tobacco.''
But when James Monsees, a soon-to-be billionaire, projected a 30-year-old tobacco document on the screen behind him, he grinned. It was an internal memo from the research troves of R.J. Reynolds, the maker of Camel cigarettes. It was stamped ''SECRET.''
''We also had another leg up,'' Monsees said.
A review by the Los Angeles Times of more than 3,000 pages of internal Juul records, obtained by the Food and Drug Administration and released to a researcher through the Freedom of Information Act, found that the concept behind the formula that makes Juul so palatable and addictive dates back more than four decades '-- to Reynolds' laboratories.
The key ingredient: nicotine salts.
Juul's salts contain up to three times the amount of nicotine found in previous e-cigarettes. They use softening chemicals to allow people to take deeper drags without vomiting or burning their throats. And they were developed based on research conducted by the tobacco companies Juul claimed to be leaving behind.
In addition to the internal documents, The Times consulted more than a dozen tobacco researchers, policy experts and historians, and reviewed patent applications and publicly available videos of Juul's founders discussing their product over the course of a decade. One of those videos has since been removed from YouTube.
Taken together, the evidence depicts a Silicon Valley start-up that purported to ''deconstruct'' Big Tobacco even as it emulated it, harvesting the industry's technical savvy to launch a 21st century nicotine arms race.
In this screenshot of an April 2016 video, which was recently removed from YouTube, a co-founder of Juul, James Monsees, presents an R.J. Reynolds research memo stamped ''SECRET.''
(YouTube)
In multiple conversations with The Times, Juul did not directly address assertions that the company embraced the very industry it sought to dismantle. A spokesperson for Juul acknowledged that the product intentionally ''mimicked'' the nicotine experience of a traditional cigarette, but explained that the formula was designed that way in order to satisfy the cravings of adult smokers, not children.
''We never designed our product to appeal to youth and do not want any non-nicotine users to try our products,'' a spokesperson for Juul said in a statement to The Times. ''We are working to urgently address underage use of vapor products, including Juul products, and earn the trust of regulators, policymakers, and other stakeholders.''
After extensive lobbying by the vaping industry and its allies, President Trump this month missed the deadline he set to ban vaping flavors, despite mounting public complaints over their attractiveness to teenagers, and it's now unclear whether the administration will take any action. On Monday, California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra and Los Angeles officials announced a lawsuit against Juul, alleging it engaged in deceptive practices with kid-friendly advertising and a failure to issue health warnings.
But a new generation of nicotine addicts has already been established, and health experts warn that millions of teenagers who currently vape could ultimately turn to other products like cigarettes for their fix.
''Reynolds successfully engineered this formula, but it was Juul that ultimately vaporized it '-- and achieved what Big Tobacco never could,'' said Robert Jackler, a Stanford University researcher focused on teenage e-cigarette use. ''They studied Reynolds literature, took advantage of it, and addicted a new generation of American youth.''
Making nicotine more palatableIn February 1973, a researcher at Reynolds saw a conundrum: While cigarettes had wide appeal to adults, they would never become ''the 'in' products'' among youths.
For a teenager, the physical effects of smoking were ''actually quite unpleasant,'' Claude E. Teague Jr., who is now deceased, wrote in a confidential internal memo.
''Realistically, if our company is to survive and prosper, over the long term, we must get our share of the youth market,'' he wrote. ''There is certainly nothing immoral or unethical about our company attempting to attract those smokers.''
Reynolds had known for two decades that its product caused cancer. Still, one of the company's top researchers, Frank G. Colby, pitched a design late in 1973 that would secure ''a larger segment of the youth market'' by packing ''more 'enjoyment' or 'kicks' (nicotine)'' and softening the chemical's harsh effect on the throats of young smokers.
By boosting nicotine, the addictive chemical, the company could generate faster and more intense addictions among the youngest clients, securing decades of business. But a key challenge was to make nicotine palatable: The chemical had been used as an insecticide since colonial times, and three drops on the tongue could be lethal, according to Robert Proctor, a cigarette historian at Stanford. People couldn't inhale hefty doses without vomiting.
Reynolds scientists eventually found a solution: Combine the high-pH nicotine with a low-pH acid. The result was a neutralized compound called a salt '-- nicotine salt.
To perfect the technique, the company enlisted one of its chemists, Thomas Perfetti, a 25-year-old with a newly minted PhD.
Perfetti got to work on a six-month investigation into nicotine salts. According to his laboratory notes, he stirred round-bottom flasks of various acids, then added nicotine, watching as the ingredients condensed into thick yellow oils. All were odorless except one, he wrote, which smelled like ''green apples.''
Perfetti synthesized 30 different nicotine salt concoctions, then heated them '-- like a smoker would '-- in pursuit of the ''maximum release of nicotine.'' He also tested the salts' ability to dissolve into a liquid '-- a trait that would decades later become central to vaping products like Juul.
On Jan. 18, 1979, Perfetti scribbled his signature on a 17-page final report. The results were stamped ''CONFIDENTIAL.'' He was soon promoted.
R.J. Reynolds' ''CONFIDENTIAL'' nicotine salts investigation was found among the documents that the FDA obtained from Juul in 2018.
(UCSF Truth Tobacco Industry Documents database.)
Ten years later, Reynolds was granted a patent for its salts, with Perfetti's name listed among three inventors. Perfetti would go on to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Tobacco Science Research Conference.
Perfetti, who has since retired from the company, confirmed the details of his research to The Times in a LinkedIn message, but declined to comment further.
Kaelan Hollon, a spokesperson for Reynolds, told The Times that the nicotine salts research was conducted as the company aimed to ''reduce the risks'' of smoking while ''maintaining nicotine delivery.'' Although the salts were patented, they were ultimately never used in a traditional Reynolds cigarette, she added.
Premier. The early heat-not-burn cigarette was introduced by R.J. Reynolds.
(Fairfax Media)
About the same time, in 1988, Reynolds introduced one of the first-ever aerosol cigarettes: Premier. After five months, it was pulled from the market because of low sales, records show.
''It made me nauseous for the rest of the day,'' one tobacco distributor told The Times in 1989, saying he was sending back thousands of dollars' worth of the aerosol cigarettes to Reynolds.
At the time, the company was facing another obstacle to using its new research: the FDA's mounting outrage over what health experts called its ''deceptive'' past. In 1998, Reynolds, along with three other companies, agreed to begin paying billions of dollars to compensate states for having knowingly propelled a smoking epidemic, which by then had led to the deaths of about 20 million Americans. According to Proctor, Reynolds' Camel cigarettes have killed about 4 million.
Within this climate, the company was unable to combine its two technical triumphs '-- palatable salts and early vaping equipment.
''Reynolds succeeded in developing the technology, but never really succeeded in turning it into a transformative breakthrough,'' said Matthew Myers, the president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids in Washington, D.C.
''Juul did that.''
'Addiction is central to the business model'In this video, available on YouTube, James Monsees and Adam Bowen, then product design students at Stanford University, present their graduate thesis in 2005. The vaporizer, called Ploom, would later evolve into Pax, and in 2015, Juul.
(YouTube)
In June 2005, two product design students at Stanford moseyed in front of a classroom to present their graduate thesis, titled ''The Rational Future of Smoking.'' It was, in a way, the birth of an industry.
As the lights dimmed, the students, Adam Bowen and Monsees, projected an image onto a screen of a man puffing an early prototype of a vape pen '-- a precursor to Juul.
A video of the event shows the two students pitching their audience for 17 minutes on a device called Ploom, a vaporizer that would provide ''a lot more effective way of releasing nicotine.'' They illustrated the stigma of traditional cigarettes '-- using a South Park cartoon clip that called a smoker ''Dirty Lung'' and ''Tar Breath.'' They likened their nicotine pods to sleek Nespresso cartridges that were ''a big hit in Europe.''
''We can take tobacco back to being a luxury good '-- and not so much a sort of drug-delivery device,'' said Bowen, who went on to become Juul's co-founder and chief technology officer.
Monsees said the pair had scrutinized the research behind Reynolds' failed Premier model before designing their own. He projected a snapshot of chemistry charts from the company's internal records.
''They've realized that they're killing off their own client base, so they sunk several billion dollars into this already,'' Monsees said.
Adam Bowen, left, and James Monsees, co-founders of Juul, in 2018.
(Francois Guillot / Getty Images)
When Bowen clicked to the final slide, a video began to play: A man peering into a video camera lens gave a testimonial, gripping the vaporizer prototype in his hand.
''This product is the greatest thing I have ever encountered in my life,'' he said. ''I will smoke this with enthusiasm, and develop a nicotine habit that will follow me to my grave.''
The class howled with laughter and broke into applause, launching Monsees and Bowen into a decade of product development. The Ploom device entered the market and would evolve into Pax, and in 2015, Juul.
A Juul vaping system with accessory pods.
(Washington Post)
Monsees would use a TEDx talk in Brussels to explain their effort to ''deconstruct'' smoking, and early Juul advertisements used a catchy drum beat to assure consumers: ''We threw away everything we knew about cigarettes.''
Juul records show the start-up collected research done by tobacco experts about nicotine '-- work on using salts to control harshness, written by a former top scientist at Reynolds, as well as methods to maximize nicotine delivery, and piles of literature on nicotine's impact on adolescent brains.
''Certainly, the nicotine salt chemistry was one of the big breakthroughs,'' Monsees said onstage at a 2018 tech start-up conference called Disrupt.
Three days before Christmas in 2015, the maker of Juul, Pax Labs, patented its own nicotine salt recipe '-- making reference to U.S. Patent 4,830,028A, the Reynolds salts from 1989.
On page 15 of the patent, Pax said it had ''unexpectedly discovered'' the ''efficient transfer of nicotine to the lungs of an individual and a rapid rise of nicotine absorption in the [blood] plasma.'' The company's patent used graphics to show that its effects surpassed that of Pall Mall '-- a popular Reynolds cigarette '-- as users' blood nicotine levels spiked dramatically, then fell by almost half within 15 minutes.
The compound would later become trademarked: JUULSALTS'.
''Addiction is central to the business model,'' said David Kessler, a pediatrician who headed the FDA from 1990 to 1997, during the agency's tobacco investigation. ''With their nicotine salts, Juul has found the Holy Grail.''
In response, Juul did not directly address that accusation, but said its product offered a ''public health and commercial opportunity of historic proportions'' for the millions of adult smokers who die each year from cigarettes.
The patent also detailed the role of pH-neutralizing acids in the formula '-- including at least four of the chemical compounds that Perfetti had created in the Reynolds lab 37 years earlier.
And included in the cache of files that the FDA obtained from Juul was a copy of the confidential Reynolds nicotine salts investigation.
Monsees and Bowen did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
A Juul spokesperson said: ''RJ Reynolds' old work in the field of traditional burn cigarettes was widely known,'' noting that Juul followed routine disclosure procedures, such as citing Reynolds' patents and publications, as required by the U.S. Patent Office.
The spokesperson also said that research shows that nicotine is absorbed more slowly from Juul pods than from traditional cigarettes.
Before Juul, most vaping fluids contained 1% to 3% nicotine, the latter described as ''super high'' and intended for two-packs-a-day smokers, according to Jackler, the Stanford researcher. Juul offers pods that contain 5% nicotine, according to the company's website.
Juul disputed Jackler's characterization, saying that there were higher nicotine concentrations in other brands, and said assertions that Juul's pods had two to three times the nicotine strength of a cigarette were ''false.''
From 2016 to 2017, Juul's sales skyrocketed by more than 640%. Its cartridges were so palatable that teenagers sometimes raced one another to finish inhaling them. Many said they didn't know the pods contained nicotine. Each 5% cartridge contained the nicotine equivalent of about 20 cigarettes.
''Juul mimics the evil genius of the cigarette '-- but does it even better,'' said Myers, the president of Tobacco-Free Kids. ''They also pulled it off without any of the historical baggage, giving the deceptive illusion that it was safe.''
A high school principal displays vaping devices confiscated from students in Massachusetts in 2018.
(Steven Senne / Associated Press)
Anne Schuchat, the principal deputy director of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told Congress during a hearing in September that doctors believe nicotine salts allow the addictive chemical to ''cross the blood-brain barrier and lead to potentially more effect on the developing brain in adolescents.''
In a statement to The Times, Schuchat echoed her concern and said the salts ''allow particularly high levels of nicotine to be inhaled more easily and with less irritation'' than ingredients in previous e-cigarettes, and could enable nicotine dependence among youth.
Anne Schuchat, the principal deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, testifies before Congress on nicotine salts.
(Zach Gibson / Getty Images)
On April 24, 2018, the FDA ordered Juul to submit documents related to its product design and marketing practices following reports of rampant use among youths who may not have understood Juul's debilitating effects on the brain.
Later that year, FDA agents arrived at Juul's headquarters and seized additional records. The FDA has released less than 10% of the requested documents, including Perfetti's laboratory records, to a researcher at UC San Francisco. The agency said it withheld the remaining files to protect trade secrets and other material. As such, the records provide only a glimpse into the chemical research that Juul kept on hand as the company designed its product.
Today, Juul comprises about two-thirds of the vaping market.
In 2018, the largest tobacco company in the U.S., Altria '-- the parent company of Philip Morris USA, which makes Marlboro cigarettes '-- purchased a 35% stake in Juul.
After the purchase, several of the tobacco company's employees also started working at Juul: Altria's former head of regulatory affairs, Joe Murillo, as well as senior scientists and sales managers.
In September, Altria's former chief growth officer, K.C. Crosthwaite, became Juul's CEO.
motorola US | unlocked cell phones & moto razr
Tue, 19 Nov 2019 21:36
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All mobile phones are designed and manufactured by/for Motorola Mobility LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lenovo.
* 5G connectivity available with 5G moto mod (sold separately) and 5G network coverage (launching in select areas in 2019; expanding after that). 5G moto mod compatible with moto z4 models sold at Verizon stores only. See www.verizon.com/about/our-company/5g for details.
' All battery life claims are approximate and based on a mixed use profile (which includes both usage and standby time) under optimal network conditions. Actual battery performance will vary and depends on many factors including signal strength, network configuration, age of battery, operating temperature, features selected, device settings, and voice, data, and other application usage patterns.
§ The display and embedded lens are warranted against shattering and cracking for four (4) years from the original date of purchase. This phone is not shockproof or designed to withstand all damage from dropping. All other warranty exclusions, including scratches and other cosmetic damage, intentional damage or abuse, normal wear and tear and other limitations apply; visit Motorola.com for details and warranty coverage.
' Liquid damage not covered under warranty. Water, splash and dust resistance were tested to IP68 standards under controlled laboratory conditions. Resistance will decrease as a result of normal wear. Not designed to work while submerged underwater. Do not expose to pressurized water, or liquids other than fresh water. Do not attempt to charge a wet phone.

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All Clips

M5M blow torch compilage from Tucker.mp3
March 2014 Where is the $Billions of Ukraine going.mp3
Mike Turner Amb SOndland - Do you have eveidence that Trump said to withold Ukraine aid.mp3
Mike Turner with Amb Volker - Did POTUS every say or did the Ukrainians understand the QPQ terms.mp3
NPR - Schiff hearing 33 minutes.mp3
Schiff interrupts Nunes Vindman questioning - Office of dot dot dot.mp3
Um I Think That (Tulsi was just awful) - Steve Schmidt.mp3
Vindman tells Nunes to shut up and call him Lt Col.mp3
Will Hurd questions Cooper on FMF and USAID.mp3
Andrew Yang - I'd Tell Vladimir Putin I'm Sorry I Beat Your Guy and World Data Organization.mp3
Biden campaign manager Chip In.mp3
Cory Booker smoke Biden in debate with Marijuhana statement.mp3
Joe Biden - Keep Punching At It.mp3
Joe Biden Blows 4 Tires - Van Jones.mp3
Warren gaffes on Billion vs Miiion for wealth tax.mp3
Yang propses World Data Organization - World Order.mp3
Prince Andrew LuckyTV deep fake - my pee pee.mp3
Sparks fly as Fergie storms out of interview about her book - 60 Minutes Australia.mp3
Bill Barr lecture on politics as religion.mp3
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Child bride Nigeria TWO Ask Adam.mp3
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DEBATE Biden gaff chooe ISO.mp3
DEBATE Biden Gaffe doubtalk ISO.mp3
DEBATE Biden gaffs on Medicare.mp3
DEBATE Booker misusing the language.mp3
DEBATE Harris retort to Gabbard.mp3
DeBATE Tlsi set up for Harris.mp3
Georgia riots.mp3
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Pelosi te American continent.mp3
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UAW strike nissing info PBS.mp3
Ben Sasse book One age segregation.mp3
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Fartgate was Chris Matthews context clip.mp3
Dame Sarah [Studio 10] down under propagates OTG meme of Google FitBit purchase.mp3
Last Christmas OTG Clip Emilia Clarke and Henry Golding.mp3
Uber pilot's audio recording 'feature'.mp3
CNN - The White House shifts description of Trump's visit to Walter Reed - USMCA LINK.mp3
Former White House Physician on Trump’s Health - There’s a Neurological Issue Not Being Addressed.mp3
Sen Mitt Romney proposes Vaping legislation MSA Taxes.mp3
Meth - We’re on it - South Dakota Meth Prevention Full Commercial 2019.mp3
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  • 0:00
    equals winner this is no agenda in the
  • 0:22
    morning everybody I Adam Curry and
  • 0:24
    from northern Silicon Valley where
  • 0:27
    there's nothing better than pickled
  • 0:29
    cauliflower I'm Chauncey Dubois can
  • 0:36
    always count on a food tip at the top of
  • 0:37
    the show indeed pickled cauliflower oh
  • 0:43
    yeah do you pickle it yourself no
  • 0:45
    Doubt's no I don't actually I pick up my
  • 0:48
    own terms but I don't use the
  • 0:50
    cauliflower you pickle your own turnips
  • 0:51
    all pickled turnips are the best okay
  • 0:57
    very nice pickled turnips hey John this
  • 1:02
    was hands down the worst television week
  • 1:06
    in American broadcast history I know and
  • 1:09
    these networks decided to actually
  • 1:11
    interrupt our own programming and put
  • 1:13
    this debate on TV so he had to go find a
  • 1:16
    station that was showing something he
  • 1:18
    could watch it was and the shows were
  • 1:23
    boring yesterday was particularly bad
  • 1:27
    the whole impeachment hearings which
  • 1:31
    just dragged on although nicely back
  • 1:33
    timed by chairmanship into the 8 o'clock
  • 1:37
    news hour he did that perfectly so the
  • 1:39
    pre-show pre-debate shows could start
  • 1:42
    everywhere
  • 1:44
    oh my god if it and just just it was and
  • 1:47
    then the snooze fest of a debate it's
  • 1:50
    like this is so wrong this is ruining
  • 1:53
    television I mean even the debate just
  • 1:55
    for a second this is this format if we
  • 1:58
    can just talk as executives this format
  • 2:00
    is wrong it's not a debate it's a bunch
  • 2:04
    of news models asking questions to each
  • 2:09
    point they deal with for women and no
  • 2:11
    men I think that was an obvious
  • 2:13
    statement but that didn't bother me that
  • 2:15
    much
  • 2:16
    yes for me yes it's like these
  • 2:18
    candidates it's dumb you just you get a
  • 2:21
    45 seconds to a to follow-up answer
  • 2:23
    questions and they just ask different
  • 2:25
    questions of everybody and once in a
  • 2:26
    while there's a little bit of
  • 2:27
    interaction but if you want this to
  • 2:29
    succeed if you want people to care
  • 2:31
    you got a like that we have to have the
  • 2:33
    candidates do some challenges you know
  • 2:36
    like a three-legged race or you know
  • 2:38
    build a bike together as a team that now
  • 2:41
    that would be a good show that's what I
  • 2:43
    want is that's where I'll see some
  • 2:44
    leadership but no just put Gordon Ramsay
  • 2:49
    in front of the yes have him cookin
  • 2:50
    exactly a cook-off chopped off you've
  • 3:00
    been until maybe do a diary room where
  • 3:02
    the candid well I really didn't like
  • 3:04
    what Tulsi did to me that was just not
  • 3:06
    so nice but okay all soldier on I mean
  • 3:09
    this would this is how you do a show
  • 3:10
    this in they still got the music and Tom
  • 3:13
    Tom Tom Tom but debate no one cares
  • 3:17
    this is not how people watch video
  • 3:20
    anymore
  • 3:22
    just my opinion but God I mean spice it
  • 3:26
    up a bit if only they would give us a
  • 3:30
    little bit of control over the
  • 3:31
    production of this show it would be so
  • 3:32
    much better everybody would be watching
  • 3:36
    well and it's the trend and we got
  • 3:39
    comedians you guys have to go to a
  • 3:42
    labyrinth of the punching bags and
  • 3:45
    hitting them and American Gladiator
  • 3:49
    America what is better than that's
  • 3:52
    called knocked out or punch is really
  • 3:54
    violent because this thing this big pad
  • 3:56
    of things hit you pretty hard they knock
  • 3:58
    you knock you to the drink there you go
  • 4:01
    now what those guys going through that
  • 4:03
    that would be good exactly exactly yeah
  • 4:08
    yeah so where do you want I think we
  • 4:11
    should just start with this television
  • 4:12
    week so we can get through it and maybe
  • 4:14
    we do it in order of appearance starting
  • 4:16
    with the the continuation of the
  • 4:19
    hearings well I have okay I'll tell you
  • 4:24
    what I have
  • 4:24
    mm-hmm I got I have no clips from the
  • 4:27
    hearings because I'm going because I'm
  • 4:30
    going to take a look at the transcripts
  • 4:32
    do some analysis of the the end of the
  • 4:35
    days and things like that and then baby
  • 4:37
    important be have maybe have something
  • 4:39
    for Sunday although I doubt it important
  • 4:42
    analysis important analysis so I do all
  • 4:46
    my clips are from the debates and it's
  • 4:48
    just a couple just to ridiculed the two
  • 4:50
    people that were there although I do
  • 4:51
    have the Tulsi I thought it was chicken
  • 4:54
    shit by the way they had Tulsi they
  • 4:57
    threw our softball to start yeah you're
  • 4:59
    going into the debate
  • 5:00
    I have clips on the hearing I mean okay
  • 5:02
    but then I wanted I'm gonna skip my
  • 5:04
    clips on the debates right now would do
  • 5:06
    them after the hearings and if we can't
  • 5:09
    we can talk exactly because the hearing
  • 5:11
    well first of all if I can just preface
  • 5:13
    this these hearings with a lot of
  • 5:17
    hearsay and people going back and forth
  • 5:19
    and how they felt about policy and
  • 5:21
    policy being up ended and ambassadors
  • 5:24
    you know people paying a million dollars
  • 5:26
    to become ambassador means this is all
  • 5:28
    just the asshole of what politics is in
  • 5:30
    America nothing interesting no proof
  • 5:33
    you didn't find it interesting that
  • 5:35
    number of the candidates I think
  • 5:37
    Klobuchar are was one of them I'm
  • 5:40
    talking about the darling so wait that a
  • 5:43
    number of the candidates would all go on
  • 5:46
    later and say oh yeah these hearings
  • 5:49
    that the
  • 5:51
    they it's unbelievable that this guy got
  • 5:54
    this ambassadorship only because he
  • 5:57
    bundled money for think are they kidding