1194: Mint19

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

2h 53m
November 28th, 2019
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Executive Producers: John Klene, Sir Hubert, knight of the Wide Wild East of the Middle Kingdom, uncle of the tiger, Sir Cal, Sir Code Monkey, Sir Matt Viscount of Victoria, Sir Hashtag, Sir Ray Jacobsen, Sir 10t, Duke of the Seventh Federal Reserve District, Sir Warren Carroll, Dame G Money

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Multiple Women Recall Sexual Misconduct and Retaliation by Gordon Sondland '-- ProPublica
Thu, 28 Nov 2019 07:00
ProPublica is a nonprofit newsroom that investigates abuses of power. Sign up to receive our biggest stories as soon as they're published.
This article was co-published with Portland Monthly.
Three women say they faced sexual misconduct by Gordon Sondland before he was the U.S. ambassador to the European Union and at the center of the presidential impeachment inquiry. They say he retaliated against them professionally after they rejected his advances.
In one case, a potential business partner recalls that Sondland took her to tour a room in a hotel he owns, only to then grab her face and try to kiss her. After she rejected him, Sondland backtracked on investing in her business.
Another woman, a work associate at the time, says Sondland exposed himself to her during a business interaction. She also recalls falling over the back of a couch trying to get away from him. After she made her lack of interest clear, she says Sondland called her, screaming about her job performance.
A third woman, 27 years Sondland's junior, met him to discuss a potential job. She says he pushed himself against her and kissed her. She shoved him away. She says his job help stopped.
All three women have agreed to be named in this story. In all the cases, friends, family members or colleagues of the women recall being told about the encounters at the time. The cases span a seven-year period, ending less than a decade ago. Sondland denies the allegations.
''In decades of my career in business and civic affairs, my conduct can be affirmed by hundreds of employees and colleagues with whom I have worked in countless circumstances,'' Sondland said in a statement. ''These untrue claims of unwanted touching and kissing are concocted and, I believe, coordinated for political purposes. They have no basis in fact, and I categorically deny them.'' (Read his statement.)
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Sondland's lawyer added in a letter: ''Notably, what each of these three women share in common is that they pursued Ambassador Sondland for financial and personal gain '-- an investment, a job, and insurance brokerage work '-- and he declined their proposals.''
The lawyer, Jim McDermott, also wrote that the three women are trying to undermine Sondland's latest testimony. ''Given the timing of your intended story, a reasonable conclusion to be drawn is that you are attempting to affect Ambassador Sondland's credibility as a fact witness in the pending impeachment inquiry,'' McDermott wrote. ''Given the politically charged climate in which current events are unfolding, some might consider this to be veiled witness tampering.''
Reporting on this story began in October, around the time of Sondland's initial impeachment testimony, in which he backed the president's assertion that there was no quid pro quo involving Ukraine.
The day after Sondland gave that testimony, Nicole Vogel spoke at the Day of the Girl Luncheon in Seattle, an event hosted by a regional nonprofit, Girls Inc., whose mission is to inspire ''all girls to be strong, smart, and bold.'' Vogel decided to recount her Sondland story and name him.
Vogel also mentioned it to an editor at Portland Monthly, the co-publisher of this story, and she later spoke about it again at a breakfast event in Portland.
[Editor's note: Vogel is the owner of Portland Monthly. Vogel cooperated with the story as a source. She was not involved in editorial decisions. The magazine's editorial team decided to partner with ProPublica to independently report her story.]
Hear the Women Tell Their Stories''There were a lot of indecent proposals when I was raising capital, but none as brazen as his,'' Vogel recalls. She encountered Sondland 16 years ago when she was trying to raise money to start her magazine. ''I have nothing to say about what he did or didn't do [involving Ukraine]. But if people are asking what his moral character is, I have one more piece of evidence for them.''
The women had kept their stories to their own circles, even after Sondland was nominated and vetted for an ambassadorship by a president who himself has been accused of sexual misconduct by more than 20 women. The women say they were not contacted by the government for any background checks.
In 2003, Vogel had an idea to start a magazine with her journalist brother that would chronicle Portland's exploding art, culture and food scenes. She was 34 years old and fresh off a job at Move.com. Armed with full mock-ups of the magazine and detailed financial projections, the search for investors led her to Sondland.
Sondland has long been a power player in Portland, where he is one of the region's most prominent business figures. He owns five hotels in Portland under the umbrella of the company he founded, Provenance Hotel Group. He was once asked at a panel why he got into the business. ''It combines all the elements that give me a reason to get up in the morning,'' Sondland said. ''You have food, you have wine, you have design, you have art, you have intrigue, you have sex. You have everything you can think of.''
Protesters rallying outside a Portland, Oregon, hotel owned by Sondland on Nov. 19. (Alex Milan Tracy/Sipa via AP Images)Sondland is also a prominent philanthropist. He has served on several high-profile nonprofit boards, including as the chairman of the board of trustees of the Portland Art Museum. A prominent staircase there bears his name and that of his wife, Katherine Durant.
According to Vogel, Sondland was helpful, connecting her with potential advertisers and investors. Then, in the spring of 2003, he invited her to dinner at El Gaucho, a clubby, old-school steakhouse, requesting information on the business's projected financials. Over dinner, he told her that he would invest his own money in the magazine, and that Portland needed people like her.
''Gordon had said that night that he was going to invest,'' Vogel recalls. ''And in fact, he said to me that he was interested in investing in the company, but that he was more interested in investing in me, because he felt as if Portland didn't keep people of high ambition and talent.''
After dinner, Vogel remembers Sondland proposing a walk across the street to Hotel Lucia, which Provenance had acquired two years before and filled with splashy art. Vogel says he introduced her to staff on the first floor '-- the concierge, the doorman, the front desk attendants '-- before suggesting that she might want to see one of the rooms.
In Vogel's memory, the room was small and mundane, but she made admiring comments before turning to open the door and let herself out when Sondland's voice stopped her.
''I remember seeing my hand drop from the door handle,'' she says. ''I turned around, and he's standing right behind me, and he says, 'Can I just have a hug first?'''
So she did the only thing she could think of to ensure a safe exit, giving him a hearty-back-pat-we're-all-friends-here hug.
''And as I pulled back, he grabs my face and goes to kiss me.''
Vogel deflected the kiss and brought out a well-practiced line, designed, she says, to preserve his ego: ''I said, 'Ooh Gordon, you're a married man, and you'd just break my heart.''' She left through the hotel lobby, making sure to say goodbye to everyone she'd been introduced to, so they'd all remember that she hadn't been upstairs for more than a few minutes.
Shortly after, Vogel's records show, Sondland emailed her requesting a financial analysis for her business plan. He included a brief aside: ''Sorry I was such a dud.''
Afterward, Vogel confided in a friend, Craig Sweitzer, and her sister, both of whom confirmed her account. ''I think she was just exhausted,'' Lorrie Vogel says. ''All you're trying to do is raise funding for something, and you're appalled that people would use their power to try and take advantage of you.''
Sondland and Vogel had a second lunch on the calendar for a few weeks later to hammer out details of the investment. Vogel says she decided to keep the appointment, hoping the encounter at the Lucia had been a momentary lapse in judgment.
Vogel and Sondland had offices in the same neighborhood, Portland's trendy Pearl District, which is full of warehouses-turned-galleries, shops and many restaurants. Instead of going to lunch there, Vogel recalls Sondland showed up in a vintage convertible and drove them to an out-of-the-way restaurant 8 miles away, across two rivers.
Vogel remembers little of the meal itself, but she recalls the drive back well. She says Sondland placed his hand on her midthigh and left it there for 10 or so minutes. She clamped her own hand on top of his so he couldn't move it any farther up her thigh. They spent the rest of the ride in silence.
''God, I would love to have told him to shove it. To have kneed him in the balls,'' she says. ''But I didn't do that. It was precarious.'' She knew that having her fledgling magazine in Sondland's hotel rooms, reaching thousands of guests, would boost readership numbers and ad rates.
Then, just days before she was due to close her first round of financing, Sondland sent an email, changing the terms on his investment.
''Nicole,'' Sondland's email began. ''After further reflection on this opportunity, I have come to the definite conclusion that this will be a 'labor of love' investment, at least at the beginning. In checking further, I have determined that the Lucia cannot participate under your very creative structure.''
Sondland's lawyer disputes that the turnabout was motivated by anything other than business. ''A decision not to invest cannot fairly be characterized as retaliation,'' McDermott wrote. ''Ambassador Sondland, in fact, conducted lengthy due diligence about Ms. Vogel's investment proposal that included enlisting analyses from other regional publishers, before deciding not to invest.''
Vogel says that Sondland had been planning to put in at least $25,000, her minimum required investment. That money would have allowed Vogel to reach her business plan's goal of $300,000. Instead, Sondland said in the email that he would commit to $10,000 and would only do so if Vogel raised an extra $100,000.
Vogel says she ended up emptying her own bank account to make up for Sondland's reversal, and the magazine went forward without him. Today, she runs magazines in six states.
In his letter denying the women's accounts, Sondland's lawyer wrote:
As you are doubtless aware, one of the three complainants, Nicole Vogel, is the owner and publisher of the Portland Monthly. She and her publication stand to benefit directly from publishing these allegations, and Ms. Vogel's delay in bringing these forward '-- even as Ambassador Sondland was undergoing public scrutiny by Congress as part of his confirmation in 2018 '-- casts grave doubt on her credibility. Indeed, we understand that Portland Monthly is under significant financial pressure and Ms. Vogel's efforts seem designed to salvage it.
Vogel says the only reason she has shared her story is because ''it feels like the right thing to do.'' Vogel adds that she ''can't imagine a scenario where there is a financial benefit to Portland Monthly from this story.'' The magazine, which Vogel says has been profitable this year, was long placed in rooms in Sondland's hotels in both Portland and Seattle. Vogel says she decided last week to stop placing the magazines there. Halting that arrangement hurts the magazine's reach, says the magazine's publisher.
Sondland's attorney also wrote:
You should know that Ms. Vogel is a close associate of Rep. Earl Blumenauer who has maligned Ambassador Sondland and threatened his company, misconduct that is now the subject of a Congressional Ethics Office complaint. Congressman Blumenauer is also a vocal critic of the Trump Administration.
Vogel says she has no relationship with the congressman. Blumenauer did occasionally contribute to the magazine, which is cited on one of Vogel's pages on the website. The ethics complaint was filed by Provenance in response to Blumenauer calling for a boycott of Sondland's company. The congressman did this after Sondland initially declined to testify in the impeachment inquiry. When Sondland did ultimately testify publicly, undercutting the president's defense, Blumenauer praised him.
Jana Solis met Sondland in 2008. Solis, who went by Janice Schnabel at the time, worked as a hospitality safety engineer for New York City-based insurance giant Marsh & McLennan, creating risk management plans and evaluating the safety of restaurants and hotels. The executive also sometimes pitched clients to sign with the company. (Solis initially misremembered the year she met Sondland as 2003 or 2004. She reviewed her records after Sondland's lawyer noted that Marsh's work with Provenance started in 2008.)
Knowing that Solis had experience in the hotel industry, a colleague asked her to take a meeting with Sondland, a lunch at Pazzo Ristorante, the Italian mainstay at what was then the Hotel Vintage Plaza.
''He was flirting through the lunch, and ends up just saying, 'OK, I've heard enough,''' Solis remembers. '''You're hired. Congratulations. You're my new hotel chick.'''
Then, on the way out, Solis recalls that Sondland suddenly ''slap[ped] me on the ass and said, 'I look forward to working with you.'''
Sondland's lawyer wrote that Sondland rejects that account: ''Ambassador Sondland denies slapping Ms. Solis on the rear end.''
Next, Sondland requested she visit his home, so that she could evaluate his personal art collection. Solis wasn't trained in art valuations, but she agreed to go to his home, she says, to keep the business account intact. She was tough, she figured, after years spent working in industries like manufacturing.
The two toured Sondland's home in Portland's exclusive West Hills, Solis making notes about the artwork as the hotelier showed off pictures of himself with then-President George W. Bush and Bush's dog. And then, she recalls, he told her there was even more of his collection to see in the pool house. She'd meet him there, she said, excusing herself both to go to the bathroom and map out a potential exit strategy.
''I get out to the pool house, and he is now naked from the waist down,'' Solis remembers. ''He said something about, 'I thought we could chat.' And I said something, trying to keep his ego intact '-- not that he needed that, not that it wouldn't have been anyway '-- I said something like, 'I can't have that conversation.'''
Solis remembers apologizing, saying she was sorry if she'd given Sondland the wrong impression. She wanted to preserve the business relationship and not jeopardize her senior position at a job she loved. Also, he was her ride home: ''I thought, 'I need to keep myself intact and get out,''' she recalls. ''So that's what you do, apologize.''
''So he's like, 'Well, I just thought we could have some fun, but you know, it's cool.'''
Sondland put his pants back on. Then he drove her back to downtown Portland, but not before, in Solis' memory, he made one more request: ''Can I have a hug?''
It wasn't Solis' last encounter with Sondland. A few months later, she was tasked with inspecting and holding staff training sessions at his hotel properties, including the Roosevelt Hotel in Seattle (now renamed the Hotel Theodore), where Sondland keeps a penthouse apartment.
''And the last day I was there doing the training, he said, 'I need you to see the penthouse as well.''' She didn't know it was his private living quarters.
''So I'm acting very professional, and I'm going over some of the things I think he needs to deal with [as part of my inspection] and just trying to stay down that road. [He says:] 'Have a drink. Thanks for all you've done this week.'''
Solis remembers sitting on the couch with him, having a glass of wine and hoping as hard as she could '-- praying '-- that it would go no further.
''The next thing I know, he's all over me,'' she recalls. ''He's on top of me. He's kissing me, shoving his tongue down my throat. And I'm trying to wiggle out from under him, and the next thing you know, I'm sort of rising up to get away from him, and I fall over the back of the couch.''
She remembers suddenly finding herself on the floor. ''And I'm like: 'Gordon, I'm not sure what else to say. You know, I really, really want to do business with you, but I'm not sure we can. I don't know what your issues are, but I am telling you, I cannot make them mine.'''
Sondland's lawyer says the ambassador denies that happened. ''Ambassador Sondland also denies exposing himself to her or forcibly kissing her,'' he wrote. ''We have been able to review Provenance's records interacting with Ms. Solis's company, and at no time did she or her employer convey any concern about Ambassador Sondland, his comportment, or the nature of any business dealings he had with them or their personnel.''
Solis' former husband, Kevin Schnabel, recalls Solis was upset when she arrived home from that trip. ''One of the things that always stuck in my head is her comment that he literally had his tongue down [her] throat, [and as she was] trying to get away from him she had fallen over the back of the couch,'' Schnabel remembers. Solis also told Schnabel her recollection of what happened in the pool house.
A few days later, Solis was back in her office, working late, when the phone rang. She recalls Sondland was on the other end, screaming at her over insurance issues tangential to her job. ''At the end of the day, it wasn't about insurance. He was pissed. He didn't get his way [with me], and he was making it about work,'' she says. ''And he was making it all my fault.''
Sondland at the Longworth House Office Building in Washington, D.C. (Matt McClain/The Washington Post via Getty Images)Alone at her desk, Solis started to sob. She says a colleague found her there; he'd heard Sondland's screams on the speakerphone from his office. The colleague, who declined to be named, says he saw the incident. She ''became emotional,'' he says, ''and concerned about what Marsh would think if [she] lost the account over the matter.''
It was the last time Solis ever spoke with Sondland. Solis left the account. Provenance is currently a client of Marsh. Today, she still works in the insurance industry and often travels the country as a speaker and leader in her industry.
Sondland's lawyer provided an email that one of Solis' colleagues at her current firm sent to Provenance in 2016 pitching them on business. The colleague wrote that he had been referred by Solis.
Solis says she didn't know about the email. ''You didn't see me on the signature block, nor did you see me copied on it,'' she says. ''I certainly wouldn't have directed him to Provenance and, at a minimum, certainly would not have said 'use my name when you're talking to Gordon.' That's a complete recipe for disaster.''
The third woman who says she faced sexual misconduct by Sondland is Natalie Sept. In 2008, Sept moved home to Portland after a post-college job teaching in the Chicago suburbs. Sept had always been interested in politics and eventually connected with Portland City Council member Nick Fish, who was running for reelection and needed a fundraiser. He hired Sept, whose role eventually expanded to campaign manager.
After Fish won his 2010 election in a landslide, Sept had breakfast with him at the restaurant of the Heathman Hotel (Provenance would add the hotel to its portfolio in 2017), a frequent watering hole for Portland's political class. Sondland, who had donated to Fish, was at a nearby table.
Sept remembers that her boss introduced her to Sondland and said: '''This is Natalie. She's a rising star.''' Intrigued, Sondland invited her to another breakfast, this time at Gracie's, the cavernous dining room at the Hotel deLuxe (Provenance bought the century-old hotel in 2004).
''So I'm talking to him about sports and downtown economic development, and he's telling me about the Oregon governor's film board doing a tour in LA, promising me huge opportunities, and the chance to work with the governor,'' Sept recalls. In addition to being a major benefactor of the art museum, Sondland was the chair of the film board.
''I was so starry-eyed about all of these institutions and people and power associated with these kinds of opportunities,'' Sept says. ''I was convinced it was something he could help me attain.''
Soon after, Sept learned her path crisscrossed with Sondland's in familial ways: Sondland had hired her uncle to paint his house, and her stepfather served with Sondland's wife on the Oregon Investment Council. ''I started to feel really comfortable,'' Sept remembers. ''We had all these points of connection. I thought, 'I can trust this person.'''
Sondland invited Sept to dinner at El Gaucho, the same spot he took Vogel, to discuss a potential job at the film office. Sept showed up in a business suit, ready to network. When she arrived, she found that Sondland had ordered them what she recalls as ''the nicest bottle of wine'' on the menu.
Sondland spent much of the meal, Sept remembers, talking about his family and showing her pictures of his kids at the White House with then-President Bush. (The former president had appointed Sondland to the Commission on White House Fellowships.) It wasn't until the tail end of the meal that the film office job finally came up. So Sept agreed to continue the conversation down the street at Saucebox, a cocktail bar.
Sept says she immediately headed for the bar's bathroom.
''When I come back, he is sitting on the booth side of this big table,'' she recalls. ''He says, 'Come sit next to me.' And I thought, 'Oh my god, this isn't good.' So I said, 'Oh, I forgot, I have to go home.'''
Sept says she apologized for cutting the evening short. Sondland paid the tab and then offered to walk her to her car. ''He keeps insisting, and I'm nervous and afraid and I don't want to make a scene, so I say, 'OK, fine,''' Sept says.
At her car, Sept says, Sondland leaned in for a hug.
''So I give him a quick hug and he holds onto my shoulders and looks at me and pushes himself into me and tries to kiss me.''
Gordon Sondland testifying before the House Intelligence Committee on Nov. 20. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)Sept says she pushed him to the side, got into her car and sped off. The next day, trying to be the conscientious professional, she sent a follow-up email scheduling Sondland for a meeting with Fish.
''What was most important was that I maintain professionalism. I didn't want him to think I was frazzled by this,'' she says.
In response to Sept's account, Sondland's lawyer wrote: ''Ambassador Sondland did discuss Ms. Sept's job prospects with her, but he denies any unwanted touching. He specifically denies attempting to kiss her, along with her claim that she pushed him away.''
Soon after Sept's encounter, she told a friend in local government about the incident. ''She was shaken up,'' says the friend, who declined to be identified. ''That sort of behavior is shocking and should be shocking, and that's how she reacted.''
Sept never heard from Sondland again about the state film commission job. She went on to work for prominent Democratic politicians, including on Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign in 2016.
In his statement, Sondland said he has never been aware of any accusations of unwanted touching or kissing against him. ''There has never been mention of them in any form during the period of the allegations,'' he wrote, ''although such a complaint could easily have been aired through multiple channels. These false incidents are at odds with my character.''
Sondland might have remained a Northwest power player, if not for his focus on becoming an ambassador, reportedly a lifetime goal.
During the 2016 presidential campaign, Sondland had pulled away from Trump, removing his name as one of the hosts of a Seattle fundraiser after Trump ridiculed the Muslim family of a slain U.S. soldier. He initially supported Jeb Bush's presidential campaign. But when Trump was elected, Sondland donated $1 million to his inaugural committee.
President Donald Trump and Sondland in Brussels on July 10, 2018. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP Photo)Sondland's dream of being an envoy was realized when Trump nominated him to be ambassador to the European Union in May 2018, the latest in a line of political donors named to the position.
Sondland has given hundreds of thousands of dollars in election campaign donations to mostly Republican candidates and causes. But he's also donated to various Democrats, including Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore.
Wyden spoke in support of Sondland during his confirmation hearings. The senator said he's known ''Gordy'' for more than 25 years and said he expected that Sondland would represent ''the Oregon way,'' which Wyden described as ''caring about people, having a good heart.''
The Senate approved Sondland's nomination by a voice vote.
This fall, Vogel was driving to work, listening to NPR, when she heard ''Morning Edition'' co-host Rachel Martin detailing Sondland's involvement in the impeachment inquiry.
''Was there a quid pro quo?'' Martin asked. ''And did Sondland make it happen?''
Vogel started to cry in her car.
''I'm somebody who has sort of laughed it off and rolled my eyes and said, 'What a jerk,' all these years, and suddenly I'm crying in my car?'' she says. ''What the hell? That doesn't sound like me.'' She recalls thinking at that moment about the transactional nature of Sondland's Ukraine mission and saw it as a painful reminder of her own experience.
''The fact that [Sondland] uses his power to terrorize people who he perceives as having less power is really disgusting,'' Sept says. ''I want other women to feel comfortable to share their stories, and be believed.''
''I would hate to see anybody else go through it. This runs so far beyond just a little groping. It affects how I do business. And who I can do business with,'' says Solis. So if talking ''is the right thing to do, then that's what I'm going to do.''
She wants her children to know that what their "mom did was right, that I had a sense of self and a strong character. And I want my character to be revealed to people in a positive way and in a way that is courageous to the degree that I can be.''
Marty Patail and Conner Reed contributed to this report.
Do you have information about Ambassador Sondland? Contact Portland Monthly's Fiona McCann and Julia Silverman, and ProPublica's Maryam Jameel. You can reach Maryam on Signal at 202-681-0779.
Gordon Sondland accused of sexual misconduct and retaliation by three women | Daily Mail Online
Thu, 28 Nov 2019 07:00
Gordon Sondland denies any wrongdoing after three women accuse him, the American ambassador to the European Union who is at the center of the presidential impeachment inquiry, of sexual misconduct and retaliation.
The three women say that Sondland made unwanted sexual contact with them in business settings, and on one occasion exposed himself, before he joined the U.S. State Department last year.
The three women who shared the allegations came forward by name. They are Portland Monthly Magazine owner Nicole Vogel, insurance executive Jana Solis, and Portland political consultant and nonprofit manager Natalie Sept.
The women say that Sondland, who is married and has two kids, retaliated against them after they rejected his advances, according to a bombshell ProPublica and Portland Monthly report published Wednesday.
However, Sondland has denied the allegations, slamming them as 'untrue claims' that he believes are 'coordinated for political purposes.'
Three women have accused Gordon Sondland, the American ambassador to the European Union at the center of the impeachment inquiry, of sexual misconduct and retaliation
Nicole Vogel, the owner of Portland Monthly Magazine, came forward with her account of Sondland a day after his initial testimony in impeachment inquiry last week. Vogel accuses him of forcibly kissing her in 2003 during talks for a potential investment in her magazine, which he eventually dropped after she rejected him
Insurance executive Jana Solis (left) alleges Sondland exposed himself to her and 'shoved his tongue down [her] throat' in 2008 during a business interaction. Political consultant Natalie Sept (right) accuses Sondland of forcibly kissing her during talks about a potential job offer in 2010 and when she deflected he never contacted her about the job again
Sondland is a successful business man who was the founder and CEO of the Provenance Hotels chain, which has 19 hotels across the country. He financially supported Trump after he became the Republican nominee in the 2016 presidential election.
In March 2018 he was selected as the next US ambassador to the European Union and he was confirmed for the position in June 2018.
Nicole Vogel decided to come forward with her account the day after Sondland gave his initial impeachment testimony on Capitol Hill last week, where he stood by President Trump but admitted there was quid pro quo between the White House and Ukraine.
In 2003 Vogel, then 34, was raising money to launch Portland Monthly Magazine and met with Sondland, a prominent figure in Portland, twice for a potential investment, according to the report.
The two got together for dinner in the spring of 2003 to discuss the investment and Sondland proposed walking to the nearly Hotel Lucia afterwards, which his hotel chain had acquired two years earlier.
He showed her the art, introduced her to staff then allegedly made a move on her as she was looking at one of the hotel rooms.
'I remember seeing my hand drop from the door handle. I turned around, and he's standing right behind me, and he says, "Can I just have a hug first?"' she said.
She tried to give him a friendly hug but recalled 'as I pulled back, he grabs my face and goes to kiss me.'
Sondland has denied the allegations, slamming them as 'untrue claims' that he believes are 'coordinated for political purposes'
Vogel said she deflected the kiss and tried to 'preserve his ego' by saying: 'Ooh Gordon, you're a married man, and you'd just break my heart.'
During a second meeting the two got lunch and during a drive back to their offices Sondland alleged placed his hand on her mid-thigh and left it there for about 10 minutes. She said she placed her own hand on top of his to prevent it from moving any higher up as they rode in silence.
'God, I would love to have told him to shove it. To have kneed him in the balls. But I didn't do that. It was precarious,' she said.
She said Sondland backed off from their investment talks just a few days before she was due to close her first round of financing by sending a cold email.
'Nicole, After further reflection on this opportunity, I have come to the definite conclusion that this will be a "labor of love" investment, at least at the beginning. In checking further, I have determined that the Lucia cannot participate under your very creative structure.'
Sondland's lawyer disputes that the cancelled investment was retaliation saying: 'A decision not to invest cannot fairly be characterized as retaliation.'
'Ambassador Sondland, in fact, conducted lengthy due diligence about Ms. Vogel's investment proposal that included enlisting analyses from other regional publishers, before deciding not to invest,' attorney Jim McCarthy said in a statement shared with DailyMail.com.
Sondland married wife Katerine Durant in 1993 and they share two children Max and Lucy
Sondland pictured with his wife and children in a video shared by the U.S. Embassy in the E.U. upon his confirmation as a diplomat
Though Vogel is the owner of the Portland Monthly magazine, she is not involved in editorial decisions and cooperated with the story as a source, the outlet noted.
Jana Solis met Sondland in 2008 while working as a New York insurer for Marsh & McLennan creating risk management plans for restaurants and hotels.
Solis alleges she met with Sondland twice to discuss her career and a potential new job with his company.
They first met for lunch at the Pazzo Ristorante at the then Hotel Vintage Plaza in Portland.
'He was flirting through the lunch, and ends up just saying, "OK, I've heard enough. You're hired. Congratulations. You're my new hotel chick,"' he said to her.
On the way out Sondland allegedly slapped her behind and said: 'I look forward to working with you'.
On a second occasion she went to Sondland's Portland West Hills home for a tour. He showed her the artwork, the rooms, then asked her to met him at the pool house.
'I get out to the pool house, and he is now naked from the waist down,' Solis recalled.
Solis accused Sondland of kissing her and 'shoving his tongue down my throat' after he invited her his penthouse at the Roosevelt Hotel in Seattle (now called the Hotel Theodore) while they were both there for work in 2008
Sondland had taken both Vogel in 2003 and Sept in 2010 to the El Guancho steakhouse restaurant in Portland (interior pictured above). After both dinners he allegedly tried to kiss the women
'He said something about, "I thought we could chat." And I said something, trying to keep his ego intact '-- not that he needed that, not that it wouldn't have been anyway '-- I said something like, "I can't have that conversation."'
Solis allegedly apologized for giving him the wrong impression and he allegedly replied, 'Well, I just thought we could have some fun, but you know, it's cool.'
Sondland made yet another unwanted sexual advance on Solis a few months later as she was inspecting and holding staff training sessions at his hotel properties at the Roosevelt Hotel In Seattle (now called the Hotel Theodore) where Sondland has a penthouse.
He invited her to his penthouse suite for drinks then allegedly started to forcibly kiss Solis.
'The next thing I know, he's all over me. He's on top of me. He's kissing me, shoving his tongue down my throat. And I'm trying to wiggle out from under him, and the next thing you know, I'm sort of rising up to get away from him, and I fall over the back of the couch,' she said.
She allegedly told him: 'I really, really want to do business with you, but I'm not sure we can. I don't know what your issues are, but I am telling you, I cannot make them mine.'
Natalie Sept was working as a staffer for City Commissioner Nick Fish in 2010 when she had an unwanted interaction with Sondland. Following Wednesday's article Fish released this statement condemning Sondland's behavior saying: 'He should resign his position of public trust'
A few days later at work he screamed at her on the phone over insurance issues that were tangential to her job.
'At the end of the day, it wasn't about insurance. He was pissed. He didn't get his way [with me], and he was making it about work,' she said.
However, Sondland's lawyer denies that Sondland ever exposed himself to Solis or forcibly kissed her. He noted that Solis never reported any concerns in working with Sondland in business deals.
Natalie Sept was working as a staffer for City Commissioner Nick Fish in 2010 when she allegedly had an unwanted interaction with Sondland.
She agreed to meet Sondland for dinner at El Gaucho in Portland, the same restaurant he took Vogel, to discuss her career and potential job opportunities he could offer her. She was 27 years younger than him at the time.
Afterwards he invited her to continue the conversation at a bar. When she said she had to leave, Sondland paid the tab and repeatedly offered to walk her to her car, where he tried to forcibly kiss her.
'He keeps insisting, and I'm nervous and afraid and I don't want to make a scene, so I say, "OK, fine."'
Once at the car he leaned in for a hug.
'So I give him a quick hug and he holds onto my shoulders and looks at me and pushes himself into me and tries to kiss me,' she said.
She pushed him off, got into her car and sped away from the scene.
Sept says her relationship turned sour when she tried to send a professional follow-up email scheduling Sondland for a meeting with her boss. She said she never heard from him again about a potential state film commission job that they had discussed.
'What was most important was that I maintain professionalism. I didn't want him to think I was frazzled by this,' she said.
Sept denied this interaction saying through a lawyer: 'Ambassador Sondland did discuss Ms. Sept's job prospects with her, but he denies any unwanted touching. He specifically denies attempting to kiss her, along with her claim that she pushed him away.'
Sondland is a successful business man who was the founder and CEO of the Provenance Hotels chain, which has 19 hotels across the country. He financially supported Trump after he became the Republican nominee in the 2016 presidential election. In March 2018 he was selected as the next US ambassador to the European Union and he was confirmed for the position in June 2018
However, Sondland has denied the allegations.
'In decades of my career in business and civic affairs, my conduct can be affirmed by hundreds of employees and colleagues with whom I have worked in countless circumstances,' he told DailyMail.com in a statement.
'These untrue claims of unwanted touching and kissing are concocted and, I believe, coordinated for political purposes. They have no basis in fact, and I categorically deny them.
'There has never been mention of them in any form during the 10 to 16 years since they supposedly occurred, although such a complaint could easily have been aired through multiple channels. These false incidents are at odds with my character.'
Sondland's lawyer added: 'Notably, what each of these three women share in common is that they pursued Ambassador Sondland for financial and personal gain '-- an investment, a job, and insurance brokerage work '-- and he declined their proposals.'
Sondland's name has come into the spotlight with Trump's impeachment inquiry.
During the 2016 presidential campaign he wasn't an outspoken supporter of Trump and initially supported Jeb Bush's campaign. When Trump won the nominee ticket, Sondland donated a stunning $1million to his inaugural committee.
Sondland had a lifelong dream of becoming a diplomat, a dream Trump was able to make a reality by nominating Sondland as ambassador to the EU in May 2018.
Vogel said she was forced to come forward with her account of sexual misconduct after seeing Sondland testify before lawmakers.
Sept echoed that sentiment saying: 'The fact that [Sondland] uses his power to terrorize people who he perceives as having less power is really disgusting. I want other women to feel comfortable to share their stories, and be believed.'
OTG
Cops asking for Ring video this morning
The smart phone has replaced the American automobile
The historical culture of Linux is allowing alot of customization, too much even for the novice end-user
Linux vs WIn & MacOS - So much of the resources go into the windows manager, that makes them slower than (most) Linux managers
Understanding the shenanigans of email - SMTP Trust levels of ip ranges etc etc etc
Twitter: 'My boyfriend died but I still like to read his tweets' - BBC News
Thu, 28 Nov 2019 07:31
Image copyright Gavin Lomas "I just can't imagine how I'd feel if I saw somebody else with Dean's handle."
Adam Parker's boyfriend Dean Eastmond died from cancer at the age of 21 in September 2017. They'd been dating for two years.
The couple first spoke on Twitter when Adam sent a message to Dean to tell him how cute a photo of his cat was.
And since Dean's death, Adam has used his boyfriend's tweets to remember him.
"Grief is complex, strange and it works in different ways," the 25-year-old tells Radio 1 Newsbeat.
"I certainly do check back - particularly in the last month or so - with his tweets just to see what was going through Dean's head at that time of his life.
"It depends what kind of feelings of grief and bereavement I'm feeling on a day-to-day basis."
Earlier this week, Twitter revealed it was planning to remove inactive Twitter accounts and "free up" usernames.
It led to a backlash from people like Adam who didn't want the accounts of loved ones who had died being deleted.
Yesterday, Twitter announced it was pausing the plan until a process for "memorialising" users' accounts was in place - which Adam says is "good news".
"Hopefully we can start to think through how we can respect accounts of the deceased and archive the historical data of those we've lost," he tweeted the company afterwards.
Image copyright Amanda Eastmond Image caption Dean was a journalist who launched LGBTQ+ website His Kind before his death Dean was diagnosed with with Ewing's Sarcoma - a rare form of bone and soft tissue cancer - in 2016.
He was the editor of magazine HISKIND and also wrote lots of posts on Twitter about the realities of living with the disease.
During his life, he was sent messages of support from loads of celebrities including Nicole Scherzinger and stars from RuPaul's Drag Race - who shared photos with the message "Dean Eastmond slays."
Adam says it's moments like these he wants to revisit and remember.
"There are big memories and moments that were mediated and helped through Twitter," he tells Newsbeat.
"It's those types of things that I would like to preserve on social media."
He also says there should be more awareness about what to do with someone's profiles when they die.
"It should be widely acknowledged that this is an issue," says Adam.
"Until you actually get confronted with somebody passing away and you want to access a social media, it's not something that you necessarily think about."
What happens to someone's social media account when they die?Twitter is able to shut down the account of someone who has died, if their family asks and can provide proof of their identity.
Facebook "memorialises" pages and makes sure no-one is able to log into an account that is known to belong to someone who has died.
Instagram does the same, and says it will try and stop anything posted by the owner from when they were alive appearing in ways that may upset their family.
You can find information and support on dealing with grief and bereavement by visiting the BBC advice page.
Follow Newsbeat on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
Listen to Newsbeat live at 12:45 and 17:45 weekdays - or listen back here.
Jimmy Wales says he is planning to a hire a small number of journalists early next year for his news-focused social network WT:Social (Charlotte Tobitt/Press Gazette)
Wed, 27 Nov 2019 17:16
Mediagazer presents the day's must-read media news on a single page.
The media business is in tumult: from the production side tothe distribution side, new technologies are upending the industry.Keeping up with these changes is time-consuming, as essential media coverageis scattered across numerous web sites at any given moment.
Mediagazer simplifies this task by organizing the key coverage in one place.We've combined sophisticated automated aggregation technologies withdirect editorial input from knowledgeable human editorsto present the one indispensable narrative of an industry in transition.
motorola razr - android smartphone | Motorola
Mon, 25 Nov 2019 20:47
Unmistakable. Unexpected. Unparalleled.The pocket-ready size of a flip phone fused with the intelligence of a modern smartphone. The new, radically different razr is here.
What's the hype?check out what people are saying on social a design that shatters the status quo
razr fits comfortably in your palm or pocket when shut, and flips open to reveal an immersive, full-length touch screen. The new razr is a sleek, modern smartphone unlike any other.complexity, simplified '‹'‹razr transforms an industry challenge into an engineering breakthrough. The zero-gap hinge allows razr to close with both sides perfectly flush, a cohesive design that also protects the main display.
effortlessly in the know'‹The touch-enabled Quick View display allows you to see, respond, and move on. Play your music, take selfies, see notifications and more'--all without ever opening your phone.
two screens. one phone.'‹'‹The two displays are made to work together. Whatever you see on Quick View magically moves to the larger Flex View display the moment you flip open.
Movies and videos come to life in high-def on razr's stunning flexible display featuring CinemaVision'--bringing you the same ultra-wide dimensions used by the film industry.
Great photography tells your story more authentically. Capture amazing photos you'll be proud to share. Features like Night Vision and built-in artificial intelligence make it easy to get shots you love.
become bolder
Use color in a totally unique way with Spot Color mode. Pick one color to keep, and then turn everything else in the photo to black and white.
capture the night
Use Night Vision mode to bring details out of the dark. By combining eight frames at different exposures, razr takes bright, vivid photos with rich clarity and more accurate colors.
flip the rules
Break the boundaries of photo and video with Cinemagraph Mode. Keep a portion of your shot in motion, while freezing everything else.
breathtaking portraits
Create gorgeous, professional-looking close-ups with Portrait Mode by adding an artistic blur effect in the background.
built-in smarts, professional resultsReach your full potential with Smart Composition. Based on guidelines used by professionals, it automatically generates a second, optional image for you.
power into tomorrow '‹With a battery that lasts all day, you won't have to worry about plugging in before bed. When you do need to recharge, TurboPower'** gives you hours of power in just minutes.*
Premium headphones, tuned by expert sound engineers. Plug in the razr earbuds and immerse yourself in your own private concert, no matter where you are.
ProcessorInside, razr is loaded with powerful, efficient technology. The Qualcomm® Snapdragon' 710 processor is designed to handle everything you need. Never worry about running out of room, either. With 128 GB of storage, you have plenty of space for apps, photos, songs, movies, and more.
Water Repellency'‹Don't let spills, splashes, or a little sweat get in the way. Whether you're going for a run or taking a call in the rain, a water-repellent design keeps razr protected inside and out.§
Moto Experiences'‹Make it easier and faster to use your smartphone. Moto Display gives you a quick preview of notifications and updates, so you don't have to unlock your phone to see what's going on. Moto Actions lets you use simple gestures to make everyday interactions more convenient. That's just a glimpse of what your phone can do. Look for more on the Moto app.
Photo Storage'‹Get unlimited, high-quality photo storage for free. Your memories are automatically backed up, searchable and can easily be accessed, shared and edited from any device.'
Clutter-Free Android'‹'Experience Android ' '‹ as it was meant to be. No duplicate apps. No clunky software skins. An operating system that helps you out without slowing you down.
Search What You See with Google LensThe smart camera with Google Lens can recognize text, so you can look up a dish right from the menu, add events to your calendar, get directions, call a number, translate words, and more. Or just copy and paste to save some time.'
Qualcomm Snapdragon 710, octa-core, 2.2 GHz
Fingerprint reader, Accelerometer, Magnetometer (compass), Gyro, Proximity, Ambient Light, GPS, Ultrasonics
15W TurboPower charging**
Flex View:6.2'' foldable pOLED,HD (2142 x 876p),21:9 Cinemavision
Quick View:2.7'' gOLED,600 x 800p,4:3 aspect ratio
Unfolded: 72 x 172 x 6.9mmFolded: 72 x 94 x 14mm
Splash-proof with water resistant nanocoating§
16 MP, f/1.7, 1.22um, EIS,Dual Pixel autofocus (AF),Laser AF, Color CorrelatedTemperature (CCT)dual LED flash
Main Camera Video Capture
MPEG4, H.263, H.264, H.265, VP8, VP9
5 MP, f/2.0, 1.12um,screen flash
LTE: B2, B3, B4, B5, B7, B13, B20, B28, B66UMTS: B1, B2, B5, B8CDMA: BC0, BC1GSM: B2, B3, B5, B8
USB 3.0 (Type C) reversible connector
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual band 2.4 & 5GHz, hotspot
GPS, AGPS, LTEPP, SUPL, GLONASS
razr earbuds,accessories case,TurboPowerTM charger,USB-C cable,headset adapter cable,guides
Featuresspecifications
Rob Schneider warns against 'totalitarian' online media giants | Daily Mail Online
Mon, 25 Nov 2019 20:51
Rob Schneider has blasted technology giants and liberals in a free speech rant where he suggested he'd been threatened with violence because of others pushing 'totalitarian crap'.
The 56-year-old actor '' who has been vocal about his anti-vaccination stance for many years - took to Twitter to criticize brands including Google, Facebook and YouTube for allegedly hiding information from users.
Facebook has admitted limiting views of groups that could spread misinformation about vaccines linked to causing autism, and Amazon has removed books that claim to promote cures for those on the spectrum.
'Sorry to have to repeat this again: Free Speech is ALL speech. Even the speech that you find repugnant,' Schneider began his series of tweets. 'You are either for ALL of it or... you are for none of it. We don't need people deciding FOR us what to think, see or hear. That's a load of totalitarian crap.
'Amazon is already banning books that dare question medical orthodoxy. Facebook, Google, YouTube bury information as well. The push within democratic societies to further restrict their own freedoms is a road we mustn't take.'
Rob Schneider warned his 775k Twitter followers Friday that Google, Youtube, Facebook and Amazon were helping to suppress free speech
The Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo star who has three daughters aged 30, seven and three '' continued by saying he knows democracy can 'create a mess out of society', due to people being able to 'spew whatever they want' but said he prefers it to being told what to think.
Schneider expressed that he worries lack of free-flowing ideas, good and bad, 'will lead to more horrors'.
'People can decide for themselves what ideas belong in the dustbin of history,' he tweeted Friday. 'Silencing those we disagree with denies us the chance to question our preconceived notions. Either to reaffirm them or reassess them.
'Our ideas need and should always be consistently challenged and reconsidered so we don't merely end up as consensus group think.'
Schneider then suggested that he had received threats of violence from '(supposed) liberals' who accused him of creating a panic simply for attention.
He told 775k Twitter followers that the tech giants were burying information from the public
He shared that he worried the suppression of free speech would 'lead to more horrors' and later shared footage of petrol protesters in Iran being targeted with gas canisters as a warning
Schneider suggested he had received threats of violence from '(supposed) liberals'
He also retweeted a post where one Twitter user claimed the 'fake news media' would not tell the truth about vaccinations and in another post (pictured) said 'real journalism is no longer practiced' in America
The Los Angeles-based comedy actor's rants came between performances of two sold-out shows in Florida at the weekend.
But on Saturday he found the time to share stories of parents angry their child's medical exemption for vaccinations was reversed when Sen. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento)'s SB 276 was signed into law in March.
Those California parents were claiming their children have been kicked out of school because of their opposition to compulsory vaccines and many said if illegal immigration is protected by a sanctuary status so can the rights of parents.
Announcing that he would be donating $10,000 to New York children who have been kicked out of public schools by the 'cruel Gov and New York Legislators' he urged followers to help parents pay for home schooling and claimed 'medical segregation' was occurring.
'Please support NEW YORK KIDS FORCED OUT OF SCHOOLS! Parents, Educators, Other Students STAND UP AND SAY NO TO MEDICAL SEGREGATION OF KIDS!' Schneider continued on Saturday.
Schneider - who is a father of three daughters - also urged students to walk out of schools offering the HPV vaccination without the consent of parents
Pledging to donate $10,000 so parents could home-school he then claimed medical segregation was happening to children being kicked out of school
Seemingly comparing compulsory vaccinations to #MeToo, he said: 'Democrats and Main Stream Media tell us to, "Believe Women!" but don't believe anti-vaccine women
He also retweeted a post where one Twitter user claimed the 'fake news media' would not tell the truth about a British researcher of the Measles Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine.
Commenting on another post by a journalist, Schneider seemingly referred to Julian Assange as he complained real journalism no longer exists in the United States.
He posted: 'The greatest American journalist of course doesn't live in America where real journalism is no longer practiced.'
Taking his rant into Sunday, when he urged students to walk out of schools that were offering the HPV vaccination to students without the consent of parents '' on Monday morning he labelled California Governor Newsom a 'coward' and compared attitudes towards vaccinations to the #MeToo movement.
'Democrats and Main Stream Media tell us to, "Believe Women!" Then... But do NOT believe the Women who are Mothers and who witnessed their precious child injured right in front of them,' Schneider tweeted. 'Don't believe THOSE women! Contact your legislators! #NoMandatoryHPV.'
On Monday Schneider warned the country could end up in a similar situation to Iran in the fight for free speech.
Sharing footage of tear gas canisters aimed at petrol protesters recently, Schneider captioned the clip: 'Here is a good example of when the State (Iran) decides what Free Speech you're allowed. If you AGREE with the State, you're good! If you don't? Here's what happens...'
It came after earlier this month he replied to a tweet about the 'left's ignorance of Stalin's tyranny against the kulaks'.
He said in response to the view conservative British Prime Minister Boris Johnson: 'Unfortunately, people in California would vote for a bowl of s**t if it had "D" next to it.'
Dogs are People Too
Komt uw kat buiten? Dan overtreedt hij Europese regels | Trouw
Wed, 27 Nov 2019 17:02
Katten ongecontroleerd naar buiten laten gaan, is illegaal. Dat stellen juristen Arie Trouwborst en Han Somsen van Tilburg Universiteit. Zij baseren zich daarbij op Europese regels voor natuurbescherming.
De huiskat (Felix catus) is een van de grootste uitroeiers van diersoorten ter wereld, schrijven de onderzoekers in het Journal of Environmental Law. Voor bijna 370 bedreigde diersoorten is de kat een gevaar; in Europa staat zij zelfs in de top drie meest schadelijke uitheemse dieren. De huiskat vindt zijn oorsprong in Afrika.
Alleen al in Nederland worden elk jaar naar schatting 140 miljoen dieren door katten gedood. Meer dan de helft van deze slachtoffers is toe te schrijven aan katten met een eigenaar. Dat zijn er in Nederland tussen de 2 en 3 miljoen, naast tienduizenden zwerfkatten. Onder de slachtoffers zijn verschillende typen vogels en zoogdieren, zoals weidevogels en vleermuizen, maar ook reptielen, vissen en amfibien.
Dat is niet alleen schadelijk, aldus de rechtswetenschappers, het is ook illegaal. Onder de Europese Vogel- en Habitatrichtlijn is Nederland immers verplicht om bepaalde soorten en hun leefgebieden te beschermen, en mogelijke bedreigingen te beperken. Een kat toezichtloos laten rondlopen is feitelijk al verboden, zeggen de juristen: ''Wie een rechtszaak aanspant tegen de Nederlandse overheid, die de Europese regels moet handhaven, maakt dus een goede kans op succes.''
Een kat kan vogels stress bezorgenOok zonder te jagen, kunnen katten populaties beschadigen. Puur de aanwezigheid van een kat kan vogels zoveel stress bezorgen, dat zij bijvoorbeeld beperkt broeden en hun jongen minder voeren. Katten kunnen vogels bovendien met een voor hen dodelijke ziekte opzadelen. Tenslotte kruisen rondzwervende huiskatten nog weleens met wilde katten. Dit zorgt ervoor dat de laatste soort steeds minder voorkomt.
Beeld buiten beeldBeschermde dieren opzettelijk doden of verstoren is in strijd met de EU-richtlijnen. Katten buiten vrijuit laten, wetende wat voor schade ze daar aanrichten, valt hier ook onder volgens de juristen. ''Ook al is het niet je bedoeling om wilde dieren te schaden wanneer je het kattenluik open laat, dat is wel wat er op grote schaal gebeurt'', zegt onderzoeker Somsen.
Mede-onderzoeker Trouwborst: ''Elk ander huisdier gaat niet zonder baasje naar buiten, van honden tot slangen. De uitzonderingspositie van de kat is eigenlijk heel gek.'' Volgens hem kunnen katten genoeg beweging krijgen in een goed afgesloten tuin of aan de lijn, zoals een hond. ''In drukke steden met veel verkeer worden katten voor hun eigen veiligheid vaak al binnengehouden, en dat gaat prima.''
Het zal even wennen zijn voor katten en hun bazen, maar maatregelen zijn volgens de wetenschappers onontkoombaar. De juridische conclusie is volgens hen waterdicht: ''De schade door de kat is te groot om een uitzondering op de wet te blijven.''
Lees ook: Hoe moeten we denken over dieren? Hoe verhouden we ons tot dieren en hoe gaan we met ze om? Welke denkers kunnen ons helpen om antwoord op die vragen te vinden? In de vijfdelige serie 'Denken over dieren' stellen we de belangrijkste dierethici voor. In de eerste aflevering: Peter Singer en Tom Regan.
Advies Staat van het Dier: 'Honden horen niet in bed'Een adviesraad van minister Schouten (Landbouw) peilde meningen over dierenwelzijn en trekt conclusies: we moeten dieren niet vermenselijken.
One day the dogs will turn on us for all the abuse
Text - H.R.724 - 116th Congress (2019-2020): Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act | Congress.gov | Library of Congress
Wed, 27 Nov 2019 10:40
Begun and held at the City of Washington on Thursday,
the third day of January, two thousand and nineteen
To revise section 48 of title 18, United States Code, and for other purposes.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of theUnited States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. Short title .
This Act may be cited as the ''Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act'' or the ''PACT Act''.
SEC. 2. Revision of section 48 .
(a) In general .'--Section 48 of title 18, United States Code, is amended to read as follows:
'' § 48. Animal crushing
''(a) Offenses .'--
''(1) C RUSHING.'--It shall be unlawful for any person to purposely engage in animal crushing in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce or within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States.
''(2) C REATION OF ANIMAL CRUSH VIDEOS.'--It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly create an animal crush video, if'--
''(A) the person intends or has reason to know that the animal crush video will be distributed in, or using a means or facility of, interstate or foreign commerce; or
''(B) the animal crush video is distributed in, or using a means or facility of, interstate or foreign commerce.
''(3) D ISTRIBUTION OF ANIMAL CRUSH VIDEOS.'--It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly sell, market, advertise, exchange, or distribute an animal crush video in, or using a means or facility of, interstate or foreign commerce.
''(b) Extraterritorial application .'--This section applies to the knowing sale, marketing, advertising, exchange, distribution, or creation of an animal crush video outside of the United States, if'--
''(1) the person engaging in such conduct intends or has reason to know that the animal crush video will be transported into the United States or its territories or possessions; or
''(2) the animal crush video is transported into the United States or its territories or possessions.
''(c) Penalties .'--Whoever violates this section shall be fined under this title, imprisoned for not more than 7 years, or both.
''(d) Exceptions .'--
''(1) I N GENERAL.'--This section does not apply with regard to any conduct, or a visual depiction of that conduct, that is'--
''(A) a customary and normal veterinary, agricultural husbandry, or other animal management practice;
''(B) the slaughter of animals for food;
''(C) hunting, trapping, fishing, a sporting activity not otherwise prohibited by Federal law, predator control, or pest control;
''(D) medical or scientific research;
''(E) necessary to protect the life or property of a person; or
''(F) performed as part of euthanizing an animal.
''(2) G OOD-FAITH DISTRIBUTION.'--This section does not apply to the good-faith distribution of an animal crush video to'--
''(A) a law enforcement agency; or
''(B) a third party for the sole purpose of analysis to determine if referral to a law enforcement agency is appropriate.
''(3) U NINTENTIONAL CONDUCT.'--This section does not apply to unintentional conduct that injures or kills an animal.
''(4) C ONSISTENCY WITH RFRA.'--This section shall be enforced in a manner that is consistent with section 3 of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (42 U.S.C. 2000bb''1).
''(e) No preemption .'--Nothing in this section shall be construed to preempt the law of any State or local subdivision thereof to protect animals.
''(f) Definitions .'--In this section'--
''(1) the term 'animal crushing' means actual conduct in which one or more living non-human mammals, birds, reptiles, or amphibians is purposely crushed, burned, drowned, suffocated, impaled, or otherwise subjected to serious bodily injury (as defined in section 1365 and including conduct that, if committed against a person and in the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States, would violate section 2241 or 2242);
''(2) the term 'animal crush video' means any photograph, motion-picture film, video or digital recording, or electronic image that'--
''(A) depicts animal crushing; and
''(B) is obscene; and
''(3) the term 'euthanizing an animal' means the humane destruction of an animal accomplished by a method that'--
''(A) produces rapid unconsciousness and subsequent death without evidence of pain or distress; or
''(B) uses anesthesia produced by an agent that causes painless loss of consciousness and subsequent death.''.
(b) Technical and conforming amendment .'--The table of sections for chapter 3 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by striking the item relating to section 48 and inserting the following:
''48. Animal crushing.''.
SEC. 3. Determination of Budgetary Effects .
The budgetary effects of this Act, and the amendments made by this Act, for the purpose of complying with the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010, shall be determined by reference to the latest statement titled ''Budgetary Effects of PAYGO Legislation'' for this Act, submitted for printing in the Congressional Record by the Chairman of the House Budget Committee, provided that such statement has been submitted prior to the vote on passage.
Attest:
Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Attest:
Vice President of the United States and
President of the Senate.
Epstein
Prince Andrew's pal and Epstein 'madam' Ghislaine Maxwell 'set to come out of hiding and reveal all to the FBI' '' The Sun
Mon, 25 Nov 2019 16:38
PRINCE Andrew's pal Ghislaine Maxwell will speak to the FBI about their links to paedo Jeffrey Epstein.
Sources said the sex slaver's ''madam'', 57, aims to emerge from hiding within days.
4
Maxwell has told pals the picture of her with Prince Andrew and Virginia Roberts may have been doctored Credit: (C)Nicholas Razzell 4
Ghislaine Maxwell is said to be ready to come out of hiding Credit: Rex Features 4
Sources say the socialite wants to defend herself and Prince Andrew Credit: Getty - ContributorSources say she is set to defend herself and the prince.
She has told pals she thinks the picture of them with Virginia Roberts, who claims she had sex with Andrew when she was 17, may have been doctored.
It was said to have been taken at her London home in March 2001.
A source said: ''Like Andrew, she has no memory of it.
''Ghislaine thinks there are a lot of problems with the picture and it is very fishy.
''It is one of very few photos that does not bear a time and date stamp.''
FERRY RIDDLE Murder probe as Brit 'tries to smuggle dead mum's bruised corpse back into UK'
MINUTE BY MINUTE How '‚¬1billion diamond raiders carried out the 'world's biggest heist'
Warning
MURDERED FOR PENNIES Moment woman is shot dead in the street after asking stranger for 18p
FREAK SMASH Woman killed and six injured after car plummets 65ft from motorway flyover
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LIVING OFF DADDY Rich Kids of Instagram show off their ridiculous wealth in boastful pics
A US source close to her lawyers said: ''Ghislaine is preparing to speak '-- whether by talking to the FBI or giving a statement to the media.
''She has to defend herself. She has no option. She will have to address this guilt by association."
Tonight, Roberts' lawyer, Josh Schiller, said: ''Virginia maintains that photo of her with Prince Andrew is totally genuine. And it certainly looks genuine to me.''
4
The last known picture of Maxwell - at a party in Geneva on June 8 Prince Andrew tells Newsnight's Emily Maitlis he first met Jeffrey Epstein in 1999 through Ghislaine Maxwell GOT a story? RING The Sun on 0207 782 4104 or WHATSAPP on 07423720250 or EMAIL exclusive@the-sun.co.uk
Birds aren't real!
The Birds Aren't Real - Possible Reason Behind Lockdown of White House, Air Alert Over US Capital Revealed - Sputnik International
Wed, 27 Nov 2019 17:17
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https://sputniknews.com/us/201911271077417975-possible-reason-behind-lockdown-of-white-house-air-alert-over-us-capital-revealed/
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The brief lockdown of the White House and the US Capitol in Washington on Tuesday morning could have been caused by a flock of birds that was mistaken for an unauthorized aircraft that, according to initial assessments, had flown into restricted airspace, the CNN broadcaster reported on Wednesday, citing sources.
A US defen‘e source told CNN that three possible causes for the incident were being looked into: a flock of birds, drone and atmospheric anomaly. The defence source also said that the helicopters and jets that were sent to investigate the capital's airspace found nothing to support the birds' theory.
Two sources in the Capitol, however, suggested to the broadcaster that the object could have been a flock of birds since it was moving at a relatively slow pace and its image appeared and then disappeared from radar.
An air traffic control audio reviewed by CNN showed that a pilot of a responding military aircraft reported detecting a flock of birds in the airspace and said that they were going northwest.
On Tuesday, media reported that Washington airspace had been violated, leading to a temporary White House lockdown and the Capitol building being evacuated. Following the incident, the North American Aerospace Defence Command deployed fighter jets to intercept a "slow-moving blob" that caused the shutdown. Later that day, NBC News reported that the lockdown at both the White House and the Capitol had been lifted.
Green New Deal
Leo DiCaprio And WWF Paid For The Amazon Fires | Real Climate Science
Wed, 27 Nov 2019 10:29
MGJ says: November 27, 2019 at 1:52 pmYes, it's one feature of leftist philosophy that I think many people still fail to grasp: their absolutely ANYTHING goes, ruthless, the end ALWAYS justifies the means, no-holding-back, no quarter given approach. Lie, cheat, steal, threaten, murder'...100 million corpses? What the hell, socialism will work out next time or the time after that.
Reply
DiCaprio Amazon fires set by NGO's he and WWF funded heavily
Wed, 27 Nov 2019 10:29
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VIDEO - (1) Animated No Agenda - NoodleBoy Explainer - YouTube
Thu, 28 Nov 2019 07:57
VIDEO - Teen is BANNED from TikTok after sharing video criticizing China's Muslim concentration camps | Daily Mail Online
Thu, 28 Nov 2019 06:57
Social media app TikTok has apologized to a New Jersey teenager for removing a video that criticized China's treatment of Muslims during an eyelash tutorial video.
The app blamed a 'human moderation error' and said the images had been restored within less than an hour.
On Saturday, 17-year-old Feroza Aziz went viral after sharing a clip that at first glance seemed to be an eyelash tutorial.
While explaining how to curl lashes, she then started to speak about the Uyghur crisis in China calling it a modern day 'Holocaust'. She was banned from the app on Monday.
On Twitter she said she had been blocked from posting on TikTok for a month, and on Wednesday posted that her viral video had been taken down, only to be restored later.
New Jersey teenager Feroza Aziz, 17, was banned from TikTok on Monday after she shared a video criticizing China for its Muslim concentration camps on Saturday
TikTok released a statement on Wednesday, apologizing to Aziz for banning her from the platform and reinstating her account.
TikTok said: 'We would like to apologise to the user for the error on our part,' said Eric Han, the app's U.S. head of safety.
'Due to a human moderation error, the viral video from Nov. 23 was removed. It's important to clarify that nothing in our community guidelines precludes content such as this video, and it should not have been removed.'
TikTok came under fire for suspending Aziz, who is Muslim, with critics alleging she was banned as an act of censorship by the app's owner Chinese developer ByteDance, seeking to delete posts against the Chinese Communist Party
The video was offline for 50 minutes, TikTok said on its website.
However, a TikTok spokesperson initially said that Aziz wasn't suspended for her criticism of China's Muslim concentration camps.
The app said that she was suspended for another video where she joked about Osama bin Laden, according to BuzzFeed News.
She shared this screenshot on Monday showing that her account was suspended, two days after she posted the video about the Uyghur genocide
In Aziz's viral Saturday post she taught her followers how to curl their eyelashes while educating them about the Uighur Muslims crisis in China.
'So, the first thing you need to do is grab your lash curler, curl your lashes, obviously,' she said in her TikTok video. 'Then, you're gonna put them down and use the phone you're using right now to search what's happening in China, how they're getting concentration camps, throwing innocent Muslims in there. ... This is another Holocaust, yet no one is talking about it.'
An estimated one million Uyghur Muslims are currently imprisoned in internment camps in the northwest Xinjiang region, where families are separated and prisoners are tortured and forced to study communist propaganda.
Aziz's account was taken down just days after posting that controversial video, and she took to Twitter to point blame towards China's government.
'TikTok has taken down my video spreading awareness on the Uyghur genocide. This is proof that China is using TikTok to not let the truth be set free. China is scared,' she tweeted.
'TikTok has taken down my video spreading awareness on the uyghur genocide. This is proof that China is using TikTok to not let the truth be set free. China is scared,' she shared on Wednesday
On Wednesday she updated her followers saying TikTok apologized to her and restored her account
But TikTok says her account was actually suspended for another reason - for her clip crushing on terrorist Osama bin Laden which violated policies against content that include imagery related to terrorist figures.
In another TikTok post on November 14, Aziz talked about the boys she used to be attracted to compared to today. In it she jokingly included terrorist Osama bin Laden.
'There's a trend on TikTok where you post like, 'The type of boys or girls I liked when I was little'. Mine was like, 'I liked a lot of white guys, but now I like brown people' and at the end was [bin Laden] as a joke,' she said to BuzzFeed.
'While we recognize that this video may have been intended as satire, our policies on this front are currently strict. Any such content, when identified, is deemed a violation of our Community Guidelines and Terms of Service, resulting in a permanent ban of the account and associated devices,' a TikTok spokesperson said.
Aziz had two TikTok accounts. She posted the Uyghur crisis on one and the bin Laden video on another. TikTok shut down the bin Laden video and both accounts because they were linked.
'Our moderation approach of banning devices associated with a banned account is designed to protect against the spread of coordinated malicious behavior - and it's clear that this was not the intent here. We acknowledge that at times, this process will not be perfect. Humans will sometimes make mistakes, such as the one made today,' the company added.
But Aziz isn't convinced that TikTok shut down her account for that bin Laden clip.
TikTok says she was actually banned for a November 14 post that joked about having a crush on terrorist Osama bin Laden. A grab of that video pictured above
She took to Twitter saying she didn't believe TikTok's claims and the timing from when she was banned coincided with her poignant post about China's Muslim concentration camps.
'I still find it suspicious that TikTok took down my video right when my posts on China's concentration camps were made. Doesn't sound right to me,' she said.
'Do I believe they took it away because of a unrelated satirical video that was deleted on a previous deleted account of mine? Right after I finished posting a 3 part video about the Uyghurs? No,' she tweeted.
She added that her post about bin Laden was a joke and an example of dark humor taken too seriously.
'Everybody has dark humor, and there are people on TikTok who post explicit things about murder and very intense stuff, and that's not taken down. My thing that's a joke that my group can laugh at, that Muslims and brown people can laugh at, that's taken down,' she said.
'I still find it suspicious that TikTok took down my video right when my posts on China's concentration camps were made. Doesn't sound right to me,' Aziz said
Aziz has multiple TikTok accounts. TikTok says all of her linked accounts were shut down after they flagged the Osama bin Laden post
This isn't the first time TikTok has come under scrutiny for ties to China.
In fact Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer raised question about TikTok's potential to pose a national security risk as the explosively popular platform is owned by China.
The app has more than 110 million downloads in the U.S. alone.
The company hit back with a blog post last month saying: 'We have never been asked by the Chinese government to remove any content and we would not do so if asked. Period.'
China's foreign ministry said it had no specifics of the case when asked about the case on Wednesday.
But it added that it required Chinese firms to operate in a way that respected international norms and local laws and regulations, and hoped that relevant countries also provided a fair and non-discriminatory environment.
TikTok is not available in China, but ByteDance has a domestic version called Douyin.
The user did not mention Uighurs in the video, but said later on Twitter she had been referring to the minority ethnic group.
United Nations experts and rights groups estimate more than a million Uighurs and members of other ethnic groups have been detained in camps in China's far western region of Xinjiang, which has triggered international condemnation.
China says the camps are vocational training centres to impart new skills and help root out and prevent extremism.
ByteDance has stepped up efforts to ring-fence TikTok, popular with U.S. teenagers and those in their 20s, from much of its Chinese operations, Reuters reported on Thursday.
In a timeline on its blog post, TikTok said it had blocked another account set up by Aziz that had posted an image of Osama Bin Laden which violated its content policies regarding 'terrorist imagery'.
On Monday, it enforced a device ban on accounts associated with violations. This affected the new account from which Aziz had posted the eyelash curling video and sent from the same device, it said.
TikTok said it had decided to override the device ban and was directly contacting her to do so.
Aziz confirmed on Twitter that TikTok had restored her account but said other past videos had been deleted.
'Do I believe they took it away because of a unrelated satirical video that was deleted on a previous deleted account of mine? Right after I finished posting a three-part video about the Uyghurs? No,' she posted on Twitter.
The TikTok user did not immediately respond to requests from for additional comment.
VIDEO - Andrew Neil destroys Extinction Rebellion spokesperson - YouTube
Thu, 28 Nov 2019 06:47
VIDEO -12mins in - Tucker Carlson Tonight 11/27/19 FULL | Breaking Fox News November 27, 2019 - YouTube
Thu, 28 Nov 2019 06:45
VIDEO-Brian Lilley on Twitter: "This video is remarkable, asked about US a greenhouse gas emissions compared to China, Michael Bloomberg goes into a full throated defence of the regime in Beijing on the environment, on their lack of democracy. I can't b
Thu, 28 Nov 2019 05:51
Log in Sign up Brian Lilley @ brianlilley This video is remarkable, asked about US a greenhouse gas emissions compared to China, Michael Bloomberg goes into a full throated defence of the regime in Beijing on the environment, on their lack of democracy. I can't believe how bad this is.
pic.twitter.com/gxLz4eKetJ 8:21 PM - 27 Nov 2019 Twitter by: Firing Line with Margaret Hoover @FiringLineShow Ken V @ Kenvinottawa
7h Replying to
@brianlilley This whole issue is exaggerated. If you read the science on ECS it shows how uncertain the amount of warming co2 actually causes. All this fear mongering and wild predictions are based on models not emperical data.
View conversation · Bill Tufts @ BillTufts
2h Replying to
@brianlilley @NancyBan1 Many Canadian power brokers are making huge $$$ in China too
macleans.ca/politics/ottaw'...@NancyBan1 View conversation · Candy SupportHongKong Truong 🇨ðŸ‡... 🇺🇸 @ CandyTruong0122
7h Replying to
@brianlilley "There's not going to be a revolution"...Meanwhile, in Hong Kong...
View conversation · ''ŒLa Bourgeoisie @ GillesnFio
5h Replying to
@brianlilley China, that bastion of rights protection and ecological care and management.
pic.twitter.com/pb87istJSp View conversation · mark @ mark51978393
7h Replying to
@brianlilley So destroy your own economy but let China do whatever they want. How many investments does he have in China
View conversation · Steve @ QuazgarTheGreat
7h Replying to
@brianlilley @BarrySh62000603 He doesn't seem to understand that just because China is moving the pollution from cities to countryside, doesn't change jack sh#t of CO2 emissions. He also doesn't understand communism. QED, he's going nowhere.
View conversation · CJ Sparks @ CJSparks9
7h Replying to
@brianlilley Her hotness confused him
View conversation · ''ŒLa Bourgeoisie @ GillesnFio
4h Replying to
@brianlilley The philosophy of Collectivism (=mob rule group gonad think consensus siyenz) is based on a view of man as a congenital incompetent, a helpless, mindless creature who must be fooled and ruled by a special elite with some unspecified claim to superior wisdom and a lust for power.
pic.twitter.com/5KwOHgYOeh View conversation · DerekB @ 101_derek
7h Replying to
@brianlilley Notice how he says China moving its heavy industry and power plants away from the cities is good for the climate.
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VIDEO - 1m30 - Rigged Leadership? Kinsella and SNC Trial Update - YouTube
Wed, 27 Nov 2019 12:33
VIDEO - (9) M. Mendoza Ferrer on Twitter: "BREAKING: #Cenk2020 calls for legalizing BESTIALITY where you "are pleasuring the animal" in 2013. (Warning: Explicit Video) Even TYT folks are like say "WHAT"??? @peta @spcaLA #CA25 #NeverCenk #SexualAssaultOfAn
Wed, 27 Nov 2019 10:50
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VIDEO - Video: Maxine Waters: Ben Carson Doesn't Have the Intelligence to Be HUD Secretary - American Renaissance
Wed, 27 Nov 2019 10:46
How on earth is Maxine Waters able to judge the intelligence of Dr. Ben Carson, a world-renowned surgeon who invented new surgical procedures while a professor at Johns Hopkins Medical School, at the very top of prestige and accomplishment in academic medicine? Yet the arrogant House member from Los Angeles, who somehow, on the basis of a political career, manages to live in a multimillion-dollar house in one of the fanciest neighborhoods in Los Angeles, denigrates the intelligence of one of the greatest medical innovators in the country and world.
You can watch for yourself as Waters criticizes the intelligence of a man who has dozens of I.Q. points on her, appearing on MSNBC's Morning Joy program Sunday.
The relevant transcript, via Breitbart:
I sent him a letter, and he sent me a letter claiming that I had no manners, etc. I basically said to my staff, I really don't have time to be bonded by somebody who does not know the difference between REO and OEO. This guy just doesn't have the background, the capability, the intelligence to do the job. He does not know what he's doing. He doesn't care about this issue.
VIDEO - Intercepted Podcast: CIA Whistleblower Jeffrey Sterling's Life as an ''Unwanted Spy''
Wed, 27 Nov 2019 10:25
House Democrats are pushing forward with their investigation into President Donald Trump's abuse of power, sparked by an internal whistleblower complaint. This week on Intercepted: Jeffrey Sterling was indicted in 2010 on charges under the Espionage Act for allegedly leaking sensitive national security information to then-New York Times reporter James Risen. Sterling discusses his time as a CIA case officer and how his internal complaint about Operation Merlin, a half-baked CIA scheme that had tried to disrupt Iran's nuclear weapons development, led to his firing. Sterling explains the discrimination suit he filed against the CIA and how there is no evidence that he was the source for Risen, who is now The Intercept's senior national security correspondent. Sterling also shares what it was like to be charged under the Espionage Act and comments on the appalling hostility toward whistleblowers in the U.S. Sterling's new book is ''Unwanted Spy: The Persecution of an American Whistleblower.''
Jeremy Scahill: This is Intercepted.
[Music interlude.]
JS: I'm Jeremy Scahill coming to you from the offices of The Intercept in New York City and this is Episode 109 of Intercepted.
George W. Bush: There can be no excuse for anyone entrusted with vital intelligence to leak it and no excuse for any newspaper to print it.
JS: In the spring of 2003, just after the invasion of Iraq began, my colleague James Risen, who was then a national security reporter at the New York Times, found himself in an office in the West Wing of the White House. Sitting across from him was the National Security Adviser, Condoleezza Rice, as well as George Tenet, who was then the director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Risen was there because he had planned to publish a story about Operation Merlin, a half-baked CIA scheme that had tried to disrupt Iran's nuclear weapons development. Risen had information that Operation Merlin, if it had been successfully carried out, would have possibly achieved the opposite goal potentially helping Iran to actually advance its program. Condoleezza Rice warned the New York Times that publishing that story could get people killed, and she strongly urged the Times not to publish James Risen's story. In declassified talking points from this meeting, Rice noted: ''If you write it, you endanger lives and national security.'' Risen's editors at the New York Times sided with the Bush White House, and they spiked the story.
Bill Keller: The ground rules of the meeting, which we agreed to were that it would be off the record because the president wanted to present us with what he said were classified details about the effectiveness of the program that he thought would persuade us not to publish the article.
JS: Three years later, Risen wrote a book called ''State of War.''
James Risen: I decided the only way the story would ever see the light was to put it in a book.
JS: He was able to finally write in detail about Operation Merlin.
JR: One of the stories that had been held by the New York Times that I had put into that was another story. It was about a crazy screwed up CIA operation involving Iran and its nuclear program.
JS: He was also intentionally vague about the sources of this highly classified sensitive information. Only James Risen knew the identity of his source or sources. And now James Risen had a serious problem. The government also wanted to know who he had talked to, and they seemed intent on forcing him to divulge his source.
JR: The summer of 2007, we got a FedEx letter from the Justice Department, saying we want to talk to you. We want all your information about your sources on this chapter.
JS: The government wanted to know so badly that they issued Risen a subpoena in an effort to compel him to testify in front of a criminal grand jury about who his source was for the Iran story. Risen refused to cooperate. He would fight that subpoena for the next seven years against both the Bush and Obama administrations' Justice Departments. It turns out that the same grand jury which Risen evaded had been assembled to prosecute a former CIA case officer. His name was Jeffrey Sterling. Prosecutors allege that it was Sterling, who had told Jim Risen about Operation Merlin. Jeffrey Sterling served in the CIA from 1993 to 2002 where he was an Iran specialist. Trained in Farsi, Sterling was one of the very few African American clandestine officers at the CIA. This would become a central fact in the story of Jeffrey Sterling, particularly after Sterling filed an internal equal opportunity complaint about the spy agency's alleged racial discrimination against him.
The CIA was no stranger to such lawsuits. In fact, a few years before Sterling made his complaint of blatant racism within the agency known, a judge had approved a nearly $1 million settlement to 400 CIA women on the basis of gender discrimination. Jeffrey Sterling was not so lucky. He eventually sued the CIA in court, but the government claimed that in pursuing his case, Jeffrey Sterling would necessarily have to reveal state secrets and so his lawsuit was dismissed. Soon after, Sterling was subjected to a security investigation and the CIA ultimately terminated his employment a month after 9/11. Sterling had a tough life after leaving the agency, contemplated suicide and he eventually started to rebuild his life. But the CIA and the U.S. government had not forgotten about him. In 2010, Jeffrey Sterling was indicted by the grand jury on charges under the Espionage Act, and he was accused of leaking sensitive national security information to James Risen of the New York Times. As Sterling's trial unfolded, the overwhelming amount of attention paid to his case was in the context of the Obama administration's attempt to force Risen to give up his source.
Rachel Maddow: This is not the first time that James Risen has been subpoenaed for his sources and his documents on this exact report.
Newscaster: James Risen, the New York Times reporter who faces potential jail time for not revealing a confidential source is calling out the Obama administration as hypocritical.
Newscaster: This, as New York Times reporter James Risen is speaking out. He says he's been targeted by the White House for years in an attempt to get information about sources for a book he wrote.
JS: Sterling was ultimately convicted in 2015 and sentenced to three and a half years in prison.
Newscaster: Hours ago, ex-CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling was sentenced to three and a half years in prison, two and a half weeks after General David Petraeus got away with two years probation and $100,000 fine.
JS: He did more than two years and is now, once again, a free man. He has no job, but he does have his liberty. Jeffrey Sterling's story is particularly prescient today as we witness the Trump administration intensify the prosecution of whistleblowers.
Donald J. Trump: Who's the person who gave the whistleblower the information? Because that's close to a spy. You know what we used to do in the old days when we were smart with spies and treason? We used to handle it a little differently than we do now.
JS: At the center of the current impeachment inquiry against Donald Trump is the role of a whistleblower about Trump's alleged attempts to blackmail the new Ukrainian president into announcing an investigation into Joe Biden's son, Hunter, and his work on the board of a Ukrainian natural gas company while his father was vice president. Jeffrey Sterling has written a memoir of his struggles with the CIA. It's called ''Unwanted Spy: The Persecution of an American Whistleblower.'' Jeffrey Sterling joins me now. Jeffrey, welcome to Intercepted.
Jeffrey Sterling: Thanks for having me on.
JS: Describe how you ended up joining the CIA.
JSt: My third year in law school '-- and, of course, I'm wondering about what my next steps are going to be '-- I was reading the paper during lunch and saw an ad: ''Join the CIA.'' It was a great ad. I mean, there was a drawing of a guy looking over a canal. I wanted to get out there and see the world.
Announcer: Consider a career with Central Intelligence Agency. Be America's first line of defense. Why work for a company when you can serve your nation? The CIA, the work of a nation, the center of intelligence.
JSt: My five brothers, three of them served in the military services. And so that aspect of service was instilled within me and I thought joining [the] CIA would tap into those areas that I'm fascinated with, international relations. So, I jumped at the opportunity.
JS: What was the first job that you took on?
JSt: My first real assignment after all the training was the Iran Task Force, and I was just thrilled to be there. Then, I went into language training. And then, hopefully after that, making the plans and aspirations to go abroad.
JS: What was it that interested you about working on Iran? And maybe explain to people what was happening at the time between the U.S. and Iran.
JSt: Growing up, I was that nerdy kid who stayed home and watched the news. And one of the biggest news stories going on at that time was the Iran hostage crisis.
Newscaster: The American embassy in Tehran is in the hands of Muslim students tonight. Spurred on by an anti-American speech by the Ayatollah Khomeini, they stormed the embassy, fought the marine guards for three hours, overpowered them, and took dozens of American hostages.
JSt: I was glued to the TV during that and reports in the newspapers. And so, I felt it was a dream come true for me to work on the Iran desk, the Iran task force at the CIA. And the tensions had been quite high regarding Iran. So, my work on the Iran Task Force was considered important. And I worked on some very important and very vital operations. I mean, I was the case officer, my job was to recruit spies. As a case officer, you're a recruiter, essentially, you're a gatherer of that intelligence necessary that policymakers are interested in, especially on Iran. So, I was quite active and successful, by the way, in the work I was doing with the Iran desk.
JS: What kinds of activities were you involved with to the extent you can talk about it?
JSt: Targeting individuals of interest, finding some way to get to that individual and maybe recruit that individual. So, I was involved in operations like that. Gather that in intelligence about Iran from the inner circles in Iran, because, of course, Iran was a place we didn't have a presence.
JS: What were your first impressions of the CIA as an institution, once you were done with training, and then you're there, you're inside, you're working?
JSt: Extreme pride in everything about the organization. I mean, I went into the CIA, not with my eyes closed. I knew the history of the organization, the controversies around it, but I felt, OK, I'm going in. I'm not going to let the place change me, but I want to be part of this organization. When I went in, I was just really taken by the mission. I was taken by what I was told: that I would be judged on my abilities. As I saw, that's not the case.
JS: When did you start to identify problems or experience what you perceived at the time as the beginning stages of discrimination?
JSt: I guess I saw the seeds of it when I first got there. A Black employee who had been in there a long time asked me why I was there. What he was saying was, an educated Black man with talent, why are you here at a place where you're not going to be recognized for your abilities? And in a way, I took a little offense to that. And that just made me even more determined, because, I said, well, if that's your viewpoint '-- I mean, he was there at the CIA as a Black man, he had been there a long time. And my viewpoint going in was I had as much a right to be there as anyone else. And I'm going to be judged on my abilities, not the color of my skin. But that was kind of letting me know what I was walking into. But as my career progressed, I noticed things like assignments were being denied to me. I wasn't being given the same tools as other officers in my same category. When I joined the Iran Task Force, I was the only African American on the staff. It's a rather large staff but I didn't look at that as a disadvantage for me. I just felt, hey, I'm another CIA employee in this effort. It was really apparent and quickly from the beginning, that I was being treated differently.
JS: Yeah, I'd like you to tell the story and you, of course, write about this in the book, but at one point early on in your career at the CIA, you were passed over for an overseas assignment. And you were told basically that it was because you stuck out. What was the assignment and what happened?
JSt: It was an assignment in Europe. And I asked my supervisors directly because I had had enough. I was, even overseas, I was seeing other officers receiving the tools that I was not receiving, receiving opportunities that I would either wouldn't know about or find out about afterwards and basically told I was too late. So, things like that. And I asked, why was this happening with me and the CIA being what it is, they had no compunction, looked me in the face and say, well, you kind of stick out as a big Black guy speaking Farsi. And I was dumbstruck by that. My only response was, well, when did you realize I was Black? And why does that make a difference?
Then everything sort of started making sense and in a twisted sort of way for me at that point, but I wasn't going to just sit back and let that happen. So, I made my complaints to them known and the answer was basically deal with it. And that opened my eyes to the realization that I did not want to believe was the case of how I was being treated as an officer at the CIA. Even with that, there was the decision, well, do I walk away from this place? Or do I make something of this? And I said, well, maybe I need to go to another area still focusing on Iran. So, I went to other areas within the agency. And I'm still getting that same sense of things, but I was determined to work hard and show them they're wrong in this attitude about me because I had proven myself. I don't look like Jack Ryan. I mean, no one would have ever suspected me of being with the CIA. So, I had no problems in going many places in the world that other officers would have had problems.
Things continued and I eventually ended up in New York and there, it was the same story. I was not receiving the same tools as the other officers. But I was expected to produce two, maybe three times more than them. And when I talk about tools, what I mean is cover, basic cover for someone in the CIA to be able to get into those avenues, where individuals will be who will have information of interest.
JS: Cover, just for people that don't follow this closely, it's like an alternative identity, supposedly, what your job is that allows you to work. You're working for the CIA, but you'll be a State Department attache or potentially someone from the military and they assign you a military cover. And what was the rationale for that?
JSt: I was a logistics officer. I was little more than a janitor, not to denigrate the logistics officers, but for me, having that sort of title '-- and I wasn't even given credentials, I was just given a piece of paper that had been laminated, and said a U.S. government logistics officer '-- wouldn't open no doors for me at all. Even despite that, I had successes, but you can only go so far without having the support of your organization. So, I got to a point where, OK, this is enough. So, many years I tried and worked hard to prove to these individuals, but it didn't matter to them. All they could see was the color of my skin.
JS: What happens when you file your discrimination suit? What's the reaction from the agency?
JSt: Feigned shock, and, of course, as with so many of these types of complaints, laying the blame solely on me to talk about, well, you've been given every opportunity as everyone else and I will point out specific facts, but then they would want to not talk about anyone else or any other situation. And I think there was a bit of anger as well. How dare I say that they discriminated against me? Look how good they've treated me and I was pointing out, no, look how bad you've been treating me. And then they go through their machinations, ''investigation.'' Mine was, there was no investigation, really. And then when that process is over, and of course, they ruled against me that I was not being discriminated against. Then you have the option to go to the Commission, the EEO [Equal Employment Opportunity] commission, outside of the agency, or you can filed in federal court. The crux of a lot of the activity discrimination against me, it happened in New York when I was here, and I filed suit in the Southern District of New York. That was shortly after 9/11. And this was also at the same time that I made my complaints known about Operation Merlin.
JS: Explain to the best of your ability with what you're allowed to say what the program was and what you started noticing or your concerns.
JSt: The purpose of the program, as it was told to me was to thwart the Iranian nuclear program by instilling flawed plans for a nuclear warhead. Thereby, once they would use the plans, they wouldn't work and they would stall their program by a number of years. I was given assurances that the highest levels of government had approved it, there were safeguards in place. They had worked with the national labs and put in a flaw in the plan that no one would be able to detect. And I was also told that the intermediary we were using '-- one of my main jobs was preparing this Russian scientist to get in touch with Iranians and make a deal to try to give them these plans.
JS: You're talking quickly past something I think for a lot of people would be snatched straight from any number of espionage series they watch on television right now. You cultivated a relationship with a Russian scientist who was in the United States?
JSt: Yes.
JS: One of your jobs was going to be to get this individual that you had cultivated as an asset, or a source, to try to then pass these fraudulent plans on to the Iranians in the hopes that they would use them and that it would stall their nuclear program.
JSt: Yeah, my job was to find the resources for this guy and teach him and train him how to approach and deal with Iranians, did a good job. But the light came on for me when he was first given the plans to review. When he saw the plans and we're at this meeting, it was in California '-- this is in the book as well. He immediately saw that they were flawed. I mean, all the bells and whistles went off in my head, wait a minute, the whole dynamic of this has changed. I went to my direct supervisor who was there and I said, this is not what I was told. This could be actually dangerous because if the Iranians have these plans, and they see immediately that there was a flaw, I mean, scientists being scientists, they're going to fix it and they're going to make it work. So, instead of stalling their program, we may be speeding it up.
JS: What you noticed in the ''flawed plans'' was that there was enough real information that could be exploited by the Iranians, maybe even information they didn't already have, that could be used to rather than slow the program, advance the program.
JSt: Absolutely. I mean, it was a complete set. It was a complete plan. The response to my concerns that were raised was ''shut up.'' We know what we're doing. That immediately kind of said to me, oh, have you been looking at me just as an interloper or an outsider to this thing? And I made my concerns known to others within the agency as I was supposed to with concerns like that, that fear upon them all. And the operation continued. I, at that point, it seemed like my removal had started to remove me from that operation. At the same time, a lot of the pressures, the discrimination treatment intensified again, levying upon me requirements of my job three times more than anyone else, but not the same tools. And so it all coalesced, and I filed suits and then was basically removed from being an active officer in the CIA.
JS: At what point did you talk with the New York Times and Jim Risen? How did that relationship start or that meeting start?
JSt: After I was kicked out of New York, because of the suit I was filing, I met Mr. Risen to discuss my discrimination suit. He was very amenable to listening and he ended up writing an article about it. And even in the trial, the prosecution admitted that there was no classified information divulged in that article, and I also reached out to the House Intelligence Committee to, kind of, open the door or turn a light on to the discrimination that was going on at the agency. How I was being treated. I met with some staffers there, and that eventually went nowhere.
JS: Were you exclusively talking to them about the discrimination issues?
JSt: The main point was the discrimination and at that time, going through the EEO process, the agency was saying that I was a failed employee. I wasn't living up to my expectations. But I pointed out to them the operations '-- as I was allowed to. They have their proper clearances to hear complaints, told them the aspects of my career and the operations I was involved in. I was like, well, they're saying I'm a failed employee, yet I was involved in one of the more important operations at the agency. So, what is it here? So, I had to give them details. I wanted them to have the full picture.
JS: Did you tell them about your concerns with Operation Merlin specifically?
JSt: Absolutely, because as part of the discrimination, the moment I started complaining about it, then more aspects of discrimination started happening with me. And I just thought that was the picture that I needed to put together for the House Intelligence Committee as I was speaking to the staffers.
JS: I know that you can't get inside of the minds or motivations of others at the CIA at the time, but if you truly wanted to engage in a successful intelligence operation, potentially to slow Iran's nuclear program, and '-- it's not like you were saying we shouldn't be doing this. You were saying, look, we may be giving them information they don't already have. No one at the agency said, ''Oh, thank you, Jeffrey Sterling. Yeah, you're right, we should amend this or look at it.'' That didn't happen at all? They didn't change it as a result of this or '--
JSt: Not at all, even the scientists who put the plans together didn't see it as a problem. No one did.
JS: I'm not understanding how a scientist would be like, oh, no, this is no problem to give it to them. How do you know you were right?
JSt: From the indications that I was given by the Russian scientist. I mean, he was a scientist. He knew what the plans were supposed to be, what they were for, and he immediately saw the flaw. And of course, there's been speculation about well, what was the real purpose of this? Was it, as I was told, to stall the plan, the Iranian effort? Or was it to basically just plant evidence of trying to develop a nuclear weapon program? I didn't have those thoughts at the time. I'm going on the assumption of what I was told, what I was working with. And then when I see that that was not the case, the dangers of it immediately struck me. And that's why I eventually went to the Senate Intelligence Committee just after we went into Iraq. I felt I couldn't serve at the agency, but maybe I can serve in this way. Because I didn't want our soldiers going into a situation that I could have been involved in to the point of a nuclear weapon, walking into a situation where an enemy would be using a nuclear weapon and no one would really have an idea about it or at the time, of course, there was a talk about dirty bombs. Well, those plans could have been used to help someone make a dirty bomb and I didn't know where or what these plans had been used for. So, I made that, sort of, fateful decision to approach the Senate Intelligence Committee with my concerns.
JS: Did you view yourself as blowing the whistle or being a whistleblower when you set up these meetings with the House and Senate on the issue of Merlin?
JSt: At the time, no, I did not view myself as a whistleblower. I felt I was doing the right thing. No one that I '-- I'd taken the steps internally on both issues to raise my concerns or stand up for myself. They didn't want to hear anything I had to say and everything I had to say I was wrong. So, I went through the proper channels to make those complaints. I didn't view myself as a whistleblower. I think that realization came to me actually, when I was sitting in prison.
JS: At what point does an investigation of you begin?
JSt: After the meeting with the Senate Intelligence Committee and it's maybe months or so after that, I hear, beginning to hear rumblings of an investigation, a leak and that all fingers were pointing at me. And I was shocked by that. How could this '-- what? And I said, look, I've got nothing to hide. I will absolutely speak to whoever wants to speak to me about this. I was shocked and I was offended that I would be accused of that because I had worked so hard with dedication to the agency and serving my country in that way and to be saying that I was, I violated the law in that sense, was shocking, and I was incensed about it.
JS: What was your understanding of what they were essentially at this point unofficially accusing you of?
JSt: They were unofficially accusing me of being a source for James Risen who eventually had written a book. But I guess he had some rumblings, there were some machinations going on about him writing an article that lo and behold, had information about Operation Merlin. That's when I looking back when I start hearing about and getting indications that I'm being investigated for being the source for the article that he was going to write. I mean, immediately I'm on a defensive, of course, wait a minute, this is wrong. And it was shocking to me that, wait a minute, I went through the proper channels with this. How dare you say that I'm a source of this. So, it was a very surreal aspect for me, at that time.
JS: At what point then do you have your first official encounter with law enforcement about any of this?
JSt: I did volunteer actually to go speak with the FBI. I had them give me a letter, an immunity letter, basically, for speaking with them. I still have it. I'm gonna frame that letter. And so I spoke with them and told them exactly how I had spoken with people at the House Intelligence Committee, the Senate Intelligence Committee. The House was about the discrimination mainly, but I necessarily had to talk about Merlin and I certainly talked about Merlin '--
JS: At the Senate.
JSt: At the Senate. Now, this was I believe, 2002, 2003. I'd heard nothing after that. Nothing from them until they showed up at my door in 2006.
JS: You had no indication this was coming?
JSt: No, there were rumblings I had heard from my previous attorney that there was a grand jury. They were investigating and it was kind of confusing because so much time had passed. And I had moved on to a new career. Because when I was fired from the agency, I was pretty much blackballed from any organization, commercial or government within the intelligence community. No one would touch me and that was shocking to me because after 9/11, I was an experienced Farsi speaking case officer, but no one would touch me. I lost everything. I couldn't find work. The money certainly ran out. Depression. I was stripped of my cover. So, I was going from a clandestine world to the real world, if you will. All my friends were at the agency. Well, none of them would have contact with me and I didn't want to put them in a precarious situation so I didn't reach out to them. So, there's really no one that I could talk about my tribulations at the agency and attempted suicide. Obviously, it wasn't successful, but you know, everything lost. So, I packed my car and I had to leave.
It was hard to go home with your tail between your legs, sort of things like that. And I would just go from rest stop to rest stop for a couple of weeks just to, just not knowing what to do, where to go, and not wanting to face the realities of things that had happened but I did eventually end up back in my hometown in Missouri. And from there I again trying to find work and find anything. Friends had recently had a baby. They lived in the St. Louis area. And for room and board, I offered to be their live-in nanny. So, I go from CIA case officer to manny, if you will.
JS: Did you cultivate the baby as an asset?
JSt: I think that baby cultivated me as an asset because just the smile and the innocence of a child helped me, pulled me up out of my misery.
JS: Maybe that baby helped save your life.
JSt: Definitely, got another job with health insurance company as a fraud investigator. I was working there and [was] quite successful. And I had entered a new relationship with my eventual wife, Holly. And I had kind of set these things aside. My discrimination suit had gone. I filed in New York, of course. The government immediately filed to remove the case because it would pose a threat to national security. The judges here saw that it was a prima facie case of discrimination and said it should go forward. Then the government made the move to change the venue because CIA was saying all of my employment activities and records were in Virginia. So, the venue should be moved. The court agreed to do that. The moment it was moved to Virginia, that court, the government rose the issue, again, of removing for national security. That court being what it is, they agreed. I tried to go to the Supreme Court, they refused to hear it. And so that was the end of my discrimination suit. But I was living and just trying to move on beyond all of that.
JS: And then what happens?
JSt: Come home one day, go out to get the mail and a car pulls up. And there's the same two FBI agents I had spoken to years before. And I was shocked. I think ''What are you doing here?'' And everything just sort of fell apart within me. It's like the past is reaching up and grabbing at me again. And how do I fight this? What is going on? It was a shock and disheartening as well. And I was angry. I was angry that they're, you know, they're still coming in. How many years had passed with all of this? And it was really smug, trying to be friends with me. Oh, we were worried about you because we think '-- and they showed me pictures of what they said was an Iranian '-- we think this person may be following you because of this book. And I didn't even know at that time that the book had come out. I had no idea.
JS: You're referring to James Risen's book.
[Crosstalk.]
JS: Published in 2005.
JSt: Yeah, I had no idea. Of course, I wouldn't let them in. They're like, oh, can we come in and sit down? I'm like no, have you reached out to my attorney? My attorney with my discrimination case. And they said, no. Well, I'm not speaking with you. Then after that, I really hear nothing from them. And time passes, I getting more information about the grand jury, and that they're pointing the fingers at me.
JS: Did you go out and get Risen's book?
JSt: I went to a bookstore and just saw the book. I was like, OK, this is what they're talking about. But again, hadn't even known the book was out or anything like that. And the only reason I knew the book was there was because they told me.
JS: The FBI told you.
JSt: They told me and so after that I secured the services of another attorney Edward McMahon because this was now a criminal investigation. Not my wife at the time but Holly, this I believe was 2006. Holly gets a call from her attorney saying the FBI are coming with a search warrant. As soon as she hung up the call, the doorbell rang, and there was this team, this massive team of people, vehicles all over in the front of my house, descended upon the house and served the search warrant. I just couldn't believe it. And there's just nothing I can do about it. You feel so helpless and your home's being invaded.
JS: What did they say as the underlying justification for the warrant?
JSt: They felt and this was the crux of their case, I had a document related to Operation Merlin and that's what I provided to Risen and of course, during the trial, they never produced the document or even said I had access to it.
JS: When did the indictment come down on you?
JSt: I wasn't indicted until I believe late 2010.
JS: Bush is out of office now. He's served his two terms. Obama is more than a year into his term when you get indicted.
JSt: Yeah. The FBI had during the Bush administration, they had dropped the investigation. The lead investigator with the FBI admitted on the stand they had no evidence and two, the reports that she wrote, indicating that it made no sense for me to do what I was being accused of doing because that would have heard my discrimination case which at the time was continuing. So, I guess with the change of administration brought back a ''new perspective'' on what to bring. And there was certainly no new evidence in that intervening time.
I went to law school, usually your search warrant and indictment should come shortly after that. I'm talking almost five years. Late-2010, I underwent knee replacement surgery. So, I was home recuperating, and I was getting ready to go back to work and this was in January. Well, I get a call from my supervisor saying, asking if I could come in. And I said, yeah, and I was eager to get back to work, laid up with the knee replacement and all the hell involved with the physical therapy and that.
And I go to the meeting. And then I'm called up to security at our building, said there was something with my badge. And I go, ''OK, we're leaving soon. I'll come up,'' but then they became insistent. And I came up and there was the FBI agent and officers and I was arrested. And that really just showed the insanity of this whole thing. The whole world knew exactly where I was. I was at home. They didn't have to make a show out of it. And my employer being complicit in that, that hurt. She was former FBI. So, I kind of got the sense that they probably were using her to keep tabs on me and they certainly used her and I'm sure they were, she was quite willing to then basically set me up. And they did a good show of it. The whole thing was just a show. I felt like it was all an out of body sort of experience and, it's like, I moved on from all this. But they obviously didn't, CIA, Department of Justice didn't move on from me.
JS: What specifically did they charge you with?
JSt: Unauthorized release of classified information all in violation of the Espionage Act. And again, are they calling me a traitor?
JS: Yeah, a spy against your own country is what I think most people would think when they hear espionage.
JSt: Yeah, what have I done? And it all had the stench of the agency retaliating against me and the DOJ being complicit in it and the Obama administration adding the fuel to it.
JS: I want to read my colleague, Peter Maass who wrote a very in depth piece about your case and what happened to you. He wrote the following: ''Until Barack Obama was elected president, the Department of Justice rarely prosecuted leakers. Dennis Blair, the Director of National Intelligence during Obama's first term, told The New York Times that a decision was made in 2009 to 'hang an admiral once in a while,' as Blair put it, to show would be leakers that they should not talk to the press. And it appears that Sterling's all but shut case was brought back to life as part of that crackdown.''
JSt: It became obvious of that throughout because the trial itself was nothing but a show trial. The CIA was on their grandstand'--look how we do our operations. And how dare Jim Risen write this story and how dare Sterling leak this information to him. I was the only person investigated. No one else was investigated. One of the staffers that I spoke to at the Senate Intelligence Committee, as disclosed during the trial was subsequently after the meeting with me, she was fired from the Senate Intelligence Committee for leaking classified information and one of those may have been to Mr. Risen. But that none of that seemed to matter. I mean, no direct evidence. There was never anything produced of when or where I supposedly leaked the information. No, absolutely nothing.
JS: And by the way, no one has ever proven that you gave Jim Risen anything.
JSt: No, absolutely.
JS: No, I just want to make sure that that's clear to people because I think some people think that's a given. No one has ever offered a shred of proof that you gave any classified information to James Risen.
JSt: Nothing at all. Nothing at all on that regard. And they certainly didn't even present anything during the trial, to even show when, where, how.
JS: Yeah, I mean, if people want to go back and look at this, I mean, really you were convicted by a string of innocuous bits of circumstantial evidence that was woven into essentially a CIA conspiracy theory that masqueraded as a trial.
JSt: And it was an easy target. I think the Obama administration and Eric Holder saw this as this will be easy. We got this Black employee who lost his suit, that was there a perspective of it. I think my trial is reflective of an aspect of Barack Obama that I think a lot of people didn't have. He wanted to be so far away from, appearing too Black and with Holder, I think for me, it was an easy target. It was easy for them, and then they could have that trophy to put on their mantle of another conviction. Condoleezza Rice was called to testify on behalf of the government. Really didn't have '-- I had never met her. She'd never met me. So, what was she going to be testifying about? Just about the veracity of this, the operation which a lot of the agency individuals got on the stand and said was the most important in a generation at the agency. But Condoleezza Rice not only was supporting the government's case '-- just by being there. She also supported I guess, the Obama administration aspect as well. Here's an upstanding Black citizen, Condoleezza Rice, juxtapose her against this guy over here, this Black guy over here. We want this kind of African American, not that kind.
JS: Given all these experiences that you've had, any thoughts you want to share about this current situation with the impeachment inquiry being open with the discussion around the whistleblower, and now these foreign service officers who are testifying in front of the Congress?
JSt: I welcome the attention that whistleblowing has been getting on this and I love that the discussion is continuing, but I think this is also showing the opposite side of it, the negative aspects. There are supposed to be protections for whistleblowers. But are there really? The person made the complaint. And then immediately the White House and the attorney general were notified about it. Those were the subjects of the complaint. That's the same thing that happened to me when I went to the Senate and both intelligence committees. They went directly to the source. And that creates a situation for whistleblowers, that the mechanisms there to protect whistleblowers really are there to identify the whistleblowers and open them up to criticism. When the subject of the complaint controls the dialogue about what is or is not a whistleblower, then there are no whistleblowers. There's only leakers and spies.
So, I think and hopefully through all this, there's more discussion going to be coming around. And hopefully the policymakers, our representatives in government will start giving you know, go beyond this window dressing for whistleblowers. It's great the protections that they're wanting to give this current whistleblower. But what about other whistleblowers? What about Edward Snowden? What about Chelsea Manning? What about Reality Winner? Where were the protections and interests there? No, there was the focus only on what the whistleblower did and not what was revealed. And what is important, whistleblowing is not about the whistleblower. It's about that information that the public is interested in and should be educated about '-- about wrongdoings in our government. When you shift the focus to the individual bringing it forward, the whistleblower you're just trying to distract from the overall issue. And that's exactly what's happening now.
JS: It's a really powerful book and also an incredible and at times devastating American story. It really is. Jeffrey Sterling, thank you very much for being with us.
JSt: Thank you so much for having me on.
JS: Jeffrey Sterling is the author of ''Unwanted Spy: The Persecution of an American Whistleblower.'' That does it for this week's show. You can follow us on Twitter @intercepted. We're also on Instagram @interceptedpodcast. If you like what we do on this program, you can support our show by going to theintercept.com/join to become a sustaining member.
Intercepted is a production of First Look Media and The Intercept. Our lead producer is Jack D'Isidoro. Our producer is Laura Flynn. Elise Swain is our associate producer and graphic designer. Betsy Reed is editor in chief of The Intercept. Rick Kwan mixed the show. Transcription for this program is done by Nuria Marquez Martinez. Our music as always, was composed by DJ Spooky. Until next week, I'm Jeremy Scahill.
VIDEO - Charlamagne tha God addresses black voters considering Trump
Wed, 27 Nov 2019 08:48
President Trump has tried to court black voters, highlighting his economic record with African Americans: the unemployment rate for black Americans currently sits at 5.4%, a record low, and the tight labor market means that minorities get a boost. Trump only picked up 8% of the black vote in 2016, a number he boasted he will increase to 95% in the 2020 election.
But radio host, author, and television personality Lenard McKelvey, aka ''Charlamagne tha God,'' had a warning for black voters who think a Trump presidency might equal financial prosperity.
''It's not worth it at the end of the day,'' he said.
Speaking on the sidelines of the black technology conference ''AfroTech'' in Oakland, Calif., the radio host explained that while boosting black wealth is important, voting for Trump might be paying too high a price.
''Financial freedom is definitely our only hope,'' he said. ''But we also have to remember that we're black at the end of the day.''
Charlamagne tha God accepts the award for Best Multicultural Podcast during the 2019 iHeartRadio Podcast Awards at the iHeartRadio Theater on Friday, Jan.18, 2019, in Burbank, Calif. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)
He continued, explaining that black Americans need to ''watch for the hook.''
''I don't think that we have gotten to the point in our society where we can take those chances on a president who may be putting money in our pockets but rolling back all of our other civil rights, and rolling back all of our other civil liberties,'' he said, referencing issues like the war on drugs. ''That don't add up to me.''
''I don't care how rich you are,'' he said. ''If you don't have civil rights, what's the point? Who wants to be a rich slave?''
But this wasn't the only piece of advice Charlamagne gave. He also believes that investing and chasing your dreams is possible, even while living paycheck to paycheck.
''You gotta save those paychecks,'' he said, adding that he once lived paycheck to paycheck.
''When it comes to finances, a lot of us just don't know how to save money because we've never been taught to save money.''
A supporter of President Donald Trump waits for Trump to arrive for a Black Voices for Trump rally Friday, Nov. 8, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
While previous generations might have been defined by ''scratching and surviving,'' Charlamagne tha God said that the current generation has ''the luxury of thriving,'' and ''making money on our own.''
''There's all types of ways to make disposable income,'' he said. ''While you're busy chasing your dreams, you still can have a job to take care of your bills. Whatever money you can save from that job you put that towards whatever you're making chasing your dreams.''
''There's 168 hours in a week,'' he said. ''Everything is budgeting. You've got to budget your time, you've got to budget your money.''
And in order to build a business and make investments McKelvey said it's about ''leveraging what you have.''
''Figure out what you have that's worth something, and how it can be useful to somebody else to broker some of these investments.''
The television personality reflected on his past, saying that he never really made financial mistakes, because he isn't a big spender.
Charlamagne Tha God attends Politicon at The Pasadena Convention Center on Sunday, Aug. 30, 2017, in Pasadena, Calif. (Photo by Colin Young-Wolff/Invision/AP)
He did once give ''a couple thousand dollars'' to his friend and music artist DJ Chuck T, he said, for an investment opportunity '-- but he doesn't know what happened to it.
Instead, Charlamagne said, he likes to earn as much money as possible.
''You know how back in the day you have your money in a rubber band and you want to just see how big the stack can get?'' he asked. ''I'm the same way with my bank account. I want to see how many zeroes I can get in my bank account.''
Kristin Myers is a reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter.
Read more:
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Trump campaign raises millions during impeachment hearings
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Read the latest financial and business news from Yahoo FinanceFollow Yahoo Finance on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Flipboard, LinkedIn, YouTube, and reddit.
VIDEO - 14mins in - (1) KEEP AMERICA GREAT: President Trump FULL RALLY in Florida - YouTube
Wed, 27 Nov 2019 08:36
VIDEO - Teacher Fed Up With Students Swearing, Stealing, And Destroying Property Speaks Out - YouTube
Wed, 27 Nov 2019 07:46
VIDEO-De Niro: Life for Americans during the Trump presidency is like 'living in an abusive household' | TheHill
Wed, 27 Nov 2019 06:38
Robert De Niro says life for Americans during the Trump presidency is like "living in an abusive household."
"It's a really, really serious situation we're in," the "Irishman" star said in a Monday interview on CBS's "The Late Show."
"He's a fake president," the 76-year-old Academy Award winner continued of Trump.
"He calls everything fake because he knows he's fake. So he's projecting."
"He's an adult. He's a grownup," De Niro, a New York native, said of Bloomberg.
"He's run the city for 12 years. I know there are things he did, you mentioned them on the show. But he's done good things. And he tries to do the right thing," De Niro added.
"We just have to get past this '-- get over the hump into calm waters. So to me Bloomberg might be the one," De Niro said.
VIDEO-Trump pardons turkeys, jokes about impeachment
Wed, 27 Nov 2019 06:24
November 26, 2019 | 3:39pm | Updated November 26, 2019 | 3:58pm
President Trump pardoned two Thanksgiving turkeys at the White House on Tuesday '-- giving a reprieve this year to a pair of birds named Bread and Butter '-- and tried to inject some impeachment humor into the light-hearted proceedings.
''Thankfully, Bread and Butter have been specially raised '... to remain calm under any condition, which will be very important, because they've already received subpoenas to appear in Adam Schiff's basement on Thursday. True. Hundreds of people have,'' the president said from the Rose Garden, referring to the Democratic House Intelligence Committee chair.
''It seems the Democrats are accusing me of being too soft on turkey, but Bread and Butter, I should note that unlike previous witnesses, you and I have actually met. It's very unusual. Very unusual,'' Trump continued before taking a shot at the media.
''In any event, I expect this pardon will be a very popular one with the media. After all, turkeys are closely related to vultures. I don't know if I like that line, but there is a little truth to it.''
Butter, the national Thanksgiving turkey, walks in the Rose Garden before Tuesday's ceremony. APAfter receiving their presidential reprieve, the turkeys will retire to Gobbler's Rest at Virginia Tech.
''They will be cared for and enjoy a terrific life,'' Trump said, as first lady Melania Trump looked on.
The president then shared his Thanksgiving wishes with Americans.
''This Thanksgiving, we bow our heads in gratitude for the newfound prosperity and spirit that's taking place all across America. The country has never been more successful,'' he added.
Trump joked about the impeachment hearings during the turkey ceremony. AFP via GettyAccording to the White House, Bread is a 45-pound turkey who likes a cherry-flavored soft drink called Cheerwine, bluegrass music and college basketball.
Butter weighs 47 pounds and enjoys eating sweet potato fries, listening to bagpipes and watching NASCAR.
Later Tuesday, Trump will fly to Florida for a campaign rally, then spend Thanksgiving with his family Thursday at his Mar-a-Lago resort.
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Tue, 26 Nov 2019 23:51
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VIDEO - Dem Rep. Lawrence: I Want the Senate to Vote on Censuring Trump, Not on Removal | Breitbart
Tue, 26 Nov 2019 22:38
On Tuesday's broadcast of CNN's ''OutFront,'' Representative Brenda Lawrence (D-MI) stated that she wants the House to impeach President Trump, but she wants the Senate to vote on censuring the president rather than removing him.
Lawrence said, ''I have been on the record since 2017. I was one of the first to sign on to Representative Green's resolution for impeachment. I have not wavered from that, but the discussion was, will the Republicans in the Senate go through and impeach the president? There seems to be no giving in that. But the thing that keeps me awake and troubles me and what I was talking about is that there is actually a movement to [absolve] the president of any wrongdoing. We cannot afford that to happen.''
Host Erin Burnett asked, ''So, you're saying you want the House to impeach and you support that, but in the Senate, instead of possibly absolving him, you'd rather they not vote on remove or not remove, that they'...censure him in the Senate?''
Lawrence responded, ''Yes.''
Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett
VIDEO - Jeffrey Epstein Didn't Kill Himself: Official Contest Song Final Mix - YouTube
Tue, 26 Nov 2019 22:35
VIDEO - First lady Melania Trump booed as she gives remarks at opioid awareness summit
Tue, 26 Nov 2019 17:39
WATCH: The first lady spoke to the attendees of the B'More Youth Summit at the University of Maryland's Baltimore campus.
First lady Melania Trump was welcomed to the stage at an opioid awareness summit in Baltimore on Tuesday with some cheers, but also a loud chorus of boos that continued for almost a minute.
It's rare, if not unprecedented, for the first lady to get such a harsh reception at an event where she was appearing without her husband. It wasn't clear why she was booed, but she delivered her remarks as prepared and didn't appear to acknowledge the booing in any way.
''We live in a democracy and everyone is entitled to their opinion, but the fact is we have a serious crisis in our country and I remain committed to educating children on the dangers and deadly consequences of drug abuse," she said in a rare personal statement issued hours later.
The boos began as she greeted the more than 2,500 attendees of the B'More Youth Summit, held at the University of Maryland's Baltimore campus. Not appearing to have been fazed by the booing, Trump began her remarks by thanking the students and other attendees for getting involved to fight the opioid crisis.
First Lady Melania Trump addresses the B'More Youth Summit in Baltimore, Nov. 26, 2019.
Since declaring the opioid epidemic a public health emergency in March, the Trump administration has made it a priority to raise awareness. She talked about her ''Be Best'' initiative, focused on helping future generations and three main pillars: well-being, online safety and opioid abuse, according to her remarks.
''I know each one of you has hopes and dreams for the future, whether it is college, joining the military, or playing a sport, your future will be determined by the choices you make,'' she said. ''Using drugs will only slow you down and prevent you from achieving those goals. I encourage you to use the resources available in your community so that nothing can stand in your way.''
The boos died down somewhat while she spoke, but audience members could still be heard talking loudly, according to a pool report.
The booing then continued as she walked off the stage, smiling and waving toward the audience.
ABC News' Ben Gittleson contributed to this report.
VIDEO-Suspected bots push conspiracy theories during impeachment hearings - YouTube
Tue, 26 Nov 2019 14:51
VIDEO-Scott Murphy on Twitter: "@bennyjohnson @HD283271 Which is why $15 an hour minimum wage is so important. Because then everyone working 40 hours a week makes over $29000 a year. Yeah, and you all thought he was just looking out for the little guy. Th
Tue, 26 Nov 2019 14:49
Replying to
@Curmudgeon2017 @bennyjohnson @HD283271 But I think he said the first 29000 is exempt, so a person making $15 per hour would be paying on the $2200 difference.Still, I'm sure that is only the beginning4 percent first year, 10 percent 5th year, etc
VIDEO - Sunday Talks: Representative Elise Stefanik -vs- Maria Bartiromo'... | The Last Refuge
Tue, 26 Nov 2019 09:59
Representative Elise Stefanik appears on Fox News with Maria Bartiromo to discuss her perspective on the impeachment inquiry. As with all other republican members, including ranking member Devin Nunes and interim member Jim Jordan, Mrs. Stefanik has no idea where the Pelosi, Schiff and Lawfare goes from here. Everything seems up-in-the-air.
.
Having listened to three interviews with Adam Schiff today as well as Shiff's little toady, Eric Swalwell; and watching them also say they don't actually have an outlined plan of what will come next from their ''impeachment inquiry'', it all seems rather odd.
It appears Democrat leadership are taking a climate assessment of the electorate before returning to the next, and final, House session on December 2nd. Pelosi, Schiff et al previously committed themselves to a semi-formal process in the House resolution that began the impeachment inquiry. However, they no longer discuss that process.
VIDEO-Rebuild America: Join Mike Bloomberg's 2020 Presidential Campaign - YouTube
Tue, 26 Nov 2019 08:55
VIDEO - The Game Changers Official Film Website | Documentary
Tue, 26 Nov 2019 08:02
"Mixes shocking, groundbreaking science with cinematic stories of struggle and triumph.
"A shocking new documentary that will change the way you look at meat.
"The Game Changers is different because it's not haughty or preachy. It's informative and eye-opening.
Deadline
Vogue
Daily Camera
The FilmDirected by Oscar®-winning documentary filmmaker Louie Psihoyos and executive produced by James Cameron, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jackie Chan, Lewis Hamilton, Novak Djokovic, and Chris Paul, The Game Changers tells the story of James Wilks '-- elite Special Forces trainer and The Ultimate Fighter winner '-- as he travels the world on a quest to uncover the optimal diet for human performance.
Showcasing elite athletes, special ops soldiers, visionary scientists, cultural icons, and everyday heroes, what James discovers permanently changes his understanding of food and his definition of true strength.
Learn More Eat like a Game ChangerGet all the recipes, meal plans, tips, and answers you need to fuel yourself like a champion.
Start HereWhat about Protein?Maximizing Performance
Featuring science from the film, learn how plant-based food can give you an edge in the gym, on the field, at work, and at home.
Learn MoreOptimizing Health
Discover why plant-based eating provides powerful, proven advantages for health, wellness, and longevity.
Learn MoreThe Bigger Picture
Learn how choosing plant-based eating has major benefits for the rest of the world as well.
Learn More01
Maximizing PerformanceFeaturing science from the film, learn how plant-based food can give you an edge in the gym, on the field, at work, and at home.
Learn More02
Optimizing HealthDiscover why plant-based eating provides powerful, proven advantages for health, wellness, and longevity.
Learn More03
The Bigger PictureLearn how choosing plant-based eating has major benefits for the rest of the world as well.
Learn More The Latest
VIDEO-PG&E Trying Microgrids to Keep Power On During the Next Public Safety Power Shutoff | KCBS 740AM | 106.9 FM
Mon, 25 Nov 2019 22:50
During this time the utility also began trying out a way to keep some customers out of the dark by using diesel-fueled generators in parts of business areas in four small towns.
To find out more about these so-called "microgrids" KCBS Radio news anchors Jeff Bell and Patti Reising spoke with San Francisco Chronicle Energy and Business Reporter, J.D. Morris who's written about this in the paper. .
VIDEO-Important Update for All Creators: Complying with COPPA - YouTube
Mon, 25 Nov 2019 20:28
VIDEO-Rep. Schiff on CNN: Evidence of Trump's Misconduct is Overwhelming, Uncontested - YouTube
Mon, 25 Nov 2019 19:12
VIDEO - Jeffrey Epstein Didn't Kill Himself: Official Contest Song - YouTube
Mon, 25 Nov 2019 16:59
VIDEO - Weather woes: The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade might not fly its iconic balloons this year due to strong winds | fox8.com
Mon, 25 Nov 2019 16:40
(CNN) '-- It's a time-honored tradition for many to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, but this year it could be missing a key element: its 16 giant character balloons.
Officials in New York City may have to ground the iconic balloons due to windy conditions. They cannot be flown when sustained winds exceed 23 mph and gusts exceed 34 mph, per city regulations.
In 1997, the iconic Cat in the Hat balloon injured four people after being overtaken by strong winds. The following year, city officials instituted new regulations for grounding the giant balloons.
The National Weather Service is currently forecasting sustained winds of 22 mph and wind gusts of 39 mph during the parade. The sustained winds do not exceed the regulations, but the gusts do. Officials will have to monitor wind conditions and decide whether to allow the balloons to be flown.
They'll likely have to make that call on Thursday, as wind conditions can quickly change. The last time the parade's balloons were grounded due to inclement weather was 1971, according to the New York Times.
VIDEO - Ana Navarro-Crdenas on Twitter: "Rick Perry is the latest to say Trump is ''the chosen one''. It looks like a cult. It walks like a cult. It quacks like a cult. Yes, people. Trump's base is a cult. https://t.co/eLBgFFIyU5" / Twitter
Mon, 25 Nov 2019 11:50
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VIDEO - (15) CNN Framing the Katie Hill Scandal as Right-Wing Smearing - YouTube
Mon, 25 Nov 2019 11:21
VIDEO - Sunday Talks: Steve Bannon -vs- Maria Bartiromo on Political Pros/Cons of Impeachment'... | The Last Refuge
Mon, 25 Nov 2019 11:14
TO: President Trump, Americanscc: All on the Left and on the Fence
RE: Before proceeding making America great let us thank Nancy and her gang!
Americans, let's all thank Mrs. Pelosi, Adam Schiff, and all of those players in the Congress, the bureaucracy, the media, etc'... who have participated in what I will simply refer to as a 'Resistance Movement'. They have validated without a reasonable doubt not only the 12 lessons learned (see below) that I introduced to the citizens of my community in 1989 after 26 years as a military officer and into my third year as their police chief, but the four I have added since President Trump's election. Also, their actions have started an avalanche of information revealing a level of corruption matching or exceeding what most of us old cops came to know over 30 years ago (see next paragraph). I personally cannot wait to watch the difference styles of dancing we are bound to see from those trying to manage damage control!
The lessons learned were to be the preface of a yet to be published book titled: Rape, Pillage, Plunder; America, You've Been Had! To date the book has not been published due to the large amount of still classified information therein. I will reveal that the book discusses the results of a Senate requested investigation as to the actual relationships between the governments of the United States, Panama, China, Russia, other nations, certain international banking organizations, and the international drug trade/money laundering ring operating in/around the Panama Canal. The investigation was requested to address concerns of senators regarding issues related to turning control of the Panama Canal over to the government of Panama. For your information; in addition to the names of several officials in the Carter Administration, one first term senator (J. Biden) and one state attorney general (W. Clinton) made it on to the list of individual subjects.
Please, asking for your tolerance for one final comment from an old retired cop. The events surrounding and/or occurring within the parameters the so-called Special Prosecutor (Mueller) Investigation of Russian/Trump collusion/obstruction of justice in/around the 2016 National elections were by no stretch of any DOJ and/or other federal government statutes/laws/regulations/SOP's/etc'... an investigation. It was crystal clear that all of the activities before, during, and after the Mueller affair were/are a collection of grossly screwed up attempts to maintain the power of the long established oligarchy and distract from learning the real facts surrounding the 2016 election and post election efforts to negate the 2016 presidential elections.
A Soldier/Cop's Lessons Learned
1. Omitted.
2. The Seven C's of Leadership according to a 1980 survey of 1646 of Vietnam era ground combat veterans listed of the order of their importance are; Candor, Competence, Consistency, Commitment, Courage, Compassion, and Courtesy. The reason the soldiers in the survey chose the word ''candor'' is because to them candor encompasses both omission and co-mission. To a combat soldier lack of absolute candor, be it co-mission or omission, are equal sins! In short, soldiers expect/demand absolute candor from their leaders before all else.
3. Omitted.
4. The American people are the most effectively lied to people in modern times thanks primarily to the American political class, the American bureaucracy, the American media, and American academia.
5. Arrogance coupled with ignorance equals stupidity.
6. The greatest threats to the American people are the corrupt and/or incompetent politicians/bureaucrats/academicians found at every level of government/academia, and the majority of the American so-called media.
7. Most of the politicians/bureaucrats/academicians I have encountered during my years as a soldier/cop I most kindly refer to as; self-serving, witless, cowards.
8. The American Profession of Arms and our brothers/sisters in blue have failed to protect the American people from all of their enemies, both foreign and most especially domestic.
9-11. Omitted.
12. There are only two primary requirements to be a career soldier and/or cop in America. One must be smart enough to do the work and dumb enough to take the job.
13. American soldiers and police officers must in addition to mastering all of their professionally mandated tasks, learn to accomplish the same with at least one arm tied behind their backs and their vision impaired 50% or more. (Added 2019)
14. After carefully watching the whole of the political class since Donald J. Trump walked down that escalator in Trump Tower to date, I can say without reservation that most of the group will sell their souls and our bodies just to remain in power. (Added 2019)
15. Want to see what the United States of America will look like if the left takes control of the government? Take your pick, New York City, Baltimore, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, or the complete package; California. (Added 2019)
16. If the so-called resistance movement continues unchecked a number of able veterans are going to be presented with a challenge/decision. Are the American people worth another drop of our sweat and/or our blood? (Added 2019)
Soldier/Cop/Grunt, RetiredPS1. Character is to man what carbon is to steel.2. A man who trims himself to suit everybody will soon whittle himself away!3. An ounce of gold cannot buy a second of time.4. It is far more difficult to judge one's self than to judge others!
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VIDEO - Sacha Baron Cohen Calls For Global Free Speech ''Purge'' and ADL Takeover of All Social Media - Banned.Video
Mon, 25 Nov 2019 10:15
Calls For Arrest and Imprisonment Of All Corporate Leaders Who Resist: Issues Declaration of War Against Bill Of Rights We must resist this tyranny!
VIDEO - 5mins Warren - Max Blumenthal on how corporate media manufactures consent for war and regime change - YouTube
Mon, 25 Nov 2019 09:23
VIDEO - Ukrainian to US prosecutors: Why don't you want our evidence on Democrats? | TheHill
Mon, 25 Nov 2019 09:21
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VIDEO - Watch Al Pacino hunt Nazis in Jordan Peele's upcoming Amazon series | Engadget
Mon, 25 Nov 2019 08:53
"There comes a time where we all must choose between the light and the darkness. But when there's great darkness in this world, perhaps a choice is made for us," Pacino tells his fellow hunters in the trailer. "The time to act is now before everything we hold dear to us is destroyed. This is not murder. This is mitzvah. Welcome to the hunt."
Along with Pacino, the diverse cast includes Josh Radnor, Logan Lerman, Kate Mulvany, Carol Kane, Dylan Baker, and Lena Olin, among others. Peele is producing the show, but it was created by Moonfall's David Weil, who will run it along with Nikki Toscano (Revenge). The pilot was directed by American Horror Story director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon and will premiere sometime in 2020. Peele's participation already made this an interesting project, but the presence of Pacino has elevated it to a must-watch.
VIDEO - The McLaughlin Group 11/22/19 - YouTube
Mon, 25 Nov 2019 07:38
VIDEO - Apple Proposes New Emojis For People With Disabilities - YouTube
Mon, 25 Nov 2019 07:21
VIDEO - (6) Joe Biden's boasting about African American voter support backfires - YouTube
Sun, 24 Nov 2019 09:52
STORIES
President Trump Signs ''Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act'''... | The Last Refuge
Thu, 28 Nov 2019 07:19
The act that President Trump signed today is a law that requires the U.S. to review all of the democracy issues within Hong Kong to assess whether any Chinese violations to Hong Kong autonomy are happening. If so, the U.S. can take remedial steps to punish China.
The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act would require the State Department annually re-certify Hong Kong's autonomous nature, in order for the so-called ''special treatment'' the U.S. affords Hong Kong to continue. (more)
Keep in mind a dual purpose to this latest move: Hong Kong holds a special trade status with the U.S. and is exempt from tariffs placed on China. Part of the punitive action President Trump could take against China involves tariffs against Hong Kong.
Today, I have signed into law S. 1838, the ''Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019'' (the ''Act''). The Act reaffirms and amends the United States-Hong Kong Policy Act of 1992, specifies United States policy towards Hong Kong, and directs assessment of the political developments in Hong Kong.
Certain provisions of the Act would interfere with the exercise of the President's constitutional authority to state the foreign policy of the United States. My Administration will treat each of the provisions of the Act consistently with the President's constitutional authorities with respect to foreign relations.
~ President Donald J Trump
Again, back to the big picture, is this an action that would indicate President Trump is actually looking for a U.S-China trade agreement? Of course not. So why now, what changed?'... The USMCA! It's all connected folks.
More IG Report Leaks '' New York Times Reports FBI ''Spies'' Placed In/Around Trump Campaign Were Not Spying ''On'' Trump Campaign'... | The Last Refuge
Thu, 28 Nov 2019 07:18
Following the IG report draft review by the principals within the DOJ/FBI small group under investigation more leaks are submitted to the New York Times in an effort to get out ahead of the scheduled publication of the final report on December 9th.
One note before content review: The highly structured obfuscation within how these leaks are being released, in combination with the lawyers representing the principals, explains why there was such a lengthy delay after the principal review phase.
Each principal can provide feedback for inclusion in the report; however, all feedback added to the report generates an IG rebuttal. Keep this in mind because these leaks are the ''feedback'' and the leakers have no idea what the IG ''rebuttal'' will be. The more the principals' obfuscate and justify conduct to the IG in their feedback, the stronger the rebuttal to that feedback will be in the final report.
The New York Times latest narrative effort is intentionally obtuse with the word ''spy'':
WASHINGTON '-- The Justice Department's inspector general found no evidence that the F.B.I. attempted to place undercover agents or informants inside Donald J. Trump's campaign in 2016 as agents investigated whether his associates conspired with Russia's election interference operation, people familiar with a draft of the inspector general's report said.
['...] The finding also contradicts some of the most inflammatory accusations hurled by Mr. Trump and his supporters, who alleged not only that F.B.I. officials spied on the Trump campaign but also at one point that former President Barack Obama had ordered Mr. Trump's phones tapped.
['...] [FBI] agents had an informant, an academic named Stefan A. Halper, meet with Mr. Page and Mr. Papadopoulos while they were affiliated with the campaign.
['...] The F.B.I. did have an undercover agent who posed as Mr. Halper's assistant during a London meeting with Mr. Papadopoulos in August 2016.
But that's not spying? OK gotcha.
['...] Mr. Horowitz will also undercut another claim by Trump allies '-- that the Russian intermediary who promised dirt to Mr. Papadopoulos, a Maltese professor named Joseph Mifsud, was an F.B.I. informant.
This obfuscation is really silly. No-one has ever claimed Mifsud was an FBI informant. The concern has always been Mifsud was a western intelligence asset, perhaps CIA.
['...] The report is also expected to debunk another theory of Trump allies: that the F.B.I. relied on information to open the investigation from a British former spy, Christopher Steele, himself a onetime bureau informant who compiled a dossier of damaging, unverified information on Mr. Trump.
Another paragraph of nonsense. No-one has alleged the Steele Dossier was used to open the FBI investigation in July 2016. The technical origination of the FBI investigation known as Crossfire Hurricane came from the joint FBI/CIA operation into Papadopoulos on July 31st, 2016. The questions have always been about what predicate the pre-July '16 originating investigations into Papadopoulos, Page, Flynn and Manafort were based on.
What was the evidence of Russia's interference in the election, known to the FBI, before July 2016? And what was the evidence that connected the Trump campaign to that predicate claim?
['...] The inspector general will fault the F.B.I. for failing to tell the judges who approved the wiretap applications about potential problems with the dossier, the people familiar with the draft report said. F.B.I. agents have interviewed some of Mr. Steele's sources and found that their information differed somewhat from his dossier.
Mr. Horowitz plans to say that the wiretap application, which referenced Mr. Papadopoulos, should have also included a statement he made to the undercover agent in London that could be seen as exculpatory or self-serving, the people familiar with the draft report said. (read full article)
A 'wired' FBI ''undercover agent'' recorded an exculpatory statement from Papadopoulos, but no '' they weren't spying? OK gotcha'.... Oh, and the FBI just avoided the transcript of the 'wired' statement because it just didn't fit their purposes. But not political? Uh-huh.
If this is the type of feedback the principals gave the IG to justify their endeavors, the rebuttal evidence will be even more interesting.
Thanks, but I'll just wait for the actual report'... AND the declassified supporting documentation that damn sure better be a part of the release !
Thousands of fake IDs bound for New York seized in Louisville - ABC News
Thu, 28 Nov 2019 07:08
Nearly 3,000 counterfeit driver's licenses meant to be shipped to people in New York, including a convicted child rapist, were confiscated in Louisville, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protections.
Officers with CBP seized six shipments of fake IDs and discovered one shipment was intended for a person who "entices minors with alcohol and counterfeit IDs before engaging in illicit activity," according to a statement from the agency on Monday.
CBP Custom and Border Protection officers seize 3,000 fake IDs in Louisville, Ky., November 2019.Authorities gave the evidence to Homeland Security Investigation in New York.
HSI is continuing to investigate, however the agency did not respond to ABC News when asked for additional comment on the convicted child rapist.
The IDs, likely designed as proper replicas from multiple states, including Florida, Michigan, Illinois, Missouri, New Jersey and Ohio, were found at Express Consignment Operations hub, according to CBP.
The shipments also included 3,123 blank card stocks that could be used to make more counterfeit licenses.
The shipments all originated in China.
SoulCycle's CEO Melanie Whelan resigns after customer boycott because owner hosted Trump fundraiser | Daily Mail Online
Thu, 28 Nov 2019 06:56
The CEO of SoulCycle has resigned after the fitness brand suffered a decline in attendance over the summer when it emerged the owner hosted a fundraiser for President Trump.
Melanie Whelan was with the cycling studio for eight years and announced that it was her final week of 'an incredible chapter' in a social media post on Tuesday.
A representative for SoulCycle told DailyMail.com Wednesday that the board and Whelan had come to a mutual agreement.
They said Sunder Reddy, SoulCycle's CFO will assume the role of interim CEO while the company conducts a search for a permanent replacement.
Melanie will stay on in an advisory capacity to the company throughout the transition, SoulCycle told DailyMail.com.
'I can't even begin to describe my gratitude for the opportunity to build and lead the SoulCycle team and brand,' Whelan posted on Instagram.
Melanie Whelan SoulCycle's CEO and Director resigned Tuesday after eight years with the brand. When she started the brand had seven studios and today they have 95
In August, chairman Stephen Ross came under fire for hosting events expected to have brought in up to $12million for Trump's 2020 campaign and customers boycotted the brand
Whelan announced that it was her final week of 'an incredible chapter' in a social media post on Tuesday and SoulCycle announced it in a staff email
'Having started with SoulCycle when we had only seven studios and a huge dream - and with my toddlers along with me for the ride - I couldn't be more proud of what this team has accomplished together.'
While Whelan didn't share details of any other career plans, she hinted she could join a rival as she added: 'I will see you on a bike... soon.'
Elizabeth Cutler and Julie Rice founded the brand in 2006.
Prior to 2012, Whelan worked as vice president of business development for Equinox, which is owned by the same group after a majority acquisition in 2011.
Whelan joined SoulCycle as chief operating officer and revenue was $36.2 million in 2012 but by 2014 it was $112million.
She was promoted to CEO in 2015 and that year the company filed to go public. In 2016 the founders resigned as the umbrella group increased itS stake giving them a $90million payout.
SoulCycle withdrew their IPO in May 2018 due to market conditions.
When Whelan started, the brand had seven studios and today they have 95 in the US, Canada and the UK.
On Tuesday, SoulCycle's chief people officer announced the news to staff in an email.
Melanie's Whelan's farewell statementAfter eight amazing years with SoulCycle, this week marks the end of an incredible chapter as I move on to my next adventure.
I can't even begin to describe my gratitude for the opportunity to build and lead the SoulCycle team and brand. Having started with SoulCycle when we had only seven studios and a huge dream - and with my toddlers along with me for the ride - I couldn't be more proud of what this team has accomplished together.
The magic of SoulCycle will always be in those dark studios. The love, the passion, the energy and the spirit of what we do is more important today than ever before. I will see you on a bike ... soon.
Soul People truly are the Best People.
'I'm deeply grateful for the opportunity to have led the SoulCycle team and brand over the past nearly eight years during a transformational time for this amazing community,' Whelan said in an official statement sent to employees. 'The future is bright for this one-of-a-kind organization and I will be cheering on its continued growth and success.'
In August, members of SoulCycle started cancelling their memberships after Stephen Ross, chairman of the fitness brands' parent company The Related Cos., came under fire for hosting events expected to have brought in up to $12million for the president's 2020 campaign.
The Atlantic reported in September that Earnest Research said class sign-ups at US locations decreased 12.8 percent when comparing the 18 days prior to backlash and same period of time afterwards.
The company said the initial week of August 11 saw a decline of 1 per cent and subsequent weeks attendance went down 6 per cent to 7.5 per cent.
When asked the reasons for the departure, Harvey Spevak, Executive Chairman of SoulCycle, told DailyMail.com Wednesday: 'We want to thank Melanie for her hard work and dedication to SoulCycle. Melanie and I have worked together for many years and I look forward to seeing what she conquers next.
'We're grateful to have such a strong interim leader in Sunder throughout this transition, and are actively supporting him as we search for a permanent replacement.'
On Instagram Tuesday, Whelan reminisced about starting with SoulCycle 'when we had only seven studios and a huge dream - and with my toddlers along with me for the ride'
SoulCycle told DailyMail.com Wednesday that the board and Whelan came to a mutual agreement and she will stay on to advise while she's replaced
Equinox and SoulCycle individually posted statements that tried to distance themselves from their billionaire owner in August amid a backlash.
Customers claimed the brands ethos 'all souls welcome' opposed Trump's stance.
Celebrities including Chrissy Teigen and Bill Eichner backed the boycott.
Eichner tweeted: 'Hey @Equinox - what's your policy for canceling memberships once a member finds out your owner is enabling racism and mass murder?'
Equinox and SoulCycle stated 'no company profits are used to fund politicians' and that they 'have nothing to do with the event and do not support it.'
The posts described Ross as a 'passive investor... not involved in the management.'
SoulCycle also added: 'We believe in diversity, inclusion, and equality,' which in a paraphrased statement Equinox echoed.
In August, protesters gathered in West Hollywood in a bid to urge members to boycott SoulCycle - where classes can cost as much as $36 - after their owner threw a lavish fundraiser for Donald Trump.
Tickets cost $250,000.
The protest was organized by Gonzalo Garcia and his friend Adam Bass, who joined a crowd with banners, flags and chants denouncing the fitness company - which also owns Equinox and Blink - for its ties to Trump.
Celebrities including Chrissy Teigen and Bill Eichner backed the boycott in August
Equinox and SoulCycle stated 'no company profits are used to fund politicians' and that they 'have nothing to do with the event and do not support it'
Ross has donated large sums to Republican candidates and causes according to FEC filings, while also contributing to democrats including Senator Mark Warner of Virginia and Lois Frankel of Florida.
Ross hit back, saying he has 'always been an active participant in the democratic process'.
'While some prefer to sit outside of the process and criticize, I prefer to engage directly and support the things I deeply care about,' he previously said. 'I have known Donald Trump for 40 years and while we agree on some issues, we strongly disagree on many others and I have never been bashful about expressing my opinions.
'I have been, and will continue to be, an outspoken champion of racial equality, inclusion, diversity, public education and environmental sustainability, and I have and will continue to support leaders on both sides of the aisle to address these challenges.'
Ross hit back, saying he has 'always been an active participant in the democratic process' after protesters encouraged a backlash this summer
In September Earnest Research said class sign-ups at US locations decreased 12.8 percent when comparing the 18 days prior to backlash and same period of time afterwards
Here's the First Time Congress Tried to Impeach a President
Thu, 28 Nov 2019 06:55
The president's critics thought his presidency was illegitimate to begin with. His Cabinet members changed frequently. Mainly based on policy disagreements, members of Congress demanded his ouster.
Some lawmakers were willing to toss out constitutional norms based on what they said was the president's ''ignorance of the interest and true policy of this Government, and want of qualification for the discharge of the important duties'' of his office.
But we're talking 1843, not 2019.
In the midst of House Democrats' impeachment inquiry targeting President Donald Trump, many pundits make comparisons to the impeachments of Presidents Andrew Johnson in 1868 and Bill Clinton in 1998, as well as the near-impeachment preempted by President Richard Nixon's resignation in 1974.
But lawmakers' first serious effort to impeach a president was against President John Tyler in 1843. And it didn't succeed, not even in the House.
The attempt to impeach Tyler had some similarities to the Johnson impeachment: A vice president'--with a history in the opposition party'--takes the top job upon a president's death but fails to get along with the elected president's party in Congress.
The Whig ticket of William Henry Harrison and John Tyler'--''Tippecanoe and Tyler too'''--won by a decisive landslide in the 1840 election. Harrison scored 234 electoral votes and 53% of the popular vote to oust President Martin Van Buren, the unpopular Democrat, who collected just 60 electoral votes.
Harrison, a former Ohio senator, was known as ''Tippecanoe'' for his military heroism against Native American forces in the 1811 Battle of Tippecanoe in Indiana.
For vice president, the Whigs tapped Tyler, a former Virginia governor and U.S. senator. He was a Whig convert after leaving the Democratic Party in protest of President Andrew Jackson's policies.
Harrison died one month after taking office, thrusting the United States into uncharted waters. Harrison's Cabinet insisted that Tyler was only an acting president, but Tyler established a precedent that would hold by asserting that a vice president automatically moves into the presidency upon a vacancy in the office.
At 51, Tyler was younger than any other president before him.
The Whig-controlled Congress passed legislation to reestablish a national bank, which was the party's biggest legislative goal. Tyler vetoed the bill, and seemed intent on blocking the fruition of other Harrison campaign promises. This enraged his fellow Whigs in Congress.
After Tyler's veto of the bank bill, the Whigs voted to expel the president from their party'--though he was still in office. And when Whigs resigned from his Cabinet, Tyler named Democrats to the vacant posts.
The frustration caused Rep. Henry Clay of Kentucky, a prominent Whig leader, to propose a constitutional amendment to allow Congress to override the president's vetoes by a mere majority vote, rather than a supermajority. Despite Clay's power in Congress, however, the measure went nowhere.
What really irked those in Tyler's adopted party was his veto of two bills imposing higher tariffs on imported goods.
One Whig lawmaker accused Tyler of seeking to bring back ''the condemned and repudiated doctrines and practices of the worst days of Jackson's rule.''
That was a severe assessment, considering the unifying ideology of the Whigs was opposition to Jackson.
Before Jackson's presidency, Congress was viewed largely as the policymaking body, and a president was expected only to veto legislation if he thought it unconstitutional, not because he disagreed with it.
So Whigs accused Jackson of wanting to be a king because of his vetoes, and they weren't happy when the president elected on their own ticket began doing the same thing.
On July 22, 1842, Tyler's fellow Virginian and Whig, Rep. John Minor Botts, filed the first formal action in the history of the House of Representatives to impeach a president of the United States.
Botts presented a resolution, requesting ''John Tyler, the acting President of the United States,'' resign his office. Failing that, the resolution said, Tyler should be impeached ''on the grounds of his ignorance of the interest and true policy of this Government, and want of qualification for the discharge of the important duties of President of the United States.''
The resolution called for a special committee to investigate possible charges of impeachment recommendations. The House initially tabled the resolution for further consideration, as Clay thought it premature.
That wasn't the end of the Tyler impeachment effort, however.
Rep. John Quincy Adams, a Whig from Massachusetts and a former president himself, was chairman of a select committee that approved a resolution in August 1842 condemning Tyler's ''misuse'' of the veto. The select committee's action set up the possibility for impeachment.
Finally, in January 1843, the Botts impeachment resolution came to the House floor. The Whig majority, although not fond of Tyler, ultimately wasn't quite ready to enter the realm of impeachment and possible removal by the Senate.
The House rejected the motion to investigate Tyler for the impeachable offenses of ''corruption, malconduct, high crimes and misdemeanors,'' by a vote of 127-83.
Despite his tumultuous relationship with Congress, Tyler had some significant accomplishments while serving most of the term that Harrison won'--in particular the annexation of Texas. Tyler also pushed through the Webster-Ashburton Treaty to end a Canadian boundary dispute.
Tyler formed his own party, the Democratic-Republicans, in hopes of winning the presidency again but in the end dropped out of the 1844 race. But that's another story.
The nation's 10th president died in 1862 while serving as a member of the Confederate Congress.
Deutsche Bank Exec Who Oversaw Trump Loans Dies by Suicide | Law & Crime
Thu, 28 Nov 2019 05:54
NEW YORK, NEW YORK '' JULY 08: People walk past Deutsche Bank's Manhattan headquarters following news that the global banking giant will be letting go of thousands of employees due to a major restructuring at the German bank on July 08, 2019 in New York City. The bank has announced that it will reduce its workforce by 18,000 people in Asia, Europe and America.
Thomas Bowers, identified as a former Deutsche Bank executive who signed off on controversial loans to President Donald Trump, died last week after apparently taking his own life at 55.
According to Forensic News' Scott Stedman, ''One source who has direct knowledge of the FBI's investigation into Deutsche Bank said that federal investigators have asked about Bowers and documents he might have. Another source who has knowledge of Deutsche Bank's internal structure said that Bowers would have been the gatekeeper for financial documents for the bank's wealthiest customers.''
The news of Bowers's death was initially shared late Tuesday afternoon by New York Times reporter David Enrich.
I've learned that Tom Bowers, a former senior @DeutscheBank executive, died last week at 55 in Malibu, Calif. I knew him. It's very sad.
'-- David Enrich (@davidenrich) November 26, 2019
The Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner's initial report attributes Bowers's death to suicide by hanging.
Bowers previously worked as Deutsche Bank's head of their U.S. Private Wealth Management division.
According to the New York Times, Deutsche Bank ''agreed in 2005 to lend Mr. Trump more than $500 million [to build a skyscraper in Chicago]. He personally guaranteed $40 million of it, meaning the bank could come after his personal assets if he defaulted.''
After that loan was extended and the relationship between Deutsche Bank and Trump was solidified''and well before it went sour in 2008 due to Trump being unable or unwilling to repay the first loan''banker Rosemary Vrablic was assigned the Trump portfolio.
Vrablic's direct boss during her relationship with Trump was Bowers.
That New York Times story notes:
Traditionally, private bankers discreetly manage customers' wealth and act as high-end concierges. Ms. Vrablic, who started her career as a bank teller and then worked at Citigroup and Bank of America, did that and more. She also arranged large real estate and commercial loans for her best clients.
To lure her, Deutsche Bank guaranteed that she would earn at least $3 million a year, unusually rich terms for a private banker, and would bypass a layer of management to report directly to Thomas Bowers, the head of the American wealth-management division, according to people familiar with her contract.
Hired in 2006, Deutsche Bank lavished praise on Vlabic and another recent hire, Dominic Scalzi, who were brought on as ''Managing Directors and Senior Private Bankers in [Deutsche Bank's] US Private Wealth Management (PWM) business.''
''Rosemary is widely recognized as one of the top private bankers to the US ultra high-net-worth community,'' Bowers said in a press release at the time. ''With both Rosemary and Dominic's extensive banking and structured lending experience, we will further enhance our position as a leading integrated Private Bank.''
By 2010, Trump and Deutsche Bank were on lending terms again. (A lawsuit between Trump and the bank over his failure to repay the $500 million loan was settled.) Trump reached out to Vrablic via his recently acquired son-in-law and her client Jared Kushner.
On Trump's dime, Vrablic arrived in Miami to inspect a property Trump was interested in buying: the Doral Golf Resort and Spa. The star of NBC's The Apprentice needed $100 million to make the deal.
At the same time, Trump made an unusual request for a second loan.
He wanted an additional $48 million to infuse into the Chicago skyscraper bearing his name. Part of that second loan would help him pay off what he owed the bank's investment banking division.
''Ms. Vrablic and Mr. Bowers tentatively agreed to both loans,'' the Times story notes''and the relationship between Deutsche Bank and the eventual 45th president soared after that.
Due to Vrablic's and Bowers's trust in Trump, Deutsche Bank loaned Trump $170 million as he transmogrified the Old Post Office Building in Washington, D.C. into what is now another Trump-branded hotel.
Trump's ultimately unsuccessful billion dollar efforts to purchase the Buffalo Bills was also underwritten by the German investment firm.
And the extended Trump clan got the benefits of that long working relationship as well. Again the Times:
Deutsche Bank lent money to Donald Trump Jr. for a South Carolina manufacturing venture that would soon go bankrupt. It provided a $15 million credit line to Mr. Kushner and his mother, according to financial documents reviewed by The Times. The bank previously had an informal ban on business with the Kushners because Jared's father, Charles, was a felon.
The relationship continued into 2015 when an additional $19 million loan was dispensed for Trump's Doral estate. One final loan was broached in 2016''Trump needed money for his golf course in Scotland. But by then Trump's rhetoric had worn thin with Deutsche Bank's upper echelons and their reputational risk committee.
And Bowers was out''he joined Starwood Capital Group in 2015.
[Image via Spencer Platt/Getty Images]
Why Wikipedia Creator's New 'Facebook Killer' Is Doomed to Fail
Thu, 28 Nov 2019 00:26
WT.Social is a new social network that doesn't have ads and relies on subscriptions.Created by Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, it wants to be a ''news focused'' social network.However, its desire to avoid misinformation and clickbait means that it will shun some of the main drivers of social network growth.We're all aware of the ills of social media. It's addictive, it's terrible for our mental health, and it's enabling the spread of misinformation on a massive scale. Yet despite our knowledge of such evils, Facebook boasts around 1.6 billion daily active users.
Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales wants to change this. Having launched the ad-free WT.Social network this month, he's already celebrating having reached 200,000 users. Given that the social network is barely a week old, this is a very encouraging sign.
However, WT.Social is doomed to fall far short of supplanting its ad-driven rivals, and this is precisely because we prefer our social media to be bad for us.
How WT.Social Aims to Stamp Out Fake News & ClickbaitSource: TwitterWT.Social's platform isn't all that radical. Users share links to online articles, but they can also edit misleading headlines and flag suspicious posts. Wales hopes that this, combined with upvoting, will prevent the site from being overrun by fake news and clickbait.
More unusual is that WT.Social's business model revolves around paid subscriptions: $13 per month or $100 per year. Because it's not funded by ads, clickbait should be much less common on the platform.
Or so Wales claims:
The business model of social media companies, of pure advertising, is problematic. It turns out the huge winner is low-quality content.
This is all well and good, but there's a reason why networks such as Facebook and Twitter are so popular.
Not only have they been designed to be as addictive as possible, but users secretly enjoy the ability to spread misinformation and then retreat into an ideological filter-bubble. We want to force our worldview on others, and there's a reason we can't resist clickbait.
Fake news delivers more reader engagement than professional reporting. | Source: Buzzfeed NewsRemember the 2016 presidential election? Fake news articles generated more engagement on Facebook during the election cycle than professional reporting.
In other words, we don't mind fake news, as long as it confirms our own biases. And in certain cases, people with more political knowledge are more likely to believe fake news. This refutes the claim that conspiracy theories only run rampant among ''low-information'' social media users.
We Also Love Clickbait
It's the same story for clickbait, another type of ''low-quality content'' WT.Social aims to stamp out.
You might scoff at headlines that employ the ''What Happened Next Will Make You X'' formula, but clickbait articles attract the most engagement on social media. And you secretly know that you click on them too.
Unsurprisingly, publishers are responding to reader behavior by producing even more clickbait. A 2018 study of 1.67 million Facebook posts found that the prevalence of clickbait headlines spiked to 25.27% from 19.46% between 2014 and 2016.
As such figures suggest, clickbait is a core component of Facebook's appeal. Along with fake news, these articles generate engagement '' and grow the platform's active user base. All this, despite Facebook's self-congratulatory attempts to crack down on both.
Why Wikipedia Creator's Facebook Rival Can't WinNo matter what Facebook says, it needs clickbait and fake news. And that's your fault (and mine). | Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images/AFPConsequently, it's highly likely that WT.Social will fail to ever attract enough users to make the platform sustainable, much less rival Facebook and Twitter.
By declaring war on fake news and clickbait, the Wikipedia creator's new site is spurning the very things that help social media networks succeed. Remember: it wasn't only Facebook's ad model that caused the spread of fake news in 2016, but also the public's genuine interest in those dubious stories.
To varying degrees, we're all prone to spreading misinformation because it helps to promote our political views and allegiances. No party or ideology is immune to this. If WT.Social really deprives us of the ability to do this, we're not likely to stick around for long.
Despite its good intentions, the best Jimmy Wales' new project can hope for is to become a laudable '' yet fringe '' fixture on the outskirts of the digital universe. We can always hope that it puts moral pressure on Facebook to change its own policies, at the expense of profits. But I wouldn't hold my breath.
This article was edited by Josiah Wilmoth.
Amazon Ring to Build Watchlist of "Suspicious" Neighbors for Police
Thu, 28 Nov 2019 00:21
(TMU) '-- Ring, the home security system developed by Amazon, is planning to build a database of neighborhood watchlists using facial recognition technology.
Documents obtained by the Intercept revealed that the company is working with law enforcement on a system that will identify people who are considered ''suspicious,'' and let Ring owners know when these individuals are near their home, using the facial recognition software built into the security system's cameras.
The software will also give the Ring owner the ability to notify police or call in the suspicious activity on their own.
According to the documents, the watchlists would be connected to Ring's Neighbors app, where owners of the system communicate with their neighbors about packages being stolen from doorsteps and other potential security breaches. While this may sound innocent'--or even helpful'--critics worry that this technology may empower the kind of neighborhood snitches that call the cops on anyone who they find ''suspicious,'' typically based on their own prejudices.
In fact, a Ring employee, speaking to the Intercept under the condition of anonymity, admitted that ''all it is is people reporting people in hoodies.''
While these plans are explicit in the documents, Ring spokesperson Yassi Shahmiri insisted that ''the features described are not in development or in use and Ring does not use facial recognition technology.''
However, Amazon was later forced to admit that the facial recognition system is currently a ''contemplated but unreleased feature'' for Ring, in a response to a formal inquiry by Massachusetts Senator Edward Markey.
Mohammad Tajsar, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, said that '''watchlisting' capabilities on Ring devices encourages the creation of a digital redline in local neighborhoods, where cops in tandem with skeptical homeowners let machines create lists of undesirables unworthy of entrance into well-to-do areas.''
Many of the questionable features proposed in the documents involve the identification of ''suspicious'' individuals, but the standards that are used to determine who is suspicious and who is not are unclear. However, if artificial intelligence is being used along with information is being crowdsourced by neighbors, there is a high likelihood that the inherent bias, both on the part of the algorithm and on neighborhood busybodies, will contribute to an overall bias in the artificial intelligence system.
An article published last year in Nature explores the ethical framework of technology like self-driving cars. The article notes that the ethics of self-driving cars are based on the trolley problem, an ethical lifeboat scenario that would prove extremely unlikely in the real world. According to the ethics of self-driving cars, informed by the trolley problem, the lives of old people are less valuable than those of younger generations, and the life of an athlete is likewise more valuable than a ''large'' woman or homeless person. Other studies have shown racial and gender bias ''accidentally'' coded into facial recognition systems.
A self-driving car has a choice about who dies in a fatal crash. Here are the ethical considerations https://t.co/ZcEgDQfxhh #automation pic.twitter.com/XzLWQWDzcr
'-- World Economic Forum (@wef) November 3, 2018
The documents went into detail about a variety of the features that are currently being ''contemplated'' by the company, including phone notifications about ''suspicious'' individuals who may have been spotted in the area, which even allows the Ring user to notify their neighbors. Another feature identified in the documents is something called ''proactive suspect matching,'' and while the documents were unclear about how this would function, it seems like a program that would cross-reference faces that walked by a Ring user's house with a police database of potential suspects.
''Ring appears to be contemplating a future where police departments can commandeer the technology of private consumers to match 'suspect' profiles of individuals captured by private cameras with those cops have identified as suspect'--in fact, exponentially expanding their surveillance capabilities without spending a dime,'' Tajsar said.
These features are not unprecedented for Ring or Amazon. Earlier this year, Motherboard reported that Ring was encouraging its users to snitch on their neighbors in exchange for discounts and free products.
Stop letting Ring and Amazon dunk on your privacy.
Amazon's Ring has set up more than 500 partnerships with law enforcement agencies to convince communities to spy on themselves through doorbell cameras and its social app, Neighbors. The company is moving recklessly fast with little regard for the long-term risks of this mass surveillance technology. Join EFF in challenging Ring spokesman Shaq to rethink Ring's privacy-invasive partnerships with law enforcement. #NothingButDragnet https://eff.org/ring
Posted by Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) on Wednesday, November 20, 2019
By John Vibes | Creative Commons | TheMindUnleashed.com
Emails Show FBI Lawyer Who Doctored Trump-Russia Docs Bragged He 'Destroyed The Republic'
Wed, 27 Nov 2019 19:04
Newly released emails show that the FBI lawyer who doctored Trump-Russia related documents bragged to his colleagues that he had just "destroyed the Republic."
Kevin Clinesmith, who has been referred to the DOJ for prosecution over FISA application documents that he altered, wrote to another FBI employee: ''As I have initiated the destruction of the republic'.... Would you be so kind as to have a coffee with me this afternoon?''
sponsorThis was seven days after the initial FISA application was sent to the FISA court.
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The FISA application gave Obama's FBI the authority to spy on President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign.
Other emails sent on the FBI network from Clinesmith show that he praised Hillary Clinton and bashed Trump.
But wait, it gets better.
Clinesmith was also having an affair with Sally Moyer, another anti-Trump lawyer at the FBI who sent out a tweet in 2017 that said, ''Viva le resistance.''
So here's the question: Did he alter the documents as a way of getting a questionable application approved?
On page 445 of the DOJ's IG report on Clinton's emails, there is a discussion of what Attorney 2 (Clinesmith) from the FBI texted on October 28, 2016:
Among the general discussion of political issues by FBI Attorney 2, we identified three instant message exchanges that raised concerns of potential bias.
The first of these exchanges was on October 28, 2016, shortly after Comey's October 28 letter to Congress that effectively announced the reopening of the Midyear investigation.
FBI Attorney 2 sent similar messages to four different FBI employees. The timestamps of these messages are included below.
The messages stated:
13:44:42, to FBI Employee 1: ''I mean, I never really liked the Republic anyway.''
13:44:52, to FBI Employee 2: ''I mean, I never really liked the Republic anyway.''
14:01:52, to FBI Employee 3: ''As I have initiated the destruction of the republic'.... Would you be so kind as to have a coffee with me this afternoon?''
15:28:50, to FBI Employee 4: ''I'm clinging to small pockets of happiness in the dark time of the Republic's destruction''
Keep in mind that Clinesmith was one of many anti-Trump FBI officials who had a senior role in the Russia investigation.
VOTE NOW: Do you OPPOSE or SUPPORT impeachment?
Seems like almost everyone who was leading the phony Russia investigation hated Trump and loved Clinton.
And Democrats still want us to believe it was a "fair" investigation.
Irate French farmers descend on Paris in 1,000-strong tractor convoy to protest EU regulations (PHOTOS, VIDEO)
Wed, 27 Nov 2019 18:55
Roughly one thousand tractors have descended on Paris as French farmers protest against government policies and international trade agreements which they say are impacting their bottom line and thus their quality of life.
The frustrated farmers are assembling at Avenue Foch, near the Champs Elysees and the Arc de Triomphe.
The protest was organized by the two main farmers' unions who have called for a joint meeting with President Emmanuel Macron to discuss his policies, which they claim are hurting the agricultural sector.
The farmers are also complaining of widespread ''agri-bashing'' in the media and political spheres, in which the agricultural industry has become the sacrificial lamb for environmental issues.
Vegan activists have reportedly attacked farms and butcher's shops amid animal welfare concerns, and environmental groups have criticized the use of the weedkiller glyphosate, calling for it to be banned.
Macron has expressed interest in banning the weedkiller by 2021, which would go beyond current EU regulation.
France is the largest agricultural producer in the EU, and its farmers are irate over the bloc's trade deals with the likes of Canada and the Mercosur bloc in South America, which they say will flood the European market with cheaper goods at lower standards.
Similar protests have been held across Europe in recent days.
Also on rt.com Thousands of tractors plow through Berlin streets in protest at new green regulations (VIDEO, PHOTOS) Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!
President Trump Puts Jared Kushner In Charge Of Border Wall Construction: Report
Wed, 27 Nov 2019 17:31
President Donald Trump, frustrated over a lack of progress, tapped Kushner, a White House senior adviser, to expedite workThe president reportedly tapped his son-in-law Jared Kushner to lead the administration's effort to complete hundreds of miles of border wall before the end of 2020.
President Donald Trump, frustrated over a lack of progress, tapped Kushner, a White House senior adviser, to expedite work on the U.S.-Mexico border wall ahead of the 2020 election, The Washington Post reported Monday, citing current and former administration officials. The major task adds to the list of Kushner's other big-ticket items, such as securing a Middle East peace deal and shifting the U.S. immigration system to a more merit-based system.
Kushner '-- who told White House officials that Trump picked him to lead the border wall project '-- is holding biweekly meetings in the West Wing, according to administration officials who spoke to the Post. Executive-level White House gatherings about the wall, which used to be less formal, now require attendance from Cabinet-level officials.
During these meetings, Kushner reportedly asks those in attendance specific questions about construction progress, including where and how money is being spent. The president's son-in-law is also demanding officials devise a new plan for construction work and provide a timetable for specific targets.
Critics argue he lacks an understanding of the government limitations that have lagged construction projects thus far, but Kushner allies say he is bringing a ''private sector approach'' to the administration's efforts, according to the report.
Alex Jones reveals that for decades the Center for Disease Control has actively covered up evidence that supports the widely believed assertion that vaccines can most certainly cause autism in young patients.
By the way, get DNA Force Plus 50% off and get a free bottle of Brain Force Plus now!''The point is to get as much built in the next year or so, so the president can say in the face of intense, almost demented opposition he has made reasonable progress,'' Mark Krikorian, the president of Center for Immigration Studies, a think tank that advocates for less immigration, said of the new push to complete more barriers.
Completion of a massive border wall between the U.S. and Mexico was Trump's most lauded campaign promise during the 2016 election. Since entering office, however, a combination of funding limitations, a string of lawsuits, private property disputes and government red tape has kept his administration from moving quickly on construction projects.
It was reported earlier in November that the administration is preparing to submit court filings to take over private land around the border in Texas, where most of the borderland is privately owned. Kushner, for his part, has reportedly taken an aggressive view of the government's authority on eminent domain.
So far, the White House has completed about 83 miles of new wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, but most of these sections have been the replacement of old, dilapidated walls with newer ones. Kushner is aiming to complete at least 400 miles by November 2020, according to aides.
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State department releases detailed accounts of Biden-Ukraine corruption
Wed, 27 Nov 2019 17:28
(C) David McNew | Getty Images News | Getty Images Hunter Biden and Joe Biden
A liberal watchdog group's attempt to nail Rudy Giuliani has backfired in spectacular fashion after their FOIA request resulted in the US State Department releasing detailed accusations of corruption against the Bidens - based on interviews with former Ukrainian officials who were in charge of the investigations.Responding to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit from the group American Oversight, the State Department on Friday night released almost 100 pages of records detailing efforts by Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani to investigate corruption, which include contacts with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) earlier this year.
While American Oversight's 'gotcha' is that Giuliani had "multiple contacts" with Mike Pompeo and others while investigating Ukraine corruption, they completely ignore interview notes containing detailed allegations by former Ukraine Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin - who Joe Biden had fired, as well as his successor, prosecutor general Yuriy Lutsenko - who "believes Mr. Viktor Shokin the former Prosecutor General is honest."
Viktor Shokin:
On a January 23, 2019 phone call between Shokin and Giuliani, Igor Fruman, Lev Parnas and George Boyle, Shokin said:
"He was appointed to the position of General Prosecutor of Ukraine from 2015 until April of 2016, when he was removed at the request of Mr. Joseph Biden the Vice President of the United States."
"He [Shokin] became involved in a case against Mr. Mykola Zlochevsky the former Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources of Ukraine. The case was opened as a result of Mr. Zlochevsky giving himself/company permits to drill for gas and oil in Ukraine. Mr. Zlochevsky is also the owner of Burisma Holdings."
"Mr. Shokin stated that there are documents that list five (5) criminal cases in which Mr. Zlochevesky is listed, with the main case being for issuing illegal gas exploration permits. The following complaints are in the criminal case. Mr. Zlochevsky was laundering money Obtained assets by corrupt acts bribery Mr. Zlochevsky removed approximately twenty three million US dollars out of Ukraine without permission While seated as the Minister he approved two addition entities to receive permits for gas exploration Mr. Zlochevsky was the owner of two secret companies that were part of Burisma Holdings and gave those companies permits which made it possible for him to profit while he was the sitting Minister. "Mr Shokin further stated that there were several Burisma board appointments were made in 2014 as follows:
(C) Tucker Carlson Tonight Devon Archer (left) with Joe and Hunter Biden
Hunter Biden son of Vice President Joseph Biden Joseph Blade former CIA employee assigned to Anti-Terrorist Unit Alesksander Kwasnieski former President of Poland Devon Archer roomate to the Christopher Heinz the step-son of Mr. John Kerry United States Secretary of State "Mr. Shokin stated that these appointments were made by Mr. Slochevsky in order to protect himself."
Shokin then details how in July 2015, "US Ambassador Geoffrey R. Pyatt told him that the investigation has to be handled with white gloves, which according to Mr. Shokin, that implied do nothing. On or about September 2015 Mr. Pyatt gave a speech in Odessa where he stated that the cases were not investigated correctly and that Mr. Shokin may be corrupt."
"Mr. Shokin further stated that on February of 2016 warrants were placed on the accounts of multiple people in Ukraine. There were requests for information on Hunter Biden to which nothing was received."
"It is believed that Hunter Biden receives a salary, commission plus one million dollars."
"President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko [who Joe Biden threatened to withhold $1 billion in US loan guarantees] told Mr. Shokin not to investigate Burisma as it was not in the interest of Joe and/or Hunter Biden. Mr. Shokin was called into Mr. Poroshenko's office and told that the investigation into Burisma and the Managing Director where Hunter Biden is on the board, has caused Joe Biden to hold up one billion dollars in US aid to Ukraine.
"Mr. Shokin stated that on or around April of 2016 Mr. Petro Poroshenko called him and told him he had to be fired as the aid to the Ukraine was being withheld by Joe Biden. Mr. Biden told Mr. Poroshenko that he had evidence that Mr. Shokin was corrupt and needed to be fired. Mr. Shokin was dismissed in April of 2016 and the US aid was delivered within one and one half months."
"On a different point Mr. Shokin believes the current Ambassador Marie L. Yovanovitch denied his visa to travel to the US. Mr. Shokin stated that she is close to Mr. Biden. Mr. Shokin also stated that there were leaks by a person named Reshenko of the Ukrainian State Secret Service about the Manafort Black Book. Mr. Shokin stated that there is possible deceit in the Manafort Black Book."
Yuriy Lutsenko:
Lutsenko takes Shokin's interview one step further in a January 25 phone interview with Giuliani and associates - describing how Ukraine has two secretive units which are protected by a US Ambassador.
"Mr. Lutsenko went on to explain that there is a unit called Specialized Anticorruption Prosecutor's Office (SAP) which has under its purview National Anticorruption Bureau Ukraine (NABU) which investigates corruption cases that involved public figures from Mayors upward. He stated that the current US Ambassador protects SAP and NABU," adding "His office has absolutely no control over SAP or NABU and can't even ask what they are working on however they fall under his "control."
Of note, NABU was established in October 2014 "by Mr. George Kent who was the Deputy Chief to the Mission in Ukraine."
US Ambassador George Kent, who established NABU according to Lutsenko
Bidens and Burisma
Lutsenko "went on to say that he began looking at the same case Mr. Shokin was looking at (mentioned above) and he believes Hunter Biden receives millions of dollars in compensation from Burisma. He produced a document from Latvia that showed several million dollars that were distributed out of Burisma's account. The record showed two (2) companies and four (4) individuals receiving approximately sixteen million dollars in disbursements as follows:
Companies: Wirelogic Technology $14,665,982 Digitex $1,900,000 Individuals: Alexsander Kwasnewski $1,150,000 Alan Apter $302,887 Devon Archer Amount not revealed by Latvia Hunter Biden Amount not revealed by Latvia "Mr Lutsenko stated that there was also a payment of $900,000 to Rosemont Seneca Partners LLC for consulting fees. Hunter Biden is a partner in Rosemont Seneca Partners LLC along with Devon Archer and the dates of this transaction are approximately anywhere from January to December 2015. According to Mr. Lutsenko the $900,000 invoice was for services rendered for lobbying by Joe Biden."
Read the interviews below (and see the full release
here):
EU raises eyebrows at possible US encryption ban '' Naked Security
Wed, 27 Nov 2019 17:26
The growing battle over end-to-end encryption took another turn last week, when EU officials warned that they may not take kindly to a US encryption ban or insertion of crypto backdoor technology.
In June 2019, senior US government officials met to discuss whether they could legislate tech companies into not using unbreakable encryption. According to Politico, the National Security Council pondered whether to ask Congress to outlaw end-to-end encryption, which is a technology used by companies to keep your data safe and secure.
To recap briefly, US law enforcement worries about its targets such as criminals and terrorists ''going dark'' by using this technology to shield their communications. Banning it outright would make it easier for government agencies to access those messages and documents. Encryption advocates counter that making encryption breakable would also allow malicious actors such as foreign governments to steal domestic secrets and they also worry about unlawful access to information by their own governments.
US officials didn't reach a decision on the issue, but news of the conversation spooked MEP Moritz K¶rner enough to ask the European Commission some formal questions picked up by Glyn Moody over at Techdirt. K¶rner asked whether the Commission would consider a similar ban on encryption in the EU. He also asked what a US ban would mean for existing data exchange agreements between the EU and the US:
Would a ban on encryption in the USA render data transfers to the US illegal in light of the requirement of the EU GDPR for built-in data protection?
Currently, the two regions enjoy an agreement known as the EU-US Privacy Shield, which they introduced after the European Court of Justice invalidated a previous agreement called the International Safe Harbor Privacy Principles.
The Privacy Shield is a voluntary certification scheme for US businesses. By certifying under the scheme, US companies prove their adequacy to transfer and process data on EU citizens. It shows that they have made some effort to follow Europe's strict privacy principles in the absence of any cohesive federal privacy law in the US.
On 20 November, European Commission officials gave their answers, confirming that they would not consider a ban on encryption in the region and pointing out that the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) explicitly refers to encryption as a privacy protection measure.
The next answer was a bit more contentious:
Should the U.S. enact new legislation in this area, the Commission will carefully assess its impact on the adequacy finding for the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield, a framework which the Commission has found to provide a level of data protection that is essentially equivalent to the level of the protection in EU, thus allowing for the transfer of personal data from the EU to participating companies in the U.S. without any further restrictions.
In short, the jury is out on how the EU would react to cross-Atlantic data transfers if the US implemented crypto backdoors.
Ashley Winton, partner at McDermott Will & Emery UK LLP and specialist in data privacy law, explained that a split between the two territories on data exchange could have serious consequences. He told us:
We know that under the GDPR personal data must be held securely, and so legislating against strong encryption or introducing legal back doors, is not going to be good for the safe passage of European Personal Data '' howsoever it gets there.
Unlike the annual review of Privacy Shield, if the European Court rules that the transfer of Personal Data to the US is not safe, all affected transfers will be stopped immediately and a world of data protection compliance pain will ensue.
The EU's reservations about an encryption ban sit in stark contrast to the UK's approach.
The Investigatory Powers Act 2016 compels communication providers to let the government know in advance of any new encryption products and services, allowing it to request technical assistance in overcoming them. Last month, the UK and the US signed an agreement under the March 2018 CLOUD Act allowing each other to demand electronic data directly from tech companies based in the other country, without legal barriers.
Winton said that another soon-to-be decided case will once again bring the issue of data transfer from the EU to the US into the spotlight. On 12 December 2019, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) will decide on a case known as Schrems 2. This is a legal challenge against Facebook in Ireland by Austrian Attorney and privacy advocate Max Schrems.
Schrems was responsible for bringing down the original Safe Harbour agreement. Concerned by Facebook's cooperation with the US intelligence services as revealed by Edward Snowden, he filed a complaint with the Irish Data Protection Commissioner complaining that the transfer of his personal data to Facebook US violated his rights. The ECJ ruled in his favour.
Schrems 2 focuses on another mechanism used to transfer data from the EU to the US: standard contractual clauses (SCCs). These are bilateral agreements between EU and US organizations based on standard templates, and they're often used by companies in countries that don't have an adequacy agreement.
SCCs are a big deal because they are the go-to mechanism for extraterritorial data transfers among 88% of respondents, according to this report by the International Association of Privacy Professionals.
We will stay tuned.
D66: het woord 'bemanning' moet in de ban | Binnenland | Telegraaf.nl
Wed, 27 Nov 2019 17:09
Lilian Helder van de PVV maakte zich druk over de 'structurele krapte bij de politie'. Ze wilde graag een debat met minister Grapperhaus, kondigde ze aan. 'žGisteren en vandaag lieten twee burgemeesters weten dat politiebureaus, de weinigen die we nog hebben, niet meer fulltime open zijn en ook niet volledig bemand.''
Het ene gat werd met het andere gedicht, aldus Helder. Ook Attje Kuiken van de PvdA stelde dat 'acuut radicale maatregelen' nodig zijn. Zij steunde het debat. Monica den Boer had echter andere prioriteiten. Zij begon met een subtiele correctie van het betoog van Helder.
'žHet gaat ten eerste over bemensing, niet over bemanning'', aldus Den Boer, die ook geen steun had voor het verzoek tot een debat. Haar opmerkingen maken het nodige los op sociale media.
Dagelijks tijdens de lunch het laatste nieuws in je inbox?Ongeldig e-mailadres. Vul nogmaals in aub.
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Jeffree Star has apologised for contaminated Conspiracy palettes | Dazed Beauty
Wed, 27 Nov 2019 17:01
Another day, another influencer make-up product being dragged for contamination.
Following on from Jaclyn Hill refunding all customers over her ''mouldy'' lipsticks and Jojo Siwa's collaboration with Claire's being recalled for containing a dangerous level of asbestos, Jeffree Star is the latest celeb to come under fire for faulty make-up. The YouTuber has had to apologise to fans after mysterious hairs were found in his new eyeshadow palette.
Earlier this month, Star released a beauty collaboration with fellow YouTuber Shane Dawson, alongside a seven-part video series, The Beautiful World of Jeffree Star which followed the making of the collection. Both the series and the collection were massively successful. To date, the videos have collectively racked up 142 million views while over one million Conspiracy eyeshadow palettes were sold in just 30 minutes, according to Star.
However, soon after, a number of fans who had purchased the palette took to social media to share that they had discovered mysterious hairs in the product.
''Hey Jeffree, I love the #ConspiracyPalette but I was swatching ''pig-ment'' and found a hair like material in it. I just wanted to address the issue and hopefully get it resolved,'' one unhappy customer tweeted, while another wrote, ''I wasn't going to post this but the hair ruined my eyeshadow pan, I was not expecting this from JSC @JeffreeStar @shanedawson still going to use my palette regardless I was just not expecting huge ass fibers in my palette. I'm shook I still love yall.''
hey jeffree, i love the #ConspiracyPalette but i was swatching ''pig-ment'' and found a hair like material in it. i just wanted to address the issue and hopefully get it resolved pic.twitter.com/q2bfrhitr4
'-- kira (@debrowerkira) November 11, 2019i wasn't going to post this but the hair ruined my eyeshadow pan, i was not expecting this from JSC @JeffreeStar@shanedawson still going to use my palette regardless i was just not expecting huge ass fibers in my palette. im shook ' ¸ i still love yall pic.twitter.com/90ZpOjlRA6
'-- angelica rae (@angelicaxrae) November 20, 2019I just got my palette tonight and found a fiber in "not a fact". It's batch 9k6. It's hard to see, but it's there. Just wanted to chime in. I've already sent an email. pic.twitter.com/tWFwJHxzg0
'-- Fuu Yuki (@xSexyWafflesx) November 27, 2019I found a hair in my shade diet root beer such a bummer.
'-- Brittany (@Brittnmyers15) November 15, 2019Facing backlash and comparisons to the Jaclyn Hill fiasco, Star took to Twitter to publicly address the complaints and apologise. ''Hey everyone, it's come to our attention that a few dozen people out of 1.1 million palettes produced, have a few ribbon fibers embedded in their products. The lab has done a full investigation & we found the issue. I pride myself on quality and fully apologise for this error,'' he tweeted, alongside a statement from the lab and video of how the palettes are created.
''Moving forward my manufacturer will make sure this never happens again and have put in place several precautions and steps to avoid the ribbon issue,'' Star continued, adding that all affected palettes had been replaced and refunded.
As well as tweeting, Star took to Instagram stories to defend his brand and hit back at accusations. ''35 palettes out of 1.1 million have had issues. That is 0.000%,'' he said. ''I am fully investigating everything and a lot of people are trying to put this next to the Jaclyn Hill lipstick launch. You guys, stop.''
This is not the first time Star and his products have faced criticism. The YouTuber has a long history of racism and misogyny, including telling a woman to ''shut up you fucking n***** bitch...you're a n***** you ugly ass bitch'' and calling a person of colour an ape.
Despite posting an apology video in 2017, Star's has continued to use racist language. Last year, Starr's former hairstylist Daved Anthony Munoz, shared screenshots of text messages allegedly sent by Starr in which he again uses the N-word and calls beauty guru Jackie Aina a ''gorilla.''
Earlier this year, fans also voiced their complaints after lipsticks received as part of the YouTuber's Mystery Box were found to be 'sweaty' and covered in unidentified moisture.
Living On The Edge - Coastal Erosion UK | Confused.com
Wed, 27 Nov 2019 15:19
Happisburgh, a town just under 20 miles away from Norwich, is the most at-risk area of coastal erosion in the UK over the next 20 years. There are 10,377 houses in the NR12 postcode, which includes Happisburgh, Waxham, and the more inland towns of Coltishall, Stalham, and Wroxham. You'd pay an average of £295,182 for a property here. And the average home insurance premium (buildings and contents) is £170.02. Here the shoreline could erode back into the town. The figures below show how far back it's expected to move.
This could mean that houses and holiday lets close to the shoreline could fall into the sea. If residents' houses were destroyed beyond repair, the data shows that the average rebuild cost for houses in the postcode area is currently £229,816.
Shocking map shows the UK coastal towns at risk of being wiped out over the next 20 years | Daily Mail Online
Wed, 27 Nov 2019 15:19
England's disappearing coastline: Shocking map reveals coastal towns at risk of being wiped out over next 20 years - and suggests 7,000 homes will fall into the sea by end of century The interactive map was commissioned by insurance provider confused.comAround 7,000 homes will disappear into the sea by the end of the centuryHappisburgh in Norfolk will be worst hit with 318ft of erosion in the next 20 yearsExperts hope the map will help coastal residents assess the threat to their homeBy Ian Randall For Mailonline
Published: 13:20 EST, 19 November 2019 | Updated: 02:48 EST, 20 November 2019
A shocking map reveals the English coastal towns most likely to collapse into the sea as shores erode over the next 20 years.
Experts found that the east coast is being hardest hit, with the erosion rate the fastest in Yorkshire and the Humber, where 56 per cent of the coastline is at risk.
Alongside this, around a third of the coast in the south of England is being actively eroded '-- threatening such areas as Norfolk, Suffolk and East/West Sussex.
The ongoing retreat of the shoreline will cause around 7,000 homes to disappear into the sea by the end of century, experts warn '-- unless more action is taken.
Protection is particularly needed in the counties of Norfolk, Tyne and Wear, Suffolk and Yorkshire over the next two decades.
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A shocking map reveals the English coastal towns most likely to collapse into the sea as shores erode over the next 20 years
Experts found that the east coast is being hardest hit, with the erosion rate the fastest in Yorkshire and the Humber, where 56 per cent of the coastline is at risk. Pictured, a road collapsing into the ocean at Skipsea Cliff, near Hornsea, in the East Riding of Yorkshire
The interactive map '-- which can be viewed online here '-- was commissioned by home insurance provider confused.com and uses data collected by the UK Environmental Agency's National Coastal Erosion Risk Mapping project.
This is joined by statistics from the Marine Climate Change Impacts Partnership.
The erosion figures are based on a scenario in which no active interventions are made to help halt the coastline's retreat '-- and predicts the state of the UK's vulnerable coastal areas over the next 20, 50 and 100 years.
Alongside the projected loss of thousands of homes, agency data also suggests that around 520,000 properties are presently in areas that are at risk of coastal flooding.
If no action is taken, experts warn, this figure could be trebled to around 1.5 million homes by the 2080s.
According to UK environment minister Th(C)r¨se Coffey, 'one in six people in England are already living in properties at risk of flooding.'
This hazard is exacerbated by coastal erosion, rising sea levels and climate change.
'Coastal erosion has become one of the most worrying issues for UK homeowners in seaside towns,' said Confused.com head of home Tom Vaughan.
'Our research highlights the increasing risk that many coastal residents are facing, to the point where some are ultimately looking at losing their homes over the next 20 years.'
'As land erodes, we could be seeing more expensive insurance premiums, as the danger of damage from climate change is higher than living inland.'
The map, he added, has been designed to help people living in areas with a high risk of erosion understand what this means for them.
To this end, the map also reveals the average cost of rebuilding a home in each area to replace those lost to the sea.
The ongoing retreat of the shoreline will cause around 7,000 homes to disappear into the sea by the end of century, experts warn '-- unless more action is taken. Pictured, a collapsed section of shoreline at South Cliff, Hornsea, in the East Riding of Yorkshire
WHICH PARTS OF THE ENGLISH COASTLINE WILL BE THE WORST HIT BY EROSION?The following areas of England's coastline will be the worst hit by erosion:
COASTAL AREA:
1. Happisburgh, Norfolk
2. Kessingland, Suffolk
3. Hornsea, East Riding of Yorkshire
4. Withernsea, East Riding of Yorkshire
5. Sunderland, Tyne & Wear
6. Filey, North Yorkshire
7. Camber, East Sussex
Pevensey Bay, East Sussex
Shoreham-By-Sea, West Sussex
Bognor Regis, West Sussex
LAND ERODED AFTER 20 YEARS:
318 feet (97m)
230 feet (70m)
223 feet (68m)
200 feet (61m)
131 feet (40m)
131 feet (40m)
131 feet (40m)
131 feet (40m)
131 feet (40m)
131 feet (40m)
Alongside the projected loss of thousands of homes, data also suggests that around 520,000 properties are presently in areas that are at risk of coastal flooding. Pictured, the end of the road in Happisburgh, Norfolk, where washouts swept away a coastal street
According to the researchers, the worst hit town in the UK is likely to by Happisburg, in Norfolk.
The town is predicted to lose around 318 feet (97m) of coastal land in the next two decades '-- the equivalent length to two football pitches.
10,377 houses presently stand in the local NR12 postcode '-- and 35 homes have already been lost due to cliff collapse.
What is coastal erosion? How tides and geology mean some areas are far more at risk of being washed awayThe occurrence of coastal erosion is dependent upon the balance between the resistance, or erodibility, of the coastline and the strength, or erosivity, of the waves and tides affecting the area.
These conditions are, in turn, reliant upon a number of factors, including topography, the composition and structure of the geological formations exposed at the coast, the state of man-made coastal defences, local currents and tidal range, wave climate (as characterised by wave height, period, direction and fetch), groundwater, sediment supply, and relative sea level.
Consequently, rates of coastal erosion and accretion are very variable at regional, national and international scales.
Coastal erosion typically results in a landward retreat of the coastline. This can increase the risk of coastal flooding and result in loss of land and damage to buildings, infrastructure and agricultural land.
Sudden coastal erosion events, particularly those in the vicinity of coastal cliffs, may directly endanger the lives of people. The movement of salt-water into freshwater areas (saline intrusion) can occur during coastal flooding and can impact upon the biodiversity of previously freshwater or terrestrial ecosystems.
It has been estimated that across England and Wales 113,000 residential properties, 9,000 commercial properties and 5,000 hectares of agricultural land are within areas potentially at risk of coastal erosion, which translate to a capital value of assets at risk of approximately £7.7billion for England and Wales (DEFRA, 2001).
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ICE arrested 250 foreign students at fake university in metro Detroit
Wed, 27 Nov 2019 13:19
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ICE has arrested about 250 students who were enrolled at a fake university in Farmington Hills set up by ICE to lure in students. Tanya Wildt, Detroit Free Press
About 90 additional foreign students of a fake university in metro Detroit created by the Department of Homeland Security have been arrested in recent months.
A total of about 250 students have now been arrested since January on immigration violations by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) as part of a sting operation by federal agents who enticed foreign-born students, mostly from India, to attend the school that marketed itself as offering graduate programs in technology and computer studies, according to ICE officials.
Many of those arrested have been deported to India while others are contesting their removals. One has been allowed to stay after being granted lawful permanent resident status by an immigration judge.
This is the building at 30500 Northwestern Hwy. in Farmington Hills south of 13 Mile Rd. that was used as the fake University of Farmington campus created by the Department of Homeland Security as part of a sting operation targeting foreign students, seen on Thursday, February 7, 2019, in Farmington Hills. (Photo: Eric Seals, Detroit Free Press)
The students had arrived legally in the U.S. on student visas, but since the University of Farmington was later revealed to be a creation of federal agents, they lost their immigration status after it was shut down in January. The school was located on Northwestern Highway near 13 Mile Road in Farmington Hills and staffed with undercover agents posing as university officials.
Out of the approximately 250 students arrested on administrative charges, "nearly 80% were granted voluntary departure and departed the United States," the Detroit office of ICE's Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) told the Free Press in a statement Tuesday.
Out of the remaining 20%, about half of them have received a final order of removal; some of them were ordered removed by an immigration judge, and others "were given an expedited removal by U.S. Customs and Border Protection," said HSI Detroit.
The remaining 10% "have either filed for some sort of relief or are contesting their removals with Executive Office for Immigration Review," said HSI Detroit.
ICE said in March that 161 students had been arrested, which has now increased to about 250.
Meanwhile, seven of the eight recruiters who were criminally charged for trying to recruit students have pleaded guilty and have been sentenced in Detroit, including Prem Rampeesa, 27, last week. The remaining one is to be sentenced in January.
Attorneys for the students arrested said they were unfairly trapped by the U.S. government since the Department of Homeland Security had said on its website that the university was legitimate. An accreditation agency that was working with the U.S. on its sting operation also listed the university as legitimate.
More: Emails show how fake university in metro Detroit lured students
More: ICE arrests more students at fake university, others being removed from US
More: Attorney: Fake Farmington university sting by ICE was entrapment
There were more than 600 students enrolled at the university, which was created a few years ago by federal law enforcement officials with ICE. Records filed with the state Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) show that the University of Farmington was incorporated in January 2016.
Many of the students had enrolled with the university through a program known as Curricular Practical Training (CPT), which allows students to work in the U.S through a F-1 visa program for foreign students. Some had transferred to the University of Farmington from other schools that had lost accreditation, which means they would no longer be in immigration status and allowed to remain in the U.S.
Emails obtained by the Free Press earlier this year showed how the fake university attracted students to the university, which cost about $12,000 on average in tuition and fees per year.
The U.S. "trapped the vulnerable people who just wanted to maintain (legal immigration) status," Rahul Reddy, a Texas attorney who represented or advised some of the students arrested, told the Free Press this week. "They preyed upon on them."
The fake university is believed to have collected millions of dollars from the unsuspecting students. An email from the university's president, named Ali Milani, told students that graduate programs' tuition is $2,500 per quarter and the average cost is $1,000 per month.
"They made a lot of money," Reddy said of the U.S. government.
University of Farmington office in Farmington Hills, Michigan. Photo taken in 2017. (Photo: Matt Friedman/Tanner Friedman Strategic Communications)
No one has filed a lawsuit or claim against the U.S. government for collecting the money or for allegedly entrapping the students.
Attorneys for ICE and the Department of Justice maintain that the students should have known it was not a legitimate university because it did not have classes in a physical location. Some CPT programs have classes combined with work programs at companies.
"Their true intent could not be clearer," Assistant U.S. Attorney Brandon Helms wrote in a sentencing memo this month for Rampeesa, one of the eight recruiters, of the hundreds of students enrolled. "While 'enrolled' at the University, one hundred percent of the foreign citizen students never spent a single second in a classroom. If it were truly about obtaining an education, the University would not have been able to attract anyone, because it had no teachers, classes, or educational services."
In the memo, federal prosecutor Baker said the case raises questions about the U.S. "foreign-student visa program."
Baker wrote that "immigration and visa programs have been hot-button topics in the United States for years and national scrutiny has only been increasing. Fairly or unfairly, Rampeesa's conduct casts a shadow on the foreign-student visa program in general, and it raises questions as to whether the potential for abuse threatens to outweigh the benefits."
Reddy said, though, that in some cases, students who transferred out from the University of Farmington after realizing they didn't have classes on-site, were still arrested.
Admissions section of the website of the University of Farmington, a fake university created by ICE and Dept. of Homeland Security. It reads: "We are very excited about welcoming you to the UF community and helping you" (Photo: Department of Homeland Security)
Rampeesa was sentenced Nov, 19 to one year in prison by Judge Gershwin Drain of U.S. District Court in Detroit. With time already served of 295 days, he should be out in about two to three months, and will then be deported to India, said his attorney Wanda Cal. He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit visa fraud and harbor aliens for profit.
Detroit ICE spokesman Khaalid Walls said the other recruiters sentenced so far are Barath Kakireddy, 29, of Lake Mary, Florida, 18 months; Suresh Kandala, 31, of Culpeper, Virginia, 18 months; Santosh Sama, 28, of Fremont, California, 24 months; Avinash Thakkallapally, 28, of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, 15 months; Aswanth Nune, 26, of Atlanta, Georgia, 12 months; Naveen Prathipati, 26, of Dallas, Texas, 12 months.
Phanideep Karnati, 35, of Louisville, Kentucky, is to be sentenced in January.
In court, Rampeesa's attorney, Cal, said his client had no criminal record and came from a rural background in India.
He was trying to "help his family back home," Cal said before Judge Drain. "My client is very remorseful. He is really a good person caught up in a bad situation."
Rampeesa arrived in the U.S. legally a few years ago on a student visa and earned in 2016 a master's degree in computer science at Northwestern Polytechnic University. But the university later lost its accreditation, which put his immigration status in jeopardy. He had spent $40,000 in tuition and fees for his studies at the university.
"He was desperate to find a way to stay in the United States," Rampeesa's attorney, Cal, wrote in his sentencing memo. He wanted to get a Ph.D. in computer science, she said.
Rampeesa then met Sama, who recruited him to attend the University of Farmington and told him he could get tuition credits if he recruited other students, Cal said.
Sama and Rampeesa were working with people they thought were university officials, but were actually undercover agents for the Department of Homeland Security.
"My client has no other criminal history, not even a traffic ticket," Cal said in court last week.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Baker said in court that Rampeesa was "aware it was completely fake," that "it was just for maintaining status."
"He chose the University of Farmington for a reason," Baker said of Rampeesa.
In calling for a sentence of 24 to 30 months, Baker said: "It's important to send a message ... this type of crime will not be tolerated."
Accompanying Baker in the court last week was Assistant U.S. Attorney Ronald Waterstreet, who helped prosecute the case.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has taken offline the website of the University of Farmington, which it had created for a sting operation. The website was taken down on Jan. 31, 2019 after a federal indictment was unsealed on Jan. 30. The website for the fake university now contains a logo for the investigative unit of ICE and reads: "The University of Farmington has been closed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement." (Photo: Dept. of Homeland Security)
Judge Drain sentenced him to 1 year, but he will be released in two to three months because of time served, and then deported.
Drain said of Rampeesa: "You don't have any criminal history. ... I don't think you're a danger to the public."
Rampeesa received a shorter sentence than Sama because he was not recruiting other students for cash, but for tuition credits provided by the university, Judge Drain said.
Rampeesa wrote a letter to the court pleading for leniency that was read before the judge. A Telugu-speaking translator was at his side in court, translating the courtroom proceedings. Most of the students were from Telugu-speaking regions of India in the state of Andhra Pradesh.
He said he was trying in the U.S. after his previous university's loss of accreditation made his master's degree "worthless."
"I am ashamed," Rampeesa wrote. "I made a very bad decision" to recruit students that "bought shame to my family name."
Contact Niraj Warikoo: nwarikoo@freepress.com or 313-2234792. Twitter @nwarikoo
Read or Share this story: https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/2019/11/27/ice-arrested-250-foreign-students-fake-university-metro-detroit/4277686002/
Twitter Will Delete Inactive Accounts Starting December 11th
Wed, 27 Nov 2019 13:14
Some time ago, Twitter caused quite the ruckus by disabling all political ads on their platform. Today, Twitter announced that it will start deleting inactive accounts starting December 11th. Accounts that have not been signed into for six months will get the ax. If you have an old Twitter handle that you don't use anymore and want to hold on to, it's best that you log in to it. Don't worry though, the actual deletions will take place much later, so you have some time. You will, however, run into some trouble if you are unable to log in to your account.
Here's an example I got: ''Don't lose access to @BecheBins'' (it's a robot I wrote that used to tweet what coloured bin to put out) pic.twitter.com/lhsZsFXmiY
'-- Jonathan Whiteland (@chailey_) November 26, 2019
Users will receive an email asking them to log in to their account and follow the instructions on the screen. Just logging in will suffice, so you don't have to Tweet anything. Twitter states that they're doing this to "present more accurate, credible information" that people can rely on. It'll probably help users find accounts without having to wade through a sea of abandoned handles. Besides, Twitter could use a good purge.
There is one problem, however. Twitter handles of deceased users run the risk of getting shut down. Friends and families of the deceased often hold on to such accounts for sentimental reasons. Additionally, it is unclear as to how the changes will affect users who have been permanently booted off the platform. The person who created the thread said that he has reached out to Twitter for clarification about the aforementioned issues.
It isn't all bad, though. Once the purge starts, it would be an excellent time to get your hands on that elusive handle someone held on to for years. There are a lot of interesting ones that will very likely go up for grabs, as they've been inactive for fairly long. So, if you have a handle that you've been eyeing, keep a close watch on it starting December. You'll never know when it'll free up.
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Is There Actually Science Behind 'Dopamine Fasting'? | Live Science
Wed, 27 Nov 2019 13:13
HomeNews(Image: (C) Shutterstock)
"Dopamine fasting" may be Silicon Valley's latest wellness trend '-- but does this sciency-sounding fad actually have evidence to back it up?
During a so-called dopamine fast, extreme practitioners abstain from any experience that brings them pleasure, including but not limited to sex, food, exercise, social media, video games and talking, according to Vox. Some people go so far as to avoid making eye contact, chatting with friends or even performing moderately-fast movements, all in an effort to avoid stimulation, the New York Times reported.
By taking a break from sins and small pleasures, fasters attempt to "reset" the brain's reward system, a network wired, in part, by a chemical called dopamine. After a fast, they report feeling more focused and finding more joy in the activities they'd avoided, according to Business Insider.
Despite its supposed benefits and good intentions, dopamine fasting has stirred up controversy.
Dr. Cameron Sepah, a psychologist who helped popularize dopamine fasting, has argued that some people have pushed the practice to an unfounded extreme and attracted attention from "clickbait journalists" bent on "mocking Silicon Valley." Meanwhile, some recent news articles have argued that the trend oversimplifies the role of dopamine in the brain to the point of being inaccurate.
Um.Just because rich white dudes in Silicon Valley do it doesn't mean it's smart.Or makes sense at all."Dopamine fasting" is 1) illogical 2) massively neuroscientifically ill-informed 3) Not worth media coverage, let alone the NYT.https://t.co/3C2B5fWLJiNovember 10, 2019
To clear up any confusion, Live Science spoke with experts about the neurobiology of addiction, tried-and-tested therapeutic practices and the many roles of dopamine in the brain. The take-home message is that "dopamine fasting," though perhaps poorly named, grew out of established methods in addiction therapy and may be beneficial '-- if executed properly.
Related: 10 Things You Didn't Know About the Brain
First of all, what does dopamine do? First and foremost, dopamine is a neurotransmitter '-- a chemical passed between neurons like hand-written notes between schoolchildren. Neighboring neurons pass these "notes" through intricate networks in the brain. By exchanging neurotransmitters, brain cells work together to process information and direct behavior, according to BrainFacts.org. Many brain networks rely on dopamine to function properly, including a collection of brain structures seated in the center of the organ known as the "mesolimbic reward pathway." This evolutionarily ancient pathway helps control our response to rewards, like food, sex, and drugs, according to the Incahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.. From this pathway, dopamine ventures out to other brain regions that shape our memory, expectations, emotions and reactions about rewards.
Although often described as a "feel-good" chemical, dopamine doesn't work by triggering feelings of pleasure and happiness in the brain's reward center, Michael Treadway, a clinical psychologist and neuroscientist at Emory University, told Live Science.
"This is still hotly debated '... but I think most dopamine researchers today would agree that dopamine is not about pleasure," Treadway said. Instead, dopamine may be more about motivation, the willingness to expend effort to reach goals and gain rewards, he said. But that said, the chemical serves many functions in the brain.
The exact action of dopamine depends on which neurons send and receive the chemical, and where those cells sit in the brain. But generally speaking, dopamine acts as a kind of "switchboard" that tunes how different brain areas handle incoming information, Treadway said. The chemical helps direct our attention, budget our energy levels and literally move our bodies through space.
It's not actually possible to completely "fast" or eliminate dopamine from your body with lifestyle changes, which is lucky because doing so would likely have serious consequences.
"Obviously, if you were actually to fast from dopamine it would probably be fatal," he added.
No one is actually fasting from dopamine It's important to note that, despite the name, the original idea behind dopamine fasting is not to literally lower dopamine levels.
"The goal is not to reduce dopamine or elicit functional brain changes," Sepah, who is a clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco, told Live Science in an email. Instead, dopamine fasting encourages people to reduce the "time spent on problematic behavior," he said.
Still, research shows there is a connection between dopamine and problematic behavior, such as drug abuse.
When the brain picks up clues that it may soon receive a reward '-- whether that reward be food, illicit drugs or likes on social media '-- a flash of dopamine zaps the reward pathway, according to Slate. Another hit of dopamine comes with the reward itself. Addictive substances and behaviors repeatedly bombard the reward pathway with huge surges of dopamine, and over time, the brain morphs in response.
"When we image [drug users'] brains, we find that in the immediate aftermath of using they actually have less dopamine and fewer dopamine receptors than those who don't use drugs," said Dr. Anna Lembke, an associate professor and medical director of addiction medicine at Stanford University.
All addictive drugs cause dopamine levels to spike in one way or another, Lembke said, and in response, the brain weakens or eliminates the receptors built to respond to the chemical. That means drug users need more of the substance to elicit the same surge of dopamine, and that other rewards, like food and social interaction, steadily lose their appeal.
By any other name As a clinician, Lembke recommends that her patients with drug addictions enter a "period of abstinence" in order to reset the brain's reward system. By its rpurest definition, a period of abstinence is not unlike a dopamine fast, in which people abstain from problematic behaviors.
"I call them detox periods," Dr. David Greenfield, an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine, told Live Science. "We go through a period where we allow those receptors to calm down."
Greenfield treats a destructive behavior that may impact the Silicon Valley folks drawn to dopamine fasting: compulsive internet and technology use. Dopamine surges in the brain's reward system each time we so much as glance at a smartphone or laptop screen, he said, and rewarding notifications and media pop up unpredictably whenever we go online. People grow addicted to devices, just as they do to drugs, Greenfield said. Lembke said she has witnessed the phenomenon, too.
"People are coming into my clinic with severe, pathological, compulsive use of these interfaces," she said. Although internet and video-game addictions have yet to be recognized as true disorders in the bible of mental health disorders, the DSM-5, experts recognize that both substance use and excessive screen time wreak similar havoc in the brain. And just like drug addiction, the goal of treatment "is to detox from the most problematic sites and content," Greenfield wrote in a 2018 article on internet and video game addiction.
But after the initial period of abstinence, the real work begins, he added.
Related: 7 Ways to Short-Circuit Kids' Mobile Addiction
What happens after a fast? The buzz around dopamine fasting blew up around what people do (or don't do) during the fast itself. But in the long term, fasters must take additional steps if they aim to overcome their problematic behaviors.
"One of the things that happens when people initially cut themselves off from these rewards ... is that they suddenly become aware of themselves and their bodies in a new way," Lembke said. Without substances, screens or other stimuli to distract them, people suddenly become reacquainted with themselves, she said. "That, in fact, can be terrifying for people."
To move past these withdrawal periods and avoid relapse, people must address the roots of their addictive behaviors, Greenfield said. For example, people practicing compulsive internet use must learn how to place healthy limits on their use of the technology. Just like those addicted to drugs, they must come to recognize and cope with triggers that push them toward destructive behavior.
Mental health professionals can guide people through this process using standardized techniques like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), a protocol that helps people re-evaluate their patterns of thinking and behavior, and better cope with difficult situations, according to the American Psychological Association. (Sepah claims his recommended version of dopamine fasting is actually based on CBT techniques aimed at empowering people to overcome unhelpful impulses.)
"The idea is to ... temper our consumption" of rewards, Lembke said. In an age in which we enjoy easy access to addictive substances and a million other distractions pull at our attention, sometimes, we must "consciously abstain" from behaviors that could spiral out of control, she said.
That said, you probably shouldn't cut out all pleasurable experiences from your life, Greenfield added.
"I don't think it's realistic, and I'm not even sure it's healthy" to completely eliminate all pleasurable experiences, he said. "I am not familiar with any programs that advocate for that, and that's certainly not within the realm of typical medical treatment."
Top 10 Disruptive Technologies America's Opioid-Use Epidemic: 5 Startling Facts 7 Beauty Trends that Are Bad for Your Health Originally published on Live Science.
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How to Feel Nothing Now, in Order to Feel More Later - The New York Times
Wed, 27 Nov 2019 13:13
A day of dopamine fasting in San Francisco.
James Sinka, on fast day. Credit... Peter Prato for The New York Times SAN FRANCISCO '-- Everything was going really well for the men of Tennessee Street. Women wanted to talk to them, investors wanted to invest, their new site got traffic, phones were buzzing, their Magic: The Gathering cards were appreciating. This all was exactly the problem.
They tried to tamp the pleasure. They would not eat for days (intermittent fasting). They would eschew screens (digital detox). It was not enough. Life was still so good and pleasurable.
And so they came to the root of it: dopamine, a neurotransmitter that is involved in how we feel pleasure. The three of them '-- all in their mid-20s and founders of SleepWell, a sleep analysis start-up '-- needed to go on a dopamine fast.
''We're addicted to dopamine,'' said James Sinka, who of the three fellows is the most exuberant about their new practice. ''And because we're getting so much of it all the time, we end up just wanting more and more, so activities that used to be pleasurable now aren't. Frequent stimulation of dopamine gets the brain's baseline higher.''
There is a growing dopamine-avoidance community in town and the concept has quickly captivated the media.
Dr. Cameron Sepah is a start-up investor, professor at UCSF Medical School and dopamine faster. He uses the fasting as a technique in clinical practice with his clients, especially, he said, tech workers and venture capitalists.
The name '-- dopamine fasting '-- is a bit of a misnomer. It's more of a stimulation fast. But the name works well enough, Dr. Sepah said.
''Dopamine is just a mechanism that explains how addictions can become reinforced, and makes for a catchy title,'' he wrote in an email. ''The title's not to be taken literally.''
On a recent cool morning, Mr. Sinka and his start-up co-founder Andrew Fleischer, both 24 years old, were beginning their fast while Alberto Scicali, 26, another founder, managed the start-up from his bedroom.
Mr. Sinka, who has a mop of curly hair, was wearing water shoes and a cable-knit sweater as he did light morning stretching. Mr. Fleischer was reading a book.
A dopamine fast is simple because it is basically a fast of everything.
They would not be eating. They would not look at any screens. They would not listen to music. They would not exercise. They would not touch other bodies for any reason, especially not for sex. No work. No eye contact. No talking more than absolutely necessary. A photographer could take their picture, but there could be no flash.
The number of things to not do is potentially endless.
The ultimate dopamine fast is complete sensory deprivation, like maybe floating in a dark water tank or locking oneself in a closet. But the dopamine fasters of San Francisco do hope to keep existing in the normal world.
''Any kind of fasting exists on a spectrum,'' Mr. Sinka said as he slowly moved through sun salutations, careful not to get his heart racing too much, already worried he was talking too much that morning.
Mr. Fleischer was looking through a textbook of images of chemical compounds and then writing some of them down in his notebook.
''I like to find patterns in chemical compounds, and so I'm going through my books and finding quite a few,'' he said.
That is how he would spend his morning. Later he would move outside to sit and feel the air for a while.
The three of them graduated recently from the Rochester Institute of Technology, where they met and started working together. Their start-up was going through evolutions every few months. It began as a coffee extraction company that turned into a cannabinoid extraction company (much more profitable) that turned into a cannabinoid synthesis for sleep aid that turned into, now, sleep coaching.
Their job is to put their clients in various sleep gadgetry '-- the Dreem sleep headset, Oura sleep ring, Withings sleep mat '-- and test interventions.
Their apartment is clean and modern with an empty wine fridge and few decorations, save for a ''Breaking Bad'' poster.
Their usual schedule of all day, every day hacking away on different projects was too much. Investors and clients had demands. Their start-up iterations had turned into a real job.
''I'd never thought about fasting work,'' Mr. Sinka said. ''Once there was pressure around work, though, it became less fun, and I thought maybe we'll try fasting work.''
Like a weekend? No, he said, they don't have time to not work for that long.
But fasting from work got them thinking more about fasting everything.
Throughout that day of their dopamine fast, they wandered slowly from room to room. They read. They put on more and more sweaters. The food fasting makes them cold. They went on walks, though these are tricky because they have to avoid needing to ask for anything like water or bathrooms.
''I avoid eye contact because I know it excites me. I avoid busy streets because they're jarring,'' Mr. Sinka said. ''I have to fight the waves of delicious foods.''
Silicon Valley is not the first group to discover that moderating emotions or spending periods trying to feel less can lead to happiness. In their quest, they are moving toward two very old groups: those in silent meditation and the Amish.
Steven Nolt, a professor at Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania and the author of ''A History of the Amish,'' said parts of the dopamine fast do echo elements of Amish life.
''Compared with many of the rest of us, you would find Amish emotion to be more muted,'' Dr. Nolte said. ''The idea of limits on life, that there should be limits and yield signs, is a pretty central Amish assumption.''
But ultimately the Amish would not approve of the dopamine fasters.
''They don't have a great deal of confidence in individuals on their own making good decisions,'' he said.
Karen Donovan, who is developing a new Vipassana silent meditation center in Silicon Valley, said she sees this trend as moving closer to the ultimate dopamine fast: sitting on a dark floor with eyes closed for 10 days.
''There's a growing self-awareness of what in Vipassana terms we would call suffering,'' she said.
As the day wore on at Tennessee Street, Mr. Sinka, now wearing a thick vest, continued to hang out at home doing basically nothing.
''Your brain and your biology have become adapted to high levels of stimulus so our project is to reset those receptors so you're satiated again,'' he said.
Mr. Sinka returned to resting.
''Yeah, man, drop down that cortisol,'' Mr. Scicali said as encouragement.
After the fast, Mr. Sinka finds that everyday tasks are more exciting and fun. Work is pleasurable again. Food is more delicious.
''Biology can get hijacked,'' Mr. Sinka said, noting that ''early homo sapiens'' didn't have much in the way of sweets '-- blueberries and the like.
Sometimes it is hard or upsetting for people who encounter the Tennessee Street men while they are fasting.
The other day, Mr. Sinka ran into an old friend but had to tell her they could not continue speaking.
''I hadn't seen her in six months, and it was extraordinarily exciting, super-stimulating, and I could feel how excited I was,'' he said. ''So I had to cut it off and I just said, 'Listen, it's not you, it's me, doing this dopamine fast.'''
Revealed: Buttigieg 2020 campaign took money from top Kavanaugh lawyers | US news | The Guardian
Wed, 27 Nov 2019 12:56
Campaign admits mistake in accepting thousands of dollars from Alexandra Walsh and Beth Wilkinson, who represented nominee
Pete Buttigieg's campaign said it would return the money to the lawyers who represented Brett Kavanaugh.Photograph: Christopher Aluka Berry/ReutersPete Buttigieg's 2020 campaign is returning thousands of dollars in donations from two top Washington lawyers who represented Brett Kavanaugh in his controversial confirmation hearing, saying it will not accept funds from people who helped secure the justice's seat on the supreme court.
Buttigieg's campaign received $7,200 from Alexandra Walsh '' $3,150 of which had already been returned because it exceeded limits '' and attended a fundraiser in July that was co-hosted by the Washington lawyer. Buttigieg also received $2,800 from Beth Wilkinson, Walsh's law partner, who also represented Kavanaugh.
When asked by the Guardian about the donations, the campaign said it had overlooked the lawyers' role in the Kavanaugh confirmation and had made a mistake in accepting the donations.
It said: ''With nearly 700,000 donors, a contribution we would otherwise refuse sometimes gets through. We believe the women who have courageously spoken out about Brett Kavanaugh's assault and misconduct, and we thank the Guardian for bringing this contribution to our attention.''
A spokesperson added: ''[Kavanaugh] should have never been put on the supreme court and this campaign will not accept donations from those who played a role in making that happen. Accordingly, we will be returning this contribution and others from this firm.''
Walsh and Wilkinson are frequent donors to Democratic causes. During this 2020 election cycle, Wilkinson has donated $1,000 to the California senator Kamala Harris's campaign and $2,800 to the Colorado senator Michael Bennet's campaign. Wilkinson also gave $2,800 to the New York senator Kirsten Gillibrand, who has since dropped out of the race and has been an outspoken critic of Kavanaugh.
The Washington law firm Wilkinson Walsh Eskovitz represented the then nominee for the supreme court after Christine Blasey Ford accused him of sexually assaulting her when both were high school students in suburban Maryland. Walsh and Wilkinson led the charge defending Kavanaugh, even as more accusations of sexual misconduct were unearthed, and painted the judge as the victim of an ''outrageous'' campaign.
In one case, Wilkinson questioned why women who accused Kavanaugh of assault had not immediately gone to the police to report alleged assaults, instead of members of Congress, and insisted that Kavanaugh treated women with dignity and respect.
The judge has denied all of the allegations against him.
In another case, Walsh sought to downplay comments that were made in Kavanaugh's high school yearbook. When the New York Times reported that Kavanaugh was listed as a member of the ''Renate Alumni'' '' a reference to a classmate from a neighbouring Catholic girls' school that appeared to insinuate sexual conquest '' Walsh was quoted in a statement as saying that Kavanaugh had been friends with Renate in high school and had ''admired her very much''. She also stated that the two had once shared a ''brief kiss goodnight''.
When asked about the reference, Renate Dolphin told the New York Times that the insinuation in Kavanaugh's yearbook was ''hurtful and simply untrue''. She also denied Walsh's assertion that she and Kavanaugh had ever kissed.
Walsh did not respond to a request for comment about the Buttigieg campaign's decision to reject her donations. Wilkinson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Harris and Bennet campaigns did not return a request for comment on the donations they received from Wilkinson. Gillibrand's office also did not return a request for comment.
The Buttigieg campaign has been a vocal critic of Kavanaugh and has said that, if elected, he would choose a supreme court justice similar to Ruth Bader Ginsberg, who shared his ''progressive values''.
As measles deaths in the Democratic Republic of the Congo top 4,000, UNICEF rushes medical kits to health centers and vaccinates thousands more children
Wed, 27 Nov 2019 12:30
KINSHASA/DAKAR/GENEVA/NEW YORK, 9 October 2019 - UNICEF is vaccinating thousands more children against measles and rushing life-saving medicines to health centers across the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), as deaths from the world's largest measles outbreak top 4,000.
Since January, 203,179 cases of measles have been reported in all 26 provinces of the country, and 4,096 have died. Children under the age of five represent 74 per cent of infections and nearly 90 per cent of deaths. The number of measles cases in DRC this year is more than triple the number recorded for all of 2018. The measles outbreak in DRC has become far deadlier than Ebola, which to date, has taken 2,143 lives.
''We're fighting the measles epidemic on two fronts - preventing infections and preventing deaths,'' said UNICEF Representative in the DRC, Edouard Beigbeder. ''Along with the government and key partners, UNICEF has been racing to vaccinate children against measles, and at the same time, supplying clinics with medicines that treat symptoms and improve the chance of survival for those already infected.''
This week and next, an additional 1,111 medical kits are being delivered to health centers in measles hot-spots. The kits contain antibiotics, rehydration salts, Vitamin A, pain relievers, antipyretics and other supplies to care for over 111,000 people infected with the highly contagious and potentially deadly viral disease.
Over the past year, UNICEF supplied more than 8.6 million doses of the measles vaccine for emergency outbreak responses rolled out by multiple organizations. UNICEF has led outbreak responses in eight hard-hit provinces'--vaccinating more than 1.4 million children. The most recent concluded last month in Kasai Central, where over 210,000 children were vaccinated.
''We're facing this alarming situation because millions of Congolese children miss out on routine immunization and lack access to health care when they fall sick,'' said Beigbeder. ''On top of that, a weak health system, insecurity, community mistrust of vaccines and vaccinators and logistical challenges all contribute to a huge number of unvaccinated children at risk of contracting the disease.''
Two doses of the measles vaccine are recommended and roughly 95 per cent of the population needs to be vaccinated to ensure immunity and prevent outbreaks, according to the World Health Organization. In DRC, measles immunization coverage was only 57 per cent in 2018.
''If we're to avoid massive measles outbreaks like this one in the future, there must be significant investment in strengthening DRC's national vaccination programme and addressing the serious gaps in coverage,'' said Beigbeder.
DRC's government is preparing to launch its next national follow-up vaccination campaign on 22 October, which aims to immunize children 6 months to five years old against measles in every province. The campaign is supported by many partners, including UNICEF, which is providing technical assistance at the national, provincial and local level, procuring vaccines and helping promote the campaign.
Survey: Apple Employees Strongly Support Tim Cook's Relationship With Donald Trump | Fortune
Wed, 27 Nov 2019 12:30
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Facebook, Twitter profiles slurped by mobile apps using malicious SDKs '' Naked Security
Wed, 27 Nov 2019 10:55
On Monday, Twitter and Facebook both claimed that bad apples in the app stores had been slurping hundreds of users' profile data without permission.
After getting tipped off by security researchers, the platforms blamed a ''malicious'' pair of software development kits (SDKs) '' from marketing outfits One Audience and MobiBurn '' used by the third-party iOS and Android apps to display ads. Neither Twitter nor Facebook have named names of the data-sucking apps, nor how many bad apps they've found.
Twitter said that this wasn't enabled by any bug on its platform. Rather, after getting a heads-up from security researchers, its own security team found that the malicious SDK from One Audience could potentially slip into the ''mobile ecosystem'' to exploit a vulnerability.
That vulnerability '' which is to do with a lack of isolation between SDKs within an app '' could enable the malicious SDK to slurp personal information, including email, username, and last tweet. Twitter hasn't found any evidence that any accounts got hijacked due to the malicious SDKs, mind you, but that's what the vulnerability could have led to.
While Twitter hasn't found any account takeovers, it's found evidence of slurping. The unauthorized data grab was just done to Android user profiles, via unspecified Android apps:
We have evidence that this SDK was used to access people's personal data for at least some Twitter account holders using Android, however, we have no evidence that the iOS version of this malicious SDK targeted people who use Twitter for iOS.
Facebook, however, said in a statement that it was suffering at the hands of both those bad SDKs, both of which it's told to cease and desist:
Security researchers recently notified us about two bad actors, One Audience and Mobiburn, who were paying developers to use malicious software developer kits (SDKs) in a number of apps available in popular app stores. After investigating, we removed the apps from our platform for violating our platform policies and issued cease and desist letters against One Audience and Mobiburn.
Facebook plans to notify the people whose personal data '' including name, email and gender '' was likely swiped after they gave permission for apps to access their profile information. Twitter says it's informed Google and Apple about the malicious SDK, so they can take further action if needed, as well as other industry partners.
Facebook's cautionary words regarding grabby apps:
We encourage people to be cautious when choosing which third-party apps are granted access to their social media accounts.
Well, Facebook should know about grabby apps. Post-Cambridge Analytica data-slurping-pocalypse, as of September 2019, its roster of apps castigated over getting handsy with users' data (or simply not bothering to respond to Facebook's audit) was in the tens of thousands.
OneAudience has declined to respond to media questions.
On Monday, MobiBurn posted a statement saying hey, we're not abusive data suckers. We're just a matchmaker who hooks you up to app developers who may be data suckers:
No data from Facebook is collected, shared or monetised by MobiBurn.
MobiBurn primarily acts as an intermediary in the data business with its bundle, i.e., a collection of SDKs developed by third-party data monetisation companies. MobiBurn has no access to any data collected by mobile application developers nor does MobiBurn process or store such data. MobiBurn only facilitates the process by introducing mobile application developers to the data monetisation companies.
Notwithstanding, the company says it's suspended activities while it investigates those third-party app developers.
Facebook's only Dutch factchecker quits over political ad exemption | Technology | The Guardian
Wed, 27 Nov 2019 10:48
'Final straw' was refusal to allow partner to mark dubious claims by far-right parties
Facebook pushed its Dutch factchecker to reverse rulings against the far-right Freedom party, whose leader, Geert Wilders, is pictured.Photograph: Yves Herman/APFacebook's only Dutch factchecker has quit over the social network's refusal to allow them to highlight political lies as being false.
The online newspaper Nu.nl had been Facebook's only factchecking partner in the Netherlands since Leiden University dropped out of the programme last year. The website had sole responsibility for marking Facebook and Instagram news content for Dutch users as being false or misleading, in order to help power the social network's tools that suppress distribution of misinformation.
According to an NPO 3 interview with Nu.nl's editor-in-chief, Gert-Jaap Hoekman, the relationship ended over Facebook's decision to ban it from checking content and adverts posted by politicians. ''What is the point of fighting fake news if you are not allowed to tackle politicians?'' Hoekman asked.
The organisation has had an uncomfortable relationship with Facebook since May, when Nu.nl labelled an advert from a Dutch politician as ''unsubstantiated'' '' a move that was reversed by Facebook, which enforced its rules against factchecking politicians. But the ''final straw'', according to the NPO programme, was when Facebook again pushed the factcheckers to reverse rulings against the far-right Freedom party (PVV) and FvD party.
In a statement, Facebook said: ''We value the work that Nu.nl has done and regret to see them go, but respect their decision as an independent business.
''Fighting misinformation takes a multi-pronged approach from across the industry. We are committed to fighting this through many tactics, and the work that third-party factcheckers do is a valued and important piece of this effort. We have strong relationships with 55 factchecking partners around the world who factcheck content in 45 languages, and we plan to continue expanding the program in Europe and hopefully in the Netherlands.''
The dispute cuts to the heart of Facebook's decision not to allow politicians to be factchecked on the platform. The company insists that it does not want to be in the position of judging what is true and false, with its head of communications, Nick Clegg, saying that it was not an ''appropriate role for us to referee political debates and prevent a politician's speech from reaching its audience and being subject to public debate and scrutiny''.
But some factcheckers point out that Facebook is not doing any factchecking anyway: ever since the company announced its plans to fight misinformation, in the wake of the 2016 US election, it has outsourced the work to third parties, many of whom are experienced and comfortable with taking on the false claims of politicians.
Mobile banking apps need to go beyond the basics | American Banker
Wed, 27 Nov 2019 10:43
In 2009, then-Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker opined that the ATM was the only financial innovation that has improved society.
The ATM completely revolutionized the way consumers bank by making it self-serve for consumers and adding a level of convenience that didn't exist before. In essence, it made everyone bank tellers.
Unfortunately, there has not been much innovation in banking since the advent of the ATM almost 50 years ago. But that is about to change.
When I first arrived at college in 1976, I opened a bank account and received an ATM card to process transactions like withdrawing and depositing cash. It was magic.
I no longer had to wait in line for a teller who kept making mistakes. To be honest, it took me a little while before I trusted deposits, but it changed my life.
I was fortunate that my bank in Philadelphia, Girard Bank, was an early adopter of ATMs. Most of my friends outside Philadelphia still had to use tellers, and they all had the same reaction I did when their banks finally made ATMs available to them a few years later.
Over the years, ATMs have gotten easier to use, but their functionality hasn't changed that much. ATMs now incorporate high-resolution touch screens, fancy graphics and data that tracks historical ATM behavior. These changes reduce the number of keystrokes required to perform any function, but they still basically only allow a user to withdraw and deposit cash.
So what about the influx of mobile-based banking apps? Haven't those revolutionized the way consumers bank as well?
Most people don't realize that mobile apps offered by banks are just ATMs they can around carry with them.
Mobile banking apps have evolved to allow consumers to transfer money between accounts, pay bills and deposit cash, but not much else has changed. These are all functions one can find on an ATM.
To be fair, mobile check deposit was a big step forward, but it's still just a basic ATM function. Banks just keep building the functions of a teller into additional platforms.
Fortunately, the recent willingness of the financial industry to adopt application programming interfaces (APIs), combined with advances in artificial intelligence, will fuel what will likely be the biggest change in banking since the advent of the ATM.
And the result won't be a chatbot. It will be a next-generation banking service that allows clients to go from simply managing their bank transactions through an app, to having all of their financial accounts optimally managed for them.
Imagine a world where once a paycheck has been direct deposited, the bank automatically pays the customer's bills and then routes the remaining money to where it needs to be based on that consumer's financial goals and lifestyle.
For example, if the customer has prioritized buying a home, their savings will be routed to a high-yield savings account. If sending a child to college is of paramount importance then the money will go to a 529 college savings account until fully funded.
In this new world, the consumers does not have to do a thing and everything is optimized.
Of course, this new kind of service will need to earn consumer confidence by explaining exactly what will happen when their finances are put on autopilot. It will also need to take tremendous care with data privacy.
And this service won't just handle basic banking needs. It will become an all-in-one financial hub. It will even handle investments because computers are better and less expensive than people at executing passive investment strategies.
A world where individuals don't have to worry about managing their finances might seem like science fiction, but it's right around the corner. This new kind of service will operate with the same level of convenience as hailing a ride on Uber or Lyft. It'll be way better than an ATM.
Not only will it allow people to avoid spending time on something they usually dread, but it will also enable them to confidently earn more on the money they save. That should ultimately lead to a more comfortable and satisfying life.
Andy Rachleff Andy Rachleff is co-founder and CEO of Wealthfront, a next-gen banking service for millennials.
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Deutsche Sells $50 Billion Debt Portfolio To Goldman In "Bad Bank" Wind-Down | Zero Hedge
Wed, 27 Nov 2019 10:41
So far, Deutsche Bank's efforts to offload troubled assets included in its 'bad bank' have been successful. The troubled German lender has already unloaded some assets to rivals including Goldman Sachs and BNP Paribas, and now Goldman is reportedly coming back for more.
Now, Goldman's coming back for what Bloomberg described as a "$50 billion book of assets." According to BBG, the assets are "tied to emerging market debt," and were housed in DB's 'wind-down' unit (or the 'bad bank', as it's otherwise known, which was initially set up over the summer).
It's difficult to tell whether the sale involved part of the derivatives portfolio, since BBG doesn't include any information about the nature of the assets being sold.
But even though DB managed to offload some of its most troubled assets, the unit still managed to book a '‚¬1 billion loss for Q3 (and there will undoubtedly be more losses as more assets are sold).
Still, investors reacted positively to the news since the toxic assets are a major obstacle to DB's return to profitability. DB shares jumped 2% in European trade, cutting their YTD loss to 3.6%.
The asset sales are part of a broader turnaround effort announced by CEO Christian Sewing over the summer. To help reduce overhead, the bank has already begun cutting some 18,000 jobs around the world, contributing to some of the industry's worst job losses since the financial crisis.
As the above graphic shows, when it comes to the bad bank, Sewing has promised to cut the leverage exposure, a critical risk metric used by regulators, to 119 billion euros ($131 billion) at the end of the year (from 177 billion euros as of the end of Q3). The portfolio sales are an important part of this plan.
It's difficult to say how much this latest sale, or the earlier sales, will contribute to Sewing's goal since notional value is different from the market value included on a balance sheet. When the unit was first set up, it was said to house '‚¬74 billion in risk-weighted assets, and there have reportedly been discussions about adding more, according to CNBC.
Donald Trump signs animal cruelty bill targeting 'heinous and sadistic' animal 'crush' videos | Daily Mail Online
Wed, 27 Nov 2019 10:40
Donald Trump signed the first animal cruelty bill of his presidency on Monday, outlawing narrow types of egregious violence usually committed for the purpose of videotaping them.
The Senate unanimously passed the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act this month after a similar House vote in late October. It applies to non-human mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians, building on a 2010 law that criminalized the distributon of so-called 'crush' videos'--footage meant to satisfy an unusual sexual fetish'--by also outlawing the production of the films.
Producing a crush video typically consists of filming a small animal being killed by stomping on it. But the new law expands the definition to include animals that are 'purposely crushed, burned, drowned, suffocated, impaled, or otherwise subjected to serious bodily injury.'
President Trump said the bill would stop people from sharing footage of animal cruelty. 'It is important that we combat these heinous and sadistic acts of cruelty,' he said.
President Donald Trump signed the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act in the Oval Office on Monday
The bill signing came on thesame day the president gave a military dog named Conan a medal
Animal welfare advocate Lara Trump told DailyMail.com on Monday that she is proud her father-in-law put his Sharpie signature on the legislation.
'I could not be more excited for President Trump to take this historic step today, publicly signing into law a bill tackling the nefarious and unacceptable world of animal cruelty,' she said in a statement.
'Our companion pets are family members, and our working dogs are our heroes, and any movement to signal and enforce a positive environment for these great animals is a step in the right direction,' Ms. Trump said.
The new law carves out a broad variety of activity for exemptions, including slaughtering livestock, hunting, trapping, fishing, and medical or scientific research.
'[C]ustomary and normal veterinary, agricultural husbandry, or other animal management practice[s]' are also nestled in a loophole, along with predator control and pest control.
Anything 'necessary to protect the life or property of a person' or done as part of euthanizing an animal is also exempt.
Lara Trump, the president's daughter-in-law and a longtime animal welfare advocate, said '[o]ur companion pets are family members, and our working dogs are our heroes'
Lara is a seniot Trump 2020 campaign adviser and the wife of the president's second-eldest son Eric
The president asked rhetorically on Monday 'why hasn't this happened a long time ago?'
'Because Trump wasn't president,' he said.
The new law has a maximum penalty of fines and seven years in prison.
Republican Rep. Vern Buchanan of Florida, one of its cosponsors, said Monday that '[t]he torture of innocent animals is abhorrent and should be punished to the fullest extent of the law. Signing this bill into law is a significant milestone for pet owners and animal lovers across the country.'
Democratic Rep. Ted Deutch, also of Florida, said that 'animal cruelty is no longer just unacceptable, it is now illegal. We can now finally say that animal abuse is a federal crime in the United States.'
Federal prosecutors have brought cases against producers of 'crush' videos in the nine years since President Barack Obama signed the original bill into law.
One woman who filmed herself torturing and maiming small animals for viewers' sexual gratification pleaded guilty to federal charges in 2015.
In the films, a scantily clad Ashley Nicole Richards, then 24, could be seen stabbing helpless animals including a puppy, a kitten and a chicken.
She would sometimes chop off their limbs and urinate on them while making sexual comments to the camera.
Ashley Nicole Richards from Houston admitted to four counts of creating animal crush videos and one film distribution charge in one of the first cases of its kind in the United States, just a few years ago
The Houston Chronicle reported at the time that one video seen by authorities featured Richards puncturing a cat's eye with a shoe heel.
Richards and Brent Justice, 54, were the first two people to be charged under the Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act.
Richards was already in state custody in Texas, serving a 10-year animal cruelty sentence.
Federal Judge Sim Lake had dismissed five counts of animal cruelty video creation and distribution against Richards and Justice, citing the films as protected free speech under the First Amendment.
But the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated the charges, noting that the First Amendment allows limited restrictions on some speech, including obscenity, and that the federal law was constitutional because of the 'secondary effects' of the videos.
Memo shows strategy for attack on Cotton opponent
Wed, 27 Nov 2019 10:24
WASHINGTON -- After Joshua Mahony announced earlier this year that he would run against U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton, Republican political operatives meticulously sorted through the Fayetteville Democrat's record, looking for weak spots.
They soon discovered "significant vulnerabilities in Mahony's background" but sat on the information until Tuesday's candidate filing deadline had passed, according to a memo Wednesday from departing Cotton campaign manager Brian Colas that was addressed to "Senator Cotton's top supporters."
The first wave of attacks came "immediately after" the window for filing had closed, Colas noted.
Minutes after filing ended, the state Republican Party announced that it would file a complaint with the Federal Election Commission, accusing Mahony of lying on campaign-related federal paperwork.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee, meanwhile, questioned the challenger's work history, tweeting that Mahony had been "unable to remember the last time he was employed."
"Other damaging material that has not been made public" was in the hands of reporters, Colas wrote in the memo. The memo -- which urged Cotton backers to continue to support the campaign -- did not spell out what that material was.
The Republican bombardment was brief.
"Two hours later, Mahony dropped out, without first alerting the Democratic Party of Arkansas," the memo noted. (The FEC complaint wasn't filed.)
While warning that "liberal judges in Little Rock may twist the law" so that Democrats can "bring in a new -- and likely stronger -- candidate," the memo made clear that Mahony had been vanquished, and offered a blow-by-blow account of his demise.
"Our strategy was to hold our research, allow Mahony to gain momentum to prevent other candidates from entering the race, and work [with] the state Republican Party and the [National Republican Senatorial Committee] to release this information after it was too late for anyone else to enter the race," Colas wrote.
State Sen. Trent Garner, R-El Dorado, and former Senate President Pro Tempore Michael Lamoureux, R-Russellville, were among those who received the document. They confirmed its authenticity Friday.
The absence of a major party candidate will free Cotton to campaign for vulnerable Republican candidates in Arkansas and nationwide, supporters say.
It also gives him greater flexibility in the realm of campaign finance.
The Cotton campaign reported cash on hand of more than $4.2 million as of Sept. 30.
"He can either save it for a future race or invest it in current races where there's a need. He has a history of doing that," Lamoureux said.
As to the aftermath of Mahony dropping out, state Democratic Party Chairman Michael John Gray said the party is studying its legal options.
Under Arkansas Code 7-7-106, a party can replace a candidate "running unopposed in a preferential primary" who dies or who "notifies the party that he or she will not accept the nomination due to a serious illness."
In a statement posted on social media Tuesday afternoon, Mahony cited "family health concerns" as the reason behind his decision.
Since then, party leaders say they've heard little else from Mahony, who appeared to have deleted his campaign Twitter and Facebook pages on Thursday afternoon.
Mahony has declined to answer questions from the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette about his withdrawal.
His former campaign manager, Keith Rosendahl, did not respond to phone calls and emails seeking comment Tuesday, Thursday or Friday.
Cotton declined to comment Saturday, according to a spokesman.
Mahony's letter of withdrawal, filed at the secretary of state's office on Thursday, made no mention of him -- or anyone else -- having a "serious illness."
If the Democrat or his allies decide to make medical claims in the future, it'll take more than a physician's note to settle the matter, state Republican Party Chairman Doyle Webb suggested Friday.
"If he alleges a serious illness, he'll have the opportunity to bring his doctor to court and testify on what that serious illness is," Webb told the Northwest Arkansas Political Animals Club on Friday. "The law is the law and we intend that the law be enforced and followed."
Gray, who also addressed the group, denied any mischief is afoot.
"The Democratic Party of Arkansas is not trying to illegally put somebody on the ballot," he said. Party officials are simply trying "to get our hands around all the facts" before drawing conclusions, he added.
Cotton will face opposition, with or without the Democrats.
A Libertarian, Ricky Dale Harrington Jr. of Pine Bluff, and an independent, Dan Whitfield of Bella Vista, have also filed for the seat. But historically, neither Libertarians nor independents draw significant votes.
Mahony, 39, entered the Senate race in May, just months after losing his bid to unseat U.S. Rep. Steve Womack, a Republican from Rogers, in the 3rd Congressional District.
After garnering 32.6% of the vote in that race, Mahony turned his sights on the state's junior senator.
But he struggled to build a campaign war chest, finishing the third quarter with just $25,833 cash on hand.
Unlike Womack's campaign, which largely ignored Mahony, Cotton's team sought to quickly neutralize the Democratic foe.
Republican opposition research files included a "certificate of indebtedness," dated May 15, 2018, from the state Department of Finance and Administration for $3,943.67 arising from unpaid Mahony state income taxes dating to Dec. 31, 2014.
The lien, issued in the midst of his 2018 congressional campaign, had not been touted by the Womack forces.
(Another tax lien, related to $4,621.58 in unpaid sales and use taxes, had been issued, and eventually lifted, in 2010.)
There was video, as well, from Mahony's Little Rock campaign kickoff earlier this year.
Filmed by a Republican activist hired by the Cotton campaign, it showed Mahony cracking jokes about his lack of paid employment and his reliance on the salary of his wife, a Walmart Inc. vice president.
Asked by the activist how he made his living, Mahony said he was a full-time candidate.
"Right now, it's good, too. My wife is, uh, works very hard and is, uh, keeps me from going broke, I suppose," he said on camera, pausing a few seconds to laugh. "I'm a kept man. How about that? Let's call it that way."
Once in the race, Mahony repeatedly missed deadlines for filing federally mandated financial-disclosure paperwork. The document, once submitted, was flawed; Mahony refiled it five times over the space of 38 days after errors and omissions were spotted.
Eventually, he would revise his 2018 House financial-disclosure form as well.
Federal records from both election cycles portrayed a candidate with no earned income and few personal assets, yet able to pour significant sums of money into his own campaigns.
Asked in September how long it had been since he'd held full-time, paid employment, Mahony told the Democrat-Gazette "I'm not certain. I'd have to go back and look. Frankly, I haven't put a lot of thought into that."
After questions from the newspaper, Mahony had revised his campaign website, removing longtime claims that he is a "natural resources executive" and "owns a natural resources company."
Mahony, who had sold his stake in EAM LLC for $23,616 more than a year before entering the race, said the false statements had been posted as the result of a "clerical error."
Though removed from the campaign website, Mahony's campaign-finance reports continued to list him as a "small business owner" employed by "EAM LLC."
The latest FEC report, filed in mid-October, misstated Mahony's work status and employer a dozen times.
Pointing to the entries -- and dozens of others like them -- the state Republican Party would later accuse Mahony of "willfully making false statements to a federal agency."
Party officials swiftly halted their attacks once the Democrat withdrew, promising to pray for the Mahony family members and wishing them a speedy recovery.
Though there were signs that the Mahony campaign was faltering, long before his withdrawal, Democratic officials didn't try to ease him out of the race.
"Josh announced early. He gained broad support from across the state amongst leaders in the Democratic Party," Gray said. "We are always working to ensure that there are candidates on the ballot. ... Other than Josh, no one showed any real interest in the Senate race."
When political parties fail to properly vet their candidates, it's a sign of weakness, Garner said.
"That's an extremely powerful and important position, not only for Arkansas but for the United States," he said. "Anybody who wants to run for that position has to understand that their history and past will be scrutinized. And it should be."
Lamoureux said he can remember when Republicans were the ones struggling to find viable candidates.
"The expense, the time, the energy. It's just difficult to recruit somebody to do that," he said. "Unless you feel like you have a chance of winning, most people can't justify taking on that task."
Even with Mahony out of the picture, the Cotton campaign is asking for additional donations.
There is still ad time to purchase, campaign materials to distribute and additional opposition research to complete, noted Colas, who was recently appointed to lead Cotton's leadership PAC.
Information for this article was contributed by Doug Thompson of the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and by John Moritz of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
Photo by AP/Andrew DeMillo Republican U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton talks to reporters after filing for re-election at the Arkansas state Capitol in Little Rock, Arkansas on Monday, November 4, 2019.
Photo by Andy Shupe Doyle Webb, chairman of the Republican Party of Arkansas, is shown speaking in this file photo.
Photo by Democrat-Gazette file photo Democratic Party of Arkansas Chairman Michael John Gray of Augusta is shown in this file photo.
SundayMonday on 11/17/2019
In US, climate anxiety churns up psychological storm
Wed, 27 Nov 2019 10:21
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Kate Schapira, a 40-year-old senior lecturer in the English department at Brown University, mans her "climate anxiety" booth in Providence (AFP Photo/Lara Henderson)
Washington (AFP) - In the melting Arctic, communities are racing to maintain their way of life. In the rising Pacific, residents are sounding alarm bells. And in Rhode Island, Kate Schapira and her husband are not having a baby.
Fears about climate change are prompting worldwide action, but one knock-on effect in the United States is mounting anxiety about everything from plastics to class-based environmental disparities.
Schapira, a 40-year-old senior lecturer in the English department at Brown University, is addressing that unease in a number of ways.
The decision not to have children was not just about concern for their future wellbeing amid environmental degradation, she explained, but also about not wanting "my sense of responsibility to the world to shrink down to the size of one person."
Schapira also says she has likely taken her last flight.
She said she was troubled that people were treating her climate fears "like a personal, individual problem," she said, and she wanted to "see if that was actually the case."
So in 2014, Schapira started setting up a "climate anxiety" booth in public spaces, such as farmers' markets. It's a bit like Lucy's psychiatry stall from the beloved comic "Peanuts."
"Climate anxiety counseling, 5 cents. The doctor is in," the booth's sign reads, welcoming passersby in Providence to talk about their fears.
As it turns out, Schapira was far from alone.
- Widespread worry -
About six in 10 Americans say they are at least "somewhat worried" about global warming and 23 percent say they are "very worried," according to a survey conducted by Yale and George Mason universities in March and April.
Anthony Leiserowitz, director of the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, said Americans can be broken into six categories based on their reaction to climate change, ranging from alarmed to dismissive.
"The common wisdom is that only upper-middle-class, white, well-educated, latte-sipping liberals care about climate change. Turns out that's not true," Leiserowitz said.
None of the six groups is majorly driven by one demographic, he said, with the exception of the "dismissives" -- where "well-educated conservative white men" reign.
They are "dramatically different in terms of how they perceive the risk than everybody else" he said, thanks in large part to "a worldview that we call individualism" -- particularly pronounced in that group.
Of course, that same demographic also happens to control the White House, half of Congress and many of the nation's richest companies, such as in the fossil fuel industry.
As the world's top experts head to Spain for the UN summit on climate change opening Monday, Americans must deal with the idea that President Donald Trump withdrew the US from the Paris climate accord.
- 'Everyone' has climate anxiety -
For Lise Van Susteren, a Washington-based psychiatrist who has been studying the mental health impacts of climate change for 15 years, refusal to recognize the potential hazards is common for "people who are trying to deny that they too are vulnerable."
"I actually have no hesitation in saying that on some level, I believe that everyone now has some climate anxiety," Van Susteren said.
Psychological responses to climate change such as "conflict avoidance, fatalism, fear, helplessness and resignation are growing," according to a 2017 report by the American Psychological Association and ecoAmerica.
And they coincide with an array of physical health impacts, such as asthma and allergies.
At a happy hour for environmentalists in Washington, Alicia Cannon -- who works in environmental policy lobbying -- was asked whether she was experiencing any climate anxiety.
Her response: "Oh God, yes."
"I think a lot of people that work in climate feel some kind of climate anxiety because it's such a large-scale issue and it's overwhelming and you feel that it's overwhelming because of helplessness," the 23-year-old said.
According to Van Susteren, such feelings can lead people to question whether their individual actions are meaningful in light of the vast nature of the problem.
"What we do individually is counted collectively," she said, indicating that one person's behaviors can help establish consequential social norms.
Debbie Chang, 43, who organized a group counseling session on dealing with climate anxiety on the National Mall in Washington in May, has also decided not to have kids and tries to follow a zero-waste policy.
She keeps chopsticks in her purse to avoid single-use plastic utensils, carries a handkerchief to substitute for paper napkins, and brings a steel container with her to restaurants for any leftovers she might want.
Chang said until not that long ago, it was difficult to find information on "climate anxiety, climate grief, climate despair, climate counseling."
Now "there's more... people are starting to realize it's a thing," she added.
I'm not burned out, I'm pissed off '-- myname.website
Wed, 27 Nov 2019 09:52
A couple of weeks ago I had a meeting with my boss where I told him I was burned out and was looking for a new opportunity. ''Burn out'' is the polite way to say it. In reality, I'm disappointed. I'm mad. I'm pissed off.
I'm pissed off at the state of information security. I'm pissed off that our tooling is falling behind. I'm pissed off that my clients don't seem to take it seriously, and I'm pissed off that the vendors don't seem to want to help. Let me ask you: is the state of information security really any better today than it was 8 years ago when I started? The easy answer is no. The better answer is, it's worse.
I'm an information security consultant. I work for a vendor. I won't say who because this isn't about the who. I'm absolutely not picking on any one person or company or team or product. I'm picking on the mindset of the entire industry, and the companies who use our services. This is ultimately going to end up being multiple posts, but every therapy session has to start somewhere.
So what am I mad about? I'm mad at how often I have to say no. No, we can't do that. No, it doesn't support that. No, the vendor doesn't allow for that. No, you don't have the right license. No, no, no. Isn't the point of technology to enable businesses? So why am I saying no so often?
I'm mad that my clients are still getting breached. That I've installed the best-in-breed security software, configured it with the best-in-breed rules and add-ons and analytics tools and staffed it with a best-in-breed SOC using the best-in-breed processes and a Wordpress vulnerability brings down the entire company. Or a misconfigured S3 bucket. Or an employee sending an email or browsing Facebook, or sharing a document.
I'm mad at my company's software. It was built for a time that no longer exists, where machines kept the same hostname and the same IP address and served one function. A time where infrastructure never changed. I'm mad the software STILL expects the infrastructure to never change. I'm mad that it keys off of IP addresses first and foremost. In a world with software defined networking, where the IP address can change on a moment's notice or the service is load balanced, it just doesn't make sense. I'm mad that it will create records of machines it has seen on the network and send out alerts when those machines drop off the network or change hostname. Of course they do! It's fucking VDI! That's the entire point!
I'm mad at MSSPs. Humans whose only job is to look blindly at an escalation list and fire off a low priority alert to the on-call phone at 3am anyway. Who are so used to false positives that they close any ticket that has a familiar name, but so incompetent that they can't actually tune the rule to fix it. Who read from a checklist without applying any critical thinking because critical thinking is expensive and expensive means lower profit margins.
I'm mad at other vendors. I'm going to call out Cisco by fucking name and elaborate more on this in a follow-up post, but the simple question is how do you move a god damned security product to the cloud and not have a logging API?! I'm mad that I sat on a call representing my company's (not cloud native) cloud offering listening to Cisco tell us that the only way to get logs from god damned IRONPORT in the cloud was to use syslog! OVER THE INTERNET. FOR SECURITY LOGS.
I'm mad that syslog even exists anymore. But I'm even more mad that Windows can only natively log to other Windows systems and logging to a Linux system requires an agent. I'm mad that my clients refuse to install our agent. I'm mad that agents have been so poorly written in the past that they've given agents a bad name forever, and I'm mad that OUR agent was that bad in the beginning too.
Mostly I'm mad that our product can't consume logs from an API without being programmed to do so by a team that's so far behind that they're still trying to support Compuserve, and I'm mad that Microsoft changes their Azure logging format so often that our integration team spends half their time re-writing our Event Hub and O365 support.
So what am I going to do about it?
That's the meat of a follow-up, but it all started with the last point I mentioned: API support. I've spent the past few years becoming more and more disillusioned with how traditional info sec has been run, and I've spent the past few months helping to bring the product I have some control over kicking and screaming into the modern world. I've been writing apps that connect to various APIs to convert their logs into old-school syslog so our product can consume it.
And along the way I learned a ton about cloud technologies. About Azure Sentinel and Chronicle Backstory. About microservices and Kubernetes and zero-trust networking and BeyondCorp and real actual security.
And at the end of that road is the end of my interest in SIEMs and syslog and hardware appliances and software agents and legacy OSes. Leave it all for dead, discarded at the side of a road like that broken down Olds 88. Take off the license plate, file off the VIN, and walk away. It's someone else's problem now.
64 million Americans have tried CBD and now the FDA says it could cause liver damage - MarketWatch
Wed, 27 Nov 2019 09:34
Brandon Warne, a Minnesota Twins beat reporter for the sports news outlet Zone Coverage, started taking cannabidiol (CBD) in August after growing increasingly frustrated with his depression and anxiety medications over the past four years.
''I was just at a point where nothing was working for me,'' Warne, 33, of Minnesota's Twin Cities area, told MarketWatch. ''I was just trying to branch out because I was just so upset [and] distraught with my lack of progress towards mental health.''
Under the guidance of his psychiatrist and therapist, Warne started taking CBD and pared down his medication list. He tapered off the antidepressants bupropion GSK, +1.24% and Effexor PFE, +0.47% , but continued to take his anti-anxiety medication, buspirone TEVA, +4.00% , after experiencing ''wicked side effects'' from trying to go off of it. He now takes CBD in the form of a 0.5-ml dose of Clean Remedies full-spectrum hemp extract oil every morning, and plans to eventually try to taper the buspirone as well.
Warne, who received his diagnoses after his grandfather's death, wonders whether he was misdiagnosed. But the results he has seen since taking CBD, he said, have been ''moderately positive.'' ''I've been feeling great since I got off my meds,'' he said.
Warne isn't entirely sure whether it's the CBD oil or being off his meds that's causing the improvement, but he is willing to continue trying CBD when he's done with his current bottle. He said he still has ''research'' to do on the matter '-- and a new FDA warning backs him up.
The Food and Drug Administration said late Monday that what you don't know about CBD might hurt you and warned that it could cause serious health problems, including liver damage.
The warning comes as millions of consumers have jumped on board with the non-psychoactive cannabis compound for reasons relating to health, wellness and recreation, and CBD has popped up on restaurant menus, in post-workout salves and in bath bombs.
The FDA sent letters warning 15 companies for illegally selling CBD-containing products. The federal agency also updated its position to clarify that the substance increasingly infused in pills, lotions, food products and wellness beverages ''has the potential to harm you, and harm can happen even before you become aware of it.''
''We remain concerned that some people wrongly think that the myriad of CBD products on the market, many of which are illegal, have been evaluated by the FDA and determined to be safe, or that trying CBD 'can't hurt,''' Amy Abernethy, the FDA's principal deputy commissioner, said in a statement.
The only CBD product approved by the FDA is the prescription drug Epidiolex, which treats pediatric epilepsy. It's illegal to market CBD as a dietary supplement.
The compound can cause liver injury, interact with other drugs, and increase the risk of drowsiness and sedation when used with alcohol, the FDA said. Studies using lab animals have also shown negative impacts on the male reproductive system, though the takeaway for human patients remains unclear, the FDA said.
The agency also provided a list of potential side effects related to CBD, including sleepiness, diarrhea and/or a decrease in appetite, and mood changes such as agitation and irritability.
Many questions, not many answersScientists still don't know what happens if a person consumes CBD daily for sustained time periods; the compound's effect on children who take CBD, growing fetuses or breastfed newborns; its interactions with herbs and botanicals; and whether it leads to the same male reproductive problems in men as observed in animals, the FDA said.
What's more, the FDA is concerned about ''a lack of appropriate processing controls and practices'': Many products tested by the FDA have contained different CBD levels than what manufacturers claimed, and there have been reports of products containing unsafe levels of pesticides, heavy metals and THC, the agency said.
''I still don't think it's so harmful that I shouldn't use what I have,'' Warne said in response to the new FDA warning. ''But it certainly makes me question how settled the science is '... and maybe it's not as ironclad as I thought it was before.''
64 million Americans have tried CBDResearch published this year by the consumer-data firm MRI-Simmons estimated that 3.7 million U.S. adults were CBD consumers, with a median age of 45. Even more appear to have dabbled in the substance: Some 64 million Americans '-- 26% of the country '-- report having tried CBD in the last two years, according to a nationally representative Consumer Reports survey of more than 4,000 people conducted in January. One in seven of those respondents reported daily use.
And many CBD users use the compound for its health potential, though their outcomes tend to be mixed.
More than a third of respondents to the Consumer Reports survey said they used CBD to reduce stress or anxiety or promote relaxation; 63% of those people said the compound was ''extremely or very effective'' at doing so, while 16% said it was not at all or only slightly effective. Nearly one in four respondents said they used CBD to help with joint pain, with 38% calling it ''extremely or very effective'' and 27% saying it was slightly or not at all effective.
The Mayo Clinic says that ''although some research appears to indicate that CBD might hold benefit for treating anxiety-related disorders, more study is needed.'' And physician Peter Grinspoon, writing on the Harvard Health Blog, noted that an animal study had shown that applying CBD to the skin could help lower arthritis-related pain and inflammation. ''More study in humans is needed in this area to substantiate the claims of CBD proponents about pain control,'' he added.
Warne is not alone in using CBD to replace or supplement a medication: 30% of respondents to the Consumer Reports survey said they had taken CBD in addition to a prescription or over-the-counter medication, while 22% said they replaced the medication with CBD entirely. A third of those who replaced a medication with CBD said that the drug was a prescription anti-anxiety drug.
Still, Warne called the FDA's words of caution ''prudent'' and agreed that more research should be conducted on CBD's benefits and risks.
''Hopefully it stands up '-- because otherwise, we're kind of all owed an explanation for why this was pushed on us for the past year or however long this has been popular,'' he said. ''Hopefully we get an explanation one way or the other.''
Priests guilty of abusing deaf children at Argentine school
Wed, 27 Nov 2019 07:42
Rev. Nicola Corradi, in wheelchair, Armando Gomez and Rev. Horacio Corbacho, are escorted out of a courtroom, after being found guilty of sexual abuse of deaf children at a Catholic-run school, in Mendoza, Argentina, Monday, Nov. 26, 2019. The court sentenced Rev. Nicola Corradi, to 42 years in prison, and Rev. Horacio Corbacho, to 45 years, for acts that occurred at the Institute in Lujan de Cuyo, a municipality in the northwestern province of Mendoza. The court also sentenced gardener Armando G"mez to 18 years in prison. Victims and relatives from the Antonio Provolo Institute for Deaf and Hearing Impaired Children, embrace after hearing a guilty verdict for their abusers, in Mendoza, Argentina, Monday, Nov. 25, 2019. The court sentenced Rev. Nicola Corradi, to 42 years in prison, and Rev. Horacio Corbacho, to 45 years, for acts that occurred at the Institute in Lujan de Cuyo, a municipality in the northwestern province of Mendoza. The court also sentenced gardener Armando G"mez to 18 years in prison. Rev. Nicola Corradi, in wheelchair, is escorted out of a courtroom, after being found guilty of sexual abuse of deaf children at a Catholic-run school, in Mendoza, Argentina, Monday, Nov. 26, 2019. The court sentenced Rev. Nicola Corradi, to 42 years in prison, and Rev. Horacio Corbacho, to 45 years, for acts that occurred at the Institute in Lujan de Cuyo, a municipality in the northwestern province of Mendoza. The court also sentenced gardener Armando G"mez to 18 years in prison. Victims and relatives from the Antonio Provolo Institute for Deaf and Hearing Impaired Children, embrace after hearing a guilty verdict for their abusers, in Mendoza, Argentina, Monday, Nov. 25, 2019. The court sentenced Rev. Nicola Corradi, to 42 years in prison, and Rev. Horacio Corbacho, to 45 years, for acts that occurred at the Institute in Lujan de Cuyo, a municipality in the northwestern province of Mendoza. The court also sentenced gardener Armando G"mez to 18 years in prison. The mothers of the alleged sex abuse victims from the Antonio Provolo Institute for Deaf and Hearing Impaired Children, stand and embrace in front of the court building in Mendoza, Argentina, Monday, Nov. 25, 2019. Three men stand accused of 25 acts of aggravated sexual abuse, abuse and corruption of the minors, between 2004 and 2016. The victims are 10 former students of the school. Judges are scheduled to rule in the case today. Victims from the Antonio Provolo Institute for Deaf and Hearing Impaired Children, celebrate after hearing a guilty verdict for their abusers, in Mendoza, Argentina, Monday, Nov. 25, 2019. The court sentenced Rev. Nicola Corradi, to 42 years in prison, and Rev. Horacio Corbacho, to 45 years, for acts that occurred at the Institute in Lujan de Cuyo, a municipality in the northwestern province of Mendoza. The court also sentenced gardener Armando G"mez to 18 years in prison. The mothers of the alleged sex abuse victims from the Antonio Provolo Institute for Deaf and Hearing Impaired Children, stand and embrace in front of the court building in Mendoza, Argentina, Monday, Nov. 25, 2019. Three men stand accused of 25 acts of aggravated sexual abuse, abuse and corruption of the minors, between 2004 and 2016. The victims are 10 former students of the school. Judges are scheduled to rule in the case today. Rev. Nicola Corradi, in wheelchair, Armando Gomez, third right, and Rev. Horacio Corbacho, back right, are escorted into a courtroom, accused of alleged sexual abuse of deaf children at a Catholic-run school, in Mendoza, Argentina, Monday, Nov. 25, 2019. The three men are accused of 25 acts of aggravated sexual abuse, abuse and corruption of minors, between 2004 and 2016. The victims are 10 former students. Judges are scheduled to rule Monday in the case. Three alleged victims of priest Nicola Corradi pose for a photo during an interview in Mendoza, Argentina. Judges are scheduled to rule Monday, Nov. 26, 2019, in the case of two priests who face up to 50 years in prison for alleged sexual abuse of deaf children at a Catholic-run school, a sister institution to a school that suffered a similar scandal in Italy. Gustavo Zanchetta, bishop of Oran, participates in negotiations with border workers, in Oran, Salta, Argentina. A prosecutor accuses Zanchetta of "aggravated continuous sexual abuse'' of two seminarians, charges that carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. He has denied the charges, which don't involve minors. Victims and relatives from the Antonio Provolo Institute for Deaf and Hearing Impaired Children, embrace after hearing a guilty verdict for their abusers, in Mendoza, Argentina, Monday, Nov. 25, 2019. The court sentenced Rev. Nicola Corradi, to 42 years in prison, and Rev. Horacio Corbacho, to 45 years, for acts that occurred at the Institute in Lujan de Cuyo, a municipality in the northwestern province of Mendoza. The court also sentenced gardener Armando G"mez to 18 years in prison. November 25, 2019A three-judge panel in the city of Mendoza sentenced the Rev. Nicola Corradi to 42 years and the Rev. Horacio Corbacho to 45 years for abusing children at the Antonio Provolo Institute for Deaf and Hearing Impaired Children in Lujan de Cuyo, a municipality in northwestern Argentina.
Corradi, an 83-year-old Italian, and Corbacho, a 59-year-old Argentine, were arrested in 2016. The court also sentenced gardener Armando G"mez to 18 years in prison. It's expected that Corradi will remain under house arrest because of his age, while Corbacho and G"mez will be held in a prison in the city of Mendoza.
The verdicts can be appealed. The judges found the men guilty of 20 counts of abuse, including rape, that occurred between 2005 and 2016 at the school, which has since shut down. The 10 victims were former students and all minors at the time of the abuse. The verdict can be appealed.
Pope Francis has not commented publicly on the case, although in 2017, the Vatican sent two Argentine priests to investigate what happened in Mendoza. ''Thank God there has been justice and peace for the victims,'' one of the priests, Dante Simon, told The Associated Press on Monday.
After the sentence was delivered, several victims expressed their joy in the courthouse hallway by jumping and raising their arms in the air, as if they were clapping. They embraced the prosecutors who had investigated their cases.
''I am happy, thank you so much for the battle, because everyone has supported us. ... This has changed my life, which is evolving,'' said Vanina Garay, 26, speaking with the help of an interpreter. The case has shocked Argentines '-- as did the revelation that Corradi had been previously accused of similar offenses at a sister agency, the Antonio Provolo Institute in Verona, Italy, but was never charged.
The Vatican had known about Corradi since at least 2009, when the Italian Provolo students went public with tales of abuse and named names. The Vatican ordered an investigation and sanctioned four accused priests, but Corradi apparently never was sanctioned in Italy.
The defendants, who had pleaded innocence, declined to make statements ahead of the judges' ruling. They appeared somber as they arrived in the courtroom, with Corradi in a wheelchair, his gaze fixed on the ground.
In a statement, the Archbishopric of Mendoza expressed ''solidarity and closeness with the victims and their families, who have reported suffering the most aberrant mistreatment'' and vowed to ''keep working to ensure that these situations are not repeated.''
The Provolo victims have said they did not feel that the local church or the Vatican were protecting them. ''The Argentine court has given the traumatized children of Provolo a measure of justice that the Catholic Church failed to give them,'' said Anne Barrett Doyle, co-founder of the online research database BishopAccountability.org.
''We hope the prosecutors now will launch a criminal investigation of the archbishops and other church leaders who knew or should have known that the school was being run by a child molester,'' she said.
Doyle also said ''the pope too must accept responsibility for the unimaginable suffering of these children. He ignored repeated warnings that Corradi was in Argentina.'' Prosecutor Gustavo Stroppiana was tearful as he said: ''None of this can generate joy, but it does bring satisfaction because we were able to judge acts that had been silenced for so many years.''
Simon, the investigator sent by the Vatican, had previously told The Associated Press that the pontiff expressed his sadness about the case and told him that "he was very worried about this situation."
In a report submitted earlier to the Vatican, Simon requested the maximum canonical penalty for Corradi and Corbacho, that they be made to "resign directly by the Holy Father." His report must be reviewed by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
Former male and female students testified that the priests touched and sometimes raped them in their dormitories and school bathrooms. They also said they were forced to look at pornographic images. They said they were warned to keep quiet.
Investigators found records of complaints made by parents that weren't followed up, photographs of a naked girl on Corbacho's computer and chains he allegedly used to subdue one girl. Many in Argentina have asked why Francis did not remove Corradi as the authority at the Mendoza school once he learned of the allegations in Verona.
Corradi's name appeared publicly in 2009, when 67 people said they were abused at the Verona institute by 24 priests, lay people and religious brothers, and specifically said Corradi was in Argentina.
In 2012, the diocese of Verona asked for forgiveness from the victims and sanctioned 24 of the accused, although Corradi was not among them. None of the cases ever went to trial. Corradi's name appeared again in 2014 in a letter written to the Pope by deaf students in Verona that reiterated the potential danger he posed in Mendoza.
Corradi is also being investigated in the province of Buenos Aires, where alleged abuses occurred in the Provolo Institute of the city of La Plata. The priest ended up there after Verona, but before he went to Mendoza. Victims' families believe Corradi's movements reflect the practice of the Catholic church to transfer from one place to another priests accused of abuse.
In another case that raised questions for the pontiff, a bishop once close to the pope has announced he would arrive back in the country Tuesday to respond to prosecutor's allegations of sex abuse. Bishop Gustavo Zanchetta's canon law attorney, Javier Belda Iniesta, said the bishop would fully cooperate with authorities.
A prosecutor accuses Zanchetta of "aggravated continuous sexual abuse'' of two seminarians, charges that carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. He has denied the charges, which don't involve minors.
The Vatican insists the first accusation of actual sex abuse was only lodged against Zanchetta in late 2018. But AP and the Argentine newspaper El Tribuno have reported that documents and testimony from diocesan officials raised credible allegations of inappropriate sexual misconduct well before then.
Associated Press journalists Leonard LaValle and Paul Byrne contributed to this report.
Pope in Japan voices concern over nuke power, meets victims
Wed, 27 Nov 2019 07:41
Pope Francis shakes hands with Matsuki Kamoshita as he meets with victims of the March 11, 2011 Fukushima nuclear plant disaster in northern Japan Monday, Nov. 25, 2019, in Tokyo, Japan. Pope Francis caresses a child in Popemobile as he arrives for Holy Mass at Tokyo Dome Monday, Nov. 25, 2019, in Tokyo. Pope Francis caresses a child in Popemobile as he arrives for Holy Mass at Tokyo Dome Monday, Nov. 25, 2019, in Tokyo. Pope Francis waves in Popemobile as he arrives for Holy Mass at Tokyo Dome Monday, Nov. 25, 2019, in Tokyo. Pope Francis waves from Popemobile as he arrives for Holy Mass at Tokyo Dome Monday, Nov. 25, 2019, in Tokyo. Pope Francis waves from Popemobile as he arrives for Holy Mass at Tokyo Dome Monday, Nov. 25, 2019, in Tokyo. The faithful participate as Pope Francis celebrates Holy Mass at Tokyo Dome Monday, Nov. 25, 2019, in Tokyo. The faithful participate as Pope Francis celebrates Holy Mass at Tokyo Dome Monday, Nov. 25, 2019, in Tokyo. The faithful wait for Pope Francis before he celebrates Holy Mass at Tokyo Dome Monday, Nov. 25, 2019, in Tokyo. Priests leave the alter as Pope Francis concludes his Holy Mass at Tokyo Dome Monday, Nov. 25, 2019, in Tokyo. Pope Francis, right, meets with Haratsugu Yamaura, one of the victims of the March 11, 2011 Fukushima nuclear plant disaster in northern Japan Monday, Nov. 25, 2019, in Tokyo, Japan. Pope Francis meets with Emperor Naruhito at the Imperial Palace Monday, Nov. 25, 2019, in Tokyo, Japan. Pope Francis shake hands with Emperor Naruhito at the Imperial Palace Monday, Nov. 25, 2019, in Tokyo, Japan. Pope Francis meets with Emperor Naruhito at the Imperial Palace Monday, Nov. 25, 2019, in Tokyo, Japan. (Ciro Fusco/Pool Photo Via AP) Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, right, shakes hands with Pope Francis after introducing him to Authorities and the Deplomatic Corps at the Kantei Monday, Nov. 25, 2019, in Tokyo, Japan. Pope Francis walks with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as he arrives at the prime minister's official residence Monday, Nov. 25, 2019 in Tokyo. (Tomohiro Ohsumi/Pool Photo via AP) Pope Francis walks with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as he arrives at the prime minister's official residence Monday, Nov. 25, 2019 in Tokyo. (Tomohiro Ohsumi/Pool Photo via AP) Young participants present Pope Francis with a traditional Japanese coats known as "happi" while he visit at the Cathedral of Holy Mary Monday, Nov. 25, 2019, in Tokyo, Japan. Young participants present Pope Francis with a traditional Japanese coats known as "happi" while he visit at the Cathedral of Holy Mary Monday, Nov. 25, 2019, in Tokyo, Japan. November 25, 2019Francis didn't explicitly back a ban on nuclear energy during his emotional encounter with victims. But he recalled that Japan's Catholic bishops called for the abolition of nuclear power plants in the aftermath of the ''triple disaster,'' in which three reactors at a nuclear plant in Fukushima melted down after an earthquake triggered a tsunami.
The meltdown coated the area in radioactive fallout and at one point forced the displacement of 160,000 people. Nine years later, more than 40,000 people still can't return home. After comforting some of the evacuees who gathered in Tokyo, Francis said the Fukushima accident will not be fully resolved until the scientific, medical and societal concerns it raised are addressed.
''In turn, this involves, as my brother bishops in Japan have emphasized, concern about the continuing use of nuclear power; for this reason, they have called for the abolition of nuclear power plants,'' he said.
Going forward, he said, ''important decisions will have to be made about the use of natural resources, and future energy sources in particular.'' During his first full day in Japan on Sunday, Francis visited Nagasaki and Hiroshima '-- where two U.S. atomic bombs were dropped in World War II '-- and said both the use and possession of nuclear weapons was ''immoral'' and that the Cold War-era doctrine of deterrence was a dangerous waste of resources.
He has not articulated a formal position on nuclear power, but the Vatican has previously called for the ''safe, secure, and peaceful, development and operation of nuclear technologies.'' Francis, however, has made environmental concerns a pillar of his papacy and has now heard first-hand from Hiroshima and Fukushima survivors of the health and environmental effects of both intended and accidental exposure to nuclear fallout.
The government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe responded Monday to Francis' Hiroshima message, saying Japan seeks a nuclear-free world but still depends on U.S. nuclear deterrence because of the worsening security environment in the region.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said dependence on the U.S. nuclear umbrella, and even strengthening it, was ''realistic and appropriate.'' Abe's conservative government, which is seeking to amend the postwar pacifist constitution to allow a full-fledged military, has explained not signing the new U.N. treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons by saying it wants to be a ''bridge'' between nuclear and non-nuclear states.
Abe repeated that Monday in his speech to Francis, saying the government would be ''utterly tireless'' in seeking dialogue. Abe has sought to restart as many nuclear power reactors as possible to keep the industry alive, especially as the government seeks to showcase its recovery ahead of the Tokyo Olympics next year.
Areas that used to be under the no-go zone in Fukushima have opened following decontamination efforts, prompting people to return home and resulting in cuts to government financial support for evacuees.
One of those evacuees, Matsuki Kamoshita, addressed Francis at the encounter Monday to appeal for an end to nuclear power. Kamoshita, a 17-year-old high school student from Iwaki on the eastern coast of Fukushima, wrote to the pope last year begging that he visit Fukushima to see for himself the impact. He was rewarded with a papal audience at the Vatican, and on Monday a chance to address the pope in public to tell his story.
In his speech, Kamoshita lamented that the government had ''given up'' on housing evacuees while continuing to pursue nuclear power as a state policy when the safety concerns are not resolved. ''It will take many times longer than my lifetime to restore the contaminated land and forests,'' he told the pope. ''So, for us who live there, adults have a responsibility to explain without concealing anything about radioactive contamination, exposure and possible damage in the future. I don't want them to die before us, having lied or not admitting the truth.''
Kamoshita asked for the pope to pray that political leaders find another path. ''And please pray with us that people from all over the world will work to eliminate the threat of radiation exposure from our future,'' he said.
After he finished, he approached the pope, who took him in his arms for a long embrace. Francis' meeting with the victims kicked off a busy day of activities in Tokyo, including a private audience with Emperor Naruhito, a rally with young people and Mass at the Tokyo Dome.
During the meeting with Naruhito, Francis told the emperor that as a 9-year-old boy in Argentina, he remembered seeing his parents weep at news of the 1945 atomic bombings. He told the emperor that he recalled that memory when he addressed survivors in Nagasaki and Hiroshima, a palace official said.
Present in the crowd of 50,000 for Francis' Mass was Iwao Hakamada, a former professional boxer who has become a leading symbol for the anti-death penalty movement in Japan. Hakamada, 83, converted to Catholicism during his decades on death row for murders he says he did not commit.
Francis has said the death penalty is ''inadmissible'' in all cases, and one of his main messages while in Japan was to ''respect all life.'' Local organizers confirmed Hakamada was at the Mass, but the Vatican declined to say if the pope met with him as his supporters had hoped.
During his meeting with young people, Francis denounced what he called an ''epidemic'' of bullying that is afflicting youth in Japan and elsewhere. ''We must all unite against this culture of bullying and learn to say ''Enough!'' Francis told the students, three of whom recounted the pressures they face in a hyper-competitive society, their feelings of inadequacy and the cruelty they sometimes face from classmates that drives some to suicide.
Francis wraps up his weeklong trip to Asia with a speech Tuesday at Sophia University, Japan's main Catholic university founded by his Jesuit order a century ago.
Australia bushfires: Firefighter accused of arson in 'ultimate betrayal' - BBC News
Wed, 27 Nov 2019 07:37
Image copyright AFP/Getty Images Image caption A volunteer firefighter (not the one pictured) has been arrested in New South Wales A volunteer firefighter in Australia has been charged with deliberately lighting blazes during the nation's bushfire crisis.
Police arrested the man, 19, for seven counts of alleged arson in an area south of Sydney, New South Wales (NSW).
The fire service there described the alleged acts as the "ultimate betrayal" to crews already under immense strain.
Six people have died and over 650 homes have been lost in bushfires which have ravaged the east coast since September.
The man is not accused over those tragedies.
The NSW Rural Fire Service calls itself the largest volunteer-based firefighting service in the world. The majority of its crews are staffed by trained volunteers.
"Over the past few weeks, we've seen firefighters going above and beyond in difficult and dangerous conditions," said Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons on Wednesday.
"Our members will be rightly angry that the alleged actions of one individual can tarnish the reputation and hard work of so many."
How was he arrested?Police said they had been investigating a "spate" of fires believed to have been deliberately lit in the Bega Valley in the state's south since October.
On Tuesday, officers spotted a man sitting in his car next to a river in the area. Shortly afterwards, they saw smoke and a pile of grass and trees on fire.
Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media caption A blaze races across a field in the state of South Australia last week"Police will allege in court that the man lit the fire and left the area before returning to respond to the fire as part of his duties as a volunteer firefighter," said New South Wales Police on Wednesday.
He was arrested shortly after and was due to face a court on Wednesday.
More than 120 blazes continue to burn across the state. Officials have warned that the worst of Australia's season is still to come.
Lifestyle influencers zweren bij deze bizarre nieuwe trend | Opmerkelijk | Telegraaf.nl
Wed, 27 Nov 2019 07:17
''¸ Hollandse Hoogte & Instagram @ra_of_earth, @metaphysicalmeagan
De trend staat bij influencers bekend onder de noemer 'perineum sunning' en zou volgens hen enorm veel gezondheidsvoordelen met zich meebrengen. Meagan beweert dat ze sinds ze haar bil dagelijks wat zonnestralen gunt, onder meer beter slaapt, haar seksuele energie beter onder controle heeft en creatiever is. Tevens kan ze de kop koffie in de ochtend laten staan, omdat ze barst van de energie. Ook de Amerikaanse actrice Shailene Woodley zweert bij de methode.
Het is overigens niet de bedoeling om een lange tijd in de expliciete houding te zonnen, men wil immers niet op de blaren zitten. Meagan gunt haar bil iedere dag maximaal vijf minuten zonneschijn en volgens Ra of Earth kom je met 30 seconden al heel ver.
De post waarin influencer Meagan haar visie op de trend deelt.
''¸ INSTAGRAM
Via Twitter kwam het fenomeen onder de aandacht bij het grotere publiek, zo schrijft New York Post. Een gebruiker deelde de foto van Meagan en kon rekenen op ruim 84.000 likes.
'Geen effect'Medische professionals zijn kritisch en zijn er niet van overtuigd dat de trend in praktijk iets oplevert. 'žEr is geen bewijs dat zonnebaden op deze manier enig effect heeft op het fysieke welzijn'', aldus dokter Diana Gall van Doctor 4 U. 'žTuurlijk, mindfulness en meditatie zorgen voor meer vitamine D en hebben een gunstige uitwerking op je lichamelijke en geestelijke gezondheid. Maar je hoeft je huid niet te beschadigen door het bloot te stellen aan de zon'', licht ze toe. Volgens Gall zijn er veiligere manieren om aan mindfulness te doen.
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Petition · SAVE Family-Friendly Content on YouTube · Change.org
Wed, 27 Nov 2019 06:57
YouTube viewers and creators petition the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to clarify and reconsider the new Children's Online Privacy Protection (COPPA Rule) regulations on YouTube creators. Shutting off personalized ads on creators' content will cause more harm than good, especially for children. Quality family-friendly content will shrink, while more mature content will grow '-- yet kids will still be watching.
COPPA: Everything You Need To Know (VIDEO)
The FTC should not expand COPPA regulations for content creators. Broadening the definition of ''child-directed'' to include ''child-attractive'' would force many more creators to turn off personalized ads. As a result, even more quality content will dry up, and more mature and extreme content will fill the platform.
Write a Comment to the FTC
Suggested Talking Points for Viewers and Creators
The free YouTube Kids app is a better solution than regulation targeting family-friendly creators. YouTube Kids removes privacy concerns around personalized ads. Parents buy devices and allow their children to watch YouTube Main. Many parents prefer to use YouTube Main because it has more features and less barriers. Creators should not be punished when parents choose not to use YouTube Kids. COPPA is about putting parents in control of protecting their children's personal information online. The FTC should not use COPPA to remove parents from the process in regulating content and online advertising.
While large corporations will survive these changes, small business creators face terminating employees, changing their business model, or shutting down production altogether. These regulations will particularly hurt young underserved audiences who participate in YouTube communities on topics like special needs, faith, and minority groups. Limiting quality free content for kids expands the digital divide. Turning off personalized ads on kids' content also encourages increased product placement and brand deals within kids' content.
Creators face COPPA fines up to $42,530 per video, yet the regulation and definition of ''child-directed'' is vague. The FTC needs to provide creators with enforcement clarity.
We ask the FTC to:
1. Provide an enforcement statement for creators
2. Clarify the definition of ''child-directed,'' and not expand it to cover ''child-attractive'' content
3. Delay enforcement against creators until the FTC concludes its review of COPPA
4. Allow parents to use YouTube Kids or YouTube Main, without forcing creators to turn off personalized ads when parents choose to use YouTube Main
Misinformed YouTubers are undermining the fight for children's privacy online.
Wed, 27 Nov 2019 06:56
The latest people fighting against children’s privacy are not slick lobbyists, but instead a group much closer to home—YouTubers with family and kids’ vlogs. Their current target is the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, a federal statute first passed in 1998 that aims to put parents in control of their kids’ data. The Federal Trade Commission reviews COPPA every 10 years, and in 2013 the agency amended its rules to include tracking technology that websites use to personalize advertising. Recently, the FTC alleged that Google violated the law by collecting children’s personal information through YouTube without their parents’ consent. The agency claimed that when Google used personalized ads on videos aimed at kids, the company illegally used the tracking technology covered under the 2013 revisions to the law. Although Google neither admitted nor denied these allegations, it settled for $170 million.
Now the agency is beginning its 2023 review of COPPA early in response to “rapid changes in technology,” and YouTubers are currently organizing a push for the FTC to weaken protections for children online. These content creators have flooded the agency with comments and created a petition with nearly 730,000 signatures asking the FTC to carve out an exception that would leave their livelihoods unchanged. YouTubers have released talking points for content creators and viewers to include in their comments to the FTC. Even PewDiePie chimed in with a video about COPPA for his 102 million subscribers. As a result of this call to action, the FTC has received more than 152,000 comments thus far. For comparison, after three rounds of requesting comments from the public during the 2013 review of COPPA, the FTC received a little more than 500 comments total.
YouTube is wildly popular among kids: More than three-quarters of 8- to 12-years-olds report using the site, and its fifth most popular video, with nearly 4 billion views, is of children and animated characters singing and dancing along to “Baby Shark.” Kids’ content is incredibly lucrative for YouTube, which keeps nearly half of the advertising revenue generated by content on the platform. It even promoted the site to advertisers as a way to reach children. But because YouTube does not want to have to concern itself with children’s privacy protections, it continues to claim that the site is only for ages 13 and older. However, as Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey recently noted in a letter to Google about protecting children online: “The access that children have to YouTube carries with it a corporate obligation to institute and enforce policies that protect the well being of these young users.” As part of its FTC settlement, Google created a new system allowing YouTubers to mark their content as “Made for Kids.” Once they do, Google disables some of the site’s features, such as personalized advertising, commenting, and notifications for these videos.
But YouTubers seem confused about what these things mean in practice and why Google has implemented them. As a result, many are unintentionally spreading misinformation about children’s privacy law. Some claim that YouTube will have to ban certain types of content, such as videos about the popular game Roblox. Others, from food bloggers to a capella artists, worry that YouTube will have to disable all personalized advertising on a video just because a child may watch it. One commenter even said that she will have to start “swearing like a sailor” and incorporate more “adult” conversations into her videos in order to avoid being covered by COPPA. Searching for “end of our YouTube channel” on the site reveals a number of content creators informing their loyal viewers that COPPA and the settlement may be the end of YouTube as they know it.
That’s not what COPPA does. Under this law, companies with content directed to children under 13 must inform parents what information they collect from kids and obtain parental permission before they collect it. So the content creators complaining that the law prohibits all personalized advertising are simply misinformed—and spreading that misinformation. If a company like Google really wanted to use personalized ads on videos for kids, it would just need to get parents’ permission first. But instead, Google is acting as if children on YouTube—and the protections they’re afforded—are relatively new phenomena, exacerbating content creators’ misunderstandings of the law.
But COPPA isn’t new. The law has been around longer than YouTube, and the fact that the company is just now starting to comply with it is no one’s fault but YouTube’s. Google could stop turning a blind eye to kids on YouTube, allow kids to create accounts, and then ask for parental permission—as it does with the Google Play Store. In fact, despite nearly two decades of industry claiming that these rules would destroy the online market for children’s content—just as the content creators are doing now—plenty of companies comply with COPPA by allowing kids under 13 to create accounts and treating their data differently.
Instead, YouTube has been encouraging content creators to take up their concerns with the FTC, perhaps hoping to escape stronger children’s privacy rules in the future. We reached out to Google to get a better sense of the full extent of its efforts in encouraging YouTubers to advocate against COPPA, especially given the clear parallels between Google’s talking points and those of content creators. But Google never responded.
YouTubers have every right to be concerned and frustrated by the sudden shift in YouTube’s policies. But this frustration should be directed at YouTube for suddenly shifting the burden entirely to content creators now that it’s been dinged by the FTC for allegedly not following the law. Amid bipartisan calls for stronger federal privacy protections from advocates, industry, and regulators, now is the time to strengthen protections for the most vulnerable members of our community, not weaken them. This conversation shouldn’t be about privacy laws being an impediment—it should be about how content creators, parents, and regulators can come together to ensure that the privacy of children is not superseded by companies’ desire to pad their bottom lines.
Future Tense is a partnership of Slate, New America, and Arizona State University that examines emerging technologies, public policy, and society.
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'Anonymous' author pledges to reveal identity soon | TheHill
Wed, 27 Nov 2019 06:54
The ''anonymous'' author who has written a behind the scenes book and an explosive New York Times op-ed on President Trump Donald John TrumpTrump at rally vows to supporters no name change for 'Thanksgiving' Trump says he will designate Mexican drug cartels as terror organizations State Dept. official describes frantic effort to save recalled Ukraine ambassador MORE 's administration pledged Tuesday to reveal his or her identity soon.
The anonymous author did not give a specific time for when they plan to come forward but told Reddit users in an ''Ask Me Anything'' (AMA), where users can post questions to public figures, that ''Donald Trump has not heard the last of me.''
"As far as anonymity is concerned, I will not keep my identity shrouded in secrecy forever," the author wrote. "I am not afraid to use my own name to express concern about the current occupant of the Oval Office."
The moderators of AMA wrote in a post that they could not ''verify by our usual standards'' that the poster is the anonymous author, but ''the publishers of his book assure us it's the same guy and we have no reason not to believe them.''
The author, known only as a ''senior official of the Trump administration,'' defended his choice to remain anonymous, saying anonymity has been used throughout American political history.
"Trump thrives on distractions, and anonymity is a way to deprive him of his favorite weapon of mass distraction '-- personal attacks '-- and force the discussion to center on the substance, his character,'' they wrote.
The anonymous author first came into the limelight after writing a New York Times op-ed in September of last year saying they were ''working diligently'' to mitigate the president's ''worst inclinations.''
They released a book entitled ''A Warning" this year, where they wrote that a mass exodus of administration officials was planned for last year to ''call attention to Trump's misconduct and erratic leadership.''
Trump has spoken out against the author and The New York Times for its publishing of the op-ed, calling it treason. The White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham Stephanie GrishamTrump, Kemp hold tense meeting on Georgia Senate pick: report The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump says he is fighting testimony to protect presidency Trump administration to appeal ruling over former WH counsel McGahn testimony MORE called the book ''a work of fiction.''
The Hill reached out to the White House for comment.
Hunter Biden suspected of smoking crack in DC strip club
Wed, 27 Nov 2019 06:37
Hunter Biden was suspected of smoking crack inside a strip club where he dropped ''thousands of dollars'' during multiple visits '-- at the same time he held a seat on the board of a controversial Ukrainian natural-gas company, The Post has learned.
The incident, which took place at Archibald's Gentlemen's Club in Washington, DC, late last year, represents the most recent alleged drug use by Biden, 49, who has acknowledged six stints in rehab for alcoholism and addiction that included a crack binge in 2016.
Workers at Archibald's, located about three blocks north of the White House, said Biden was a regular there, with two bartenders and a security worker all instantly recognizing his photo and one worker identifying him by name.
Security worker Ranko Petrovic said Biden '-- the son of former Vice President Joe Biden, the Democratic front-runner to challenge President Trump next year '-- would routinely hole up in a VIP room and drink during his visits.
Although Petrovic said the club ''had no issue with him,'' former Archibald's managing partner James Ritter said one occasion in late 2018 was marred by a ''suspicion of drug use.''
''There was a smell of burning Styrofoam in the VIP room. We told him nothing illegal can go on here,'' Ritter said.
''We didn't see anything illegal. After he was spoken to, the smell stopped.''
''VIP employees suspected it was crack,'' he added.
Hunter spent ''thousands and thousands of dollars in the Archibald's VIP rooms,'' and paid his bills with ''credit cards that didn't have his name on it.''
The club generally required customers to use credit cards that matched official IDs, but ''Hunter was a bit of an exception,'' Ritter said.
''Whenever he was in town he came in for two days in a row, disappeared and come back a month later,'' Ritter said.
Archibald's current owner, Dan Harris, didn't return an email seeking comment.
At the time of the incident, Hunter was a board member of the Ukrainian natural-gas company Burisma, which reportedly paid him as much as $50,000 a month.
That job lies at the heart of the ongoing impeachment inquiry against Trump, with Democrats alleging that the president withheld nearly $400 million in military aid to Ukraine in a bid to force an investigation into corruption allegations against Hunter and his dad.
Trump has denied any quid pro quo.
Hunter joined the Burisma board in April 2014 but declined the company's offer to serve another term in May due to the controversy surrounding his membership, according to a July 1 profile by the New Yorker.
Archibald's Gentlemen's Club in Washington, DC. Ron SachsIn an interview with ABC News last month, Hunter denied a suggestion that he wasn't qualified because he ''didn't have any extensive knowledge about natural gas or Ukraine.''
''No, but I think I had as much knowledge as anybody else who was on the board '-- if not more,'' he said.
Hunter '-- who's currently embroiled in a paternity scandal with an Arkansas woman, Lunden Alexis Roberts '-- also conceded that being the son of the then-vice president ''of course'' played a role in his selection.
Hunter has never detailed the extent of the work he did for Burisma, although the New Yorker report said he attended board meetings and energy forums in Europe ''once or twice a year.''
The magazine's 11,000-word-plus profile was based on a series of warts-and-all interviews in which Hunter detailed a fall 2016 drug binge in Los Angeles, where he repeatedly bought crack at a homeless encampment while going without sleep for several days.
On Oct. 28, 2016, he checked into rehab at the Grace Grove Lifestyle Center in Sedona, Ariz., but left after only a week and headed to the nearby Mii Amo resort spa.
Hunter was joined there by former sister-in-law Hallie Biden '-- widow of his older brother, Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, who died of brain cancer in May 2015 '-- and they launched an affair that lasted about a year, according to the New Yorker.
Hunter '-- whose first wife, Kathleen, obtained a divorce from amid his relationship with Hallie '-- re-married in May following a whirlwind, six-day romance with Melissa Cohen, 33.
In his ABC interview last month, Hunter said he'd ''done estimable things and things I regret,'' but was now in ''probably the best place I've ever been in my life.''
His personal lawyer and spokesman, George Mesires, didn't return requests for comment.
Obama Admits He Would Speak Up Only To Stop Bernie Sanders Nomination | Zero Hedge
Wed, 27 Nov 2019 06:36
As we noted earlier, a bombshell admission from Politico today exploring Obama's substantial behind the scenes influence as Democratic kingmaker: included in the lengthy profile on the day-to-day of the former president's personal office in the West End of Washington D.C. and his meeting with the field of Democratic candidates, is the following gem:
''Obama said privately that if Bernie were running away with the nomination, Obama would speak up to stop him.''
Image source: GettyAnd crucially, when asked about that prior statement reported in Politico, an Obama spokesperson did not deny that he said it.
The frank admission underscores what many independent analysts, not to mention prior damning WikiLeaks DNC disclosures, have pointed out for years: that the establishment controlling the Democratic party has continuously sought to rig the system against Bernie.
"Since losing 2016, Dem elites have waged a prolonged effort to stop Bernie. Bernie is the obvious answer to the neoliberal Clinton-Obama legacy voters rejected..." journalist Aaron Mat(C) observed of the Politico quote.
Here's the stunning and deeply revealing section in full, which began by outlining Obama's 'advice-giving' throughout meetings with Democrat contenders including Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, and others:
Publicly, he has been clear that he won't intervene in the primary for or against a candidate, unless he believed there was some egregious attack. ''I can't even imagine with this field how bad it would have to be for him to say something,'' said a close adviser. Instead, he sees his role as providing guardrails to keep the process from getting too ugly and to unite the party when the nominee is clear.
There is one potential exception: Back when Sanders seemed like more of a threat than he does now, Obama said privately that if Bernie were running away with the nomination, Obama would speak up to stop him. (Asked about that, a spokesperson for Obama pointed out that Obama recently said he would support and campaign for whoever the Democratic nominee is.)
And a further deeply revealing but more laughable quote comes later as follows: "Obama designed his post-presidency in 2016, at a time when he believed Hillary Clinton would win and Biden would be out of politics."
Wow. "Obama said privately that if Bernie were running away with the nomination, Obama would speak up to stop him."https://t.co/mBCUhb5Lol
'-- George Zornick (@gzornick) November 26, 2019So the reality is... far from the idea that the Dem elites would back the actual nominee the party puts forward, clearly the die has already been cast against Bernie just like the last time around against Hillary in 2016.
Politico author Ryan Lizza later in the story quotes a ''close family friend,'' who described that Obama's ''politics are not strong left of center.''
''I mean it's left, but he's nowhere near where some of the candidates are currently sitting, at least when he got himself elected,'' the source claimed.
This means in the mind of Obama and other top party influencers and kingmakers, Bernie and other popular outliers like Tulsi Gabbard have already long been sidelined. Tulsi, it should also be noted, is one of the couple of candidates who did not bother to stop by Obama's D.C. office for a 'blessing' and advice.
'Joe Biden Doesn't Have It': Obama Tells It Straight As 2020 Candidates Seek Wisdom | Zero Hedge
Wed, 27 Nov 2019 06:35
Barack Obama has been frustrating the Democratic establishment of late. By refusing to endorse his former VP Joe Biden - who is barely clinging to his lead as the 2020 frontrunner, while at the same time panning progressive candidates such as Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, the former president appears to be tacitly admitting that the current pool of Democratic candidates - and Biden in particular, is not worth risking his reputation over.
Politico's Ryan Lizza sat down with several people in Obama's orbit, including former Attorney General Eric Holder - who wanted to run for President in 2020 but couldn't because of Biden.
Last year, Obama let it be widely known that he would not make his preference known or, in the phrase that his close advisers frequently use, ''put his thumb on the scale.'' It wasn't just Biden who was disappointed. Holder was particularly wounded that his close friend wasn't more encouraging of his own ambitions. ''He's still pretty sensitive about it,'' said someone close to Holder. ''He was really frustrated about having arrived at the decision not to run. Holder couldn't get in because Biden and Holder have the same set of people. Once Biden was getting in then Eric couldn't get in. So that frustrated Holder. It blocked him. And Biden has turned out the way they all feared, and that's really frustrating to Eric.'' -Politico
The seemingly obvious answer as to why Obama won't endorse Biden is simple; they worked together for eight years, providing ample insight into Biden's gaffe-prone mental faculties and tone-deaf opinions - not to mention the whole Ukraine thing. Both Biden and Obama have stated that Biden asked Obama not to endorse him until he'd 'earned' it.
Instead, the former president has been dispensing advice to all 2020 candidates who seek it, and "sees his role as providing guardrails to keep the process from getting too ugly and to unite the party when the nominee is clear," according to the report.
That said, while Obama has been incredibly careful not to speak ill of Biden - he did take a jab at his former VP, suggesting that when it comes to having an 'intimate bond with the electorate' (especially in Iowa), Biden 'really doesn't have it.':
With several lesser-known candidates, according to people who have talked to him or been briefed on his meetings, he was blunt about the challenges of breaking out of a large field. His advice is not always heeded. He told Patrick earlier this year that it was likely ''too late'' for him to secure ''money and talent'' if he jumped in the race. Occasionally, he can be cutting. With one candidate, he pointed out that during his own 2008 campaign, he had an intimate bond with the electorate, especially in Iowa, that he no longer has. Then he added, ''And you know who really doesn't have it? Joe Biden.'' -Politico
More takeaways from Politico:
Biden's camp has been frustrated with Obama's silence over UkraineOne person who is very close to both Obama and Biden said the only time the Biden campaign has been disappointed in Obama is over Trump's Ukraine scandal. ''I don't think anybody in the Biden world challenges Obama's affection for Biden, or challenges his strategy of not weighing in for anybody,'' this person said. ''I do think there's frustration when Joe Biden and Hunter Biden get attacked by Republicans on the Ukrainian thing and they say, 'Obama and his administration looked the other way back when this was happening,' and Obama doesn't say anything. The Biden people ask, 'Why won't Obama say something?'''
If Obama saw Bernie Sanders as a serious threat, he would actively campaign against him.Obama said privately that if Bernie were running away with the nomination, Obama would speak up to stop him. (Asked about that, a spokesperson for Obama pointed out that Obama recently said he would support and campaign for whoever the Democratic nominee is.)
Obama offers candidates three big points: "Don't run if you don't think you are the best person to be president; make sure you understand the toll a campaign will take on your family; and ask yourself, ''Can you win?''"As he put it recently at a donor event in Washington, ''Not are you guaranteed a win, but do you have a theory, a pathway whereby you win not just a primary but you also win a general election, because there is not an empty exercise if you, in fact, get in. Your goal should be to actually ultimately become the president and then be able to lead the country and the world in a serious way.''
Obama planned to focus on setting up his foundation, writing a memoir and dealing with global issues, but feels dragged back in by Trump's 2016 win.But the original plan of a relaxed post-presidency of writing and thinking and mentoring, one that was relatively unencumbered by partisan politics, was blown up by the twin surprises of Trump's victory and Biden's decision to challenge him in 2020. Instead of remaining above the fray, Obama was forced back into the center of politics by Trump and Biden, who, for opposite reasons, talk about him and his legacy at every opportunity.
''In a perfect world, he would have retreated to a greater degree from public life than he has, much in the same way that I think George W. Bush did in his post-presidency,'' Holder told me. ''He would have liked to have been, though he's too young, an elder statesman.''
Judiciary Committee taking up impeachment hearings next week
Wed, 27 Nov 2019 06:33
WASHINGTON (AP) '-- The House Judiciary Committee is set to take over the impeachment probe of President Donald Trump, scheduling a hearing for next week as they push closer to a possible vote on actual charges of ''high crimes and misdemeanors.''
The Judiciary panel scheduled the hearing as the separate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday released two last transcripts from its depositions, including from a White House budget official who detailed concerns among colleagues as Trump ordered them, through intermediaries, to put a hold on military aid to Ukraine.
Trump ordered the hold as he was pressuring Ukraine's president to investigate Democrats, the issue at the heart of the impeachment probe. Multiple government witnesses testified in impeachment hearings held by the Intelligence panel this month that Trump directed his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani to take the lead on Ukraine policy and that Giuliani pushed an ''irregular'' diplomatic channel.
The Intelligence Committee is wrapping up the investigative phase of the probe and preparing its report for the next. Committee Chairman Adam Schiff has said the report could be released soon after the House returns from its Thanksgiving break.
The initial Judiciary hearing on Dec. 4, the day after lawmakers return, will feature legal experts who will examine questions of constitutional grounds as the panel decides whether to write articles of impeachment against Trump '-- and if so what those articles will be. Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., said Tuesday that his panel's hearing will ''explore the framework put in place to respond to serious allegations of impeachable misconduct.''
Democrats are aiming for a final House vote by Christmas, which would set the stage for a likely Senate trial in January.
Trump, meanwhile, tried to put distance between himself and Giuliani in a radio interview Tuesday. Asked by host Bill O'Reilly what Giuliani was doing on his behalf in Ukraine, Trump said, ''I don't even know,'' adding that Giuliani had canceled one trip and had other clients as well.
Asked directly if he had directed Giuliani to go to Ukraine on his behalf, Trump said, ''No.''
In a phone call to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on July 25, Trump had said several times he would have Giuliani contact Zelenskiy. ''Rudy very much knows what's happening and he is a very capable guy,'' Trump said to Zelenskiy, according to a rough transcript released by the White House.
Trump and his lawyers are invited to attend the Judiciary hearing and make a request to question witnesses, according to Democratic rules approved by the House last month. The committee released a letter from Nadler to the Republican president, saying that he hopes Trump will participate, ''consistent with the rules of decorum and with the solemn nature of the work before us.''
It's unlikely that the president himself would attend, as Trump is scheduled to be overseas on Dec. 4 for a summit with NATO allies outside London '-- a split screen showing leadership that Trump's allies might find favorable. The Judiciary panel gave the White House until Sunday evening to decide whether Trump or his lawyers would attend.
If Democrats stay on schedule, the committee will introduce articles of impeachment, debate them and then hold a vote, a process that could take several days. If charges are approved by the end of the second week of December, the House could hold a formal impeachment vote the third week of the month just before leaving for the holidays.
The charges are expected to mostly focus on Ukraine. Democrats are considering an overall ''abuse of power'' article against Trump, which could be broken into categories such as bribery or extortion. That article would center on the Democrats' assertion, based on witness testimony, that Trump used his office to pressure Ukraine into politically motivated investigations.
Democrats are also expected to include an article on obstruction of Congress that outlines Trump's instructions to officials in his administration to defy subpoenas for documents or testimony.
Though several government officials called by Democrats cooperated with the committee, several key witnesses '-- including acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Energy Secretary Rick Perry and former National Security Adviser John Bolton '-- refused, following Trump's orders.
Lastly, Democrats could potentially include an obstruction of justice article based on special counsel Robert Mueller's report released earlier this year. Mueller said he could not exonerate Trump on that point, essentially leaving the matter up to Congress.
When and if the House approves articles of impeachment, the Republican-controlled Senate would be expected to hold a trial in early 2020. Unless political dynamics change drastically, Trump would have the backing of majority Republicans in that chamber and be acquitted.
It's still unclear how long a trial might last, what it would look like and who might be called as witnesses.
While the matter remains in the House, Schiff said in a letter to his colleagues on Monday that his committee ''will continue with our investigative work'' and could still hold depositions or hearings. But Schiff said it would not prolong a fight to obtain documents or testimony in court.
''The president has accepted or enlisted foreign nations to interfere in our upcoming elections, including the next one,'' Schiff said in the letter. ''This is an urgent matter that cannot wait if we are to protect the nation's security and the integrity of our elections.''
In a transcript of closed-door testimony released Tuesday, Office of Management and Budget official Mark Sandy, a career employee, told lawmakers that his office was notified as early as July 12 by the White House chief of staff's office that Trump was withholding the military aid. That was two weeks before Trump asked Ukrainian President Zelenskiy to investigate Democrats.
Sandy testified that Trump himself requested additional information about the aid on July 19 after seeing an unidentified ''media report.'' The office then started the official process of withholding the money on July 25, the day of the call between Trump and Zelenskiy, Sandy said.
He testified that he raised concerns about the legality of the holdup, but wasn't given a reason until September, when he was told that Trump was concerned ''about other countries not contributing more to Ukraine.''
Sandy said that in late July, political appointee Michael Duffey took from him his role of approving spending, a decision Duffey told him involved Mulvaney. Sandy, who has worked at OMB for more than a decade, said he was unaware of a political appointee ever previously being given that responsibility.
He also testified that he knew of two people who left the agency who had voiced concerns over the handling of the Ukraine aid.
The intelligence panel also released a transcript of the deposition of State Department official Philip Reeker, who detailed concerns about the removal of U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch.
___
Associated Press writers Matthew Daly, Andrew Taylor, Alan Fram, Eric Tucker, Nancy Benac and Zeke Miller contributed to this report.
Impeachment Witness Deposition Reveals Why They Were Told To Hold Ukraine Aid | The Daily Wire
Wed, 27 Nov 2019 06:26
Newly released transcripts from the deposition of Mark Sandy, an official at the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), reveal that OMB was allegedly instructed to withhold aid to Ukraine because President Donald Trump was concerned ''about other countries not contributing more to Ukraine.''
Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) responded to the release of the transcripts from the deposition, which happened on Chairman Adam Schiff's House Intelligence Committee, by writing on Twitter, ''The transcript for OMB's Mark Sandy was just released. The ONLY reason he was ever given why there was a hold on $ to Ukraine was ''the President's concern about other countries not contributing more to Ukraine.'' NOT bribery. NOT quid pro quo or any other WACKY Schiff conspiracy!''
The transcript for OMB's Mark Sandy was just released. The ONLY reason he was ever given why there was a hold on $ to Ukraine was ''the President's concern about other countries not contributing more to Ukraine.'' NOT bribery. NOT quid pro quo or any other WACKY Schiff conspiracy!
'-- Lee Zeldin (@RepLeeZeldin) November 26, 2019
Sandy made the revelation when he was asked what reason Michael Duffey, a politically appointed official at the OMB, was given by the White House on why the aid to Ukraine was to be delayed.
Here is the interaction where the revelation was made [emphasis added]:
Question: Between July 19th and July 22nd, including July 22nd, did Mr. Duffey provide you any explanation as to why the President wanted to place a hold on Ukraine security assistance?
Sandy: No.
Question: Did you ask?
Sandy: Yes.
Question: And what was the response?
Sandy: He was not aware of the reason.
Question: To the best of your recollection, what precisely did he say to you when you asked for the reason for the President's decision to place a hold on security assistance?
Sandy: That he was not aware.
'...
Question: Did Mr. Duffey say that he was going to try to get additional information as to the reason for the hold?
Sandy: Yes. He certainly said that if he got additional information he would share it with us.
Question: At any point in time, from the moment that you walked into the [Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility] to anytime in history, has Mr. Duffey ever provided to you a reason why the President wanted to place a hold on security assistance?
Sandy: I recall in early September an email [from Mike Duffey] that attributed the hold to the President's concern about other counties not contributing money to Ukraine.
'...
Question: Was this the first time that you heard that the hold might be about some sort of concern that other countries are not providing sufficient support to Ukraine?
Sandy: We had received information requesting '-- sorry. We had received requests for additional information on what other countries were contributing to Ukraine.
Sandy went on to state that the requests that he received in early September about how much other nations were contributing to Ukraine came from Duffey.
The questions came as part of Democrats' partisan impeachment inquiry hearings over Trump's July 25 phone call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky in which Democrats allege that the president engage in a quid pro quo.
CNN claimed in a report on Tuesday that the OMB took action on withholding the aid to Ukraine on the evening of July 25, the same day as the call.
Zeldin responded to the story, writing on Twitter: ''This is not true. There were multiple actions before July 25th. It's amazing how much deliberate misleading many in the media are enthusiastically engaging in to dumb down the public. Why? Just shoot straight and let the American public think for themselves with all of the facts!''
This is not true. There were multiple actions before July 25th. It's amazing how much deliberate misleading many in the media are enthusiastically engaging in to dumb down the public. Why? Just shoot straight and let the American public think for themselves with all of the facts! https://t.co/JH3peDm4JQ
'-- Lee Zeldin (@RepLeeZeldin) November 26, 2019
On September 23, citing three senior Trump administration officials, The Washington Post reported that Trump told acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney to withhold the aid at least a week prior to the phone call.
''Officials at the Office of Management and Budget relayed Trump's order to the State Department and the Pentagon during an interagency meeting in mid-July, according to officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations,'' The Post reported. ''They explained that the president had ''concerns'' and wanted to analyze whether the money needed to be spent.''
Dem reverses course on impeachment again, now supports after saying it had no 'value' | Fox News
Wed, 27 Nov 2019 06:25
That didn't take long.
Democratic Rep. Brenda Lawrence, just two days after declaring she could no longer "see the value" in removing President Trump from office as she pushed instead for an alternative to impeachment, has reversed course again -- now claiming she's completely on board with impeachment.
"I was an early supporter for impeachment in 2017," Lawrence said in a statement. "The House Intelligence Committee followed a very thorough process in holding hearings these past two weeks. The information they revealed confirmed that this President has abused the power of his office, therefore I continue to support impeachment."
NEWT GINGRICH CLAIMS HOUSE DEMOCRATS ARE LOOKING FOR A WAY OUT OF TRUMP IMPEACHMENT
The Michigan lawmaker added: "However, I am very concerned about Senate Republicans and the fact that they would find this behavior by the President acceptable."
For good measure, the statement was circulated in a tweet that declared impeachment proceedings "MUST" continue.
The double about-face followed her comments on a Sunday radio show, which seemed to mark an initial reversal from her original pro-impeachment stance.
HOUSE DEM SEES NO 'VALUE' IN IMPEACHMENT
"We are so close to an election," Lawrence said on host Charlie LeDuff's Michigan radio program. "I will tell you, sitting here knowing how divided this country is, I don't see the value of taking him out of office. But I do see the value of putting down a marker saying his behavior is not acceptable."
Rep. Brenda Lawrence, D-Mich., has reversed course twice on impeachment proceedings.
She instead said she wanted to see Trump "censured" for his actions with Ukraine.
"I want it on the record that the House of Representatives did their job and they told this president and any president coming behind him that this is unacceptable behavior and, under our Constitution, we will not allow it," she said.
The congresswoman's quick walk-back hints at possible party pressure after her weekend comments started to generate significant media coverage. Asked by Fox News whether Democratic leadership pushed for the latest statement, an aide said: "Not that I know of." But the aide suggested the congresswoman still likes the idea of a censure, saying, "What she was trying to say is that because she doesn't think the Senate will convict, that maybe censure would be a viable option."
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
Those remarks came as polls have shown that independents are souring on the idea of impeaching and removing Trump from office, including in critical battleground states like Wisconsin, even as House Democrats aggressively presented their case against the president over the past two weeks.
The House Intelligence Committee, which has been leading the charge against Trump in the ongoing inquiry, appears to be finishing up. Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said Monday they were "preparing a report" for the House Judiciary Committee, which would then decide whether articles of impeachment are warranted.
Fox News' Mark Meredith and Gregg Re contributed to this report.
Fox News guest nails it: 'Why in hell does Tucker Carlson have a job here?' - The Washington Post
Wed, 27 Nov 2019 00:41
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(1) Sir_Adam DeMouy on Twitter: "@adamcurry LA to try NYC's approach to homelessness... Only catch is it costs billions of dollars. Sounds like what you talked about Austin doing with the hotels. https://t.co/RwYrwVIfLs" / Twitter
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First Ever Study of Unvaccinated Vs. Vaccinated Kids, Pulled from Journal, Erased from Internet
Tue, 26 Nov 2019 23:50
In recent years, the glaring spotlight of skepticism has been turned to the topic of vaccines, bitterly dividing parents and giving doctors of modern medicine conniption fits '-- but no matter where you stand on vaccinations, the fact two groundbreaking, scientific, peer-reviewed studies painting inoculations in not-so favorable light have vanished from the Internet is cause for concern.
Originally, the study, titled, '' Pilot comparative study on the health of vaccinated and unvaccinated 6- to 12- year old U.S. children ,'' was published in Open Access Text.
Until, that is, Open Access Text removed it and a second, similar study by the same authors from their archives without explanation. In fact, The Free Thought Project attempted to contact Open Access Text on multiple occasions for an explanation on the abrupt decision to pull the studies '-- but, as of publishing, had yet to receive a response.
Lead author Anthony R. Mawson, Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Jackson State University's School of Public Health, establishes that his team takes no issue with vaccinations, in their own right, stating in the study's introduction,
''Vaccines are among the greatest achievements of biomedical science and one of the most effective public health interventions of the 20th century. Among U.S. children born between 1995 and 2013, vaccination is estimated to have prevented 322 million illnesses, 21 million hospitalizations and 732,000 premature deaths, with overall cost savings of $1.38 trillion. About 95% of U.S. children of kindergarten age receive all of the recommended vaccines as a requirement for school and daycare attendance, aimed at preventing the occurrence and spread of targeted infectious diseases. Advances in biotechnology are contributing to the development of new vaccines for widespread use.''
Mawson responded by email to The Free Thought Project 's request for a comment concerning the studies' abrupt disappearance, stating only,
''I am forwarding your inquiry to our funding agency for comment. I am not at liberty to provide details at this moment.''
Although that sheds no light on the motivation for OAT to pull the study, it provides added evidence studies running counter to the long-held assumption vaccinations should not be questioned are far more frequently so explosive, the ensuing controversy and rush by modern medicine '-- often backed by the pharmaceutical industry '-- to denigrate such results is powerful and swift.
The study stated,
''Under the currently recommended pediatric vaccination schedule, U.S. children receive up to 48 doses of vaccines for 14 diseases from birth to age six years, a figure that has steadily increased since the 1950s, most notably since the Vaccines for Children program was created in 1994. The Vaccines for Children program began with vaccines targeting nine diseases: diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, Haemophilus influenzae type b disease, hepatitis B, measles, mumps, and rubella. Between 1995 and 2013, new vaccines against five other diseases were added for children age 6 and under: varicella, hepatitis A, pneumococcal disease, influenza, and rotavirus vaccine.''
Mawson and his team of researchers included nine charts and a full 71 references in their comparison of the long-term health prospects between vaccinated children attending public schools and their unvaccinated, homeschooled peers, to determine what results from the current scheduling of vaccines that could, perhaps, be overlooked under the general assumption of vaccine safety.
Results were astonishing.
''Assessment of the long-term effects of the vaccination schedule on morbidity and mortality has been limited,'' the study stated, with paragraphs artificially inserted for clarity. ''In this pilot study of vaccinated and unvaccinated homeschool children, reduced odds of chickenpox and whooping cough were found among the vaccinated, as expected, but unexpectedly increased odds were found for many other physician-diagnosed conditions.
''Although the cross-sectional design of the study limits causal interpretation, the strength and consistency of the findings, the apparent 'dose-response' relationship between vaccination status and several forms of chronic illness, and the significant association between vaccination and NDDs [Neurodevelopmental disorders] all support the possibility that some aspect of the current vaccination program could be contributing to risks of childhood morbidity.
''Vaccination also remained significantly associated with NDD after controlling for other factors, whereas preterm birth, long considered a major risk factor for NDD, was not associated with NDD after controlling for the interaction between preterm birth and vaccination.
''In addition, preterm birth coupled with vaccination was associated with an apparent synergistic increase in the odds of NDD above that of vaccination alone. Nevertheless, the study findings should be interpreted with caution.
''First, additional research is needed to replicate the findings in studies with larger samples and stronger research designs. Second, subject to replication, potentially detrimental factors associated with the vaccination schedule should be identified and addressed and underlying mechanisms better understood. Such studies are essential in order to optimize the impact of vaccination of children's health.''
Explosive, indeed.
The study continued,
''Although short-term immunologic and safety testing is performed on vaccines prior to their approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the long-term effects of individual vaccines and of the vaccination program itself remain unknown. Vaccines are acknowledged to carry risks of severe acute and chronic adverse effects, such as neurological complications and even death, but such risks are considered so rare that the vaccination program is believed to be safe and effective for virtually all children.''
Mawson and his team found vaccinated children significantly more likely their unvaccinated counterparts to be prone to allergic rhinitis (hay fever) [10.4% versus 0.4%], other allergies [22.2% vs. 6.9%], eczema/atopic dermatitis [9.5% vs. 3.6%], a learning disability [5.7% vs. 1.2%], ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) [4.7% vs. 1.0%], ASD (autism spectrum disorder) [4.7% vs. 1.0%], any neurodevelopmental disorder (learning disability, ADHD, ASD) [10.5% vs. 3.1%], and ''any chronic illness'' [44.0% vs. 25.0%].
Children receiving only part of the full vaccination schedule had a mixed resultant development of these afflictions.
'' Vaccination was strongly associated with both otitis media and pneumonia, which are among the most common complications of measles infection. The odds of otitis media were almost fourfold higher among the vaccinated (OR 3.8, 95% CI: 2.1, 6.6) and the odds of myringotomy with tube placement were eight-fold higher than those of unvaccinated children (OR 8.0, 95% CI: 1.0, 66.1). Acute otitis media (AOM) is a very frequent childhood infection, accounting for up to 30 million physician visits each year in the U.S., and the most common reason for prescribing antibiotics for children. The incidence of AOM peaks at ages 3 to 18 months and 80% of children have experienced at least one episode by 3 years of age. Rates of AOM have increased in recent decades. Worldwide, the incidence of AOM is 10.9%, with 709 million cases each year, 51% occurring in children under 5 years of age. Pediatric AOM is a significant concern in terms of healthcare utilization in the U.S., accounting for $2.88 billion in annual health care costs ['...]
'' The second aim of the paper focused on a specific health outcome and sought to determine whether vaccination remained associated with neurodevelopmental disorders (NDD) after controlling for other measured factors. After adjustment, the factors that remained significantly associated with NDD were vaccination, nonwhite race, male gender, and preterm birth. The apparently strong association between both vaccination and preterm birth and NDD suggested the possibility of an interaction between these factors. This was shown in a final adjusted model with interaction (controlling for the interaction of preterm birth with vaccination). In this model, vaccination, nonwhite race and male gender remained associated with NDD, whereas preterm birth itself was no longer associated with NDD. However, preterm birth combined with vaccination was associated with a 6.6-fold increased odds of NDD.
'' In summary, vaccination, nonwhite race, and male gender were significantly associated with NDD after controlling for other factors. Preterm birth, although significantly associated with NDD in unadjusted and adjusted analyses, was no longer associated with NDD in the final model with interaction. However, preterm birth and vaccination combined was strongly associated with NDD in the final adjusted model with interaction, more than doubling the odds of NDD compared to vaccination alone. Preterm birth has long been known as a major factor for NDD [68,69], but since preterm infants are routinely vaccinated, the separate effects of preterm birth and vaccination have not been examined. The present study suggests that vaccination could be a contributing factor in the pathogenesis of NDD but also that preterm birth by itself may have a lesser or much reduced role in NDD (defined here as ASD, ADHD and/or a learning disability) than currently believed. The findings also suggest that vaccination coupled with preterm birth could increase the odds of NDD beyond that of vaccination alone. ''
Obviously, these results were unexpected '-- and call to task the increased number of vaccines highly recommended, and in some instances required, by the medical community.
Cancer, depression, and a host of other ailments and afflictions were not found to have a significant difference in vaccinated versus unvaccinated populations. Mawson continues:
''A possible contributory role for vaccines in the rise in NDD diagnoses remains unknown because data on the health outcomes of vaccinated and unvaccinated children are lacking. The need for such studies is suggested by the fact that the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program has paid $3.2 billion in compensation for vaccine injury since its creation in 1986.
''A study of claims compensated by the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program for vaccine-induced encephalopathy and seizure disorder found 83 claims that were acknowledged as being due to brain damage. In all cases it was noted by the Court of Federal Claims, or indicated in settlement agreements, that the children had autism or ASD. On the other hand, numerous epidemiological studies have found no association between receipt of selected vaccines (in particular the combined measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine) and autism, and there is no accepted mechanism by which vaccines could induce autism.''
While the Mawson study immediately found detractors '-- many of whom questioned the results and method of inquiry '-- the preceding paragraph shows the researchers not glibly intent to prove vaccinations responsible for the astronomical rise in diagnoses of autism. This was not intent to prove the movie Vaxxed correct.
In fact, while the most common concern and complaint among those who question whether or not their children should receive so many vaccines surrounds possible connections to autism spectrum disorder, the author clearly states any correlation or link has not been substantiated.
Incidentally, this isn't the first time this study has been pulled from the Internet: the same thing happened last year, under similar circumstances '-- i.e., furious backlash on methodology and sampling '-- but, notably, not for the results. While detractors could indeed dissect some flaws in the Mawson team's analysis, the astonishing differences between the inoculated and unvaccinated populations should at minimum prove resoundingly the imperative for further study.
Vaccinations, as Mawon clearly states, have performed miracles by eliminating some of the most pernicious diseases and afflictions humans have faced '-- but the categorical increase in the number of vaccines physicians recommend, coupled with the dearth in studies of potential reactions among them, make the oblivious rush to inoculate children and adolescents against as many as possible seems foolhardy, at best.
Vaccinating children remains the guardianship decision of parents, but truly informed consent only comes with comprehensive research, evaluation, and study of every conceivable outcome '-- both positive and negative.
These substances cannot be removed from a human body once injected. Deciding whether to fully or partially vaccinate '-- or to abstain, altogether '-- should not be blindly undertaken because the majority of the medical community deems it so.
Science has brought innovation, advancement, and betterment of health unimaginable a century or two ago '-- but science isn't perfect. It was science, after all, which once deemed the Earth a flat disc, around which the Universe spun.
Yes, we should indeed turn to those with greater knowledge and education on a subject than ourselves to make an informed decision on any medical procedure '-- but it would behoove us all to understand new information can dramatically change the field of medicine.
With that in mind '-- and with the deletion of yet another controversial study qu estioning the dominant vaccine paradigm '-- the choice to vaccinate your children is yours.
Following are charts from the Mawson study, captured prior to its deletion from Open Access Text:
Hong Kong elections: Chinese media attempt to downplay results - BBC News
Tue, 26 Nov 2019 23:42
Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The district elections took place over the weekend Chinese state media outlets have attempted to downplay the results of Hong Kong's district elections, which saw the pro-democracy camp score a landslide victory.
The government had been hoping the election would bring a show of support from the so-called "silent majority" opposed to the protests.
Instead, it saw some significant pro-Beijing candidates lose council seats.
Chief Executive Carrie Lam has acknowledged public "unhappiness".
In her first public appearance since the results, she said she recognised that people were concerned over "deficiencies in governance, including unhappiness with the time taken to deal with the unstable environment".
However, she offered no new concessions.
'No need to over-interpret the victory'Reaction from state media outlets has ranged from making no reference at all to election results to overt claims that "tampering" had taken place.
State broadcaster CCTV's daily news programme Xinwen Lianbo stayed silent on the results, instead accusing the US of interference.
Xinhua, the state's press agency, made some allusion to the fact that elections had taken place over the weekend but pivoted back to the violence of recent weeks, stressing the need to restore order.
News outlet the Global Times did cover the elections in detail, concluding in an English-language article that the pan-democrats had "scored a big win".
However, the report also said there was "no need to over-interpret the victory of pan-democrats".
The Global Times' editor Hu Xijin, known for his outspoken comments, mentioned on Chinese social media site Weibo that the pro-Beijing camp had failed, but added that the district council elections were on a very "local level".
Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The China Daily made no reference to the pro-democracy camp's victory English-language paper China Daily reported that the elections had concluded, but made no reference to the pro-democracy camp's victory.
China Daily separately posted a picture on Twitter with the caption: "That's how the oppositions [sic] tampers with a fair election."
The picture accuses protesters - without evidence - of taking citizens' ID cards to stop them from casting their votes, and of misleading the elderly to vote for pro-democracy councillors.
Exposing a flawStephen McDonnell, BBC News, Hong Kong
For Beijing, for Carrie Lam's administration and even Hong Kong's police force, the district council elections have just punched a large hole in their "silent majority" narrative.
The message from the establishment had been that most residents were fed up with protesters and wanted the government to crack down hard on them.
The problem with that line now is that district council elections didn't pan out that way and in fact revealed sentiments overwhelmingly in the opposite direction.
Hong Kong's leader is already being criticised over her first public appearance since the election, when she said people wanted to "go back to their normal lives" and could "no longer tolerate the chaos" of demonstrations.
It's hard to see how this argument can be sustained given that the electorate has overwhelmingly voted for a rejection of the way things were, and winning pro-democracy candidates saying that a return to the status quo is not an option.
The central government in Beijing has chosen a much more blunt instrument by stopping virtually all television, radio and newspaper coverage from mentioning the actual election result and hoping that not too many people on the Chinese mainland hear about it via social media.
After all this is a pretty hard one to explain given that, prior to this weekend, story after story in China's state-run media had been portraying the protest movement as a bunch of fringe vandals making life miserable for most in Hong Kong.
An overwhelming winHong Kong's district councillors have only limited political influence - they most deal with very local issues like transport and amenities.
But Sunday's election drew particular attention because it was the first vote to take place since anti-government protests first began in June.
Image copyright Reuters Image caption Supporters of the protest movement hope election wins will help their cause Some of the councillors will also play a role in choosing the next chief executive, Hong Kong's leader.
A record 4.1 million people had registered to vote - more than half the population - and more than 1,000 candidates ran for 452 electable seats.
Candidates sympathetic to the pro-democracy cause won a total of 347 seats and according to local media, now control 17 of the 18 councils.
The protests were triggered by a bill which would have allowed suspects to be extradited to mainland China.
This bill prompted fears that China was increasingly encroaching on the city's autonomy, including its right to judicial independence.
It was eventually withdrawn but the movement has now evolved into a broader protest against the way the city is run.
Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media caption A winner and a loser in Hong Kong's historic poll resultEarlier last week, US lawmakers overwhelmingly passed legislation in support of Hong Kong's protesters.
On Monday, China's foreign ministry summoned the US ambassador to protest against the passing of the bill, accusing the US of "meddling in Hong Kong affairs and interfering in China's internal matters".
Beijing warned there would be "consequences" if the bill is signed into law.
'Straight Shooter' Justice Dept. Watchdog Has Held His Fire on Powerful People | RealClearInvestigations
Tue, 26 Nov 2019 22:34
By Paul Sperry, RealClearInvestigationsSeptember 30, 2019
As Justice Department Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz finalizes his probe of allegations of abuses surrounding the surveillance of a Trump campaign aide, some colleagues and Republican lawmakers say they have no doubt he's conducted a tough, impartial investigation. They expect him to deliver a hard-hitting report, due for release next month.
Carter Page: Inspector General's report on suspect FBI surveillance approvals is expected in October.
AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin
Others are more skeptical. While acknowledging that Horowitz is widely respected, these critics say his work has long been hampered by biases, conflicts and a tendency to play favorites, as in past probes of former FBI Director James Comey, whom Horowitz worked under in New York.
Their main complaint is that he pulls his punches.
Horowitz's investigation of the FBI's handling of the Hillary Clinton email case, for example, concluded that many of Comey's explanations for his dubious actions were ''unconvincing," while stopping short of saying that Comey lied to investigators. Comey asserted implausibly that he delayed acting on a mountain of new Clinton email evidence discovered on a laptop in New York because he was never briefed about it until nearly a month after his top aides found out about it in September 2016.
In probing whether Comey illegally leaked classified information to the New York Times, Horowitz in the end accepted his argument that the memo of a conversation with President Trump was sensitive but ''not classified'' '' even though the memo contained information about the FBI's ongoing counterintelligence investigation of the president's national security adviser.
Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz (above and top photo): a record of pulling punches.
AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta
''I see a pattern of him pulling up short and trying to be a bit of a statesman instead of making the hard calls,'' said Chris Swecker, a 24-year veteran of the FBI who served as assistant director of its criminal investigative division, where he oversaw public corruption cases.
"I'm afraid he's going to do the same thing with the FISA report '' a finding that sounds tough, but in the end, 'No harm, no foul,' '' Swecker added, in reference to Horowitz's probe of possible Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act abuses against Carter Page, the former Trump adviser.
Horowitz's inquiry is separate from the wider one being pursued by prosecutor John Durham, whom Attorney General William Barr tapped shortly after taking office this year to investigate the origins of the FBI's Trump-Russia investigation and the "political surveillance'' of the Trump campaign. Durham's probe is also focused on the CIA's role in the case.
Related: DoJ Inspector Found Not Much to See on the Clinton-Lynch TarmacRelated: As Watchdog Probes the DoJ, Justice Delayed Looks Like Toughness DeniedSkeptics fear that Horowitz, a Democrat and Obama appointee, is more political than widely believed, and may be naturally inclined to protect the FBI and Justice despite possible corruption during the Obama administration.
Federal records show Horowitz volunteered on the political campaigns of several Democrats while in college and later donated to the campaign of Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet, a former colleague who is seeking the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination '' and who has slammed Trump's praise of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Horowitz, moreover, is married to a former political activist who helped run campaigns for liberal Democrats before producing programming for CNN out of its Washington bureau. Records show his wife, Alexandra Kauffman Horowitz, also contributed to Barack Obama's first presidential campaign.
Former FBI director James Comey: Did Horowitz let him off the hook?
AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File
Still, many Republican leaders say they have faith that his forthcoming report on the FBI and alleged FISA abuses will include recommendations for criminal prosecution.
"I do not believe that Jim Comey will get off,'' House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy predicted.
Several former inspectors general interviewed for this article said that's exactly what they believe will happen. They do not expect Horowitz to issue a criminal referral against Comey in the FISA case, which has grinded on for 18 months. These other IGs note that under federal regulations, an inspector general must report evidence of potential violations of federal criminal law to the attorney general as soon as it is uncovered, rather than deferring such action until the completion of their report.
Although Horowitz says he conducted more than 100 interviews of witnesses, including Christopher Steele, who wrote the salacious and unverified anti-Trump dossier the FBI relied on to obtain the wiretap warrant, he failed to interview Page, the target '-- and alleged victim '-- of the controversial warrant. Page confirmed to RealClearInvestigations that no investigator from Horowitz's office asked him questions.
That is not the first time Horowitz has failed to interview key subjects. With the help of seasoned federal investigators, RealClearInvestigations deconstructed previous probes by his office, combing through the footnotes and appendices of his reports. RCI found numerous instances in which Horowitz stopped short of pursuing evidence and was content to take high-level officials at their word, even in the face of conflicting evidence.
Horowitz, who declined to comment for this article, has a reputation for integrity and the respect of his peers '' the government's 73 other IGs recently elected him to a third term as chairman of the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency '' but the RCI review uncovered a tendency to defer to those in authority.
'Arranged an Agreement'
Horowitz, for example, touted the 17-month probe into the widely criticized FBI investigation of Hillary Clinton's emails as ''thorough'' and ''comprehensive.''
Hillary Clinton: Inspector General Horowitz relied on key Clinton aides produce evidence on their own.
Berit Roald/NTB scanpix via AP
But the inspector general repeatedly declined to use his subpoena power, trusting key players to produce evidence on their own. He allowed the two lead FBI officials who ran both the investigation of Clinton and the probe of the Trump campaign -- FBI Counterintelligence Chief Peter Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page '' to decide which communications on their personal devices and email accounts were FBI "work-related" and which were ''personal,'' according to footnotes and Strzok's testimony. Both claimed they couldn't find any work-relevant evidence to hand over, even though text message exchanges between them on their FBI phones indicated they had discussed FBI meetings in private Gmail accounts and iMessages.
Horowitz subsequently learned through interviews that Strzok drafted classified investigative documents and communicated with Page about them on their private email in violation of department rules, which require officials to communicate through government channels -- the same basis for the Clinton email probe. Yet neither was compelled to turn over the emails.
"The inspector general and I arranged an agreement where I would go through my personal accounts and identify any material that was relevant to FBI business and turn it over,'' Strzok said in testifying before Congress. "It was reviewed. There was none. My understanding is the inspector general was satisfied with that action.''
Horowitz never referred Strzok for criminal sanctions for maintaining court-sealed documents on an unsecure computer. Strzok was nonetheless fired last year by the bureau for misconduct. He is now suing the department for unlawful termination.
The IG also failed to demand access to Comey's private Gmail account, even though he, too, used it for official FBI business.
Peter Strzok: Horowitz kept the anti-Trump FBI man's texts from Congress for five months.
AP Photo/Evan Vucci
Horowitz is widely credited with uncovering biased texts sent by Strzok and Page, who were also having an extramarital affair, on their bureau-issued phones. In those texts they rooted for Clinton to win the 2016 election and promised to ''stop" Trump '' at a time when they were supposedly investigating the presidential candidates. But Horowitz found those messages only after congressional Republicans pressed him to recover several months' worth of Strzok-Page texts the FBI claimed were missing from its archives. The inspector general brought the texts to the attention of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who'd retained the two agents for his investigation, on July 27, 2017. But he kept the explosive information from Congress for the next five months, and shared it with legislators only after the media found out about it.
The inspector general still has not recovered all the missing texts. It appears he has given up trying, having accepted the FBI's explanation that the records were lost in a technical snafu the bureau blames on the IT vendor that wrote the software for its archiving system.
Horowitz did reach out to the vendor, but it refused to cooperate with his inquiry. ''The vendor preferred not to share specific details,'' he wrote last December in a separate report on the missing records. Horowitz elected not to subpoena that information.
Lisa Page: Her anti-Trump views didn't influence investigative decisions, Horowitz found.
AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin
Horowitz also stated that it was ''unlikely that Strzok and Page attempted to circumvent the FBI's text-message collection capabilities'' even after discovering that the iPhone that Page used while working for Mueller could not be found after the IG's office asked to see it. Her device mysteriously turned up almost eight months later with all its data wiped clean.
Horowitz's report admonished Strzok and Page for their overt ''political bias," which included expressing their support for Clinton while describing Trump as a ''disaster'' and a ''f***-ing idiot.'' Yet he somehow concluded that their views did not influence their investigative decisions.
Horowitz asserted that they merely exercised ''extremely poor judgment'' '' even though Strzok's August 2016 text to Page strongly implies a willingness to take official law enforcement action to sabotage Trump's presidential election chances: In response to her question -- ''[Trump's] not ever going to become president, right? Right?!'' '' Strzok replied: ''No. No he won't. We'll stop it.''
''Strzok's state of mind was clear,'' former FBI man Swecker told RCI. ''That his bias was coming into play was an easy call to make, but Horowitz danced around it.''
In a report echoing the FBI's determination that Hillary Clinton had been ''extremely careless'' but not ''grossly negligent'' in her use of email, Horowitz essentially cleared the FBI agents of fixing the case for Clinton while still acknowledging several irregularities in the email probe. For example, the FBI did not push for a grand jury to compel testimony and obtain the vast majority of evidence, choosing instead to offer unusually generous immunity deals to Clinton aides. Comey drafted a statement exonerating Clinton months before agents interviewed her.
''Undeniably, there was bias against Trump [at headquarters],'' said former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy, who is author of the new book, ''Ball of Collusion: The Plot to Rig an Election and Destroy a Presidency.'' ''Clinton was not going to be charged no matter how much evidence there was.''
McCarthy faults Horowitz for failing to draw what he views as an obvious connection between investigators' bias and their kid-gloves treatment of Clinton. ''The inspector general was wrong to conclude that this bias could not be deemed causative of any particular investigative decision in the Clinton emails case,'' McCarthy said.
Although Horowitz did not respond to requests for comment, in House testimony last year he asserted, ''I don't think anyone can accuse us of pulling our punches.''
'Really Smells Bad'
Critics say that comment is further belied by Horowitz's response to the FBI's delay in obtaining a warrant to search a trove of Clinton emails discovered on a laptop used by the former Rep. Anthony Weiner, who was the husband of Clinton's top aide, Huma Abedin, and who was being investigated for sex crimes.
Huma Abedin and Anthony Weiner: The FBI was slow to investigate Clinton emails found on his laptop late in the campaign, and Horowitz accepted the explanation.
AP Photo/Charles Dharapak
The FBI's New York office alerted FBI headquarters about the emails in late September 2016 '-- more than two months after Comey's press conference in which he unilaterally cleared Clinton. Records show Strzok was briefed by then-Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe right after McCabe had been briefed on the shocking find by the head of the New York office on Sept. 28, 2016, during both a video teleconference and follow-up phone calls. ''Everyone realized the significance of this,'' recalled one conference participant.
That afternoon, records show, McCabe met privately with Comey in the director's office. McCabe and Comey also exchanged calls later than evening, according to phone records.
Yet Comey denied being briefed that day about the additional Clinton emails found on the Weiner laptop. McCabe swore to Horowitz's investigators that he could not recall what they discussed in their flurry of phone calls that night, and neither he nor Comey could remember meeting at all that day.
Comey said he might have heard something in passing about the newfound Clinton emails a couple of weeks later, in October; but even then, he swore it didn't ''index'' with him because he didn't know Abedin was closely connected to Clinton '' even though she vice-chaired Clinton's campaign, served as her deputy chief of staff at the State Department and had worked for her since 1996.
In short, Comey maintained he wasn't briefed on the significant case development at the same time that virtually all his lieutenants were told about it in detail. ''I'm mystified,'' he told Horowitz's office, over why he, as director, was allegedly left in the dark.
''The notion that I knew something important was on that laptop and did what '-- concealed or hid it or something? '-- is crazy,'' he insisted.
Horowitz accepted Comey's account, never confronting him with call records showing that on the night of Sept. 28, he and McCabe had a nearly two-minute conversation starting at 7:34 p.m., followed by a nearly 10-minute talk beginning at 8:36 p.m. that was initiated by Comey. Horowitz never pinned down Comey on which urgent matter he and his deputy discussed late that night, just hours after McCabe had found out about the discovery of hundreds of thousands of emails in a high-profile case Comey had personally '-- and very publicly '-- closed.
''That should have been pressed on and followed up,'' Swecker asserted. (In a 24-page statement Horowitz prepared last year for a Senate hearing to explain his findings, he omitted any mention of Comey and McCabe meeting and calling each other on Sept. 28.)
It wasn't until late October, after the FBI's New York office complained to Justice officials that headquarters was dragging its feet, that the bureau secured a warrant to search Weiner's laptop. It then falsely claimed to have searched the 694,000 emails in a few days before exonerating Clinton once again, just days before the election.
''That whole thing really smells bad,'' Swecker said. "Why they sat on that evidence for a month should have been aggressively pursued.''
McCabe Gets Special Treatment
Horowitz also failed to forcefully challenge McCabe about what appeared to be his own selective memory and inconsistent statements regarding the laptop and emails, even though McCabe had repeatedly ''lacked candor'' providing answers to federal agents working for Horowitz on another case regarding McCabe authorizing leaks to the media during the 2016 campaign (while blaming agents at another office for them).
Andrew McCabe: Horowitz found his "lack of candor" had "violated policy," but not the law.
AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File
Swecker says McCabe clearly lied about the leaks and only came clean when he found out Horowitz had his deputy Page's texts, which he thought were irretrievable. The texts proved McCabe was responsible for the leaks, despite his denials.
''They blindsided him with her texts, then he comes clean,'' Swecker said. Horowitz concluded in his report that McCabe's ''lack of candor, including under oath, on multiple occasions" violated ''FBI policy,'' but stopped short of saying he broke the law, referring that matter to the attorney general. Swecker said it was another example of Horowitz softening his blows.
Now the case is stalled at the U.S. attorney's office in Washington, D.C. It has dragged on for months, with prosecutors engaged in discussions with McCabe's defense attorneys over whether to pursue an indictment.
Swecker says it's a pretty clear case of lying to a federal agent in violation of Section 1001 of the U.S. criminal code.
''We're all scratching our heads,'' he said, referring to his former FBI colleagues who also believe McCabe is guilty. ''If you don't indict McCabe under that statute, just throw that statute out."
On CNN, his new employer, McCabe earlier this month insisted he never intentionally lied. RCI's investigation has found that this is not the first time Horowitz had the evidence to make a tougher call on McCabe.
The IG's review of the Clinton investigation also included an examination of a possible conflict of interest when McCabe's wife was campaigning for a Virginia state Senate seat in 2015. Running as a Democrat, Dr. Jill McCabe received hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations from the super PAC controlled by Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, who had run Clinton's previous campaign for president.
Andrew and Jill McCabe as shown on her campaign's website.
Jill McCabe's campaign, which ended in November 2015, overlapped with her husband's involvement in the Clinton email case (which included his sitting in on investigative meetings) by at least two months. He was also supervising the bureau's investigation of the Clinton Foundation at the time.
Aware of McCabe's high-level position at the FBI, McAuliffe personally recruited his wife four days after the New York Times broke the story of Clinton using an unauthorized server in early 2015. That same day, as McCabe confirms in his recent memoir, McCabe and his wife met with McAuliffe at the governor's mansion in Richmond, Va., to discuss her run for office and fundraising efforts to support her.
Was McCabe essentially bribed to look the other way? Horowitz concluded he was not bought off, even though he acknowledged in his report that "we did not investigate individual donations to Dr. McCabe's campaign committee'' to see if they were made because her husband was a top FBI executive.
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe: Horowitz never interviewed him.
AP Photo/Steve Helber, File
In another questionable gap in his investigation, the inspector general opted not to interview McAuliffe or Dr. McCabe. McAuliffe himself was under investigation by the FBI '' at the same time '' for accepting possibly illegal Chinese donations to his own campaign, an issue never mentioned and apparently left unexplored by Horowitz in his investigation. (McAuliffe maintained his innocence in the case, which was closed.)
The FBI's general counsel told Horowitz he thought McCabe should have recused himself from the Clinton cases. But he refused to do so until November 2016 '' long after Clinton was exonerated by Comey '' and only after the Wall Street Journal exposed the large haul of Clinton-tied donations his wife received, which McCabe did not report on his FBI financial disclosure form.
While Horowitz found McCabe's recusal delay ''troubling," he accepted McCabe's testimony that he had nothing to do with his wife's campaign and was not even aware of her donations until he read about them in the paper, even though he:
personally met with her sponsor and fundraiser McAuliffe;drove her to campaign stops;attended one of her candidate debates;discussed the campaign with her on FBI equipment;appeared in a family photo used in a campaign mailer; and,posed with her wearing her official campaign T-shirt for a photo distributed on social media to promote her candidacy.Were such actions violations of the Hatch Act, a federal law that prohibits federal employees from engaging ''in political activity in an official capacity at any time''? If so, the topic didn't interest Horowitz, who accepted on face value the FBI's argument in a letter to the Senate that he played no formal role in his wife's campaign and that his activities were permissible under the law.
Former inspectors general found this questionable, especially in the wake of a Justice Department memo issued in 2014, and again in early 2016, warning department and FBI employees to "be particularly mindful of these rules in an election year."
''Everybody and their mother knew he was engaged in political activities,'' former Pentagon Inspector General Joseph E. Schmitz said. ''Horowitz could have easily seen to it that he was branded unfit for office and banned from the federal payroll for up to five years.'' Schmitz added that the Hatch Act is not a criminal statute and does not require the same level of evidence to find a violation.
Cutting Comey Some Slack Horowitz's critics say the IG's August report giving Comey a pass for leaking what bureau veterans say was classified information to the press is perhaps his biggest cop-out.
They argue that Horowitz failed to question how Strzok arrived at his determination that the memo Comey leaked to The New York Times was not classified. Strzok retroactively marked it "For Official Use Only," even though it cited the counterintelligence investigation of retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, Trump's first choice as national security adviser. Normally an internal FBI document mentioning the subject of an ongoing counterintelligence investigation is automatically deemed classified. Even when Strzok marked that memo as FOUO '' after the fact, in July 2017 '' Flynn was still under investigation.
''The idea that the subject of a counterintelligence investigation was unclassified is ridiculous. The very existence of a counterintelligence investigation is classified at least Secret,'' said former FBI agent and lawyer Mark Wauck, who worked on such investigations for the bureau dealing with Russia.
Strzok at least initially worried it did contain secret information. After it was revealed to have been leaked, he sent agents to New York to scrub the computer that received the Comey memo.
''It's all too convenient that Strzok would label the one memo his boss had leaked to the media as unclassified,'' said Michael Biasello, a 27-year veteran of the FBI. "It was the difference between violating DOJ rules and breaking the law.''
Added Biasello, ''It looks like Horowitz just played along'' with the bureau's efforts to gloss over the classified nature of the memo.
Benefit of the Doubt At virtually every turn, the inspector general gave top brass the benefit of the doubt.
''He has bent over backwards to provide cover for a former colleague,'' Biasello said, referring to Comey.
In the early 1990s, Horowitz worked under Comey at the department's Southern District of New York office. Comey was deputy chief of the criminal division, and Horowitz was an assistant U.S. attorney.
Recounting their days together in Manhattan, Horowitz has praised Comey as an aggressive prosecutor, but one who he says was careful not to abuse his power.
''Jim was not a prosecutor who was afraid to use all the available tools in serious cases as long as you were doing it within the law,'' he told the New York Times in 2007.
Horowitz has not disclosed his past relationship with Comey in any of his reports examining him or FBI activities under his command. Nor has he recused himself from any part of his investigations.
Critics also say Horowitz's decisions may be clouded by his own political biases, which he's kept well-guarded over the years.
As a college student in Boston in the 1980s, Horowitz volunteered to work on the political campaigns of several Democratic politicians, including Rep. Barney Frank, an outspoken liberal who retired in 2013. He also worked in Frank's office from 1982-1984, according to a Senate questionnaire Horowitz filled out during his IG confirmation hearing.
Inspector General Horowitz in 2010 donated to anti-Trump Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., a former colleague who is now a Democratic presidential candidate.
AP Photo/John Locher
Horowitz's only known campaign donation was to a liberal Democrat who routinely bashes Trump and is now running to take his job as a 2020 presidential candidate. In 2010, federal election records show Horowitz contributed $1,000 to Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet, a friend and former colleague who campaigned for Clinton in the last election and downplayed her use of the unsecured email server she set up in her basement to send and receive classified information.
Following Trump's upset victory, Bennet demanded the Justice Department launch a special investigation into his Russian connections, claiming ''Putin couldn't ask for a better friend than [Trump].'' After Mueller cleared Trump and his campaign of conspiring with Russia during the election, Bennet urged Congress to continue to investigate the president.
Bennet's brother happens to be the editorial page editor of the New York Times -- the newspaper that received the leaked Comey memo Horowitz concluded was not classified.
Records show Horowitz's wife has donated money to Democratic candidates, as well, including $2,300 to Barack Obama's campaign in 2008, the maximum individual contribution allowed. In addition, she gave $500 to the failed congressional campaign of Democrat Jon Jennings, a former aide to President Clinton.
Like her husband, Alexandra Horowitz also worked on Democratic political campaigns. In 1988, she served as a press aide to Michael Dukakis during his presidential bid, before flacking for Democratic Congressman Byron Dorgan. She later worked more than a decade as a producer for CNN and PBS.
Horowitz got his start in Washington during the Clinton administration. He moved there in January 1999 to work for Attorney General Janet Reno and her deputy Eric Holder at the Justice Department.
In 2011, Obama tapped Horowitz to serve as the department's top internal watchdog under Holder, then the attorney general. His first major report came the next year when he investigated the "Fast and Furious" gun-running scandal, in which federal officials allowed the illegal sale of firearms to people connected to Mexican drug cartels in order to track them. The inspector general ended up referring 14 department employees for discipline in the deadly debacle, which resulted in the death of a Border Patrol agent, but they were mostly low-level personnel, including ATF field agents.
'Fast and Furious' Slap on the Wrist
Horowitz, meanwhile, absolved Holder of wrong-doing in his investigation even though Congress implicated Holder and held him in contempt for refusing to turn over some 75,000 documents and cooperate in its investigation.
In his final report, IG Horowitz accepted Holder's claim he was not aware of the deadly border operation, and did not offer an opinion about whether Holder should have known.
Eric Holder: Horowitz accepted the former Attorney General's claim that he was not aware of the deadly federal "Fast and Furious" gun-running operation.
AP Photo/Cliff Owen
He also let top Holder aide Lanny Breuer off with no more than a slap on the wrist, even though Republican lawmakers accused him of making ''demonstrably and materially false'' statements in a 2011 letter to Sen. Chuck Grassley of the Judiciary Committee. Horowitz and Breuer were old friends dating back to the Clinton years, and he had previously written a letter in support of Breuer to be head of the criminal division.
''I think you were a little soft on Lanny Breuer,'' then-Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, scolded Horowitz in a subsequent House hearing.
So far there have been few serious consequences for department big shots from Horowitz's findings, even for McCabe. Trump supporters hanging their hopes on ''straight-shooter'' Horowitz getting to the bottom of alleged FBI surveillance abuses during the 2016 election could be disappointed.
Even if he does produce a tough report, it's not likely to stay that way, department insiders say. They expect it to be watered down especially after Comey, Strzok, McCabe, Page and other officials mentioned in it get their own chance to make changes, reviewing it for ''accuracy.''
Swecker says he's already given up on Horowitz holding dirty agents accountable and is putting stock in prosecutor Durham's wider probe into Trump-Russia's origins.
''Durham is serious,'' the former FBI official said, ''and he has indictment authority.''
The Marijuana Black Market Will Keep Its Throne in California, Thanks to Tax Increases '' Reason.com
Tue, 26 Nov 2019 22:33
Marijuana Business
When the government tries to hoover up all the money earned from legalized drugs, this is what happens. Scott Shackford | 11.25.2019 2:05 PM
(Randall Benton/TNS/Newscom)
You know what the legal marijuana industry in California doesn't need? Higher prices. But even though black market pot sales already outnumber legal purchases by nearly a three-to-one margin, a state agency is jacking up its taxes on marijuana. The new rates are scheduled to start with the new year.
Marijuana taxes will be increasing in two ways. The first involved the state's 15 percent excise tax, which is calculated based on how much marijuana vendors mark up the price of retail sales to cover their costs and make a profit. The California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) researched average marijuana retail prices across the state, and it determined that sales have been marked up 80 percent from wholesale costs. This is an increase from the previous mark-up calculations of 60 percent. So the state will be demanding a larger chunk of money from every retail marijuana sale.
The second increase is an inflation adjustment for cultivation taxes. The tax on dry leaves, for example, will increase from $2.75 to $2.87 per ounce.
Neither of these tax increases is subject to a vote from lawmakers. The inflation adjustment was baked into the legislation passed in 2017. Indeed, all of these relatively inflexible guidelines were built into a law that tried to guarantee that state and local governments would get lots of revenue out of a new legal industry.
Meanwhile experts estimate that black market marijuana vendors will bring in $8.7 billion in revenue in 2019, compared to $3 billion from legal sales. The state has had to adjust revenue projections downward because it failed to predict how the high costs it was imposing would keep consumers away from legal weed.
Marijuana Business Daily reports that members of the industry
immediately criticized the move, as did Oakland Democrat Rob Bonta, a state assembly member who has twice tried'--but failed'--to lower MJ taxes through the legislature.
In an emailed statement, Bonta called the tax hike "deeply concerning."
"This short-sighted move ignores the realities that licensed businesses are at the breaking point, with many struggling to survive," Bonta wrote, and reiterated his support for at least temporarily lowering state cannabis taxes.
The California Cannabis Industry Association (CCIA) said the increase left its members "stunned and outraged."
"As California's regulated market spirals towards collapse from taxes on cannabis consumers'...we believe that the CDTFA's decision to increase tax burdens on compliant cannabis operators is counter to developing a safe industry," according to the association's statement.
Earlier in the month, 60 Minutes reported how the absurdly high costs of trying to legally grow weed in marijuana has fostered a black market and ensured that many legal vendors cannot make a profit. The state's response, from Gov. Gavin Newsom and Attorney General Xavier Becerra (both Democrats), has been to launch a new drug war to try to crack down on the black market. It is not unlike Newsom's apparent bafflement that increasing gas taxes in California caused the price of gasoline to rise.
The new taxes will be yet another kick in the teeth of anybody trying to legally sell or buy marijuana in California. A spokesperson from Newsom's office responded to Marijuana Business Daily with a bland claim that they want to "simplify compliance for everyone involved and support a healthy legal market." But the policies the administration is enforcing do the exact opposite of that.
UPDATE: Huge disruption in Berlin as thousands of farmers in tractors shut down streets - The Local
Tue, 26 Nov 2019 22:32
Thousands of farmers descended on Berlin in their tractors on Tuesday in a massive protest against government plans.
The rally, being held in protest to government plans which farmers say are threatening their livelihoods, is having a major impact on traffic in the capital. Several roads and the Autobahn have been hit by huge traffic jams due to the overload of tractors.
Long convoys brought traffic to a standstill in the heart of the city's government district, in the biggest display yet of farmers' anger over agricultural policy changes agreed by Chancellor Angela Merkel's cabinet in September.
More than 5,000 tractors as well as 10,000 farmers, made their way from across Germany to the StraŸe des 17. June, at the city's famous Brandenburg Gate in the centre of Berlin, for Tuesday's rally.
Organisers said as many as 8,500 tractors took part.
"First the plants starve, then the farmers, then you," read one sign attached to a green tractor.
"Do you know who feeds you?" read another.
The government's policy package includes plans to limit the use of fertiliser to tackle nitrate pollution in groundwater, and phase out the controversial weedkiller glyphosate by 2023 to protect insect populations.
Furious farmers say the environmental protection measures go too far and pose an existential risk to their farms.
Many are also fed up with the "farmer bashing" they say has cast them as villains in the fight against climate change.
"I'm feeling less and less confident about the future," 24-year-old farmer Rene Wessler told AFP at the protest.
Residents in the capital were urged to leave their cars at home. There was also disruption to bus and tram lines.
Convoys, some up to 20 kilometres long, were seen early in the morning travelling along roads.
The German Gilets Jaunes? Farmers heading to Berlin in more than 5000 tractors in the early morning today to protest against government's agricultural policies.According to leading activists the movement is organised via social media +connects about 100.000 followers #Bauerndemo pic.twitter.com/0bOqNArOXr
'-- Julian G¶pffarth (@JGopffarth) November 26, 2019On Tuesday morning the exits at Tempelhofer Damm, Kaiserdamm and BeusselstraŸe on the southern city Autobahn were closed. In addition, the Victory Column and the StraŸe des 17. Juni between Brandenburger Tor and Ernst-Reuter-Platz have been shut. Parts of Kaiserdamm and BismarckstraŸe were also closed to regular traffic.
Drivers were facing 50 minute delays on HeerstraŸe, where traffic was also congested due to the rally.
First tractors arrive for rally
Brandenburg police said a total of 5,095 tractors are involved in the protest.
The first farmers arrived with their vehicles at Brandenburg Gate in the early hours of Tuesday.
Another 1,825 tractors followed early Tuesday morning from Brandenburg. In Perleberg alone, according to the police, almost 550 farmers spent the night with their tractors at a meeting point. "There are 1,000 vehicles on the route from Perleberg to Nauen, which we are leading to Berlin," a police spokesman said in the morning.
More and more vehicles joined the queue, causing major traffic disruption.
Police recorded two accidents caused by drivers overtaking. They urged people to be careful on the roads.
The demo is the latest in a series of protests by farmers in Germany. They are being organized by the movement Land schafft Verbindung (countryside creates connection) as well as the German Farmers' Association and the alliance Forum Natur.
READ ALSO: German farmers shut down streets in nationwide protest against government plans
Farmers in their tractors in Berlin on Tuesday. Photo: DPA
READ ALSO: 'What harms insects harms people': Germany to ban cancer-linked pesticide
City streets shut down
Berlin police were expecting severe traffic problems throughout Tuesday, especially in the districts of Mitte and Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf.
In a tweet they said there would be "significant traffic disruption".
The StraŸe des 17. Juni was completely closed from 6am, Altonaer StraŸe from 9am onwards.
BismarckstraŸe - Kaiserdamm and Hofj¤gerallee - Klingelh¶ferstraŸe streets were closed off, according to the Berlin Traffic Information Centre (VIZ). No regular traffic, no delivery traffic and no taxis are permitted.
Additionally, the exits BeusselstraŸe (direction Wedding), Kaiserdamm-S¼d (direction Neuk¶lln) and Tempelhofer Damm (both directions) was to be closed on the city Autobahn A100 between 9am and 9pm There was also set to be considerable restrictions on local public transport, especially to bus and tram services.
Traffic jams were also expected in Brandenburg and drivers are urged to check for updates.
Latest protest
Other German cities have seen similar demos in recent weeks, including large one in Bonn last month.
Farmers have also taken to the streets in France and the Netherlands with similar complaints.
Germany's agriculture minister Kl¶ckner defended the government's measures, aimed in part at bringing the country in line with EU regulations, but said she understood the farmers' frustrations.
Tractors in Berlin. Photo: DPA
"Consumers keep expecting farmers to do more, but are increasingly less willing to pay more for it," she told ARD broadcaster, calling for more appreciation for the industry.
Kl¶ckner was due to address the rally later on Tuesday, where farmers plan to hand her a large envelope containing letters expressing their grievances.
Merkel has invited some 40 agricultural organisations to the chancellery for talks on December 2nd.
Solar and battery microgrid achieves 90% renewables for W.A. gas hub | One Step Off The Grid
Tue, 26 Nov 2019 22:30
Horizon Power's poster child for the shift to a distributed renewable grid, the Western Australia Pilbara town of Onslow, says its solar and battery microgrid is already helping to deliver ''more reliable'' and cleaner power '' at levels of up to 90 per cent renewables.
The W.A. regional utility said on Tuesday that the newly commissioned 1MW solar and battery microgrid had notched up some new milestones, including reliability testing, and the first stage of an intelligent control system.
The latter was being tested to ensure that the microgrid integrated effectively with the broader power system, once fully operational.
''We are achieving up to 90 per cent of the power being delivered in Onslow coming from renewable sources with the commissioning of the solar and battery,'' a company spokesperson said.
''However, this is not constant and depends on how much demand, time of the day, cloud cover, etc. The expected reduction in CO2 emissions is 820 tonnes a year.''
''Before the commissioning of the solar and battery, we had 100 per cent fossil fuel generation in the town and we are aiming to reach 100 per cent of generation from renewable sources in the town, at certain times of the day and year, as an outcome of this pilot.
''We expect to achieve the highest levels of renewable energy penetration during the middle of the day in the cooler months.''
As we have reported on One Step, Horizon Power's Renewable Energy Pilot in Onslow '' the launching base for the massive Wheatstone LNG project owned by Chevron '' combines a new 8MW gas-fired power plant with distributed and utility-scale solar and battery storage.
Horizon Power built the gas plant in Onslow which was commissioned last year, and this year has delivered the solar farm and battery.
Onslow residents have meanwhile been incentivised to install solar and battery at their homes as part of the project which tests the management of renewable energy in an isolated regional community.
Horizon said this week that the microgrid control technology was now being used to reduce power fluctuations, increase power quality and coordinate power generation from gas plant with the solar farm and battery.
''The benefit to the community from this stage of the project is more reliable, cleaner and greener power through the incorporation of utility grade solar and battery assets into the power infrastructure,'' said Horizon CEO Stephanie Unwin in comments on Tuesday.
''The microgrid management technology is an amazing piece of technology that is new to this state and allows for the careful management of the various energy sources in the town,'' she said.
The solar and natural gas-powered micro-grid was financially backed by Chevron, which has invested more than $250 million in social and critical infrastructure in the community of Onslow as part of its State Development Agreement.
''Investing in the power projects in Onslow means natural gas is partnering with renewables to deliver affordable, reliable and ever-cleaner energy for the town,'' Chevron Australia's Wheatstone Plant Manager Nigel Comerford said.
Impeachment by Public Opinion '' Oh Noes: Adam Schiff's Terribly, Horribly, Painfully Transparent Back-Tracking'... | The Last Refuge
Tue, 26 Nov 2019 17:52
If you have liberal family members around for this weeks Thanksgiving feast and celebration it would be wise to understand the scale of their disappointment, even if they have yet to recognize it. Perhaps the best course will be just smiling.
'...''I want to discuss this with my constituents and colleagues before I make a final judgment on this,'' Schiff said.Amid diminishing public support for the impeachment fiasco; and with more Americans starting to realize the past two months were an abject lesson in political narrative building and legislative manipulation; HPSCI impeachment committee chairman Adam Schiff transmits a letter today to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler.
If Schiff were in the MMA venue this letter, describing the HPSCI report to the House Judiciary Committee (HJC), would be a double tap to the mat:
Well, there's a slightly less than strong impeachment position: Impeachment by ''inference''.. he says. Previously Mueller and Weissmann attempted to prosecute President Trump, the fictitious horse-thief, for attempting to obstruct his hanging; now Schiff is inferring guilt because President Trump didn't present alibis for his whereabouts when the fictitious horse wasn't stolen'.... Yup, it's looking like a fail.
Schiff continues:
Wait,'... President Trump has done terrible, horrible, dastardly stuff that the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, says makes President Donald J Trump an ''imposter'' in the office. But now the assembly of the three committees need to figure out whether such imposter behavior is ''compatible with the office of the presidency''?
See the obfuscation?
Pelosi, Schiff, Nadler and Lawfare are in ''political extraction mode''. That is, trying to walk backwards to the impeachment exit and only stepping into their prior footprints so that the left-wing nuts cannot identify their retreat.
You can read the Schiff letter to Nadler HERE.
Oh man, the Democrat base is going to go bananas if the House doesn't have an impeachment vote'.... and yet Pelosi could lose her gavel if the House has an impeachment vote that results in two foolish House Managers showing up to the Senate chamber with legally limp articles of impeachment.
Vox Popoli: Now where have I heard that term before?
Tue, 26 Nov 2019 17:49
Adam Schiff has publicly floated the idea of the House holding onto the articles of impeachment instead of passing them on to the Senate as "a sealed indictment":We now have the spectacle of Bug-eyes Schiff and former Michigan Democrat Governor Jennifer Granholm laying out a scenario on the Sunday morning talk shows in which the seditious Democrats would go ahead and vote on articles of impeachment before congress recesses for the Christmas holidays, but then hold them up indefinitely while the House Intelligence Committee under Schiff’s control continues its clown show witch hunt.The Democrat theory of the day being that Republicans can’t begin a Senate trial until the articles have been formally transmitted to them by the House. Here is what Schiff had to say to CNN’s fake host Jake Tapper:“We have continued to learn more information every day. And I think that is going to continue,” he said on CNN. “So, we may have to file addendums to that report. We may have other depositions and hearings to do.”Later on the same program, after Schiff laid out his strategy for ongoing investigations as far as the eye can see, Granholm detailed the other side of this latest un-American tactic: “It is important to consider as Democrats to slow our roll a little bit. I was glad to hear that Adam Schiff said there is other information and this is not the end of things. And people are saying before you toss it over to the Senate, why don’t you take your vote on what you’ve heard and just hold it. Seal it, like a sealed indictment until you’ve gathered what you think is necessary to convince the jury that has already made up its mind. I don’t think we’re there yet.”Yeah, sure, just seal it like an indictment, and keep the nation in limbo for as long as ol’ Bug-eyes sees fit.This of course is what is known in the DC Swamp as a “trial balloon.” Schiff and Granholm obviously coordinated their remarks in advance to roll this concept out and see what kind of reaction it creates in the public and among their corrupt media toadies like Fake Jake Tapper.It's not a trial balloon, it's a hapless bluff meant to stop the forces of the God-Emperor from unsealing all the thousands of indictments that will launch the long-awaited Swarm. And, of course, it is a virtual admission that the case for impeachment the Democrats have constructed is bound to fail. Which is precisely why the President should not accept their tacit offer of leaving things with the status quo; he has them on the ropes, he knows it, and now he knows they know it too.Labels: law, politics
CURRENT NFL LINEBACKER ON SUSPENSION DROPS BOMB; NFL GAMES ARE 'RIGGED' '' True Pundit
Tue, 26 Nov 2019 16:48
It's been nearly eight weeks since Vontaze Burfict played in his last NFL game of 2019. The Raiders linebacker has been out since the end of Week 4, when he was given a season-long suspension for a helmet-to-helmet hit that he placed on Colts tight end Jack Doyle.
Although Burfict has been laying low for most of his suspension, the linebacker did come out of the woodwork recently to do an interview with The Athletic, and let's just say, it seems he had some bottled up emotions that he wanted to get off his chest, and most of those emotions had to do with the NFL and some key league executives.
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For one, Burfict made a shocking accusation that probably isn't going to go over too well in the league office: The Raiders linebacker said he believes that some NFL games are rigged. According to Burfict, the league is able to pull it off because the officials can control the outcome of any game. Burfict's opinion on the subject came up when he was asked if he had been watching any football during his suspension.
''I honestly think some of the games are rigged,'' Burfict said. ''The refs pick and choose when they want to throw their flags. There are flags on every play. The refs determine the outcomes of games, so I just chose not to watch it for the most part.''
Famed news anchorwoman Jessica Savitch's powerful and disturbing expose on NFL game rigging and mafia ties is legendary. Watch it here. Savitch was found 'drowned' in a ditch shortly after it aired.
Basically, Burfict is calling into question the integrity of the game, which won't make Roger Goodell happy. With gambling now legal in multiple states, the NFL commissioner had been emphasizing the integrity of the game recently, and how important it is for fans to trust that there aren't any ''outside influences'' on the outcomes of NFL games.
''You don't want to do anything that's going to impact negatively on the integrity of our game,'' Goodell said in January 2018. ''You want to be certain that there are no outside influences on our game, and that fans don't even have any issue with that; they understand, whether it's a perception or not, that there is no influence on our game. And that's something we stand firmly behind on the integrity of our game.''
For the NFL, it's not an ideal time for Burfict to make that accusation due to how bad the officiating has been this season.
Also, Burfict isn't the only one who seems to think that refs might be throwing flags that don't need to be thrown. After the 49ers' Week 11 win over the Cardinals, Richard Sherman said he felt that he was being unfairly targeted by officials, which isn't that abnormal, because most defensive backs probably feel that way. However, Sherman's reasoning was definitely abnormal: The 49ers cornerback insinuated that refs were flagging him as payback for the fact that he's a member of the NFLPA's executive committee. READ MORE:
How farmer protests are set to shut down Germany's streets - The Local
Tue, 26 Nov 2019 15:49
Farmers protesting in Berlin last month. Photo: DPA
Thousands of farmers are getting on their tractors and protesting across Germany as they make their way to Berlin in a demo against the government.
FOLLOW the latest news on Tuesday's tractor protest in Berlin HERE
It's the latest in series of protests being held against the government's new agricultural package.
Since the weekend, farmers across the country have been getting on their tractors and travelling across German cities and the countryside.
In D¼sseldorf, about 535 farmers with tractors drove the city on Monday, causing lots of disruption.
According to police, a "gigantic" demonstration and rally is set to take place in Berlin on Tuesday, reported the Berliner Morgenpost.
A total of 10,000 protesters with 5,000 tractors and agricultural machinery are registered to take part in the demo from 9.30am to 8pm.
It comes just over a month after a nationwide demonstration. Up to 10,000 farmers along with about 1,000 tractors gathered in the western German city of Bonn, where the German Agriculture Ministry is based, on October 22nd.
READ ALSO: German farmers shut down streets in nationwide protest against government plans
Protests also took place in 17 other cities, including Berlin, Munich, Bayreuth, Erfurt, Rendsburg, Hanover, Oldenburg, Stuttgart, Freiburg, Leipzig and G¶rlitz.
Around 4,000 farmers also demonstrated in Hamburg earlier this month, on November 14th.
The demos are being organized by the movement Land schafft Verbindung (countryside creates connection) as well as the German Farmers' Association and the alliance Forum Natur.
Why exactly are farmers protesting?
Farmers are angry about new planned regulations which Agriculture Minister Julia Kl¶ckner, of the CDU, and Environment Minister Svenja Schulze, of the SPD, presented at the beginning of September.
Among other things, the government package stipulates that the weedkiller glyphosate will be banned in Germany by the end of 2023 after a phasing-out period.
READ ALSO: 'What harms insects harms people': Germany to ban cancer-linked pesticide
The government is also proposing to reduce the nitrate content in ground water by cutting the use of certain fertilizers and liquid manure.
But many German farmers say they are still coping with large amounts of excess nitrate from the past.
There are fears that the agricultural package will endanger family-run farms, according to the Land schafft Verbindung.
Tractors in D¼sseldorf on Monday. Photo: DPA
How will the demonstration impact Berlin?
In Berlin on Tuesday, the tractors are expected to bring parts of the city to a standstill.
They will drive into the city centre and gather at the Victory Column/Siegessaule (near Brandenburg Gate) from five different locations: from the north in Frohnau on the BundesstraŸe 96 Oranienburger Chaussee and from the north-east on the BundesstraŸe 2 DorfstraŸe/ Malchower Chaussee.
Further convoys will cross the state borders in the east on the Alt-Mahlsdorf road (BundesstraŸe 1), in the south on the BundesstraŸe 96 Kirchhainer Dammm and in the west on the BundesstraŸe 5 Hamburger Chaussee and HeerstraŸe and they will drive towards the city centre. The meeting point is StraŸe des 17. Juni where the Victory Column stands.
There is expected to be major traffic disruption in the city throughout the day. According to authorities, there will be considerable problems along the routes in the districts of Mitte and Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf, especially on the Tangente HeerstraŸe, Kaiserdamm, BismarckstraŸe and the StraŸe des 17. Juni.
According to Berlin traffic information centre, the BismarckstraŸe - Kaiserdamm road will be completely closed when the tractor convoys arrive. No individual traffic, no delivery traffic and no taxi traffic will be allowed on the road.
For this purpose, 'no stopping' areas will be in place from 6am to 3pm for the lanes and the central reservation between Ernst-Reuter-Platz and WundtstraŸe. In addition, the exits BeusselstraŸe (direction Wedding), Kaiserdamm-S¼d (direction Neuk¶lln) and Tempelhofer Damm (both directions) will be closed on the A100 between 9am and 9pm.
Tractors in D¼sseldorf on Monday. Photo: DPA
The police are advising residents to leave their cars at home and opt for the S-Bahn and U-Bahn to travel. Considerable delays are expected in the bus and tram network, too.
Here are the routes affected in Berlin in more detail:
Route 1: State border B96 Oranienburger Chaussee - Berliner StraŸe - Oraniendamm - Oranienburger StraŸe - left Roedernallee - left Lindauer Allee - ResidenzstraŸe - right MarktstraŸe - right SeestraŸe - left Beusselstr. - left Alt-Moabit - right GotzkowskystraŸe - left LevetzowstraŸe - Altonaer StraŸe - GroŸer Stern - StraŸe des 17. Juni
Route 2: Border B2 DorfstraŸe - Malchower Chaussee - Berliner Allee - right OstseestraŸe - Wisbyer StraŸe - Bornholmer StraŸe - Osloer StraŸe - SeestraŸe - left BeusselstraŸe - left Alt-Moabit - right GotzkowskystraŸe - left LevetzowstraŸe - Altonaer StraŸe - GroŸer Stern - StraŸe des 17. Juni
Route 3: State border B1 Alt-Mahlsdorf - Alt-Kaulsdorf - Alt-Biesdorf - Alt-Friedrichsfelde - Frankfurter Allee - Frankfurter Tor - Karl-Marx-Allee - right Otto-Braun-StraŸe - left MollstraŸe - TorstraŸe - Hannoversche StraŸe - Hessische StraŸe - left InvaliedenstraŸe - right Alt Moabit - left StromstraŸe - LessingstraŸe - left Altonaer StraŸe - GroŸer Stern - StraŸe des 17. Juni
Route 4: State border B96 Kirchhainer Damm - Lichtenrader Damm - Mariendorfer Damm - Tempelhofer Damm - Platz der Luftbr¼cke - Mehringdamm - WilhelmstraŸe - left Hallesches Ufer - Potsdamer Br¼cke - Reichpietschufer - Von-der-Heydt-StraŸe - right Klingelh¶ferstraŸe - Hofj¤gerallee - GroŸer Stern - StraŸe des 17. Juni
Route 5: State border B5 Hamburger Chaussee - B2 Heerstr. - Theodor-Heuss-Platz - right Kaiserdamm - BismarckstraŸe - Ernst-Reuter-Platz - right Str. d. 17. June - GroŸer Stern - StraŸe des 17. June
Bloodshed in Baghdad as Sweden investigates Iraq minister for 'crimes against humanity' - The National
Tue, 26 Nov 2019 15:49
Estimated 350 people believed to have been killed in largest demonstrations since fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003
Iraqi protesters help their fellow protestor, who was affected by tear gas which was dispensed by riot police during clashes following a protest at Al Rasheed street in central Baghdad. EPA
Iraqi protesters take cover during clashes with anti-riot police forces at the Al Rasheed street in central Baghdad. EPA
Iraqi protesters help their fellow protestor, who was wounded during clashes with riot police, following a protest at Al Rasheed street in central Baghdad. EPA
Iraqi protesters try to pull down a concret block which was used by Iraqi police forces to close Al Rasheed street, near the headquarters of the Central Bank of Iraq in central Baghdad. EPA
Iraqi protesters take a rest and eat during a protest at Al Rasheed street in central Baghdad. EPA
Iraqi protesters help their fellow protestor, who was wounded during clashes with riot police forces, following a protest at Al Rasheed street in central Baghdad. EPA
Iraqi protesters clash with anti-riot police forces at Al Rasheed street in central Baghdad. EPA
Iraqi protesters react after police fired tear gas at them during a demonstration at Al-Rasheed street in central Baghdad. EPA
Iraqi masked protesters take cover during clashes with anti-riot police forces at the Al Rasheed street in central Baghdad. EPA
Iraqi protesters take cover during clashes with anti-riot police forces at the Al Rasheed street in central Baghdad. EPA
An Iraqi protester runs to throw tear gas canister back toward riot police forces during clashes with anti-riot police forces at the Al Rasheed street in central Baghdad. EPA
Nov 26, 2019
November 26, 2019
Nine people were killed and dozens wounded in violent clashes between protesters and security forces in Iraq on Monday as prosecutors in Sweden said they were investigating an Iraqi minister for ''crimes against humanity''.
Swedish media identified the subject of the inquiry as Defence Minister Najah Al Shammari, but the Swedish Prosecution Authority did not name anyone.
Media reports suggested the inquiry related to the shooting dead of hundreds of protesters.
The prosecutors said it had received complaints about "an Iraqi minister suspected of crimes against humanity".
It said the investigation was "in a very early stage".
He was identified as Mr Al Shammari, who is also a Swedish citizen but goes by a different name there.
A Swedish-Iraqi lawyer told the Svenska Dagbladet newspaper that he had reported Mr Al Shammari to police in October for his role in the shooting of hundreds of protesters in weeks of unrest.
The minister is also under investigation for benefits fraud, claiming housing and child benefits from Sweden despite living in Iraq, online news site Nyheter Idag reported.
Mr Al Shammari arrived in Sweden in 2009 and was granted permanent residency in 2011 before getting his citizenship in 2015, Expressen reported.
Since October 1, Iraq's capital and south have been swept by mass rallies protesting against corruption, a lack of jobs and poor services.
Those demonstrations have escalated into calls for a complete overhaul of the ruling elite.
Three hundred and fifty protesters have been killed and thousands wounded in clashes with the security forces, AFP estimated.
The authorities in Iraq no longer update their figures.
On Sunday, 13 anti-government protesters died across the country in one of the worst days of violence since the start of the protests.
Updated: November 26, 2019 12:44 PM
Former executive sues CBS, alleging age and race discrimination; suit says minorities are relegated to sitting in back rows and sometimes excluded from meetings (Eriq Gardner/Hollywood Reporter)
Tue, 26 Nov 2019 10:01
Mediagazer presents the day's must-read media news on a single page.
The media business is in tumult: from the production side tothe distribution side, new technologies are upending the industry.Keeping up with these changes is time-consuming, as essential media coverageis scattered across numerous web sites at any given moment.
Mediagazer simplifies this task by organizing the key coverage in one place.We've combined sophisticated automated aggregation technologies withdirect editorial input from knowledgeable human editorsto present the one indispensable narrative of an industry in transition.
Black Turnout Could Make or Break Democrats in 2020
Tue, 26 Nov 2019 09:53
It's the ticket for a Democratic win in 2020. Photo: Bill Wechter/AFP via Getty Images
Among the many factors that contributed to Hillary Clinton's shocking defeat in 2016, one pretty much everyone agrees upon (though not necessarily about its relative significance) is a falloff in African-American turnout relative to 2012. The numbers are clear, as Politico reported in 2017:
The Census' Current Population Survey, released Wednesday, shows 65 percent of white citizens cast ballots in last year's presidential election, up from 64 percent four years earlier.
But the turnout rate among African-American citizens tumbled sharply, the survey shows. Only 59 percent of black citizens voted in 2016, down from 66 percent in 2012 and 65 percent in 2008.
Those national numbers may underestimate the size and impact of lower black turnout in individual battleground states, as Osita Nwanevu observed:
Crucially, the drop in black turnout was even sharper in states where the margin of victory was less than 10 points than it was nationally '-- in those battleground states, black turnout dropped 5.3 points. In two critical states that swung to Trump '-- Michigan and Wisconsin '-- black turnout dropped by just more than 12 points. Declines were less dramatic but significant in other swing states Trump carried: Ohio (down 7.5 points), Florida (4.2), and Pennsylvania (2.1). White turnout declined modestly in each of those swing states but Florida and Pennsylvania, where it increased by 3.5 points and 5.2 points respectively. Clinton lost each of those swing states but Ohio by a margin of less than 2 points.
Conversely, a return to higher black turnout could be a key element in toppling Trump next year. In a major study from the Center for American Progress, Ruy Teixeira and John Halpin project that natural demographic trends in the last four years plus a return to 2012 levels of African-American voting would flip four states '-- Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin '-- and give Democrats a 294-244 majority in the Electoral College. And even if black voting turnout doesn't quite hit those levels, in many states even marginal changes in turnout and Democratic vote-share could make the difference in a close race.
Will black turnout rebound to 2012 automatically after nearly three years of the most openly racist president since Woodrow Wilson? That's unclear. In the 2018 midterms African-American turnout rose 10.8 percent as compared to the last midterm in 2014, as compared to an 11.7 boost in white turnout. And there's also some evidence (though it's at best mixed) that Trump is marginally more popular with black voters now than he was in 2016, though he remains overwhelmingly unpopular.
The most obvious factor to which to attribute the 2012-2016 falloff in African-American turnout is the absence at the top of the ticket of the first African-American president. 2016 black turnout, in fact, returned to its pre-Obama, 2004 levels. What's hard to calculate is whether the 2008-2012 turnout boom was a unique event attributable to Obama's pioneering status (much like the sky-high margins John F. Kennedy won among Catholics in 1960 or Jimmy Carter's big wins in the Deep South in 1976), or could be replicated by another African-American at the top of the ticket in 2020 or beyond.
There is some suggestive evidence that black candidates still matter with black voters. The Cook Political Report's David Wasserman noted that in the 2019 off-year elections in Mississippi, the white (and culturally conservative) Democratic gubernatorial nominee didn't generate very robust African-American turnout as compared to the moderate black Senate candidate who ran in a 2018 special election:
[T]urnout in Mississippi was down from last November's special Senate election, when GOP Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith defeated Democrat Mike Espy 54 percent to 46 percent. The reason? Hood, a conservative white Democrat who had long served as the state's attorney general, failed to mobilize Mississippi's black voters to the same extent as Espy, who is African American and had represented the Mississippi Delta in Congress in the 1990s.
In Mississippi counties where white residents outnumber African Americans, 2019 turnout was down just 3 percent versus last fall and Hood took 39 percent, up from Espy's 37 percent. But in Mississippi counties where African American residents outnumber whites, 2019 turnout was down 8 percent and Hood took just 68 percent, down from Espy's 69 percent. In Jackson's Hinds County, the largest in the state, turnout was down 11 percent.
On the other hand, it's impossible to ignore the fact that in the 2020 Democratic presidential nominating contest, two African-American senators whose r(C)sum(C)s compare favorably to Obama's when he first ran are really struggling with black voters. In a recent Monmouth poll of South Carolina, where roughly 60 percent of the primary electorate is African-American (and where Obama romped to a landslide win over Hillary Clinton in 2008), the top-polling black candidate, Kamala Harris, is losing the black vote to Joe Biden by a 39-8 margin. In fact, Biden, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders are all beating Harris among black voters. And Cory Booker is mired in the low single digits in South Carolina. Both Harris and Booker have been forced to go all-in on the Iowa Caucuses in an effort to impress black voters later in the schedule that they are viable. And they aren't doing well there, either. A third on-paper-viable black candidate, Deval Patrick, joined the contest, but this corporate-oriented former governor of a very white state has a lot to prove to black and white voters alike.
Biden's strong position among black voters at present is a living refutation of another theory: that Democrats can energize African-Americans with an aggressively progressive agenda aimed at addressing economic inequality and institutional racism. Black Democrats are more likely to self-identify as ''moderate'' than are white Democrats. And ideology aside, a self-conscious pitch to black voters may not work for a candidate who for whatever reason doesn't resonate with the target: Pete Buttigieg has an impressive agenda for black empowerment he calls the ''Douglass Plan.'' His African-American following remains very small.
So what are Democrats to do?
It might help if they less conspicuously obsess about other potentially conflicting constituencies like white working-class voters and normally Republican white suburbanites. Traditional base mobilization strategies that have been effective among black voters in the past should get attention and plenty of money.
But perhaps the single best way for Democrats (or if they were willing to do so, Republicans) to boost black turnout is to fight like hell for their right and their opportunity to vote. With voter-suppression efforts ongoing in Republican-governed states all over the country, it's a target-rich environment for Democratic pols and party leaders to show some serious solidarity with the voters they want to turn out on their own behalf.
If, God forbid, I was in charge of a currently successful Democratic presidential campaign supporting a white candidate, I would whisper into the ear of my boss the idea that she or he should not only consider but perhaps announce early a ticket that includes Georgia 2018 Democratic gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams. She is African-American and a moderate on most issues, and above all, has devoted herself to voting rights and knows everything there is to know about mobilizing minority voters. If there's a way to reach Obama-like levels of black turnout in 2020, there's no one more likely to figure out how to do it, and then to do it.
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Why Giuliani Singled Out 2 Ukrainian Oligarchs to Help Look for Dirt - The New York Times
Tue, 26 Nov 2019 09:13
Dmitry Firtash, a Ukrainian energy tycoon facing criminal charges in the United States, says he was offered help with his legal problems during a meeting with two Giuliani associates. Credit... Simon Dawson/Bloomberg, via Getty Images VIENNA '-- They were two Ukrainian oligarchs with American legal problems. One had been indicted on federal bribery charges. The other was embroiled in a vast banking scandal and was reported to be under investigation by the F.B.I.
And they had one more thing in common: Both had been singled out by Rudolph W. Giuliani and pressed to assist in his wide-ranging hunt for information damaging to one of President Trump's leading political rivals, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.
That effort culminated in the July 25 phone call between the American and Ukrainian presidents that has taken Mr. Trump to the brink of impeachment and inexorably brought Mr. Giuliani's Ukrainian shadow campaign into the light.
In public hearings over the last two weeks, American diplomats and national-security officials have laid out in detail how Mr. Trump, at the instigation and with the help of Mr. Giuliani, conditioned nearly $400 million in direly needed military aid on Ukraine's announcing investigations into Mr. Biden and his son, as well as a debunked conspiracy theory that Ukraine, not Russia, interfered in the 2016 presidential election.
But interviews with the two Ukrainian oligarchs '-- Dmitry Firtash and Ihor Kolomoisky '-- as well as with several other people with knowledge of Mr. Giuliani's dealings, point to a new dimension in his exertions on behalf of his client, Mr. Trump. Taken together, they depict a strategy clearly aimed at leveraging information from politically powerful but legally vulnerable foreign citizens.
In the case of Mr. Firtash, an energy tycoon with deep ties to the Kremlin who is facing extradition to the United States on bribery and racketeering charges, one of Mr. Giuliani's associates has described offering the oligarch help with his Justice Department problems '-- if Mr. Firtash hired two lawyers who were close to President Trump and were already working with Mr. Giuliani on his dirt-digging mission. Mr. Firtash said the offer was made in late June when he met with Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, both Soviet-born businessmen involved in Mr. Giuliani's Ukraine pursuit.
Mr. Parnas's lawyer, Joseph A. Bondy, confirmed that account and added that his client had met with Mr. Firtash at Mr. Giuliani's direction and encouraged the oligarch to help in the hunt for compromising information ''as part of any potential resolution to his extradition matter.''
Mr. Firtash's relationship to the Trump-allied lawyers '-- Victoria Toensing and Joseph diGenova '-- has led to intense speculation that he is, at least indirectly, helping to finance Mr. Giuliani's campaign. But until now he has stayed silent, and many of the details of how and why he came to hire the lawyers have remained murky.
In the interview, Mr. Firtash said he had no information about the Bidens and had not financed the search for it. ''Without my will and desire,'' he said, ''I was sucked into this internal U.S. fight.'' But to help his legal case, he said, he had paid his new lawyers $1.2 million to date, with a portion set aside as something of a referral fee for Mr. Parnas.
And in late August, Ms. Toensing and Mr. diGenova did as promised: They went to the Justice Department and pleaded Mr. Firtash's case with the attorney general, William P. Barr.
In an interview, Mr. Giuliani acknowledged that he had sought information helpful to Mr. Trump from a member of Mr. Firtash's original legal team. But, Mr. Giuliani said, ''the only thing he could give me was what I already had, hearsay.'' Asked if he had then directed his associates to meet with Mr. Firtash, Mr. Giuliani initially said, ''I don't think I can comment,'' but later said, ''I did not tell Parnas to do anything with Firtash.''
He added, though, that there would be nothing improper about seeking information about the Bidens from the oligarchs. ''Where do you think you get information about crime?'' he said.
[How Did Rudy Giuliani Get Here? The man once hailed as ''America's Mayor'' is at the center of the most confounding political story of the Trump presidency. Watch this special episode of ''The Weekly,'' our TV show, available to Times subscribers in the U.S.]
But Chuck Rosenberg, a legal expert and a United States attorney under President George W. Bush, said the ''solicitation of information, under these circumstances, and to discredit the president's political opponent, is at best crass and ethically suspect.''
He added: ''And it is even worse if Mr. Giuliani, either directly or through emissaries acting on his behalf, intimated that pending criminal cases can be 'fixed' at the Justice Department. The president's lawyer seems to be trading on the president's supervisory authority over the Justice Department, and that is deeply disturbing.''
Mr. Bondy, the lawyer for Mr. Parnas '-- who was arrested with Mr. Fruman last month on campaign finance-related charges and has signaled a willingness to cooperate with impeachment investigators '-- said in a statement that all of his client's actions had been directed by Mr. Giuliani.
''Mr. Parnas reasonably believed Giuliani's directions reflected the interests and wishes of the president, given Parnas having witnessed and in several instances overheard Mr. Giuliani speaking with the president,'' the lawyer said. Mr. Parnas, he added, ''is remorseful for involving himself and Mr. Firtash in the president's self-interested political plot.''
A Conduit to UkraineBy the time Mr. Giuliani turned his attention to Mr. Kolomoisky and Mr. Firtash, he had been working for months to turn up damaging information about Mr. Biden and his son Hunter, who joined the board of the Ukrainian energy company Burisma while his father was vice president.
Mr. Giuliani spoke with Ukrainian officials like Viktor Shokin, the former prosecutor general who suggested, falsely, that Mr. Biden had had him fired for looking into Burisma, as well as with Mr. Shokin's successor, Yuriy Lutsenko. And he enlisted Ms. Toensing and Mr. diGenova, trusted colleagues since their days together in the Reagan Justice Department, to help interview and potentially represent anyone willing to come forward with dirt. Mr. Parnas acted as translator and fixer, crisscrossing the Atlantic with stops at the Manhattan cigar bar that was Mr. Giuliani's hangout, a strip club in Kyiv and even a Hanukkah reception at the White House.
The campaign seemed to be paying off, with the Ukrainian president, Petro Poroshenko, poised to announce the investigations Mr. Giuliani sought, when the political situation changed. On April 21, Mr. Poroshenko was unseated by Volodymyr Zelensky, a comedian and political novice, sending Mr. Giuliani scrambling to establish a conduit. Two days later, Mr. Parnas and Mr. Fruman flew to Tel Aviv to meet with Mr. Kolomoisky, who was seen as Mr. Zelensky's patron.
Mr. Kolomoisky, a banking and media tycoon who is one of Ukraine's richest men, is also known for financing mercenary troops battling Russian-supported separatists in eastern Ukraine. Earlier in April, The Daily Beast had reported, citing unnamed sources, that the F.B.I. was investigating him for possible money-laundering in connection with problems at a bank he had owned. He is also entangled in a civil lawsuit in Delaware.
Mr. Giuliani's assessment, according to Mr. Parnas's lawyer, was that those legal problems made Mr. Kolomoisky vulnerable to pressure.
But the meeting did not go according to plan. In an interview, Mr. Kolomoisky said the two men came ''under the made-up pretext of dealing liquefied natural gas,'' but as soon as it became clear that what they really wanted was a meeting between Mr. Giuliani and Mr. Zelensky, he abruptly sent them on their way. The exchange, he said, went like this:
''I say, 'Did you see a sign on the door that says, 'Meetings with Zelensky arranged here'?
''They said, 'No.'
''I said, 'Well then, you've ended up in the wrong place.'''
Mr. Kolomoisky, who has denied wrongdoing in the bank case, said he had not been contacted by the F.B.I.; a bureau spokesman declined to say whether the oligarch was under investigation.
After the Kolomoisky meeting's unsuccessful end, Mr. Giuliani tweeted about the Daily Beast article and gave an interview to a Ukrainian journalist. Mr. Zelensky, he warned, ''must cleanse himself from hangers-on from his past and from criminal oligarchs '-- Ihor Kolomoisky and others.''
Mr. Kolomoisky offered a warning of his own, predicting in the Ukrainian press that ''a big scandal may break out, and not only in Ukraine, but in the United States. That is, it may turn out to be a clear conspiracy against Biden.''
Help to Fight an ExtraditionThe pair fared better with Mr. Firtash.
For several years, Mr. Firtash's most visible lawyer had been Lanny Davis, a well-connected Democrat who also represented Mr. Trump's fixer-turned-antagonist, Michael Cohen. In a television appearance in March, Mr. Giuliani had attacked Mr. Davis for taking money from the oligarch, citing federal prosecutors' contention that he was tied to a top Russian mobster '-- a charge Mr. Firtash has denied.
Now, however, Mr. Giuliani wanted Mr. Firtash's help. After being largely rebuffed by a member of the oligarch's legal team in early June, he hit upon another approach, according to Mr. Parnas's lawyer: persuading Mr. Firtash to hire more amenable counsel.
There was a brief discussion about Mr. Giuliani's taking on that role himself, but Mr. Giuliani said he decided against it. According to Mr. Parnas's lawyer, that is when Mr. Giuliani charged Mr. Parnas with persuading the oligarch to replace Mr. Davis with Ms. Toensing and Mr. diGenova. The men secured the June meeting with Mr. Firtash in Vienna after a mutual acquaintance, whom Mr. Firtash declined to name, vouched for them.
In the interview, Mr. Firtash said it had been clear to him that the two emissaries were working for Mr. Giuliani. The oligarch, a major player in the Ukrainian gas market, said Mr. Parnas and Mr. Fruman initially pitched him on a deal to sell American liquefied natural gas to Ukraine, via a terminal in Poland. While the deal didn't make sense financially, he said, he entertained it for a time, even paying for the men's travel expenses, because they had something else to offer.
''They said, 'We may help you, we are offering to you good lawyers in D.C. who might represent you and deliver this message to the U.S. D.O.J.,'' Mr. Firtash recalled, referring to the Justice Department.
The oligarch had been arrested in Vienna in 2014, at the American authorities' request, after his indictment on charges of bribing Indian officials for permission to mine titanium for Boeing. Mr. Firtash, who denies the charges, was free on bail but an Austrian court had cleared the way for his extradition to the United States.
In hopes of blocking that order, Mr. Firtash and his Vienna lawyers had filed records showing that a key piece of evidence '-- a document known as ''Exhibit A'' that was said to lay out the bribery scheme '-- had been prepared not by Mr. Firtash's firm, but by the global consultancy McKinsey & Company. But Mr. Firtash's legal team had been unable to persuade federal prosecutors to withdraw it. McKinsey has denied recommending ''bribery or other illegal acts.''
Ms. Toensing and Mr. diGenova, the Giuliani emissaries told him, ''are in a position to insist to correct the record and call back Exhibit A as evidence,'' Mr. Firtash recalled.
He hired the lawyers, he said, on a four-month contract for a singular task '-- to arrange a meeting with the attorney general and persuade him to withdraw Exhibit A. He said their contract was for $300,000 a month, including Mr. Parnas's referral fee. A person with direct knowledge of the arrangement said Mr. Parnas's total share was $200,000; Ms. Toensing declined to discuss the payment but has said previously that it was for case-related translation.
There was one more piece to Mr. Parnas's play. ''Per Giuliani's instructions,'' Mr. Parnas's lawyer said, his client ''informed Mr. Firtash that Toensing and diGenova were interested in collecting information on the Bidens.'' (It was the former vice president who had pushed the Ukrainian government to eliminate middleman gas brokers like Mr. Firtash and diversify the country's supply away from Russia.)
While Mr. Firtash declined to say whether anyone linked to the dirt-digging efforts had asked him for information, he was adamant that he had not provided any. Doing so might have helped Mr. Giuliani, he said, but it would not have helped him with his legal problems.
''I can tell you only one thing,'' he said. ''I do not have any information, I did not collect any information, I didn't finance anyone who would collect that information, and it would be a big mistake from my side if I decided to be involved in such a fight.''
At any rate, Ms. Toensing and Mr. diGenova soon delivered for Mr. Firtash, arranging the meeting with Attorney General Barr. But by the time they met, in mid-August, the ground had shifted: The whistle-blower's complaint laying out Mr. Trump's phone call with Mr. Zelensky, and Mr. Giuliani's activities in Ukraine, had been forwarded to the Justice Department and described in detail to Mr. Barr. What's more, concerns about intervening in the Firtash case had been raised by some inside the Justice Department, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.
The department declined to comment, but Mr. Firtash said the attorney general ultimately told the lawyers to ''go back to Chicago,'' where the case had initially been brought, and deal with prosecutors there.
Mr. Firtash continues, however, to have faith in Ms. Toensing and Mr. diGenova's ability to work the Justice Department angle. Their contract was just extended at least through year's end.
Documents LeakedIf Mr. Firtash had nothing to offer, Mr. Giuliani still got some results.
After Ms. Toensing and Mr. diGenova came on board, confidential documents from Mr. Firtash's case file began to find their way into articles by John Solomon, a conservative reporter whom Mr. Giuliani has acknowledged using to advance his claims about the Bidens. Mr. Solomon is also a client of Ms. Toensing.
One article, citing internal memos circulated among Mr. Firtash's lawyers, disclosed that the office of the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, had offered a deal to Mr. Firtash if he could help with their investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Mr. Giuliani, who as a former federal prosecutor was aware that such discussions are hardly unusual, took the story a step further. In an appearance on Fox News, he alleged that the offer to Mr. Firtash amounted to an attempt to suborn perjury, but said the oligarch had refused to ''lie to get out of the case'' against him.
Then, after the meeting with Mr. Barr, Mr. Solomon posted a sworn affidavit from Mr. Shokin, the former Ukrainian prosecutor, repeating his contention that Mr. Biden had pressed for his firing to short-circuit his investigations.
Mr. Giuliani was soon waving the affidavit around on television, without explaining that it had been taken by a member of Mr. Firtash's legal team to support his case.
Mr. Firtash said he had not authorized the document's release and hoped his lawyers had not either. He said the affidavit had been filed confidentially with the Austrian court because it also included the former prosecutor's statement that Mr. Biden had been instrumental in blocking Mr. Firtash's return to political life in Ukraine '-- an assertion that Mr. Firtash believes speaks to the political nature of the case against him.
Ms. Toensing and Mr. diGenova declined to say whether they had played a role in leaking the documents, but Mark Corallo, a spokesman for their law firm, said that the pair ''took the Firtash case for only one reason: They believe that Mr. Firtash is innocent of the charges brought against him.''
When Mr. Parnas and Mr. Fruman were arrested, they were at Dulles International Airport awaiting a flight to Vienna, where they had arranged to have the Fox News host Sean Hannity interview Mr. Shokin. Mr. Giuliani was planning to join them the next day, he said in an interview.
A bemused Mr. Kolomoisky has watched the events unfold from Ukraine, where he returned after Mr. Zelensky's victory. Initially he didn't believe that Mr. Parnas was all that connected, he said, but after Mr. Giuliani started going after him, ''I was able to connect A to B.''
He said he had since made peace with Mr. Parnas and had spoken to him several times, including the night before he was detained. In their conversations, he said, Mr. Parnas made no secret that he was helping Mr. Firtash with his legal case. And while Mr. Kolomoisky insisted that neither Mr. Parnas nor Mr. Fruman had mentioned his own legal travails, he added:
''Had they, I would have said: 'Let's watch Firtash and train on Firtash. When Firtash comes back here, and everything is O.K., I will be your next client.'''
Intl Emmy Awards on Twitter: "The International Emmy for Documentary goes to "Bellingcat '' Truth In A Post-Truth World" produced by @Submarinebv Amsterdam / @vpro! #Netherlands #iemmyWIN #iemmys https://t.co/PEcLaomAtA" / Twitter
Tue, 26 Nov 2019 09:02
Congrats bellingcat for phenomenal work. Your investigations helped us to understand the threat Putin's mob poses to the world.
Pete Buttigieg Lies About Education Disparities
Tue, 26 Nov 2019 08:58
Photo: Saul Loeb (Getty Images)
Seven thousand three hundred twenty-two dollars.
I hid it in a white Piggly Wiggly bag in the back of the dishwasher. Every single time I returned to that tiny apartment, I opened up that Navajo-white Kenmore dishwasher and made sure it was there. It was not a gift. It was not a reward. It wasn't even mine.
And it still wasn't enough.
I am from what most people would call ''the hood.'' The bad section of town. You know'--where black people live. During the crack revolution of the late '80s, to get to school every day, I would give a friendly nod as I walked past the early-rising dope boys. I meandered through the projects and'--if it had recently rained'--I waited for someone to help me put a 10-foot long wooden plank across the ditch that separated the black part of town from the bucolic neighborhood where the only high school in town was located. If no one was there, or if a prankster had hidden the makeshift bridge, then I had to either leap across or walk the long way around, adding an extra 15 minutes to my morning walk. Our neighborhood had no bus, so either you walked that balance beam behind the projects, took the 30-minute stroll or you said: ''fuck it.''
I never said fuck it.
But if I did, it wouldn't have been because of a lack of role models. If I had chosen to keep my mama's lights on instead of making that daily trek, my decision wouldn't have been based on a tropological dearth of ''motivation'' or communal ambivalence. As I grow older, I realize that I was not gifted, talented or even diligent.
I'm just a lucky motherfucker.
Presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg is a lucky motherfucker, too.
He attended one of the best private schools in the country that was quite literally on the campus of one of the best colleges in the country, University of Notre Dame, where his father worked as a professor for 29 years. His mother taught at an even better, more elite school. And if you ask how he got into Harvard or became a Rhodes Scholar, Mayor Pete would probably insist that it had nothing to do with whiteness. He would likely tell you that he valued education and had great role models, both of which are probably true. There is no question that he is intelligent, hard-working and well-educated.
But he didn't have to jump a ditch.
So, when a clip surfaced of Buttigieg explaining why negro kids fail at school so often, his answer made perfect sense.
''Kids need to see evidence that education is going to work for them,'' Buttigieg explained whitely, when he was running for mayor in 2011. You're motivated because you believe that at the end of your education, there is a reward; there's a stable life; there's a job. And there are a lot of kids'--especially [in] the lower-income, minority neighborhoods, who literally just haven't seen it work. There isn't someone who they know personally who testifies to the value of education.''
I want to be clear: Pete Buttigieg is a lying motherfucker.
This is not a misunderstanding. This is not a misstatement. Pete Buttigieg went to the best educational institutions America has to offer and he'--more than anyone on the goddamned planet'--knows that everything he just said is a baldfaced lie.
Majority-minority schools receive $23 billion less in funding than majority-white schools, according to a recent study by EdBuild. Black students in Indiana, the state where Buttigieg serves as mayor, and across the country, are disciplined more harshly than white students. But even though Buttigieg has never attended a school with more than 10 percent black students, he thinks he knows what's stopping black kids from achieving their educational dreams.
Apparently, it's not the fact that the unemployment rate for black college graduates is twice as high as the unemployment rate for white grads. Black college graduates are paid 80 cents for every dollar a white person with the same education earns. White people leave college with lower debt and higher earnings. White kids get more resources, more advanced classes and have access to more technology. But Pete says it could all be solved with a vision-board.
Mayor Pete's bullshittery is not just wrong, it is proof.
It proves men like him are more willing to perpetuate the fantastic narrative of negro neighborhoods needing more role models and briefcase-carriers than make the people in power stare into the sun and see the blinding light of racism. Get-along moderates would rather make shit up out of whole cloth than wade into the waters of reality. Pete Buttigieg doesn't want to change anything. He just wants to be something.
This is not just a lie of omission, it is a dangerous precedent. This is why institutional inequality persists. Not because of white hoods and racial slurs. It is because this insidious double-talk erases the problem by camouflaging it. Because it is painted as a problem of black lethargy and not white apathy. Pete Buttigieg is standing over a dying man, holding the oxygen machine in his hand and telling everyone:
''Nah, he doesn't need CPR. He's just holding his breath.''
Negligent homicide is still homicide.
Occasionally someone would invariably fall in the ditch. It wasn't because they didn't see someone cross successfully, it was because the banks of that ditch was slippery and muddy when it rained. To this day, no one has ever built a bridge over that ditch. But over the years, so many people have walked that same path, that the banks eventually wore down and became crossable.
No one ever gave a fuck.
But motherfuckers never stopped jumping.
In the summer of 1992, for weeks, those same D-boys I walked past every day collected all of the ones (and a few five-dollar bills) from guys on the block and handed it to me when I left for college. It was seven thousand three hundred twenty-two dollars.
I didn't have a driver's license and my mother is legally blind, so they hired someone to drive me to college. None of my college friends ever knew that I had a hidden treasure in my dishwasher but a few of them noticed that it seemed like I always had a wad of cash. When I arrived to campus in a chauffeured, 1965 drop-top Cadillac (white, with hydraulics and gold specks), a couple even said:
''Damn, you're lucky.''
They were right.
Correction, 11/26/19, 9:29 a.m.: Buttigieg went to University of Notre Dame, not Notre Dame University. The story has been updated.
Combatting Vaccine Misinformation - About Facebook
Tue, 26 Nov 2019 08:37
By Monika Bickert, VP, Global Policy Management
Update on September 4, 2019 at 8AM PT: We are starting to roll out more ways to connect people with authoritative information about vaccines on Facebook and Instagram.
Originally published on March 7, 2019 at 12PM PT:
We are working to tackle vaccine misinformation on Facebook by reducing its distribution and providing people with authoritative information on the topic. We are starting by taking a series of steps:
We will reduce the ranking of groups and Pages that spread misinformation about vaccinations in News Feed and Search. These groups and Pages will not be included in recommendations or in predictions when you type into Search.When we find ads that include misinformation about vaccinations, we will reject them. We also removed related targeting options, like ''vaccine controversies.'' For ad accounts that continue to violate our policies, we may take further action, such as disabling the ad account.We won't show or recommend content that contains misinformation about vaccinations on Instagram Explore or hashtag pages.We are exploring ways to share educational information about vaccines when people come across misinformation on this topic.Update on April 26, 2019 at 10AM PT: We may also remove access to our fundraising tools for Pages that spread misinformation about vaccinations on Facebook.How This Will Work
Leading global health organizations, such as the World Health Organization and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, have publicly identified verifiable vaccine hoaxes. If these vaccine hoaxes appear on Facebook, we will take action against them.
For example, if a group or Page admin posts this vaccine misinformation, we will exclude the entire group or Page from recommendations, reduce these groups and Pages' distribution in News Feed and Search, and reject ads with this misinformation.
We also believe in providing people with additional context so they can decide whether to read, share, or engage in conversations about information they see on Facebook. We are exploring ways to give people more accurate information from expert organizations about vaccines at the top of results for related searches, on Pages discussing the topic, and on invitations to join groups about the topic. We will have an update on this soon.
We are fully committed to the safety of our community and will continue to expand on this work.
Corporate Executives Try to Assess Potential Impact of Tax Change Proposals - WSJ
Tue, 26 Nov 2019 08:22
Corporate tax chiefs are trying to assess the potential implications of a proposal for a new global tax system for consumer-facing businesses, an effort that is being complicated by what some companies describe as a lack of critical details.
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which is running the initiative, was scheduled to meet Thursday and Friday in Paris to discuss a proposal that would set a standard tax rate for a company's global operations and allow individual governments to tax profits above that based on sales accounted for by each country.
The new rules would represent a departure from current regulations that look at where companies are based and where they hold patents and brands.
Dubbed the ''unified approach,'' the rules would apply to companies with annual revenues of more than '‚¬750 million ($830 million) in consumer-facing industries, a broad term that includes technology companies'--which have been in the spotlight for their tax practices'--and other firms selling services and goods to consumers.
Companies'--some of which are still working through the OECD's 2016 framework on base erosion and profit shifting, which abolished various tax loopholes, or the 2017 U.S. corporate tax overhaul'--could be required to again make sweeping changes to their global tax structure within a short period.
The OECD aims to have agreement among its 36 member states on the unified approach by 2020.
That has caused high-profile companies and business associations to voice their concerns publicly ahead of this week's meeting.
''Before deciding on the final proposal, we encourage the OECD to clarify a number of issues,'' music-streaming company Spotify AB said in published remarks to the organization.
Ride-hailing company Uber Technologies Inc. said the current consultation document provided by the OECD only provides the framework for a discussion and that more information is necessary to come to an agreement.
Volvo AB, in comments submitted to the OECD, said the lack of detail makes it difficult for the Swedish truck maker to assess the implications of the policy changes.
Seventy-nine percent of tax executives at global companies described the current tax environment as uncertain, according to a recent Ernst & Young survey. Many respondents cited the OECD's initiative as one of the reasons for the fogginess.
The OECD didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.
The organization's proposal follows moves by various countries to implement unilateral digital-services tax regimes to increase receipts from tech giants such as Facebook Inc., Amazon.com Inc. and Alphabet Inc. 's Google. Some of these firms pay very little tax in European countries even though they book substantial revenue there.
Global tax rates for U.S. multinational companies are likely to go up as part of the OECD's proposed changes, said Michael Lebovitz, a partner in law firm Mayer Brown's tax transactions and consulting practice without specifying how significant the increase could be.
Questions remain about the scope of the proposed framework, said Sandy Bhogal, a partner at law firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP. There is particular confusion about what would be considered as a consumer-facing business, he said.
Defining a consumer-facing business as any business that markets or supplies consumer products or services'--as suggested in the OECD proposal'--would go too far, Volvo said in its statement.
Amazon stated that a new international tax regime should be applicable to all types of businesses instead of ringfencing the digital economy, according to a comment letter signed by Kurt Lamp, the company's vice president for global tax.
Some companies are worried about existing unilateral digital service taxes and whether they will be withdrawn should there be an OECD-wide agreement.
Countries should commit themselves not to pursue or should cancel competing unilateral measures as a condition for a multilateral agreement, Mr. Lamp said in his comments.
Travel e-commerce company Booking Holdings Inc. pointed out the need for clear rules to avoid double taxation.
Companies also told the OECD they are worried about how disputes between countries over the application of the rules would be resolved.
''It is vital that a robust and binding arbitration process is developed which saves companies from being caught in the middle of disputes between tax authorities over profit allocation,'' online marketplace Etsy Inc. said in its comments to the OECD.
The OECD will be discussing these and other related issues at its meeting in Paris.
Corrections & Amplifications Volvo AB is a Swedish manufacturer of buses, trucks, construction equipment and marine and industrial engines. The company no longer produces cars. An earlier version of this article described Volvo AB as a car maker. (Nov. 25, 2019)
Write to Nina Trentmann at Nina.Trentmann@wsj.com
Report: Former Mattis speechwriter is 'Anonymous' author- and retired Navy pilot says 'no comment' | Daily Mail Online
Tue, 26 Nov 2019 08:19
The anonymous senior administration official who published an op-ed and book detailing a resistance within the Trump White House was outed as a former Pentagon aide in a report published Monday.
Guy Snodgrass, a retired Navy commander who became chief speechwriter for former Defense Secretary James Mattis, was predicted to be the author behind a September 2018 New York Times op-ed and the new book 'A Warning', according to a New Republic writer.
National Security reporter for Mother Jones, Dan Spinelli, texted the article to Snodgrass, who responded, 'Fun.'
'No comment at this time,' Snodgrass responded to Spinelli when he pressed him on whether he's the anonymous author.
He also didn't deny writing the book when he posted a link to the article on his Twitter page along with the caption, 'The swirl continues'...'
Guy Snodgrass (pictured), who served as former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis's speechwriter, is predicted to be the anonymous author of The New York Times op-ed last year and recent book 'A Warning'
Snodgrass posted the article guessing he was the writer to his Twitter with the caption 'The swirl continues...'
Snodgrass did not deny writing the op-ed and book. 'No comment at this time,' he responded when pressed by a Mother Jones reporter on whether he's the anonymous author
Snodgrass wrote 'Holding the Line: Inside Trump's Pentagon with Secretary Mattis', which he published along with his name at the end of October. This has prompted some Twitter users to question how Snodgrass was able to successfully write two books at the same time, if he in fact authored the anonymous expose.
While speaking to Fox News' Trace Gallagher on The New Republic shortly after the report broke, Snodgrass didn't deny the claim.
'I have a book out right now with my name on it called, 'Holding the Line.' I do appreciate that The New Republic said that the writing was excellent across both books that's a great sales pitch, but I'll tell you what if I were going to make a sales pitch like that, I would do it right. I would come in the studio with you there in New York City,' he said in the interview, which he joined as a remote guest.
'What I'm saying is I just heard this reporting as I was coming over to the studio,' he continued. 'I got invited to talk about national security and'... there is a lot to talk about there.'
He did, however, plant some doubt that he is the author when Gallagher pointed out allegations that the linguistics of the book are similar.
'If you go through 'Holding the Line,' I didn't use lodestar a single time. So already, the analysis may be breaking down just a little bit on you,' Snodgrass said.
Currently, Snodgrass works as Chief Executive Officer of Defense Analytics, a strategic advisory firm in Washington, D.C., but he regularly contributes to The Washington Post, Politico, Fox Business, USA Today and more.
The New Republic report points to similarities in Snodgrass's book and 'A Warning' as one reason it could have been authored by the same person.
David Kusnet, who served as former President Bill Clinton's speechwriter, wrote the article predicting the author is Snodgrass
David Kusnet, former President Bill Clinton's speechwriter and author of the New Republic report, said, 'A Warning' and the original op-ed both read like they were written by a speechwriter,' which led him to suspect a speechwriter somewhere within the administration.
He said, however, that reading Snodgrass's novel 'Holding the Line,' was the final proof he needed to guess the author.
'Reading Snodgrass's Pentagon memoir, Holding the Line, makes the clues to Anonymous's identity apparent,' Kusnet wrote.
He pointed out the similarities in sentence and paragraph structure and unoriginal flow between the two books, including a quote from a historic figure at the start of each chapter in both books.
'Many passages in the two books are remarkably similar,' Kusnet detailed. 'In particular, both books stress that, when briefed about international alliances, Trump derails discussions by griping about how allies are stiffing the United States.'
If the prediction is true, Snodgrass, serving in an apolitical position, behaved ethically when he wrote the unsigned op-ed and followed it up with a book.
In a New York Times op-ed last September, the anonymous author, described only as a 'senior official' in the Trump administration, presented him- or herself as one of the 'adults in the room.'
'Many of the senior officials in his own administration are working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations,' the author reassured readers concerned with the direction of the administration.
Snodgrass's nondenial and Kusnet's previous successful prediction at the anonymous author of Clinton-era book Primary Colors, indicates that this prediction could be correct.
Kusnet reviewed in the 1990s 'Primary Colors,' a roman clef novel detailing Bill Clinton's 1992 presidential campaign, which centers around allegations of his infidelity and impregnating an underage girl while on the campaign trail.
The tone of the book strayed from the op-ed in claiming the internal resistance wasn't working, which could be indicative of the year difference where the administration lost Snodgrass's boss Jim Mattis (pictured) and other administration officials
Snodgrass wrote 'Holding the Line,' which hit shelves in October with his name on the front '' prompting Twitter users to question how he could have written two books at the same time
'I read the book carefully and couldn't help noticing that it read just like Joe Klein's pieces in Newsweek and, before that, New York magazine,' Kusnet wrote, referencing the columnist who was later confirmed as the writer of the controversial novel.
Now, he could have successfully guessed the identity of this anonymous writer.
The book claims the author has changed tune since the anonymous op-ed last year '' which, if the author is Snodgrass, could be contributed to Mattis, and other officials' departure.
'I was wrong about the 'quiet resistance' inside the Trump Administration,' anonymous now admits. 'Unelected bureaucrats and cabinet appointees were never going to steer Donald Trump in the right direction in the long run or refine his management style. He is who he is.'
Now that an impeachment inquiry is underway against Trump, lawmakers and others want to know the identity of the anonymous author since the book includes previously unpublished anecdotes about Trump's potential violations against constitutional governance.
The author also detailed seemingly informed conclusions about Trump's unfitness for office, Kusnet noted.
On Fox News Monday afternoon, Snodgrass was asked if the author's identity should remain secret '' he gave another non-answer.
'You know I felt it was incredibly important to have the opportunity that I did to share my experience service alongside Secretary Mattis, what I witnessed as I served for a year and a half on his team and so that's why I felt it was not only important to put that experience out so Americans could read and consider for themselves the facts, but also to put my name to it. That's where I stand,' he said.
The Dutch are Waking Up to Discover They Live in a 'Narco State'
Tue, 26 Nov 2019 08:01
(C) Provided by The Daily Beast Michel van Bergen/AFP/Getty AMSTERDAM'--On the morning of Sept. 18, Derk Wiersum, the public defender for a key witness against the international drug kingpin Ridouan Taghi, was walking to his car with his wife in a quiet suburb of Amsterdam when he was shot and killed.
The murder of the 44-year-old Wiersum, who left two children behind, represented a new and dangerous threshold of violence here that shocked not only the public, but the entire judicial system. For the first time in Dutch history the criminal world murdered a legal representative of the state itself.
This is the Netherlands 2019, not Sicily 1992, but the assassination of a dedicated public servant like Wiersum attests to the sense of impunity gangsters in Amsterdam currently enjoy, and appears to be part of a strategy to intimidate not only Dutch state representatives but Dutch society as a whole.
Ironically, the Netherlands has seen a decrease in murders and overall violent crime, but there is a deep sense of urgency among Dutch police as they face the growing power of criminal networks on Dutch soil.
''The Netherlands is at risk of becoming a narco state,'' Dutch Minister of Justice and Security Ferdinand Grapperhaus warned in August. The cops are concerned they are losing their grip. Some say they have lost it already.
Grenades on Door Knobs
Amsterdam, with a population of fewer than one million inhabitants, traditionally has been a tightly knit, largely affluent community. But on its narrow cobblestone streets and along its picture-perfect canals targeted killings have been taking place in broad daylight, some on cafe terraces, in restaurants, or among tourist attractions in the busy city center. Occasionally, innocent bystanders get hurt in the process.
In the past seven years there have been at least 50 homicides directly related to the criminal networks in greater Amsterdam.
Even when there's no shooting, the threats of violence are none too subtle. Hand grenades have been left on the doorsteps of hotels, or hanging on the doorknobs of bars and so-called 'coffeeshops' where soft drugs are sold.
This year alone the police have counted 15 'hand grenade incidents,' almost three times the number last year.
Three and a half years ago there was an even more gruesome warning when the severed head of a small-time criminal was left in the gutter facing a shisha lounge frequented by mobsters. At the time, in March 2016, it was as though Islamic State was visiting town as its much-publicized bids for attention through atrocity were imitated by local gangs.
Criminal networks usually do not appreciate press coverage, and in Amsterdam they made that point abundantly clear in June last year with two direct attacks. In the first a rocket launcher was fired at the windows of Panorama magazine, an attack for which a member of the motorcycle gang Caloh Wagoh mc Main Triad was arrested. In the second incident a van was driven into the building of the national newspaper De Telegraaf and set alight.
Donald J. Trump Ecstasy
The violence would be bad enough, but the bigger picture is even worse. As documented in ''The Underside of Amsterdam,'' a report commissioned by Mayor Femke Halsema, the city is a financial hub where the criminal world has become interwoven with legitimate commercial organizations and enterprises.
Journalist Jan Tromp and police academy lecturer Pieter Tops, authors of ''The Underside of Amsterdam,'' see these incidents in the context of a key development that might serve as cautionary example as more governments around the world consider ''decriminalizing'' soft drugs as the Dutch have done.
''The Dutch authorities completely missed the transition from a country of users to a country of producers,'' Tromp tells The Daily Beast, referring specifically to the extensive hothouse cultivation of cannabis and manufacture of synthetic drugs.
It should have been a predictable development for a country like the Netherlands. After all what the Dutch have always done best is international trade.
According to official figures, an estimated 18.8 billion euros ($20.75 billion) worth of ecstasy pills are produced yearly in Amsterdam. Making one pill costs only 17 cents but they are sold for 15 to 25 dollars a piece,so the profit margins are enormous and the trade is vastly and almost instantaneously globalized.
An example: Immediately after Donald J. Trump was elected in November 2016, the ''xtc'' producers in the Netherlands thought it funny to market a pill with the new president's head stamped on it. In less than two days that pill was sold in Sydney, Australia. (The humor may also reflect the producers' sense of impunity.)
Mom and Pop Pot
In ''The Underside of Amsterdam'' Tromp and Tops describe a development that started rather prosaically in provincial southern towns near the Belgian border. It's an area where people often feel ignored by government, a region where people and businesses can easily fly 'under the radar.'
Under 'decriminalization,' as opposed to legalization, the production of marijuana to this day is not controlled by the Dutch state, and growing and selling quickly became a business opportunity, especially for the poor.
''In the south they discovered marijuana and how enormously profitable it could be,'' Tromp says. When asked by a friendly neighbor to loan their garden sheds in exchange for a little side money, many jumped at the occasion. Someone would come in and set it all up, putting in some heat lamps and sowing some seeds. It seemed innocent enough. But it didn't take long before the whole business was thoroughly professionalized.
''After the marijuana came the heavier drugs; to this day the Netherlands is the world champion when it comes to the production of ecstasy and speed,'' Tromp says. Now, the Netherlands is a big player internationally; its location, infrastructure and trading culture makes it good for any business and Dutch libertarianism, its politics and legal system, make it an ideal spot for illegal trade of this kind. ''What started as a lenient regulatory drugs policy had spun completely out of control.''
Weed plantations and chemical labs popped up everywhere around the countryside while officials looked the other way. It was out of their sight and the authorities feared it was a problem too big to tackle.
''What you don't know, you can't be held responsible for,'' says Tromp. If the problem is acknowledged, the government would have to spring into action. ''So the government chose to lull itself asleep with the idea that it didn't really do any harm.'' But it did.
Whistling in the Dark
A lively drug scene with an easygoing drug policy to match has been part of Amsterdam's international appeal. It is a part of the liberal stance the city has embraced since the '60s. But as the drugs got harder and the profit margins bigger, the criminal networks started to infiltrate everyday life. A new generation of highly volatile and extremely callous drug crime lords has taken over without even the semblance of an honor code.
When Dutch minister of Justice and Security Ferdinand Grapperhaus admitted the risk of the Netherlands becoming a ''narco state'' in August, he was facing facts he'd hoped to avoid.
Only a year ago, when the police union came with findings similare to those in ''The Underside,'' Grapperhaus vehemently denied the gravity of the situation.
Meanwhile the police have complained that they are understaffed and not up to the task of facing the enormous international criminal networks operating here. Only a fraction of all the current cases can be picked up, they warned.
National Police Chief Erik Akerboom told the Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant in an interview early last month that you can't maintain a legal system if you are not willing to finance it. Only four years ago police staffing was cut back by 25 percent, a decision that would come to haunt the current government.
After the murder of attorney Wiersum, Minister Grapperhaus suddenly called for a thousand new officers and a specialized narco team. But that sounded like whistling in the dark. ''To conjure up a thousand men in one year,'' Akerboom told De Volkskrant ''is not possible.''
In any case it may be too little too late. The lack of police staff is a major issue, but not at the root of the problem, a lack of government commitment is. There are just too few civil servants securing the checks and balances of the state. If, for instance, there are no border police checking the cargo and no civil servants doing background checks on entrepreneurs, criminal elements can work with ease. It's a tragic byproduct of the years long political call for small government. Where small government rules, it turns out, criminal networks can flourish.
The gangsters became businessmen, invested in real estate, various other enterprises and in the hospitality business. With those investments they are gaining legitimacy and are creeping up in the system. Hence Grapperhaus' belated admission that he could no longer deny the severity of the problem, and the Netherlands is on its way to becoming a ''narco state.''
Today Amsterdam is riddled with hawala banks; an informal system developed in the Middle East and South Asia in which amounts of cash are transferred from person to person in a fashion that becomes virtually untraceable.
Of the money that can be tracked, one third of all 'unusual' Dutch financial activity traces back to Amsterdam. According to Tromp, even the soaring prices of Amsterdam real estate may be due to the impact of criminals investing in the city's property market.
The Dutch Just Like to Do Business
The international drug trade route runs through Amsterdam as easily as the water in its canals. It is a center for brokering deals and a distribution hub for marijuana, ecstasy and cocaine. Then, from within the Netherlands the drugs are redistributed throughout Europe.
Most cocaine never even reaches this city in fact. It arrives in the ports of Antwerp, a Belgian city right on the border, or Rotterdam and is transported right through to its final destination.
Last year, 19,000 kilos (about 21 tons) of cocaine was found in Rotterdam port. This year the number already is up to 28,000 kilos (about 31 tons), and seizures usually indicate much greater quantities are getting through. The situation is so grim that the mayor of Rotterdam recently traveled to Colombia to see if coke shipments could be stopped more effectively at the point of departure, but that is, to say the least, unlikely.
''In Rotterdam 14 million containers arrive each year. Only 0.6 percent of those are checked,'' Tromp says. ''Again that's the [Dutch] trader's spirit: a container arrives in Rotterdam and there is only one economic interest, getting it shipped through ASAP. We can be pious about it, but that doesn't pay the bills.''
Rotterdam harbor has been plagued by corruption, as several police investigations have established in recent years, but it's been an uphill slog. Just a month ago, news broke exposing the sabotage by custom services of an extensive three-year police investigation. The problem in the Dutch harbor is so widespread the police themselves have asked for a parliamentary inquiry.
At an international drug enforcement conference last year, a Dutch delegation of police chiefs headed by Minister Grapperhaus was confronted by the perception of police forces from around the world that view the Netherlands as one of the main producers of drugs for the global trade.
''Drug revenues are estimated at some 3 billion euros a year, and we, the authorities, recover less than a tenth of that,'' Grapperhaus acknowledged in his speech at the conference. ''In the meantime, the price of a hit job on our streets has fallen. For a few thousand euros, young amateurs in the Netherlands are willing to unload heavy automatic weapons into each other, police officers, and innocent bystanders.
''One of many recent innocent victims was a young man of 17,'' said Grapperhaus. ''I have grave concerns about the disruption that addictive drugs are causing. The drug economy undermines every aspect of society and threatens the legitimate economy. But it also threatens our standards, our values and our security.''
Grapperhaus concluded his speech by claiming the problem was half-solved; the killings were mainly perpetrated by one gang, he said, and those men, due to ''excellent law enforcement work'' were mostly behind bars.
Wrong.
At home, for a Dutch audience, Grapperhaus downplayed the problem and another year went by. Now even Grapperhaus admits there is only one conclusion left to draw: the Netherlands is well on its way to becoming a narco state.
Read more at The Daily Beast.
Samoa measles epidemic worsens with 24 children now dead
Tue, 26 Nov 2019 07:59
WELLINGTON, New Zealand '-- Authorities said Monday that a measles epidemic sweeping through Samoa continues to worsen with the death toll rising to 25, all but one of them young children.
''We still have a big problem at hand,'' Samoa's Director General of Health Leausa Take Naseri said in a video statement.
He said more than 140 new cases of people contracting the virus had been recorded within the past day, bringing the total to about 2,200 cases since the outbreak began last month. He said there are about 20 critically ill children who remain in hospital intensive care units.
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Samoa declared a state of emergency nine days ago, closing all its schools, banning children from public gatherings and mandating that everybody get vaccinated. Teams of people have been traveling the country administering thousands of vaccines.
The government also shut down a private clinic and is investigating how hundreds of vaccines were taken without authorization and then sold for a fee.
The median age of those who have died is 13 months, according to government figures. The deaths include 24 children under the age of 5, 11 of whom were infants under 12 months. The other person who died was in their 30s.
In all, 679 people have been admitted to Samoan hospitals with the disease, accounting for two-thirds of all recent hospital admissions. A majority have been discharged, with about 183 remaining in hospitals.
''These hospitals are not designed to deal with this,'' Dr. Scott Wilson told Newshub in the capital, Apia. ''The minute you get hospitals running at 200 to 300 percent capacity '-- I think it speaks for itself. It's incredibly serious.''
Figures from the World Health Organization and UNICEF indicate that measles immunization rates among Samoan infants have fallen steeply from over 70 percent in 2013 to under 30 percent last year.
Helen Petousis-Harris, a vaccine expert at New Zealand's University of Auckland, said the Samoan government halted its immunization program for several months last year after two infants died from a medical mishap involving a vaccine.
Tonga, Fiji and New Zealand have also reported outbreaks of measles but on a smaller scale than in Samoa. American Samoa, which has declared a public health emergency, is requiring that travelers from Samoa and Tonga prove they have been vaccinated or are immune from measles before being allowed into the U.S. territory.
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Florida Man Sought ISIS Attack on Deans at 2 Colleges, Prosecutors Say - The New York Times
Tue, 26 Nov 2019 07:59
U.S. | Florida Man Sought ISIS Attack on Deans at 2 Colleges, Prosecutors Say The man had been suspended from one college for sending threatening messages to a female student and expelled from the other for not disclosing his suspension, the authorities said.
A campus of Miami Dade College, where the man was a student. Credit... Alamy Nov. 26, 2019, 12:10 a.m. ET A 23-year-old man was charged with trying to get the Islamic State to launch attacks on deans at two colleges in southern Florida after he was suspended by one and then expelled by the other, according to court documents made public on Monday.
The man, Salman Rashid, 23, of North Miami Beach, Fla., was arrested Friday and charged with solicitation to commit a crime of violence, according to the documents. Prosecutors said in a news release on Monday that Mr. Rashid had asked a confidential F.B.I. source, who was assisting the federal bureau, to contact members of ISIS to conduct the attacks.
If convicted, Mr. Rashid would face up to 20 years in prison, prosecutors said.
It was not immediately clear if Mr. Rashid had a lawyer. The United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida, which is prosecuting the case, declined on Monday night to comment beyond the publicly available court documents.
The investigation into Mr. Rashid, which is outlined in a 22-page affidavit written by a special agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, involved several confidential F.B.I. sources.
Mr. Rashid first caught the authorities' attention in April 2018 after he posted messages on Facebook in favor of the ''violent overthrow of democracy and the establishment of Islamic law,'' prosecutors said. A confidential source then contacted Mr. Rashid through Facebook messenger ''in an effort to build rapport,'' the affidavit says.
In November 2018, a female student at Miami Dade College, where Mr. Rashid was a student, filed a complaint with the authorities after receiving threatening messages from Mr. Rashid, according to the affidavit. Mr. Rashid had ''developed unrequited romantic feelings'' for the unnamed female student, the affidavit says.
In December, Mr. Rashid was suspended by Miami Dade College, according to the affidavit. Mr. Rashid was then ''expelled from Broward College for failing to disclose the disciplinary matter'' at Miami Dade College.
Broward College did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Monday night. It was not clear when Mr. Rashid enrolled at Broward College.
In May 2019, Mr. Rashid told a confidential F.B.I. source that he ''wanted to die soon,'' the affidavit says.
He messaged the confidential F.B.I. source about helping organize a possible terrorist attack on his behalf in response to ''perceived attacks on Muslims'' in his community, but he did not have a clear target, according to the affidavit. He continued exchanging messages for several months, prosecutors said.
Mr. Rashid was then introduced to another confidential source for the F.B.I., who presented as a member of ISIS, prosecutors said.
This month, Mr. Rashid said he wanted that source to target the deans at the colleges, prosecutors said. The deans were not named.
Mr. Rashid ''asked that explosive devices placed by the confidential human source to carry out the attack against the two individuals be as big as possible,'' prosecutors said.
''Rashid provided information about the locations to place the devices and his assessment of security that might be present at the colleges,'' prosecutors said.
Miami Dade College said in an emailed statement on Monday that it was ''notified by the F.B.I. that they had eliminated a threat involving a former student at the Padr"n Campus.''
''At this time, the F.B.I. has advised us that there is no additional threat or need for heightened security,'' the college said. ''We have informed the campus community and used the opportunity to again remind employees and students to always remain alert and vigilant, and if they see or hear something, to say something.''
More polio cases now caused by vaccine than by wild virus
Tue, 26 Nov 2019 07:51
LONDON (AP) '-- Four African countries have reported new cases of polio linked to the oral vaccine, as global health numbers show there are now more children being paralyzed by viruses originating in vaccines than in the wild.
In a report late last week, the World Health Organization and partners noted nine new polio cases caused by the vaccine in Nigeria, Congo, Central African Republic and Angola. Seven countries elsewhere in Africa have similar outbreaks and cases have been reported in Asia. Of the two countries where polio remains endemic, Afghanistan and Pakistan, vaccine-linked cases have been identified in Pakistan.
In rare cases, the live virus in oral polio vaccine can mutate into a form capable of sparking new outbreaks. All the current vaccine-derived polio cases have been sparked by a Type 2 virus contained in the vaccine. Type 2 wild virus was eliminated years ago.
Polio is a highly infectious disease that spreads in contaminated water or food and usually strikes children under 5. About one in 200 infections results in paralysis. Among those, a small percentage die when their breathing muscles are crippled.
Donors last week pledged $2.6 billion to combat polio as part of an eradication initiative that began in 1988 and hoped to wipe out polio by 2000. Since then, numerous such deadlines have been missed.
To eradicate polio, more than 95% of a population needs to be immunized. WHO and partners have long relied on oral polio vaccines because they are cheap and can be easily administered, requiring only two drops per dose. Western countries use a more expensive injectable polio vaccine that contains an inactivated virus incapable of causing polio.
The Independent Monitoring Board, a group set up by WHO to assess polio eradication, warned in a report this month that vaccine-derived polio virus is ''spreading uncontrolled in West Africa, bursting geographical boundaries and raising fundamental questions and challenges for the whole eradication process.''
The group said officials were already ''failing badly'' to meet a recently approved polio goal of stopping all vaccine-derived outbreaks within 120 days of detection. It described the initial attitude of WHO and its partners to stopping such vaccine-linked polio cases as ''relaxed'' and said ''new thinking'' on how to tackle the problem was needed.
___
This story has been corrected to show that of the two polio-endemic countries, Afghanistan and Pakistan, only Pakistan has reported vaccine-derived polio cases.
De podcast, wat levert dat nou op? - de Stentor - Deventer - Blendle
Tue, 26 Nov 2019 07:41
groeimarkt munt slaan
ROELF JAN DUIN
AMSTERDAM
De populariteit van de podcast groeit, maar voor de makers is het nog altijd zoeken naar de beste manier om er iets mee te verdienen.
PG&E Microgrids a Bright Spot Amid Blackouts
Mon, 25 Nov 2019 22:49
PG&E says it hopes to set up 40 microgrids over the coming years in areas subject to frequent planned outages.
As it plunged swaths of California into darkness in an extreme measure to prevent wildfires this year, Pacific Gas and Electric Co. also began experimenting with a way to keep the lights on in some places: small Main Street strips where residents could still have places to eat, fill up on gas and receive other essential services.
During blackouts last month, PG&E used diesel-fueled generators the size of school buses to power parts of commercial areas in four small towns: Calistoga and Angwin in Napa County, Grass Valley in Nevada County, and Placerville in El Dorado County. Its generators also powered parts of Calistoga and Angwin during last week's outages, but the company said it ended up not needing to turn them on in the other two locations as it scaled back the recent shutoff plan.
The goal was to create temporary microgrids that allowed parts of those communities to continue using electricity even as areas around them could not. It's part of a broader strategy from PG&E to contain the scope of its power shutoffs, a goal that has become increasingly urgent as the company faces pressure from state leaders to refrain from making blackouts a new way of life for millions of Californians every summer and fall.
PG&E says it hopes to set up 40 such microgrids over the coming years in areas subject to frequent planned outages.
Calistoga, which was blacked out multiple times by PG&E, welcomed the generators. The town core is not in a high fire-threat area, though its outskirts are and power lines serving it do run through fire-prone terrain. PG&E realized it could keep the lights on in the tourist-heavy downtown by connecting a local substation to diesel generators.
''We're happy to be a guinea pig for this project,'' Mayor Chris Canning said on the second day of a pre-emptive outage last week. ''We are fortunate to have grocery stores, restaurants and coffee shops powered.''
After its equipment started a series of major disasters in recent years '-- including the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in state history '-- PG&E says it needs to turn off power lines when windy and dry conditions make them susceptible to igniting more blazes. But the company has been widely criticized for the way it rolled out its largest and most widespread outages, which affected an estimated 2.8 million people at their peak.
Climate change has dramatically altered the fire risk PG&E's electrical system faces, company leaders say, so they view blackouts as a necessary tool while they make other changes like installing more resilient poles and wires, burying some lines underground and installing devices that allow them to limit the shutoffs to a smaller portion of the grid.
There are some negatives to the microgrids. Diesel '-- a planet-warming fossil fuel '-- was necessary to try out the temporary microgrids this year, according to PG&E. But Quinn Nakayama, the company's director of grid innovation, said he hopes to use other fuels in the future.
''It's got to actually work on our system. ... I'll take just about anything over diesel.''
Nakayama said that by the end of the year, PG&E will be seeking technological options for microgrids in future power shutoffs.
''To the extent that the market comes back with a unicorn, I'll take the unicorn,'' he said.
Switching to PG&E's temporary microgrid takes time, and the installations have had hiccups. During October's first outage, PG&E said, it took up to 10 hours to get Angwin up and running. It initially misdirected power to Pacific Union College, which did not need it since it has its own plant. Going off the grid took three hours or less in the last three blackouts for Angwin and Calistoga, according to PG&E. Switching back on the other end usually takes an hour or less.
Before the mass blackouts, PG&E partnered with the college to set up a permanent installation on its ball field: a mobile generator on a big-rig truck that powers a fire station, post office, bank, dental office, medical building and student apartment building during outages.
''It softens the impact because you do have essential services open,'' said Dale Withers, facility director for the college.
PG&E is involved with another microgrid project at the local airport in Humboldt County that should launch by the end of next year, according to the company.
(c)2019 the San Francisco Chronicle. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
JEFFREY EPSTEIN: Ghislaine Maxwell ready to talk to FBI? '' Toronto Sun
Mon, 25 Nov 2019 21:07
Jeffery Epstein's purported pimp Ghislaine Maxwell may be ready to finally talk to the FBI after vanishing off the face of the earth for months.
The socialite school friend of Prince Andrew has been widely accused of procuring underage girls for the late pedophile.
She has emphatically denied playing a role in the billionaire's sex trafficking ring.
According to published reports, Maxwell feels she needs to defend her self and the disgraced prince who have both been accused of engaging in sex with underage girls.
''Ghislaine is preparing to speak, whether by talking to the FBI or giving a statement to the media. She has to defend herself. She has no option. She will have to address this guilt by association,'' a friend told The UK Sun.
From left, Prince Andrew, one of Jeffery Epstein's underage sex slaves Virginia Roberts and his alleged procurer, socialite Ghislaine Maxwell. Roberts claims Andrew and Epstein took part in an orgy with nine underage girls at the financier's Caribbean compound. Maxwell believes the photo was doctored.
Maxwell, 57, is the daughter of disgraced publishing baron Robert Maxwell.
She briefly dated Epstein in the early 1990s but remained by his side most of the time. It was Maxwell who introduced the royal to Epstein.
The leggy brunette has claimed the infamous photo of herself, Prince Andrew and former sex slave Virginia Roberts has been doctored.
Roberts claims she had sex with Andrew on several occasions as well as with the socialite.
Now, Maxwell is telling pals she ''has no memory'' of the photo and that ''it is one of the very few photos that does not bear a time and date stamp.''
Ghislaine Maxwell, left, with tempestuous temptress Naomi Campbell. GETTY IMAGES
Meanwhile, another alleged victim is pointing the finger at the prince, claiming he groped her.
Johanna Sjoberg is now reportedly offering the FBI key evidence about Andrew's relationship with Epstein.
She has claimed Andrew grabbed her breast at Epstein's home when she was 21.
''As a victim of Epstein, Sjoberg's testimony over how she was recruited and abused is vital to the FBI,'' a source told the Daily Mirror.
''Despite Epstein's suicide, they are ­determined all those who enabled his crimes will face justice. It is a promise they made to the victims,'' the source said.
''Andrew has had serious allegations made against him and agents are determined that a person's standing in life does not make them immune from being ­questioned,'' the source added.
Prince Andrew has denied all wrongdoing.
Epstein, 66, purportedly killed himself in his Manhattan jail cell in August while awaiting trial on numerous sex trafficking charges.
bhunter@postmedia.com
(14) XðŸ...ƒNI on Twitter: "Receipts. https://t.co/tO7C1QoQ8i" / Twitter
Mon, 25 Nov 2019 16:33
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Jeffrey Epstein's Intellectual Enabler | The New Republic
Mon, 25 Nov 2019 16:32
If you are an accomplished science or technology writer, your books are probably handled by the most powerful literary agency in the field: the famous Brockman Inc., started by John Brockman and now run by Max Brockman, his son. As it happens, Max is also my agent'--and has been since my first book was sold in 2009. As agencies go, I only have positive things to report: The Brockmans fight for their authors and get us very handsome advances. That's what agents are for.
But that's not the whole story. John is also the president, founder, and chief impresario of the Edge Foundation, which has earned a stellar reputation as an eclectic platform for conversations that involve scientists, artists, and technologists. There is more than one Edge Foundation, though: There is the one meant for public consumption, with its ''annual question'''--e.g. ''What are you optimistic about?'''--answered by famous intellectuals and thinkers; and one meant for private consumption by members of Brockman's elite network. The former exists primarily online. The latter has a vibrant real-life component, with sumptuous dinners, exclusive conferences, and quite a bit of travel on private jets'--it functions as an elaborate massage of the ego (and, apparently, much else) for the rich, the smart, and the powerful.
Over the course of my research into the history of digital culture, I've got to know quite a lot about John's role in shaping the digital'--and especially the intellectual'--world that we live in. I've examined and scanned many of his letters in the archives of famous men (and they are mostly men), such as Marshall McLuhan, Stewart Brand, and Gregory Bateson. He is no mere literary agent; he is a true ''organic intellectual'' of the digital revolution, shaping trends rather than responding to them. Would the MIT Media Lab, TED Conferences, and Wired have the clout and the intellectual orientation that they have now without the extensive network cultivated by Brockman over decades? I, for one, very much doubt it.
Lately, John has been in the news for other reasons, namely because of his troubling connections to Jeffrey Epstein, the so-called financier who reportedly hanged himself earlier this month while facing federal charges of sex-trafficking. Epstein participated in the Edge Foundation's annual questions, and attended its ''billionaires' dinners.'' Brockman may also be the reason why so many prominent academics'--from Steven Pinker to Daniel Dennett'--have found themselves answering awkward questions about their associations with Epstein; they are clients of Brockman's. Marvin Minsky, the prominent MIT scientist who surfaced as one of Epstein's island buddies? A client of Brockman's. Joi Ito, the director of the elite research facility MIT Media Lab, who has recently acknowledged extensive ties to Epstein? Also, a client of Brockman's.
Should we just write it off as natural collateral damage for someone with a network as extensive as Brockman's? He is, after all, a networker's networker. Based on my observations over the last decade, his whole operation runs on two simple but powerful principles. First, the total value of the network (and thus his own value) goes up if the nodes start connecting to each other independently of him. Second, the more diverse the network, the more attractive it is to newcomers as well as to all the existing members. Billionaires are rich, but they might harbor an insecurity complex related to not being very well-read (looking at you, Bill Gates!). Scientists, in contrast, are usually well-read but might aspire to fancier cars and luxuries and funding for their pet projects. And so on: There's something for everyone'--and, in the case of Epstein, someone seems to have done the matchmaking.
In Brockman's world, billionaires, scientists, artists, novelists, journalists, and musicians all blend together to produce enormous value'--for each other and, of course, for Brockman. This mingling of clients doesn't happen in other literary agencies, at least not to this extent. Nor does this happen at Brockman Inc., as all such interactions that we know of took place under the umbrella of the Edge Foundation, a sibling organization, with Brockman as its president. Would Brockman Inc. exist without the Edge Foundation? Possibly'--and it did, at the outset. Would it be as powerful, trading on Brockman's ability to rub shoulders with academics and billionaires alike? Probably not. Still, I can attest that Brockman's authors face no pressure to get involved with Edge: I, for example, diligently responded to their annual questions between 2010 and 2013'--and then stopped, as I was put off by Brockman's insistence that people responding to the annual question should keep away from politics.
When the Epstein-Brockman connection first surfaced in the news, I wanted to give Brockman the benefit of the doubt. It's possible, I thought, that Epstein was just one of the many rich people in Brockman's orbit. Or maybe the two had been close only before Epstein's first criminal case in the mid-2000s. Or maybe Brockman was in the dark about Epstein's tendencies and they only talked about quantum physics and artificial intelligence.
In the last few weeks, such a charitable interpretation has become very hard to sustain, especially as other details'--implicating Marvin Minsky and Joi Ito, who has apologized for taking money from Epstein'--became public. John Brockman has not said a word publicly about his connection to Epstein since the latest scandal broke, preferring to maintain silence on the matter. That I have found quite infuriating.
Knowing that Brockman likes to brag about all the famous people he has met and befriended'--you can easily count the seconds until he name-checks ''Marshall'' (McLuhan) or ''Andy'' (Warhol) or ''Gregory'' (Bateson) in a casual conversation'--I decided to look over our correspondence over the past decade and see if he might have name-dropped Epstein somewhere. And, of course, he did. Browsing through our email correspondence, I stumbled upon a most peculiar email from September 12, 2013.
It was very laconic: ''JE, FYI, JB'''--followed by my short bio and some media clippings. (You can check the entire PDF of the correspondence here.) Strangely, it was sent to me and had no other contacts in cc. Perhaps he wanted to send it to ''JE'' but put my email there by mistake. When I commented on the meaning of this cryptic message, he responded with the following message, reproduced here in full:
I missed that one.
Jeffrey Epstein, the billionaire science philanthropist showed up at this weekend's event by helicopter (with his beautiful young assistant from Belarus). He'll be in Cambridge in a couple of weeks asked me who he should meet. You are one of the people I suggested and I told him I would send some links.
He's the guy who gave Harvard #30m to set up Martin Nowak. He's been extremely generous in funding projects of many of our friends and clients. He also got into trouble and spent a year in jail in Florida.
If he contacts you it's probably worth your time to meet him as he's extremely bright and interesting.
Last time I visited his house (the largest private residence in NYC), I walked in to find him in a sweatsuit and a British guy in a suit with suspenders, getting foot massages from two young well-dressed Russian women. After grilling me for a while about cyber-security, the Brit, named Andy, was commenting on the Swedish authorities and the charges against Julian Assange.
''We think they're liberal in Sweden, but its more like Northern England as opposed to Southern Europe,'' he said. ''In Monaco, Albert works 12 hours a day but at 9pm, when he goes out, he does whatever he wants, and nobody cares. But, if I do it, I'm in big trouble.'' At that point I realized that the recipient of Irina's foot massage was his Royal Highness, Prince Andrew, the Duke of York.
Indeed, a week later, on a slow news day, the cover of the NYpost had a full-page photo of Jeffrey and Andrew walking in Central Park under the headline: ''The Prince and the Perv.'' (That was the end of Andrew's role at the UK trade ambassador.)
To which I responded:
thanks for clarifying this. I'm sure he's an all-around sweet guy but I'll have to think about it. It could be that I spent far too much time in the Soros bubble but I have zero interest in meeting billionaires - if I did, I'd be going to Davos every year. but I appreciate you taking the time.
Here is Brockman again:
A billionaire who owns Victoria's Secret plus a modelling agency is a different kind of animal. But I hear you and basically agree. Gregory Bateson once advised me that 'Of all our human inventions, economic man is by far the dullest.'
JB
And here is my final answer:
''A billionaire who owns Victoria's Secret plus a modelling agency'' --> one more reason to stay away actually.
I didn't know who Epstein was at the time. Since I've never been very keen to hang out with billionaires, mine was a natural response (I similarly declined Brockman's invitations to hang out on his farm or attend his famous billionaire dinners). So I didn't think much of that invitation and eventually forgot about it. Needless to say, I never heard from Epstein'--or from Brockman about Epstein.
In that old email, it seems clear that Brockman was acting as Epstein's PR man'--his liaison with the world of scientists and intellectuals that Brockman had cultivated. That Brockman has said nothing over this affair is rather bewildering. (He did not return requests for comment left on his email and voicemail.)
I do know that John Brockman has been in poor health over the last few years. So I have cut him some slack. But, patient as I am, the time has run out. It's not as if the Epstein story broke yesterday. It's been more than a month since Epstein was arrested on the latest charges. Still, no word on the issue. And, now that I've found that old email he sent me, I cannot believe that he knew absolutely nothing of Epstein's wild sexual escapades'--in fact, his email suggests he was trying to capitalize on them to recruit yet another useful idiot into Epstein's network.
There's more: A close analysis of Edge Foundation's ( publicly available ) financial statements suggests that, between 2001 and 2015, it has received $638,000 from Epstein's various foundations. In many of those years, Epstein was Edge's sole donor. Yet, how many of Edge's contributors'--let alone readers'--knew Epstein played so large a role in the organization?
I'm just one of the many authors in Brockman's agency; my departure wouldn't affect anything. I am also the last one to complain: His agency sold two of my books, and I have two more underway, also sold by them.
Yet, I am ready to pull the plug on my association with Brockman's agency'--and would encourage other authors to consider doing the same'--until and unless he clarifies the relationship between him, the Edge Foundation, and Epstein. If such an explanation is not forthcoming, many of us will have to decide whether we would like to be part of this odd intellectual club located on the dubious continuum between the seminar room and a sex-trafficking ring.
Excessive networking, it appears, devours its own. Brockman is already many months too late to what he should have done much earlier: close down the Edge Foundation, publicly repent, retire, and turn Brockman Inc. into yet another banal literary agency. The kind where authors do not have to mingle with billionaires at fancy dinners or worry about walking in on Prince Andrew getting his foot massage. The un-network.
Terrell Owens - Wikipedia
Mon, 25 Nov 2019 13:54
American football wide receiver
Terrell OwensOwens in 2017
No. 81Position:Wide receiverPersonal informationBorn: ( 1973-12-07 ) December 7, 1973 (age 45) Alexander City, AlabamaHeight:6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)Weight:224 lb (102 kg)Career informationHigh school:Benjamin Russell(Alexander City, Alabama)College:ChattanoogaNFL Draft:1996 / Round: 3 / Pick: 89Career history San Francisco 49ers (1996''2003)Philadelphia Eagles (2004''2005)Dallas Cowboys (2006''2008)Buffalo Bills (2009)Cincinnati Bengals (2010)Allen Wranglers (2012)Seattle Seahawks (2012)* * Offseason and/or practice squad member onlyCareer highlights and awards 6— Pro Bowl (2000''2004, 2007)5— First-team All-Pro (2000''2002, 2004, 2007)3— NFL receiving touchdowns leader (2001, 2002, 2006)NFL 2000s All-Decade Second TeamSan Francisco 49ers Hall of FameCareer NFL statisticsReceptions:1,078Receiving yards:15,934Yards per reception:14.8Receiving touchdowns:153Player stats at NFL.comPlayer stats at PFRTerrell Eldorado Owens (; born December 7, 1973), popularly known by his initials, T.O., is a former American football wide receiver who played in the National Football League (NFL) for 16 seasons. A six-time Pro Bowl selection and five-time first-team All-Pro, Owens holds or shares several NFL records. He ranks third in career receiving yards at 15,934 and third in receiving touchdowns at 153.
After playing college football and basketball at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Owens was selected in the third round of the 1996 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers. Owens was a member of the team for seven seasons until he was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles in 2004 following conflict with the 49ers front office. Two years later, he signed with the Dallas Cowboys before being released following three seasons with the team.[1] Owens' NFL career subsequently concluded after one season each with the Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals. He last played professionally for the Allen Wranglers of the Indoor Football League in 2012.
While regarded as one of the best players of his era, Owens created a significant amount of controversy during his professional career and also attracted attention for his flamboyant touchdown celebrations.[2] He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2018.
Early life Owens was born to L.C. Russell and Marilyn Heard in Alexander City, Alabama. He grew up with three other siblings and was raised by his mother and grandmother.[3][4] He enjoyed watching football, especially his favorite player, Jerry Rice. However, Owens' grandmother initially forbade him from playing sports until high school. Owens attended Benjamin Russell High School, where he participated in football, baseball, track, and basketball.[5] Owens did not start on his high school football team until his junior year, when one of his teammates missed a game due to illness.[6]
Family Owens is the son of Terrell Sr. and Marilyn Heard. Owens is the father of two daughters and two sons, by four different mothers.[7] In September 2011, Owens was sued by Melanie Paige Smith III, the mother of his daughter, for failure to pay child support, but the case was settled prior to trial.[8] Owens insisted that the reason for the missed child support payments was due to his wages decreasing in the NFL and Smith was aware of his circumstances.[9]
On a May 8, 2012 episode of Dr. Phil, three of the four mothers to his children accused Owens of either coming up short in his monthly child support payments or not paying at all. Owens said he was paying some $45,000 per month in child support at one time.[10]
College career While enrolled at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Owens played basketball, football, and ran track.[11] Owens played in the 1995 NCAA Basketball Tournament. While playing football in college, Owens wore the #80 jersey to honor his idol, Jerry Rice.[12][failed verification ] He became a starter during his sophomore year. Owens caught 38 passes for 724 yards and eight touchdowns during his sophomore year, and 34 passes for 357 yards and three touchdowns during his junior year. Having gained respect in the NCAA, Owens faced double coverage more frequently during his senior year, and was limited to 43 receptions for 667 yards and one touchdown. Owens previously held the single season receptions record at Chattanooga until it was broken in 2007 by Alonzo Nix. In his senior year, he anchored the school's 4 — 100 relay team at the NCAA championship. He also participated in the Senior Bowl, a college all-star game played by college seniors, in preparation for the NFL Draft.
Professional career Pre-draft measurablesHtWtArm lengthHand size40-yard dash10-yd split20-yd split20-ss3-coneVert jumpBroad6 ft 2 7'8 in(1.90 m)213 lb(97 kg) 34 1'2 in(0.88 m) 10 1'2 in(0.27 m) 4.65 s 1.59 s 2.72 s 4.26 s 33 in(0.84 m)All values from NFL Combine[13]San Francisco 49ers Because he played his college football at UT-Chattanooga, an FCS school that did not have a winning season during his time there, Owens' visibility to NFL scouts was lessened, and he dropped to the third round of the 1996 NFL Draft, where the San Francisco 49ers drafted him 89th overall.[11] Owens played his first professional game against the New Orleans Saints, where he served as a member of the 49ers' special teams. His first two catches were recorded against the Carolina Panthers on September 22, 1996, for a total of six yards. His first touchdown came on October 20 against the Cincinnati Bengals; in the fourth quarter he caught a 45-yard touchdown pass from Steve Young that tied a game eventually won by the 49ers 28''21.
After the 49ers' top receiver Jerry Rice suffered a torn ACL early in the 1997 NFL season, Owens took Rice's place in the lineup, beating out former 1st round pick J.J. Stokes for the job.[14][15] He and quarterback Young helped the 49ers win 13 games that season; Owens finished with 936 receiving yards and eight touchdowns; he added a touchdown in San Francisco's playoff win over the Minnesota Vikings.[16]
1998 was another 12''4 season for the 49ers and the first 1,000-yard year for Owens, as he caught 67 balls for 1,097 yards and fourteen touchdowns; he even had a rushing touchdown in October against the St. Louis Rams. In the Wildcard playoff game, the 49ers faced the Green Bay Packers who had beaten them five straight times, three of them playoff games. Owens struggled, dropping a number of passes as a result of being briefly blinded by late-afternoon sun. Despite this, Young kept throwing to Owens and he redeemed himself by catching the game-winning touchdown (immortalized by the impassioned game call of 49ers radio play-by-play announcer Joe Starkey) for a 30''27 comeback victory.
In 1999, Owens had 60 catches for 754 yards and four touchdowns. Young retired after the 1999 season after he was unable to pass medical tests as a result of a concussion sustained that season, and Jeff Garcia was named the 49ers' starting quarterback. In 2000, the 49ers managed to win only six games. However, Owens had a record-breaking day on December 17, 2000 with 20 catches for 283 yards in a 17-0 49ers win over the Chicago Bears.[17] The record-breaking 20 receptions surpassed a 50-year-old mark held by Tom Fears (it has since been surpassed by Brandon Marshall, who made 21 receptions in a game in 2009). Owens finished the year with 1,451 receiving yards and thirteen touchdowns.
The 2001 49ers had a 12''4 record but were defeated by the Packers in a Wild Card playoff game. Owens finished with sixteen touchdown catches (half the 32 thrown by Garcia that season) and 1,412 receiving yards. The 49ers followed up in 2002 with a 10''6 record and their 17th NFC West title; in this season, Owens had 100 catches for 1,300 yards and 13 touchdowns. The 49ers hosted the New York Giants in the Wild Card playoff round, and after falling behind 38''14, the 49ers erupted to 25 unanswered points; Owens had two touchdown catches and caught two 2-point conversions in the 49ers' 39-38 win. However, they were shot down 31''6 against the soon to be Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who held Owens to only four catches for 35 yards.
Coach Steve Mariucci was fired and former Seahawks coach Dennis Erickson took over. The ensuing season in 2003 proved subpar as the 49ers finished 7''9. It was here that Owens decided to leave. In the summer of 2004, when Garcia, who had been released in the off-season, was a member of the Cleveland Browns, and Owens was a member of the Philadelphia Eagles, Owens appeared in an interview for Playboy magazine, where he was asked about long-standing rumors that his former teammate Garcia was homosexual, to which he implied he thought there might be truth to the rumors.[18]
Although Owens was eager to leave the 49ers, the 49ers asserted that Owens' previous agent, David Joseph, had missed the deadline to void the final years of his contract with the team. The National Football League Players Association and Owens disputed this assertion, contending that the deadline referred to by the 49ers was not the applicable deadline. On March 4, 2004, San Francisco, believing it still held Owens' rights, attempted to trade Owens to the Baltimore Ravens for a second round pick in the 2004 draft. However, Owens challenged the 49ers' right to make the deal. Owens assumed that he would become a free agent on March 3, and did not believe that the earlier deadline was applicable. Hence, he negotiated with other teams in advance of his expected free agency, and reached a contract agreement with the Philadelphia Eagles, whose fan base strongly supported Owens in his desire to play for the team. The NFLPA filed a grievance on his behalf.
Before an arbitrator could make a ruling on Owens' grievance, the NFL and the three teams involved in the controversy reached a settlement on March 16, 2004. The Ravens got their second-round pick back from San Francisco, and the 49ers in turn received a conditional fifth-round pick and defensive end Brandon Whiting from the Eagles in exchange for the rights to Owens. Owens' contract with the Eagles was worth about $49 million for seven years, including a $10 million signing bonus.[19]
In September 2004, Owens released an autobiography: Catch This! Going Deep with the NFL's Sharpest Weapon, which he co-wrote with bestselling author Stephen Singular.[20]
Philadelphia Eagles Owens (81) with the
Eagles talking to a coach.
On December 19, 2004, Owens sustained a severely sprained ankle and a fractured fibula when Dallas Cowboys safety Roy Williams took him down with a horse-collar tackle; Williams' horse-collars resulted in injuries to several NFL players, and the horse-collar tackle was later prohibited.[21] Owens' injury required surgery, including insertion of a screw into his leg, and Eagles trainer Rick Burkholder stated that he would miss the rest of the season, with only an outside chance of playing in the Super Bowl if the Eagles advanced.[22]
After the Eagles defeated the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC Championship game, Owens defied the advice of his doctors and played in Super Bowl XXXIX.[23][24] Owens' trainer, James "Buddy" Primm, helped bring Owens back much sooner with the use of Microcurrent and a hyperbaric chamber. Owens started in the game and had nine receptions for 122 yards, but the Eagles lost to the New England Patriots. After the game, Owens stated that the media would have called Brett Favre "a warrior" for playing with such an injury, but that "For me, they said I was selfish."[23]
On April 2005, Owens announced that he had hired a new agent, Drew Rosenhaus, and indicated that he would seek to have his contract with the Eagles renegotiated. Owens made $9 million in 2004 (most of which was bonus money, as his base salary was only $660,000),[25] and was slated to make $4.5 million in 2005. This two-year amount did not place Owens in the top ten paid wide receivers playing. He also made a comment that he "wasn't the guy who got tired in the Super Bowl." The remark, directed at quarterback Donovan McNabb, caused a controversy to heat up between them. On July 1, Owens' relationship with the Eagles became even more tense after Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie and club president Joe Banner denied Owens permission to play basketball in a summer league under the auspices of the National Basketball Association's Sacramento Kings.[26]
Owens, with the negotiating help of Rosenhaus, continued to lobby for a new contract. Owens and Rosenhaus met with Eagles head coach Andy Reid and president Joe Banner, but no agreement was reached (this was in line with the Eagles' policy against contract renegotiations). Owens threatened to hold out of training camp until a deal was reached, but reported to camp on time. When the 2005 football season began, Owens was in the second year of a seven-year, $49 million contract. However, the contract was heavily back-loaded, and while the $49 million figure was routinely touted by the sports media as an example of Owens' greed,[citation needed ] the money guaranteed to him was under the annual average for a top-tier wide receiver.
In 2005, after a game against the Dallas Cowboys on October 9 in which the Eagles lost, Owens was seen by reporters wearing a throwback jersey of former Cowboys player Michael Irvin on the team plane.[27][28] On November 2, Owens was involved in an argument in the training room with team ambassador Hugh Douglas, which led to a fistfight between the two.[29][30] The argument was reportedly started after Douglas said there were players on the team who were faking injuries.[31]
During an ESPN interview the next day, Owens made several comments that Eagles fans perceived as verbal jabs at McNabb and the team.[32] In this interview, when asked whether he agreed with a comment made by analyst Michael Irvin saying that the Eagles would be undefeated if Brett Favre was on the team, Owens replied, "That's a good assessment. I would agree with that." Owens went on to state that if Favre were the Eagles quarterback, "I just feel like we'd be in a better situation." Owens stated on his radio show that his remarks were taken out of context, noting that he had just stated two questions prior that the Eagles' record would also be better had McNabb not been injured.[33][34][32] While he did not comment on Owens' slight at the time, McNabb later stated in an interview that "It was definitely a slap in the face to me."[35]
Two days after the interview aired, the Eagles suspended Owens indefinitely for "conduct detrimental to the team."[36] According to Owens' agent Drew Rosenhaus, head coach Andy Reid demanded that Owens make a public apology to McNabb. An apology was drafted by Rosenhaus, but Owens balked at reading a specific apology to McNabb, and crossed that part of the statement out.[32] The apology he read on TV did not address McNabb directly.[37] The following day, Reid announced that Owens' suspension would be increased to four games and that he would be deactivated for the remainder of the season.[37][38]
On November 8, Owens and Rosenhaus held a news conference at Owens' residence, where he apologized to the fans, the team, and McNabb specifically, and also made an appeal for reinstatement to the team.[39] The NFL Players Association filed a grievance against the Eagles, claiming violation of the sport's collective bargaining agreement, but Owens' suspension and deactivation were upheld by an arbitrator.[40]
The next season, Owens was released by the Philadelphia Eagles franchise and eventually signed with the Dallas Cowboys.
Dallas Cowboys On March 14, 2006, the Philadelphia Eagles released Owens.[41] Four days later, on March 18, 2006, Jerry Jones announced that the Dallas Cowboys had signed Owens to a 3-year, $25 million deal, including a $5 million signing bonus, with a $5 million first year salary.
Owens returned to the field during the Cowboys' 2006 season opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars. While the game ended in a Jaguars victory, Owens recorded eight receptions for 80 yards and one touchdown. The following week against the Redskins, Owens broke his finger while blocking, and was forced to leave the game.[42] He had a plate screwed into the finger, and returned to play the team's next game against the Tennessee Titans, where he accounted for 88 receiving yards.
The following week, Owens made his highly anticipated return to Philadelphia, where he played his former teammate, Donovan McNabb. Upon his return, Owens was met by a hail of angry jeers and taunts, including chants of "O.D." throughout the game.[43] Despite pregame talk about a weak Eagles secondary, Owens struggled throughout the game. Owens had three catches for 45 yards, while the Cowboys went on to lose, 38''24.
After the Cowboys defeated the Atlanta Falcons, 38-28, owner Jerry Jones revealed that Owens had injured a tendon on the same finger that he broken earlier in the season. The doctors recommended season-ending surgery, but Owens elected to risk permanent damage to his finger and decided to wait until the end of the season to repair the damage. "There's no question about what he's willing to do for his team", Jones said.[44]
Owens led the league in regular season with 13 touchdown receptions.[45] On March 1, 2007, he underwent surgery twice to repair his right ring finger.[46]
In the 2007 season, Owens and the Cowboys began to live up to their potential. On November 18, Owens set a new career high and tied a franchise record, with four touchdown catches against the Washington Redskins. With his touchdown catch against Green Bay on November 29, Owens became the first player in NFL history with at least one touchdown catch and six receptions in seven straight games. Also with this win, the Cowboys clinched a playoff berth for the second consecutive season, making this the third time Owens would participate in back-to-back postseasons. Owens was one of the starting wide receivers to represent the NFC in the Pro Bowl along with Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald. On January 9, Owens made the All-Pro team along with teammates Jason Witten and DeMarcus Ware. On December 22 in a Week 16 game against the Carolina Panthers, Owens caught his 15th touchdown catch of the season to set a new Cowboys record for touchdown catches in a season. During this game, however, Owens suffered a high ankle sprain after making a catch in the second quarter, which kept him out of the rest of the regular season. Owens was leading the league in receiving yards and was second in receiving touchdowns at the time. He finished the season with 81 receptions, 15 touchdowns, and 1,355 receiving yards, as the team finished 13-3 and clinched the NFC's top seed.
Owens returned for the divisional playoff game against the Giants, where he caught four passes for 49 yards and a touchdown. The Cowboys lost the game, however, 21-17 and Owens broke down crying during the postgame press conference in a now-infamous incident.
In the 2008 Pro Bowl, Owens caught seven passes for 101 yards and two touchdowns in an NFC win. Despite his efforts, Minnesota Vikings rookie running back Adrian Peterson was named MVP.
In the Cowboys' second game of the season, the last Monday Night game at Texas Stadium, Owens passed Cris Carter to move to second in touchdowns behind former teammate Jerry Rice.
The Cowboys released Owens on March 4, 2009.[47] Owens later said that Jones had assured him that he would be remaining with the team and that he was blindsided by his release.[48]
Buffalo Bills On March 8, 2009, the Buffalo Bills signed Owens to a 1-year, $6.5 million contract.[49] Owens had his first catch with the Bills when he had a 27-yard play on a 3rd-and-1 in the 25-24 loss to the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. With that catch, he passed former Bills receiver Andre Reed on the all-time Top 20 career leaders list for pass receptions.[50] Owens debuted with two catches for 45 yards in the game. Owens caught his first touchdown pass with Buffalo in a 33-20 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on September 20, 2009. However, the following week, Owens was held without a catch against the New Orleans Saints, ending a 185-game streak of consecutive games with a catch that was the longest streak among active players at the time.[51]
Owens had his best game with the Bills in a 15''18 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars, with nine receptions for 197 yards and a touchdown. Owens and Ryan Fitzpatrick set a Bills record for longest touchdown reception when Fitzpatrick connected with Owens for a 98-yard TD, which also became Owens' longest career touchdown reception. He also became the oldest player to have a touchdown reception of 76+ yards (35 years, 350 days).[52] Against the Atlanta Falcons in week 16, Owens became the sixth player to reach 1,000 receptions in a career after catching an 8-yard pass from Brian Brohm.[53] He finished his lone season with Buffalo with 55 catches for 829 yards and 5 receiving touchdowns, and also rushed 6 times for 54 yards and a touchdown.
Cincinnati Bengals On July 27, 2010, Owens signed a one-year contract with the Cincinnati Bengals. It was reportedly worth two million dollars, with another two million dollars possible from bonuses. He joined Carson Palmer and Chad Johnson, both of whom lobbied for the Bengals to sign Owens. With the retirement of Isaac Bruce, Owens spent his last active season in the NFL as the active career leader in receiving yards. He received his customary number, #81, given to him by free-agent acquisition wide receiver Antonio Bryant in exchange for an undisclosed sum of money, some of which went to a charity of Bryant's choice.[54]
Against the Cleveland Browns in Week 4, he had a spectacular game with ten receptions, 222 yards and a touchdown of 78 yards on the day. On December 21, Owens was placed on injured reserve, for the first time in his 15-year career.[55] He still managed to lead all Bengals' receivers (including Ochocinco) with receptions (72), yards (983), and touchdowns (9) for the season. However, the Bengals fell from a 10-6 record the year before Owens joined to a 4-12 record with Owens. The Bengals decided not to re-sign Owens for the 2011 season.[56]
He suffered a torn ACL during the 2011 offseason and underwent surgery in April 2011.[57] According to his agent, he was cleared to play again on October 19.[58] He held a televised workout on October 25, which no NFL teams chose to attend.[59]
Allen Wranglers On November 2, 2011, the Allen Wranglers of the Indoor Football League announced they had extended a six-figure contract offer to Owens to play for the Wranglers in the 2012 season.[60] On January 18, 2012, Owens announced via Twitter that he had accepted the Wranglers' offer and joined their ownership group, with an official press conference to follow the following week.[61] In his debut for the Wranglers, Owens caught three passes for 53 yards and three touchdowns as the Wranglers defeated the Wichita Wild 50-30. His statistics were: eight games played; 35 catches; 420 yards; 52.5 yards per game; twelve yards per catch; 45 longest catch; and ten touchdowns.[62]
On May 29, 2012, Owens was released. The Wranglers' co-owners stated Owens was released for showing a lack of effort both on and off the field.[63]
Seattle Seahawks On August 6, 2012, Owens signed a one-year, $925,000 contract with the Seattle Seahawks. On August 26, 2012, Owens announced on his Twitter account that the Seahawks had released him.[64]
Possible NFL comeback On January 13, 2015, in an interview with Sports Illustrated Now, Owens stated that he had not retired and that, after a hiatus, he had trained with numerous NFL players during the 2014 NFL season and the offseason. He did not state when he planned to return to the NFL.[65]
On June 28, 2017, Owens played as team captain for Team Owens in the inaugural game for the newly formed American Flag Football League.[66]
CFL On June 19, 2018 the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League (CFL) added Owens to their negotiation list.[67] About one month later, on July 14, Owens activated his 10-day signing window with the Eskimos, requiring the team to offer him a contract in ten days, else he will become a CFL free agent and be eligible to sign with any of the eight other CFL teams.[68] On July 20, 2018 the Eskimos dropped Owens from their negotiation list.[69] On August 5, 2018, a day after his Hall of Fame induction, Owens worked out for the Saskatchewan Roughriders.[70]
Controversies Desperate Housewives skit On November 15, 2004, Owens, wearing a Philadelphia Eagles uniform, appeared with popular television actress Nicollette Sheridan (of the ABC series Desperate Housewives, in character as Edie Britt) in an introductory skit which opened that evening's Monday Night Football telecast, in which Owens and the Eagles played the Cowboys at Texas Stadium. Some observers (especially then-Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy) condemned the skit as being sexually suggestive because of Sheridan removing a towel (see video[71]), and ABC later apologized for airing it. However, on March 14, 2005, the Federal Communications Commission ruled that the skit did not violate decency standards, because it contained no outright nudity or foul language.
2006 Hydrocodone overdose Some media outlets in Dallas reported on the morning of September 27, 2006 that Owens had tried to kill himself by intentionally ingesting an overdose of hydrocodone, a pain medication.[72] A police report filed on the night of September 26[73] seemed to confirm the attempt, saying that Owens's publicist, Kim Etheredge, found him unresponsive with an empty bottle of pain killers, pried two pills from his mouth, and called 9-1-1, after which an ambulance transported him four blocks from his Deep Ellum condo to Baylor University Medical Center.
According to the police report, Owens and Etheredge both said he was depressed, and Owens answered "yes" when asked whether he had intended to harm himself. Owens' publicist, however, refuted the report, stating that Owens had suffered an allergic reaction to the medication combined with a dietary supplement. ESPN reported that about half the police report was blacked out, including the phrases "attempting suicide by prescription pain medication" and "a drug overdose".[74]
Owens left the hospital later on September 27. At a news conference after his release, Owens denied having made a suicide attempt, stating that he expected to join the team for practice the next morning. He stated that he was "not depressed" and was "very happy to be here", and denied that doctors had pumped his stomach, calling speculation to that effect "definitely untrue".[75] The press conference took place after Owens had run routes and caught passes with the Cowboys at the team's practice facility in Valley Ranch.
Afterwards, Owens' publicist stated that she felt the police had taken advantage of Owens. The president of the union representing Dallas police officers subsequently demanded an apology from Owens and his publicist for her comments, which he said damaged the reputations of three patrolmen.[76] On Thursday, September 28, the Dallas Police Department reported the incident to be an "accidental overdose" and ended their investigation.[77]
The pain medication Owens had ingested had been prescribed to him for a broken finger he had suffered in a Week 2 victory against the Washington Redskins. Bill Parcells had noted in a press conference a few days before the incident that the medication Owens had been taking had made him sick, and he had been prescribed a milder pain killer.
Spitting incident After the December 16, 2006 game against the Atlanta Falcons, Falcons cornerback DeAngelo Hall stated that Owens spat in his face after a play early in the game. Game officials and reporters were unaware of the incident and Owens was not asked about it until his post-game interview with the NFL Network, when he confirmed it.[78] Owens said, "I got frustrated and I apologize for that. It was a situation where he kept hugging me and getting in my face. He had a lot of words, I didn't. I just wanted to come and prove I'm not a guy to be schemed with." Hall said that he lost all respect for Owens.[79] When made aware that Hall was saying Owens did it deliberately, Owens said that it was an accident that occurred while they were in each other's face, talking trash. Despite no video evidence, the NFL fined Owens $35,000 for the incident.[80] After initially refusing to take a phone call from Owens, Hall was convinced by Deion Sanders to speak with Owens two days after the incident and later stated that they "cleared it all out."[81]
Hall of Fame Owens was not voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in his first two years of eligibility, despite being statistically ranked near the top of every receiving category in the history of the NFL.[82][83] Commentators attributed Owens' exclusion to his issues off the field.[82]
In 2018, Owens was voted into the Hall of Fame.[84] He subsequently caused controversy in his induction by skipping the official celebration in Canton, Ohio, and instead choosing to host his own celebration in McKenzie Arena on the campus of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, his alma mater.[85] He is the only inductee of the hall to skip his induction and instead host a separate induction ceremony.[86]
Touchdown celebrations During his playing career, Owens attracted attention for his flamboyant celebrations after scoring touchdowns, some of which resulted in fines from the NFL front office.[87]
Celebrations for San Francisco On September 24, 2000, in Dallas, Owens twice sprinted to midfield after scoring touchdowns and stood on the Dallas Cowboys' star logo. The second time, Cowboys safety George Teague leveled him at midfield, which started a confrontation between the two teams. Teague was ejected from the game, while Owens was suspended for a week by head coach Steve Mariucci.[88]During a Monday Night Football game against the Seattle Seahawks on October 14, 2002, Owens pulled a Sharpie marker out of his sock to sign the football he caught to score a touchdown, and then gave the ball to his financial adviser, who happened to also be the financial adviser of Shawn Springs, who was covering Owens on the play. He was criticized by Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren for the stunt, but was not punished by the 49ers or the NFL. However, in the wake of the highly publicized incident, the league immediately adopted a new rule banning players from carrying "foreign objects" with them on the field.[89][90]Celebrations for Philadelphia The "Bird Dance", "The Bird", or "Wing Flap" became T.O.'s trademark dance with the Eagles.[91] T.O. did the "Bird Dance" frequently during the 2004 season after a big play or touchdown. His touchdown celebration was mocked by Hines Ward in the Eagles' first loss of the season at Pittsburgh. After scoring on a reverse, Ward flexed and began flapping his arms like a bird.[92]Owens imitated and mocked the trademark pre-game ritual dance of Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis after scoring a touchdown while playing against the Ravens in the 2004 season.[93]Celebrations for Dallas On the Thanksgiving Day game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on November 23, 2006, Owens, after catching a pass for a touchdown, dropped the ball in an oversized Salvation Army Red Kettle, donating the ball to the Salvation Army.[94] About the touchdown celebration, Owens was quoted as saying, "That was my donation. I hope it's worth as much as the fine."[95]On September 16, 2007, Owens mocked Bill Belichick after catching a touchdown against the Miami Dolphins, by hiding behind a field goal post and holding the football to his face in a video camera fashion, as if secretly spying and filming the game. The Cowboys were penalized 15 yards for "excessive celebration".[96] On September 19, 2007, the league fined Owens $7,500 for the celebration.On November 4, 2007, against his former team, the Philadelphia Eagles, Owens flapped his wings, mimicking the dance he did while with the Eagles. This, coupled with Owens' tumultuous stay with the Eagles and his subsequent tenure with the Cowboys (an Eagles division rival), earned the boos of the crowd. After the game, Owens was quoted as saying, "There's a lot of love in those boos."[97]Professional statistics LegendLed the leagueBoldCareer highYearTeamGamesReceivingGGSRecYardsAvgLongTD1996SF16103552014.946T41997SF16156093615.656T81998SF1610671,09716.479T141999SF14146075412.63642000SF1413971,45115.069T132001SF1616931,41215.460T162002SF14141001,30013.076T132003SF1515801,10213.875T92004PHI1414771,20015.659T142005PHI774776316.291T62006DAL1615851,18013.956T132007DAL1515811,35516.752T152008DAL1616691,05215.275T102009BUF16165582915.198T52010CIN14117298313.778T9Career2192011,07815,93414.898T153NFL records and career notables NFL recordsOnly player in NFL history to score a TD against all 32 NFL teamsOnly player in NFL history to score two or more touchdowns against all 32 NFL teamsOnly player in NFL history to have an 800-yard receiving season with five different teams (Cincinnati Bengals, Buffalo Bills, Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles, San Francisco 49ers)Only player in NFL history to have a 150-yard receiving game with five different teams (Bengals, Bills, Cowboys, Eagles, 49ers)Only player in NFL history to have a 200-yard receiving game with three different teams (Bengals, Cowboys, 49ers)Oldest player to accumulate 200 combined yards/receiving yards/yards from scrimmage in a single game (36 years, 300 days)Consecutive seasons with at least six touchdowns, 2000''2010 (11) '' tied with Marvin Harrison 1996''2006, Jerry Rice 1986''1996, Don Hutson 1935''1945Consecutive seasons with at least five touchdown receptions, 2000''2010 (11) '' tied with Marvin Harrison 1996''2006, Cris Carter 1991''2001, Tim Brown 1991''2001, Rice 1986''1996, Don Hutson 1935''1945Consecutive seasons with at least five touchdowns, 2000''2010 (11) '' tied with Frank Gore 2006-2016, Marvin Harrison 1996''2006, Cris Carter 1991''2001, Tim Brown 1991''2001, Rice 1986''1996, Don Hutson 1935''1945Consecutive seasons with at least four touchdown receptions, 1996''2010 (15)Consecutive seasons with at least four touchdowns, 1996''2010 (15)Consecutive seasons with at least three touchdown receptions, 1996''2010 (15)Consecutive seasons with at least three touchdowns, 1996''2010 (15)Consecutive seasons with at least 700 receiving yards/yards from scrimmage/combined yards 1996''2010 (15) - tied with Tony Gonzalez, 1999-2013One of seven players to have at least two receptions of 90+ yards (John Taylor, Mike Quick, Gaynell Tinsley, Steve Watson, Willard Dewveall, and Mike Wallace)One of twelve players to have at least two offensive TDs of 90+ yards49ers franchise recordsMost receptions in a single game: 20 (12/17/00 vs Chicago Bears) (Week 15)[98]Most receiving yards on a Sunday game: 283 (12/17/00 vs Bears) (Week 15)[98]Eagles franchise recordsMost receiving touchdowns in a single season: 14 (2004)[99]Most receiving yards per game, season: 109.0 (2005) 763 in seven games.Cowboys franchise recordsMost consecutive games with a receiving touchdown: seven (2007). Record shared with Franklin Clarke (1961''1962), Bob Hayes (1965''1966) and Dez Bryant (2012)Most touchdown receptions in a single game: four (11/18/07 vs Washington Redskins). Record shared with Bob Hayes (12/20/70)Most receiving yards per game, career: 76.3 (2006''2008)Bills franchise recordsLongest reception: 98 yard TD (11/22/09 vs Jacksonville Jaguars) (Week 11)[101]Longest play from scrimmage: 98 yard TD reception (11/22/09 vs Jaguars) (Week 11)[101]Bengals franchise recordsMost combined yards/receiving yards/yards from scrimmage in a single game by a player over age 30: 222 (10/3/10 vs Cleveland Browns) (Week 4)Career milestones5th player to reach 150 touchdowns6th player to reach 1,000 career receptions, 6th player to reach 100 touchdown receptions, 6th player to reach 14,000 receiving yards3rd player to reach 150 touchdown receptions, 3rd player to reach 15,000 receiving yardsThrough 15 seasons, has 156 total touchdowns (153 receiving), 15,934 receiving yards, 1,078 receptions, 39 rushing attempts, 251 rushing yards, three rushing touchdowns, five kickoff returns, 23 kickoff return yards, five fumble recoveries, 13 fumble return yards, and three two-point conversionsAveraged one touchdown per game in 2001, 2004, and 2007[102]Has had nine 1,000 yard seasons, including five consecutive (2000''2004)[102]Reached 100 catches in only 14 games in 2002[102]Led League in receiving touchdowns in 2001, 2002, and 2006[103]Third all-time in regular season receiving touchdowns behind Jerry Rice and Randy MossThird all-time in regular season receiving yards behind Rice and Larry Fitzgerald.Eighth all-time in regular season receptions behind Rice, Tony Gonzalez, Marvin Harrison, Cris Carter, Tim Brown, Larry Fitzgerald, and Jason Witten[104]Other work Owens is depicted in a photographic work by contemporary African-American artist Hank Willis Thomas entitled Liberation of T.O.: Ain't no way I'm go'n in back ta'work fa'massa in dat darn field (2004). The work was featured in "Frequency", the Studio Museum in Harlem's 2006 exhibition of emerging artists.[105]
Owens rapped in a single titled "I'm Back", available for download on his website.[106]
Outside of his football career, Owens also appeared in various commercials, television shows, and films. Owens played himself, as a wide receiver wearing #82 for the fictional Miami Sharks, in the 1999 film Any Given Sunday.[107] In 2003, he appeared in a commercial for the ESPY Awards where he caught a home run ball from Barry Bonds in McCovey Cove.[108] Owens appeared in an episode of Punk'd, starring Ashton Kutcher, which is based on his November 19, 2005 suspension.[109]
In August 2008, Owens was featured in the pilot episode of the web series FACETIME, on My Damn Channel. He and Three 6 Mafia interview each other in the episode.[110]
He starred in a summer 2009 reality show on VH1, dubbed The T.O. Show; the show followed Owens and his "best friends and publicists" as they re-evaluated Owens' personal life.[111]
Owens appeared in the NBA All-Star celebrity game again in 2009 scoring 17 points including two alley-oops, to secure his second consecutive MVP award.[112]
In June 2009, Owens starred in ABC's reincarnation of Superstars, a sports competition show from the 70s where celebrities are paired with professional athletes. The first episode is rumored to have ended in controversy, as evidenced by a leaked clip of partner supermodel Joanna Krupa calling Owens a "prima donna".[113]
As a one-time rating sweeps week stunt, Owens replaced WKBW-TV sports anchor Jeff Russo for their 6:00 p.m. newscast on May 18, 2009.[114]
On May 8, 2012, Owens appeared on Dr. Phil with the mothers of three of his children to discuss relationships.[115]
In 2013, NBC Sports reported that Owens has become a model.[116]
In 2014, Owens made a cameo appearance in R&B singer Faith Evans' music video "I Deserve It", featuring Missy Elliott and Sharaya J.[117]
On September 5, 2017, Owens was announced as one of the celebrities set to compete on season 25 of Dancing with the Stars. He was partnered with professional dancer Cheryl Burke and was the eighth contestant eliminated.
In 2017, Owens competed on the special for the MTV reality series The Challenge titled Champs vs. Stars.[118]
In May 2018, it was announced that Owens would be featured on the cover of the "Hall of Fame" edition of Madden NFL 19.[119]
The T.O. Show In the summer of 2009, VH1 premiered The T.O. Show, which followed Owens in his personal life off the football field. The show was renewed for two additional seasons.
Time Out with T.O. (Podcast) In September 2013, Owens launched a podcast on the Sideshow Network with co-hosts comedian Alonzo Bodden and former-Survivor contestant and podcast host, Rob Cesternino. Shows are released each Wednesday and the discussion centers on the week's NFL games and news. Comedian Roy Wood, Jr. has been a regular guest.[120]
Guests have been from both the sports and the entertainment worlds. Some of them were: Ron Artest, Ray J, comic Sam Tripoli, and writer Caleb Bacon.
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Retrieved December 20, 2006. ^ T.O.'s finger injury likely permanent, Jones says '' The Philadelphia Inquirer, December 17, 2006 ^ [1] Archived February 17, 2007, at the Wayback Machine ^ [2] Archived February 27, 2007, at the Wayback Machine ^ Aron, Jaime (March 5, 2009). "Cowboys release star WR Terrell Owens". Yahoo! Sports . Retrieved March 6, 2009 . [permanent dead link ] ^ Owens Blindsided By Release ESPN, March 29, 2009 ^ Bills sign Owens to one-year, $6.5 million deal, NFL.com, March 8, 2009. Retrieved August 18, 2009. ^ "History Story". profootballhof.com . Retrieved October 10, 2015 . ^ "NFL Notebook: Terrell Owens shut out in Buffalo's loss". The Associated Press. September 28, 2009. ^ Graham, Tim (November 22, 2009). "A look at T.O.'s 98-yard touchdown". ESPN.com . Retrieved October 11, 2019 . Graham, Tim (November 22, 2009). "A look at T.O.'s 98-yard touchdown". ESPN.com . Retrieved October 11, 2019 . ^ Writer, CHARLES ODUM, AP Sports. 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Retrieved October 11, 2017 . ^ Will Brinson (May 25, 2018). "LOOK: Terrell Owens on Madden cover in Cowboys uni, first look at 49ers' Richard Sherman". CBS Sports . Retrieved June 5, 2018 . ^ "Sideshow Network :: Time Out with Terrell Owens". Sideshownetwork.tv. Archived from the original on January 1, 2014 . Retrieved February 14, 2014 . External links Career statistics and player information from NFL.com · ESPN · Yahoo! Sports · SI.com · Pro-Football-Reference Official website Cincinnati Bengals bioSeattle Seahawks bioTerrell Owens on IMDbThe T.O. ShowTime Out with T.O. (Podcast)RecordsPreceded by Tom Fears NFL single game receptions recordDecember 17, 2000 '' December 13, 2009Succeeded by Brandon Marshall Links to related articles
Kunta Kinte - Wikipedia
Mon, 25 Nov 2019 13:45
Kunta Kinte (c. 1750 '' c. 1822; KOON -tah KIN -tay) is a character in the 1976 novel Roots: The Saga of an American Family by American author Alex Haley. According to Haley, Kunta Kinte was based on one of his ancestors: a Gambian man who was born in 1750, enslaved and taken to America and who died in 1822. Haley said that his account of Kunta's life in Roots was a mixture of fact and fiction. The extent to which Kunta Kinte is based on fact is disputed.[1]
Kunta Kinte's life story also figured in two US-made television series based on the book: the original 1977 TV miniseries Roots,[2] and a 2016 remake of the same name. In the original miniseries, the character was portrayed as a teenager by LeVar Burton and as an adult by John Amos. In the 2016 miniseries, he is portrayed by Malachi Kirby.[3] Additionally, Burton reprised his role as Kunta in the TV movie Roots: The Gift, a fictional tale originally broadcast during the 1988 Christmas season.
Life as told in Roots [ edit ] According to Roots, Kunta Kinte was born circa 1750 in the Mandinka village of Juffure, in the Gambia. He was raised in a Muslim family.[4][5] One day in 1767, while Kunta was searching for wood to make a drum for his younger brother, four men chased him, surrounded him, and took him captive. Kunta awoke to find himself blindfolded, gagged, bound, and a prisoner. He and others were put on the slave ship the Lord Ligonier for a four-month Middle Passage voyage to North America.
Kunta survived the trip to Maryland and was sold to John Waller (Reynolds in the 1977 miniseries), a Virginia plantation owner in Spotsylvania County, who renamed him Toby (In the 2016 remake, he is named by John's wife Elizabeth). He rejected the name imposed upon him by his owners and refused to speak to others. After being recaptured during the last of his four escape attempts, the slave catchers gave him a choice: he would be castrated or have his right foot cut off. He chose to have his foot cut off, and the men cut off the front half of his right foot. As the years passed, Kunta, now owned by John's brother William Waller, a medical doctor, resigned himself to his fate and became more open and sociable with his fellow slaves, while never forgetting who he was or where he came from.
Kunta married an enslaved woman named Bell Waller and they had a daughter whom they named Kizzy (Keisa, in Mandinka), which in Kunta's native language means "to stay put" (he gave her this name in order to protect her from being sold away). When Kizzy was in her late teens, she was sold away to North Carolina when William Waller discovered that she had written a fake traveling pass for an enslaved young man, Noah, with whom she was in love (she had been taught to read and write secretly by Missy Anne, the niece of the plantation owner). Her new owner, Thomas Lea (Moore in the 1977 miniseries), immediately raped her and fathered her only child whom he named George, so named after Tom's first slave (or his father, according to the 2016 miniseries), who spent his life with the tag "Chicken George", because of his assigned duties of tending to his master's cockfighting birds.
In the novel, Kizzy never learns her parents' fate. She spends the remainder of her life as a field hand on the Lea plantation in North Carolina. According to the 1977 miniseries, Kizzy is taken back to visit the Reynolds plantation later in life. She discovers that her mother was sold off to another plantation and that her father died of a broken heart two years later, in 1822. She finds his grave, where she crosses out his slave name Toby from the tombstone and writes his original name Kunta Kinte instead. Kizzy is Haley's only ancestor in the genealogy link to Kunta Kinte whose entire lifetime was spent in slavery.
The latter part of the book tells of the generations between Kizzy and Alex Haley, describing their suffering, losses and eventual triumphs in America. Alex Haley claimed to be a seventh-generation descendant of Kunta Kinte.[6]
Historical accuracy [ edit ] Haley claimed that his sources for the origins of Kinte were oral family tradition and a man he found in the Gambia named Kebba Kanga Fofana, who claimed to be a griot with knowledge about the Kinte clan. He described them as a family in which the men were blacksmiths, descended from a marabout named Kairaba Kunta Kinte, originally from Mauritania. Haley quoted Fofana as telling him: "About the time the king's soldiers came, the eldest of these four sons, Kunta, went away from this village to chop wood and was never seen again."[7]
However, journalists and historians later discovered that Fofana was not a griot. In retelling the Kinte story, Fofana changed crucial details, including his father's name, his brothers' names, his age, and even omitted the year when he went missing. At one point, he even placed Kunta Kinte in a generation that was alive in the twentieth century. It was also discovered that elders and griots could not give reliable genealogical lineages before the mid-19th century, with the single apparent exception of Kunta Kinte. It appears that Haley had told so many people about Kunta Kinte that he had created a case of circular reporting. Instead of independent confirmation of the Kunta Kinte story, he was actually hearing his own words repeated back to him.[8][9]
After Haley's book became nationally famous, American author Harold Courlander noted that the section describing Kinte's life was apparently taken from Courlander's own novel The African. Haley at first dismissed the charge, but later issued a public statement affirming that Courlander's book had been the source, and Haley attributed the error to a mistake of one of his assistant researchers. Courlander sued Haley for copyright infringement, which Haley settled out of court.
Influence on popular culture [ edit ] There is an annual Kunta Kinte Heritage Festival held in Maryland.[10] Kunta Kinte inspired a reggae riddim of the same name, performed by artists including The Revolutionaries,[11] and Mad Professor, and an album, Kunta Kinte Roots by Ranking Dread.[12]
In The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Will Smith's character says, in regard to being punished, "Why don't you just do me like Kunta Kinte and chop off my foot?"[13]
Rapper and songwriter Kendrick Lamar references Kunta Kinte in his 2015 single release, "King Kunta".[14]
Comedian Dave Chappelle references Kunta Kinte in his highly acclaimed Chappelle's Show in the sketch The World Series of Dice (Ep: 2.7).[15]
Spoken word artist J.ivy references "the heart of Kunta Kinte" on a track he made with Kanye West and Jay-Z, on West's song "Never Let Me Down" from his 2004 album The College Dropout.[16]
Kunta is also mentioned in Busta Rhymes's song "Rhymes Galore" from the 1997 album When Disaster Strikes. [17]
Kunta is mentioned in Bloodhound Gang's song "A Lapdance Is So Much Better When the Stripper Is Crying" from the 2000 album Hooray for Boobies.[18]
Kunta is mentioned in the Ludacris song "Coming 2 America" from his 2001 album Word Of Mouf.[19]
Ice Cube mentions Kunta Kinte, as well as Kunta's slave name, Toby, in his controversial track "No Vaseline". He also uses it in his 1995 movie, Friday.[20]
Kunta is briefly referenced in Missy Elliott's hit "Work It."[21]
In the barbershop scene of Coming To America, the Jewish man calls Akeem "Kunta Kinte."[22]
Season 3, episode 3 of the PBS television show Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr. shared the family trees of actor Maya Rudolph, television writer and producer Shonda Rhimes, and comedian Keenan Ivory Wayans. Keenan references Kunta Kinte in his segment.
In the movie In the Loop, the inept aide to Minister Simon Foster, Toby, is blackmailed into working for Malcolm, the Communications Director. Malcolm labels Toby as his personal Kunta Kinte.
In Diary of a Mad Black Woman, Madea references Kunta Kinte when arguing with Joe.
Kunta Kinte is mentioned in the 2018 Migos song "Made Men" in the line, "No Kunta Kinte, but we slave for it (no Kunta Kinte)."[23]
See also [ edit ] Kunta Kinteh Island in the GambiaList of slavesReferences [ edit ] ^ "The Roots of Alex Haley". BBC Television Documentary. 1997". ^ Bird, J.B. "ROOTS". Museum.tv . Retrieved November 21, 2007 . ^ Campbell, Sabrina. "Malachi Kirby is Kunta Kinte in 'Roots' Remake". NBC News . Retrieved January 3, 2017 . ^ Thomas, Griselda (2014). "The Influence of Malcolm X and Islam on Black Identity". Muslims and American Popular Culture. ABC-CLIO. pp. 48''49. ISBN 9780313379635. ^ Hasan, Asma Gull (2002). "Islam and Slavery in Early American History: The Roots Story". American Muslims: The New Generation Second Edition. A&C Black. p. 14. ISBN 9780826414168. ^ "The Kunta Kinte '' Alex Haley Foundation". Kintehaley.org. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007 . Retrieved November 11, 2007 . ^ Alex Haley, "Black history, oral history, and genealogy", pp. 9''19, at p. 18. ^ Ottaway, Mark (April 10, 1977). "Tangled Roots". The Sunday Times. pp. 17, 21. ^ Wright, Donald R. (1981). "Uprooting Kunta Kinte: On the Perils of Relying on Encyclopedic Informants". History in Africa. 8: 205''217. JSTOR 3171516. ^ "Kunta Kinte Heritage Festival". Kuntakinte.org. Kunta Kinte Celebrations, Inc . Retrieved May 16, 2016 . ^ "The Revolutionaries '' Kunta Kinte". Pressure Sounds. Archived from the original on December 22, 2007 . Retrieved December 12, 2007 . ^ "Kunta Kinte Roots". Roots Archives. Archived from the original on October 27, 2007 . Retrieved December 12, 2007 . ^ "Will Gets a Job". Fresh Prince of Bel Air. Season 2. September 23, 1991. NBC. ^ "Kendrick Lamar '' King Kunta". Genius . Retrieved January 3, 2017 . ^ "Chappelle's Show - The World Series of Dice". Dave chappelle . Retrieved March 3, 2004 . ^ "10 references to Kunta Kinte in popular culture to get you ready for the Roots remake". Guide . Retrieved October 9, 2017 . ^ "Busta Rhymes - Rhymes Galore". Genius . Retrieved September 20, 2018 . ^ "Bloodhound Gang - A Lap Dance Is So Much Better When The Stripper Is Crying". Genius . Retrieved October 1, 2018 . ^ "Work that track, whip 'em like Kunta". Genius . Retrieved January 3, 2017 . ^ "Ice Cube '' No Vaseline". Genius . Retrieved January 3, 2017 . ^ "Missy Elliott '' Work It". Genius . Retrieved January 3, 2017 . ^ "10 Royal Facts About Coming to America". April 16, 2016 . Retrieved November 3, 2017 . ^ "Not Toby, but we slave for it (Not Toby) / No Kunta Kinte, but we slave for it (No Kunta Kinte) / I waited some days for it (Days)". Genius . Retrieved November 22, 2019 . External links [ edit ] The Kunta Kinte-Alex Haley Foundation
Stephen A. Smith - Wikipedia
Mon, 25 Nov 2019 13:42
American sports television personality, sports radio host, sports journalist, and actor
Stephen Anthony Smith[1] (born October 14, 1967) is an American sports television personality, sports radio host, sports journalist, and actor. Smith is a commentator on ESPN First Take, where he appears with Max Kellerman and Molly Qerim. He also makes frequent appearances as an NBA analyst on SportsCenter. Smith also is an NBA analyst for ESPN on NBA Countdown and NBA broadcasts on ESPN. He also hosts The Stephen A. Smith Show on ESPN Radio. Smith is a featured columnist for ESPNNY.com, ESPN.com, and The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Early years Smith was born in the Bronx borough of New York City on October 14, 1967. He was raised in the Hollis section of Queens.[2] Smith is the second youngest of six children.[1][3] He has four older sisters and a younger brother named Basil, who died in a car accident in October 1992. He also has a half-brother on his father's side. Smith's parents were originally from Saint Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. His father managed a hardware store. Smith's maternal grandmother was white, while the rest of his grandparents were black.[4] Smith graduated from Thomas Edison High School in Queens.[5]
After attending the Fashion Institute of Technology for one year, Smith received a basketball scholarship to attend Winston-Salem State University, a historically black university in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. While in college, he played basketball under Hall of Fame coach Clarence Gaines. While still on the team, Smith wrote a column for the university newspaper, The News Argus, arguing Gaines should retire due to health issues.[6] He is a member of the Omega Psi Phi fraternity.
Career Print media Smith began his print media career with the Winston-Salem Journal, the Greensboro News and Record, and the New York Daily News.
Beginning in 1994, Smith had a position as a writer for The Philadelphia Inquirer. He began reporting on the Philadelphia 76ers as their NBA columnist, and eventually, as a general sports columnist. On August 23, 2007, the Inquirer announced that Smith would no longer be writing columns and would instead be demoted back to the position of general assignment reporter. In 2008, the Inquirer ended its relationship with Smith, which coincided with Smith starting his own blog, stephena.com. In February 2010, Smith returned to the Philadelphia Inquirer after winning an arbitrator's ruling that he was to be reinstated but having to agree to remove all of his political views from his website and from cable news shows.[7]
Radio On April 11, 2005, Smith became the host of a weekday noon to 2 p.m. radio show on WEPN in New York City with his "right-hand man B.T. (Brandon Tierney)". On September 20, 2007, the show was shifted to the 2 p.m. '' 4 p.m. slot, with the second hour being broadcast nationally on ESPN Radio, replacing the third hour of The Dan Patrick Show (Mike Tirico took over the first two hours). Smith's show came to an end in April 2008 as he sought to expand his career in television, and beginning May 1, Scott Van Pelt began hosting in the 3''4 p.m. hour that was previously Smith's.
In November 2009, Smith became an on-air contributor to Fox Sports Radio and broke the story of Allen Iverson's retirement on the Chris Myers-Steve Hartman afternoon show on November 25. Iverson later ended his short retirement and re-joined the Philadelphia 76ers on December 2. Smith became a Fox Sports Radio morning show host on January 4, 2010, replacing Washington, D.C.-based host Steve Czaban. On his radio program, Smith correctly predicted that LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh would all sign with the Miami Heat during 2010 free agency.[8] In early 2011, Smith became a resident FSR NBA insider and ended his morning show.
It was announced on February 1, 2011, that Smith would be returning to ESPN as a columnist for ESPN.com and host for weekday local radio shows on 1050 ESPN Radio New York (WEPN-AM) at 7''9 p.m. ET as well as 710 ESPN Radio Los Angeles (KSPN-AM) at 6''8 p.m. PT. April 24, 2012, was Smith's last show for LA 710 ESPN.[9]
In 2013, Smith left ESPN for Sirius XM Radio, where he joined Chris Russo's Mad Dog Sports Channel. The move was announced just one day after Smith made some controversial comments on ESPN2's First Take program regarding the Ray Rice situation.[10]
On January 17, 2017, Smith moved from Sirius XM's Mad Dog Sports channel back to ESPN. His daily two-hour program is heard on WEPN in New York, KSPN in Los Angeles, Sirius XM's ESPN channel, and via syndication.[11]
Television Smith is currently one of the hosts of First Take on ESPN. He also appears as an analyst appearing on various ESPN programs. He is known for provocative analysis and dour delivery.
Smith started his television career on the now-defunct cable network CNN/SI in 1999.
In August 2005, Smith started hosting a daily hour-long show on ESPN called Quite Frankly with Stephen A. Smith. After the show was cancelled in January 2007, he mainly concentrated on basketball, serving as an NBA analyst. He also appeared on other ESPN shows, including the reality series Dream Job, as well as serving as a frequent guest (and guest host) on Pardon the Interruption, Jim Rome Is Burning, and as a participant on 1st and 10. He appeared as an anchor on the Sunday morning edition of SportsCenter. On April 17, 2009, Smith announced on his website that he would be leaving ESPN on May 1, 2009.[12] The Los Angeles Times reported that ESPN commented that, "We decided to move in different directions."[13] Though according to Big Lead Sports, a source says that ESPN and Smith went to the negotiating table and could not reach an agreement.[14]
Smith later returned to ESPN, and it was announced on April 30, 2012, on air that Smith would be joining First Take on a permanent, five-days-per-week basis under a new format for the show called "Embrace Debate" in which he squares off against longtime First Take commentator Skip Bayless.
On July 25, 2014, Smith made controversial remarks on First Take that women may provoke domestic abuse, in regards to the domestic violence situation involving Baltimore Ravens' running back Ray Rice and his wife.[15] After criticism of the remarks, including comments on Twitter from ESPN reporter Michelle Beadle, Smith apologized for his words on a taped segment on ESPN. On July 29, 2014, Smith was suspended by ESPN for a week and did not appear on any of their programs again until August 6, 2014.[16][17]
In late 2014, Smith signed a multi-year deal with ESPN that will pay him over $3 million per year.[18]
In a March 9, 2015, episode of First Take, while discussing the topic of Philadelphia Eagles' head coach Chip Kelly trading away running back LeSean McCoy to the Buffalo Bills for linebacker Kiko Alonso, Smith said: "Chip Kelly has made decisions over the last couple of years that, dare I say, leave a few brothers feeling uncomfortable." Michael David Smith of NBS Sports believed that Smith had hinted Kelly's roster moves regarding the 2014 release of wide receiver DeSean Jackson, the McCoy trade, and letting wide receiver Jeremy Maclin depart for free agency to sign with the Kansas City Chiefs, while still keeping wide receiver Riley Cooper on the Eagles' roster might be racially motivated.[19] In an interview with ESPN The Magazine that was published on May 8, 2015, McCoy admitted that while he respected Kelly as a head coach, he did not see eye to eye with him. McCoy also believed that some of the roster moves that are being made by Kelly are racially motivated.[20] Kelly has said that the roster moves that he has made have nothing to do with race, it has to do with finding the right players that fit well into his team.[21] Smith defended his comments by saying that he never used a form of the word racism to imply that Kelly was a racist.[22]
On June 11, 2015, Smith received criticism for a comment he made about female soccer players during the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup. While on SportsCenter, a replay was shown of a goal scored by Norway on a free kick against Germany. Tim Legler pointed out that the German players forming the wall turned their heads as the ball went by, and Smith joked that the players "might not have wanted to mess up their hair." Smith's comment was criticized as being sexist and a poor joke. ESPN said they spoke with Smith about the comment, and he later apologized in a series of tweets.[23]
On November 5, 2016, Smith joined Top Rank's broadcasting team for the Manny Pacquiao vs. Jessie Vargas boxing pay-per-view event.[24] In 2019, Smith became a UFC commentator as ESPN became the UFC's television broadcaster.
Acting career Smith made his acting debut on the ABC soap opera General Hospital in a cameo appearance as a television reporter on the February 2, 2007, episode.[25] He has said that he is a longtime fan of the show.[26] Smith returned to General Hospital on April 1, 2016, as the character Brick.[27] He has returned to the show several times as Brick.[28]
In 2007, Smith was in the Chris Rock motion picture I Think I Love My Wife.
Beginning in 2014, he has appeared in a series of Oberto all-natural beef jerky commercials as "The Little Voice in Your Stomach", each time appearing alongside sports figures, such as star athletes Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman and pro snowboarder Louie Vito, and notable basketball sportscaster Dick "Dickie V" Vitale.
Filmography Film Television First Take catchphrases Smith is known for his frequent use of catchphrases while hosting First Take, such as "blasphemous" when describing something completely outrageous that does not make sense to him.[30] He also frequently refers to Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers as a "baaaaaaaad man"[31] (with the "A" stretched out for several seconds). Smith has worn Rodgers' jersey on two separate occasions on First Take in 2017: once following the Dallas Cowboys' elimination at the hands of the Packers[32] and once during a special taping of First Take from Dallas where Smith received boos from the live crowd.[33] He has been known to show a strong hatred towards the Cowboys, often at times mocking them with their "How 'Bout Them Cowboys?" slogan in a sarcastic manner and claiming that they are "an accident waiting to happen." A song was even made all about Smith's hatred of the Cowboys.[34] He has also been known to say many times that he knows absolutely nothing about the sport of hockey, such as by saying that tie games still exist in the sport[35] (the NHL abolished ties following the 2004''05 NHL lockout), despite the presence of three hockey teams from within the New York metropolitan area where he was brought up.
Smith is known for his outspoken stance on NFL players and the usage of marijuana (still prohibited by league policy, punishable by fine or suspension), loudly telling players to "Stay off the weed!" Examples of players that he has called out for smoking the drug include Adrian Peterson[36], Josh Gordon,[37] Joseph Randle,[38] Randy Gregory,[39] Aldon Smith,[40] LeGarrette Blount,[41] Le'veon Bell, and Martavis Bryant.[42] He also has the same reaction for athletes of other leagues getting caught with the usage of marijuana. Firstly, when the NBA's Zach Randolph[43] was caught and subsequently arrested for possession of marijuana with the intent to sell in August 2017, in addition to another NBA star, D'Angelo Russell, getting cited for marijuana possession inside his luggage at New York's LaGuardia Airport while flying to Louisville in May 2019.[44]
The day after the Golden State Warriors Game 1 overtime victory in the 2018 NBA Finals, which saw Cleveland Cavaliers player J.R. Smith dribble the ball out without attempting a shot in the dying seconds of the fourth quarter thinking his team was leading the game rather than attempting to break the tie score, Stephen A. Smith jokingly delivered his "Stay off the weed!" line at the request of the live crowd attending the live First Take taping in Oakland, garnering applause from the crowd and his First Take co-hosts.[45] The Warriors ultimately won the series and the NBA championship in a four-game sweep.
References ^ a b Greenfield, Karl Taro (August 1, 2005), "Stephen A., As In . . .", Sports Illustrated, 103 (4) , retrieved September 6, 2019 ^ Britell, Alexander (October 8, 2012). "For ESPN's Stephen A Smith, Finding a Sanctuary in St Thomas". Caribbean Journal . Retrieved September 15, 2013 . ^ Mizell, Gina (June 18, 2012). "Interview with ESPN's Stephen A. Smith''the long version". The Oklahoman . Retrieved September 15, 2013 . ^ "Cowboys: "Dak Prescott Connects To Team In Ways Tony Romo Cannot " ". YouTube. January 11, 2017 . Retrieved January 11, 2017 . ^ "Stephen X". Philadelphia Magazine. December 2004 . Retrieved September 15, 2013 . ^ Richard Sandomir, ESPN's New Master of the Offensive Foul, The New York Times, July 31, 2005, Accessed January 22, 2009. ^ Stephen A. Smith in Inquirer After 2-Year Feud | The Maynard Institute Archived February 11, 2010, at the Wayback Machine. Mije.org (February 8, 2010). Retrieved on December 22, 2011. ^ LeBron James Picks Miami: Stephen A. Smith Was Right '' Speakeasy '' WSJ. Blogs.wsj.com (July 8, 2010). Retrieved on July 26, 2014. ^ Stephen A. Smith is reportedly close to new deal to return to ESPN. NY Daily News (January 26, 2011) Retrieved February 10, 2012 ^ "Raissman: Stephen A. Smith, fresh off rant on domestic violence, heading to Sirius" . Retrieved March 22, 2017 . ^ http://www.talkers.com January 4, 2017 ^ "Goodbye ESPN!!! | The Official Site of Stephen A. Smith". web.archive.org. April 20, 2009 . Retrieved October 15, 2019 . ^ Stephen A. Smith is leaving ESPN '' latimes.com. Latimesblogs.latimes.com (April 17, 2009). Retrieved on December 22, 2011. ^ Enjoy Stephen A. Smith While You Can '' He's Got About Six Three Weeks Left at ESPN. The Big Lead (April 16, 2009). Retrieved on December 22, 2011. ^ Grenoble, Ryan (July 25, 2014). "Stephen A Smith: Abuse Victims Should Learn 'About The Elements Of Provocation ' " . Retrieved March 22, 2017 '' via Huff Post. ^ Mandell, Nina (July 29, 2014). "Stephen A. Smith won't be on ESPN for a week after controversial comments". USA Today . Retrieved July 29, 2014 . ^ Fiorillo, Victor. "Stephen A. Smith Suspended for Domestic Violence Comments; Did ESPN make the right call?", Philadelphia (magazine), July 30, 2014. Accessed August 8, 2019. "ESPN sportscaster and Cherry Hill resident Stephen A. Smith has been suspended for one week by the network for comments he made suggesting that female victims of domestic violence should examine their own role in the abuse." ^ turner, gus. "ESPN stephan a smith agree to new contract". complex.com . Retrieved January 23, 2015 . ^ "ESPN's Stephen A. Smith suggests racism in Chip Kelly's roster moves" . Retrieved March 22, 2017 . ^ "McCoy: Kelly dumped 'the good black players ' " . Retrieved March 22, 2017 . ^ "Chip Kelly on racism, extra points, Sam Bradford and all things Eagles OTA" . Retrieved March 22, 2017 . ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on June 2, 2015 . Retrieved May 31, 2015 . CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) ^ "ESPN host Stephen A. Smith makes terrible joke about Women's World Cup players not wanting to mess up their hair" . Retrieved March 22, 2017 . ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on November 8, 2016 . Retrieved November 7, 2016 . CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) ^ a b "Disney Inundates General Hospital Episode With References To New Year's Eve College Football Playoff Games". Deadspin. December 30, 2015 . Retrieved March 11, 2016 . ^ "Dramatic turn: Soap fan Stephen A. Smith guests on upcoming "General Hospital" on ABC". ESPN Front Row. March 28, 2016 . Retrieved October 15, 2019 . ^ a b "A HOST OF CAMEOS ON GH". Soap Opera Digest. United States. American Media, Inc. March 10, 2016 . Retrieved March 11, 2016 . ^ Eades, Chris (July 11, 2019). "Everything You Need to Know About Brick on GH". ABC Soaps In Depth . Retrieved October 15, 2019 . ^ "I Think I Love My Wife". Turner Classic Movies . Retrieved March 11, 2016 . ^ ESPN (May 9, 2017), Stephen A. Smith's 'Blasphemous' Reactions on First Take | ESPN , retrieved May 8, 2018 ^ HOVD (August 8, 2017), "Aaron Rodgers is a baaaaaad man"- Stephen A Smith , retrieved May 8, 2018 ^ ESPN (February 1, 2017), Stephen A. Smith Celebrates Cowboys' Loss By Wearing Rodgers' Jersey | First Take | January 26, 2017 , retrieved May 8, 2018 ^ ESPN (September 8, 2017), Stephen A. Smith dramatically comes into Dallas wearing Aaron Rodgers jersey | First Take | ESPN , retrieved May 8, 2018 ^ ESPN (May 30, 2017), Stephen A. Mashup: 'Cowboys Are An Accident Waiting To Happen' | First Take | ESPN , retrieved May 8, 2018 ^ "ESPN's Stephen A. Smith believes '3 ties' make Blackhawks' NHL record inferior to Miami Heat's streak (VIDEO)" . Retrieved May 8, 2018 . ^ Chan Loftin, Adrian Peterson Arrested for Weed ESPN First Take , retrieved January 19, 2019 ^ Chan Loftin (April 7, 2015), Josh Gordon Fails Marijuana Test And Suspended! ESPN First Take , retrieved November 12, 2018 ^ Tim Ghosh (September 3, 2016), The Stephen A Smith Show Athletes Can't Stay Off The Weed , retrieved November 12, 2018 ^ Robinson Gina (January 14, 2017), Stephen A. Smith Rants On Cowboys Randy Gregory: "Stay Off The Weed" , retrieved November 12, 2018 ^ SC Live (July 25, 2016), Stephen A. Smith: "Aldon Smith should be banned for stupidity" , retrieved November 12, 2018 ^ ESPnSportFirstTake (September 12, 2014), First Take - Le'Veon Bell, LeGarrette Blount Arrested , retrieved November 12, 2018 ^ Simshine95 (July 31, 2016), Stephen A Smith *NEW* STAY OFF THE WEED RANT on Le'Veon Bell & Martavis Bryant (2016) , retrieved November 12, 2018 ^ ESPN (August 10, 2017), Stephen A. Smith 'Disgusted' with Zach Randolph's Marijuana Arrest | First Take | ESPN , retrieved November 12, 2018 ^ ESPN (May 3, 2019), 'I have to say the obvious!' '' Stephen A. on D'Angelo Russell being cited for marijuana | First Take , retrieved May 3, 2019 ^ "@sirlouisii on Instagram: "STAY OFF THE WEEEEEDD!!! @stephenasmith ðŸ‚ðŸ‚🂠#NBA #Basketball #Playoffs #JR #StephenA #StayOffTheWeed #ESPNFirstTake " ". Instagram . Retrieved November 12, 2018 . External links Official websiteStephen A. Smith on IMDb
Muhammad Ali refuses Army induction - HISTORY
Mon, 25 Nov 2019 13:33
On April 28, 1967, boxing champion Muhammad Ali refuses to be inducted into the U.S. Army and is immediately stripped of his heavyweight title. Ali, a Muslim, cited religious reasons for his decision to forgo military service.
Born Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr., in Louisville, Kentucky, on January 14, 1942, the future three-time world champ changed his name to Muhammad Ali in 1964 after converting to Islam. He scored a gold medal at the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome and made his professional boxing debut against Tunney Husaker on October 29, 1960, winning the bout in six rounds. On February 25, 1964, he defeated the heavily favored bruiser Sonny Liston in six rounds to become heavyweight champ.
On April 28, 1967, with the United States at war in Vietnam, Ali refused to be inducted into the armed forces, saying ''I ain't got no quarrel with those Vietcong.'' On June 20, 1967, Ali was convicted of draft evasion, sentenced to five years in prison, fined $10,000 and banned from boxing for three years. He stayed out of prison as his case was appealed and returned to the ring on October 26, 1970, knocking out Jerry Quarry in Atlanta in the third round. On March 8, 1971, Ali fought Joe Frazier in the ''Fight of the Century'' and lost after 15 rounds, the first loss of his professional boxing career. On June 28 of that same year, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned his conviction for evading the draft.
At a January 24, 1974, rematch at New York City's Madison Square Garden, Ali defeated Frazier by decision in 12 rounds. On October 30 of that same year, an underdog Ali bested George Foreman and reclaimed his heavyweight champion belt at the hugely hyped ''Rumble in the Jungle'' in Kinshasa, Zaire, with a knockout in the eighth round. On October 1, 1975, Ali met Joe Frazier for a third time at the ''Thrilla in Manila'' in the Philippines and defeated him in 14 rounds. On February 15, 1978, Ali lost the title to Leon Spinks in a 15-round split decision. However, seven months later, on September 15, Ali won it back. In June 1979, Ali announced he was retiring from boxing. He returned to the ring on October 2, 1980, and fought heavyweight champ Larry Holmes, who knocked him out in the 11th round. After losing to Trevor Berbick on December 11, 1981, Ali left the ring for the final time, with a 56-5 record. He is the only fighter to be heavyweight champion three times. In 1984, it was revealed Ali had Parkinson's disease.
Why does Eric Reid consider Malcolm Jenkins a sellout?
Mon, 25 Nov 2019 13:21
After initiating a pregame altercation with Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins on Sunday, Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid called Jenkins a ''sellout'' while speaking with reporters postgame.
Reid's resentment of Jenkins stems from their opposing positions in the new social justice movement in sports led by NFL players. Jenkins, co-founder of the Players Coalition, performed a key role in brokering an unprecedented $89 million social justice partnership with the NFL. For his part, Reid believes the coalition has both betrayed the principles of the movement and denied former quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who was the first player in the league to demonstrate during the national anthem to shine a light on systemic racism and police brutality, his rightful place at the head of the table.
How did Reid and Jenkins, onetime allies, drift so far apart? And what could their differences potentially mean for the ongoing movement? Here's a simple FAQ to help explain where we stand and where we might be going.
What is the Players Coalition?
The main group that negotiated with NFL owners on behalf of players who protested during the national anthem to bring attention to racial injustice. The group was co-founded by Jenkins and former NFL wide receiver Anquan Boldin.
Strong safety Eric Reid (right) of the Carolina Panthers gets in the face of strong safety Malcolm Jenkins (left) of the Philadelphia Eagles before the start of the first quarter.
Mitchell Leff/Getty Images
Why does Reid consider Jenkins a sellout?
Reid strongly disagrees with Jenkins on two fronts: his decision to accept money from the NFL without placing more conditions on owners, and his choice to stop demonstrating during the playing of ''The Star-Spangled Banner.''
Although the NFL did not require players to show their respect for the United States flag in exchange for funding programs considered important to communities of color, there was no implicit quid pro quo, owners hoped players would no longer believe it was necessary to demonstrate. Reid was among several players who broke away from the coalition in protest of the leadership of Jenkins and Boldin.
Why did Jenkins stop demonstrating?
Some activist-players, including Jenkins, grew weary of the controversy stirred by the long-running demonstrations. Polls now show that many within the public believe kneeling is inappropriate. Opponents of the movement have labeled players as being anti-police and anti-military.
It's important to note that even Reid, who has repeatedly blasted Jenkins publicly, questioned the effectiveness of continuing to demonstrate last season. The league's money didn't change Jenkins' position, Jenkins insists. It was just the right time for change, he said. ''At this point,'' Jenkins said recently, ''it's important for us as a movement to continue to adapt to the context of the situation.''
Irreconcilable differences: Why the Players Coalition split apart Read now Exactly how does Kaepernick fit in?
Reid was the first player to kneel alongside Kaepernick during the 2016 season while they were San Francisco 49ers teammates. He and Kaepernick are close friends and each have collusion grievances against the league, alleging owners conspired to ruin their careers because of their activism. Essentially, Reid believes Jenkins and Boldin have stolen the movement that Kaepernick started with Reid's initial support. In Reid's view, Jenkins and Boldin conspired to push aside Kaepernick, who should have been the one to determine whether the coalition partnered with the league in anything. Moreover, Reid demanded that the coalition, in its negotiation with owners, require that Kaepernick be signed by an NFL team before any deal would be struck. Jenkins and Boldin did not comply. Reid's frustration with the coalition, and vice versa, was revealed through text messages obtained by ESPN.
Will Reid's beef with Jenkins adversely impact the movement?
It shouldn't. The coalition is doing its thing, especially focusing on criminal justice reform. Reid has remained closely aligned with Kaepernick, who has become much bigger while railing against injustice in exile than he ever was during his days as a successful passer. Other players who have split with the coalition, including Miami Dolphins wide receiver Kenny Stills, are working individually to improve communities.
What is Jenkins' attitude toward Reid?
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Jenkins continues to take the high road, praising Reid for the work he does on behalf of others.
Will Reid face disciplinary action from the league?
Possibly. Although he wasn't flagged before or during Sunday's game, the NFL could still fine him for unsportsmanlike conduct. The penalty for a first offense is $13,369. A second offense increases to $26,739.
Jason Reid is the senior NFL writer at The Undefeated. He enjoys watching sports, especially any games involving his son and daughter.
Donald Trump's long, stormy and unrequited romance with the NFL - The Washington Post
Mon, 25 Nov 2019 13:19
Will HobsonNational sports reporter with a focus on accountability and investigations
September 23, 2017President Trump's criticism of NFL players and the league itself at a political rally Friday evening, which he followed up with a series of tweets Saturday, marked the latest entry in his long-running dalliance with the NFL, which, in some ways, is like a super-elite country club whose membership Trump has never been able to attain.
[Trump turns sports into political battleground with comments on NFL, Curry]
In 1983, when the going rate for an NFL team was about $80 million, Trump spent $6 million to buy the New Jersey Generals of the rival U.S. Football League, which played its seasons in the spring.
In interviews after the real estate magnate announced his acquisition at a news conference in the atrium of Trump Tower, Trump said he decided to buy into the rival league because he wanted a challenge.
"I could've bought an NFL team if I wanted to. .'‰.'‰. But I'd rather create something from scratch," Trump said. "I feel sorry for the poor guy who is going to buy the Dallas Cowboys. It's a no-win situation for him, because if he wins, well, so what, they've won through the years, and if he loses .'‰.'‰. he'll be known to the world as a loser."
As owner of the Generals, Trump went on a spending spree that drew the ire of NFL owners. He gave Herschel Walker, the Heisman Trophy-winning running back from the University of Georgia, a contract extension. A year later, Trump signed another Heisman Trophy winner '-- quarterback Doug Flutie out of Boston College '-- to a five-year deal worth $7 million. He tried to sign star linebacker Lawrence Taylor away from the New York Giants, forcing the Giants to give Taylor a raise.
Trump tried to lure coach Don Shula away from the Miami Dolphins and then asserted that the discussions ended because Shula asked for one thing Trump would not offer: a free apartment in Trump Tower.
"Money is one thing, gold is another," Trump said.
Shula denied this and said he ended the negotiations because Trump kept publicizing them. Dolphins owner Joe Robbie derided Trump as "engaged more in ballyhoo .'‰.'‰. than in a serious effort to build a franchise completely by sound professional management."
In 1986, Trump convinced his fellow USFL owners to launch what amounted to a hostile takeover attempt: They moved the league's schedule to the fall to compete directly with the NFL, then sued the NFL, alleging antitrust violations. Trump predicted to his fellow USFL owners that the lawsuit would result in a massive judgment '-- hundreds of millions if not billions of dollars in damages from the NFL '-- that would force the NFL to offer to merge the leagues.
In the trial, NFL attorneys framed their case around Trump, arguing that the lawsuit was a charade orchestrated by Trump as a way to get into the NFL on the cheap. The argument worked.
"I thought he was extremely arrogant, and I thought that he was obviously trying to play the game," juror Patricia Sibilia recalled in a telephone interview last year. "He wanted an NFL franchise. .'‰.'‰. The USFL was a cheap way in."
The jury ruled that the NFL had violated antitrust law but concluded that the USFL's financial struggles were of its own making and awarded only $1 in damages. In antitrust cases, damages are tripled, so Trump's legal assault on the NFL won a grand total of $3.
The USFL folded.
"Only Donald Trump could somehow turn the behemoth of the NFL into an underdog," said Michael Tollin, director of the ESPN documentary "Small Potatoes: Who Killed the USFL?"
Trump lost an estimated $22 million on the Generals. The Cowboys team '-- which Trump said he considered buying in 1983 but did not because you could succeed only "laterally" in the NFL '-- was sold in 1989 to Jerry Jones for $140 million. According to Forbes, the team, still owned by Jones, is now worth an estimated $4.8 billion, making it the world's most valuable sports franchise.
After the USFL folded, Trump's name arose periodically in discussions about NFL ownership. In 1988, he made a bid for the New England Patriots but ultimately bowed out. In 2014, Trump said he offered $1 billion for the Buffalo Bills, but he was bested by a $1.4 billion offer.
In early 2016, Trump told an Associated Press reporter that if his bid had won him the Bills he never would have run for president.
"I did it a little tentatively," Trump told the AP of his attempt to purchase the Bills. "When I put the bid in for the Buffalo Bills, I always was a little concerned if the NFL would remember how I knocked the hell out of them."
For once, however, Trump expressed contentment with defeat.
''This is more exciting,'' he said of running for president. ''And it's a lot cheaper.''
Some of the material in this story was adapted from "Trump Revealed," a 2016 biography by Marc Fisher, Michael Kranish and a team of Washington Post reporters.
Ray Lewis - Wikipedia
Mon, 25 Nov 2019 13:12
American football linebacker, Pro Football Hall of Famer
Ray LewisLewis with the Baltimore Ravens in 2008
No. 52Position:Middle linebackerPersonal informationBorn: ( 1975-05-15 ) May 15, 1975 (age 44) Bartow, FloridaHeight:6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)Weight:240 lb (109 kg)Career informationHigh school:Kathleen (Lakeland, Florida)College:Miami (FL)NFL Draft:1996 / Round: 1 / Pick: 26Career history Baltimore Ravens (1996''2012)Career highlights and awards 2— Super Bowl champion (XXXV, XLVII)Super Bowl MVP (XXXV)13— Pro Bowl (1997''2001, 2003, 2004, 2006''2011)7— First-team All-Pro (1999''2001, 2003, 2004, 2008, 2009)3— Second-team All-Pro (1997, 1998, 2010)2— NFL Defensive Player of Year (2000, 2003)NFL 2000s All-Decade TeamBaltimore Ravens Ring of Honor2— First-team All-American (1994, 1995)Career NFL statisticsPlayer stats at PFRRaymond Anthony Lewis Jr. (born May 15, 1975) is a former American football linebacker who played all of his 17-year professional career for the Baltimore Ravens of the National Football League (NFL). He previously played college football for the University of Miami, and earned All-America honors. Lewis was drafted by the Ravens in the first round of the 1996 NFL Draft, and upon his retirement following the 2012 season, was the last remaining active player from the team's inaugural season.
Lewis played middle linebacker his entire career and is considered to be one of the greatest ever to play the position. He was a 13-time Pro Bowler, a 10-time All-Pro, and one of the few players in NFL history to play in a Pro Bowl in three different decades (1990s, 2000s, and 2010s). He is also considered to be the greatest Baltimore Raven of all time.[1]
Lewis pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice in connection with the stabbing deaths of two men in 2000. The following season, he won the NFL Defensive Player of the Year and led the Ravens' record-setting defense to victory in Super Bowl XXXV. Lewis also became the second linebacker to win the Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Award, and the first to win the award on the winning Super Bowl team.[2] Lewis won his second Defensive Player of the Year award in 2003, becoming the sixth player to win the award multiple times.[3] After a triceps tear that sidelined him for most of the 2012''13 season, Lewis returned for the Ravens' playoff run and earned his second Super Bowl victory in his final NFL game. On February 3, 2018, the fifth anniversary of his final game, Lewis was selected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility.[4]
Early life Lewis was born in Bartow, Florida.[5] He is the older brother of former University of Maryland running back Keon Lattimore.[6] Lewis was an All-American linebacker for the football team at Kathleen High School in Lakeland. In addition, he was a prolific wrestler for the school.[5][7] His father was absent most of his life, which was a cycle through generations, but he was a record-setting high school wrestler before he was incarcerated for drug-related offenses.[8] He revealed that his stepfather was extremely abusive towards his mother, and got a deck of 52 playing cards to start his push-up regimen, so he could get stronger to protect her. This also was the reason behind choosing the #52 jersey in his professional career.[9]
College career Lewis enrolled in the University of Miami, where he was a member of the Miami Hurricanes football team.[10] As a freshman, he was an immediate contributor and became a starter for the Hurricanes' final five games. He compiled 81 tackles, two sacks, two tackles for loss, and four pass deflections en route to being named to the freshman All-American team.[11]
In his sophomore season, Lewis earned first-team All-American and All-Big East honors. Lewis led the Big East with 153 tackles and also contributed nine tackles for a loss, two sacks, and an interception for a Hurricanes team that had the nation's top-ranked defense and finished No. 6 in both the writers' and coaches' polls.[12][13]
Lewis's junior campaign was even more successful, as he was again named to the All-American[14] and All-Big East teams, and finished as runner-up for the Butkus Award, given to the top linebacker in college football.[15] Lewis finished his junior season with 160 tackles, the second highest in University of Miami team history after Ed Weisacosky's 164 in 1965. Lewis also totaled eight tackles for loss, two sacks, two interceptions, a forced fumble, four pass deflections and one touchdown. Against the West Virginia Mountaineers, Lewis contributed 15 tackles.[16]
Lewis led the Big East in tackles his last two seasons and accumulated the fifth most in Miami history despite playing only three seasons.
After the 1995 season, Lewis decided to forgo his final year of college eligibility and enter the NFL draft. The Baltimore Ravens, who were entering their inaugural season, selected Lewis 26th overall in the first round of the 1996 NFL Draft.[17] Lewis was the Ravens' second ever draft pick behind offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden who was selected #4 overall the same year. Lewis eventually earned his undergraduate degree in Arts and Science in 2004 at the University of Maryland University College.[18]
Professional career 1996 season: Rookie year Lewis was the top-rated inside linebacker heading into the 1996 NFL Draft,[21][22] in which Kevin Hardy was considered the draft's only outstanding linebacker prospect.[23] Taken as the fifth linebacker in the draft, Lewis was seen by scouts as possessing speed, tackling ability, and intensity, but many considered his lack of size a potential liability.[23][24][25] In his first career game, a Week 1 19-14 victory over the Oakland Raiders, Lewis earned AFC Defensive Player of the Week for his seven-tackle, one-interception performance.[26][27] Lewis earned USA Today's All-Rookie team honors after his 15 tackles for loss led the NFL and 110 tackles led the Ravens in the 1996 season.[28] He added two and a half sacks, six pass deflections, and an interception on the season.[29][30]
1997 season In Week 9, against the Washington Redskins, Lewis earned his second AFC Defensive Player of the Week honor.[31] Lewis recorded an NFL-best and career high 184 tackles in 1997, which is unofficially the second most ever in a season, and earned his first Pro Bowl berth at the end of that season.[32][33] In addition, Lewis totaled four sacks, an interception, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery, and 11 pass deflections.[34]
1998 season In 1998, Lewis made his second trip to the Pro Bowl after recording 120 tackles, three sacks, two interceptions, a forced fumble, and seven pass deflections.[35][36] He led the Ravens in tackles for the third consecutive season.[37] He was also named to The Sporting News All-Pro Team. In what would prove to be Hall of Fame Detroit Lions running back Barry Sanders's final game, Lewis and the rest of the Ravens defense held him to just 41 rushing yards on 19 attempts.[38][39]
1999 season In 1999, Lewis led the NFL in tackles with 168.[40] He was named to a third-straight Pro Bowl and the All-Pro first team.[41][42] He also totaled three and a half sacks, three interceptions, eight pass deflections, a safety, and a forced fumble. Lewis won the 1999 NFL Alumni Linebacker Of The Year chosen by past NFL players voting according to the position they played.
2000: Record-setting defense and first Super Bowl run In 2000, Lewis led a defense which many call the greatest in NFL history for a single season.[43][44][45] The team set a 16-game single-season record for fewest points allowed (165) and fewest rushing yards allowed (970).[46] The team recorded four shutouts, one shy of the single-season record. The unit finished first league-wide in six key defensive categories. Including the postseason, and excluding three combined touchdowns that were given up by the Ravens offense and special teams, Baltimore's defense allowed only 184 points in 20 games. Lewis won Super Bowl XXXV MVP honors, Defensive Player of the Year honors, earned a unanimous All-Pro selection, and was once again named to start in the Pro Bowl.[47][48][50][51] The Ravens became only the second team to ever record a defensive shutout in a Super Bowl, as they dominated the New York Giants 34-7 to win the franchise's first ever world championship. Lewis's regular-season total of 137 tackles once again led the Ravens. He also added 31 tackles, two interceptions, 9 pass deflections, one fumble recovery, and a touchdown in the four-game playoff run.[52][53]
2001 season In 2001, Lewis earned his fifth consecutive Pro Bowl selection, when he led the NFL in tackles with 162 and earned first-team All-Pro honors.[54][55][56] In Week 15, he earned his third AFC Defensive Player of the Week honor in a 15''0 shutout of the Cincinnati Bengals.[57] Lewis scored a touchdown in the 2002 Pro Bowl. In the Ravens' two playoff games, he totaled 17 tackles, three forced fumbles, and one pass deflection.[58]
2002 season In 2002, Lewis was limited to only five games due to a shoulder injury.[59] He still managed to rank fifth on the team with 58 tackles.[60] In addition, Lewis compiled two interceptions, two pass deflections, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. Lewis earned AFC Defensive Player of the Week honors in Week 4 against the Denver Broncos after posting 18 tackles (11 solo), two pass deflections, and an interception on Monday Night Football.[61] After having been selected to the Pro Bowl for five consecutive seasons (1997''2001), Lewis's streak was stopped by his season-ending injury. In his absence, the Baltimore Ravens defense finished ranked 19th in points allowed.[62]
2003 season Lewis was the leading vote recipient for the 2003 AP All-Pro team, earning 49 of 50 votes.[63] He also won the annual AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year with 43 votes out of 50. He was named to his sixth career Pro Bowl for the 2003 season.[64] Additionally, Lewis earned Pro Football Weekly, PFWA, and Football Digest Defensive MVP honors and was named to Dr. Z's Sports Illustrated All-Pro team, Pro Football Weekly's All-NFL team, Pro Football Weekly's All-AFC team, Football Digest's All-Pro first team, and The Sporting News' All-Pro team. Lewis also earned the KC 101 AFC Defensive Player of the Year award for the 3rd time in four years, the 2003 NFL Alumni Linebacker Of The Year, and finished with 161 tackles, one and a half sacks, six interceptions, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, 14 pass deflections, and one touchdown. He was named NFL Defensive Player of the Month for November[65] and AFC Defensive Player of the week for his 15-tackle, one-interception performance against the Pittsburgh Steelers in week 17.[66] In the Wild Card playoff loss to the Tennessee Titans, Lewis totaled 17 tackles.[67]
2004 season In 2004, Lewis was named first-team All-Pro by the AP, second-team "All Pro" by College and Pro Football Weekly and Football Digest, and "All Pro" by The Sporting News.[68] He finished the 2004 season playing 15 games while recording 146 total tackles, one sack, two fumble recoveries, one fumble forced, and six pass deflections.[69]
2005 season Lewis's 2005 season was cut short by an injury in Week 6. He was placed on injured reserve in Week 8, having amassed 46 tackles, a sack, an interception, 2 pass deflections, and a fumble recovery in the season's first six games.[70] The Ravens struggled to a final record of 6-10.
2006 season In 2006, Lewis led the Ravens defense to an NFL-best ranking in 14 major defensive categories, including total yards allowed, points per game allowed, and interceptions. The Ravens also finished second in sacks, take-aways, and rushing yards allowed.[71] Lewis missed two games due to an injury, but still recorded 103 tackles, a personal best of five sacks, two interceptions, and eight pass deflections in 14 games. He also forced a fumble and recovered one.[72] The Ravens allowed just one 100-yard rushing performance in the 14 games Lewis played. Lewis was named AFC Defensive Player of the Week following his seven-tackle, one-sack, and three-pass-deflection performance against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the season opener.[73] He was also selected to the Pro Bowl, but withdrew because of a hand injury, ceding his spot to fellow Ravens linebacker Bart Scott.[74][75] Lewis finished fifth in voting for Defensive Player of the Year.[76] Lewis totaled 15 tackles and a pass deflection in the playoff loss to the Indianapolis Colts.[77]
2007 season Lewis during a 2007 game vs. the Cleveland Browns
Lewis during a charity event
Despite the Baltimore Ravens' mediocre 5''11 season, Lewis was the team's leading tackler.[78] Against the Cleveland Browns, Lewis recorded 16 tackles, recovered a fumble, and returned an interception for a touchdown.[79] He also earned his ninth career Pro Bowl nomination.[80] He finished the season with 120 total tackles, two sacks, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, 10 passes deflected, two interceptions, and one touchdown.[81]
2008 season In 2008, Lewis led the Ravens to the AFC Championship game while totaling 117 tackles, three and a half sacks, three interceptions, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, and nine passes deflected.[82][83] He was named a starter to the Pro Bowl, his tenth such nomination, and was named an Associated Press first-team All-Pro for the sixth time.[84][85] In addition, he was named the AFC Defensive Player of the Week following his eight tackles, two interception, and two pass deflections against the Houston Texans in Week 10.[86] In the three playoff games against the Miami Dolphins, Tennessee Titans, and Pittsburgh Steelers, Lewis totaled 29 tackles, two forced fumbles, and one pass deflection in three games.[87][88][89] After the season, he became an unrestricted free agent, but agreed to return to the Baltimore Ravens to complete his career. The contract, which would've run through 2015 (including two option years), was said to be worth $10 million the first year, but was highly incentivized.[90]
2009 season In 2009, Lewis was named first-team All-Pro by the Associated Press for the seventh time (ninth selection overall) and named to his 11th Pro Bowl.[91][92] He accumulated an AFC-leading 134 tackles on the season.[93] He also added three sacks, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, and seven passes deflected. Lewis added 21 tackles, one sack, and one pass deflection in two playoff games.[94] In the September 2009 issue of Sporting News' Magazine, Lewis was selected to their Team of the Decade (2000s). In Week 2 against the San Diego Chargers, Lewis made the game-saving tackle on running back Darren Sproles on a fourth-down play. After the game, Lewis said it was one of the best tackles he has made in his career.[95]
2010 season In 2010, Lewis was named second-team All-Pro by the Associated Press for the third time (10th All-Pro selection overall) and named to his 12th Pro Bowl.[96] He totaled 139 tackles, two sacks, two interceptions, two forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries, four pass deflections, and one touchdown. Lewis added 13 tackles, one sack, and a forced fumble in two playoff games.[97] On Sunday, November 21, 2010, Lewis became only the second player in NFL history to record at least 30 interceptions and 30 sacks for their career. He was the fastest player (204 games) to achieve that feat.
2011 season In 2011, Lewis was named to his 13th and what proved to be his final Pro Bowl, and led the Ravens with 95 tackles despite missing four games with an injury.[98] Lewis also collected two sacks, one interception, two forced fumbles, and seven pass deflections. Lewis totaled 20 tackles and one pass deflection in two playoff games.[99][100] On Sunday, October 16, 2011, against the Houston Texans, Lewis became the first player in NFL history with at least 40 sacks and 30 interceptions in his career.[101]
2012: Final year and second Super Bowl Lewis suffered torn triceps on October 14, 2012 during a game against the Dallas Cowboys, and had them surgically repaired three days later.[102][103][104] Several sources had reported he was expected to return to action December 16 in the game against the Denver Broncos,[105] much earlier than his expected return in January,[106] but he was inactive for the game.[107] On January 2, 2013, Lewis announced he would retire after his team finished the 2012''13 NFL playoffs.[108]
He returned to action for Baltimore's January 6, 2013 game against the Colts and led the defense to a 24''9 win.[109] On the game's last play, Lewis lined up on offense at fullback. The Ravens were not slated to play another home playoff game (since they were the number-four seed, and the day before, the Houston Texans beat the number-six seed Cincinnati Bengals), so they wanted Lewis to be on the field for the final play. Next, the Ravens defeated the Denver Broncos in the Divisional Round, 38''35 in double overtime, and then defeated the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game, 28''13.[110][111][112]Lewis's final career NFL game was Super Bowl XLVII, where the Ravens defeated the San Francisco 49ers by a score of 34''31.[113][114] Lewis finished the regular season with 57 tackles, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery, and 1 pass deflection in 6 games. In the postseason, Lewis led the NFL with 51 tackles. He also contributed 2 tackles for loss and 1 pass deflection in the Super Bowl XLVII run.[115]
Career statistics TacklesSacksInterceptionsOtherYearTeamGamesSoloAstTotalSackYdsIntYdsTDTDFFRecPDSfty1996BAL1495151102.59100000501997BAL16156281844.02711800111001998BAL14101191203.0142250010701999BAL16131371683.5213970000812000BAL16108301383.033210003602001BAL16114481623.526311500111002002BAL54315580.00240011302003BAL16121421631.51169911221402004BAL15101461471.09000012602005BAL6388461.01100001202006BAL1480231035.0372270011802007BAL1483381212.0723511211002008BAL1684331173.5333430022902009BAL1694391333.016090021702010BAL16102371392.082261123402011BAL12722395216140020702012BAL64413571000001110Career2281,5674942,06141.5266315033319201171Playoffs21135792142.0172541161150Murder trial Following a Super Bowl XXXIV party in Atlanta on January 31, 2000, a fight broke out between Lewis and his companions and another group of people, resulting in the stabbing deaths of Jacinth Baker and Richard Lollar. Lewis and two companions, Reginald Oakley and Joseph Sweeting, were questioned by Atlanta police, and 11 days later the three men were indicted on murder and aggravated assault charges. The fight occurred about 200 yards (180 m) from the Cobalt Lounge at 265 East Paces Ferry Road in the Buckhead Village neighborhood about two miles north of downtown Atlanta where Lewis had been celebrating.[116][117]The white suit Lewis was wearing the night of the killings has never been found. Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard alleged the blood-stained suit was dumped in a garbage bin outside a fast food restaurant.[118] A knife found at the scene did not have any fingerprints or DNA. Lewis subsequently testified that Oakley and Sweeting had bought knives earlier in Super Bowl week from a Sports Authority where Lewis had been signing autographs.[117][119] Baker's blood was found inside of Lewis's limousine.[120]
Two weeks into the trial Lewis's attorneys, Don Samuel and Ed Garland, negotiated a plea agreement with the District Attorney where the murder charges against Lewis were dismissed in exchange for his testimony against Oakley and Sweeting,[121] and his guilty plea to a misdemeanor charge of obstruction of justice.[15] Lewis admitted he gave a misleading statement to police on the morning after the killings (initially telling them that he was not at the scene).[122] Superior Court Judge Alice D. Bonner sentenced Lewis to 12 months' probation. One year in prison is the maximum sentence for a first-time offender,[123] and the immediate probation was the judge's decision. He was also fined $250,000 by the NFL, which was believed to be the highest fine levied against an NFL player for an infraction not involving substance abuse.[124] Under the terms of the sentence, Lewis could not use drugs or alcohol during the duration of the probation.
Oakley and Sweeting were acquitted of the charges in June 2000.[125][126] No other suspects have ever been arrested for the incident.
The following year, Lewis was named Super Bowl XXXV MVP. However, the signature phrase "I'm going to Disney World!" was given instead to quarterback Trent Dilfer.[2]
On April 29, 2004, Lewis reached a out-of-court settlement with four-year-old India Lollar, born months after the death of her father Richard, pre-empting a scheduled civil proceeding. Lewis also reached an undisclosed settlement with Baker's family.[125]
During a taped pre-game interview with Shannon Sharpe that aired on CBS before Super Bowl XLVII, Sharpe told Lewis that the families of the slain men find it difficult to see Lewis idolized by millions of fans, believing he knows more about the killings than he shared,[127] and asked what he had to say to those families. Lewis responded, "God has never made a mistake. That's just who He is, you see.... To the family, if you knew, if you really knew the way God works, He don't use people who commits anything like that for His glory."[128]
The Ravens' crisis management around Lewis's murder trial was revisited by Brian Billick, by then a media analyst, after the 2013 arrest of Aaron Hernandez and his swift release by the New England Patriots.[129]
Legacy Throughout his career, Lewis built a reputation as a leader and intimidating force at middle linebacker. He has led his team in tackles in 12 of his 14 seasons. The Ravens did not allow a single 100-yard rusher in 51 consecutive games from the 1998 through 2001 seasons. In addition to his run defense, Lewis has also gained a reputation as a complete defender. His 31 interceptions rank him 5th all-time among NFL linebackers, and just 6 short of the #1 spot. Since the murder allegations, Lewis's image has recovered, and today he is considered one of the most dominant linebackers in the history of the NFL.[18][130][131][132] Lewis was also selected as the third-best linebacker of all time on the show The Sports List. A poll of NFL coaches selected him as the most dominant player in the NFL before the 2003 season by being mentioned on 10 ballots, while no other player was mentioned more than twice.[133] Team owner Steve Bisciotti stated his intention to erect a statue of Lewis outside M&T Bank Stadium. On September 4, 2014, days before the Ravens season opener, a statue of Lewis was unveiled in front of M&T Bank Stadium.[134]
Lewis has been referenced in television shows such as The Wire, films such as The Rundown, and in music videos, such as in Mario's "Just a Friend 2002" and Nelly's "Heart of a Champion". Lewis has appeared in television ads for NFL Network, Reebok, Under Armour, Old Spice, and Eastern Motors. He was the featured athlete on the cover of Madden NFL 2005. That season, he missed a number of games to an injury, adding to the "Madden Curse". He was documented in NFL Network's documentary series A Football Life.[135]
Other work Lewis opened the Ray Lewis Full Moon Bar-B-Que, which operated in Baltimore's Canton neighborhood from February 2005 until 2008.[136] He has also gained several national corporate endorsements, some of which draw upon his tough image. In 2004, Lewis was placed on the cover of the highly popular Madden NFL 2005 video game published by EA Sports, and is also a very avid player of the same series. In 2006, it was announced that Lewis, Hall of Fame running back Gale Sayers, and entrepreneur Mark Bloomquist would form S&L Racing, intending to race both cars and trucks from a North Carolina headquarters.[137] Lewis's attempt to join NASCAR racing failed.[138]
On March 13, 2013, it was announced that Lewis would join ESPN as a contributor for their NFL coverage.[139] Lewis was let go by ESPN in 2016.[140] On June 20, 2017 it was announced Lewis had been hired by cable sports network Fox Sports 1.[141]
Lewis competed against tight end Tony Gonzalez in an episode of Spike's Lip Sync Battle, which aired on February 2, 2017. He emerged victorious with performances of Al Green's "Let's Stay Together" and "Hot in Herre" by Nelly, who joined him for the performance.[142]
In August 2019, Lewis was announced as one of the celebrities to compete on season 28 of Dancing with the Stars. He later withdrew from the competition due to a tendon injury in his foot, requiring surgery.[143]
Charitable activities Lewis has been heavily involved in charitable activities throughout his professional career. He started the Ray Lewis 52 Foundation which is a nonprofit corporation whose mission is to provide personal and economic assistance to disadvantaged youth. The foundation has funded such events as adopting 10 families in the Baltimore City community for the holidays, an annual celebrity auction and bowling tournament, the Great Maryland Duck Derby, Thanksgiving food drives on North Avenue in Baltimore, and Ray's Summer Days. All proceeds have helped fund the Ray Lewis Foundation.
Lewis has since been involved in pressing political, business, and philanthropic leaders for a stronger commitment to disability sports both here and in the developing world. Lewis was also honored with a JB award (named in honor of CBS broadcaster James Brown) during the 2006 off-season and received the "Act of Kindness" Award for his work in the community.[18]
Awards and accolades Since his rookie year in 1996, Lewis has won numerous NFL awards, including being named Defensive Player of the Year twice (2000 and 2003), as well as Super Bowl MVP after winning Super Bowl XXXV after the 2000 season. He is also a 13-time Pro Bowler and seven-time AP First Team All-Pro player, a three-time AP Second Team All-Pro Selection, and was also a two-time All-American in college (1994 and 1995).
On May 11, 2010, a portion of Baltimore's North Avenue was renamed "Ray Lewis Way" in honor of the linebacker and his charitable work.[144]
Lewis had career totals of 2,061 total tackles (1,567 solo), 19 forced fumbles, 117 passes defended, 102.5 stuffs for a loss, 41.5 sacks, 20 fumble recoveries, 31 interceptions for 503 yards, one safety, and three touchdowns in 228 games.[145] He has been selected to 13 NFL Pro Bowl games, a record for an inside/middle linebacker, in his 17 seasons, and led the NFL in tackles five times (1997, 1999, 2001, 2003 and 2004). In 2003, Lewis led all linebackers with six interceptions, a total matching the post-merger all-time record for a middle linebacker in a single season.[146] Lewis was named first-team Associated Press All-Pro in 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2008, 2009 and second-team All-Pro in 1997, 1998, and 2010. His 10 total All-Pro selections is a record for an inside/middle linebacker and ties the record for a linebacker (Lawrence Taylor also has 10 selections). In 21 career playoff games, Lewis has totaled 214 tackles (135 solo), two sacks, six forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, two interceptions for 54 yards, 15 pass deflections, 10.5 stuffs for a loss, and one touchdown.
Lewis was voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2018, his first year of eligibility. Lewis joined teammate Jonathan Ogden in Canton; the two were the Ravens' first two picks in Baltimore.
Personal life Lewis is a Christian, and his commitment to his faith was featured in a Sports Illustrated cover story in 2006. He has a total of six children, four boys, and two girls.[147][7][148] His son, Ray Lewis III, played college football at the University of Miami and later Coastal Carolina.[149] He was dismissed from Coastal Carolina's football team and the university in 2016 upon being indicted by a South Carolina grand jury on a charge of third-degree criminal sexual assault.[150]Those charges were dropped after a lengthy and more thorough investigation by law enforcement officials in South Carolina.[151] His other son, Rayshad Lewis, committed to Utah State out of high school. His freshman year was successful. After his freshman year, Rayshad decided to transfer to the University of Maryland.[152]
Michael Phelps, a Baltimore native and Ravens fan, stated that he found his life purpose and desire to compete in the 2016 Summer Olympics after seeking Lewis's advice.[153][154]
In 2015, Lewis' autobiography, I Feel Like Going On: Life, Game, and Glory, was published.[book 1]
References ^ "Lewis Bio". baltimoreravens.com. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007 . Retrieved August 16, 2007 . ^ a b Associated Press (January 31, 2001). "Endorsement exile: Disney, Wheaties among those passing on MVP Lewis". CNNSI.com. ^ "Lewis wins DPOY". espn.com . Retrieved August 16, 2007 . ^ "Ray Lewis, Terrell Owens, Randy Moss lead HOF class". ^ a b "Ray Lewis NFL Bio". NFL . Retrieved October 8, 2010 . ^ "Player Bio: Keon Lattimore". CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on February 7, 2009 . Retrieved January 28, 2011 . ^ a b Price, S.L. (November 13, 2006). "The Gospel According To Ray". Sports Illustrated . Retrieved October 8, 2010 . ^ "E:60 '' Ray Lewis". YouTube. ESPN. October 3, 2012. ^ "How To Use Pain As Fuel - The Deck of Cards Workout - Daniel Karim". Daniel Karim. December 22, 2017 . Retrieved August 11, 2018 . ^ "Ray Lewis College Stats". College Football at Sports-Reference.com . Retrieved February 26, 2019 . ^ "Pillars of the Program: Miami (Fla.)". www.ncaa.com . Retrieved February 26, 2019 . ^ Washington, Matt (February 3, 2018). "Ray Lewis Named to 2018 Pro Football Hall of Fame Class". State of The U . Retrieved February 26, 2019 . ^ "Miami In the Polls". College Football Data Warehouse. Archived from the original on September 26, 2011 . Retrieved January 28, 2011 . ^ Ralph Hickok (January 27, 2010). "History '' Football All-America Teams 1977''present". Hickok Sports.com. Archived from the original on February 23, 2002 . Retrieved September 28, 2010 . ^ a b Carter, Bob. "ESPN Classic '' Lewis knows Super Bowl tragedy, triumph". ESPN.com . Retrieved September 28, 2010 . ^ "Ray Lewis Inspires Students on Return Visit to UM". UNIV Miami. ^ "1996 NFL Draft Listing". Pro-Football-Reference.com . Retrieved February 26, 2019 . ^ a b c "FYI Online". Umuc.edu. June 28, 2004 . Retrieved September 28, 2010 . ^ "Ray Lewis - ILB - Miami (FL) - NFL Combine Results". nflcombineresults.com. ^ Reed, Jesse. "Ray Lewis vs. Patrick Willis: Comparing the Past and Present of the LB Position". ^ Saraceno, Jon (April 16, 1996). "Picking is slim for teams needing linebackers, tackles". USA Today. ^ Plaschke, Bill (April 19, 1996). "Rating the NFL Draft". Los Angeles Times . Retrieved November 8, 2011 . ^ a b Marquez, Alex (April 18, 1996). "Illinois' Hardy only top linebacker in draft". Dayton Daily News. ^ Mulhern, Tom (April 19, 1996). "Packers in desperate need for more depth at linebacker". The Capital Times. Archived from the original on October 19, 2015 . Retrieved November 8, 2011 . ^ "NFL Draft: Top prospects // Defense". The Orange County Register. April 20, 1996. p. D15. ^ Walker, Childs. "Timeline of Ray Lewis' career". baltimoresun.com . Retrieved February 26, 2019 . ^ "1996 NFL Week 1 Leaders & Scores". Pro-Football-Reference.com . Retrieved February 26, 2019 . ^ "1996 Baltimore Ravens Statistics & Players". Pro-Football-Reference.com . Retrieved February 26, 2019 . ^ "1996 NFL Defense". Pro-Football-Reference.com . Retrieved February 26, 2019 . ^ "Ray Lewis 1996 Game Log". Pro-Football-Reference.com . Retrieved February 26, 2019 . ^ "1997 NFL Week 9 Leaders & Scores". Pro-Football-Reference.com . Retrieved February 26, 2019 . ^ "1997 NFL Pro Bowlers". Pro-Football-Reference.com . Retrieved February 26, 2019 . ^ "1997 NFL Defense". Pro-Football-Reference.com . Retrieved February 26, 2019 . ^ "Ray Lewis 1997 Game Log". Pro-Football-Reference.com . Retrieved February 26, 2019 . ^ "1998 NFL Defense". Pro-Football-Reference.com . Retrieved February 26, 2019 . ^ "1998 NFL Pro Bowlers". Pro-Football-Reference.com . Retrieved February 26, 2019 . ^ "1998 Baltimore Ravens Statistics & Players". Pro-Football-Reference.com . Retrieved February 26, 2019 . ^ "NFL Box Score for 12/27/1998". databaseFootball.com. December 27, 1998. Archived from the original on June 10, 2011 . Retrieved September 28, 2010 . ^ "Detroit Lions at Baltimore Ravens - December 27th, 1998". Pro-Football-Reference.com . Retrieved February 26, 2019 . ^ "1999 NFL Defense". Pro-Football-Reference.com . Retrieved February 26, 2019 . ^ "1999 NFL Pro Bowlers". Pro-Football-Reference.com . Retrieved February 26, 2019 . ^ "1999 NFL All-Pros". Pro-Football-Reference.com . Retrieved February 26, 2019 . ^ Byrne, Kerry (June 26, 2008). "The greatest defenses of the Super Bowl Era". ColdHardFootballFacts.com. Archived from the original on February 3, 2013. ^ "The List: Best NFL defense of all-time". ESPN Page 2. ^ WolfpackSteelersFan (March 10, 2009). "A Statistical Analysis on the Greatest Defenses in NFL History". SB Nation: Behind the Steel Curtain. ^ Lewis, Brian (January 21, 2001). "QUOTH THE RAVENS: NEVER SCORE : RECORD-SETTING DEFENSE REFUSES TO GIVE AN INCH". New York Post . Retrieved February 26, 2019 . ^ "Super Bowl XXXV - Baltimore Ravens vs. New York Giants - January 28th, 2001". Pro-Football-Reference.com . Retrieved February 26, 2019 . ^ "Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Winners". Pro-Football-Reference.com . Retrieved February 26, 2019 . ^ "2000 NFL All-Pros". Pro-Football-Reference.com . Retrieved February 26, 2019 . ^ "2000 NFL Pro Bowlers". Pro-Football-Reference.com . Retrieved February 26, 2019 . ^ "2000 NFL Defense". Pro-Football-Reference.com . Retrieved February 26, 2019 . ^ "Ray Lewis 2000 Game Log". Pro-Football-Reference.com . Retrieved February 26, 2019 . ^ "2001 NFL Pro Bowlers". Pro-Football-Reference.com . Retrieved February 26, 2019 . ^ "2001 NFL All-Pros". Pro-Football-Reference.com . Retrieved February 26, 2019 . ^ "2001 NFL Defense". Pro-Football-Reference.com . Retrieved February 26, 2019 . ^ "Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens - December 23rd, 2001". Pro-Football-Reference.com . Retrieved February 26, 2019 . ^ "Ray Lewis 2001 Game Log". Pro-Football-Reference.com . Retrieved February 26, 2019 . ^ "Ray Lewis 2002 Game Log". Pro-Football-Reference.com . Retrieved February 26, 2019 . ^ "2002 Baltimore Ravens Statistics & Players". Pro-Football-Reference.com . Retrieved February 26, 2019 . ^ "Green, Tomlinson share AFC award". NFL.com. October 2, 2002. Archived from the original on October 19, 2002 . Retrieved August 20, 2013 . ^ "2002 NFL Standings & Team Stats". Pro-Football-Reference.com . Retrieved February 26, 2019 . ^ "2003 NFL All-Pros". Pro-Football-Reference.com . Retrieved February 26, 2019 . ^ "2003 NFL Pro Bowlers". Pro-Football-Reference.com . Retrieved February 26, 2019 . ^ "Kitna, Lewis and Vanderjagt earn AFC honor". NFL.com. March 18, 2004. Archived from the original on March 18, 2004 . Retrieved August 20, 2013 . ^ "Brady, Lewis, Anderson earn AFC honors". NFL.com. February 15, 2004. Archived from the original on February 15, 2004 . Retrieved August 20, 2013 . ^ "Ray Lewis 2003 Game Log". Pro-Football-Reference.com . Retrieved February 26, 2019 . ^ "2004 NFL All-Pros". Pro-Football-Reference.com . Retrieved February 26, 2019 . ^ "Ray Lewis 2004 Game Log". Pro-Football-Reference.com . Retrieved February 26, 2019 . ^ "Ray Lewis 2005 Game Log". Pro-Football-Reference.com . Retrieved February 26, 2019 . ^ "2006 NFL Standings & Team Stats". Pro-Football-Reference.com . Retrieved February 26, 2019 . ^ "Ray Lewis 2006 Game Log". Pro-Football-Reference.com . Retrieved February 26, 2019 . ^ "Pennington, Lewis, Vinatieri earn AFC honors". NFL.com. September 13, 2006. Archived from the original on July 13, 2007 . Retrieved August 20, 2013 . ^ "2006 NFL Pro Bowlers". Pro-Football-Reference.com . Retrieved February 26, 2019 . ^ Associated Press (January 30, 2007). "Teammate Scott to replace injured Lewis in Pro Bowl". ESPN.com . Retrieved August 20, 2013 . ^ Associated Press (January 6, 2007). "Dolphins' Taylor wins Defensive Player of Year". ESPN.com . Retrieved August 20, 2013 . ^ "Ray Lewis 2006 Game Log". Pro-Football-Reference.com . Retrieved February 26, 2019 . ^ "2007 Baltimore Ravens Statistics & Players". Pro-Football-Reference.com . Retrieved February 26, 2019 . ^ "Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens - November 18th, 2007". Pro-Football-Reference.com . Retrieved February 27, 2019 . ^ "2007 NFL Pro Bowlers". Pro-Football-Reference.com . Retrieved February 27, 2019 . ^ "Ray Lewis 2007 Game Log". Pro-Football-Reference.com . Retrieved February 27, 2019 . ^ "2008 Baltimore Ravens Statistics & Players". Pro-Football-Reference.com . Retrieved February 27, 2019 . ^ "Ray Lewis 2008 Game Log". Pro-Football-Reference.com . Retrieved February 27, 2019 . ^ "2008 NFL Pro Bowlers". Pro-Football-Reference.com . Retrieved February 27, 2019 . ^ "2008 NFL All-Pros". Pro-Football-Reference.com . Retrieved February 27, 2019 . ^ "2008 NFL Week 10 Leaders & Scores". Pro-Football-Reference.com . Retrieved February 27, 2019 . ^ "Wild Card - Baltimore Ravens at Miami Dolphins - January 4th, 2009". Pro-Football-Reference.com . Retrieved February 27, 2019 . ^ "Divisional Round - Baltimore Ravens at Tennessee Titans - January 10th, 2009". Pro-Football-Reference.com . Retrieved February 27, 2019 . ^ "AFC Championship - Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers - January 18th, 2009". Pro-Football-Reference.com . Retrieved February 27, 2019 . ^ Associated Press (March 11, 2009). "Lewis Re-Ups With Ravens". SI.com. ^ "2009 NFL All-Pros". Pro-Football-Reference.com . Retrieved February 27, 2019 . ^ "2009 NFL Pro Bowlers". Pro-Football-Reference.com . Retrieved February 27, 2019 . ^ "2009 NFL Defense". Pro-Football-Reference.com . Retrieved February 27, 2019 . ^ "Ray Lewis 2009 Game Log". Pro-Football-Reference.com . Retrieved February 27, 2019 . ^ Corbett, Jim (September 20, 2009). "Ray Lewis the 'firestarter' as thumping hit stops Chargers". USA Today . Retrieved September 27, 2009 . ^ "2010 NFL Pro Bowlers". Pro-Football-Reference.com . Retrieved February 27, 2019 . ^ "Ray Lewis 2010 Game Log". Pro-Football-Reference.com . Retrieved February 27, 2019 . ^ "2011 NFL Pro Bowlers". Pro-Football-Reference.com . Retrieved February 27, 2019 . ^ "Ray Lewis 2011 Game Log". Pro-Football-Reference.com . Retrieved February 27, 2019 . ^ "2011 Baltimore Ravens Statistics & Players". Pro-Football-Reference.com . Retrieved February 27, 2019 . ^ "Houston Texans vs. Baltimore Ravens '' Recap". ESPN.com. October 16, 2011 . Retrieved January 19, 2013 . ^ Brooks, Matt. "Ray Lewis is done for the year with a torn triceps". The Washington Post . Retrieved October 15, 2012 . ^ "The zany story of two self ordained sports science entrepreneurs". Sports Illustrated. January 29, 2013 . Retrieved February 10, 2013 . ^ Bell, Jarrett (January 29, 2013). "Ray Lewis denies using banned deer antler spray". USA Today . Retrieved January 29, 2013 . ^ Werder, Ed. "Source: Ray Lewis back Dec. 16". ESPN . Retrieved December 1, 2012 . ^ "Word of Mouth: Owners, don't be shortsighted '' NFL Videos". NFL.com. December 6, 2012 . Retrieved January 30, 2013 . ^ Schefter, Adam; Paolantonio, Sal (December 15, 2012). "Ray Lewis of Baltimore Ravens not activated for Broncos game". ESPN . Retrieved January 3, 2013 . ^ "Ravens' Lewis says he will retire at end of season". TSN.ca. January 2, 2013 . Retrieved January 2, 2013 . ^ "Wild Card - Indianapolis Colts at Baltimore Ravens - January 6th, 2013". Pro-Football-Reference.com . Retrieved February 27, 2019 . ^ "Divisional Round - Baltimore Ravens at Denver Broncos - January 12th, 2013". Pro-Football-Reference.com . Retrieved February 27, 2019 . ^ Hanzus, Dan (January 20, 2013). "Ravens roll by Patriots to advance to Super Bowl XLVII". National Football League . Retrieved January 20, 2013 . ^ "AFC Championship - Baltimore Ravens at New England Patriots - January 20th, 2013". Pro-Football-Reference.com . Retrieved February 27, 2019 . ^ Wilner, Barry (February 3, 2013). "Ravens Are Super Bowl Champs! Take Close Win Over The 49ers 34''31". WJZ-TV . Retrieved February 3, 2013 . ^ "Super Bowl XLVII - San Francisco 49ers vs. Baltimore Ravens - February 3rd, 2013". Pro-Football-Reference.com . Retrieved November 8, 2017 . ^ "Ray Lewis 2012 Game Log". Pro-Football-Reference.com . Retrieved February 27, 2019 . ^ "Buckhead Village to get a Coyote Ugly Saloon '' Atlanta Business Chronicle". Bizjournals.com. July 29, 2002 . Retrieved January 30, 2013 . ^ a b "CNNSI.com '' 2000 Bloody Monday '' Does NFL star Ray Lewis' arrest for murder taint the game? '' Friday March 03, 2000 02:02 PM". Sportsillustrated.cnn.com. March 3, 2000 . Retrieved January 30, 2013 . ^ "Lewis murder charges dropped". CNNSI . Retrieved October 18, 2010 . ^ "LawScope.com". Artclu.com. June 12, 2000 . Retrieved January 30, 2013 . ^ Schrotenboer, Brent (January 12, 2013). "Slayings not forgotten, Ray Lewis not forgiven". USA Today . Retrieved January 30, 2013 . ^ Morgan, Jon; Athans, Marego (June 7, 2000). "Cognac, knives and fists". ^ Yahoo! Sports: Ray Lewis, the shy, quiet kid from Connestee Street, dealing with the pain of ailing grandmother. January 28, 2013. ^ "Lewis murder charges dropped". CNN. June 5, 2000. Archived from the original on February 13, 2014. ^ "NFL Fines Ray Lewis $250,000 '' ABC News". Abcnews.go.com . Retrieved September 28, 2010 . ^ a b "Ravens' Lewis reaches settlement with victim's daughter". Sportsline.com. May 2, 2004. Archived from the original on November 26, 2007 . Retrieved September 28, 2010 . ^ Gordon, Chris (June 12, 2000). "Two Friends of Baltimore Ravens Ray Lewis Found Not Guilty in the Superbowl (sic) Murder Trial". LawScope.com. ^ Florio, Mike. "Ray Lewis once again dances around issue of Super Bowl XXXIV murders". Pro Football Talk. NBC Sports . Retrieved February 11, 2013 . ^ Pierce, Scott (February 5, 2013). "Pierce: CBS needs to waive Shannon Sharpe after Ray Lewis interview". Salt Lake Tribune . Retrieved February 11, 2013 . ^ Billick, Brian (June 27, 2013). "Ravens' handling of Ray Lewis case a lesson in managing crisis". NFL Enterprises. ^ Players to rave about, Pro Football Weekly, 2000, archived from the original on August 20, 2013 ^ "Features '' NFL pro football articles and coverage from Pro Football Weekly". Pro Football Weekly. 2002. Archived from the original on September 25, 2009. ^ "No. 18: The ultimate defender '-- Ray Lewis". USA Today. June 28, 2007 . Retrieved May 22, 2010 . ^ Glazer, Jay (June 13, 2003). "Most dominant in NFL? Ponder the Raven". CBSSports.com. Archived from the original on October 17, 2007 . Retrieved August 20, 2013 . ^ Jones, Luke (February 7, 2013). "Ravens have plans for ring, statue in works". WNST.net . Retrieved May 15, 2013 . ^ "NFL Network's A FOOTBALL LIFE to Return 9/12". tv.broadwayworld.com . Retrieved September 11, 2012 . ^ Gallo, DJ (January 2, 2008). "More grace and goodwill from the '72 Dolphins". ESPN Page 2. ESPN . Retrieved January 22, 2012 . ^ "Sayers, Lewis Launch S&L Racing". The Auto Channel. March 23, 2006 . Retrieved December 16, 2009 . ^ "NFL star Ray Lewis turned away by NASCAR? Starts Champ Car team". NASCAR News. April 10, 2007. Archived from the original on July 19, 2012 . Retrieved December 16, 2009 . ^ Hensley, Jamison (January 2, 2013). "Ray Lewis to retire after season". ESPN.com. ^ Shaffer, Jonas. "Former Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis reportedly out as ESPN analyst". ^ "FOX hires Ray Lewis". June 20, 2017. ^ Hensley, Jamison (February 4, 2017). "Ray Lewis beats Tony Gonzalez in 'Lip Sync Battle' with familiar song". ESPN . Retrieved March 3, 2019 . ^ Trepany, Charles (September 30, 2019). " ' Dancing With the Stars': Ray Lewis and Cheryl Burke bow out of the competition". USA Today . Retrieved October 1, 2019 . ^ "Media Advisory '' North Avenue to be Renamed 'Ray Lewis Way ' ". Baltimore Ravens. March 10, 2010 . Retrieved January 28, 2011 . ^ "Player Bios (A '' O)" (PDF) . Archived from the original (PDF) on March 25, 2009 . Retrieved September 28, 2010 . ^ "Player Season Finder Query Results". Pro-Football-Reference.com . Retrieved January 28, 2011 . ^ "Wes Welker's Wife Rips Ray Lewis -- He's a TERRIBLE PERSON". TMZ. January 21, 2013 . Retrieved September 13, 2016 . ^ "Ray Lewis' Girlfriend, Mother and Children". Player Wives. May 1, 2013 . Retrieved September 9, 2014 . ^ "Ray Lewis' son transfers to Coastal Carolina". Fox News. January 13, 2015 . Retrieved March 28, 2015 . ^ Prudente, Tim (August 18, 2016). "South Carolina grand jury indicts Ray Lewis' son on charge of criminal sexual conduct". The Baltimore Sun . Retrieved February 21, 2017 . ^ Hays, Chris. "Family relieved as Ray Lewis III cleared of sexual assault charges". orlandosentinel.com. The Orlando Sentinel . Retrieved September 17, 2019 . ^ Roman Stubbs (September 1, 2017). "Rayshad Lewis has 'the perfect setup' at Maryland, says Hall of Fame dad Ray Lewis". The Washington Post . Retrieved October 1, 2017 . ^ Shaffer, Jonas (August 10, 2016). "Ray Lewis tweets strange thing about Michael Phelps' medal count, deletes it". The Baltimore Sun . Retrieved September 9, 2016 . ^ "After Nearly Dying, Michael Phelps Admits The Secret That Saved His Life And Made Him Swim Again". qpolitical.com. August 5, 2016. Archived from the original on September 16, 2016 . Retrieved September 9, 2016 . Further reading External links Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ray Lewis . Official website Career statistics and player information from NFL.com · ESPN · Pro-Football-ReferenceRay Lewis on IMDbBaltimore Ravens bioRay Lewis'--awards, championships, and honors
Nate Boyer - Wikipedia
Mon, 25 Nov 2019 12:53
Nate Boyer (born January 9, 1981) is a former American football long snapper and United States Army Green Beret. After serving six years and multiple tours for the Army in both Iraq and Afghanistan, Boyer played college football as a walk-on at the University of Texas despite never having played a down of organized football in his life. He was signed by the Seattle Seahawks as an undrafted free agent in 2015.
Early life [ edit ] Boyer grew up in El Cerrito, California, and attended Amador Valley High School before transferring to Valley Christian School. His father is a veterinarian and his mother is an environmental engineer. After graduating high school, Boyer briefly worked as a deck hand on a sport fishing boat in San Diego. He also trained to become a firefighter before quitting.[1] After high school graduation in 1999,[2] Boyer moved to Hollywood to pursue an acting career. In 2004, he became a relief worker in Sudan, building camps for refugees of the War in Darfur.[2] After a short tenure there, he enlisted in the United States Army, training at Fort Benning,[3] and later was accepted into the Green Berets. After multiple tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan, Boyer earned an honorable discharge after six years of service.[4]
College career [ edit ] Despite never playing a down of organized football in his life, Boyer played for the University of Texas as a walk-on. He was a redshirt for his freshman year in 2010, while playing once in 2011 against Texas Tech as a member of the kickoff team. The following year, he became the team's starting long snapper,[2] and played 38 consecutive games for the Longhorns.[3] From 2012''2014, he was a first-team Academic All-Big 12 Conference member, while also being named an Academic All-American in 2012. He was also named the 2012''13 Big 12 Sportsperson of the Year, the third Longhorn to be honored, and was the inaugural winner of the Armed Forces Merit Award. From 2013''14, he was a semifinalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy. In 2015, he was named to the NFF Hampshire Honor Society, which recognizes athletes with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.2 during their college careers.[5]
Boyer graduated in May 2013 with a physical culture and sports degree.[5]
Professional career [ edit ] Boyer was not invited to the NFL Scouting Combine, though he attended Texas' Pro Day on March 24.[6] Boyer later attended the San Francisco 49ers' Pro Day on April 17.[1]
After going undrafted in the 2015 NFL Draft, Boyer signed a free agent contract with the Seattle Seahawks on May 2.[7] He was involved in three plays in the Seahawks' first preseason game against the Denver Broncos,[8] and recorded a tackle. He was released by the Seahawks on August 18 to make room for quarterback Jake Waters.[9]
In popular culture [ edit ] In 2017, Boyer appeared in the Madden NFL 18 video game's story mode Longshot, in which he portrayed Captain McCarthy, a soldier who assisted protagonist Devin Wade in rediscovering a love for football.[10] Like Boyer, Devin was both a Texas Longhorn and member of the Army, though Boyer stated the connection was coincidental; an ESPN documentary about Boyer was also titled The Long Shot.[11]
References [ edit ] ^ a b Inman, Cam (April 17, 2015). "Green Beret Nate Boyer relishes his audition at 49ers pro day". San Jose Mercury News . Retrieved August 30, 2015 . ^ a b c Davis, Nate (May 2, 2015). "Former Green Beret and Texas long snapper Nate Boyer hopes to hook on in NFL". USA Today . Retrieved August 30, 2015 . ^ a b King, Peter (April 6, 2015). "The NFL's Most Improbable Prospect". Sports Illustrated . Retrieved August 30, 2015 . ^ William Wilkerson (September 13, 2012). "Life experiences fuel Nate Boyer". ESPN . Retrieved May 23, 2015 . ^ a b "Nate Boyer". Texas Longhorns . Retrieved August 30, 2015 . ^ a b "Nate Boyer". NFL Draft Scout . Retrieved August 30, 2015 . ^ Smith, Michael David (May 2, 2015). "Seahawks sign 34-year-old Green Beret Nate Boyer". Profootballtalk.com . Retrieved August 30, 2015 . ^ "Broncos vs. Seahawks - Play-By-Play". ESPN . Retrieved August 30, 2015 . ^ Henderson, Brady (August 18, 2015). "Seahawks release former Green Beret Nate Boyer to create room to add QB". ESPN . Retrieved August 30, 2015 . ^ EA Tiburon (August 25, 2017). Madden NFL 18. EA Sports. Julia: 8,000 miles from home, and it was this place that brought you back to football? / McCarthy: I'll field that one, if you don't mind. You see, I knew who Devin was. I don't know if the other guys knew, but when he got here, he was reclusive, always had his head down. Year or so in, I decided to give him a little push. So I hid these footballs around, here and there. Boy, did he ever take the bait. ^ Lilley, Kevin (August 18, 2017). "Army plays supporting role in 'Madden 18' story mode ... and so does a former Green Beret". Army Times . Retrieved September 5, 2017 . External links [ edit ] Official website
nate boyer - Google Search
Mon, 25 Nov 2019 12:53
Must Reads: The ex-Green Beret who inspired Colin Kaepernick to ...
https://www.latimes.com 'º la-sp-kaepernick-kneel-boyer-20180916-story
Sep 17, 2018 · Nate Boyer, a former Green Beret who tried out as a long snapper for the Seattle Seahawks, became an unwitting consultant to then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick before his protest against racial inequality during the national anthem caught fire.
Mia Isabella - Wikipedia
Mon, 25 Nov 2019 12:37
Mia Isabella (born July 30, 1985)[1] is an American transgender former pornographic actress.[3]
Early life [ edit ] Isabella was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, but spent most of her childhood in Tennessee before returning to Chicago as a teenager.[2] She is of French, Puerto Rican, and Jamaican descent.[1] Between the ages of 8 and 18, she played the violin at least two hours daily.[3] She graduated from high school at 16 years old, attended the Art Institute of Chicago, and owned a luxury designer boutique.[3] She has a fashion degree from Paris Fashion Institute.[4]
Career [ edit ] Isabella entered the adult film industry in 2005 at the age of 19 and did her first scene with Yasmin Lee and Kayla Coxxx in T-Girls 3 for Anabolic Video.[4] She took a hiatus from porn when she was 21 years old and returned at age 23.[2] In January 2014, she retired from porn.[3]
Mainstream media appearances [ edit ] In 2013, Isabella voiced a character known as "Prostitute #1" in the video game Grand Theft Auto V.[5] She was also among the pornographic actresses who appeared in the welcome home party scene for Jax Teller after his release from prison in the Season 7 premiere of Sons of Anarchy, which aired on September 9, 2014.[6]
Personal life [ edit ] Isabella got married when she was 20 years old and the marriage lasted four years.[3] At age 22, she underwent facial feminization surgery which consisted of chin, jawline, and nasal bone reduction and a mid and upper facelift.[2] She also underwent a second breast augmentation surgery.[2] In September 2010, she had a rhinoplasty, her chin shaved down, cheek implants, another mid and upper facelift, and her right breast corrected, which did not heal properly in her previous surgery.[2]
Awards and nominations [ edit ] YearCeremonyResultCategoryWork2010Urban X Award[7]NominatedBest Ethnic Transsexual SiteMia-Isabella.com2011AVN Award[8]NominatedBest Alternative Web SiteNominatedTranssexual Performer of the YearN/AUrban X Award[9]WonTranssexual Performer of the YearN/AXBIZ Award[10]WonTranssexual Performer of the YearN/A2012AVN Award[11]NominatedTranssexual Performer of the YearN/ANominatedBest Alternative WebsiteMia-Isabella.comNightMoves Award[12]WonBest Transsexual Performer (Editor's Choice)N/AXBIZ Award[13]NominatedTranssexual Performer of the YearN/ANominatedTranssexual Site of the YearMia-Isabella.com2013XBIZ Award[14]NominatedTranssexual Site of the Year2014XBIZ Award[15]NominatedTranssexual Site of the YearReferences [ edit ] ^ a b c d e Mia Isabella at the Internet Adult Film Database ^ a b c d e f g h Miss Lagsalot (October 19, 2010). "Mia Isabella '-- "Having a big cock and being so girly made me feel uncomfortable growing up. " ". WHACK!. Archived from the original on August 9, 2011 . Retrieved September 11, 2014 . ^ a b c d e Diana Tourjee (February 22, 2016). "Beyond the Tyga Sex Scandal: The Real Life of Trans Porn Star Mia Isabella". Vice . Retrieved February 22, 2016 . ^ a b "Mia Isabella - Der transsexuelle Superstar aus den USA im Interview". German-Adult-News. October 29, 2010 . Retrieved September 11, 2014 . ^ Rhett Pardon (October 1, 2013). "TS Porn Star Mia Isabella Lends Voice on 'Grand Theft Auto V ' ". XBIZ . Retrieved September 11, 2014 . ^ Lila Gray (September 10, 2014). "Final 'Sons Of Anarchy' Season Premieres With Bevy of Porn Stars". XBIZ . Retrieved September 11, 2014 . ^ "2010 Urban X Award Nominees". Urban X Awards. May 19, 2010. Archived from the original on March 11, 2012 . Retrieved September 11, 2014 . ^ "Nominations for the 2011 AVN Awards" (PDF) . AVN Awards. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 29, 2013 . Retrieved September 11, 2014 . ^ Peter Warren (July 25, 2011). "2011 Urban X Award Winners Announced". AVN . Retrieved September 11, 2014 . ^ Dan Miller (February 11, 2011). "2011 XBIZ Award Winners Announced". XBIZ . Retrieved September 11, 2014 . ^ "AVN Awards 2012 - Nominations" (PDF) . AVN Awards. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 29, 2013 . Retrieved September 11, 2014 . ^ "Past Winner History". NightMoves. Archived from the original on December 19, 2013 . Retrieved September 11, 2014 . ^ "2012 Nominees". XBIZ Awards. Archived from the original on January 31, 2012 . Retrieved September 11, 2014 . ^ "2013 Nominees". XBIZ Awards. Archived from the original on December 25, 2012 . Retrieved September 11, 2014 . ^ "Nominees". XBIZ Awards. Archived from the original on October 6, 2014 . Retrieved September 11, 2014 . External links [ edit ] Official website Mia Isabella on IMDbMia Isabella at the Internet Adult Film DatabaseMia Isabella at the Adult Film Database
colin kaepernick with trayvon hoodie - Google Search
Mon, 25 Nov 2019 12:32
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Harry Edwards (sociologist) - Wikipedia
Mon, 25 Nov 2019 12:27
Harry Edwards (born November 22, 1942) is an American sociologist and civil rights activist. He completed his Ph.D. at Cornell University and is Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the University of California, Berkeley. Edwards' career has focused on the experiences of African-American athletes.
Career [ edit ] Edwards' career has focused on the experiences of African-American athletes and he is a strong advocate of black participation in the management of professional sports. He has served as a staff consultant to the San Francisco 49ers football team and to the Golden State Warriors basketball team. He has also been involved in recruiting black talent for front-office positions in major league baseball.
Author of The Revolt of the Black Athlete, Edwards was the architect of the Olympic Project for Human Rights, which led to the Black Power Salute protest by two African-American athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos, both San Jose State College athletes, at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City. Years earlier, Edwards had been a discus thrower on the San Jose State track team.[2]
The New York Times Magazine wrote that Edwards "has seen himself as one who provokes and incites others to action, a reformer, not a revolutionary. And indeed, no other single figure in sports has done as much to make the country aware that the problems of the larger culture are recapitulated in sports, that the arena is no sanctuary from drugs, racism and corruption."[3]
Edwards told Time magazine that he "wants to serve as a role model'--the promising athlete who gave up the possibility of a career in professional sports to become a scholar instead."[4] "We must teach our children to dream with their eyes open," he said. "The chances of your becoming a Jerry Rice or a Magic Johnson are so slim as to be negligible. Black kids must learn to distribute their energies in a way that's going to make them productive, contributing citizens in an increasingly high-technology society.[5]
In 1989, Edwards drew criticism for scheduling a midterm examination for one of his classes on Yom Kippur.[6]
In 2014, the University of Texas at Austin established a lecture forum in Edwards' name, the "Dr. Harry Edwards Lectures on Sport and Society". However, in 2016, Edwards rescinded all association and affiliation with the lecture forum as a result of the implementation of the State of Texas "campus concealed carry law" at the university.[7][8]
Edwards is a commentator in 2016 documentary miniseries O.J.: Made in America. He also made a cameo appearance as himself in the 2019 film High Flying Bird.[9]
Publications [ edit ] Black Students. New York: Free Press. 1970. LCCN 79116809. Sociology of Sport. Homewood, Illinois: Dorsey Press. 1973. ISBN 0256014159. LCCN 72095401. The Struggle That Must Be: an autobiography . New York: Macmillan. 1980. ISBN 0025350404. LCCN 80021034. Playing to Win: A Short Guide to Sensible Black Sports Participation. Berkeley, California: Institute for the Study of Social Change. 1982. The Revolt of the Black Athlete. With a foreword by Samuel J. Skinner, Jr. Ontario: Collier-Macmillan Limited. 1985. LCCN 70085475. CS1 maint: others (link) In addition to articles and essays in Sports Illustrated and Psychology Today, Edwards has written the following:
"For Blacks, a Life in Sports Is No Different From Life: A Reflection of Society A Threat to Survival 'Sporting Chance' Disputed Only the Best Are Kept Neglect of Other Pursuits". New York Times (sports). May 6, 1979. ISSN 0362-4331. ProQuest document ID 120866836. ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times (1851-2008) (subscription required) "Educating black athletes". Atlantic Monthly, August 1983, 253(2)."Black student-athletes: taking responsibility". California Living, 1984; reprinted in Representative American Speeches. W. W. Wilson Co., 1984."Perpetuating Illusions". New York Times, THE WEEK IN REVIEW. May 19, 1985. p. E22. ISSN 0362-4331. ProQuest document ID 111167040. ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times (1851-2008) (subscription required) Further reading [ edit ] Baltimore Sun, November 8, 1987.Ebony, October, 1987.Newsday, July 24, 1987; November 23, 1989.Sport, December, 1987.Notes [ edit ] References [ edit ] External links [ edit ] Litsky, Frank (June 12, 1987). "Edwards Advising Ueberroth". The New York Times . Retrieved 2012-05-03 . NYTimes article about Edwards' work with MLBBiography on Answers.comRuffin II, Herbert G. (2009-02-17). "Edwards, Harry (1942--)". BlackPast.org Remembered & Reclaimed; An Online Reference Guide to African American History . Retrieved 2012-05-02 . "Harry Edwards Biography". The HistoryMakers . Retrieved 2012-05-02 . "Harry (Jr.) Edwards". Contemporary Authors Online (fee, via Fairfax County Public Library) . Detroit: Gale. January 22, 1983. GALE|H1080026698 . Retrieved 2012-05-03 . Gale Biography In Context. Interview.
Call A Chiropractor, NFL & Jay-Z Bent Out of Shape Over Colin Kaepernick's Perfect Form - Foreign policy
Mon, 25 Nov 2019 12:06
Colin Kaepernick shocked the media last weekend when he, at the last minute, changed the location of his NFL sponsored workout. According to Kaepernick, this decision was due to disagreements with the NFL over media coverage and a disputed waiver.
The new venue was at a high-school football facility 45 miles away from the original location in Atlanta. This made it difficult for club representatives who had flown in for the event to travel there.
Only a small fraction of the teams were able to attend the workout at this new venue. And despite the drama, several NFL executives and sports analysts were still impressed with Kaepernick's capabilities as a quarterback.
During the workout itself, Kaepernick spent 40 minutes throwing with receivers. He also made a statement for the press.
Afterward, sports analysts at the Boston Globe reported that Kaepernick ''showed that even at 32 years old, with nearly three years away from football, he still has a great arm''.
CBS Sports reporter, Jason La Canfora also commented on how Kaepernick looked. Speaking on Twitter, he said:
''Colin Kaepernick got some very positive feedback from the scouts in attendance about his elite arm strength and ability to throw the deep ball''.
It is evident that Kaepernick is physically ready to be back on the field. However, his disputes with the NFL show that there is a lot more to football than just playing the game. Pro athletes need chiropractors as well as good business and public relations advisors to help them make the right decisions.
The NFL and Jay-Z DisappointedSource:tmz.comKaepernick's change of venues not only restricted his in-person exposure to executives and talent scouts, it also hurt his relationship with the NFL.
In an official statement, the NFL said, ''We are disappointed that colin did not appear for his workout''.
They also laid out several ways that they had tried to accommodate Kaepernick's increasing requests. However, they could not budge on turning the 'private event' into a public one.
NFL entertainment and activism partner, Jay-Z, also had thoughts on the matter. One source reported he was ''disappointed with Colin's actions and believes he turned a legitimate workout into a publicity stunt.''
Pro athletes need chiropractors and good business advisorsColin Kaepernick's latest media fiasco shows that pro athletes need chiropractors such as Renew Chiropractic and other specialized advisors for their careers. Relationships with the press, the NFL, and other high-profile organizations can be difficult to navigate. And Kaepernick would have benefited from public relations advice in this situation.
It is not enough anymore to just be a talented athlete. Players must be able to work together with organizations, negotiate good deals, and learn how to compromise.
Kaepernick's dust up with the NFL is now a distraction in the news. The headlines are not about how he looked as an athlete. They're about how difficult he is to work with.
Here comes the circus: Raucous judiciary panel set to reclaim impeachment
Mon, 25 Nov 2019 11:50
| November 25, 2019 12:01 AM
The House impeachment proceedings against President Trump are soon heading back to the Judiciary Committee, where partisan bickering and theatrics during public hearings last summer prompted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to shift the investigation to the House Intelligence Committee.
The intelligence panel appears to have wrapped up a series of public hearings. No new hearings or depositions have been scheduled.
Under an Oct. 31 resolution passed by Democrats, the matter is supposed to fall back to the Judiciary Committee, which will hold its own hearings and draft articles of impeachment against Trump.
Judiciary Committee hearings, an aide told the Washington Examiner, ''could begin in early December,'' when lawmakers return from the Thanksgiving recess.
The next step in the impeachment process will be to return the spotlight to Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, who had fallen out of favor with Pelosi after he conducted a series of raucous public hearings, including several he labeled ''impeachment proceedings.''
The New York Democrat held the high-profile hearings even though Pelosi had yet to formally sanction an impeachment investigation into Trump. Nadler had already held several public hearings that lawmakers in both parties said were partisan and theatrical.
At one hearing, a Judiciary Committee Democrat ate chicken on the dais after Attorney General William Barr refused to come and testify.
"Chicken Barr should have shown up today and answered questions," Rep. Steve Cohen of Tennessee said as he dug into a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken.
Nadler's hearings, lawmakers in both parties said recently, had veered toward the ridiculous.
He summoned convicted felon and Watergate figure John Dean to testify about impeachment, and he scheduled a hearing featuring Playboy model Karen McDougal and adult film actress Stormy Daniels, who said Trump paid them hush money to stay silent about liaisons.
Other Judiciary Committee hearings, including a Sept. 17 proceeding featuring ex-Trump aide Corey Lewandowski, devolved into shouting matches between lawmakers and combative witnesses.
Democrats lamented that the theatrics would make the investigation seem less than serious.
''It becomes ridiculous,'' said Rep. Eliot Engel of New York. ''When you have witnesses who come to the committee and refuse to answer questions, it actually shows the administration's contempt for Congress.''
Pelosi finally endorsed an impeachment investigation into Trump in late September, but only after taking the proceedings away from Nadler and handing them over to Adam Schiff and the traditionally less partisan, more subdued Intelligence Committee.
Pelosi has heaped praise on Schiff's handling of the investigations, which included five weeks of closed-door testimony and two weeks of public hearings.
Nadler has been mostly sidelined from impeachment, at least publicly.
His panel has been busy advancing legislation, including a bill to decriminalize marijuana and a measure that would help advance an Equal Rights Amendment.
The Judiciary proceedings, however, are poised to be far more partisan and divisive once Schiff sends over the impeachment matter.
The 41-member panel pits some of the most liberal, pro-impeachment Democrats against the many conservative GOP lawmakers who are staunch supporters of the president.
The top Republican on the panel, Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia, sent a six-page letter to Nadler this week, demanding to know the conditions Nadler plans to set for impeachment hearings, whether panel members will have access to all unredacted transcripts, and whether Trump's White House lawyer, Pat Cipollone, will be allowed to call witnesses.
''The Democrat impeachment crusade lacks the due process protections afforded in all past presidential impeachments, including those afforded to President Clinton by Republicans,'' Collins wrote to Nadler.
Under the Oct. 31 resolution that set the rules for the impeachment proceedings, Nadler would have the first opportunity in the formal investigation to allow Trump to defend himself through the participation of Cipollone.
But it's not clear yet whether Nadler will hold a hearing that would allow Cipollone to participate. The Oct. 31 resolution ''establishes opportunities'' for Trump or Cipollone to participate but does not appear to require it.
The judiciary panel could skip a hearing and instead hold a proceeding to vote on articles of impeachment.
Such a move would break with precedent.
The House Judiciary Committee in December 1998 held a two-day hearing that included the participation of Clinton's counsel on impeachment, Gregory Craig.
Democrats are poised to draft several articles of impeachment against Trump, including obstruction of Congress and abuse of power.
Pelosi, speaking to reporters in the Capitol before the Thanksgiving recess, said Democrats were assessing the evidence they have gathered so far and are determining if they should call more witnesses.
''Well, we're moving at the pace that truth takes us,'' Pelosi said. ''And when more evidence unfolds, if that requires more time, that's when we'll go.''
Patterico's Pontifications >> What Exactly Did Rudy Offer This Criminal in Return for Dirt on Joe Biden?
Mon, 25 Nov 2019 11:35
There's a lot to digest in this New York Times story about Rudy Giuliani's efforts to get dirt on Joe Biden, including Giuliani's contacts with an oligarch under indictment, for whom Giuliani appears to have done some high-level criminal defense legal work:
In the case of Mr. Firtash, an energy tycoon with deep ties to the Kremlin who is facing extradition to the United States on bribery and racketeering charges, one of Mr. Giuliani's associates has described offering the oligarch help with his Justice Department problems '-- if Mr. Firtash hired two lawyers who were close to President Trump and were already working with Mr. Giuliani on his dirt-digging mission. Mr. Firtash said the offer was made in late June when he met with Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, both Soviet-born businessmen involved in Mr. Giuliani's Ukraine pursuit.
Mr. Parnas's lawyer, Joseph A. Bondy, confirmed that account and added that his client had met with Mr. Firtash at Mr. Giuliani's direction and encouraged the oligarch to help in the hunt for compromising information ''as part of any potential resolution to his extradition matter.''
How would Giuliani have any sway over an extradition matter supervised by federal law enforcement? It's not Rudy knows some guy in charge of federal law enforcement who wants dirt on Biden and loves Russia and has the power to do something about a federal criminal prosecution'...
OK, fine, but it's not like Giuliani actually did anything for this Firtash guy. Or did he? Remember this other New York Times story?
Several weeks ago, Brian A. Benczkowski, the head of the Justice Department's Criminal Division, and lawyers from the division's Fraud Section met with Mr. Giuliani to discuss a bribery case in which he and other attorneys were representing the defendants.
That meeting took place before the United States attorney's office in Manhattan publicly charged the two Giuliani associates, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, with breaking campaign finance laws and trying to unlawfully influence politicians, including former Representative Pete Sessions, Republican of Texas. Mr. Parnas and Mr. Fruman were part of Mr. Giuliani's effort to push Ukraine for an inquiry into Democrats.
''When Mr. Benczkowski and fraud section lawyers met with Mr. Giuliani, they were not aware of any investigation of Mr. Giuliani's associates in the Southern District of New York and would not have met with him had they known,'' said Peter Carr, a department spokesman.
So who was the client in the bribery case? Giuliani's meeting with DoJ officials was first reported by the New York Times here. I can't seem to find a source in which the client is identified, but the piece does describe it as a very, very sensitive foreign bribery case related to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act:
A few weeks ago, Mr. Giuliani secured a meeting, along with some other defense lawyers, with the head of the Justice Department's criminal division and attorneys in the fraud section. They were there to discuss a foreign bribery case for a client that Mr. Giuliani described as ''very, very sensitive.''
. . . .
In the case of his recent meeting at the Justice Department, Mr. Giuliani declined to identify the client or subject covered, saying, ''None of your business.'' He said he was one of several lawyers working on the case who attended.
''It's a completely privileged meeting,'' he said, ''but it was a perfectly appropriate meeting.''
Mr. Giuliani requested the meeting to discuss a case related to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which bars Americans from bribing foreign officials, according to people familiar with the meeting. They said it was attended by Brian A. Benczkowski, the assistant attorney general in charge of the Justice Department's Criminal Division.
So how did DoJ describe the indictment of Firtash? You guessed it! It's a very, very sensitive foreign bribery case related to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act:
A federal indictment returned under seal in June 2013 and unsealed today charges six foreign nationals, including a Ukrainian businessman and a government official in India, with participating in an alleged international racketeering conspiracy involving bribes of state and central government officials in India to allow the mining of titanium minerals. Five of the six defendants are also charged with conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), among other offenses.
. . . .
One defendant, Dmitry Firtash, aka ''Dmytro Firtash'' and ''DF,'' 48, a Ukrainian national, was arrested March 12, 2014, in Vienna, Austria. Firtash was released from custody on March 21, 2014, after posting 125 million euros (approximately $174 million) bail, and he pledged to remain in Austria until the end of extradition proceedings.
What a coinkidink!
You tell me, but to me it sounds a lot like Giuliani promised this Firtash guy help with his case '-- and delivered, using his connections with Trump to leverage a meeting with the guy running the Criminal Division (a guy, Brian Benczkowski, who has ties to a prominent Russian bank, by the way, who helped Barr make an instantaneous determination that the Ukranian mess was not criminal action on Trump's part) '-- apparently in trade for help with getting dirt on Biden.
Another day in Donald Trump's America.
Are Indian-American Voters Ready to Embrace Kamala Harris? - POLITICO Magazine
Mon, 25 Nov 2019 11:30
''I want you to know that Mother India embraces you as one of their own,'' Ramesh Kapur exclaimed to the delight of the roughly 30 Indian-American donors gathered at his home in Winchester, Massachusetts, on a chilly January day in 2016. Kapur is a longtime Democratic fundraiser, and the recipient of his rhetorical embrace that day was Kamala Harris, then a candidate for the U.S. Senate.
Harris' crowd-pleasing response'--she threw up her hands and loudly exclaimed, ''Yes!'''--convinced Kapur of her Indian-American bona fides, he says. This year, he plans to raise $10 million from Indian-American donors for Harris' 2020 presidential campaign.
Story Continued Below
Will the rest of the Indian-American community coalesce around her, too? Harris, whose late mother was born in India, is the first Indian-American candidate to make a serious run at the presidency. (Bobby Jindal, the former Louisiana governor, never cracked the upper tiers of a massive Republican field in 2016.) But her public image so far has been more closely associated with the other half of her heritage, that of her Jamaican father: She is the most prominent African-American woman to make a serious run at the presidency in recent decades, and the only one in the 2020 race so far.
As her candidacy takes shape, polling and interviews suggest that the Indian-American community is still making up its mind about whether, and when, to get behind Harris. The University of California, Riverside's, Karthick Ramakrishnan conducted a poll of Asian American voters in October 2018, a few months before Harris announced her presidential run, and found that more than half of Indian Americans said they viewed her favorably'--but also that one in five Indian-Americans weren't even aware of her connection to the Indian-American community.
In conversations with 17 Indian-American fundraisers, political activists and voters, most told me they are proud and excited to see Harris in the race. On Wednesday morning, the Indian American Impact Fund, an influential political action committee, is endorsing Harris in the 2020 presidential race. ''She is a tested leader who has demonstrated, throughout her career, a strong commitment to our community's progressive and pluralistic values,'' says Aruna Miller, executive director of the PAC. ''Her being Indian-American'--we're thrilled about that.''
But many of the Indian-American sources I talked to said they see Harris as just one of many possible candidates and are not yet ready to throw their support to her, instead withholding their endorsements and votes until they see more of her and her competitors. Harris also faces another surprising challenge: Some religiously driven Indian-Americans are backing Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, a non-Indian candidate, and a long shot, who is a practicing Hindu. (Harris is Christian.)
Asked to comment about her appeal and outreach to Indian-American voters, Harris submitted a statement to Politico Magazine : ''I want to ensure that this campaign is a reflection of the America I hope to represent in the White House'--from staff to supporters to the voters we engage and mobilize. That's how we will build a broad coalition unified behind the vision of an America that restores truth and justice.'' She cited the influence of her Indian grandfather, a diplomat, in helping her to appreciate the ''importance of democracy and a government that represents the people'--all the people.''
Indian-Americans are a relatively small proportion of voters'--about 4 million in the United States'--and they skew Democratic. Seventy-seven percent of Indian-Americans voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016. But they're also a growing and increasingly engaged population, with high turnout rates. In 2016, Indian-American turnout was 62 percent, just above the country's overall turnout rate of 61.4 percent and surpassing the rates for both Hispanics and African-Americans, as well.
Indian-Americans are also among the most affluent voters in the country, making them a powerful potential donor base. They are estimated to have raised at least $10 million for Clinton's campaign. In the 2018 midterms, their mobilization helped to catapult a record number of Indian-Americans into Congress, such that, for the first time, Indian-Americans constitute 1 percent of House membership, in line with their representation in the general population.
In public statements and appearances, Harris doesn't shy away from her Indian heritage. Just minutes into her announcement rally in Oakland, California, she told the crowd, ''My mother, Shyamala, came from India to study the science of fighting disease.'' In her memoir, The Truths We Hold, Harris writes that ''there is no title or honor on earth I'll treasure more than to say I am Shyamala Gopalan Harris's daughter.'' The same day she announced she was running for president, she tweeted a photo of herself as a young child with her mother in traditional Indian garb.
At the same time, Harris wrote in her memoir that her mother ''knew that her adopted homeland would see [my sister] Maya and me as black girls, and she was determined to make sure we would grow into confident, proud black women.'' Harris chose to attend Howard University, a historically black college, where she was a member of the African-American sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha. She has actively engaged black voters on the 2020 campaign trail, speaking, for example, at the Charleston Black Expo, a showcase for African-American entrepreneurs, in South Carolina earlier this year. While none of this detracts from her Indian-American identity, it might help to explain why many Indian-Americans aren't aware of it.
Lack of awareness of Harris' Indian background could depress her support particularly among older, first-generation immigrants who have spent the better part of a lifetime without a single Indian-American in Congress and, according to Miller, identify strongly with candidates who share their heritage. ''Their identity as an Indian is very strong and still very connected to the old country,'' Miller says. ''Whereas the younger generation '... there's probably a little bit more disconnect to the old country, to the old traditions, to the old ways of identifying who you are.''
The younger Indian-Americans I spoke with, who have watched the rise of Indian-American politicians like Jindal, Nikki Haley and Ami Bera, tended to be more ambivalent about whether Harris' heritage would influence their votes, focusing instead on the issues they care about, like immigration, civil rights, education and the environment.
Shelly Kapoor Collins is head of Shatter Fund, a venture firm that invests in female entrepreneurs and of which Harris was an early supporter. Collins says she was inundated with calls, many from Indian-American women, wanting to support Harris after the senator announced her bid for president. But while Collins and Harris joke around in Hindi'--Harris will tell Collins ''acha, thik hai,'' which in Hindi roughly translates to ''OK, cool'''--Collins' says her support for the senator is based on shared values, not shared heritage. ''I would support Kamala even if she weren't half-Indian,'' she told me. ''That has never factored into my decision to support her.''
Ashwini Venkatesan immigrated to the United States from India in 2005 and is now a naturalized citizen working as a tech professional in the Bay Area. ''I like her, but I'm not super-excited,'' she says of Harris, adding that she hasn't examined the candidates' agendas closely yet. ''Just being a woman or half-Indian doesn't do much for me. Environmental issues and education are my main priorities, and I don't see much initiative from Kamala Harris.'' (Harris has proposed a $315 billion, 10-year plan to boost teacher pay.) Venkatesan says her husband, Venkat, sees things differently: ''He thinks anything Trump says against her would be disastrous, and that she'll excite all of these key demographics'--women, Asians, African-Americans.''
Aastha Jha, an economics and public policy student at University of California, Berkeley, told me she made a point of attending Harris' announcement rally in Oakland with four South Asian friends. ''I figured that this was the first time an Indian-American was running for president, and it was literally just blocks from where I live,'' she says. She identifies with Harris'--like Harris' father, her own father is an economics professor'--and is excited about the prospect of an Indian-American president. But she's not sold yet. ''I've heard a lot of concerns about her time as attorney general and the policies she was in favor of, especially when it comes to criminal justice,'' Jha says. ''There's a bit of flip-flopping now, which is turning some people off. And I want to see more of her stances on social policies, like education and health care.'' (Jha says her family members are big fans of South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, with whom Jha herself is ''intrigued.'')
The lack of an Indian-American political consensus isn't surprising, according to Sunil Adam, editor-in-chief of India Abroad, a weekly publication covering Indian-American affairs. ''One cannot generalize with accuracy at all,'' he says. (Republicans, including Trump, have worked to cultivate Indian-American voters, too.)
For many Democratic Indian-American voters, like Democrats generally, electability in 2020 is top of mind. ''There's no data that I've seen that makes me believe that our voters want anything different as a top priority than to get Trump out of office,'' says Varun Nikore of AAPI Victory Fund, a super PAC focused on voters of Asian-American and Pacific Islander heritage whose coveted endorsement is expected after the organization's presidential forum this coming fall. ''I think that the amount of thought and discernment that's going to be done by Indian-Americans and Asian-Americans is going to be high. There is no lock that just because Kamala is Indian that Indians are going to naturally come out in droves for her.''
That point was underscored when Indian-American Congressman Ro Khanna'--who represents the district in Northern California with the highest concentration of Indian-Americans in the country'--endorsed Senator Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign. Khanna, who did not respond to a request for comment, also endorsed Sanders in 2016 over Clinton.
Adding to the uncertainty, Adam says, is the uncomfortable fact that not all Indian-Americans look favorably on the other, arguably more prominent, half of Harris' identity. ''Attitude toward race is a big factor. You could say that we look down upon African-Americans and consider ourselves a little more superior,'' he says. ''For some people, once the black element comes, it automatically dilutes her appeal.'' Indian racism toward African-Americans is well documented, though it's unclear how widespread these attitudes are among Indian-Americans or whether they would affect voting patterns.
Then there's Gabbard, another Democrat running for president, who is well known in the Indian-American community. Gabbard is Samoan-American, but she is a practicing Hindu. ''There are a large group of Indian-Americans who are Hindu who identify with their religion stronger than their country of origin,'' says MR Rangaswami, founder of Indiaspora, a nonprofit that works to increase Indian-American civic participation. ''The more conservative of the Democratic-leaning Indian-American voters will probably go more with Tulsi. And the more liberal, secular kind of crowd will go with Kamala.''
Samir Kalra, who is active in the Hindu-American community, says he is seeing enthusiastic support for Gabbard, who sits on the House India caucus and has been a vocal supporter of stronger India-U.S. relations. ''She's done a lot to reach out to the Indian Hindu American community,'' he says. But whereas Gabbard currently sits at the bottom of most major polls, Harris is toward the head of the pack, generally in fourth behind three white men: Joe Biden, Sanders and Buttigieg.
Harris has made an effort to reach out to Indian-American voters, as well. Last fall, she was the keynote speaker at a New York fundraiser for Pratham USA, an NGO that works to improve education for children in India. More recently, she served as an honorary co-host for a congressional briefing on immigration detention hosted by South Asian Americans Leading Together, or SAALT. Earlier this year, she and Republican Senator Mike Lee introduced a bill to get rid of per-country limits on employment-based green cards, a move that would help Indians in particular, who often face visa backlogs. In her Washington office, Harris also appointed Rohini Lakshmi Kosoglu as chief of staff'--believed to be the first South Asian to hold that position in the Senate.
Anurag Varma, a lawyer, Democratic donor and former vice president of the now shuttered Indian American Leadership Initiative, a PAC created to increase Indian-American representation in government, recalls getting a phone call from Harris during her bid for attorney general of California in 2010. ''She called us and said, 'Can I have breakfast with you guys?' So, we had breakfast and she essentially said, 'Wherever and whenever you need me, I'm here to help the next generation of Indian-American candidates,''' Varma recounts. ''Her commitment to the Indian community was obvious, and it is sincere.''
Ultimately, Indian-American voters who oppose Trump might decide that it is a safer bet for the general election not to nominate a woman, especially a woman of color. Or, Indian-Americans might clamor to support a different emerging front-runner because, as India Abroad's Adam puts it, ''we associate a lot with success.'' Like others, Varma believes Indian-Americans will evaluate Harris on her platform above all'--which isn't necessarily a bad thing. ''In the early 2000s, the goal was literally to have Indian-Americans as lawmakers, full stop. The fact of being Indian-American weighed heavily,'' he says. ''Now, the fact of being Indian-American is important. However, it's less and less the deciding factor.''
Senat investigates Dems and Hunter Biden Ukraine PDF letter
Mon, 25 Nov 2019 11:22
Crowdstrike: Cyber Security In a Hillary World - Helena
Mon, 25 Nov 2019 11:13
President Trump is bringing up an assertion that the previous government of Ukraine in conjunction with a US company, Crowdstrike, had a hand in the Trump Dossier and election meddling in 2016. Of course the old schoolers are furious that he would even suggest such a bald faced lie given everyone knows the meddling came from Russia '' proof positive per Crowdstrike's in-depth security analysis. Unfortunately, the Crowdstrike narrative was punched with Swiss cheese holes 2 years ago and while the stream has attempted to bury the story '' it still lives! Damn that Google for not eliminating every piece of evidence!
Any longer, when President Trump makes a comment or statement, no matter how mundane or abrupt, if the media goes berserk it is likely because the comment has backbone.
Crowdstrike was founded in 2011 by: George Kurtz formerly with McAfee, Dmitri Alperovitch also with McAfee whose family had fled the Soviet Union, and Greg Marston whose bio would seem to have been scrubbed. Interesting'...
Shawn Henry, a former Assistant Deputy at the FBI during the Clinton administration, is the current president of Crowdstrike while simultaneously serving and advising NBC, MSNBC and CNBC, while simultaneously serving as faculty at National Association of Corporate Directors. Busy!
Crowdstrike was responsible for the 2016 story that Russia hacked the DNC in order to get dirt on Hillary and favor Trump. They affirmed this because simultaneously they claimed Russia had immobilized 80% of Ukraine's missiles and only one country fit the cue '' Russia. This was their analysis. Their assessment was backed by James Comey. Since then, the methodology of Crowdstrike's determination came into question and was found to be highly defective according to The International Institute for Strategic Studies, but even more interestingly, by John McAfee.
McAfee's point is simply this: ''If you have the wherewithal to pull off a hack of that nature, you've got the wherewithal to hide who you are. Otherwise, you shouldn't be hacking. You know this.
So when someone says, ''Oh, the Russians did it,'' well, that's because someone in the incompetent government cybersecurity collective said, ''We traced it back, and it sure looks like the Russians because they used a hammertoss, which the Russians always use.
If I'm the Chinese, and I want to make it look like the Russians, I'll learn how to use hammertoss.''
The point McAfee is making is that simply asserting that a type of code has been used by a hacker in the past and every security expert knows this, it stands to reason that the hack would be hacked.
McAfee further stated, ''Hackers have become much more advanced than those trying to protect against them. We're like puppets on their strings. You know how easy it is to spoof an IP address? Thousands of programs will do it. You can do it multiple times, and it can't be traced back to you. You can make it point to anyone you want. The fact that it points to anybody at all tells me that's not the person who did it.''
Other cyber security firms have concurred with McAfee which makes Crowdstrike's narrative either profoundly incompetent, or it alludes to their bedfellow relationship with Clinton.
Crowdstrike was a nothing company until Google invested $100 million in 2015. Later additional investments from investment funds including Warberg Pincus helped lift Crowdstrike's prominence. Warberg's president is Timothy Geithner who was president of the NY Federal Reserve under Clinton and Secretary of Treasury under Obama. Geithner also serves on the boards of Bank for International Settlements (BIS), Bilderberg Group, and the Center For Global Development. Geithner's father and grandfather were principles in the Ford Foundation '' a serious manipulator within the mechanisms aligned with Soros Open Society '' among others.
When Geithner left his position as Treasury Secretary, he proposed Hillary Clinton as his successor.
Alperovitch is senior fellow at The Atlantic Council. The initial purpose of the Atlantic Council was to make sure Europe and the US were aligned. Council members are a who's who of the liberal Swamp: Chuck Hagel, James Jones, Susan Rice, Richard Holbrooke, etc'... etc'... etc'... Even the New York Times called out the Atlantic Council for receiving funding from 25 foreign governments. It's board has consisted of rather interesting fellows from the ranks of Clinton, Bush and Obama.
So why would they be backing a relatively obscure cyber security company, Crowdstrike, when there are literally hundreds of more mature companies to choose from?
Because, they can control the strings.
As McAfee had noted, the intel within the government during the Hillary/Obama reign was operating under the auspices of a bunch of old men with antiquated ideas who had no idea what the cyber world was capable of doing. McAfee's recommendation was to offer double salary to the best of the best, overlooking the died purple hair, ring in the nose, gumshoe wearing tye dyed tea shirt manifesto, who regularly smoked weed. In his esteemed analysis '' when you are looking for real cyber security, who the 'heck' cares what they look like, if they are the best in the field! Because that is why the US government remains in a pigeonhole of inability to compete '' we are so indoctrinated into manners, suits, and Harvard, that we lose what counts '' competence.
Instead, in the past, the US government has been more concerned with creating backup companies whose data can conform to a predetermined end point to support an agenda '' rather than an analysis of competent, intelligent, fact finding security.
President Trump's statement with regard to Crowdstrike, is likely the tip of their iceberg about to melt as all things always point back to '' Hillary.
American companies that are no longer American - Business Insider
Mon, 25 Nov 2019 10:31
At one time, there was nothing more American than sipping on an ice-cold Budweiser or biting into a Whopper. But those days are gone.
Times have changed and some of America's most famous brands have fallen into foreign hands.
We put together a list of the most surprising and popular consumer companies that are no longer able to truly call themselves American.
Take a look below:
Budweiser
Thomson Reuters Current owner: Anheuser-Busch InBev, Belgian brewers
Don't be fooled by Budweiser's rebrand. The cans may say "America" on them, but this beer is now owned by a Belgian company.
The history of Budweiser dates back to the 1850s when a German, Adolphus Busch, moved to St. Louis and married the daughter of a local brewer, Eberhard Anheuser . The two became partners, but Busch eventually took over the business and created the light, crisp lager we have today. His brewery became the nation's largest beer producer.
In 2008, the company was sold to Belgium beer conglomerate InBev for $52 billion .
Burger King
Facebook/Burger King Current owner: Restaurant Brands International, Canadian fast-food company
In 1954 James McLamore and David Edgerton opened a small hamburger shop called "Insta Burger King" in Miami, selling 18-cent hamburgers and milkshakes. Three years later, they dropped the "Insta," added a gas grill, and created the signature "Whopper" burger.
In 1967, the duo sold the chain to the Pillsbury Company and it became the second-largest burger chain in the US after McDonald's. In the decades that followed, the chain changed hands several times after a series of mergers and acquisitions with its parent company, before going public in 2006. In 2010 it was sold to private-equity firm 3G Capital and went back to being privately owned.
Today, it's part of Restaurant Brands International, a Canadian fast food company that was formed when Burger King merged with the Canadian coffee and doughnuts chain Tim Horton's. It is still backed by 3G Capital.
Trader Joe's
Roman Tiraspolsky / Shutterstock.com Current owner: Aldi Nord, German discount supermarket chain
Trader Joe's dates back to 1967 when California-based convenience store owner Joe Coulombe decided to start stocking obscure and discontinued foods in order to give himself an edge over impending competition from 7-Eleven.
The first Trader Joe's store is still open in California, but the business has since changed hands. It was bought by Theo Albrecht, owner of the German supermarket brand Aldi Nord, in 1979.
Lucky Strike
Shutterstock/Lenscap Photography Current owner: British American Tobacco company, a British tobacco company
Lucky Strike, once America's top-selling cigarette brand, was established in 1871 in Virginia and subsequently taken over by a large American tobacco company.
It fell into the hands of the Brits in the '70s when the British American Tobacco company bought its former owner.
American Apparel
Shutterstock/Tupungato Current owner: Gildan Activewear, Canadian clothing company
California brand American Apparel made a name for itself with its "Made in USA '-- Sweatshop Free," slogan, and it claimed that it was the largest clothing manufacturer in North America . This business model worked for two decades, but in 2015 the company filed for bankruptcy and spent two years trying to recover.
In 2017, the Canadian clothing company Gildan bought American Apparel's intellectual property rights '-- and some of its manufacturing equipment '-- for $88 million .
7-Eleven
Shutterstock/Tupungato Current owner: Seven & i Holdings, Japanese retail group
We have Jefferson Green to thank for convenience stores. Green was a Southland Ice Company employee in 1927 when he started selling milk, bread, and eggs from the ice house on Sundays and holidays when everything else was closed, according to the 7-Eleven company website. He renamed his store 7-Eleven to reflect the store's opening hours from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. This laid the foundations of the all-hours stores that we have today.
After the financial crash in 1987, the company was bought by Ito-Yokado, part of Seven & I Holdings, the Japanese parent company of the store today.
Sunglass Hut
Shutterstock/Hea