1208: Weeping Angels

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

3h 2m
January 16th, 2020
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Executive Producers: Sir Craig, Knight North to South, Sir Kevin McLaughlin Earl of Luna, John Benson, Dame Julie of Grand Isle Louisiana, Luke Bixler, Richard Kamphuis, Samuel Lichtenstein, Nickolas Miller

Associate Executive Producers: Gerald Poppy, Colin Preston, Sir Uncle Bob of Unincorporated Dekalb County Georgia, Baron Chris Speers, Sir Dave, Earl of America's Heartland and Saudi Arabia, Phil, Daniel Mariano, Tony Santos, Knight of South Jersey, Sir Keg of the Sring, Adam Barrett

Cover Artist: Nick the Rat

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CNN draws 7.3 million viewers for Iowa Democratic debate | TheHill
Thu, 16 Jan 2020 07:06
CNN's telecast of the seventh Democratic presidential debate on Tuesday night in Des Moines, Iowa, drew 7.3 million viewers, according to early numbers from Nielsen Media Research.
That is an increase from the 6.2 million viewers who watched the PBS-Politico debate broadcast in mid-December and the 6.5 million who watched the MSNBC debate the previous month.
The first Democratic debate, held in late June, drew by far the most viewers of the 2020 cycle, with 18.1 million tuning in across NBC, MSNBC and Telemundo.
In the 25- to 54-year-old demographic sought by advertisers, Tuesday night's debate drew 2.1 million viewers.
During the time the debate ran '-- from 9 to 11:15 p.m. ET '-- Fox
News delivered 3.1 million total viewers and MSNBC drew a total of 1.7 million viewers.
The debate, the last before the Iowa caucuses on Feb. 3, was moderated by CNN's Wolf Blitzer and Abby Phillip as well as Des Moines Register chief political correspondent Brianne Pfannenstiel.
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2020
Moving from process government to results oriented.
Is This a Funeral or a Rally? Top Democratic Candidate Joe Biden Can't Fill a Living Room in Iowa
Mon, 13 Jan 2020 09:52
Is This a Funeral or a Rally? Top Democratic Candidate Joe Biden Can't Fill a Living Room in Iowa by Jim Hoft January 12, 2020
Joe Biden is the current leader in the Democratic primaries.
The first vote '-- the Iowa caucus '' is less than one month away.
But Democrats are having a hard time this year. Besides all of their insane, job-killing, America-hating policies, they are also lacking in energy.
Here is a look at Joe Biden's latest rally in Clinton, Iowa on Satuday.Is is a funeral or a rally?Via Olivia Nuzzi:
Waiting for John Kerry on this snowy evening in Clinton, Iowa. pic.twitter.com/6WiBQ4M1nM
'-- Olivia Nuzzi (@Olivianuzzi) January 11, 2020
Hat Tip Jason
There were 11 people in that room!
Lmao John Kerry begins his remarks by saying, ''What a wonderful house! Is a ghost gonna come out here?''
'-- Olivia Nuzzi (@Olivianuzzi) January 12, 2020
https://twitter.com/Olivianuzzi/status/1216188418331414529
25 4 45
Parade walking articles of impeachment over to the senate
OTG
Visa, Plaid, Networks, and Jobs '' Stratechery by Ben Thompson
Tue, 14 Jan 2020 16:57
Before the network, there is the job.
In the case of Visa, or, to be more exact, the Bank Americard that would eventually be spun out and renamed Visa, the job for consumers was obvious: instant credit for anything, without the need for a merchant-specific account or a visit to the bank for a personal loan. And so, when Bank of America dropped 60,000 Bank Americards on its customers in Fresno, California, in 1958, they had an immediate reason to give this new-fangled financial product a try.
What may be less obvious is why Fresno's merchants might have been interested, particularly since Bank of America planned to charge them 6% of sales. Remember, this is before the network: it was not at all obvious, as it is today, that the increase in sales enabled by the convenience of credit cards would more than make up for credit cards' attendant fees. However, it turned out that for small merchants in particular there was a major job-to-be-done; Joe Nocera explained in his 1994 book, A Piece of the Action:
Fresno's shop owners knew for a fact that, on the day the program began, some 60,000 people would be holding BankAmericards. That was a powerful number, and it had its intended effect. Merchants began to sign on. Not the big merchants, like Sears, which had its own proprietary credit card and saw the bank's entry into the credit card business as a form of poaching. Rather, it was the smaller merchants who first came around. Larkin remembers visiting a drug store in Bakersfield, hoping to persuade its owner to accept BankAmericard. ''When I explained the concept of our credit card,'' he says, ''the man almost knelt down and kissed my feet. 'You'll be the savior of my business,' he said. We went into his back office,'' Larkin continues. ''He had three girls working on Burroughs bookkeeping machines, each handling 1,000 to 1,500 accounts. I looked at the size of the accounts: $4.58. $12.82. And he was sending out monthly bills on these accounts. Then the customers paid him maybe three or four months later. Think of what this man was spending on postage, labor, envelopes, stationery! His accounts receivables were dragging him under.''
A store owner who accepted the credit card was, in effect, handing his back office headaches over to the Bank of America. The bank would guarantee him payment '-- within days instead of months '-- and would take over the role of collecting from the customers. As for the bank, in addition to taking its 6 percent cut, the card was a way to get its hooks into businessmen who were not yet Bank of America customers.
It's easy to forget just how many things a business that takes credit cards does not need to do: it does not need to extend credit, it does not need to collect payment, it does not need to handle excess amounts of cash. It does not, as Nocera noted, need to have much back office functionality at all. Instead banks provide the credit, Visa provides the infrastructure, and merchants pay around 3% of their sales.
Visa's NetworkNot that merchants have much choice in the matter these days. Credit cards are perhaps the best possible example of the power of a multi-sided network; Visa sits in the middle of banks, consumers, and merchants:
Everyone benefits from each other:
Customers and Banks:'' Customers want to have always-available credit'' Banks want to provide credit with high fees and interest rates
Customers and Merchants:'' Customers want to have a card that works everywhere'' Merchants want to be able to accept payments from anyone
Merchants and Banks:'' Merchants want to be able to sell on credit while still getting their money immediately'' Banks want to collect a fee on every purchase in exchange for managing credit and pooling risk
Visa and Mastercard, the other major credit card network,1 sit in the middle of each of these relationships, across billions of customers, millions of merchants, and thousands of banks, collecting a network fee '-- on top of the interchange fee paid to banks '-- on every purchase (about 0.05%). The total revenue collected '-- $20.6 billion in 2018 '-- is rather small, particularly relative to Visa's market cap of $420 billion, but that multiple is a testament to just how durable Visa's position is in the network it created.
Plaid's NetworkThere are some obvious parallels to be drawn between Visa's network, particularly in its earliest days, and Plaid, the fintech startup Visa acquired yesterday. From the Wall Street Journal:
Visa Inc. said Monday it would buy Plaid Inc. for $5.3 billion, as part of an effort by the card giant to tap into consumers' growing use of financial-technology apps and noncard payments. More consumers over the past decade have been using financial-services apps to manage their savings and spending, and Plaid sits in the middle of those relationships, providing software that gives the apps access to financial accounts. Venmo, PayPal Holdings Inc.'s money-transfer service, is one of privately held Plaid's biggest customers.
Visa is the largest U.S. card network, handling $3.4 trillion of credit, debit and prepaid-card transactions in the first nine months of 2019, according to the Nilson Report. Its clients are largely comprised of banks that issue credit and debit cards, but the company is looking to expand its presence in the burgeoning field of electronic payments, where trillions of dollars are sent by wire transfer or between bank accounts globally each year.
Plaid has its own three-sided network, but it operates a bit differently than Visa's:
The benefits to some parts of the network are more obvious than others:
Developers are able to immediately connect to their customers' bank accounts without having to implement custom integrations with thousands of banks or waiting several days for traditional verification methods (making two deposits of less than a dollar and having the customer report how much).Consumers are able to use new fin tech apps like Venmo immediately, without having to wait several days.Banks'...well this is where it gets messy.Plaid's ProductTo understand how the banks fit in this network it is important to understand what exactly Plaid does. Many banks in the U.S. do not have APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) that offer a programmatic means of accessing a particular account; those that do are not consistent with each other in either implementation or in features. Plaid gets around this by effectively acting as a deputy for consumers: the latter give Plaid their username and password for their bank account, and Plaid utilizes that to basically log in to a bank's website on the user's behalf.
If this sounds a bit shady, well, it kind of is! Bank login information is among the most sensitive credentials consumers have, and apparently one in four people in the U.S. with a bank account have shared those credentials with Plaid. Nearly all did so without knowing any better; here, for example, is the interface Betterment offers when you try and add a bank account:
That is not an interface for Chase; it is Plaid,2 effectively training end users to enter their bank credentials in an app and/or on a site that is not their bank! Oh, and because this is very much a hack, Plaid fails between 5 and 10 percent of the time.
Developers, it should be noted, aren't particularly bothered by this: in fact, they are paying Plaid for every successful log-in. Users, meanwhile, are likely unaware about just how much access and data they are giving away, but at the same time, have a real desire to access new financial services that require a connection to their bank account. The big problem is that the banks aren't too sure if they want to participate.
The reticence is understandable. There is, for example, the fact that many banks' technical infrastructure is ancient and built around assumptions that did not include APIs for 3rd-parties. More importantly, though, is the power of inertia: as long as it is hard to move money around, the more likely it is that that money will stay in the bank, collecting minuscule interest; or, if customers need value-added services, the path of lowest resistance will be simply getting them from their bank.
An API-based world could change this dramatically: suddenly consumers could commission robo-advisors to move their cash to whoever is offering the best rates, or to automatically refinance debt. Value-added services from multiple vendors would be equally easy to access, meaning they would have to compete on price or terms. In other words, much like the open Internet, banks fear that profits will be rapidly transformed into consumer benefit.
Jobs for BanksThis is where Visa can potentially make a difference and, by extension, pay for this acquisition. $5.3 billion is very steep '-- around 50x revenue '-- and Plaid's business model is not particularly attractive: the company makes the majority of its money when users connect their bank accounts, which for most applications is a one-time event; contrast that to Visa's credit card network, which earns a fee on every single transaction.
What Visa needs to do is figure out what jobs it can do for banks that makes it worthwhile for them to build out the necessary APIs. The most obvious one is security; as a U.S. Treasury Report on Nonbank Financials, Fintech, and Innovation noted:
The practice of using login credentials for screen-scraping poses significant security risks, which have been recognized for nearly two decades. Screen-scraping increases cybersecurity and fraud risks as consumers provide their login credentials to access fintech applications. During outreach meetings with Treasury, there was universal agreement among financial services companies, data aggregators, consumer fintech application providers, consumer advocates, and regulators that the sharing of login credentials constitutes a highly risky practice.
A second job Visa can do is being the devil banks know; that same Treasury report highlighted the fact that the United Kingdom and European Union have initiatives requiring API access to bank accounts, but recommended a private solution. Visa, after this acquisition, is well-placed to leverage Plaid's widespread use in fintech application and its relationship with banks to come up with a standard that will likely be more favorable to the banks than one imposed by the government.
What is most necessary, though, is selling banks on the idea that they no longer need the equivalent of three people working on bookkeeping machines; hand over those customer service headaches to companies that will specialize in them, over rails Visa will provide.
Visa's OptionalityThis hints at the best case scenario for Visa from this acquisition: a new financial network, with Visa at its center, transforming the consumer financial services industry just as the credit card transformed the consumer retail industry. If that happens, it's not out of the question that such a network will be so superior to today's means of moving financial information and data that the company will be able to charge an ongoing toll, instead of simply a set-up fee (and, perhaps, share it with the banks).
The worst case scenario, meanwhile, will see Plaid's creaky approach deliver barely good enough service to fintech applications in the U.S., with nothing near the reliability or profitability of Visa's credit card network. Which, from Visa's perspective, is not a problem either!
Visa will also be able to help Plaid expand internationally, including to more favorable markets like the U.K. and E.U. At first glance, open banking might seem to be a problem for Plaid, but the truth is that screen-scraping is not a long-term solution, and developers will still prefer to use one well-built API that abstracts away thousands of financial institutions instead of re-inventing the integration wheel.
And, most importantly from Visa's perspective, the credit card business is not going anywhere '-- if anything, it's getting stronger. Companies like Stripe are making credit cards more useful in more places, while Apple is making it even easier to use credit cards both online and offline. It is tempting to look at how payments work in countries like China, but that ignores the path dependency of one market using cash until recently, and the other receiving unsolicited Bank Americards 51 years ago. Once a job is done '-- and credit cards do their jobs very well '-- it takes a 10x improvement to get users to switch, and, in a three-sided network, that 10x is 10^3.
Home | Spotify for Pets
Thu, 16 Jan 2020 07:34
What is a Pet Playlist?
An algorithmically created playlist based on your listening habits and your pet's attributes, so it's music you both can enjoy.
Does it work?
While music for pets isn't an exact science, we consulted with experts in the pet industry for the best approximation for what might work best for our featured animals. Incidentally, we only use the information you provide us to create your Pet Playlist. The information is not stored and is not used for any other purpose.
Why aren't goldfish/tarantulas/snakes included?
Because they don't have ears.
What about rabbits/aardvarks/horses?
Unfortunately, it just isn't possible to accommodate every animal out there. That said, try one of the current playlist options. You may find your rabbit really likes hamster music!
Three GDPR Complaints filed against Grindr, Twitter and the AdTech companies Smaato, OpenX, AdColony and AT&T's AppNexus | noyb.eu
Tue, 14 Jan 2020 10:00
Link to the main page of the Norwegian Consumer Council: https://www.forbrukerradet.no/out-of-control/
Research by the Norwegian Consumer Council ( Forbrukerr¥det) shows that many smartphone apps send highly personal data to thousands of advertising partners. The report uncovers how a large number of shadowy entities are receiving personal data about our interests, habits, and behaviour, every time we use certain apps on our phones. This information is used to create comprehensive profiles about us, which can be used for targeted advertising and other purposes.
''These practices are out of control and are rife with privacy violations and breaches of European law. The extent of tracking makes it impossible for us to make informed choices about how our personal data is collected, shared and used. Consequently, this massive commercial surveillance is systematically at odds with our fundamental rights'', says Finn Myrstad, director of digital policy in the Norwegian Consumer Council.
''Every time you open an app like Grindr advertisement networks get your GPS location, device identifiers and even the fact that you use a gay dating app. This is an insane violation of users' EU privacy rights'', says Max Schrems, founder of the European privacy non-profit noyb
Three Complaints filed with the relevant Data Protection Authority
The Norwegian Consumer Council has filed three formal complaints against the gay/bi dating app Grindr and five adtech companies that were receiving personal data through the app: Twitter`s MoPub, AT&T's AppNexus, OpenX, AdColony and Smaato. All complaints were filed, in cooperation with noyb, at the Norwegian Data Protection Authority (DPA) because of breaches of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
While the Norwegian complaints concern a Norwegian Android user, noyb will file similar complaints with the Austrian DPA concerning an Austrian iOS user within the upcoming weeks.
Profiling: Tracking online and on your phone
Many actors in the adtech industry collect information about us from a variety of places, including web browsing, connected devices, and social media. When combined, this data provides a detailed picture of individuals, revealing our daily lives, our secret desires, and our most vulnerable moments.
Ala Krinickytė, lawyer at noyb: ''In the case of Grindr, it seems especially problematic, that third parties do not just get the GPS location or device identifiers, but also the information that a person is using a dating app that is described as being 'exclusively for gay/bi community'. This obviously reveals the sexual orientation of the user.''
What has to be done?
The Norwegian Consumer Council urges companies that rely on digital advertising to look towards alternative solutions to the currently domineering adtech system, such as technologies that do not rely on widespread broadcasting and the collection of personal data.
''The situation is completely out of control. In order to shift the significant power imbalance between consumers and third party companies, the current practices of extensive tracking and profiling have to end'' , says Myrstad.
There are very few actions consumers can take to limit or prevent the massive tracking and data sharing that is happening all across the internet. Authorities must take active enforcement measures to protect consumers against the illegal exploitation of personal data .
Acknowledgements
The project was led by the Norwegian Consumer Council The technical tests were carried out by the security company Mnemonic. The research on the adtech industry and specific data brokers was performed with assistance from the researcher Wolfie Christl of Cracked Labs. Additional auditing of the Grindr app was performed by the researcher Zach Edwards of MetaX. The legal analysis and formal complaints were written with assistance from noyb. noyb is supported by more than 3.000 supporting members and works on strategic litigation to enforce the fundamental right to data protection in practice. Further comments and questions:
Norwegian Consumer Council
Finn Myrstad (English, Norwegian) +47 479 669 00 or myrstad@forbrukerradet.no noyb '' European Centre for digital Rights
Latest updates on Twitter: @noybeu
By phone: +43 660 2678622
By e-mail: media@noyb.eu
Iran
Iranian protesters gather for fourth day: social media video - Reuters
Tue, 14 Jan 2020 08:25
DUBAI (Reuters) - Iranian protesters gathered for a fourth day in Tehran on Tuesday to demonstrate against the way the authorities have handled last week's accidental shooting down of a Ukrainian airliner, videos posted on social media showed.
''Where is justice?'' a crowd chanted at one university in the capital, one of the videos showed, continuing daily protests that erupted after the Iranian military admitted on Saturday that it had brought down the plane in error.
Reuters was not immediately able to verify the footage.
Reporting by Babak Dehghanpisheh; Editing by Edmund Blair
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
Iranian security forces purportedly fire live ammunition to disperse protesters despite Trump's warning | Fox News
Mon, 13 Jan 2020 07:06
Published January 12, 2020
Last Update 2 hrs ago
Videos emerged online Monday that purportedly show Iranian police and security forces firing live ammunition to disperse demonstrators protesting against the Islamic Republic after the country mistakenly downed a Ukrainian airline plane shortly after takeoff from Tehran.
There was no immediate report in Iranian state-run media on the incident near Azadi, or Freedom, Square in Tehran, but, if true, could be seen as an act of defiance against President Trump who warned the regime against the use of deadly force.
Trump late Sunday tweeted in Farsi that a combination of protests and sanctions have "choked off" Iran and said Tehran will be forced to the negotiation table.
STEVE HILTON GOES OFF ON 'ESTABLISHMENT REPUBLICANS'
Trump insisted that he "couldn't care less" if the regime negotiates, but he appeared to lay down non-negotiable issues that included the development of nuclear weapons and the use of deadly force against protesters.
"Don't kill your protesters," he tweeted.
Videos were sent to the New York-based Center for Human Rights in Iran and later verified by The Associated Press. They show a crowd of demonstrators fleeing as a tear gas canister landed among them. People cough and sputter while trying to escape the fumes, with one woman calling out in Farsi: ''They fired tear gas at people! Azadi Square. Death to the dictator!''
Another video shows a woman being carried away in the aftermath as a blood trail can be seen on the ground. Those around her cry out that she has been shot by live ammunition in the leg.
''Oh my God, she's bleeding nonstop!'' one person shouts. Another shouts: ''Bandage it!''
Photos and video after the incident show pools of blood on the sidewalk.
Hossein Rahimi, the head of the Tehran police, said in a statement seen by Reuters that police "absolutely did not shoot" due to orders to show restraint.
US TROOPS PRAISE GENERAL'S KILLING, COTTON SAYS
The tweet in Farsi appears to be an attempt by Trump to speak directly to the Iranian people. Tehran has experienced upheaval after the missile strike on a Ukrainian airline flight out of the country's capital that the country called a mistake. Still, the mishap was seen as an international display of military ineptitude.
Many of the country's protesters chanted "death to the Dictator," referring to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Another group near a university in Tehran chanted, ''They are lying that our enemy is America, our enemy is right here," Reuters reported
Trump, who says he is not interested in ousting the Iranian regime, reinstated economic sanctions on Iran after withdrawing from the nuke deal. He said it gave Tehran too many economic benefits without doing enough to prevent Iran from eventually developing a nuclear weapon.
Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, the head of the Revolutionary Guard's aerospace division, said his unit accepts "full responsibility.'' Iranian officials had earlier denied that it had shot down the jet.
General Hossein Salami, commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, apologized, according to CBS News, citing Iran's state TV.
''I swear to almighty God that I wished I were in that plane and had crashed with them and had burned, and had not witnessed this tragic incident,'' Salami said.
Alam Saleh, an Iran expert, told the Wall Street Journal that the state's legitimacy has been ''severely challenged by the people.''
Trump, hours earlier, again warned Tehran not to kill protesters, saying, ''Thousands have already been killed or imprisoned by you, and the World is watching. More importantly, the USA is watching."
Karen Pierce, British ambassador to the United Nations, echoed Trump's message to Iran.
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"The important thing is that... the Iranian government needs to listen to its people and it needs to de-escalate the current situation... that's in their hands," Pierce said Sunday on "America's News HQ."
Fox News' Yael Halon and the Associated Press contributed to this report
Pro-government gunmen 'open fire on protesters in Iran' | Daily Mail Online
Mon, 13 Jan 2020 08:48
Pro-government gunmen have opened fire on demonstrators in Tehran, according to local reports, just hours after Trump warned 'do not kill your protesters.'
Local media footage showed a woman with blood pouring from a purported gunshot wound in the Iranian capital centre amid furious protests against the Ayatollah's regime.
Other images showed a 'militiaman' holding a shotgun running away from the scene as a crowd gathered around the woman who was allegedly killed not far from the iconic Azadi Square.
Thousands have flocked to the streets of the Iranian capital after the government admitted that a passenger jet carrying 176 people had been downed by a missile last week.
President Donald Trump had sent a message of solidarity to the demonstrators on Saturday, tweeting: 'There cannot be another massacre of peaceful protesters, nor an internet shutdown. The world is watching.'
Footage purports to show a 'militiaman' holding a shotgun running away from the scene as a crowd gathered around the woman who was allegedly killed
Blood spatters on the pavement not far from the iconic Azadi Square where a woman was said to have been shot dead by a pro-government gunman
It came after students packed the gates of Amirkabir University of Technology near the former US embassy to protest Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
On Sunday night, tensions in the city appeared to be turning to chaos with demonstrators setting fire to and tearing down posters of the Ayatollah and slain general Qassem Soleimani.
Amid shouts of 'Death to Khamenei' security forces opened fire with rubber bullets and tear gas, social media footage showed, as hundreds fled in terror.
Roads to Azadi Square were totally gridlocked by the demonstrations which continued late into the night.
Many reports claimed that those brutally breaking up the demonstrators were members of the Basij, a paramilitary volunteer wing of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard, and were acting on the orders of the regime.
Riot police armed with water cannon and batons were earlier seen at Amir Kabir, Sharif and Tehran universities as well as Enqelab Square.
Around 50 Basij militiamen brandishing paintball guns, potentially to mark protesters to authorities, were also seen near Amir Kabir.
Officers could be seen massing in Vali-e Asr Square in the city as calls circulated for protests.
A large black banner unveiled in the square bore the names of those killed in the plane crash.
Iranians gather to take part in an anti-government protest around Azadi square in Tehran Sunday night
Terrified masses could be seen fleeing the unfolding chaos on the streets of Tehran tonight as security forces were said to have opened fire with rubber bullets
The plane crash early on Wednesday killed all 176 people on board, mostly Iranians and Iranian-Canadians.
Iran's top Guards commander briefed parliament on Sunday, a day after the armed forces said the Ukrainian airliner was shot down in error in an admission that sparked an angry demonstration.
After initially blaming a technical failure, authorities finally admitted to accidentally shooting it down in the face of mounting evidence and accusations by western leaders.
The plane was shot down as Iran braced for retaliation after firing ballistic missiles at two bases in Iraq housing American forces.
The ballistic missile attack, which caused no casualties, was a response to the killing of General Soleimani, Iran's top general, in a US airstrike in Baghdad.
A demonstrator was seen tearing down a poster of the slain Iranian general Qassem Soleimani in the capital tonight
Roads to the iconic Azadi Square were totally gridlocked by the demonstrations on Sunday night
Iranians have expressed anger over the downing of the plane and the misleading explanations from senior officials in the wake of the tragedy.
A candlelight ceremony late on Saturday in Tehran turned into a protest, with hundreds of people chanting against the country's leaders '-- including Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei '-- and police dispersing them with tear gas.
Police briefly detained the British ambassador to Iran, Rob Macaire, who says he went with the intention of attending the vigil and did not know it would turn into a protest.
'Can confirm I wasn't taking part in any demonstrations!' he tweeted. 'Went to an event advertised as a vigil for victims of #PS752 tragedy. Normal to want to pay respects '-- some of victims were British. I left after 5 mins, when some started chanting.'
Iranians shout slogans against the government after a vigil held for the victims of the airplane of Ukrainian International Airlines that crashed near Imam Khomeini Airport turned into an anti-government protest outside Amirkabir University in Tehran on Saturday
People gather for a candlelight vigil to remember the victims of the Ukraine plane crash, at the gate of Amri Kabir University where some of the victims of the crash were former students
He said he was arrested 30 minutes after leaving the area.
The UK said its envoy was detained 'without grounds or explanation' and in 'flagrant violation of international law'.
Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran's elite Quds Force, was killed in an airstrike at Baghdad's international airport
'The Iranian government is at a cross-roads moment. It can continue its march towards pariah status with all the political and economic isolation that entails, or take steps to de-escalate tensions and engage in a diplomatic path forwards,' Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said in a statement.
Iran's deputy foreign minister Abbas Araghchi later tweeted that Macaire was arrested 'as an unknown foreigner in an illegal gathering'.
Araghchi said when police informed him that a man was arrested who claimed to be the British ambassador he did not believe them.
But he said that once he spoke toMacaire by phone he realized it was him, and that the ambassador was freed 15 minutes later.
Alaeddin Boroujerdi, a member of Iran's parliamentary committee on national security and foreign policy, nevertheless accused the ambassador of organizing protests and called for his expulsion.
One of the engines of the plane lies among the wreckage. The plane was shot down as Iran braced for retaliation after firing ballistic missiles at two bases in Iraq housing American forces
Officials stand near the wreckage after an Ukraine International Airlines Boeing 737-800 carrying 176 people crashed near Imam Khomeini Airport in Tehran, killing everyone on board
Dozens of hard-liners later gathered outside the British Embassy over the weekend, chanting 'Death to England' and calling for the ambassador to be expelled and for the closure of the embassy. Police stood guard outside the facility.
Iranian media, meanwhile, focused on the admission of responsibility for the crash, with several newspapers calling for those responsible to apologize and resign.
The hardline daily Vatan-e Emrouz bore the front-page headline, 'A sky full of sadness,' while the Hamshahri daily went with 'Shame,' and the IRAN daily said 'Unforgivable.'
Trump tweets support for Iranian protesters as they demand Khamenei quit - The Jerusalem Post
Mon, 13 Jan 2020 08:59
''This is not human error. This is a crime against humanity,'' said exiled Persian Crown Prince Reza Pahlavi on Saturday. ''He who has irresponsibly empowered his thugs to fire at will at innocents bears full responsibility. #Enough_is_enough. Khamenei and his regime must go.''
In an earlier tweet, Pahlavi, a self-described advocate for human rights and secular democracy, said that ''unfortunately, death has overshadowed our country. A government that cannot handle a funeral has cheapened death,'' he said. ''Our task is to combat the normalization of death.''
The Iranian regime called the incident a ''disastrous mistake,'' saying air defenses were fired in error while on alert after Iranian missile strikes on US targets in Iraq.
Iran had denied for days after Wednesday's crash that it brought down the plane, although a top Revolutionary Guards commander said on Saturday that he had told authorities about the unintentional missile strike the day it happened.
Foreign governments condemned Iran's action, with Ukraine demanding compensation and a US official calling the downing reckless, although Britain said Tehran's admission was an important first step and urged a de-escalation in tensions.
Khamenei, until now silent about the crash, said information about the incident should be made public, while top officials and the military issued apologies.
The crash heightened international pressure on Iran after months of friction with the United States and tit-for-tat attacks.
Canada, which had 57 citizens on board, and the US had both said early on that they believed an Iranian missile brought down the aircraft, probably in error.
''The Islamic Republic of Iran deeply regrets this disastrous mistake,'' President Hassan Rouhani wrote on Twitter, promising that those responsible would be prosecuted. ''My thoughts and prayers go to all the mourning families.''
Experts said mounting international scrutiny would have made it all but impossible to hide signs of a missile strike in any investigation and Iran may have felt a U-turn was better than battling rising criticism abroad and growing grief and anger at home, as many victims were Iranians with dual nationality.
The plane, a Boeing 737-800 en route for Kiev, came down shortly after take-off from Tehran, when Iran was alert for US reprisals after launching rockets at US troops in Iraqi bases.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Iran's acknowledgment that it shot down the plane was a step in the right direction but he wanted those responsible to be held to account.
Writing on Twitter after speaking to Rouhani, Zelensky demanded that the victims be identified and returned to Ukraine at once. ''The perpetrators must be held accountable,'' he added.
Zelensky said Rouhani had apologized on behalf of his country.
A senior Trump administration official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that ''Iran's reckless actions have again had devastating consequences.''
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Iran's admission was ''an important first step'' and that it was ''vital that all leaders now pursue a diplomatic way forward'' to avoid conflict.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called for ''a complete and thorough investigation'' with Iran's full cooperation.
Iran's Revolutionary Guards, in a rare step, apologized to the nation and accepted full responsibility.
Senior Guards commander Amirali Hajizadeh said he had informed Iran's authorities on Wednesday about the unintentional strike, a comment that raised questions about why officials had publicly denied it for so long.
Speaking on state television, he said he wished ''I could die'' when he heard the news about the incident.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif wrote on Twitter that ''human error at time of crisis caused by US adventurism led to disaster,'' citing an initial armed forces investigation into the crash.
A military statement said the plane flew close to a sensitive Revolutionary Guards site at a time of high alert. Ukraine said the plane was in a normal flight corridor and Iran's Civil Aviation Organization said the airliner had not veered off its normal course.
Ukraine International Airlines said Iran should have closed the airport. The carrier said it had received no indication it faced a threat and was cleared for take off.
European airlines should avoid Iranian airspace until further notice, the EU Aviation Safety Agency said, expanding on earlier advice that airlines should not overfly Iran below 25,000 feet.
Analysts said a probe would almost certainly have revealed signs on the smashed fuselage of a missile strike.
''There's nothing you can do to cover it up or hide it,'' said Anthony Brickhouse, an air safety expert at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and former US National Transportation Safety Board investigator. ''Evidence is evidence.''
Tzvi Joffre and Reuters contributed to this report.
Iran plane downing: Second day of protests turns up heat on leaders - BBC News
Mon, 13 Jan 2020 09:02
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Media caption Students at Shahid Beheshti university in Tehran refused to walk over US and Israeli flags in an apparent show of defiance against Iran's governmentIran's leaders have faced a second day of protests following their admission the military shot down a Ukrainian passenger plane, killing all 176 people on board, many of them Iranians.
Protesters in Tehran and in several other cities chanted slogans against the leadership.
Clashes with security forces and the firing of tear gas are reported.
Iran admitted "unintentionally" hitting the plane after initially denying it, amid rising tensions with the US.
The plane, en route to the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, was shot down near Tehran last Wednesday, shortly after Iran had launched missiles at two airbases housing US forces in Iraq.
Those strikes were a response to the US killing of senior Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani in a drone strike in Baghdad on 3 January.
Dozens of Iranians and Canadians, as well as nationals from Ukraine, the UK, Afghanistan and Sweden died on the plane.
What happened at Sunday's protests?Demonstrators attended new protests despite a large deployment of security forces.
Riot police, members of the elite Revolutionary Guard on motorbikes, and plainclothes security officials were out in force.
In one apparently symbolic act rejecting state propaganda, video showed students taking care not to walk over US and Israeli flags painted on the ground at Shahid Beheshti university in Tehran.
In some social media clips, protesters can be heard chanting anti-government slogans, including: "They are lying that our enemy is America, our enemy is right here." Many of the protesters are women.
Social media footage showed clapping and chanting protesters in Tehran's Azadi Square. BBC Persian says there has been a crackdown there by security forces, with tear gas fired.
The semi-official Fars news agency said up to 1,000 people were protesting at various points in the capital.
Protests were also reported in other cities.
Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media caption A crowd gathered outside Amir Kabir university on Saturday, calling for resignations and accusing officials of lyingThose who decide to continue demonstrating will be mindful of the violence with which the security forces have dealt with protest movements in the past, the BBC's Arab affairs editor Sebastian Usher says.
On Saturday, students had gathered outside two universities. They initially did so to pay respect to the victims, but angry protests erupted later in the evening and tear gas was reportedly fired to disperse them.
A number of Iranian newspapers have covered the vigils for the plane victims alongside headlines such as "Shame" and "Unforgivable".
But there has also been praise for what one pro-government newspaper called Iran's "honest" admission of error.
There were also protests on Sunday in Tehran in support of Soleimani, and opposing the US and UK.
What has the international reaction been?US President Donald Trump on Sunday repeated warnings that Iran should not target anti-government protesters, saying, "the World is watching. More importantly, the USA is watching".
Britain, meanwhile, has condemned the arrest of the UK ambassador to Iran in Tehran as a "flagrant violation of international law".
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said Rob Macaire was detained after attending a vigil where he was paying respects to victims of the crash, some of whom were British.
Mr Macaire said he left the vigil when some people started chanting and had played no part in the demonstration.
Image copyright AFP Image caption Protesters burn a UK and an Israeli flag in Tehran Iran on Sunday summoned the ambassador to complain about "his unconventional behaviour of attending an illegal rally", the foreign ministry website said.
Iranian protesters set a UK flag alight in front of the UK embassy on Sunday.
In other developments on Sunday:
US Defence Secretary Mark Esper told CBS's Face the Nation on Sunday that he "didn't see" specific evidence that Iran was preparing attacks against US embassies. President Trump had said on Friday he believed four embassies were under threat. Mr Esper said he shared the president's belief that there "probably and could've been attacks on additional embassies"Eight Katyusha rockets were fired at the Balad air base, which has housed US forces north of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad. Four Iraqis were wounded. There have been several recent attacks on the base blamed on Iranian-backed militiasHundreds of mourners are attending memorials in the Canadian cities of Toronto and Edmonton, At the latter, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told the crowd he would pursue justice and accountability on behalf of their families and friendsAt the scene: Canada mournsBBC's Jessica Murphy, Edmonton, Alberta
Pedram Mousavi and Mojgan Daneshmand gazed out from the photograph projected on the screen with wide smiles, looking like they had been caught laughing at a shared joke.
The "sweet couple" likely were.
Along with their two daughters, Daria, 14, and Dorina, 9, they were remembered for their quickness to laughter, their generosity, their full embrace of life.
The family of four were among the 13 victims of flight PS752 who came from the Canadian city of Edmonton.
A crowd of some 2,300 people packed into a university gym on Sunday to pay respects to those lost - family, close friends colleagues, classmates - whose death has left a hole in so many lives.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told the crowd that in their sorrow "your entire country stands with you".
A friend of Pedram's, through a letter read by his former student Hossein Saghlatoon, said the loss was "too much to bear".
He was looking forward to many more memorable moments with Pedram and his family, he wrote "but alas, the cruel hand of destiny had some other plans".
How did the Iranian admission unfold?For three days, Iran denied reports its missiles had brought down the plane, with one spokesman accusing Western nations of "lying and engaging in psychological warfare".
But on Saturday morning, a statement read on state TV accepted the plane had been shot down.
Brig-Gen Amir Ali Hajizadeh, the Revolutionary Guards' aerospace commander, said a missile operator had acted independently and alone, mistaking the plane for a "cruise missile".
Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media caption Footage shows missile strike on Ukrainian plane in IranHe also said he had informed the authorities about what had happened on Wednesday, raising questions about why Iran had denied involvement for so long.
Both Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelensky and Justin Trudeau have demanded accountability from Iran.
Mr Trudeau said on Saturday there must be a full investigation with "full clarity on how such a horrific tragedy could have occurred".
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Media caption Trudeau: "We need full clarity on how such a horrific tragedy could have occurred" Image copyright Alamy
FarsNews Agency - Iranian Students Ask for Expulsion of British Envoy
Mon, 13 Jan 2020 09:05
TEHRAN (FNA)- A large number of Iranian students and seminaries gathered in front of the British embassy in Tehran on Sunday to protest at the envoy's participation and role in last night protest rallies, calling for his expulsion.
British Ambassador to Tehran Robert Macaire had been briefly detained during a Saturday night protest in front of the Amir Kabir University in downtown Tehran where he was organizing and provoking tens of protesters upset with the government's way of handling the aftermaths of the Ukrainian plane incident earlier this week.
The Iranian students and seminaries who had gathered in front of the British embassy on Sunday chanted 'death to Britain', 'we do not want British spy', 'the British nuclear deal should be annihilated' and 'the British embassy should be closed'.
They also carried images of IRGC Qods Force Commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani who was assassinated by the US in Iraq, and voiced strong support for the IRGC.
A senior Iranian legislator blasted Macaire for participating and promoting the protest rally, calling on him to end his interference in Iran's internal affairs.
"The undue presence of the British ambassador in some gatherings is a flagrant interference in Iran's affairs and it should be studied at the parliament, specially the National Security Commission," Hossein Ali Haji Deligani said, addressing an open session of the parliament in Tehran on Sunday.
"I call on the British envoy to end his interference and leave Iran before the Iranian nation forces him to leave," he added.
Reports said that Macaire had been holding secret meetings inside a shop opposite the main gate of the Amir Kabir University to monitor the developments that led to the protest on Saturday.
The General Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces said in a statement on Saturday that the Ukrainian Boeing 737 plane was shot down as a hostile object due to human error at a time of heightened US threats of war.
The statement said an expert investigation by the General Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces after the Ukrainian airline company's Boeing 737 incident has found that flight 752 of the Ukrainian airlines has been shot down as a hostile flying object that was approaching a sensitive IRGC center and was shot down due to human error few hours after Iran's missile attack on the US and as Iran's military was expecting attacks by the US army.
A Boeing 737 plane carrying 180 passengers and crew, mostly Iranians, crashed shortly after takeoff from Imam Khomeini Airport in Tehran early Wednesday, leaving no survivors.
Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei in a message on Saturday extended his condolences again on the death of the Ukrainian plane's passengers, and ordered the Armed Forces to take the needed measures to find faults and flaws that have led to the bitter incident and prevent repetition of similar incidents in future.
In his message, the Leader renewed his most heartfelt sympathy and condolences to the bereaved families of the victims, and reiterated his "order to the General Staff of the Armed Forces to probe into possible faults and flaws in this painful accident," Ayatollah Khamenei said.
He also underscored the need for the relevant Iranian directors and officials to launch the necessary follow-ups to prevent repetition of such incidents in future.
Also, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani extended condolences to the families of those killed in the Ukrainian plane incident, and promised that all those who have been guilty in the unforgivable mistake of shooting down the jet will be prosecuted.
"The Islamic Republic of Iran deeply regrets this disastrous mistake... My thoughts and prayers go to all the mourning families. I offer my sincerest condolences," Rouhani said in a statement on Saturday.
The president stressed that "the terrible catastrophe should be thoroughly investigated, and those responsible for this unforgivable mistake will definitely be identified and prosecuted".
CNN Reporter Informs Iranian Protesters They're Supposed To Be Shouting 'Death To America' | The Babylon Bee
Mon, 13 Jan 2020 23:42
CNN Reporter Informs Iranian Protesters They're Supposed To Be Shouting 'Death To America'
TEHRAN'--As Iranians protested their government's downing of a passenger jet, a frantic CNN reporter ran through the crowd lecturing them on how they were actually supposed to be shouting "Death to America!"
The CNN reporter arrived at the protests, excited to cover another anti-US protest but quickly realized they were actually shouting "Death to the dictator!" and blaming their government for shooting down the plane.
"Guys, you're ruining the narrative!" he cried through a megaphone. "We can't run with this! You're willing to assign blame to Iran more readily than the media and the Democrats were! This isn't good for our viewership! Are you guys in league with Fox News?"
"Please guys, please shout 'death to America,' just for a few minutes so I can get some B-roll!"
His efforts weren't having any effect, so the reporter began trying to start up the chants himself. "Come on, people! Death to America! Death to America! When I say 'Death to,' you say, 'America!' Death to!" A shoe was thrown in his direction, though, and he scattered, fearing for his life.
Breaking: Paypal Now AvailableMany of you told us you wouldn't subscribe until we offered Paypal as a payment option. You apparently weren't bluffing, so we finally caved and added Paypal. Now '-- like the unbeliever faced with God's invisible qualities displayed in nature '-- you are without excuse.
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ABN Amro: spaarrente particulier dit voorjaar 0% | Financieel | Telegraaf.nl
Mon, 13 Jan 2020 15:54
Dat blijkt uit de nieuwe productvoorwaarden die ABN Amro dinsdag naar klanten gaat versturen. Voor alle klanten met minder dan '‚¬2,5 miljoen gaat de rente op 1 april naar nul. In oktober verlaagde de staatsbank de rente op gewone spaarboekjes naar 0,01%.
Met de stap keert ABN Amro als eerste grootbank in Nederland geen rente meer uit op gewone spaarders. Triodos zette in april 2017 als eerste consumentenbank de rente op spaarboekjes op nul. Rijke spaarders bij onder meer Van Lanschot krijgen ook al enige tijd geen rente meer.
Rabo en INGDe manier waarop ABN-spaarders gaan reageren op de nulrente wordt belangrijk voor het vervolg bij andere banken, zoals ING en Rabobank. De afgelopen jaren volgden de drie grootbanken elkaar steeds met de renteverlagingen. De vraag is of spaarders net zo onverstoord verder blijven sparen, of besluiten iets anders te doen met hun appeltjes voor de dorst.
Ruim vijfduizend ABN Amro-klanten krijgen vanaf 1 april een negatieve rente over het geld dat zij bij de bank bewaren. Het gaat om zo'n drieduizend particuliere klanten en zo'n 2200 zakelijke klanten met meer dan '‚¬2,5 miljoen op een ABN-rekening. Zij krijgen hierover vanaf 1 april de rente van de Europese Centrale Bank (ECB) doorberekend: -0,5%.
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Green New Deal
Facebook Glitch Reveals Greta Thunburg's Father Posting As Teenage Climate Activist | Zero Hedge
Mon, 13 Jan 2020 08:41
A Thursday evening software update at Facebook accidentally allowed anyone to view exactly who is posting under the accounts of public figures, businesses and other entities, according to Wired.
The result? For starters, some 3 million followers of teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg have been reading posts written by her father, Svante Thunberg, and a climate activist in India who serves as a delegate at the UN's Climate Change organization, Adarsh Prathap. Thunberg, Inc. claims Greta is still the one writing the content.
Greta, Inc. explained this in a Saturday Facebook post purporting to be the young climate activist.
"Some people have been asking who manages this page. First of all, since last spring I only use Facebook to repost what I write on my Twitter and Instagram accounts," reads the post, in which 'she' says she tried Facebook "early on," but didn't like it, so she uses "my father Svantes account to repost content."
"The rest that is shared on Facebook is reposted from Twitter and Instagram by the guy who founded the Greta Thunberg Facebook page long before I knew it existed. His name is Adarsh Prathap and he lives in India. Since a lot of people thought it was my official page in the beginning I asked if I could co-manage it and he said yes."
Greta claims to have written all the content posted by her father and Prathap.
In other words, "of course it's not me silly - you should have known I just 'co-manage' the fan page."
Except - by all outward appearances it appeared to be her page alone.
Facebook's 'page transparency' shows Greta as the confirmed owner - with the only clue suggesting she might have help being a page manager located in India.
According to Facebook, the flaw was quickly fixed - but not before the people behind famous accounts were revealed and shared on public forums such as 4chan.
"We quickly fixed an issue where someone could see who edited or published a post on behalf of a Page when looking at its edit history," said the company in a statement. "We are grateful to the security researcher who alerted us to this issue."
Facebook says the bug was the result of a code update that it pushed Thursday evening. It's not something most people would have encountered on their own, since it took navigating to a Page, viewing an edit history, and realizing that there shouldn't be a name and profile picture assigned to edits to exploit it. Still, despite the Friday morning fix, screenshots circulated on 4chan, Imgur, and social media appearing to show the accounts behind the official Facebook Pages of the pseudonymous artist Banksy, Russian president Vladimir Putin, former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton, Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau, the hacking collective Anonymous, climate activist Greta Thunberg, and rapper Snoop Dogg, among others.
Facebook points out that no information beyond a name and public profile link were available, but that information isn't supposed to appear in the edit history at all. And for people, say, running anti-regime Pages under a repressive government, making even that much information public is plenty alarming. -Wired
"People who run sensitive Pages from their own Facebook should now consider that their identity may be known," said Lukasz Olejnik independent privacy adviser and Oxford University Center for Technology and Global Affairs. "While mistakes happen, this one is unexpected."
Record-setting ocean warmth equivalent to 3.6 billion Hiroshima atom bomb explosions over 25 years
Tue, 14 Jan 2020 07:58
Ocean temperature trend from 1960 to 2019 in the three major ocean basins from surface to 2,000m. The zonal and vertical sections are organized around Southern Ocean in the center. Black contours show the associated climatological mean temperature with intervals of 2 oC. Credit: Lijing ChengA new analysis shows the world's oceans were the warmest in 2019 than any other time in recorded human history, especially between the surface and a depth of 2,000 meters. The study, conducted by an international team of 14 scientists from 11 institutes across the world, also concludes that the past 10 years have been the warmest on record for global ocean temperatures, with the past five years holding the highest record.
The authors published their results on Jan. 13 in Advances in Atmospheric Sciences, with a call to action for humans to reverse climate change. In the face of such disastrous effects as the 17.9 million acres Australian bushfire, which has resulted in 24 deaths and thousands of homes destroyed so far, the researchers report that global ocean temperature is not only increasing, but it's speeding up.
According to the study, the 2019 ocean temperature is about 0.075 degrees Celsius above the 1981-2010 average. To reach this temperature, the ocean would have taken in 228,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (228 Sextillion) Joules of heat.
"That's a lot of zeros, indeed. To make it easier to understand, I did a calculation. The Hiroshima atom bomb exploded with an energy of about 63,000,000,000,000 Joules. The amount of heat we have put in the world's oceans in the past 25 years equals to 3.6 billion Hiroshima atom-bomb explosions," said Lijing Cheng, lead paper author. Cheng is an associate professor with the International Center for Climate and Environmental Sciences at the Institute of Atmospheric Physics (IAP) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). Cheng is also affiliated with CAS's Center for Ocean Mega-Science. "This measured ocean warming is irrefutable and is further proof of global warming. There are no reasonable alternatives aside from the human emissions of heat-trapping gases to explain this heating."
The researchers used a relatively new method of analysis from the IAP to account for potentially sparse data and time discrepancies in instruments that were previously used to measure ocean warmth, especially from the ocean surface to 2,000 meters deep. The newly available data allowed the researchers to examine warmth trends dating back to the 1950s. This study also includes ocean temperature changes recorded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in the United States. The two independent data sets indicate that the past five years have been the warmest on record for global ocean temperatures.
The ocean absorbs most of the excess heat from greenhouse gas emissions, leading to rising ocean temperatures. Credit: Jiang ZhuThe researchers also compared the 1987 to 2019 data recording period to the 1955 to 1986 period. They found that over the past six decades, the more recent warming was ~450 percent that of the earlier warming, reflecting a major increase in the rate of global climate change.
"It is critical to understand how fast things are changing," said John Abraham, co-author and professor of mechanical engineering at the University of St. Thomas in the United States. "The key to answering this question is in the oceans'--that's where the vast majority of heat ends up. If you want to understand global warming, you have to measure ocean warming."
2019 broke the previous records set in prior years for global warming, and the effects are already appearing in the form of more extreme weather, rising sea levels and harm to ocean animals.
"Global warming is real, and it's getting worse," Abraham said. "And this is just the tip of the iceberg for what is to come. Fortunately, we can do something about it: We can use energy more wisely and we can diversify our energy sources. We have the power to reduce this problem."
According to the researchers, humans can work to reverse their effect on the climate, but the ocean will take longer to respond than atmospheric and land environments. Since 1970, more than 90 percent of global warming heat went into the ocean, while less than 4 percent of the heat warmed the atmosphere and land where humans live.
Ocean warming poses a threat to food security and people's livelihoods. Credit: Jiang Zhu"Even with that small fraction affecting the atmosphere and land, the global heating has led to an increase in catastrophic fires in the Amazon, California and Australia in 2019, and we're seeing that continue into 2020," Cheng said. "The global ocean warming has caused marine heat waves in Tasman Sea and other regions."
One such marine heat wave in the North Pacific, dubbed "the blob," was first detected in 2013 and continued through 2015.
"The blob is documented to have caused major loss of marine life, from phytoplankton to zooplankton to fish'--including a 100 million cod'--to marine animals, such as whales," said Kevin Trenberth, co-author and distinguished senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in the United States. "These manifestations of global warming have major consequences."
Trenberth also noted that a hot spot in the Gulf of Mexico in 2017 spawned Hurricane Harvey, which led to 82 deaths and caused about $108 billion in damages according to the Rice Kinder Institute for Urban Research. The following year, a hotspot in the Atlantic Ocean near the Carolinas led to Hurricane Florence. According to Moody's Analytics, an economic research organization, the storm caused 53 deaths and between $38 and $50 billion in economic damage.
"The price we pay is the reduction of ocean-dissolved oxygen, the harmed marine life, strengthening storms and reduced fisheries and ocean-related economies," Cheng said. "However, the more we reduce greenhouse gases, the less the ocean will warm. Reduce, reuse and recycle and transferring to a clean energy society are still the major way forward."
Next, the researchers are examining how warming impacts oceans beyond temperature. They plan to study how water temperatures affect the water's buoyancy, which directly affects the distribution of nutrients and heat.
More information:Lijing Cheng et al, Record-Setting Ocean Warmth Continued in 2019,
Advances in Atmospheric Sciences (2020).
DOI: 10.1007/s00376-020-9283-7 Citation: Record-setting ocean warmth equivalent to 3.6 billion Hiroshima atom bomb explosions over 25 years (2020, January 14) retrieved 14 January 2020 from https://phys.org/news/2020-01-record-setting-ocean-warmth-equivalent-billion.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
Venice canals almost run dry just two months after flooding | World News | Sky News
Mon, 13 Jan 2020 06:40
Just weeks after serious flooding caused widespread damage, the famous canals of Venice have been left almost completely dry due to exceptionally low tides.
Two months ago the high tide in Venice peaked at 187cm (6.14ft), leaving around 70% of the lagoon city centre under salt water.
The flooding left the water level at its highest in more than 50 years and there was a race against time to prevent precious artworks being lost.
Image: Last year salt waters flooded St Mark's Square in Venice Image: Gondolas practically beached as Venice's canals run dryBut at high tide on Saturday the city was a very different sight, with its famous gondolas and boats almost beached at the bottom of canals.
Hotel bookings in the city reportedly dropped by 40% following November's flooding, the worst since 1966, which left visitors wading through water.
The city, which is built on a collection of 118 small islands, is navigated by canals and more than 400 bridges.
It has a population of just over 260,000 people but millions of tourists visit every year.
The survival of Venice is a challenge which has provoked debate among the city's residents for many years.
Image: Venice's famous canals are a major tourist attractionLsat summer, Sky's then-Europe correspondent Mark Stone said: "This is a story of chronic mismanagement and a crumbling city of failed engineering projects and huge environmental challenges.
"It's more than that, though. Encapsulated on one lagoon city are so many of the challenges we are all facing."
Australia fires: Aboriginal planners say the bush 'needs to burn' - BBC News
Mon, 13 Jan 2020 08:07
Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Aboriginal people have long used techniques to manage fires For thousands of years, the Indigenous people of Australia set fire to the land.
Long before Australia was invaded and colonised by Europeans, fire management techniques - known as "cultural burns" - were being practised.
The cool-burning, knee-high blazes were designed to happen continuously and across the landscape.
The fires burn up fuel like kindling and leaf detritus, meaning a natural bushfire has less to devour.
Since Australia's fire crisis began last year, calls for better reintegration of this technique have grown louder. But it should have happened sooner, argues one Aboriginal knowledge expert.
"The bush needs to burn," says Shannon Foster.
She's a knowledge keeper for the D'harawal people - relaying information passed on by her elders - and an Aboriginal Knowledge lecturer at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS).
Much of the ancestral information she shares relates to the bush, says Ms Foster.
"It's the concept of maintaining country - central to everything we do as Aboriginal people. It's about what we can give back to country; not just what we can take from it."
'Naive' techniques of todayCountry is personified within Aboriginal culture. "The earth is our mother. She keeps us alive," Ms Foster says. This relationship shifts priorities around precautionary burning.
While modern-day authorities do carry out hazard reduction burning, focusing on protecting lives and property, Ms Foster says it's "clearly not working".
"The current controlled burns destroy everything. It's a naive way to practise fire management, and it isn't hearing the Indigenous people who know the land best.
"Whereas cultural burning protects the environment holistically. We're interested in looking after country, over property and assets.
"We can't eat, drink or breathe assets. Without country, we have nothing."
Image copyright Catherine McLachlan Image caption Shannon Foster relays techniques passed on by her D'harawal elders Image copyright UTS Image caption Her great-grandfather Tom (left) and grandfather Fred (third from left) give lessons in the 1940s Indigenous cultural burns work within the rhythms of the environment, attracting marsupials and mammals which Aboriginal people could hunt.
"Cool burning replenishes the earth and enhances biodiversity - the ash fertilises and the potassium encourages flowering. It's a complex cycle based on cultural, spiritual and scientific knowledge."
They also create a mosaic of ecologies, Ms Foster says, and this can lead to beneficial micro-climates.
"Soft burning encourages rain - it warms the environment to a particular atmospheric level, and once the warm and the cool meet, condensation - rain - occurs, helping mitigate fires."
Her Aboriginal elders in Sydney have been assessing the overgrown bush and extremely dry kindling for some time, warning that a huge fire is coming: "They compared it to a kid with unkempt hair, saying it needs nurturing."
But local authorities have forbidden them from cultural burning when they've asked for permission.
Where cultural burning is usedThere's no one-size-fits-all approach to precautionary burning because the Australian landscape is so diverse from place to place.
Nonetheless, some states do integrate cultural burning with other strategies, according to Dr Richard Thornton, CEO of the Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre.
"There's a stark difference in northern Australia, where Indigenous cultural burning happens substantially. In southern states, it's sometimes done according to the needs and wishes of local communities."
Image copyright AFP/Getty Images Image caption The bushfire crisis has devastated Australia since September Since Australia was colonised in 1788, cultural burning was slowly eradicated. But recent years have seen moves to reintegrate it.
Associate Prof Noel Preece, a former national parks ranger, wrote the first fire manual for central Australian park reserves.
He says cultural burning is still practised in parts of Melbourne, but largely stopped in south-eastern Australia because vegetation built up in "precarious areas" where cool burns don't work.
"That said, Indigenous people had extremely detailed knowledge of 'dirty country' that needs a good burn," says Associate Prof Preece, now of James Cook University.
Drawbacks of the ancient practiceCultural burning, Prof Preece says, can reduce fuel on the ground from 10 tons to 1 ton. But it's only effective protection for moderate fires, so it needs to be done in conjunction with hazard reduction burns.
Even then, it only reduces hazards: "With the recent catastrophic conditions of humidity and high winds, nothing could stop these fires."
"Aboriginal people were taken off their country so there's a re-learning process which is very useful and important. But it's still early days and by itself, it's not enough," he says.
Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media caption The orphaned Australian baby bats wrapped with loveExperts agree that cultural burning has limitations, partly because colonisation led to development and human-created climate change, presenting us with a very different landscape now to hundreds of years ago.
Prof Preece has been in areas where, day after day, the conditions for cooler cultural burning weren't right.
"It'd be too moist, too cool, too hot, too dry - you have a narrow window. And with many firefighters in Australia being volunteers, they're working during the week, and you could go four Saturdays till the conditions are right."
For thicker shrub running up tree canopies, he says a hot burn is required because cool burns won't get rid of such layers of fuel.
Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media caption Inaccurate reporting of police figures has fuelled arson claims around Australia's firesIn addition, Dr Thornton says individual Indigenous burns, undertaken by specific agencies such as Firesticks, absolutely have their place, but need to fit within community expectations if done on a larger scale by others.
"We need to ensure fire doesn't escape and burn down somebody's property. It'd undermine community views of the entire practice so we need to ensure we operate within a safety framework which is defendable."
The way forwardPrime Minister Scott Morrison has promised a "comprehensive" inquiry into the ongoing bushfire crisis which has so far killed 27 people and scorched more than 10 million hectares.
When it goes ahead, Dr Thornton stresses the need to "talk to Indigenous elders in each different area and listen".
But he says not a single Indigenous person sits on the board of the national bushfire research centre he manages.
Shannon Foster is keen to work together with government agencies, but she worries about expanding development: "It terrifies me that so much land has been decimated, developers could move in and say we might as well put this estate here; the land is cleared."
"Aboriginal people have looked after this place for so long - to see it now destroyed because nobody has allowed us to care for it is devastating," she adds.
"It's not like we didn't tell you so."
Gwyneth Montenegro on Twitter: "'DANGEROUS' SUPERCELL STORM: Huge weather system to hit Australia. Never a dull day around here! ðŸ" https://t.co/uoVsNPHheg" / Twitter
Wed, 15 Jan 2020 16:50
Log in Sign up Gwyneth Montenegro @ ThisIsGwyneth 'DANGEROUS' SUPERCELL STORM: Huge weather system to hit Australia.Never a dull day around here! ðŸ"
news.com.au/technology/env'... 2:16 PM - 15 Jan 2020 'Dangerous' supercell storm to hit Aus It's been an incredibly dry summer so far but that's all about to change with a massive rain event forecast over the next week '-- one that has already kicked off in parts of the country. news.com.au @newscomauHQ Dryas Lulia @ DryasLulia
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@ThisIsGwyneth Best wishes for everyone's well-being.
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@ThisIsGwyneth it'll work out. We have these all the time.
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@ThisIsGwyneth Bring it on 👍
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@ThisIsGwyneth Looking forward to coming over in February for 3wks to experience the life style in Melbourne.
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Dogs are People Too
Spotify komt met playlists en een podcast voor eenzame huisdieren | NU - Het laatste nieuws het eerst op NU.nl
Thu, 16 Jan 2020 07:36
Huisdieren die een dagje alleen thuis moeten blijven kunnen vanaf woensdag op Spotify luisteren naar gepersonaliseerde playlists en een podcast. Deze zijn bedoeld om de stress te verlichten die een huisdier ervaart als deze een tijdje alleen wordt gelaten.
De podcast richt zich alleen op eenzame honden. In de podcast zit rustgevende muziek, worden verhalen verteld en krijgen de honden aanmoedigende en geruststellende woorden te horen. Volgens Spotify moet dit stress gaan verlichten die honden ervaren als ze een tijd alleen thuis moeten zijn.
Baasjes kunnen ook een playlist creren die zich baseert op het karakter van het huisdier. Deze playlists kunnen op een speciale website gemaakt worden voor honden, katten, vogels, hamsters en zelfs leguanen.
Bij het aanmaken van de playlist krijgen baasjes een aantal vragen voorgeschoteld over het karakter van hun huisdier. Is je kat rustig of juist energiek? En hoe verlegen is je leguaan? Vervolgens kijkt Spotify naar de muzieksmaak van het baasje en creert op basis van al deze input een 'gepersonaliseerde' playlist voor het huisdier.
Volgens Spotify blijkt uit een enquªte dat (C)(C)n op de vier baasjes muziek voor hun huisdier afspeelt als ze alleen thuis zijn. 42 procent van de baasjes zegt zelfs dat hun huisdier een favoriet genre heeft. En een kwart heeft hun huisdieren wel eens zien dansen op muziek.
Epstein
'Culture of clickbait': Harvard law professor sues NYT for defamation over 'false statements' in Epstein donations story -- Society's Child -- Sott.net
Tue, 14 Jan 2020 08:02
New York Times headquarters
A Harvard law professor has filed a defamation suit against the
New York Times, alleging the influential newspaper soiled his reputation by distorting his publicly-held views on convicted sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein.
The case was filed with the US District Court in Massachusetts on Monday by Lawrence Lessig - a policy activist and founder of the Creative Commons project - who says the Times used a "clickbait" headline to misinform readers in an article published in September, which led him to be unfairly "associated with the notoriety surrounding the Epstein scandal."
The paper's actions "are part of a growing journalistic culture of clickbaiting: the use of a shocking headline... to entice readers to click on a particular article, irrespective of the truth of the headline," Lessig's lawsuit reads.
"[The Times is] fully aware that many, if not most, readers never read past the clickbait and that their takeaway concerning the target of the headline is limited to what they read in the headline."
The story in question is centered on an essay Lessig wrote in defense of Joi Ito, the former director of MIT's Media Lab, who resigned in disgrace after it was discovered he had accepted, and then covered up, donations to MIT from Jeffrey Epstein. Lessig's essay made the case that MIT had the right to keep its donors private, and argued that while Ito made many mistakes, he nonetheless tried to "to determine whether Epstein remained an abuser."
In covering the essay, however, the Times headlined its story: "A Harvard Professor Doubles Down: If You Take Epstein's Money, Do It in Secret," adding in its first paragraph that Lessig was defending "soliciting donations from the convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein."
The story alleges "the exact opposite of what Lessig had written," and was printed even after he brought his concerns to the newspaper pre-publication, the lawsuit says.
"My essay said - repeatedly - that such soliciting was a 'mistake,'" Lessig wrote in a blog post on Monday discussing the suit, adding "I did not defend taking money from Epstein. I didn't say it was ok to take money from Epstein 'if in secret.'"
A spokesperson for the Times said the newspaper will "defend against the claim vigorously" in a statement to the Hill, adding senior editors reviewed Lessig's complaints and were "satisfied that the story accurately reflected his statements."
Unhoused
Austin trash fines . Tax payers get rowdy
Hobo Living VR by BefuddleBug '-- Kickstarter
Mon, 13 Jan 2020 08:23
Pledge without a reward
Pledge US$ 5 or more About US$ 5 Thanks for supporting this project.Thanks for supporting this project. With your help it can happen.
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Pledge $10 or more About $10 StickersYou'll get some fancy hobo stickers you can stick on stuff and the knowledge that you helped a project become a reality.
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Ships to Only United States
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Pledge $20 or more About $20 A copy of the game upon release.You'll get a copy of Hobo Living VR when it is released on Steam.
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Pledge $25 or more About $25 A copy of the game and a set of stickersYou will get a copy of Hobo Living VR upon release on Steam and a set of fancy hobo stickers.
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Pledge $40 or more About $40 Be a beta tester for the gameGet in on the hobo action early and become a beta tester.
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Pledge $40 or more About $40 Beta testing goodiesEarly backers that select this tier will get into beta testing, get a set of fancy hobo stickers and be thanked in a special elite thanks section in the game.
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' Limited (50 left of 50) 0 backers Pledge $45 or more About $45 Be a beta tester and get some stickersGet in on the hobo action early by becoming a beta tester, and get a set of fancy hobo stickers. You will also get your name in a thank you section in the credits.
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Pledge $65 or more About $65 Name a characterBecome a beta tester and name a character in the game. All of the pedestrians have random names attached to them when they spawn. Now you can be included in the name pool. You will also get everything from the previous tiers.
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Pledge $85 or more About $85 The Star PackageGet everything from the previous tiers, but add a little more to your backing to help get this game off the ground.
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Pledge $200 or more About $200 Help design an Easter eggYou will get all the rewards from the previous tiers except for naming the store clerk, but you will also be able to help design an Easter egg for the game. I will work with you to find something that will make you happy and still best suit the game. It could be a hidden image, phrase or anything else you can come up with that I can reasonably create.
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Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000 Your name or company as opening creditYou will get everything in the previous tiers except for naming the store clerk, but you also will have your name or company name presented at the beginning of the game as an opening credit thank you.
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California Water Infected With Increasing Fecal Bacteria As Democrats Allow Homeless Crisis to Worsen
Mon, 13 Jan 2020 09:51
It's always entertaining to see diametrically opposing leftist movements collide with one another. Now we have the environmental groups squaring off against the homeless advocacy groups, as California's homeless crisis is leading to mass contamination of the rivers and streams. Rather than going through sewage treatment, human waste from the homeless is ending up directly in the water ways.
California Health Line reports:
''We should all work together to clean up these hazardous waste and homeless sites before the whole city rots away,'' Trump tweeted about San Francisco on Oct. 26. ''Very bad and dangerous conditions, also severely impacting the Pacific Ocean and water supply.''
San Francisco officials were quick to dispute Trump's claims. But some of California's most prized rivers, beaches and streams are indeed contaminated with levels of fecal bacteria that exceed state limits, threatening kayakers, swimmers '-- and the state's reputation as a bastion of environmental protection.
The presence of fecal bacteria in water is usually the result of problems with sewer systems and septic tanks. But water quality officials agree that the source of at least some of the fecal bacteria is California's growing homeless population, most of whom don't have reliable access to toilets.
''I've carried 5-gallon buckets that were unambiguously being used as toilets,'' said David Gibson, executive officer of the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board, describing his experience cleaning up homeless encampments. ''They were taking it to the San Diego River, dumping it there, and rinsing it out there.''
Fecal contamination of waterways is a widespread problem and becoming more urgent in states with large homeless populations. In Seattle, homeless people living in RVs are accused of dumping raw sewage straight into storm drains, which flows directly to local waterways. In Oregon, workers cleaning up homeless camps along the Willamette River in Eugene routinely find feces and needles.
The Trump administration has fixated on California's homeless population in particular as a potent source of pollution.
In addition to Trump's tweets, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency sent a letter to California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Sept. 26 alleging that the state's lack of urgency on homelessness threatens public health by polluting nearby water with untreated human waste. It then issued a notice to San Francisco accusing it of violating the federal Clean Water Act.
Jared Blumenfeld, secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency, responded by accusing the federal EPA of retreating on clean water protection, and called the administration's focus on the environmental impact of homelessness ''sensationalized'' and ''misguided.''
When it comes to water, scientists look for E. coli and other bacteria to determine levels of fecal contamination. While E. coli is present in both human and animal feces, human fecal contamination is particularly dangerous because it can transmit diseases that affect people, including hepatitis A and cholera.
Most people are not at risk of getting sick unless they drink the water, or if pathogens enter open cuts or sores, said Richard Ambrose, a professor in the department of environmental health sciences at UCLA. Homeless people face the highest risk because they are more likely to wash or wade in the water and have less access to toilets and showers, he said.
in Sacramento, regulators have been measuring elevated fecal bacteria levels in the lower American River for more than three years. Located near downtown Sacramento, it is a popular destination for water sports, even as hundreds of homeless people camp nearby.
Some recreational areas, including Tiscornia Beach, where families picnic, BBQ and wade in the river, had E. coli levels so high in the past year that they hit the upper limits of what the water board's laboratories could measure '-- more than seven times higher than the state standard, said Adam Laputz, assistant executive officer of the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board.
Contamination from homeless camps is so easy to observe '-- and smell '-- that there is no ''need to monitor to know there's a problem,'' said Thomas Mumley, executive officer of the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board, which stretches from Napa County to Santa Clara County.
If there are no bathrooms in or near a homeless encampment, ''we can assume there's a discharge of waste'' where there shouldn't be, he said.
Common Core
JT on Twitter: "@adamcurry @THErealDVORAK Check our the mother of all native ads I came across in my Marketing textbook!! Read the highlighted portion. https://t.co/zM2ZeSsfXJ" / Twitter
Sun, 12 Jan 2020 22:54
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PedoBear
Epidemic of Government Employees Watching Porn on Taxpayer Time | Judicial Watch
Mon, 13 Jan 2020 07:03
January 07, 2020 | Judicial WatchAn epidemic of federal employees watching porn on taxpayer time has reached a new low at one agency where a veteran staffer ''viewed child pornography on a government computer on multiple occasions,'' according to an audit. The unidentified employee worked at the Bureau of Land Management, which operates under the Department of the Interior (DOI) and admitted to investigators from the agency's Inspector General's office that he viewed adult pornography on multiple occasions though he knew DOI policy prohibits it. A year ago, a separate DOI employee infected agency networks with Russian malware after visiting thousands of porn sites on his government computer. A forensic examination determined the employee, who was never identified, had an extensive history of visiting porn websites and saving material on an unauthorized drive. In both cases the employees retired and faced no consequences.
The DOI is hardly alone in the ongoing porn scandal. Watching porn on government computers during work hours is so rampant that legislation (Eliminating Pornography from Agencies Act) was introduced in Congress a few years ago to contain the embarrassing crisis. Porn has for years been part of the job at some government agencies and numerous federal audits have long documented the enraging details of how our tax dollars are being wasted. Judicial Watch has also reported extensively on the topic, especially the porn crisis at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the agency charged with policing the nation's financial industry. While the economy crumbled, the SEC was preoccupied with pornography. In fact, high-ranking managers at the agency regularly spent work hours gawking at pornography web sites on their government computers while the country's financial system collapsed. We're talking dozens of SEC employees, including senior officers with lucrative six-figure salaries viewing explicit images on their agency computers during work hours.
Other agencies have also been embroiled in porn scandals evidently making legislation necessary. Among them is the National Science Foundation (NSF), which has been exposed by its inspector general for having employees spend significant portions of their workdays watching, downloading and e-mailing pornography on government computers without ever getting caught. This workday porn surfing costs American taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars, according to the agency watchdog. In one case a senior NSF executive spent at least 331 days viewing porn on his government computer and chatting online with naked women without getting caught. A separate employee accessed hundreds of pornographic web sites during work hours in a three-week period and another was caught with hundreds of photos, videos and slide shows containing porn. None of the public employees was subject to criminal prosecution, civil court action or debarment, though some got suspended for short periods of time.
About a year ago the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) was embroiled in a large-scale pornography scandal in which hundreds of websites were used by employees and contractors to watch porn on government computers during work hours. The problem was so widespread that the USDA IG issued agency leadership a management alert memo warning of a ''significant increase'' in the number of USDA employees and contractors viewing and sharing unlawful or otherwise inappropriate pornographic content using their government-issued computers and other communication devices. Some of the content includes child pornography, according to the USDA OIG memo. ''This employee misconduct is preventable, and it unnecessarily exposes USDA and its systems to significant risk,'' the OIG memo states. USDA leadership took five months to address the problem even though the watchdog harped on the security risks of surfing the dicey websites on agency equipment. It didn't even delve into the atrocity of public employees getting paid by taxpayers to enjoy porn.
Clips
VIDEO-Parnas: Pence tasked with getting Ukraine to announce Biden probe
Thu, 16 Jan 2020 07:22
Lev Parnas, an associate of Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani, talks with Rachel Maddow in an exclusive interview about Donald Trump's frustration that Ukrainian President Zelenskiy wouldn't announce an investigation into Joe Biden and his son, and Mike Pence being assigned the task of making that expectation clear to Ukraine. Jan. 16, 2020
VIDEO - "I Think You Just Called Me A Liar": Ex-Native-American Liz Warren Snaps At Bernie On Hot Mic | Zero Hedge
Thu, 16 Jan 2020 07:08
Oh the irony...
Having spent most of her political life lying about her heritage, Senator Elizabeth Warren dropped the liar-liar-pants-on-fire hammer on Senator Bernie Sanders last night in what was by far the most entertaining - albeit brief - part of the entire night's Democratic debate.
CNN has released the audio to go with the most awkward viral moment following the debate on stage where Warren refused to shake hands with Sanders.
CNN reports that the conversation was not captured on the primary audio feed from the candidates' podiums. After the debate, CNN did an inventory of the audio equipment that was used and found two backup recordings from the microphones Sanders and Warren were wearing.
CNN then synchronized the audio recordings with the footage that was broadcast live on Tuesday night.
The conversation played out on the debate stage, in public view, and occurred before Sanders and Warren's clip-on microphones were removed.
Here's what was said...
WARREN: I think you called me a liar on national TV
SANDERS: What?
WARREN: I think you called me a liar on national TV
SANDERS: You know, let's not do it right now. If you want to have that discussion, we'll have that discussion.
WARREN: Anytime.
SANDERS: You called me a liar. You told me -- all right, let's not do it now.
STEYER: I don't want to get in the middle I just want to say hi Bernie.
SANDERS: Yeah good okay.
''I don't want to get in the middle. I just want to say hi Bernie.'' is a big mood.pic.twitter.com/16SbIYtj06
'-- JERRY DUNLEAVY (@JerryDunleavy) January 16, 2020Aside from the he-said-she-said nature of the accusations, we have to admit the most comedic aspect was billionaire Tom Steyer caught awkwardly in the middle of these two soak-the-rich socialists.
We suspect this is what is really irking Warren...
Don't voters/respondents/bettors know, she is a woman!!
It would appear from the last few days - and CNN's abhorrent treatment - that the establishment is out to get Bernie once again.
VIDEO - Cold War connections: Documents show UK covertly funded Reuters - YouTube
Thu, 16 Jan 2020 06:53
VIDEO-'Drunk all the time': Parnas dismisses Hyde tracking Yovanovitch
Thu, 16 Jan 2020 06:43
Lev Parnas, an associate of Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani, talks with Rachel Maddow in an exclusive interview about disturbing texts he exchanged with Republican activist Robert Hyde in which they appear to be surveilling U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch. Parnas insists he did not take Hyde seriously, accusing him of excessive drinking. Jan. 16, 2020
VIDEO-Why has the entire Russian government resigned? - YouTube
Wed, 15 Jan 2020 23:28
VIDEO-Maajid Nawaz's incredibly powerful speech on US Iran tensions - YouTube
Wed, 15 Jan 2020 23:25
VIDEO-This Accidental Treatment Is Curing Paralysis - YouTube
Wed, 15 Jan 2020 23:21
VIDEO-Who's this guy? Jeopardy contestants fail to recognize impeachment 'hero' Adam Schiff & Twitter ROFLs '-- RT USA News
Wed, 15 Jan 2020 23:04
Rep. Adam Schiff might be leading an impeachment drive in the US, but it seems not everybody is familiar with the 'Resistance' hero. At least, his photo did not ring any bells to the contestants on the latest Jeopardy episode.
Schiff, a prominent Russiagater whose fame among the anti-Trump resistance camp reached new heights amid the ongoing Ukrainegate saga, might be a household name on Capitol Hill, but the question remains: is the same true for the rest of the country outside of the Washington political swamp? If the classic trivia game show is any indication '' it is not.
The episode that aired on Wednesday included Schiff among answers in a category for ''US Representatives,'' but when host Alex Trebek read out Schiff's title '' House Intelligence Committee chairman '' and his photo popped up on the screen, the contestants drew a blank, none even venturing a guess.
The reaction from US President Donald Trump's supporters on Twitter was swift and merciless.
Some cited the contenders' apparent ignorance about the Russiagater-in-chief as ultimate proof that the whole impeachment process has been ''a sham.''
This makes the #ShamImpeachment such a shame because Trump has delivered on all his promises. Booming economy! Record border security. Record jobs. Historic trade deals. Defeating terrorism. There's nothing he hasn't done. 🇺🇸
'-- Docker (@TheWorkingMan66) January 16, 2020Others simply noted that the highly-politicized portion of the US public, stuck in interminable Twitter battles with the dreaded deplorables, is ''living in a bubble'' where impeachment overshadows all other issues.
Those sympathizing with Schiff's cause argued that Jeopardy episodes are typically recorded about three months in advance, meaning Wednesday's show was filmed when the Ukrainegate drama was still in its inception, just prior to the House's impeachment hearings.
Jeopardy is also taped several months in advance so it's entirely possible this was taped before the impeachment hearings started
'-- CM (@Codsternation) January 16, 2020Many insisted that argument would not stand, however, since Schiff has been a leading voice in the impeachment narrative since soon after Trump's election more than three years ago.
That the episode was filmed before the impeachment hearings is irrelevant. Schiff has spent close to 3 years as the mouthpiece of the Russian Collusion sham.
'-- USATamiW 🍺'š½¸ðŸ¥ðŸ¥'🇺🇸 (@USATamiW) January 16, 2020He has been in Congress for 2 decades. The show is taped about 3 months in advance putting it right in the middle of the inquiry.
'-- KMB 🇺🇸 (@oldstyle81) January 16, 2020Like this story? Share it with a friend!
VIDEO-BREAKING: Nancy Pelosi Unveils 7 Impeachment Managers For President Trump Senate Trial - YouTube
Wed, 15 Jan 2020 19:21
VIDEO-HUGE! Devin Nunes: We Were Told in Early 2017 by Highest Levels of DOJ that General Flynn Didn't Lie to the FBI (VIDEO)
Wed, 15 Jan 2020 17:24
HUGE! Devin Nunes: We Were Told in Early 2017 by Highest Levels of DOJ that General Flynn Didn't Lie to the FBI (VIDEO) by Jim Hoft January 14, 2020Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) joined Laura Ingraham on Tuesday to discuss the latest coup attempt by the Democrat Party, Nancy Pelosi and Adam Schiff.
Nunes also told The Ingraham Angle that Republican lawmakers were told way back in 2017 that General Flynn was innocent and DID NOT LIE to FBI investigators.This is VERY IMPORTANT to know because on Tuesday night Sidney Powell, the attorney for retired Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn, filed a motion in federal court seeking to withdraw his guilty plea in the Mueller probe.
These corrupt anti-Trump activists in the Department of Justice continue to get away with their lies and smears and horrific legal attacks on Trump supporters!
When is the Department of Justice going to CLEAN HOUSE?
Rep. Devin Nunes: Well, we knew early on in 2017 that Michael Flynn did not lie to the FBI. We actually put that in our report. It didn't come out until 2018 after Flynn had already pled. But there were several of us as witnesses. We also told the highest levels of DOJ that we had been briefed by the FBI that Flynn didn't lie to the FBI.
Laura Ingraham: Didn't Peter Strzok come out of that meeting with Flynn and thinking he didn't lie?
Devin Nunes: Well, interesting that you'd say that. There's missing documentation that we never received. And then '... I want to make sure everybody understands this. We put in our report and some of the things that General Flynn is saying and what he gave to the court today withdrawing his plea. He's saying he's been treated unfairly. Remember we put this in our report in 2018 and for some reason it was redacted! We had to fight for what seemed for a couple months in order to get that un-redacted.
Via The Ingraham Angle:
VIDEO-Jim Profit on Twitter: "@StevePieczenik @adamcurry @LouDobbs @FT @WSJbusiness Play the full clip!" / Twitter
Wed, 15 Jan 2020 16:58
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VIDEO - Russian government resigns - YouTube
Wed, 15 Jan 2020 16:42
VIDEO-Who Owns Your Banking Data? - YouTube
Wed, 15 Jan 2020 14:48
VIDEO - The Hill on Twitter: "Speaker Pelosi: "The American voters in America should decide who our president is. Not Vladimir Putin." https://t.co/Kt0lj2Uu1l https://t.co/ROg6HwMvzF" / Twitter
Wed, 15 Jan 2020 13:33
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VIDEO-Adam Parkhomenko on Twitter: "Anyone notice the last couple weeks Devin has been trying to distance himself from something he seems to know everything about...before it was public...maybe a potential failed hit on an American ambassador for example.
Wed, 15 Jan 2020 11:11
Anyone notice the last couple weeks Devin has been trying to distance himself from something he seems to know everything about...before it was public...maybe a potential failed hit on an American ambassador for example...listen to exactly what he says
pic.twitter.com/5W2xgxjKQi
VIDEO - Boomer Triggers Gen-Z Snowflakes. Brad Upton - YouTube
Wed, 15 Jan 2020 09:05
VIDEO - The Hill on Twitter: ".@TheMandyMoore praises @PeteButtigieg: "He's, he's a veteran. He's brilliant. He's a Rhodes Scholar. He speaks 7 languages. He's compassionate, he's authentic. He's a real human." https://t.co/4kbge6RQQA" / Twitter
Wed, 15 Jan 2020 08:42
Welcome home! This timeline is where you'll spend most of your time, getting instant updates about what matters to you.
Tweets not working for you? Hover over the profile pic and click the Following button to unfollow any account.
Say a lot with a little When you see a Tweet you love, tap the heart '-- it lets the person who wrote it know you shared the love.
Spread the word The fastest way to share someone else's Tweet with your followers is with a Retweet. Tap the icon to send it instantly.
Join the conversation Add your thoughts about any Tweet with a Reply. Find a topic you're passionate about, and jump right in.
Learn the latest Get instant insight into what people are talking about now.
Get more of what you love Follow more accounts to get instant updates about topics you care about.
Find what's happening See the latest conversations about any topic instantly.
Never miss a Moment Catch up instantly on the best stories happening as they unfold.
VIDEO - How to Pronounce IMPORTANT - American English - YouTube
Wed, 15 Jan 2020 08:40
VIDEO - #Expose2020: Sanders Campaign Part 1; Field Organizer "F**king Cities Burn" if Trump Re-Elected - YouTube
Wed, 15 Jan 2020 08:27
VIDEO - Fox News Cuts Trump Responses Into Democratic Debate Montage
Wed, 15 Jan 2020 08:24
Fox & Friends edited responses from President Donald Trump into a montage of clips from the Democratic presidential candidate debate, Wednesday.
Fox & Friends has long been considered Trump's favorite cable news show, in large part because the highly rated opinion-based morning show consistently presents the Trump administration in the most favorable light.
After a clip of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) saying, ''We have a president who is lying again, and could drag us into a war that is even worse than the war in Iraq,'' Fox News cut in a clip of President Trump claiming, ''Bernie and the radical left cannot protect your family and they cannot protect our country. Nor do they want to, I think.''
Following another clip of former Vice President Joe Biden declaring, ''We have lost our standing in the region, we have lost the support of our allies,'' Fox & Friends played a video of the president proclaiming, ''America is winning again, America is respected again.''
Fox & Friends also did the same for clips of Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and Tom Steyer'-- ending a clip of Buttigieg saying, ''I am ready to take on this president on the economy,'' with a clip of President Trump boasting, ''Our economy is booming, wages are rising, poverty is plummeting.''
Watch above via Fox News.
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]
VIDEO-DICE 2010: "Design Outside the Box" Presentation - YouTube
Wed, 15 Jan 2020 07:07
VIDEO-Warren Quotes Trump's Spoof Quote About Lindsey Graham - YouTube
Tue, 14 Jan 2020 23:47
VIDEO-Warren and Bernie Clash About Defeating Incumbent Republicans - YouTube
Tue, 14 Jan 2020 23:46
VIDEO-Joe Biden Talks About Child Care - YouTube
Tue, 14 Jan 2020 23:46
VIDEO-CNN Commentator: Warren Private Dinner Story Is True Because CNN Reported It - YouTube
Tue, 14 Jan 2020 23:45
VIDEO-Treasury Secretary Mnuchin Discusses U.S-China ''Phase-One'' Trade Reforms '' Compliance Standards'... | The Last Refuge
Tue, 14 Jan 2020 23:45
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin appears on FOX Business to discuss the U.S-China 'phase-one' trade agreement, the benefits, enforcement mechanisms and retention of tariffs and particular sanctions until compliance can be reviewed.
Phase-1 establishes the baselines; resets the ability of U.S. companies to enter China; establishes rules for market entry; and sets the parameters for enforcement. Any future phase is contingent upon evaluation of phase-one enforcement mechanisms.
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VIDEO-Drag Queen Protest Ends In Tragedy, Ricky Gervais Cancelled and WW3 - YouTube
Tue, 14 Jan 2020 23:12
VIDEO-NewsBusters on Twitter: "This is how the media operates. Bernie Sanders clarifies that he never told Elizabeth Warren that a woman couldn't be president. CNN: "Senator Warren, what did you think when senator Sanders told you a woman could not win th
Tue, 14 Jan 2020 23:11
Log in Sign up NewsBusters @ newsbusters This is how the media operates.Bernie Sanders clarifies that he never told Elizabeth Warren that a woman couldn't be president.CNN: "Senator Warren, what did you think when senator Sanders told you a woman could not win the election?"
#DemDebate pic.twitter.com/rH2HB0d1WT 7:04 PM - 14 Jan 2020 Twitter by: MRCTV.org @mrctv Craig Marusich 🇺🇸 @ c_marusich
2h Replying to
@newsbusters Bernie didn't call her out because he really and truly doesn't want to be president. Same thing happened in 2016 when he said ''he was tired of talking about Hillary's damn emails.''
View conversation · Steve Campbell @ ReformedWriter
1h Replying to
@c_marusich @newsbusters Then B and I have common ground: I don't want him to be president either.
View conversation · Charlene @ 00honeybee
2h Replying to
@newsbusters Egregious behavior from moderator.
View conversation · johngaltfla.com @ johngaltfla
2h Replying to
@newsbusters @JamesOKeefeIII I'm sure
@JamesOKeefeIII has some more fun video for us. I'm in fact positive of that.ðŸŽ
View conversation · CoffeyJPC 🇺🇸 @ JpcCoffey
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@newsbusters #EnemyOfThePeople View conversation · Raley Leigh @ rahlee_lee
2h Replying to
@newsbusters I thought that was odd. Like why didn't they have her address him clearly saying it didn't happen
View conversation · Jay @ Jaykay4728
2h Replying to
@newsbusters @Barnes_Law Somebody's fibbing.
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@newsbusters Maybe Warren is only 1/1024 female? :D
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@newsbusters Enemy of the People type behavior on the part of the corporate press
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VIDEO-Warren vows to wipe out student loan debt | Reuters Video
Tue, 14 Jan 2020 17:16
Posted
Democrat Elizabeth Warren outlined on Tuesday how, if elected to the White House, she would on the first day of her presidency cancel federal student loan debt of up to $50,000 dollars by using the Department of Education's pre-existing authority. Colette Luke has more
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VIDEO - 'Once-in-a-generation catastrophic event': Port of Milwaukee suffers millions of dollars in damage
Tue, 14 Jan 2020 14:52
MILWAUKEE '-- Port of Milwaukee authorities are calling the aftermath of Saturday's heavy winds and waves along Lake Michigan catastrophic.
Port of Milwaukee Director Adam Schlicht said they were able to partially reopen Monday, allowing a 1,000-foot cargo vessel to dock, but a majority of the port remains unusable due to the damage.
Crews Work To Rebuild Shore Underneath House Destroyed By Waves Giant potholes, torn apart fences and flooded buildings are just some of the port's damage from Saturday's gale-force winds and 15' waves that proved to be too much for the break-wall to handle.
Schlicht said the damage is already in the several-million dollar range with emergency crews still assessing on the ground.
''The wind blowing that much water onto the port is really a once-in-a-generation catastrophic event for us,'' he said. ''We don't believe we've seen anything like the type of water that was present here at the port or the type of wind-related damage that we've seen in several decades.''
Schlicht considers the Port of Milwaukee a hidden economic gem for the city of Milwaukee. The city-owned port handles 2.5 million tons of cargo each year making it less expensive for local manufacturers and businesses to import or export goods to destinations across the world.
That wasn't the case on Monday as several ports sit empty and damage from the storm on-land and in the later could take months to repair.
''My concern is that for each day that we are at partial operations means that our ability to create a productive and profitable return to the taxpayers is diminished,'' Schlicht said.
A short drive down to South Shore Yacht Club shows more of the same. Some portions of the Lake Michigan break-wall are no longer standing.
''The waves were about in the 15-foot area and if you look at that break wall, you might have 8 feet there or less,'' said yacht club commodore Peter Engel. ''The worst direction the wind can come from around here is the northeast and that's where it was all day Saturday.
Engel said all of the yacht club's 200 docks and slips were at least partially damaged. Many of them washed to shore where volunteers tried to salvage the wood.
Engel worries a 'next time' is inevitable unless the break-wall is built much taller to accommodate for current lake levels.
''It's predicted to go another foot higher by July so we're afraid if we get another storm in the summer it's really going to cause a lot of damage to people's property and boats,'' he said.
Port of Milwaukee authorities already plans to request state and federal disaster assistance. Milwaukee County Emergency Management said they should have an accurate damage assessment by Thursday.
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VIDEO - Russian spies hacked Ukrainian energy company at center of Trump's impeachment
Tue, 14 Jan 2020 09:57
The Ukrainian natural gas company that prompted President Donald Trump to seek investigations from Ukraine's president over its hiring of former Vice President Joe Biden's son was hacked by Russian spies, security experts said in a report released Monday.
The Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Army, or GRU, "launched a phishing campaign targeting Burisma Holdings" as early as November, according to the cybersecurity firm Area 1 Security.
"The Russians were trying to steal user names," and "from that perspective they were successful," Area 1 co-founder Oren Falkowitz, a former employee of the National Security Agency and U.S. Cyber Command, said Monday night. "What they intend to do from there is unknown," he said.
The New York Times first reported Area 1's conclusions.
Burisma employed Hunter Biden, the vice president's son, as a board member in May 2014. He stopped working with the company in 2019.
Hunter Biden's job with the gas company has prompted criticism, particularly from defenders of Trump. He admitted in October that his last name likely was the reason he was offered a seat on the board.
Trump was impeached in part because of allegations that in a phone call in July, Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate Joe Biden and his son and appeared to raise unfounded allegations that the former vice president stopped prosecution of the company.
Area 1 said in its report that the GRU phishing campaign was designed to steal email credentials and passwords of employees at Burisma Holdings, as well as its subsidiaries and partners.
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John Podesta, who was chairman of Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign, had his emails hacked during the 2016 campaign through phishing. Falkowitz said of the attack on Burisma: "It's almost entirely the exact same thing."
Phishing campaigns depend on the human perception of authenticity and can be stopped, he said in a statement. Around 95 percent of all cyberattacks involve phishing, he said.
U.S. prosecutors in 2018 indicted 12 people said to be members of the GRU in connection with the hacking of Democratic organizations and Clinton's 2016 campaign.
Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., chairman of the Intelligence Committee, who has been a key figure in Trump's impeachment, said the development shows that Russia was still interested in interfering with U.S. elections.
"It would not at all surprise me. This is indeed exactly what Bob Mueller warned about in his testimony: That the Russians would be at this again," Schiff said Monday night on MSNBC, referring to the special counsel who investigated Russia's attempts to interfere in the 2016 election and examined whether there was any coordination with the Trump campaign.
"They appear, if this reporting is correct, to be in the midst of another hacking and potentially another dumping operation designed to influence another election," Schiff said of the Russian government.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday night.
Area 1 said in its report that the targeting of a Ukrainian company by the GRU is not particularly novel but that "it is significant because Burisma Holdings is publicly entangled in U.S. foreign and domestic politics."
"The timing of the GRU's campaign in relation to the 2020 U.S. elections raises the spectre that this is an early warning of what we have anticipated since the successful cyberattacks undertaken during the 2016 U.S. elections," the report said.
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Area 1 said the campaign by the GRU against Burisma Holdings began as early as November. That's about two months after a whistleblower complaint accused Trump of having pressured the Ukrainian president to investigate the Bidens. The complaint was unsealed in September.
Falkowitz said Area 1 had been through a rigorous and standard process to notify U.S. authorities about the cyberattack within the last week, but he declined to comment further.
He said the report was significant in that it showed a phishing attack in progress, rather than after the fact.
The phishing technique used, described as credential harvesting, involves stealing account information like usernames and passwords. That can allow groups to get inside systems and impersonate employees.
A spokesman for Joe Biden's 2020 presidential campaign said the Area 1 report "proves that both Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin understand the true stakes of this election."
"Donald Trump tried to coerce Ukraine into lying about Joe Biden and a major bipartisan, international anti-corruption victory because he recognized that he can't beat the Vice President," campaign spokesman Andrew Bates said. "Now we know that Vladimir Putin also sees Joe Biden as a threat. Any American president who had not repeatedly encouraged foreign interventions of this kind would immediately condemn this attack on the sovereignty of our elections."
Phil Helsel Phil Helsel is a reporter for NBC News.
Mike Memoli Mike Memoli is an NBC News correspondent.
Sarah Kaufman contributed.
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VIDEO - [1m40 and 36m40] WHO IS LYING TO YOU? - YouTube
Tue, 14 Jan 2020 09:37
VIDEO-LESSIG v. CLICKBAIT DEFAMATION '' (by the New York Times)
Tue, 14 Jan 2020 09:15
>>
In a long and personal essay about MIT's decision to take money from the criminal Jeffrey Epstein, I expressly criticize MIT for taking Epstein's money, summarizing the argument like this:
it was a mistake to take [Epstein's money], even if anonymous.
Yet in an article intended to explain my essay, the New York Times titles the piece ''A Harvard Professor Doubles Down: If you take Epstein's Money, Do It In Secret,'' and then the lede opens with:
It is hard to defend soliciting donations from the convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. But Lawrence Lessig, a Harvard Law professor, has been trying.
These statements are compelling. They are also false. And they are false with the purpose of creating clickbait '-- a snippet of text that drives traffic to an article and hence a set of ads.
Unchecked, clickbait corrupts journalism. I have brought this case to challenge that corruption. The incentives to use clickbait are real. The return from clickbait is substantial. So long as the headlines and ledes are true, there is no harm. When they are false '-- and when, upon notice, that falsity is not corrected '-- there should be consequences enough to create the incentive to do better the next time. .
I will follow the case in a new podcast, The Law, such as it is. (Not just this case, but that is its beginning.) You can find the podcast here. Or sign up for email updates below.
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VIDEO-Olympic Medalist Kimia Alizadeh Defects From Iran (VIDEO)
Tue, 14 Jan 2020 08:58
By Johannah GrenawayJanuary 13, 2020
The 21-year-old wrote that Iran has used her as a political "tool" and that she has defected because of "hypocrisy, lies, injustice and flattery."
Taekwondo champion Kamia Alizadeh announced in an Instagram post on Saturday that she has defected from Iran because of "hypocrisy, lies, injustice and flattery."
The 21-year-old wrote in Persian that Iran has used her as a political "tool," and that her "troubled spirit does not fit" into the "dirty economic channels and tight political lobbies."
Alizadeh took home the bronze medal for taekwondo in the 2016 Rio Olympics. She is the only Iranian woman to ever win an Olympic medal.
She said: "I am one of the millions of oppressed women in Iran whom they have been playing with for years. They took me wherever they wanted. I wore whatever they said. Every sentence they ordered I repeated."
The medalist went on to criticize the Iranian government for attributing her success to its "management and tact," referencing its requirement for women to cover their heads with hijabs. She also said the government's political exploitation is humiliating when at the same time she's told that "it is not virtuous for a woman to stretch her legs."
According to a semi-official Iranian news agency, ISNA, Alizadeh is now in the Netherlands. Since September, two other top Iranian sports figures have defected as well.
Alizadeh wrapped up her message to the world by saying: "I have no other wish except for taekwondo, security and a happy and healthy life. ... This decision is even harder to win than the Olympic gold, but I remain the daughter of Iran wherever I am."
VIDEO-Chapter 1: The Stakes | Crooked Media
Tue, 14 Jan 2020 08:50
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VIDEO-Watch: Trans Activist Jessica Yaniv Beats Up Journo on Camera After Hearing on Weapons Charges - Sputnik International
Tue, 14 Jan 2020 08:35
World15:00 14.01.2020Get short URL
Jesssica Yaniv, a transgender woman based in the Canadian province of British Columbia, was charged with possession of a prohibited weapon in August after brandishing a stun gun to intimidate *her* counterpart.
Trans activist Jessica Yaniv has a record of violent interactions with reporters, but this one may lead to actual charges being levelled against *her*.
Keean Bexte, a reporter for the right-wing website Rebel News, walked up to Yaniv with a camera as *she* was walking out of the Provincial Court of British Columbia on Monday after a hearing on charges of possessing an illegal weapon.
''Will you be pleading guilty?'' he utters, before Yaniv charges at him with a barrage of punches.
Yaniv followed after the journo, who said *she* punched him in the back of the head, yelling, ''Get away from me!''
''I'm calling the police on you,'' Bexte says, with Yaniv retorting, ''I don't give a s**t''.
WARNING: Contains strong language and violenceJ. Yaniv just punched me in the back of the head. Just spoke to police. Luckily there are two security cameras directly overhead at the courthouse. I need an advil. pic.twitter.com/3hfm2CfYhq
'-- Keean Bexte 🇨ðŸ‡...🇭🇰 (@TheRealKeean) January 14, 2020In a follow-up statement, Bexte said he was seeking legal advice on whether there are any ''options to make sure this menace sees justice''.
Yaniv's charges stem from a livestream YouTube debate in August where the activist flashed a stun gun, demonstrating knowledge that the weapon was prohibited in Canada.
Police soon arrested Yaniv and searched the trans activist's house, where they also found the prohibited pepper spray. Yaniv is now facing six months in prison for each charge.
During recess on Monday, Yaniv also confronted The Post Millenial reporter Amy Eileen Hamm whom *she* claimed had taken *her* photographs in the women's bathroom.
Hamm said she entered the bathroom but ''quickly exited'' after spotting Yaniv there. Police searched her phone and found no photos of the trans activist.
Yaniv successfully insisted on barring Bexte and another reporter from covering Monday's hearing, so there is scarce information on what happened there. According to Hamm, Yaniv asked the court for a publication ban '' similar to that enforced in the summer during the infamous ''Scrotum Waxing'' case '' but the request was denied.
Yaniv then reportedly requested a new court date, and the hearing was re-scheduled for 10 February.
In August, Yaniv assaulted another Rebel News reporter with a cane as he was calling out the activist's well-documented obsession with teenage girls and their periods.
VIDEO - 9mins Ep. 18: Assassins by RUMBLE with MICHAEL MOORE ' A podcast on Anchor
Mon, 13 Jan 2020 15:40
176 passengers on a Ukrainian passenger jet were all killed after it was shot down this weekend. The government of Iran admitted that they mistakenly shot it down, days after Donald Trump ordered the assassination a top Iranian leader who was in Iraq, setting off 72 hours of chaos and heightened tensions. If not for America's illegal and unjustified assassination, wouldn't these 176 passengers still be alive?Michael discusses America's history in Iran, the stupidity of pro-war Democrats, and the balmy winter weather on the East Coast.********************Subscribe to ''RUMBLE with Michael Moore'' on:Appleapple.co/rumbleSpotifyhttps://open.spotify.com/show/5KubucWBfyJr14bD7xWBvSGoogle:https://www.google.com/podcasts?feed=aHR0cHM6Ly9hbmNob3IuZm0vcy8xMGZjOWEzMC9wb2RjYXN0L3Jzcw==Stitcher:https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/michael-moore-4/rumble-with-michael-mooreAnchor:https://anchor.fm/rumble-with-michael-mooreFollow Michael on:Twitter:https://twitter.com/MMFlintFacebook:https://www.facebook.com/mmflint/Instagram:https://www.instagram.com/michaelfmoore/********************
48:34
January 13, 2020
Ep. 17: Re-education Camp (feat. Francesca Fiorentini)
Almost 10 years after Obamacare was passed, medical bills are still the leading cause of bankruptcy in the U.S., 30 million Americans are uninsured, and those who have insurance are dealing with the most expensive health care costs in the world. Michael is joined by political satirist and journalist Francesca Fiorentini to discuss healthcare in America and the state of political satire.******************************************Watch this clip from Francesca's MSNBC special, "Red, White & Who?":https://www.msnbc.com/msnbc-originals/watch/-red-white-who-digital-exclusive-sen-bernie-sanders-extended-interview-75851845619Watch Michael Moore's Oscar-nominated film "SiCKO" here:https://vimeo.com/76646445Watch Francesca on AJ+ here:https://www.youtube.com/ajplusFollow Francesca on Twitter:https://twitter.com/franifioFollow Francesca on Instagram:https://www.instagram.com/franifio/******************************************
1:06:31
January 10, 2020
Ep. 16: Centrism Kills. Misogyny Does Too. (feat. Emily Ratajkowski)
Emily Ratajkowski is an actress, supermodel and fiercely dedicated citizen. She joins Michael for a conversation about radicalism, capitalism, privilege, power, Bernie, Biden and #MeToo.***************************The New Yorker cartoon Emily mentioned is here:https://condenaststore.com/featured/let-me-interrupt-your-expertise-with-my-confidence-jason-adam-katzenstein.htmlThe play Emily & Michael mentioned, "Slave Play" is here:https://slaveplaybroadway.com/The funny "Bernie Vs. Bernie" video Michael & Emily mentioned is here:https://youtu.be/5avtfMXeh40 Follow Emily on Instagram:https://www.instagram.com/emrata/Follow Emily on Twitter:https://twitter.com/emrata ***************************Subscribe to "RUMBLE with Michael Moore" on:Appleapple.co/rumbleSpotifyhttps://open.spotify.com/show/5KubucWBfyJr14bD7xWBvSGoogle:https://www.google.com/podcasts?feed=aHR0cHM6Ly9hbmNob3IuZm0vcy8xMGZjOWEzMC9wb2RjYXN0L3Jzcw==Stitcher:https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/michael-moore-4/rumble-with-michael-mooreAnchor:https://anchor.fm/rumble-with-michael-mooreFollow Michael on:Twitter:https://twitter.com/MMFlintFacebook:https://www.facebook.com/mmflint/Instagram:https://www.instagram.com/michaelfmoore/********************
1:08:03
January 8, 2020
Ep. 15: How to Convict Trump in the U.S. Senate
Michael Moore lays out the case for how and why the Senate can convict and remove Donald Trump from office. It requires us demanding there be witnesses '-- there is no trial in a free country without witnesses. John Bolton holds the secret. YOU and this phone number can make it happen: 202-224-3121. Hear Mike's urgent call to action on this episode of Rumble.
40:32
January 6, 2020
Ep. 14: EMERGENCY PODCAST SYSTEM '-- An Open Letter From Michael Moore To The Government of Iran
Michael Moore asks the Ayatollah and the leaders of Iran to not respond to Trump's crime with more violence. Instead, he appeals to the Iranian government to let him and millions of Americans fix the problem with Trump either by trial in the Senate or the ballot box in November.********************Subscribe to the podcast on:Appleapple.co/rumbleSpotifyhttps://open.spotify.com/show/5KubucWBfyJr14bD7xWBvSGoogle:https://www.google.com/podcasts?feed=aHR0cHM6Ly9hbmNob3IuZm0vcy8xMGZjOWEzMC9wb2RjYXN0L3Jzcw==Stitcher:https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/michael-moore-4/rumble-with-michael-mooreAnchor:https://anchor.fm/rumble-with-michael-mooreFollow Michael on:Twitter:https://twitter.com/MMFlintFacebook:https://www.facebook.com/mmflint/Instagram:https://www.instagram.com/michaelfmoore/********************
19:16
January 5, 2020
Ep. 13: EMERGENCY PODCAST SYSTEM '-- Trump Assassinates Soleimani '-- ''An Act of War''
We are pre-empting today's scheduled podcast due to Donald Trump ordering the assassination of the #2 leader of Iran last night. Michael lays out the truth behind this and why Trump did it. And what we need to about it. Recorded in the middle of the night, we decided the urgency of us needing to deal with Trump's actions was important enough that we post this emergency podcast. There must be no delay before we act. Senate switchboard: 202-224-3121
28:31
January 3, 2020
Ep. 12: Rumble 2020 Declarations
On New Year's Eve, Michael Moore asked for your 2020 Declarations. In this episode, we hear them. Follow Michael Moore on Twitter here:https://twitter.com/MMFlintFollow Executive Producer Basel Hamdan here:https://twitter.com/BaselYHamdanSubscribe to "RUMBLE with Michael Moore" on:Appleapple.co/rumbleSpotifyhttps://open.spotify.com/show/5KubucWBfyJr14bD7xWBvSGoogle:https://www.google.com/podcasts?feed=aHR0cHM6Ly9hbmNob3IuZm0vcy8xMGZjOWEzMC9wb2RjYXN0L3Jzcw==Stitcher:https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/michael-moore-4/rumble-with-michael-mooreAnchor:https://anchor.fm/rumble-with-michael-moore
1:19:17
January 1, 2020
Ep. 11: Dick Clark's New Year's Rumblin' Eve
Michael Moore reflects on the past year and the past decade and asks YOU to make DECLARATIONS for the year 2020. A declaration is something like ''I declare that in 2020 I'm going to help get the minimum wage raised to $20 an hour!'' or ''I declare that I'm going to buy less crap in 2020 because our overconsumption is killing the planet!'' or ''I declare that in 2020 I'm only going to wash my hair once a week and I will only shop the outer ring aisles of the grocery store where the fresher foods are.'' Or whatever you want! Send your 2020 Declaration to Michael (as early as you can today) and he will share some of them on his New Year's Day podcast tomorrow. You can send your #2020Declaration 3 ways:1. Tweet Michael at @mmflint and use the hashtag #2020Declaration2. Email: mike@michaelmoore.com3. Send a voicemail through Anchor at the link below (must be 60 seconds or less!)
1:00:59
December 31, 2019
Ep. 10: Reconsidering Ralph (feat. Ralph Nader)
Michael Moore and Ralph Nader have a complicated relationship. So during his trip to D.C. to witness the impeachment of Donald Trump, Michael was surprised when he bumped into Ralph while visiting the office of Flint's representative in Congress. They ended up having their first real conversation in nearly 20 years. Ralph agreed to let Michael record it for this podcast.Rumble Reads:Ralph Nader and Mark Green's new book "Fake President" is here:https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781510751125Read more about the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact here:https://www.nationalpopularvote.com/Follow Ralph here:https://twitter.com/RalphNader
53:13
December 30, 2019
Ep. 9: Please Let Me Rob You, I'm Woke (feat. Anand Giridharadas)
While the majority of Americans live paycheck-to-paycheck and one emergency away from financial peril, a new study shows that the 500 richest people in the world gained a combined $1.2 trillion in wealth in 2019. In the U.S., the richest 0.1% now control a bigger share of the pie than at any time since the beginning of the Great Depression.But what happens when the very people hoarding this wealth at the expense of democracy, the environment and an equitable society, re-brand themselves as the people who will fix society's problems? What happens when the arsonists pose as the firefighters?Anand Giridharadas has been studying these questions and he joins Michael Moore to name names and discuss what to do about it. Rumble Reads:Anand's book, "Winners Take All" is here:https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/539747/winners-take-all-by-anand-giridharadas/9780451493248Follow Anand here:https://twitter.com/AnandWritesThe Jamie Dimon "60 Minutes" episode that Michael and Anand ridicule is here:https://www.cbsnews.com/video/jamie-dimon-jp-morgan-chase-ceo-the-60-minutes-interview-2019-11-10/The new survey about the wealthiest people in the world is here :https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-12-27/world-s-richest-gain-1-2-trillion-as-kylie-baby-sharks-prosper
1:49:37
December 28, 2019
Ep. 8: Follow The Yellow Brick Road (feat. Alex Press)
Since the economic crash of 2008, polling has consistently showed that young Americans are embracing socialism more than capitalism. Media outlets like Jacobin and organizations like DSA have emerged and they are mobilizing and informing new generations of political thinkers.In this episode of "RUMBLE with Michael Moore," Michael is joined by Alex Press, an editor and writer at Jacobin, a labor organizer and a DSA member. She and Michael discuss the movement behind the Bernie Sanders campaign, health care, the Wizard of Oz, suicide, labor and more.Rumble Reads:You can read and subscribe to Jacobin Magazine here:https://www.jacobinmag.com/You can follow Alex Press here:https://twitter.com/alexnpressThe laughable New York Times story from 2015 that Michael mentioned is here:https://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/29/us/politics/bernie-sanders-campaign.htmlThe media and organizing project that Alex mentioned, Labor Notes, is here:https://www.labornotes.org/
1:26:21
December 27, 2019
Ep. 7: A Very Rumble Christmas
Join Michael Moore for a RUMBLE Christmas sing-along! The lyrics are below and are slightly altered to match the times we live in.Merry Christmas!1. Rudy, the Red-Nosed ReindeerRudy, the red nosed lawyerHad a very shiny noseThat's cause of where he put itRight up in, well, you know.All of the other TrumpstersUsed to roll their eyes and sneerAs Rudy hung out in UkraineHoping to deliver a smear.Then one foggy winter's dayDonald came to sayRudy with your nose so brightWon't you tell more lies tonightThen all the Trumpsters loved himAnd they shouted out with glee '--''Rudy the red-nosed lawyerYou'll go down in infamy!''2. Nancy Pelosi Is Coming to TownOh, you better watch outYou better not cryYou better not poutI'm telling you whyNancy Pelosi is coming to town!She's making a listChecking it twiceGonna find out who's working for ICENancy Pelosi is coming to town.She sees you when you're sleepingShe knows when you're awakeShe knows what else is in that server '--And she knows you're on the take!You better watch outYou better not tryTo hold a fake trialI'm telling you why '--Nancy will kick your ass!3. Silent Night Silent Night!Holy Night!Fox is gone.Murdoch's left town.Tucker and Hannity '--Nobody cares.Fox and FriendsAre lost in Times SquareSleep in heavenly peace!Trump will be joining you soon!4. White ChristmasI'm dreaming of a White OwnerJust like the owners we've known beforeWhere they fire Colin KaepernickFor taking a kneeCause he didn't like cops shooting black kids in the snow.I'm dreaming of a White OwnerWith every Christmas card I write.May Colin's days be merry and bright '--And may all you owners take flight.5. Jared the No-Man Jared the No-manHe brought peace to the Middle East!He brought happiness to all the worldAnd he never even said a peep!Jared the No-manHe fixed climate change!With a wink and a nod and a twitch of his eyeThe entire earth was saved!But then one day his father-in-law calledAnd told him to stay away -Ivanka would now run the world!''Pack your bags, she's mine today!''Jared the No-man knew he had no choice that day '--So he waved goodbye,Saying ''don't you cry,I'll be fine in East LA.!''6. Joy to the World Joy to the world!The Trump is impeached!And soon we'll get Pence too!What will Mitch McConnell do?!What will Stephen Miller do?!Run and hide then go to jail?Run and hide then go to jail?Run and hide then go to jail?Run and hide, run and hideThen go to jail!
12:46
December 25, 2019
Ep. 6: Everything Must Go (feat. Todd Phillips)
"Joker" Director Todd Phillips joins Michael Moore for a wide-ranging conversation about how movies get made, Joker, and the responsibility of artists during times of chaos. From this episode:Michael's Facebook post on "Joker"https://www.facebook.com/mmflint/posts/on-wednesday-night-i-attended-the-new-york-film-festival-and-witnessed-a-cinemat/10156278766436857/Todd Phillips' unreleased HBO doc "Frat House"https://youtu.be/eezwzDKqBbw********************Subscribe to "RUMBLE with Michael Moore" on:Appleapple.co/rumbleSpotifyhttps://open.spotify.com/show/5KubucWBfyJr14bD7xWBvSGoogle:https://www.google.com/podcasts?feed=aHR0cHM6Ly9hbmNob3IuZm0vcy8xMGZjOWEzMC9wb2RjYXN0L3Jzcw==Stitcher:https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/michael-moore-4/rumble-with-michael-mooreAnchor:https://anchor.fm/rumble-with-michael-mooreFollow Michael on:Twitter:https://twitter.com/MMFlintFacebook:https://www.facebook.com/mmflint/Instagram:https://www.instagram.com/michaelfmoore/********************
1:36:14
December 23, 2019
Ep. 5: Free Dental - A Conversation With My Dentist
Michael has always enjoyed talking politics with his dentist, so he decided to record an episode right from his dentist's chair. The show includes novocaine, drilling and some Medicare For All talk.
30:51
December 22, 2019
Ep. 4: Now Yous Can't Leave (feat. Robert De Niro)
Michael Moore sits down with acting legend Robert De Niro. The conversation, recorded in De Niro's office in Lower Manhattan, was raw, unfiltered and provocative. De Niro said he's never listened to a podcast and has never appeared on one, until now.
1:08:29
December 20, 2019
Ep. 2: We ARE The Wrong Side (feat. Daniel Ellsberg)
On the eve of Donald Trump's impeachment by the U.S House of Representatives, Michael is joined by a man who's bravery in exposing the lies about the Vietnam War led to him being personally targeted by President Nixon...leading directly to Nixon's impeachment and resignation.Daniel Ellsberg, the Pentagon Papers whistleblower, who Nixon National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger called "the most dangerous man in America," reflects on Nixon's resignation and why Trump must go.---------------------From this episode:The film Michael called "my favorite documentary of all-time"Hearts and Mindshttps://youtu.be/v0DTs6edZjsThe scene we aired:"We Are The Wrong Side"https://youtu.be/STySb33rkUo
58:31
December 18, 2019
Michael Moore introduces his new podcast and sets civilization back on course.
38:11
December 17, 2019
VIDEO - Sisters targeted in potential human trafficking attempt '' WISH-TV | Indianapolis News | Indiana Weather | Indiana Traffic
Mon, 13 Jan 2020 15:38
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) '-- A family is warning people after they say their daughters were targeted in an attempted sex trafficking situation on the south side.
Alyson Riddle says she didn't realize what was happening until the stranger told her she had been instructed to follow her.
Alyson Riddle and her sister, Marsela, were planning on going shopping at the Ulta on the south side near U.S. 31 and County Line Road. While they were parking, another car pulled up into the spot next to them.
''She had stood there for a moment, and then she knocked on my window,'' said Alyson Riddle.
The stranger asked Riddle if she knew ''Joe and Annette.'' Confused, Riddle said no. The woman kept questioning her. Then, Riddle said, the woman told her that she had been instructed by a man and a woman named Joe and Annette to follow Riddle's car.
''I rolled up my window and I told my sister to lock the doors and I told my sister, 'We are not going to stay here. We are not even going to go inside. We are going to leave,'' said Alyson Riddle.
''I mean imagine someone sitting here saying 'Yo, I was following you.' It is just really sketchy, but she was calm in her body language while she was saying it,'' said her sister, Marsela Riddle.
Shaken up, Alyson Riddle and her sister hurried to leave the parking lot.
''After that, she got back into her car and she, like, got on the phone with someone. So I was like, yeah we need to leave because, like, who knows? They could box us in or something,'' said Alyson Riddle.
While police did not comment on this incident specifically, information provided on the Indiana attorney general's website shows that this incident aligns with signs of a potential human trafficking attempt.
According to the Indiana Attorney General's Office, 4.8 million people are forced into sexual exploitation.
''After that, I checked my tires because I have seen on Twitter and stuff that people have put like nails in their tires to try and give them a flat tire,'' said Alyson Riddle.
Riddle's mom, Beverly Riddle, is a counselor and is says she is very familiar with human trafficking and its signs. She has warned her daughters to be aware.
''Make a safety plan. I did and I am grateful that they had their heads on their shoulders and they were thinking through what it is they needed to do because it could have been a different outcome,'' said Beverly.
''You never really know or take it seriously until I guess something like that happens to you or almost happens to you,'' said Alyson Riddle.
ATTENTION ALL IN THE INDIANAPOLIS/GREENWOOD AREA'š ¸'š ¸ my sister and I went to the ULTA located off of Hardagen St. by TJ MAXX and this woman approached my car saying she was instructed by a male and female to follow my sister and I! Please be safe!
'-- Alyson (@a_riddle9) January 10, 2020Alyson Riddle posted about the incident on social media and says multiple girls responded to her publicly and in private messages, saying that similar things had happened to them while at various public places on the south side and in the Greenwood area.
If you suspect any type of human trafficking activity, you should call 911 immediately.
(C) 2020 Circle City Broadcasting I, LLC. | All Rights Reserved.
VIDEO - Body Language: The Squad's Game Of Thrones - YouTube
Mon, 13 Jan 2020 09:45
VIDEO - Rudy Giuliani shreds impeachment in exclusive interview with Judge Jeanine - YouTube
Mon, 13 Jan 2020 09:28
VIDEO - dumpert.nl - Waar windmolens voor zijn
Mon, 13 Jan 2020 09:24
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VIDEO - Flooding in Venice could be preview of things to come for coastal cities - 60 Minutes - CBS News
Mon, 13 Jan 2020 08:58
One of the world's cultural gems and the city of canals and gondola boats is facing an uncertain future, a professor of geosciences says. Venice, Italy, where floods at high tide have been occurring for decades, experienced three of the highest ever recorded in one month alone last year. The signs are unmistakable says Princeton geosciences professor Michael Oppenheimer: the city's existence is threatened and the major cause is climate change. John Dickerson reports from Venice on the next edition of 60 Minutes, Sunday, January 12, at 7 p.m. ET/PT on CBS. "Venice is facing an existential threat essentially to the city as it has been," says Oppenheimer, a lead author in a landmark U.N. study on climate change. Venice is ground zero. "The rest of the world should take the message that this is what the situation's going to look like in many places that they live in." He tells Dickerson that places like Los Angeles, San Diego, Key West, Miami, Jacksonville, Savannah and Honolulu are among the cities to be most affected. But it's already happening in Venice, where the La Fenice Opera House narrowly escaped catastrophe last November as the waters rose in its first story. Dickerson gets a tour of the areas where water rose nearly high enough to touch electrical wiring that would have caused a fire if water had reached it. The salt the tidal water leaves behind also poses a problem. Venetians refer to it as a cancer because it can eat away the mosaics and foundations. Dickerson also reports on a controversial water-repelling system being built where the waters of the Adriatic Sea flow into the lagoon surrounding Venice. Once finished, its giant gates are expected to keep back the highest tides enough to prevent historic flooding. The project was started 17 years ago. Oppenheimer believes the U.S. needs to seriously address the rising seas. He warns, "By the year 2050, which is only 30 years into the future, many places around the world, including in the U.S., are going to experience their historical 'once in a hundred-year' flood level once a year or more'... An event that used to cause severe flooding once a century, we're going get that same water level once a year."
(C) 2020 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.
VIDEO - Ocasio Cortez: I don't think the blacklisting of progressive organizations is fair | Fox News Video
Mon, 13 Jan 2020 08:46
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VIDEO - Dutch Guy Famous for Cleaning Up Pacific Garbage Patch is Now Clearing the World's Rivers Too
Mon, 13 Jan 2020 07:52
Boyan Slat is the young engineer responsible for the organization that recently collected two shipping containers of trash from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch for the first time in history'--and now, the Dutch conservationist is setting his sights on the very source of most of that water pollution.
Slat already has his oceanic cleanup vessels deployed along the path of key ocean currents, allowing vast amounts of plastic waste to drive themselves toward his devices before being hoovered up and moved to shore for recycling. He has also confirmed they are capturing even microplastics that are one millimeter in size.
But, simultaneously, he is also tackling a related issue'--a facet that is just as critical to the overall plastic pollution problem: the world's most littered rivers.
RELATED: This Revolutionary Blast Furnace Vaporizes Trash and Turns It into Clean Energy (Without Any Emissions)
Slat and his organization, The Ocean Cleanup, began targeting river pollution after their research revealed that 1,000 of the world's rivers are responsible for depositing 80% of all the trash that is currently swirling in the ocean.
By ''turning off the taps'' and catching the plastic along the river's course, the much more difficult task of capturing it in the ocean can be mostly avoided.
Enter Slat's latest creation, The Interceptor: an efficient solar-powered barge that gobbles up plastic river garbage.
The Interceptor '' The Ocean CleanupPrepare the InterceptorThe Interceptor collects trash by extending a water-permeable barrier halfway across the river. A conveyor belt at the front of the Interceptor then scoops the plastic out of the water and deposits it onto a shuttle that moves across the length of the barge and deposits the trash into one of 6 dumpsters which can be remotely monitored by an onshore crew.
Once full, the dumpsters'--which sit on a separate barge'--can be removed by another boat and brought ashore for recycling.
At top performance, the Interceptor can extract 220,000 pounds (100,000 kilograms) of trash per day, and with several Interceptors placed along key or narrower parts of the river, minimal amounts of garbage are ever likely to reach the ocean.
Interceptor 002 at work in Klang, Malaysia. Was amazing to see it in reality! pic.twitter.com/7xXoYojgzX
'-- Boyan Slat (@BoyanSlat) November 5, 2019 Making ProgressSlat's goal is to have Interceptors in all 1,000 of the worst polluting rivers by 2025. The Interceptor is scalable and easily manufactured, allowing it to be more widely available in poorer countries where pollution is at its worst because waste disposal is far less developed than in most Western countries.
Currently, The Ocean Cleanup has Interceptors in the Klang River in Kuala Lumpur'--which is among the 50 worst rivers for pollution'--and the Cengkareng Drain in Jakarta.
LOOK: Cameroon Man Uses Wasted Plastic Bottles to Build Canoes for Fishermen in Need
The Ocean Cleanup will help anyone looking to lobby their local governments for implementation of the Interceptor in their own rivers, which readers can explore by visiting the ''Nominate your River'' section of the organization's website, which also describes how you can become an operator, and where the 1,000 worst rivers are in the world.
If you DONATE $50 to keep the Interceptors and ships operating, you are guaranteed to receive one of the first recycled products, to be announced later this year, from the Pacific Garbage Patch.
(WATCH the video explaining the brilliance of the Interceptor below)
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VIDEO-Gianno Caldwell on Twitter: "Since 1984 Africa-Americans have shown our power in the Dem primary. Our community routinely votes over 90% for Dems, but yet we see no significant policy specific returns for our votes. That must change. Dems have taken
Mon, 13 Jan 2020 06:55
Log in Sign up Gianno Caldwell @ GiannoCaldwell pic.twitter.com/DAf8q1jLK7 3:20 AM - 13 Jan 2020 from Los Angeles, CA
Twitter by: Gianno Caldwell @GiannoCaldwell Josh Werner @ JoshuaWerner
1h Replying to
@GiannoCaldwell @MoeFactz @adamcurry The African American vote is the single most important swing vote right now in national politics. Anyone that thinks otherwise is fooling themselves. Thanks Mr.
@GiannoCaldwell, Mr.
@MoeFactz and Mr.
@adamcurry.
View conversation · ReubysMom @ ReubysMom
2h Replying to
@GiannoCaldwell #WalkAway This is exactly what they do!!
View conversation · #CaroleintheGarden @ CaroleBelew
57m Replying to
@GiannoCaldwell @CissyGebets #Blexit View conversation · WiseMonkey @ SoCalObserver
52m Replying to
@GiannoCaldwell @jetrotter May I suggest you listen to words from 1964 which explain, however, nobody listens, and keeps pulling the lever.
youtu.be/XkgA2rUAY-o View conversation · Michael Edwards @ Michael95262980
24m Replying to
@GiannoCaldwell @crzymom110 Walk Away
View conversation · Frank Carado @ FrankCarado
14m Replying to
@GiannoCaldwell Well said sir!
View conversation · BIG DADDY KOOL /G\ @ HaniDav83
56m Replying to
@GiannoCaldwell @GOP @GOPChairwoman How come the
@GOP is still not doing that? Does
@GOPChairwoman have any black leadership?
View conversation · Anthony T. @ AnthonyHegler
54m Replying to
@GiannoCaldwell @GOP What outreach has the
@GOP done to Black Americans ?
View conversation · Vinnie Domanico 🇺🇲🇮🇹 @ vinniedomanico
19m Replying to
@GiannoCaldwell @jetrotter The Democratic party takes it for granted, why do anything if the vote is a lock
View conversation · F.I.A. @ fiafalv
8m Replying to
@GiannoCaldwell That's why you should vote for Trump!
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VIDEO-Students refuse to walk over US and Israeli flags - BBC News
Sun, 12 Jan 2020 23:07
Many students at a university in Tehran have openly avoided walking over US and Israeli flags in an apparent show of defiance again the Iranian government.
Video shows the students walking around, rather than across, the flags at Shahid Beheshti University campus. The flags were painted on the ground so that those walking along the route would thereby insult both countries - which Iran considers staunch enemies.
Thousands of protesters chanting anti-government slogans have taken to the streets after Iran's military admitted it had mistakenly downed a passenger plane.
VIDEO-Warren Says She's Willing To Ban Construction of New Homes in America
Sun, 12 Jan 2020 23:07
If your home isn't carbon neutral, Elizabeth Warren might not let you build it. And if that means no new homes get built, she's OK with that.
In an appearance on MSNBC's ''Morning Joe'' on Wednesday, the Massachusetts senator and fading presidential candidate talked about her Thunberg-lite plan to help end climate change. (Climate crisis? Catastrophe? What are we going with these days?)
During her appearance, Warren was asked what she'd do to ''change the tide of U.S. policy on the issue of climate change'' and acted as if she'd been thrown the softball of all softballs.
She promised ''to do everything a president can do all by herself, that is, the things you don't have to do by going to Congress.'' This includes putting an end to energy mining and drilling on federal lands or offshore and ''not having a coal lobbyist as head of the Environmental Protection Agency.''
You might not be surprised to learn that's a dig at Andrew Wheeler, President Donald Trump's EPA administrator, who was previously an attorney representing a coal producer.
TRENDING: McConnell Moves To End Impeachment Early, Backs Key Senate Rules Change
Warren then moved on to her plan for housing, which she said was borne out of the dire predictions scientists have been making.
''What scares me is every time you go back to the scientists, they tell you two things,'' the senator said. ''It's worse than we thought, and we have less time.
''That means we've got to be willing to do things, for example, like regulation. By 2028, no new buildings, no new houses, without a zero carbon footprint.''
And she's coming for your car and electricity bill, too.
''By 2030, trucks '-- light-duty trucks and cars, zero carbon footprint. By 2035, all production of electricity, zero carbon footprint,'' Warren said.
''We do three regulations, we can cut our carbon footprint by 70 percent,'' she said.
Oh, and there was also talk of some vague idea of social justice '-- because schemes like this always need to be undergirded with some such vague idea.
''We also need to make environmental justice really at the heart of our climate plan,'' Warren said.
''A central part of the plan for me is I want to put a trillion dollars into cleaning up the places that collectively we have destroyed as a nation and bringing them back,'' she said.
RELATED: Buttigieg Suggests Trump Is at Fault for Iran Shooting Down Civilian 737
Just out of morbid curiosity, I looked at the section of Warren's campaign website dealing with environmental justice and then rather wished I hadn't.
Do you think Elizabeth Warren will get the Democratic nomination?2% (54 Votes)
98% (2602 Votes)
''We didn't get here by accident. Our crisis of environmental injustice is the result of decades of discrimination and environmental racism compounding in communities that have been overlooked for too long,'' Warren says on the site.
''It is the result of multiple choices that put corporate profits before people, while our government looked the other way. It is unacceptable, and it must change.''
Warren advocates a ''just transition'' for all Americans via her flavor of the Green New Deal, which should be interesting when the economically vulnerable and marginalized individuals she claims to care so much about see the price of an electric car or a carbon-neutral home.
That's going to be especially true when you consider that the only reasonably cheap option for green energy is nuclear, and Elizabeth Warren will be having none of that.
''We're not going to build any nuclear power plants and we're going to start weaning ourselves off nuclear energy and replacing it with renewable fuels,'' she said during CNN's mammoth climate town hall back in September.
I wonder how much of Warren's bluster on the environment is na¯vet(C) and how much of it is cynicism.
On the na¯ve side, this isn't affordable or practical. It would lead to a mass voter revolt once the bills started coming due.
On the other hand, there's also the element of cynicism. This has no chance of happening on the timetable Warren is proposing '-- certainly not with congressional approval, given that there are even some Democrats who would blanch at such an obviously self-defeating suite of environmental laws.
However, when you consider how serious of a candidate Elizabeth Warren is, consider that this is a woman who wants to ban regular old buildings in favor of carbon-neutral ones, all while solving serious social issues '-- one of which presumably is homelessness. Good luck.
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.
VIDEO-43m45-Briefing with Special Representative for Venezuela Elliot Abrams - 2:00 PM - YouTube
Sun, 12 Jan 2020 15:58
VIDEO-Tom Elliott on Twitter: "At Bernie's Iowa City rally, @RashidaTlaib boasts that her son Adam thinks the world is ending by 2030. https://t.co/1O35Kn9O6A" / Twitter
Sun, 12 Jan 2020 14:54
Tom Elliott @ tomselliott
39m Replying to
@RashidaTlaib Adam, whom she decribes as one of her policy advisers, is 13
View conversation · Andrew 🇺🇸 @ CorrectAndrew
35m Replying to
@tomselliott @davereaboi @RashidaTlaib Adam, her son and 13 year old policy advisor, can't understand capitalism ... while he doodles and plays games on his iPad.
View conversation · Andrew 🇺🇸 @ CorrectAndrew
20m Replying to
@tomselliott @davereaboi @RashidaTlaib If your election strategy is vote for us or you'll literally die, then you're hitting new lows. Honestly, scaring people like this is immoral and disgusting.
View conversation · anastasi @ anastasialex1
19m Replying to
@tomselliott @RashidaTlaib It's always in 10 year intervals. frauds.
View conversation · Anton Pagi @ AntonPagi
29m Replying to
@tomselliott @RashidaTlaib says it as if it's a good thing.
View conversation · Burt Gummer @ randallflag19
27m Replying to
@tomselliott @davereaboi @RashidaTlaib Totally sane
View conversation · Mike Sagar @ Sox51166
26m Replying to
@tomselliott @RashidaTlaib Great story!! ðŸðŸ
View conversation · Lainey Denes 2.0 @ DenesLainey
19m Replying to
@tomselliott @RashidaTlaib This is child abuse
View conversation · 🇺🇸 ''ŒCO2 Is Life''ŒðŸ‡ºðŸ‡¸ @ PMgeezer
12m Replying to
@tomselliott @RashidaTlaib We used to put these people in the
#NutHouse ''¸''¸
pic.twitter.com/XdBHWexGSd View conversation · varsityredheads @ varsityredhead6
2m Replying to
@tomselliott @RashidaTlaib Well, she should correct him
View conversation ·
VIDEO-Camila on Twitter: "We're not just saying Washington is financing coup efforts in Venezuela. The U.S. government openly admits to funneling cash to opposition figures, parties, media, etc. through USAID + the State Department's Democracy
Sun, 12 Jan 2020 14:53
Rob Hislop @ RobHislop
4h Replying to
@camilateleSUR @EvaKBartlett Still puzzling why Americans get so worked up about Russia getting involved in their election when America has been altering the political fortunes of many countries for many years. And rarely does it work out for people living in those countries.
View conversation · Mr. Sandman (bringing you dreams 🥊ðŸ´) @ StatelessMan18
3h Replying to
@RobHislop @camilateleSUR @EvaKBartlett It's the rationale of US exceptionalism. "We can do it but YOU CAN'T!"
View conversation · paradisepete73 @ paradisepete73
3h Replying to
@camilateleSUR @EvaKBartlett Sad, that the Trump admin funnels money to things like this..when we have homeless in the streets of many cities...and even now in rural areas...and our infrastructure, is falling apart..and is held together piecemeal..the priorities are skewered..
View conversation · JSouli @ JSaulie
3h Replying to
@paradisepete73 @camilateleSUR @EvaKBartlett It's corporate welfare for the donor class who already got the biggest transfer of wealth via Trump's tax cuts. He's a fraud
View conversation · Tom Khoury @ twaks99
2h Replying to
@camilateleSUR A glossary of terms is needed to decipher his speeches.Freedom - OligarchyLegitimate Govt - Unelected, US-backed coup infrastructure.
View conversation · Madame Boukman - Justice 4 Haiti 🇭🇹 @ madanboukman
4h Replying to
@camilateleSUR Yeah, like I said the other day....they've got plans for 2020. Don't underestimate them.
View conversation · PamelaDrew @ PamelaDrew
3h Replying to
@camilateleSUR @EvaKBartlett Washington policy still led by
#IranContra Gang!!
nsarchive2.gwu.edu/NSAEBB/NSAEBB2'... pic.twitter.com/jy6f8mpYy0 View conversation · Mr. Sandman (bringing you dreams 🥊ðŸ´) @ StatelessMan18
3h Replying to
@camilateleSUR But cry and whine when they say Russia interfered in US affairs. They hypocrisy of it all!
View conversation · Mike Flugennock @ flugennock
27m Replying to
@camilateleSUR @aaronjmate Ahh, our old pals the USAID. I believe they were co-sponsors of the "Umbrella Revolution" in Hong Kong 5 years ago, along with the National Endowment for Democracy.(cartoon Oct 2014)
pic.twitter.com/pk4SE7VqS2 View conversation · JohnWood2011🤗 @ Wood2011John
2h Replying to
@camilateleSUR @Hasan08931491 There r some many opposition ppl or group in
#Bahrain. Would they receive ðŸ'° from USA entitis???
View conversation ·
STORIES
University of Missouri to sever ties to Confucius Institute - News - Columbia Daily Tribune - Columbia, MO
Thu, 16 Jan 2020 07:08
Kang Sun performs a martial arts routine in September 2016 at Jefferson Middle School as part of the MU Confucius Institute's five-year anniversary celebration. The University of Missouri is ending its contract with the institute because it cannot afford to provide Chinese-fluent personnel to supervise language classes in Columbia Public Schools. [Tim Tai/Tribune file photo]'–²
The University of Missouri will cancel its contract with the Confucius Institute, a relationship that has been targeted by U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley, because of expensive new requirements for additional personnel in language classes offered by Columbia Public Schools.
The contract will end in August, six months before it was otherwise scheduled to end, according to a news release issued Wednesday by MU.
"We were notified by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs this past July that due to changes in State Department guidance, we would now be required to have a certified Mandarin Chinese language teacher in every classroom with a Confucius Institute staff member," Mary Stegmaier, interim vice provost for international programs, said in the release. "While Missouri-certified teachers were in the classroom with the CI staff, recruiting and supporting the necessary certified Chinese language teachers would be cost prohibitive."
The university will continue to support the Chinese-language program in Columbia schools so students can continue their studies. The district will hire instructors to teach alongside certified teachers, Superintendent Peter Stiepleman said in the release.
"Children who have started Mandarin Chinese in middle school will be able to continue studying Chinese and children interested in learning Chinese will be able to begin their studies in high school," Stiepleman said.
The State Department did not respond to requests for comment on the decision. The MU Confucius Institute referred a reporter to the MU News Bureau, which issued the release.
On July 15, the State Department notified MU that it had found several issues during a visit to Columbia to review the activities of people brought to the United States by the Confucius Institute. During the visit, regulators "discovered a number of potential regulatory violations that the University of Missouri-Columbia should correct," said a letter from Henry Scott, director of the Office of Private Sector Exchange Program Administration.
The first problem listed in the letter was the kind of supervision provided to interns brought to Columbia to teach Chinese. The Confucius Institute has 13 interns teaching Chinese in Columbia schools and each is supervised by a certified teacher. That met previous federal guidelines, MU spokesman Christian Basi said.
The letter states that is no longer good enough. Because the teachers cannot speak Mandarin Chinese themselves, "they cannot evaluate the substance or the quality of information and language skills the UMCI exchange visitor is teaching the students," Scott wrote.
The interns are also not primarily engaging in activities as students because they are teaching, another possible violation, Scott wrote.
Other issues Scott cited include the role of the Chinese co-director of the program, who should be engaged in research, not administration, and the insurance coverages provided to the interns.
Confucius Institutes are funded through the Chinese Ministry of Education's Office of Chinese Language Council International. There are more than 500 Confucius Institutes worldwide and more than 100 on U.S. college campuses. Confucius Institutes have been opening since 2004. The one at MU began in 2011 with a five-year agreement, renewed in 2016.
In the agreement, the institute agreed to provide Chinese language instruction, certify Chinese language teachers, provide information and consultation on China's education and culture, and conduct language and cultural exchanges. The institute began a partnership with Columbia Public Schools in 2012 to provide training for Chinese language teachers in elementary and secondary school classrooms.
Columbia Public Schools spokeswoman Michelle Baumstark said the arrangement with the Confucius Institute and MU had been working "really well." There had been no indication from the district's certified teachers in the Chinese language classrooms that the students were not learning the language.
All students in grades 7 through 12 currently taking Chinese language courses would be able to continue through their senior year, Baumstark said. In the 2020-21 school year, it would be offered to students in grades 8-12 and only to high school students beginning in 2021-22.
"We plan to hire local instructors who will teach along certified world language instructors" to continue the program, Baumstark said.
Asked if she thought politics played a role in the decision, Baumstark said "no."
"It's my understanding that the change is due to recommendations from the State Department," she said.
The State Department letter was written just nine days before Hawley sent a letter to Missouri universities asking them to consider severing their ties to the institutes.
The Chinese government supplies Confucius Institutes with material that portrays China in a positive light and downplays issues associated with Taiwan, Tibet and the Tiananmen Square protests, Hawley wrote on July 24.
"These Confucius Institutes are, in short, a tool for China to spread influence and exercise soft power in its rivalry with the United States," Hawley wrote.
Hawley on Wednesday tweeted his reaction to the university's decision.
"Pleased Mizzou is shutting down the #China Communist Party funded 'Confucius Institute.'" Hawley's Twitter message read. "As the State Department warned Mizzou in July 2019 and as I have repeatedly stated, this program presented security risks for students & university as a whole."
U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler, R-Harrisonville, also issued a statement about MU's decision, writing that it helped advance China's world power agenda.
"For over a year, I have been meeting with officials at both the University of Missouri and Columbia Public Schools to express my concerns with the Confucius Institute," Hartzler wrote. "I applaud the University of Missouri's decision to end its ties with this Chinese-government run program."
The institutes have also been a way for China to steal U.S. intellectual property, Hawley wrote in July.
"Most troubling of all, Confucius Institutes pose a danger to our national defense and security," Hawley wrote. "Our nation's top law enforcement and national security officials have been vocal about the threat of Confucius Institutes and other Chinese initiatives as a conduit for espionage and research theft."
The university defended the relationship, stating that it has not been limited or seen evidence of intellectual property theft.
"The university's commitment to academic freedom and free speech has not changed in any way since the arrival of the Confucius institute," Basi said at the time. "We steadfastly defend our academic freedom and our faculty's freedom and the right of free speech for the university community and our visitors. No activity has been banned or stopped as a result of this partnership."
At the time, the university said it would review the relationship but did not reveal that the State Department was questioning how it was operated in Columbia.
After receiving Scott's letter, the university said it would limit the activities of Confucius Institute personnel designated as a professor or research scholar to the guidelines of federal law. The university also asked for, and received, permission to figure out how to provide the Chinese-fluent classroom supervision required by federal rules.
The decision to end the relationship now is not related to Hawley's concerns, Basi said.
"They are two separate matters," Basi said. "We are making this change and decision because of financial reasons."
rkeller@columbiatribune.com
573-815-1709
rmckinney@columbiatribune.com
573-815-1719
Five takeaways from Parnas's Maddow interview | TheHill
Thu, 16 Jan 2020 07:06
Rudy Giuliani Rudy GiulianiDem lawmaker says Nunes threatened to sue him over criticism Parnas: U.S. ambassador to Ukraine removed to clear path for investigations into Bidens Five takeaways from Parnas's Maddow interview MORE 's associate Lev Parnas revealed new accusations against President Trump Donald John TrumpDem lawmaker says Nunes threatened to sue him over criticism Parnas: U.S. ambassador to Ukraine removed to clear path for investigations into Bidens Five takeaways from Parnas's Maddow interview MORE and his administration in an interview with MSNBC's Rachel Maddow Rachel Anne MaddowDem lawmaker says Nunes threatened to sue him over criticism Parnas: U.S. ambassador to Ukraine removed to clear path for investigations into Bidens Five takeaways from Parnas's Maddow interview MORE Wednesday night.
A day after the House published evidence provided by Parnas for the Senate impeachment trial, Parnas unveiled his take on what has been going on behind the scenes with the White House's Ukraine policy.
Giuliani's associate connected Trump directly to the controversy and pressure campaign in Ukraine to get the country to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden Joe Biden Parnas: U.S. ambassador to Ukraine removed to clear path for investigations into Bidens Five takeaways from Parnas's Maddow interview Parnas: Trump threatened to withhold more than just military aid to Ukraine MORE and his son Hunter, who sat on the board of the Ukrainian company Burisma.
Here are some of the accusations that Parnas made:
1. He claimed Trump threatened to withhold more than just military aid from Ukraine
Parnas claimed that the president threatened to withhold all aid from Ukraine if it did not publicly announce an investigation into the Bidens, and he delivered that ''very harsh message'' to Ukrainian officials on behalf of Giuliani and Trump.
''The message was: It wasn't just military aid. It was all aid,'' he said. ''Basically the relationship would be sour. We would stop giving them any kind of aid.''
The associate to the president's personal attorney said the aid was clearly contingent on U.S. demands, primarily the launch of an investigation into the Bidens. Parnas's claims counter what Trump has said, which is that there was no explicit quid pro quo between him and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Lev Parnas, associate of @rudygiuliani, said that, on behalf of Rudy and @realDonaldTrump, he gave "a very harsh message" that "all aid" would be withheld if there was no Biden investigation. pic.twitter.com/7xaqIyYeDG
'-- Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) January 16, 20202. He implicated Attorney General Barr, saying he ''had to have known everything''
Giuliani's associate continued by connecting Attorney General Bill Barr to the pressure campaign, saying that Giuliani had contacted the attorney general about the attempts to get Ukraine to announce a Biden investigation
''Barr had to have known everything,'' he said. ''Attorney General Barr was basically on the team."
A Justice Department spokesperson told Maddow that the claim was ''100 percent false.'' The spokesperson repeated the same statement to The Hill.
.@Maddow: "[Was Giuliani] ever in contact with [Barr]...about the fact that he was trying to get Ukraine to announce these investigations into [Biden]?"PARNAS: "Absolutely."
Q: "Barr knew about it?"
PARNAS: "Barr had to have known everything...Barr was basically on the team." pic.twitter.com/3egdPj5e6T
'-- CAP Action (@CAPAction) January 16, 20203. ''Trump knew exactly what was going on''
Parnas also directly connected Trump to the Ukraine pressure campaign to investigate the Bidens, saying the president ''knew exactly what was going on.''
Maddow asked Parnas about that ''main inaccuracy or the main lie being told'' that he felt he could correct.
He responded: ''That the president didn't know what was going on. President Trump knew exactly what was going on.''
Parnas continued, saying that he would not act without ''the consent of Rudy Giuliani or the president,'' and added that Trump's claim that he doesn't know Parnas is a lie.
"He lied," Parnas says of President Trump's denial that he knows him. "He knew exactly who we were. He knew exactly who I was especially because I interacted with him at a lot of events... I was with Rudy when he would speak to the president '-- plenty of times." pic.twitter.com/Y3D51xtSTi
'-- MSNBC (@MSNBC) January 16, 20204. He alleged Pence skipped Zelenksy's inauguration because of Ukraine pressure campaign
Parnas accused Vice President Mike Pence Michael (Mike) Richard PenceFive takeaways from Parnas's Maddow interview Trump, Erdoğan discuss tensions in Iran, Syria, Libya Trump signs first phase of US-China trade deal MORE of being in the know, adding that the vice president's planned trip to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenksy's inauguration was canceled because the country refused to announce a Biden investigation.
''Oh, I know 100 percent,'' Parnas said. ''It was 100 percent.''
When Maddow asked if the vice president knew his visit was involved in a ''quid pro quo,'' Parnas quoted Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland Gordon SondlandFive takeaways from Parnas's Maddow interview Giuliani pushes to join Trump impeachment defense team: report Pompeo to visit Ukraine amid impeachment drama MORE 's comments during the impeachment inquiry: ''Everybody was in the loop.''
Marc Short, the chief of staff for Pence's office, said in a statement to The Hill that Democrats have contradicted Parnas's statements from his interviews when testifying under oath.
"This is very simple: Lev Parnas is under a multi-count indictment and will say anything to anybody who will listen in hopes of staying out of prison," Short said. "It's no surprise that only the liberal media is listening to him.''
.@Maddow: "[Pence] has his planned trip to the inauguration canceled after you were unable to get the Ukrainian government to commit to announcing investigations into [Biden]. Do you know if [Pence] was aware that that was the quid pro quo?"PARNAS: "Everybody was in the loop." pic.twitter.com/bb6dSJEu7b
'-- CAP Action (@CAPAction) January 16, 20205. He asserted that the Ukraine campaign ''was never about corruption [but] strictly about Burisma''
Giuliani's associate also claimed that the White House's call for a Ukrainian investigation ''was never about corruption." Instead, it was focused solely on Burisma.
"And that was another thing that they were looking into, but it was never about corruption," Parnas said. "It was never '-- it was strictly about Burisma, which included Hunter Biden and Joe Biden."
Parnas's assertion negates the White House's claims that the administration was attempting to root out corruption when Trump asked Zelensky to examine Biden's past.
Giuliani associate Lev Parnas tells @Maddow: "It was never about corruption. It was strictly about Burisma, which included Hunter Biden and Joe Biden." https://t.co/xWbQIeMgOw
'-- MSNBC (@MSNBC) January 16, 2020 Updated Thursday at 8:01 a.m.
US military lost contact with drones overhead during Iranian ballistic missile strike | Daily Mail Online
Thu, 16 Jan 2020 06:55
Moments after volleys of Iranian missiles began to batter Iraq's Ain al-Asad airbase, US soldiers at the desert facility lost contact with their ultra-powerful - and expensive - eyes in the sky.
At the time the attack was launched at 1.35am on January 8, the US Army was flying seven unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) over Iraq to monitor bases where US-led coalition forces are deployed.
They included MQ-1C Gray Eagles, advanced surveillance drones that can fly for as long as 27 hours and carry a payload of up to four Hellfire missiles.
'We thought it may lead to a ground assault, so we kept the aircraft up,' said one of the pilots, 26-year-old Staff Sergeant Costin Herwig.
A member the US forces walking past a drone in the Ain al-Asad airbase in the western Iraqi province of Anbar a week after the Iranian ballistic missile attack
At the time of the attack, the US was flying MQ-1C Gray Eagles, advanced surveillance drones that can fly for as long as 27 hours and carry a payload of up to four Hellfire missiles
Blast walls of a sleeping quarters for U.S. soldiers are seen at Ain al-Asad air base
Herwig was flying a Gray Eagle when the first Iranian missile struck the base, retaliation for the January 3 killing of top Iranian general Qasem Soleimani in a US drone strike in Baghdad.
Most of the other 1,500 US soldiers had been tucked away in bunkers for two hours, after advance warning from superiors.
But 14 pilots had stayed in dark containers-turned-cockpits to remotely fly the 'birds' and monitor essential feeds from their high-powered cameras.
The first missile blasted dust into their shelter but the pilots stayed put, Herwig told AFP during a press tour of the base organized by the coalition.
The next rounds came closer and closer, and the light-haired soldier recalled that he had 'accepted fate'.
'We thought we were basically done,' he said.
But the real crisis was yet to come.
U.S. soldiers inspect the site where an Iranian missile hit at Ain al-Asad air base in Anbar
There were no human casualties in the attack but several buildings were damaged
A bulldozer clears rubble and debris at Ain al-Asad air base, which was struck by a barrage of Iranian missiles last Wednesday, in retaliation for the U.S. drone strike
The volleys of missiles, which soldiers said lasted about three hours, slammed into sleeping quarters directly adjacent to the pilots' operations rooms.
'No more than a minute after the last round hit, I was heading over to the bunkers on the far back side and saw the fire was burning all through our fiber lines,' said First Sergeant Wesley Kilpatrick.
Those lines link the virtual cockpits to antennas then satellites that send signals to the Gray Eagles and pull the cameras' feeds back onto the screens at Ain al-Asad.
'With the fiber lines burnt, there was no control,' said Kilpatrick.
'It's a pretty big deal, because it's so expensive and there's a lot of stuff on them that we don't want other people to have or the enemy to get,' said Herwig.
A single Gray Eagle costs around $7 million, according to 2019 army budget estimates.
They have been used in Iraq since at least 2017 by the coalition to help fight the Islamic State jihadist group.
Damage is seen at Ain al-Asad military airbase housing US and other foreign troops
Debris and rubble are seen at the site where an Iranian missile hit at Ain al-Asad air base
The coalition is required to get a green light from the Iraqi government to fly drones and planes, but those permissions had expired several days before the Iran attacks.
The US army had kept the drones in the air anyway, a senior American defense official told reporters, after months of rocket attacks on Iraqi bases where their forces are based.
As the bombs crashed closer on January 8 and with the drones unaccounted for, the pilots finally clambered into bunkers.
But as soon as the blasts stopped, they rushed back out, now facing a race against time to get their signals up and running so they could find - and land - the Gray Eagles.
As dawn started to break, soldiers scrambled to replace 500 yards of melted fiber cables and reprogrammed satellites so they could reconnect to the UAVs.
'The airfield was shut down so we had to land without talking to anybody. We didn't know where any (other) aircraft was. That part was pretty stressful,' said Herwig.
The priority was one Grey Eagle that had been scheduled to land just as the missile attack began, and which stayed flying throughout until it was worryingly low on fuel.
The pilots worked for hours to land each drone one by one, their adrenaline pumping even as other soldiers were recovering, showering and assessing the damage.
At around 9am, the final drone was brought down to earth.
'We landed all our own birds back on site,' said Kilpatrick, smiling in relief and pride.
'It was quite a feat.'
Who Are Lev Parnas And Igor Fruman? : NPR
Thu, 16 Jan 2020 06:04
Lev Parnas (left) arrives with Rudy Giuliani, President Trump's personal lawyer, before a funeral service for former President George H.W. Bush on Dec. 5, 2018. Parnas and Igor Fruman, Soviet-born associates of Giuliani, are accused by U.S. prosecutors of skirting campaign contribution limits as part of a plot to oust the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine. Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images hide caption
toggle caption Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images Lev Parnas (left) arrives with Rudy Giuliani, President Trump's personal lawyer, before a funeral service for former President George H.W. Bush on Dec. 5, 2018. Parnas and Igor Fruman, Soviet-born associates of Giuliani, are accused by U.S. prosecutors of skirting campaign contribution limits as part of a plot to oust the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine.
Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images The story of Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman unfolds like a globe-trotting mystery over more than a year.
When the two associates of President Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, were arrested at an airport this month for campaign finance violations, it wasn't immediately clear how '-- or even if '-- those activities were related to the impeachment inquiry into Trump.
But even before their arrest by the FBI, the two Soviet-born men were among the people whom Congress wanted to interview.
That's because over the past couple of years, the businessmen crossed paths repeatedly with people and events at the center of the impeachment inquiry, both in the U.S. and in Ukraine.
Impeachment is a political process, not a criminal one. But the case of Parnas and Fruman blurs that line. How two unknown businessmen became embroiled with Giuliani and in the removal of the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine illustrates the complicated and shadowy web of connections and deal-making at the heart of the impeachment inquiry.
Parnas and Fruman are scheduled to be arraigned in a New York courtroom Wednesday on conspiracy and other charges related to campaign finance violations.
Company 'was a blank slate'
To better understand the extent of Fruman and Parnas' activities, it helps to follow the work of two unofficial investigators, on opposite sides of the world, who steadily scratched at clues and raised flags '-- neither of them able to see the full picture.
One sleuth '-- an expert on money and politics '-- was in Washington. The other was in Kyiv, with an eye on corruption in Ukraine.
The first investigator, Trevor Potter, has a D.C. pedigree. Potter is a Republican who used to run the Federal Election Commission and served as general counsel for John McCain's 2000 and 2008 presidential campaigns.
These days, Potter runs a group called the Campaign Legal Center. His team scans political contributions, looking for suspicious transactions that it reports to authorities.
In the summer of last year, they found one.
A company called Global Energy Producers gave $325,000 to America First Action, the superPAC supporting Trump.
When Potter and his team started digging into the company that made the contribution, they found that "it was a blank slate."
"The company hadn't existed. It had been formed literally a couple weeks before the contribution," Potter recalls. "It had no website, no history of political activity, so you're thinking this is most likely a company created to make this contribution."
And that '-- setting up a shell company to hide a political contribution '-- is illegal.
"You have to disclose on the FEC reports the true source of the money, who the contributor actually is," Potter explains.
Lev Parnas (left) and Igor Fruman are shown after their arrest on Oct. 9 at Dulles International Airport, outside Washington, D.C. Handout '-- Government Produced hide caption
toggle caption Handout '-- Government Produced Lev Parnas (left) and Igor Fruman are shown after their arrest on Oct. 9 at Dulles International Airport, outside Washington, D.C.
Handout '-- Government Produced Potter and his team wanted to know who was behind the company. So they kept digging and found addresses associated with Global Energy Producers '-- in South Florida and New York.
"So you take a look at the address and say, 'Has anyone else given from it?' " Potter says.
That's how they found contributions to Pete Sessions of Texas, who was a Republican congressman at the time but lost his reelection bid last year.
The donors were Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman.
In July 2018, Potter's group alerted the FEC about possible campaign violations by Parnas and Fruman.
And then '-- silence.
'A serious problem with our form of governance'
Months later, on the other side of the globe, a second sleuth heard the same names: Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman.
Dale Perry doesn't know anything about campaign finance. But he does know about corruption, as well as the energy industry in Ukraine. He owns a large U.S. energy company operating in Ukraine.
Perry first heard of Parnas and Fruman after they met with Perry's former business partner in March of this year and presented an unusual plan.
"What was so troubling was, it was basically the presentation of the intent to take the gas sector back to where it was during the Yanukovych regime," Perry says, referring to former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.
A place that was, Perry says, "a heck of a lot more corrupt."
One part of the plan that Parnas and Fruman described at the meeting was to replace the head of Ukraine's state gas company. Another part was to replace the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch.
"I had never seen anybody in any part of the world where I've worked '-- and I've worked in some 30 different countries '-- I've never seen a businessperson claim that they could see an ambassador removed," Perry says.
The effort to remove Yovanovitch is key to Congress' impeachment inquiry. Trump called Yovanovitch "bad news." She had a history of fighting corruption in Ukraine.
In Ukraine, Perry put all his concerns into a memo and sent it to a contact at the U.S. Embassy.
"At times when I was putting this together, I felt like I was paranoid and going a little bit '-- I don't want to say a little bit crazy, but maybe I would say it that way," says Perry.
After all, Parnas and Fruman were not well-known players in business or political circles in Ukraine or the United States. Financial documents show that Parnas was dogged by financial debts and court judgments against him. In one instance, he owed a couple in South Florida $500,000 for a film that never got made.
People who know the men say Fruman, who was born in Belarus when it was part of the Soviet Union, doesn't speak great English. Parnas was also born overseas '-- in Ukraine during the Soviet era '-- though both men are U.S. citizens.
"When two or three or four businesspeople can go out and see to it that a U.S. ambassador is removed from her post when she's doing a fabulous, fantastic, excellent job, there is a serious problem with our form of governance," Perry says.
John Dowd, who was formerly a personal attorney for Trump, is representing Parnas and Fruman. He declined to speak with NPR for this story.
In his own words
Instead, one of the men at the center of the indictment '-- Parnas '-- spoke for himself during an interview with NPR reporter Jeff Brady last month, before Parnas and Fruman were arrested at Dulles International Airport on Oct. 9.
Parnas talked about the political contributions made by Global Energy Producers, the shell company that had set off alarm bells in Washington.
"You know, this is actually the first couple of times that I really started doing some bigger donations, because I wanted to get notoriety for my energy company and I felt it might be a great way to play with the big boys, as you call it," he told NPR.
Parnas calls Global Energy Producers an energy company, but it had no visible business, financing or connections to the energy industry.
It did, however, have a well-connected ally.
"Mayor Giuliani is a very dear friend of mine, yes," Parnas said.
That is, Rudy Giuliani, Trump's personal lawyer.
"We visit the same places: New York, Washington, Florida. We play golf together," Parnas said.
Parnas often met with Giuliani at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., and they ate together at the hotel's upscale steakhouse.
He and Giuliani had more than just social connections. Parnas says there were financial ties too.
"We actually met with the mayor on a business transaction about a company that I own back in the days. And the business didn't work out. But we just became good friends and started spending a lot of time together," Parnas said.
That company was named Fraud Guarantee.
Giuliani told Reuters that Fraud Guarantee paid him half a million dollars for consulting and legal advice. And Parnas says he and Giuliani also worked closely in Ukraine.
Giuliani's actions in Ukraine are another key part of the impeachment inquiry.
"I just happen to be Ukrainian. I happen to speak the language. I happen to also have a lot of resources in that part of the world," Parnas said in his interview with NPR.
Parnas helped arrange and sat in on meetings between Giuliani and several prominent Ukrainians who promised dirt on Democratic opponents and have since come up in the impeachment inquiry. But Parnas told NPR that he wasn't going to comment on what was discussed in those meetings.
In the end, the team of Giuliani, Parnas and Fruman realized at least part of what they set out to do: In May, the Trump administration pulled Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch out of the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv.
In Ukraine, anti-corruption groups that worked closely with the U.S. were shocked.
Daria Kaleniuk runs the Anticorruption Action Centre in Kyiv.
"The United States for many years was our key ally and key partner, kind of covering our backs," she says. "But now we are at the situation when the Ukrainian oligarchs and kleptocrats and some corrupt officials are getting support from the senior-level officials in the United States."
But Kaleniuk also sees a silver lining.
"There are people inside American institutions which are fighting for democracy," she says.
To her, those people include the whistleblower who kicked off the impeachment inquiry '-- and the people who brought Parnas and Fruman's activities to light.
From 'garden-variety' complaint to the White House
The investigations by Potter and Perry culminated in the arrests at Dulles, where Fruman and Parnas had one-way tickets out of the United States.
The indictment fills in some of the gaps in the puzzle that the amateur sleuths put together. For example, it says that after Fruman and Parnas made the contribution to Texas Republican Rep. Pete Sessions, they lobbied him to help get rid of Ambassador Yovanovitch.
After that meeting, Sessions wrote a letter to the State Department about Yovanovitch that said the ambassador expressed "disdain" for the Trump administration. Sessions says Parnas and Fruman were not his reason for writing the letter.
The indictment also alleges that Parnas and Fruman funneled money from an unnamed Russian to other American politicians and candidates '-- which means this is also a story about foreign influence in U.S. elections.
For the Campaign Legal Center's Trevor Potter, who'd heard nothing since he had first filed a complaint about Fruman and Parnas more than a year ago, the arrests were a shock.
"To go from what ... was a garden-variety FEC violation in a string of complaints we have filed to suddenly discovering that they were completely wrapped up in the White House actions, the Giuliani actions, what was happening in Ukraine and letters from members of Congress on the firing of the ambassador, is simply a very different scale than we had understood up until then in our work," he says.
There are still many unknowns in the case, such as the identity of the Russian who allegedly provided money for the campaign donations and how much Giuliani or Trump knew about what Fruman and Parnas were doing.
There are photographs showing the defendants with members of the Trump family, including the president. Trump insists that he doesn't know Fruman and Parnas and that he has been photographed with lots of people.
At a more basic level, where does Potter think Parnas and Fruman fit into the larger web of the impeachment inquiry? Are they masterminds or bumbling executors of someone else's orders?
"That is the question, I think, because we don't know a lot about them," says Potter. "They weren't politically active until last year. So what is it that turned them on? And where did they get all this money? The question of who is behind all this, who is using whom, is, I think, still to be revealed but '-- I would expect '-- will be revealed."
Indicted Lev Parnas: 'President Trump knew what was going on' | Daily Mail Online
Thu, 16 Jan 2020 05:57
Lev Parnas, the indicted associate of Rudy Giuliani, has broken his silence since his arrest to make the claim that President Trump directed his actions in Ukraine.
Parnas came forward along with his lawyer on MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show on Wednesday night to say he was not freelancing when he collaborated with Giuliani in an effort to get Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Trump rival Joe Biden while going after the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine.
'President Trump knew exactly what was going on. He was aware of all my movements. I wouldn't do anything without the consent of Rudy Giuliani, or the president,' Parnas said.
'I have no intent, I have no reason to speak to any of these officials. I mean, they have no reason to speak to me.
'Why would President Zelensky's inner circle, or Minister [Arsen] Avakov, or all these people, or [former Ukranian President Petro Poroshenko] meet with me? Who am I? They were told to meet with me. And that's the secret that they're trying to keep. I was on the ground doing their work.'
Parnas also claimed that Trump canceled Vice President Mike Pence's planned appearance at Zelensky's inauguration last May after Ukrainian officials refused to announce an investigation into the Biden family.
The stunning assertions came just hours before Chief Justice John Roberts is to swear in 100 U.S. senators who are to act as a jury weighing two articles of impeachment against the president.
Indicted Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas says Donald Trump was directly involved in an alleged attempt to pressure the Ukrainian government to investigate political rival Joe Biden
Parnas and his lawyer Joseph Bondy spoke to MSNBC's Rachel Maddow in an interview aired Wednesday night
Parnas said his work in the Ukraine was with the consent of Rudy Giuliani and the president. A trove released Tuesday revealed a Giuliani letter to the president of Ukraine seeking a meeting and citing Trump's consent
The impeachment inquiry was sparked by allegations the Trump administration tried to pressure Zelensky to dig up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter, who served on the board of Ukrainian energy firm Burisma.
Parnas, who is accused of federal campaign finance violations, has submitted a trove of documents to the House Intelligence Committee pertaining to his dealings in the Ukraine, a portion of which were made public on Tuesday.
The documents included a letter in which Giuliani requested a private meeting with Zelensky, stating that he had Trump's 'knowledge and consent' to make the request.
Speaking to Maddow, Parnas insisted that Trump was aware he and Giuliani were working on the effort in Ukraine specifically to hurt Joe Biden, a current favorite for the Democratic presidential nomination.
'It was never about corruption, it was strictly about Burisma, which included Hunter Biden and Joe Biden,' he said.
Parnas also said he had no doubt that Pence and Attorney General William Barr were kept in the loop.
Parnas said he had no doubt that Vice President Mike Pence and Attorney General William Barr were kept in the loop about efforts to dig up dirt on the Bidens
Parnas and another Giuliani associate, Igor Fruman, were arrested in October on campaign finance charges for allegedly making $325,000 in illegal straw donations to a Trump super PAC.
Asked why he decided to speak out now, Parnas told Maddow: 'I want to get the truth out. I feel it's important for our country. I think it's important for me.'
Trump has previously denied knowing Parnas or Fruman, despite photos Parnas posted on Facebook in 2018 of himself with the president and his son Don Jr.
Asked about Trump's denial, Parnas said: 'He lied. He knew exactly who we were.'
Parnas accused Trump of lying when he said he didn't know him or his associate Igor Fruman
Parnas said that he was 'absolutely' working for the president in his capacity as a legal aide to Giuliani, Trump's personal lawyer.
He said that he introduced himself to Ukrainian officials as a representative for Giuliani and the president.
Parnas addressed reports of his conversation with senior Zelensky aide Sergey Schafer, confirming that he told Schafer military aid would not be released to the Ukraine unless Zelensky announced investigations into Joe Biden.
'Basically, the message that I was supposed to, that I gave Sergey Schafer was a very harsh message that was told to me to give it to him in a very harsh way, not a pleasant way,' he said.
'Rudy told me after, you know meeting the president at the White House, the message was it wasn't just military aid, it was all aid. Basically their relationships would be sour, that we would stop giving them any kind of aid.'
'Unless'...?' Maddow pressed.
'Unless '-- there were several demands at that point. A, the most important was the announcement of the Biden investigation,' Parnas explained.
He went on to say that he also held out the promise of a White House visit for then-president elect Zelensky.
'I know it sounds crazy, but more support from the president, by having a White House visit, by having a big inauguration, by having the dignitaries there,' Parnas said.
'The announcement was the key at that time because of the inauguration, that [Vice President Mike] Pence would not show up. Nobody would show up to the inauguration.'
The impeachment inquiry was sparked by allegations the Trump administration tried to pressure Ukrainian President Volodomyry Zelensky (pictured) to dig up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter
Parnas said he relayed that apparent threat to Schafer on May 12, eight days before the inauguration.
He claimed Schafer told him that he would get back to him, and then blocked him on WhatsApp that night.
After Parnas updated Giuliani, the former New York City Mayor allegedly told him: 'Okay, they'll see.'
'To my awareness, Trump called up and said to make sure Pence doesn't go there,' Parnas told Maddow.
'You believe Mr Pence's trip to the inauguration was canceled because [Ukraine] didn't agree?' Maddow asked.
'Oh I know 100 percent. It was 100 percent,' Parnas replied.
'The chain of events, that was key to where we are today,' he added. 'After that, take a look at what transpires. Next within the next couple days, they realize that now they get word. Obviously when Pence cancels, they get word. So now they realize that what I was telling them was true.'
Asked whether he knew if Pence was aware that that was the reason the inaugural visit was called off, Parnas quoted something EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland said while testifying in the House impeachment inquiry: 'Everybody was in the loop.'
Parnas also said that Barr, Trump's attorney general, likely knew what was going on.
He said he never personally spoke to Barr but was present during 'lots of conversations' that Giuliani and another person had with Barr.
'Mr Barr had to have known everything. I mean, it's impossible,' Parnas said. 'Attorney General Barr was basically on the team.'
Giuliani and Parnas are seen having coffee at the Trump International Hotel in Washington D.C. in September, one month before Parnas was indicted for campaign finance violations
Parnas attorney Joseph Bondy (left) tweeted a picture of himself and his client with Maddow ahead of the interview Wednesday night
Parnas' involvement in that 'team' is laid bare in the cache of documents he's handed over to the House Intelligence Committee, which paint him as a middleman between Giuliani and Ukrainian officials.
They also provided additional details about the apparent campaign to remove Marie Yovanovitch from her post as US Ambassador to Ukraine last spring because she was impeding efforts to dig up dirt on the Bidens.
Parnas expressed regret over his involvement in ousting Yovanovitch, saying: 'I want to apologize to her.'
Yovanovitch was the focus of text messages between Parnas and prominent Trump donor Robert F Hyde, which were made public on Tuesday.
Hyde, a Republican congressional candidate from Connecticut, repeatedly disparaged Yovanovitch in the messages and implied that she was under surveillance, often referencing her exact physical location.
However, Parnas told Maddow that while he was 'disturbed' by Hyde's messages, he never believed they were serious.
'I don't believe it was true, I think he was either drunk or was trying to make himself bigger than he was,' he said. 'I didn't take it seriously, and if you see, I didn't even respond to it most of the time.'
Maddow questioned whether Hyde could have been drunk throughout their text correspondence, which lasted several days.
Parnas replied: 'He's drunk the whole time. He wakes up and he's drunk. He starts at 6. I've never seen him not drunk.'
Hyde himself reacted to the release of the messages on Tuesday night.
He did not dispute the validity of the texts but said he was drinking when he sent the ones about surveiling Yovanovitch.
Some of the text messages Parnas submitted to House investigators were between him and Robert Hyde, a GOP congressional candidate in Connecticut and prominent Trump donor. Hyde and the president are pictured together in an undated Facebook photo
WhatsApp messages appear to show Hyde tracking the movements of Marie Yovanovitch
'Guess you can do anything in the Ukraine with money,' Hyde wrote in one message
Just before the MSNBC interview aired, House officials released a second set of documents submitted by Parnas' legal team.
Among the confusing trove of information is one message that identifies first daughter Ivanka Trump, a key advisor who Trump pointed out by name during remarks lauding a new deal with China in the White House Wednesday.
Trump lawyer Victoria Toensing, in a message to Parnas, mentions Ivanka in a discussion about a White House meeting. 'POTUS stood us up and sent Ivanka to speak in his stead. Victoria,' reads the message, dated March 3rd, amid the Ukrainian elections.
'That's what Rudy said,' Parnas replied. The messages are proceeded and succeeded by blacked out information.
A White House spokesperson didn't immediately respond to a question about the Ivanka message.
Another message references the president's eldest son, Don Jr., who helps run the Trump Organization.
'What should I send don to tweet,' writes Joseph Ahearn, who is listed by pro-Trump super PAC America First Policies as director of development in a March 20 message to Parnas.
Parnas replies: 'Wait tomorrow good stuff.'
'What should I send don to tweet,' writes Joseph Ahearn, who is listed by pro-Trump super PAC America First Policies as director of development, to Parnas
Attorney Victoria Toensing writes Parnas that the president 'stood us up and sent Ivanka to speak in his stead'
The documents include a series of back-and-forth messages about getting a retainer completed. An April, 2019 message from Parnas seeks to have it translated into Russian
'I WILL NOT BE BROKEN!' Giuliani complained former special counsel Robert Mueller was stalling his flight departure.
A Parnas text about a retainer mentioned a figure at the Ukraine ministry of justice
Another message is from Thomas Hicks Jr. Thomas O. Hicks Jr is co-chair of the Republican National Committee
Parnas has been photographed multiple times with Trump and key Trump World figures, including Don Jr.
A March 20 message includes a link to a story by John Solomon in The Hill that included some of Giuliani's claims about Ukrainian corruption. Another linked to a show by Fox News host Sean Hannity.
'Have jr retweet it,' writes Parnas.
'Sent,' responds Ahearn a minute later.
On March 24, 2019, Trump Jr. retweeted a link to a DailyWire story about pressure to remove the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch.
'We need more '...@Richard Grenell's and less of these jokers as ambassadors. Calls Grow To Remove Obama's U.S. Ambassador To Ukraine,' wrote the president's son.
Other messages connect Parnas with shipping magnate Harry Sargeant III who has denied claims of involvement in a plan to export U.S. natural gas to Ukraine. When Parnas mentioned a coming meeting in Vienna, Sargeant responded: 'Just becoming expensive flying u guys everywhere LEV.'
Parnas and his associate Igor Fruman, both born in the former Soviet Union, have pleaded not guilty to the charges against them. Parnas lawyer Joseph Bondy says his client wants to testify and has been urging federal authorities to interview him.
Many of the matters referenced in his trove of electronic information were the subject of a House Democratic impeachment inquiry, which focused on the firing of Yovanovitch and efforts to get the Ukrainians to probe Ukrainian energy firm Burisma, where Hunter Biden served on the board.
Messages revealed Tuesday appeared to show an effort to surveil the movements of Yovanovitch.
Amazon to launch Dutch marketplace this year - Business Insider
Thu, 16 Jan 2020 05:45
Amazon plans to launch a new marketplace in the Netherlands later this year, Amazon confirmed in a blog post Wednesday after Business Insider reached out for comment.The Dutch marketplace would be Amazon's 16th global marketplace.The move shows Amazon's continued interest in expanding into overseas markets, although it's seen mixed results for its international business.Click here to read more stories on BI PrimeAmazon is launching a new marketplace in the Netherlands later this year, as it looks to further expand its international presence, Business Insider has learned.
Amazon has been reaching out to a group of US-based sellers in recent months to discuss the launch of a broader Dutch marketplace that sells a variety of consumer products, according to several merchants who spoke to Business Insider. That would be a change from Amazon's current Dutch site that only sells e-books. Merchants that sell on the new Dutch site would have access to Amazon's fulfillment service too, these people said.
The move reflects Amazon's continued effort to expand globally, even as its international segment has seen mixed results in recent years. Its international business has shown slower growth lately, despite having invested billions of dollars in overseas markets. Last year, Amazon launched new marketplaces in the UAE and Singapore, but shuttered its service in China.
Meanwhile, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is visiting India this week, where he's pledged to invest an additional $1 billion after having spent roughly $7 billion in the region so far. India has been a challenging market for Amazon as local regulators have recently tightened restrictions on foreign marketplaces.
After Business Insider reached out to Amazon for comment, the company published a blog post confirming the launch of the new Dutch marketplace.
"We are really excited to be launching a more comprehensive shopping experience on Amazon.nl", Alex Ootes, Amazon's VP of EU Expansion, said in the blog post.
Ruobing Su/Business Insider
Will Land, cofounder of Marketplace Valet, a consultant agency for online sellers, told Business Insider that Amazon's expansion into the Netherlands is primarily driven by the growing number of Dutch customers, who mostly order through Amazon's German and UK sites.
"There's a lot of Dutch purchasing off of Amazon's European sites," Land said.
One seller, who wanted to remain anonymous due to confidentiality agreements, said that the option to activate seller accounts on Amazon's Dutch site started showing up in recent weeks. The option appears alongside Amazon's other European marketplaces, including the UK, French, and German sites, according to a screenshot seen by Business Insider. Another seller said that Amazon reached out to discuss shipping details as US-based sellers need to figure out how to export their products to the Netherlands.
It's unclear how many products or third-party sellers will be available on the Dutch marketplace. When Amazon launched its new UAE site last year, it started with roughly 10,000 sellers, while its marketplace in Singapore had a smaller seller base of just 500, according to a report by Marketplace Pulse. Amazon's US marketplace has roughly 3 million active sellers, the report said.
Amazon first launched a Dutch site in 2014 that only sells e-books. In 2017, Amazon started offering Prime memberships and fast delivery to customers in the Netherlands through its German site. Amazon's first office in Amsterdam opened in 2018.
Amazon currently has 15 marketplaces around the world, making the Dutch service its 16th globally. The US marketplace is by far the largest, but the marketplaces in the UK, Germany, and Japan are also big enough to require separate revenue disclosures.
Amazon generated $65.9 billion from international markets in 2018, which accounted for roughly 28% of its total sales, according to company filings.
But Amazon's international segment has seen a slowdown over the past year. The sales growth dropped to just 9% in the first quarter of 2019, before bouncing back to 18% in the third quarter, its most recent quarterly report. That's still lower than the 21% annual sales growth reported in 2018.
Epstein Trafficked Girls As Recently As 2018 - Some As Young As 11, According To Lawsuit By Virgin Islands AG | Zero Hedge
Wed, 15 Jan 2020 23:34
Jeffrey Epstein trafficked and sexually abused girls as young as eleven years old, as recently as 2018, according to a new lawsuit filed against the late pedophile's estate by Virgin Islands Attorney General Denise N. George.
The lawsuit claims that girls as young as 11 and 12 were brought to his private estate in the Virgin Islands, known as Little Saint James (or simply 'pedo island') - where former President Bill Clinton and other high-profile guests reportedly vacationed, according to several Epstein accusers. Epstein kept a computerized database to track the availability and movements of his victims, according to the New York Times.
"Epstein clearly used the Virgin Islands and his residence in the U.S. Virgin Islands at Little Saint James as a way to be able to conceal and to be able to expand his activity here," said George.
The lawsuit, which was filed by Denise N. George, the attorney general of the Virgin Islands, broadened the dimensions of the wrongdoing in which Mr. Epstein was said to have engaged. He had been charged by Manhattan prosecutors in July with sexually exploiting dozens of women and girls in New York and Florida, but they did not point to any actions beyond 2005.
In August, Mr. Epstein hanged himself at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, where he was being held awaiting trial on federal sex trafficking and conspiracy charges. Prison guards had not checked on him for hours on the night he died, and the circumstances surrounding his death are now the subject of at least three federal investigations. -New York Times
The new accusations draw from both independent investigations by George's office as well as court documents from cases across the country, and allege that Epstein ran a decades-long sex trafficking scheme which had a "primary nexus in the Virgin Islands," according to the report.
George's lawsuit seeks the forfeiture of Little Saint James as well as Great Saint James - an adjacent island Epstein also purchased, as well as several shell companies he established in the territory which were alleged fronts for his sex trafficking. According to local law, the Virgin Islands can recover any assets from the estate - which may be distributed among Epstein's victims.
"We don't have a long history of figuring out what to do in cases of human trafficking," said Bridgette Carr - director of the Human Trafficking Clinic at the University of Michigan Law School, and was consulted by George's office regarding the lawsuit. "I think this litigation and the courts are just trying to come up with the best, imperfect solution."
As recently as July 2018, Mr. Epstein refused to permit an investigator from the Virgin Island's Department of Justice to enter Little Saint James, claiming the island's dock was his ''front door,'' according to the lawsuit. The investigator was doing routine monitoring of Mr. Epstein because he was a registered sex offender.
Mr. Epstein's victims included aspiring models from South America, according to court documents.
Mr. Epstein used a ring of associates to rotate the women and girls in and out of sexual servitude, using fraudulent modeling visas to transport them across state lines and international borders, the lawsuit said. He tracked their availability and proximity using the database, court documents said.
Prosecutors in New York have said their investigation has continued and anyone who helped Mr. Epstein could face criminal charges. -New York Times
In one instance cited in the lawsuit, one young Epstein victim tried to escape the island - swimming away after she says she was forced to engage in sex acts with one of his co-conspirators. She was later found and held hostage on the island after he confiscated her passport, according to the report.
The lawsuit also accuses Epstein of illegal construction projects on Great Saint James, causing extensive damage to native coral and wildlife. Moreover, Epstein's executor, Darren K. Indyke, is accused of engaging "in a course of conduct aimed at concealing the criminal activities of the Epstein enterprise" by turning the estate into a vast victim's compensatory fund - which would impose confidentiality on any claimants.
Maajid Nawaz - Wikipedia
Wed, 15 Jan 2020 23:25
Maajid Usman Nawaz (Urdu: [ËmaːdÊ'ɪd̪ nÉwaːz] ; born 2 November 1977)[1] is a British activist and radio presenter. He is the founding chairman of Quilliam, a counter-extremism think tank that seeks to challenge the narratives of Islamist extremists, and the host of a radio show on LBC, every Saturday and Sunday.
Born in Southend-on-Sea, Essex to a British Pakistani family, Nawaz is a former member of the Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir. This association led to his arrest in Egypt in December 2001, where he remained imprisoned until 2006. Reading books on human rights and interacting with Amnesty International, which adopted him as a prisoner of conscience, resulted in a change of heart: he left Hizb-ut-Tahrir in 2007, renounced his Islamist past, and called for a "secular Islam". After his turnaround, Nawaz co-founded Quilliam with former Islamists, including Ed Husain.[2] He wrote an autobiography, Radical (2012) and has since become a prominent critic of Islamism in the United Kingdom.
He is a weekly columnist for The Daily Beast, and his writings have been published in various international newspapers, he appears frequently on television, and has delivered lectures including at the UK Defence Academy and Marshall Center for Security Studies. His second book, Islam and the Future of Tolerance (2015), co-authored with atheist author Sam Harris, was published in October 2015. He was the Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for London's Hampstead and Kilburn constituency in the 2015 general election.[3]
Biography Nawaz was born in Southend-on-Sea, Essex, to parents of Pakistani origin.[4] His mother, Abi, is described as a literature-loving liberal woman whose family moved to Southend when she was nine. His father, Mo, is an electrical engineer who had worked for the Pakistan Navy but had to leave on medical grounds after he contracted tuberculosis.[5] Mo later worked for the Dewan Group in Islamabad, Pakistan where he won a court case against his employer which had banned trade unions.[5] After moving to the UK, Mo worked for an oil company in Libya, and moved between Libya and the UK until his retirement. Maajid has an elder brother and a younger sister. In his memoir, Radical, he uses the pseudonym Osman to denote his brother.[5]
Nawaz was educated at Westcliff High School for Boys, a grammar school in Westcliff-on-Sea, a suburb of Southend.[6] Later, he studied Law and Arabic at SOAS, University of London and earned his master's degree in Political Theory from London School of Economics.[7] At the age of 21, he married Rabia Ahmed, then a fellow Hizb ut-Tahrir activist and a biology student;[8] they have a son named Ammar, named after Muhammad's companion Ammar ibn Yasir.[5][9] On Nawaz's decision to leave Hizb ut-Tahrir, they separated and divorced.[10]
In 2014, he married Rachel Maggart, an artist and writer originally from the United States who works for an art gallery in London.[11][12] In February 2017, Nawaz and Maggart had their first child together, a son named Gibreal.[13]
In February 2019, Nawaz was reportedly assaulted in a racially-motivated attack by a white man.[14]
Islamist activism Association with Hizb ut-Tahrir Nawaz cites racism whilst growing up, whether from classmates, C18 gangs or the police, and feeling divided between his Pakistani and British identities as important factors in his struggle to find his own identity.[2][8][15]
His elder brother, pseudonymously named as Osman, was recruited into Hizb ut-Tahrir by Nasim Ghani, who would later become the UK leader of Hizb ut-Tahrir. Osman subsequently persuaded Nawaz to attend HT meetings held in Southend homes.[16] At those meetings, recruits were shown videos that depicted Bosnian Muslims being massacred.[17] These videos became the catalyst for Nawaz's formal recruitment in the HT.[8]
While a student at Newham College, and then at SOAS, Nawaz quickly rose through the ranks. By the age of 17, he was recruiting students from Cambridge University, and by 19, he was on the national leadership of HT in the United Kingdom.[18] He became a national speaker and an international recruiter for Hizb ut-Tahrir, travelling to Pakistan and Denmark to further the party's ideology and set up organisational cells.[8]
Imprisonment in Egypt As part of his bachelor's degree in Law and Arabic, Nawaz spent a compulsory year abroad in Egypt, arriving just one day before the 9/11 attacks took place.[19][20] Since political Islamist organisations like Hizb ut-Tahrir were banned in Egypt, Nawaz was arrested and interrogated in Alexandria by the Egyptian security agency Aman al-Dawlah. Like most foreign prisoners, he was not subjected to torture, but faced the threat of torture during interrogation and witnessed other prisoners being tortured.[8][21] He was then transferred to Mazrah Tora prison and put on trial. Represented by Sadiq Khan, he was sentenced to five years' imprisonment.[22][23] During the trial, he was adopted by Amnesty International as a prisoner of conscience,[8][24][25] who helped to secure his return to London.[26]
Disenchantment and exit from Hizb ut-Tahrir While imprisoned in Mazrah Tora, Nawaz came across a wide spectrum of Muslims with varying ideological leanings: Jihadists, Islamists, Islamic scholars and liberal Muslims.[27]
Among the Jihadists were the members of the terrorist organisation al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya, and the assassins of former Egyptian President Anwar Sadat.[27] He met Islamist Dr Essam el-Erian, the spokesman of the Muslim Brotherhood.[28] and Mohammed Badie, who in his youth had smuggled the manuscripts of Syed Qutb's Islamist manual Milestones out of prison, and had it published.[15][27] Among the Islamic Scholars, Nawaz continued his studies sitting with graduates of Cairo's Al-Azhar University and Dar al-'Ulum.[29] He specialised in the Arabic language whilst studying historical Muslim scholastics, sources of Islamic jurisprudence, Hadith historiography and the art of Qur'anic recitation. He also committed half of the Qur'an to memory.[30] On the liberal end of the spectrum, he befriended author and sociologist Saad Eddin Ibrahim. He also benefited from the company of imprisoned Egyptian politician Ayman Nour who was the head of the centre-liberal Tomorrow Party and a runner-up to the 2005 Presidential Elections.[31][32]
His departure from Hizb ut-Tahrir's world view came slowly and gradually. By 2007 he renounced his Islamist past, and called for a "secular Islam".[33] In an interview with American broadcaster National Public Radio, Nawaz explained how, other than the interactions in prison, George Orwell's novel Animal Farm played a major role in his turnaround.[15]
Counter-extremist activism After completing his prison term in Egypt, Nawaz returned to the UK in 2006. In 2007, he resigned from Hizb-ut-Tahrir and resumed his bachelor's degree at SOAS.[34][35] He then founded the Quilliam Foundation, a counter-extremism think tank. He addressed the US Senate's Homeland Security Committee on the subject of Islamist extremism.[36] He also spoke at the "Sovereign Challenge" conference organised by United States Special Operations Command where he advocated the need to move beyond hard power, and look at new counter-radicalisation strategies.[37]
Nawaz played a major role in Tommy Robinson's exit from the far-right English Defence League (EDL), of which Robinson was the founder. He met Robinson in 2013 during the filming of a BBC documentary When Tommy met Mo, and subsequently met the EDL's co-leader, Kevin Carroll. Nawaz's personal story of turning back from Islamist extremism, and his counter-extremism work at Quilliam Foundation encouraged Robinson and Carroll to quit the EDL.[38] Later, Robinson also apologised to Muslims for the fear caused by his EDL activism.[39] The move was hailed by Quilliam as "a huge success in community relations in the United Kingdom", and a continuation of combating all kinds of extremism, including Islamism and Neo-Nazism.[40]
In July 2012, he published his autobiography, Radical.
Activities in Pakistan Nawaz has co-founded an activist group in Pakistan, Khudi, which aims to combat extremism.[41] In 2009, with a BBC Newsnight crew and security team, Nawaz embarked on a counter-extremism tour, speaking at over 22 universities and recruiting students all over Pakistan.[42]
Liberal Democrat candidate Nawaz was selected in July 2013 to stand as the Liberal Democrat candidate for the marginal north London constituency of Hampstead and Kilburn, in which he came third.[43]
With the delegation of Liberal Democrat Friends of Israel he visited both sides of the Israeli''Palestinian conflict.[44] In September 2013, Nawaz and his Camden District team was given the Dadabhai Naoroji Award for support and promotion of BAME (Black, Asian Minority Ethnic groups) party members.[45] The award was presented by party MP Tim Farron. In the same year, he was included in The Daily Telegraph ' s list of 50 most influential Liberal Democrats.[46]
Jesus and Mo cartoon In 2014, Nawaz received death threats after tweeting a Jesus and Mo cartoon alluding to the Islamic prophet Muhammad.[47] Nawaz decided to tweet the cartoon after a BBC programme censored two audience member's shirts displaying innocuous cartoons of the prophet Muhammed.[48] Respect Party politician George Galloway called on Muslims, via a tweet, not to vote for the Liberal Democrats while Nawaz is one of their candidates.[47][49] By 24 January, a petition to the Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg demanding that Nawaz should be removed as a parliamentary candidate for the party had received 20,000 signatures.[48] Petition organisers denied a connection to its alleged originator, Liberal Democrat member Mohammed Shafiq, and condemned the incitement to murder.[50] On 26 January, Clegg defended Nawaz's right to free expression and said that the death threats were "unacceptable".[50]
SPLC claim In October 2016, the U.S. Southern Poverty Law Center accused Nawaz of being an "anti-Muslim extremist",[51] a label disputed by various media outlets, and Nawaz himself.[52][53][54][55][56] The Lantos Foundation for Human Rights & Justice wrote a public letter to the SPLC urging it to retract the listing.[57] Nawaz announced his intention to file a defamation lawsuit against the SPLC on the 23 June 2017 episode of Real Time with Bill Maher.[58] The SPLC deleted the HTML version of its list in April 2018.[59] In June 2018, the SPLC apologised and paid $3.375 million to Nawaz and Quilliam "to fund their work to fight anti-Muslim bigotry and extremism".[60][61]
As part of the settlement, SPLC president Richard Cohen made a video apology,[62] and released the following statement about Nawaz and the Quilliam Foundation:[63]
"The Southern Poverty Law Center was wrong to include Maajid Nawaz and the Quilliam Foundation in our Field Guide to Anti-Muslim Extremists. Since we published the Field Guide, we have taken the time to do more research and have consulted with human rights advocates we respect. We've found that Mr. Nawaz and Quilliam have made valuable and important contributions to public discourse, including by promoting pluralism and condemning both anti-Muslim bigotry and Islamist extremism. Although we may have our differences with some of the positions that Mr. Nawaz and Quilliam have taken, they are most certainly not anti-Muslim extremists. We would like to extend our sincerest apologies to Mr. Nawaz, Quilliam, and our readers for the error, and we wish Mr. Nawaz and Quilliam all the best."
The agreement stipulated that the SPLC's apology was to be prominently displayed on various pages on their website, as well as distributed to every email address and mailing address on the SPLC mailing list.[63]
Views This section contains only those views which Nawaz came to hold after renouncing Islamist extremism.
Security and human rights Nawaz has opposed racial profiling of Muslims, extrajudicial detention of terror suspects, torture, targeted killings and drone strikes.[64][65] Nawaz also opposed the Terrorism Act 2000, under which he was himself once detained, and called for the universal Right to Legal Representation and Right to Silence in all cases, and for all suspects.[66] In a talk given at Marshall European Center for Security Studies, he suggested a revisit of UK Government's historical approach to deal with terrorism, and called for a more nuanced response to tackling the ideology of Islamism without breaching fundamental liberties of citizens.[67] According to him, security should never debase citizens of their civil liberties.[66] Nawaz was among the 12 advisers to UK Government who, in 2009, wrote an open letter to the then Prime Minister Gordon Brown asking him to hold Israel accountable for its attacks on Gaza.[68] He also opposes Hamas which he considers a terrorist organisation.[69]
In the aftermath of 2015 San Bernardino attack, in which the debate about profiling ensued, Nawaz explained his view that racial or religious profiling is a "terrible measure" that "does not prevent terrorism".[70]
Jihadism and the Islamic State In an essay for The Wall Street Journal, Nawaz stated that Jihadists of all types seek to create discord by "pitting Muslims against non-Muslims in the West and Sunni Muslims against Shiite Muslims in the East".[71] He argues that the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) is out to provoke a Clash of Civilisations, and we can avoid this clash by calling out the underlying Islamist ideology and isolating Jihadists from ordinary Muslims. He also took exception to Pope Francis's characterisation of Paris attacks as the start of "World War 3", noting that we are not facing another World War but a Global Jihadist insurgency. According to him, an insurgency is different from a conventional war in that insurgents rely on some level of support from the communities they recruit from. And since it is an insurgency, the Counter-insurgency strategy should have messaging and psychological warfare as its critical parts, with the aim of isolating insurgents from their target host communities.[71] On a physical level, he supported the idea of an international coalition against ISIL, fronted by Sunni Arab forces and backed by international special forces.[71]
It's not Islamophobic to scrutinise Islam just as it's not Christianophobic to scrutinise Christianity.
Maajid Nawaz The Big Questions (BBC show)[72]
Nationalism and far-right movements In a CNN interview, he condemned Donald Trump's remarks about banning Muslims from entering the United States.[73] Nawaz said that when leaders pump up their followers by promising them utopian visions, and then fail to deliver on those promises, followers take action into their own hands. He expressed his concern that disappointed followers of Trump will "end up joining fascist or far-right groups" and take matters into their own hands against the eight million Muslims in the United States".[74]
Books Nawaz, Maajid (2012). Radical: My Journey out of Islamist Extremism. WH Allen. ISBN 978-0-7535-4077-0. Nawaz, Maajid; Harris, Sam (2015). Islam and the Future of Tolerance. Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-674-08870-2. Bibliography Baran, Zeyno (2011). The Pakistan Cauldron: Conspiracy, Assassination & Instability. A&C Black. ISBN 978-1-4411-1248-4. Farwell, James P. (2011). Citizen Islam: The Future of Muslim Integration in the West. Potomac Books, Inc. ISBN 978-1-59797-982-5. Kazemipur, Abdolmohammad (2014). The Muslim Question in Canada: A Story of Segmented Integration. UBC Press. ISBN 978-0-7748-2731-7. Garbaye, Romain; Schnapper, Pauline (2014). The Politics of Ethnic Diversity in the British Isles. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-1-137-35154-8. See also ExtremismLiberalism and progressivism within IslamReferences ^ "The Quilliam Foundation Ltd. - Annual Return" (PDF) . Archived (PDF) from the original on 1 January 2017 . Retrieved 31 December 2016 . ^ a b Nawaz, Maajid (26 February 2015). "I was radicalised. So I understand how extremists exploit grievances". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 14 February 2017 . Retrieved 12 December 2016 . ^ "UK vote could create cross-border dynasty". Al Jazeera. 15 January 2014. Archived from the original on 17 January 2014 . Retrieved 16 March 2014 . ^ Shariatmadari, David. "Maajid Nawaz: how a former Islamist became David Cameron's anti-extremism adviser". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 22 October 2016 . Retrieved 21 October 2016 . ^ a b c d Nawaz (2012): pp. 20''30. ^ Christine Sexton (25 June 2009). "Ex-extremist: My message of peace to the Islamic world". Southend Standard. Archived from the original on 17 November 2015 . Retrieved 14 November 2015 . ^ "Lib Dem Profile of Maajid Nawaz". Archived from the original on 13 April 2014 . Retrieved 13 April 2014 . (subscription required) ^ a b c d e f "News". 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Retrieved 19 February 2019 . ^ a b c "How Orwell's 'Animal Farm' Led A Radical Muslim To Moderation". NPR. Archived from the original on 13 October 2017 . Retrieved 3 April 2018 . ^ Nawaz (2012): pp. 80''91. ^ Driscoll, Margaret. "Maajid Nawaz: And most other jihadists are just like me too". Archived from the original on 14 July 2015 . Retrieved 13 July 2015 . ^ "A Global Culture to Fight Radicalization". TED.com. Archived from the original on 14 July 2015 . Retrieved 13 July 2015 . ^ "Talk: From Islamism to Secular Liberalism: Socrateslezing". Archived from the original on 6 March 2016 . Retrieved 23 March 2016 . ^ Casciani, Dominic (3 March 2006). "UK | Freed Britons attack government". BBC News . Retrieved 18 March 2012 . ^ Nawaz (2012): p. 241. ^ Nawaz (2012): p. 257. ^ "Egypt trial Britons' case resumes". news.bbc.co.uk. Archived from the original on 23 September 2017 . Retrieved 6 June 2017 . ^ Nawaz (2012): pp. 250''57. ^ "Amnesty International - Library - Egypt: Opening of trial of three Britons and 23 Egyptians raises unfair trial and torture concerns". Mafhoum.com. Archived from the original on 9 June 2011 . Retrieved 18 March 2012 . ^ Thomas Chatterton Williams (28 March 2017). "Can a Former Islamist Make It Cool to Be Moderate?". New York Times. Archived from the original on 29 March 2017 . Retrieved 29 March 2017 . ^ a b c Nawaz (2012): pp. 262''63. ^ "Democracy is our revenge". New Statesman. Archived from the original on 14 July 2015 . Retrieved 13 July 2015 . ^ Nawaz (2012): pp. 285''86. ^ Nawaz (2012): p. 287. ^ "CS Monitor: Radical". Archived from the original on 14 July 2015 . Retrieved 13 July 2015 . ^ "Maajid Nawaz: The Repentant Radical". Newsweek. Archived from the original on 14 July 2015 . Retrieved 13 July 2015 . ^ Morris, Nigel (19 July 2013). "Former Islamist Maajid Nawaz to fight marginal parliamentary seat for Lib Dems in 2015 election". The Independent. Archived from the original on 9 September 2017 . Retrieved 19 July 2013 . ^ Nawaz (2012): pp. 323''5. ^ Nawaz (2012): p. 331. ^ "Events". Washingtoninstitute.org. Archived from the original on 23 February 2009 . Retrieved 18 March 2012 . ^ "[PDF]: US Special Operations command Conference" (PDF) . Archived (PDF) from the original on 24 September 2015 . Retrieved 9 July 2015 . ^ Malik, Shiv (11 October 2013). "Ex-EDL leader Tommy Robinson says sorry for causing fear to Muslims". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 20 October 2013 . Retrieved 29 October 2013 . ^ Siddique, Haroon (8 October 2013). "Tommy Robinson quits EDL saying it has become 'too extreme ' ". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 8 October 2013 . Retrieved 8 October 2013 . ^ "EDL: Tommy Robinson and deputy Kevin Carroll quit far right group". Archived from the original on 8 October 2013 . Retrieved 12 December 2016 . ^ Charlotte Higgins (12 August 2012). "Reformed Islamist extremist spreads virtues of democracy through Pakistan". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 6 November 2013 . Retrieved 3 November 2013 . ^ "Former Islamist takes on Pakistan extremism". Archived from the original on 4 July 2015 . Retrieved 3 July 2015 . ^ Osley, Richard (25 July 2013). "Lib Dems hope Maajid Nawaz can boost their election hopes in Hampstead and Kilburn". Camden New Journal. Archived from the original on 1 February 2014 . Retrieved 22 January 2014 . ^ Ex-radical speaks with suicide bomb victim's father Archived 10 February 2015 at the Wayback Machine, thejc.com. ^ "LibDem Party Awards 2013: The Winners". Archived from the original on 3 July 2015 . Retrieved 2 July 2015 . ^ "Top 50 most influential Liberal Democrats: 26-50". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 25 September 2018 . Retrieved 3 April 2018 . ^ a b Keith Perry "Lib Dem candidate receives death threats for tweeting Prophet Mohammed cartoon" Archived 25 February 2018 at the Wayback Machine Daily Telegraph 21 January 2014 ^ a b Nick Cohen "The Liberal Democrats face a true test of liberty" Archived 23 November 2016 at the Wayback Machine, The Observer, 25 January 2014 ^ Jessica Elgot "George Galloway And Muslim Activists Round On Lib Dem Candidate Maajid Nawaz" Archived 23 January 2014 at the Wayback Machine, The Huffington Post, 21 January 2014 ^ a b Jonathan Brown and Ian Johnston "Nick Clegg attacks death threats against Maajid Nawaz '' Lib Dem candidate who tweeted a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed and Jesus greeting each other" Archived 25 September 2015 at the Wayback Machine, The Independent, 26 January 2014 ^ "Field Guide to Anti-Muslim Extremists" (PDF) . Splcenter. Southern Poverty Law Center. Archived (PDF) from the original on 29 October 2016 . Retrieved 3 November 2016 . ^ Graham, David A. (29 October 2016). "How Did Maajid Nawaz End Up on a List of 'Anti-Muslim Extremists'?". The Atlantic. Archived from the original on 14 August 2017 . Retrieved 29 October 2016 . ^ Nawaz, Maajid (29 October 2016). "I'm A Muslim Reformer. Why Am I Being Smeared as an 'Anti-Muslim Extremist'?". The Daily Beast. Archived from the original on 30 October 2016 . Retrieved 29 October 2016 . ^ "Branding Moderates as 'Anti-Muslim ' ". Wall Street Journal. 30 October 2016. Archived from the original on 31 October 2016 . Retrieved 31 October 2016 . ^ Cohen, Nick (31 October 2016). "The white left has issued its first fatwa". The Spectator. Archived from the original on 31 October 2016 . Retrieved 31 October 2016 . ^ "SPLC receives backlash after placing activist Maajid Nawaz on 'anti-Muslim extremist' list". Yahoo! News. 31 October 2016. Archived from the original on 1 November 2016 . Retrieved 1 November 2016 . ^ "Lantos Foundation Calls Out Southern Poverty Law Center". Lantos Foundation. 8 November 2016. Archived from the original on 10 November 2016 . Retrieved 10 November 2016 . ^ "Muslim Anti-Extremist Maajid Nawaz on Maher; Talks Lawsuit Against Southern Poverty Law Center". www.realclearpolitics.com. Archived from the original on 30 September 2017 . Retrieved 28 June 2017 . ^ Crowe, Jack (19 April 2018). "Southern Poverty Law Center Quietly Deleted List of 'Anti-Muslim' Extremists After Legal Threat". National Review. Archived from the original on 28 May 2018 . Retrieved 9 June 2018 . ^ "Statement regarding Maajid Nawaz and Quilliam Foundation". SPLCenter.org. SPLC. Archived from the original on 18 June 2018 . Retrieved 18 June 2018 . ^ Matt Naham (18 June 2018). "Southern Poverty Law Center Must Pay $3.3 Million After Falsely Naming Anti-Muslim Extremists". Law & Crime. Archived from the original on 19 June 2018 . 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Archived from the original on 9 July 2015 . Retrieved 12 December 2016 . ^ OPINION: Palestine must be free ... from Hamas Archived 10 February 2015 at the Wayback Machine, jewishnews.co.uk. ^ Nawaz, Maajid (7 December 2015). "Why ISIS Just Loves Profiling". The Daily Beast. Archived from the original on 8 January 2016 . Retrieved 4 January 2016 . ^ a b c "How to beat Islamic State". Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on 27 June 2017 . Retrieved 8 March 2017 . ^ "Being offended by cartoons discussed on #BBCTBQ". Skeptical-science.com. Archived from the original on 25 July 2015 . Retrieved 19 July 2015 . ^ "Donald Trump is radicalizing his followers: Terrorism expert explains how Trump is marching Americans towards extremism". Salon. Archived from the original on 11 January 2016 . Retrieved 4 January 2016 . ^ "Video: Terrorists don't have a profile". CNN. Archived from the original on 12 December 2015 . Retrieved 4 January 2016 . External links Official websiteMaajid Nawaz on LBCEssay for Wall Street Journal
Putin's Shake-up of the Russian Government: Six Takeaways - The New York Times
Wed, 15 Jan 2020 23:01
Is Vladimir Putin Russia's president for life? Maybe. But he's still observing the niceties.
President Vladimir V. Putin at his annual address to the Federal Assembly on Wednesday. Credit... Yuri Kochetkov/EPA, via Shutterstock Jan. 15, 2020, 6:43 p.m. ET In his annual state-of-the-nation speech on Wednesday, President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia shook up the country and its political class by calling for constitutional changes that would give him a new path to holding onto power after his current '-- and, in theory, last '-- term ends in 2024.
With that, the entire cabinet, led by a long-serving Putin ally, Prime Minister Dmitri A. Medvedev, abruptly resigned. The head of the Federal Tax Service, Mikhail V. Mishustin '-- a little-known but skilled technocrat '-- will become the next prime minister.
The spate of moves offers some clues about Mr. Putin's plans and priorities, but also raises questions about what may lie ahead for the Russian president. Here are answers to some of them.
What is Putin doing?Mr. Putin's hold on power in Russia is unrivaled, built up over the last 20 years in his posts as president and prime minister.
But Russia's Constitution bars a president from serving more than two consecutive terms. To maintain his grip on power, as he has hinted he intends to do, Mr. Putin needs to find a way to engineer a leadership transition that will allow that to happen.
To that end, it appears, he has proposed changes to the Constitution that would weaken the presidency while increasing the sway of the Parliament and the prime minister.
He said, for example, that the president should in the future be required to accept the prime minister's cabinet appointments. This and other changes could give Mr. Putin more leeway to find a position in which he can maintain power without violating the Constitution.
What position will he hold?That's not entirely clear.
Mr. Putin could become prime minister again, taking advantage of the position's expanded influence. Alternatively, some analysts have pointed to a leadership maneuver engineered by Nursultan Nazarbayev, the longtime president of Kazakhstan, another former Soviet republic.
In 2018, Mr. Nazarbayev increased the power of Kazakhstan's Security Council and made himself its chairman for life. When he resigned from the presidency last year in favor of a handpicked successor, his position at the helm of the Security Council allowed him to hold on to key levers of power.
On Wednesday, offering few details, Mr. Putin dangled the possibility of a similar move in Russia. The State Council '-- currently an advisory body made up of the governors of Russia's regions '-- should have its ''status and role'' fixed in the Constitution, he said.
That quickly raised speculation among Russian political analysts that a revamped State Council could become a vehicle for Mr. Putin to maintain power if he relinquishes the presidency, particularly over the military and foreign policy.
Why doesn't he just seize power?Despite Mr. Putin's immense sway, he'd be taking a risk if he simply declared himself president for life.
Mr. Putin served two consecutive presidential terms from 2000 to 2008, and then became prime minister. His announcement in 2011 that he would seek the presidency again, followed by parliamentary elections widely seen as rigged, helped trigger Russia's biggest street protests since the 1990s.
This time around, Mr. Putin looks determined to orchestrate his next move in a slow-motion fashion that's less likely to produce a backlash. The changes to the Constitution he called for give him several options to hold on to power '-- while affording him as much as four years' time to set his course.
Is he really worried about public opinion? ''Our society is clearly calling for change,'' Mr. Putin said at the beginning of his speech on Wednesday.
Indeed, over the last year, Russia has seen its most vigorous street protests since the anti-Putin rallies of 2011 and 2012.
Polls show that Russians increasingly distrust pro-Kremlin TV channels and are getting their news on the internet, which remains largely uncensored.
And the Kremlin's appeal to patriotism '-- so effective after Mr. Putin's annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea in 2014 '-- has lost its visceral power, overshadowed by Russia's economic problems.
All of this means that the Kremlin is likely to portray the resignation on Wednesday of Mr. Medvedev and every cabinet minister as a sign that Mr. Putin has heard Russians' demand for change.
While Russians do increasingly blame Mr. Putin for their ills, many more blame the bureaucrats below him. Mr. Putin's approval rating has fallen to 68 percent from 82 percent in April 2018, an independent pollster, Levada, says. But Mr. Medvedev is in far worse shape, with an approval rating of 38 percent.
What about his new prime minister?Mr. Putin's choice of Mr. Mishustin seems to reflect his concerns about Russia's declining standard of living, which has contributed to spasms of unrest over the last year.
Mr. Mishustin is widely seen as one of Russia's most effective technocrats. He has headed Russia's Federal Tax Service since 2010, modernizing a notoriously ineffective and corrupt tax-collecting system. The Financial Times dubbed the computerized, real-time approach to taxation he developed as ''the taxman of the future.''
In his early years as president, Mr. Putin built his popularity on soaring living standards, which coincided with a period of rising oil prices. But with lower oil prices and Western sanctions, those steady improvements are now a thing of the past. Disposable incomes are still effectively below what they were in 2013.
Mr. Putin also used his state-of-the-nation speech to make a raft of pledges to improve Russians' daily lives. For example: free hot meals for all elementary school students from grades one through four.
Unlike Russia's more prominent economic reformers, the 53-year-old Mr. Mishustin has no political base of his own, reducing the likelihood that he might use the powers of his new office to chip away at Mr. Putin's authority.
Could he be loosening his grip?Not at all.
In theory, at least, Russia's system of governance echoes that of France '-- a powerful presidency checked by an independent judiciary, by parliament and by a cabinet of ministers headed by a prime minister with his own locus of authority.
But Mr. Putin has steadily subsumed the authority of all those institutions, often justifying crackdowns on political pluralism as necessary in the face of external threats. He reprised that language in his speech on Wednesday, signaling that no political thaw is in the offing.
''Russia can be and can remain Russia only as a sovereign state,'' he said.
That was an allusion to Mr. Putin's frequent charge the West is fomenting political opposition to undermine Russian sovereignty.
To drive home the point, Mr. Putin proposed a constitutional amendment that offered the day's clearest statement of how he views his successor: Russia's future president, Mr. Putin said, may not ever have had citizenship or permanent residency in another country.
Iran's Rouhani urges 'unity' after plane protests | AFP.com
Wed, 15 Jan 2020 23:00
IRANIAN PRESIDENCY/AFP / - Rouhani appealed for national unity after angry protests in Iran over the accidental downing of a Ukrainian airlinerPresident Hassan Rouhani appealed Wednesday for "unity" and flagged the need for radical changes to the way Iran is run, after a wave of angry protests over the accidental downing of a Ukrainian airliner.
The Kiev-bound Boeing 737 was shot down last week in a catastrophic error shortly after takeoff from Tehran, killing all 176 passengers and crew on board.
Iran had for days denied claims based on US intelligence that the plane had been downed by a missile, triggering four days of demonstrations as well as international calls for a full and transparent investigation.
One week on from the disaster, Rouhani called for "national unity" in an address broadcast live on state television.
"If there was a delay" by the armed forces to release information about the air disaster, "let them apologise," he said.
Rouhani also called for a full explanation of what happened in the air disaster, which came hours after Iran's military fired a wave of missiles at US troops stationed in Iraq.
AFP / ATTA KENARE Iranian students gather for a demonstration over the downing of a Ukrainian airliner at Tehran University on Tuesday, in a fourth day of protests in the capital The missile attack was launched in retaliation for a US drone strike that killed Iran's most prominent general, Qasem Soleimani, who headed the Revolutionary Guards' foreign operations arm.
Rouhani also said Iranians wanted "diversity" as he urged the electoral authorities to refrain from disqualifying would-be candidates for a February 21 general election.
That would mark a major shift in a country where all candidates are vetted by a constitutional watchdog, The Guardian Council, for their loyalty to the state.
"The people are our masters and we are its servants. The servant must address the master with modesty, precision and honesty," Rouhani said in his remarks after a cabinet meeting.
"The people want to make sure that the authorities treat them with sincerity, integrity and trust.
"Allow all parties and groups to run for office," he said. "Surely you have nothing to lose.
"The country cannot be governed by one political wing alone. The country belongs to everyone."
- Crisis after crisis -
Iran has been rocked by crisis after crisis since 2018.
In May that year, US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from a landmark 2015 agreement that gave Iran relief from sanctions in return for curbs on its nuclear programme.
Since then, the US has relentlessly slapped waves of sanctions on Iran as part of a stated campaign of "maximum pressure".
AFP/File / - Iran initially denied that the airliner had been downed by a missile but later admitted to a catastrophic errorWashington says the campaign is aimed at reining in Tehran's missile programme and "destabilising behaviour" in the region.
Iran has hit back by progressively reducing its commitments to the nuclear deal.
On Tuesday, as tensions mounted with the West over the downed airliner, European parties to the deal launched an arbitration process charging Iran with failing to observe its commitments to the accord.
In response Iran warned Britain, France and Germany they must "be prepared to accept the consequences" of their move.
The past year has seen arch-enemies Iran and the United States come to the brink of war on at least two separate occasions.
On June 21, 2019, Trump approved a strike on Iran in retaliation for its downing of a US drone, before cancelling it at the last minute.
Most recently, Iran had been braced for US counterstrikes after it launched a volley of missiles at US troops in Iraq to avenge Soleimani's killing. But Trump refrained after the missiles caused no casualties.
- 'American soldier is not safe' -
In his address on Wednesday, Rouhani blamed the United States and its allies for causing "insecurity" across the Middle East.
Their "mistakes", he said, included the Soleimani killing, interventions in Iraq, Yemen and Libya, as well as the US decision to pull out of the nuclear deal and reimpose sanctions on Iranian oil.
"Security in this sensitive and important region will come at the expense of the entire world," said Rouhani.
"Today the American soldier is not safe, tomorrow it could be the turn of the European soldier," he added, warning the US and its allies to leave the region.
The downing of the Ukrainian airliner came after a spate of disasters for Iran.
On January 7, at least 59 mourners were trampled to death at a funeral procession for Soleimani in his hometown of Kerman, in the southeast of the Islamic republic.
The country has also been wracked by heavy flooding since Friday that has claimed the lives of at least three people and left hundreds of villages cut off.
Referring to the series of disasters which he described as "unimaginable" and "unacceptable", Rouhani said they should lead to a "big decision" about Iran's political system.
"And that major decision," he said, "is national reconciliation."
"These (parliamentary) elections must be the first step."
Stephen Miller Shared Idea Of Shipping Undocumented Immigrants Out of The U.S. on Trains as Scare Tactic, Leaked Breitbart Emails Reveal
Wed, 15 Jan 2020 22:55
White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller railed against Republicans he saw as too weak on immigration and suggested Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients would one day replace white Americans, leaked emails to Breitbart News between 2015 and 2016 show.
The Southern Poverty Law Center's "Hatewatch" section published its latest series of emails Tuesday which were leaked by an ex-Breitbart editor. The emails reveal Miller pitching white nationalist and vigilantly anti-immigrant ideas to the right-wing publication while he was a rising GOP aide to then-Senator Jeff Sessions and later a top Trump campaign policy adviser on immigration. Miller's latest leaked messages show he shared an article from far-right website WorldNetDaily with Phyllis Schlafly, who suggested the idea of shipping immigrants out of the U.S. on trains as a scare tactic and expressed fears that migrants might "replace existing demographics."
Miller's emails blast DACA, former President Barack Obama and Republicans including former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor for what he described as their support of "illegal immigration." As Newsweek previously noted in following the Miller "Hatewatch" series, Miller also attacked Florida GOP Senator Marco Rubio and cheered after he dropped out of the 2016 presidential race against then-candidate Trump.
"Jeb [Bush] has mastered the art of using immigration rhetoric to sound 'moderate' while pushing the most extremist policies," Miller wrote, adding that Bush wanted to use "immigration to replace existing demographics."
As the SPLC's Michael Hayden notes, Miller refers to a "great replacement" theory frequently expressed by extreme white nationalist figures and in the manifestos of several mass shooter suspects.
"Demanding DREAMers be given citizenship because they 'know no other home.' That principle is an endorsement of perpetual birthright citizenship for the foreign-born," Miller wrote in the email, referring to DACA recipients. "Not only will the U.S.-born children of future illegal immigrants and guest workers be made automatic U.S. citizens, but their foreign-born children will too because, as [former Republican House Majority Leader Eric] Cantor said, 'Our country was founded on the principle.'"
In September 2017, Trump announced he would roll back the DACA program, which has been utilized by more than 800,000 undocumented immigrants since Obama created it in 2012. Eligibility is extended to individuals who have lived in the U.S. illegally since they were born, a group commonly referred to as "dreamers." According to Department of Homeland Security statistics, only a few thousand dreamers have had their DACA status revoked or terminated by the agency between 2012 and 2017.
In a June 2015 email, Miller lamented that "illegal youth" are allowed to remain in the U.S. as he said they soak up "both work permits and generous free cash tax credits." Miller, writing to Katie McHugh, the former Breitbart editor who leaked the emails, used the subject line, "The Immigration Surge" to make his point.
The more than 900 leaked emails involving Miller's correspondence with Breitbart repeatedly show his effort to promote the idea of a massively expanding "foreign-born share" of the U.S. workforce displacing current demographics.
White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller railed against Republicans he saw as too weak on immigration and suggested Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients would one day replace white Americans, leaked emails to Breitbart News between 2015 and 2016 show. Getty Images/ALEX WONG / STAFF
Update: Democrats vote out pledge and refuse to stand for flag - BladenOnline.com
Wed, 15 Jan 2020 22:16
By Charlotte Smith
The Bladen County Board of Elections held a regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, January 14, 2019 at the local office located at 301 S. Cypress Street in Elizabethtown. The meeting ended with threats of law enforcement being called to the next meeting.
Once the meeting was called to order and Commissioner Arthur Bullock gave the invocation Election Board member Emory White asked for the Pledge of Allegiance to be added to the agenda.Chairperson Louella P. Thompson, Patsy Sheppard, and Deborah Belle voted against the Pledge of Allegiance being added to the agenda. Board members Michael Aycock and Emory White, both Veterans of the United States military voted for the pledge to be added to the agenda.
When Chairperson Thompson was asked why she would vote against the Pledge of Allegiance by a fellow board member she did not respond. When she was asked the same question again by BladenOnline.com staff she responded by saying, ''That's my right and I exercise it.''
After the approval of the minutes Chairperson Thompson asked for individuals wishing to address the board to speak. After some passionate objections from members in the audience about the board voting against placing the pledge to the flag, Dwight Sheppard, husband of board member Patsy Sheppard rose to his feet and voiced his opinion on why the board should not add the pledge to the agenda.
As Sheppard stood he said, '''...That is every single State board in the State of North Carolina does not say the Pledge of Allegiance before their meetings it is not allowed in State meetings.'' He closed in reference to the pledge in State board meetings saying, ''Never, never, never quoted.'' (Mr. Sheppard, sued Bladen Community College some years ago. Mr. Sheppard also made threats to sue Bladen County in October, 2019 when the Bladen County Board of Commissioners voted not to pay for his wife, Patsy Sheppard's attorney. The request for the county to pay for Mrs. Sheppard's attorney stemmed from a formal complaint filed against her with the North Carolina Board of Elections.)
After Sheppard spoke, Bladen County resident and business owner, Daine Smith stood to address the board. Smith explained he was unaffiliated and the issue did not have to do with party affiliation, but about respect for the flag and others' rights. Smith then announced he would be citing the pledge if anyone would like to join him. As the majority in attendance stood and recited the pledge, the three democratic board members: Chairperson Thompson, Sheppard and Ms. Bell remained seated.
After the pledge was said Smith was reprimanded by Chairperson Thompson and then Sheppard called for a short recess. After the board returned the agenda items were addressed.
The action items on the agenda; approval of One-Stop Workers and approval of Election Day Workers were both approved after some discussion.
Director of the Bladen County Board of Elections gave dates for upcoming trainings and the board went into closed session citing personnel matters as the reason.
When the board reconvened Chairperson Thompson announced, ''There are some personnel issues and there is a position we will be advertising for and we also discussed the disruption of the meeting.'' She added, ''At the next meeting if that happens again law enforcement will be called, so because it is against the law to disrupt a meeting that is going on and that is what happened today with the reciting of the pledge.''
The meeting was then adjourned.
The Bladen County Board of Elections meetings are held the second Tuesday of each month at 5:00 p.m. at 301 S. Cypress Street in Elizabethtown.
Update: Governor Roy Copper appointed Chairperson Thompson and Sheppard to the Bladen County Board of Elections. Therefore, BladenOnline.com reached out to Gov. Cooper by phone on Wednesday afternoon for comment.
On Wednesday evening at 8:10 p.m. Gov. Cooper's office responded with a statement by email attributable to Communications Director Sadie Weiner:
''The Governor leads the Pledge of Allegiance before every Council of State meeting. He doesn't agree with the action taken and he thinks it's a good practice to say it before a Board of Elections meeting.''
Board members are sworn in every odd year. They serve two-year terms. There are usually five members, with no more than three being from the same party. The Republican and Democratic party chairs in the county nominate persons to serve on the board, and then the State Board of Elections or the NC Governor appoints the members.
Related video and articles:
Serving Our Country Is Not a Right, It Is a Privilege
Bladen County Board of Commissioners battle over legal matter
Update on flag and pledge issue with the Bladen County Board of Elections
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Russian Lawmaker Blames U.S. 'Climate Weapon' for Moscow's Warm Winter
Wed, 15 Jan 2020 16:41
Alexei Zhuravlyov, a member of Russia's lower house of parliament, blamed a secret U.S. "climate weapon" for the temperature anomaly that has resulted in unusually warm temperatures this season.
The Moscow Times reported that Zhuravlyov appeared on the Govorit Moskva radio station on Tuesday, where he said that the United States was purposefully using technology to warm Russia in order to create a climate catastrophe to destabilize the country. "If [Russia's permafrost] melts now, it will be a disaster.... The Americans know this, and they're testing this weapon," he said.
This has been Moscow's warmest recorded winter in 133 years. City administrators were even making artificial snow and trucking it to the city center in December, according to The New York Times. Meteorologists attribute Russia's warm temperatures this winter to an unusual front coming in off the Atlantic.
St. Basil's Cathedral in Moscow's Red Square. yulenochekk / Getty ImagesDespite that, Zhuravlyov told the station, "I'm convinced these are not random changes in the climate."
This wasn't the first time that Zhuravlyov, the leader of the ultranationalist Rodina party, has blamed Russian weather on American weapons. In October 2019, Russian news agency RIA reported that he appeared on state-owned Russia 1 television to declare that Siberian wildfires were also the result of climate tampering by the United States.
Russia's RBC TV reported that predictions for the remainder of the winter say the warm spell will continue, quoting meteorologist Evgeny Tishkovets of the Phobos weather center. He said that "in January it will be 4 to 6 degrees higher than normal. In February, 3 to 4 degrees."
The 1977 Environmental Modification Convention was ratified to unilaterally prohibit nations from changing weather or other environmental factors for hostile purposes. It followed the deployment of "Operation Popeye," a classified U.S. military venture to seed clouds over Vietnam to extend the monsoon season in specific locations so as to wash out roads and deprive the Viet Cong of the ability to transport troops and supplies by truck.
After the war ended, the United States realized that tampering with the climate could be devastating if weaponized and entered into bilateral talks with the Soviet Union to develop a ban on the techniques. Afterward, the U.S. took the measure to the United Nations.
That said, conspiracy theories about the weaponization of weather have continued. Many countries have dedicated organizations devoted to manipulating the weather. China is believed to have the world's largest, the Beijing Weather Modification Office, which seeds clouds to prevent hailstorms and end droughts.
According to a 2018 Pew Research Center survey, only 43 percent of Russians believe that climate change is a major threat to their country, while 21 percent believe that it is not a threat at all, the largest percentage of any country surveyed.
Campaign Leadership Fellow: Social Justice Campaigns - Grassroots Campaigns, Inc. | United States
Wed, 15 Jan 2020 16:39
The first three years of Trump's presidency have already caused untold damage.. He has relentlessly attacked the rights of immigrants and refugees, undone progress on LGBTQ equality, and dangerously undermined reproductive rights and abortion access. Through executive actions, stacking courts with conservative judges, and inspiring the worst in lawmakers across the country, his first term has already had disastrous consequences. This year, we have to stop him.
In 2020 we can right the course of history by building a groundswell of public support for organizations that will advance progressive issues and by removing Trump and his cronies from office.
Grassroots Campaigns is running outreach canvasses to get new activists and donors involved with groups like Planned Parenthood, ACLU so that they can prevent and undo Trump administration damage. This fall, we'll launch voter turnout campaigns in critical districts to elect progressive leaders up and down the ballot. To do it, we'll need the new generation of political leaders to take the helm.
We're seeking ambitious, hard-working people to join our team as Campaign Leadership Fellows this summer. Fellows will start in one of our year-round offices where they'll receive on-the-ground training and experience managing a canvass outreach program. After a few months of mentorship on the core recruitment, staff management, and leadership development skills, they'll fan out across the country to launch and manage 2020 election programs.
Responsibilities
Recruit a staff of 15-50 canvassersTrain your team to be effective canvassers, fundraisers, and recruitersLead by example by canvassing in the field 3-4 times every weekLearn core campaign skills as you work to beat ambitious campaign goalsAt the end of summer, apply what you've learned to launch a new campaign in a battleground district and help win the 2020 electionsQualifications
Dedication to progressive political changeExcellent communication and motivational skillsPoise and sense of humor in high-stakes, ever-changing work environmentsProven ability to shoulder significant responsibilityExceptional work-ethicPrevious field or canvassing experience is a plus, and may lead to opportunities for additional leadership positionsExpectations
Fellowships begin from May-June, and campaigns will run until Election Day: November 3, 2020. There will be opportunities for continuing campaign work following the elections (not necessarily in the same location).Relocation will be required, and you may not know your election assignment far in advance, so geographic flexibility is a mustThis is a full-time position that requires long and irregular hours--once election campaigns start, you should be prepared for a ''24/7'' approach to hitting your goalsGrassroots Campaigns provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants without regard to race, color, religion, gender (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, marital status, or military or veteran status in accordance with all applicable laws. We don't tolerate discrimination or harassment based on any of the above.
We're committed to building a diverse leadership team. Women, minorities, and members of other underrepresented groups are strongly encouraged to apply.
Job Type: Full-time
Work Location:
Multiple locationsBenefits:
Health insurancePaid time offSchedule:
Monday to FridayWeekends required
Michael Flynn Moves to Withdraw Guilty Plea, Says Government Acted in Bad Faith
Wed, 15 Jan 2020 15:20
President Donald Trump's former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn requested to withdraw his guilty plea on Jan. 14.
Flynn pleaded guilty to one count of lying to the FBI in late 2017.
Flynn, who served as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency during the Obama administration, alleges that the government acted in ''bad faith,'' according to the new filing (pdf). His lawyer, Sidney Powell, also claimed that the government was vindictive and breached the plea agreement.
Flynn spent hundreds of hours ''trying to cooperate with the government in accordance with Mr. Flynn's plea agreement, which requires him to provide truthful testimony,'' Powell wrote.
''Only after new counsel appeared, did the government for the first time demand an admission and testimony from Mr. Flynn that he knew and intended when he signed the FARA registration form that it contained several material false statements. Not only was that demanded testimony a lie, but also, the prosecutors knew it was false and would induce a breach.''
Powell later said that prosecutors ''concocted the alleged 'false statements' by their own misrepresentations, deceit, and omissions.'''
Sidney Powell, author of the bestseller ''Licensed to Lie'' and lead counsel in more than 500 appeals in the Fifth Circuit, in Washington on May 30, 2019. (Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Times)''It is beyond ironic and completely outrageous that the prosecutors have persecuted Mr. Flynn, virtually bankrupted him, and put his entire family through unimaginable stress for three years,'' she added.
Flynn fired his lawyers in June 2019 and hired Powell, a former federal prosecutor, who has since accused the government of withholding exculpatory information or providing it late. She has also argued that the government had no proper reason to investigate Flynn in the first place.
Flynn has repeatedly seen his sentencing pushed back as he worked with the government before prosecutors later appeared to turn against him, urging a strict sentence.
In late November 2019, District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan canceled the sentencing hearing at the request of both parties. The next month, Sullivan denied Flynn's requests that the government give him the information he deems exculpatory and to dismiss the case against him.
''The sworn statements of Mr. Flynn and his former counsel belie his new claims of innocence and his new assertions that he was pressured into pleading guilty,'' Sullivan wrote in his Dec. 16 opinion.
Earlier this month, the Department of Justice recommended that Sullivan sentence Flynn to up to six months in prison.
The prosecutors opted for a harsher recommendation than one they proposed in December 2018, alleging that Flynn, a former national security adviser, has since failed to accept responsibility and at times sought to impede the government's efforts in other cases, specifically the prosecution of his former business partner, Bijan Rafiekian.
Petr Svab and Ivan Pentchoukov contributed to this report.
Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber
Sen. Peter Lucido blasted for remarks to reporter Allison Donahue
Wed, 15 Jan 2020 11:41
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State Sen. Peter Lucido, R-Shelby Township (Photo: Michigan House Republicans)
LANSING '-- A state senator is under fire Wednesday after telling a female reporter she should stick around at the Capitol because a group of high school students from an all boys school, touring the Capitol, could ''have a lot of fun'' with her.
Sen. Peter Lucido, R-Shelby Township, made the comments outside the Senate chamber Tuesday to a reporter from the Michigan Advance, while surrounded by a group of male high school students from De La Salle Collegiate in Warren.
"You've heard of De La Salle, right?'' the Michigan Advance quoted Lucido as asking reporter Allison Donahue.
When Donahue said she had not, Lucido said: ''It's an all boys' school,'' adding: ''You should hang around! You could have a lot of fun with these boys, or they could have a lot of fun with you.''
The students then burst into laughter, the online publication reported.
Reached Wednesday morning, Lucido did not dispute the quotes, but said he felt they were being taken out of context and out of proportion. He said he did not feel he owes the reporter an apology.
But Lucido later did apologize for what he called a misunderstanding, in a statement issued through the Michigan Senate Republican office and Lucido's Twitter account.
''I apologize for the misunderstanding yesterday and for offending Allison Donahue," Lucido said in the statement.
Earlier, Lucido told the Free Press he was "not talking about anything sexual," but was "geeked up about the boys coming there," and "I was there to have some fun."
"It was blown out of proportion." he said.
But Lucido, who has expressed interest in running for governor, is facing sharp criticism. On social media, Lansing political observers said there is no context in which his comments were appropriate.
Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, R-Clarklake, said he views the situation ''very seriously." Shirkey said he plans "to have a very intense and lengthy private conversation with the senator as soon as we're done with the session."
"If those words that were reported were accurate, it's very unacceptable," he said. "And that's all I've got to say about it.''
Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich, D-Flint, said the comments are disgusting and idiotic and part of a pattern that includes participation in anti-social Facebook groups and treatment of people, especially women, who testify before committees.
"This isn't a case of a person saying a stupid comment that happens when people are human," Ananich said. "When it's a pattern, this becomes who you are.''
Kara Cook, an environmental and energy adviser to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, said on Twitter she was "unfortunately not surprised" by Lucido's remarks.
"I was 23 when I started working in politics in Lansing and the number of inappropriate comments or actions that I've personally experienced is hard to comprehend. This needs to stop."
I am unfortunately not surprised by this. I was 23 when I started working in politics in Lansing and the number of inappropriate comments or actions that I've personally experienced is hard to comprehend. This needs to stop. https://t.co/V2lN8ofX0b
'-- Kara Cook (@kdaniellecook) January 15, 2020Lonnie Scott, executive director of the liberal group Progress Michigan, said Lucido is "the personification of toxic masculinity and a disgrace to our state."
"We'd call on Lucido to apologize but we know that for men like him those apologies are often hollow and do nothing to change the culture of objectifying women," Scott said before Lucido issued his statement through the Senate Republican office.
The reporter, Donahue, wanted to question Lucido about him posting messages on an anti-Whitmer Facebook group where some members had posted messages advocating violence against Democrats and Muslims.
Lucido said he shared posts about Whitmer budget vetoes, but was not aware of the racist posts, or ones advocating violence.
"I don't read all of these sites," he said Wednesday.
House Minority Leader Christine Greig, D-Farmington Hills, praised Donahue for speaking up about what happened and writing about it. She said the incident is "a testament to the changing times, and a reminder that those who are incapable of growing up and admitting their flaws will be left behind.''
Thank you all for the support. I promise I will collect my thoughts soon, but I will say this:I didn't want to stand up for myself after that. It's awkward and in rare cases is it ever taken well and the comments apologized for.
But I've stayed silent before.
'-- Allison R. Donahue (@donahual) January 15, 2020 More on freep.com:
Senator: MDOT's handling of gravel study was 'outright fraud'
State of Michigan sues 17 companies over PFAS contamination
Contact Paul Egan: 517-372-8660 or pegan@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @paulegan4. Read more on Michigan politics and sign up for our elections newsletter.
Read or Share this story: https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/2020/01/15/peter-lucido-comments-michigan-senator-reporter/4475903002/
Muslim Writer Rages at Stephen King Because No One Would Publish Her Ilhan Omar Children's Book | Pluralist
Wed, 15 Jan 2020 11:38
A Muslim activist and artist weighed in on a controversy surrounding diversity in the arts by lamenting that she'd been unable to get anyone to publish her children's book about Rep. Ilhan Omar.
Kay Tarapolsi, a Libyan American artist who according to her website creates art to ''promote a positive image of Arab and Islamic culture,'' accused horror writer Stephen King of displaying his ''white privilege'' on Tuesday.
King tweeted earlier in the day that he ''would never consider diversity in matters of art.''
MORE: Vince Vaughn Spotted Shaking Hands With Trump at Football Game '-- Liberals Outraged
''It seems to me that to do otherwise would be wrong,'' he added.
The iconic novelist's tweet earned him fierce backlash from progressive Twitter users, including Tarapolsi, outraged by King's lack of ''wokeness.''
Tarapolsi slammed King for his ''white privilege'' and said she'd been unable to find a publisher for her ''quality children's book on Ilhan Omar'' last summer.
The ''struggle'' to get her book published was ''painful,'' Tarapolsi revealed, and ultimately fruitless.
''You have zero idea how to live in my world, where I can't even find one book like this for my child,'' she added.
Other Twitter users joined in the pile on, arguing that King's status as a ''white man'' disqualified him from speaking on the realities facing people of color.
''Sir, respectfully saying you as a white man can't really say that,'' tweeted David Weissman, an American screenwriter who also happens to be white. ''You had more advantages and opportunities than a person of color would have. They have been wrongfully held back in so many ways just because of their color skin.''
Feminist writer Roxane gay said it was ''painful'' to read King's tweet.
''It implies that diversity and quality cannot be synonymous. They are not separate things. Quality is everywhere but most industries only believe in quality from one demographic. And now, here you are,'' she said in reply.
''Every writer of color reading this, including me, has had to work ten times harder to get the same recognition/opportunities straight white male authors get from the start,'' tweeted LitReactor columnist Gabino Iglesias.
''Same goes for women, LGBTQIA writers, & other underrepresented voices. Diversity matters. It matters a lot.''
Morgan Jenkins, a senior editor for Zora, said King's take was ''unfair.''
''When films created by people of color, irrespective of quality, constantly get overlooked by institutions that are predominately comprised of white men, there is an implicit bias at work here,'' she tweeted.
''You can't'...you didn't just'...oh ffs, Stephen, not you, too! With as much white male privilege as you have, with the audience to which you have access, if you won't move the conversation forward, then BEEP BEEP, RICHIE,'' tweeted one commenter.
King's take was likely particularly disappointing to progressive Twitter users given his reliably left-wing positions in the past.
The ''Carrie'' writer has been a fierce critic of President Donald Trump, who he once said was ''scarier'' than his novels.
MORE: Kaepernick's Girlfriend Says Trump Super Bowl Ad Is Reason She's No Longer Dating an NFL QB
In 2018, viral technology blog Mashable compiled a list of 37 anti-Trump tweets penned by King.
Cover image: Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn. (Screen grab) This post was last modified on January 14, 2020 1:19 pm
New Documents Appear to Link Ukrainian Oligarch With Trump's Push for Biden Probe '' Mother Jones
Wed, 15 Jan 2020 11:03
Rudy Giuliani, and Lev Parnas on December 5, 2018 Alex Edelman / AFP via Getty Images
New documents released by House Democrats include handwritten notes, jotted on a notepad from the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Vienna by a now-indicted associate of Rudy Giuliani, that appear to link President Donald Trump's scheme to force Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden to a Ukrainian oligarch fighting extradition to the US on bribery charges.
Democrats on Tuesday
made public dozens of pages of notes,
text messages, and other records produced by Lev Parnas, who was working with Giuliani to dig up dirt related to Biden and his son in Ukraine. Parnas and three co-defendents were
indicted in October on campaign finance charges. Democrats
say the material ''further corroborates the findings and evidence'' that led to Trump's impeachment last month. The documents also suggest ties between Trump's effort to push Ukraine to launch investigations and efforts by indicted Ukrainian magnate Dmitry Firtash, who is under house arrest in Vienna, to convince the Trump administration to drop the case against him.
The first page of Parnas' notes include this line: ''Get Zalensky to announce that the Biden case will investigated.'' This is a reference to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
The same set of notes, a few pages later, mention ''Joe/Victoria'' and ''Lenny Davis'' on either side of a T-chart. ''Get rid of Lenny Davis (nicely),'' Parnas wrote. Last July, Firtash replaced Lanny Davis, a criminal defense lawyer and crisis manager who was representing him, with Victoria Toensing and Joe diGenova, a husband-wife legal team with close ties to the Trump White House and Giuliani.
Parnas' scribblings indicate that Davis' replacement may have been engineered by Parnas and Giuliani as part of a broader effort to advance Trump's political interests in Ukraine. And it supports a claim by Parnas' lawyer, Joseph Bondy, that Toensing and diGenova, through Parnas, suggested to Firtash that they could leverage their ties to Trump and Giuliani to help resolve the oligarch's ''extradition problems'' if Firtash hired them and helped them find dirt on the Bidens. Firtash told the New York Times that he hired Toensing and diGenova to obtain a meeting with Attorney General William Barr. They achieved that in August, though they have not succeeded in getting the extradition effort dropped.
Davis on Tuesday told Mother Jones that while representing Firtash, ''I drew a red line over anything approaching politics.'' He added that he is ''sad for Mr. Firtash about this situation.''
1000's of smart meter fires: New whistleblower & court evidence (video)
Wed, 15 Jan 2020 08:56
by Brian. In studying, doing presentations and making videos on 'smart' meters for nearly 5 years now, personally I had my doubts I would learn anything new when I first connected with a utility worker whistleblower through Take Back Your Power. I was completely wrong and they are right. It is worse than I thought '-- than we all thought. A major and critical error has been brought forth.
The situation with smart meter fires is worse than we thought '-- and now we know why. This new investigative video tells all.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iljgbirKWhcUPDATE: The original video here was removed from YouTube. In the video now above, which was a previous presentation, go to 56:00 for an overview of 'smart' meter fires.
Video topics include:Court documents,Whistleblower evidence,High voltage surges (the removal of the surge arrestors designed to protect your home),Lower voltage surges,Thinner blades on ''smart'' meters,Remote disconnect issues,Bad installations, andInstalling under loadIn studying, doing presentations and making videos on 'smart' meters for nearly 5 years now, personally I had my doubts I would learn anything new when I first connected with a utility worker whistleblower through Take Back Your Power.
I was completely wrong and they are right. It is worse than I thought '-- than we all thought. A major and critical error has been brought forth.
Why are meters exploding off houses by the 100's at a time? Why are fires happening no matter where smart/digital meters are being installed?
This new video (above) explains in simple terms these new revelations from the insiders, as well as new court documentation and other insights.
The whistleblowers (wishing to remain anonymous) who contacted us have serviced and repaired over 200,000 meters in the field. They have been warning their supervisors about 'smart' meter problems for nearly a decade now. They have had enough of the lies and want you to know what they know.
On top of the explosive new details, the meters have at least four major sources of arcing. That's right '-- FOUR.
Arcing in 'smart' meters causes extreme heat, which causes fires. As we now see, it is beyond any shadow of a doubt that meter manufacturers know, utilities know, and regulators know. They have known the whole time, but they didn't want to tell you.
In this investigation the focus on two of the worst offenders, BC Hydro and PG&E. However, as this is a systemic problem regardless of meter type, we feature fire incidents from Texas, Ontario, Saskatchewan, Pennsylvania, Illinois and more.
Of note, for those that have been following the BC Freedom process to keep your safe analog meter, you can see how BC Hydro, the BCUC, and government (including Measurement Canada) are now all implicated in collusion to attempt to remove your choice to keep your analog meter. If you have held out this long, regardless of where you are, you are going to be glad you did '-- and you are going to have all the ammo you need to break the chain of deceit that permeates these groups.
[quote align=''right'' color=''navy'']The whistleblowers who contacted us have serviced and repaired over 200,000 meters in the field. [/quote]On top of our whistleblower information, we have industry documents being revealed for the first time. Utilities do not want this info to get out. Why are meters
exploding off houses by the 100's at a time? Why are fires happening no matter where smart/digital meters are being installed? Sensus, Itron, Landis + Gyr, etc: why is it that all these meter makers are having issues everywhere they are being installed?
We know you have questions. Take them into this video. What you learn is going to blow you away just as it did us when we first learned about what's really going on.
You are going to see just how much money is involved, corruption at the highest levels, and why you and your safety are in the way of profits '-- which is why you have not been be told the truth'... until now. The bottom line: it is now up to us to hold these people accountable and liable for their negligence and harm they are causing to all of us.
[quote align=''right'' color=''navy'']People like Larry Nikkel, James Humphrey, Michelle Sherman, and very likely
this family of five '-- have all died from 'smart' meter fires.[/quote]Utilities and pocket-lining officials see the harm to your property, biological health and basic rights merely as
collateral damage on their way to profits from data. According to the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC), this
'smart' meter data will be ''a lot more'' valuable than the electricity itself. In case you were wondering, the electricity market globally is
$2.2 Trillion USD.
The facts behind 'smart' fires are now here. Electricity is cut and dry. It is has basic laws and functions that have been set in stone for over a century.
In their quest for profit, all of our privacy rights are being violated for their sake of their profit. Homes are burning down. And people like Larry Nikkel, James Humphrey, Michelle Sherman, and very likely this family of five '-- have all died from 'smart' meter fires. While those in charge continue to lie.
We cannot afford to tolerate this any longer.
SMART METER FIRES: Fatalities & Liability' Another 100 smart meters simultaneously explode (Capitola, CA '' May 2015)' Hundreds of smart meters simultaneously explode (Stockton, CA '' April 2015)' Smart meter fire kills 74-year old man in Dallas, Texas (February 2015)' Man dies in ''smart'' meter fire (Vacaville, CA '' July 2013)' Fatal fire, smart meter suspected:''Be very aware, very vigilant'' says Fire Chief (Reno, NV '' Sept 2014)' Couple escapes house fire, dogs killed: smart meter blamed (Detroit, MI '' October 2014)' SaskPower to replace 105,000 faulty ''smart'' meters (Saskatchewan, CAN '' July 2014)' SaskPower CEO resigns following investigation into smart meter ''catastrophe'' (October 2014)' PGE to replace 70,000 faulty ''smart'' meters (Portland, OR '' July 2014)' Lakeland Electric to replace over 10,000 faulty ''smart'' meters (Lakeland, FL '' August 2014)' Are tens of thousands of defective ''smart'' meters being stealthily replaced in Arizona? (Sept 2014)' PECO replaces 186,000 faulty ''smart'' meters (Philadelphia, PA '' October 2012)' News & articles on fires '' Take Back Your Power' Archive of hundreds of documented ''smart'' meter fires '' EMF Safety Network
Bushfire, high-speed rail: Worrying popularity of weird bushfire conspiracy
Wed, 15 Jan 2020 08:52
Thousands of Australians appear to believe lasers and exploding smart meters are being used to start our bushfires to make way for a new train network.
A Storyful investigation with news.com.au has found the conspiracy theory has spread far and wide on social media '-- with ''directed-energy weapons'' (DEWs) posts being shared tens of thousands of times in the past few weeks.
Those who believe the theory say the bushfires in this unprecedented season are being started using weapons which harness the focused power of technology such as lasers or microwaves.
And, many of the posts claim the fires have been deliberately started by a shadowy global elite in order to clear land for a high-speed rail network from Brisbane to Melbourne.
The deadly bushfires have also been seized on by networks of local and international conspiracy theorists, many of whom claim the fires are part of UN-led global plot to depopulate the world and seize control for a one-world government under the guises of climate change.
As part of this wider conspiracy, theorists believe the alleged high-speed rail network will force all of us into big cities where we can be controlled by the government.
Posts to Facebook show bright lines '-- supposedly laser beams '-- emanating from unsourced and unverified pictures of Australia's bushfires to back up their argument.
The admin of one of the largest Facebook conspiracy pages wrote that residents in bushfire-affected communities say forests around their homes ''just exploded out of no-where''.
Theorists have also been sharing maps that show parallels between the locations of the fires and the supposed high-speed rail network.
One blog post from a fringe conspiracy theory site State of the Nation linking the bushfires to the ''global warming hoax'' has made a huge impact on social media.
The article titled 'OPERATION TORCH AUSTRALIA: A Special Report on the Geoengineered Firestorms and DEW-triggered Arson Fires' claimed to draw ''striking parallels'' between the fires and previous wildfires in California.
The post, alongside others from the site linking the Australian fires to directed-energy weapons, had been shared thousands of times on Facebook.
They were spread through a network of local and international pages, many of which were themed around deep state conspiracy theories, chemtrails or 5G networks.
And it's not just Star Wars-style lasers they reckon are starting the fires.
In one case, a Facebook user whose profile said they lived in Byron Bay shared a post to the Stop 5G Mid North Coast group with the comment: ''Smart meters can be activated to explode.''
One of the most active pages in Australia sharing conspiracy theories linking the fires to directed-energy weapons and various alleged government plots has been the Higgins Storm Chasers page which, despite having only around 10,000 followers, generates thousands of
shares and reactions for its posts.
Several of these posts claimed to display evidence of energy weapons being used in the fires '' such as photos of trees burning on the inside '' with one post adding it showed ''geoengineering not climate change''.
While Facebook has moved to crack down on misinformation around some topics such as vaccinations, there appears to be little stopping the spread of conspiracy theories
surrounding bushfires on the platform.
Similarly, conspiracy theories around the fires have flourished on YouTube, with some videos also running ads on the platform, allowing channels to make money while spreading
misinformation around the bushfires, including that they were designed to make way for a planned high-speed rail link between Australia's cities.
One of the most active in claiming the bushfires were part of a government plot has been
Australian conspiracy theorist Max Igan, who has generated nearly a million views for his series of videos decrying the ''Australian Holocaust''.
In one, Mr Igan claimed that an unspecified cabal had been ''spraying this country with accelerants'' while also deliberately drying the continent to create ''the perfect storm''.
''They're going to blame all this on climate change '... they intend to genocide this country,'' he told viewers.
The video had been shared more than 12,000 times on Facebook alone.
Dr Will Grant '' a senior lecturer in science communication at the Australian National University '' believes these theories were being spread by the far right.
''The theory aligns with ideas there's a deep state (a clandestine government) out there armed with secret weapons,'' he said.
Dr Grant believes it is gaining traction because of the ''extreme'' polarisation between the political left, often associated with city living, and right, often associated with rural living.
''This high-speed rail conspiracy comes out of the idea the left and the government want us to live in cities with a smaller carbon footprint and closer to work, and many on the left say this is a good thing,'' he said.
''However, what we're seeing here is the far right taking this to an extreme '' saying 'they're forcing us to be vegan and live in apartment' '' which is obviously not true.''
He said the theories around ''exploding smart meters'' and 5G being used for nefarious purposes play into ''legitimate'' concerns around big corporations and the data they have on us.
''We should be careful, because this is ripe ground for a conspiracy theorist,'' he said. ''What they are doing is taking a legitimate truth and playing it up, adding paranoia, and making it into something else.''
Another concern is that foreign governments are spreading these conspiracies to exploit cracks in Western nations about climate change.
''We've seen this with the Russian troll army in the US,'' Dr Grant said.
''Now we're not America in terms of size and influence. But what's obvious is that, right now, there's a huge crack in Australian society about climate change and how to deal with it.
''It could be exploited as another crack in the ability of Western countries to have democracy, so I wouldn't be surprised if a state actor was interested in this.''
Grindr and OkCupid Spread Personal Details, Study Says - The New York Times
Wed, 15 Jan 2020 08:12
Norwegian research raises questions about whether certain ways of sharing of information violate data privacy laws in Europe and the United States.
Finn Myrstad of the Norwegian Consumer Council oversaw a new report that traced how widely dating apps spread personal information. Credit... Thomas Ekstr¶m for The New York Times By Natasha Singer and Aaron Krolik
Popular dating services like Grindr, OkCupid and Tinder are spreading user information like dating choices and precise location to advertising and marketing companies in ways that may violate privacy laws, according to a new report that examined some of the world's most downloaded Android apps.
Grindr, the world's most popular gay dating app, transmitted user-tracking codes and the app's name to more than a dozen companies, essentially tagging individuals with their sexual orientation, according to the report, which was released Tuesday by the Norwegian Consumer Council, a government-funded nonprofit organization in Oslo.
Grindr also sent a user's location to multiple companies, which may then share that data with many other businesses, the report said. When The New York Times tested Grindr's Android app, it shared precise latitude and longitude information with five companies.
The researchers also reported that the OkCupid app sent a user's ethnicity and answers to personal profile questions '-- like ''Have you used psychedelic drugs?" '-- to a firm that helps companies tailor marketing messages to users. The Times found that the OkCupid site had recently posted a list of more than 300 advertising and analytics ''partners'' with which it may share users' information.
''Any consumer with an average number of apps on their phone '-- anywhere between 40 and 80 apps '-- will have their data shared with hundreds or perhaps thousands of actors online,'' said Finn Myrstad, the digital policy director for the Norwegian Consumer Council, who oversaw the report.
The report, ''Out of Control: How Consumers Are Exploited by the Online Advertising Industry,'' adds to a growing body of research exposing a vast ecosystem of companies that freely track hundreds of millions of people and peddle their personal information. This surveillance system enables scores of businesses, whose names are unknown to many consumers, to quietly profile individuals, target them with ads and try to sway their behavior.
The report appears just two weeks after California put into effect a broad new consumer privacy law. Among other things, the law requires many companies that trade consumers' personal details for money or other compensation to allow people to easily stop the spread of their information.
In addition, regulators in the European Union are stepping up enforcement of their own data protection law, which prohibits companies from collecting personal information on religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, sex life and other sensitive subjects without a person's explicit consent.
The Norwegian group said it filed complaints on Tuesday asking regulators in Oslo to investigate Grindr and five ad tech companies for possible violations of the European data protection law. A coalition of consumer groups in the United States said it sent letters to American regulators, including the attorney general of California, urging them to investigate whether the companies' practices violated federal and state laws.
In a statement, the Match Group, which owns OkCupid and Tinder, said it worked with outside companies to assist with providing services and shared only specific user data deemed necessary for those services. Match added that it complied with privacy laws and had strict contracts with vendors to ensure the security of users' personal data.
In a statement, Grindr said it had not received a copy of the report and could not comment specifically on the content. Grindr added that it valued users' privacy, had put safeguards in place to protect their personal information and described its data practices '-- and users' privacy options '-- in its privacy policy
The report examines how developers embed software from ad tech companies into their apps to track users' app use and real-life locations, a common practice. To help developers place ads in their apps, ad tech companies may spread users' information to advertisers, personalized marketing services, location data brokers and ad platforms.
The personal data that ad software extracts from apps is typically tied to a user-tracking code that is unique for each mobile device. Companies use the tracking codes to build rich profiles of people over time across multiple apps and sites. But even without their real names, individuals in such data sets may be identified and located in real life.
Video The dating service recently posted the more than 300 companies that it may send user information.For the report, the Norwegian Consumer Council hired Mnemonic, a cybersecurity firm in Oslo, to examine how ad tech software extracted user data from 10 popular Android apps. The findings suggest that some companies treat intimate information, like gender preference or drug habits, no differently from more innocuous information, like favorite foods.
Among other things, the researchers found that Tinder sent a user's gender and the gender the user was looking to date to two marketing firms.
The researchers did not test iPhone apps. Settings on both Android phones and iPhones enable users to limit ad tracking.
The group's findings illustrate how challenging it would be for even the most intrepid consumers to track and hinder the spread of their personal information.
Grindr's app, for instance, includes software from MoPub, Twitter's ad service, which can collect the app's name and a user's precise device location, the report said. MoPub in turn says it may share user data with more than 180 partner companies. One of those partners is an ad tech company owned by AT&T, which may share data with more than 1,000 ''third-party providers.''
In a statement, Twitter said: ''We are currently investigating this issue to understand the sufficiency of Grindr's consent mechanism. In the meantime, we have disabled Grindr's MoPub account.''
AT&T declined to comment.
The spread of users' location and other sensitive information could present particular risks to people who use Grindr in countries, like Qatar and Pakistan, where consensual same-sex sexual acts are illegal.
This is not the first time that Grindr has faced criticism for spreading its users' information. In 2018, another Norwegian nonprofit group found that the app had been broadcasting users' H.I.V. status to two mobile app service companies. Grindr subsequently announced that it had stopped the practice.
The report's findings also raise questions about the extent to which businesses are complying with the new California privacy law. The law requires many companies that benefit from trading consumers' personal details to prominently post a ''Do Not Sell My Data'' option, allowing people to stop the spread of their information.
But Grindr's stance challenges that idea. By agreeing to its policy, its site says, users ''are directing us to disclose'' their personal information ''and, therefore, Grindr does not sell your personal data.''
Mr. Myrstad said many consumers were comfortable sharing their data with apps they trusted. ''But this study clearly shows that many apps abuse that trust,'' he said. ''Authorities need to enforce the rules we have, and if they are not good enough, we have to make better rules.''
Boris Johnson vows to 'get those waiting lists down' after worst NHS figures | Politics News | Sky News
Wed, 15 Jan 2020 07:58
Boris Johnson has made a commitment to "get those waiting lists down" after one measure of NHS performance recorded its worst figure on record.
Official data showed only 81.4% of emergency patients in England were seen within four hours in November.
It is the worst performance ever against the target that 95% of A&E patients should be treated, discharged or admitted to hospital within that timescale.
PM not interested in Labour manifesto NHS pledgesLabour leader Jeremy Corbyn raised the issue at Wednesday's Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons.
He asked: "The number of patients waiting more than four hours in A&E is now at its highest on record, for the second month in a row.
"We've had months of promises. People need action."
Mr Corbyn also noted that last year saw one in four patients waiting more than two months for the start of their cancer treatment.
He added: "How many more patients will face what are life-threatening delays because our NHS is under-staffed and under-funded?"
In response, the prime minister admitted such delays are "unacceptable" but highlighted the Conservatives' election promises to deliver 50,000 more nurses, 6,000 more GPs and invest "record sums" in the NHS.
"We will get those waiting lists down," Mr Johnson added, despite Health Secretary Matt Hancock having earlier hinted the four-hour A&E waiting time target could be scrapped.
Image: Jeremy Corbyn called on the government to apologise to an RAF veteranMr Corbyn called on the government to apologise to 92-year-old RAF veteran Stan Solomons, who was last week reported to have waited 12 hours on a hospital trolley before a bed was found for him.
The prime minister said MPs have "every sympathy for everybody who have a bad and unacceptable experience in the NHS" but added that "most people in this country'... have a fantastic experience of our health care".
The government has promised to write its NHS funding commitments into law, with the NHS Long Term Plan Funding Bill introduced to the Commons for the first time on Wednesday.
But Mr Corbyn branded this a "gimmick" and told the prime minister: "He should end the empty rhetoric and back our proposals to give the NHS the funding it needs rather than putting into law an insufficiency of funding."
NHS England is already piloting new targets so patients with the most serious conditions receive treatment within an hour, while others with more minor complaints wait longer.
Mr Hancock suggested the trials could become permanent across England, telling BBC Radio 5 Live: "We will be judged by the right targets. Targets have to be clinically appropriate."
He added: "The four-hour target in A&E - which is often taken as the top way of measuring what's going on in hospitals - the problem with that target is that, increasingly, people can be treated on the day and able to go home.
"That is much better for the patient and also better for the NHS, and yet the way that's counted in the target doesn't work."
Labour's shadow health secretary, Jonathan Ashworth, said: "Changing the A&E target won't magic away the problems in our overcrowded hospitals, with patients left on trolleys in corridors for hours and hours."
African Swine Fever moves closer to German border :: IEG Policy
Wed, 15 Jan 2020 07:14
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House Scheme Unfolds '' Adam Schiff Transmits ''New Evidence'' to Nadler'... | The Last Refuge
Tue, 14 Jan 2020 23:49
Yesterday's ridiculous, albeit proactive, New York Times narrative about Russians hacking Burisma now makes sense. Today the Lawfare team (Mary McCord et al) within Adam Schiff's impeachment crew send additional files of evidence (pdf below) to be included in the impeachment articles constructed by HJC Chairman Jerry Nadler.
It is all coordinated. The ''new evidence'' relates to information turned over by Lev Parnas, an SDNY indicted former associate of Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani. The Lawfare purpose is to bolster their premise that President Trump was trying to force Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Joe Biden's corrupt activity around the Ukrainian company Burisma.
The Lawfare crew behind Schiff waited until the last minute to push the new ''evidence'' because they didn't want republicans to deconstruct it during the impeachment evidence gathering phase. Aditionally, the Lawfare crew anticipate a Trump impeachment defense surrounding actual evidence of the Biden corruption, which makes the Trump request to Zelensky valid.
So the proactive democrat strategy was/is to use the New York Times presentation of Russia hacking Burisma to negate the provenance of the evidence against the Bidens. In essence, to cast doubt upon any documents that would show Joe and Hunter Biden participating in an actual influence and money-laundering scheme.
Here's the letter and documentary evidence from Adam Schiff (House Link Here):
.
The SDNY created legal leverage upon Lev Parnas using the familiar strategy of charging ''FARA violations'', as noted in the background of the House explanation.
The purpose was/is to extract anything from Parnas that could be twisted or construed to show evidence that Rudy Giuliani was working on behalf of President Trump to pressure Ukraine into investigating Burisma, Joe Biden and Hunter Biden.
To counter any evidence that would highlight the truth that Hunter and Joe Biden were indeed participating in a pay-to-play influence and money laundering scheme for personal financial benefit, the same democrat operatives created a 2020 Russian 'hacking claim' using former Crowdstrike employee Blake Darch(C) and his colleague Oren Falkowitz.
NYT '' ['...] The hackers fooled some of them into handing over their login credentials, and managed to get inside one of Burisma's servers, Area 1 said.
''The attacks were successful,'' said Oren Falkowitz, a co-founder of Area 1, who previously served at the National Security Agency. Mr. Falkowitz's firm maintains a network of sensors on web servers around the globe '-- many known to be used by state-sponsored hackers '-- which gives the firm a front-row seat to phishing attacks, and allows them to block attacks on their customers. (link)
Blake Darche' and Oren Falkowitz formed a new cyber-security company named ''Area-1 Security''. It is analysis from this group that the New York Times uses to push the Russia hacking of Burisma narrative. It's all the same players, just switching around the subject.
The 2016 Lawfare group is now 2020's Just Security; the 2016 CrowdStrike group is now 2020's Area-1 Security; and the 2016 Russia DNC hack is now the 2020 Russia Burisma hack'... It's the same players, the same story, the same approach.
Go deep on Oleg Falkowitz and Oren Falkowitz HERE
In February 2008, Oleg Falkowitz was hired as the Iran Mission Manager and Special Assistant For Policy and Cybersecurity at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
In February 2009, Oleg Falkowitz left his position at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
In August 2010, Oleg Falkowitz was hired as Director of Technology and Data Science Program (J2 '-- Intelligence) at the United States Cyber Command.
In July 2012, Oleg Falkowitz left his position at both the United States Cyber Command and the National Security Agency.
The same month, Oren Falkowitz co-founded the organisation sqrrl and became the Chief Executive Officer.
In January 2013, Falkowitz left his position at sqrrl.
In November 2013, Oren Falkowitz, Blake Darch(C) and Phil Syme founded the organisation Area 1 Security.
Blake Darch(C) published the article ''Once a Target, Always a Target'' in Medium, which was about ''Cozy Bear''.
Between July 17''19, 2017, Oren Falkowitz, John Brennan, Andrea Mitchell and David Sanger attended the Fortune Brainstorm Tech Conference in Aspen, CO.
LINK to Background
Critical cryptographic vulnerability in Microsoft Windows 10 and Windows Server 2016/2019
Tue, 14 Jan 2020 23:44
U/OO/104201-20 PP-19-0031 01/14/2020 National Security Agency | Cybersecurity Advisory 1 Patch Critical Cryptographic Vulnerability in Microsoft Windows Clients and Servers Summary NSA has discovered a critical vulnerability (CVE-2020-0601) affecting Microsoft Windows®1 cryptographic functionality. The certificate validation vulnerability allows an attacker to undermine how W indows verifies cryptographic trust and can enable remote code execution. The vulnerability affects Windows 10 and Windows Server 2016/2019 as well as applications that rely on W indows for trust functionality. Exploitation of the vulnerability allows attackers to defeat trusted network connections and deliver executable code while appearing as legitimately trusted entities. Examples where validation of trust may be impacted include: o HTTPS connections o Signed files and emails o Signed executable code launched as user-mode processes The vulnerability places Windows endpoints at risk to a broad range of exploitation vectors. NSA assesses the vulnerability to be severe and that sophisticated cyber actors will understand the underlying flaw very quickly and, if exploited, would render the previously mentioned platforms as fundamentally vulnerable. The consequences of not patching the vulnerability are severe and widespread. Remote exploitation tools will likely be made quickly and widely available. Rapid adoption of the patch is the only known mitigation at this time and should be the primary focus for all network owners. Mitigation Actions NSA recommends installing all January 2020 Patch Tuesday patches as soon as possible to effectively mitigate the vulnerability on all W indows 10 and Windows Server 2016/2019 systems. In the event that enterprise-wide, automated patching is not possible, NSA recommends system owners prioritize patching endpoints that provide essential or broadly replied-upon services. Examples include: o Windows-based web appliances, web servers, or proxies that perform TLS validation. o Endpoints that host critical infrastructure (e.g. domain controllers, DNS servers, update servers, VPN servers, IPSec negotiation). Prioritization should also be given to endpoints that have a high risk of exploitation. Examples include: o Endpoints directly exposed to the internet. o Endpoints regularly used by privileged users. Administrators should be prepared to conduct remediation activities since unpatched endpoints may be compromised. Applying patches to all affected endpoints is recommended, when possible, over prioritizing specific classes of endpoints. Other actions can be taken to protect endpoints in addition to installing patches. Network devices and endpoint logging features may prevent or detect some methods of exploitation, but installing all patches is the most effective mitigation. Network Prevention and Detection Some enterprises route traffic through existing proxy devices that perform TLS inspection, but do not use W indows for certificate validation. The devices can help isolate vulnerable endpoints behind the proxies while the endpoints are being 1 Microsoft W indows is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation.
U/OO/104201-20 PP-19-0031 01/14/2020 2 patched. Properly configured and managed TLS inspection proxies independently validate TLS certificates from external entities and will reject invalid or untrusted certificates, protecting endpoints from certificates that attempt to exploit the vulnerabilities. Ensure that certificate validation is enabled for TLS proxies to limit exposure to this class of vulnerabilities and review logs for signs of exploitation. Packet capture analysis tools such as W ireshark can be used to parse and extract certificates from network protocol data for additional analysis. Software utilities such as OpenSSL and Windows certutil can be used to perform in-depth analysis of certificates to check for malicious properties. Certutil can be used to examine an X509 certificate by running the following command: o certutil ''asn OpenSSL can be used to examine an X509 certificate by running the following command: o openssl asn1parse ''inform DER ''in ''i ''dump or o openssl x509 ''inform DER ''in ''text The commands parse and display the ASN.1 objects within a specified DER encoded certificate file. Review the results for elliptic curve objects with suspicious properties. Certificates with named elliptic curves, manifested by explicit curve OID values, can be ruled benign. For example, the curve OID value for standard curve nistP384 is 1.3.132.0.34. Certificates with explicitly-defined parameters (e.g., prime, a, b, base, order, and cofactor) which fully-match those of a standard curve can similarly be ruled benign. Certutil can be used to list registered elliptic curves and view their parameters by running the following commands: o certutil ''displayEccCurve o certutil ''displayEccCurve OpenSSL can be used to view standard curves enabled/compiled into OpenSSL by running the following commands: o openssl ecparam ''list_curves o openssl ecparam ''name ''param_enc explicit ''text Certificates containing explicitly-defined elliptic curve parameters which only partially match a standard curve are suspicious, especially if they include the public key for a trusted certificate, and may represent bona fide exploitation attempts. Disclaimer of Endorsement The information and opinions contained in this document are provided "as is" and without any warranties or guarantees. Reference herein to any specific commercial products, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the United States Government, and this guidance shall not be used for advertising or product endorsement purposes. Contact Cybersecurity Requirements Center: 410-854-4200, Cybersecurity_Requests@nsa.gov Media inquiries: Press Desk, 443-634-0721, MediaRelations@nsa.gov
Greta Thunberg on Twitter: "''The amount of heat being added to the oceans is equivalent to every person on the planet running 100 microwave ovens all day and all night.'' https://t.co/yRGu8p98nH" / Twitter
Tue, 14 Jan 2020 23:42
Log in Sign up Greta Thunberg @ GretaThunberg ''The amount of heat being added to the oceans is equivalent to every person on the planet running 100 microwave ovens all day and all night.''
theguardian.com/environment/20'... 11:30 PM - 13 Jan 2020 Ocean temperatures hit record high as rate of heating accelerates Oceans are clearest measure of climate crisis as they absorb 90% of heat trapped by greenhouse gases The Guardian @guardian '® Kevin Pluck @ kevpluck
22h Replying to
@GretaThunberg NEVER REPLY TO A TROLL!Here's why:
pic.twitter.com/Cfq3lbLMqt View conversation · Tom Nelson @ tan123
17h Replying to
@GretaThunberg Really? We're supposed to panic over an alleged 1-year fluctuation of less than 1/10 of a degree C over a previous 30-year period?"'waters in 2019 were at their hottest in recorded human history '' increasing by 0.075C above the 1981-2010 average"
independent.co.uk/environment/oc'... View conversation · Joe Bastardi @ BigJoeBastardi
16h Replying to
@tan123 @GretaThunberg So explain to me how the increase of 1 mol of co2 out of 10k of air over 100 years, is driving a system with 99.9% of the heat capacity of the planet. My advice is to read this, you will get your answer:
tropical.atmos.colostate.edu/Includes/Docum'... View conversation · Parents For Future #ClimateStrike #NeustartKlima @ parents4future
22h Replying to
@GretaThunberg ðŸ' THE MONSTER IS REAL. 👹ðŸ--¥ Don't leave your kids alone with the climate crisis. ðŸðŸ¼ðŸ'š See you on the streets ''ŠðŸŒ±"When we start to act hope is everywhere. So instead of looking for hope - look for action. Then the hope will come." -
@GretaThunbergpic.twitter.com/QdSfK6fCuP View conversation · Robert Redmayne Hosking @ redmayne_robert
20h Replying to
@GretaThunberg We Have Already Reached A Critical Tipping Point In The Warming Of Our Oceans.....This Terrifying Situation Continues To Threaten Our Planet And All Humanity On It.....Acting On The
#ClimateCrisis NOW.....Is Not An Option......Its Essential For The Survival Of Us All.........
View conversation · ðŸ'§Peter Harden - Fighting for real democracy @ hardenuppete
22h Replying to
@GretaThunberg @MichelleBxtr "And the Government's own data suggests our emissions will come down during the next 10 years by only less than 5 per cent. At that rate, it will take Australia 230 years to reach net zero emissions, rather than the 30 years scientists tell us is necessary." Mark Butler
View conversation · David Astbury @ DavidAstbury7
21h Replying to
@hardenuppete @GretaThunberg @MichelleBxtr At the rate they are exporting CO2 you might as well add a couple of noughts to that figure.
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PS752 Downed by Cyber Attack '' Veterans Today | Military Foreign Affairs Policy Journal for Clandestine Services
Tue, 14 Jan 2020 23:36
by Ian GreenhalghWe now have a fairly clear picture of how Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752 came to it's tragic fate shortly after taking off from Tehran International Airport.
Ukrainian International Airlines is owned by Israeli businessman Aron Mayberg and the infamous Ukrainian-Israeli oligarch, politician, and energy tycoon Igor Kolomoisky, who was notably one of the biggest financiers of the anti-Russian, pro-EU coup d'etat which overthrew the democratically elected government of Viktor Yanukovych in 2014.
Kolomoisky is also a principal backer of current Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky whose dubious phone call with Trump resulted in the 45th U.S. president's impeachment last month.
Kolomoisky, AKA ''the Chameleon'', is one of the wealthiest people in the ex-Soviet country and was formerly appointed as governor of an administrative region bordering Donbass in eastern Ukraine following the 2014 putsch. He has also funded a battalion of volunteer neo-Nazi mercenaries fighting alongside the Ukrainian army in the War in Donbass.
As admitted by Iran, the plane was brought down by one or two missiles fired by a Tor-M1 missile complex under control of the Iranian Republican Guard Corps (IRGC).
However, this is only the beginning of the story and how the plane came to be in the sights of the IRGC missiles is the key part of the narrative.
I shall attempt to layout that narrative in as clear and concise form as I can.
No assets inside Iran were needed, it was a purely Israeli operation.
Iranian sources have revealed that the pre-flight inspection checklist was not signed by Iranian airport engineers, however, the Ukrainian crew insisted on flying at their own risk and responsibility.
The plane experienced some technical difficulties during or immediately after the take-off '' this is when the cyber attack took place and it targeted both the navigational system and the Identify Friend or Foe (IFF)- transponder. The IFF transponder was turned off and the aircraft changed course, putting it on a direct heading for the IRGC base nearby.
Now you have an airliner heading directly for an IRGC site and it's protective missile batteries, even worse the IRGC were on high alert, expecting a US strike; so when an unidentified aircraft appeared very close to their base, they had only a matter of seconds to decide whether to engage it.
IRGC Aerospace Commander Hajizadeh's said a huge 'anomaly' impaired Tehran's air defense system, leading to the impression an enemy plane was approaching a sensitive military center '' the root of the subsequent 'human error'.
Iran claims the missiles were launched by an individual who was out of radio contact with his commander and ''panicked'' upon seeing the fast-moving object on radar.
The fact that the IRGC operators experienced a communication failure at the precise moment the plane appeared on their radar makes it clear that cyber attacks were also carried out against Iranian command & control systems.
With no time to delay and no way to consult senior commanders, the operators had to consider the plane heading straight towards them as a military threat and they took the decision to engage the plane and shoot it down.
There you have it, a couple of hacks was all it took. The Israelis are experts at this and have done it before '' remember the Russian IL-20 shot down by Syria, the Israelis were using that plane to shield an incoming jet fighter strike.
BBC: Russia blames Israel after military plane shot down off Syria
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Oceans are warming at the same rate as if five Hiroshima bombs were dropped in every second - CNN
Tue, 14 Jan 2020 23:32
(CNN) The world's oceans are now heating at the same rate as if five Hiroshima atomic bombs were dropped into the water every second, scientists have said.
A new study released on Monday showed that 2019 was yet another year of record-setting ocean warming, with water temperatures reaching the highest temperature ever recorded.
An international team of 14 scientists examined data going back to the 1950s, looking at temperatures from the ocean surface to 2,000 meters deep. The study, which was published in the journal Advances in Atmospheric Sciences, also showed that the oceans are warming at an increasing speed.
While the past decade has been the warmest on record for global ocean temperatures, the hottest five years ever recorded all came in the last five.
"The upward trend is relentless, and so we can say with confidence that most of the warming is man-made climate change," said Kevin Trenberth, distinguished senior scientist in the Climate Analysis Section at the National Center for Atmospheric Research.
The study shows that while the oceans warmed steadily between 1955 and 1986, warming has accelerated rapidly in the last few decades. Between 1987-2019, ocean warming was 450% greater than during the earlier time period.
Lijing Cheng, the paper's lead author and an associate professor at the International Center for Climate and Environmental Sciences at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said the ocean temperature was 0.075 degrees Celsius above the 1981-2010 average in 2019.
"There are no reasonable alternatives aside from the human emissions of heat trapping gases to explain this heating," Cheng said, adding that to reach this temperature, the ocean would have taken in 228,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 -- or 228 sextillion -- joules of heat.
"The Hiroshima atom-bomb exploded with an energy of about 63,000,000,000,000 Joules," Cheng said. "I did a calculation ... the amount of heat we have put in the world's oceans in the past 25 years equals to 3.6 billion Hiroshima atom-bomb explosions," he added.
That's equivalent to dropping roughly four Hiroshima bombs into the oceans every second over the past quarter of a century. But because the warming is speeding up, the rate at which we are dropping these imaginary bombs is getting faster than ever.
"We are now at five to six Hiroshima bombs of heat each second," said John Abraham, one of the authors of the study and a professor of mechanical engineering at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota.
Some parts of the Maldives are believed to have lost up to 90% of corals because of changing conditions, including rising temperature.
Oceans serve as a good indicator of the real impact of climate change. Covering almost three quarters of Earth's surface, they absorb the vast majority of the world's heat. Since 1970, more than 90% of the planet's excess heat went into the oceans, while less than 4% was absorbed by the atmosphere and the land, the study said.
But just because people live on land doesn't mean they are immune from the effects of the warming waters. Ocean warming has a profound impact on the entire world.
"If you want to understand global warming, you have to measure ocean warming," Abraham said.
For instance, both Hurricane Harvey, which killed at least 68 people in 2017, and Hurricane Florence, whose torrential rains flooded large parts of the US East Coast, were influenced by abnormally high temperatures.
While scientists say man-made climate change isn't solely to blame for tropical storms, studies have shown that higher temperatures can make them wetter and more damaging.
Rising temperatures also mean ocean waters have less oxygen and are becoming more acidic, which has a major impact on nutrients that feed marine wildlife. For example, when an ocean heat wave struck the waters of Western Australia in 2011, scientists noticed there were fewer dolphin births and the animal's survival rate dropped.
The warming is also changing currents and altering weather systems at a speed wildlife cannot keep up with.
"It is critical to understand how fast things are changing," Abraham added.
The scientists said that while the damage done to the oceans is in many ways irreversible, there is hope for the future.
"We will see continuous increase in ocean heat content in this century even if we can keep the global mean surface temperature (rise) well below 2 degrees Celsius (the goal of the Paris Agreement)," Cheng said.
However, he added that the speed of warming is entirely dependent on the world's actions on climate change.
"If we can reduce emissions, we can reduce the warming level, and then reduce the associated risks and loses," he said.
Trenberth added that an increasing price on carbon would help limit the warming.
"If the leaders of the world changed course, a revolution could take place over about 15 years ... this requires the leaders of China, and the US in particular, along with Europe, to take a strong leadership role and set the stage for the rest of the world to follow," he said.
GOP leadership: There aren't 51 votes to dismiss Trump articles of impeachment | TheHill
Tue, 14 Jan 2020 23:27
"I think our members generally are not interested in a motion to dismiss. ... Certainly there aren't 51 votes for a motion to dismiss," Blunt, the No. 4 Senate Republican, told reporters after a closed-door leadership meeting.
Republicans have warned for months that they will not dismiss the two articles of impeachment against Trump, predicting a trial will end with votes on either acquitting or convicting him.
But Trump revived talk of trying to dismiss the articles over the weekend, saying the Senate was "giving credence" to the allegations against him by having a trial.
"Many believe that by the Senate giving credence to a trial based on the no evidence, no crime, read the transcripts, 'no pressure' Impeachment Hoax, rather than an outright dismissal, it gives the partisan Democrat Witch Hunt credibility that it otherwise does not have. I agree!" Trump tweeted on Sunday.
The resolution on the Clinton impeachment trial rules in the 1990s had a motion to dismiss built into it. The motion, made after opening arguments and questions from senators, was ultimately unsuccessful.
Republicans are still crafting the rules resolution for the Trump trial, but some GOP senators have suggested they will not include a specific motion to dismiss in the resolution. That would not, according to aides and senators, prevent a senator from trying to make a motion to dismiss during the trial.
BlackRock flexes US$7 trillion financial muscle to vote against boards that do not disclose climate risks in move towards 'new standard for investing' | South China Morning Post
Tue, 14 Jan 2020 23:13
Cranes unload coal from a cargo ship at a port in Lianyungang, Jiangsu province, China. Thermal coal producers will come under more scrutiny from BlackRock. Photo: Reuters
Sustainability to be 'new standard for investing' at world's biggest asset manager with nearly US$7 trillion of assets under management, CEO Fink saysBlackRock will stop investing in companies that generate more than 25 per cent of revenue from thermal coals from mid-2020Topic | Investing
Chad Bray Published: 5:05pm, 14 Jan, 2020
Updated: 10:29pm, 14 Jan, 2020
Cranes unload coal from a cargo ship at a port in Lianyungang, Jiangsu province, China. Thermal coal producers will come under more scrutiny from BlackRock. Photo: Reuters
Chad Bray
Chad is a senior business reporter focused on finance. He has previously written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones Newswires.
First Private Search Engine For the Decentralized Web Goes Live
Tue, 14 Jan 2020 22:55
Almonit has released the first version of its decentralized, private search engine for the decentralized web (dWeb). It is accessible to those with a decentralized browser or plugin at almonit.eth, and to all others at almonit.eth.link.
Focus On Privacy The first thing to know is that the search engine itself is decentralized. It is served via IPFS and accessed using ENS (more later). This means that users can access and carry out searches without Almonit's knowledge, help or involvement.
The search engine is totally private, as searches are done on the client end, meaning nobody knows what you searched for.
It currently only searches through the 106 (and growing) known decentralized websites (dWebsites), listed in its directory.
These websites use ENS and IPFS technologies.
Anatomy Of A Decentralized Website The decentralized web has two core technologies. Ethereum Name Server (ENS), is as it sounds, the decentralized domain name service, replacing DNS in the traditional web.
The ambitiously named InterPlanetary File System (IPFS), is a peer-to-peer protocol for storing and sharing data in a distributed file system. It is a replacement for HTTP, and incorporates elements of peer-to-peer sharing platforms such as BitTorrent.
The benefits of these technologies include an ungoverned web which is more robust, censorship resistant, efficient and permanent. So now you can rest safe in the knowledge that all of your hilarious cat memes will last forever.
How to Add Your Site If you want your site to be decentralized then all you need to do is upload the files into IPFS, and attach the resulting hash to your ENS name (assuming you already have one).
The files are then accessible through a decentralized browser (or extension) at the .eth address. Users of standard browsers must simply add .link to the end of this address to make it load like normal websites.
dWebsites are particularly suited to front ends for dApps, but can be used for anything. The number of dWebsites is likely to grow as dApps have. As Bitcoinist reported, 6 months ago dApps were struggling to find (human) users. However Ethereum has since made great strides in growing its user base and expanding, particularly into Decentralized Finance (DeFi).
Do you think you will ever use this new decentralized browser? Let us know in the comment section below!
Images via Shutterstock
Walmart admits it misused a $80,000 Christmas donation by Chicago Bears linebacker Khalil Mack | Daily Mail Online
Tue, 14 Jan 2020 22:48
Walmart admits Florida store misused $20,000 of a $80,000 Christmas gift by Chicago Bears linebacker Khalil Mack that was donated to pay off 350 layaway accounts in his hometownChicago Bears linebacker Khalil Mack's foundation made the $80,000 donation last month to a location in Fort Pierce, Florida The gift went towards 350 layaway accounts that totaled $60,000 Remaining funds went given to store employees in a decision made by the outlet's managementIn a statement, a Walmart spokesperson would not share whether those employees would be disciplined By Matthew Wright For Dailymail.com
Published: 12:12 EST, 14 January 2020 | Updated: 12:40 EST, 14 January 2020
Walmart has shared that managers misused $20,000 of a Christmas donation from a foundation associated with Chicago Bears linebacker Khalil Mack.
Mack's foundation made the $80,000 donation last month to a location in Fort Pierce, Florida, where the star athlete was born and raised.
The donation went towards 350 layaway accounts that totaled $60,000. The remaining funds reportedly went to employees in a decision made by the store's management.
Chicago Bears linebacker Khalil Mack foundation made the $80,000 donation last month to a location in Fort Pierce, Florida
The donation went towards 350 layaway accounts that totalled $60,000, with store management deciding that employees could spend the other $20,000
In a statement, a Walmart spokesperson would not share whether the people who made the decision would be disciplined.
'We have determined the store did not handle the transaction in keeping with Walmart's guidelines and have taken corrective action,' company spokesperson Delia Garcia said in a statement to the TC Palm.
An employee not included in the donation alerted company officials to the funds and Garcia would not say how many employees were a part of the spending.
Last month, the store's official Facebook page revealed the exciting news in a post, writing: 'If you have an active Holiday Layaway account at your local Ft. Pierce WalMart, your account has been paid off!'
Last month, the store's official Facebook page revealed the exciting news in a post, writing: 'If you have an active Holiday Layaway account at your local Ft. Pierce WalMart, your account has been paid off!'
The post continued: 'We here at Walmart would like to thank the Khalil Mack Foundation for your generosity, and for making so many families happy for the holidays! Everyone is truly grateful for everything you have done for them!'
Mack made the donation through his Khalil Mack Foundation, which was set up several years ago to 'positively affect the lives of intercity and under-privileged youth'
Mack made the donation through his Khalil Mack Foundation, which was set up several years ago to 'positively affect the lives of intercity and under-privileged youth'.
Mack grew up in Fort Pierce, having graduated from Fort Piece Westwood High School in 2009 before attending the State University of New York at Buffalo.
He was drafted to the NFL in 2014 and spent four seasons with the Oakland Raiders before transferring to the Chicago Bears.
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Megan Rapinoe 'will not be silenced' by Olympic Committee's ban on political protests
Tue, 14 Jan 2020 17:14
U.S. women's soccer star Megan Rapinoe doesn't plan to comply with the International Olympic Committee's recently announced rules limiting political protests by athletes during the upcoming Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
Rapinoe, who several years ago joined then-NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick in protest by kneeling during the national anthem, posted on Instagram her disapproval that the IOC was more concerned with protests than the reasons for them.
"So much being done about the protests," Rapinoe wrote. "So little being done about what we are protesting about. We will not be silenced."
The IOC announced more specific rules about political protest in order to maintain a sense of unity among competitors from various nations. The rules prohibit hand gestures, kneeling, and signs by athletes in the Olympic village or during medal ceremonies.
"They are not and must never be a platform to advance political or any other divisive ends," IOC President Thomas Bach said. "Our political neutrality is undermined whenever organizations or individuals attempt to use the Olympic Games as a stage for their own agendas, as legitimate as they may be."
When Rapinoe began kneeling during the national anthem in 2016, she wrote "I haven't experienced over-policing, racial profiling, police brutality or the sight of a family member's body lying dead in the street. But I cannot stand idly by while there are people in this country who have had to deal with that kind of heartache."
She no longer kneels during the national anthem but she is still sympathetic to the motive behind the protests. Rapinoe became an even more polarizing political figure during the Women's World Cup in 2019 when she sparked a back-and-forth with President Donald Trump by saying "I'm not going to the f***ing White House" if the U.S. Women's National Team won.
(H/T: The Daily Wire)
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Our Privacy Statement explains how we collect, use, and share information relating to the access to or use of Plaid's websites, products, and services.
Please don't hesitate to contact us if you have questions.
Overview for DevelopersFor Developers: the following links will take you directly to the policies and statement most relevant to you:
Our Developer Policy provides rules and guidelines that govern access to or use by developers of the Plaid API, websites, dashboards, related tools, products, and services provided by Plaid.
Our Cookie Policy explains how Plaid uses cookies and your choices related to those cookies.
Our Privacy Statement explains how we collect, use, and share information relating to the access to or use of Plaid's websites, products, and services.
Please don't hesitate to contact us if you have questions.
End User Privacy PolicyEffective Date: December 30, 2019
Privacy and security are very important to us at Plaid. This End User Privacy Policy (''Policy'') is meant to help you (the ''end user'') understand how we at Plaid collect, use, and share end user information in our possession to operate, improve, develop, and protect our services, and as otherwise outlined in this Policy. Please take some time to read this Policy carefully.
Please note: this Policy applies to Plaid Inc. and its subsidiaries, including Plaid Financial Ltd. and Plaid, B.V. (collectively, ''Plaid'', ''we'', ''our'', and ''us''). To determine the relevant Plaid entity that is responsible for processing your information, please see the ''Contacting Plaid'' section below.
Jump to section:
First, Some Background
Our Data Practices
Information We Collect and Categories of Sources
How We Use Your Information
Our Lawful Bases for Processing (EEA and UK End Users Only)
How We Share Your Information
Our Retention Practices
Some Final Details'...
International Data Transfers
Your Data Protection Rights
Changes To This Policy
Contacting Plaid
First, Some BackgroundA quick note about Plaid
Our mission at Plaid is to empower innovators by delivering access to the financial system. Our technology provides an easy way for you to connect your bank account and other financial accounts to software applications that can help you do things like save for retirement, manage your spending, streamline credit applications, or transfer money. These software applications are built and provided by our business customers (we'll call them ''developers'' here), and powered by Plaid. By delivering access to high-quality, usable financial account data that we've translated and standardized, we enable developers to focus on building experiences that benefit you.
About this Policy
Our goal with this Policy is to provide a simple and straightforward explanation of what information Plaid collects from and about end users (''End User Information''), and how we use and share that information. We value transparency and want to provide you with a clear and concise description of how we treat your End User Information.
Please note that this Policy only covers the information that Plaid collects, uses, and shares. It does not explain what developers do with any End User Information we provide to them (or any other information they may collect about you separately from Plaid). This Policy also does not cover any websites, products, or services provided by others. We encourage you to review the privacy policies or notices of developers or those third parties for information about their practices.
Our Data Practices Information We Collect and Categories of Sources As explained in greater detail below, Plaid has collected identifiers, commercial information, electronic network activity information, professional information, inferences, and other types of End User Information.
Information you provide. When you connect your financial accounts with a developer application or otherwise connect your financial accounts through Plaid, where applicable, we collect identifiers and login information required by the provider of your account, such as your username and password, or a security token. In some cases, we also collect your phone number, email address, security questions and answers, and one-time password (OTP) to help verify your identity before connecting your financial accounts. When providing this information, you give the developer and Plaid the authority to act on your behalf to access and transmit your End User Information from the relevant bank or other entity that provides your financial accounts (we'll call them ''financial product and service providers'' in this Policy). You may also provide us with identifiers and other information, including your name, email address, and phone number, when you contact us or enter any such information on our websites.
Information we collect from your financial accounts. The information we receive from the financial product and service providers that maintain your financial accounts varies depending on the specific Plaid services developers use to power their applications, as well as the information made available by those providers. But, in general, we collect the following types of identifiers, commercial information, and other personal information from your financial product and service providers:
Account information, including financial institution name, account name, account type, account ownership, branch number, IBAN, BIC, and account and routing number;
Information about an account balance, including current and available balance;
Information about credit accounts, including due dates, balances owed, payment amounts and dates, transaction history, credit limit, repayment status, and interest rate;
Information about loan accounts, including due dates, repayment status, balances, payment amounts and dates, interest rate, guarantor, loan type, payment plan, and terms;
Information about investment accounts, including transaction information, type of asset, identifying details about the asset, quantity, price, fees, and cost basis;
Identifiers and information about the account owner(s), including name, email address, phone number, date of birth, and address information;
Information about account transactions, including amount, date, payee, type, quantity, price, location, involved securities, and a description of the transaction; and
Professional information, including information about your employer, in limited cases where you've connected your payroll accounts.
The data collected from your financial accounts includes information from all your accounts (e.g., checking, savings, and credit card) accessible through a single set of account credentials.
Information we receive from your devices. When you use your device to connect to our services through a developer's application, we receive identifiers and electronic network activity information about that device, including IP address, hardware model, operating system, which features within our services you access, and other technical information about the device. We also use cookies or similar tracking technologies to collect usage statistics and to help us provide and improve our services. You can find more information about how we use cookies and your related choices in our Cookie Policy.
Information we receive about you from other sources. We also receive identifiers and commercial information about you directly from the relevant developer or other third parties, including our service providers, bank partners, and identity verification services. For example, developers may provide information such as your full name, email address, phone number, or information about your financial accounts and account transactions.
Inferences we derive from the data we collect. We may use the information we collect about you to derive inferences. For example, we may infer your location or your projected income based on the information we have collected about you from other sources.
How We Use Your Information We use your End User Information for a number of business and commercial purposes, including to operate, improve, and protect the services we provide, and to develop new services. More specifically, we use your End User Information:
To operate, provide, and maintain our services;
To improve, enhance, modify, add to, and further develop our services;
To protect you, developers, our partners, Plaid, and others from fraud, malicious activity, and other privacy and security-related concerns;
To develop new services;
To provide customer support to you or to developers, including to help respond to your inquiries related to our service or developers' applications;
To investigate any misuse of our service or developers' applications, including violations of our Developer Policy, criminal activity, or other unauthorized access to our services; and
For other notified purposes with your consent.
Our Lawful Bases for Processing (EEA and UK End Users Only) For individuals in the European Economic Area (''EEA'') or the United Kingdom (''UK''), our legal basis for processing your End User Information will depend on the information concerned and the context in which we collected or processed it. Generally, however, we will normally only collect and process End User Information where:
we need to fulfill our responsibilities and obligations in any contract or agreement with you (for example, to comply with our end user services agreements);
to comply with our legal obligations under applicable law;
the processing is necessary for our legitimate interests and not overridden by your data protection interests or fundamental rights and freedoms (for example, to safeguard our services; to communicate with you; or to provide or update our services); and
you have given your consent to do so.
To the extent we rely on consent to collect and process End User Information, you have the right to withdraw your consent at any time per the instructions provided in this Policy.
We share your End User Information for a number of business purposes:
With the developer of the application you are using and as directed by that developer (such as with another third party if directed by you);
To enforce any contract with you;
With our data processors and other service providers, partners, or contractors in connection with the services they perform for us or developers;
If we believe in good faith that disclosure is appropriate to comply with applicable law, regulation, or legal process (such as a court order or subpoena);
In connection with a change in ownership or control of all or a part of our business (such as a merger, acquisition, reorganization, or bankruptcy);
Between and among Plaid and our current and future parents, affiliates, subsidiaries and other companies under common control or ownership;
As we believe reasonably appropriate to protect the rights, privacy, safety, or property of you, developers, our partners, Plaid, and others; or
For any other notified purpose with your consent.
We may collect, use, and share End User Information in an aggregated, de-identified, or anonymized manner (that does not identify you personally) for any purpose permitted under applicable law. This includes creating or using aggregated, de-identified, or anonymized data based on the collected information to develop new services and to facilitate research.
We do not sell or rent personal information that we collect.
Our Retention Practices We retain End User Information for no longer than necessary to fulfill the purposes for which it was collected and used, as described in this Policy, unless a longer retention period is required or permitted under applicable law. As permitted under applicable law, even after you stop using an application or terminate your account with one or more developer, we may still retain your information (for example, if you still have an account with another developer). However, your information will only be processed as required by law or in accordance with this Policy.
Please refer to the ''Your Data Protection Rights'' section for options that may be available to you, including the right to request deletion of End User Information. You can also contact us about our data retention practices using the contact information below.
Some Final Details'... International Data Transfers We operate internationally, and as a result, will transfer the information we collect about you across international borders, including from the EEA or UK to the United States, for processing and storage. To the extent that the information we collect about you is transferred from the EEA to territories/countries for which the EU Commission has not made a finding that the legal framework in that territory/country provides adequate protection for individuals' rights and freedoms for their personal data, we will transfer such data consistent with applicable data protection laws, including through the use of the EU Commission-approved standard contractual clauses. You can ask for a copy of these standard contractual clauses by contacting as as set out below.
Your Data Protection Rights Under applicable law, and subject to limitations and exceptions provided by law, if you are located in the EEA or UK, and in certain other jurisdictions, you may have certain rights in relation to the End User Information collected about you and how it is used, including the right to:
Access End User Information collected about you;
Request that we rectify or update your End User Information that is inaccurate or incomplete;
Request, under certain circumstances, that we restrict the processing of or erase your End User Information;
Object to our processing of your End User Information under certain conditions provided by law;
Where processing of your End User Information is based on consent, withdraw that consent;
Request that we provide End User Information collected about you in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format so that you can transfer it to another company, where technically feasible; and
File a complaint regarding our data protection practices with a supervisory authority (if you are in the EEA or UK, please refer to the following link for contact details: https://edpb.europa.eu/about-edpb/board/members_en).
Under the California Consumer Privacy Act (''CCPA''), and subject to certain limitations and exceptions, if you are a California resident, you may have the following rights with respect to End User Information we have collected about you that constitutes personal information under the CCPA:
To request access to more details about the categories and specific pieces of personal information we may have collected about you in the last 12 months (including personal information disclosed for business purposes);
To request deletion of your personal information;
To opt-out of any ''sales'' of your personal information, if a business is selling your information; and
To not be discriminated against for exercising these rights.
To exercise your data protection rights, where applicable, you can submit a request using our online form (available here), or contact us as described in the ''Contacting Plaid'' section below. You may be required to provide additional information necessary to confirm your identity before we can respond to your request.
We will consider all such requests and provide our response within a reasonable period of time (and within any time period required by applicable law). Please note, however, that certain information may be exempt from such requests, for example if we need to keep the information to comply with our own legal obligations or to establish, exercise, or defend legal claims.
Changes To This Policy We may update or change this Policy from time to time. If we make any updates or changes, we will post the new policy on Plaid's website at https://plaid.com/legal and update the effective date at the top of this Policy. We will also notify developers of any material changes in accordance with our developer agreements, as they are generally best positioned to notify their end users about such changes to this Policy, as appropriate.
Contacting Plaid If you have any questions or complaints about this Policy, or about our privacy practices generally, you can contact us at privacy@plaid.com or by mail at:
If you reside outside the EEA or UK:
Plaid Inc. Attn: Legal PO Box 7775 #35278 San Francisco, California 94120-7775 U.S.A.
If you reside in the EEA or UK:
Plaid Financial Ltd. Attn: Legal New Penderel House, 4th Floor 283-288 High Holborn London, United Kingdom, WC1V 7HP
Politique de confidentialit(C) pour utilisateur finalDate d'entr(C)e en vigueur : 30 d(C)cembre 2019
La confidentialit(C) et la s(C)curit(C) sont tr¨s importants pour nous au sein de Plaid. Cette Politique de confidentialit(C) pour utilisateur final ( Politique >>) est destin(C)e vous faire comprendre la fa§on dont nous, au sein de Plaid, collectons, utilisons et partageons les informations sur l'utilisateur final en notre possession, afin de faire fonctionner, am(C)liorer, d(C)velopper et prot(C)ger nos services comme d(C)crit par ailleurs au sein de la pr(C)sente Politique. Nous vous prions de prendre le temps de lire attentivement cette Politique.
Veuillez noter : cette Politique s'applique Plaid Inc., et ses filiales, y compris Plaid Financial Ltd., et Plaid B.V. (collectivement, Plaid >>, nous >>, nos >>, notre >>). Pour obtenir des informations sur l'entit(C) Plaid responsable du traitement de vos informations, veuillez-vous r(C)f(C)rer la section Contacter Plaid >> ci-dessous.
Aller la section :
Tout d'abord, le contexte
Nos pratiques relatives aux donn(C)es
Informations que nous collectons et cat(C)gories de sources d'informations
Comment nous utilisons vos Informations
Nos bases juridiques pour le traitement (Utilisateurs au sein de l'EEE et du Royaume Uni uniquement)
Comment nous partageons vos Informations
Nos Pratiques de r(C)tention
Quelques derniers d(C)tails
Transferts internationaux de donn(C)es
Vos droits relatifs la protection de vos donn(C)es
Modifications apport(C)es cette Politique
Contacter Plaid
Tout d'abord, le contexteUn mot sur Plaid
Notre mission est de dynamiser les innovateurs en leur donnant acc¨s au syst¨me financier. Notre technologie fournit un moyen facile pour que vous ( l'utilisateur final >>) puissiez connecter votre compte bancaire et d'autres comptes financiers aux applications logicielles qui peuvent aider r(C)aliser des op(C)rations telles que les retraits, la gestion des d(C)penses, optimisation des demandes de cr(C)dit, ou transferts d'argent. Ces applications logicielles sont d(C)velopp(C)es et fournies par nos clients commerciaux (appel(C)s d(C)veloppeurs >>), aliment(C)es et rendues plus performantes par Plaid. En fournissant un acc¨s des donn(C)es financi¨res de haute qualit(C) et utilisables, des donn(C)es que nous avons traduites et normalis(C)es, nous permettons nos d(C)veloppeurs de se concentrer sur la cr(C)ation d'exp(C)riences pour votre b(C)n(C)fice.
Au sujet de cette politique
L'objectif de cette politique est de fournir une explication simple et directe sur les informations collect(C)es par Plaid aupr¨s de et au sujet des utilisateurs finaux, et de la fa§on dont nous utilisons et partageons ces informations. Bien que nous fassions g(C)n(C)ralement confiance nos d(C)veloppeurs pour vous informer au sujet des services que nous leur fournissons, et pour vous fournir une notification et obtenir tous les consentements n(C)cessaires afin que nous puissions traiter vos informations, nous prisons la transparence et souhaitons vous donner une description claire et concise de la fa§on dont nous traitons vos informations.
Veuillez noter que cette politique couvre uniquement les informations que Plaid collecte, utilise et partage. Elle n'explique pas ce que nos d(C)veloppeurs font des informations d'un utilisateur final que nous leur fournissons (ou de toute autre information qu'ils peuvent collecter sur vous, leur utilisateur final). Cette politique ne couvre pas non plus les sites web, produits, ou services fournis par d'autres parties. Nous vous encourageons examiner les politiques ou d(C)clarations relatives la vie priv(C)e de nos d(C)veloppeurs ou des tiers pour vous informer en ce qui concerne leurs pratiques.
Nos pratiques relatives aux donn(C)es Informations que nous collectons et cat(C)gories de sources d'informations Comme expliqu(C) plus en d(C)tail ci-dessous, Plaid a collect(C) des identifiants, des informations commerciales, des informations sur l'activit(C) du r(C)seau (C)lectronique, des informations professionnelles, inf(C)rences et d'autres types d'Informations relatives l'utilisateur final.
Informations que vous fournissez. Lorsque vous connectez vos comptes financiers avec l'application d'un d(C)veloppeur ou, le cas (C)ch(C)ant, que vous connectez vos comptes financiers au moyen de Plaid, nous collectons les identifiants et informations de connexion requises par votre prestataire de compte, tel que votre nom d'utilisateur et mot de passe ou jeton de s(C)curit(C). Dans certains cas, nous collectons (C)galement votre num(C)ro de t(C)l(C)phone, adresse email, questions et r(C)ponses de s(C)curit(C) ou mot de passe usage unique pour aider v(C)rifier votre identit(C) avant de vous connecter vos comptes financiers. En fournissant ces informations, vous donnez au d(C)veloppeur et Plaid l'autorit(C) d'agir en votre nom pour acc(C)der et transmettre vos Informations provenant de la banque concern(C)e ou d'une autre entit(C) qui fournit vos comptes financiers (nous les appellerons fournisseurs de produits et services financiers >> dans cette Politique). Vous pouvez (C)galement nous communiquer des identifiants et d'autres informations, y compris votre nom, adresse email, et num(C)ro de t(C)l(C)phone, lorsque vous nous contactez ou saisissez une telle information sur nos sites web.
Informations collect(C)es depuis vos comptes financiers. Les informations que nous recevons des fournisseurs de produits et services financiers qui g¨rent vos comptes financiers peuvent varier en fonction des services sp(C)cifiques de Plaid que nos d(C)veloppeurs utilisent pour alimenter leurs applications, ainsi que les informations qui sont partag(C)es par ces fournisseurs. Mais en g(C)n(C)ral, nous collectons les types d'identifiants, informations commerciales et autres informations personnelles re§ues de vos fournisseurs de produits et services financiers ci-apr¨s :
les informations de comptes, y compris le nom de l'institution financi¨re, le nom du compte, le type de compte, le titulaire du compte, le num(C)ro de succursale, l'IBAN, le BIC et les num(C)ros de compte et d'acheminement ;
les informations relatives au solde du compte, y compris le solde courant et disponible ;
les informations relatives aux comptes de cr(C)dit, y compris les dates d'(C)ch(C)ance, soldes dus, montants et dates des paiements, historique des transactions, plafond de cr(C)dit, statut des remboursements et taux d'int(C)rªts ;
les informations sur les comptes de prªt, y compris les dates d'(C)ch(C)ance, statut des remboursements, soldes, montants et dates de paiement, taux d'int(C)rªts, garants, type de prªt, (C)ch(C)anciers et dur(C)e ;
les informations relatives aux comptes d'investissement, y compris les informations sur les transactions, type d'actifs, d(C)tails d'identification sur l'actif, quantit(C), prix, frais et base des co>>ts ;
les informations d'identification et sur le(s) titulaire(s) du compte, y compris nom, adresse mail, num(C)ro de t(C)l(C)phone, date de naissance et adresse ;
les informations concernant les transactions du compte, y compris le montant, la date, le b(C)n(C)ficiaire, type, quantit(C), prix, lieu, titres concern(C)s et une description de la transaction ; et
les informations professionnelles, y compris les informations concernant votre employeur, uniquement dans les cas o¹ vous avez connect(C)s vos comptes de paie.
Les donn(C)es collect(C)es depuis vos comptes financiers comprennent des informations provenant de tous vos comptes (p.ex. compte ch¨ques, (C)pargne et carte de cr(C)dit) accessibles au moyen d'un ensemble unique d'identifiants.
Informations re§ues de vos appareils. Lorsque vous utilisez votre appareil pour vous connecter nos services au moyen d'une application de d(C)veloppeur, nous recevons des informations sur les identifiants, l'activit(C) du r(C)seau (C)lectronique de cet appareil, y compris l'adresse IP, le mod¨le de l'appareil, le syst¨me d'exploitation, les fonctionnalit(C)s que vous utilis(C)es au sein de nos services et autres informations techniques sur l'appareil. Nous pouvons (C)galement utiliser des cookies ou des technologies de traceurs similaires afin de collecter les statistiques d'utilisation et nous aider am(C)liorer nos services. Vous pouvez trouver davantage d'informations sur la mani¨re dont nous utilisons les cookies et des choix que vous pouvez faire dans notre Politique Cookies.
Informations que nous recevons sur vous provenant d'autres sources. Nous recevons (C)galement des identifiants et informations commerciales sur vous directement du d(C)veloppeur concern(C) ou de tiers, y compris vos fournisseurs de services, banques partenaires et des services d'authentification des identit(C)s. Par exemple, nos d(C)veloppeurs peuvent nous fournir des informations sur vous telles que votre nom complet, adresse email, num(C)ro de t(C)l(C)phone ou des informations sur vos comptes financiers et les transactions de votre compte.
Inf(C)rences d(C)duites des donn(C)es que nous collectons. Nous pouvons utiliser les informations que nous collectons votre sujet pour en d(C)duire des inf(C)rences. Par exemple, nous pouvons d(C)duire votre localisation ou votre revenu projet(C) sur la base des informations que nous avons collect(C)es sur vous aupr¨s d'autres sources.
Nous utilisons vos Informations r pour plusieurs finalit(C)s professionnelles et commerciales, y compris pour faire fonctionner, am(C)liorer et prot(C)ger les services que nous fournissons, et pour d(C)velopper de nouveaux services. Plus sp(C)cifiquement, nous utilisons vos Informations :
pour faire fonctionner, fournir et maintenir nos services ;
pour am(C)liorer, perfectionner, modifier, ajouter et d(C)velopper continuellement nos services ;
pour vous prot(C)ger, prot(C)ger nos d(C)veloppeurs, nos partenaires ou Plaid contre la fraude, les activit(C)s malveillantes ;
pour d(C)velopper de nouveaux services ;
pour vous fournir un support client ou nos d(C)veloppeurs, y compris en vue de r(C)pondre vos demandes relatives nos services ou aux applications de nos d(C)veloppeurs ;
pour enquªter sur les utilisations incorrectes de nos services ou des applications de nos d(C)veloppeurs, y compris les violations de la Politique concernant les d(C)veloppeurs, activit(C) criminelle ou autre acc¨s non autoris(C) nos services ; et
pour tout autre finalit(C)s ayant obtenu votre consentement.
Nos bases juridiques pour le traitement (Utilisateurs au sein de l'EEE et du Royaume Uni uniquement) Pour les ressortissants de l'espace (C)conomique europ(C)en (EEE) ou du Royaume Uni, la base juridique pour traiter vos Informations d(C)pendra des informations concern(C)es et du contexte dans lequel nous les collectons ou les traitons. Cependant, en g(C)n(C)ral, nous ne collectons et traitons les Informations uniquement lorsque :
(a) nous devons remplir nos engagements et obligations dans le cadre de tout contrat ou accord conclu avec vous (par exemple, pour nous conformer nos engagements de services vis- -vis de l'utilisateur final) ;
(b) pour nous conformer nos obligations l(C)gales en vertu des lois applicables ;
(c) le traitement est n(C)cessaire nos int(C)rªts l(C)gitimes et ne supplante pas vos int(C)rªts de protection des donn(C)es ou vos droits et libert(C)s fondamentaux (par exemple, pour sauvegarder nos services ; pour communiquer avec vous ; ou pour fournir nos services ou les mettre jour) ; et
(d) vous nous avez donn(C) votre consentement pour ce faire.
Dans la mesure o¹ nous nous reposons sur ce consentement pour collecter et traiter les Informations, vous avez le droit de retirer votre consentement tout moment selon les instructions pr(C)vues dans la pr(C)sente Politique.
Nous partageons vos Informations pour un certain nombre de finalit(C)s professionnelles :
avec le d(C)veloppeur de l'application que vous utilisez et selon ses instructions (ainsi qu'avec un autre tiers si vous nous le demandez) ;
pour faire ex(C)cuter un contrat avec vous ;
avec nos sous-traitants intervenant dans le traitement de vos donn(C)es et autres prestataires de services, partenaires ou sous-traitants concernant les services qu'ils r(C)alisent pour nous ou pour nos d(C)veloppeurs ;
si nous estimons de bonne foi que la divulgation de vos Informations est appropri(C)e pour se conformer la loi, la r(C)glementation ou les processus l(C)gaux applicables (tels qu'une ordonnance du tribunal ou une assignation) ;
dans le cas d'une modification de propri(C)t(C) ou de contr´le de tout ou partie de notre activit(C) (telle qu'une fusion, acquisition, r(C)organisation ou faillite) ;
au sein de Plaid et entre Plaid et nos soci(C)t(C)s m¨res actuelles et futures, nos affili(C)s, filiales et autres soci(C)t(C)s sous contr´le et propri(C)t(C) commune ;
parce que nous estimons raisonnablement appropri(C) de prot(C)ger les droits, la vie priv(C)e, la s(C)curit(C) ou la propri(C)t(C) de vos Informations, de nos d(C)veloppeurs, nos partenaires, Plaid, et autres ; ou
pour tout autre objectif ayant obtenu votre consentement.
Nous pouvons collecter, utiliser et partager les Informations de mani¨re agr(C)g(C)e, pseudonymis(C)e, ou anonymis(C)e (qui ne vous identifie pas personnellement) pour toute fin autoris(C)e par la loi applicable. Ceci comprend le fait de cr(C)er ou d'utiliser des donn(C)es agr(C)g(C)es, pseudonymis(C)e, ou anonymis(C)es sur la base des informations collect(C)es afin de d(C)velopper de nouveaux services et pour faciliter la recherche.
Nous ne vendons pas et ne louons pas les informations personnelles que nous collectons.
Nos Pratiques de r(C)tention Nous conservons les Informations relatives l'utilisateur final uniquement pendant la dur(C)e n(C)cessaire pour remplir les finalit(C)s pour lesquelles elles ont (C)t(C) collect(C)es et utilis(C)es, comme d(C)crit dans cette Politique, moins qu'une p(C)riode plus longue de conservation soit requise ou permise en vertu de la loi applicable. Conform(C)ment ce qui est permis par la loi applicable, mªme apr¨s que vous ayez arrªt(C) d'utiliser une application ou r(C)sili(C) votre compte avec l'un de nos d(C)veloppeurs, nous pouvons conserver vos informations (par exemple, si vous poss(C)dez un compte aupr¨s d'un autre d(C)veloppeur). Cependant, vos informations ne seront trait(C)es que selon les exigences de la loi ou conform(C)ment la pr(C)sente Politique.
Veuillez-vous r(C)f(C)rer la section relative Vos droits la protection de vos donn(C)es >> pour les options qui sont mises votre disposition, y compris le droit de demander la suppression de vos Informations. Vous pouvez (C)galement nous contacter au sujet de nos pratiques de conservation des donn(C)es en utilisant les informations de contact ci-dessous.
Quelques derniers d(C)tails Transferts internationaux de donn(C)es Nous op(C)rons de mani¨re internationale, et de ce fait, nous transf(C)rons les informations que nous collectons sur vous au-del des fronti¨res, y compris celles de l'EEE ou du Royaume Uni vers les ‰tats Unis, aux fins de traitement et stockage. Dans la mesure o¹ les informations que nous collectons sur vous sont transf(C)r(C)es de l'EEE vers des territoires ou des pays pour lesquels la Commission de l'UE n'a pas conclu que le cadre juridique des dits territoires ou pays fournissait un niveau de protection ad(C)quate pour la sauvegarde des droits et libert(C)s des personnes quant leurs donn(C)es personnelles, nous transf(C)rerons ces donn(C)es conform(C)ment aux lois applicables en mati¨re de protection des donn(C)es, y compris en utilisant les clauses contractuelles types approuv(C)es par la Commission de l'UE. Vous pouvez demander un exemplaire de ces clauses contractuelles types en nous contactant comme indiqu(C) ci-dessous.
Vos droits relatifs la protection de vos donn(C)es En vertu de la loi applicable et, sous r(C)serve des limitations et des exceptions pr(C)vues par la loi, si vous ªtes situ(C) dans l'EEE ou le Royaume Uni, et dans certaines juridictions, vous pouvez disposer de certains droits quant aux Informations que nous collectons sur vous et sur la fa§on de les utiliser, y compris le droit :
d'acc(C)der aux Informations que nous avons collect(C)es sur vous ;
de demander que nous rectifions ou mettions jour les Informations collect(C)es sur vous, qui sont inexactes ou incompl¨tes ;
de demander, dans certaines circonstances, que nous restreignons le traitement de vos Informations ou que nous le supprimions ;
de vous opposer au traitement de vos Informations et ce, sous certaines conditions pr(C)vues par la loi ;
lorsque le traitement de vos Informations est bas(C) sur votre consentement, retirer ce consentement ;
de demander que nous vous communiquions vos Informations dans un format structur(C), couramment utilis(C) et lisible par machine, afin que vous puissiez les transmettre une autre soci(C)t(C), lorsque cela est techniquement possible ; et
de d(C)poser une plainte concernant nos pratiques relatives la protection des donn(C)es aupr¨s d'une autorit(C) de surveillance (si vous vous trouvez dans l'EEE ou le Royaume Uni, veuillez-vous r(C)f(C)rer au lien suivant pour le d(C)tail des coordonn(C)es : https://edpb.europa.eu/about-edpb/board/members_fr ).
En vertu de la loi sur la protection de la vie priv(C)e des consommateurs de Californie (le CCPA >>) et sous r(C)serve de certaines limitations et exceptions, si vous ªtes r(C)sident(e) de Californie, vous pouvez disposer des droits suivants quant aux Informations que nous avons collect(C)es sur vous qui constituent des informations caract¨re personnels selon le CCPA ;
de demander acc(C)der davantage de d(C)tails sur les cat(C)gories et certains (C)l(C)ments sp(C)cifiques relatifs aux informations personnelles que nous pouvons avoir collect(C) sur vous dans les 12 derniers mois (y compris les informations personnelles divulgu(C)es des fins commerciales) ;
de demander la suppression de vos informations personnelles ;
de vous opposer toute vente >> de vos informations personnelles si une entreprise vend vos informations ; et
de ne ne pas subir de discrimination suite l'exercice de vos droits.
Pour exercer vos droits en mati¨re de protection de vos donn(C)es, le cas (C)ch(C)ant, vous pouvez soumettre une demande l'aide de notre formulaire en ligne (disponible ici), ou nous contacter comme pr(C)cis(C) dans la section Contacter Plaid >> ci-dessous. Il peut vous ªtre demand(C) de fournir des informations suppl(C)mentaires pour confirmer votre identit(C) avant que nous r(C)pondions votre demande.
Nous prendrons en compte toutes ces demandes et fournirons notre r(C)ponse dans une p(C)riode de temps raisonnable (et dans la p(C)riode requise par la loi applicable). Veuillez noter, cependant, que certaines informations peuvent ªtre exclues de ces demandes, par exemple si nous conservons les informations pour nous conformer nos obligations l(C)gales ou pour initier, exercer ou d(C)fendre une action l(C)gale.
Modifications apport(C)es cette Politique Nous sommes susceptibles de modifier la pr(C)sente Politique de temps en temps. Si nous r(C)alisons des changements, nous mettrons en ligne la nouvelle politique sur le site web de Plaid https://plaid.com/legal et indiquerons la date d'entr(C)e en vigueur de cette Politique. Nous informerons (C)galement nos d(C)veloppeurs de toute modification importante en lien avec nos accords avec les d(C)veloppeurs, car ces derniers sont g(C)n(C)ralement mieux positionn(C)s pour informer leurs utilisateurs des changements la pr(C)sente Politique, le cas (C)ch(C)ant.
Contacter Plaid Si vous avez des questions ou des r(C)clamations concernant la pr(C)sente Politique, ou propos de nos pratiques relatives la protection de la vie priv(C)e de mani¨re g(C)n(C)rale, vous pouvez nous contacter privacy@plaid.com ou par courrier :
Si vous r(C)sidez en dehors de l'EEE ou du Royaume Uni :
Plaid Inc. Attn: Legal PO Box 7775 #35278 San Francisco, Californie 94120-7775` U.S.A.
Si vous r(C)sidez au sein de l'EEE ou au Royaume Uni :
Plaid Financial Ltd. Attn: Legal New Penderel House, 4th Floor 283-288 High Holborn Londres, Royaume Uni, WC1V 7HP
Pol­tica de privacidad aplicable al usuario finalFecha de entrada en vigor: 30 de diciembre de 2019
La privacidad y la seguridad son muy importantes para nosotros en Plaid. La finalidad de esta Pol­tica de privacidad aplicable al usuario final (la "Pol­tica") es ayudarle a usted (el "usuario final") a entender c"mo recabamos, usamos y compartimos nosotros en Plaid la informaci"n sobre el usuario final que obra en nuestro poder para hacer funcionar, mejorar, desarrollar y proteger nuestros servicios, y para cualesquiera otras finalidades que se estipulen en esta Pol­tica. Rogamos dedique unos instantes a leer esta Pol­tica con atenci"n.
Por favor, tenga en cuenta que: esta Pol­tica se aplica a Plaid Inc. y sus filiales, incluidas Plaid Financial Ltd. y Plaid, B.V. (conjuntamente, "Plaid", "nosotros", "nuestro" y "nos"). Para determinar la entidad pertinente de Plaid que es responsable del tratamiento de su informaci"n, por favor consulte la secci"n "C"mo ponerse en contacto con Plaid" abajo.
Ir a la secci"n:
Primero, un poco de contexto
Nuestras prcticas relativas a datos
Informaci"n que recabamos y categor­as de fuentes
C"mo utilizamos su informaci"n
Nuestras bases legitimadoras para el tratamiento (aplicables exclusivamente a usuarios finales del EEE y del Reino Unido)
C"mo compartimos su informaci"n
Nuestras prcticas de conservaci"n
Algunos detalles finales
Transferencias internacionales de datos
Sus derechos en materia de protecci"n de datos
Cambios en esta Pol­tica
C"mo ponerse en contacto con Plaid
Primero, un poco de contextoBreve comentario sobre Plaid
Nuestra misi"n en Plaid es fortalecer a los innovadores proporcionando acceso al sistema financiero. Nuestra tecnolog­a facilita una forma sencilla para que usted conecte su cuenta bancaria y otras cuentas financieras a aplicaciones de software que pueden ayudarle a hacer cosas como ahorrar para la jubilaci"n, administrar sus gastos, optimizar solicitudes de cr(C)dito o transferir dinero. Dichas aplicaciones de software son desarrolladas y proporcionadas por nuestros clientes comerciales (en lo sucesivo, "desarrolladores"), y Plaid se encarga de alimentarlas. Al proporcionar acceso a datos de cuentas financieras ºtiles y de gran calidad que hemos traducido y estandarizado, permitimos a los desarrolladores centrarse en crear experiencias que le beneficien a usted.
Sobre esta Pol­tica
Nuestro objetivo con esta Pol­tica es ofrecer una explicaci"n sencilla y directa sobre qu(C) informaci"n recaba Plaid de los usuarios finales y sobre dichos usuarios finales ("Informaci"n de Usuario Final"), y acerca de c"mo usamos y compartimos dicha informaci"n. Valoramos la transparencia y queremos ofrecerle una descripci"n clara y concisa de c"mo tratamos su Informaci"n de Usuario Final.
Por favor, tenga en cuenta que esta Pol­tica solo es aplicable a la informaci"n que Plaid recaba, usa y comparte. No explica lo que los desarrolladores hacen con cualquier Informaci"n de Usuario Final que nosotros les suministremos (o cualquier otra informaci"n que ellos puedan recabar sobre usted separadamente de Plaid). Esta Pol­tica tampoco es aplicable a ningºn sitio web, producto o servicio proporcionado por terceros. Le recomendamos que consulte las pol­ticas o avisos de privacidad de los desarrolladores o dichos terceros para informarse de sus prcticas.
Nuestras prcticas relativas a datos Informaci"n que recabamos y categor­as de fuentes Segºn se explica con mayor detalle debajo, Plaid ha recabado identificadores, informaci"n comercial, informaci"n de actividad de red electr"nica, informaci"n profesional, inferencias y otros tipos de Informaci"n de Usuario Final.
Informaci"n que usted suministra. Cuando usted conecta sus cuentas financieras con una aplicaci"n de un desarrollador, o conecta de forma distinta sus cuentas financieras a trav(C)s de Plaid, en su caso, recabamos identificadores e informaci"n de inicio de sesi"n requerida por el proveedor de su cuenta, como su nombre de usuario y contrase±a, o un token de seguridad. En algunos casos, tambi(C)n recabamos su nºmero de tel(C)fono, direcci"n de correo electr"nico, preguntas y respuestas de seguridad, y contrase±a de un ºnico uso ("OTP", por sus siglas en ingl(C)s) para ayudar a verificar su identidad antes de conectar sus cuentas financieras. Al facilitar esta informaci"n, usted autoriza al desarrollador y a Plaid a actuar por cuenta de usted para acceder a su Informaci"n de Usuario Final y transmitirla del banco correspondiente u otra entidad que provea sus cuentas financieras (en esta Pol­tica los denominaremos "proveedores de productos y servicios financieros"). Tambi(C)n puede proporcionarnos identificadores y otra informaci"n, incluyendo su nombre, direcci"n de correo electr"nico y nºmero de tel(C)fono, cuando se ponga en contacto con nosotros o introduzca cualquier informaci"n de este tipo en nuestros sitios web.
Informaci"n que recabamos de sus cuentas financieras. La informaci"n que recibimos de los proveedores de productos y servicios financieros que mantienen sus cuentas financieras var­a en funci"n de los servicios concretos de Plaid que los desarrolladores utilicen para alimentar sus aplicaciones, as­ como de la informaci"n facilitada por esos proveedores. Sin embargo, en general, recabamos los siguientes tipos de identificadores, informaci"n comercial y otra informaci"n personal de sus proveedores de productos y servicios financieros:
Informaci"n sobre la cuenta, incluyendo nombre de la instituci"n financiera, nombre de la cuenta, tipo de cuenta, titularidad de la cuenta, nºmero de sucursal, IBAN, BIC y nºmero de cuenta y de routing (nºmero de ruta);
Informaci"n sobre el saldo de la cuenta, incluyendo saldo actual y disponible;
Informaci"n sobre cuentas de cr(C)dito, incluidas fechas de vencimiento, saldos adeudados, cantidades de pago y fechas, historial de operaciones, l­mite de cr(C)dito, estado de reembolso y tipo de inter(C)s;
Informaci"n sobre cuentas de pr(C)stamo, incluidas fechas de vencimiento, estado de reembolso, saldos, cantidades de pago y fechas, tipo de inter(C)s, garante, tipo de pr(C)stamo, plan de pagos y plazos;
Informaci"n sobre cuentas de inversi"n, incluida informaci"n de transacciones, tipo de activo, detalles identificativos acerca del activo, cantidad, precio, comisiones y base de coste;
Identificadores e informaci"n sobre el titular o titulares de la cuenta, incluyendo nombre, direcci"n de correo electr"nico, nºmero de tel(C)fono, fecha de nacimiento e informaci"n de la direcci"n;
Informaci"n sobre movimientos de cuentas, incluyendo importe, fecha, beneficiario, tipo, cantidad, precio, ubicaci"n, valores comprendidos y una descripci"n de la transacci"n; e
Informaci"n profesional, incluida informaci"n acerca de su empleador, en casos limitados en los que usted haya conectado sus cuentas de n"mina.
Los datos recabados de sus cuentas financieras incluyen informaci"n de todas sus cuentas (por ejemplo, cuenta corriente, ahorro y tarjeta de cr(C)dito) accesible a trav(C)s de un ºnico conjunto de credenciales de cuenta.
Informaci"n que recibimos de sus dispositivos. Cuando usted usa su dispositivo para conectarse a nuestros servicios a trav(C)s de la aplicaci"n de un desarrollador, recibimos identificadores e informaci"n de actividad de red electr"nica sobre ese dispositivo, incluyendo direcci"n IP, modelo de hardware, sistema operativo, a qu(C) funciones dentro de nuestros servicios accede usted y otra informaci"n t(C)cnica sobre el dispositivo. Adems, usamos cookies o tecnolog­as de seguimiento similares para recabar estad­sticas de uso y para ayudarnos a proporcionar y mejorar nuestros servicios. Puede obtener ms informaci"n sobre c"mo usamos las cookies y sus opciones al respecto en nuestra Pol­tica de cookies.
Informaci"n que recibimos sobre usted de otras fuentes. Tambi(C)n recibimos identificadores e informaci"n comercial sobre usted directamente del desarrollador correspondiente o de otros terceros, incluyendo nuestros proveedores de servicios, socios bancarios y servicios de verificaci"n de identidad. Por ejemplo, los desarrolladores pueden proporcionar informaci"n como su nombre completo, direcci"n de correo electr"nico, nºmero de tel(C)fono o informaci"n sobre sus cuentas financieras y movimientos de cuentas.
Inferencias que derivamos de los datos que recabamos. Es posible que usemos la informaci"n que recabamos sobre usted para derivar inferencias. Por ejemplo, podemos inferir su ubicaci"n o la previsi"n de sus ingresos sobre la base de la informaci"n que hemos recabado sobre usted de otras fuentes.
C"mo utilizamos su informaci"n Utilizamos su Informaci"n de Usuario Final para una serie de fines comerciales y empresariales, incluyendo para hacer funcionar, mejorar y proteger los servicios que prestamos y para desarrollar nuevos servicios. De manera ms espec­fica, utilizamos su Informaci"n de Usuario Final:
para hacer funcionar, prestar y mantener nuestros servicios;
para mejorar, perfeccionar, modificar, ampliar y desarrollar en mayor profundidad nuestros servicios;
para protegerle a usted, a los desarrolladores, a nuestros socios, a Plaid y a otros frente al fraude, actividades maliciosas y otros riesgos relacionados con la privacidad y la seguridad;
para desarrollar nuevos servicios;
para prestarle servicios de atenci"n al cliente a usted o a los desarrolladores, incluyendo para ayudar a responder a las consultas que usted tenga relacionadas con nuestro servicio o las aplicaciones de los desarrolladores;
para investigar cualquier uso inadecuado de nuestro servicio o de las aplicaciones de los desarrolladores, incluyendo violaciones de nuestra Pol­tica de desarrolladores, actividades delictivas u otro acceso no autorizado a nuestros servicios; y
Para otros fines notificados con su consentimiento.
Nuestras bases legitimadoras para el tratamiento (aplicables exclusivamente a usuarios finales del EEE y del Reino Unido) En el caso de las personas que se encuentren en el Espacio Econ"mico Europeo ("EEE") o el Reino Unido, nuestra base legitimadora para el tratamiento de su Informaci"n de Usuario Final depender de la informaci"n en cuesti"n y del contexto en el que la recabamos o la tratamos. Por lo general, sin embargo, normalmente solo recabaremos y trataremos Informaci"n de Usuario Final cuando:
(a) necesitemos cumplir con nuestras responsabilidades y obligaciones en cualquier contrato o acuerdo con usted (por ejemplo, para cumplir con nuestros acuerdos de servicios de usuario final);
(b) para cumplir con nuestras obligaciones legales de conformidad con la normativa aplicable;
(c) el tratamiento sea necesario para nuestros intereses leg­timos y no prevalezcan sus intereses de protecci"n de datos o derechos y libertades fundamentales (por ejemplo, para salvaguardar nuestros servicios, para comunicarnos con usted o para prestar o actualizar nuestros servicios); y
(d) usted haya dado su consentimiento para hacerlo.
En la medida en que nos basemos en el consentimiento para recabar y tratar Informaci"n de Usuario Final, usted tiene el derecho a retirar su consentimiento en cualquier momento conforme a las instrucciones proporcionadas en esta Pol­tica.
C"mo compartimos su informaci"n Compartimos su Informaci"n de Usuario Final para una serie de fines comerciales:
con el desarrollador de la aplicaci"n que est(C) utilizando y segºn las instrucciones de dicho desarrollador (como con otro tercero si usted lo indica);
para el cumplimiento de cualquier contrato con usted;
con nuestros encargados del tratamiento de datos y otros proveedores de servicios, socios o contratistas en relaci"n con los servicios que nos prestan a nosotros o a los desarrolladores;
cuando creamos de buena fe que la comunicaci"n es apropiada para cumplir con la normativa y legislaci"n aplicables o procedimientos legales (por ejemplo, una orden o citaci"n judicial);
en relaci"n con un cambio de titularidad o control de la totalidad o parte de nuestra empresa (por ejemplo, una fusi"n, adquisici"n, reestructuraci"n o quiebra);
entre Plaid y nuestras matrices, filiales y otras empresas bajo control o titularidad comºn presentes y futuras;
en la medida en que consideremos razonablemente apropiado para proteger los derechos, la privacidad, la seguridad o la propiedad de usted, de los desarrolladores, de nuestros socios, de Plaid y de otros; o
para cualquier otra finalidad notificada con su consentimiento.
Podemos recabar, usar y compartir Informaci"n de Usuario Final de forma agregada, "desidentificada" (de-identified) o anonimizada (que no le identifica personalmente) para cualquier finalidad permitida bajo la normativa aplicable. Esto incluye la creaci"n o el uso de datos agregados, "desidentificados" (de-identified) o anonimizados a partir de la informaci"n recabada para desarrollar nuevos servicios y para facilitar la investigaci"n.
No vendemos ni alquilamos la informaci"n personal que recabamos.
Nuestras prcticas de conservaci"n Conservamos la Informaci"n de Usuario Final ºnicamente durante el periodo de tiempo necesario para cumplir con los fines para los cuales fue recabada y utilizada, segºn se describe en esta Pol­tica, salvo que se requiera o permita un periodo de conservaci"n ms amplio en virtud de la normativa aplicable. Segºn lo permita la normativa aplicable, incluso despu(C)s de que usted deje de usar una aplicaci"n o cierre su cuenta con uno o ms desarrolladores, es posible que aºn conservemos su informaci"n (por ejemplo, en caso de que usted aºn tenga una cuenta con otro desarrollador). Sin embargo, su informaci"n solo ser tratada segºn lo requerido legalmente o de acuerdo con esta Pol­tica.
Por favor, rem­tase a la secci"n "Sus derechos en materia de protecci"n de datos" para opciones que puedan estar disponibles para usted, incluido el derecho a solicitar la supresi"n de Informaci"n de Usuario Final. Tambi(C)n puede contactarnos en relaci"n con nuestras prcticas de conservaci"n de datos usando la informaci"n de contacto, ms abajo.
Algunos detalles finales Transferencias internacionales de datos Operamos internacionalmente, y por consiguiente, transferiremos la informaci"n que recabamos acerca de usted a trav(C)s de fronteras internacionales, incluyendo del EEE o del Reino Unido a los Estados Unidos, para el tratamiento y el almacenamiento. En la medida en que la informaci"n que recabemos acerca de usted se transfiera desde el EEE a territorios/pa­ses respecto de los cuales la Comisi"n de la UE no haya adoptado una decisi"n en el sentido de que el marco legal en ese territorio/pa­s proporciona protecci"n adecuada para los derechos y libertades de las personas f­sicas en cuanto a sus datos personales, transferiremos esos datos de conformidad con la normativa aplicable de protecci"n de datos, incluyendo mediante el uso de las clusulas contractuales tipo aprobadas por la Comisi"n de la UE. Puede solicitar una copia de esas clusulas contractuales tipo contactndonos segºn se indica debajo.
Sus derechos en materia de protecci"n de datos De conformidad con la normativa aplicable, y con sujeci"n a las limitaciones y excepciones legalmente establecidas, si usted se encuentra en el EEE o el Reino Unido, y en algunas otras jurisdicciones, es posible que tenga ciertos derechos en relaci"n con la Informaci"n de Usuario Final recabada sobre usted y c"mo se utiliza, incluyendo el derecho a:
acceder a la Informaci"n de Usuario Final recabada sobre usted;
solicitar que rectifiquemos o actualicemos su Informaci"n de Usuario Final que sea inexacta o incompleta;
solicitar, en determinadas circunstancias, que limitemos el tratamiento de su Informaci"n de Usuario Final, o que suprimamos su Informaci"n de Usuario Final;
oponerse a nuestro tratamiento de su Informaci"n de Usuario Final cuando concurran determinadas condiciones legalmente previstas;
cuando el tratamiento de su Informaci"n de Usuario Final se fundamente en el consentimiento, a retirar dicho consentimiento;
solicitar que suministremos la Informaci"n de Usuario Final recabada sobre usted en un formato estructurado, de uso comºn y de lectura mecnica, de forma tal que usted pueda transferirla a otra empresa, cuando sea t(C)cnicamente posible; y
presentar una reclamaci"n relativa a nuestras prcticas en materia de protecci"n de datos ante una autoridad de control (si usted se encuentra en el EEE o el Reino Unido, por favor, consulte el siguiente enlace para obtener la informaci"n de contacto: https://edpb.europa.eu/about-edpb/board/members_es ).
De conformidad con la Ley de Privacidad del Consumidor de California ("CCPA", por sus siglas en ingl(C)s), y con sujeci"n a determinadas limitaciones y excepciones, si usted es un residente de California, es posible que tenga los siguientes derechos con respecto a la Informaci"n de Usuario Final que hemos recabado sobre usted que constituye informaci"n personal de conformidad con la CCPA:
a solicitar el acceso a ms detalles acerca de las categor­as e informaci"n personal espec­fica que podamos haber recabado acerca de usted en los ºltimos 12 meses (incluida informaci"n personal comunicada para fines comerciales);
a solicitar la supresi"n de su informaci"n personal;
a oponerse a cualquier "venta" de su informaci"n personal, en caso de que una empresa est(C) vendiendo su informaci"n; y
a no ser discriminado por ejercer estos derechos.
Para ejercer sus derechos de protecci"n de datos, en su caso, puede presentar una solicitud usando nuestro formulario online ( disponible aqu­ ), o ponerse en contacto con nosotros como se describe abajo en la secci"n "C"mo ponerse en contacto con Plaid". Es posible que se le pida que proporcione informaci"n adicional necesaria para confirmar su identidad antes de que podamos responder a su solicitud.
Examinaremos todas estas solicitudes y proporcionaremos nuestra respuesta dentro de un periodo de tiempo razonable (y dentro de cualquier plazo requerido por la normativa aplicable). No obstante, por favor tenga en cuenta que determinada informaci"n puede estar exenta de dichas solicitudes, por ejemplo, en caso de que necesitemos conservar la informaci"n para cumplir con nuestras propias obligaciones legales o para establecer, ejercer o defender reclamaciones legales.
Cambios en esta Pol­tica Podemos actualizar o cambiar esta Pol­tica cada cierto tiempo. Si efectuamos cualquier actualizaci"n o cambio, publicaremos la nueva pol­tica en el sitio web de Plaid, en https://plaid.com/legal, y actualizaremos la fecha efectiva de aplicaci"n en el encabezamiento de esta Pol­tica. Adems, notificaremos a los desarrolladores cualquier cambio sustancial de conformidad con nuestros acuerdos de desarrolladores, dado que estos suelen estar en mejor posici"n para informar a sus usuarios finales de tales cambios en esta Pol­tica, en su caso.
C"mo ponerse en contacto con Plaid Si usted tiene cualquier pregunta o reclamaci"n sobre esta Pol­tica o sobre nuestras prcticas en materia de privacidad en general, puede ponerse en contacto con nosotros escribi(C)ndonos a privacy@plaid.com, o si prefiere utilizar el correo tradicional, a:
Si usted reside fuera del EEE o del Reino Unido:
Plaid Inc. A/A: Legal PO Box 7775 #35278 San Francisco, California 94120-7775, EE. UU
Si usted reside en el EEE o el Reino Unido:
Plaid Financial Ltd. A/A: Legal New Penderel House, 4th Floor 283-288 High Holborn Londres, Reino Unido, WC1V 7HP
Privacy StatementEffective Date: December 30, 2019
Thank you for using Plaid!
This Privacy Statement explains the ways Plaid Inc. and its subsidiaries, including Plaid Financial Ltd. and Plaid, B.V., (collectively, ''Plaid'', ''we'', ''our'', and ''us'') collect, use, and share information about you in connection with your access to or use of Plaid's websites and our products and services (collectively, ''Services''), and in connection with any other information we collect when you interact with us, except as outlined in the paragraph below. We hope you will take some time to read this Privacy Statement carefully.
Please note that this Privacy Statement does not apply to the information we collect about the end users of our developers' software applications or when you otherwise connect your financial accounts through Plaid, except as otherwise provided herein. If you are an end user of one of our developers' applications or have connected your financial account through Plaid, please refer to our End User Privacy Policy.
Jump to section:
Our Data Practices
Information We Collect and Categories of Sources
How We Use Your Information
Our Lawful Bases for Processing (EEA and UK Only)
How We Share Your Information
Other Details
Advertising and Analytics Services Provided by Others
International Data Transfers and Data Retention
Your Choices
Your Data Protection Rights
Changes to this Statement
Contacting Plaid
Our Data PracticesInformation We Collect and Categories of SourcesAs explained in greater detail below, Plaid has collected identifiers, electronic network activity information, professional information, location information, and other types of information.
Information you provide to Plaid directly. We collect the information you provide directly to us, such as the information you provide when you create a developer account, update your profile, fill out our ''contact us'' form, sign up for our emails, request customer support, enroll in billing, execute a services agreement, complete a compliance questionnaire, or otherwise communicate with us. The types of information we collect include identifiers (such as full name, email address, postal address, phone number, driver's license, and taxpayer identification number), professional information (such as company name and title), and any other information you choose to provide (such as date of birth or personal information you may disclose to us in support messages).
Information we receive when you test our technology. You may provide us with login information for your bank account or other financial account to test and evaluate how our technology will appear and operate in your application. If you test our technology in this way, we collect information as described in our End User Privacy Policy.
Information we collect when you use our Services. When you use our Services, we automatically collect information about you as follows:
Log Information: We collect log files when you use our Services, which includes identifiers and electronic network activity information, such as the type of browser you use, access times, pages viewed, and your IP address.
Approximate Location: We derive the approximate location of the device you use to access our Services from your IP address.
Information Collected by Cookies and Other Tracking Technologies: We use various technologies to collect identifiers and electronic network activity information when you use our Services, including cookies and web beacons. Cookies are small data files stored by your web browser, on your hard drive, or in device memory that help us improve our Services and your experience, determine usage of parts and features of our Services, and monitor for and detect potential harmful conduct. Web beacons are electronic images that are used in our Services or emails and help deliver cookies, count visits, and understand usage and campaign effectiveness. You can find more information about how we use cookies and your related choices in our Cookie Policy.
Information we collect from other sources. We also collect information about you from other sources. For example, we may collect information from other members of your company and from vendors that help us identify new customers, including identifiers, such as your name, email address, and social media profile URL.
How We Use Your InformationWe use the information we collect for the following business and commercial purposes:
To operate, improve, and develop our Services;
To verify your identity and the identities of other members of your company;
To bill developers for our Services and to transmit payment;
To comply with law, such as for tax reporting purposes;
To send you technical notices, updates, security alerts, and administrative messages;
To respond to your comments, questions, inquiries, and customer service requests;
To help personalize the Services experience for you;
To communicate with you about products, services, offers, and events offered or sponsored by Plaid, and to provide news and other information we think may be of interest to you;
To monitor and analyze trends, usage, and activities in connection with our Services;
To detect and prevent fraud, malicious activity, and other illegal activities;
To protect the rights, privacy, safety, or property of Plaid and others; and
For any other purpose described to you when the information was collected.
Our Lawful Bases for Processing (EEA and UK Only)Our legal basis for processing the information we collect related to individuals in the European Economic Area (''EEA'') or the United Kingdom (''UK'') will depend on the information concerned and the context in which we collected or processed it. Generally, however, we will normally only collect and process information where:
we need to fulfill our responsibilities and obligations in any contract or agreement with you;
to comply with our legal obligations under applicable law;
the processing is necessary for our legitimate interests and not overridden by your data protection interests or fundamental rights and freedoms (for example, to provide or update our services); and
you have given your consent to do so.
We share information about you as follows, or as otherwise described in this Privacy Statement:
With our data processors and other service providers, partners, contractors, or vendors in connection with the services they perform for us, including collection agencies in the event of delinquent payments from our developers;
If we believe in good faith that disclosure is appropriate to comply with applicable law, regulation, or legal process (such as a court order or subpoena), including in connection with requests from law enforcement or other governmental authorities;
If we believe your actions are inconsistent with our agreements or policies, or to protect the rights, privacy, safety, or property of Plaid or others;
In connection with a change in ownership or control of all or part of our business (such as a merger, acquisition, reorganization, or bankruptcy);
Between and among Plaid and our current and future parents, affiliates, subsidiaries and other companies under common control or ownership; and
With your consent or at your direction.
We also collect, use, and share aggregated, de-identified, or anonymized information for any purpose permitted under applicable law.
We do not sell or rent personal information that we collect.
Other DetailsAdvertising and Analytics Services Provided by OthersWe allow third parties to provide analytics services and serve advertisements on our behalf across the internet, including Google Analytics. These entities use cookies, web beacons, and other technologies to collect information about your use of the Services and other websites and online services, including your IP address, web browser, pages viewed, time spent on pages, links clicked, and conversion information. This information is used by Plaid and these third parties to, among other things, analyze and track data, determine the popularity of certain content, deliver advertising and content targeted to your interests on our Services and other websites and online services, and to better understand your online activity.
For more information about interest-based ads, including to learn how you may be able to opt out of having your web browsing information used for behavioral advertising purposes, please visit www.aboutads.info/choices; the European Interactive Digital Advertising Alliance (for European users); or the Digital Advertising Alliance of Canada (for Canadian users). And for more information about how Google uses your data, please visit www.google.com/policies/privacy/partners/.
International Data Transfers and Data RetentionWe transfer the information we collect about you across international borders, including from the EEA or UK to the United States, for processing and storage. To the extent that the information we collect about you is transferred from the EEA to territories/countries for which the EU Commission has not made a finding that the legal framework in that territory/country provides adequate protection for individuals' rights and freedoms for their personal data, we will transfer such data consistent with applicable data protection laws, including through the use of the EU Commission-approved standard contractual clauses. You can ask for a copy of these standard contractual clauses by contacting us as set out below.
If you are in the EEA or UK, we retain your personal data for no longer than necessary to achieve the purposes for which it was collected, unless a longer retention period is required under applicable law.
Your ChoicesDeveloper Account Information. You may update information you provide to us as part of your online developer account by logging into your account or by contacting us.
Cookies. You can find more information about how we use cookies and your related choices in our Cookie Policy.
Marketing Communications. You may opt out of receiving marketing emails from Plaid by following the instructions in those emails. If you opt out and are one of our developers, subject to limitations and exceptions provided by law, we may still send you other types of emails, such as those about your account or our ongoing business relations.
Your Data Protection RightsDepending on your jurisdiction, you have certain rights under applicable law regarding the personal data we process, which may include the right to request access or deletion.
In certain jurisdictions, including the EEA and UK, and subject to certain limitations and exceptions, you may have the right to: (i) know how we process your personal data; (ii) request access to or rectification of your personal data; (iii) object to, or request that we restrict, the processing of your personal data; (iv) request that we delete your personal data; (v) request that we provide the personal data you provided to us in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format, for transmission to another controller; (vi) revoke consent at any time where our processing is based on your consent; and (vii) lodge a complaint with your local supervisory authority (if you're in the EEA or UK, please see this page for contact details).
If you are a resident of California, subject to limitations and exceptions provided by law, you have the right to: (i) request access to the categories and specific pieces of personal information collected about you in the last twelve months (including personal information disclosed for business purposes); (ii) request deletion of your personal information; (iii) opt-out of any sales of your personal information if a business is engaged in selling your information; and (iv) not be discriminated against for exercising these rights.
As described above in ''Your Choices,'' if you are one of our developers, you can conveniently access your online account information by logging into your account or by contacting us. To otherwise exercise your data protection rights, where applicable, please submit a request using our online form (available here), or contact us at the contact information provided below. You may be required to provide additional information necessary to confirm your identity before we can respond to your request.
Changes to this StatementWe may update or change this Privacy Statement periodically. If we make any updates or changes, we will notify you by updating the effective date at the top of this Statement. We may also provide notice of any changes through other means, such as placing a notice on our homepage at https://plaid.com or sending you an email. We encourage you to review the Privacy Statement whenever you access the Services or otherwise interact with us to stay informed about our data practices and the choices available to you.
Contacting PlaidIf you have any questions about this Privacy Statement, or our privacy practices generally, please contact us at privacy@plaid.com or by mail at:
If you reside outside the EEA or UK:
Plaid Inc. Attn: Legal PO Box 7775 #35278 San Francisco, California 94120-7775, U.S.A.
If you reside in the EEA or UK:
Plaid Financial Ltd.Attn: LegalNew Penderel House, 4th Floor283-288 High Holborn London, United Kingdom, WC1V 7HP
Candidate Privacy NoticeEffective Date: December 11, 2019
At Plaid, we understand the importance of privacy and transparency. The purpose of this Candidate Privacy Notice (''Notice'') is to explain how Plaid Inc. and its subsidiaries, Plaid Financial Ltd. and Plaid, B.V. (collectively, ''Plaid'', ''we'', ''our'', or ''us''), collect, use, and share personal data and information from and about candidates (''you'' or ''your'') when you, or third-parties acting on your behalf, apply for a position with, or otherwise seek employment with, Plaid (''Candidate Information'').
This Notice applies to anyone who submits Candidate Information through Plaid's Careers page (available at https://plaid.com/careers/), or whose information is otherwise provided to or is collected by Plaid, including by and from recruitment agencies, in connection with an application or search for a position with Plaid. This includes information submitted by you or on your behalf by a third-party.
Please note that if you submit your CV/resume or other Candidate Information through our website, in addition to this Notice, we also process your information as further described in our Privacy Statement.
Jump to section:
Our Data Practices
Information We Collect
How We Use Your Information
How We Share Your Information
Our Lawful Bases for Processing (EEA Candidates Only)
Our Retention Practices
Other Details
International Data Transfers
Your Data Protection Rights (EEA and Canadian Candidates Only
Changes to this Notice
Contacting Plaid
Our Data PracticesInformation We CollectWe collect the following categories of Candidate Information during the job search, application, or interview process with Plaid:
identifiers and contact information, including your full name, address, phone number, email address, or other contact information;
professional or employment-related information, including information in your resume or CV; your work history, certifications, professional licenses, and other experience; and contact details of your former/current employer (when such details contain your personal data);
education information, including information about your degrees and training; transcripts; and academic achievements;
social networking and similar information, such as social media and public profile information, including URLs related to your LinkedIn, Twitter, GitHub, and Portfolio profiles, and your personal website;
demographic information (e.g., race, gender, and veteran status), including additional information you provide in an application form, cover letter, and other work product; and
identifiers and contact information, if you voluntarily submit such information as part of your application.
We collect the following categories of Candidate Information during the job search, application, or interview process with Plaid:
information collected as part of the interview process, such as notes taken from your interview (when they contain your personal data); and personal data included in any take-home project;
information necessary to schedule your interview, including your gender; and identifiers such as your address, your Known Traveler Number, and any frequent traveler details;
details about employment expectations, including, to the extent they contain your personal data, type of employment sought, compensation expectations, willingness to relocate, and other job preferences;
background check information, such as information obtained through reference and background checks, subject to any further permissions or notifications required by applicable law; and
information required to initiate employment, including proof of eligibility to work in a specified country (such as a passport or visa); demographic information such as your date and place of birth, and citizenship; identifiers such as your social security number, national insurance number, other government-issued identifier, tax identifiers and related tax information, and bank account numbers and related information; benefits eligibility information; and other information you provide for the purposes of starting employment or executing an employment agreement.
How We Use Your InformationWe use the Candidate Information collected about you to process your application for employment and to comply with statutory obligations we have in relation to your application, including confirming your eligibility to work in a given location. Your Candidate Information will be used and disclosed only for the purposes of administering and evaluating your application and completing the on-boarding/new hire process, should you be offered and accept a position with Plaid.
We will use your Candidate Information for the following business and commercial purposes:
administering and processing your application, including verifying your identification, experience and other information you submit and, if your application progresses, any interview information and background check information;
communicating with you about your application, including contacting you via phone, email or social media platforms about your application and, if your application progresses, coordinating any interview and background check;
assessing and evaluating your suitability for the role for which you have applied, including verifying your identification, experience and other information you submit and, if your application progresses, any interview information and background check information;
conducting reference and background checks, including criminal records checks, as part of your application, subject to applicable law, including verifying your identification, experience and other information you submit and, if your application progresses, any interview information and background check information;
complying with applicable laws and employment-related requirements, including verifying identification information and information required to initiate employment, for purposes such as confirming ability to legally work in a specific location, setting up payroll, withholdings and benefits, and complying with statutory reporting requirements;
improving our recruitment process, including by generating analytics using Candidate Information to ensure we recruit a diverse set of candidates;
informing you of career opportunities, including other vacancies for which you may be eligible; and
for other notified purposes with your consent.
Please note that if you accept employment with Plaid, your Candidate Information will become part of your employment record and will be used for employment purposes in accordance with applicable law and any applicable Personnel Privacy Notice. If you are not accepted for a role, however, we may still keep your application to allow us to consider you for other career opportunities with Plaid. If you do not want your information retained in the event you are not offered a position, as applicable, please refer to ''Your Data Protection Rights (EEA and Canadian Candidates Only)'' below for options that may be available to you.
We share your personal information with third parties as follows, or as otherwise described in this Notice:
between and among Plaid and our subsidiaries and affiliated entities, as the specific entity you're applying to work for is part of a wider group of companies with headquarters in the United States and offices in various jurisdictions that share human resources and IT systems for processing your application, assessing your suitability for the role, and initiating employment (if applicable);
to law enforcement, government authorities, regulators, and other third parties, such as courts and other authorities, independent external advisers and internal compliance and investigation teams, if we believe such disclosure is in accordance with, or is otherwise required by, any applicable law, regulation, or legal process;
with our data processors and other service providers, including recruitment agencies, in connection with the services they perform for us or on our behalf. Where required, these service providers, partners, contractors, or vendors acting on our behalf will be subject to contractual obligations to implement appropriate technical and organizational measures to safeguard the Candidate Information, and to process it only as instructed.
where it is in our legitimate business interest to grow and develop our business in connection with, or during the negotiations of, any merger, sale of company assets, consolidation or restructuring, financing, or acquisition of all or a portion of our business by or into another company;
as necessary to protect Plaid, including to establish, exercise, or defend against potential, threatened or actual legal claims;
to enforce any contract with you;
in an aggregated or anonymized manner, which does not identify you personally;
to respond to any claims, to protect our rights or the rights of a third party, to protect the safety of any person or to prevent any illegal activity; or
for any other notified purpose with your consent.
Our Lawful Bases for Processing (EEA Candidates Only)For candidates in the European Economic Area (''EEA''), our legal basis for collecting, using, and sharing Candidate Information will depend on the information concerned and the context in which we collected or processed it. In general, however, we will normally only collect and process Candidate Information where:
(a) we need to comply with legal obligations applicable to us (such as applicable immigration and/or employment laws and regulations);(b) we need the information to fulfill our responsibilities in any actual or prospective agreement with you (such as an employment agreement or an offer of employment if you are considered for employment);(c) the processing is necessary for our legitimate interests and not overridden by your data protection interests or fundamental rights and freedoms (such as to ensure a safe working environment for all our team members, and to ensure the reliability of our candidates, and otherwise to administer and process your application, or to communicate with you about your application); and(d) we have your consent to do so.
Where we collect and process special categories of data (for example, race), then we will only process such information:
where we reasonably need to do so in order to comply with our legal obligations as a prospective employer;
where we need to do so in order to assess your working capacity;
where we need to do so to protect your or another person's vital interests (and we are unable to obtain your consent); or
where you have given us your consent.
To the extent we rely on consent to collect and process Candidate Information, you have the right to withdraw or decline your consent at any time by contacting us at people-privacy@plaid.com. Withdrawing your consent will not, however, affect the lawfulness of any processing we conducted prior to your withdrawal, nor will it affect the processing of your personal information conducted in reliance on lawful processing grounds other than consent.
Our Retention PracticesWe retain Candidate Information for no longer than necessary to satisfy the purpose for which it was collected and used, as described in this Notice, unless a longer retention period is required or permitted under applicable law. As noted above, however, if you accept employment with Plaid, your Candidate Information will become part of your employment record and will be used for employment purposes in accordance with applicable law and any applicable Employee Privacy Notice.
Other DetailsInternational Data TransfersWe operate internationally, and as a result, will transfer Candidate Information across international borders, including from the EEA and Canada to the United States, for processing and storage. To the extent that Candidate Information is transferred from the EEA to territories/countries for which the EU Commission has not made a finding that the legal framework in that territory/country provides adequate protection for individuals' rights and freedoms for their personal data, we will transfer such data consistent with applicable data protection laws, including through the use of the EU Commission-approved standard contractual clauses. You can ask for a copy of these standard contractual clauses by contacting us as set out below.
Your Data Protection Rights (EEA and Canadian Candidates Only)Under applicable law, you have certain rights in relation to your Candidate Information. These rights can differ by country and province.
Subject to certain limitations and exceptions, those rights include the right to: (i) know whether we process personal data about you, (ii) request access to or rectification of the personal data we process about you; (iii) object to, or request that we restrict, the processing of your personal data; (iv) request that we delete personal data about you; (v) request that we provide the personal data you provided to us in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format, for transmission to another controller; (vi) revoke consent at any time where our processing is based on your consent; and (vii) lodge a complaint with your local supervisory authority (if you're in the EEA, please see this page for contact details).
If you'd like to exercise any of your rights, where applicable, please contact us using the contact information provided below.
Changes to this NoticeWe may change this Candidate Privacy Notice from time to time. If we make any changes, we will update the effective date at the top of this Notice. In addition, if any of the changes are material and impact your Candidate Information, we will also send you a copy via email.
Contacting PlaidIf you have any questions about this Candidate Privacy Notice, our privacy practices, or the Candidate Information we collect about you, or have requests related to such Candidate Information, you can contact us at people-privacy@plaid.com or by mail at
If you are applying for a job with Plaid Inc. (located in the United States):
Plaid Inc. Attn: Legal PO Box 7775 #35278 San Francisco, California 94120-7775, U.S.A.
If you are applying for a job with Plaid Financial Ltd. (located in the United Kingdom) or Plaid, B.V. (located in The Netherlands):
Plaid Financial Ltd.Attn: LegalNew Penderel House, 4th Floor283-288 High Holborn London, United Kingdom, WC1V 7HP
End User Services Agreement (US)Effective Date: July 1, 2019
Thanks for using Plaid! Plaid provides a platform (''Platform'') that allows you and other end users to connect yourbank accounts and other financial accounts (''Accounts'') with applications that can help you do things like save forretirement, manage your spending, streamline credit applications or transfer money (''Apps'').
This End User Services Agreement (US) (''Agreement'') is an agreement between you and Plaid Inc. (''Plaid'',''we'' or ''us''). By accepting this Agreement or accessing my.plaid.com or your Plaid profile, you agree to thisAgreement and certify that you have all necessary rights to do so. If you are accepting on behalf of your employer oranother entity, you represent and warrant that: (i) you have full legal authority to bind your employer or such entityto this Agreement; (ii) you have read and understand this Agreement; and (iii) you agree to this Agreement on behalf ofthe party that you represent. If you do not have the legal authority to bind your employer or the applicable entity,please do not accept this Agreement or access the features covered by this Agreement.
Please note that this Agreement does not apply to the services we provide to the developers of Apps. Those services arecovered by our Developer Terms of Use and other terms.
my.plaid.com.
You can use my.plaid.com to manage connections between your Accounts and Apps. my.plaid.com is designed to empower youwith greater control over your financial data, but the decision to use any App remains yours. Your use of any App andAccount, and the App and Account providers' use of your data, is governed by separate terms between you and theapplicable providers. Plaid is not responsible for any Apps or Accounts provided by third parties or the acts oromissions of any third-party providers, and does not guarantee that any Apps or Accounts will remain available orcompatible with the Platform.
Plaid Profile Creation.
You need to create an profile with Plaid in order to use certain features of the Platform, including certain features ofmy.plaid.com. You also need to ensure that your information is accurate, complete and up-to-date. You must notify us ifyou learn of any unauthorized access to or use of your Plaid Profile.
Control and Responsibilities.
You represent and warrant that you have all necessary rights to use your Accounts and Apps with the Platform, and youagree to comply with all laws and regulations applicable to your use, as well as any rules and guidelines that we post.You must not (1) use or access anyone else's Accounts or related data, (2) submit information about anyone else'sidentity or Accounts or that violates any third-party rights or (3) use the Platform for any fraudulent, illegal ormisleading purpose. You also agree not to (a) modify, reverse engineer or seek to gain unauthorized access to thePlatform or related systems, data or source code, (b) bypass or circumvent measures designed to prevent or limit accessto any part of the Platform, (c) rent, lease, provide access to or sublicense any elements of the Platform to a thirdparty or use the Platform on behalf of or to provide services to third parties, (d) copy, modify or create derivativeworks of the Platform or remove any of Plaid's proprietary notices, (e) access the Platform for competitive purposes orpublish any benchmark or performance information about the Platform, or (f) use the Platform in any manner that coulddamage, disable, overburden, or impair the functioning of the Platform or interfere with, disrupt or negatively affectother users.
How Plaid Uses Your Data.
Please review our End User Privacy Policy to learn how Plaid usesdata related to your Accounts (e.g., your Account login information and balance information). You should also refer toour Privacy Statement and CookiePolicy for information about what we collect from the use of our websites. Ifyou have questions, contact us at privacy@plaid.com.
Rights to the Platform.
Note that Plaid owns all right, title and interest (including intellectual property rights) in and to the Platform(including my.plaid.com and Plaid Profile features) and our related websites and technology. If you choose to give usfeedback, suggestions or other inputs about the Platform, we may use them without restriction.
Our Disclaimers.
TO THE EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW, THE PLATFORM (INCLUDING MY.PLAID.COM AND PLAID PROFILES) IS PROVIDED ''AS IS'' AND ''ASAVAILABLE,'' AND ANY USE IS AT YOUR DISCRETION AND RISK. PLAID, ITS AFFILIATES AND ITS AND THEIR SUPPLIERS MAKE NOWARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, STATUTORY OR OTHERWISE, INCLUDING WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, TITLE, FITNESS FOR APARTICULAR PURPOSE OR NONINFRINGEMENT. PLAID DOES NOT WARRANT THAT USE WILL BE UNINTERRUPTED OR ERROR-FREE, THAT ANY OFYOUR DATA WILL BE ACCURATE OR COMPLETE OR THAT PLAID WILL MAINTAIN ANY DATA WITHOUT LOSS.
Liabilities for our Platform. TO THE EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW, PLAID, ITS AFFILIATES AND ITS AND THEIR SUPPLIERS WILLNOT BE RESPONSIBLE FOR: (A) ANY LOST PROFITS, LOSS OF USE, LOST OR INACCURATE DATA, FAILURE OF SECURITY MECHANISMS,FINANCIAL LOSSES, OR ANY INDIRECT, SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL, RELIANCE OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES OF ANY KIND OR (B) ANY DAMAGESOR AMOUNTS EXCEEDING, IN THE AGGREGATE, THE GREATER OF (1) THE AMOUNT YOU PAID US TO USE THE PLATFORM AND (2) ONEHUNDRED U.S. DOLLARS (US $100).
Dispute Resolution.
We hope you will have a positive experience using our Platform, but should a dispute between us arise out of orrelating to these Terms, we agree to resolve the dispute by following these steps:
Send us a notice, according to the Notices section below, describing the dispute and including all relevant factsso we know how to help you. Within 5 business days after our receipt of your notice, we will reach out to discuss your dispute with you. If we're not able to resolve your dispute during our discussion, you will send us a written proposal for resolvingyour dispute.Within 15 business days after our receipt of your written proposal, we will let you know whether we agree to yourproposal, or we will provide you with a counter-proposal. After Step 4, it's up to you to decide whether you'd like to continue to negotiate with us to resolve your dispute, orwhether you'd like to pursue a resolution through some other means.
Throughout this process, both you and Plaid agree to negotiate in good faith and according to the terms of thissection to resolve the dispute before resorting to litigation or some other form of dispute resolution procedure. Allnegotiations (including your notice, our discussions, and your and our proposals) pursuant to this section areconfidential and treated as compromise and settlement negotiations for the purposes of federal and state rules ofevidence and procedure.
Notices.
Plaid may provide notices or communications to you through the email associated with your Plaid profile, throughmy.plaid.com or through other reasonable methods. All notices, requests and other communications to Plaid under thisAgreement must be in writing to Plaid Inc., Attention: Legal, P.O. Box 7777 #35278, San Francisco, CA 94120-7775 (with acourtesy copy to legalnotices@plaid.com) and will be deemed given when delivered.
Ending This Agreement.
At any time in its discretion, Plaid may terminate or suspend this Agreement (or your use of the Platform) with orwithout notice and for any or no reason, including if Plaid suspects that you have violated this Agreement. Plaid willhave no liability to you for any termination or suspension, nor will such action limit any other rights or remediesPlaid may have. Except for your right to use the Platform, this Agreement will survive any termination.
About This Agreement.
This Agreement may not be transferred or assigned by you without Plaid's prior written consent. Plaid may assign ortransfer this Agreement to its affiliates or in connection with a merger, sale, reorganization or other change ofcontrol. In addition, Plaid's affiliates, contractors and service providers may exercise Plaid's rights or fulfill itsobligations under this Agreement. Waivers must be in writing and no waivers will be implied. If any provision of thisAgreement is held by a court of competent jurisdiction to be unenforceable for any reason, the remaining provisions willremain unaffected and in full force and effect. This Agreement is the final, complete and exclusive agreement betweenyou and us relating the subject matter of this Agreement and supersedes all prior or contemporaneous understandings andagreements relating to such subject matter, whether oral or written. In this Agreement, headings are for convenienceonly and the term ''including'' (and similar terms) will be construed without limitation.
Plaid may modify this Agreement from time to time. Unless we specify otherwise, modifications take effect (and governfuture use of the Platform, including my.plaid.com and your Plaid Profile) when we post the modified version. Plaid willuse reasonable efforts to notify you of the modifications, and you may be required to agree to the modified version. Ifyou do not agree to the modifications, your sole remedy is to cease using the Platform.
End User Services Agreement (UK)Last Updated: 9 August 2019
Thank you for using Plaid!
This End User Services Agreement ("Agreement") is a legal agreement between Plaid Financial Ltd. ("Plaid", "we" or "us") and the end user of our Services ("you", "your"). This Agreement only applies when we provide account information services to you in the UK, and when we transmit retrieved data related to such services to third parties on your behalf in the UK ("Services"). Such third parties include the owner or provider of the website, desktop and/or mobile application through which you have accessed our Services ("Application").
This Agreement describes the terms and conditions that apply to your use of the Services. You may not access or use the Services unless you agree to comply with all of the terms and conditions in this Agreement. You should therefore read this Agreement carefully and make sure you understand it. If you do not understand any of the terms and conditions of this Agreement, please contact us before using the Services by emailing us at regulatory@plaid.com.
You may view an up-to-date copy of this Agreement at any time at https://plaid.com/legal/.
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Plaid
Plaid Services
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Data
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Changes to this Agreement
Termination
Governing law and language
1. Plaid
1.1 Plaid Financial Ltd. (company registration number 11103959) is registered with the Financial Conduct Authority under the Payment Services Regulations 2017 for the provision of account information services (firm reference number 804718).
1.2 Plaid's registered office address is New Penderel House, 4th Floor, 283-288 High Holborn, London WC1V 7HP. Plaid's trading address is 35-41 Folgate Street, London, E1 6BX.
2. Plaid Services
2.1 You have accessed our Services through an Application or within the Plaid dashboard (available at https://my.plaid.com/). The products and services provided to you by the Application are governed by a separate agreement between you and the provider of the Application ("Application Terms"). We have no responsibility for the products and services provided to you by or through the Application and will not be liable to you for any harm, damage or loss arising from your use of the products and services provided by or through the Application.
2.2 Our Services will allow you to obtain financial information from your online bank or payment account ("Payment Account") (account information services).
2.3 The terms and conditions that apply to the Payment Accounts that you access through our Services (the "Account Terms") will remain in effect and this Agreement does not change your Account Terms.
2.4 We will not charge you for the use of our Services. Applications or other third parties may, however, charge you for products and services provided to you that make use of the Services provided by Plaid under this Agreement. Application providers and other third parties may pay us fees and other amounts in connection with the services we provide to them.
Account information services
2.5 Plaid's account information services allow you to access and view information relating to your selected Payment Account within the Plaid dashboard (available at https://my.plaid.com/) and the Application through which you have accessed our Services.
2.6 To access the Plaid dashboard, you need to create an account with Plaid. You also need to ensure that your information is accurate, complete and up-to-date. You must follow best practices to help secure your Plaid account and notify us if you learn of any unauthorised access to or use of your Plaid account.
2.7 With your explicit consent, we access and display information relating to your selected Payment Account(s) ("Account Information") within the Plaid dashboard and transmit such information to the Application through which you have accessed our Services. Such information may include: a. financial transaction history, for example, transaction amount, data, description and currency; b. financial account details, for example, account number, type, currency and balance; and c. financial account holder information, for example, name, address, phone number, and email address.
2.8 Before receiving Plaid's account information service, you will have instructed the Application through which you have accessed our Services to retrieve your Account Information using Plaid. Upon such an instruction, you will generally be redirected to us.
2.9 Once you are redirected to us, we will ask you to select which Payment Account provider ("Account Provider") you would like us to access Account Information from. You will give your explicit consent to us accessing your Account Information from the Account Provider you have selected. Plaid will request your Account Information from your Account Provider on a periodic basis in accordance with your consent until the consent expires or is withdrawn.
2.10 Please note, you may be redirected to your Account Provider's website or mobile application in order to authenticate yourself so that your Account Provider knows that you consent to us accessing your Account Information.
2.11 Alternatively, in some circumstances, we may ask you to provide us with the login details for your Payment Account. By providing us with your Payment Account login details, you confirm that you have all the necessary rights, permissions and authority to share your login details and Account Information with us, and you grant us explicit consent to use your login details to access your Payment Account to obtain the necessary Account Information on your behalf and at your direction in order to provide you with the Services.
2.12 Once we have accessed your Account Information we may: a. share your Account Information with the Application through which you have accessed our Services; b. share your Account Information with third parties as directed by the Application through which you have accessed our Services provided, however, that you have explicitly consent to such sharing; c. display your Account Information on the Plaid dashboard; or d. use your Account Information as set out in paragraph 5.1 and as otherwise described in this Agreement.
2.13 You agree to us sharing the Account Information we have accessed from your Account Provider with the Application through which you have accessed our Services, and with third parties as directed by that Application provided you have explicitly consented to such sharing. Such sharing allows the Application to provide you with products and services in accordance with the Application Terms.
2.14 We do not check the accuracy of the Account Information retrieved from your Account Provider and we rely on your Account Provider to ensure that your Account Information is up to date and accurate.
2.15 We may standardize, categorize, merge, aggregate, and otherwise process your Account Information before displaying your Account Information on the Plaid dashboard, sharing it with the Application through which you have accessed our Services, or sharing it with third parties as directed by that Application with your explicit consent.
2.16 You may withdraw or vary your consent for Plaid to provide account information services at any time.
3. Eligibility and Availability
3.1 You can only use the Services if: a. you are 18 or over; b. you are a resident in and using our Services from the UK; c. you provide us with accurate, complete, and up-to-date information, and do not misrepresent your identity or any other information about you; d. you agree to this Agreement, and to using our Services in accordance with this Agreement; and e. you agree to comply with all laws and regulations applicable to your use.
3.2 The Services that are available and the manner in which the Services are delivered may vary depending on the type of device you are using, the type of Payment Account(s) you have, the Account Terms and the Application Terms.
4. Communication
4.1 Where relevant, Plaid may send you information and notifications to your email address or mobile number via SMS where Plaid considers this appropriate.
4.2 If your contact details (including your mobile phone number or email address) change, you should tell us as soon as you can. You are responsible for maintaining and regularly checking your device or email inbox for information and notifications from Plaid.
4.3 You can contact Plaid by emailing us at regulatory@plaid.com.
5. Data
5.1 We use your information in line with our End User Privacy Policy (''Privacy Policy'') which can be found on our website at https://plaid.com/legal/#end-user-privacy-policy. If you are not comfortable with how we handle your information as explained in the Privacy Policy, you should not use our Service.
6. Liability
6.1 Plaid will not be liable to refund you for any losses caused by circumstances beyond our control, for example, due to extreme weather, terrorist activity or industrial action.
6.2 Plaid is not liable for any contravention of a requirement imposed on it by or under Part 7 of the Payment Services Regulations 2017 where the contravention is due to: a. abnormal or unforeseeable circumstances beyond Plaid's control, the consequences of which would have been unavoidable despite all efforts to the contrary; or b. the obligations of Plaid under other provisions of EU or national law.
6.3 Nothing excludes or limits our liability for: a. death or personal injury caused by our negligence; b. our fraud or fraudulent misrepresentation; or c. a deliberate breach of this Agreement in a major way that is designed to harm you.
6.4 We are not liable to you for any harm, damage or loss to you arising from the acts or omissions of any third parties, in particular your Account Provider(s) and the Application through which you have accessed our Services.
7. Complaints
7.1 If you have a complaint about our Services, please email us at regulatory@plaid.com so that Plaid can investigate the circumstances for you. We will aim to deal quickly and fairly with any complaints you have about our Services in accordance with our obligations under applicable law. Plaid may, however, direct you to: a. your Account Provider, if your complaint relates to the services provided under the Account Terms; or b. the Application through which you accessed our Services, if your complaint relates to the products and/or services provided by the Application under the Application Terms.
7.2 If your complaint relates to our Services and we do not resolve it, you may be able to refer it to the UK Financial Ombudsman Service. You can contact the UK Financial Ombudsman by telephone on: from inside the UK: 0300 123 9123 or 0800 023 4567; from other countries: +44 20 7964 0500 on Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm and on Saturday 9am to 1pm; by post at The Financial Ombudsman Service, Exchange Tower, London E14 9SR; or by email: complaint.info@financial-ombudsman.org.uk. The UK Financial Ombudsman Service is also available in a number of different languages and if you need it you will be put in touch with a translator when you contact the UK Financial Ombudsman Service.
7.3 Plaid is not responsible for any complaints or disputes about products and/or services provided by the Application through which you accessed our Services, other third parties, or your Account Provider. You should settle these with the Application, third party, or Account Provider directly.
8. Changes to this Agreement
8.1 Plaid reserves the right to change this Agreement at any time. Plaid will take into account your interests affected by the intended changes and will only make changes that we consider to be reasonable.
8.2 We will give you at least two months' prior written notice via, at a minimum, the contact details you have supplied to us of any intended material change to this Agreement along with the new version of the Agreement.
8.3 If you do not agree with the proposed change(s) you must tell us using the Plaid contact details set out in paragraph 4.3 before that change takes effect and you will have the right to terminate this Agreement at any time before the proposed date of their entry into force. If you do not contact us in order to tell us that you do not accept the changes and request to terminate this Agreement you will be deemed to have accepted the change(s) to the Agreement.
9. Termination
9.1 The contract between you and Plaid which is set out in this Agreement and which governs your use of the Services will continue until cancelled in accordance with this paragraph 10.
9.2 You have the right to cancel the contract between us, which is set out in this Agreement, at any time without notice by contacting Plaid using the Plaid contact details set out at paragraph 4.3.
9.3 We may cancel the contract with you, with immediate effect, by giving written notice: a. if you repeatedly break this Agreement and fail to resolve the matter to Plaid's satisfaction in a timely manner; or b. in the event of your death or incapacity.
9.4 We may cancel this Agreement with you for any reason by giving you at least 2 months' written notice.
10. Governing law and language
10.1 This Agreement is governed by English law and is subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the English Courts.
10.2 This Agreement is in English and all communications with you will be in English.
Developer PolicyEffective Date: December 30, 2019
This Developer Policy ("Policy") provides rules and guidelines that govern access to or use by our developers (''you'' or ''your'') of the Plaid API, websites (''Site''), dashboards, related tools, and other products or services (collectively, the "Service") provided by Plaid Inc. and its subsidiaries, including Plaid Financial Ltd. and Plaid, B.V. (''Plaid'', ''we'', ''our'', and ''us''). Any violation of this Policy may result in suspension or termination of your access to the Service and/or access to end users' personal and financial information ("End User Data").
By accessing and using the Service, you agree to comply with all the terms of this Policy. This Policy will apply each time you access or use the Service. If you are agreeing to the terms of this Policy on behalf of an organization or entity, you represent and warrant that you are so authorized to agree on behalf of that organization or entity. This Policy is important; please read it carefully.
We may update or change this Policy at any time in our discretion. If we make any changes to this Policy that we deem to be material, we will make a reasonable effort to inform you of such change. If you don't agree with the change, you are free to reject it; unfortunately, that means you will no longer be able to use the Service.
Jump to section:
Registration
Compliance with Applicable Law
Security
Data Storage
Account Deactivation
Prohibited Conduct
Suspension and Termination
Reporting Violations
Miscellaneous
RegistrationTo sign up for the Service, you must create an account ("Account") by registering on our Site and providing true, accurate, and complete information about yourself and your use of the Service. You agree not to misrepresent your identity or any information that you provide for your Account, and to keep your Account information up to date at all times. It is your responsibility to maintain access to your Account; you may never share your Account information, including your Plaid Dashboard password, as well as your API authentication credentials, including your Client Identification Number (''Client ID'') and secret, with a third party or allow any other application or service to act as you.
If you become aware of any unauthorized use of your Account or any other breach of security, please immediately notify us via email to security@plaid.com.
Compliance with Applicable LawWhen using the Service, you must abide by all applicable local, state, national, and international laws. You also confirm that you, your business, your employees, your service providers, and any others acting on your behalf adhere to all applicable laws, especially those pertaining to financial data and to data protection, privacy and data security.
In addition, you certify that you, your officers, directors, shareholders, direct and indirect parent entities, subsidiaries, and affiliates:
are and will remain in compliance with all applicable import, re-import, sanctions, anti-boycott, export, and re-export control laws and regulations (including all such laws and regulations that apply to a U.S. company, such as the Export Administration Regulations, the International Traffic in Arms Regulations, and economic sanctions programs implemented by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC));
are not subject to, or owned by parties that are subject to, sanctions or otherwise identified on any sanctions-related list, including but not limited to lists maintained by the United States government (such as the List of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons, maintained by OFAC, the Entity List maintained by the U.S. Commerce Department's Bureau of Industry and Security, and the CAATSA section 231(d) list maintained by the U.S. State Department), the United Nations Security Council, the United Kingdom, the European Union or its Member States, or other applicable government authority; and
are not engaging, and will not engage, in activities which may require or permit any applicable government authority to pursue an enforcement action against, or impose economic sanctions on you or us.
The certifications immediately above are not sought, and are not provided, if and to the extent such request or certification would constitute a violation of the EU Blocking Statute, of laws or regulations implementing the EU Blocking Statute in the EU Member States or in the United Kingdom, or any similar anti-boycott, non-discrimination, or blocking provisions foreseen in applicable local laws.
You are solely responsible for ensuring that your use of the Service is in compliance with all laws applicable to you, including without limitation, the rules and guidelines of any system or network that facilitates payments and any security requirements, including under the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI-DSS), as may be applicable to you.
SecurityYou are responsible for securely maintaining your Plaid Dashboard username and password, as well as your API authentication credentials, including your Client ID and secret. You must notify us immediately in the event of any breach of security or unauthorized use of your Account or any End User Data. You must never publish, distribute, or share your Client ID or secret, and must encrypt this information in storage and during transit.
Your systems and application(s) must handle End User Data securely. With respect to End User Data, you should follow industry best practices but, at a minimum, must perform the following:
Maintain administrative, technical, and physical safeguards that are designed to ensure the security, privacy, and confidentiality of End User Data.
Use modern and industry standard cryptography when storing or transmitting any End User Data.
Maintain reasonable access controls to ensure that only authorized individuals that have a business need have access to any End User Data.
Monitor your systems for any unauthorized access. Patch vulnerabilities in a timely fashion. Log and review any events suggesting unauthorized access.
Plan for and respond to security incidents.
Comply with relevant rules and regulations with regard to the type of data you are handling, such as the Safeguards Rule.
Data StorageAny End User Data in your possession must be stored securely and in accordance with applicable laws.
Account DeactivationOnce you stop using the Service in accordance with any applicable agreement you may have with us, you may deactivate your Account by following the instructions on the Site. We may also deactivate your Account if you have ceased using the Service for three months; your applicable agreement with us terminates or expires; or as reasonably necessary under applicable law. After your Account deactivation, we will deprovision your access to all End User Data associated with your integration.
Even after your Account deactivation, and to the extent permitted under applicable law, we may still retain any information we collected about you for as long as necessary to fulfill the purposes outlined in our privacy policy/statement, or for a longer retention period if required or permitted under applicable law.
Prohibited ConductYou agree not to, and agree not to assist or otherwise enable any third party to:
sell or rent End User Data to marketers or any other third party;
access or use the Service or End User Data for any unlawful, infringing, threatening, abusive, obscene, harassing, defamatory, deceptive, or fraudulent purpose;
collect and store end users' bank credentials and/or End User Data other than as required to access or use the Service, as authorized by the end user, as permitted by Plaid, and as permitted under applicable law;
use, disclose, or retain any ''nonpublic personal information'' (as defined under the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act) or ''personal information'' (as defined under the California Consumer Privacy Act) other than in strict compliance with applicable law;
use, disclose, or otherwise process any ''personal data'' (as defined in Regulation (EU) 2016/679 (General Data Protection Regulation)) other than in strict compliance with applicable law;
access or use the Service or access, transmit, process, or store End User Data in violation of any applicable privacy laws or in any manner that would be a breach of contract or agreement with the applicable end user;
access or use the Service to infringe any patent, trademark, trade secret, copyright, right of publicity, or other right of any person or entity;
access or use the Service for any purpose other than for which it is provided by us, including for competitive evaluation, spying, creating a substitute or similar service to any of the Service, or other nefarious purpose;
scan or test (manually or in an automated fashion) the vulnerability of any Plaid infrastructure without express prior written permission from Plaid;
breach, disable, interfere with, or otherwise circumvent any security or authentication measures or any other aspect of the Service;
overload, flood, or spam any part of the Service;
create developer accounts for the Service by any means other than our publicly-supported interfaces (e.g., creating developer accounts in an automated fashion or otherwise in bulk);
transfer, syndicate, or otherwise distribute the Service or End User Data without express prior written permission from Plaid;
decipher, decompile, disassemble, copy, reverse engineer, or attempt to derive any source code or underlying ideas or algorithms of any part of the Service, except as permitted by applicable law;
modify, translate, or otherwise create derivative works of any part of the Service;
access or use the Service or End User Data in a manner that violates any agreement between you or the end user and Plaid; or
access or use the Service or End User Data in a manner that violates any applicable law, statute, ordinance, or regulation.
Suspension and TerminationWe reserve the right to withhold, refuse, or terminate access to the Service and/or End User Data in whole or in part where we believe the Service is being accessed or used in violation of this Policy or any other Plaid agreement, including Plaid's agreements with any third party partners or data sources of Plaid (each, a ''Partner''), or where use would pose a risk of harm, including reputational harm, to Plaid, its infrastructure, its data, the Service, an end user, or a Partner.
We will use reasonable efforts to notify you via email or other method when deciding to withhold, refuse, or terminate access to the Service and/or End User Data. We may immediately suspend or terminate access without notice if appropriate under the circumstances, such as when we become aware of activity that is a violation of any applicable law or when we determine, in our sole discretion, that harm is imminent.
Plaid will not be liable for any damages of any nature suffered by you or any third party resulting from Plaid's exercise of its rights under this Policy or under applicable law.
Reporting ViolationsIf any person becomes aware of a violation of this Policy, we request that you immediately notify us via email to legalnotices@plaid.com. We may take any appropriate action -- including reporting any activity or conduct that we suspect violates the law to appropriate law enforcement officials, regulators, or other appropriate third parties -- in our sole discretion in respect to such violations.
MiscellaneousThe failure by you or Plaid to exercise in any respect any right provided for herein shall not be deemed a waiver of any further rights hereunder.
If any provision of this Policy is found to be unenforceable or invalid, that provision shall be limited or eliminated to the minimum extent necessary so that this Policy shall otherwise remain in full force and effect and enforceable.
Cookie PolicyEffective Date: December 30, 2019
This Cookie Policy (''Policy'') explains how Plaid Inc. and its subsidiaries, including Plaid Financial Ltd. and Plaid, B.V., (collectively, ''we'', ''our'', or ''us''), and trusted third parties, use cookies on our websites and other online services (collectively the ''Services''), as well as your choices related to those cookies. Please review this Policy to learn more about the types of cookies we use, why we use them, and how you can control or limit the use of cookies.
To find out more about our privacy practices, please refer to our End User Privacy Policy and our Privacy Statement.
Jump to section:
What are cookies?
How We Use Cookies
Your Choices
Changes to This Policy
Contacting Us
What Are CookiesCookies are small data files stored on your browser or device, which can be in the form of session cookies (which expire once you close your web browser) or persistent cookies (which stay on your browser for a set period of time or until you delete them). They generally contain information such as website preferences, user settings, and browsing history. This information helps us recognize you as you interact with or revisit our Services.
Cookies may be served by the entity that operates the website you are visiting (''first-party cookies'') or by other companies (''third-party cookies''). For example, we use first-party cookies to remember your settings and preferences, such as language and location. We also integrate third-party analytics cookies, like Google Analytics, onto our websites to help us understand how you are using our websites so that we can improve them.
We also use other technologies that function similarly to cookies. For instance, we use web beacons (also called pixels), which are small images on a web page or in an email. Web beacons collect information about your browser or device and can set cookies. In addition, we use local storage, which allows data to be stored locally on your browser or device.
How We Use CookiesWe use cookies for a number of reasons, like helping us determine the popularity of certain content, improving our Services and your experience, and to better understand your online activity. The cookies we use generally fall into one or more of the following categories:
Category of CookiesHow We Use These CookiesEssentialThese cookies are strictly necessary for our Services to function properly. Some of our Services depend on these cookies and may not work properly, or at all, if they are disabled.SecurityWe use these cookies to help identify and mitigate potential security risks.PreferencesWe use these cookies to remember your settings and preferences, such as language and location, when you use our Services.AnalyticsWe use these cookies to better understand how you interact with our Services so that we can improve them.For example, we may use these cookies to determine if you have interacted with certain content or features. We can also use these cookies to learn more about which features are the most popular with our users and where we may need to make improvements.
AdvertisingWe and our trusted advertising partners use these cookies to display advertisements, to make advertisements more relevant to visitors to our websites, and to track the efficiency of any advertising campaigns, both on our Services and on other websites.Your ChoicesYou have the right to choose whether or not to accept cookies. However, since cookies can be an important part of how our Services work, if you remove or reject cookies, this could affect the availability and functionality of our Services.
Below are some options to control or limit how cookies are used on our Services:
You can usually manage settings to remove or reject browser cookies manually within your browser's configuration settings. To manage these settings, please follow the instructions given by your browser.
To prevent your data from being used by Google Analytics, you can install Google's opt-out browser add-on.
For information on how our advertising partners may allow you to opt out of receiving ads based on your web browsing history, please visit http://optout.aboutads.info/. In addition, European users should visit European Interactive Digital Advertising Alliance and Canadian users should visit Digital Advertising Alliance of Canada to learn more about how to opt out of receiving these types of ads.
Changes to This PolicyWe may update or change the cookies (or similar technologies) we use from time to time. The most up-to-date version of this Policy will be posted on our website at https://plaid.com/legal, and if we make any changes, we will update the effective date at the top of the Policy. We recommend that you check back periodically for any changes.
Contacting UsIf you have any questions about our use of cookies or this Policy, you can contact us at privacy@plaid.com.
Short Message Service (SMS) TermsEffective Date: September 3, 2019
By agreeing to these Short Message Service Terms (''SMS Terms''), you consent to receive automated SMS messages from Plaid Inc. (''Plaid''), and any of its SMS-related service providers (''service providers''), including through the use of an automatic telephone dialing system, at the telephone number you have selected. Message and data rates may apply.
By agreeing to these SMS Terms, you also authorize your wireless operator to disclose your mobile number, name, address, email, network status, customer type, customer role, billing type, mobile device identifiers (IMSI and IMEI) and other subscriber and device details, if available, to Plaid and service providers for the duration of the business relationship, solely for identity verification and fraud avoidance. See our Privacy Policy for how we treat your data.
If you do not wish to receive SMS messages from Plaid or its service providers, or if you no longer want your wireless operator to share information about you with Plaid or its service providers, you agree to reply STOP to any SMS message from Plaid or sent on behalf of Plaid in order to opt out of the SMS message notifications. You may receive an additional SMS message confirming your decision to opt out.
Changes to our legal policiesOur mission at Plaid is to enable innovation in financial services. As a result, we're constantly working to improve our existing services, and to develop new services that give developers the ability to create amazing products, and for end users to connect their financial data to their favorite apps.
As we make changes to our services, we review and update our legal policies to reflect those changes. Additionally, we may periodically revise and reorganize the language in our policies to make them easier to follow and understand.
Stay up to date by reviewing highlights from the most recent changes to our policies below. And if you have any questions about the changes, please reach out to us at privacy@plaid.com.
2019-12-30
We updated our End User Privacy Policy, Privacy Statement, Developer Policy, and Cookie Policy.
2019-12-12
We added our Candidate Privacy Notice to our website.
2019-12-05
We added our End User Services Agreement (US) and the SMS Terms to our website.
2019-08-27
We added our End User Services Agreement (UK) to our website.
2019-05-29
We added information to our End User Privacy Policy and Privacy Statement to address requirements of the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation. Additionally, we added more details about the information we collect from end users. Lastly, we translated our End User Privacy Policy into Spanish.
2019-05-06
We added our Cookie Policy to the website.
CISA alerts on NSA-discovered Windows 10 flaw -- FCW
Tue, 14 Jan 2020 16:43
Cybersecurity
CISA alerts on NSA-discovered Windows 10 flaw By Derek B. JohnsonJan 14, 2020The National Security Agency informed Microsoft about the existence of a previously unidentified flaw in the Windows 10 operating system that could allow a Man in the Middle attacker to spoof public key infrastructure certificates of trusted individuals.
Microsoft moved quickly to issue patches during its regular Patch Tuesday updates and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency issued an emergency directive the same day giving federal agencies 10 business days to ensure the patches are applied to "all affected endpoints on agency information systems" as well as new or existing disabled endpoints.
"Agencies should prioritize patching mission critical systems and High Value Assets (HVAs), internet-accessible systems, and servers," the directive states. "Agencies should then apply the patch to the remaining endpoints."
Public Key Infrastructure is used to authenticate users and securely associate cryptographic keys with users and devices. Attackers could use the vulnerability to trick users into installing "updates" from trusted parties that are actually malware.
"It bypasses the trust store, allowing unwanted or malicious software to masquerade as authentically signed by a trusted or trustworthy organization, which may deceive users or thwart malware detection methods like anti-virus," the CISA directive states.
While cybersecurity experts are still debating the severity of the flaw, the notification (and public confirmation) from NSA is rare and indicates that the agency views the potential for harm as serious.
"NSA assesses the vulnerability to be severe and that sophisticated cyber actors will understand the underlying flaw very quickly and, if exploited, would render the previously mentioned platforms as fundamentally vulnerable," the agency wrote in a cybersecurity directive released Tuesday.
About the Author
Derek B. Johnson is a senior staff writer at FCW, covering governmentwide IT policy, cybersecurity and a range of other federal technology issues.
Prior to joining FCW, Johnson was a freelance technology journalist. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, GoodCall News, Foreign Policy Journal, Washington Technology, Elevation DC, Connection Newspapers and The Maryland Gazette.
Johnson has a Bachelor's degree in journalism from Hofstra University and a Master's degree in public policy from George Mason University. He can be contacted at djohnson@fcw.com, or follow him on Twitter @derekdoestech.
Click here for previous articles by Johnson.
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Missing teen found at Orlando airport after using recovered boarding pass to get through TSA checkpoint | Fox News
Tue, 14 Jan 2020 14:51
A missing 15-year-old girl with autism was found at Orlando International Airport Friday after she made it past TSA PreCheck using a found boarding pass.
AMERICAN AIRLINES PASSENGER CLAIMS EMPLOYEE STALKED HER AT AIRPORT, SENT UNSOLICITED TEXTS
Sade Subbs of Apopka, Fla., was found wandering around a Southwest Airlines gate hours after she was reported missing. According to reports, an airport employee approached Subbs, who looked lost, and asked if she needed help. When Subbs handed over her found ticket, the employee discovered the passenger it belonged to had boarded an earlier flight, Fox 35 reported.
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Orlando police were called. When they arrived, one of the officers recognized Subbs as the missing teen.
According to reports, an airport employee approached the missing Sade Subbs, who looked lost inside the airport, and asked if she needed help. (iStock)
Once the girl was in police care, she reportedly said she had found another passenger's boarding pass on the ground and picked it up. It is not clear whether she found the pass before the TSA checkpoint or after, but according to one report, Subbs is allegedly seen on camera going through TSA PreCheck screening without a boarding pass.
In a statement from both the Orlando International Airport and TSA, minors are not required to present an ID.
''The individual presented a valid and current boarding pass. Under the age of 18, passengers are not required to present an ID. She was screened and therefore presented no threat to the aviation system,'' the statement read.
''This is an example where the many layers of security worked. Although she presented someone else's boarding pass, she was screened and the TSA screening procedures did assure she posed no threat to aviation. And the airline '-- another layer of security which screens passengers at the door to the plane '-- prevented the individual from gaining access to the plane. And the police reunited her with her family.''
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The girl reportedly told police she took several buses to get to the airport from Apopka, which is roughly 35 miles away, and that she just wanted to get on an airplane.
''She said she wanted to go to Asia to see the Chinese blossoms or something,'' Gerald Subbs, her father, said to Fox 35.
While her family is happy she is safe at home, her father said he had a long talk with her about how dangerous the stunt was.
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''It could have been a lot worse,'' Gerald said.
The Orlando Police department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
'Wiskundig gezien breekt Derde Wereldoorlog in 2020 uit' | Binnenland | Telegraaf.nl
Tue, 14 Jan 2020 14:51
Ingo Piepers, gepromoveerd aan de UvA, legt zijn theorie uit. Bekijk de hele video onderaan dit artikel.
''¸ De Telegraaf
Nee, hij is bepaald geen 'alu-hoedje'. Ingo Piepers diende als officier van het Korps Mariniers en was daarna succesvol in de academische wereld. Vier jaar geleden promoveerde hij aan de UvA op oorlogsdynamiek. Toen al, in 2016, kwam hij met het boek 2020 Warning . En nu lijken alle dominosteentjes te vallen zoals hij voorspelde.
Piepers ontwaarde in de laatste honderden jaren steeds hetzelfde patroon rond wereldoorlogen. Die zijn te voorspellen. Met wiskundige formules. Zo zal de Derde Wereldoorlog zestien jaar gaan duren, vermoedt hij, en snel uitbreken. 'žNatuurlijk, ik schrok ook toen ik die patronen zag. Ik heb ze nagerekend. Is dat echt waar? De conclusie is dat het weleens zo zou kunnen zijn.''
'We zitten aan eind van vijfde cyclus''žIk heb zelf een oorlog meegemaakt in Sarajevo. Als militair was ik ge¯nteresseerd in het fenomeen. We hebben per oorlog altijd een verklaring, maar zit er niet meer achter?'' Twintig jaar geleden begon hij een 'zoektocht'. Hij ging databases analyseren. Startdatum van de oorlog, einddatum, aantal slachtoffers.
Uiteindelijk zijn er vier cycli te ontdekken met steeds hetzelfde patroon. 'žEerst heb je een stabiele periode met kleine oorlogjes. Daarna zie je dat het vasthouden aan de structuur lastig is. Spanningen bouwen zich op. Op enig moment volgt een grote oorlog waaraan iedereen meedoet'', aldus Piepers. 'žDaarna worden de kaarten opnieuw geschud. Met een nieuwe wereldorde.''
Eerst de Dertigjarige Oorlog (1618-1648), daarna de Franse revolutionaire en napoleontische oorlogen (1792-1815) en daarna de twee 'wereldoorlogen'. Nu zitten we in de vijfde cyclus. En zoals altijd is er een 'omslagpunt'. Die is er nu in 2011 geweest, betoogt Piepers. 'žOp basis van het model komt de volgende grote oorlog in 2020, plus of min twee jaar.''
Soleimani als FerdinandDe Amerikaanse moord op de Iraanse generaal Qassem Soleimani maakt Piepers ietwat bevreesd. 'žKort voor het uitbreken van de Eerste Wereldoorlog waren er oorlogen op de Balkan. Op enig moment is een belangrijke wereldspeler vermoord, Franz Ferdinand, de troonopvolger van het Habsburgse Rijk. Dat zette allerlei acties in gang en leidde tot oorlog.'' Hij ziet de overeenkomst. 'žEr is weer een hoge functionaris vermoord, er zijn grote spanningen, en daardoor is een soort kettingsreactie op gang gezet, waardoor je een oorlog creert.''
Alle details horen? In de TeleYouTubeShow van De Telegraaf legt Piepers zijn theorie gedetailleerd uit. Bekijk zijn verhaal!
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Austin Reaches Top 10 In US Venture Markets With Record Funding In 2019
Tue, 14 Jan 2020 14:49
2019 was a good year for Austin.
Companies, big and small, continued to flock to the city in droves. Several venture capital firms based in Austin announced nine-figure funds, a new unicorn was born, and venture funding hit record numbers. Plus, those venture rounds included more global investors than ever.
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So as the year and decade have officially drawn to a close, we thought it would be a good time to quantify some of the recent growth Austin has experienced. When I asked our data guru, Jason Rowley, to pull some numbers, I had a few hunches about what he'd find. And I'm pleased to report that I was right.
Let's start with the numbers.
Venture funding in Austin totaled $1.84 billion for the year. That's up 19.5 percent compared to the $1.54 billion raised in 2018 and an impressive 87 percent compared to $983 million in 2017. As is typical, Dallas-Fort Worth- and Houston-area startups trailed far behind the Texas capital when it came to venture dollars raised during the year.
Even though it sometimes feels like it, Austin is not the only Texas city bringing in venture dollars it's just the largest (for now). Area startups brought in 61 percent of the venture dollars raised (a total of $3 billion) in the Lone Star state last year. Dallas-Fort Worth came in a fairly distant second, with Houston not far behind it.
To put Austin's record figures in context, I asked Jason to rank Austin's funding last year to other major tech markets in the U.S. What we found is that in 2019, Austin officially broke the top 10 when it comes to recipients of known venture capital funding. (There's always reporting delays so these figures will most certainly change.) While the amount of dollars raised ranked significantly less than that raised in San Francisco (no big surprise), it was still respectable enough to rank No. 10.
Austin was also the only city in the top 10 to be located outside the historically largest recipients of venture capital markets of the Bay Area, Seattle, Boston/Cambridge and New York.
It also ranked seventh in terms of number of deals.
Another thing I suspected was that the Austin startup scene was maturing and our data proved that theory. The city has historically been known for its emerging startup scene, but that's slowly changing. As you can see below, in 2015 seed/angel rounds made up more than half (56 percent to be exact) of the venture rounds closed. By 2019, they made up just 43 percent. Meanwhile, early-stage rounds ticked up by 10 percent and late-stage rounds by 3 percent.
Drilling downAustin both started and finished the year on a strong note, while in between was on the slow side. In the fourth quarter in particular, Austin startups raised a combined $575.4 million, up 89.4 percent from $303.7 million from Q4 2018. Deal volume was down '' the money was raised across 34 deals in Q4 2019 compared to 48 in Q4 2018, another indicator of a maturing market.
A new unicorn was born during that three-month period that we (of course) covered. In October, RigUp, a marketplace for on-demand services and skilled labor in the energy industry, raised a $300 million Series D round led by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z). The round values the company at $1.9 billion, according to The Wall Street Journal. It also marked the largest funding round raised by a Texas company in all of 2019, according to Crunchbase data. The round also represented more than half of all venture that was raised in Austin during the fourth quarter.
That round took place just days after AI startup SparkCognition's $100 million Series C, which was led by March Capital Partners and included participation from Temasek, among others.
The three largest rounds in the state in 2019 weren't all in Austin, at least. Dallas-based Peloton Therapeutics raised a $150 million Series E in February before getting acquired by pharma giant Merck in May. And, Houston-based biopharmaceutical company AlloVir (formerly known as ViraCyte) announced $120 million in Series B funding, which Jason covered in May. SparkCognition's raise marked the fourth largest in Texas as a whole for the year.
VCs weigh inLiveOak Venture Partners in April 2019 announced the close of its second fund, topping it out at $105 million. The 6-year-old venture firm primarily invests in early-stage startups with a focus on the Texas market. I talked with co-founders and partners Venu Shamapant and Krishna Srinivasan to get their thoughts on what went down in 2019.
The year was ''definitely a blockbuster,'' Srinivasan said. LiveOak signed 10 new investments in 2019, and of those 10, seven were in Austin. The activity was ''indicative of a tremendous surge in really high-quality company formation underway in this market.''
Austin has historically been known for its large number of software startups. I've also noticed a serious uptick in real estate-related companies here, which made me curious about which sectors the LiveOak team has seen emerging. That's when Srinivasan introduced me to a new acronym: Firetech '-- finance, insurance and real estate.
''We're seeing a lot of activity in those industries,'' he said. Indeed, during the year, SaaS fintech startup ScaleFactor raised a $60 million Series C just seven months after closing its $30 million Series B, and just over a year after closing its $10 million Series A. Another example lies in real estate startup (and LiveOak portfolio company) Homeward's July 2019 close of $25 million in debt and equity financing.
Meanwhile, Shamapant agreed the Austin market is maturing.
''Years ago, people asked us why there were so many large financings in the Bay Area and not in Texas,'' he said. ''We always told them it was just a question of time. The companies that could raise those big financings just started getting funded four to five years ago. Now the Austin market is finally to the point where there are plenty of companies that have seen that kind of maturity. I think we are finally there now.''
S3 Ventures Partner Eric Engineer said he believes the growth of so many large tech companies in Austin (such as Apple and Google) is having a direct impact on the startup scene.
''Their presence is bringing a lot of talented folks here, both technical and business talent, who end up either working for a startup or founding one,'' he said.
Additionally, people are flocking to Austin from both coasts (but particularly the Bay Area). I examined the trend in this story and this one for Forbes. The city's (relatively) lower cost of living, among other factors, is significant.
S3 Ventures' Engineer has also observed that more VCs are looking at Texas.
''More firms in general are identifying Texas as a geography in which they want to invest,'' he said. ''There's been a real structural change where more VCs are including Texas as a stopover they make on a regular basis.''
In 2018, Austin-based S3 Ventures (which also focuses on Texas startups) saw six exits. In 2019, it was focused on investments and put $50 million into 17 companies, with three of those being new investments. Eighty percent to 85 percent of its portfolio is based in Austin.
Meanwhile, Silverton Partners' Roger Chen believes that Austin's record funding is in line with the enthusiasm and bullishness of the overall economy in 2019. For those who are unfamiliar; 16-year-old Silverton Partners is Austin's most active venture firm and is in the process of raising a targeted $120 million sixth fund. In 2019, Silverton made 20 investments, including five new ones. It also saw a nice exit in TrendKite being acquired by Cision in January for $225 million. (Just last week, it had another exit in women's shaving startup Billie being acquired by P&G, which we covered here.)
He believes that overall record fund sizes have led to increased competition which in turn has led to ''many late-stage venture investors in search of value in new geographies like Austin.''
Chen also acknowledged Austin's overall growth as a city and tech hub. As mentioned above, Austin, and Texas more broadly, has been a primary beneficiary of the talent flight out of the Bay Area.
Chen said he sees it firsthand.
''I receive emails nearly every day from startup founders and employees asking for tips on Austin,'' he told me.
When it comes to trends, Chen pointed out that Austin's startup scene is also gaining momentum in two other important areas.
For one, marketplace and aggregation platforms are raising large sums of capital (digital health startup EverlyWell's April 2019 $50 million raise is one example). Secondly, 2019 saw startups that use artificial intelligence in their software bring in large rounds. Examples include SparkCognition and ScaleFactor.
Chen said: ''Austin has been a great market for these businesses to achieve more efficient growth with a concentration of specialized talent and the benefit of a labor cost arbitrage against the Bay Area.''
MethodologyThe data presented in this report is based on a snapshot of Crunchbase data from early January 2019. Re-running the numbers in the future may yield slightly different results for Q4 2019 and prior quarters as new data gets added to Crunchbase over time. Funding round data for private companies is often subject to reporting delays, particularly affecting seed and early-stage rounds. For more information about Crunchbase News's methodology, check out the Methodology page.
Illustration: Dom Guzman
Japan Leads the Way in Child Health: No Compulsory Vaccines. Banned Measles Mumps Rubella (MMR) Vaccine - Global ResearchGlobal Research - Centre for Research on Globalization
Tue, 14 Jan 2020 14:45
Important article first published by Children's Health Defense, posted on Global Research on April 28, 2019
In the United States, many legislators and public health officials are busy trying to make vaccines de facto compulsory'--either by removing parental/personal choice given by existing vaccine exemptions or by imposing undue quarantines and fines on those who do not comply with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC's) vaccine edicts. Officials in California are seeking to override medical opinion about fitness for vaccination, while those in New York are mandating the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine for 6-12-month-old infants for whom its safety and effectiveness ''have not been established.''
The U.S. has the very highest infant mortality rate of all industrialized developed countries, with more American children dying at birth and in their first year than in any other comparable nation'--and more than half of those who survive develop at least one chronic illness.
American children would be better served if these officials'--before imposing questionable and draconian measures'--studied child health outcomes in Japan. With a population of 127 million, Japan has the healthiest children and the very highest ''healthy life expectancy'' in the world'--and the least vaccinated children of any developed country. The U.S., in contrast, has the developed world's most aggressive vaccination schedule in number and timing, starting at pregnancy, at birth and in the first two years of life. Does this make U.S. children healthier? The clear answer is no. The U.S. has the very highest infant mortality rate of all industrialized countries, with more American children dying at birth and in their first year than in any other comparable nation'--and more than half of those who survive develop at least one chronic illness. Analysis of real-world infant mortality and health results shows that U.S. vaccine policy does not add up to a win for American children.
Japan and the U.S.; Two Different Vaccine Policies
In 1994, Japan transitioned away from mandated vaccination in public health centers to voluntary vaccination in doctors' offices, guided by ''the concept that it is better that vaccinations are performed by children's family doctors who are familiar with their health conditions.'' The country created two categories of non-compulsory vaccines: ''routine'' vaccines that the government covers and ''strongly recommends'' but does not mandate, and additional ''voluntary'' vaccines, generally paid for out-of-pocket. Unlike in the U.S., Japan has no vaccine requirements for children entering preschool or elementary school.
Japan also banned the MMR vaccine in the same time frame, due to thousands of serious injuries over a four-year period'--producing an injury rate of one in 900 children that was ''over 2,000 times higher than the expected rate.'' It initially offered separate measles and rubella vaccines following its abandonment of the MMR vaccine; Japan now recommends a combined measles-rubella (MR) vaccine for routine use but still shuns the MMR. The mumps vaccine is in the ''voluntary'' category.
Here are key differences between the Japanese and U.S. vaccine programs:
Japan has no vaccine mandates, instead recommending vaccines that (as discussed above) are either ''routine'' (covered by insurance) or ''voluntary'' (self-pay).Japan does not vaccinate newborns with the hepatitis B (HepB) vaccine, unless the mother is hepatitis B positive.Japan does not vaccinate pregnant mothers with the tetanus-diphtheria-acellular pertussis (Tdap) vaccine.Japan does not give flu shots to pregnant mothers or to six-month-old infants.Japan does not give the MMR vaccine, instead recommending an MR vaccine.Japan does not require the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine.No other developed country administers as many vaccine doses in the first two years of life.
In contrast, the U.S. vaccine schedule (see Table 1) prescribes routine vaccination during pregnancy, calls for the first HepB vaccine dose within 24 hours of birth'--even though 99.9% of pregnant women, upon testing, are hepatitis B negative, and follows up with 20 to 22 vaccine doses in the first year alone. No other developed country administers as many vaccine doses in the first two years of life.
The HepB vaccine injects a newborn with a 250-microgram load of aluminum, a neurotoxic and immune-toxic adjuvant used to provoke an immune response. There are no studies to back up the safety of exposing infants to such high levels of the injected metal. In fact, the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA's) upper limit for aluminum in intravenous (IV) fluids for newborns is far lower at five micrograms per kilogram per day (mcg/kg/day)'--and even at these levels, researchers have documented the potential for impaired neurologic development. For an average newborn weighing 7.5 pounds, the HepB vaccine has over 15 times more aluminum than the FDA's upper limit for IV solutions.
Unlike Japan, the U.S. administers flu and Tdap vaccines to pregnant women (during any trimester) and babies receive flu shots at six months of age, continuing every single year thereafter. Manufacturers have never tested the safety of flu shots administered during pregnancy, and the FDA has never formally licensed any vaccines ''specifically for use during pregnancy to protect the infant.''
Japan initially recommended the HPV vaccine but stopped doing so in
2013 after serious health problems prompted numerous lawsuits. Japanese researchers have since confirmed a
temporal relationship between HPV vaccination and recipients' development of symptoms.
U.S. vaccine proponents claim the U.S. vaccine schedule is similar to schedules in other developed countries, but this claim is inaccurate upon scrutiny. Most other countries do not recommend vaccination during pregnancy, and very few vaccinate on the first day of life. This is important because the number, type and timing of exposure to vaccines can greatly influence their adverse impact on developing fetuses and newborns, who are particularly vulnerable to toxic exposures and early immune activation. Studies show that activation of pregnant women's immune systems can cause developmental problems in their offspring. Why are pregnant women in the U.S. advised to protect their developing fetuses by avoiding alcohol and mercury-containing tuna fish, but actively prompted to receive immune-activating Tdap and flu vaccines, which still contain mercury (in multi-dose vials) and other untested substances?
Japan initially recommended the HPV vaccine but stopped doing so in 2013 after serious health problems prompted numerous lawsuits. Japanese researchers have since confirmed a temporal relationship between HPV vaccination and recipients' development of symptoms. U.S. regulators have ignored these and similar reports and not only continue to aggressively promote and even mandate the formerly optional HPV vaccine beginning in preadolescence but are now pushing it in adulthood. The Merck-manufactured HPV vaccine received fast-tracked approval from the FDA despite half of all clinical trial subjects reporting serious medical conditions within seven months.
Best and Worst: Two Different Infant Mortality Results
The CDC views infant mortality as one of the most important indicators of a society's overall health. The agency should take note of Japan's rate, which, at 2 infant deaths per 1,000 live births, is the second lowest in the world, second only to the Principality of Monaco. In comparison, almost three times as many American infants die (5.8 per 1,000 live births), despite massive per capita spending on health care for children (see Table 2). U.S. infant mortality ranks behind 55 other countries and is worse than the rate in Latvia, Slovakia or Cuba.
If vaccines save lives, why are American children dying at a faster rate, and'...dying younger compared to children in 19 other wealthy countries'--translating into a 57 percent greater risk of death before reaching adulthood?
To reiterate, the U.S. has the most aggressive vaccine schedule of developed countries (administering the most vaccines the earliest). If vaccines save lives, why are American children ''dying at a faster rate, and'...dying younger'' compared to children in 19 other wealthy countries'--translating into a ''57 percent greater risk of death before reaching adulthood''? Japanese children, who receive the fewest vaccines'--with no government mandates for vaccination'--grow up to enjoy ''long and vigorous'' lives. International infant mortality and health statistics and their correlation to vaccination protocols show results that government and health officials are ignoring at our children's great peril.
Among the 20 countries with the world's best infant mortality outcomes, only three countries (Hong Kong, Macau and Singapore) automatically administer the HepB vaccine to all newborns'--governed by the rationale that hepatitis B infection is highly endemic in these countries. Most of the other 17 top-ranking countries'--including Japan'--give the HepB vaccine at birth only if the mother is hepatitis B positive (Table 1). The U.S., with its disgraceful #56 infant mortality ranking, gives the HepB vaccine to all four million babies born annually despite a low incidence of hepatitis B.
Is the U.S. Sacrificing Children's Health for Profits?
Merck, the MMR vaccine's manufacturer, is in court over MMR-related fraud. Whistleblowers allege the pharmaceutical giant rigged its efficacy data for the vaccine's mumps component to ensure its continued market monopoly. The whistleblower evidence has given rise to two separate court cases. In addition, a CDC whistleblower has alleged the MMR vaccine increases autism risks in some children. Others have reported that the potential risk of permanent injury from the MMR vaccine dwarfs the risks of getting measles.
Why do the FDA and CDC continue to endorse the problematic MMR vaccine despite Merck's implication in fraud over the vaccine's safety and efficacy? Why do U.S. legislators and government officials not demand a better alternative, as Japan did over two decades ago? Why are U.S. cities and states forcing Merck's MMR vaccine on American children? Is the U.S. government protecting children, or Merck? Why are U.S. officials ignoring Japan's exemplary model, which proves that the most measured vaccination program in the industrialized world and ''first-class sanitation and levels of nutrition'' can produce optimal child health outcomes that are leading the world?
A central tenet of a free and democratic society is the freedom to make informed decisions about medical interventions that carry serious potential risks. This includes the right to be apprised of benefits and risks'--and the ability to say no. The Nuremberg Code of ethics established the necessity of informed consent without ''any element of force, fraud, deceit, duress, over-reaching, or other ulterior form of constraint or coercion.'' Forcing the MMR vaccine, or any other vaccine, on those who are uninformed or who do not consent represents nothing less than medical tyranny.
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Featured image is from Children's Health Defense
National Security Agency Confirms Windows 10 Security Flaw 'Makes Trust Vulnerable'
Tue, 14 Jan 2020 14:03
Anne Neuberger, director of cybersecurity with the National Security Agency, confirms Windows 10 ... [+] flaw that "makes trust vulnerable."
Getty Images for WIREDEarlier today, I reported that the security grapevine was buzzing with rumors that an "extraordinarily serious" security vulnerability in a core cryptographic component of Windows 10 was to be disclosed when the monthly Microsoft Windows Patch Tuesday updates were released. While there is still no news from Microsoft itself ahead of the Patch Tuesday disclosure, the National Security Agency's (NSA) director of cybersecurity, Anne Neuberger, has now confirmed that the vulnerability exists.
Here's what she had to say, and what we now know.
NSA director of cybersecurity confirms Windows 10 security flawIn a briefing call to media today, the NSA director of cybersecurity, Anne Neuberger, confirmed the existence of the vulnerability rumored to be fixed in the Patch Tuesday release later today. Neuberger disclosed that it was the NSA which reported the vulnerability to Microsoft, and that "this was the first time Microsoft will have credited NSA for reporting a security flaw." Brian Krebs, who was first to report on the rumors circulating within the information security bubble, said that Microsoft's advisory later today, "will state that Microsoft has seen no active exploitation" of the vulnerability to date.
There remains some confusion over which versions of Windows are affected by what is still assumed to be a vulnerability within the crypt32.dll component that deals with Windows security certificates and cryptographic messaging functions. In that NSA briefing call, Krebs reports that the NSA director stated only that the problem exists within Windows 10 and Windows Server 2016. Whether it also impacts users of older versions of the operating system will not be known, one way or the other, until Microsoft discloses more information with the Patch Tuesday update release.
However, even though we are all going to have to wait until later for the full disclosure and hopefully some more technical detail, Neuberger is reported to have said that the flaw "makes trust vulnerable," and that's why the NSA is taking it so seriously.
This would also explain why it has been rumored that U.S. military and high-value internet infrastructure targets have been shipped the fix already, under strict non-disclosure agreements.
"If the NSA reported it," security professional John Opdenakker says, "I think that the impact of the vulnerability being exploited is high. Until we have more information, we can't say anything about the actual risk for the average user."
Sean Wright, OWASP Scotland chapter leader, says that anything that makes trust vulnerable, in the words of the NSA director of cybersecurity, "sounds like something be concerned with, especially if it is coming out of the NSA itself. This could impact anything from device drivers to browsing the Internet."
For now, the advice remains the same: don't defer this particular Windows Patch Tuesday update, get it done in a timely manner.
"This isn't the best timing for a Patch Tuesday update," Jake Moore, a cybersecurity specialist with ESET, says, "it just echoes that this can be the problem with updates and the confidence that goes alongside them." Moore says that while the vulnerability may make trust vulnerable, users also need a certain level of trust to form a basis. "Microsoft will constantly be targeted with attacks, so it is no surprise when they are hit," Moore concludes, "at least the NSA is sharing vulnerabilities this time before we see another WannaCry on the horizon."
UPDATE:
Microsoft has now confirmed the vulnerability, full details have been added to my earlier article which can be found here.
'--
Updated January 14 with link to Microsoft confirmation details
Australia bushfires: 50mm of rain needed to extinguish fires
Tue, 14 Jan 2020 11:42
Tropical Cyclone Claudia has brought a deluge of rain to Australia's north and some of that wet weather is expected to bring relief to parts of the country's east this week.
The cyclone, which has now strengthened to a category three storm, is dumping huge amounts of moisture on the Northern Territory '' on the weekend, a record breaking 500mm of rain fell in parts.
While potentially as much as 50-100 mm of rain could fall in some areas of Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria coasts during the next week, forecasters have warned that sustained rain '' rather than a downpour '' will be needed to extinguish the nation's bushfires.
HOW MUCH RAIN IS NEEDED TO PUT OUT A BUSHFIRE
There are three factors that determine how much rainfall is needed to put out a bushfire, said Sky News Weather channel Chief Meteorologist Tom Saunders.
''It's a very difficult question to answer, because it does depend on the size of the fire, how intense the rainfall is, and also the types of vegetation that fire is going through,'' Mr Saunders said on Tuesday.
Less than 10mm of rain will have no impact on a fire, he said. This amount also wouldn't slow the fire down, and could hinder back burning because, if the vegetation gets wet, small fires are unable to be started in the path of the main fire.
Moderate rain, between 10 and 20mm, has the potential to slow down a fire, but won't extinguish it.
And if the light or moderate rain is the result of a thunderstorm, ''there will be negative impact, because thunderstorms have lightning, and if they're not producing much rainfall that lightning '' called dry lightning '' will actually spark up new areas of forest, which will then burn,'' Mr Saunders said.
Heavier rain (between 20 and 50mm), which is what's forecast in the coming days for parts of the nation's east, has the ability to extinguish a small fire and slow down a large fire.
''If it's from a thunderstorm, though, a lot of the rain will just run off if it falls quickly,'' he said.
''It won't soak into the vegetation. So 50mm of rain, if it falls in one or two hours, will not extinguish a bushfire.''
Ultimately, what the nation's bushfire-ravaged east needs is steady rain falling over a couple of days.
''More than 50mm is generally required to slow down an exceptionally large fire, and to extinguish most bushfires you'd need well over 50mm,'' Mr Saunders said.
RAIN FOR MOST CAPITALS
Thick bands of rain are creeping down both the west and east of the country, leaving only South Australia and the southern Northern Territory lacking in any noticeable moisture.
Brisbane will be soggy from Tuesday onwards with highs nudging 30C and some heavy showers. Cairns, in the tropics, is looking at about 50mm of rain this week.
The weather has settled in Sydney for the next few days with highs in the late 20Cs. But from Thursday onwards, storms might be seen above the Harbour City with 5-10mm falling each day.
Smoke haze in a warm Canberra on Tuesday where the mercury is forecast to reach 34C. Showers on Wednesday could clear the smoke with heavy downpours and a possible storm on Wednesday setting the tone for the rest of the week.
Drier in Melbourne with a sunny but smoky Tuesday with highs about 30C. Reaching 31C on a humid and possibly stormy Wednesday. Then the temperatures should fall into the low 20Cs, even the teens, as the week goes on with rain here and there.
Hobartwill be warm, in the mid to late 20Cs until Thursday when there could be a 10C temperature drop accompanied by splashes of rain.
Bone dry all week in Adelaide. Temperatures reaching 34C on Tuesday, then settling between 26-29C for the rest of a sunny week.
A hot week for Perth, the highs not dipping below 33C. While the monsoon could bring rain to the north of WA, with storms for Broome and Karratha, little of that will reach the south.
Rabbi Shmuley: Cory Booker Lost Because He Followed 'Ilhan Omar Wing' of Party | Breitbart
Tue, 14 Jan 2020 10:50
Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, a former close friend of Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), said in a statement Monday that Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) had suffered a decline in his political fortunes because he sided with the ''Ilhan Omar wing'' of his party.
Boteach, who has known Booker for nearly 30 years, was once a close ally of the New Jersey Democrat. As he explained in his statement: ''Cory served as my student president at the Oxford University L'Chaim Society, a Jewish organization I founded, with thousands of Jewish and non-Jewish members, from 1992-1994. This began a 25-year soul-friendship of two men from distinctly different backgrounds, ethnicities, and religions, who became brothers.''
But Booker's support for President Barack Obama's nuclear deal with Iran created a split between the two '-- and with Booker's Jewish constituents.
As Boteach wrote in a column at Breitbart News in 2018 titled, ''What Happened to You, Cory Booker?'',Booker begun to embrace harsh criticisms of Israel, posing with a sign that said, ''From Palestine to Mexico, all the walls have got to go.''
At the time, Boteach speculated that Booker was trying to appeal to the party's left-wing activists by showing he could criticize Israel just as well as Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) or Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). He went further on Monday: '' As some in the Extreme Left of the Democratic Party began to demonize Israel, Cory took the bad advice of his senior advisors that catering to the Ilhan Omar wing of the party and abandoning Israel would win over these extreme constituents and the perception of Cory's inauthenticity continued to grow.''
Boteach added that Booker also flip-flopped on a variety of other issues: ''This continued with his repudiation of school choice and other central tenets of his political ideology that made him so unique and electrifying in the first instance. And the more he changed his politics, the more the public perceived him synthetic and inauthentic.''
Booker blamed the difficulty of fundraising, and the scheduling conflicts posed by President Donald Trump's looming impeachment trial, in explaining his decision to withdraw on Monday. He had also previously criticized the Democratic National Committee for debate criteria that created an all-white debate stage.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.
Songwriters Sound Off With Ayatollah Tunes For the Times - The Washington Post
Tue, 14 Jan 2020 10:28
"My gift is my song, and this one's for you . . . ." -- Elton John
The crisis in Iran does not have a good beat, and you can't dance to it. But people are working on this. Topical pop has long been a staple of music in America, and yet seldom have quickie composers of instant songs has such rich subject matter as the Ayatollah Khomeini and the animosity his very name engenders.
All you have to do to get your name in lyrics is overthrow a government, hold 50 Americans hostage, and have yourself elected emperor for life.
Soon you may be number five with a bullet, in a manner of speaking.
And so in San Diego, Calif., listeners to KGB-FM have discovered that the old Three Dog Night version of Randy Newman's "Mama Tole Me Not to Come" has been transformed in honor of current events into "ayatollah Not to Come."
In Nashville, WKDF-FM gives big air play to Carl F. Mayfield's recording "Let's Make Islamic Atomic" and its refrain, "Let's not shuck and let's not jive, let's drop what we dropped in '45."
And in Chicago, WLUP deejay Steve Dahl is helping to articulate the popular rage with a new version of the recent hit "My Sharona" now called, of course, "Ayatollah."
Then there's "Khomaniac" by J. W. Thompson, "A Message to Khomeini" by Roger Hallmark and the Thresher Brothers, "Take Your Oil and Shove It" by Bobby Baker and the similarly themed "Take Your Crude and Shove It" by Major Bill Smith and the Americans.
Oh, for the good old days when Jolie sang Irving Berlin's lyrics, "What care I who cares, for the world's affairs, as long as I can sing its popular songs?" Now the world affairs and the popular songs are becoming one again, in the biggest resurgence of what might be called Gripe Rock -- or Rox Populi -- since the gas shortages of 1974 and 1979.
But songs about the Ayatollah are part of another, related tradition, that of taking aim at unreachable foes with ballads rather than bullets. Says David Parker, a pop culture expert at the Library of Congress, "There were all kinds of songs about what people wanted to do to the Kaiser during World War I and what they wanted to do to Adolf Hitler during World War II."
Indeed, one of the things they wanted to do to Hitler was also as American as apple pie, or rather whipped cream pie. It suggested a Bronx cheer be delivered directly to "Der Fuehrer's Face."
Parker, who can sing the lyrics to "Guided Missiles," a tune brought on by the Cuban Missle Crisis ("Guided missiles, aimed at my heart, the enemy is you . . ."), says the Ayatollah has given songwriters an opportunity they havent had in a long times.
"What's great about this situation now is that it's so wonderfully simple and clear," he says. "The enemy wasn't really personalized during Vietnam or Korea, but now, after 20 years of total confusion, people know which guys are wearing the white hats again."
A lot of the Ayatollah Tunes never make the journey from hastily recorded tape to the dubious immortality of a vinyl pressing. KLRD in Dallas resounds with the sounds of "Where Are You Now, Ross Perot?", written in honor of the Texas millionaire who spent $2 million to free two of his employes once held in an Iranian jail. It is not likely they'll be undulating to that one on "Soul Train" or that it will ever see the light at the top of the pop chart.
In fact, the tune was born in a bar and then crudely recorded in a studio. Demand prompted the authors -- station news director Ken Fairchild and Don Mason, and editor at the Dallas Morning News -- to return to the studio a week later with actual professional musicians, and 42,000 singles were soon shipped out of the city.
Many of the other songs never leave the hometowns in which they were born, remaining a kind of colloquial audio graffiti designed to soothe or perhaps arouse the savage breasts of commuters and homebodies.
In Washington, WHFS, WAVA and DC-101 are all featuring a song that so far exists only on tape, a group called Payday's pointed ditty, "We're Going to Kick Your Ass, and Take Your Gas, and Say Ayatollah So." The group also performs the number at its live gigs, and audiences reportedly go right to hog heaven when they hear it. Sometimes they light matches, a tired old counterculture signal of rapt approval.
At WHFS, where the tune is played about six times a day, program director David Einstein declares, "Everybody either laughs at it, or they want to go out and get a gun." He says there have been no complaints.
But some stations have declined to play such songs, a genre that also includes the fearlessly inimitable Root Boy Slim's recording of "The Shah Is Gone," an update of B.B. King's "The Thrill Is Gone" that was actually recorded two days before the Shah left Iran.
Q-107, a spokesman pooh-pooh's the "humorous" tunes because they allegedly "trivialize the situation." At WPGC, a front-running Top 40 outlet, "Message to Khomeini" was played for three or four days before quietly being entombed in the vault.
Other stations prefer to stick with positive if hokey heart-grabbers like Ed Wheeler's "Ring the Bells of Freedom," very big at WMZQ, and a dashed-off update by Bryon McGregor of his mid-'70s flag-waver, "Stand Up, America," on WXRA. The fact that McGregor is Canadian apparently hasn't dimmed the red glare of his rockets.
Not all of today's instant songs are addressed to the Ayatollah. Some are addressed to the White House veritable letters without postage, like "Dear Mr. President" by MAX D. Barnes; "Think I'll Run for President" by Brent Burns and "Peanuts to You" by R.B. Stone.
But Stone placed an ad in the trade journal Billboard this week suggesting deejays refrain from playing his tune at this time because "we need to present a united front and not play politics."
Any minute now they'll be trotting out "Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition."
What the instant songs can do is sing things people might be chagrined to say. Thus does the Mayfield number lecture the Ayatollah that he has "cornflakes in your rag-head beard and Salems hangin' outta your yippin', yappin' radical mouth" and clumsily opine that "students in our schools and under our golden arches, they deserve a break today for goin' on them marches."
The songwriters try to make up in passion what they lack in savoir faire or even good manners. Few of them expect their songs to go into the Hall of Fame; they're transitory by nature, quick little zaps that are anything but out of character for a country of instant analysis, instant mashed-potatoes, instant fame and is-it-soup-yet?
Even if the songs actually make it onto records, and many won't, they're often done so hurriedly that there's no time to put another tune on the other side. Most record manufacturers know that the songs have at best a one-way ticket to Palookaville and won't bother with them.
"Most major labels won't waste their time with these shots in the wind," says Billboard's Ron Einy. And so the records that do come out tend to be on small labels from companies specializing in country tunes. Country music stations have a long history of treating their listeners' ears to the quick and the dread, to novelty songs and high-octane patriotism.
Still, an apparent broad cross-section of radio listeners is currently having a wonderful time hating the Ayatollah Khomeini. The songs that turn this into entertainment follow in the footsteps of such temporal Americana as "Dig You Later, Hubba Hubba Hubba" in which Perry Como sang, "I got it from a guy who was in the know, It was mighty smoky over Tokyo."
Or "Let's Put the Kibosh on the Kaiser."
Or "Eve of Destruction," the pessimistic ballad that was soon pursued on the rock charts by an instant rebuttal, "The Dawn of Correction."
Some of the wartime songs are, of course, punctuated with now-embarrasing racist defamations, as titles as blunt as "Slap That Dirty Little Jap" would indicate (flip side: "Remember Pearl Harbor"). There is also a call to violence that goes back to the Civil War anthem "Marchin' Through Georgia" in which it is not very delicately advocated that we "hang Jeff Davis from a sour apple tree."
Apparently an ordinary apple tree was too good for him.
Sometimes the songs could be literal zingers. During the Boxer Rebellion of 1900, when Chinese militants (as we would call them now) took over a U.S. mission and made missionaries and diplomats their hostages, a nasty number called "The Heathen Chinee" climbed what would have been the charts if there had been any charts then.
Later, armed forces did free those hostages, though whether they sang the song as they did so, no one can say for sure (or, if they can, they haven't bothered).Later the I.W.W. (Wobblies) adopted the tune, and some believe it may have contributed to passage of the Chinese Exclusion Act.
But there is also a dominant strain of relatively benign stick-togetherness, as when Phil Silvers brightened the 1941 musical "Cover Girl" by singing, "Who's complaining? I'm not complaining. You'll see, we'll see this thing through . . . I'll fill myself on artichokes, until that Nazi party chokes, as long as they don't ration my passion for you . . . ."
The Cold War put a chill on topical pop, and the era had to be content with such efforts as Hank Williams (recording "No, No, Joe" -- Stalin, that is -- and Ralph Flanagan and His Orchestra doing "The Red We Want is the Red We Got in the Old Red, White and Blue."
Some of the instant song composers are past masters of the trade. "Red River Dave" McEnery, a radio actor and cowboy singer who claims to have written 52 tunes in one day while handcuffed to a piano in a San Francisco radio station, has just given the world "Song of the U.S. Hostages." This can be added to his previous political commentaries, "Song of the U.S.S. Pueblo," Ballad of Patty Hearst," and "The Ballad of John Wayne."
The instant songs say a lot about a lot of things; about the people's right to grump, about the evanescent nature of popular culture -- and about the responsiveness of radio, and the intimacy with which Americans regard the medium that they can carry with them anywhere and hold as close as Linus's blanket.
It also goes to prove that is somebody really wants to write a lousy song, no power on earth can stop him.
Big Calculator: How Texas Instruments Monopolized Math Class
Tue, 14 Jan 2020 09:56
These $100 calculators have been required in classrooms for more than 20 years, as students and teachers still struggle to afford them
T his fall, Stephen Thompson began his first year of teaching Algebra 2 and college prep classes to 11th and 12th graders at a public high school in northwest Baltimore. On top of the typical stress of any first-year teaching experience, Thompson realized that along with other out-of-pocket classroom expenses, he would have to buy a pricey piece of classroom equipment: graphing calculators. Specifically, Texas Instruments graphing calculators.
''The students, for the most part, don't have calculators,'' he told me in October. ''On a typical day, a lot of students don't even have a pencil. It's up to the teacher to provide that stuff. The expectation is that we will have TI-83 calculators '-- that's just what the curriculum demands.''
Planned obsolescence is deeply ingrained with most tech companies. Apple introduces a new, sleeker iPhone every year, with improved features, different sizes, more power, and more pixels. But Texas Instruments graphing calculators used by high school students 10 or 20 years ago are essentially the same ones students use today. Bulky and black, with large, colorful push buttons and a low-resolution screen, TI graphing calculators resemble top-of-the-line design from the 1990s and are functionally the same as when Texas Instruments first launched the TI-84 Plus in 2004. Even the price has remained almost the same. When my mom bought my TI-83 Plus calculator for ninth-grade math class in 2006, it cost $90 at our local Staples. Today, that calculator sells for $105 at Office Depot.
I remember feeling a pang of guilt watching my working-class single mom hand over her debit card to the cashier. On the short drive home, I held the calculator in my lap, still in its blister pack. I was 14 years old, and this was the most valuable electronic device I ever owned. I was taking Algebra 2 that year '-- the advanced class for freshmen at my public high school '-- and purchasing a graphing calculator felt like an academic rite of passage. I wasn't a math person, just a good student who'd eventually slog through Advanced Placement calculus and statistics in pursuit of some college credits.
''The expectation is that we will have TI-83 calculators '-- that's just what the curriculum demands.''
Other students put games on their calculators, or decorated the lids with stickers or the colorful tinfoil from sticks of 5 Gum, or filled their calculator with hints to help them on tests, or took out the batteries in the back and used the empty space to hide drugs. (Okay, the last one was a rumor.) But I only remember using the text features to send messages to friends during class.
I grew up in a very good school district in an affluent central Pennsylvania suburb, the kind of place where a kid who lost their expensive calculator typically didn't have to worry about asking their parents to replace it. Class anxiety seemed practically nonexistent, except for my own, which I muted as much as possible. And if I ever left my calculator at home, I could always borrow one from the school. Sometimes it would even be a model nicer than the one I had.
Texas Instruments released its first graphing calculator, the TI-81, to the public in 1990. Designed for use in pre-algebra and algebra courses, it was superseded by other Texas Instruments models with varying shades of complexity but these calculators remained virtually untouched aesthetically. Today, Texas Instruments still sells a dozen or so different calculator models intended for different kinds of students, ranging from the TI-73 and TI-73 Explorer for middle school classes to the TI-Nspire CX and TI-Nspire CX CAS ($149), an almost smartphone-like calculator with more processing power. But the most popular calculators, teachers tell me, include the TI-83 Plus ($94), launched in 1999; the TI-84 Plus ($118), launched in 2004; the very similar TI-84 Plus Silver Edition, also launched in 2004; and the TI-89 Titanium ($128).
Thompson, like many teachers, works in a district where it's a financial impossibility to ask students and their parents to shell out $100 for a new calculator. (Graphing calculators of any brand are recommended at Thompson's school, and they are essential for the curriculum.) So the onus falls on him and other teachers, who rely on their teacher salaries '-- Thompson makes $62,000 a year '-- to fill in the gaps. At first, Thompson bought cheaper calculators: four-function, $3 calculators. This, he quickly realized, would be insufficient. ''A lot of students were angry and actually left the class and went to the classroom of the more experienced teacher next to me and asked to borrow her calculators,'' he told me.
The bulky, rectangular Texas Instruments calculators act more like mini-handheld computers than basic calculators, plotting graphs and solving complex functions. Seeing expressions, formulas, and graphs on-screen is integral for students in geometry, calculus, physics, statistics, business, and finance classes. They provide students access to more advanced features, letting them do all the calculations of a scientific calculator, as well as graph equations and make function tables. Giving a child a four-function calculator '--allowing for only addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division'-- would leave them woefully underprepared for the requirements of more advanced math and science classes.
It's not practical or even allowable for students to turn to more modern and possibly more accessible technology '-- like laptops or smartphones '-- to fill the gaps. ''iPhones do too much,'' Thompson told me. ''There's an app you can get where you can just take a picture of a problem, and the app will show you the steps to solve it. For that reason, I really can't let them use cellphones on tests. Too many students will cheat. So I need to buy graphing calculators, and they need to be nice ones.''
To understand why teachers like Thompson find themselves in this position '-- and why families across the country are still paying $100 or more for a piece of prohibitively expensive technology that barely seemed to have been updated in decades '-- one must understand Texas Instruments and its incumbency in the graphing calculator market, and how the U.S. education system has become addicted to Texas Instruments, which has a staggering, monopolistic hold over high school math.
T exas Instruments didn't set out to be a calculator giant. In 1930, two scientists, John Clarence Karcher and Eugene McDermott, founded the oil and gas company Geophysical Service Inc. (GSI) in Texas. A decade later, GSI started making defense electronics, and in 1951, Texas Instruments was spun off to build seismographs for oil explorations. In the 1960s, the president of Texas Instruments, Pat Haggerty, directed a team to work on a handheld calculator project, including lab director Jack Kilby, who had invented the integrated circuit, a small chip that can serve as a microprocessor or computer memory in different devices. (He would share the 2000 Nobel Prize in physics for his work on the integrated circuit.) Kilby, along with two colleagues, created a battery-powered calculator that could fit six-digit numbers on its display and do basic math. They code-named the 1967 calculator the Cal-Tech. It weighed about three pounds and measured about 4.25 x 6.15 x 1.75 inches. Today, according to the company's website, the vast majority of Texas Instruments' revenue comes processors that originated in the Cal-Tech.
While calculators make up 3% or less of Texas Instruments' overall revenue, they are still a lucrative product. Texas Instruments includes its calculators in the ''other'' section of its financial reports, making it hard to determine exactly how much money Texas Instruments is making from the calculators, but according to the company's 2018 annual report, this category generated $1.43 billion in revenue last year. ''Compared to other electronics this day and age, there is very little content,'' analyst Blayne Curtis told the Washington Post in 2014, referring to the TI-84 Plus. ''Plastic case, small black-and-white screen, two semiconductor chips. The batteries are even not rechargeable like a cellphone.'' Curtis told the Post that he estimated a TI-84 Plus costs $15 to $20 to make and likely has a profit margin of over 50% for Texas Instruments.
This profit margin is likely a conservative estimate, a former employee in Texas Instruments' calculator division told me. ''As a former teacher, I was appalled at the pricing, not only for educators but for the families who were forced to pay inflated prices for the damn things,'' she told me. ''The margin is incredible. I can't verify the exact numbers, but the margin was like 85% 90%.'' In comparison, PC manufacturers like HP, Lenovo, Dell, Asus, and Acer have profit margins below 3%. (Texas Instruments did not return a request for comment for this story.)
The U.S. education system has become addicted to Texas Instruments, which has a staggering, monopolistic hold over high school math.
Texas Instruments was not the first to go to market with its commercially viable graphing calculators '-- Casio preceded it. But Texas Instruments was able to capitalize on its relationship with the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics to ensure its calculators ended up in classrooms across the country. In 1980, the council recommended that ''mathematics programs [should] take full advantage of calculators'... at all grade levels.'' Throughout the decade, Texas Instruments worked closely with the council to develop its first calculator in hopes of becoming the educational standard.
It started with Connecticut. In 1986, the state became the first to require a graphing calculator on state-mandated exams. The Connecticut School Board argued that calculators would let students solve more challenging problems. In 1988, Chicago Public Schools gave a free calculator to every student, beginning in the fourth grade. New York followed suit in 1991 when he state first allowed calculators for its Regents exams; by 1992, it required them. Then the College Board let students use calculators on Advanced Placement exams, specifically calculus, in 1983, then reversed its policy a year later, explaining that it was banning calculators because it wasn't fair to students who didn't have them. But a decade later, it mandated calculators on the tests. In 1994, it allowed calculators to be used for the SAT as well. Teachers I spoke to said that some major textbooks feature illustrations of Texas Instruments''series calculators alongside the text, so students can use their Texas Instruments calculator with the lesson plan, emphasizing how deeply interwoven Texas Instruments remains with the educational hegemony.
While Eli Luberoff studied math and physics at Yale, he paid his way through college by tutoring kids in the wealthy enclave of Westport, Connecticut. He also volunteered in the far less affluent New Haven public schools. ''I was astounded by the fact that students were still forced to buy graphing calculators, and that the prices hadn't gone down at all,'' he told me. ''That was a huge surprise to me, that TI 83 and 84 was the assumed default for every student, and that they still cost over a hundred bucks. It was an easily digestible cost for my Westport students, but it was prohibitive for my kids in New Haven.'' In 2012, he launched Desmos, a San Francisco''based company that offers a free online version of TI's graphing calculator. One of his dreams is for students to be able to access Desmos' computing technology for all major tests.
Texas Instruments has many resources at its disposal to maintain its stronghold over school curriculums. For years, the company's lobbying expenses have remained consistent, spending about $2 million a year on issues such as consumer product safety, defense spending, and high-skilled worker visas, along with education. Teachers told me that Texas Instruments provides services for free to the College Board, which administers AP tests and the SAT. It also has a group called Teachers Teaching for Technology (T3), which educates teachers on how to use its calculators. T3 also runs a hotline called 1-800-TI-CARES, hosts a yearly conference, and maintains a large presence at events like conferences for the National Council for Teachers of Mathematics.
Luberoff has made progress working with textbook publishers like McGraw-Hill and Pearson, as well as with states that have mandatory testing. ''A lot of high-stakes assessments students take are mandated to be digital, so state-level tests and exams must be delivered on computers. Desmos is now built into a huge fraction of those,'' he told me. ''You go in on test day, you open the calculator, and it's basically the same one students can practice on for free. It's enormous for equity.''
You might think the man who seemingly wants to abolish a monopolistic calculator company would have some hatred in his heart for Texas Instruments, but Luberoff seems sympathetic to their plight. ''It's a classic innovator's dilemma,'' he said. ''They make so much money selling these devices'... Their job to their shareholders is to keep selling these calculators for as much as they can and for as long as they can.''
S ome students who can't afford a calculator for math class take matters into their own hands. Thirty-year-old Trey grew up in suburban Georgia and went to a private high school in the early 2000s. His teachers worked at a school with both middle-class students and students living below the poverty line. ''Getting TI calculators for any of our classes '-- it was well-known that it was a sensitive subject. It was never just like, 'Buy some calculators, you'll need it by the first day,' knowing that half the class would not have them,'' Trey told me. ''That was pretty much universal. Throughout my high school career, half the class wouldn't have them. You're always sharing with people.''
His teachers had a suggestion for Trey and his classmates who couldn't shell out $100 for a calculator. ''My tenth-grade teacher gave us some advice: She said, 'Go to pawn shops.' They're like $20 or $30 there. I got all of mine from pawn shops,'' he says. ''It was this cycle of going to the pawn shop to buy a $20 calculator, getting it stolen at school, and then going back to the pawn shop and buying back your calculator again.''
As GoFundMe has become a platform for people to fundraise for things like medical expenses, which in a fairer society would perhaps be covered by a stronger social safety net, DonorsChoose has emerged as a nonprofit organization for teachers to fundraise for all kinds of classroom supplies '-- including graphing calculators. Data provided by DonorsChoose public relations shows that teachers first begin requesting graphing calculators on DonorsChoose in 2005, five years after a history teacher founder the site.
Currently, DonorsChoose has 2,002 live projects requesting TI-83 and TI-84 graphing calculators. Overall, teachers have created a total of 34,578 projects on the website requesting TI-83 and TI-84 graphing calculators. Of those projects, 26,855 were fully funded, totaling $17,938,242 in donations. The DonorsChoose data that Dalmaine sent me shows the number of teacher-created projects specifically requesting graphing calculators doubled from 2008 to 2009; in 2008, teachers created 594 projects requesting Texas Instruments graphing calculators; in 2009, that number sharply rose to 1,089 and has risen every year since.
Texas Instruments' unchanging graphing calculator technology is a benefit to teachers in at least one way. For teachers who decide not to raise money to buy new calculators, they can simply collect old ones from friends who last used theirs five, 10, or 15 years ago. Amy Perfetti currently teaches at a charter high school in Philadelphia and previously taught AP calculus at a public high school in Boston. There, her students were required to buy their own graphing calculators, but the reality is that few could afford them. Perfetti was on a $600 stipend as part of a graduate program '-- she had free rent and a free degree but no salary, and she couldn't afford to buy the calculators herself. ''I wasn't going to punish them because of their financial inability to get a calculator, but I knew they still needed them,'' she told me. ''So I spent the entire first semester soliciting donations wherever I could '-- not of money, but of unused graphing calculators that my high school and college classmates were forced to purchase at one time but no longer used.''
''It was this cycle of going to the pawn shop to buy a $20 calculator, getting it stolen at school, and then going back to the pawn shop and buying back your calculator again.''
Using Facebook and Twitter, as well as her network of friends and colleagues, Perfetti asked for calculator donations, offering to pay the cost of shipping or physically picking up any that were close to her in Boston. Overall, she ended up with 20 calculators. ''I only [collected calculators] the one time with the intent of reusing the calculators, but I moved states and took the calculators with me,'' she told me. ''My algebra students don't have a use for them now, but my hope is that if I end up teaching a pre-calc or calc class again, they would be available for use for my students, who are in a similar situation as my former students were in Boston, financially speaking. I am unsure what the AP calc class did for calculators the year after I left.''
Steven Thompson, the math teacher in Baltimore, says he'll probably do the same. ''Another new math teacher in my building has 10 T1-83 calculators that her students just share. I think some were given to her by friends '-- I think one she took from her fianc(C),'' he told me. ''Stuff like that. People just scrounge around and do what they have to do.''
But ultimately, he says, things need to change systemically; it's not sustainable for teachers to delve into their own checking accounts or rely on friends for borrowed old calculators. ''The bottom line is that we need to invest a lot more money in education. Education is underfunded in a million different ways. To change that, the school district won't just find the money themselves,'' he said. ''I think what really needs to happen is teachers need to get organized and fight for funding. The teachers in Chicago just went on strike. I think that's the only thing that's really going to change this. We live in a very rich country, but the money we could use for that is spent on other things. It's something that needs to change.''
Mystery billionaire who let Harry and Meghan stay in his mansion in Canada is named as Clinton donor | Daily Mail Online
Tue, 14 Jan 2020 09:50
The mystery billionaire who let Harry and Meghan stay in his $14million mansion in Canada is reportedly Frank Giustra, a businessman whose close ties to the Clintons have caused controversy in the past.
Canadian mining magnate Giustra, 62, is said to have loaned the couple the home where they finalized their plan to scale back their royal duties over the New Year, according to The New York Post.
The couple have so far refused to refused to name the secretive multi-millionaire who loaned them the Canadian mansion.
But Page Six reports Giustra is the owner of Mille Fleurs, the seafront home close to Victoria, British Columbia. He is understood to have loaned the home for free.
Giustra is close friends with David Foster, who arranged for the Duke and Duchess to stay at the imposing home. Music producer Foster is the husband of Broadway star Katharine McPhee, a friend of Meghan's since their school days.
Ownership by Giustra would be at odds with what DailyMail.com was told by a realtor involved in the 2014 sale of the home. That person, who had to sign a non disclosure agreement, said it was bought by a billionaire who is neither Canadian nor or American for $18 million CAD - $14 million.
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Giustra is close friends with David Foster, who arranged for the Duke and Duchess to stay at the imposing home. Music producer Foster is the husband of Broadway star Katharine McPhee, a friend of Meghan's since their school days. Bill Clinton, left, is pictured with Giustra
Luxurious getaway: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle spent their first Christmas with baby Archie in Mille Fleurs, $14.1 million waterfront mansion near Victoria, British Columbia
Harry and Meghan have so far refused to refused to name the secretive multi-millionaire who loaned them the Canadian mansion
Giustra, the co-founder of Hollywood studio Lionsgate, is one of the biggest donors to the Clintons and is on the board of their foundation.
He ran into controversy when, in 2005, he traveled to Kazakhstan with then President Bill Clinton.
There they met the country's despotic president Nursultan Nazarbayev. Clinton's appearance is seen as helping Giustra secure a deal to start his UrAsia uranium company in Kazakhstan, which would later merge with Uranium One.
Giustra would donate $31.3 million to the Clinton Foundation in 2006 and helped start the Clinton Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative.
Who is Frank Giustra?Frank Giustra, 62, is a Canadian mining magnate who made his money as a stockbroker.
He is also the co-founder of Lionsgate, the studio behind The Hunger Games, Twilight and La La Land.
The divorced dad-of-two is one of the biggest donors to the Clintons and is on the board of their foundation.
Giustra's Clinton Foundation-affiliated Canadian charity kept its donors secret, which went against the 2008 promise the Clintons made as Hillary Clinton joined the Obama Administration to release all those names publicly.
He ran into controversy when, in 2005, he traveled to Kazakhstan with then President Bill Clinton.
There they met the country's despotic president Nursultan Nazarbayev. Clinton's appearance is seen as helping Giustra secure a deal to start his UrAsia uranium company in Kazakhstan, which would later merge with Uranium One.
Giustra would donate $31.3 million to the Clinton Foundation in 2006 and helped start the Clinton Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative.
In 2016 emails showed Giustra and fellow billionaire Carlos Slim gave the Clinton Foundation an endowment of $20 million six years earlier. But reports said 'there is almost nothing in the public record' showing what happened to the money.
Giustra called the controversy 'insanity, a f***ing circus'.
In 2016 he received the Order of British Columbia.
In 2016 emails then showed Giustra and fellow billionaire Carlos Slim gave the Clinton Foundation an endowment of $20 million for the Haiti Development Fund six years earlier. But reports said 'there is almost nothing in the public record' showing what happened to the money.
Giustra called the controversy 'insanity, a f***ing circus'.
Dailymail.com revealed how the homeowner has used highly controversial methods also deployed by money-launderers and tax-evaders to conceal his identity.
The multi-millionaire who owns the home has declined to identify himself voluntarily ahead of new legislation in the Canadian province which will make it compulsory for the owners of properties to be publicly named.
An association with someone who goes to extraordinary lengths to hide their identity will raise questions over judgment as they pursue earning opportunities in their attempt to 'work towards financial independence.'
The royals declined an invitation by DailyMail.com to reveal the mystery mansion owner's identity. The couple's spokeswoman also declined to say whether they had paid for the vacation.
DailyMail.com has contacted Giustra and Foster for comment.
The owner of Mille Fleurs was apparently not known to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex until Foster introduced them.
There was no sign of Meghan Saturday at the mansion on Vancouver Island after she flew back to Canada without Harry to rejoin baby Archie, who had been left with a nanny.
In a sign of the couple's wish to spend considerable time in North America, they have moved their pet dogs to the property.
Harry and Meghan's intention to quit as senior Royals has widened the gulf between the two siblings, with William understood to be 'incandescent' over his brother's blindsiding of the Family.
The home named Mille Fleurs (above) is where the royal couple finalized their plan to scale back their royal duties over the New Year
Grandeur: The main house is 11,416 square feet with five bedrooms and eight bathrooms and a 2,349 square foot guest cottage with three beds and two baths
Luxury property: The French country-inspired mansion was listed by Sotheby's in 2012 and sold in 2014
Frank Giustra has close ties to the Clintons. He is understood to have loaned the home to the royals for free
It also emerged the Duke of Sussex pulled the trigger on his abdication decision because he feared his wife, who had not settled well in the UK, was 'on the brink' and could suffer a meltdown if she remained in the country permanently.
Anxious to avoid exacerbating an already tense situation, the Royal Family is keen to tread carefully. A source said: 'There is no suggestion that they will be punished or stripped of their Royal titles or HRH status. Everyone wants to find a solution to this as quickly as possible.'
After laying down a 72-hour ultimatum to aides on Friday to hammer out a solution to the Sussexes' future roles, Her Majesty summoned Princes Charles, William and Harry to her Norfolk Estate to put an end to the turmoil ravaging the monarchy - while Meghan is expected to join the discussions via a conference call from Canada.
Courtiers have quickly crashed together a document outlining several blueprints for Harry and Meghan's new position within the Royal ranks.
David Foster told DailyMail.com how his wife Katharine McPhee, 35, discovered that the Duke and Duchess were in need of a discreet spot for their first Christmas holiday. McPhee (right) went to school with Meghan (left) in Los Angeles and the two did theater together growing up
Giustra, 62, donated $31.3 million to the Clinton Foundation in 2006 and helped start the Clinton Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative. He is pictured in 2018
Giustra is pictured with former president Bill Clinton in Haiti in 2014
Mille Fleurs is officially owned by the Towner Bay Country Club Ltd.
The Towner Bay Country Club owns all 27 properties on the private Towner Park Road, just outside the small town of North Saanich.
When the homes are put on sale, the buyer does not buy the house directly.
Instead they buy shares in the country club, which gives them effective ownership of the property. The buyer's name therefore does not appear on the title of the land, which is a public document.
The office address given by the Country Club on its corporate filings is at a local law firm, Henley & Walden LLP in Sidney. The firm refused to comment.
It refused to name the shareholder to DailyMail.com.
HOW MANSION OWNER KEEPS HIS NAME SECRET USING MONEY-LAUNDERERS' METHOD STEP ONE
Bernadette Wolfswinkel, the ex-wife of a disgraced Arizona financier, puts Mille Fleurs on the market with Sotheby's in 2012 for $18 million CAD ($14 million). But she is not selling the home itself. She is selling her shares in the Towner Bay Country Club, of which she is one of the directors. The names of company directors in British Columbia have to be publicly disclosed.
STEP TWO
The mystery owner pays a reported $18CAD million for Wolfswinkel's shares, getting him the keys to Mille Fleurs.
He goes a step further to keep his name secret by not becoming one of the directors of the country club.
STEP THREE
The mystery owner makes sure that no public documents are connected to Mille Fleurs other than it being part of the country club.
STEP FOUR
The mystery owner gets the benefit of tough Canadian privacy laws which say that planning documents with the names of property-holders cannot be disclosed to the public.
STEP FIVE
Law firm which holds details of the country club's shareholders refuses to allow access to them.
There is no suggestion the owner engaged in tax evasion or money-laundering
On suing the Times - Lessig - Medium
Tue, 14 Jan 2020 09:12
Today I filed a defamation action '-- call it a ''clickbait defamation'' action'--against the New York Times.
Here's the skinny:
In September, I wrote an essay on Medium attacking the scapegoating of Joi Ito by many'--including most prominently, Ronan Farrow and MIT'--because of wrongs committed by Joi with the knowledge and approval of MIT. To its credit, shortly after the essay was published, MIT openly acknowledged that it had known and approved of Joi's fundraising from the criminal Epstein. That would'--or, in my view, should'--have kept the attention of reformers on the institution as well as on the individuals within the institution.
Shortly after MIT acknowledged its complicity, the New York Times published a piece based on an interview conducted shortly after my Medium essay was published. This was the title and lede:
This title and lede are false. Yet I've found '-- in the months since this was published, facing the endless attacks I get in person and online'--that the challenge is to focus anyone's attention enough long to see just why they are plainly false. Offering a tweet-length proof that a perfectly tweetable headline is flatly false is not, it turns out, simple.
Here's one passage from the relevant essay that might trigger the right mix of puzzled attention:
the point of the paragraph beginning ''But what I '-- and Joi '-- missed'' is to say that even if you take Type 3 and you take them anonymously, it is a mistake to take this particular type of Type 3 contribution '-- precisely because of the pain it would cause if it were eventually revealed. Maybe you can take the money of a tax fraud, again, if and only if anonymous. But the kind of pain triggered here means that that general rule should not apply here. Which again is why I said I believe it was a mistake to take this money, even if anonymous.
MY WORDS at the end here
it was a mistake to take this money, even if anonymous
should be read against the headline from the Times
A Harvard Professor Doubles Down: If you take Epstein's money, do it in secret.
And MY WORDS beginning at:
it is a mistake to take this particular type of Type 3 contribution '-- precisely because of the pain it would cause if it were eventually revealed.
should be read against the lede from the Times:
It is hard to defend soliciting donations from the convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. But Lawrence Lessig, a Harvard Law professor, has been trying.
My essay was clearly not ''defend[ing] soliciting donations'' from Epstein. My essay said'--repeatedly'--that such soliciting was a ''mistake.'' And more importantly, it was a mistake because of the kind of harm it would trigger in both victims and women generally. That's the reason why this kind of ''Type 3'' contribution'--you'll have to read the original essay to unpack that; that's not tweetable here'--was wrong.
S o: I did not defend taking money from Epstein. I didn't say it was ok to take money from Epstein ''if in secret.'' I said it was wrong to take Epstein's money, ''even if anonymous.'' The assertion'--in the tweeted headline and lede'--to the contrary is thus flatly false.
I love the Times. I know that journalism is hard, and deadlines are short. So I when I asked the Times to correct these two false and defamatory statements, I fully expected they would, and I fully expected that would be the end of it. And I so I was astonished when they not only refused to fix the mistake, but doubled down on the absurdity of their justifications. For example: Because I was supporting Joi, I was therefore supporting what Joi did. Wow. So if the Times criticizes the assassination of Suleimani does that mean the Times supports what Suleimani did? I was criticizing the scapegoating of Joi. I was not supporting what Joi did.
The incentives of journalism in the Internet age are clear'--drive eyeballs to your articles, so you can drive advertising revenue to your bottom line. That creates an obvious incentive to tabloid-ize the headlines. Flashy and fun is harmless. False and defamatory is not.
I still can't believe truth alone was not a sufficient incentive for the Times to correct its false statements. But so be it. A suit like this might complement the incentives for truth.
Iran Announces Arrests Over Downing of Plane That Killed 176
Tue, 14 Jan 2020 08:27
TEHRAN, Iran'--Iran's judiciary said Tuesday arrests have been made for the accidental shootdown of a Ukrainian passenger plane that killed all 176 people on board just after takeoff from Tehran last week.
The announcement came amid an upswell of anger and protests by Iranians in recent days over the downing of the jetliner last Wednesday and apparent attempts by senior officials in Iran to cover-up the cause of the crash.
Iran, which initially dismissed allegations that a missile had brought down the plane, acknowledged only on Saturday'--three days after and in the face of mounting evidence'--that its Revolutionary Guard had shot down the plane by mistake as the force braced for a possible military confrontation with the United States.
Judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili said ''extensive investigations have taken place and some individuals are arrested.'' His statement on the judiciary's website did not say how many individuals had been detained or name them.
Iran's president on Tuesday also called for a special court to be set up to probe the incident.
''The judiciary should form a special court with a ranking judge and dozens of experts,'' President Hassan Rouhani said in a speech televised in Iran. ''This is not an ordinary case. The entire world will be watching this court.''
Rouhani called the incident ''a painful and unforgivable'' mistake and promised that his administration would pursue the case ''by all means.''
The wreckage of the Ukraine International Airlines Boeing 737-800 at the scene of the crash in Shahedshahr, southwest of the capital Tehran, Iran, in a file photo. (Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP)''The responsibility falls on more than just one person,'' he said, adding that those found culpable ''should be punished.''
''There are others, too, and I want that this issue is expressed honestly,'' he said, without elaborating.
Iran shot down the plane as its forces were on alert for possible U.S. retaliation after Iran launched ballistic missiles on two military bases housing U.S. troops in Iraq. No one was hurt in that attack, which was carried out in response to the killing of Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani in an American airstrike in Baghdad.
Rouhani called the government's admission that Iranian forces shot down the plane a ''first good step.''
He added that Iranian experts who retrieved the Ukrainian plane's flight recorder, the so-called black box, have sent it to France for analysis.
The plane, en route to the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv, was carrying 167 passengers and nine crew members from several countries, including 82 Iranians, 57 Canadians'--including many Iranians with dual citizenship'--and 11 Ukrainians, according to officials. There were several children among the passengers, including an infant.
Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, the head of the Guard's aerospace division, said over the weekend his unit accepts full responsibility for the shootdown. He said when he learned about the downing of the plane, ''I wished I was dead.''
General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, the head of the Revolutionary Guard's aerospace division, speaks at Tehran's Islamic Revolution and Holy Defence museum in the capital Tehran on Sept. 21, 2019. (Atta Kenare/AFP via Getty Images)The incident raised questions about why Iran did not shut down its international airport or airspace the day it was on alert for U.S. military retaliation.
The shootdown and the lack of transparency around it has reignited anger in Iran at the country's leadership. Online videos appeared to show security forces firing live ammunition and tear gas to disperse protests in the streets.
Also Tuesday, Iran's judiciary said that 30 people had been detained in the protests, and that some were released, without elaborating further. An Iranian film director who'd called for protests in Tehran's Azadi, or Freedom, Square is among those released.
Iranian authorities briefly arrested British Ambassador Rob Macaire on Saturday evening. He said he went to a candlelight vigil to pay his respects for the victims of the Ukrainian plane shootdown and left as soon as the chanting began and it turned into a protest.
Iran's Foreign Ministry summoned the British ambassador on Sunday to protest what it said was his presence at an illegal protest. Britain, in turn, summoned Iran's ambassador on Monday ''to convey our strong objections'' over the weekend arrest.
By Nasser Karimi and Aya Batrawy
Europeans trigger dispute mechanism in Iran nuclear deal - Reuters
Tue, 14 Jan 2020 08:25
PARIS/LONDON (Reuters) - France, Britain and Germany formally triggered the dispute mechanism in Iran's nuclear deal with world powers on Tuesday, the strongest step they have taken so far to enforce an agreement that requires Iran to curb its nuclear program.
FILE PHOTO: The Iranian flag flutters in front the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) headquarters in Vienna, Austria July 10, 2019. REUTERS/Lisi Niesner/File Photo
The European powers said they had taken the step to avoid a crisis over nuclear proliferation being added to an escalating confrontation in the Middle East.
In a statement, they said they still want the deal to succeed and were not joining a ''maximum pressure'' campaign against Iran by the United States, which abandoned the deal in 2018 and has reimposed sanctions.
Triggering the dispute mechanism amounts to formally accusing Iran of violating the terms of the agreement and could lead eventually to the reimposition of U.N. sanctions that were lifted under the deal.
Iran has gradually rolled back its commitments under the accord since the United States quit, arguing that it has the right to do so because of Washington's actions.
''We do not accept the argument that Iran is entitled to reduce compliance with the JCPoA,'' the three European countries said in a joint statement, using the formal name of the agreement, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
In triggering the dispute mechanism, ''our three countries are not joining a campaign to implement maximum pressure against Iran. Our hope is to bring Iran back into full compliance with its commitments under the JCPoA.''
To trigger the dispute mechanism, the three European countries notified the European Union, which acts as guarantor of the agreement. The EU's foreign policy chief, Joseph Borrell, said the bloc's aim was not to reimpose sanctions, but to ''resolve issues relating to the implementation'' of the deal.
After months of announcing gradual steps to reduce compliance, Iran said on Jan. 6 it would scrap all limits on enriching uranium, but would continue cooperating with the U.N. nuclear watchdog.
The nuclear diplomacy is at the heart of a broader confrontation between Iran and the United States, which killed Iran's most powerful military commander in a drone strike on Jan. 3 after tit-for-tat exchanges that began with the killing of an American contractor on a base in Iraq.
The European countries said in their statement they were acting ''in good faith with the overarching objective of preserving the JCPoA and in the sincere hope of finding a way forward to resolve the impasse through constructive diplomatic dialogue, while preserving the agreement and remaining within its framework.''
''Given recent events, it is all the more important that we do not add a nuclear proliferation crisis to the current escalation threatening the whole region,'' they said.
''TRUMP DEAL'' U.S. President Donald Trump abandoned the nuclear deal in 2018, arguing that the agreement reached under his predecessor Barack Obama was too weak and new sanctions were needed to force Iran to accept more stringent terms. Iran has said it will not negotiate unless sanctions are lifted.
In one of the strongest calls yet from Europe for a new agreement to replace the deal, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the way forward was to agree a new ''Trump deal''.
''If we're going to get rid of it, let's replace it and let's replace it with the Trump deal,'' Johnson said. ''President Trump is a great dealmaker, by his own account. Let's work together to replace the JCPoA and get the Trump deal instead.''
Under the dispute mechanism outlined in the deal, the EU should now inform the other parties - Russia and China as well as Iran itself of the European move. There would then be 15 days to resolve differences, a deadline which can be extended by consensus.
The process can ultimately lead to a ''snapback'' - the reimposition of sanctions in place under previous U.N. resolutions.
''At one point we have to show our credibility,'' said a European diplomat. A second diplomat said: ''Our intention is not to restore sanctions, but to resolve our differences through the very mechanism that was created in the deal.''
Reporting by John Irish and Guy Faulconbridge; additional reporting by Marine Strauss in Strasbourg; Writing by Peter Graff; Editing by Jon Boyle
Instagram is starting to hide Photoshopped images from its users | Dazed
Tue, 14 Jan 2020 08:09
Black Mirror Netflix The move is meant to stem the tide of misinformation, but could it result in more censorship? Instagram already has a ''sensitive content filter'', which blurs out images that may be offensive, giving you the option on whether you want to see them. The same goes for messages that may contain something sensitive, from someone you don't know.
Now, Instagram is reportedly introducing a new function, to hide images that may be Photoshopped or doctored. According to TechRadar, fact-checkers on the platform are scouring for images that might be digitally altered and flagging them as "false information".
This is, at least, what happened to the photographer, Toby Harriman, from San Francisco, who recently discovered an image of a man standing on rainbow-coloured mountains, posted by MIX Society, to be censored. In a Facebook post, he wrote: ''I have a huge respect for digital art and don't want to have to click through barriers to see it.''
@MixSociety via InstagramHarriman's post raises a potential issue with the new move: it could result in more censorship from Instagram's parent company, Facebook, which has already been met with accusations of wrongly censoring naked bodies, even as depicted in art, as well as sexy emojis. A woman recently erected a giant inflatable boob outside the Facebook London office in protest of the nipple censorship policy.
Facebook includes the new function as part of an attempt to stem the tide of misinformation on social media, but whether it affects the posting of digitally altered art, enhanced images, and even memes, remains to be seen.
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Leftists Freak Out Over Video Showing Vince Vaughn Talking to President Trump
Tue, 14 Jan 2020 08:06
Skip to contentGod forbid two people should have a civil conversation.Leftists on Twitter freaked out over a video showing actor Vince Vaughn having a 20 second conversation with President Trump before shaking his hand.
Yes, really.
The clip shows Vaughn talking to Trump and First Lady Melania in a private box at the National Championship Game in New Orleans.
''I'm very sorry to have to share this video with you. All of it, every part of it,'' commented former Daily Beast journalist Timothy Burke, who was the first to post the clip.
I'm very sorry to have to share this video with you. All of it, every part of it. pic.twitter.com/ELMbDHZbZq
'-- Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) January 14, 2020
''Sad. Vince Vaughn is one of my favorites,'' another user wrote. ''I always knew he was Republican but this, so gross. I don't need a Wedding Crashers sequel anymore.''
''Throw Vince Vaughn in the pile of broken toys with Scott Baio, Jon Voight and the rest of the Trump Supporters,'' said another user who describes herself as a ''hardcore Dem.''
Throw Vince Vaughn in the pile of broken toys with Scott Baio, Jon Voight and the rest of the Trump Supporters
'-- Mayday Mindy 🌊 (@maydaymindy9) January 14, 2020
''I'm not angry about Vince Vaughn, just profoundly disappointed. And I want nothing more to do with him. Once upon a time I found him quite entertaining. Not anymore,'' remarked Stephanie Kennedy, a Democrat political activist.
I'm not angry about Vince Vaughn, just profoundly disappointed. And I want nothing more to do with him. Once upon a time I found him quite entertaining. Not anymore. pic.twitter.com/vB5pDCFcbA
'-- Stephanie Kennedy (@WordswithSteph) January 14, 2020
Many respondents pointed out the ridiculous overreaction to the harmless clip.
''Ellen thought she had it rough'... Keep Vince Vaughn in your prayers tonight,'' joked Alex Salvi.
Ellen thought she had it rough'... Keep Vince Vaughn in your prayers tonight. pic.twitter.com/5MPeO6Znc6
'-- Alex Salvi (@alexsalvinews) January 14, 2020
Although Vaughn has previously mentioned he is a Republican, this is why conservatives who work in the entertainment industry routinely hide their political beliefs and in some cases are forced to join quasi-secret societies comprised of other conservatives.
Despite constantly preaching the values of ''diversity,'' any individual who expresses diversity of opinion is shunned, punished and faces career ruination for daring to think differently from the mob.
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