Cover for No Agenda Show 1591: Half-Jacked
September 17th • 3h 4m

1591: Half-Jacked

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Ministry of Truthiness
Russell Brand news: Comedian accused of rape as 'In Plain Sight' Dispatches documentary airs | The Independent
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Archived Version
Sat, 16 Sep 2023 21:57
Sexual jokes, kisses and nipples: Russell Brand's most awkward interview moments
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Comedian Russell Brand has been accused of rape, sexual assaults and emotionally abusing four women during the height of his fame.
The alleged assaults occurred between 2006 and 2013, while he was a presenter for BBC Radio 2 and Channel 4, and include an assault on a 16-year-old girl.
He vehemently denied the ''very serious criminal allegations'' ahead of The Sunday Times article and an expose which is being aired by Channel 4's Dispatches programme.
The allegations include crew members on his Big Brother spin-off being made to feel they were working as a ''pimp'' by approaching young women on his behalf, and that he raped a woman at his Los Angeles home.
In a video posted to social media, the 48-year-old actor said he received ''two extremely disturbing letters'' listing ''extremely egregious and aggressive attacks'' relating to his ''promiscuous'' past.
While he did not specify details of the claims, he insisted his relationships were ''absolutely always consensual''.
He also attacked a ''serious and concerted agenda'' to silence him.
Since ending his career as a presenter and stand-up comedian, Brand launched a podcast and runs a yoga and mental health-orientated YouTube channel named Awakening with Russell.
Key Points1694872771Russell Brand denies 'very serious criminal allegations' Russell Brand has shared a video on his YouTube channel denying some ''very serious allegations'' made against him, which are set to be shared in a documentary on Saturday and published in a newspaper.
The comedian and actor said he ''absolutely refutes'' the allegations against him, which he did not reveal in detail but referred to as ''very, very serious criminal allegations''.
Brand, 48, said the allegations ''pertain to the time when I was working in the mainstream, when... I was very, very promiscuous.''
Holly Evans 16 September 2023 14:59
1694900044More pictures emerge of Brand leaving Wembley theatre Brand has denied all the allegations against him
(PA )
Russell Brand seen leaving the Wembley Park Theatre
(PA)
Holly Evans 16 September 2023 22:34
1694899542Comedian raises concerns on what more could have been done to stop Brand Daniel Sloss, the only comedian prepared to speak on camera for the Dispatches documentary, raised his concerns about what more could have been done to stop Brand's allegedly predatory behaviour.
He said: ''Questions that should have been asked about Russell before he was employed for certain things, I don't believe they were asked.''
Russell Brand vehemently denies the allegations that he called ''very serious'' and ''criminal''.
Russell Brand has denied the allegations (PA)
(PA Wire)
Holly Evans 16 September 2023 22:25
1694898902Women led like 'lambs to slaughter', former production assistant saysFormer staff who worked alongside Brand on his Channel 4 productions say that he allegedly targeted young women in the audience, who were often at university age.
He would allegedly ''point out women'' that he found attractive and asked staff to pass them his number and hotel details.
Speaking in the documentary, a woman says she felt as though the women were ''lambs for slaughter'' and they often phoned afterwards and reported feeling ''used''.
She claimed that staff were made to feel ''a pimp to Russell Brand's needs''.
Holly Evans 16 September 2023 22:15
1694898037Brand spotted leaving Wembley theatre Russell Brand has been pictured leaving Wembley Park Theatre after his stand-up comedy show.
The show was delayed by 45 minutes as the comedian faces serious allegations including rape and sexual assault.
Brand is facing allegations of rape and sexual assault
(Reuters )
Brand spotted leaving a theatre in Wembley this evening
(Reuters )
Holly Evans 16 September 2023 22:00
1694897576Statement from Big Brother production company A spokesman for Banijay UK, which bought Endemol in 2020, said it had reviewed files and correspondence and could find no records of issues about Brand being raised formally or discussed with Endemol.
It said: ''We take our duty of care to our cast, crew and staff extremely seriously. While the legacy company, Endemol, did have a code of conduct, support policies and escalation procedures in place during the period in question, they were not as robust as our current processes.
''We are sorry these women did not feel supported and protected while working on these productions and in light of these serious allegations encourage to them to contact us in confidence.''
Russell Brand said he denies serious allegations about his personal life in a video posted online (Philip Toscano, PA)
(PA Archive)
Holly Evans 16 September 2023 21:52
1694897150Former runner recalls Brand flashing her in dressing room A woman who worked as a runner on Big Brother's spin-off show, which Brand presented, said that production managers didn't want to ''rock the boat'' and took advantage of her friendship with the presenter.
She recalled the ''line being crossed'' after Brand flashed her in his dressing room.
She claimed that she later engaged in a consensual sexual relationship with him but he swore her to secrecy, telling her to that it would break a clause in his contract.
Holly Evans 16 September 2023 21:45
1694896343Brand had 'upper hand' in alleged relationship with schoolgirlOne woman who met Brand in 2006 started dating him at the age of 16, she said. She told the Channel 4 documentary: ''It shouldn't be legal for a 16 year old to have a relationship with a man in their 30s.. I always felt like he had the upper hand.''
Describing what their first date was like, she said: ''I was a child that had got dressed up for dinner. I liked him and I felt a bit giddy and I felt special. I woke to text messages from him saying he had dreamt we were married.''
She claimed that she lost her virginity to Brand and that he had caused a ''wedge'' between her and her parents. Other allegations include a sexual assault at his home and controlling behaviour, including Brand ordering her to stay in a bath for an hour.
Holly Evans 16 September 2023 21:32
1694896175Personal assistant said Brand 'could not stop sleeping with women' Helen Berger, who worked as Brand's personal assistant in 2006, said: ''He could not stop sleeping with women and he was never satisfied by it, he was never happy.''
She recalled that he would frequently just wear his underwear and showed his friends intimate photographs of women.
When asked if she had concerns around consent, she responded: ''I never once thought that he was someone who would rape anybody or assault anybody.''
Brand was 'never satisfied' by sleeping with women
Holly Bancroft 16 September 2023 21:29
1694895733Woman details being pushed against the wall by Brand A woman has detailed meeting Brand in Hollywood in 2012, and kissing him backstage at one of his first shows in LA.
The two consensually engaged in sexual activity and began to message and phone call.
She recalled: ''I was out late and he happened to call me and say 'I had a really bad day please come over'. He said 'please come, just come and cuddle with me'.
''He comes running out of the bedroom naked. He came at me with kisses and stuff, which was kind of fun and then it wasn't that fun when I couldn't move. I knew what he wanted from me at that point.
''He pushed me up against a wall and I was like 'What are you doing'''
''I tried to get away from him.. I'm telling him to get off me and he won't get off'... I was very distraught. Trying to get out of the house with him being so much taller than me. I couldn't move.''
She claims that Brand raped her against the wall and texted her with an apology. Documents show that the woman attended a rape crisis centre and decided agaainst reporting the alleged assault to the police.
Brand has denied all allegations.
Holly Evans 16 September 2023 21:22
Fifth Circuit says Biden coerced and threatened social media BOTG
As expected, the feds have decided to go straight to SCOTUS. They asked Justice Alito to stay (suspend) the preliminary injunction “pending the filing and disposition of the government’s forthcoming petition for a writ of certiorari and any further proceedings in [SCOTUS].” Alito granted them a one-week stay (until next Friday), and has ordered the plaintiffs to file a response by Wednesday.
It’ll be interesting to see what the plaintiffs say in response and what Alito ultimately decides. All we know for sure is the feds have announced their plan to seek SCOTUS review. While nothing is certain, I’d say the odds are very good that they can persuade at least four justices to agree to hear the case (the minimum required). If that happens, the M5M will be hard-pressed to ignore this story.
Anyway, don’t read too much into Alito’s order. It’s common for courts to maintain the status quo in this fashion.
Cyber Pandemic
MGM Ransomware BOTG
I thought you'd be interested in the current chaos unfolding at MGM International. Everything from slot machines to email, to employee portals are offline. Communication is happening via personal emails and texts.
According to IT, the breach originated from the help desk, with credentials likely obtained through phishing or social engineering. Despite this being preventable through methods like two-factor authentication, no such measures were in place. This started at the corporate level and made its way to all MGM properties, even those in Macau. Aria, Bellagio, NyNy, Cosmo, MGM, Mandalay Bay, Park MGM, the list goes on.
Upon discovering the hack, MGM took their systems offline voluntarily. The hackers are demanding over $100 million in ransom. Interestingly, a similar incident happened to Caesar's recently; they paid $30 million in ransom but managed to keep it under wraps until now.
It’s a shit show. I am currently working on a project with corporate and it will be at least two weeks before email is restored.
Hackers stole Microsoft signing key from Windows crash dump
MGM cyberattack leaves thousands of guests on the Las Vegas strip LOCKED OUT of rooms at hotels like the Mandalay Bay and Bellagio - as clip shows Aria Casino's slot machines out of service | Daily Mail Online
Great Reset
Germany: Sex worker registrations increase after pandemic '' DW '' 09/15/2023
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Archived Version
Sat, 16 Sep 2023 21:05
The number of registered sex workers in Germany at the end of 2022 was 28,280, a rise of 19.1% compared with the year before, according to official figures published by the Federal Statistics Agency (Destatis) on Friday.
Experts attribute a large part of the rise to the reopening of businesses after restrictions in place during the worst two years of the coronavirus pandemic, 2020 and 2021.
The total number of sex workers registered at the end of 2022 was still far below what it was before the pandemic '-- 40,370 '-- in 2019.
How the numbers break downJust under a fifth, 5,204, of those registered, had German citizenship, with a large majority of foreign sex workers, 20,969, coming from within Europe.
The three most common nationalities were Romanian with 9,870 (35% of the total registered), Bulgarian with 3,140 (11%), and Spanish with 1,760 (6%).
The statistics agency reported that there were 2,310 prostitution businesses, compared with 2,290 at the end of 2021 and 1,170 at the end of 2019.
The agency recorded 1,202 sex workers as coming from Asia and a further 661 as from the Americas.
More than three-quarters of registered sex workers (76%) were aged between 21 and 44, with 1,050 (4%) aged between 18 and 20.
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Most of the registered businesses were prostitution establishments such as brothels but some 5% were agencies and 3% were logged as vehicles for sex workers or special events.
No details on genderThe figures were based on figures gathered under Germany's Prostitution Act, which came into force in 2002 with the aim of improving the social and legal position of sex workers.
It means that sex workers and businesses are required to register with the authorities and mandates that condoms be used during sex work
Statistics are based on the information provided when registering and details of sex or gender are not required.
Unofficial estimates in 2019 placed the total number of sex workers in Germany at more than 400,000, meaning that some 90% were unregistered at that time '-- and technically working illegally. During the lockdown, such unregistered workers were unable to claim compensation.
Among the reasons for not registering are privacy concerns, not having an address and a lack of legal residency status in Germany.
While you're here: Every Tuesday, DW editors round up what is happening in German politics and society. You can sign up here for the weekly email newsletter Berlin Briefing.
Big Tech
Pulitzer winner Chabon, other authors sue Meta over AI program | Reuters
Is this why they met with Congress, to protect them from lawsuits?
That's what the regulator will do?
The X in Xmas literally means Christ. Here's the history behind it. - Vox
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Archived Version
Sat, 16 Sep 2023 18:42
You've probably heard the phrase "Keep Christ in Christmas," either on a church sign, or a Facebook wall. You might have even heard it this month. The idea is always the same: let's not rub out the religious roots of this holiday by saying "Xmas," instead of Christmas.
This might seem like a strange battle to wage, but there are people who really, earnestly believe this is deeply important. For instance, Franklin Graham, son of Billy, put it like this :
For us as Christians, [Christmas] is one of the most holy of the holidays, the birth of our savior Jesus Christ. And for people to take Christ out of Christmas. They're happy to say merry Xmas. Let's just take Jesus out. And really, I think, a war against the name of Jesus Christ.
This is of a piece with those who fret that saying "happy holidays" is somehow scrubbing the season's religious ties away. But those who make this argument are barking up the wrong tree, because, you see, the X in "Xmas" literally means Jesus. Allow us to explain.
How can the letter "X" stand for "Christ"?In Greek, the language of the New Testament, the word Christos (Christ) begins with the letter "X," or chi. Here's what it looks like:
ΧρισÏόςSo how did that word get abbreviated?In the early fourth century, Constantine the Great, Roman Emperor from 306-337, popularized this shorthand for Christ. According to legend, on the eve of his great battle against Maxentius, Constantine had a vision that led him to create a military banner emblazoned with the first two letters of Christ on it: chi and rho.
Chi-Rho. (Dylan Lake/Wikimedia Commons)
These two letters, then, became a sort of shorthand for Jesus Christ.
When did the Greek letter start to be used in the word "Christmas?"Most scholars agree that the first appearance of this abbreviation for Christmas dates to 1021, "when an Anglo-Saxon scribe saved himself space by writing XPmas," reported First Things. Parchment paper was quite expensive, so any techniques for saving space were welcome. The abbreviation stuck and eventually was shortened to Xmas.
The poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge used it in a letter , dated December 31, 1801, for instance: "On Xmas day I breakfasted with Davy." The verb "x massing" was also used in the magazine Punch in 1884, according to The Guardian.
Are there any other Christian examples of this?There's an ancient acronym many of us are familiar with, even if we don't realize it. Have a look:
ÎΧÎΥΣ
It's pronounced Ich-thus, and it's the Greek word for fish. You may know it better as the so-called "Jesus fish" of bumper sticker fame. Early Christians used it as an abbreviated form of one of their creeds: "Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior."
These shorthands happen in seminaries all the time. As they do with Christ, seminarians write a similar shorthand for the Greek word God, which is θεός (theos). When abbreviating the word, they'll just jot down the first letter, θ (theta).
Santa v. Baby Jesus. (Tyler Olson/Flickr)
So how did Xmas become so hated?Good question. The answer may have something to do with the culture wars, the historical tension between the left and the Christian right.
Think about Franklin Graham's quote above. For him, and to many who share his particular religious leanings, Xmas is symbolic of a bigger problem with our culture: not only are we crossing out Christ in the word, they say, but we're tossing him out of the public square. Therefore, Xmas, as Graham said, "is a war against the name of Jesus Christ."
Graham and those who think similarly (like actor Kirk Cameron and former Alaska governor Sarah Palin) believe the secularization of American culture is so all pervasive that even if they're aware of the religious roots of Xmas, they still believe it is symbolic of a larger trend. Thus, it has to go.
Is there any good reason why Christians might hate "Xmas?"Certainly, Christians have a right to feel however they wish, and if they think that Christianity is being driven from the public square, there's really no arguing they're wrong. In fact, polls show that organized religion in America has been declining.
Writing at First Things, Matthew Schmitz, who is well aware of the historical roots of Xmas, discusses another reason some Christians might be wary of the shorthand:
The cultural, religious, communal traditions we see as especially embodied by Christmas have been undermined by the rise of commerce and cult of efficiency. The desire to get from point A to B by the shortest possible route, irrespective of the charms of traditional byways, fuels our mania for abbreviation. The hatred for Xmas, then, may stem in part from an innate suspicion of the attempt to render all things ancient and beautiful modern, cheap, and sleek.
Can we take a music break?Sure! Here's a Christmas song from Christina Aguilera, who sometimes calls herself Xtina. Appropriately enough, it's called Xtina's Xmas.
Why does this matter?First, the US remains divided over several traditional culture war issues, most prominently abortion. The battle over Xmas, though it might seem trivial, only reinforces the "secular vs. Christian America" narrative that fuels those arguments.
Second, the fight over the word Xmas underscores some American Christians' real fear of persecution. It might seem ridiculous that members of the nation's dominant religion would feel persecuted, and it's easy to laugh about those who claim the statement "happy holidays" means de facto persecution. But try looking at it from their point-of-view.
The United States has gone from a nation where the default religion was assumed to be Christianity, to one that increasingly tries to make room for people of all faiths and belief systems. That can seem like a gradual, inevitable evolution to those not embroiled in the culture wars, but it can feel like a massive sea change to those who are. These changes are fast, and they are real, and those concerned about them shouldn't just be dismissed or mocked.
In fact, dismissing concerns about the changing religious landscape is bad for all of us in the long run, as Susan Brooks Thistelthwaite wrote for FaithStreet about religious pluralism in America. "A conflict that cannot be named cannot be mediated. In other words," she continues,
the more religiously pluralistic we become, the more visible our struggle becomes with these issues. It is only when we take the risk of actually looking at our religious stresses and strains that we can begin to act to know them, engage them, and hopefully move them in a more positive direction.
While it might be funny to joke about overblown fears about the so-called War On Christmas, it's probably more helpful to try to understand the roots of those concerns, then address those in a thoughtful manner. Harvard University's Pluralism Project offers some great ideas about the shape these talks could take.
So what if somebody tells me we need to keep the Christ in Christmas? You could suggest that the word "Christmas" is itself already a shorthand for "Christ's mass." Or, as discussed, point out what the X really stands for.
Or, you could be even cheekier about it, and talk about how the original war on Christmas was actually waged by conservative American Christians. Wary of the pagan roots of the festivities, the Puritans wanted to keep Christmas out of their no-nonsense Christianity.
Or, finally, you could take a page from the man whose name is in the holiday, by realizing this is, ultimately, a pretty big fight over a single letter. Sometimes, turning the other cheek is pretty painless.
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What is robodebt? Six things to watch for in the royal commission's final report today | Royal commission into robodebt | The Guardian
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Archived Version
Sat, 16 Sep 2023 21:31
The basicsWhat is robodebt? Robodebt is a compliance program which asserted that welfare recipients owed debts to the commonwealth on the basis of assumptions including using their annual income to estimate their average fortnightly income.
What was wrong with robodebt? Since debt notices were initially automated and generated at scale from 2015, whistleblowers came forward warning the system was unfair and effectively reversed the onus on welfare recipients to prove they did not owe a debt, including in the earliest reporting of the scheme by Guardian Australia in December 2016.
In 2018 Prof Terry Carney, a former senior member of the administrative appeals tribunal, warned that income averaging was not a lawful basis to establish a debt.
The government admitted this in a federal court action in late 2019, abandoned the use of ''income averaging'' and settled a separate class action at a cost of $1.8bn in robodebts that were wiped or refunded.
Why is there a royal commission? In opposition, Labor promised a royal commission into robodebt, which it established in August after it won office in May 2022.
Who is the commissioner? Catherine Holmes.
Who has appeared at the royal commission? Several ministers including Scott Morrison, Alan Tudge and Stuart Robert, top public servants including Kathryn Campbell and Ren(C)e Leon, advocates, whistleblowers and many victims.
What is happening on Friday? Holmes is meeting with the governor general on Friday morning to submit the report, which is expected to be tabled and made public shortly after.
Six things to look for1. Will there be referrals?Royal commissions are empowered to make referrals to other bodies including police, prosecutors, professional accreditation bodies and the National Anti-Corruption Commission.
The robodebt royal commission, which was due to report by 30 June, received a one-week extension to 7 July, which will allow it to make referrals to the Nacc, which was established on 1 July.
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However, the commission has made an order which directs that communications in the report's confidential chapter not be published, which suggests that some or all of the referrals will not be public knowledge on Friday when the report is tabled.
The order states that it does not prevent ''individuals who have been the subject of a communication '... from disclosing the fact that they have been referred to their professional advisers, managers, employers, associates or any other person''.
2. Will there be adverse findings?This will be known when the report is released.
While only Commissioner Holmes can make such findings, the evidence to the commission has raised eyebrows in government.
The government services minister, Bill Shorten, has said the royal commission had ''exposed a soullessness and hollowness in parts of the public service and ministries which shocked us''.
The foreign minister, Penny Wong, representing the prime minister, told a Senate estimates hearing in May that what had been heard at the commission had ''been beyond what we might have envisaged'' and was ''quite substantial''.
The former Department of Human Services secretary Kathryn Campbell told the royal commission in March she accepted federal cabinet was misled when the robodebt scheme was approved.
Campbell admitted to a ''significant oversight'' when a submission to cabinet falsely said there was ''no change'' to how debts would be assessed under robodebt but rejected suggestions it was deliberate.
3. What did Scott Morrison and other ministers know and do?Ministers said they were never briefed by the public service about robodebt's legal issues until late 2019.
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That includes Morrison, who ordered the scheme be established in 2015, and Tudge who oversaw it under the most scrutiny in 2017.
Conversely, Robert told the commission he had serious concerns and pushed to end robodebt (despite publicly defending it) when he was minister in 2019. Public servants flatly disputed this.
Holmes will have to test those claims, and may also offer a view on whether ministers were too passive and should have asked more questions about the program, particularly when it was shrouded in controversy and top legal minds were raising concerns.
Legality aside, there is the crucial question of why ministers allowed the scheme to continue despite reported suicides and other complaints from victims and advocates.
4. Deception, collusion, a public service cover-up?Two departments were responsible for robodebt: social services and human services.
Based on the evidence, Holmes will have considered whether officials knowingly launched an unlawful program by deceiving counterparts from another department '' or whether the two departments colluded to get the proposal up, and if so whether this could have been due to direct or implied pressure from ministers.
Then there is the question of whether there was a cover-up: the commission heard both departments received legal opinions that robodebt would be unlawful. Yet the ''draft'' opinions were not finalised, often kept from superiors and apparently not shared with ministers.
5. What sort of further repercussions are there?According to evidence in January the Coalition government was warned that persisting with the unlawful scheme could put them at risk of civil claim for misfeasance in public office.
Misfeasance involves a public official exercising a power in an invalid way or lacking lawful authority with an element of ''bad faith'', which can include ''reckless indifference'' as to whether the act was beyond power.
In April Shorten noted that there could be disciplinary consequences for public servants if they were subject to adverse findings.
''I'm sure the secretary of prime minister and cabinet and the secretaries committee of the government will be working out what to do about current public servants either in existing positions or who might have moved to other positions within the public service,'' he said.
6. What could it all mean for victims and other welfare recipients?The government has said a crucial objective of the commission is to ensure robodebt is never repeated.
Holmes is likely to make recommendations for Centrelink processes, the broader public service and potentially also the commonwealth ombudsman and other watchdogs that were found wanting during the hearings.
In theory, royal commissions can also recommend redress. Robodebt victims have received refunds and some interest payments, though the latter was not compensation for other harm caused.
Watch out, too, for any commentary from Holmes about the role of the media and politicians in perpetuating damaging ''dole bludger'' rhetoric.
IBM Reneges On Its Post-George Floyd Pledge to Abandon Facial Recognition Business | naked capitalism
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Archived Version
Sat, 16 Sep 2023 21:34
The US tech firm could not have found a better partner with whom to get back into the facial recognition market than the current UK government.
IBM has staged a quiet, almost imperceptible, return to the highly controversial facial recognition market, just three years after calling it quits on the technology over concerns about racial profiling, mass surveillance, and other human rights violations in the wake of the George Floyd murder. The US tech giant signed a £54.7m ($69.8m) with the UK government in August to develop a national biometrics platform that will offer a facial recognition function to immigration and law enforcement officials, as reports a joint expos(C) by The Verge and Liberty Investigates:
A contract notice for the Home Office Biometrics Matcher Platform outlines how the project initially involves developing a fingerprint matching capability, while later stages introduce facial recognition for immigration purposes '-- described as ''an enabler for strategic facial matching for law enforcement.'' The final stage of the project is described as delivery of a ''facial matching for law enforcement use-case.'':
The platform will allow photos of individuals to be matched against images stored on a database '-- what is sometimes known as a ''one-to-many'' matching system. In September 2020, IBM described such ''one-to-many'' matching systems as ''the type of facial recognition technology most likely to be used for mass surveillance, racial profiling, or other violations of human rights.'':
A ''360 Degree U-turn''
As Germany's Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs Annalena Baerbock would say, this is a 360 degree u-turn for a company that just three years ago had sworn off all forms of facial recognition technologies that could be used for ''mass surveillance, racial profiling (and) violations of basic human rights and freedoms.''
After George Floyd's grisly death at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer sparked nationwide Black Lives Matter riots in the late spring of 2020, IBM's CEO Arvind Krishna wrote a letter to U.S. lawmakers calling for ''a national dialogue on whether and how facial recognition technology should be employed by domestic law-enforcement agencies.'' As for IBM, he wrote, it would immediately stop building and selling general purpose facial recognition software:
The fight against racism is as urgent as ever'... IBM no longer offers general purpose IBM facial recognition or analysis software. IBM firmly opposes and will not condone uses of any technology, including facial recognition technology offered by other vendors, for mass surveillance, racial profiling, violations of basic human rights and freedoms, or any purpose which is not consistent with our values and Principles of Trust and Transparency.
Days after the publication of Krishna's letter, Amazon announced that it would also suspend police use of its facial recognition software, inviting Congress to ''put in place stronger regulations to govern the ethical use'' of the technology. Days later, Microsoft joined the bandwagon, saying it too would suspend sales of its technology to law enforcement agencies, at least until regulatory guardrails were put in place. In return, the three companies received a flurry of positive press in the legacy media at a time when corporate virtue signaling was beginning to peak.
An article in the Washington Post included an anonymously-cited claim that ''Krishna's move wasn't made overnight, but had been the culmination of more than two years of criticism about such technology from human rights and privacy advocates over accuracy, racial profiling and mass surveillance concerns.'' The move also made sense from a hard-nosed business perspective, given that IBM's facial recognition operations were not a big revenue generator.
Mutale Nkonde, a research fellow at Harvard and Stanford universities who directs the nonprofit AI for the People, told the LA Times that the ''symbolic nature'' of IBM's move was, in and of itself, important:
[S]hutting down a business ''under the guise of advancing anti-racist business practices'' shows that it can be done and makes it ''socially unacceptable for companies who tweet Black Lives Matter to do so while contracting with the police.''
An anonymous source told CNBC that IBM's decision was ''both a business and ethical one.'' The company had purportedly heard and acted upon concerns from ''many constituencies, including employees, about its use of the technology.'' Similarly gushing coverage dominated the corporate mediascape. Fast Company was almost alone in offering a more skeptical interpretation of IBM's motives:
The parade of announcements from giant tech companies is an attempt ''to virtue signal as a company,'' says Rashida Richardson, director of policy research at the AI Now Institute'...
IBM came first. The company sent a letter on June 8 addressed to Congressional Black Caucus members and sponsors of the Justice in Policing Act, introduced the same day. IBM CEO Arvind Krishna recognized the ''horrible and tragic deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor,'' and stated that the company ''no longer offers general purpose IBM facial recognition or analysis software.''
The thing is, it appears IBM already stopped making its facial analysis and detection technology available in September 2019.
The IBM announcement is ''not bad because it's better than doing nothing, but that said I think it's completely promotional and opportunistic,'' says Richardson.
A Stark Contrast
The contrast between the gushing media attention and coverage over IBM's withdrawal from the facial recognition market and the blanket media silence on its recent u-turn could not be starker. As far as I can tell, even Reuters and AP didn't deign to cover the story, leaving it to a handful of independent or specialist news outlets like Vox-operated The Verge and The Register to keep it from being totally memory-holed. But their reach is miniscule compared to most mainstream outlets, meaning that for most people, IMB is still on the right side of this deeply controversial issue. According to the company, it still very much is. From The Verge:
IBM spokesman Imtiaz Mufti denied that its work on the contract was in conflict with its 2020 commitments. ''IBM no longer offers general-purpose facial recognition and, consistent with our 2020 commitment, does not support the use of facial recognition for mass surveillance, racial profiling, or other human rights violations,'' he said.
''The Home Office Biometrics Matcher Platform and associated Services contract is not used in mass surveillance. It supports police and immigration services in identifying suspects against a database of fingerprint and photo data. It is not capable of video ingest, which would typically be needed to support face-in-a-crowd biometric usage.''
Human rights campaigners, however, said IBM's work on the project is incompatible with its 2020 commitments. Kojo Kyerewaa of Black Lives Matter UK said: ''IBM has shown itself willing to step over the body and memory of George Floyd to chase a Home Office contract. This won't be forgotten.''
Matt Mahmoudi, PhD, tech researcher at Amnesty International, said: ''The research across the globe is clear; there is no application of one-to-many facial recognition that is compatible with human rights law, and companies '-- including IBM '-- must therefore cease its sale, and honor their earlier statements to sunset these tools, even and especially in the context of law and immigration enforcement where the rights implications are compounding.''
It should perhaps come as little surprise that a company that played such a crucial role in enabling the Nazis' systematic extermination of ethnic Jewish populations and Romani across Europe, as exhaustively documented by investigative journalist and historian Edwin Black in the book IBM and the Holocaust: The Strategic Alliance between Nazi Germany and America's Most Powerful Corporation, is now reneging on its pledge to never facilitate the use of facial recognition systems. The company is also accused of aiding and abetting the human rights abuses of the government of South Africa during apartheid rule.
Big Blue could not have found a more enthusiastic partner with whom to get back into the facial recognition business as the UK government, which is at the leading edge of a tech-enabled authoritarian shift taking place among ostensibly liberal democracies. Whereas the EU recently adopted a blanket ban on the use of live facial recognition (LFR) in public spaces (apart from at its borders), the UK government is pushing for all police forces in England and Wales to make widespread use of the technology while fiercely lobbying the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) to retroactively greenlight its use by high street retailers.
''As minister I want to do everything possible to promote the widespread use'' of facial recognition technology and will ''continue to push this agenda forwards'', wrote UK Policing Minister Chris Philp to the founder of facial recognition company Facewatch, Simon Gordon, in a letter that was obtained through a freedom of information request. In fact, so great is the UK Home Office's enthusiasm for biometric surveillance technologies like facial recognition that the ICO classifies it as an ''ongoing risk'', together with the ''still unknown'' effects of the use of the technology in shops.
Climate Change
BOTG EV TECHNICIAN - Tesla vs CCS
ITM! From the anonymous EV Technician. While listening to episode 1591 when playing the interview of Savana discussing Elon Musk. She said "His chargers have a lot to do with wether or not we make this transition to electric energy" You said this has a tie to the Energy Secretary story from June. I believe this assumption to actually be true.
99% percent of EV's that are not Teslas use what is called a CCS connector to fast charge. I believe CCS is the Euro standard, which Tesla follows in Europe. However in the US Tesla utilizes their own connector style for Tesla vehicles (See pictures). The biggest issue as we all know is the range on EV's and the lack of infrastructure to support CCS fast charging. It is the number 1 factor which turns off a lot of EV drivers. In my experience servicing these sites all you see is frustration from drivers and complaining about the need to open more sites.
CCS infrastructure will take much too long to grow, for many reasons. The EV industry has been pushing Musk to add CCS connectors to the Tesla supercharger network so all EV's can utilize Tesla chargers. There is hesitancy from Musk and they know if this doesn't happen then the EV market will be in trouble. No one has flat out said that but it is just my observation. I think Savana said that very intentionally to continue to pressure Musk.
Musk is also attempting to get auto makers to adopt his connector and ditch CCS which angers the EV industry.
Just my 2 cents, hope its worth something. thank you for your courage!
Clean Steel BOTG
I want to remain anonymous! Please do not mention my name or location for this report.
In NA show 1591, you spoke about Queen Ursula bragging about 38 Clean Steel facilities in Europe.
As a person working in steel industry in a largest European steel company (a Swedish/Finnish/American
conglomerate), for 15 years I first hand know their BS.
Our company makes steel from recycled material like rail cars, automobiles, tank cars, and rail lines etc.). We melt them in an EAF (we built our first EAF in 1997 in Davenport Iowa, and second in Mobile AL). We are the North Americas' largest heavy steel plate and hot rolled coil producers. We supply steel to various industries: gas/oil pipelines, ship building, wind mill towers, heavy equipment manufacturing (CAT/Deere), highway/bridge construction, and most recently to military, automobile and aerospace. We use recycle material to cater all these industries and have no problem with our product quality or durability.
In Europe, they tried using hydrogen pellets to heat up the iron ore and make steel. But that's insanely expensive and nobody wants to pay the premium price.
In 2017, in USA we started a project called EcoSmart and started making sustainable steel. Our latest undertaking is: Zero Steel aka Carbon Zero steel. We didn't change any raw material to my knowledge, but the energy used in making this steel. We purchase our electricity from MidAmerican in Iowa who claims their electricity is derived from 90% renewable sources. Our company went a step ahead and secured a deal with a biofuel company to use in our mills. With that, our mills getting 100% renewable energy to make steel with Zero Carbon.
The reality is: the transportation to bring raw material, and to ship finished steel to customers is still use fossil fuels.
We also send these "clean" steel slabs to our European division where they sell them as "zero" steel; BUT these slabs are sent via ships that use fossil fuels :)
Hope that makes sense.
The world's first 3D-printed salmon looks kinda... tasty | Popular Science
Link to Article
Archived Version
Sat, 16 Sep 2023 21:39
The jury may still be out on plant-based meat alternatives' economic and environmental viability, but experts largely agree that the seafood industry in its current form is untenable. Overfishing presents countless ecological problems, including plastic pollution and the potential for a wholesale collapse of marine biodiversity. Researchers have been experimenting with seafood alternatives for years, but one company is finally ready to bring its offering to market'--and it represents a major moment within the industry.
Austrian-based food-tech startup Revo Foods announced this week that its 3D-printed vegan fish filet ''inspired by salmon'' is heading to European grocery store shelves'--a first for 3D-printed food. According to the company's September 12 press release, the arrival of ''The Filet'' represents a pivotal moment in sustainable food, with 3D-printed consumables ready to scale at industrial volumes. Revo Foods' Filet is likely to be just the first of many other such 3D-printed edible products to soon hit the market.
[Related: Scientists cooked up a 3D printed cheesecake.]
''Despite dramatic losses of coral reefs and increasing levels of toxins and micro plastic contaminating fish, consumer demand for seafood has paradoxically skyrocketed in recent decades,'' the company announcement explains. ''One promising solution to provide consumers with sustainable alternatives that do not contribute to overfishing is vegan seafood. The key to success of these products lies in recreating an authentic taste that appeals to [consumers].''
The Filet relies on mycoprotein made from nutrition-heavy filamentous fungi, and naturally offers a meat-like texture. Only another 12 ingredients compose Revo's Filet, such as pea proteins, plant oils, and algae extracts. With its high protein and Omega-3 contents, eating a Revo Filet is still very much like eating regular salmon'--of course, without all the standard industrial issues. And thanks to its plant-based ingredients, the Filet also boasts a three-week shelf life, a sizable boost from regular salmon products.
''With the milestone of industrial-scale 3D food printing, we are entering a creative food revolution, an era where food is being crafted exactly according to the customer's needs,'' Revo Foods CEO Robin Simsa said via this week's announcement.
While Revo's products are currently only available for European markets, the company says it is actively working to expand its availability ''across the globe,'' with Simsa telling PopSci the company hopes to enter US markets around 2025. Until then, hungry stateside diners will have to settle for the Revo Salmon dancehall theme song'... yes, it's a real thing.
Meat Company Opening Production Facility In Glenview: Pritzker | Glenview, IL Patch
Link to Article
Archived Version
Sat, 16 Sep 2023 22:06
Skip to main contentNiles-Morton Grove, ILNorthbrook, ILWinnetka-Glencoe, ILWilmette-Kenilworth, ILPark Ridge, ILSkokie, ILDes Plaines, ILEvanston, ILDeerfield, ILHighland Park, ILIllinoisTop National NewsSee All CommunitiesGLENVIEW, IL '-- A California-based meat company is investing in Illinois with a plan to open its first commercial-scale cultivated meat production plant here. UPSIDE Foods is investing at least $141 million and create a minimum of 75 new jobs with the creation of the new 187,000-square-foot facility, planned for Glenview.
UPSIDE Foods is the first cultivated meat company to receive FDA approval. Cultivated meat production eliminates the need to raise and farm animals for food, according to The Good Food Institute.
"Here in Illinois, we are a hub for tech and innovation, thanks to our talented workforce and prime location in the heart of the Midwest," Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Thursday. "This new facility is a significant investment in our communities '-- creating new good-paying jobs while advancing our ambitious clean energy goals to create a more sustainable future."
Find out what's happening in Glenview with free, real-time updates from Patch. The new plant will be located at the Dermody Logistics Campus, the former headquarters of Allstate on Sanders Road, adjacent to Interstate 294.
Dr. Uma Valeti, CEO and founder of UPSIDE Foods, said in a news release the company chose Illinois because of its "notable history of meat production," among other factors. UPSIDE also received one of the first Economic Development for a Growing Economy for Startups tax credits, which provides incentives for start-up companies to invest in Illinois, according to Pritzker's office.
Find out what's happening in Glenview with free, real-time updates from Patch. The Glenview facility will open with production of ground cultivated chicken products before expanding to other species. Officials estimate millions of pounds of cultivated meat products will be produced at the new facility, with the potential to expand to over 30 million pounds. They call it " a significant step toward creating a more humane, sustainable, and resilient food system," and added that cultivated meat can help "solve the climate crisis by ensuring animals aren't harmed while using less land, water, and emissions during production."
"I'm excited to bring a new innovative business to Glenview," State Senator Laura Fine (D-Glenview) said. "This company will flourish in our community, as residents prioritize the company's concept of sustainability and a healthy, nutritious lifestyle."
Get more local news delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up for free Patch newsletters and alerts.The rules of replying: Be respectful. This is a space for friendly local discussions. No racist, discriminatory, vulgar or threatening language will be tolerated. Be transparent. Use your real name, and back up your claims. Keep it local and relevant. Make sure your replies stay on topic. Review the Patch Community Guidelines.
Transmaoism
Pride is a disease that makes everyone sick, except the person who has it
Rolling Stone’s Jann Wenner Ousted From Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Board - WSJ
On Saturday, a rep from the Rock Hall sent a statement to Rolling Stone: “Jann Wenner has been removed from the Board of Directors of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation.” No explanation was given. A rep for the Rock Hall did not immediately return Rolling Stone’s request for further comment.
In the interview with the Times’ David Marchese, Wenner was asked about the exclusion of people of color or female artists.
Wenner is promoting his book, The Masters, which features interviews with influential artists, such as Bob Dylan, Mick Jagger, Pete Townshend, John Lennon, and Bruce Springsteen — none of the artists featured are female or non-white. In the Times interview with Wenner that published on Friday, he said that Black and also female musicians “didn’t articulate at the level” of the white male musicians in his tome.
“It’s not that they’re not creative geniuses. It’s not that they’re inarticulate, although, go have a deep conversation with Grace Slick or Janis Joplin. Please, be my guest. You know, Joni [Mitchell] was not a philosopher of rock ’n’ roll,” Wenner said. “She didn’t, in my mind, meet that test. Not by her work, not by other interviews she did. The people I interviewed were the kind of philosophers of rock. Of Black artists — you know, Stevie Wonder, genius, right? I suppose when you use a word as broad as ‘masters,’ the fault is using that word. Maybe Marvin Gaye, or Curtis Mayfield? I mean, they just didn’t articulate at that level.
“I mean, look at what Pete Townshend was writing about, or Jagger, or any of them,” he continued. “They were deep things about a particular generation, a particular spirit and a particular attitude about rock ’n’ roll. Not that the others weren’t, but these were the ones that could really articulate it.”
During the interview, he considered how he may have approached the book differently: “just for public relations’ sake, maybe I should have gone and found one Black and one woman artist to include here that didn’t measure up to that same historical standard, just to avert this kind of criticism. Which, I get it. I had a chance to do that. Maybe I’m old-fashioned and I don’t give a [expletive] or whatever. I wish in retrospect I could have interviewed Marvin Gaye. Maybe he’d have been the guy. Maybe Otis Redding, had he lived, would have been the guy.”
On Saturday night, Wenner issued a statement apologizing for what he said in the interview. “In my interview with The New York Times, I made comments that diminished the contributions, genius, and impact of Black and women artists and I apologize wholeheartedly for those remarks,” he said. “The Masters is a collection of interviews I’ve done over the years that seemed to me to best represent an idea of rock & roll’s impact on my world; they were not meant to represent the whole of music and its diverse and important originators but to reflect the high points of my career and interviews I felt illustrated the breadth and experience in that career.
SHORT SELL THESE COMPANIES - Bosses Say ‘Feedback’ Is Too Scary for Some Workers, So They Use This Word Instead - WSJ
Sept. 12, 2023 5:32 am ET
Employers around the country have good news for workers who dread chats about their performance: Feedback is on the way out.
Many companies, executive coaches and HR professionals are looking to erase the anxiety-inducing word from the corporate lexicon, and some are urging it be replaced by what they see as a gentler, more constructive word: “feedforward.”
Feed for thought
Feedback too often leaves workers feeling defeated, weighed down by past actions instead of considering the next steps ahead, but “feedforward” encourages improvement and development, its proponents say.
“The old assumptions of feedback, and all that word conjures up, I think puts a chill on performance,” says Joe Hirsch, a corporate speaker and author of a book on how to fix feedback. “Feedforward is about this forward-looking view of people, performance and potential.”
The canceling of feedback has its share of skeptics. It comes as younger generations—who can prefer a more positive, nurturing environment—are accounting for a larger share of the workforce, and companies increasingly focus on performance and efficiency following a pause on reviews during the pandemic.
“Feedback conversations, as they commonly exist today, activate a social-threat response in the brain interfering with the ability to think clearly, and raising heart rates,” says Theresa Adams, senior HR knowledge adviser at human-resources trade association SHRM.
Joe Hirsch Photo: Daniel McGarrity
Companies are also banishing another negatively charged term: “review,” which they are replacing with “connect” sessions, coaching, self-reflection and opportunity discussions.
Pharmaceutical giant
changed its review process in 2020 in an effort to help retain talent, according to Marc Howells, VP of talent and development. Instead of yearly reviews, the company is embracing quarterly check-ins, and has replaced feedback and performance management with “feedforward” and “performance development.”
“As soon as someone says, I want to give you feedback, people go into a defensive reception,” Howells says.
At
, managers are encouraged to use the word “perspectives” instead of traditional feedback, according to current and former employees. Reviews, meanwhile, have been branded as “connect” conversations. The company also recently stopped including anonymous comments from peers in employee reviews, instead showing the names of the colleagues in question.
A Microsoft representative says the software giant decided to change its feedback approach after seeking feedback about it from staff.
To do better by employees, managers are being told to bury their bad feedback habits—sometimes quite literally.
In April, Hirsch ended a workshop by asking attendees to write a regret they have had when providing feedback—say, talking to subordinates like children—on a Post-it note. Hirsch opened the lid of a miniature black plastic casket, in which the Post-it Notes were laid to rest.
A funeral for bad feedback? Joe Hirsch gets people to put regrets in this casket. Photo: Joe Hirsch
Managers aren’t the only ones in need of training.
recently started teaching employees how they can best receive feedback, says Paulo Pisano, its chief people officer.
The online travel agency made a series of videos for employees, in which executives share examples of situations where they had a “learning moment” that came from others’ feedback and perspectives, he said.
Despite leading that effort, Pisano says he’s not immune to feedback anxiety. When asked how he’d feel if he was about to get feedback, his mind started racing.
I don’t know you very well, and you’re already pulling me to the side? Pisano says he thought. “I can catch myself being a bit defensive.”
Jodi Miller, a 30-year-old former teacher, used to have a visceral response when she’d find out she was about to get professional feedback.
Whenever she got an email after a classroom observation, her stomach would drop, she recalls—prompting her to wait hours before she could muster the courage to open the message alerting her to the feedback.
Jodi Miller Photo: Johns Hopkins School of Education
“There’s this fear of what you’re going to find, wanting to prepare yourself,” says Miller, now an entrepreneur. The anticipation was usually far worse than the review’s content, she says.
Plenty of employees feel the sidelining of feedback is a step too far. For some, the effort is, at best, an empty rebranding exercise. At worst, it deprives swaths of workers of the tough love they feel is essential to grow as a professional.
Jennifer Solomon-Baum, a former Microsoft marketing director who left early this year, says she understands why the company chose to rethink its approach to feedback, which she feels may have made employees more open to giving feedback. On the other hand, she says Microsoft’s recent decision to put an end to anonymous peer feedback in reviews completely backfired.
In the wake of the change, “we didn’t get the richness of constructive criticism,” says Solomon-Baum, who is now consulting and leading marketing for a new ballet company in Los Angeles. “It became a praise festival.”
Feedback, Solomon-Baum says, is a good thing, as long as it isn’t used to criticize an employee in a mean or public manner. “There’s the art of giving feedback,” she says. “We need to reclaim and redefine what it is.”
Trisha Dearborn, the chief people officer of publisher Bustle Digital Group, says rebranding words such as feedback may lead to positive results, but cautions against relying on too many “buzzy words,” which could result in employees not taking the feedback seriously.
“When it’s serious feedback, you want to make sure people take it to heart,” she says.
The divide on the issue is partially generational, several HR specialists say.
Employees at the Microsoft campus in Washington in 2022. Photo: Chona Kasinger/Bloomberg News
Baby boomers learned to suck it up and perform, says Megan Gerhardt, a management professor at Miami University and the author of a book on leading intergenerational workforces. As Gen Z speaks more openly about mental health and anxiety, employers are more sensitive to delivery, she says.
Many younger employees entered the workforce while managers had loosened expectations on productivity and performance, and may have had less stringent grading in college amid remote classes, making the postpandemic adjustment more difficult.
“It’s the first time that they have not just gotten professional feedback, but it might be the first time in quite a while that somebody said, ‘You know, this isn’t good enough,’” Gerhardt says.
She recommends that managers remain clear on the purpose of feedback, how often it will come and how employees should respond to it. If workers don’t take feedback well, they might not fully absorb the information—or could leave.
Seth Price Photo: BluShark Digital
Many new hires at the internet-marketing service BluShark Digital LLC are entry-level workers—and they have a lot of opinions about feedback, says Seth Price, the company’s founder. Some want to be messaged via email, while others would prefer a phone call, text or a video chat. Some want facts and direct guidance. For others, such a cut-and-dried approach will make them shut down, he says.
All new hires are now asked to give their preferred way to get feedback as soon as they start, Price says.
Miller, the former teacher, says her fear of feedback lessened as she got older. Now the founder of an education app, she understands that criticism doesn’t mean she’s inherently bad at something.
Whenever she gets feedback these days, she has a new approach: “Think about the next step—how do I become better?”
The quirkier side of life
The A-Hed, named for a headline shaped like a capital A, has run on the front page of The Wall Street Journal since 1941.
Librarian here 2008 BOTG
I’ve been waiting for a while for y’all to cover the library bs raging. My best guess about weeding in Canadian school libraries is they picked 2008 because it’s 15 years ago, and library administrators are lazy and disorganized. They picked that round year because that’s when the woke mind virus ramped up. It’s also possible that some head librarian from that era retired, so now they can toss all the “bad books” with impunity.
At my library, books that don’t check out in a year get sold or pulped. Admin regularly wants to trash the whole reference section, like expensive art books and historical atlases. No good reason given.
Libraryland has collectively lost its mind. Libraries have forgotten their core business is giving patrons the books and info that patrons want. Libraries have shunned their core value of neutrality in favor of virtue signaling.
Nebraska woman files lawsuit against UNMC for double mastectomy she received at 16 | Nebraska Examiner
Link to Article
Archived Version
Sat, 16 Sep 2023 18:39
LINCOLN '-- A Nebraska woman who received a double mastectomy at age 16 filed a lawsuit this week against her former physicians and the University of Nebraska Medical Center.
Luka Hein, at the left of center, listens to fellow supporters of LB 574 this spring during a Feb. 8 hearing in Lincoln, Neb. (Zach Wendling/Nebraska Examiner) Luka Hein, who is 21, is suing UNMC, Nebraska Medicine, the University of Nebraska Board of Regents, three physicians at UNMC and her former mental health therapist for negligence. Hein alleges her physicians did not address her underlying mental health concerns nor provide her or her parents the full information needed for informed consent.
The lawsuit, filed Wednesday, names UNMC, Nebraska Medicine and the individual physicians and therapist. Hein also filed a tort claim Thursday against the NU Board of Regents because it has oversight over UNMC, Nebraska Medicine and the physicians.
''I was going through the darkest and most chaotic time in my life, and instead of being given the help I needed, these doctors affirmed that chaos into reality,'' Hein said in a statement. ''I was talked into medical intervention that I could not fully understand the long-term impacts and consequences of.''
Spokespeople for UNMC and the university declined to comment.
Supported transgender care restrictions Hein testified in favor of Legislative Bill 574, proposed by State Sen. Kathleen Kauth of Omaha, to prevent minors in the future from accessing the care Hein received. The Legislature gave final approval to the bill in May.
Hein has traveled around the country testifying for bills similar to LB 574. She has stated that one physician told her parents, ''Would you rather have a dead daughter or a living son?''
''These are not the words of a medical professional, but the words of an activist,'' Hein told the Nebraska Health and Human Services Committee in February.
Dr. Timothy Tesmer, the state's chief medical officer, testifies before the Health and Human Services Committee on May 25. (Zach Wendling/Nebraska Examiner) LB 574 bans transition surgeries for minors after Oct. 1 and authorizes the state chief medical officer to craft rules and regulations for minors' use of puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones. Largely known as gender-affirming care, the medications and procedures are largely sought by transgender or gender-nonconforming individuals and include a diagnosis of gender dysphoria.
A spokesperson for the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services told the Nebraska Examiner the department anticipates having emergency regulations in place on or soon after Oct. 1.
Those guidelines would need to be approved by Gov. Jim Pillen and could stay in place for no longer than 90 days at a time. Until rules are in place, new patients cannot access either medication at that time.
LB 574 supporters, including Kauth, often pointed to Hein's story as justification for the bill.
Mental health suffered The lawsuit states Hein's mental health deteriorated and she struggled in school after her parents got divorced in 2015. She was later diagnosed with depression and generalized anxiety disorder.
''Anxiety and panic attacks immobilized her,'' the lawsuit states. ''She lost her appetite, became easily angered, started cutting and expressed suicidal ideation.''
It was around the same time, the lawsuit continues, that Luka was groomed online by an older man, contributing to Hein wondering ''whether it would be best to have no breasts.''
The lawsuit alleges UNMC physicians fast-tracked and rushed Hein toward breast removal and that Hein's parents were also victims on the ''road to medical hell.''
Request to shutter gender clinic Physicians removed Hein's breasts in 2018 and placed her on testosterone later that year, the lawsuit states, which violates guidelines put forth by the World Professional Association for Transgender Health. On Jan. 10, Hein told her gender care physician she was no longer taking testosterone, was in pain all over, no longer identified as male and was not old enough to have consented to the treatments she received as a minor.
''Due to Defendants' actions, Luka is now a medical orphan,'' the lawsuit states. ''Having been subjected to irreversible surgery and a four-year cascade of testosterone, doctors simply have no idea now how to help her. Having broken her, Defendants have no idea how to fix her.''
Hein is seeking a trial by jury and payment for damages ($2.25 million in the tort claim against the regents). Hein is also encouraging the NU regents to shutter the UNMC gender clinic.
Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site.
Unity adding a fee for each time a game is installed | GamesIndustry.biz
Link to Article
Archived Version
Sat, 16 Sep 2023 21:42
Developers who meet revenue and install thresholds will need to pay up to $0.20 in Runtime Fees each time their game is installed on a new device
Unity is adding a new charge for every time a game using the Unity Engine is installed, the company announced today.
Starting January 1, a Unity Runtime Fee will be charged to any game that has passed a revenue threshold in the past year and a lifetime install count. The amount of the fee and the thresholds in question vary depending on the type of Unity subscription the developer has.
For Unity Personal and Unity Plus users, the thresholds are $200,000 in revenue a year and 200,000 lifetime installs.
For Unity Pro and Unity Enterprise accounts, the thresholds are $1 million in revenue a year and 1 million lifetime installs.
The fees also vary, with Unity Personal developers having to pay the most for every install above the threshold ($0.20), while Unity Enterprise accounts pay the least ($0.01 for every install above 2 million).
The fees are reduced for developers in emerging markets, with Unity Personal accounts paying $0.02 per install above the threshold and Enterprise accounts paying $0.005 per install.
Existing games built on Unity will also be hit with Runtime Fees if they meet the thresholds starting January 1.
The fees do not apply to non-gaming applications.
"We chose this because each time a game is downloaded, the Unity Runtime is also installed," the company explained in adding the fee. "Also we believe that an initial install-based fee allows creators to keep the ongoing financial gains from player engagement, unlike a revenue share."
Unity said that its Runtime code has billions of monthly downloads.
Additionally, Unity said it is retiring its Unity Plus subscription tier. Existing Plus subscribers will be given an offer to upgrade to Unity Pro for a year at the Plus price.
Unity closes offices in wake of death threat | GamesIndustry.biz
Link to Article
Archived Version
Sat, 16 Sep 2023 21:41
Update: Police say threat that closed Austin and San Francisco offices was made by an employee
Unity has closed its San Francisco and Austin offices for today and tomorrow in response to what it called a credible death threat, according to Bloomberg.
A spokesperson told the outlet the company was "made aware of a potential threat to some of our offices" and would be fully cooperating with law enforcement as it looks into the matter.
Unity has been the target of vociferous criticism this week after the announcement of a new Runtime Fee that it would issue to developers, charging them for every time their game is installed on a device after it hits certain revenue and install number thresholds.
The plan angered many developers, who took to social media to question Unity's methods for determining installs, the legality of the decision to impose such a fee and apply it to previously released games, and to say the decision would prompt them to stop working with Unity entirely.
Unity CEO John Riccitiello had been expected to speak to staff in a town hall meeting this morning but it was cancelled in light of the threat.
Update, September 15: Polygon received comment from San Francisco police that the threat was originally reported as "an employee [making] a threat towards his employer using social media."
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Big Pharma
Bill Gates' Massive Covid Profiteering Exposed In Viral Social Media Post '' NewsWars
Link to Article
Archived Version
Sat, 16 Sep 2023 22:19
A viral social media post revealing how much Bill Gates profited from the Covid pandemic was viewed over two million times in just two days.
Popular X account Pelham shared the post, writing, ''Bill Gates purchased shares in BioNTech (Pfizer's partner for its mRNA Covid shots) in September 2019'... just months before the pandemic was announced'...''
''Gates purchased 1,038,674 shares at pre-public offering price of $18.10 per share'...'' the user explained.
Bill Gates purchased shares in BioNTech (Pfizer's partner for its mRNA Covid shots) in September 2019'... just months before the pandemic was announced'...
Gates purchased 1,038,674 shares at pre-public offering price of $18.10 per share'...
Gates dumped his stocks, in November 2021'... pic.twitter.com/Pmr1hkqljK
'-- Pelham (@Resist_05) September 14, 2023
The post continued, ''Gates dumped his stocks, in November 2021 at an average sale price of $300 per share'... Gates on the same day said, 'We need a new way of doing the vaccines, because the vaccines *didn't stop transmission*' despite all of his previous claims to the contrary. It's almost like Gates knew Covid-19 was going to be released, and he also knew the vaccines were never designed to stop transmission.''
The post is accurate, as noted by Jordan Schachtel in January when he reported on SEC filings showing, ''the Gates Foundation's holdings in BioNTech went from 1,038,674 shares to 148,674 shares over the course of the third quarter of 2021, downsizing the Gates position in the mRNA vaccine manufacturer by 86 percent of shares held.''
''As you can see below, Gates just so happened to time the market perfectly, selling the shares during BioNtech's best performing quarter,'' he noted in the article along with a graphic.
In July 2022, Dr. Joseph Mercola wrote a thorough article explaining how Pfizer conveniently profited from the Covid pandemic.
Even NBC admitted back in January that the Covid pandemic drove Pfizer's 2022 revenue to a record $100 billion.
Watch the video below where Alex Jones shares a video of the moment Bill Gates finally admitted the clot shots don't work.
India in race to contain brain-damaging disease '-- RT India
Link to Article
Archived Version
Sat, 16 Sep 2023 20:20
Authorities in the southern state of Kerala have imposed restrictions to halt the spread of the deadly bat-borne Nipah virus
India is facing a renewed surge of the deadly Nipah virus after six people were infected with the brain-damaging disease in the southern state of Kerala, two of whom have died.
Schools, colleges and tuition centers have been closed until September 24 as a precautionary measure, while the neighboring states of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka have stepped up security in border districts in an effort to prevent the spread of the virus.
Kerala Health Minister Veena George said 1,080 people have been identified who came in contact with infected individuals over the past few days. A total of 327 of these are health workers. The state government is monitoring these individuals for symptoms of infection.
Kerala has seen four outbreaks of Nipah since 2018, the last of which occurred in 2021. In 2018, the virus killed 21 of the 23 people it infected. The following year, a single case was recorded, but the government's prompt action and extensive contact-tracing likely prevented it from spreading further. In 2021, a 12-year-old boy died after contracting the virus.
Kerala appears to be particularly prone to Nipah virus outbreaks as it is home to more than 40 species of bats that live in forests that have been cleared for human habitation. The virus currently spreading in the state is the Bangladesh strain '' a variant which is lethal, but has a lower rate of infection.
To treat the infected patients, the country is currently sourcing monoclonal antibodies from Australia, the Times of India reported on Saturday. India has reportedly requested 20 units of the drug. Although it was initially developed to treat Henipavirus, another bat-borne disease, Nipah virus patients have also been administered doses on a ''compassionate basis.''
Currently, there is no vaccine for the Nipah virus, but doses of monoclonal antibodies (proteins made in laboratories that seek out foreign materials and destroy them by sticking to them) are provided to patients in the early stages of infection.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that the case fatality rate of the Nipah virus is between 40% and 75%, although it can vary depending on ''local capabilities for epidemiological surveillance and clinical management.'' The WHO has listed it as a 'priority disease' because of its epidemic potential.
The virus can be transmitted to humans from animals or contaminated foods, and can also be transmitted from human to human. Human-to-human transmission of the Nipah virus is usually reported among families and caregivers of infected patients. According to the WHO, fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family are the natural hosts of the virus.
The Nipah virus was first recognized in 1999 during an outbreak among pig farmers in Malaysia. Apart from India, outbreaks have also been reported in Singapore and Bangladesh.
What's Killing India? Knowing Top 10 Killer Death Diseases in India
Over 1 billion people
Respiratory Diseases. ...
Tuberculosis. ...
Malignant and Other Tumours. ...
Defined Conditions. ...
Digestive Diseases. ...
Diarrhea Diseases. ...
Unintentional Injuries. ...
Intentional Self Harm. Suicide is the second most cause of death among Indians aged 15-29 years.
VAERS
Trump
Penzeys - Don't vote for Trump
Link to Article
Archived Version
Sat, 16 Sep 2023 18:30
About Republicans
As we've now said on our first-ever About Us page on our website, there's something unique about humankind's relationship with spices that time and again have caused spices to be a driving force for change. We live in a time calling out for change and for solutions to the very real problems our country and our planet face. There's two very different futures ahead for us totally dependent on whether we solve these problems or not. With so much at stake we feel obligated to use the unique position spices hold in our lives to try to help promote the solutions to these problems as best we can.
Watching the slow decline of the Republican Party over the last half century, and the steep decline/bottom falling out over the last decade, it can be easy to see the nonsense that has overtaken the party as pretty much random. Once you start seriously looking at the problems America and the world face and who and what are standing in the way of solving those problems, it quickly becomes clear there is nothing random to what the Republicans are promoting.
The Republican departure from conservative values and embrace of what, from a distance, looks a whole lot like insanity didn't happen by chance. All of it has been intelligently crafted with the goal of preserving the position of those who profit from the inhumanity that is at the very roots of pretty much every problem we are facing. From the environment, to racism/discrimination, to health, to saving our democracy at home and growing it abroad, half the time Republicans are intentionally blocking the solution to the problems we face. The other half of the time they are the problem we face.
The truth of our time is we've arrived at the point where there's no way to respect the nonsense the Republican Party is promoting and have any hope of overcoming the problems we as a nation and we as a planet face. Given the choice between saving America and planet Earth or saving the feelings of Republican voters, we are choosing to side with saving our country and our world. I'm sorry it's come to this.
And no, there is no HATE!!! in any of this. There is a whole lot of propaganda at the heart of much of how Republican voters have been steered away from conservative values to what they now seem all too happy to vote for. The thing to remember about propaganda is that it doesn't just misinform, it also works to make people immune from the truth by convincing them any facts that counter their propaganda are nothing more than HATE!!! But we really have no hate for Republican voters. None at all.
I actually like and respect most of you guys. Sure, there are a growing number that are there for the racism, but I still believe the majority of you have good hearts that want to help and do the right thing. I know you to be trustworthy, and honest, and funny, and caring, and good souls. The problem isn't what you are, the problem is what you are now voting to support. You guys have been turned around.
Remember when your distrust of big city types, and your deep rooted beliefs in paying your debts, respecting your marriage, raising kids willing to serve, honoring your word, and going to church every week had you voting for Donald Trump over Joe Biden all because Biden's son had a computer? Or how you couldn't vote for Hillary because she was over-prepared and used emails? I know that to you your actions seem rational and in keeping with your values, but when it comes to voting you are now consistently voting in people who are the exact opposite of you and the values you hold dear.
What does any of this mean? Going forward we would still be glad to have you as customers, but we're done pretending the Republican Party's embrace of cruelty, racism, Covid lies, climate change denial, and threats to democracy are anything other than the risks they legitimately are. If you need us to pretend you are not creating the hurt you are creating in order for you to continue to be our customer, I'm sad to say you might be happier elsewhere.
If on the other hand you still want the best spices and don't need us to respect what you now vote for to be our customer, Hooray! We are happy to have you here, but know that we will, on a regular basis, try to wake you up from this dream that has you believing there is anything conservative left at all to what the Republican Party has become. We can and will work without Republicans to solve the problems we face, but it sure would be nice to get back to a time where Republicans were equal defenders of equality, the environment, and democracy. We look forward to that day.
Thanks for reading. Thanks for being here,
Bill
You are booking on order from Test Site! This order will not be shipped! Please book order from www.penzeys.com
Bobby the Op
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Security Scare as Armed Man Arrested
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Archived Version
Sat, 16 Sep 2023 19:11
Police arrested an armed man falsely claiming to be part of Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s security team in Los Angeles on Friday night. It happened outside a venue where the Democratic 2024 presidential candidate was giving a speech and just two miles away from where his father, Senator Robert F. Kennedy, was assassinated in 1968.
The incident took place by the Wilshire Ebell Theatre where Kennedy was delivering an address to mark Hispanic Heritage Month. Kennedy posted a photograph of the man who was detained while wearing an Emergency Medical Service top and dark sunglasses, on X, formerly known as Twitter. Kennedy said the man was "carrying a U.S. Marshal badge" and had stated he was part of his security.
While Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has struggled to challenge President Joe Biden for the Democratic nomination, he has picked up considerable conservative support, thanks to his promotion of discredited conspiracy theories about coronavirus vaccines.
A Quinnipiac University poll among 1,632 likely voters, released earlier this month, found Kennedy was the preferred candidate of 13 percent of Democrat or Democrat-leaning voters, down 3.5 percent on his figure for June.
I'm very grateful that alert and fast-acting protectors from Gavin de Becker and Associates (GDBA) spotted and detained an armed man who attempted to approach me at my Hispanic Heritage speech at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre in Los Angeles tonight. The man, wearing two shoulder'... pic.twitter.com/vvJc0Gtk4o
'-- Robert F. Kennedy Jr (@RobertKennedyJr) September 16, 2023Referencing the company that provided his bodyguards, Kennedy wrote: "I'm very grateful that alert and fast-acting protectors from Gavin de Becker and Associates (GDBA) spotted and detained an armed man who attempted to approach me at my Hispanic Heritage speech at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre in Los Angeles tonight.
"The man, wearing two shoulder holsters with loaded pistols and spare ammunition magazines, was carrying a U.S. Marshal badge on a lanyard and beltclip federal ID. He identified himself as a member of my security detail," Kennedy added. "Armed GDBA team members moved quickly to isolate and detain the man until LAPD [Los Angeles Police Department] arrived to make the arrest. I'm also grateful to LAPD for its rapid response."
The LAPD told The New York Post that officers had arrested a man on suspicion of impersonating a federal marshal, adding that he will probably be booked on a gun charge. The department declined to comment further when contacted by Newsweek via telephone. Newsweek has also reached out to Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s team using the contact form on his official campaign website.
On X, Kennedy added: "I'm still entertaining a hope that President Biden will allow me Secret Service protection. I am the first presidential candidate in history to whom the White House has denied a request for protection."
In July, Kennedy blamed the Biden administration after saying that his request for Secret Service protection had been turned down.
The Secret Service website says that "major presidential and vice presidential candidates and their spouses within 120 days of a general presidential election" are entitled to their protection, with the Secretary of Homeland Security determining who qualifies as "major."
In June, Kennedy discussed the possibility that he could be assassinated during a conversation with podcaster Joe Rogan. He said: "I'm aware of that, I'm aware of that danger. I don't live in fear of it, you know, at all. But I'm not stupid about it, and I take precautions."
Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. speaks at a Hispanic Heritage Month event at Wilshire Ebell Theatre on September 15, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. An armed man was arrested outside after falsely claiming to be part of Kennedy's security team. Mario Tama/GETTYIn June 1968, Kennedy's father, Senator Robert F. Kennedy, was shot and killed at the Ambassador Hotel, just 2 miles from where Friday's incident took place. His uncle, President John F. Kennedy, was assassinated in November 1963 during a visit to Dallas, Texas. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. said the CIA was involved in his brother's killing, though the official investigation concluded that the shooter, Lee Harvey Oswald, acted alone.
Biden Crime Family
Dani Katz New Mexico Governor BOTG
'm listening to the latest show, and hoping I can help fill in some of the blanks about our disgusting, much-hated tyrant of a fake, fraudulent governor, Michelle Lujan Grisham.
Her "bold move" in choosing to violate the 2nd amendment came only a couple weeks after Chairman Biden visited her here in New Mexico. No one doubts that he came here echoing the order of his puppeteers (aka: Obama), and put her up to this.
MLG is so hated here that members of her own family reject her, vote against her, and speak out against her. Even my Trump-hating, liberal af landlords voted against her in the last election, which is saying A LOT.
Her second-term "win" was dubious at best, given that we are under Dominion voting machine tyranny here in New Mexico. When the public cried out for a forensic audit, guess who executed it? That's right! MLG and her very own accounting firm, who also took it upon themselves to certify said fake election.
She is lying when she says law enforcement is doing nothing about the violence here. The issue is all our Soros-shill judges who are releasing these violent criminals the same day they are arrested. Ana Garner is an attorney who used to live here. She was working with Tom Renz on a number a lawsuits against the CDC and other agencies, both federal and state. She left New Mexico after every case she had here was thrown out by all the on-the-take judges, saying it's hopeless, given how corrupt and compromised our judicial system is.
Let the record show that the Bernallilo county sheriff is notably NOT a constitutional sheriff, so this is a strange play for him, which has me wondering if this isn't all some sort of larger theater (i.e. propose something ludicrous that gets pushback from obvious opponents, so that they can land on a different kind of second amendment-violating "compromise"). Don't get me wrong, I'm thrilled to see the usual minions speaking out against her, but this is very out of left field for that particular sheriff.
MLG got in trouble with the House Ethics Committee soon after she was first elected for allowing BP and both the Israeli and Turkish governments pay for her trip to Azerbaijan. She lied, and said that a Texas non-profit paid for her trip. This is all on the record. She also got in trouble for coming home with lots of expensive gifts from the same trip.
Everyone in this state is in on the scam. As a journalist, I have been banned from every paper in the state for the egregious offense of calling the state health department back in 2020, and asking how they were calculating their fauxvid numbers. When I investigated the fraudulent election "certification", and called The New Mexican to urge them to cover it, the editor hung up on me. They refuse to entertain any actual truth, instead operating as a propaganda rag, just like the others.
Hope this helps fill in some gaps. Yes, MLG was auditioning for the part of VP, and has no problem selling out the constituents she hates for her own ambition. Personally, I don't think she's even human. Scope out some videos of her shaming the people she represents, half of whom she refers to as "lizard people." I, personally, am thrilled that the rest of America is now seeing what a tyrant she is, and am holding the vision of her spending the rest of her years in prison.
Thanks for all your heroic work on the frontlines of the bullshit.
Bush Crime Family
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton acquitted of all 16 impeachment articles following dramatic trial | Daily Mail Online
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Archived Version
Sat, 16 Sep 2023 19:29
Suspended Texas Attorney General was acquitted of 16 impeachment articles over allegations he employed his mistress and helped protect a real-estate developer.
On Saturday, Ken Paxton was acquitted on the charges that will allow him to return to work.
'The jury has spoken,' Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said after the verdicts. 'Attorney General Paxton received a fair trial as required by the Texas Constitution. '... I look forward to continuing to work with him to secure the border and protect Texas from federal overreach.'
The Republican was accused of using his powerful office to help shield Austin-based real estate developer Nate Paul, who was indicted in June on false statements charges and is under an FBI investigation.
Paul employed Laura Olson, the woman who allegedly had an affair with the married Paxton and whose testimony was dramatically canceled moments before she was set to take the stand.
Paul also once gave Paxton a $25,000 campaign contribution.
Suspended Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sits between his attorneys on the ninth day of the impeachment trial
Paul employed Laura Olson (above), the woman who allegedly had an affair with the married Paxton and whose testimony was dramatically canceled moments before she was was set to take the stand
A bailiff collects a vote from a Senator in the Texas Senate on September 16. Attorney General Paxton was acquitted on 16 impeachment articles
Paxton's wife, state Sen. Angela Paxton, attended the trial this week, but the Senate decided she was barred from voting to help determine her husband's fate.
Six former Paxton employees testified against their boss during the trial.
A conviction requires a two-thirds majority, or 21 votes, of the 31 members present. Anything short of that means acquittal.
The closes vote on one of the articles as 14 to 16, with two Republican Senators breaking rank to vote with the 12 Democrats in the Senate.
Other votes were much further apart, including a 2-28 vote on allegations Paxton gave Paul confidential law enforcement documents.
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick served as judge during the trial and ripped the impeachment effort after the verdicts. He targeted the state's House and called for changes in the law that allowed the case to happen.
'Our founders expected better,' Patrick said. 'It should have never happened this year, and hopefully it doesn't again, unless we address this in the Constitution.'
The Republican was accused of using his powerful office to help shield Austin-based real estate developer Nate Paul, who was indicted in June on false statements charges
State Sen. Angela Paxton, R-McKinney blows kisses in the direction of the gallery before the impeachment trial for Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, her husband
It just one of the stunning moments of the trial, former Paxton chief of staff Katherine Cary testified about the toll Paxton's alleged affair took on the AG's staff.
'I told General Paxton quite bluntly it wasn't my business who he was sleeping with, but when things bleed over into the office and into the state work, it becomes my business,' she testified this week.
'Just because somebody has an affair doesn't mean they're a '-- quote '-- 'criminal' does it?' Paxton lawyer Tony Buzbee asked in response to her testimony.
'Imagine if we impeached everyone in Austin who had an affair,' Buzbee added. 'We'd be impeaching people for the next 100 years.'
Trump this week accused 'establishment RINOS' of trying to 'undo that Election with a shameful impeachment,' and blasted the case that the state's Republican House brought against his ally.
Paxton's chief of staff Katherine Cary testified about the toll Paxton's alleged affair took on the AG's staff
'Who would replace Paxton, one of the TOUGHEST & BEST Attorney Generals in the Country?' Trump wrote on his Truth Social platform. 'Could it be a Democrat, or even worse, a RINO? The voters have decided who they want! Democrats are feeling very good right now as they watch, as usual, the Republicans fight & eat away at each other. It's a SAD day in the Great State of Texas!'
Senators began deliberations Friday after closing arguments from the bipartisan group of House managers prosecuting Paxton and the attorney general's defense lawyers.
'We discovered unprecedented abuse in the Texas attorney general's office by Mr. Paxton,' said state Rep. Andrew Murr, a Republican. 'He has betrayed us, and the people of Texas.'
In a fiery defense, Paxton attorney Tony Buzbee insisted the House had not proved their case and called the impeachment a 'political witch hunt.'
'There is shame here, and the shame sits right there' Buzbee said, pointing at the prosecution table. 'That they would bring this case, in this chamber, with no evidence.'
A look at what has happened so far and what comes next:
THE EVIDENCE
House Republican impeachment managers and Paxton's defense team were each given 24 hours over the last two weeks to present evidence.
The House managers spent their time trying to lay out their corruption case methodically.
An initial witness list of more than 100 names was whittled down to about 20.
Most were former Paxton aides who were suspicious of his business relationship with Paul and his romantic one with Laura Olson, who worked for Paul.
They detailed their concerns about Paxton's efforts to help Paul, burner phones and arguments over who paid for kitchen countertops in Paxton's home renovation project.
They told of taking their concerns to the FBI and how Paxton's extramarital affair might explain why Paxton seemed so determined to help Paul fend of the federal investigation that would eventually lead to Paul's indictment on fraud charges.
'I witnessed Attorney General Ken Paxton do brazen things on behalf of Nate Paul. He abused the entire office of the attorney general of Texas to benefit Nate Paul,' former Deputy Attorney General Blake Brickman said, 'and it got worse and worse and worse.'
Defense attorneys called four of Paxton's current employees who testified they have seen Paxton do nothing wrong and are proud to work for him.
The dramatic moment the trial did not get: testimony from Olson. The relationship was considered central to the bribery charge. Olson came to the Capitol on Wednesday and was called as a witness, but ultimately did not have to take the stand.
Olson's exit deflated a potentially dramatic afternoon as she didn't have to face televised, public questioning about the relationship as Paxton's wife, state Sen. Angela Paxton, sat in the room.
Ken Paxton returned to the trial Friday for the first time since the opening day and listened to the closing arguments. He was not required to attend the proceedings.
THE SENATE JURY
The Texas Constitution set the 31-member Senate as the impeachment trial jury; all were required to attend.
Thirty determined Ken Paxton's fate.
Angela Paxton was barred from voting or participating in deliberations because of her conflict of interest as the attorney general's wife.
Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, seated center, talks to prosecution and defense attorneys after the prosecution rested in the impeachment trial
Sen. Angela Paxton was not allowed to vote in the trial, but did attend the sessions to hear the testimony
Early votes on the trial's first day did not go Paxton's way. His attempts to dismiss all charges before the evidence was heard were rejected, with most carrying the 21-vote margin.
But those early votes also showed Paxton had the support of at least six Republicans, who could be pushing others to join them.
Paxton has become a darling among conservatives nationally as he backed Donald Trump's efforts to overturn President Joe Biden's 2020 electoral victory and filed numerous lawsuits against the Biden administration.
Like Trump, Paxton has claimed he was the victim of a politically motivated investigation.
His defense attorneys have even suggested a Republican plot to oust him.
Paxton's impeachment has fractured the Texas Republican Party. A Republican-majority House voted overwhelmingly to impeach him, while mostly Republican House managers led the prosecution.
Paxton is just the third state official to be impeached in Texas' nearly 200-year history, and the first statewide officeholder since former Gov. James 'Pa' Ferguson in 1917, who resigned the day before he was convicted.
Trains Good Planes Bad
FAA Controller Staffing BOTG
you may have seen that FAA is allowing airlines to not use all their landing and takeoff reservations/slots in New York FOR A YEAR. First, terrible for consumers and restricted supply=higher fares. Airlines love it. Also normally unused slots would move to new low fare carriers. This blocks that.
BUT why is it happening? According to sources the reason why the New York air traffic control centers are severely understaffed is because the senior controllers make it miserable and toxic for newbies with the goal of driving them out in order to protect their overtime which pushes their income often over $400,000. Keep in mind these are govt employees. The union protects this situation and the FAA/DOT aren’t doing anything to fix it so they are just screwing over consumers as a solution and maybe a dash of climate agenda too.
It also means that competent newbies leave to go to a better control centers, so what is left are the senior controllers creating the problems and rock bottom experience newbies who don’t have enough time in to bid out. So a safety issue as well at the most critical airports of Newark, LaGuardia, and JFK.
Ukraine vs Russia
Zelensky ‘senses’ weakening Western support — RT Russia & Former Soviet Union
Western governments could face defeats at the ballot box and trouble from the millions of Ukrainian refugees they host, if they do not maintain their assistance to Kiev, President Vladimir Zelensky has warned.
In an interview with The Economist, Zelensky complained about weakening support from senior Western officials, which he claimed to have seen in their eyes during meetings.
“I see that he or she is not here, not with us” contrary to spoken assurances, he said, according to the interview published on Sunday.
According to Zelensky, failure to support Ukraine amounts to siding with Russia in the conflict, which escalated into open hostilities in February 2022.
“If partners do not help us, it means they will help Russia to win,” he stated.
Link
McGregor clip
Hi Adam!
Thanks for playing the clip from my podcast interview with Macgregor!
Little did you know it just wasn’t any podcast, it was one of your Knights!
Would love to have you back on the show at some point we got some rave reviews when you were on last year.
Here’s the original interview:
Best,
Jeremy Ryan Slate
Founder, The Create Your Own Life Show
McGregor wearing Freemason lape pin
Africa
The conference of Berlin, - Wikipedia
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Archived Version
Sat, 16 Sep 2023 18:56
1884''1885 regulation of colonisation in Africa
The conference of Berlin, as illustrated in Die GartenlaubeThe conference of Berlin, as illustrated in Illustrirte ZeitungThe Berlin Conference of 1884''1885, also known as the Congo Conference (German: Kongokonferenz, pronounced [ËkÉ--ŋÉoˌkÉ--nfeËʁɛntÍs] ) or West Africa Conference (Westafrika-Konferenz , pronounced [ˌvɛstËÊ--aːfʁika ˌku] ),[1] met on 15 November 1884, and after an adjournment concluded on 26 February 1885, with the signature of a General Act,[2] regulating the European colonisation and trade in Africa during the New Imperialism period. The conference was organized by Otto von Bismarck, the first chancellor of Germany at the request of King Leopold II.[3] The General Act of Berlin can be seen as the formalisation of the Scramble for Africa that was already in full swing.[4] Some historians however warn against an overemphasis of its role in the colonial partitioning of Africa, and draw attention to bilateral agreements concluded before and after the conference.[5][6][7] The conference contributed to ushering in a period of heightened colonial activity by European powers, once made the point that the Berlin Conference of 1884''85 was responsible for "the old carve-up of Africa". Other writers have also laid the blame in "the partition of Africa" on the doors of the Berlin Conference. But Wm. Roger Louis holds a contrary view, although he conceded that "the Berlin Act did have a relevance to the course of the partition" of Africa. Of the fourteen countries being represented, seven of them '' Italy, Austria-Hungary, Russia, Denmark, the Netherlands, Sweden''Norway, the Ottoman Empire and the United States '' came home without any formal possessions in Africa.
Background [ edit ] Cartoon depicting Leopold II and other imperial powers at the Berlin ConferencePrior to the conference, European diplomats approached African rulers in the same manner as they had in the Western Hemisphere, by establishing a connection to local trade networks. In the early 1800s, the European demand for ivory, which was then often used in the production of luxury goods, led many European merchants into the interior markets of Africa.[citation needed ] European spheres of power and influence were limited to coastal Africa at this time as Europeans had only established trading posts (protected by gunboats) up to this point.[8]
In 1876, King Leopold II of Belgium, who had founded and controlled the International African Association the same year, invited Henry Morton Stanley to join him in researching and civilising the continent. In 1878, the International Congo Society was also formed, with more economic goals but still closely related to the former society. Leopold secretly bought off the foreign investors in the Congo Society, which was turned to imperialistic goals, with the "African Society" serving primarily as a philanthropic front.[9]
From 1878 to 1885, Stanley returned to the Congo not as a reporter but as Leopold's agent, with the secret mission to organise what would become known as the Congo Free State soon after the closure of the Berlin Conference in August 1885.[7][10][5] French agents discovered Leopold's plans, and in response France sent its own explorers to Africa. In 1881, French naval officer Pierre de Brazza was dispatched to central Africa, travelled into the western Congo basin, and raised the French flag over the newly founded Brazzaville in what is now the Republic of Congo. Finally, Portugal, which had essentially abandoned a colonial empire in the area, long held through the mostly defunct proxy Kingdom of Kongo, also claimed the area, based on old treaties with Restoration-era Spain and the Catholic Church. It quickly made a treaty on 26 February 1884 with its former ally, Great Britain, to block off the Congo Society's access to the Atlantic.
By the early 1880s, many factors including diplomatic successes, greater European local knowledge, and the demand for resources such as gold, timber, and rubber, triggered dramatically increased European involvement in the continent of Africa. Stanley's charting of the Congo River Basin (1874''1877) removed the last terra incognita from European maps of the continent, delineating the areas of British, Portuguese, French and Belgian control. These European nations raced to annex territory that might be claimed by rivals.[11]
France moved to take over Tunisia, one of the last of the Barbary states, using a claim of another piracy incident. French claims by Pierre de Brazza were quickly acted on by the French military, which took control of what is now the Republic of the Congo in 1881 and Guinea in 1884. Italy became part of the Triple Alliance, an event that upset Bismarck's carefully laid plans and led Germany to join the European invasion of Africa.[12]
In 1882, realizing the geopolitical extent of Portuguese control on the coasts, but seeing penetration by France eastward across Central Africa toward Ethiopia, the Nile, and the Suez Canal, Britain saw its vital trade route through Egypt to India threatened. Because of the collapsed Egyptian financing and a subsequent mutiny in which hundreds of British subjects were murdered or injured, Britain intervened in the nominally Ottoman Egypt, which it controlled for decades.[13]
Conference [ edit ] The European race for colonies made Germany start launching expeditions of its own, which frightened both British and French statesmen. Hoping to quickly soothe the brewing conflict, Belgian King Leopold II convinced France and Germany that common trade in Africa was in the best interests of all three countries. Under support from the British and the initiative of Portugal, Otto von Bismarck, the Chancellor of Germany, called on representatives of 13 nations in Europe as well as the United States to take part in the Berlin Conference in 1884 to work out a joint policy on the African continent.
The conference opened on 15 November 1884 and closed on 26 February 1885.[14] The number of plenipotentiaries varied per nation,[15] but these 14 countries sent representatives to attend the Berlin Conference and sign the subsequent Berlin Act:[16]
Uniquely, the United States reserved the right to decline or to accept the conclusions of the conference.[17]
General Act [ edit ] The General Act fixed the following points:
Partly to gain public acceptance,[18][6] the conference resolved to end slavery by African and Islamic powers. Thus, an international prohibition of the slave trade throughout their respected spheres was signed by the European members. In his novella Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad sarcastically referred to one of the participants at the conference, the International Association of the Congo (also called "International Congo Society"), as "the International Society for the Suppression of Savage Customs".[19][20] The first name of this Society had been the "International Association for the Exploration and Civilization of Central Africa".The properties occupied by Belgian King Leopold's International Congo Society, the name used in the General Act, were confirmed as the Society's. On 1 August 1885, a few months after the closure of the Berlin Conference, Leopold's Vice-Administrator General in the Congo, Francis de Winton, announced that the territory was henceforth called "the Congo Free State", a name that in fact was not in use at the time of the conference and does not appear in the General Act.[10][5][7] The Belgian official Law Gazette later stated that from that same 1 August 1885 onwards, Leopold II was to be considered Sovereign of the new state, again an issue never discussed, let alone decided, at the Berlin Conference.[21][22]The 14 signatory powers would have free trade throughout the Congo Basin as well as Lake Malawi and east of it in an area south of 5° N.The Niger and Congo rivers were made free for ship traffic.The Principle of Effective Occupation (based on effective occupation, see below) was introduced to prevent powers from setting up colonies in name only.Any fresh act of taking possession of any portion of the African coast would have to be notified by the power taking possession, or assuming a protectorate, to the other signatory powers.Definition of regions in which each European power had an exclusive right to pursue the legal ownership of landThe first reference in an international act to the obligations attaching to spheres of influence is contained in the Berlin Act.
Principle of effective occupation [ edit ] The principle of effective occupation stated that a power could acquire rights over colonial lands only if it possessed them or had effective occupation: if it had treaties with local leaders, flew its flag there, and established an administration in the territory to govern it with a police force to keep order. The colonial power could also make use of the colony economically. That principle became important not only as a basis for the European powers to acquire territorial sovereignty in Africa but also for delimiting their respective overseas possessions, as effective occupation served in some instances as a criterion for settling colonial boundary disputes. However, as the scope of the Berlin Act was limited to the lands that fronted on the African coast, European powers in numerous instances later claimed rights over interior lands without demonstrating the requirement of effective occupation, as articulated in Article 35 of the Final Act.
Comparison of Africa in the years 1880 and 1913At the Berlin Conference, the scope of the Principle of Effective Occupation was heavily contested between Germany and France. The Germans, who were new to the continent, essentially believed that as far as the extension of power in Africa was concerned, no colonial power should have any legal right to a territory unless the state exercised strong and effective political control and, if so, only for a limited period of time, essentially an occupational force only. However, Britain's view was that Germany was a latecomer to the continent and was assumptively unlikely to gain any possessions beyond those it already held, which were swiftly proving to be more valuable than British territories.[citation needed ] That logic caused it to be generally assumed by Britain and France that Germany had an interest in embarrassing the other European powers on the continent and forcing them to give up their possessions if they could not muster a strong political presence. On the other side, Britain had large territorial holdings there and wanted to keep them while it minimised its responsibilities and administrative costs. In the end, the British view prevailed.
The Great Powers' disinclination to rule their territories is apparent throughout the protocols of the Berlin Conference but especially in the Principle of Effective Occupation. In line with Germany and Britain's opposing views, the powers finally agreed that it could be established by a European power establishing some kind of base on the coast from which it was free to expand into the interior. The Europeans did not believe that the rules of occupation demanded European hegemony on the ground. The Belgians originally wanted to include that effective occupation required provisions that "cause peace to be administered", but Britain and France were the powers that had that amendment struck out of the final document.
That principle, along with others that were written at the conference, allowed the Europeans to conquer Africa but to do as little as possible to administer or control it. The principle did not apply so much to the hinterlands of Africa at the time of the conference. This gave rise to hinterland theory, which basically gave any colonial power with coastal territory the right to claim political influence over an indefinite amount of inland territory. Since Africa was irregularly shaped, that theory caused problems and was later rejected.[23]
Agenda [ edit ] Portugal''Britain: The Portuguese government presented a project, known as the "Pink Map", or the "Rose-Coloured Map", in which the colonies of Angola and Mozambique were united by co-option of the intervening territory (the land later became Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Malawi). All of the countries attending the conference, except for Britain, endorsed Portugal's ambitions, and just over five years later, in 1890, the British government issued an ultimatum that demanded for the Portuguese to withdraw from the disputed area.[citation needed ]France''Britain: A line running from Say in Niger to Maroua, on the northeastern coast of Lake Chad, determined which part belonged to whom. France would own territory to the north of the line, and Britain would own territory to the south of it. The basin of the Nile would be British, with the French taking the basin of Lake Chad. Furthermore, between the 11th and 15th degrees north in latitude, the border would pass between Ouadda¯, which would be French, and Darfur in Sudan, which would be British. In reality, a no man's land 200 km wide was put in place between the 21st and 23rd meridians east.France''Germany: The area to the north of a line, formed by the intersection of the 14th meridian east and Miltou, was designated to be French, and the area to the south would be German, later called German Cameroon.Britain''Germany: The separation came in the form of a line passing through Yola, on the Benue, Dekoa, going up to the extremity of Lake Chad.France''Italy: Italy was to own what lies north of a line from the intersection of the Tropic of Cancer and the 17th meridian east to the intersection of the 15th parallel north and the 21st meridian east.Aftermath [ edit ] European claims in Africa, 1913. Today's boundaries, which are largely a legacy of the colonial era, are shown. Belgium Germany Spain France Britain Italy Portugal IndependentThe conference provided an opportunity to channel latent European hostilities towards one another outward; provide new areas for helping the European powers expand in the face of rising American, Russian and Japanese interests; and form constructive dialogue to limit future hostilities. In Africa, colonialism was introduced across nearly all the continent. When African independence was regained after World War II, it was in the form of fragmented states.[24]
The Scramble for Africa sped up after the Conference since even within areas designated as their sphere of influence, the European powers had to take effective possession by the principle of effectivity. In central Africa in particular, expeditions were dispatched to coerce traditional rulers into signing treaties, using force if necessary, such as was the case for Msiri, King of Katanga, in 1891. Bedouin- and Berber-ruled states in the Sahara and the Sahel were overrun by the French in several wars by the beginning of World War I. The British moved up from South Africa and down from Egypt and conquered states such as the Mahdist State and the Sultanate of Zanzibar and, having already defeated the Zulu Kingdom in South Africa in 1879, moved on to subdue and dismantle the independent Boer republics of Transvaal and the Orange Free State.
Within a few years, Africa was at least nominally divided up south of the Sahara. By 1895, the only independent states were:
Morocco, involved in colonial conflicts with Spain and France, which conquered the nation in the early 20th century. Liberia, founded with the support of the United States for freed slaves to return to Africa. Ethiopian Empire, which fended off Italian invasion from Eritrea in the First Italo-Ethiopian War of 1895''1896 but fell to Italian occupation in 1936 defeat during the Second Italo-Ethiopian War Majeerteen Sultanate, founded in the early 18th century, it was annexed by Italy in the 20th century. Sultanate of Hobyo, carved out of the former Majeerteen Sultanate, which ruled northern Somalia until the 20th century, when it was incorporated by Italy.The following states lost their independence to the British Empire roughly a decade after (see below for more information):
Orange Free State, a Boer republic founded by Dutch settlers. South African Republic (Transvaal), also a Boer republicBy 1902, 90% of all the land that makes up Africa was under European control. Most of the Sahara was French, but after the quelling of the Mahdi rebellion and the ending of the Fashoda crisis, the Sudan remained firmly under joint British''Egyptian rulership, with Egypt being under British occupation before becoming a British protectorate in 1914.[25]
The Boer republics were conquered by the British in the Second Boer War from 1899 to 1902. Libya was conquered by Italy in 1911, and Morocco was divided between the French and Spanish in 1912.
Motives and David Livingstone's Crusade [ edit ] Slave traders and their captives bound in chains and collared with 'taming sticks'. From Livingstone's NarrativeOne of the chief stated justifications "was a desire to stamp out slavery once and for all".[26] Before he died in 1873, Christian missionary, David Livingstone, called for a worldwide crusade to defeat the Arab-controlled slave trade in East Africa. The way to do it was to "liberate Africa" by the introduction of "commerce, Christianity" and civilization.[27]
Crowe, Craven, and Katzenellenbogen are authors who have attempted to soften the language and therefore the intent of the conference. They warn against an overemphasis on its role in the colonial partitioning of Africa, extensively justifying it by ignoring the motivations and outcomes of the conference by only drawing attention to bilateral agreements concluded before and after the conference, regardless of whether they were finalized and followed in practice.[5][6][7] For example, Craven has questioned the legal and economic impact of the conference.[6]
However, the countries that ultimately participated in the Final Act ignored requirements set forth within it to establish their satellite governments, rights to the land, and trade for the benefit of their national, and domestic economies.[28]
Analysis by historians [ edit ] This section
needs expansion. You can help by
adding to it.
( September 2020
) Historians have long marked the Berlin Conference as the formalisation of the Scramble for Africa[29] but recently, scholars have questioned the legal and economic impact of the conference.[6]
Some have argued the conference central to imperialism. African-American historian W. E. B. Du Bois wrote in 1948 that alongside the Atlantic slave trade in Africans a great world movement of modern times is "the partitioning of Africa after the Franco-Prussian War which, with the Berlin Conference of 1884, brought colonial imperialism to flower" and that "[t]he primary reality of imperialism in Africa today is economic," going on to expound on the extraction of wealth from the continent.[30]
Other historians focus on the legal implications in international law and argue[31] that the conference was only one of many (mostly bilateral) agreements between prospective colonists,[32] which took place after the conference.
See also [ edit ] Brussels Anti-Slavery Conference 1889''90Impact of Western European colonialism and colonisationReferences [ edit ] ^ Berlin West Africa Conference at the Encyclop...dia Britannica ^ a b The Belgian Congo and the Berlin act, by Keith, Arthur Berriedale, 1919, p. 52. ^ De Belgische Kolonin - Documentaire over het Belgisch Koloniaal Rijk (English: The Belgian Colonies - Documentary on the Belgian Colonial Empire) timestamp 10:40 to 10:52) ^ Bruce Gilley: In Defense of German Colonialism, September 1, 2022 ^ a b c d Katzenellenbogen, S. (1996). "It didn't happen at Berlin: Politics, economics and ignorance in the setting of Africa's colonial boundaries.". In Nugent, P.; Asiwaju, A. I. (eds.). African Boundaries: Barriers, Conduits and Opportunities. London: Pinter. pp. 21''34. ^ a b c d e Craven, M. (2015). "Between law and history: the Berlin Conference of 1884''1885 and the logic of free trade". London Review of International Law. 3: 31''59. doi:10.1093/lril/lrv002 . ^ a b c d Crowe, S. E. (1942). The Berlin West African Conference, 1884''1885. London: Longmans Green. ^ Chamberlain, Muriel E., The Scramble for Africa (1999). ^ Acherson, Neal, The King Incorporated: Leopold the Second and the Congo (1999). ^ a b Cornelis, S. (1991). "Stanley au service de L(C)opold II: La fondation de l'‰tat Ind(C)pendant du Congo (1878''1885)". In Cornelis, S. (ed.). H.M. Stanley: Explorateur au Service du Roi. Tervuren: Royal Museum for Central Africa. pp. 41''60 (53''54). ^ F¶rster, Stig, Wolfgang Justin Mommsen, and Ronald Edward Robinson, eds. Bismarck, Europe and Africa: The Berlin Africa Conference 1884''1885 and the Onset of Partition (1988). ^ Langer, William L., European Alliances and Alignments: 1871''1890 (1950), pp. 217''220. ^ Langer, European Alliances and Alignments: 1871''1890 (1950), pp. 251''280. ^ Rosenberg, Matt. "The Berlin Conference: Where a Continent Was Colonized". ThoughtCo . Retrieved 19 September 2017 . ^ Wang, Shih-tsung (31 July 1998). "The Conference of Berlin and British 'New' Imperialism, 1884''85" [柏林æ'ƒè­°è‡è‹±å'‹ãŒæ–°å¸'å'‹ä¸>>ç¾(C)ã,1884''85 ] (PDF) (Report). 王世宗 . Taipei: Department of History and Research Institute of National Taiwan University (å'‹ç‹è‡ºç£å¤§å­¸æ­·å²å­¸ç">>暨ç --ç(C)¶æ‰ ). Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 September 2020. Also available here, original here. ^ General-Akte der Berliner Konferenz [Acte G(C)n(C)ral de la Conf(C)rence de Berlin ], 26 February 1885. ^ "Between law and history: the Berlin Conference of 1884''1885 and the logic of free trade". London Review of International Law. Lril.oxfordjournals.org. 10 March 2015. Archived from the original on 16 October 2015 . Retrieved 24 September 2018 . ^ David, Saul. "BBC '' History '' British History in depth: Slavery and the 'Scramble for Africa' ". bbc.co.uk/history. BBC . Retrieved 19 September 2017 . ^ "Historical Context: Heart of Darkness." EXPLORING Novels, Online Edition. Gale, 2003. Discovering Collection. (subscription required) ^ Stengers, Jean, "Sur l'aventure congolaise de Joseph Conrad". In Quaghebeur, M. and van Balberghe, E. (eds), Papier Blanc, Encre Noire: Cent Ans de Culture Francophone en Afrique Centrale (Za¯re, Rwanda et Burundi). 2 Vols. Brussels: Labor. Vol. 1, pp. 15''34. ^ Thomson, Robert (1933). Fondation de l'‰tat Ind(C)pendant du Congo: Un chapitre de l'histoire du partage de l'Afrique. Brussels. pp. 177''189. {{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link) ^ Moniteur Belge / Belgisch Staatsblad. Brussels. 1885''1886. p. 22. {{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link) ^ Herbst, Jeffrey. States and Power in Africa. Ch. 3, pp. 71''72. ^ de Blij, H.J.; Muller, Peter O. (1997). Geography: Realms, Regions, and Concepts . John Wiley & Sons, Inc. p. 340. ISBN 9780471119463. ^ Roger Owen, Lord Cromer: Victorian Imperialist, Edwardian Proconsul (Oxford University Press, 2005). ^ "BBC - History - British History in depth: Slavery and the 'Scramble for Africa' ". www.bbc.co.uk . Retrieved 13 November 2022 . ^ "BBC - History - British History in depth: Slavery and the 'Scramble for Africa' ". www.bbc.co.uk . Retrieved 13 November 2022 . ^ Adem, Gurminder K. Bhambra, Yolande Bouka, Randolph B. Persaud, Olivia U. Rutazibwa, Vineet Thakur, Duncan Bell, Karen Smith, Toni Haastrup, Seifudein (3 July 2020). "Why Is Mainstream International Relations Blind to Racism?". Foreign Policy . Retrieved 13 November 2022 . {{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link) ^ Matua, Maka Wu (1995). "Why Redraw the Map of Africa: A Moral and Legal Inquiry". Harvard Law School. 16 (4). ^ Du Bois, W. E. Burghardt (July 1943). "The Realities in Africa: European Profit or Negro Development?" . Foreign Affairs. Vol. 21, no. 4. ISSN 0015-7120. ^ Aghie, Antony (2004). Landauer, Carl (ed.). Imperialism, Sovereignty and the Making of International Law. Cambridge University Press. ^ Hargreaves, John (1963). Prelude to the Partition of West Africa. Macmillam. Sources [ edit ] Chamberlain, Muriel E. (2014). The Scramble for Africa. London: Longman, 1974, 4th edn. ISBN 0-582-36881-2.Craven, M. 2015. "Between law and history: the Berlin Conference of 1884''1885 and the logic of free trade." London Review of International Law 3, 31''59.Crowe, Sybil E. (1942). The Berlin West African Conference, 1884''1885. New York: Longmans, Green. ISBN 0-8371-3287-8 (1981, New ed. edition).F¶rster, Stig, Wolfgang Justin Mommsen, and Ronald Edward Robinson, eds. Bismarck, Europe and Africa: The Berlin Africa conference 1884''1885 and the onset of partition (Oxford University Press, 1988) online; 30 topical chapters by experts.Hochschild, Adam (1999). King Leopold's Ghost. ISBN 0-395-75924-2.Katzenellenbogen, S. 1996. It didn't happen at Berlin: Politics, economics and ignorance in the setting of Africa's colonial boundaries. In Nugent, P. and Asiwaju, A. I. (Eds.), African boundaries: Barriers, conduits and opportunities. pp. 21''34. London: Pinter.Petringa, Maria (2006). Brazza, A Life for Africa. ISBN 978-1-4259-1198-0.Lorin, Amaury, and de Gemeaux, Christine, eds., L'Europe coloniale et le grand tournant de la Conf(C)rence de Berlin (1884''1885), Paris, Le Manuscrit, coll. "Carrefours d'empires", 2013, 380 p.Further reading [ edit ] Craven, Matthew. The invention of a tradition: Westlake, the Berlin Conference and the historicisation of international law (Klosterman, 2012).Leon, Daniel De (1886). "The Conference at Berlin on the West-African Question". Political Science Quarterly 1(1).F¶rster, Susanne, et al. "Negotiating German colonial heritage in Berlin's Afrikanisches Viertel." International Journal of Heritage Studies 22.7 (2016): 515''529.Frankema, Ewout, Jeffrey G. Williamson, and P. J. Woltjer. "An economic rationale for the West African scramble? The commercial transition and the commodity price boom of 1835''1885." Journal of Economic History (2018): 231''267. onlineHarlow, Barbara, and Mia Carter, eds. Archives of Empire: Volume 2. The Scramble for Africa (Duke University Press, 2020).Mulligan, William. "The Anti-slave Trade Campaign in Europe, 1888''90." in A Global History of Anti-slavery Politics in the Nineteenth Century (Palgrave Macmillan, London, 2013). 149''170 online.Nuzzo, Luigi (2012), Colonial Law, EGO '' European History Online, Mainz: Institute of European History. Retrieved 25 March 2021 (pdf).Rodney, Walter. How Europe Underdeveloped Africa (1972) ''Shepperson, George. "The Centennial of the West African Conference of Berlin, 1884''1885." Phylon 46#1 (1985), pp. 37''48. onlineVanthemsche, Guy. Belgium and the Congo, 1885''1980 (Cambridge University Press, 2012). 289 pp. ISBN 978-0-521-19421-1Waller, Bruce. Bismarck at the crossroads: the reorientation of German foreign policy after the Congress of Berlin, 1878''1880 (1974) onlineYao, Joanne (2022). "The Power of Geographical Imaginaries in the European International Order: Colonialism, the 1884''85 Berlin Conference, and Model International Organizations". International Organization.External links [ edit ] Geography.about.com '' Berlin Conference of 1884''1885 to Divide Africa Archived 3 December 2016 at the Wayback Machine."The Berlin Conference", BBC In Our TimeGeneral Act of the Berlin Conference. South African History Online. This audio file was created from a revision of this article dated 11 December 2017
( 2017-12-11
), and does not reflect subsequent edits.
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IRS Targeting Small Business with AI BOTG
Adam,
Just wanted to chime in and confirm your contention that the "Tax debt over $250k" scam is just trying to squeeze small business.
To make it as quick as possible, my wife and I have a (very) small business that processes transactions online. We make around $50k a year in taxable income on this business. The IRS has an "automated" system that decided we owed them $500k+ for tax year 2021. They decided this in 2023. It was clearly some type of algorithm they applied to us and it is impossible to even speak to a human about this and try to get it resolved, explaining that we literally make 1 tenth the amount each year that they claim we owe.
Small businesses without lawyers and without dedicated accountants will feel the brunt of what they are doing, and I would wager about 95% of who they THINK owes $250k is actually incorrect. Lives will be ruined based on errors. Hopefully our case works out.
STORIES
(4) Oliver Anthony's Remedy for the 'Rich Men North of Richmond'
Sun, 17 Sep 2023 14:18
Striking a deep chord with millions of increasingly desperate Americans, Oliver Anthony's self-recorded musical lament, ''Rich Men North of Richmond,'' rocketed to the number one spot on the charts in August, amassing more than 66 million views on YouTube alone.
One commenter observed, ''He's not just a country singer. He's a singer for our country.''
Oliver Anthony's anthem captures the overwhelming sense of despair among our working poor as they watch the American Dream disintegrate along with any hope that their children will lead better lives.
''I've been sellin' my soul, workin' all day / Overti me hours for bullshit pay / So I can sit out here and waste my life away / Drag back home and drown my troubles away.''
Oliver's song is an anthem of angst representing hitherto invisible men in a declining empire whose dream has become a nightmare. His song vividly depicts the nexus of state and corporate power that resides inside the D.C. Beltway, 110 miles north of Richmond. Oliver understands how this power complex has systematically strip-mined Americans of their equity, their hope, even their sanity.
Those in power have made a mockery of our claim to being the world's exemplary democracy, and Oliver calls out the totalitarian flavor of economic oligarchy: These ''rich men north of Richmond'' who are steadily shifting wealth upwards want, in his words, ''total control,'' these men who ''wanna know what you think, wanna know what you do.''
The rigged system enriches corporate behemoths and their political minions while, as Oliver sings, ''folks in the street, ain't got nothin' to eat.'' As real income diminishes, American workers reap the wages of economic, moral, and cultural disintegration. The alienation creates the true epidemics of our time: depression, mental illness, alcoholism, and addiction.
Overdose and suicide have our young men ''putting themselves six feet in the ground.'' And even government food programs serve the mercantile interests of the food industry and industrial agriculture, as processed foods like ''fudge rounds'' fuel obesity and intensify the cycle of despair.
Yet, where there is defiance there is also hope. That hope comes from healing our divisions. Oliver sees America's crisis as a class war, and he is distressed by the identity politics that keep the working poor locked in orchestrated conflict with each other: Left vs. Right, Republican vs. Democrat, Black vs. White.
His words arouse hope for the healing of these divides. One need only look at the hundreds upon hundreds of response videos by Black men to see the stirrings of a powerful and unifying populist movement.
Oliver isn't just passively waiting for that day when outrage boils over and Americans reclaim their heritage. Instead, he is determined to use the fame America has given him to contribute to a national turnaround, to create an oasis where broken Americans can replace despair, fragmentation, infighting, and addiction with spiritual renewal and a sense of community.
''Rich Men'' is more than a protest song, for it also heralds a popular awakening. When he sings, ''It's a damn shame,'' that's not just a lament, it is also a repudiation of this state of affairs. The elite creators of all this despair, he says, ''don't think you know'' what's going on, ''but I know that you do!''
Yes, you do know. The people know. They are waking up, and his words put the plutocrats on notice that Americans will not forever tolerate their boots upon our necks.
In early August, I visited Oliver on his grandfather's farm in Virginia, not far from the Appomattox Battlefield. The Civil War''era trenches and breastworks that crosshatch the farm ever remind him that the bloodiest wars are tribal and that the most deadly conflict in American history was the one in which we fought each other.
Oliver splits his time between the farm and a remote wooded encampment where he lives a spartan life in a tent and small trailer with his pregnant wife and their two young children. He and I both hope that his homestead can serve as a pilot site for my proposal '-- announced in July '-- to build free healing centers in depressed communities across the nation, places that help reclaim a generation beset by depression, PTSD, loneliness, addiction, and mental illness.
Since the 1980s, we've built prisons in these same depressed communities to warehouse our devastated young people. In fact, prisons have become the number one social program for young men. It's time to turn our national attention to healing people instead.
Oliver and I share a faith in the miraculous powers of nature, community, clean nutritious foods, and dignified work. We believe these things can restore our country, our planet, our public health, and our spiritual vitality. We envision regenerative agriculture and greenhouses where residents will grow wholesome organic food, learn skills, and take a break from cell phones and screens.
We spoke together with hope about the potential to reclaim our lost young people. We both felt a real possibility of national renewal. Oliver described this project during his recent podcast with Jordan Peterson .
Oliver is an impressive man, pleasant, intelligent, spiritually grounded, humble, and soberly aware of the challenges ahead. He has infectious humor, a tantalizing sense of irony, and a deep commitment to humanity. Like most of us, his family and friends have been touched by addiction, depression, and overdose. These painful experiences are touchstones for Oliver's wisdom, spiritual maturity, and musical inspiration. He has also gained many practical insights into the limitations and failures of conventional treatment options.
I'm proud to support him, whatever the outcome of my Presidential campaign , to make this healing center a reality, and if we are so blessed, the first of many more to come.
Bosses Say 'Feedback' Is Too Scary for Some Workers, So They Use This Word Instead - WSJ
Sun, 17 Sep 2023 14:05
Sept. 12, 2023 5:32 am ET
Employers around the country have good news for workers who dread chats about their performance: Feedback is on the way out.
Copyright (C)2023 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8
NHS waiting lists hit record high with treatments delayed for YEAR - check your hospital - Mirror Online
Sun, 17 Sep 2023 13:59
In England, around one in seven patients - a total of 7.68 million - are waiting for treatment. The latest figure is the highest number since NHS England records began in 2007
The number of patients on the NHS waiting list in England has hit a new record high (Stock photo) ( Image: PA)
NHS waiting lists in England have hit a new record high, with 7.68 million people facing waits before starting treatment, data shows.
There has been a rise in the overall list and more people are now facing long waits of a year or more compared to the previous month, according to new figures from NHS England. The waiting list for treatment has been rising over the years - it passed three million in 2014, four million in 2017, five million in 2021 and seven million in 2022.
In February 2020, the last full month before the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, the waiting list stood at 4.57 million. Since then, it has increased by just over three million, to 7.68 million - around one in seven - as of July this year. This is up from 7.57 million in June and is the highest number since records began in August 2007.
The total includes 3.18 million people who had been waiting more than 18 weeks, and 389,952 who had been waiting for over a year. It means 41% of patients on the waiting list have been on there for over 18 weeks. The NHS target is for that to be just 8% of patients.
Some 7,289 people in England are also estimated to have been waiting more than 18 months to start routine hospital treatment at the end of July, up from 7,177 at the end of June. When it comes to cancer, the picture is mixed, with a rise in the number of urgent cancer referrals made by GPs to 263,696 in July, up 1% on 261,006 in June and up 10% year-on-year from 239,739 in July 2022.
You can see how your local NHS trust is performing using our gadget. Simply enter your postcode, then select the relevant trust from the dropdown:
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has made cutting waiting lists one of his priorities for 2023, pledging in January that "lists will fall and people will get the care they need more quickly". Speaking on Thursday, he told the BBC that ongoing strikes by NHS staff were threatening the target and acknowledged that his promise to cut waiting lists could be missed.
He said: "Obviously that is challenging, with industrial action, there's no two ways about it. We were making very good progress before industrial action." Asked if he would miss his goal he said: "With industrial action it is very hard to continue to meet these targets." But he added: "We are making very good progress despite industrial action".
The proportion of cancer patients who saw a specialist within two weeks of being referred urgently by their GP fell from 80.5% in June to 77.5% in July, remaining below the target of 93%. The number of patients waiting longer than 62 days since an urgent GP referral for suspected cancer was down slightly, the data further showed.
Some 62.6% of cancer patients who had their first treatment in July after an urgent GP referral had waited less than two months, up from 59.2% in June. The target is 85% and will remain one of the key cancer measures following the streamlining of performance standards in October.
Meanwhile, 74.1% of patients urgently referred for suspected cancer were diagnosed or had cancer ruled out within 28 days, up from 73.5% the previous month. The target is 75% and this will also remain one of the performance standards beyond October.
Siva Anandaciva, chief analyst at the King's Fund, said: "Today's performance stats show there was no summer reprieve for under-pressure health services, and they come at a time when the NHS is in the spotlight for poor performance and culture. There continue to be real issues with how long patients are waiting for care in key services, including in A&E where 73% of patients are being seen within four hours, which is below the Government's 76% recovery target and well below the 95% NHS standard patients are entitled to.
"Continued industrial action, including next week's unprecedented combined junior doctors' and consultants' strike, will hinder the NHS's ability to clear this backlog. The Prime Minister made tackling waiting lists one of his key priorities, but the longer industrial action rumbles on, the less likely that ambition will be met.
"The real question is how the NHS got to this point and therefore how it gets out of its current cycle. Under successive governments, short-term thinking has slowly run the NHS into the ground, with ministers instead opting for quick fixes to patch up major problems. Today's announcement of £200 million more funding to boost winter capacity in the NHS is welcome, but to free up beds and staff in hospitals, there needs to be a fundamental focus on bolstering capacity in community and primary care settings as well as social care reform."
NHS England said the data showed ambulance response times have improved for the third month in a row despite A&Es facing their busiest summer ever. There were more than 6.5 million attendances in A&Es across June, July, and August - more than 20,000 higher than the previous record in 2019, it said. t also pointed to an improvement in average waits for planned care.
Professor Julian Redhead, NHS England's national clinical director for urgent and emergency Care, said: "Today's figures show that despite ongoing pressures across the NHS, including record demand for emergency care this summer, and an increase in Covid cases during July and August, NHS staff are continuing to deliver for patients. Category 2 ambulance response times are more than 10 minutes faster than a year ago, and significant progress continues to be made to bring down the longest waits for elective care despite months of disruption from industrial action."
Professor Pat Price, of the CatchUpWithCancer campaign, said the cancer figures show "we are still massively short in hitting the Government's target of no more than 85% of cancer patients waiting more than 62 days between urgent GP referral and their first treatment. Today's figures reveal that nearly 40% of cancer patients are missing their life-saving cancer treatment: this is over double the Government's own target. This is a tragedy that cannot continue."
Shadow health secretary Wes Streeting said patients were waiting an "unacceptably long" time. He added: "On the NHS, Rishi Sunak is Inaction Man, refusing to meet with doctors to end NHS strikes and adding to the Conservatives' NHS backlog, leaving patients waiting for months on end in pain and agony."
The Mediterranean migrant crisis could collapse the EU
Sun, 17 Sep 2023 13:58
There is a very big hole in Keir Starmer's plan to do a deal with the EU over migrants, offering to take asylum-seekers from elsewhere on the continent in return for France and other countries agreeing to take back those who have arrived in Britain illegally on small boats. How on Earth does he expect the EU to agree to a deal with Britain when it cannot even sort out the issue of migrants between its own members?
What Starmer is proposing is how Europe's asylum system ought to work in practice. Asylum-seekers should be obliged to make their claims in the first safe country in which they land, with those who travel between safe countries swiftly returned either to the first safe country in which they set foot '' if not straight back home. As part of the deal, the burden of dealing with asylum applicants ought to be shared fairly between EU states.
But the EU has failed to build an effective system, with the result that the 7,000 migrants who arrived on the Italian island of Lampedusa on Wednesday and Thursday alone (outnumbering the island's permanent population of 6,000) are not going to be redistributed around Europe '' Italy is going to be left to deal with them pretty much by itself. In 2023 so far it has had to handle 124,000 arrivals.
While the EU has had a resettlement scheme for asylum applications since 2015, it is voluntary and many member states have never played ball. In 2022, for example, Cyprus was left to handle 22,190 asylum applications '' 24,119 for every million inhabitants '' while Hungary handled just 45, a mere 4.7 for every million inhabitants. (The Hungarian figure does not include refugees from Ukraine. Over 50,000 are recorded since the start of the war in 2022, with over 3.4 million border crossings from Ukraine to Hungary).
Even the countries which have previously sought to take a fair share are wobbling. Germany (243,835 applications in 2022; 2,892 for every million inhabitants) last week announced it was suspending its agreement to take asylum seekers from Italy. Meanwhile the Belgian government said it intends to ignore a ruling from its supreme court that its policy of denying shelter to single young men seeking asylum was unlawful.
Having sovereignty over Lampedusa '' the closest point of the EU to the failed state of Libya '' is, in other words, just Italy's hard luck. The same applies to Greece and its proximity to the Turkish coast, and to Cyprus '' the most obvious first European calling point for refugees from Syria. So much for the grandiose principle of free movement, on which the EU refused to compromise during David Cameron's ill-fated pre-referendum negotiations. When it comes to asylum applicants, EU member states are quick to roll out the barbed wire '' literally in the case of Hungary which hurriedly built a Trump-style fence to keep out migrants heading up from Greece towards Germany.
If the EU cannot reach agreement on the fundamental issue of how to deal with migrants, then what is the point of it at all? Migration has the potential to rip apart the EU. When previously migrant-friendly countries like Germany and Sweden start to wash their hands of migrants who arrive on Europe's southern shores, it is rapidly going to end up as a case of every country for itself. This will inevitably bring quite a reaction from those countries highly exposed to migrant flows.
Little over a decade ago it looked as if the EU could be pulled down by the sovereign debt crisis greatly exacerbated by the Euro. The EU just about survived that. But don't bet your last Euro on the EU surviving the migrant crisis. The lofty ideals which are supposed to underpin the bloc have been tested to the limit '' and found to have about the same structural integrity as Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete.
No new Nipah cases in Kerala, says Health Minister Veena George - The Hindu
Sun, 17 Sep 2023 13:23
Health officials in protective gear at a Nipah Triage wing of the Government Medical College Hospital in Kozhikode on September 15, 2023.| Photo Credit: Thulasi Kakkat
Kerala Health Minister Veena George has said that no fresh cases of Nipah infection have been reported from the State till Saturday afternoon.
She told the media that 11 more body fluid samples of suspected patients sent for lab tests had turned negative for the virus. Of the 100 samples sent so far, the presence of the virus had been detected in only 94. Twenty-one people are under medical isolation at the Government Medical College Hospital in Kozhikode, she said.
Ms. George earlier held a meeting of health experts to assess the present situation.
Six persons have so far tested positive for Nipah virus in Kerala, of whom two have succumbed to the disease. The others are under medical treatment. Two of them do not exhibit any symptoms of the infection, said the Minister.
She said that medical boards had been set up at the hospitals where the infected persons had been admitted. The condition of the nine-year-old son of E. Mohammedali, the index patient who died of the infection, is stable though he is on ventilator support.
More ambulances were being deployed to help suspected patients. They would be examined considering them as high-risk patients. The contact list of the 39-year-old man who tested positive for Nipah virus on Friday was being prepared, added Ms. George.
Climate change effects in cemeteries: Floating caskets, missing bodies
Sun, 17 Sep 2023 13:00
Climate change isn't just creating havoc for the living. It's coming for our dead.
Great deluges of rain submerge graves and markers. Swift floods set vaults afloat. Slopes erode in scenic hillside cemeteries. And at the seaside, higher seas and storm surges swamp cemeteries and sweep sand away.
For Sherene Johnson's family, it's the rain. Ten members of her family are buried in Brighton Memorial Gardens, a predominantly African American cemetery in Brighton, Alabama.
Parts of the cemetery and the town have flooded in the past but not as often as they do today, said Johnson, a city councilwoman. The flooding routinely submerges the graves of her parents, her siblings and her siblings' children.
The anguish it brings to her remaining family members is ''traumatizing,'' Johnson said.
FOR SUBSCRIBERS:Climate change is un-burying graves. It's an expensive, 'traumatic,' confounding problem.
Across the country, such heart-rending grief strikes families with increasing frequency as powerful forces rip vaults and caskets from their final resting places.
For centuries, people have buried their dead in peaceful, scenic spots meant to comfort the living and the spirits of the dead. Today many of those burial grounds rest in precarious positions, subject to rising seas and storm surge, swollen streams, wildfire and a litany of natural disasters made worse by the steady march of a warming climate.
''Wild storms and sea level rise are threatening more so than in the past,'' said Leslee Keys, a historic preservation consultant based in St. Augustine, Florida.
Cemeteries have struggled with neglect, disrepair and periodic flooding, but one expert after another reports the problems are growing worse as warming temperatures fuel more extreme weather.
Orrin Pilkey has traveled the world's beaches studying coasts and barrier islands for 50 years.
''We had erosion before global climate change, but now it's happening much more rapidly, and shorelines are eroding almost universally because of sea level rise,'' said Pilkey, an author and emeritus geology professor at Duke University. ''The magnitude and frequency is a heck of a lot more.''
Thousands of graves have been disturbed in cemeteries across the nation in the past 30 years. Flooding, erosion and other climate-related weather disasters have been reported in at least 21 states and 15 countries over the past three decades. Coffins have washed away and bones have been exposed in big cities and tiny hamlets.
''Trying to keep things buried that you want to stay buried is often a really big challenge,'' said Allen Gontz, a professor of applied geology at Clarkson University.
State and local governments, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and cemetery associations already are spending millions to preserve cemeteries and build seawalls, and relocate or rebury remains.
''It is absolutely a problem,'' said Mike Trinkley with the Chicora Foundation, a South Carolina-based group specializing in archaeological research and cemetery preservation. He estimates the cost of relocation and reburial at $8,000 to $10,000 per gravesite.
Gravestones tumble from a bluffJudy Blair Berry and her husband were motoring along the Pearl River in Copiah County, Mississippi, in May when she looked up from the boat to see a casket jutting out of the bank above the river. Pieces of gravestones lay scattered on the shore. She snapped photos and posted them on Facebook, trying to draw attention to the troubles at historic Catchings Cemetery.
The Pearl River sees extreme swings in water levels from the control of a dam and reservoir upriver, Berry told USA TODAY. It holds back water when river flow is low, then sends a flush of water downstream when water levels rise.
''It just sucks the river banks away,'' and with it trees and tombstones, she said. ''No telling how many graves have already been lost to the river.''
Mississippi and its neighbors to the north are among the states in the eastern half of the United States experiencing more rainfall extremes since the 1990s, including increases in the number of days with more than an inch of rain.
From coast to coastRows of white crosses lean this way and that among gravesites in some cemeteries in Alaska.
Rising temperatures are thawing the permafrost into watery swamp as the ice underneath melts and loses volume, said Louise Farqurharson, a research assistant professor at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks. Sinking graves are just one of many concerns warming creates for the state's Indigenous communities.
At the opposite corner of the nation, 7.4 inches of rain in a few hours swamped parts of Bay County on Florida's northern Gulf Coast in October 2021. As the skies cleared, Norman Forehand walked through the flooded Callaway Cemetery to check on his father.
The family had already reburied him after an earlier flood and were hoping they weren't going to have to do it again, Forehand said. This time, everything was OK.
Callaway City Manager Ed Cook attributed the cemetery flooding in part to a massive loss of trees when Hurricane Michael made landfall in 2018. Cook said the trees had held water and helped prevent flooding.
Michael was among a relentless series of hurricanes and tropical storms that have hit the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico.
Studies show recent extreme rainfall events such as hurricanes ''are producing more intense rainfall rates and larger rainfall amounts than they would have without climate change," said Kevin Reed, associate dean for research at Stony Brook University.
DOWNPOURA USA TODAY investigation reveals a stunning shift in the way rain falls in America.
Western states aren't immune, either. Heat and wildfire take a toll, destroying plants and trees and leaving cemeteries susceptible to rain, erosion and mudslides.
Louisiana's floating casketsPerhaps nowhere have the effects of climate change had more impact on cemeteries than in Louisiana.
At least 11 hurricanes have pummeled the Bayou State since 2002, disturbing thousands of graves and washing away hundreds of vaults and caskets.
A combination of subsiding land and rising oceans makes matters worse. At least a dozen cemeteries in southern Louisiana parishes have succumbed to rising seas and sinking land, The Associated Press has reported.
Water can infiltrate a burial site in several ways, and each type of casket, whether it's sealed, unsealed or inside a vault, can develop issues. For example:
Wooden caskets can decompose and spring leaks.Air pockets trapped inside above-ground vaults make them more likely to float.Metal caskets, sometimes called self-sealers, have rubber gaskets, and when funeral homes close them, it creates an airtight compartment '' and buoyancy.If soils get saturated, or if there's enough water for a long period of time, caskets will float.''Anything that's airtight and can develop buoyancy has the potential of resurfacing," Trinkley said. When water fills a grave, whether below ground or in an above-ground vault, that casket ''is going to float just like a battleship.''
And they will float as far and as high as the floodwaters take them, he said. They're sometimes found in tree tops when the water recedes.
Lora Ann Chaisson, principal chief of the United Houma Nation, Louisiana's largest Native American tribe, first remembers seeing caskets piled up after popping out of the ground during Hurricane Juan in 1985 in Grand Caillou, Louisiana. Grim scenes that unfolded in the days ahead are etched into her memory.
''Just to see that and to experience that, and have to go through reburying all those folks there, that was horrible,'' Chaisson said. ''That still bothers me.
''The saddest thing after a hurricane is not losing your home or anything. It's having to rebury your loved ones.''
Cultural connectionsHistoric African American cemeteries and the burial grounds of Indigenous people are often more at risk than others, and those risks are increasing, said Jennifer Blanks, a doctoral candidate at Texas A & M University who studies cemeteries.
The graves and cemeteries may be forgotten on private land, inaccessible or established historically in low-lying locations on land no one else wanted, said Andrea Roberts, an associate professor at the University of Virginia and co-director of its Center for Cultural Landscapes.
Trying to sort out ownership and who's responsible is often difficult and makes protecting cemeteries even more complex, Roberts said. Sometimes, those who serve as caretakers have no legal documentation or proof of ownership. It can be challenging to find the cemeteries, get access and then make sure others can find them on a map.
But these cemeteries are important to the cultural history of communities, telling yet-to-be written stories about the lives of the people who lived and died there, Blanks said. History that can be pieced together from gravesites can be crucial to establishing a community's history or sense of place.
''Cemeteries are often the only way we're able to establish a historic Black settlement ever existed,'' Roberts said. But in Texas, she said, climate change threatens to obliterate cemeteries that are the last remnants of unmarked, historic Black communities.
Eternal rest? Traumatic choices.The scale of the problem confronting cemeteries is "immense,'' said David Anderson, professor in the anthropology department at the University of Tennessee. ''It affects everybody, across the world.''
Graves have been lost, flooded or disrupted by rain and storms in at least five countries over the past year, including Nigeria, Thailand and the United Kingdom.
''Probably every cemetery that's within a few feet of being flooded is going to be a major challenge,'' Anderson said. "Some of them are going to be lost.''
For one of the Houma nation's tribal burial grounds, the elders preferred to leave the dead at rest and undisturbed by allowing the graves to be permanently submerged, Chaisson said. But, she added, "that should never be a decision people have to make."
Addressing the future of cemeteries will require support from the public and politicians, and a move beyond traditional thinking, Anderson said.
Options are available to help protect cemeteries and have been used at some locations in the U.S., including adding seawalls and stabilizing shorelines.
A more complex and expensive step also has been needed in some cemeteries: moving the graves to safer locations.
Trinkley estimates the archaeological cost of recovering remains at about $3,000 a grave, not including the cost of the new burial location or casket.
Depending on circumstances and local rules, total costs can rise to $8,000 to $10,000, he said. ''When you start looking at the number of dead people on the coast that are susceptible to this issue, the number starts looking astronomical fairly quickly."
Last year, when Johnson took flowers out to the Brighton cemetery to commemorate her sister's birthday, she noticed several of her family members' headstones had been dislodged by flooding. She paid someone about $75 a grave to reset the stones in concrete, again.
She is determined to push her fellow city council members to address the flooding citywide, which she hopes will help the cemetery reduce its flooding, and prepare for future rainfall.
It's hard to call her nephew and other family members to tell them the headstones have to be fixed again, she said. ''You have to carry that weight, or struggle with that to get it right. Yes, it's overwhelming for me, but I'd rather carry it than allow them to carry it.''
Pulitzer winner Chabon, other authors sue Meta over AI program | Reuters
Sun, 17 Sep 2023 12:55
A Meta logo is seen on a beach during the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in Cannes, France, June 19, 2023. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard/File Photo Acquire Licensing Rights
Sept 12 (Reuters) - A group of writers including Pulitzer Prize winner Michael Chabon sued Meta Platforms (META.O) in San Francisco federal court on Tuesday, accusing the tech giant of misusing their works to train its Llama artificial-intelligence software.
Chabon, Tony-winning playwright David Henry Hwang and authors Matthew Klam, Rachel Louise Snyder and Ayelet Waldman in a lawsuit said Meta taught the Llama large-language model to respond to human text prompts with datasets that included pirated versions of their writings.
The same writers filed a similar proposed class-action lawsuit on Friday against ChatGPT maker OpenAI. The authors said in the OpenAI case that works like books and plays are particularly valuable for AI language training as the "best examples of high-quality, long form writing."
A spokesperson for Meta declined to comment on the new lawsuit. An attorney for the writers did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Meta and OpenAI were also sued for copyright infringement in July by a separate group of authors that includes comedian Sarah Silverman, part of a growing list of copyright cases against AI companies.
Meta published a list of datasets used to train its first version of the Llama model, which it released in February. The company did not disclose training data for its latest version, Llama 2.
Llama 2, the first large language model that Meta has made publicly available for commercial use, is free to use for companies with fewer than 700 million monthly active users.
The Llama 2 release was seen as a potential game-changer in the emerging market for generative AI software, threatening to upend the early dominance of players such as OpenAI and Google that charge significant amounts to use their models.
Reporting by Blake Brittain in Washington and Katie Paul in New York; Editing by David Bario and Daniel Wallis
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
Blake Brittain reports on intellectual property law, including patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets, for Reuters Legal. He has previously written for Bloomberg Law and Thomson Reuters Practical Law and practiced as an attorney. Contact: 12029385713
Bill Gates' Massive Covid Profiteering Exposed In Viral Social Media Post '' NewsWars
Sat, 16 Sep 2023 22:19
A viral social media post revealing how much Bill Gates profited from the Covid pandemic was viewed over two million times in just two days.
Popular X account Pelham shared the post, writing, ''Bill Gates purchased shares in BioNTech (Pfizer's partner for its mRNA Covid shots) in September 2019'... just months before the pandemic was announced'...''
''Gates purchased 1,038,674 shares at pre-public offering price of $18.10 per share'...'' the user explained.
Bill Gates purchased shares in BioNTech (Pfizer's partner for its mRNA Covid shots) in September 2019'... just months before the pandemic was announced'...
Gates purchased 1,038,674 shares at pre-public offering price of $18.10 per share'...
Gates dumped his stocks, in November 2021'... pic.twitter.com/Pmr1hkqljK
'-- Pelham (@Resist_05) September 14, 2023
The post continued, ''Gates dumped his stocks, in November 2021 at an average sale price of $300 per share'... Gates on the same day said, 'We need a new way of doing the vaccines, because the vaccines *didn't stop transmission*' despite all of his previous claims to the contrary. It's almost like Gates knew Covid-19 was going to be released, and he also knew the vaccines were never designed to stop transmission.''
The post is accurate, as noted by Jordan Schachtel in January when he reported on SEC filings showing, ''the Gates Foundation's holdings in BioNTech went from 1,038,674 shares to 148,674 shares over the course of the third quarter of 2021, downsizing the Gates position in the mRNA vaccine manufacturer by 86 percent of shares held.''
''As you can see below, Gates just so happened to time the market perfectly, selling the shares during BioNtech's best performing quarter,'' he noted in the article along with a graphic.
In July 2022, Dr. Joseph Mercola wrote a thorough article explaining how Pfizer conveniently profited from the Covid pandemic.
Even NBC admitted back in January that the Covid pandemic drove Pfizer's 2022 revenue to a record $100 billion.
Watch the video below where Alex Jones shares a video of the moment Bill Gates finally admitted the clot shots don't work.
Liabilities and Capital: Liabilities: Earnings Remittances Due to the U.S. Treasury: Wednesday Level (RESPPLLOPNWW) | FRED | St. Louis Fed
Sat, 16 Sep 2023 22:12
Source: Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (US)
Release: H.4.1 Factors Affecting Reserve Balances
Units: Millions of U.S. Dollars , Not Seasonally Adjusted
Frequency: Weekly, As of Wednesday
Suggested Citation: Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (US), Liabilities and Capital: Liabilities: Earnings Remittances Due to the U.S. Treasury: Wednesday Level [RESPPLLOPNWW], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/RESPPLLOPNWW, September 16, 2023.
Meat Company Opening Production Facility In Glenview: Pritzker | Glenview, IL Patch
Sat, 16 Sep 2023 22:06
Skip to main contentNiles-Morton Grove, ILNorthbrook, ILWinnetka-Glencoe, ILWilmette-Kenilworth, ILPark Ridge, ILSkokie, ILDes Plaines, ILEvanston, ILDeerfield, ILHighland Park, ILIllinoisTop National NewsSee All CommunitiesGLENVIEW, IL '-- A California-based meat company is investing in Illinois with a plan to open its first commercial-scale cultivated meat production plant here. UPSIDE Foods is investing at least $141 million and create a minimum of 75 new jobs with the creation of the new 187,000-square-foot facility, planned for Glenview.
UPSIDE Foods is the first cultivated meat company to receive FDA approval. Cultivated meat production eliminates the need to raise and farm animals for food, according to The Good Food Institute.
"Here in Illinois, we are a hub for tech and innovation, thanks to our talented workforce and prime location in the heart of the Midwest," Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Thursday. "This new facility is a significant investment in our communities '-- creating new good-paying jobs while advancing our ambitious clean energy goals to create a more sustainable future."
Find out what's happening in Glenview with free, real-time updates from Patch. The new plant will be located at the Dermody Logistics Campus, the former headquarters of Allstate on Sanders Road, adjacent to Interstate 294.
Dr. Uma Valeti, CEO and founder of UPSIDE Foods, said in a news release the company chose Illinois because of its "notable history of meat production," among other factors. UPSIDE also received one of the first Economic Development for a Growing Economy for Startups tax credits, which provides incentives for start-up companies to invest in Illinois, according to Pritzker's office.
Find out what's happening in Glenview with free, real-time updates from Patch. The Glenview facility will open with production of ground cultivated chicken products before expanding to other species. Officials estimate millions of pounds of cultivated meat products will be produced at the new facility, with the potential to expand to over 30 million pounds. They call it " a significant step toward creating a more humane, sustainable, and resilient food system," and added that cultivated meat can help "solve the climate crisis by ensuring animals aren't harmed while using less land, water, and emissions during production."
"I'm excited to bring a new innovative business to Glenview," State Senator Laura Fine (D-Glenview) said. "This company will flourish in our community, as residents prioritize the company's concept of sustainability and a healthy, nutritious lifestyle."
Get more local news delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up for free Patch newsletters and alerts.The rules of replying: Be respectful. This is a space for friendly local discussions. No racist, discriminatory, vulgar or threatening language will be tolerated. Be transparent. Use your real name, and back up your claims. Keep it local and relevant. Make sure your replies stay on topic. Review the Patch Community Guidelines.
Russell Brand news: Comedian accused of rape as 'In Plain Sight' Dispatches documentary airs | The Independent
Sat, 16 Sep 2023 21:57
Sexual jokes, kisses and nipples: Russell Brand's most awkward interview moments
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Comedian Russell Brand has been accused of rape, sexual assaults and emotionally abusing four women during the height of his fame.
The alleged assaults occurred between 2006 and 2013, while he was a presenter for BBC Radio 2 and Channel 4, and include an assault on a 16-year-old girl.
He vehemently denied the ''very serious criminal allegations'' ahead of The Sunday Times article and an expose which is being aired by Channel 4's Dispatches programme.
The allegations include crew members on his Big Brother spin-off being made to feel they were working as a ''pimp'' by approaching young women on his behalf, and that he raped a woman at his Los Angeles home.
In a video posted to social media, the 48-year-old actor said he received ''two extremely disturbing letters'' listing ''extremely egregious and aggressive attacks'' relating to his ''promiscuous'' past.
While he did not specify details of the claims, he insisted his relationships were ''absolutely always consensual''.
He also attacked a ''serious and concerted agenda'' to silence him.
Since ending his career as a presenter and stand-up comedian, Brand launched a podcast and runs a yoga and mental health-orientated YouTube channel named Awakening with Russell.
Key Points1694872771Russell Brand denies 'very serious criminal allegations' Russell Brand has shared a video on his YouTube channel denying some ''very serious allegations'' made against him, which are set to be shared in a documentary on Saturday and published in a newspaper.
The comedian and actor said he ''absolutely refutes'' the allegations against him, which he did not reveal in detail but referred to as ''very, very serious criminal allegations''.
Brand, 48, said the allegations ''pertain to the time when I was working in the mainstream, when... I was very, very promiscuous.''
Holly Evans 16 September 2023 14:59
1694900044More pictures emerge of Brand leaving Wembley theatre Brand has denied all the allegations against him
(PA )
Russell Brand seen leaving the Wembley Park Theatre
(PA)
Holly Evans 16 September 2023 22:34
1694899542Comedian raises concerns on what more could have been done to stop Brand Daniel Sloss, the only comedian prepared to speak on camera for the Dispatches documentary, raised his concerns about what more could have been done to stop Brand's allegedly predatory behaviour.
He said: ''Questions that should have been asked about Russell before he was employed for certain things, I don't believe they were asked.''
Russell Brand vehemently denies the allegations that he called ''very serious'' and ''criminal''.
Russell Brand has denied the allegations (PA)
(PA Wire)
Holly Evans 16 September 2023 22:25
1694898902Women led like 'lambs to slaughter', former production assistant saysFormer staff who worked alongside Brand on his Channel 4 productions say that he allegedly targeted young women in the audience, who were often at university age.
He would allegedly ''point out women'' that he found attractive and asked staff to pass them his number and hotel details.
Speaking in the documentary, a woman says she felt as though the women were ''lambs for slaughter'' and they often phoned afterwards and reported feeling ''used''.
She claimed that staff were made to feel ''a pimp to Russell Brand's needs''.
Holly Evans 16 September 2023 22:15
1694898037Brand spotted leaving Wembley theatre Russell Brand has been pictured leaving Wembley Park Theatre after his stand-up comedy show.
The show was delayed by 45 minutes as the comedian faces serious allegations including rape and sexual assault.
Brand is facing allegations of rape and sexual assault
(Reuters )
Brand spotted leaving a theatre in Wembley this evening
(Reuters )
Holly Evans 16 September 2023 22:00
1694897576Statement from Big Brother production company A spokesman for Banijay UK, which bought Endemol in 2020, said it had reviewed files and correspondence and could find no records of issues about Brand being raised formally or discussed with Endemol.
It said: ''We take our duty of care to our cast, crew and staff extremely seriously. While the legacy company, Endemol, did have a code of conduct, support policies and escalation procedures in place during the period in question, they were not as robust as our current processes.
''We are sorry these women did not feel supported and protected while working on these productions and in light of these serious allegations encourage to them to contact us in confidence.''
Russell Brand said he denies serious allegations about his personal life in a video posted online (Philip Toscano, PA)
(PA Archive)
Holly Evans 16 September 2023 21:52
1694897150Former runner recalls Brand flashing her in dressing room A woman who worked as a runner on Big Brother's spin-off show, which Brand presented, said that production managers didn't want to ''rock the boat'' and took advantage of her friendship with the presenter.
She recalled the ''line being crossed'' after Brand flashed her in his dressing room.
She claimed that she later engaged in a consensual sexual relationship with him but he swore her to secrecy, telling her to that it would break a clause in his contract.
Holly Evans 16 September 2023 21:45
1694896343Brand had 'upper hand' in alleged relationship with schoolgirlOne woman who met Brand in 2006 started dating him at the age of 16, she said. She told the Channel 4 documentary: ''It shouldn't be legal for a 16 year old to have a relationship with a man in their 30s.. I always felt like he had the upper hand.''
Describing what their first date was like, she said: ''I was a child that had got dressed up for dinner. I liked him and I felt a bit giddy and I felt special. I woke to text messages from him saying he had dreamt we were married.''
She claimed that she lost her virginity to Brand and that he had caused a ''wedge'' between her and her parents. Other allegations include a sexual assault at his home and controlling behaviour, including Brand ordering her to stay in a bath for an hour.
Holly Evans 16 September 2023 21:32
1694896175Personal assistant said Brand 'could not stop sleeping with women' Helen Berger, who worked as Brand's personal assistant in 2006, said: ''He could not stop sleeping with women and he was never satisfied by it, he was never happy.''
She recalled that he would frequently just wear his underwear and showed his friends intimate photographs of women.
When asked if she had concerns around consent, she responded: ''I never once thought that he was someone who would rape anybody or assault anybody.''
Brand was 'never satisfied' by sleeping with women
Holly Bancroft 16 September 2023 21:29
1694895733Woman details being pushed against the wall by Brand A woman has detailed meeting Brand in Hollywood in 2012, and kissing him backstage at one of his first shows in LA.
The two consensually engaged in sexual activity and began to message and phone call.
She recalled: ''I was out late and he happened to call me and say 'I had a really bad day please come over'. He said 'please come, just come and cuddle with me'.
''He comes running out of the bedroom naked. He came at me with kisses and stuff, which was kind of fun and then it wasn't that fun when I couldn't move. I knew what he wanted from me at that point.
''He pushed me up against a wall and I was like 'What are you doing'''
''I tried to get away from him.. I'm telling him to get off me and he won't get off'... I was very distraught. Trying to get out of the house with him being so much taller than me. I couldn't move.''
She claims that Brand raped her against the wall and texted her with an apology. Documents show that the woman attended a rape crisis centre and decided agaainst reporting the alleged assault to the police.
Brand has denied all allegations.
Holly Evans 16 September 2023 21:22
Unity adding a fee for each time a game is installed | GamesIndustry.biz
Sat, 16 Sep 2023 21:42
Developers who meet revenue and install thresholds will need to pay up to $0.20 in Runtime Fees each time their game is installed on a new device
Unity is adding a new charge for every time a game using the Unity Engine is installed, the company announced today.
Starting January 1, a Unity Runtime Fee will be charged to any game that has passed a revenue threshold in the past year and a lifetime install count. The amount of the fee and the thresholds in question vary depending on the type of Unity subscription the developer has.
For Unity Personal and Unity Plus users, the thresholds are $200,000 in revenue a year and 200,000 lifetime installs.
For Unity Pro and Unity Enterprise accounts, the thresholds are $1 million in revenue a year and 1 million lifetime installs.
The fees also vary, with Unity Personal developers having to pay the most for every install above the threshold ($0.20), while Unity Enterprise accounts pay the least ($0.01 for every install above 2 million).
The fees are reduced for developers in emerging markets, with Unity Personal accounts paying $0.02 per install above the threshold and Enterprise accounts paying $0.005 per install.
Existing games built on Unity will also be hit with Runtime Fees if they meet the thresholds starting January 1.
The fees do not apply to non-gaming applications.
"We chose this because each time a game is downloaded, the Unity Runtime is also installed," the company explained in adding the fee. "Also we believe that an initial install-based fee allows creators to keep the ongoing financial gains from player engagement, unlike a revenue share."
Unity said that its Runtime code has billions of monthly downloads.
Additionally, Unity said it is retiring its Unity Plus subscription tier. Existing Plus subscribers will be given an offer to upgrade to Unity Pro for a year at the Plus price.
Unity closes offices in wake of death threat | GamesIndustry.biz
Sat, 16 Sep 2023 21:41
Update: Police say threat that closed Austin and San Francisco offices was made by an employee
Unity has closed its San Francisco and Austin offices for today and tomorrow in response to what it called a credible death threat, according to Bloomberg.
A spokesperson told the outlet the company was "made aware of a potential threat to some of our offices" and would be fully cooperating with law enforcement as it looks into the matter.
Unity has been the target of vociferous criticism this week after the announcement of a new Runtime Fee that it would issue to developers, charging them for every time their game is installed on a device after it hits certain revenue and install number thresholds.
The plan angered many developers, who took to social media to question Unity's methods for determining installs, the legality of the decision to impose such a fee and apply it to previously released games, and to say the decision would prompt them to stop working with Unity entirely.
Unity CEO John Riccitiello had been expected to speak to staff in a town hall meeting this morning but it was cancelled in light of the threat.
Update, September 15: Polygon received comment from San Francisco police that the threat was originally reported as "an employee [making] a threat towards his employer using social media."
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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dutch_childcare_benefits_scandal
Sat, 16 Sep 2023 21:40
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The world's first 3D-printed salmon looks kinda... tasty | Popular Science
Sat, 16 Sep 2023 21:39
The jury may still be out on plant-based meat alternatives' economic and environmental viability, but experts largely agree that the seafood industry in its current form is untenable. Overfishing presents countless ecological problems, including plastic pollution and the potential for a wholesale collapse of marine biodiversity. Researchers have been experimenting with seafood alternatives for years, but one company is finally ready to bring its offering to market'--and it represents a major moment within the industry.
Austrian-based food-tech startup Revo Foods announced this week that its 3D-printed vegan fish filet ''inspired by salmon'' is heading to European grocery store shelves'--a first for 3D-printed food. According to the company's September 12 press release, the arrival of ''The Filet'' represents a pivotal moment in sustainable food, with 3D-printed consumables ready to scale at industrial volumes. Revo Foods' Filet is likely to be just the first of many other such 3D-printed edible products to soon hit the market.
[Related: Scientists cooked up a 3D printed cheesecake.]
''Despite dramatic losses of coral reefs and increasing levels of toxins and micro plastic contaminating fish, consumer demand for seafood has paradoxically skyrocketed in recent decades,'' the company announcement explains. ''One promising solution to provide consumers with sustainable alternatives that do not contribute to overfishing is vegan seafood. The key to success of these products lies in recreating an authentic taste that appeals to [consumers].''
The Filet relies on mycoprotein made from nutrition-heavy filamentous fungi, and naturally offers a meat-like texture. Only another 12 ingredients compose Revo's Filet, such as pea proteins, plant oils, and algae extracts. With its high protein and Omega-3 contents, eating a Revo Filet is still very much like eating regular salmon'--of course, without all the standard industrial issues. And thanks to its plant-based ingredients, the Filet also boasts a three-week shelf life, a sizable boost from regular salmon products.
''With the milestone of industrial-scale 3D food printing, we are entering a creative food revolution, an era where food is being crafted exactly according to the customer's needs,'' Revo Foods CEO Robin Simsa said via this week's announcement.
While Revo's products are currently only available for European markets, the company says it is actively working to expand its availability ''across the globe,'' with Simsa telling PopSci the company hopes to enter US markets around 2025. Until then, hungry stateside diners will have to settle for the Revo Salmon dancehall theme song'... yes, it's a real thing.
IBM Reneges On Its Post-George Floyd Pledge to Abandon Facial Recognition Business | naked capitalism
Sat, 16 Sep 2023 21:34
The US tech firm could not have found a better partner with whom to get back into the facial recognition market than the current UK government.
IBM has staged a quiet, almost imperceptible, return to the highly controversial facial recognition market, just three years after calling it quits on the technology over concerns about racial profiling, mass surveillance, and other human rights violations in the wake of the George Floyd murder. The US tech giant signed a £54.7m ($69.8m) with the UK government in August to develop a national biometrics platform that will offer a facial recognition function to immigration and law enforcement officials, as reports a joint expos(C) by The Verge and Liberty Investigates:
A contract notice for the Home Office Biometrics Matcher Platform outlines how the project initially involves developing a fingerprint matching capability, while later stages introduce facial recognition for immigration purposes '-- described as ''an enabler for strategic facial matching for law enforcement.'' The final stage of the project is described as delivery of a ''facial matching for law enforcement use-case.'':
The platform will allow photos of individuals to be matched against images stored on a database '-- what is sometimes known as a ''one-to-many'' matching system. In September 2020, IBM described such ''one-to-many'' matching systems as ''the type of facial recognition technology most likely to be used for mass surveillance, racial profiling, or other violations of human rights.'':
A ''360 Degree U-turn''
As Germany's Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs Annalena Baerbock would say, this is a 360 degree u-turn for a company that just three years ago had sworn off all forms of facial recognition technologies that could be used for ''mass surveillance, racial profiling (and) violations of basic human rights and freedoms.''
After George Floyd's grisly death at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer sparked nationwide Black Lives Matter riots in the late spring of 2020, IBM's CEO Arvind Krishna wrote a letter to U.S. lawmakers calling for ''a national dialogue on whether and how facial recognition technology should be employed by domestic law-enforcement agencies.'' As for IBM, he wrote, it would immediately stop building and selling general purpose facial recognition software:
The fight against racism is as urgent as ever'... IBM no longer offers general purpose IBM facial recognition or analysis software. IBM firmly opposes and will not condone uses of any technology, including facial recognition technology offered by other vendors, for mass surveillance, racial profiling, violations of basic human rights and freedoms, or any purpose which is not consistent with our values and Principles of Trust and Transparency.
Days after the publication of Krishna's letter, Amazon announced that it would also suspend police use of its facial recognition software, inviting Congress to ''put in place stronger regulations to govern the ethical use'' of the technology. Days later, Microsoft joined the bandwagon, saying it too would suspend sales of its technology to law enforcement agencies, at least until regulatory guardrails were put in place. In return, the three companies received a flurry of positive press in the legacy media at a time when corporate virtue signaling was beginning to peak.
An article in the Washington Post included an anonymously-cited claim that ''Krishna's move wasn't made overnight, but had been the culmination of more than two years of criticism about such technology from human rights and privacy advocates over accuracy, racial profiling and mass surveillance concerns.'' The move also made sense from a hard-nosed business perspective, given that IBM's facial recognition operations were not a big revenue generator.
Mutale Nkonde, a research fellow at Harvard and Stanford universities who directs the nonprofit AI for the People, told the LA Times that the ''symbolic nature'' of IBM's move was, in and of itself, important:
[S]hutting down a business ''under the guise of advancing anti-racist business practices'' shows that it can be done and makes it ''socially unacceptable for companies who tweet Black Lives Matter to do so while contracting with the police.''
An anonymous source told CNBC that IBM's decision was ''both a business and ethical one.'' The company had purportedly heard and acted upon concerns from ''many constituencies, including employees, about its use of the technology.'' Similarly gushing coverage dominated the corporate mediascape. Fast Company was almost alone in offering a more skeptical interpretation of IBM's motives:
The parade of announcements from giant tech companies is an attempt ''to virtue signal as a company,'' says Rashida Richardson, director of policy research at the AI Now Institute'...
IBM came first. The company sent a letter on June 8 addressed to Congressional Black Caucus members and sponsors of the Justice in Policing Act, introduced the same day. IBM CEO Arvind Krishna recognized the ''horrible and tragic deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor,'' and stated that the company ''no longer offers general purpose IBM facial recognition or analysis software.''
The thing is, it appears IBM already stopped making its facial analysis and detection technology available in September 2019.
The IBM announcement is ''not bad because it's better than doing nothing, but that said I think it's completely promotional and opportunistic,'' says Richardson.
A Stark Contrast
The contrast between the gushing media attention and coverage over IBM's withdrawal from the facial recognition market and the blanket media silence on its recent u-turn could not be starker. As far as I can tell, even Reuters and AP didn't deign to cover the story, leaving it to a handful of independent or specialist news outlets like Vox-operated The Verge and The Register to keep it from being totally memory-holed. But their reach is miniscule compared to most mainstream outlets, meaning that for most people, IMB is still on the right side of this deeply controversial issue. According to the company, it still very much is. From The Verge:
IBM spokesman Imtiaz Mufti denied that its work on the contract was in conflict with its 2020 commitments. ''IBM no longer offers general-purpose facial recognition and, consistent with our 2020 commitment, does not support the use of facial recognition for mass surveillance, racial profiling, or other human rights violations,'' he said.
''The Home Office Biometrics Matcher Platform and associated Services contract is not used in mass surveillance. It supports police and immigration services in identifying suspects against a database of fingerprint and photo data. It is not capable of video ingest, which would typically be needed to support face-in-a-crowd biometric usage.''
Human rights campaigners, however, said IBM's work on the project is incompatible with its 2020 commitments. Kojo Kyerewaa of Black Lives Matter UK said: ''IBM has shown itself willing to step over the body and memory of George Floyd to chase a Home Office contract. This won't be forgotten.''
Matt Mahmoudi, PhD, tech researcher at Amnesty International, said: ''The research across the globe is clear; there is no application of one-to-many facial recognition that is compatible with human rights law, and companies '-- including IBM '-- must therefore cease its sale, and honor their earlier statements to sunset these tools, even and especially in the context of law and immigration enforcement where the rights implications are compounding.''
It should perhaps come as little surprise that a company that played such a crucial role in enabling the Nazis' systematic extermination of ethnic Jewish populations and Romani across Europe, as exhaustively documented by investigative journalist and historian Edwin Black in the book IBM and the Holocaust: The Strategic Alliance between Nazi Germany and America's Most Powerful Corporation, is now reneging on its pledge to never facilitate the use of facial recognition systems. The company is also accused of aiding and abetting the human rights abuses of the government of South Africa during apartheid rule.
Big Blue could not have found a more enthusiastic partner with whom to get back into the facial recognition business as the UK government, which is at the leading edge of a tech-enabled authoritarian shift taking place among ostensibly liberal democracies. Whereas the EU recently adopted a blanket ban on the use of live facial recognition (LFR) in public spaces (apart from at its borders), the UK government is pushing for all police forces in England and Wales to make widespread use of the technology while fiercely lobbying the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) to retroactively greenlight its use by high street retailers.
''As minister I want to do everything possible to promote the widespread use'' of facial recognition technology and will ''continue to push this agenda forwards'', wrote UK Policing Minister Chris Philp to the founder of facial recognition company Facewatch, Simon Gordon, in a letter that was obtained through a freedom of information request. In fact, so great is the UK Home Office's enthusiasm for biometric surveillance technologies like facial recognition that the ICO classifies it as an ''ongoing risk'', together with the ''still unknown'' effects of the use of the technology in shops.
What is robodebt? Six things to watch for in the royal commission's final report today | Royal commission into robodebt | The Guardian
Sat, 16 Sep 2023 21:31
The basicsWhat is robodebt? Robodebt is a compliance program which asserted that welfare recipients owed debts to the commonwealth on the basis of assumptions including using their annual income to estimate their average fortnightly income.
What was wrong with robodebt? Since debt notices were initially automated and generated at scale from 2015, whistleblowers came forward warning the system was unfair and effectively reversed the onus on welfare recipients to prove they did not owe a debt, including in the earliest reporting of the scheme by Guardian Australia in December 2016.
In 2018 Prof Terry Carney, a former senior member of the administrative appeals tribunal, warned that income averaging was not a lawful basis to establish a debt.
The government admitted this in a federal court action in late 2019, abandoned the use of ''income averaging'' and settled a separate class action at a cost of $1.8bn in robodebts that were wiped or refunded.
Why is there a royal commission? In opposition, Labor promised a royal commission into robodebt, which it established in August after it won office in May 2022.
Who is the commissioner? Catherine Holmes.
Who has appeared at the royal commission? Several ministers including Scott Morrison, Alan Tudge and Stuart Robert, top public servants including Kathryn Campbell and Ren(C)e Leon, advocates, whistleblowers and many victims.
What is happening on Friday? Holmes is meeting with the governor general on Friday morning to submit the report, which is expected to be tabled and made public shortly after.
Six things to look for1. Will there be referrals?Royal commissions are empowered to make referrals to other bodies including police, prosecutors, professional accreditation bodies and the National Anti-Corruption Commission.
The robodebt royal commission, which was due to report by 30 June, received a one-week extension to 7 July, which will allow it to make referrals to the Nacc, which was established on 1 July.
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However, the commission has made an order which directs that communications in the report's confidential chapter not be published, which suggests that some or all of the referrals will not be public knowledge on Friday when the report is tabled.
The order states that it does not prevent ''individuals who have been the subject of a communication '... from disclosing the fact that they have been referred to their professional advisers, managers, employers, associates or any other person''.
2. Will there be adverse findings?This will be known when the report is released.
While only Commissioner Holmes can make such findings, the evidence to the commission has raised eyebrows in government.
The government services minister, Bill Shorten, has said the royal commission had ''exposed a soullessness and hollowness in parts of the public service and ministries which shocked us''.
The foreign minister, Penny Wong, representing the prime minister, told a Senate estimates hearing in May that what had been heard at the commission had ''been beyond what we might have envisaged'' and was ''quite substantial''.
The former Department of Human Services secretary Kathryn Campbell told the royal commission in March she accepted federal cabinet was misled when the robodebt scheme was approved.
Campbell admitted to a ''significant oversight'' when a submission to cabinet falsely said there was ''no change'' to how debts would be assessed under robodebt but rejected suggestions it was deliberate.
3. What did Scott Morrison and other ministers know and do?Ministers said they were never briefed by the public service about robodebt's legal issues until late 2019.
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That includes Morrison, who ordered the scheme be established in 2015, and Tudge who oversaw it under the most scrutiny in 2017.
Conversely, Robert told the commission he had serious concerns and pushed to end robodebt (despite publicly defending it) when he was minister in 2019. Public servants flatly disputed this.
Holmes will have to test those claims, and may also offer a view on whether ministers were too passive and should have asked more questions about the program, particularly when it was shrouded in controversy and top legal minds were raising concerns.
Legality aside, there is the crucial question of why ministers allowed the scheme to continue despite reported suicides and other complaints from victims and advocates.
4. Deception, collusion, a public service cover-up?Two departments were responsible for robodebt: social services and human services.
Based on the evidence, Holmes will have considered whether officials knowingly launched an unlawful program by deceiving counterparts from another department '' or whether the two departments colluded to get the proposal up, and if so whether this could have been due to direct or implied pressure from ministers.
Then there is the question of whether there was a cover-up: the commission heard both departments received legal opinions that robodebt would be unlawful. Yet the ''draft'' opinions were not finalised, often kept from superiors and apparently not shared with ministers.
5. What sort of further repercussions are there?According to evidence in January the Coalition government was warned that persisting with the unlawful scheme could put them at risk of civil claim for misfeasance in public office.
Misfeasance involves a public official exercising a power in an invalid way or lacking lawful authority with an element of ''bad faith'', which can include ''reckless indifference'' as to whether the act was beyond power.
In April Shorten noted that there could be disciplinary consequences for public servants if they were subject to adverse findings.
''I'm sure the secretary of prime minister and cabinet and the secretaries committee of the government will be working out what to do about current public servants either in existing positions or who might have moved to other positions within the public service,'' he said.
6. What could it all mean for victims and other welfare recipients?The government has said a crucial objective of the commission is to ensure robodebt is never repeated.
Holmes is likely to make recommendations for Centrelink processes, the broader public service and potentially also the commonwealth ombudsman and other watchdogs that were found wanting during the hearings.
In theory, royal commissions can also recommend redress. Robodebt victims have received refunds and some interest payments, though the latter was not compensation for other harm caused.
Watch out, too, for any commentary from Holmes about the role of the media and politicians in perpetuating damaging ''dole bludger'' rhetoric.
Germany: Sex worker registrations increase after pandemic '' DW '' 09/15/2023
Sat, 16 Sep 2023 21:05
The number of registered sex workers in Germany at the end of 2022 was 28,280, a rise of 19.1% compared with the year before, according to official figures published by the Federal Statistics Agency (Destatis) on Friday.
Experts attribute a large part of the rise to the reopening of businesses after restrictions in place during the worst two years of the coronavirus pandemic, 2020 and 2021.
The total number of sex workers registered at the end of 2022 was still far below what it was before the pandemic '-- 40,370 '-- in 2019.
How the numbers break downJust under a fifth, 5,204, of those registered, had German citizenship, with a large majority of foreign sex workers, 20,969, coming from within Europe.
The three most common nationalities were Romanian with 9,870 (35% of the total registered), Bulgarian with 3,140 (11%), and Spanish with 1,760 (6%).
The statistics agency reported that there were 2,310 prostitution businesses, compared with 2,290 at the end of 2021 and 1,170 at the end of 2019.
The agency recorded 1,202 sex workers as coming from Asia and a further 661 as from the Americas.
More than three-quarters of registered sex workers (76%) were aged between 21 and 44, with 1,050 (4%) aged between 18 and 20.
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Most of the registered businesses were prostitution establishments such as brothels but some 5% were agencies and 3% were logged as vehicles for sex workers or special events.
No details on genderThe figures were based on figures gathered under Germany's Prostitution Act, which came into force in 2002 with the aim of improving the social and legal position of sex workers.
It means that sex workers and businesses are required to register with the authorities and mandates that condoms be used during sex work
Statistics are based on the information provided when registering and details of sex or gender are not required.
Unofficial estimates in 2019 placed the total number of sex workers in Germany at more than 400,000, meaning that some 90% were unregistered at that time '-- and technically working illegally. During the lockdown, such unregistered workers were unable to claim compensation.
Among the reasons for not registering are privacy concerns, not having an address and a lack of legal residency status in Germany.
While you're here: Every Tuesday, DW editors round up what is happening in German politics and society. You can sign up here for the weekly email newsletter Berlin Briefing.
India in race to contain brain-damaging disease '-- RT India
Sat, 16 Sep 2023 20:20
Authorities in the southern state of Kerala have imposed restrictions to halt the spread of the deadly bat-borne Nipah virus
India is facing a renewed surge of the deadly Nipah virus after six people were infected with the brain-damaging disease in the southern state of Kerala, two of whom have died.
Schools, colleges and tuition centers have been closed until September 24 as a precautionary measure, while the neighboring states of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka have stepped up security in border districts in an effort to prevent the spread of the virus.
Kerala Health Minister Veena George said 1,080 people have been identified who came in contact with infected individuals over the past few days. A total of 327 of these are health workers. The state government is monitoring these individuals for symptoms of infection.
Kerala has seen four outbreaks of Nipah since 2018, the last of which occurred in 2021. In 2018, the virus killed 21 of the 23 people it infected. The following year, a single case was recorded, but the government's prompt action and extensive contact-tracing likely prevented it from spreading further. In 2021, a 12-year-old boy died after contracting the virus.
Kerala appears to be particularly prone to Nipah virus outbreaks as it is home to more than 40 species of bats that live in forests that have been cleared for human habitation. The virus currently spreading in the state is the Bangladesh strain '' a variant which is lethal, but has a lower rate of infection.
To treat the infected patients, the country is currently sourcing monoclonal antibodies from Australia, the Times of India reported on Saturday. India has reportedly requested 20 units of the drug. Although it was initially developed to treat Henipavirus, another bat-borne disease, Nipah virus patients have also been administered doses on a ''compassionate basis.''
Currently, there is no vaccine for the Nipah virus, but doses of monoclonal antibodies (proteins made in laboratories that seek out foreign materials and destroy them by sticking to them) are provided to patients in the early stages of infection.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that the case fatality rate of the Nipah virus is between 40% and 75%, although it can vary depending on ''local capabilities for epidemiological surveillance and clinical management.'' The WHO has listed it as a 'priority disease' because of its epidemic potential.
The virus can be transmitted to humans from animals or contaminated foods, and can also be transmitted from human to human. Human-to-human transmission of the Nipah virus is usually reported among families and caregivers of infected patients. According to the WHO, fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family are the natural hosts of the virus.
The Nipah virus was first recognized in 1999 during an outbreak among pig farmers in Malaysia. Apart from India, outbreaks have also been reported in Singapore and Bangladesh.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton acquitted of all 16 impeachment articles following dramatic trial | Daily Mail Online
Sat, 16 Sep 2023 19:29
Suspended Texas Attorney General was acquitted of 16 impeachment articles over allegations he employed his mistress and helped protect a real-estate developer.
On Saturday, Ken Paxton was acquitted on the charges that will allow him to return to work.
'The jury has spoken,' Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said after the verdicts. 'Attorney General Paxton received a fair trial as required by the Texas Constitution. '... I look forward to continuing to work with him to secure the border and protect Texas from federal overreach.'
The Republican was accused of using his powerful office to help shield Austin-based real estate developer Nate Paul, who was indicted in June on false statements charges and is under an FBI investigation.
Paul employed Laura Olson, the woman who allegedly had an affair with the married Paxton and whose testimony was dramatically canceled moments before she was set to take the stand.
Paul also once gave Paxton a $25,000 campaign contribution.
Suspended Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sits between his attorneys on the ninth day of the impeachment trial
Paul employed Laura Olson (above), the woman who allegedly had an affair with the married Paxton and whose testimony was dramatically canceled moments before she was was set to take the stand
A bailiff collects a vote from a Senator in the Texas Senate on September 16. Attorney General Paxton was acquitted on 16 impeachment articles
Paxton's wife, state Sen. Angela Paxton, attended the trial this week, but the Senate decided she was barred from voting to help determine her husband's fate.
Six former Paxton employees testified against their boss during the trial.
A conviction requires a two-thirds majority, or 21 votes, of the 31 members present. Anything short of that means acquittal.
The closes vote on one of the articles as 14 to 16, with two Republican Senators breaking rank to vote with the 12 Democrats in the Senate.
Other votes were much further apart, including a 2-28 vote on allegations Paxton gave Paul confidential law enforcement documents.
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick served as judge during the trial and ripped the impeachment effort after the verdicts. He targeted the state's House and called for changes in the law that allowed the case to happen.
'Our founders expected better,' Patrick said. 'It should have never happened this year, and hopefully it doesn't again, unless we address this in the Constitution.'
The Republican was accused of using his powerful office to help shield Austin-based real estate developer Nate Paul, who was indicted in June on false statements charges
State Sen. Angela Paxton, R-McKinney blows kisses in the direction of the gallery before the impeachment trial for Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, her husband
It just one of the stunning moments of the trial, former Paxton chief of staff Katherine Cary testified about the toll Paxton's alleged affair took on the AG's staff.
'I told General Paxton quite bluntly it wasn't my business who he was sleeping with, but when things bleed over into the office and into the state work, it becomes my business,' she testified this week.
'Just because somebody has an affair doesn't mean they're a '-- quote '-- 'criminal' does it?' Paxton lawyer Tony Buzbee asked in response to her testimony.
'Imagine if we impeached everyone in Austin who had an affair,' Buzbee added. 'We'd be impeaching people for the next 100 years.'
Trump this week accused 'establishment RINOS' of trying to 'undo that Election with a shameful impeachment,' and blasted the case that the state's Republican House brought against his ally.
Paxton's chief of staff Katherine Cary testified about the toll Paxton's alleged affair took on the AG's staff
'Who would replace Paxton, one of the TOUGHEST & BEST Attorney Generals in the Country?' Trump wrote on his Truth Social platform. 'Could it be a Democrat, or even worse, a RINO? The voters have decided who they want! Democrats are feeling very good right now as they watch, as usual, the Republicans fight & eat away at each other. It's a SAD day in the Great State of Texas!'
Senators began deliberations Friday after closing arguments from the bipartisan group of House managers prosecuting Paxton and the attorney general's defense lawyers.
'We discovered unprecedented abuse in the Texas attorney general's office by Mr. Paxton,' said state Rep. Andrew Murr, a Republican. 'He has betrayed us, and the people of Texas.'
In a fiery defense, Paxton attorney Tony Buzbee insisted the House had not proved their case and called the impeachment a 'political witch hunt.'
'There is shame here, and the shame sits right there' Buzbee said, pointing at the prosecution table. 'That they would bring this case, in this chamber, with no evidence.'
A look at what has happened so far and what comes next:
THE EVIDENCE
House Republican impeachment managers and Paxton's defense team were each given 24 hours over the last two weeks to present evidence.
The House managers spent their time trying to lay out their corruption case methodically.
An initial witness list of more than 100 names was whittled down to about 20.
Most were former Paxton aides who were suspicious of his business relationship with Paul and his romantic one with Laura Olson, who worked for Paul.
They detailed their concerns about Paxton's efforts to help Paul, burner phones and arguments over who paid for kitchen countertops in Paxton's home renovation project.
They told of taking their concerns to the FBI and how Paxton's extramarital affair might explain why Paxton seemed so determined to help Paul fend of the federal investigation that would eventually lead to Paul's indictment on fraud charges.
'I witnessed Attorney General Ken Paxton do brazen things on behalf of Nate Paul. He abused the entire office of the attorney general of Texas to benefit Nate Paul,' former Deputy Attorney General Blake Brickman said, 'and it got worse and worse and worse.'
Defense attorneys called four of Paxton's current employees who testified they have seen Paxton do nothing wrong and are proud to work for him.
The dramatic moment the trial did not get: testimony from Olson. The relationship was considered central to the bribery charge. Olson came to the Capitol on Wednesday and was called as a witness, but ultimately did not have to take the stand.
Olson's exit deflated a potentially dramatic afternoon as she didn't have to face televised, public questioning about the relationship as Paxton's wife, state Sen. Angela Paxton, sat in the room.
Ken Paxton returned to the trial Friday for the first time since the opening day and listened to the closing arguments. He was not required to attend the proceedings.
THE SENATE JURY
The Texas Constitution set the 31-member Senate as the impeachment trial jury; all were required to attend.
Thirty determined Ken Paxton's fate.
Angela Paxton was barred from voting or participating in deliberations because of her conflict of interest as the attorney general's wife.
Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, seated center, talks to prosecution and defense attorneys after the prosecution rested in the impeachment trial
Sen. Angela Paxton was not allowed to vote in the trial, but did attend the sessions to hear the testimony
Early votes on the trial's first day did not go Paxton's way. His attempts to dismiss all charges before the evidence was heard were rejected, with most carrying the 21-vote margin.
But those early votes also showed Paxton had the support of at least six Republicans, who could be pushing others to join them.
Paxton has become a darling among conservatives nationally as he backed Donald Trump's efforts to overturn President Joe Biden's 2020 electoral victory and filed numerous lawsuits against the Biden administration.
Like Trump, Paxton has claimed he was the victim of a politically motivated investigation.
His defense attorneys have even suggested a Republican plot to oust him.
Paxton's impeachment has fractured the Texas Republican Party. A Republican-majority House voted overwhelmingly to impeach him, while mostly Republican House managers led the prosecution.
Paxton is just the third state official to be impeached in Texas' nearly 200-year history, and the first statewide officeholder since former Gov. James 'Pa' Ferguson in 1917, who resigned the day before he was convicted.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Security Scare as Armed Man Arrested
Sat, 16 Sep 2023 19:11
Police arrested an armed man falsely claiming to be part of Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s security team in Los Angeles on Friday night. It happened outside a venue where the Democratic 2024 presidential candidate was giving a speech and just two miles away from where his father, Senator Robert F. Kennedy, was assassinated in 1968.
The incident took place by the Wilshire Ebell Theatre where Kennedy was delivering an address to mark Hispanic Heritage Month. Kennedy posted a photograph of the man who was detained while wearing an Emergency Medical Service top and dark sunglasses, on X, formerly known as Twitter. Kennedy said the man was "carrying a U.S. Marshal badge" and had stated he was part of his security.
While Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has struggled to challenge President Joe Biden for the Democratic nomination, he has picked up considerable conservative support, thanks to his promotion of discredited conspiracy theories about coronavirus vaccines.
A Quinnipiac University poll among 1,632 likely voters, released earlier this month, found Kennedy was the preferred candidate of 13 percent of Democrat or Democrat-leaning voters, down 3.5 percent on his figure for June.
I'm very grateful that alert and fast-acting protectors from Gavin de Becker and Associates (GDBA) spotted and detained an armed man who attempted to approach me at my Hispanic Heritage speech at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre in Los Angeles tonight. The man, wearing two shoulder'... pic.twitter.com/vvJc0Gtk4o
'-- Robert F. Kennedy Jr (@RobertKennedyJr) September 16, 2023Referencing the company that provided his bodyguards, Kennedy wrote: "I'm very grateful that alert and fast-acting protectors from Gavin de Becker and Associates (GDBA) spotted and detained an armed man who attempted to approach me at my Hispanic Heritage speech at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre in Los Angeles tonight.
"The man, wearing two shoulder holsters with loaded pistols and spare ammunition magazines, was carrying a U.S. Marshal badge on a lanyard and beltclip federal ID. He identified himself as a member of my security detail," Kennedy added. "Armed GDBA team members moved quickly to isolate and detain the man until LAPD [Los Angeles Police Department] arrived to make the arrest. I'm also grateful to LAPD for its rapid response."
The LAPD told The New York Post that officers had arrested a man on suspicion of impersonating a federal marshal, adding that he will probably be booked on a gun charge. The department declined to comment further when contacted by Newsweek via telephone. Newsweek has also reached out to Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s team using the contact form on his official campaign website.
On X, Kennedy added: "I'm still entertaining a hope that President Biden will allow me Secret Service protection. I am the first presidential candidate in history to whom the White House has denied a request for protection."
In July, Kennedy blamed the Biden administration after saying that his request for Secret Service protection had been turned down.
The Secret Service website says that "major presidential and vice presidential candidates and their spouses within 120 days of a general presidential election" are entitled to their protection, with the Secretary of Homeland Security determining who qualifies as "major."
In June, Kennedy discussed the possibility that he could be assassinated during a conversation with podcaster Joe Rogan. He said: "I'm aware of that, I'm aware of that danger. I don't live in fear of it, you know, at all. But I'm not stupid about it, and I take precautions."
Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. speaks at a Hispanic Heritage Month event at Wilshire Ebell Theatre on September 15, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. An armed man was arrested outside after falsely claiming to be part of Kennedy's security team. Mario Tama/GETTYIn June 1968, Kennedy's father, Senator Robert F. Kennedy, was shot and killed at the Ambassador Hotel, just 2 miles from where Friday's incident took place. His uncle, President John F. Kennedy, was assassinated in November 1963 during a visit to Dallas, Texas. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. said the CIA was involved in his brother's killing, though the official investigation concluded that the shooter, Lee Harvey Oswald, acted alone.
Berlin Conference - Wikipedia
Sat, 16 Sep 2023 18:56
1884''1885 regulation of colonisation in Africa
The conference of Berlin, as illustrated in Die GartenlaubeThe conference of Berlin, as illustrated in Illustrirte ZeitungThe Berlin Conference of 1884''1885, also known as the Congo Conference (German: Kongokonferenz, pronounced [ËkÉ--ŋÉoˌkÉ--nfeËʁɛntÍs] ) or West Africa Conference (Westafrika-Konferenz , pronounced [ˌvɛstËÊ--aːfʁika ˌku] ),[1] met on 15 November 1884, and after an adjournment concluded on 26 February 1885, with the signature of a General Act,[2] regulating the European colonisation and trade in Africa during the New Imperialism period. The conference was organized by Otto von Bismarck, the first chancellor of Germany at the request of King Leopold II.[3] The General Act of Berlin can be seen as the formalisation of the Scramble for Africa that was already in full swing.[4] Some historians however warn against an overemphasis of its role in the colonial partitioning of Africa, and draw attention to bilateral agreements concluded before and after the conference.[5][6][7] The conference contributed to ushering in a period of heightened colonial activity by European powers, once made the point that the Berlin Conference of 1884''85 was responsible for "the old carve-up of Africa". Other writers have also laid the blame in "the partition of Africa" on the doors of the Berlin Conference. But Wm. Roger Louis holds a contrary view, although he conceded that "the Berlin Act did have a relevance to the course of the partition" of Africa. Of the fourteen countries being represented, seven of them '' Italy, Austria-Hungary, Russia, Denmark, the Netherlands, Sweden''Norway, the Ottoman Empire and the United States '' came home without any formal possessions in Africa.
Background [ edit ] Cartoon depicting Leopold II and other imperial powers at the Berlin ConferencePrior to the conference, European diplomats approached African rulers in the same manner as they had in the Western Hemisphere, by establishing a connection to local trade networks. In the early 1800s, the European demand for ivory, which was then often used in the production of luxury goods, led many European merchants into the interior markets of Africa.[citation needed ] European spheres of power and influence were limited to coastal Africa at this time as Europeans had only established trading posts (protected by gunboats) up to this point.[8]
In 1876, King Leopold II of Belgium, who had founded and controlled the International African Association the same year, invited Henry Morton Stanley to join him in researching and civilising the continent. In 1878, the International Congo Society was also formed, with more economic goals but still closely related to the former society. Leopold secretly bought off the foreign investors in the Congo Society, which was turned to imperialistic goals, with the "African Society" serving primarily as a philanthropic front.[9]
From 1878 to 1885, Stanley returned to the Congo not as a reporter but as Leopold's agent, with the secret mission to organise what would become known as the Congo Free State soon after the closure of the Berlin Conference in August 1885.[7][10][5] French agents discovered Leopold's plans, and in response France sent its own explorers to Africa. In 1881, French naval officer Pierre de Brazza was dispatched to central Africa, travelled into the western Congo basin, and raised the French flag over the newly founded Brazzaville in what is now the Republic of Congo. Finally, Portugal, which had essentially abandoned a colonial empire in the area, long held through the mostly defunct proxy Kingdom of Kongo, also claimed the area, based on old treaties with Restoration-era Spain and the Catholic Church. It quickly made a treaty on 26 February 1884 with its former ally, Great Britain, to block off the Congo Society's access to the Atlantic.
By the early 1880s, many factors including diplomatic successes, greater European local knowledge, and the demand for resources such as gold, timber, and rubber, triggered dramatically increased European involvement in the continent of Africa. Stanley's charting of the Congo River Basin (1874''1877) removed the last terra incognita from European maps of the continent, delineating the areas of British, Portuguese, French and Belgian control. These European nations raced to annex territory that might be claimed by rivals.[11]
France moved to take over Tunisia, one of the last of the Barbary states, using a claim of another piracy incident. French claims by Pierre de Brazza were quickly acted on by the French military, which took control of what is now the Republic of the Congo in 1881 and Guinea in 1884. Italy became part of the Triple Alliance, an event that upset Bismarck's carefully laid plans and led Germany to join the European invasion of Africa.[12]
In 1882, realizing the geopolitical extent of Portuguese control on the coasts, but seeing penetration by France eastward across Central Africa toward Ethiopia, the Nile, and the Suez Canal, Britain saw its vital trade route through Egypt to India threatened. Because of the collapsed Egyptian financing and a subsequent mutiny in which hundreds of British subjects were murdered or injured, Britain intervened in the nominally Ottoman Egypt, which it controlled for decades.[13]
Conference [ edit ] The European race for colonies made Germany start launching expeditions of its own, which frightened both British and French statesmen. Hoping to quickly soothe the brewing conflict, Belgian King Leopold II convinced France and Germany that common trade in Africa was in the best interests of all three countries. Under support from the British and the initiative of Portugal, Otto von Bismarck, the Chancellor of Germany, called on representatives of 13 nations in Europe as well as the United States to take part in the Berlin Conference in 1884 to work out a joint policy on the African continent.
The conference opened on 15 November 1884 and closed on 26 February 1885.[14] The number of plenipotentiaries varied per nation,[15] but these 14 countries sent representatives to attend the Berlin Conference and sign the subsequent Berlin Act:[16]
Uniquely, the United States reserved the right to decline or to accept the conclusions of the conference.[17]
General Act [ edit ] The General Act fixed the following points:
Partly to gain public acceptance,[18][6] the conference resolved to end slavery by African and Islamic powers. Thus, an international prohibition of the slave trade throughout their respected spheres was signed by the European members. In his novella Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad sarcastically referred to one of the participants at the conference, the International Association of the Congo (also called "International Congo Society"), as "the International Society for the Suppression of Savage Customs".[19][20] The first name of this Society had been the "International Association for the Exploration and Civilization of Central Africa".The properties occupied by Belgian King Leopold's International Congo Society, the name used in the General Act, were confirmed as the Society's. On 1 August 1885, a few months after the closure of the Berlin Conference, Leopold's Vice-Administrator General in the Congo, Francis de Winton, announced that the territory was henceforth called "the Congo Free State", a name that in fact was not in use at the time of the conference and does not appear in the General Act.[10][5][7] The Belgian official Law Gazette later stated that from that same 1 August 1885 onwards, Leopold II was to be considered Sovereign of the new state, again an issue never discussed, let alone decided, at the Berlin Conference.[21][22]The 14 signatory powers would have free trade throughout the Congo Basin as well as Lake Malawi and east of it in an area south of 5° N.The Niger and Congo rivers were made free for ship traffic.The Principle of Effective Occupation (based on effective occupation, see below) was introduced to prevent powers from setting up colonies in name only.Any fresh act of taking possession of any portion of the African coast would have to be notified by the power taking possession, or assuming a protectorate, to the other signatory powers.Definition of regions in which each European power had an exclusive right to pursue the legal ownership of landThe first reference in an international act to the obligations attaching to spheres of influence is contained in the Berlin Act.
Principle of effective occupation [ edit ] The principle of effective occupation stated that a power could acquire rights over colonial lands only if it possessed them or had effective occupation: if it had treaties with local leaders, flew its flag there, and established an administration in the territory to govern it with a police force to keep order. The colonial power could also make use of the colony economically. That principle became important not only as a basis for the European powers to acquire territorial sovereignty in Africa but also for delimiting their respective overseas possessions, as effective occupation served in some instances as a criterion for settling colonial boundary disputes. However, as the scope of the Berlin Act was limited to the lands that fronted on the African coast, European powers in numerous instances later claimed rights over interior lands without demonstrating the requirement of effective occupation, as articulated in Article 35 of the Final Act.
Comparison of Africa in the years 1880 and 1913At the Berlin Conference, the scope of the Principle of Effective Occupation was heavily contested between Germany and France. The Germans, who were new to the continent, essentially believed that as far as the extension of power in Africa was concerned, no colonial power should have any legal right to a territory unless the state exercised strong and effective political control and, if so, only for a limited period of time, essentially an occupational force only. However, Britain's view was that Germany was a latecomer to the continent and was assumptively unlikely to gain any possessions beyond those it already held, which were swiftly proving to be more valuable than British territories.[citation needed ] That logic caused it to be generally assumed by Britain and France that Germany had an interest in embarrassing the other European powers on the continent and forcing them to give up their possessions if they could not muster a strong political presence. On the other side, Britain had large territorial holdings there and wanted to keep them while it minimised its responsibilities and administrative costs. In the end, the British view prevailed.
The Great Powers' disinclination to rule their territories is apparent throughout the protocols of the Berlin Conference but especially in the Principle of Effective Occupation. In line with Germany and Britain's opposing views, the powers finally agreed that it could be established by a European power establishing some kind of base on the coast from which it was free to expand into the interior. The Europeans did not believe that the rules of occupation demanded European hegemony on the ground. The Belgians originally wanted to include that effective occupation required provisions that "cause peace to be administered", but Britain and France were the powers that had that amendment struck out of the final document.
That principle, along with others that were written at the conference, allowed the Europeans to conquer Africa but to do as little as possible to administer or control it. The principle did not apply so much to the hinterlands of Africa at the time of the conference. This gave rise to hinterland theory, which basically gave any colonial power with coastal territory the right to claim political influence over an indefinite amount of inland territory. Since Africa was irregularly shaped, that theory caused problems and was later rejected.[23]
Agenda [ edit ] Portugal''Britain: The Portuguese government presented a project, known as the "Pink Map", or the "Rose-Coloured Map", in which the colonies of Angola and Mozambique were united by co-option of the intervening territory (the land later became Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Malawi). All of the countries attending the conference, except for Britain, endorsed Portugal's ambitions, and just over five years later, in 1890, the British government issued an ultimatum that demanded for the Portuguese to withdraw from the disputed area.[citation needed ]France''Britain: A line running from Say in Niger to Maroua, on the northeastern coast of Lake Chad, determined which part belonged to whom. France would own territory to the north of the line, and Britain would own territory to the south of it. The basin of the Nile would be British, with the French taking the basin of Lake Chad. Furthermore, between the 11th and 15th degrees north in latitude, the border would pass between Ouadda¯, which would be French, and Darfur in Sudan, which would be British. In reality, a no man's land 200 km wide was put in place between the 21st and 23rd meridians east.France''Germany: The area to the north of a line, formed by the intersection of the 14th meridian east and Miltou, was designated to be French, and the area to the south would be German, later called German Cameroon.Britain''Germany: The separation came in the form of a line passing through Yola, on the Benue, Dekoa, going up to the extremity of Lake Chad.France''Italy: Italy was to own what lies north of a line from the intersection of the Tropic of Cancer and the 17th meridian east to the intersection of the 15th parallel north and the 21st meridian east.Aftermath [ edit ] European claims in Africa, 1913. Today's boundaries, which are largely a legacy of the colonial era, are shown. Belgium Germany Spain France Britain Italy Portugal IndependentThe conference provided an opportunity to channel latent European hostilities towards one another outward; provide new areas for helping the European powers expand in the face of rising American, Russian and Japanese interests; and form constructive dialogue to limit future hostilities. In Africa, colonialism was introduced across nearly all the continent. When African independence was regained after World War II, it was in the form of fragmented states.[24]
The Scramble for Africa sped up after the Conference since even within areas designated as their sphere of influence, the European powers had to take effective possession by the principle of effectivity. In central Africa in particular, expeditions were dispatched to coerce traditional rulers into signing treaties, using force if necessary, such as was the case for Msiri, King of Katanga, in 1891. Bedouin- and Berber-ruled states in the Sahara and the Sahel were overrun by the French in several wars by the beginning of World War I. The British moved up from South Africa and down from Egypt and conquered states such as the Mahdist State and the Sultanate of Zanzibar and, having already defeated the Zulu Kingdom in South Africa in 1879, moved on to subdue and dismantle the independent Boer republics of Transvaal and the Orange Free State.
Within a few years, Africa was at least nominally divided up south of the Sahara. By 1895, the only independent states were:
Morocco, involved in colonial conflicts with Spain and France, which conquered the nation in the early 20th century. Liberia, founded with the support of the United States for freed slaves to return to Africa. Ethiopian Empire, which fended off Italian invasion from Eritrea in the First Italo-Ethiopian War of 1895''1896 but fell to Italian occupation in 1936 defeat during the Second Italo-Ethiopian War Majeerteen Sultanate, founded in the early 18th century, it was annexed by Italy in the 20th century. Sultanate of Hobyo, carved out of the former Majeerteen Sultanate, which ruled northern Somalia until the 20th century, when it was incorporated by Italy.The following states lost their independence to the British Empire roughly a decade after (see below for more information):
Orange Free State, a Boer republic founded by Dutch settlers. South African Republic (Transvaal), also a Boer republicBy 1902, 90% of all the land that makes up Africa was under European control. Most of the Sahara was French, but after the quelling of the Mahdi rebellion and the ending of the Fashoda crisis, the Sudan remained firmly under joint British''Egyptian rulership, with Egypt being under British occupation before becoming a British protectorate in 1914.[25]
The Boer republics were conquered by the British in the Second Boer War from 1899 to 1902. Libya was conquered by Italy in 1911, and Morocco was divided between the French and Spanish in 1912.
Motives and David Livingstone's Crusade [ edit ] Slave traders and their captives bound in chains and collared with 'taming sticks'. From Livingstone's NarrativeOne of the chief stated justifications "was a desire to stamp out slavery once and for all".[26] Before he died in 1873, Christian missionary, David Livingstone, called for a worldwide crusade to defeat the Arab-controlled slave trade in East Africa. The way to do it was to "liberate Africa" by the introduction of "commerce, Christianity" and civilization.[27]
Crowe, Craven, and Katzenellenbogen are authors who have attempted to soften the language and therefore the intent of the conference. They warn against an overemphasis on its role in the colonial partitioning of Africa, extensively justifying it by ignoring the motivations and outcomes of the conference by only drawing attention to bilateral agreements concluded before and after the conference, regardless of whether they were finalized and followed in practice.[5][6][7] For example, Craven has questioned the legal and economic impact of the conference.[6]
However, the countries that ultimately participated in the Final Act ignored requirements set forth within it to establish their satellite governments, rights to the land, and trade for the benefit of their national, and domestic economies.[28]
Analysis by historians [ edit ] This section
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( September 2020
) Historians have long marked the Berlin Conference as the formalisation of the Scramble for Africa[29] but recently, scholars have questioned the legal and economic impact of the conference.[6]
Some have argued the conference central to imperialism. African-American historian W. E. B. Du Bois wrote in 1948 that alongside the Atlantic slave trade in Africans a great world movement of modern times is "the partitioning of Africa after the Franco-Prussian War which, with the Berlin Conference of 1884, brought colonial imperialism to flower" and that "[t]he primary reality of imperialism in Africa today is economic," going on to expound on the extraction of wealth from the continent.[30]
Other historians focus on the legal implications in international law and argue[31] that the conference was only one of many (mostly bilateral) agreements between prospective colonists,[32] which took place after the conference.
See also [ edit ] Brussels Anti-Slavery Conference 1889''90Impact of Western European colonialism and colonisationReferences [ edit ] ^ Berlin West Africa Conference at the Encyclop...dia Britannica ^ a b The Belgian Congo and the Berlin act, by Keith, Arthur Berriedale, 1919, p. 52. ^ De Belgische Kolonin - Documentaire over het Belgisch Koloniaal Rijk (English: The Belgian Colonies - Documentary on the Belgian Colonial Empire) timestamp 10:40 to 10:52) ^ Bruce Gilley: In Defense of German Colonialism, September 1, 2022 ^ a b c d Katzenellenbogen, S. (1996). "It didn't happen at Berlin: Politics, economics and ignorance in the setting of Africa's colonial boundaries.". In Nugent, P.; Asiwaju, A. I. (eds.). African Boundaries: Barriers, Conduits and Opportunities. London: Pinter. pp. 21''34. ^ a b c d e Craven, M. (2015). "Between law and history: the Berlin Conference of 1884''1885 and the logic of free trade". London Review of International Law. 3: 31''59. doi:10.1093/lril/lrv002 . ^ a b c d Crowe, S. E. (1942). The Berlin West African Conference, 1884''1885. London: Longmans Green. ^ Chamberlain, Muriel E., The Scramble for Africa (1999). ^ Acherson, Neal, The King Incorporated: Leopold the Second and the Congo (1999). ^ a b Cornelis, S. (1991). "Stanley au service de L(C)opold II: La fondation de l'‰tat Ind(C)pendant du Congo (1878''1885)". In Cornelis, S. (ed.). H.M. Stanley: Explorateur au Service du Roi. Tervuren: Royal Museum for Central Africa. pp. 41''60 (53''54). ^ F¶rster, Stig, Wolfgang Justin Mommsen, and Ronald Edward Robinson, eds. Bismarck, Europe and Africa: The Berlin Africa Conference 1884''1885 and the Onset of Partition (1988). ^ Langer, William L., European Alliances and Alignments: 1871''1890 (1950), pp. 217''220. ^ Langer, European Alliances and Alignments: 1871''1890 (1950), pp. 251''280. ^ Rosenberg, Matt. "The Berlin Conference: Where a Continent Was Colonized". ThoughtCo . Retrieved 19 September 2017 . ^ Wang, Shih-tsung (31 July 1998). "The Conference of Berlin and British 'New' Imperialism, 1884''85" [柏林æ'ƒè­°è‡è‹±å'‹ãŒæ–°å¸'å'‹ä¸>>ç¾(C)ã,1884''85 ] (PDF) (Report). 王世宗 . Taipei: Department of History and Research Institute of National Taiwan University (å'‹ç‹è‡ºç£å¤§å­¸æ­·å²å­¸ç">>暨ç --ç(C)¶æ‰ ). Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 September 2020. Also available here, original here. ^ General-Akte der Berliner Konferenz [Acte G(C)n(C)ral de la Conf(C)rence de Berlin ], 26 February 1885. ^ "Between law and history: the Berlin Conference of 1884''1885 and the logic of free trade". London Review of International Law. Lril.oxfordjournals.org. 10 March 2015. Archived from the original on 16 October 2015 . Retrieved 24 September 2018 . ^ David, Saul. "BBC '' History '' British History in depth: Slavery and the 'Scramble for Africa' ". bbc.co.uk/history. BBC . Retrieved 19 September 2017 . ^ "Historical Context: Heart of Darkness." EXPLORING Novels, Online Edition. Gale, 2003. Discovering Collection. (subscription required) ^ Stengers, Jean, "Sur l'aventure congolaise de Joseph Conrad". In Quaghebeur, M. and van Balberghe, E. (eds), Papier Blanc, Encre Noire: Cent Ans de Culture Francophone en Afrique Centrale (Za¯re, Rwanda et Burundi). 2 Vols. Brussels: Labor. Vol. 1, pp. 15''34. ^ Thomson, Robert (1933). Fondation de l'‰tat Ind(C)pendant du Congo: Un chapitre de l'histoire du partage de l'Afrique. Brussels. pp. 177''189. {{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link) ^ Moniteur Belge / Belgisch Staatsblad. Brussels. 1885''1886. p. 22. {{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link) ^ Herbst, Jeffrey. States and Power in Africa. Ch. 3, pp. 71''72. ^ de Blij, H.J.; Muller, Peter O. (1997). Geography: Realms, Regions, and Concepts . John Wiley & Sons, Inc. p. 340. ISBN 9780471119463. ^ Roger Owen, Lord Cromer: Victorian Imperialist, Edwardian Proconsul (Oxford University Press, 2005). ^ "BBC - History - British History in depth: Slavery and the 'Scramble for Africa' ". www.bbc.co.uk . Retrieved 13 November 2022 . ^ "BBC - History - British History in depth: Slavery and the 'Scramble for Africa' ". www.bbc.co.uk . Retrieved 13 November 2022 . ^ Adem, Gurminder K. Bhambra, Yolande Bouka, Randolph B. Persaud, Olivia U. Rutazibwa, Vineet Thakur, Duncan Bell, Karen Smith, Toni Haastrup, Seifudein (3 July 2020). "Why Is Mainstream International Relations Blind to Racism?". Foreign Policy . Retrieved 13 November 2022 . {{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link) ^ Matua, Maka Wu (1995). "Why Redraw the Map of Africa: A Moral and Legal Inquiry". Harvard Law School. 16 (4). ^ Du Bois, W. E. Burghardt (July 1943). "The Realities in Africa: European Profit or Negro Development?" . Foreign Affairs. Vol. 21, no. 4. ISSN 0015-7120. ^ Aghie, Antony (2004). Landauer, Carl (ed.). Imperialism, Sovereignty and the Making of International Law. Cambridge University Press. ^ Hargreaves, John (1963). Prelude to the Partition of West Africa. Macmillam. Sources [ edit ] Chamberlain, Muriel E. (2014). The Scramble for Africa. London: Longman, 1974, 4th edn. ISBN 0-582-36881-2.Craven, M. 2015. "Between law and history: the Berlin Conference of 1884''1885 and the logic of free trade." London Review of International Law 3, 31''59.Crowe, Sybil E. (1942). The Berlin West African Conference, 1884''1885. New York: Longmans, Green. ISBN 0-8371-3287-8 (1981, New ed. edition).F¶rster, Stig, Wolfgang Justin Mommsen, and Ronald Edward Robinson, eds. Bismarck, Europe and Africa: The Berlin Africa conference 1884''1885 and the onset of partition (Oxford University Press, 1988) online; 30 topical chapters by experts.Hochschild, Adam (1999). King Leopold's Ghost. ISBN 0-395-75924-2.Katzenellenbogen, S. 1996. It didn't happen at Berlin: Politics, economics and ignorance in the setting of Africa's colonial boundaries. In Nugent, P. and Asiwaju, A. I. (Eds.), African boundaries: Barriers, conduits and opportunities. pp. 21''34. London: Pinter.Petringa, Maria (2006). Brazza, A Life for Africa. ISBN 978-1-4259-1198-0.Lorin, Amaury, and de Gemeaux, Christine, eds., L'Europe coloniale et le grand tournant de la Conf(C)rence de Berlin (1884''1885), Paris, Le Manuscrit, coll. "Carrefours d'empires", 2013, 380 p.Further reading [ edit ] Craven, Matthew. The invention of a tradition: Westlake, the Berlin Conference and the historicisation of international law (Klosterman, 2012).Leon, Daniel De (1886). "The Conference at Berlin on the West-African Question". Political Science Quarterly 1(1).F¶rster, Susanne, et al. "Negotiating German colonial heritage in Berlin's Afrikanisches Viertel." International Journal of Heritage Studies 22.7 (2016): 515''529.Frankema, Ewout, Jeffrey G. Williamson, and P. J. Woltjer. "An economic rationale for the West African scramble? The commercial transition and the commodity price boom of 1835''1885." Journal of Economic History (2018): 231''267. onlineHarlow, Barbara, and Mia Carter, eds. Archives of Empire: Volume 2. The Scramble for Africa (Duke University Press, 2020).Mulligan, William. "The Anti-slave Trade Campaign in Europe, 1888''90." in A Global History of Anti-slavery Politics in the Nineteenth Century (Palgrave Macmillan, London, 2013). 149''170 online.Nuzzo, Luigi (2012), Colonial Law, EGO '' European History Online, Mainz: Institute of European History. Retrieved 25 March 2021 (pdf).Rodney, Walter. How Europe Underdeveloped Africa (1972) ''Shepperson, George. "The Centennial of the West African Conference of Berlin, 1884''1885." Phylon 46#1 (1985), pp. 37''48. onlineVanthemsche, Guy. Belgium and the Congo, 1885''1980 (Cambridge University Press, 2012). 289 pp. ISBN 978-0-521-19421-1Waller, Bruce. Bismarck at the crossroads: the reorientation of German foreign policy after the Congress of Berlin, 1878''1880 (1974) onlineYao, Joanne (2022). "The Power of Geographical Imaginaries in the European International Order: Colonialism, the 1884''85 Berlin Conference, and Model International Organizations". International Organization.External links [ edit ] Geography.about.com '' Berlin Conference of 1884''1885 to Divide Africa Archived 3 December 2016 at the Wayback Machine."The Berlin Conference", BBC In Our TimeGeneral Act of the Berlin Conference. South African History Online. This audio file was created from a revision of this article dated 11 December 2017
( 2017-12-11
), and does not reflect subsequent edits.
The X in Xmas literally means Christ. Here's the history behind it. - Vox
Sat, 16 Sep 2023 18:42
You've probably heard the phrase "Keep Christ in Christmas," either on a church sign, or a Facebook wall. You might have even heard it this month. The idea is always the same: let's not rub out the religious roots of this holiday by saying "Xmas," instead of Christmas.
This might seem like a strange battle to wage, but there are people who really, earnestly believe this is deeply important. For instance, Franklin Graham, son of Billy, put it like this :
For us as Christians, [Christmas] is one of the most holy of the holidays, the birth of our savior Jesus Christ. And for people to take Christ out of Christmas. They're happy to say merry Xmas. Let's just take Jesus out. And really, I think, a war against the name of Jesus Christ.
This is of a piece with those who fret that saying "happy holidays" is somehow scrubbing the season's religious ties away. But those who make this argument are barking up the wrong tree, because, you see, the X in "Xmas" literally means Jesus. Allow us to explain.
How can the letter "X" stand for "Christ"?In Greek, the language of the New Testament, the word Christos (Christ) begins with the letter "X," or chi. Here's what it looks like:
ΧρισÏόςSo how did that word get abbreviated?In the early fourth century, Constantine the Great, Roman Emperor from 306-337, popularized this shorthand for Christ. According to legend, on the eve of his great battle against Maxentius, Constantine had a vision that led him to create a military banner emblazoned with the first two letters of Christ on it: chi and rho.
Chi-Rho. (Dylan Lake/Wikimedia Commons)
These two letters, then, became a sort of shorthand for Jesus Christ.
When did the Greek letter start to be used in the word "Christmas?"Most scholars agree that the first appearance of this abbreviation for Christmas dates to 1021, "when an Anglo-Saxon scribe saved himself space by writing XPmas," reported First Things. Parchment paper was quite expensive, so any techniques for saving space were welcome. The abbreviation stuck and eventually was shortened to Xmas.
The poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge used it in a letter , dated December 31, 1801, for instance: "On Xmas day I breakfasted with Davy." The verb "x massing" was also used in the magazine Punch in 1884, according to The Guardian.
Are there any other Christian examples of this?There's an ancient acronym many of us are familiar with, even if we don't realize it. Have a look:
ÎΧÎΥΣ
It's pronounced Ich-thus, and it's the Greek word for fish. You may know it better as the so-called "Jesus fish" of bumper sticker fame. Early Christians used it as an abbreviated form of one of their creeds: "Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior."
These shorthands happen in seminaries all the time. As they do with Christ, seminarians write a similar shorthand for the Greek word God, which is θεός (theos). When abbreviating the word, they'll just jot down the first letter, θ (theta).
Santa v. Baby Jesus. (Tyler Olson/Flickr)
So how did Xmas become so hated?Good question. The answer may have something to do with the culture wars, the historical tension between the left and the Christian right.
Think about Franklin Graham's quote above. For him, and to many who share his particular religious leanings, Xmas is symbolic of a bigger problem with our culture: not only are we crossing out Christ in the word, they say, but we're tossing him out of the public square. Therefore, Xmas, as Graham said, "is a war against the name of Jesus Christ."
Graham and those who think similarly (like actor Kirk Cameron and former Alaska governor Sarah Palin) believe the secularization of American culture is so all pervasive that even if they're aware of the religious roots of Xmas, they still believe it is symbolic of a larger trend. Thus, it has to go.
Is there any good reason why Christians might hate "Xmas?"Certainly, Christians have a right to feel however they wish, and if they think that Christianity is being driven from the public square, there's really no arguing they're wrong. In fact, polls show that organized religion in America has been declining.
Writing at First Things, Matthew Schmitz, who is well aware of the historical roots of Xmas, discusses another reason some Christians might be wary of the shorthand:
The cultural, religious, communal traditions we see as especially embodied by Christmas have been undermined by the rise of commerce and cult of efficiency. The desire to get from point A to B by the shortest possible route, irrespective of the charms of traditional byways, fuels our mania for abbreviation. The hatred for Xmas, then, may stem in part from an innate suspicion of the attempt to render all things ancient and beautiful modern, cheap, and sleek.
Can we take a music break?Sure! Here's a Christmas song from Christina Aguilera, who sometimes calls herself Xtina. Appropriately enough, it's called Xtina's Xmas.
Why does this matter?First, the US remains divided over several traditional culture war issues, most prominently abortion. The battle over Xmas, though it might seem trivial, only reinforces the "secular vs. Christian America" narrative that fuels those arguments.
Second, the fight over the word Xmas underscores some American Christians' real fear of persecution. It might seem ridiculous that members of the nation's dominant religion would feel persecuted, and it's easy to laugh about those who claim the statement "happy holidays" means de facto persecution. But try looking at it from their point-of-view.
The United States has gone from a nation where the default religion was assumed to be Christianity, to one that increasingly tries to make room for people of all faiths and belief systems. That can seem like a gradual, inevitable evolution to those not embroiled in the culture wars, but it can feel like a massive sea change to those who are. These changes are fast, and they are real, and those concerned about them shouldn't just be dismissed or mocked.
In fact, dismissing concerns about the changing religious landscape is bad for all of us in the long run, as Susan Brooks Thistelthwaite wrote for FaithStreet about religious pluralism in America. "A conflict that cannot be named cannot be mediated. In other words," she continues,
the more religiously pluralistic we become, the more visible our struggle becomes with these issues. It is only when we take the risk of actually looking at our religious stresses and strains that we can begin to act to know them, engage them, and hopefully move them in a more positive direction.
While it might be funny to joke about overblown fears about the so-called War On Christmas, it's probably more helpful to try to understand the roots of those concerns, then address those in a thoughtful manner. Harvard University's Pluralism Project offers some great ideas about the shape these talks could take.
So what if somebody tells me we need to keep the Christ in Christmas? You could suggest that the word "Christmas" is itself already a shorthand for "Christ's mass." Or, as discussed, point out what the X really stands for.
Or, you could be even cheekier about it, and talk about how the original war on Christmas was actually waged by conservative American Christians. Wary of the pagan roots of the festivities, the Puritans wanted to keep Christmas out of their no-nonsense Christianity.
Or, finally, you could take a page from the man whose name is in the holiday, by realizing this is, ultimately, a pretty big fight over a single letter. Sometimes, turning the other cheek is pretty painless.
We're here to shed some clarity
One of our core beliefs here at Vox is that everyone needs and deserves access to the information that helps them understand the world, regardless of whether they can pay for a subscription. With the 2024 election on the horizon, more people are turning to us for clear and balanced explanations of the issues and policies at stake. We're so grateful that we're on track to hit 85,000 contributions to the Vox Contributions program before the end of the year, which in turn helps us keep this work free. We need to add 2,500 contributions this month to hit that goal.Will you make a contribution today to help us hit this goal and support our policy coverage? Any amount helps.
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Nebraska woman files lawsuit against UNMC for double mastectomy she received at 16 | Nebraska Examiner
Sat, 16 Sep 2023 18:39
LINCOLN '-- A Nebraska woman who received a double mastectomy at age 16 filed a lawsuit this week against her former physicians and the University of Nebraska Medical Center.
Luka Hein, at the left of center, listens to fellow supporters of LB 574 this spring during a Feb. 8 hearing in Lincoln, Neb. (Zach Wendling/Nebraska Examiner) Luka Hein, who is 21, is suing UNMC, Nebraska Medicine, the University of Nebraska Board of Regents, three physicians at UNMC and her former mental health therapist for negligence. Hein alleges her physicians did not address her underlying mental health concerns nor provide her or her parents the full information needed for informed consent.
The lawsuit, filed Wednesday, names UNMC, Nebraska Medicine and the individual physicians and therapist. Hein also filed a tort claim Thursday against the NU Board of Regents because it has oversight over UNMC, Nebraska Medicine and the physicians.
''I was going through the darkest and most chaotic time in my life, and instead of being given the help I needed, these doctors affirmed that chaos into reality,'' Hein said in a statement. ''I was talked into medical intervention that I could not fully understand the long-term impacts and consequences of.''
Spokespeople for UNMC and the university declined to comment.
Supported transgender care restrictions Hein testified in favor of Legislative Bill 574, proposed by State Sen. Kathleen Kauth of Omaha, to prevent minors in the future from accessing the care Hein received. The Legislature gave final approval to the bill in May.
Hein has traveled around the country testifying for bills similar to LB 574. She has stated that one physician told her parents, ''Would you rather have a dead daughter or a living son?''
''These are not the words of a medical professional, but the words of an activist,'' Hein told the Nebraska Health and Human Services Committee in February.
Dr. Timothy Tesmer, the state's chief medical officer, testifies before the Health and Human Services Committee on May 25. (Zach Wendling/Nebraska Examiner) LB 574 bans transition surgeries for minors after Oct. 1 and authorizes the state chief medical officer to craft rules and regulations for minors' use of puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones. Largely known as gender-affirming care, the medications and procedures are largely sought by transgender or gender-nonconforming individuals and include a diagnosis of gender dysphoria.
A spokesperson for the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services told the Nebraska Examiner the department anticipates having emergency regulations in place on or soon after Oct. 1.
Those guidelines would need to be approved by Gov. Jim Pillen and could stay in place for no longer than 90 days at a time. Until rules are in place, new patients cannot access either medication at that time.
LB 574 supporters, including Kauth, often pointed to Hein's story as justification for the bill.
Mental health suffered The lawsuit states Hein's mental health deteriorated and she struggled in school after her parents got divorced in 2015. She was later diagnosed with depression and generalized anxiety disorder.
''Anxiety and panic attacks immobilized her,'' the lawsuit states. ''She lost her appetite, became easily angered, started cutting and expressed suicidal ideation.''
It was around the same time, the lawsuit continues, that Luka was groomed online by an older man, contributing to Hein wondering ''whether it would be best to have no breasts.''
The lawsuit alleges UNMC physicians fast-tracked and rushed Hein toward breast removal and that Hein's parents were also victims on the ''road to medical hell.''
Request to shutter gender clinic Physicians removed Hein's breasts in 2018 and placed her on testosterone later that year, the lawsuit states, which violates guidelines put forth by the World Professional Association for Transgender Health. On Jan. 10, Hein told her gender care physician she was no longer taking testosterone, was in pain all over, no longer identified as male and was not old enough to have consented to the treatments she received as a minor.
''Due to Defendants' actions, Luka is now a medical orphan,'' the lawsuit states. ''Having been subjected to irreversible surgery and a four-year cascade of testosterone, doctors simply have no idea now how to help her. Having broken her, Defendants have no idea how to fix her.''
Hein is seeking a trial by jury and payment for damages ($2.25 million in the tort claim against the regents). Hein is also encouraging the NU regents to shutter the UNMC gender clinic.
Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site.
Penzeys - Don't vote for Trump
Sat, 16 Sep 2023 18:30
About Republicans
As we've now said on our first-ever About Us page on our website, there's something unique about humankind's relationship with spices that time and again have caused spices to be a driving force for change. We live in a time calling out for change and for solutions to the very real problems our country and our planet face. There's two very different futures ahead for us totally dependent on whether we solve these problems or not. With so much at stake we feel obligated to use the unique position spices hold in our lives to try to help promote the solutions to these problems as best we can.
Watching the slow decline of the Republican Party over the last half century, and the steep decline/bottom falling out over the last decade, it can be easy to see the nonsense that has overtaken the party as pretty much random. Once you start seriously looking at the problems America and the world face and who and what are standing in the way of solving those problems, it quickly becomes clear there is nothing random to what the Republicans are promoting.
The Republican departure from conservative values and embrace of what, from a distance, looks a whole lot like insanity didn't happen by chance. All of it has been intelligently crafted with the goal of preserving the position of those who profit from the inhumanity that is at the very roots of pretty much every problem we are facing. From the environment, to racism/discrimination, to health, to saving our democracy at home and growing it abroad, half the time Republicans are intentionally blocking the solution to the problems we face. The other half of the time they are the problem we face.
The truth of our time is we've arrived at the point where there's no way to respect the nonsense the Republican Party is promoting and have any hope of overcoming the problems we as a nation and we as a planet face. Given the choice between saving America and planet Earth or saving the feelings of Republican voters, we are choosing to side with saving our country and our world. I'm sorry it's come to this.
And no, there is no HATE!!! in any of this. There is a whole lot of propaganda at the heart of much of how Republican voters have been steered away from conservative values to what they now seem all too happy to vote for. The thing to remember about propaganda is that it doesn't just misinform, it also works to make people immune from the truth by convincing them any facts that counter their propaganda are nothing more than HATE!!! But we really have no hate for Republican voters. None at all.
I actually like and respect most of you guys. Sure, there are a growing number that are there for the racism, but I still believe the majority of you have good hearts that want to help and do the right thing. I know you to be trustworthy, and honest, and funny, and caring, and good souls. The problem isn't what you are, the problem is what you are now voting to support. You guys have been turned around.
Remember when your distrust of big city types, and your deep rooted beliefs in paying your debts, respecting your marriage, raising kids willing to serve, honoring your word, and going to church every week had you voting for Donald Trump over Joe Biden all because Biden's son had a computer? Or how you couldn't vote for Hillary because she was over-prepared and used emails? I know that to you your actions seem rational and in keeping with your values, but when it comes to voting you are now consistently voting in people who are the exact opposite of you and the values you hold dear.
What does any of this mean? Going forward we would still be glad to have you as customers, but we're done pretending the Republican Party's embrace of cruelty, racism, Covid lies, climate change denial, and threats to democracy are anything other than the risks they legitimately are. If you need us to pretend you are not creating the hurt you are creating in order for you to continue to be our customer, I'm sad to say you might be happier elsewhere.
If on the other hand you still want the best spices and don't need us to respect what you now vote for to be our customer, Hooray! We are happy to have you here, but know that we will, on a regular basis, try to wake you up from this dream that has you believing there is anything conservative left at all to what the Republican Party has become. We can and will work without Republicans to solve the problems we face, but it sure would be nice to get back to a time where Republicans were equal defenders of equality, the environment, and democracy. We look forward to that day.
Thanks for reading. Thanks for being here,
Bill
You are booking on order from Test Site! This order will not be shipped! Please book order from www.penzeys.com
Biden names Penny Pritzker as representative for Ukraine's economic recovery | Reuters
Fri, 15 Sep 2023 15:16
U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker delivers a speech during a ceremony commemorating the victims of Babyn Yar (Babi Yar), one of the biggest single massacres of Jews during the Nazi Holocaust, on the outskirts of Kiev, Ukraine, September 29, 2016. REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko/File photo Acquire Licensing Rights
Sept 14 (Reuters) - U.S. President Joe Biden on Thursday said he had appointed former Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker to serve as the new U.S. special representative for Ukraine's economic recovery.
Biden said she would mobilize public and private investment, shape donor priorities, and work to open export markets and businesses shut down by what he called Russia's brutal attacks and destruction.
"As we take this next step to help Ukraine forge a stronger future, we remain steadfastly committed to helping it defend its freedom today," he said in a statement.
Pritzker, 64, served as secretary of the U.S. Commerce Department under President Barack Obama from June 2013 to January 2017. Her family fled anti-Jewish pogroms in Ukraine in the 1880s.
In a separate statement, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Pritzker would also work closely with Kyiv on reforms needed to mobilize foreign direct investment.
Reporting by Paul Grant and David Ljunggren; Editing by Doina Chiacu and Andrea Ricci
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
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VIDEO - Russell Brand: In Plain Sight
Sun, 17 Sep 2023 14:41
First published at 09:20 UTC on September 17th, 2023.
A professional liar, annoying, obnoxious, he is not funny, he is not even good looking. What is wrong with people? (especially the red-pilled idiots)-I do not own the material, it was found on the internet, and is used for educational purposes.
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A professional liar, annoying, obnoxious, he is not funny, he is not even good looking. What is wrong with people? (especially the red-pilled idiots)-I do not own the material, it was found on the internet, and is used for educational purposes.
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VIDEO - British comedian Russell Brand accused of rape, sex assaults and emotional abuse ' FRANCE 24 - YouTube
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VIDEO - Russell Brand subject of tonight's Channel 4 Dispatches episode | Metro News
Sat, 16 Sep 2023 20:37
To view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a webbrowser thatsupports HTML5video
A trailer for tonight's special episode of Dispatches on Channel 4 has confirmed it will focus on allegations against British comedian Russell Brand.
The first look of the programme, made in conjunction with The Times newspaper, shows five women accusing Brand, 48, of rape, sexual assault and controlling and emotionally abusive behaviour.
It begins with a woman saying she 'phoned and somebody asked what it was regarding,' to which she replied that it was 'regarding Russell Brand being a sex offender.'
It is revealed that for more than a year, Channel 4 and Dispatches have been investigating the comedian's treatment of women.
A woman continues to recount an experience she claims she had with Brand, saying: 'He's grabbing at my underwear, pulling it to the side, I'm telling him to get off and he won't get off. Like holding me up against the wall, pushing himself in me.'
Another then claims: 'He grabbed me and got me on the bed. I was fully clothed and he was naked at this point. And he held me down and he was just aggressively trying to f**k me.'
The heartbreaking trailer continues as one of Brand's accusers alleges that he raped her, before cutting to a clip of his stand-up in which he imitates a sexual act.
A fifth accuser says she has 'never ever spoken publicly about this before '' Russell seems untouchable.'
The trailer ends with a statement from Brand in which he denies the accusations.
'These allegations pertain to the time when I was working in the mainstream, when I was in the newspapers all the time'... when I was in the movies, and as I've written about extensively in my books, I was very very promiscuous,' he begins.
'Now during that time of promiscuity, the relationships I had were absolutely, always consensual I was always transparent about that then, almost too transparent, and I'm being transparent about it now as well, and to see that transparency metastasized into something criminal that I absolutely deny, makes me question, is there another agenda at play?
'What I seriously refute are these very very serious criminal allegations'... There are witnesses whose evidence directly contradicts the narratives that these two mainstream media outlets are trying to construct, apparently in what seems to be a coordinated attack.'
The comedian and actor, who now hosts his own podcast Stay Free With Russell Brand, took to Twitter aka X on Friday night where he warned stories were set to come out about him which he 'absolutely refutes.'
More: TrendingHe said he had been approached by a mainstream TV network and a mainstream newspaper with 'extremely disturbing' correspondence listing 'a litany of extremely egregious and aggressive attacks.'
Amid some 'stupid stuff' in the correspondence, including, he said, that he 'shouldn't be able to attack mainstream media narratives,' were 'some very serious allegations that I absolutely refute.'
'These allegations pertain to the time when I was working in the mainstream, when I was in the newspapers all the time, when I was in the movies,' he said.
'As I've written about extensively in my book, I was very, very promiscuous. Now during that time of promiscuity, the relationships that I had were absolutely always consensual. I was always transparent about that then, almost too transparent, and I'm being transparent about it now as well.
To view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a webbrowser thatsupports HTML5video
'And to see that transparency metastasise into something criminal that I absolutely deny makes me question is there another agenda at play.'
He said there had been 'coordinated media attacks' in the past against people like controversial podcast host Joe Rogan, and that he himself had previously been labelled a conspiracy theorist.
Brand went on to claim media outlets had been trying to contact people he knows 'for ages and ages,' but 'what I seriously refute are these very, very serious criminal allegations.'
He claimed he had 'witnesses whose evidence directly contradicts the narratives that these two mainstream media outlets are trying to construct, apparently in what seems to me to be a coordinated attack.'
'Now, I don't want to get into this any further because of the serious nature of the allegations, but I feel like I'm being attacked and plainly they are working very closely together.
'We are obviously going to look into this matter because it's very, very serious.'
Channel 4's Dispatches special, Russell Brand: In Plain Sight, airs tonight at 9pm.
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If you've got a celebrity story, video or pictures get in touch with the Metro.co.uk entertainment team by emailing us celebtips@metro.co.uk, calling 020 3615 2145 or by visiting our Submit Stuff page '' we'd love to hear from you.
MORE : Russell Brand accused of rape, sexual assault and emotional abuse by multiple women including 16-year-old
MORE : Channel 4's 'secret' Dispatches episode mystifies fans as rumours abound
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VIDEO - NASA says more science and less stigma are needed to understand UFOs | AP News
Fri, 15 Sep 2023 15:05
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) '-- NASA said Thursday that the study of UFOs will require new scientific techniques, including advanced satellites as well as a shift in how unidentified flying objects are perceived.
The space agency released the findings after a yearlong study into UFOs.
In its 33-page report, an independent team commissioned by NASA cautioned that the negative perception surrounding UFOs poses an obstacle to collecting data. But officials said NASA's involvement should help reduce the stigma around what it calls UAPs, or unidentified anomalous phenomena.
''We want to shift the conversation about UAPs from sensationalism to science,'' NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said. He promised an open and transparent approach.
Officials stressed the panel found no evidence that UAPs had extraterrestrial origin. But Nelson acknowledged with billions of stars in billions of galaxies out there, another Earth could exist.
''If you ask me, do I believe there's life in a universe that is so vast that it's hard for me to comprehend how big it is, my personal answer is yes,'' Nelson said at a news conference. His own scientists put the likelihood of life on another Earth-like planet at ''at least a trillion.''
When pressed by reporters on whether the U.S. or other governments are hiding aliens or otherworldly spaceships, Nelson said: ''Show me the evidence.''
NASA has said it doesn't actively search for unexplained sightings. But it operates a fleet of Earth-circling spacecraft that can help determine, for example, whether weather is behind a strange event.
The 16-member panel noted that artificial intelligence and machine learning are essential for identifying rare occurrences, including UFOs.
NASA recently appointed a director of UAP research, but refused to divulge his identity at Thursday morning's news conference in hopes of avoiding the threats and harassment faced by panel members during the study.
Eight hours later, however, NASA said it's Mark McInerney, who previously served as a liaison on the subject of UAPs between the space agency and the Defense Department. He's also worked with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Hurricane Center.
No top-secret files were accessed by the panel's scientists, aviation and artificial intelligence experts, and retired NASA astronaut Scott Kelly, the first American to spend nearly a year in space. Instead, the group relied on unclassified data in an attempt to better understand unexplained sightings in the sky.
Officials said there are so few high-quality observations that no scientific conclusions can be drawn. Most events can be attributed to planes, drones, balloons or weather conditions, said panel chairman David Spergel, president of the Simons Foundation, a scientific research group.
The government refers to unexplained sightings as UAPs versus UFOs. NASA defines them as observations in the sky or elsewhere that cannot be readily identified or scientifically explained.
The study was launched a year ago and cost under $100,000.
___The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Science and Educational Media Group. The AP is solely responsible for all content.
VIDEO - South Seattle grappling with surge in home invasions targeting Asian families | KOMO
Fri, 15 Sep 2023 15:03
by Chris Daniels, KOMO News Senior Reporter
Wed, August 30th 2023, 1:07 AM UTC5
VIEW ALL PHOTOS
This photo shows south Seattle, an area of the city that has recently been plagued by home invasions over the summer of 2023. (KOMO)
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VIDEO - Dove partners with BLM activist Zyanha Bryant to promote 'fat liberation'
Fri, 15 Sep 2023 14:30
Dove is having a Bud Light moment.
The beauty giant has partnered with a Black Lives Matter activist to promote ''fat liberation,'' after she was accused of wrongfully getting a white student expelled from her university over a ''misheard'' remark.
Zyanha Bryant, a community organizer and student activist studying at the University of Virginia, made the announcement she was a ''Dove ambassador'' on her Instagram page at the end of August, as she spoke about her goal of ending the stigma of being overweight.
''My belief is that we should be centering the voices and the experiences of the most marginalized people and communities at all times,'' Bryant, 22, said in a video.
''So when I think about what fat liberation looks like to me, I think about centering the voices of those who live in and who maneuver through spaces and institutions in a fat body.''
She captioned her video by saying, ''Fat liberation is something we should all be talking about '... Tell us what Fat Liberation means to you using the hashtag #SizeFreedom and tagging @dove to share your story.''
Zyanha Bryant announced on Instagram that she is partnering with Dove to support ''fat liberation.'' Zyahna Bryant / InstagramBut even though Bryant has been praised for her work with Black Lives Matter and getting the Robert E. Lee statue taken down in Charlottesville, she has also come under fire in recent months for her efforts to get a white student named Morgan Bettinger suspended from campus.
She claimed Bettinger referred to BLM protesters as ''good speed bumps'' in the summer of 2020 '-- only to later admit she may have ''misheard'' her.
The incident began in July 2020, when Bettinger mistakenly drove down a street where BLM protesters had gathered.
She told Reason magazine she saw a dump truck partially blocking the road, but because the street was not completely blocked off, she continued driving.
When she realized the road was actually being blocked off from traffic, Bettinger said, she decided to park her car and see what was going on.
As she passed by, Bettinger said, the truck driver began talking to her, and the two had a brief conversation.
She said everyone should be talking about ''fat liberation'' '-- the idea of ending the stigma of being overweight. Zyahna Bryant / InstagramBettinger says she remembered telling the truck driver something along the lines of, ''It's a good thing that you are here because otherwise these people would have been speed bumps,'' trying to praise his efforts to block traffic.
The driver later corroborated Bettinger's remark to local cops.
But Bryant overheard part of the conversation and tweeted that she said the protesters ''would make 'good speedbumps''' along with a video showing Bettinger backing down the street in her car while Bryant and several other protesters follow.
Morgan Bettinger was accosted by Black Lives Matter protesters after she turned down a road where they were demonstrating in July 2020. WUVA NEWS''She then called the police and started crying, saying we were attacking her,'' Bryant claimed.
The tweet was quickly shared more than a thousand times, and internet sleuths soon identified the driver as Bettinger.
The fact that she had pro-police social media posts, and her late father had worked as a police officer, only seemed to irritate people more, according to the Daily Mail.
Internet sleuths soon identified the driver as Morgan Bettinger, and Bryant demanded she be expelled from the University of Virginia. morgan.bettinger/FacebookJust one day later, Bryant began demanding that school administrators expel Bettinger.
''EMAIL these UVA deans now to demand that Morgan face consequences for her actions and that UVA stop graduating racists,'' she tweeted.
Bryant herself filed a complaint with the University Judiciary Committee, a student-run disciplinary system, alleging Bettinger had threatened students' health and safety.
Start your day with all you need to knowMorning Report delivers the latest news, videos, photos and more.
It found Bettinger guilty of making a legitimate threat against the protesters, despite being unable to prove Bryant's claims about her intentions.
The jurors ruled that even saying the words in a harmless manner during a protest merited punishment, according to documents obtained by Reason magazine.
Bryant also filed a complaint with the school's Office for Equal Opportunity and Civil Rights, in which she claimed Bettinger repeated the statement five times and had discriminated against her due to her race.
The EOCR office found that three of the five accusations could not be corroborated, and a report found Bryant most likely did not hear Bettinger's comments firsthand after no eyewitnesses were able to corroborate her version of events.
Bettinger eventually graduated from UVA but with a permanent mark on her record, Reason reported, likely hindering her chances of getting into law school as she had dreamed.
''This whole situation has had a huge impact on my life,'' she told Reason magazine. ''The university has never had to answer for what their actions have done.''
Bettinger is said to be considering bringing a lawsuit against school officials, seeking to get her record cleared.
Bryant has continued to make a name for herself, being profiled in the Washington Post and being named to Ebony's ''Power 100'' list last year. zysaidso/InstagramHer lawyers claim her ''conviction and punishment were effectuated without a constitutionally sufficient process'' because the school had failed to retry her or provide a ''de novo review of the clearly erroneous judgment of the UJC,'' according to the school newspaper, the Cavalier Daily.
Meanwhile, Bryant has continued to make a name for herself, being profiled in the Washington Post and being named to Ebony's ''Power 100'' list last year.
The Post has reached out to Dove and its parent company, Unilever, for comment.
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CBS Evening - Catherine Herridge - Hunter Biden indicted.mp3
CBS Evening - Charlie DAgata - Libya flooding.mp3
CBS Evening - Nancy Cordes - Biden facing political storm -Hunter.mp3
CBS Evening - Norah ODonnell - 3 men not guilty in kidnapping plot Gov. Whitmer.mp3
CBS Evening - Norah ODonnell - narrow gag order sought for Trump.mp3
Chicago residents fired up about plan for migrant 'tent city'.mp3
CLIMATE LIBYA.mp3
CNN This Morning - Phil Mattingly - hilary clinton is all in on joe biden nahsayers snipers should go to the back of the room.mp3
CNN This Morning - Poppy Harlow - georgia judge shuts down DA’s effort to try trump and co-defendants together + pocket pardon 2.0.mp3
CUBAN being trafficed 2 kicker.mp3
CUBAN being trafficed for Ukraine war 1.mp3
EU AI regulation human rights france blocking CLIMATE CHANGE.mp3
FBI Whitmore scheme ends.mp3
Impeach wisc judge.mp3
impeachment evidence 3.mp3
impeachment evidence 4 zinger.mp3
impeachment evidence 5.mp3
impeachment evidence NTD.mp3
impeachment evidence TWO.mp3
ISO we great.mp3
Klaus Schwab - Cyber Pandemic ISO.mp3
Lybia flooding - Caused by Climate and Capacity.mp3
Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso sign mutual defence pact.mp3
Megyn Kelly Trump Vaccine Question.mp3
Missdin Chinese officials.mp3
Musk CSPAN interviiew about smartest people in the world AI meeting sucking up to Schumer.mp3
NA641 August 7 2014 - How USA and it's elites operate in all countries with Ebola scare - BIDEN KID IN UKRAINE.mp3
Naomi klein intro DN.mp3
NBC - Lester Holt Miguel Almaguer - cyberattack cripples las vagas casions.mp3
NBC Gabe Gutierrez - battle for americas voters VPs college tour.mp3
NBC MTP (1) Gabe Gutierrez - intro -interview teaser.mp3
NBC MTP (2) Kristen Welker - Trump - war in Ukraine -Putin.mp3
NBC MTP (3) Kristen Welker - Trump - will you pardon yourself.mp3
NBC MTP (4) Kristen Welker - Trump - Noem as your running mate.mp3
NBC MTP (5) Kristen Welker - Trump - reported you left a note for Biden.mp3
NBC MTP (6) Kristen Welker - Trump - age limit to running for president.mp3
NBC MTP (7) Kristen Welker - Trump - is it time for a new generation of leaders.mp3
NBC Nightly - Aaron Gilchrist - armed man arrested at RKF Jr. event.mp3
NPR Consider This - Scott Simon Camila Domonoske - auto show and striking auto workers seperated by police on horseback and bullet proof glass.mp3
NYC migration madness 1.mp3
NYC migration madness 2.mp3
Pelosi admits she's reptillian on pooper.mp3
Queen Ursula BELIEVES in the power of AI Artificial Intelligence.mp3
Russell BRand hit job rape channel 4.mp3
Saudi squeeze blementhal DN.mp3
The Australian royal commission into the Robodebt scandal has handed down its findings into the unlawful scheme.mp3
The Hills Rising - Briahna Joy Gray Robby Soave - aussie CEO tim gurner wants unemployment to rise and pain in the economy.mp3
The Hills Rising - Briahna Joy Gray Robby Soave - federal government coerced social media platforms to moderate content which violates the first amendment.mp3
TRT on international ARMS sales conference DRONES and BILLIONS.mp3
Trump vs Desantis at FRC.mp3
Twitter Trump files weird.mp3
UAW MWga strike.mp3
UKRAINE Crimea hit hard DN.mp3
White House pushed back 2.mp3
White House pushed back 3.mp3
White House pushed back on Imprach.mp3
WSJ Podcast feedforward instead of feedback.mp3
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